I finished my first week yesterday of the new program. It was definitely intense. Maybe it's because I didn't do any weight training for a good two months while I did a mixture of bodyweight exercises, but I was feeling some serious soreness after the exercises, more so than I can remember having felt before. The worst has got to be after my leg exercise day. I started feeling muscle soreness the next day, and it wouldn't go away for several days. For a bit of time I was so sore that my glutes were crying in pain every time I sat down. All the soreness is gone now though, and I'm ready to tackle week 2!
In terms of weight, it seems like I gained a little more than I was planning, 3 pounds as opposed to 1. I was a bit surprised by this as I only went over maintenance calories on lifting days, and never more than a 400 calorie surplus. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it was the first week of a mass gaining program? If anything it seems like I'm much more solid than a week before. As hard as it is to believe, I'm already seeing muscle definition in certain areas to a degree I've never seen before, most notably my obliques. Also, it seems like that saggyness I had on my stomach area has gone down substantially and has become much more solid. While the 3 pound gain seems extreme to me, for now I'm going to move forward as is and continue to monitor my progress. If it weight gain continues the same pace and I feel like my fat gain is too high, I'll change up the dietary aspect a bit.
Thanks for the advice Geoffers. I've done some bodyweight training before and it's definitely a great way to workout, especially when you don't have weights or limited space to work with. My only concern though is that as my primary goal right now is hypertrophy, would I be able to achieve that with bodyweight training alone?
Thanks for the support pjh139psu! I'm definitely not dropping anything. As it is, every bit of research I've done on muscle building has stated the necessity for medium intensity cardio between lifting days in order to help your body recover.
That's a pretty intense program you're running right now and it seems like you're making good progress. One thing I would like to mention is that after an intense lifting exercise it's recommended to take in a high GI carb in addition to fast acting protein. The main benefit of this being that it replaces your body's glycogen stores and switches your muscle building from a catabolic to anabolic state. I think this is a major difference between cardio and lifting post-exercise, as usually after cardio I just tend to let my body continue burning calories until I have dinner later that night. I just picked up some maltodextrose for use in my post-exercise shake, we'll see what kind of effect it has
Anyway, I think that's why it's suggested to separate cardio and lifting. Unfortunately our schedules don't always allow us to do things how we want, so it's definitely a good thing that you're doing as much as you can with your schedule and not just giving up like some people would.
That's a very interesting program tandoorichicken, I've never heard of anything quite like it. Even with my limited knowledge so far I could definitely how a program designed like that could work out well. I guess my own personal concern would be creating a muscle growth imbalance in one part of my body while the rest stays relatively the same. I would be worried that it would make my body proportions look weird.
What kind of results have you seen so far with the program?
Huh, I could've sworn I had replied to this earlier.
Ok, let me explain why right now I'm doing the P90X hybrid. First, I would like to say that I'm definitely open to suggestions, and I've already checked out some plans on BodyBuilding.com to see if I could utilize some of their systems.
The main reason I'm going with the P90X hybrid right now is that I live in the middle of nowhere in Japan, and there is no gym to do exercises at so I have to do all lifting at home. I have dumbbells and a barbell, but the majority of my exercise takes place in a tiny 3m x 1.5m space which makes it hard to do exercise that use a lot of movement and space. With that in mind, I chose to work with P90X because I've done a round before and know I can utilize the exercises in the program.
In it's standard form I will definitely agree that P90X is geared for overall fitness as opposed to gaining mass. However, there is an excellent article by BeachBody discussing how to modify the plan for hypertrophy
For those that don't want to take a look at the article, the basic idea is to have three days of high intensity, low rep lifting with low intensity cardio in between for recovery. I'm for the most part only taking the ab exercises from Insanity and P90X+ to keep my abdominal muscles from getting too used to one exercise.
As requested by vabeachgirlNYC, here's a week of what I'll be doing:
* Day 1: Hip Hop
* Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps; Max Abs (Insanity)
* Day 3: Salsa
* Day 4: Legs & Back; Max Abs (Insanity)
* Day 5: Social Dance; Yoga X
* Day 6: Back & Biceps; Max Abs (Insanity)
* Day 7: Off
All the dance sections are the practices for teams I'm part of and I can't drop or change them just to gain mass.
Also in response to vabeachgirlNYC question, if by bulk you mean increasing calorie intake, then yes. On days I'm lifting I eat 400 calories over maintenance, while on non lifting days I eat slightly under maintenance. Is that a good idea or should I eat over maintenance level on all days?
