Thursday, October 4, 2007

As requested... How I bulked up to 180 lbs

It´s a timely topic for me to discuss how I added about bulked up to 180 lbs. I might need to re-read it. You see, I´ve been horribly sick and I dropped about 12 lbs while honeymooning in Peru. So, I´m in dire need of some muscle mass, much like Joe who requested this post. I have never put it all down in writing how I did it. I did write on my eating habits back in a June 4 post (for ease of reference... Now, I´m going to discuss my exercise habits.

First and foremost, as much as I wanted muscular bulk, I didn´t want worthless muscle. I have a physically demanding life in general and being worthlessly bloated just isn´t an option. So, I had to Tailor my workouts so that I was achieving a bigger and versatile physique. So, each workout was a combination of DVR´s, DSR´s, isometrics and calisthenics. Much of the exercises was high intensity rather than high repetition. This results in more muscle. I did´t completely neglect high rep work since it has real life carry-over though. As a result, my rep count on my exercises stayed pretty constant, even as I gained weight.

I cut the workouts into days of focusing on my legs, arms, chest and shoulders, back, and abs. Since I wanted the bulk to end up in my arms and legs, these parts got two workouts a week. It broke down like this:

Monday: Arms

Tuesday: Legs

Wednesday: Chest and shoulders

Thursday: Legs

Friday: Arms

Saturday: Abs

Sunday: Back

For each workout, there was a basic structure as well. I fooled around with it a bit and changed the exercises done each time but the basic structure remained. Here´s how it goes for me:

Warm-up with some light movements and stretches

1. Calisthenics

2. A DVR or DSR

3. Isometrics

Sometimes I´d add a second set of DVR or DSR in after the isometric. All of these exercises were done with maximum tension and the DVR and DSR´s were done for only 5 reps. Often times, I´d do two or even three different types of calisthenics. I´d rest only for 5-10 deep breaths in between exercises, no more (unless I took in water). The calisthenics are done without a break in between. When doing the calisthenics, I take a number of calisthenics that I can reasonably do and hold myself to that number, no less. I didn´t do my maximum number of calisthenics because after the previous exercises, I´d never get to that number. So, if I could do 16 towel pullups, I shoot for 13. This alone was plenty challenging, believe me. Overall all, most of my workouts wouldn´t exceed one hour. Most were 25-40 minutes.

I feel that the combination of the different BW exercises was critical. Each has a specific attribute(s) that is important to overall fitness and real life strength. Calisthenics are very important because they force the muscles to work together to create power. The DVR and the DSR´s are great to zero in on specific muscle groups. Isometrics are fantastic because often times adding power to a movement gradually is needed in life. Plus, there are times when we need to maintain contraction powerfully for a period of time to get a task done. I felt I was successful in creating a physique to be admired as well as one that was functional for day to day life. Most of all, they are the best way to add a lot of intensity in a short period of time.

Of course, this was my experience with my body. Feel free to experiment when it comes to you. I´m building a different body than you are. You may need a different training program than me. Still, I hope that you take into consideration functionality when you´re training for the body of your dreams. What good is it if it can't do anything with it? You might as well grab the stanozolol, creatine, fake tanning lotion and the weights.


Joe said...

Great information! Thanks for posting this Justin. I have some questions:
1) Was there a reason for working out 7 days a week and not taking a day off?
2) When doing isometrics did you use classics or power flexes more?
3) What types of grain and how much did you consume during your bulk up phase?

Justin_PS said...

Hey, Joe! To answer your questions...

1. I enjoy working out. I also feel that it is vitally important to maintaining the importance of exercise. You don't skip showers, do you? Do animals decide not to move one day? I don't go the high intensity every day but I do something to maintain the habit.

2. It's a pretty even split between powerflexes and classics. I try to get 4-6 contractions per set.

3. Very little. I believe that the human body isn't designed to eat large quantities of grain. I believe that some can be consumed without a problem and I probably only eat three servings a day, tops.

Thanks for writing and stopping by! Come back soon, Justin

Anonymous said...

What is DVR and DSR?

Justin_PS said...

Something that you don't need and doesn't work nearly as well in the long run as BW.