Return of the Bro Split – Journal Entry 143


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9/14 – 182.0 lbs – Legs Day – 1750 caloires – 2550 calories –

9/15 – 184.8 lbs – Pull Day – 2550 calories – 2750 calories – Back 8-12 rep range (no measures of strength)

9/16 – 185 lbs – Chest Day – 2650 – 2950 calories – Chest 205×4 on Bench (another fail) wrist and join pain from barbells, but none from Dumbells (going to swtich up the reps due to this)

9/17 – 185.2 lbs – Off day Cardio Only 1800 – 3000

9/18- 183 – Shoulders and Traps – 1700- 2950 – 55×6,6

9/19 – 182.8 -Arms – 2300- 3300 – 65 lb EZ bar on work sets

9/20 – 181.4lbs – Chest – 2600 calories – 2900 calories – 185 x8,8,8 BB Bench

After another fail on Bench, I decided to change it up. My left forearm and wrists hurt the past 3 heavy bench days and this to me means that the weight is just too heavy and my joints are tired. I also haven’t really been “into” my workouts. I love Push/Pull/Legs, but the workouts were getting very mundane and boring. My muscles have been receiving the same stimulation for too long without a change. I don’t believe in “muscle confusion” as P90x puts it, but I do think there is massive benefit in variation, such as reps, exercises, sets, total volume, less frequency vs more frequency and I want to change it up. After thinking about it, I decided to create a bro split that I feel like would be best for me right now.

I have written about the Bro Split before, but its basically a system where you hit once muscle group every 5-7 days and use a very high volume on each session to make sure the muscles are fatigued from every angle. I’ve noticed though that since each muscle receives your full attention, you get to hit each muscle with more time and variation. My pump is also much better than it is with other splits I have recently done. Since chest does the work on each exercise, it never receives a break, so the muscle is constantly under tension and pumped up. I plan to see some nice visual changes in size from this plan. My last splits have been focused mainly on strength with usually 1-2 exercises per muscle group. My focus now is more size and endurance with 3-5 exercises per muscle group. Dont get me wrong, the weights I lift will still be heavy, just not as heavy as they were before and will likely fall around the 8-12 rep range for most exercises. I also will do some 15 rep exercises and a burnout set on the end, just to finish me off. After the past 4 days of traning this way, its the most fun I have had in the gym in a long time. It also has a nice psychological effect, because only one muscle groups needs to get trained. So when you get tired and fatigued, you dont have to worry about hitting any more muscles that day. It also takes less time, because only one muscle group is getting hit; especially on shoulders or arms days.

My split will probably look something like this:

  • Sunday – Back / Abs
  • Monday – Off or Cardio / TVA
  • Tuesday – Legs/Abs
  • Wednesday – Shoulders/ Traps/ TVA
  • Thursday – Arms/Abs
  • Friday – Off or Cardio / TVA
  • Saturday – Chest

Not set in stone, but basically each muscle group once a week with two rest days from lifting. TVA stands for Transverse Abdominals (basically your core that makes your abs flat and also makes your stronger on most compound lifts), which I will do 2-3 sets of 30 seconds – 1 minute after my workout. I plan to side planks or RKC planks, which are safer for your lower back. On the other days for abs, I will do one upper abdominal crunch, one oblique exercise and one lower ab exercises all in a circuit. I’m going to a use a light weight and focus on perfect from for about 20 reps each exercise. The goal is to get a really good burn and hit the abs hard and fast after the workout. Abs can be hit with a much higher frequency than other muscles and to really fatigue them, faster is usually better. Much higher volume for abs then I have done in the past. I also like separating TVA and Abs into two different sessions, mainly because TVA exercises have to be held for 30secs – 1 minute and dont flow well in a circuit.

