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16 Jan 2006

Q4
I have a few question I want to ask you.
1. I heared that abs can be exercised every day. Wouldn't this meen that it will get much stronger than your back and develop back pain.

2. Your pecs have three areas that need to be exercised (upper, mid., and lower). Now if you want to do hypertrophy you have to do supersets. Does this meen that you have to do a compound set that exercises each area or what should one do.

3. A friend intoduced me to a type of pyrimid set. For instance, if you do a bicep curl with a cable machine, you would start with a weight bar that lays 10 bars above the one you can do only one rep of. So you first do 10 reps then go directly one bar down and do 9 and so on until you reach one rep. After the one rep you go up again. My question is what type of fitness are you doing. Is it strength, strength endurance or hypertrophy.

4. Another thing I heared is that functional strength exercises promotes growth not only in the muscles that are being exercised, but also the rest of the body. This is apparantly particularly true for leg exercises.

I appretiate your help.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

HI Steve

1. No, that doesn't really happen because the spinal cord is more supported laterally (from the sides) and not so much by the ratio of front to back. That's why having imbalances in strength from one side to the other are bad, but you can pretty safely exercise the abs.

2. I am a big believer in simplifying training as much as possible, and that means not making things overly complex or intricate. In this instance, then, I think that you should separate the exercises you do and exercise each area separately.

3. If you set this type of set up the way you describe, then you do a specific combination of strength and endurance. You do strength because the last rep will effectively be a one rep maximum. However, this is preceded by 9 reps at a fairly high level, so the effect is to fatigue the muscle and then 'ask it' to produce near maximum force.

4. I assume that by functional exercise, you mean doing free weights as opposed to pulleys. This is true - whenever you do functional exercise you begin to recruit all the other muscles that are involved in posture and balance etc. Therefore, rather than using the guide rails for squats, for example, you should do the exercise without the guides, and then you start to activate all the postural muscles involved in control of the weight. So it’s much more effective this way
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