T Nation

Learning From The Pros

Alright, so there are a couple of threads being started on some of the big guns in the iron game, not to mention I’ve seen a couple minutes of footage in my day here at T-Nation from the other pros, and I’m noticing a few trends. Maybe you have too.

This is the thread to share what we have noticed what the BIG guys are doing… To get BIG.

1 - “Functional” Range of Motion: I see a number of the pros using a reduced range of motion (particularly on chest and shoulder exercises), typically the bottom half of the exercise. I think its safe to say that these guys have stumbled upon this ROM because it produces the best stimulation for the given muscle. ie - If you are doing the Bench Press or the Military Press, after you reach a certain point the triceps kick in more and you lose stimulation of the targeted muscle for a brief period.

2 - Ramping up in weight: This isnt exactly new, but you dont typically see guys doing 4 sets with the same weight. What you do see is the weight gradually increasing and reps gradually dropping (at least for the bigger, compound exercises). You see Ronnie building up to a double for the Squat or Dead Lift, and you see Branch building up to a 3-4 rep on the military. Granted they seem to keep the reps pretty high on the way up, and they dont seem to be “priming the nervous system” with 3 rep sets, but the idea here is that they are all building up to their heaviest set or minimal reps.

3 - Diet: Looks like a lot of meals containing 8-16 ounces of meat, with a side of rice or potatoes pretty much, day in and day out, with plenty of water.

What else do we see a lot of the pros doing beside the obvious things like Body Part Splits?

How about not making this complicated?

The best bodies I’ve ever seen or known did NOT belong to people who overanalyze shit like I see on this forum.

Mind you, their argument for why they do this is that everyone who has those bodies is a genetic freak on steroids so they HAVE to make this shit super complicated.

The problem there is, if making it that complicated worked, they wouldn’t be so damn underdeveloped still.

You have people in the get a life forum acting like a 17" arm means you have great genetics.

That is truly retarded. If you can’t build 17" arms in this, you need a new hobby.

There is no way in hell I would spend thousands of dollars on supplements and years in the gym on top of spending a few hundred on “guru books” just to look average.

I already started a thread outlining the most basic shit that every successful bodybuilder has ever done - “The Bodybuilding Bible” thread.

  • Most of them cheat the movement, especially with heavier weight on the last set.

  • Most of them lift fast.

  • Most of them seems to do steady state cardio if doing cardio, big guy don’t seems to run

  • Many of them are doing the same split for years (from what I can see in video)

  • Most of them lift as heavy as they can on the last set

  • Most of them train alone or they seems to have a buddy they are paying for help.

  • None of them are not doing TBT

  • They use lifting gear if it may help them to lift heavier weight

I thought the point of the op’s thread was to make things less complicated? Not everybody knows as much as you, and having a tread where new guys or people who are lost can follow some of the things the big boys do can be quite beneficial. Whether it be pyramiding, eating a calorie surplus and getting enough rest.

[quote]Nakahhh wrote:
I thought the point of the op’s thread was to make things less complicated? Not everybody knows as much as you, and having a tread where new guys or people who are lost can follow some of the things the big boys do can be quite beneficial. Whether it be pyramiding, eating a calorie surplus and getting enough rest. [/quote]

I wanted it to be more of a “tips” thread, instead of a “Do a body part split, lift for 12 reps on 4 sets, hit it from every angle…”

I wanted more of the stuff you dont hear about (Like the limited range of motion) instead of broader program design.

  1. Train hard, get your nutrition in check for your goals, and make sure your “supplement” regiment is giving you the best “assistance” possible.

  2. Be consistent with the above day in and day out for years at a time.

They don’t necessarily use “textbook” form on all exercises, and aren’t afraid to use a little body english to allow them to lift as heavily as possible while still working the desired muscle and (hopefully) not going so overboard that they injure themselves.

They’re almost always very strong. Perhaps not elite powerlifter strong, but very strong nonetheless. And you can bet that they weren’t using those weights when they started out.

They’re intense when they train. Meaning that they are pushing themselves as hard as they can when they work out; forcing their bodies to have to adjust by building their muscles bigger and stronger.

