T Nation

Current Bodybuilding Training Thread 2.0

Now that the other thread I started days ago has been thoroughly derailed with talk of AAS use and TRT, I’ve decided to start a new one. Although AAS use–and what I mean here is anabolic drugs used in amounts surpassing, and in some cases far, FAR surpassing intended therapeutic doses (eg, three to four grams of drugs per week versus 100 mg of a drug for a replacement value [medicine, not “enhancement”]–can influence how one responds to training and the training they can manage to handle or mistakes one can get away with, the fact is that many naturals handle a shit ton of volume and frequency as well–training exactly or near exactly like their enhanced peers–including ones that post here!

I wish to continue such bare bones BB talk and I know others want to as well, considering who came out of the wood work to chime in. In the other thread, NO ONE said that any decent weight training program can build muscle or have one resembling or even looking like a bodybuilder. No one fully discredited full body routines, upper-lower routines, PPL, or whatever! We simply went over what most successful bodybuilders and gymnast who look like bodybuilders do, both natty and enhanced.

I am in no way trying to police this board or act as board mayor of sorts. I can’t anyway considering it’s not my board, nor do I wish to control others’ statements or behavior, as we have seen in someone else who defected long ago. But it was good discussion until it got derailed and cluttered.

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Probably a good idea.

In terms of naturals handling “a shit ton of volume,” I recently reread an interview with Marvin Eder who claims lifetime natural.

Eder stated that at one time he was working out on average 6-7 hours a day, multiple days a week. He at least had the courtesy to label himself a genetic freak, however.

Would it be in the spirit of the thread to ask training advice/techniques that the experienced members have used successfully or should I start a new thread for that? I have some week areas I would like to bring up and would be interested in input.
I definitely don’t want to clutter this thread if I have misunderstood the intent/scope and will seek moderator assistance in deleting my posts if that is the case.

Dude, post away! That’s what I started the thread for: bare bones BB training!


I have lagging body parts due to my previously mentioned training methods. Specifically, calves, biceps, triceps, and medial delts. Due to surgery and some shoulder issues, heavy overhead pressing is out, but lighter dumbbell pressing or lateral raises would be fine.

My arms have decent size, but seriously lack separation. I realize that this is partially a factor of body fat %, but I have the big arms built through compounds look, if that makes sense (not that they are huge).

Calves, well they just suck/lack size.

My typical fallback routine has been a legs/pull/push (in that order 1x/week), but I am in a unique situation (serving overseas, but with decent gym access/time) so adding a day or two would not be out of the question.

I have thought about adding an arm day and removing arm work from the upper body days. I’d like to look at increasing volume for medial delts on the push day rather than giving shoulders their own day as my right shoulder gets pretty touchy with increased frequency. That also rules out anything beyond isolation exercises for arms if they are on their own day.

I would appreciate any exercise and set/reps recommendations that you guys have had success with. Any other suggestions, like keeping bi’s with back, etc. I would be interested in hearing as well.

I don’t want the thread to become catering to my questions specifically, but would like to hear about methods/techniques that some of you have had success with.


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We BEGAN discussing leg training on the previous board, and I even made a lengthy reply, but I’ll copy that reply here and we can just keep the conversation going here, if you’d like. I’ll let you choose which reply to reply to… :yum:

Actually, my legs ARE to my liking…I just think they are under-sized. Does that make sense?

Currently, I have an A week and a B week. A week is a more traditional split, and B week is more frequency for legs and arms (my two lagging parts in size). This is similar to what John Meadows has written about in the past…I’ll just outline my “preferred” A week leg day (B week is a quad-centric day and a ham-centric day). Reps are just template for working sets…not a necessity…

Stair Master (7 minutes…to warmup, etc)
Lying Leg Curls (20, 15, 10, 8, 20)
Back Squats ( 3 or 4 x 6-10)
Pause Squats (8, 10, 12)
Seated Leg Curl using 1 1/2 rep style (2 x 10-12)
Unilateral Walking Lunges (2 x 12 - 15 each leg)
DB Stiff-Legged Deadlifts (2 x 15-20)

I used to use Hack Squats, but that machine has been broken and “scheduled for maintenance” for nearly two months now. If I squat, I don’t do leg press. If I leg press, it’s usually because I can’t squat. I usually always use the leg press in my “B” weeks…

I’ve made a lot of progress with this type of template, but my gym does have much leg equipment, so I find consistency hard to come by…

Be honest and brutal, man…my legs have good proportion (between hams and quads)…(I THINK…maybe I’m not objective enough)…it’s just the size that increases at a super slow rate…

Calves limit a lot of people genetically, but others are limited by their training techniques. People talk about the need to train them with high reps. This is true for the soleus, since it is almost completely a slow-twitch muscle, but the gastroc is primarily fast twitch, therefore you should use full range of motion (not logically related to the previous statement, but that is a huge problem people have) and normal bodybuilding rep ranges for it.

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Dude, you’re doing everything right it seems, although I find your pause squats redundant. You’re legs might just grow at a slower or average rate than other parts. Same goes for my chest.

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“…but I’ll copy that reply here and we can just keep the conversation going here, if you’d like. I’ll let you choose which reply to reply to.”

Good! A great thread spiraled quite abruptly!

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People who love riding bicycles generally have awesome calves.

