My name in Anthony. First off I'd like to say congrats on all your success. I'm 19 and currently attend college. I just read through most of your articles and learned a lot. You really know your stuff. I am very motivated and very intense in the gym but the more I work the less satisfied I am.
I am 5'9, 180 lbs. and have come along way since high school where I weighed as much as 220 and bench pressed 265, at 180 I am now putting up 280. (I wish I had some before and after photos.) I have gotten down to around 7.5% body fat. I have made great progress but in the last couple of months my progress has slowed while my intensity, if changed, has increased. The thing about me is that I love to workout. It is the greatest stress relief. The semester is almost over and Christmas break will give me a nice month to try and get back on a progressive track. My schedule consists of weight training 6 days a week concentrating (and kicking the shit out of) one muscle group per day. Monday I do chest, Tues. bi's, wed. Tri's, Thurs. back, Fri. shoulders, and I am ashamed to say that this week I just started incorporating a leg workout into my schedule. I have not done this since I played high school football.
Don't worry I am ready to stick with it. I also follow up my daily workouts with abs and 30 minutes (about 3 1/2 miles) of running. As for my nutrition... I eat healthy. I eat almost no meat, just the occasional chicken breast and lots of veggies. The thing is I take in an extremely low number of calories per day. I still have tons of energy in the classroom and the gym though. My supplementation consists of a fat burner in the morning, either Xenadrine NRG or stacker, another in the afternoon and Twinlab testosterone booster before I work out. I take whey protein but very inconsistently and plan to change that. The fat burners played a big role in my progress but now I seem almost immune to them. Should I give Hydroxycut a try or is it all the same?
Ok well that's a run down of me so what I want from you is a few tips on nutrition, supplementation and other stuff that will give me the progressive boost I want over break. My primary goal is to get ripped while not adding too much mass. I'm looking pretty good but my main concern is my midsection. I have the abs but I am having problems getting rid of the stomach fat so they show. I am at a pretty low bodyfat level and I still can't get things the way I want. I know my diet needs lots of work in order to achieve my goals. I know you must be busy this time of year because I sure am, so I understand if you can't respond, but if you can it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and take care.
Ok, first let's evaluate your workout. Six days of weight training per week is way too much. This is the main reason why your gains have stopped. You are probably overtraining. Also, there is no need to do abs 6 times a week. They should be done once to twice. Many people overtrain abs (check out my article on abs for some pointers). Also, your workout shouldn't be over 50 minutes long. Because you want to burn fat, I would advise running first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This is the best time to burn fat. Right now I am using a 3 day a week routine (I was also one of those people who loved to train, and trained 6 days a week. It's a hard transition, but well worth it.) It has given me some good results.
Below is my split:
Mon: Chest, Shoulders, Tri's
Wed: Back, Bi's, Forearms
Fri: Quads, Hams, Calves
Next, let's take a look at your diet. START EATING MEAT. There is no way you are getting enough protein from milk products. If you are looking to slim down, you need around 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Try to get your protein from lean sources like roast beef, turkey, tuna, egg whites, protein powders and chicken breasts. Salmon is also good, though high in fat, it contains lots of omega-3 fatty acid which is essential to burning fat. I'd recommend eating it once to twice a week if possible. Next are your carbs. Since you are trying to tone up, you don't need a large amount of carbs. I would suggest about 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. Make sure not to eat carbs after 5 p.m. as your metabolism slows down at this time. Try to get your carbs from whole grains and low glycemic sources like brown rice, whole wheat bread, beans, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, etc. Make sure you eat plenty of green vegetables since they contain fiber and other nutrients. Lastly are your fats. Avoid saturated fats like the plague. Make sure that you get plenty of essential fatty acids though. Eat around 60-70 grams of fat per day. Some good sources are nuts, fish, olives, and vegetable oils.
