The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    how do you train someone who has no functional strength?

    hey everyone... I am 17 years old and since my brother has seen me making gains since i started working out, he wants me to help him start lifting. He is 14 and has severe ADHD and bad motor skills (can barely write legibly). It took him 3 months to muster up enough courage to go to the gym, but he finally did on Sunday.

    He doesn't have the strength to do highly assisted dips, deadhangs from the pullup bar, or even lift the bar off his chest on bench. He wasn't able to do some of the machines, but was able to lift a small amount of weight on others. He could do 8 pound curls/db bench, but after a few reps his arms started flailing a little bit. We agreed to do 2 days a week at the gym and 1 day a week at home. At home, i am going to have him do pushups on his knees and against the wall, lunges, squats, and some other exercises.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to go about training him? I just got accepted into my #1 college and am going to be going away next year. My brother and I are really close, and it just hit me that even though I do my best to be a good brother (considering the circumstances), I have never gone above and beyond for him the way i wanted to. I feel like helping him lift would not only increase his strength (loves basketball), but also work wonders for his confidence.

    Any suggestions/advice are much appreciated. Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRider23 View Post
    hey everyone... I am 17 years old and since my brother has seen me making gains since i started working out, he wants me to help him start lifting. He is 14 and has severe ADHD and bad motor skills (can barely write legibly). It took him 3 months to muster up enough courage to go to the gym, but he finally did on Sunday.

    He doesn't have the strength to do highly assisted dips, deadhangs from the pullup bar, or even lift the bar off his chest on bench. He wasn't able to do some of the machines, but was able to lift a small amount of weight on others. He could do 8 pound curls/db bench, but after a few reps his arms started flailing a little bit. We agreed to do 2 days a week at the gym and 1 day a week at home. At home, i am going to have him do pushups on his knees and against the wall, lunges, squats, and some other exercises.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to go about training him? I just got accepted into my #1 college and am going to be going away next year. My brother and I are really close, and it just hit me that even though I do my best to be a good brother (considering the circumstances), I have never gone above and beyond for him the way i wanted to. I feel like helping him lift would not only increase his strength (loves basketball), but also work wonders for his confidence.

    Any suggestions/advice are much appreciated. Thanks!
    Have him eat and train his motor skills. Thats early to start lifting regardless of strength level.

    I could only do the bar for reps when I was 13/14.
    Last edited by Whuditdew; 12-09-2009 at 04:26 PM.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whuditdew View Post
    Have him eat and train his motor skills. Thats early to start lifting regardless of strength level.

    I could only do the bar for reps when I was 13/14.
    yeah... diet is definitely key with him. He takes something for his ADHD that makes him not as hungry. He can't even do a pushup... is about 5'2 or 5'3 and only weighs about 95 pounds.

  5. #4
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    i think what you are doing is good as long as you keep easing him in really really slowly and back off once in a while let him do his workout session to see if he has a real commitment, if its something he gets into and gets to the point of liking going and wanting to see the weight he can push go up that could be helpful for the adhd


    just keep in mind its a long distance marathon not a sprint, i would almost put a higher priority on him liking the workout then getting more out of it at the moment. Give him some semi-easy goals to attain after assessing where he's at. If he's at 8lb curls, set him up with a rep scheme then tell him hopefully next 2 weeks he can try the 10lbs
    Last edited by Skalami; 12-09-2009 at 05:54 PM.

  6. #5
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Train them with movements that train functional strength. Basic barbell movements are the epitome of functional strength, as they are the exaggerated version of natural human motions.

    Squat, Bench, Press, Row, Pullup, Deadlift.
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  7. #6
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    Start him on the smith machine and have him work gradually into free barbell squats. If he cant even bench the bar, he wont be able to squat the bar. I would do smith machine squats combined with like 5 pound DB lunges. Lunges are a great exercise for stability and balance.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Start him on the smith machine and have him work gradually into free barbell squats. If he cant even bench the bar, he wont be able to squat the bar. I would do smith machine squats combined with like 5 pound DB lunges. Lunges are a great exercise for stability and balance.

    No smith machine squats. Apart from encouraging a bad habit he will have to learn to squat all over again when he switches to the barbell. The lunges are a good idea though. I'd have him do freehand (no weights no bars) squats and lunges.

  9. #8
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    ok, you have three things working against you in this situation.

    Youth, Puberty, and ADHD

    First off hes young so that will affect his motor skills, secondly hes going through puberty so he is growing and his body is having to learn to deal with his new longer limbs and akwardness, lastly you dealing with ADHD which is a slowing of the synapse response of his brain which explains having a short attention span and can also inhibit his brain to relay messages to and from his muscle to coordinate his movement.

