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Strength, Health & Fitness
With Marty Gallagher
Noon EDT: Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Marty Gallagher
Marty Gallagher

Are you trying to lose weight, build muscle, get stronger or excel in a given sport? Maybe you're just hoping to slow the aging process, which exercise and good health habits can surely help accomplish. But male or female, young or old--where do you start and what do you do? And if you're already an experienced exerciser or athlete, how do you fight your way off a plateau or avoid going stale?

Start by asking Marty Gallagher!

Over the past 20 years, Marty Gallagher has written more than 200 articles for such magazines as “Muscle and Fitness,” “Flex” and “Powerlifting USA.” He has interviewed hundreds of the world's top athletes, quizzing them on the training tactics they used to succeed.

World Powerlifting Champion and fitness expert Marty Gallagher is taking your questions about every fitness topic under the sun.

Here is a transcript of today's discussion.

Marty Gallagher: Hello People,
Take a few minutes and read the questions that I release at the end of the show. Since I can do the leftovers at my leasure here at the Mountain Compound, those answers are more detailed and in depth. In that same vein, if your question is not answered during the show, look for it at the end of next weeks show. You'll find that it has been addressed in detail.
I had a good fishing day and bagged four good catfish, one at least five pounds, so I'm in a good mood - what's happening out there?

Silver Spring: Marty, I don't know if this is a question a comment or both. I am a 5'11" 156 pound Male. Through the course of the past year with your help, I have gotten in great shape and am really happy with where my body is and how my workouts have progressed. This weekend I saw a feature on NBC about Dara Torres, the 33 year old Olympic swimmer. I would say she is 5'6ish 120(?) with an amazing body, though not overly built. Then they show her in the gym, bench pressing 210lbs! I was dumbfounded. Can you say a little bit about what the amount you can bench is related to in terms of body structure? I mean she is not huge, not built overly strong, yet she is benching these amazing weights.

Marty Gallagher: Well I guess you'd really soil your knickers if you saw 114-pound Mary Jeffery (who looks like a cute little Playboy Bunny) bench 275. Look Silver Spring,it's the year 2000 and woman ain't marching for the right to vote anymore.

The question is not how come they gals are so strong but how come the American male is so weak!

washington dc: My son is interested in trying out for his schools lacrosse team, what can he do now in the off season to improve his performance. How does lacrosse compare in injury rates with other popular high school sports such as wrestling and football. He is just getting his first growth spurt and we don't want to tax his ligaments.

Marty Gallagher: He needs to get real big, real strong, real fast and build some real good endurance. Lacrosse is rough and tough and I'm envious of him. This game is tough enough to teach him the correlation between hard work and success - comb the archives for training and nutrition tips. He needs interval aerobics more than steady-state.

Raleigh, NC: Hello Marty; I have learned a lot from your show; it gives me a good check and balance on my trainer. Now I tell him "Marty said..."
What does Marty say about heart rate? I am finding that when I run on the treadmill that my heart rate jumps ahead of the formula. Is this fine for a well conditioned 52 year old?

Marty Gallagher: Quit your bitching. That's great - I assume you mean that you are able to cruise along at 70-85% of age-related heart rate max no sweat. I know a lot of overweight guys who can do this - so it's no guarantee of a lean physique. Now if you can throw in some weight training and diet control on top of your mastery of the aerobic leg of the fitness tripod, you could really be onto something.

Washington DC: Marty, I've been having a bit of a problem with my knee lately. It doesn't bother me though unless I do powercleans -not doing them, isn't an option...you know how the mental process goes] More than anything it seems its the impact that bothers them. Right now I/m 6'3'', 205 at 6%bf and my PR on powercleans is 275. Any thoughts on how i can strengthen the joint or limit the impact?

Second question..I've been heavily into all natural BB for quite some time now and would love to leave my office job for the greener pastures of being a personal trainer..any thoughts on whats the most marketable certification. Thanks

Marty Gallagher: DC you better slow down before you get mowed down.

Power cleans hurt an already hurt knee but you refuse to stop doing them "not doing them isn't an option - you know how the mental process goes". Do you know how the emergency room process goes? Drop the power cleans. Go to less balistic style exercises like deadlifts and position pulls. Rack work is a real possibility.
Then you want to quit a real job in the real world to get a job in the less-glamorous than it seems world of PT? Look - as a PT you gotta work early morning and late at night with huge dead spots during the day. Weekends are taken up by more clients and you feel like a swing-shift coal miner in the late 1800's. Relax, contemplate, rethink things.

Washington, DC: I use a cassette tape when walking to set a pace and to let me know how far I've walked. When my long-legged daughter uses the tape she has actually walked MORE than a mile when the tape says "You've now walked a mile". I'm short-legged and have walked LESS than a mile when the one mile notification comes. I contend that I've walked the equivalent of a mile; my daughter says not. Who's right?

Marty Gallagher: Throw the tape in the trash can.

Lookit - there are only two factors to contend with in cardio exercise: time and intensity. Everything else is frosting. If you walk 30 minutes at 70% of your age-related heart rate maximum you establish a benchmark by which to judge future sessions.

