Getting big and how to do it?

Ask or answer questions, discuss and express your views

Moderators: Ironman, Jungledoc, jethrof, parth, stuward

corless319_
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:19 pm

Getting big and how to do it?

Post by corless319_ » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:10 am

OK I've read into this a bit and I would like some other peoples experience on this. I want to go to 3x5 sets or 5x5. Would I go to 1 set 5 reps hard to do then add 5 lbs then go 5 more add five then five more etc etc? I'm not sure how to do this since I have been doing 3 sets per workout with the rep ranging from 12 reps to 8 reps.

Also I have read about time under tension and how that effects muscle hypertrophy. There are two kinds of hypertrophy and I know the difference in them fibrial and sarcoplasmic. Fibrial is the actual muscle fiber getting bigger and the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is the sarcoplasm the goo between the muscles increasing. I want to get a little of both obviously I want to get stronger but i want to get bigger as well.

With the 3x5 or 5x5 how would i go about that. 1x5 heavy weight flat bench 1x5 heavy weight incline 1x5 heavy weight decline and consider that my 3x5? or do i do 3x5 flatbench then 3x5 incline etc? Time under tension is also something I'm curious about. I thought that i should let the weight come down fast and explode up as fast as possible I'll post the link to where I read all this

here it is

http://www.dieselcrew.com/articles/func ... trophy.pdf

you may have to copy and paste. I need help guys I want to incorporate the 3x5 or 5x5 today and need to know how to rotate the workouts and or what workouts to do. Also starting today I'll be taking a pre workout protein supplement in the form of a drink. because I have read again that its proven pre workout helps a lot. Not just post workout meals. thanks. sorry this is so long


corless319_
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:19 pm

Post by corless319_ » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:15 am

Also I usually break up my workouts like this.

Day one chest and tris

Day two Legs

Day three bis and back

Day four shoulders

and usually have three days off in a row

I sometimes put abs in after workouts depended on how hard the workouts are. I also hear people talk about 10 week programs and heavy light days. I don't like going light? and I have never actually had a program and have it set for like 2 and a half months of something.

pdellorto
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Posts: 5252
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 8:43 am
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Post by pdellorto » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:23 am

Some quick answers before I hit the sack:

- If you do Bench Press 3 x 5, all of them are generally the same type. 3x5 Flat Bench, not 1x5 of each of three different styles.

- If you do a whatever x 5, you'll sometimes see it as "do 5 sets of 5 reps, with the final set being a PR/a new 5RM." That makes 4 of the 5 sets at or below your current PR, as you work up to it. For a good example, check the basic routine's sticky for Bill Starr's 5x5 (The "Only the Strong Shall Survive" football workout).

- Other times you'll see "3 sets across" - Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength workout does this, where you warmup for a number of sets (at least 3-4 sets) on your way up to a new 5RM, and then do 3 sets of that. If you make all 3 sets of 5 reps with good form, you raise the weight the next week. That's another way of doing 3 x 5 or even 5 x 5.

- Rep tempo/time under tension is something I'm not so knowledgeable about...since I lift for strength and power I do "lower under control, explode up" as much as possible.

But yeah, check the basic routines sticky and read up on the Starr 5 x 5 programs there.

Hope that helps, it's past my bedtime or I'd try to give you the links here and a more complete answer.

Peter

User avatar
TimD
In Memoriam: TimD
In Memoriam: TimD
Posts: 3129
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:04 am
Location: Va Beach, Va

Post by TimD » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:09 am

John, the 5 x 5 has many variations.
Here is an explanation
http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/5X5.htm
Here is an explanation/example showing the different useages. Also, the 5X5 is traditionally used w/ full body or upper/lower splits, but it could apply I guess to your split
http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/QUALITY3.htm
Tim

KPj
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Deific Wizard of Sagacity
Posts: 3482
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:49 am

Post by KPj » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:30 am

I would suggest that an easy way for you to start doing "5 x 5" is to just take all your exercises that you do just now and change the set and rep ranges to 5 sets of reps...

Not sure how that would go in your typical body part split, but that's really all "5 x 5" means. If your splits as bad as mine used to be, you'll have about 6 chest exercises in your chest day. When I look back and try and imagine doing DB flys after bench press, DB B press, DB incline Bench press and cable cross overs, it makes me laugh (and cringe), never mind doing it at 5 x 5.

