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Old 12-05-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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Casey Butt


Cause natural bodybuilding is still... natural... well at least some of it. And being natural means limitations. Track, Football, Basketball, baseball.... they all have players in their ranks who are taking performance enhancing drugs... That's a key reason why they're "better".

Not to mention more people aspire to be professional athletes now days, which in turn creates a larger "pool" of players to choose from. (i.e. greater competition)
I think you've hit the nail on the head there. Not to say that records don't naturally increase and there aren't great athletes out there today, but there are three main reasons that come to mind as factors for the seeming increase in performance in some sports: Drug use, equipment enhancements and endorsements drawing a larger pool of genetically elite. We've seen enough baseball heroes alone "fall" to drug-use that it begs the question, "Is anyone clean?" I also think people tend to underestimate the influence of equipment - but it is profound. For instance, the running shoes of today cannot be compared in any way, shape or form to the canvas flats of years ago. I may have mentioned it previously in this thread but Bannister himself didn't break the 4-min mile until shortly after delivery of his custom spiked running shoes. Within weeks other top sprinters had seen his new "equipment", started following suit and a flood of runners broke the 4-min mile shortly after. Not meaning to take anything away from Bannister, but even he couldn't break the 4-min mile in his canvas flats and no one in history has ever done so either. Sports is FULL of such stories.

Another example, the modern Eleiko Olympic barbells are made of an alloy deliberately designed to flex and rebound. In comparison to the bars of years ago they are like springs. Lifters use the wipping action of the bar to help their drive out of the bottom of the Clean and also to "assist" Jerking the bar overhead. Anyone who's used a competition Olympic bar (and I have) vs. a stiff "power" bar used for Powerlifting or the cheap bars in most gyms will immediately see the difference - and that difference results in pounds on the Olympic Lifts. (I devoted several years to Olympic Lifting from 1999-2003.) It is completely unfair to compare the lifts of someone like Kono, Anderson, Hepburn, Berger, Davis, Sheppard, etc to lifters of today for that reason alone.

But there is more than that. The actual rules of Olympic Lifting (and many other sports) have been modified to allow techniques that weren't allowed years ago. In Olympic Lifting it was "illegal" for the bar to touch the body at any point other than the palms of the hands and fingers during the Clean (which is why it was called the "Clean" in the first place). In the early 1970s that rule was changed to allow the bar to brush the thighs but not to stop or rest on them. That seemingly subtle detail has a huge impact on how much weight can be lifted. For the bar not to touch the body the lifter must lift with the arms slightly bent and the traps slightly shrugged throughout the lift. Because of that the lifter is limited to a very real extent by the ability of his biceps to remain flexed as he Cleans the bar - a very limiting factor as it necessitates a much smoother, less explosive lifting style. You can see this technique, which might be falsely interpreted as "poor" form by modern viewers ignorant of the rule change, on old films - and you can also usually notice the superior biceps development of those generations of lifters as compared to modern lifters. When that rule was removed the lifter was free to lock the elbows, tense the traps and transmit the full power of the hips, back and legs to the bar without the arms acting as dampening "shock absorbers". The result can be 100 or even more pounds lifted. So much so that Oly coaches will warn lifters, "When the arm bends the power ends."

In many sports endorsement money is a major factor in not only drawing greater numbers of genetically elite, but actually allowing them to compete. Until recent years professional athletes were not allowed to compete at the Olympics and this was very strictly enforced. Today, professional and endorsed athletes compete freely at the Olympics and high-level amateur athletics is essentially a thing of the past at the world level. Doug Hepburn, one of the strongest drug-free men in history, was banned from National and Olympic competition because he accepted a silk jacket at a demonstration/seminar he gave in the mid-1950s. Paul Anderson was "forced" to turn pro and was also similarly banned from competition. Marvin Eder, Reg Park and many other very strong and potentially competitive lifters were likewise not allowed to compete. Why do you think so many of their lifts were acknowledged as "good" but also "unofficial"? Even with that, nobody has ever Overhead Pressed or Squatted more than Anderson without drugs and/or a lifting suit (and in the case of Anderson's Squat, not at all), Hepburn's top Bench Press has only recently been passed by drug-tested raw lifters (and keep in mind that Hepburn was primarily an Olympic Lifter who used the Bench Press as an assistance exercise) and Park's and Eder's Bench Presses would still stand as world records in their weight classes in the drug-tested raw federations. Incidentally, it was Park who popularized the 5x5 scheme in the 1950s, it was not a "formal" training method at the turn of the century. The only vague connection between 5x5 and the early 1900s could be the fact that Alan Calvert recommended in some early "Milo" barbell courses that trainees start with sets of 5 reps then build up to 10 and start back at 5 again - a simple and effective form of progressive resistance.

