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My New 4-Day Split

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Normally, today I'd do my deadlift routine. But my low back is super sore, so I'm going to hit upper back, chest, and delts.

You?

Oh, yeah, I'm switching from my very-effective-in-my-younger-days 3-day split to a 4-day split. Here's what that looks like:

  • Monday: Back, chest, and delts
  • Tuesday: Legs and arms
  • Wednesday: Work on a lagging body part OR take a day of rest from resistance training and just ride the bike
  • Thursday: Back, chest, and delts
  • Friday: Deadlifts (I know, not a body part-focused workout – but it is: I'm hitting quads, low back, and traps with HEAVY weights for 3-5 rep sets, building in weight until I can't do even 3 reps)

What's your weight routine look like?

Let me know – just hit reply.

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I'm trying to grow a nice tightknit community here and want you to be a MAJOR PART of it.

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My New Favorite Back Exercise – Deadlifts

My New Favorite Back Exercise – Deadlifts

In my last post, I talked about my new favorite chest exercise, the incline bench press. I am now following that chest work with a deadlift program.

It's really quite simple, but super-effective.

(I never knew how hard I could breathe until I started doing heavy deadlifts. Very similar effect to squats.)

I start out usually on the floor with a light weight, mixed grip (alternate your grip, though, so you get even development). Get down low by bending at the knees and hips, keeping the back flat. Then simultaneously push with the thighs, glutes, and hips, while lifting with the lower back, too.

Typically, I only do a few sets:

  • One warmup, minimal rest (30 seconds tops)
  • One with a midrange weight for 5-8 reps (60 to 90 seconds rest)
  • 2 sets of 3-5 with increasing weight (120-180 seconds rest)

Deadlifts are funny (not “Ha-ha” funny) in that you're better off doing fewer reps with heavier weight, using super-strict form, rather than doing higher-rep, lower-weight sets.

 

It is so critical that you do these with the strictest form possible that getting carried away with too many reps will literally get you carried away!

The more reps you focus on, the less you focus on your form; so, do fewer reps but in strict form!

Please.

No back injuries.

Deads are so great for your core strength that they ought to be a staple in your weight-training programs.

They stimulate muscle growth and Growth Hormone production in a way similar to a squat program, but they really blast the upper body (all areas of the back and traps), including the biceps and forearms.

They may be a better exercise than the bench press!

I'm a slow learner. It took me a really long time to figure this out. This fact, coupled with my lower back issues over the past 10 or so years, has really kept the blinders on. But now that I can see clearly again, I'll never turn my back on the deadlift!

I love them now!

So I got my testosterone test results back…

discouragement and sadness

This is how I feel right now

…and it's not good.

I've been lucky most of my life.

Lean, healthy, can take a beating. Strong, fast, and active. Smart, inquisitive, and kind.

But too much stress, too little rest, and shortcuts have killed my metabolism, fucked up my heart, and cut my T in half.

Shit!

So it's time to get really fucking serious.

I'm too young to feel this damned old. Plus, I have 4 kids, all under 11 years old (my youngest just turned 2).

I ain't having no more. Trip to the doc's a couple years back virtually guarantees that! (snip snip)

I need to be here with them. And I love my wife and want to spend another 50 years with her.

Early death isn't an option.

And zest for life is a high priority.

This is what I'm going to do:

  • MOVE every. damned. day. Do something active and physical for 60 minutes. I may split this into 2 sessions of 30 minutes each due to time constraints.
  • Meditate. I need to calm the hell down. Relax. Chill.
  • Lift weights 3-4 times a week. I still haven't decided if I want to do my trusted 3x a week split or a M-Tu-Th-Fr split. I've had my best results on the 3x split but 4 days a week may prove more beneficial at this point in time. Hell, I should just try both.
  • Cardio 5x a week, in the gym. At least 30 minutes every day at a fairly high intensity.
  • Go back to small, frequent meals. I've experimented with intermittent fasting (don't eat from 8pm until 12pm the following day). It's easy, but totally ineffective for me.
  • I need to drop 40 pounds. I know. How the fuck did I get this out of shape? Shit, I could see myself getting fatter. Why didn't I just turn this fatass around before it got out of hand? Reasons, that's why 🙂
  • Use supplements wisely. Below I will post my “supplement stack.” I've always been a huge believer in supplementing for specific effects. Now is the time.
  • Mindset matters: That's where the meditation comes in. Plus, I'm going to try the wishy washy “affirmations” and “gratitude.” Yes, I said it. It's feel-good shit but man, in the past, when I did it, I'll be damned if it didn't work! Visualization will play a role here, too.
  • I'm going to write more. Writing is my heaven, my safe place, my mental yoga.

