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  1. #1
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    Mark Rippetoe's 3x5 / 1x5

    hi ppl... i have officially begun Mark's Program...

    here is what it looks like:


    Originally Posted by 9cyclops9
    Here's a routine for beginners suggested by Mark Rippetoe, who specializes in getting beginners big and strong. A 30-40 lb increase in muscular bodyweight over a 6 month period is pretty standard with his athletes.

    Workout A

    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Bench Press
    1x5 Deadlift

    Workout B

    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Military Press
    3x5 Power Clean

    Warm up using several sets before doing the 3 work sets (or 1 for the deadlift). If you're using 175, for example, it would look like this:

    Warm up sets

    2x5xbar (sets x reps x weight)
    1x5x85
    1x3x125
    1x2x155

    Work sets

    3x5x175


    You alternate workout A and B, 3 non-consecutive days per week. So you might do:

    Week 1

    M

    Workout A

    W

    Workout B

    F

    Workout A

    Week 2

    M

    Workout B

    W

    Workout A

    F

    Workout B


    Add weight to the bar whenever possible. If you're very new to lifting weights, or if most of your lifting has focused on curls and other isolation movements, you'll probably be able to add some weight each workout. Maybe 5-10 lbs each time in the squat and deadlift, and about 5 lbs in the other three lifts.

    And eat a lot of food. A whole lot.

    It's fine to add some assistance work such as abs, hypers, or maybe some direct biceps and triceps work, but don't overdo it. For direct arm work, 3 sets of 8 of one lift for each muscle at the end of your last workout of the week will be plenty. Your arms are getting hit hard all week on this routine, so you don't want to blast them with iso stuff as well.

    The part about food is important. You MUST eat big to get big. Rippetoe recommends 4 meals per day, plus a gallon of milk spread throughout the day. That seems to be working well for me. Make the meals big. For instance, I might have an 8 oz steak, large baked potato, a big salad with olive oil and vinegar, and a large glass of milk. This is around 1000 calories for this one meal. A lot, yes, but you need a surplus to grow. You may gain some fat, but it's much easier to lose fat and preserve muscle mass than it is to gain muscle without gaining fat.

    To quote Rippetoe directly,


    Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe
    It is possible, and quite likely, that skinny kids on this program will gain 10-15 lbs. of non-fat bodyweight in the first 2 weeks of a good barbell training program, provided they eat well. "Well" means 4 or so meals per day, based on meat and egg protein sources, with lots of fruit and vegetables, and lots of milk. Lots. Most sources within the heavy training community agree that a good starting place is one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, with the rest of the diet making up 2500-5000 calories, depending on training requirements and body composition. Although these numbers provide much eyebrow-raising and cautionary statement-issuing from the registered dietetics people, it is a fact that these numbers work well for the vast majority of trainees, and have done so for decades.
    i dont know what power cleans are, and i'm not sure whether deadlifts twice in a week is a good idea, so for now i'm going to be subtituting power cleans with Barbell Rows...

    in addition to this, i'll be doing assistance work like arms and HIIT training for 15 minutes each session... lets see what happens.. hopefully, i'll lift big and grow strong and keep looking good and more than that: i'll be able to stick to this for some time... like maybe 2-3 months... but i'll take 1 day at a time

    i am going to start off with a moderate weight so as to build a stronger base to build on... i think i'll do 70% of my 1 RM...
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  2. #2
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    Day 1 of Mark Rippetoe's 3x5 Training
    3rd March 2006
    Friday
    Workout A


    so today was day 1... this is what i did:

    Barbell Back A2G Squats [3x5] = 60 kgs

    Flat Bench Press [3x5] = 55 kgs

    Barbell Deadlifts [1x5] = 100 kgs


    moving on, i did some accesorry exercises for abs and arms..

    Arms Workout:

    Dumbbell Alternate Arm Curls [2x10] = 16 kgs in each arm

    Cable Triceps Pressdowns [2x15] = 25 kgs

    Abdominal Workout:

    1.) Decline Sit-Ups 2x25
    2.) Flat Leg Raises 1x50
    3.) Decline Crunches 2x20
    4.) Dumbbell Side Bends 2x25 @ 10 kgs


    Overall Impression:

    1.) Decent Workout.. with time, it should improve my bench...
    Last edited by ashimmatthan; 03-03-2006 at 11:15 AM.
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  3. #3
    the no1 geordie hunk bass generator's Avatar
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    that is a great program,i train on something similar and love it,be persistent,follow the diet advice and you will have astounding gains.
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    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    thanks man...
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    You can find a description on the cleans here, their a great full body exercise (lower back, legs, shoulders, arms). I wouldn't doubt that if you kept up a diet like and stay consistant with the program that you will put on lots of weight. Gook luck
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
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    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    hey thanks for the link... really useful, but i'm sticking to bb rows instead..
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    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    in my eagerness to start a journal, i think i may have forgotten to add a few deatils..

