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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Rabbit
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VeganEssentials gave some very good advice right there : go check the competition as a spectator.

To me you look like a very healthy, but quite average man.

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Manatee

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Hi VeganEssential, how are you bro? Good of you to check in on my post. :)

I am going to do that, go to some local shows to see what it is all about.
Lat and upper back thickness has always been tough for me to get. Same with Shoulders.
I still struggle with squats, always been a little weak in squats and now with my hip flexor strain, is has really slowed up the legs. Although heavy leg press and stiff legged deadlifts do not bother me.

Tarzan, you said I look average. What do you think I need to do to pop out better?

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:26 am 
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Stegosaurus
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Glad to be of assistance! :)

What are you currently doing for your back work? I always found for me that I gained the most thickness from lots of deadlifting and barbell/dumbbell rowing, but was able to get things to "pop" more via better definition when I started to vary the planes I was doing back work in, since for years it was all horizontal rowing or deadlifting, no vertical pulling ala pull-ups or pulldowns, face pulls, etc. Then again, you didn't have a rear back shot, so there may be more to it that just hasn't been seen, but it looked like a little width could be a good thing. If you haven't done much heavy rowing (I mean, HEAVY, as in "feels like I could make 5-6 reps, but I'll do some breathing reps to get to 8-10) I'd certainly give it a try, and if you haven't done much for vertical pulling, try some weighted pull-ups whenever you get the chance. Sometimes just one small tweak of really pushing things heavy can make a LOT of difference, even if you may need 10 seconds between each of your final reps to be able to make them work!

Shoulders, that's one that just stumps me on size gains. I know I'd have great definition if I were single-digit bodyfat, but that's one body part that tends to not really show up well until you're incredibly lean, or, are gifted enough to have massive delts, which few tend to have without the use of anabolic substances. If you've been doing more isolation stuff for them, then try putting focus on some good stuff like standing overhead barbell/dumbbell presses, partial presses in the power rack, etc. and see what it can do. Like I always say, if what you've been doing hasn't yielded the results you want, then try something else and see what happens!

Legs, of course I always push the squat, but I did have big-ass legs just from leg pressing years ago before I started squatting (lifting plus skateboarding did well enough for me to get 'em big), but squatting took them to a whole new level. Sorry to hear the strain is still bothering you, I had a similar strain on the inside of where the groin meets the thigh for 2 months straight at the holidays, definitely no fun at all. Strangely, the thing that made it feel better was my return to leg work with deep hip belt squats and deep single-leg presses, not sure how it worked itself out, it just sort of happened. But, considering how many massive bodyuilders out there barely squat (or, squat light weight for lots of reps), it goes to show that you can still get plenty of size from other things, but of course, the squat will always be king in my book.

Just keep at it, you've got a great base to work with (and, for the record, it's better than that of most guys half your age!), and you've got plenty of time to keep getting better and better. Just keep working toward what you're after, check out a contest, and try new things and see where it takes you!

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:01 am 
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Heavy compound work and a lot of protein for 3 months at least, then start thinking about what needs to "pop out more".

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:12 am 
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I am doing heavy compound work, three days a week...that is it. But I do need to take in more protein. Can't really afford supplements right now so doing lots of food. I tend to look best on a 4 day split but don't have the time right now. :(

Squats have been killing my hip flexors so i might switch to deadlifts. I have really long legs and I find deadlifts really tough! So, for back my core is dumbell rows, pull ups, pull downs and seated rows. I recently added back in supinated barbell rows. When I look in the mirror or shows guys my back, I get nice reactions...but I thikn it looked better last year when I had less fat. :(
When I do dumbell rows I struggle with 105 lb dumbells to get 6-8 reps. I need to get straps because I have some nerve damage that messes with my grip, so my grip gives out before my lats. I just started up barbell rows again and am doing about 195 lbs for 6 reps so I am trying to work up in the weights. I am very weak in pullups so I need to work on that! :(
Sometimes I have to put the weight down as you said to complete another rep...sort of rest/pause reps. But I don't want to overtrain and need to get back to periodizing more reps and sets.

The last few months I have moved back to weighted dips and overhead dumbell presses but I tend to do them the same day as chest otherwise I fear overtraining if I do shoulders one day and chest another since you hit shoulders hard when you do chest!

I was a big snowboarder for years but my legs have always been skinny. With squatting, leg pressing and eating big, they are growing.

