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  1. #31
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Ok, here goes; I'll give this a shot. It's tough for me to give my workout because it's different every day. I'm a huge believer in different angles, hitting a muscle a different way all the time. Not so much that I believe in muscle confusion (I do somewhat but that's not my reasoning behind my eclectic workouts), it's that there are so many productive exercises, I've always wondered why people limit themselves so much.

    So, on my upper day, I hit (in this order): all delt heads, chest, back, tris, bis

    For delts, I choose 1 movement for the front delt, one for medial and 1 for the rear. All movements get 1 warmup set of 14-16 reps; followed by 2 intense drop sets where first half will be a heavy ~8 reps, dropped and followed with 4-6 more; usually to 90% failure.
    Ex of front: front db raises, db press, bb press, front EZ bar raises, smith press, machine press, front plate raises
    Ex of mid: side db raises, side cable raises, upright rows, seated cable fly
    Ex of rear: rear cable fly, facepulls, lying side db raise, reverse peck deck, bent over db fly
    Again, I pick one for each head; then pick 3 different ones on my next upper day, etc...

    Chest gets 2 movements; one for upper area, another flat or decline. 1 warmup set of 14-16, followed by 3 drop sets similar to delts above^^^
    Inc bb press, inc db press, inc db fly, low cable fly, inc smith press
    Flat bb press, flat DB press, decl bb, cable fly, machine press, db fly
    Again, 1 from the first list, one from the second.

    Back...same as chest; 1 warmup, 3 working.
    Here, I like one overhead movement and 1 perpendicular. So I'll do 1 of the following first:
    Pullups, chinups, wide grip pull down, underhand pull down, straight-arm cable pull down, overhead pull machine, close grip pull down (V handle).
    Then one from here:
    BB row, seated cable row (either close grip or wide), Yates row, DB row, t bars, Meadow row, Pendlay row
    And again, 1 from the first list and 1 from the second.
    Switching it up every workout.

    Tris, 2 movements; 1 warmup of 14-16 reps followed by 2-3 (Depending how much gas is in the tank at this point)
    working sets of ~8, then drop and another 4-6
    Second tri movement will not require a warmup so I go right to 3 working sets of 12-14 reps
    Exercises: any 2 of the following: close grip bench, skull crushers, rope push downs, straight bar push downs, underhand pull downs, db kick backs, cable kick backs, lying db hammers

    Bis...exactly the same as tris; just dfferent movements of course
    bb curl, db hammer curl, low cable curl, spiders, concentrations, reverse curl, drag curl, Rippetoe version of BB curl, cross body db curl, preachers
    And of course, like all the rest, bis get 2 exercises one week, then a different 2 the next, different 2 the following

    DIFFERENT EVERY WORKOUT!! Mix it up guys. Hit each muscle a little different every single workout. Think of the whole package!
    I typically always stay in the 12-14 rep range and go to 90% failure; sometimes 100%. Not trying to sound E-tough here, but this style of training isn't for the meak; it's a grueling 2 hrs. I fuel up well before each session with a banana and some carb source, usually a donut or cookies, about 45 mins before training. Pre-workout about 20-30 mins before and an intra during.

    I know this sounds confusing and may seem very different than your typical workout, but its really easy once you understand the concept.
    And I truly believe this pattern has helped keep me interested/motivated for the past 36 years.
    I also think it's helped me stay injury limited (not injury free of course as injuries come with the territory); but I also think this style of training can help you have a well rounded physique; maybe help to not have a stand-out strong body part, or a weak body part. You're hitting everything from every angle, differently every single session.


    Oh ****, forgot legs!!

    Legs get 4 different exercises once a week. I know I have small, weak legs and I've tried to hit them twice per week but my knees just couldn't handle it.
    Anyway, leg night always consists of leg extensions and leg curls. 1 warmup set of 16-18 reps; followed by 4 working sets (usually drop sets) alternating toe position to emphasize inner or outer areas. Again, ~8 heavy reps dropped to another 4-6 reps

    Then 2 more movements of the following:
    Back squats, front squats, leg press, BSS, reverse lunges
    And of course, 2 different the following week; 2 different ones the following etc...

