Care to share your history of lifting and bulking/dieting with us?
One killer physique, something what I'm shooting for.
Care to share your history of lifting and bulking/dieting with us?
One killer physique, something what I'm shooting for.
Yeah isn't nd deadlifting in the upper 600's? His back sure shows it.
I think he broke 700 lbs. He is a badass and a good dude for the advice he's given out.
Plus, the man is a Soundgarden fanatic.
Aww goddamnit jehova, did you really have to go and do this? LOL
Seriously I'm flattered but I don't think I'm shit personally and have such a long ass way to go.
Anyways I will try to organize my thoughts and give you guys a rundown.
Thanks though....you bastard..
Raw, no belt
strong ass sumabitch
Ok so first off, a little (or a shitload) of background.
Let me also add that all of my training, like most peoples', has been a huge learning experience; it still is, and in no way did I make optimal progress during all of this.
I grew up as the fat kid from about 5th grade until the end of my freshman year of highschool. I wasn't morbidly obese, but was about 30lbs overweight or so, at a height of 6'11-6'0" where I ended up.
The end of freshman year of highschool I decided that being fat was no longer an option. I had been lifting a little bit here and there for a few months, but it wasn't until that summer that I learned about dieting (aka stop eating so much shit) and trained my ass off with both weights and cardio.
At the end of summer I was small, lean, and generally in shape. However, while working out, I had been officially bit by the iron bug and wanted to get big.
I made the usual beginner mistakes but eventually I started reading and trying to find out the best way to get big. I learned about eating a lot, but this is where my former fat ass status gets me in trouble and you can see it in some of the posts I make. My appetite far exceeds my need for food, even when training hard and trying to gain muscle, and a lack of discipline (basically I have a fat girl living inside of me) can make me eat the wrong shit, too often.
So, numerous trial and error periods of bulking, gaining too much fat, cutting, losing muscle, rinse and repeat ensuse. Don't get me wrong, I make progress, but my progress was nowhere near linear, and was nowhere near what it could have been had I adopted something more sustainable.
I read a lot of "eat 20x bodyweight" in Calories type crap and would just balloon the fuck up. I remember one time, I had dieted pretty severely, gotten lean, and jumped straight into some extreme bulking program (I think it was the ABCDE diet if I remember correctly) and within literally, a couple of days I had undone all the weeks of dieting. So when I tell someone on the boards to eat but don't go overboard...this is what I mean.
To be honest I still do this to an extent this day. Seriously people I can eat 2lbs of steamed broccoli with a bunch of meat and other veggies and still not get full sometimes so it can be a struggle for me, especially when trying to gain muscle, to not justify eating a ridiculous amount of shit that isn't neccessary.
Training during these years, from about 16-20 or so, was mostly bodypart splits. Just varations of them, sometimes push/pull/legs sometimes 4-day splits, really all the same shit everyone's seen before.
I've mostly used straight sets throughout the years. From the beginning it was something like 3x10 or what not but I would generally vary it.
I usually stuck to 3-4 sets of 4-8 reps, sometimes going higher in reps on movements like curls, flies, etc.
There was a time period when I was quite young, I guess 16 or so, where I experimented with HIT - or, what I thought was HIT. I used to post a lot on the getbig boards and one of the members there suggested I try it. I coupled it with my insane food intake and made some tremendous strength gains but since I gained way too much damn fat too quick I cut that experiment short. I may have not even been doing the program correctly, its been such a long time its hard to remember. I just remember working up to one all out set (hmmm sound familiar) to absolute muscle failure and then moving on.
Again, my main mistake during this whole time was not realizing how long it takes to build a shit ton of muscle and then adopting a long term food plan (and exercising a little bit of damn discipline!!) so that I could maintain a "gaining" phase years on end. I really wish I would have done this as I would be a hell of a lot farther along than I am now.
Let me reiterate that when I say I gain fat quick...I'm not talking about "blurring my abs." I mean, developing a straight up overhanging gut.
