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Thread: Tom Mutaffis Q&A

  1. #376
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemz View Post
    I was thinking about implementing the FST in the way that, let's say for example my back; 3-4 different exercises, but heavy 4 x 8 and then finish of with a machine for 7 x 12 or would that be an overkill for my back? I'm talking upper back right now. I'm looking for somewhat of a "perfect" combination between gaining some mass and increasing my muscle volume and the "condition" of my muscles, i don't know if that's what you call it?

    I must say, i've always kind of neglected decline work, mostly because the only decline bench in my gym is attached to a bench; next time i'll take the bar out and grab some dumbells and give it a shot to see if i get some nice results. The main reason why i implemented dips was to hit the "inner" part of my chest a bit more, because incline and cross-overs aren't really getting the work done..

    Well, i've heard nothing but good about Nitric Fuel tho', and it's kind of too late to get a sample because i already got a bottle haha! I've tried things out before and got nothing but good results i'll just wait and see i suppose. Alot of people are saying it is the new creatine?

    Another thing i was wondering about, concering supplements, when do you take em? Cuz one thing says 60-90 minutes before training, but somewhere else you read 30 minutes..I've hear people say it kicks in after 20 mins or so, so i suppose i'll give it a try..

    right now for my shoulder workout i do seated db presses and then front raises, side raises and another isolation exercises for the rear delts. i think the biggest difference is in the side muscle of my shoulder in my right shoulder i can see an extra muscle? that i can't see in my left and the right side is a big thicker as well i suppose because i used to "swing" the dumbells when i did side raises, now i'm performing them with correct form. i'm still looking for a good one arm isolation exercise for my rear delts tho, i've been trying:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdd2Fp0L0WU

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CGp-HUz5uI (the second exercise at 5:50)

    I can't say it enough, i really really appreciate the help i get here, especially from you. It's always nice to hear advice from experienced people instead of just reading an article. If i visit america i'll buy you a beer! And if you're ever competing in a strong man that's being aired on tv let me know!
    Shemz -

    Combining FST-7 with power training could provide you with good balance, as long as you are careful not to overtrain. I would drop the 'FST' part in favor of traditional training where you are using relatively heavy weights in the 6-10 rep range while taking 1-2 minutes of rest between sets. You can then finish off with the '7' part of the program to really exhaust your muscles and provide a 'conditioning' aspect while also increasing overall training volume.

    Here is an example of what a Back workout might look like:

    Shemz Back Workout:
    (Warmup)
    Chins (or) Weighted Chins - 3 sets of 8
    One-Arm DB Rows - 3 sets of 8
    T-Bar Rows - 2 sets of 10
    Close Grip Pulldowns - FST-7 's "7" (7 sets of 12 w/ 30 seconds rest)

    In terms of decline work for Chest, a lot of people seem to neglect it not realizing that it is the most effective way to target your pectorals. You can use a barbell or dumbbells and you should also find that it provides a good overload since you can handle more weight on Decline than you can on Flat Bench.

    Regarding the Nitric Fuel, it does contain creatine but not enough for it to be an effective dose. It does contain Beta-Alanine which stacks well with creatine. Since you already have the Nitric Fuel I would recommend stacking it with a good quality Creapure Creatine Monohydrate and perhaps some caffeine for training energy support.

    The directions on Nitric Fuel instruct you to take six tablets 30 minutes prior to training. I would agree with this protocol as the tablets will take some time to break down. You do typically want to eat a balanced meal about 60-90 minutes before training and then take your pre-workout supplements 15-30 minutes prior to your workout. This can vary depending on your goals and specific supplements that are being used.

    I cannot access Youtube videos on my work computer, but for rear deltoid isolation movements I would recommend face pulls or reverse cable flyes (I prefer to do the cable flyes one arm at a time).

    Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with and when I am on my other computer I will check out the videos that you posted.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  2. #377
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Shemz -

    Combining FST-7 with power training could provide you with good balance, as long as you are careful not to overtrain. I would drop the 'FST' part in favor of traditional training where you are using relatively heavy weights in the 6-10 rep range while taking 1-2 minutes of rest between sets. You can then finish off with the '7' part of the program to really exhaust your muscles and provide a 'conditioning' aspect while also increasing overall training volume.

