T Nation

OTS Big Beyond Belief Program


#1

Anybody ever use this and have success with it? I purchased it several years ago, I just never had enough time to devote to it. I always thought some of the principles behind it were pretty sound.

I'm only interested if someone has experience with it and what they thought, not someone that is going to say it is just a gimmick and just train hard and eat right and no system is perfect Those are a given of course, but there are ways to optimally structure a routine. Anybody utilized it with success??? Website is www.otsdirect.com.


MODOK How Do You Train?
Full-Body Training, Need Some Science/Advice
Full-Body Training, Need Some Science/Advice
#2

Modok, mind going into a bit of detail on the, say, 4times a week version?

I’m quite curious as to how that particular program is set up compared to Phil Hernon’s system, DC and such.
(And why it’s not being mentioned more often? I mean, it does seem to do great things for people…).


#3

[quote]MODOK wrote:
paulypaul wrote:
Anybody ever use this and have success with it? I purchased it several years ago, I just never had enough time to devote to it. I always thought some of the principles behind it were pretty sound.

I’m only interested if someone has experience with it and what they thought, not someone that is going to say it is just a gimmick and just train hard and eat right and no system is perfect Those are a given of course, but there are ways to optimally structure a routine. Anybody utilized it with success??? Website is www.otsdirect.com.

Have you read my thread on Alpha? I think I talked about it a good deal, but I can tell you a ton about it, as I trained with it for a few years, and have always used the basic principles of that program as the basis of my training. Here are a few snippets…

I trained with all three of the frequencies ( 4 x week, 6 x week, twice daily 6 x week). The first two frequencies are tremendous, the third is completely useless. When I began BBB, I was 18, and had trained hard/seriously in high school for 3 years.

I was 5’10 175 lbs, bench 295, squat 350, didn’t even know what a deadlift was. I ate 4000 calories a day, and trained on this program using only bench, incline bench, military, bb row, pullup, c-g bench, dips etc. for the major muscle groups and of course curls, etc. for arms.

In 18 months I weighed 240 clicked off a 460 lb raw touch and go bench, 595 parallel squat with a belt (narrow stance too) and a 295 lb seated military. I completely exploded…looked like a tiger had scratched me all over my body with stretch marks…even had them on my forearms.

I forgot about this one little tid bit until just this second, but my arms got up over 20 inches pumped, and when I would have a bicep workout my arm used to go to sleep because it would swell up and cut off the blood supply to the lower arm. That kinda scares me, now that I remember that happening. No anabolics either…hand to God.

At 22, I played in a full contact football game for charity and ended up severely dislocating my shoulder, putting an end to that style of training for what turned out to be til this day. After the surgery, I was n pharmacy school, and backed the training back to twice a week/bodypart.

I have gotten CLOSE to those numbers since then, but have never set those PRs again. I’ve recently been contemplating giving it another run, now that I am employed, healthy, and have time for it.

This program will give you tremendous strength and size gains IF you don’t screw with it. Do exactly what it says. Pick the template you have time for. Don’t start the 6 x week if you know you’ll only be able to train 5 x week sometimes…do the 4 x week instead. I’ve got a lot of experiences with it, so if you have questions, just throw them out there. Good luck.

[/quote]

Holy shit, please do tell more.


#4

I bought BBB back in’94 when it first came out. Brings back alot of memories. It didn’t work as well for me as MODOK but back in 94 I didn’t know shit about nutrition or even training for that matter. I wish I could find the book again, I still have it somewhere. If i remember correctly you train each body part 3x/week and go through different rep ranges thought the week. Like Monday you do 13-15 reps and end of the week you do 6-8 reps. There is more to the system then that but that is what I remember. Some positive reviews on Amazon.com, the BBB system has been around in some form for 15 years, damn I am getting old


#5

[quote]MODOK wrote:
paulypaul wrote:
Anybody ever use this and have success with it? I purchased it several years ago, I just never had enough time to devote to it. I always thought some of the principles behind it were pretty sound.

I’m only interested if someone has experience with it and what they thought, not someone that is going to say it is just a gimmick and just train hard and eat right and no system is perfect Those are a given of course, but there are ways to optimally structure a routine. Anybody utilized it with success??? Website is www.otsdirect.com.

Have you read my thread on Alpha? I think I talked about it a good deal, but I can tell you a ton about it, as I trained with it for a few years, and have always used the basic principles of that program as the basis of my training. Here are a few snippets…

I trained with all three of the frequencies ( 4 x week, 6 x week, twice daily 6 x week). The first two frequencies are tremendous, the third is completely useless. When I began BBB, I was 18, and had trained hard/seriously in high school for 3 years.

I was 5’10 175 lbs, bench 295, squat 350, didn’t even know what a deadlift was. I ate 4000 calories a day, and trained on this program using only bench, incline bench, military, bb row, pullup, c-g bench, dips etc. for the major muscle groups and of course curls, etc. for arms.

