Meniscal Tears

meniscus

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Meniscus tear

meniscus tear

Meniscal tear is one of the most common knee injuries in athletes. This is caused after a contact injury or a traumatic twist. The meniscus is a wedge-shaped cartilage that provides a cushion in the medial and lateral portion of the knee joint and acts as a « shock absorber ». It’s located in the area of joints contact to prevent the bones rub between them because of the bodyweight. It’s hard and rubbery to help cushion the joints and keep the knees stable.

It’s important to also know that the meniscus helps to nourish the knee by facilitating the diffusion of joint fluid. With this injury, athletes can experience acute pain with a swelling and often a catching or locking sensation.

Diagnose

A meniscus injury can be diagnosed on the basis of the story that the patient provides and a physical examination of the knee.

An orthopedic surgeon my also use other techniques to further diagnose such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which gives a 3-dimensional image of the inside of the knee joint. In some cases, a surgeon can perform an arthroscopic inspection of the articulation, this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Treatment

knee brace

A small meniscus tear can be treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. When a meniscus tear causes a significant loss of movement or catching, the appropriate treatment is often a surgical operation. Depending on the location and type of tear, the treatment may be a simple arthroscopy to remove the torn fragment. Depending on how quickly the inflammation disappears, athletes can return to a full activity after a week or months.

For athletes with a repairable tear, sutures are used to sew the meniscus. In this situation, the knee is braced for 6 weeks. These athletes take at least 3-6 months to back to their activities but maintain the full cushion in their knees.

Prevention

There is not really any way to prevent a meniscus tear apart from a conditioning program to try to prevent an acromioclavicular ligament (ACL) tear and knee instability.

Stats

Women have meniscus tears more often than men and at an earlier age. These tears are often associated with an acromioclavicular ligament injury (ACL)

There are some variables of meniscus tears can be repaired and despite repair, they aren’t always heal. But arthritis can be avoided in the majority of cases when repair is successful. One study shows that 60% of patients who undergo meniscectomy (partial elimination) had some degree of progressive arthritis.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Stop To Be Shredded Everytime

black shredded athlete

black shredded athlete

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Spring is here and I see that everyone wants to be shredded to show off this summer. I think it’s interesting to explain the difference between be shredded or cutting phase and losing weight.

Be shredded or cutting phase comes from the bodybuilding’s field. After taking muscle mass, be shredded allows to show your muscles striated in detail.

People confuse be shredded or cutting phase and a loss of weight. When you do a good weight loss, you lose water and fat without losing muscle mass and bone mass. When you’re shredded or cutting phase, you lower your bodyfat to 5% to see your muscles in detail as a bodybuilder competing.

Please, women and girls, stop saying that you are shredded or cutting phase. Naturally you have more fat than men and that’s normal because it’s to feed the baby when you will be pregnant. Your body programmed for that and that’s normal. For a woman or a girl to be shredded, it’s necessary to take steroids like women who participate in bodybuilding competitions. A clean weight loss is excellent and sufficient for toning and having a beautiful body.

Let’s talk about weight loss. There are plenty of stupid draconian weight loss programs. These programs cause loss of muscle mass, loss of bone mass, slow down metabolism and create health problems. I wrote 2 articles about it, click here  and there for Part 1  and Part 2 .

Wait

body under construction

I agree with this point of view and I think it’s necessary to be patient before be shredded or cutting phase. Wait 5 years before doing your first cutting phase. Make a clean mass gain for 5 years. Jamcore DZ waited 7 years before to participate in his 1st competition. At the 2nd competition, he felt like he was flat net to his competitors. He waited 3 years before participate in his 3rd competition. 10 years to gain muscle clean with a healthy nutrition to have nice muscle mass when he’s shredded.

So wait at least 5 years to have a healty muscle mass gain before to be shredded or cutting phase. Maybe you find that long but see the reasons :

  • 1st reason : Learn and understand how your body works.