They use the exercises/split/frequency that works best for them as individuals. Which they have discovered through trial & error, and experience.

“What else do we see a lot of the pros doing beside the obvious things like Body Part Splits?”

machines

[quote]Nakahhh wrote:
I thought the point of the op’s thread was to make things less complicated? Not everybody knows as much as you, and having a tread where new guys or people who are lost can follow some of the things the big boys do can be quite beneficial. Whether it be pyramiding, eating a calorie surplus and getting enough rest. [/quote]

It’s in my Bodybuilding Bible thread.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

[quote]Nakahhh wrote:
I thought the point of the op’s thread was to make things less complicated? Not everybody knows as much as you, and having a tread where new guys or people who are lost can follow some of the things the big boys do can be quite beneficial. Whether it be pyramiding, eating a calorie surplus and getting enough rest. [/quote]

It’s in my Bodybuilding Bible thread. [/quote]

Heres the link because this current thread already sucks.

The Anaconda Protocol. If the pros could have used it to reach where they are now they would have.

[quote]Gettnitdone wrote:
The Anaconda Protocol. If the pros could have used it to reach where they are now they would have. [/quote]

Steak with potatoes or Chicken Breast with Rice > Anaconda Protocol

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]Nakahhh wrote:
I thought the point of the op’s thread was to make things less complicated? Not everybody knows as much as you, and having a tread where new guys or people who are lost can follow some of the things the big boys do can be quite beneficial. Whether it be pyramiding, eating a calorie surplus and getting enough rest. [/quote]

I wanted it to be more of a “tips” thread, instead of a “Do a body part split, lift for 12 reps on 4 sets, hit it from every angle…”

I wanted more of the stuff you dont hear about (Like the limited range of motion) instead of broader program design.[/quote]

As for the form thing…

Many pros appear to be training like absolute jerkoffs. Branch Warren and Victor Martinez come to mind - jerky quarter- to half-range movements. It works for them though. That style of lifting never worked for me.

I’m more for Dorian’s form - strict in most movements aside for the ones that pretty much require some jerkiness, like curls, lateral raises, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, shrugs.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]Nakahhh wrote:
I thought the point of the op’s thread was to make things less complicated? Not everybody knows as much as you, and having a tread where new guys or people who are lost can follow some of the things the big boys do can be quite beneficial. Whether it be pyramiding, eating a calorie surplus and getting enough rest. [/quote]

I wanted it to be more of a “tips” thread, instead of a “Do a body part split, lift for 12 reps on 4 sets, hit it from every angle…”

I wanted more of the stuff you dont hear about (Like the limited range of motion) instead of broader program design.[/quote]

As for the form thing…

Many pros appear to be training like absolute jerkoffs. Branch Warren and Victor Martinez come to mind - jerky quarter- to half-range movements. It works for them though. That style of lifting never worked for me.

I’m more for Dorian’s form - strict in most movements aside for the ones that pretty much require some jerkiness, like curls, lateral raises, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, shrugs. [/quote]

Which again just comes down to finding what works for the individual and not being afraid to stray from “textbook form” (within reason of course) in order to do so.

Like you said, you have guys like Dorian, Skip La Cour, Jeff Willet, Jason Wojo, Frank McGrath, etc… who use pretty strict form (at least on things like bench, military press, etc…) and get great results doing so.

Then you have guys like Branch, Martinez, etc… who seem to use much more “choppy”, as you put it, movements yet still get great results doing so.

Obviously neither approach is “right” or “wrong” in all cases, because they have all reached a high level of muscular development (some elite, from both sides).

Sento:

Exactly. That’s why I always say, “It works for them,” after every unsavory remark I make about their form or what they do.

My friend and I watch You Tube clips of Branch Warren and crack up! We watched a clip of Victor training at Bev’s, looked at each other, and said, “Are you fuckin’ kidding me?” But we both acknowledge that what they do WORKS, and that’s all that matters!

Thought this was a good article for info on some pros think about training: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KFY/is_3_24/ai_n16125568/