In 18 months I weighed 240 clicked off a 460 lb raw touch and go bench, 595 parallel squat with a belt (narrow stance too) and a 295 lb seated military. I completely exploded…looked like a tiger had scratched me all over my body with stretch marks…even had them on my forearms.

I forgot about this one little tid bit until just this second, but my arms got up over 20 inches pumped, and when I would have a bicep workout my arm used to go to sleep because it would swell up and cut off the blood supply to the lower arm. That kinda scares me, now that I remember that happening. No anabolics either…hand to God.

At 22, I played in a full contact football game for charity and ended up severely dislocating my shoulder, putting an end to that style of training for what turned out to be til this day. After the surgery, I was n pharmacy school, and backed the training back to twice a week/bodypart.

I have gotten CLOSE to those numbers since then, but have never set those PRs again. I’ve recently been contemplating giving it another run, now that I am employed, healthy, and have time for it.

This program will give you tremendous strength and size gains IF you don’t screw with it. Do exactly what it says. Pick the template you have time for. Don’t start the 6 x week if you know you’ll only be able to train 5 x week sometimes…do the 4 x week instead. I’ve got a lot of experiences with it, so if you have questions, just throw them out there. Good luck.

[/quote]

Wow, I am glad to hear you had such great gains with the program. As Rocky said, it has been around for a a while, even before the internet was common place. I haven’t even thought of it in quite a while, but a guy and I at my gym got to talking about it and I started thinking about it again. If I do give it a whirl, I will probably start the 4 day routine. They had some earlier versions of this which were pretty crazy, training three times a day for six days a week. Who has time for that unless you live in the gym and can eat constantly? The only thing I don’t like about the four day is the small amount of sets for arms, only one per group as I recall on Thursday and Friday. Like you said though, better to do the four than not do the six. I do have a few questions if you could share your thoughts -

  1. Exercise selection - I see the ones you mentioned you used up above. For a given week, did you use a different exercise each time you trained a given bodypart (endurance, strength, power)? Also I remember it was a six week phase, you ramp up to higher volume the first three weeks and then back off the next 3, which I guess is where the real growth occurs. Did you change any exercises for the second three weeks?

  2. This is one for the six-day program, but I always wondered how bi’s and tr’s could get equal amounts of volume as bigger groups like chest and back. Did you ever find that to be a problem in any way? The arms are still getting worked during the bigger muscle groups. Also, did you ever work hams directly? They would always just say thighs. Did you also adjust rep ranges for abs and calves? Doesn’t seem to make sense to do 4-6 reps of abs and calves work.

  3. Last one I can think of (for the six-day) is how were you feeling before weeks 4-6? It seems like it is pretty high-volume at week 3. I have heard at least one person complain of overtraining, and getting weaker. Maybe they weren’t eating enough or recovering properly. The whole point of the system seems to be to get you in sort of an overtrained state and then cutting back.

I have made some decent gains the last few years. Certainly not maxed out or anything like that. Might give it a shot again with this routine, not sure. Some of the concepts still stayed with me to this day, like rep speed. I agree with the writings on not using super-slow reps. Sorry to be so long-winded, thank you very, very much for any tips.


#6

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Modok, mind going into a bit of detail on the, say, 4times a week version?

I’m quite curious as to how that particular program is set up compared to Phil Hernon’s system, DC and such.
(And why it’s not being mentioned more often? I mean, it does seem to do great things for people…).

Now, this isn’t going to be said out in public, but if you piece things together from various internet conversations from Hernon, Dante, Horine, and the folks close to the situation, I believe this is how BBB came into being:

Firstly, Costa is the Billy Mays of bodybuilding…he was looking to make a quick buck and wanted to design a unique “program” that he could sell to the masses. During his getting the program together period, he talked to Hernon and asked for his help. Hernon gave him basically the EXACT workout he did, and that became the 4 and 6 day programs. Costa later embellished it and came up with that crazy twice a day program (that is way WAY too much volume…seriously it doesn’t resemble the other two templates at ALL).

He then marketed it, and when people bought it, MANY of the bodybuilders wanting the quickest gains of course started with the twice a day program. It didn’t work, and they wrote the entire thing off for shit. The ones who did try the lower volume programs got great results, and if you look around the net, you can find their testimonials pretty easy. Anyway, I know no one asked about that, but I thought I’d throw it out there since we were talking about this, and its a devious teory I cooked up. :slight_smile:

The four times a week template is basically the same as the six day, except with less volume for the bis, tris, shoulders, and calves. Its the same plan on monday and tuesday as the 6 x week plan, but on thursday and friday you have full volume for legs, chest and back, and one to two sets to failure on bis tris calves and shoulders I believe. Shelby Starns was on this template not too long ago and wa really digging it. He has a log somewhere online. If you are used to DC, you will find a lot more similarities than differences.

