Archive for July, 2009

Burn fat, get into shape

Posted in training on July 31, 2009 by takeupsculpting

I keep receiving requests from my readers to post more stories on different kinds of routines to burn fat and tone-up the muscles.
I posted a story under the training category titled ‘Shape up – lose fat and get muscular’ sometime ago.
Another story titled ‘Workouts to build muscle, lose fat’ also has routines and diet suggestions.
Here is a routine which has been recommended by a highly respected trainer and Indian Body Building Federation national judge A. Malayaman.
A multi-title winner and author of several books, Malayaman’s knowledge, simplicity and professional ethics have earned him the respect of millions all over Tamil Nadu and beyond.
He recommends the following routine to a person who has been training for a while and intends to get lean.
                         Monday & Thursday
                               I sequence 
1. Standing calf raises 4 sets 15 reps
2. Barbell preacher curl 4 sets 8 reps
3. Bench press 4 sets 10 reps
                              II sequence
1. Seated calf raises 4 sets 15 reps
2. Concentration curl 4 sets 8 reps
3. Incline dumbbell flye 4 sets 10 reps

Tuesday & Friday
                                 I sequence

1. Leg curl 4 sets 15 reps
2. Barbell rowing 4 sets 8 reps
3. Lying barbell extension 4 sets 10 reps
                             II sequence 
1. Stiff leg deadlift 4 sets 15 reps
2. Lat pulldowns  4 sets 8 reps
3. Triceps pressdowns 4 sets 10 reps

Wednesday & Saturday
                             I sequence 

1. Squats  4 sets 12 reps
2. Press behind neck 4 sets 8 reps
3. Reverse curl 4 sets 10 reps
                           II sequence 
1. Leg extension 4 sets 12 reps
2. Wide-grip upright row 4 sets 10 reps
3. Barbell wrist curl 4 sets 10 reps

Abdominals
Hanging knee raises 3 sets 15 reps each
Reverse crunches 3 sets 15 reps each
Oblique crunches 3 sets 15 reps each
Crunches 3 sets 15 reps each
What is a Triset
Performing one set of an exercise each for the same muscle groups without taking a gap between them is known as a Triset. Here, you perform a sequence of 3 exercises for 3 diffrenet muscle groups, which is being loosely called a Triset by some people. As one of my friends has rightfully pointed out, it should not be called a Triset.
How to go about

After a general warm up, choose a weight with which you can perform only the prescribed number of reps in textbook form on the first exercise. Get those reps and move on to the next exercise without resting. Train with a weight with which you can get only the prescribed number of reps and move to the third movement. Complete that in the above mentioned manner.
You have now performed one sequence of 3 exrcises.
Rest for a minute and perform 3 more sequences  of the same combination, taking a minute’s rest between them.
Then rest for a minute and perform 4 rounds of the second combination. That concludes your workout for the day.
You will have to train like this, six days a week.
Cardio
Perform very brisk walking or cycling for 35-45 minutes each session, 3 days a week. If you carry a lot of fat, you may need even 4-6 cardio sessions a week.
Take the next step towards getting lean today.

Some competitors like ‘Mr. India’ Jayaprakash (right) and runner-up K. Balamurugan may prefer a more hardcore routine get lean.

Some competitors like ‘Mr. India’ Jayaprakash (right) and runner-up K. Balamurugan may prefer a more hardcore routine get lean.

PS: This workout, when combined with a leaning-out diet as suggested in the story, ‘Shape up – lose fat and get muscular,’ will burn a lot of fat and help you to get lean and muscular.
However, some bodybuilding competitors (yours truly included) feel good performing only a conventional, heavy routine with more exercises for each muscle.
As regards competitors who wish to get into peak shape, I would want them to use their experience and wisdom to make a training programme that gives them best results.
                                                                            _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

Knee problems

Posted in training on July 23, 2009 by takeupsculpting

Some trainees say that they hear a mild cracking noise while they perform exercises such as squats or leg presses. Some people experience a ‘popping’ or ‘grinding’ feeling when they bend their knees while climbing stairs or rising up from a squat position. Why does it happen?

According to orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Nick Evans, this indicates softening or thinning of the cartilage behind the kneecap. This condition is known as ‘patella chondromalacia.’ It occurs owing to age-related wear and tear or hereditary factors.

As long as the person does not experience any pain, adopting certain measures will help him or her to minimise the noise during workouts.

 Pain

If the person experiences any pain, it’s time he or she did an MRI and checked for arthritis or ‘torn meniscus’ (torn cartilage).

‘Mr. South Asia’ S. Kumarananthan will tell you that any common man has to be smart to avoid knee problems.

‘Mr. South Asia’ S. Kumarananthan will tell you that any common man has to be smart to avoid knee problems.

Suggestions to minimise noise

1. Warm up the knees for at least 10 minutes on the stationary bike.

2. Perform an isolation exercise such as leg extension at the beginning of the workout in a smooth, controlled manner.

3. Do not bend the knees beyond 90 degrees during squats or leg press. This will minimise the range of motion of the knee.

