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Long Term Mass Plan

Hey guys,

I’m a 17 year old, 5’ 10", 160lb, under 10% bodyfat kid about to go into his freshman year of college. I spent 3 years of high school lifting, going from about 120 to 160. Some of that growth was due to height, and just adolescence, so it’s not like my training accounted for 40lbs of muscle gain.

In fact, I was making slow progress most of the time because I constantly changed my program because each article I read switched how I thought was the best way to train. Either way, I started making good progress once I began eating correctly, which I didn’t do until my 2nd year of lifting.

Now I may not have trained all the possible ways there are, but I feel like I know basically what different types of training do (high volume, high intensity, split, full body, etc). I’ve also spent a long time perfecting my barbell exercise technique (squat, deadlift, bench, still have some trouble with my lower back when overhead pressing standing up, barbell row, etc).

I’m just mentioning that because I don’t like to think I’m like most teenagers who post stuff like “Hey I’ve got 3 week until spring break, how do I get a six pack?.” I’m fairly knowledgeable about training, diet, and basic supplements (which I generally don’t use - my work money went to food, which works better than any supplement in my opinion)

So anyways, this is my long term plan:

First, my goal is to be just over 200 pounds, at 5’10", with at the most 10% bodyfat, which I will hopefully be able to keep more around 6% or 7%. So that means I need to gain 40 pounds of muscle (a lot…), while hopefully being able to hover around 10% bodyfat. I don’t mind if I go above, but at that point, I might remove some calories from my diet.

Once I reach about 215 pounds, including bodyfat (assuming about 12% bodyfat), I will begin cutting down to about 6% bodyfat, which is a lose of about 13 pounds. My hope is that I will be able to accomplish this before I’m 30, giving me about 12 years.

Training: In order to get bigger, you need to be stronger. Not powerlifter strong, but squatting 400 for 5 reps generally means you’re bigger than when you were squatting 300 of 5 reps. So, my first goal is to get a whole lot stronger. I’ve read Basic Barbell Training as well as the Madcow 5X5 and I think I’m going to follow this program until my lifts all increase substantially.

My 5RM for squat, bench, row, and deadlift are, respectively, 225, 200, 155, 265. If throughout college, I could improve these lifts by about 60 to 80 pounds each (I feel like that might even be a little conservative) then I would have grown substantially too (maybe not like if I had done a split, but strength is primary here).

I might do variations of exercises each cycle, but those 4 lifts are the ones I’m going to measure my progress by. So basically, I hope to add another 45 plate to each side of all my lifts in about 3-4 years.

Once I’m significantly stronger, I might adopt a split routine, but not anything like a 5 day split. Right now, I’m a big fan of DC training and, as it’s really only for advanced lifters, I can’t wait to give it an honest try. I’m a fan of all high-intensity training actually because I find that I’m able to push myself very hard for a couple sets, as opposed to kinda push myself for 12 sets. So I think some form of high intensity training comes after my strength phase, which should be the extra push to get me to grow at my intermediate-advanced stage. Hopefully, I will hit my 215 pound, 12% bodyfat goal here.

The final stage involves cutting while maintaining strength and using a split routine to shore up weaknesses, as most of the programs I’ll have done by now focus mainly on big lifts. This will probably be a more traditional split routine. So say its leg day. I start with a warmup for squats, then do one or two sets of squats with my current weight, to maintain strength.

Then I do 2 or 3 intense sets that focus on a weakness in my quads (teardrop, sweep, whatever). So it’s not super high volume, but it gives attention to places that haven’t gotten full attention. I might try pre-exhaustion as well for this.

Hopefully, manipulation of my diet and cardio will make me lose fat, so I’ll end at just over 200 pounds, 6-7% bodyfat, with some impressive lifts, just shy of 30 years old. I might think about competing in bodybuilding or powerlifting or whatever. So thats the plan - get strong on a basics program, use the strength to gain weight on a high intensity program, lose fat while shoring up weaknesses on a traditional split program (probably a 4-day split).

If I’ve missed anything let me know… Thanks for any advice or comments. It would be pretty awesome if I could get input from any of the coaches on here as well.

You’re over-thinking this IMO. Eat(a lot). Lift. Sleep. Repeat. Pretty easy.

[quote]esk221 wrote:
You’re over-thinking this IMO. Eat(a lot). Lift. Sleep. Repeat. Pretty easy.[/quote]

Agreed.

