T Nation

MR Prime Time July 4-7


Thought I'd get this up before Prime Time starts. I'm on for 3 hours tonight, so keep me busy with those questions!

Stay strong


Here's something I want to know from you all:

Who actually took their time off today to TRAIN?

Getting to sleep in a little made all the difference in the world with regards to my session today; I felt great!

Stay strong


My gym is closed, so no "working sets" for me today, but dozens of pullups on the living room pull up bar.

What I want to know is, how many people fueled their workouts with traditional Independence day goodies, beer, hot dogs and potato salad?


I took the time off to fashion a dragging sled in my brothers work shed. Welding, torching and grinding away. Does that count? :slightly_smiling:


Trained as scheduled. However, I did it this morning. I'm just glad this was a scheduled back-off week, as I would have really struggled doing my regular routine that early.


Also, what is the best way to increase strenght without gaining more size in my thighs. I want to get stronger but not bigger in the legs. I alread have pretty thick legs.


Uggh....no hot dogs for me. After I found out what was in them, I haven't eaten one since!

Stay strong


I'm going to do the responsible thing and actually ask a question:

Is it possible to do too much rowing versus horizontal pushing?

I ask because I really hate bench pressing and don't do nearly as much pressing as I do pull ups and rows.


Most definitely; how long did it take? My buddy and I made one a few years ago, and he still uses it to this day.

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I would lower your reps per set, as well as decreasing the overall reps you do per workout. You could do something simple like a 3x3 workout; you'll get the strength benefit without the size

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hi there Mike. one question for now. I am trying to decide if a total body training routine or an upper body, lower body split is best for me. i have trained steadily for about a year, but have not stuck with any set parameters or training programs, and before that i lifted for about a year off and on just at school or during baseball and basketball practice.

I am dropping to drop some fat currently so i figured that a total body routine would allow me to do more compound lifts there by creating more energy expenditure but sometimes i feel that total body routines dont allow me to work on certain weakness such as the ones who outlined in neanderthal no more.

For my purposes what do you feel is best. i tried to set up parameters for a split routine and for a total body routine. right now i have this layout

day1 upper 3 sets of 6 reps
upper push
upper pull
tricep push
upper pull vertical
corrective exercises (accessory row, rotators, scapula elevevation

day 2 lower body 2-3 sets of 12
quad dom
hip dom
acessory posterior
hip and glute work

then i switch parameters when upper and lower come up again in the week

i dont want to lift to heavy right away because i feel especially after reading erics recent article that i should take up time to first strengthen my tendons and work on my range of motion in certain exercises. I tried to go to heavy to fast in the beginning.

now if the above parameters where sufficent for my current goal which is maintain muscle mass loss fat correct muscle imbalances. how might i construct a total body routine based on the same methods. should i just rotate six reps days with 12 rep days or should i try and go heavier and drop the twelve rep days and just work on sets of 6-8 reps so as to better prevent muscle wasting. sorry for the lengthy question but i am really struggling with a total body routine or a split routine esepecially considering my goals.

one last thing do you change strength parameters during the week or do you like to use 4-6 week blocks.


Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? No.

Keep rowing!

Stay strong


hey MR, 5 1/2 years ago I messed up my ankle. I believe I tore my Anterior Tibiofibular Liagment. back then i didn't know much and obviously my At staff didn't either as they just kept e-stimming me and nothing else. So it healed but it was week for a about a year and half after that (various other ankle sprains) I'm a big calf freak and have 18 inch calves, I'm only telling you this so you know I've done my work to stabilize my ankle. I also run in the sand on the beach every day.

For a few days ago I have a massage thperist at work look at it and it brings it up as he can see my ankle inverrts very easily. he recommends I go to my orth to find out whats going on in there.

It doesn't hurt, but why is it still noticeably swollen 5 1/2 year later? and what work can i do to strengthen it aside from my calf work and my beach work?



I can't really outline a program for you here; after all, that's what people pay me to do! (And they don't like it when I give stuff away free).