Finally, let's analyze your supplementation program. The first thing you should do is get off of all stimulants. Since you are "immune" to them, your body's receptor sites probably aren't as sensitive anymore, and your conversion enzymes are probably used up. Also, it's not good for your thyroid gland to take stimulants for more than 6 weeks straight. The Hydroxycut is just like any other ECA stack, and you're not going to have better results with it. In fact, it's not even the best fat burner on the market. I would also get off of the testosterone booster, you are still young and your T-levels are high, take it from me, don't mess around with your testosterone just yet. Cycle off your entire supply of stimulants for the next two to three weeks. I'd recommend buying some l-tyrosine to combat the sluggishness of being off them though. After the three weeks are up, start your fat burning stack again. If you are looking to experiment with new fat burners, try LipoKinetix. I took it and got great results. It may help you to burn off those last few percentages. The only other supplements I'd recommend is some Glutamine to combat catabolism and protein powder since it's hard to get enough protein from diet alone (especially in the college dining halls).
Hope I've helped, and email me back with any other questions.
I'm very sorry to bother you but I need your help. I am 18 years old, 6'1 and 210lbs. I have read your articles at Bodybuilding.com which is the reason I'm asking you to help me. The articles that you've written were great. The main reason I am writing you is I have a little problem. My weight is mostly fat and only some muscle. In your articles you stressed how to gain weight but you forgot to tell the people with the weight what to do from there. I am a freshman in college and so is my girlfriend. We have not seen each other since last year in high school, that is until she sent me a picture. She has lost 20 lbs and she looks awesome. I on the other hand am still fat and nerdy. I have started going to the gym last month. I have seen only small results. I need to know what do so that I am ripped in 3 months. That is when I am supposed to visit her at FSU. I don't want to go and let her see me the way I look now. I want to get in shape for myself and my girl. So please give me instructions on what to do, what supplements or vitamins to take, and a rigorous workout schedule to follow spanning 6 days a week. I want to workout six days a week because I am determined. I'm sorry for bothering you, it's just that from the looks of your articles you knew what you are doing. So please reply to my plea. I want to get started ASAP.
Sounds like you got the first and most important part down pretty well: motivation. Now let's start off with what could be the second most important part of your program, your diet. It's going to be tough changing from eating what you want to staying strict, but something tells me you've got the determination to do it. It's also going to be real tough seeing as you are at school. The first thing you need to do is eliminate sugary foods like soda, candy, cake, etc. Fruits are not bad, but should only be eaten in the morning. Try to stay with fruits high in fiber like berries, pears, and apples (make sure they're fresh, not canned). Next, are saturated fats coming from fatty meats and cheeses. Don't eliminate fat totally from your diet, but try to eliminate saturated fats (I'll go more into this a little bit later). And lastly, are refined carbs like white bread, white rice, white potatoes, etc. These are as bad as eating sugars and should also be eliminated.
Now, as far as ratios go, I think that for someone just starting out like you, the best ratio for fat loss is a 40/30/30. So 40% of your calories come from carbs, 30% from protein and 30% from fat. Try to eat 35-40 grams of protein per day spread out into 6 meals. Good sources are non-fat dairy foods, poultry (Breast, no skin), fish, lean beef, and protein powders. Eat 3-4 whole food meals per day, and 2-3 protein shake meals per day (we'll get into this part in the supplement section). For your carbs, I would suggest eating them as early in the day as possible, definitely no carbs in your last meal (a protein shake in water and vegetable oil will be your last meal). So, try to eat about 60 grams of carbs with breakfast, 50 with your mid morning meal, 50 with lunch, 50 with your mid day meal, and 25 with supper. Also, make sure to eat after working out.
Lastly, are fats. During the 80's and early 90's there was a fat-free craze. Unfortunately, this didn't work at all for dieting. A. When your body senses a huge decrease or lack of fats in the diet it starts feeding on your muscles, and B. fats are essential to life. Now, I suggest you try to eat 10-20 grams of fat with each meal. This fat should come from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. The best types of oil are flaxseed oil and extra virgin olive oil. Ok, all done with the diet part.
