Eclipse's Guide to Men's Fitness

Something I read online from Eclipse's website. Any comments?

Their website: http://www.eclipsegym.com/articles/men.html

Welcome to Eclipse and the Eclipse training program for men. This program is a combination of some of the most effective strength and conditioning programs developed over the past 30 years. We’ve eliminated all of the misinformation and often outright lies taught in mainstream fitness and bodybuilding magazines as well as most mainstream fitness centers and have tested and designed a fool-proof program for you to eliminate any needless guesswork or self-experimentation. If you wish to hire a coach to guide each aspect of training for you from start to finish, you are certainly allowed to do so, but the coaches are always available to answer your basic questions. We have created a do-it-yourself program available that simply does not fail to add size, strength, or both to even a trainee with many years of weight training experience. This program is the basic foundation for sports, modeling, bodybuilding, powerlifting, and everything in-between. Special programs can be designed following this foundation program such as jump-training to increase your vertical to dunk a basketball. Below are some pointers and rules to follow.

rule 1

Workout 3 times per week, for example, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Take the weekends off. Soreness is simply lactic acid in your muscles and you can train them even when you are still sore and continue to make rapid progress. You can obviously do the same thing with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and then take Sunday and Monday off. As your weights get heavier you should take 3 days off after three consecutive every-other-day training sessions. The key is that you need 2-3 days off after each bench press session. This is one of our most commonly observed mistakes with trainees at Eclipse 24/7 Fitness Center.

rule 2

If you are trying to gain size and strength, you MUST eat 5-6 meals per day, striving to gain 1-2 lbs of weight per week. If you do not gain at least 1lb per week on average, you need to eat more. You cannot expect to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. While it’s possible, you should instead focus on getting as big and strong as possible. Remember that you don’t see models or actors who are well-built during the off-season when they tend to gain fat while trying to gain muscle. You only see them during their photo shoots after they’ve spent 6 months bulking then dieting/cutting to reveal six-pack abs and chiseled chest, shoulders, and legs. If your shirt or jeans aren’t getting tighter or the scale is not increasing, or especially you are not breaking personal records in the gym, you need to be eating more. When I began training I was the skinniest guy in the gym at 5’10" and 115lbs. I bulked up to as high as 210lbs until dieting down to my contest-ready weight of about 175lbs with 6% bodyfat. My current off-season weight is about 185-190lbs. The point is that when I want to get bigger or stronger, I have learned that gaining a few extra pounds of fat is to be expected and helps keep you injury free.

rule 3

Your meals should be a balance of protein and carbohydrates. You can eat rice, even when you diet, as long as you combine it with a protein source. Examples of carbohydrates are rice, pasta, camote, fruits, or vegetables. Examples of protein are eggs, chicken, fish, beef, beans, milk, and nuts. If you are a vegetarian you can eat red beans and brown rice for a complete source of protein. If you are worried about high cholesterol from eggs, don’t be afraid. Eggs won’t increase your cholesterol as long as they are eaten in moderation. For example, if you are going to eat omelets, eat one with 1 yolk and three whites. Avoid sugary drinks and bread. Eat whatever you want once per day as long as it’s in moderation, and always use good common sense. DO NOT do a cheat day. Cheat days are usually a disastrous display of unbridled gluttony that should be avoided at all costs.

rule 4

If you are dieting, for example, eat half of a cup of rice and an ulam such as 100 grams of corned beef or a chicken breast 5 times per day. Also eat 3 egg white plus one egg yolk omelets filled with vegetables or whatever else you like to use. Strive to lose an average of 1lb per week when dieting. Starving yourself will slow your metabolism, so eat often in small portions.

rule 5

If you gain fat easily, strive to eat one cup rice per meal plus the 100 grams of corned beef or a serving of chicken such as a breast or thigh during your strength/mass gaining phase.

rule 6

If you have a hard time gaining mass and strength, you must eat as much and as often as you can. Eat at least 2 cups of rice per meal plus more protein rich food. Also eat 1 lb of peanuts or natural peanut butter per day and 1 liter of milk in addition to your 5 full meals per day.

rule 7

Extra ab training is not necessary to gain a 6 pack since you can’t spot reduce fat in your mid-section and abs grow when doing heavy basic movements such as squats. The abs must be trained like any muscle in the body, but they respond best to reps in the 1-7 range. In the first 2 phases of your training, your abs will develop through indirect stimulus while squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, pull-ups, dynamic rows, and bench press since they are critical for stability. If you feel that you simply must do abs and not training them directly will cause you anxiety, we’ll add them to your program, but you’ll likely develop them better if you leave out ab training until phase 3. Any ab training should be performed LAST since abs, again, are critical to stability during your regular training movements.

