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  1. #1
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Jim Stoppani's 'Shortcut to Size' 12 week programme

    I'm about to embark on Jim Stoppani's 12 week Shortcut to Size plan; which as the plan suggests, is to put on a fair amount of lean muscle mass in the 12 week providing your diet and training are in check. I have currently been lifting since about 2010 and have made some pretty good gains in that period. By my own admission, my diet has not always been on point; however, on this programme I aim to stick to my diet as diligently as I train, in the hope of seeing some of the aforementioned gains cited in the programme outline.

    Whilst I don't want to bore you with the specifics on the Shortcut to Size plan, I will briefly tell you about it:
    As said, it follows a 12 week workout regimen, on a four day workout split: Monday: chest/tris/calves Tuesday: Back/bis/abs/ Wednesday: rest/cardio, Thursday: shoulders/traps/calves Friday: legs/abs, with the weekend off for rest or active cardio, in order to rest your battered body to facilitate the repair and hopefully growth to come.

    As Stoppani states "The Shortcut to Size program is based on microcycled periodization. Research shows it's most effective for strength gains and increasing muscle size. The Shortcut to Size is a 12-week program composed of 12 one-week microcycles. Each microcycle lasts one week, after which you change rep ranges and weights. The constant cycling creates muscle confusion, forcing your body to adapt to the new rigors". Put simply, the constant changes in rep range is employed in order to shock the body, thus stimulating new growth.

    Although a diet plan is included, I decided to use my own; with the emphasis on including quality protein sources in each meal at three hour intervals, as opposed to rigorous calorie counting, which can become monotonous. I will include my workouts each day (hopefully), for each microcycle and the weights used. Overall, I hope the 12 week plan will be challenging but productive and primarily, that I can make some good muscle mass gains, with strict adherence to diet and training. I will be uploading blogs from my iPad so I don't think I'll be able to add photos, but will try to add some progress ones when I get access to a computer!

    Tonight, I have decided to do some cardio at the gym (it is too busy in the evening to start the weight training programme; you can't even get a free bench!) I think I'll hit the treadmill on an incline for about 30 mins, keeping my heart rate around 140bpm. PWO 40g whey with jelly babies, before bed: 20g whey &
    3tsp p.butter!
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  2. #2
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Meal 1:*

    3 cups oats blended with 2 scoops ON chocolate whey protein, 3 large egg whites & 500ml semi-skimmed milk

    Post-workout:

    2 scoops ON whey with jelly babies (containing waxy maize for simple sugars)

    Meal 2:

    200g chicken / 125g brown rice / broccoli

    Meal 3:

    200g chicken / 125g brown rice / broccoli

    Meal 4:

    200g meat / broccoli / Greek yoghurt with honey

    Meal 5:

    2 scoops ON whey with 500ml semi/skimmed milk /peanuts smooth peanut butter

    *

    *4l water drunken daily / multivitamin and Omega 3 taken in morning

    This is a sample diet I have chosen to follow, although no doubt it will vary from time to time. As said before I'll be focusing on emphasising quality protein in each meal as opposed to counting every last macronutrient; using the mirror as guidance as to whether I need to increase portion size.

    I actually started the programme for the first two weeks, with rep ranges 12-15 in the 1st week, followed by 9-11 in the 2nd, pertaining to method of training known as periodisation e.g. Constantly changing rep ranges. training had been good, but for the last ten weeks I aim to really focus on the diet and post my training blog here accordingly. Today is chest, tris and calves rep ranges now lowered to 6-8 and 10-14 for calves. Just about to have breakfast of oats/whey and egg whites with a banana and head to the gym at midday. Will post workout and weights later!
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  3. #3
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures of myself from the past year or so.
    Attached Images
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  4. #4
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Smile

    Decided to have lunch first before I hit the gym: 200g chicken strips / 125g brown rice and broccoli, with a coffee for the caffeine hit pre-workout. Will post workout details later on!
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  5. #5
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Unfortunately, due to time constraints I had to shorten today's chest workout, although will post a back/bis/abs workout from last week, to give you a feel for the programme. The rep range was 9-11 (shooting for 11 every time!) and abs 15-19 with a rest pause on the last set of each exercise. Although the weights are not crazy heavy, the focus was more on contraction and squeezing the muscle, as I feel this has yielded the best results for back development, as opposed to swinging the weight. I apologise the weights are in kilos (I'm British!), but I'm sure you can make a rough conversion to lbs! Sorry! Sometimes the weights were increased if it felt too easy initially.