Next is your training. Training 6 times per week with weights is unnecessary and counter productive. I suggest training only 3 times per week with weights. Now, as for your weight training routine, I've been using this for about 6 months, and have gotten good results. You should spend no longer than 50 minutes in the gym, and make sure you lift intensely. See my article about 'going heavy' for a good explanation of intensity. In any case, here's what I suggest you do:
(The rep range is where you should fail between. If you can only lift it 6 times then go lighter next time, if you can lift it 12 times, go heavier. Either way, make sure you are going to failure. Also, make sure you do at least 2-3 warm up sets and stretch well before doing your first working set (what is outlined below is only working sets). After that you are fully warmed up, so go on to the next working set. When doing your working sets, make sure your reps are slow (6 seconds up, 3 seconds down) and in control. Breaking form will only hinder your progress.
Benchpress: 2 sets x 6-8 reps
Incline bench: 2 sets x 6-8 reps
Peck deck: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Skull crunchers: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Tri press: 1 set x 8-10 reps
Crunches: 1 set to failure
Hanging leg raises: 1 set to failure
T-bar rows: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Wide grip pull downs: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Cable rows: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Dumbbell curls: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Preacher curls: 1 set x 8-10 reps
Squats: 2 sets x 12-14 reps
Leg press: 1 set x 12-14 reps
Leg extension: 1 set x 12-14 reps
Leg curl: 1 set x 12-14 reps
Calf raise: 1 set x 12-14 reps
Dumbbell shoulder press: 2 sets x 8-10 reps
Side laterals: 1 set x 8-10 reps
Bent over dumbell raises: 1 set x 8-10 reps
Crunch machine: 1 set x 25 reps
Leg lifts: 1 set to failure
As you probably know, the only way to burn fat is through a low calorie diet and cardio, so; on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday do cardio first thing in the morning one an empty stomach for 45 minutes. Your blood sugar levels will be low, and so your body will have to tap into your fat stores for energy. Remember to keep them fewer than 45 minutes, any more and you will risk burning muscle.
Ok, lastly is the supplement part. The first three things you need to get are a good multi-vitamin, a low-carb protein powder and a decent mrp. AST makes a good multi vitamin as well as Twinlab. And for the price, Optimum makes the best whey protein. 5 lbs for 25 bucks off the Bodybuilding.com store: that's less than 40 cents a serving. The taste isn't too bad, but it grows on you.
Lastly, for a Meal Replacement Powder I suggest you get EAS Myoplex Chocolate. It's good quality and you'll be amazed at how it tastes. Also, if you buy the 42 pack, it's the cheapest per serving.
Take your multi after you workout and before bed. If it's Sunday, then take it in the morning and before bed. Your mrp should make up 1-2 meals per day (depending on how many whole food meals you eat). Seeing as how you're in school, you probably have 3 meals per day. Use your mrp and an apple for you mid-morning and mid-afternoon meal. This will give you about 40 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbs. Have a scoop and a half of protein powder in water before you go to bed with some flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. This will give you about 33 grams of protein. Now, if you still have money left over, and want to invest in a fat burner (if you have the money, it's most definitely worth it, you will get results in probably 2/3 of the time) I would suggest using Lipo-kinetix by Syntrax. I took it and it worked wonders. It also doesn't get you as wired as many of the other fat burners on the market, and it's fairly cheap. In your first week, take 3 caps per day, and then increase by 1 cap each week until you've hit six. Stay on it for no longer than 2 months. Also, I'm not sure how sensitive to caffeine you are, I know I am, so I take my last dose at 3pm. Oh, and lay off the caffinated coffee when you are on it, the pills will give you plenty of caffeine.
Whelp, follow this to a T, and you'll get the results you're looking for. Go home, take off your shirt, and amaze your girl. Hope I've helped.
Hey Big Red my name is Drew. I have a few questions about Meal Replacement Powders. I was thinking of taking Nutriforce by Sportpharma. Is that a good MRP? Also if I mix it at 7;00 am and drink it at 9:00am will it have the same affect or do I have to drink it right when I make it. The reason I asks is because I'm in school right now and I can't blend the MRP at school so I need to do it in the morning before school.