Tandoorichicken, thanks for the suggestion! Where can I get more information on Wendler 5/3/1? Also, looking at your second post, I'm curious as to how exactly a person can exercise one specific area for a month at a time. Wouldn't repeated exercise of the same muscle group cause muscle deterioration?
First off I can guarantee you that the guy standing next to the monster truck on that website that you linked didn’t get like that by doing P90X or any hybrid of it! That alone for me tells me that the information there is going to be sketchy.
The guys that you see that get BIG doing P90X do it by adding extra weight routines (bench press, squats, etc) not dance and insanity. Keep in mind that they may also be trying to sell you something. Insanity is designed to make you lean, period. You will not build “mass” with the program you are doing. Can you get bigger? Sure, depending on your diet. Will everyone look at you and say “Damn that dude put on some mass, he’s swole.” or “That guy is jacked up.”? Probably not.
I had to quit doing P90X b/c my chest was getting too small. Your chest can only get so big by doing pushups. I got stronger and was in pretty good shape, but did I gain mass? No. It may have looked like I gained muscle but that’s b/c I peeled away the extra fat. Do I think that adding insanity to the mix would help me gain mass? Nope. Do I think you can get in amazing shape and get ripped up doing that program? Sure.
I’m an advocate of P90X, but not for building mass.
As far as abs, I haven’t worked out my abs in about a year and IMO they look just as good, if not better than they did when I was doing Ab Ripper X several times a week. I haven’t done cardio in a while and I only work out 3 days a week (usually about 45 mins a day).
Oh hey Mike, good timing. Today officially marks the end of doing 4 weeks at trying to build mass so I figured I would check in to write an update.
First off, thanks for your advice. Your own progress is inspiring and I remember in particular a post you wrote awhile back about stopping the excuses, getting off your lazy ass, and achieving your goals that really motivated me to take my fitness to the next level.
So my results over the past four weeks:
I have seen a noticeable change in muscle definition. Here are my changes in terms of measurements (all measurements are in cm).
Neck - 36 to 38.5
Bicep - 32.5 to 35
Chest - 96 to 96.5
Waist - 77 to 75.5
Hips - 92.5 to 94.5
Thigh - 52.5 to 53.5
Calf - 36.5 to 36
(Note: I omitted Forearm as I had a huge difference in numbers and I think I messed up the previous measurement)
These measurements show a slight, but general trend towards increasing in size. The one measurement that has really taken me by surprise is that my waist has actually decreased in size. I'm not sure how this is happening, but it can't be a negative thing, right?
In terms of mass, I saw the biggest gains in the first two weeks. These last two weeks, even though I've increased my diet to a daily intake of 3000 calories, my weight only went up .1kg each week. The dramatic initial increases may be due to the fact that I had just come off a pure Insanity circuit, and my body was recovering the muscle mass it had lost during the long session of HIIT training. However, I was very surprised by the sudden decrease in weight gain in the last two weeks, as I figured that when I upped the calories my weight would take a dramatic shift upward. I'm going to try increasing it a further 400 calories to see what difference that makes.
On the flip side, I've seen the most explosive gains in sheer strength the last two weeks. I completely destroyed the amount I was lifting for all back and leg exercises this week compared to last week, and all lifting days in general have see progressively higher amounts of weight being lifted at a rate faster than I expected. I would figure that higher strength would be followed with higher weight gain, but perhaps the lower weight gain in the last two weeks represents an increase in metabolism due to an increase in muscle mass? I'm pretty lost on this point so if anyone has any ideas I'm listening.
Going back to your comments Mike, I do agree that I feel P90X is a bit limited for mass building. The exercises are a bit too long and I feel like there are too many sets for each muscle group. But as I said before, I'm currently limited in what options I have available to me so I'm going to do the best I can. One thing I'm going to try doing next month after I get back from my vacation is decreasing the routines on a lifting day in half and increasing the intensity. One thing I've already changed from when I was using P90X to lose pounds is using weight with every exercise. Right now for pushups and all leg exercises I'm wearing free weights in a backpack, kind of the poor man's version of a weighted vest. It's certainly cut down on the number of reps I can perform, though I'm still fine tweaking it.
I think you also make a very good point about ab exercises. I get a substantial amount of ab exercise from anything that uses the core, which includes all dancing and a good amount of my lifting exercise. I actually have very solid abs which I'm beginning to see a little definition of. Perhaps it would be a good idea to cut back on ab specific exercise, cutting down on exercise time and giving my body more time to recover?
That's all I have to say for now. I'll try to keep the updates coming!