T Nation

Leaning Out/Contest Prep Thread


#1

I am finally on a prep after years of procrastination and talking and talking about it.

Here are some pictures to start with. Keep in mind I have no idea how to pose but my friends will be helping me with this.



Trouble with Bulking while Dropping Fat Percentages?
#2

well holy shit! Will definitely be following this!


#3

Let shot.

Thanks Yogi.


#4

Popcorn is cooking... Dis gon be good


#5

About friggin' time. One of the smartest, most self-under-rated folks on this site for years. Make sure everything's as symmetrical as you can, learn to pose to show of strengths and hide weaknesses, and I can't imagine you not doing well.

S


#6

Will definitely be following along bro, looking outstanding already, only gonna get better!


#7

Thanks people!

Here's a show from yesterday morning. I think the diet finally kicked in after two weeks in.


#8

Ah, we can't all be born with a chest. :slight_smile:


#9

yeah but god damn you've got quads


#10

Care to shed any light on what your nutrition looks like? I'm always interested to see the different ways people attack this aspect. When is your show you're prepping for? Looking great, btw.


#11

Thanks for the post and compliment.

I am doing carb cycling: medium days for three out of the four days of my split, a high day for chest and biceps day because chest is my weakest muscle, and low carb days for when I don't weight train and just do cardio.

My split is two on, one off:
Day 1: Chest, biceps (high carb/calorie day)
Day 2: Quads, hamstrings, calves (medium carb/calorie day)
Day 3: interval training, abs (low carb/calorie day)
Day 4: Shoulders, triceps (medium carb/calorie day)
Day 5: Back (medium carb/calorie day)
Day 6: interval training, abs (low carb/calorie day)
Repeat

High carb/calorie does not mean some astronomical amount. It just means higher than the other days.

Sometimes I will take another day off when I am feeling wrecked, which actually happened yesterday because on Sunday I chose to do my sprints in the blazing 90 degree weather on an open field at about 1:30 PM and then followed that by moving stuff for a family member right after. The day preceding that, I did back and then moved stuff for hours too. So yesterday I woke up and immediately knew "today is not a good day".

So every body part gets hit once every six to seven days. Even though I used to do "bro splits" in the past, as people here know, I stayed away from them for a long time, because I got hung up on what a lot of online gurus have been suggesting for a long time: 1) must train a muscle with low volume two times per week minimum, 2) protein synthesis only occurs for 48 to 72 hours between workouts, 3) must be on drugs for a bro split to work and they don't work for genetically average people, blah, blah, blah.

What I've learned is that many online gurus have not in their life trained to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible, never stepped on a stage, seldom show off their bodies, and never had to bring up lagging muscles.

Finally I am bringing up my chest A BIT with my current routine.


#12

Thank you very much!


#13

I bought into the high frequency thing for ages, too. I reckon it's the reason I've spent so much of my time injured.

Now I'm just training every other day on a push/off/pull/off/legs/off rotation and I'm growing and recovering better than I think I ever have. The cool thing about that is because there's so much recovery built in, you can pick a weak area and train it every workout without it interfering with the other workouts that week. For the last couple of months I threw in some core work at the end of every workout, and now I've switched to doing a few sets of face pulls every workout.

Just wish it hadn't taken years for me to try it! Haha


#14

This is interesting to me, 2 guys (you and yogi) whose opinions I respect who (to my best knowledge) both were fans of routines like upper/lower 2x a week lower volume routines recently now both shifting to the more 1x a week routine.

Are you bumping up the volume then, like 3-4 exercises, 3-4 sets per exercise each muscle group? More than that even? Do you incorporate more ramping up to an all out heavy top set then for most exercises or use straight sets same weight same reps for most exercises? Go to failure any more often?

I know a lot of the Internet gurus seem to push for 1-2 exercises per muscle, 2-3x week, multiple sets at same weight for overall volume and avoiding failure because of their studies. Just curious what your current "real world" approaches are with a less frequent split. I find it hard to find a typical workout of people who have actual results, would be interesting!


#15

I know there are quite a few powerlifters who follow high frequency routines as well, but I also noticed that some of the best only hit each major lift once per week and also had a bodybuilder-style routine as well.

One problem I had with the upper-lower split was that after I reached high bar squats for 18 reps or so, I could not tolerate two lower body days per week anymore, at least not with the routine I was using.

I also started to think of a few things. If muscle growth becomes so damn slow after some time, does it even matter if you train a muscle less frequently, but not so infrequently that one will regress between workouts?

And with all this talk about protein synthesis, it's not like so much damn protein synthesis is going on between workouts after some time. I know that Dante (who I like) and Jason Ferrugia and some others frequently talk about "52 growth cycles per year versus 75 to 105 growth cycles per year" but I am positive it is not that simple and it doesn't work like that.

A lot of gurus also contradict themselves. They say on one hand that just getting big and strong on the compound lifts is nearly all one has to do and that the compound lifts hit several muscles per lift (which they do) but also say you have to hit each muscle twice per week. Well this is done even if someone is a bro split! If I hit chest and biceps on Monday, I am working my shoulders, chest, and triceps, then I am also working chest, shoulders, triceps when I have my workout for shoulders and triceps! If I hit biceps on Monday, and then later hit back later in the week, I am working my biceps twice per week. If I hit back and then days later on leg day do stiff-legged deadlifts, then my back is being stimulated twice per week also!

Also, if enough volume is done, it's not like the body regresses in five to seven days. So even if less frequency is less optimal in some respects, one will still have desired results with consistency and time. That's my take on it.

I do three to four exercises per muscle group for three to four straight sets. I warm up and use the same weight for all sets but go short of failure or if it's failure it's just a difficult set, but I am not convulsing, grinding and screaming. Failure is inevitable though if someone is working hard. It's hard to hold back sometimes.

Also I found that just tacking on an isolation exercise to upper-lower splits for weak body parts (size wise) was not doing the trick.

Edit: @La_Crosse_Grad read this post.


#16

that's a really cool thing to say, man. I really appreciate it.

Yeah I am a fan of upper/lower splits but my experience is the same as Brick's in that I can't handle the two lower body days anymore. I don't know if that's because I train my legs slightly differently now (way heavier - lower back didn't use to be able to handle it) or if I'm just old and fucked up now, but one lower day is plenty!

I still like "upper" style upper body days rather than strictly bodypart splits. Antagonist training is still my favourite way to train, and I'll probably come back to it again in the future.

To give you an idea of what I'm doing in terms of sets:

-Push day has maybe 12-15 sets for chest; 4 for lateral delts and triceps (supersetted) with like 3 sets of face pulls thrown in at the end

-Pull day has like 12-15 sets for back; 3 for rear delts and biceps (again, supersetted), with face pulls thrown in at the end

-Lower day has maybe 10 sets of squats, 3 sets of good mornings and however many sets of abs I can be arsed doing, which most of the time isn't many. And again - face pulls.

To put it in perspective, that's about half as much weekly volume, particularly for my upper body, as I used to do, and I definitely grow better on that. It's hard to accept that 12 sets for chest every 6 days is enough, but the results speak for themselves.


#17

Thanks both of you for the reply! Very interesting to see the details of what successful people actually do and why. Much appreciated guys!

Will definitely continue to follow the prep Brick!


#18

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Leg day today. Shaved off my leg warmers and jacket! :grin::+1:


#19

don't know what happened with last post.


#20

Looking solid, Brick. Excited to follow along!