T Nation

My Program for Mass

Here�??s my current program. The goal is to gain lean muscle mass without hurting myself. Comments and advice would be appreciated:

  • Current height and weight: 5’11", 166 lbs.
  • I use a smith machine for my bench press because there’s often nobody to spot at my gym.
  • Right now almost all of my lower back and all leg exercises have been stopped until my knees start working right again. This lasts until at least mid-august.
  • I am getting ready to split my arm/shoulder workout into morning/night workouts.
  • Meals are all variations on high-protein with legumes and veggies, supplemented with Met-rx shakes and a balance bar. All meals are consumed with eight ounces of unsweetened soy milk or juice.
  • I also the following twice daily: a multivitamin, Caltrate-D, a joint supplement, and 750 mgs. of Tribulus on a 5 on/2 off cycle

Saturday + Tuesday:

Chest
Bench press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Incline dumbbell press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Dumbell flyes, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Upper/Middle Back
Chin ups, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

  • I am using a machine to assist with chins and slowly working up to my body weight
    Bent-over Dumbbell rows, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
    Lat pulldowns, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Ab press machine, 5 sets of 12-15 reps

Sunday + Wednesday

Biceps
Bicep Curls, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Preacher bench curls with ez-curl bar, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Triceps
Tricep Pulldowns, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

  • These are a substitute for standing tricep extensions until my knees are better
    Close-grip bench press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Shoulders
Lateral Raises, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Arnold Press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Forearms
Wrist Curls, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
Reverse Wrist Curls, 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Hanging reverse crunches, 5 sets of 25

Monday + Thursday

Lower Back
Back Extension (Machine), 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Resist-a-ball crunches, 5 sets of 25

[quote]supabeast wrote:
Here�??s my current program. The goal is to gain lean muscle mass without hurting myself. Comments and advice would be appreciated:

  • Current height and weight: 5’11", 166 lbs.
  • I use a smith machine for my bench press because there’s often nobody to spot at my gym.
  • Right now almost all of my lower back and all leg exercises have been stopped until my knees start working right again. This lasts until at least mid-august.
  • I am getting ready to split my arm/shoulder workout into morning/night workouts.
  • Meals are all variations on high-protein with legumes and veggies, supplemented with Met-rx shakes and a balance bar. All meals are consumed with eight ounces of unsweetened soy milk or juice.
  • I also the following twice daily: a multivitamin, Caltrate-D, a joint supplement, and 750 mgs. of Tribulus on a 5 on/2 off cycle

Saturday + Tuesday:

Chest
Bench press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Incline dumbbell press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Dumbell flyes, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Upper/Middle Back
Chin ups, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

  • I am using a machine to assist with chins and slowly working up to my body weight
    Bent-over Dumbbell rows, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
    Lat pulldowns, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Ab press machine, 5 sets of 12-15 reps

Sunday + Wednesday

Biceps
Bicep Curls, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Preacher bench curls with ez-curl bar, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Triceps
Tricep Pulldowns, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

  • These are a substitute for standing tricep extensions until my knees are better
    Close-grip bench press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Shoulders
Lateral Raises, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Arnold Press, 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Forearms
Wrist Curls, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
Reverse Wrist Curls, 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Hanging reverse crunches, 5 sets of 25

Monday + Thursday

Lower Back
Back Extension (Machine), 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Resist-a-ball crunches, 5 sets of 25[/quote]

You need to be a bit more detailed on your nutrition plan i.e. frequency of meals…what your def. of high protein might not be high so for instance how many grams of protein do you consume in the course of a day? Anyway this is just for starters…

Don’t overdo the soy protein. It’s not the savior the fitness society has been searching for. Anyhow, it looks like you have pretty high volume but what are you using for weight? Also, it may just be me but whenever I see somebody do back extensions it makes me cringe. While it’s the same movement it’s on a horizontal plane which I dunno…I just find it sketchy. Also, leg extensions aren’t bad, but again I don’t think you should be using them as one of your main leg exercises. I’m gonna beat a dead horse here and tell you to try and incorporate some deadlifts/squats/lunges of some variation at least every now and then.

I agree with the nutrition thing too. Keep a little log for tomorrow or something then post it here and be honest and we can truly see where your at although you sound like you should be in fairly good shape.

Ok, here goes the eating info. This applies to weekdays, on weekends my schedule gets wonky and I often have to adjust a little on the fly. My metabolism can get pretty crazy after a workout and some days I eat a lot more than this. The cheeses are in there because they’re good and because my cholesterol level is just slightly above being dangerously low.

I don’t know what my body fat percentage is, but I’m 5’11", 166 lbs, and my size 32 pants are a little loose with my shirts tucked in.

