I enjoy answering questions about the WLC System, and I wanted to share some very good questions from one of our members here at Weight Lifting Complete.
If you have any questions that will help you better understand the WLC System just let me know. Email me or leave a comment at the bottom of this page. You might be wondering if you can even use the WLC System?
If you don't yet have a copy of the WLC System, be sure to get your copy here: Free Copy of the WLC System Manual.
When you fully understand the WLC System, how it works, and implement it into your every day life you will be AMAZED at the results.
Let's get straight to the questions…
Questions from Dean About the WLC System
Hope you don't mind but I have some further questions to ask after taking a second read of your WLC Manual.
They are listed below in no particular order:
The Warrior Mentality
In the weightlifting section of the manual, you talk about having a warrior mentality to lifting weights, fighting through the tough reps, and beating the weights, this theory seems to lean more towards going until failure, but later on in the book you talk about stopping short of failure, and to stop lifting once the rep speed slows down instead.
The two pieces of advice seem to contradict each other, should we be busting a nut to squeeze out those last few tough reps or not?
In that article on the warrior mentality, I am attempting to get you pumped up and ready for weight lifting. Even when I read that article, it gets me ready to lift weights.
The purpose of the article, though, is to help people understand they can do more than they think they can do. The human body is amazing, and you need to learn how to take advantage of everything your body can do.
The mind gets in the way of the body so much. For example, many people quit much earlier than they should quit during exercise. Their mind tells them something is too hard, and they quit instead of pushing themselves. So I want you to be aware of when your mind tells you to quit and when your body needs to quit. Because those times are usually different and in some cases much different.
I definitely do want you to stop when the rep speed begins to slow in the beginning. This lets you personally get a grip on what your body can take with the WLC style weight lifting workouts. I want you to learn what your body can take by not pushing it too much in the beginning. There's no reason to overdo it if you're getting great results.
Going to failure can get you even better results, but most people aren't going to be able to handle that much with a higher frequency of full body workouts. Most people aren't accustomed to that so your body has to be conditioned for that. Once it is conditioned for higher frequency and higher intensity, you can begin raising the intensity. Other factors contribute to this as well (like rest, nutrition, etc) so I want you to get that perfect before increasing intensity too much.
So definitely do not go to failure at this time. Stop when the rep speed slows. You'll make great progress.
Does the whole food meal 30 mins after a workout count as 1 of the 6 scheduled meals for that day?
Yes, it can count towards the scheduled meals for that day. I simply want you to find a good meal schedule that feeds your body more nutrients around your workouts.
You want to make sure your body gets enough nutrition around your weight lifting workouts. This will put your body into a muscle building mode and increase recovery from the workouts.
During weight lifting workouts, you are tearing muscles down so your body can build those muscles back bigger and stronger than ever before.
A Little Bit About Dean
I've got what you would call an athletic but slim frame but I still feel I'm carrying a bit of fat around the abdominal area, my stats at the time of writing this email are 163lbs with 17% body fat.
I want to add and build more muscle to my frame but at the same time I not happy with the amount of fat I currently have around my abs and waistline.
So, as a beginner to the system, with those stats, would you recommend I start out with the goal of weight loss (fat) or weight gain (muscle)?
I live with my parents and so I have to share the freezer and fridge space with the food they buy, because there is limited space I am limited to the amount of meat ie protein I can buy each week, however when you mentioned liquid meals as an alternative option for people that are restricted in some way (in my case sharing kitchen space with others)
In which case, to get around this, is it ok to mix up 2 or 3 of these whey protein/oats/ and olive oil shakes per day to make up two or three of the recommended six meals per day?
First, how old are you? If you're under 25 years old or so I would definitely go with building muscle over fat loss at this time.
I tell you this because you will get rid of body fat along the way as well (and possibly pretty quickly). I will guarantee you lose fat and build muscle if you follow the system.
Yes, you can use the liquid meals to ensure you're getting all the meals. I just want to make sure you're feeding your body at a higher frequency than normal. 2 to 3 meals per day isn't enough for optimal results.
You can also use pre-made snacks like home made nut mix with a protein shake or home made protein bars. I wouldn't buy this at the store, though, as typical protein bars are usually not healthy.
Cardio and Calorie Cycling
From reading the main system manual you stated that you should always look to increase cardio activity as the number 1 option for losing fat rather than reducing your calorie intake to create a calorie deficit.
You then go on to talk about the calorie shifting method as another option to reduce your calories through diet. Now, if I’m understanding this correctly, you would consider this as (option 2) in your theory, are these two deficit methods supposed to be used in combination with each other or should we only stick to ONE at a time?
Think about your total calorie intake for the week when you think about calories. Calorie shifting or calorie cycling keeps your total calorie intake the same for the week. It is not meant to reduce the overall number of calories.
What it does is allow you to take in more calories on the days you are weight lifting to give your body extra calories for recovery and for exercise.
On the off days, you can decrease calories. This allows you to burn more fat on the off days.
Cycling to higher and lower calorie levels on a daily basis keeps your metabolism rocking and helps you get much better results.
