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Thread: Tom Mutaffis Q&A

  1. #676
    Wannabebig Member
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    Tom,

    Great thread here! I've got a pretty easy question for you. I would really like to train with guys who are strongmen or powerlifters. At some point I would love to compete in at least one competition, but I'm not at that point yet.

    My question is, can you recommend a gym in NJ that would be good for this training? I'm on the western side of the state, in Hunterdon County. I'm not opposed to traveling a little bit, but not too much if I were to switch gyms completely.

    Thanks in advance,
    Gregg

  2. #677
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    R_H,

    You can do Farmers/Trap Bar Deadlift on a weekly basis if you use it as your primary deadlifting movement and have a progression template that will allow for enough recovery (5/3/1 works well for some people).

    With regard to your gym training you may want to train Tuesday/Thursday instead of Wednesday/Friday, this would give you an extra day of rest before your strongman workout and one day of rest following your workout should be sufficient as long as the first gym day is an Upper Body day.

    I have a couple of modified 5/3/1 spreadsheets that a friend of mine put together and I would be happy to post them here if you would like. They were basically created to accommodate strongman training. Let me know if you would like for me to post them.

    Do you have any video of your yoke or farmers walk? I may be able to help you with the technique.
    Hi Tom, thanks for replying.

    I've moved closer to school, and for the time being, I'm training at the school's gym, which is pretty barebones (no access to implements or trap bar). I've gone back to linear progression, because I'm eating and sleeping more (I'm getting at least 7 hours a night now). I ended up training Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday, which is working out fairly well, especially Sunday (gym is basically empty).

    My program now is:

    squat: warmup (1x5@45%, 1x3@65%, 1x3@85%, 1x2@95%), then 3x5@working weight, then 5x2@110% of my working weight (3s pause in the hole if I'm in a rack with safety bars).

    DL: similar to squat, but warmup starts at 65% and I only do 1x5 with the working weight

    I haven't done any pressing in a while, I should start again, but I'll probably end up doing something similar. (I'll give Tues: squat, press; Thurs: squat, snatch grip DL/pendlay row; Sun: squat, DL a try)

    5/3/1, or at least the BBB template wasn't working for me, the volume was way too much and at the end of each squatting or DLing session my sciatica flared up.
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  3. #678
    Senior Member Bosshogg300's Avatar
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    After reading about ten or so different articles about strongman training I have taken what I have found and tried to formulate the best spilt I know how to, i am trying and get something in line for this week so I can start so heres what I have so far , the only thing Im not to sure on is the rep scheme and how many sets, i saw a post on bb.com you left on your training and you stated for the main movements you do 3-5 reps and for the next compound movement you do 5-8 reps, and the rest of the workout you use 8-12 reps, and with the smaller muscle groups you use dropsets and supersets,i am wondering if these rep ranges, dropsets, and supersets are what i should do. Also i am not entirely sure how to set up my Strongman training events, so i put down Alternating volume and power work each week so if this method is good then let me know put if not then could you help with this aswell, thanks Ed

    Monday (Chest, Triceps, Shoulders)
    Reg bench
    Db press / incline bench
    Pushdowns/dips
    Skull crushers/db extensions
    Shoulder press /Bent over rear delt raise

    Tuesday (Legs, Back, Abs, and Grip training)
    Squat or Deads- rotating lifts each week, along with rotating rep schemes each week
    Leg press, stiff legs, or zercher squats
    Cable rows/ incline t bar rows
    Lat pulls/ pull-ups
    Sit-ups, knee raises

    Wednesday-Rest & light cardio and stretching

    Thursday- Overhead event training, Traps, triceps and biceps
    Log press, axle press, or push press
    Heavy barbell shrugs or high pulls
    Triceps pushdowns (moderate weight)
    Alternating curls
    Hammer curls

    Friday- Rest and Light cardio and stretching

    Saturday- strongman events Alternating volume and power work each week
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  4. #679
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I wanted to update this thread since I have now decided to offer custom programs which will be a lot more comprehensive than what I have posted in this thread. Each program includes a phone consultation and detailed training information including weights, sets, reps, and training template. Additional coaching is also available for ongoing training, diet information, and nutritional supplements.

    http://mutaffis.wordpress.com/training-programs/

    For basic or general training questions I will still answer those here.
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  5. #680
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Going to bump this thread in case anyone is interested in discussing their training/nutrition/supplements/etc.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 225 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  6. #681
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Great idea Tom!