Breakfast:
3 eggs
1.5 scoops of Met-rx protein powder mixed with 8 oz. soy milk and 3 oz mixed berries.
2 slices of toast made with Ezekial bread and spread with corn-syrup free fruit preserves

Morning snack:
Balance bar

Lunch:
~8oz. chicken in some kind of vegetable and bean/chickpea sauce. Sometimes this just turns into a Turksih-style gyro if something keeps me from cooking chicken ahead of time.
8oz. soy milk or juice.

Afternoon snack:
Some kind of pretzels or worse, junk food. I need to change this.

Pre-workout:
1.5 scoops Met-rx protein powder mixed with water and 3 oz mixed berries.

Dinner:
8-16oz of meat, depending on protein content. Meat is chicken, steak, buffalo, salmon, tuna, lamb, or venison.
Some sort of vegetable side, maybe some pasta.

After-dinner snack:
Veggies, semi-soft or hard cheeses.

Before Bed:
3 scoops Met-rx protein powder mixed with water.

If I get randomly hungry I usually have a scoop of peanut butter, some cheese, and/or fresh veggies.

I’m not using the soy milk just for protein, there’s a lot of other good stuff in there. I drink it because I’m lactose intolerant, so I can’t drink milk and if I drink too much juice the sugar in it will make me crash.

[quote]supabeast wrote:
Diet stuff…[/quote]

Some supermarkets sell lactose free milk. You could also try rice milk instead of the soy. You could also just not bother with any milk substitutes at all.

Where are your healthy fats? Olive oil, EPA, DHA? If you’re looking for health benefits, just skip the soy milk all together and buy yourself some Flameout and olive oil.

It shouldn’t need to be said, but, if you’re still not gaining weight with your current diet, EAT MORE.

Healthy fats? I probably need to make a much bigger effort to get more of those. Right now my healthy fats come from whatever fish I eat, the olive oil I use for cooking meats, and from my Omega-3 fortified eggs, which the package claims contain 400 mgs. of Omega-3 per two eggs. And whatever random peanut butter I cram into my mouth now and then.

Edit: I looked into Flameout, and right now I cannot take it because it contains so much concentrated fish oil. Right now I have a low platelet count (which is related to my calcium and vitamin-d deficiencies) and because fish oil can cause issues with platelets my doctor wants me staying away from it.

Would swapping my soy milk for whole milk, adding regimented peanut butter intake, and taking flaxseed oil be a good way to get more healthy fats?

[quote]supabeast wrote:
Edit: I looked into Flameout, and right now I cannot take it because it contains so much concentrated fish oil. Right now I have a low platelet count (which is related to my calcium and vitamin-d deficiencies) and because fish oil can cause issues with platelets my doctor wants me staying away from it.[/quote]

Strange…never heard of such a thing as omega-3’s having any adverse affects with blood platelets/calcium vitamin-d deficiency. I don’t suppose he gave you any reference material? Most docs know fuck all about nutrition. I’m a bit skeptical.

[quote]
Would swapping my soy milk for whole milk, adding regimented peanut butter intake, and taking flaxseed oil be a good way to get more healthy fats?[/quote]

Give it a try. Whole milk is a much better source of calcium than soy milk substitute. I think you already posted that you were using olive oil on a regular basis, try using even more than you currently do.

Omega 3�??s, particularly when they come from fish, limit the ability of platelets to adhere to each other.

For a normal platelet level that can actually be good and help prevent heart disease. But given that my platelet count is 50% of normal, pushing it much lower would be something along the lines of artificial hemophilia :frowning:

[quote]supabeast wrote:
Omega 3�??s, particularly when they come from fish, limit the ability of platelets to adhere to each other.

For a normal platelet level that can actually be good and help prevent heart disease. But given that my platelet count is 50% of normal, pushing it much lower would be something along the lines of artificial hemophilia :([/quote]

I have a MMA freind who is the same way. Omega 3’s give him bloody noses all the time. I think your diet looks good except for the soy milk. Soy contains phytoestrogens that lower sperm count and decrease testosterone.

One of my friends is kinda a vegaterian (eats fish) and eats tons of soy. He’s never used birth control (not even the pullout method) with any of his girlfriends and he’s never got any of them pregnate.

As far as your weight training if your not making any progress I’d drop the amount of sets you do (especially for chest) or increase your recovery time in between body parts or both. 24 sets of chest in one week is too much for me. If you work the muscle twice a week

I would do one heavy workout around 6 reps and one workout with lighter weights concentrating on things like contraction (squeezing the muscle) isolation, getting blood flow (pump) speed (fast and explosive contraction with slow excentic movement).

I’ve been lifting a while and if I did your program I’d be overtrained but thats just me. Best of luck dude.

A study was done at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. They found that men who consumed 56grams of soy protein a day had a decrease in testosterone of 19% with an increase in estrogen-receptor activity. Test levels returned to normal 2 weeks after discontinuing the soy protein supplement. I you want to explore your feminine side then soy protein will help you out.