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Spotlight Gesundheit

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Weight Lifting

Think Twice about Advice

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Last year I was urged to follow a high protein diet while weight training. I was told it was essential to hit my protein target to build muscle and maintain strength.

I ate copious amounts of eggs, dairy and meat trying to meet my protein goal. And over time, I became sluggish, tired and developed an aversion to meat, then eggs and finally dairy. And decided to cut them out all at once. Essentially, my high protein diet steered me into a 100% plant based diet.

I started looking into plant based nutrition and ran across Ray Cronise. He insisted protein recommendations were elevated due to an outdated model and a high protein diet could cause illnesses such as cancer (look up IGF1).

This was my sign to stop obsessing over grams of protein. But, I continued tracking my food intake.

After compiling long term data, I noticed my protein intake dove to around 35% of my previous high protein quota. All with no discernible difference in my strength or endurance.

I was thoroughly surprised. And I now have to admit, I fell headlong into the high protein promise of enhanced endurance and strength. But, there is nothing to support that assertion from my side of the fence.

I learned a huge lesson. I no longer follow advice without fact checking scientific and medical data. Misinformed advice can be turned into an informed decision with the right research. It just takes effort.

My Training Routine: Pros and Cons of Cable and Free Weights

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I typically lift every other day for 30-40 minutes. I train on a scale between 5 sets of 5 reps and 1 set of 25 reps per exercise. These sets are performed with emphasis on either slow or fast movement through the lift and varied rest times between reps. I have a max day once a week where I do as many reps as I can to failure (can’t lift anymore) to track my progress and determine whether I should increase my weights for the next week.

Cable pulleys are my go to for lat pull downs, cable rows, cable crunches and safe chest presses without a spotter. And as I progress to heavier weights, the cable system has a built in safety buffer. But, cables also limit range of motion. The weight range is also very structured as compared to free weights.

Free weights, on the other hand, offer free range of motion which is crucial in building stabilizer muscles. But, for heavier lifting, a spotter is required for safety. Customized weight loads are a big perk that I utilize for my arms, chest, back, shoulders, as well as dead lift and squats.

Both cable and free weights work really well together to build a safe and effective training regimen. The trick is using them both to your advantage.

As a side note, Power Racks can be a great substitute for spotters when using heavier free weights, but they are quite large and can be cost prohibitive.

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