FitnessThe Red Piller's Guide to Weight Training (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by 1Ronin11A


I’m sick and tired of reading shitty, half-assed, rinsed-and-repeated posts about lifting and nutrition written by DudeBros who think because they’ve completed six months of Strong Lifts that they’re now an authority on the subject. Thus, I’m going to take the time to actually write a decent one in the hopes the Mods will see fit to sticky it for a duration and we’ll see fewer half-witted posts on the subject.

Why Training Is Important

Physical training is an integral part of the Red Pill ideology and there are two primary reasons for this. First, it instills discipline in you as a man. By consistently hitting the gyms a minimum of three times per week and keeping a training log, you create accountability in your life and develop a diligence that bleeds over into other aspects of your life. Weight training strengthens your mind simultaneously. A training log is essential to genuine long-term growth. Whether you choose to use an old-fashioned notebook and pen or a smartphone app is up to you. Either way, train with a purpose, record every set and rep, and hold yourself accountable.

The second reason why preach the iron gospel is that regardless of what women hamster, visible muscle mass has powerful, animalistic effect on women. They claim it doesn’t matter, but present them with broad shoulders and muscular arms and they can’t keep their hands off you. It’s takes nothing more than a gym membership and your time, yet presents you with an excellent and cost-effective method of increasing your SMV.

There will inevitably be some faggot that chimes in, "What about calisthenics? I much prefer that to lifting weights." I don't give a shit what you prefer, and fuck you for being a delicate little snowflake who just has to chime in to feel good about yourself. This guide is about lifting weights. If you prefer to do gymnastic routines on bars in a park, more power to you; no one claims it doesn't work and that gymnasts aren't jacked as fuck. However, the principles of volume and overload discussed immediately hereafter still apply.

How Training Works

Bodybuilding is an expression of muscular adaptation, a process by which the body prepares itself to manage more physiological stress than its already experienced. We lift weights, which constitute as an external stress on our muscle tissue. This stress is sub-lethal (meaning it doesn't fucking kill you), but it still alarms the body nonetheless and initiates the super-compensation process. During rest and recovery, the body attempts to adapt to the stress and assuming the body's adaptive capacity has not been overwhelmed, we see an increase in bodily performance proportionate to the level of stress. I'm simplifying this process drastically here, but the basic take away is you must overload the body, let it recover, then overload it again without overwhelming the body's capacity to recover. This process is also referred to as progressive overload.

In this process, the most efficient way to consistent achieve overload and adaptation by increasing overall training volume. When it comes to muscular growth (hypertrophy), volume is king. Volume can be approximated by multiplying (WEIGHTxSETSxREPS), so a squat at 225-lbs for 5x5 would be 5,625-lbs of training volume. You can track volume workout to workout, or on a weekly, monthly, or even annual basis. As long as you are increasing volume across whatever interval you choose, you will see gainz.

How to Train for Volume

There are many methods of consistently increasing volume, but I'll touch on what I think are the simplest/best ones here.

The first method is to increase the weight. The most efficient way to do this is with a linear progression, or LP. A linear progression calls for the trainee to use the same SETSxREPS each workout, but increase the weight (thus increasing the volume). As a new lifter, this is where you should start, as your body will physiologically adapt quickly making an LP the most efficient means of gaining new muscle tissue. Strong Lifts, Starting Strength, and GreySkull LP are all linear progressions.

The second method of increasing volume is to do more work in the same amount of time. This style has been popularized of late by CrossFit and the AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible), and is also referred to as density training. An example of this might be to do as many pull ups as you can within a 10-minute time limit. If you get 50 reps the first week, then repeat the workout and get 54 reps in the same amount of time, you've increased your training volume for that session.

The third method of increasing the volume is simply to do more reps with the same weight. If you did 5x5 at 225 the previous week (25 working reps), simply keep the weight and go for 28-30 working reps this week (4x7 or 5x6). It's a slower, more calculated process, but picking a weight that you can do for 4x6 and then staying at that weight until you can do 4x10 with it allows you to very slowly load volume (individual reps) and achieve consistent results. Another way to do this is to target a specific number of reps then strive to hit that same number in progressively fewer sets. For example, targeting 32 reps you might start off with 8 sets of 4 reps, but end with 4 sets of 8 reps at the same weight. You're not technically increasing overall volume per workout, but instead increasing volume per set.

As a beginner, you should be focusing on quality reps under solid tension and perfecting your form. Biomechanics and position should always come before pounds. You should not be chasing failure with drop sets and so forth until you've built a strong foundation. This is the biggest mistake new lifters make. There's no point in attempting to do the complex shit Arnold did in his prime at age 30 without doing the 15 years of foundational work he did before. This is the equivalent to thinking because you drove a Mustang on the Autobahn that you're qualified to drive Lewis Hamilton's Formula 1 racecar.

I'm going to stop there, as getting heavy into periodization is beyond the scope of what the average TRP reader needs. Additionally, most complex periodization schemes are simply managing intensity around the body's recovery capacity to ensure small jumps in overall volume over the course of the micro- or meso-cycle.

Programming Suggestions

A beginner should start with and run a linear progression until they fail to progress workout to workout. However, I'm not personally a fan of either Strong Lifts or Starting Strength. I think Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training is a fantastic book and a resource every man should own and read for its insights into technique, biomechanics, and injury prevention. However, I felt better and achieved a more pleasing, masculine physique with John Sheaffer's GreySkull LP program (http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/greyskull-lp/). That's my personal recommendation on the subject, and I'll leave it at that.

As a natural, drug-free lifter, you're best suited to training 3-4 times per week, and most LPs are configured as such. In each workout, you should focus on the complex movements first (bench press, overhead press, squat, deadlift, pull ups), then finish your session with assistance work (curls, flyes, calves, shoulders, et cetera). Isolation work cannot replace complex movements, but there's also nothing wrong with some curls for the girls.

On Nutrition

Diet and nutrition is a touchier subject, one in which people love to argue over. The main thing every man should understand is there is hierarchy of priorities when it comes to fat loss or muscle gain.

Total calorie count per day and per week is the most important factor in gaining or losing weight. While hormones, food quality, and sleep with have an impact on fat loss or muscle gain, at the end of the day you cannot escape the energy equation. To lose one pound per week, a trainee should aim to achieve a 3,500-kcal deficit. How you achieve that deficit is largely up to you. You can shoot to eat 500-kcal less each day, or try an "Eat, Stop, Eat" method where you fast for 24-hours twice a week to achieve for deficit. Both work, so pick the one that you prefer so long as you hit the 3,500-kcal deficit.

Conversely, to gain weight, do the opposite, and shoot for a modest caloric surplus. Bulking too quickly leads to "dirty bulks" where fat gains outpace muscle growth, and lead to a flabby, shitty looking body. Again, shoot for slow, controlled growth. I would recommend simply reversing the deficit guide above, and aim for a 500-kcal a day surplus.