    Here is an example of what a Back workout might look like:

    Shemz Back Workout:
    (Warmup)
    Chins (or) Weighted Chins - 3 sets of 8
    One-Arm DB Rows - 3 sets of 8
    T-Bar Rows - 2 sets of 10
    Close Grip Pulldowns - FST-7 's "7" (7 sets of 12 w/ 30 seconds rest)
    Yeah, that's kind of how i designed my new workout, i tried it out this week and i think it worked well, had a good recovery so, i'll see if it gives me good results. For my back, the chin ups, i'm following an article that was posted on this website, to do rep per rep till you reach 30 with +-15 sec rest between the reps, it hasn't stopped me from performing my other back exercises with their normal weight tho; and i've never stalled in the past, but when i'm trying out something new i'm always a bit worried that i might be overtraining.

    I think i might be overtraining my arms tho, because on, for example, back and bicep day i do FST after my back exercises, but also after my bicep, so maybe i should only perform the FST part on big muscle groups

    decline benching went very well, one of my favorite new exercises haha

    as far as the Nitric fuel goes (in combination with caffeine), it's a great boost, tried it out with this workout and i was able to increase the weight on all exercises with quite a few lbs, i'm just hoping it has +- equal results on the 'volume' part.

    thanks alot for your time! i'm taking a rest week starting monday, finished my exams going on holiday with gf, after that i'm gonna fully dedicate myself to this 'new' way of training and i'll let you know if it has given me decent gains.
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

  3. #378
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    Tom,

    I've been doing SS for 10 weeks and have made decent gains, my lifts are as follows:

    (x5, of course)
    Squat 315
    Deadlift 315
    Bench 225
    OH Press 140
    Power Clean 170 (x3)

    Any ways, my concern is my fat gain, I've gone from around 170 or so to 204 in this short amount of time. I'm doing GOMAD (whole milk) at the moment, and its been going well. I was just wondering if you had a few tips to optimize strength gains and slow down the fat. Cutting down on the milk, maybe? I'm not too concerned about it at the moment, but I'm concerned about not being able to get lean again. Also, what weight would you consider too high for a bulk for me?

    Thanks

  4. #379
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    View 1 -

    I would be happy to provide you with my thoughts on this program. EDT is not something that I have personally tried or done a lot of research on, but I did read through the article and have previously used some similar concepts in my training.

    1.) My thoughts are that this type of training could potentially work very well for upper body movements; and also for lower body movements as long as you closely moderate your workout and use the rest periods to create intensity (versus the amount of weight/reps). I have previously done workouts where I will perform 3-5 reps with my 10-12 RM and hit 5-8 sets with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. This protocol would be similar to an EDT workout.

    2.) This type of program would provide a good amount of volume and also has moderated rest periods, so for hypertrophy/conditioning I would consider it to be a good option. You will increase your strength endurance as well but constantly working with your 10-12 RM may not provide enough resistance to drastically increase 1RM strength. One option may be to use EDT in conjunction with something like a 3x3 or 5x5 protocol (perhaps do one 'session' of each since EDT is broken down into double sessions). Simple answer: For multiple goals (strength/hypertrophy/conditioning) I think EDT is a good option as long as you are not a competitive powerlifter who is striving for optimal 1RM strength.

    3.) I guess that I touched on this in my response to question #2. Yes, I think that using some EDT principals in conjunction with other methods could help to add balance to your program. I would limit yourself to (1) EDT session or perhaps (2) 10-15 minute sessions depending on what you are doing before hand. One thing to be careful of is recovery. If you are going to be doing a mix of power / EDT training in each session then I would probably limit your total number of workouts to three per week, perhaps with an additional 'accessory' day.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you would like to discuss structuring a hybrid EDT program (EDT combined with other methods).
    Thanks for the reply tom.

    I should have been a little more specific right now my first lift is always heavier ( 4-6 reps ramping up ) then I fallow it up with some higher rep work. Ive tried different types of conditioning workouts ( complexes, metablic trainging etc.. ) and I have to be honest I hate working out like that its not for me and I know I wont keep up with it. As I trying to shed some body fat right now, I have done some reading in regards to density training ( EDT was just used as an example ) and I plan to start to doing that with the higher rep stuff as this I know alot of BB due this in there final weeks in contest prep. I know that it wont improve my conditioning as well as doing say complexes, but it will due enough.

    I like the idea of how you preformed density work, and that is something thats easy to due and work into my routine. Again thanks for the feedback you answered my questions perfectly.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

  5. #380
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Andy,

    I assume that you have decided to move on from the Starting Strength program.

    What kind of equipment do you have available to you at the school gym? We can coordinate your squatting/deadlifting for the regular gym day but I am just curious if there are free weights at the school gym or if it is just a machine circuit/etc.

    If you are interested in coming to watch a contest I will be judging the SW Florida's Strongest Man IV / Mike Witmer Memorial in March down in Fort Myers, and will likely be competing in the Show of Champions in Orlando in April. Most of the individuals from the training groups in Tampa/Bradenton should be in attendance at these contests.

