T Nation

Thoughts on this Plan

In the past couple of months, I have decided to put more effort into attaining my desired body. After doing some research, if found that a common recomendation is to cut to 10% BF before bulking up. Whether or not this is a good recomendation im not sure. But here is what has happened so far.

Starting

5’11"
190lbs
15-17% BF

Current

178lbs
12-14% BF

Ive been experimenting with carb cycling, and recently have been on UD2. The results are fairly good, but I dont want to have to go down to 170 or less to reach 10%. So ive decided to finish up this cycle of UD2 and then change things up a bit.

HERE IS THE PLAN

Step1:

Gradual/clean bulk - strength phase

I’ll start out by continuing to eat clean, and start increasing my calorie intake as things go. My workouts will include rep ranges from 3-12+ but my focus will be on increasing my 6rm in certain lifts.

Here are the lifts i’ll focus on for testing purposes as well as training (but other exercises will be used as well during training)

Exercise Current Goal

Deadlift 315 375
1-leg press 270 325
Bench 195 225
Pullup 210 250
BB curl 60 80
Dips (not sure these are new for me)

So those are my current 6rms for each exercise and my goals. The goals are about 15-25% increases which may be large, but my current levels are low from cutting, and some of the exercises like BB curls I will still be getting newbie gains.

As for a specific workout plan, i dont have one yet, but it will likely be something like Stronglifts, or WS4SB.

And my goal would be to reach these strength goals in 1-2 4 week cycles.

Step 2:

Maintain/deload 1-3 weeks

at this point i’ll need to recover a bit, but depending on how hard i have to work to reach my goals, i may be ready to go to step three in as little as 1 week of deloading.

Step 3:

Rapid bulk

Now i’ll be primed for growth and ready to pack on some muscle. I wont be overly concerned with fat gain initially but instead will to all my effort into gaining weight. If I end steps 1-2 at around 185-190, then my goal during step 3 would be to reach 200+.

As for training, im finally going to use a body part split, and give something like DC or a similar program an honest go.

This step will likely last 1-3 cycles of 2-4 weeks each. I’ll throw in short maintenance/cut periods depending on needs during those times.

So what do you guys think? My main goal is to reach 195-200+ with a Bf of 10-12%. I’ll also want to increase the size of my arms and calves (which have been neglected) but I wont add any focus to these until im in the later stages of step 3.

Thank you.

Alright, I’m going to give you my honest advice on this program. You can take it or leave it.

Currently you have about 156 lbs of lean mass (erring on the low side of your estimated bf %) and in order to reach your goal you need to have 180 lbs of lean mass (to be 10% at 200).

In other words, you need to gain 24 lbs of lean mass in order to reach your goal (quite honestly you’ll probably need to go higher than 200 to be able to cut down to that point, unless you’ve got genetics like Gerdy).

Your plan could work (though I think you need to loosen up your adherance to arbitrary blocks of time), but IMO it’s much more complicated than it needs to be.

I’m glad to see that you are focusing on moderate rep strength gains, so why not just stick with that while eating enough to keep the scale moving in an upward direction?

Trying to gain significant strength (especially in the moderate rep ranges) while at the same time worrying about how much fat you are putting on or restricting your calories can make the process a lot longer and more frustrating than it needs to be.

You mentioned DC, and while I don’t think you are ready to do that specific program, you could learn a lot from just looking at the basic principles behind that program that make it work.

In other words, why not

-pick an exercise for each muscle group (you can use the above mentioned ones if you like)

-pick a rep range (if you’re looking for a 6 RM, then why not use something like 6-12 reps)

-add weight to the bar every single time (you can add more to bigger exercises like deads, and less to smaller exercises like curls) you do that same exercise until your reps eventually drop below your target rep range, then next time try to increase reps

-once you cannot increase reps, or get into your rep range for 2 consecutive attempts switch that exercise out for another comparable one for the same muscle group. When you eventually stall out on that exercise you can go back to the original one if you want and you should be able to quickly match and surpass your previous bests.

-use a ramping format and give your final “work” set your all (hopefully you have some understanding of what is and is not acceptable as far as “cheating” goes)

-make sure that you are giving the muscle enough time to recover (depending on how your split looks that might be anywhere from every 4-7 days in most cases).

-eat big to get big

-use morning cardio and carb controlling methods (the default method is carb cut-offs, but carb cycling can work very well also) to keep bf at manageable levels while still allowing you to eat massive quantities of food.

If you are willing to loosen up on worrying about being 10% bf you can probably attain your goal in a much shorter time than trying to always stay at a low bf%.

Again, I’m not saying that you program won’t get you to your goals, but I honestly think it’s taking somewhat of the long, winding and unnecessarily complicated route there.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Alright, I’m going to give you my honest advice on this program. You can take it or leave it.

Currently you have about 156 lbs of lean mass (erring on the low side of your estimated bf %) and in order to reach your goal you need to have 180 lbs of lean mass (to be 10% at 200).

In other words, you need to gain 24 lbs of lean mass in order to reach your goal (quite honestly you’ll probably need to go higher than 200 to be able to cut down to that point, unless you’ve got genetics like Gerdy).

Your plan could work (though I think you need to loosen up your adherance to arbitrary blocks of time), but IMO it’s much more complicated than it needs to be.

I’m glad to see that you are focusing on moderate rep strength gains, so why not just stick with that while eating enough to keep the scale moving in an upward direction?

