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Old 11-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #11
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Thanks for clarifying.

I would add that it limits downtime as well, saving you from changing weight every set. You get in, work the sets hard, and try to improve by at least one rep over last week.

It's not magic, but it does keep progression simple.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:56 AM   #12
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At first I thought you were suggesting the highest rep muscle building routine I've ever seen!
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:19 PM   #13
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At first I thought you were suggesting the highest rep muscle building routine I've ever seen!
Believe me, every time I recommend rep goals some lurker sets fire to my underwear because they believe I am advocating 25 rep sets.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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You're right that your core is being worked when you do compound lifts, but a little bit of specialized core work is always a good thing. I'm a fan of lower rep, weighted core exercises, and I know that BTB loves his weighted situps.

It's good that you're ready to leave your ego at the door. We all started somewhere, and we got to where we are now slowly, by starting with weights we could handle and consistently progressing, always adding weight to the bar. In 6 months you'll look back and laugh at the weights you're using now and how easy those weights have become. That's one of the joys of slow and steady progression.

Don't worry about power cleans. Done improperly they can do more harm than good. You can get the benefits of cleans with other movements like high pulls, which is basically the first 2/3 of a power clean.

One thing I want to mention is that short intense sessions are GREAT. I never train for more than an hour, and BTB's sessions usually run just over an hour. In that hour we bust our asses. When I leave the gym I look and feel like I just sprinted a marathon, usually dripping with sweat. Sometimes I have to sit down for 10 minutes to rest before I can even drive home. If you go in the gym and kill it, then 4 sessions a week at around 1 hour each will be PLENTY to make you grow and progress.

If you can survive 3 hours in the gym then you're resting too long and lifting too light.
Yeah, I'm about to ask him about rest time. I really just want to see how my abs will look with only dieting down(not for a show but just for a cut next year.) Then I'll think about training them. But my core is cooked today. It's hard to flex it right now.

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We've all been there. After a year of successful training (long ago) I tried an Arnold variation which was 3 on, 1 off. It beat up my body real bad because I was pushing so hard, and I quickly found out it simply wasn't needed.

Yow, training everyday must've been stupid. My recovery ability wasn't so bad though.

Yes, Steve Shaw.



In my experience that's a good thing. Overworking the biceps is a common programming flaw.

That's great to me too. Honestly I'm going after 20's if my genetics allow it. I'll be happy if my arms get to 18. I'd like to get there as fast as possible, and I really don't care how I reach it(: All natural of course.

Prime years. You are just a hair heavier than I was when I started.

Awesome to hear.

As long as you can gain weight I am ok with this. What we need to add to this mix is hard training.

You will be glad to know I'll train hard. I take every set to complete failure because I'm wired that way now. But it seems everyone is saying 1-2 reps shy of failure is best.

A focus on form is excellent. Regarding the mind muscle connection, I am going to ask that you not worry about it for a while. I want to advise you to focus on only one thing, and one thing only during each set..."more reps." Do as many reps as possible, stopping each set when you feel like you may fail on the next rep, or with the big lifts if your form is going south.

All right. Does this go same for curls too?

No problem. Not essential.

Great(:

True, but I will add that they assist the big lifts. I find that weighted situps help my squat eccentric strength, which helps with form and performance. I respect if you don't want to do them. I did no abs work for 20 years and still made good progress. I will say though at some point down the road you should consider them.]
I will consider them down the road per your advice.
Lifting...

Because of your experience and age I think a 4 day upper/lower might serve you well. This is a basic template, nothing magical. The magic is in:

1) Persistence.
2) Progression.

Adjust the days as needed.

Monday - Upper
Tuesday - Lower
Thursday - Upper
Friday - Lower

Monday
Bench Press - 3 x 20 goal reps
Barbell Rows/Dumbbell Rows - 3 x 20 goal reps
Arnold Dumbbell Press or Seated DB Press - 3 x 20 goal reps
Close Grip Bench Press - 3 x 20 goal reps

Tuesday
Squats - 3 x 25 goal reps
Still Leg Deadlift - 2 x 20 goal reps (or Glute Ham Raise - 3 x 8-10 reps)
Calves
Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 25 goal reps (or chin ups - palms towards face - 3 x Max)
Abs

Thursday
Incline BP or Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 x 20 goal reps
Pull Ups - 3 x Max Reps
Seated or Standing Overhead Press Variation - 3 x 20 goal reps
Dips - 3 x Max Reps

Friday
Deadlift - 3 x 15 goal reps
Squats - 1 x 20
Calves
Barbell Curl - 3 x 25 goal reps (or chin ups - palms towards face - 3 x Max)
Abs

Goal reps are the total reps you are after for the 3 sets. For example, when you can perform 25 reps on squats with a given weight, add 5 pounds next week.

