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Thread: Tom Mutaffis Q&A

  1. #326
    Senior Member snikez's Avatar
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    When I do bench press I have never been sore the next day in my chest but when I do dumbbell bench I actually get sore there. I know soreness isn't necessary for progression but at least it tells me that I'm working the muscle. So I'm wondering if it's alright if I change my routine from benching with barbells and dumbbells each once a week, to dumbbells twice a week instead. I'm mostly looking for more muscle mass, not necessarily strength increases in my training.

    Also if I do a 5x5 for barbell bench press and move over to DB press and wanted to do more reps per set, would a 4x6-8 suffice?
    Age 20-5'10
    Then: 134 lbs November 12, 2008
    Now: 195 lbs

  2. #327
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemz View Post
    Well, i mostly train and eat instinctive or 'individual' as you have said. Since it's given me reasonable results concidering mass and strenght, i suppose if i were to diet i'd grow even faster. My knowledge about bodybuilding is quite good i suppose, but my training is "intermediate" in the sense that, i train heavy, but, i'm not bodybuilder material yet..you know.

    I eat five or sometimes six times a day, mostly stuff with proteďn in it, but also some fat and stuff, i'm not really on a diet..maybe i should get started on one tho, i've just been to lazy to get stuf from the shop every week etc..

    Right now i'm using http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/tl/hmb.html as a supplement and next month i'm probably going to start with http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/tl/nitricfuel.html

    As far as my routine goes, i hit the gym 3 days a week;
    day1: back & biceps
    day2: chest & triceps
    day3: legs & shoulders

    the exercises well, again, that depends on how i feel, back chest and legs get 4 or 5 diff. exercises; arms, triceps and shoulders get 3.

    i was also wondering, what #sets and rep range is best for mass & strenght building: recently i've done 5x5, then i've gone over to 3x12 but with light weight focussing on time under tension and now i'm doing 4x8 heavy weights, so i'm wondering if that's good?

    I also wanted to ask you this, for some reason, when i do compound movements my right side of the body always seems to grow faster than the left side..now i've implemented chin ups cuz my back really needed the extra boost, i also tried dips but the right half of my chest immediatly got "fuller" than the left..so i was wondering if it's possible to get a big chest without dips? i do squats and deadlifts but like i said, right leg bigger than the left one..but i know or at least i think i can't really get bigger without them :s some advice on this would be nice.

    thanks for your help!
    I noticed from another thread that you are planning on following FST-7. That particular program is focused on conditioning/volume; are you planning on keeping your schedule at (3) days per week or moving to 4-5 days per week?

    In general for mass and strength building the 4-8 rep range seems to be ideal for most individuals. For volume it really depends on your goals, conditioning, and strength levels. Anywhere from 2-6 sets on compound movements is fairly standard.

    With regard to the strength imbalance, how long have you been training for? Also, have you had any injuries in the past which may be impacting the weaker/smaller side of your body (broken bone, torn ligament/muscle, etc.). Another potential factor is playing certain sports; I had some substantial imbalances from skateboarding for a few years when I was younger.

    Regarding your supplements; HMB as a stand-alone may not be the best choice unless you already have a complete supplement stack. I would recommend the following:
    - Protein (Recovery)
    - Creatine (Strength)
    - Fish Oil (General Health, Joints)
    - Caffeine / Etc. (Pre-Workout Energy Support)
    Last edited by Tom Mutaffis; 01-22-2010 at 09:04 AM.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  3. #328
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MPB View Post
    Tom, one thing that has always impressed me is your overhead press. I consider my overhead press to be one of my weakest lifts, and it is usually the slowest and hardest lift for me to improve. I'm pressing 180 for 5 reps at the moment.

    Right now I'm following a basic westside template. After speed bench, I pick one shoulder movement and do 3 sets of 5 reps or sometimes I work up to my 5rm. Other than simple 3 sets of 5, is there anything else I can do differently to put more focus on my overhead work, and possibly improve it?

    Thanks.

    MPB -

    Thank you. When you say overhead do you mean standing overhead press, push press, or log/axle press?

    I do have specific templates that may be helpful in bringing up your press, but which program will be most effective would depend on if you are doing a push press or a 'strict' press.

    Please let me know and we can put something together from there.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  4. #329
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Jake -

    I think that a strongman contest would be a fun change of pace for you and a good way to break up your powerlifting training.

    The best way to clean an axle if you cannot power clean it would be the continental clean. This method involves bringing the axle from the floor up to your belly and then cleaning it to your chest (2-3 part movement).

    Here are a few videos that demonstrate the continental clean:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvb_uMvFPMo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VO2tJ_5ibU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-eBCpWg0UQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7e8XqaS8ik

    Here is another one where the athlete pauses for a minute as he switches his hand over:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zci2JBzHca0

    You can also search on Youtube and look up videos of Rob Orlando, he has good technique with the continental and has cleaned 385 lbs as a LW.