  • 2nd reason : Learn the art of patience. You’re going to have trouble but all the best things are hard to get. You will realize each summer with your friends who will show off but your friends are flat. They believe that they have muscle mass but in fact they’re thin and dry and you arrive and BOOOOM !

  • 3rd reason : After 5 years when you’re shredded, it will encourage you for the next cutting phase. You know that you have to rest your body for several years by gaining muscles in a healthy way to have a better body for the next time. I know that there are people who want to be shredded after 2 years but the results are poor : less experience and more muscle loss because there aren’t enough muscles that was built so a small muscle mass visible. Me, the first time I was shredded, I was disgusted, I felt flat because I had a small muscle mass visible.

    It’s depressing and most people when they’re in this situation, they think to take steroids to show off with pictures on social media. This is happening right now on social media.

  • 4th reason : The more you’re shredded, the more you will regress because you lose more and more muscles. When you’re shredded, you lose some of your muscles, this is the process. So if you do this every years or every 6 months, you lose each time a part of the muscles that you have built.

The most common question

ask question

To start, people who tell you that you can do this all your life are liars. When you start training, you do something new to your body several times a week. It’s like a romantic relationship with a girl. It’s beautiful and after 6 months, she starts to piss you off, you start to piss her off and after you breakup. For muscle mass, it’s the same principle. At first you’ll build muscles and you’ll change your composition’s body, it’s normal.

After a while (2-3 years), your body starts to adapt and you stagnate. That’s when you’re looking for a training system that suits you, you focus on muscle isolation during an exercise, you improve your recovery and you evolve slowly. Gaining healthy muscle takes time and you have to accept it.

At the beginning of your training, you’ll lose fat and water and gain muscle at the same time for 2-3 years and then you’ll stagnate. Most of people who gain muscle get fat because they eat too much and don’t do cardio. Cardio all year is important to help control your weight. When I say doing cardio, it means doing cardio at a middle level, not cardio at a high level to be shredded. Doing cardio while you’re gaining muscle helps you progress because you keep a metabolism that works.

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-Steph

Sit-Ups

sit ups

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on your back with your knees bent. Your feet are on the floor and your hands are behind your head :

  • Inhale and lift your torso rounding your back.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

  • Back to the starting position but your back shouldn’t touch the floor.

  • Do it again until the burning sensation in your stomack.

This exercise mainly works rectus abdominis and a little bit hip flexors and obliques.

Variants

sit ups

sit ups inclined board

  • To make it easier, you can do this exercise with your feet blocked by a partner

  • To make it easier, you can do this exercise with your arms extended forward

  • For more intensity, you can do this exercise with a inclined board

Note

Women generally have less developed bust and proportionately larger legs than men. It’s easier for them to do sit-ups and not take off the feet during the movement.

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-Steph

Proteins And Kideys

protein

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned a lot of stuff.

When I started to train in a gym. I often asked myself this question : « How much protein do I have to eat at each meal ? ». I asked this question to people in the gym and I had several different answers. For example, someone told me that if I ate too much protein, it could destroy my kidneys or that whey (shaker) was better protein than protein from food (chicken, beef, eggs, etc).

I think you also ask yourself this type of questions so I will help you understand better.

Firstly, everyone knows that protein is very used in fitness and bodybuilding. You can find protein in food or as a dietary supplement such as whey, casein and amino acids. Protein are composed of amino acids.

kidney

1) How much daily protein is recommended for someone who doesn’t do fitness  ?

It’s 0.8 grams (gr) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. For this article, I will use the unit of mesure kilograms (kg).

I will take the example of Jamo who is a former professional bodybuilder who continues to train. Jamo weighs 95kg. 95kg at 0.8gr per kilo of bodyweight gives as a result that Jamo eats 76gr of protein per meal. Jamo want to keep his bodybuilder body without steroids. For this, he must eat several times a day and that makes a total of 360gr per day.

2) With sport, do these recommendations change ?

Yes, because a sedentary person will use more of his/her body, which means that this person will use more his/her muscles. The meals content changes with the sport and the type of sport. If we compare a person who is doing fitness and a person doing marathons, we see that the meals are different.

