Hey guys, I just have a question about the WBB routine, specifically the #1 routine.
I'm 19. I've been lifting seriously now for 2years and on and off, for probably double that time. I just got finished doing a pretty high intensity lifting routine, that had quite a bit of volume - it was the Monmouth University football training program. It had legs and back on the same day, and then a chest day. There would be one heavy day of each and one light day of each. I seemed to see some pretty good results.
Within the last year I went from a whopping 120lbs to a whopping 155lbs, on different routines.
Now, I am in the definition of a hard gainer. Moving up in weights week after week is difficult for me...extremely. I tend to plateau very quickly and get stuck at certain weights for extended periods of time, unlike my other young friends.
My bench is horrible and always has been - at this point when people ask me how many times I'm pressing 225...when I have a hard time maxing out at 180...its become downright demoralizing. So i've made it my goal of this routine to get my bench up, along with the other major lifts.
I was just wondering about if the volume would be enough. I'm used to hitting the gym 4-5 times a week. I know some beat the drum that low volume is great and others like high volume - i just need some reassurance here.
Secondly, since I'm working on my flat bench I changed the routine for flat bench to be 4 sets of 5 reps of a heavy weight in an attempt to progress. Now I know the program only calls for 2 sets of 6-8 reps. Any problem here?
Thirdly, for things like dips the program calls for 6-8 reps. I don't have access to a belt that I can hang weight from and do weighted dips, so I'm just doing body weight dips and can easily or fairly easily crank out 3 sets of 10reps depending how tired I am. Same deal with shrugs, I'm doing more than the 1set of 10, I'm doing my typical 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
Lastly, I threw in a set of hammer curls at the end of the chest/back day because I just dont feel my arms are comparitively what they once were for me and I want to regain that strong point. That was the only direct bi work I did today.
Am I defeating the whole premise of this routine by bumping the volume? I'm not one to go two sets, I always do 3 sets unless its a small exercise. Now, I'm just looking for some reassurance here by veteran lifters that can back up their statements. Today was my first day doing the routine and I had all those questions, so I'll have to look at the day 2 routine and see if I have any questions there. Thanks for any help. Sorry for the book.
You are defeating the premise if you do not eat enough additional food to compensate for the additional calories you are burning. If you are eating enough, it's no problem. More time in gym = more food required, in order to keep building muscle.
I do WBB1 sorta. I started with it, but I couldn't handle biceps, triceps, and shoulders on the same day, so I moved triceps to chest day. I also do three sets of everything. I've also changed some of the exercises listed, but that's to be expected. WBB1 is a guide for beginners I believe, so once you are flying on your own, you can take that base and manipulate it a bit to suit your preferences.
I personally don't think you need to hit your biceps any more than the day specified, but "to each his own." I truly believe that it all comes down to taking in the right foods in the right amounts, getting enough sleep, and making sure you take the adequate time to recover. One thing I noticed about your post is that you've been "working out hard" for two years, and working out for four years, but I didn't see mention of your diet.
I can personally say that since I started WBB1 (3 months ago), I've gone from someone who never benched more than 135 (barbell) four times (3 years ago..doing stuff wrong), to someone that is probably benching around 170 (barbell) 4 times (I use dumbells, so it's not for certain. I can only say it's because I'm doing it right, getting protein, and taking days off. Sometimes I take two or three days off if I'm too sore..just however I feel. I'm declining 50's with dumbells, and never declined more than 80 pounds with a barbell back in the day. This stuff works, but there's a lot more to it than I ever understood. It's like everyone always says..if you're not making gains, you're doing something wrong.
Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
Why is it, every thread I post somehow reverts to my diet when I'm not asking about my diet whatsoever.
I eat lean protein like turkey, chicken breast, tuna.
Take down a gallon of skim milk in 2-3days.
Have 2-3 Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Shakes
Have 1-2 Prolab N-large 2 Weight Gainer shake a day.
Eat plain lowfat yogurt (or any kind for that matter, but I try to avoid the sugar) and granola like its my job.
Take flaxseed oil.
Take multi vitamin.
(I know the supplements seem excessive...I honestly just started to take the N-Large 2, flaxseed oil, glutamine, and l-carnitine because I got them for a good price that will last me a good while...so I figure it can't hurt) Plus I'm having so many protein shakes because its physically hard for me to get enough time to be able to consume those calories in solid form.
I'm eating more than enough calories to gain, I simply just don't want to gain 90% fat and 10% muscle...infact that would probably be a good gain for myself. I tend to put on fat very easily when I put on weight but very small amounts of muscle.
[QUOTE=ianack4life]Why is it, every thread I post somehow reverts to my diet when I'm not asking about my diet whatsoever.
Because you didn't mention your diet.
