The last time I read Helm's post on "The basics of bigness - increasing muscle mass", I thought to myself that I'd start a training program this winter, along the lines of what was said, between the end of swimming and the start of track. I was wondering if you have any tips to give me on diet, routine, how much weight to build up through the weeks, etc.I'm 17, 6'00", about 155 pounds, long limbs (makes benchpress a little harder for me than most people). I've never done much benchpress as most of the weightlifting I do is with free weights. Lately I've been running, swimming, and biking rather than doing much lifting.
Basic of Bigness
I have at least 2 months, maybe 3, without any other major activity going on. I don't know if I can effectively weight train with consistant track or swimming practices, since I need a lot more rest as it's strength and size training and I'd also be doing a large number of endurance activities.
Swim finals are at the end of November. If you think it would be a good idea to start at a low level before the end of swimming (4-8 practices a week with mornings and after school), or continue doing some lifting during track (it starts as indoor track with only 2-3 practices a week and speed workouts rather than distance, then it will move on to a variety of events a month or two later when it goes outdoor, where I'll probably go to distance) then I could extend the time longer. Unfortunately, I don't know a specific time that indoor track starts, but if I'll find out ASAP.
I intend to build overall strength and muscle mass. I'm going for 10-20 pounds gain, maybe more if I'm able to do it. I will probably lose a small portion of that weight towards the end of the year though as track continues through to the end.
As far as lifting goes, I have dumbells at home, I'm not really doing any regular exercises with them at the moment as my focus is on cross country running and swimming. I have a small amount of experience with lifting moderate to heavy weights, but I've never really done much with full body exercises using a barbell. Not to say that I've never done it, but not usually with max amounts of weight or regular training. I think I've probably made exactly the mistake you said, about doing simple isolation exercises and similar exercises, when I don't have enough of a base to go off of.
I briefly read through the hardgainer post. I'm assuming that I would be a hardgainer, considering that I don't seem to naturally put on muscle mass quickly (of course, I've never had a really serious weight training program). I'm not overly skinny, I'm just not built extremely solid like a natural builder would be.
In reply to:10 or 20 pounds in 3 months is out of the question without hormones! Don't even go there.In other threads you say about 2-3 pounds a week. Is that assuming that someone is on hormones? The way it was talked about, such as in the original Basics of Bigness thread, it sounded like that was regular for that routine.Unfortunately, I only have about 2 - 2 1/2 months between swimming and track, and doing any significant amounts of weight training during swimming is out of the question since I'll be training many times a week to improve my speed and endurance.Should I start on that routine that you just outlined, or go with the Basics of Bigness one where you focus of Bench Press, Squats, Military Press, and Deadlifts? Also, are powdered supplements mandatory, and what kind of price range would I be looking at? Would it be possible to get similar results with just in increase in overall food intake? How fast do you usually progress with higher weight and lower reps?Thanks for all the help so far. You're the man Helms
From the Basics of Bigness thread in the archive:In reply to:Just eat until you gain 2 -3 lbs per week. In total this will give you a 24-36lb increase over the 3 months. This is a lot more than most guys achieve in a lifetime of training. At the same time you will put 60-90lbs on your main lifts, which will change your lifting career for ever. Just imagine yourself 36lbs heavier and 160lbs stronger. Set your goals and get on with it.That's where I got that idea from.
All right, this is the last week of cross country. Next week I start going to swim practice more consistently. If I want to start some moderate weightlifting to ramp up to doing higher weights after swimming ends, what should my schedule look like? I can go swimming Monday-Friday after school (except Tuesday) and Tuesday, Thursday mornings. I'd like to go at least 3-4 times a week. I don't want to overtrain, but starting to lift again after swimming is finished won't leave me with much time.