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Thread: Lyle McDonalds BB routine

  1. #1
    Senior Member Vapour Trails's Avatar
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    Lyle McDonalds BB routine

    So many people post routine threads and most of them are terrible. This is what Lyle recommends for non-juicers. This guy knows what he is talking about and I have followed roughly the same routine for the majority of the time I have been lifting.

    Mon: Lower
    Squat: 3-4X6-8/3' (3-4 sets of 6-8 with a 3' rest)
    SLDL or leg curl: 3-4X6-8/3'
    Leg press: 2-3X10-12/2'
    Another leg curl: 2-3X10-12/2'
    Calf raise: 3-4X6-8/3'
    Seated calf: 2-3X10-12/2'

    Tue: Upper
    Flat bench: 3-4X6-8/3'
    Row: 3-4X6-8/3'
    Incline bench or shoulder press: 2-3X10-12/2'
    Pulldown/chin: 2-3X10-12/2'
    Triceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5'
    Biceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5'

    For the thu/Fri workouts either repeat the first two or make some slight exercise substitutions. Can do deadlift/leg press combo on Thu, switch incline/pulldown to first exercises on upper body day. A lot depends on volume tolerance, if the above is too much, go to 2-3X6-8 and 1-2X10-12


    I generally don't do as much volume as is listed here and sometimes perform lower reps, but the basic program is gold.
    Last edited by Vapour Trails; 11-08-2006 at 09:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Good: squat, sldl, row, overhead press, chinup

    Bad: leg press, leg curl, seated calf, pulldown, no single-leg work, no true deadlifts

    Indifferent: bench, triceps, biceps

    And I'd prefer to see some lower reps used for some of the big movements. But reps/sets should change frequently anyway, so I generally ignore them unless a plan is laid out for continual progress (ie, periodization used for more than a few weeks).
    Last edited by Anthony; 11-08-2006 at 09:37 AM.
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    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Hey Ant, maybe I've missed this but what's wrong with seated calf?

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    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mik
    Hey Ant, maybe I've missed this but what's wrong with seated calf?
    It's not functional blah blah.

    I think they're fine and I've never seen anything to recommend avoiding them at all costs.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Seated calves won't hurt you, but the cost/benefit ratio makes them a waste of time.

    Go perform some box jumps if you want to work your calves.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Vapour Trails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Good: squat, sldl, row, overhead press, chinup

    Bad: leg press, leg curl, seated calf, pulldown, no single-leg work, no true deadlifts

    Indifferent: bench, triceps, biceps

    And I'd prefer to see some lower reps used for some of the big movements. But reps/sets should change frequently anyway, so I generally ignore them unless a plan is laid out for continual progress (ie, periodization used for more than a few weeks).
    As far as leg press/leg curl, these movements are only done following good compound movements, I don't see any harm in it for some extra hypertrophy. They could be easily omitted. I don't see pulldowns as a problem when you want to do some higher rep work.

    True DLs, as mentioned, can be incorportated on the second lower body day instead of squats.
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    looks like a good upper lower split, im doing something similar
    2000 or bust

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    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vapour Trails
    As far as leg press/leg curl, these movements are only done following good compound movements, I don't see any harm in it for some extra hypertrophy
    It's funny that you posted in the "truth about leg extensions" thread as though everyone knew they were bad, but then you promote leg press.

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    Senior Member Vapour Trails's Avatar
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    What is so bad about leg press? Unlike leg extensions, it is compound and surely more functional. And while we're on the topic of function, let's address something everyone knows, bodybuilders don't lift for function. This is a bodybuilding routine, not a powerlifting, football, hockey, soccer etc routine. Any exercise that works a muscle will result in hypertrophy if done properly and combined with food.

    Wasn't really promoting it either.
    Last edited by Vapour Trails; 11-08-2006 at 03:20 PM.
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  10. #10
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    There not as good as squats but I havent really heard anything bad about them. Is it because your legs should be toast after squats making it sort of useless?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vapour Trails
    What is so bad about leg press? Unlike leg extensions, it is compound and surely more functional. And while we're on the topic of function, let's address something everyone knows, bodybuilders don't lift for function. This is a bodybuilding routine, not a powerlifting, football, hockey, soccer etc routine. Any exercise that works a muscle will result in hypertrophy if done properly and combined with food.

    Wasn't really promoting it either.
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1306675

    That's a start.

    Bodybuilders SHOULD train for functionality. It will produce better results and keep them training longer.
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    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Leg press has recently started to agitate my back. Not enough to cause any pain or discomfort but...you can feel that its holding alot of weight. However I use leg press almost everytime I do quad dominant on BGB. You cant beat a heavy set of ATF squats followed by a heavy set of leg press. Right now I'm pressing in the 500's without any noticable problems concerning my knees or back.
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  13. #13
    back at it Beast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Indifferent: bench, triceps, biceps
    Do you ever do arm isolation exercises? Just wondering, because you arms are huge.

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    bodybuilders dont and will never train functional, you know this ant! lol, look at the top pros, all have the compounds but all have the isolation too, the drugs ruined it all.

    some people need arm isolation some dont
    2000 or bust

  15. #15
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1306675

    That's a start.

