Weightlifting & Exercise/Home Training


QUESTION: Hi. My name is Ori. I am 22 years old.
I want to consult with you about my training routine.
I train at home. I have bench and barbells and dumbbells and all the stuff.
I will get straight to the point. I am working out 2 times per week.
I do in this 2 times three compound heavy exercises which include : dead lifts, bench presses and bent over barbell row.
Recently I have found Victor's costa videos and his tips and techniques are wonderful and very helpful.

I want to ask whether my workout routine is sufficient or have to add workouts or exercises ? Thank you very much. Sorry for my bad English.

No need to apologize for your English. You explained yourself very well.

The videos you watched were probably very intense and recommend more exercises, more days, more weight.  The main thing is you have to adjust a routine to your schedule and goals. If you are finding that you feel good with your routine now then I recommend you keep doing it. I am an advocate for making your workout fit your life and work schedule. No worries about your routine. You may add another day if you wish, but it's not necessary.

If there was something you noticed on the videos that made you question what you are doing write back and let's discuss them.
Thanks, Karen

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QUESTION: Hi its me again.

I am bit despair when I see there is no concrete gain or any gains at all.
I am always confuse if its I am losing fat or muscle . I am weighing now 67 kg / 147 pounds.. (1.75 cm) I want to know if my progression on the training need to lead to more gains. Sometimes I feel like 2 weeks passed with no gains at all and it makes me confuse and frustrated. I am trying to do exercises the right form and increasing weight gradually.
Should I need see every week any progress when I go up on my scales ?
I am trying to eat clean. no hamburgers, no sweet things. nothing. but a lot of good foods.

My second question is about one exercise. The barbell bent over row is tricky. I tried close grip. I tried getting my shoulders squeeze in my back..tried to get the pressure off my elbows. but nothing works. Its very hard to feel my lats. I want to know if there is a way I can feel my lats after all.

Thank you. I very appreciate your help.

do you write everything down...all your food? That is the only way you can figure out what is going on.  If you want please send me a list of the food you ate today. . . and the day before. Include all you drink too.

I personally feel the barbell bent over row is more difficult because you have to worry about hurting the low back. Try it with dumbells. The best way to train yourself to feel your lats is to pull your arm back...from the shoulder without bending the elbow. here is an example of a dumbel row.  http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises.asp?exercise=37

I was not sure how long you have been trying to build muscle. It takes months and years. You need to be patient. Let's examine your food and see where we can fix things.
write back please.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So my story is very weird. I always do it the same. I start working out every time for about 4-6 months then I suddenly stop. I don't train for that amount of time and than I return to this activity for 4-6 months, again. I don't know why I cant keep it continuously. Every time when hard times come by,  I stop. Because of my love to weightlifting I return again and start all over again like a novice. This is a real problem If I want some serious gains. I train now for about 3 months. very very short time, I know. But because of all this time mess, It feels like I train for 5 years.

I don't know if it matters but now I lift . 43 kg on the bench press. 36 kg on the rows and 36 kg on the deadliftes . I know its not heavy. but I try to maintain the right posture.  

On the food issue its complicated too. I recently got some strange health syndrome. I don't know if you familiar with it. its called Irritable bowel syndrome. I cant eat a lot of things. I can eat only low-fat foods. and I will mention my eating routine now.

For the protein I eat almost every day: chicken breast, tuna (in water), 2 eggs.
For the carbs I eat a lot of white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes.

Every day I eat chicken, sometimes adding eggs to that day, sometimes tuna.

That is all I can tell.

I very grateful for your interest and for trying to help me.

This is very helpful.  Let's look at the food issue first.  I understand irritable bowel. I think you may feel better if you can get your diet under control. I found this pretty comprehensive article from Web MD which is a pretty reliable source. It addresses the diet considerations and gives you ideas on how to discover which diet works best for you.  http://www.webmd.com/ibs/features/finding-right-diet-ibs

I have clients who have discovered they needed to eliminate wheat from their diets. The low fat is normally the first approach but wheat seems to be an issue for many people.  I know that will keep fat on your body. Wheat is not all its cracked up to be.  How do you handle vegetables. I think this article will help....I am surprised your doctor didn't help you more.  This is a life changing diagnosis.  Not life threatening...just change. It takes time to learn what your body needs.

