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General Questions

  • I am a petite woman. I want to tone up but I'm scared of getting too big by lifting weights!

    You will be happy to know that your fears are for nothing. The reason men become so much larger to women after weight training has minimal to do with the training itself, but is mostly hormonal. You see, men have a lot more testosterone floating around their bodies then women do. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the physical distinctions between men and women in regards to muscle size and strength. No matter how much or how hard a woman trains, she will not turn into a muscle bound male impersonator. There are some women who do seem to represent your fear, but it more then likely would be caused by the way they 'supplement' their training, if you know what I mean. The average women who is training for shape and tone has nothing to worry about.

    Hey, do you want to know the fastest way to achieve a lean, toned physique - train like a guy! Common gym mentality instructs men to train with high weights, low reps to build muscle and women to train with low weight and high reps to 'shape' the muscle. You know why that is instructed - ignorance. Its the same 'old school' mentality that has been around for years, back when women only occupied the aerobic room. Weight training is basically a stimulus for your body to change, so with a bigger stimulus there is more chance of change. Weight training will NOT make you big.

  • I'm a teenage guy and I want to get big - can you help?

    You will be happy to know that this is an easy question to answer. There are no secrets to getting big, no expensive supplements or complicated training programs, just sound nutrition and effective training.

    Training - Firstly you need to train in a manner which is geared towards muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). This means training with a program that focuses on compound exercises with heavy weights and low reps. You need to choose a weight where you will be working with maximum intensity. In a rep range of 4-6 for example, if you can manage 6 reps comfortably, then you need to increase the resistance. During this time, you still need to focus on some type of cardio-vascular training. Not the traditional fat burning 1 hr long sessions, but 2-3 15 minute high intensity sessions per week. This will increase your physical conditioning, which will enable you to push harder in the gym. Make sure though that your cardio training does not interfere with the recovery needed from your weights. If you feel that the cardio is taxing your body too much and you are not recovering, reduce the number of sessions, not the intensity.

    Diet - Remember what your goals are when it comes to your approach to nutrition. Mass just doesn't happen by accident, but is a result of high intensity training and sufficient eating. To increase mass, you need to eat more calories on a daily basis then your body uses for all its metabolic functions. Whilst your goal is + calories, you still need to focus on quality. Focus on lean cuts of meats, enough carbohydrates to meet your energy requirements, and don't forget the essentials fats. If after a week you have not increased in weight, slightly increase your total calorie consumption by 300-500 calories per day.

    Most important, remember to consume a Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate and a high Glycemic Index carbohydrate drink directly before and after training for best results.

  • Why do bodybuilders shave their entire body?

    Quite simply to enhance the definition of their physique.  If body hair is present (even the really fine stuff), this will reduce the rips and cuts that you see from skeletal muscle.

  • What does body sculpting mean?

    "Sculpting", just like "toning" and "shaping" are all words invented by companies in an effort to confuse consumers and make more money.  I have seen plenty of these advertisements where they have a huge guy on a cardio machine and imply that he buffed up using this cardio machine several times a week.  Common sense should tell you that that's a load of garbage - it's all a money-making scheme.

    Getting in shape, in theory, is simple.  A new fancy term is invented every day, but if you want to get in shape all you need to do is stick to the basics.  You have fat and you have muscle.  You can do the following:

    1. Increase or decrease muscle size (just like inflating or deflating a balloon)

    2. Increase or decrease muscle length (ie. your flexibility - this will not change your physical appearance)

    3. Increase or decrease body fat

    That's it.  Flexibility is important, but it won't make any difference in your physical appearance (unless you sit with both legs behind your head!).  The other 2 are what will make all the difference to how you look.

    All those fancy terms refer to points 1 and 3.  You need to build your muscle up to a size that you are comfortable with, but at the same time have a fairly low body fat so you can actually see that muscle.  You can't change the actual shape of your muscle - just like you can't change the shape of the balloon - it either gets bigger or smaller.

  • Jay, what body type are you?

    I am primarily a mesomorph leaning slightly to the ectomorph side of the scale.

    I used to think I was a "hardgainer" - but finally realised that this was more due to lack of understanding of how to build muscle effectively rather than my genetics. Currently I feel I have very good control over my body - gaining/losing fat/muscle mass.

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