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Articles > Nutrition > How to Get Big - From Nutrition to Training
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Typically I use a workout 8 times, and then create a new one. So each bodypart gets hit about 8 times with the particular program of interest, then I change the program. From program to program, I change things like the tempo, my squat stance, the width of my chinup grip, I alternate between stiff-leg deadlifts and regular deadlifts, front squats, and lunges, etc. Doing this, I feel, will open up a whole new world of LONG-TERM progress, help to avoid injury due to repetitive movement, protect one from over/under developing areas, give one a well rounded, symmetrical look, AND keep one from stagnating and getting bored. Squats, barbell benches, deadlifts, and chinups are at the heart of my programs and are always there in one form or another.

For me, I have found that certain splits work better for me as far as avoiding overtraining and avoiding having related areas sore for another workout. You probably know that we don't want to do bench presses with sore triceps or pullups with sore biceps. Just the same, if you train triceps after chest, they are beat from benching and won't get near the beating they would if you did them on another day away from chest. Just the same for doing biceps after pulldowns. So one has to find a happy balance between not overtraining and not being too pre-fatigued before moving into the next bodypart in a workout. I have kept my split as chest/abs, back/shoulders, arms/abs, legs. In my next training cycle, I am considering a 3 days split as chest/abs/tris then back/bis/delts, then legs/abs. I used this split all through college.

I ALWAYS train to failure. I don't stop at a count; I go to failure and then up the weight next time to preserve the rep protocol. If I get many more than the specified reps on the first set, I'd add weight next time. As you know, your reps on the given exercise WILL decrease with sets performed when you train to failure; i.e., your first set you might get 10 grueling reps on the bench but by the time you come back to that same weight for that second set, you will likely not get the same 10 reps again. Nonetheless, I leave the weight constant; I don't dynamically decrease weight here to meet rep protocols. It is too hard for me to measure progress or decide increments from there. However, this next program I am making will involve a pyramid scheme where the weight goes up each set on the power movements.

The 4 days split has worked well for me. I have tried doing different leg parts on separate days but I have always found the remaining soreness from squats will still interfere with leg curls or lunges, even a few days later. Thus I believe that, especially for big AND related bodyparts, it is best to hit them and leave them alone for a good 5 days, at least for me. That is just my opinion. There are many possible splits that are effective. I guess one has to decide how much time per week they will dedicate to working out and/or how frequently you will work out.

Below is a diet plan that I am using. During the weekends, I don't eat crap, but I change this up a bit and cook some seafood and other stuff for variety. Some days I eat more protein bars than others. Depending on the day and how busy/active I am, I might only get 6 or 7 meals; never less than 6 though. It is good to fluctuate the caloric intake. Per what I have read, this subtle fluctuation doesn't allow one's BMR (basal metabolic rate) to stagnate on a given intake. This way, I can stay super lean on over 3000 cal/day, but I seem to learn that I will have to eat even more to gain weight. I don't follow this to the "T" and while it is very close, it is just the skeleton of what I eat during the normal day.

I am super lean at 205 to 210 but right now at about 220, I am smoother than I care to be. Nonetheless, I am going to experiment again with cycling heavy food intake, then backing off, mainly by adding tons of natural peanut butter and almonds for a few weeks here and there.

Food Item Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
broccoli (1/2 lb.) 2.5 10 0 75
New Formula 53 28 4.5 340
Met-RX 37 22 2 250
1 scoop DP 17.5 0 1 90
1 teaspoon flax 0 0 3.66 36.33
Nitrotech Bar 35 34 7 290
1/2 lb. Lean beef 46 0 18 360
2/3 cup oats 5 35 3.33 200
4 strawberries 0 12 0 50
1 can chicken 75 0 7.5 300
         
Meal 1 - 6:30 a.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
New Formula 53 28 4.5 340
1 teaspoon flax 0 0 3.66 36.33
4 strawberries 0 12 0 50
2/3 cup oats 5 35 3.33 200
Totals: 58 75 11.49 626.33
(gram basis) 40.14% 51.91% 7.95%  
         
Meal 2 - 9:00 a.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
Nitrotech Bar 35 34 7 290
Totals: 35 34 7 290
(gram basis) 46.05% 44.74% 9.21%  
         
Meal 3 - 11:30 a.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
broccoli (1/2 lb.) 2.5 10 0 75
1/2 lb. Lean beef 46 0 18 360
Totals: 48.5 10 18 435
(gram basis) 63.40% 13.07% 23.53%  
         
Meal 4 - 2:00 p.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
broccoli (1/2 lb.) 2.5 10 0 75
1 can chicken 75 0 7.5 300
Totals: 77.5 10 7.5 375
(gram basis) 81.58% 10.53% 7.89%  
         
Meal 5 - 4:00 p.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
broccoli (1/2 lb.) 2.5 10 0 75
1/2 lb. Lean beef 46 0 18 360
Totals: 48.5 10 18 435
(gram basis) 63.40% 13.07% 23.53%  
         
Meal 6 - 7:00 p.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
New Formula 53 28 4.5 340
4 strawberries 0 12 0 50
2/3 cup oats 5 35 3.33 200
Totals: 58 75 7.83 590
(gram basis) 41.18% 53.25% 5.56%  
         
WORKOUT - 8:30 p.m.
         
Meal 7 - 10:00 p.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
New Formula 53 28 4.5 340
4 strawberries 0 12 0 50
2/3 cup oats 5 35 3.33 200
Totals: 58 75 7.83 590
(gram basis) 41.18% 53.25% 5.56%  
         
Meal 8 - 11:00 p.m.
  Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories
Nitrotech Bar 35 34 7 290
Totals: 35 34 7 290
(gram basis) 46.05% 44.74% 9.21%  
         
DAILY TOTALS: 44.90% 34.66% 20.44% 3631.33
(percent of daily calories)        
         

Click here for a printable version of this training regimen

DAY 4 QUADS, HAMS, CALVES
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Rest(m)
Neg.
Pause
Pos.
Pause
Movement's Time Under Tension (m)
Time On Exercise (m)
QUADS
normal stance squat 5
5 4 3 2 1
2 2 0 1 0 3.75 11.75
Rest(m)     3            
leg press 3 10 3 2 0 1 0 1.5 7.5
Rest(m)     2            
                   
HAMS
stiffleg deadlifts 5
5 4 3 2 1
2 2 0 1 0 3.00 11.75
Rest(m)     1            
                   
CALVES
seated calves 5 12 1 2 0 1 0 3.00 7.00
Rest(m)     1            
leg press calves 5 10 1 2 0 1 0 2.50 6.50
      TOTAL TIME UNDER TENSION (m): 14.50
      TOTAL WORKOUT TIME (m): 51.50
      % TRAINING TIME IN TENSION: 28.16%
                   

Written by: Matthew Pope


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