If you feel your diet is as good as it can possibly be, then revert back to what I said. "If you're not making gains, you're doing something wrong." They don't have to come like crazy, but you should see them, and I'd think you'd be higher on bench press by now, but I could be wrong.
Let me rephrase: If you're doing the WBB routine with enough intensity, that is, with sufficient weight that you are approaching failure in the proscribed sets and reps, then it is almost certain that yor problem in gaining muscle lies elsewhere, and as an admitted hardgainer, that problem is certainly diet, whether quantity or quality.
[QUOTE=mrelwooddowd]Originally Posted by ianack4life
Honestly, its the one lift that I'm truly terrible at.
I'm 5'8 with narrow shoulders and a small frame, and weigh 155lbs. I can SLDL 300lbs. I can ATF squat 250lbs or so and if my form wasn't so tight, I could squat 300lbs.
Everyone gauges someone's strength by bench. ...I didn't say I havent seen gains, I said I went from 120lbs to 155lbs in the last year. thats some big gains. the gains have just started to slow now and are stagnating, just trying something new.
Last edited by ianack4life; 01-24-2005 at 10:49 PM.
Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
This is my first time doing the routine, infact first day.
Let me rephrase this - I thank everyone for their insight but I don't want to see another post about my diet in here. No one has taken a close look at my diet because I haven't described a day in exact detail yet. I was no looking for nutritional advice even though its 90% of lifting. I was asking purely for lifting advice and will move to the nutritional forum if I have any questions about diet. Once again, thank you but no more talk of diet.
There's a reason your bench is lacking. Bigger muscles end up being stronger muscles, and in a lot of cases (particularly hard-gainers), to get bigger muscles the diet has to be perfect. Face it..it may not be perfect. You may not be using your food well becuase of what you eat and when, and how oten and all that. Other than that, you're not gonna get much other advice because weights are weights, and diet is what grows muscles in the end. I'm sure by now you know how to do 60% of of your 1RM, right?
Oh wait..diet..damn..forbidden to speak of such things
i agree with mrelwoodowd. if you want to get bigger, you have to EAT. until you count your calories, what you think you eat is wrong, you probably don't eat nearly enough. make sure you are eating the right stuff(stuff from what a bodybuilder eats sticky in diet and nutrition). make sure to get as many calories as possible from whole foods and add the weight gainer and protein shakes in after you have tried eating as much as you can and still don't see results. and i think you are definately going overboard on the supplements
as far as the routine just stick with wbb1 as it is and in the meantime, read as much literature about weightlifting, bodybuilding, and nutrition as you can. after a couple months, if you feel you need to change wbb1, then go for it when you are educated
If i'm not going to get the advice about the questions I asked, I'm going to close the thread.
I didn't ask for dieting advice, drop it.
I know that when you're in a calorie deficit its hard to go up in weight. I'm not in a damn calorie deficit for the last time and I'm taking in more than enough calories. I've been gaining weight. 120lbs-155lbs...and increasing now...is a large percentage of my body weight to increase...VERY LARGE. I know I have to eat, I can give people nutrition advice all day long. I've been around this for quite a long while and have given quite a few people sound diet advice that has worked tremundously for them.
I'll put it this way, all my other weights are increasing but my bench sucks. That doesn't equate to 'OMG you have a crappy diet!!' that equates to 'OMG you suck at flat barbell bench press, because you can do dumbbell bench press just fine'. Did you see the numbers I'm pulling at SLDL and squating for a SMALL guy, with a SMALL frame and with genetics against him? I don't know how big you guys are, but I know for my weight most of my lifts are pretty damn good.
I have a lifter partner thats about 5'10-5'11 175lbs and ridiculously ripped, probably like 8% bodyfat and magazine body. He gets asked if he's roiding all the time. Well, I trail him in all my lifts but I have gotten pretty close in most of my lifts except for squat and bench. When we're doing dumbells, dips, lat pulls, pull ups, etc., I'm right up there by him. I didn't say all my lifts sucked, I was looking for some benching advice and asking some advice about volume.
Got that? Benching advice and volume questions about the WBB routine. All I'm looking for.
Are you worried about your max or just repping more with heavier weight? If it's a max issue, then work on form and weak points.
As far as changing the rep scheme, more isn't always better. Changing up the routine can have good results, but isn't always necessary.
What exactly is the problem? No max increase? Specify please.
Originally Posted by Max-Mex
Both I would have to say. The past two times I benched, I did 165 x 5reps for 4 sets. On the last set I burned and couldn't even push the 5th rep. My muscular endurance on bench just seems to be terrible but it was understandable because i was doing 6reps for a long while so it didn't scare me. I do quite a bit of tricep exercises, dips, pushdowns, and occassionally kickbacks and close grip bench. On those exercises my tris don't appear to be weak because I can lift normal amounts of weight. However like I said I just burn on bench. My recovery time between sets if I'm going heavier has always been terrible for me...but thats also understandable because I was a long distance runner for quite awhile.
