Fit club quick questions thread

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Envelope Generator
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Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Envelope Generator » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:43 pm UTC

There didn't seem to be a thread like this already. Now there is.

I can't prevent my shoulders and neck from clenching/straining very hard when trying to do crunches. I'm pretty sure I'm doing something wrong. It's as though I were unable to use the abdominal muscles in isolation. Is this a common newbie problem, or some weird problem, or is it just a part of the exercise that I shouldn't be worried about?
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby nightbird » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:14 pm UTC

If crunches are hard for you, that may be the reason. This is called radiation - the tension in your abdominals radiates to other muscles. Depending on the exercise and the goal, this can be a good or a bad thing. In your case, it's bad because it could lead to neck pain. Try to do your crunches controlled and focus on tensing the muscles, not on moving your shoulders. Or, you know, do Another ab exercise - I'm not a fan of crunches, but that's me.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Envelope Generator » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:54 pm UTC

Thanks! I'm just now trying to google for more on radiation in this sense but I'm having a hard time finding anything that's not about exercise after radiotherapy or tension headaches...
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby nightbird » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:07 pm UTC

My mistake - it's called irradiation.

"It seems preposterous to a bodybuilder that clenching your cheeks and bracing your abs will strengthen your grip, but that's the way your body works. What I teach is just the opposite of isolation. Isolation is impossible anyway. There is something called irradiation.
Make a fist, Chris, a tight, white-knuckle fist. Notice how the tension spreads into your biceps, shoulder and chest. So whenever the load is meaningful, the tension will spread elsewhere. It's going to happen. If you try to fight it, you'll only hurt yourself. "

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... aks_part_1
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:07 am UTC

Thanks again!
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:54 am UTC

I am not a fan of crunches at all. Nothing about them feels rights. If you want an awesome six pack, its body fat that you need to lose and there are much better exercises for that than crunches. Abdominals will get a work out with just about every compound lift.

If you want something ab specific I would suggest hanging leg raises, or variations on the them, add a twist for flavour?!
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:19 am UTC

That looks nice but I have nowhere to hang from at home. I'm not after a sixpack, just core exercise to support biking. I'll go back to planks if I can't sort out the coordination for crunch/situp type moves.
I'm going to step off the LEM now... here we are, Pismo Beach and all the clams we can eat

eSOANEM wrote:If Fonzie's on the order of 100 zeptokelvin, I think he has bigger problems than difracting through doors.

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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby nightbird » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:52 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:That looks nice but I have nowhere to hang from at home. I'm not after a sixpack, just core exercise to support biking. I'll go back to planks if I can't sort out the coordination for crunch/situp type moves.


Try getting your plank time up to four minutes, then switch to one armed & legged planks. After that, you could also buy an ab wheel and do rollouts.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Sungura » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:52 pm UTC

Does anyone else find that they dont get better? As in, i hike all the time often with heavy packs of around 40-50 pounds bushwhacking up and down mountain terrain. But it never gets easier. my legs still burn and my ankles still stab after only 5-10 minutes. Or plank challenges, i cant get past about 60-90 seconds no matter how long im stuck on that level. Its really disheartening and frustrating to hit these limits. Work harder! Do more! Well...i try to but since nothing gets easier its hard to progress.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby nightbird » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:06 pm UTC

Sungura wrote:Does anyone else find that they dont get better? As in, i hike all the time often with heavy packs of around 40-50 pounds bushwhacking up and down mountain terrain. But it never gets easier. my legs still burn and my ankles still stab after only 5-10 minutes. Or plank challenges, i cant get past about 60-90 seconds no matter how long im stuck on that level. Its really disheartening and frustrating to hit these limits. Work harder! Do more! Well...i try to but since nothing gets easier its hard to progress.


Well, both activities you mention (hiking and planks) are essentially endurance feats. Your ankles 'stabbing' sounds bad, but how often do you hike? If something causes you serious discomfort due to how hard it is for you, it will take a lot of time to turn it into something effortless. The plank... Well, that might be a psychological issue, i.e. you 'know' you will fail before you reach 90s and so you do. I have no other explanation since once you're past 60 seconds on a plank, it really seems to become a mind over matter thing.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby TG333 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:13 pm UTC

Sungura wrote:Does anyone else find that they dont get better? As in, i hike all the time often with heavy packs of around 40-50 pounds bushwhacking up and down mountain terrain. But it never gets easier. my legs still burn and my ankles still stab after only 5-10 minutes. Or plank challenges, i cant get past about 60-90 seconds no matter how long im stuck on that level. Its really disheartening and frustrating to hit these limits. Work harder! Do more! Well...i try to but since nothing gets easier its hard to progress.


In my and my training partners experience progress tends to happen in steps rather than linear. Constantly applying the same load and effort will lead to adaptation and hence stagnation. For my recent quest towards a sub 1:30 half marathon I´ve found three strategies to be very powerful measures to push the envelope.

