penguinsfan

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#1
I have been oriented more towards calisthenic exercises in recent years, as they seem to provide a good balance of strength, endurance, etc. without really bulking up excessively. That being said, I am giving serious thoughts to a real return to the weight room. After suffering a couple of injuries, some of the bodyweight exercises have become difficult to do without pain, but similar movement could be done with light weight.

I wouldn't mind adding some size, but strength is the real objective. I know one has to lift for a while before excessive size becomes a problem. I also have limited time to spend in the gym--quite limited. In college, I was famous for my 2.5 hour leg routines. That was years ago and gone are the days when I could spend 10 hours per week lifting. Routines and thought have changed so much during the last 10 years that I wanted to get some opinions from you folks. What is the best way to pack on size and serious strength with minimum time commitment?

BTW, since this smile is cool, I'm going to use it for the heck of it. :bottumsup
 

Godsize

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#2
As far as strength goes, I'd say just use real simple, basic movements (squat, bench press, deadlift, pull-ups, etc.) and use as MUCH WEIGHT as you can handle in strict form for as many reps as you can. I guess enough weight to make you fail at around five or six reps(?).

Every month or so, increase your weight for each exercise. Hit the weights hard, then rest adequitely.

I'd post a good link, if I knew one.
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#3
have you read about Mike Mentzers HIT training? It's the opposite of Arnolds Volume training.

So you go something like..
Day 1:
squat
deadlift
barbell curls
barbell rows

Day 2:
Bench
Military Press
Close-grip bench
Crunches

and all are only 1 set. You take a weight and then you do it 6-10 reps ULTRA slow, 3-4 sec down, 3-4 sec. it's a frikin' pain to do and you spend like 20-40min a week in the gym. You get results and it's good if you don't have the time.
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#4
Hydromaxmm, i've had to lift pretty much constantly for the last three years of my life, starting easy as a younger teenager to where i am now . . .

i can honestly say that after all the reading and different training i have been exposed to that you'll find the qucikest way to get in shape is two weeks of rapid circuit training (little rest in between sets), then progressing into a more body builder type routine.

this would entail large, multi-joint movements like bench or heavy shoulder press, followed by a series of supplimentary exercises with less weight, but focusing on the same muscle groups. a routine i used last summer and provided me with a 7 pound gain in lean muscle without any suppliments was:

day 1 - chest

deavy dumbell chest press (6 sets, two warm-up at lighter weight, three full blast, max 6 reps, one cool down for 8-10 easily handled)

incline bench, one easy warm-up followed by 3 hard sets, low reps.

pec dec/ chest fly, 3 sets, failure at 8-10 reps

bodyweight dip or assisted dips, 3 sets of 10 reps

3 different triceps exercises, i always change which ones up every time to keep it fresh, 3 sets, failure at about 8 reps (arms should be heavily fatigued by the end)

standing cable flys, 3 sets, failure at 10 or 8 reps

day 2 - legs

warm-up! ten minutes minimum, light jog of cycle, stretch as well.

squats (after a few weeks i rotated squats with heavy leg press to try and stimulate more quad endurance, but i think squats are by far the best lower body developer). warm up light, 2 sets. then three sets, go big 6-8 reps, follow with lighter set, practice good form when fatigued.

romanian deadlift - 3 sets, fairly light, probably about 65% of max weight, get a good stretch

dead-lift - 4 sets, 8-10 reps, use heavy enough weight but be careful not to strain yourself until the lower back and hams are conditioned and stretched, focus on form intensely.

power cleans - 5 sets of 4, only about 70% weight

leg press/quad extensions superset - start with your max weight 10 reps on leg press, a moderate amount (perhaps weight for 15 reps total?) on quad extension machine. leg press, run over to quad extensions, come back to leg press with no break except for removing a plate from each side, ten reps. the quad extension weight does not change. i usually do two sets of this with five descending weights on leg press.

hamstring curls - any two machines around your gym, preferably one a seated position and one a lying down position, three sets of 8-10 hard reps on each. if only one machine is available, then do six sets on the same machine, superset the weight if it gets boring.

smith machine squats - 3 sets 10-12 reps. i like to mix-up my footing/angle to try and hit the exercise new ways each time, make sure and go very slowly, push the fatigue.

calve press, 5 sets, ten reps, heavy, pause and feel the squeeze at the top

seated calve press (solius press), 3 sets 10 reps
stretch well afterwards, it makes you stronger and healthier, and helps with soreness.