You mention wide lats. But watch this clip? I know my last are as wide if not wider. I would need to get a nice back shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eccxuRpPUNQ&feature=related

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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boardn10 wrote:
When I do dumbell rows I struggle with 105 lb dumbells to get 6-8 reps. I need to get straps because I have some nerve damage that messes with my grip, so my grip gives out before my lats. I just started up barbell rows again and am doing about 195 lbs for 6 reps so I am trying to work up in the weights. I am very weak in pullups so I need to work on that! :(
Sometimes I have to put the weight down as you said to complete another rep...sort of rest/pause reps. But I don't want to overtrain and need to get back to periodizing more reps and sets.


Straps are fine if your grip gives out first, don't worry about that too much. You can work on rebuilding grip separately at a later time if need be, but don't let your grip hold you down from getting ahead on your back work!

I definitely recommend working on pull-ups - it might take a few months to get strong with them, but they usually click pretty well one day and things go from difficult to much easier. Work on negatives, assisted pull-ups (use a band wrapped over the bar and under your knees, or, use a bit of push off the toes on reps), etc., and as you get to being able to do sets of 4-5 easily enough, start adding some weight to them. Good stuff!

The rest/pause rep stuff had really helped me get to new levels for back and shoulder work over the years. Never felt like I was overtraining from it, if you haven't given it a shot to really incorporate them, definitely try it for a while. I don't recommend making most of your sets go that route, but if you were doing, say, 5 sets of 8 on rows, if the last 2 sets required you to pause and take a few breaths on the last 1-2 reps, that's perfectly fine. I wouldn't stress much about overtraining unless you're REALLY worn out and have been feeling drained, as a few extra reps forced out here and there shouldn't do any harm.

boardn10 wrote:
The last few months I have moved back to weighted dips and overhead dumbell presses but I tend to do them the same day as chest otherwise I fear overtraining if I do shoulders one day and chest another since you hit shoulders hard when you do chest!


See, I've always felt the opposite. If you're doing chest and shoulders on the same day, ONE of them is going to suffer, and that's whichever you do 2nd in the sequence. I've never known anyone to be stronger on their shoulder pressing doing it after benching than when they put it on a day by itself or with other non-interfering lifts. Remember, the delts and triceps are smaller muscle groups and recover fairly quickly, so even having 2 days off between chest and shoulders could allow plenty of time for recovery. Worth a try if you haven't gone that route before, again, wouldn't stress too much about overtraining unless it's something that's coming due to general excessive training and being too run down from everyday life.

boardn10 wrote:
You mention wide lats. But watch this clip? I know my last are as wide if not wider. I would need to get a nice back shot.


That could be it, without a back shot to show a lat spread, it's impossible to tell just how much work they'd need. I could just see a bit for improvement on overall thickness, but again, that's easily enough fixed with rows, pull-ups and deadlifts, so time will always take care of that. But, if you have a good lat spread, then that's one less concern, just keep working on general size as the bigger you will be, the more beneficial for how it will work in your favor on stage!

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:23 pm 
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VeganEssentials, last night I was having an easier time with DB rows. 100-105 dumbbells are no issue with my right arm, I can do 8-10 reps no problem. Left hand gives out after about 6 due to left hand grip issues. I need to get straps! No problems on barbell or cables exercises though. Although doing bent barbell rows I have injured my low back a few times so I am really careful there, and I have trouble going to heavy as a result.

Negatives, assisted pull-ups is a great suggestions for pullups

Right now, I am really busy with work and home so I have only been doing 3 day a week weight workouts so it is hard to separate shoulders and chest unless I find time to go back to 4 days.

I actually enjoy deadlifts over squats because of my lower back but because my legs are so long I find them tough. I like a trap bar for deadlifts but the one at our gym is too small and my knees hit the bar! I wish my hip flexor would heal so I could get back to squats or deadlifts. Most I have been doing are leg press, leg curls, lunges, step ups, etc. But like you said, there are lots of massive guys who rarely do squats and deadlifts.

Since I only have three days a week now, it is near impossible to split up chest and shoulders. YIKES! Same with deadlifts and squats.

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:48 pm 
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I don't believe my wife is too thrilled with me trying to gain more weight. She seems to think gaining anymore weight is unhealthy. What do you all think? She asked if I want to be healthy or big.

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What do I do when not bodybuilding or working? Spend time with family, play guitar, write music, snowboard, roast coffee, travel, read, fight for those who are less fortunate than myself.


