Q&A with Mike Furci
I am 14 years old, 110 pounds, and 5-foot-3. My max bench is 70 pounds (low but just started weightlifting). I know you already said weightlifting won’t stunt your growth, but am I too young to be weightlifting or not? I am also pretty short for my age compared to my friends, so I want to grow taller. I just want to be reassured that weightlifting won’t stunt my growth and if I am weightlifting at a young age.
I understand your concern, but I assure you weight lifting won’t stunt your growth. Your height is governed by your genetics. If most of your family is short, chances are you’ll be short. If most of your family is tall, you’ll probably be on the tall side. If you have both tall and short people in your family it’s a crap-shoot, and you could wind up with genetics from either.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to continue to weight train the rest of your life. It is the best and most productive exercise one can do for health and appearance. Make the best out of the body you have no matter how tall you are. A 5-foot-3 person can look as good, be as strong, and be as healthy as somebody who’s 5-foot-10.
The only restriction I would put on your training is to not max-out. There is no reason for you to perform rep ranges of three or below. I would prefer you do between eight and 15. Once you hit your late teens (17 to 19), and you’ve got a few years of good experience and development, then you can start to add low rep sets once every couple of months.
Make sure you’re eating correctly. Make sure to stay away from processed food as much as possible.
I'll try to keep it short and sweet. Love your Bullz-Eye.com articles, but had two clarifying questions regarding your recent Biceps Routine within your “Bigger Arms” write-up.
1. Tempo. I’m a big supporter of slow, controlled movement and form when lifting and like the tempo you refer to here. With your first number outlining the time to lower the weight, am I correct in assuming that I should be working the negative as the initial movement(s)?
2. Changing the exercises. The outline of the nine-week routine seems pretty straightforward. However, I was a bit confused when you said, “Notice the exercises change every three weeks. This is to give multiple examples on exercise choice. Choose one set of exercises and perform them throughout the nine weeks. At the end of your nine-week cycle, choose another set.” What do you mean by “one set of exercises?” Am I to pick and choose between the exercises you show to put together my own routine, or should I just follow the three-week breakdowns you outline?
Thanks for the help and keep sharing the knowledge!
Tempo is the speed of the reps you’re performing. Tempo is always expressed in a three or four digit number. The first number always represents the time it takes to lower the weight, or “eccentric” phase. This is solely for standardization. This does not mean that you start each exercise with the negative portion of the lift. In many cases you’ll be forced to start movements with the “concentric” phase
The type of movement dictates the sequence of the lift phases. Some lifts, like the bench press, start with your arms extended, and the first portion of the lift is the eccentric phase. Other movements, like the pull-up, start with your arms extended, but the first portion of the lift is the concentric phase.
When choosing exercises for your nine-week cycles, stick with the same exercises for the full nine weeks. Then change it up for another nine weeks. I was just giving examples of groups of exercises that could be performed together.
Sorry for the confusion. Thanks so much for visiting Bull-Eye.com and taking the time to read my articles. Glad I could help.
I weigh 213 pounds and I’m trying to lose weight. I’ve been working out and drinking those protein shakes (Wheybolic Extreme). I just started taking creatine and was wondering if it was possible to get to 195 pounds if I am taking creatine.
Absolutely it’s possible. You may notice a three-to-five-pound gain after the first two weeks of using creatine, but rest assured, it’s not fat. Creatine allows you to produce and store more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the muscle. ATP is the energy source used for short, intense bursts of energy as in weight lifting and sprinting. A secondary effect is cell volumization. ATP pulls water into the muscle cell and gives you a fuller, more muscular look.
I’m glad to hear that your back is doing much better. I was in a major car accident in my late 20s and had severe back trauma. Orthopedic surgeons told me it was minor (mild pain killers, hot and cold packs, etc.) or that I needed major surgery. I was puzzled how the experts gave me such contradictory explanations. Some friends recommended I visit a chiropractor after two weeks of constant and severe pain. The chiropractor treatments worked for me and changed my life. I still use chiropractics 20 years later.
I became familiar with ART over the past 18 months with two sports injuries, one from running/biking (piriformis muscle with sciatica) and one from skiing (hyper-extended calf, sprained ankle and some trauma with the ankle/foot connections). ART fixed them up, although the piriformis is a stubborn injury that still isn’t 100 percent.
Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. I think this is very valuable information. The doctors are unable to effectively deal with soft tissue injuries and the public needs to know what other therapy options are available for treating and healing their injuries. I love your columns.
Great Falls, Vir.
Thanks for taking the time to visit Bullz-Eye.com and for reading my articles. I hope the information contained in my interview with Dr. Young gets to some people that need it.
I’ve been reading some of your articles from time to time and I have always found the information useful. I’ve recently started working out again and would like build some muscle quickly. A buddy of mine told me about taking testosterone and some sort of human growth hormone. I was just curious as to your thoughts on these types of products, and if you had any recommendations?
Long Beach, Calif.
Testosterone and HGH are prescription medication. If you are not going to go through a doctor, and try to obtain it through the black market, you are taking a big legal risk. These medications are illegal without a prescription. There are doctors who specialize in hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In fact, you should have no problem finding a doctor in California because there are quite a few anti-aging clinics that offer HRT. However, these clinics can be pretty expensive if you do not have good health insurance.
There are numerous studies showing the health benefits of HRT for men. However, If HRT is not the route for you, there are a couple of over-the-counter supplements you can use that I have found to be very beneficial. One is 6 OXO by Ergopharm and another is Alpha Male by Biotest; both are really good pro testosterone supplements. If money is a little tight, Tribex Tribulus Gold will also give you a good boost. I go back and forth between the three products. One month I’ll use 6 OXO, then one month Tribulus Gold. The third month I’ll use Alpha Male then back to Tribulus Gold.