a)I have no problem with anyone on leg training switching the exercises they do from the 6-8 heavy set to the 20 reppers on as long as the 20 repper gets done. Alot of the super large guys I train (270-340lbers) have serious trouble breathingwise doing a 20 rep free squat. Hell I have trouble doing it myself. You are carrying alot of bodyweight, breathing like a locomotive and hey lets not die on leg training day-LOL. Ill give you an example--One of my guys does smythe squats, free squats and leg presses as his three leg movements. On leg press day he does the heavy 6-10 (I make him do 10 reps on it) and then does the 20 repper on the same leg press. On smythe day he does his heavy 6-8 and then does the 20 repper on a horizontal hack machine. On free squat day he does his heavy 6-10 and does the 20 repper on a Cybex (different) leg press machine at a slightly different angle than the other leg press day. I got no problem with any of you guys doing that especially you large beasts. Now if you start doing only leg presses with the same leg press machine for all your 20 reppers then Im going to call you on it that your taking the easy way out.
b)Alot of people ask me how I come to conclusions on things.....alot of all this you can deduct from what you see going on around you at gyms and from just watching people. Alot of what I do is "reverse engineering"--I think things out backwards to find out the reasoning. You can sit there and study medline all day long but until you have a practical brain to think how it pertains to bodybuilding, your not going to get very far in applying it. For example alot of people freak out about the controlled negative on reps in DC training and why the heck its done. Besides what science agrees with, think of certain instances or hobbies or jobs with repetitive movements with the repeated same load. Boat rowers, sawing lumberjacks and gymnasts. They all do repetitive movements with the same load, a boat or canoist rower is trying to power along a boat as fast as he can, a sawing lumberjack is using power to saw down a tree, a gymnast does repeated movements with bodyweight. All are pushing the limits trying to use as much power as possible for the task at hand. Which one of those three has a discernable musculature? Boat rowers dont have huge backs, sawing lumberjacks dont have huge arms but gymnasts always have that musculature. They sure arent eating to get huge and most likely they arent doing incredibly heavy weight training but you can always see the musculature on a gymnast. Why? Well which one of those three does controlled negative movements? The rowers and sawers are just using positive movements and it does virtually nothing for their musculature (science agrees with that theory-concluding that the positive movment is a strength/priming phase and the eccentric is where the magic happens)--the gymnasts on the other hand are all doing heavy eccentric and controlled negative work (iron cross/rings, pommel horse etc etc etc)--the moral of the story is your whole thinking in all this should get to the point where your curling a weight up just for the simple reason of controlling the descent downward so you can get bigger
c)There was a study some years back which included 3 groups--elite sumo wrestlers who did no weight training whatsoever, advanced bodybuilders and advanced powerlifters--about 20 in each group. Now there is a lot of variables here but they took the lean muscle mass of each group and divided it by their height in inches. Surprisingly the sumo wrestlers came out well ahead of the powerlifters (2nd) and the bodybuilders (very close 3rd). This is a group who did no weight training at all but engorged themselves with food trying to bring their bodyweight up to dramatic levels. How is a group that is doing no weight training having more muscle mass per inch of height than powerlifters and bodybuilders? For anyone that doubts food is the greatest anabolic in your arsenal, you better get up to speed and on the same page as what my trainees have found out. Gee now what would happen if you actually ate to get dramatically larger like a sumo, but actually weight trained like a powerbuilder (which is what we train like), and also did enough cardio/carb cuttoffs etc to keep bodyfat at bay while doing all this? Are you guys coming around to how I think yet....in how to become the biggest bodybuilder at the quickest rate but keeping leaness on that journey?