    BACK:
    DB Row:
    11/28kg
    11/28kg
    11/32kg
    25/20 left side,right side / 32kg (RP set: rest 15 sec after failure, then try for more reps).

    Wide-Grip Pulldown:
    11/45kg
    11/50kg
    15/55kg RP set

    Standing Pulldown:
    11/37.5kg
    11/37.5kg
    20/37.5kg RP set

    Straight-Arm Pulldown:
    11/25kg
    11/20kg
    40/20kg RP set

    BICEPS:
    Barbell Curl:
    11/30kg
    11/30kg
    11/35kg
    14/40kg RP set

    DB Incline Curl:
    11/12kg
    11/14kg
    16/14kg RP set

    1-Arm High Cable Curl:
    11/10kg
    11/10kg
    20/16 (left/right arm) /12.5kg RP set

    ABS:
    Hanging Leg Raise:
    15/body weight
    15/body weight
    20/body weight RP set

    Weighted Crunch:
    19/50kg
    19/40kg
    50/40kg RP set

    DB Side Bend:
    19/14kg
    19/14kg
    32/40 (left/right side) /14kg RP set

    Overall, I thought the workout was productive and particularly enjoyed the rest-pause technique to really flush the muscle with blood and take it beyond failure. The following week the microcycle switches to 6-8 rep range with a drop-set at the end of every set as opposed to the rest pause, which should provide new stimulus for growth. Just finished a protein shake and green tea after my abbreviated chest workout, and will definitely post this weeks back workout tomorrow with the 6-8 rep ranges and heavier poundages (hopefully!) Peace x
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  6. #6
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    SUPPLEMENTATION:

    Stoppani lists the following supplements that should be incorporated into the plan:

    Upon Waking
    Whey Protein: 20-40 grams
    MultivitaMin: 1 dose
    With Meals
    Fish oil: 2-3 grams; 3 times per day
    Cla: 1-3g
    *Consider taking more Whey Protein as meal
    replacement
    Before WorkoUt
    no Booster: 1 dose (30 min. before)
    Whey Protein: 20 grams (30 min. before)
    Creatine: 2-5 grams (depending on brand)
    Beta-alanine: 1.5-3 grams
    BCaas: 5 grams
    Betaine: 1-3 grams
    after WorkoUt (Within 30 MinUtes)
    Whey Protein: 20-40 grams
    Casein Protein: 10-20 grams
    Creatine: 2-5 grams
    Beta-alanine: 1.5-3 grams
    BCaas: 5 grams
    Betaine: 1-3 grams
    Post-workout carbs (vitargo): 1 dose
    Before Bed
    Casein Protein: 20-40 grams

    I was wondering if anyone has tried a supplement stack like this; I myself usually stick to the basics, protein (which contains BCAAs and glutamine) , sometimes creatine, I also know NO boosters and beta-alanine are included in a lot of pre-workout shakes anyway?!
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  7. #7
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Smile change in workouts

    After some deliberation, I have decided to stop the Shortcut to Size programme as I feel I am not benefitting from the higher rep microcycles in the programme, and would rather focus on a 6-8 rep range scheme, whereby I centre my workouts around compound basic lifts. My new routine will look something like this:

    Monday- Hamstrings/Abs + 30 min Cardio
    Tuesday- Chest/Biceps/Calves
    Wednesday- Back/Triceps/Abs
    Thursday- Shoulders/Traps/Calves + 30 min Cardio
    Friday- Quads
    Saturday- Calves/30 min Cardio
    Sunday- REST

    As said by some other people attempting the Shortcut to Size programme, in weight training there is indeed no shortcuts, only sheer hard work and determination. I will post my workouts after completion and hope to set some new PBs in the coming weeks. Any feedback is much appreciated, as I feel we can never stop learning!
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  8. #8
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    So I just hit shoulders/traps/calves as part of my new training routine, with descending rep ranges from 10-4 on the compound lifts, then 10/8/5 on the isolatory ones. I have also incorporated Hany Rambods FST-7 system at the end of my workout, to force my blood into the muscle group a get a really great pump (hopefully!) Again, I apologise the weights are in kilos, but I'm sure u can estimate what it is in lbs!

    DELTS:

    DB Shoulder Press:
    10/24kg
    8/28kg
    6/30kg
    4/32kg

    DB Lateral Raise:
    10/20kg
    8/22kg
    5/24kg
    Drop set: 15kg/failure 10kg/failure *gave a great pump in the side delts!