Plus, if distance is that important, go to any local high school track and walk four laps around the 440 track.

Doc Pink in Monterey: What is up Marty?

I wanted to ad a little to our rasslin' discussion of last week. Have you ever noticed that these martial arts guys call themselves "instructors" and they have "classes?" And how about aerobics "instructors" and "aerobics classes?" If you ever check them out, ask them for the syllabus or the reading list. Better yet, ask them if they are accredited, and by whom.

Isn't it also funny how bodybuilders call their competitions "shows" and powerlifters call their competitions "meets." I love it when a a bodybuilder asks a powerlifter when the show is....

So what do you call this? Is this a show? Class? Is this "distance learning?" Since the brain uses 50 percent of our blood sugar, and 20 percent of our oxygen, let me school you now....

With the last 'Lympics of the 20th century about one month away, some folks may be interested in the following info. I'm sure most of you all got the BBC report yesterday about Linford Christie and two other British wankers who have been cleared by their national athletics governing body, and are now waiting for an international arbitration ruling this week to overturn their positive tests for nandralone. With so many recent positive tests for nandralone, everyone is claiming it is a result of the "dietary supplement" nor-androstenedione, which will cause a positive for nandralone in a urinalysis test. OK, so if the positive results are all overturned on the nor-androstenedione defense, we could see all nandralone positives tossed out, which could enable everyone to load up on nandralone and claim they had been taking nor-androstenedione. Whatever...And for those who get popped on the testosterone-epitestosterone ratio test and claim it is from androstenedione, the half-life for androstenedione is hours, not days--and there is only about a two-day window for getting caught. So no excuse there....

With the new EPO test recently approved, we could see several endurance athletes popped in Sydney, but maybe not....if the tests show use is rampant (and i suspect it is), the officials may just look the other to avoid the scandal and possible lawsuits.

Reading tip of the week: Check out the Charlie Francis book "Speed Trap." Grillman in Zona turned me on to this one long ago, but it is still relevant and a great read. This will give you some 411 on 'Lympic sprinting. Now that this week's reading has been assigned, you can call this "class" or "distance learning."

Russian training tip of the week: Don't go out on a submarine. You might end up on the bottom of the ocean with the mullets and other bottom fish, and that would not be good for your training.

Stay up, train hard, do the right thing, lift to win, and all that...

Doc Pink

Marty Gallagher: Please give my readership the heads up on any North Korean nuclear missle attacks. What else? Doc Pink knows that I do this show from a lap top by the camp fire at the lean-too. He came to visit a few months back and I made him do all the typing while I ate a dead chicken and mumbled incoherently about "alright, who took the oranges!?"

Gee . . . if they let Christie off all the top boys are gonna come in with TE ratios off the Richter Scale. Records ought to be crushed right and left. Somebody send me a copy of Charlie's tell-all. I heard he was real good friends with some Bulgarian Olympic lifters and the medical people that "assisted" them in 1988.

Doc Smack in Monterey : Damn, what happened to our education system? Let's see....a tape in a walkman or walkwoman or whatever it's called, will run at the rate set by the manufacturer, and certainly at the industry standard to play music. But can the tape know the rate at which you are walking? NOT. Wouldn't it depend on how fast you were walking? That's like listening to a tape to tell you when are finished wanking. Sorry about that...I just had to run some smack.

Doc Pink

Marty Gallagher: You are a vicious, shaven-headed, no-neck Ludite that mocks any and all of the bounty this marvelous techno-society has to offer. I suppose you hate N-Sync, Britney and the Backstreet Boys also. You are a hopeless throw-back retro man and soon your kind will be extinct! None too soon either!

washington dc: Marty,
My husband is 40 and in reasonable shape except for his belly. He carries about 10 pound extra and it is right there. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but he would be so sexy, not to mention healthier if he could dump the gut. I have tried hints, they don't work. Should I come out and say Hon, the beer belly is gross?

Marty Gallagher: Try this:

Hey you fat pig - lose the gut or you're cut off!

That usually brings them around to their senses.

Mitchelville, MD: I've been working out regularly (3-5days/wk)alternating between cardio days and weight training days. Lately, I believe I've developed shin splints, which are exacerbated when I run/jog on even a treadmill. I do other cardio activities; Lifestep, recumbent bike, etc, but none seem to give me that cardio burn like running. I could burn 1000 calories on a Lifestep (60 mins), but they've taken them out of all the Ballys. The other machines don't give me that level of calorie burn that I get from either the Lifestep or running. Any ideas?

Marty Gallagher: Yeah, stop being obsessive - you're starting to exhibit the signs of repetitive motion injury syndrome. Sorry about not being able to generate the requisite intensity, but you be headin' for some serious grief if you persist in 60-minute shin-slam sessions. I walk the steep mountain paths and hills with a back pack loaded with barbell plates. Walking alone only gets me to about 55-60% of age-related max so I add some weight and presto! 75-85% through low-impact walking! I'm known around South Mountain as Sherpa without a cause.

falls church, VA: I've been training for an endurance mtn bike event that involves 40 - 60 mile training rides. I believe that I eat a balanced diet and hydrate my body adequately. Can one's urine show signs of over training or a deficiency in some vitamins or minerals. If so, what are those traits? Thanks.