    We can definitely go over your training program as you prepare for the contest; just drop me a line.
    Thanks for the help bud, but unfortunately this hamstring has gotten the best of me. I'm finally going to give it the rest it needs and take 4 solid weeks off of squats and anything that fires the hamstring, then slowly easy into heavier weight over the following 2-3 weeks.. I should be good by then..

    Sadly, this competition falls too soon. HOPEFULLY, there will be another one later this year that I can compete in. On the bright side, it gives me more time to train events before jumping into a contest.
    Jake Sullivan
    6' - 280lbs - 29yrs old - Professional Highland Games Athlete
    curently off-season
    HG training log = road to pro
    youtube channel = www.youtube.com/xtra0t

  5. #330
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELmx479 View Post
    Thanks for your reply, I lift at home and just have a bench, power rack, and dumbbells so any machine like leg press is out of the question. I use Wendler's boring but big template for the squat day and the added volume seems to be helping me with strength and endurance under the bar. The 5x10 is at 65% of the training max used. Here is one of my squat workouts from this past cycle...
    70%x3, 80%x3, 90%x3 or more.
    160x3, 180x3, 205x12
    5x10 @ 145

    I am not using really heavy weight so I wouldn't think that would lead to over training.
    From the looks of that workout I would say that you would want to update your training max. If you are hitting 12 reps on the final set of the 3x3 day then the entire workout is likely too easy.

    The objective of the 5/3/1 is to be challenging but manageable.

    If the 5x10 set is conservative then I think that it would be fine, I was not sure what your protocol was for that initially.

    Based on your strength levels I would say that your 3x3 should look something like 195, 215, 240 lbs and then the 5x10 can be with 155-160 lbs.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  6. #331
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I noticed from another thread that you are planning on following FST-7. That particular program is focused on conditioning/volume; are you planning on keeping your schedule at (3) days per week or moving to 4-5 days per week?

    In general for mass and strength building the 4-8 rep range seems to be ideal for most individuals. For volume it really depends on your goals, conditioning, and strength levels. Anywhere from 2-6 sets on compound movements is fairly standard.

    With regard to the strength imbalance, how long have you been training for? Also, have you had any injuries in the past which may be impacting the weaker/smaller side of your body (broken bone, torn ligament/muscle, etc.). Another potential factor is playing certain sports; I had some substantial imbalances from skateboarding for a few years when I was younger.

    Regarding your supplements; HMB as a stand-alone may not be the best choice unless you already have a complete supplement stack. I would recommend the following:
    - Protein (Recovery)
    - Creatine (Strength)
    - Fish Oil (General Health, Joints)
    - Caffeine / Etc. (Pre-Workout Energy Support)
    So, the FST program isn't really good for mass building? I'm kind of looking for a combination between mass and getting some definition in. I might start going 4 days instead of 3 depends on my spare time. What i have done recently tho after my 4 x 8 sets i've added 2 x 12 burn out sets..i read in an article that those 4 x 8 works on certain fibers and the 2 x12 targets others and you both need them. That's why the FST program seemed interesting?

    I've been training for a year or two, i've managed to get my arms in some sort of balance, not the same yet, but better than it used to be..the strange thing is, the right side of my chest only started to get bigger after i started with either dips or cable cross-overs; since i added both to my routine recently at the same time i don't really know which one is causing it. I have the feeling tho' that one of my ribs on the right side is "thicker" than on the left, it's never bothered me, doctor never said anything about it, but maybe that's what causing it? i don't know.

    HMB is not my only supplement. I only mentioned that one, because i thought that was what you ment
    I have proteîn shakes and i have a cup or two of coffee before i hit the gym. Those 3 in combination have given me a some nice gaines; but this weekend i'm probably switching to Nitric Fuel which is more of a pump suplement, which also enhances strenght and muscle volume.

    Just a tiny question; since english is not my 1st language i was wondering what is the difference between muscle mass and muscle volume?

    Thanks alot for your advice though, i appreciate the time you put into it. And it really helps me out.
    Last edited by Shemz; 01-22-2010 at 09:29 AM.

  7. #332
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    AJ - Sorry for not getting back to you right away, my responses are posted below in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by aj24 View Post
    Hello Tom, like you suggested to me I would like to discuss my diet and routine with you. Right now I am 16, 5'11.5" - 6'0" tall, 157 pounds, with a last reading of 15% body fat (just a scale no clamps). A lot of the fat is at my gut. Right now my goal is to be 160 pounds. Once I reach this goal I would like to get up to the 170 pound range. Once I get to that weight I would like to tone the muscle that ive gained from gaining that weight. I do not have a squat rack at my gym, only a machine with pulleys that you can do squats on.


    Diet:

    Morning Before School (6:30-7:00 a.m.)

    Eggo Blueberry Waffles
    2 Creatine Capsules (out currently and about to get some of the AtLarge Creatine 500 I believe)
    Orange Juice
    Glass of Water

    I would add some sort of protein to this meal. One easy way would be to include some skim milk. Another thing that I would do is try to find the whole grain Eggo blueberry waffles - they have more fiber and protein than the regular waffles.

