Archive for the ‘Your Questions’ Category

How Can I Stay Healthy During Quarantine and Keep My Marriage Strong?

Thursday, May 14th, 2020
Stay Healthy During Quarantine

This entry in the Swole quarantine series answers a few questions relating health to healthy relationships during the pandemic. I’m hearing this same question a lot lately, “how can I stay healthy during quarantine?

There are also quite a few people asking, “how can I keep my marriage strong during quarantine?

If you think about it, those answers go hand-in-hand. Staying healthy in a stay-at-home lockdown is equally important for survival as it is for maintaining a solid relationship with your partner.

In any relationship, it is important to maintain a state of balance between work, health, communication, activities, alone-time, and so-on. This is especially applicable even when it comes to marriage. As important as it is to spend time together, find common interests, and indulge in shared activities, the importance of personal space and having time to yourself cannot be undermined. Having to stay indoors all the time, it is normal to feel frustrated, cranky, and even depressed at times.

When you are not feeling at your best, your mental state will likely be reflected in your behavior and projected to your partner. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and although it is very easy to get off track in the absence of a routine, make sure to take out time to do activities that will keep you and your partner physically and mentally fit resulting in a healthy relationship and even stronger bond.

Here are a few health tips that you should practice during quarantine in order to keep your marriage healthy and thriving.

Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet

A healthy and well-balanced diet rich in all required nutrients can keep you physically fit and also boost your immunity. Since you are more likely to adopt a sedentary lifestyle during the quarantine, portion control while ensuring the intake of all vital nutrients can keep you physically and mentally fit. It can also significantly boost your mood leading to a better relationship with your spouse.

Maintain a Workout Routine

It is easy to spend all day in your pajamas, eat junk food, and turn into a couch potato when you do not have anything to look forward to. However, it is important to keep a workout routine. You can partner up with your spouse and do a couple of workouts. Physical activity is also associated with a boost in the release of several neurotransmitters, the major regulators of mood and energy levels.

Look After Your Mental Health

As we are trying to adjust to the new reality of our quarantine life, it is normal to feel stressed and down. If these feelings are allowed to prolong, they can turn into serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Your behavior is often a projection of your mental state which is why you should look for any unusual changes in your or your spouse’s behavior. Reach out to them, talk to them, and keep them busy with healthy activities. Although distanced, we are still connected in more ways than not. Video chat with your friends and extended family and if the situation does not improve, seek online counseling.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

During quarantine, day drinking has become a norm for most of us. It is important to keep your and your spouse’s drinking frequency in check. In addition, do not take any drugs that have not been prescribed to you in an attempt to deal with anxiety, fear, or any other negative feelings. Excessive day drinking and drug use is certainly one way to ensure you do NOT stay healthy during the quarantine.

Seek Marriage Counseling

If it is getting too overwhelming and none of the tips are helping, do not hesitate to seek online marriage counseling. Check out this helpful information on the benefits of getting quality marriage counseling if you think counseling is the next best step: https://www.regain.us/advice/marriage/ free-marriage-counseling-you-get-what-you-pay-for/.

As a matter of fact, quarantine is taking a toll on all of us. However, we are all in this together and although physically distanced, we can stay connected via technology. Maintaining a routine and keeping your spouse in the loop will not merely make you survive the quarantine but come out of it stronger.

How to Bench Press

Monday, August 26th, 2019

How to Bench Press

Update: I found a sweet How to Bench Press video by elite powerlifter Dave Tate today. The video appears about halfway through this post. If you want to bench press for max strength and “think” you have perfect form, you NEED to watch this video. Therefore I am republishing this article today for every Swole Bench Presser’s benefit.

Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally, I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answer Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kyle wrote:

“Hey Steve, OK me and a friend got into an argument about how to bench. I said you should touch your chest and he said you shouldn’t because it can injure your shoulder you should stop like 1 inch away from your chest? What is the right way to bench?”

Response:

So, you want to know how to bench press properly?

How to Bench Press

The bench press is the most popular exercise in the gym among men. It is the strongest upper body exercise for most people and has been a social gauge (and wrongly so, in my opinion) of male strength and fitness for more than a century. Fortunately, bench presses are the #1 best exercise for building upper body strength and size, and so should be included in nearly all strength training routines.

On the downside, benching is responsible for many weight lifting injuries, especially in the shoulder area. Hopefully, this post will educate you as to how you should be bench pressing to avoid injury.

