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Bulk, cut, 4 days, 3 days??

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  • Bulk, cut, 4 days, 3 days??

    I'm hoping someone here might be willing to offer me a little advice.

    I have been attempting to increase strength and put on a little muscle for a couple of years now. I feel like I have not been successful (at least to the extent I'm looking for) because I don't commit completely to a plan, or stick with it long enough, or eat correctly, or a combination.

    Long story short: After being pretty conscientious about my workouts and eating for many months, I sort of fell off the wagon last fall due to a confluence of factors going on in my life. I was eating poorly, drinking too much, and not exercising. Come January, I had put on about 10-15 extra pounds.

    So since that point, I've been doing light cardio, watching my calories and doing about 80/20 primal eating, and attempting to get that weight back off. Still have the spare tire that I'd like to be rid of, but making progress. I have not been lifting during this time.

    So...would there be any benefit to continue on this 'cutting' path until my waist is closer to what I'm looking for? I realize that I will need to eat more to add muscle, so some of it would come back. Just not sure if I should keep this up, or jump back into lifting.

    Moreover--any advice for a good lifting routine for someone who has some experience with free weights and pretty much knows proper form, but really hasn't put on much in the way of muscle? Has anyone had success with Mark's program?

    I was, for quite awhile, attempting to follow this '4 day split routine' (it was either this exact plan or something very similar). Dougs 4 Day Split Workout | Muscle & Strength

    Whether I was not pushing myself enough, not eating enough, or attempting to move up in weight too quickly, I did not feel like I was making a whole lot of progress, even after several months.

    Thoughts? I would appreciate any advice offered. Thanks.

  • #2
    Looking at the program, it's certainly not optimal for gaining size. From what you tell us, if you seek a good mass building workout program, starting with an upper/lower split routine would be the best.
    I also wrote a piece on upper lower split routines for mass.

    Also don't forget to check your calories and track them daily, keeping a surplus if you want to gain muscle.
    I am not a bodybuilding/fat loss/strength training "guru" BUT I achieved a lean state with ease after learning the correct way to train and eat and I want to HELP YOU achieve the same.

    Getting fit is also about managing your mindset:
    http://getfitmindset.com

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    • #3
      You can put on muscle and lose fat, i'm doing that right now.

      I lift once per month, the body uses that rest period for pretty cool gains (given the effort)

      if you lift to failure over a short rep range you are pushing your body to adapt, give it a break (weeks) to do that and you will be pleasantly surprised

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      • #4
        while it is possible to add muscle and lose fat at the same time, its not optimal. you have to determine what your goals are for right now, for a year from now, for 5 years from now, etc and then go in that direction. if you want to make any sort of real muscle gains, you need a caloric surplus. you can fine tune that surplus all you want, but typically the side effect will still be some fat gain. if you want to lose fat, you need a caloric defecit.

        your exercise plan may vary. some people lift heavy all the time. some people only do bodyweight work. some people use more of a bodybuilding styled workout plan. again, what are your goals?

        personally, i like to add muscle over the winter time. i'm hidden under long sleeved shirts and sweaters for months at a time. so i do most of my heavy lifting in the fall and winter. i eat in a caloric surplus. i add a few lbs of muscle and a few lbs of fat. for the spring and summer, i want to lose fat, so i shift the focus of my workouts, and clean up the excess calories. the extra few lbs of fat come off and i look good on the beach.

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        • #5
          To be fair i dropped 28lb of fat before i started lifting again, so the bulk of my excess fat had already dropped before i tried putting muscle on.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
            your exercise plan may vary. some people lift heavy all the time. some people only do bodyweight work. some people use more of a bodybuilding styled workout plan. again, what are your goals?
            Mostly, I want (to borrow an acronym from Mark's book) to 'LGN.' More definition, flatter stomach, etc. Not concerned with being huge.

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            • #7
              To be honest, i would only ever lift heavy, i would do it once a month until i'd hit my size targets and then i would do it less often, just a few times a year probably, to maintain.

              lifting light is just asking to spend more time in the gym, which i see as an unnecessary waste of time. if you love being in the gym, have at it!

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              • #8
                It's difficult for me to imagine how one would make any significant gains lifting "once a month," even when lifting "heavy."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
                  It's difficult for me to imagine how one would make any significant gains lifting "once a month," even when lifting "heavy."
                  +1 on this one
                  Caution! My replies may contain traces of nuts!. My posts are just my opinion based on my experience with the primal way of life, there is no assurance it will work with others in the same way.