    Creatine 500 is a good product and you can mix that with fruit juice or other simple carbs to increase uptake.



    Lunch at School (12:45 p.m.)

    Turkey Sandwich or Peanutbutter Sandwich
    Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
    Chex Mix Chocolate Chunk Bar
    Bottle of Water, 12 ounces I believe?

    Make sure to really pile on the turkey for your sandwich and to use whole wheat bread. Arnold (brand) makes high protein whole wheat bread and it tastes pretty good. For peanut butter make sure that you are eating natural peanut butter.

    Peanut butter sandwiches are great for putting on size; I usually eat two of them per day when bulking.


    After School (3:30 p.m.)

    Mixed Nuts
    Protein/Weight Shake consisting of Peanut Butter, Whole Milk, and Chocolate Syrup
    Sometimes Carrots or Grapes
    2 Servings of Chicken (tenders)
    2 Caps of creatine again (like I said out currently)

    If you take the creatine 500 you only need one spoonfull in the moring and then you are all set for the rest of the day.

    The gainer shake is fine but I would drop the whole milk and peanut butter in favor of skim milk, pasturized egg whites, maybe a scoop of olive oil, and you can throw in chocolate syrup if you would like for flavoring (or just buy lowfat chocolate milk).

    Chicken is good, just try to get the baked chicken tenders if you can so that you are not loading up on fat.


    On TRAINING days

    Hit the gym around 6:00-6:30 P.M.

    Do not take creatine after school, take it half hour before I go to the gym
    After Gym I make my protein shake, Whole Milk with ON Hydro Whey,1serving
    After the Gym I eat my dinner, I get out of the gym around 8:30 p.m. or so

    Do you eat anything before training? I would have some fruit before training to give you some energy support. For post-workout you can just mix your shake with water, this will speed up the digestion and you can save the milk for later (I will include it later in the day).

    Not on Training Days

    Dinner (No Oven Currently only stovetop)

    Eat around 7:00 p.m.
    Eat what my mom makes which usually differs or I make more chicken with some veggies.

    That sounds good. You can have a glass of milk with dinner if you would like as well.


    Before I go to bed

    On non-training days I drink my protein shake
    Eat Veggies
    Drink Cranberry Juice
    Possibly Drink some more whole Milk

    No need for a whey protein shake before bed, especially the ON hydrowhey since it is expensive. I would have a handful of almonds and some tuna fish along with a glass of milk.

    Save the cranberry juice for breakfast, you can take your creatine with it instead of the orange juice.


    This diet is just a rough copy of one day, it sometimes does vary.

    Work Out Routine

    Monday/Wednesday/Friday Split

    Monday is Arms/Shoulders/Abs. Try to get 3-5 sets of everything that is listed. My abs routine is a complex currently.

    Arms and Shoulders (Work out A)

    Start With warm ups/Stretching
    Bicep Curls (Machine)
    Dumbell Bicep Curls (Free Weights)
    Shoulder Press(Machine)
    Dumbell Shoulder Press(Free Weights)
    Tricept Pushdowns(Machine)
    Dips
    Push-Ups
    Possibly about to start doing Chin-Ups
    5 minute Run
    ABS Complex
    My shoulder Complex

    Chest and Back (Work out B)

    Start With Warm Ups and Stretching

    Bench Press(Free Weights)
    Decline Press(Free Weights)
    Back Row(Machine)
    Bench Press(Machine), this is for Volume, High Reps for burn
    Dumbell Flies(Free Weights)
    Dumbell Bench Press(Free Weights)
    Dumbell Incline Press(Free Weights)
    Romanian Deadlifts(Free Weights)
    Push Ups
    My Back Complex

    In terms of your routine, I would always start the week off with large muscle groups and start each workout with compound exercises. Save machines, isolation movements, and small muscle groups for the end of your workouts.

    It looks like you are performing way too many exercises in each workout as well. I would look through some of the earlier pages of this thread as well as some of the other posts here and see if you can apply some of the principals to your template.

    I would be happy to put together an upper body only split for you but would probably break things up like this:

    Monday: Back & Biceps
    Wednesday: Chest & Triceps
    Friday: Shoulders & Lower Body (Deadlift, etc.)

    Your current program is set up in a way that your biceps and triceps are being trained in every single workout, which will eventually lead to injury or lack of progress as your strength levels develop.


    My Split is A B A B A B A, alternating workouts through Monday Wednesday Friday

    First thing I bet you will say is, where are the legs? Well my legs are weak now but when I started working out (7th grade), they were rocks because of being a basketball heavy weight (150 pounds and short in younger years) so I didnt make a routine including, nor do I know what to include into that routine.

    Do you play any sports? I would include some type of lower body training even if you don't care about your legs. It can be something as simple as some sprints, running stairs, or a couple of sets of leg press. Anything is better than nothing and you will look ridiculous if you develop a massive upper body but have no lower body development.

    I have my dads genes, Tall and Skinny, which I want to break that skinny part, I have very Broad Shoulders, Chest is massive for being only a 10th grader (sophomore). I have long arms.


