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TOPIC: What You should know If you want to get jacked.

What You should know If you want to get jacked. 15 Apr 2020 11:13 #221949

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Ok so I thought I would get a topic going that gives people some hard truths about using gear, getting jacked and being big and muscle-bound.


1.) This is a marathon, not a sprint race.

Every jacked guy out there will have pretty much 1 thing in common, they have been at this for a long time. Yes you get the genetically elite that after 3 years they have blown up and put on 40kgs of muscle, but chances are, that isn't you. Most elite-level bodybuilders have been athletes or training for a very long time. EG Ronnie Coleman was into football and powerlifting before bodybuilding. Lee Priest had been training from i think it was 13 before he won an overall show as a junior at the age of 16. Common factor? They have been at it for al long time.

2.) Consistency is key.

going along the lines of doing this for a long time is you have to be consistently doing this for a long time in order to get to where you want to be. Your Physique is rented, and the rent is due every day. you are going to have to learn to eat the same boring shit and do the same boring squats, for many many many years consistently, with progressing the weights and food to meet your goals.


3.) Train hard.

Most people train like pussys. I have seen it a 1000x where someone out the weight down at rep 8 but could have done 20 reps. that isn't training hard. I usually suggest doing only 1 set to all-out failure, but it doesn't mean that the other sets have to be far from failure. I am talking stopping 1 rep short of failure eg you hit that squat for 10 reps, and you know that you aren't gonna get up if you attempt 11 reps, that is where you need to be. Then take that last set to where you would get up, and get your partner to spot you. but only do 1 set to that point.

4.) Changing your routine frequently isn't a good idea.

you wanna know how to get a big squat? you do squats frequently. Muscles are used to specificity. look at powerlifters, they do the 3 big lifts frequently and are brilliant at them, why? because they do them week in and week out, with a mild variation. same with bodybuilders. you need to do the same things frequently, and continue to add weight, reps, or sets. The more often you do a movement, the better you get at it, the better you will progress. change out an exercise only when you stop making progress. Yes, this can be boring, but are you wanting gains or entertainment? Suck it up.

5.) Not having a plan is planning to fail.

been going into the gym and just doing random routines for each day and are not making much progress? Your lack of planning is setting you up for shitty results. if you stick to a set routine, push yourself and monitor the progress you are going to blow up faster than you ever had.

6.) Stick to big movements, free weights or machines.

everyone says that machines are useless blah blah blah, But doing a hammer strength chest press with 80kgs on each side vs doing a dumbell press with 40kgs in each hand, will result in more strain on the muscle. but remember all machines aren't created equal. doing a pec dec as your main chest movement vs doing a pressing movement isn't going to be as effective for growth for example. Focus on big movements such as presses, rows, pulls etc... if you are wanting massive legs what's going to do more for your quads? a 150kg hack squat or a 60kg leg extension? always go for the bigger movement.

7.) EAT.
food is the most anabolic substance in the world. Without it, you are wasting your time. work your macronutrients out, stick to it consistently and do that for 10 years. You will grow.

8.) SLEEP REST AND RECOVERY.

If you aren't sleeping you won't recover, and that means lack of growth. sleep 8 hours a day, allow the body to recover and you will make progress. remember muscle growth is a result of continual muscle damage that has repaired over time. if you are training 7 days a week, and are constantly sore and only sleeping 5 hours a day, you will make terrible gains. If you cut back to 4 to 5 days a week, and slept 6 hours a day for those training days and slept 8 to 9 hours a day on the non-training days you will make better gains.

9.) Supplements and PEDS are the icing on the cake.

Sorry to break it to you, all 3000mg test a week, and no food and no sleep and shitty training are going to give you shit results. taking 300mg of test a week with a decent amount of food and sleep and decent training will give you 10x the results. If we rely on supplements and steroids but don't do the rest of the work and we are going to have poor results. I have done the 2grams of gear a week before, and I have done 400mg of gear a week and gotten way better results from the 400mg. Less is more once you have all the above is sorted.

10.) Take a week off training every 6 to 8 weeks.

Again with the rest and recovery, taking time off from the gym allows your joints and tendons to recover from the heavy lifting. Tendons have poor blood flow, unlike muscles. So if you are wanting long term gains, take a week to 2 off every 6 to 8 weeks and keep your body in a happy place to recover. Spend the time getting a massage done, or with your friends and family and keep to your diet, but allow for recovery.

11.) Don't neglect the 3 F's. Family, friends, and food.

Unless you are 2 or 3 weeks out from a show, then don't neglect the people around you. if you get invited to grandma's house for lunch, don't be a cunt and not eat her mash potatoes or eat out of a Tupperware. 1 meal ain't is going to probably aid you, not hinder you.

Feel free to add your bits and pieces, But I thought this would be a fun topic.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 15 Apr 2020 11:41 #221950

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I would like to add that I took your advice recently @Empire - The one about a small book and writing everything I eat in there is helping a lot more than I thought !! That was the best advice someone could've given me. Its not like a cellphone where you start to get distracted to other stuff like instagram and whatsapp. YOU actually focus on your diet more with a small boekie and a pencil. Morning weigh ins and daily goals. It also lines out a more realistic goal for if you see yesterday you slagged off a bit the next day you make bloody sure u meet all the macros and requirements !

EDIT:
I will keep the forum posted on my natural transformation.
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2020 11:44 by vladtheimpaler.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 15 Apr 2020 12:54 #221951

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12.) KEEP A LOG BOOK OF YOUR TRAINING AND FOOD.