As far as the workouts. I can see you are struggling. First I want to say it might be because you are struggling with this issue with your stomach. That can make you feel bad even if you don't have cramping issues.  

The other thing I believe you lack is the motivation and mindfulness you might need to stay on track. The steps to success are to find your motivation and then be vigilant in your mindfulness. People confuse goals with motivation. The former is an end result ó the latter, a driving force behind all you do. Itís the WHY behind your fitness program. Once discovered it empowers you to make healthy choices, and succeed. Finding your motivation is key to losing weight and becoming fit. Keeping those changes in place is the hardest part. Losing and gaining weight is destructive for your body and your self-esteem.

The process is to sit quietly in a place you will not be interrupted. Relax and begin to ask yourself why you want the fitness goals you seek. Sometimes you meditate on this, close your eyes. Taking deep breaths just relax and when the answer comes to you ask yourself again WHY? You are seeking the innermost reasoning that is somewhat soul deep. It is a quest that is deeply private and something I tell my clients they should not share with me. As a matter of fact I think they should not share with anyone. Once you see the motivation you have for fitness then you begin to be mindful and pay attention to what you are doing. What you are eating. That is how to keep yourself on track.   

The next best thing to having me there to talk with you is to listen to this show. You can listen to this blog radio show which is an hour long interview with me.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ggmradio/2013/10/25/alive-to-thrive-with-brenda-fra

I hope this helps.

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Karen Fili Sullivan


Get on the inside track with Karen and her daily advice. http://karenfilisullivan.com. Or on FacebookLIKE us at ZWL - Zen of Whole Living I have more than 30 years experience and can help with lifting technique, muscle recovery, weight loss, body building and powerlifting. I've been certified by AFPA as a Personal Trainer and 12 years ago acquired a second certification from the same agency as a Post Rehabilitative Exercise Specialist. Any recommendations or advice rendered are based on fitness information as specified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. Follow my Blog on http://karenfilisullivan.com


Almost 25 years coaching and training. Wow! I feel old. Before that I was a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter (ask my Chiropractor -- he can tell you). I have trained kids ages 12 to 89. From sports specific training to stroke rehabilitation. I love helping people move more gracefully, powerfully and safely.

A few.

Published in Spring of 2013 The Zen of Weight Loss: A Mindful, Livable Approach to Fitness Get your copy at Square Market. https://squareup.com/market/body-restoration-by-karen/zen-of-weight-loss-in-mo

English with a Journalism concentration was my college education. My training has been with my mentor, Jack Michaels, ACSM and professor at the College of William and Mary. My certifications are with the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. AFPA. I hold a certification as a Personal Trainer and a Post Rehabilitation Exercise Expert (Isn't that a mouthful?l). My continuing education requirements have been fulfilled at a number of organizations and are monitored by AFPA. I keep my Red Cross CPR and First Aid current.

Awards and Honors

Past/Present Clients
Clients include athletes training for marathons, mountain climbing and general weight loss. In addition I have clients troubled with COPD, Fibromyalgia, and Parkinsons as well as stroke rehab. She was the Strength and Conditioning coach for Williamsburg Aquatic Club, a USA Swim Team, in Williamsburg, Virginia for 3 years.†† Karen is presently working at Main Street Gym in Historic St. Charles, Missouri where she teaches Pilates and continues her work with clients. Her training reaches across the country with her long distance Body Restoration eTraining. Her dedication to fitness reaches into the nutritional supplementation with Shaklee products. She only works with clients who add nutritional supplementation to their training. Read more of her story on www.shaklee.net/BodyRestoration

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