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How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

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dthcltn
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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby dthcltn » Apr 6. 2012, 09:30

Hey Kusok, thanks for your answer.
Here's another question then, connected with the last one.

What would you say about a training that goes like this:

My training plans last usually about six weeks then I change. Would you feel ti would be a good idea that I'd build strength in the first three weeks, doing lower reps (5-8) and in the last three weeks I start a crreating cycle and do more reps (8-12) but thanks to creatine I should be able to more or less maintain the weight of my dumb-bells and other stuff I lift :)?

Basically before I start my cut I want to build some more mass so that you know what I'm up to :).

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby kusok » Apr 6. 2012, 11:06

Floyd wrote:Thanks man,

I drop-set lift same muscle groups every 2 or 3 days, and have been for a couple of months. How do you know you have burnt out? Is it a psychological or body symptom? I am in no way a veteran lifter and a pretty silly bugger at that.
I do alot of supersets because I always thought it trained your muscles endurance, aswell as strength.. But I was told this as soon as I started lifting and have been doing it like this for about 6.
I'm training MMA, when I'm away from scheduled training what is the best method of taining when only having one dumbell and a boring tuesday night?


one dumbbell? hmmm... maybe take a day off :D or you can do some bodyweight stuff (pull-ups, chins, push-ups, one arm push-ups, single leg squats, handstand shoulder press (feet against wall) etc. And then do your MMA, shadow boxing and all.

If your muscles are sore, you're not recovered yet. If they are a tiny bit sore it's ok, but consistently hitting a sore muscle hard will result in problems such as a burn-out or worse down the road.

If your goal at a given time period is adding muscle, but you're not adding the amount of weight you're able to lift over time, then also it means your routine and/or nutrition needs checking into, and you may be burned-out. Generally if you do it right (trying to add muscle) and you're not an old person and not dieting or de-loading (taking it easy for a few days), you should add weight to the bar over time.

If you have no motivation to train, you have burned out. You should be eager to grab those weights. It's a mental thing too.

And finally, if the super-sets you do are not too volumous, if what you're doing is working, don't change it.
I would especially check this kind of stuff with a professional high level MMA coach. Maybe on internet since I imagine such coaches are expensive and my not live in your town. Muscle endurance and all kinds of cross training and circle training, rest-pauses and stuff are all great, and have their place for combat athletes. But if one's goal was simply to add muscle, one should just hit some straight regular sets.

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby kusok » Apr 6. 2012, 11:43

dthcltn wrote:Hey Kusok, thanks for your answer.
Here's another question then, connected with the last one.

What would you say about a training that goes like this:

My training plans last usually about six weeks then I change. Would you feel ti would be a good idea that I'd build strength in the first three weeks, doing lower reps (5-8) and in the last three weeks I start a crreating cycle and do more reps (8-12) but thanks to creatine I should be able to more or less maintain the weight of my dumb-bells and other stuff I lift :)?

Basically before I start my cut I want to build some more mass so that you know what I'm up to :).



Sounds like you're doing typical "pereodization". There are many ways, but if what you're doing is working (if you're adding weight to the bar over time) then don't change anything.

After your 6 weeks of hard lifting you need a rest, de-load (or built-in de-load, where you'd go back to lower reps and increase the weight you lift by a little, like 10%) And repeat.

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby jesse lazo » Apr 11. 2012, 18:48

How does this sound Kusok?
    Chest / Triceps Monday and Thursday "A day"
    Back / Biceps Tuesday and Friday "B day"
    Legs / Shoulders Wednesday and Saturday "C day"

So working out 6 days a week. Is that overtraining?
I don't like only working chest or back once a week etc.

A day's would have: BB Bench Press, Inc DB Bench Press, Inc DB Flys, Cable Crossovers, Skullcrushers, DB extensions and Triceps Pushdowns.
B day's would have: BB Bent Over Rows, Cable Rows, Lat Pulldowns, BB Curls, Reverse BB Curls and Hammer Curls.
C day's would have: BB Squats, Leg Press, DB Lunges, Leg Extensions, BB Press, Arnold Curls, Lateral and Front Deltoid Raises.

And if 6 days a week is to much, would you be able to condense the list of exercises I put above into an A day / B day routine? And then I could just lift 4 times a week?