If performance is your goal how do you track it? surely you need to have a benchmark to measure against? using guestimations is never going to work. If you have a logbook of training you know the last time you did leg press you did 400kgs for 11 reps. so now you need to get 12 reps or even up the weight. I honestly cannot remember every training session I have done in a week so without a logbook, I am lost. if I don't progress I look at the factors, did I rest enough between sets? did I have good enough sleep? all these factors are factors.

Same with nutrition. if you aren't losing weight why is it? did you not weight and measure your food? did you not count that coke and pie you got from the garage? did you guestimate how much rice you ate? well if you don't have that benchmark you are wasting your time. these days there are apps you can use on your phone that will help with this but keep a record of what you are doing....if it goes in your pie hole and is anything other than water or calorie free cooldrinks, it counts!
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 17 Apr 2020 07:55 #221974

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13.) MAKE MINOR CHANGES, 1 VARIABLE AT A TIME

Many people change far too many factors all at once and actually don't know what is working for them. This can be seen on an offseason where someone will change their diet, change their training and add more drugs and supplements. Which one is working? pick one and hope for the best? NO. Do everything in 12-week blocks. Stick to 1 training plan and 1 steroid cycle for the 12 weeks, and adjust the diet to meet that goal. if you don't get results in that 12 weeks, swap out A SINGLE VARIABLE.

same can be said when dieting down for a show. Unpopular opinion, but Dance with the Woman that you came with. So stick to the same training you were doing in the offseason as you would in prep, so if you been lifting 5 days a week off-season, DONT CHANGE IT. alter your diet or cardio or fat burners 1 at a time. If you add in cardio, clen, and yohimbine and drop 300 calories from your diet, which one is working for you? that's why it is always best to do a longer contest prep/diet so that you can see what is working for you.

I have done diets and preps where i have stuck to the same training week on week for 16 weeks and i have done a prep where everything changed every 2nd or 3rd week. For my own mental sanity i couldn't keep changing things cos i didn't know what was consistent. i like to know that i have 3 upper body workouts and 3 lower body workouts which i alternate, and everything i come back to that work out i know what i did last time for that exercise, eg weight, reps, sets, and i have to beat those numbers.


14.) IF YOU ARENT PROGRESSING ON AN EXERCISE AFTER THE 22ND OR 3RD ATTEMPT SWAP IT OUT.

Following on for changing a few variables at a time. if you do a deadlift of 150kgs for 3 sets of 8,7,4 and the next week you get 8,6,2 but you know that you slept like crap, or you missed a couple of meals, you are stressed about something then come back again the next week, if you cant get more than the 8,6,2 then you know its time to swap it out for something else eg a rack pull. Don't change things based on 1 bad training session, as I have stated in a thread about contest prep, I made continual progress on the same routine for the better part of 9 months having to swap out 3 exercises because of stalled progress.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 17 Apr 2020 10:51 #221982

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Great info thx +1
Divulge all information pertaining what substances you are using, otherwise the information given can be detrimental to your health.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 25 Apr 2020 17:40 #222040

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Really good info +1

Only thing to disagree with is No. 6 - sticking to/focussing on big movements, free weights and machines.

Firstly, if people say that machines are useless then they're going to hate the fact that in terms of effectiveness for bodybuilding the order is most likely: elastic bands > cables > machines > free weights :lol: With good ROM and moderate weight (12-25 reps) - the examples of pec deck vs chest pressing and leg extensions vs squats are probably reversed with pec deck and leg extensions being better for the chest and quads respectively.

By using isolation exercises in your initial sets you can get each muscle to failure more efficiently and move onto another muscle while you're mentally and physically fresh and ready to kill them. Then do the big movements at the end to recruit all of the exhausted muscles together with your fresh stabilizers (which have been resting because of the isolation). Our goal is to reach failure a few times per muscle and this way we can reach it without having to do those 150kg hack squats as we may find ourselves failing at 10 reps with 60kgs :cheer: This way you also finish the session exhausted and out of breath rather than being exhausted from the big movements at the beginning which may effect the rest of your session!
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 26 Apr 2020 13:47 #222046

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I think this applies nicely to a more intermediate athlete, possible a new gym goer may need to concentrate on foundational movements for better overall development initially.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 26 Apr 2020 17:39 #222047

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Gym_Junkie wrote:
I think this applies nicely to a more intermediate athlete, possible a new gym goer may need to concentrate on foundational movements for better overall development initially.

On the contrary, it may be better for a beginner athlete to start with isolation movements. When they do big movements such as bench, squats and worst of all, deadlifts, the most common complaint is that they "Don't feel it where they are supposed to" i.e. feeling their shoulders, triceps or rotator cuffs taking the strain on bench; making the rest of their chest exercises way harder to perform without them fatiguing...! Without having a solid mind-muscle connection beginners also tend to let their stronger muscles take over in a big movement which would/should amplify imbalances and because they are a bit 'wobbly' they can injure themselves and fall into poor form habits quite easily.

Building stronger muscles on machines where you are unlikely to get injured (12-25 rep failing range), helps to stabilize the body for movements that may be unstable or difficult at a later stage. Isolating can be used to build mind-muscle connection which can then be used when the athletes progress onto bigger movements i.e. they will know what it feels like to contract their hammies/glutes properly so they can contract them on their deadlifts rather than taking it into their spine/lower back.

