Tempo in weight training, chin-ups, push-ups, weight lose, fructose, obesity, Tribex

Q&A with Mike Furci

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QI’m doing some lightweight exercise (chin-ups, push-ups, going to pick up some others). I know that’s not much, but I’m doing them just to keep myself in decent shape. I can now do 18 chin-ups and 30 pushups on “dipping handles” (a pair of logs, you can’t really call them handles). I’m quite happy with the results so far, especially considering that I’m more of a “nerd” type, not born with the genes, but I think there’s a lot of room for improvement. Currently I exercise three days a week and perform three to six of each exercise during the course of the day (in reps of 18 chin-ups, 30 pushups). Now it seems that I’ve “hit the ceiling” and can’t seem to go any higher. Since chin/push-ups aren’t much of a heavy exercise, I’m not quite sure if recovering is the problem (I don’t feel tired or anything), but I am willing to try reducing my exercises to only two days per week. Well, that’s pretty much all I need. I’m not considering joining a gym; I prefer exercising at home without weights and such. Any hints or tips I could possibly use?

Thanks for any advice!

AThere is one component of weight training that is commonly overlooked: tempo. It is widely accepted among personal trainers, bodybuilders and strength athletes that one should lift weights under control. Yet most of them haven’t a clue as to what that really means, or how it can affect their training. Tempo is a seldom-used tool by most people who weight train, mainly out of ignorance, but for some it’s ego. Because tempo forces the muscle to truly do the work, everyone who employs it finds they need to decrease the amount of weight, or reduce the number of reps.
Tempo, very simply, is the speed of your reps. It is expressed and recorded as a four digit number representing the seconds required to complete a rep. Example: 50X0 (five, zero, explosive, zero). Using the push-up, the first digit is the speed in which you lower your body (negative or eccentric). The second digit is the amount of time one pauses once you’ve reached the floor. The third digit is the amount of time one takes to raise the weight (positive or concentric). If an “X” is used for the third digit, it means explosive, or as fast as possible. The forth digit, if used, is the amount of time one takes before lowering themselves again.
Is it really necessary to count each rep in order to build strength and muscle? No. Is it necessary to lift under control and to vary your speeds to get the best and most rapid gains one can, in relation to their genetics? Yes. When you perform an exercise under control, the muscles are truly doing the work. “Slower,” not “slow” speeds make the muscles work harder by eliminating momentum and bouncing.

Try the following plan and reduce the number of training days to two per week:

The first three weeks:
*Chin-ups (palms facing you, shoulder-width or narrower)
*3 sets performing each rep with a 4120 tempo. (Tempo should be counted, one one-thousand, two one-thousand, etc.)
*Lower yourself 4 seconds; pause 1 second at the bottom; take 2 seconds to raise yourself with no pause at the top.
*Rest 60 seconds between sets.

When you reach the point where you can no longer employ the prescribed tempo during a rep, the set is over. Stop when it takes you longer than 2 seconds to lift yourself back up.

*3 sets performing each rep with a 4120 tempo
*Rest 60 seconds between sets

The second three weeks:
*Both exercises use a 3010 tempo.
*Rest 90 seconds between sets

Third three weeks:
*Both exercises use a 20X0 tempo until failure.
*Rest 2 minutes between sets.

I don't know how old your article on (Fitness Myth Busters) is, but I am an ex-Marine and just wanted to say that is the coolest article I have read in a while. You hit all the myths right on the head and people need to pull their heads out of their asses. LOL. Thanks for the laughs too.

AThanks for taking the time to visit Bullz-Eye.com and read my article.

QHello Mike,
My name is Shai and I am 5-foot-3 and weigh 240 pounds. I appear solid to others, but to me I’m just fat. Especially when I take off my clothes, fat rolls seem to explode. My stomach is so gross, and my legs are too. I need a supplement to help me get the weight off. I work at a day care center and I stay active. I tried the Atkins Diet and lost some weight but I need a little help. I am ready for a life change. Please help! I gained all this weight from the birth control shot when I was 16 years old and it hasn’t stopped until the last few years. It’s like I can’t get rid of the load. When Metabolife 356, with ephedra was legal, I lost a lot of weight. Please help me. I am ready to love me again. Take care.

