Forum Replies Created
G Valenga – Hey Matt, how do you feel about barbell vs dumbbell work ? Seems like you always go from barbell into like machine presses, is that just what you feel works best ?
A: Honestly my reasoning for sticking around barbells and then going to something like a plate loaded variation is because for about a year and a half I did not have DB’s heavier than 120’s at my access so I just got in the habit of progressing without them since I could not really push the loads with the DB as I could with loaded barbells and Plate loaded machiness. I am not opposed to DB work at all though a lot of my arm training and Shoulder training is centered around DB work. The one movement that I am honestly not a big fan of us a DB shoulder press though, the energy it takes me to get 130+ lb db into position is just not worth it to me I am gassed going into the set.
Hey matt on the video do you are going to talk how you calculate calories and that stuffs ?
Can be great if you describe the approach of training periodization do you use
A: Hey Josue check out the two videos I just posted on on macros and another on periodization and see if that helps! If not let me know
Stuart – Hi Matt,
Question with regard to your diet & in particular the cream of rice aspect. Are the grams you’re eating cooked weight or dry weight?
I’ve recently made the switch from oats & a little seems to go along way once it’s cooked.
Anything you put in it to make it taste good?
Loving the site & the content brother!
Keep it up!
A: Hey Stuart – I use a weighed dry amount of cream of rice then cook it, its definitely a lot of food. Not so much the most enjoyable thing but it digests well and gets the job done. I usually put 1/2 of a banana in there and mash it up or honey + nut butter all of which I calculate out fully and I will always add pink salt to it. I appreciate the feedback and support man seriously!
Mitchell – What do you think is the best diet strategy for someone with hypothyroidism? Thanks Matt,
A: Great question man! I have hypothyroidism and the key to me is making sure that you have proper labs ran and as long as you are under medication to get your levels in a spot where you are feeling good and within “range” (I say that loosely because I think we are more fine tuned than just a set number of lab values) then you should be able to be successful with any dieting strategy as long as you are in a deficit. I am on 75mcg of t4 and 25mcg of t3 year round from my Doctor which placed my TSH, Free levels of t4 and t3 in a good place within range for me. It did take some trail and error with my medication and continuing to get labs ran until we got it right through.
I’ve seen you do strict barbell rows with a pause at the bottom as well as staying very bent over at the top. I’ve also seen you go very heavy and pull the torso above 45 degrees at the top without a pause at the bottom. Can you please break down your approach to deciding which of those two variations to add to a training phase and why?
A: I honestly feel that the more strict you can be with less body momentum and more elbow drive the better development you will have. I also think its very important to keep the load through your hamstrings and hips during the set up and not through bending at the knee joint. Whether you know it or not your quads are going to take the load if your are overly bending at the knee joint. That is why you no longer see me rowing 405, I did not feel it was the best for my back and I needed to be parallel to the floor using more elbow drive.
Weight: Sitting and stable around 257 right now so not fully back yet but feeling better than I did at previous update.
Barbell Military Press
300 x 6 + 1 forced rep
Plate Loaded Press
5pps x 5 + 1 forced rep
***then went to a dead stop for second set
4pps x 5 (single rest pause) + 1 rep + 20 second eccentric (this was a very taxing set)
Standing Machine Lateral Raise
Stack x 12 – 3 + 5 partials
DB Side Lateral
55 x 7 + 3 Partials
Rear Pec Deck
180 x 9 +3 forced + 6 stretch partials
Rear DB Fly
50 x 12
DB Front Drag Shrugs (nothing ground breaking here just dont know what to call them but bascially I push my hips back slightly and drag the DB up my thighs aiming to pull the DB higher than I can from side position)
2 sets at 120
Training / Diet update:
I want to preface this by me saying that this is not me complaining rather just giving you a real look into what I am going through, I craved information like this when I was younger so that is why I am wanting to give it back. In the grand scheme of things this is all very much self induced first world problems but just being real with you guys.