    Two points of advice,

    1. Stick to Bodyweight movements first
    2. Find out what he likes.

    1. If he has bad motor skill you have to work with him on his own body. If he can yet control his own body how would he be able to control his body and a weight. So start out slow, with body weight exercises like pushups, body weight squats, walking lunges, glute bridges, toe touches, wind mills, and believe it or not, some basic yoga poses and moves. These will be very good to start just to learn some motor control of the body. Once he gets good at those you can slowly progress him into more advance movements such as Pushups with a T twist at the top, and pushups, with bringing a knee up, lunges with a twist, one leg toe touches ect...

    2. If you find out what he likes he will be more apt to staying focused on what he is doing. You said he loves basketball, so use that. Either train him on the basketball court, or have him work with a basketball. Doing lunges holding the ball, doing basketball ball throws, and working basic agility drills, use something he loves and just build upon that. Once he gets good with the basketball movements, and you want to work on strength get him a medicine ball, paint it the colors of the basketball if it helps and work a lot of passing movements to strengthen the arms upper body and core strength.

    Once you see his motor coordination improving start him out with, some basic movements with Dumbbells, Squats, deadlifts, Rows, pullups, over head Press, curls tricep extensions and dips, i would hold off on the bench press for a while and train him on his feet in order to gain full motor control of his body and full senses. Take it slow with him and he will learn to love it all.

    I can relate to you because i have a young cousin who has ADHD and a slight learning disability roughly the same age as your brother and he likes basketball as well and his dad asked me to work with him, and through some trial and error i worked with him, found out what he liked and built upon that as well as relating all of his drills with basketball, and just slowly progressed him, now hes the leading scorer on his middle school 7th grade team.

    Be patient work with him take it slow and encourage the **** out of him when hes down, and do not let him feel sorry for himself. Your his big brother, be the strong support he needs yet the comforting presence he needs in things he may not feel sharing with the parents , love him encourage him, yet push him and bring out his best and show him things he has within him he had no idea there was.

    You will also learn a lot about yourself during this experience as well
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

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  10. #9
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    As this is posted in bodybuilding, "functional strength" shouldn't be used by BBers. Unless you are one of those guys that can pull a truck or lift a heavy stone above your head, no Bbers have "functional strength".

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00bster View Post
    As this is posted in bodybuilding, "functional strength" shouldn't be used by BBers. Unless you are one of those guys that can pull a truck or lift a heavy stone above your head, no Bbers have "functional strength".
    Functional strength training is simply using weighted resistance to enhance the normal movements of the body.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00bster View Post
    As this is posted in bodybuilding, "functional strength" shouldn't be used by BBers. Unless you are one of those guys that can pull a truck or lift a heavy stone above your head, no Bbers have "functional strength".
    This is completely incorrect.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Raleighwood's Avatar
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    It's all about starting at an intensity he can handle. It should be stressful enough to force adaptation, but not so hard that it discourages him from continuing (ie. extreme DOMS or unbearable cardiovascular exhaustion).

    From that starting point, consistently and incrementally add more challenging lifts either by adding more weight or difficult movements. It is important to log his work outs, so you know exactly how he is performing and how to structure the next work out.

    That coupled with a good diet, he will see progress.

    He is only 14 though, which is pretty young. There's no telling how well he has developed biologically.

    I'd recommend basic calisthenic exercises to begin with: Push ups (full or knee bent), chin ups and inverted rows, body weight squats, box jumps, burpees.

    Light weight dumbbells (8-25lbs) can also temporarily replace barbell lifts.

    I believe I read somewhere once someone is capable of leg pressing their own weight about 10 reps, they are ready for to make efficient progress on the barbell back squat. Not sure the validity on that though.

    I am beginning to train as a profession, so give me a shout if you want some additional help.
    Last edited by Raleighwood; 12-10-2009 at 04:02 PM. Reason: .
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  14. #13
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00bster View Post
    As this is posted in bodybuilding, "functional strength" shouldn't be used by BBers. Unless you are one of those guys that can pull a truck or lift a heavy stone above your head, no Bbers have "functional strength".
    Go tell Ronnie Coleman that! I will come to your funeral!
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  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCorey75 View Post
    ok, you have three things working against you in this situation.

