210 – Back from Cruise, Refocus on Goals, Body Part Split

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Pre-Interview

I plan to get more consistent with my training and diet. Through a variety of factors that have happened recently it hasn’t been as organized as I would have liked. My cruise trip was awesome though and a very fun time. Diet wasn’t terrible during the trip though. Well one day it was, but the other three were pretty good, besides some drinks I had onboard. The eating was buffet style and I had 2 boiled eggs, bacon, veggies and fruit for breakfast. We then went on to the island for the whole day, so skipped lunch. I made up for it by having a pretty huge dinner of tons of different meats, vegetables, cheese and Italian salads. As for alcohol, the first day I tried some different cocktails I had always wanted to try, but the rest of the time I stuck to wine or liquor with a low calorie mixer. I felt tremendously better without all that sugar and fat the cocktails brought. I only worked out once during the cruise and that was at the very beginning. I did get a ton of walking in though every single day. The lowest day was like 13000 steps and the highest way like 22000 steps.

I also want to refocus my training efforts and start to train more like a bodybuilder again. My plan is to do a 5 day split consisting of:

  • Chest/Tris
  • Back/Bis
  • Legs/Abs
  • Shoulders/Traps
  • Arms/Abs
  • Off
  • Off

Either this or a 4 day split without the arms day. In the gym I mainly just want to direct my focus to the individual muscle and hit everything when I’m fresh. Also I’m not really worrying about frequency because a lot of these muscles get hit indirectly twice a week anyway. Like shoulders basically get hit everyday besides leg day, arms getting hit twice and also chest and back get hit on arms day due to close grip bench and chinups.

The big movements will be done for 3 sets of 5-8 reps and the accessory will be hit for 3 sets of 8-10 reps. Probably not going much higher than 10 reps to be honest. I’m also doing this split for the sake of time. I had a good interview recently and will most likely start working again soon. I plan to do this split during my lunch break in which I will need to be done and back in an hour. I see a split like this taking about 35-45 minutes with no cardio being done. This allows me to change and get back across the street to work.

Diet wise I’m upping the protein to at least 1 gram per pound. Lowering calories to drop some fat I put on during the cruise and the couple of weeks leading up to it. Calories were mainly estimated at this time, but I noticed a decrease in leanness and that’s not the way I roll ;). Dietary fat will be around .4-.5 grams per pound and carbs I get mainly from fruits and vegetables and totals around 100-150 grams a day.

I will say after doing this split training, I have had a lot of fun in the gym. I really like doing 3 sets instead of 4-5 as well. It allows me to get more intense on each movement and include more variety. I also really like hitting everything fresh. Shoulders kind of get the shaft on a push/pull split unless you start with that movement, but then chest gets the shaft. I’d rather give it its own day.

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13 comments

  1. Hey Michael,

    Cruise looked good! where did you go exactly?

    – One thing I have noticed and after talking to other people that have had similar experience (and research)…..The legs do better with higher volume while upper body does better with lower. I have seen great improvements applying this. For instance leg excercises will be in that 12 rep area while upper body 8 reps. I felt even more confident when hearing this is a technique that Mike Platz emphasized since his early days ( pLatz is well know for having best Legs of all time), most other champions and experts like Martin berkhan say the same. I guess are lower body is built for higher endurance and can handle and respond growth wise to more volume. I confirm its true legs have grown since implementing this. Have you ever tried this style?

    – 1 Gram Per pound is what I shoot for too just to be safe, judging by the research it is more than enough I think since the highest proven amount is like .82-.85 gram per pound. I note that I include from all sources rice meat eggs fruit etc. of course the majority coming from complete sources. Do you do the same or just complete sources? I asked Lee Hayward in a forum and he said all sources count and Menno Henselman had the same thoughts in one of his posts.

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    1. Hey Carson,

      Yeah personal preference for me is to hit legs once a week. One reason is because I dont think big legs look very aesthetic, two because I dont like having sore legs all the time and three because I really dont enjoy training them that much haha. But yeah I do think legs respond pretty well to high volume. Mainly because when you consider most endurance activities are done with the legs, they probably have a large percentage of slow twitch fibers, which handle volume better.