I also could recommend a 3 day per week fullbody if interested.

We could also add some work to this, but I would ease into things and run it as is for a while, say 4-6 months, just to get in the groove of progression of weight.
Understood on all of it. Just one question: what rest time is recommended?
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Just to clarify what BTB is saying, if he says 3x25 (goal reps), what he means is that you have 3 sets to get 25 reps where all 3 sets are added together. So that would mean that if you get 10 reps your first set, 9 reps your second, and 7 reps your third set you would have done 26 total reps and reached your goal, which means the next time you do that exercise you should add 5lb.

This is one of the best ways of keeping track of progression because it takes into account all the work you did for an exercise, instead of just the last set. It also forces you to pace yourself a little between your 3 working sets, instead of doing one set all out and killing yourself. Go just shy of failure on each set, rest about 2 minutes (or a little less), then go back at it.

If you're going just short of failure and resting less than 2:00, you'll be out of the gym in less than an hour and trust me, you'll work plenty hard.
Oh, I know. At 2:00 rest, it was VERY HARD to progress in weight week after week.
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Thanks for clarifying.

I would add that it limits downtime as well, saving you from changing weight every set. You get in, work the sets hard, and try to improve by at least one rep over last week.

It's not magic, but it does keep progression simple.
Yes, it does.
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Believe me, every time I recommend rep goals some lurker sets fire to my underwear because they believe I am advocating 25 rep sets.
Lol
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:35 PM   #15
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I will say I tend to not use the rep system or the like system just as I don't like to on youtube(too much stuff to like and rate.) But I will say each and every one of you I appreciate your posts and have learned something from them.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #16
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Just something I thought of posting up: I admire both these bodybuilders as they work out at my local gym and the other reached his size within the span of 3-4 years at age 20, and he's now 21. 5'6-5'7


The other is in his 40's but it is amazing that he looks that good at that age. So far, I don't know anybody his age who does.



The guy is huge at 5'6 to 5'7. And after seeing his conditioning in the off-season, and seeing how retarded his striations are when he does shoulder press(even his chest fibers dance) it blows my mind how Layne Norton may look in real life 5 weeks out from a contest(no need to talk about Tommy). Like I said, I admire them both, but I'm going to adopt the mindset of all the forum posters and possibly on this forum too and say I can get bigger than this

My goals as far as measurements go at 7-8% are 25-26 inch legs(I'd have to reach a lower number before deciding whether they're too big or not), 20 inch arms(like I said I'd be happy at 18), 45' chest, 29 inch waist, 15 inch forearms, and finally 50 inch shoulders(again I'd have to reach a lower number to determine.).

The reason why I said they're huge is that even at 5'10, I do not want to surpass any of their bodypart's size. So if he has a 45' chest, I do not want to surpass it even 1 inch. I'm after building a symmetrical body that is pleasing to the eyes of the human(especially of the female variety), one that leaves them in awe, not running for the nearest exit. Most of my friends will say the two look way too big for their height. Me and my friends are all after good size, and we completely abhor the skinny model physiques(zac efron be damned).

I've yet to learn how a conditioned top natural pro bodybuilder really looks on stage, but chances are if they're symmetrical on stage, they look quite unproportional in real life. Again, I'm not bashing on bodybuilding proportions, it's just me and a few others would prefer symmetrical bodybuilders that look proportional in real life, as opposed to "the illusion of symmetry onstage." There have only been two instances where somebody with the perfect body was at my gym(great detail, but not too much, and impeccable symmetry). Lo and behold, multiple girls walked up to them that day. Separate instances, but symmetry is what draws the girls, imo.