day 3 - back, arms

body-weight or assisted pull-ups, 3 sets, low reps, stretch back muscles

seated cable row - 4 sets, 1 warm-up, 3 heavy 6-8 reps

barbell row, heavy, 3 set 8 reps i use an underhand grip to feel the best stretch , some swear by the overhand.

e-z bar curls, 4 sets, 1 light warm-up, 3 sets 8-10 rep failure point (don't go to failure each time, just make sure you're pushing for the last two or three)

seated hammer curls, 3 sets, 8 reps, alternate arms

lat-pull down, 5 sets, 8 reps, i change my grip up a lot, it may be useful to keep it similar to track progress

preacher curl, dumbell or barbell, 3 sets of 10 reps

your choice of a back incline/decline row machine, 3 sets 10 reps

forearm curls, extensor and flexors, 4 set ten reps each, we have to do these for hockey, many skip them over, doesn't matter much the gripping of other exercises, especially cleans will develop the forearms well

another machine, this time one simulating a lat pull down motion, 3 sets, 6-8 reps failure

cable curls, 3 sets, 8 reps

day 4

military press, 5 sets, 2 warm up, 3 heavy 6-8 rep failure

shoulder circuit, let me explain, take a light weight, 12-14 pounds to start, while standing do 10 should flys straight out from your body, slow and controlled, move straight into ten front raises, arms straight, then straight into ten beer can shoulder presses, with the arm slightly curled. 3 set of this

overhead triceps press, machine or cable, 4 sets of 8 reps

skullcrushers, 3 sets of 8 reps

dumbell shoulder press, alternate arms, start with palm facing towards body and rotate 180 degrees while pressing (sometime referred to as arnold press) 3 sets 10 reps

barbell trap pulls, 5 sets, 10 reps, very heavy, fatigue hard, may want to increase as you go

cable shoulder fly, this is like a dumbell fly, bus using a cable weight, starting from the floor, single arm, 3 sets of 8 reps

sideways rotator extension, take a light weight for this, 10 pounds or so, lay on one side on a bench, let the hand with the weight hang down across your body, with your arm straight pull it up so it sticks straight in the air, lower it slowly, do 3 sets of ten on each side, perhaps more sets later on

day 5 - legs - repeat same routine


those are the main workouts. i included at least three or four different types of abdominal exercises onto every one as well as at least three hard cardio sessions a week. to get the abs in tune, skip crunches and all that bullshit. look for lots of leg lifting, resistance type motions. you have to train them though, a weak gut can marginalize your ability to perform other exercises well and put your back at risk.

also when lifting, i know i indicated three sets at a heavy weight for many, but i subscribe to an apex model when doing a standard three set lift. that just means the first one i concentrate real hard on form and stretch , the second i usually up the weight and take it as hard i can possibly handle for the reps, then the third is a repeat of the first with less weight. if you put your mind into the lifting and are strict with yourself you'll see improvement way faster.

also remember, more is not always better, there is seriously a point of marginal returns with this stuff. take plenty of rest in between workouts, you gain muscle when you sleep anyways. never lift sore, never risk injury. best of luck!
 

penguinsfan

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#7
Thanks to all of you that have taken time to reply. You have given me some interesting ideas to think about and lots of information to review.
 

teeitup

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#8
Sup?

Here is my strength and size routine, with absolutely no weights involved at all.

I'm 180lbs and I can bench 320lbs. I have washboard abs, well defined and big upper body, with big thighs and calfs. Again...no weights involved at all. Oh...I'm aerobically fit. I can run 4miles in about 32min and have a resting heart rate of 51bpm.

Feet elevated pushups - 3 sets of 40 (hand position is in and out alternating)
Pull ups - 4 sets of 6
Deep knee bends - 3 sets of 100 (going up on toes, when rising, with alternating feet positions)

Jump rope three times a week for 20min. Which builds my calves and leg strength up, as well as coordination, rythem, and aerobic fitness.

I have an abs and running routine as well, but the above is just for strength.

I must admit, I naturally build muscle very easy. If I were to lift weights, like in my younger day...I would be very bulky. I'm a golfer, so I don't like the bulk.

My 2cents

Tee --
 

teeitup

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#10
No offense taken, Boo.

The only thing I would add to your comment is, a person that is struggling with strength and size, must do two different routines:

Do the strength routine one week, next week do the size/bulk routine. Then alternate weeks. Increasing protein in the diet helps some people and taking a performance vitiman is also a good idea. The vitiman helps with recovery and rebuilding of the muscle after tissue is broken down.

Tee--
 

bigbutnottoo

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#11
Originally posted by hangh
have you read about Mike Mentzers HIT training? It's the opposite of Arnolds Volume training.