I'm not sure if the problem is form, weak tris, or what it is...i just can't seem to push a lot and don't even really feel it in my chest afterwards. (i know you don't have to 'feel it' for it to work, but other things like flyes can leave me sore for quite awhile). My chest is not small FOR MY SIZE by any means, infact its quite large. Its just become a demoralizing problem that I have to fix one way or another.
I've never really tried to max more than once or twice because a long while ago I hurt my shoulder on a max attempt that set me back for quite a while. That was over a year ago...I just don't want to risk that again.
btw, thank you for helping me on what I was looking for.
Rest periods can make a great deal of difference when going for more reps. It's possible you might need a bit more rest between sets. Add another 30secs-1min at first and see if that helps. Any particular reason why you switched to 4x5? Do you have the same problems with DB benching (if you do them)? Flys, great as they are for chest, won't help your bench a tremendous amount since they are mechanically different lifts.
When you say "feel it", do you mean not feeling your chest working or not feeling it later. When I'm benching, I feel my chest working. If you aren't, then maybe your form is a little off. Where does the bar come down when you bench? Above the nipples or below? How wide is your grip? Are your elbows flared out or tucked in? Are you breathing properly? What kind of grip do you use?
Originally Posted by Max-Mex
I already take a good amount of time in between sets, like 5+ minutes sometimes but I know if I don't take that short of time there's no chance at me completing the next set whatsoever because I haven't recovered from the first one yet.
Just yesterday I did incline db press with 60lb dumbells for 3 sets of 6 reps. Thats not an all time high for me by any means but even though it was a bit of a struggle (I had a rough weekend and partied for the first time in awhile) I could do that just fine.
As for bench form, I put my index finger around the little notch on the bar and lower the weight right across my nipples basically. I've tried with both wider grip and also a more narrow grip with my pinky finger being around the notch (my friend suggested this because I have narrow shoulders and he thought perhaps it would work better with a grip more like that, but I've always benched with the grip I described above). As far as breathing, sometimes I hold my breath but if the weight gets stuck I'll exhale, breath in, exhale, breath in, until the weight gets up there. My elbows are in a straight line with the center of my chest, not pinched in or not flared up and out.
When I say feel it, I would describe it as not really feeling that great of work on my chest when I'm actually doing the exercise. I can't 'feel' my chest muscles working. I've tried to bench both with my pecs tightened consciously and also by relaxing and forcing my pecs to tighten when they have to lift the load off of my chest. After a workout, I'll have a sore chest...mainly the upper and outside portion of the muscle where it connects to the shoulder (by the arm pit) down to the side of my chest. i don't know if I can attribute this muscle soreness to bench or to my other chest exercises such as flyes or incline press that I do on any given day.
I can give you an example of how I burn out. Yesterday when I was doing those incline db presses with the 60lb db's, first set went up easy, second set I tried to go too soon and it was a struggle and I only got 5 reps, third set I waited longer and performed all 6 reps easily. All these sets were performed without a spotter. The most break was between the second and third set.
Well, what kind of gains are you making exactly. How often do you increase your weights or reps? Are you expecting gains every week, 2 weeks, month? How much are you increasing your weights and what time frame (eg: 5 lbs a month).
Originally Posted by Max-Mex
I write all my weights down, but I'm really not sure. Basically I get frustrated and stuck at a weight so I switch up the rep range so my weight changes drastically.
I'm trying the 3 or 4 sets of 5 reps as of right now.
personally, i think you're doing too many sets. from what i've been told 2 sets is pleanty. you don't want to break down your muscle too much, just enough so it builds back up stronger than it was before. another problem, but not sure if anyone got to this or not is, you need to just stick with a routine, if you keep changing the routine around your muscles won't steadily increase in size or strength.
If anybody has genetics against them its me. I started off at 155 two years ago. I'm naturally TALL and THIN. I was 6'2 150 then. And I just started going to the gym regularly for TWO years. It wasent till about 5 months ago when I got my diet in order. Now I'm 205, lean, mean, and getting HUGE gains on my weights and size. Its all about determination. You need to SLOWLY work at it. You're not going to go up on weight very fast. Each set you do, increase the weight by 5 or 10 pounds. Keep doing that. Have an all around routine, involving dips, incline or decline, and barbell bench. Work your arms and SHOULDERS out. Bench involves many muscles. Some of yours may be under developed, even your back could be a problem here. Your legs sound good, but there may be ALOT lacking.
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Sports: Ice Hockey (Forward), Baseball (Pitcher), Basketball (Forward), Football (Reciever)
Music: Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Led Zeppelin
Gym experience: 2 years