    Goals

    Get to 160-170 pounds
    Get thicker, bigger arms, just bigger everywhere.
    Once I reach these, cut down the body fat to show all the gains of course.

    Now Tom, help me get big!!

    Comments/Criticism

    What should I change? Been lifting since 7th grade, now getting serious
    Please let me know if there is anything else that you would like to go over in greater detail and if you would like to come up with a revised training program based on some of my recommendations.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  8. #333
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astreocclu View Post
    Thanks Tom, ill see how it is on tuesday. Im gonna need some more help soon, next semester starts soon and personal fitness comes with it (periods are an hour and 15 minutes here in canada). Basically the whole class is dedicated to increasing your "personal fitness scores". im gonna need something to increase my sit ups in a minute, 12 minute run, bench press, push ups, chin ups, sit and reach and some other stuff. Some of these are obvious, and i can just keep what im doing or modify WS4SB a little bit.but others i dont understand so much How often would you train the 12 minute run and sit ups? would you train it by just doing it, or would you add in some variation (varying running time and different sit up exercises). How would i train my chin ups without buying a band (considering i cant even do one). Losing weight will help, but besides that?
    I would recommend the Pavel GTG method for pushups/chins/etc. - it works quite well for most poeple. Please let me know if you would like me to explain the program in detail.

    With regard to the running, that is not an area that I am well versed in but my understanding is that most runners train with varying levels of volume and intensity. Since you are going to be doing a good amount of weight training I would recommend limiting your running to about three sessions per week. Make sure to wear a good pair of shoes for running.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astreocclu View Post
    Tom i have a friend who is 5.8 and 125 pounds, who is fast and wants to play football, but he is just to goddamn skinny. My advice so far has been to eat pretty much everything in sight and to try to get alot of good lean protein. Is this good advice for someone looking to play football? I guess ill see how his fat is and then change his diet accordingly.
    5'8 and 125 is quite skinny, but the 'get fat then re-evaluate' method might not be the best idea if he is looking to improve athlete performance.

    Usually someone with his current stature will have a relatively fast metabolism and so I would recommend that he eats as much as possible; but would moderate the list to certain foods.

    Recently I put together a program for another athlete who is looking to gain weight for sports, but it is on my home computer. I will post it in this thread later today for your friend.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  9. #334
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I am glad that the program seems to be working well so far, now it sounds like we just need to get a better handle on your goal setting and objectives. My responses are below in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trepkos01 View Post
    Thanks for all the help, Tom.

    To correct any confusion, when I mean easy doesn't necessarily mean that the lift is actually easy but more-so that it isn't so difficult that the risk of failure is very high. The exercise is difficult enough that my focus is completely on moving the weight and contracting the muscles. Easy in most cases means that I can complete the full reps of the set without going to failure.

    Sounds good, I just wanted to make sure that you were not taking it easy on certain excercises and just going through motions.

    Here is an idea of my current strength based on the exercises that you have listed in the program so you can gain a better assessment on the credibility of my goals.

    I added in your goals from the previous post to make for an easier comparison.

    Since you said spring/summer I assume that you are talking about goals for 6-8 months from now.


    Back
    - 3x10 Wide Grip Pullups(Generally the last set is most difficult usually failing on the nineth or tenth rep.)
    - 3x10 DB Rows(70,75,80)
    - 2x10 TBar Rows(115lbs)
    - 2x10 Pulldowns(12, not sure what this translates to in actual weight)
    - 2x15 Seated Rows(10)

    Goals:
    Pullups(3x15) and/or 3x10 Weighted Chins
    T-Bar Rows(2x10): 4x45lb Plates
    BB Rows(2x8-10): 205lbs

    I think that these are all reasonable goals, although with pullups I would say that you might want to shoot for one set of 15-20 reps and then move from there.

    Chest
    - BB Bench 5/3/1 - 185/195/205(205lbs is definitely not my heaviest 1RM but I started lighter to allow myself more room to progress instead of starting the heaviest and hitting a wall early on.
    - 3x10 - Decline DB(65lbs)
    - 2x10 - Inclined DB(55,60,65)
    - 2x10 - DB Flies(35lbs)

    Goals:
    Bench Press 5/3/1: 205, 225, 255
    Decline DB Press (2 sets of 5 reps) 85lbs
    Incline DB Bench Press (3 Sets of 8-10 reps): 75-85-80
    **Another goal of mine would be 100lb db flat bench press which will probably only come in time for my arms and shoulders being able to support and stabilize the weight.

    The bench press numbers seem reasonable assuming that you currently have a 1RM in the 220-230 lbs range. I would say that a 5 lbs/month increase is what you should shoot for if you are trying to keep your bodyweight relatively steady.

    I have found that with dumbbells usually my working weights are about equivalent to what I can do on a barbell minus the bar and divided by two. For example if I can bench 245 lbs x 5 then I could probably hit 100 lbs DB's x 5 (245 lbs - 45 = 200 lbs / 2 = 100 lbs). Each individual is different but it sounds like this goal might be something that you can shoot for toward the end of the year; for now I would try to work your way up to 90 lbs DB's for 2-3 clean reps.


