T Nation

Mixing Strength and Time Under Tension?

A couple years ago I put on about 15 lbs. of muscle in a 3-4 month period. I did it with a push/pull/legs 3 day split. For each muscle group I did 3 exercises with 3 sets of 10, using a 4 second negative, going to failure on each exercise. I understand that’s not what people say beginners should do, but it worked. I ate a bunch and took creatine as well. Problem is, I didn’t feel all that strong.

For a few weeks now I’ve been doing SS and I like the big lifts. It’s fun to try to lift more every session. My question is; since my body seems to respond well to time under tension volume stuff, would it make sense to throw in some of that? For instance, what if I did dips, which are prescribed in the program, using slow negatives and going to failure? Same with pull ups on workout B.

Please don’t bash me for changing the program. Everyone responds differently to different training. I’m 6-4 and lanky and it’s always been hard for me to put on muscle.

Thanks

Well, what is your focus with the program? If you are looking to get stronger, you would do well to stick with the routine as written, as you admit that what you did in the past didn’t make you feel all that strong. If I were you, I’d stick with the program as written for hypertrophy as well, at least for a few months.

You say you saw good gains using a TUT approach, but assuming that you haven’t being training very long, you probably don’t know what works best for you yet. By taking the extra time to experiment with a different type of training, you’ll be able to compare the two and get a better feel for how your body responds.

That being said, the dips and pull-ups are not as important as the big lifts, so a small change like the one you want to make will not mess up the program for you. Also, at 6’4", be ready to do some serious eating to put on enough muscle to make a difference. You may want to post your current diet, there might be some things that can be tweaked to help you grow more effectively.

[quote]jdad910 wrote:
A couple years ago I put on about 15 lbs. of muscle in a 3-4 month period …

For a few weeks now I’ve been doing SS and I like the big lifts.[/quote]

Have you been training for the last few years?

This is certainly true, but you’re trying to use the same training you once used, rather than experiment with something different (something with a track record of results).

If you want to get stronger, and also want to get bigger, you’ll be happy doing Starting Strength exactly as it’s laid out without adding your own tweaks yet. Just be sure to drink your milk.

[i]"The primary effect of our program is muscular bodyweight gain. That’s where our famous gallon of milk a day program comes in. A gallon of whole milk, each day, is our standard recommendation for people who need to gain weight.

And nothing works better than a linear progression on simple barbell exercises, that has you go up in weight every workout, while you’re gaining weight because you’re drinking a gallon of milk a day. I have seen people put on 50 pounds of muscular bodyweight. We do it all the time, and it works beautifully."[/i]

To clarify, I’m one of those guys who has been lifting on and off for years, so basically yeah I’m a beginner. I have NEVER lifted heavy, and hardly any leg training. Btw, I’m 37, but highly immature. Pretty decent shape overall.

So yeah, I will stick with the program and just shoot for increasing weight as much as possible.

About the milk. I tried that back when I was doing the TUT thing and it gave me the shits, zits, and I swear that gallon went right to my gut. Soon as I layed off the milk, I leaned out with a little muscle gain. I read here that there might be some milk insulin issues for some people. Please clarify if I’m wrong as I would love to buy seven gallons of milk a week and drink it all day long.

Because of this site, I’m equipped to make this a lifestyle change…so thanks!

[quote]jdad910 wrote:

About the milk. I tried that back when I was doing the TUT thing and it gave me the shits, zits, and I swear that gallon went right to my gut. Soon as I layed off the milk, I leaned out with a little muscle gain. I read here that there might be some milk insulin issues for some people. Please clarify if I’m wrong as I would love to buy seven gallons of milk a week and drink it all day long.
[/quote]
Are you perhaps lactose intolerant? If that’s an issue, you may want to try Lact-aid, I’ve heard good things about it. If not, the point of the gallon of milk is to get extra nutrients into your system, as a lot of beginners have a hard time adapting to eating enough. If you can’t get the milk down, you can just eat more solid food to get similar benefits.

[quote]ninjaboy wrote:
the point of the gallon of milk is to get extra nutrients into your system, as a lot of beginners have a hard time adapting to eating enough. If you can’t get the milk down, you can just eat more solid food to get similar benefits.
[/quote]

Definitely agree with this point.

A gallon of whole milk is about 2,400 calories. That’s a bunch of extra calories to add all at once. If you want to try it again, you could work up to it, starting with a half-gallon over the course of the entire day.

Don’t try to drink the whole thing in one or two sittings. I know I can only tolerate 16-20 ounces of milk at a time. Any more than that and all sorts of unpleasantness happen.

Or, like ninja said, just eat more “stuff.”