Now quite as low volume, a little higher frequency. The key just like everything else is adding weight to the bar (or attempting to) at every training session. BBB has a training maxim of “let the reps dictate the weight”. They give you a range to hit…if you blow past the range, add iron, don’t make the range, take some iron off but you should always strive to hit positive failure in that rep range.

If you start the program, don’t be frustrated by the first 3 weeks…you may even get a little weaker in your lifts, and they even warn you about that. When your body gets used to the frequency, which takes a couple of weeks, then your strength and size gains will start. Also you will be training sore a lot…not tremendously sore, but slightly sore. Its a little uncomfortable, but you get used to it.
[/quote]

Yeah, googled a little and came up with various logs and conversations on MM, BB.com (oh well) etc.

I’m a tad surprised though… The whole phase concept doesn’t look like something Hernon would do, or at least nothing like what I’ve read from him.

Kind of limited in the leg-work area, too… Calves are trained every other day, but thighs only get one exercise EOD… Weird. Guess you really can’t hit both hams and quads heavy EOD on a 6 on, 1 off routine and expect to go very far…?

From your t-cell thread it seems like you’re pretty much still adhering to many of those bbb principles, except that you split things up a little differently and instead of doing those funny phases, you just rotate your rep ranges every month or so, right?
Any reason as to why you changed that particular part?

Seems to me as if Costa (or whomever… And hey, what did Platz contribute, anyway?) just added phases with funky names to make the whole thing seem more unique… But then again, I’ve never tried the program.

Best deal I can find is on amazon.com, shipping from the U.S. for like 80-100 dollars including shipping (unless maybe I were to chose the slow-as-a-snail -delivery option… duh). Bit expensive… Amazon.de doesn’t have the book… Damn.

Anyway, thanks for the info Modok. I’ll see if there’s something worth incorporating into my own higher-frequency experiment(s).


#7

[quote]MODOK wrote:

CC- its an e-book now for 29.95 from www.otsdirect.com [/quote] Ah, right. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll get it after all… [quote]

I didn’t inherently mean to change up the splits. The program I do now is similar to BBB, but is really something I came up with on my own. Is it better? No. It has been the best I could come up with though through various limitations in my training facilities and time over the last 7-8 years, and is an artifact of that time. I do enjoy it, I gain on it, and its versatile…but if I wanted to try and really put on some serious size and gain strength as fast as I possibly could, I’d switch back to BBB proper for that.

[/quote]
At your stage, age and with the weights you are using now… Think that would be a good idea? I dunno man, I’m getting pretty pounded on that 6-day thing I’m on at the moment, as it is… And that has way less volume than BBB already… Just saying, muscle-wise it would probably be possible, but it’s them joints and tendons again…

That being said, do you plan to get up to 220-230 in the same condition you’re in now, at some point?
You’ve gone this far, you could probably do it if you wanted to…


#8

[quote]MODOK wrote:
paulypaul wrote:
MODOK wrote:
paulypaul wrote:
Anybody ever use this and have success with it? I purchased it several years ago, I just never had enough time to devote to it. I always thought some of the principles behind it were pretty sound.

I’m only interested if someone has experience with it and what they thought, not someone that is going to say it is just a gimmick and just train hard and eat right and no system is perfect Those are a given of course, but there are ways to optimally structure a routine. Anybody utilized it with success??? Website is www.otsdirect.com.

Have you read my thread on Alpha? I think I talked about it a good deal, but I can tell you a ton about it, as I trained with it for a few years, and have always used the basic principles of that program as the basis of my training. Here are a few snippets…

I trained with all three of the frequencies ( 4 x week, 6 x week, twice daily 6 x week). The first two frequencies are tremendous, the third is completely useless. When I began BBB, I was 18, and had trained hard/seriously in high school for 3 years.

I was 5’10 175 lbs, bench 295, squat 350, didn’t even know what a deadlift was. I ate 4000 calories a day, and trained on this program using only bench, incline bench, military, bb row, pullup, c-g bench, dips etc. for the major muscle groups and of course curls, etc. for arms.

In 18 months I weighed 240 clicked off a 460 lb raw touch and go bench, 595 parallel squat with a belt (narrow stance too) and a 295 lb seated military. I completely exploded…looked like a tiger had scratched me all over my body with stretch marks…even had them on my forearms.

I forgot about this one little tid bit until just this second, but my arms got up over 20 inches pumped, and when I would have a bicep workout my arm used to go to sleep because it would swell up and cut off the blood supply to the lower arm. That kinda scares me, now that I remember that happening. No anabolics either…hand to God.

At 22, I played in a full contact football game for charity and ended up severely dislocating my shoulder, putting an end to that style of training for what turned out to be til this day. After the surgery, I was n pharmacy school, and backed the training back to twice a week/bodypart.

