Friday, October 06, 2006

Geek's Approach to working out Q&A

My post A Geek's Approach to Working Out generated some questions:

Q: Forty-one! That's pretty old....
A: You'll be there soon enough, if you're lucky.

Q: I don't believe you can total more than 1,000 lbs doing this workout
A: Meet in my local gym. For every pound over 1,000 I do, you pay me $5, for every pound under, I'll pay you $20.

Q: 15 reps sounds like too many. I always heard you need to do heavy weights and low reps to get bigger
A: You can certainly get bigger doing heavy weights and low reps, but no matter what weight or reps you're doing, you won't get bigger if you don't increase your tonnage (and as a result the amount of work your muscles are doing). You can't keep doing the same weight and same number of reps every workout if you want to get bigger and stronger.

And I offer this: find someone who can squat 150 pounds 15 times and find someone who can squat 250 pounds 15 times and see whose legs are bigger.

The whole key to getting bigger and stronger through resistance training is progression. To get bigger and/or stronger, you either need to:
  • keep adding weight
  • keep adding reps
  • reduce workout time
    With the goal being to increase your tonnage (the amount of weight you move). If you can both increase your tonnage and increase intensity (pounds moved per second) so much the better.

    Q: How can you get a good workout in only 20 minutes?
    A: How quickly you move the tonnage is the measure of intensity. You can increase your intensity without increasing weight or reps by doing your workout faster. Ultimately, you'll need to experiment to find the best combination of reps, weight, and intensity (pounds per second) for yourself.

    One of the best things you can do if you're serious about making gains is to keep a log. A log will let you see your progress as well as keep you on track. You can get a little notebook or do what I do and use a workout spreadsheet.
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