T Nation

A Few Educated Opinions Please

I will get to my questions (for all of you) at the end but I’ll try to Coles Notes this as much as possible. Upon return from a tour in Afghanistan I really made working out my hobby. It was a great way to stay active, make some gains in strength and of course a bit for vanity reason!

Essentially when I came back my workouts looked like this…

Example - Chest

Flat DB Bench Press
5 Sets never really going past 10 Reps. Never fewer then 5 or 6

Flat DB Flyes
Same Sets, essentially the exact same rep range.

After the chest I’ld usually do a Core workout. Core got lots of attention, 2 or 3 decent workouts a week.

And as you can imagine this format pretty much stayed the exact same for most muscle groups I exercised (Biceps, Shoulders, Triceps all 5 Sets no more then 10 never less then 5 or 6). Never worked out legs (guilty)! But that has been amended.
Here’s the important part I feel I must highlight. While I was doing this old program I did Reverse Pyramid (I believe its called??). I would start with the heaviest weight I new I could push and bash out that set. As I lost more strength I would drop the weight. So basically “START HEAVY END WITH LIGHTER WEIGHT”. This will obviously get a thrashing from some hardcores out there so save your steam. I get it. In fact, writing this has made me realize how much I did do wrong.

Im looking for constructive criticism and Educated Opinions from those of you who have them.

Moving on. After a while I got bored of the same routine over and over. I started looking into the exact definitions of Power and Strength and realized how I may have been lacking in some departments. Some of you are probably asking “Ok man, got it, but I wanna see the numbers!”
So let me help you out there.

Fun fact: I started my first day of High School at 99lbs. Just always been a skinny kid.
Then I grew around gr.11.

I sprouted up and now im 6’3 205lbs. When I returned home from overseas and I was following my first program the max weight I reached was 195lbs lean mass. Im still lean but thats what brings me to my next point.

Im now looking forward in my training. Im going back to college in the fall and I would like to play Rugby (Canadian colleges dont offer Football, sorry Yanks!). I can really put on some size with my frame. Ive been lucky enough to be gifted with speed and for the athletic side of the house I’ve been using a few Defranco (totally respect the man for what he does) workouts. I tried the Skinny Bastard workout but it just was not for me. I followed it very closely for a month but opted to try something new (No disrespect to Mr. Defranco!).

I originally went back to working out 2 individual muscle groups each day. Didnt know if I could be making a smarter workout routine so I decided to Frankenstien my workouts. This is what my workout week looks like


  • Multi vitamin
  • Omega 3 Fish Oil
  • MSM+Chondroitin+Glucosomine (for tall dudes need to keep the joints healthy)
  • At night im taking the TEST FREAK and GH FREAK stack.

Pre Workout:

  • 1 Hour prior to Pre workout shake, Indigo3G (4 Capsules, yup, just purchased it)
  • 1 Hour before workout, 2 Scoops IsoFlex
  • Concrete Creatine
  • 30 mins to workout 2 Scoops Razor8 (I just finished using NOExplode after almost 2 years)

Keep in mind while reading this new schedule I’ve put together that I am NOT using a Reverse Pyramid method AT ALL anymore. I use Pyramid when working int a 1RM or 3-5 Max Set Rep.

Day 1

Upper#1 + Core

Max Bench - Work up to 1RM
Preacher Curl
Rear Delt Raise
Tricep Pushdown
One Arm DB Row

Core - Cable Crunches, ground based exercises such as V-Ups, Sprinter Sit ups, V Sit Crunches. For Obliques, Russian BB Twist, Side bends ect.

