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Old 03-28-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
thexman
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Default Hepburn Modified (once weekly) - Input Wanted

Hi Everyone,

I figured it was time to stop lurking as I've been reading this board for some time now - seems like a perfect all around fit for me (like-minded trainees).

I'm 38 and have never really put on the size I wanted through all my years of lifting.

Just recently turned on by reading Hepburn's Law (thanks bendthebar), I wanted to set up a modified routine.

Please add your input if you have some constructive criticism

Some important things first:

1) I do not have good recovery abilities, but can handle the volume. 3 days per week is my sweet spot (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

2) I am 6' and about 200 lbs, fairly lean, long limbs and skinny bone structure.

3) I really prefer focusing on just one major muscle area/lift on each training day (have been battling this for years), and so I must go with my personal preference on just once per week on the lifts.

4) To move up to the 8x3 over 4 weeks, my plan is to move up 2 reps on each weekly workout instead of just 1 rep (or else it would take me 2 months to add weight by following Hepburn's plan).

5) And I Dip instead of bench (old shoulder injury), and do not do anything overhead (same reason). Everything else rocks!



The Routine:


Monday (Push):

Dips: 8x2 (adding 1 rep to 2 sets each week).
Incline DB: 3x8 (this would replace the "pump" sets instead).
Curl: 3x8 (not necessary, but I've enjoyed having curls on Mondays).

Wednesday (Squat):

Squats: 8x2 (same as Dip progress)
Squats: 3x8 (pump seets)
Calve Raise: few sets, nothing crazy

Friday (Row)
:

BB Row: 8x2 (same as Dip & Squat progress)
Pulldown: 3x8 (pump)
High Pull: 3x5 (a little extra for delts)
Pushdown: Probably drop these, but have enjoyed a little tricep work on Fridays in the past.

Last edited by thexman; 03-28-2012 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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I could totally get into that routine.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Xman.

Quote:
I'm 38 and have never really put on the size I wanted through all my years of lifting.
Let's work and get that turned around.

Quote:
1) I do not have good recovery abilities, but can handle the volume. 3 days per week is my sweet spot (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).
Perfect. Great place to start.

Quote:
3) I really prefer focusing on just one major muscle area/lift on each training day (have been battling this for years), and so I must go with my personal preference on just once per week on the lifts.
Fair enough. Strength gains can work magic with just about any plan.

Quote:
4) To move up to the 8x3 over 4 weeks, my plan is to move up 2 reps on each weekly workout instead of just 1 rep (or else it would take me 2 months to add weight by following Hepburn's plan).
That will work. Just throwing it out as food for thought...you could also do a 6x3 which would allow for another assistance lift. Not that one way is better than another, but merely providing you with another option.

Quote:
5) And I Dip instead of bench (old shoulder injury), and do not do anything overhead (same reason). Everything else rocks!
Nothing wrong with that.

Quote:
The Routine:

Monday (Push):

Dips: 8x2 (adding 1 rep to 2 sets each week).
Incline DB: 3x8 (this would replace the "pump" sets instead).
Curl: 3x8 (not necessary, but I've enjoyed having curls on Mondays).

Wednesday (Squat):

Squats: 8x2 (same as Dip progress)
Squats: 3x8 (pump seets)
Calve Raise: few sets, nothing crazy

Friday (Row):

BB Row: 8x2 (same as Dip & Squat progress)
Pulldown: 3x8 (pump)
High Pull: 3x5 (a little extra for delts)
Pushdown: Probably drop these, but have enjoyed a little tricep work on Fridays in the past.
Good setup. I recommend on the pump sets that you be as aggressive about progression as possible. I would suggest you push each set as far as possible, stopping it when you feel like form is deteriorating, or that you might fail on the next rep.

I want to see you challenging yourself on the pump sets. Do more than 8 reps on each set. Do as many as you can. When you can do 8 reps on all 3 sets with a given weight, add more weight next week.

If you aren't pushing on these sets, there is a chance the first couple of sets will feel rather easy. let's give your body an extra shove, so to speak.

Does this make sense?

Regarding size, I consider somewhere around a 300 bench, 400 squat and 500 deadlift to be the primary goals when training for size and strength. Since you are using incline presses and dips, I want you to focus on getting as humanly strong as possible on these lifts.