                  Started Primal 15th October 2012
                  Height 5'9"
                  Start weight 200lb
                  Loss so far 33.8lbs, now 166.2lb
                  Goal was 168lb's

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                  • #10
                    on the 7th of Feb i squat 140kg, on the 7th of march i squat 150kg, i will squat 160kg on the 7th april. so on and so forth, until i max the machine out at 220kg (i know because i've done it before)

                    i don't ache for the first 48 hours and then it stays for 2-4 days, how can anyone be giving the body enough rest by training 2, 3, 4, 5 times a week??

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by UTfootball747 View Post
                      Mostly, I want (to borrow an acronym from Mark's book) to 'LGN.' More definition, flatter stomach, etc. Not concerned with being huge.
                      you could stick to a bodyweight program and be consistent with it. or you could hit the weights. its really up to you. do you have access to a gym? a homegym? i started a thread recently about a great site i stumbled across. check out madbarz.com and then click on "ROUTINES" at the top. a few of those routines each week and clean eating with the proper amounts of calories/protein/fat/carbs will have you well on your way to LGN

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Greenbeast View Post
                        on the 7th of Feb i squat 140kg, on the 7th of march i squat 150kg, i will squat 160kg on the 7th april. so on and so forth, until i max the machine out at 220kg (i know because i've done it before)

                        i don't ache for the first 48 hours and then it stays for 2-4 days, how can anyone be giving the body enough rest by training 2, 3, 4, 5 times a week??
                        If indeed you are being serious, I'm sorry, but this is still terrible advice. The notion of making appreciable gains in terms of either lean muscle mass or strength whilst working out once a month is laughable. If you genuinely manage to do this then you are extremely rare and your advise is all but useless to the OP.

                        Without knowing your own statistics and the workout you are doing it isn't even possible to determine if you are lifting heavy or not. Also what is the machine? A squat is a free weight exercise...

                        As for the aches; if you only work out once a month, of course you are going to be sore for a few days! Regular workouts actually decrease the duration and intensity of the aches, although you can obviously experience chronic fatigue of you overtrain.

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                        • #13
                          In response to the OP. It is generally easier to work on strength and or size first, then work on reduced body fat afterwards. As has been said above, this requires a calorific excess. It also requires you to really commit to a proper workout routine. Note that this does not require a huge amount of your time (2 or 3 sessions a week along with as much slow moving as manageable is fine), but does require a huge amount of effort when working out.

                          The thing is, if you don't eat enough or workout out properly, you will likely achieve very little indeed.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by maclrc View Post
                            If indeed you are being serious, I'm sorry, but this is still terrible advice. The notion of making appreciable gains in terms of either lean muscle mass or strength whilst working out once a month is laughable. If you genuinely manage to do this then you are extremely rare and your advise is all but useless to the OP.

                            Without knowing your own statistics and the workout you are doing it isn't even possible to determine if you are lifting heavy or not. Also what is the machine? A squat is a free weight exercise...

                            As for the aches; if you only work out once a month, of course you are going to be sore for a few days! Regular workouts actually decrease the duration and intensity of the aches, although you can obviously experience chronic fatigue of you overtrain.
                            I am being serious. I train with a friend of mine who is a very well trained guy. He know his stuff. He gets similar results with all of his clients.
                            It's laughable only to someone used to conventional wisdom (weight lifting this time instead of eating)

                            I weigh 10st8lb, 5'9" tall. BF % ~13% (measured)

                            I only do two exercises, squats and pull downs
                            The machine i refer to is merely a safety device. although you have made me curious about what i would lift on completely 'free' weights.


                            It's not bad advice, but it doesn't bother me if people don't want to follow it, i'm not out to train the world, just myself.
                            I just hate to see people waste time in the gym that they don't need to.
                            Also someone could hit their targets within a year rather than alwasy striving and never making it, or it taking years of faffing around with light weights (unless that's all you have access to)

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                            • #15
                              Dude - just lift. Find a program you like (try the one Marinas Florin posted) and do it. Keep eating primal and your physique will change. People over think this shit way too much. Once you get to be more advanced (intermediate lifter) then you can start futzing with bulk/cut scenarios and all that.
                              I have met way too many guys that fail before they even start because they focus on the minutiae instead of getting off their ass and just doing it. Don't be one of them. You have the tools.
                              People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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