    Legs
    - Squats 5/3/1 - 205/215/225(Same as above)
    - Deadlifts(3x5) - 225lbs(Not too heavy but my form isn't that great on doing repetitions of deadlifts.
    - Leg Press(2x10) - 360lbs
    - DB Lunges(2x10) - These are a completely new exercise but I did them with 45lbs last week.

    Goals:
    Squats 5/3/1: 255, 275, 315
    Leg Press(2x10): 6x45lbs each side
    No particular goal for db lunges because Im not sure what a good goal would be.

    That is an aggressive squat goal, again bodyweight may be a factor. I would say that putting 10 lbs/month on your squat is a reasonable goal for someone who is dedicated and so that would put you close to 315 lbs assuming that your current max is about 250 lbs right now. Technique improvements can usually account for a small increase as well since you will be squatting frequently.

    The leg press goal should be relatively easy to achieve based on your current numbers.


    Arms
    - 3x10 45lb parallel dips
    - 3x12 70lb BB Curls
    - 2x10 55lb Overhead Extensions(Went light to not aggravate my shoulder on getting the weight up and doing the exercise)
    - 2x10 35lb Hammer curls
    - 2x10 Pushdowns(12 on the cable machine)
    - 2x10 Conc. Curls(35lbs)
    - Rope Extensions(Cluster set, 5x10, 8-6 on the cable machine)

    Goals:
    Parallel Dips(3x10): 90lb
    BB Curls(3x5-8): 115lbs
    Hammer Curls & Conc. Curls(2x8-10): 45lbs
    Not sure a good goal for overhead extensions.

    I am not sure about these goals. I know that you really want to hammer your arms but usually biceps/triceps are not muscle groups that really explode with strength (in an experienced trainee). Similar to what I mentioned with the chins I would say that you might want to shoot for (1) set of 10 with 90 lbs on the dips and go with something like 95 lbs x 10 for one set on biceps curls. Both of which would be impressive lifts.


    Shoulders
    Shoulder Machine 3x10 - 6x 45lb plates, roughly 270lbs
    Lateral Raises 2x10 - 35lbs
    Cable Upright Rows - 2x12 - 8 on the cable machine

    Goals:
    Loaded Plate Shoulder Press MachineHoping to be able to do 4x45lbs on both sides for 3x10(Can currently do 3)
    Wouldn't mind being able to do 80lb dumbbell seated press or 155lb seated bb press.
    45lb Lateral Raises
    315lb shrugs/2x 100lb db shrugs

    I wouldn't even worry about shrugs. In terms of the shoulder press machine I would say that increasing your 3RM to a 10RM is a reasonable goal over a 6+ month period. It appears that you have very strong shoulders based on your machine press and lateral raise numbers.
    I have mentioned this in another post but I always like to use the SMART template for goal setting; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. In order to achieve your overall goals I would set some checkpoint goals for 2-3 months from now so that you can evaluate your progress.

    Please let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  10. #335
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RvNijnatten View Post
    Thanks for the amazing response Tom.

    One final question: how do i put oats in my postworkout shake? Do i have to grind them up?

    Thanks for all your help!
    Good question, I have read that raw oats can be a bit more difficult to digest and so I would recommend cooking them and then just adding them into a blender with your protein powder. You will want to make the oats in a relatively thin consistency to allow for better mixability.

    Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  11. #336
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snikez View Post
    When I do bench press I have never been sore the next day in my chest but when I do dumbbell bench I actually get sore there. I know soreness isn't necessary for progression but at least it tells me that I'm working the muscle. So I'm wondering if it's alright if I change my routine from benching with barbells and dumbbells each once a week, to dumbbells twice a week instead. I'm mostly looking for more muscle mass, not necessarily strength increases in my training.

    Also if I do a 5x5 for barbell bench press and move over to DB press and wanted to do more reps per set, would a 4x6-8 suffice?
    What is the routine that you are currently following?

    Decline bench press will activate the most involvement from your pectorals. Like you stated I do feel that I get a better workout with the dumbells; although any time that you switch to a new exercise you are likely to have additional soreness so I would not use that as your only gauge.

    I usually do not recommend barbell bench press for anyone unless they are just getting started or training for powerlifting. Incline BB, Decline BB, and DB pressing are better alternatives in my opinion. Bench press is risky and for those with advanced strength levels shoulder and pec injuries are quite common.
    Last edited by Tom Mutaffis; 01-22-2010 at 10:49 AM.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  12. #337
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    Tom,

    I just wanted to say Holy Crap! You put a lot of time and effort into these posts and are giving away info that I'm sure most of us would pay for.
    "Its not the will to win that matters, everyone has that. Its the will to prepare to win that matters." Bear Bryant
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  13. #338
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    Tom. You helped me gain 20lbs in 3 months a while back. Its amazing what a little insight can do. I'm at a sticking point now... My workout is very basic.. its not a strength program.. more of a fitness program i'd say but basically it goes like this

