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Old 26th February 2011, 11:28   #2761
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Default Re: Bodybuilding - Exercises and Supplements

Here are a few pics of the travails my body has undergone in the past few years.

The first 2 are from early 2008.
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This one is from early 2009.
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These 2 are from 2010; while on bulking and cutting phases respectively.
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This one is from end 2009 again.
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I love iron and it's been a long journey from being 71kilos to a beefy 104 and now to fluctuating around 96-100kilos.

What I have learnt is that with age you don't keep lifting heavier; but smarter. You don't rest it out with injuries, you train around them. You don't cheat on reps, but you lighten the weight and watch the eccentrics. You don't skip the carbs, but you don't take them post 6pm. You don't up the protein intake, you just insure the best quality protein.

My way of training has been train like a powerlifter, eat like a bodybuilder. I have not resorted to AAS (androgenic anabolic steroids) yet, and hopefully would like to keep it that way. Might think about a cycle in a few years when all else fails.

Lift safe you all.

Last edited by mandheers : 26th February 2011 at 12:13. Reason: typo
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Old 26th February 2011, 13:53   #2762
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Default Re: Bodybuilding - Exercises and Supplements

@ alpha1, I missed these comments in my earlier reply. Just comments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
ALLOW ME TO JUMP IN THIS:

Most powerlifters with “incredible built” are the ones who are again “genetically gifted”. For every “incredible built” powerlifter I can show you two who are just like pieces of cylinders. That is bone structure and genes working for you – not the training regime. These ppl would’ve had fantastic physique even if they were doing gymnastics!

And the most incredibly built body builders are born with great genetics too. Except for the most gifted bodybuilders, most of the body building physiques are dependent too much on 'juice', fat percentage, lighting effects, tanning effects, diets the previous days, so on. Its only all these factors in tandem that makes a good body builder's body, when he is not gifted.
I was stressing on this point that a gifted body builder/powerlifter is on their kind, but if you are not gifted for bodybuilding, you also have to be strong enough to lift the weights to have the body. And classic exercises give you that strength. Logically it is easy for a powerlifter to switch to bodybuilding -- they have the strength and the cardiovascular stamina, and all that is needed is to change training for a few years. Its almost never possible in reverse.


6. If you are doing deadlifts by bring the bar to “dead” rest – by keeping on the floor, you should get sufficient rest to the finger/hand assembly. Otherwise you may be lifting off again too soon (for the next rep).

I am doing deadlifts by bringing the bar to dead rest. Keeping on the floor is gives a seconds breather, but loosening and regripping means loss of strength in my experience. I hold on to the bar tightly thru out the motion.
I am not sure if I conveyed my question correctly -- callus in my fingers is tearing my skin. I am puling up over 100kg weight, and with chalk powder my grip is alright -- but the sand paper like grip on the barbell feels like tearing the skin off my fingers.


.
@mandheers, you have a massive upper back right there. I have no idea how you reached there ( if you dint already have it -- genetics) without the heavy lifts.
Pull ups work the back and give you a wide back -- but without a carefully crafted weighted pullup program, its bound to hit plateau very soon.
Since you started working out in the mid 90s, can you describe the kind of work you did earlier too ?? These pictures are all from last few years. If you were not born with good back, how did you reach there without using any classic exercises ??

Last edited by ashokrajagopal : 26th February 2011 at 13:57.
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Old 26th February 2011, 18:55   #2763
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Has there been any study which says that you need to have 2 g per KG of body weight.

Besides, shouldn't it be based on lean body mass?

Actual requirement is much less than that. 0.5g per KG. Which dietecians and govt health care has increased to 1 g por KG in order to take care of the in-efficiencies, plus highs and lows in requirement as per the condition.

Now this 1g figure is already on a higher side, 2 grams may become too high.

Of course I understand that many professionals are taking much higher Proteins than that - but there is not a single study done that proves that the increase in muscle mass is because of that increase in protein intake.
Bodybuilders take in a lot of other things also - and we really cannot pin-point what works the best for increasing the muscle mass.