How to Bench Press

A concept of a bench press is simple:

Start by laying down on a bench. Place your hands on the barbell with your palms facing away from you (this is a pronated grip). Unrack the barbell and hold it straight up over your upper chest. Bend at the elbows to lower the barbell until it touches your mid-chest. Press it back up over your upper chest. That’s a rep.

In reality, using proper form on the bench press can be difficult to master, as you will see when you read this post in its entirety.

Now, to answer your questions…

(more…)

What is the Best Time to Schedule Cardio Training?

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Your QuestionsI get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

The category Your Health Questions attempts to take a more proactive approach to answering your questions so that everyone can benefit from the Q & A.

Scott wrote:

“First off very good site, very informative.

I am 33 5-11 170lbs. I just went from a split where I was doing 30 min low intensity cardio after the work out. I have been enjoying the full body workouts; I feel I get more out of it.

I am trying to maintain the muscle I have and get more ripped toned. Should I keep doing a low intensity cardio session after my work out or should I move to HIIT or some sort of other interval training on the off days?

I always read cardio after lifting or in the am is the best. So will I still burn fat doing cardio on the off days? Help!!”

Response:

First off, thank you for the kind words. I’m glad I can help someone with my babbling.

Second, I agree with you about full body workout routines. I find full body training to be far more effective at stimulating all kinds of gains than a traditional split routine.

Now, regarding your cardio questions, I have a couple responses and then I will discuss my reasoning:

  • My opinion is that you should focus more on high intensity interval training (HIIT) than on aerobic cardio.
  • If you insist on doing aerobic cardio at the same time as weight training, then it should be performed after weight training, but then you have to accept the drawbacks of doing cardio after weight training.
  • If you insist on doing aerobic cardio, not at the same time as weight training, but on the same day as weight training, it should be performed in the morning, on an empty stomach.
  • If you insist on doing aerobic cardio on a non-weight training day, then you have 2 choices:
    • in the morning on an empty stomach – to maximize fat loss
    • any other time of the day – used as active recovery
  • If you plan doing HIIT, it should not be performed before a workout.
  • Cardio in general works best when performed 8-10 hours before or after weight training, or on a separate day.

Female Sprinting

(more…)

Does Coffee (Caffeine) Help You Build Muscle?

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Your QuestionsI get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the contact form.

In the past I have address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally. I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Questions by posting them in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Joe wrote:

“I have heard that too much caffeine can be detrimental to muscle growth because of its tendency to increase cortisol which has catabolic effects. That being said, it also stimulates testosterone production, so its actual effects are a little unclear. Here’s a little medical study I found on the web to back it up:

Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise.

Just curious if you’ve heard anything along these lines and I’m interested to hear your take on it.”

(more…)

What Are the Side Effects of Protein Powder?

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Your QuestionsI get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the contact form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Russel wrote:

“I’m 19 and am just starting to try to build some muscle. I was wondering what happens when you consume too much protein and your liver or kidneys can’t handle it, what are the side effects?”

Sexy with Protein ShakeResponse:

First of all, there really are no side effects to using protein powder, as long as you use it intelligently. There’s no reason to eat more than 40 grams of protein in a meal. There’s also no reason to live on protein supplements. Real food will keep you healthy.

Protein powder is just a ‘supplement’ to your normal whole food diet. Optimum Nutrition Protein Powder is definitely the best product to choose to ‘supplement’ your diet with extra protein. Find great deals on protein powder and other supplements at Dealslands.co.uk , where they have frequent discounts on lots of nutritional products.

That said, I want to examine this question from the following three angles:

  • regarding the digestion of lactose
  • regarding the digestion of excess protein and developing kidney stones
  • regarding your body being in a state of ketosis

(more…)

How Women Can Prevent Oily or Frizzy Hair After Intense Exercise

Friday, March 1st, 2013
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Gillian Finnick wrote:

“Hi Steve. I know you don’t normally answer questions like this, but I’ve seen you address some female topics before, sometimes with female guest bloggers. Do you have any recommendations for taking care of my hair during a workout? I’m sick of getting my hair done then turning into a ball of frizz after just one workout. Please help!”

Response:

You are right Gillian, I don’t normally answer these types of questions, and in fact I can’t answer it right now. However, I have consulted with my fitness friend Heather who also happens to also be a hair dresser, and asked her to whip up a guest post with some tips. That being said, here you go!