    Let me know about the equipment and I will put together a comprehensive gym program for you.
    Tom,
    That sounds good on the events in Ft.Meyers and Orlando, I will make it a poi nt to get to one of them. I know there is one tomorrow in Clearwater but its my sons birthday at ChuckEcheese.
    Ok so on the equipment at the gym. There is a full set of DBs to atleast 100,
    Incline bench, flat, power rack, roman chair, BBs with large assortment of plates. There also is a large cable machine setup- the kind where there are two sides for pull downs, rows, etc and the cables in the middle for flys and such. and a smith machine. I could be missing something but thinks thats about it. edit: and a 45degree leg press
    I am willing to purchase some training equipment for the house as well.
    I just wouldnt know where to begin. I have access to several large fields and large pool. I also have a pretty decent road bike that I like to ride. My favorite lift in the gym is the deadlift.

    I dont know how much of that info is revelant to your plan for me but I figuered it wouldnt hurt. My sig is current as far my size and lifts.

    Thanks again for your help.

    BTW: I saw your last training video and that jump was insane!
    Last edited by Andy31; 01-30-2010 at 01:52 PM. Reason: and a 45degree leg press
    JOURNAL
    6'3" 324lbs 33% started lifting Oct/09

    Squat-315
    Bench-275
    Deadlift-410
    and climbing...

  6. #381
    Wannabebig Member stanton's Avatar
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    Hey Tom

    First I want to thank you for all your time and dedication you give to the board.
    I'm 37.. 5'4" at 161 lbs. I have a mesomorph body. I havn't trained in 8 years but I do have a very good platform to build on. I can get a pic if you need it.
    I'm currently at 13%BF and dropping.

    My problem is I can't eat enough food. I can barely get 2500 cals.
    I would like to talk to you about a diet plan for bulking. Maybe a routine if you see fit. I have been using WBB 1 for 5 weeks and have had some good gains, but I'm sure its muscle memory since I'm so low on cals. I have increased in size and strength everywhere but no weight gain. I don't have my measurements here at work but I can get them if you need to see them.

    I train from 4 to 5 pm for diet planning info you might need. I have been using Nitrean, general multi via, and on my 4th day of Creatine 500.

    Thanks for any help and let me know if you need anymore info.
    Last edited by stanton; 01-31-2010 at 05:10 AM.

  7. #382
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    You listed that I should do a cluster set of 25 on the machine shoulder press, is there a different exercise I could do this with because the machine shoulder press agitates my right shoulder.

  8. #383
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian999 View Post
    Hey Tom I have a couple questions about my routine.

    Started lifting november 2008, you might remember because you were the one that helped me out and build a foundation as far as my diet, and training goes. I did the routine you gave me for about 2 months saw good gains, but I heard a lot of good things about Starting Strength here so I switched over. I was on SS for 7-8 months though. Made good strength and size gains. I was stalling on SS so I switched to Texas Method. I took a couple photos 5 minutes ago just to give you a better idea on where im at now:

    http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/l...2/8B747E7F.jpg

    http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/l...2/7624B289.jpg

    http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/l...12/23E8BE5.jpg

    There iphone pics sorry for the not so good quality. I gained a lot of weight and also a lot of fat.

    After vacation 2 weeks ago I was 205, I know for a fact I gained some weight already and I might look big in the photo but I just ate. I might be around 210 or so now. I've been on texas method for about 2-3 months now, and I'm just getting a little bored of it. I would like to switch over to hypertrophy training while I cut, and continue it for when I bulk again if thats possible. I have been cutting slightly and it's very hard to lift heavy on Friday because I have squat to a heavy 5, bp to a heavy, and deadlift to a heavy 5. I haven't seen any good strength or size gains on Texas Method and I feel I can handle more only because it doesn't seem like a big step up from SS. I would like to focus more on size gains then strength if possible because I think Texas is still leaning more towards strength, what do you think? Here's the current routine-Texas Method:

    Squat 5x5
    Bench 5x5
    Row 5x5
    sit-ups

    Front Squat 3x3
    GM 2x5
    OH Press 2x5
    pull-ups 2 sets to failure. I can only do about 10-15.

    Squat to Heavy 5
    Bench to Heavy 5
    DL to Heavy 5

    My numbers a little over 1 month ago were 465x2 on the deadlift, 355x2 on the squat, and 265x2 on the bench press. Im not too sure where my numbers are now because I've just been trying to get my full sets/reps in and not focus on putting more weight on the bar like before.