You only decrease the overall number of calories per week if needed. For example, if you're gaining more than a pound or two in body weight each week you're calorie levels are too high. You should decrease until you are gaining at the optimal rate of about 1 pound per week. If you can gain 2 per week without an increase in your waist measurement, then keep going for 2 pounds per week.
It's a constant monitoring of results versus calories.
Once you find the right calorie levels for you, then you don't want to decrease calorie levels to lose fat if you are able to burn the fat through an increase in exercise. But you don't want to do too much exercise either.
Always start with the minimal amount of exercise and cardio sessions and measure your results. You can increase cardio sessions to burn more fat but only for a limited number of weeks. You would then cycle the amount of exercise back down to minimal amounts.
You don't want to do a huge amount of cardio for long periods of time. Too much exercise for long periods of time can actually hurt your body too.
The WLC Log Book
I've made a commitment to myself to start using the WLC diet and exercise programme (which will be in the next week or so) but in order to work out my starting point for calorie intake, should I start by multiplying my body weight using the lowest form of activity from the log book, in this case sedentary. (as I haven't done any form of exercise for the last 2 months) or should I multiply my body weight by the moderate activity level (3-5 times per week) which is a future projection of what I will eventually be doing during a typical week, once I make a start on it.
There's a question in there somewhere, haha!
I hope you can see what I'm trying to say though. What's your advice on that?
I noticed that the log book and the WLC System Manual that I downloaded from your website for free are different (in parts) to the ones you sent me, in the purchased zip file. Which versions are the latest? and/or which version of each should I use?
I know things like this might sound like trivial matters, but just want to make sure that I've got every angle covered.
I would start with the sedentary level. Since you'll be monitoring your results each week and keeping track of calories, you can easily adjust each week. Start with lower calories and increase as needed. This is better than starting too high if you're not sure. Plus, it's easy to adjust quickly from week to week.
Just remember that everything doesn't have to be perfect to get great results. The best thing you can do, though, is continue learning. Sometimes you might make a mistake but it could end up better than ever for you. You might learn something that is a breakthrough for your own body.
Everyone is different so all the same things don't work for all people. That's why the WLC System is great because it adapts to you and allows you to find the best of everything for you.
Honestly, I haven't kept up with the versions very well. Let me check the file names, and I will get back to you. Sometimes I put the date in the title of the file. You can at least use that to see when that version was released.
I have a few questions relating specifically to the conditioning sessions you mention at the start of the workouts manual.
To start off with, I wanted to pick your 3 day per week workout programme.
My ideal week of exercising would look something like this:
Tuesday: 30 mins Cardio/rest
Thursday: 30 mins Cardio/rest
Saturday: 30 mins Cardio/rest
Sunday: Full day of rest
Using the above as my future real world example, where would I insert my light and intense conditioning sessions into this mix?
Am I right in thinking that you just need to pick 1 exercise per conditioning workout for both easy and intense conditioning sessions?
Am I right in thinking you need to do 2x intense conditioning sessions and 2x light/easy conditioning sessions per week @15 mins each?
Can we pick the easy and intense conditioning exercises from the same list you provided in the Workouts manual?
Starting out I would choose Monday and Friday to add 2 very short but intense conditioning sessions. You can organize those conditioning workouts however you like but you need to measure your progress.
For example, you might do burpees for 5 minutes and see how many you can do. Rest as needed. 5 minutes of burpees is very difficult so rest as needed during the session but keep it intense. You'll be cursing me when the 5 minutes is up. Be careful and don't overdo it in the beginning.
Definitely do not do 15 minute sessions to start. Instead of focusing on duration, I want you to focus on conditioning. After you get the hang of it, I want you to work hard as if the world is ending if you don't keep going during that 5 minute session.
Do 5 minute sessions to start with 2x per week as given above. If you want, you could add 1 or 2 very light sessions on the weekend just to get some blood flowing for recovery purposes.
Yes, you can pick 1 exercise from that list in the WLC Workouts Manual or you can choose a combination of them.
Pre-Workout Warm-Up Routine
Reading through the WLC System Manual, you talk about warm up exercises to perform before your weightlifting workouts, you mentioned that the routine should consist of 5-10 mins of light machine cardio, 20 jumping jacks, and 10 bodyweight push ups.
But in the WLC Workouts Manual you also talk about a warm up routine for the weightlifting workouts when you are discussing mobility exercises.
This was confusing to me, as the protocols/routines for each pre workout warm up are different, do we perform both the 5 mobility exercises + the warm up routine from the WLC manual? or choose one over the other?
The WLC System Manual is more for people who are starting out but the advice is very good for even advanced people. The WLC Workouts Manual is taking everything to the next level and is more advanced.
I would start with the advice in the WLC System Manual as it is simpler, and I do not want you to make everything too complicated in the beginning. It will work very well for you. As you become more experienced, you can begin incorporating more advanced methods.
