*** Taken from 78chan's fitness guide - Written by ZC *** Index: 1. Intro 2. I want to lose weight. 3. How do I lift weights? 4. How do I lose fat in x area? 5. What is healthy food, and how much of it should I eat? 6. What kind of supplements do you recommend? 7. I love soda but I'm fat. What should I drink that's tasty and isn't fat? 8. I'm doing EVERYTHING in the FAQ and not getting results. 9. I'm too scared/poor/busy/far to go to the gym. What can I do in my own home as far as exercise? 10. How/when/why should I stretch? 11. I use machines 12. How do I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? Is it possible? 13. How much sleep should I be getting? 14. Will masturbating affect my muscle gains? 15. Should I use gloves/straps/wraps for lifting? 16. After running, my shins/the muscle over my shins aches. Is this bad? 17. I have stretch marks. How do I make them go away? 1. I want to lose weight. I want to be thinner. I want to lose these love handles. I want to burn off extra fat. I want to tone up. What/how much should I eat in order to lose weight? ANSWER: Do you want to lose WEIGHT? or do you want to lose FAT? In order to lose fat: You must count your calories, and consume foods that your body needs. Your body does not need a ******* avalanche of carbs smashing through your cakehole at all hours of the day. Cut down on sweets, oils, and unnecessary white starches. Huge helpings of pasta, rice, and white-bread sandwiches are out. Eat whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal, fresh fruits and vegetables, lowfat/fat free dairies, and lean meats such as chicken/turkey breast, fish, etc. One classic staple is the garden vegetable/chicken breast salad. Satisfying, healthy (garden greens are extremely nutritious), and cheap. You should aim to eat five or six smaller meals a day. This keeps the body in a state of constant metabolism. It takes energy to digest food. Eating three big squares a day lets your body settle into a routine, digesting one big lump and then remaining dormant for hours until the next meal. Also? Never eat or drink anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup again. Ever again. Every time you drink a soda (HFCS), you create an insulin spike in the body. Long story short, this leads to the creation and retention of BODY FAT. So yeah, quit ******* doing that. Determine your target caloric intake at http://weightloss.about.com/cs/nutrition101/l/blcalories.htm Count the calories in your food at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ 2. I want to lose weight. I want to be thinner. I want to lose these love handles. I want to burn off extra fat. I want to tone up. Which/how much exercise do I do in order to lose weight/burn fat? ANSWER: A proper diet and excellent workout program should get anyone without a genetic disorder into shape. Where to start depends on what shape you're in now. For the best results, you should include cardio AND weightlifting in your regimen. For the best results, you should include cardio AND weightlifting in your regimen. Read this article to find out why. http://www.elitefts.com/documents/aerobic_fallacy.htm First, the CARDIO. If you're one of the bigger overweight guys (around 200+, tall guys around 250+) or just generally new to exercise, you should start with a low-impact cardio activity such as cycling or using the elliptical. The weight of your body causes added stress to the joints, so you shouldn't start jogging until your regular exercise causes your body to reinforce itself (takes just a few months normally). Exercise and weightlifting naturally prevent injury by strengthening most aspects of the body, especially the joints. For your cardio program, you should aim for at least 20-30 minutes of continuous exercise within the first two months. Take yourself seriously in making progress: settling for less will get you less. One of the keys to getting much stronger, increasing stamina, and jumpstarting your metabolism is using interval training. Wiki "HIIT" to learn more about it. Generally, you want to alternate periods of high intensity with periods of low intensity. Let's create a very basic, beginner's interval program. Say it's your first time using the stationary bike at the gym. Aim for 20 minutes of total cycling time. 00:00: Bike 10 minutes at a steady, even pace. Don't tire yourself out. 10:00: At the 10 minute mark, push it harder for about a minute. 11:00: Slow down and keep steady for two minutes. 13:00: Push it again. If you have the energy to go all out, do it. If not, just keep an increased pace. 14:00: Slow it down. Even out your pace for two minutes. 16:00: Increased pace again. 17:00: 2 minutes normal pace again. 19:00: All out max effort for 1 minute. 20:00: End. The effect of interval training on the body is very different from that of normal slow-paced cardio, so it's difficult to compare the two. If you had to compare, we can say that you just did the equivalent of maybe 30-40mins of slow biking, in 20 minutes. On top of that, the anaerobic nature of the fast intervals you did will increase your strength, and create a great nutrient demand from the muscles. See what I'm saying? Long, slow cardio DOES burn fat. Interval training burns less fat during the exercise, but burns MUCH more over a long period, throughout the day when your body is repairing itself. Lifting is explained for the next question. 