Thanks.
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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby kusok » Apr 11. 2012, 21:46

jesse lazo wrote:How does this sound Kusok?
    Chest / Triceps Monday and Thursday "A day"
    Back / Biceps Tuesday and Friday "B day"
    Legs / Shoulders Wednesday and Saturday "C day"

So working out 6 days a week. Is that overtraining?
I don't like only working chest or back once a week etc.

A day's would have: BB Bench Press, Inc DB Bench Press, Inc DB Flys, Cable Crossovers, Skullcrushers, DB extensions and Triceps Pushdowns.
B day's would have: BB Bent Over Rows, Cable Rows, Lat Pulldowns, BB Curls, Reverse BB Curls and Hammer Curls.
C day's would have: BB Squats, Leg Press, DB Lunges, Leg Extensions, BB Press, Arnold Curls, Lateral and Front Deltoid Raises.

And if 6 days a week is to much, would you be able to condense the list of exercises I put above into an A day / B day routine? And then I could just lift 4 times a week?

Thanks.


Hey, some thoughts:

It's a lot ^^^ This is typical 1970s enhanced (steroid) bodybuilding type of routine of guys like Arnold. Naturals grow better on a 4-day/week upper/lower, since we don't have great recovery of steroid users, and their great genetics, and experience. In fact 3-day fullbody or upper/lower or push/pull can be better if you do other training or if you're cutting and thus your recovery will be worse, and even a 2-day (full body) if you do LOTS of other training. The point is to recover well, so you can lift more weight next time etc.

5 and 6 day routines will lead to long term over-training and negative effects on your joints etc. Yes, young athletic genetically gifted people who eat like a horse can take 5 or 6 days... for a while... but then injuries or lack of motivation starts to set in as you overload your joints, muscles, mind, and recovery ability.

Basically it has been observed that you will grow and function better, and still be doing this at old age injury free, if you cap off your lifting at 4 days per week.


What specifically you do depends on what you're after. You want to gain mass? Get stronger? Are you doing this for injury prevention and another sport and general fitness? For all of the above goals the program would be a bit different. Let me know what your goals are, and what other training you do besides lifting, and I will give you an idea of what people in your situation usually do.

And how advanced you are matters too. Beginners and athletes who lift weights for another sport usually do full body.
Bodybuilders or anyone who is not a beginner, and is after mass does stuff like upper/lower. Advanced gifted lifters with no other sports training do bodypart splits (monday chest, tuesday back etc)

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby superboomer23 » Apr 12. 2012, 09:53

Hey Kusok,
Can you help me to create a workout rutine?
I am training Muay Thai right now, primerely to help with my stand up, in a few months i will add back BJJ.
I train 3 times a week, from 6 to 8pm - M,W,Th
On M, T, F i go to regular gym, during the day 12-2pm. I usually work full body: warm up: jumping jacks, jump-box, push/pull ups, rope jumping, then i move to weights: chest press, dumbell flys, curls, squads and leg press, finish off with 30 min cardio (2 times a week intervals and 1 just a long steady run).
this is my routine for the past 3-4 months, i didnt go to gym before that. what would you change and what would you reccomend. my primery focus is to loose fat and gain strenght. Thank you mate!

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby kusok » Apr 12. 2012, 12:39

superboomer23 wrote:Hey Kusok,
Can you help me to create a workout rutine?
I am training Muay Thai right now, primerely to help with my stand up, in a few months i will add back BJJ.
I train 3 times a week, from 6 to 8pm - M,W,Th
On M, T, F i go to regular gym, during the day 12-2pm. I usually work full body: warm up: jumping jacks, jump-box, push/pull ups, rope jumping, then i move to weights: chest press, dumbell flys, curls, squads and leg press, finish off with 30 min cardio (2 times a week intervals and 1 just a long steady run).
this is my routine for the past 3-4 months, i didnt go to gym before that. what would you change and what would you reccomend. my primery focus is to loose fat and gain strenght. Thank you mate!



According to guys like GSP and Mark Rippetoe (SS creator) combat athletes should lift weights 2x (3x tops) per week, because you're already doing another 3 or more days of MMA or some other combat sport. So, basically you'd hit full body hard twice per week looking for strength gains (or at least strength maintenance if you're cutting)

You see, guys like Jeff Monson work in low reps, explosive, but low reps, like 5, for strength, but IMO Monson is not training optimally for MMA, he is too big, too bulky, too slow. Yes, he is strong, but... I like more what GSP and Fedor do, explosive circuit training, higher reps, GSP works in 8-12 rep range, Fedor in 12-20s. (I like GSP's rep range more, fedor drains himself with those never-ending high reps, GSP's 8 reps catch some strength gains territory which is what you want) Or you can do SS or another 5x5 2x per week.