There is really no way around it. It’s what you eat not how much that causes weight gain. The average dietician (a detriment to health) or medical doctor (not much better) will tell you otherwise. They will tell you all you have to do is reduce the number of calories and viola!, the weight comes off. Shai, you know as well as millions of others know, it just doesn’t work that way.

If a calorie is a calorie is a calorie (as most dieticians, nutritionists and doctors claim), why doesn’t the percent of increased caloric intake match the percentage of increase in overweight or obese individuals? The increase in calorie consumption in men and women has increased 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively, since the ‘70s. The increase in the percentage of individuals who are overweight or obese has increased almost 20 percent in each category. There’s more to this epidemic than the amount of calories people are consuming.

Now don’t get me wrong -- I am not trying to make excuses for people who overeat and don’t exercise. I know that the vast majority of overweight individuals eat excessive calories; however, as stated above, the numbers just don’t add up.

On the other hand, the obesity epidemic and its related afflictions do have a linear relationship to the amount of denatured, devitalized, processed food people consume, especially simple sugars and manmade, unhealthy fats. It’s these processed foods, especially carbohydrates, causing chronically increased insulin levels leading to obesity and its associated afflictions.

I have coached countless numbers of obese individuals who are not gluttons. Are they making poor food choices? Of course. But, as many studies show, which is what I’ve observed, many people seem to store fat more readily than others, despite what they eat. And at the root of the obesity epidemic's cause is carbohydrates, namely fructose. There is a linear relationship between the amount of fructose eaten by people in the U.S. each year and the increase in obesity.

If you continue to eat the foods you do, you not only risk becoming heavier, but your health will begin to falter. Diabetes, heart disease and other health problems are imminent.

You sent me a list of foods and I think you already knew what I was going to write back. Cut the carbs and anything made with flour or unhealthy fats, period. No processed food! At this point your body cannot assimilate them at all. There is no eating these foods in moderation for somebody in your situation. As a matter of fact, even a thin person who’s worried about their health shouldn’t consume these foods on a regular basis.

The good news is, you can reverse your insulin resistance and lose body fat. As you know, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of discipline and hard work. However, the longer you are on the right path, the easier it gets. The biggest issue you’re going to have is establishing new habits.

The following principles will get you on your way. And please check out my lists of Authorized & Banned Foods to help you with your food choices.

  • Plan your meals in advance.
  • Prepare your food in advance. This is perhaps the single biggest contributor to consistent healthy eating. You’re less likely to fall off the wagon if there is quality food already made.
  • Record what you eat in your Nutrition Progression Reports every day.
  • Avoid calorie-dense foods (mainly processed and fast foods).
  • Do not starve yourself. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. If you allow yourself to be hungry, over time you will fail.
  • Eat at least four meals per day. Your goal should be to eat six times per day, once every two to three hours.
  • Make sure to eat a portion of protein with every meal. If your meal consists of a starchy carb, always consume a bit of your protein first. This ensures a lower glycemic index for the meal and will curb eating too many carbs.
  • A portion of protein is four to eight ounces. Or a portion is about the size of the palm of your hand or a clenched fist.
  • Choose carbohydrates that are on the lower end of the glycemic index. Refer to the Approved Foods chart.

Use natural unprocessed fats and oils for cooking and salad dressings. Avoid the use of, or strictly limit your consumption of, polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) and never cook with them.

Loved your article, “More Muscle More Sex Part I” about Tribex, and I scooped some up. Do you recommend cycling it? If you do, how many weeks on and how many weeks off? Do I take two to four pills daily or only on the days I work out?

Much appreciated.

Biotest recommends five days on, and two days off. This is the one I’ve followed with good results. The label says one to two caps per serving, but two seems to work the best for me. Take two caps in the morning, then two caps eight hours later on an empty stomach. I’ll take two as soon as I wake up. It will require three to four weeks to get the full effect. I usually take Tribex for two months at a time. I then will do 6OXO for a month; then repeat. Approximately 20 percent to 30 percent of people seem to not get much of an effect.

I discuss 6OXO in Part II of this series.

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