T Nation

Adding Movements

I’m 42, 24% bodyfat and been following McRobert’s “hardgainer” abreviated philosophy. Except I don’t think I’m a true hardgainer. I work a split routine, 2X per week, hitting dips, oh press, squats, trap bar deadlifts and lat pulls (until I’m pulling my weight), some supplimental lifts aND 2-3 intense cardio sessions per week. I can’t seem to make any progress with the parallel dips. I would like to add a workout that would include power snatches, kettle bell training & some sled pulling. Will I be overtraining?

[quote]kkriel wrote:
I’m 42, 24% bodyfat and been following McRobert’s “hardgainer” abreviated philosophy. Except I don’t think I’m a true hardgainer. I work a split routine, 2X per week, hitting dips, oh press, squats, trap bar deadlifts and lat pulls (until I’m pulling my weight), some supplimental lifts aND 2-3 intense cardio sessions per week. I can’t seem to make any progress with the parallel dips. I would like to add a workout that would include power snatches, kettle bell training & some sled pulling. Will I be overtraining?[/quote]

It sounds like you are doing the right things but you don’t mention your height and weight. Are you sure that you are really 24% BF? Also, how much weight are you using on all of your lifts? Stuart McRobert’s Hardgainer philosophy is useful but I believe more people are “average gainers” than true hardgainers. I do agree however, that his “less is more” protocol is a sound idea especially in your 40’s and beyond. As far as progressing on dips, try cutting back to 80% of your best dipping weight and then build back up over the course of 4 to 5 weeks. This should give you a running start so you can blow past your present PR. In terms of adding another session, how do you feel that you recover now? It would not make sense if you are already feeling tired from your current lifting / cardio routine.

Relative to your Dips, I helped someone recently by using a resistance band. Secure it overhead and place the other end under arms and shoulders. This will lighten your load so that you can get more reps and build the “dipping muscles.”

I’m 5’91/2" (& shrinking!) and 195lbs.

So how many dips can you do at body weight?
If you cannot do ten, look up the Thibideau chin-up articles and use the same strategy with dips of decreasing the amount of sets and/or rest between sets to complete the ten.
If/when you can do ten, then start using dumbbells between your feet, or a dipping belt with suspended weight for lower reps with the added resistance (3X10 with resistance has worked great for me). At this point your unassisted dips should go up like crazy.

PM if you have specific questions

All the best

“I would like to add a workout that would include power snatches, kettle bell training & some sled pulling.”

That is basically what I do about “most” of the time. I never put much stock in the Hardgainer religion/belief system/faith tradition.

I think that the combo of doing a kettlebell exercise then sprinting away with a sled is one of the greatest training ideas of the last decade.