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For food, I am hitting between 5000 and 6000 calories a day (4000 on my cardio days) Which is usually 25% protein, 60% carbs, 15% fat.

Could you please give just one day menu example? I just do not know what I should eat in order to get that much QUALITY calories? What do you eat? I suppose not nuts and seeds, since your fat intake is 15%... Thank you!


PS: I have just looked at pre-contest diet on your blog

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkmOcUtqsvw6dGdSdlFmMVRVN1VVeWJBVVZVYWlCUGc&hl=en_US#gid=0and I have few questions: what is one SERVING, how much is that? And what is BEAN SHAKE? I am really interested in this high carb diet

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Thanks Nicholas! How's your weight gain coming? You've been getting some solid workouts in, nice consistency!


For food, I am hitting between 5000 and 6000 calories a day (4000 on my cardio days) Which is usually 25% protein, 60% carbs, 15% fat. I try to keep it as close to that as possible and so far, so good!



That's a lot of food, sweet!


Yeah my weight gain is going pretty well thanks for asking! In the past 1.5 months i have gained about 5lbs of muscle, am aiming for more now AS I FINALLY JOINED A GYM FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY! (A 24/7 one: Jetts Gym).


I just have a question. My mother is getting married this week and we'll be going away for about 2 days (Monday morning to Wednesday morning and won't be able to train. My biggest concern though is my diet; as my mother is a chef she uses a fair amount of oil and salt in her cooking and is making me chickpea and lentil patties and what not. What I am asking is will this affect me in any major way while I am gone for these two days?


(She won't reduce the oil or salt as she gets really cranky when I ask stuff like that so that is out of my options).




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Awesome, thanks guys!!


@Vege: I get a lot of clean low fat calories by eating TONS of grains and beans. My daily meals look something like:


Meal 1: 1 cup oat bran, protein shake


Meal 2: 1 cup oat bran, bean shake, sprouted gran bagel (sometimes with almond butter), 1 grapefruit


Meal 3: Quinoa and black beans, half an avocado, salad


Meal 4: Bean shake, sprouted grain bagel (sometimes with almond butter), apple


Meal 5: This is a wildcard. We often eat out, or eat something like the recipes we have on our blog


Meal 6: Bean shake


I am also drinking 3-4 liters of water a day between meals - extremely important when you're eating this much!



@Nicholas: Don't worry man! You've been working hard and following your diet, so two days of rich food and time away from the gm might actually be beneficial! A lot of top tier trainers suggest taking a week off every two or three months. I never do this (too obsessed with working out!), but I often notice if I have a weekend out of town eating rich food and not working out I feel great when get back to lifting! Enjoy yourself and don't stress, you'll be that much stronger when you get back


@Belle Thanks! We had a great time there. Working hard to get that goal!

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@Nicholas: Don't worry man! You've been working hard and following your diet, so two days of rich food and time away from the gm might actually be beneficial! A lot of top tier trainers suggest taking a week off every two or three months. I never do this (too obsessed with working out!), but I often notice if I have a weekend out of town eating rich food and not working out I feel great when get back to lifting! Enjoy yourself and don't stress, you'll be that much stronger when you get back




Okay, thanks Derek!

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@vege: Anytime buddy!


@Robert: SO awesome! You're the best brotha!! How's training been going?



As for training, I've been trying to mix it up every few weeks so this week I'm doing a little more volume. This is as much for fun as to confuse and stimulate my muscles


Monday: Calves, Shoulders


Every exercise was super-setted with 20 reps of seated calf press or standing calf press)

Smith Shoulder Press: 95x15, 115x12, 135x10, 155x10, 1l0, 10 drop 115x10

Arnold Press: 35x25, 25, 25

Upright Row SS DB Shrugs: 115x10 SS 70x10 for 3 sets

DB Lateral to Shoulder Fly: 15x15, 15, 15


Tuesday: Quads, light arms


Leg Press: 450x15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15 (German volume set - brutal!)

Leg Extensions: 150x12, 12, 12, 12, 12

Squats: 225x2 (was going to do 4 sets of 15 reps here, but legs weren't functioning so I moved on)

Seated Dumbbell Curls: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10

Cable Press Down: 80x15, 100x12, 120x12


I normally do a lot more exercises, but I was completely spent after the leg press set!


