how to get bigger/stronger the correct way

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by SoSexy, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    Hello, all!

    So I hate weight cutting and the way it makes me feel and look right before competing in BJJ (almost malnourished), so I decided to get bigger and move up a weight class next time.

    About Me:
    I'm 5'6 and 143-144 lbs normally, I competed weighing 137lbs for the 64kg gi weight class. The next class is at 70kg which means I'd like to weigh 148-150 lbs of good muscle.

    My goals:
    Get stronger for BJJ
    Get buffer (haha)

    The problem is that I don't have much time to go to a real gym because of school and BJJ so I usually work out at home. This isn't all bad since I do have some equipment lying around here which includes:

    1 Incline/Decline bench
    2 5lbs dumbell handles
    a bunch of plates (4x 10 lbs, 8x 5lbs, 4x 2.5lbs)
    1 Perfect Pullup (allows for pullup variations, reverse rows and some tricep exercises)
    1 Perfect Pushup (sounds gay, but actually good for a bunch of pushup variations without straining your wrists)

    So I obviously have to buy more plates (I plan on getting 4x 15lbs ones later) to give me a harder workout. The main problem is I can't fit a barbell in here so I'm basically stuck with dumbbells.

    Given the fact that I think I can have an average of 3 1-2hour sessions at home a week, how should I work out given the limitations of these equipment?

    Thanks! And sorry I'm such a workout noob! Until this point I've been making up all my programs.
     
  2. K1HerosNakamura

    K1HerosNakamura Black Belt

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    Put the 90 lbs in a backpack with a blanket underneath them so the weight is above your shoulders and do pushups on the perfect pushup. Take the weights, thread an old BJJ belt through the plates and do heavy pullups. Hold the weights in your hand and do one legged squats (pistols)

    Then...read the FAQ...think longingly about how awesome squatting and deadlifting with nice equipment is, and join a gym. If you are really planning on lifting 3 times a week 2 hours each session, making it out to a gym (your school probably has one?) even only once a week to lift maximal weights in compound movements is not too much and is crucial to getting bigger/stronger the correct way.

    Then eat a ton, even when you are not hungry. There is a wealth of information here if you look for it.

    Good Luck
     
  3. VoodooPlata

    VoodooPlata Brown Belt

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    All of this is correct. Especially the eating part. You need to eat for two pregnant women. At some point you need to eat two pregnant women. You have to eat until you shit completely edible food because the intestines can't handle it. You need to have desserts with your breakfasts, and second breakfast in between breakfast and brunch. You drink milk until it comes out your nose, and when you've gotten through all of that you reward yourself with a dozen raw eggs and a cheese before bedtime. A whopper meal on the nightstand for midnight snacking and you're good to go.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Respekt

    Respekt Guest

    I'm sorry but I'm a little confused. Were you being sarcastic in the first paragraph? I understand that squatting and deadlifting is very good for maximum strength but aren't weighted pull/push ups + pistols also pretty effective in building strength/muscle?
     
  5. maximus__

    maximus__ Blue Belt

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    Look into some of ross's stuff,build a sandbag and eat shit loads.
     
  6. Connoisseur

    Connoisseur Purple Belt

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    If you absolutely have to use that equipment & don't have the means to join a gym, then those exercised described before can work. However, they're far from optimal, and if you can set up an area where you can squat, clean, snatch, deadlift, etc, then that could be workable.

    I just hurt my knee recently, and i've been staying in shape by doing pushups, pullups, dips & V-ups on top of rehab exercises. The important thing is that you do what you can
     
  7. Gierrod

    Gierrod Blue Belt

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    Your in the right place then brah! Whats your arm day like?
     
  8. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    I got the 4 15lbs plates earlier. Won't it be easier to just benchpress them on my bench than do the backpack thing?

    Yeah I was meaning to add weight to my pullups.

    I've been researching dumbbell deadlifts and goblet squats which seem to be able to substitute thee barbell versions.

    Yeah, my school has a gym, but I can't really afford membership plus BJJ (they don't offer a package strangely enough) and I really need some nights finish up some schoolwork so I can't do thrice a week train, thrice a week lift like some people do.