      Yeah I moved the protein up for a variety of reasons, but I count all sources as well and not just high quality sources. For me the lower I go with protein the more carbs and fat enter my diet and the more my appetite goes up. Protein is a foundation in my diet, followed by vegetables. The more I move away from that, such as trying a lower protein intake, the more I regret it and dont like the results or my energy levels. I’m kind of in the boat now where I respect other peoples opinions, but I pretty much know at this point what tends to work well for my body, so I’ll probably just stick with that. Also my diet has been all over the place here recently, especially with junkier foods and I need to get back on track.

      Not going to lie though, having a lot of fun with this 5 day split. Quicker workouts, more time on each muscle, more variation. Still keep reps somewhat heavy between 5-10 reps and doing 3 sets of everything. Been getting some nice pumps and allows me to increase my strength better on individual lifts. You still hitting the full body workouts?

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  2. Yea that sounds like a blast. Cruises are an awesome way to see places, everything is taken care for you and you get to see different places everyday not just one (food is heaven too). I went on quite a few and favourite one was northern Europe and scandanavia/russia it was awesome, best place for good looking woman in the world lol.

    Still hitting my full body workouts, I just adjust them a little bit every week because I find things that work better. But the foundation and principle is there. I’m not even worried all the time about progressing strength gains. I mean obviously you want to see the weight go up over time. I’m more worried about just hitting each set with all out effort as to tear and break down the muscle. I think its over rated. My stats as for as weight and body fat% have gotten better and better steady .5-1 lb a week and minimal fat gains. Some workouts the weight doesn’t go up but the gains are still there. Ultimately I don’t hypertrophy is as one dimensional as is stated. Strength matters but if you do 5 reps for 3 sets with 60% form just to move the bar I don’t think its doing much for asthetics. Its funny all the stuff I read out there….and yet I constantly come back to the old staples 1. 5 reps good form best for strength gains 2. 8-12 good for hypertrophy. These both have to have good form.

    Then again maybe its all individual, and everybody responds differently. One things damn true…..this whole fitness bodybuilding thing is a neverending learning experience ha.

    My brother is a competing bodybuilder and he runs a upper/lower split. He mostly goes 8-12 reps but he does throw in a 4-5 rep set for squats or bench couple times. I guess now I see its not a bad way to go.

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    1. Carson,

      Haha yeah there were plenty of good looking women on there.

      Yeah 5-8 reps for heavy compounds and 8-12 reps for accessory and isolations. Definelty my preferred range to stay in 90% of the time. Also the most proven as well. From a time perspective the split routine lets me get in and out of the gym faster. Something I have noticed too is starting with a big lift for each muscle allows me to get WAAAY more weight than doing it even 2nd or 3rd in the lineup, like during full body or push/pull. Like shoulder press I can get 125lbs for 3 sets of 6 reps on shoulder day, but only like 95lbs for the same after a bench press on a push day. Definitely a big advantage for the split routine.

      Also diet wise I’m getting a little creative. I think I may bust out the cycle diet. Been in the back of my mind of something I really wanted to do for a while. He also recommends 1 day of juice or protein fasting, which after researching seems to have some pretty interesting benefits. Especially for some like me who keeps protein high all the time and at each meal haha. Basically detox mechanisms kick in and the lack of protein on those days leads to upregulation on other days. Seems to have the same benefits as Intermittent fasting every day.

      I was thinking like 1 cycle day (AKA eat whatever) or period from Friday night to Saturday night. 1-2 protein fast days with nothing but low glycemic veggies, almond milk, berries and fat sources. (I think the goal is to keep the protein below 20 grams) and the other 4-5 days are normal eating days with a high protein content of at least 120 grams. Also kind of similar to eat stop eat, except no complete fasting but just a low protein content. Definitely keeps things interesting and includes everything that has been to be effective in terms of enhancing body composition. What do you think?

