A-Unit: Nutrition + the "right" stimulus = growth.

EFFORT

Master Don Juan
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#1
A-Unit made this amazing post in a lower thread ( Hope he doesn't mind me reposting it)

What he says will help clear up a lot of the backward thinking on this board and at the very least give people the correct reference point to build from. Mods please make this a sticky.

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Nutrition + the "right" stimulus = growth.

If there's anything I learned from my Powerlifting coach, Iron Addict (at iron addict.com), from Nutrition guru's (Tom Venutto and Doggcrap, and Semag, and Warboss, and Manuva)...it's this.

For the NON roidheads, focus on BIG lifts. BOTTOM LINE.

Deadlifts
Squats
PullUps
ChinUps
PROPER Bench Press, or Dumbbell Presses.
Oh, yeah, Dead lifts, Stiff Legged Deadlifts, and Squats.

Did I say Dead lifts and Squats?

Over 70% of the muscle IN YOUR body is in your LEGS and BACK. If we don't additionally know, the hormones released in the legs EFFECT the body all over. You can't get that release NATURALLY from bicep curls, tricep curls, or shoulder anythings.

MOST powerlifters only do accessory exercises AS needed, such as if they're growth has been stunted, otherwise, they use the LIMITED intensity they have during that 1 hour workout to push the MOST weight possible in the shortest time frame, THEN recover. And MOST powerlifters are the biggest NATURAL dudes you'll ever meet.

See what happens is...MOST guys incorporate SOME squating, some deadlifts, and SOME pullups in their workouts, so while doing that, and some auxiliary exercises, they think "oh, I'm growing, let's add arms, and shoulders, and traps." NO! The NON-roider with average genetics doesn't have the ability to recover so quickly. But each body is different, and some guys with superior genetics, CAN do massive volume training MULTIPLE days each week.

HOWEVER, there are those who can't, and generally these are those guys that get to a POINT, stop, and don't grow, don't get stronger, whatever, so they resort to, quit, or change their formerly successful pattern. Instead, and it took me awhile to learn, FOCUS ON big exercises and ONLY incorporate when you're body is TOTALLY OUT of whack.

Deads
Squats
Bench

I can't stress that enough. There isn't anything else that will contribute MORE, as leverage exercises to the overall change in your physique. How many of you smaller guys have tiny legs? Or thin, narrow backs (not the V)? The chest won't grow WITHOUT a strong BACK and the muscle stimulus created BY the legs is unbelievable.

I recall my Powerlifting coach who taught me proper lifting techniques, though I was more thin, with long arms, stressing deadlifts and squats, wondering "why not just BENCH more?" He was an old yelling Marine, HUGE, raised his daughter on his, but treated us like sons. Great guy. The reason to stress back in Benching is because PROPER benches incorporate the lats. When a powerlifter lies down on the bench, he pinches his shoulder blades together, which brings in force from the bottom by the back/lats. The legs assist as a DRIVING force, which you push down, while pushing up. A strong base, as my uncle always taught me in fighting, makes you safer and stronger, esp. if you goof around in pools, or want to pick girls up.

-------------------------------

That was my first mistake, wasting time, energy, and recovery ability on PUNY lifts. Even if you can curl ALOT (which is unlikely, unless you've been lifting awhile or are on roids), it doesn't effect the MASS of your body enough. If you can pull your bodyweight +50 or 100lbs up several times, your bis will be HUGE. If you can Deadlift, 400+, or Row 225+, your bis will be HUGE. But if you curl 40, you could be sloppy with the weight, or just not be big overall. Not to mention strong biceps don't prevent injuries like a strong back or legs do.

ALL guys should begin with that base, and continue building it for years to come. The biggest guys at my gym fall into 2 camps. Roids versus those who can SQUAT/DEAD alot. The roid-guys I pick out b/c they're large around the upperbody, where they obviously workout alot, but they have TONS of acne, and rarely are they squatting, MAYBE leg pressing. It does take time to get used to squatting. Before powerlifting, I NEVER squatted, or I'd use the Smyth Machine. After it, i love it. I incorporate some of Matt Furey's Combat Conditinging Exercises to increase endurance, strength, and flexibility. My legs use to be my worst part, but now I enjoy doing them. Though I want to puke RIGHT afterward.

