Do you feel that you're physically fit?

Matt Barton's picture

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Weight
Matt Barton wrote:

That's a good point about the body fat. I have a scale that gives me a percentage of my bodyfat, and I am very disappointed to have a 28.5 or so bodyfat. Not sure what to do to reduce that. I'm not really a big eater and hardly ever eat sweets.

Don't get too hung up on those scales. The more muscle you have, the less accurate they are. Obviously when you do it you want to have an empty bladder and follow all the other instructions it tells you. These things are very easy to throw off. Do it at the same time of day under the same basic conditions. Just like with weight, it's best just to do the mirror test and look for results that are consistently lower from what you test at. If it says "28.5", in a few weeks if it says "27.5", you've made progress. Same thing with the scale. Don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat. As you put on muscle, the scale won't necessarily move down. If you or Elizabeth sees visual progress, that's all that matters in the end.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Bodyfat

That's a good point about the body fat. I have a scale that gives me a percentage of my bodyfat, and I am very disappointed to have a 28.5 or so bodyfat. Not sure what to do to reduce that. I'm not really a big eater and hardly ever eat sweets.

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Bill Loguidice
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More stuff...

Protein is definitely essential and a good shake or MRP is an excellent source, as they tend to be fairly low calorie and high in protein, as well as providing other essential nutrients. In fact, myself, for breakfast, it's always a protein shake (I favor the Labrada brand).

Also, it is indeed true that we all have our strong and weak points. The key, as you say, is balance. You don't want to favor your strong points at the expense of your weak points. For instance, if you find your arms are responding well, do them LAST in your workout so you're strongest for the other body parts.

Finally, there's no way around it. There's no such thing as spot reduction. Good abs need work, true, but the reality is if you want a flat stomach you need to lower your bodyfat, which is as much a function of diet as anything else. Any type of exercise in that regard is a means to an end. You can have the strongest abs in the world, but if you have a layer of flab covering them, no one will see it. Doing cardio/aerobics is important, but should always be done after training with weights and you also want to be careful not to overdo it. Nevertheless, it's important for heart and lung function and also aids in burning bodyfat, as does lean muscle from lifting weights. Yes, the more lean muscle you have, the more fat you're burning just sitting around...

I could talk about this forever, so if there's any subject you'd like to talk about, let's discuss it. I enjoy both learning new stuff and discussing all that I've read/experimented with myself on over the years...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Good Info

Wow, Bill, that's a lot of good info there. I guess I created this poll because I was curious about how folks are affected by their gaming activities. I know I enjoyed a great metabolism while I was growing up, able to eat 3-4 hot dogs, eat donuts, drink Dr. Pepper, whatever, as much as I could stuff myself and never put on a pound. Now that I'm almost 30 (in a few days!), I'm not that way. I seem to be developing a gut, and I really want to stop that before it gets to be a problem. I wore 30/30 pants all through college, but now I'm lucky if 32 isn't too snug.

I try to workout at least 3-4 times a week. Usually I do chest, shoulders, and rowing-type exercises one day, then legs, bis, tris, and calves the next. I'm not sure how the machine I'm using compares to actual weight, but when I started benching I was lucky to get 13 or 14, and now I can do at least one set at 18. I've also worked up the bis to 8, whereas before I was hovering around 4. Heck, I thought I was doing really well until I heard that one of my former classmates (who was about my size) is benching 400 now. Wow, that really slammed me into my place!!

I think it's interesting what you said about the "genetically gifted" parts, because I definitely see much, much more improvement in my upper arms than anywhere else. Meanwhile, I've always felt my legs and calves were too skinny, though the upper legs are looking much better now with all the squatting I'm doing as part of Billy Blanks workouts on DVD (these are VERY tough workouts I try to squeeze in at least twice a week).

I don't really want to look like Arnold (well, of course I would), but would be happy if I could just look fit and lose the flab at the waist. I've read a bunch on that, too, and it always seems to come back to doing lots of aerobics/cardio type exercise rather than fixating on that one area with crunches.

I've been drinking protein powder drinks after every workout, which does seem to have made a considerable difference.

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Bill Loguidice
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Working Out - Don't Get Me Started becase I won't shut up...

Wow, Mark, you must be really genetically gifted to put on muscle that fast. For 98% of people, it's very difficult (a long, slow grind) to put on muscle after the initial burst (most training programs are successful for the first few months, particularly when someone hasn't trained) naturally. In fact, the taller you are, the more difficult it is to fill out a frame. Most of the best bodybuilders tend to be 6' or under, though there are and have always been exceptions. Certainly the shorter you are and the shorter your limbs are, the easier it is to gain leverage (you're stronger) and to "fill out" with muscle. The advantage that those with longer limbs and with more height have over their shorter brethren is that when they do finally fill out, they tend to look much better (more proportionate). In the 1970s in particular, friends Franco Columbu and Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn't have been more different. Franco was a really short (5'5", around 185lbs. in contest shape), short limbed, incredibly strong bodybuilder, while Arnold was a relatively tall (6'2", around 240lbs. in contest shape), long limbed, still very strong bodybuilder. Each was at the top of their game then, but Arnold ALWAYS won. Only when Arnold wasn't actually present (he stopped competing after 1975, Franco won in 1976) did Franco actually win, beating guys much taller.