Have you thought about trying one of Chad's routines? If you want to get a mix of qualities in one week, that would be your best bet.

I, myself, prefer to do blocks of training. However, I'm never going to limit myself to one "goal" per phase (e.g. just hypertrophy, just strength, etc.)

With regards to your question, one thing you need to understand is that the order of training plays a huge influence. If you want to correct muscle imbalances, why are you pressing first? As well, why are you doing quad dominant stuff first? To be honest, I think you are trying to achieve too many goals in one phase. If you want to do the corrective stuff, do it now. Better to be safe than sorry!

Stay strong


I was disappointed today because the school was looked up completely. Normally there is at least one door that gets left unlocked and I can get in that way. Because of that there was no lifting for me today (hopefully I can make it up tomorrow, the custodians should be there). I guilted myself into doing some running because I went to town with some early 4th celebrations over the weekend. So I did 1000yds worth of tempo.

Mike, I wanted to ask you a question about training volume. What type of set range do you typically prescribe for individuals you are are training? I know that the trainability of the individual has alot to do with it, but could you presricbe some general guidlines? I saw where Jason Fegurria calls for 18-25 sets per workout so I wanted to get your imput. Also, how do you figure in prehab work to that equation?



I find it hard to believe it's still swollen after 5.5 years. Are you sure there isn't something structurally wrong? If it is truly swollen, yeah, I would get an ortho to check it out.

Here's a post I wrote a few days ago that should help you out:

You've lucked out, you are actually talking to THE MASTER of ankle destruction! I've rolled both ankles more times than I could ever hope to remember.

I would have someone versed in soft tissue work check out all the surrounding areas, e.g. the calves, tibialis anterior, peroneals, etc. Make sure there's no scar tissue built up, and if there is, get rid of it.

Next, focus on regaining proprioception around the joint. This is a great place to use wobble boards and such. Standing on one leg for time, Airex pads, etc. are great as well. Make sure you get both sides equal before moving on.

Finally, the best way I've found to strengthen the muscles around the ankle are via manual resistance. Just have a partner move your ankle in every imaginable direction while you resist.

Stay strong


I like Jay's recommendations, as well as his writing. I have a lot of respect for the guy, even though I've never met him.

With regards to the training sets/reps I use, that depends totally on the trainee, their goals, and a host of other variables. Needless to say I don't shy away from hypertrophy work when needed, where I'll use 4-5 sets of 10-12 reps to build a lagging muscle group. For most trainees that aren't PL'ing, the lowest I'll typically go rep-wise is triples. It's hard to provide a cookie-cutter answer, simply because I don't use cookie-cutter programs.

With regards to prehab stuff, I don't count that in the overall volume. Typically it's low-intensity, motor control stuff, so it shouldn't take up too much of your time or energy.

Stay strong



I hadn't submitted anything new for a while, but in the last 2 days I've submitted 3 new articles to the boss-man (TC). Here are the titles, for those interested:

The Do's and Don'ts of Training Clients

Powerlifting for Bodybuilders

Intermediate Madness

You'll also be glad to hear I've tried to tone down my long-winded, multi-part articles into more digestible pieces. I hope you guys like them!

Stay strong


The university rec that I lift at was closed, so I had to bust out every old plate I had to get my chest and back routine in. I had some plates with big holes and some with smaller ones, but I loaded up an old length of pipe and went at it. The plates fell off. So I duct taped them on. Worked!

Best Workout Ever.


Thanks for the reply Mike, yes it is truely swollen, when compared with my other ankle it is noticeable. The massage Therapist, told me to just massage it all the time as they believes that i do have some scar tissue built up. Is that the only possible way?

Right before I typed the orginial post I had actually inverrated it when I walked into a ditch by accident, My ankle is VERY weak on invversion, its gives like nothing else. I've googled and searched for ways to inprove that but I keep hitting dead ends, Any ideas on how to make it strong for evversion/innverson aside from running in the sand( is that good by the way?). I'm very strong in platar/doris flexion