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The Fit 5

Supplementing your marathon training and toning your obliques--MF's weekly roundup of reader questions.

For all of our fans who shoot us questions on our Facebook page, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen.

This week, Sean Hyson C.S.C.S., Group Training Director for Muscle & Fitness and Men's Fitness magazines, answers some of your questions about getting killer triceps, defining abs and instantly increasing your size.

Be sure to read up on all of Sean’s articles here on MensFitness.com or in Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines each month.

You can also catch Sean on Twitter

1) Cycling Creatine — asked by Farhan Radhwan

I'm about to buy a creatine supplement and wanted to know what is the best time to take creatine for maximum results? How do I cycle?

“The typical loading phase for creatine is to take 20 grams per day for five days and then back off to five grams daily. You don’t necessarily have to cycle off but you may find you get better results if you stop taking it after 12 weeks or so and then go back to it a month later. As far as timing, it probably doesn’t matter much, though some experts recommend having it in your post-workout shake.”

2) Weight Training for Marathoners — asked by Dave Bryce Nicholson

What is the best kind of weight training to stick to when training to run a half marathon or a full marathon?

"Your legs get a lot of work from your race training so you should consider working them along with the upper body so you give them enough time to recover. You can do two full-body weight workouts per week. Be wary of your overall volume and try to keep your workouts short and sweet. Include plenty of lunges and squats to work your legs, but don’t slack on upper body because balance is important. Lift before you run or on separate days."

3) Strong Legs, Weak Knees — asked by Sam Gardner

I have bad knees from running over the years, but still want to "do legs" at least once a week. What leg exercises are best to help build legs without being too hard on the knees?

"Whatever exercises you find don’t bother your knees should be fair game--if it hurts, don’t do it. If you want strong and defined legs, however, you’ll need to do some kind of squat, lunge or deadlift. You should see a physical therapist or doctor who’s proficient in Active Release Technique. This kind of therapy can help bring you back from injuries and get you training legs hard again."

4) Amazing Obliques — asked by Liam Molloy

Hey, I am trying to work on my abs, but I can only get my upper abs toned, not my lower abs or obliques. Could you tell me any exercises I could do?

"I’m not going to give you a list of “lower ab” exercises because there really aren’t any. The rectus abdominis (the six-pack you see, or rather, want to see) is really one big muscle. Training it every possible way and dieting hard is the only way to bring any part of it out. Do static holds (like planks), ab wheel rollouts, sit-ups and rotation exercises, and keep your carb intake very low. No matter what part of your abs you want to see or develop, that approach will have you covered."

5) Delayed Soreness — asked by Shadow Guild

Why don't I get sore after a lift until the 2nd or 3rd day after? I would think the day after would be sorest.

“It’s called Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and it’s a bit of a mystery. The prevailing theory is that it’s the result of tiny tears in the muscle fibers and the body’s natural inflammatory response takes two days to kick in (hence when you really feel it)."

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