A person doing marathons needs to eat more carbohydrates than protein to have endurance. A person who does fitness/bodybuilding need to eat more protein than carbohydrates for muscles rebuilding and muscle growth.

3) Depending on the intensity, do these recommendations change ?

Depending on the intensity, the answer is yes and no. It also depends on the muscle mass. When a person is doing a really intensive workout, the most important marcro is carbohydrate.

An increase of protein is necessary when a person decreases carbohydrates to be shredded. Increase protein helps maintain muscle mass.

4) With age, these recommendations change ?

change

With the latest scientific studies, we learned that proteins need to be increased with age. When a person start to become old, that person loses muscle mass naturally (and it’s normal). It’s for this reason that it’s important to play sport to maintain muscle mass. And to help to maintain this muscle mass, it’s necessary to increase protein.

This a scientific study about it, click here

5) Consume a large amount of protein destroys kidneys ?

The answer is yes and no. In a case where a person has pre-existing kidney problems before playing sport, it’s important to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) or a doctor. For people who have healthy kidneys, proteins don’t destoy the kidneys. Kidneys are the most detoxifiying organs of the human body and we (human being) have been created to eat meat. The human being is made to eat a lot of meat. Until now, no study has shown that the protein destory kidneys, except for people with pre-exiting kidney problems.

Here is a scientific study on the effects of high protein intake on the kidneys, click here . This study shows that is a myth and a lie.

6) Assimilation and MPS (mass protein synthesis)

Assimilation is when you eat protein. A part of the protein you eat will be assimilated for protein synthesis. Everything else, your body will assimilate because your body is made of 80% amino acids, so these proteins will be used for your skin, your hair, your eyes, your organs. Absolutely all the protein that you eat will be absorbed by your body, nothing is thrown away. There is no protein in you pee.

The goal of protein synthesis is to repair or eliminate damaged proteins and to build new proteins that are copies of the original. New proteins are stronger, denser and more resistant to stress. Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) is the reconstruction of muscle caused by stress placed on the body. This can be an injury (muscle tear) or because you intentionally damage a muscle (lifting weights creating micro tears in muscles). MPS process activated right after micro tears and can last up to 48 hours on a damaged site before being repaired.

A part of protein you eat is used for protein synthesis, which will create the state of hypertrophy with hormones. Protein synthesis doesn’t buid muscle, it’s muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

I just read again my text and I see that it’s a bit difficult to understand (for me too ?!?). To make it simpler, protein synthesis repairs your skin, your hair, your eyes, your organs and create the state of hypertrophy. Muscle protein synthesis repair only your muscles.

Here is a scientific study on nutrition and muscle protein synthesis, click here .

7) Liquid and solid protein

Liquid proteins are whey and casein (shaker). Solid proteins are chicken, beef eggs, etc. The diffrence is that the body assimilates liquid proteins faster than solid proteins. The problem is that the quality of liquid proteins is 75% bad on the market, so it’s up to you to study ingredients (as for food in supermarkets) to find the best quality possible. I wrote an article on this subject, click here

8) Number of grams of protein per meal

  • For men, it’s about 30-35gr of protein per meal. For women, it’s about 20-25gr of protein per meal.
  • For older men, it’s about 35-40gr per meal. For older women, it’s about 25-30gr per meal.

Here is an interesting study for women. Eating a large amount of protein has harmful effects on the bones. Click here .

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Dataset For Data Mining

dataset data mining

I have just enrolled in a Data Science course on Udemy  and I learned good stuff.

To have the dataset to do Data Mining, you need to go to the superdatascience website . In « Part.1 Visualization », you see the section « How to use Tableau for Data Mining ». Click on « Churn Modeling » to download the file.

dataset data mining

Once you have downloaded the file, move the file to the directory you created for the course. In this directory, create a new directory (unless you already do it) named « 2.Chunk investigation ».

dataset data mining

dataset data mining

Open this fiel with Excel or with other spreadsheet software.

dataset data mining

Know that we use this dataset for the visualization part but we will also use this dataset for the modeling part.

