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

Itís 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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    ARGH!! question about leg day - what is wrong with my body?

    hi everyone. im new here and i have a question.

    ive been working out for 6 months now and ive been gaining very slowly. i didnt train my legs until the last two months. heres my problem.

    i always read that when you do legs you should do it until you throw up. so when i started i did squats. here was my routine in the beginning.

    squats: five sets
    leg press: four sets
    calf raise: three sets

    i would always be sore for like five days. the first two days, i was so sore i couldnt walk straight. i always read about bodybuilders talking about how hard they train their legs. i read this one article where a bodybuilder talked about his days playing football in highschool. he said he would work his ass off with his friends and they would go up the stairs out of the gym. he said his legs felt so heavy he barely made it.

    now... i train very intensely or so i think. but my legs dont feel super heavy after im done with my day. obviously it is heavier and i feel more sluggish, but i dont struggle going up the stairs or anything.

    so here is the problem. the first few times i worked out like this, i felt great. i was really sore and i thought i did my body a great thing. i punished myself in the gym and i was being rewarded by growing... right? wrong. every week, the workout would just get harder and harder. i thought to myself "is it because im slowly losing my drive to workout???" later on i had to decrease the weights. and then my friend told me that i was overtraining. i didnt know what overtraining was but he said it happens when you train for too long and your body is beyond repair. he said when this happens you lose and you dont gain.

    i said omg ive been training like that for like the last two months. so this time i just did squats and no leg press. the next week i felt better. i didnt know if this was because i really gained or maybe my time under pressure was just shorter. i got in more repetitions. it was just easier to do squats. stupidly though i decided to do leg press. then came next week and im struggling again...

    damnit. am i overtraining? im new and i heard new people gain like crazy. my squats are so low. its like 90 pounds. im embarased. i want to go up but i dont know whats wrong with my body... why cant it repair 5 sets of squats and 4 sets of leg press???!!! i hear bodybuilders talk about throwing up doing squats. man i wish i could do that without overtraining!!! help me decide what my problem is. thank you so much.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_Chapman
    hi everyone. im new here and i have a question.

    ive been working out for 6 months now and ive been gaining very slowly. i didnt train my legs until the last two months. heres my problem.

    i always read that when you do legs you should do it until you throw up. so when i started i did squats. here was my routine in the beginning.

    squats: five sets
    leg press: four sets
    calf raise: three sets

    i would always be sore for like five days. the first two days, i was so sore i couldnt walk straight. i always read about bodybuilders talking about how hard they train their legs. i read this one article where a bodybuilder talked about his days playing football in highschool. he said he would work his ass off with his friends and they would go up the stairs out of the gym. he said his legs felt so heavy he barely made it.

    now... i train very intensely or so i think. but my legs dont feel super heavy after im done with my day. obviously it is heavier and i feel more sluggish, but i dont struggle going up the stairs or anything.

    so here is the problem. the first few times i worked out like this, i felt great. i was really sore and i thought i did my body a great thing. i punished myself in the gym and i was being rewarded by growing... right? wrong. every week, the workout would just get harder and harder. i thought to myself "is it because im slowly losing my drive to workout???" later on i had to decrease the weights. and then my friend told me that i was overtraining. i didnt know what overtraining was but he said it happens when you train for too long and your body is beyond repair. he said when this happens you lose and you dont gain.

    i said omg ive been training like that for like the last two months. so this time i just did squats and no leg press. the next week i felt better. i didnt know if this was because i really gained or maybe my time under pressure was just shorter. i got in more repetitions. it was just easier to do squats. stupidly though i decided to do leg press. then came next week and im struggling again...

    damnit. am i overtraining? im new and i heard new people gain like crazy. my squats are so low. its like 90 pounds. im embarased. i want to go up but i dont know whats wrong with my body... why cant it repair 5 sets of squats and 4 sets of leg press???!!! i hear bodybuilders talk about throwing up doing squats. man i wish i could do that without overtraining!!! help me decide what my problem is. thank you so much.

    First of all, you don't need to do squats until you throw up. Think about it. Your body needs the calories for energy. If you are throwing up, you are draining your body of the food it needs for repair. Not to mention the stress and harm you are placing on your digestive system.

