Many questions from a rookie.

  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Sep 28, 2010 4:14 AM GMT
    Hey there, I just got back from the gym and I have different questions.

    First, an easy one... I noticed that I have a lot of difficulty controling my breath while working out. I'm well aware of the exhale during the hard part/inhale during the easy part of the exercise. But sometimes, especially in the last reps of the series, I just hold my breath. How important does breathing is, and am I the only one having difficulty with it ?

    Second, I went back to training 2 weeks ago (after a forced break, because I dislocated my arm) and I already gained 5 pounds. I know it's normal to gain weight, muscles are heavier than fat, but so much in so little time ?

    And last, but not least, considering that I'm a master student, I work out about 3 or 4 times a week for about and hour and a half, and I'm not thaaaaat intense (I'm quite and average joe in working out domain), what protein shake would you suggest me ? I'd like to gain some muscle mass, but not tooo much (kinda scared it's gonna be more fat than muscles, you know...)

    So this is it ! Thanks for your help !
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2010 5:53 AM GMT
    breathing is pretty important, if your in the middle of a heavy rep and your struggling to breath its going to be difficult to focus on the exercise while trying desperately to catch your breath.

    if your struggling slow down the rep and breath out slowly and deeply doing the exercise at the same pace as you can breath.

    On the protein shake, any whey protein isolate will be fine, as will a mix of different proteins as long as its not designed for bulking.

    The weight gain could be caused by a few things. The muscles have started to be recruited again demanding more blood, more fluids, your carry more water, your eating more and just generally heavier, you've gained some muscle or you've gained some fat or both or all of them, you might lose some of it over the next few weeks too.

    Stop getting on the scales you don't really need them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2010 7:09 AM GMT
    In addition to lilTanker's suggestion to slow your rep rate to match your breathing, I find that taking a little micro-pause between exercises mid-set (emphasis on it being a BRIEFF pause!) can help.

    Taking just enough to time to squeeze in as few as two or as many as five good breathes before you go for that next big push (or pull, whatever) can help more oxygen into you and help keep control of your breathing. I've also found this to be a handy trick to use to squeeze out that last one rep I didn't think I had in me..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2010 11:45 AM GMT
    disasterpiece saidFirst, an easy one... I noticed that I have a lot of difficulty controling my breath while working out. I'm well aware of the exhale during the hard part/inhale during the easy part of the exercise. But sometimes, especially in the last reps of the series, I just hold my breath. How important does breathing is, and am I the only one having difficulty with it ?

    Breathe. It helps. At more advanced levels you can play with the breath, but for now just breath.

    Second, I went back to training 2 weeks ago (after a forced break, because I dislocated my arm) and I already gained 5 pounds. I know it's normal to gain weight, muscles are heavier than fat, but so much in so little time ?

    Probably water weight... some muscle.

    And last, but not least, considering that I'm a master student, I work out about 3 or 4 times a week for about and hour and a half, and I'm not thaaaaat intense (I'm quite and average joe in working out domain), what protein shake would you suggest me ? I'd like to gain some muscle mass, but not tooo much (kinda scared it's gonna be more fat than muscles, you know...)

    So this is it ! Thanks for your help !


    doesn´t make any difference whether you are top level or casual. Mostly you want to eat well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2010 4:21 PM GMT
    First of all, no protein shake is going to do much good if you don't eat good and only half-ass your workouts. If you plan and execute for failure, that's what you're going to get, of course. ANY master's candidate should know that huh? Instead, eat plenty of solid food, avoiding salt, fried food, and sugar; small meals often.

    Second, train yourself not to hold your breath. Get a bite block / mouth guard, too. If you're having problems breathing, just lifting weights, unless it's high reps squats, chances are you are in terrible shape. Do HIIT. That's stairs, basketball, hockey, lines, etc.

    80 percent, or more, of gains are based upon your calories. EAT. A "protein shake" is nearly always a waste of time and money. EAT. The workout only stimulates the changes, and the calories make the changes happen. EAT.

    Keep your calories up, do HIIT, get rest, avoid salt, sugar, and fried food. Repeat. You can't make gains without calories. Eat.

    There are sites like bodybuilding.com that go through all sorts of good science, and some not so good science, on how to get it done.

    Make a plan for success. Execute the plan. Repeat.

    Finally, don't smoke. Only idiots smoke. Smoking makes you smell like an ashtray, kills you, and keeps you from being able to breathe. Dumb, by any standard.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 28, 2010 8:11 PM GMT
    I agree with Chuckystud.

    You should train yourself to breath properly. Take a few workouts and concentrate on your breathing methods until it becomes second nature. In other words, drill it into your head, (or rehearse it) until it's natural to you. Also, you should breath deeply all the time. By deeply, I mean with the upper and lower part of your lungs.

    Eat good food. If you want a "protien shake," make it out of natural foods. I throw a couple of eggs in the blender with some fat free yogurt, a banana and some oj. I never use protein powder.

    If you eat salt, do natural sea salt, not "table salt." Believe it or not, your body actually requires salt in order to function properly, but it needs to be the right kind of salt. Cell salts, (bioplasma) for instance, are necessary nutrients. And if you overheat, take sea salt, cell salts, potassium and lots of water. That can do a lot to help prevent heat exhaustion.

    Drink plenty of water. Approximately half your weight per day in ounces. In other words, if you weight 200 lbs, drink approximately 100 ounces of water or other good liquids per day (not including coffee or alcohol, etc.).

    Also, the scale is not exactly a friend. A measuring tape is and a device to gauge your body fat percentage are. Measure your waist, chest, arms and legs. Use those as a gauge for progress, not necessarily the scale.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Sep 28, 2010 9:16 PM GMT
    Disaster,

    #1: You've got the basics down. A rep or two or three holding your breath isn't going to damage anything. It's a natural response to expending great effort.

    # 2: don't worry so much about weight changes over the short-term. Weight fluctuates. Your weight on a scale is just one measure. You might want to take some pictures of yourself once a week, at least initially, to see if you're progressing and by how much. Progress can be a great motivator.

    # 3: if you're a student, do you really need to plunk down a lot of money on protein powders? Just eat as well as you can. I don't spend a lot and I think I've got some nice mass going, though overall I'm slim. I only work out 3 days a week at about an hour or so each, two days of cutting and one day of mass. But, I try to make it a bit intense by keeping rests between sets and exercises short to keep my heart rate up.

    Good luck.
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Sep 29, 2010 5:44 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advices guys !

    I don't think I have breathing issues, I'm not losing my breath, I'm just holding it uncounsciously while I should let it go. I'll work on that in the future.

    As of my weight, I'm probably gonna let go the scale and instead try some fat measurement instruments (cuz after all, that's my goal, lose fat and gain muscle weight).

    And finally, I'll try to fix my diet. It's quite hard as I'm a student, I have a pretty rushing schedule and I don't have time to prepare meals, but I'll do my best !

    Thanks again !