    Chest/Tris

    BB bench 3x8
    DB Incline 3x10-12
    Cable crossovers 3x10-12
    Butterfly machine 3 x 8-10
    Dips 3x10-12 (weighted)
    EZ bar lying extensions 3x10-12
    Cable pulldowns 3x10-12

    Back/Bi's
    Deadlifts 3x8
    Plated Rows 3x8-10
    Butterfly machine for back
    Lat pulldowns
    Flexors 3x10
    Preacher Curls 3x8

    Shoulders/abs
    Seated DB Press 3 x 8-10
    Lateral raises 3 x 10-12
    Open Ups 3 x 10
    Cross Cable Pulls 3 x 10 (each shoulder)
    Shrugs 3 x 8-10
    assortment of crunches and planks

    Legs
    Squat 3x8
    Leg press 3x8
    Leg extensions 3x10-12
    Leg Curls 3x10-12
    Calf Raises 3x10-12
    Lunges 3 x 10-12

    I was reading about complexes on the home page and am thinking about adding them in for a morning workout. DB and no weights just to keep any fat off. Thanks for the help and critique.

    My problem seems to be in the chest area. My upper pecs (were pec runs to the clavicle) is develped quite nicely. Its the center/lower pec that i'm having problems getting to feel remotely used even. I'm not sure if this is a techinque issue or if its exersize dependant. Basically the part of my chest closests to my sternum feels like its never used in any exersize. Thanks for all the help

    P.S. I'm at 182 after a slight cut to eliminate some of the fat (lost about 7 lbs) but its gradually starting to go back up after cleaning up my bulk diet. Thanks again.
    Last edited by usudno; 01-22-2010 at 11:14 AM.

  14. #339
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    Thank you Tom.

    I am quite baffled with my chest's strength fluctuations. Last year at this time my 1RM max on the BB Bench was 185lbs for 2-3 reps, by the end of January it was 200lbs, by the beginning of March my 5RM was 200lbs(after 3-4 sets(135,155,175) of 5 reps), my 1RM was 235lbs. This was during a period where I can the Madcow 5x5 program if you are familiar with it.

    I started a high volume program following it where I would do 5x8 flat and inclined, pyramiding the weight up to where my heaviest lift was the last two sets. I found myself a lot weaker than I thought I was on the bench and somewhat overestimated myself based on my strength gains in the Madcow program.

    That summer after starting a clean bulk and dieting properly I started to go from 4x8 Flat(170lbs) to 4x8 Inclined(135lbs), to 4x8 Flat(185lbs), to 4x8 Inclined(145lbs). My weight was hanging around 188lbs at this point, soon I started using dumbbells to which I started with 75lbs as my heaviest 8-10rep set, 60lbs for inclined, to where I could max at 90lbs for 8 reps, 75lbs on inclined. Unfortunately, TWICE on the same exercise(flat db bench), I injured my shoulder first with 75lbs, second with 85lbs. Never got any real details about the injury besides the fact that it didn't limit my ROM so the doctor ruled out anything serious like a tendon-snap. I continued to try out different routines with lower weight. I think the week after the week following the injury I went back to flat bb bench one time and did 100lbsx15, 135lbsx15, 205lbx5, 205lbsx5.

    My chest seems to be bouncing around in strength, it shouldn't be hard to do 90lbs for 2-3 clean reps as I had done 90lbs for 8 reps before. But now I may not be able to do that much.

  15. #340
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    My arms seem to be making very good strides just in the two weeks of lifting thus far, especially in comparison to their starting place of when I joined this gym a month ago.

    Last week, my arms routine went like this:
    3x10 - Parallel Dips(2x45lbs, 1xBodyweight)
    3x10 - 12 - BB Curl(70lbs)
    2x10 DB Extension(55lbs, I didn't like the feeling because of my shoulder so I did a set of 70lb skullcrushers afterwards)
    2x10 Hammer Curls(30lbs, 35lbs)
    2x10 Pushdowns(10, 12)
    2x10 Conc. Curls(30lbs, 35lbs)
    5x10 Cluster Drop Sets(8,6,6,6,5)

    This week went a bit like this:
    3x10 Parallel Dip(45lbs all sets)
    3x10 BB Curl(90lbs) - Last set was 8 reps
    - Really clean curls, no swaying.
    1x10 DB Extensions(65lbs)
    - I don't really care for the exercise because my shoulder and doesn't really produce that good of a pump in my triceps, so I did the following afterwards.
    2x10 One Arm DB Extensions(30lbs, 35lbs)
    - These gave me a really good pump in my triceps.
    2x10 Pushdowns(12,14)
    - 12 was too easy so I did 14 on the last set, nearly maxing out the cable machine; Forgot to do hammer curls first.
    2x10 Hammer Curls(35lbs, 40lbs)
    2x10 Conc. Curls(35lbs, 40lbs)
    - Did the second set with 40lbs, for a few reps until I couldn't do anymore and then went to 35lbs in the middle of the set to finish it off.
    -5x10 Cluster Drop Set Rope Extensions(10,8,6,6,6)

    Though my triceps and biceps were absolutely pumped, I decided to throw in one last set of slow rope extensions with 10 on the machine for about six reps.

