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
    Wannabebig Member
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    Tall guy + skinny legs = help!

    Hey,

    I am confident this is probably a common question but I didn't see it posted recently so I thought I would ask.

    I am 28, i'm 6'1 and I am mostly legs. My legs are skinny.

    I was never a runner or jumper or any other form of athlete.

    I have recently joined a gym to try and fix this but legs are throwing me.

    Here are my concerns and forgive the newbie pussy-boy shiz...

    I am uncomfortable with squats because I don't know what the hell to do and I am convinced my knees will snap. I have seen a couple machines that help control the squat but everyone online seems to violently hate them.

    There are several machines at my gym (YMCA) including one where you are at an angle with pads on your shoulders and you bend down and stand up (leaves odd scratch/bruise marks on your shoulders), one where you lay on your back and push a plate up at an angle and one where you are sitting up straight and push a plate forward and up.

    They work well but I am a little confused. 1) I seem to be able to use the last machine mentioned (sit up and push forward) with 270 pounds which is just tough enough for me to notice. (6 - 45 plates). Now. I dont know if this is normal for starting out or not but I am very sure that putting 3 - 45 plates on each side of a bar and attempting to pick it up on my shoulders will lead to very a funny public death.

    The standing angled squatt I can do 180 pounds with 4 - 45 plates.

    when I do both I can feel it and I can do 3 or 4 sets of 8-12 and my legs are fairly sore...but its not like when I do shoulder presses and feel like i cant lift my arms for 3 days.

    So I need to do more...but I am doing like 4 sets on each machine and I am not sure what else to do.

    This isnt exactly a whiny "I dont know what to do - save me big muscle guys" cry for help...more of an advice thing.

    In the past I focused mostly on trying to fill out my arms and chest. Now I am being serious about my whole body but workout books translate oddly into reality...especially with legs.

    I was wondering how far you go before you overtrain your legs in one workout...how heavy you should go and if you will hurt your knees if you go heavier.

    also half my workout is my legs and then my hour is almost up and you cant train for more than an hour. I'm very confused on this whol etime management thing with moving plates around and doing lots of sets.

    anyways legs are different. If I pick up a barbell that is too heavy I can set it down. If I put something too heavy on my shoulders and bend down I might die.

    so I am not looking for a quick fix...I just want to grow my legs and I dont feel like I am using my leg muscle nearly as much since they seem to be stronger than I assumed they would be.

    I am not a big growly man with years of athletic experience. I am not a super pussy either but I do know my limits. I am just trying to better my body and look good naked. Also i'd like to not have to ask my friend to help me pick things up like couches.

    now big muscly guys...you may proceed to rescue me.
    Last edited by borgsixofnine; 08-29-2010 at 04:20 PM.

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  3. #2
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    I didn't read past you are 6'1". That isn't tall to me. The simple answer is squat.


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  4. #3
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    I am uncomfortable with squats because I don't know what the hell to do and I am convinced my knees will snap. I have seen a couple machines that help control the squat but everyone online seems to violently hate them.
    Why do you think your knees will snap? In any case, watch.

    http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=100067

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    The simple answer is squat.
    Mostly this. Stick with an abbreviated program like Starting Strength or Hardgainer. It sounds like you're trying to do too many lifts instead of focusing on the important ones and doing them right.

  6. #5
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    See. This is a helpful answer.

    Thank you. I am nervous about the weight because I feel a lot of pressure on my knees in particular when I bend down. I dont feel like I am able to support the weight...it might just be that I am not used to what heavy weight feels like when I bend down. Also my knees snap and crack when I bend them normally.

    I just know I need to lift heavier things with my legs. But I assumed most guys dont just walk into a squat the first time and rock out at it. I was hoping for some encouragement here from the fellas who know! = P

    Sure 6'1 is not 6'7...but I still have trouble climbing into the squatting machine and usually have to adjust them to their highest level because my legs are too long...so yes. I am tall. I have no idea how taller guys than me manage it.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    Mostly this. Stick with an abbreviated program like Starting Strength or Hardgainer. It sounds like you're trying to do too many lifts instead of focusing on the important ones and doing them right.
    This is also helpful. Thank you.

    I am just confused. So many programs and so many machines and lifts and options. I will watch the vids and check out the two programs you mentioned and see how that works for me.

  8. #7
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Starting Strength can be found in the stickies at the top of this forum.

    Hardgainer can be found here: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/body-building/hardgainer-faq/
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  9. #8
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    http://atlargenutrition.com/nutritio...products_id=25
    Base on everything you are stating this will be the best money you will spend.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

    Just get under the bar!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    http://atlargenutrition.com/nutritio...products_id=25
    Base on everything you are stating this will be the best money you will spend.
    Thank You.

    A lot of books seems to assume you have been lifitng weights since you were 13 and you just wanna get better at it.

    I appreciate the link to this book. I will definately try it out.

  11. #10
    Senior Member tnathletics2b's Avatar
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    If you are afraid you are going to use too much weight on a squat, then start with the bar and work your way up. Don't try to translate what you can do on a machine to a free weight value because it doesn't worl. So, try 3 sets of 6 to 8 squats with the bar and if it too easy, then add 10 pounds to either side. Do this until you accomplish a good workout- then you know you have enough weight on the bar.