    Bodybuilders SHOULD train for functionality. It will produce better results and keep them training longer.
    On the flip side I think people get carried away with this whole functionality thing.

    Excerpt from Christian Thibaudeau (he sums it up pretty well):

    If you're training for bodybuilding / aesthetic purposes, you should not follow the same principles or methods as you would if you were training for strength or performance.

    Well, let me tell you something; while both types of training (aesthetics and performance) utilize the same tools, they aren't the same thing at all. Different goals require different means.

    There are several differences when training strictly for aesthetic purposes:

    Difference #1: When training for performance, you're trying to make the body more efficient as a whole, as a unit. To do so, you should focus on developing movement patterns and energy systems, not individual muscles.

    Furthermore, since most athletes will be involved in other physical activity outside of the gym (sport practices, plyo sessions, speed/agility work, GPP, etc.), they can't afford to spend as much time in the gym as bodybuilders for whom weight training is almost the only physical activity being performed.

    Since athletes can't spend as much time in the gym, they must focus on money exercises: movements that will give them the most bang for their buck performance-wise. When talking about aesthetic training, this minimalist approach to exercise selection can have some problems, the most important being that compound/multi-joint movements will build muscle mostly in the strongest muscle involved.

    For example, some people will get a lot of quad development from squats while others will build mostly glutes and lower back. When training for aesthetic purposes, this isn't acceptable. To create a good-looking physique, you must create an illusion: it's not about adding as much mass as possible, but about adding mass in the right places. So in that regard, it often becomes necessary to use more isolation exercises to make sure that everything is developed in proper balance.

    Difference #2: When training for performance, you're training movement patterns and energy systems, but when training for aesthetic purposes you're training muscles. The objective is to build overall muscle mass (before creating a nice sculpture you first need a big rock) but also to emphasize certain areas to create a better overall shape (X-shape).

    So depending on your structure and muscular development, you'll need to focus more on building certain muscle groups while minimizing the development of others. If you were to use only compound movements, as performance coaches recommend, your development would pretty much be random and determined by your body structure and muscle strength/weaknesses.

    With all compound movements, your body will always strive to use the muscle(s) or part(s) of a muscle that are best suited to do the job: your body isn't after balanced development but rather survival. For example, when attempting to squat a huge weight, all your body knows is that there's a big ass weight trying to squash you into the ground, and if you don't lift that weight, you die! So in the interest of survival, your body will use the muscle recruitment pattern that will allow you to lift the load with the greater chance of success/survival.

    That's part of the reason why certain persons get great outer quad sweep from squatting while others get more inner thigh or glute development from that same exercise. The same holds true for all big basic movements. For example, the bench press: some will get a lot of triceps development from it, others more front delts, and some lucky ones more chest.

    I want to make it clear that the big, basic, compound free-weight movements performed with heavy weights will always be the best overall mass-builders. Exercises like the squat, deadlift, bench press, military or push press, and bentover barbell row are the movements which will put more total beef on your frame. So when you're beginning your training adventure and simply need to add a ton of beef to your skinny body, these drills should constitute the backbone of your program.

    However, when it comes to creating an illusion, building an aesthetic and pleasing physique, these heavy compound movements can have serious drawbacks as we just saw: they'll always tend to make you gain more muscle in your stronger body parts and much less in your weaker ones. As a result, you can suffer from unbalanced development. So it becomes necessary to add isolation exercises selected to emphasize your own weaknesses. This requires more overall training volume in the gym, which brings me to point number three.

    Difference #3: Since we're using a much lower volume of work and focusing on a few basic exercises when we're training for performance, and considering that our objective is to improve the body's capacity to work as a unit, it becomes clear that a whole-body or at least an upper/lower body split is ideal. However, using such splits for aesthetic training isn't really realistic.

    As I mentioned earlier, when training for aesthetic purposes you'll need to use a wider variety of exercises because the big basic movements can leave some muscle groups underdeveloped and leave you farther from your goal of building a balanced physique. So if you need to use three or four exercises for three or four sets per muscle group, including one basic lift and two or three isolation lifts (for example), there's no way to train the whole body this way. It would mean a total of 24-32 exercises per session and a whopping 70-120 total sets. Four hour workouts, here I come!

    Even if we were to cut it down to the bare minimum of one compound and one isolation exercise per muscle group, we'd still be talking about around 16 exercises and a total of 30-45 sets. Still a lot of work for a single session. And with that volume, the muscles being trained last would surely not receive the same growth stimulation because by then the quality of training would be lower.

    Now, if it were possible to build a perfectly balanced physique using only basic compound movements (and to be fair, some lucky few with perfect structure/balance can achieve that) using a whole-body split would be a good way to train for aesthetic purposes. But for 90% of us, this just isn't realistic.

    Not to mention that bodybuilding training often relies on intensive methods such as drop sets, compound sets, rest/pauses, supersets, extended sets, tempo contrast, etc., which place a lot of stress on the muscles and nervous system. Since the volume of work is greater, it also means more muscle damage when compared to performance training. More muscle damage requires more recovery time. So as you can see, a body part split becomes necessary when training strictly for aesthetic purposes.