    Only issues I find is during dips, when I dismount I sometimes experience an intense stretch and pain in my inner chest. I know that dips, if you lean a good bit forward can target your chest more-so than your triceps and for that reason I try to keep my body fairly straight with my arms behind me.

    When I started at the gym, I was bb curling with about 60lbs on the bar, db and hammer curling with 25lbs, bodyweight dips, rope extensions on 4-6, pushdowns on 8.
    Last edited by Trepkos01; 01-22-2010 at 04:10 PM.

  16. #341
    Banned MPB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    MPB -

    Thank you. When you say overhead do you mean standing overhead press, push press, or log/axle press?

    I do have specific templates that may be helpful in bringing up your press, but which program will be most effective would depend on if you are doing a push press or a 'strict' press.

    Please let me know and we can put something together from there.
    Sorry for not being specific. I meant to say strict standing overhead press.

  17. #342
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astreocclu View Post
    Tom i have a friend who is 5.8 and 125 pounds, who is fast and wants to play football, but he is just to goddamn skinny. My advice so far has been to eat pretty much everything in sight and to try to get alot of good lean protein. Is this good advice for someone looking to play football? I guess ill see how his fat is and then change his diet accordingly.
    Here is the 'Bulking Tips' document that I mentioned above (attached).

    If your friend is interested I can write up a detailed weight training program for him, and there are also a number of comprehensive programs in this thread.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  18. #343
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StLRPh View Post
    Tom,

    I just wanted to say Holy Crap! You put a lot of time and effort into these posts and are giving away info that I'm sure most of us would pay for.
    Thank you, if there is anything that I can help you with just let me know.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  19. #344
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    I really appreciate all your help Tom. If you think that explaining that method would be easiest you can say that, if you feel a link would be easier for you personally you should do that. I will talk to my friend, i think in the end he will not be dedicated enough to follow a diet plan...i wish this wasnt true, but i find that 98% of people are to lazy to be all they can be

  20. #345
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    Tom, Im entering a strongman contest in April. Based on the fact that I am not able to do any specific event training except farmers walk with dumbells, what do you think of the way I set up this 5/3/1 routine. My overall goal is still powerlifting but I figure i should give this a shot! It looks like fun!

    Sunday
    Military Press 5/3/1
    Chins 35 reps total
    DB Military 5x10 <--would barbell military be better here?
    (can add something here strongman related. I was thinking farmers walk, but with deadlifts the next day i dont know how my grip would hold up)

    Monday
    Power Clean 5/3/1
    Deadlift 5/3/1
    Deadlift 5x10
    Weighted Sit-Ups 5x10

    Wednesday
    Bench
    Chins 35 reps total
    Dips 5x10
    Farmer's Walk (timed? distance? whats your opinion?)

    Friday
    Squat 5/3/1
    Squat 5x10
    Back Raises 5x10
    Hanging Leg Raises 5x15

    I was also thinking about putting some hill sprints or some sort of cardio on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

    If it helps at all, I'm 5'10" about 215 lbs.
    Military- 185
    Deadlift- 405
    Bench- 285
    Squat- 335

    Those lifts are based on a calculator of this past cycle.

    Thanks for the help,
    Jake

  21. #346
    Jaynnie Coltler pigout789's Avatar
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    Hey Tom Very informative thread thanks for all of your help/
    My question is my friend is going into the marines he asked me what kind of workouts he should do for his conditioning and strength goals.
    What routine do you suggest for a to be marine?
    Height: 5,11
    Weight: 194 (Dieting to 9-10% BF )
    BF%: 13

    The only thing wrong in this world is religon.

    -Kevin

    Why doesn't God heal amputees?

  22. #347
    Time to get BIG aj24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    AJ - Sorry for not getting back to you right away, my responses are posted below in red.



    Please let me know if there is anything else that you would like to go over in greater detail and if you would like to come up with a revised training program based on some of my recommendations.
    I have actually changed up my routine, I started Starting Strength last week. Only thing is im not for sure on how to do power cleans. Ive watched youtube videos but it does look dangerous and looks like a more advanced work out. What can I replace this work out with? Back rows with a barbell?
    Age: 16
    Height: 5'11.5"
    Weight: 170 pounds, 3:30 p.m. on 4/13/10

  23. #348
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Tom a couple questions ( sorry they are a little broad just looking for your opinions ).

    1) What is your opinion of EDT or density training in general?

    2) Do you think that it makes for a good mix of someone wanting to gain size/strength, lean out improve conditioning etc..( I guess you could say for people who have more than one goal in mind ) This of course could all be determined by load and rest periods etc..

    3) Do you think that something like EDT ( or similar density training ) could be used as a finisher to after heavy lifting to improve muscle mass, conditioning etc..