Now you may be wondering why I am launching this tirade against the high consumption of proteins.

Simple reason - kidneys.
When kidney's start malfunctioning - what do they tell you?
Reduce your proteins intake.
Nitrogen and sulfur are hard on kidneys.


At least think about your organs. Its very painful existence in middle-old age.
1gm per kg is RDA specification for common population, which is largely sedentary. If you are physically active or into body building you need about 1.8gm /kg protein. Actually this is just a guideline for people with normal fat.

The most accurate way to calculate your protein requirement is 30% of your daily calorie requirement, which will inturn depend on your current state and goals. (total calorie = 50% from carb, 30% from Protein, 20% from fat). 1gm of Carb and protein have 4 calories each, while 1 gm fat has 9 calories.
Nutrition is highly individualistic and these are generic baseline thumbrules, which have to be tweaked depending on body type, present body status and the your goal.


High protein does not cause kidney damage - this is a myth. There is no conclusive research to prove that a healthy kidney gets damaged by high protein intake. That way most long term bodybuilders would have had failed kidneys.
However yes it is true that once the kidney is bad you do need to cut down your protein intake, because it makes them overworked.

Please note that complete protein through your natural food (ideally from lean animal source - egg whites, fish, dairy, etc) are the best source and not the supplements. Also adequate water consumption is a must to ensure that your kidneys function efficiently.



As per the book, "Total Nutrition: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need," from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, the authors, Victor Herbert and Genell Shubak-Sharpe, had this to say about protein and kidney disease:
"High-protein diets have never proven to be a serious hazard for healthy people, although processing excess protein can overburden a liver or kidneys that are damaged by disease. That's why individuals with kidney or liver disease are often put on protein restricted diets.”
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Old 26th February 2011, 22:19   #2764
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Originally Posted by ashokrajagopal View Post
@mandheers, you have a massive upper back right there. I have no idea how you reached there ( if you dint already have it -- genetics) without the heavy lifts.
Pull ups work the back and give you a wide back -- but without a carefully crafted weighted pullup program, its bound to hit plateau very soon.
Since you started working out in the mid 90s, can you describe the kind of work you did earlier too ?? These pictures are all from last few years. If you were not born with good back, how did you reach there without using any classic exercises ??
The easiest is to blame it on genetics. Guess will try looking for the earliest pics I can manage to pull up. Now these would be from 05/06 since there were no camera phones on me before that.

I saw a marked improvement since 2003 onwards; that was post my MBA and I started lifting even heavier than ever, and I started taking nutritional supplements. Prior to that I used to lift for fun and even workout morning + evening.

My first tub being Pronab NLarge2 and the rest is history.

I can count the number of times I would've deadlifted; but I have done countless rows, pullups, chin ups and pulldowns.

The regime I have used steadfastedly is 4x4 and my usual back routine would be to warm up with stiff arm pulldowns to front and then move to either pull ups followed by T-bar rows or my favorite close grip rows (with the bar stuck in a corner someplace) followed by single arm dumbell rows and finally superheavy shrugs.

Not necessarily in the above order and depending upon my instinct I move pull ups to the end or shrugs to the start. I have mostly been heavy for my arms and hence never needed weighted pullups. Even today with my back I cant crank out more than 5 reps at a time, but I can do 10 sets of it.

So if I have to sum up: it's only the pull-ups and the close grip rows that helped me with my back. And no, genetically the only thing I have is a whole lot of raw power/ strength. I believe if you set your mind and work towards something genetics will be out of the euqation sooner or later.

