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Thread: Advice Please on routine!

  1. #1
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    Advice Please on routine!

    Been lifting for around 1 year, put on around 8-10lbs of lean muscle and reduced about 3-4% bodyfat so far! However recently i have hit a bit of a plateau, strength has decreased ect. Just incase it helps at the moment i 'm aprox 190lb, 5.9, 14-16% BF

    So i decided to mix up my program, i 'm no expert what so ever, i composed this based on a 5x5 thinking that a 6x6 would bring better muscle gains (this is primarily what i 'm after) .. Here's what it looks like..

    1.
    6x6 Incline Bench
    6x6 Bench Press
    3x15 Chest Flye

    6x6 Barbell Bent Over Row
    6x6 Lat pulldown
    3x15 lat pulldown

    2.
    6x6 Back Squat
    6x6 Deadlift
    6x6 Leg Press
    3x15 leg extentions

    6xF Dips

    3.
    6x6 Bar Military Press
    3x15 Machine Lat Raise

    6x6 Skull Crushers
    3x15 Tricep pushdowns

    6x6 Seated Preacher Curl
    3x15 incline Dumbell



    The Idea would be to lift heavy and increase calorie intake! ( i 'm guess around 3,500 cals based on my weight 190lb). However I want to see what you guys think, i 'm not an expert and was worried this maybe a little too much volume? I thought the 5x5 was geared mainly towards strength gains; hence, i decided to add in an extra rep. The rest periods planned around 1.30-2 mins per set.

    As mentioned above i 'm looking for muscle gain, your advice will be most helpful and i thank you in advance for all your suggestions, help and experience!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    First of all, congratulations on the progress so far.

    Now when you say that you've stalled, what do you mean? Are you unable to add weight to your exercises? Have you stopped gaining muscle? or losing fat? Or?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    First of all, congratulations on the progress so far.

    Now when you say that you've stalled, what do you mean? Are you unable to add weight to your exercises? Have you stopped gaining muscle? or losing fat? Or?
    Thanks

    I 've stopped strength gains and muscle gains.
    I have been lucky to have great increases in my strength since training, going from 60kg - 130kg on bench press in my year of training, however the gains have completely stopped, i have contrentrated on form just in case this was the issue and i still didnt get any noticeable difference in weight. Stuck at around 190 and won't budge! this has been the case for about 3 months now. I assume either my muscle gains were superficial and i was training accidentally for strength and not muscle size, or not with the right intensity. I also find squatting and deadlifting very difficult.. i thought this may also be an issue as my legs are lagging behind. I have tried to work hard on legs again with no gains in the last 3 months.

    Thanks for your help, your advice is much appreciated!

  4. #4
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    My first thought is to reduce the weight you are using on the exercises by about 20%. Then slowly build them back up again while increasing your calories until you see slight gains on the scale every week.It is very hard to gain strength and muscle while trying to reduce body fat, unless you are a beginner, and I think you've used up that window.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    My first thought is to reduce the weight you are using on the exercises by about 20%. Then slowly build them back up again while increasing your calories until you see slight gains on the scale every week.It is very hard to gain strength and muscle while trying to reduce body fat, unless you are a beginner, and I think you've used up that window.
    Ok sure, and what about the programme? Do you think it will be intense enough if i do drop the weights abit??

  6. #6
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    That's the whole point. You want to reduce the intensity for a bit to let your system "catch up."
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Ok sure, and what about the programme? Do you think it will be intense enough if i do drop the weights abit??
    That would defeat the point mate. What OffRoad is suggesting is that you cut the intensity and build it back up again with extra food mate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    That's the whole point. You want to reduce the intensity for a bit to let your system "catch up."
    Ok awesome, and is the workout too much aswel then??

    Thanks again for your suggestions

  9. #9
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I think the routine is a little much as far as volume goes, especially for a 5x5 routine. But I'm a little on the conservative side when it comes to volume
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I think the routine is a little much as far as volume goes, especially for a 5x5 routine. But I'm a little on the conservative side when it comes to volume
    Ok sure, so say i up cals and keep weight to 90kg for 6x6 for exmaple this would be okay??
    Sorry to be abit pedantic. Really appreciate your feedback & thanks Kiff too

  11. #11
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    Try it and see...
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  12. #12
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    Are these 6x6 ramping sets or straight sets? Because if they are straight sets, you will last about 1 week on the program...may not even get through the week actually.

    Also, you don't need crazy volume to gain muscle. The best formula is HIGH intensity and HIGH frequency.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 02-09-2011 at 08:25 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Are these 6x6 ramping sets or straight sets? Because if they are straight sets, you will last about 1 week on the program...may not even get through the week actually.