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The best ways to do squats are to LEARN to do them right.

Box squat, or if you can't (a milk crate is normally too low for the newbie, or super tall guys, we used to insert mats, depending on HEIGHT and ABILITY), go free squat, at least with the bar and work your way up. Get matt furey's combat conditioning and do Hindu Squats. His other stuff is good, but bodyweight exercises are a PERFECT alternative, since BIG lifts deal alot with handling and exceeding your own bodyweight. I'd rather do tons of pullups, than curl alot. Because guys with massive bis might not be able to pull themselves up, but guys who can do LOTS of pullups or deads, can build OR have massive bis RIGHT now.

After you combine intro-squating (buy a powerlifting book, or visit a powerlifter to get an idea, or better yet, join a powerlifting gym) and do some of the Hindu Squats, try going free squat and other ADVANCED methods at your regular gym. Thing is, regular gyms SUCK for squatting. They normally only basically racks, not squat racks, and might only have basic barbells for squats, not safety squat bars. I've read that some pro's advocate BUYING your own safety squat bar, or convincing your gym to fund it, or you buy it and deduct it from your dues. Just thoughts.

----------------------------

Bodybuilding is a great sport, and it can be fun, but it's very backwards nowadays. The foundations of Powerlifting GAVE birth to bodybuilding. It was the guys just using MAJOR weights on BASIC lifts and/or doing BODYWEIGHT exercises that gave way to ISOLATION and SUPPLEMENTARY exercises and this FAD to spot LIFt everything. But it isn't until you're big, and some parts appear to LAG that you'll grow into a more balanced figure. Guys who deny that have superior genetics are on roids, or have been lifting FOREVER. If you've been around forever, and DID your time on MAJOR workouts, like Squats and Deads (which most major athletes do, which is why you see them big all over), are now benefitting tremendously from the SUPPLEMENTARY exercises, like bi, tri, calf, and extense shoulder or chest development.

Again, I'm a normally genetically built guy. 5'11 about. 200lbs. And only gotten bigger than I was in previous years because of MORE protein, healthy fats, quality carbs (controlled), and lifting on BIG weights in BIG style. if you can get big on SMALL exercises, go for it, i'd envy you. BUT most guys aren't a Reggie Bush or Joseph Addai, who's legs are like trunks. Or don't have Ronnie Coleman genetics. However, you CAN get big, bigger than 90% of the population with/without roids just by doing those lifts, and you don't have to be in the gym forever banging out side raises and bicep curls IF you beat the crap out of your body doing big weights on big lifts.

---------------------------------

One other thing that was bad for me was OVERwork, and IronAddict highlighted that for me. Although I'd consume ALOT, both in protein and carbs, and put my time in, I'd still be there 4 days or even 3, going REGARDLESS if my body was sore or not. That's bad. If you're not sore and you lifted balls out, GOOD. But if you are sore from deads + squats, it's best to wait. The purpose of lifting is to add 2.5-5lbs or a few reps EACH and EVERYWEEk, and that only happens WHEN you're fully recovered. You're body, while sophisticated can't GROW muscle while it's still handling the stress it just overcame get back to ground zero. AFTER that, you grow, provided you ate right.

I've cut back to going when I feel healed, which might be 2 times-3 times a week, while doing Combat Conditioning at home, and some sprints/jogging or golfing as my OTHER workouts.

If I add just 5lbs to my workout in squats over a year at 50x per year, I'd go up 150lbs!!! In 1 year. Don't think you wouldn't be big??? If you add 2.5lbs to deads or bench, going when you've full recuperated and are ready to go balls out AGAIN, you've added 75lbs to your deads or bench. That's huge, even for the guy starting at 125 on bench, he'd be at 200 by year end. A tremendous feat. And the Deads if he was at 200, would be 275. However, squats and deads would go up MORE and QUICKEr, because they're larger muscle groups, but you have to give them TIME.