I have gotten CLOSE to those numbers since then, but have never set those PRs again. I’ve recently been contemplating giving it another run, now that I am employed, healthy, and have time for it.

This program will give you tremendous strength and size gains IF you don’t screw with it. Do exactly what it says. Pick the template you have time for. Don’t start the 6 x week if you know you’ll only be able to train 5 x week sometimes…do the 4 x week instead. I’ve got a lot of experiences with it, so if you have questions, just throw them out there. Good luck.

Wow, I am glad to hear you had such great gains with the program. As Rocky said, it has been around for a a while, even before the internet was common place. I haven’t even thought of it in quite a while, but a guy and I at my gym got to talking about it and I started thinking about it again. If I do give it a whirl, I will probably start the 4 day routine. They had some earlier versions of this which were pretty crazy, training three times a day for six days a week. Who has time for that unless you live in the gym and can eat constantly? The only thing I don’t like about the four day is the small amount of sets for arms, only one per group as I recall on Thursday and Friday. Like you said though, better to do the four than not do the six. I do have a few questions if you could share your thoughts -

  1. Exercise selection - I see the ones you mentioned you used up above. For a given week, did you use a different exercise each time you trained a given bodypart (endurance, strength, power)? Also I remember it was a six week phase, you ramp up to higher volume the first three weeks and then back off the next 3, which I guess is where the real growth occurs. Did you change any exercises for the second three weeks?

  2. This is one for the six-day program, but I always wondered how bi’s and tr’s could get equal amounts of volume as bigger groups like chest and back. Did you ever find that to be a problem in any way? The arms are still getting worked during the bigger muscle groups. Also, did you ever work hams directly? They would always just say thighs. Did you also adjust rep ranges for abs and calves? Doesn’t seem to make sense to do 4-6 reps of abs and calves work.

  3. Last one I can think of (for the six-day) is how were you feeling before weeks 4-6? It seems like it is pretty high-volume at week 3. I have heard at least one person complain of overtraining, and getting weaker. Maybe they weren’t eating enough or recovering properly. The whole point of the system seems to be to get you in sort of an overtrained state and then cutting back.

I have made some decent gains the last few years. Certainly not maxed out or anything like that. Might give it a shot again with this routine, not sure. Some of the concepts still stayed with me to this day, like rep speed. I agree with the writings on not using super-slow reps. Sorry to be so long-winded, thank you very, very much for any tips.

  1. The book goes into exercise selection in detail. Exercises are assigned to one of 7 “levels” based on Neuromuscular Activation (NMA) of the exercise. Basically it assigns each exercise to a level based upon how taxing (and growth stimulating) the exercise is. Level one would be an isolation exercise with a machine, level 7 would be an exercise where you are moving your BODY through space (pullups, squats), etc. You need to pick your exercises from the top levels (5,6,7) for the most part.

I picked 2 or a most 3 exercises and ran them all the way out. This is very important I think, as you can linearly progress with the poundages this way, which is the key to this or any other program. I benched twice weekly (monday-friday), with incline on wednesday. I db rowed on monday, pullups on wed, and bb rowed on friday. Squatted tues and sat, with leg press on thurs. SOme of this was due to lack of equipment, but it worked very well.

  1. Arms do get worked a lot, but they are also small and recover even faster than the larger muscle groups. My arms were the one muscle group that got crazy big on this program, and I still carry a lot of that muscle on them to this day. Don’t over-think it. If they are growing, they are recovering.

Hams are the one muscle group not directly adressed in the protocol, and one you have to get creative with. I added them onto quads in a modified compound set…tuesday was leg curls, thurs floor deads, saturday was stiff legs.

I kept the rep ranges for calves and abs, but slowed the eccentric down for calves, and picked exercises which loaded the abs (wt. roman chair situps, hanging pikes, etc.). Seemed to work pretty good.

  1. Week 3 on the ramp is pretty rough, not so much the volume as the rest period is very short. But of course this is by design and sets the stage for weeks 4-6. Like I said before, you do INITIALLY get a little weaker, until your body gets used to the frequency, when it adjusts, watch out because you do get stronger.

You do mention a good point though. This system is for GAINING muscle. If you try to diet or have substandard nutrition it will turn your ass into buttermilk. Seriously, don’t attempt it unless you know what you are doing, ASSURE you are in a calorie surplus, and know you will make this training priority. All these people screw up in one of those three things, try the program, it doesn’t work, and then they rag on the program like its ineffective, when its THEIR fault because they didn’t do everything right.

