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Answers to Common Training Qs (#2)

What should I do for training abs? Squat, deadlift, and press. Isolation ab exercises are largely a waste of valuable training time. Your abs are mainly designed to stabilise your spine, so challenge them with heavy multi-joint exercises.

Getting wrist pain in the bench press/press. What should I do? You're probably holding the bar too high in your hand and it's bending your wrist back. The bar should be placed low in the hand, just above the thumb.

Can I gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? If you are a novice, yes, but only for a very short period of time. For the most part, you will always have to trade fat loss for muscle gain and vice versa.

I have an injury - should I stop training? Absolutely not. There is always something you can do. And something is always better than nothing. Train around the issue, and if it doesn't resolve itself, go see a good physio.

How can I stop my hands from hurting after deadlifts? You grow a bigger pair of plums. Sorry to tell you but training isn't meant to feel comfortable, especially if you want to get any results. Make sure you're using chalk and in time you'll develop a nice sturdy callus that will protect your hands from tearing.

Should I eat before I train? Yes. Wouldn't you put fuel in a car before you drive it? Some kind of carbs and protein is advised. Don't eat a highly fatty meal like a fry-up as fat takes longer to digest, so the food will sit in your stomach and you may feel lethargic.

How long should I rest between sets? As long as is needed to get all your reps with perfect form. This ends up looking something like 2-5 minutes, depending on the exercise and the load being used. Heavy deadlifts may require 5 minutes of rest, whereas dumbbell rows for sets of 12 may only require 2 minutes.

How should I breathe when I'm lifting? One big breath before the descent on a squat and bench, and before the start of a press and deadlift. You hold the breath in your stomach as you lift, bracing as if you're expecting a punch to the gut. At the top of the rep you breathe out and take your next breath. Never breath in while you're pushing, as you'll lose all tightness.

That's enough for now. Hope you've enjoyed this newsletter. Enjoy the rest of your week. In Strength, Cill

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