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  1. #1
    overactive-girl's Avatar
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    Arrow advice on getting bigger

    I am a personal trainer and I am working with a client that wants to get bigger. He is in pretty good shape right now, good definition and average body fat (around 16%). He looks pretty ripped, he just came to me to get over his plateau and gain some size. He is 166lb and is 5'9".
    We've been working out together for about 2 weeks now and he is like a machine! He just keeps on getting stonger and stronger. He has lost 2lbs., which I am assuming is body fat (which dropped 1%). He also started on supplements that I recommended to him:
    Cell Volumizer (creatine and glutamine)
    Branch Chain Amino Acids
    Whey Protein Shakes
    I am trying to get him to take in more calories (which is what the shakes are for), but he is very concerned about gaining fat because he just lost about 16lbs. of body fat a few months ago. I know that most people gain some body fat when trying to bulk up because of the increased calories...is it possible to get bigger, but not put on a few pounds of fat? (I know that he is going to store water weight because of the creatine). This hasn't happened yet...he said his clothes are fitting looser.
    My other question is this: I am trying to increase the weight and get his rep range down to about 6-10, but I'm telling you he is a machine. I keep adding weight and he keeps banging out the reps- 12 reps, sometimes 15. He'll just keep going, so I add more weight and he can still keep going! I think it is the supplements. What should i do? Is he going to get bigger lifting for 12-15 reps, 4 sets.
    What do you guys recommend I do with him?

  2. #2
    D.L.'s Avatar
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    I keep adding weight and he keeps banging out the reps- 12 reps, sometimes 15. He'll just keep going, so I add more weight and he can still keep going! I think it is the supplements. What should i do? Is he going to get bigger lifting for 12-15 reps, 4 sets.
    just throw even more weight on...
    if he keeps banging 12 reps when you get to 500lbs benchpress just sign him up for some powerlifting comp...

  3. #3
    chicamahomico's Avatar
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    1.) To gain primarily lean weight with little fat he must understand the gains will come quite slowly, but they will be fairly steady increases. This has been my experience.

    2.) If he's making 12-15 reps and the desired range is 6-10, one of two things is happening. Either there is not enough weight on the bar, with respect to the desired rep range, to begin with or he's not keeping his form consistent throughout the set.

    I like a combination of heavy, low rep compound movements followed by higher rep lighter weight isolation exercises.
    example:

    deadlift 4 x 5-8 reps
    shrugs 4 x 5-8 reps
    chinup 4 x 5-8 reps ( add weight belt to keep reps in range )
    hyperextensions 3 x 20 ( add weight belt to keep reps in range )
    cable/dumbell row 4 x 12-15 ( alternate wide and narrow grip bars, 2 sets with each bar )

    Here's how you find a weight range: say for bench press
    1.) use a bench with pins
    2.) have him lie on bench
    3.) insert the pins so they are at bottom of his range of motion
    4.) rest empty bar on pins, add 400 lbs
    5.) ask him to bench it as many times as possible, odds are it didn't happen once, reduce weight
    6.) repeat this until you find a weight that he can ONLY lift 6-10 times
    Last edited by chicamahomico; 12-06-2002 at 01:24 PM.

  4. #4
    MBaraso's Avatar
    MBaraso is offline Retired Mod
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    Not everyone can bulk and cut at the same time. If he's looking to gain size then don't worry about gaining alittle weight. Bulk first then cut.
    Keep the reps low. Like on bench: 8-6-4-2, all till failure.....

  5. #5
    overactive-girl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, but I know this. The problem is that I keep increasing the weight to try to get the reps down and he keeps pushing out more reps even when I up the weight.
    For example, today I increased his weight on skullcrushers by 50%.
    That is a lot more weight, and he still did 15 reps. What the f*#k?
    Should I keep adding weight, or would that increase the risk of injury? Is his body ready for it yet? Aren't you supposed to increase weight steadily. What I'm saying is that no matter how much I throw out at him, he can do it. Should I just keep throwing more weight on?

  6. #6
    Warrior's Avatar
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    It is possible for some. You need to stagger his diet. Give him High, Mid and Low Calories days.

    If he is an endomorph you should put him on a down zig zag of 3-5 days follwed by an up of a day or two. Hatfield wrote about this in Hardcore Bodybuilding: A Scientific Approach. Bompa also talks about Prioritizing a diet in Serious Strength Training.

