T Nation

Putting On As Much Muscle As Possible

Hey everyone, I have been reading this site for about 2 weeks now, friend recommended I visisted here. This is my first post, so I’m sorry if it doesn’t fit proper forum etiquette.

(*Short story of what I want to do, to see my main point go to the summary marked with **, lol)

*I have been unable to train for the past 7 months due to some broken ribs that I got in a car crash, they are pretty much fully healed now though.

I’m 19 years old, I started training at 17 and got to the point where some people would notice I worked out and some didn’t, whatever.

I have been itching to train the entire 7 months. I realise that the best time of my life to put on alot muscle is slowly fading away, I need some advice!

**Summary: I want to take advantage of the remaining time I have as a 19/20 year old, I WANT TO PUT ON AS MUCH MNUSCLE MASS AS POSSIBLE so I can EVENTUALLY COMPETE in NATURAL BODYBUILDING shows.

I understand I will have to eat a shit load of clean food -That is not a problem!

But what training should I start off with?

<edit - removed a stupid high volume routine from my post>

Since I have trouble gaining weight i’ll prob try to put down upwards for 4500 cals a day (40% prot/50% carb/10% fat) witht he majority of my proteins/fats coming from grass fed beef

How much do you weigh?

That would be 450 grams of protein, which almost certainly is more than your body can process in a day. You might start with the the “Standard” 1.5 grams/lb protein, and .5 grams/lb fat, and adjusting the carbs as necessary to gain.

Make sure your getting a somewhat balanced amount of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fat. Fish oil is always a good choice, though grass fed beef, if you can afford it that often is decent too.

Also, can I assume that is a list of potential exercises, and not your planned routine? If not, that would seem to be waaay too much.

Is what you are doing working?
If yes, keep doing it until it doesn’t. If it isn’t change it
You’ve come up with a plan…that’s almost 5% of the solution right there.

[quote]atypicaluser wrote:
How much do you weigh?

That would be 450 grams of protein, which almost certainly is more than your body can process in a day. You might start with the the “Standard” 1.5 grams/lb protein, and .5 grams/lb fat, and adjusting the carbs as necessary to gain.

Make sure your getting a somewhat balanced amount of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fat. Fish oil is always a good choice, though grass fed beef, if you can afford it that often is decent too.

[/quote]

I weigh 155lbs at 5’ 8"

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
Is what you are doing working?
If yes, keep doing it until it doesn’t. If it isn’t change it
You’ve come up with a plan…that’s almost 5% of the solution right there.[/quote]

I am planning on starting soon (today if time allows for it) and that would be a program that I would follow. I do not know if it would work optimally

[quote]atypicaluser wrote:
Also, can I assume that is a list of potential exercises, and not your planned routine? If not, that would seem to be waaay too much.[/quote]

It’s my planned routine that I would start if I got no other suggestions. Why is it too much? How can I change it?

Just so you know… while your test levels are naturally higher than they will ever be, you will be a damn lot more muscular in 15 years than 2… It is the consistency that works not the age per se.

You will be able to make some good gains in the first year or so of training, and you certainly have muscle memory on your side (Last year i went from a sick 145lbs to a natural 175lbs in 3 months from muscule memory)… them are some decent unassisted gains!! lol!

Your program is too high volume possibly… maybe drop the volume a little… something like a maximum of 20 sets per workout, same frequency (2x a week full body is trained).
27 sets a workout is alot for a small thing such as yourself, and probably over kill.

Did you make this your self?

Read this, it is really good stuff mate:

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/how_to_design_a_damn_good_program_part_2&cr=

The page has a link to the first part of the article, and i suggest you start with that.

This article is invaluable, and i wish i had it at your level.

Joe

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
Just so you know… while your test levels are naturally higher than they will ever be, you will be a damn lot more muscular in 15 years than 2… It is the consistency that works not the age per se.

You will be able to make some good gains in the first year or so of training, and you certainly have muscle memory on your side (Last year i went from a sick 145lbs to a natural 175lbs in 3 months from muscule memory)… them are some decent unassisted gains!! lol!

Your program is too high volume possibly… maybe drop the volume a little… something like a maximum of 20 sets per workout, same frequency (2x a week full body is trained).
27 sets a workout is alot for a small thing such as yourself, and probably over kill.

Did you make this your self?

Read this, it is really good stuff mate:

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/how_to_design_a_damn_good_program_part_2&cr=

The page has a link to the first part of the article, and i suggest you start with that.

This article is invaluable, and i wish i had it at your level.

Joe[/quote]

I know my test levels are high as they will ever be which is why I am desperate to get into a solid routine right now and pack on the muscle, do not give a shit about fat gain, i can’t gain much fat anyway.

I did make that routine myself, I am happy with the 2 strength days and the leg hypertrophy day but I am not happy about the other 2 upper body days.

I’m not sure if I should have 1 upper body hypertrophy day or split it up, i like training so whatever puts me in the gym more will be best I think.

i’ll read that article, thank you for linking it.

looking through ct’s damn good program I am going to keep my 2 lower body days.

