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Old 09-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
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Default Stuart McRobert and hardgainer training

After reading the sample chapter from Beyond Brawn and seeing the comment about it being aimed at mediocre results it got me thinking. Without making this too complicated, I guess my questions would be: what should the average lifter expect, and if McRobert's standards are mediocre what are better expectations?
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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Is a lean 200 lbs mediocre?
Is a 400+ lb deadlift for 20 reps mediocre?
Is doing that without drugs or gear mediocre?
The Hardgainer way of training is definitely effective.

Last edited by Off Road; 09-10-2012 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
Is a lean 200 lbs mediocre?
Is a 400+ lb deadlift for 20 reps mediocre?
Is doing that without drugs or gear mediocre?
The Hardgainer way of training is definitely effective.
I am with OR on this one. Define mediocre? Is there a standard of mediocre? A lifter with 2 years of experience pulling 400lbs for 20 reps is far from mediocre, a lifter with 20 years of experience and a potential 600+ 1RM, and not able to pull 400 for 20 is probably mediocre. Much of it is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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Very few naturals will ever be 200 pounds @ 10% bf or less. The thread on the bodybuilder today who was 6ft 2, 184 pounds (I think) and ripped to shreads shows that. He looked awesome (I am aware that he would be over 200 outside of competition). Now imagine 10-15 pounds of lean mass on top of that, especially at sub 6 foot!

I am 5ft 11in, 201-202 pounds and nowhere in the ball park of lean. I would be lean at 180 or thereabouts. I know I would be extremely happy with 10-12% bf at 190-195.

As for deadlifting 400 for 20 reps, how many people can actually do that? I don't mean keyboard warriors who have no proof. And no bouncing reps either! Very, very few is the answer. Personally, I can do 407x1 and I deem that to be very medicore.

If someone is not a lean 200 and can't deadlift 400x20, they have no business saying these goals are medicore. If you can do more than that, I guess it is medicore to you.

Btw, I am directing this at the OP or anyone in particular. I just get annoyed when people suggest that something is medicore if they haven't actually reached that level yet.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Was the standard of 300/400/500 created by Stuart McRobert? It seems like a reasonable goal for people like me who lift for improved physical health and extra muscle.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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I wouldn't say the 3/4/5 @ 190lbs lean is mediocre. I'd like to see the development, drug-free mind you, of the people who are saying that.

However having good goals is one thing but having effective methods which allow people to consistently reach those goals are two VERY different things. That is one area where Brawn is big on promises but low on results.

I'm sure I'll catch some flack for that, but frankly I've never seen anyone build up to those levels of strength and conditioning from the type of training in Brawn and Beyond Brawn. So shoot me down and disagree if you want, but that's just my experience. Not seen it, not once.

If you want drug-free bodybuilding results and know-how, go to Casey Butt and the golden era methods.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Similar to my post above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
Is a lean 200 lbs mediocre?
Is a 400+ lb deadlift for 20 reps mediocre?
Is doing that without drugs or gear mediocre?
These three statements, no realistic person could argue with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
The Hardgainer way of training is definitely effective.
But they do not lead to this one.
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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I would say that people that started with Hardgainer just naturally moved on to more advanced progression schemes as they got stronger. For myself, I moved on to 5/3/1, which is so very close to the same philosophies as Hardgainer; cycled progression, a handful of compound lifts, and full recovery. Just like guys that start with Starting Strength eventually move to the Texas Method or a Starr routine. The basic setup of the routines are very similar but the progression is more advanced. And lastly, many of the more advanced progressions are discussed in Beyond Brawn; quick cycles, heavy/light/medium, specialization...

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Old 09-12-2012, 02:12 AM   #9
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Perhaps, I read back over my last post there and it was harsher than I intended.

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And lastly, many of the more advanced progressions are discussed in Beyond Brawn; quick cycles, heavy/light/medium, specialization...
After many years of being a Hardgainer apologist, the overwhelming feedback is that many people drop out of those methods as they get stronger. You may point out that additional methods are covered, but realistically they are given barely any emphasis and are essentially at odds with the rest of the book. There is a good reason why people don't identify Brawn with higher volume work, we could say that it's because almost everyone misunderstood Stuart but I think a more realistic stance is that the book is at odds with anything higher volume or perceived as higher risk. The basic premise is wrong, that you need less exercise as you get stronger. Like most blanket prescriptions I think that's too simplistic, and varying levels of volume are needed throughout your training time.

I think these types of debates have been happening for years and nothing really has changed in terms of his content, so you and I could easily go 12 rounds here if we wanted to. (I don't by the way ) But what has changed is the time elapsed. And as I said originally what we see is a gradual phasing out of this type of training because for the most part it doesn't provide any longevity and nothing more than a very straight forward path into a dead end where inevitably variation is needed. Time and experience has shown this to me to be true over and over and that is what I base my comments on.

What B. Brawn lacks is the ability to plan long-term, the basic premise being that the lifts over and over and over will get you to where you need to be. This just isn't true for most people. In fact it's ironic. I wish I was a hardgainer and could progress on merely 3 sets of Benches done once per week. Instead to kick start my progress I had to do more than 15 sets of benches and 10 sets of overhead presses per week across 3 training sessions to see any improvement. How I wish I had the advantages of a hardgainer Obviously I'm being candid here, but you see my point. I, and many others, progress because of higher volume work and not despite it as Stuart asserts. For many people higher volume and frequency is a necessity for most of the year and not just a little variation that they may do to break through a plateau.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70sBB View Post
Was the standard of 300/400/500 created by Stuart McRobert? It seems like a reasonable goal for people like me who lift for improved physical health and extra muscle.
Is the order of that bench/squat/DL?


I won't comment on anything else because I've never read the book, know nothing about the routine/system, nor understand male bodyweight in relation to BF% etc.
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