Understand the body is a complex organism with a myriad of systems and influencing factors. You might not gain or lose exactly one pound per week as outlined above, and may have to tweak accordingly. This is OK, so long as you remain diligent and focus on making the minimum number of changes possible; if a 500-kcal deficit works, don't do a 650-kcal just "because."

With regards to macronutrients, people respond differently to different configurations. Some people achieve mind-blowing results on low carb or ultra-low carb diets, while others like myself just get flabby and flat. Some people look at carbs and get fat; others find a good starchy meal makes their muscles look large and full. Experiment with low, moderate, and high carb/fat diets yourself, and figure out which works best for you (stay on each for 4-6 weeks at a time).

For optimal results, you will need to track your calories. There are any number of apps and websites with which to do this. However, be aware that people are fucking stupid, and tend to enter alarmingly incorrect nutritional data on even the simplest of foods. As such, it's best to get a scale and weigh and measure your own food to ensure accuracy, or at least double-check the stats on something before you put it in your log.

On Macronutrients

There is no magical macronutrient ratio for ultimate alphaness. You will likely have to experiment and tweak based on your ability to consistently his your numbers. Protein and carbohydrates are both 4-kcal per gram; fat is 9-kcal per gram.

Men over-estimate their protein needs and under-estimate their carb needs, especially during bulking. Above 0.8-grams per pound of bodyweight, protein has diminished returns (http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/the-myth-of-1glb-optimal-protein-intake-for-bodybuilders/). Both Layne Norton and Menno Henselmans have written extensively about this.

For gaining weight, carbohydrates are more your friend than protein ever will be. Protein does, however, help you feel full which can be especially useful when cutting. Fats are essential to healthy testosterone production, both saturated and unsaturated varieties. Much of the literature indicates that for optimal health, men should keep fat intake above 20% of total daily calories.

On Supplements

They're generally a poor use of your money. If you wish to supplement your diet, whey protein and creatine monohydrate is about all you should invest int (maybe Vitamin D and Zinc if you work a desk job indoors), and given how poorly regulated the industry is, if money is tight you'll be better served by buying a few extra pounds of chicken or beef versus powders. Diet always outweighs supplementation for performance.

My Credentials

US Army Infantry Officer for 5 years. Certified Fitness Trainer under the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Level 1 Trainer under CrossFit, Inc. Two years of full-time experience as a personal trainer at both Gold's Gym and Equinox. I no longer train clients, so if you want more personalized consultation, contact /u/GayLubeOil


1. Training is an integral part of developing yourself physically and mentally as a man and increases your SMV.

2. Volume is king when it comes to growth. Lift with a purpose: to systematically increase training volume. Record everything in an app or notebook.

3. Chase perfect form, not failure.

4. Caloric intake takes precedence when bulking or cutting. There is no perfect diet or macronutrient ratio; experiment as necessary.

5. 99% of supplements aren't worth the money. Eat real food.

[–]1rporion 157 points158 points  (8 children)

"The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds."

-Henry Rollins

[–]Lesninore 11 points12 points  (1 child)

"For no one can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts... this, this you can trust (lifts a sword)" -- Conan's Dad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz2DknROaI8

[–]DarkExecutor 14 points15 points  (5 children)

Yea but if you weight lift you know that sometimes gravity is just heavier on some days and some days is just lighter.

[–]1Claude_Reborn -2 points-1 points  (4 children)


Gravity only varies by location not day!

The iron will be ever so slightly lighter at high altitudes.

[–]DarkExecutor 4 points5 points  (3 children)

You actually thought I was serious?

200 pounds may always be 200 pounds, but your body can vary wildly from day to day.

[–]1Claude_Reborn -1 points0 points  (2 children)

No, I didn't think you were serious.

I'm just a science pedant.

[–]pireone 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm with Claude gravity's effect on mass decreases with altitude but it is almost negligible unless your up around 40km above. -aerospace engineer

[–]CrackityDiggity 66 points67 points  (33 children)

A lot of shitty posts about lifting on TRP from obviously inexperienced people pretending to know what they're talking about--this isn't one of them. Great post.

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (21 children)

It is tho, what he wrote about the nutrition aspect of it is complete broscience

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther -2 points-1 points  (3 children)

Menno is a fucking idiot. Norton is a fucking idiot.

Plenty of research shows >0.8g/lb is beneficial.

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points

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[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 2 points3 points  (1 child)


Also, you're thinking of KIDNEY damage, not liver. Kidney damage has been the go-to against eating high protein for years, and has been all but proven to be wrong in the literature, but it isn't the official stance of the AND yet so few 'experts' have the courage to say it.

P.S. If you're going to use a source, use original studies.

[–]JORGA -3 points-2 points  (16 children)

Definitely, who recommends a 500 cal deficit per day lol.

And the first bodybuilding guide I've ever read that says don't use protein powder

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (6 children)

I agree with the no protein powder, but that's because I developed a diet that doesn't require me to take protein supplements.

Protein powders do have their use tho, as long as you go for premium poducts (no soy, soy lechitin, low quality aminoacids etc)

[–]JORGA 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Yeah if you can get all of your protein from good foods then bravo to you. I couldn't imagine having 3/4,000 cals per day of all good food

And I can get nearly 100g of protein in a single shake so why not

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Of course, it depends where you live, budget constraints, time constraints etc.

[–]Senior Contributor: "The Court Jester"GayLubeOil 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Here is Ritch Piana saying don't use protein powder. If you stop drinking chemical powder you will have a lot less bloat.

[–]DeathByTeaCup 8 points9 points  (6 children)

What's wrong with a 500 cal deficit if cutting? I thought that's the upper limit of cutting without losing muscle.

[–]Operator216 0 points1 point  (0 children)

He's not said -500kcal daily for cutting. This is for fat fucks who want to look like actual humans.

[–][deleted] 5 points5 points

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[–]oldstrangers 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I immediately knew to ignore the post when he listed crossfit as one of his credentials.

[–]rpscrote 2 points3 points  (4 children)

he's not confusing the two. He's using terminology pulled from the scientific literature on the matter. Strength focused high weight low rep and "hypertrophy" focused higher rep lower weight schemes can be equalized in terms of "total volume" which is defined in much of the literature as set x rep x weight.

Its how they equalize the workouts for purposes of comparing them apples to apples.

I didnt get the impression he thinks those two types of strategies are the same, rather, that you should focus on total work volume by pulling on any/all/some of the available levers (those being, sets - reps - weight - density)

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[–]rpscrote 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm not gonna read you bedtime stories. Either you've read any amount of the literature, or you haven't. I'm not going to hold your hand, since you sound like a faggot anyways.

Here's one example. A research review comparing volume training versus strength training, on a volume-equated basis. Guess how they equated volume? Yup. Total reps (reps x sets) x Weight. http://ge.tt/3PFOh5Y1/v/0?c

Page 5, first sentence, last paragraph.

[–]BarbellFlies 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I clicked in the link for this post I looked away for half a minute, bracing myself for yet another Stronglifts circle jerk.

