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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:17 am 
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Neurosis wrote:
I see. I think. So..it's about what kind of calories or where I get them :scratch:

Would you suggest heavy weight and low reps?


Oh no! The overthinking has begun.

Disregard the strength/low reps advice, the idea that you need to reach some arbitrary level of strength before you start "training for mass" is internet dogma that gets spouted off every now and then. Even powerlifter types who train for "strength" train their backs with obscenely high volume and reps so don't worry about it. Just do the routine the way I said.

As for your diet, eat 1g of protein per lb of your bodyweight. This is very important. Cut out all refined carbs, and yes, that includes all bread and pasta, and eat as much animal fat as you like, but don't touch vegetable fats (except olive oil). Rice and potatoes are the best carb sources. The world won't end if you keep eating bread and pasta but it'll do you more harm than good.

Dead animals and plants should be the focus.

Happy lifting!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:57 am 
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You need to support your muscle quality and quantity while maintaining a calorie deficit or a small surplus in order to gain muscle and lose fat. Cycling between a deficit and a surplus works best. In order to support your muscles, you need to focus on exercises that stimulate your fast twitch fibers, that being heavy, explosive movements. powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting movements, sprints, complexes, etc. You diet needs to contain sufficient proteins, saturated fat, and micro-nutrients in order to support muscle growth. This is best achieved with a diet based on whole foods, heavy on vegetables and a variety of meats, preferably wild fish and beef-like meat (includes bison, kangaroo, elk, etc).

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:13 am 
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robertscott wrote:
Disregard the strength/low reps advice, the idea that you need to reach some arbitrary level of strength before you start "training for mass" is internet dogma that gets spouted off every now and then. Even powerlifter types who train for "strength" train their backs with obscenely high volume and reps so don't worry about it. Just do the routine the way I said.

It feels like this was sort of pointed to me, I feel the need to answer the charges.
I do not say that you need to build a level of strength before you can train for mass. That's way too simply put. What my main point is, is that a pure beginner might progress more, in means of strength and mass, when concentrating on lower reps and higher intensity on the main lifts. It's not wrong to do bodybuilder split from the start, but I fail to see the main logic behind this.

I have nothing against high-rep ranges. I use them myself also, as accesorial exercises. The example of a powerlifter training does not quite work on my case, because they are more advanced, have the foundation of strength behind them, and usually powerlifters don't do high volume as the main exercise, atleast in weekly basis. They do high volume back work, and high volume shoulder work. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

For where there is more strength, there is more muscle. Training for strength is training for mass. I stress my point that usually beginners gain strength very fast, and it's crucial for their progress to learn to recruit the most of their muscle fibers when going to max effort work.

You can't build huge arms around a small and skinny body. High rep isolation is not the point to focus in the beginning, I think compound and several joint/muscle exercises are much more usefull in terms of progress. If I'd be training a beginner, I would first improve strength, then focus on increasing hypertrophy. There is no need for a full bicep/tricep day in a beginner routine. Once again, as an assisting/accesory, some arm work is good and acceptable. Especially stuff like chin-ups.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:22 am 
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Dub wrote:
I do not say that you need to build a level of strength before you can train for mass. That's way too simply put. What my main point is, is that a pure beginner might progress more, in means of strength and mass, when concentrating on lower reps and higher intensity on the main lifts. It's not wrong to do bodybuilder split from the start, but I fail to see the main logic behind this.


it was kind of, but not in a "calling you out" kind of way, more of just a "lets discuss this further" sort of way. The whole idea that you should reach a certain level of strength before trying to add mass is a major pet peeve of mine. You didn't actually say that, but if definitely seemed like you were alluding to it. If not, I apologise.

Explain to me why a beginner would progress faster concentrating on lower reps? I hear that all the time but have never had a satisfactory explanation. Also, the OP hasn't mentioned anything about how he trains his other bodyparts, so he could be doing a high rep routine for his back but still doing the 5x5 for squats and deads that everyone seems to think is the only acceptable way to train.

If someone wants to be a bodybuilder (not saying the OP does necessarily, but what if?), why would training for the first 6 months (or whatever) like a powerlifter make any sense?

Dub wrote:
I have nothing against high-rep ranges. I use them myself also, as accesorial exercises. The example of a powerlifter training does not quite work on my case, because they are more advanced, have the foundation of strength behind them, and usually powerlifters don't do high volume as the main exercise, atleast in weekly basis. They do high volume back work, and high volume shoulder work. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


you assume here that all powerlifters are advanced. Powerlifters can be beginners too.

Dub wrote:
For where there is more strength, there is more muscle. Training for strength is training for mass. I stress my point that usually beginners gain strength very fast, and it's crucial for their progress to learn to recruit the most of their muscle fibers when going to max effort work.


you can learn to recruit all of your muscle fibres doing sets of ten. As long as you lift explosively, you'll recruit dem dere fast twitchers.