4. Do not use elastic knee wraps. They compress the kneecap against the femur bone, which may aggravate the problem.

                                               _ C. Lakshmi Kumar

MEET -–- ‘Mr. India’ N. Mohammed Abdullah and ‘Federation Cup’ winner K. Gopinath

Posted in Champions on July 11, 2009 by takeupsculpting

It’s not every day that you run into champions who are serious about learning the science of physique training.  However, when you meet such persons, you just feel like talking to them over and over again.
I have known ‘Mr. India’ N. Mohammed Abdullah for a few years now and interacted many times with ‘Federation Cup’ winner K. Gopinath.
Being the skeptic that I am, I initially dismissed their compliments for ‘Bodybuilding Master’ magazine (Tamil) and some of my own stories as flattery. But, they proved me wrong in a big way and continued to surprise me by talking about new findings at every interaction we have had since our first meeting.
So, when I decided to introduce them to my readers, I thought about presenting a discussion-like story rather than a usual interview.
Team Masters: When and how did you start training? What was the source of inspiration?
Abdullah: I started weight training in 1998. My first inspiration was ‘He-Man.’ I wanted a physique like that and joined a gym
Gopinath: I accidentally bumped into ‘Bodybuilding Master’ magazine in 2000 and was awestruck. I couldn’t believe that humans could actually look like this [bodybuilders]. But I didn’t know whether I had it in me and so did not join a gym immediately. In 2002, I saw a ‘Mr. Chennai’ competition and thought that maybe I too could train hard and give it a try.

‘Mr. India’ Mohammed Abdullah is truly awesome.

‘Mr. India’ Mohammed Abdullah is truly awesome.

A: But sir, both of us are from families that were financially backward. My father used to sell ice-creams on a tricycle. Our family is from Devakottai in Sivagangai district of South Tamil Nadu. Later we moved to Chennai.
G: I come from a fishermen family, sir. My father died when I was very young. My mother does all kinds of odd jobs and helps the family. I also have a younger sister. We stay at Royapuram in Chennai.

'Federation Cup' winner K. Gopinath’s mind-blowing most muscular.

'Federation Cup' winner K. Gopinath’s mind-blowing most muscular.

TM: Abdullah, I know you are employed in Services. How did you get the job…and how about you Gopi? Are you into any job? Or maybe, are you trying to get one?
A: I got the job after winning gold in ‘Federation Cup’ and my Junior and Senior State and South India victories. Ever since my appointment, I have been working in Bangalore.
G: I work as a gym instructor for half a day. The rest of the day I repair fishing nets. It’s really very hard work, sir. I too am trying to enter Services.
TM: You will surely get it Gopi…now tell me how did you and Abdullah meet?

'Mr. India' Mohammed Abdullah with Murali Vijaykumar of Team Masters.

'Mr. India' Mohammed Abdullah with Murali Vijaykumar of Team Masters.

A: I saw him compete in a city competition, maybe his first show. He was very lean and ripped but did not have any muscle. I spoke to him about how to avoid overtraining and eat properly for gaining muscle. He soon joined me as my workout partner.
G: Abdullah was my first ‘guru.’ He then introduced me to his ‘guru’ Annamalai, who has won several titles such as ‘Junior Mr. India,’ ‘Mr. Tamil Nadu’ and ‘Mr. South India.’ I received guidance from Annamalai and started training with Abdullah at Winners Gym in Royapuram.
A: I learnt a lot about the science of training from ‘Bodybuilding Master’ magazine. When I started, I was very thin and narrow. People said that I would never be able to build muscle. With the encouragement of my first instructor Radhakrishnan, I started training hard. I then took the guidance of Annamalai. The knowledge I received from ‘Bodybuilding Master’ was the biggest boost I got.

Gopi’s back pose at the Coimbatore State meet.

Gopi’s back pose at the Coimbatore State meet.

G: Honestly sir, both of us read almost all the issues that have been brought out till date. We learnt about instinctive training, optimum rest, and also how to diet – either to build muscle or lose fat – according to our bodies. I don’t blindly follow what Abdullah does and neither does he follow me.
A: Yeah, for example, I have a high-metabolism body and can get away with a few cheat meals or high calorie foods even while dieting for a competition. But, Gopi can’t.  He has to diet like crazy and that’s what he does.
G: I used to weigh less than 60 kg when I started training and Abdullah was about 55 kg. Now, he competes in 65 kg category and I compete in 75 kg class. He has stabilised his position in bantam weight but I may eventually compete in 80 kg class. Lets see. All we have in our minds that we have to improve every year.
TM: How about your off-season and competition training?
A: You may see a similarity in our approach here alone. We have started to train each muscle group once a week in the off-season. During contest prep, we train each muscle twice a week. We use the double-split system, training twice a day. Gopi does brisk walking [cardio] on an empty stomach every morning for some weeks and then if necessary, another session of walking at night.  I do my cardio after my evening workout. I don’t train my best body part, the abdominals, in the off-season. I train them during the initial phase of contest prep. As I get closer to the show, I stop training abs.

Gopi shows his great taper at 2008 ‘Senior Mr. Tamil Nadu’ in Coimbatore.

Gopi shows his great taper at 2008 ‘Senior Mr. Tamil Nadu’ in Coimbatore.