    Single-Arm DB Upright Row:
    10/22kg
    8/24kg
    5/26kg

    Rear Deltoid Row (*taken from Jim Cordova training: see YouTube shoulder training):
    10/14kg
    8/18kg
    5/20kg

    Rear Delt Cable Fly (7's: 12 reps/30secs rest in between sets):
    12/7.5kg x 7sets

    TRAPS:

    DB Shrugs:
    10/36kg
    8/40kg
    6/42kg
    4/44kg
    Drop Set: 26kg/failure 14kg/failure *Traps pumped!

    CALVES:

    Standing Calf Raise (Smith Machine):
    10/80kg
    8/90kg
    6/100kg
    4/110kg

    Leg Hack Squat Machine Calf Raise:
    10/60kg
    8/70kg
    6/80kg
    4/85kg
    Drop Set: 60/failure 30/failure 10/failure

    Standing Calf Raises:
    3 sets/BW to failure

    The standing calf raises with just my body weighted really taxed my calves and took them beyond failure. In addition, I really enjoyed the 7s on the rear cable flys, when once committing to a weight, having to stick to it for 7 whole sets, with barely any rest. After this, I hit 30mins cardio on an incline treadmill, keeping my HR at around 140BPM, which was pretty difficult after the heavy calf workout before. I felt it was a productive workout and headed home after my PWO shake. Will post my quad workout tomorrow. Peace x
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  9. #9
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    After the earlier workout, I have just cooked up tomorrow's meals, which consist of:
    Meal#1: 3 cups oats blended with semi-skimmed milk and liquid egg whites/3 tbsp peanut butter

    Meal#2: 200g chicken strips/125g brown rice/broccoli

    PWO: Protein shake (2 scoops whey) and jelly babies *with waxy maize for fast-acting sugars

    Meal#3: Can tuna/125g brown rice/broccoli

    Meal#4: 200g chicken strips/broccoli *eliminating carbs @ dinner

    Meal#5: Protein shake (2scoops)/3tbsp peanut butter

    With tomorrows workout in mind (the dreaded Quad training!), I will jot down the chosen exercises below. I find it best to plan the workout ahead, so you can visualise going through the weights and so on. I have chosen to split quads/hams into two separate workouts, with two days rest after quads, to account for the DOMs that will ensue lol! Anyhow, below is a rough plan for tomorrows quad onslaught! I will post the weights after I finish the workout.

    QUADS routine:
    Smith Machine Squats: 10/8/6/4
    Leg Extension: 10/8/5 drop set
    Lunges: 10/8/5
    Hack Squat Machine: 10/8/5 drop set
    Leg Press: (7s) 7 x 12

    As you can see, this is quite a "volume heavy" workout, as I consider quads to be a weaker area of mine that I can bring up (although you can never have big enough quads IMO lol). Hamstrings on the Monday will be of similar volume, as I feel I used to neglect them before (as so many people do), merely adding on a few sets of light RDL and a couple of sets of leg curls! I plan to hit the hams with a variety of exercises, primarily 4 sets of RDL, culminating in a heavy last set for 4 reps. Will also hit leg press (with feet higher up the pad to activate hamstrings), seated leg curl (I have no lying leg or 1leg curl at my gym!! Oh dear! And hack squats with feet higher up also (probably for 7s). I look forward to posting my workouts in the following weeks and hope to see some improvements with the heavier weights. Hope you all enjoy!
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  10. #10
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    New workout log

    I have decided to set out the following weeks workout, just so I have an affirmative plan as to what exercises I will be doing and I can get use to the new rep ranges (going as low as 4 on compounds!)

    MONDAY:
    Hamstrings/Abs:
    Warmup with 3 sets seated leg curl x 50 reps light weight
    Romanian Deadlift: 4x10/8/6/4
    DB Stiff-Leg Deadlift: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Leg Press (feet higher): 3 x 10/8/5
    Seated Leg Curl: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Hack Squat Machine (feet higher): 7s

    ABS:
    Will go with 3 sets of whatever exercise I feel necessary at the time!
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  11. #11
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    TUESDAY:

    CHEST:
    Incline DB Press: 4 x 10/8/6/4
    Incline Flyes: 3 x 10/8/5
    Dips (weighted): 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Cable Crossovers: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Machine Presses: 7s

    BICEPS:
    Hammer Curls: 4 x 10/8/6/4
    Barbell Curls: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    DB Preacher Curls: 3 x 10/8/5
    Rope Hammer Curls: 7s

    CALVES:
    A variety of standing and seated raises, including drop sets.
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  12. #12
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    BACK:
    Warmup: Pullups: 3x BW
    Barbell Rows: 4 x 10/8/6/4
    DB Row: 3 x 10/8/5
    Lat Pulldown: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Low Seated Row: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Rope Pulldown: 7s

