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Thread: please critique my routine for mass gaining ...

  1. #1
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    please critique my routine for mass gaining ...

    hi, im antonio, 5'9", 160lbs, about 12%bf, and i have been into bodybuilding for about 3 years but have been streaky. in the last year or so i have fully dedicated myself to bodybuilding, i have cleaned up my diet and have tried several routines to get me where im at. im a regular poster on the bodybuilding.com boards, but my buddy micsoloist says that you guys have pretty much changed his life with the knowledge youve shared and the path youve put him on, lots of respect. anyhow, i am 100% dedicated with consistancy in the gym, maybe before i was too dedicated. i was hitting the gym 6-7 days a week, 2-3 hours each session, doing like 8 excersizes for that bodypart and wasnt really gaining any size like i had planned for (obviously overtraining). i actually gained a lot of strength in that period, but absolutely no size, this is why i want to know if you guys could critique my current routine. is this okay?

    monday - chest, triceps, shoulders:
    *flat bench press(bar) superset with dumbbell flyes to failure
    2 8 rep warmup sets, 1 set/6-8 reps, 1 set/4-6reps, 1 set, 2-4reps, 1 set/1-2reps, 1 burnout set 8-12 reps
    *military press(bar) superset with lateral raises to failure
    same pyramid sets as above
    *Weighted dips(30lbs), and tricep pushdowns superset to failure
    only working sets, no warmups, same as above
    crunches - 4 sets

    wednesday - legs:
    *squats superset with extentions on last set to failure
    2 8 rep warmup sets, 1 set/6-8 reps, 1 set/4-6reps, 1 set, 2-4reps, 1 set/1-2reps, 1 burnout set 8-12 reps->superset
    *stiff legged deadlifts superset with hamstring curl on last set to failure
    same reps and sets as above
    *calf raises - three heavy sets

    friday - back and biceps:
    pull ups(widegrip) 4 sets to failure
    *seated cable rows superset with latbar pulldown
    2 8 rep warmup sets, 1 set/6-8 reps, 1 set/4-6reps, 1 set, 2-4reps, 1 set/1-2reps, 1 burnout set 8-12 reps
    *standing dumbell curls superset with e-z grip reverse curls
    same rep scheme as above
    *crunches - 4 sets

    is this routine okay for a bulk? before, i think i was doing FAR too much and depending on machines too much, also i was dodging the compound lifts(except benchpresses) on my previous routines. i had the right dedication, just too much of it. i was in the gym too much overtraining. overall i want to bulk up about a solid 20,25lbs and cut down from there, ultimately id like to have the build of a guy who posts on these boards who goes by 'antek', just a little bigger. anyhow, i have included a pic to show you where im at now, maybe you guys can help me a bit. before you critique, id just like to point out, that my diet is very clean and im eating about 250g of protein per day and around 3500+ cals. thanks ahead of time. i appreciate any feedback, thank you
    -antonio-
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    Last edited by antonioNHB; 02-04-2005 at 12:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    This routine seems much more oriented towards strength than size. You can gain size from a strength routine, but it's not the most efficent way to go about it.


    If you want bulk as you say, then increase the reps into the 6-10 range. Also drop the burnout set. It is not needed. About failure, do you mean each set? I'd only do it for the last set of each exercise and not every workout. For back I'd drop the second superset (cable rows with lat pulldowns) and do straight sets of deadlifts. I know that you do SLD on your leg day, but that should not hinder your regular deadlifts.
    Good luck on your goals!

  3. #3
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    thank you for the feedback, i appreciate it a lot. i think youre right about incorporating conventional deadlifts into my back routine, i really do need to focus more on that. you said that this looks more like a strength routine? what should i try to aim for when doing a mass/bulk routine? thanks for your time.
    -antonio-

  4. #4
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    glad to see you made it over to this site. most of the people here are incredibly helpful and full of knowledge based on personal experience and extensive research.

    Your pics are obviously looking great, and you should be very happy with your size at your weight. You are still very lean, my guess is 10% BF if that. You have PLENTY of room to grow and put muscle and fat onto your body with no concern. You said your arms already measure 16 inches, which is amazing for your height, weight and BF%.

    The routine we are using now seems to be very well put together, at least in my opinion so far. My chest and legs have both been left very sore after working them out with this routine.

    In the 2 years I've been serious about bodybuilding, I have done a lot of dumb crap in my attempts to learn and be big. It is my current opinion that the only thing you can do is keep switching up every once in a while, and pay attention to how your body reacts to certain diets, supplements, and training routines.

    I was stuck right around your weight for almost a year because I was so afraid of getting fat that I refused to eat enough. However, the 3000+ calories you say your eating is probably a good start, so it seems like you have that part down.

    Once again, I would advise you to continue coming here for information and advise. The members of WWB have helped me transform my pathetic body into a dominant muscle machine of power (ok... maybe not).... but I have gotten a lot bigger, and I'm in much better shape. You have the determination to become an elite bodybuilder, and I'm sure you'll get there. But I would say this routine is a good start, and is certainly worth a try.