G: We carb up for a competition very meticulously. If I am around while Abdullah is carbing up, I’ll look at his body and tell him exactly when to stop eating. He does the same when I load carbs. I have to be a little careful so that I don’t spill out and hold water.
I cut water for a little more than a whole day before pre-judging.
TM: I remember reading in ‘Bodybuilding Master’ how you practice posing. Would you mind telling about that once again?
A: Sure sir. My friend Ranju and I used to sit for hours and cut bits of music and put it together. I would then hit poses which I feel would look great and then put it all together with some transitions. I used to practice it for hours and I finally started posing very comfortably.
TM: Yeah, now you have a routine which says ‘Abdullah!’ I wish you all the luck that you come up with several new routines and go beyond National level and rock the Asian and world meets. I should acknowledge that Gopi is an excellent poser too. Needless to say that both of you were honed by Annamalai, who is a master poser himself. Ok friends, now tell me about the titles you have won.
G: I did not place in the first city meet I entered. I eventually won ‘Mr. Chennai’ 5 times. I won the overall in 2007. I won ‘Senior Mr. Tamil Nadu’ at Coimbatore in 2008 and once again in 2009. I won gold in ‘Mr. South India’ in  2007. I have placed second before that. I have placed fourth in ‘Junior Mr. India’ twice. I placed fourth in ‘Federation Cup’ at Salem in 2007 and I won gold in 2008.

Abdullah wins the 2008 ‘Mr. India’ in Aurangabad.

Abdullah wins the 2008 ‘Mr. India’ in Aurangabad.

A: I won ‘Mr. Winners Gym’ in 2000. I placed fourth in ‘Mr. Chennai’ that year. I then won ‘Junior Mr. Tamil Nadu’ in 2001. I was second in ‘Senior Mr. Tamil Nadu’ in 2002. I won silver in ‘Mr. South India’ in 2002 and also the best poser award. I won gold in 2002 ‘Federation Cup’ and picked up another best poser award. I was second in 2003 ‘Mr. South India’ and was adjudged best poser once again. In 2003, I won bronze in ‘Junior Mr. India’ and another best poser award. That year I won silver in ‘Soldiers Classic’ State Championship and another best poser award. The ultimate thrill of winning ‘Mr. India’ came in 2008 in Aurangabad!
TM: Tell me about off-season eating…
G: There will always be some kind of fish at home. That will be my main source of protein. Besides I eat around 10 to 15 egg whites and some yolks. I always eat six small meals.
A: I eat whole eggs…and…I eat pretty well in the off-season. I don’t put on much fat at all. My body expends calories very fast.
G: During contest prep, I increase my egg whites, consume some chicken and Master Neutraceuticals’ 100 % whey protein. I use supplements such as amino acids, glutamine and Hydroxycut or Lee Labrada’s Charge.
A: My diet will also be pretty much the same. It’s just that I may eat a little more than Gopi.

Best of buddies – Abdullah and Gopi pose for a picture at Masters Gym.

Best of buddies – Abdullah and Gopi pose for a picture at Masters Gym.

TM: Gopi, I know how your mother and sister helped you with finance to prepare for your ‘Federation Cup’ victory. I also know about Abdullah’s family. I wish you both the very best of luck. Keep working hard and learning more about training science.
You will certainly make our State and, eventually, our country proud.
Good Luck.
                                                                                 _ C. Lakshmi Kumar
Tailpiece: I am awaiting a couple of posing videos of Gopi and Abdullah. I’ll soon post them along with this story.

Tip to get maximum muscularity

Posted in Nutrition & Diet on July 4, 2009 by takeupsculpting

I was recently taken aback by a piece of advice given by multi-Mr. India J. Muniappan.
He told me that competitors who literally live on protein powders while getting ready for a show will not attain peak muscularity!

‘Mr. India’ J. Muniappan has proved several times onstage that he knows what he is talking about.

‘Mr. India’ J. Muniappan has proved several times onstage that he knows what he is talking about.

He explained three reasons, which, to my surprise, were endorsed by world champion trainers such as Charles Glass (‘Mr. Universe’) and Hany Rambod (FST training system founder).
1. It seems that the body has to spend a significant number of calories to break down solid food. If majority of your meals come in the form of powders, they will be absorbed very fast, thereby not giving your body a chance to expend more calories.
2. Solid food will be absorbed a bit slower than powders and hence you may not feel hungry to eat again for the next 2 to 2 ½ hours. This may not be the case with certain fast-acting protein powders. Eating too many meals, more than what your body needs, may be a stumbling block to getting ultra-ripped.
3. Certain supplements have some milk protein which may make your body hold water.

You need a solid plan to get ripped like ‘Mr. India’ Hardeep Singh.

You need a solid plan to get ripped like ‘Mr. India’ Hardeep Singh.

Should you avoid protein powders?
Certainly not…consume a fast-acting whey protein powder with some carbohydrates immediately after a workout. It should be followed by a high-protein solid meal after one hour. The rest of your meals should come only from solid food. Add plenty of amino acid tablets to your diet plan.
Try out this plan and see how your body responds.
                                                                            _ C. Lakshmi Kumar