T Nation

BrickHead - How Do You Train?

We all know your main goal here is to limit those of us with potential by hailing your iron clad rules and limits of natural ability. To pound us down with your iron fist and force us to accept that we can’t be anything but average. Every rep in the gym, I think “Is it worth it? BrickHead said I can’t add 80 lbs. Why bother?”

In all seriousness, you are one of the more intelligent posters here. Very few people are as much a student of the game as you. I for one would like to hear more about your training history and ideas.

Yeah, I know I’m a “hater”, hellbent on making everyone fall way short of their potential. And I’m pretty good at it. Just look at how powerful are my words and all the poor saps in gyms and kitchens and grocery stores and restaurants right now depriving themselves of gains because a schmo like me posted his thoughts on muscular gains on the 'net.

Thanks for the thread! I want to answer thoroughly, so I’m probably gonna hold off tonight and post some stuff tomorrow, Saturday, my official Fart Around Day.

Good thread idea. Not many people can speak of the actual science, as well as having such a deep love, and appreciation for the competitive side of the sport as well.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good thread idea. Not many people can speak of the actual science, as well as having such a deep love, and appreciation for the competitive side of the sport as well.

S[/quote]

yes, not many people can speak of the actual science

[quote]marshaldteach wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good thread idea. Not many people can speak of the actual science, as well as having such a deep love, and appreciation for the competitive side of the sport as well.

S[/quote]

yes, not many people can speak of the actual science

[/quote]

After I add some stuff here, can you thereby remain civil and NOT sarcastic with me if you choose to comment? This whole time in discussion on gains you didn’t have to be sarcastic with me and could’ve simply explained why my belief system is flawed in a civil, coherent manner. I even apologized to you for losing my patience with your sarcasm and getting abrasive myself, yet you called me a troll for thinking things out from what I’ve learned and OBSERVED over and over and over again.

Cool thread idea.

It is cool to hear the thoughts, ideas and experiences of a poster with a love for bodybuilding/fitness, lives the lifestyle, works in the industry AND has an academic degree that directly pertains to his endevours.

Share your thoughts please.

I’m looking forward to this. Brick is one of my favorite posters here due to his extensive scientific knowledge(I’m an engineer so I nerd out over that stuff) and he tries to conduct himself in a civil manner in the midst of shit storm threads haha.

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]marshaldteach wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Good thread idea. Not many people can speak of the actual science, as well as having such a deep love, and appreciation for the competitive side of the sport as well.

S[/quote]

yes, not many people can speak of the actual science

[/quote]

After I add some stuff here, can you thereby remain civil and NOT sarcastic with me if you choose to comment? This whole time in discussion on gains you didn’t have to be sarcastic with me and could’ve simply explained why my belief system is flawed in a civil, coherent manner. I even apologized to you for losing my patience with your sarcasm and getting abrasive myself, yet you called me a troll for thinking things out from what I’ve learned and OBSERVED over and over and over again. [/quote]

i don’t think what you believe is flawed, although I do think that the best natty competitors would have more LBM prior to their cut (so their LBM would be > whatever limit you thought there was based on competition weight)

i think the way you state it is flawed/controversial, though

Brilliant poster.

I don’t know if this comes under the remit of the kind of thing your job/education covers so sorry if it doesn’t:

what do you think of Poliquin’s BioSig stuff? In particular what are your thoughts on how fat distribution indicate hormonal/mineral issues (zinc etc) within the body. I have never really looked into it but have a little recently and feel perhaps some issues exist, for example I think I have more fat in my lower body than I uses to (relatively speaking). Beyond simply losing fat in general id like to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Any other thoughts on this kind of thing (lower back fat indicates …, men tend to gain more abdominal fat over time because…, etc) would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the well thought out posts over the years too.

I think Brick has a brain worth picking. I’m curious Brick, what you think is optimal frequency of training. I have done “annihilation once/week” as well as multiple sessions. I have even done once every 5 days (when my schedule allowed).

I’m curious what you have tried and how the results were.

It’s nice to have you back to T-Nation.

I want to start off by saying that I actually think I don’t have any unique information. Nearly all the information I’ve shared on this board is a regurgitation or application of what I’ve been taught in school or by myself through reading books and articles and attending seminars or a description of what I’ve seen. I REALLY appreciate the compliments given here, but sometimes I think to myself that I know some stuff and I really love nutrition and fitness, but I don’t think I have anything special to offer. But then again–and I actually believe this–at this point in time, there is nothing new! Most of the greatest powerlifters and bodybuilders were around before the internet and achieved things with their seemingly antiquated methods. I think perhaps there is new application or “packaging” or branding of older fitness endeavors, such as Crossfit, a form of metabolic conditioning; or Zumba, a dance system as a form of exercise; or those Insanity-style bodyweight routines that can be done at home; or 5/3/1, Jim Wendler’s system.

