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View Full Version : Going to start a Mass phase soon.


Anton Emery
09-19-2008, 03:46 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am going to start a muscle building phase soon and i figured i would lay it out here for others to see.

I have been thinking about it for a while, but after recently reading Starting Strength and Practical Programming i'm going to give it a go. Plus with the weather slowly starting to get colder eating more and lifting heavy sounds appealing.

Right now i am:

BW: 160lbs
Height 5'10"
BF%: Not quite sure, i can see top four abs.
Deadlift 320
Squat 250
Press: 125
Weighted Pull Up: +70lbs or so
Bench: Its been a while, was never a big bencher.

Overall I would like to get stronger, add more muscle, and then cut down whatever fat i gain afterwards. I am going to be teaching some classes at Crossfit Portland, and i wouldn't mind actually looking a bit more like i lift weights. I think of Scott Hagnas who is not that much heavier than me, but has more muscle, less fat, and is much stronger. Thats my end goal, and i think ending up around 170 or so would be good.

For a lifting i plan to just start out with Rippetoe's Starting Strength routine. I may be a bit beyond the Novice stage in my deadlift numbers, but i feel i have a ways to go with the Squat and Press. Plus reading Practical Programming has me all fired up.

Food wise i am just going to make sure i get enough calories and enough protein, ideally from the usual healthy sources. But i need to eat and half a pizza pie is within reach, well beggars can't be choosers. I was reading that anywhere from 16-20 x bodyweight is a good caloric goal to start with for weight gain. I'll have to monitor and see how things progress and go from there. I grapple as well, so i may have to tone down my practices or just eat more (not a bad idea).



Anton

Frank Needham
09-19-2008, 04:18 PM
Looks like you have a good handle on things to me. How long you been lifting? Are you going to do the milk?

Anton Emery
09-19-2008, 07:40 PM
Man, i'd like to do the milk. But at a gallon a day thats a decent amount of money. I'll have to see how the progress goes and if i can fit in enough calories.

As far as time lifting, i have been messing around with various things for about six years. But i was never consistently on any sort of great plan. In college it was bodybuilding type stuff, and i gained about 20 lbs. Then i got into juijitsu, focused alot more on conditioning, and pretty much neglected quality heavy lifting. I have been at Crossfit Portland for about 10 months and in that time have learned alot. I think a much higher strength base would help me alot with workouts like Fran, Grace, etc, as well as improved abilities on the mat.


Anton

Kevin Perry
09-19-2008, 09:39 PM
Looks like you know what your doing. You may be suprised on your deadlift if you start a little low and blast through it later on making one pr after the next. Milk is expensive now, I think it was in the past week or two that prices soared. keep us posted.

Anton Emery
09-20-2008, 03:16 PM
Was talking to a friend and he mentioned something, which i had also thought about. Is Starting Strength enough volume to induce muscular growth? 3 x 5 seems kind of low. Though people that do it and eat enough seem to report muscular gains. Perhaps i might better off with PM Mass Gain program.



Anton

Mike ODonnell
09-20-2008, 04:10 PM
Was talking to a friend and he mentioned something, which i had also thought about. Is Starting Strength enough volume to induce muscular growth? 3 x 5 seems kind of low. Though people that do it and eat enough seem to report muscular gains. Perhaps i might better off with PM Mass Gain program.

Not really....as most gain more fat on the milk diet. But they (powerlifters) usually just want more size (not a six pack...unless it is beer)...which helps to increase strength too. Don't confuse SS with a hypertrophy based program. You need both strength and glycogen depletion/loading if you plan on being bigger AND still try to stay lean. 3x5 if good to start with...but then you need sets of 10s too if you really want size and not strength as a priority.

Steven Low
09-20-2008, 05:53 PM
Was talking to a friend and he mentioned something, which i had also thought about. Is Starting Strength enough volume to induce muscular growth? 3 x 5 seems kind of low. Though people that do it and eat enough seem to report muscular gains. Perhaps i might better off with PM Mass Gain program.



Anton
lol, seriously?

Along with what Mike said it definitely is enough volume. The overall stressor here is the linear progression. You're adding weight every workout. If that's not a good stressor for muscle mass I don't know what is.

