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How to gain muscle and not lose weight?

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  • How to gain muscle and not lose weight?

    I recently lost a lot of weight and along with it, my strength. Does anyone have suggestions on how to gain back strength and not lose weight? I still need to gain about 10 pounds back. I am not ill, just had some personal problems.

  • #2
    hit the weights and consider taking whey protein.
    It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.


    • #3
      It really all comes down to your diet.You want to add 10 lbs and gain your strength back you need to hit the weights and dial in your diet. Nutrition is about 80 percent of bodybuilding. If you dont feed and rebuild your body properly, its not going to grow. Also make sure you are getting enough sleep.

      Figure out what your daily matinence caloric intake is now, which is the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight. Then start out by adding +500 calories a day to that. Eat 5 to 6 meals a day and try to space your calories out fairly evenly. Save your biggest meal for after your workouts as your body needs it to take it out of a catabolic state. Also educate yourself about protein, carbs, and fats. Which sources are good to eat and in what ratios are right for you and your goals.Also, drink at least 1 to 2 gallons of water a day.

      Avoid the junk food and fast food as much as possible. You will gain weight from eating that crap, but I dont think its the kind you are looking for.

      Try to weight train 4 to 5 days a week and dont overdue the cardio as you are trying to gain weight.

      To sum it up: lift big, eat big, & rest. This is just some of the basics, any other questions fire away!


      • #4
        Thank both of you for your help. I will try your suggestions.


        • #5
          Work Out Hard

          Strength Is Not About Weight. This Time Last Year I Was 5'7" And 248 Lbs And Way Out Of Shape. Getting Ready For The Police Academy I Dropped Down To 170 In About Nine Months. I've Stayed About 165-175 For The Last Few Months But My Pants And Clothes Are Still Getting Looser, But I'm As Strong As I've Ever Been. As Everyone Knows, Muscle Weighs More Than Fat. Lift 4-5 Times A Week And Try To Do Cardio Everyday. Cardio Isn't Just About Losing Weight. When You Do Cardio, You Get Your Heart Rate To About 65-70% Of Its Max To Burn Fat, And When You Do Cardio Capcity, You Elevate Your Heart Rate To 80-90%. When You're At A Higher %, You Burn Some Fat, But Really Work Your Heart And Build Lung Capacity, So Don't Do Away With It, Just Do It Differently. As For Lifting, Stick To These Basics To Build Overall Strength: Squats, Deadlifts, Bar Bench-press, Dumbbell Decline & Incline Bench Press, Arm Curls, Tricept Overhead Presses, And Of Course Your Basic Push-ups, Sit-ups And Pull-ups Always Work The Best.


          • #6
            building strength/keeping it

            I would suggest lifting 5 times a week- do upper body and lower body splits. Alternate- that means one week you'll do more upper, and the next more lower. Do only major muscle group work: movements that use at least 2 joints moving in the exercise: squats, leg press, weighted lunges, pac flies, bend over rows, lat pulls, seated cable rows, dumbell press, arnie presses. (Avoid straight bar bench, military press and lat pulls behind the nck- they tear up your shoulders) For more on this, see: http://www.fireagility.com/faq.php
            Read under: regarding bench press for more information on shoulders.

            Eat protein afterwards- then every hour afterwards for 3 more hours. Lift in a pyamid fashion- so that your last set is 3 or 4 reps and to failure.

            I would only do cardio 3 times a week, only 20 minutes at a time. Spend an hour or an hour and 15 lifting... and keep busy while you are there- not talking.

            Remember that it's always calories in over calories out... even given an increase in your protein intake. You still need to eat more so you'll keep the weight on.

            Dr. Jen
            Dr. Jen


            • #7
              Originally posted by Drjmilus
              (Avoid straight bar bench, military press and lat pulls behind the nck- they tear up your shoulders)
              Exactly, thats how I tore my shoulder up


              • #8
                Tore up the shoulder/ matter of fact?

                I get all kinds of injuries in my practice... and most of my patients, admittedly are training with weights, so I might be only seeing only one segment of the population, but:

                Almost all of the shoulder injuries I have seen in 13 years of practice have been as a result of some combination of those 3: straight bar bench, military press behind or Lat pull behind.