All of this is new un charted territory for me in terms of the amount of food I am consuming and my bodyweight. The reason why I am doing this is because I want to know every facet of bodybuilding for myself the good / bad ect. I also have set some high goals for myself and I dont want to look back and say I could have eaten more, could have trained harder, could have rested more ect. Right now in terms of my goals and current state I am doing what I believe is my very best but that also comes with some negative side effects. I am very sluggish and tired all day long, my body is definitely telling me to ease up but at the same time in terms of markers like bp things are good its just new un charted territory. I really would like to hold 260+ for a good 2 months to let that weight marinate before I even consider coming down. So this is just the general day to day way I am feeling now. Combine that with the fact that my body dropped from 259 – to probably 250 – then back up to 258 in a matter of 4 days that is a large influx of weight / water / glycogen so I currently have somewhat of a rebound effect. All that being said I am choosing to and want to do this, I want to know I have given everything in every capacity and thankfully for now at least I can be tired but yet still get things done during my day and function to some extent seeing as my work is computer based.
Saying all this leading into today was not my best in the gym, I felt the influx of quick weight and my performance was not the best. I am going to give myself off tomorrow to rest and let my body have a day to stabilize and then get back at it. The longer I am at this weight the better I will feel its just that I got there, dropped a quick 10 lbs and then got back at it quick rate so I am just dealing with all that but I will live 🙂 I am also not negating that last week was an emotional week for me and although I did not train that for sure was not “rest”
585 x 3.5 (was going for and should have had 5) Felt like a ton today
495 x 6
Reverse Grip barbell Row
3pps x 7 (got 10 last week so again we are seeing a drop in performance here. just showing you guys)
***This is where Brad and I called an audible knowing that I was not up to par we opted for some easier loading machines rather than being negligent to what was going on and continuing to hammer compound free weight movements.
Single arm Neutral Grip Plate loaded Row
3pps x 8
4pps x 8
Single Arm Pronated Grip Plate loaded Low Row
4pps x 8
Supinated Mag Grip Pulldown
130 x 8
160 x 8
***we have a high cable attachment on our pulldown stack so we actually do these standing up which is cool so its basically like a cable pull up with no counterbalance drive off of the thigh pads – no rocking just straight up and down.
Loaded single arm stretches.
Sometimes its just about finding a way, not being negligent but still getting good work in!
Hey Justin that is a good question man, I would say the best way I go about determining this is somewhat off of feel based off of how demanding / taxing the first working set was. For instance in my opinion if you do a true all out rest pause set you have given everything you have to give there and its best to just move on. If I do a straight set then I know I can give more with an additional straight set. The way that plate loaded press worked out was on the first set I got 10 full reps on my own but I knew in order to get 11 it would have to be a forced rep so rather than that forced rep I chose to shut it off at 10 and get an additional second set. The more you work with true sets to failure the more i think you will be able to gauge this on your own, hopefully this helps!
Suraj – Thank you!
Hey Leon – I did a q/a video as well on general guidelines about when to raise calories and factors to consider. Nutrition questions are definitely harder to answer because these things because they truly are so individual so hopefully the guidelines that I feel are important addressed in the video will help!
Parowa123 – I noticed on shoulders with dallas, shoulder press you do a full Rom and dallas does a partial Rom staying in the mid-range. Why is this and why would someone stay in the mid range on an exercise instead of full range?
Hey Parowa123 – Honestly Dallas did not really even have to train shoulders so I was not overly concerned with his range of motion. We really did that movement for my benefit more than his. I prefer to take everything through a full range to get the most of of the movement.
Keith – Do you cycle your calories? Are calories higher on days for certain body parts and lower on non training days?
Do you lower your carb intake the off day ? If you do it or don’t do it, can you explain your tough process behind that please
I also would like to know how often ( in general because i know it’s variable person to person ) do you suggest to train smaller muscle group like calves and abs
Hey Keith and Florian – I did a video on off day calories today and my reasoning as to why so that will be uploaded to the site this week!
Florian – As far as abs and calves I would suggest getting the most out of one day per week first and then if you need more addressing it but being as consistent to your plan as possible training everything once a week for and allowing proper rest and then going from there.
