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About bblanchette

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  • Birthday 07/02/1970

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  1. Your assumptions about my shoulder were all correct: anterior, first one, I'm 43, cleared for normal activity by doctor in April, no cuff damage. I was doing push ups on knees because it seemed to lessen effort/weight and I presumed lowered the risk of doing anything. I can do a regular push up without pain, just not that many and I didn't want to push my luck. The range of motion is fine in these planes. Just being cautious. I am curious to hear more about the cannibalizing topic when you have time because every lengthy exercise program I've ever done (2-4 months) generally produced no upper body results. What other factors am I not considering? Thanks for the detailed reply.
  2. I am looking for some advice on the best and most effective exercises to turn my upper body into some sort of basic respectable condition. To give you a little background I have an office job and do a lot of day traveling by car so I don't have a lot of time available generally to hit the gym for hours on end. All of my hobbies are lower body focused (mostly hiking but also golf and skiing). I have very toned, muscular and reasonably powerful legs. My upper body is a marshmallow - flabby undeveloped and sunken chest, heavily rounded narrow shoulders, a "spare tire" and fairly small arms. What I am looking for are a handful of the BEST POSSIBLE exercises that will improve my upper body posture and muscular condition. I'm NOT looking to get all ripped and massive. I just want to be able to take my shirt off at the beach, not be embarrassed and have some sort of muscle tone. I have done many diets and exercise programs in the past and generally have not seen any improvement other than a smaller stomach and lost weight. My upper body never seems to participate. So I'm hoping to find 3 or 4 highly effective exercises for my dilemma and do them every day for a month and see where that gets me. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm partial to body weight exercises but I do have some equipment in my basement like an old Total Gym and small weight machine. And I really want to avoid involving my legs in these exercises because it seems to "cannibalize" my upper body progress. I get plenty of lower body work hiking 10-12 hours every weekend. Love to hear suggestions on what exercises would maximize chances of reaching my goal. Thanks in advance. P.S. On the "past injury" front I dislocated my shoulder in January and while it seems to be fine I've been avoiding push ups by doing knee push ups. Pulling and other motion doesn't seem to be an issue. I also have a bad knee and when I do squats with any kind of weight it screws my knee up. I don't want to do lower body stuff anyway but I realize how effective and basic the squat is for strength training.
  3. I guess I'll review my water intake in more detail and keep tweaking the foods I use. I'm still convinced it is food related. Thanks for the info! If anyone has a good home made "snack mix" they use or a reference to any articles online about the topic I'd appreciate it. Thanks again.
  4. Hey guys. Been awhile since I've been in the forums. Miss all the information and feedback. This summer I did a lot of hiking. Typical hike was 9-13 miles of rugged terrain, 2500-4500' vertical ascent, 6-10 hrs of walking depending on the trail, etc. I noticed that on most of my hikes I tended to get mild headaches after several hours of walking. The headaches were generally in the top of my head toward forehead and temples. I always drink plenty of fluids and generally when I'm dehydrated I get headaches at the base of the skull. I mixed up what/when/how much/how often I ate on the trail and while it affected the severity of the headache I still always got the headache. The headaches are generally noticed when I have started down mountains or well into the walk on easier hikes. I even tried not wearing a baseball hat the way I usually would thinking maybe the hat just got tight. I started a diet and exercise again last week after some time off and noticed I'm getting very mild headaches again toward the end of the day. Any thoughts? Do you think there might be a food group/vitamin/mineral that I am missing that may be the cause? I haven't had any issues with high blood pressure or cholesterol problems in the past. If anyone has encountered this during endurance type activities I would be curious to hear you thoughts. Thanks as always for the help.
  5. As always awesome information from the Nerd Fitness community! I've noticed when I take calcium supplements that I tend to maintain my weight better than when I don't. I think I'm going to try adding a glass of milk to my post-workout breakfasts for a month or so and see what happens. Thanks all for the advice and spirited conversation!
  6. I've noticed in a lot of posts on Nerd Fitness that milk gets mentioned as a "must-consume" for adding muscle. I have never read that anywhere before. Milk generally is very fattening, full of sugar, etc. I've read many articles that dairy in general is not overly healthy, is not a good match for Type O blood types and is generally avoided in Atkins and other diets. The only healthy mention I've seen is the calcium enabling better absorption of vitamins (which a supplement can do just fine without all the calories) and the Vitamin D when it is fortified. Where is the "big muscle" connection?? Anyone who has any links to useful articles or an explanation for why I should be chugging down a gallon of milk a day I'd like to read up on it. I drank a ton of milk as a kid and it never helped much with muscle definition.