                Below is alot to read, but if it helps just one of you "guys", then great. I wrote this a while back:

                Here goes:

                Have you been told it 'might be your rotator cuff'?

                A very common cause of shoulder pain is muscular imbalance. Everything we do, almost all of our lives, is in the front of the body: everything from driving a car, to hitting a golf ball. This causes the muscles in the front of the shoulder (the Pecs, biceps, anterior delts) to become shortened. Also, the muscles in the back of the shoulder and upper back (supra spinatus, infrasinatus, teres minor) become longer and weakened. This causes/allows a chronic internal rotation of the humeral head in the shoulder socket.

                When in the gym, without even knowing it, many people add to this problem! Most train chest and biceps a lot more that they train the upper back, posterior delts and external rotators. This causes further internal rotation of the humeral head. This internal rotation can cause chronic over stretching of some muscles and tendons, and shortening of others.

                So then what happens?

                The person often has a forward leaning posture with the shoulders rolled forward. When they stand "normally", their palms face backward instead of towards their hips. This is not normal Anatomic position! It leads to irritation of the tissues within the joint! This irritation causes the release of the mediators of inflammation. These chemicals cause a softening of the tendons and ligaments inside the joint. This significantly increases the probability of tearing something!

                The shoulder is an encapsulated joint, and once a problem starts, the inflammatory process can be difficult to break. Don't let it fester! Get it checked! Some form of motion is usually very useful so long as there is no fracture or large tear. Your physician/orthopedist/chiropractor or Physical Therapist can help you with getting the proper care when the problem is acute. After release form their care, though, ongoing proper exercise is important to prevent further problems!

                What to do to change the imbalance?

                Balance of the muscles in the area is important. Keeping the humeral head down low in the gleno-humeral joint can be very effective at preventing impingement syndromes and rotator cuff tendonitis. Working the lats, rhomboids and teres minor specifically help with this. Keeping the subscapularis strong can protect you when you are pushing or crawling.

                The rotator cuff muscles are small. When you get very specific training them, the exercises need to be precise. When you build all these muscle the correct way, you can prevent so many injuries from becoming acute or chronic. Then applying them together to "bigger" exercises is safer and more effective.

                Stretching the muscles in the front of the body and strengthening the muscles in the back of the body in ways that work to increase the external rotation of the humeral head can have huge efficacy.

                Avoidance of what causes injury can help:

                Reaching behind you (like for things in the car), externally rotating your shoulder joint, then loading it, often causes injury. Using weight training exercises the lock your shoulder into external rotation, then load it should also be avoided!

                What are these harmful exercises/habits?

                I do a lot of sports injury rehab work, which entails a lot of shoulder injury work. When someone comes to me, and says they hurt their shoulder working out, I ask what their upper body workout consists of.
                All of them do at least one of these exercises:
                1. Behind the neck military press
                2. Behind the neck lat pull downs
                3. Straight bar bench press
                This is what I tell them: "Any time you put your shoulder joint in a position that twists the shoulder joint capsule (extreme internal or external rotation, as in all 3 of those exercises) you are ringing it out like a sponge. Then, if you add a load, such as pushing or pulling, you are asking for trouble."
                The usual response is, "Yes, Doc, but I feel it here when I do that, and I never get that feeling with any other exercise!"

                My answer, "That feeling you get is the tearing up of your shoulder joint. You don't want that feeling! Even if you don't have a big injury now, you will! Stop doing those exercises!"

                Some substitutions?

                For posterior delts, back flies and upright rows are safer than behind the neck military press. And lat pulls in front are safer than in back.

                What are helpful exercises?

                Remember that people tend to train their push muscles more than their pull muscles. They over train chest/pecs, and don't do as much lats/rhomboids. This leads to overly short muscles on the front, and internal rotation of the shoulder joint. Posture changes, to a forward lean... and palms face back when standing straight up. (They should face in). Try to do equal reps, sets and weights with the front of your body as you do your back. It might take a while to even out!
                Helpful exercises would be those that pull the humeral head down out of the shoulder socket, and increase external rotation of the humeral head. Some examples would be: cable exercises for external rotation, an increase in pulling exercises, and specific rehab-like exercises that strengthen the teres minor, the subscapularis, the infraspinatus and the supraspinatus. Plus, stretch the muscles that are shortened- in the front!
                Now for the shoulder stuff:

                If you have a shoulder injury, make sure you get cleared by your doctor before starting any exercise program for it. If anything listed below hurts you, stop, try lowering your weight. If it still hurts, then or after, ice it for 20 minutes, and write me back. These are small muscle, with very specific actions. Be precise with your form. Form is everything here, weight is nothing.

