Need some advice for winter bulk
- 08-27-2008, 05:06 PM
Need some advice for winter bulk
Hey guys, I just finished my summer recomp/cut and I'm getting ready for my winter bulk. Last year I did a very succesful dirty bulk, but I gained a lot of fat to go along with it and I want to avoid that this time around.
I was doing a 5-6 day split this summer, but for the winter bulk I want to switch to a 3 day split mainly because of a new job I got and school that is going to kick my ass, so I'll need extra days to study.
This winter I want to focus on growing my shoulders, lats, and legs as much as possible. I was thinking of this type of split:
1 - Shoulders, Chest, Tris
2 - Lats, Back, Bis
3 - Legs
My whole lifting career I focused on chest before shoulders, and lower back before lats, so now I'm a little uneven for my liking. However, I do not want to lose any of the gains I've made this far on my chest or any other body part.
Can I work my shoulders before chest and not have any negative impact? Also how many sets and exercises should I use for each body part?
- 08-27-2008, 06:41 PM
if you're bulking and can't spend much time in the gym, get a partner and do DC training. or do 5x5 three times a week.
i have no idea if you can work shoulders before chest, though i don't see why not - if shoulders is what you want to build, by all means, do them first since any chest workout you do will be to maintain your gains rather than to build up on them. if you're bulking, 4 sets of 8-10 is what i would recommend. 4 sets is usually optimal for maximum testosterone output. you can also do 4 sets of 6, then try for one extra rep the next workout, one more, and so on until you get to 10 reps, then add 5 pounds and start at 6 reps again. this will give you strength gains as well as mass. that way when you cut, you'll also be stronger. and its an easy way to measure progress.
i've never been able to gain much fat while bulking, so hopefully someone with a more similar body type to yours answers this as well. hopefully my advice is good for all body types, but i really don't know whats optimal for you.
- 08-27-2008, 08:56 PM
I'm trying to figure out how many sets per body part.
Something like this
9 Sets for Shoulders with 3 different exercises
4 Sets for Chest on 1 exercise
and 6 Sets for Triceps on 3 different exercises
That is more along the lines of what I'm asking.
Can I get a link to 5x5 or DC training?
08-27-2008, 09:39 PM
thats our DC forum. kinda wish we had a 5x5 area - look it up on google, or PM renegaderows - he's probably our "in house" expert on this style of training by now.
here's how i'd break it down for you since you're bulking up - and this is by no means perfect:
do compound movements first. do 4 sets of 6-10 of whatever you are training - example: start shoulders with military press and upright rows. then do 2 sets of 6-10 for the smaller muscles that aren't getting hit properly (rear delts, etc). 4 sets of 10 is what builds mass, and 2 sets of 10 will maintain any area you think needs additional "maintenance". sure, those areas won't grow as much, but compound moves will put on the most muscle the fastest.
here's the list of compound moves and body part (IMHO)
back - pull ups
back - deadlifts (increases free flowing testosterone by 15%)
biceps - barbell curls
biceps - chin ups (weighted if needed)
calves - donkey calf raises
chest - barbell bench (increases free flowing testosterone by 8%)
chest - dips (body forward, legs back)
hamstrings - straight legged deadlifts (ask Kai Greene) - forces your hamstrings to act as the main stabilizer muscles.
legs - squats (raises free flowing testosterone by 20%)
legs - the sled (a.k.a. leg extension)
shoulders - military press
triceps - dips (weighted if needed, body upright, legs as straight as possible)
triceps - close grip bench
overall - overhead squat (best growth hormone booster)
overall - clean and press
08-28-2008, 09:52 AM
DC was good for hypertrophy, but I dont know if you are concerned with raw strength at all but if you want to prime yourself so to speak by getting your CNS firing I would really look into a solid powerlifting type routine. I know you might hate me for saying that but I have had amazing results using that style of training.
08-28-2008, 05:16 PM
I do a lot of power cleans, hang cleans, and clean & press so I am not close minded to the power lifts as long as they get me what I ultimately want.
08-28-2008, 05:20 PM
So how would this fit in for my Shoulder/Chest/Tri day:
4 Sets of DB Military 8-12 Reps
4 Sets of Upright Rows 8-12 Reps
2 Sets of Incline Barbell Bench 6-10 Reps
2 Sets of DB Flat Bench 6-10 Reps
4 Sets of Dips 8-12 Reps
Is that a decent formula to start and from there I could either add on or take off to my adjustments?