[–]Senior Contributor: "The Court Jester"GayLubeOil 21 points22 points  (9 children)

Lol Gold's Gym trainer how did you enjoy them flaky no shows especially them 7am no shows?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 28 points29 points  (8 children)

Fuck, man, I did 6ams for about one month. Then I when people asked, I just said no. I still billed people if the no-showed me, 'cause fuck 'em.

[–]Senior Contributor: "The Court Jester"GayLubeOil 22 points23 points  (5 children)

All of these fuckers enthusiasticly insist on early workouts and then dont show up. I don't understand why.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 54 points55 points  (2 children)

Because this time is going to be different, man. This January, they're really going to make it a lifestyle, you know? If they have a trainer at 6am, that'll totally hold them accountable! /s

[–]reigorius 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Shitloads of money can be earned as personal motivator. If you like yelling people out of their beds early in the morning.

[–]Endorsed ContributorRedPillDad 20 points21 points  (0 children)

then dont show up. I don't understand why.

It's the Integrity Gap. It's a very common pattern that people have good intentions and don't deliver on them. Then they forgive themselves because they think their good intentions were suffecient excuse.

Integrity involves closing the gap between what you say and what you do. No fucking excuses.

People need attitude training. Weak flabby bodies often reflect weak, flabby mindsets. You and OP probably could say a lot more about this.

[–]abXcv 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Because they're imagining how great they'll feel once they get up in the morning and get a workout before going to work.

Imagining all the gains that are going to come and the feeling of wellbeing you get after a good workout.

And then the alarm clock goes at 5:30 and an extra hour in bed feels infinitely better than a hard workout.

I'm the same, I'm a dedicated gym goer but you'll never see me at the gym in the morning.

[–]WellHungMan 7 points8 points  (1 child)

If they no-showed you, and you could still bill them, why not keep doing it? Free money and all that.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Because I still had to be there, and fuck that.

[–]Senior ContributorNightwingTRP 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Excellent broad brush strokes piece.

I'd like to see you do a more detailed piece on nutrition if you had the time. I would also be interested to read your thoughts/analysis on IF since you only give a cameo to Brad Pilon's approach.

[–]metallica11 29 points30 points  (17 children)

Great easy to digest, relevant advice

Point #5 cannot be re-iterated more. I dropped supplements (even whey) over a year ago and I noticed NO change in progress. I used freak about getting enough protein and in a certain time window, so I would buy whey protein to get my 1gram per pound of body weight. I dropped the whey, moved down to .75 gram per pound of body-weight, and stopped caring so much about eating windows and NOTHING has changed.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Protein window is IMO a myth invented only so that people don't actually forget to eat their protein.

[–]DarkExecutor 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I don't think we fully understand it so it's a bit false to call it a myth just yet.

[–]Redasshole 2 points3 points  (1 child)

As a nutritionist, I can assure you science does.

[–]rpscrote 1 point2 points  (0 children)

its not a myth, but the "1-hour window" totally is. Alan Aragon has a research review dedicated to the topic. It's pretty conclusive. The TL:DR; is that a trained athlete (= intermediate lifter and up) will see increased protein synthesis as a result of the workout (e.g. the so-called 'anabolic window) for ~24 hours after properly lifting.

Novices have the window stay open as long 3 days.

Steroid use can make the window stay open for much longer but the particulars aren't quantified due to the difficulty is studying naughty things like roids.

The only caveat is that if you're lifting 100% fasted, you should get some protein near the work out period.

[–]PushTheBigRedButtons 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Personally I don't notice more gains, but I definitely started having less muscle pain the next few days after I started taking protein shakes. It really helps my recovery.

[–]malditoduende 4 points4 points [recovered]

Casein before bed makes a huge difference in recovery in my experience.

[–]malditoduende 2 points2 points [recovered]

You're telling is you are eating less calories and nothing changed? Either a lie or you need to start taking pictures. In the best vase scenario you lost fat. In the worst case scenario you lost muscle. Which one was it?

I'd also like to add there's 25 grams of protein in 4 ounces of chicken. A pound of chicken (16 ounces) doesn't cost more than $2.50. So why drop your protein intake when all it takes to compensate for that missing shake is one little chicken breast?

And yes I agree windows are irrelevant. If there is a benefit it is insignificant in the long term.

[–]metallica11 1 point2 points  (1 child)

My calories increased a little (since I actually gained some muscle mass- not noob gains). Fat % remains around 10-12%.

Time and Money is why. I have other goals other than lifting that consume vast amounts of time (and require saving money). There is a certain cut-off point. Every bit of time I save adds up.

[–]Purecorrupt 0 points1 point  (2 children)

If you mix whey with water it's only what... 160 calories? Multiply by 3 or 4 workout days that's 480-640 calories. I would think that would be unnoticable to someone that isn't counting all of their calories.

If you consume 20k calories a week 640 is only 3% of your weekly calorie consumption. Or if you say you have 21 meals a week.. 30 calories spread over 21 meals.

So as long as he still consumed enough protein I can see how he didn't notice any changes.

[–]luloalonsete 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree 100% that food is way better than whey protein. They are called supplements for a reason, they do help a bit but they won't do miracles. However for some people like me it is hard to count protein grams or eat a lot so protein shakes help a lot in that regard. In my experience (beeing an ectomorph and having gain around 15 kgs of weight) supplements do help, not by a mile, but they they really do stuff.

[–]kaledius 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yep Exactly, there are a lot, A LOT of widespread myths in bodybuilding universe. I simply just tried nearly everything out therefore by myself to see what really is right and wrong. I went against all the common myths to test everything, yeah and I got much better results than average.

What a journey.. one of the things is real protein sources are "wheeeeey" better than whey. I noticed that immediately and I track everything. Muscles are fuller and bigger, you also feel fuller even if it is the same calories. So yeah Whey is only good if it is necessary., it can get real expensive to eat a lot of real source protein too. My final question now is: how much protein do I really need and I must test that soon.

This is no easy subject as there are literally ZILLIONZ of contradicting advice on this very critical issue. I believe it is 1,8grams per kg but Only testing with my own body can tell ... I started a couple of days ago

[–]1ErasmusOrgasmus 8 points9 points  (9 children)

Surely your 4th method of training for volume doesn't actually fit your description of what training for volume is. You described it as

...methods of consistently increasing volume...

but then included

you can target a specific number of reps then strive to hit that same number in progressively fewer sets. For example, targeting 32 reps you might start off with 8 sets of 4 reps, but end with 4 sets of 8 reps at the same weight.

Assuming there is no increase in weight (as it's not mentioned) then you haven't actually increased the volume there. Doing 8 sets of 4 reps at 100kg and doing 4 sets of 8 reps at 100kg are equivalent in terms of volume.

[–]blandwondersock 3 points4 points  (1 child)

It partly does. He listed doing the same amount of work in a lower time as an increase in volume. Doing 4 sets is faster than 8, but that's a technicality. If you make that Set-Rep change you're still getting stronger.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Good point. I clarified a what I was going for.

[–]1Snivellious 1 point2 points  (2 children)

So I'm not OP, but the answer is that this isn't more volume if you keep the sets x reps the same. It still works, though. Volume is king, especially for beginners, but it's not the only thing you can work towards.

