Fitmag Loksabha Week 3

Did we say we are so kicked with the overwhelming response that Fitmag Loksabha has received so far? Our discerning readers have sent in yet another exciting volley of questions that our panelists have been busy responding to. So without much ado, here’s the Loksabha Week 3 session for you:

(By the way, of you have missed last week’s session, you’ll find it here – Fitmag Loksabha Week 2)

Week 3 was all about exercise related queries and we have the answers to your questions.


1. Question from Mukund Madhav Mishra:

1. Can calisthenics be done instead of Weight training.

2. I have been doing bodyweight training for warm up but my numbers in push up and pullups are not increasing. While I am advancing in weights, how to increase the numbers?

3. Why in subsequent sets I can’t hit even half the number of push ups I did in earlier sets?

1. Calisthenics is not a good option if building physique is the goal, it is somewhat injury prone if done incorrectly, and does not have much time under tension hence sub-optimal results in terms of gains.

2. Doing more push ups is somewhat like an endurance training. Do not get confused thinking that if you can do heavy lifts with fewer reps then you can do 30-50 reps with lesser weight. Keep the push-ups for just warm-ups, you don’t really need to bust your chest to do too many push-ups and get fatigued before the actual workout.

Pull-ups are something that need great strength as you need to lift up your whole body. You need to keep trying to do more reps in this, if you are on calorie deficit, that could be also one of the reason you are hitting the wall; upping the calories will get you further into the game.

3. This happens due to fatigue from earlier sets. Take enough rest to allow the muscles to recover, and then perform again.

Tabish Naseem


2. Question from Mohd Saiyid :

How to make the muscle mind connection? I mean I am working out for the last two years but haven’t been able to trigger the target muscles, and have not been able to gain muscle mass. Are there any specific techniques for developing mind muscle connection??


This comes with practice. Get earphones while lifting, close your eyes and try the movements. You don’t need to see yourself nor anyone else in mirror, but simply lift with confidence. In time, your mind will learn to focus on the specific muscle groups that are targeted, and make a connection that will activate those muscles optimally during the exercise.

To gain muscle mass – Nutrition, calorie surplus, and most importantly, lift weights.

Shanu Shashank


3.Question from Ashutosh Singh :

I am wondering what is the difference between the regular bench press and benching on the Smith machine. If somebody can help me with the difference and which among these shall we prefer?


Smith machine will give predetermined axis along with which weight will move, and when you go free weight bench press, you will have to manage this axis by own. Engagement of core is more here. A newbie trying to engage muscle by developing nerve muscle connection can prefer smith machine at start of his regimen, for initial few weeks.

– Dr-Akshay Alawani [INFS Faculty]


4.Question from Bhaskar Mazumdar:

I don’t have access to squat and bench rack. So should I go for lighter free weights which I can manage myself or heavier on a Smith machine?


Body asymmetry is a common condition. Give preference to isolation exercises in your routine. A routine can be designed two ways.

1. More reps with weaker limb/side.

2. Added weight on weaker side (2-2.5kgs). Wearing a weight band on weaker side can also serve the purpose.

– Amitabh Suman


5. Question from Prangya Prakash Mohanty:

How many muscle groups should be focused on at the time of doing workout each day? If it is two, then what combination needs to be followed?


There is no fixed rule. It depends on the lifting experience of the individual. From beginners to advanced lifters, recovery in general takes 72-24 hours. Therefore beginners could very well gain by focusing on two body parts per day and/or hitting a particular muscle group twice a week. Advanced lifters could gain from full body workouts each day.

– Arunava Chatterjee


6.Question from Ashwini Chavan:

How to prepare specific workouts depending on different body types, i.e., for endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorphs? At the beginner, intermediate, and expert levels?


Beginner – Focus on learning the form and posture first, full body workout for first couple of weeks could be good, with one day upper body, another lower body. Further, start implementing a push-pull strategy and get some good volume in your training sessions, by keeping good amount of sets and reps with sufficient rest periods.

Once you are through this and you feel you can atleast squat around your weight, consider yourself getting into the advanced stage, where u can start implementing periodization. For ecto, it’s important to include good amount of compound lifts and they need to put in considerable extra efforts in gym.

– Shanu Shashank


7.Question from Manvika Goyal:

1) The most preferred group of muscles which should be trained together? Like Back with Shoulder or Biceps or Triceps?

2) While doing Leg Press exactly where should we keep our legs?

3) I am following proper diet and I workout 5-6 days a week. What exercises should I add to my routine in order lose fat from thighs? I know Spot reduction is not possible, but would really like to know exercises which might help.


1. You’re talking about supersets here. You can work two associated muscles (chest, triceps) or you can work two opposite muscles(back,chest), that’s your choice. Here’s my opinion: if you choose two opposing muscles (chest and back) or even unrelated muscle groups like shoulders and legs, then the fatigue accumulated from the exercise targeting one muscle will not affect the following exercise which targets the other muscle group. For example, if you do squats after the dumbbell flyes, then your legs get to rest during the chest exercise. If you do tricep extension following the dumbbell flyes, you won’t be able to lift heavy enough. So in my opinion, if you choose opposite muscle groups, overall you’ll have a better quality of workout.

2. The foot position will depend on the muscle group you want to target. The higher you place your feet, more will be the engagement of your glutes, and as you go lower, you tend to engage more of your quads.

3. You answered your question yourself. Spot reduction isn’t possible. Lose overall body fat. Meanwhile work on those muscles so that you look good when the fat has finally left.

– Nachiketh Shetty [INFS Faculty, Editor@Fitmag]


8.Question from Priyanka Bahl Sehgal:

I am bit confused over volume training…for instance, in same workout session I try starting with –

light weight 15 reps
Medium weight 10 reps
Heavy weight 5 reps
Reduce weight 5 reps (deload)

Am I doing it the right way on same day? Or do I need to make it heavy weight 1 day, hypertrophy or light weights the following day? Hope my understanding is correct…


Volume in a session = no of sets x no of reps x no of exercises x load

Light weight = 12-15 reps with good no of sets.
Medium weight = 7-8 or 8-10 reps with sufficient sets.
Heavy weight = 3-4 reps with lesser no of sets.

When you go for hypertrophy, you keep good no of reps, say 12-15 and good no of sets.
For strength it can be around 7-8 reps with slightly reduced sets.

For power it’s around 3-5 reps with very less sets and volume.

One can vary around hypertrophy and strength. Deloading is usually with very less volume and load, just to relax your muscles, thereby maintaining the training rhythm, and preparing you for the next round.

– Shanu Shashank



Another brilliant session ends. Watch out for the next one!