Is 20 sets too many for back? I just want to be sure i dont get any imbalances there

If you are looking to be a “natural bodybuilder”, I would recommend a standard 4-5 day split. It’s not as sexy as the “next big thing” training program, but your plan of pursuing strength and hypertrophy at the same time may mean you get moderate, as opposed to great, results in those areas.

That said, strength is obviously critical to a bodybuilder’ success because lifting heavier weights = bigger muscles.

I think a hardcore strength focused program for 3-4 months (e.g. Rippetoe) followed by a standard 4-5 day BP split using the parameters in CT’s article will find you in a better place a year from now than the hybrid plan you posted.

Anecdotally, before I get flamed, check out www.bodybuilders.com (not bodybuildING) and look at the profiles of the featured Amateurs. They are all asked “what training program has worked best for you?” I looked at roughly 150 of them and found that basically all of them did 3-6 day splits (most were 4-5) depending on their goal at the time. I found 1 guy that does total body (one of the lightest dudes on there) and 1 guy that does an upper/lower. It’s hard to argue with the real world results. Again, I’m saying this on the assumption that you in fact want to be a bodybuilder.

I personally, when natural, and going high volume tend to use:

(no specialization)
Back (not traps or rear delt): 12-15
Thighs: 12-15
Chest: 12
Delts(inc. rear): 12
Traps: 8-9
Biceps:8-10
Triceps: 8-10
Calves: 6-9
Forearm: 6-9

is that it? i think so… you get the idea.

Balance that is.

Swinging from 20 right down to 9 is not balance IMO.

This is just me, what i respond to… if i am “on” i may go upto 18-20 sets down to 6-8…
But it is a good guide…

Joe

[quote]trextacy wrote:
If you are looking to be a “natural bodybuilder”, I would recommend a standard 4-5 day split. It’s not as sexy as the “next big thing” training program, but your plan of pursuing strength and hypertrophy at the same time may mean you get moderate, as opposed to great, results in those areas.

That said, strength is obviously critical to a bodybuilder’ success because lifting heavier weights = bigger muscles.

I think a hardcore strength focused program for 3-4 months (e.g. Rippetoe) followed by a standard 4-5 day BP split using the parameters in CT’s article will find you in a better place a year from now than the hybrid plan you posted.

Anecdotally, before I get flamed, check out www.bodybuilders.com (not bodybuildING) and look at the profiles of the featured Amateurs. They are all asked “what training program has worked best for you?” I looked at roughly 150 of them and found that basically all of them did 3-6 day splits (most were 4-5) depending on their goal at the time. I found 1 guy that does total body (one of the lightest dudes on there) and 1 guy that does an upper/lower. It’s hard to argue with the real world results. Again, I’m saying this on the assumption that you in fact want to be a bodybuilder.[/quote]

I agree that a split neednt be 1 bodypart per week, 7 day rotational 4-5 day split. In fact i would recommend it wasnt for anyone that needed such a recommendation (the rest know what works). I only ever use a split like that when i am doing A/Strength focused workouts such as now… or B/ High volume workouts… such as now. (i’m fucked!)

A decent full body/2 way split done multiple days a week is the best IMO. It really works for me. I tend to stop gaining if i use a 4-5 day split with normal intensity/volume.

Joe

From what I have read most bodybuilers use splits etc training bodyparts once a week after they have been training for a while and can contract their muscles and hit them so hard they only need once a week…

I’ve been off with 8 months and can contract some muscles on some sides better than others, so I thought it would be better to start off 2x a week then gradually get up to 1x week. Thoughts?

Could I just take the volume of 9-12 sets per bodypart and split it up into 2 days a week for each… and should I focus on strength first or pure hypertrophy?

Can your legs or back even grow off 12 sets a week? That seems pretty low, even if you don’t include calves for that.

I’m sorta in same position as you I am missing out on a big deal of my teenage life to train (over-stretched my trap and can’t seem to fix it) and feel like its slipping away too.

though I have had the option to train legs during my time off and they have grown quite a bit, from quite high volume though…

why dont you do something like WS4SB3?

and check out this article, CT sets up what sets/reps you could do per bodypart - then do as you suggested and split that up into 2x week somehow:

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
Can your legs or back even grow off 12 sets a week? That seems pretty low, even if you don’t include calves for that.

I’m sorta in same position as you I am missing out on a big deal of my teenage life to train (over-stretched my trap and can’t seem to fix it) and feel like its slipping away too.

though I have had the option to train legs during my time off and they have grown quite a bit, from quite high volume though…

why dont you do something like WS4SB3?

and check out this article, CT sets up what sets/reps you could do per bodypart - then do as you suggested and split that up into 2x week somehow:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1633676[/quote]

Well “legs” includes quads and hamstrings and if it is recommended to do 9-12 sets per muscle group that would be up to 24 sets for legs, no?

I don’t to do WS4SB3 because I’m not an athlete I’m just a guy who wants to put on a lot of muscle. Why bother with box jumps etc. to improve my vert / speed when I could be spending the rest of my time doing stuff to gain muscle mass?

And i’ll check out that link, thanks.