In the field of bodybuilding the fact remains that lifetime drug-free bodybuilders of today carry no more lean body mass than the champions of the pre-drug era. I have shown this many times and probably in this very thread (which is so old and long that I don't remember). Obviously then, "modern" training and nutrition methods have done nothing to surpass the accomplishments of yesteryear on an absolute lean body mass level. That is strong indication of a genetic limit.

If sports progress can be explained simply by modern training and nutrition dogma, and drug-use, equipment advances and endorsement money aren't major over-riding factors, then why has nobody surpassed or even equalled Leonid Taranenko's Clean & Jerk or Antonio Krastev's Snatch absolute records in over 20 years?

And to clarify, I don't recommend that people train only as the "old-timers" did. I recommend people take a serious look at what worked for them - who were, by necessity, drug-free - and combine that with modern strength and hypertrophy research and experience.

Personally, I'm shocked by the ignorance of some recent posts made here - even more so at the arrogance that allows such clearly "uneducated" and/or inexperienced people to think they have worthwhile points. A few of you need some serious education before you give your opinions out publicly.
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:16 PM   #12
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Casey Butt

Quote:
So, as far as the H,L,M thing goes, can you explain more? I mean is it saying rep ranges?
LIke on heavy day do 3sets of 3-6 reps, Light day do 3sets of 10-15 reps and medium do 3sets of 6-12 reps?
For bodybuilding purposes, yes, that's the general guideline.
Quote:
Quote:
heres that routine I made up (below), dont know if its good or not, it may be terrible, but instead of doing the same excersie for each muscle each day I did a new excersie everytime..ie:bench, Incline, Dips so if I do that would I still wanna do the H,L,M thing?
The routine looks fine. The idea with selecting different exercises on different days is that the exercises fall into H/L/M categories by nature. For example, baring some special circumstances you can use more weight on Bench Presses than on Inclines. The combined weight on DB Presses is usually less than Inclines (not for everyone, it depends on the angle and the person). So those three allocate themselves into a H/L/M scheme. But there are also other, more personal, things to consider. Personally, I find doing Inclines heavy two days after Benches is too much stress on the elbows and shoulders, so I either have to do the Inclines lighter (for higher reps) or do DB Presses instead because DB Presses don't tax my joints like Barbell work does (it's fairly common for people to find that). So for me, it works better to do Benches on heavy day, DB Presses on light day and Incline Presses on medium day.

Some people with robust joints would have no problem pushing those three exercises heavy on all the three training days. So for them they could use 5x5 on all three days (with the exercises themselves dictating the H/L/M classifications). Most people can't keep that up however, so they either have to train well within their capabilities when they lift, or they have to further impose a H/L/M rep scheme with low reps on H day, high reps on L day, and moderate reps on M day.

You've got a lot of fairly joint intensive pressing work in your routine. You might be fine with that or you might run into trouble. If you do run into trouble, realize that it's the fact that you aren't conditioned for such a workload this soon (you might be able to prosper from it in the future, after proper conditioning) or it's simply too much. If that's the case, it's not the full-body routine that's causing the problems it's how you implemented it.

Whenever I set up a H/L/M routine for an advanced trainee I'm always careful to put relatively "joint-friendly" exercises on the L day to start and use higher reps and shorter rests on that day to get the training effect ('cumulative fatigue' training). If that goes well other options may open up. For beginners it's less crucial because they usually don't have the strength and neuromuscular efficiency to get themselves into trouble on a basic routine.


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by struck
@Casey: What do you think of this workout outlined here for beginners or lifters who have been currently using splits? A Simple Beginner's Routine - Bodybuilding.com Forums
You have mentioned that the transition from splits to full-body workouts have to be gradual rather than rapid, however, it's tough to grasp the real analogy you have presented. Should a transition be composed of initially starting with less exercises? Or all exercises with less sets? Or perhaps all exercises with both less sets and less reps?
That looks like an excellent program.

The main "trap" that an advanced trainee switching to full-body falls into is doing too much too soon. It's quite a different stress to train the full-body three times per week as compared to a typical split.

Two problems usually show up. 1) Advanced trainees don't take the 'light' days seriously and they end up bringing on nagging joint pains (elbows, knees, shoulders, etc) and/or 2) They train too heavy, too soon and end up burning out fast.

I usually tell advanced trainees to select no more than two exercises per body part per day and choose exercises for the light day that they know aren't "joint threatening" for them. For instance, Close-grip Bench Presses have always aggravated my elbows, so I would not put them on a light day. But two exercises per body part is jumping in on the deep end for most trainees. In most cases it would be better to select just one exercise per body part on each day. After the weeks go by and you've adapted to the program and made some gains you can try adding a second exercise for each body part on the heavy days.