    Calves are the same but I usually only rotate between 2 movements; donkey raises and seated calf raises. These will get 4 sets of 12-14 reps; also alternating sets with toes in and out for variety.
    And I do traps on leg night. Either standing BB shrug or seated DB shrug. I don't go too heavy as I've pulled my back more than once doing so. I stick to a weight I can get 16-18 reps at ~80% failure.


    I don't know if there's much more I can think to add.
    Not saying this is GOAT, take it for what it's worth. If you like your session, and you're making the gains you want, great, stick with it.

    The best style of training is the style you will do.
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  2. #32
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    Thanks for detailed write up Al. I appreciate it. That's a completely different way of training than I expected. I guess after 37 years of training you've found something that works for you.

    Are you tracking strength progress in some way?

    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    I just remembered reading that somewhere and it stuck. Most sites will say the body has a happy salinity level; just that the body functions properly at a certain level. Most everything I eat is pretty naturally low on sodium so I add some just for good measure I suppose.
    From what I've read there's no problem with low sodium diets. The reason that some studies have found a link between low sodium diets and adverse health effects is that a lot of people with underlying health conditions are often on very low sodium diets.
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  3. #33
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post

    Are you tracking strength progress in some way?

    Not at all. I remember how much weight I used on a given exercise just so I can have a starting point next time. Other than that, I really couldn't care any less about strength.
    I'm fully committed to bodybuilding/hypertrophy based training and all of my focus is on muscle contraction.




    From what I've read there's no problem with low sodium diets. The reason that some studies have found a link between low sodium diets and adverse health effects is that a lot of people with underlying health conditions are often on very low sodium diets.
    Ahhh, good to know
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  4. #34
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Not at all. I remember how much weight I used on a given exercise just so I can have a starting point next time. Other than that, I really couldn't care any less about strength.
    I'm fully committed to bodybuilding/hypertrophy based training and all of my focus is on muscle contraction.
    Interesting. There's a school of thought that says if you're not getting stronger in the medium rep ranges there's probably no hypertrophy occurring; a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle. I think the guys from 3DMJ think like this but I could be wrong.
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  5. #35
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    I have gotten stronger; not much and it's purely a side effect.

    I came up with this years ago:

    The bodybuilder visions a certain physique he would like to acquire. He uses weights to achieve this and he gets stronger as a side effect.
    The powerlifter visions a certain weight he would like to lift. He uses his body to achieve this and he gets bigger as a side effect.


    It was my sig for years
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  6. #36
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    I like the signature but in my opinion the topics are, as you probably agree, strongly intertwined. For example many successful physique athletes are also quite strong, like Layne Norton, Eric Helms, Jeff Alberts, Menno Henselmans. And they sometimes go through short or longer periods where strength is their main or even only focus. They often report it benefits their bb goals.

    James Krieger, a hypertrophy researcher I respect much, found that the best indication of muscle growth in study participants is their performance on an isolation exercise over multiple sets. For example getting stronger over 3 sets of 10 reps of leg extensions was the best indication of an increase of quad muscle growth (measured with ultra sound).

    There's also a study showing that there's a high correlation between bench press strength and pec size.

    Then there are also a few studies where training with a focus on contraction was compared with training to just lift weights with proper form, the results weren't very supportive of contraction focused training.

    The way I see it: a power lifter just wants to get stronger on a 1rm where form doesn't matter that much, a bodybuilder should also like to get stronger (either as a side effect or goal) over multiple sets in medium rep ranges with proper form, while having good tension on the muscle, just because strength increases over multiple sets in the medium rep ranges with proper form are a good indication of muscle growth.

    I'm talking in a general sense by the way. None of this is meant as advice to you of course. You've got a ton of experience and looks like you've already found out what works your body.
    Last edited by Mrpb; 10-01-2020 at 10:44 AM.
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  7. #37
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Dude, advise me all you want! I'll never say I'm the end-all or my training methods are goat and I'm always up to learn some new thoughts in today's gym world.

    I'll be honest with you and with myself and say I'm a little old-school about it. I've never cared about how much I lift, as long as I'm making muscular gains, and I have been.
    I do agree your body will only become as strong as you require it to be, and that strength gains are probably a good indicator of muscle growth; it's just that I have never been impressed with strength as much as physique. I'm from the coast of Maine where the kids pop out hauling lobster traps. These guys have never set foot in a gym, and look it, but would embarrass most gym goers when it comes to strength.