For barbell rows you want to row 275-315.

These seem like lofty numbers, but size will come with strength. On the other hand, it's hard to add much size moving from a 95 pound row to a 165 pound row. My point in bringing this up is to encourage you to look at muscle building as a 2-3 year process.

Get strong over the next 2-3 years and your size will increase.

Best of luck!

What's your eating strategy?
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
I could totally get into that routine.
Thanks Off Road,

The once weekly just fits my personality.

I guess I'm really just influenced by the 8x3 protocol from Hepburn, slowly adding 1 rep each workout (but in my case, 2 reps) and sticking to this for the long haul.

I've been "training to failure" all of these years and progress is virtually non-existant.

I've also gone down about every variation old-school routines possible (many from John McCallum's book), full body, etc. and no matter what I just cannot progress unless I focus on one area daily, but no more than 3 alternate days per week.

- John
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thexman View Post
I've been "training to failure" all of these years and progress is virtually non-existant.
Some people just don't do as well with "to failure" training. As long as you are training HARD, keeping a couple of reps in the tank is as far as you really need to go. And as long as you are making progress towards strength, everything else will fall into place.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Welcome to the forum Xman.
Thanks for the fast and thoughtful reply man - what a great welcome


Quote:
That will work. Just throwing it out as food for thought...you could also do a 6x3 which would allow for another assistance lift. Not that one way is better than another, but merely providing you with another option.
Ok, 6x3 is something I could work with. I even considered just 4x3.

I guess I'm a little preoccupied by wanting to add weight at the minimum monthly, but I suppose if I started with a heavy enough weight then 6 weeks might be better (3,2,2,2,2,2 onto 3,3,3,3,3,3)


Quote:
Good setup. I recommend on the pump sets that you be as aggressive about progression as possible. I would suggest you push each set as far as possible, stopping it when you feel like form is deteriorating, or that you might fail on the next rep.

I want to see you challenging yourself on the pump sets. Do more than 8 reps on each set. Do as many as you can. When you can do 8 reps on all 3 sets with a given weight, add more weight next week.

If you aren't pushing on these sets, there is a chance the first couple of sets will feel rather easy. let's give your body an extra shove, so to speak.

Does this make sense?
Yes, it makes total sense (been lifting for nearly 20 years so I can adequately take this advice and run with it).

Quote:
Regarding size, I consider somewhere around a 300 bench, 400 squat and 500 deadlift to be the primary goals when training for size and strength. Since you are using incline presses and dips, I want you to focus on getting as humanly strong as possible on these lifts.
Glad you brought this up because I've been wondering what the 300 bench carried over to Dips would be: 100-150 lbs?

Quote:
For barbell rows you want to row 275-315.

These seem like lofty numbers, but size will come with strength. On the other hand, it's hard to add much size moving from a 95 pound row to a 165 pound row. My point in bringing this up is to encourage you to look at muscle building as a 2-3 year process.
Yes that is exactly the epiphany I got from reading Hepburn's Law, like a big cold splash in the face of what I need to do (hope I'm not too late, at 38 )


Quote:
What's your eating strategy?
Well that is also an interesting question because I've changed my eating habits drastically over the years.

With 40 down the corner (not like it's old, but my mind has shifted), and with 3 kids and a wife - health of the inside of my body is vitally important to me.

I guess to sum it up is I eat tons of veggies, organic and clean meats, fruits and raw milk.

Some days I fast until about 2-3 pm, other days I eat non-stop from morning to night).

I just choose very good foods and am not into sugars, breads, pastas, or any of that good stuff or else:

- John
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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My last question was about starting weights.

I'm not coming from a lay-off or an injury, and not a newbie,
so would I start my power sets with a 5-rep max, or something
close to that?

- John
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #8
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Also, do you guys think that since I would be doing 6x3 (I'll take bendthebar's advice on that instead of 8x3), and only hitting each lift once weekly, that adding 5 lbs to lower lifts and 2.5 lbs to upper lifts are too little?

Maybe 10 lbs every 6 weeks on squats, and 5 for upper?

- John
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