- May 12th, 2013
By request (and also a preview of this weeks Q with Q), I am posting answers to actual questions I have gotten from you all over the past couple weeks:
How do I lose weight in my stomach?
You can’t spot reduce body bat. However if you cut body fat in general it will magically start to vanish off your mid section as well.
What supplements should I be taking?
Short answer: none, they are worthless and you are wasting your money. Now that is not completely true but don’t get sold by magic ads that claim drastic changes in fat loss and muscle gain. If these supplements do everything they say they did we wouldn’t need to train at all and we all have 6 pack abs. The reality is, supplements should be a last resort. If you feel you are in need of a supplement take a look at your diet, you can probably fix it there. If you can’t then look at your diet again and try to see what can be changed. Supplements should be used only if you have no other options, or advised from a doctor.
When I am done working out I need at least 15 minutes before I feel ok to drive and make sure I don’t get sick. How can I improve my endurance to stop this?
I am going to operate under an assumption that it is not your endurance that needs to change but rather your workout. If you are a beginner and new to working out intensely then you may need some time after your workout to get back to normal. If this is something that has been going on for a while, then your workout needs to be addressed. If this is your own program then you are over training and over working. If you are seeing personal trainer, then it’s probably time to find a new one.
The way I judge a good work is this: If I walk out of the gym feeling better than I did when I walked in. You shouldn’t be throwing up, or bleeding, or about to pass out. Too many people think their workouts need to be non-stop, all out action. This is just wrong and ineffective. While a certain about of conditioning is important and should be a part of your strength training but it should be used to enhance your training not be the focus of which everything is based. Jason Ferruggia is really high on this and his quote is one of my favorites, “Always end the workout on a high note and leave the gym feeling great”.
Why are hang cleans and snatches bad at high repetition?
These are complex movements that not many people know how to do correctly. Doing them at high rep puts you at great risk for injury. Even when doing them right doing when you are asked to do 25+ reps you will get fatigued and your form will start to fail, and bad things happen when you combined complex movements and bad form. What irks me even more is these are explosive exercises designed to train power development. Doing 30 reps or 50 reps or even 20 reps is endurance. You don’t use an explosive exercise to train endurance; it is not effective and it is not safe.
Does it really matter if you train at a commercial gym vs. a more specific gym like yours?
As long as you are training and working hard you can get results anywhere. You don’t even need a gym; you can just find odd heavy objects to play with. The main problem with training at a commercial gym is they hinder a lot of the people out there. You are going to see bad form at commercial gyms, you are going to see bad trainers, and you are going to get bad advice. If we ignore all of that, the big problem is many people get fooled as to what is strong. If you see and train around people who think a 450 lb deadlift or a 300 lb bench is a big lift then you are going to start believing that too. Those lifts wouldn’t even get on our record board for high school kids. So if you are training at a facility like Davis Speed Center then you are going to think differently and in turn will train smarter and better and get far better results. Like I have said many times, if I am the best it is only because I work with the best.
Why don’t you have a treadmill at Davis Speed Center?
Well because I didn’t want one. On the speed side of things I would say I can’t answer on Dave’s behalf but just know Dave is going to do what is best for you and there are more effective things to train with. From my point of view, well, I will never understand why someone would go to the gym to walk or run on a treadmill. It is a waste of money on an activity that can be done outside for free and yield better results that way.
I saved my two favorite questions for last. These were fun and challenging to answer in just a couple paragraphs:
I am really thinking of getting into competitive powerlifting. I have been lifting for 5 years and I have a good strength base but I have looked online and my totals are not even close to the elite totals. How do I go to the next level?
Excellent question: For starters you say you are thinking of getting into powerlifting. I would go ahead and get started before you start comparing yourself to lifters with elite totals. Odds are they have been doing that type of training for a long time. Getting strong is neither easy nor hard. There is no magic formula of exercises that will make you superhuman. But the basics are pretty simple. Use complex movements, work on your feet, lift heavy weight, carry heavy weight, throw conditioning in, and train both at maximum effort as well as dynamically.
If you have a program that has anything like this:
Leg extensions 4 x12, leg curls 4×12, seated calf raise 3 x 20
That’s not strength training. Those are exercises body builders occasionally use to target muscle groups. They have no place in competitive strength training and will not get you strong.
If it looks something like this:
15 box jumps, 20 push presses, and 30 hang cleans followed by 15 kettlebell swings and some “double unders” on a jump rope.
That is also not strength training. I don’t know what it is. Idiotic?
What is the most important thing to strength training, in your opinion?
Great question and I feel I could answer this many ways. I would say it is two things. First, injury prevention has got to top the list. If you are injured you can’t train, making it impossible to get strong. Furthermore, you want your strength training to be safe and prevent injuries to other activities you do outside the gym. Second is to be patient, huge results don’t’ happen overnight. Don’t compromise anything to try and get that extra weight. Take your time and the results will come. Move to fast and you will find yourself on a chair struggling to lift the remote to your television.