    The reason you can't figure out the time management deal is that most powerlifters (since this is a powerlifting dominated forum, IMO) will only do about four different exercises for any given workout and will split those workouts up into motion specific or body part specific days. For example, you do a legs day, then a chest and tri day, then a back and bi day, or you do a "push" day and then a "pull day."

    But like most have said, you need to grab a premade routine on here that will set you in the right direction.

    The reason that everyone busted on you for saying you are tall is that no one on here is going to try to "climb into a squat machine" because squat racks are about 10 feet tall so we don't have to worry about it
    Most people pray for a lighter load in life...ever thought of praying for a stronger back?

    Goals as of 2/08/11 (current) goal:
    Squat: (505) 535, Deadlift: (475) 500, Bench: (325) 350 Total: 1305 (1385)
    BW: 225 as of 02/01/2011 Goal: 205 by May 1, 2011

  12. #11
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    #1: Starting Strength is a great and easy routine (like many have said).

    2. Eat (~ which some have mentioned),

    3. Squat (which nearly everyone said).

    Skinny legs and Squats don't go well together, so once you make a comittment to use Starting Stength (a routine that has you squatting every workout), your legs will be forced to grow ~ and will do so rapidly (assuming you eat like a lion).
    Does this pose make my camera look big?

    "We're not as good as we want to be, we're not as good as we should be, but thank God we're not as bad as we used to be..."

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by borgsixofnine View Post
    Sure 6'1 is not 6'7...but I still have trouble climbing into the squatting machine and usually have to adjust them to their highest level because my legs are too long...so yes. I am tall. I have no idea how taller guys than me manage it.
    That's why, in general, I don't use machines, because I'm too tall for most of them.

    Squatting can be harder for guys with long legs, just accept it and move on to focusing on squatting more weight over time. If there's a secret, that's it. Squat and eat ( i.e. just like shorter guys. )

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by borgsixofnine View Post
    anyways legs are different. If I pick up a barbell that is too heavy I can set it down. If I put something too heavy on my shoulders and bend down I might die.
    If you're afraid of back squats, try zercher squats ( if it's too heavy you CAN just set it down with zercher squats, they're a good core builder too).


    Quote Originally Posted by borgsixofnine View Post
    Also i'd like to not have to ask my friend to help me pick things up like couches.
    If that's a goal, consider doing strongman events. It'll really help build functional strength for stuff like moving furniture.

  15. #14
    Senior Member seK's Avatar
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    anyways legs are different. If I pick up a barbell that is too heavy I can set it down. If I put something too heavy on my shoulders and bend down I might die.
    Not if you have any clue how a squat rack works...

    Also you would never start with a weight that you are not 100% sure you can lift without a spot. When you begin to spot it's best to get a trainer or someone with a solid amount of expertise in the lift to watch/spot you.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by borgsixofnine View Post

    Sure 6'1 is not 6'7...but I still have trouble climbing into the squatting machine and usually have to adjust them to their highest level because my legs are too long...so yes. I am tall. I have no idea how taller guys than me manage it.
    I kind of understand how you feel, I'm 6'2 and always been more of an ecto, long limbs, skinny legs kinda thing, but about 6months ago I committed myself to squating, and squating low, defintiely below parallel, and I have seen a few inches added. I started with low (embrassing) weight, but just worked up little by little.
    And making steady progress.
    I say just learn proper form first and start small, being committed to progressing each workout. And you'll adapt to squating.
    Good Luck!

    Also want to add that making it point to improve your flexibiity would also help greatly, lower back, hip flexors, hamstrings would also do wonders for helping your progress
    Last edited by parra79; 08-30-2010 at 01:40 PM.

  17. #16
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Great answers guys.


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  18. #17
    Softball hoe cant hit bombz's Avatar
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    I'm right with ya man. realitive newbie to the game, tall and lanky, terrible knees, back squats scared the hell outta me. I took these guys advice, started very light and made myself push out perfect reps. once i started to add the weight on muscle memory took over. My knees have actually gotten better once i started squating. If your unsure of your form have someone video you, My wife video'd me in the kitchen with a broom stick on my back, it was very helpful for me. oh and eat and then eat some more....and when your done eating...grab something to eat.
    Bench: Half a subway club
    Squat: to pee
    Deadlift: no thanks


    don't let the 12" pythons fool you....i can run way faster scared than you can mad

  19. #18
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    I really really appreciate all of the advice. I am going to the gym today and will try out Deadlifts and test out this Squat thing.

    I do feel a lot better now with all of the encouragement. Thank You.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTallOx View Post
    If you're afraid of back squats, try zercher squats ( if it's too heavy you CAN just set it down with zercher squats, they're a good core builder too).




    If that's a goal, consider doing strongman events. It'll really help build functional strength for stuff like moving furniture.
    Well if a 6'8 guy can get huge legs then there is no excuse for me! Thank you for the encouragement. As a guy who has done zero leg work in his life...it helps to have that encouragement.
    Last edited by borgsixofnine; 08-30-2010 at 04:25 PM.

  21. #20
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borgsixofnine View Post
    I am going to the gym today and will try out Deadlifts and test out this Squat thing.
    You have been assimilated...
    See what I did there
    Last edited by Off Road; 08-30-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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  22. #21
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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  23. #22
    Wannabebig Member lawndarts's Avatar
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    Do lots and lots of sprints. Even uphill, in sand, with a weighted vest. Sprint!

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