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You best strategy for massive muscle gain and strength increase for experienced athletes?

Answered on August 29, 2014
Created June 02, 2011 at 9:22 PM

  1. What type of paleo-diet version worked best for you? Increasing carbs (potatoes, etc)? Increasing fat? Adding organs, such as liver? Whey? Creatine? IF-ing leangains style or "eat-every-3-hours-don't-miss-a-breakfast"?
  2. What type of workout routine worked best for you? Stronglifts 5x5? Hypertrophy-specific training? Reverse pyramid workout? Body by science / Occam's protocol super-slow high-intensity once a week training?

It would be especially interesting to hear from advanced athletes who WERE ALREADY let's say at 8-14% bodyfat, COULD bench press, squat & deadlift about 150% of own bodyweight in ~5reps but who plateaued for a long time but occasionally found a way to break through.

By breaking through I mean adding more muscle (85-95kg for 180cm for example) while maintaining healthy BF (8-12%) and increasing weight in the above mentioned exercises to let's say 200-250% of bodyweight.

Thank you very much!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:38 AM

My only issue with 5/3/1 was the repout at 1. For me, I've never been fully convinced by myself of how much I could produce there at the repout. For me, I like a more quantified approach I suppose. I like having one number of reps, even if it's just one heavy single, that I either hit or I don't. Just me personally, it's part of the mental approach to it. I think I'll try it out again in the future when I'm perhaps more confident in my own abilities.

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5 Answers

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 02, 2011
at 11:13 PM

It's hard to go wrong with the 5/3/1. You've got your periodization built in. Over time, this will be your best bet.

However, if you've got lots of time for rest and recovery, then try Madd Cow's version of Bill Starr's 5 X5 If you choose to do this latter, DO NOT STAY ON A STRICT PALEO DIET! You will seriously overtrain and get hurt. To do it, you need lots of calories from carbs. You should definitely be in a bulking stage for this one. So no cutting and no IF. This isn't just my opinion. Check around.

As post-workout food, I am eating lots of chocolate for the leucine.

Good luck.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:38 AM

My only issue with 5/3/1 was the repout at 1. For me, I've never been fully convinced by myself of how much I could produce there at the repout. For me, I like a more quantified approach I suppose. I like having one number of reps, even if it's just one heavy single, that I either hit or I don't. Just me personally, it's part of the mental approach to it. I think I'll try it out again in the future when I'm perhaps more confident in my own abilities.

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:45 PM

  1. I eat a 40/40/20 breakdown of protein carb fat at the moment. All paleo starch of sweet potatoes and white potatoes. Some squash and some sprouted corn to liven things up. I keep the fat at 20% only because I aim for 1.5 grams protein per pound of bodyweifht and I feel and perform the best with a lot of starch. So I just don't have a lot caloric space for fat.

I take two or three whey protein shakes from ON per day. Amazon it. I take 3 grams of creating daily. I eat pre and post workout, I never train fasted anymore. I used to but my poundages stopped progressing and I didn't feel the oomph that I do now when I did IF. If you wanna lose weight it's prolly ok but if gaining strength is your goal there is simply no reason for IF. If you wanna gain strength you want to have all possible assets going in your favor, so you will want protein and carb in your system while lifting heavy weight in order to not get even close to any possible catabolic state and keep energy throughout your entire session so you can move that final deadlift etc.

Weights:

I still follow a basic rippetoe template for most main exercises: two or three warm up sets with progressively heavier poundage, then three working sets with the day's goal weight. On the deadlift however I have transitioned to what I am calling a 3/2/1 system. Two warm up sets of three reps each, one with 65% of the days goal weight and one at 85%. Then I do what I call the "working sets." These are three sets: 3 reps with say 260, 2 reps with 265, one single rep with the absolute goal weight of say 270. This scheme keeps my overall repetitions low (since the floor of my gym is shit And I do not enjoy dead lifting there) andis slowly purposefully preparing me for my eventual full switch to only doing heavy singles with dead lift. This idea is my adaptation of what Brooks Kubik calls a 5/4/3/2/1 system. He is a good man to read for heavy iron work.

All the work I'm describing is entirely strength-focused, not about hypertrophy. However a bit of the swole is kinda nice I won't lie. For that I finish each session with dips, chins, fat bar barbell curls, fat bar dumbbell rows and that's about it. Occasionally I'll do like 30 front squats with light weight of course to get the abs ripped up by this is all supplemental only. I focus almost solely on strength. Low reps, heavy iron.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 02, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Well, I just finished a 12 week strength program at my Crossfit gym. It was a two week cycle of

(1) 5x5 - metcon - 3x3 - rest - 1x1 - metcon - rest

(2) metcon - 3x3 - metcon - rest - 2x2 - metcon - rest

Week 1 was squats, press, deadlift

Week 2 was front squat, clean, snatch

I started out with

Squat - 275 (1.5x bw)
Press - 165 (0.9 bw)
Deadlift - 370 (2.0x bw)
Front Squat - 225 (1.3x bw)
Clean - 225 (1.3x bw)
Snatch - 135 (.8x bw) - Limitation here is flexibility, 
                        I can power snatch much more, 
                        but that's not what the program 
                        was working on

I ended last week with

Squat - 315 (1.8x bw)
Press - 185 (1.1x bw)
Deadlift - 385 (2.1x bw)
Front Squat - 245 (1.4x bw)
Clean - 235 (1.3x bw)
Snatch - 155 (0.9x bw)

During this time I was eating my normal paleo deal, low carb, 1.5-2lbs of meat a day, and my "rest" days were really rock climbing days.

I probably could have made better gains if I dropped out the metcons, but my goal was to try to maintain my metcon adaptation while increasing strength.

It was the best strength program I ever did. Got great gains without killing myself.

Edited to add: that's standing military press, not bench press.

0
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on June 03, 2011
at 08:41 AM

High carb for sure. Unless on drugs, accept bf is going to rise and deal with that when you have your muscle mass. Maybe a top weight of 200lb-220lb (natural) is a good target, then refine.

Squat twice per week, dead once, bench and ohp 3x.

Chins 3x, any other stuff to taste.

Maybe a bit of kbell work capacity stuff.

Reps above 5.

3 weeks pushing hard, maybe week 1 10 rep sets, week 2 8s, week 3 , 6s.

Week 4 is deload, a few singles, fairly intense on the powerlifts.

Volume high without burning out, week 3 try to really overtrain and week 4 is very lowvolume. ..............

531 is a programme for over the hill lifters, once per week is not optimumbut if you do deads on squat day and squats on dead day, and maybe a press every session, I'd say it was nearer optimal.

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