Journal Entry 220 – Archaic Routine

Another week of the archaic bro split. Last week was Chest/Tri, Back/Bis, Shoulders/Traps, Legs/Arms. I really enjoyed the split however there was one issue and that was my shoulders and tri’s were still slightly sore on Sunday when I hit Chest. This slightly impacted my strength on barbell bench press. Only dropped a couple of reps, but I knew my chest was fine and it mainly my shoulders that were fatigued. So this week, I changed to Chest/Tri’s, Back/Bis, Shoulders/Tri’s/Traps and Legs/Biceps. This way both the shoulders and triceps have an extra day to heal before hitting Chest again.

Other than that strength was on par this week, but no increases. I really liked hitting shoulders/triceps together though:

  • Barbell Seated Press 4×6
  • DB close grip bench 3×8-10
  • Arnold Press 3×8-10
  • DB lateral raise 3×8
  • DB rear delt machine 3×12
  • Db Skullcrushers 3×8-10
  • Db Seated Shrugs 3×12

I hit legs and biceps today, so hopefully I will be able to get squats up this week.

Definitely doing an old fashioned (or archaic as I like to call it) routine, but what worked years ago still works today. It kinds of funny though cause if you look at the work that supporting muscles get during the week, they actually do get a lot more frequency than just its assigned day, it just isn’t as much volume. For example shoulders essentially get hit 4 days a week as they are involved in almost every single upper body exercise. Arms get hit twice, Chest gets hit twice (especially considered shoulder press involved a lot of upper chest), Back and Legs technically gets hit once, but these are very large muscle groups which have been shown to take longer to recover anyway. Either way I dont really care what is “optimal” at the moment. My main goal is to increase my 4 main lifts through progressive overload.

Nutrition wise I have been hitting about 2100 calories a day as averaged out over 7 days on Myfitnesspal. Macros have been 200g protein / 210g carbs – 50 fiber / 73g of fat. Weighed in this morning at 172.4lbs. A lot of protein powder, guacamole cups, sour cream, vegetables, protein bars, nuts, beef jerky and of course meat. Nothing special, but its been working.

Random thought this week, I really think bulking is a really bad idea and really doesnt work. When you look at the effects of bulking or overeating, then you start to realize all of the negative things that happen and they are not conducive to muscle growth. Overfeeding is usually only positive when you have come from a period of underfeeding and this is because it is bringing you back into balance. If you only require 2500 calories to build muscle and repair all damage, then eating 3500 calories will likely just make you insulin resistant, increase you fat storage, slow you down (especially trying to digest all that food) and maybe even make you lazier in the gym. Underfeeding is obliviously just as ineffective, so the solution is to eat what the body needs and nothing more. I would say even slight underfeeding of total maintenance (10-20% under) may serve people better in the long run, due to its anti-inflammatory properties and makes your more receptive to nutrients. I noticed quite frequently after days I just go all out on eating, I come in the gym the next day expecting to tear it up, but in reality I’m no stronger (possibly even weaker) than when I was just eating normally.

At the moment though I have been striving for shear balance in my diet. The only thing I dont eat a lot of is starch, but I would rather eat carbs from other sources.


3 thoughts on “Journal Entry 220 – Archaic Routine

  1. Carson

    Good day Michael,

    To paraphrase Lyle McDonald, “…you can’t build muscle out of thin air and wishful thinking”
    10-20% surplus is plenty to provide what is needed.

    However i think Eric Helms was correct in saying that if you have decent amount of body fat like 12% Plus than some of your stores can be used to build muscle as energy (thus the myth building muscle while loosing fat can be true. Not the case if your Lean.

    I gotta say this because everytime ive been scared to eat a calorie surplus in fear of putting on fat ive just spinned my tires.

    I totally agree that the traditional bulking going balls to the walls is not benneficial either.

    Layne Nortons Cycle Bulking seems to make sense where you reasonable surplus for couple weeks than 1-2 week cut.



    • Michael Cocchiola

      Also I think overall calorie load is very underestimated. Meaning as long as you get enough protein, It probably doesn’t matter at all what your macros are. If you undereat by too much, you will feel like sh*t and if you overeat you will get fat no matter what your macros are. Finding the right CALORIE level to hit your goal is really what you need to play around with.


  2. Michael Cocchiola


    I think it has to do with nutrient partitioning and what your body does with the calories that you do eat. By eating slightly under or around maintenance there is definite advantages to fat burning, muscle building and raising testosterone at this level. Go too low in calories and you tank your hormones and metabolism. Go too high and you get fatter, insulin resistant and your T-levels get converted to estrogen. By eating the ideal amount you get this really beneficial effect on your energy and hormone levels. I also think hormonal levels have a lot to do with the whole process. The higher your Testosterone the easier time you will have with just about everything. I think its about finding balance. Even bulking and cutting cycles are essentially just bringing your body back to balance or maintenance. I mean if you averaged the calories out you would probably end up maintenance calories anyway haha. So instead of over or undereating why not just eat the proper amount to begin with. Its not really “exciting” to say eat a balanced diet at maintenance calories and lift heavy in the gym, especially with all the dumb a** diets out there now, but it works well if you’re consistent. I also think its important to eat certain types of foods that work well for you. I dont like a whole lot of starches on a regular basis so I dont eat them that often, but I love meat, veggies and fats (avocado, cheese, sour cream). So I make the bulk of my diet through these foods because its painfully easy to stick too. I think diet adherence and just enjoying your daily diet has a lot to do with your results as well. Especially from a stress engagement standpoint.


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