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Caveman Says...

Glad to save Caveman interviewed this week. Back when he first started his thread, I clipped things here and there that I found applicable to my training. If anyone is interested, here it is, in no particular order. Hopefully, it makes sense. Lots of valuable, practical stuff:

Caveman sez:

Caveman wrote:
Soooo, I said earlier that I would say smthin about diet and routines. Damn, its gonna be hard not to turn this into some kind of long thread-article, but Ill try to keep it short…go to Archives on top of this page and start at 1998, read everything til 3 days ago. Thats what Ive done so far. Naa, ok, first let me tell you that I have an athletic background, so I was reading guys like Verkoshansky, Zatsiorsky, Stiff, Bompa, Kraemer, Fleck, Poliquin and King before T-mag launched. I knew a lot about trainin methods and periodization, but if you noticed…nothin about diet.

For that matter, I have to say JB and Lyle McDonald know their stuff. Take both these guys knowledge and thats all you need. The Science of Nutrient Timing should be mandatory, and this info can be applied to any diet you are on. From then on its all about screwing with macronutrients ratios, and what Ive found is:

  1. When leaning, macronutrient ratios come first, high P and low Carbs. Fat I keep the same in every diet Im on, always between 45-65 grams a day, thats untouchable. I would lower the carbs, starting at a higher % than fats, down to a smaller %, say 20% carbs (only pre-post workout) and 30% fats.

  2. Calories start at BWx12 (my maintainance is 13) and every 2 weeks go down one factor, thats 11, 10 and 9, by now I should de pretty lean. Thats 2 months that combined with macronutrient manipulation will make me loose fat and not lean mass, and look like in the first pics. No, I dont do whale style bulking, this way Im in good shape year around and it doesnt take me 4 months to lean out.

  3. When gaining mass I go up to 16xBW, anything more and Its mostly fat, I know cause Ive done it. Macronutrients in this case look like the zone, 40-40-20 or 40-30-30 (C-P-F). Always timing the intake of carbs around my workout (pre-post shakes) and the meals right before and after. For some of you that many carbs may not be enough, bare in mind that Im talking about what I use and what works for me. There is no such thing as a one fits all formula or recipe.

  4. And this is what Ive noticed lately to make a big difference…those % are my weekly averages. I always have some higher and lower carb days, I never eat the same amount of carbs 2 days in a row…never.

  5. For the 14214th time, do have a log, I write everything down, if you ask me about what I ate march 14th 2002, I know exactly. Thats the one way to be certain about what works or not.

  6. Reccommendations: Taming of Insuline (this hormone is your best friend…or worst enemy), Nutrient Timing, Massive eating (though a bit excesive for me in the cals department, theres info you should know), T-Dawg diet, The diet manifesto, Fat Fast and many I cant recall right now, but again Berardi and McDonald, everything they write is for you to know.

I take 6-8 days every 7-8 weeks, this way I can fit two different routines while at the office in those weeks. During the trips its only hiking that I do, and a lot, so besides rocks, Im carrying at least one 5lb canister of prot and lots of MRPs. I keep carbs really low and in 6-8 days you can tell a difference in fat %, I mean Im walking at least 6 hrs a day.

About me running, its all in Thibs “Running Man” article, great for both athletic and aesthetic purposes. I do this when training low reps (less than 6), and it keeps my energy levels high all day. I dont see the point of doing much energy system work when training with higher reps, since I use more carbs and Im always on a caloric surplus (is that the word in english to say above maintainance cals??), so it would be just messing with my calorie balance, though sometime I do just for the fun of it and health benefits.

Two more things in the diet tips from yesterday.
Never mix carbs and fats, meals must be prot/fat or prot/carb (thats JBs). Ive found that this rule is fundamental when planning your diet.
Give yourself a free day. This could mean eating like an animal either garbage or clean food, thats for you to judge upon your goals and shape. But do go high on the calories and carbs. I do this in every diet I follow, sometimes BWx20 or two days a week at BWx16-17 (thats when Im already lean).

Today I`ll just address the BWxXX mess.
1.The factor is yours and only yours, nobody can tell you what number to use.

2.For some may work at 12, 13, 15 30 45 whatever, just figure out at what factor you are gaining 0.5 to 1 lb/week and thats it.