Decreasing rest is another way of increasing intensity. If you're moving the same rep count into fewer steps, you're putting more intense demands on your muscles, which is the absolute core of gains.

But yes, from what I know you're right, and it threw me off also coming right after "always volume". That step isn't a recipe for more volume.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Good point. I clarified that the last one isn't increasing volume per workout, but volume per set.

[–]1Snivellious 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks! I should have mentioned that in my reply, I'm glad you did - it is a volume increase, but you have to measure over a shorter time span to see it.

[–]ChowkingKRool 0 points1 point  (2 children)

The value of increasing volume over time is actually to determine that your max strength is increasing, and when max strength goes up, all manners of good things happen. In regards to the OPs explanation of "volume", pragmatically, you should think of volume as a sort of score that relates to your max strength. With this in mind, 8 sets of 4 would have a lower "score" than 4 sets of 8 for the same weight. This would be due to the fact that 4 sets of 8 are more difficult to perform than 8 sets of 4 for a specific exercise at a specific weight under specific conditions. Following this line of thought, 1 set of 500lbs for 1 rep would have a much higher "score" than 5 sets of 100lbs for 1 rep, again due to the differences in difficulty. If you keep most variables (rep x sets x weight) the same, but one increases, this has a positive effect on volume, and thus overall strength.

[–]PaulAJK 6 points7 points  (22 children)

Great read.

I don't want to de-rail the thread, but did anyone else have aching pain in their knees when they started squatting? I've been lifting for a while but only started squats a couple of weeks ago. My knees have developed a kind of dull ache.

I might have over-done it, and I'm in my forties so I have to be a bit careful. I want to know if other people have experienced the same thing and the ache went away, or if they haven't andI need to drop the squats and deadlifts.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 10 points11 points  (9 children)

If your knees are aching, something in your form is off. You've probably given yourself patellar tendonitis, and will have to back off for a bit. As you get older, you really have to watch your volume and form, especially if you're coming from a long, drawn out sedentary period.

Without evaluating your form in person, my suggestion would be to back off, focus on your joint health and mobility (yoga is a good resource here), and then start again. Mobility WOD also has a lot of resources for improving movement.

[–]1ErasmusOrgasmus 4 points5 points  (0 children)

OP is correct, most likely a form issue /u/PaulAJK. Bad knees run in both sides of my family, all of my immediate family suffer to varying degrees. I suffer quite badly when running or playing sports on hard surfaces and my brother dislocated his knees almost 10 times. Yet I have never had any problems squatting. It is a mechanically efficient movement for the knees.

Obviously it's impossible to diagnose what's wrong remotely but I would suggest looking at the angle of your knees when you squat. They should be pointing outwards slightly (as should your feet) rather than straight forward. Starting Strength covers this well. Failing that, perhaps you are triggering the upward phase of the squat incorrectly by pushing down against the floor from the knees when you should rather be 'pulling yourself upwards by your arse as if there were a pulley attached to your coccyx pulling directly upwards' (again, read Starting Strength. Rippetoe's explanation is fantastic and I'm just paraphrasing him here).

[–]fullhalf 6 points7 points  (1 child)

why do everybody and their mama point to form being the problem? he's probably just squating too much. his muscles maybe strong enough but his joints and tendons aren't used to it.

[–]TRP VanguardCyralea 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Going off this, this is doubly true for naturally thin guys. Very easy to get tendon tears as you're bulking, there's only so much load you can put on them.

Good way to avoid injury for a lot of workouts is to simply avoid hyperextension. Some people swear up and down that you need the full range of motion to get the benefits, but it's not true, and it's safer.

[–]mrdobie 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I'm a skinny guy with weak legs. Wondering should I do leg presses with machine first to increase my quads and thigh muscles?

[–]rpscrote 4 points5 points  (0 children)

no. go straight to squats. Not because the squats are per se better but because guys who "start on leg press to build up for squat" never end up squatting. They just keep coming up with excuses why not to, or they get too ego invested in the appearance of big numbers on the leg press machine.

the primary benefit of the squat is mental imo, its tough and doing it to proper depth with proper form is tougher still. So it feels great when you get it. dont deny yourself the achievement

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

No, you should do goblet squats until you can squat the barbell, then progress in barbell squats.

[–]CQC3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Abso-fuckin-lutely. I can't stress enough how correct that is. I'm also a pretty skinny jointed guy, and I've suffered a decent amount of aches and pains and distress from having my shit fucked up from going too hard too fast--even in amounts that normal people would probably get off okay.

The issue is sedentary living and tight muscles. If you're going to start squatting I also recommend doing goblet squats as they teach you proper form and by nature of the exercise you learn to keep your back tight and not rounded.

Don't try to start with something even close to your max, pick a weight that you can do at least 8-10 safe reps with for 2-3 sets. The first two weeks or so I'd play it safe and just do the movements and condition your body to use those muscles in that way. Then, start cranking the numbers up.

The barbell should be about 45 lbs but I'd take your goblet up to 50 or 55. I personally think the goblet squat is easier, the weight distribution was kinder, at least to me. I have long legs though.

Also: invest in a foam roller, saved my life.

[–]mrdobie 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks ronin. Never even heard about it till now. That's awesome. So I shouldn't even bother with Leg presses?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Leg press is fine for pump work, and will help you build overall mass because again volume is volume. But any strength you gain on the leg press won't translate over to your squat.

[–]Cum_on_doorknob 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Check out Alan Thrall's squat video on YouTube, he goes into amazing detail.

[–]An_All-Beef_Engineer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

See Mark Rippetoe's instructional on Squats. OP may be right in that your form may be off.

[–]Praecipuus 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If your knees hurt, the problem is most certainly your form.

You know all those videos on youtube teaching how to squat "properly"? They are great, but everyone is a specific case and your hips/knee structure might be that much different from the average that forcing the "template form" on them makes things hurt.

Try squatting in front of a mirror, the way it feels natural to you (without the bar), and check whether that's too far off the way you have been doing. If that happens, you might want to reconsider adapting your form to what feels "right" to you.

[–]Endorsed ContributorMetalgear222 1 point2 points  (1 child)

make sure your butt goes backwards first (bend from the hip) before your knee bends, feel the hamstring stretch. Your weight should always be on your heels with your knees hovering in a straight line directly over the ankles. Never let your weight shift forward enough to where you're on the balls of your feet.

[–]Moneybags99 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Its also possible you are experiencing some muscle soreness near the knees. If you're not recovering properly then consider more rest, more protein.

[–]king_of_red_alphas 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I had this exact issue as my work weight approached my body weight a couple of weeks ago. I'm also in my 40's.

What it was for me (as others have said) was my tendency to over project my knees over my toes. As soon as I focused on favoring my heels as much as possible on the way up and down the pain was gone within a week.

Flexibility helps a lot with this as tight musculature is going to make keeping the right form harder. In my case my hamstrings are ridiculously tight. I absolutely have to do a solid stretching warm up or I just don't feel right doing squats or deads.