Also I have a question about the protein drink AST VP2. I heard it is a good protein drink but it is too expensive. I was wondering if a good alternative would be Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein or should I cough up the money for VP2. I also just wanted to thank you for your mass building diet. I gained 22 pounds off that diet. I will soon be doing your cutting phase diet and I hope it works as well as the mass gaining diet.
I also have another question about the cardio. My mom won't let me run outside at 5:00 am so I was wondering what are some good alternatives to running outside in the morning. Right now I'm jump roping for about 20 minutes for cardio. Do you think that is a good alternative or should I try something else. Thank you in advance for the help. I been only bodybuilding now for 2 years and I love every minute of it! - Drew
Glad my bulking diet worked so well for you. I hope my cutting routine works equally well to help you show off that muscle. To answer your question, I think Nutriforce is a really good MRP, but should be saved for when you bulk up since it contains creatine. A good dieting MRP would be one like EAS Myoplex or AST Ny-tro Pro 40 since both contain a fairly large amount of L-Glutamine. I think that as long as you keep them relatively cold, it will be fine to mix earlier and then let them sit for awhile. When I worked construction I would mix mine when I woke up at around 5:30 then drink it later on in the day around 9.
VP2 by Ast is probably one of the best whey products on the market today, but seeing as you're in high school I can understand how money is tight. A good substitute would be Optimum's 100% Whey Protein, especially since you are dieting since it contains a very small amount of carbs.
Lastly, your cardio question. This seems to be a very popular question, people are always looking for alternatives to running. The only reason I run is because it is convenient. As long as you are doing some form of medium intensity cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach you will burn fat.
Hope I've been of some help. - Big Red
Since I play sports, I recently decided that I wanted a look like the models on Men's Health instead of being big and bulky. The only thing is that I want to continue to gain strength so I can get better in the sports I play. Can you recommend a workout program for me that will help me reach my goals? Thanks so much for the help.
I actually get this question quite often, and honestly, I think this is the physique much of us are looking for. Most people would say use high reps, keep your carbs low and keep up on the cardio, but I highly have to disagree. This is only for people who are already there. Most of us aren't.
The guys in the fitness magazines all had to gain muscle to get that look. What I recommend you do is bulk up until you are at that size you want to be. Don't fret over a little bit of fat gain, this is necessary to gain muscle, and since you play sports I'm sure it will be minimal. Hit the creatine, protein, and weight gainers to get to your desired size.
Once you are there, you then need to cut up. Check out my article about cutting, it should serve you well. Once you are to your desired body fat (around 6%) all you have to do is maintain size. I would still lift heavy, but the most important aspect is in your diet. You need to eat maintenance calories as not too lose any size, but also so you don't gain any.
Once I am cut, I want to use andro but was wondering what the best andro was out there. I heard that one of them is by far the best and most effective for gaining mass so if you know what one that is please tell me and again how much a month's supply costs and what side effects I should expect to experience. Thanks. P.S. I know this is a teen bodybuilding board cause I always read this shit; don't take andro at your age. Well, that's your opinion and I have made up my mind, I want to be big, so please don't give me some pussy ass response telling me not to take it cause it won't do a damn thing. So please just give me the info I need and no shit about not taking it. Later!
This I came across on the teen bodybuilding section of the boards, and it disgusts me. If you've read any of my posts on the boards about Androstenedione, or any andro for that matter, you'll see that I am totally against anyone under 25 taking it. I've experienced some side effects from taking it, and seeing things like this just disgusts me. I'm dedicating this whole article to why you SHOULDN'T take andro. Oh, and let me say this really quickly YOU CAN GET BIG WITHOUT ANDRO!
First, let's talk about steroids, more importantly, anabolic steroids and what they are. A steroid is a synthetically produced hormone, in this case it's testosterone. Testosterone is the most important male hormone collectively known as "androgens". The testes naturally produce it in amounts of about 4-10 mg per day of testosterone. It is important to note that during puberty, you are at the peak of your life in testosterone production, this starts to decline in the early twenties.