d)Something you guys might want to try for your forearm belly that has worked better for me than alot of other things is a (belly of the forearm) extreme stretch done exactly after biceps or wrist curls or whatever you are doing for forearms. Its as simple as this--once youve done biceps and forearms and have already stretched your biceps--or directly after your last rep of seated wrist curls...sitting on a seat with your forearms resting on your legs and the barbell in your palms face up...let your hands sag downward and let the barbell roll down the palm of your hand and hold onto it with your fingers until you feel that stretch and then the fun begins (30-90 seconds thats what your trying for)..dont let the topside of your hands hit your shin because that defeats the purpose....at about 30 seconds youll start shaking...45 seconds your head will be twitching from side to side because there is so much pain and it feels like your going to lose the barbell with your grip and if you make it to 60 YOU ARE THE MAN...but 90 seconds is the goal...(trust me you wont make it--its too fucking painful)....youll get to the point youll have to drop the barbell on the floor and take 30 seconds just to get your wits about you. Be very careful with this movement, I dont want you tweaking your wrists here so be cautious. For those who do this, take a long look at your forearms the very next day in the mirror, flex your forearm and I think youll be very surprised at how different/swollen it is. Thats all that needs to be done---let me know 3 months from now how different they look
e)Its about time I start showing you guys some new exercises from the DC arsenal--I got about 50 you guys have never seen but Ill throw this one at you for now. Maybe Ill just have you guys throw out a bodypart one of these days in a post and ill give you new exercisesyou can do for that bodypart (time willing)
Pulley row high pulls-awesome for lat width here guys--this is going to be a pain in my ass to explain but lets see if i can do it--god its so much easier showing someone these in person. First up--do you know that position that is at the bottom of a stiff leg deadlift if you do it very deep (some people dont)--remember that position because that is key here ok?
Ok-Your on a seated cable row with a close grip parallel handle--your legs are slightly bent--your aiming for the greatest amount of stretch possible at the very beginning of the pull ok so remember that you should be in that "position" above or close to it (I talked about earlier) thruout this whole movement. With your back rounded and you leaning forward (huge stretch) you pull the handle to right about 3 inches above the kneecaps, thats it. At no point do you stick your chest out and arch your back and pull the handle into your midsection and sit straight up as in a seated pulley row, what you do instead is flare your lats at the stretch at the very beginning and keep your lats flared till you pull right over your kneecaps and then control the return to the stretch and repeat. Because your bent forward in a position that doesnt put your back in a precarious safety position you will have no worries with a rounded back. I guess a simple way i could describe it is
a)huge stretch at beginning
b)do half a pulley row movement but dont lean your torso backward or arch your back--keep it stabilized maybe only moving a few inches the whole movement
c)keep your lats flared outwards the whole way thru and dont crunch your scapula together--pull with your lats and pull the handle 2-3 inches over your kneecaps and return------15-30 reps rest paused is the deal on these and you will not be using the weight you use on seated pulley rows so wipe that from your memory banks
PAYING YOUR DUES
This post is for everyone in this forum--its very important to read over--VERY IMPORTANT. Want to know the average trainee that comes to me? He is 35-45 years old and after 10-15 years of lifting weighs 175 to 210lbs. He looks at me as the guy that somehow can pull a bunny out of a hat and make him that 250lb ripped bodybuilder walking the streets.... where he couldnt even get close to that level by himself. He is scrambling around because he doesnt want to get to 50 years old never feeling what it was like to walk thru a crowd and people gawk, stare, and point because he is a damn good bodybuilder. Well what the hell have you been doing all these years?!?!?! You should of put in your f*^&ing dues like the rest of us. These same guys think Im a miracle worker that can somehow add 80lbs of muscle mass on their frame while losing 30lbs of fat while keeping incredibly lean thruout the journey to get there. Well guess what? YOU FUCKED UP. Want to know the fastest way to walk around at 250 ripped--THE ABSOLUTELY G'DAMN FASTEST WAY TO GET THERE? TAKE 2 YEARS AND EAT HUGE AMOUNTS OF FOOD, AND TRAIN WITH BRUTALLY HEAVY WEIGHTS, AND BECOME A BIG FAT OFFENSIVE LINEMAN LOOKING GUY AT 330LBS....AND NO IT WONT BE PRETTY...AT ALL. MOST OF ALL DONT DO ANYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY EVEN IMPEDE THE SLIGHTEST IN MUSCLE MASS GAIN. Just eat copious amounts of food (up to 500-600 grams of protein) and bring your bodyweight up the charts which will allow you leverage and strength gains to allow you use the incredible weights you have to use in the gym to accomplish this. Then after being at that level for density reasons for awhile, you can slowly take it down and I mean slowly and most likely have the most muscle mass gain your genetics allowed in that time frame. That is the probably the fastest way in the shortest time to get there. But definitely not the most desirable but truth is truth. Am i recommending that approach--HELL NO, but if we are talking about getting this done as fast as humanly possible then I have to be blunt. Noone wants to look like a fat slob even if it means the end result will be much closer to their ideal. And these guys 35-45 years old want me to keep them pretty boy lean and wave the magic wand and make them into Milos Sarcev after they pretty much just wasted 10-15 years of training.
