T Nation

I Have Lots of Time, Want to Get Huge

OK I am kind of a beginner. I have lifted here and there but never been really consistent due to school and crap.
This is my goal for the Summer: Get Huge

I’m 6’1 185 probably between 14-16%bf

I have tons of time. I just graduated and I start work in October. I want to gain a lot of size over those months. I know its not that much time, but I still want to gain as much as I can in that time.

Anyways, I don’t know if I want to do a bulk routine because I already have some chub around my stomach. I really like the Westside for Skinny Bastards routine, although I don’t know if the intention is to gain size. I am not familiar with Rippetoe but I have read a lot of comments from people that have used it and they seem to like it.

Basically, I want to do as much as I possibly can in the next 4 months(even willing to do 2 a days). I want to fit as much into a routine as I can without overtraining.

Will Westside work? Is Rippetoe better?

Also, how can you bulk on the Westside routine when there are specific days allotted for cardio? I was thinking of doing HIIT on those cardio days but I don’t want to compromise my lifting gains…

do ripps, then switch to:

That combination (although my current program includes more oly lifting). Has worked well for me. Don’t be afraid of food.

So I wrote this really long-ass post about all the cool shit you can do to increase your recoverability and how it’s possible that if you bust your ass you can gain 20-30lbs of mostly LBM in four months.

Then I realized that if you wanted to get HYOOGE!, the wisest course would be to spend two hours training each day. The first hour would be spent doing Mark Rippetoes Starting Strength. The second would be spent going through old T-Nation archives. On your off-days from Rippetoe, read for two hours instead of going to the gym.

At the end of that month, you’ll have the tools available at your disposal to manufacture your own training, food, and recovery program to take advantage of the remaining three months.

This ^^ is my recommendation.

As far as BF% is concerned, some people grow best around 15-17% BF. So don’t let that discourage you from gaining.

dude, i am really curious about what you said here:

“shit you can do to increase your recoverability and how it’s possible that if you bust your ass you can gain 20-30lbs of mostly LBM in four months”

Not going to happen buddy. I know Otep was exaggerating in order to make his point.

It is vaguely conceivable that you can make 20 lbs over the next 16 weeks by doing everything right. However, that will be pushing it, particularly as

a) you’re new and will make mistakes. hell, vets make mistakes all the time.

b) you will possibly put on more fat than you will accept as par for the course when trying to gain.

In general it is possible to gain 1-1.5 lbs a week as an upper limit for acceptably clean bulking. Some people will only be able to make about half a pound each week. Average weight gain is very individual. 1 lb a week is usually accepted as the average limit when bulking healthily. This upper limit also generally decreases the more experienced you become. So, a newb can get really quick gains, but a very experienced vet will make much slower clean gains.

REMEMBER–It’s not JUST how much work you do training, its how much you can recover from.

20 lbs of Hollywood Muscle:

I wasn’t exaggerating, although to be honest, I have not experienced this type of training or situation, so I can’t validate that rate of growth. It seems plausible, so I figure it’s worth a shot.

However, like Aragorn said,

a) you’re new and will make mistakes.
b) the faster you try and get big, the more fat you’ll add (although potentially the more muscle you’ll add too).

I think people vastly underestimate their recoverability, because a lot of recovery methods aren’t necessarily feasible.

  1. Double-dose Surge
  2. 8 hours of sleep a night.
  3. extra 2-hour nap in the day.
  4. eat 4000+kcal each day.
  5. GPP every day (basketball or sledge-hammering or tire flipping. Not at an intense rate, just something to get the HR up and the body moving).
  6. Yoga 2-4 times/week for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Stretching after every lifting session.
  8. Meditation (stop laughing. It drops cortisol and can probably make your sleep more efficient).
  9. If you’ve got the cash, mega-dosing fish-oil, BCAA’s, Creatine, and Tribulus.
  10. Liberal use of extra recovery methods- weekly (or bi-weekly) massage, contrast showers, and epsom salt baths.

See what I mean? There’s a bunch of things people can do, but it takes time (and, in the case of supps and massages, money) and isn’t necessarily feasible for a guy with a 9-5.

Tribulus? Ain’t that an off-cycle for steroids use?

Anyways. Don’t train twice a day it will be counterproductive over time. Bodybuilding is a marathon not a sprint

Training twice a day is effective if you keep each workout about 6 hours apart and don’t kill it on volume. Hit hard in the AM then hit hard again in the PM, but don’t do sets up the yin yang either session.

Bodybuilding is indeed a marathon, but you can definitely improve using twice a day routines.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Not going to happen buddy. I know Otep was exaggerating in order to make his point.

It is vaguely conceivable that you can make 20 lbs over the next 16 weeks by doing everything right. However, that will be pushing it, particularly as [/quote]

I gained 15lbs in 4 months. My diet isn’t great and I’m sure i could have gained more if i didn’t do cardio.
I do A LOT of cardio; I go on 1-2 hour long mountain bike rides 2-4 times a week. That will really mess with muscle building progress. So if i didn’t ride i could have gained more I’m sure.

At the OP, you should do Rippetoe’s I’m on it right now and it’s great. But like it says, don’t do too much accessory work. Many people can’t live without curls. I’m a forearm junkie(i want them to be massive) So i do 1 forearm exercise for A workouts and 1 for B and ill switch it up every 4-6 weeks.

what is it about Rippetoe that makes so many of you recommend it over Westside? IS Rippetoe better for size and Westside more focused on strength/endurance?

[quote]bdiddy78 wrote:
what is it about Rippetoe that makes so many of you recommend it over Westside? IS Rippetoe better for size and Westside more focused on strength/endurance? [/quote]

It’s not really like that. It’s more about progression. A beginner will progress a lot faster on Rippetoes than on Westside (purely due to the way the programs are layed out).