    Also, you don't need crazy volume to gain muscle. The best formula is HIGH intensity and HIGH frequency.
    Was going to have 3 heavy sets then 3 descending. Would you suggest 4 days with less volume then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Was going to have 3 heavy sets then 3 descending. Would you suggest 4 days with less volume then?
    I would suggest doing madcow 5x5 exactly as written. It is high intensity for the last 2 sets of the 5x5, and the frequency is 3 times per week per muscle group...all compounds too, which is what you need in the beginning.

    http://madcow.hostzi.com/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

    It has a spreadsheet where you just plug your maxes in and it calculates the sheet for you. The first 4 weeks are going to fairly easy, but by week 5 you will already be beating your previous 5RM max and every week from there will be a personal record until you stall.

    Mon:
    Squat 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)
    Bench 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)
    Barbell Row 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)
    Assistance: 2 sets of weighted hypers and 4 sets of weighted sit-ups


    Weds
    Squat 4x5 First 3 sets are the same as Monday, the 4th set is repeating the 3rd set again
    Incline or Military 4x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5
    Deadlift 4x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5
    Assistance: 3 sets of sit-ups

    Squat 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8
    Bench 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8
    Barbell Row 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8
    Assistance: 3 sets of weighted dips (5-8 reps), 3 sets of barbell curls and 3 sets of triceps extensions (8 reps)

    You can even throw in 1 or 2 sets of military pressing on friday if you are inclining on wednesday, just keep it in the 10+ rep range.

    This is an example of a high intensity program with high frequency. You are going to obliterate your muscles on Monday, then recover enough by Friday to obliterate them even further. The trick is that the volume is low enough where you can actually recover. Your 6x6 program will not allow you to recover adequetely workout to workout unless you are on the sauce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    I would suggest doing madcow 5x5 exactly as written. It is high intensity for the last 2 sets of the 5x5, and the frequency is 3 times per week per muscle group...all compounds too, which is what you need in the beginning.

    http://madcow.hostzi.com/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

    It has a spreadsheet where you just plug your maxes in and it calculates the sheet for you. The first 4 weeks are going to fairly easy, but by week 5 you will already be beating your previous 5RM max and every week from there will be a personal record until you stall.

    Mon:
    Squat 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)
    Bench 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)
    Barbell Row 5x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday's heavy triple)
    Assistance: 2 sets of weighted hypers and 4 sets of weighted sit-ups


    Weds
    Squat 4x5 First 3 sets are the same as Monday, the 4th set is repeating the 3rd set again
    Incline or Military 4x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5
    Deadlift 4x5 Ramping weight to top set of 5
    Assistance: 3 sets of sit-ups

    Squat 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8
    Bench 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8
    Barbell Row 4x5, 1x3, 1x8 First 4 sets are the same as Monday's, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5, use the weight from the 3rd set for a final set of 8
    Assistance: 3 sets of weighted dips (5-8 reps), 3 sets of barbell curls and 3 sets of triceps extensions (8 reps)

    You can even throw in 1 or 2 sets of military pressing on friday if you are inclining on wednesday, just keep it in the 10+ rep range.

    This is an example of a high intensity program with high frequency. You are going to obliterate your muscles on Monday, then recover enough by Friday to obliterate them even further. The trick is that the volume is low enough where you can actually recover. Your 6x6 program will not allow you to recover adequetely workout to workout unless you are on the sauce.


    Awesome! first thanks alot for your time, really informative post!

    Looks great but will this lead to good muscle gains with low reps? & also i have lagging shoulders and biceps will there be sufficient stimuli for them to grow?

    Thanks again!! really appreciate

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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Awesome! first thanks alot for your time, really informative post!

    Looks great but will this lead to good muscle gains with low reps? & also i have lagging shoulders and biceps will there be sufficient stimuli for them to grow?

    Thanks again!! really appreciate
    No problem man. If you decide to do it, post up in 6 or 8 weeks with your progress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    No problem man. If you decide to do it, post up in 6 or 8 weeks with your progress.
    I will do! I think your right regarding the volume. I was worried that the 5x5 would only give me strength gains not muscle gain/size, hence i added an extra rep.

    My bicep & shoulders are lagging behind do you think there is sufficient stumli for them to grow on the 5x5 program?

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    As far as you are concerned, strength = size.

    If you are getting stronger, you are getting bigger all things equal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    I will do! I think your right regarding the volume. I was worried that the 5x5 would only give me strength gains not muscle gain/size, hence i added an extra rep.

    My bicep & shoulders are lagging behind do you think there is sufficient stumli for them to grow on the 5x5 program?
    Growing muscle is simple...

