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 Post subject: Body type getting in the way?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:07 am 
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Manatee
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Location: Hampshire Swordsman
Well I was talking to some of the staff at the gym today, I got on to how my upper body is mostly crap and has not kept up with my lower body in terms of strength and muscle gain no matter what I do.

I was told it's most likely that I'm an Endomorph body type and will usually struggle to get upper body bulk and strength compared to my legs.

Question is, do I continue on bull headed and just lift as much as I can and hope that somehow it works out (been working on my upper body for over a year and it hasn't got any further) or do I totally change my goals and go for something else with my body, like endurance and cardio and try to build something up there?

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 Post subject: Re: Body type getting in the way?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Manatee
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Little updated.

I read that (no surprise to some bodybuilders and so on) if you're an endomorph you should really look at your diet. Have moderate protein and make sure the source doesn't have high or added carbs, only eat carbs in the morning or post workout and every other meal just vegetables and fruit. Also, eat constantly but small amounts for adding muscle, instead of 3 meals and snacks a day, 6-8 bits of food a day.

That's a possibility I guess.

_________________
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard." - Tim Notke
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Sir Winston Churchill


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 Post subject: Re: Body type getting in the way?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
mythil wrote:
Little updated.

I read that (no surprise to some bodybuilders and so on) if you're an endomorph you should really look at your diet. Have moderate protein and make sure the source doesn't have high or added carbs, only eat carbs in the morning or post workout and every other meal just vegetables and fruit. Also, eat constantly but small amounts for adding muscle, instead of 3 meals and snacks a day, 6-8 bits of food a day.

That's a possibility I guess.


For me as an endomorph, keeping diet tight is key to gaining mass without getting fat - I can put on BOTH fat and muscle easily by just stuffing myself, but to do it correctly, it takes a lot of planning on meals focused on protein as the base, few carbs during the first half of the day (only quality sources, no bread/rice/pasta/etc.) and focusing on most carb intake shortly after training.

I do very little cardio work, if any these days, and manage to keep fat off via diet and incoporating some higher rep work into my training (which can be seen in my log). I find that if I work through various rep ranges I can still focus on building plenty of streng and size but also can use it well to keep fat off with some endurance rep sets near the end of my workout.

If you're getting adequate food intake, it may be that you need to tweak your training protocol (I'm just going through your log now, had missed it earlier). Looking at some of your lifts, it looks like you may be doing more volume than necessary to get some of the upper body gains you need - 10x6 on some of the lifts might be better changed to something more like this as an example:

Posted workout -
Monday:
Jogging, as much as I can do in thirty minutes
Incline DB Press: 10x6
Pullup: 10x6
DB Flyes: 10x6 (Machine if benches are taken)
BB Bent Row: 10x6
21's (I like them)

I would change to -
1. Do a light 5 minute warm-up speed walk or slow jog to start, but save the 30 minute stuff for post workout, not pre workout in case it may be hampering things a bit.

2. Increase weight/intensity for the main lifts like the incline press, try 2-3 progressive warm-up sets then 5x5 with my standard "intensity scale" as follows:
Set 1 - be at a weight where you don't have a problem managing 5 reps, and you could probably get 2 more squeezed out if you really fought for it
Set 2 - should feel like you can definitely get a 6th rep, 7 would have been too much
Set 3 - 5 reps is tough at this point, a 6th may have happened, but may not have
Set 4 - 5 reps definitely tough at this point, definitely no gas left for a 6th rep, just managing to finish the prescribed 5 is the most you could manage
Set 5 - 5 reps is a battle, last rep should be far from easy, and you might even find that you need to take a few seconds to catch breath after the 4th rep to get the set done. You do NOT want to have it where you could get beyond 5, otherwise the weight is too light

3. If you can get 10x6 on pull-ups, either work to do fewer sets with more reps as your secondary lift for upper back (try something like 3x12 or 5x5 with weight suspended for added resistance).

4. Flyes, while an okay "finisher" shouldn't be a major component of a chest workout if you want to put on size. I occasionally like doing 2-3 sets at the end if my chest is really tight (usually doing 20 rep sets to stretch out), but time could be better spent on something else like close-grip flat benching, or, if you only like working with dumbbells, try palms-in flat DB benching where your arms almost graze your sides on the way down, elbows tucked in with no flare outward.

5. I'd do the bent rowing first, it tends to be what will take more out of you when you go heavy vs. pull-ups, and would change to more of the 5x5 as noted above.

6. Keep the 21s if you want them, you've got to keep it fun and interesting so long as you aren't compromising your progress.


Sometimes a few minor tweaks can really make a difference, so just a few ideas to consider to see if they might help!

_________________
"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Body type getting in the way?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Hampshire Swordsman
VeganEssentials wrote:
mythil wrote:
Little updated.

I read that (no surprise to some bodybuilders and so on) if you're an endomorph you should really look at your diet. Have moderate protein and make sure the source doesn't have high or added carbs, only eat carbs in the morning or post workout and every other meal just vegetables and fruit. Also, eat constantly but small amounts for adding muscle, instead of 3 meals and snacks a day, 6-8 bits of food a day.

That's a possibility I guess.


For me as an endomorph, keeping diet tight is key to gaining mass without getting fat - I can put on BOTH fat and muscle easily by just stuffing myself, but to do it correctly, it takes a lot of planning on meals focused on protein as the base, few carbs during the first half of the day (only quality sources, no bread/rice/pasta/etc.) and focusing on most carb intake shortly after training.

