T Nation

The Vets' Greatest Gains


Alright, so my idea to reach out to you guys for some stories comes as from a combination of reading a ton about DoggCrapp, seeing the Big Beyond Belief thread, and getting these new articles like Joe DeFranco's and Dave Tate's best gains.

I asked a few young bucks in my gym who have achieved some above average mass, just wondering what they thought was the best period in their career for gains in size and/or strength and what was the catalyst behind the transformation.

(For the record, the most interesting thing is that the first guy I asked told me the RestPause techniques blew him up...and the RP idea seems to be a keystone of DC and if I'm not mistaken, the BBB stuff as well.)

Now, I don't know much about all the guys on the board, but I lurk quite a bit and see what you all have to say and offer. What I'm requesting is that the bigger/stronger/more experienced guys on the board share their stories with their most productive training phases, that is, maximal gains in minimal time.

I wish I could name everyone I would like to hear from, but I would specifically like to hear from at least Professor X, HolyMacaroni, Modok, and ACTrain.

Thanks for sharing in advance.


Prof X lifts cars, eats children, and then hibernates all winter long.



Although these guys might have specific times/programs that worked out suprisingly well for them, the most important thing for you to realise is that vets are vets mainly due to their effort and consistency.


My best gains came from starting to really work my legs with squats. My bench press increased considerably and so did my other lifts. I realized that I also have a bottom half. The epiphany before that was the discovery that I had a back that could be worked by pullups and rows. The third best period was when I was just graduated from high school and weighed 125 pounds. I put on 25 pounds that summer using a $5.00 Joe Weider course and eating like a pig.


PX, do you only eat fat kids? I always wondered if eating skinny kids was even worth the effort, what with all the chewing probably results in negative calories-- like celery or lettuce.

Great for 'cutting', I guess.


I'm sure Stu's greatest gains came from the discovery of the PWO pop-tart. Now if he would only divulge the flavor...


Lemme tell you, when I first truly made consistent use of the PWO 'window', my carbs of choice were frosted flakes. I wish I had better recollection of what I was doing beforehand (I'm sure it was brilliant), but When I had a shaker full of vitamin shop brand whey (the cheapest crap), some extra creatine and glutamine thrown in for good measure, and a bowl of Tony the Tiger's magical cereal, I actually started seeing some real progression.

This might have been mentioned in another thread, but I can actually pinpoint 'realization points' in my development.

The first was when I stopped training every day of the week and allowed some sort of recovery the take place..... gains.

A few years later I discovered proper eating PWO (see above) leads to.... (you guessed it)... gains.

A short time after that, I think I finally understood the difference in carb sources, and was able to alter my eating to make the most of what was available while still living at home. The definitely contributed to making gains.

Later on I discovered Pre-bed feedings, and the basic difference in protein digestion speeds, essentially using whey PWO, Casein pre-bed, and mixed sources throughout the day...... gains.

In more recent years, I began focusing on peri-workout nutrition (what would I do without coach Thibs?!). My reading up on BCAAs, then later Leucine, and even the timing of my fish oils steered me in the eventual direction of..... (here it comes.... wait for it....).... gains.

This past year, I put everything I thought I knew to the test and threw myself onto the contest stage. No coach, no hired prep guy, just my own knowledge, and willingness to do what needed to be done on a weekly basis for a few months of my life. Surprisingly, I did pretty well, and now, a month and a half later, I'm still pouring over my journal and deceminating what worked, and what can be altered for next time. This is the mindset you need to make gains.
(oh yeah, and consistency over YEARS, not months)



I'm dieting. Fat kids are out of the question...aside from Thursdays and Sundays according to CT. That means, yes, the population of fat kids will grow slightly for about the next three-four months or so or at least until I bring sexy back.


We need to make clones of PX to take care of the fat kid population, like letting loose the natural predator of a pest...


Please elaborate on fish oil timing.


All about natural selection. Darwin would be proud.



Sorry to hijack the topic but how do you time your fish oils?


I was gonna ask the same thing.


sorry to hijack, but stu, I was looking through your pictures and was wondering what type of wrist wraps you are using and if you'd recommend them? I have carpal tunnel and I've been trying out different wrist supports. Also, you look like a smaller dorian yates


Frosted flakes WTF? I got a buddy that works at kelloggs and he told me that whenever they get an order for frosted flakes to go to the states the recipe requires them to double the sugar...nothing else,just sugar.I guess America likes sugar...alot.


There's no question, Dave. This is just a curious question to see how some bodies have responded to various training focal points (Dave Tates TUT for example).

Also, don't be afraid to share something that's more along the lines of a technique that never STOPPED giving you gains, even if it took a while.

For me, before I knew anything about anything, I remember using a bodypart split, and on my quad days once a week, I would squat either 4x10 or 5x5 in an uphill loading fashion. For example, week one would use my lower load to achieve 4x10 or close to it. I'd stick with the weight until all 4 sets of 10 were met. If all 40 happened but it was a struggle, I might keep it an extra session or two to solidify the load.

On week two, I'd load my higher load, hit 5 reps, add 10lbs, go for another set, and I would continue this until I felt I was approaching a 4RM or 5RM. Then I'd usually do the last 2-3 sets just using that weight. The next session I'd go for those heavy loads, I'd start 10lbs less than the load I 'stopped on' the previous session. I did this instinctively for some reason, and even stranger, only really applied it to squatting. It was great because I'd have an upper and lower threshold of loading to track for what I'd work with. The 4x10s would give me nice volume at a very strenuous load, and the way I'd load the 5x5s allowed me to creep into new territory gradually so that it wouldn't become a mental burden.

Over time, this never really stopped working for me. I just feel I could be doing more frequent work to go back to the same exact thing. This may sound obvious, but sometimes I think we can all miss how obvious and simple the paths to progression are.


This is probably pretty weird, but I add sugar to my PWO shakes in lieu of buying waxy maize, dextrose, etc. I haven't noticed any difference.


One of the biggest guys at my gym has never even heard of the concept post-workout nutrition. He just goes home and eats something, a lot of something. Go figure.


That's all I do. Was there something more I'm missing?


The secret formula.

Yeah, I think I remember reading on this site that Trevor Smith used to eat 50 pieces of sushi as his PWO nutrition. To be honest, I'm surprised he didn't eat more @ 400+ pounds.