    Low reps are good for strength but alternate some high intensity days too. Where you shorten the rest intervals and work in drop sets, super sets and such. This depetes the muscle ATP/CP stores completely and results in greater stores made - hypertrophy. Holistic sets of bouncing back and forth from low rep (2-5 explosive compound movement), mid rep (12-15 rythmic) and high rep (40 rep of continuous tension) exercises are perfect for this and a full GIANT set should end after nearly 200 reps. It is easier than you think because he is alternating slow-twitch and fast-twitch development - but it is taxing and he will sweat! I get very nautious doing this to legs. The stress is more on intensity than strength.

    Remember to time the high intensity workouts with the increases glycogen from the up zag in calories or you will burn him out.

    That Apex Cell Volumizer stuff is okay but make sure he is pounding water with it. Since it comes as tabs. Dry tabs of creatine with only a gulp of water is bad news. He can end up holding water and cramping. Constipation has also been a problem with some taking that stuff. Have him take it post workout with a glass of water and a glass of fruit juice or Gatorade.

  7. #7
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    Thank you so much Warrior for all that great advice! As far as the Volumizer goes, luckily he had the opposite affect from constipation the first couple days or so (that's why I think he lost a couple of pounds right away).
    I am trying to understand what you explained about the diet. So, when you say "zig zag", you mean alternate hi calorie, next day mid calorie, and then low calorie, and keep following this pattern? or go then mid and then hi again? And the high calorie days should be the on the higher intensity days....which days are those (I am figuring that you mean the workouts with longer sets and shorter rest periods? or are you referring to the more explosive days with more weight and less reps?). I just want to make sure I completely understand you because this sounds like a great plan to me.
    I appreciate the advice, I will start working it in. Do you by any chance have a sample of a diet and/or workout like this that you could see?

  8. #8
    chicamahomico's Avatar
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    For example, today I increased his weight on skullcrushers by 50%.That is a lot more weight, and he still did 15 reps.
    If you are lifting a given weight that can be increased by 50% and the guy can still crank out 15 reps then the weight was NOWHERE near heavy enough to begin with. I'm assuming that his form is good and maintained throughout the entire set.
    example:

    lift 200 lbs for 15 reps
    increase weight 50% to 300lbs
    guy can lift 300 lbs for 15 reps should not be lifting 200 lbs for a normal working set

    Have you tested his one rep max for the exercises in his routine?

  9. #9
    Warrior's Avatar
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    By intensity I din't mean a basic Positions of Flexion split using heavier weight - that is strength training. I mean more for hypertrophy... I mean full intensity! HOLISTIC BABY!

    I use Holistic routines for my high intensity days on bodyparts. I have a low intensity based on German Volume Training (10 sets to 10 reps flat pyramid) - great for strength, Mid intensity of a basic POF split - good for hypertrophy and strength, and a high intensity - Holistic approach for maximum hypertrophy. This training approach (Hatfield) and the periodizing diet (Bompa) can be found in those two books in my earlier post - readily available at most bookstores.

    I could explain it all but it is better covered by them (and it'd be a loooooong post) But to answer your question on how to integrate the training and periodized diet, you have to figure in his recovery. If he was on a low cal day then following with a high intensity day would not work too well and put him close to overtraining. High Intensity days are better following or on high calorie days to allow for recovery. Bompa explains supercompensation is his book too...

    The Holistic (HIGH Intensity) workout method was a break through in my training and catapulted me from Intermediate to Advanced. It is a great way to train - builds mass and strength. High intesity days require more of a break than the lower intesity. For example, a low intesity day would require 2-3 days recover, mid intensity - 3-4, Holistic - 5-6... all depending on the body part size. Smaller ones need less rest. This is not a Biceps-on-Monday-and-Chest-on-Tuesday type training method - and it requires the athlete or coach to keep records of what was worked and how.

    But a Holistic day for Chest would be like this:

    1 - A Compound Exercise: Flat Bench Press, Explosive (2-0-2 tempo) at 5-6 reps (85% max).

    2 - A Rythmic Exercise: Incline Dumbell Press, Rythmic (4-0-2 tempo) at 12-15 reps (70-75% max).

