T Nation

12 Week Cycle

Figured I would run this by everyone to see what they thought…like some other people on the forum (Jason N., Eric, etc.) I am going to be doing a 12 week bulking cycle in which I bulk for two weeks using a four day a week GVT program with above maintenance cals, followed by two weeks of 5x5 training three times a week with HIIT three times a week at maintenance cals or slightly below (and repeat the cycle 3 times). For the GVT phases I was planning on doing a chest/back day, legs day, arms day, and shoulders/abs day…what does everyone think about having a day of GVT dedicated solely to shoulders and abs? I would have broken it up into two leg days (quad dominant, hip dominant), but my legs are growing fine whereas my shoulders and abs are lacking big time. Also, I was wondering what everyone thought about keeping the same 5x5 program for each 5x5 phase in order to monitor strength gains…good idea, or better to switch up the workout each phase? Let me know before I get the ball rollin’ for Summer bulking!!!

I’m using a similiar approach for the summer. I did the big keto thing back in Jan/Feb/March to get down to 6.5% and have been alternating 2 week bulking and 2 week moderate cutting cycles the past 7-8 weeks. Using Mag-10 on bulking cycles and methoxy/tribex/MD-6 on cutting cycles with Myostat the past 8 weeks. Currently finishing a 2 week cutting cycle and will start bulking again next week. I bulk up to ~8% and cut to ~7%. I gained 16 lbs LBM during this time.

Heb, awesome results. How much over maintenance are you going with calories during the bulking weeks, and how far under on the cutting weeks? I will be using Mag-10 for my bulking weeks too, and was planning on going 700-1000 over maintenance…for the cutting weeks I was thinking of maybe only 250 under, or even right at maintenance…I hope I can accurately fluctuate 1 or 2% BF each cycle, but I’ll take some extra fat gain if it means more muscle mass.

Being a former fat boy, I gain excessive fat on bulking cycles if calories get to high. I wanted to stay in the 7-8% BF range for summer, so I’m doing +500 calories on bulk and -500 calories on cut. I do no cardio during the 2 week bulk and do 30 min cardio 1st thing in the morning 5 days a week on cut and have been using 5x5 with mainly the big compound core lifts to hold strength steady during cut (with reduced volume by reducing number of lifts per WO and sticking to heavy strength lifts and actually I have gained a little strength on some of the cut cycles but that could be partly attributed to the MD6 - I’m always stronger when using ephedra). Also, I’m doing the Mag-10 at 1.5 doses a day and also am using M along with the Methoxy/Tribex/MD6 between Mag-10 cycles. I’ve been on Myostat for the last 8 weeks straight. I’m also using creatine and Surge.

I would keep the 5x5 exercises the same. That way you will be able to assess your progress and choose appropriate weights. Good luck and keep us posted.

Do you think an entire day devoted to shoulders is actually ideal? Have you had success with this in the past? My shoulders seem overtrained all the damn time after chest and back days and even some bi and tri days put me that way. I am curious if training them extra would help you or make atrophying the case (which is not what you would want, right?) I just got over doing GVT2000 (for the third time - of course not in a row) and that split seems to work out fine, but normally I would have to agree I hate to train back and bis and chest and tris on the same day, but hell due to the volume why not get them tore to shreds on one day I suppose. It still seems to work. It seems conspicuous to me why so much ab-emphasis would go into a “bulking” cycle, but hey if it works for you. I just shot an ancillary circuit on quad days and it went extremely well. Ok maybe you want measurements and such. This past GVT2000 cycle- I gained 12 pounds of mass and DROPPED about 2% bodyfat still and this was on Berardi’s “Don’t Diet!” I did this in about 3 weeks (ending yesterday morning). Why did I choose this combo - I don’t freakin’ know but the 2 go really well together it appears…I have tried all sorts of diets and this combo works seemingly the best out of the 3 diets I have paired with GVT2000. One problem I see for you however could be the “need” to train only 4 days per week…with GVT2000 I usually saw the gym about 5 times in the week. But shoulders being paired with hams seemed ideal. I don’t know. If you could however, get back tome your thoughts on overtraining the shoulders - my shoulders seemed to grow out of control when I cut back on training them not giving them “extras.”

I think a day for shoulders and abs is fine, provided that it isn’t just presses and crunches the whole time. The pressing function of the shoulders already gets a lot of work, so I think you’d be wise to use a GVT2000 approach with these two bodyparts. For instance, start with a military press variation for 3 sets, go to upright rows for 3, and then lateral raises for 2, and bentover laterals for 2. With abs, use hanging leg raises, crunches, dragon flags, and some oblique work if desired. And, as I mentioned before, you could even throw in calves on this day if desired.

Heb-Your plan, supplementation, and former fatboyness is similar to mine…I only hope I can achieve results like you have! Jason-Thanks for the advice…I figured the same 5x5 throughout might be the best bet for monitoring strength gain. dinoiii-I have been training shoulders on their own day off and on now (after not directly training them for a year), and they don’t seem to be overtrained at all…not only that, but along with my abs, they need the most work of any body part…hence their own GVT day.