Time Under Tension gets referred to as various things. One way it gets referred to is 'Tempo', i.e. how long you lower the weight, how long you hold it their, how long you press it for. Personally I think this should just be called 'tempo'.

For me Time Under Tension is the how long your SET takes i.e. how long our muscles are under tension for each SET. The optimal TUT for hypertrophy is allegedly 40-70 seconds, or somewhere along those lines - I can't remember the exact range of 'seconds'. Basically, that means that for optimal hypertrophy, each rep should take about 5 seconds and your set should take at least 40 seconds which kind of falls in line with bodybuilider reps that I see all the time - slow eccentric (probably about 2-3 secs), brief pause (probably 1-2 secs) and a concentric of around 2 seconds too.

A simpler way of looking at it, though, is that sets with 8-10 reps generally hit the optimal 'Time Under Tension' range for hypertrophy.

The beauty of weight training in any form is that whatever amazing program you find, your body will adapt to it and results will slow down and / or go stale, forcing you to either change things or get stuck in a rut.

So if you've been training at high reps for few sets, them switch it up to low reps over several sets and results are bound to be great. For a while.

By doing that, your reducing your 'TUT'. But your also INCREASING load / weight, and we all know getting big means lifting big.


KPj


Chris_A
Associate Member
Associate Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:13 pm

Post by Chris_A » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:37 am

I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock into that PDF link you posted. It’s obviously biased toward powerlifting. It’s well known that there is a clear and not always friendly split between powerlifting and bodybuilding. Powerlifters always scream that bodybuilders aren’t as strong as they look. Bodybuilders say powerlifters are fat tanks. Etc, etc, etc.....

But seriously, have you ever seen what bodybuilders are lifting? Ronnie Coleman is using 200lb dumbbells for reps on the DB Benchpress. He also does 2,700 on the leg-press for reps. He does 800 lb squats, 500ldb BB Bench.......how much weight is enough?!?!

Go to youtube and search on Ronnie Coleman. I saw a video on youtube of the record breaking bench press of 1,010 by a powerlifter. Not only was the lifter incredibly fat, but he wore a bench shirt (it was NOT a raw lift), and in the lift, the bar only move about 4 inches down and 4 inches back up. Not much of a “lift” at all.

Anyway............sorry for the rant. And seriously, no offense meant to all the great powerlifter out there!!! ;-)

Soooooooo................the 5 rep range will make you stronger, however the changes in your body will not be so much metabolic (muscle hypertrophy) as it will be neurological. That is, as you adapt to the heavy loads with low reps, you body will begin to call MORE muscle fibers into the lift making you stronger......but the size of the muscles fibers don’t necessarily get bigger.

Remember that muscle fibers are called into play in a certain order. First, when work is started, slow fibers are activated. If the work is sustained, then more slow fibers are called in along with intermediate fibers. If the work continues, then fast fibers are called into play. The more intense the work, the more muscle fibers are called into play.

The 8-12 rep range (personally, I prefer the 8-10 range) is the best range for BOTH strenght increases AND increases in muscle size.

Here is a great article about the affects of your rep range.

http://www.freedomfly.net/Articles/Trai ... ning29.htm

Also, when you are lifting, you need to pay special attention to the Eccentric or Negative (lowering) portion of the lift. You mentioned in your previous post that you thought about bringing the weight down quickly and then going up quickly. You’ll cheat yourself if you do. Studies have shown that you get your best muscular gains by concentrating on the negative portion of the lift. During the Eccentric phase, you are up to 40% stronger, and by concentrating on a slow eccentric with an medium to explosive concentric, you’ll get better gains. You’re also likely to be more sore as studies have shown that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is triggered predominantly by the eccentric phase of the work.

How long have you been lifting? If you’re fairly new to the iron game (less than 8 months of steady lifting), you ought to consider a routine of 1 warm up set and 1-2 working sets. Studies have shown that for beginners, more than 1 set does very little in the terms of gains. At best, improvement for multiple sets was only 5% better than 1 set only.

If you want to do a split, pick 2 exercises for each major muscle group (preferably exercises that hit the muscle in different manners), and at least 1 exercise for smaller body parts.

For Chest & Tri Day, try this
Abdominal Crunches
Decline BB Benchpress
Incline DB Flyes
Tricep Pressdown (or DB extension)
Plate Raise (or BB raise)
DB Lateral Raise

Start with 3 sets of Abs for a general warm-up. Next, go to the Decline bench and do a warm-up set with 50% of your working weight. If you want a second warm-up, then increase the weight to 75% or your working set. After the warm-up, do 2 sets in the 8 to 10 rep range. If you can’t do 8 (with good form!), then the weight is too heavy. If you can do more than 10, then the weight is too light.