    3 - A Contraction Exercise: Standing Machine Decline Flyes, Slow Continuous tension for 40 reps (40-50% max)

    Do them as ONE BIG GIANT SET - NO REST. In this order 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1 All in all he will do close to 200 reps. Only repeat it more than once for large bodyparts and after about a 5 minute RI.

    Do this to legs and you do get nautious - but this is what seperates the BIG DOGS from the rest

    BTW - this type of routine is for a bodybuilder with a couple years under their belt - it can overtrain new athletes reather quickly. Sounds like your client is capable of it... and he will respect it. And it would require many new sessions to fully get him familiar with it I love the stares I get doing Holistic days - people think I am absolutely crazy while they sit back and do their normal POF stuff...
    Last edited by Warrior; 12-10-2002 at 02:40 AM.

  10. #10
    sambostyle is offline New Member
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    Don't talk to clients about nutrition, you're opening yourself up for major law suits. I am a retired trainer (NASM, ACE, RTS) who is currently in law school, if you talk diet and anything goes wrong you are unduly increasing your own, not the gym's, liability.

  11. #11
    Aguro's Avatar
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    What do you mean about something turning wrong? like he get fat or something? Because i do basic program at my gym and i often give few hint on nutrition. Basic stuff.. Like avoiding eating before sleep... Cutting the carbs to lose weight.. Would i get in trouble for such thing?

  12. #12
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    Woah! Warrior- that's crazy, I've never heard of this stuff before. You just opened up a hole new world to me...that's some intense sh*t.
    thank you.
    I think I am going to hold off for a little while before introducing this to my client (that will give me time to get knowledgable on the subject).
    Plus, he's been training for years, but for the past year or so he's been sticking to Hammer Strength machines and basically doing the same old thing. He's progressing a lot just by switching over to freeweights, slowing down the tempo, and getting him to do compound movements. I'll see how far he goes with this first. He's getting stronger, but hasn't gained any size yet...we'll give it more time.
    Thank you so much for the advice- I'm blown away...I think I start using this holistic approach in my own workouts

    Sambostyle: what do you mean? What could go wrong simply by making nutrition suggestions? I do this with all my clients. Did someone sue you at some time?

  13. #13
    Warrior's Avatar
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    Originally posted by overactive-girl
    Sambostyle: what do you mean? What could go wrong simply by making nutrition suggestions? I do this with all my clients. Did someone sue you at some time?
    Most commercial gyms require a Liability Waiver to be signed at the sales desk... to use the trainer. I don't think this could happen because nutritional advice is given all the time.

  14. #14
    Warrior's Avatar
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    Originally posted by overactive-girl
    ...I think I start using this holistic approach in my own workouts
    That would be wise. Get him used to free weights and simply shorten his rest intervals and start getting him used to super sets and drop sets first. Meanwhile you try it on yourself so you can get a feel for what you will put advanced clients through.

    Honestly, I am very familiar with personal training and the niche that gets lost are the guys that feel they don't need a trianer because they are already... advanced. "Psshh - I don't need a personal trainer... I am in great shape (but I have been stuck at the same weight for a year now... )" If you can perfect this method - I am sure you will get clients that normally don't come to the trainers desk.

    Another one worth reading on is Power Factor Training by Sisco and Little. Another interesting read. This is good for clients that wish to build strength. Beware, it puts a calculator into the gym bad though But it has lots of good theories on overcoming weight plateaus and getting used to heavier loads. They had a great phrase in that book, "every workout is a kidney workout." Implying that while your muscles develop your internal organs don't and you need to adjust for heavier training. FYI

  15. #15
    BigB396 is offline New Member
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    what is a reliable inexpensive brand of creatine?

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    maybe he's waiting for the perfect time to ask you out

  17. #17
    V5RED's Avatar
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    sucks to be your client since hes paying for knowledge you dont even have yet

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warrior
    Most commercial gyms require a Liability Waiver to be signed at the sales desk... to use the trainer. I don't think this could happen because nutritional advice is given all the time.
    In most states, you cannot waive liability of injury by signing a form like this. It's a misconseption.

  19. #19
    *Narkissos*'s Avatar
    *Narkissos* is offline Anabolic Member
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    originally posted: 12-06-, 02:24 PM

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