Marty Gallagher: If your pee starts to smell like amonia that is a sign that ketones are being burned and one sure sign. Fatique, soreness that doesn't dissipate by the next training session, lack of appetite . . . those are the ones that come to mind.

Annapolis MD: Hello Marty! I'm a reasonably fast walker who just decided to try racewalking, and now I've discovered that all my old ways of stretching my shins, calves and hip muscles just aren't doing the trick. I'm afraid that if I don't get my act together, I'll wind up with shin splints, or worse. Any good suggestions?

Marty Gallagher: I don't get the question - are you getting shin splints from "race walking"? Have you found a way to turn a low-impact cardio impact activity into a high-impact ordeal? Congatulations! You win the booby prize. Rule of thumb: cease and desist that which injures you. Today, tommorrow and forever.

Fairfax County, Va: Marty,

How do I calculate my age related percentage? I have gathered from your previous comments that not knowing what the percentage is, I could be wasting my time and not achieving the proper goal. Thanks

Marty Gallagher: Take 220 then subtract your age - this yields 100% of age-related hart rate maximum.

If you are 30 years old:

220-30=190 heartbeats per minute

190 is 100%
90% equals 171
80% equals 152
70% equals 133
60% equals 114


Marty Gallagher: I got a message for you in the question dump at the end - hey, Eddie Coan called me Monday and said he'll be lifting in Corpus Christi, Texas on 12-2-00. He wants me to coach him. Ms. Maryland and I are gonna go in early, rent a condo on the gulf. She wants to water ski, I want to rent a charter boat and get some giant grouper. Save your dough and meet us down there. All the boys 'll be there. Where do you get the stinking book? I went to the local book store and they looked at me blankly. What'd you do, steal it from the public library?

Washington, DC: Hi Marty:
I have a question that you're probably asked all the time: I'm a fifty yr old guy, 6'0", 185 lbs. I exercise regularly and am careful about what I eat. But, over the last few yrs, I've been gaining some girth around my midsection. What can I do to stop this middle age spread?

I've been running 3 slow miles (10 min/mi), 3 times per week, for over 20 yrs. I've also been doing some modest weight lifting for toning for the last 2 yrs.

Here's what I eat on a typical day. For breakfast (around 8 or 9Am), I have a shake of protein powder and soy milk. (I'm sensitive to cow's milk)

For lunch, 1 or 2 pm (I'm not hungry till then), I have a sandwich of tuna and light mayo, or turkey or ham, with a tomato and lettuce, and two fruits.

I'm hungry all afternoon, and nibble on 1-2 more fruits, dry roasted nuts, and carrots.

For dinner (around 8ish), I typically have some skinless chicken, fish or lean pork, along with a sweet potato or brown rice, and a salad with no dresssing or butter-less steamed veggie like broccoli. And one or two more pieces of fruit. I also have a glass of wine or a beer.

I drink 40-60 ounces of water a day.

How can I change my exercise routine to add more spice and more bang? What about High Intensity and/or super-slow weight training? I feel I burn more calories running than other cardio activity that I've tried over the yrs (swimming, biking), but should I switch to some other cardio exercise? What about my diet?

Sorry for the LONG question. Thanks.

Marty Gallagher: You got the cardio thing down, and the diet looks great - so Holmesian deduction says it's the weight training. I was really taken with the statistic that I gleaned from Lyle McDonald's great new book "The Ketogenic Diet". Lyle points out that for every pound of muscle tissue you add, you burn an additional 40 calories per day. Add ten pounds of muscle tissue and burn 400 additional calories a day! The equal of 40 minutes of intense aerobics! So get pumping and let's build some muscle tissue - plus your wife will flip.

Annapolis, MD: No, Marty--I'm not getting shin splints, but racewalking makes you really USE those shin muscles, and because they're not as strong as my other leg muscles, they wind up really tired and stiff. That's why I'd like to learn of some better stretches to help warm them up and cool them down. The whole point in walking is to protect myself from the damage I did in college playing sports, doing the "I'm invincible" thing...I'm trying to do it the right way this time, and hoped you could offer some advice, instead of trite comments.

Marty Gallagher: Trite comment? How about truthful comment. If it hurts - stop. Do no harm, that's my motto. But hey, race walk to your hearts content. If you are asking me if I know any specific exercises for the shins, my answer is no, I don't. Besides, if the "whole point in walking is to protect myself from damage" and you are in pain, perhaps you confuse my confusion for triteness.

Marty Gallagher: Okay people - that's it for this week. If I didn't get to you watch for your answers next week at the end of the show.

8-8-00 Questions

Arlington, VA: Hi Marty - thanks for the great discussions.

I frequently see people (especially young women) writing in to your discussions reporting very low body weight who are interested in losing weight or at least losing fat. Before you give advice, do you do a mental check to look for clues that the person might be going overboard? I know eating disorders are rampant, and people with them tend to gravitate toward extreme exercise (in addition to starving or bingeing/purging). I know you're not a doctor - I don't expect you to be one, but as a fitness professional I'm wondering how aware you are of these issues. Thanks!

