T Nation

Really need some advice

Hey everyone, looking for a little advice here. Please bare with me because I realize this post is long and I might ramble a bit. I have been cutting for the past 4 weeks with some good success. I used 5x5 lifting, HIIT, good nutrition and small doses of Mag-10 to get down to 8% bodyfat with hardly any loss of LBM (started at 11% with skin calipers, and feel I have been consistent with my measurements). In a couple of weeks I will be going on a vacation where I will be taking a week off from lifting altogether, and doing my best to eat around or slightly above maintenance calories. When I get back, I plan on going on a bulking phase, prioritizing my chest and back. Enough background, here are my questions: In the week and a half I have before my vacation, I will be stopping the Mag-10, starting Tribex and M, and begin bumping my calories so that they are closer to maintenance when I go on the trip…do you think I should just keep the 5x5 training and HIIT I have been doing right up until the week off from lifting (since I won’t really be cutting anymore), or would another program serve me better? I was thinking about maybe testing some 1rm’s that week. Once I get back from my trip, I want to continue bumping cals and carbs until I am above maintenance for bulking, but I am not sure if I should start the bulking training the week I get back from the trip, or if it would be better to do another short cycle to prep me for the bulking…what do you think? Finally, I was thinking of trying Ian King’s “12 weeks to Super Strength” for chest and back coupled with his “Limping” series for legs for my training while bulking…I’ve never done any of King’s programs, so I figure I better give them a try…what do you guys think of these programs, and what do you think about doing them concurrently (I thought I read somewhere that Ian actually designed them to be done together)? Would it be okay to start them right up after a week off? Thanks for any help guys.

I see no problem with jumping right into a bulking cycle after your vacation. Something to keep in mind is that Ian King’s programs are great, but tend to be a little low on volume, so be prepared. You won’t be able to bump calories too high. A program like EDT or GVT2000 might be more optimal if your only goal is hypertrophy. I’m not saying Ian’s programs may not be perfect for your situation, but I plan to use Ian’s stuff when I’m ready to tweak my physique and acheive better structural balance.

And yes, Ian's programs can be used concurently. Just start the training week with your weakest point and work on your strongest areas last in the week.

Yeah, after some more reading and thinking, I have decided that maybe Ian King’s programs aren’t the way to go for my goals right now. I have been looking into something similar to what you are probably doing…GVT phases mixed with some phases of heavier weights with a little bit lower volume (although I may incorporate some drop sets in the heavier weeks) for 12 weeks total. Jason, what are you doing for cardio, if any, during the 12 week phase? I can’t picture doing cardio after a GVT workout (at least I couldn’t have the last time I did GVT). Thanks for the advice in your last post too…once I get all this straightened out I guess I have to think about what I am going to do as far as nutrition for this 12 week period.

I’m still tweaking my plan as I won’t be starting until June 3rd, but my general idea for the plan is this:

2 week Bulking Cycles - GVT2000, EDT or some other high volume program with a M,T,R,F split, GPP (med ball on off days W,Sa), 10-15 min light cardio warm-up, 10-15 min pre-workout stretch, Loaded passive stretching during workout

2 week cutting cycles - M,T,R,F (or M,W,F) 5x5 lifting, 20 min HIIT after workouts, 10 min light cardio warm-up, 10-15 min pre-workout stretching, some med ball GPP on off days mixed in with some moderate cardio

Still working on exact diet plan, but calories will be 1000+ maintenance on bulking stages and about 500 below maintenance on cutting stages.