T Nation

The Dark Side (JMaier's a Bodybuilder Now)


I was talking about your deadlift session a few weeks back. Mobility and fixing faulty mechanics takes a long time to fix. It took you a long time to get in this bad of shape, expect it to take a long time to get fixed. You will only get fixed by being diligent doing the right things.

A good PT will be able to help. That’s 1 in 50, at best.

Hope he/she is a sports PT who is not part of a general PT clinic, but a sports based clinic. Otherwise, waste.



Woke at 220.4 lbs.

I don’t know if I could blame that. This has been going on longer than that. I initially started doing my hip PT stuff again and instantly had relief. It lasted a week and then I went back to where I was - maybe even worse. And this is only referring to the IT band stuff.

I needed to try deadlifts and RDLs to see how my actual hip joint felt to see if the injection did anything.

Whatever is going on with my hip is still the problem. I just don’t know what it is. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s PT.

No one has ever been able to tell me why the muscles surrounding my hip are tight. After surgery, I felt great until I aggravated things again. Once I did that the tightness returned. The next hypothesis I heard is that my body is trying to protect the joint due to the original injury/problem.

I’m going to the second PT I saw after surgery. The doctor has specific people he likes to use and this guy is working his way onto the list. The other PT is like 40 minutes away so I switched. They were just following a protocol on paper anyway. Hell, I found my PT progression online for free. As someone who will put in the work, I didn’t really need to pay anyone for an appointment.

I need someone to see me move or check my ranges of motion and be able to tell me what’s wrong. I want to hear things like this:

  • X is weak and you’re compensating this way and it’s causing ________.
  • X is tight and it causes this faulty movement pattern which has resulted in ________.

During one of my chiropractor visits, he found that my adductors were really tight. He thought it could be causing internal rotation of the femur during movement. That could cause the tightness I feel on the outer part of the hip.

I also just read that internal rotation can lead to IT band syndrome. That’s two points for tight adductors. Unfortunately, they still haven’t loosened up and ART and graston didn’t do anything.


Damn, dude. I so want you to find a ‘do this, and it will fix your problem’ type solution. Hopefully this PT will have some useful input.

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Kinda skimming through all this so hopefully I haven’t missed anything, but I’ve found single leg glute bridges, single leg hip thrusts, and bent leg incline hip thrusts (bend your knees and put your feet up on a bench) to all work my hamstrings pretty well without bothering my knees at all. My dad, who pretty much has zero cartilage left in his right knee likes them too. Have you done any of those very much? What about GHR’s? A lot more action at the knee joint, so I’m guessing no, but maybe?

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Damn J so sorry to hear this.
You do everything you can do be in shape, mobile and fit. And end up like a trainwreck.
I sincerely hope the PT can point out what’s going on.


I don’t have access to a GHR. I don’t like glute bridges. I’ve done them, but I don’t continue to do them. Like you said, they hit my hamstrings but I do them for glute and hip work; that’s probably why I don’t like them.


Push Day

Bike 15 minutes on interval.

SMITH OHP (1.5 reps)
65 x 10 x 2 sets regular reps
65 x 12, 12, 8

60 x 10
90 x 10
120 x 10
150 x 7 x 2 sets
100 x 8 (1.5 reps)
80 x 8 (1.5 reps)

20 x 12, 10 ea

20 x 10F/10B

50 x 25
10 push ups
70 x 8
10 push ups
60 x 10
10 push ups

40 x 20, 12, 8

Interval Program, 2 min on, 1 min off for 20 min while watching Netflix.



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I just looked at this program. Doesn’t look too bad at all. I actually like a lot of stuff that he puts out. Seems to be reasonable for most people.

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It always catches my attention if you talk about performance and physique. The sad reality is that I already know this stuff; I just don’t put it to good use.


@robstein, I’ll tag you here because I really do have some questions. I’m struggling to accept high volume training. I feel like I had a pretty good session today and I’ll do another one on Friday that hits the same muscles.

I see @jackolee doing way more work than me. Is it necessary? Is the volume the key or is it fatigue? I prefer doing things like 1.5 reps to failure for two or three sets instead of 5 x 10.

I kind of follow CT’s Best Damn principles where you do a couple of progressively heavier sets to get to your working weight and then you go all out for one set. The mindset is similar to the PR set of 5/3/1 but you do rest/pause, myo reps, slow eccentrics, etc to increase TUT.

My main goal is to continue losing weight (5-7 more lbs). My secondary goal (which will become my primary once I reach 215 lbs) is to add size to my chest and shoulders.

Here’s today’s session. I’m doing a pull/push/lower split and only hitting legs directly once a week.


I simply try to keep it stupid simple. 20-25 sets per muscle group per week. Push it as hard as I can. I find my joints are happier with higher reps rather than heavier weight.