Now how in the blue blazes am I supposed to determine that based on a coupe of sentences sent in e-mail? What do I look like? The Amazing Kreskin?

Look - anyone who writes in and says they are 5'10", weigh 98-pounds, and wants to lose weight, I am going to take exception that, tell them as much and shut-down that approach with all the persuasive powers I possess. On the other hand, a lot of women think that anyone, who is looking good, and wants to look better, is "sick". Let's not have a reaction subliminally rooted in jealous envy. I agree that eating disorders are common and widespread - this is one of many reasons that I need height, weight and age and am on the continual lookout.

I would hope that you could recognize that someone standing 5'3" and weighing 220 could easily be caught up in bulimia and a 5'3" 110-pound competitive bodybuilder could be perfectly normal. The bodybuilder could write me for information on dropping her 12% body fat percentile down to 9% for the upcoming national bodybuilding championships. This will be a temporary situation centered on the competition. Once she collects her trophy, the now 95-pound national champion would revert from 1200 calories back up to 2500. She would have a perfectly normal, natural and healthy relationship to food. Actually better than that, she would have an enviable relationship with food.

Dollars to doughnuts irate outside observers would sanctimoniously peg our 220-pound lady as "normal" and viscously condemn Ms. USA as "obviously having eating disorder." In fact, she has eating order. Things are not always as they appear and short of mandatory truth serum injections given in conjunction with question submissions, how am I to tell what secrets lie deep and hidden? The alternative is to not give advice to anyone, then I'll be sure to "do no harm".

New York, NY: What is the best way to take the supplements? A protein shake in the morning? What sort of supplement is the best? I see soy, whey, blends...

With your mouth.

I would advise that you fire down a protein shake down after a high intensity workout. I take in two protein shakes a day. I drink my first upon awaking at 4am, this breaks the catabolic sleep-fast. I take two scoops of chocolate Whey protein mixed with water. This provides me 34 grams of high BV protein, 0 gram of fat, 0 grams of sugar and contains an inconsequential 3-grams of carbohydrates. This low carb part is important. The protein breaks the negative catabolism of the sleep cycle and since I ingest a mere 3 grams of carbs in the process I preserve my low glycogen status. After the sleep-fast I awake in a low glycogen state (glycogen is carbohydrates broken down in the body) and perform some cardio exercise. When the body exhausts muscle glycogen (there is still residual stored in the liver), the preferred source of fuel, the mitochondria will oxidize body fat, the second fuel preference, as an energy source. The shake breaks the catabolic sleep cycle yet preserves my low G status. When I hit the mountain trails with my weighted rucksack, WalkMan and heart rate monitor, nearly every step I take burns stored body fat cause all my glycogen is gone! I fire down a protein shake after a workout as automatically as you get dressed in the morning.

After a brutal weight workout, I take a second shake and flood my system with regenerative amino acids. Taken immediately after the trauma of hard-core, high intensity, knock-your-wiener-into-the-dirt weight training, this "smart bomb" concoction has an affect similar to flipping the switch on a nitrous oxide tank hooked to a 426 Dodge Hemi. Nutrients are "uptaken" at an accelerated rate.

Blast it, feed it, rest it, and watch in amazement as it grows.

Chicago: About eight months ago I sustained a knee injury; while an MRI showed that I did not tear my meniscus, I certainly strained it. I had to use crutches for a few weeks (surprise, surprise), but I have been walking normally, with full mobility/flexibility, since February.

My question is this: what exercises can I do to strengthen my knee and prevent this from happening again? The injury happened when I slipped in a store, but I knew something was wrong b/f I hit the floor. Recently I started running again (I ran about 10 miles/week b/f the accident), but my knee would hurt within twelve hours of a run, so I've now switched over to a Nordic Trak to keep the workouts low-impact until I build up strength. Incidentally, I am double-jointed in both knees (and I'm 23 years old).

Got any good news?

I always hesitate to recommend exercises for people on the mend - I'm not a rehabilitative specialist.

Why run if it blows your knees out?

Northeast: Marty -- great discussion here. I have to ask: what do you think of powerlifting competitions like ESPN's "World Strongest Man"? Is this what your meets are like??

Powerlifting consists of three lifts done with a barbell: the squat, bench press and deadlift. Three attempts are allowed in each lift and the highest attempt in each is added together to form a "total". If a man squatted 500, bench-pressed 400 and deadlifted 600 his total would be 1500. ESPN II will show the mountaineer cup on September 25th . Check out Ed "King" Coan win the whole enchilada with a 964 squat, 570 bench press and 865 deadlift. I make a cameo appearance as I coached Coan at the contest.

WSM is a bunch of made up events, which vary from competition to competition. I like the concept but have a real beef with the length of the events. In order to be more TV friendly, the events are designed to last for a while. Rather then throw a 100-pound tire for distance, WSM would have the athletes throw the tire ten tires for time. The TV folks in cahoots with the promoters have purposefully lengthened the events. My beef is philosophic: a cardio component should not be injected into feats of pure strength as it dilutes the results. If you do not possess good cardio condition, you lose - even though you may be the strongest insofar as lifting the "most-est".