Less than 3 weeks until my photo shoot! Working hard!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Looking forward to hearing about the photo shoot and seeing the pics!


Have fun!



Will do man, I'm excited to get more shots on the site! Did you catch our radio interview tonight? It went really well, especially for our first I'd say. And Marcella said thank you very much for the gifts! (She's too big to zip up the hoody right now though!)

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  • 1 month later...

Happy New Year!


It's the first day of 2012 so I've decided it's definitely time to get back on my training journal! I've been training this entire time and keeping a detail workout notebook, but going from paper to digital hasn't been happening enough. I love looking through all my old routines on here, it really is great to have this resource! It's great to be able to compare my contest prep for every contest I've ever done, especially since I am now 7 WEEKS OUT from my next show! Our baby is due on March 21st, so I'm going to get one show in on February 18th before having an extended off season to be a papa .


My training:

I had been keeping with the same program and split give/take until mid November, at which point I decided my core and joints were feeling good enough that I wanted to try a 2-a-day split again. I used to love these before my most recent injury - I'm addicted to training and with 12 workouts a week you get plenty of it! Here is the program I drew up and had planned to follow for 5 weeks: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkmOcUtqsvw6dFdIT29QSVd0VmVyRWFjNl9ldDNTdlE&hl=en_US#gid=0


It went really really well at first. I started taking creatine again after not using it for 6 months, and my strength went way up and I was recovering great. I was even able to train abs lightly almost every workout. Some highlights while I was on this routine were: Squats (405x7 for 4 sets), Bench Press (265x5), Db Lunges with 100lb dumbbells for sets of 8 on each leg, and Deadlifts (405x5 for 5 sets). I've been really happy to get back up to these weights after struggling with my abdominal strain since August of 2010, but lo and behold after my heavy deadlift workout listed above I re-injured them! SO bummed and limited in my training that I was close to dropping the idea of competing, but I decided to go to a local chiropractor who uses soft -tissue techniques such as Active Release (ART), Grosten Technique, and keniso taping. If anyone reading this hasn't tried these technique I highly recommend them! It's been 3 weeks and I am almost back to training at that level again, with my only real limitations being no ab training and no deadlifts for at least 2 more weeks. I've gone back to my original split training each muscle group once per week and am keeping the weights lighter and the reps over 8. My weight is up to 193lbs at 9% BF, which is tied with the biggest I've ever been. Not 200lbs like I've been shooting for, but I figure I am where I was prior to this injury, so now after this show I can forge new ground! Here is my workouts from yesterday:


12/31: Hams/Calves AM Arms PM



41 inch box jumps: 10, 10, 10

Superset with Power Step ups on a bench: 15, 15, 15

Romanian Deadlifts: 135x20, 155x20, 155x20, 155x20, 155x20 (short rest)

Prone Leg Curls: 70x12, 80x12, 80x12, 80x10

Seated Leg Curl FST-7: 90x12

Smith Calf Raise (1 second assent, 6 sec descent): 225x10, 315x10, 315x10, 405x10

Seated Calf Raise: 135x15, 135x15, 160x15, 160x15

Leg Press Calf Raise: 190x 100 (needed 4 or 5 rest pauses - wicked burn!)



DB Hammer Curl: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10, 60x6, 60x6 (with lots of body english)

Superset Cable Press Down: 20x15, 20x15, 50x12, 50x12, 70x12, 70x12

EZ Barbell Curls (with band attached): 105x5, 105x5, 105x5, 105x5, 105x7

Superset Close Grip Bench (with band attached): 185x5, 185x5, 195x5, 195x5, 195x6

Seated DB curl with unevenly loaded Db (love that trick!): 40x10, 40x10, 40x10, 40x10 - arm-splittingly painful!

Superset Weighted Bench dips: 45x12, 45x12, 45x15, 70x10 drop 45x5 drop bodyweight x 7 - complete failure!


So I'm working as intensely as possible to see if I can build muscle while dieting for this show. Pics from my arm workout:



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Quick post tonight becuase I'm falling asleep on the keyboard... I've been keeping weights light for another two weeks to rehab my injuries a bit more, so this week I've tried some of UK trainer Neil Hill's week three workouts (muscle annihilation) from his Y3T training program - and they're horrible! My quads are so sore right now I literally have to lower myself into my chair using my arms. Here's what I've done:


1/2: Shoulders (weight x reps)


DB Laterals: 2 sets of sixty reps, 15x12 + 20x12 + 25x12 + 20x12 + 15x12 with no rest between. Twice...