Bottom line, I am a super average to below average genetics guy with a hard head and tons of determination. I followed this program and it turned me into a big, strong guy. So much so that nobody would do anything but laugh back then if I denied using gear. I eventually just said to hell with it, believe what you want. Then I kept the program as my little secret. It works, IF you’ve got the cahones to stay on it. Most people don’t feel like squatting 405 for 15 on tuesday, leg presing heavy on thursday, and squatting 495 x 6 on saturday. Its just too much for them.
[/quote]

Thanks for going into detail. I do full well remember the NMA levels, it is something I still kind of partly borrow from to this day. Interesting that you sometimes used one exercise twice in a week. I can definitely see where it makes sense to keep the same exercises for a six-week period and then maybe change it up again. When it comes to something like chest, I guess dips are supposed to be superior to bench, but like most other guys, I love benching. As you mentioned with the point about arms, I sometimes overthink things.

Just to clarify, I seem to remember that weeks 4-6 reps would go as low as 4 to 6. You would work your abs with that low of a range? Of course, that whole thing about high reps being required for abs is a myth, I get much more out of a strict set of 12 reverse crunches.

Lately I have been training longer sessions with higher volume but very infrequently. Gotten decent gains. I had a spiral fracture to the right humerus last year which I received surgery for, so I am just now getting somewhat close to my pre-break strength. Might give this a go again when I think the body is good and ready and if I can find the darn thing.


#9

I had the book, and it never really went into warm-ups. Can someone go into how warm-ups are performed.


#10

I can’t find the e-book on the ots website.


#11

www.bigbeyondbelief.com has the e-book for $19.99. You do have to scroll down all that verbiage in order to find the Order page.

But if you’re lazy, here’s that link: www.bigbeyondbelief.com/Order_Big_Beyond_Belief.html

Strongly considering buying this book myself.


#12

just out of curiosity, how experienced would one have to be to do this program, it seems a lot of discipline is required but doesnt appear to have the “experienced only” disclaimer tagged with other styles such as DC, i am newer to lifting but lately i feel like a sponge and have been trying to gather every bit of info that i can. (also helps that i tend to be a bit impatient but also can be extremely motivated)

so yea, long-ish story short, what do you recommend your gym experience be before trying a program such as this? i would assume more experienced as well however Modok, you said you did this at around 20 yrs and it worked extremely well for you.


#13

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Schadenfreude8 wrote:
just out of curiosity, how experienced would one have to be to do this program, it seems a lot of discipline is required but doesnt appear to have the “experienced only” disclaimer tagged with other styles such as DC, i am newer to lifting but lately i feel like a sponge and have been trying to gather every bit of info that i can. (also helps that i tend to be a bit impatient but also can be extremely motivated)

so yea, long-ish story short, what do you recommend your gym experience be before trying a program such as this? i would assume more experienced as well however Modok, you said you did this at around 20 yrs and it worked extremely well for you.

Well, I wouldn’t say you needed to jump into it if you’ve never lifted a weight in your life or anything, but I believe the only requirement is a sound level of mental maturity. With this or any other training program, you have to commit completely to it, believe in its principles, and be discerning enough not to get thrown off track by other programs you may see. The big reason Dante doesn’t want people who are new to the game messing around with DC is they are immature, see DC as a “cool” program, and would train on it for 3-4 weeks before going off on some other program they hear about. That gives the program a bad name. But if you are mature, determined, and know how to lift weights, I think committing to the program would yield big results for you.

Bodybuilding is quite like a religion in that if you don’t have FAITH in what you are doing, you can never stick with it long enough to see the gains. BBB is simple but very difficult, and you have to be at peace with that last part before you pick up a weight. You train while you are still sore from the previous workout most sessions, and some part of your body is ALWAYS sore…albeit not terribly sore. Do to that, its impossible to do if you are a competitive athlete like a ball player in season. Its only for bodybuilders and serious weight trainers with no other team sports, etc. on the plate.

So if you are very motivated, mature, and want to try to grow as fast as possible and to hell with everything else, I’d say you are ready for BBB.[/quote]

hey thanks a bunch for the quick response, i do appreciate it, and yea i will look more into it, i think at this point in the game i am still learning how to push myself further, physically and mentally. i do not want to commit to something with any bit of doubt (this is starting to change, i can already notice more self drive at the gym over the last 3-4 months) and i like to understand everything i do pretty thoroughly. thanks again


#14

[quote]Schadenfreude8 wrote:
MODOK wrote:
Schadenfreude8 wrote:
just out of curiosity, how experienced would one have to be to do this program, it seems a lot of discipline is required but doesnt appear to have the “experienced only” disclaimer tagged with other styles such as DC, i am newer to lifting but lately i feel like a sponge and have been trying to gather every bit of info that i can. (also helps that i tend to be a bit impatient but also can be extremely motivated)

so yea, long-ish story short, what do you recommend your gym experience be before trying a program such as this? i would assume more experienced as well however Modok, you said you did this at around 20 yrs and it worked extremely well for you.

