Train the way you have to for growth!
01-30-2004 12:47 PM
Train the way you have to for growth!
Once again, I plan to bore you with sort-of science and real-world experience.. I mean, 14 years I should know some thing by now..
"What's your chest workout look like?" "What do you do for arms?" These are two of the many phrases I despise as far as bodybuilding go.. It seems that when those questions are asked, the main focus is on those body parts.. Unlike the average weekend warrior, I strive to build a complete, symetric physique.. Others may not want to build a degree of muscle that might seem "freaky" to some, but that's what makes us all different..
Many times, you'll hear someone talk about their routine, some high-tech, pro-endorsed muscle volumizing prioritizing pyramid concentration sets.. For the most part, routines that the "pros" write for mags are not so.. I've met a couple pros who have mentioned that either they give an idea, or they just take pics, and someone throws together a set/rep scheme that newbies take for gospel.. That happens to be one of many a mistake when in search for the perfect routine for you, not for a high caliber athlete..
Mimic the Pros!
Trust me, that 12 week Arm Blasting routine that shows Victor Martinez doing all these curls and dumbell work, it may not work for you.. I get plenty of emails, and knuckleheads at my gym asking me if I do the routines from Arnold's book..
It's cute when they profess their loyal fan love for the guy, but he's old, his training techniques may work, but they are dated.. I'm a big fan of the old-school, but basic movements beat out anything Weider wants to put in a shiny package and name after himself.. Get out of thinking that Arnold's routine will make you huge in a month! Stop asking Shawn Ray to share his chest program! I understand if you're a genetic anomaly, and you can get your hands on anabolics, but try thinking about your body, not theirs.. 9 out of 10, their routine is made for THEM!
More is better! Right?
Not really.. Overtraining is a grim reality that many of us have had to deal with, or are going to deal with real soon.. I'm sure you've seen them: tall, skinny, Abercrombe tank top they swiped from their girlfriend's drawer to look like they lift, suffering from ILS.. They curl 25lbs and scream like they got a minivan in their grip.. Pathetic! Even worse, they do no less than 20 sets for everything, and wonder why they won't grow and I'm 100lbs heavier.. When creating a goal and routine, start at a low to moderate set amount, and reps shouldn't be any higher than 15 reps, depending on what bodypart due to fast/slow twitch fibers..
Real men Max Out! NOT!
Unless you're a prize-winning powerlifter, this isn't wise.. Most powerlifters don't even max on a regular workout, they go thru enough damage so they don't have to.. Besides, they wear protective gear when moving insane pounds.. Remember those skinny guys? Ever see one bench 275 with their back arched like the Mcdonald's symbol? Ego-lifting is not a sport! Even with my modest bench of 335lbs, I don't touch that weight but once every other month, just to keep that aspect of my functional strength up.. Real men stimulate the muscle, not destroy it.. If you can't handle the weight, work up to it.. You'll get to that point eventually, with working limbs..
Mimic your buddies, even though they're small!
Yeah, it's cool to lift with a partner, but that could hold you back as well.. I try to get someone either as strong, or stronger than me.. This way, I can push myself, and they can get the weight off me if I can't.. Once again, those small guys are aimlessly wandering the gym, carrying Arnold's book, wondering why their biceps are still 12".. Get a feel for your own body's response to stimulus, then craft your routine around those movements..
Simple, easy, and effective!
For the most part, basic compound exercises should be the foundation of everyone's routine.. These movements put all-over mass, and functional strength on you like no other.. These movements are
- Flat benchpress
- Military Press
These movements are guaranteed to add solid beef to your frame, providing your diet and rest is on point.. Here's an old idea of my routine when I started out.. Keep in mind, I started out powerlifting, this helped me with my functional strength today, so seeing me curl 90lb dumbells for reps shouldn't shock you..
Squat- 5 sets 8-10 reps
Pull-ups- 5 sets to failure
Flat benchpress- 5 sets 8-10 reps
Barbell rows- 5 sets 8-10 reps
That was one days work, I started out only lifting twice a week due to the weight used, and my partner at the time was a powerlifter who is still well over 260lbs, same age as me..
Basically, I just wrote this to show some mistakes that I see made when thinking of routines.. It's all trial and error, everyone is different, and with alittle patience and hard work, you'll get into a groove and growth will come.. And please don't ask what my arm routine is!!
01-30-2004 12:52 PM
Nice write up Pete, and I wasn't even bored reading it
01-30-2004 01:00 PM
That's a good indication that I should write like this more often!
Maybe another article worthy of a link on Basskiller's site!
01-30-2004 01:23 PM
i want to get half the people at my gym "overtrainers anonymous" shirts
Originally Posted by bigpetefox
01-30-2004 01:39 PM
Good stuff Pete,after 25 years of lifting and reading everyones style of training it all comes down to what works for you...There is more than one way to skin a cat but I think the hardest part is learning your own body, and letting it tell you how to train it..
