T Nation

Letter to a Skinny Friend

i’ve got a buddy who is going to start lifting again, he pursued the iron for three months when we were both starting out…he quit after three months for various reasons, needless to say he still weighs about the same as an Olympic bar plus two wheels!!!

in the 1st paragraph i’m addressing GVT he plans to start with it because it’s what he tried before. initially, whatever gets him in the gym door is fine by me. hopefully it won’t be too much of a blitzkrieg for him, it might help his neurological adaptations to catch on quicker than would be otherwise. i suggested modifying the volume a bit lower to start. Anyways, here is the letter. let me know how i did.

"look broseph, GVT is a good shocker program, bust through barriers, initially shock the muscles, do it for a bit but them switch to a typical split. chest one day, back one day, arms one day, shoulders one day, legs one day, add abs on 2 or 3 days you’d like. that’s a five day gym sequence, if 5 is too many try a back and bi’s day, chest and tri’s, shoulder day, leg day = 4. alternative to that is arms/shoulders day, legs day, back day, chest day add abs whenever.

4 days is as low as you can go, 3 days is bullshit. some shit to note, don’t train chest and shoulders too close together you’ll end up w/ shoulder issues eventually, give a day or between…in terms of training 2 on 1 off, 1 on one off, what ever works i just try to get through my week within a 5-8 day range depending upon circumstance and rest and recovery. it’s not a 7 day week set in stone, just as Monday doesn’t have to always be chest day, the human body doesn’t work or grow that way.

starting out, initially do not overwhelm yourself…eventually your workouts can be a little longer, more volume but ease into it. there is no correct time exactly other than too quick, you didn’t work, too long and your doing more damage than good. as you get stronger and acclimated your rest time will need to increase due to the greater demands from greater weights. you’ll get a feel for it eventually.

be intense. be intense. be intense. phrases like “come on mother fucker,” whilst slapping your training partner in the back of the fucking neck, are good methodologies for getting fired up!!!

X amount of reps, X amount of sets, X amount of exercise per body part, which exercises and why, i’ll cover this shit if you’d like in future correspondence. initially and overall you should be concerned with how does my body feel doing this movement, which muscles am i engaging. the weight is secondary to trying to feel each movement, learning how to squeeze your arms is easy, learning to feel your back work, retract your scapula etc., takes time and a thoughtful mind.

there is no magic plan but there are better roads to travel so to speak. ultimately what will get you to your destination is intensity, food, and consistency.

you will train legs, you will train legs, you will squat a lot!!!

you will eat a lot of meat in various forms, you will drink whole milk for a while anyways. Whey shake two scoops when you wake, 1-2 prior to workout, 2 scoops after work out, and preferably casein protein before bed. post workout you will eat simple sugar based carbs with that shake. Simple for now- pop tarts + shake post work out!

eat real food an hr. after that carb/protein shake or sooner. meat and carb, pasta preferably you skinny fucker! i’m not going to beat you over the head w/ food specifics. in terms of carbs think white in the a.m and post workout, brown otherwise, however in your case just “get the food in.”

You have the green light on burgers from Wendy’s and what not. if you eat chicken and brown rice you will need to eat a fucking boat load to gain, think calorie dense food bro!

if your getting a fat gut but your arms, chest, back, legs seem little still YOU ARE FUCKING UP, if all things are growing and your gut is growing, BUT GROWING THE LEAST you are not fucking up. you will not gain 50+ pounds and stay at 8%BF, you do not have to become a sloth though.

At the gym keep it simple, compound movements, no pec deck cable flies, instead
pull ups, pull downs, rows, presses OH, Incline, Flat, squats, deads eventually…

that’s it for now my friend, remember i was roughly your weight three years ago, you’ll get there just don’t be a pussy and don’t QUIT. i’ve got a lot of L/XL shirts i plan to outgrow in the next few years, i save em’ for you, you can send to your size S cloths to a third world country eventually, Sally Struthers style, no sending food because you’ve gotts to eat!"

A couple of questions.
Why are you sending a letter instead of having a conversation? Is he in another city?
Is he expecting the letter and is he motivated to pay attention? Most people hate unsolicited advice and ignore it.
What is his general knowledge level? If it is low then the tips, tricks and methodologies you laid out will likely be confusing and overwhelming and he may just say ‘fuck it this is too complicated’.

Hehe been there done that, my friend was so lazy he didnt read the hole mail and started on a soup diett insted for real food and training… yee he got “skinny” but not for long.

Anyhow , If i were to send a mail to a friend I would give him this tip:

  1. Keep it simple, simple training program 3 days a week or so.
  2. Food suggestions and a example of a ok day (not the hardcore stuff but something he can stick to).
  3. Give him suggestions to good articles related to training and nutrition.
  4. Make him write a training log for himself, and a book were he takes measurements of legs,arms,chest, waist like every second week or so alongside the weight. Great way to keep track on the progress.

[quote]cyruseven75 wrote:
be intense. be intense. be intense. phrases like “come on mother fucker,” whilst slapping your training partner in the back of the fucking neck, are good methodologies for getting fired up!!!
[/quote]

Lmao. Nice.

he’s a bright guy, truthfully he likely has better genetics than me, he’s just malnourished. i spoke w/ him on the phone about the subject and we agreed that i would send him “motivating” e-mails.

i get the point though that ultimately you cannot motivate someone else, they must fire themselves up. i did go on a bit of a tangent the other night so i think assessments are correct, keep it simple stupid.

my goal is to ultimately thwart his bad habits/mistakes before they start. E.g. one of the first things he mentioned was “i don’t really need to train legs.” hence why i am Drill Sargent(ing) his ass. i told him if he doesn’t train legs then don’t ask for help and take his total weight gain goal and cut by well over 1/2.

[quote]BruceLeeFan wrote:
cyruseven75 wrote:
be intense. be intense. be intense. phrases like “come on mother fucker,” whilst slapping your training partner in the back of the fucking neck, are good methodologies for getting fired up!!!

Lmao. Nice.[/quote]

I wish I would find a training partner like that.

[quote]jasmincar wrote:
BruceLeeFan wrote:
cyruseven75 wrote:
be intense. be intense. be intense. phrases like “come on mother fucker,” whilst slapping your training partner in the back of the fucking neck, are good methodologies for getting fired up!!!

Lmao. Nice.

I wish I would find a training partner like that.
[/quote]

I’d be fucking pissed if someone slapped the back of my neck, but whatever… to each their own. This was a nice letter to try and get him amp’d up, hopefully it works.

I thought it was a pretty good letter - you could have addressed it to me a month or so ago and it would have fit perfectly… now only half of it does.

[quote]Bona wrote:
jasmincar wrote:
BruceLeeFan wrote:
cyruseven75 wrote:

I wish I would find a training partner like that.

I’d be fucking pissed if someone slapped the back of my neck, but whatever… to each their own. This was a nice letter to try and get him amp’d up, hopefully it works.[/quote]

It is not serious, it is only to make a better performance, it is for your own good

I would want to train with a good friend I know well (unfortunately I dont have any friend who lift)who would tell me all kind of mean hurtful shit while I am training, just to get angry but knowing it is really not serious.

Like throwing water on you when you are not focused, throwing your stuff around, telling you are a wussy when you squat. But it has to be strategic. Doing it all the time would cancel the effect