08-28-2008, 08:40 PM
looks good. give it a shot and tweak it from there. you might want to do 4x10 for inclines (even though your chest is big) just for the added testosterone output you'll get from it. i remember it helped me out a lot.
also, some not too well known trivia, is that the less water you have in your bloodstream, the easier the free flowing testosterone can bind to a receptor (basically your blood is more heavily packed with testosterone). thats not a advocation for not drinking water, thats saying that 20 minutes post workout in a sauna will be very beneficial to your bulk. thats all i got for you brotha. hope i've answered everything i could.
08-28-2008, 08:51 PM
im presumming you are natural. get on the cables and do super sets till you can't move. loose weight gain a bit of muscle. you can't bulk without putting fat on
08-28-2008, 08:58 PM
I know I'll put on some fat, but I'd rather not go beyond 18% BF this time around. Last time I got up to 20% BF.
08-28-2008, 09:01 PM
**** you must eat like a horse, try drinking skim milk it might help take some of the hunger away. 1 litre a day
08-28-2008, 09:05 PM
you can bulk without getting body fat, but its not fun. no fun at all. i would only recommend it to masochists.
08-29-2008, 09:10 AM
I love it...thats what i love to see and i bet some people reading are like.... power clean?...toss in some unilateral work and not only will you be big and strong you can also build functional strength and be able to move. DC will get you big but dont you want to be able to use that strength also?
08-29-2008, 09:16 AM
08-29-2008, 12:25 PM
my magazine is on loan or i would source it directly. i think it was the january issue of Fitness RX. give me two days and i will PM you with exactly what it said. i will tell you what i remember it said.
1 - sets and reps that build testosterone levels are 3-5 sets of 10 reps. 4 being in the middle would be a optimal for most lifters.
2 - i said nothing about dehydration being good. the article i read simply stated that the sauna rises internal body temperature and seemed to raise testosterone. when adjusted for water loss from the sauna, testosterone levels had stayed the same. it basically "saturates" your blood with molecules, and since there's more testosterone "pound for pound" in your system, its easier for those testosterone molecules to find an open receptor. i do not advocate dehydrating yourself. simply stating that 20 minutes in the sauna would be beneficial.
08-29-2008, 12:52 PM
to the sauna or heat in general (still no magazine present, or would source it instead):
In a study examining the effects of season on total Testosterone levels, men with average T levels of 666 ng/dl (normal levels are between 300-1000 ng/dl) were studied during the months of April, July, October, January, and April again.(21) It appears that T levels increase about 12% during July and 15% during October and return to April levels throughout the rest of the winter. So remember, summer and early fall may be the time to start a growth phase since T will be the highest. found at: The Big T: How Your Lifestyle Influences Your Testosterone Levels - DeepFitness.com
also: Intra-workout sauna to make you bigger and leaner!
Back in the 60s Larry Scott (the first ever Mr.Olympia) use to claim that short stints in the sauna taken during a workout could increase growth hormone production. When I first read about that claim I did find it a bit unscientific and kinda dismissed it as just another ''theory'' that some old-timers had in the past. So I put that sauna theory in some remote part of my brain right next to fond memories of the good ole Cybergenic stack!
However after doing some research on recovery methods used by european athletes I came across a lot of information that brought Scott's theory in the ''hey, there might be something there'' portion of my brain.
Turns out that not only do sauna at 80-120 degrees really do increase growth hormone production (by around 150%) but some studies actually found it to also increase testosterone and noradrenaline levels. Taken together these changes can help you stimulate more fat loss as well as muscle gain (Lammintausta et al. 1976, Kukkonen et al. 1989 and 1988). My opinion here: this has since been disproven, when corrected for water lost from dehydration. however, the super saturation effect obviously does something.
One study (Jezova et al. 1994) also found something interesting when it comes to cortisol levels. During the first 15 minutes of sauna exposure, cortisol levels in the body decreased. After the 15 minutes mark, they started to increase.
Interestingly, these findings support Scott's recommendations of going in the sauna for 5-7 minutes a few times during your workout. 5-7 minutes bouts will help you elevate growth hormone, testosterone and noradrenaline levels while also lowering cortisol production! This would obviously put your body in a slightly more anabolic state as well as facilitate fat loss.