    TRICEPS:
    Cross-body Cable Pressdown (warmup)
    Smith Machine Close Grip Bench: 4 x 10/8/6/4
    Weighted Dips: 3 x 10/8/5 + DS
    Skullcrushers: 3 x 10/8/5
    Pressdowns: 7s

    ABS:
    3 exercises/3 sets
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  13. #13
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    SHOULDERS + QUADS same as above workouts
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  14. #14
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Just had a protein shake b4 bed guys. time for bed soon, gonna hit my new chest/biceps/calves routine tomorrow, and save quad onslaught for next Friday as I'm quite tired ATM. Will post weights tomorrow. Just uploaded some new pics to bodyspace, as I'm still quite new to this. Night x
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  15. #15
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    actually can't sleep ATM, but gotta get up in 4 hours to go kill chest and bis! Been reading some posts on here, some good motivational blogs to keep me going. Wish I had a decent pre workout to get me through my workouts ATM, but have been trying to keep off stimulants for a while. Used muscletech neurocore when it came out in the uk, and gave me a decent buzz as well as some pretty sick pumps to go with it lol! I would like to try the new nano vapor, but u can only get it off amazon really here in the uk and its quite expensive. anyways, better get some rest if I can, chest has always been a week area off mine, I really struggle to put up a lot of weight (I can fly more than I can bench lol) weird I kno! Biceps have always been a strong point for me, managed to rep 80lbs dumb bells for hammer curls. it's just a testament to how some parts of your body can be so strong, whilst other noticeably weaker and playing catchup all the time it seems. anyways, may get a McDonald's breakfast in the AM, (sinful I know) and a coffee to fuel the workout ahead.
    Last edited by philponting; 10-18-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Chest/Biceps workout

    So, as said before, i hit chest/biceps today; under my new training protocol of 10/8/6/4 on compound lifts. As mentioned in my last post, i was up quite late as i couldn't sleep very well for some reason (oh well!) I got to the gym early (7am) and felt somewhat upbeat for this time in the morning; and after necking two cups of black coffee i hit the treadmill for my 3 min warmup, then onto the weights.

    CHEST:

    Incline DB Press:
    10 x 24kg
    8 x 26kg
    6 x 28kg
    4x 32kg
    *I was a bit frustrated after the inclines, feeling I could have added more weight earlier on, and will aim to pyramid up higher next time.

    Incline DB Flyes:
    10 x 24kg
    8 x 26kg
    5x 28kg
    *I felt a lot happier with the DB Flyes, which i find an altogether more comfortable movement and therefore can lift heavier poundages.

    Cable Crossovers:
    10 x 15kg
    8 x 17.5kg
    5 x 20kg + double drop set to failure

    Machine Press (7s):
    35kg x 7 sets of 12 reps
    *I finished the chest workout with 7s to really pump the blood into the chest muscle, really focusing on the squeeze and contraction of the pecs. 35kg was challenging enough by the end of the workout.

    With chest finished, I headed onto biceps, which i consider one of my stronger and more developed bodyparts.

    BICEPS:

    DB Hammer Curls:
    10 x 20kg
    8 x 24 kg
    6 x 28kg
    4 x 30kg
    *As you can see, I was nearly curling as much as I was pressing and i felt i could have gone heavier, which doesn't say much for my chest strength lol!!

    DB Preacher Curl:
    10 x 10kg
    8 x 12kg
    5 x 14kg

    I decided to finish the workout there, as my bis were already pretty pumped and didn't feel like i needed to do any more extraneous work. I will hit back/tris tomorrow and post the workout and weights on here for you to see. Sunday will be a rest day. One of my main focus is to bring up my chest development, particularly upper chest, by doing heavy incline presses and flyes; so i need to up my game for the next chest workout, and might add a bit more volume. Also, can anyone tell me how you copy and paste pics on here directly without a link, as i cant seem to be able to do it.