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  3. I don’t know I have thought about the protein fasting too, but to this point the evidence is really mixed some argue for some argue against. Some say simply 16 hours without protein clicks on autophagy while others say 24 hours. One thing is certain is that is has nothing todo with the quantity wether it be 20-200 grams or whatever this recycling part simply comes from time restriction from protein.

    All that being said I do support the idea of autophagy and protein recycling, even though some don’t and it should also be noted I cant think of a single competing physique athlete(worth noting) natural or unnatural that follows such a plan or ideal and it yet it has given them no issues and they have the best physiques in the world. (note* the liver needs adequate protein and glucose to create and convert thyroid hormones t3-t4 on hourly basis…this should be kept in mind since withdrawing from carbs and protein is not high fiveing your thyroid in any way….the thyroid is something anybody with physique goals should place at the forefront, I’m shocked after researching how much influence it has on protein synthesis).

    Again that being said how I have implemented it is similar to Brad Pilon’s idea:

    6 days a week in a controlled surplus mon-sat
    1 day sunday eat one high protein low carb breakfast

    This sunday technique allows for a large defecit and really low carb as well as withstaining from protein for about 18-20 hours. Since autophagy starts at 12 hours this is ample time for some recycling but I don’t go without protein more than 24 hours because at the 20 hour point in might be counterproductive from many points. *Note great time to weigh and mesasure body fat the next day quite accurate.

    Of course not everybody is running a surplus 6 days a week lol, so if I was in another category it would look different but I would still only implement maximum 1×24 hours max without protein, but I would not worry about numbers because again it is simply time away from protein numbers don’t matter.

    P.S. Best supplement even though it is not well known Pregnenolone* 300mg per week, has done frakin wonders. Ray Peat was not talking out of his ass lol.

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    1. Carson,

      Yeah I agree. I heard people that IF for 16 hours dont need to worry about it because autophagy occurs each day. Since I dont do that I was thinking doing it twice a week on rest days would be a good call. I have heard that its literally the protein content that matters to get the benefits. Meaning you could eat loads of vegetables and still stay under 20-30 grams for the day (but not technically fasting) and still get the benefits. I also think protein cycling does have benefit even though some say it doesnt matter. Mainly because anytime your body receives too much of a stimulus from anything it stops responding.

      I think most physique athletes dont have to worry about a lot of things including protein cycling. They seem to have an easy time with just about everything haha. For people that are not so lucky, I can see protein cycling being pretty useful.

      I was planning on staying under 30 grams for the whole day and just basically eat low glycemic foods like vegetables and fat sources. Calories not going to be high, but the point of the day is fat burning anyway.

      Yeah the pregnenolone is interesting now that I looked it up. Going to have to try that. Seems to be pretty underrated.

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  4. Interesting gonna have to look into these low protein days more.

    Yea its the only hormone I would consider taking since these others are just akin to cause some problems, Peat explained how even taking lots is no issue simply because the body recycles it and no such problem as excess, he also explains how it does whats needed raising or lowering certain things including thyroid. I’m rather fortunate where I have access to get regular blood tests because a family member is a Doctor. I wanted to test this out 300 mg a week for the past 3 months. Noticeable Changes from start to finnish:

    Tsh 2.77 > 1.71
    LDL Cholesterol went down and HDL stayed same
    DHEA went up
    Estrogen went up but barely (I had nill to begin with ha still below recommended)
    Progesterone went up
    & Resting Heart Rate has gone up.

    Pretty nice to know when something is actually working…underated supplement because there not much money to be made off of it so companies don’t care ha.

    P.S.
    Ive dropped the full body routine. I’m a go balls to the walls guy and I found I was just unable to continue to progress at that effort level 3 times a week my workout were becoming too long and motivation was down.
    I think they are GREAT if you want to work hard for a couple months and see some great results but you will eventually need to ease off because youll be taxed. I think they are also great for the Genetic Gifts…Guys like Arnold, Park, & Reeves built majority of there bodies on these (2-4 hour Full body workouts) for these guys with great genetics(recovery/protein synthesis etc etc) these routines were doable for life and results would keep coming. Lesson I learned being a skinny ectomorph ….great for 3-4 months then caput. > I’m sure you noticed similar stuff eh?

