While at the gym today I saw a guy that I haven't seen in months. He walked up to me and said “Dude, you are starting to get bulked up” so I asked him what he meant. He says “Your shoulders are bigger and so are your arms, nice work!” It made me feel validated.
I get alot of grief online and elsewhere because I follow the New Rules of Lifting training program. People get on my case because they say that a full body split routine like that can't possibly put on mass, etc. Well, last week I began thinking about changing my routine to a 3 day a week split that would have me training my body parts one time per week. The proposed plan:
Deadlifts 3 sets
Lat pull downs 2 sets
V bar pull downs 2 sets
DB rows (1 arm) 2 sets
BB bicep curls 3 sets
Alt DB curls 3 sets
BB wrist curls 1 set
DB wrist curls 1 set
BB Bench Press 3 sets
Decline DB bench press 3 sets
BB Military press 3 sets
DB side laterals 2 sets
Alt DB Front raises 2 sets
BB upright rows 2 sets
Close grip bench press 2 sets
Triceps push down 2 sets
Squats 3 sets
Stiff leg deadlifts 2 sets
Standing calf raise 3 sets
Seated calf raise 3 sets
I wanted some advice so I posted this routine for a critique to one of my favorite body building sites. The response I got back (from a respected member) really got me thinking. I mentioned that this program was based off the Max-OT system of training. This gentleman said:
“I'm not a huge fan of Max-OT training.. From what I've seen it usually goes one of two ways…. slight mass gains, usually from beginners or injury.. usually some type of shoulder due to the constant going to failure.
Regarding the routine… I'm not sure how well your muscular development is, but keep in mind, frequency is key with mass.. I don't think any given rep range followed for any period of time is going to induce a good hypertrophy effect. The muscle has to be continuously stimulated and damaged and when only using a particular rep range it's far too easy to stall on lifts and not continue with a solid progressive load.. Beginners respond well to maxot simply because they respond well to almost any program..
IMO.. Frequency, Progressive load, TUT and of course diet are 4 of the most important thing with any routine regarding hypertrophy.. leave on out and your progress may not stagnate but certainly will slow..
Again, without knowing your current muscular development makes it unclear as to how much the added isolations are going to help.. I certainly don't think anyone needs to work the calfs with more than one exercises.. and regarding delts.. unless you already have incredible delt development, a simple over head pressing lift will work them fine.. Same with pecs… the back is a little different simply due to the size and variety of muscles in the back.
My advice would be to train your body 3-4 times weekly, using a fullbody or upper/lower split with various rep ranges every two to three weeks. You're wanting to achieve muscle adaption. After about 48 hours the muscles start to un-adapt before being trained again.. In a nut shell, you're when muscles are trained once every week, their spending 5 or those seven days in a semi-anti-catabolic state.. “recovery”.. which is not at all necessary.. “
This got me to thinking about my past experience with lifting. I would lift 5 days a week, working a different body part each day. Invariably, something would get injured. I'd tweak my neck or I'd pull something in my legs and that would slow my ability to lift. This was something that I accepted as just part of lifting weights. I never considered that the method I was using might be causing it.
When I went to the New Rules of Lifting workouts all of this went away. In addition, I managed to make better gains and I think alot of that was due to the ability to be consistent with my workouts due to a lack of injuries. This is what kept me at it for so long.
So after considering all the facts, I decided what I needed to do was up the frequency of my training (as mentioned in the response I got above). It simply makes sense to me to stick with the program that has been giving me good results. At the same time, the routine that has been giving me results fits all the criteria for a great plan–continual changes to reps and sets to avoid adaptation and compound movements for maximum development of muscle.
If I've learned nothing else during the past 112 days it is that doing what works for you is the best course of action that can be followed. This is especially true of a lifting routine that is well-designed. I've also learned that the way to build more muscle is to just continue working hard in the gym, but eating when not in the gym. Eating enough is the key to growing larger.
|Week Begins 2/10/2008|
|M1 *||5:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||5:30 a.m.|
|M2 *||8:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||8:30 a.m.|
|M3 *||11:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||11:30 a.m.|
|M4 *||2:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||2:30 p.m.|
|M5 *||5:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||5:30 p.m.|
|M6 *||7:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||7:30 p.m.|
|Water *||194 oz||220 oz||194 oz||220 oz||220 oz|
|Post-workout nutrition *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-sleep nutrition *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cals within 5% (+/-) *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mission 2 Total Complete||118||133||147||162||177|
|Mission 2 Total Possible||120||135||150||165||180|
|* = Counts towards total|
|Mission 2: Day 12 of 100|
|Meal/Training Plan: Real-time accountability|
|Day 12: February 14, 2008|
|5:30 a.m.||Meal 1: Protein shake and oatmeal and 3 glasses of water|
|5:30 a.m.||Supplements: Animal Pak, Glucosamine Chondroiten, calcium, chromium, glutamine, BCAAs|
|6:00 a.m.||Workout: HIIT Cardio and 6 glasses of water|
|6:30 a.m.||Supplements: Protein shake, BCAAs, glutamine|
|8:30 a.m.||Meal 2: Chicken breast, oatmeal, large salad and 3 glasses of water|
|11:30 a.m.||Meal 3: Chicken breast, large salad, oatmeal and large salad and 3 glasses of water|
|2:30 p.m.||Meal 4: Chicken breast and large salad, 10 baby carrots and 3 glasses of water|
|5:30 p.m.||Meal 5: Chicken breast and large salad, cucumber and 3 glasses of water|
|7:30 p.m.||Meal 6: Chicken breast, asparagus and 3 glasses of water|
|8:30 p.m.||Supplements: Casein protein shake, glutamine, calcium and 3 glasses of water|
|Exercise||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4|
|BB Bent over row||155 x 12||155 x 12||155 x 12||155 x 11|
|BB Incline Bench Press||150 x 10||150 x 10||150 x 10||150 x 10|
|Lat pull down||140 x 12||140 x 12||140 x 12||140 x 12|
|Barbell Push Press||120 x 10||120 x 12||120 x 12||120 x 12|
|DB Clean||45 x 12||45 x 12||45 x 12||45 x 12|
|Swiss ball crunch||25||25||25|
|FYA Level 1 workouts|
I pushed extremely hard during my workout today because I always want to improve upon my last workout. Today was no exception.
Anything worth doing is worth doing right, so when you hit the gym, give it your all. Push yourself to the limit. You will see results faster than you think possible.
Until tomorrow…GET BACK TO LIFTING!