01-30-2004 02:36 PM
Pete my arms won't grow whats your routine so I can be just like you Couldn't resist. Seriously I agree with you bro but there so many uninformed people out there it's sickening. I've tried to talk with some of them about how they can change some things up and actually see some results but they don't listen. Their not happy unless 15-20sets are done. That's why I don't even bother unless I see someone that I think will actually absorb what I say. It's so frustrating to see so many people lost and undeducated in the gym. There's this one guy, decent size, thick and he told someone else about cutting up for the summer and how he hardly has any fat on him and he's not going to need to lose much weight. I almost busted out laughing, not because of the fact that this guy is actually about 15-20%bf but because he was so misguided as to think he was like 9%. Unreal man, unreal. If he's 9% then damn I must be -3%bf. LOL
01-30-2004 09:33 PM
Awesome post! Now if only people would listen!
02-03-2004 05:31 AM
Most people confused about just how much better off they would be if they were great at a handful of the best lifts, instead of being poor at doing all so many. And please all you guys out there that can do tons of volume and be in the gym every day and still make great progress, save it. Again, there is nothing wrong with volume training as long as it works for you. But if you are one of the so very many out there that have tried and tried to make it work, and you are still stuck, realize that more of the same thing that didn't work before is not likely to get you there now.
A large percentage of the "big guys" like bigpete built their foundation on simple bread and butter routines. They aren't the solution for everyone, for every training phase, but for those guys that "just can't gain", they are your saving grace. Even those that respond well to much higher workloads do themselves well by interspacing some lower volume work in their yearly plan.
While more volume certainly equates to more growth for many people, it is just the opposite for those that are less blessed than many when it comes to growth response.
What matters, is what works. And yes, I train people with volume work when called for!
02-03-2004 08:28 PM
I'm trying out a hardgainer volume routine in the spirit of the description on IA's website
focusing on big compound lifts for 4 sets of 6-8; and not going to failure until the last set... i noticed an immediate change; its only been two workouts...
i'm trying the volume because i've been doing low volume/hi intensity for quite a while now and I think its time to switch up and shock my body
02-03-2004 10:20 PM
I have found my body changes with different types of training.
If i go high volume i can build up alot of hypertrophy. Then i switch to a strength program and my "balloon" deflates until making an adjustment to the new style. Eventually i come around with the strenght program but it takes a one month transition of losing hypertrophy and gaining strength.
So why should i switch training styles like all the experts recommend? Seems like if i would just stay on course, i could keep the gains coming, instead of the up and down periodization periods. I'll let you know how it goes
02-03-2004 10:24 PM
Moi, a big guy?
Originally Posted by iron addict
Very good post right here... When I started, I thought of myself as a hardgainer, then I started doing the basic compounds heavy, and eating like a horse..
02-04-2004 02:11 PM
I'm a little confused here...when guys like DC basically say "you gotta lift big to be big" and you're saying that you dont max out too often? How close to the max do advise to go? and are you going against routines like HST which utilize maximum rep weight?
Originally Posted by bigpetefox
02-04-2004 05:35 PM
I wrote this with the Imaginary Lat Syndrome-sufferers in mind..
Originally Posted by lvtrojan
If you feel that if you don't max out everytime you lift, you won't grow, more power (or less) to you.. I've only trained 4 years with simple basic movements, once my strength and size got to a point, I added other movements.. Example, when I started, all I knew was bench/curl routines, my friends weren't having that!
I lifted twice a week for 6 months, then 3 times a week for another 6.. After hurting my back, I had to find a new way to build muscle for my body, not some ghost-written routine that I saw Lee Haney posing in the pics for..
All those routines you mentioned, brother, people can try them.. If they work, no need to fix anything..
02-04-2004 07:27 PM
Got it, thanks.
Originally Posted by bigpetefox
02-07-2004 05:42 PM
I've made a lot of adjustments in my routine over the years (29) to find what works best for me.
I'm still confused about how many times a week to work each muscle group.
Sometimes I feel like I'm sacrificing something by working each group once a week.
02-24-2004 07:05 AM
Bravo BPF! This article's a masterpiece!
Originally Posted by lwb357
02-24-2004 10:30 PM
Bravo pete, bravo. Excellant write up bro.
For me the hardest part is pulling myself out of the gym. I get so used to high intensity training while on that I sometimes have to remind myself that Im off cycle and that I need to mellow out and keep myself from falling into the overtrainers rut (Which, in all honesty, I still do at times, but I think everyone does every now and then.). Its actually much easier to fall into the rut then most would think. For me, its usually when Im extremly stressed out from work, school or my lady that I tend to push myself to the limit and beyond. Throw a little juice into the picture and its even worse.
At the same time though lifting for me is a lifesaver. Its the best stress reliever out there but I tend drift into that zone again when I go into the gym to dump my stress and just like that, it happens again. I know once in awhile isnt bad but when you compound the overtraining over time it can start to reck havoc to where you actually get weaker, lighter, and much more fatigued then ever.
Its definitly not the easiest thing to gauge thats for sure.
PS. Pete, Id be willing to bet you were in the creative writting club in school werent you? You just pretend to be a type of jock. Your really a prodigy child.
02-24-2004 10:33 PM
Yeah, I was top of my creative writing class while the football team was gettin' ass.. But, I didn't get fat after highschool, and they did..
Originally Posted by db682
Geek, maybe, prodigy I don't see, but thanks for the compliment..
02-24-2004 10:37 PM
Your avatar and photoshoping skills amaze me more everyday. Your waist is now officially the size of your neck. And your upper arms are bigger then both, probably combined too.
Looking swole big guy. Time for that new Tat on your back.
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