So what does this have to do with andro you may be asking? Well, andro is in fact a steroid, a legal steroid, but none-the-less, a steroid. See andro is converted in the liver by an enzyme. It attaches a hydrogen molecule to the 17th spot making it testosterone (or nor-testosterone). By introducing a foreign hormone into the body you inhibit the gonad regulating cycle, including the hypothalamohypophysial testicular axis, which regulates the amount of testosterone you produce. If the body senses too much testosterone in the blood it will signal the hypothalamus to release less Leutenizing Hormone and consequently the body will greatly lower its own production of testosterone or even shut it off. If steroids can cause it, it can be caused by andro, especially in higher-than-recommended dosages.
Lack of testosterone production can cause some really nasty side effects including lower self-confidence, increasing memory loss, and even impotence. By taking andro you lower your natural testosterone production. Being a teen, your body is already extremely sensitive to changes in hormones, by putting in a fake hormone you can really damage your testosterone production for life.
After talking to a gastrointestinal specialist at the hospital in Wakefield, RI, I learned that andro can cause teens with non-cancerous growths, or even those with cancer in the family to greatly increase their risks of developing cancer. Is this really something you want to risk?
Another painful side effect of andro is how it regularly converts to estrogen (estrone and estrodiol). As you probably already know, you want to limit estrogen to as low as possible. Estrogen is responsible in men for suppressing the anabolic effects of testosterone, lowering of the metabolism, lowering tissue repair, and limits fat loss. Now, this conversion will be different in different individuals, however, one of the main factors is natural testosterone level. If you have high testosterone, you have a better chance of the majority being converted to estrogen. But wait, you're 17 and your testosterone is at the peak of your life, so you suffer the risks accompanied with high estrogen levels:
Prostate, testicular and other cancers
Potential estrogen-related risks, such an proliferative changes of the endometrium
It is quite obvious that andro should not be used by anyone under 25. The side effects are way too fierce to touch around this age. Cancer, impotence, bitch-tits, roid-rage; is it really worth that extra 10 or 20 lbs per year. Not to mention the price, andro isn't cheap; the money could easily put toward something safe like creatine and weight gainers. Steve Blechman, Editor-in-Chief of All Natural Muscular Development magazine, in its January 1999 issue stated: "Androstenedione is a lousy steroid and it is our opinion that no one should take it for muscle building or performance enhancement." Stay away from this substance, it's only one step away from being classified as a legal steroid by the FDA. Anyone using andro is NOT natural.
There is no substitute for Hard Work.
Sup dude. Here's what I do right now:
Monday : 10 minute Tae Bo cardio - 20 minute Kenpo Practice
Tuesday: 5:30-7:00 Official Kenpo Practice if I can make it cause of work.
Wednesday: 10 minute Tae Bo, 20 minute Kenpo practice
Thursday: 5:30-7:00 Official Kenpo Practice if I can make it cause of work.
Friday: 10 minute Tae Bo, 20 minute Kenpo Practice
I eat at all different hours of the day now because of work and summer. I've been eating fast food 2 days a week usually. I know school did help me with my routine. I've lost about 20 lbs in the last month when I started running etc., but what I'm looking to do is first start the showing of my 6 pack and lose this extra 15 lbs on some of the areas on my arms/chest/waist. I know I can lose 15 lbs all together from these areas and bring my weight which is now 173 down to 160. I then would like to develop a much larger upper body consisting of my shoulder andneck areas, and my chest which I want to develop along with my arms. My feet and legs will be developed through my kenpo kicking and my speed and flexibility I will get from my kenpo practice also. Any information you could help me with or any program would be wonderful, man. I also currently take vitamins every morning like B, A, C, E, etc.
I also generally lift about 35 lbs on each side of bench press bar when just lifting for the heck of it. It was much higher but I lost strength when I stopped. Also, I generally use about 20 lbs on each side of barbell when doing barbell curls. I'm currently running each day and doing cardio in order to try and cut my fat as much as possible until I start this. So what would you recommend eating wise? Schedule wise? Excercise wise? And maybe supplement wise? I'd really like to get a great body, and develop a strong and cut look.