    Next you do NOT need to train until you are sore. Soreness is not an indicator of ANYTHING, except that your muscles are sore. Period.

    You MAY not be overtraining. First check your eating and sleeping habits. You require plenty of calories for intense workouts. Then you need plenty of rest to recuperate. Probably around 2500-3000 cals and 8-10 hours of sleep. It would help if you provide us with some statistics such as age, height, weight, and eating and sleeping habits. Then we could give some clearer answers. But we just don't have enough information to give an accurate answer.

  4. #3
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    But I keep hearing people say muscle sorness is an indicator of hypertrophy.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Benson
    But I keep hearing people say muscle sorness is an indicator of hypertrophy.

    Were that true you wouldn't need to train. You could simply sit in a easy chair and hit yourself a few times across the chest, or quads or biceps with a baseball bat.

    If you actually did such a thing, your muscles would be very sore...but they would not grow.

    Also it is possible to get sore from undertraining and overtraining. In both cases your muscles are sore...but again they will not grow. And any experienced lifter worth his salt (of which there are plenty on this board) will tell you the same.

  6. #5
    love to lift BIG C's Avatar
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    Well, you definitly do not need to throw up to get a great work out.

    Are you warming up before squatting or doing legs?

    I know that if I do not get some blood in my legs before squatting I am sore.

    Make sure you are eating enough food.

    If you are squatting 90 lbs, then cut back and just squat with the bar for a couple of weeks until the soreness is not as bad. Then slowly up the weight.

    You probably should have someone check your form while squating also. Its best to get that right in the begining.
    If the bar aint bending your just pretending!!!!


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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    First of all, you don't need to do squats until you throw up. Think about it. Your body needs the calories for energy. If you are throwing up, you are draining your body of the food it needs for repair. Not to mention the stress and harm you are placing on your digestive system.

    Next you do NOT need to train until you are sore. Soreness is not an indicator of ANYTHING, except that your muscles are sore. Period.

    You MAY not be overtraining. First check your eating and sleeping habits. You require plenty of calories for intense workouts. Then you need plenty of rest to recuperate. Probably around 2500-3000 cals and 8-10 hours of sleep. It would help if you provide us with some statistics such as age, height, weight, and eating and sleeping habits. Then we could give some clearer answers. But we just don't have enough information to give an accurate answer.
    thanks for caring.

    here are the answers to your questions.

    I sleep 8-9 hours a day. rarely I get 6 or 7 hours. that's like once every two or three weeks. i try not to sleep 10 hours because if you sleep too much they say you get depressed.

    my eating... i dont know how many calories i take. i think i take enough. this is a normal day of eating for me.

    wake up - 30g of protein whey
    1 hour later - 35g protein of canned chicken breast
    then i work out for about an hour or maybe a little bit more.
    then i drink 30g of protein whey
    1 hour later - 35g protein of canned chicken breast
    1 hour later - 20g protein of skim milk
    2 hours later - 35g protein of canned chicken breast
    3 hours later - 35g protein of canned chicken breast
    3 hours later - 30g of protein whey
    sleep

    -in between- i might eat a few bananas, a Fruit by the Foot and either bread or a bag of chips

    im 20, 145 lbs and i think im 6 feet.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG C
    Well, you definitly do not need to throw up to get a great work out.

    Are you warming up before squatting or doing legs?

    I know that if I do not get some blood in my legs before squatting I am sore.

    Make sure you are eating enough food.

    If you are squatting 90 lbs, then cut back and just squat with the bar for a couple of weeks until the soreness is not as bad. Then slowly up the weight.

    You probably should have someone check your form while squating also. Its best to get that right in the begining.
    yeah i do one warmup set. i also do some stretching. maybe a minute or two. my form wasnt good in the beginning and my back hurt but my friend said that now im doing it right.

  9. #8
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    You have to stretch. I had the same thing you did. Then the next time i worked my legs, i stretched for a good 5 minutes and it wasnt nearly as bad.

  10. #9
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Warmup before your workout (5-10 mins of slow cardio is fine). You can start with a heavy weight, but I think you're better off slowly building up to your working weight. My suggestion is this:

    10 reps @ 25% of working weight (round to the nearest 5 or 10 lbs)
    8 reps @ 50%
    6 reps @ 70%
    3 reps @ 90%

    That's just for the first exercise.