DB Shoulder Press: 45x20, 50x20, 50x20

DB Partial Laterals - moving the weight about 4 inches and doing 10reps out, 10 forward, 5 out, 5 forward: 25x30, 25x30

Rear delt laterals, moving weight back one rep, out the next, forward the next: 20x12, 20x12

Db Shrug 10sec holds: 40x10, 40x10


1/3: Quads


Leg extension: 3 sets of forty reps: 150x10 + 130x10 + 110x10 + 150x10 with no rest, three times! Ended up having to rest pause and do partials on the second round of 150.

Leg Press: 450x50, 450x50. Yes, fifty. Lots of rest pauses and yelling spotters.

Smith Squat: 225x20, 225x20

Was supposed to do lunges at this point, but couldn't walk.


Bed time! Back day tomorrow!

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@Mattsxvx How did it go? Be really careful of overtraining on that one - it did me in! Leg's are just starting to feel 'normal sore' now four days later.


Training this week has been going really well. I am keeping to moderate loads since I am still rehabing, but the intensity has been all out this week so I'm feeling good about it! I hope to keep my weight as high as possible as I diet down in the next six weeks - the old impossibility of gaining muscle while losing fat! I've been running about a mile on the treadmill before workouts to warm up, and running two miles outside before dinner every night. No pre-breakfast cardio yet, but I'll be adding it soon. My diet is down to about 4500 cal/day from around 5000, and that change is mostly just cleaning out the holiday sweets and reducing overall fat intake. I am going to keep my carbs pretty high like I did for the last show because I was able to get lean (4% bf) and felt really good, but I'm also going to try and keep my protein a little higher this time to see if I can maintain more muscle mass. Everything is an experiment! Here's what my training looked like:


1/5: Back


Pull Ups: 0x12, 35x10, 80x10, 100x10, 100x9 drop 0x10 (I was heavily spotted here, didn't feel super strong but wanted to get 100s anyway )

Superset DB Row: 60x12, 80x12, 100x10, 100x10

Barbell Row: 95x30, 30, 30 (10 wide overhand, 10 close underhand, 5 wide overhand, 5 close underhand)

Lat Pulldown: 80x30, 30 (see barbell row)

Straight arm pulldown: 50x12 drop 40x8 drop 30x15

1-arm cable curl: 40x10 drop 30x10 drop 20x10, repeat for 3 sets

Wide grip preacher curl: 50x15, 50x15, 50x15


1/6: Chest


Incline Bench Press: 135x10, 185x10, 205x5, 205x5, 215x5, 215x5, 215x7 (<1 min rests)

Bench Press: 1 Mega drop set: 205x13 drop 195x6 drop 185x5 drop 175x4 drop 165x4 drop 155x5 drop 145x5 drop 135x5 - no rest, all to failure. Crushed!

Giant Set: (8 reps of each, roughly 30 sec between exercises) - was pretty brutal after the above two!

Dips: 8, 8, 8

DB Press: 70x8, 60x8, 40x8 super slow

DB Pullover: 60x8, 75x8, 65x8

DB Incline Fly: 40x8, 40x8, 40x8


1/7: Hams AM / Arms Calves PM


Warmed up with 36'' box jumps superset power step ups on a bench, three sets of 10

Db Lunges: 100sx8, 100x8, 100x8

Prone Leg Curl: 70x12, 75x12, 80x12, 85x12 - All done extremely slow and strict'

Seated Leg Curl: 110x20, 110x20, 130x20

Romanian Deadlift: 135x20, 155x20, 155x20, 155x30



1-leg Smith Calf Raise: 135x12, 135x12, 225x6 superset both feet x30, 225x6 SS both x30, 225x6 SS both x30 - each set ended with a 10 second peak hold - burnt!