I want to start soon so I can look good for school. Also, I'm so busy with learning about finances and other business stuff that I need a good program that I can stick to, and that is geared towards these needs of getting ripped and healthy... THANKS BRO!
It's kind of coincidental that you ask this question seeing as I'm watching a Van Damme movie right now. Good stuff; makes me want to fight. How I wish I had half the balance and coordination he does. But enough about that, let's get to your question.
Ok, the first thing you need to do to achieve your goals is shed some body fat. I think you got the cardio under control between running and all your martial arts practices. The next thing you need to do is start eating clean and correctly to loose fat. Check out my latest article on cutting up, and read over the diet section a couple times. It will explain to you what you need to know about your diet, timing your foods, what types, etc.
Now let's talk about your training. It's quite obvious you have different goals than the average bodybuilder, so your routine will differ a little bit from the routines I usually prescribe. I think between work and all your practices that a good 3-day per week routine would work out best for you. With strength, size will come and vice versa. Your diet will determine the size you gain; however, because of all the intense cardio, I don't see you gaining size real fast.
Space your weight training sessions so that they are one day on, one off. Monday, Wednesday, Friday are most commonly used, but you can switch it to suit your schedule. Since you are in a cutting phase, working all day long, and doing intense cardio, I feel that your recovery is cut into. Because of this I suggest you keep your sessions short, intense and infrequent.
The key is to lift intensely. You need to struggle as hard as possible for that last rep, and even if you can not get it, hold the weight until you can no longer hold it, then slowly let it down until you can no longer let it down under control. This is absolute failure, and in my opinion, the most efficient way to trigger gains in strength and growth.
Dumbbell press: 2 x 6-8
Dips: 2 x 6-8
Dumbbell pull over: 2 x 6-8
Over head dumbbell extension: 2 x 6-8
Reverse grip triceps press: 2 x 6-8
Day one is centered on chest and triceps. When you work your chest with compound exercises, your triceps are highly worked in the secondary. By pairing the two together you give your triceps a full week to recover before they are worked again. Dumbbell presses will help to balance your pectoral muscle making them equally strong. Dips are a great upper body exercise, and involve most of the muscles in your upper body. Pull over's will help to widen your rib cage making you appear fuller. The two triceps exercises I gave you to do I feel are also the best for overall triceps strength and development.
Dead lifts: 2 x 3-5
Chin ups: 2 x 8-10
Pulley rows: 2 x 6-8
Straight barbell curl: 2 x 6-8
Preacher curl: 2 x 6-8
Day two will concentrate on back and biceps. Like day one, biceps are secondarily worked heavily when training back. Again, this will give your biceps a full week to recover, rather than a fraction of that time if you were to train back and biceps separately. Dead lifts are a great overall strength and mass builder, and will do wonders for your lower back. Chin-ups will hit your outer lats giving you that v-shape, while pulley rows hit the inner thickening your back. Switch between a close grip and a wide grip each workout on the biceps exercises to hit the inner and outer heads.
Squats: 2 x 12-15
Leg curls: 2 10-12
Calf raises: 2 x 10-12
Military press: 2 x 6-8
Dumbbell side lateral raises: 2 x 7-9
Shrugs: 2 x 8-10
Now, I know you don't want to work legs because you think they will get developed through cardio, but I still think it is important to keep them strong. Squats are such an important exercise, not only to leg development, but also to the entire body. Keep your reps high, that way you don't put too much mass on your legs, but enough to keep them strong. If you look at most boxers, they seem to have great shoulder development. Shoulders are very important in martial arts, and that is why I placed them on a separate day from chest and triceps, that way you can concentrate on your shoulders. Military presses are a great mass and strength builder, where as side raises will develop the outer head, again giving that great "V" shape.
And there you have it. As I said earlier, concentrate highly on intensity and form. Your strength will shoot up, and depending on your diet, so will your size.