I also found that light foam rolling around the knees has helped.

It's good to keep in mind that, although your goals are the same, you will need some slight adjustments in a routine based on your age and lifestyle. In your 40's I would imagine form is even more important.

I'm doing SL but probably going to have to switch to only squatting twice a week because the impact on my CNS is so intense and I do 2 of my 3 weekly workouts over long lunch during the work week.

Anyway, tldr - keep the weight off of your knees and as others have said, when dropping down with the weight always stick your butt out first before the knees do anything.

[–]Primemale 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Seriously try some glucosamine (hydrochloride, ideally) and some omega 3. countless people I know I have advised this to and it completely vanished (me included) Your welcome.

Edit: post your results with it after a couple of weeks, will help out others who see this thread in future.

[–]PaulAJK 1 point2 points  (0 children)

OP here...

Thanks for all your responses, and, yeah, I was letting my knees go too far forward and not concentrating on putting the weight on my ankles. And I'll get some omega 3 oil.

[–]Gelu_sf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you experience pain in the front of the knee below or near the patella check if you push on the middle or tip of your sole when getting up from a squat.

You should have the whole foot flat on the ground and actually push on the heel area to do it correctly. Pushing it on the tip will shift the whole weight of the body on your patellar tendon instead of using the upper leg and gluteus muscles.

Finally, check if your feet are on the ground parallel and at hip distance when you do squats, or else you will stress either the lateral muscles or any lateral tendons.

[–]keytoimmortality 2 points3 points  (12 children)

Great read. a question with squats: I get a serious pinch in my hip flexors when I break parallel, any suggestions?

I believe my form is sound, would you just recommend hip mobility exercises before squatting?

Background info: 20 years old, been lifting a couple years - only been taking legs seriously the last 6 months and currently squatting 200lbs 5x5

[–]1NPIF 7 points8 points  (1 child)

A lot of people who squat have this problem and it's often due to your foot position. Make sure your toes are pointed 30-45 degrees outwards to allow yourself to get deeper into the squat. Pointing your toes forward or not outward enough will put excess pressure on the hip flexors.

[–]keytoimmortality 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Unfortunately this isn't my problem, always have the toes pointed outwards

[–]Endorsed ContributorMetalgear222 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Human ergonomist here, back off the weight and start isolating your hip flexors. Lay on your back, put your arms above your head. Make sure you're resting on your TAILBONE (sacrum). NOT your lower back. Contract abs, squeeze butt, and slowly move one leg as high as possible while never letting off the sacrum. This will strengthen your hip flexors over time. I'd recommend 1 month of this before squatting heavy again.

[–]keytoimmortality 0 points1 point  (0 children)

sounds good, I'll give these a try

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

tight hip flexors most likely, look for dynamic stretches to do before squatting (I always do some leg swings to open my hips up) and also foam rolling never heard anyone.

[–]keytoimmortality 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do leg swings and they help a bit, but the discomfort is still there

[–]Endorsed ContributorMetalgear222 0 points1 point  (0 children)

15 reps on each side x3. Increase it per week. you go to 20 reps x3, 25 x3 and so on.

[–]tino125 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Possible hip impingement. Lets hope its not. I had it, and the surgery isn't fun. I'd go to parralell

[–]rpscrote 0 points1 point  (1 child)

make sure you are stretching the hips out (google some stretches) after warming up legs. I end up doing 1 warm up set, 1 stretch set, 1 warm up set, 1 stretch set etc. until I reach work sets. My hip mobility is significantly better since I started doing this

[–]keytoimmortality 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'll give this a try, sounds good. Cheers

[–]reigorius 2 points3 points  (3 children)

What can you do on rest days? I love indoor climbing or rock climbing. And still have 9 lessons of yoga. Should I do those on rest days?

[–]musclehacking 4 points5 points  (1 child)

You can do whatever you like on rest days. You don't need validation from others on whether or not you should do rock climbing/yoga/walk your dog. If you enjoy it, do it. Active rest is good so long as it's not exhausting you.

Personally I think rock climbing is the shit. Go for it.

[–]rpscrote 0 points1 point  (0 children)

agree with musclehacking. if you're an intermediate lifter, look into RPE autoregulation. It helps you account for active rest days where you mightve not recovered as much as usual and accounts for shitty days in general.

[–]UnlimitedEgo 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Any real easy way to track calories. I cook a lot, and am not really good at ballparking.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Weigh and measure everything until you learn to "eyeball" it. As for apps, I use MyNetDiary, but MyFitnessPal works as well.

[–]UnlimitedEgo 0 points1 point  (2 children)

So do I measure before i put it all together?

[–]rpscrote 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Read this: http://rippedbody.jp/how-to-count-macros/. Consistency and tracking are absolutely most important

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Mark Rippetoe, Bill Starr, and Pavel Tsatsouline.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bill Starr is a legend. Would have loved to have met and trained with that man.

[–]52576078 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So basically, fight hypergamy with hypertrophy.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

but it still alarms the body nonetheless and initiates the super-compensation process.

I knew all those meat heads were supercompensating for something.

Nice write up. You do anything with trigger points? I roll like crazy and have developed a ton of ways to release knotted tissues which can kill your form.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (33 children)

I know the benefits of lifting, but I'm pretty overweight atm. Should I concentrate on dropping the excess first, then building? I'm 6'1 / 270 if that's any indication how fat I am. I did a super low carb / high protein / mod fat diet for a while last year and dropped from 300 to 270 pretty quick, just kind of been hanging out there.

[–]fydorm 5 points6 points  (13 children)

Stick with that diet and start lifting. You may not see your weight change, but you'll be slowly changing your body composition. It's a lot harder to gain muscle than it is to lose fat, so get started now. The increased testosterone levels will even help with taking the fat off.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (11 children)

Sounds good. Co-worker is a part time trainer, gonna have then show me proper forms for stronglifts later this week so I don't kill myself. My plan is to do those 3 days and then on my off days bang out a couple miles to help keep up the deficit.

[–]ThisShitRules 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Don't run. It's a misconception that you need to run if you want to lose weight.

It's actually a bit counterproductive in your state, because you are overweight and running is high-impact activity, which means that the force of you with all your weight impacting the ground is absorbed by you knees.

Just walk.

If you want someone with authority behind this read these blogs form Lift-Run-Bang. (also follow him on fb, he's spewing gold all the time. About training on this page and some RP shit on his personal acc)

Top 4 things you could be doing better pt. 2. Also read pt.1, it lays out the diet pretty well.


[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Oh no, I walk. Running is tough on the knees if you're tall as it is, being fat just exacerbates it. I turn the speed and incline up enough to keep me around 140 bpm.

[–]el_superbeastooo 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Good call on the off days cardio. I did the same thing and dropped about 65 pounds, then added about 15 of muscle, currently at about 210 at 6" 1 right now. Only tip I can give you is not to drop too much weight before really lifting heavy.