Anyway, as I said elsewhere on this board, last year I got the lifting addiction again and wanted to compete this coming May. I really wanted to just do one show and powerlifting meet in my life, just for personal reward and fun, before I get married and have a kid later on. However, because of the nature of my job (nothing to do with the profession, but the environment I work in right now) and some other things I want to do with my life, I realized competition isn’t in store for me. It’s not as if I’d do any sort of damage in natural bodybuilding or powerlifting; I just wanted to experience it. I highly regret not competing in my mid 20’s. For all those who can juggle life, competing, and work, I don’t know how you do it, and I applaud you.

So, right now I’m just back to “general fitness”, “keeping in shape”, and will soon likely be joining a Crossfit gym for a change of pace. However, I’ve been a hardcore bodybuilding fan since 16 years old and always will be. I’m actually attending the Metropolitan Bodybuilding Championships, sponsored by “The Mecca”, Bev Francis’s Powerhouse, and will be meeting up with a former T-mag contributor. So yeah, some might from now on say, “Brick’s not serious”, but I am very serious about staying healthy and fit for my whole life.

Anyway, the first routine I ever did was a HIT- or ACSM-style full body, beginner’s routine that I got out of Muscle & Fitness magazine. It was done three days per week and if I recall correctly, it went something like this, all done for 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps:

Squats
Leg curls
Back extensions
Bench press
Lat pulldowns, pullups, or chinups
Bent over row
Curls
Tricep pressdown
Calf raises
Crunches

After I did that for some time, I went onto a full body Bill Starr 5 x 5 routine. I read Bill’s column in Ironman magazine religiously. I think it went something like this:

Day 1 (Heavy)
Squats: 5 x 5
Bench Press: 5 x 5
Deadlift: 5 x 5
Two assistance exercises for 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Day 2 (Light)
Squats 5 x 5 (50 pounds lighter than heavy day)
Overhead press 5 x 5
Bent over row 5 x 5
Two assistance exercise for 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Day 3 (Medium)
Squats 5 x 5 (20 pounds lighter than heavy day)
Incline press 5 x 5
Good mornings 5 x 5
Two assistance exercises for 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps

During college and early 20’s, although I kept active, I didn’t take lifting so seriously because I found it damn near impossible to stay consistent.

I’m going make different posts to break things up as I explain more.

When I got serious again, although I did some experimenting with different routines, I flip flopped between a powerlifting phase and a bodybuilding phase.

Here’s what my bodybuilding routine looked like up until recently.

Day 1: Chest and biceps
CHEST (pre-exhausted most of the time)
Incline dumbbell flys
Incline dumbbell press
Flat dumbbell flys
Flat dumbbell presses

BICEPS
EZ bar curls
Incline dumbbell curls
Machine preacher curls

Day 2: Quads, hamstrings, calves
Standing calf raises
Seated calf raises
Squats
Glute ham raises
Lunges
Stiff legged deadlifts
Leg extensions
Lying leg curls

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Shoulders and triceps
SHOULDERS
Standing overhead press
Lateral raises
Cable or machine lateral raises
Dumbbell shrugs
TRICEPS
Close grip bench press
Lying triceps extensions
Triceps pressdown

Day 5: off

Day 6: Back and abs
BACK
Chinups/pullups
Dumbbell row
Cable row
Machine pullovers
Rear delt raises
Deadlifts
ABS
Situps
Leg raises

Day 7: off

Exercises were done for 2 or 3 main sets each after warmups necessary (kind of a ramping up thing).

When I was in a powerlifting/strength training mode, the routine I used was a Westside Barbell sort of routine. Looking back, it wasn’t well balanced.