Last edited by mandheers : 26th February 2011 at 22:21. Reason: details
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Old 26th February 2011, 22:48   #2765
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^^mandheers, nobody is taking anything away from your hardwork crediting genetics. Believe me, I know how much of effort goes into building even 1lb of muscle tissue into the body.
Let me tell you my story, been working out on and off for 10 years, from pre college. When I started, I was 178 cm tall, and 50 kg flat. Guess I do not have to state what kind of genetics I had. The only exercises I have seen putting muscles to my body were pullups, dips, bench press, squats and deadlifts -- I started doing these regularly in that order actually.
I have to love Squats and deadlifts -- they made possible what hours of machine work for years did not do -- including curls, extensions, shrugs etc.
Over the years what I have realized is to only look at how much you are lifting --- body comes with it. Tracking how much you lift helps track your progress in the most simple way.
I will checkout this 4X4. Good to know your history. Keep lifting hard.
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Old 27th February 2011, 12:07   #2766
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I am a beginner level and want to grow some muscle mass on my body to look fuller.I have been working close to 5 months now and have a big question with resting the same muscle group for more than a week.

My regime:
Mon : Chest and Triceps.
Wed ; Back and biceps
Fri : Shoulder and leg
Sat-Sun off:

Each day is pre-workout cardio 20 min followed by ab workout 10 min and stretching.

ON Whey protein is the only supplement I take after workout.

Pro's can help with Few questions:
1) resting the same muscle group for more than a week.
2) Protein to be taken on no workout day.
3) Somehow i find it hard to work on biceps; chest- shoulders i can reach till rep failure; biceps somehow i just can't: I cannot lift a barbell properly with desried set of reps.( pain near slightly above the elbow junction )

Hi Fraz33r, the problem here is you are giving your muscles a little too much rest.

If your goal is to add mass and look fuller you will have to start lifting more, more often, period.

More would mean you push the bar on the weights and lifts. I always recommend a 4x4 approach; which is actually 4 sets of 4 reps each. This WILL get you growing. You could also do a higher ret program, so let me know what rep/ set range you follow or are comfortable following.

Here's a link ( http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/james1.htm ) to the program I started (with exercise modifications) when I wanted to break the plateau at 87kgs, I am now almost 100. I keep alternating between the 4x4, which is a High Intensity program (HIT) and a High Volume program (HVT) where I do higher reps per set.

The one rule I have followed is to lift the max I can; every workout; for one major movement; with the most strict form; without spotting; for the minimum rep range I am working. So it's either 4 or 12.

You will need to make your program look like a 2 days on 1 day off + 2 days on 2 days off, or better still, 3 days on 1 day off + 3 days on 2 days off. Currently what you are doing is complementing body parts i.e. Chest + Tris etc. on a 1 day on 1 day off + 1 day on 2 days off.

The program I follow at times is:

Day 1: Chest + Back
Day 2: Shoulders + Bicep + Tricep
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Chest + Back
Day 7: Shoulders + Bicep + Tricep

The above has ensured for me that I get adequate rest and there is little or no monotony as I keep varying exercises instinctively.

Another thing I never advise is preworkout cardio. Look at it this way: you are tiring yourself and compromising lifts as well as form. Do the 20 minutes, but do them postworkout. Keep seperate days for cardio alone; atleast 45mins of it, at moderate to high intensity, not all out. (I love sprints, and they are my personal fav once in a while, off the treadmill)

Diet and rest are the biggest helpers for getting big or bigger. You needn't rest a muscle part/ group for a week. For larger muscle groups recovery ranges from 2-3 days and smaller ones takes just about 1-2 days in my case, so listen to your body and start recognizing the pains: if it's sweet you're fine, if it's agonizing you need to see someone.

Protein is the building black for muscle, apart from other things. Yes ON is great, yes consuming protein rich diet or a shake is fine even on off days, this is also when your muscles need nutrition since they are recovering.

I strongly advocate supplements since if your body is doing extra work, it needs extra nutrition. And since you are executing near precision and targeted movements, all that you need is the best quality foods ingested.