[–]slay_it_forward 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Youre going to be weak sore and pathetic...but stick with it. In a month you wont want to miss a day.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

As my good friend Peter Gibbons said, Fuckin A.

[–]rpscrote 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If you are pressed for time (which it sounds like you are) cut out cardio. It's very time consuming for very few calories actually burned and impedes muscle gain if you do it too much. It's the least time efficient way of working out bar none.

Lift heavy 3-4x a week and maintain a calorie deficit. You can't outrun a bad diet so you have to fix it one way or the other.

[–]malditoduende 7 points7 points [recovered]

People who tell you to lose the fat first either think you won't follow through because you won't notice any visible results, or simply don't know what the hell they're talking about. This last set of individuals read on some website that you can't gain muscle and lose fat at the same time and failed to realize that only applies to those who are below %15 bodyfat or so.

You, being a fatass, can afford to drop enough calories to lose fat and still eat more than enough to gain muscle. The trick is to figure out how many calories you would need if you were at your desired weight. Then eat at what would be 500 calories over maintenance if you were lean and go workout. Eventually you'll be full of muscle and slim. Once you stop losing fat eat at maintenance. Don't you dare eat as if you were cutting, it will be overkill and all you'll do is hinder your gains tremendously and wind up with a whole lot of loose skin. Internalize this: it will take you at the very least 1 year to look somewhat decent naked. Deal with this truth and don't quit.

I'd say shoot for 3500 calories from good sources (complex carbs and 0 trans fat. Saturated fat is fine but moderate it) and drop down to 3000 when you stop losing fat. I'd highly recommend you start strength training it'll teach you good form.

3500 calories is still a lot of food man. They're about 2 pounds of chicken, 4 cups of rice, one cup of oats, one banana, two yams, and a whole bunch of greens. Learn to love these foods and you still get to be a fatass when it comes to shoving food down your throat like there's no tomorrow lol.

As for your buddy I don't know him personally so take this as general advice: personal trainers who wear a shirt that says trainer... Well they are usually idiots who paid $500 and took a 3 day class. Hire a strength coach or watch a lot of YouTube videos on the subject.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Damn thanks man. That's a shitload of info!

[–]Interversity 2 points3 points  (1 child)

You could try keto (ideally 0, potentially up to 10-20g carbs/day). Well known for solid fat loss results. If that doesn't work out, you can also look at other stuff like intermittent fasting and fasted cardio.

[–]rpscrote 1 point2 points  (0 children)

IF and fasted cardio can be done in conjunction with keto if you want too

[–]theseanteam 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Why did you stop the diet?

Also it's never too early to start working out. You can wait forever for the right time if you don't start today.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Got super busy with work, moving across town, and starting school. Shitty excuses.

[–]nuferasgurd 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Keep cutting. Start Lifting and On your off days do either yoga/some form of stretching, swim, or hiit.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would recommend focusing on weight loss first. You will build muscle while you loose weight. Usually you will start losing then possibly plateau or gain back weight, but that is muscle weight. Keep your goal at a 500 calorie deficiency per day.

[–]LionLaw 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Bookmarking this, excellent read and good information

[–][deleted] 2 points2 points

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[–]1Ronin11A[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I would step it up slowly. Add 100-kcal each week, hold at maintenance for 2-3 weeks, then step into the surplus.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I'm going to lay out my situation, and maybe someone will have some advice more me.

A few months ago after finding this place, I was very overweight, 6'3 and 350lbs. Since then, I'm down to 280lbs simply by changing my diet, not too much exercise. I cut my daily intake to about 1700-1800kcl, maybe less somedays, more more. I mostly just added guidelines to what I ate.

I'm afraid I lost the weight to quickly and too carelessly, and now my body has adjusted to this lower calorie intake. I'm determined to fix this problem by regularly lifting and sticking to a plan.

How would you structure a diet while lifting, and trying to lose body fat?

[–]Eloni 1 point2 points  (2 children)

How would you structure a diet while lifting, and trying to lose body fat?

It's pretty simple and straightforward (though not easy ). Since you've found your maintenance level, stick to it but add lifting 3x a week. When you stall again, or around 12 weeks later, add 2 hiit days (I'd recommend 4 sets of tabata with hillsprints, battleropes, kettlebells). When you stall again, or around 12 weeks later, add 30 min of steady state cardio before breakfast. Start with one day the first week, increase by a day every week.

Schedule a deload/rest and recovery week after the first 12 weeks, then every sixth after that (the eight weeks after you add cardio.)

Get a minimum of 7h of sleep, aim for 9.

Slow and steady increase all the way, don't get over eager, especially when doing hiit. Injuries will set you back more that a missed day.

After nine months take stock of how far you've come, and decide where to go from there. The recalibrate every 3-4 months.

[–]1Claude_Reborn 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I have been lifting for about 6 months and I feel that I am hitting the limits of what Stronglifts can do for me in terms of gains.

Reading your method descriptions I think I might drop the weight 10% and double the reps for each set. I did that a while back when I realized I had picked up some bad form habits and had to re correct things. Overall this will increase my training volume by a substantial amount, without the issues I am currently having. Mainly I am developing soreness between my shoulder blades due to a genetic spinal condition.

I am close to body weight squats now (110kg of 115kg) but I am having issues with my OH press as I can't seem to crack 50kg. Struggling with Bench increases too, as I am stuck at 67.5kg.

So I'll drop back to 100/45/60 and double the reps. 10x100x5 is 5 metric tons, which is better than 2,750 in a set of normal stronglifts.

I've made leaps and gains (See what I did there?) with just having a really good diet. I have used zero supplements and just make sure that I eat plenty of slow burning protein daily so I can build gains as part of the recovery phase.

Also, everyone should get their Vit D tested. I was shocked at how low mine was. I was 32 out of a possible 100, which was critically bad.

In the weeks after starting high amounts of Vit D supplements, my weight went up nearly 2kg, in muscle and bone mass. You NEED vit D for bone mass. You'll end up with injuries if your D levels are low and you start lifting.

[–]drallcom3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do 3x10 and increase the weight once I can do the first set to 10 with perfect form. No idea what you call that. Made some great progress that way.

Before I tried this linear progression thing where you increase the weight every week, but I didn't really progress with it.

[–]Zebleblic 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I debating on going to the gym, but I have an a/c separation in my left shoulder. Does anyone have any experience with this? I used to be in competitive swimming, but I can't really swim due to the shoulder. I mainly just tread water when I go to the pool.

Does anyone know if I can strengthen my shoulder, or just need to get the surgery?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

if your acromioclavicular ligament is broken, then it would seem you need surgery. If it's just a partial tear or something I don't know. I'd get a surgeon to do an assessment and also get a physiotherapist to do an assessment. You may find they give different opinions.

[–]Zebleblic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think they are all torn. It sits on top of my shoulder.

[–]rockumsockumrobots 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Great post, thank you for this.

Instead of increasing my weight 5lbs each session, could I just do 1 more set for total volume, or will that stunt my progress by not increasing actual strength?


[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I answered this in my OP. Both would work, though as a beginner I would lead with increasing the weight.