  7. #682
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Tom: What is your view as far as 'eating times' go? I've heard multiple stances ranging from "As long as one eats the appropriate amount of calories and macros, the timing isn't that imperative" to "Not eating at least x amount of meals a day can lead to negative effects including greater fat deposition."
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  8. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoopipally View Post
    Tom: What is your view as far as 'eating times' go? I've heard multiple stances ranging from "As long as one eats the appropriate amount of calories and macros, the timing isn't that imperative" to "Not eating at least x amount of meals a day can lead to negative effects including greater fat deposition."
    My view on 'eating times' and meal breakdown is that you should consider the maco-nutrients and the pairing/timing of those rather than looking at a specific number of meals or window of time.

    Obviously if someone is working to consume a large number of calories and 'force feeding' then they may want to go with a specific protocol in terms of timed meals or number of meals within a given period of time. For all individuals I would recommend looking at the breakdown of the meal (fat/carbohydrate/protein content) and then determining where in your day that meal is going to serve you the best.

    I do not have any specific principles in terms of something like 'you need to split your meals into 5 meals/day and have one every 2.5 hours' - but I also do not see a problem with individuals who choose to set up their eating in a regimented manner like that.

    To give a simple answer I would say that you need to look at the big picture, and then focus a bit further to look at where each specific meal is going to give you the greatest benefit in terms of nutritional value (providing energy, keeping you 'full', etc.).

    Hope this helps.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

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  9. #684
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    What are your favorite strengtheners for the lower back?

    What are your favorite stretches and mobility work for the lower back?
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  10. #685
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
    What are your favorite strengtheners for the lower back?

    What are your favorite stretches and mobility work for the lower back?
    I like to perform strongman events or compound lifts without a belt when possible (I do have an abdominal hernia so I don't go crazy with this), and I also do a fair amount of deadlift variations and rows which are good for building your low back. In terms of isolation movements I will usually do some weighted hyperextensions about once per week, but not with any crazy amount of weight or volume.

    For stretches and mobility I have always found that my back gets tight when I have tight hamstrings. If I am having lower back issues I like to foam roll and then stretch my hamstrings as best I can. Sometimes I will also try to tension my back by having someone pull on my ankles while I anchor myself to something with my arms (can also be done hanging from a pull-up bar and adding weight to your lower body).

    I assume that you believe that your low back is a potential weak point? Or are you just looking to build a 'bulletproof' low back?
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

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  11. #686
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Going to bump this thread since I am back on the forum and have been getting back in the gym more regularly as well.

    Please feel free to ask any questions relating to diet, training, healthy lifestyle, strongman competitions, etc.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 225 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  12. #687
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Going to bump this thread since I am back on the forum and have been getting back in the gym more regularly as well.

    Please feel free to ask any questions relating to diet, training, healthy lifestyle, strongman competitions, etc.
    Tom, GREAT to have you back! Lurkers, ask this man questions. He knows his stuff!

  13. #688
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Tom, my major weak point is my chest, what would you recommend I do to bring it up to speed in both hypertrophy and a strength perspective? Currently I am doing something along the following twice a week and have started seeing some decent improvement but I'm sure it can be improved.

    Bench or DB Bench - 5x5 2-3' rest
    Incline DB Fly - 3x8 - 1.5' rest
    Weighted Dips - 3x8-10 1.5' rest
    Cable Crossover or Pec Dec - 3x10-12 1.5' rest
    Tricep Pressdown - 3x10-12 1.5' rest

    I am less concerned with the tricep work but figured I would mention it, I am mainly focused on the chest itself rather than just increasing my bench.

  14. #689
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Tom, my major weak point is my chest, what would you recommend I do to bring it up to speed in both hypertrophy and a strength perspective? Currently I am doing something along the following twice a week and have started seeing some decent improvement but I'm sure it can be improved.

    Bench or DB Bench - 5x5 2-3' rest
    Incline DB Fly - 3x8 - 1.5' rest
    Weighted Dips - 3x8-10 1.5' rest
    Cable Crossover or Pec Dec - 3x10-12 1.5' rest
    Tricep Pressdown - 3x10-12 1.5' rest

    I am less concerned with the tricep work but figured I would mention it, I am mainly focused on the chest itself rather than just increasing my bench.
    If you are doing that work with much intensity it looks like too much to me. Is the ' indicating minutes?

  15. #690
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    If you are doing that work with much intensity it looks like too much to me. Is the ' indicating minutes?
    Yeah it is minutes. I have done lower volume for much of my lifting past and never saw much in terms of gains. My legs and back have professed great but my chest has always been a huge weak point. For example, when I was dead lifting 475 and squatting 405 I could only bench 235. Aesthetically my chest has always lacked as well and could use some solid mass added to it.