My fat distribution absolutely sucks so until I'm about 10% bodyfat or less, I look like crap (IMO.) I have a ton of subcutaneous fat relative to visceral fat so while I'm sure some of you have seen powerlifters that may have bodyfat levels in the high teens but have hard stomachs due to most likely more visceral bodyfat (guessing) I on the otherhand have a ridiculously soft lowerback/lower abdominal area. If I had a more even, spread out fat distribution pattern I would have no problem bulking to higher bodyfat percentages (or rather, allowing myself to stay there for higher periods of time.)
I started following testosterone.net after a while and started reading and experimenting with programs. I got gains from everything, OVT, pretty much whatever I tried. I never did anything too terribly fancy, just the basic exercises - deadlifts, military, bench, etc.
The one big problem was I trained at home. I worked throughout high school and the gyms around me did not stay open late enough so I trained on a cheap CHEAP Weider weight bench and standard weight set until I finally outgrew it. The downside to this was I could not do pulldowns (I did pull ups off of rafters in the weight room) and various other cool machine shit, and I could not train legs as effectively as possible. I had to use a weight I could press overhead to squat. Eventually I got a pair of...squat stands...just rickety ass old wide based metal rods that could support the bar so you could get under it, but was no way in hell I was gonna load up a significant amount of weight on those things. I also had no safety beams to catch me if I failed.
Anyways, I just did all your basic barbell and dumbbell exercises usually 2-4 exercises per bodypart. I used straight sets and varied my rep ranges, sometimes 5x5, sometimes 4x6, 3x12, whatever. I never usually made the target rep range because I was always using a weight that challenged me, but I would stay in and around the target reps.
The key is, no matter what sort of training scheme I follow I always ALWAYS ALWAYS try to go in there and do more than I did the previous time. In weight or reps. I'm also no stranger to suffering in the gym so I have no problem pushing past my comfort zone. This is something that has to be developed to be successful, I think, and I can see the difference when new people work out with me - they quit prematurely, all the fucking time, unless I force them to keep going.
Anyways I'm one of the folks that believe almost any training program will yield results in size and strength if the trainee:
1)strives to get stronger and pushes themselves
2)eats enough food.
And I think number 2 is more important. I think once you have number 2 down, its all a matter of optimizing things for your particular goals or for a particular amount of time.
However, in my opinion all that stuff is just minor details and again, not to beat a dead horse but an adequate Calorie intake to grow is the absolute most important factor in whether or not you are going to progress.
I also think getting sucked into the bulk/cut bulk/cut scenario is not a good way to go either if you want to build a truly impressive amount of muscle. I think one should adopt a lifestyle that allows one to eat enough Calories to grow for as long as is comfortable possible before taking any time off to diet down.
This is something I still struggle with to this day, again, because I can eat, son, I can eat.
Anyways that covers some of the earlier aspects of my training and nutrition, I'll go into some detail on the newer stuff in subsquent posts, this one is already too damn long.
lol thanks man
Never quite broke 700 though, hurt my knee and well, had to cut the bulk short.
Raw, no belt
strong ass sumabitch
what weight are you walking around currently at?
Right now I'm sitting at about 238, down from something like 255-260 from end of this winter's eating extravaganza.
So to continue...
I made deadlifts a part of my training fairly early, around the age of 16 or so I guess, maybe even earlier. I had read about them building big backs and thats what I wanted so I did them. My original goals were to be big, and at the time I did not quite grasp the relationship between strength and size as I do now. Regardless I knew it was important to keep adding weight to the bar so I tried to do that in all my movements.
I started deadlifting in the 10-12 rep range zone, doing touch and go after lots of research on form. As I kept adding weight to the bar I gradually started doing lower reps for safety issues, and pretty much settled on 5x5 or 4x6 until I was using about 480lbs or so. I progressed SLOWLY. Because I was training for size, and was more concerned with the total work done rather than one rep maxes, I never pulled for a max on deadlifts until very recently. I didn't think it was neccessary for the back development I was after, and I didn't want to risk injury.
I kept with the deadlift because I liked the exercise and it was one of the only back exercises that I could effectively "feel" a few days later. I wish I would have devoted as much focus to bent over rows and tried to develop the mind muscle connection for my upper back, as I feel it is a weakness when compared with my lower back.