    Stretch after your workout. Stretching cold muscles is not a very good idea. More likely to do some damage than do any good.
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  11. #10
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    thank you. ill do that to decrease the soreness for my next workout. but my main question was not "how do i avoid soreness." my main question was how should i work out? should i just do 5 sets of squats and finish off my leg day since my body cant repair the muscles??"

  12. #11
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    You really can't avoid it. Eventually you're body will adapt and they won't be as bad. I wouldn't stress about it too much.
    Burritos are the bomb for bulking!
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    PB's&Goals

    Deadlift: PR 1@440, Goal 1@450
    Squat: PR 1@375, Goal 1@400
    Bench: PR 2@275, Goal 1@300

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max-Mex
    You really can't avoid it. Eventually you're body will adapt and they won't be as bad. I wouldn't stress about it too much.
    so is that a yes? i should just do 5 sets of squats and finish off my leg day or NO, i should do more sets and add leg press along with it???

    i told you i did this for the first three months and i didnt gain. i lost. three months and my body didnt adapt. what is wrong with it???

  14. #13
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    Do squats 3x6, leg presses 3x8 and leg curls 3x8 and whatever calf excersise, looks to me like your having loads of protein and not any carbs aswell, which you need for energy

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jezmason
    Do squats 3x6, leg presses 3x8 and leg curls 3x8 and whatever calf excersise, looks to me like your having loads of protein and not any carbs aswell, which you need for energy
    i always read that squats are the best exercise for legs and leg press is inferior compared to it. why not just do squats for 6 sets instead of leg pressing half the time??

  16. #15
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  17. #16
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    Hmmm.

    First off, you seem to be eating about twice as much protein as you need to. Whilst there is nothing "wrong" with taking in this much protein, I can almost gaurantee your body is using at most 3/4 of what you are taking in...but in reality probably using half and converting the other half to glucose.

    Where is your fat intake? You need min 20% of your cals from fat...monounsaturated sources are best. Omega3 capsules will seriously help with the joints. Where are your carbs? you need them to recover from heavy training. At least 30-40% of your calories should be from carbs on a bulking diet...possibly more. It looks like your total calories is actually under what you need to be eating. Im not surprised you aret gaining mass.

    Adding to that your complaints about soreness and not gaining. Max-Mex made a valid point...i think you are diving into your max weights too fast. Its a recipie for soreness. Minumum of 2 warmup sets...or better still 3...40%, 60% and 75% of your max working weights and then 2 sets of 85% of your 1rep max should see enough tension to stimulate hypertrophic growth.

    Do the warmups, eat more calories, get some cars and FAT (its really important in a weightraining diet) and you should get mass increases rapidly, with little soreness. Soreness (DOMS) is not an indication of hypertrophic growth. You can get hypertrophic growth with or without DOMS. Worry about your progression on your weights and let your muscles worry about growing bigger to catch up with the weights you are making them lift.

    Hope there is some sense in there for you
    Augs

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Augury
    Hmmm.

    First off, you seem to be eating about twice as much protein as you need to. Whilst there is nothing "wrong" with taking in this much protein, I can almost gaurantee your body is using at most 3/4 of what you are taking in...but in reality probably using half and converting the other half to glucose.

    Where is your fat intake? You need min 20% of your cals from fat...monounsaturated sources are best. Omega3 capsules will seriously help with the joints. Where are your carbs? you need them to recover from heavy training. At least 30-40% of your calories should be from carbs on a bulking diet...possibly more. It looks like your total calories is actually under what you need to be eating. Im not surprised you aret gaining mass.

    Adding to that your complaints about soreness and not gaining. Max-Mex made a valid point...i think you are diving into your max weights too fast. Its a recipie for soreness. Minumum of 2 warmup sets...or better still 3...40%, 60% and 75% of your max working weights and then 2 sets of 85% of your 1rep max should see enough tension to stimulate hypertrophic growth.

    Do the warmups, eat more calories, get some cars and FAT (its really important in a weightraining diet) and you should get mass increases rapidly, with little soreness. Soreness (DOMS) is not an indication of hypertrophic growth. You can get hypertrophic growth with or without DOMS. Worry about your progression on your weights and let your muscles worry about growing bigger to catch up with the weights you are making them lift.

