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Old 05-22-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
Patrick Donnelly
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Default Help getting hyooge. (Milk ain't doin' it.)

Ok, so here's the skinny: I want to be less skinny. Not that I'm particularly skinny right now, at 6'1 and a mildly soft 220lbs, but my long-term goal weight has always been in the range of a fairly lean 230lbs, and I think I can make it there this summer. I figure that'll require me hitting about 240lbs though, then laying off the ice cream and doing some cardio while I "tone up," or whatever you want to call it.

Diet is something like the following per day:
- 1.5lbs of chicken or beef (that's pre-cooked weight)
- 10 eggs w/ a third a stick of butter
- gallon of whole chocolate milk
- half cup of frozen berries or mixed fruit
- whole cup of stirfry or steamed veggies
- maybe some nuts, but not much
- maybe some ice cream (generally a 2qt, 2000cal tub each week)

I don't know the exact calorie or macronutrient breakdown, but I figure it's pretty high up there simply from the milk. I've tried going simply high-calorie before too, by drinking 8-12oz of olive oil per day (2000-3000cal) but that didn't even get me past 190lbs since I didn't have enough protein to go with it. This should be enough to gain past 220lbs, no? Am I just lacking calories then? I'm not doing any intermittent fasting right now either (ceased to be convenient for me), and I'm never feeling either stuffed nor hungry.

Sleep is solid. 8hrs a night, pitch black room. Sometimes I wake up to use the bathroom (gallon of milk, remember?), but I'm always back to sleep immediately after that without a snag.

Workouts are going well, doing pretty high-volume stuff, mostly bodyweight strength based, all with an intuitive training format. I know the stuff I have to hit frequently (ring dips, handstand presses, dragon flags, etc.) and I do hit it frequently (five 1.5-2hr workouts), but the exact choices for any given day and the reps/sets are selected simply to make sure I end up leaving each workout feeling better than I started it, which lets me train again sooner. There's very little barbell work (maybe two 1hr workouts per week) and I'm mostly hitting stuff that I know will have a direct carry over to the other acrobatics-type stuff I'm doing, like windmills and pullovers. There are some power cleans, some deadlifts, no squats. (I have no squat, and I'm proud of it.) I don't want to gain any additional lower body mass anyway, as that's not going to help me get an iron cross in the next ~2yrs (whereas swole lats will). Then there's some tightrope walking (1-4hrs), which is pretty draining as far as fine motor skills go, but not much of a workout.

This got me from 210lbs to 220lbs over the course of the second half of April, but I've been stuck at 220lbs since then. What gives? Should I be feeling stuffed if I eat all of that? Should I be eating more if I don't? I've even had two gallons of milk each day for the past two days because I was doing yardwork and needed the energy, but I put two gallons away as easily as one. For the magic elixir people make whole milk out to be, I've been very disappointed with it. Would the olive oil shots be worth a shot again? The weight I've gained so far seems to be evenly distributed between my upper body (good) and waistline (not the best, but acceptable), but I still have a ways to go and I'd like to hit 240 by early August so I can at least start leaning out before September, though that timeline might be unreasonable by this point.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:26 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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I'm not sure what's going on with your diet, since whole chocolate milk seems to be approximately 3,328 calories/gallon. You could try adding more high calorie starches.

I think your biggest problem though is your training. The majority of your strength training consists of HS holds and variations of dips (none of which are seem to be weighted). It's hard to grow with isometric training. Also, when your prime movers (the large muscles) aren't getting stronger, there's not much incentive for your body to grow.

Basically, it seems like you're focusing more on skill work than strength work.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
Dave Van Skike
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squat more. press more. pull more. i'm afraid it's that simple.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
Chris Butler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
squat more. press more. pull more. i'm afraid it's that simple.
+1!Lift heavy $#!+, often!
Fast twitch fibers have the greatest propensity for growth. Your not working towards stimulating them.

Bodyweight training has a cap on motor unit recruitment.

Why do you want to focus on fat gain?

Do a clean bulk and be patient. If you are going to try and put on 20+ lbs. in a summer, the vast majority of that is going to be fat. Which you will have to lose and more than likely lose hard earned muscle in the process.

Muscle development is a journey. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
Derek Weaver
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nobody else mentioned it, but your goal of bodyweight increase doesn't really fit with a lot of your training goals. I'm sure there is someone out there at 220+ lbs who can do an iron cross, but not many
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #6
Patrick Donnelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
I'm not sure what's going on with your diet, since whole chocolate milk seems to be approximately 3,328 calories/gallon. You could try adding more high calorie starches.

I think your biggest problem though is your training. The majority of your strength training consists of HS holds and variations of dips (none of which are seem to be weighted). It's hard to grow with isometric training. Also, when your prime movers (the large muscles) aren't getting stronger, there's not much incentive for your body to grow.

Basically, it seems like you're focusing more on skill work than strength work.
Trust me, doing dips with the rings turned out is definitely a strength movement... If you ever get strong enough to do perfect reps, it's pretty much the equivalent of flat-back benching a pair of half bodyweight dumbbells to a point well below the sternum, with the palms facing you. It's stupidly difficult, but I've been making steady progress with them. I'd like to be doing more front lever work too, but the exercises that I find I get the most out of, can't be done with rings hanging from a 6.5' tall power rack (currently working on amending this).