    P.S. the M1T won't hurt either


    peace
    Last edited by Mic Soloist; 02-04-2005 at 01:51 PM.
    Current Stats

    24 years old

    5'10 220 pounds



    Waist: 38 Shoulders 56 Chest: 47 Arms (cold): 17.5 Forearms: 13.5 Quads: 26.5 Calves: 16.5 Neck: 17.5

    PR's

    BB Bench: 315 @ 215
    Squats: 410 @ 205 (last winter)
    Deads 515 @ 214
    Total: 1240


    My Journal:

    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...&page=16&pp=25

    My AIM: MSOLOIST


    Intensity: Lunch comes up! And breakfast! MET- Rx! Egg whites! Hot Stuff! Designer Whey! Yohimbe! Coenzyme Q! L-Carnatine. MTCs. OKG. All immersed in a mixture of stomach acids that peels the ivory off your teeth.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonioNHB
    . i was hitting the gym 6-7 days a week, 2-3 hours each session, doing like 8 excersizes for that bodypart and wasnt really gaining any size like i had planned for (obviously overtraining). i actually gained a lot of strength in that period, but absolutely no size, this is why i want to know if you guys could critique my current routine. is this okay?
    If you weren't gaining weight, you weren't eating enough. It doesn't matter what your routine was really. Your exercises look fine but your rep scheme is messed up. Why are you doing such low reps 2-4, 1-2? As someone pointed out that looks more like a strength routine.

  6. #6
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    That is something else I believe. As important as weightlifting routines can be, I personally believe that diet is BY FAR the most important aspect of bodybuilding.

    I have tried many different routines since I started lifting. For the first year I lifted I tried almost every lifting technique I could find, but I didn't gain any weight and not much size. Why? Simply because I was not eating enough. When I started pounding down the carbs and protein to the point my stomach was nearly on puke mode, I saw mass gain. Since that time I have tried many more lifting routines, and they have all had one thing in common. That one thing is.... They have all made me increase size, strength, and weight. I strongly believe that is due to the fact I am eating like a starving dinosaur.

    In other words, the lifting routine is important, and what techniques you use in the gym can determine the form your body takes. However, in the end I truly believe it mostly comes down to your diet. If you are eating enough, and hitting the gym, and doing the compound lifts, and doing them right, and lastly, doing enough of them, you will see incredible gains.

    As far as the low reps, I agree and disagree. The plateau training is good for some lifts in my opinion. The bench press and squat for example, seem to really benefit from higher reps followed by lower reps. But with simple stuff, like direct arm work, and shoulder work, I thing 4010 reps throughout is more effective.

    I have used lower reps with DB bench pressing for a long time and seen little change in my chest size, but I have gained strength. So lately I've switched to BB benching with higher reps to see if that will help.

    I hope this helps man, but honestly I'll say it again.... Diet is most important, followed by trying many different approaches in the gym to see what works for you. And as long as we're lifting together, I'm willing to try any and all new routines to see what will benefit us best.

    Peace

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mic Soloist
    That is something else I believe. As important as weightlifting routines can be, I personally believe that diet is BY FAR the most important aspect of bodybuilding.

    I have tried many different routines since I started lifting. For the first year I lifted I tried almost every lifting technique I could find, but I didn't gain any weight and not much size. Why? Simply because I was not eating enough. When I started pounding down the carbs and protein to the point my stomach was nearly on puke mode, I saw mass gain. Since that time I have tried many more lifting routines, and they have all had one thing in common. That one thing is.... They have all made me increase size, strength, and weight. I strongly believe that is due to the fact I am eating like a starving dinosaur.

    In other words, the lifting routine is important, and what techniques you use in the gym can determine the form your body takes. However, in the end I truly believe it mostly comes down to your diet. If you are eating enough, and hitting the gym, and doing the compound lifts, and doing them right, and lastly, doing enough of them, you will see incredible gains.

    As far as the low reps, I agree and disagree. The plateau training is good for some lifts in my opinion. The bench press and squat for example, seem to really benefit from higher reps followed by lower reps. But with simple stuff, like direct arm work, and shoulder work, I thing 4010 reps throughout is more effective.

    I have used lower reps with DB bench pressing for a long time and seen little change in my chest size, but I have gained strength. So lately I've switched to BB benching with higher reps to see if that will help.

    I hope this helps man, but honestly I'll say it again.... Diet is most important, followed by trying many different approaches in the gym to see what works for you. And as long as we're lifting together, I'm willing to try any and all new routines to see what will benefit us best.

    Peace
    I'd have to disagree with this. Diet only becomes more important when you are cutting (six-pack) and so forth. This is due to the fact that you have to pay more attention to what you eat and how much you eat. When attempting to gain mass, (for the most part) you only have to worry about eating enough. Training on the other hand is more complex. You have to find out what exercises work for you, you have to find out what is overtraining/undertraining (for you) you have to develop a routine.... Training is the most important aspect when it comes to gaining. After a while eating enough becomes more or less a habit, training on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. What worked last year may not work this year. Exercises that gave you gains last year may give you nothing but aches and pains. And don't forget rest. A perfect diet and workout regime will not do much for you (or anyone) without enough rest.