Let’s analyze the data of this dataset.

This dataset is quite large because it contains 10 000 lines and a few columns. This is the list of a bank’s client. The client information is :

  • Customer id (login)

  • Surname (last name)

  • Credit score ( is the measure that indicates the client’s ability to borrow)

  • Geography (client’s country)

  • Gender (male or female)

  • Age

  • Tenure -(the number of years the client is in the bank)

  • Balance (balance of the client’s bank account)

  • NumOfProduct (number of product that the client has in the bank – credit card, contract, account)

  • HasCrCard (does the client have a credit card ?)

  • IsActiveMember (did the client use his/her credit card during the last month ?)

  • EstimatedSalary (the bank’s estimate of the client’s annual salary)

  • Exited (did the client leave the bank ?)

Now, I will explain the context related to this dataset. This bank has branches in several countries like Germany, Spain and France. This bank noticed that lately there were many clients who left the bank. The bank has a report called « churn rate » which is the customers rate who leave the bank and for a few months the « churn rate » is really higher than usual. It’s for this reason that the bank needs a data scientist (you) to find the problem and propose solutions.

This dataset is a small sample of clients bank. These are 10 000 randomly selected client.

The column « Exited » is a column that didn’t exist before. This column has created when the bank realized that there was an abnormal number of client who were leaving the bank.

dataset data mining

Then the bank observed these clients for 6 months to see which client left the bank.

dataset data mining

In the « Exited » column, the number « 1 » means that the client left the bank and the number « 0 » means that the client stayed in the bank.

To analyze this dataset, you’ll need to do A/B Tests. For exemple, a classic A/B Test is to see if women are more likely to left the bank than men. That’s means, see the number of men who left the bank, see the number of women who left the bank and then normalize by the total number of clients. It’s important to normalize the number of clients because there are not the same proportions of women as men. Next, based on the last column « Exited », you’ll find out if it’s the men or women who are likely to left the bank.

Once you have relevant results, you can show your report to the bank. And with this report you should be able to propose solutions to the bank. For example, if the report says that women leave the bank in bulk, it’s because there is a problem and it’s necessary to see whether the bank is offering women something right. Or it’s possible that another bank offers a much more attractive offer for women or something else.

You will learn how to investigate in the dataset and find answer through client information with A/B tests.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 2)

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here.

Legs

Improve your squat position

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

To reduce the lower back’s effort and limit the hamstrings tension, it’s possible to do like powerlifters by putting the barbell on posterior deltoids.

This technique decreases the cantilever and increases the power of lifting from the back. This allows you to lift heavier weights.

By using powerlifter of weightlifting shoes (solid raised heel) or a wedge under the heels, this reduces the cantilever by having the buttocks not too back by the advancing knees. This allows for greater amplitudes with the thighs flexion.

With that, we feel better the quadriceps work by limiting the torso’s inclinaison and the work of the gluteus maximus and spinal erectors.

The low barbell and raised heel combination allows you to lift heavier weights. This technique is recommended for rangy people and people with stiff ankles to correct their positioning at squat.

Front squat to target quadriceps

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Front squat limits the torso’s inclinaison. This has the effect of reducing the work of the lower back, decrease the tension of hamstrings muscles and adductor magnus muscle.

On the other hand, front squat increases the cantilever, which forces quadriceps to make more effort to extend the thigh on the leg.

Which means it’s the perfect squat for thighs. But it’s not possible to lift heavyweights like the classic squat and it’s recommended to do it with heels elevated for better stability.

For rangy people, front squat is very hard to do. The torso of rangy people is more inclined, which make it more difficult to hold the barbell which may fall forward during the execution of the movement.

Spread the legs to less incline the torso

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

There is a squat’s technique to limit the torso’s inclination. This involves spreading the legs with the feet outward. Some powerlifters do this technique with the legs almost wide apart. With the legs apart, this limits the legs flexion.