That's longevity planning. Granted, you might not be rock solid muscle at 225lbs, but what if you were 150lbs more on squats and 75lbs more on deads/bench? How would you feel? How would you look? Do you think you'd be strong? Would it matter if you NEVER did calves, or hamstrings, or biceps? And you ate like a mofo? THEN you might "consider" adding in supplementary exercises. And then, you're curls, though you never did any, would go up 10-20lbs without even LIFTING on curls, just b/c your MAJOR weights went up. How would that feel?



A-Unit
 

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thefonz

Master Don Juan
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#2
He forgot to mention dips on that list.......probably the most underated workout of them all
 

reyalp

Master Don Juan
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#4
stick it or click it!
 

mrRuckus

Master Don Juan
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#6
WHAT is the deal WITH all the random CAPITAL words?

Yeah dips rule. I feel cool putting a weight belt on and tying weights to it :p
 

A-Unit

Master Don Juan
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#7
Re:

How you break out Deads, Squats and Bench are up to you, but because they're more intense than say, Arm Curls, you won't hit a max out on them. And by max out, I don't mean 1 super forced rep. I mean go balls out to 10 or 15, or even 20 reps.

Check out IronAddicts.com for info on workout breakdown. I go simple:

Squats
Straight Legged Deadlifts
Pull-ups/Pulldowns

You'd be amazed at how COMPLETE you feel you're worked when you've really focused on the CORE exercises. Not to mention, if you bang out 20 reps of a squat done rest-paused, that you could normally only do for 10, it's even more intense.

For instance, if you squat your weight to 10 reps and feel confident you're strong, try going to 20, either straight reps, or if you can't get there straight, rest pause. Meaning Go as many reps as possible, when you feel you need to re-rack the bar, just PAUSE and rest until you can bang a rep out again. And then go until you can't, pause, all until you get to 20.

This works ESPECIALLY well on CORE exercises, and not so much biceps work.

Everything grows from the core out, because the arms, shoulders, and even calves are BI-products of what the quads/legs/hams and chest/back CAN do. If they can't do alot, you're supporting muscles can't either.

Dips are DEFINATELY one of the best and most unique exercises. You can't duplicate the work load like you would with say, Barbell presses versus Dumbbell presses. Also, it mimics what you would do with muscle in real life, so you're building FUNCTIONAL body strength. Lastly, you're moving your body through SPACE, so it's recruits the most muscle fibers. It works the outer pec VERY well, it works the tripces, shoulders, and supporting muscle like the traps and puts stress on the abs, because a sloppy dip won't happen. And the weight NATURALLY increases as you get bigger/stronger, so it has an EXPONENTIAL growth effect. As you get better at dips. Your body grows. As your body grows, you get stronger, so you're constantly challenging yourself WITHOT adding weight. Of course, it's a good idea to add weight at some point, or to add more stress to break a barrier.

A-Unit
 

Ripass

Don Juan
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#8
Did i miss something?

If I add just 5lbs to my workout in squats over a year at 50x per year, I'd go up 150lbs!
Wouldn't 5 more pounds, 50 times a year = 250 pounds?
Where exactly did the other 100 pounds go?
 

A-Unit

Master Don Juan
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#9
Re

No i missed something, that was my dyslexia. It's crept up since the SATS for some years now.

Correct, a 5lbs increase over 50 weight sessions, is minimal, esp if you recover weekly, and should be PSYCHOLOGICALLY feasible. It's when you want to bump from 155, to 180 , to benching your weight that people recoil. WHAT??? How can i do that. But you don't make huge leaps, except when you begin, when you change your nutrition, or when you begin roids. Other than that, your progress is dictated by:

-nutrition
-recovery
-genetics

MOST lifters don't seek that progress-type gains. It was even something I didn't immediately venture toward, though it's simple.