As for sets, rank beginners usually do well with two, advanced trainees can do more - with 3-5 being the general rule.

Advanced trainees starting out on full-body can't train all-out from the get-go. Their joints won't last, they'll hit a wall or their lower backs will spasm within a few weeks. They need to start off with manageable weights, no training to failure, and build gradually from there.
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:54 PM   #13
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My interview with Casey Butt

An Interview with Casey Butt, Part 1 | Muscle & Strength

An Interview with Casey Butt, Part 2 | Muscle & Strength

An Interview with Casey Butt, Part 3 | Muscle & Strength
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:38 PM   #14
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I've learned a lot from Casey just from his responses in these post.

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Old 12-05-2009, 05:07 PM   #15
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I need to post that interview here in the articles section...
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:17 PM   #16
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Casey Butt on Amino Acids

Looking at glycogen resynthesis first...

Ivy, J.L. "Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement."

"There were no significant differences in the plasma insulin responses among treatments, although plasma glucose was significantly lower during the carbohydrate-protein treatment. These results suggest that a carbohydrate-protein supplement is more effective for the rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen after exercise than a carbohydrate supplement of equal carbohydrate or caloric content."

Subjects cycled for 2.5 0.1 hour to glycogen depletion. Conclusion: Essentially, it's better to take protein and carbs together than carbs alone.

Zawadzki, K.M. "Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise."

"The rate of muscle glycogen storage during the carbohydrate-protein treatment [35.5 +/- 3.3 (SE) mumol.g protein-1.h-1] was significantly faster than during the carbohydrate treatment (25.6 +/- 2.3 mumol.g protein-1.h-1), which was significantly faster than during the protein treatment (7.6 +/- 1.4 mumol.g protein-1.h-1). The results suggest that postexercise muscle glycogen storage can be enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement as a result of the interaction of carbohydrate and protein on insulin secretion."

Male subjects cycled for three sessions of 2 hours to deplete glycogen stores. Again, it's better to take protein and carbs together than carbs alone.

Jentjens, R.L. "Addition of protein and amino acids to carbohydrates does not enhance postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis."

"No difference was found in plasma glucose or in rate of muscle glycogen synthesis between the carbohydrate and the carbohydrate + protein-amino acid mixture trials. Although coingestion of a protein amino acid mixture in combination with a large carbohydrate intake (1.2 g kg1 h1) increases insulin levels, this does not result in increased muscle glycogen synthesis.

Study used male cyclists exercising to "glycogen depletion". With regards to glycogen synthesis, protein and aminos have no additional effect over just carbs alone.

Roy, B.D. "Influence of differing macronutrient intakes on muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exercise."

"These results demonstrated that a bout of resistance exercise resulted in a significant decrease in muscle glycogen and that consumption of an isoenergetic carbohydrate or carbohydrate/protein/fat formula drink resulted in similar rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exercise. This suggests that total energy content and carbohydrate content are important in the resynthesis of muscle glycogen."

Study used males performing a full-body resistance workout. Carbs and carbs + protein + fat had similar glycogen resynthesis rates given both treatments contained the same total calories.

Burke, L.M. "Effect of coingestion of fat and protein with carbohydrate feedings on muscle glycogen storage."

"Dietary guidelines for achieving optimal muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise have been given in terms of absolute carbohydrate (CHO) intake (8-10 g.kg-1.day-1). However, it is of further interest to determine whether the addition of fat and protein to carbohydrate feedings affects muscle glycogen storage. Eight well-trained triathletes [23.1 +/- 2.0 (SE) yr; 74.0 +/- 3.4 kg; peak O2 consumption = 4.7 +/- 0.4 l/min] undertook an exercise trial (2 h at 75% peak O2 consumption, followed by four 30-s sprints) on three occasions, each 1 wk apart. For 24 h after each trial, the subjects rested and were assigned to the following diets in randomized order: control (C) diet (high glycemic index CHO foods; CHO = 7 g.kg-1.day-1), added fat and protein (FP) diet (C diet + 1.6 g.kg-1.day-1 fat + 1.2 g.kg-1.day-1 protein), and matched-energy diet [C diet + 4.8 g.kg-1.day-1 additional CHO (Polycose) to match the additional energy in the FP diet]. Meals were eaten at t = 0, 4, 8, and 21 h of recovery. The total postprandial incremental plasma glucose area was significantly reduced after the FP diet (P < 0.05). Serum free fatty acid and plasma triglyceride responses were significantly elevated during the FP trial (P < 0.05). There were no differences between trials in muscle glycogen storage over 24 h (C, 85.8 +/- 2.7 mmol/kg wet wt; FP, 80.5 +/- 8.2 mmol/kg wet wt; matched-energy, 87.9 +/- 7.0 mmol/kg wet wt)."