To be able to squat with the legs apart, it’s necessary to have an adequate bone conformation of the hip joint and to be flexible of the thighs adductor muscle. Which means, it’s a technique that can’t be used by everyone.

The advantage of the big belly

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Having a big belly for squat and deadlift allow to compress it against the thighs. This helps to limit the inclination of the torso and the back’s rounding. This has the effect of protecting the lower back and limiting the risk of herniated disc.

It’s for this reason that we can see a lot of heavyweight champion of powerlifting or weightlifting with a big belly. They take care to keep their belly fat with an excessively rich diet.

Different forms of knees

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

In bodybuilding, it’s important to take into account the different morphologies of the individual and especially for the knees.

Arched legs (genu varum) are not more risky than normal legs. For people with X legs (genu varum) or people who can overly extend the thighs (genu recurvatum), it’s often recommanded to not do leg exercises with very heavy weights.

Cases of genu valgum are often :

  • In people who were overweight during their youth when leg bones weren’t fully developed and still « malleable ». Legs are deformed because of the overload. Now, they have this X shape.

  • In women. The fact that women have wider hips to have children, this influences the femurs direction which are generally more inclined.

For people with genu valgum. If the genu valgum is to excessive, the joint would be overused. The medial collateral ligament would be extremely tense. The lateral meniscus, the articular surfaces coated with cartilage of the external condyle of the femur, and the external lateral tuberosity of the tibia would be subjected to excessive friction, which would cause pathologies of wear.

For people with genu recurvatum. These are people who are essentially very flexible named hyperlaxes or women whose muscular and ligamentous hyperlaxity is related to reproductive function.

Rarely pathological, knees with genu recurvatum can sometimes have some problems like the meniscus pinching. This can happen when the knees are rapidly expanding and the meniscus haven’t had enough time to slip, or during an exercise with a heavy weight that has forced the hyperextension of the thigh.

It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to people suffering from a genu recuvatum pathological never to totally block the knees at the end of extension to the squat or to the leg press.

Note

For 2 people who are the same size, it’s important to consider the torso-leg ratio.

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Type A :

People with proportionally long legs and a short torso will have trouble doing a proper squat without tilting their torso excessively forward.

On the other hand, the short torso (which limits the cantilever) facilitates the execution of the good-morning, classic deadlift and Romanian deadlift.

Type B :

People with proportionally short legs and a long torso will have the facility to squat safety without tilting their torso excessively forward. It’s for this reason that the great champions of powerlifting squat specialist have this type of morphology.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 1)

how much

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

When we’re beginners and we have studied the theory well, the first time we train in a gym, we have this kind of questions :

  • What weight should lift to begin with ?

  • If my program tells me to do 5 sets of 5 reps at 80 % of my 1 rep max, how do I get to know my 1 rep max ?

  • In my program, there isn’t this notion of percentage and 1 rep max, how do I know the weight I have to lift ?

Here are some tips to start your program with the right amount of weight.

Bodyweight

bodyweight exercice

The fist step of your workout is to do bodyweight exercices to learn how to do well the bench press.

This may sound odd but I really advise you to take your time to learn to perform well without weights or with a very light weight. Imagine that you can’t climb stairs normally, What happens when you have to climb stairs with bags of supermarket ? Yes, you’re going to hurt yourself.

Here is how you can learn a movement without barbell, dumbbells and weights :

  • To learn barbell’s movement without barbell, you can take a broom stick or a PVC pipe.

  • To learn dumbbells movement without dumbbells, you can take 2 sections of PVC pipe or 2 bottes of water.

It’s true that it’s not the same sensations that with weights but it allows you to learn a movement without risk to hurting you.

With this method, you can train at home alone. No one looks at you like in a gym so you’re less nervous. What’s cool is that yo can film yourself with your smartphone to compare your videos with tutorial videos that you can find on Youtube of elsewhere.

To learn in depth how to move, I recommend the book Starting Strength .

Once you feel confortable with movements, you go to the next level.