Gaining strength is mostly about caloric surplus (after the initial adaptations), and losing fat is about caloric deficit. It's better to think of it in those dietary terms rather than focus on the detail of your routine for fat loss or strength gain.

Basically if I was you I'd hit some 5x5 2x per week, or just do what you do now, and see if I'm maintaining strength on a cut (or gaining when you up the calories), and if so, you're doing it right, no need to change anything.

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby rubberdujz » Apr 18. 2012, 14:37

Hey Kusok -

I'm 16 years old, 11.5 stone(ish) have a little baby fat, little chubby but not too bad,

But I've recently joined a gym and i'm a little intimidated - i get there and don't have a clue what i'm doing, what machines to use or even how to use them, so I end up attempting to use all of them which I know is a horrible idea to work out every muscle but I dont know what else to do, my diets also pretty bad i mean i eat alot of junk food, i only drink water, and try to eat alot of meat / vegetables but often eat junk. I guess what i'm requesting ( I Have searched youtube / forums ect but i feel personal advice would be better ) is almost a guide like, Go to the gym, day 1 you do this this and this for your Chest / triceps, just for example.. then day 2 you do this this and this, I'm just looking to tone up lose some fat and put on some muscle, anyway - if you or anyone could offer any help I would greatly appreciate it, thanks alot !

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby kusok » Apr 18. 2012, 15:20

rubberdujz wrote:Hey Kusok -

I'm 16 years old, 11.5 stone(ish) have a little baby fat, little chubby but not too bad,

But I've recently joined a gym and i'm a little intimidated - i get there and don't have a clue what i'm doing, what machines to use or even how to use them, so I end up attempting to use all of them which I know is a horrible idea to work out every muscle but I dont know what else to do, my diets also pretty bad i mean i eat alot of junk food, i only drink water, and try to eat alot of meat / vegetables but often eat junk. I guess what i'm requesting ( I Have searched youtube / forums ect but i feel personal advice would be better ) is almost a guide like, Go to the gym, day 1 you do this this and this for your Chest / triceps, just for example.. then day 2 you do this this and this, I'm just looking to tone up lose some fat and put on some muscle, anyway - if you or anyone could offer any help I would greatly appreciate it, thanks alot !



Really the best and only thing you can do is to educate yourself. This is the best thing about internet, you can read everything about diet and exercise in a matter of a couple of hours. I recommend you read thru the 3 sticky threads I made about nutrition, muscle gain, and fat loss. Read the OP carefully a few times, it's really all you need to know.

As far as routine goes I like simple upper/lower routines done 3-4 times per week. Lyle McDonald's generic bulking routine is very popular. Iron addict's SPBR routine is good too etc. You can find all of those by simply googling them, it will tell you how many sets to do, how many reps, everything.

For proper form I recommend you exercise a few times with an experienced lifter or coach. If money is tight, see if you have a friend who is responsible and experienced in lifting weights. Or just watch lots of instructional videos on youtube. Start light, warm-up well, stretch gently, keep that back straight at all times, don't neglect any bodyparts, and stop 1 rep short of your maximum, to stay 2 steps ahead of any possible injury. in other words don't lift anything you're not 100% sure you can lift with good straight back and without shaking or wobbling. At any sign of discomfort or clicking in your shoulders or knees etc you must immediately stop and research what's wrong with your form. But yes, an experienced lifter with a background in powerlifting would be a perfect initial coach.

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby brbcrash » Jul 20. 2012, 08:14

Wow... what a great post.Thanks for sharing nice stuff

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby eunuch » Oct 18. 2012, 03:49

questions...I apologize in advance if this is too tedious for you :oops:

1 - So if I train 4-5 times a week MMA/Muay Thai/BJJ 1-3 hours per day, ideally on which 2 days would I throw in the 5x5 SS?(Monday-Friday train, Saturday and Sunday rest. I was thinking lift morning, train evening. I have a feeling it might not really matter though, just get my calories+rest/when it feels good to lift and rest adequately.)