First variation is key. Me and my friends made enormous leaps when we introduced intervall and trail-/hillrunning into our weekly schedule. This allowed me to reduce my weekly mileage considerably without weakening my performance. In your case you might try to vary the distance and / or the speed of your hikes to improve performance. As for the hurting ankles I´d question the shoes tbh. If the boots are good you may still consider gettign a second pair, your feet will welcome a variation and it will prevent monotonic stress in your feet which often results in nasty injuries of all those soft and sensitive tendons in your feet.

Secondly consider varying the exercises you do to strengthen your core. Just like your cardio-viscular greatness your muscles don´t grow beyong whats absolutely necessary. To overcome your muscles growing accustomed to your 90 sec planking try different exercises and remember to engage your core all round - a strong tummy feels very sad without proper back muscles and it makes you look stupid. Mix static with dynamic exercises. Particularly internets aimed at triathletes are abundand with tips to improve core stability. If you´re in for something new, try rock climbng or its trendy indoor sisters, it will boost your core strength tremendously.

Thirdly, stretch and recover. If you´re anything like me and can barely touch your shins when bwoing down with knees straight, tight quads and hamstrings and locked hips limit your movement and reduce biomechanical efficiency. Stretch twice a day and rest regularly. Feel better. Get better.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Jave D » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:29 pm UTC

What's a good, cheap source of not-too-terrible food to meet one's caloric requirements? Given that just about all food nowadays is marketed to people on the basis of it not having so many calories, as if that's a plus. (I guess it is, but not for me since I'm way too skinny and don't eat enough. I can't build mass because I just plain don't get the calories, and am constantly hungry. And also poor.) Ideally, I'd just like one thing that I could eat, maybe twice a day. Because eating 10 meals of 200 calories each just isn't practical at all.

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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Nath » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:57 pm UTC

Rice and beans. Top with eggs or chicken. Buy chicken in the form of those large, suspiciously cheap bags of chicken thighs. (Freeze in meal-sized portions, or buy those resealable freezer bags in which the pieces don't stick together for some reason.)

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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby nightbird » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:58 am UTC

Jave D wrote:What's a good, cheap source of not-too-terrible food to meet one's caloric requirements? Given that just about all food nowadays is marketed to people on the basis of it not having so many calories, as if that's a plus. (I guess it is, but not for me since I'm way too skinny and don't eat enough. I can't build mass because I just plain don't get the calories, and am constantly hungry. And also poor.) Ideally, I'd just like one thing that I could eat, maybe twice a day. Because eating 10 meals of 200 calories each just isn't practical at all.


Nuts
oatmeal
milk

Personally, my go to weight gain breakfast is two cups of yogurt, two cups of oatmeal and a diced apple. That's about 1,000 kcal.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby sophyturtle » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:28 pm UTC

All the egg. Such easy, much protein. I should take this advice.

I was silly and posted elsewhere first, but I has question. I want a pull up bar. I want to be able to do pull ups one day. Right now I can only do the kind where one is inclined backwards then does an upside down push up. Are there good bars one can use at different heights on the doorway until I get better and can actually pull up? Are the only good ones the ones that sit on the tops of door frames? Cause I have tall things to put my feet on. If this is the best bet I will make it work. I rent, and while I could screw one into a frame I would like to pretend I might get some of my security deposit back.
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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Nath » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:54 am UTC

I haven't seen height-adjustable over-the-door bars, but there are various other ways to reduce the resistance. You could use elastic bands for assistance (probably simplest, though this has some drawbacks), negatives (jump or stand on something to reach the top position, and lower yourself slowly), or self-assisted pull-ups while standing on something. Good luck!

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Re: Fit club quick questions thread

Postby Samik » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:39 am UTC

I've always either used the kind that sit over the top of the door frame, or just gone outside and found something that worked (tree branch, those metal crossbars on some telephone poles that you can always just barely jump and reach, the underside of a flight of stairs in an outdoor stairwell - there's always something). I've never had security deposit issues with the over-the-door bars. They may wear the paint a little, and/or some of the rubber rubs off the grips; nothing that can't be touched up pretty easily.

Alternatively, it's actually possible to do a reasonable facsimile of a pullup just on a door itself, if the door is study enough. (At 165lbs, I've done many of these on pretty average doors, but I accept no responsibility if you break yours!) You fold up a towel and put it over the top of the door to protect your fingers, then just hang off that, knees bent behind you, and pull up and down carefully. (Make sure you're not wearing a belt or anything that would scratch the door - learned that the hard way).

For assisted pullups, one of my favorite methods uses a partner. You hang from your bar, then bend your knees 90 degrees. Your partner grips your ankles, then helps lift you up that way. The downside of these are that they look weird and you need someone to help. The upside is that your partner can modulate how much they are helping as you get tired (and as you get stronger), so that every single rep is a max effort rep, until you can do them unassisted. It's like using an assisted pullup machine, except you don't have to get off every time you want to change the assist-level.


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