3.There after you dont need to change it…your BW then starts to go up and so do the total cals (BWxXX), week by week, this way it will get harder for you to gain fat.

  1. When you stop gaining, its time to go in the opposite direction, start loosing fat at the factor you determine for that.

  2. Same here, when you stop loosing, go up, but with a slight increment in the last factor you used for bulking.

  3. Same when you stop gaining, go down and use a smaller factor.

This is the best way Ive found out to both bulk and cut, works great and keeps me quite lean year around. I know its a drag to recalculate cals every week…but thats what it takes.

This is a try and fail routine until you find out what works for you.

OK, few numbers, bare in mind that I work mostly supersets with 2 compound movements, kinda EDT way but for 4-6 sets. So yesterday the first SS was squat and inclined bench, in both I go for 7-8 reps, using 330 for squat and 240 for the incline bench. With that I did 5 SS with 30 secs rests in between. Next was alternate lunges with 220 (7 reps each leg in an alternate way, thats 14 in a row) and BB row with that same weight, also for 7 reps.

With that i did 4 SS, had my shake and got out of there in some 40 minutes all together. When I deadlift with this kind of workout, weight is around 370-400, mixed with standing shoulder press, using my legs too, with 210-200. That SS is a killer, almost to faint after the last reps.
OK, those are the movements I care about, all others I just go for it. Hope it helps.

Hi, some days ago I was asked about getting really lean, lets say 6-5%. Well, my approaches usually have HIIT or some kind of cardio or whatever you want to call it, till Im around 10%. Starting then I do no more of that and just handle my diet and workouts, I use things like Fat to Fire , any of the Meltdowns or EDTs, and make small changes, like exercises, TUL and rep range. That is, I use mostly compound moves, as almost always, heavy weights, low reps (5-7) and very short rest intervals.

One thing that has worked is the 45 min barrier, whatever workout Im using I finish at most in 45 min, If Im not done yet, I still cut it and go home. That way Ive noticed I can keep the most lean tissue when going on low calorie diets. Food, I eat around 2.5 grams of protein per BW and the rest are almost 50/50 carbs and fats.How many calories? I change them every 2 weeks, like 300 less for 2 weeks, then back to mantainance and then 500 less and so on, till I get to the fat% I want. Carbs I only eat during and right after working out and fats are spread in the 2-3 last feedings of the day.

Hello guys, I will answer some questions that have been posted lately.

My former body comp (some 10 years ago) I really don’t know exactly about, but I was usually around 165 lbs. Yesterday I was 197 lbs. with 10% body fat (tanita athletic mode) and less than 6% measured with calipers and 4 skinfolds.

I’m trying now to put some lbs on so I will do some HST style workouts but with 3 sets for the 4 big ones (both sides of the leg, back and chest). This is 3 times a week using 2 different routines (alternating) and starting at 12 and not 15 reps.

When it’s EDT style I do one day one off and every 3 weeks take a full weekend off (those workouts take me like 45 mins, HST I have managed to do under 40 mins.

Ok, that’s it for now, take care.

Ive got some questions in the message center that could be answered together so here it goes.
What I think is best for mass building are the HST routines, I think you are loosing some synergy (hope I spell it right) effects while spliting your body in 24 different sessions. The best hormonal response to workout is after working heavy compound moves and whole body…after one whole body heavy workout you can eat like an animal and that feels really great…I dont care and dont look for the pumped look but the rock hard one. So, any routine that work the whole body will do the trick, reps go around 8-12 mostly, but with lighter and heavier weeks too.

I also keep rest to a minimum, Id rather sacrifice some weight (both on the barbell and what I gain) and keep low bodyfat levels. The other side is what you eat, I found out that more than 4 weeks on high cals is too much for me, I loose too much efficiency and my lean mass - fat ratio decreasess as I keep my cals high. So, after 4 weeks I do some 2 low cals weeks and then go up again if Im still into that. Thib has a couple of good specialization routines that differ a little from what I just described but I tried the shoulders one and did wonders.

About the meltdown routines, yes they are awsome. I did 2 of them and bodyfat literally melted away, specially when I did the meltdown I first thing in the morning. About cycling the 3 of them on a never ending cycle…I dont know, there is so much to try out there that I dont know why you would do that, exept that you would be getting outstanding results from that.