    I guess what I'm saying is I do shoot for progressive overload, and do try to increase my lifts, just not for the goal of chasing numbers.
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  8. #38
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    I guess what I'm saying is I do shoot for progressive overload, and do try to increase my lifts, just not for the goal of chasing numbers.
    I like it. Strength as a side effect.

    And you're doing it with drop sets in the medium rep ranges. Makes a lot of sense. The science on drop sets looks good.

    I just messaged protein researcher Jorn Trommelen to see if anything has changed around meal spacing advice. He confirmed 3-4 hours between meals is good.
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  9. #39
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post

    I just messaged protein researcher Jorn Trommelen to see if anything has changed around meal spacing advice. He confirmed 3-4 hours between meals is good.
    That's awesome man, thank you

    I think I will try and raise my numbers if I can; but only for hypertrophy!!
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  10. #40
    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    I have gotten stronger; not much and it's purely a side effect.

    I came up with this years ago:

    The bodybuilder visions a certain physique he would like to acquire. He uses weights to achieve this and he gets stronger as a side effect.
    The powerlifter visions a certain weight he would like to lift. He uses his body to achieve this and he gets bigger as a side effect.

    It was my sig for years
    I like your routine, its actually shockingly similar to what I do in the gym now. After running a structured 5x5 for a year I basically just tailored my workouts to what I enjoyed most and what seemed to be working best for me. I also thrive off changing up my exercises to hit the muscle groups from different angles and at varying rep ranges. Unfortunately for me I started too late in life (43) to make the kind of progress you've achieved, but better late than never I guess.

    The best program is the one you can stick to and that makes you excited to get back into the gym each day.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  11. #41
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    I like your routine, its actually shockingly similar to what I do in the gym now. After running a structured 5x5 for a year I basically just tailored my workouts to what I enjoyed most and what seemed to be working best for me. I also thrive off changing up my exercises to hit the muscle groups from different angles and at varying rep ranges. Unfortunately for me I started too late in life (43) to make the kind of progress you've achieved, but better late than never I guess.

    The best program is the one you can stick to and that makes you excited to get back into the gym each day.
    Good for you man! Yeah, I really believe it's beneficial to keep things mixed up. For physical and mental reasons.

    And 43 isn't too late bud! I'm embarrassed to say this, because I'm a smaller guy but I'm the most muscular I've ever been in my life at 51. My best gains came from ~42 and up; again, embarrassing.
    Hard to tell why; slower metabolism, more knowledge, more desire, maybe I already had a good base from my earlier years....?? Most likely a combination of them all.
    Truthfully I think it's knowledge; and then applying it. I really started reading and learning more about diet and newer training thoughts back then.
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  12. #42
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    smokin, that’s interesting to me that you do a different workout every time. I haven’t been at it that long but I do the exact same routine for a meso cycle or block of training which for me is 8 - 12 weeks and throughout the block I slowly increase reps or weight. Then for the next block I will switch up most of the exercises and again start off a little light with lower RPE while gradually increasing the reps or weight. I track every set and rep of every workout and my goal is to end the block lifting more weight or reps than the end of the previous block for that exercise.

    I rotate through a few different lifts for each body part but since I workout at home squats are my only form of quad exercises. Of course I rotate through various forms of squats such as barbell vs safety bar vs Bulgarian split vs sissy vs front etc but squats it is!

    But also I am not a bodybuilder and only workout for health and because I enjoy it.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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    ^^ Very interesting conversation above, regarding the competing mentalities of training.

    As an intermediate, my take puts a premium on strength while still appreciating the aesthetic. Arguably bodybuilders have to put in a lot more psychological effort than powerlifters to maintain size at extreme leanness; the grueling amount of training volume while constantly adhering to a strict and sometimes unpleasant diet, as opposed to powerlifters who can get away with eating like draft animals and usually perform their training in a handful of short, intense training sessions.

    Still, though, to me there's just something about being able to lift more which demands respect and is the most desirable to achieve. Maybe it's the "purpose" or function of the physique being realized which makes this school of thought attractive?

    I've heard of "powerbuilding" as a compromised mentality. Anyone else know anything about this?
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