T Nation

Getting Big and Strong

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
I’m respectfully disagreeing with both Jereth and palindrome. Frankly I don’t like Starting Strength a whole lot. It’s useful for some newbs, but for the most part I think a more volume oriented program is better.

I used to think it was more useful, but I’ve been changing my mind recently…This is becoming more and more clear to me because of the increased amount of people worrying about overtraining when there’s no possible way that can happen. IMO a lower volume program feeds into that mentality.

RE: your concerns–don’t pay attention to the people who are telling you it’s too many reps, unless you’re doing 8 exercises every training session (not including abs).

Correlating to my first point in the first paragraph, I often wonder how the people that tell others not to do so many reps every workout could conceivably get through HSS-100, one of the best mass building workouts there is.

They must wilt just looking at the volume. I don’t buy it unless the exercise selection is excessive and/or you’re doing all your work at 6 or less reps.

The lack of weight is a minor concern but easily fixable–you move up in weight for an exercise when you’re able to do all the reps in each set for it.

The squats/deadlifts is the biggest concern, but really if you’ve got lunges in there for legs along with some other stuff you’ll be ok until you can see him in a few weeks. Ask him to teach you proper technique for the lifts and put them in the program.

If he doesn’t want to, THEN we’ve got a big problem. They are the two best mass and strength builders, but there are also good substitutes for squats when you’re getting into learning how to lift.[/quote]

This is the internet, you can’t disagree respectfully.

I think we a need a “newbie” program round table where all the cookie cutter programs like SS, 5x5 Variations, WS4SB etc are decomposed and analysed.

[quote]echelon101 wrote:
I think we a need a “newbie” program round table where all the cookie cutter programs like SS, 5x5 Variations, WS4SB etc are decomposed and analysed.[/quote]

Agreed. That would be very handy to link to.

@ w00tage—That’s a retardedly easy leg workout. Get him to give you something with balls. You could even just add 3 sets of lunges before those exercises and it would get harder, and better. Just make sure you’re stretching your stride out and not shortening the steps when you do lunges. Hell, replace leg extensions with pull throughs so it’s

lunges
leg press
pull-throughs (look up how to do them on this site)
leg curl

That’s a good set-up. 2 exercises that involve the quads, 2 that focus on hamstrings. Lunges SHOULD focus on the whole leg (re: stretching your stride out to get the hamstrings and glutes involved in the lunge rather than just a quad dominant short stride). But there’s a lot of quad involvment there so they’ll get worked well.

5-6 exercises is generally the highest I go in 1 workout, but if you’re doing only 3 days a week and working each body part only once you can probably do 7, for now.

I wouldn’t suggest sticking to 7 for a long time though, just because the last 1 or 2 exercises always suffer because you’re tired. But because you’re working only a body part only 1 time a week, you need to get a lot of volume to it.

[quote]chimera182 wrote:

This is the internet, you can’t disagree respectfully.[/quote]

Fuck you fucking fucker. I hate you. You deserve to die, die and burn in hell. I hope you get raped…twice. Maybe then you’ll change your mind you bastard.

Is that better??

[quote]w00tage wrote:

I guess so. I just want to get a lot bigger, whilst being functionally strong. I don’t want to get freakishly huge, but a lot bigger than I am now. I don’t really care about visible abs, I just don’t want to be fat.

[/quote]

I think this statement clearly defines why SS is perfect for him.

I’m not saying SS is perfect, but these goals are exactly the type of results it boasts and will give him a brilliant base of strength from which to work from in future

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
My advice is don’t think as much as you are right now. Lift heavy, and eat big. That’s the best thing you could do.[/quote]

x2 Thinking = bad at this stage.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
chimera182 wrote:

This is the internet, you can’t disagree respectfully.

Fuck you fucking fucker. I hate you. You deserve to die, die and burn in hell. I hope you get raped…twice. Maybe then you’ll change your mind you bastard.

Is that better?? [/quote]

There we go, now don’t you feel much better about yourself?

Anyone got any diets they’d recommend? I had a quick search around the site, read through some articles and stuff, but couldn’t really find anything.

I thought I was pretty okay, but instead of just hoping, I’m going to get serious about it since it’s probably my weak point.

If you’re looking to gain muscle and get big and strong, then just eat every 2.5-3 hours, and eat lots of meat and healthy fats and carbs. Not really and big science to it. Make bad food choices, gain more fat than necessary. Don’t eat enough, don’t gain weight or muscle.