About using them for mass building…mmhh, maybe, I think what rules which way are you going is the calorie balance, so you would definetely grow, but is it the most efficcient way to gain mass…let me know if you find out, cause for the moment Im not trying that. Ok, all for now, stay well and lift hard heavy weight with no rest at all. Caveman.

Hi, about the daily diet ?s, Ive got 365 different ones, one for each day of the year. You see, it will depend on type of workout, if Im packing or cutting (I still look about the same year around, its just small changes), energy levels due to…you know, everyday life, and so on. My point is, there is no exact daily prototype.

A few days ago Chris Thib posted a good article (Carb Cycle Codex), I would say he covers most of whats needed to build your diet plan, and its very much like the pointers I give/use. Read that and you are half way there man. Stay well guys.

Petr, just EDT, HST or something in between. Modified doesnt mean that I change the basics, I just figured out the best Work - rest intervals and what exercises work the best for me, most of the core moves, squat,deads, snatchs etc etc Just keep the rest time short and also the total workout time, I try always to keep it under 45, 30-35mins being the most common, 3-4 times a week.

Carbs just around workouts and controlled carb up after the last workout of the week. OK, that is what works for me, remember, this is always trial and error…mostly errors from my experience…

Pardon my ignorance, but what are the HST routines?


Unless I am confused, he is referring to Hypertrophy Specific Training. I am actually doing a routine right now. Link below:


Interview a week before the article for more info:


I also like doing deads or snatch / DB Overhead press, squat/chest press, chest press/rows, chins or pullups / overhead press, lunges / any upper body Im missing that workout. As you can see, its either a full(lower) body / upper body combo, used both in strength and fat loss stages or an agonist / antagonist combo (when going for some mass). Secondary stuff I train for about 3 supersets or 4 exercises circuits, same range of reps than the big ones. You can be creative here, just start trying combos, sets, rep ranges etc etc

Footsolider88 wrote:
�??Hey Caveman,
Great work and information that you provide us with - very helpful. What is your method or view on weekend refeeds vs. cheating. I am not a physique competitor but I am very active during the week and tend to burn a ton of calories - lifting, running, and extreme-metal drummin. Your advice would be very helpful, thanks - keep up the great work and awesome tats by the way. �??

I would try something like start refeeding right after your last workout for 24 to 36 hours, thats up to how much you are eating and what kind of carbs are you using. Ive done something similar when working as a geologist when I had to do fieldwork, lots of heavy trekking included and workout etc etc, my week days where exhausting and that helped somehow.

Still its try and fail to get to how many carbs your body accepts and how to split that amount during the many hours you decide to refeed. Cheating, yeah, about 4 times a year, but only when my Im loosing it, just before going crazy. Good luck.

BTW, to all you guys, about 5 weeks ago a shoot part of a workout and today we are shooting the same one, bench/deadlift and some extra stuff. You will then be able to see how much the poundage went up and how I improved in those lifts after 5 weeks, time that my body was asking me to give it a break and decrease the intensity for some recovery. Anyway, hope Im able to put them in the web soon, Ill let you guys know.

�??x311kevin87x wrote:
You have some of the best abdominal muscles I have ever seen. I’ve heard so many differing opinions on how to really rip up the abdomin(usually from guys who don’t even have any place to be making such recommendations). This may have been asked already in the 13 pages in this thread, but what sort of training do you do in your ab workouts(exercises, reps, resisted exercises?, frequency, etc.)? �??

Hey, to make it short, take a look at this article that was posted some weeks ago: Core Training for Smart Folks, by Mike Robertson. Most of core lifts will work the mid section, I dont do that much abs work on top of that. Thats the link.

I was really proud to be used as an example in that article, since I found Mike Robertson to be someone whos articles are always interesting and useful. Take care.


Man, as SL just said, take a break…and think it over…I mean really think it over. If you have been doin smthin for a long time and its not working…why keep it!!! Eating clean…what does that mean? You should eat properly, not clean…most of the year I keep my fats around 35% and when cutting up to 45%…I dont know if thats clean…but damn it works. So please OD, dont follow the masses just because…see what works and make your own diet and training plan…and dude, 2 fuckin hours…there is no way to work hard that long, keep it brief and intense, and no bla bla bla… If you can talk it means you are ready for the next set, so hit the weights not the babes.