I do very little cardio work, if any these days, and manage to keep fat off via diet and incoporating some higher rep work into my training (which can be seen in my log). I find that if I work through various rep ranges I can still focus on building plenty of streng and size but also can use it well to keep fat off with some endurance rep sets near the end of my workout.

If you're getting adequate food intake, it may be that you need to tweak your training protocol (I'm just going through your log now, had missed it earlier). Looking at some of your lifts, it looks like you may be doing more volume than necessary to get some of the upper body gains you need - 10x6 on some of the lifts might be better changed to something more like this as an example:

Posted workout -
Monday:
Jogging, as much as I can do in thirty minutes
Incline DB Press: 10x6
Pullup: 10x6
DB Flyes: 10x6 (Machine if benches are taken)
BB Bent Row: 10x6
21's (I like them)

I would change to -
1. Do a light 5 minute warm-up speed walk or slow jog to start, but save the 30 minute stuff for post workout, not pre workout in case it may be hampering things a bit.

2. Increase weight/intensity for the main lifts like the incline press, try 2-3 progressive warm-up sets then 5x5 with my standard "intensity scale" as follows:
Set 1 - be at a weight where you don't have a problem managing 5 reps, and you could probably get 2 more squeezed out if you really fought for it
Set 2 - should feel like you can definitely get a 6th rep, 7 would have been too much
Set 3 - 5 reps is tough at this point, a 6th may have happened, but may not have
Set 4 - 5 reps definitely tough at this point, definitely no gas left for a 6th rep, just managing to finish the prescribed 5 is the most you could manage
Set 5 - 5 reps is a battle, last rep should be far from easy, and you might even find that you need to take a few seconds to catch breath after the 4th rep to get the set done. You do NOT want to have it where you could get beyond 5, otherwise the weight is too light

3. If you can get 10x6 on pull-ups, either work to do fewer sets with more reps as your secondary lift for upper back (try something like 3x12 or 5x5 with weight suspended for added resistance).

4. Flyes, while an okay "finisher" shouldn't be a major component of a chest workout if you want to put on size. I occasionally like doing 2-3 sets at the end if my chest is really tight (usually doing 20 rep sets to stretch out), but time could be better spent on something else like close-grip flat benching, or, if you only like working with dumbbells, try palms-in flat DB benching where your arms almost graze your sides on the way down, elbows tucked in with no flare outward.

5. I'd do the bent rowing first, it tends to be what will take more out of you when you go heavy vs. pull-ups, and would change to more of the 5x5 as noted above.

6. Keep the 21s if you want them, you've got to keep it fun and interesting so long as you aren't compromising your progress.


Sometimes a few minor tweaks can really make a difference, so just a few ideas to consider to see if they might help!


I was actually thinking of changing things up a bit and see what I can do. Such as 3 lifts for each area. So for example if I were doing a chest/bicep day (just an example off the top of my head) I would do:

Bench: 5x5
EZ Curl: 5x5
Incline Bench: 5x5
Preacher Curls (Or 21's): 5x5
Deck Fly's: 5x5 (for some reason the DB's I'm looking for disappear so I use the machine)
Hammer Curls 5x5

I came up with (didn't invent it or anything just found it easier) splicing lifts because I find if I do three lifts on the same general area one after the other I'm far too tired to do the rest (if I'm lifting heavy).

_________________
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard." - Tim Notke
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Sir Winston Churchill


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 Post subject: Re: Body type getting in the way?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
mythil wrote:
I was actually thinking of changing things up a bit and see what I can do. Such as 3 lifts for each area. So for example if I were doing a chest/bicep day (just an example off the top of my head) I would do:

Bench: 5x5
EZ Curl: 5x5
Incline Bench: 5x5
Preacher Curls (Or 21's): 5x5
Deck Fly's: 5x5 (for some reason the DB's I'm looking for disappear so I use the machine)
Hammer Curls 5x5

I came up with (didn't invent it or anything just found it easier) splicing lifts because I find if I do three lifts on the same general area one after the other I'm far too tired to do the rest (if I'm lifting heavy).


Definitely too much arm work there. Consider that I still have arms that are just a hair under 18" without doing ANY direct bicep/tricep work, and you'll see that you can still get some size with little to no direct focus. Most people hammer their arms WAY too much and it holds them back, there's no need to feel like your biceps are going to explode as an indicator progress, sometimes less truly is more. I'd only do one biceps/triceps movement per week to take it easier on them (I usually do one direct biceps day every, say, 2-3 months just for fun, and that's it!), no need to spend half your workout curling something when it could better be spent on something else. Remember, pull-ups will tax the biceps to some degree, rows will do it as well, benching will do triceps as well as overhead pressing - every time you hit a compound lift for upper body, biceps and triceps are being hit, just not that you're going to feel a massive pump from it. Keep it short and simple for arm work - some people have found that the ONLY way to grow their arms is to do very little for them, unless you have incredible superhuman recovery abilities or unless you're using steroids, few people need to spend all that much time on arm work to gain, it's more about the compound lifts and getting proper nutrition.

That's why I often do chest/upper back together and alternate lifts between them (the notion that you need to do body parts in sequence is outdated, you can do well with a bit of break by alternating two parts), it's pretty much a complementary lift day that doubles as an indirect arm workout, which saves time and keeps my energy levels high. So, that's why I'll bench a set, then do rows, then back to benching and alternate similarly through my workout to not feel like I'm fading fast. So far that has worked for me, the only day I do straight bodyparts in sequence is my deadlift and overhead day, where I take longer 3-4 minute breaks between deadlift sets and don't want to keep moving all the time.

Hope this helps a bit!

_________________
"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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