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Old 03-28-2011, 04:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building Mass, Let's Do It!

Today officially marks the first day of first mass building circuit! Ironically, today is actually a low-intensity cardio day as it's the only way my schedule can work out correctly

As this is the first time I will have done a mass building circuit, I'm a bit nervous. If you tried to suggest to me a few months back that I should be putting on weight, I would've given you a funny look, and then proceeded to lift you up in the air a couple of times for some shoulder exercise. But now, after finishing my Insanity circuit, I'm itty bitty, so it's time to get BIG BIG BIG!

I figure I'll check in every now and then with updates on what kind of progress I'm making. Is anyone else out there doing a mass building circuit right now? If so, let's share stories, programs, advice, etc. to keep us pushing! For those of you that have done a mass building circuit in the past, any advice you can give for a newbie like me on the subject?


My circuit right now is a 3-month long program I've put together which combines elements of P90X, P90X+, and Insanity. It mostly follows the P90X plan, though there's only one recovery period which is counterbalanced by less intense cardio throughout, and a focus on lifting progressively heavier weights for progressively less repititions. I'm actually thinking about buying one of those weighted vests for non lifting exercises. If anyone wants me to, I've planned out what I'll be doing every single day for the next 3 months and I'd be happy to post it up here.

Probably the hardest part for me is making sure I eat enough. After months of eating to lose weight it's going to be a big shift for me. I'm currently 5'4, 140lbs and eat around 1800-2000 calories a day, sometimes more depending on what exercise I'm doing that day. Right now I'm planning on a minor increase in caloric intake for cardio days, and about a 400 calorie increase for weight lifting days with about a 50-75g increase in carbohydrate intake. I want to gain at a slow 1-2 pounds a week pace so that I can try to minimize fat gain while maximizing muscle gain. I've done a little more research on supplements, and in addition to the whey protein I've been using up until now I plan to add creatine, glutamin, and ribose to the mix.


That's all for now, expect updates in the future. Time to bring it, and bring it BIG!
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are trying to get big (muscle mass) why are you going to do the P90X/P90X+/Insanity programs? Why not just lift heavy?

Are you doing a bulk?

I do NOT want to see all 90 days of your plan.
How about posting just one average week?
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know about p90x if you are interested in gaining muscle mass. Deadlifts, back squats, weighted dips, bench press, overhead press and weighted pull ups are the way to go and lots of protein. google starting strength. That is a very good program. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with the above. P90X-style plans are good for getting you shredded once you have a decent mass base. Wendler 5/3/1 is a solid template for size and strength and if you lock in your diet with plenty of protein, peri-workout carbs, and a decent amount of dietary fat you will see tremendous mass gain.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, I wanted to add that I am mass building right now. I'm following T-Nation's I, Body Builder program and I had scheduled to do each phase for a month. I just started the chest phase. January focused on shoulders, February on back, March on legs. May will be a transition/deload period to my next cycle, which will be a cutting cycle.

IBB consists of 5 workouts per week (2 days of rest/low-intensity cardio), 3 of which are body part specializations (which depend on the current phase) and 2 full-body (which cover the muscles from the other phases). Every work-out throughout a given week is different, so it keeps things interesting, and I've seen clear size gains on it, so it's one of my favorite programs now.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with the above. A P90X/P90X+?Insanity hybrid will not get you big, maybe a little bigger but not big.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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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

Gain Muscle Mass With P90X

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?
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you are short of space & equipment you could look at progressive bodyweight strength training systems like "Never Gymless" or "Convict Conditioning".
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You don't have to drop anything to gain.
Abet you will not gain as hard as you would if you could lift heavy in a gym setting but you can gain some.

Just remember to protect the muscle with protein before and after all exercises and it should work.

I'm doing 25 minutes HIIT at >80% heart rate for my normal speed and >90% for my HI [usually hit 95% or above] for 20 seconds and I follow those 25 minutes with at least 35 to 50 min lifting [heavy] with a HR of >80%. I am gaining muscle and losing weight. I also jiggle the nutrition very carefully to protect the muscle and so far it is working.

And I've taken off 20 pounds since Jan 5th.

I sincerely wish I could split the days but it is not an option right now. If it was, I think I would see more gains in muscle and loss in body fat. Today my HIIT workout got short circuited by a med reaction to a new medicine but I lifted for 60 mins and I was able to lift much longer because I didn't have to replenish the glucose before I lifted for a change. I had more endurance. I also couldn't get the heart rate above 79% for most of it. The Doc is in trouble. [Actually his nurse because "You should NEVER go higher than 80%" Yeah? Well I've been doing this for 4 months and the doctor just told me I was making fantastic progress so there Nursie. ]

So yeah you can do it. You may do it slower than other methods but if I can with this crazy schedule you can.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think if you Google 5/3/1 or Jim Wendler you will come across a good summary and sample program on T-Nation. I don't think you need much besides a barbell and dumbbells.

The basis of the IBB body part phases is to do the specialization workouts 3 days/week with total body work 2 days/week. The 3 specialization workouts are further broken down into one maximum effort day (for strength building), one repetition effort day (for work capacity/muscle endurance), and one dynamic effort day (for hypertrophy). This enables you to cycle exercises and loading patterns so you are not over-stressing your joints or muscles over the course of the week.

The program also emphasizes lifting as explosively as possible (fast reps) with controlled descents, reducing rest periods to the bare minimum required to complete the next set, and stopping the exercise when rep speed drops. So there is no "grinding" or going to failure, which also helps speed recovery.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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