Chad Waterbury in “How to Fix Stubborn Muscle Growth”
Well, the 105 rep rear delt raise protocol seems to be working, so maybe I’ll give this a shot at some point.
First thing: STOP FEELING AWFUL!!! Beating up on yourself accomplishes precisely nothing. I’m not saying this as some airy-fairy, feel-good bullshit…hell, if feeling bad got shit done I might actually recommend it, but it doesn’t in this case so let it go.
As for motivation, I love the process of working out, most days, so motivation is easy to come by. However, I recognize that that isn’t the case for everyone, or at all times (for myself as well).
In those moments I think of it strictly in terms of material contingency (no beating up on myself allowed!):
I want to have a certain level of health and to look a certain way. If I want that result, then I must workout regularly to achieve it. This isn’t a moral obligation. If I no longer want the result then I don’t have to do the work and that’s OK! But if I do want the result, I have to do what it takes to get it, as simple as that. NO feeling bad, no self hate, nothing of the sort. Just a dispassionate look at reality and how my input directly determines my output and an understanding that I am free, at any moment, to choose whatever path I feel best, but I must be willing to accept the results.
I can want and wish and dream all I want, but reality always bats last, and if I don’t use my desires to guide my reality then I won’t wind up where I say I want to be, that’s my motivation.
My weekly workouts usually follow one of these patterns
As for diet, I usually eat whole foods, occasional treats (peanut butter cups and apple fritters), other than the aforementioned stay away from processed sugar, and periodically practice intermittent fasting. On the diet front I’m lucky, I have two parents who don’t put on fat easily at all and I definitely inherited those genes.
Keeping in mind I’m speaking from a position of ignorance, because I don’t know your sex, age, goals, or what your routine looks like but, at 6’3”-4” and 170 you’re pretty skinny, but certainly not unhealthy (for reference, when I started lifting in earnest about 10 years ago I was 6’3” at 175, now I weigh 205-210). Because of that, I can’t say it’s “better” in absolute terms, to gain weight. If you want to look like me (or bigger) yes, you’ll need to put on some muscle mass. If that’s not your goal, however, then not necessarily.
So, with that in mind, IF you are a man and want to add muscle mass:
Keep in mind after all this, we are all shaped differently (to some degree) and carry weight differently. I look like a skinny little shit at 175, you might look like Channing Tatum’s hotter brother. At 210 you may look TOO big for you tastes and will need to scale it big. Set your goals and then monitor your progress accordingly.
Hope this helps (feel free to ask for clarification if it doesn’t) and best of luck to you!
For every point the 49ers score: 2 1-arm dumbbell floor presses, each side.
For every point scored by the Falcons: 1 squat.
Needless to say I hope to be getting more of an upper body workout than a lower body one.
And the great bench press experiment of 2012-2013 is in the books. 6 weeks, flat bench and incline bench barbell bench press, 10x3.
Chest - 45.5”/115.5cm
Arms - 17.5”/44.5cm
Last week I did away with my lower intensity chest exercises (one-arm DB floor press at 5x10 and dips at 5x6-10) because they were adding too much volume to an already fairly high volume and very high intensity chest regimen. This week’s lifts were much easier to handle as a result.
All in all I’m very happy with the results of this experiment (though they are not 100% conclusive…some confounding factors were not entirely controlled for).
I still don’t think one has to do the barbell bench press to get a stronger or more muscular pectoral region, but it’s nice to know that there’s a way I can do it that’s fruitful for me.
I’ll probably lay off BP for a few weeks and go to ring dips/flyes/push-ups for my chest, while focusing on squats and deadlifts. Maybe even run Smolov. Maybe.
It’s been an educational experience, to be sure. I’m going to try to organize what I feel are the main take-aways and post them sometime tomorrow in a results and analysis piece.
In the meantime, for those who are interested:
A little autophagy is good for the soul.
The first thing I’d ask is why do you want choose another program? How long have you been doing SL? Have you gone as far for your goals as you can with it? Depending on the answer to these questions, you might just want to take a deload week and reset the program.
If, however, you’ve been running SL for a while and you feel like you’ve gotten everything you can out of it for the time being, then the answer to your question will, in your case, probably be to choose another program. I only recommend writing your own program if you can satisfy the following criteria:
It takes a while for most lifters to get to this stage, and even then there’s constant tweaking and re-tweaking and reassessing and sometimes even just aimless dicking around. But unless you can honestly say to yourself that you can hit each of those areas solidly 90% of the time, I think it would be best to choose a program suited to your goals, whatever they may be, and go with that.
Run the program consciously: be aware of your body’s feedback. Which lifts do you like? Which do you hate? Why? How’s your form in each lift? Is anything hurting? How’s your mobility?
Exercise is a conversation with your body, and it will faithfully give you feedback, you just have to pay attention to it.
Week #4 of the bench press experiment is complete.
Arms (likely due to triceps growth): 17.5”/44.45cm…this was a pleasant surprise.
I went up 15lbs/6.8kg on the incline BP press this week with no problem, leading me to believe I’ve been underestimating my abilities heretofore. I’ve decided to continue the experiment for the full 6 weeks and I’d like to hit 245lb/111kg for 10x3 on the incline before all is said and done.
I’m happy that the experiment seems to be a continued success; I like the bench press, and I had only abandoned it because it didn’t seem to be a fruitful exercise for me. If I’ve found a way to do it that lets me do it healthily and with good results I’m thrilled.
Vacation ends next week and work kicks in to the heavy season, so finishing out weeks 5 and 6 will be a challenge, but hard is not the same thing as impossible.