T Nation

Yogi: How Do You Train?


#1

Dude posts tons of great advice in different arenas of this site, and posts a thread asking eatliftsleep to talk about himself, but as far as I can tell (although I may have missed it) the cheeky bastard doesn't have a log of his own.

Seriously, chap. You post terrific and insightful stuff. Give us a look behind the curtain. Diet, training, PED (if you want to go there), competition history (or interest in competing), whatever. No need to spill trade secrets if you'd rather not. But you seem like a pretty open guy and I expect it would be an enlightening read.


#2

In!


#3

well this is unexpected! Thanks very much for the kinda words, very humbling to know that guys I respect on here get something out of my posts. I’ll type out a proper response to this when I get the time later.


#4

Definitely in!


#5

In for lower lats training tips.

Just kidding of course. Looking forward to reading what works for you mate. That and whether you actually are a bear!


#6

This should be good Info.


#7

There better some good fudge recipes!


#8

[quote]juverulez wrote:
In for lower lats training tips.
[/quote]

haha! I hear the bent press works really well.

[quote]dt79 wrote:
There better some good fudge recipes![/quote]

my girlfriend actually made some tremendous healthy fudge the other day using weird shit like dates that sounded like it’d be horrendous but it was actually delicious. I’ll ask her to send it to me.


#9

I’m in for this as well.


#10

In as well


#11

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
chap
[/quote]

Isn’t it kind of obvious what he eats?


#12

Let’s go! I’ll just address the points AG asked about then if there’s anything you want expanded on then ask away.

Diet:

Squeaky clean these days, although it wasn’t always the case. When I first started training I weighed about 130lbs. Managed to stuff my face up to 210 (yes, I did a couple of AAS cycles, more on that later) and I thought I was the baddest mofo on the planet. I was big enough that people would comment, I was putting up alright numbers in the gym (was on course for a 180k bench before my shoulders finally gave up) and was stretching sleaves. My mates would say things like “looking a bit fat these days” and I’d be like “fuck you, pussies, this is what a man looks like.” I thought it was all just banter and that they were just ripping on me the way you do with your mates until I saw some photos where I just looked downright chubby! In my head I’ll always be skinny, so to actually see myself looking a bit fat gave me quite a shock!

So I decided to cut. I figured if I lost ten pounds I’d be shredded, and jumped on a PSMF a la Lyle McDonald and filled myself with clen. My scale weight went down, and down, and down…

180 god damn pounds I ended up at! Now, I’ve got crazy striations everywhere with mad veins in my abs, and am really enjoying rocking the physique model look but I just feel so skinny! I think if I stay this lean and add another 10lbs I could do some damage in a physique contest, but I’m not sure I want to (I’ll come back to that).

So my diet now involves mostly eating chicken, white rice and avocado out of tupperware. I work crazy shifts and it’s the easiest way to hit my macros in a healthy way that involves minimal food prep. I cook myself something nice for dinner when I get home, but it’s always made from scratch with macro targets in mind. Being good at cooking - which I am - makes the bodybuilder lifestyle livable.

I’ve experimented with low carb diets, intermittent fasting and carb backloading. While I think there’s merits to these approaches, the more I learn about nutrition the less I think the minutiae matter. Just hit your macro targets whichever way you find easiest, and stop eating processed shit. That’s really all there is to it.

Training

Years of 5x5 left me strong, injured and skinny. I understand the importance of building a strength base, but it just didn’t work for me (for bodybuilding purposes). Now I do all those things that make old-school lifters roll their eyes like focussing on feeling the muscle working or whatever and as a result I grow and stay injury free. I’ve never squatted or deadlifted 400lbs like conventional wisdom dicates you’re supposed to. Strength training just never did a damn thing for me. I can get more out of front squatting 80k for a set of 30 than I ever did FSing 3 plates for 5s.

My upper body training is nothing unusual, with exercises split into push/pull workouts. Thanks to injuries, dumbells, machines and cables are all I use for my chest, and I don’t do any overhead stuff for my shoulders. I do raises by the ton as I have a very narrow bone structure. The upside of my bone structure being so tiny is I am maintaining a 28" waist fairly easily. I generally work up to a heavy set of 8 for compounds, and keep iso stuff 10-15 reps.

