T Nation

The Dark Side (JMaier's a Bodybuilder Now)


Did you make your own bro split or are you following a specific one? How many days per week do you plan for home workouts vs workouts at the public gym with access to more equip? Just curious.

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I wouldn’t call it my own. I’m following the Tried & True Bodybuilding Template that @robstein shared in @isdatnutty’s log a couple weeks ago. It gives options/examples of exercises and has a suggested breakdown of the week. I just kind of followed the advice in the article and put together my own split.

I’m planning to train five days a week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat. I selected my exercises based on the gym I will be using. I’m off work Mon-Wed so I can do just about anything on those days. Fridays will be shoulders & hamstrings. I will go to the Y or use my work gym because I don’t have leg curl machines or cables at home. I’ve planned to do lying and seated leg curls and cable pull thru’s for my hamstring work. Saturdays are just arm days and I can get that workout done during my 30 minute lunch break at the work gym. I could also do it at home if necessary. The exercises aren’t set in stone since this isn’t performance based, but I’ll probably go at least four weeks of doing the same exercises and reps unless my circumstances prohibit it.


YESSSS! Love the new thread name. Be sure to keep us updated on your progress and thoughts on the new plan!

One point to emphasize - I noticed with myself, and clients of mine, that significant gains really start to show when the MMC is very strong, you’re training for maximum tension, and you’re completely mentally engaged throughout the entire exercise. Some tips, which may or may not apply to you, just throwing them out there as this is your first bodybuilding style split routine:

-Don’t ever “lock out” your legs or arms. For example, if you’re chest pressing, don’t lock out your elbows at the top. Go about 95% of the way but stop before lock-out, to ensure you’re keeping tension on the muscle throughout. This can be applied for pretty much any exercise, like leg press, shoulder lateral work, etc.

-Maintain control on the negative, don’t let the weight fall. You should still be pushing against the weight and flexing the muscle, just not enough to move it in the opposite direction. Example would be let’s say bicep curls, keep a 2-3 second negative if you’re not used to thinking about negatives, and keep tension throughout. Most people focus on the exploding concentric movement, but the muscle damage that is the catalyst for growth will occur more on the negative, so milk that bad boy and keep your mind engaged in the working muscle.

-Increase your pain threshold, if that’s something you need to work on. You get used to it after a while, but if you’re not used to the rep scheme and start feeling the “pump” or “burn”, keep it going, that’s where the magic happens.

Of course any questions and thoughts please feel free to tag me anytime.


Hey Rob I might tag you in my log, if I decide to go the BB way.

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I followed that for a short time 2 years ago!


I looked back at that and started reading down and saw the back and forth with Bots. How long did you end up running it and did it do what you wanted?

Does this apply to the strength movements where I’m doing 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps?

Same question here. I control the negative on all lifts but it’s not a 2-3 sec negative. It’s not a problem on the medium and high rep sets, but what about the “heavy” sets?

And this is really going to make leg day suck even worse. I can’t move fast enough on RFESS and the Hack Squat Machine.


I only ended up running it for 1 month and it was during my T-ransformation 2017, so it was in a cut. I ended up signing up for a Strongman Competition and sliding out of it into Brian Alsrue’s training.
There will come a time when I gravitate back towards a bodybuilding split though!


Anytime, please do!

Yes, all the time, with few exceptions. Like squats for example, you’re going to stand straight up and not keep your knees bent. A good example, if I’m doing 5x5 dumbbell press, I will not lock out at the top. A slight pause just short of lockout to keep the tension in the pecs, then a controlled negative.

You should try it sometime, it’ll bring a soreness you didn’t know could exist. You don’t always want to be doing 3 second negatives, but if you never have, you should. For the lower rep sets, I wouldn’t focus on counting to 3, but do you, above all, want control and tension on the negative, don’t let the weight fall.


I’m hoping I can run it for the rest of the year and possibly beyond, but we know how I am with shiny objects…


You could almost hit them twice if you did something like
Repeat. Makes for an eight day cycle but if you keep track of it works well.


Thanks jack will look into it. Might work.

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That would be a long day. That’s what I used to do except the only rest day was Sunday. I’d say I was hitting three exercises per muscle group and shoulders was on back day.



Woke at 218.4 lbs. That’s down two pounds since last week. Hopefully it stays. It’ll balance out my averages since I was stuck at 220 for a week straight.


Shoulders & Hamstrings

7 minute bike warm up

45 x 10
95 x 5
115 x 5 x 5 sets

30 x 8 x 2 sets
20 x 8 x 2 sets slow tempo

100 x 10
130 x 10 x 2 sets
145 x 10

superset with

DB OHP (constant tension)
30 x 10
35 x 10 x 2 sets

20 x 8
10 x 17
10 x 17 + 17 B 1/2

superset with

SL RDL (mostly for rehab)
20 x 10 ea x 3 sets

100 x 15
130 x 15 x 2 sets

155 x 20
185 x 10 x 2 sets

95 x 15
65 x 8
40 x 8
20 x 12

I mixed in quite a bit of my hip rehab exercises throughout. I tried some new tempos - some were okay, some didn’t do much. I think I do better with regular pressing on DB OHP. Decent workout and it took an hour.

Arc Trainer - 15 minutes, 0.90 miles, 253 calories burned



Woke at 217.4 lbs.

That’s three days in a row that I’ve actually expected a drop instead of hoping for it. I just felt it in my body. I also went to bed hungry and woke up hungry. That sucks because I’m not eating anything until about 10 today.

Tonight is dinner with my parents and we’re having Mexican food. I should be able to control myself but there will be guacamole and chips. I’m also eating pork strips today and they’re a little higher in calories than chicken.


Love the drops man. I wanted to bring a scale to the hotel but forgot. I cut water after 4 yesterday and am curious what it did to my weight. You have definitely made some great progress my man!

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Thanks for checking in, Jack! Enjoy yourself today! You’ve done the prep work; now it’s just time to smile and flex!


Random Update
Last week I had to tighten my duty belt for the second time. It feels loose this morning.

Yesterday I went into our Galls service center to try on a smaller shirt. I’m wearing an XL as my under shirt (my vest looks like a shirt but it’s worn on the outside of my shirt). The large fits much better. I don’t like my uniform to be baggy or loose; it looks sloppy. I also decided to try on a smaller external carrier and ended up ordering one that is two sizes smaller than the one I’m wearing. (I suspect that my initial carrier could have been smaller, but I didn’t know any better. The vendor sent me one to try and it “fit” so I went with it.)

Good grief, I’m withering away. I better look good when this is over!

It seems that people haven’t seen me shirtless much the past few years because most of them are just noticing that I’m smaller. They think I’m shedding muscle. I guess I’m getting lean enough that I don’t look very big in a shirt anymore. That’s disappointing but I feel a lot better at this weight than I did at 250. I’m way more comfortable in my own skin - not from a mental perspective but from an actual physical comfort perspective.


I’ve had several ‘wow, you’re losing a lot of weight.’ It’s a compliment, dont take it any other way. You’ve shed straight fat, very little muscle. This is all good.

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I don’t know which is worse - the part where (I think) they think I’m thin/skinny or the part where I had that much fat but thought it was muscle (before the cut).