Trying to gain significant strength (especially in the moderate rep ranges) while at the same time worrying about how much fat you are putting on or restricting your calories can make the process a lot longer and more frustrating than it needs to be.

You mentioned DC, and while I don’t think you are ready to do that specific program, you could learn a lot from just looking at the basic principles behind that program that make it work.

In other words, why not

-pick an exercise for each muscle group (you can use the above mentioned ones if you like)

-pick a rep range (if you’re looking for a 6 RM, then why not use something like 6-12 reps)

-add weight to the bar every single time (you can add more to bigger exercises like deads, and less to smaller exercises like curls) you do that same exercise until your reps eventually drop below your target rep range, then next time try to increase reps

-once you cannot increase reps, or get into your rep range for 2 consecutive attempts switch that exercise out for another comparable one for the same muscle group. When you eventually stall out on that exercise you can go back to the original one if you want and you should be able to quickly match and surpass your previous bests.

-use a ramping format and give your final “work” set your all (hopefully you have some understanding of what is and is not acceptable as far as “cheating” goes)

-make sure that you are giving the muscle enough time to recover (depending on how your split looks that might be anywhere from every 4-7 days in most cases).

-eat big to get big

-use morning cardio and carb controlling methods (the default method is carb cut-offs, but carb cycling can work very well also) to keep bf at manageable levels while still allowing you to eat massive quantities of food.

If you are willing to loosen up on worrying about being 10% bf you can probably attain your goal in a much shorter time than trying to always stay at a low bf%.

Again, I’m not saying that you program won’t get you to your goals, but I honestly think it’s taking somewhat of the long, winding and unnecessarily complicated route there.[/quote]

Perfect. I hope alot of people read this and choose to follow these principles instaed of searching for that perfect program forever. But I doubt it.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Alright, I’m going to give you my honest advice on this program. You can take it or leave it.

Currently you have about 156 lbs of lean mass (erring on the low side of your estimated bf %) and in order to reach your goal you need to have 180 lbs of lean mass (to be 10% at 200).

In other words, you need to gain 24 lbs of lean mass in order to reach your goal (quite honestly you’ll probably need to go higher than 200 to be able to cut down to that point, unless you’ve got genetics like Gerdy).

Your plan could work (though I think you need to loosen up your adherance to arbitrary blocks of time), but IMO it’s much more complicated than it needs to be.

I’m glad to see that you are focusing on moderate rep strength gains, so why not just stick with that while eating enough to keep the scale moving in an upward direction?

Trying to gain significant strength (especially in the moderate rep ranges) while at the same time worrying about how much fat you are putting on or restricting your calories can make the process a lot longer and more frustrating than it needs to be.

You mentioned DC, and while I don’t think you are ready to do that specific program, you could learn a lot from just looking at the basic principles behind that program that make it work.

In other words, why not

-pick an exercise for each muscle group (you can use the above mentioned ones if you like)

-pick a rep range (if you’re looking for a 6 RM, then why not use something like 6-12 reps)

-add weight to the bar every single time (you can add more to bigger exercises like deads, and less to smaller exercises like curls) you do that same exercise until your reps eventually drop below your target rep range, then next time try to increase reps

-once you cannot increase reps, or get into your rep range for 2 consecutive attempts switch that exercise out for another comparable one for the same muscle group. When you eventually stall out on that exercise you can go back to the original one if you want and you should be able to quickly match and surpass your previous bests.

-use a ramping format and give your final “work” set your all (hopefully you have some understanding of what is and is not acceptable as far as “cheating” goes)

-make sure that you are giving the muscle enough time to recover (depending on how your split looks that might be anywhere from every 4-7 days in most cases).

-eat big to get big

-use morning cardio and carb controlling methods (the default method is carb cut-offs, but carb cycling can work very well also) to keep bf at manageable levels while still allowing you to eat massive quantities of food.

If you are willing to loosen up on worrying about being 10% bf you can probably attain your goal in a much shorter time than trying to always stay at a low bf%.

Again, I’m not saying that you program won’t get you to your goals, but I honestly think it’s taking somewhat of the long, winding and unnecessarily complicated route there.[/quote]

This is a great summary of the basic DC principles. A+

Thanks Sentoguy, I really appreciate your advice and the overview of the DC principals. I will take your advice and focus on increasing my strength in the 6-12 range while adding weight. Im not overly concerned with fat gain, as ive kinda found that at my current amount of LBM its going to be hard to cut fat efficiently.

At a heavier weight, hopefully mainly from LBM I think i’ll have an easier time cutting down to acceptable BF levels.

As for eating, my biggest difficulties are food ability and satiety. Having done UD2, im now better prepared to use carb cycling, and know how different foods affect me.

I have a few other questions

  1. Do you think “THE SKINNY BASTARDS DIET” may be pheasable for packing on weight.

  2. Otherwise I was thinking of something like the zone diet for most of the time, with an increased carb intake before and after workouts. Good idea, or not?

  3. As far as training goes, i’ll read up more on DC to understand the principals better, but as I understand it, its more of a HIT type program. Is there any use of incorporating some higher volume work into the program? This could be periodized to later weeks, or different days during the same week, or even have the “big lifts” at the beginning of the workout, and then assistance stuff toward the end for higher volumes?

  4. I absolutely despise cardio now, so I’ll try to manage fat accumulation with some form of complexes or BW circuits if it becomes a problem.

But in the end I understand your advice to just focus on LIFTING BIGGER, AND EATING BIGGER, and i will do it.