I dont like using myself for an example but I will here. I started training at about 20 at 137lbs and predominantly spent the next 15 years eating tremendous amounts of food, training with very heavy weights but keeping active so I am at a leaness I personally am satisfied with. I topped out at about 303lbs and but currently hang around 283-288 because thats what I like to be at. I put my dues in here. I might jump in a show if time allows but because of my schedule currently we will have to see how that works out. Mainly Im looking forward to the day I can kind of relax and not push the limits like I have all these years. The 6 meals a day every day, and the war with the logbook along with lugging around 285-300lbs sometimes becomes very tedious. I go to bed at nite thinking exactly what Im going to do and what all this hard work will easily allow myself to do when I decide to crank the dial downward. Cardio will be done 6 times a week for health and bodyfat reasons and that will take priority.
Back to the subject on hand here. So what will all this hard work for the past 15 years allow me to do? I'm in my mid 30's now so for the rest of my 30's and thru my 40' and 50's i can pretty much walk around at 250lbs hard as a rock at a very low bodyfat percentage. Ive set myself up so that will be very very easy. I actually have to do much less than everything I do now (except cardio) to be there. Ill use guys in this forum for examples, Inhuman and massive G are both around 5'9", 5'10" and are offseason 280 to 300. They have spent the time and food consumption and paid their dues to get there. Massive G I believe is mid 30's and Inhuman is early 40's I believe. Both these guys will be able to crank this down and enjoy walking around with full abs, hard as granite with veins everywhere at 240-260lbs. They have set themselves up and paid their dues in their 20's and 30's to do that. You guys that are 35-45 years old who want this but weigh 175-210lbs are playing catchup and are so behind the race its sad. My point of this post is to get guys in their early 20's to think, to get guys who just blew 10 years of training who are in their 30's to think, and to get guys who just blew 10-15 years of training who are in their 40's to think. Am I advising bulking up? No that was a hypothetical example. Im advising you get your freaking head on straight if you want this so bad. That means extreme food intake pronto, with the heaviest weights in good form that you can use progressively, extreme stretching and enough cardio (and bodyfat protocols) that it keeps you at a leaness your satisfied with as you get dramatically larger. This sport isnt unlike a career. You have to set yourself up early so you can be right where you want to be late. Theres alot of you guys 35-45 years old in this forum, some that I even train, that think they want it but really dont have what it takes to go get it. I see it in their workouts they send me (they take the easy comfortable road never pushing the limits) and for those that I dont train I sometimes see it in your posts---you just dont have what it takes. I can only provide a guide to get there, I cant create an inner drive for you.
You have to start thinking in terms of point B from point A. Do you really think that eating 3000 calories with 225 grams of protein and doing the Weider "confusion training principle" to keep your body offguard will somehow magically make your 175lbs into 250lbs of rock granite monstrosity? Every year of training is so damn important. If you just trained for a whole year and only gained 2lbs of muscle mass, you just pretty much wasted a productive year of training--its gone--its lost and you arent getting that year back. Three weeks ago I was contacted by someone in his early 40's who had been lifting for many years, weighed about 170lbs and showed me a picture of Geir Borgan Paulsen and said thats what he wanted to look like and can i get him there?!. Laughable. Geir Borgan Paulsen is 50 years old and looks freaking phenomenal. He is a tiny bit (and i mean every so slightly tiny bit smaller) than he was when he competed in his 30's. Instead of wasting years and years of lifting getting absolutely nowhere, Geir spent his 20's and 30's eating huge amounts of food and training with heavy heavy weights so that he could walk around all thru his 30's, 40's and now 50 years old jacked to the hilt. Not many people have a better front double biceps than Geir no matter what age they are.....here he is http://www.nutritionoutlet.nu/galler...02/borgan.html
What Im hoping to relay to you slackers and dreamers that are in this forum is that you have to put your time in and pay your dues in this sport. Your 2-3lbs gain a year arent going to get it done so unless you want to get to 55 years old and look back and think "wow besides the people I told and myself, noone even knew I was a bodybuilder and I never made it"....you better get your ass in gear and your head on right and get this done now. Gaining fat is easy but if you never lifted how long would it take for you to gain 80lbs of fat from 175 to 255lbs? Probably a year and you would have to forcefeed yourself to get there. Just think how long it takes to put on 80lbs of muscle mass which is an extremely "hard to come by" commodity. This sport is about extremes--using weights you havent used previously, taking in amounts of food to build greater muscle mass-in amounts you never have done previously, and GETTING THE CARDIO DONE to keep you at an acceptable offseason training bodyfat that keeps you happy. Get your act together and think this all out or quit your complaining and dreaming and take up tennis.