Just my 2c
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 27 Apr 2020 08:00 #222050

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Hey Hormonas,

thanks for the feedback, we are all here to add knowledge and opinions, and its all for the better of everyone reading this.
Hormonas wrote:
Firstly, if people say that machines are useless then they're going to hate the fact that in terms of effectiveness for bodybuilding the order is most likely: elastic bands > cables > machines > free weights :lol: With good ROM and moderate weight (12-25 reps) - the examples of pec deck vs chest pressing and leg extensions vs squats are probably reversed with pec deck and leg extensions being better for the chest and quads respectively.

i have to disagree with you here completely. bands more effective than machines and free weights? ummmm no.

what is the first thing guys say when they see a jacked guy? how much can you bench bro? not how many elastic bands do you attach to something to try and get muscle contraction?? there is has and always will be a hierarchy of exercises, and if you said to me you can only do 1 chest exercises for the rest of your life i would probably pick incline smith machine press over a peck deck. look at every massive guy out there, did they start with doing pec decks week in and week out to get insane chest development? go back through time and you will have a common theme of the best chest builders are a press and a dip. yes after years and years adding in isolation movements have got their place, either as a pre-exhaustion technique or as a metabolic conditioning technique.

you have to look at an exercise and say to yourself, what is going to recruit the most muscle fibers, and what is going to be better for progressive overload. ANY PROGRAM THAT IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD WILL BASE EVERYTHING ON COMPOUND MOVEMENTS. Moderate weight can work in the higher rep ranges as long as it is taken to failure or 95% close to failure. i have backed off taking a muscle group to failure once per exercise as any more i just wreck my joints. 2 sets 1 shy of failure in an 6-10 rep range, and then 1 set of failure in the 8-12 rep range is usually my go-to bread and butter. last year i did a program where i took NOTHING to FAILURE. I got great growth, however, i stopped 1 shy of failure putting in 90% of max-effort into each set.
Hormonas wrote:
By using isolation exercises in your initial sets you can get each muscle to failure more efficiently and move onto another muscle while you're mentally and physically fresh and ready to kill them. Then do the big movements at the end to recruit all of the exhausted muscles together with your fresh stabilizers (which have been resting because of the isolation). Our goal is to reach failure a few times per muscle and this way we can reach it without having to do those 150kg hack squats as we may find ourselves failing at 10 reps with 60kgs :cheer: This way you also finish the session exhausted and out of breath rather than being exhausted from the big movements at the beginning which may affect the rest of your session!

Ok, what you are saying is that taking your 3 sets to failure on pec deck is going to leave you physically fresh for the next exercise? that is a complete contradiction in itself. taking a muscle to failure multiple times is going to leave you exhausted, not fresh.

let's go with this :

Are you going to be strongest in an incline smith bench press if you warm up progressively eg as you increase the warm up weight you lower the number of reps. eg bar for 10 reps, bar + 10kgs for 8 reps, bar + 15kgs for 5 reps etc etc. and then doing 2 working sets, first 1 to 1 shy of failure, and second 1 to all out failure.

or are you going to be strongest doing an incline dumbell fly first and then going into an incline smith machine press?

you are going to be fatigued going into the press in the 2nd option. so where you may be able to do 150kgs for 6 reps in the first example, you will only do 130kgs for 6 reps in the second example.

now we know that a smith machine press works chest, triceps, front delts, but now you loading those muscles with less weight because you have pre-exhausted the chest with a fly.

there is a reason when you watch videos of Ronnie, Dusty Hanshaw, Dante Trudell(creator of Dogg Crapp training) jay, Jordan peters, hypertrophy coach, Phil Heath, they all started out their careers doing big movers.

Let's use Ronnie for example. he started in powerlifting doing a bench press. not incline flys or pec deck before bench press. Throughout his life, there are numerous videos out there of Ronnie playing with close on 200Lb dumbells for chest press. how many iconic videos do you see of him doing pec deck? NONE. these jacked-up physiques are built on insane compound movements and refined with the isolation movements.

if I said to Jordan Peters or Ronnie Coleman you can do 1 exercise for hamstrings 3x a week and 2x exercises for quads 3x a week, I can tell you now, their answer wouldn't be anywhere close to leg extensions and standing hamstring curls. I can put money on it that they would have either squat or hack squats or leg press and lunges with most likely a stiff leg deadlift or Romanian deadlift. why?

if you are putting in maximal effort into a set, wouldn't you want the most amount of muscles and muscle fibers recruited? even in the higher rep ranges. look at Tom Plats, He was known to do 50 reps squats, and he had massive legs. They didn't come from doing leg extensions as a pre-exhaust.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 27 Apr 2020 08:27 #222051

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On the contrary, it may be better for a beginner athlete to start with isolation movements. When they do big movements such as bench, squats and worst of all, deadlifts, the most common complaint is that they "Don't feel it where they are supposed to" i.e. feeling their shoulders, triceps or rotator cuffs taking the strain on bench; making the rest of their chest exercises way harder to perform without them fatiguing...! Without having a solid mind-muscle connection beginners also tend to let their stronger muscles take over in a big movement which would/should amplify imbalances and because they are a bit 'wobbly' they can injure themselves and fall into poor form habits quite easily.

I am going to have to disagree with you once again here. I am yet to see guys like Mark Rippetoe, Charles Poliquin, Christian Thibaudeau ever prescribe any beginner an isolation movement over a compound movement. Ever. if they are wanting to build a mind-muscle connection, then do things like activation sets where they are using an isometric hold with little to no weight to feel the muscle contracting. let's use a bicep curl for an activation. if someone cant do a bicep curl and hold their bicep in peak contraction for 10 seconds with no weight what so ever, then they will never be able to complete the mind-muscle connection doing 30kgs on a preacher curl. if you can't do it without weight, you won't do it ever, no matter what exercise it is. if you can stand straight up and contract your glutes, you never going to be able to contract your glutes in a hip thrust, a glute kickback, and glute pull through or any other magical exercise for isolating glutes.

