HighIntensity.net View Mike Mentzer Bodybuilding Topic

Its been a few weeks since i posted an update here, but this one is sure to be long-winded as hell so it′ll more than make up for it 🙂

I didnt train from aug 19th-31st, feeling a little break would do me some good. i kept up my diet and was raring to go on sept 1st. I have made several changes to my training and diet to further along my experimenting in looking for ways to improve my progress. Bascially what I′ve done is begin to question each point of my training and diet ask myself WHY i am doing it and weather it has helped or not. I′ve abandoned a few of my old ideas already which I′ll detail as i map out what i did the last 3 sessions. The main changes i made were that i am now doing only ONE compound exercise and either one or two isolation movements per session. The idea here is that compound movements are much more demanding than isolation ones and doing 2 in one session seems to drain me more than i feel is productive. As Mike himself suggests, replace compounds with less demanding movements if you feel the need. I do, so I did! Also, i have added back in some direct leg training. In fact, each session is basically a whole body workout of sorts. After some reading on muscle fiber recruitment I′ve upped my rep range slightly so that now my target is 8-12 for everyting except Deads which will still be a bit lower. I′m also trying out an increase in frequency. For right now i′ll train on the second full day after DOMS has disappeared. So far it seems this is about 4-5 days depending on what I did.

Sept 1st:

DB Bench Press – 50lbs x 7 reps

DB Pullover – 40lbs x 7 reps

Bowflex leg Extension – 100 "lbs" x 15 reps

big changes here! For starters, i havent done any flat benching in many years. When i asked my self WHY, I came up with a few reasons. In the past flat benching used to aggravate my right shoulder joint, so i stuck with inclines, which seemed like a good idea anyway because almost every article i read by a pro BB said inclines were better than flat bench anyway. Well, when i decided to try them again, i not only found they didnt bother my shoulder at all, but i felt much more of my overall chest being worked than when i would do inclines. I think most pros ditch flat bench after a while because they are looking to fill out the upper pec area more, but most of them built their initial chest, shoulder and tricep mass with flat benching.

I′ve altered my form on DB pullovers. I keep my arms much straighter, and instead of using bent knees, i keep my legs fairly straight as well. What this does is enhance the movement in the stretched position by a large percentage! I had to lower the poundage quite a bit but actually felt it much more in my entire upper body. I got the idea for this type of form from the pics in Ellington Darden′s "the NEW HIT".

as for the Bowflex leg extension, I havent done those since April 29th when I did 120 "lbs" x 13, so my strength dropped slightly on these. I think my trying to prioritize upper body by not doing any real leg training was a mistake. I am thinking Arthur Jones was right in that the body trains and grows best as a unit, so no more split routines for me for a while.

Sept 16th:

Bowflex Close grip pulldown – 140 "lbs" x 15 reps

Low Incline DB Flyes – 40lbs x 7 reps

Bowflex Lying Leg Curl – 80 "lbs" x 7 reps

I′ve changed my form on pulldowns on the Bowflex by taking out the seat and sitting right on the main metal crossbar, which is kinda narrow but big enough for my ass. This lets me sit lower which lets the power rods keep more tension in the stretched position. the movement becomes waaaaaay more effective this way and i had to drop my poundage quite a bit, but the ache in my lats and biceps was twice what it was doing it the old way. Sitting this way also lets me lock my legs under the rear stabilizer legs so i can really pull without squirming to keep in position.

on the flyes, since i did them second I reduced my poundage by 5 lbs and squeezed out only 7 reps so i was glad i did!

I had never tried bowflex lying leg curls and i overestimated my strength a little bit and only got 7 hard reps but the machine works really well for these. I was SURE my hams would be sore as hell the next day but they were not sore at all. i was very surprised!

Sept 10th:

One-arm Db lateral raise – 10lbs x 8 reps

Deadlift – 285lbs x 3 reps

this session i did the isolation movement first because after deads, i am wiped! I tried a different style of execution for lateral raises in that i did them standing, one arm at a time, bent about 20 degrees forward and moved really slow throughout the ROM and with no resting in the bottom position. the burn in my side delt was unreal and i had to sit down after each set!

last time i did deads was Aug 5th, 285lbs x 4 reps so this time i only dropped by one rep. It is a bit too heavy but I′ll stick with this poundage until i get a good solid 8 or 9 reps.

so this is the A-B-C routine I′ll try for a few more cycles.

in regards to dietary changes, after a debate in here with KROME and some further reading, i have reduced my protien intake to almost half of what it was. When i really thought about it, almost all of my protien intake ideas were gleened from Flex mag, in particular, Chris Aceto and Dorian Yates. Both of these men, though kowledgable and intelligent, have much to gain by selling the idea of MORE MORE MORE protein to other trainers.

another thing that may have influenced me was my own experience. years ago when i first made an increase in protein intake, it seemed to boost my gains immediately. i reasoned at the time that it must be that a higher intake is essential for optimum gains. however i am now thinking that is was merely the increase in overall calories that led to that burst of growth and that from then on i have been wasting my money on excessive steak, chicken and protien powders when i would have done just as well if not better by eating more bread, potatoes, rice and fruits and veggies instead.

I made this change on Aug 9th and my strength increases are just as steady as they were before. I can tell you another thing too, my grocery bill is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less than it was a month ago.

another change that took place in Aug was drinking a minimum of a gallon of water every day. Muscle is about 80% water, not protien and a dehydrated muscle is hardly the best environment for anabolism.

and the last change was to once again try supplementing with creatine. in the past i have found myself to be pretty unresponsive to it, but I had never tried the method of loading recommended by Ellington Darden, that is to take in 20 grams creatine monohydrate and 104 grams of suger mixed into a gallon of water and sipped continuously throughout the day for 14 days. Afterwards, a maintenence dose of 5 grams a day in plain water is all that′s needed. weather the creatine is working or not is hard to say at this time but I′ve gone from 146.6 lbs on Sept 1st to 148.8 lbs on sept 8th (weighed same day of the week, same time of day, etc) with bodyfat remaining consistent.

i realize i made a lot of changes all at once and it may be hard to discern which of the changes has the most effect, but i had leaned out by the end of august and was ready to try loading with creatine and i saw no reason to continue training without hitting my legs again. so i said fuck it and revamped the whole kit and kaboodle in one shot. It may look as though i′m drifting away from the core HD principals but in reality I am not at all. Consolidated training is all about doing the least amount needed to stimulate overall growth while retaining as much recovery ability as possible to allow that growth to occur. Both the Consolidated and Athlete′s routines are basically very abbreviated whole body workouts using one set to failure per movement. So are mine.

Anyway, I think that just about sums up things so far 🙂



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