    Youth, Puberty, and ADHD

    First off hes young so that will affect his motor skills, secondly hes going through puberty so he is growing and his body is having to learn to deal with his new longer limbs and akwardness, lastly you dealing with ADHD which is a slowing of the synapse response of his brain which explains having a short attention span and can also inhibit his brain to relay messages to and from his muscle to coordinate his movement.

    Two points of advice,

    1. Stick to Bodyweight movements first
    2. Find out what he likes.

    1. If he has bad motor skill you have to work with him on his own body. If he can yet control his own body how would he be able to control his body and a weight. So start out slow, with body weight exercises like pushups, body weight squats, walking lunges, glute bridges, toe touches, wind mills, and believe it or not, some basic yoga poses and moves. These will be very good to start just to learn some motor control of the body. Once he gets good at those you can slowly progress him into more advance movements such as Pushups with a T twist at the top, and pushups, with bringing a knee up, lunges with a twist, one leg toe touches ect...

    2. If you find out what he likes he will be more apt to staying focused on what he is doing. You said he loves basketball, so use that. Either train him on the basketball court, or have him work with a basketball. Doing lunges holding the ball, doing basketball ball throws, and working basic agility drills, use something he loves and just build upon that. Once he gets good with the basketball movements, and you want to work on strength get him a medicine ball, paint it the colors of the basketball if it helps and work a lot of passing movements to strengthen the arms upper body and core strength.

    Once you see his motor coordination improving start him out with, some basic movements with Dumbbells, Squats, deadlifts, Rows, pullups, over head Press, curls tricep extensions and dips, i would hold off on the bench press for a while and train him on his feet in order to gain full motor control of his body and full senses. Take it slow with him and he will learn to love it all.

    I can relate to you because i have a young cousin who has ADHD and a slight learning disability roughly the same age as your brother and he likes basketball as well and his dad asked me to work with him, and through some trial and error i worked with him, found out what he liked and built upon that as well as relating all of his drills with basketball, and just slowly progressed him, now hes the leading scorer on his middle school 7th grade team.

    Be patient work with him take it slow and encourage the **** out of him when hes down, and do not let him feel sorry for himself. Your his big brother, be the strong support he needs yet the comforting presence he needs in things he may not feel sharing with the parents , love him encourage him, yet push him and bring out his best and show him things he has within him he had no idea there was.

    You will also learn a lot about yourself during this experience as well
    thanks a lot for this response man... Do you think taking him to the gym 1-2 times a week and working out at home twice a week would be ok for him? I don't think he will really feel like he's "working out" if we only do it at home. At the gym, maybe some lighter DBs to get his stabilizer muscles working, and maybe a few machines that he likes to do?

    As of now, one goal we've made is for him is to complete one pushup. Do you have any ideas as far as progressing on pushups go? I was thinking doing them against the wall or with his knees on the ground and feet in the air. Still hard for him, but it's definitely something

    Thanks to everyone else who contributed as well.

  16. #15
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRider23 View Post
    thanks a lot for this response man... Do you think taking him to the gym 1-2 times a week and working out at home twice a week would be ok for him? I don't think he will really feel like he's "working out" if we only do it at home. At the gym, maybe some lighter DBs to get his stabilizer muscles working, and maybe a few machines that he likes to do?

    As of now, one goal we've made is for him is to complete one pushup. Do you have any ideas as far as progressing on pushups go? I was thinking doing them against the wall or with his knees on the ground and feet in the air. Still hard for him, but it's definitely something

    Thanks to everyone else who contributed as well.
    easiest way to progress the push up is to start with an elevated bar, or bench. have him place his hands on the bar and feet on the floor and work from there, start out with a bar on a bench press, then progress down to the bench, then to the floor on his knees, then into full pushup.

    If you gym has med balls those would be great things for him, and if you all have a BB court at ur gym that would be a great place to take him, or hell just take him to a BB court for one of your out of house workouts

    im still not keen on machines because he has to learn to control his own body and his own motions machines will trap him in a range of motion that may not be natural for him, just take it slow and teach him to move and control his body
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

    Accept that which is useful and reject what is not- Bruce Lee

    Reason and Logic trump religion- Me

    Restriction of education, Censorship of knowledge, and Proliferation of religion helps keep the masses tamed- Me

    "Money does not fix everything, Smart fixes everything"

  17. #16
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    thanks for the responses everyone...

    Corey- i'll try that with the pushups and see how it goes.

    I tried having him do BW squats, but it's really hard to get his form right with his ass out first. I had him practice sitting on a chair while he stuck his ass out. Seemed to work but he can't keep his back straight. Any ideas?

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