Showing posts from May, 2012

Reps and Weights

I recently found the article you wrote on about the 10-8-6-15 workout for ectomorphs, and have started on it this week.

I've been trying to answer my own questions via Google, but I can't seem to find what I need, so I was wondering if you could help me out.
First of all, how do you determine progression for this program? At what intervals should I be upping the weight, and by how much? Do you change rep numbers at all or simply change the weight you are doing with the same 10-8-6-15 scheme?
Also, I was wondering at what weight I should be doing these sets at? Other sites say the Gironda 10-8-6-15 is supposed to be 60 seconds between sets, and recommend doing these exercises at 50% 6 rep max. Would this still hold the same given that we ectomorphs are taking 3-5 min rests imstead of 60 secs as outlined in the article by you, or should we be lifting heavier because of that? How do you recommend I determine what weight to use?
Thanks a lot for the great write-up…

Quality Muscle vs Big Muscle

I am not fat, but I have a small roll and slight love handles. Now I don't think I'm completely at 24% [body fat].  I think I'm a slight lower than that. Do you think I should still do the Bigger Engine workout? Will that keep my size up? I have over all pretty big arms and a wide chest. 

-B. Smith

My Answer: Even if you're "slightly" lower than 24%, you've still got some fat to lose.  Like I said, at least 10% less would be better.  Why are you worried about losing size if you say your arms and chest are big already?

Sounds like you don't want to give up any size, even if it's fat.  But leaning down means you lose fat in and around your muscles.  You will lose size to some degree, because fat does add to muscle size.

Go with the Bigger Engine program.  Use it as a density phase workout for a few weeks.  Then switch to a decompression workout like the 5x5.  This way you focus on one goal at a time: 3 weeks of fat lost, 3 weeks of muscular size an…

Bulk vs. Ripped

I went to the gym, and they told me I am 24% body fat. I get the bloated look a lot. I eat lots of chicken, beef, whey protein, and cottage cheese. I don't eat a lot of sweets at all. I also don't get a lot of fiber either. Do you [what] may cause my bloated look? Your thoughts?

[Also] do you have any other ectomorph routines besides the 5x5 program you could recommend me? - Brad S.

My Answer: What's causing your bloated look? Well, you're at 24% body fat. If you want to look lean and ripped, then you should bring your body fat down by at least another 10%.

Bloat is different from being fat. Bloat means you're eating foods that you can't digest very well. And because you can't digest these foods very well, it ferments inside your intestines and gives you gas. Those gases expand inside your intestines and tummy and you have a bloated stomach. You can be skinny and have a bloated stomach if ate a bean burrito with root beer float. Dairy, beans, creamy s…

Postural Workouts

Thanks for your response, but I guess I didn’t ask the question right. I am doing the frequency decompression, and I am advised to stay away from legs for one more week and that would be a total of 8 weeks. I hurt myself when I wrapped my knees before squatting. I was doing 385 for my last 2 sets. And it didn’t even have any pain doing the sets. So, I think it was wrapping them did something. So, I hope to return to squats and front squats.
My question is since the frequency decompression routine has only 3 workouts and one is dedicated to legs is there anything I should substitute? Or just add extra rest days? And also in the 3rd workout on the delts you have heavy-light sets. What does that mean? I took it as do a super set of heavy low reps followed by light high reps. I could be totally wrong and thought I should ask.


My Answer: Yes, the heavy-light sets for the deltoids means low reps, heavy weight followed immediately by high reps, light weight. …

Power, Strength, Endurance, Mobility

Q: I only have two 20 pound weights and nothing else. I was wondering what exercise routines you would suggest without weights. Thank you for your time.



My Answer: Well if you're going to do calisthenics, then you should be doing variations of pull-ups, push-ups, dips, ab exercises and body weight squats.  This requires that you have access to a pull-up/dip station.  So you should either buy one, or you can workout at a playground or a workout station in a park.

You may be able to build your chest and triceps with push-ups, and you may be able to build up your thighs with body weight squats.  But you won't be able to build up your back without free weights, machines or a pull-up station.

I have a chapter in Neo-Classical Bodybuilding which goes over body weight only training. The general rule with body weight training is that you choose exercises in which you can perform anywhere from 3-20 reps.   If you can do more than 20 reps, then you need to perform a more di…

Perfect your Form with Light Weight

I started the frequency decompression training, but about 4 weeks before that I had sprained both MCL's squatting. I got MRI’s done and that is what the doctor let me know.

My question for this email is what do I do? The training calls for front squats supersetted with leg curls and then standing calf raises. I still feel a twinge here and there that keeps me leary of doing any leg work. I feel very lucky that I did that and not needed surgery. I was told that after about 6 to 8 weeks I can go back slowly and do either leg press or leg extension and leg curls. I don’t think I will do any legs for a least another couple weeks.

Help me out I don’t want to regress.


My Answer: You're going to have to stay away from leg exercises for 8 weeks.  It's not going to matter if it's machines or not.  Your primary concern is recovery, and that means taking it easy and laying off the legs for now.

When you get back to leg work, then I would experiment with a wide variety o…