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Neandathal No More... No More

I’ve just finished the neanderthal no more program (part 4 and 5) and I’m pretty happy with the results. Much better posture, most noticeable in my upper body where my shoulders don’t round over any more. I also gained 6kg of muscle which I’m fairly happy about.

Just wanted to ask for some help in planning my post neanderthal program, but first here’s some background info on me:
Height: 6’3"
Weight: 89kg
Training age: 5 months
Body type: Low fat, fairly skinny but also naturally strong, fast metabolism.
Diet:
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs (2 yolks), 2 slices of bread, omega 3 tablet + multivitamin.
Brunch: 30g whey protein with 500ml milk
Lunch: Varies, 2 slices of bread with peanut butter or 2 slices of bacon with bread.
Afternoon: 30g whey protein with 500ml milk or 2 slices of bread with peanut butter depending on what lunch was
Dinner: Meat/fish with vegetables.
Evening: 30g milk protein with 500ml milk.

Questions

  1. Firstly, are there any obvious flaws in my diet that would have a big impact if corrected?

  2. I’ve been splitting my 3 day per week workouts into chest/triceps, back/biceps and legs/shoulders, would I be better off training each muscle more frequently e.g. doing full body workouts?

  3. If I squat, do good mornings and hyperextensions, are leg curls neccessary to properly develop my hamstrings for jumping/sprinting?

  4. Am I going to die a slow death from milk protein overdose?

  5. Last wedsnday I got a weird sharp pain in my head after dropping down from a set of pullups, and again today I felt a similar feeling accompanied by nausea and faintness half way through my workout. Does anyone know what this is and how I can avoid it happening again?

[quote]Marther wrote:

Questions

  1. Firstly, are there any obvious flaws in my diet that would have a big impact if corrected?[/quote]

Bread might be something you want to ditch. Stick to carbs like oatmeal, rice, etc. I wouldn’t do protein late at night unless it’s a whey casein blend. Eat some cottage cheese or something.

Oh, and you probably need to eat more. But it really depends on your goals.

EDIT: you need to eat some protein with your lunch.

Only you can answer that question. Try each out for a few months, evaluate, decide what works best.

Make sure you’re deadlifting now and again. I don’t think leg curls a necessary, but I’m not a trainer. Try Glute Ham Raises if you can–good movement.

doubtful.

[quote]
5) Last wedsnday I got a weird sharp pain in my head after dropping down from a set of pullups, and again today I felt a similar feeling accompanied by nausea and faintness half way through my workout. Does anyone know what this is and how I can avoid it happening again?[/quote]

Can’t answer this one. if it persists see a doctor.

You need to eat more. Two of your meals are a pint of milk and a cup of protein. You need bot h more protein and calories, although it probably depends on your goals, like boyscout says.

That is a lot of milk though. You might soon get bad gas from developing an allergy. If this happens, lay off the milk for a little while.

The sharp pain and dizziness is probably the effect of a new kind of exertion on your body. It should go away in a few workouts. If it persists… do what boyscout said.

I second deadlifts though. For full leg development, squats are a staple. Deadlifts are dessert.

The headaches have pretty much gone away now, which is nice to say the least. I’ve stopped drinking milk for now following your advice, and have also started eating porridge with milk casein protein for breakfast and having scambled eggs for lunch instead.

Here’s the program that I’ve made and have been on for the last 4 weeks. Feel free to rip it to shreds:

Monday (chest/triceps/abs):
Weighted dips 4x8
Dumbell incline bench 4x8
Dumbell flyes 3x8
Skullcrushers 4x8
Weighted planks 2 sets til form drops
Dumbell side bends 3x8
Weighted decline sit-ups 3 sets til near failure

Tuesday:
X band sidesteps
Dorsiflexion with band 3 sets to failure

Wedsnday (back/bicep):
Pull-ups 4x8 (usually can only do 8 on first set tho)
Seated rows (med grip) 3x8
Seated rows (close grip) 3x8
Seated good mornings 4x8