Now, your next question was about supplements. There are only a couple things I can really recommend. First is a good MRP. From experience, I know it's real hard to get enough protein when working. A good meal replacement will do exactly what the name implies, replace some of your meals. As you know from reading my article on cutting, you need to take in about 6 small meals per day, an MRP would make it much more convenient.
Next is a multi-vitamin. Chances are you are already taking one, but if you're not, start. There is no way you can get enough nutrients to support such an active life style through diet alone. A good multi, rich in C, E, A, and B vitamins will support your immune system and rebuilding process.
Lastly is L-glutamine. From experience, I know it makes a world of difference when cutting up. During the summer I work construction. This summer I've had to cut for a photo shoot. Between dieting and working 10 hours per day of heavy lifting, I feel the glutamine really helped in the recovery process. You will be facing the same thing because of all the cardio you are doing. It will also help to suppress the release of cortisol (the hormone that breaks down muscle). Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
I also suggest a good E/C/A stack. It will speed up your metabolism and give your more energy, but this is up to you. I know from experience that I get great results off it, however, I am very sensitive to caffeine and ephedrine, and often don't sleep well when taking it.
I hope I have helped, and feel free to email me back with more questions.
Height: 5.11 1/2 6'0
Don't know other measurements...
You remember what type of program I need. One for a bulk up phase. It'd be great if you could include some food to eat type info along with some techniques for lifting etc. Thanks for the program bro.
*Note: We had many conversations over instant messenger about this program, unfortunately, I am unable to include them.
So we meet again, Jon. Glad to see your cutting phase went good.
Now, its time to put on the size. Thicken your chest, widen your back, make tree trunks out of your legs, and turn your gardener snake arms into pythons. Luckily, the bulking phase is no where near as complicated as cutting. In fact, it's quite simple. You need to eat more calories then you take in and an adequate amount of protein to build muscle. Granted, you want these calories to be clean so that you don't blow up and look like the male version of Roseanne. But, that's what I'm here for, right?
We'll look at training first. Before I had you using a three-day routine. It's my opinion though, that when you are bulking you can raise your volume and frequency slightly because you have greater recovery capabilities due to the mass amount of calories you're taking in. When you cut, your recovery is hurt, and to avoid loosing muscle, you train less.
Dumbbell Press: 2 x 6-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell press: 2 x 6-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell flyes: 2 x 6-10 reps
Dumbbell Military press: 2 x 6-10 reps
Bent over later raises: 2 x 8-12 reps
You said you want to develop your chest and shoulder the most, this is why I have them placed first in the week. You will be fresh and feeling aggressive and ready to tackle this workout. Also, when you work your chest, your shoulders are worked as well, and vice versa. This will allow for maximum recovery time between working the two and maximum hypertrophy stimulation.
Chins: 2 x failure
30-second chin: 1
Barbell rows: 2 x 6-10
Dead-lifts: 2 x 3-5
Dumbbell shrugs: 2 x 6-10
Leg Lifts: 2 x failure
I place back by it self because it is huge group of muscles. I find it very hard to get a full, intense back workout and then work another muscle properly. Chins will widen your back, rows will thicken it, and dead-lifts are one of the best overall back mass builders.
Barbell Curls: 2 x 6-10
Preacher curls: 2 x 6-10
Reverse grip preacher curls: 1 x 6-10
Over head dumbbell extension: 2 x 6-10
Triceps press: 2 x 6-10
Reverse Triceps press: 1 x 6-10
You also mentioned that you really need to thicken your arms. By training them on their own separate day and after a rest day you can really concentrate on having an intense workout. Arms are smaller muscles, and won't take a lot of energy out of you allowing you to get a great pump in your arms as well as using a large amount of concentration on them. Be prepared for some serious growth in your arms.
Leg extensions: 2 x 8-12
Squats: 2 x 6-10
Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 2 x 6-10
Calf raises: 2 x 8-12
Crunches: 2 x failure
Last in the week is legs. I spaced legs as far away from back as possible, that way your lower back will be rested and ready to handle squats. Also, notice that squats are after extensions, this is to pre-exhaust your quads that way they are doing most of the work, and not your glutes. Also, because you will be using less weight, there will be less stress on your lower back.