    Anyway, i have finished my PWO shake and will have a chicken meal soon and may post a bit more on my diet later. Cya!
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  17. #17
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    I wanted to paste some diet pictures, but apparently the site won't let me until I blog 50 posts, coz I'm a newbie lol
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    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Diet photos

    Had to attach photo instead of imbed it, as I have not made 50 posts yet lol. anyways, here is my diet for the day. After a cheat meal at McDonalds, I am eating the following:

    200g chicken strips/125g brown rice/broccoli (unweighed)

    200g chicken strips/125g brown rice/broccoli (unweighed)

    130g tuna/broccoli

    And I'll probably have 3tbsp peanut butter and a protein shake before bed.
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    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    This is also a typical breakfast for me, 3 cups oats blended with semi-skimmed milk, sometimes 3 large egg whites added in and 2 scoops whey protein (choc flavour!) and a banana, with multi-vitamin and Omega 3 tablet. Sorry it's just a link and not the actual pic! I find it much easier to chug a shake, then having to eat a large bowl of oats (I find it hard to eat early in the morning, as my appetite builds throughout the day). The egg whites contain about 10g of protein and the protein powder 48g, with the milk adding some additional protein in the form of casein, to release slowly throughout the day and keep me anabolic. and as u know the carbs are slow releasing in the form of the banana & oats, to give me energy throughout the day.
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  20. #20
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    Hi guys. Today I'm gonna train back and triceps and have wrote the workout plan up. Here is the plan of attack:

    Back:
    warmup: 3 x pullup
    4 x BB Bent-Over Row: 10/8/6/4
    3 x Single Arm DB Row: 10/8/5
    3 x Seated Wide-Grip Row: 10/8/5 + Drop set
    Rope Pulldown (7s): 7 x 12 reps

    Triceps:
    4 x Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press: 10/8/6/4
    3 x Pressdown: 10/8/5 + DS
    3 x DB Skullcrusher: 10/8/5
    Rope Cross Body Pressdown (7s): 7 x 12 reps

    ABS:
    3 x Bent-Knee Raise: 20/20/20
    3 x DB Side Bend: 20/20/20

    Hope it goes well and will post workout later. Time to pump some iron!
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  21. #21
    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    Back:

    Warmup: 3 x pull-up
    * I did about 8-10 reps just to warm up the lats and get a good squeeze.

    4 x BB Bent-Over Row: 10/8/6/4
    60kg/70kg/80kg/85kg

    *Again as with chest yesterday, i felt frustrated by my strength in the compound lifts, as i have been as heavy as 110kg on bent-over rows. Over the weeks i will try and add a small plate a side and increase the poundage progressively. I feel bent-over rows is one of the lifts where you have to think less about contraction (compared to say, lat pulldown) and can use a bit of momentum to get the weight up.

    4 x Single Arm DB Row: 10/8/6/4
    32kg/36kg/40kg/44kg

    *On the dumbbell rows i increased the poundage by four kilos each set, which i was pleased about. I have been above 50kg in the past, but failed to get that contraction of the lats at the top of the movement and was using more momentum to get the weight up. I decided to do four sets instead of 3, as I skipped tris and abs for today as i trained arms recently anyway.

    3 x Seated Wide-Grip Row: 10/8/5 + Drop set
    40kg/45kg/50kg/30kg on drop set

    *I actually really enjoyed these seated rows, as its not something i often incorporate into my back training. We don't actually have a seated row machine at my gym (only a Hammer Strength version, which i dont particularly like!), so i had to use a long bar on the cable attachment and a stepper to prop my feet against. The handle was palms facing, which allowed for a deep contraction of the mid-lat region and on the last set i hit ten reps @ 50kg, instead of my planned 5. Then went into a drop set of 30kg to failure.

    Rope Pulldown (7s): 7 x 12 reps 30 secs rest in between
    12.5kg

    *I finished the back workout with some rope pull-downs to really burn out the upper lats, as i hadn't focused on them too much in this workout. I saw a good video of Phil Heath doing these online, in which he advised to keep your head fixed on a point above you, so you don't move throughout the movement. The contractions were really good and i wasn't too concerned about the amount of weight used, as it was more about the stretch of the lats. (7's are pretty hard anyway!) I felt this finished off my workout nicely and headed to the changing room for my PWO shake. I'm enjoying pyramiding down to 4 reps on the compounds, as i feel this really yields growth and as we know, heavy weight builds muscle! The higher rep ranges allow me to have the best of both worlds, instead of going crazy heavy all the time (as in a 5x5 programme). Hopefully soon, I can add some back progress shots on here, just so you can see where i'm at atm and maybe some areas it can be improved on, in terms of width and thickness (which will hopefully come in time). C u guys laters
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    Will try and post some progress pics below
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    These are some pics from last year, and below a couple from yesterday.
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    And one Arnie style!
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    Registered User philponting's Avatar
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    I'm really gonna try and make improvements to my physique over the coming months and will try and post as many workouts and meals as I can.

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    Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000) Bronzzi has reached the pinnacle! Best possible rank! (+1000000)
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    Great! What are your macros and are you trying to gain weight/muscle or cut? Maybe add more pictures of your workouts/eatings etc.
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