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..
6x6 Incline Bench
6x6 Bench Press
3x15 Chest Flye
6x6 Barbell Bent Over Row
6x6 Lat pulldown
3x15 lat pulldown
6x6 Back Squat
6x6 Leg Press
3x15 leg extentions
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!!
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?
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!
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.
A Westside journal.
'There are no layby's on the road to strength'
'The greatest pleasure in life is achieving things people said you could not achieve'
'He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man'
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
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.
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.
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
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.
My bicep & shoulders are lagging behind do you think there is sufficient stumli for them to grow on the 5x5 program?
As far as you are concerned, strength = size.
If you are getting stronger, you are getting bigger all things equal.
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!