Here is a sample chest workout that I did yesterday:

  • BB Bench Press – 1 warmup set / 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Incline Machine Press – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dips – 3 sets of 12-15 (or as many as possible)
  • Cable Crossovers 4 sets of 12-20 reps
  • Flat bench press machine – 1 sets of 50 reps with just the bar

I’ve also been hitting 5 miles a day each day during the week according to my Fitbit. I try to be as active as possible during the day, because sitting just seems to rob my energy when done for too long.


Lean Meat Sweet Potato Veggies
Lean Meat
Sweet Potato
Greek Yogurt with pistachio jello mix and berries on top
Greek Yogurt with pistachio jello mix and berries on top
6oz of pasta (cooked) 1/2 cup of Prego sauce Veggies 5oz of meat 1 egg roll 1 crab rangoon 2 Sweet potato crackers
6oz of pasta (cooked)
1/2 cup of Prego sauce
5oz of meat
1 egg roll
1 crab rangoon
2 Sweet potato crackers
Greek Yogurt 4 oz 1 diet hot coco packet 1 Tbs of cheesecake SF/FF jello mix Berries on top with redi whip
Greek Yogurt 4 oz
1 diet hot coco packet
1 Tbs of cheesecake SF/FF jello mix
Berries on top with redi whip
Rice with teriyaki sauce with lean meat and veggies 1 egg roll 1 crab rangoon
Rice with teriyaki sauce with lean meat and veggies
1 egg roll
1 crab rangoon
Another Pasta meal
Another Pasta meal
Rice with taco seasoning and lean meat
Rice with taco seasoning and lean meat
Rock Bottom - Greenhouse salad
Rock Bottom – Greenhouse salad
Rock Bottom - Southwest BBQ chicken pizza (really good)
Rock Bottom – Southwest BBQ chicken pizza
(really good)

I plan to eat around 1700-2000 calories during the week and between 2000-3000 calories on the weekend. 5 days of fat burning and 2 days of higher calories where I enjoy myself without worrying about nutrition too much.

I was reading Nate Miyaki’s blog and I really like the way he sets his plans up, except for his strict “clean food” approach. He recommends a more traditional dieting approach of lower fat, moderate to high carb with starches dominating the carb totals and moderate protein set at lean body mass in grams. He also uses LBM (lean body mass) to set total calories and BMR. I recently started doing this with some people that I consult with and it seems to make more sense. If the person is very overweight, then their BMR is more correlated with their lean weight and not their total weight. I do use their total weight to find total calories burned though. If you weight 350lbs you are going to burn way more calories walking around then someone that is 150lbs.

My daily diet for the most part, including supplements:

  • Coffee with half and half and splenda / Supplements 5000 IU Vitamin D, 200mg magnesium, 450mg of ashwagnda, 3 fish oil, 5g creatine monohyrdate, 1 digestive enzyme
  • Two scoops of Elite XT protein powder with 1 cup of berries and 2 tsp of peanut butter and 1/4 of Quest Bar
  • 6oz of lean meat, 6-8oz of vegetables, 1 whole egg, 1/2 serving of Sweet Potato crackers
  • 1/2 of Quest Bar
  • 4-5oz of lean meat, 4oz of vegetables, usually 2-3oz of pasta or 1 cup of rice, marinara or teriyaki sauce / Supplements 500mg tumeric, 3 fish oil, 200mg of magnesium, 50mg of zinc, 1 digestive enzyme
  • 4oz of greek yogurt, 1tbs of sugar free/fat free jello mix (usually cheesecake) and either 2-3 tbs of pumpkin or a diet hot cocoa pack mixed in, berries on top (tastes awesome and has around 100-140 calories)

This isn’t everything I eat, but its the base plan that I eat almost every single day, except for Saturday. Its similar to the Biorhythm diet as most of my carbs and biggest meal are eaten at the end of the day. I try to keep carbs at a 1:1 ratio earlier in the day and this really maximizes my energy. I like eating light in the morning because anytime a meal is too big I get tired no matter what. The early meals are roughly 400-500 calories, which is small enough to prevent tiredness, but big enough to give me optimal energy. Dinner is usually twice the size and around 700-800 calories. Saturday for lunch, I have a cheat meal and usually have half for lunch and half for dinner. Its usually a small pizza from a restaurant.

