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General Q & A thread

(21 Posts)
suzannecanthecan Tue 14-Apr-15 16:30:16

Would this be a good idea for those questions pertaining to weight training which don't necessarily warrant a separate thread?

shewept Tue 14-Apr-15 18:38:18

Sounds good. Always worth a go.

We really need a dumbbell or protein shaker emoji to use, the equivalent of wine

EarSlaps Wed 15-Apr-15 18:30:21

Great idea!

I know my problem at the moment is upper body strength- I'm guessing shoulder press, push ups and flexed arm hangs (no chance of a pull up yet!) will be good things to build up that strength?

I've just finished Stage 1, workout 6 of NROLW and I can still only manage to finish the sets on the shoulder press if I use 6kg weights. I can do one arm presses with a 12kg kettlebell but only about 3 at a time. It just feels like I'm really slow to build strength there. I've also taken ages to be able to do 8 proper narrow arm push ups.

Does everyone else struggle with upper body strength and any suggestions for other things to try?

shewept Wed 15-Apr-15 18:38:22

I struggle with upper body too. See loads of progress on lower body but no so much up top. An unassisted pull up seems a very long way away sad

I just keep plugging away. Push ups took forever to master. But on chest day I am slowly seeing the weights to go up. My chest fly was the worst and I was so crap I cried out of frustration during a set of flys. Very embarrassing!

I am very interested in any upper body tips too!

EarSlaps Wed 15-Apr-15 18:46:04

Glad it's not just me!

I did kettlebells for the last year and some women just make the 16kgs fly up on a press, whilst I've only ever managed to do one press with a 14kg. Then again, one of the women had phenomenally good upper body strength but I could use much heavier weights for leg work. I guess we are all built differently.

suzannecanthecan Wed 15-Apr-15 19:09:31

in general women respond more strongly to lower body strength training than to upper body, there's nothing you can do to change that, I dont mean that you cant get stronger but legs tend to progress much more quickly.

As said it doesn't apply to all women, but it is kind of ironic that so many women avoid heavier upper body stuff for fear of becoming too muscular, little realising that no matter how heavy they train hell will freeze over before they get a good bench press grin

shewept Wed 15-Apr-15 19:23:34

I am up to a 12 kg shoulder press with a kettle bell for about 12 reps. Yeah its just one of those things, women take longer to progress up top. Still annoying though, I have a female friend who can press the 16kg with ease. I am very jealous!

I want to bulk up on top, not many women say that but I want definition in my shoulders and arms so badly!!! grin

EarSlaps Wed 15-Apr-15 19:35:33

Agreed, I'd love definition in my arms and shoulders! I'm quite pleased with my rather teeny biceps as they are the most definition I've ever had grin.

I want to build muscle as without it I'm pretty scrawny. I was always about a size 12-14 and on the fat scales I was up to 36% body fat (despite being within 'healthy' BMI range) at one point shock. I know they're not accurate but they're a good guideline.

Lots of diet and exercise and I got to size 8 but still about 27% body fat. I'd love to get it lower but I think I need muscle or I'll be too skinny. I'd rather look fit and strong than skeletal. I got so fed up of the "don't lose any more weight" comments (like it's anyone's business, and I could lose another stone and still be in the healthy bmi, not that I want to). I don't tell anyone I want to lose body fat as they'd just tell me I'm too skinny already.

I guess if you believe about the different body shapes I'm probably an ectomorph.

suzannecanthecan Wed 15-Apr-15 19:52:23

I suspect those body fat things are so inaccurate as to be verging on meaningless Earslaps?

shewept Wed 15-Apr-15 20:08:14

Those scales are pretty poor at guessing body fat. I have a pitch test every 8 weeks. But I am really picky about it. I only let one person pinch me, so I know one person isn't going to squeeze a little more than the last. I also get measured every 8 weeks too. Tbh o hate scales with passion. Caused me so much unneeded stress in the past.