If you are lucky enough to be training in a gym where there is a sauna available you can use Scott's protocol by going in the sauna 2-3 times during your workout. I personally use the method by going in the sauna between my exercises for a muscle group.
source: TESTOSTERONE NATION
regarding 4 sets of 10:
arnolds routine: source: AskMen.com - Schwarzenegger Routine
Chest and back
* Bench press
* Incline press
Perform four sets of 8-12 reps each.
* Chin-ups, done to fatigue (progressively working up to doing 50 reps at a time)
* Bent-over rows, four sets of 8-12 reps
* Deadlifts, three sets consisting of 10, then 6, then 4 reps
Shoulders, upper arms and forearms
* Barbell clean and press, four sets of 8-12 reps
* Dumbbell lateral raises, four sets of 8-12 reps
* Heavy upright rows, three sets of 10, 6, 4 reps to failure
* Push-presses, three sets of 6, 4, 2 reps to failure
* Standing barbell curls, four sets of 8-12 reps
* Seated dumbbell curls, four sets of 8-12 reps
* Close-grip press, four sets of 8-12 reps
* Standing triceps extensions with barbell, four sets of 8-12 reps
also: ADVICE FOR HARDGAINERS - Flex Online
USE MODERATE REPS Sets of five reps or less tend to build more strength than mass, and if you train to failure, more than 10 reps make that difficult. Keep most working sets in the 6- to 10-rep range, with higher reps for calves, abs and forearms.
milos, the guy who helps train dennis wolf: Training at the KOLOSEUM with Milos.../A condensed How-to in post 1
3-4 sets, 10 reps
wish i had my magazine which talks about it more in depth, but i'll work with the stuff i have on hand right now. unfortunately, these things talk about what they are doing, but not necessarily why. i'll get that magazine back sometime today to update this a bit better.
08-29-2008, 02:08 PM
You gotta stop getting your information from magizines bud. Not trying to sound like a **** but those are the kind of routines that have caused trouble in the US's fitness industry. YOu should really read more from trainers that take most of their science from the old soviet stuff.
This is a much more recent article/science that would be great if you are interested. Like I said before I am not trying to be a ****, but I have made similar mistakes in the past before. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...stosterone&cr=
Lift Heavy if Really Want to Jack up test!
Of course you have to modify volume over the course of your macrocycle to make this work but I think you get the point.
On the program you have up there...having a day just for shoulders can acutally be detrimental to one's AC joint from messing up rotator cuff. Seriously, if I were you I would work in a shoulder exercise on an upper body day where you work chest..
I agree with the idea of a sauna, raising core temp with intermittent bouts would promote blood flow and recovery, which in the end could help anabolic hormones get released. I thought you were trying to advocate dehyrdating yourself in order to make receptor sites easier to attach to because that isnt true. Dehydrate yourself and not only does performance goes down but cortisol goes up and you get the picture. BUt I am a huge advocate of contrast showers/baths, sauna, massage any kind of recover because they work great. Ask the Soviets.
08-29-2008, 02:09 PM
BUt seriosly bud, ditch muscle mags, the programs are worthless. I hope you dont think I was being an ass, but I swear not only will most nagging injuries go away when oyu train properly but your gains will be so much better.
08-29-2008, 02:48 PM
1 being amount of time they can spend at the gym - that IS their job.
2 being their body type not being my body type.
3 being i don't have the money to spend on steroids that they do
also, that link you provided stressed the importance for compound moves for maximal test output, which is what i have been stressing. olympic lifts are not really gym related (at least not where i live) because in "health clubs" there's no area to do them. though that is an interesting read. while i do not agree with 5-6 reps - that being more in the realm of strength gains vs mass gains. as per your link:
2. Train with Plenty of Volume
Not only do you need complex, compound exercises to boost T levels, but you also need plenty of volume. Three reps of the snatch for one set isn't going to do much. Indeed, one set of any exercise isn't ideal. You need a sufficient number of sets. More specifically, you need a total number of reps with each lift that's high enough to maximize Testosterone without burning you out.