    And I am starting to consume like crazy. Plus I'm getting back to protein shakes.
     
  9. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    I'm actually ignorant enough to not be sure if this is sarcasm or just hyperbole.

    Anyway here's the workout I've been doing for the past few years for reference. Obviously needs tweaking since I made it just made it up. I divided my workouts on a 3 day rotation. Seems to work well just to maintain what amount of muscle I already have

    Bicep/Back
    4 sets pullups 9-8-8-7
    4 sets reverse row 13-13 (increase weight- wear a fanny pack with plates)- 10-10
    2 sets prisoner pullups 10-10
    3 sets bicep curls 10 (increase weight)- 8 (increase weight) 6
    ABS (kneeups, crunches etc)

    Chest
    4 sets barbell flys 10-10 (increase weight) 8-8
    3 sets dumbell press 10 (increase weight) 8 (increase weight) 6
    3 sets incline dumbbell press 10-10 (increase weight) 8
    2 sets decline dumbbell press 10 (increase weight) 8
    then I started mixing in Perfect Pushup shit when I got them
    8-9 sets of PERFECT (HAHA) pushups and variations
    3-4 sets PERFECT (AHHAAHA) dips (i put the PPs on top of chairs and do regular dips)
    ABS

    Tricep/Shoulder
    4 sets dumbell lifts (I'm not sure what it's called, basically do the FLYING EAGLE motion) 10-10 (increase weight) 8-8
    4 sets tricep extensions 10-10 (increase weight) 8-8
    4 sets mix of should press and arnold presses
    4 sets of mixed tricep shit (Perfect Pullup tricep extensions, french tricep curls, tricep dips etc)
    ABS
     
  10. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    see previous post! help me get buffer man! HAHA
     
  11. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    This should be stickied.

    But looking at your program Mr SoSexy, I think you're right. It needs a little tweaking. You seem to have about six different "chest exercises," a few arm exercises, and pullups. Unfortunately this is not a complete program by itself, but fortunately it won't take much to fix it. Keep about one or two of those "chest" exercises, keep two or three of the "back" exercises, and if you must, keep one biceps movement and one triceps movement. Done three times a week, those ought to cover your upper body.

    Next you'll need some things for your legs and your work capacity. Even with limited equipment, this can be done. Dumbbell deadlifts and goblet squats are a good start, and pistols are great if you can do them, if you can't, that's a goal to work for. Try to get a sandbag, they're not expensive to make but you can do a lot. Sandbag deadlifts, squats and cleans are all good ideas.

    And for work capacity, you've gotta move. And no regular running either. Remember the sandbag? Carry it. For distance, for time, whatever. And find yourself a hill to run up. Carry the sandbag there too if you really want a challenge. Just work hard and use your imagination and you'll be an animal in no time.

    And don't forget to eat.
     
  12. ssdd

    ssdd Purple Belt

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    That's a terrible routine. If you workout 3 days a week, do a full body workout each time. Start with deadlifts or squats followed by step ups, split squats, or lunges. Then follow that up with some kind of press, then some kind of row or pull up- 3xfailure but add weight if u can do more than 12-15 reps. Then get your act together, join a gym, and do starting strength.
     
  13. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    yep it is pretty terrible.

    forgot to mention that I run regularly too and my legs are somehow the most oversized and relatively strongest part of my body, probably because of the sports I used to play before BJJ and the fact that I have to climb 4 floors everyday to get to my room. Obviously not enough, hence goblet squats and dumbbell deadlifts.

    I'll also look into sandbags.

    THANKS ALL!

    Also, I noticed that if you wrap some kind of chain over plates and make some kind of handle, you basically have a kettlebell! Will this help?

    Sorry for being such a noob and all your comments are greatly appreciated. I have no doubt that with your help, I will have a sexier, stronger body and would not have to cut to avoid the big boys on the higher divisions! YEAH!!!!