What you want to do is work to failure within the 8-10 rep range. If you have a training partner, then go to absolute failure where you can’t get the last rep out and need your spotter to add just a little bit of help. If you train alone, then go to the point where you struggle hard to get the last rep out, but you can do it on your own. Once you get that last rep out, you will KNOW that you can’t get another one, so don’t even try it.....rack the weight.

With the decline bench out of the way, do 1 warm-up set of the incline flyes in order to get the feel of the move. Then do 2 working sets.

At this point, everything that you’re working should be warmed up, so you can go straight to your working sets on remainder of the exercise (in the order presented). If you want a little extra triceps work, then bench dips or skull crushers after the pressdowns.

Oh, one thing to note on the decline bench is that you’re a little stronger in that position, so you can typically add 5-10 more pounds for that lift versus your flat bench.

User avatar
stuward
moderator
moderator
Posts: 6650
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Post by stuward » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:44 am

Chris, this thread is a follow on to this one. http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4639

The OP has been working the 8-12 range all along and is looking to add some lower rep work for a change.

BTW, I'm sure Ronnie Coleman works all rep ranges. You don't get that big or strong just by sticking to one rep range.

Chris_A
Associate Member
Associate Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:13 pm

Post by Chris_A » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:53 am

stuward wrote:Chris, this thread is a follow on to this one. http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4639

The OP has been working the 8-12 range all along and is looking to add some lower rep work for a change.

BTW, I'm sure Ronnie Coleman works all rep ranges. You don't get that big or strong just by sticking to one rep range.
True on that. Ronnie does change his rep range around (all BBs do, even me), he also uses little tricks like not locking out on bench, or only getting to 12" apart on flyes so that he maintains constant tension on the target muscle.

If the OP has been doing 8-12 reps for 3-4 months straight, then it would definitely be a good time to switch over to a lower rep range and add some strength to his lifts.

Oh, and if anyone is wondering which exercises are best for targeting a specific muscle, then check this link. The list there should help you pick exercises that ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck when you hit the weights.

They did EMG studies to measure muscle activity for each lift. Granted, not every lift was covered, but it's a nice start.

http://www.myfit.ca/archives/viewanarti ... 20Activity

Chris_A
Associate Member
Associate Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:13 pm

Post by Chris_A » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:37 am

One more thing about the 8-12 rep range that doesn’t seem to get covered very often. With that rep range, you still want to always try to add weight to tour lifts. If you’re new to lifting, it’s not unrealistic to add 5 pounds to your compound lifts every week for the first month. After that, add 5 pounds at least every 2 weeks.

When you add weight, you’re going to knock yourself out of the 8-10 rep range! That is, with the new weight, you may only be able to do 6 or 7. Stick with that weight and keep pushing hard. Once you can do 9 or 10 reps, add 5 more pounds and then your back to 5-7 reps and will be working back up to 8-10. But....always concentrate on perfect form.

If you want to see results quick, first you need to work hard and to failure. Second, customize your routine to perk up easier built muscles that also add width and dimension to you body. The front delts, upper traps, chest, and middle/lower traps respond rather quickly when you first start out.

For a change of pace, have a shoulders only day where you blast your shoulders and give them a boost. This will make you look wider and will give you more strength on your pushing movements.

Next, try an arm only day. This will help on both push and pull exercises while also giving you more visible mass.

Take a day off.

Then do a leg day.

Then a Chest and Back day followed by 2 days of rest/cardio.

The following week, go back to a Push/Pull/Leg split (Chest & Tris/Back & Bis/Legs). So you would Push one day, then Pull the next, then do Legs, then rest for 1 day, then start over to finish the week out.

Try alternating each week with these two different split routines for 2 months and you should see the difference.

