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Thread: Guidelines for Growth

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    Warrior's Avatar
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    Guidelines for Growth

    Hey - I just posted this on WarriorFX and I thought I would put it here too Some basic info I typed up regarding maximizing training...


    Guiding principles for advancement

    THE 3 P’s: PLAN PROGRESSIVE PROGRESS

    If you do not plan for progressive gains in a training cycle than you will undoubtedly fail to maximize your results. And worse yet - you could take two steps backwards! You are probably thinking to yourself, "No **** Sherlock!" Its true everyone engaged in some sort of training routine plans for progress. Right? Unfortunately many - and I do mean many - do not. It is disastrous how many trainees actually fall into the monotonous routines that produce little to no results. But this unfortunate occurrence is something dietary supplement companies thrive on, they lead you to believe that you need supplement X for further gains.

    A sure fire way to make sure you are planning progressively is to consider three variables per workout: load, repetitions and time. Every workout should show an improvement in one of these areas. The load, or the total amount of weight used for a movement, can reflect an improvement even if it is very little. Let's say during your last training session for a muscle group you pushed 315 pounds, 10 times. Simply adding two more pounds to the bar per session would be an improvement. It may not be a lot, but it adds up in the long run. Sometimes a training plateau develops merely because gains have slowed down and you are currently attempting to add too much, too soon. And it's better to add two pounds per week to the load rather than not improving at all. Two pounds per week for six months would be more than a 50-pound improvement in your limit strength!

    The other two factors, total repetitions and total time are seldom given there due respect. Instead of increasing the load you can attempt to increase total repetitions per workout. Over subsequent workouts you could begin at eight reps and work up to 12 before increasing the load. On the other hand, you could plan to finish a workout in shorter period of time by decreasing rest intervals. For instance, you push 315 pounds for five repetitions and five sets using three-minute rest intervals. If next time you used the same load, reps and sets but used two-minute rest intervals, you progressed!

    INTEGRATE NUTRITION AND TRAINING EQUALLY

    Training publications frequently make statements suggesting that proper diet is 90 percent of success, or some other obscure number stating one is more important than the other. In reality, both are equally important. You can have the best nutritional advice available but if you don't train progressively than your body never finds the need to make an improvement in its efficiency. On the flip side, the best training theory will produce little if your diet fails to provide the right nutrients to fuel your body for added lean body mass. A proper integration of sound nutrition and training is paramount to continued success.

    TRAIN YOUR CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

    Many of the old Eastern Bloc training circles provide heavy emphasis on your Central Nervous System's (CNS) ability to cope and recover from exercise. This is something unique to each athlete and dependent on different variables, such as athletic level, training intensity, rest habits, nutritional practices, as well as other contributing factors.

    One of the first adaptations for a beginner bodybuilder is purely a strengthening of the CNS rather than the actual muscle groups. Big gains in limit strength made in the early days of training come from your body simply getting in better condition. This includes a stronger mind-muscle connection. Advanced trainees can recall the days when free weight movements were wobbly and their body would tend to shake. This is one example of a weak CNS (as well as underdeveloped connective tissue). This preliminary adaptation to exercise usually strengthens in the first two to three months on a regular routine. After this phase, free weight movements become more fluid, as your ability to recruit your muscles becomes second nature.

    ONLY WORK AT YOUR LEVEL

    Turn the pages of many bodybuilding magazines today (in between the many pages of advertising fluff) and you will undoubtedly see a lot of high volume, and sometimes high intensity, training routines. A magazine may say a professional endorses the routine as his or her key to recent gains. But the fact is, even if it was something that helped that particular person, you need to tailor the advice for your body. Take what you have learned about what keeps you training progressively and away from a state of overtraining, and apply it. And certainly do not try to use a program that an advanced trainee uses if you are still a beginner. This could put you at risk for serious overtraining or even injury. Working one body part per day is common practice at the advanced levels since greater loads are used which tax the ability to recover at a greater degree. In other words, pushing 135 pounds for 10 repetitions puts less stress on your body than pushing 315 pounds for 10 repetitions. Your muscles grow, but your CNS and internal filtering organs do not.

    IF IT'S NOT WORKING - FIX IT!

    Take a moment and sit back to reflect on your last year of training. Are you actually making progress or are you caught up in a disastrous plateau? If your gains have been at a stand still for more than two or three months - what you are doing is not working. It is surprising how many people can continue for over a year without seeing a significant change for the better. And usually it is not a lack or genetic potential but rather a lack of training knowledge. If it helps, get a training diary to help you plan your progression by recalling what was completed in previous sessions. No great battle was ever won without a mapped out plan of attack.