2 - Do I do my SS with dumb bells?

3 - Is this "SS" or did I get fooled -
Workout A Workout B
Squat 5x5 Squat 5x5
Bench Press 5x5 Overhead Press 5x5
Barbell Rows 5x5 Deadlift 1x5

4 - I need to thicken up my torso/core because I keep getting nailed in the body and want to go down like Bonnar in the Silva fight. Will picking up SS take care of that? I have no problem throwing in explosive body-weight work, but is that recommended? Pull-up, chin-up, body-weight squats, crunches, push-ups. What do you think? I've never lifted before lol.

5 - Is SS even what I need to be doing or should I modify it like GSP and Fedor like you said earlier in the thread? Why is this all so complicated...my brain is inferior...

The only thing I care about is strength!(Well besides getting my torso tougher which I suppose counts as 'mass') Am I on the right track here?
My numbers are 6ft1in, 145lbs, obviously ectomorph,
Using the ratios(roughly, lately more protein and I'll keep that higher while starting SS):
using http://www.caloriecount.about.com
Carbohydrates 54% target cal. % 357 g
Protein 23% target cal. % 152 g
Fat 23% target cal. % 68 g
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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby kusok » Oct 18. 2012, 09:35

^^^ You didn't specify if you want to gain weight overall. At 6'1 145lbs (what age? Is your body still growing?) it's pretty slim, and I figure you're hoping to get a bit bigger? If that's the case your calories maybe actually still too low. It looks like you're eating about ~2'600 calories. But if you're active, for your stats you may find that ~2'900 is recommended, and for very active people who do lots of training and burn lots of calories it seems ~3'200 calories is more like it, use this to get an idea:

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/weight_gain_calculator.htm

Once you gain some weight you will obviously gain strength and some solid impact absorbing muscle meat in your torso :D

You can check details of SS here:

http://idreamz.nl/fileshuttle/40093ac8.pdf

From the example you posted it seems you're describing another popular program called Strong Lifts, scroll to page 12, see how SS has 3x5 and what you posted and this is 5x5 and the exercise selection is slightly different:

http://idreamz.nl/fileshuttle/a61c00d6.pdf

There are also Bill Starr's 5x5 and even others. They have small differences, probably doesn't matter much if at all! But admittedly Strong Lifts doesn't have the original reputation and authenticity of Bill Starr and SS. Some argue that small details matter. But anything is better than nothing, anything non-retarded will work. Just eat, lift and rest, easy. If I was you I'd stick to SS 2x per week and be done with it, not overthinking it. If you google this you will see that majority of fighters and coaches prefer SS 3x5 2x per week style training. Many people complain that they don't recover with 5x5 or 3x per week. You don't even need to walk around with a calculator making sure your lifts are going up exactly as SS creator says or any of that. Just add ~5 lbs to your lifts weekly if you can, if you can't de-load for a week, then try again. In fact you can expect your progress to be slow since you're doing lots of other training. Can't do everything at once, you know. Be a minimalist, don't overthink. And be safe, don't lift something you don't know you can lift safely with good form by yourself. And yes, get a couple of days per week of complete rest, no MMA, no lifting, no cardio. Nothing.
And yes, most people prefer to do weight lifting and MMA on different days to avoid a possible injury or fatigue.

In particular I'm a fan of chin-ups over rows if you must pick one. Chins are more natural, and don't strain your lower back.
The optional dips, push-ups and core work like planks, sit-ups, crunches and leg lifts is great for core! I like throwing in some neck work too! And definitely a few shrugs. And your core will get plenty of work from deads, bench and squats.

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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby eunuch » Oct 18. 2012, 14:24

Sorry, I'm 23 so I don't think I'm growing too much anymore, and yes my cals are about 2,645. I don't want to get much bigger, maybe 5-10lbs(I would like to compete at 145 with no weight cut and max strength) but I can bump it up alittle for the strength.

Thanks for clearing that up I figured I had the wrong program(don't trust anyone except kusok! These pdf's are what I needed)

Would you do the bodyweight work on SS days? I think I'll do SS Mon+Fri, Bodyweight/core Tue,Wed,Thurs. Rest Sat,Sun.
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Re: How to gain muscle (easy guide and FAQ)

Postby el magico » Oct 23. 2012, 17:33



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