    I had my eye on 2 routines the one you posted in the bodybuilding Q&A and Baby Got Back, I'm not too sure which would be best for me if neither, so I'd like your opinion. I'd appreciate any tips or advice you have to offer for somebody in my situation. Thanks in advance for your time.
    Brian,

    I am glad that my initial advice was helpful; it looks like you have made some good gains.

    The Texas Method can be a good program for strength gains but I would agree that for maximum hypertrophy you may want to look at some other options, especially when on a restricted diet. If you are still looking for a 3-Day split I wrote one in the begining of this thread that can be modified to still include some heavy power lifts but also some volume and isolation training to help maximize muscle gains.

    Here are a few examples:

    Monday: Pulling (Deadlift, Back, Biceps)
    Wednesday: Lower (Squats, Etc.)
    Friday: Pushing (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)

    Monday: Upper Body - Chest / Back (Power)
    Wednesday: Lower Body
    Friday: Upper Body - Biceps/Triceps/Shoulders (Volume)

    Monday: Chest & Triceps
    Wednesday: Squats (or) Deadlift, Alternate Weekly
    Friday: Back, Shoulders, & Biceps

    Monday: Bench & Chins (5x5), Incline Bench & Rows (3x8 or 4x6)
    Wednesday: Squat, SLDL, Box or Front Squat, Lunges, Etc.
    Friday: Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders (FST-7, etc.)

    As you can see there are a number of options. I know that you mentioned that usually Friday's are a tough workout for you and it might be better to keep things light on that day.

    Are there any specific body parts that you would like to focus on? Would you be interested in a four day split?

    In terms of general tips, what were you looking for? Diet? Supplements?

    Please let me know some specifics about what you are looking for and I can give a recommendation from there along with any tips that may be helpful.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  9. #384
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MPB View Post
    Thanks Tom for taking your time to help me out.

    This is what I do on my dynamic effort days:
    1. Speed bench, 9 sets of 3 reps (alternating close/medium/wide grips) using 40%~50% of my 1RM
    2. One heavy shoulder movement, 3 sets of 5 reps. I rotate standing barbell overhead press and standing one arm dumbbell press weekly
    3. Triceps extensions, 3 sets of 12~20 reps. I usually choose one movement from tate press, db rolling extensions, skull crushers, or pushdowns
    4. One rowing movement, 3 sets of 12~20 reps. I usually dumbbell rows to limit the strain on my lower back
    5. Accessory work/rehab/prehab/conditioning or anything I need to work on for about 5 minutes

    Max effort days:
    1. Max effort bench, I try work up to my 1RM and try to get 3 lifts within +90% of my max. Sometimes, I'll work up to 3RM. I usually rotate flat bench, close grip floor press, board press, and close grip bench press.
    2. One heavy triceps/chest movement, 3 sets of 5 reps. I rotate dumbbell press, close grip board press, close grip incline press, and close grip floor press.
    3. Triceps extensions, 3 sets of 12~20 reps. I usually choose one movement from tate press, db rolling extensions, skull crushers, or pushdowns
    4. One vertical pulling movement, 3 sets of 8~12 reps. I do weighted pull ups or sometimes lat pull downs.
    5. Accessory work/rehab/prehab/conditioning or anything I need to work on for about 5 minutes
    MPB -

    To build your overhead (and even your bench) I would change up the order of exercises slightly as well as some of the rep ranges.

    DE Day:
    - Standing Military Press / 6 sets of 4
    - Speed Bench / 9 sets of 3 @ 40-50%
    - Rowing Movement / 3 sets of 15 reps
    - Seated DB Military Press / 2 sets of 8 reps
    - Triceps Pushdowns / 1 set of 75-100 reps, 2 sets of 8-12 reps

    ME Day:
    - Bench / 5-3-1 protocol
    - Medium Grip Board Press (or) Floor Press / 4 sets of 4 reps
    - Triceps Accessory Movement / 2 sets of 8-10
    - Incline DB Press / 2 sets of 8-12 reps
    - Vertical Pulling Movement / 3 sts of 8-12 reps
    - 10 minutes of Conditioning/Prehab/Etc.

    The best ways to make consistent gains is to prioritize and to include variation.

    Please let me know what you think of the program and if there are certain exercises that you would like to swap we can customize things to meet your preferences.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  10. #385
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astreocclu View Post
    Would it be alright if i put him on WS4SB. I say this because i am doing it and have about 5 kids working out with me, and while i may seem clueless to people on here, these kids really have NO idea what they are doing, so i basically have them do the same thing as me and watch them and teach them form and stuff.
    Under those circumstances I would say to just have him follow along with your program. The only thing to be careful of is that with 6 individuals training together you may want to run two benches/racks/etc. to keep the rest periods down.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  11. #386
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Brian,

    I am glad that my initial advice was helpful; it looks like you have made some good gains.