Donyae – you’ve obviously built your own programming and training of other athletes on your own. do you believe that new and amateur bodybuilders should start on their own without an assistance of a coach, or do you think they should pay the fees and be structured with coaching?
Donyae – I think there is great value from learning from a coach (I myself have learned from several) and also using sites like this as well as others to find your way. I would say the clearest means of making progress would be to work with a coach to clear up all the mistakes and second guessing that one might do on their own.
Thomas – With a classic training split, every body part 1x/week.
If chest is lagging, do you think it’s more interesting to train triceps with compound like close grip bench, dips etc to had a little bit more stim on this area ?
Hey Thomas – Regardless of if you need more chest in the case of the tricep movements you listed I would do those any way whether or not your chest is good because IMO those two listed are two of the biggest bang for your buck movements you could do for dense triceps. I would then just add an extension variation and you are good to go in terms of your tricep training.
Leon – How to break past a plateau following linear periodization as beginner building his strength/size foundation. Has not occured yet but in case it does sometime, before adjusting calories, what do you suggest doing? Slightly heavier with slight looser form one week to ramp up nervous system/muscles for the following weeks with the proper weight, drop by 15% n rebuild or….. any other advice you would suggest for general knowledge
Leon – great question man I did a video today on this and it will be up on the site this week!
Things going well overall I lost about 7 lbs last week traveling which is frustrating but it is what it is thats life. The crazy thing was that I did not miss any meals I just missed my daily intra stuff and I was not able to train. Life happens so this is part of it we all have to go through it the goal is to just minimize the blows.
Came home at 251 back up to 256 this am and I feel today was a good day of getting my weight back up and stable.
Barbell Flat Bench
Rest Pause set
405 x 7-2-1 (this was a really beneficial / taxing set!)
Plate Loaded press
4p+10ps x 10
3p+25ps x 8
30 degree incline Fly
75 x 10
90 x 8.5
Steep Incline Leading Cable Fly (leaning against pad)
2 max sets at 80 lbs
Hey guys I appreciate all the love and support. Its a 15 hour drive to where my grandma lived and with a 5 month old it takes longer plus we broke it up due to Dallas so its been 4 days of driving the past 5.5 days. I will be doing a q/a this week to get back to questions this week as well as other videos of things I want to touch on. Also Shoulder Video should be up by Wednesday.
That being said we are back here and rolling forward. I did break on of my main training rules today which I am frustrated I did but as best as I can I try to stick to not training legs on travel days for several reasons (hydration, sleep usually off while traveling, overall more tight from long hours in the car) but I am also one that does not like to break my groove so today was legs (hamstring emphasis) so that is what I planned on doing. Warming up I strained my right quad a bit so that made my alter the rest of the workout. All in all still was a good day just a bit frustrating, quad should be fine in a few days!
One of the things I wanted to touch on and I will do a video on this as well but when you are training with the goal of progressive overload its going to be a constant give and take relationship. We are humans and we cannot just make linear progress from start to finish or we would all be 600lbs lifting insane loads as long as we just kept training and adding load to the bar the longer we trained. One of the things I like to do is overload my body a bit beyond what I know it is capable of for the sake of getting my nervous system to start getting used to that load. I dont care how strong you are but more often than not when you touch a weight you have never touched before its going to “jump on you a bit” and just overall make your body say dang thats heavy. So when I do this I know my form is going to be slightly compromised but there is a goal to this I am not just throwing on a random weight. Once my nervous system is acclimated the following weeks my reps get better and better at this load. Last week in the video I did training hamstrings which is in the video section I was not very happy with my top set of RDL, so rather than sticking there I actually pulled back this week to reinforce good motor mechanics and then start to slowly build up. I already know what 500 lbs feels like now so in an effort to build that up even stronger I have pulled back on my load to nail technique and then work back up to that weight in 3-4 weeks time. Every time you touch the weight you should be improving upon the execution at that load, if you are not you need to re assess.
Now on to the workout….