So you go something like..
Day 1:
squat
deadlift
barbell curls
barbell rows

Day 2:
Bench
Military Press
Close-grip bench
Crunches

and all are only 1 set. You take a weight and then you do it 6-10 reps ULTRA slow, 3-4 sec down, 3-4 sec. it's a frikin' pain to do and you spend like 20-40min a week in the gym. You get results and it's good if you don't have the time.
Usually in HIT, it was the whole body in the same workout. just one set, no more than 1 exercise per bodypart. And the key was not to do 6-10 reps, but to do whatever weight it is to failure. It could be 6 reps; it could be 15.

I used to gain on one workout a week. It will vary based on recovery and genetics, but I couldnt see the need for anyone(not on steroids) to lift more than once every 4 days or so.

On a side note, I have been attempting to apply the Mentzer principles to Penis Enlargement. I train intensely and infrequently.
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#12
Originally posted by bigbutnottoo
Usually in HIT, it was the whole body in the same workout. just one set, no more than 1 exercise per bodypart. And the key was not to do 6-10 reps, but to do whatever weight it is to failure. It could be 6 reps; it could be 15.

I used to gain on one workout a week. It will vary based on recovery and genetics, but I couldnt see the need for anyone(not on steroids) to lift more than once every 4 days or so.

On a side note, I have been attempting to apply the Mentzer principles to Penis Enlargement. I train intensely and infrequently.
huh? I have the book with Mike Mentzer. And it says to use a weight so you failure at 6-10 reps. for squats, deadlift it's 6-12reps i assume. I've been doing HIT for a few months now and gained every time i went into the gym. But we've all got to find the training method we like. good luck ;)
 

penguinsfan

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#13
The hypertrophy method looks interesting, though I found the HIT method a little more appealing right now. I just got the book from Amazon on Tuesday afternoon and look forward to reading it.
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#14
I'm going to start with HST when my gains tapper off with HIT. Right now im doing the whole body with 3 days between rest. And yesterday. omg i had the biggest gains i've ever had. military press went from 50 pounds x 8 reps to 55 pounds x 10 reps and my bench from 80 pounds (i know im weak ;)) x 9 reps to 90 pounds x 7 reps. I also gained in all the other exercises like deadlift, squats etc. Just wanted to say I really like HIT at the moment, But variation is always the key in everything. When my muscles get use to this im switching tactics :)
 

bigbutnottoo

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#15
Originally posted by hangh
huh? I have the book with Mike Mentzer. And it says to use a weight so you failure at 6-10 reps. for squats, deadlift it's 6-12reps i assume. I've been doing HIT for a few months now and gained every time i went into the gym. But we've all got to find the training method we like. good luck ;)
Sorry, I didntsee in your original post that you mentioned "failure". I only saw "6-10" reps. I was pointing out the concept of failure, but now after rereading, I see you had it right.
 

penguinsfan

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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#16
Originally posted by hangh
my bench from 80 pounds (i know im weak ;)) x 9 reps to 90 pounds x 7 reps.
One would say that's weak, but I'm in the same boat. I could never get much in the way of gains on my chest. My quads and calves are huge to the point that my old bodybuilding roommate was jealous, as I had never done much working out. My shoulders will gain size, but not strength.

The bottom line is I think it's all genetics. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#17
bigbuttnono, yeah :)

penguinsfan, that's probably true :( :) ;)
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#19
man, lemme make one last pitch for traditional weight training . . . that other stuff may very well work . . . but i swear you can't beat good old fashioned fitness. you'll look better and a cross training type plan will be better for your overall health . . . i've honestly never tried all this HIT and hypertrophy business . . . but i've been at athletic camps over the years featuring top trainers and MD's for the pros and NCAA D1 schools and they never mentioned any of that business. i know you aren't looking to train for a triatholon or anything here, just get back into it, but hey, it might be nice to able to do one if you wanted right? also, i swear you get in shape faster if you do at least some cardio, better reperation and vascualr health lets you lift more better. i'm just wary of any quick fix type programs in fitness, i'd say nutrition and graduated volume is the only sure-fire road to success. slow and steady like Penis Enlargement . . . okay i'm done.
 
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"Best way to add strength/size?"
#20
goodbutnotgreat,

Yeah, I always do cardio too. But some months of the year i skip it because of the snow and cold hell(not literally) up here :)

Cataclism,

How exactly did you train when you did MAX-OT. I know the 4-6 reps, 3 sets. But did you progressively increase weight on every exercise about every session or how? ;)
 

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