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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Manatee

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I don't believe my wife is too thrilled with me trying to gain more weight. She seems to think gaining anymore weight is unhealthy. What do you all think? She asked if I want to be healthy or big.

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What do I do when not bodybuilding or working? Spend time with family, play guitar, write music, snowboard, roast coffee, travel, read, fight for those who are less fortunate than myself.


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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:39 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Pose the question to her as this - what's particularly unhealthy about being big so long as you stay fit? Health and general fitness is not fully determined by outside appearance, and considering you're barely carrying any excess fat, I can't see how anyone would worry much. Heck, I've got a mom who still thinks I look "too small" because I'm under 270 lbs. (in her mind, big = healthy, the opposite of yoru wife I suppose), so I know how it goes when people have their perceptions, but that's where they need a bit of education to know that just because you're larger than average doesn't mean you're less than healthy. Plenty of men out there who look healthy because they aren't large, but can barely make it up two flights of stairs without practically passing out from exhaustion. Just because one might look to be average size or "skinny" doesn't mean squat about determining their overall health.

If anything, offer to get a physical and blood work done sometime in the near future, I have the feeling that once you can show a clean bill of health it will be easier to show that being larger than average does NOT have any adverse effects on general health (unless, of course, you're sedentary and don't really do much of anything!)

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:34 pm 
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boardn10 wrote:
I don't believe my wife is too thrilled with me trying to gain more weight. She seems to think gaining anymore weight is unhealthy. What do you all think? She asked if I want to be healthy or big.


I think it depends on what you mean by healthy. And if you're getting big it depends on what means you are taking to get there. If you're hoping to get to 120 years old and still be going strong all that extra weight might put some strain on your internal organs. But if you just hope to live to a normal age and still be fairly healthy I think you're ok. I love bodybuilding and working out, but it's not a natural thing to have 17+" arms and lift the extreme weights that we do. It does take it's toll on our system. That being said, it will take it's toll over a life time. Someone carrying around an extra 50 ibs of fat will have health problems after a while in one form or another. Someone carrying around an extra 50 ibs of muscle won't have most of those same problems. Instead your heart will have to pump a little more/harder for an entire lifetime, and that will take it's toll after 80-90 years of age, all the extra calories that it takes to get to and maintain that size will be filtered through your kidney's/liver which will take it's toll over time. A high protein diet will effect the above mentioned systems, and your colon and intestine since it might take a little more digestion, but again, over a lifetime.

So IMO, she's not entirely wrong, but "healthy" is relative to your current situation, and your life goals.

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:21 pm 
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I had a full physical a few months back and everything was perfect...in fact....the doctor said I am in incredible shape for 42 years old and wishes some of his patients half my age would follow my example, LOL.

It is funny when you say I don't have much fat too lose because I am used to be so lean that just adding a little on my lower abs really bothers me. I notice my pants fit tighter, LOL.

Justin I agree with you. I am a student of health, I have over 35 books on nutrition, anatomy, exercise and bodybuidling. I know all about the research behind taking in less calories possibly equating to an extended life and less disease, especially things like arthritis. However, my mental state is a big part of my health and being big and muscular makes me feel VERY good and confident. :)

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:39 pm 
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I have been rather depressed with how I look now. I looked better last summer when I was lighter. Everything is more smoothed over now. I am really upset about my abs. Last summer I had some nice definition, but this year, I feel and see the fat on my midsection. I know I have been trying to bulk, but it gets harder as one gets older to lose that fat once you gain it so sometimes I wonder if I should take the Clarence Bass approach of staying lean year round.

Another thing that has hurt me is injuring my shoulder last August which screwed me up for 4 months and got me out of shape. Part of that time I gained extra fat. I also switched to heavier, but three days a week. I looked better when I worked out four days a week and I am starting to transition back to that and starting to up the protein and cut out some of the carbs and processed food! I was eating too many processed carbs and it shows. For the summer I want to get leaner, but maintain muscle and strength. Oddly enough, I was stronger last summer before I hurt my shoulder.

Looking and feeling my mid section fat right now is depressing.

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 Post subject: Re: How big do I need to get??? Pics included!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Remember, everything is temporary. You are not defined by the fat, the fat is simply a thing that is a part of your body at this point in your life. You can get rid of the fat if you really want to, or you can ignore it, or you can eat crazy and gain lots more of it! My point is, it might be tough to look in the mirror right now, but you are making steps to correct your course and become a healthier and happier person, and that's really what it's all about. :)

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