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i started a previous thread early in the summer concerning this topic but couldn't find it.
I've been bulking for 3 months and have seen some results. however I've been lifting through a muscle injury for awhile now and am going to take a break for a week to let it heal (it also coincides with extra time at work that won't allow for lifting).
my question is should i still go on my full bulking diet (calorie surplus heavy on protein) or scale it back on this week off?
also I've noticed some gains in the gym are leveling off and am certain something is off in my routine. i lift 3 days a week (Monday chest arms, Tuesday legs, Friday shoulder back) with incorporating as much compound movements as possible. i know my form is off and have a propensity to lift heavier sacrificing my form. i always try to lift to failure ( no spotter though) but im rarely sore anymore. i also do 25+ plus sets, which has a variety of opinions. im leaning towards a different routine all together which would go to 4 days a week (Monday lower body Tuesday upper body Wednesday off Thursday lower Friday upper).
 

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I would say hold off on your calorie intake if you aren't training.
Like, eat a little over maintanence.

Also, 25+ sets?!?
How long do you spend in the gym? 2 hours?

I do no more than 15 sets. But that is just me personally...

Sounds like you are trying to build strength.
Strength is what a lumberjack needs so he can swing an axe at a tree all day.
You want resistance so you can pack on some gains!

I would suggest maybe lower your set count, up your weight, and do that for a month. See where it gets you.

But stay on your current schedule. That is a pretty good one. Gives your arms time to recover for the next workout. When I see people do triceps and chest on Monday, then biceps and back on Wednesay, I just think "You're on a one-way ticket to snap city!"
 

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I would say cut down your calorie count by a bit. Not a whole lot. Keep your protein intake up though.

Like if you consume 2500, cut it down to maybe 2000-2250.

Also, are you using creatine on your bulk? Because that will help a lot with your bulk. Might help you break through the plateau.
If you aren't, I would suggest getting some, and loading it. Since you are taking this week off, load yourself up, then start your work out. It will be pretty good. And it has studies behind it, so this stuff is both: safe, and scientifically proven to work. (to all my critics)
If you don't know how to take it:
Go out and buy some. Optimum Nurtition Micronized Creatine is pretty good. Get some, take it 5x a day for about 3 days, then just take it pre/post workout. I find 5g work (if you got a jack3d scoop, that is good to use). And take it with grape juice, because you want to take it with sugar otherwise your blood cells will use some of it while they take it to your muscles. So take it with grape juice to get more of it to the muscles.
On Monday though, I would suggest maybe taking it 3x a day since you are working out the very next day, and taking it in smaller doses on Wednesday. Then back up to normal on Thursday. That will keep the muscles saturated with it. And make sure you drink plenty of water.

Also, how long have you been working out?
Like, has it been natural for 3+ years. Because you have a genetic potential, and it is VERY hard to break through it.
And the only ways to break through it drastically, is steroids or prohormones.
If you want information on those, I don't know if the mods would like me posting stuff about that here, so ask me in a pm.

But if you are have been weightlifting for only a little while, maybe try upping the weights. Like, if you're benching only with 160, maybe up it to 170 or 175. You need to add on weight to the exercise to add weight onto the body. You may not be able to do 25 sets a workout, but that is fine. You want to switch up the weight to keep the muscles guessing.

If you are having trouble, try looking into some preworkouts. The caffeine will hopefully spike and get you the needed pump to lift heavier weights.
Trying something like Jack3d will really help. Jack3d is the best on the market (my opinion), but there are several other preworkouts out there. Main thing you want is something with caffeine in it.
Other products that are pretty good is Animal Pump, or 1 M.R. Both are pretty good.
Animal Rage is another one, but, in my opinion, tastes like crap. Felt like I was choking down orange juice squeezed from rotten oranges.

Also, sounds like your body is growing use to your workouts.
So try switched up the exercises, and hitting the muscles from different angles.
Like, if you mostly bench press, then do some dumbell presses and push downs for your tri's.
Sometimes hitting a muscle from a different angle is the thing that can make you start growing again.

Hope this helps.
 

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Your caloric intake shoud stay the same on any rest it workout days. And the misnomer that bulk comes with only heavy weights is just that. You can gain quality size by using a moderate weight and strict form for 12-15 reps.

Google 'mind muscle control' and don't fluff it off as some kind of zen nonsense. In my profession, I deal with all the IFBB pro bodybuilders and the vast majority of them say that there were some key ingredients to what made them from just some big guy at the gym to an aspiring BBer:

1- realizing that heavy weight and lousy form is a recipe for injury
2- slowing down on your reps with full contraction
3- 12-15 or more reps and using a weight that you can handle for that
4- diet is 70% of te battle, not working out
5- cardio
6- mind muscle connection

You can do a million sets incorrectly and you may feel a nice pump, but you won't gain anything significant. That stuff is for powerlfters, not bodybuilders. You'll have that bulky, fat look.

High protein, medium to low carbs and fats are essential. No sugars or salt added to anything.