When I was training for one arm chinups (which is less of a muscle stressor that squats clearly), I was doing less volume than 3x5 a day and pretty much gaining muscle and strength at an impressive rate. Basically, just do it. :p

Anton Emery
09-22-2008, 02:18 PM
Starting Strength it is. I'll be kicking that off today. I have been logging my food via fitday. Initially shooting for around 3200 calories and will adjust from there. I am initially trying to get enough calories via mostly Paleo sources. If that does not work i'll look at other strategies.

I know Starting Strength should be done entirely on its own, but i hate to drop grappling, so i am going to do the best i can. I am mainly concerned about eating enough. Logging and actually seeing what i take in helps.


Anton

Dave Van Skike
09-22-2008, 03:22 PM
Shoot for strong and the size will take care of itself in most cases..as long as you eat.

I see you're settled on the Starting Strength template, which is great. I'd say take a look at Westside for Skinny Bastards (free download somewhere out there) as well. There are numerous other templates for basic strength building. Frankly, anyhting from Keys to Progress to a bunch of boring ass Sheiko programs will work too if you eat enough. SS will work but won't work forever, once you get to intermediate level stuff you'll want to tweak it. Teh Texas Method from Practical Programming worked great for me for a good long stretch, then I had to tweak it.

I see you do Crossfit...you might want to revise that..(my suggestion is Forever..but that's just me.) grappling and endurance training (crossfit) are not your friends if you want to prioritize big(er) and strong. For someone at 170-180, I'd say a bench mark of 1,2,3 is a legit achievable goal for 6-8 months. press BW, squat 2 times BW, deadlift 3 times BW. the DL is kinda ambitious but failure to meet a goal is a very illuminating process.

Anton Emery
09-22-2008, 04:02 PM
Yea, no Crossfit for me during this phase. I'll keep some sort of minimal conditioning by grappling, but thats it. And even with the grappling i will have to monitor it so i dont train to much.



Anton

Mike ODonnell
09-22-2008, 08:24 PM
Yea, no Crossfit for me during this phase. I'll keep some sort of minimal conditioning by grappling, but thats it. And even with the grappling i will have to monitor it so i dont train to much.

Crossfit for me has always been a means to better S & C for grappling, not an end unto itself. So i have never been a CF main page WOD'er. I am awed by alot of those CF athletes, but those are not my goals.


Anton

Best thing you can do besides lift heavy and eat.....is buy an XBox....then you will put on mass.

Allen Yeh
09-23-2008, 04:58 AM
Krispy Kreme gift cards for Christmas...

Anton Emery
09-23-2008, 07:57 AM
Mmmm, Krispy Kreme. We don't have that here in Portland, though i am quite familiar with them from growing up in Florida. Out here the local place is Voodoo Doughnuts (http://voodoodoughnut.com). They actually have a bacon topped doughnut, i dont suppose that counts as paleo?


Anton

Derek Weaver
09-23-2008, 01:31 PM
Shoot for strong and the size will take care of itself in most cases..as long as you eat.

I see you're settled on the Starting Strength template, which is great. I'd say take a look at Westside for Skinny Bastards (free download somewhere out there) as well. There are numerous other templates for basic strength building. Frankly, anyhting from Keys to Progress to a bunch of boring ass Sheiko programs will work too if you eat enough. SS will work but won't work forever, once you get to intermediate level stuff you'll want to tweak it. Teh Texas Method from Practical Programming worked great for me for a good long stretch, then I had to tweak it.

I see you do Crossfit...you might want to revise that..(my suggestion is Forever..but that's just me.) grappling and endurance training (crossfit) are not your friends if you want to prioritize big(er) and strong. For someone at 170-180, I'd say a bench mark of 1,2,3 is a legit achievable goal for 6-8 months. press BW, squat 2 times BW, deadlift 3 times BW. the DL is kinda ambitious but failure to meet a goal is a very illuminating process.

Dave,
Is this the Westside for Skinny Bastards you were talking about http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/archive/articles_westside.htm? By Joe Defranco?

Just curious as I haven't found any downloads but did find this one from his website and also one from T-Mag with a bit more information here: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/westside_for_skinny_bastards.