    I am thinking of removing the tricep work and adding some lat movements and having a dedicated arm day another day.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by ncsuLuke; 08-22-2014 at 10:37 PM.

  16. #691
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    Tom, my major weak point is my chest, what would you recommend I do to bring it up to speed in both hypertrophy and a strength perspective? Currently I am doing something along the following twice a week and have started seeing some decent improvement but I'm sure it can be improved.

    Bench or DB Bench - 5x5 2-3' rest
    Incline DB Fly - 3x8 - 1.5' rest
    Weighted Dips - 3x8-10 1.5' rest
    Cable Crossover or Pec Dec - 3x10-12 1.5' rest
    Tricep Pressdown - 3x10-12 1.5' rest

    I am less concerned with the tricep work but figured I would mention it, I am mainly focused on the chest itself rather than just increasing my bench.
    Here is what I would do in terms of a workout, and I would group your Triceps training with Shoulders so that you can focus on Chest for this session. I have included rest periods since I noticed that you currently track that.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chest Workout:

    Flat DB Bench Press:

    - Warm-up sets of 15, 10, 5, 3, 2 (for example if you are planning to use 90 lbs for your working set you might do 25's for 15, 40's for 10, 55's for 5, 70's for 3, and then 80's for 2).
    - Working Set of 4-8 reps (to failure) -> Drop set here is optional, I would rest 3 minutes before next set.
    - Back Down Set of 8-10 reps (to failure, then rest 3-4 minutes).

    Incline Barbell Bench Press:

    - Set of 8-10 (leaving 1-2 reps in the tank, rest 2-3 minutes)
    - Set of 5-7 (to failure, rest 2-3 minutes)
    - Cluster set of 10-12 (failure) and then rest-pause two more times with 30-45 second rests between sets and then trying to knock out as many reps as possible. (rest three minutes afterward)

    Decline Press Machine (or Dumbbell Press) / Superset with Wide Grip Dips:

    - Manageable weight for 8-10 reps / BW for 10 (rest 1-2 minutes)
    - Manageable weight for 8-10 reps / BW for 10 (rest 1-2 minutes)
    - Manageable weight for 8-10 reps / BW to failure

    Pec Deck or Cable Crossover:

    - Moderate weight for set of 10-15 reps (rest 1-2 minutes)
    - Set of 10 reps (to failure) drop set (3 times) 20-30 lbs drops with 5+ reps each drop (no rest between drops, rest 3 minutes afterward).
    - Moderate weight for (2) sets of 10-15 reps with 1-2 minute rest between sets

    *Finish off with a set of push-up's (could do clapping if you want) to failure.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This workout should give you a good balance of strength and size.

    Please let me know your thoughts and if there is anything that you would want to discuss modifying due to equipment needs or personal preference.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

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  17. #692
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    That is awesome, thanks for the help Tom I will be implementing that exact routine on Monday. Can't wait, that looks really solid, thanks again!

  18. #693
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    What I have found is that my "weaker" body parts actually benefit from less volume as they can tolerate less high intensity work than the more responsive ones. The best way to build them is combine low and high rep work and keep the overall volume down. My chest is the same as yours in the sense of how it responds. What I have been doing as of late is working it with very low volume, but twice per week.

  19. #694
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    What I have found is that my "weaker" body parts actually benefit from less volume as they can tolerate less high intensity work than the more responsive ones. The best way to build them is combine low and high rep work and keep the overall volume down. My chest is the same as yours in the sense of how it responds. What I have been doing as of late is working it with very low volume, but twice per week.
    What kind of set/rep combo are you doing? Something like 5x5 and 3x12 twice a week?

  20. #695
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    That is awesome, thanks for the help Tom I will be implementing that exact routine on Monday. Can't wait, that looks really solid, thanks again!
    Glad that you like the routine! Let me know how it goes today.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 225 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  21. #696
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Glad that you like the routine! Let me know how it goes today.
    It definitely wrecked my chest, I was pretty surprised at how light I had to go on those last sets of incline bench. I could use some more work figuring out the right weights to use but overall I thought it worked great. It felt like less volume but at the same time I could barely do a push up after. Thanks again Tom.

  22. #697
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncsuLuke View Post
    It definitely wrecked my chest, I was pretty surprised at how light I had to go on those last sets of incline bench. I could use some more work figuring out the right weights to use but overall I thought it worked great. It felt like less volume but at the same time I could barely do a push up after. Thanks again Tom.
    Nice! If you want to post up the weights here we could always take a look at them together and set up some targets for your upcoming sessions. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the workout.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 225 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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