Solid Barbell Bulking Routine?
- 03-03-2013, 03:24 AM
Solid Barbell Bulking Routine?
I'd like some advice on the current lifting routine I've been following. I've lifted for a few years on and off but it has always been precaution lifting for sports, I've never really lifted heavy or done compound lifts until recently. Now I am trying to add substantial strength and size and am taking lifting and eating very seriously. My goal is to put on as much muscle and strength as possible in the long run. Of course I know it will be a long process which I am looking forward to. So far I have added upwards of 30 lbs since the end of the past summer. Some of this is fat, I had no idea what I was doing diet wise and like an idiot lived off mcd's and simple carbs. However although my knowledge of lifting was still limited it was improved somewhat by lifting with my teamates so a good portion of the weight is muscle as well.
My current stats...
BF 16-17% (Based of waist measurement and weight)
I'm eating 4000 calories daily, getting plenty of protein and diets pretty clean. I just started counting cals and was losing weight off 3500 so I upped it to 4000. May have to up it again, time will tell. Also I'm trying intermittent fasting, getting all my calories in a 6 hr time window. Is this a waste for me to do since I'm trying to gain weight? What do you guys think about IF?
BB Bench: 190lbs
These are all slightly lower then my 1RM but I don't have a legit rack yet so I don't feel like getting stuck under the bar on bench and squats and for deads I just haven't really pushed it. I figure I'll get true 1RM's when I build a rack in a week or so (I'm lifting in my shed) I'm gaining strength pretty quickly so I'm hoping these will go up. I don't know if the lifts matter or not but I put em anyways. And yeah I know I'm weak, that's what liftings for.
Decline bb bench
Incline bb bench
Close grip bb bench
Ham glute raises
Standing calf raises
Military bb press
Rear delt flys
Upright rows or shrugs
chinups wide/narrow grip
Bent over bb rows
Bent over longbar rows
Bb forearm curls (holding behind back)
Everything is 3-4 sets. 1st set 10-12 reps, 2nd set 4-6 reps, 3rd 8-10, 4th 8-12. Doesn't always turn out this way but that's what I go for, stopping 1 or 2 reps before failure, sometimes hitting failure last set. Is this a good rep setup (for strength and size)?
I do this 3 days on, 1 day off. Is lifting almost 6 days a week too much or is this alright? For natural btw.
Am I missing any vital lifts? I Don't have access to db's just bb for now.
Finally am I wasting my time as a semi-beginner doing a split like this? Should I be doing a full body workout or an upper/lower split instead? Also I like lifting almost everyday, I don't like off days as it is.
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I just want to make sure I'm not hindering progress in any way.
- 03-03-2013, 05:25 AM
I suggest you do a push, pull, legs split instead. I also suggest you do 3 days on 2 off, repeat. When you get more advanced you can go 3 on, 1 off. I'd do something like this with the limited equipment available.
Day 1 push
Flat bench 4 sets, 6-12 reps
Ohp 3 sets 12 reps
Skull crushers 3x 12
Bench dips 3x bodyweight ( add weight as you get stronger)
Upright rows 3x 20
Bb front raise 3x 20
Day 2 pull
Wg pull ups 4x failure ( add weight when your stronger)
Tbar rows 4x12
Bb shrugs 4x12
Rear dealt raises 3x20
Bb curls 4x12, 1x20
Day 3 legs
Squat 4x12, 2x20+ reps
Stiff leg dl 4x 12
Calf raise 4x20
Day 4 push
Incline bench 4x12
Cg bench 4x12
Behind the head ohp 3x20
Push ups 3x failure ( add weight when you can) shoot for 50 reps a set
Upright row 3x20
Front raise 3x20
Day 5 pull
Bb rows 4x12
Cg pull ups 4x failure
Bb pull overs 3x20
Rear delt raises 3x20
Bb curls 4x12, 1x20
Day 6 legs
Dead lift 4x5, 2x10+
Front squat 4x12, 2x20+
Good mornings 3x20
Calf raise 4x20
- 03-03-2013, 05:27 AM
03-03-2013, 07:45 AM
03-03-2013, 08:04 AM
03-03-2013, 08:26 AM
I think you could drop down to 3 days a week and enjoy it a bit more. 5-6 days a week can be pretty taxing. but if your recovering, your recovering.
Also the leg work looks a little weak, I would try to throw in some good morning or RDL's at the very least.
"Starting strength" is a great barbell routine. No nonsense either. Extra points if you purchase the book.
03-03-2013, 08:30 AM
03-03-2013, 08:54 AM
OP- Never restrict yourself to a certain rep range. It will only lead to a plateau. As a beginner, you should have a laid out plan with progression. I'd actually recommend using 5/3/1. It's a simple and proven strength building program. It would be a great way for you to become profficient at your compound movements and to set a solid foundation in your training. All assistance lifts will be in the 10-20 rep range. Tailor your assistance excercises how you need (I recommend the Periodization Bible Template)and a caloric surplus and you'll gain size and be strong without overtaxing your CNS. Don't mess around with creating your own programs unless you're 100% you know what you're doing, in which case you wouldn't be asking your question.