[–]Goldfulgore 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Great post. You covered everything. I have been working out 10 years now and I have reached a very very slow progression rate. Any tips on how to maximize results for experienced natural bodybuilders?

[–]GunsGermsAndSteel 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Quick question, if you have time: I can't handle whey protein. Puts me on the toilet for hours. Instead, I use casein protein. Do you see any problem with this? Is it as effective?

[–]musclehacking 1 point2 points  (1 child)

No problem with this at all. Casein digests more slowly than whey, but it's been shown that so long as you have your daily macros on point then the timing of your protein is insignificant. Thus the speed of digestion is not important.

If you can't handle whey, casein is a more than viable alternative.

[–]GunsGermsAndSteel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From what I understand, in people who are lactose intolerant, whey is the part of milk they can't tolerate. So taking whey protein is... Well... It was pretty brutal.

[–]MrDruid 1 points1 points [recovered]

Are you affiliated with Ronin Tactics? Just a guess from your username, and that guy's fucking jacked.

[–]MotchGoffels 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Can you recommend an app for tracking lifts/gains?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I use a notebook, but Fitocracy has a good rep.

[–]NiceTryDisaster 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Hi great post.

I have a question though for /u/Ronin11A and /u/gaylubeoil

How should I program heavy lifts with accessory work?

  1. A system like PHAT or PHUL with separate days for heavy lifts and separate days for volume work?

  2. Doing heavy works + accessory work for a muscle group in the same workout. For example 5 x 5 heavy bench followed by db pressing and cable exercises on a chest day?

  3. Or periodizing into few week of strength and volume training. Example: a month of heavy strength training only, follow by high volume moderate weight training the next month?

Thank you guys.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There are any number of ways to do it. PHAT has you split it into days; I used a model from Eric Cressey where I did 3x3 on the big lifts (squat, bench, dead, press), then did 3x8-10 on assistance work in the same session.

I'm not a fan of block periodization (heavy month, followed by high volume month). By the time you begin to achieve some meaningful adaptation to the heavy work, you go and fuck it up with the volume work. By the time you return to heavy stuff, you've lost that previous adaptation and start from scratch. I personally prefer the PHAT or Texas Method model, where you have a volume day and a heavy day in the same week.

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points

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[–]reupiii 2 points2 points [recovered]

That is totally possible, I've done it with success for some exercices (it saves time...)

4x8 is also good, sets of 8 are done with lower weight so you may want to increase the total reps to keep the volume.

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points

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[–]reupiii 2 points2 points [recovered]

Yeah it's the same number of reps

But you can lift higher weights for the sets of 5 than for the sets of 8, and volume is sets x reps x weight.

That's why you could do 5x5 or 3-4x8-12, both are strength and hypertrophy, but the latter is a bit less heavy and also a bit more total reps (to keep a good volume).

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points

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[–]reupiii 2 points2 points [recovered]

Yeah it's similar, you hit around 30 reps a session, hypertrophy is best between 30-60 reps.

With added complementary exercices for about 30 more reps (3x12) you'll get the 60 reps per session and you'll get muscle mass. I added 3 sets of dips to ICF when I did it for example.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hypertrophy levels will end up approximately the same. Strength levels will be higher on the 5x5, but your workouts will go a lot more quickly on the 3x10 or 4x8.

[–]magus678 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Good post.

I realize it is a bit out of the scope of what you are saying, but I could use some advice on 2 (possibly related) issues. I seem to be having trouble getting my right scapula to (I think) upwardly rotate. It has always been a little wonky for me when overhead pressing, but lately I have had significantly reduced mobility. As in, one arm can be completely vertical shoulder to ear, while the other is more like 2 o'clock.

There's no pain, and if I simply move that arm with the other, it can go into position as long as I hold it there. So it seems to be some kind of weakness/tightness somewhere, but I cant seem to nail it down; face pulls and serratus work doesn't seem to be doing the trick and I have tried to lacrosse ball to loosen up the area to no real effect.

Second problem is that one side of my back is significantly thicker than the other; the thicker side also happens to be the side with the scapula issue. I have some mild scoliosis, not sure if that is to blame. I don't notice a massive strength difference between the two when doing dumbbell rows, which is actually a little surprising considering the visual difference between the two.

I realize it is probably tough to know just via text, but you or /u/GayLubeOil have any words of wisdom?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Outside the scope of what I can appraise. I would see a medical professional.

[–]RubbeRNL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What is your view on doing "lower reps" at "slow speeds" with "higher weights" regarding isolation exercises like curls ? One could increase the weight faster, because your doing less reps, but your also increasing the time you put tension on the muscle and completely avoid "momentum" ?

[–]Futdashukup 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Full body, 3 times a week. Squat,leg curls, dead lifts, BO rows, abs, Bench,dips, OHP,

2 weeks light, reps of 15, sets of 3.

2 weeks medium, reps of 10 , sets of 4

2 weeks heavy, reps of 5, sets of 5

Rinse and repeat, bumping up the weight each cycle.


Drink water

Eat good food.

[–]deadtfil 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I joined the gym 2 days ago after 3 months of inactivity. My seasoned gym friends say I should be doing their workout, because if it worked for them, it will work for me. Personally, I don't think its a good idea to go 6 times/week hardcore so soon. However, I've been peer pressured into it. I was thinking about Stronglifts, but my friends use a more bodybuilderish approach of 4x12. I want to get big, then focus on strength after I put on some mass.What do you recommend?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do what YOU want. Fuck the rest.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"record every set and rep"

Not disagreeing, but is this really that important? I usually just do 3 sets til near failure (usually 3-10 reps). I kind of just wing it in this regard.

[–]DaphneDK 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm about to start on some travelling for 3+ months in SE Asia, where I'll not find regular fitness centres. Any tips on how to at least maintain current strengt with non-equipment excercies?

[–]Gotmilkyy 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Did you ever have problems with Overhead press? Every time I try the workout at the lowest weight possible, like even 25 lb bar my left shoulder has a sharp pain in it. I've googled it, asked others, and they all just tell me to keep trying.

[–]boredguy93 0 points1 point  (0 children)

your not doing it behind the neck are you? that'll snap your shit up real quick.

My advice for beginners is always take shit slow, warm up, and dont injure your back or shoulders! that'll stay with you for life!

[–]ycthrow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just so I understand this correctly.

Greyskull LP is made up of the 2-3 exercises per session. yes?

[–]Hiimusog 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I see you recommend training 3/4 days a week and as a newbie to lifting I have a few questions. I've been lifting for 3 weeks now and so far have went from 58 - 61kg while retaining my low body fat level, however my training regime has just been following a friends routine (he has been lifting for 9 months, fairly well built). Our regime is currently much harsher than anything I read online or hear from friends, (usually 2/2.30 hours at the gym) with many exercises ranging from 8 exercises per muscle group all being 4x8.

Since I have recently graduated from school, I have much more time than I know what to do with and I want to maximise the amount of gains I make. I see some people recommend training each muscle group 2 times a week which for me would be 5 days a week, is this over training?

