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Q&A Questions and answers with some of the top lifters on MAB.

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:22 PM   #1911
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Originally Posted by Dim View Post
Hello Steve, first of all MANY MANY thanks for all the videos and the information, you have helped me and my friends tremendously. Please keep up the good work! This is my first post and it will be a bit long so apologies for that but future questions will be shorter.
Thanks Dim!

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Some stats about me: 21 year old male, 5'10'', 145 pounds (6 inch wrists, 13 inch arms, around 12% bodyfat) with max bench: 170 lbs, max squat 220 lbs, max dl: 290lbs, max strict press: 130lbs. I have been lifting for 1.5 years but for 80% of that time I wasn't making good gains as I was not focusing on the big lifts (following stupid bro routines) and I was not counting macros. Right now I am lean bulking (aiming for 1 pound per month) and weight has been going up steadily as such.
Excellent. At that weight don't be afraid to go up to 1.5 to 2 pounds the first year. 1 pound the second year.

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(1) Do you think I should aim for more than a pound per month or stick to that?
If you are pushing hard for progression, yes, 1.5 to 2 pounds per month would be ideal right now. Reassess at 160 pound bodyweight if you need to lower that back to one pound.

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(2) What do you think about the volume in the program above? Too much or ok? What would you change/remove/tweak? I wrote it myself after doing research on undulating periodisation and I really enjoy doing it but feel free to brutally criticize it.
You don't need periodization right now. You need to be maximizing sets and pushing for progression. See my book Massive Iron for more details.

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(3) Specifically: what do you think about the way I have implemented the shoulder work? and do you think I should replace the chin ups with more pull up sets?
Drop the front raises. All the pressing will work your delts hard. No experienced lifter ever has small front felts.

I would just cut them out of that day and add nothing. For pullups and chin ups, I would alternate every other workout rather than doing both.

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(4) As you can see from the numbers I posted above I am not very strong and when I speak with friends/trainers at my gym they say that at my level of strength I should aim to add 2.5-5 pounds to my numbers every week but my progress is much much slower than that (maybe one rep per workout on the big lifts, maybe one rep every 2 workouts) and I push really hard. Are they giving me bullshit advice or should I actually be progressing faster than what i am?
Ignore arbitrary weight additions. Learn how to progress naturally by maximizing every set.

If you can't purchase my book to learn more, email me. I'll send it for free. I want to see you succeed.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:49 AM   #1912
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I trully appreciate your response Steve. I have purchased the book and will have a look at it over the weekend. But in the meantime I wanted to ask you (as you haven't done a video on the subject) when do you think lifters should use lifting belts? I have never used one so far, not even on PR attempts, with the idea that this way I am teaching my body to recruit the muscles that the belt would on its own. Do you think I should continue this way until the weight gets very heavy (in which case at what poundage should lifters start using belts for max attempts) or start using it more often even now?

Also, what is a good ratio between conventional deadlifts and rdls? I have a 290 max deadlift and last Tuesday I rdl'ed 220lbs for 8,7,5 reps.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 PM   #1913
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Hi, Steve. There are a few things I am curious about.

For background, I am a 5 foot 8 male weighing about 147 pounds at single digit bf%. I have been lifting for a year and a few months (19 years old). My current goal is to reach 225 on the bench press, but I also have bodybuilding goals in mind (wanna get bigger).

Ive been lifting for a year and a few months and in this time I have experimented with many types of training. I have done the typical once a week four-day split and even 5x5 type workouts. Ive come to prefer upper lower workouts repeated 3 times a week and also push pull legs repeated twice a week. With this kind of training, my bench press training max is 200lbs. This puts my bench well over my bodyweight, yet relatively low compared to many intermediate-advanced lifters.

Since I prefer high frequency training, should I hop on a program like Smolov Jr for bench? My only concern with Smolov Jr was that while the program does call for high percentage reps, it doesnt necessarily call for intensity. In other words, Smolov Jr doesnt have me rep out near failure.

Should I just continue my upper lower training for my bench?
If so, can you provide a sample set/rep scheme for this? I was thinking maybe something like 160lbs for 5 sets of 5 repeated 3 times a week. Only concern i have with this is that this would be half the volume of Smolov Jr (half the number of sets and nearly half in tonnage). Maybe make up for volume with assistance exercises (incline dumbbells)?

Thank you in advanvce
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