Seated Calf Press: 135x12, 135x12, 180x12, 180x15 +15 bouncy reps, 180x10 drop 135x10 drop 90x10

DB Hammer Curls: 30x10, 40x8, 50x6, 60x4 strict + 4 really ugly reps

Superset Cable Pressdowns: 90x10, 100x8, 120x6, 150x10 (full stack) - went too light here at first

Preacher Curl: 70x10, 70x10, 90x10 (forced), 90x8 (forced) drop 70x7 drop 50x8

Superset Skull Crushers: 65x12, 85x12, 105x9, 105x7 drop 85x8 drop 65x10


Now I feel like I've been hit by a truck, so tomorrow is a much needed day off. I plan on running before breakfast for 15-20 min and again before dinner, and posing practice in the afternoon - still need to choose my song, slacking! Next week I'll be going heavier and I'm going to try to reintroduce deadlifts. Let's see what happens!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been a week since my last post so I am now 5 WEEKS out! Cardio is one to two times per day of 20min on the step mill or running outside, plus posing practice most evenings for 30+min. Before breakfast and/or before dinner. I'm keeping a protein shake with oats in it by my bed now b/c I've been getting hungry in the night - it's a big help and I feel like I have a bit more gas in the tank for my morning training! Calories are down a bit from last week, to roughly 4k per day shooting for 30%/55%/15% P/C/F. I checked my bf this weekend and I'm between 7 and 8, so still a little high, but the good news is I'm still at 192lbs, which means I've gained some muscle while dieting! Stoked!


For training This week I've still been sticking loosely to the Y3T Protocol, which made this past week the heavy duty compound training week (obviously my favorite). Volume was kept low, usually 3 exercises per muscle group, all compound lifts for 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps heavy. Felt so nice and easy after last week! Tomorrow starts the 'standard bodybuilding' week, so I'll be doing a more typical programming of a couple compound moves and a couple isolation moves, with sets of 8-12 reps, training for a pump. Here's what some of last week looked like:


1/9: Shoulders


Seated Barbell Press: 135x10, 155x8, 175x8, 175x8, 175x8

Upright Row: 135x8, 8, 8, 8

Arnold Press: 75x8, 10, 8, 8

Trap Row (Cable row lying almost flat and lifting like a shrug): 160x8, 8, 8, 9


1/10: Quads - Great Lift!


Squat: 135x12, 225x10, 315x8, 365x8, 405x8, 405x8, 405x7 - Best in ages, and my abs held up!!

Leg Press: 630x 8, 8, 8, 8

DB Lunges: 100x8, 7


1/11: Chest


Bench Press: 135x10, 185x8, 225x8, 235x8, 255x8, 255x8 (with rest pauses) - very happy with this!

DB Incline Press: 90x8, 100x8, 100x7, 80x8

Decline Pullovers: 75x8, 8, 8, 8


1/13: Back


Lat Pulldown: 110x10, 130x8, 140x8, 150x6, 140x8

T-Bar Row: 135x8, 180x8, 180x8, 180x8

DB Row: 100x8, 8, 8, 8

Underhand Pulldown: 110x8, 8, 8

1-Arm Cable Curl: 45x8, 8, 8


1/14: Hams/Calves - calves were actually really sore, gonna keep training them this way!


Prone Leg Curl: 70x12, 90x8, 100x8, 100x8, 100x8

Romanian Deadlift: 135x10, 185x8, 225x8, 275x8, 315x8 - stoked here!

Seated Leg Curl: 110x8, 130x8, 150x8, 150x8

Seated Calf Raise: 135x8, 180x8, 225x8, 225x8

Leg Press Calf Raise: 630x8, 630x8, 720x8, 720x8


1/15: Arms


Barbell Curl: 65x12, 95x8, 115x8, 115x8, 115x8

Preacher Curl: 80x8, 90x8, 80x8, 80x8

Incline DB Curl: 30x8, 30x8, 30x8

DB Extension: 75x8, 90x8, 8, 8

Bench Dips: 45x12, 90x8, 135x8, 135x8

Skull Crushers: 80+Band x8, 8, 8, 80x8


Feeling good and ready to start next week strong! Time to get Tight!

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Nice work, buddy!


Awesome! Excited to see how you progress leading up to the show! PS, I've only used compound lifts since the start of the year. Not a single machine or cable. Only barbells and dumbbells.


Your Mass article motivated me to get back on that wagon.


All the best!

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