    Link to what EDT not sure if you have heard of it or not.

    http://www.fitnessspotlight.com/2009...-fat-shredder/
    Last edited by View 1; 01-23-2010 at 05:35 PM.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

  24. #349
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usudno View Post
    Tom. You helped me gain 20lbs in 3 months a while back. Its amazing what a little insight can do. I'm at a sticking point now... My workout is very basic.. its not a strength program.. more of a fitness program i'd say but basically it goes like this

    Chest/Tris

    BB bench 3x8
    DB Incline 3x10-12
    Cable crossovers 3x10-12
    Butterfly machine 3 x 8-10
    Dips 3x10-12 (weighted)
    EZ bar lying extensions 3x10-12
    Cable pulldowns 3x10-12

    Back/Bi's
    Deadlifts 3x8
    Plated Rows 3x8-10
    Butterfly machine for back
    Lat pulldowns
    Flexors 3x10
    Preacher Curls 3x8

    Shoulders/abs
    Seated DB Press 3 x 8-10
    Lateral raises 3 x 10-12
    Open Ups 3 x 10
    Cross Cable Pulls 3 x 10 (each shoulder)
    Shrugs 3 x 8-10
    assortment of crunches and planks

    Legs
    Squat 3x8
    Leg press 3x8
    Leg extensions 3x10-12
    Leg Curls 3x10-12
    Calf Raises 3x10-12
    Lunges 3 x 10-12

    I was reading about complexes on the home page and am thinking about adding them in for a morning workout. DB and no weights just to keep any fat off. Thanks for the help and critique.

    My problem seems to be in the chest area. My upper pecs (were pec runs to the clavicle) is develped quite nicely. Its the center/lower pec that i'm having problems getting to feel remotely used even. I'm not sure if this is a techinque issue or if its exersize dependant. Basically the part of my chest closests to my sternum feels like its never used in any exersize. Thanks for all the help

    P.S. I'm at 182 after a slight cut to eliminate some of the fat (lost about 7 lbs) but its gradually starting to go back up after cleaning up my bulk diet. Thanks again.
    Usudno -

    I am glad to hear that the other advice worked out well for you, it sounds like you have made some great progress.

    There are a few things that we can tweak with your current split so that we can incorporate some cardiovascular/conditioning work and also focus more on your pectoral development.

    Complexes in general can make for great cardio, but they are fairly challenging and can sometimes impact recovery as well. I like to incorporate a mix of interval training, low intensity steady state (active recovery), plyometrics, and BB/DB circuits or complexes. The timing of these workouts is quite important but I am not sure if your schedule. Are you able to train every day of the week? Also, what is the order of your workouts? I would always include your lower body training in the middle of the week along with a rest day; usually something like M/T/Th/F with a rest day on Wednesday and lower body training on Thursday works well. This way you can train pulling muscles on Monday or Tuesday, pressing muscles on the other day, and then a general upper body day (Arms/Shoulders) on Friday. It would optimize your recovery.

    For complexes I never like to add in any strenuous cardio the day before my lower body training day, but I do like to add in some type of conditioning work the day after lower body training to increase recovery. Usually you want to pair your most challenging conditioning workouts with your least challenging gym workouts.

    If you can provide me with a few more specifics I will write up a detailed template for you including specific time intervals, exercises, etc.

    With regard to you chest training, I would change up your workout a bit:

    Usudno Chest / Triceps Workout:
    Decline BB Press - 3 x 8
    Flat DB Press - 3 x 8-10
    *Dips - 3 x 10 (weighted)
    Incline BB Press - 2 x 10-12
    Incline Skull Crushers / Extensions - 3 x 8-10
    Pec Deck (Butterfly) - 2 x 15
    Cable Pushdowns - 1 x 50-100 (light)
    **Rope Cable Pushdown Superset - 1 x 8 & 8 (wide/close)

    *Perform the dips on the wider part of the handles, on your final set include a drop set and go BW x max reps for the drop set.

    **For this superset you will pick a weight that you can perform for 8-10 reps and then us the rope attachment while making a full extension and seperating the rope at the bottom pulling out towards your sides. Once you have fatigued you continue with the same weight but this time keep the knots/rubber attachments on the end of the rope squeezed together. This will allow you to perform an additional 5-10 repetitions.


    Please let me know about your schedule and what you think of the modified Chest / Triceps training. Hope this helps!
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 220 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  25. #350
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    hey tom.... in another thread you just posted in you said,


    Certain types of cardiovascular training will not have a negative impact on muscle gains or recovery. There are a few options but here are the most common:

    - Low Intensity Steady State Cardio / An example would be walking on a treadmill at 3 mph for 30-45 minutes.
    - High Intenisy Interval Training / Alternating between periods of high intensity and low intensity, usually at one minute intervals and total sessions lasting 15-25 minutes.
    - Complexes & Circuits / Kettlebell work, plyometrics, etc.


    I was wondering why these types of cardio are considered better than others, and what their effect is on overall gains. I have heard that doing a program like HIIT can help as it makes you hungrier, thus allowing you to increase your caloric intake. Is this true?

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