    The Texas Method can be a good program for strength gains but I would agree that for maximum hypertrophy you may want to look at some other options, especially when on a restricted diet. If you are still looking for a 3-Day split I wrote one in the begining of this thread that can be modified to still include some heavy power lifts but also some volume and isolation training to help maximize muscle gains.

    Here are a few examples:

    Monday: Pulling (Deadlift, Back, Biceps)
    Wednesday: Lower (Squats, Etc.)
    Friday: Pushing (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)

    Monday: Upper Body - Chest / Back (Power)
    Wednesday: Lower Body
    Friday: Upper Body - Biceps/Triceps/Shoulders (Volume)

    Monday: Chest & Triceps
    Wednesday: Squats (or) Deadlift, Alternate Weekly
    Friday: Back, Shoulders, & Biceps

    Monday: Bench & Chins (5x5), Incline Bench & Rows (3x8 or 4x6)
    Wednesday: Squat, SLDL, Box or Front Squat, Lunges, Etc.
    Friday: Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders (FST-7, etc.)

    As you can see there are a number of options. I know that you mentioned that usually Friday's are a tough workout for you and it might be better to keep things light on that day.

    Are there any specific body parts that you would like to focus on? Would you be interested in a four day split?

    In terms of general tips, what were you looking for? Diet? Supplements?

    Please let me know some specifics about what you are looking for and I can give a recommendation from there along with any tips that may be helpful.
    Thank you Tom! I should have been more specific. I like this split:

    Monday: Bench & Chins (5x5), Incline Bench & Rows (3x8 or 4x6)
    Wednesday: Squat, SLDL, Box or Front Squat, Lunges, Etc.
    Friday: Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders (FST-7, etc.)

    but I also wouldn't mind going to the gym 4-5 days a week. I have been trying to go 4-5 days now to get my cardio in. I can go Monday-Friday I can't on the weekends because I come late from work. In your opinion whats best for maximum hypertrophy. Training 3,4, or 5 days a week?

    I would really like to focus primarily on my back, it's been that way since I first started. If you can help me come up with a good routine to help me with my goals that would be great.

    The general tips I was looking for was mostly about cardio. I was looking more for a routine that had my cardio also structered into it. I feel like I have my diet, and supplementation down for the most part. I try to shoot for 5-7 meals a day. Now that I'm cutting its high protein and I cycle between low and mid carb. Saturday and Sunday are both cheat days for me and are high carb. I can go in depth in my diet if you'd like but I try to keep it fairly the same so I don't track it on fitday anymore, and I have lost over 20lbs already so I should be doing it right I hope. The only supplements I'm using are RESULTS and Nitrean.

    Thanks for your time!
    My Journal: http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...=1#post2241618


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  12. #387
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    Tom,

    Thank you for making that routine for me and i will start using it in a couple of weeks. At the moment i dont have access to a gym and im getting sick of sitting at home doing nothing. Im going to do the complexes you came up with for me, but is there anything else i could do? I will get some adjustable dumbbells but that will probably be it.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. #388
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    MPB -

    To build your overhead (and even your bench) I would change up the order of exercises slightly as well as some of the rep ranges.

    DE Day:
    - Standing Military Press / 6 sets of 4
    - Speed Bench / 9 sets of 3 @ 40-50%
    - Rowing Movement / 3 sets of 15 reps
    - Seated DB Military Press / 2 sets of 8 reps
    - Triceps Pushdowns / 1 set of 75-100 reps, 2 sets of 8-12 reps

    ME Day:
    - Bench / 5-3-1 protocol
    - Medium Grip Board Press (or) Floor Press / 4 sets of 4 reps
    - Triceps Accessory Movement / 2 sets of 8-10
    - Incline DB Press / 2 sets of 8-12 reps
    - Vertical Pulling Movement / 3 sts of 8-12 reps
    - 10 minutes of Conditioning/Prehab/Etc.

    The best ways to make consistent gains is to prioritize and to include variation.

    Please let me know what you think of the program and if there are certain exercises that you would like to swap we can customize things to meet your preferences.
    Hey Tom, thanks a lot.

    One thing that I'd like to discuss is:

    Would it be okay if I do a max effort movement on ME day instead of 5-3-1? I have actually tried 5-3-1 method before. I did it for 6 months and my bench really didn't go anywhere but it actually dropped. It worked pretty good for my squat and military press but not really for the bench. So I'm kind of concerned about giving it another shot.