rule 8

Squatting is the core of your training. If you don’t want to squat, then don’t expect to grow at the same rate as your fellow trainees. The old saying goes, ‘If you are not squatting, you are not training.’ You cannot substitute leg extensions or leg presses for squats. Squats are actually the safest exercise for knees and make them stronger if done correctly. They also increase testosterone and growth hormone production. All of our current successful trainees are squatting, so learn to put squats above all other exercises in their importance. Even the girls tell us to not let the guys look like Johnny Bravo. That’s unlikely since guys with skinny legs rarely have significant upper body growth.

rule 9

Extra arm training is unnecessary. The guys with the best developed arms at Eclipse never do direct arm training. Ask any of our long-time members who did curls and extensions before. They will all tell you that their arms grew at least an inch in diameter after all of the heavy rowing, pulling, and pressing movements we teach. Their biggest fears were that their arms would shrink after they stopped curling, but instead they grew.

Arms and abs are easy to over-train. Trust in our time-tested program and watch arms fill out your sleeves for the first time and feel your abs get stronger without doing 1000 crunches.

rule 10

Shoes are optional. We recommend that you do not wear shoes unless you are on the treadmill or in a class. Chuck Taylors or special squatting shoes are okay. Regular rubber/athletic shoes cause instability and are the source of most injuries in sports and will make your weights heavier when you squat and dead lift. Always use good common sense if your feet are bare. Look before you step or at least wear sandals when moving around the gym floor.

rule 11

Too much cardio is bad when you are trying to get bigger or stronger. When in phases 1-2, limit cardio to 15 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill or ask a coach to teach you the Tabata method for limiting fat gain when bulking. Unless you gain fat easily, you should not do cardio when bulking. If you do cardio, do it only following your workout.

rule 12

You do not need supplements. Supplement mania is the result of hype, marketing, and outright lies. Most bodybuilding magazines depend on supplement advertising to survive. If they do not cater to supplement companies, they will go out of business. Slick and sly marketing is the reason most people who are reading this believe that they need supplements to make significant gains. If you are eating enough food and are training properly, you will grow. Period. It would be wise, however, to take a quality multi-vitamin. Chew it to ensure break-down and absorption. Also take elemental magnesium. This is very important since most athletes are critically deficient when tested. Creatine either clearly works or it doesn’t. If you try it and are ‘not sure’ if you are getting results, you most likely are not. If creatine is working, you’ll gain 5-10lbs in your first week and your strength will go up at least 10%. Stop taking it and save your money for real food if you don’t see a big difference. Fat burners do not make a significant difference for most people.

rule 13

Free weights are superior to machines. Most machines and their so-called science and testing are funded fully by the manufacturers of said machines. If a scientist dares to challenge the ‘findings’ of the machine manufacturers, they are basically black-listed from receiving funding themselves. You would be correct if you are wondering how a test could be objective and honest if the person paying the scientist to study something is also the owner of the product. Machines also cause imbalances that lead to injuries. When the prime mover muscles get stronger on machines, the delicate stabilizer muscles get weaker and vulnerable to serious injury. If you need a test, go ahead and train on machines for one month and then switch to free weights. Not only will you only lift maybe half of what you did on the machines, you will have very poor control of your ability to stabilize and balance the weights. This is what happens when you use a contraption that does most of the work for you. Balance and stability is one of the main purposes of fitness centers, and this is not achieved from weight machines. Always build your foundation using free weights for maximum long-term safety, results, stability, and balance.

rule 14

When you are finished, rack the weights to their storage areas, even if you found them on the bar already when you began. Your maid or yaya doesn’t work here and if you think that someone isn’t watching you when you leave your weights on the bar, think again. Even if someone doesn’t say something to you about it, mental negative points are being accumulated against you if you don’t put back what you take out. Pick up after yourself always as your way of respecting your fellow lifters and Eclipse and its coaches. Always ask a coach if you need help.

Pointers when training

In Phase 1-2, always rest 5 minutes in-between sets unless you are pyramiding. Dead lifts and squats require as much as 10 minutes in-between your heaviest sets, especially during a failure test that you’ll do during Phase 2.

Always hold your breath when you are performing each rep. For example, in the bench press, when you are holding the weight at its highest point is when you’ll breathe. Hold your breath when the bar travels down to touch your chest and then back up again. Then exhale and inhale to prepare for the next rep. Another example is the squat. Before you squat, take a deep breath and hold it. Then go all the way down as your coach instructs. Do not exhale until you are back at the top of the movement. Take a breath and repeat the rep.

Follow the program exactly as written and do not do extra exercises or force reps also known as a ‘spot’. Forcing a rep is the fastest way to over train. Doing extra exercises or sets is also a sure formula for overtraining. Also, DO NOT STRETCH BEFORE TRAINING! Pre-workout stretching of a muscle weakens it and makes it vulnerable for injury.

You are not required to follow our training when at Eclipse, but if you do, you will make more progress on it than you ever have before at other gyms. All you need to do is ask our long-time members if you want to be convinced further. Happy workout!

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