As before, you must use maximum intensity on each of these sets for this program to work. Make sure to warm up properly and stretch in between each set.
As for supplements, I want you to get the following: Prolab creatine powder, Gatorade powder, Optimum 5lb whey, Prolab N-Large 2, and a decent one-a-day multi-vitamin. I will explain how to use them next.
Now it's time for the fun part: eating. I'm happy to see that you did some research and realize just how important diet is to your gains. I hope you have a big appetite, because I'm going to have you eating like a horse. It's going to take a lot of calories just to cover all the aerobic work you do in Kenpo and your other martial arts, and then even more for you to see some gains.
Now, with no further ado, onto the macro-nutrients.
Protein: Protein is by far the most important macro-nutrient in bodybuilding. You can be taking in well over 4000 calories per day, but if you're not getting enough protein, you're not going to grow. A good base is about 1g of protein for every pound of bodyweight. If you get more than that, all the better. Make sure to only count whole proteins such as meat, fish, eggs, diary products and protein supplements, not the kind you find in grains and nuts.
Carbs: Many overlook carbs when looking to gain muscle. They think that excess carbs that aren't burnt off in daily activity will go to fat. They are partially right, but the truth of the matter is that you need an abundance of carbs, not only to fuel your workouts and other activities, but also to aid in recovery and growth. Carb intake is often the limiting factor in a bulking diet. Shoot for about 2-3 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight per day. Try to stick to complex carbohydrates, except for after you workout.
Fats: The American public due to the theory that "fat makes people fat" have always shunned fats out of their diet, under the assumption that it will keep them thin. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Fats do not make people fat, excess calories, processed foods, trans-fatty acids and the laziness that has swept our country in the past couple decades make the average American a fat slob. You need fats for many purposes including proper hormone production, keeping your immune system strong, and to aid in building muscles. Try to avoid saturated fats, as they are the hardest macro-nutrient to burn off, but take in plenty of mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids. Some good sources, and one my favorites, is peanut butter. I actually eat about 1/4 jar per day. Also equally usable are vegetable oils and fish fats. If you'd like to find out more about this, and in depth, then I suggest reading Fit for Life's article on the topic.
I would suggest you slowly work your way up to 4000 calories a day. Start at 3000 for the first week and add 200 a day each week after that. This will help your body adapt to the higher amount of calories preventing water retention, quick fat gain and bloating. If you're not gaining at 4000 calories a day, then add 200.
So what's to eat?
I'll give you some sample meals below, these are just regular meals, and not intended for post workout. I suggest you check out my article about post workout meals for some great examples and to know what you need to eat. Do note that you need to eat 6 meals a day (including the post workout meal), and try to space them 2-3 hours apart depending on size.
2 one-a-day multivitamins
1 scoop of whey protein
16 oz 1% milk
1 cup of oatmeal
2 table spoons of peanut butter
Mix in a blender and enjoy.
3 scoops of N-Large 2 in 16 oz 1% milk. Throw some ice cubs in it after it's blended if you need to take it with you.
1 can of tuna
2 table spoons low fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 whole wheat rolls
16 oz 1% milk
Milk and sandwiches, what could be better?
2 servings pasta
6-oz lean ground beef
1 table spoon of olive oil
2 servings Gatorade powder (orange) (70 grams carbs)
12 oz orange juice
1 teaspoon of Prolab creatine
1 can of pineapple in juice
2 scoops of vanilla whey protein
High Potency Multivitamin
2 liters water
6 oz grilled chicken breast
1/2 cup (dry) brown rice
1 scoop of whey protein
16oz 1% milk
2 table spoons peanut butter
Blend it up and enjoy.
Of course you don't have to eat this everyday, but it gives you a general idea at what you should be eating, a portion of protein, carbs and fats at each meal. Make sure to drink plenty of water through out the day.
And there you have it bro, lift hard and eat big.