And don’t forget to eat! After a meal, your body goes into an absorptive state where it digests the food and uses it to repair and maintain your body. The absorptive state lasts up to 4 hours. So if you eat a small meal/snack every 3-4 hours during the day, then you’ll be able to maintain an absorptive state most of the day which will lead to faster recovery and quicker gains. Just make sure you’re picking good food for your meals and snacks! Tip: Eggs are your friends!

corless319_
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:19 pm

Post by corless319_ » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:51 am

so the decline dbell bench hits the chest the most? Crazy. Will add that to my workout routine. Also I want to gain size and strength. I'm 5'8 about 208. I want to get huge. I lift and I want to lift correctly. From what I have read from you guys 5x5 is strength. I have been going three set per workout rep range from 12 to 10 to 8 gradually increasing the weight usually with the last set to failure at 8. I don't think I'm a beginner cause I have been lifting for awhile but I need to get bigger stronger etc. If you look at the strength standards on this site im pretty much advanced but not yet elite. Should I go to the 3x5 ? I wanted to incorporate that starting today. Size is key but I also want to get stronger and I feel I have plateaued with the 12 10 8 reps. As much knowledge as I have for training I kinda feel dumb cause I'm stuck. And not sure where I should go but dedicated and will do what I plan on doing. Long story short i want to get huge will eat and take supplement will do cardio will do whatever it takes and can't wait to change up the routine here shortly.

Chris_A
Associate Member
Associate Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:13 pm

Post by Chris_A » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:11 pm

Ok, it definitely sounds like you should switch to a strength routine in the 5 rep range. You may also want to try periodization. This is where you back your working weight down to where you were a few months ago, and then slowly add weight each week for several weeks with the end result being you added more weigh that you used to lift.

For example, if you’re working 200 for 3 sets of 10 on the bench now, then back it up to 180 and do 3 sets of 10.
Next week, add 5 pounds for 185 at 3 of 10.
Then next week it is 190 for 3 of 10
Then next week it is 195 for 3 of 10
Then next week it is 200 for 3 of 10
Then next week it is 205 for 3 of 10
Then next week it is 210 for 3 of ???

Periodization is a great way to bust through a plateau. A bit slow, but it works.

Oh, and here is something you may not want to hear, but you’re not going to get freaky-scare-the-carp-out-of-the-kids-HUGE without pharmaceutical aid. With natural bodybuilding you can build a very impressive Spiderman, DareDevil or Wolverine physique, but it will take more than that to get to the Incredible Hulk’s size.

Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Shawn Ray, Dexter Jackson, etc, etc, etc.......they’re all juiced to the gills.

The human body was never designed to get that big. In fact, there are growth factor checks in place specifically designed to make sure this doesn’t happen. Read about Myostatin and you’ll soon see why steroids are needed to become the Incredible Hulk that wins the Mr. Olympia titles.

Fortunately, studies have shown that heavy exercise does decrease myostatin levels a bit which means your body is designed to grow somewhat in response to working demands......but getting to Ronnie Coleman’s size was never intended.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myostatin

corless319_
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:19 pm

Post by corless319_ » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:19 pm

As funny as it is and everyone thinks I'm crazy I do think I could get huge without roids. Maybe supplements i have been "yelled" at on here with genetic potential. I think there is no limit but I'm not a scientist and obviously know crap cause here I sit asking other people how to get huge. I just have the desire behind it haha hopefully i do get huge. I'm going to go to the 3x5 today today is chest day and I'm lifting my arse off. I read that emg thing should i do decline dbell pressed over flat bench if that uses more chest? wow Time under tension to me is work. I feel when im at the gym if im throwing weight around or bouncing the weight off of the chest which i dont do is bad for you I'll post my workout tomorrow in my journal here.

Chris_A
Associate Member
Associate Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:13 pm

Post by Chris_A » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:29 pm

Check this site. Click on the link on the left called “Bodybuilding” to see pics of what you can expect without roids.

http://www.naturalbodybuilding.com/

Then compare those pics to Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. There’s a big difference.

BUT......that’s not to say that a natural bodybuilder isn’t huge! They are indeed big and very impressive. But seriously speaking, they aren’t freaky scare the kids big like Ronnie and Jay are.

Chris_A
Associate Member
Associate Member
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:13 pm

Post by Chris_A » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:14 pm

And seriously, would you ever really want to be as big as Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler?

Not only is that body mass a constant 24 hour a day job to maintain, but the sheer size of that body changes the way you live. I read in an interview with Jay Cutler (in Flex Magazine) that his arms (in particular his biceps) are so big and tight that he can’t shave his own face! Typically, his wife shaves him, or he attaches his razor to a 12” handle and then shaves that way. Unreal!

corless319_
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:19 pm

Post by corless319_ » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:43 pm

wow ok i dont want to be that big.... and yes i could imagine what it would be like to maintain but isnt that amazing that a human could get that big? Crazy. How much does he weigh and how tall is he?


Post Reply