Later on (several months from now)… I want you to start incorporating mobility exercises into your warm up routines. For example, front to back and side to side leg swings are great as warm ups. But for now, stick with the simpler warm up given in the WLC System Manual.
Here's an updated warm-up routine: Pre-Workout Warm-Up Exercises.
Weight Lifting Workouts
How long do we need to perform/hold a stretch for, on any muscle group in between exercises?
How much rest would you recommend between sets during a full body workout, that’s the one thing I did not see documented in any of the workout programmes (don't mean that to sound like I'm nit picking though)
Would you recommend I purchase resistance bands, fractional weights, and a weight belt BEFORE starting on the beginner full body base strength workout programme? or am I ok to purchase these items later down the line.
When increasing the resistance, is it ok to make big jumps in weights (ie 2.5kg plates) on any exercise during the initial beginning weeks of the base level strength beginner programme? (I guess this ties in with the question I was asking about buying the extra gear before I start the programme)
What does volume mean in the context of a workout?
Are we supposed to follow the 9 different styles of training in the sequential order in which they are laid out in the Workouts book, or can we pick and choose from any style in the book AFTER we have built up a solid strength base?
Start with 30 seconds on stretching in between exercises. The goal is here is progression so increase that during by 5 seconds or so every couple of weeks. I do not want to extend your workout time too much so don't do minutes of stretching. Just work on getting better and adding a few seconds here and there.
Rest time between exercises is very important so please understand this…
Weight lifting with WLC is all about getting the maximum weight and reps for each set. I want to explain this correctly as that statement can be interpreted in different ways. I do not want you to be tired and really fatigued when starting a set. I want you to feel rested and ready to go.
I want you to be able to give maximum effort on each set.
Depending on your current fitness and conditioning level, this might mean 2 minutes or it might mean 4 minutes or it might mean something different. I do not want you using your weight lifting workouts for increasing your conditioning level. This means I don't want you switching from exercise to exercise as fast as possible as your muscles will be tired.
I instead want you to rest just enough that you're feeling good and all your muscles aren't burning and fatigued. I like for them to recover so you can lift more.
For example, many workout programs will have you going as fast as possible with no rest. WLC does not work this way. We use cardio and conditioning workouts to increase your fitness level but weight lifting workouts are for getting strong and building muscle.
The key to building muscle and the most important factor in building muscle is increasing the weight you are lifting. There is NOTHING more important so the focus is being fresh for each set so you can get the most out of each exercise.
Focus and lift heavy. I don't want you so tired that you can't focus and get the most out of each set. Focus in and get strong. This is why I (unlike 99.99% of other people and programs out there) do not give you a rest period in between sets. I want you to learn about yourself and see what you need.
With that said, rest time between sets should decrease as your fitness and conditioning level increases. You'll notice this as you workout more and get in your cardio and conditioning workouts.
You don't need to purchase any extra equipment until you think you need it. For example, a pull up band is good if you need help doing pull ups. If you can't do very many pull ups with body weight, a band will help decrease your body weight resistance. You can then use different bands to increase the resistance for pull ups.
Start out with light weights and you should be able to increase by increments that are larger. Your strength will increase quickly.
Volume means the overall number of sets and reps. For example, 10 sets of 10 reps is 100 total reps and higher volume than 3 sets of 5 reps for 15 total reps.
You can pick and choose from any style after you have built a solid strength base BUT you can also follow them in order to see what works best for you. I would definitely hold off on level 9, though, for a couple of years.
Hope you don't mind answering these questions, I know there's a lot there to digest.
P.S Thanks for writing up that detailed post on instructions on how to use the workout book, that was VERY VERY helpful, and I'm sure many others found that useful too.
Dean, I do not mind at all. I'm here to help ANY TIME you need it.
I've always been as helpful as I possibly can and have no other agenda but to help people. Some people can't understand that, though, and think I am trying to scam them.
With that said, though, it's very time consuming and very difficult to help everyone. I was getting up to 5,000 visitors to the site per day at one time and couldn't keep up with everyone so that's why I took the premium membership away.
I sent out an email to people who had been free members for a long time letting them know they had 1 last chance to get a premium membership and there were only a few spots left. I wasn't joking. But one guy said it sounded like I was desperate and just needed money and pretty much called me a slime ball. I don't need money. I trust in God to provide everything for me and my family. I don't need to be rich. I was simply letting them know the premium membership was going away for sure.
If I was broke and needed money, I wouldn't be paying for this website and spending my time helping others for free. I have spent years helping others for free. I would go out and get another job instead of typing away on the computer.
But that's what you get from some people.
You have always been nice and courteous, and I greatly appreciate you as a premium member at Weight Lifting Complete. We don't need the people who act like little kids and put others down all the time. When they learn how to treat others properly, they can come back.
I want this to be a positive place so I don't put up with those people any more. I've still always been nice to those people even when they aren't… trying to help them realize that kindness makes the world a much better place. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.
So thank you for always being kind to me as well. I don't mind helping you at all. I actually enjoy helping as much as I can. So keep asking me any questions you like. I am more than glad to answer them for you. Kindness gets you much more in this world.