    SET OBTAINABLE GOALS

    Setting goals for yourself helps to keep you focused on what it is you are intending to accomplish. Without a goal and a timeframe to commit to, it is easier to fall into that endless training vertigo of zero results. Professional athletes have a training competition to focus on, which certainly provides an adequate stimulus to keep them pushing for greatness. But if you are not a competitive athlete you can make up your own competitions. They can be things as simple as a scheduled summer vacation or a date with the 35mm - progress photos can be a valuable dictator of if your training is paying off.

    The word obtainable should be held at high regard. If you are beginning a new training cycle with 17-inch upper arms and your goal is to have 20-inch guns by the end of the 12-week cycle - you set yourself up for disappointment. Set realistic goals to keep you motivated for future progress. But at the same time, large and obscure short term goals (read: very short term, as in goals for a single set) can be beneficial, such as getting under a load equal to your one rep maximum weight yet going for 10 rather than one. This helps to keep you motivated and thinking past your previous limitations regardless of the fact you know you won't make it. This short term thought process also helps you to rid the ideas in the back of your head that are telling you, "****, this is a lot of weight!"

    IGNORE DISTRACTIONS AND DISTRUCTIVE INFLUENCES

    What is or isn't a distraction or destructive influence to your training goals is subjective. But the fewer things that stand in your way of being a champion, the easier the road is to travel. Friends that continue to hound you to skip scheduled training sessions for several sets of 12 ounce curls at the local pub certainly qualify as a destructive influence. Having a social life, to include time at the clubs, is absolutely necessary to a rounded off life. But getting so sloshed that you wake up under the porch every weekend is not.

    But the bottom line is: what you let get in your way will do just that. Like that cute neighbor that always gives you the eyeball doesn't qualify as a distraction since you certainly can't plan future workouts with a blindfold! You have to learn how to effectively channel some things out in order to succeed.

    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

    Take the time to read about new, and old, training theories to see what helps you and how it can apply itself in your routine. If your current training split includes a few sets of this, followed by a few more of that and then finished off with some of those - than you certainly are in need of some new theories. Great advice from credible coaches is available online and at the local bookstore to help you add some missing spice to your training routine. As well as getting you back on a much needed growth spurt. .:WFX
    Last edited by Warrior; 11-10-2004 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Typos!!!

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    great post bro, you speak the truth.

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    Mu'min is offline Associate Member
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    Thanks, man.
    My training got sooo much better when I started keeping a workout log. Each time I go in I know EXACTLY what I have to beat from my last session in order to grow. If I see that not much has changed for a couple of weeks, then it is time to switch it up. These facts are good sound basics of which we all need reminding. We look sometimes so much for the advanced training principles that we lose sight of what got us so excited about training in the first place.
    Once again, good read.
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    Warrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mu'min
    Thanks, man.
    My training got sooo much better when I started keeping a workout log. Each time I go in I know EXACTLY what I have to beat from my last session in order to grow. If I see that not much has changed for a couple of weeks, then it is time to switch it up. These facts are good sound basics of which we all need reminding. We look sometimes so much for the advanced training principles that we lose sight of what got us so excited about training in the first place.
    Once again, good read.
    Exactly! Thanks guys... I typed this up last month - but forgot to post it up until yesterday...

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    qccat's Avatar
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    great point w/ the short term goals, i hope people really let that sink in...good job man

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    cokdiesl is offline Junior Member
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    nice post i'll keep coming back to it....and the log book for $1.89 is the best investment i have made yet!

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    Chemical King's Avatar
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    GREAT post, I learned a lot from it
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    liztic is offline Junior Member
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    great post man, i started tracking with a workout log and setting short term goals as apposed to long term, i found with the log and short term goals i not only got over my previous humps, but no longer wasted time. plus being able to look back at progress made is huge!

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    bluethunder is offline Anabolic Member
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    Good post Warrior, newbies to lifting can learn some basic principles.

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    i have always used a training log. cant imagine going to the gym without one.

    you always have something to aim for, and is incredibly satisfying as u see yourself progress

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    you mean 17 inch guns to 20 inch pythons is not attainable in a 12 week cycle???

    thats ridiculous ... Im quitting and goin on pct or whatever that acronymn is right now.




    good post man, your a good poster man and I agree, I have training logs and training logs stacked in my drawer ... to me they are like trophies from years and years of working out... to me, it represents my own determination and integrity.

    They are like my children.

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    Dabum is offline New Member
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    Great post

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    Talking

    Im getting a training log now on monday.
    Last edited by GREENMACHINE; 10-30-2004 at 04:59 PM.