Of course, either will work, it’s just about what will be more optimal.

Anyone got a link to the ripptoe program you are referring to?? Thanks

[quote]bdiddy78 wrote:
what is it about Rippetoe that makes so many of you recommend it over Westside? IS Rippetoe better for size and Westside more focused on strength/endurance? [/quote]

The Westside programs are for powerlifting, so they’re trying to add more neurological connections in their muscles for more strength, though mass may be a side effect.

Rippetoe’s program is for hypertrophy, though more strength will be a side effect.

[quote]gzen1 wrote:
Anyone got a link to the ripptoe program you are referring to?? Thanks[/quote]

And listen to what Otep says.

To gain muscle I would recommend 20 calories a day pr lb of bodyweight. Plus heavy lifts Like dead lifts, squats, benching, and rows.

Deadlifts work your posterior chain and actualy make your body create growth hormones and more testosterone. You def need to lift legs to gain size everywhere else.

Also don’t assume you need to do crazy ammounts of sets. What you need is quality over quantity and proper rest time. The time that you grow is when your not in the gym.

Id recommend a three day split monday wednesday and friday with limited cardio if any. You may gain so much weight that you begin to feel heavy and that’s when I would lay off heavy lifting and hit the cardio.

Nothing is easy. If your not dedicated to working out eating right and building muscle then gaining weight will not happen. Consistency and overall dedication will get you to be what you want to be. It’s more a lifestyle than anything and you have to enjoy that hardwork that comes with it or you’ll say screw it.

[quote]Kataklysm wrote:
Tribulus? Ain’t that an off-cycle for steroids use?

Anyways. Don’t train twice a day it will be counterproductive over time. Bodybuilding is a marathon not a sprint[/quote]

Tribulus is a mild test booster. Definitely not an “off cycle” (Im assuming by that, you mean post cycle)

Training twice a day has its pros and cons and can work. However, if you are a beginner, I dont think its for you.

I wish so much that I would have had someone to set me straight when I first started training so I wouldnt have spent so much time figuring it out for myself.

Pick something that has you lifting heavy on the big compound lifts, using isolation work where it is necessary but keeping the emphasis on the compound movements. Get stronger on a regular basis and only change things when it stops working. Eat and lift like a monster and sleep like a baby.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
Anyways. Don’t train twice a day it will be counterproductive over time. Bodybuilding is a marathon not a sprint

Tribulus is a mild test booster. Definitely not an “off cycle” (Im assuming by that, you mean post cycle)

Training twice a day has its pros and cons and can work. However, if you are a beginner, I dont think its for you.

I wish so much that I would have had someone to set me straight when I first started training so I wouldnt have spent so much time figuring it out for myself.

Pick something that has you lifting heavy on the big compound lifts, using isolation work where it is necessary but keeping the emphasis on the compound movements. Get stronger on a regular basis and only change things when it stops working. Eat and lift like a monster and sleep like a baby.[/quote]

That pretty much sums it up. I think I’ve just recently (well, within the past year) reached the point where the lightbulb has finally turned on.

I’ve wasted too much time with other ineffective methods I got from here or there. However, over the past year I’ve experimented with heavy compound/olympic-style lifting and have seen the best results and improvements in my body ever.

I’m sticking with strength training. If size comes with it (that is the primary goal) then so be it (and I’m sure it will). And even if the size doesn’t come as quickly as I may expect, I feel so much better doing this type of training.

I eat better, I sleep better, I have a better attitude. Maybe it’s from the increased release of hormones from heavy lifting; or maybe it’s from the very noticable strenght increases that I’ve logged…who knows, maybe a combination. Wish I could go back a few years, and pistol-whip myself like an Italian Mobster and yell at myself, “Listen to me you Mudda-Fudda!”

Thanks for all the help guys. I read a lot about supplements on this site that seem to really help and I think I would like to try some.

From what i’ve read, Flameout fish oil, Metabolic Drive, Surge, Grow!whey, creatine and Alpha Male seem to be the big ones.

Which are the most beneficial?

Also, I’m still very young. Taking a T-booster sounds very unnatural and even dangerous at my age. Is it dangerous? What advantage does boosting T-levels have? Is it meant for older lifters?

[quote]bdiddy78 wrote:
Thanks for all the help guys. I read a lot about supplements on this site that seem to really help and I think I would like to try some.

From what i’ve read, Flameout fish oil, Metabolic Drive, Surge, Grow!whey, creatine and Alpha Male seem to be the big ones.

Which are the most beneficial?

Also, I’m still very young. Taking a T-booster sounds very unnatural and even dangerous at my age. Is it dangerous? What advantage does boosting T-levels have? Is it meant for older lifters?
[/quote]

Work on your big compound lifts, eat everything clean in site(meat, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy), drink lots of water, get lots of sleep. Do those three things for the next three months, if at that point you haven’t gained any muscle then start worrying about all of the supplements that you need.

I’m with ATG410, in that your diet should be in order for some time before you start messing around with supps. Not because supps are dangerous, but because they’re a waste of money when you’re not eating enough.

That said, I recommend fish oil and creatine. You can’t really go wrong with either of these, they have long shelf-lives, and they’re both incredibly effective.

I also don’t consider protein powder a supplement, because it’s food.

Tribulus isn’t dangerous. It’s an herb to promote more endogenous testosterone (Which is you making more of it yourself, instead of you injecting it). It’s predominantly used by old men whose T-levels have dwindled over their lives and as a post-cycle ancillary (stronghold mentioned this above). It’s not dangerous, but it’s use on this site is to maintain normal-high levels of endogeneous Test. You’re sixteen, and are probably already ‘dripping with natural T’, and so don’t need it.