T Nation

Anti-BB clarification


#1

I'm finishing up OVT in about a week. After 2 weeks of super easy/low volume training (on a M/W/F split), with light weights and fast, explosive tempos, I will start anti-bodybuilding.

I have a few questions to clarify, though. I've searched the forum numerous times, and can't find the answers, could you guys help?

After looking over the article, would you guys suggest doing the supplementary upper-arm work? Chad says he doesn't reccomend it, but honestly, the volume is so low already that if I DIDN'T do the extra sets, I'd feel like I was wasting my time driving to the gym...

Here is an example of my first week, if I'm figuring this out right. Tell me if it looks correct (Chad said I could do a M/T/Th/F split with good success)

Monday:
Bench Press 80%: 10 x 3
Barbell Row 80%: 10 x 3
Barbell Curl 80%: 5 x 3
Skullcrushers 80%: 5 x 3

Tuesday:
Front Squat 60%: 5 x 10 (I have to learn the technique on this, so I'll go light for the first few days)
Hanging Pike: 5 x 10
Calf Raises: 5 x 10

Thursday:
Dips 60%: 5 x 10
Chinups (palms away from me) 60%: 5 x 10
Incline Hammer curl 60%: 3 x 10
Tricep Pressdown 60%: 3 x 10

Friday:
Deadlift 80%: 10 x 3
Weighted Crunches 80%: 10 x 3
Calf Raises: 10 x 3

Also, I am not so sure about the rep ranges for calves and abs... 3 reps for calf raises? That's a little 'odd'... what did anyone here do about that? I'm not sure if there would be significant stimulation if I did 3 reps for abs, no matter how difficult a motion I tried to do.

If anyone has any questions to ask, I will gladly do so. I'm looking for some good strength gains, and this program was reccomended by Christian himself (btw - on a side note, I can't wait to receive my copy of the little black book, I'm checking the mail every day in anticipation!)

Thanks


#2

The abs respond well to heavy work. Multiple heavy sets of 3 reps for abs is great, providing that the exercise you choose doesn't overly stress your spine getting off the floor. I just finished anti-BB using Janda-style sit-ups, but even they caused significant lower back stress in supersets with DL's. I probably should have chosen a different exercise.

The calf rep ranges were puzzling because the gastrocs respond well to low reps and the soleus responds better to high reps. Anti-BB as published has them the other way around, but I complied and used it as an opportunity to give each muscle a new stress.

As for the extra arm work, I had just come off a dieting phase and wanted a higher workload to prevent fat gain at higher calories. It didn't seem to slow my recovery. I think preacher curls would work better than the regular biceps curls you substituted. You could try prone incline DB curls if you don't have access to a preacher bench.

I think the key to this routine was to avoid failure like it was a fatal disease. The workload keeps increasing for half the week, intensity increases for the other half and density is always high. The next time I do it, I'd like to make sure that the eccentric tempo I used on the first week will be the one I use for the last. Starting with lighter weights you try to make it more strenuous at first by "feeling" the eccentric phase. This complicates the training stimulus of increasing workload. I think in this workout it's cool not to count tempo but make sure, somehow, that you'll be doing each exercise with the same tempo every week. Remember if you accelerated on calf raises, pause for a breath at the same place in a rep, etc.

At the end of the three cycles of workouts, I did one more cycle, cut the volume in half and upped the intensity.


#3

So... how does my workout look?

Would you suggest cutting out the upper arm work entirely? Who here has done the program WITH direct upper arm work, and who has done it WITHOUT?

If I will get better results coming off of OVT without arm work, so be it. But time is not an issue, and I enjoy the 'pump' I get from working out my arms directly. I relish the pain. So, I'd rather do upper arm work, but if it will sacrifice results, I'll leave it out.

Thanks for all the help and responses.


#4

D,
Your plan looks good.
As for your inquiry about my set/rep guidelines for calves - here's the reasoning. I have found that the soleus responds best to extremely high load training for growth, even though it is a "slow twitch" dominant muscle group. I came to this conclusion long ago, and it seems that others tend to agree. Poliquin recommends low rep seated calf raises in his Luke Sauder Calf program, and JP Catazzaro also recommends high load, low rep drop -set soleus training in his Pop-em Out Muscles article. So I guess I'm not the only one who has come to that conclusion. The gastroc responds well to both types of training, therefore by default, they were given the 5 x 10 method. But if I had to choose between high rep and low rep training for the gastrocs, I would choose high rep training since I have had the most success with that method for gastroc hypertrophy over the years.
Abdominals are, without a doubt, most effectively trained and hypertrophyed with low rep, heavy training utilizing multiple sets.
Since you seem motivated to train your arms, and time is not an issue, give the arm option a try as you outlined in your plan.
Good Luck!


#5

Thanks for taking the time to answer me, it means a lot. Whenever I grudgingly shell out the extra dough to buy biotest stuff instead of the cheaper ON or GNC brand, I think of this great website...

I'll give it a shot, and post my progress. I'm cutting OVT short a week b/c my weights DECREASED in my chest/back workout today, which I think might be a sign of overtraining. I am gonna do one week SUPER light weights and explosive reps (instead of taking any time off completely) since I haven't had a week off in about 10 weeks, then start anti-bb.

If anyone wants an excel spreadsheet for anti-bb, I made some. Gimme an email and I'll send them to you. Just thought I'd put the offer out there.