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    Jun27 is offline New Member
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    Learned alot man. Great post!

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    chest6's Avatar
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    old thread to be posting.

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    grasshoppa is offline New Member
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    Must be a good training log.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Force
    i have always used a training log. cant imagine going to the gym without one.

    you always have something to aim for, and is incredibly satisfying as u see yourself progress

    I am now convinced to use a training log. Any suggestions on which one to buy? Which one are you using. For me it has to be quick an simple.

    GrassHoppa

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    Quote Originally Posted by grasshoppa
    I am now convinced to use a training log. Any suggestions on which one to buy? Which one are you using. For me it has to be quick an simple.

    GrassHoppa
    Um, u might want to check the dates of posts on a thread if you want replies but since u did, a training log can just be a small spiral bound notebook, not some pre-printed thing that's not customized for you.
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    Very Nice

    Great Article, really gave me some insight on how to plan accordingly. Thanks

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    Great Read thanks for the info

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    donpinn is offline Associate Member
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    great info to share bro

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    Sami33 is offline Banned
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    Interesting advice.

    Here's my main take: set a plan and have a goal, then monitor your performance and results.

    Great advice
    Thanks alot
    Sami

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    HaKa is offline New Member
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    Question

    i'm fairly new to weight training, and new to this site. besides a semester in high school, i've been lifting for the past 11 mos steadily, and for another year straight, but 2 years ago.so,i hope i dont come across as an irritating "newbie" by asking this question. i've read, and have been told that i need to "switch up" my workouts every once in a while. i read in an article a while back, that if you do the barbell bench press for 4-6 weeks, switch up by hitting the dumbbell bench press for another 4-6 weeks. now this, i think, has been working. my max bench has gone up a hundred lbs.(270-370lbs.). however, here's the situation. the nearest gym is on a college campus,and it's for students and staff only. i don't have access to a good gym,so barbell and dumbbell benching is all i have at home(for chest days anyway). i hve one of those multi station(all in one gyms as some call it, but not really...compared to what i've seen in the mags) set ups and up to 105lbs in dumbell weight. since i'm limited to what kind of power exercises i can do,i'm afraid that my body's gonna stop progressing, cause honestly, i think i'm feeling it already. i'm trying for more reps, but its not happening. any advice for me please???is there more i can do w/what i have that i'm not doing? thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaKa
    i'm fairly new to weight training, and new to this site. besides a semester in high school, i've been lifting for the past 11 mos steadily, and for another year straight, but 2 years ago.so,i hope i dont come across as an irritating "newbie" by asking this question. i've read, and have been told that i need to "switch up" my workouts every once in a while. i read in an article a while back, that if you do the barbell bench press for 4-6 weeks, switch up by hitting the dumbbell bench press for another 4-6 weeks. now this, i think, has been working. my max bench has gone up a hundred lbs.(270-370lbs.). however, here's the situation. the nearest gym is on a college campus,and it's for students and staff only. i don't have access to a good gym,so barbell and dumbbell benching is all i have at home(for chest days anyway). i hve one of those multi station(all in one gyms as some call it, but not really...compared to what i've seen in the mags) set ups and up to 105lbs in dumbell weight. since i'm limited to what kind of power exercises i can do,i'm afraid that my body's gonna stop progressing, cause honestly, i think i'm feeling it already. i'm trying for more reps, but its not happening. any advice for me please???is there more i can do w/what i have that i'm not doing? thank you.
    if you are having problems getting gains out of your routine, change it.... i recently bought a book called the men's health gym bible, awesome investment.... it has a very large list of exercises you can do with dumbells, weights, body weight, and pully systems.... but this info is also readily available all over the internet, you just have to be willing to dig it up and put it inot action.... take a week or even 2 off from working out, give your body a rest and go reading all you can and develop your next 6 week program, or maybe 2-3 of em and have half a year of change lined up for yourself..... good luck man, i just went through the same thing and believe me, it feels great after a couple weeks of well deserved off time.....

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    HaKa is offline New Member
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    i appreciate your time and help slidell. i've been diggin for more info like a dog for a bone. much thanx to this site's community, and flippin internet itself!.

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    Outstanding. Thank you. I am going to really use my training log this time around.

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    spike3700 is offline New Member
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    -*+thanks for the info didnt even think to keep trac but will know

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    awesome post bro,theres something there for newbies not just seasoned lifters

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    interesting to understand the cns part. also reminded me of the fundamentals of weight lifting. killer read.

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    Thanks gents - I hope this info is helpful too!