EarSlaps Wed 15-Apr-15 20:25:02

I don't think they give an accurate measure, but as long as I measure in the same circumstances (after the first wee in the morning, no food or drink, no clothes on) then they are a good barometer iyswim.

If I have been good with my eating and working hard the number definitely decreases, and goes up if I have a prolonged period of not watching what I eat and not exercising much it does creep up again.

I have had the scales a while, and used them when I also had pinch test fat measurement at the gym and both times the scales were about 10% higher than the calipers (ie gym said 33% when scales said 36%, then at the end of a six week challenge gym said 28% when scales said 31%).

So I don't believe they are accurate as such, but they do seem to show which direction I'm heading in and how fast smile.

shewept Thu 16-Apr-15 06:27:08

Well as long as it gives an approximate and you are happy with, that's great.

See I am about 24% at the moment, but a 10/ 12. I tend to carry it all on my hips, bum and lower stomach. I have abs coming in at the top of my stomach, but nowhere near at the bottom. I am shaped like a weebel. grin and my arms have very little fat on them, that's why I am surprised I don't have definition on my shoulders or arms.

My calves and quads have made his leaps forward and there is some muscle hiding under the fat on my bum. It will just take time I suppose, need to keep plugging away.

I really enjoy training shoulders as well, so definitely give it my all. I need some patience probably.

EarSlaps Thu 16-Apr-15 08:18:28

Patience, what's that? grin

I tend to carry fat all over, especially tummy, arms and face. I've got no hips or boobs, a boyish shape.

I too have a little definition at the top of my tummy, it's very encouraging when you start to see results.

shewept Thu 16-Apr-15 11:28:16

I know I am not known for my patience either grin

I suppose I am quite lucky as I do have a small waist, but just need the rest to catch up.

If anyone out there can recommend any particular exercise for shoulders, please feel free to shout up. I do lots of different ones, but am willing to give new stuff a go too.

shewept Fri 17-Apr-15 12:39:59

The female PT at my gym commented that she could see some definition in my shoulders!! Day made!!grin

EarSlaps Fri 17-Apr-15 13:37:33

Yippee!! grin

I managed to finish all three sets of shoulder presses with 7kg dumbbells yesterday so some progress finally!

A question- I've got little bruises on the tops of my knees from descending during deadlifts. Is this a sign I need to tweak my form?

Also- how many of you wear lifting gloves and how many don't. I don't at the moment but used to. Just wondering if gloves would be good to prevent callouses or if they can do more harm than good?

RJnomore Fri 17-Apr-15 14:32:32

I found th gloves irritated me and I was actually happy to build the callouses.

My hands are a bit of a state right now as after not lifting for ages I have fling myself right in this week, inspired jointly by booking a holiday and this new topic!

shewept Fri 17-Apr-15 16:16:13

I wear gloves. Although most people I know don't. I have trained with and without and definitely prefer it with them. Downs to trying them out and seeing I suppose.

Well done on you shoulder progress. That's fantastic! star

shewept Fri 17-Apr-15 16:19:58

Hmm on the deadlifts. Not sure, does sound like a form issue. It's not something I have experienced. I assume you are catching them on the way down?

EarSlaps Fri 17-Apr-15 16:52:33

I don't notice catching them on the way down and the bruises don't hurt but it must be on the way down as they are just on the top of my kneecaps. I googled and found a few forum posts, which are split between it just being a side effect of deadlifts and some who think it means you're bending your knees too soon.

I'll try doing some mega slow warm up sets and see when I'm catching them.

Might get my gloves out again and see whether I prefer with or without. Must admit I don't like the feel of rough grippy bars on my hands, it's a bit cringy.

shewept Fri 17-Apr-15 18:03:49

Hmm I have never heard of it before. Although I do get bruises that I can't explain all the time. Got one on my forearm at the moment. Hurts like hell. No idea where its from grin

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