Subjects experienced triathletes. As long as carbs are sufficient, adding protein or fats to postworkout meals has no effect on overall glycogen resynthesis rates.

Conclusion: It might be better to combine carbs + protein or even carbs + protein + fat after training, or carbs alone may replenish glycogen just as quickly. In either case, the addition of protein and fat won't hurt and may very well help.

Now looking at protein synthesis...

Koopman, R. "Combined ingestion of protein and free leucine with carbohydrate increases postexercise muscle protein synthesis in vivo in male subjects."

"We conclude that coingestion of protein and leucine stimulates muscle protein synthesis and optimizes whole body protein balance compared with the intake of carbohydrate only."

Male subjects performed 45 mins of resistance exercise. Conclusion: Protein and carbs after training results in higher protein synthesis rates than carbs alone.

Tipton, K.D. "Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise."

"These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids..."

Three male and three female subjects performed 10 sets of 8 reps of leg presses at 80% of 1RM. It's better to take amino acids+carbs before training that it is to take them after. But be careful drawing conclusions here because the study compared nutrient ingestion before training vs. that of training in a fasted state.

Tipton, K.D. "Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise."

"Previously, we demonstrated that net amino acid uptake was greater when free essential amino acids plus carbohydrates were ingested before resistance exercise rather than following exercise. However, it is unclear if ingestion of whole proteins before exercise would stimulate a superior response compared with following exercise. This study was designed to examine the response of muscle protein balance to ingestion of whey proteins both before and following resistance exercise. ...Amino acid uptake was not significantly different between PRE and POST when calculated from the beginning of exercise (67 22 and 27 10 for PRE and POST, respectively) or from the ingestion of each drink (60 17 and 63 15 for PRE and POST, respectively). Thus the response of net muscle protein balance to timing of intact protein ingestion does not respond as does that of the combination of free amino acids and carbohydrate."

Seventeen males and females performed 10 sets of 8 reps of leg extensions at 80% of 1RM. If you're ingesting whole protein alone then it doesn't seem to matter if you take it before or after training. If you're taking a free amino acid + carb mixture it's best to take it before. Again subjects were fasted to start but this time took either whey protein alone, before or after training.

Bird, S.P. "Independent and combined effects of liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion on hormonal and muscular adaptations following resistance training in untrained men."

"These data indicate that liquid carbohydrate + essential amino acids ingestion enhances muscle anabolism following resistance training to a greater extent than either liquid carbohydrate or essential amino acids consumed independently. The synergistic effect of liquid carbohydrate + essential amino acids ingestion maximises the anabolic response presumably by attenuating the post-exercise rise in protein degradation."

32 young adult males (beginners) trained twice per week for 12 weeks with blood samples being taken immediately before and after exercise at weeks 0, 4, 8 and 12. It's better to take protein and carbs together than either alone.

Borsheim, E. "Effect of an amino acid, protein, and carbohydrate mixture on net muscle protein balance after resistance exercise."

"We conclude that after resistance exercise, a mixture of whey protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates stimulated muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than isoenergetic carbohydrates alone. Further, compared to previously reported findings, the addition of protein to an amino acid + carbohydrates mixture seems to extend the anabolic effect."

Eight subjects performed two separate bouts of resistance training. After training, a mixture of protein plus carbs is better than carbs alone.

Finally, a conclusion with regards to both glycogen replenishment and protein synthesis...

Ivy, J.L. "Dietary strategies to promote glycogen synthesis after exercise."

"It has been observed that muscle glycogen synthesis is twice as rapid if carbohydrate is consumed immediately after exercise as opposed to waiting several hours, and that a rapid rate of synthesis can be maintained if carbohydrate is consumed on a regular basis. For example, supplementing at 30-min intervals at a rate of 1.2 to 1.5 g carbohydrate x kg(-1) body wt x h(-1) appears to maximize synthesis for a period of 4- to 5-h post exercise. If a lighter carbohydrate supplement is desired, however, glycogen synthesis can be enhanced with the addition of protein and certain ami no acids. Furthermore, the combination of carbohydrate and protein has the added benefit of stimulating amino acid transport, protein synthesis and muscle tissue repair. Research suggests that aerobic performance following recovery is related to the degree of muscle glycogen replenishment."