For each Upper day I perform a Chest, Bicep, Shoulder, Tricep and Back exercise. 1 each. I do not work up to a 1RM every day. So the rest of the week looks like this

Day 2

Sprints + Upper #2

After completing my Sprints

Iso Chest Press
Lateral Delt Raises
Tricep Overhead Extention
Drop Set Concentration Curls
V Grip Rows (the row type can vary)

Day 3


Day 4

Upper #3 + Dynamic Lower Body

Incline DB Press
Hammer Curls
Close Grip Bench Press
Front Delt Raises
Wide Lat Pulldown

Dynamic day includes Box Jumps, Bulgarian Split Squats ect

Day 5

Upper #4 + Core

Deadlift (Max Set 3-5 reps or 1RM)
Upright Cable Rows (chest)
Zottoman Curls
Seated DB Shoulder Press
Skull Crushers

Core exercises will vary

Day 6


Day 7

Max Lower Body

Box Squats (3-5 rep max set or 1RM)
Walking Lunges
Reverse Hyperextensions
Leg Press

Followed by an OFF Day or possibly 2 then I restart the program again.

So this is what I am looking for.
Mass, explosive power for the athletic field and Strength. The 3 Big Ones that im sure everyone else wants to.

My questions for you guys

  1. I need to put on some more mass but still remain athletically “capable”. I’ld like to hit 225lbs. What kind of exercise/diet tricks can you give me?

  2. Is Pyramid training the way to go? Working into the heavier weight on a set?

  3. I’ve been looking into ways to excite nervous system (contrast exercises) to develop more Power for my workouts. I’ll warm up for Max Bench Press with Med Ball throws and Explosive Pushups. For Box Squats ill use Box Jumps. I would really appreciate any helpful tips in this area from and Strenght and Conditioning coaches out there

  4. Is there anything im doing here that is completely assbackwards or bat shit crazy and needs
    to be addressed?

Many thanks.

[quote]lowryt3838 wrote:

  1. I need to put on some more mass but still remain athletically “capable”. I’ld like to hit 225lbs. What kind of exercise/diet tricks can you give me?

so you’re looking for functional muscle?

[quote]lowryt3838 wrote:

  • 1 Hour prior to Pre workout shake, Indigo3G (4 Capsules, yup, just purchased it)[/quote]

You bought the Indigo-3G… why not check out the workouts that Christian Thibaudeau put together for Indigo users? Sounds like the “strength” or “performance” template would work well for you. CT’s opinion is about as educated as any you’ll get in response to this, and I along with plenty of other Indigo users can vouch for the efficacy of his methods. They work very well for building muscle, strength, and overall athleticism.

Also, you didn’t mention taking in any carbs pre/intra workout, which makes little sense if you’re using Indigo. The whole purpose of Indigo-3G is to repartition carbohydrates. If you just take it alone without any periworkout carb supplements or solid food carb sources, you are missing the point.

Indigo is a great tool for building muscle, leaning out, and improving performance, but I suggest you actually read up on proper use. It just doesn’t really make sense to purchase a supplement that expensive and then misuse it. There’s plenty of training and nutrition support at your disposal in the Indigo livespills, so you should check that out before taking any.

Indigo is a very specialised thingy - if youre going to spend money on it, follow the training protocals for it.

the training program you wrote out didnt seem to make any sense - why was W4SB not for you? it is! you seem to have ten delt/arm exercises for every lowerbody one

^and hardly any back work. This routine sucks, get on a proven one.

Since the reverse pyramid hasnt been commented on, I’ll give my two cents. Without warmups, it could significantly increase the chance of injury. With proper warmup sets, you should be able to avoid injury and maintain proper form, although this would defeat the whole purpose of reverse pyramids lol.

If your worried about losing power on heavier sets, keep the rep counts leading up to the heaviest sets very low. When im on my heavy lifting days, my rep counts leading up to my heaviest sets is no more than 3, even if i could bust out 10. Just move the weight a few times so your muscles can prepare for heavier loads and thats it. If after your heavy sets you wanna pyramid back down in weight, you can do those til failure.

On a side note, Im also 6’3 @ 205lbs and deff need to start taking supps for my joints too lol my knees especially are starting to bother me