Good luck reaching 200 lbs at around 6% BF while nrever really going over 10% that much. Unless of course you’re going for your doctorate then you’ll have a little more time to make really slow progress so that you don’t get “too fat”.

Why not just eat and train your way up to 220lbs in 2 years (30lbs a year) , add 100lbs to each of those 5RM lifts every year (or more of course), and train in such a way that “weaknesses” don’t occur in the first place for you to have to fix later?

Then you can spend a few months cutting down and probably wind up under 10% bodyfat in the 195-205 range.

You could easily reach this ultimate goal of yours before you are 20, in my opinion, rather than 30 haha.

If you’ve got ten years to waste before doing it right (eating big) then by all means, shoot for a gain of 5 lbs a year or whatever it is that this works out to.

“You’re over-thinking this IMO. Eat(a lot). Lift. Sleep. Repeat. Pretty easy.”

haha I know, but i feel like a general plan might be good…

"Agreed.

Good luck reaching 200 lbs at around 6% BF while nrever really going over 10% that much. Unless of course you’re going for your doctorate then you’ll have a little more time to make really slow progress so that you don’t get “too fat”."

I’m just one of those guys that doesn’t put on weight that easily, plus I’m young. I wouldn’t mind going up to 15% or whatever if I have to, but after a full year of bulking, kind of on and off with eating clean, I’m the same bodyfat percentage. Being lean isn’t part of the plan til the end… but if I can eat 4000 clean calories, Id rather do that.

"Why not just eat and train your way up to 220lbs in 2 years (30lbs a year) , add 100lbs to each of those 5RM lifts every year (or more of course), and train in such a way that “weaknesses” don’t occur in the first place for you to have to fix later?

Then you can spend a few months cutting down and probably wind up under 10% bodyfat in the 195-205 range.

You could easily reach this ultimate goal of yours before you are 20, in my opinion, rather than 30 haha."

Im not sure how fast exactly I gain weight or can increase my strength and I’m not really an amazing physical specimen, so I figured I would make slow progress. About the weaknesses, I’m not really a fan of adding in little accessory exercises when I’m just trying to gain weight. My program is basically squats, benchs, rows, deadlifts, and inclines, with some situp, hyperextensions, calf raises, and forearm work. weaknesses would be like… rear delts, brachialis (however its spelled), teardrop. And at that point it would be more proportions.

“If you’ve got ten years to waste before doing it right (eating big) then by all means, shoot for a gain of 5 lbs a year or whatever it is that this works out to.”

haha I do eat a lot… and Im not some little prick kid who thinks he eats a lot. I eat 6 meals a day, breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner are all big solid food meals. I have a during and post workout shake (replaced by a solid meal on off days) and some casein with olive oil and peanut butter in it before bed… Right now Im out of casein so i just drink a couple glasses of milk and eat almonds…

The first couple years I’m sure I’ll gain more than 5 pounds, but towards the 200, more than 5 pounds of muscle I dont think is realistic. Plus there will be times when i cant work out religiously. So I might just have to maintain my weight, or I me regress if im away for too long without a real gym. Maybe 30 was a big overestimation, but I dont know whatll happen from now til then.

If you aren’t gaining 3-5lbs every month then no, you don’t eat a lot.

Just from me to you, I don’t think it’s really a wise attitude to ask for help and advice on a forum and then not listen to the general consensus of answers you get from people more experienced than you. (eat more, train smarter, AIM HIGHER)

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Why not just eat and train your way up to 220lbs in 2 years (30lbs a year) , add 100lbs to each of those 5RM lifts every year (or more of course), and train in such a way that “weaknesses” don’t occur in the first place for you to have to fix later?

Then you can spend a few months cutting down and probably wind up under 10% bodyfat in the 195-205 range.

You could easily reach this ultimate goal of yours before you are 20, in my opinion, rather than 30 haha.[/quote]

This post makes so much sense it’s ridiculous. Why wait 12 years to do what you can do in 2? And if the plan doesn’t play out as it should, maybe it will take 3 years. Either way is better than taking 12.

[quote]inhuman08 wrote:
Plus there will be times when i cant work out religiously. So I might just have to maintain my weight, or I me regress if im away for too long without a real gym. Maybe 30 was a big overestimation, but I dont know whatll happen from now til then.[/quote]

You’re setting yourself up for failure if you already know there will be times you won’t be working out. This HAS to be a priority to make progress beyond newb gains.

"If you aren’t gaining 3-5lbs every month then no, you don’t eat a lot.