Your triceps are stronger is your are good at chest and shoulder workouts. How do you fare at rowing and pulling movements? Do not worry if you cannot curl a bar, even I can't, try dumbells, or the EZ bar (that's why it's called that). Do hammer curls/ concentration/ reverse etc and you will be on your way.

Once you decide what your goal is: whether to get stronger or to build a better looking physique, it would become easier to suggest options too.

On the nutrition, try eating clean, no oily/ fried/ sweet stuff. Get a multivitamin and look up creatine, it is a great supplement to get you to 'look fuller'.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by mandheers : 27th February 2011 at 12:08. Reason: missing link
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Old 28th February 2011, 11:47   #2767
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I just did my BMI yest after 4 months, the results are promising and I am happy to achieve a lean body which was my target, I have lost 2 kgs of fat in layman terms.

My question is how do i proceed further to achieve my goal for a bit of muscle gain overall and most importantly tightness of my muscles with no loose fat whatsoever. I am a eggetarian and have never taken any protein supplements except through my meals.

Now a close friend who has a good physique recomended me to take labrada which is a meal replacement after my work-out, I want to know if this will not bulk me up drastically and if there are any true benefits in helping me achieve my second goal as mentioned above.

With all the experience that you guys have had in bodybuilding please share your thoughts at the earliest, much appreciated.

Cheers

Await your responses eagerly. as the decison to have labrada or not will purely depend on your responses. I dont want to bulk up for nothing, want to keep it lean while enhance my muscles. please refer to my query above.
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Old 28th February 2011, 11:52   #2768
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Default Re: Bodybuilding - Exercises and Supplements

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Await your responses eagerly. as the decison to have labrada or not will purely depend on your responses. I dont want to bulk up for nothing, want to keep it lean while enhance my muscles. please refer to my query above.
I replied to this earlier; do scroll and check responses before you re-post a query.

Unless you are not reading the ongoing, the best part about these threads is the relevance, and even if someone doesn't answer your query directly; chances are you might pick up some on the way.

Last edited by mandheers : 28th February 2011 at 12:06. Reason: typo
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Old 28th February 2011, 13:09   #2769
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Don't wait for it.

From a former bodybuilder's POV, you do NOT want to mess with your "back". The smallest change in alignment of the spine made me wish I could cut off pieces of my body. It hurts THAT BAD.

Aside from that, GOOD NEWS guys! After a bulging spinal disc belittling my bodybuilding progress, I'm gradually returning to my first love after a gap of over a year and a half! Even empty barbells feel spectacular, held over that preacher bench!

I dunno if its the adrenalin or the love for Iron, my mind kept saying "muah, muah" instead of counting reps :P

Harry10, after jumping through all the hoops to fix my back, what I found worked best was a combination of a few things:
  • Muscle Relaxants and Pain killers in stage 1
    Heat therapy in stage 2
    Yoga as stage 3
    limited hyper extension as the final nail in the pain's coffin as stage 4
I've yet to reach the last stage. And I still can't figure out what I did to whack my back out of shape.

Don't blame the deadlifts guys, if you're going too heavy, you're going to know on the spot. You won't be able to lift!


(Oh, and just to fire up some discussion, here's a fast fact: I'm considering winstrol to supplement the recovery process. Happy lifting!)
I have been through all 4 stages there; not Yoga though but extreme stretches & traction yes. I was even off weights for 18 months and was only stretching and swimming.

Do take care of your back and avoid any movement that hurts. You would know better by now. My injury was in 2004 and I am still reeling under it's aftermath.

I don't know if this is the right forum for it and don't have any personal experience either, but most people I know avoid Winstrol now, more so oral is an absolute no-no. Try Anavar, it is a much better alternative to Winny. What else are you stacking it with?

That said, I will still ask you to refrain from AAS unless you lift professionally. It's just too much at stake for far too less unless you make a living out of it.

Be safe!

