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Old 08-02-2011, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default What does it take at minimum?

Reading the thread on who is and isn't a bodybuilder and powerlifter and the question came to mind:

What does it take to gain 10-15 pounds of muscle, and just how much strength can you add in a year?

I mean at minimum. Do you need to be OCD? Do you need to count calories? Do you need a split?

What's the bare minimum you need to reach these goals in a year, and why is it that most don't?
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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Not sure what the bare minimum is but to answer the second question as to why most don't achieve this I think it's down to 2 things:

1. Consistency. You need to train regularly and push for progression over a decent length of time.
2. Dedication. You need to be dedicated enough to think about what you're doing. If you want to gain muscle where do you want that muscle? What exercises will work best for you? If you want to get stronger then look at your technique: how do you move that bar? Are you using all of your muscles to best effect?

With consistency and dedication and enough time, anyone can achieve well above average results in their given discipline regardless of genetics.

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Old 08-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #3
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Like LTL said...consistency.

At minimum I think you could do 3-5 quality exercises 2-3 times per week, focus on progression, eat enough to gain, and that's about it.

Most people fail because they are not consistent, they do not focus on progression, they do not eat enough, and they waste time on a lot of useless exercises.

It is easy - on paper.

I think in one year's time I could train just about anyone to add 10-15 pounds of muscle, and have them squatting at least 275-315 for reps. If they did what I asked them to do.

Forums skew things... You have armies of posters who say they're doing all the above, but in reality they aren't. 95% of "plateaus" boil down to the same issues. This is one of the reasons that starting novices with simple programs makes the most sense.

--You overload them with training days and exercises and you risk loss of consistency.
--You overload them with complicated PCF ratios and micromanagement of calories and you risk them failing at the eating end of things. (You have to get them eating enough first and foremost, and that doesn't require a complicated formula. In addition, most have no clue how many calories it takes to gain.)
--You overload them with complicated training ideas and advanced techniques and you risk taking the focus off of progression, which is the real magic.

I love John Christy's eating advice: eat 1000 more calories per day then you're eating right now. Not too much different from Rippetoe, GOMAD, etc.
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 08-02-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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I don't know anyone who doesn't use a split. You don't need anything other than that.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jayZcutlerZ View Post
I don't know anyone who doesn't use a split. You don't need anything other than that.
Everyone I know uses a split too and most of them can't figure out why they aren't gaining. Splits have little to do with it. You can gain on a split but what's the point adding in pec dec and flys when your not even trying to gain strength on bench or squats? Couple of them think I juice. I keep telling them to eat more and lift more but they don't.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:06 PM   #6
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Remember I asked minimum not maximum.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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BtB touched on this a bit. But a lot of guys get so caught up in doing too much stuff, thinking that's the secret to making fast gains. I hate to keep bringing up Dr. Ken Leistner, but the guy was absolutely brilliant and nobody has put more thought into lifting than he does. Dr. Ken used to say that a guy could do nothing more than a squat, an upper body pull exercise, and an upper body push exercise, and achieve 90% of their potential. Think about that for a while; no fancy splits, no percentages, no rotating lifts, just hard work.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
BtB touched on this a bit. But a lot of guys get so caught up in doing too much stuff, thinking that's the secret to making fast gains. I hate to keep bringing up Dr. Ken Leistner, but the guy was absolutely brilliant and nobody has put more thought into lifting than he does. Dr. Ken used to say that a guy could do nothing more than a squat, an upper body pull exercise, and an upper body push exercise, and achieve 90% of their potential. Think about that for a while; no fancy splits, no percentages, no rotating lifts, just hard work.
I need to read more Dr. Ken, because I believe the same thing.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
BtB touched on this a bit. But a lot of guys get so caught up in doing too much stuff, thinking that's the secret to making fast gains. I hate to keep bringing up Dr. Ken Leistner, but the guy was absolutely brilliant and nobody has put more thought into lifting than he does. Dr. Ken used to say that a guy could do nothing more than a squat, an upper body pull exercise, and an upper body push exercise, and achieve 90% of their potential. Think about that for a while; no fancy splits, no percentages, no rotating lifts, just hard work.
Yep.

I think it's just doing the important things as much as *life* allows:

1) Progressive lifting on the big lifts, done frequently enough to allow for strength increases - Most of the time
2) Eating well most of the time. This doesn't mean eat like a BB.com nut, just decent *moms* food.
3) Sleeping well most of the time.

We could take any of those and break them down into specifics but essentially that's it. The specific interpretations would be down to the lifter.

If you can do better than that, then great you'll progress faster. If you can learn and more importantly *remember* what you've learned then you'll gain more the next year.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:43 PM   #10
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayZcutlerZ View Post
I don't know anyone who doesn't use a split.
You should get out and meet more people.

Quote:
You don't need anything other than that.
Please tell me more about your training ideas. I'd love to hear about them.
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