  7. Thanks Carjack! These are detailed answers. Will be helpful.
  8. I have been goofing around for awhile now trying to find the right exercises for me to create definition to my body, build upper body strength and burn off the stubborn fat. I am confident my diet is where it needs to be but I am baffled on the exercises I should be doing. I found myself swicthing around my workout so often that I wind up doing nothing. Seems like there is TOO MUCH info out there. So, I am scrapping the whole thing 100% and building something from scratch that I will stick with. I want to see major improvement by New Years Day. I've read a lot about my body type, common muscle deficiencies, etc, etc and basically this is where I'm at: I have pectus excavatum (sunken, drooping chest and rounded shoulders), excessively shortened rectus abdominus and upper front internal obliques, weak guteus maximus and medius, weak lateral hip muscles and tight hamstrings. My upper body is flabby and small. My leg development is much better and well toned. So to any expert out there : WHAT THE HELL SHOULD I BE DOING FOR EXERCISES TO GET SOME UPPER BODY DEFINITION, ELIMINATE THE SLUMPED SHOULDERS AND BURN THE GUT? I'd like to do 3 30 minute workouts a week that directly address these problems. Anyone who has overcome these problems and/or is an authority on exercises best suited to certain muscle groups I am listening! I don't have much as far as gym equipment goes. I have an older Total Gym and a Gold's Gym exercise machine that has a leg press/pull down side and a quad curl/butterfly side. I have no strength so the amount of weights I have on there should hold me over for awhile. I need suggestions! THANKS MUCH.
  9. Well my six week challenge has ended in failure. I only managed to lose 7 lbs, did not come close to doubling my push up output and although my chest is technically wider than my stomach my "spare tire" remains. I am still a marshmallow. I had some really good weeks and some bad ones. My vacation week and the four days I didn't have power thanks to Hurricane Irene really hurt my results. Bottom line I think my goal was too unrealistic given the time frame and I didn't bring consistent motivation to the challenge. Gonna start a new program on Tuesday with the goal date being New Year's Day.
  10. EXCELLENT bounce back week from the vacation. Did a body weight workout Mon/Wed/Fri and three bike rides Tue/Thu/Sat and ate extremely well. Weight: 209.4 lbs -9.8 lbs Chest: 44.0 in -0.5 in Stomach: 43.0 in -0.75 in Bicep: 13.75 in unch Thigh: 23.5 in +0.25 in Calf: 15.75 in -0.50 in (?? Measuring error I assume) I have to travel a lot for work this week so I really hope I can keep the eating up. A lot of time on the road and eating at restaurants can open the door to temptation. It's a lot easier bringing lunches to the office. Labor Day is coming fast! Really only two weeks left to see if I doubled my push up output, got my chest larger than my stomach and eliminated my evil spare tire. It's a persistent little f$%&er!!
  11. Vacation week seriously derailed my progress. Didn't eat or drink as much as I normally would have but I did have draft beer and bread at many meals. The 11 mile hike I did on Thursday probably helped but not that much: Weight: 219.2 lbs + 5.4 lbs (OUCH - mostly fluids from beer. It'll come off) Chest: 44.5 in + 1/4" Stomach: 43.75 in + 1/4" Bicep: 13.75 in - 1/4" Thigh: 23.25 in + 1/4" Calf: 16.25 in + 1/2" My boss is on vacation this week so I'll be in the office all week where I can control my diet and ensure I'm out on time for exercise. I put together a routine I want to follow now that my vacation is behind me. Not much more to say. I worried it would be a bad week and it was but I only get one a year so I'd had to live it up a little! I don't know why I retain fluids when I drink beer. Supposed to be a diuretic but it's not unusual for me to put on 2-3lbs in one day hammering the beers, even with all those trips to the bathroom. ???? Anyway. You've won this week spare tire but I will defeat you!
  12. I am an avid golfer with fairly poor upper body strength. I am looking for exercises that develop upper body explosive twisting power for powerful rotation of the shoulders and trunk. Any golfers out there? Any one have any ideas?
  13. Another pretty marginal week of progress. Ate really well all week (except for pizza Fri night) but exercised a little less: only two body weight circuits and 2 bike rides this week. No hike this week. The measures: Weight 212.8 lbs -1.0 Chest 43.5 in - 3/4" (that better be the flab disappearing!) Stomach 43.0 in - 1/2" Bicep 14.0 in unch Thigh 23.0 in unch Calf 15.5 in + 1/2 Body doing what it always does: nothing! My legs firm up and tone almost instantly, the gut stays and the upper body is slow to respond. I know it's only two weeks but it sucks when things don't come together faster. This weeks challenge: VACATION. Been real good overall on meal sizes and no liquor but that no doubt is going to change. I'll only actually be away for four of the seven days and the hotel I'm in has a gym so I'm hoping to maintain my stats for the week. Hate to "throw away" a week when there's only 6 weeks in the challenge but I have to be realistic. I can do the body weight circuits in the room and we're supposed to do a few small hikes. We'll see. Die spare tire die!
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