My main confusion is that even if I'm lacking bona fide strength work, this doesn't explain where the calories are going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
squat more. press more. pull more. i'm afraid it's that simple.
It is, yeah, but only when your goals are to do those things heavier. Right now, I'm training with a gymnastics club at UMCP, and I've been doing it for two years, and only have 2-3 more, depending on how long I take to graduate. I feel like I sort of half-assed the first two years, since I was spending too much time with barbell stuff (and not enough time with either to make great progress in either). Barbells will still be around and waiting for me in a few years - this club won't. So, I'm putting all my spice in one stew so I can get at least one good meal. Over the next year, I'd like to (generally speaking): solidify my human flag, get a solid handstand press from L-seat, get a front lever on rings, become proficient at tight rope walking, and get some stupidly cool partner balancing skills, like the thing at 3:00 in this video or doing a Turkish get-up while holding Steven Low upside down by his head (maybe in another two years ). Squats don't help with that (with the possible exception of one-arm overhead barbell squats, which I like).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Butler View Post
Bodyweight training has a cap on motor unit recruitment.

Why do you want to focus on fat gain?

Do a clean bulk and be patient. If you are going to try and put on 20+ lbs. in a summer, the vast majority of that is going to be fat. Which you will have to lose and more than likely lose hard earned muscle in the process.

Muscle development is a journey. Enjoy the journey.
Chris, what do you mean that BWE has a cap on motor recruitment?

I weighed 140lbs just four years ago or so, and I got to this point in a series of concrete steps. The whole slow and steady thing hasn't ever worked for me. Maybe I'm just not doing it right, but if that's the case, I have no reason to believe that I'd end up doing it right this time either.

I'd also be content just to hit a lean 220lbs this summer, but 230 would be awesome. Even 220 would require a bit more gain before I start to lean out. I'd just like to get whatever weight changes I'm doing over with by September. When September comes, I suddenly lose a lot of control over what I can do in my workouts. With classes starting, I'll no longer have the luxury of being able to work out whenever the hell I want to, because of time commitments, and when club practices start up again, there'll also be some limits in what I can do each day during my workouts (though the practices are generally scheduled loosely). Basically, if there's one time in the year where I have the ability to eat like a lion, hibernate like a bear, and work myself like a mule, it's the summer.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #7
Donald Lee
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Could you add up your reps and give an approximation of your total volume per week for pressing and pulling movements?

Don't include any isometric stuff.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
Patrick Donnelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
nobody else mentioned it, but your goal of bodyweight increase doesn't really fit with a lot of your training goals. I'm sure there is someone out there at 220+ lbs who can do an iron cross, but not many
Yeah, the cross might be a bit of a stretch, but the front lever definitely isn't. It'll just be hard, but that'll only make it all the more beast when I get it.

While I might be able to get some of the skills easier if I let myself slim back down to the 140lb twig I used to be, that'll certainly make the partner balancing a lot more difficult for me, which is where I see the most potential for myself. (See the video linked in the last post, for a decent example of a partner balancing routine - a great routine if you consider the fact the dude is blindfolded. I found that randomly on YouTube.) Also, if I get that handstand press good enough to be in this act (a video from the club's 2009 season finale show), then there's the possibility of taking the pose you see at 3:05 where two guys are doing handstands where one is floating over nothing, and then tacking a third person onto it. However, to get three people in the chain, you've got to have a very heavy first guy, a middleweight in the middle, and a very light person on the end. I'd take care of the heavyweight position, obviously. Maybe that'd even have to wait 2yrs, just for me to get a handstand perfect enough to make that a safe pose to attempt, but it'd still be totally worth it.
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Last edited by Patrick Donnelly : 05-22-2010 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Missed a "c."
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:41 PM   #9
Patrick Donnelly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
Could you add up your reps and give an approximation of your total volume per week for pressing and pulling movements?

Don't include any isometric stuff.
Unfortunately, I don't think so. Not to be snarky, but the lines get very blurred when it comes to BWE, especially when you're doing stuff like holding your arms extended overhead while someone does a muscle-up on your hands. (That's actually a fairly easy thing to do, but you can see how it'd be hard to classify as anything, though it definitely is something.)

Also, I tested my axle power clean and bench press tonight. No substantial difference from the last times I did them (maybe a month ago), but I chalk this up to having done 14.5hrs of bamboo removal in my backyard over the past four days. On another day, PR's would have been there, I think. (I can't be sure, of course, but I reserve my right to talk out of my ass, as this is the internet we're on.)

As for progress I've noticed so far, my dragon flag eccentrics have very quickly gone from doing maybe the first 45-60 degrees to doing a full eccentric slowly and handstand pressing from a standing pike (just bending over and putting the palms on the floor), is substantially easier than it was a few weeks ago, even though I'm heavier. Ring dips are also getting more strict and deeper, as I mentioned before.
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Last edited by Patrick Donnelly : 05-22-2010 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Typing too many post too fast; words get jumbled.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #10
Tyler Micheli
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Add in at least another pound of meat and perhaps start dosing with digestive enzymes.
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