    Break down said muscle, spend 2-3 days recovering said muscle by sleeping/eating. Rinse-repeat. The problem with your routine is that you have already broken down the muscle adequetely by the end of set number 1, but you are digging further into your recovery sources by banging out 5 more sets. You aren't really seeing much benefit from all those extra sets. Then you are resting basically the entire week before hitting those movements again.

    Would you rather grow twice per week or once per week? I would rather destroy my muscle with one or two heavy ass sets so I can train that muscle again in 3 days. That gives me two growth periods vs just the one. Over the course of a year, this makes a huge difference. That is why after a year, most people in commercial gyms look exactly the same because they are constantly over-trained from the massive amount of sets and are never fully recovered workout to workout. How can you make gains like that?

    As for gaining arm/shoulder size my advice is...


    Just gain weight/size man. Your body grows as a unit. You can't worry about sculpting your physique perfectly at this point in your lifting career, you just don't have enough muscle yet. There's a reason you never see a 180ish pound person with 20 inch arms, no matter how hard they train arms. I never trained arms for the first 3 years. I started at about 185 pounds with 13 or 14 inch arms...now I am 240 with over 17 inch arms. That is a huge increase without ever doing a bicep curl.

    With all the rowing and pressing you are doing on madcow, they will grow, trust me. Just focus on adding weight to the bar at this point. If you absolutely "must" do a bicep movement, then I suggest doing a set or 2 of curl grip pullups on the Friday day as assistance. But keep the volume low for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Growing muscle is simple...

    Break down said muscle, spend 2-3 days recovering said muscle by sleeping/eating. Rinse-repeat. The problem with your routine is that you have already broken down the muscle adequetely by the end of set number 1, but you are digging further into your recovery sources by banging out 5 more sets. You aren't really seeing much benefit from all those extra sets. Then you are resting basically the entire week before hitting those movements again.

    Would you rather grow twice per week or once per week? I would rather destroy my muscle with one or two heavy ass sets so I can train that muscle again in 3 days. That gives me two growth periods vs just the one. Over the course of a year, this makes a huge difference. That is why after a year, most people in commercial gyms look exactly the same because they are constantly over-trained from the massive amount of sets and are never fully recovered workout to workout. How can you make gains like that?

    As for gaining arm/shoulder size my advice is...


    Just gain weight/size man. Your body grows as a unit. You can't worry about sculpting your physique perfectly at this point in your lifting career, you just don't have enough muscle yet. There's a reason you never see a 180ish pound person with 20 inch arms, no matter how hard they train arms. I never trained arms for the first 3 years. I started at about 185 pounds with 13 or 14 inch arms...now I am 240 with over 17 inch arms. That is a huge increase without ever doing a bicep curl.

    With all the rowing and pressing you are doing on madcow, they will grow, trust me. Just focus on adding weight to the bar at this point. If you absolutely "must" do a bicep movement, then I suggest doing a set or 2 of curl grip pullups on the Friday day as assistance. But keep the volume low for sure.

    Sure, thanks so much! I 've been looking into everything and mixing things up ect i guess this is why i have not seen great increases, i started on 15inch arms 190lbs and i 'm now upto 16 and have been so for about 4 months . I 'll certainly make a post and record my progress!! All you said makes good sense too! but i still ache after about 2-3 days so if i did monday wednesday friday could this be a problem??

    Again thank you so much for your advice & time this has really helped. I 'll get into the program and post some results here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Sure, thanks so much! I 've been looking into everything and mixing things up ect i guess this is why i have not seen great increases, i started on 15inch arms 190lbs and i 'm now upto 16 and have been so for about 4 months . I 'll certainly make a post and record my progress!! All you said makes good sense too! but i still ache after about 2-3 days so if i did monday wednesday friday could this be a problem??

    Again thank you so much for your advice & time this has really helped. I 'll get into the program and post some results here!
    No, you won't ache just doing 1 or 2 heavy sets per movement on madcow. That is the point of the program and that is what allows you to do M-W-F without any problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    No, you won't ache just doing 1 or 2 heavy sets per movement on madcow. That is the point of the program and that is what allows you to do M-W-F without any problems.
    Looks great! what sort of tempo should i go for on the 5x5??

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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Looks great! what sort of tempo should i go for on the 5x5??
    You mean rest periods? As much rest as needed to always make your top set successful. Don't worry about rep speed, just push the weight as hard as you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    You mean rest periods? As much rest as needed to always make your top set successful. Don't worry about rep speed, just push the weight as hard as you can.
    Awesome thanks! also what are the assistance & 'tonnage' sets? dont quite understand it from the spreadsheet & website.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Awesome thanks! also what are the assistance & 'tonnage' sets? dont quite understand it from the spreadsheet & website.

    Cheers
    Dont worry about that ****, just look at the main cells. The weight and reps. Thats it. For assistance, just do what it says and keep the reps 10 or above.

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