Weighted hyperextension on 45 degree “bench” with the supports set so that the flexion occurs at the hip so that it works the glutes and hams. 3 sets to failure
Standing dumbell bicep curls keeping the non-working arm flexed for constant tension. 4x8

Thursday:
Press-ups with each rep starting off the floor to help increase explosiveness for bench press. 3 sets til failure

Friday (legs/shoulders):
Squats 5x8
Split squats 3x8
Calf raises on leg press. 4 sets til failure
Front/side raise superset 3x8
Rear delt raise 3x8

A few points that currently concern me:

  1. My off day program sucks I think, they are intended as injury prevention days but I don’t really know what I’m doing so I’d greatly appreciate input.

  2. I continued the seated good mornings from the neanderthal no more program. Should I keep progressing with these, or is there a better, perhaps more back friendly replacement?

  3. I’ve started getting lower back pain from squats and seated good mornings. I’m pretty sure that I keep my back arched during the movements yet it still occurs.

I’ve heard that front squats are supposed to be more back friendly, would I get similar benefits from front squatting if I dropped back squats and seated good mornings to do them? (from a functional viewpoint).

  1. Am I covering all my bases concerning my core? I know planks are supposed to be good as it has the abs doing what they are supposed to do, but are there other great core exercises that I could replace my decline situps with?

My goal is to put on lean muscle mass while staying functional and injury free. I would greatly appreciate any further advice that you might have, thank you.

If you like this program, try Cressey’s Max Strength.

for Numbers 3 & 4, deadlift

It is one of the most productive lifts known to man, why not take advantage of it, and take a break from the Good Mornings?

Front squats are good times, but don’t expect to do nearly as much weight as with back squats at first.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
for Numbers 3 & 4, deadlift

It is one of the most productive lifts known to man, why not take advantage of it, and take a break from the Good Mornings?

Front squats are good times, but don’t expect to do nearly as much weight as with back squats at first.[/quote]

I’ll try to get back into deadlifts then, if it helps improve the lower back’s resistance to injury (second opinion anyone?). I’m apprehensive because last time I deadlifted 287 pounds, my back didn’t feel that great afterwards. But maybe that because I progressed from 220 to 287 pounds in just 3 weeks.

As for front squats, they sound like the way to go. How low should I go with them? Don’t know if my height would affect front squatting, but I know with back squatting that it made it very hard to go to parallel because of my torso had lean forwards more to compensate for my long femurs.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but on front squats, I use a narrower stance and get way down low. I try to hit that magic spot where all the strain is taken off the knees at the bottom (about an inch below where my calves touch my hams?). But don’t go so low that your calves and hams act as a lever trying to pull your knee apart.

I do back squats just below parallel with a wider stance because it seems to activate the glutes and hams a lot more.

VIDEO YOURSELF DEADLIFTING. It’s hard to tell how good your form is while you’re lifting.

Almost regardless of exercise, anytime I use significant spinal loading, I experience a level of low-back pain.

It quickly goes away with rest and with me moving my hips, which I do on the ground in between sets. I mention it not so much to ask for advice so much as to point out that your lower back pain may not necessarily need to adjust your exercise selection so much as your rep and rest-times. At least, that’s how it goes with me.

Back squats are back-friendly the same way deadlifts are; heavy loading, and isometric contraction. I do both (okay, I don’t really deadlift all that much any more, but I do heavy cleans, which is the equivalent).

As far as ‘injury prevention’ goes, I watch for scapularis stability, external shoulder rotation strength, and core isometric strength (external obliques and lower abdominals).

External rotation is easy- I don’t have any links handy, but it’s quick to find examples of those.

Scap strength I think is efficiently achieved when pressing or pulling, make sure to press or pull the shoulder joint itself at the end of each rep. It’ll decrease maximal strength because it decreases the stability of your shoulder socket during the scapular movement, but you don’t necessarily use it on ALL the reps, just the ones where you’ve got some excess capacity. At least, that’s how I do them.

To help progression, time the length of your planks. Then add weight. I started at 30 seconds, and stay within 25-35 seconds, just adding weight. That’s just me though- I have a short attention span.