October #128 : Trainer's Bench-October 2006 - by Jeffrey Gross

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Table of Contents

Here Comes the Son

Meet The Grandparents

Feet First

Attention, Class!

Flu's Clues

Gene Genies

Control Issues

Trainer's Bench-October 2006

The Big Chill

Ask The Sexpert-October 2006

Cash Prizes!

Inside Job

False Positives

Believe the Hypo

So Sue Me

Gender Bender

Hurricane Liz

The Little AIDS Club That Could

I’m Gonna Tell

Change Is Good

Editor’s Letter-October 2006

Mailbox-October 2006

Catch Of The Month-October 2006

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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October 2006

Trainer's Bench-October 2006

by Jeffrey Gross

He Ain’t Heavy

Since testing positive, I’ve lost weight. How can I fatten up without getting pudgy—and exercise without losing more?
    —Slim Pickings

Dear Slim,

HIV often drops your weight—from wasting, fatigue, med-side-effect diarrhea and appetite loss from depression. But you can gain lean muscle and fat through a program that combines exercise and diet. First, visit your doctor to discuss your personal weight, nutrition and endurance guidelines;
they vary per individual.


Ditch the heavy cardio routines that make you huff, puff and shed pounds. Stick to light or moderate cardio (walking, biking, swimming) for toning and to boost heart and lung strength.

For weight gain, strength training is ideal. To avoid burning excess calories, do fewer reps with heavier weights than you usually would, and rest longer (three to five minutes) between sets. Combine exercises (think squats, shoulder presses, abdominals with weights) to hit the major muscle groups, aiming for three workouts a week. Gaining takes time and patience—don’t expect overnight results. You may start seeing progress after three to four months, but the real payoff will take a year or more in the gym.


You need to eat more calories than you burn. That may seem obvious, but the formula can be tricky:

  • To maintain your current size, multiply your weight by 15. If you weigh 140 pounds: 140 x 15 = 2,100 calories per day.
  • To gain, multiply your weight between 18 and 20 times. For the 140-pound person, this means 2,520 to 2,800 calories daily.
  • Use the 40-30-30 plan: a daily diet of 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat (sidebar). These nutritional categories team up for optimal food absorption. For instance, that 140-pounder on 2,520 daily calories would need:

CARBS 2,520 x .40 = 1,008 carb calories.

PROTEIN 2,520 x .30 = 756 protein calories.

FAT 2,520 x .30 = 756 fat -calories.

Carbs and protein pack about four calories per gram; fats, nine. You -don’t need a calculator; just check a diet book.

Your goals should be health and strength, not getting buff. Finding and maintaining the right weight for you is the best buffer against illness.



Ordering from a 40-30-30 menu

Pick complex carbs, like whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, veggies and beans; go easier on simple carbs like white bread and white rice.

Lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, soy products, yogurt.

Avoid saturated fats (including trans fats), those like butter that remain solid at room temperature. Go for unsaturated: vegetable, sunflower, soybean, olive and canola oils; almonds, cashews and avocados. Omega-3 oils help your heart; find them in walnuts and oily fish, like salmon, sardines and trout. Fats from vegetables, nuts and fish trump cholesterol-heavy animal fats. For sweetness, add a fruit fix. Let the gain begin.

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