    EDIT: Also, if anyone is kind enough to make a program out of the shit I have listed in the first post plus 4 15lbs plates i just bought this afternoon it would be forever in debt. I'm confident I could get at least 2 workout days in addition to my BJJ (which makes 5 days a week of heavy phsyical activity) . THANKS!
     
  14. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    Your motivation is good.

    The chain-kettlebell idea is not bad for slow lifts, but most of the benefit of a kettlebell comes from doing fast lifts with the oddly shaped load, such as swings or snatches, so a loose handle like a chain is not recommended.

    Your legs will always be your most oversized and strongest body part, get used to it and take pride. As for a program, there are plenty available kicking around the internet, but most of the good ones will be pretty similar. Assuming two or three half-hour to forty-five minute sessions per week, you can get a lot of work done.

    I'd say two or three days a week you should do a squat, an upper body pressing movement, a pullup, and a deadlift or clean. They can be whichever variations you want, so maybe pick two lifts and alternate each workout (goblet squat/dumbbell split squat, bench press/overhead press, pullup/inverted row, dumbbell deadlift/sandbag clean).

    So you'll end up with:

    Day 1 - Goblet Squat, Bench, Pullup, Deadlift
    Day 2 - Split Squat, Press, Inverted Row, Sandbag Clean

    Alternate between these two workouts every time you train. And once or twice a week, try to do some hill sprints or sandbag carries for conditioning.

    All that stuff is the easy part. The hard part is this: ALWAYS INCREASE THE WORK. Anything you did last week or last workout is not good enough for today. Raise your standard. Do more weight, more reps, more sets, less rest time...whatever. But always improve.
     
  15. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    Yeah, I take it I've been doing too many part-specific exercises. I mean, I'm pretty cut (especially coming from a weight cut) but I don't have the mass that I want.

    So should I abandon things like tricep extensions and dips completely?

    By press you mean, shoulder press right (had to make sure sorry)?

    Since I just bought some plates, don't have money for a sandbag yet, I'll just do dumbbell clean-presses which will have the same effect right?
     
  16. spinach

    spinach White Belt

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    Yes to all.

    Actually, there's nothing wrong with extensions and dips, both are good exercises, so if you want to tack them on at the end of some workouts, go right ahead. I just personally don't get along with dips right now because they piss off my shoulder, but they're still a really good exercise.

    And look into getting a sandbag for the future, as I said, inexpensive, but a good investment.

    And if you're wondering about sets and reps, start with three sets of five repetitions at one weight. The first few workouts might be pretty easy, but they will prepare you for more work later on. As you get better you can add weight, reps, or sets to continue to challenge yourself.
     
  17. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    Got my first workout in last night. Felt okay, but I think my form was wrong with deadlifts. Will look into it.

    4 Goblet Squat 85lbs 7reps
    4 Pullup Bodyweight 9-8-8-7
    2 Bench 80lbs 10 reps
    (my elbow injury from an armbar a while back started to hurt, decided to play it safe and finish with 2 sets of slow pushups from my PP)
    2 Slow pushups bodyweight 10 reps
    3 Deadlift 90lbs 8 reps

    Will try to make it more intense next time as my body doesn't hurt at all today.
     
  18. milano

    milano I am the Walrus

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    90lb deadlifts? For real?
     
  19. SoSexy

    SoSexy Yellow Belt

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    Have to start somewhere haha.

    Here's my second day:

    4 deadlift 110lbs 8 reps
    4 reverse row bodyweight +20lbs 8 reps
    4 shoulder press 100 lbs 7 reps
    4 clean + pres 80lbs 7 reps
     
  20. DR evil

    DR evil Orange Belt

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    if you're having problems cutting from 143 to 137 you're doing something wrong. I wrestled for 13 years and have met some guys that simply can't cut without feeling like death. if thiat's you my advise is to up you're cardio and tweak your diet just a hair in order to walk at say 140 making you're cut absolutely nothing.
    if you're set on packing on some muscle and moving up be prepared to deal with bigger taller guys. at 5-8 142LBs back in the day I loved wrestling buff guys 2-3 inches shorter than me.
     

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