    Quote Originally Posted by spike3700 View Post
    -*+thanks for the info didnt even think to keep trac but will know
    Deffinitly... I wrote something a few months ago to dig a little deeper into using a journal...

    Plot your efforts, use a training journal
    May 22nd, 2007

    No great battle was ever won without a plan. Small victories are possible but overall achievements on a large scale must be accompanied by a documented plan of attack, as well as an accurate archive of progression and trends.

    Strength athletes and bodybuilders commonly call this piece of their gear a training journal, record, diary or log. Success in muscle growth and strength development occurs by pushing past sluggish training periods to avoid months - or years - of futility. Journals allow a trainee, or the coach, to identifying stagnant periods early on, so a timely plan can be constructed for new-found demands promoting adaptation and growth.

    The goal for increased strength and musculature is to train with progressive overloads. Sometimes small jumps of one or two pounds are all that are needed for marked progression; such as training small muscle groups or stabilizers. Without writing the training results on a permanent record, recollecting all of a previous workout’s numbers by memory is unreasonable and unsystematic for an athlete trying to maximize training periods. Hard training can improve attentiveness in an environment stimulated by adrenal output, but after a warm shower the information is quickly forgotten.

    Many times over, new athletes tend to swarm supplement retailers looking for a magic pill to mystically pull them from a training rut. The real disgrace is many of these amateur trainees have never used a way to document their hard work. How can they expect to routinely progress if they can not recall what has already been accomplished?

    So, it’s understood why a good training manual is needed but what should be documented?

    First, find a good ledger or use blank paper and grid it with a pen and ruler. The media you choose must be durable; since it will likely fall victim to crushing 45-pound plates or collisions between two 100-pound dumbbells, as well as the frequent drizzle of sweat from exhaustive training.

    A strength athlete should align the amount of columns they use with the intentions of the current training cycle. A maintenance strength routine may only need to record loads, sets, reps and dates. These numbers help to provide a preservation guide - or inadvertent progression - for each training day. A basic log can also provide a straightforward format to increase loads, reps, sets or training frequently.

    Advanced training documentation builds on simpler reports to include specific elements; such as: time of day, time to completion, changes in bodyweight or general disposition and advanced training protocols. Further information can accurately gauge the amount of work being performed within the same unit of time, or perhaps serve to indicate a change in perceived effort after performing an identical routine.

    Some information is better than none. Plotting a few details explaining the labors of a training day is more important than scores of information. If an athlete has it in their mind to reach a radical change in performance, merely implementing the use of a journal is a step in the right direction.

    Golden Rules of Bodybuilding
    September 08th, 2007

    There are many contributing factors in building a stronger, leaner body. These aspects must be continuously explored though trial-and-error to custom tailor beneficial routines. However, several rules are commonly endorsed by bodybuilders reaching for new achievements in muscularity.

    Work thy body progressively

    It’s amazing how many people will re-enter a fitness facility with the “toned up” mantra echoing between their ears – gotta get toned! The problem here: toned up is a useless goal. The simple act of resistance training itself does not lead to any pronounced benefit – strength or general health. The training stimulus must exceed the current threshold with a consistently progressive overload. This applies to aerobic and anaerobic efforts. Specificity and variation must also accompany good program design. Exceeding previous accomplishments during training improves one’s fitness level; while creating favorable changes in body composition and general health.

    Train thy mote, at ye level

    The body goes through changes amid consistent strength training. Early on, resistance training is a motor learning process, dependent on practicing proper exercise form and activation of individual muscle groups. As training continues, connective tissue strengthens, as well as a greater tolerance to the burn associated with it. Into the advanced stages, muscle size is largely proportionate to strength levels – promoting additional gains in muscle requires increases in limit strength. As muscles become exceedingly stronger, more attention must be moved toward appropriate recovery measures. It’s important to understand your current requirements to graduate through these stages of adaptation. Working above or below one’s current fitness levels will lead to training plateaus.

    Thou shalt train thyself from head to toe

    The body grows best in unison. Men are notorious for neglecting lower-body musculature while women repeatedly reject upper-body; subsequently, both cut themselves short. Often overlooked, full-body workouts have their place in bodybuilding, such as: increased muscle training frequency, immense energy expenditure, significant depletion and trauma and superior anabolic hormone stimulation. Each individual’s genetic predispositions transcribe a certain tolerance for unbalanced proportions – once reached, the trained muscles stop growing. If the body did not require a relative balance, we would see a lot of Popeye- or Johnny Bravo-type physiques in the local gyms.