    That's not to say that you can't train often. In fact, several of my clients, as well as myself, have had a lot of success with training five to six times a week, hitting each muscle group twice a week. But training a muscle more than twice a week with bodybuilding methods/volume is too much for any natural trainer (unless using a specialization routine where the volume for other muscle groups is reduced). In fact, I often recommend alternating between training each muscle group twice per week (for four weeks) with training each muscle group only once per week (for four weeks.)

    The bottom line is that training for aesthetic purposes isn't the same thing as training for performance and thus shouldn't follow the same training patterns, methods, or split... just like a boxer shouldn't be training like a basketball player.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maki Riddington
    On the flip side I think people get carried away with this whole functionality thing.
    It seriously boggles my mind why people don't clue into this ...

    1) train with ****ty movement patterns and you shorten your lifting career (not to mention your results).

    2) train with proper movement patterns and you lengthen your lifting career.

    Not sure about you guys, but I'll go with number two. Doesn't really matter what your goals are, it makes zero sense to use something that offers less benefit and more risk.

    That's not to say a bodybuilding routine should look the same as a powerlifting routine. But all the major movements will be the same. The only difference, imo, is volume/frequency/intensity.
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    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp
    bodybuilders dont and will never train functional, you know this ant! lol, look at the top pros, all have the compounds but all have the isolation too, the drugs ruined it all.

    some people need arm isolation some dont
    They used to train for strength. Old gyms used to be lifting platforms and barbells. But you're right, drugs changed everything ... in the sense that just about anything would make you bigger and stronger. But do drugs make a leg press okay? No. Do drugs make leg extensions okay? No.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beast
    Do you ever do arm isolation exercises? Just wondering, because you arms are huge.
    Haha, they aren't huge, being lean is an illusion. But no, the last time I did curls was when someone said deadlifts/chins/rows would not have carryover into curl strength. Before that, it was probably a year, and even then, it was some light hammer curls once in awhile.

    I got nothing against curls ... unless they form the majority of your program. When you got more variations of curls than you do squats, there's a problem. Not accusing you, just clarifying I have no problem with them... I just don't do them!
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  19. #19
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Anthony.

    Isolation excersizes do have their place. They should be used to better a regimine but not to create the bulk of it. Isolation excersizes allow you to focus on a particular muscle that may be lagging and allow it to be worked from different angles.

    Personally. I only do a handful of isolation excersizes. Some light arm work, abs, calves and thats pretty much it. Squats > any other form of leg excersize. The same goes with deads, rows, chins etc.

    EDIT: Actually, nevermind. I re-read what you said. Theres nothing wrong with not doing them at all but I think its a far stretch to say they are completly useless.
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 11-08-2006 at 05:58 PM.
    Getting back in the groove
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    no but the drugs allow your legs to grow just as much doing leg press and extentions instead of squats like TONS of todays pros, look at jay cutler, he does smith squats with like 315, presses, and extentions, struggling with all of them and he is monstrous!
    2000 or bust

  21. #21
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp
    no but the drugs allow your legs to grow just as much doing leg press and extentions instead of squats like TONS of todays pros, look at jay cutler, he does smith squats with like 315, presses, and extentions, struggling with all of them and he is monstrous!
    But this is another issue altogether.

    As long as the muscle is stressed it can grow; thats the basis of adaptation. These guys are trashing there muscles left and right, combined with roids and the 20k calories and thats why they are so big (genetics of course). They have their reasons for doing isolation excersizes. Once you reach a certain point you have to hit a muscle group with as many as 8-10 excersizes on a given day to see growth.
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 11-08-2006 at 06:09 PM.
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    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    You guys miss the point completely.

    Faulty movement patterns are bad. I don't care who you are or what your goals are.

    Isolation has its place, although limited, especially amongst natural trainers who aren't actually stepping on stage in a pair of speedos.

    I'm not sure why there's confusion between the two statements.
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  23. #23
    Is cutting down to 9% Jordanbcool's Avatar
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    Im confused about what you mean by faulty movements.....not trying to be a pain in the ass though. You're one of my favorite mods I'll look at the previous posts again though...

    EDIT: So basically you are saying, why do leg extensions when squats are easier on the joints and provide more benifit??
    Last edited by Jordanbcool; 11-09-2006 at 08:50 AM.
    Getting back in the groove
    "I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again." - Achilles, (Troy 2004)
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    I think what Anthony is saying is that Leg Extentions, Leg Presses etc are faulty movements because they carry a greater chance of injury than other exercises ie Squats which are also more effective. So why do them when you can get more bang for your buck in a safer manner?

    Which is why he doesn't have a problem with curls though he doesn't do them.

    I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Eszekial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeG
    I think what Anthony is saying is that Leg Extentions, Leg Presses etc are faulty movements because they carry a greater chance of injury than other exercises ie Squats which are also more effective. So why do them when you can get more bang for your buck in a safer manner?

    Which is why he doesn't have a problem with curls though he doesn't do them.

    I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.
    They aren't mimicked in RL situations.

    Such as a deadlift or a squat, bench, etc.
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