Last edited by mandheers : 28th February 2011 at 13:10. Reason: typo
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Old 28th February 2011, 19:24   #2770
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Default Skinny Guy's guide to putting on mass

What I am writing down here is simply my experience and my opinion.
  • You are not overtraining or undertraining when you work 3 times a week, with a day gap. Just remember not to train more than two days in a row, and not to rest more than two days in a row.
  • If you want to look fuller, for a year or so, forget about working your biceps. A bigger biceps would never make you look fuller. Its too small a muscle to put emphasis to. Working your triceps gives your arms a bigger look IMO.
  • If you are a moderately healthy individual in 20s or so, and have no really bad diet and habits, you can skip doing cardio for a while, until you put on weight. Free weight exercises work your cardiovascular system moderately, and for a while that is enough.
  • Count how many pull ups you can do
  • 5 -15 You are good enough. Try to increase pull ups to 15 reps in a set, and 3 sets with not more than 3-4 mins of rest.
  • Less than 5 - Work on your pull up at least twice a week.
  • When you get there, add weights.
  • Count how many dips(bar; not bench) you can do.
    • 5-15. Good enough. Same as above.
    • Less than 5 - Work on dips twice a week.
  • Just type down 5X5 routines in google. And read the various available routines. Its a proven method to move from skinny to massive. And when I say massive, please note that it takes years of work to build a real massive powerlifting style frame. You can stop the routine after a year or so and be in that good shape.
  • Also note the point that splitting body parts is only for the sake of ease of work and time. There is no other valid reason to split body parts. If you have the endurance to work your whole body in one day, come back on the third day and do the same. That works the best way. Just think of training your left biceps on monday, and right biceps on tuesday. No sense -- right ? You are not doing that because one movement can work both muscles on the same day, and you are taking advantage of that.
Similarly, there are exercises that can effectively work more than one muscle groups with one movement. Try those and you would be able get more rest and more frequency of training for you muscles.

From my understanding, the following exercises should not be done by any skinny guy before he reaches a moderately strong and solid physique.

1. Bicep curls; any kind. Anybody who is wasting time in doing barbell curls, alternating dumbell curls, preacher curls, concentration curls etc should just try a close grip chinup. Works your biceps more than anything else. Added advantage, gives you a great fore arm.
2. Tricep pushdowns, skull crushers, extensions etc, put your energy to Close grip bench press and Dips.
3. Lat pull down machine. Switch to pull ups.
4. No need of any crunches. Your abs will come later. Switch to Turkish get ups or any similar exercise that works your torso.

Ensure you do the following exercises.
1. Squats -- if you have time for one exercise and one exercise only, squat.
2. Bench press -- Do not waste time doing 3 kinds of bench presses and dumbell pullovers and peck decks if you cant lift 10 kgs on either side, on a flat bench. But do press and work hard at it.
3. Deadlifts -- takes time to get good form, gives you a really strong beating when you finish. Worth every second you spend on it.
4. Dips -- People set aside dips pointing to shoulder pain, awkward position etc. Excuses. If your have shoulder pain from doing dips, do shoulder mobility work. Do this 3 times a week, and it should all be gone.

5. Pullups -- nothing gives you a wider back than a pullup.
5. Overhead press -- One of the foremost exercise that give you strength which can be used in real world. Works great for upper pecs and shoulders.

If you can afford to digest milk, have it. In plenty. Start eating like a man, eat a lot of vegetables, whole foods, fruits, and meat(if you can).
Have supplementation, but do not overdo it.

Checkout this site StrongLifts.com: Strength and Muscle Building Strategies without The Bull
I have no business interest in this, though I would strongly recommend the site and articles and training program to any skinny guy. Believe me, you will start seeing results in 8 weeks.
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Old 1st March 2011, 02:18   #2771
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Default Re: Bodybuilding - Exercises and Supplements

Great Compilation of inputs from both of you; Ashok and mandheer
@mandheers

Even though If I commit for the suggestion of the workout schedule ; I may not be able to follow it in the long run, hence i will most probably take the best from both of your inputs and workout a schedule which works best for me. I am still going to follow the 3X times/week since I really have to squeeze in time with my office and manage workout sessions.( which i can proudly say i have been successfull, where most of my friends bailed out.)