Interestingly enough, the powerlifters have dominated WSM from inception to present day. Powerlifting is truly the world's strongest sport. The pocket-battleship power men, guys between 280-310, men who've added cardio to their already immense strength, crush any and all competition at WSM. Kaz, Sigmarson, Rienhout, Baddenhorst, Akoa, Magnanson, ad infinitum, have ruled the proverbial roost. Here's something for the hard-core readership to ponder: There are pure powerlifters that would clean the clocks of their WSM champion brothers in a head-up PL competition.

Baltimore, MD: Good Afternoon,

I am a 120 pound, 5'4" 23 year old female,and I have been doing atleast five hours a week of cardio and an hour and a half a week of weight training (Mostly Nautilus circuit training) for over 4 years. I circuit train using moderate weights with at least 30 reps total, split out into two or three sets. My boyfriend has begun a new program for me, in which I will train three body parts, using two or three exercises for each body part, 2 or 3 days a week. For example, yesterday I did three tricep exercises, three back exercises, and three leg exercises. In the past I have seen very little result from my weight training, he seems to think that doing more than one exercise for each body part will improve my muscle growth considerably, not bulking me up but seeing results from my effort. In the past I think I have been doing to much circuit training, which may be more aerobic than muscle building. What do you think? I would like to lose a bit more body fat and replace it with muscle mass.

Good afternoon to you also.

There is a very good reason you "have seen very little results"

Circuit training, a lousy idea to begin with, went out of fashion at about the same time the pet rock, disco and Parliament Funkadelic bit the dust. (the way music sucks nowadays I wish GC and Bootsy would score some purple haze and reform).

You must have missed the memo.

Circuit training was designed to combine the benefits of progressive resistance training with aerobic training. Like Bill & Hillary, a two-fer-one. In this case, mixing mediums diluting the results. Like offspring of an inbred marriage, circuit training ended up like a medical experiment gone awry - one involving a cow, a duck and a vacuum cleaner. Still, in some dark and frightening corners of fitnessdom, dogma still trumps science and empirical knowledge every way every time.

Please, I beg of you, do multiple sets of compound multi-joint exercises. Increase poundage and reps over time. This and this alone triggers the miracle of hypertrophy. Then do some cardio exercise in a separate and distinct exercise session.

washington, DC: Marty,

If you are following your recommendations for cardio, weights and diet what is the ideal weight loss a week you except to see?

One pound per hundred body weight

Washington, D.C.: Once and for all, why do I keep hearing different things about crunches vs. full 90 degree sit-ups. I'm 48, got that middle age bulge, and have been told that crunches just slightly several inches up from the floor would do better for the abs. Does that sound right? Would this reduce the waist?


Exercise does not reduce the waistline: it hardens and strengthens the ab muscles hidden underneath your flab. Leverage your diet to get the results you seek.

Alexandria, VA: Marty, I have been working with a personal trainer now for 9 months, while I am pleased with the progress I have made with his help - and yours for that matter, I note he has a much different approach to setting goals and lifting targets than you suggest. Instead of progressive sets based on a percentage of maximums, he lifts by feel. Based on I am feeling on a given day, how my warm-up sets and initial sets go - determines how high I go in weight. As a result, my weekly workouts can vary quite a bit in the amount of weight I lift for any given exercise. This seems dramatically different from the approach you often suggest of specified weights for a specified period of time, etc.

While I can not argue with the progress I have made, I find myself struggling to set new goals, without the use of hard targets for any given excercise. Your thoughts?

Feel. That's a nice warm fuzzy, pink thing, isn't it?

Forget feel. That just makes it easy on your PT and lets you off the hook. You gotta expect a little more of yourself then 'I'll just do the best I can, depending on how I feel today."

What if Winston Churchill didn't feel like driving that tank straight into the Chinese Red Army lines at Gettysburg? Hmmm - answer me that! We'd all be speaking Russian today. What if Winny hadn't felt like delivering the mayhem mail to the commies back in '96! You'd be shucking corn on some collective farm in Idaho!

So get fired up and start pounding some serious iron!

Top athletes use Periodization to goose their progress. They set out a 12-16 week "cycle" and map out their projected progress, seeking to peak. Though the architectural infrastructure is identical, goals and methodology differ depending upon the athletic discipline. A bodybuilder wants to retain muscle mass while radically reducing body fat percentage. A powerlifter will seek to peak strength and often increase their body weight over the course of the cycle. A shot-putter would seek to peak their explosive strength in conjunction with the NCAA championships in 17-weeks. A professional football player might want to get as strong and lean as possible before the start of training camp. A pro basketball player wants to build more elbow-cracking size for backboard mayhem in the off-season . . . on it goes. Periodization works. Here is how we modify and de-tune it for civilian use; par example:

Week body- bench squat deadlift press *grams grams
weight protein carbs
1 160 120x10 160x10 160x10 75x10 100 200
2 158.5 125x10 170x10 170x10 80x10 110 190
3 157 130x8 180x8 180x8 85x8 120 180
4 154.5 135x8 190x8 190x8 90x8 130 170
5 153 145x5 210x5 210x5 95x5 140 160
6 151.5 150x5 220x5 220x5 100x5 150 150
7 150 155x5 230x5 230x5 105x5 160 140
8 148.5 160x5 240x5 340x5 110x5 170 130
9 147 170x3 260x3 260x3 115x3 180 120
10 145.5 175x3 270x3 270x3 120x3 190 100

end 144 200x1 300x1 300x1 135x1 200 50

· grams of protein and starchy carbs ingested daily
· The elements you could "cycle" are endless: equipment, calories, etc.,

Falls Church, VA: Dear Marty:

I used to lift weights for about an hour before doing cardio on the advice of a trainer. She said that after about an hour of lifting my body would be in a better fat burning mode. But lately I've been jogging 2.5 to 3 miles, four days a week, first thing in the morning before breakfast on the advice of another trainer. Which of these approaches to doing cardio do you think is better?

Morning before breakfast.

Memphis, TN: Hi Marty - I am checking out your discussion because Iron Vic spoke highly of you. I am a 26 year old female who wants to lose 15 pounds. (ten would be wonderful). I just got my lazy behind back on my treadmill for 2 miles in the morning before work. I have haven't strength trained since high school, but I am quick to bulk.
Any suggestions for me? I would love to have more defined arms and back. My calf muscles are already defined.


Memphis. BB King. Corky's BBQ. Stax Volt.

I would strongly suggest you begin weight training. I was reading Lyle McDonald's
excellent book "The Ketogenic Diet" and came across this excellent little tid-bit: "Every pound of muscle added through weight training burns an additional 30-40 calories per day in both men and women. A beginning weight trainer can gain 3-4 pounds of muscle tissue in the first eight weeks of training with even the most basic of programs. This muscle gain may increase {daily}metabolic rate by 120-150 calories per day, the equivalent of walking 1.5 miles every day. At maintenance calories, the addition of aerobic training to weight training will yield even better results."

Lyle's books is the best on the science of diet I've read in years and years. The science is thick and dense, not easy reading, but beneath the cold dispassionate tone Lyle exposes and razes every conventional diet myth. Contact Lyle at PMB 314, 8760-A Research Bld., Austin, Tx. 78758, $34.95

Metro area: Marty,
You talk about having a "free" day when you are dieting. Are there any limitations on that free day?

Thanks for the great discussions.

No sex with farm animals - otherwise, have at it.
It's known as super compensation and needs to be limited to 24-hours. I like to hit a Friday PM weight session and then super compensate with pizza and beer. I go Friday night, Saturday, and up till Saturday evening at about 6pm. Then it's back on the wagon. Lyle and others like now-departed Dan Dulchaine advised to take in carbs (any type) every two hours during free day.

WDC: Hi Marty:
I've been trying to lose about 5-10 lbs. through diet, weight training, and exercise. I'm good with the weight training, decent with a healthy diet, but need motivation for aerobic exercise. Do you have any activities that are fun, but that perhaps people don't think of? Also, can you suggest a motivational technique? It's so hard to lose these few pounds! I had no idea! Thanks

Come on up to one of my 5-hour fitness "day camps" at the compound - we'll get you motivated. Anyone interested in going through one of our day camps can contact me at mgso@supernet.com - cost is $150 and includes weight workout workout, cardio workout, active rest session, cooking class (yep!), discussions on nutritional supplementation, exercise techniques, pacing, intensity, frequency, recuperation and whole lot else. Class size is limited to two. That's all I can deal with at any one time. One hour and fifteen minutes due north of the DC Beltway.

New York, NY: I am a 26 yo male who has recently started an exercise program. I do about 40 min a day of cardio 5-6 days a week, and weight training 3-5 days a week. I'm 5'10" and weigh about 155 lbs and i am interested in adding some mass. i have been looking at protein supplements and other aids. what might I consider taking, in what amounts, and on what sort of schedule? Thanks

You can write my e-mail for my preferences. How much depends on how hard you train. I recommend that a serious weight trainer who is also doing cardio will need a gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. A 150-pound person would ingest 150 grams of protein per day, divided more or less evenly between meals and mid-meal shakes and bars.

Wash, DC: I am a 5'2, 111 lb female who is in pretty good shape. My problem -- baggy knees! Even though I run and weight train almost every day and eat a healthy diet (no junk food, no bread or pasta, very low-fat), I just can't seem to improve this area. Any suggestions? Squats? Lunges? Other exercises?

Baggy knees?

What's that look like? I don't know what to make of that one. Squats are always good and if your not doing them you should. Insofar as lunges, forget them: do extra squats and toss that ineffectual exercise. How old are you?

Alexandria, VA: Marty:

Thanks for the assistance last time on weight gain. I did purchase the protein powder and have gained a few pounds. Unfortunately, I don't think they are all muscle partly because I cannot do any running since I suffered a stress fracture in my right leg while jogging. Since I cannot do any exercise that bears any extra weight or shock on that leg, it has had the negative result of an enlarged butt and gut. What can I do to try and get my stomach and gluts down in size while my leg is healing?