I very well might be going about it the wrong way, but have never really followed a specific training plan. I mix up exercises when I get bored but other than that 4-5 exercises per muscle group twice a week. Then just blast legs once a week as hard as I can stand it and limp around for a day or two lol.

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I’ve always been a text book guy in addition to actual gym experience. I know the rep ranges for different training goals (power, strength, hypertrophy) and the total volume per week suggested by research (60-120 reps for big muscles, 30-60 for isolation exercises).

With that knowledge, I know that 60 reps per session twice a week is supposed to be enough; however, I see bodybuilders doing way more than that. I also see CT write stuff that contradicts high volume training.

I don’t know which one is right! Sadly, I can’t say which method has worked for me because I’ve tried a ton of stuff and haven’t really grown since I was in my early 20s. That was a time where I just ate garbage and trained hard.

I was actually just looking back at old pictures and I was definitely bigger. I wasn’t lean but my arms, chest, and shoulders looked bigger in a shirt compared to now.

The sad part of looking back at photos over the years is that I don’t really look like I lift. I almost look thin. Maybe it’s a wardrobe thing; I might need clothes that fit better. Unfortunately, that would mean having everything I buy tailored.


The everlasting conundrum. What’s “right” is what is best suited to get you accomplishing your goals as quickly as possible.

SO, as you’re tagging me here (thanks for the tag!) I’m sure by now you know my first question will be, what is your goal?

Knowing that’s one of your goals, you’ll need to train in a way that’ll allow you to increase muscle mass in those areas, which is a lot more than compound heavy pressing. You’ll need a variety of chest exercises, focusing more towards isolation than you probably have. Doing unilateral cable work is an outstanding, and painful way to build your chest. Shoulders, you better get used to doing some higher volume and hitting all heads of the delt in a variety of ways.

General principles for growth is enough TUT and a variety of rep ranges in your workout. 24 working sets per session is a good upper limit, unless you’re assisted in which case, go nuts.

Absolutely. I’ve never counted reps in a training session, but if I think about it, somewhere between 120-160, 5 days a week.

What specifically is it you’re struggling with?

Talk more about what you really want out of your training, and we’ll take it from there!


I’m struggling with necessity? Is it necessary to do four shoulder exercises with three sets of each?

I actually just finished reading the articles you posted in the other log and I’m about to look at the workout.

For years I’ve made sure to hit my back and legs harder than my chest and shoulders (at least I think I have). I didn’t want to be another dope that hit the mirror muscles and ended up looking silly with bad posture and chicken legs.

Well, I guess the joke’s on me because my delts and pecs don’t exactly pop from under my shirt.

I’m going to check out the workout you posted to see how it differs from my various approaches from the past.

I can honestly say I’ve never done a split that only trained each muscle once per week. There are so many people saying it’s obit effective for enhanced guys!

But, hey, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. What have I got to lose?

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You took the wet words out of my mouth



Woke at 220.2 lbs. That’s three days in a row at 220 so I think it’s an official weight!

I have PT in an hour. I’m going to ask for him to evaluate my hip but also ask him to start treating me for IT band syndrome. Aleve continues to be the best answer right now. It’s the difference between limping and being pain free on the stairs.


Three days at 220 huh… that means 219’s gonna pole it’s head up here real soon. With a goal of 215 you almostcthere man! Keep after it. Hope PT goes well today and they can give some stuff to do at home to offer relief.

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If your goal is to make your shoulders bigger and evenly developed, then yes it is.

x2 on the above then!

Truly, I have no idea where this comes from. IMO the only difference between training for enhanced vs. natty is volume, there’s only so much volume you can handle naturally before you reach the point of diminishing returns, again about 24 working sets but maybe more depending on the individual. Some of my workouts are 16-20 working sets, in and out in 45min. When I was doing full body routines my workouts lasted over 2 hours and I still performed well because I had a full day off in between sessions. Only way to know what your optimal volume really is, is time and experimentation. Will probably take a year or more to really know.

As I mentioned before - go to ANY natural bodybuilding show, and everyone on stage will tell you they do a form of standard bodybuilding splits. Look at WNBF world championships and tell me it’s not “working” for those competitors. While there’s always more progress to be made, I’ve been using some form of split routine exclusively for the past 4 years and have made damn good progress. Split routines work for everyone if you execute them properly!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the programs I posted and your progress!


Do you think that when training specifically for gaining mass (assuming that the individual is meeting their calories / macro needs) that lower rep ranges and heavier loads are necessary? After my competition I’m going to focus on gaining mass, and have failed in the past. I’ve gotton stronger, put on size, only to be back at the same weight again. I want to get it right this go around. What kind of a macro breakdown would you recommend for growth?