Archive for January, 2008

Exercise Basics of Gaining Weight

Friday, January 4th, 2008

An important part of gaining weight is eating enough food, but to gain the right kind of weight you need to exercise. Putting on muscle is more complicated than taking in a lot of calories. You have to stress (workout) your muscles to a point where they become damaged. When they heal, they’ll become bigger and stronger.

Unlike losing weight, when you gain muscle you can choose what part of your body you want to focus on. This can be problematic if you work one part of your body more than another. You want to have a balanced workout that hits all areas of your body equally.

Your first step should be to figure out your routine. There are two basic options. You can use the ACSM workout and go to the gym 2-3 times per week. This workout requires that you do 1-2 sets per muscle group and hit every muscle group during your workout.

The other option is to split up your workout into different groups of muscles each day. A popular split is: day 1: chest & triceps, day 2: back & biceps, day 3: shoulders, day 4: legs. With this type of workout, you should do 6-12 sets per muscle group (12-24 sets if you do two muscle groups in one day). Remember to leave at least 48 hours between working out the same muscle group.

If you have never worked out before, start with the ACSM workout. If you follow their guidelines you shouldn’t be in the gym for more than an hour. The second workout could take between 60 and 90 minutes. The ACSM workout also only calls for you to workout 2-3 times per week where the second routine would require 3-4 times per week depending on how many days you have in your routine. You don’t want to do too much too quickly as this could cause you to quit all together.

Once you have a routine, you need to pick the exercises you’ll be doing. There are plenty to choose from but when you first start out you should try and use the machines rather than the free weights. Once you’re comfortable on the machines, you can move to the free weights. Keep in mind that free weights (especially if your form is off) do not necessarily provide a better workout. A good routine will combine machine and free weight exercises.

If you chose the ACSM workout, you’ll need to pick one exercise for each muscle group (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs). If you chose the split workout, you should do 2-3 sets per machine (or free weight).

With both the ACSM workout and the split routine, you need to workout the bigger muscles first. If you do the ACSM workout, start with legs and move on to upper body. If you do the split routine and pair back with biceps and chest with triceps, make sure you do your back and chest before your biceps and triceps.

The last thing you need to keep in mind is to change your workout. Overtime, your muscles become used to the workout you do and when this happens you need to change your exercises and the order that you do them in or you won’t progress. You can also write down all the weights and repetitions you do in a workout log. It’ll save you time when you do the same exercise during your next workout since you won’t have to guess where you left off.

While eating is very important in gaining weight, sticking to your routine is crucial in gaining muscle. If you eat without exercising hard you may soon find yourself needing to lose weight.

Guide to Gaining Weight

Article Source:

Many people in credit crisis

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

The old year is ending with too many Americans in a credit card “hangover.”

Delinquencies and defaults in credit card payments are surging, according to a recent Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country’s largest credit card issuers, released Dec. 24.

The Federal Reserve estimates that Americans now owe just shy of a trillion dollars in credit card debt — a reported $920 billion.

Christmas 2007 is expected to only add fuel to a raging inferno.

“I stay away from them,” Annette Combs of Whipple, said of credit cards. “I’ve got my bank card that takes out of my checking, but that’s all. I learned from other people that you can get into trouble with credit cards.”

The AP study found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears. Deterioration of finances of many households is partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis, the analysis found.

The new data represents about 325 million individual accounts held in trusts created by credit card issuers in order to sell the debt to investors – similar to how many banks packaged and sold subprime mortgage loans. Together, they represent about 45 percent of the $920 billion the Fed counts as credit card debt owed by Americans.

Until recently, credit card default rates had been running close to record lows, providing one of the few profit growth areas for the nation’s banks, which continue to flood America’s mailboxes with monthly offers of easy sign-ups for new plastic.

Combs, who is in her 30s, said she and her husband get credit card offers in the mail every single week. She’s tired of it.

“I rip them up and throw them in the trash,” she said.

Unlike the majority of Americans, this couple used cash — not credit — for their Christmas shopping.

There will be no fear of bills in January.

Credit card debt eventually leaks into other areas, whether it begins with the mortgage and goes to the credit card or vice versa, experts say.

“One of the big problems today is also the high cost of gasoline, other utilities, mortgages, on top of the very substantial amount of interest charged by credit card companies,” said Pete Gammon, 46, of Gammon Financial, 200 Putnam St. “Late fees on credit card debt is outrageous.”