  14. #389
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthbuddy1 View Post
    At what point would I transition from a beginner to an intermediate and then to an advanced level? Im speaking in terms of BB and hypertrophy gains. I have lifted for over 20 years but never with a good solid diet or program, thus no really good gains. I have also laid off for over 5 years and then got back into it and made gains getting me to where I am now. Ive been back into it for around 4 years I guess with the last full year and a half using various routines, keeping journals, learning, testing my knowledge. Also for the last year I have been clean with diet, tracking macros and calories. Im making gains, but they are slow. Im wondering if looking into more intermediate type programs would be the ticket?
    EarthBuddy -

    Your question is somewhat vague and so I would like to clarify a few things before making a recommendation. What type of training split do your currently follow? And what are your general strength levels (can be 1RM, rep PR's, etc.)?

    It sounds like you are on the right track in terms of consistency and tracking. Perhaps some type of designated progression or additional variation would be the best solution, but I would first want to know more about your current status and program.

    Please reply to let me know and I can give some suggestions from there.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  15. #390
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trepkos01 View Post
    Everything seems to be progressing very well with your program but my chest is starting to be driven out of the comfort zone. Today I did 205x5, 215x3, 225x1 on the flat barbell bench, 75lb dumbbells on the decline db, 65,70,65lb dumbbells on the inclined db, and 40lb db flies.

    It is evident that my chest is very weak or has dramatically decreased or stalled in strength. A brief history on my chest statistics.

    Week 3 and I'm already beginning to dig into the zone where I may or may not be able to push the weight. This week's lift felt pretty tough all around, not sure if I should slow the progress down or keep trying to go even more but I may need to get a spotter or bench press on the power rack where there are safety bars to catch the weight. If I do fail next week, do I continue to try that weight for the following week? Do I deload for a week then, hit that same weight the week after?

    My chest is very weak and small(43"'s) and I'm prioritizing a growth in strength, I want to get where I can do the following.

    135x10, 185x10, 205x8, 225x8 for Flat
    90-100lbs Dumbbells on Inclined and Declined.
    If you are following a 5/3/1 progression protocol for your chest then you should be deloading every three weeks. A lot of people believe that they have to add weight to the bar every single week to get stronger, but that simply is not the case.

    Something like this could work well for you in terms of progression:

    Week 1 - Volume (4-6 sets of 5-8 reps)
    Week 2 - Power (3-4 sets of 2-5 reps)
    Week 3 - Intensity (work up to a 2-3 RM)
    Week 4 - Deload (2-3 sets of 10 with no more than 50% 1RM)
    Week 5 - Repeat Week 1

    Each time that you run through the cycle you try to improve upon your previous workout for that specific objective. For example if you last volume workout was 4 sets of 5 with 200 lbs then for this workout you will either try to hit 5x5 at 200 or perform 6 reps on your first couple of sets. You do not necessarily have to add weight every single workout or even on every cycle. This is how you build strength without overtraining or getting injured.

    In terms of working to failure and safety, I would bench in the power rack if you cannot find a suitable spotter so that you are able to rest the bars on the pins if you get stuck.

    Hope this helps; have you started a training log here?
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  16. #391
    I Wanna Be Strong(er)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Pilot View Post
    Tom-
    In regards to nutrition and trying to keep your weight gain positive but lean, how do you treat off-rest day nutrition?

    Same calories but lower carb intake?
    Same calories?
    Less calories due to less expenditure?

    It would seem I most often see the suggestion "same calories but less carbs!" in regards to bulking. My logic says to take in a few hundred less to keep a ~250cal surplus since Ive done less work for the day...
    x2..

    ??

    Thanks.
    Last edited by T o m m Y; 02-02-2010 at 11:34 AM.
    Get Strong(er)
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    "You Were Born Small & Weak....But Nobody Said You Have To Stay That Way"

    "Gain weight - this is almost impossible to recommend right now. The whole world is on a skinny jeans kick and visible abs are "in". What is also in-style is not being a narcissitic pussy. Performance trumps looks EVERYTIME. Just ask the next woman you sleep with" Jim Wendler

  17. #392
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    Yeah, on the above progression routine for bb bench, what exactly is the intensity workout? You say to work up to a 2-3RM, do you mean something like, 10, 8, 6, 3? or what?

    How do I deload on the 5/3/1 also? I plan on reaching my goals on the 5/3/1 on bench and squat then starting the above routine for those exercises.