All in all, the research suggests that for both performance and muscle growth it's best to consume protein plus carbs both before and after exercise, the addition of fats into the mix seems to have no effect on glycogen replenishment. Furthermore, if you're eating a normally timed, adequate diet then some of these conclusions may be altered because assuming you don't train before breakfast your bloodstream would have protein, glucose and fats present anyway (in other words, a non-fasted state). So, it looks like the research supports Joe's assertion about 3 squares a day, with the exception that it does appear important to take in a balanced meal with 1 hr following training - altough that could just as easily be your dinner or supper as any bodybuilding supplement. Incidentally, there was a recent study comparing the ingestion of milk postworkout to a popular bodybuilding "recovery" supplement, and the milk equalled or outperformed the supplement (after all, milk has roughly a 60/40 carbs to protein split which is supported by the research).

So, as far as the body of research is concerned: Don't train in a fasted state if you're trying to get bigger/stronger; ingest some protein and carbs after training (perhaps some fats too); and there is no support to conclude that supplements outperform regular food.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:59 PM   #17
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This post by Casey is a comment on how transitionng to fullbody must be walked into gradually. Even for an advanced lifter, you can not just jump into wholebody headlong.

Casey Butt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1975
It's been about about 2 weeks now, and my CNS is flat busted...

CNS fatigue has been a huge problem for me transitioning into this program. I've been frustrated by my body's inability to adapt, because I'm certain increased frequency is the way to go from personal experimentation.

I'm starting to get a cold as I type this, and probably won't be in the gym for a week. So if anyone is going to just jump into H/L/M I advise doing it gradually and cautiously as Casey advises above. Unfortunately I'm a bit of an extremist, and I leave it all in the gym every time I go. It's been too much for my system.

That's probably the biggest trap advanced trainees fall into when trying full-body routines - too much, too soon. It's very easy to underestimate the systemic impact of what you're doing because you're "only" training three days per week. But, quite obviously, those three days are enough to wipe out even advanced trainees who are accustomed to much systemically "gentler" splits. It's imperative that advanced trainees don't try to move the world in one day. Light day has to remain "light" and with more of an "active recovery" mentality at first, and medium day must be moderate compared to the heavy day (moderate in that substantial weights can be used, but no go-for-broke mentality or trying to tackles PRs - save that for heavy day). Then, after weeks of gradually getting accustomed to this and ramping up slowly the medium day becomes heavier and the light day becomes more "medium" as compared to before. Over time all three days become "hard" but the loading is still heavy/light/medium by definition and PRs are either only attempted on heavy days or on medium days with less stressful exercises or rep maxes instead of maximum weight attempts. (For instance, a conditioned athlete might Bench Press up to a low-rep max set on heavy day and go for a higher-rep/volume PR on Overhead Presses on medium day, say a 5x5 best performance on Overhead Presses or something other than an absolute best for one low-rep set). But unless a person is incredibly gifted, going for some sort of psyched PR on light day, under any circumstance, is asking for trouble. Even the very conditioned would go for something like a best 3x12 on light day with short rest periods - in that case, a maximum light day is more of a strength-endurance PR day than a max-weight-lifted PR day. Ovbviously, the training stimulus is there, but it's achieved in a different manner than on heavy or medium days.

Like anything else, conditioning has to be built gradually just like strength - failing to realize the gravity of that is the biggest mistake advanced trainees usually make when trying something new. Advanced trainees are usually set in their ways to one degree or another, and that can get them into trouble.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:20 PM   #18
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Good post. I can attest to the difficulty. I feel like I'm learning brail. This has convinced me to move forward with a strict HLM approach.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:31 PM   #19
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Good post. I can attest to the difficulty. I feel like I'm learning brail. This has convinced me to move forward with a strict HLM approach.
I had gradually built my conditioning over several months, and have been on a solid wholebody plan for over 3 months. It only took TWO workouts at max intensity, and I was feeling pretty well fried.

Anybody who thinks that these workouts will not deliver enough stimulation to your body, or that they have advanced beyond such simple programs, just doesn't know what they are talking about.

I think both of our cases are good examples of what Casey is talking about.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:06 AM   #20
BendtheBar
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I had gradually built my conditioning over several months, and have been on a solid wholebody plan for over 3 months. It only took TWO workouts at max intensity, and I was feeling pretty well fried.

Anybody who thinks that these workouts will not deliver enough stimulation to your body, or that they have advanced beyond such simple programs, just doesn't know what they are talking about.

I think both of our cases are good examples of what Casey is talking about.
I mentioned earlier that I thought I needed to move more towards a stricter L day. I believe that if I don't, I might be heading towards more aches and pains. I'm so use to giving it on every workout.
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