Well, I wouldn’t say you needed to jump into it if you’ve never lifted a weight in your life or anything, but I believe the only requirement is a sound level of mental maturity. With this or any other training program, you have to commit completely to it, believe in its principles, and be discerning enough not to get thrown off track by other programs you may see. The big reason Dante doesn’t want people who are new to the game messing around with DC is they are immature, see DC as a “cool” program, and would train on it for 3-4 weeks before going off on some other program they hear about. That gives the program a bad name. But if you are mature, determined, and know how to lift weights, I think committing to the program would yield big results for you.

Bodybuilding is quite like a religion in that if you don’t have FAITH in what you are doing, you can never stick with it long enough to see the gains. BBB is simple but very difficult, and you have to be at peace with that last part before you pick up a weight. You train while you are still sore from the previous workout most sessions, and some part of your body is ALWAYS sore…albeit not terribly sore. Do to that, its impossible to do if you are a competitive athlete like a ball player in season. Its only for bodybuilders and serious weight trainers with no other team sports, etc. on the plate.

So if you are very motivated, mature, and want to try to grow as fast as possible and to hell with everything else, I’d say you are ready for BBB.

hey thanks a bunch for the quick response, i do appreciate it, and yea i will look more into it, i think at this point in the game i am still learning how to push myself further, physically and mentally. i do not want to commit to something with any bit of doubt (this is starting to change, i can already notice more self drive at the gym over the last 3-4 months) and i like to understand everything i do pretty thoroughly. thanks again
[/quote]

One thing I’d like that add here… With such a high frequency and all that, make sure you are able to do all exercises in a way that doesn’t cause any pain in the wrong areas.

Of course bodybuilding is a journey anyway, during which you also constantly strive to improve your technique and all that… But I think a good base-level of proficiency would be useful… Else you’ll likely get hurt.
For example, getting the whole “retracted scapulae, shoulders locked down and stay on the bench” kind of thing right instead of just lying down on the bench and pressing with your shoulders rising off the bench at the top of the movement etc…

At least always make a conscious effort to improve technique whenever something feels “off”.
Don’t ignore the wrong kind of pain and certainly don’t try to get used to it.

All that being said, it sounds like this system would be a great way for a beginner (with common sense and a lot of room in his stomach) or intermediate to get to a good level of size and strength “quickly”…


#15

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Schadenfreude8 wrote:
MODOK wrote:
Schadenfreude8 wrote:
just out of curiosity, how experienced would one have to be to do this program, it seems a lot of discipline is required but doesnt appear to have the “experienced only” disclaimer tagged with other styles such as DC, i am newer to lifting but lately i feel like a sponge and have been trying to gather every bit of info that i can. (also helps that i tend to be a bit impatient but also can be extremely motivated)

so yea, long-ish story short, what do you recommend your gym experience be before trying a program such as this? i would assume more experienced as well however Modok, you said you did this at around 20 yrs and it worked extremely well for you.

Well, I wouldn’t say you needed to jump into it if you’ve never lifted a weight in your life or anything, but I believe the only requirement is a sound level of mental maturity. With this or any other training program, you have to commit completely to it, believe in its principles, and be discerning enough not to get thrown off track by other programs you may see. The big reason Dante doesn’t want people who are new to the game messing around with DC is they are immature, see DC as a “cool” program, and would train on it for 3-4 weeks before going off on some other program they hear about. That gives the program a bad name. But if you are mature, determined, and know how to lift weights, I think committing to the program would yield big results for you.

Bodybuilding is quite like a religion in that if you don’t have FAITH in what you are doing, you can never stick with it long enough to see the gains. BBB is simple but very difficult, and you have to be at peace with that last part before you pick up a weight. You train while you are still sore from the previous workout most sessions, and some part of your body is ALWAYS sore…albeit not terribly sore. Do to that, its impossible to do if you are a competitive athlete like a ball player in season. Its only for bodybuilders and serious weight trainers with no other team sports, etc. on the plate.

So if you are very motivated, mature, and want to try to grow as fast as possible and to hell with everything else, I’d say you are ready for BBB.

hey thanks a bunch for the quick response, i do appreciate it, and yea i will look more into it, i think at this point in the game i am still learning how to push myself further, physically and mentally. i do not want to commit to something with any bit of doubt (this is starting to change, i can already notice more self drive at the gym over the last 3-4 months) and i like to understand everything i do pretty thoroughly. thanks again

One thing I’d like that add here… With such a high frequency and all that, make sure you are able to do all exercises in a way that doesn’t cause any pain in the wrong areas.

Of course bodybuilding is a journey anyway, during which you also constantly strive to improve your technique and all that… But I think a good base-level of proficiency would be useful… Else you’ll likely get hurt.
For example, getting the whole “retracted scapulae, shoulders locked down and stay on the bench” kind of thing right instead of just lying down on the bench and pressing with your shoulders rising off the bench at the top of the movement etc…

At least always make a conscious effort to improve technique whenever something feels “off”.
Don’t ignore the wrong kind of pain and certainly don’t try to get used to it.