    Here is my online journal which is updated at the end of each week.

    http://wannabebig.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133564

  18. #393
    The King of Crash jtrink's Avatar
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    Hey Tom,

    I'm looking to start getting into a hypertrophy routine... I was on starting strength for a long time and went from 155-180 lbs. I would like to change things up, instead of training strictly for strength, I would like more of a combination. My chest is probably one of the weaker points on me right now. I have no limitations to the lifts I can do. I would like to keep the big three incorporated in my new plan, bench, squat, deadlift. Thanks for any help!

  19. #394
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotJim View Post
    Hey Tom,
    I am new to weight lifting and I am currently doing the SS program. I am very happy with it and have been making some pretty good gains. However, I am also a basketball player and I am pretty sure I am burning off too many calories. I am now supplementing my diet with ON 100% Whey and I just ordered At Large's Creatine 500.

    My question is this, how do you recommend I take these supps? Here is what I was planning on:
    -Whey w/ whole milk as soon as I wake up
    -Creatine mixed with gatorade 1 hr pre workout
    -Whey immediately after workout
    -Whey w/ whole milk before bed(I know that a better bed time protein would be casein but will this still work?)

    Thanks for your help
    You definitely want to make sure that you are consuming enough calories/protein if you are going to follow an intense program like Starting Strength. Shakes are a great way to meet these daily requirements; though there are some things that I would change about your regimen.

    - Morning Shake / (1) Scoop Protein, Oatmeal
    - Pre Workout / Creatine with Gatorade Powder
    - Post Workout / (2) Scoops Protein, Water
    - Bedtime / (1) Scoop Protein, Milk

    Another way to make a high calorie shake would be to mix heavy cream or olive oil with protein powder. A couple of these shakes per day can easily give you an extra 500-750 calories (1-1.5 lbs/wk).

    Let me know if there is anything else that I can help with in terms of your training, diet, or supplements.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  20. #395
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PistolPete_1999 View Post
    Hi Tom,

    Great wealth of information here. I was wondering if you have any "hypertrophy/strongman training combo" programs? I'm getting bored using standard equipment and would like to use strongman equipment to pack on size.

    Any suggestions/advice from you is greatly appreciated.
    Pete,

    I do have a program that should be released some time this month.

    The article is saved on my home computer but I will post up the template for you later tonight and then we can customize the program for you from there.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  21. #396
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmanuel View Post
    Tom,
    I plan on competing primarily in the 181 raw weight class for the duration of 2010. I was pondering my future in strength sports last night, and there is definitely an appeal to follow my 2010 year in 181s with a big bulk to ~225 and try my hand at strongman implements. Bulking will be the easy part, and I found a crew that meets about 1.5 hr from me every saturday for implements. My question: What is a good strength base prior to getting into strongman and also do you have any resources for those just getting into the sport?
    This is a tough question because gym strength does not always translate to performance in strongman events. There are a lot of factors and many of them have to do with athleticism, mental strength, and genetic factors such as bone structure. For example I have seen individuals who can squat 600 lbs but cannot yoke walk 600 lbs; and have also seen athletes who can run with 600 lbs yokes but can only squat maybe 400 lbs.

    Some of the most important gym lifts for strongman are:
    - Standing Strict Press / Push Press
    - Deadlift & Deadlift Variations
    - Front Squat / Olympic Squat

    Some other things that you may want to train would be grip strength, plyometrics, and work capacity. Things like high rep squats, complexes, and olympic lifts can be a good way to prepare for strongman.

    I would also be careful where you choose to train events; definitely take things easy for the first couple of sessions so that you can get a feel for the implements and also the training group.

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

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  22. #397
    Jaynnie Coltler pigout789's Avatar
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    Hey Tom Great thread man. My question is that the short head of my left bicep is smaller than the outer head and i dont know how to really fix this other than working my biceps. Is there any specific info you can give me on this area. Its a constant nag everytime i look in the mirror. Im on BGB hopeing that the The bicep work would help me out a bit. Do you know any reason this could be happening and if being on BGB will help me out?
    Height: 5,11
    Weight: 194 (Dieting to 9-10% BF )
    BF%: 13

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  23. #398
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Pilot View Post
    Tom-
    In regards to nutrition and trying to keep your weight gain positive but lean, how do you treat off-rest day nutrition?

    Same calories but lower carb intake?
    Same calories?
    Less calories due to less expenditure?

    It would seem I most often see the suggestion "same calories but less carbs!" in regards to bulking. My logic says to take in a few hundred less to keep a ~250cal surplus since Ive done less work for the day...
    My off day nutrition actually varies quite a bit depending on the previous training day and upcoming workouts. In general I will usually consume less calories and less carbohydrates on non-training days, but the recovery day following strongman workouts or the rest day prior to heavy lower body training or events training will usually be a higher calorie day.

