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UPDATED: 6 Weeks into a 16 Week Mass Program (42yo)


#1

Week 6 Picture
Currently at 146 lbs @10% BF
6 Weeks ago: 136 lbs @9.0% BF
Goal: Compete for the fist time in July 2011

Training:
Day 1 - Chest\Hamstring\Abs\Cardio
- Incline Bench Press (3 sets to failure)
- Decline Bench Press Hammer Strength ISO lateral machine (3 sets to failure)
- Cable chest cross over (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Parallel bar dip (4 sets to failure)
- Stiff leg dead lift (3 sets to failure)
- Machine leg curl (3 sets to failure)
- Machine leg curl ( one leg at a time) (3 sets to failure)
- Crunches (weighted) (4 sets to failure)
- Crunches (body weight) (4 sets to failure)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)

Day 2 - Biceps and Triceps, cardio
- EZ Bar biceps curls (3 sets to failure)
- Seated Preacher curl (3 sets to failure)
- Incline hammer curls (2 sets, 12 reps)
- Incline dumbbell curls (2 sets, 12 reps)
- Cable Triceps Pushdown ( 4 sets, 12 reps)
- Seated Triceps extensions ( 4 sets, 12 reps)
- Close grip bench press (3 sets, 12 reps)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)
- Optional: 1 back exercise

Day 3 - Legs, cardio
- Back squat (4 sets, 14 reps)
- Machine leg press (4 sets, 14 reps)
- Machine leg extension (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Standing calves raises (6 sets, 15 reps)
- Seated calves raise (6 sets, 15 reps)
- Optional: 1 chest exercise

Day 4 - Shoulders, cardio
- Hammer strength ISO lateral shoulder press (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Cable side lateral raise (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Machine rear raises (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Shrugs (4 sets, 16 reps)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)
- Optional: 1 quad, calve and biceps exercise

Day 5 - Back, Abs, Cardio
- Lateral pull down (4 sets, to failure)
- Barbell bent over rows (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Cable close grip pull down (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Cable seated close grip (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Back hyper with light weight (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Crunches (weighted) (4 sets to failure)
- Crunches (body weight) (4 sets to failure)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)

Diet: (Same for workout and non-workout days)
Meal 1: 6AM - Protein Shake (Upon waking up)
Meal 2: 7:30AM - 12 eggs, oatmeal, small piece of chicken
Meal 3: 10:30AM - Chicken or steak, potato
Meal 4: 1:30PM - Chicken or steak, brown rice, fresh spinach
Meal 5: Protein Shake - 2 scoops (Before training)
Meal 6: Protein Shake - 2 scoops with creating and Glutamine (Right after training)
Meal 7: 7:00PM - Chicken or steak, brown rice (Within 30 minutes after training)
Meal 8: 9:30PM - Protein shake


#2

146lbs @10% BF


#3

Week 1


#4

6 weeks isn't long enough to see a whole lot of improvement. MORE LEGS though!! Your legs are your weakest spot and you're working them the least. You should be hitting them more than anything else if you want to balance yourself out. Your one so-called "leg day" has 4 sets of squat, 4 sets of leg press, and 4 sets of extensions. More volume please. And you need a lot more hamstring exercises to balance things out. Try some lower rep range stuff with legs. Mix it up.


#5

To be positive at least. Your chest is a strong point for you. Basically, just more mass everywhere would help a lot.

Last thing. Too much cardio. Cut that shit out until you start a cutting cycle. Keep it to one or two days a week if you want to keep your cardio capacity up. You'd be better off just doing ten 30 second intervals with 2 minutes of rest rather than steady state stuff.


#6

more biceps and legs, but youre certinly making progress


#7

I echo what slothguy wrote in that six weeks isn't much time to see sufficient gains. Would I necessarily drop the cardio. No, not necessarily. The added caloric expenditure will keep you lean and ensure your gains are more quality oriented. A heart rate of 130-145 is probably a little intense. I'd favor around 120 bpm. You aren't going to get any fatter with slightly lesser intense cardio.

As far as your split goes, I'd place more emphasis on the lower half by dedicating separate training days for quads and hamstrings. You can pair calves with either quads or hamstrings, or opt to work them twice weekly since you can stand to bring them up. So drop the chest/hamstring day, and throw in an additional hamstring excercise at the end - a finishing movement like good mornings or hyperextensions with emphasis on the hams would serve you well.

I'd say rework your arm day to three movements for bi's and another three for tri's, four working sets for a total of 12 sets. The two-set movements are likely inadequate in stimulating a sufficient physiological response, although I'm sure the variety is nice.

Add another pressing movement for your quads, like hack or v-squats. Your shoulder and back workouts look pretty good, although I wouldn't hesitate in adding another lateral movement for your delts to give them that "capped" look we're all aiming for. I'm curious why you're only performing 8 reps with a "light weight" on hyperextensions. Perform them without added resistance and go until failure (you should probably be able to crank out 15-20 solid reps) instead. Finally, train abs just once a week. I've found that directly training any muscle too much (even twice a week with the exception of calves of course) will cause the muscle to flatten out. Remember, your abs are as much a "show" muscle as anything else, so train them accordingly.

For whatever it's worth I gave you a 7. Well done.


#8

Skwasny, you are one of the reasons that makes this forum, (T-Nation for that matter) a great forum. Thanks for the insightful recommendations.