Beginners often cause imbalances by even doing a pec deck incorrectly. I have seen it a thousand times where a beginner will load up a peck dec with way too much weight, roll his shoulders forward, use all arms and shoulders to move the weight, and still develop NO MIND MUSCLE CONNECTION WHAT SO EVER. And why is that? cos he hasn't done enough chest pressing (bench or dumbell) to realize you need to keep your chest high and shoulders back to stabilize, and then contract the weight using your chest vs all your stabilizers.
Building stronger muscles on machines where you are unlikely to get injured (12-25 rep failing range), helps to stabilize the body for movements that may be unstable or difficult at a later stage. Isolating can be used to build mind-muscle connection which can then be used when the athletes progress onto bigger movements i.e. they will know what it feels like to contract their hammies/glutes properly so they can contract them on their deadlifts rather than taking it into their spine/lower back.

yet again, I am not going to agree with you. Using a machine vs doing a free weight may strengthen your main movers quickly, however it does NO work for stabilizers. So your idea of getting strong on an isolation movement first and then moving to a compound movement is going to cause WAY more injury. Lets go with this

Joe average does 3 months of chest press on a machine, gets really strong on the machine, but his stabilizers see no action. he goes onto doing a dumbell chest press, and things that he can do more weight than he should cos he has been doing machine chest press for 3 months. he lifts those dumbells of 30kgs each, they are going to be more than often too heavy because he is young and ego lifting is a thing. so he lifts, cant keep a straight arm path, those dumbells wobble all over the show, and ends up destroying his rotator cuff because of the rotation. would that have happened if he had started on a dumbell press from the start and those stabilizers would have been active from the start? probably not because he would have also practiced that movement over the last couple of months and would have become better at it over time.


look at the common basic programs out there, Starting strength 5x5 is probably the best one out for a beginner lifter. it focuses on : the squat, the deadlift, the bench press, the shoulder press, and the row.

I have taken clients that have competed for 2 years, and put them on something similar in nature as 5x5 but using dumbell variants of each movement and in 4 months, gained more strength and size training 3x a week doing that then they did of 2 years competing. One woman i trained, battled to squat more than 40kgs total. by the end of 16 weeks, she was squatting 90kgs of 5 sets of 5. her deadlift went from 35kgs to 85kgs. her legs and ass looked better than ever and that program had 0 isolation work and she ended up going from placing nowhere in shows to getting a 2nd at SA champs because over a year she focussed on big movements over isolation movements.
Last Edit: 27 Apr 2020 08:28 by Empire.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 27 Apr 2020 08:30 #222052

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one thing i must add, doing the 12-25 rep range to failure is also going to cause injuries. i have seen people tear muscles warming up with bodyweight. a lot of people will be fatigued trying to reach failure within that range more so than the 6-15 rep range.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 27 Apr 2020 10:29 #222054

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Nicely constructed with good analogies.
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"--Henry Ford
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 27 Apr 2020 13:32 #222055

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I don't really care which big bodybuilder says what - genetics, food, training and drugs make a good bodybuilder and MANY bodybuilders would change how they trained if they knew what they know now. There has been a massive movement away from the old school "heavy weight and compound exercises" in recent years.
i have to disagree with you here completely. bands more effective than machines and free weights? ummmm no.

100% yes :lol: Better yet - using bands combined with machines. Free weights have a poor resistance curve when compared to machines, cables and bands (many studies available online) and a good resistance curve helps to keep tension on the muscle, increasing resistance as the muscle is contracting and becoming stronger resulting in more time and stress under tension...! I am not saying beginners should jump to using elastics because they can be quite hard to control without good mind-muscle connection but us intermediate/advanced bodybuilders should all be incorporating them.

An example being bicep curls - you can generally only lift as much as your biceps can lift through the first bit of the movement, it gets harder around the midway mark and then your biceps relax a little bit at the top of the movement, or not, depending on how well you train. But with a band, the resistance grows while you are moving through the movement and when our muscle is contracting very hard (the muscles strongest position) the band is at it's "heaviest" which makes it ideal. Usually this would be the most relaxed position whether your's squatting, benching or curling.
go back through time and you will have a common theme of the best chest builders are a press and a dip. yes after years and years adding in isolation movements have got their place, either as a pre-exhaustion technique or as a metabolic conditioning technique.

We can also go through time and take the recommended Deca Only or Dbol as a base cycles and say those are the most important/best but we know there are better ways to do things now. Just an example - you get my point! :) Most bodybuilders are moving away from massively heavy weight and big movements and I bet if most of the heavy lifters you mentioned (bodybuilders) didn't LOVE to lift big and heavy and if they were assured they'd gain the same amount of muscle by training lighter and using different techniques while risking less injury, they'd like that.
yet again, I am not going to agree with you. Using a machine vs doing a free weight may strengthen your main movers quickly, however it does NO work for stabilizers. So your idea of getting strong on an isolation movement first and then moving to a compound movement is going to cause WAY more injury. Lets go with this

The goal is to NOT work the stabilizers for the first few exercises because fatigued stabilizers will ruin the rest of the session - isolate first and then you can do lighter big movements at the end where you incorporate all of the muscles and stabilizers together. And reach failure without having to do the big movements with very heavy weight.
Ok, what you are saying is that taking your 3 sets to failure on pec deck is going to leave you physically fresh for the next exercise? that is a complete contradiction in itself. taking a muscle to failure multiple times is going to leave you exhausted, not fresh.