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Old 11-16-2011, 06:35 PM   #17
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It's generally accepted that shorter rest periods (:90-2:00) are best for building muscle size, while longer rest periods (4:00+) are better for building strength. Just like anything else in lifting, there are plenty of exceptions to this "rule". There are lots of powerlifters who use longer rest periods and build massive muscles, but there are also lots of powerlifters who use longer rest periods and never really develop as much muscle mass as they MIGHT with shorter rest periods.

If you are gaining weight but not progressing in your lifts, then give 3-4:00 rest periods a try. If that helps your strength grow then eventually that strength should be reflected with some solid muscle mass. It's one of those things where if you experiment a little you should find what works for you.

Personally, I hate resting. I usually change my weights then get right on with the next set. The exception to this is when I'm working into heavier sets.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:46 PM   #18
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Understood on all of it. Just one question: what rest time is recommended?
As long as needed. Rest until you feel ready to go again. For squats it could be 4 minutes, for smaller lifts 60 seconds.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:55 PM   #19
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My goals as far as measurements go at 7-8% are 25-26 inch legs(I'd have to reach a lower number before deciding whether they're too big or not), 20 inch arms(like I said I'd be happy at 18), 45' chest, 29 inch waist, 15 inch forearms, and finally 50 inch shoulders(again I'd have to reach a lower number to determine.).
Solid goals. Just keep in mind that for a lean natural arm, 10 inches over your wrist size is about as big as it will get. I have 20" arms right now but lean they are about 16.5, which 10 inches above my lean wrist size of 6.4".

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Most of my friends will say the two look way too big for their height. Me and my friends are all after good size, and we completely abhor the skinny model physiques(zac efron be damned).
I've worked with, and met some of the best in the business and very few look too big for their size. Get as big as you can naturally.

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I've yet to learn how a conditioned top natural pro bodybuilder really looks on stage, but chances are if they're symmetrical on stage, they look quite unproportional in real life.
Most average local shows there just aren't that many great physiques to begin with, no offense meant. Most lack back and leg development, and have sub-par conditioning.

Most that do have great conditioning win their class easily, and often go on to win pro cards.

I have seem some pretty asymmetrical naturals win prestigious titles because of conditioning.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:28 PM   #20
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As long as needed. Rest until you feel ready to go again. For squats it could be 4 minutes, for smaller lifts 60 seconds.
Got it.

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Solid goals. Just keep in mind that for a lean natural arm, 10 inches over your wrist size is about as big as it will get. I have 20" arms right now but lean they are about 16.5, which 10 inches above my lean wrist size of 6.4".

I'll keep that in mind. Not everybody can be Doug Miller.



I've worked with, and met some of the best in the business and very few look too big for their size. Get as big as you can naturally.

Understood, but just one of those preferences as I could probably say they need to gain more size if I just judged off those pics, but seeing them in real life, I see no reason for them to get any bigger. Of course, one could make the reason that if they were in very good condition, they would definitely be smaller, making it necessary to get bigger(:

Most average local shows there just aren't that many great physiques to begin with, no offense meant. Most lack back and leg development, and have sub-par conditioning.

Most that do have great conditioning win their class easily, and often go on to win pro cards.

I have seem some pretty asymmetrical naturals win prestigious titles because of conditioning.
I just want to be one that has symmetry and conditioning if that's possible(:
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It's generally accepted that shorter rest periods (:90-2:00) are best for building muscle size, while longer rest periods (4:00+) are better for building strength. Just like anything else in lifting, there are plenty of exceptions to this "rule". There are lots of powerlifters who use longer rest periods and build massive muscles, but there are also lots of powerlifters who use longer rest periods and never really develop as much muscle mass as they MIGHT with shorter rest periods.

If you are gaining weight but not progressing in your lifts, then give 3-4:00 rest periods a try. If that helps your strength grow then eventually that strength should be reflected with some solid muscle mass. It's one of those things where if you experiment a little you should find what works for you.

Personally, I hate resting. I usually change my weights then get right on with the next set. The exception to this is when I'm working into heavier sets.
I agree with you on that. As much as I put away my ego, there are those times that will I rest longer if I'm absolutely pining for that PR.

Last edited by vcjha; 11-17-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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