However I do agree that ( and i have felt it strongly) resting the muscle group for more than a week; is really not taking me anywhere regarding strength, since the next time I work on those muscles i have a failure at approx. the same rep (or lower) , and to compensate that I do one more set of the same exercise.

I did see a program which works the whole body and is good for 3X days/week. Let me know what you people think of this.

Bodybuilding.com - Astounding Three Day Workout For Mass! - Bodybuilding.com

I currently weigh 73 kgs and have a not-so-fantastic looking tummy; so basically my goal was to neutralize that fat tummy by building up my upper body, at the same time reduce the fat.
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Old 1st March 2011, 10:16   #2772
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@ Fraz33r: That's a great program on the link you posted. It will help you considering you mentioned a 'time squeeze'; and trust me you: that's a great effort on your part alone, making time for a workout.

The reason why circuit/ full-body programs work for those in a time crunch is that end of a month even if you miss a few workouts, you would've hit possibly more body parts, more times, totally than someone doing a body-part split routine.

The other thing with such circuit programs is that you might not want to do cardio anywhere around them, as by the time you are nearing end you won't or rather shouldn't have much left in you. That's again the reason you have a calf raise and crunches towards the end too.

Lift the max you can for the recommended rep range, you should not be able to lift beyond the recommended rep range, comfortably.

What I will recommend is you 1 or maybe 2 warm-up sets; of each exercise with a much lighter weight to begin with, but only the first few sessions. This will ensure you don't go overboard suddenly, minimize risk of injury, give you a spike by getting you to do more and feel a better burn.

I would also suggest you throw in an additional set of Shrugs, goes a long way in making you look bigger, sooner.

I loved what you said about "taking the best from inputs and workout something which works best for you": that's how building is done.

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Old 1st March 2011, 10:36   #2773
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Default Re: Skinny Guy's guide to putting on mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashokrajagopal View Post
What I am writing down here is simply my experience and my opinion.......

Checkout this site StrongLifts.com: Strength and Muscle Building Strategies without The Bull
I have no business interest in this, though I would strongly recommend the site and articles and training program to any skinny guy. Believe me, you will start seeing results in 8 weeks.
That's an awesome site with a plethora of information.
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Old 1st March 2011, 13:51   #2774
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Originally Posted by Fraz33r View Post
I did see a program which works the whole body and is good for 3X days/week. Let me know what you people think of this.

Bodybuilding.com - Astounding Three Day Workout For Mass! - Bodybuilding.com
Fraz33r, this is a good whole body program alright, but I am not sure if you can stick to it longer than say 6 weeks AND save time.
Even if you start to squat with an empty bar and add 5kg in each workout, you would reach your body weight in 5 weeks.
I really do not think squatting 80 kgs for 8 reps after two warmup sets of say 30 kg and 40 kg is a good idea. When you squat heavy, you need at least 5 warm up sets of ramping weight, albeit with number of reps reduced. Jumping up weights is never a good idea with the barbell on your shoulders.
Can be done alright, but I do think that your workout timing is gonna go up after a few weeks.

The same with bench press. You can go easy on the warmups there because you are doing military press before that, but when you are pressing your body weight, its a better idea to ramp up weight in quick warm up sets.

Again, based on my experience. I am not a superfit person and not very strong in cardio vascular fitness. I am better than average Joe though.

Last edited by ashokrajagopal : 1st March 2011 at 13:56.
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Old 1st March 2011, 13:58   #2775
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That's an awesome site with a plethora of information.
It is, isnt it ? There are a whole lot of articles in there about exercise form, warmups, increasing mobility, stretching and some really cool articles about how to get your motivation right.
There is a strong community too.
I do not follow the program listed there, but do read all the articles and discussions in there.
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