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Author Topic: Basic Bodybuilding Routine  (Read 5024 times)
The Luke
Getbig IV
Posts: 3017

What's that in the bushes?

« on: March 17, 2006, 02:46:15 PM »

I spoke to a guy in the gym today (relative newbie, but building a good foundation) who trains five days a week with about 20 sets per bodypart. He didn't seem too happy with his progress, and less so when he found out that I only train once a week...
    Anyway, seeing as this is supposed to be an informative discussion board for natural bodybuilders I figured it would be better to post the routine that helped me build my base here rather than simply email it to him as I promised...

So here you go guys, a good solid routine based on a push/pull/legs split which concentrates on heavy compound movements, without superfluous exercises. When I started this routine my bench/squat/deadlift
poundages were 135, 185 and 185 lbs respectively (and that was with 4 years training under my belt). When I progressed to a more simplified routine a couple of years later I was using 245, 315 and 315 lbs (and forty pounds heavier). Enjoy:

   Barbell Bench Presses: ...medium grip   
   Barbell Incline Presses:   
   Dumbbell Flyes: ...done in a hugging motion to stress the pecs             
   (Dumbbell Pullovers:) ...only done every second week       
   Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 
   Dips: ...going down till the elbows are at 90 degrees                           
   Close Grip Bench Presses:

   Bent-over Barbell Rows: ...row to the stomach, and do them bent-over at 90 degrees 
   T-bar Rows:
               ...again to the stomach, whether Ronnie Coleman does them that way or not.
   Lat-pulldowns: ..close-grip underhand grip
   Barbell Deadlifts: ...narrow stance, straps and double overhand grip
   Barbell Upright Rows:
   Barbell Curls:
   Dumbbell Curls:

   Barbell Squats: ...down till the femur is parallel to the ground, body upright
   Leg Presses:
   Leg Extensions: ...a little hold at the top helps a lot
   Seated Calf Raises: ..slow and heavy, all the way up onto your tippy toes
   Standing Calf Raises: ...again slow, with a good stretch
   Leg Curls: ...curl heavy, it works this routine for a few months, with two sets per exercise. I know, I know... it's only 14, 14 and 12 sets (totalling 40 sets per week, not per workout), but it works.

This is a beginners Heavy Duty or HIT routine, the secret is to do the workouts in 40 mins with the heaviest poundages that good form and your pain threshold will allow. If you aren't finished at the forty minute mark, leave the gym... and endeavour to do better next time.

After a couple of months (maybe 6 months) as your poundages begin to climb, you switch to doing only ONE set per exercise. This will allow further progress, once the workouts are kept to 20 - 30 mins.

After that, drop to two workouts a week.

Personally, I'm now training only ONCE per week.... and still making good progress.
Ten sets, in 45 mins.
Unbelievable, but true... I regularly row with 200 lbs, squat (on a smith machine) with 400 lbs and do floor deadlifts with 405 lbs... all of those for reps, and no one is more surprised than I am.

Try it.

The Luke
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Getbig IV
Posts: 2810

Kiwiol has 13" arms!

« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2006, 10:45:10 PM »

Good lord. I do more sets per workout than you do in an entire month.
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The Luke
Getbig IV
Posts: 3017

What's that in the bushes?

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 06:37:53 AM »

But can you match my poundages?

The Luke
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Getbig V
Posts: 12318

The Luke loves Dungeons and Dragons

« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 06:12:21 PM »

But can you match my poundages?

The Luke
i don't know , 200lb. rows is pretty heavy. Roll Eyes
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Jaejonna rows 125!!
Getbig III
Posts: 459

« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2006, 07:56:04 PM »

Good program, this will defnitely work in terms of building muscle and strength.

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The Luke
Getbig IV
Posts: 3017

What's that in the bushes?

« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2006, 06:51:55 AM »


I do my rows bent over at 90 degrees... none of this Dorian-Yates-style almost upright due to a GH belly bullshit. Believe me, even 135 lbs at 90 degrees, pulling the bar to your pelvis bone, is pretty difficult.

Try it some time guys, this form  of rowing really showed me why all the old timers rave on and on about rows as a staple back building exercise.

The Luke
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Getbig I
Posts: 14

« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2006, 02:20:43 PM »


I'm dave, the guy luke was talking to in the gym.
This programme looks challenging and i will try my best to do it.
Luke as you know in our gym we do not have a t-bar machine. Next time can you show me a way to replicate them or should i leave them out?
Also how many reps approx. should i be doing with each exercise.?
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Getbig IV
Gender: Male
Posts: 3031

Peace and good genes be to you

« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2006, 02:30:59 PM »

I aim for failure to be at around 8-12 reps. 
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Getbig IV
Gender: Female
Posts: 1210


« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2006, 06:29:36 PM »

I don't get it, so you lift once a week and you get stronger?  Then why do most people, bodybuilders in particular lift 4-6 days a week?  I swear at some point in my life I learned that like 5 days after lifting a muscle it will start to atrophy with non-use.  Now, I take 7 days between each body part and have seen gains but I also lift 5 days a week and use the muscles I am not focusing on that day in some of those lifts.

Also, why would powerlifters lift more frequently if this was the best method for gaining strength as you seem to imply when you asked if someone could match your poundages?

Just wondering since I have never heard of this before.
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The Luke
Getbig IV
Posts: 3017

What's that in the bushes?

« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2006, 07:27:24 PM »

So many questions....

dave-boy, can do a modified t-bar row with a dumbbell, albeit unilaterally. I'll show you how to do them next time I see you in the gym. (I'll be there Friday morning.) Get_Bigger's 8-12 rep guideline will work fine, but you might need to use 10-15 for the lower body (except hamstrings), there's a lot of endurance in those lower body muscle fibres.

The Beast (Jennifer?),
...muscle atrophy takes somewhere around 90 days to kick in, (longer for some people). The 5 day atrophy you are referring to is a form of stress/overtraining bloat related to working out. An extreme example would be someone who badly strained a muscle resulting in swelling. As the tautness and swelling went down, that person might be forgiven for thinking the muscle was atrophying... the real test is strength. Studies on eccentric (negative only) training show muscle strength (and therefore size) peak as late as 6 months after (severe) traumatic exertion. The drop off in muscle tone about five days after a workout is NOT muscle atrophy.
  Powerlifters DO get stronger by training more regularly, but the strength improvement is more to do with practicing the movements than muscle gain (though muscle gain is a part of it). A good analogy would be the thought experiment of an untrained individual who takes a job as a gravefiller (graveFILLER! the lowest rung of the graveyard ladder). The first week wipes him out physically, five long days on the wrong end of a heavy shovel... filling graves. But he persists, puts on a little muscle over the first few months and soon the job doesn't seem so demanding. A year later it's a breeze, and then he gets promoted to graveDIGGER.

  He's wiped out again. He can't understand it... he's in better shape than when he first started in the graveyard but he feels even more exhausted than that first week over a year ago. What's going on? Well, it's very simple... It is more efficient for the body to make neuronal adaptions than to keep adding new muscle. Hence after the initial muscle gain and conditioning he simply became a better gravefiller. He learned when to let the shovel do the work... learned to lift soil from the bottom of the pile... learned to tip the shovel just before it reached the edge of the grave... learned to use his leverage to his advantage... learned to pivot on his heels rather than twist at the waist... basically, he learned to be more efficient. It felt easier because he was effectively doing less work. When he changed from filler to digger he had no experience of the new task, lifting the soil up as opposed to dropping it over, and had to use brute force, effort and... well, manpower.

Anyone who has worked in a warehouse, storehouse, delivering heavy goods, moving furniture etc will attest to this phenomenon (I've done all four). It's the primary reason bodybuilders (should) strive for good form in their lifts so as to enforce a standarisation of the effort.

Muscle lets you lift more weight, practice lets you throw more weight.

If you don't believe me:
Ask equally sized powerlifters and bodybuilders to (statically) hold the same weight in the midrange of any movement and their is little difference in the tolerance (time). The static hold negates the neuronal adaptions and muscle size becomes the deciding factor.

Hope that answers some of your questions...

The Luke

PS-my grandfather worked as a gravedigger, and everyone trains too much.
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