    Hope there is some sense in there for you
    Augs
    My fat intake comes from chips and other junk food that i consume daily. same for my carbs. my protein intake is probably 60% or more of the nutrients i take.

    okay then. im going to eat some more fat and carbs. ill also try working out the way you told me to. 40% 60% 70% 2 sets of 85%. but i have a question. shouldnt i do 85% first? i might get tired doing 40% and 60% and 75%.

    so ill do something like this tomorrow.

    squats
    45x10
    55x8
    65x6
    90x3
    90x3

    is that right? would i really grow from doing that little for leg day?? i got the impression people did like at least 10 sets of squats and leg presses combined. could you post what you do?

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_Chapman
    My fat intake comes from chips and other junk food that i consume daily. same for my carbs. my protein intake is probably 60% or more of the nutrients i take.

    okay then. im going to eat some more fat and carbs. ill also try working out the way you told me to. 40% 60% 70% 2 sets of 85%. but i have a question. shouldnt i do 85% first? i might get tired doing 40% and 60% and 75%.

    so ill do something like this tomorrow.

    squats
    45x10
    55x8
    65x6
    90x3
    90x3

    is that right? would i really grow from doing that little for leg day?? i got the impression people did like at least 10 sets of squats and leg presses combined. could you post what you do?
    Your fat should come from healthy sources like extra virgin olive oil not junk food, but you probably know that so I won't harp on about it.

    Also I agree with the above poster, you are taking in way too much protein at 250 grams. Cut down to 1 gram per pound of body mass. That should provide you with what you need, plus a comfortable margin for growth. About 50-60% of calories should come from carbs. These carbs should come from natural sources such as whole-wheat bread, vegetables, fruit. Avoid processed carbs like white bread, bagels, white rice, and Pop-Tarts, since these digest fast and excess carbs may be converted to fat storage. Look at some of the diet journals to get a more exact idea what people eat. At six feet and 145 lbs you don't really need to worry about taking in too much calories. Eat as much as possible, but mainly from healthy foods, although a burger or piece of pizza now and then won't kill you.

    As for leg work 5-6 sets of squats at high intensity should provide growth.

    Personally I do drop supersets on the leg extension and curl machine for one workout then squat and leg press the next leg workout.

    For example: 135 lbs leg extension followed by 90 lbs leg curl. Then 100 lbs leg extension followed by 70 lbs leg curl. Then 70 llbs leg extension followed by 50 lbs leg curl. Finally 50 lbs leg extension followed by 35 lbs leg curl. All sets are done in giant set fashion. No rest between sets, just going from one machine to the next until all four supersets have been finished.

    Next workout I may do 4-5 sets of squats followed by 2-3 sets of leg press. All sets are done in pyramid fashion.

    Like I said above though, I would recommend just doing a handful of high-intensity squats for now. Once your body get used to doing them, you can start tweaking your workout for further gains.

  20. #19
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    okay, i just got back from my workout and i am so angry. i got even weaker!! i feel so helpless and i dont have any money to hire a trainer. they charge way too much man.

    this is sad because all my bodyparts are going up in weights except for my quad/hams. its not even like my legs are genetically weak. i went from 80 pounds to 130 doing calf raise for three months. my calves got too big and i dont have the type of calves that look good if theyre big so now i just keep it at 110. if only my upper legs would grow that fast.

    well ill take your advices on eating more carbs and fat and the routine you posted and hopefully a miracle will happen and my legs will grow.

  21. #20
    Demotivated. JTyrell710's Avatar
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    your legs will grow
    if you cant get enough of these good foods for cals- then dont eat good foods, but more importantly, LOAD ON THE CALORIES
    i dont care where from- try to keep saturated fats low, and processed carbs low, but those are both allrite- you just need cals. PACK on the freakin carbs, and pack on the fats- eat as much NATURAL peanutbutter as u can!- make sure its natural, but theres nothin wrong with a pizza every day as long as ur gettin bigger- once u get some mass on you, we can talk about goin healthier, but for now just eat- SCREW 2500-3000 cals, if ur 145lbs, im thinkin you should get as close as you can to 3500-4000 calories/day.. lets see if you pack on mass at that rate- you need to eat more i think, if you've been trainin for six months and your only 145lbs and 6 feet tall..
    EAT!
    500 g carb
    150 g pro
    120g of fat (mono or poly unsat.) (mono prefrerred)