Looks good for someone with Training ADD (I am guilty of this... usually indicates I need a back off week)...

That's really the only contribution I can make to this thread.

Dave Van Skike
09-23-2008, 02:30 PM
Yeah that's it. I think he did a WSFSB II and III. It's basically a distilation of some of the core parts of a "westside" format. I know everyone say's "westside" and has a picture in their head, but like any "system" it's always changing and adapting so I don't think anyone except those at Westside really have a clear picture of how it works. I am by no means any sort of a student of their methods but I do see some intuitively good ideas in WSFSB even for beginners such as:

Spend the bulk of your training time and effort targeting weaknesses rather than just plowing through.

Rotate Max effort excercises and accessory excercise so you can train at high percentages (good) without burning out (bad)

Devote certain training days moving submax weight quickly or for repetitions.

Do not be afraid of upper and lower body splits. at a certain point, it's more productive to split the time up to targeting weaknesses for different movemtns in different workouts with minimal overlap. pressing movements get a day, sqautting and pulling movements get a day. It's all good stuff.

Derek Weaver
09-23-2008, 03:08 PM
Good call. Upper-Lower splits are used in a lot of other templates with, I would assume, success. I think that one of Staley's A-B templates involves an upper-lower split now that I think about it... could be wrong though.

Not a huge fan of some of the accessory movements that he's included though. I personally have a worse injury history in the form of raging tendonitis with some of the isolation/accessory movements he noted than with the heavy compounds that form the meat of the approach.

Anyone interested can find parts II and III at defrancostraining.com under the articles heading.

Anton Emery
09-28-2008, 09:22 AM
Well week 1 of Starting Strength is done. Squat started at 185 and is now at 205. I started the press pretty light at 85lbs, and jumped up to 95lbs. I will probably make five pound jumps on that from now on, i don't want to get stuck to early on. Bench started at 155. That was fun, i have not benched in a while.

I think i need to eat a bit less, i gained like eight pounds this week. Perhaps 3200 calories is a bit much, ill drop it down to 3000.


Anton

Jon Sikes
09-28-2008, 12:24 PM
Well week 1 of Starting Strength is done. Squat started at 185 and is now at 205. I started the press pretty light at 85lbs, and jumped up to 95lbs. I will probably make five pound jumps on that from now on, i don't want to get stuck to early on. Bench started at 155. That was fun, i have not benched in a while.

I think i need to eat a bit less, i gained like eight pounds this week. Perhaps 3200 calories is a bit much, ill drop it down to 3000.


Anton

I wouldn't worry about it. I'd bet that's mainly water weight and likely to go back down quick.

Unless you're really, really small (and I went back to your first post in this thread and saw that you're 5'10", so you're not) 3200 calories isn't that much over maintenance.

8 pounds would take some serious eating.

Derek Weaver
09-28-2008, 08:07 PM
8 lbs. would be a GOMAD plus a substantial amount of food.

I'm guessing that you're barely over maintenance... if anything filling out to an "optimal" weight.

Anton Emery
09-28-2008, 09:53 PM
Man, maybe i should be eating more.

Here is a quote from Rippetoe on StrengthMill forum when members asked what he used to eat.

---------------

"Okay, you want to know what I ate. I have eaten a dozen eggs for breakfast before, but always ate 6 with toast and milk, and 5 bowls of raisin bran was quite normal until my members asked to stop doing that. I have eaten 11 10-oz. steaks at an all-you-can-eat steak deal -- several of us went there, and the special was discontinued the following week. I have eaten 4 very large plates of spaghetti and meat sauce in 30 minutes. I have eaten 15 pork chops + vegetables at the Olympic Training Center back when the food was really good. I have eaten 225 shrimp in an hour. At a seafood buffet in Michigan, I ate 10 lobsters and the claws off of 10 more, in addition to shrimp, crab legs, lobster bisque, clam chowder, and bread, in 2 hours. I have eaten 7 big bowls of Mongolian BBQ. I have had a gallon of milk in less than 30 minutes. I was very expensive to feed, but I am told by reputable sources that I was absolutely nothing compared to Phil Grippaldi."

