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thexman 03-23-2013 12:52 AM

Routine that's been working GREAT for muscle gains
Been about 4 months since I've last posted and wanted to share a routine that's packed on about 10 lbs on my frame since that time.

And no, it's not fat. In fact I started eating a LOT less. I'm also 39 years old and have been training for nearly 20 years off and on (mostly off).

Very small boned, not skinny sickly looking, but lanky and needed some mass in the right places at 6' tall and 180-something late last year.

Rule #1: Following Other Routines

No matter how many routines I came across I had to keep in mind what worked FOR ME. In other words, no matter how many ways I ever sliced it, training 2 days in a row was always a damper on my system. Another example was splitting muscles too much. Even the push, pull, legs over 1 week (M,W,F) seemed "wrong" for some reason.

Rule #2: Eating... Such a touchy subject.

I made a statement on this board that I eat for health first. Well that has served me better than ever. Do I eat as much as possible, yes, BUT ONLY WHEN I AM HUNGRY. This is no less than twice per day and sometimes 4-5 times. I do not worry about protein grams (finally) but I do try to make protein the main stay.

I think I probably get about 100-150 grams per day.

And it's all clean organic meats, lots of greens, tons of fat (lots of coconut oil, olive oil shots, avocados, etc. And for my carbs: Fruit, brown rice and an great oatmeal blend (the good stuff which takes about 30 minutes to cook, raisins, banana, cinnamon, etc.)

Rule #3: The Routine

So what is this "magical" routine that is doing it for me after all of these years. Remember, it's not the routine - it's the progression on the basics, the food you eat, and MOST IMPORTANT - YOUR BELIEFS. Your mind, what works for you, etc.

I knew that a 3-day split and beyond did not make sense to me. And I also know that I do not like full body routines for several reasons (all personal reasons which affect ME, not anyone else).

So here is what I have been doing (and do not see changing any time soon, perhaps not for a few years):

• I workout one day, then take not less than 2 days off, sometimes 3. So if I workout on Monday, my next workout will be on Thursday.

• It is a 2-day split and I cannot do deadlifts or squats from an injury that had around December (non athletic situation).

• I use 3 working sets and take John Christy's approach to micro loading. This means that I add about 1 lb a week to my lifts, more on bigger exercises.

• I've made the mistake in the past by training HIT - pushing to the limit. I think that my body put on fast muscle due to the break in doing this (I'll never go back).

Monday is my Push muscles:

Incline Barbell Press: 3x6
Weighted Dips: 3x6 (although I try not to lockout, keeping it all chest)
Rack Close Grips (Partials): 3x10 (I set the bar midway and push about 5 inches).
Barbell Curl: 3x10

Thursday is the rest

Leg Press (remember I can't do squats for about 5 more months): 3x6
Back Extensions: 3x6 (weighted)
Hammer Pulldown/Row: 3x6
High Pull (GREAT for upper back, shoulders and traps - awesome) 3x5

Hope this post helped.

I am now 195 and I also jog each day. I think the rest from sessions, the good food, the micro loading and the all-around excitement of training each time is making this happen.

My goal is to hit a solid weight of around 220 and still be below 10% bodyfat, of which I have maintained throughout the last 4 months.

- John

Off Road 03-23-2013 07:26 AM

Good stuff. Keep up the progress.

leefarley 03-23-2013 12:31 PM

10lb of muscle in 4 months that is really good going, well done.

thexman 03-23-2013 05:41 PM


Originally Posted by leefarley (Post 340789)
10lb of muscle in 4 months that is really good going, well done.

Thanks. I do realize that these gains will slow down. Like I said, I believe it's a combination of confidence on my training and also backing off of HIT that I was sold on for years (but with very little gains no matter what).

I still lift hard. Each set is very hard near max, but not failure at all.

I also abbreviate even further at times.

For example some push days I'll only do Dips & behind the neck presses.

I can't wait until my back is totally healed to add squats and deadlifts to the rotation.

If I can see 5-8 lbs of muscle gain each year then I'll be happy.

This stuff is simple stupid and I finally freed myself from ignoring what works: progression on the big lifts and a sensible diet.

Get in the gym work hard, and enjoy life - that's my thing now :)

- John

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