    If you are looking for a simple solution then I would say to just set up your normal meals so that you are near maintenance calories. On training days you will have additional nutrients pre-workout and post-workout which will push you into a surplus. Depending on exactly what you are doing this can range from an additional 400-800+ calories on each training day. Someone who is training 4 times per week would therefore gain between 1/2 - 1 lb /wk.

    You could also do something like this:

    Monday: Pressing Day (500 calorie suplus)
    Tuesday: Back Day (500 calorie surplus)
    Wendesday: Rest Day (500 calorie surplus - mostly in the evening)
    Thursday: Lower Body Day (750-1,000 calorie surplus)
    Friday: Accessory Day (250 calorie surplus)
    Saturday: Rest - Maintenance Calories
    Sunday: Rest - Maintenance Calories

    Weekly Surplus: 2,500-2,750 (.71-.79 lbs)

    The calorie surplus on Wednesday would be your regular meals along with an added high protein/moderate fat meal near bedtime. On Thursday (most intense training session) you will also increase carbohydrate intake with your regular meals throughout the day and have a larger post-workout shake.

    When determining your maintenance calories most calculators factor in your activity levels, so the additional activity from your training should not offset your pre/post workout meals. If that is the case then you can always throw in an extra meal following your post-workout shake on training days.

    Hope this helps; let me know if you would like me to put together something specific to your routine.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  24. #399
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astreocclu View Post
    say i can do 40 sit ups...i would then do 15-20 6 times a day for the whole week? or would you do 15-20 12 times 4 days a week?
    I would probably go with 15 situps for your working sets and go with 10-15 sets per day for five days out of the week. This will still leave you with two recovery days and your body should adapt to the volume relatively quickly.

    This may sound like a lot, it really is not that bad. Over the weekend I was snowed in and did 33 sets of (3) chins since I was not able to go to the gym; at the end of the day I was not fatigued in any way.

    Keep me posted on your training and 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: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  25. #400
    I Wanna Be Strong(er)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    My off day nutrition actually varies quite a bit depending on the previous training day and upcoming workouts. In general I will usually consume less calories and less carbohydrates on non-training days, but the recovery day following strongman workouts or the rest day prior to heavy lower body training or events training will usually be a higher calorie day.

    If you are looking for a simple solution then I would say to just set up your normal meals so that you are near maintenance calories. On training days you will have additional nutrients pre-workout and post-workout which will push you into a surplus. Depending on exactly what you are doing this can range from an additional 400-800+ calories on each training day. Someone who is training 4 times per week would therefore gain between 1/2 - 1 lb /wk.

    You could also do something like this:

    Monday: Pressing Day (500 calorie suplus)
    Tuesday: Back Day (500 calorie surplus)
    Wendesday: Rest Day (500 calorie surplus - mostly in the evening)
    Thursday: Lower Body Day (750-1,000 calorie surplus)
    Friday: Accessory Day (250 calorie surplus)
    Saturday: Rest - Maintenance Calories
    Sunday: Rest - Maintenance Calories

    Weekly Surplus: 2,500-2,750 (.71-.79 lbs)

    The calorie surplus on Wednesday would be your regular meals along with an added high protein/moderate fat meal near bedtime. On Thursday (most intense training session) you will also increase carbohydrate intake with your regular meals throughout the day and have a larger post-workout shake.

    When determining your maintenance calories most calculators factor in your activity levels, so the additional activity from your training should not offset your pre/post workout meals. If that is the case then you can always throw in an extra meal following your post-workout shake on training days.

    Hope this helps; let me know if you would like me to put together something specific to your routine.
    Right now training is 5/3/1...Ive been looking at Bill Starr Single Factor 5x5 program for awhile now and been wanting to give it a try..So my days would be mon wed fri..What are your thoughts on the 5x5 program??

    Right now tho i train sun,mon,wed,fri...My cals are like 4k on the lifting days,400ish carbs,300ish pro,and maybe 60-70ish fats..On my off days i take in around 3200-3500 cals.. i usually drop my carbs down to like 250ish,pro maybe up a little bit more and fats up to make up for the less carbs im taking in.. i do some type of cardio:walking on the tredmill on a incline,sprints,sled drags,tire push,hammer hits..

    Does that look like a good way to do it??
    Im just trying to keep up my conditioning level and keep the fat at bay all while getting as big and strong as possible..

    thanks tom!
    Last edited by T o m m Y; 02-04-2010 at 01:43 PM.
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