03-03-2013, 10:28 AM
Have you read or religiously done or stuck to, a good written program for 6 months to a year?
It is not the lifts you are missing per se, but more that execution of the work, or the set up.Am I missing any vital lifts? I Don't have access to db's just bb for now.
Finally am I wasting my time as a semi-beginner doing a split like this? Should I be doing a full bdy workout or an upper/lower split instead? Also I like lifting almost everyday, I don't like off days as it is.
IMO, yes. Trying, without much or any experience setting up ones own W/O because it is the way they want to do it, or feel more is better on one days work, instead of hitting the entire body 2-3 times per week, is not a very efficient way to produce the best possible gains.
And although eating is a very important part of lifting, so is the execution of adding the big 5- 7 lifts to that diet plan on a regular basis.
If you are going to have a rack in a few weeks!?, then are you going to again revamp your W/O's then or still do the same split?
You will gain best, if you use a written "proven" program ala some of the old time gurus ie: Starr's 5x5, Steiner's Hardgainers Bible, McCallum's Keys to Progress, Rips SS, perhaps McRoberts Brawn, Wendler's 531 (Altough I think Wendler's 5/3/1 is for more advanced lifters with a bit more time under the bar.)
Gaining is pretty dang simple, but don't ever confuse simple, with easy! It is hard work and the less you overthink it, or complicate it, the better and faster you will reach your potential.
03-03-2013, 11:50 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone, very informative.
Joeblow thanks for the detailed workout, I can see how it would be a more effective workout for me. And I do abs every other day, so I'll get it going everyday.
I actually have been looking into Wendlers 5/3/1. I like the fact that it is strength oriented and focuses on progression. I'm pretty sure I will go ahead and run this program once I figure out how it to properly run it. I already have a explanation of it printed out sitting next to my bed.
Also Paul Black because you said it tends to be for more advance lifters I will look into starting strength as well since I have also heard good things about that. I have not stuck to a training routine longer then almost a month, but I am going to now. I have read before it is not wise for a beginner to create their own workout and now that has been confirmed here so I will defiantly start a proven program, either starting strength or 5/3/1. If you guys think one will prove more effective then the other I will chose the preferred one but otherwise I'm sure either of these programs will get the job done.
Thanks for the impute from everyone, great advice it will be put to use!
03-03-2013, 11:56 AM
When I do Push, Pull, Legs, I do Pull Mon, Push Wed, and Legs Fri. I prefer to have a few days between deadlifts and squats, and a couple days off after legs. I also throw in a 3 light sets of facepulls on Push day, even though its a pull. I also do a few sets of bodyweight chins on leg day if I I have time. This would be an example of a split I may use:
Deadlifts following a 5-3-1 rep scheme
Pullups, 1 set weighted and 2 more sets at bodyweight
Pendelay Rows 5 x 5, using a weight that allows me to go 1 to 2 reps short of failure
Facepulls 3 sets of 12
Flat bench using 5-3-1 rep scheme
Weighted dips 4 sets
Dumbell or Hammer strength overhead presses 4 sets of 6-8 reps, not to failure
Facepulls 3 sets of 12
Goblet squats 3 light sets of 10 reps
Squats using 5-3-1 rep scheme
Elevated split squats 3 sets of 8-10...or anything unilateral, not to failure
Back extensions 3 sets of 12
Chin ups, 3 sets bodyweight, not to failure
03-03-2013, 12:03 PM
5/3/1 will work for you. It's very simple and easy to follow. I suggest buying his e-book from his website. It's $20 well spent and will give you the correct information opposed to false information about it on various websites or forums, plus a plethora of training principles and advice. I wouldn't see it as for advanced lifters only as it focus's on your compound movements and simple assistance templates.
03-03-2013, 12:06 PM
Another thing to remember, and even Tate and Wendler mentioned this a few times, the actual said routine(s) (whatever known one you pick) is quite a bit lower on the list of importance than getting into the gym on a regular basis and killing it and literally pounding your body into the direction of where you want it to go. (Read that again!!!) Again it is very simple, but do not confuse simple and easy. I have done and seen guys literally put themselves on the floor for 5-10 solid minutes after a few sets of squats and standing OHP's.If you guys think one will prove more effective then the other I will chose the preferred one but otherwise I'm sure either of these programs will get the job done.
The absolute prime directive and difference maker will be, your determination, focus and keeping regular consistence work thru an entire given cycle, then putting 3-4-5 of these cycles together over a period of time/year+, to see the transformation.
Yeah, and I agree it is not just for advanced trainees specifically, but more advanced than a beginner IMO, only because I personally do not feel novices really need to be concerned with heavy singles, until they really get a few good cycles of just solid form and repping of the big 5-7.Originally Posted by Sean
03-03-2013, 05:25 PM
Boogyman looks like a great routine, its obvious that you designed it aware of what works and what doesn't. If I am correct it looks like its somewhat based off the 5/3/1 routine, not just because the reps but also because the assistance exercises seem to be set up similarly to what the 5/3/1 suggested, but that's based off a quick skim of the article I printed out so I could be mistaken.