I was a very fat kid, then, after dieting on my own during the summer between 5th and 6th grades, eventually became a very skinny teenager. I was always fascinated with physique building. I got a weight set around 13 and a bench and weight set around 15. I worked out fairly regularly and put on a decent amount of muscle, though it was tough to fill out my skinny frame (and long limbs). I finally got into a gym at 18 (my first gym was my college gym, then I started to go to a local gym by my parent's house during the summers) and never looked back, training consistently ever since. In fact, until we moved to this new house last summer, I've been working out a gym from 18 to 34, averaging three to four days a week consistently. It allowed me to go from the 140's to the low 200's in weight at 5'9" (though my waist in that time has gone from about 30" to about 33" today), packing on quite a bit of muscle over the years. For the past year or so, I've been working out in our basement gym, which is decked out much like a commercial gym, all things considered. I've finally found the groove again to get back to the roughly three to four days a week on average, though tending to be more with the former with the fatigue of daily life (commuting, kids, responsibilities, etc.).

Of course, like everyone, I have my genetically blessed bodyparts and genetically lacking bodyparts. For instance, I rather quickly built my chest, upper legs and forearms, while my upper arms have always lagged. I have good shoulder detail, but have not had much luck "capping" them. Every other bodypart is fairly adequate. In short, you never know enough and are constantly tweaking. I've been reading books and magazines related to the subject since my early teens and have experimented with different techniques and natural supplements. While steroids work, it's also not worth the hassle for me and I'd never touch them. Besides, unless you have specific physique aspirations (modeling, competing at a high level, etc.), steroids are "worthless" in regards to cost and side effects.

Obviously as you get older, it does get "harder". Working out, bodybuilding, is a game of adjustments. You have to constantly adjust to how your body feels, your age and your goals at the moment. Even after all my years doing it, I'm still adjusting, still learning. I also don't lift anywhere near as heavy as I used to, instead going more for quality over quantity. The body can only take heavy lifting for so many years before it starts to break down in a bad way. I'm lucky in that I have had no notable injuries over the years and I plan on keeping it that way. Besides going to the chiropractor every week for an adjustment and taking my supplements, there really isn't much else I want to do in terms of consideration for my bodies extra needs for maintenance.

I also used to "bulk up" in the winter and "rip up" in the summer, also called cycling or "off season" and "on season". I'm not going to do that anymore, basically staying within 5 pounds of where I want to be rather than 10 - 15. I just feel better being leaner and it's not too lean where it's detrimental (in terms of cusioning from heavy lifting and what-not). I'm too old to keep on doing that and I have enough size right now where I just want to continue to refine what I have.

I've never been a fan of cardio, instead choosing to get most of that effect from the weight training. Over the past few years I've been trying to introduce more of that though and in an effort to not slow down (running speed, punching speed, etc.) from age. I've been doing lots of dance dance and other videogame related stuff and more boxing training after every other weight workout. At the end of the other times it's ab work.

And finally, yes, if you're natural and not a genetic freak, you better eat regularly, get lots of protein, make sure you're not nutritionally deficient in anything and get plenty of rest, as well keep your workouts intense and short. Working out for about an hour three to four times a week should be more than enough for most people. When you weight train, you tear down the muscle fibers, which need time to repair themselves, which in turn causes them to get a little bigger. This cycle of breakdown and repair is ultimately what it's all about. It's also important to space bodyparts between each workout, meaning you never train all or most of your body at any particular workout. It's just too much and not very effective over time.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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yakumo9275
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Joined: 12/26/2006
fit as a fiddle

I hike + mountain bike. Been the same weight for the last 15 years. Dipped a bit when I hiked the appalachian trail (did 600-700 miles at one go. body started eating like 4500-6000 calories a day doing 16-20 mile days every day for 3 months).

For a professional programmer I think I'm in good shape. oatmeal every morning (gives me low cholesterol), fairly healthy eating, the occasional crispy kreme, my vice, 6-10 cups of tea a day....

I try and balance out my sedentiarness of my job.

-- Stu --

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
6'8" -> too tall

6'8" -> too tall. Variation in weight isn't actually that visible with my physique. I should exercise a little more with emphasis on speed. Weightlifting or powertraining makes me slow and gives me way too much muscle too fast. Played volleyball for a long time and I always need to train on speed instead of power. My phys-ed teachers always said bodybuilding would come very natural for me - but I don't like the look nor the exercises that go with it. I'm more into team-sports and things like biking, skating and in the 80's a game of decathlon on the c64... .hehehe

But Matt, how come this poll? Need some guilt trippin' to get rid of some love-handles? ;-)



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