Showing posts from December, 2009

Dieting and Lifting for the Tall Vegetarian

How are you? It's great to have you by my side, so that I can establish my goal in life. I am 34 years of age, Christian, living in Mumbai.

I write to you, because you are smart, perfect and the most intelligent person. I need your help and instructions as how I can build a good body.

I am very skinny. I weigh 57 kg, and my height is 6.1 feet. I have bought gym equipment at home that is a flat bench, dumbbells and EZ-Curl bar.

I don't know anything about diet and why I am thin in spite of eating.

Yes I don't eat meat, because it is very expensive here. I eat chicken noodles, cheese, roasted peanuts and roasted soyabeans.

Please guide me on nutrition and what will make me grow bigger in size. I want a bigger chest and good arms and my whole body to be muscular.

Is ice cream good for adding fats and calories?

-Shon Estella

My Answer: Shon, your compliments creep me out, but thanks. Anyway, if you don't eat meat, then it's just going to be very tough for you to gain muscl…

The Ten Set Method

"Mr. Chan, I am a police officer in North Carolina and was drawn to your books because of your law enforcement involvement. In your book Strength and Physique: The Articles you have a sample training split for arm hypertrophy. On Day Three, you suggest completing ten sets of 4 reps for curls and power rack presses.

"I have an issue with taking every set to failure. I feel like I need to do this. However, I want to follow your suggestions (I bought three of your books). At what point do I begin to take these sets to failure? The last set? Currently, I warm up and then take three sets to failure. I have never had anyone explain how to actually do ten sets in regards to muscle failure. I appreciate any advice you could lend."

Thank You,
Dan B.

My Answer: First off, Happy Holidays and thanks for buying all three of my books. With regards to the 10 set method, what you'll need to do is select the appropriate weight. In the back training chapter of Strength and Ph…

Diminishing Sets

"Hi James,

"Happy holidays. My goals are to pack on the muscle, strip away the fat and boost the confidence this 2010. Lofty goals, indeed considering that I'm having less time each year to devote to lifting. I've been getting to the gym lately and doing 200 reps of 1 body part through multiple exercises and then completing 50 reps each of 2 other body parts again with multiple exercises.

"I know that you're all about working a body part for at least 3 times a week, and this works for me because I don't have to expend too much mental energy thinking about any thing else other then feeling the pump and completing the amount of reps I set out to do. This makes the process efficient as well, I believe. What do you think of this plan? Would you recommend any changes?"


My Answer: Having a set number of reps to aim for is a solid plan that is also quite simple to implement. Hypertrophy is biased towards higher volume. The more reps you do, the…

Recovery from Ruptured Achilles Tendon

"I'm a traditional reservist in the US Air Force. I'm a police officer in the Air Force as well as on the outside here in Fayetteville, NC. The issue I have is roughly 6 months ago I ruptured my left Achilles tendon. I'm making progress with physical therapy, but it's going slow. My question sir is after all is said and done with my rehab, is it likely that I'll be 100%? Really any advice you might have for me would be much appreciated. Sorry I’m being so vague. Just really needing some reassurance or words of wisdom. Thank you so much."

–SSGT Michael Murdock

My Answer: It depends if you've had surgery or not to repair the ruptured tendon. More likely than not, your doctor would have recommended surgery unless there was a pre-existing condition which would cause complications. If you didn't have the surgery, then obviously you will not be at 100%. Question is will you be at 100% after surgery and physical therapy?

Injuries of any sort are l…

Men's Fitness: Sculpt Her 5 Favorite Body Parts

Alison Kotch from Men's Fitness interviewed me for an article on Sculpting Her Five Favorite Body Parts. The article focuses on body weight exercises to develop the muscles women like. Check it out when you get a chance.

CKD's for the Police Academy?

Q:I have some diet questions: I am 6'2" and 280 pounds. I have lost 40 lbs so far that has been from fasting. I started hitting the gym and jogging. I have been reading about ketone diets. Is this something that you would recommend for me? I am trying to prepare for the police academy. Do you have any advice? I would love any feed back. 

Thanks, keep up all the good work.


My Answer: Although ketogenic diets are excellent diets for fat loss, they're not the greatest diets for athletic training, such as preparing for the police academy. The reason is two-fold:

1) Carbs are the primary fuel source for explosive bursts of energy. Ketones just aren't that great of a fuel source when it comes to athletics.

2) Carbs are stored in your muscles as glycogen, and glycogen retains a lot of water. This water retention helps with lubrication of your joints, which is helpful when you're doing PT/DT (physical training, defensive tactics) in the academy.

Nevertheless, a…