Sean I am defiantly going to buy his book. I didn't know he had one available but I should have guessed it, makes sense. I read quite a bit and I enjoy reading about lifting so it probably time I read a book about it. I like the idea of a program that allows for slightly more experienced lifters as well. I'm not the kind of person that jumps around with different programs I like to stay with something and focus on making it as effective as possible so if the program allows for me to stay with it for a long time all the better.
PaulBlack I agree education plays a huge part in success, off of what research I have done I can already tell it does. I'm sure reading a complete book about it will help me gain a more complete understanding on what works and how to go about it.
Also I agree with you a hundred percent that drive and dedication is the most important aspect. I love physical exercise, its what I do. I have played sports seriously my whole life, hockey, triathlons, baseball and I know how important drive is for success. Hopefully in a year or so I'll have some transformation pics for you guys so you can see your advice put into action!
03-03-2013, 05:38 PM
03-03-2013, 06:17 PM
Sounds good man. I actually have to work on my OHP i feel like its lagging. Iv'e never lifted anything over my head until recently. It's a no-no for pitchers. So do you use the 5/3/1 for size or just power or both?
03-03-2013, 06:33 PM
His book is cheap and easy to read. Wendler has a way of making complicated things seem simple. Good luck to ya
03-03-2013, 06:39 PM
03-03-2013, 06:51 PM
03-03-2013, 08:36 PM
I'm too skinny for my liking right now so I'll try to tailor it for size, and of coarse my diet also. Good luck with the big three man, and thanks for the help as well.
03-03-2013, 08:50 PM
03-03-2013, 09:40 PM
03-03-2013, 09:41 PM
I prefer the Periodization Bible. It allows you to use difference exercises to address weaknesses and isn't as..boring. That and doing 5x10 deadlifts suck. It will have a higher chance of breaking down his form.
03-03-2013, 09:47 PM
Ok I will look at both. Quick question, since I am not that attuned to my body how will I know what my weaknesses are or will I figure that out after reading the book and implementing the workout.
03-03-2013, 09:54 PM
You don't necessarily have to have a weakness. I just like that template personally. Squat/Dead days are followed by hamstring 5x10-20, quad 5x10-20. OHP/Bench is followed by a shoulder or chest exercise 5x10-20, back, and Tri or bi. I just appreciate the variation it offers. Other programs are great as mentioned by previous posters. I'm just partial to 5/3/1.
03-03-2013, 10:00 PM
Ok I understand what your getting at. I'll look at both the BBB and the Periodization Bible before I make a decision. I might do one cycle of each to see which I prefer. I definably see what your saying about the deadlifts thought, 5x10's quite a bit.
03-03-2013, 11:51 PM
You also don't have to use BBB for every movement. I did not use it for deadlift either. I used it on the other 3 days, and did Zercher squats on deadlift day.
I found it worked really well on presses.
03-04-2013, 12:28 AM
Several people have mentioned it already OP but my vote is for 5/3/1. This is one of my favorite routines and one that I've been doing for the past year or so. I've seen great strength gains and modest size gains. I agree also with using the Periodization Bible although sometimes I'll do the Boring But Big workouts if I'm feeling like it. Once I read through it several times it actually made sense and seemed a logical plan of attack to me. After you stick to the basics of the program for a while you can tweak it to meet whatever specific needs that you discover. For a long time I just did the workouts exactly as he outlined them, put my trust in someone smarter than me, and I had great results. It was also a huge ego check which I ended up liking and I find myself waaaaay more focused on setting PR's, kicking my own a$$, and making myself better than trying to be a big shot.
03-04-2013, 01:31 AM
Boogyman alright I'll keep that in mind. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a chance to go through the whole program and figure it out. I'm going to try to implement it soon although I don't want to go real heavy on some of the lifts until I have a proper rack.
Whaz I've pretty much decided to follow this routine for a couple of cycles at least if not much longer so its good to hear a vote of confidence from someone whos had success with it. It sounds like a great program and I'm looking forward to starting it. I really like the fact that its flexible so in the future I can personalize it for specific goals. As for the ego check I got that when I started working out with my old teamates. Not gonna lie all of them kicked my ass in the weight room but thats what made me determined to really learn about weight lifting and to get bigger and stronger so an ego check can really be a blessing in disguise.
03-04-2013, 07:04 AM
One last thing to keep in mind, the accessory stuff is not nearly as important as sticking to the 5-3-1 protocol on the 4 main lifts. I am not saying to not give good effort and look to improve upon the accessory stuff, just don't stress out about it. I have used a bunch of different accessory templates and the end result is not really much different as long as you keep at the primary lifts and the accessory stuff at least makes some kind of sense.
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