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If You Had 7-8 Months Free...

So I’m finishing my undergrad mid-December and have about 7-8 months free before I start school again in August. I’ll be living back at home where my mom doesn’t mind providing me with as much beef, eggs, chicken, or any other food as I need. I’ll be out of pretty free of stress. The only responsibility I will have is finding/working a job that I’ll just be using to save up, not necessarily pay for rent/food/anything else. I can probably get 7-10 hours of sleep a night.

I’m currently on a 5-day relatively low volume split and making decently steady strength gains. Wondering if I should keep this, or do something a little more extreme during this short time period. Once August starts, school will be totally kicking my ass (more stress, less sleep, less gym time, probably less food) so I want to make the most of this time.

So, if you had 7-8 months free with a job + gym + decent food, what would you do? I know some people have done some short-term crazy things over summers, so think of this an extended summer. Did you make exceptional progress over a free summer or other time off?

[quote]bulldogtor wrote:
So I’m finishing my undergrad mid-December and have about 7-8 months free before I start school again in August. I’ll be living back at home where my mom doesn’t mind providing me with as much beef, eggs, chicken, or any other food as I need. I’ll be out of pretty free of stress. The only responsibility I will have is finding/working a job that I’ll just be using to save up, not necessarily pay for rent/food/anything else. I can probably get 7-10 hours of sleep a night.

I’m currently on a 5-day relatively low volume split and making decently steady strength gains. Wondering if I should keep this, or do something a little more extreme during this short time period. Once August starts, school will be totally kicking my ass (more stress, less sleep, less gym time, probably less food) so I want to make the most of this time.

So, if you had 7-8 months free with a job + gym + decent food, what would you do? I know some people have done some short-term crazy things over summers, so think of this an extended summer. Did you make exceptional progress over a free summer or other time off?[/quote]

One summer in high school I believe between my Jr and Sr year I put on 25lbs and didn’t really gain any bodyfat.

Age was a huge factor there, but it was progress nonetheless. lol

If I were in your shoes, I’d do a serious bulk. Try and throw on a lot of muscle.

I know many people who can cut easier under stress, etc but need more time and dedication to throw on size.

DG

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:

I know many people who can cut easier under stress, etc but need more time and dedication to throw on size.

DG[/quote]

Is that common? I’ve never cut but I know that food is one of my methods of coping with stress (and I don’t think that’s too rare). I would never have thought there would be a significant number of people who can cut more easily than bulk under stress!

And I would second the advice to bulk. I had a similar situation for the first 6 months or so I was lifting - I was taking time off from school/work to deal with depression and getting used to the meds. All I had to do was sleep, eat, and hit the gym. If you’re the least bit dedicated you can make a lot of progress in that kind of situation.

[quote]Tumbles wrote:
Dirty Gerdy wrote:

I know many people who can cut easier under stress, etc but need more time and dedication to throw on size.

DG

Is that common? I’ve never cut but I know that food is one of my methods of coping with stress (and I don’t think that’s too rare). I would never have thought there would be a significant number of people who can cut more easily than bulk under stress!

And I would second the advice to bulk. I had a similar situation for the first 6 months or so I was lifting - I was taking time off from school/work to deal with depression and getting used to the meds. All I had to do was sleep, eat, and hit the gym. If you’re the least bit dedicated you can make a lot of progress in that kind of situation.[/quote]

Many people when stressed seem to get smaller or skinnier imo depending on how they cope with stress. If your one of those people who eats ice cream and sits on your ass because your stressed thats a different story.

I didn’t necessarily mean stress like a bad thing, but the common stress that comes with school, work, juggling things in life, etc. I don’t think the body builds muscle under these conditions very well.

Building fat is easy. Building muscle is a bit tricky. lol

DG

Thanks Tumbles and DG. I was really hoping you’d answer Dirty because you always seem to have some great insights.

Oh, I’m in a definite need of a hardcore bulk. That’s not going to change. I know I can lose fat pretty easily later so I’m not worried about that.

Just wondering anything different you guys would recommend, like 2-a-days or something. I’m not sure how a good 2-a-day program would look like, though. I could swear that I’ve read posts with people gaining lots of weight over a summer by doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do because of the free time. Maybe I’ll look over the old “Summer of Size” thread in the T-Cell.

Okay so my current routine is a Max-OT style routine.

Typical 5-day split–chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms. Do about 6-8 sets per bodypart, all to failure, 4-6 reps. Just focusing on getting as strong as I can as of now.

Deadlift weight increases by 5-10 pounds a week, squats increase about 5 pounds a week, bench and overhead presses increase a lot slower.

I eat a lot of ground beef, eggs, and peanut butter. I like to eat fairly low carb most of the time. I carb-load randomly… usually about 2-3 times a week (sometimes more or less). By “carb-load” I mean a pretty generous cheat meal(s), like a whole pizza or something.

In addition to my low volume more strength-oriented workout, I am considering adding either some high-rep sets (bringing my workouts to about an hour and a half) or doing some higher-rep sets (8-15 reps) at a different time in the day.

Looks like you got things cool man.

The only reason I can pack on more size when I don’t have much to do is because I can spend more free time eating and relaxing/sleeping.

You grow doing those movements not training.

I’m not the biggest fan of two-a-days unless you were chemically enhanced which could make it worthwhile…even then I’m still skeptical.

Again the whole you grow outside the gym thing is what kills 2-a-day for me. I just don’t think I could recover in time.

Now maybe doing something like back/bi on a regular day, split into two short workouts spread apart…I could see the logic in that, but I’d still be skeptical. lol

You seem to have your head on straight tho so happy lifting. I wish I were in your shoes :stuck_out_tongue: lol

DG

what are you talking about 7-8 months? i live at home now and 90% of the money i spend goes to food. i have food at my house but im too lazy to cook or even reheat things sometimes, so i just buy subs because i really dont spend my money on anything else.

i think if youre coming from a place where you couldnt eat, sleep or lift leisurely youll make some decent gains just by having those things at optimum ratios.

matter of fact, im boutta go sleep right now and just wake up whenever the hell i feel like and right after im done laying in bed for 45 mins im gonna go have me a gainer shake, pz

welcome to adult life. Get a job and juggle. Find time. Make it work.

Like Gerdy said, I’d do a serious bulk.

A few years ago, I had a sabbatical from work. All I did for two months was workout, eat and sleep (and drink). I gained 15 pounds in that 2 months. I gained a lot of strength and size during that time.

I was over 30 when I did this. I can’t imagine the results I would have had if I had done this when I was younger or for a longer period of time.

Take advantage of this time while you can!

Thanks guys. Looks like I’m going to drop the ideas of 2-a-days and just stick to my normal routine. By what you all are saying, eating and sleeping more should be enough.

You could do 2 a days, but split a 1 day workout in half and maintain intensity in the am and pm

[quote]bulldogtor wrote:
Thanks guys. Looks like I’m going to drop the ideas of 2-a-days and just stick to my normal routine. By what you all are saying, eating and sleeping more should be enough.[/quote]

well usually eating enough or eating right and sleeping properly are the things that hinder most people’s gains. For the serious lifter anyways.

I mean how awesome would it be if you could bust ass in the gym, come home and pound down some food, then take a 2-3 hour nap.

I do the nap thing on some of my off days, but your just giving your body more time to do what it wants to do anyways. Instead of most people who juggle training, having to eat quick, go pick up the kids, finish a paper for school, finish a report for work, do the laundary, cook dinner, do the dishes…know what I mean? lol

DG