My lower body training is a bit more specialised thanks to my lower back being fucked up. Everything I do is done to minimise lower back strain. I pre-exhaust my quads and hams with leg extensions and curls, then front squat deep with ludicrously high reps to get the maximum I can out of the lowest weight. I’m of the opinion that quads only grow from high reps anyway. Weighted GHRs make up the bulk of my heavy hamstring training. Since my cut I’ve fallen back in love with abs training, but mostly just do a few sets of cable crunches and leg raises at the end of a leg session.

AAS

I started AAS too soon. I can admit that. I was 180lbs when I did my first cycle and thought I was ready as I’d added 50lbs naturally, but really I should’ve waited a little longer. Someone like Flipcollar who’s just started using but has already built an awesome physique is in a much better place than I was to really get a lot out of AAS.

I’ve had some ok results from cycling, and will do another in the summer which’ll probably net me another 10lbs, maybe slightly more, and I’ll do my damndest to stay as lean as I am. If I do that, I would be in a place where I could do some damage at a physique contest, and while I’ve considered it, I just don’t think the whole standing up on stage with fake tan on doing those little quarter turns thing is for me. I’m a pretty grizzly looking dude with a big beard and scars so I don’t think I really have the right look for physique anyway.

Realistically I think I’ve maybe 2 more cycles in me at most. That’d take me up to 200lbs (or slighty more) and at the level of leanness that I am that’ll look incredible. I’ve never wanted to be 250lbs with abs, and am not prepared to push the boat out in terms of calories or dosages to achieve that. I don’t have the genetics to be a mass monster, and that’s fine with me.

So that’s me! I dunno if there’s anything in there that anyone could really learn from but if you want me to expand on anything let me know.


Yogi's Random Training Thoughts
#13

Thanks a lot man, that’s great stuff. I asked because a) you post a lot of quality advice across different parts of the site, b) you just have a sense of good humor about you, and c) I am a firm believer that whatever training style and/or goals we have, it’s always good to read and learn from others in the broad arena of “lifting weights” - whether you’re following the same path or not. A couple of things I particularly enjoyed:

"So I decided to cut. I figured if I lost ten pounds I’d be shredded… "

Ha! I’ve tricked myself into this before…telling myself that I’m just, like, 4 good clean weeks away from being totally ripped. Oops.

“While I think there’s merits to these approaches, the more I learn about nutrition the less I think the minutiae matter. Just hit your macro targets whichever way you find easiest, and stop eating processed shit.”

We’re of the same mind here. Cool.

EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR TRAINING

This is a really fascinating read, and the reason I really have enjoyed the “How Do You Train?” threads on these forums for selected guys is that it opens my eyes to the different ways one can build muscle (EyeDentist’s thread also comes to mind). At 18 years old, I was a fat-strong football player who scoffed at the idea of doing anything but heavy bench presses, squats, and power cleans; I didn’t really grasp that bodybuilders were/are still goddamn strong, it was just expressed in a different way. For example, front-squatting 80 kg for thirty reps? My lungs and legs burn just thinking about that!

Again, thanks for sharing. Hopefully some others will read and enjoy this as well.

Oh, and a 28-inch waist? Crikey! Where do you buy pants?


#14

post pics of 180lbs body with 28inch waist with veins on abs plz.


#15

This should be an interesting thread. In addition to providing some good advice with diet, training, and AAS use, your witty sense of humor provides some must needed comic relief. Especailly when you’re flaming someone lol. I think when I first joined you were going at it with some moron. Something Panda was his name I beleive. Very funny stuff.

Before and after photos would be cool to see.


#16

[quote]Steez wrote:
This should be an interesting thread. In addition to providing some good advice with diet, training, and AAS use, your witty sense of humor provides some must needed comic relief. Especailly when you’re flaming someone lol. I think when I first joined you were going at it with some moron. Something Panda was his name I beleive. Very funny stuff.
[/quote]

His name was BOOBOO! lol


#17

[quote]Yogi wrote:
…with ludicrously high reps to get the maximum I can out of the lowest weight.[/quote]

Also wanted to highlight this because I think it’s an important principle. If you can’t push heavy weights because of injury, or feel that you don’t grow sufficiently, or ANY reason at all that turns someone off from lifting 400-plus pounds, this seems like the key to getting somewhere absent mass-monster-level strength. Find a way to extract as much “work” as possible from the lighter weight, whether that be through pre-exhaust, good MMC, high reps, or all three of those.