Dang, I didn't mean to lay it all out on you. But I bet at some point, you've faced similar challenges. And I bet you overcame them, just like I will.

Here's the supplement stack I mentioned:

  • Omega 3s from krill oil
  • A good food-based multi-vitamin/mineral
  • A supplement I've used in the past that made me feel great – Longevity
  • A supplement I've researched that can naturally help T levels (and I know it works in the libido area, because I've tried it – it works super fast and doesn't have any noticeable side effects like I've heard Viagra and its cousins have) – K20
  • To help metabolize fat and keep my insulin and glucose levels where they should be – Gluco Guardian
  • I have used, and will use now and in the future, MexRx – I love this stuff!

If the above doesn't produce results (mostly in higher T levels, losing body fat, and feeling better), I will pursue the HRT path – yes, sticking myself with freaking needles full of testosterone.

I'm reading up on all of that now. I've been in consultation with a doctor who is open-minded about this sort of thing, which I've found is pretty darn rare.

Out of the Box Muscle Building

Change is hard. But you can do it with some out of the box thinking.

You CAN change yourself.

When I first started weight training at 12, I was a fanatical football fan. I'd watch all day, gorge myself on protein shakes and snacks, and workout between games and during halftime breaks.

Crazy.

When I finally stopped training like a madman, I started making gains.

Huge gains.

The less I trained, the more strength and size I added.

Life is a big conflicting and confusing and counter-intuitive thing, right?

When I was a skinny hardgainer, I was lifting every day, doing many sets of many exercises. I ate all damned day long.

After all, that's what all the bodybuilding mags said to do. Hell, “hardgainer” wasn't even a thing back then – you were just an ectomorph.

After years of frustration, I took a different approach.

  • I cut out cardio.
  • I lifted 3x a week.
  • Heavy.
  • Few sets.
  • Low reps (3-6) for upper body.
  • High reps and HEAVY weights for legs (15-25), like Tom Platz.

That year I did that, I gained 60 pounds and was still under 6 percent body fat.

Don't ever let anybody tell you that's impossible. I did it. I know you can, too.

No steroids, either.

If you want to – but you must think out of the box.

Like I did.

If it ain't working, stop doing it. Try something else.

After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

Beginning Muscle Building. What Should I Eat?

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Skinny? Can't gain weight? Read up.

will k asked: I'm planning to start working out again at the gym. I'm 14, around 6 foot and I weigh about 145 lbs. I'm skinny, so I'm mostly muscle and no fat. I'm very athletic so I can't really gain weight. Before or after my workouts, what should I eat or drink? Should I buy muscle building supplements?

My answer: You have to begin eating a lot. You have to create a positive caloric balance – which simply means eat more than you expend.

And it's hard. It really is. Believe me when I say I used to be like you – all muscle, no fat, but the muscle I had was little. I was skinny.

It felt like I was going to eat until I exploded. I'd go periods of time where I just wasn't hungry, followed by times where I couldn't get enough to eat.

My metabolism was on a roller coaster. I couldn't gain a pound.

And if I gained a pound, I'd lose it just as quickly as I'd gained it.

It sucks.

So I began eating 8 times a day, about 30-40 grams of protein at each feeding. I stopped running. I stopped moving almost entirely. I had to stop worrying.

I thought more training was better. It's not. I cut my training down a lot – down to 3 times a week on a split routine, so in any given week the MOST I trained any bodypart was twice.

But I lifted heavy. Few sets, low reps, high weights.

Focus on getting stronger. Once you're stronger, you can lift heavier weights in your bodybuilding routines.

But the key is eating a lot. Supplements are your friend.

But don't eat weight gainers – they fuck up your metabolism. The sugar kills your gains. Use something like MetRx instead. Trader Joe's carries it and it's not terribly expensive.

Mix one scoop with 8 ounces of whole milk. Drink one before and after your workout.

And eat all damned day long! Try GOMAD.

Consider eating right before going to sleep, too. Doing that will usually make you hungry in the morning, so you can eat more.

The name of the game is calories, and protein is your friend. Sugar is your foe.

FYI – Lou Ferrigno was 6'5, about 140 pounds when he started bodybuilding 🙂

bodybuilder guy

Want Faster Results?

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