Training for size and strength
Been a while since I posted, but I've been sort of trying to put a definite routine together, capped with some strong goals I want to reach before Christmas.
For the last few months, I've basically been wingin' it each time I lift. I traditionally lift every 48 hours, and I train my entire upper and lower body, in short, but very intense sessions. I know that muscles only need 48 hours to fully recover, so I figure this approach definately would help in cutting up, and it has. However, I simply cover each muscle group with large compound exercises, ie. deadlifts, squats, press, cleans, etc. I do a little extra work with my chest and arms, since these can be neglected with some compound movements.
Anyway... Looking for some advice now:
I'm down to about 16-17% BF, and I want to get below 10. I'm sitting at roughly 225, 6'3. I also just want to put a lot more mass on my frame, particularly my arms, chest, and shoulders. (I play rugby, been playing it since I was 12, so my legs severly outshine my frame, lol.)
Does this method work over the long run? Can I strip the fat and build mass at the same time? Muscle burns fat no?
Can anyone reccomend a good, solid routine, or even a rough outline of what I should be looking at?
Thanks in advance!
"Ahead of the battles we go through in life..."
Here are some good guidelines.
Eight more reasons why you�re not growing
I wrote the first 10 reasons a while back, and decided to add to the list of prime reasons many of you are stuck.
Here are some of the primary reasons most trainees don�t grow:
1. You overtrain and under eat. These are listed as the main primary reason because they go hand in hand and BOTH must be balanced or you can forget growth. The most perfect training regimen will fail miserably if diet is not there to support it. And conversely, the most perfect diet will be wasted if the trainee is doing more workload than they can recover from�most do WAY too much!
2. The training workload is not varied. Doing the exact same lift the same way stops being productive for most trainees within 3-8 weeks. Once the body has adapted to the loading it must be changed if you are to continue to force the body to adapt.
3. Too much focus on isolation exercises, not enough compound work. You can do all the �small� lifts until you are blue in the face, but until you are moving big poundage�s in the big lifts you will remain small. Which brings up point #4.
4. You MUST squat and deadlift if you are going to reach your bodies growth potential. Think it through. Doing squats or deads activates 70-85% of the bodies overall musculature in one move. Doing a set of curls maybe 3-5%. Which sends a big signal that the body better get better at synthesizing protein and better at handling the need to grow as a unit? You will NEVER reach your potential without doing the squats and deads.
5. You constantly fluctuate between lifts that have bad carry-over. Here is an example
I have seen many times, and one I have done myself. The trainee burns out on benching and decides to do Hammer Strength Benches for a change. He makes the switch and is jazzed. His Hammer press is going up every week and he is stoked. After a time he has added 50 lbs to his Hammer bench and decides to go back and hit the bench, only to find it�s up a whole 10 lbs!!!!!
That doesn�t mean there is anything wrong with Hammer Benches. It just means that the lifts are dissimilar enough that an increase in one may not necessarily help increase the lift on another. Use of stabilizers and inter and intra-muscular coordination are two primary reasons, along with neural recruitment pattern gains that don�t apply well to the other lift.
6. You don�t know when to de-load/cruise, or take time off. NO ONES body takes a constant pounding of hard training without periods of active or full rest recovery. Until you learn how and when to don this your training will never be optimal
7. Your micro-nutrient support SUCKS! I can�t count the number of guys I have seen trying to build great physiques taking a �one a day� vitamin and thinking they have it covered. If you want great things out of your body, you need to put great fuel in it.
8. You train with the intensity of a arthritic old lady. Nuff said.
9. You have no clearly defined goals. Most people just �lift to get bigger�, and while this is a fine goal, not having and strength related goals will kill your progress in the long run. Your primary goal should be getting stronger on the big lifts on a CONSTANT basis. Setting short and long-term strength goals and achieving them is what equals a big strong trainee in the long run.
10. You are inconsistent. Getting excited about your training and killing yourself in the gym only to burn out and few weeks later and miss a bunch of sessions ends up being 1 step forward, 3/4 steps backward for many trainees. Getting and staying consistent and racking up sustainable gains over the long-term is what it�s about.
11. You don�t do cardio. Most lifters don�t do cardio because they are convinced that it will impact their training. And they are right if they are talking about long duration high intensity cardio, or almost any high intensity cardio unless they work into it slowly. I suggest EVERYONE that doesn�t have a physical job that has them walking a lot during the day walk for at least 45 minutes a day. I also suggest 2-3 high intensity cardio sessions for everyone except extreme ecto�s. Don�t believe it, fine. Continue to get less than optimal results.
12. Your insulin sensitivity sucks. Trying to build a great body while having poor insulin sensitivity never works. You will always fight laying down bodyfat. You want the carbs to go to your muscles not your fat stores. And to the fat stores is where they go when glucose tolerance sucks.
13. You have poor sleep habits, Diet and training can be spot on, but if sleep sucks it isn�t going to happen. This not only includes getting the right amount of sleep, but getting it at the right time. All you guys and gals that stay up until 2:00 am and sleep late are creating a huge disadvantage for yourselves.
14. You are stressed. Diet, training, and sleep, and supplement support can all be dialed, but if you are a 24 hour stress machine you can forget solid gains. Stress releases a slew of stress hormones. Bottom line, stress hormones put the body in one mode; store bodyfat, catabolize muscle. Is this what you really want to do? Get a handle on your life stressors before they get a handle on you. As much as 75% of all illnesses are directly related to stress.
15. Too much outside activity. If your life is non-stop action til you drop, you are likely short circuiting the growth process. Many of you are involved in martial arts, have other physical hobbies and try to train 5-6 days a week. Not going to happen if max muscle mass is your goal. Balance is the key.
16. You jump from routine to routine. I see people on the forums changing their routines at the same rate many of them likely change their underwear. On one forum I frequent there is a guy that has done like 6 different routines in the last 10 weeks. You need at 17. least 4 weeks to determine a routines effectiveness. More in some cases dependent on structure. Find something that works, and has loading changes built into the framework that you are progressive with and use the damn thing.
17. You don�t believe in your training program. I am in the process of writing a full article on this so I will spare the details, but if you don�t believe in the program you are doing it is never going to work, simple as that. You WILL consciously or subconsciously sabotage something you are convinced won�t work. Simple as that.
18. The intensity or frequency of your workouts leaves CNS constantly drained. If CNS is continually dampened you will never be able to lift optimally. CNS drives every rep you do, and if it is beat to shit, you will never lift to your ability.
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