Good catch on the 5 x 50 = 250 and not 150. 5lbs per lifting period is VERY doable on major lifts, esp deads and squats. Maybe even chest, though I would submit 2.5lbs is mORE doable per lift, even gaining 125lbs. That's ALOT.


A-Unit
 

reyalp

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#10
Ripass said:
Did i miss something?

Wouldn't 5 more pounds, 50 times a year = 250 pounds?
Where exactly did the other 100 pounds go?
Can't sneak anything by you!
I figured he was using Presidential math :D
 

Egoist

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#11
beautiful.

I mean sure, if you are a newbie doing bicep curls 2x a week, I am sure you will see results and feel cool about yourself.

But yeah, in reality, the big three RULE.

I've been growing well recently from concentrating on those. Hell, I don't even bother with arms anymore because they get enough growth from all that other stuff.
 

prosemont

Master Don Juan
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#12
Good thread. Stickied for now.

I've deleted "bumps" in case you're wondering.
 

A-Unit

Master Don Juan
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#13
Re:

I broke my workouts down to

Workout 1:
Squats
Deadlifts
Pull-ups (with or without weight attached)

Workout 2:
Bench Press or Dumbbells (if your shoulder is rocked)
Smyth Machine Standing Military Press, or Military Press
Dips

Done.

It sounds simple, but if you do it, and put focus into besting your previous week's lifting regimen, it kicks arse. In between my lifting workouts, I walk, run, sprint, golf, or might be adding Aikido. Keeping active between the workouts, without re-directing recovery processes and resources, is key. That's where excessive drinking pretty much kills workouts. The livery/kidneys, while drinking, have to process the toxins from boozing, and can't focus on aiding muscle recovery, so growth and recovery is basically stymied until the poisons are gone. By then, you've missed 1 cycle of growth, as small as it might be.

Food...

I buy protein powder, but keep it simple, and cheap, and devoid of additive crap that could be damaging, like Aspartame, and other fake additives. Stick with whey, or if you get a MRP, just make sure it's reputable. I try to eat closer to natural foods than anything else. And Optimum Nutrition makes a good, cheap whey product. 5lbs, like $25. I shoot for 1.5g/lb right now. And do about 2 protein shakes a day, with the rest made up of eggs, salmon, chicken, and some cottage cheese.

People think such diets are EXPENSIVE, but in reality, they're cheaper, because you buy and make, knowing what you'll eat almost exactly. Next, you know if don't get your product or good carbs or fats, you don't grow. Might as well not lift that hard then and just stick to cardio. It also means, you're less likely to get fast food, subs, or dinners out, versus your quick, and healthy meal, leaving you MORE time to do what's important. Occasionally I grab a sub, on whole wheat, with oils, and veggies, and chicken. Not too bad, not horrendous. Just something to make my body feel full and replenished.

Again, everybody's different, body's recover faster than other's. Point is, big weights correspond to the body's natural need for strength BETTER, so you grow faster. Really.

A-Unit
 
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#15
I'm consulting a weight guy at the gym to get started on lifting. I'm going to bring this article to their attention and see if I can follow it. I'm small though, does that matter?
 

djbr

Master Don Juan
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#16
Is it OK to just stick with the core basics, and by that I mean, as you said, pull-ups, squat and deadlifts ?

I was thinking on doing something like:

monday
squat/deads

wednesday
pull-ups

friday
squat/deads


Yes, I'm sensitive when it comes to recovery. :)
 

EFFORT

Master Don Juan
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#17
djbr


There a lot of different ways to make workouts that are focused at getting these lifts up. If your interested in having me write you something send me a pm.
 

ntssv

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#18
I've recently begun a new workout routine focused around the big 3. While researching nutrition here, I discovered booze is bad. For some reason the past 6 months of my life has been centered around drinking so the workouts I'm doing, I guess are a waste of my time. I've noticed my energy, motivation and thought processes are hindered as well. Time to hop on the wagon and make some improvements.
 
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