Dub wrote:
You can't build huge arms around a small and skinny body. High rep isolation is not the point to focus in the beginning, I think compound and several joint/muscle exercises are much more usefull in terms of progress. If I'd be training a beginner, I would first improve strength, then focus on increasing hypertrophy. There is no need for a full bicep/tricep day in a beginner routine. Once again, as an assisting/accesory, some arm work is good and acceptable. Especially stuff like chin-ups.


high reps does not automatically mean isolation. You can focus on strength AND hypertrophy at the same time. I don't understand why people are always trying to make the distinction. And no one would ever prescribe a full day of arm training for a beginner, that's just silly

next time someone comes on here starting a thread about adding mass and someone says to concentrate on low reps, high weight, my brain is actually going to explode out through my ears


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Hmmm..this has been some help, but I can see I've opened up a can of worms. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Neurosis wrote:
Hmmm..this has been some help, but I can see I've opened up a can of worms. :lol:


Haha, yeah, if I were you I'd just do the routine that was recommended and get out while you still can!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Often different people have different ideas that all work and what seems to be disagreement is simply deciding what color the car's interior should be. Whichever program you go with, do it as written with energy and commitment for long enough to give it a good run, several weeks anyway. Then reassess.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Dub wrote:
For where there is more strength, there is more muscle. Training for strength is training for mass.
robertscott wrote:
You can focus on strength AND hypertrophy at the same time.

Hmm...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:50 pm 
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stuward wrote:
Often different people have different ideas that all work and what seems to be disagreement is simply deciding what color the car's interior should be. Whichever program you go with, do it as written with energy and commitment for long enough to give it a good run, several weeks anyway. Then reassess.


somewhat agree, there are definitely tried and true ways to do things. Success leaves clues.

But I guess this thread has gone down the pan, and a lot of that was my fault


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Anything works for an early beginner. For a not so early beginner, low reps work by far the best. It's not that low reps somehow work better at that stage, it's that 99% of people at that stage have never done them. So it's the "doing something different' that does it. Low reps are the just the "something different". In the rare case that a beginner hasn't always been averaging 10 reps per set, this wouldn't hold true. You can get stronger in different rep ranges by doing those ranges. A beginner may as well do that, because he is going to gain mass and strength anyway. The purpose of bodybuilding routines are for when you can't grow on just anything. They get more specialized as you get more advanced. Even then it's still good to work on other stuff from time to time. More strength, power and endurance will improve the progressive overload used in your more hypertrophy specific workouts.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:58 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
But I guess this thread has gone down the pan, and a lot of that was my fault

I don't think so, although the "down the pan" is definately in the "separated by a common language" category!

Some disagreement comes from differences in emphasis, some from differing uses of terminology, some from someone being wrong and the other being right, or from both being wrong in different ways. I think that there's a lot to agree on in this thread. In fact there's a lot to agree on in general, but maybe that deserves a new thread.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Ironman wrote:
Anything works for an early beginner. For a not so early beginner, low reps work by far the best. It's not that low reps somehow work better at that stage, it's that 99% of people at that stage have never done them. So it's the "doing something different' that does it. Low reps are the just the "something different". In the rare case that a beginner hasn't always been averaging 10 reps per set, this wouldn't hold true. You can get stronger in different rep ranges by doing those ranges. A beginner may as well do that, because he is going to gain mass and strength anyway. The purpose of bodybuilding routines are for when you can't grow on just anything. They get more specialized as you get more advanced. Even then it's still good to work on other stuff from time to time. More strength, power and endurance will improve the progressive overload used in your more hypertrophy specific workouts.


I still don't really agree with this, and I'll try and explain why:

I think deadlifts should be done with low reps, considering the amount of weight used and the difficulty to keep form good when you start to fatigue. Olympic lifts should be done with low reps because of the explosive nature (got to keep the bar travelling fast or there's no point) and stuff that is hard on the joints like benching is probably a good idea to keep the reps low.

But as for the back, which was what the OP was asking about, then I don't think that low reps should be used at any stage of development. Backs love volume! And seriously, are you going to work up to a heavy set of 5 on dumbell rows? I really do not see the benefit, whether it's for beginners, or whoever. Also, there's so much musculature in the back, you;d be trying to work up to a 5RM on like 4 different moves! Madness.

The only exception I can think for this is weighted chins, I can definitely see the value (for athletes, not so much folk that jsut want mass for the sake of mass), but for the other 99% of back exercises, I don't see how sets of less than 6 can be of more benefit than keeping them higher.

Instead of changing the rep range, I would suggest changing the exercise if progress has stalled.

And I realise that a beginner can gain mass doing just about anything, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't still train optimally.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Jungledoc wrote:
"down the pan" is definately in the "separated by a common language" category!


Haha, add it to the list next to "scunnered".

"Down the pan" means down the toilet. I wonder what they teach you guys in schools in the U.S.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:36 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:
"down the pan" is definately in the "separated by a common language" category!


Haha, add it to the list next to "scunnered".

"Down the pan" means down the toilet. I wonder what they teach you guys in schools in the U.S.

Ah. We'd say "in the crapper" or "down the drain" or maybe "down the can".

A volunteer doctor from New Zealand who was here was trying to tell me that he was quite tired. He was saying "knackered" (which I wouldn't have understood anyway), but his NZ accent so softened the "r" as to render it inaudible, and his pronunciation of the "a" was closer to a short "e" sound. We went through several hundred cycles of "what?", "pardon me?", and "I'm pretty sure that I'm misunderstanding you" before I finally asked, "naked"? He eventually spelled the word, which left me even more confused. When I thought he was saying "naked" I at least knew what that meant! We had a good laugh, and from then on he said "knackered" as often as he could, and I inquired if he felt dresses of not.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:02 pm 
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haha, we use knackered in Scotland too.

As I understand it, it comes from horses. When your horse is old and on its way out, it's "knackered" so you send it to the "knacker's yard" which is what we call the abattoir.

Not a very nice expression now I think about it.


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