Eating to gain is easier than cutting in the sense that there are less guidelines to worry about. Just get enough protein and calories. Cutting is easier in the sense that it takes far less time.

Good food choices are easy when gaining–you don’t have to worry about carbs as much. Still, put most of them at your breakfast time, and your PWO shake and first PWO meal. But there’s not a big worry about it.

Don’t over think this–if the scale doesn’t move up every week by about 1 pound, you’re not gaining so eat more. If it goes up more than 3, you’re probably gaining a bit too much fat so cut some junk out.

Food logs help you to assess how much you’re REALLY eating. Start one and keep track of calories and protein. Other than that don’t worry too much about it.

If you can kill it or it grows out of the ground, it’s good to eat.

Traditional body building foods:

steak
eggs
milk
brown rice
sweet potatoes
white rice
chicken
tuna
fish
pasta

Realistic meals that get the job done:

cheeseburgers
pizza
lasagna
fried chicken
burritos

3.3 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight daily, and as Aragorn said… make sure that scale is moving up regularly, 3-5lbs a month.

As far as the training aspect of this thread, if you can’t squat or deadlift, you should probably dedicate some time on your leg and back days respectively to learn how. They are bread and butter exercises, especially the squat.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Don’t over think this–if the scale doesn’t move up every week by about 1 pound, you’re not gaining so eat more. If it goes up more than 3, you’re probably gaining a bit too much fat so cut some junk out.

Food logs help you to assess how much you’re REALLY eating. Start one and keep track of calories and protein. Other than that don’t worry too much about it.
[/quote]

I don’t actually have any scales! I’ll start a food log though, maybe; I’ve never really done one of those because it’s hard to know how much you’re eating when you have things like pasta - “about 2 plates full” isn’t exactly an accurate measurement with which you can monitor your intake.

I should probably invest in some scales.

[quote]mr popular wrote:

As far as the training aspect of this thread, if you can’t squat or deadlift, you should probably dedicate some time on your leg and back days respectively to learn how. They are bread and butter exercises, especially the squat. [/quote]

Yeah, since Aragorn pointed out my leg day was pretty naf, although I said I’d hold off for a few weeks, I’m going to start my back and leg days off with deadlifts and squats.

Not sure how many reps to do, but I’ll probably go with 3x5, so I can transition smoothly into SS, unless someone has a better idea. Although I’ve taken on board what Aragorn said about there possibly not being enough volume in the SS workouts, so I’m not entirely sure I’m going to go with SS; need to have a look around at other programs a little first.

Also, thanks for the list of foods; I appreciate it.

If you’re inexperienced with squatting and deadlifting then start with something light like 3x10 while you get comfortable with the form, and once you’ve got the hang of it you can go heavier.

Starting Strength is HIGHLY overrated, and you absolutely do NOT need to buy a freaking book in order to start bodybuilding.

The split you’re doing right now (chest/tri, back/bi, delts/legs) is perfectly fine to stick with for a while, and it doesn’t leave out entire muscle groups lol fancy that!

You should still be trying to add weight to your bench, deadlift, squat, and military press each week, but a split like that also affords you the opportunity to get stronger on other lifts, which will not only be better for your muscle development, but you’ll make better progress on your biggest lifts because the supporting muscles aren’t left twisting in the wind (unlike Farting Strength)

And I don’t know why the hell you want to do anything with kettlebells, but whatever…

[quote]w00tage wrote:
Anyone got any diets they’d recommend? I had a quick search around the site, read through some articles and stuff, but couldn’t really find anything.

[/quote]

Are you kidding me?

[quote]Dissonance wrote:
w00tage wrote:
Anyone got any diets they’d recommend? I had a quick search around the site, read through some articles and stuff, but couldn’t really find anything.

Are you kidding me?[/quote]

All I could find was stuff focused on cutting, or people posting their diets - which they were unsure about, hence the reason for posting - so it’s not like I’m going to follow those. Precision Nutrition is the only thing I found that sounded good, but it costs money.

I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and get some personal recommendations, until I got back from work and had time to have a proper look.

Posted my food log for today here:

This thread is getting too long for diet stuff as well as exercises.

Anyway, I like the look of Chad Waterbury’s full body workout program, so I’m wondering if there are any objections to me switching to that after I finish the next 4 weeks of my current program.

One question about dips though, I do 3x12 with my current program, should I start doing weighted dips or would it be better to drop the reps/up the sets?

My only objection is that it won’t get you “Big and Strong”, but do what you like.

Ugh, I have no idea which programs are any good, so I’m just going to continue reading up over the next 5 weeks, and hopefully decide on something by then.