3. How do I lift weights? I want to get stronger/bigger/toned, critique my routine. What should I do for lifting when I go to the gym? ANSWER: For any beginner or novice lifter (let's clear this up right now: for someone who cannot bench press 1.5x, deadlift 2x, and squat 2x their own weight), a strength training program is imperative. Drop that bullshit you read in Muscle & Fitness, Men's Health, or whatever you heard from the ignorant musclehead jock next door. The fastest rates of growth and increased strength for beginner lifters are attained through compound lifting. I'll explain. Isolated lifts are exercises that recruit few, usually one, major muscle group to perform the exercise. One good example is leg press. The motion specifically targets the quadriceps (the frontal half of your ourter thigh). It involves, to a lesser extent, other muscles in the area, including the glutes and hamstrings. Compound lifts are exercises that recruit a great amount of muscle groups, both major and minor. The body has many smaller muscles that are involved in compound lifts but neglected in most isolated lifts. One example of a compound lift is the squat. The squat directly recruits several major groups including the buttocks, quads, and hamstrings. The nature of the squat also creates a vast demand for stabilization from the adductors, calves, back, and abdomen. When you exercise, the body releases hormones and other chemicals, basically signaling the demand for repair, for nutrients, and for growth. Consider the leg press. The muscles targeted are mainly the quads, and then somewhat the hamstrings and glutes. Now consider the massive muscle participation required by the squat. Which exercise do you think creates a greater need for growth, for more power, for more nutrients? The compound lift, of course. At this point you're probably starting to grasp the difference. Let me tell you, it is a major and invaluable difference. Let's create a basic strength training program. Each day of your regimen (for strength training I say 3 or 4 days a week) should have a target exercise. Instructions for most of these exercises should be easy to find at http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html The format is SETS x REPETITIONS. Pushups 4x10 = Four SETS of 10 REPS: Do 10 pushups, four times separately. Monday Deadlift or stiff-leg deadlift 5x5 Bent Over Rows 4x4-8 Weighted Pullups or Lat Pulldowns 3x4-8 Seated Row 4x4-8 Back day. Pretty self explanatory. On back day you should remember that you're going into the gym to "pull". You're not doing a bunch of different crazy shit: you're training your body in compound pulling movements, both horizontal and vertical. That's one of the basic concepts of strength training: breaking it down by movements. Wednesday Squats: 5x5 Front Squats or Leg Presses: 4x4-8 Lunges: 4x4-8 Squat day. Without squats, we are crippled. Go into the gym KNOWING that if you don't squat, you might as well quit lifting altogether. Most of those are pretty basic. You can tell what's going on: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, all with free weight. Friday Flat Bench Press: 5x5 Incline/Decline Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press: 4x4-8 Overhead Press: 4x4-8 Weighted Tricep Dips: 4x4-8 Notice how Friday is centered on pushing movements, mainly the flat bench? the rest of the lifts are "assist" lifts. they're all based around the "pushing" of the bench press. The assist lifts all complement each other and increase the strength of your basic compound movement (pressing). In turn, your stronger press will lend to further growth, and greater strength. The cold, hard truth about compound movements is this: You actually need to practice them. Performing a heavy lift without skill and technique can result in failure, and much worse, injury. Study instructions and read essays about any lift you don't think you're doing well. If you cannot perform a movement with good if not perfect techinque, decrease the amount of weight you're using and concentrate on your form. Throwing a shitload of weight on the bar does not make you stronger. It fucks up your technique and creates bad habits. Performing each lift with correct form, exercising with regularity and discipline, and increasing weight when you are ready will get you stronger. Notice I didn't include any abdominal, calf, ab, neck, etc exercises. These are not major muscle groups by themselves. If you wish to, you should incorporate them on one of your workout days, or on a separate day of your choice. It's up to you. 4. How do I lose fat in x area? What are some good exercises to lose manboobs/love handles? What kind of workout should I do to lose fat on my stomach? ANSWER: DO NOT ASK THESE QUESTIONS. Imagine this in your mind. You are on a boat, in the middle of a lake. You have a bucket. You fill your bucket with water from the lake. When you removed the water.. did you leave a hole in the lake, where that water used to be? Or was the quantity of water in the entire lake reduced all at once? THAT is how fat in the human body works. It all burns at once, or not at all. You cannot pick and choose WHERE to burn fat. Refer to QUESTION 1, 2, and 3 for burning fat.