About the stimulants dosages, of course I overdid them, how would I know how far to go next time with out knowing the limits? Lets take last year. When starting the first workout routines of the season I dont use any stimulants, that goes for some 3 months that Im eating a good amount of carbs so my energy levels are OK. When I start adding weight to the barbells and working with low rep ranges (between 8 and 3 depending on what routine I take) I do cut carbs a little bit and use ephedrine just for the workout, maybe at 20-30mg depending on how I feel that day. This time Im workin out 3-4 times/week for about 3 more months. Now I go up on the reps and carbs again, so no stimulants for the next 2 months. The following workouts are again low reps and basic moves, the carbs are cut really low (30% cals) and now I would use some 75 mg ephedrine a day, 5 days a week. This way I go for 2 months, of course the stimulant rush is decreased with time, but fat burnin properties remain. After this I take 1-2 weeks off and then use them when waking up and before workouts. During this time Im on a low cal diet so energy levels are not the best and I need my heavy weightlifting to keep T levels up and lean mass where I want it and not as fuel. So, thats what last year looked like, I was on around 50% with different dosages and only when really low on carbs…I dont see the point to use them when high on carbs (not more than 50% total cals for me), my energy levels are ok and I want them to give me both that extra energy and fat burning/muscle preserving help.

So, you want answers, you want the truth…well you cant handle the truth!!! Ok Ok, for real, this is going to sound weird but my one advice would be READ!!! BE A NERD ABOUT KNOWING EVERYTHING RELATED TO TRAINING!! OTHERWISE YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER BLIND GUY…FOLLOWING ANOTHER BLIND GUY…FOLLOWING AN… Can u see were Im going with this?? Read, try and see if it works for you, keep it or dump it. Simple as that!!

We are not reinventing the wheel here, just making it roll the best.
I guess the hardest thing is being away from the gym, dude! I love lifting just for the sake of it (hope thats the correct expression). Learning that layoffs are absolutely necessary, I would still love to workout every day, but I know I shouldnt.

Foods, ok.
Prots: Salmon is number one, there is a great article in T-Mag about this fish. Mackarel is also good (Om-3). Both are really cheap down here. Poultry, red meat, egg whites, red meat and cottage. I usually have one portion of each of these every day. On top of this, protein powder, whey concentrates for MRPs and isolate pre-post workout.

Carbs: oatmeal, brown rice, bread and pasta, potatoes, fiber cereal, skimmed milk and youghurt and maltodextrine and dextrose pre-post workout, and veggies day around.
Fats: olive oil, nuts, Omega-3 and flax caps, a few yolks, avocado.

No, and no one ever reach their goals, ask Bill Gates if in doubt. I think at some point you just have to settle, but desire never really leaves you. Im not trying to add more mass, just making what I have perform better. I think at 200 lbs Im still reasonably fast and strong and my endurance doesnt suffer that much. Ive been heavier and I loose to much “functionality”, although I dont like this word thats so much in vogue. For some years Ive just been trying to make myself more efficient at this BW.
I hope this helps and I guess after this, you already started following my first advice…read dude!

ON EDT: Dont dare thinking that 5reps with a 10RM for 15 mins is not enough, cause I did, and at the end I wasnt able to stand straight to back my thoughts. I loaded the bar with more weight than advised and was only able to get about 7 sets.

Do your reps 1030 (TUL)and you will be really feeling the difference. Another thing thats worked for me is going for 8 instead of 5 reps but only for 12 mins. Try changing reps, time or weight but only slightely or it will crash you.

This training will boost your strength-resistance in ways you didnt thought possible. I like a lot CPT+EDT, using one olympic lifting like snatches, clean-jerk or may be a powerlifting move as a first exercise and go for 5x5 or 3x5sets (I like the latter) and then 2 PRs of EDT of compound movements and finally 1PR of auxiliary exercises for the Bcps, Trcps or Shoulders. Good luck man.

He is a very talented and intelligent guy.

This is good, stuff i kind of know, put its good. Like revision for an exam or something.