Scratched wide stance leg press due to my quad
2 – Barbell RDL
405 x 9 (failed on getting 10th up) – pausing in stretched position, driving hips fully through at top)
3 – Inverse Leg Curl (Westside barbell piece)
140lbs load added x 8
115 lbs load added x 7 + 4 bottom stretch partials
140lbs load added x 6 + 2 forced reps
***Imo the best curl variation you can do for your hamstrings, again lock your glutes in.
Lying DB Leg Curl
30 x 8
35 x 6 + 3 forced reps Drop 20 lbs x 5 forced reps through full contraction
Standing Calf Raise
240 x 7 – 3 – 1 + 4 partials rest pause set
Just to give you guys a brief update I lost my uncle on Sunday and Grandmother on Tuesday so that is why my logging has been off. I have still trained and filmed a good shoulder workout for you guys that will be uploaded soon just have been a bit behind with logging my training.
Hey Donyae – pps is plates per side.
The warm up honestly is all very relative and it comes to learning your body but basic rule of thumb should be as your load increases (prior to actual working set(s)) then your reps should decrease. I dont like to make big jumps in weight without allowing my body to acclimate to that load first. I find that touch several loads prior to my working set allows my nervous system to be truly ready to go although my muscular system might already be ready prior to. Something to think about is when you un rack a weight lets say on bench press or squat and it shocks you chances are your nervous system was not fully ready to handle that load so I would hit a few more warm up sets working up in load.
Hey Keith And Caidin – It should show on your end where Jan is closed but you should be able to see that Feb is open? If not let me know. There should be a new Q/A opened up underneath the Jan tab.
Back Training – Super bowl Sunday
495 x 1
565 x 5
Cable Supra Bar Pullover
(I do this second so that I can give my lower back a rest rather than loading it back to back)
170 x 8 (final warm up)
190 x 15 reps
Supra Barbell Rows
(25 lb bar)
2pps x 8
3pps x 9
Single Arm DB Row
110 x 8
160 x 9.5
Arsenal Lever Row
70lbs x 8
90lbs x 8
120lbs x 6.5 (forced help on the last two to get 8 total)
Mag Grip Reverse Grip Pulldown
(something I have been doing lately is doing my pulldowns standing up. We have a taller pulldown system where I can stand and not bottom out the stack. This is nothing ground breaking but what my goal here is the remove any back jerking and or any counterbalance from legs driving into the pad so its all lats. At this point my lats are cooked so I am looking for direct work and aiming not to cheat.)
110 x 8
150 x 9.5
160 x 8
G Valenga – Hey buddy honestly I cannot comment on that its been years since I have had waxy maze I dont even remember what it feels like other than I do know that I felt a positve difference once switching to waxy maze (but also being honestly once I switched I also learned the value of using a proper amount of water within the carb source so that its broken down properly). Ive been using cyclic dextrin since 2013. I do understand the expense though and I would say as long as you do not feel off or overly bloated during your training I think its okay to use.
Hey Josue – I might do 1 back off set following my max set for the day. I am logging all true working sets for my workouts so that you can have an idea. When you say formula what do you mean, are you asking how I came up with my numbers for my intake in terms of how much I need?
Billy – Why are you thinking that pre sleep is ideal? I honestly believe that like with most things daily consistency trumps most here and its splitting hairs.
Hamstring Training – Jan 31
Filmed this entire workout for the site!
Just going to lay out top sets here but you guys will see the full breakdown on the workout video
Cable Hip Adduction
40 x 10
50 x 8-9
Single Leg Leg Press foot on upper platform (banded)
10 pps x 15 reps
11 pps x 16 reps (max set)
*this is a bilateral sled so I was just doing 11 plates its not like I was doing 22.
Lying Hamstring Curl
110 x 7 – 2 – 1 (fighting eccentric all the way down on last rep – driving hips into the pad throughout)
495 x 5
Lying DB Hamstring Curl (Driving hips into floor)
– I really really suck at these and want to get really strong at them so that is why I have them in. The contraction I get in my adductors throughout is so strong I literally feel like I cant move my leg)
30 x 8
35 x 8
35 x 8 + 2-3 forced reps
Split Stance DB Squat Back Leg Elevated
(several warm ups prior to this)
65lb DB x 15
80lb DB x 15
Donkey Calf Raise
280 x max set