Back Cycle to Sustain Muscle Mass

Hi James, 

 I have a question, well actually a few:

I've used your 10-8-6-15 program, and I did see results. I followed up with trying something completely different, using Neil Hill's y3t program, which is high volume, less frequency. 

The problem is two fold: I don't know if I'm a true ectomorph. I'm 37 years old and 187 lbs. I've struggled with gaining weight my entire life. If I miss a meal, then it shows after a day or two. But still when I did the Neil Hill routine, and I stopped for three weeks, people commented on my weight lifting physique more than ever. So I dove back into the Neil Hill routine. I've been doing it for 3 weeks now, and I feel like my body needs more frequency. I'm ready to go back to the 10-8-6-15 and do low volume, high frequency. 

2nd problem: after lifting off and on for the past 15 years am I a beginner or intermediate? And should I return to the classic ectomorph routine? 


My Answer: You didn't say how tall you are, but if you're at 187 pounds and you've been training for 15 years, then you're no longer a beginner.  You should go back to the ectomorph routine, however, since you need to back cycle from the y3t program.

Back cycling is when you pull back on your training in some fashion to allow your muscles to overcompensate with growth.  I discuss how to use back cycling to sustain muscle mass in SPV5: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth.

So when you go back to the ectomorph routine, you'll be back cycling by training at a lower volume.  This will jump start some new growth.


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