The plan  for Sunday through Thursday is to keep my calories around 1700 -2000 calories to burn fat, but still provide postive nitrogen balance to the muscles. I got this amount from Nate Miyaki, who recommends 12x LBM in bodyweight when burning fat. Friday and Saturday will be anywhere in the range of 2000-3000 calories. The point is not to worry about it that much.

After much trial and error, I think my maintenance intake currently is around 24-2500 calories. If I eat this amount I maintain just fine. If i start creeping up to 26-2700 calorie range, I wake up looking kinda bloated and just dont look good. This is more on a day in day out basis though. If I have an occasional blowout day of over 3000 calories, I can wake up looking just fine. Most calculators put me at 3000 calories maintenance, but I think I know my body better than an online calculator does. One of my friends eats about 4000 calories a day and has 8% bodyfat. Even if the online estimation put him around 3000 calories to maintain, he would end up losing weight. So I think most people are better off testing it out for themselves, especially people like myself who didnt win the genetic lottery.

Hokies or should I say Chokies lost again this week. Season is over. We are playing and look much better this year, but just can’t seem to come together at the end. Also making way too many mistakes by turning the ball over. Brewer had 4 ints and the RB fumbled twice. Unacceptable if you plan to be a good team. Although Brewer (the QB) did pick up a fumble and run it 20 yards for a TD, which was awesome.

Giants play later today and I’m hoping they minimize the turnovers and put together their first win this season. I dont think this season is lost yet as many people do. I think if we can get the offense up to speed with new system, stop turning the ball over, reduce the penalites, and most importantly CATCH THE BALL (Victor Cruz needs to get his act together), then we should be a pretty good team. Odell Beckham should be back next week, which will give Eli a new weapon. We will see though.

3 thoughts on “Return of the Bro Split – Journal Entry 143

  1. Carson

    I like the meal ideas! there always exciting compared to the boiled chiken and broccoli stuff(ughh). What have you found most effective for your gain in size 8-12 rep or 4-5?

    I would caution supplementing with high doses of Vitamin D and Zinc.
    Both These nutrients in high doses have a effect of inhibiting your 5-a Reductase enzyme in your body. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT rather than estrogen. If you lack this enzyme you will be forced to go the estrogen route.
    Also zinc in such high doses without supplementing with a supportive amount of copper because the 2 work hand in hand can cause a host of problems. One which research shows the most is anemia.

    I use to supplement with both these but I now realize that even though vitamins and minerals are natural they are by no means safe particularly in high doses every day.


    • Michael Cocchiola

      Hey Carson,

      I was using a more strength oriented routine, but plateaued dramatically. So now I’m going to stick to 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps on most exercises and probably do 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps for some of the isolation lifts at the end. Probably a burn out set at the very end with light weight of 50 or so reps on some days. For overall size, I think lifting really heavy is overrated. Its also much more fun to lift this way. Going heavy all the time takes a toll and some of the enjoyment out of lifting. But dont get me wrong I’m still lifting “heavy weights” just not nearly as heavy of weights I was lifting for 4-6 reps.

      Yeah I’ve heard that, but I’ve noticed positive improvements from zinc. Vitamin D is pretty crucial if you don’t get that much sunlight, which I get a decent amount, but not that much. So ill prob stick with them. I haven’t noticed any negative effects from either of them, but have noticed benefits.

      Honestly I think this info comes from the Perfect Health Diet. This guy is smart, but he also eats foods that contain all of those vitamins and minerals everyday. So hes getting everything from food and supplements for him would be overkill. I eat healthy, but no where near as healthy as that guy. Supplements make it much easier to ensure your getting enough.


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