Just from me to you, I don’t think it’s really a wise attitude to ask for help and advice on a forum and then not listen to the general consensus of answers you get from people more experienced than you. (eat more, train smarter, AIM HIGHER)"

According to every article I’ve ever read about weight gain, I’m already overeating, and I have made significant gains in the past few months. I was under the impression that gains begin to stagnate after you reach a certain level, and from there its hard to make gains regardless of eating or training, although doing either wrong will stop gains altogether.

I guess Im wrong and Ill be pleasantly surprised in a few years. I also pointed out I dont have such amazing genetics, so I figured I would plateau before long.

“You’re setting yourself up for failure if you already know there will be times you won’t be working out. This HAS to be a priority to make progress beyond newb gains.”

Im incredibly enthusiastic about training. Its the only thing I looked forward to each day for most of high school. I made it my first priority, and my grades sometimes suffered for it. Lucky I was able to juggle it all enough to get into a fantastic college.

However, I cant keep prioritizing training over school. Im not saying I wont have time to train or whatever, but if something arises requiring me to put school over training, its the training that will suffer.

So I apologize if I seemed like I wasn’t listening to your suggestions. I just didn’t think that gains could be made that quickly, even with correct diet.

Eat big, lift heavy, sleep a lot and it’ll happen. I got it. So lets shoot for 2 years, maybe 3, and definitely before the end of college.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Why not just eat and train your way up to 220lbs in 2 years (30lbs a year) , add 100lbs to each of those 5RM lifts every year (or more of course), and train in such a way that “weaknesses” don’t occur in the first place for you to have to fix later?[/quote]

How could I train that would allow me to both increase my main lifts consistently, while also covering small imbalances in muscle groups?

Gains aren’t going to slow down that drastically until you’re more like 250lbs haha. Not just 200lbs. It would be a mistake to PLAN for your muscle gains to slow down in the future. You really need to be a little more optimistic and ambitious about what you can and want to achieve man!

""How could I train that would allow me to both increase my main lifts consistently, while also covering small imbalances in muscle groups? “”

Just train with a normal 2 or 3 way split and a low-volume/high-intensity approach.

If after 6 months to a year of training and eating there are one or two muscle groups that seem to lag behind, you don’t have to overhaul your entire routine, you generally just want to keep what you’re doing but increase the frequency that you hit that bodypart(s) with.

Examples of good routines that have gotten people big for decades would be a 3way split like: back&biceps, chest&triceps, legs&shoulders.

Or a two-way split, such as: Legs Back & Biceps … Chest Shoulders & Triceps

IronAddict also has a comprehensive list of excellent beginner (and intermediate) routines that focus on both strength and size:
http://www.ironaddicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12663

Honestly the best thing you could do for yourself right now would be to stop reading internet articles (and truthfully, have you ever seen what the authors of 99% of these articles LOOK LIKE?

You’d never guess they lift weights, if they even do at all.), and just have fun stuffing your face with a protein meal 6 times a day and constantly striving to make progress in the gym.

[quote]inhuman08 wrote:
mr popular wrote:
Why not just eat and train your way up to 220lbs in 2 years (30lbs a year) , add 100lbs to each of those 5RM lifts every year (or more of course), and train in such a way that “weaknesses” don’t occur in the first place for you to have to fix later?

How could I train that would allow me to both increase my main lifts consistently, while also covering small imbalances in muscle groups?[/quote]

Any basic split should do both. Bodybuilding splits almost always focus on strength–if not, then the split is either for the very advanced, or those who are idiots.

Or check out a Westside split or search for the article “Blending Size and Strength”

I myself am shooting for 205lbs at 10 percent bf% by the end of February and I began my bulk at 180lbs at 16.5%bf. I eat about 4000 calories a day…you don’t even list how many calories you take in. I myself have put on 13lbs of muscle in the last 2 months.

You, however are still at 160. The very goal of 10% bf is surreal to me because of my mesomorphic qualities but you have a body that is naturally lean and you are planning on a frikken DECADE LONG GAIN!?.

The only advice that I can offer is shoot for at least an 8lb gain a month, make it a 2 or 3 day split that won’t interfere with the rest of your life, REST when you must(you do the growing OUTSIDE of the GYM), and for the love all things iron and heavy…EAT EAT EAT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE BECAUSE THESE GAINS WILL NOT BE AS EASY TO ATTAIN AS YOU GET OLDER!!!

So I checked out IronAddict’s beginner programs and I like the first one on that list; it’s very similar to what I had originally planned, but has me squatting more often :smiley:

As someone with overpowering shoulders, I thought I would make a small change in the B workout.