Im seeing a repetitive phenomenon with the people I train that I want to state here. Ive trained alot of people now in the last 2 years on the net and also in person previously. I keep noticing the same things-basically on how various trainees brain's work. When people contact me for training, the guys who have a big work ethic and believe in a system of training whether its mine or westside or 5x5 or whatever, and hammer it and hammer it hard come to me as big people already. These are the bodybuilders you see out there in the street. Big guys that you know lift, there is no doubt that they are bodybuilders. On the other hand I have gotten alot of guys who have been lifting 5-10 years and you would never know they lifted even once unless they made it a point to tell you about it (and many do--LOL). And Ill tell you what the overwhelming continual trait those guys have. THEY OVERTHINK THIS, OVERANALYZE, keep second guessing themselves, follow this routine this month and that routine the next, and Flex magazine the third month. It all depends on what they happen to read that week. HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW WHAT WORKS IF YOU SWITCH IT EVERY DAMN MONTH? Ive showed TPC some of these emails in the warehouse and he didnt realize the extent of what I was telling him about. Ive had a couple guys in the last 2 months who have been lifting for 5-10 years and by their pics it would be embarrassing to tell anyone that they actually lift. Both of these guys are sending me emails talking about iso-tension at the top of bicep curls, worrying up and down about the statics, should i flex the pinky finger inward to make more of a contraction on my alternate curl, should my forearm be perpendicular to the earths axis at the bottom of the shoulder press (you get the drift). I went off on one guy and felt bad about it after but he kept saying "well how I used to do it is..." and "well Ive always done it this way" My answer was "well why do you look like shit if your old way worked so well"? Noone will ever know who these trainees are because its my business only but I want them to read this to get it clear in their heads. If you double triple or quadruple your training weights in good safe form over the next year/s or so your basically (with diet) going to be double or triple your current muscular size. If your going to sit there and overanalyze this shit like its rocket science (which it isnt I dont care what anyone tries to make it out to be) and worry about things that really arent going to add up to pounds of muscle mass, then blame yourself when you never get there. Are you going to be a happy man at 50 years old when you look back and think "Wow I screwed up, I never looked like a bodybuilder, never achieved my goals, never got dramatically bigger, and its gone now.....IM too old to make up for that lost time" because thats where alot of you are heading if you dont get your heads on straight. I blame alot of the muscle magazines for this. Alot of articles are ghost written for pros or are solo articles by people who are 165lbs who never made a huge change in their physique themselves. They try to portray lifting weights as this huge science (and they splurge up their articles with 8 vowel words and searching thru the thesaurus to find a word that makes them look extremely intelligent)--I go back to the beggining of cycles for pennies on this---The absolute strongest you can make yourself in all exercises, coupled with food intake to eat your way up to the new musculature will allow you to hold the most muscle mass on your body that your genetics predetermine. You want to worry bout something? Worry about that damn logbook. Worry about staying uninjured in your quest. Worry about not missing any meals. Worry about somehow someway making yourself the strongest bodybuilder you can become. Im not talking singles here. Im talking 9-15 reps rest paused. A brute. A behemoth. A human forklift. I guess i had to use this post to vent because TPC saw me pissed off in the warehouse today after answering emails such as "Dante should I try to isolate the upper portion of the pec muscle and hold the peak contraction and flex hard at the top of every rep for about 5 seconds?" If you have been lifting many years with no muscle mass to show the last thing you need to worry about is peak contraction--GET THE DAMN WEIGHT UP AND BEAT THE LOGBOOK WITH BIG WEIGHT JUMPS (and then Ill and you will be happy)
Someone asked about DC mods here in a post last week and I thought i would add my input here. I always stay in the scheme of things but I tune things to myself.