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It was an attempt to add extra stretch to my quads. BUT I think I will try to take them out and just up the intensity and weight on the regular squats.

Oh, and by the way, your chest looks great now that you’ve shredded down…maybe my legs will look awesome if I shred down. :grinning:

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Maybe you just need a change for a bit to get your legs growing, there was an article on here by Paul carter called ‘guaranteed muscle mass’ with 2 leg workouts listed using 50% sets and 350 method. Bit different to what you have been doing. If you attack it and go all out you should be pretty happy with these.

For me they hit the sweet spot in terms of growth and are great to do a bit more frequently.

I’ll get back to this. I will be trying to address every post to me here but I am in and out. :wink:

Thanks for the article tip, @kd13 ! I’m not completely done reading it yet…but I like the 350 challenge concept. When I was working out alone in my basement, I came up with a “get 100 reps with this weight” idea. The idea was to get 100 reps in under 10 sets (10 sets being a heavy weight that I would try to get down to 7 sets or so). I didn’t have any machines or anything, so this was a good way for me to get volume and intensity out of one exercise.

The over-warm-up sounds interesting too. It sounds counter-intuitive and strange, which means I need to give it a go (always try to get better at what you’re not comfortable with).

I don’t know about the upper/lower split he’s advocating, but his principles sound awesome. I think I’ll begin implementing them one by one (change one variable at a time to see how the results change) and go from there. Thanks a lot!

^THIS! When I figured out to do high reps for seated movements and low reps for straight leg movements, I suddenly had people thinking I always sported decent calves!

Another trick I found, was to split up what days I did what. Anyone truly killing themselves on “leg day” isn’t going to be able to do their calves due justice after they’ve anhiliated their quads and hams. So I would do my gastroc work on a lesser volume day (ie. chest by itself), and do soleus after upper leg work (because of the higher rep ranges, it was more of a mental “toughing out the pain” for me).



No problem, I ran the whole split exactly as written and although I enjoyed and it made a nice change the main take away was that it really worked for my legs. To the point where my wife noticed my legs were lookin bigger and she is usually oblivious!

I’m a big fan of upper lower or push pull splits but just because they suit my schedule and got better results with them when I was a 9st beginner. Nowadays I mix it up as much as I can but that’s mainly out of boredom and reading stuff I want to try

I just found out a couple hours ago that I have to go to Vegas for the next couple days to demo software with my CEO…so…hotel workouts, here we come. Apparently, we board his private jet at 7 am tomorrow. I love having ample notice for things like this…

I’m going to be doing a lot of 1.5 reps, lots of pause reps, and lots of supersets…it’s the only way to get through a hotel gym with any intensity.

Tomorrow will be leg day. Does anybody have any tactics to get through leg day in a hotel? (typically only having DBs up to 50, if that, and maybe a leg extension and some leg curl variation machine…)

If ya gotta fly short notice, at least you’re on a private jet…aside from sounding freaking awesome, hopefully that means you can bring your own food and drinks without TSA telling you your peanut butter can’t be taken with you because it’s a gel like substance (this happened to me once.)

Leg day at a hotel…I guess you could resort to lunge variations with DBs, bulgarians, RDLs and whatever machines they have. Not sure what your schedule or transportation is like but I’m assuming in Vegas a half decent gym within a short radius shouldn’t be hard to find.

I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Of course we all want to continue our progress on the road, but the grand scheme of things for someone who trains as consistently as you do, if your training has to be altered for a few days, it won’t have any negative affects. Maybe you’ll come back more recovered!

I would just take it out of your rest days, perhaps others won’t agree with me, but I think workouts where you cannot truly push yourself are useless. Further, the traveling and so on will mean you will not be at your best anyways.

That said, since you are talking about leg day, if your cardiovascular system sucks you could try to work on a whole lot of long sets to work on that part, so that when you return you can get through your workout quicker, and perhaps with more intensity in your later sets when you return.


im training in my basement gym with two adjustable dumbbells and a barbell so i know a thing or two about blasting legs with limited equipment. these are my favorite exercises;

dumbbell front squat - dumbbell suitcase squat superset
hold the dumbbells at the top position of a curl. outer heads of the dumbbells should rest on your delts. do 8-10 reps then drop the dumbbells to your sides and do 8-10 more reps. thats one set. 3-4 sets of ths should fry your quads.

goblet hold split squat
nothing special here. instead of holding two dumbbells by your sides, hold one dumbbell in goblet position. this position will help you stay more upright.

jump squat - wall sit superset
do 10-12 jump squats with your bodyweight. then without rest lean against a wall, get down to squat position and hold it for a minute. it will burn. i finish my leg workout with 3 sets of this nowadays.

swiss ball leg curl - dumbbell romanian deadlift superset
if there is a leg curl machine in the hotel gym, its better. if there isnt, a swiss ball will come handy.
do 10-12 leg curls and pre exhaust your hammies since the dumbbells are too light. then without rest do 10-12 RDLs. 3-4 sets of this will feel great.

single leg calf raise - farmers walk on toes superset
i do calf raises with a weighted vest but holding a dumbbell in your hand will work as well. 10-12 reps are good. then i grab two medium weight dumbbells and walk around on my toes for a minute. i do 3 sets of this superset and call it a day.

hope that helps.

have a safe flight.

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