Workout B:
Squat 3X5
Incline Barbell Press 3X5 (the incline would be higher than if I was doing incline press for upper chest specifically, but not vertical, so about 60 to 70 degrees, depending on the bench)
Barbell Rows 3X5
Overhand Pullups 2X8

And just a summary of my typical meals:

Breakfast-7:30
whey shake
4 eggs
3 slices of whole grain bread or leftover brown rice/pasta
leftover veggies or a salad

Brunch-10:30
hero sandwich stuffed with roast beef or turkey, cheese, and veggies. this is a 14 inch sandwich… not some slices of meat between two cute pieces of bread. if i have time, ill make myself a real meal thats very similar to lunch.

Lunch-1:00
6 to 8oz (depends on lunch that day) of chicken/pork/beef (depends as well)
brown rice/pasta (large plate) or 3 slices of bread
salad or other veggies (depends also)

During Workout-3:00 to 4:00
36g whey, 39g carbs

After Workout-4:15
48g whey, 65g carbs (the numbers are based on servings and half servings…)

Random Meal-5:30
meat and carbs as with lunch

Dinner-8:30
meat as with lunch, massive salad or other veggies covered in olive oil, and a glass of milk on training days

Before Bed-10:00 (the time will depend on school…)
casein shake with olive oil and/or peanut butter mixed in

Ive tried calculating it all and whatnot, but it comes to about 3500 to 4000 depending on whether its a training day or whats for lunch or if im feeling small that day and decide to eat a bit more.

Sorry if I was a “stubborn asshole” before (a phrase my ex-girlfriend commonly used… hah)

Looks good man. Don’t be afraid of a little cheating in your diet. Some brownies and fast food a couple times a week never hurt anybody (except that guy that died choking on a french fry. Don’t be that guy.) Overall your plan looks much better now.

Why not go over to the Training Logs forum and make a thread to track your bodyweight and gym progress, and make sure everything is on point?

That would also make it easy for you to get help from people that read it when you reach a new level and encounter problems in your diet, program, or development.

OP,

  I'm 19 and about to be a sophomore in college and I was in your shoes a year ago.  I was almost 20lbs heavier as well and my lifts were a little weaker.  It sounds like you have a very solid head on your shoulders, which is good.  

In terms of diet I think you’re overthinking it a bit as some have said, but I wasted my first semester eating very clean, being extremely conservative with carbs and portions, and eating 7-8 times a day.

Then, I had a big guy tell me I was fucking retarded for eating the way I was, I might as well be dieting. So I dirtied up my diet a bit, starting stuffing my face till I was sick, and all the puzzle pieces started coming together.

I went from 175-180 to a current 215. I’m a bit higher than 12% bodyfat, but if you put your mind to it, you can achieve those goals in probably a year and a half to 2 years. I think that’s good to focus on strength first. I did Rippetoe’s program from January to May, then have been doing a modified WS4SB with great results.

Good luck, train hard, eat a shitload, and you’ll be alright!

usually, no matter how well i plan my diet, it ends up being me stuffing my face with as much meat, veggies, carbs (for breakfast, brunch, and lunch), and fat (dinner and before bed).

alas, i just found out im on the rugby team, so now im just planning on eating a whole lot of meat, plus whatever else i can get my hands on. my roommate is a football player and were both bringing minifridges, so we should have enough food in the room for when im not quite full from my last meal, but i have another hour til the next… im also thinking of mixing in olive oil or peanut butter with any protein shakes i make.

im not really a fan of supplements (plus money will be an issue), but if im having trouble recovering, i was thinking i might try BCAAs and/or glutamine. im going to wait and see if im recovering well otherwise though. what do you guys think?

i know this sounds hopeless… haha, an ectomorphic teenage kid playing rugby 4 or 5 times a week trying to gain weight… im gunna work like balls i promise you.

[quote]inhuman08 wrote:
it ends up being me stuffing my face with as much meat[/quote]

man, that doesn’t sound gay at all :smiley:

[quote]inhuman08 wrote:
mr popular wrote:
Why not just eat and train your way up to 220lbs in 2 years (30lbs a year) , add 100lbs to each of those 5RM lifts every year (or more of course), and train in such a way that “weaknesses” don’t occur in the first place for you to have to fix later?

How could I train that would allow me to both increase my main lifts consistently, while also covering small imbalances in muscle groups?[/quote]

at 5’10" and 160 you don’t have to worry about imbalances as much as you need to worry about gaining a lot of mass