Q&A With Glen Danbury.

Get your questions answered on what is the best way to build a mass gain program, the benefit of quarter squats for athletes and more...


[ Q ] Hi, my name is Gareth and I have just started a mass-building program. I have done 2 weeks so far and was wondering if you could help me.

My Workout

My training regime and nutritional plan is underneath:


My nutrition is as follows:

    arrow Daily Intake

      9:00 a.m.
      3 boiled eggs (just whites), instant mass supplement with organic oats (no maltodextrin), full branched chained amino acids, 30 g protein half serving

      12:00 p.m.
      Porridge with skimmed milk shake
      15 g protein

      3:00 p.m.
      Skinless chicken thighs with rice
      20 g protein

      4:00 p.m.
      Reflex Instant whey: 19.8 g protein, no carbs
      Apple and orange

      7:00 p.m.
      Cheese rolls with fibre organic yoghurt and instant whey:
      22 g Protein

      10:30 p.m.
      Instant Mass with skimmed milk, 80% Protein Concentrate (80% micellar casein / 20% whey protein.
      30g protein

I have not gained any weight since being on this regime and at the moment I'm 20 years old, 5 ft 10 inch, 75 kg, 12% body fat.

I don't seem to be growing much and maybe do I need a testosterone-increasing supplement? I know I'm young, but will it be ok just for a month cycle?

My goal is to be 80 kg, 12% bodyfat by July 2006!


arrow Hi Gareth,

There are a few points worth mentioning:

  1. Your warm-up method is sufficient and you could probably use heavier weights if you used something like so on your first movements:

      2x5, 50% off work weight
      2x3, 70% off work weight
      2x2, 80% off work weight
      1x1, 90% off work weight

    While it looks like a lot of sets, it is a similar volume to one set of twenty, but the muscles and nervous system are primed and warmed up better.

The Central Nervous System.
The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.

This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.

The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.

Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.

  1. How do you progress the weights/difficulty - even the most sophisticated well thought out program won't work unless there is progressive overload - you can progress the difficulty in one of five ways but I suggest the following three:

    • Increase weight.
    • Increase the sets and reps.
    • Decrease the rest period.

Progressive Overload: The Concept You Must Know To Grow! Progressive Overload: The Concept You Must Know To Grow!
Without progressive overload your body does not need to adapt and therefore will never get bigger or stronger beyond a certain point.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

  1. Drop the lat pulldown in favor of some rear delt work and add in some external rotator work as well on that day.

  2. Depending upon how you do lunges, they either work the hamstrings or quads more. For a more balanced workout and a greater anabolic response, I would drop the lunges in favor of a deadlift variation (snatch grip, stiff legged or Romanian are good for hamstring/hip extension development).

Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift, Hamstring Focus Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift, Hamstring Focus
Click Image To Enlarge.
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift, Hamstring Focus.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG
    If this is two strenuous for one day, split the leg workout into two days, and have deadlifts and leg curls on one day and squats lunges on another - after all, your lower body is half the body and you have two days for the upper body and only one for the lower body.

Romanian Deadlift Romanian Deadlift
Click Image To Enlarge.
Romanian Deadlift.

Video GuidesWindows Media - MPEG
  1. If you're not gaining weight, it's a simple fact that you're not eating enough. Increase the calories by either eating more often, having larger meals, or eating more calorie-dense foods. You can't avoid the laws of thermodynamics - to gain weight you need energy: you can't build something out of nothing!

    Don't worry about getting fat too much, you will need a positive energy state for the most part to create an anabolic environment. If you are gaining too much fat, then either cut back on the calories slightly so you are just gaining at a slow rate (which is hopefully mostly muscle), or preferably increase the amount of exercise you are doing.

    Higher energy turnover is preferred, as many of the responses to increased exercise are positive for muscle gain (increased insulin sensitivity, which means more likely nutrient portioning, increased protein degradation which leads to the super compensation effect of protein synthesis, greater neurological learning, which means increases in strength which will allow higher loads to be used in training, etc.

Insulin & Supplements: What You Need To Know Insulin & Supplements: What You Need To Know
I've talked a bit about insulin in the past. I'm going to review my previous article previously published on Bodybuilding.com before delving into some new info.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

  1. The issue of a testosterone booster should be a moot point if you implement the above factors. As a natural trainer, I am obviously on the side of doing things without resorting to supplementing with supra physiological levels of hormones. However, I don't frown upon their use if the individual has made an informed decision, researches thoroughly what they're using, and has fulfilled the following criteria:

    • The individual has a total handle on what training works best for them. This is through an extensive period of trial and error of implementing various training protocols during a period of using an effective diet.

    • The individual has a total handle on what diet works best for them. This is through an extensive period of trial and error of implementing various nutritional protocols during a period of using an effective training program.

    • The person has maxed out their genetic potential. This requires the person having spent considerable time training after learning what makes up point one and two above for them, and hasn't progressed for several years after ths point.

    You are obviously not at this point, so what I would suggest is that you sort your training out and take the most anabolic substance out there in vast quantities - Food!

    What Does Anabolic Mean?
    Anabolic refers to the metabolic process that is characterized by molecular growth, such as the increase of muscle mass. Thus, it means "muscle-building" in most common bodybuilding contexts.

I hope this helps.


[ Q ] What is the benefit of quarter squats for athletes? Not just bodybuilding, but someone who plays sports?



In regard to your query, the Quarter Squat, like any other exercise, is one which, depending upon the sport in question, would be either classified as a 'general', 'general specific', or 'specific' exercise - and the benefits would vary depending upon the sport and how it relates specifically to the sporting movement.

And also on whether it would be an exercise for developing an athlete's general physical preparedness or the athlete's special physical preparedness.

Quarter Squat
Click Image To Enlarge.
Quarter Squat.

Considering that the Quarter Squat represents a closer, specific motor pattern to most sports (very few sports require a full squatting motion), it would be an SPP exercise. Using this as competition grows closer would allow heavier weights to be employed in a movement more related to those performed in a sport and would allow the athlete to peak for their given sport.

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Athletes.com provides you, the athlete, with professional sport-specific training information and quality, legal nutritional supplements integrated for your convenience in our all-in-one, 24-hour, online supersite.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

This is the most basic I can break it down without knowing to which sport in particular you are referring.

That's it for this installment. Until next time, Train Intelligently!