    As for low reps, one can gain size by doing them, but that type of training is by nature more geared towards strength than size. For size more reps and good form are a better way to go. Put them together with the big compound lifts and a handful of auxillary exercises, and you have something that you can work with. The routine mentioned in the OP's post is fairly good, however I'd: (a) increase the reps (keep sets at four), (b) drop the burnout sets, (c) put in regular deadlifts in the place I mentioned before, (d) take only the last set of each exercise to failure and not every workout.

  8. #8
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    I'd have to disagree with this. Diet only becomes more important when you are cutting (six-pack) and so forth. This is due to the fact that you have to pay more attention to what you eat and how much you eat. When attempting to gain mass, (for the most part) you only have to worry about eating enough. .

    that was what I meant. I didn't really mean the macronutrients so much as the amount of food.

    In may personal experience with gaining mass, as long as I ate enough food I gained mass like crazy.

    I believe that if you are in the gym focusing on compound lifts, and you are eating enough food, you will gain size and mass. If you are not gaining that size and mass, I would first guess you were not eating enough food.

    I say this because I've tried all types of routines during my 35 pound bulk. And they have ALL led to constant size gain. But when I wasn't eating enough, it didn't matter what I did in the gym, I could not gain mass.

  9. #9
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    I must also say that I don't know how this might change with time. There may be a point I come to where the stuff I've been doing along with diet is no longer working. But at this point, food + training hard with compound lifts and some iso work has led to size. And I have went from 155 up to 201. As I get bigger I dunno if this will change, but at the stage the thread starter and I are at, I think eating enough food is by far the most important aspect of our bodybuilding procedures.

    I'm not saying you can go in the gym and do any old thing and get huge, but if you aren't overtraining (which seems hard to do when you have basic knowedge and you are eating 3000-4000 calories per day at our sizes) you should be able to make gains.

    I do agree about the low reps for the most part though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mic Soloist
    I must also say that I don't know how this might change with time. There may be a point I come to where the stuff I've been doing along with diet is no longer working. But at this point, food + training hard with compound lifts and some iso work has led to size. And I have went from 155 up to 201. As I get bigger I dunno if this will change, but at the stage the thread starter and I are at, I think eating enough food is by far the most important aspect of our bodybuilding procedures.

    I'm not saying you can go in the gym and do any old thing and get huge, but if you aren't overtraining (which seems hard to do when you have basic knowedge and you are eating 3000-4000 calories per day at our sizes) you should be able to make gains.

    I do agree about the low reps for the most part though.
    As you get older you will probably find that eating lots of food will make you fat. When I was in my twenties I was eating around 4000 calories a day. No way could I eat that much now without gaining a lot of fat. Currently I am around 2800 (roughly) and making gains on that. Also as you get older you will have to take more care with your exercises. As you age training (correctly) becomes more and more important and so does rest. Diet plays less of a role due to a slowing metabolism among other factors. Also as you increase in experience and lifting ability it becomes harder to make gains. More training knowledge is essential to overcome these plateaus/continue gaining.

    Of course there are exceptions to these rules, but I feel that given this, that training is more important than diet (in the long run anyway.) Eating enough just isn't a problem for most healthy active people. Again there are exceptions and you and your friend may fall into this category, but as you get older I think that you may find diet playing a decreasing role.

  11. #11
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    I cannot really agree or disagree with that until I get older. I do have a very easy time gaining weight, and I am prone to fat gain. Therefore I know as I get older it will get harder to keep the fat off. However, at this point in my life, and in the 2 years I've trained, I have had no luck with mass gaining unless I ate enough food, and steadily ate enough food. 3000+ calories is a lot to eat on a daily basis for a normal person. Also, many people fear fat. When you get over this fear, and eat like there is no tomorrow, and hit the compound lifts hard, you will grow. At least when you are young, and you are fairly new to bodybuilding.

    With that said, I am not trying to imply that I know everything, or even anything on the grand scale. I base my logic on personal experience and research. But everyone is different, and everyone responds to different things.

    And I'll say again I agree about the low reps, and I even question the burnout sets a bit as well. I think this should be addressed further.
    Last edited by Mic Soloist; 02-04-2005 at 09:28 PM.

  12. #12
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    the back/bi workout was pretty cool. my bi's and forearms are sore

  13. #13
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    .....
    Current Stats

    24 years old

    5'10 220 pounds



    Waist: 38 Shoulders 56 Chest: 47 Arms (cold): 17.5 Forearms: 13.5 Quads: 26.5 Calves: 16.5 Neck: 17.5

    PR's

    BB Bench: 315 @ 215
    Squats: 410 @ 205 (last winter)
    Deads 515 @ 214
    Total: 1240


    My Journal:

    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...&page=16&pp=25

    My AIM: MSOLOIST


    Intensity: Lunch comes up! And breakfast! MET- Rx! Egg whites! Hot Stuff! Designer Whey! Yohimbe! Coenzyme Q! L-Carnatine. MTCs. OKG. All immersed in a mixture of stomach acids that peels the ivory off your teeth.

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