#18

[quote]TheCB wrote:
post pics of 180lbs body with 28inch waist with veins on abs plz.[/quote]

haha, I knew that was coming! It’s not the first time I’ve been asked.

It sounds more impressive than it is. To give you an idea of how tiny my bone structure is, my girlfriend is 5’ 1" and has bigger hands than I do.

EDIT: I’ll need to borrow a camera but I realise no one’ll believe me until I post a pic so I will do.


#19

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
Thanks a lot man, that’s great stuff. I asked because a) you post a lot of quality advice across different parts of the site, b) you just have a sense of good humor about you, and c) I am a firm believer that whatever training style and/or goals we have, it’s always good to read and learn from others in the broad arena of “lifting weights” - whether you’re following the same path or not. A couple of things I particularly enjoyed:

"So I decided to cut. I figured if I lost ten pounds I’d be shredded… "

Ha! I’ve tricked myself into this before…telling myself that I’m just, like, 4 good clean weeks away from being totally ripped. Oops.

“While I think there’s merits to these approaches, the more I learn about nutrition the less I think the minutiae matter. Just hit your macro targets whichever way you find easiest, and stop eating processed shit.”

We’re of the same mind here. Cool.

EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR TRAINING

This is a really fascinating read, and the reason I really have enjoyed the “How Do You Train?” threads on these forums for selected guys is that it opens my eyes to the different ways one can build muscle (EyeDentist’s thread also comes to mind). At 18 years old, I was a fat-strong football player who scoffed at the idea of doing anything but heavy bench presses, squats, and power cleans; I didn’t really grasp that bodybuilders were/are still goddamn strong, it was just expressed in a different way. For example, front-squatting 80 kg for thirty reps? My lungs and legs burn just thinking about that!

Again, thanks for sharing. Hopefully some others will read and enjoy this as well.

Oh, and a 28-inch waist? Crikey! Where do you buy pants?[/quote]

Thanks man, I definitely think guys like EyeDentist or Thepwnisher (or however you spell it) make for more interesting reads than anything I could say about my own training. It’s pretty basic, really, and my exercise selection is pretty limited through all the injuries I’ve had.

The cut was a really hmbling experience. I thought for sure I had 200lbs of muscle under a thin coating of fat. Not even close. If I was to get contest ripped I doubt I’d be over 165! It’s tempting to try just to see how low I could push it.

And the front squat 30 reps thing is like my leanness in that it sounds way more impressive than it is. Remember my leg training has been pretty much nothing but front squats for high reps for like the last 3 years, so while I can batter out a zillion reps with a light weight, anything over 100k would likely cripple me these days. I’m too scared to even try.

While I don’t think I’m weak, I’ll definitely never be the strongest dude in any gym. I’m good at training the way I train, but rubbish at everything else, if that makes sense.

And as for buying pants, it’s a nightmare! There is literally one shop that I know of that sells one style of jeans that even comes close to fitting me. If that shop ever closes then I’ll just have to wear a kilt every day.


#20

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
…with ludicrously high reps to get the maximum I can out of the lowest weight.[/quote]

Also wanted to highlight this because I think it’s an important principle. If you can’t push heavy weights because of injury, or feel that you don’t grow sufficiently, or ANY reason at all that turns someone off from lifting 400-plus pounds, this seems like the key to getting somewhere absent mass-monster-level strength. Find a way to extract as much “work” as possible from the lighter weight, whether that be through pre-exhaust, good MMC, high reps, or all three of those.[/quote]

most definitely. I’m a HUGE believer in things like 3 second eccentrics, pre-exhaust, drop sets, super sets, etc. John Meadows has been a really big influence in my training.

The other thing I think is really important that I used to never pay attention to is a proper warm up. 10 minutes of shoulder mobility drills and activation exercises on upper days, and 10 minutes of glute/core activation stuff on lower body stuff works wonders. Never really seen any benefit of stretching; I think it treats the symptom and not the cause.