If you're out with an injury, do some low impact work like cardio if you can to stay in condition.

And 25 sets for a body part is overtraining. 12 sets per is ample. Try to get there an extra day or two ad one body part per day is better; tst second one will suffer due to fatigue from the first.
 

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Your caloric intake shoud stay the same on any rest it workout days. And the misnomer that bulk comes with only heavy weights is just that. You can gain quality size by using a moderate weight and strict form for 12-15 reps.

Google 'mind muscle control' and don't fluff it off as some kind of zen nonsense. In my profession, I deal with all the IFBB pro bodybuilders and the vast majority of them say that there were some key ingredients to what made them from just some big guy at the gym to an aspiring BBer:

1- realizing that heavy weight and lousy form is a recipe for injury
2- slowing down on your reps with full contraction
3- 12-15 or more reps and using a weight that you can handle for that
4- diet is 70% of te battle, not working out
5- cardio
6- mind muscle connection

You can do a million sets incorrectly and you may feel a nice pump, but you won't gain anything significant. That stuff is for powerlfters, not bodybuilders. You'll have that bulky, fat look.

High protein, medium to low carbs and fats are essential. No sugars or salt added to anything.

If you're out with an injury, do some low impact work like cardio if you can to stay in condition.

And 25 sets for a body part is overtraining. 12 sets per is ample. Try to get there an extra day or two ad one body part per day is better; tst second one will suffer due to fatigue from the first.
:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

One thing you forgot to mention is
# 7- A good night's sleep.
 

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I've been lifting through a muscle injury for awhile now and am going to take a break for a week to let it heal ... i know my form is off and have a propensity to lift heavier sacrificing my form.
I think there might be a correlation here. Seriously, don't risk injuring yourself just to get a bit "more" out of a workout or before you know it you won't be able to work out at all.

Also, don't eat as big during your week off. If I were you I'd cut back on the carbs but keep protein high.
 
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I've been working out muscle training over a year now casually (average about 1-2 times per week).I did an instructional course and learned how to handle 10-12 machines and I've been using them ever since. I'm doing it with my girlfriend every week or so and although I have to admit I do like the extra muscle I gained it's mostly a hobby thing and something alternative to running. I'm just getting a bit in a rut with the whole thing. On top of that I just can't seem to get a full control of my diet - I just don't eat enough and only twice a day. Any idea how/where I should continue? Change my instruments? My workout? My gym? ugh...
 

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I've been working out muscle training over a year now casually (average about 1-2 times per week).I did an instructional course and learned how to handle 10-12 machines and I've been using them ever since. I'm doing it with my girlfriend every week or so and although I have to admit I do like the extra muscle I gained it's mostly a hobby thing and something alternative to running. I'm just getting a bit in a rut with the whole thing. On top of that I just can't seem to get a full control of my diet - I just don't eat enough and only twice a day. Any idea how/where I should continue? Change my instruments? My workout? My gym? ugh...
Diet is so overlooked in an exercise program. You'll be running on a hamster wheel unless you eat properly. Twice a day is not nearly enough. Try for 5 meals spread out at least 3 hours apart. And tat can include 1or2 protein shakes.

Up your protein and limt the fats and carbs. And drop everything that you're drinking except for water, milk andan occasional sports drink.

The weights are important, too, but any beginner program will help if you're eating good. I cannot stress that enough and I've been working out for over 30 years.
 
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Thanks for the advise, I'm really not experienced with the whole muscle training thing. It's fun and it pays off but I'm rather clueless on doing what's really right. Probably doesn't help much that im still a student with a rather irregular rhythm in life. Two more years for finishing my master and picking a house with.my gf and then ill have a rhythm. Irregular sleeping is probably a killer as.well. anyhow I'm going to try to make the best of what I can do, I have no desire to become a real dedicated expert but I don't want to give up the casual thing either. Given me a much needed confidence boost already.
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Cardio is done to keep the gains made stay lean and not have that thick powerlifter look, unless that's what you're after. Even pro bodybuilders do cardio, most hit it hard year round.
Cardio is unnecessary if you can control your eating. Even when done, it's minimally effective and time inefficient. Pro bodybuilders do lots of "stuff". HIIT has some value, but I'd rather get extra sleep than pound the ground. Powerlifters? they're not "thick" they're fat asses.
 

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Cardio is unnecessary if you can control your eating. Even when done, it's minimally effective and time inefficient. Pro bodybuilders do lots of "stuff". HIIT has some value, but I'd rather get extra sleep than pound the ground. Powerlifters? they're not "thick" they're fat asses.
Even with a clean diet, cardio will cut out some extra fat and make your skin tighter, giving you that vascular look. My diet is fairly squeaky clean but I did not get the results I wanted until I upped my cardio from 30 to 45 minutes every day in the gym (4-5 days a week).

If you can get away without doing cardio, you're a champ and I'm jealous.
 

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Coming here for strength and conditioning advice is like going to sherdog for relationship advice. Sure you can get it, but it's not that great.
 
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