And folks, for weight-gaining purposes, "eating clean" is not a useful concept. Big Macs are.
-----------------------------


Just a note to everyone else, if you have not drank milk for a few months don't go and try to drink half a gallon of whole milk in a day. That evening was not a pleasant one.


Anton

Derek Weaver
10-02-2008, 09:54 PM
Man, maybe i should be eating more.

Here is a quote from Rippetoe on StrengthMill forum when members asked what he used to eat.

---------------

"Okay, you want to know what I ate. I have eaten a dozen eggs for breakfast before, but always ate 6 with toast and milk, and 5 bowls of raisin bran was quite normal until my members asked to stop doing that. I have eaten 11 10-oz. steaks at an all-you-can-eat steak deal -- several of us went there, and the special was discontinued the following week. I have eaten 4 very large plates of spaghetti and meat sauce in 30 minutes. I have eaten 15 pork chops + vegetables at the Olympic Training Center back when the food was really good. I have eaten 225 shrimp in an hour. At a seafood buffet in Michigan, I ate 10 lobsters and the claws off of 10 more, in addition to shrimp, crab legs, lobster bisque, clam chowder, and bread, in 2 hours. I have eaten 7 big bowls of Mongolian BBQ. I have had a gallon of milk in less than 30 minutes. I was very expensive to feed, but I am told by reputable sources that I was absolutely nothing compared to Phil Grippaldi."

And folks, for weight-gaining purposes, "eating clean" is not a useful concept. Big Macs are.
-----------------------------


Just a note to everyone else, if you have not drank milk for a few months don't go and try to drink half a gallon of whole milk in a day. That evening was not a pleasant one.

Anton

It may not have been pleasant, but I'll bet it was hilarious. Good work on the eating. I saw that post by Rip on the Strength Mill. That is real eating. Makes me feel like a pussy.

How's the progress going?

Anton Emery
10-06-2008, 02:42 PM
Progress is going ok. Just started Week 3 today. Squat is at 220lbs now. Feeling heavier but doable. Press is at 105, bench at 165, Deadlift at 235. All for 3 x 5.

I am curious how long i can ride this out. I am intermediate on Rip's Barbell Strength Standards. I have just been adding five pounds to the bar every time i go in, though ten pounds on the deadlift. I was always a horrible presser, so i may get stuck with the bench and press pretty soon.

I am about ten pounds heavier so far. Definitely some additional fat, i think i ate a bit to much in the beginning. I feel i have gained some muscle in my upper back/shoulders as well as posterior chain. I can get rid of the fat later on, if i can keep progressing on the lifts then i will be happy.

I have been grappling a few days a week, trying to keep it light, but occasionally I'll get competitive and roll hard. I don't feel the additional weight is hurting me. I am bit more tired on the mats, but i think that is due to not rolling much lately, as opposed to the extra fat/muscle.




Anton

Derek Weaver
10-06-2008, 06:21 PM
Good stuff. Don't get into the mind set that you're likely going to stall out soon. If you stall, back off, get back at it.

By your numbers, I am guessing you've got a ways to go with your linear progression. Get after it, eat a ton and enjoy the ride.

It's all about getting really, really strong.

Gant Grimes
10-06-2008, 08:21 PM
Man, I'm late to a good thread.

Keep rolling. Just rehydrate and eat. Post JJ sessions are a good opportunity to take in more carbs than you normally would (which helps the reload MOD is referring to).

Like Derek said, quit planning on a plateau. If you're getting close, you picked your starting weights too high. It doesn't matter where you are on Rip's strength charts. Plow ahead and get it done.

SS is plenty of volume. I gained 16 pounds on a very low volume program. I didn't run from grains as much, I supplemented with beer, I added 60g protein a day, and I ate a lot of ice cream before bed. It was great.

Jacob Rowell
10-06-2008, 09:14 PM
Sounds like you're doing well. I'll second what Gant said - don't worry about when it's going to pan out, or what being an intermediate lifter means. I've done SS, read all of Rip's books, but it sure as hell made me overthink my training (which ultimately lead to overtraining and complete lack of progression for awhile). It was entirely my fault, but I see a lot of people trying to fit themselves neatly into categories when it isn't necessarily helpful. mass gain is one of those times.

Hell, eat enough and you'll be able to hang around weekly linear progress for a good while.