Thanks again, I'll update this thread on my progress in a few weeks. This looks like a program I'll want to follow for more than 3 weeks...


#6

Crap, one more question.

I am not a fan of barbell rows (I only feel it in my bi's, and my back never gets too sore), and the pulley machine in my gym is ALWAYS being used.

For the horizontal pull for back, would t-bar rows be a good substitute? Where I put one end of a barbell in the corner of the gym and load the other end with weight, and pull it to my chest? I'd use a good full ROM...

Also, is the front squat a lot better than the back squat? I've never tried to front squat before, although if it is the best exercise for quads, I'll certainly teach myself.

Thanks.


#7

What about one armed dumbell rows? You should try the front squats though. If it's new, it might provide some new growth. It's a little differnt in that it takes a lot more ab stabalization but I feel it hit the lower quads better than back squats. It's always good to try something new. As far as the arm thing, I didn't include any arm work and I had good results. Afer anti-bodybuilding, I did EDT for arms and my arms grew for the first time in a while. It might be a good idea to give your arms some rest. It might provide for greater growth down the road.


#8

Did you gain a significant amount of strength??

Anyone who did anti-BB, how were your strength gains?

I really want to get stronger... that is my main goal right now. I am 95% sure I'm doing anti-BB, the only problem I have with the program is that, so far, I have heard lots of people talk about their mass gains, but very little about strength. Chad talks about training for strength to induce hypertrophy in the article - is this a strength routine???

My other choice would be a 3 day M/W/F split:

Monday..

Squat 5x5
Flat Bench 5x5
Wide-Grip Chin's 5x5
Calve Raises 3 x 15

Wednesday..

Deadlift 5x5
Incline Barbell Press 5x5
Barbell Rows 5x5
BB Curls 5x5

Friday..

Front-Squat 5x5
Weighted Dip's 5x5
Power-Clean 5x5
Close-Grip Bench 5x5
Calve Raises 3 x 15

I would use Poliquins reccomendations, using my 5RM and making sure I get to atleast 14 total reps for each exercise, and then increasing the poundage once I get all 25 reps.

What do you think would be superior for strength gains (specifically on bench), following up OVT? I've already written up excel spreadsheets for both... just wanting to know...


#9

You will definitely gain strength on my ABBH program, but obviously, not as much strength as a pure maximal strength workout.
If you don't seek any increased muscle size and your goal is increased maximal strength increases, then my recommendations will obviously change.
In other words ABBH or the 5 x 5 methods are great for size and strength. But pure maximal strength training requires a different approach.


#10

This might not be the correct place for such discussion, but since the subject has been brought up, I thought I'd share some of my own thoughts and experiences.

The issue is related to training calves and abs with heavy loads and low repetitions. I couldn't agree more! This is the only way that I've trained either muscle group, and these two muscle groups are very well two of my best.

Anyway, there seems to be this constant hub-bub that one needs to train abs, calves, and thighs (not in these parts but outside the T-Mag fringe) with high reps. Are you kidding me! These muscle groups get low levels of stimulation all the time! The abs are constantly used for postural purposes. The thighs and calves are stimulated all damn day by walking.

This is exactly why you need to break out the heavy weights and low reps! Wake up those dormant muscle fibers and motor units that receive no stimulation for crying out loud.

Thanks for letting me share:-)


#11

Timbo my brother,
As you know, your comments are always welcome on any of my threads. Thanks for the input.


#12

Timbo is right.

1) Rectus Abdominis is mainly fast twitch, with 46.1% slow twitch fibers according to Curtin University of Technology. This strongly supports a lower rep, heavier weight protocol for AB training, as opposed to the widespread high-rep training (which there is nothing wrong with, but is not the best program considering the muscle fiber make-up of the muscle)

2) The bulk of the calves - the Gastrocnemius is also a fast twitch muscle to a large degree - with only 43.5% slow twitch fibers in the medial head , 50.5% slow twitch in the lateral head (source: Curtin U. of Technology). This also supports a lower rep, heavier weight protocol for the calves.
Yes, the Soleus muscle is 87.7% slow twitch and the Gastrocnemius also have a considerable number of slow twitch - but as Timbo has pointed out, the calves are involved in a myriad of activities and tasks such as running, which will should hit the slow twitch fibers to a degree.

Since both muscles are riddled with Fast Twitch fibers, they certainly have the potential for good strength development and it's easy to see how one can develop mad calves with low rep training (although a mix of low rep and high rep may yield the best results, especially if running and similar activities are excluded)


#13

Well, by strength increases, I am really looking for an increase in 5RM strength, not 1RM strength. In other words, I don't care about my maximal strength per se, but an ability to be strong for longer periods of time (like 5-10 reps)...

So is the ABBH routine good for this type of strength gain? I've already written out the spreadsheets for it... along with my M/W/F split... would you reccomend I do ABBH or what? I'm starting one or the other a week from Monday, this week I will be doing a very low volume low-intensity program (instead of taking a week off completely) to give myself some time to recuperate (I heard it was good to take weeks off every 10-12 weeks or so, especially after a high volume routine such as OVT).


#14

ABBH or my 5x5? For strength, not necessarily size?

And should I even bother taking that week off in between OVT and ABBH with the low-volume and low-intensity, or just hop right into it?