    stick around those totals and you will be fine man. your legs will finally grow maybe
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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTyrell710
    your legs will grow
    if you cant get enough of these good foods for cals- then dont eat good foods, but more importantly, LOAD ON THE CALORIES
    i dont care where from- try to keep saturated fats low, and processed carbs low, but those are both allrite- you just need cals. PACK on the freakin carbs, and pack on the fats- eat as much NATURAL peanutbutter as u can!- make sure its natural, but theres nothin wrong with a pizza every day as long as ur gettin bigger- once u get some mass on you, we can talk about goin healthier, but for now just eat- SCREW 2500-3000 cals, if ur 145lbs, im thinkin you should get as close as you can to 3500-4000 calories/day.. lets see if you pack on mass at that rate- you need to eat more i think, if you've been trainin for six months and your only 145lbs and 6 feet tall..
    EAT!
    500 g carb
    150 g pro
    120g of fat (mono or poly unsat.) (mono prefrerred)

    stick around those totals and you will be fine man. your legs will finally grow maybe
    lol @ "your legs will finally grow maybe"

    yeah even when i do my other workouts which i think is going pretty well my legs keep coming into my mind and it really distracts me. just the thought that my legs are so weak and skinny puts so much stress on me i dont know why. i used to eat fast food all the time but i cut it down because i didnt gain any muscle just a lot of fat and i thought to myself "this isnt good because sooner or later i have to cut and the more fat i have to cut the more muscle ill lose"

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTyrell710
    your legs will grow

    i dont care where from- try to keep saturated fats low, and processed carbs low, but those are both allrite- you just need cals. PACK on the freakin carbs, and pack on the fats- eat as much NATURAL peanutbutter as u can!- make sure its natural, but theres nothin wrong with a pizza every day as long as ur gettin bigger- once u get some mass on you, we can talk about goin healthier, but for now just eat- SCREW 2500-3000 cals, if ur 145lbs, im thinkin you should get as close as you can to 3500-4000 calories/day.. lets see if you pack on mass at that rate- you need to eat more i think, if you've been trainin for six months and your only 145lbs and 6 feet tall..
    EAT!
    500 g carb
    150 g pro
    120g of fat (mono or poly unsat.) (mono prefrerred)
    First off, eating processed carbs and saturated fats is not "allrite". Apart from the health risks, (which are considerable) they tend to be digested faster with an increased chance of being converted to bodyfat. A pizza every day? Are you for real? I used to be 140 lbs at 6'2"...I know what this guy is going through, it was the same for me.

    Now about the 2500-3000 calories thing. If that is the amount of calories he is eating already then yes I would agree go to 3500-4000. But it sounds like he is eating way less. When trying to gain, many people agree that a 500-1000 caloric increase is the way to go. Much more than than and you run the risk of gaining far too much unwanted bodyfat.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 06-14-2004 at 02:25 AM.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_Chapman
    okay, i just got back from my workout and i am so angry. i got even weaker!! i feel so helpless and i dont have any money to hire a trainer. they charge way too much man.

    this is sad because all my bodyparts are going up in weights except for my quad/hams. its not even like my legs are genetically weak. i went from 80 pounds to 130 doing calf raise for three months. my calves got too big and i dont have the type of calves that look good if theyre big so now i just keep it at 110. if only my upper legs would grow that fast.

    well ill take your advices on eating more carbs and fat and the routine you posted and hopefully a miracle will happen and my legs will grow.

    Hang in there Mr. Chapman. Remember we all (yes even the people giving you advice on here) have our bad days or even weeks where we get in a rut. If all other bodyparts are going up in weight, chances are very good that sooner or later your legs will have to come up in weight too. Increase your calories by 500 and see what happens. If nothing happens in a month increase by another 500. What I would do first of all though, is take a week off from the gym. I know that is not what you want to hear, but sometimes it helps to get a fresh perspective and to ensure that you are not already in an overtrained state. Then go back to the gym and train and eat as has been advised on here. Granted you can get away with more processed carbs and saturated fats than most people...but you should still limit the intake if for no other reason than health-related risks.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 06-14-2004 at 03:45 AM.

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