Cut your calories immediately.

Anytime you become suddenly immobilized cut your calories or you will end up adding a lot of body fat. It only makes sense: you are burning calories in relation to your activity and suddenly your activity is radically curtailed. The calories that formerly where burnt off through activity are now partitioned into fat storage compartments. Cut the chow consumption post haste.

gaithersburg, md: Marty,

One comment, one question. First, I'd like to thank you for the direct training tips and not using the session for pushing products. I have followed your tips and lost about ten pounds of bodyweight over the last month __ gained muscle & trimmed down. I have broken my workout into three day cycles which I do twice a week. I try to jog 3-4 miles four to five times a week and following the low carb approach feel gasless during the run;
I try to maintain an 8.5 to 8.75 min pace. I now weigh about 245 being 6' tall, but feel I could lose another 15- 20 pounds of bodyfat. Could you give me an idea of what my caloric intake should be and how it should be broken down? I am sure you have answered this type of question before, and if able, would you direct me to the response. I apologize for making this so long and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

You may feel "gasless" but you are burning off body fat. I'll take that trade-off. I'm not a competitive runner, so my time is not important in relation to others (it is important to me as a session-to-session comparison tool). To maximize fat loss I need to do cardio exercise in a glycogen-deficient state. On the other hand, if you want to optimize your running times you'll need to carb up.

If you want to burn optimal amounts of fat, go carb-less. If you want to run fast in relation to others, carb-up. Your choice. Pick one. Can't have both.

I gas up on caffeine before cardio. I drink a big hot steaming mug and hit the session. I get to eat as soon as I'm done. There is another way but it is tricky. Eat before you run but eat only pure protein. This way you preserve the glycogen-depletion achieved by the sleep-fast, yet you get to eat. As I related a few answers previous, I actually drink a protein shake which provides 33 grams of protein, 0 fat and a negligible 3 grams of carbohydrates.

Mclean, Va: You always tell people to include lots of water in their diets - why? Specifically, what are the positive effects of drinking so much water?

You must have me confused with Flex Wheeler - I have never made a point to stress the need for water because, personally, I don't pay much attention to how much water I drink - it just doesn't occur to me. So I can safely say I have never sanctimoniously preached water intake. You got me confused with some water zealot.

Rockville, MD: Hi, I love this chat - it's completely encouraging, week after week. My question concerns variety in a workout. You often say that when you reach a plateau, change the lifting routine. Does this mean that you should work the same muscles, just using different machines or movements? Would that actually help make a difference? I'm not sure how this would help you pass a plateau if you're exercising the same muscles, just using a different machine (or movements, I guess, if you use free weights) but essentially straining the same muscles.

I love that phrase, "straining the same muscle". I prefer "stressing" - straining is a sure-fire way to get hurt.

First, alter the top set reps. another approach: change exercises - but this is best left in the hands of an expert as not all exercises are created equal. You can manipulate session frequency and composition, or adjust the pace of the workout: purposefully move set to set and exercise to exercise faster or slower. How about something as simple as adjusting the rep speed? Slow down the rep speed on certain exercises, while perhaps accelerating the bar speed on others.

There are endless variations on this theme assuming you are clever and creative.

Wshington DC: I have been working out with a professional trainer for about 2 months. My goal is to increase muscle and bring my body fat down to about 15% - it is currently about 27%. I want to tone as much as possible without looking like looking muscular. My workouts are 1/2 hr 2x/week and are high weight, high intensity, workout to failure (usually 3 sets of 3-10 reps). I am gaining strength but my trainer said that, in order to maximize fat loss, I need to strictly minimize carbohydrates to see results. My eating plan follows the Greenwich diet - high protien/low carb and I stay away from high fat foods (ham, butter, etc) and concentrate on high fiber vegetables, eggs, fish, poultry, some red meat and 2 gallons of ice water a day. Absolutely no sugar, fruit, flour, rice, potato, pasta, or alcohol. I plan to follow this for 9 weeks but, in your opinion, is this the fastest and best way to gain muscle and lose body fat while retaining optimum health?

Health and effectiveness are not necessarily synonymous.

Like weight training, there is no single diet approach that trumps all others. 4-8 weeks is about as long as a person can stick to a diet that differs radically from the individuals normal eating habits. I use a variety of diet approaches depending upon my mood and nearness of competition. I have had success with a Ketogenic approach (low carbs) and I've had success with a moderate carb/low fat approach. I have never had any success with a high carbohydrate approach to dieting. I like the idea of reducing starchy carbs but keeping lots of fibrous in the diet. Personal preferences play a huge part in the psychological drama of serious dieting. Personally, I like rich foods and if I can keep a little fat in my diet, I can much more easily stay on a diet even if it means giving up pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, ice cream, sweets and bread products. Most folks prefer the opposite, i.e., keep some pasta and bread in the diet, and reduce the fats to around 10% of total calories consumed. I sort of swing back and forth between variations of these two dietetic themes, using one approach until it peters out (they all do) and then picking up on the other. One thing for sure - for a diet to work you've got to loose either the carbs or the fat - you can't keep both and loose. If you keep both carbs and fat and simply ingest fewer calories you loose roughly equal amounts of muscle and fat and end up as miniaturized version of the pre-diet self. Smaller, lighter, but still skinny/fat.