No, what I am saying is that sets to failure on pec deck are going to fatigue your chest (only - so yes, leaving other muscles 'fresh'), then cable flies (chest with a little bit of stabilizer/other muscles), then bench where we try to target our fatigued chest but our other muscles naturally help us as the chest is failing. If they trained the other way around, I think many beginners would be complaining about sore shoulders mid-way through their cable sets.
Joe average does 3 months of chest press on a machine, gets really strong on the machine, but his stabilizers see no action. he goes onto doing a dumbbell chest press, and things that he can do more weight than he should cos he has been doing machine chest press for 3 months. He lifts those dumbells of 30kgs each, they are going to be more than often too heavy because he is young and ego lifting is a thing. so he lifts, cant keep a straight arm path, those dumbells wobble all over the show, and ends up destroying his rotator cuff because of the rotation

Fair example but we aren't neglecting the rotator cuffs, stabilizers or big movements we are just doing big exercises that engage them toward the end of the session where it's more likely Joe will benefit from them and reach failure by using far less weight.
look at Tom Plats, He was known to do 50 reps squats, and he had massive legs. They didn't come from doing leg extensions as a pre-exhaust.

Tom was a fucking animal when it came to leg extensions and curls and often used them before squatting. One of my points is that while a beginner may be squatting - what muscle is failing? Is your actual muscle failing enough or are you stopping because you're out of breath or because overall your legs are "exhausted"? Are your quads about to fail when you were kinda hoping to feel it in your glutes or hammies? Are your hammies about to fail but suddenly you use more of your quad for 4 reps and now your hamstring has lost some of the tension etc etc? Tom knew how to activate all of these muscles so even when he is doing the big movements he is still able to focus on working specific areas. The above is an issue for beginners so I'd say to them "ensure you reach failure on each of the muscles individually through isolation so you know that every box is ticked and then you can combine the muscles with big movements at the end".


I used 12-25 reps as a reference because it's highly unlikely to get injured in that rep range (if you aren't over stretching or throwing the weight around), it's as effective in terms of muscle growth as 5-12 reps and there is a much higher chance you're using the correct form with a 12-25 rep weight than a 5-12 rep weight. I've known more people getting injured from 5x5 than any other program aside from powerlifting ones - not sure why one would tell a beginner to do a relatively heavy weight of 5 complicated compound exercises...!

I understand how most of this seems very unconventional (having honors, 4 diplomas and 10 years experience in the exercise science and nutrition field - this goes against what most of my textbooks suggested...) but for bodybuilding, isolation is king.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 27 Apr 2020 16:32 #222056

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I understand there are many ways to do things, reach muscle failure and progressively overload... And just clarify I wasn't mentioning degrees/diplomas to come across smart or anything, literally just to say that this technique isn't seen in textbooks or much at all. Maybe because it's classified as "pre exhaustion".

I simply theorize that in bodybuilding there are no "pre exhausting" sets - there are purely sets that are taking you toward that muscle's failure point so that it's forced to grow... And since we now know that heavy load isn't necessarily required for growth - we can arrange the session in a way that means we are failing with far lighter weights on big movements which we would normally need to load-up to get the same desired effect. This higher load would lead to a beginner favouring dominant muscles without meaning to and/or could lead to various injuries. If the big movement is done at the end of a session with moderate weight on a machine - awesome, if it's done with a spotter/safely with free weights then that's cool too.

I also believe that although the big 5 lifts are functional and should be incorporated in some way to promote stability and strength through common movements - they are not entirely necessary for bodybuilding as our primary goal is targeted muscle failure and we could use other exercises to reach that point.

Try a couple of sessions with this reversed technique - the squats at the end are enough to make a man cry :lol: full leg pump, good muscle pain, feeling the contractions etc but still allowing the rested stabilizers to protect the joints (even though they aren't being loaded very much) - and I believe THAT is where the squat is most useful!
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 28 Apr 2020 10:31 #222060

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This is what i love about this forum, people actually dont mind a friendly debate, we all have opinions and love that we can hash this out,most other forums,it becomes a dick measuring contest.

dont get me wrong, i agree with the science and principle of bands and strength curves etc, but no one has really built massive muscle using bands only, and if they have, please let us know who they are?

add in a band to an exercise will make it better if done correctly. i have done banded deadlifts and rackpulls and those absolutely insane, doing a banded RDL where the band is pulling your hips back also amazing way to add resistance to the exercise. so yes adding bands to machines can work, but how you are prioritizing the band over the machine or even the free weight is backward, IN MY OPINION at least. Science will prove 1 thing but practical application isn't as easy as science makes it out to be. so yes through the whole motion of the muscle, the band may exert more stimulus but how do you measure that, and progressively overload that? why aren't there a whole bunch of jacked guys running around only promoting band work here?

I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to work stabilizers and make them stronger? it makes no sense to me. If performing exercises and progression techniques correctly, stabilizers will get stronger as you go along.

so i want to check something, you are basically saying that doing a banded leg extension, banded/cable hamstring curl and say a banded hip thrust would present better growth than doing a hack squat, RDL and weighted hip thrust? i just dont see someone being able to load the muscle to progress doing this for long term results.


I am really surprised you have seen major injuries come from 5x5 when you start with next to no weight at all and only progress once you are able to achieve the full amount of reps. if they are getting injured they they arent recovered properly or moving too quickly through the progression.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 28 Apr 2020 10:43 #222061

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Hormonas wrote:
I understand there are many ways to do things, reach muscle failure and progressively overload... And just clarify I wasn't mentioning degrees/diplomas to come across smart or anything, literally just to say that this technique isn't seen in textbooks or much at all. Maybe because it's classified as "pre exhaustion".