Barbell

barbell

For your first training with the barbell for the bench press, you’ll use the barbell without weights to be comfortable with. As you read in my articles Back To The Source Of Equipment Part 1 et Part 2 , the barbell i’m talking about is the Olympic barbell 20 kg (45 lbs).

If you have difficulty with the Olympic barbell, here are some alternative.

A lighter barbell

Look in your gym if there are lighter barbell like the « women’s bar » 13.6-15.87 kg (30-35 lbs) or the « training bar » 6.8 kg(15 lbs). EZ curl bar isn’t designed for the bench press.

Dumbbells

You can use dumbbells. It’s true that isn’t really the same movement but it will help you to build your strength to be comfortable with the Olympic barbell.

Bodyweight exercices

Continue to do bodyweight exercice as squat, lunges, pull ups, push ups. This will help you to build your strength to be comfortable with the Olympic barbell.

That may be the opposite. For you to use the Olympic barbell without weight is easy. I still advise you to continue your first training with the Olympic barbell without weight. In this way, you can concentrate for each repetition to have the best technique possible. Wait the next session to add weights.

There isn’t ego in a gym. Unfortunately in gyms we often see people lifting very heavy weights with a poor technique and this happens more and more often. I have 2 friends who have dislocated their shoulders with the bench press and now they can no longer develop their chest and their shoulders.

One of these 2 friends showed in front of me who his shoulder dislocates when he do bench press and he regrets a lot of having lift too heavy with a bad technique. Since I’ve seen this, I prefer to lift lighter with a good technique and I advise you to do the same.

If after your first training with the Olympic barbell, you’re still not comfortable with. I recommend you to continue to train with the Olympic barbell without weights until you’re comfortable with. If you need to do this for 10 sessions, do it, there is not problem.

I’ll tell you something, Listen carefully. If you get hurt, it’s not because you body isn’t ready. It’s because you don’t trust in you under the Olympic barbell. Self-confidence is the most important element to lift heavyweights and heavier. It means knowing when you can lift and when you can’t lift. An athlete train his/her body and mind.

If you have planned to use dumbbells as your main lift (like me) and don’t use Olympic barbell, stat with 2.2-4.5 kg (5-10 lbs) dumbbells to work your technique.

Add weights

weight plate

Most beginners workout programs are 5 sets of 5 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or 3 sets of 10 reps. For this example, we’ll use 5 sets of 5 reps.

Your workout should always begin with a warm-up routine. Then you take the barbell without weights and you do the repetitions number of your program (for our example, it’s 5).

Yeah, yeah, I know. You thought that after the warm-up routine, you could lift heavy but you have not quite prepared your body yet. For each exercice, you need to warm your body with lightweights. It’s very important to do this because it allows your body to warm your nervous system and the muscles needed to make the movement.

For beginners, it’s really important to learn the good technique right away.

Increase gradually

Once your nervous system and your muscles are ready, add between 1.1 kg (2.5 lbs) and 4.5 kg (10 lbs) on each side. Do a set of 5 reps with this weight.

Note : If your strength training is based on dumbbells like me, starts with 2.2 kg (5 lbs) dumbbells, then 4.5 kg (10 lbs) dumbbells for example.

If you can do 5 reps without degrading your technique and without slowing the speed of the barbell, you can add weight. If it’s really light adds 4.5 kg (10 lbs) on each side or less like 2.2 kg (5 lbs).

Continue to do this process until the speed of the barbell or you technique begins to deteriorate. The weight you lifted before your technique deteriorates is the starting weight on which you will base all your future exercises.

The basic weight for your workout

If you thought you could lift more, don’t panic, that’s the right number. You’re not in a gym to impress someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your 1000th workouts. It’s better to start too light than too heavy. The goal is to do quick reps with a good technique. When your technique deteriorates, you have reached a limit with your body, too much will create an injury.

In this process, you’re trying to lift the heaviest weight you can so use collars for your safety. When it becomes difficult, ask someone to be your spotter to avoid an injury.

This is the end of the Part 1. In the Part 2, I’ll talk about what to do after several workouts, find your 1 rep max and what amount of weight is respectable to lift.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph