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  1. #1
    Registered User GetterOfGains's Avatar
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    Next steps to my natural limit

    Ive been training hard for 4 years, following a fairly typical evolution of training styles from fullbody novice linear progression to upper lowers to more strength goals then back to bodybuilding goals with more of a split. Im somewhat happy with my results, but I want to really take this seriously now and get as musclular as I can naturally achieve, and Im a distance from that natural limit.

    Currently I train 5 days per week, rotating through push legs and pull sessions. I take tuesdays and saturdays off. This works out to having 3 days between hitting each session again. I feel like this is a good balance for me recovering on time and getting solid work in during each session.

    Sessions change over time as exercises get stale, but here is my current rotation.

    Push A
    Pause Bench Press 4x5-8@2rir
    Viking Shoulder Press 4x8-10@1rir
    Incline Dumbbell Bench 3x10-12@1rir
    Overhead Rope Tricep Extension 5x10-15@1rir
    Cable Side Lateral Raise 5x10-15@0rir

    Legs A
    High Bar Pause Squat 4x5-8@2rir
    Romanian Deadlift 4x8-10@2rir
    Walking Lunges 3x10-12@1rir
    Seated Hamstring Curls 3x12-15@1rir
    Standing Calf Raise 5x10-15@0rir

    Pull A
    Weighted Neutral Grip Pullups 4x5-8@2rir
    Seated Machine Rows 4x8-10@1rir
    Lean Back Lat Pulldowns 3x10-12@1rir
    EzBar Bicep Curls 5x10-15@1rir
    Rope Face Pulls 5x12-18@0rir

    Push B
    Strict Overhead Press 4x5-8@2rir
    Dumbbell Bench Press 4x8-10@1rir
    Hammer Strength Incline 3x12-15@0rir
    EzBar Tricep Pushdowns 5x10-15@1rir
    Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise 5x10-15@0rir

    Legs B
    Soft Touch Stiff Leg Deadlift 4x5-8@2rir
    Deep Leg Press 4x8-10@2rir
    Laying Hamstring Curls 3x10-12@1rir
    Leg Extensions 3x12-15@0rir
    Seated Calf Raise 5x10-15@0rir

    Pull B
    Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 5x6-9@2rir
    Nautius DHandle Pulldown 5x10-12@1rir
    Wide Grip Cable Row 3x12-15@0rir
    Incline Dumbbell Curl 5x10-15@1rir
    Reverse Pec Deck 5x12-18@0rir

    I logbook everything, very progression focussed, while being strict with accuracy and standardized execution of my lifts.

    Nutrition wise I track food and bodyweight and daily steps.
    Currently on close to 4200 calories. 200 protein 550 carbs 130 fat.
    Bodyweight is 77kg at 5'6". Comfortable body composition. Abs visable when flexing but not otherwise.
    Sleep is 7-9 hours daily. Hydration is kept in check.

    Aside from being on top of nutirition alterations to continue pushing mass up, and training alterations to continue progressing exercises, is there any advice you would consider providing to myself as to how to further increase my progression rate?

    Thankyou
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  2. #2
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Thank you for providing a lot of detail. One question, how long have you been following the above program and what results have you seen with it thus far?
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  3. #3
    Registered User GetterOfGains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Thank you for providing a lot of detail. One question, how long have you been following the above program and what results have you seen with it thus far?
    Youre welcome

    The current rotation 3.5 weeks, previous to that a 7 week run at a similar rotation with some different exercises then a deload week, prevous to that a 5 week run with different exercises again and a deload week, previous to that a 6 week run with just one PLP rotation of sessions (no A&B) then a deload week, previous to that I was running a 6 day push pull legs for 2 months but the systemic fatigue was just too much, previous to that various 4 day upper lower setups for a long long time, previous to that 3-4 day full body setups.

    Progress while on the current relevant 5 day push legs pull system has been okay, lifts have increased a realistic and steady amount, body composition is the best its ever been at this bodyweight, which is up 4kg since I left the 6 day setup behind 25 weeks ago, fairly reasonable at this stage.

    I could potentially be noticing a torso and leg dominance in my physique, glutes and arms being the two bodyparts I could see myself needing to specialise in at some point.
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    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    My first instinct is that if you are happy with your current rate of progress then there is no reason to change anything, especially if the progress has been steady. If you want to focus a bit more on glues/arms then consider:

    Legs A: switch lunges for bulgarian split squats (maybe not fully but at least 1 set) where you put your front leg far in front of you. When move downwards with it your body weight should shift backwards while you lean forward, and when you stand up your front leg should not be fully extended, rather to move upwards you extend your hip and also curl your foot into the ground. You can pause at the bottom briefly. This is how I do them and it works the glutes and hamstrings really well; you essentially curl your front leg initially into the ground while also extending at the hip. Nothing has ever made my glutes as sore as this exercise. You'll still get some quad activation as well.

    Legs B: you can take out 1 set of leg extensions/curls and do the bulgarian split squats or some sort of hip extension focused exercise such as hip thrusts or pullthroughs. You could also change do a leg abduction/adduction superset instead (abduction will focus on the glutes more).

    For the upper body days instead of doing 5 sets of each arm movement I would do 2 separate arm movements, 1 with 3 sets and 1 with 2 sets.

    Triceps: Overhead movements (placing the long head on a stretch) work well with movements where the arm extends behind the shoulder (shortening the long head allowing for peak contraction). So you can do overhead tricep extension + tricep rope pushdowns (better than a bar as if you put 2 ropes on the pulley you can get a better range of motion behind the body) on 1 day and on the other day you can do lying tricep extensions (finishing with the bar behind your head so the tension is on the triceps the whole time) + rope kickbacks (where the pulley is anchored more in front of you than above you).

    Biceps: Placing the arm behind you with the forearm pronated will maximally stretch the biceps, while supinating as you curl will help contract them. So incline dumbbell curls are good for this as are low pulley curls where you face away from the pulley and stand in front of it (doing one arm at a time). A nice combo with these will be spider curls as that puts a lot of resistance at the top of the movement. You can keep doing EZ bar curls if you feel them well. Consider trying to keep your wrists extended while doing curls if you normally flex them as this shifts the weight more off of your forearms as your forearms become more parallel to the line of resistance.
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  5. #5
    Registered User GetterOfGains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    My first instinct is that if you are happy with your current rate of progress then there is no reason to change anything, especially if the progress has been steady. If you want to focus a bit more on glues/arms then consider:

    Legs A: switch lunges for bulgarian split squats (maybe not fully but at least 1 set) where you put your front leg far in front of you. When move downwards with it your body weight should shift backwards while you lean forward, and when you stand up your front leg should not be fully extended, rather to move upwards you extend your hip and also curl your foot into the ground. You can pause at the bottom briefly. This is how I do them and it works the glutes and hamstrings really well; you essentially curl your front leg initially into the ground while also extending at the hip. Nothing has ever made my glutes as sore as this exercise. You'll still get some quad activation as well.

    Legs B: you can take out 1 set of leg extensions/curls and do the bulgarian split squats or some sort of hip extension focused exercise such as hip thrusts or pullthroughs. You could also change do a leg abduction/adduction superset instead (abduction will focus on the glutes more).

    For the upper body days instead of doing 5 sets of each arm movement I would do 2 separate arm movements, 1 with 3 sets and 1 with 2 sets.

    Triceps: Overhead movements (placing the long head on a stretch) work well with movements where the arm extends behind the shoulder (shortening the long head allowing for peak contraction). So you can do overhead tricep extension + tricep rope pushdowns (better than a bar as if you put 2 ropes on the pulley you can get a better range of motion behind the body) on 1 day and on the other day you can do lying tricep extensions (finishing with the bar behind your head so the tension is on the triceps the whole time) + rope kickbacks (where the pulley is anchored more in front of you than above you).

    Biceps: Placing the arm behind you with the forearm pronated will maximally stretch the biceps, while supinating as you curl will help contract them. So incline dumbbell curls are good for this as are low pulley curls where you face away from the pulley and stand in front of it (doing one arm at a time). A nice combo with these will be spider curls as that puts a lot of resistance at the top of the movement. You can keep doing EZ bar curls if you feel them well. Consider trying to keep your wrists extended while doing curls if you normally flex them as this shifts the weight more off of your forearms as your forearms become more parallel to the line of resistance.
    Thanks for your response, really helpful suggestions. I may just opt for taking consciously longer strides on my already existing walking lunges, less knee flexion more glute work. And maybe add 1-2 sets of hip thrusts or similar to the other leg day as you suggested. For arms then I'll do as you have suggested and split my volume over more variation and make sure I'm covering all bases when it comes to hitting the shortned and lengthened ranges of the biceps and triceps. Thanks again.
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