    Weight = 78 kgs
    Body Fat % = 17-19%
    Height = 5'7
    Waist = 33"
    Shoulders = 50"
    Chest = 42"
    Arms = 14.5"
    Thighs = 26"

    Supplements: Optimum Whey Protein

    Goal: To have a goal

    i hope that explains everything... my max lifts in the last 1 month have been listed below in my sig...

    peace....
    Last edited by ashimmatthan; 03-03-2006 at 09:56 PM.
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  8. #8
    "Greatest Gig in the Sky" young and strong's Avatar
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    Good luck man.
    I been doing starting Strength for about a month and have already gained 11 pounds. Good idea starting light on your bench i made the mistake of starting to heavy and are already failing.
    Come check out my journal and if you got any advice please tell me.
    "i dont know man i try to maintain low bw and gain stregth because what good is stregth if your using half of it to move your body. high stregth plus low body weight equals intense explosion. i think a guy like irish kid or gray horse would mess bs up in a fight due to kickness and probably better punch stregth explosion. i still wouldnt wanna fight bser though hed wreck me due to the size advantage and my legs arent up to par to make me a stregth conter" Sickonstorm

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    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by young and strong
    Come check out my journal and if you got any advice please tell me.
    will do buddy...

    the reason why i'm here is to help people with my limited amount of knowledge....
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  10. #10
    Registered User Hoopsplaya238's Avatar
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    do you use the same weight for all the sets? and do you use your 5 rep max?
    Last edited by Hoopsplaya238; 03-04-2006 at 09:57 PM.
    Age 16
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    170bs
    Goal: 180-200...eventually
    Trying to clean bulk

    Bench: 225
    Squat: 250
    Deadlift: 275
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  11. #11
    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hoopsplaya238
    do you use the same weight for all the sets? and do you use your 5 rep max?
    no.. like i mentioned, i'm starting out light and then moving up... yes, the weight is the same for all work sets..
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    Originally Posted by ashimmatthan
    hey thanks for the link... really useful, but i'm sticking to bb rows instead..
    Damn, I was hoping you'd be able to give some feedback on self-teaching the Power clean. I've been toying with this for a little while now. The finer details of the movement are just so complex though. I'm afraid it's one of those lifts that just needs a good coach to learn in properly.

    Good Luck with the routine. I'll be starting the same one as soon as I recover from pesky groin pull.
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    Day 2 of Mark Rippetoe's 3x5 Training
    5th March 2006
    Sunday
    Workout B


    Barbell Back A2G Squats [3x5] = 65 kgs

    Barbell Standing Military Press [3x5] = 30 kgs

    Barbell Good Mornings [3x5] = 20 kgs


    moving on, i did some accesorry exercises for chest, back, arms and abs..

    Chest Workout:

    Decline Dumbbell Bench Press [2x8] = 56 kgs

    Incline Dumbbell Bench Press [2x8] = 48 kgs

    Back Workout:

    Lat Pull Downs [2x8] = 65 kgs

    Dumbbell Rows [2x8] = 30 kgs

    Arm Workout:

    Preacher Curls [1x10] 15 kgs

    Tricep Pressdowns [1x10] 25 kgs

    Abdominal Workout:

    1.) Decline Sit-Ups 2x25
    2.) Flat Leg Raises 1x50
    3.) Decline Crunches 2x20
    4.) Dumbbell Side Bends 2x25 @ 10 kgs


    Overall Impression:

    1.) not very happy with military press... wish i had taken more...

    2.) i used some of the Max OT principles for chest and back...

    3.) i dont really know the difference between tricep press downs and tricep push downs... i'm doing the one in which u keep ur body relatively straight and push the weight down (i.e. push the bar down which lifts the weight up) with elbows by my side and only the forearms doing most of the work.. in the sense, my forearms are the ones that are moving... my humerus stays firm...

    4.) good workout on the whole.. cant wait for tuesday...


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    Originally Posted by GSP
    Damn, I was hoping you'd be able to give some feedback on self-teaching the Power clean. I've been toying with this for a little while now. The finer details of the movement are just so complex though. I'm afraid it's one of those lifts that just needs a good coach to learn in properly.
    thats why i'm not doing it alone.. and i've substituted it with good mornings...

    Originally Posted by GSP
    Good Luck with the routine. I'll be starting the same one as soon as I recover from pesky groin pull.
    thanks and all the best with your recovery...
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    *subscribed*


    I've been on this program since Dec 14th. Definitely works as you can see from the sig.

    Couple things...I'm a little worried that you might be overdoing it on the accessory work. Now I know there's always a desire to add it in thinking you aren't doing enough. But really I would limit myself to 2 extra accessory lifts that are fairly compound in nature - such as dips or chins. If you add too much on you may start to overtrain. I actually read Mark Rippetoe's book that this program came from and he says one or two extra lifts won't hurt, but really don't try and overdo it - it really isn't neccasary.

    Oh and remember to eat big Good luck!
    "Why in the Hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can; they are all the same kind of men, why can't they be like Marines?"
    In a letter to HQMC, dated 12 Feb. 1918, concerning a inspection of Marines by Gen John J. Black Jack Pershing, CinC, AEF

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  16. #16
    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    thanks khronos...
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    yeah looks like WAY to many assistance exercises, the ones i would use

    2 stomch excercises
    hyper extensions
    pullups
    dips
    barbell curls
    skullcrushers

    dont do them all in one workout but spread them around.

    also, one thing thats confused me in the past and somebody could correct me if im wrong,
    when it says 1x5 deadlifts, it doesnt mean doing 1 set of 5 reps. it means doing 5 sets ramping up your weight up to a top weight.
    eg say 300lbs top weight youd do
    1x5x200
    1x5x220
    1x5x250
    1x5x270
    1x5x300
    or whatever. is this right?
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    I'd have to agree with Khronos.
    I'm watching a few people doing this program, and myself doing a mix between this and Intermediate 5x5.

    I have the same worry that you might be doing too much on top of the core lifts. It's very tempting to add, but personally think you should limit to a single ab exercise and some other exercise to help your bench.. eg: dips.
    have also subscribed to watch over your progress.
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    Originally Posted by Short One
    have also subscribed to watch over your progress.
    thanks...

    Originally Posted by Short One
    I have the same worry that you might be doing too much on top of the core lifts
    Originally Posted by Sythke21
    yeah looks like WAY to many assistance exercises
    i know i know... but chill people... i have a way of making my body recurperate really fast...

    also, i'm not at my max right now... i'm merely beginngin light, so i dont get drained doing extra work... i am aware that soon, as i build up strength and my lifts increase, i'll have to drop a few sets - which is perfectly ok.... but as long as i'm not at my max now, i'm gonna continue.. and my assistance exercises will change from workout to workout...
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    How I recuperate and stretch

    Originally Posted by 0311
    I've always personally used fascia stretching since DC training. I swear by them. It's extremely painful, but IMO necessary for a slew of different reasons such as faster recovery, improved flexability, and increased muscle growth over time.

    Doing loaded fascia stretches, it's very important to execute the 30-60 second stretch after working that muscle. For example, after I do 5x5 for flat bench, my chest is very pumped with blood. At this point is when I do the loaded stretch. Using DC training as another example, it has you do a 60 second loaded stretch after your one working set per bodypart. Stretching a worked muscle allows for a much deeper stretch...

    Originally Posted by Dan Moore
    The hardest part of the training. One minute is a long time. The quickie explanation is extreme stretching causes microtrauma from forcing sarcomeres to produce tension at extreme length, where damage is most suspectible. By holding it for 30-60 seconds, you initiate the stretch reflex which increases the amount of tension in that area (and why DC is right in being so adamanat about *holding* it for 30+ seconds), thus boosting tension and therefore acute damage. There's some speculation about stretching activating gene expression with satellite cells. John Parrillo has the same beliefs in his training as well...
    Here's a description of how to execute a loaded fascia stretch per bodypart..Descriptions courtesy of Dante over at intensemuscle:

    CHEST: Flat bench 90lb dumbbells chest high--lungs full of air-- I drop down into the deepest flye I can for the first 10 seconds or so with my lungs full of air and chest out---then staying there I arch my back slightly and try to press my sternum upward --this is absolutely excruciating--the rest of the 60 seconds I try to concentrate on dropping my elbows even farther down (I try to but I don’t think they are going any lower--LOL)---the last 15 seconds I’m pretty much shaking like a leaf, I have tears in my eyes and I think about dropping bodybuilding and becoming a tap dancer on Broadway (ok that parts not true)--My opinion is people should use dumbbells that are a little over half of what your heaviest set of 6-8 reps would be. I cant state this enough--extreme stretching royally sucks!!! Its painful. But I have seen amazing things with people -especially in the quads.

    TRICEPS: Seated on a flat bench-my back up against the barbell---75lb dumbell in my hand behind my head(like in an overhead dumbell extension)--sink dumbell down into position for the first 10 seconds and then an agonizing 50 seconds slightly leaning back and pushing the dumbell down with the back of my head I like one arm at a time in the bottom position of a dumbell triceps extension----going to the extreme stretch and then slightly pushing on the dumbell with the back of my head.

    SHOULDERS: This one is tough to describe--put a barbell in the squat rack shoulder height--face away from it and reach back and grab it palms up (hands on bottom of bar)---walk yourself outward until you are on your heels and the stretch gets painful--then roll your shoulders downward and hold for 60 seconds.

    BICEPS: Olympic bar in a power rack or squat rack about neck high---face away from it and reach back and put both hands over the bar gripping it----now either sink down with one leg forward/one leg back or better yet squat down and try (I say try because its absolutely excruciating) to kneel. Go down to the stretch that is almost unbearable and then hold that for 45 to 60 seconds. Your own bodyweight is the load. What I do is put the bar at a place on the squat rack in which I can kneel at a severe stretch and then try to sink my ass down to touch my feet. If its too easy I put the bar up to the next rung.

    BACK: Honestly for about 3 years my training partner and I would hang a 100lb dumbell from our waist and hung on the widest chin-up bar (with wrist straps) to see who could get closest to 3 minutes--I never made it--I think 2 minutes 27 seconds was my record--but my back width is by far my best body part--I pull on a doorknob or stationary equipment with a rounded back now and its way too hard too explain here--just try it and get your feel for it.

    HAMSTRINGS: Either leg up on a high barbell holding my toe and trying to force my leg straight with my free hand for an excruciating painful 60 seconds or another exercise I could only show people and not type here.

    QUADS: Facing a barbell in a power rack about hip high --grip it and simultaneously sink down and throw your knees under the barbell and do a sissy squat underneath it while going up on your toes. then straighten your arms and lean as far back as you can---60 seconds and if this one doesn't make you hate my guts and bring tears to your eyes nothing will---do this one faithfully and tell me in 4 weeks if your quads don’t look a lot different than they used to.

    CALVES: my weak body part that I couldn’t get up too par until 2 years ago when I finally thought it out and figured out how to make them grow (with only one set twice a week too) I don’t need to stretch calves after because when I do calves I explode on the positive and take 5 seconds to get back to full stretch and then 15 seconds at the very bottom "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand etc" --15 seconds stretching at the bottom thinking and trying to flex my toes toward my shin--it is absolutely unbearable and you will most likely be shaking and want to give up at about 7 reps (I always go for 12reps with maximum weights)--do this on a hack squat or a leg press--my calves have finally taken off due to this.
    this is how i stretch after EACH AND EVERY workout... its painful.. but it reaps progress...

    another thing which i do is: i have cold baths....

    meaning,
    Day 1: Workout A - Evening Bath: Cold, Next Morning Bath: Cold
    Day 2: Rest - Evening Bath: Warm, Next Morning (i.e. morning on Day 3 = Workout B): Warm
    Day 3: Workout B - Evening Bath: Cold, etc...
    Last edited by ashimmatthan; 03-06-2006 at 04:53 AM.
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    This was originally written by 0311

    This is originally from abcbodybuilding, and seen at a couple other places. It explains the need and science for stretching and extreme stretching. Feel it burn.

    Can You Use The Muscle Memory Phenomenon, Without Ever Having The Muscle?

    Researched and Composed by Jacob Wilson

    Introduction

    Each of you has heard of the phenomenon known as muscle memory. It is the occurrence of insanely extreme and fast growth in a person who is regaining the lost muscle he has allowed to atrophy. Stories such as 40-50 pound muscle gains( in a short time span ) in regards to this subject are not uncommon. The question however remains, what exactly is muscle memory and what causes it to occur? I not only intend to address this question, but also to answer the title of this article in a very positive manner. You see, I believe that an athlete can literally mimic this tremendous phenomenon! Read on if you want to find out how!!!

    Note: The following article discusses muscle memory, as a term to define a recapturing of past growth. The term however should not be used in a motor sense, as that 'memory' is actually in the nervous system.

    What Exactly Is it that Occurs During Memory?

    Lets say that you busted your behind in the gym and built a huge, massive pair of quads measuring 30 inches in circumference! Then for one reason or another you stopped training your legs. During the time off, your quadriceps atrophied( shrunk ) down to 24 inches. Determined to regain your lost mass you decide to hit the gym again with extreme ferocity! Only this time you are able to gain back those 6 inches in a matter of months, where as originally it took you years to gain that much mass! What happened?

    Before I can answer that, I need to ask you a very important question. What surrounds, binds and holds every muscle group in place?

    __________________________________________________

    " Essentially all bets are off, due to the amount of room you will have to grow! "
    __________________________________________________

    If you answered connective tissue, you would have been exactly right! In order to further explain muscle memory it would behoove us to briefly review what exactly this connective tissue is( for a greater explanation read my article, the anatomy of a muscle fiber. It goes in great depth in what I am about to cover. So if it seems a bit confusing, you definitely need to consult this article. ). Simply put every muscle is made up of 1, 000s of muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are all individually wrapped with a connective tissue wrapping, or a sheath. This is called the endomysium. These individual muscle fibers are then organized in bundles( called fascicles ) which are covered by another connective tissue sheathe called the perimysium. These bundles or fascicles are then placed together in an orderly arrangement( which determines the shape and functionality of the muscle ) and held in place[/b] by a layer of connective tissue known as the epimysium. Finally each of these layers is held together by the deep fascia( a courser material ). The connective tissue of every muscle fiber acts like a girdle of sorts. Which means that it binds a muscle group together, and to its neighboring muscle in many cases. It also protects, organizes and allows the force of contraction generated by the thousands of muscle fibers in a particular group, to be harnessed with great efficiency!

    The important thing to understand is this: Connective tissue is not only a tuff material but also hugs tight to its surrounding area, almost constricting it! What does this have to do with muscle growth you say? Ahh, that my friend, is where muscle memory comes in! Think about it for a moment. In order for a muscle to hypertrophy, what needs to take place if it is restricted by this tight binding girdle? The tissue must stretch and become more pliable right?! If this did not occur, then muscle growth would be hindered( you cannot grow unless there is enough room to do so)!

    When you increased your muscle mass by building 30 inch wheels, you also ended out stretching and expanding the muscles encasing tissue. Therefore the manipulation of these protective sheathes was a major factor in your ability to stimulate hypertrophy! In the scenario painted, we also discussed you taking time off from training. So much so, that your lower body atrophied to a point in which 6 inches were lost off of your legs. However, even with this tremendous setback, you still had stretched the connective tissue to a great extent. When you came back to the gym and trained, you were no longer fighting the restrictions of tight, unpliable fascia, but rather a more elastic and pre-expanded connective tissue! Essentially all bets were off, due to the amount of room you had to grow! More room to grow enables more mass to be accumulated! This is one of the top theories held today for what we coin " muscle memory. "

    How Can Muscle Memory Be Mimicked?

    Mimicking this process would center around the manipulation of the connective tissue surrounding, organizing and binding a muscle. As mentioned it can literally prevent the expansion of growth. Therefore our goal will be to create an environment similar to one in which a muscle group had previously been larger. In essence you will have to stretch and expand the fascia, epimysium and other tissues. This, can certainly be done and done effectively! However, you need to understand that this is a tuff tissue, and expanding it can be a very complex process.

    The question now is what will it take to accomplish such a goal. Perhaps the most recognizable figure in regards to this subject is the great John Parillo. He uses a technique called " fascia stretching. " This is a special procedure used that actually expands the fascia. One of the greatest scientists the sport of bodybuilding has ever known is D.J. Millward. He has made some of the most incredible break throughs Only D J Millward calls this revolutionary technique the bag expansion theory. You see, the connective tissue surrounding a muscle is often referred to as a bag, hence the title of the theory.

    __________________________________________________

    " By then you will be begging for mercy! "
    __________________________________________________

    Interestingly enough, before any expert or scientists began coining phrases, great athletes such as Tom Platz and Arnold Schwarzenegger were using techniques that would most certainly expand the fascia( discussed in greater detail in a bit )! However, I would credit the field of massaging with the earliest breakthroughs in fascial expansion. I believe their theories paved the way for one of the most extreme growth methods every presented in this brutal sport.

    In particular I am referring to a woman named Dr. Ida P. Rolf. She invented a famous technique called rolfing. It is a special, extreme form of massage that as Ida puts it, manipulates deep tissue. She theorized that you could move around, loosen, expand, realign and strengthen this tissue with her great techniques! Interestingly enough, her techniques applied to Parillo and Millwards can not only drastically enhance muscle growth, but also increase separation between muscle groups. How incredible is that!?

    From a physiological standpoint John Parillo believes that the deep fascia is the main concern of the bodybuilder to target, and Millwards research leads him to believe that the endomysium and perimysium are chiefly responsible for the restriction of muscle growth. The great news is that the same techniques for expansion of the fascia, work for the expansion of the endomysium and perimysium.
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    How To Expand The Fascia for Enhanced Muscular Size and Shape!

    At this stage I am going to have to issue one of my essential warnings. If you do not have a high pain threshold I would not suggest reading any further. The methods discussed here are extremely painful, and only an athlete with the mentality of a warrior will have the guts it takes to apply the following principles! However, when the smoke clears, you will have a greater capacity for growth, a fuller muscle, and greater separation between body parts!

    Again, our goal, as D J Millward puts it is to create a larger bag. In order to accomplish this feet we will need to stretch the connective tissue beyond its previous limits, cause damage and then allow it to heal in such a way that it grows back larger then it was previously. There are four factors involved in fascia stretching.

    1. Heat

    If you are intent on truly mimicking muscle memory, you must not only stretch the fascia, but you must do it in an absolutely perfect environment or you will not reap even near optimal results! The first factor mentioned above was heat. You see a cold muscle has a limited range of motion. Our goal is to stretch the fascia past its previous limits and this cannot take place if range of motion is limited. Therefore you must adequately warm up before performing the techniques discussed shortly.

    2. An incredible blood pump

    Everyone here understands the extreme power of fluid! Whole canyons have been carved from water erosion! The same principle is applicable here. A tremendous back flow of fluid in a muscle group will stretch the connective tissue that restricts muscle growth. In other words the greater the pump, the more direct and effective the stretch in the fascia, epimysium, and perimysium will be!

    3. Insanely Extreme Stretching

    The third and most painful step in fascia expansion, is to manually stretch it. This entails stretching the target muscle group with insane intensity! By doing this you will force the girdle which inhibits enhanced mass, and enable further growth in the myofibrils( the largest aspect of a muscle fiber ).

    4. Recovery!

    Unfortunately, like every aspect of bodybuilding, we must have enough will power to allow the area worked to recover. You see, the pump, combined with extreme manual stretching will damage the connective tissue. In order for it to grow back and be remodeled as Millard puts it, into a larger bag, it must have a significant enough time to recover. This is not only a painful process, but like any type of extreme training is also stressful, and needs significant time to recover.

    Now that we understand the factors involved in fascia expansion, we must apply them in an organized fashion in order to reap incredible results!
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    Applying The Principles!

    The absolute best way to describe how to apply these principles would be to take you through another training scenario. Lets say you are working your pectorals out and want to expand the fascia in the area. You would go through your normal warm up and then begin the process. The first key here is to use a training protocol that produces a maximum back flow of blood( pump ) into the pectorals. When I say maximum, I mean a pump that is literally so insane that the skin becomes tighter than a drum! For example, normally you can move a muscle group around with your hand when it is relaxed. It seems semi pliable until flexed. An optimal pump essentially fills the muscle with so much blood, that it almost feels contracted while in a relaxed position. Again, the skin should be tight and the muscle should be hard. In order to produce a pump such as this you need to perform a high repetition set, a massive superset, or a strip set. Lets say you decide to perform dumbbell bench presses. I would suggest performing a set of 12 repetitions, followed by a drop set of 12 repetitions, and if you feel the pump is not adequate, then finish it off with one more drop! At this point your pectorals should be so full of blood, that you literally cannot flex! Your arms should feel like led. I'm talking about a pump so extreme, that you can't take your shirt off to pose in the mirror. Its important to understand that the connective tissue is not only increased in temperature, but also being stretched extremely by this process!

    Now is when the pain begins( as if producing a mind boggling pump wasn't insanely painful. )! You need to find a stretch that expands the fascia of the pectorals to a maximum. This muscle is responsible for pulling the humerus( upper arm bone ) across the midline of your body. It contracts when your arms move in and lengthens when your arms move backwards. A great stretch would be to simply extend your arms straight out to your sides as wide as possible and then extend your arms backwards, as if you were performing the negative on dumbbell flys! Now, when performing a facial stretch( as John Parrillo coins it ) you will need to stretch with applied pressure to the area. You need this, because the stretch has to be applied past the point of comfort in order to expand the connective tissue surrounding the muscle. Therefore you have a few options. Firstly you can have your partner grab your arms and pull backwards, secondly you can use a wall and apply your own body weight as resistance. For example, I may place both of my arms in a doorway and lean forward, to stretch the pectorals.

    Lastly is my personal favorite way to stretch the fascia! In fact I usually never see athletes utilize this in the gym, but I believe it is the absolute most effective way to expound on the bag theory! You simply choose an exercise that stretches the muscle and hold it in the stretched position for the desired amount of time! Therefore I would use dumbbell flys and hold it in the bottom position of the exercise. Once you have decided what stretch to use, do the following procedure while the muscle is pumped( again it must be pumped or you will not maximally expound the tissue)! You will first slightly stretch the muscle. Do this by slowly extending your arms until you have reached a maximum stretch. It should feel just right( almost soothing ), now hold this for 10 seconds. Rest for about 5 seconds and then extend your arms all the way back until they are stretched to a maximum. This is a very painful and intense stretch! You will hold this for a total of 30 seconds( some athletes hold it till they literally cannot bare the pain, but I prefer 30 seconds), by then you will be begging for mercy, especially with the blood pump! Remember, you are getting a double stretching effect here, not only manually but with the back flow of blood.

    Thought you could relax! Unfortunately that is not an option! While the connective tissue is pliable, we will want to get one final influx of blood into the target muscle to assist in the expansion process! Therefore you now need to flex the target muscle group as hard as possible for 30-60 seconds! For the pectorals you will cross your arms across your body and squeeze! Literally try and crush your pecs with your arms! By the end of this procedure you will be drenched in sweat and relieved that it is all over!

    Frequency And Recovery

    How frequently should fascia stretching take place and what type of volume should be used within a workout? As with any training protocol, this is a much debated subject. Let me say this; frequency is determined by volume. In other words the more damaged caused, the more rest an athlete should take. A trainer like John Parillo believes that fascia stretching should take place after every working set. Therefore, if you performed12 sets for the pectorals, then you would implement deep fascia stretches between each and every set! Other trainers recommend a bodybuilder to implement this on the main pumping set of each exercise. For example, if you were to perform 9 sets of quadriceps exercise, the last set would emphasize an extreme pump and this is when you would expand the fascia. While still others will perform it within every segment of a workout for the particular body part. Lets say that you were working the biceps. If you performed 4 different exercises then you would manipulate the tissue on the last set of each exercise.

    I personally believe that each has its success stories, and each should have a place in your program. You see I feel that as athletes, we should be open minded to different training protocols. Never allow yourself to stagnate with one philosophy. That said, I would recommend using a combination of these. Almost apply the principle of periodization if you will. Here is what I mean:

    Week One: Run The Gambit! This means apply deep fascial stretching after every exercise. If you are into extreme volume however, then I would limit this to no more than 10-12 deep fascial stretches!

    Week Two: Only use this technique once in the workout and do it on the set in which you are most pumped!
    This will be enough to continue the process of bag expansion, but also relieve the stress placed on the body.

    Week Three: Use Deep Fascial Stretching within each section of the workout. So if you use 4 exercises, apply this principle four separate times!

    Week Four: Allow your connective tissue to recover fully.

    Week Five: Begin The Process All Over Again!

    HIT Style Athletes: For the athlete that utilizes HIT training, I would recommend one deep, deep, high intensity stretch at the end of each session. They would benefit greatly by doing this 4 weeks on, one week off.

    Muscular Separation

    One thing I notice in the masters division of bodybuilding is a lack of separation between muscle groups. For example, Robbie Robinson is still in phenomenal, phenomenal shape! I mean this guy is a freak! He is symmetrical, well balanced, massive and can out pose most athletes in the masters Olympia! The only aspect in my opinion that he really lacks compared to his older days, is that classic, literally unmatched separation between muscle groups. You see gravity and certain negative stresses that go along with weight training combined have a negative effect on muscular separation, in that they cause muscle groups to literally stick together. If you talk to any great deep massage therapist, they will tell you that the fascia on neighboring muscle groups, almost glues together over time.

    Connective tissue manipulation, via hardcore stretching will pull these muscle groups( or the fascia surrounding them ) apart, clearly enhancing separation. In fact you will see incredible separation, such that you never thought genetically possible! There is not an athlete in this sport, that does not understand the benefit of this. And it applies to each bodybuilder. If you feel you have achieved maximum separation, and haven't incorporated this technique, then I can guarantee you, that you have not even come close to reaching your full potential!

    The key is using a variety of angles in your program. Do not simply use one stretch! For example for a basic quadriceps stretch, you would kneel down and plant your knees firmly on the ground. Then you would slowly lean back, using your bodyweight as the applied pressure, necessary for expanding the fascia. For maximum separation you would change angles. For the first stretch, have the knees close together. On the second stretch spread them out wider to hit the inner thighs. See the point? Like your exercises, you need to use a variety of stretches. Another example would be the utilization of free weight stretches. I personally like to use the dumbbell fly in the bottom position for a stretch. For maximum separation of the upper and lower pectorals, I will also incorporate incline dumbbell flys and pullovers( of course, these are lowered to the bottom position and held for 30 seconds, to emphasize the stretch)!
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    "Greatest Gig in the Sky" young and strong's Avatar
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    Lot's of information there
    Extreme stretches were interesting but i'm not a fan of cold baths, just warm ones.
    "i dont know man i try to maintain low bw and gain stregth because what good is stregth if your using half of it to move your body. high stregth plus low body weight equals intense explosion. i think a guy like irish kid or gray horse would mess bs up in a fight due to kickness and probably better punch stregth explosion. i still wouldnt wanna fight bser though hed wreck me due to the size advantage and my legs arent up to par to make me a stregth conter" Sickonstorm

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    Originally Posted by young and strong
    Extreme stretches were interesting
    they are essential IMHO... in fact, i have this feeling that if u do these stretches, u may be able to bust ur bench press plateau... seriously...

    Originally Posted by young and strong
    but i'm not a fan of cold baths, just warm ones
    thats ok.... i'm only saying have cold baths once in a while...
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    Day 5 of Mark Rippetoe's 3x5 Training
    7th March 2006
    Tuesday
    Workout A


    Barbell Back A2G Squats [3x5] = 70 kgs

    Flat Bench Press [3x5] = 60 kgs

    Barbell Deadlifts [1x5] = 105 kgs


    moving on, i did some accesorry exercises for abs and arms.. but today i decided to mix things up a bit... i did a giant circuit... that means less than 60 seconds rest in between exercises / sets..

    Circuit

    Exercise: sets x reps x weight

    1.) Parallel Bar Dips: 1 x 10 x bodyweight

    2.) "V" Bar Pull Downs: 1 x 8 x 70 kgs

    3.) Leg Curls: 1 x 8 x 50 kgs - extra emphasis on the negatives

    4.) Dumbbell Side Raises: 1 x 10 x 8 kgs in each hand

    5.) Dumbbell Alternate Arm Curls: 1 x 8 x 16 kgs in each hand

    6.) Dumbbell Alternate Arm French Presses: 1 x 10 x 10 kgs in each hand

    Abdominal Workout:

    1.) Decline Sit-Ups 2x25
    2.) Flat Leg Raises 1x50
    3.) Decline Crunches 2x20
    4.) Dumbbell Side Bends 2x25 @ 10 kgs


    Overall Impression:

    1.) The bench press really took a lot out of me... since in my gym i only have 2.5 kg plates as the lowest plates, and my weight increase will therefore be only 5 lbs approx, i'm going to keep the weights the same after reach a particular point... right now, i'm thinking that once i hit 80 kgs squats, 65 kg bench, 120 kg deads and 25 kg military press, i'm going to implelemnt that rule...

    2.) the circuit i feel was a good idea...

    3.) fascia stretches at the end of my workout killed me

    4.) good workout on the whole..
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    *subscribed*

    Lots of information on the stretching. You've sold me on giving it a try for my next workout!

    Also, whats the idea behind the cold baths?
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
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    Originally Posted by Rune
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    great

    Lots of information on the stretching. You've sold me on giving it a try for my next workout!
    u should do it... its superb... but give it a few tries before u reap results...

    Also, whats the idea behind the cold baths?
    they help in recuperation.. ur muscles wont be sore the next day...
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    Registered User Rune's Avatar
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    I must say, I tried the leg stretching techniques described above (around 40s after each set for front squats and SLDL's)... They hurt **A LOT**, but they were definitely well worth it, the pump I got during my workout was amazing. But it was nothing compared to the feeling I had when I sat down to drive home from the gym, it was nothing like I have ever felt before. These are definitely gonna be a staple of my workout routine now (although I did get some very confused looks as I winced in pain doing the stretches).

    REPS to you for an awesome suggestion!
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
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    Training Hard Andalite's Avatar
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    thanks
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