Anton Emery
10-22-2008, 10:06 AM
Well still making progress. Squat is at 255, bench 185, press 125, deadlift 265. All for 3 x 5. Surprisingly i have just been able to keep adding weight to the bar. I may have to start micro-loading the press soon. I managed to get them all at 125 last time, but had to drop the last rep from overhead due to fatigue.

I've definitely gained some weight, ten pounds at least. I can see more muscle in my shoulders, back, and chest, and legs. Some more fat around the middle too, which my wife kids me about. But if i can keep adding weight to the bar its fine for now. I can get rid of the fat later.

I have been trying to work milk back into my diet, as its an easy source of protein and calories, but my digestive system cant seem to handle it anymore. It sends me to the bathroom more times than i would like. And i am just trying for maybe half a gallon a day. We'll see, if its still giving me problems after this gallon is empty i might just stop the milk.

So far i have really been enjoying this. Don't know why i didnt do it sooner. Certain things have become a little more difficult, like riding my bike home from work uphill. But i tell myself its just temporary.


Anton

Derek Weaver
10-22-2008, 07:05 PM
sounds pretty good Anton. Where did the deadlift start out at?

Anton Emery
10-23-2008, 08:02 AM
The deadlift started at 225. Out of all my lifts i had the best idea of that one, as i pulled double BW at my previous weight of 160lbs.

I had that phase this morning where the skinny guy has gained some fat is now worried about it. In about a month i have put on 15lbs. Thats probably a bit fast, as i have definitely gained some fat. But my lifts are going up, and i get hungry, so i am not sure if i should back off the calories.


Anton

Mike ODonnell
10-23-2008, 10:09 AM
Just a note to everyone else, if you have not drank milk for a few months don't go and try to drink half a gallon of whole milk in a day. That evening was not a pleasant one.


You could test out QOKAD (instead of GOMAD).....Quart of Kefir a Day. Less glamourous than milk and far less sugars (unless you get the flavored one), but more healthy bacteria....that should not give you any issues going the bathroom. Just a thought.....experimenting with it myself, and I can't do milk very well.....

Chris Puckett
11-15-2008, 07:54 PM
Hi Anton, It looks like we started SS about the same time. How is the progress going? just found this tonight. I just had to take a week off due to a stomach virus but I was back at it tonight. I reset back to week 7 and started back in. Overall my progress with SS has been fantastic, and I have steadily increased all of my lifts every workout, now in PR territory every workout. I stalled a few times on the deadlift and press, but made progress after I started doing dips and Romanian deadlifts as add ons. I gained over 15lbs, started at 5'9" 181, now at 196. I am going to use December to do crossfit, lift a couple of times a week, and get back down in weight. In january, feb & march I plan to do another 12 weeks of SS. Anyhow, hope the progress is happening.

Anton Emery
11-19-2008, 02:25 PM
So still making progress on Starting Strength, though a bit slower. I have been on it almost two months exactly. Gained 20 or so lbs so far. A bit of it is fat, as some of my jeans and work pants don't fit.

I filmed my squat a few weeks ago when i was going for 270 x 5 and realized i was squatting way high. I incrementally lowered the weight and was still squatting high till i got back down to 225lbs. So i reset back to there and worked my way back up to 270 as of last week, this time making sure i went low enough. its much harder. I think in the beginning i was going low enough, according to some folks i had watch, but as the weight got heavier i subconsciously started stopping high, and it was during that time that i had no one to check out my form. So my lifts are now:

Squat 270 x 5
Bench 195 x 5
Deadlift 280 x 5 (feels easy)
Press 128 x 5

So greatly improved from where i started but not that great considering i am 20lbs heavier. Though hopefully i can cut the fat when done.

My problem now is to convince myself to stick it out till Xmas. I miss Juijitsu alot, and i hate it when i go to class and have absolutely to conditioning. I figure its the 20 extra lbs, plus the fact that i have done no GPP outside of occasional rolling. Part of me wants to finish what i started, might as well take advantage of all the food around the holidays, and part of me wants to move onto some sort of intermediate phase and start dropping the fat. My wife says i should stick with it, its only three months total and i can get BJJ back on track when i am done.


Anton