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:
What's your weight routine look like?
Let me know – just hit reply.
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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:
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!
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!
…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.
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:
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:
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.
When I finally stopped training like a madman, I started making 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 years of frustration, I took a different approach.
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.
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.
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 🙂
Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.
Discover how including just one simple (and inexpensive) supplement can revolutionize your muscle-building efforts.