T Nation

I Need Someone that Actually Knows His Sh*t


Hello everyone, I'm new on the forum.

I've been lifting weights for 2 years, maybe 2 and a half, but I started to realize most people do not know what they are talking about (especially the PTs at my gym) so I've been building my routines the last year or so with great results.

I am 19 years old, and I am 5 foot 4, I weigh 136 pounds. I lift weight and also practice mountain biking.

I have a lot of doubts and simple searches in forums and internet have delivered mixed results and more confusion. So here we go:

1) For abs, is it better to do high reps or low reps with weight?
2) Is it useful to change your routine once in a while to a high rep-low weight routine?
3) I have a damaged infraspinatus and supraspinatus, so what chest exercises can I do that won't induce pain? Right now I'm doing incline bench press, A-Trainer flies, push-ups and cable crossovers.
4) Do you need to cycle Glucosamine/Chondroitin or can you keep using it indefinitely? I had a downhill mountain bike accident and damaged one meniscus on my right knee, but I don't know If I should stop the Glucosamine every couple of months..?
5) What fat-burner can you recommend that isn't prejudicial to the health?

That's it, thanks in advance to whoever answers.


Depends what your looking for. Reps 8-12 with weight, hypertrophy/strength, 15-beyond with no weight, endurance. I find it hard to do 5 reps of any ab exercise till you start cheating and using other muscles.

What do you mean by high reps? 12-15 or 20-35? Two different things. Often yes, when you are deloading from a hard run at a strength/hypertrophy program.

No, you do not need to cycle a joint supplement.

From what I can answer. Other people will chime in and add on or even edit what I have answered.


I mean high reps as in 20-35 rep range. I work most of the time in the 6-12 rep range but I wanted to change my routine a lot and see what happens.

I am having a hard time building lateral deltoids with my damaged infra/supraspinatus, and doing lightweight but hi rep lateral delt. exercises seem to minimize pain and allow some type of useful exercise in that area. I can shoulder press heavy with no pain at all.

Thanks for the answers Fuzzyapple.


I've had shoulder problems in the past from years of pitching. I recommend a lot of external rotations with cables or rubber bands for starters. As far as chest goes, it's much easier to stay pain-free in the shoulder area if you use dumbbells for pressing exercises. Dbells will allow your humerus to rotate naturally a little bit and avoid impingements. I still have problems doing overhead presses with a barbell, so I use a neutral grip with dbells for those (palms facing each other) and this seems to keep stress off of my shoulders.

For abs, I've found that weighted ab exercises with a rep range of 8-12 reps works nicely. Try front squats with your arms extended straight out and the bar resting along your clavicles (use just the bar at first) and suitcase deadlifts (the bar on one side of your body using one arm). Farmer's walks are great too. Just carry the heaviest dbells in each hand that you can for as long as you can.

As far as fat burning supplements go, I don't know a whole lot about which ones are generally safe, but if you're doing a lot of mountain biking, isn't that a pretty surefire way to burn fat without any supplemental aid?


Yeah mountain biking is great, buy I can only do it once or twice a week. The problem is that I have no fat in arms and legs, but I still have some fat on my belly that won't go away. I stay away from fat foods (no junk food, no sodas, no cheese etc) and it did work charms, but there's still some fat covering my abs.

What about isometric routines, expecially for biceps and abs? Anyone has tried them with good results?


Ab exercises will not get you abs. Fat loss/cardio work will get you those abs. What I would suggest if abs are your side goal is to do high intensity interval training (HIIT) on your mountain bike cross country style. I know a mountain bike sucks for cross country but you will build unbelievable stamina and leg strength for mounting biking comps. As well, you will see fat loss with doing this type of work.


I know my abs are hiding under the belly fat, that's why I am asking about the fat burners. I have an Enduro (38 lbs bike) type bike and do All Mountain and Downhill mountai nbike, and I feel that I do as much workout as someone on a 25 lbs XC bike. I have 12% BFP and the only problem is the belly fat, because other than that I don't have much fat.

I am asking about the ab exercises because I want to know what is best and mantain my abs with a new (or correct) routine. I was doing high rep (20-40) sets so I'll switch to low rep exercises.



My personal favorite ab exercises are Front Squats, Ab wheel, Seated incline russian twist, cable russian twist, hanging leg raises. I mix it up and go heavy with low reps and higher reps 15-20 with lighter weights at times.

IMO Fat burners are kind of a gimmick, I personally just take green tea extract.

Remember like others have said, losing fat is diet.

I once heard the quote "Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym." and this statement holds true time and time again.


Yeah, I drink green tea every single day and I have noticed that I don't get sick as often as I used to and I loose fat much quicker. I have the abs, it's just that I want the fat on top of it to go away and even with diet it won't go away.

Maybe I gave the impression that I wanted ab exercises because I wanted abs, but I am just asking what is better... low rep or high rep (to maintain them and maybe make them grow a little bit more).

That being said, I'll change to a low rep routine for abs, and having my other questions answered I thank everyone who chimed in.



Have you read the recent "Screw Cardio" article by Chris Shugart? Maybe complexes could be what you're looking for as something to add some kick to fat loss?


I know it doesn't come in a jar, but every body responds differently to stimuli and even though I have a moderately low BFP, I exercise every day and have a high metabolism, I can't get rid of a small amount of fat over my abs... that's why I was looking at some alternatives.

postholedigger thanks for the recommendation, I'll look into it.

Thanks to everyone else that has answered!