Day 1
Max Effort Bench

  1. Work up to a 1 to 5 rep max on incline bench, flat bench, or 1- or 2-board press.
  2. Chinups/pullups
  3. Face pulls
  4. Lying triceps extensions

Day 2
SPEED SQUATS/DEADLIFTS DAY

  1. Speed squats
  2. Speed deadlifts
  3. Glute ham raises
  4. Lunges
  5. Situps

Day 3: Off

Day 4
SPEED BENCH DAY

  1. Speed bench
  2. Rack lockouts or 3, 4, or 5 board press
  3. Dumbbell bench press
  4. Dumbbell or supported rows
  5. Triceps pressdowns

Day 5: Off

Day 6
MAX EFFORT SQUAT/DEADLIFT DAY

  1. Work up to a 1 to 5 rep max in squat, box squat, safety bar squat, regular deadlift, sumo deadlift, or deadlifts off blocks.
  2. Glute ham raises
  3. Stepups
  4. Leg raiss

Day 7: Off

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
I’m looking forward to this. Brick is one of my favorite posters here due to his extensive scientific knowledge(I’m an engineer so I nerd out over that stuff) and he tries to conduct himself in a civil manner in the midst of shit storm threads haha.[/quote]

Thanks you!

[quote]MytchBucanan wrote:
I think Brick has a brain worth picking. I’m curious Brick, what you think is optimal frequency of training. I have done “annihilation once/week” as well as multiple sessions. I have even done once every 5 days (when my schedule allowed).

I’m curious what you have tried and how the results were.

It’s nice to have you back to T-Nation.

[/quote]

I think it depends on the approach preferred, results, and goals.

I am NOT an expert on powerlifting, but nearly every routine I’ve experimented with or seen is some type of upper-lower split. Although different lifts might be trained on the two different lower and upper body days, there is considerable overlap or similar stimulation going on.
I can be wrong, but if I recall the Sheiko and Smolov have higher frequencies.

For typical bodybuilding splits, the usual frequency is once every 5 to 7 days. Yes, there are routines like DC (which is sort of like an upper-lower split except for biceps being hit on the same day as legs), that hit each muscle every 3 to 4 days, but I think the con of those sorts of routines is that it doesn’t allow enough room for multiple exercises per bodypart, particularly isolation exercises. So while the strength and size gains might be faster with a DC sort of routine, I think there is more mileage in a typical bodybuilding split if someone is very physique oriented. If someone doesn’t care so much for things like symmetry or just wants some muscle or general fitness, then an AB split is pretty good.

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
Cool thread idea.

It is cool to hear the thoughts, ideas and experiences of a poster with a love for bodybuilding/fitness, lives the lifestyle, works in the industry AND has an academic degree that directly pertains to his endevours.

Share your thoughts please.[/quote]

Thanks bro.

I’m gonna add stuff here as my time permits.

[quote]yolo84 wrote:
Brilliant poster.

I don’t know if this comes under the remit of the kind of thing your job/education covers so sorry if it doesn’t:

what do you think of Poliquin’s BioSig stuff? In particular what are your thoughts on how fat distribution indicate hormonal/mineral issues (zinc etc) within the body. I have never really looked into it but have a little recently and feel perhaps some issues exist, for example I think I have more fat in my lower body than I uses to (relatively speaking). Beyond simply losing fat in general id like to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Any other thoughts on this kind of thing (lower back fat indicates …, men tend to gain more abdominal fat over time because…, etc) would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the well thought out posts over the years too.[/quote]

I’ve followed some of Poliquin’s writings, but never looked deeply into his Biosignature stuff, so I can’t comment on his fat distribution theories.

Yes, fat distribution is affected by hormones, but I just never could get around why this would dictate some unorthodox approach with nutrition or alter some dietary strategy.

Also, after some time, I started to not take Poliquin seriously because he’s said some really off-the-wall stuff–talk of one finger pullups on diving boards in an empty pool sounds nuts. I can post other stuff he has said.

Thanks for the compliment.

Sweet stuff, Brick. Looking forward to any additions!

Alright I have to ask, did you use to post as Bricknyce? Not 100% sure that’s how it’s spelled, but the “Brick” part of your name and your posting style seems similar to me, and since your join date was 2012 and I believe Bricknyce stopped posting before that. There’s other correlations as well. I ask because I remember reading a lot of his posts and they were a big part of my education starting out.

Otherwise, cool thread. I always like reading your posts.

[quote]fisch wrote:
Alright I have to ask, did you use to post as Bricknyce? Not 100% sure that’s how it’s spelled, but the “Brick” part of your name and your posting style seems similar to me, and since your join date was 2012 and I believe Bricknyce stopped posting before that. There’s other correlations as well. I ask because I remember reading a lot of his posts and they were a big part of my education starting out.

Otherwise, cool thread. I always like reading your posts.[/quote]

Thanks for the compliment.

Unfortunately I acted inappropriately and disrespectfully on this board in my past. I’ve sincerely apologized several times for that behavior since returning.