Only two questions now.

  1. I’m currently using a smith machine for the bench press, should I stop?

  2. Should I use the smith machine for squats to help with form?

[quote]w00tage wrote:

  1. I’m currently using a smith machine for the bench press, should I stop?[/quote]
    Yes. A smith machine, while it does have it’s uses, has no place in a beginners strength programme. It takes away too much of the stabilizer muscles workload

[quote]w00tage wrote:
2) Should I use the smith machine for squats to help with form?[/quote]
Definately not, for pretty much the same reason as above. It applies even more to the squat given the amount of CNS activity involved in the squat

EDIT:Mis-read the second question, somehow thought the question was ‘‘Should I STICK with the smith machine for squats’’
My bad. Answer fixed anyways…

[quote]w00tage wrote:
Ugh, I have no idea which programs are any good, so I’m just going to continue reading up over the next 5 weeks, and hopefully decide on something by then.

Only two questions now.

  1. I’m currently using a smith machine for the bench press, should I stop?

  2. Should I use the smith machine for squats to help with form?[/quote]

I don’t have a problem with Waterbury’s full body program for beginners as much. I think, in general, as long as you work really really hard at lifting, and work really really hard at eating, you’ll make progress on it as a beginner.

I don’t like much of Waterbury’s stuff for most people with an intermediate level of development though. Although, to be honest, a lot of his early work was pretty good IMO. But that’s neither here nor there. Overall I prefer to not use his programs, but if you want to try it, try it. See if you like it.

In my opinion, since you’ve already started a body part oriented split, you should look into HSS-100. That is a big mass builder. But you’ll have to work into it a bit slower since it’s very volume focused.

Maybe cut off a set from each exercise to start, and then add the set back in after about 3 weeks on the program. I never did the full program, but I toyed around with it during a spell I was bored with powerlifting and I liked it a lot.

  1. yes, stop.

  2. no. don’t. Start light on squats to work into the form. really light. Also, given the volume in HSS-100, if you decide to do it, it is a viable option to use lunges instead of squats for now because you are not used to the form. I’d suggest reading the numerous “How to squat” articles we have, along with the same amount of “how to deadlift” articles we have here.

A bit unsure of what to do for my next workout. I know this is going to sound ridiculously stupid, but I accidentally put an extra 30kg on the bar than I intended. Anyway, after 2 reps I thought “there’s no way I’m going to be able to do 12 of these” I thought it was just that my bench was suffering because I did my other chest exercises before the bench today, except flyes.

So I got up, realised I put too much on - silly me - quickly took 10kg off each side (thus making the same mistake again but not to the same degree), but only managed 8 reps. Next set I managed 8 again, then 6. That’s when I realised I still had 10kg more than I was planning to do. It’s a bit hard to explain exactly what I’ve been doing without using numbers, although I know you guys don’t like that, it’s going to be easier.

  1. 12x 40kg - 12x 40kg -12x 40kg

A combination of listening to my instructor (who told me to stick at 40kg for these 8 weeks), but wanting to try a heavier weight is the reason for the increased weight at the end of set 3.

  1. 12x 40kg - 12x 40kg - 12x 50kg
  2. 12x 40kg - 12x 50kg - 12x 50kg | 5x 60kg - 2x 70kg

I really want to improve my chest, so despite pushing myself harder than the previous 2 weeks, I did some more benching at the end of my workout for that day - separated by “|”.

This week

  1. 2x 80kg + 8x 60kg - 8x 60kg - 6x 60kg

Stopped maybe 1 or 2 reps before failure on the last set. Anyway, this week I was planning to do 3 x 12 x 50kg, so I would have slowly improved my bench through total volume. Now I don’t know what to do. Should I just drop to 3 x 12 x 50kg and then slowly continue increasing? Keep doing 3 x 12 x 60kg until I can make 12 reps in each set? I don’t want to end up halting progress for weeks because I fucked up.

I also did weighted dips today (usually don’t do weighted, even though it was only like 6kg), and stupidly didn’t have any rest between those and my dumbell presses - dips came after if that wasn’t clear. Seriously fucked up the reps on those too, I think I did 12 - 8 - 6. So I’m not sure if I drop the weighted portion, use a smaller weight, or just do body weight next time.

I feel like I’ve screwed up my chest workout today - even though it was harder than last week, as I’ve read in an article, that doesn’t mean it was more intense, or something along those lines - should I go back and do some dips and benching on Wednesday/Friday to make up for it?