I revised my workout routine. I am still sticking to 5 days training but added more movements for hamstrings and quads. Also added one lateral movement for the shoulders. lease let me know what you think. By the way I've gained 10 pounds in 7 weeks of this 16 weeks cycle :wink:

Revised Training Routine 5 Days - (Put more emphasis on Quads and Hamstrings) 12/01/10
Day 1 Sunday - Chest\Hamstring\Calves\Cardio
- Incline Bench Press (3 sets to failure)
- Decline Bench Press (3 sets to failure)
- Flat Bench Press (3 sets to failure)
- Cable chest cross over (4 sets, 12 reps, and light weight)
- Dead lifts (4 sets, 8)
- Standing 1 leg curls (4 sets to failure)
- Leg curls (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Good Morning (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Seated Calve raises (5 sets, 12 reps)
- Standing Calve raises (5 sets, 12 reps)

Day 2 Tuesday â?? Biceps\Triceps\Abs\Cardio
- Barbell biceps curls (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Seated Preacher curl (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Incline hammer curls (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Decline Skull Crusher (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Close grip bench press (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Cable Triceps Pushdowns (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Crunches (weighted) (4 sets to failure)
- Crunches (body weight) (4 sets to failure)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)

Day 3 Wednesday â?? Quads\Calves
- Back squat (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Hack Squat (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Legs press (4 sets, 8 reps)
- Legs extension (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Standing calves raises (5 sets, 15 reps)
- Seated calves raise (5 sets, 15 reps)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)

Day 4 Friday - Shoulders, cardio
- Hammer strength ISO lateral shoulder press (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Cable side lateral raise (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Dumbbell lateral raise (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Machine rear raises (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Back hyper (4 sets, to failure, body weight)
- Shrugs Barbell or dumbbells (4 sets, 16 reps)
- Back hyper extensions (4 sets, failure, and body weight)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)

Day 5 Saturday - Back, Abs, Cardio
- Lateral pull down (4 sets, to failure)
- Barbell bent over rows (4 sets, 10 reps)
- Cable close grip pull down (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Cable seated close grip (4 sets, 12 reps)
- Crunches (weighted) (4 sets to failure)
- Crunches (body weight) (4 sets to failure)
- Stationary bike (20-25 minutes, 130-145 bpm)


#9

Thanks for the kind words. I like to think we all started somewhere, and one of the best ways I can "give back" to bodybuilding is to pass on the knowledge I've acquired from the ones who helped me when I was starting out. Secondly, good work on the mass gains. That's over a pound per week, and at that pace you're far more likely to retain the gains you've made, as opposed to putting on excessive amounts of body fat, which you would obviously lose should you decide to cut down again. Keep it up!

A few questions about your workouts: how long does your typical workout last? If your answer is anything more than 75 minutes, I would consider making some adjustments. On your chest workout, for example, what does "3 sets to failure" really mean? Take the sensible approach and perform warm-up sets to loosen the joints and to increase blood flow to the muscle. I also start my chest workouts with an incline movement. I'll perform 2 warm-up sets of 15-20 reps - the first with a very light weight, the second with a moderate weight. Then I'll perform 3-4 working sets with 8-12 reps, occassionally dropping the rep range down to 6. So when you write, "to failure," are you performing sets with progressive resistance (more weight each set)? If not, start doing it.

Now let's go through each of your workouts more closely, starting with chest/hamstrings/calves. This is a very high volume workout. I counted 38 sets in total. Yes, you're working three body parts; regardless, the sheer volume alone will only serve to hinder your growth. As an aside, I'm also assuming you're clean (i.e. drug free). Even drugged up bodybuilders don't work so much. So something has to change here. I've recommended dedicating a separate day for hamstrings and calves, and I strongly recommend you consider it. Hamstrings are one of those stubborn muscles which take a different type of training stimulus to grow, so you'll need all the energy you have to develop them.

So you start with an upper chest movement. Ideal. Then you move to a decline movement. Not so ideal. Most guys have a disproportionately over-developed lower chest anyways, so there's actually little need to directly work that area. Your third movement is flat bench. Again, I think that's idea. I've recently moved flat bench (free weights or machine depending how I feel) later into my workout and I like how it feels. Flat bench is one of those movements where the ego can easily get involved, so performing it deeper into the workout means you're already fatigued and less likely to ego lift, which may lead to injury. So you have three pressing movements in a row. That's a lot of pressing. I would like to see you incorporate incline dumbbell flyes instead of decline presses. An over-developed upper chest is one of those parts which you can't get enough of, and it will ensure your chest doesn't "disappear" when you strike a pose with your arms overhead (i.e. front double biceps). Your final movement is cable cross-overs, which is a suitable finishing movement. But why are you using light weights? Keep the rep range slightly higher - around 12 - than your earlier movements and tighten up your rest periods to no more than 45 seconds. Keep your form TIGHT and squeeze the pecs together with every rep. This will ensure maximal blood flow and will aid in stretching the muscle fascia.

Now you move onto hamstrings. You already know how I feel about pairing hamstrings with another body part so I won't reiterate myself. By "deadlifts" I hope you mean the straight-legged ones instead of the conventional ones. Keeping your legs locked will shift your biomechanical leverage forward, which places more emphasis on your hamstrings instead of the lower and middle back - which you don't want to do because you're working back later in the week anyways. The rest of the workout actually looks really good, including how you incorporate good mornings as a finishing movement. Make sure you really feel a stretch at the bottom of the movement and don't be afraid to lighten the weight. You lower back is in an extremely vulnerable position during this movement, so using a heavy weight is truly unnecessary.

I think I've written quite a bit for now. I'll let you digest this and take from it what you will. Good luck. Keep my posted with your progress and don't hesitate to shoot back and questions/concerns you have.

Steve


#10

UPDATE:
Now into the 15th week of the mass program
Started at 136 pounds and now currently 150 pounds.


#11

15th week update


#12


15th week update


#13


15th week update


#14

Excuse the crappy posing, I am still learning how to pose. Oh! I am 43 years old now.


#15

excellent