Eventually I got an olympic weight set and a power rack so I could continue to go heavy.
Around the age of 19 (I think..maybe 20) I started messing around with MAG-10 and 4-AD. MAG-10 and lots of food gave me great strength gains but once again I overdid the food. However, it was MAG-10 and Waterbury's Hybrid Hypertrophy which first allowed me to pull 500lbs.
Did some more bodypart splits for a while, using 5x5 for my major movements and then 3-4x6-12 for smaller movements. Wasted more time not eating appropriately. A sample workout might be...
Pull Ups 3-4 sets 4-6
Bent Over Rows 3-4 sets 6-8 (weight would vary depending on how much cheating I would do, which was pretty stupid)
Nothing realy crazy, but probably not optimal either.
Most of this time I kept wanting to get lean but I kept reading about people on the forums or magazines eating so many Calories and convinced myself I needed that many Calories, too.
Well, I didn't, and surprise, I never got lean. More on that later though. However, it bears repeating I have wasted a ton of time because my nutrition was in "spin your wheels mode" instead of "gain" or "lose", make up your mind you idiot.
After building a decent base by around the age of 18-19 (shut up waylander!!! nowhere near THAT good of a base) using various splits I started messing around with total body type training, or variations of it. I just liked training one exercise per muscle group per workout because I felt I could deveote greater energy that way as opposed to doing DB press and incline barbell press, for example.
I gained some during that period, mainly by accident, and this was becuase of my eating. I was eating following the Anabolic Diet, and thinking I was gonna get lean eating 8 whole eggs with cream cheese and bacon...
...again people, I've made, and still make, a shitload of mistakes....
..so while I was trying to get lean I was eating God knows how many Calories of protein+ fat and then gorging myself on the weekend carb ups.
My training was something like (if I can remember correctly)
Barbell Bench 10x3
Barbell Rows 10x3 (form was shit)
Barbell Squats 10x3
Barbell Curls 4x6
Close Grip lockouts 4x6
Incline DB press 3x10-12
Military Press 10x3
Stiff Legged Deads
I did something like that for a while...worked ok I guess but I wasn't eating right so progress was meh... By this point I was hovering around 225 or so (too fat) but had 18" arms. However, I hurt my shoulder doing those lockouts, so barbell bench was out (I had built up to 365x3 before I got hurt, which was pathetic considering I had been training something like 5-6 years at this point.)
Basically dicked around for a while doing variations of the above until I got my ass in my school gym. Then I started making some progress again since I could train around my injuries and they had heavier dumbbells and I got some legit workout partners.
My training was basically a 3-4 day split using somewhat of a total body template...I just liked training that way...but I was not making very good progress. I also wasn't gaining weight either. Just sorta staying the same.
After a while a shitload of stressful situations occurred in my life and I threw myself into training and became determined to progress and get lean and I devised a total body high volume split (at this time I just wanted to be in the gym as much as possible as to provide a distraction from the rest of my life.) The routine was as follows:
Back Squat 4x6-8
Flat dumbbell bench 4x6
Barbell row, pronated 5x5
push downs 4x12
Hammer Curls 4x10
cable rear delt 3x15
Hamstring Curls 8x5
Leg Press 4x20
Flat Bench 2x25
Military Press 4x6
Seated cable row 4x12
skull crushers 4x6
side laterals 3x12
leg extensions 3x12
barbell curls 4x6
Front Squats 10x3
Incline DB Chest Press 5x5
pull ups 5x5
Seated Hammer Rows 5x5
preacher curls 3x12
calf raises of some sort
stiff legged deads off box 3x15
Hammer Strength Decline Press 6x4
Cable Crossovers 4x15
Overhead Tricep Extensions 6x6
Seated Calf Raise 10x5
alt db curls 4x6
These were all straight sets with the same weight. Note the rep ranges were guidelines because I would train to failure on every set, I would not be able to complete all the reps, obviously, but I would get close to it.
