T Nation

Long post !

*There is no real point to the first bit, but I could do with some advice at the end of this post.

This weekend, I ended up visiting a good friend of mine who is at University down in Oxford. Now he’s got to the point where he’s off on holiday in 10 weeks and is desperate to get into shape for it. He knows that I’ve spent the last 3 years reading about all this stuff, (to the point of f*cking up my own university degree) and believed I could help him.

Basically, he’s only been working out for 2 weeks, is 23, 6 foot tall, about 170lbs and I’d guess around 16-18% bf. So I go along with him on Sunday to see how I could help, he brings with him his university buddy Paul.

Now Paul is one of those characters who has always been sporty and thus lean his whole life, whereas I on the other hand was a puny nerd who never exercised at all (until 3 years ago) So I watch what Paul has my friend doing, and I was pretty shocked.

It turns out that he was into doing about 20-25 sets for biceps, some bizarre tricep work, hardly any back work and some high rep bench pressing. Now I didn’t want to piss him off by slapping him across the room, so I merely tried to guide my friend away from his “coach” Paul.

I ended up showing them both how to deadlift and squat and espoused the benefits of building big arms through heavy pulling and pressing. But I lost Paul along the way who drifted back into his 30th set of dumbell curls.

Now, as my friend has quite a low weight, I was going to try and get him into doing the ABBH programme, as far as diet was concerned, he doesn’t eat a lot, but it does seem to consist largely of carbohydrates. So I was going to reccomend he read some of Berardi’s work and concentrate on whacking up his protein intake and getting most of his carbs from fruit and veg.

Is this basically correct, as I have been training westside for the last 4 months and improved my physique much more with this strength oriented style than I ever did with any other ‘traditional’ bodybuilding programme? I have largely been led to believe that your appearance is determined by what you eat, and the training programme, unless hugely flawed, is secondary.
.

I’d say its pretty simply really: if you wanna get freaking huge, I dont care what you eat, or how well you rest, you have got to bust your ass in the weight room. If you wanna get inhumanly ripped, then I dont care how long you spend in the weight room, doing cardio, or whatever, if you arent watching your diet - in terms of both quantity AND quality - then you wont achieve your goals. So you have to find out from your friend what he wants (i know, i know, lose fat, build muscle. once he arrives on planet earth make him pick one.)

As a final note, and i hope you dont htink that this contradicts everything i just said, your friend is coming from a sedentary background with NO training and a poor diet. ANYTHING he does will improve his body composition/appearance to a certain degree.

Pick any soild program to start and concentrate on the diet.

I suggest starting slow. Have him check out JB’s “7 Habits” article. From this build a good dietary base and advance from there.

Phill

If you can get him to keep a food log for even a couple of days, you’re golden.

“As a final note, and i hope you dont htink that this contradicts everything i just said, your friend is coming from a sedentary background with NO training and a poor diet. ANYTHING he does will improve his body composition/appearance to a certain degree.”

-true dat!

Bonzo, your reading has paid off. You have many valid points. Like third said… anything your friend does now, will change his physique because he hasn’t been working out at all.

jaystyles

…as far as getting freaky huge, you must eat, and eat, and oh… did i mention EAT?

jaystyles

Cheers guys, I didn’t want to give him useless advice to follow, so your replies are much appreciated.

I’m gonna be able to train with him once a week, so I should be able to monitor his progress and diet, but trying to convince people that you need to eat more food to improve your appearance is often like banging your head against a wall.

I should hopefully be able to post his progress over the coming weeks.

I would also like to suggest you spread the wealth. Get him to come on the forumn for himself. It can be very motivational to someone looking to start out.

Also mucho grande good info. to read.

Phill

Bonzo, ABBH is a GREAT program.
As suggested by Chad Waterbury, the proper sequence for hypertrophy is: ABBH1, ABBH2, Singles.
You concentrate only on the productive exercises with an effective combination of loads, sets and reps. Using ABBH, I’m growing at the age of 46 ! Remember that no hypertrophy program will work for your friend unless he eats properly.