I simply theorize that in bodybuilding there are no "pre exhausting" sets - there are purely sets that are taking you toward that muscle's failure point so that it's forced to grow... And since we now know that heavy load isn't necessarily required for growth - we can arrange the session in a way that means we are failing with far lighter weights on big movements which we would normally need to load-up to get the same desired effect. This higher load would lead to a beginner favouring dominant muscles without meaning to and/or could lead to various injuries. If the big movement is done at the end of a session with moderate weight on a machine - awesome, if it's done with a spotter/safely with free weights then that's cool too.

I also believe that although the big 5 lifts are functional and should be incorporated in some way to promote stability and strength through common movements - they are not entirely necessary for bodybuilding as our primary goal is targeted muscle failure and we could use other exercises to reach that point.

Try a couple of sessions with this reversed technique - the squats at the end are enough to make a man cry :lol: full leg pump, good muscle pain, feeling the contractions etc but still allowing the rested stabilizers to protect the joints (even though they aren't being loaded very much) - and I believe THAT is where the squat is most useful!

see i personally dont feel that going to failure needs to happen every set, i make sure that if doing 2 sets the first 2 are aimed at progressive overload with a heavier weight in the right rep range. the 6-12 rep range is where i usually aim for then a 3rd set is backed off, and taken to failure like that. I felt the best i have ever felt doing this, and grew the most i have grown and that was only using trt. so if i had added more to the cycle i would have blown up quite a lot. i like using that RPE scale, so, for example, those first 2 sets are at an RPE 8- 8,5 and that last set is a rpe 9.5 to 10 where possible to perform in a safe exercise. a 15-25 reps set at an rpe 8.5 to 9.5 is fucking difficult and can also lead to injury just as much as RPE 8.5 to 9 on a 5-12 rep set.

we need to use everything as a technique, failure being 1 technique. a lot of people feel fatigued is a failure point, and that is evident with new trainees.

i must find the video from Christian from t nation where he goes over that theory that taking a muscle to failure with a lightweight vs heavyweight, he breaks it down to understand that in theory and practical application is 2 different things.


Na dude, I like the fact you listed things that challenge the norm and this would only happen with your knowledge and degrees, so i am glad you listed them. I am not a snowflake and take a good debate to heart, i love changing the way i do things if it been proven to make sense and work.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 28 Apr 2020 12:05 #222062

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There is always the big-dick on the U.S. forums who replies and shuts down all conversation, glad we (this forum) are above that too :lol:

I am not saying that anyone has built a wordclass bodybuilding physique by only using bands, I don't know anyone who only uses bands and bodybuilders grow up in the gym lifestyle and have the mentality of "weights + machines" which is perfectly fine but it does mean it's unlikely we will see someone only having using bands.

If a genetically gifted person were to use bands correctly - with the right fixed point, angle of movement, resistance and mind-muscle connection, there is every reason for them to gain as much or more than if they were using free weights or, dare I say, machines. Mainly because they provide constant and increasing tension through the ROM, activating more muscle fibers and forcing more adaptions. And reducing injuries (if they aren't bouncing the elastic) as the tension is at it's lowest when the muscle/tendons are at their most vulnerable position (extension)
you are basically saying that doing a banded leg extension, banded/cable hamstring curl and say a banded hip thrust would present better growth than doing a hack squat, RDL and weighted hip thrust? i just dont see someone being able to load the muscle to progress doing this for long term results.
Yeah kinda...! But with those exercise examples I would say to do machine leg extensions because it has a nice movement 'arc' (if you can attach a band somewhere to increase tension, great), machine leg curl (banded if possible), free weight hip thrusts (banded if possible) and then some free weight, smith machine or hack squats at the end.

Bands being the cherry ontop of every cake in bodybuidling or could be the whole cake if absolutely necessary. If one were to front squat with a 80kg barbell (because they are limited to what they can get "off the floor" or squat with an empty barbell and bands to the floor/rack that provide 80kg resistance at the bottom of the movement and 130kg at the top - they'd certainly gain more with the one that gets heavier throughout the movement? We have always 'relaxed' or tried to keep tension at the top of the movement - this not only ensures it but makes it harder.
I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to work stabilizers and make them stronger? it makes no sense to me. If performing exercises and progression techniques correctly, stabilizers will get stronger as you go along.
We do want them to get strong but since they are more injury-prone than the larger muscles we are attempting to target - should they be subjected to an unnecessarily heavy load for the reps required hit the big muscles? Or is it possible to reach whatever our goal RPE/failing/fatiguing point is for the bigger muscles by putting as little strain on the stabilizers as possible? While doing more than enough to strengthen them...!
see i personally dont feel that going to failure needs to happen every set, i make sure that if doing 2 sets the first 2 are aimed at progressive overload with a heavier weight in the right rep range. the 6-12 rep range is where i usually aim for then a 3rd set is backed off, and taken to failure like that.
I absolutely agree with not going to failure every set. Generally speaking, failure or very near to failure needs to be reached by the muscle you want to train at least once per session to force adaptions and up to 3-5(ish) times if taking PEDs. For me this looks like 2 sets of RPE 8, 15-25 reps and then increase the weight slightly and aim for 9-9.5 RPE for 12-20 reps on the last set - basically completely failing or going into forced reps. Might do one or two more of those because I'm on "cycle" and then i'd move onto the next exercise for a different muscle or part of the bigger muscle group.
I am really surprised you have seen major injuries come from 5x5 when you start with next to no weight at all and only progress once you are able to achieve the full amount of reps. if they are getting injured they they arent recovered properly or moving too quickly through the progression.