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
I personally, when natural, and going high volume tend to use:

(no specialization)
Back (not traps or rear delt): 12-15
Thighs: 12-15
Chest: 12
Delts(inc. rear): 12
Traps: 8-9
Biceps:8-10
Triceps: 8-10
Calves: 6-9
Forearm: 6-9

is that it? i think so… you get the idea.

Balance that is.

Swinging from 20 right down to 9 is not balance IMO.

This is just me, what i respond to… if i am “on” i may go upto 18-20 sets down to 6-8…
But it is a good guide…

Joe[/quote]

do you feel your thighs and calves are a strong point? Mine are like sticks right now… And could I add the forearm sets to the calve sets? lol

If you are working in the 8-12 rep range, you should have plenty of volume with 9-12 sets per bodypart provided you are being intense with each set. Make sure you are getting the most out of it. I used to do 20 sets of chest or some shit-- then, I got some good advice from some guys here on T-Nation and read CT’s article and scaled back the volume and upped the intensity-- night and day difference. 12 sets is plenty of volume for a large bodyparty if you are intense-- remember that you would be working each BP once every 5-7 days so you could do back on Monday then again on Saturday if you wanted.

I am not saying that full-body or upper/lower don’t work as each person responds differently depending on their genetics, training age, etc.

Ideally, you should be experimenting with your body at this stage. Eat cleanly 90% of the time, but eat a lot. Try different protocols for 3-4 months at a time and always have clear goals (add inches to your arm, 50 lbs on your deadlift, whatever). Once you have experimented with yourself for a CONSISTENT 2-year period (at least), you may start to notice that certain styles of training work best for you. Then, do that 85% of the time.

Now, your original post wasn’t asking about that. It was asking about your best odds at adding the most mass in the shortest period of time. In that case, I would recommend bodybuilding the way most bodybuilders do it.

I get where you are coming from trex, I am really tempted to do a bodybuilding split - it’s easier to lay out thats for sure.

Is it really the best idea though when I have trouble contracting certain bodyparts on different sides of my body (i.e - lats)?

Thats the only reason I am not diving straight into a bodybuilding style routine, I was just thinking that training a bodypart 2x a week will help me ‘even out’ so to speak and get rid of my imbalances.

Is this true or will a bodybuilding routine help just the same?

Ok guys, I have taken in all the advice you have gave me.

I am sorry to keep posting routines! But here are the last two I have narrowed it down to, which one would be best - considering i have some imbalances I need to iron out.

SET TOTALS FOR BOTH THE ROUTINES (they are the exact same)
Back - 16
Quadriceps - 12
Hamstrings - 12
Chest - 12
Delts - 12
Biceps - 9
Triceps - 9
Traps - 6
Calves - 10
total 98 sets per week

ROUTINE 1 - bodypart 2x week, training 5x week

  1. LEGS
    Deadlift 5x5
    Hack squat 4x12
    Lying leg curl 3x12
    Standing calf raise 5x10

  2. UPPER BODY
    Bent over barbell row 5x8
    HS decline press 5x8
    Military press 4x8
    BB curl 3x8
    EZ skullcrushers 3x8

  3. rest

  4. BACK/SHOULDERS
    Lat pulldown 4x12
    T- bar row 4x12
    Straight-arm pulldown 3x15
    Neutral grip seated DB press 3x12
    Rear delt flyes 3x12
    One-arm cable lateral raise 2x15
    Haney shrugs - 3x12

  5. LEGS
    Back squat 5x8
    Barbell lunge 4x10
    Leg press 3x15
    Seated calf raise 5x15

  6. CHEST/ARMS
    Hammer strength flat bench press 4x12
    Pec deck 3x15
    Decline DB triceps extension 3x12
    Triceps pushdown 3x15
    Standing dumbbell curl 3x12
    DB preacher curl 3x15
    Barbell shrugs 3x12

  7. rest.


ROUTINE 2 - bodypart 1x week, training 5x week

  1. Legs
    deadlift - 5x5
    hack squat - 4x12
    lying leg curl - 3x12
    standing calf raise - 5x10

  2. rest

  3. Back / Rear delt
    Bent over barbell row - 5x8
    Lat pulldown - 4x12
    T-bar row - 4x12
    Straight-arm pulldown - 3x15
    Rear delt flyes - 3x12

  4. Front & Anterior delt / Triceps
    Military press - 4x8
    Neutral grip seated DB press - 3x12
    One-arm cable lateral raise - 2x15
    E-Z bar skullcrushers - 3x8
    Decline DB triceps extension - 3x12
    Triceps pushdown - 3x15

  5. Legs
    Back squat 5x8
    Barbell lunge 4x10
    Leg press 3x15
    Seated calf raise 5x15

  6. Rest

  7. Chest / Biceps
    Hammer strength decline press - 5x8
    Hammer strength incline press - 4x12
    Pec deck - 3x15
    Barbell bicep curl - 3x8
    Standing dumbbell curl - 3x12
    DB preacher curl - 3x15


Ok so those are the two routines I can’t decide between. Again, I’m sorry for posting routines all the time (i editted some above posts to remove them and clear up the thread), I greatly appreciate everyones help so far.