Nitric oxide, genetics and fitness, nutrition principles


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Q: (You can skim through this background info) I am 24 years old, 5'10" and weigh 147 pounds. When I was 22 I weighed 135 pounds. Though I'm not fat, the extra 12 pounds is. I know this because I gained it without ever working out. I am rather thin if you can't get a mental picture from my stats. I have decided to start working out because I am tired of being the skinny guy. I would like to look more like a running back or baseball player than a long distance runner. When I decide to take on a project, I want the best information I can get to aid me in the completion of that project.

(Here is the meat of his question) I have been reading a lot of your articles on I also have read some of Pete Sisco's. This prompted me to buy and read his book Train Smart. What is your opinion of PFT and SCT? Did I waste $30? The reason I ask you is because you don't seem to be selling anything, and you seem to know what you are talking about.


A: Wes,
I can tell you this: Everybody has a different ability to recover from intense training. For example, we are as different in recovery ability as we are in intelligence. Some people are genetically very smart and some are as dumb as a rock, but most fall in the middle somewhere. We all recover from exercise at different rates. Many people who recover quickly have reached a high level of success performing a high number of sets training very frequently. Many who recover slowly have also been very successful performing low numbers of sets training very infrequently.

Because everybody is unique in their ability to adapt and recover from different programs, the number of training sessions and sets needs to be individualized. Without keeping a detailed journal, it will be almost impossible to determine what workouts where successful and which ones were not. I feel a training journal is absolutely essential for success. Keep track of sets, reps, weight, exercises, rest intervals, and make comments at the end of each session about how you felt. I would also start keeping a nutrition journal. At 5'10" weighing 147 pounds, you are not eating enough food. Believe me, I've been there. I was 149 pounds at the start of my senior year and I'm also 5'10".

I've attached my personal training and nutrition logs. Make copies and put them in a binder. Also attached are some nutrition principles for you to go by. Very shortly the training and nutrition log will be for sale on, so you lucked out.

As for the question of did you waste your money, I don't think so. I think you should read whatever you can get your hands on. Just use your head -- if it sounds too good to be true, you know the rest. I have a very hard time with people promising two inches on your arms in two workouts, 50 pounds on your bench in three weeks, or washboard abs in five minutes three times per week. Like I said, use your head.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

Q: Mike,
I recently turned 19 and I know I’m way overweight (5’9” 240) so I really am now sticking to a training routine. I hit the gym Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday doing heavy and light days (light days being slightly less weight, but four to five more reps at full speed, keeping it intense). I really want to lose as much weight as possible, and I really don’t mind hitting the weights at all, but I hate “conventional cardio” sitting on an uncomfortable-ass bike or running on a treadmill, because it starts to hurt, and not hurt like a good burn should. I like playing sports at the gym, but they aren’t offered enough for that to be enough cardio in my mind. I’ve seen you say screw cardio, which was music to my ears. What can you suggest in general so that I can lose the most fat, keep muscle and do it quickly? I’m not expecting any miracles -- I’m ready to bust my ass. I just need help with the fat-burning part.

Thanks very much,


A: Brett,
The best thing for you to do is to keep hitting the weighs hard. Make sure you're keeping a journal so you know what's working and what's not. Yes, I do say screw the cardio. However, if you want to perform two sessions per week of the low intensity variety, you can burn a few calories while facilitating recovery from your weight-training sessions. By low intensity, I mean walking four miles an hour on a treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes.

Adjusting your diet is another essential element to getting leaner. Below you'll find a list of my nutrition principles and banned foods:

Nutrition Principles:

  • Plan your meals in advance.
  • Prepare your food in advance. You’re less likely to fall of the wagon if there is quality food already made.
  • Record what you eat in your Nutrition Progression Reports every day.
  • Avoid calorie dense fast foods.
  • Do not starve yourself. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full.
  • Eat at least four meals per day. Your goal should be to eat six meals per day, one every two to three hours.
  • Make sure to eat a portion of protein with every meal. Eat the protein before you eat your portion of carbs. (A portion of protein is four to eight ounces, or 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.
  • Use meal replacement packs whenever possible. This takes the guesswork out of meal planning and ensures optimum levels of nutrients.

Banned Foods:

All refined sugar. Use artificial sweeteners, preferably Splenda (sucralose).

All refined products such as cookies, cakes, pie, etc.

Sweetened cereals. Use Cheerios, oatmeal, Fiber One.

Potatoes w/o a serving of protein. Try sweet potatoes.

White rice. Use whole grain rice.

White bread. Use whole grain w/o added sugar.

White pasta. Try whole grain pasta.

All juice or other sweetened beverages. Eat whole fruit sparingly (it takes eight apples to make an 8 oz. glass of apple juice).

Bologna, salami, bratwurst, knockwurst, hot dogs (beef or pork), pork sausage, spareribs, chicken nuggets

Also, be aware of products like catsup, barbecue sauces and salad dressings. Use them sparingly because they are loaded with one or more types of sugar. Especially watch out for fat free salad dressings. You are much better off using regular dressings. Just make sure you don’t load it on.

Good luck.

Q: Hey,
Okay, first I will tell you my situation. I have a friend who works out three times a week at a local YMCA, and he tells me he does everything from cardio to weight training. Now the other day I go with him to the YMCA, and first thing he notices is the fact that my muscle mass is much greater than his own, not to mention definition. I only work out twice a week in my bedroom with an adjustable weighted vest and some ankle/wrist weights, a yoga mat, and dumbbells ranging from 10 to 65 pounds. Then on the track that he always runs on for 20 minutes, I run with him for the whole 20 minutes, but I end up lapping him like seven times. Then when we get to the weights, he goes for these heavy weights, and starts throwing them around (using their momentum). I tell him to try it my way, and he does. Only now he has to choose weights half as heavy as before and he starts to feel the pain :-).

Now, I don't lift very heavy weights, but I make sure I lift slow, and right, and do exercises that also focus on balancing the dumbbell one arm at a time. I notice that I bulk up a little, but not like a bodybuilder, more like Vin Diesel. I am happy with my routine, and the results I get. The question I have for you is how can I help my friend, who has a layer of fat over his gut, to start to see abs? I try to show him everything I do to get my six-pack, but it doesn't seem to work for him. What can I tell him to do to help him with his dilemma? Thank you for your anticipated reply.

From: Darrell
Wpg, MB, Canada

A: Darrell,
Genetics are everything when it comes to the way we adapt to exercise and our ability to get lean. However, that's not to say somebody with less than average genes can't get muscular and lean. The key is finding the right workout and diet that utilizes what they have.

Guidelines for your friend:
1. Stop doing cardio now. Everything he does outside of weight training hinders his ability to gain muscle. If he insists on doing cardio, at least get him to do it after his weight training.
2. If he is performing a full body workout three times per week, have him go down to two.
3. Perform two working sets per exercise.
4. Perform 6-12 reps per set to momentary failure, utilizing a 3030 tempo (3 second negative, no pause, 3 second positive, no pause)
5. Eat at least 1 gram per pound of body weight in protein.

Without a detailed copy of your friends training program, I can't make any more recommendations.

Q: Mike,
I was wondering what your opinions are about nitric oxide products? Worth it or not? If yes, which products should I look up, and which should I avoid?


A: Don't waste your money. It's all hype. No real science behind it. You can't take enough of the product orally to work because you'd be shitting like a goose.

I feel some supplement companies are looking for something to replace ephedra sales losses since it was banned. There are still a lot of shady sons of bitches out there willing to stretch the truth for a buck.


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