For example: I always look for ways to make an exercise harder and safer for myself. By safer-such as back thickness movements such as deadlifts, rack deads and rack drag deads....I have gotten very strong on these and now I will only do them with overhand grips instead of an over under. I dont want to be tearing a bicep due to the very heavy weight i have to use on these and going overhand forces me to lighten up somewhat and takes alot of stress off that undergrip bicep. (Ive gone as high as 765lbs on rack deads and really felt it pull there and will never tread those dangerous waters again)
Tricep exercises: i will not do any extension movements at any less than 15rp and ill keep the range 15-30rp on those. I can get very heavy on ez bar movements and feel the potential for a muscle tear is great when you start grinding out sets like 6+3+2=11rp
Bicep exercises I always keep in the 20rp range just because i seem to respond better that way and also for the safety factor
Quads, I tell everyone to do a 4-8 backbreaker set with very heavy tonnage and then a widowmaker set of 20 reps and i do this myself but honestly at this heavy of a bodyweight, there have been times where I really thought I was going to cease living after getting off a 20 rep squat because I was breathing so hard and couldnt get enough oxygen in my lungs to sustain me. My gym is on the second floor with no open windows at all, just central air ducts---for some strange reason, its ok breathing sometimes and other times (especially in a crowded gym) your gasping for air after a heavy chest set nevermind the 20 rep squat set. I do believe the lighter guys in the 150 to 250lb range in this forum can still get away with doing things normally but the very heavy guys might be biting carpet on a hot day after a 20 rep squat. So at times Ive done it like the following--on day one i do free squats shit heavy and then the hack for my 20 repper (which leaves me breathing like a locomotive anyway) and on the other day I do the newer leg press for both my heavy and widowmaker sets and on the last leg day i do smythe squats shit heavy and then the widowmaker on the older leg press. So as you see same scheme just some tweaks i do for myself if you were curious.
DC workout schedules for various people
I probably should of written this a while back but I see alot of people asking about it now. Schedules. Most of the people I personally train I have them on the monday wenesday friday monday scheme with bodyparts split like this
What is important about that is there is always a day between workouts and that lends itself to all important recovery/rest. Another variation of this above that some of the really heavy trainers I train like is Tues (full workout) Thurs (full workout) Sat (half workout) Sun (other half workout)
Some of my extremely advanced trainers and some of the guys who need very short workouts I have them do the following. What I do with those people works right along the same lines as the M W F M scheme I always use--almost the same frequency with extremely short workouts. And if anyone who has been doing DC training for a long while, likes this schedule better I have no problem with them going over to it. It is Mon Tues Thurs Fri (with weekends off) or something to that effect according to their schedule and the body is split up like this:
So you see that on Friday biceps and back is hit again and then the next week workout b will be hit twice and during week 3 workout c will be hit twice. The frequency of bodyparts hit is almost like the original M W F M plan. On this split which i use with highly advanced trainees I use it to bomb their weak bodyparts (which I dont feel you can do without potentially overtraining on the MWF scheme) The downsides to this 3 way split are the obvious non day off between workouts and you have to be very very careful with order of exercises on this plan. For example I would never have you doing full range deadlifts the day after a squat day--you would be destroyed. You have to look over the whole scheme and make sure your back thickness exercise is not going to be effected by your hamstring or quad exercise. I would probably skip stiff legged deadlifts for hamstrings totally during this routine because of the heavy back thickness exercises. I would probably rotate seated standing and lying leg curls for someone doing this. Your workouts though would be 30-60 minutes tops and thats tops and your out of there. The bad points of setting it up this way is that you lose that whole day of rest between workouts and Ive seen over time that most people seem to gain a slight bit better with that full day of rest. The other bad point is although the frequency of bodyparts trained is similiar, its a bit less over time (bodyparts trained about 81 times a year in the M W F scheme and 69 times a year in the second scheme above) .........
PS: I put back/bis before chest/shoulder/tri in the rotation because alot of people get really sore in the shoulder/chest area the day after chest. This can make it very hard sometimes on back width and back thickness exercises (especially back width) and Im trying to keep injuries to a minimum. The downside to this is when leg day falls directly after chest day, you are going to have to stretch out thoroughly in the delt/chest area to get your shoulders/arms on the bar for squatting.
Without a doubt--the mon wed fri split gets people bigger faster than any other split and the 3 way mon tues thurs fri split is a step below it on that front, but I am able to get up weak bodyparts a little bit better on the 3 way split--so remember that if you are overanxious to jump to the 3 way split, your actually gaining overall muscle mass slightly faster with the mon wed fri split