T Nation

From Athlete to Bodybuilder...

About me: Just finished my last season of CFB. I was a pretty big guy, I played my last season at 309 6’4". Unfortunately NFL isn’t in my cards, so I’m looking to cut down and just be a pgmf. Since college I’ve been lifting PL style; I’ve been learning the Westside style at one of the greatest gyms for about 4 years, but now is time to shift gears and the westside DE/ME style I feel is the way to get strong, but not the way to get as big and cut as possible. I have been rotating between the Westside Conjugate Method and a Progressive Overload hodgepodge (not so much my choice.)

I’ve been lifting for 10 years or so, but I never in my time lifted just for beach muscles and shit. I’ve been lifting about 10 years and know a fair few routines, just admittedly not much on the “BB” side of things. Always gone primarily for functional strength and power.

Right now I’m focusing on cutting off my football fat (around about 260 and definitely a shitload skinnier.) TBF I haven’t really lifted hard since week 7 or 9 of the season…only cardio and some half ass lifts since. I had definitely burned out on lifting for a bit after like 8 years straight, but now I’m ready to get it again

I want to move into something PURE HYPERTROPHY, so I seek advice on that. Been on a 4 day split as long as I can remember, but definitely open to a 3; I am definitely a very hard gainer.

I have looked into :
Doggcrapp (looks AWESOME)
GVT (unsure about very high volume, but may be what I need after years of low volume)
5x5 (seems to have more focus on strength, not as much purely for hypertrophy?)
Very open to other suggestions!!

For reference, my peak numbers (raw) were something like:
6’4"
bodyweight 309 lb
bench: 340
squat: 675
pull: not totally sure, but definitely in the high 6 or low 700s.
I have very long arms and limbs, and a naturally skinnnny frame. always sucked at bench =/

GOAL: No longer give a damn AT ALL about strength, just want to put on muscle size!

Probably all over the place, but thank you for the advice, especially from anyone that has done this transition yourself. It is a very thing to make this change over.

I’ve had good success with GVT. The important thing to remember though, is that everything will work at first, but nothing will work forever. Give a few different systems a fair try, find out what you like and dislike, and then stick to the programs you like. Just remember to keep changing it up every few months!

Pick a routine in this thread and stick to it. 675 is a massive squat man. Good work.

Welcome to the dark side. Hypertrophy training is a beautiful thing. If you’re use to low volume training upping your reps to 15-20 but still keeping a heavy set here and there. Your powerlifting background will put great tension on your muscles. But my main piece of advice: Learn good form! what PL call good form, vs. what a bber call good form is day & night. In the pursuit of building muscle size, you have to FEEL the muscle work and build MMC so you can contract your muscles at will. You’ll have to back off your heavy-heavy work mindset. Nutrition is equally if not more important than form, if you eat like shit anticipate to look like shit. Dedication, nutrition, form- in that order. Good luck

I thought I was going to be more helpful in this thread since I made the same transition once upon a time, but I feel like being a skill position guy->trying to become a pretty boy is a whole lot different than being a lineman; 6’4" 310 is some serious fuckin beef.

5/3/1 bodybuilding template

I’d vouche for GVT cycle considering you’ve only done powerlifting, and the program is mainly hypertrophy.

I’ve got lots of thoughts on the matter, a lot of which has to do with what savagenation mentioned, but my immediate thoughts on the program you might want to follow is to get on Mountain Dog style training asap (John Meadows’ style). The high volume plays directly to your strengths–being used to lower volume westside style training, the change will definitely give a new growth stimulus–and your weaknesses; being a thicker and less lean guy the volume will also help you keep your bodyfat in check.

I have always found that with higher volume training my body leans up a bit compared to the same diet on lower volume training. DC training is a good template, but i think you will be much happier with Meadows’ style. Now that you don’t have practices or games to recover from you can hit the gym more than the 3x a week that DC guys usually do.

One last point about Meadows’ training…Dave Tate switched to it when he got out of powerlifting, and look how much it did for him even with all his injuries and past muscle tears. He’s got a lot of good things to say about it and he trains with John every saturday.

My opinion on GVT is mwh. It’s ok, but old. And most importantly its fucking boring as hell!!. I think there are better ways to do the high volume thing, but it has its place.

Honestly I would look into the Meadows Routines (MountainDog) on the site. His routines are challenging but simple and will chase the pump. You can still hit your big lifts just at the end of the session. He has a program he posted on here that starts you out moderate and leads to a more advanced program after 12 weeks. Once you get the hang of it you can change it up weekly like Meadows suggests.

[quote]red04 wrote:
but I feel like being a skill position guy->trying to become a pretty boy is a whole lot different than being a lineman;[/quote]

As a skill position weren’t you already a pretty boy? :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
I’ve got lots of thoughts on the matter, a lot of which has to do with what savagenation mentioned, but my immediate thoughts on the program you might want to follow is to get on Mountain Dog style training asap (John Meadows’ style). The high volume plays directly to your strengths–being used to lower volume westside style training, the change will definitely give a new growth stimulus–and your weaknesses; being a thicker and less lean guy the volume will also help you keep your bodyfat in check.

I have always found that with higher volume training my body leans up a bit compared to the same diet on lower volume training. DC training is a good template, but i think you will be much happier with Meadows’ style. Now that you don’t have practices or games to recover from you can hit the gym more than the 3x a week that DC guys usually do.

One last point about Meadows’ training…Dave Tate switched to it when he got out of powerlifting, and look how much it did for him even with all his injuries and past muscle tears. He’s got a lot of good things to say about it and he trains with John every saturday.[/quote]

Wow thanks for all the advice Aragorn and everyone! Think I’m gonna give the Mountain dog style a go based on your recommendations and John Meadows’s articles on this website.

You guys think this split would work OK?
Mon: Chest/Shoulder
Wed: Back
Thurs: Legs
Fri: Arms

Thanks again, very glad I found this site!

Read up.

[quote]SaintsTheMetal wrote:

[quote]red04 wrote:
but I feel like being a skill position guy->trying to become a pretty boy is a whole lot different than being a lineman;[/quote]

As a skill position weren’t you already a pretty boy? :P[/quote]

It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? =]

Two quick question to anyone still around here…

is it recommended to switch up the mountain dog lifts every week? It seems like many of the workouts as described by John Meadows are very precisely crafted… OK to stick with the same workout for 3 weeks before changing, or is better to rotate between 3 different workouts or so for maybe 9 weeks (or even the entire cycle?)

Second, two workouts in so far, but wondering about how much cardio will affect it… I haven’t seriously cut in about 6 or 7 years, and thus was always directed to stay away from extra running and shit before/after workouts or on off-days. Is running a few miles or doing an intense circuit workout going to limit the effectiveness of Mountain Dog so much that I should just stick to something basic while I focus more on cutting?

Thanks!

[quote]SaintsTheMetal wrote:
Two quick question to anyone still around here…

is it recommended to switch up the mountain dog lifts every week? It seems like many of the workouts as described by John Meadows are very precisely crafted… OK to stick with the same workout for 3 weeks before changing, or is better to rotate between 3 different workouts or so for maybe 9 weeks (or even the entire cycle?)

Second, two workouts in so far, but wondering about how much cardio will affect it… I haven’t seriously cut in about 6 or 7 years, and thus was always directed to stay away from extra running and shit before/after workouts or on off-days. Is running a few miles or doing an intense circuit workout going to limit the effectiveness of Mountain Dog so much that I should just stick to something basic while I focus more on cutting?

Thanks![/quote]

I’d stay off intense cardio for the first couple of weeks as you get used to the very high volume.