I've been working to eat much more, using protein supplements to help me reach 1.5g/kg protein if i'm not getting it from my diet daily as well as creatine 5g daily.

Would training each muscle group 2 times a week, lifting 5 days a week, be too much? Is my current regime already overtraining?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Honestly, there is no such thing as "overtraining" but simply under-recovering. For each person, that will be slightly different, and will require some experimentation to figure out where your limits are.

You can train each muscle group twice a week, and there's research that indicates this is actually beneficial as frequency is huge for growth. However, overall intensity during each workout will have to drop slightly; you can't do burnout sets and drops sets and other bullshit every single time and expect to actually recover and grow.

If your friend has been lifting for 9 months, he's a novice, and it sounds like he's a try hard too. I would hop on GreySkull LP and let him continue his on his own. A year from now when you've long surpasses him, he'll wake up and smell the coffee.

[–]Hiimusog 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haha thanks for the belated reply, funnily enough i've already implemented most of the advice you've given.

Dropped the friend, took on a PPL rotating split ( each muscle 3 times a fortnight), upped my calories and have made significant gains.

Most people don't bother to research and just hit the weights as hard as they can, I appreciate your knowledge and hope to use it to achieve my physique goals :)

[–]fullhalf -1 points0 points  (0 children)

if you want more personalized consultation, contact /u/GayLubeOil

umm yea. i think i'm gonna pass on that one.

[–][deleted] 1 points1 points

[permanently deleted]

[–]Geleemann 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'm currently doing my Master's involving those topics. What are your thoughts on recovery times for hypertrophy, and strength?

From the scientific readings and lecture notes I've been reading It doesn't seem necessary to really have 90s, or less for hypertrophy. You can do those interval times, but it isn't better necessarily.

[–]blacwidonsfw 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Maybe you can help me out. Most posts on here are for beginner weight lifters. I already got most of this covered and I would say im intermediate.

My problem is I am starting to peak out. I am not increasing weight every week but maybe a few pounds a month (besides squats). Im 176 pounds 6'1, Bench (5x5: 200, 1rm 225), Squat (5x5 200, 1RM 225), Deadlift (5x5 315, 1rm (=385).

I have been changing up my workouts. I eat a lot of carbs and protein (free b/l/d at work so I pig out). I definitely look stronger and people notice, but I am getting discouraged I am not making steady strength gains.

Any advice? Should I switch to High reps for a bit?

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

An intermediate lifter is defined as by their inability to progress from workout to workout. I would look into a program like 5/3/1 or The Texas Method and run that for 3-6 months.

[–]blacwidonsfw 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for the advice. I think I will try the texas method.

I looked up this page for texas method and looks like it has good info if anyone is interested:


[–]11cupsofcoldbrew 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I highly recommend Sheiko programming. If you have an iPhone, there's an app that will do all the number crunching and programming for you. I use it for myself and never plateaued.

If you can afford it, I'd recommend finding a qualified strength coach in your area.

[–]11cupsofcoldbrew 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You HARDLY study biomechanics.. GTFO!! ♂

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Good post.

What is missing however is that there are two huge factors that contribute to great physique that have not been mentioned. I am in no way advocating drug use, however it needs to be said.

Everybody who is serious about training increases their training volume over time, eats for their current goal(surplus or deficit) and gets adequate recovery time. Those things are a given. However the "bodybuilding elite" the physiques most guys aspire to - Mens physique competitors, guys on magazine covers, the handful of jacked guys in your local gym all possess those two factors - Genetics and drugs

Plenty of guys will never look even halfway good simply because they have inferior genetics for building muscle. In one study 25% of lifters "failed to yield any measurable hypertrophy" Google the Hubal and Petrella studies to see that I'm not just making this up.

The drug factor goes without saying. Most people will just straight up lie about their use for obvious reasons and heavy users will always downplay their use.

[–]musclehacking 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Plenty of guys will never look even halfway good simply because they have inferior genetics for building muscle

Bullshit. Plenty of guys half-ass their training and diet and that's why they look like shit. The minority of guys who actually have genetics that completely prevent them from looking good is so insignificant that it's an injustice for you to mention it. You're just setting the wrong expectations.

In one study 25% of lifters "failed to yield any measurable hypertrophy"

I highlighted the important part.

And yes, men do lie all the time about their use of steroids, but that's not supporting evidence for your claim. Steroids make the process of gaining muscle a lot easier and quicker - but that doesn't mean TRPer's should all start injecting.

As mentioned by OP, part of the beauty of building a solid physique is the discipline it installs in you as a man. I'm not trying to bash the use of steroids all together, but at the same time it shouldn't be the first go-to option.

[–]musclehacking 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My favourite section by far was the one on diet. Not a single mention of the whole "sugar is evil" crap or any other over generalized rules ("carbs are the devil").

This is exactly what a beginner needs. A hierarchy of priorities. There is no use advocating keto/fasting/whatever to a complete beginner - it's just going to confuse them. Let the basics sink in and get them on a running start before you get into the nitty-gritty.

Don't overcomplicate shit, just do it.

[–]1nzgs[🍰] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I agree with 99% of this, apart from the volume bit. I believe intensity > volume, it's just that most people don't really understand what intensity means and think it means lifting like a powerlifter. But the nutrition and supplements bit is bang on. nzgs stamp of approval.

(To expand, for bulking protein is less important since the body has more than enough energy to not catabolise muscle tissue. Carbs (and fat too) are important for packing on muscle. When dieting down however, protein does get extremely important.)

And no, you don't fucking need protein powder.

[–]1Ronin11A[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I agree with a single caveat: Most novices don't have the technique or coordination to handle higher intensity training sessions. There's no point in going for broke if it leads to degradation of form and injury. Even CrossFit refined and revised its doctrine to acknowledge this.

For the beginner, volume should be the priority. After a year or two of blood and sweat under their belt, intensity can take the lead.

[–]1nzgs[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ok, I'll agree there. No one should touch intensity training with less than 6-12 months serious training. My perspective of intensity is the Jones/Mentzer school of thought, which arguably places greater emphasis on form than the high volume Weider/Arnold approach however. I think crossfit is just recklessness rather than intensity.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

This guy comes off knowledgeable, but fails to reach the margin. Whey protein is 100% worth the money for those of who can't reach those meal margins. Very inexpensive alternative.

[–]Redasshole 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I don't understand this kind of war between those who lift and those who do bodyweight exercises. Lifting weights and doing bodyweight exercises are two different tools. There is not one which is inherently better than the other one, it depends on your goals. For instance, I do martial arts so being big would be a disadvantage for me. I need small but strong and flexible muscles. That's why I do bodyweight exercises and I stretch a lot. Hell, I would love to be bigger, it would get me more ass but I consider my passion (martial arts) to be more important than getting pussy. If lifting is the right tool for you then more power to you but denigrating people who uses different tools is telling them their goals are not valid or that they can't choose the right tools.

[–]VincentPrice 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Kettlebell and clubbell training will add strength and flexibility, without massing you up to much.

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