Research has demonstrated, time and again, that multiple sets of an exercise are better for boosting Testosterone than one set. How many sets are optimal? It depends on whom you reference. But rest assured, you need at least four sets most of the time, with more being even better.
this is a fun debate because i'm seeing a few concepts that are quite interesting. i'm in the process of switching "health clubs" because theres no real gym where i live (new gym has ONE squat rack, and no deadlift platform) - maybe i can try a few olympic moves out when i get back to my old gym. certainly the 10 sets of 6 reps seems insane, but i'll put anything to the test (a pun) to see how it helps me. maybe we should start a thread called "training concepts : Hbs6 and Suncloud. you've definitely done some research though, and i'm quite impressed so far. props and reps brotha.
some of those concepts are also in my mass gaining link: Gaining mass in a nutshell (a big nutshell) , so i'm glad there's some consensus out there.
08-29-2008, 05:14 PM
08-29-2008, 10:53 PM
Scroll down to U
ANd read number one on this article-
Once I added it, all my lifts went up, believe it or not I even did some unilateral work for my upper body and had great success. This can be suck a limiting factor for some people. BUt remember, this means doing a movement with one limb-not just using dumbells. IF you do a chest press with dumbells and you are moving them at the same time that is not unilateral. If you alternate arms that is unilateral-i know that sounds basic but some people dont understand that. But the neuromuscular adaptions made are pretty amazing.
08-29-2008, 11:09 PM
The 3 reasons you gave for pros really isnt the reason why you shouldnt follow there programs. Most of them have no science behind them and yes they are on steroids but most of them are still very gifted. Whatever they do probably worked for them so it doesnt matter what they say, for normal people most of there stuff, even modified programs are just not good. THey are the reason why there are so many misconceptions in training and why there is so many muscle imbalance issues with normal people who just lift.
5-6 reps is a strength/hypertrophy rep range but at the same time as I just said you should never just live in one rep range. If you chronically perform a certain rep range for a long period of time you get no where.
And just to let you know, volume can mean several things...total reps, poundages lifted, sets...ect.
Olympic lifts arent really gym related? Oh they are gym related, they are great at teaching your body how to recruit muscle fibers quickly and explosively and again can help you get bigger later-teach your CNS how to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible and this will carry over into hypertrophy.
Of course 4 sets or more are better....but it all depends, ME, dynamic, who knows the possibilities are endless.
Thanks for the complements i appreciate it. I hope I dont come off as an ass (NOT MY INTENT AT ALL I LOVE DISCUSSING) but I was a strength coach at a division 1 school so I love talking about training.
Sorry, i hope this made sense i got a ride on the way so i gots to go!
08-30-2008, 12:55 AM
i agree with you that anything becomes stale over time - the gains will slow, etc.
you quite obviously know what you're talking about and i think we got quite a bit off topic. 4 sets of 10 are in my opinion what is best for a bulk combined of course with compound movements. this will obviously get stale after time - hopefully by then, he's ready to switch over to strength gains, or cutting.
to keep a routine from getting stale - at least my routine, i do 4 sets of 6 (more strength oriented). i try for 4 sets of 7 the next week when i do the same set, followed by 8 reps, then 9, finally 10. once i get to 10, i add the 2.5 plates to the sides, and go back down to sets of 6, rinse, repeat. its maybe not the greatest, but i consistently lift 5 pounds more every month on all my compound lifts. its served me pretty well to make strength as well as mass gains. it got my military press up to 190, which is almost 10 pounds over my body weight - not great so far, but respectable non the less. it does very little as far as functional strength though. i'd love to see what kind of functional strength workout you would do, since you're opinions run in some ways similar, and in other ways quite different than mine.
my functional strength routine is: 4-5 sets of 10 supersetted or giant setted depending on how many people are at the gym. when i do this routine, i do workout 1, rest a day, workout 2, etc, so i'm at the gym every other day. course i have to get back to my old gym to do it, since my new gym doesn't have a deadlift platform. yech.
Deadlift to shrug
Push Ups (25 reps / set - ectomorph so they're easy for me)
Floor Wiper (holding 135 lbs on bench and doing leg raises to the bar)
DB Curl to Arnold Press
Sumo Deadlift to shrug
Incline Bench Press
Upright Row (EZ bar)
Bent Over Barbell Row (Overhand)
* i would have done clean and press, but i'm a little scared due to an injury. arnolds advice was to drop the weight in 1/2 and double the reps, but something still didn't feel happy, so i'm taking some time off them before i add them back in.
08-30-2008, 02:27 AM
Do you do 4x10 on all the exercises on each day? And you quote arnold a lot, so are you just in this for bodybuilding?
