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Old 11-25-2010, 07:35 AM   #1
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Default Best gains thread

Someone asked me to describe my eating and training during the time I made my best gains. here goes.

Feel free to add yours in.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:35 AM   #2
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I had two really good periods of size gains. Here is a snapshot of each period:

Period 1 - College. In college I make amazing gains my first 18 months. This should come as no surprise, as beginner gains are common. But I did work hard. I was taught by my mentor to work a muscle group as follows:

--2 sets of 4 to 6 reps
--2 sets of 6 to 12 reps
--2 sets of 12 to 15 reps

So everything was in a 6 set cycle. This was slightly modified, and the Power, Muscle Burn workout system was born.

During this time I trained, if I remember correctly, something like a 2-on, 1 -off system - a 6 day cycle. I would use the 6 set pattern above, so sets listed below are based on that.

--Day 1 - Chest (12 sets) and triceps (6 sets)
--Day 2 - Back (12 sets) and biceps (6 sets)
--Day 3 - Off
--Day 4 - Shoulders (12 sets) abs and traps (3 sets each, and maybe side bends)
--Day 5 - Legs (12 sets) and calves (3 sets - 12-20 reps)
--Day 6 - Off

I worked HARD. Squats, bench, dips, rack deads, all the major compounds. I did use isolations for the higher rep sets, but soon my training evolved and I left many of them (pec dec, flyes) behind.

After 6 months my mentor pulled me aside and asked if I was on steroids.

During this time, my exact (I remember it well) meal plan was:

--Meal 1 6:30 am - College cafeteria. Huge breakfast with several glasses of milk. Usually two green chile breakfast burritos and whatever else I wanted to eat.
--Meal 2 9:15am - An entire box of mac & cheese with a can of tuna or 4 cups of powdered milk in water.
--Meal 3 noon - College cafeteria. Huge lunch with several glasses of milk. Usually followed by 2-3 slices of cheesecake.
--Meal 4 2:30 pm (pre-workout) - 4 hard boiled eggs and a pack of ramen noodles.
--Meal 5 5:30 pm - College cafeteria. Huge dinner with several glasses of milk. Usually followed by 2-3 slices of cheesecake.
--Meal 6 8 pm - 4 cups of powdered milk in water or 4 boiled eggs.

I did not limit food intake in any way. I only made sure to get protein and complex carbs. I gained about 30 pounds in my first year at college, and has about 14% bodyfat.

Period 2 - Post-military. I did not lift during my time in the military, and for a short amount of time after. I was working 60+ hour weeks and it was not on my radar. I was making money, life was good, and beer and women were more important...yada, yada.

After I met my wife, I got back into lifting. I was 27-29. I used the same style of training as above, and sticking to the Power, Muscle Burn system. But this time I all but abandon many isolations. I still did bicep curls, calf raises, etc, but I did not do pec dec, flyes, and all the common stuff crammed in magazine workouts. I really transitioned over to a hardcore focus on compounds at this time.

And it payed off. This is when I took my size and strength to another level.

I never train to failure. Sometimes it happens, but it's not my goal. I simply used progression. My split was 5 days on per week, standard bodybuilding-style split - training each muscle once a week. In my first year back my strength exploded. I found that with age came a mysterious natural boost in strength. In 1998 I was doing:

--Squats, 365-405 for reps
--Bench Press, 365 for reps. Max was around 430.
--Seated BTN Press, 225 for reps. A few reps with 275.
--Incline Bench, 275 for reps.
--Seated overhead dumbbell press. 120 pound dumbbells for reps.
--T bar machine rows, 225 pounds for reps.
--Barbell curls. 135 for reps.

Etc.

I only performed rack deads. Deadlifts weren't popular in lifting magazines, but I thought I had invented a new lift for my back in using rack deads.

I ate and ate and ate. While I didn't eat as much as I did in college, I did have a massive post-workout feeding frenzy.

My exact post-workout meal was...A small cherry pie and 32 ounces of chocolate milk. I would stop at the convenience store after lifting each night and get this. One hour later I would go home and eat everything under the sun with my wife.

During the day I was working, and my meals looked like:

--7 am - 4 eggs and oatmeal
--9:30 am - 4 pieces string cheese and a banana
--Noon - a pack of ramen noodles and tuna
--2:30 pm - 4 pieces string cheese and a banana
--4:45 pm (post-workout) - Cherry pie and 32 ounces chocolate milk
--5:45 pm - Eat big!

I also often had nachos and ice cream for snacks on the weekends.

By 1999 my arms were so big that my wife would often say..."I can't believe how big your arms look."

Summary

In college I was broke. My family was poor so I had to make due. I didn't overeat for the sake of overeating. I just ate. I had a big appetite, and it was a buffet.

I made one major training error...using a 3 day on, 1 off in early 1989. It was an Arnold routine. The frequency would have worked with a lower set volume, but I learned the hard way.

Also, I am stronger with my squat and deadlift maxes now, but weaker on my pressing. The body changes with age. Don't pretend it doesn't. Everyone's different.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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My best gains have some things in common.

Minimal amount of movements, mainly compounds.
Push for progression, work to get stronger.
Stay consistant, don't skip workouts.
Eat for growth.
Rest. If you don't sleep and recover your next session suffers.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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my best gains have come this summer i put on roughly 10 lbs of lean mass, this is because my eat an sleep habits were awesome, during my eating and sleeping patterns are fu cked
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:08 PM   #5
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awesome thread guys, steve question for you. when you say you did 12 sets for chest and 6 for tris with your 6 set per exercise method did you do say: 6 sets BB Bench, 6 sets Chest Dips then 6 sets of a tricep exercise? how did this work?
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strkout35 View Post
awesome thread guys, steve question for you. when you say you did 12 sets for chest and 6 for tris with your 6 set per exercise method did you do say: 6 sets BB Bench, 6 sets Chest Dips then 6 sets of a tricep exercise? how did this work?
Early on I did something like this:

Bench Press

--2 sets of 4 to 6 reps
--2 sets of 6 to 12 reps

Pec Pec

--2 sets of 12 to 15 reps

Incline Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press

--2 sets of 4 to 6 reps
--2 sets of 6 to 12 reps

Flyes

--2 sets of 12 to 15 reps

For triceps I then normally did something like:

Dips

--2 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Skullcrushers

--2 sets of 6 to 12 reps

Tricep Push downs

--2 sets of 12 to 15 reps

------------------------------------------------------------

Later in life I switched it up a bit, removing flyes and doing only 2 sets of pec dec. Eventually I removed the pec dec as well. After my gains slowed, I didn't see any real benefit from a hardcore focus on too many isolations.
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