                Here are the exercises I would recommend:

                1. Supraspinatus/Empty can:
                Weight: 3-8 lb. dumbbell. Don’t push this- it’s a tiny muscle
                Reps: 2 sets of 12
                Form: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Do one arm at a time. Raise your stiff arm in front, up away from your body to shoulder height, no further.. Rotate the hand inward until you are in a thumb down position. In that thumb down position, lower the weight until your thumb hits your thigh. Raise it, never above the shoulder level. Move slowly. Do 12 reps. Do the other arm, and repeat both.

                2. Subscapularis:
                Weight: 10-30 lbs. Form is important here, so try it light first. I do 20 lbs. with a “healthy” shoulder.
                Reps: 2 sets of 12
                Machine: Set a cable pulley machine so the handle is at shoulder level. The cable pulley should be set so the handle hangs just below the level of the shoulder. Use a D ring handle.
                Form: Your back is to the machine. Grab the handle with a stiff arm. Raise the stiff arm out in front of you. The cable should run under your arm pit. The arm should be in the up position of the previous exercise, only palm down. Elbow locked, hand out at shoulder level. Hold your body and trunk stiff. Now translate ONLY your shoulder forward. Of course the arm and hand will move to, but it’s just a shift forward, leaving the rest of your body still. Your scapula will track along your ribcage, and your humeral head will push forward.You should feel this only lightly in under your armpit, actually in the front (anterior surface) of your scapula (shoulder blade).

                3. External rotators: teres minor and infraspinatus:
                Note: This is described for the right shoulder. You should do all of these on both shoulders anyway. But, this is only going to be described this way. You can then do the same thing on the other shoulder.
                Weight: 10-20 lbs. I use 15 when my shoulder feels good, less when it doesn’t.
                Reps: 2 sets of 12. Do Right arm, then left, and repeat.
                Machine: Set cable pulley machine so the pulley and handle is at elbow height. Set your weight. This exercise can irritate, so better to err on the light side then the heavy. D ring handle.
                Form: Stand with your left shoulder to the machine, your right shoulder away. Hold the handle in your right hand with palm facing the machine, elbow bent to 90*. Glue your elbow to your ribcage. Keep your shoulder down and away from your ear. The inside of your forearm should be on your belly to start with. Move away from the machine until the slack is taken out. Now externally rotate your right upper arm, lifting the weight until your knuckles point straight ahead, now go a little further. Don’t force it into external rotation, it will hurt you. Lower the weight. Do 12 and go do the other arm, and repeat both.

                4. Internal Rotators: pec. minor and subscapularis:
                Note: This too is described for the right shoulder. You should do all of these on both shoulders also. But, this is only going to be described this way. You can then do the same thing on the other shoulder.
                Reps: 2 sets of 12
                Weight: internal rotators are stronger and less vulnerable than externals, so I go a little heavier… 20-30 lbs. for a guy… I use 20 when I feel good, and less when I don’t. Know yourself.
                Machine: Leave machine in the same position as last exercise. Turn around so your right shoulder is to the machine. Glue your elbow to your ribcage. Keep your shoulder down away from your ear. Bend your elbow to 90*, knuckles pointing forward, and palm facing away from the machine. Step away from the machine to take the slack out of the cable. Rotate upper arm in to lift weight until the inside of the forearm is on your belly. Return the weight to almost touching the stack. Again, do not allow external rotation to the point of discomfort. Repeat 12 times. Do the other arm. Do both again.

                There, I am out of breath. Read this again, sitting in front of the computer, do the exercises in the air. Do it a couple of times. Then when you go to the gym, you should be able to duplicate them. If you find that you have a hard time doing this from the print version, I will be coming out with a video that shows all this at some point... just not done yet... but that may help more. It will be called, appropriately, "Shoulder Relief"...

                Best Wishes!

                Dr. Jen
                Dr. Jen


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