During this time I basically ate 6-8 ounces of cooked protein per meal, along with 20 or so grams of fat. I took 15 grams of BCAAs in between meals and 60G during workouts. After workouts I'd take Surge, and eat a balanced meal about an hour afterwards, but sometimes would just take whey and glutamine. Eventually I was mostly just low carb all the time, protein and fat and green vegetables. I also took shitloads of creatine, HOT-ROX, and occasionally Alpha Male and TRIBEX and Rez-V, all shit I took on the regular.
I also stayed extremely busy trying to learn muay thai and play sports on the weekends, basically anything I could do to keep my mind occupied. This is what I was doing when I got into the shape of my avatar picture.
I actually gained strength during this period. During my half assed training before this I was barely putting up 100b DBs for 5 or so, by the end of this I think I was doing them for 14-16.
I started with 495 on the deadlift and ended with 565 for 6,4,3,3
However, all of this work eventually took a toll and I HURT. I injured my knee, not sure what exactly caused it, my elbows hurt, forearms hurt...it was just brutal. HMM I wonder why?
Anyways, that's what got me into shape and one of the cool things about it was what I learned about my body:
1) I was not as big as I thought I was.
2) I had a lot more fat than I thought I did.
3) I did not need nearly the amount of food I convinced myself I needed.
4) I have wasted a lot of fucking time and money on supplements.
5) Sometimes you just gotta bust your ass - really bust your ass.
The previous times I had tried to diet using a lower Calorie, balanced diet, I lost a lot of strength. When I switched to a moderate fat/protein low carb approach with ample BCAAs, I was able to diet while making progress. I was also extremely determined though. Whatever the cause was I made it work and got the results I had been hoping for.
Ever since then training has been somewhat more sporadic than I'd like but I've still progressed. I have switched over recently to more ramping style sets, and incorporated some DC principles like rest pause into my training.
This previous winter I used the last of my MAG-10 and decided it had been too long since I've eaten a lot of food and decided to bulk, this time not really giving a fuck about fat gains I just wanted to gain some more strength.
My routine was DC inspired but was no means a strict DC protocol.
We just alternated between 3 Chest/Shoulder/Tri/Back workouts and 3 Bi/Legs workouts basically. Sometimes we'd change our routine on the fly, but we tried to hit the whole range of reps, from as low as 3 to as high as 20, on all your major movements. Nothin crazy. We also rest paused some of the moderate to high rep stuff. On deadlifts I'd usually work up to one heavy set of 4-6 reps then drop down and to 6-10 or so.
During this time my barbell bench, which I could train once again, went from somewhere around a hard 315 to 385. Deadlift went from struggling 615 to 675. Got my front squat up to 405, and back squat to 500, then the knee went out again. Yay. That pretty much put an end to the gaining.
Now Im just sorta winging it in the gym, using some rest paused stuff, some straight sets and training around my injuries trying to get peeled again.
I'll talk about the future and goals here later.
Thanks to anyone who's read this crap and stayed somewhat interested and if anyone has questions you can ask here or PM me but I am definitely not a guru or an expert so I'll give you the best answer I can but I'm still figuring this shit out too!
I think the fact that you sat down to write ALL that out...is enough for anyone here to respect you the same as a "guru."
And if I may:
Nice deadlift, im VERY jealous. You may not be a self proclaimed guru, but have lots of experience that others on the board can learn from. Members like you keep this place motivated. Good work.
Nice job, brother.
How long did you bulk before your knee went AWOL on you the last time?
Still my hero.
Very interesting read. And great work over the years.
Raw, no belt
strong ass sumabitch
Thanks for this new damage. I have only been at this 3 years or so but I realize I am on the exact same page as you nutritionally with always wanting to eat more, even while trying to gain and always carrying more fat than I need.
Really good info. Hopefully I can follow your path the next few years.
care to share a detailed diet of what helped you get to the leanness in your avatar?
Awesome thread, and a smart man.
Every bit of advice NewDamage has given me thus far has been spot-on... Wish I would've taken what he said to heart a little bit sooner!
Anyway, informative read, you've done an awesome job, and keep up the great work!
BTW - I like the way you talk about actually getting "fat." I can totally relate - I see these guys who see themselves as "fat" and you can still see their intercostals. But hey, at least we don't have any problem putting on weight.