For the 5x5 and progression you've mentioned, do you build up to 5 set of 5 reps? i.e. you may only be able to get 5 reps in the first set and maybe 2 in the last set in your first few sessions, but a few months later you can do 5x5? Would you ever suggest working the beginner athlete 'down' to 5x5? So you prep their form, stabilizers and muscles with 5x20 reps and take it down to 5x5 over a few months? The general rule of periodization for athletes is hypertrophy and then strength/power with the increased muscle so would it not then make sense to work them 'down' to the 5x5 with higher reps first for that reason too? Not sure how you do it with your athletes?
Last Edit: 28 Apr 2020 12:14 by Hormonas.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 28 Apr 2020 12:47 #222063

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Great topic for members to read. Thx gents.
Divulge all information pertaining what substances you are using, otherwise the information given can be detrimental to your health.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 29 Apr 2020 11:54 #222075

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I am not saying that anyone has built a wordclass bodybuilding physique by only using bands, I don't know anyone who only uses bands and bodybuilders grow up in the gym lifestyle and have the mentality of "weights + machines" which is perfectly fine but it does mean it's unlikely we will see someone only having using bands.

so we hashed all of this out to give bands good reasoning to be used and on paper is superior to weights and machine alone, but no one is using them to get jacked.... well we just went in circles there haha.

If a genetically gifted person were to use bands correctly - with the right fixed point, angle of movement, resistance and mind-muscle connection, there is every reason for them to gain as much or more than if they were using free weights or, dare I say, machines. Mainly because they provide constant and increasing tension through the ROM, activating more muscle fibers and forcing more adaptions. And reducing injuries (if they aren't bouncing the elastic) as the tension is at it's lowest when the muscle/tendons are at their most vulnerable position (extension)

Thing is, not many pieces of equipment allow for this, and also many gyms don't have bands, and only the serious lifter is going to use this approach, myself included, i have 4 bands in my bag that get added to my old-school dungeon gym equipment, and if i don't have a fixing point the owner makes one on the machine haha.

you are basically saying that doing a banded leg extension, banded/cable hamstring curl and say a banded hip thrust would present better growth than doing a hack squat, RDL and weighted hip thrust? i just dont see someone being able to load the muscle to progress doing this for long term results.
Yeah kinda...! But with those exercise examples I would say to do machine leg extensions because it has a nice movement 'arc' (if you can attach a band somewhere to increase tension, great), machine leg curl (banded if possible), free weight hip thrusts (banded if possible) and then some free weight, smith machine or hack squats at the end.

see the problem comes in is how do you measure how much tension is on that band and equivolate it out to KGS, for example, each time you do an exercise you may be closer to the band so less tension, or further from the band so more tension. adding to machines is easy enough as those fixing points dont change, but when doing banded RDLS, its hard to judge you are getting the same stimulus every time.
Bands being the cherry ontop of every cake in bodybuidling or could be the whole cake if absolutely necessary. If one were to front squat with a 80kg barbell (because they are limited to what they can get "off the floor" or squat with an empty barbell and bands to the floor/rack that provide 80kg resistance at the bottom of the movement and 130kg at the top - they'd certainly gain more with the one that gets heavier throughout the movement? We have always 'relaxed' or tried to keep tension at the top of the movement - this not only ensures it but makes it harder.

chains work in a similar manner, why not use both? there are so many things that are cherries on the top, but dont substitute the initial movement.
I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to work stabilizers and make them stronger? it makes no sense to me. If performing exercises and progression techniques correctly, stabilizers will get stronger as you go along.
We do want them to get strong but since they are more injury-prone than the larger muscles we are attempting to target - should they be subjected to an unnecessarily heavy load for the reps required hit the big muscles? Or is it possible to reach whatever our goal RPE/failing/fatiguing point is for the bigger muscles by putting as little strain on the stabilizers as possible? While doing more than enough to strengthen them...!

do we want the hips to strengthen in a pattern that is adjacent to the strengthening of the hips and glutes in a squat? hell yes. strengthening stabilizers whilst strengthening other muscles seems more bang for your buck if you ask me.

see i personally dont feel that going to failure needs to happen every set, i make sure that if doing 2 sets the first 2 are aimed at progressive overload with a heavier weight in the right rep range. the 6-12 rep range is where i usually aim for then a 3rd set is backed off, and taken to failure like that.
I absolutely agree with not going to failure every set. Generally speaking, failure or very near to failure needs to be reached by the muscle you want to train at least once per session to force adaptions and up to 3-5(ish) times if taking PEDs. For me this looks like 2 sets of RPE 8, 15-25 reps and then increase the weight slightly and aim for 9-9.5 RPE for 12-20 reps on the last set - basically completely failing or going into forced reps. Might do one or two more of those because I'm on "cycle" and then i'd move onto the next exercise for a different muscle or part of the bigger muscle group.
these days i prefer higher frequency lower volume training vs high volume splits. i feel it works muscles better as you put everything you have into 1 exercise, you dont have back ups haha. so i actually loved training full body 5x a week before my last show, it felt amazing, and took nothing to failure too. body recovered, and i survived with only 1 strain of my glute doing a 20 rep hack squat.
I am really surprised you have seen major injuries come from 5x5 when you start with next to no weight at all and only progress once you are able to achieve the full amount of reps. if they are getting injured they they arent recovered properly or moving too quickly through the progression.