All that being said, it sounds like this system would be a great way for a beginner (with common sense and a lot of room in his stomach) or intermediate to get to a good level of size and strength “quickly”…
[/quote]

yea, i am noticing more and more the little tweaks yet to be made in my lifts, since i have “fixed” my bench i have been able to lift more and feel it much better in my chest, rather than just arms or some shoulder issues, and a bit of trail and error is helpful too, if it is completely foreign to me i try it light and do what i think was right from what i have seen or read, and then go back and reread about it and i seem to learn best that way. but yes, the warning about injury is well heeded. no point fucking up the last rep just to do it only to find that i cant lift for 2 weeks after that from injury. anyways, thanks for all the advice and OP sorry about the slight thread stealing here.


#16

BTW, got myself the ebook.

If I read/hear the words “eastern block” one more time, I’m going to go berserk :wink:

Is it just me, or did they, while writing about how to rate exercises, completely forget to mention whether trainees are supposed to do the same exercises throughout the week or use a double rotation or what?

Because hmm. If you go from, say, 12-15 reps to 10-12 to 8-10 over the course of the week you could keep the same exercise and just add some weight from session to session to achieve the lower rep goal… And then start next week (provided we’re in a phase where amount of sets are kept constant from week to week) with +2.5 or +5 or howevermany lbs on all sets…

Ok, sounds complicated I guess. I just mean… They’ve planned everything out, from rest-periods to increases and decreases in volume and whatnot, but they leave it up to you whether you want to do a completely different exercise everytime you train a certain bodypart, or do the same, or rotate between two or what?

Bit odd.

There are also references about a discussion on level-4 training… Yet there is no such discussion/chapter in the ebook. Maybe it was in the actual book, but they cut it out for some reason?

Anyway… Modok, you trained several exercises twice per week… I’d do that too, but how’d you arrive at that decision? Was there any instruction to be found in the book you own, or did you have to figure it all out by yourself?


#17

[quote]MODOK wrote:

I trained in a tiny gym back then, and was pretty limited with exercise variety. You are right, they didn’t address the issue of variation in the book. I can’t remember for sure, but it was adressed in either Serious Growth I or II (BBB is Serious Growth III) or in one of their Serious Growth Newsletters I subscribed to back then. Basically they said what Dante says on the matter…use heavy compounds and movements which allow you to add weight every week, and move a lot of weight. Just from memory, I can tell you all the movements I did:

Chest: Bench, Incline
Back: BB Rows, Chins, DB Rows
Bis: Alt DB Curls, BB Curls, Hammer Curls
Tris: Wt. Dips, Pushdowns, C-G Bench
Shoulders: DB Military, Upright Row, Seated Military
Quads: Squats, Leg Press, Split Squat on Smith (when leg press broke)
Hams: Leg Curl, Stiff leg deads, floor deads
Abs: Roman Chair, Hanging Pikes, Reverse crunches on incline board

If I would have had a decline, I would have used it instead of one of the flat bench days. Basically, same stuff as DC…pick 3 exercises for each bodypart that you can do well and load well and blow them all the way out. Now, when you stagnate on those lifts eventually what do you do? I’d use the same lifts, but put them on different days so you are lifting them in a different rep bracket. But thats just how I do it…and I’m very simple-minded.

Just remember the MAIN thing is keeping the exercises the same and adding weight to the bar, getting super strong in those movements. The worst thing you could do is switch a movement up and start over while you are still progressing strength-wise in the movement.

The best investment I have ever made in my training career is buying a set of micro plates. When you are reaching your limit strength on the exercises, many times you won’t be able to jump 5 lbs on a bench, military, row, etc. You’ll try the jump, not make it, then you are left with the dilemna of changing exercises or moving it to another day. But chances are you CAN make a jump of 1 or 2 lbs on the lift. And if you add that 1 lb to the bar for 5 weeks, that gives you 5 more limit workouts you wouldn’t have had with the other scenario, and chances are in 5 weeks, you’ll be strong enough to lift that +5 lb weight that you failed at previously. Its all about progressing in an way you can.