How to Care for Fitness Hair

Frizzy HairWhether or not you put a lot of time and effort into your daily beauty routine, the last thing you want to do is add to your regimen needlessly. And the truth is that intense exercise can leave your hair oily, frizzy, or worse, both. For women who spend a lot of money at the salon for a particular coif, this can be a deal-breaker. But what good is perfect hair if the body it rests on is less than ideal?

Looking and feeling your best and attending to your overall health is more important than your hair, but it’s funny sometimes how our priorities get jumbled up. In any case, you don’t have to pick one or the other. You can find ways to keep your locks looking sleek even when you exercise. Here are just a few tips and tricks that will help you to stave off the frizzies and avoid the oily mess that might otherwise be the result of intense activity.

(more…)

Yes Hayden Gray, Plastic Containers do Decrease Testosterone Levels

Sunday, May 15th, 2011
Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Hayden Gray wrote:

“HAHA! Diet soda in plastic can decrease testosterone levels? HAHAHA!
Because of what the plastic is made out of? Oh, so if i drink water out of plastic my testosterone levels will drop. Most stupid thing ive ever heard. And if you think you’re right, where is the scientific evidence?”

Response:

Keep in mind that it’s pretty easy to avoid diet soda in plastic containers, simply by drinking is out of a can or glass. Regarding the safety of plastic containers, I have this to say:

Some people do agree with you about plastic containers, but facts are facts – using plastic containers will increase your estrogen levels thanks to Xenoestrogens such as PCB, BPA and Phthalates. The also reportedly decrease testosterone, specifically in young kids and pregnant mothers.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326100714.htm
https://www.facebook.com/notes/faggiano-chiropractic/effects-of-palstic-products-on-testosterone/203842699650612
https://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.8451
https://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.7713
https://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/nut244.htm
https://tnation.t-nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_senior/high_levels_of_bpa_

And look, here’s evidence that pregnant women shouldn’t use plastic containers because it can damage their child’s reproductive organs.
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2002/110pA703-A707schonfelder/schonfelder-full.html

How to Treat Shin Splints

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kalee wrote:

I have shin splints right now so I can’t run or bike or anything but lift weights while sitting and do core exercises… unless you can think of anything that I could do for cardio that wouldn’t require me to use my legs. What exercises [should I use] until my shin splints heal? Thanks!

Response:

If you haven’t managed to avoid shin splints, then it is obvious that you haven’t read and understood my article about How to Avoid Shins Splints, but first, if you haven’t already, you should take a couple minutes to understand What Are Shin Splints. Once you’ve become well versed on shin splints, you can now read about how heal or treat shin splints. Let’s get this problem under control so you can get back to training.

Shin Splints
How to Treat Shin Splints

(more…)

How to Increase Your Bench Press

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
Your Questions
Your Questions

How to Increase Your Bench Press Strength

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

The category, Your Health Questions is a more proactive approach to answering your questions so that everyone can benefit from the Q & A.

Mark asked:

Hi Steve.

My Goal is to bench 500 lbs. Currently pushing 420 Legal Lift raw. Chest work out consists of 1 warm up set of 135 for 20 reps. 1 set of 10 reps @ 315. 3 sets of 3 at 405. then 2 or 3 sets of 10 at 315. Then machine pec flyes to finish.

Program is Day 1 Chest and Bi’s / Day 2 Shoulders and Traps / Day 3 Back and Tri’s / Day 4 Legs

Two rest days that vary.

Supplements are Noxipro Pre-work out. Beast SuperTest and Isopure Protein.

What are your recommendations to help get to 500?

(more…)

Gaining Muscle and Losing Fat at the Same Time

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

The category, Your Health Questions is a more proactive approach to answering your questions so that everyone can benefit from the Q & A.

Jake asked:

“Hey Steve, First I wanted to say thanks so much for taking the time to make this article. I just had a question. I am 16 and 6’4″ and about 200 LBS. I love doing cardio and used to be extremely overweight but i started running and eating right and it all shed off.

I have been working out on and off for about a year and a half now and I have found it pretty easy to put on muscle as long as I stay dedicated to the workout which is also my biggest problem. I have petty much the opposite body type of Taylor Lauter because I am taller and bigger built were he is shorter and was very skinny when he started. So I would thus like to lean out at the same time as i build muscle to achieve that lean muscle look.

My question is that if i were to take in less calories and carbs than recommeded for me but still took in the right amount of protein to build muscle, could I still bulk up and lose fat at the same time to achieve that leaner muscular look?”

(more…)