Dupont Circle: Marty, thanks for being on-line. My question: in what way does a body lose weight? I've heard that it's first from the last place it was gained and I've heard that weight loss starts at the top (from the head to the toe). I ask because my legs are shrinking and my behind, etc. too, but the rest of me is taking a bit longer - although it's happening - but still. Not too mention the fact that my mother believes in the first theory -
I wanted a learned opinion - well, not that she isn't learned - I'm babbling. Thanks in advance.

Hell, the fat-est leaves last-us ("Git there furst-est with the most-est" to steal an inverse parallel from NBF)

I know this: wherever you've got the most lard is the last place to give it up. In other words, if you're a woman with a big fat butt or a guy with love handles that look like saddlebags, you will get absolutely skinny in rest of your body and still have fat in those two areas. The body wants to hang onto adipose tissue, as it subliminally perceives that it is being systematically stripped of body fat. In fact it is. Fat is used in times of starvation. Leftover primordial hardwiring handed down from the hunter/gatherer days makes the body want to hang onto the fat even if it has to resort to cannibalizing muscle tissue.

Kalorama: Hey, there! I've been following your advice for a few months, but now I'm hitting a plateau--not getting sore or making gains with weights and after losing 10 lbs., mot losing anymore (5-7 to go). I am a female, 5'7.5", 143 lbs. My diet is pretty tight (high protein, low carb, not giving up the fruit, though), with some slip-ups on weekends. My routine as it stands: treadmill, 30 minutes, twice a week. Two days of weight training (light, medium, heavy):

Day 1: machine bench press, hammer/bicep curls, machine overhead press, front raises (side raises bother my shoulder and elbow), tricep pulldown, lat pulldown, machine row or assisted row Day 2: leg press (squats bother my knees, though really all quad work bothers my knees), leg curl, calf raises on step

Can you knock the complicity out of my muscles? I haven't been sore for a while now, even though I'm really pushing the weight. Thanks! Sorry for the semi-Russian novel.

I could care less about a few pieces of fruit or a binge on the weekend - but you neglected to give me the most important piece of information: your reps on the top sets.

Reps are the first tool I will use to blast a person out of a period of stagnation. If they've been doing high reps, say 12-20, well hell, we'll proscribe 5-rep sets for 4-6 weeks. If they stagnant doing 5-8 rep sets, 4-6 weeks of 20-rep sets will blow the carbon out of the most complacent musculature. Tolstoy used more words to sign his name than you used in your entire question.

Ft. Washington, MD: Good day!
I want to target a specific area of the body (upper torso). What type of exercises are good for losing the weight in those specified area (arms, chest, stomach)?

If you do a little research into my archives all your questions will evaporate into enlightenment and deep understanding.

Washington, DC: Nice bod


Marty Gallagher: 8-8-00 Remaining Questions

WDC: Aside from bench presses, what exercise is superior for chest development, pec dec or cable crossover? If I had to choose one or the other, which one would you suggest and why? On bench presses, would you suggest doing a routine that included incline, decline, and supine presses (i.e. are they all necessary for chest development)?

They both suck

Look - get serious. Quit forking around with dainty little isolation exercise and get a massive bench press. I have never seen a man that could bench 400 that didn't have outstanding pectoral muscles. Flat bench. Forget declines. Some inclines. 90% flat bench. Work the hell out of it. Okay fine, after benching until you are blasted, exhausted, decimated, you have my permission to throw in a set or two of pec deck or cable crossovers (it makes no damn difference which one). But recognize that those dinky exercises are as superfluous as a desert of pink carnival cotton candy after a Ruth's Chris Ribeye steak.

Madison Manor, VA: Hello, Marty! I'm a 33 yr old female, 5'4", 138lbs. and in great health, it's the great shape I'm trying to get! I'm wanting to tone the inner thigh area and wanted to use ankle weights while doing side lifts but was told recently that ankle weights can cause muscle tears and to put the weight on the outside of my leg, near my knee. Wouldn't this do similar damage or is it really better? Also, is a 5-pound weight too much to start with for the lifts?

Forget that crazy stuff - squat, do leg curls, calf raises and diet.


Congrats on your 705 deadlift after not doing them since February.

You wanna get fired up? Go get the Dorian Yates' tape Blood & Guts - you'll get so fired up you'll jump up in mid-tape, run through the mud hut wall, jump into your 1965 Pink Cadillac with quad bullet tail lights and burn rubber all the way from the Adobe Hut to the Steel House. You'll knock people over as you crash through the gym door,

"Out of the way meatball!"

"Bozo Mullet! Move!"



You knock the little lifters out of the way as you make a mad rush to the strength altar: the holy squat rack. You'll throw hundreds on either side like a crazed psychopath high on whiskey and crack. You squat for four straight hours and collapse in a heap on the lifting platform - dead - but with a sly smile on your mug.

So git the damned tape. Call Bev's Gym to order: 1-516-933-1006

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