That level 4 stuff used to be called “Platz Style” Training or some such nonsense. Its just their way of talking aout instinctive training.[/quote] In the e-book, instinctive training is level 3… So that’s why I was wondering. Ok, platz training, I guess I’ll reach level four once I can squat 500x23 atg. Fat chance of that happening :wink: [quote] Remember, there is a lot of mumbo jumbo in that book. The twice a day training shit, his “supplement” recs[/quote] Ahaha, those were amusing as hell. “yeah, so the supplement industry is really just making shit up and tricking you/don’t know what they’re doing. Erm. Try OTS supps instead” <- ahaha [quote], the eastern bloc stuff. But there is also gold in there with the dirt… the level one training[/quote] Did you ever do the level 2 stuff? [quote], the training parameter section, and it is also the first book to discuss the Anabolic Diet, which I was on through the duration of the time I was training BBB[/quote] Wish we had enough good fat sources available in Germany. But no, it’s pretty much all carbs you get to buy over here. I’m roughly splitting meals up 50/50 between p+c and p+f, but any less carbs and more fat is practically impossible for me, it seems… [quote]. So lots of forward thinking stuff, mixed in with some whack. But then again, every forward thinker also has some crazy ideas; Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose, Da Vinci’s attempts at turning lead into gold…its all good :).[/quote]

Haha, looks like Hernon’s and DiPasquale’s stuff was the good stuff in the book… And the rest was all shit that Costa dreamed up after sniffing too much glue (while on a trip through romania, of course).

Another thing I’m wondering about… They never explain the rationale behind the amount of sets used.
Sure, the phases where you try to get almost into overtraining need some increase in sets and all that, but the regular training phases… Why not 2 instead of 3 or 4? Etc. Shouldn’t that have even more of an effect after basically revving the body up in the ramp phase? 1-2 sets allow for greater weights than 3-4 and are easier on recovery, so the body has even more resources available for hypercompensating (using their lingo here).

They also never discuss joint/tendon health, as if muscles were all you have to worry about.

Guess Costa really took the routine from Hernon and doesn’t really understand it himself lol, that’s probably the reason why he’s not mentioning progression and lift-variety much.

Edit: Btw, squatting and benching twice a week due to lack of exercise choices doesn’t seem to have hurt your progress any, more like the opposite?


#18

I’m going to do the program…I’m starting it next week…

Probably the only major change I would make is to do 1 set…but the basic premise of training 3x a week and getting ridiculously strong on a couple key exercises will remain…

If I burn out…then so be it…But, I have to try…


#19

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
MODOK wrote:

Another thing I’m wondering about… They never explain the rationale behind the amount of sets used.
Sure, the phases where you try to get almost into overtraining need some increase in sets and all that, but the regular training phases… Why not 2 instead of 3 or 4? Etc. Shouldn’t that have even more of an effect after basically revving the body up in the ramp phase? 1-2 sets allow for greater weights than 3-4 and are easier on recovery, so the body has even more resources available for hypercompensating (using their lingo here).

They also never discuss joint/tendon health, as if muscles were all you have to worry about.

Guess Costa really took the routine from Hernon and doesn’t really understand it himself lol, that’s probably the reason why he’s not mentioning progression and lift-variety much.

Edit: Btw, squatting and benching twice a week due to lack of exercise choices doesn’t seem to have hurt your progress any, more like the opposite?

I think they went with 3 or more sets because Hernon uses 3 sets in his training. Costa then worked off of that. You do bring up a very interesting point though, and one I brought up in the Cell on the ‘Bodypart Once Weekly’ thread. Would one or two sets 4 or 5 times a week be even better? Who knows, but its an interesting thing to think about. [/quote] If you consider DC or 5/3/1 (or even most pro routines), then I’d say it could definitely work. How about keeping sets on the ramp’s the same… But reduce them on the supergrowth (haha) phases? I think it should work… Might allow you to stay in the growth phase for much longer…

That actually makes me wonder… Did you go through the whole 18 week level 1 program like 4 times in those 18 months, or did you, for example, stick to ramp 1 + supergrowth 1 ? (those phases seem to make the most sense to me compared to the others).

Out of curiosity, how well did your chest and quads grow compared to your arms and shoulders?

There is another thing I keep wondering about:
You mentioned problems with shoulder stability in another thread and the whole pressing vs. backwork thing.

Now, I keep thinking… You added hams in to quads, so well… Why not make back work 1 backthickness exercise (row variant usually, in this program) for 3 sets… And add 1 backwidth movement in for just, say, 1 set?

Or split sets up… 2 thickness + 2 width…

Something like that. Basically you train thickness every time you train back that way, to balance out the pressing to some degree.

I don’t like meddling with pre-set routines like that, but that shoulder-stability thread got me thinking…
Before I send any of my trainees on the bbb journey, I’d rather address that particular issue at least.


#20

[quote]D Public wrote:
I’m going to do the program…I’m starting it next week…

Probably the only major change I would make is to do 1 set…but the basic premise of training 3x a week and getting ridiculously strong on a couple key exercises will remain…

If I burn out…then so be it…But, I have to try…
[/quote]
(I got your pm, but you should ask Modok that, actually. He’s the BBB expert on here :slight_smile:

Well, on the ramp phases you still need to do more sets at least in order to get near-overtrained before you do the growth part…
Might also want to try the original setup for at least one ramp+growth phase to see whether it works for you or not, you know? Then you could basically do 1 set less every time you get to another growth phase maybe, until you’re down to 1.