08-30-2008, 11:03 AM
And bud, i am not sure how you define functional because that word can mean so many things in this industry that it shouldnt (like some asshat balancing on a physioball trying to squat). What i mean is strength that is carried over into sports or regular life or work even if you have that kind of job. Is that how you define it?
08-30-2008, 08:52 PM
yes. strength you can use outside the gym - whether its cutting down a tree, picking up furniture, tackling someone who's stolen someone's purse. functional strength to me means having strength for things unrelated to a bicep exercise. using your muscles in harmony. seals training. that kinda stuff.
yes, i love bodybuilding. yes i want to get bigger. i started this at just under 130 lbs, now being at 180 flat, so much progress has been made. but i want to be able to use my muscles for other things not gym related. its great being bigger and all, but if i can't use those muscles together, there's really no point to it.
and again, yes, i do 4-5 sets of 10 for each of those movements. i'm curious as to your input on this, since you seem to be a huge supporter of olympic / powerlifting moves. any advice for better compound moves would be good.
i have done workout 1 listed above for a while, and had great results in regards to functional strength. now i'm looking to get back into doing them, but running three different workouts instead of the same one over and over. maybe adding a 4th workout that focuses on higher sets, less reps like that article you posted earlier. i'd like to increase strength, as well as increase my overall testosterone. what tweaks would you make?
08-31-2008, 11:34 AM
Well, i am not sure how you measure a rise in functional strength unless core lifts like deads and squats have gone up along with unilateral work (because one leg strength is very different from being able to use both legs) but assuming this has happened then i would personally make just a few tweaks. First off, for your goals, if it aint broke dont fix it. BUt in any case here you are with some advice.
I have done programs like you are doing, i have done DC, i have bulked up to around 220 with nothing hormonal when all i cared about was getting big. Huge mistake considering i used DC for college sport preparation and all it did was make me a very large, muscular...slow person, lol. But you live and you learn. I was 220 but wasnt strong at all for that weight.
So I learned. Then when I was done in college sports I got into MMA which has weight classes as i am sure you know so I had to cut weight and stay strong, so I dont really care about size anymore. Iwant to sit around 190 like I am and get strong and as explosive as ****. The funny thing is, when I started training like an athlete i got leaner, more muscular and could actually move. BUt because of diet I stay where I am at by simply slowly dropping fat and putting on muscle. This is why I believe whatever your goals are you are much better off training old soviet style which means pretty much full body splits throughout the week with different emphasis. THis will create optimal hormone output. Bodypart training became popular right around... when steroids became popular. Weird.
So what would I tell you to do?
Train to get stronger like a powerlifter, but then add in hypertrophy type training after you get your main lift out of the way. Get the best of both worlds while not putting an artificial ceiling on your CNS but not working on absolute strength. So for you...this is so hypothetical and just a very broad template...
Would be good to do a version of this-
TESTOSTERONE NATION - Westside for Skinny Bastards
Not saying follow a cookie cutter but this style of ME upper, lower, and volume works great for people who havent done any kind of heavy program before.
But the key is, manipulate volume.
wk1- maybe 5 heavy sets for your main lift
wk2 maybe 4
wk3 maybe 6-10
wk3 2-3 for a deload
This is how eric cressey manipulates volume and he is very successful with himself and his athletes. Try this or ask questions but you are very receptive and I hope this all made sense, i am on my way to work so i typed it so fast there are probly tons of errors.
08-31-2008, 11:34 PM
09-01-2008, 08:24 AM
09-10-2008, 09:29 PM
Hey man, looks to me you are over-planning and over-thinking stuff. Just do this routine, you'll get bulky;
MONDAYS: FULL BODY
Weighted Pullups / B.W.
DB Incline Bench
WEDENSDAYS: FULL BODY
BB Flat Bench
Weighted Dips / B.W.
Hang Clean & Press
FRIDAY: LEGS & ABS
Squats or Front Squats
Lunges, step ups, etc.
Any kind of Calf Raises
SATURDAY: UPPER BODY
Flat / Incline Bench DB or BB
DB / BB Military Press
Incline Dumbell Curls
Any Tricep Exercise
Dude, do this take it from me, i have been doing this type of routine for the past couple of years and i keep getting stronger and bulkier. You can of course customize it to your liking.
Good Luck Bro!
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