For the 5x5 and progression you've mentioned, do you build up to 5 set of 5 reps? i.e. you may only be able to get 5 reps in the first set and maybe 2 in the last set in your first few sessions, but a few months later you can do 5x5? Would you ever suggest working the beginner athlete 'down' to 5x5? So you prep their form, stabilizers and muscles with 5x20 reps and take it down to 5x5 over a few months? The general rule of periodization for athletes is hypertrophy and then strength/power with the increased muscle so would it not then make sense to work them 'down' to the 5x5 with higher reps first for that reason too? Not sure how you do it with your athletes?
[/quote]


progression with 5x5 is so simple. let us use the squat for an example, you start with just the bar for 5 sets of 5 reps. you increase the weight by 2.5kgs total. you squat 1.25kgs on either side for 5 sets of 5, you keep on adding weight. so now after 10 squatting sessions you have added 25kgs to your squat ontop of the bar. now say you get 45kg squat for the following.
set 1 5 reps
set 2 4 reps
set 3 4 reps
set 4 2 reps
set 5 1 rep

next squat session you keep the weight at 45kgs total and go again
set 1 5 reps
set 2 5 reps
set 3 5 reps
set 4 3 reps
set 5 2 rep

next squat session you keep the weight the same at 45kgs total and go again
set 1 5 reps
set 2 5 reps
set 3 5 reps
set 4 5 reps
set 5 5 rep

now you completed your 5 sets of 5 at 45kgs you increase the weight by a total of 2.5kgs and carry on the same progression.

i find 5x5 or 5x8 or 3x10 will all work as long as you are progressing in the right fashion. i prefer dumbell movements because you can increase dumbells by 1kg per time as most gyms don't have the 1.25kg plates. you can go with a higher jump, it just means that you are going to be sitting on the same weight of 5 sets of 5 reps for quite a few sessions longer than 2 or 3 to get that progression. but when doing 2.5kgs total increase per time is perfect.
Last Edit: 29 Apr 2020 11:57 by Empire.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 01 May 2020 11:06 #222087

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Loving the constructive information. Thank you everyone.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 01 May 2020 15:45 #222088

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Aconotine wrote:
Loving the constructive information. Thank you everyone.

Glad you loving it. It's what we are here for.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 03 May 2020 16:54 #222099

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Haha I guess we hashed all of it out to prove the guys who think machines are "useless", implying that free weights are the best, are wrong :lol: You definitely need to get creative when using bands though, sometimes you need to move your torso in a certain way to keep tension on an area etc so definitely for the more advanced lifter who knows their body.
see the problem comes in is how do you measure how much tension is on that band and equivolate it out to KGS, for example, each time you do an exercise you may be closer to the band so less tension, or further from the band so more tension. adding to machines is easy enough as those fixing points dont change, but when doing banded RDLS, its hard to judge you are getting the same stimulus every time.
Tracking the weight would be near impossible but you wouldn't really need to - so long as you're hitting the muscle as hard as you can and 'failing' within the correct rep range then you would be progressively overloading. And yeah it's difficult to get the exact same stimulus but again, do we need it to? So long as you're hitting the right muscle...
these days i prefer higher frequency lower volume training vs high volume splits. i feel it works muscles better as you put everything you have into 1 exercise, you dont have back ups haha. so i actually loved training full body 5x a week before my last show, it felt amazing, and took nothing to failure too. body recovered, and i survived with only 1 strain of my glute doing a 20 rep hack squat.

Agreed and this is becoming very popular with a whole bunch of new research backing higher frequency training for most exercise. The idea of "train something hard and often and it 'needs' to adapt", seems to have some weight to it (excuse the pun). Upper/Lower Body, Push/Pull/Legs and Full Body splits etc are looking like the best options for bodybuilders. I like to do Push/Push/Legs as I feel better focussing on less muscles and using more exercises/angles - knowing I have hit them hard enough.
now you completed your 5 sets of 5 at 45kgs you increase the weight by a total of 2.5kgs and carry on the same progression.

Ah okay I see your progression there! Thanks for laying it out for everyone! B)

If I were to do a progression to a 5x5 for a beginner (or anyone) it would look something like:

Week 1-4
Set 1 = 20 reps
Set 2 = 20 reps
Set 3 = 15 reps
Set 4 = 12-15 reps
Set 5 = 8 reps

Week 4-8
Set 1 = 20 reps
Set 2 = 15 reps
Set 3 = 10 reps
Set 4 = 8 reps
Set 5 = 5 reps

Week 8 -12
Set 1 = 12 reps
Set 2 = 8 reps
Set 3 = 5 reps
Set 4 = 5 reps
Set 5 = 5 reps

Week 12
5x5

... for the reasons mentioned in my previous post! :)




Just another way to skin a cat! - as the saying goes :cheer:
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 04 May 2020 16:15 #222104

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Hormonas wrote:
If I were to do a progression to a 5x5 for a beginner (or anyone) it would look something like:

Week 1-4
Set 1 = 20 reps
Set 2 = 20 reps
Set 3 = 15 reps
Set 4 = 12-15 reps
Set 5 = 8 reps

Week 4-8
Set 1 = 20 reps
Set 2 = 15 reps
Set 3 = 10 reps
Set 4 = 8 reps
Set 5 = 5 reps

Week 8 -12
Set 1 = 12 reps
Set 2 = 8 reps
Set 3 = 5 reps
Set 4 = 5 reps
Set 5 = 5 reps

Week 12
5x5

... for the reasons mentioned in my previous post! :)




Just another way to skin a cat! - as the saying goes :cheer:

ok but how would you lay it out interms of weight used? increasing weight-reducing reps? the typical pyramid style training?
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 04 May 2020 19:02 #222105

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increasing weight-reducing reps? the typical pyramid style training?

Yeah, increasing weight as necessary to get down to the desired reps.
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What You should know If you want to get jacked. 25 May 2020 13:35 #222358

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Check this out. The importance of food in building mass.
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