    Commit thine muscles to continuous tension

    Constant time under tension creates a lot of micro trauma for muscular growth as well as strengthened neural pathways, fostering more permanent strength development. Many trainees assume they are creating continuous tension on the muscle, when in reality, they keep locking out. Frequently they inadvertently shift the load completely off the muscular systems and onto the bone structure. These pauses are quite common in leg training. The lower body houses the largest muscle groups and subsequently the most demanding training. Sometimes rest-pause sets or brief in-set breaks serve a purpose – such as breaking through psychological barriers – but don’t take them due to inadequate training motivation.

    Record what thou hast accomplished during thy journey

    It’s amazing how many people wander the gym floor with no record of their past accomplishments. Training journals present accurate documentation for charted progress. Sometimes all it takes is five more pounds, one more rep, or performing the same routine two minutes faster. Relish or agonize over the days written undertakings but always look forward to recording a better score next time.

    Thou shalt not search for a magic pill

    Any successful bodybuilder has been bombarded with quires about their dietary supplement protocols. Most of these curious individuals don’t respect the fact that each individual has unique requirements – which vary based on current goals. Many let themselves be persuaded by colorful ads with impressive physiques. The biggest variables are – and always will be – progressive training design, macro nutrition timing and proper recovery. If these things are neglected during any training cycle, no pills, powders or magic beans are going to make up the deficit. Always focus on the fundamentals first; then fill in nutritional gaps with dietary supplements based on current objectives.

    Never pack thine stomach with useless vittles

    Pulling into the gas station with a brand new car is as full-filling as show-and-tell for school kids. Rightfully, you’re proud of your new toy and enjoy presenting it. After a few days of joy riding, it’s time to fill her up with gas. However, instead of some high-octane performance fuel, you grab a bottle of stale soda from the back seat and pour it into the gas tank – it’s a cheaper and much faster way to fill the tank. Ultimately, just as you began showcasing your new wheels, the engine stutters, knocks, and then dies. You had a great car but you blew it by not filling it up with the right fuel.

    Treat thine body as thy valuables

    Bodybuilding is a journey into increased activity and overall health. The rate of obesity is climbing, leading to increases in metabolic disorders, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and some cancers. This is largely due to decreases in daily energy expenditure and increases in junk food, more palatable foods that are heavily processed, high in fat and loaded with sugar. Successful bodybuilding improves body composition by increasing energy output while promoting healthy food choices. It also requires adequate rest at night and avoidance of otherwise destructive behaviors. Many possessions come and go; your physical self is a one-shot opportunity. The human body wasn’t deigned to be inactive and overweight. Building an athletic body constructs greater overall health, self image, confidence and a generally more pleasant life.

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    sonnygll's Avatar
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    Wow, a lot of great information there. Very impressive. Everyone should read it.

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    Merc.. is offline Steroidpedia
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    Whats up Warrior ??

    Good post.....


    Merc.

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    great post

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    good post .... imo form plus heavy sets = growth too

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    reconforce4 is offline Associate Member
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    good article

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    Coach 44 is offline Associate Member
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    Great info. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

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    beachbm is offline New Member
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    great post... learn something new everyday

    thanks

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    thx.

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    Thanks Warrior for dedicating your time to sharing your knowledge with others. I know this is an old post, but, I'm here anyways!!!
    I've been working out for about 6 years now, but, I am still very new. I haven't read alot because of many reasons, one being I don't know what publications and information are trustworthy......
    My question is going to sound really green, but, when you talked about CNS training, what exactly are you talking about. Moreso, what (activities, workouts, movements, etc.) do you recommend for proper CNS training?
    I have been at a plateau for a looooooooooooooooooooong time, and it REALLY SUCKS!
    I've actually taken those 2, probably 4 steps back...........
    I am going to keep a log and try that improvement technique.


    I am also hearing from you that I should not do cardio when I am trying to put on mass......is that correct?

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    Wow dude great post. Ive been working out for 7 months and i pushed my bench form 95 to 185 10 reps but i just recently gained 2 lbs. I skateboarded a lot but now its cold out so i dont and coincidentally i gained weight. My pecks are bigger than they were but i stayed at a steady 144.4 for weight. How is this possible that i can move up in workout weight drastically but stay the same body weight?? Im dont understand it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbopwned View Post
    Wow dude great post. Ive been working out for 7 months and i pushed my bench form 95 to 185 10 reps but i just recently gained 2 lbs. I skateboarded a lot but now its cold out so i dont and coincidentally i gained weight. My pecks are bigger than they were but i stayed at a steady 144.4 for weight. How is this possible that i can move up in workout weight drastically but stay the same body weight?? Im dont understand it
    how old are you?

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