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    1. Nice, pretty interesting results with the pregenlone. I bought some a a few days ago and just started taking it. Definitely underrated considering it was on the bottom shelf and cost like $7 for decent supply haha. Looking forward to the results. Also grabbed some creatine monohydrate in there, because I haven’t been on that for awhile.

      Yeah the full body is good to mix in, but not to stay on indefinitely. You could say the same about any workout though. But I ran into the same issues. Smaller muscles tend to get ignored and to properly hit everything just takes way too long. Especially when you can restructure to a split over 4-5 days vs 3 so that you can hit everything properly without “jamming it in”. I really dont think workouts with 3-4 moves total are enough, unless your already very developed are just maintaining what you have.

      I’ve been loving the 5 day bro split with one muscle a day. Strength on individual movements is way better and as of know I’ve been taking my time, but you can easily knock those workouts out in 30-40 minutes. Way more isolation movements in the past, but I’ve been enjoying the variation. The only muscle I have a hard time getting a pump in is shoulders. Kind of annoys me to be honest haha. Like I can do a push workout with benching and dips and my shoulders will be pumped, but if I do a shoulder workout, I could do 1000 reps and barely get anything.

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  5. Ahh yea thats always sounded like your favourite scheme somewhat from previous write ups.

    Pregnenolone dosing is hazy but I trust Peat on this one he mentions either taking 100 mg every day for more severe cases, but for most everybody else Once a week 300 mg is good. Peat— ” One dose of approximately 300 mg (the size of an aspirin tablet) keeps acting for about a week, as absorption continues along the intestine, and as it is “recycled” in the body. Part of this long lasting effect is because it improves the body’s ability to produce its own pregnenolone. It tends to improve function of the thyroid and other glands, and this “normalizing” effect on the other glands helps to account for its wide range of beneficial effects.”

    For myself I really like 3 days cardio(I play ice hockey these days) 3 days weights which is why I liked the 3 full body mon wed fri. Fit my schedule and I was motivated. 4 days in the gym demotivates me.
    So with that being said I playing it safe and sticking to Lyle McDonalds upper/lower split.

    upper>lower>upper
    lower>upper>lower

    every 5th day frequency . He says good plan and is good for various reasons….and ultimately I trust the guy ha.
    It can be done 4 days a week but he mentions classic 3 day works so I’m sold.

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    1. Carson,

      Yeah sounds like pregnelone is pretty promising. I’ve been doing 30mg a day for a week and haven’t noticed anything yet, but I’ve only been on it for a short time so I’ll continue to take it. Mercola had some good info on it as well.

      Honestly said I was doing a 5 day split, but saw this program by Chad Waterbury that I had to try haha. Basically its full body with minimal exercises (one push, one pull, one legs, one abs, then I usually add a shoulder iso) and you set a rep goal for each movement. So a sample workout is on every exercise you select a weight that’s your 8-9 rep max and you do as many sets as possible until you hit 40 reps. You also rest a max of 1 minute between sets, which is not easy when doing heavier weights. Simple, but not easy. I love it though. Haven’t been this sore in awhile. It basically pushes you to hit 40 reps no matter what. Which at then becomes very difficult. Progression is reached when it takes you less and less sets to hit the 40 rep goal.

      I’m with you on the 3 days of weights though. Love it and the more I go over that tends to reduce motivation. Also trying to get really good as pullups and pushups, so doing that on my rest days. Not going to lie, had a bad case of f*uckarounditis when doing a split haha. Too many iso’s and not enough compounds. Felt like I was barely working.

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  6. How are you running that split and with what frequency?
    3 days 3 times a week frequency
    That’s a different plan and interesting beyond simple lol.
    I wonder if it has enough volume for hypertrophy and gene expression.
    I just found Full body too taxing frequency wise after a while but as we said for the non genetic gifts it can be great for short time.
    If you can progress with that though I guess that’s the key.

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    1. Haha yeah I think its enough volume. I’ll lay out the details in my blog post. I think the key to full body is how you structure it though. Too much volume with destroy you, but finding the right balance makes it very effective.

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