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Training FAQ 1 – Frequently Asked Training and Nutrition Questions

I am going to start a series of posts on here with FAQ’s from trainees that i have encountered. Each one will address a different aspect of training and nutrition and in time i will have covered a LOT of material relating to ‘real world’ health and fitness.

The first post is a queston from a ‘skinny guy’ trying to put on muscle/weight. This can be one of the most frustrating things for guys to have to face because they ‘think’ they are doing everything right, training hard, taking weight gaining supplements and on the surface it seems they should be gaining the weight whey are seeking . . but they dont!

‘Hi Bryan

on recommendation from a friend i am emailing you regarding my training goals. I am 18 and weigh 57kgs and am about 5 10″. I have a fat percentage below 5%. I am very lean in the sense that i have a six pack looking for an eight pack and defined arms. I am looking to pack on size. I was wonderering whether there is any advice or improvements i could get regarding my training programme or any advice in general. I also just started taking PROGAIN

My current training programme:

Day 1
Flat Bench Press (5 sets)
Incline Dumbbell Press (5 sets)
Close Grip Bench Press
Dumbbell Biceps Curl
E-Z Bar Curl
Military Press
Upright Row
Lateral Raise

Day 2
Squats (5 sets)
Leg Press (5 sets)
Leg Extensions
Leg Curl
Forearms curls
Reverse forearms curls

Day 3
Pull Ups
Close Grip Seated Pulley Row
Triceps Pushdown
Forearms curls
Reverse forearms curls

Day 4
Sprinting routine
PLUS CORE + deadlifts

I have 3 meals a day at college. I have 2 progain shakes a day comprising of 2 scoops a day, plus im taking another protein shake once or twice a day called most of the time im going for 8 reps and my rest period is maybe a minute after fortisip which has about 20g of protein. My rep range is from about 6-12 but each set, this reason for this is that i dont want to lose my pump!


Looking at the programme it looks like a ‘reasonable’ programme but it doesnt seem to address your goals much! It looks more like a bodybuilding programme a 90kg gym rat would have or something 🙂 To be honest at 57kg and already <5% bodyfat you should be doing a LOT less volume. .

‘lose my pump’

Get up out of that haha . . awww i remember those days!

Truth is ‘seeking’ the pump can actually stall muscle growth! let me explain!

If you are training constantly seeking a pump and not focusing on lifting heavy and FAST you are in essence training for the mirror at that time! Having rest periods that short is fair enough if you are looking to lose fat OR you have a normal metabolism. . but by the sounds of things you are light enough and have a fast metabolism. . you should be lengthening your rest periods and lifting heavier.

Try this. .

Day 1:

A1: Incline Bench Press
A2: Wide grip Lat pulldown

B1: Close grip Bench
B2: Seated Pulley row

C1: Pushdown
C2: Bicep Curl

D1: Squat

Day 2:

A1: Military Press
A2: Supinated chins

B1: Dips
B2: Wide Grip Upright Row (hang high pull)

C1: Hammer Curl
C2: Rope Pushdown

D1: Straight Leg Deadlift

Day 3:

A1: Flat DB press
A2: Dumbell Row

B1: Single Hand Shoulder press (dumbell) Left+right
B2: Face Pull

C1: Shrugs

D1: Calf Raises

Now you might think this odd but if you think about it. .  it makes perfect sense! Doing each bodypart ONCE per week works for genetically gifted people like bodybuilders and naturally heavy set people. . people who have average genetics (you and I) have to think outside the box!

Once a week training = one chance per week to grow! 12 weeks on. . you only had 12 chances to grow! . . and absolutely NAILING the bodypart is counterproductive too as you body will not fully recover from it. .

If you train each bodypart (in a different manner) 3 times per week you are hitting it from all angles seperately and maximally. . more growth. .no overtraining. . . 36 chances to grow/adapt in 12 weeks . .presto. . 3x the progress

Next up. . you cant possibly train your incline dumbell presses maximally (for example) after doing your Flat Bench Presses and similarly after doing Lat Pulldowns and then trying to train your Pulley Rows. . all pulling exercises utilise the same/similar motor pattern and as a result the second in line will only be trained at a fraction of the intensity the 1st exercise was. .

WOW you are taking a LOT of Supplements . . what do your school meals consist of? Might i suggest easing up in the PROGAIN and the other fortisip one if possible and getting in some REAL FOOD!? I’m not saying stop as you do need the kcals but try to get more food in from whole protein sources, eggs, fish, beef chicken, nuts etc. . and maybe take 2 scoops progain on off days and on training days take the 4 if you like. . it is still a bit extreme for me now to be honest!

Give this a try and let me know how you get on. .


Bryan Kavanagh

April 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment