I have been struggling with 2 body parts for very long time, front delts and biceps. My front shoulder is flat and does not respond to anything I do. I feel soreness in my shoulders for the next 2 to 3 days after a workout, but they still never grow. My biceps never feel get a pump or get sore. I tried 7's for six weeks for arms, but still my biceps are terrible. My workout split is:
Monday: Back Tuesday: Chest Wednesday: Legs Friday: Shoulders Saturday: Arms My diet is really bad. I hate food and I only eat when I'm hungry, which is every 4 to 5 hours. I usually have a small breakfast, a weight gain shake for lunch, and an average dinner. I'm 5-6, 163 lbs, and 39 years old. I've been training on and off for 5 years, but consisting training for just the last year and a half. Sorry if this was confusing, Thanks
You really didn't give me any information about what you are currently doing for your front delts or biceps, but based on the rest of what you said it's irrelevant. You are not eating nearly enough to support good workouts, much less recovering and growing from them. You need to start eating a minimum of four solid meals a day, right now. For the first few days it will be rough and it will seem like you're force-feeding yourself, but your appetite will start to pick up shortly thereafter. Please recognize that I specified the need for solid-food meals, not shakes. Meal replacement shakes were originally developed for weight loss (remember Slimfast?), and the body requires solid food to synthesize new muscle tissue. It's a point I've been harping on now for fifteen years and will continue to, because some people still don't get it. Right now your metabolism is slow and stagnant, and you aren't taking in adequate fuel to train hard. By the time you hit the gym, which I'll assume is in the late afternoon as is common, my clients have already had three or four solid meals to your one. They have full muscle glycogen stores suited for excellent workouts and a killer pump, thanks to the 200-400 grams of carbohydrates they've consumed so far that day to your 25-50. You wonder why you can't get a pump and you're not growing? This is why. But I'm not trying to single you out or make you feel bad. It's very common to under eat and attempt to compensate by drinking shakes. Many weight trainers out there do it, and are at a loss as to why they don't make any progress. It's because they are neglecting the most anabolic substance you can possibly put into your body - food!
I'm doing 30 minutes cardio at 150 HR in the off-season on every off day that I don't train with weights. When I do my contest diet (and I should add that I am natural) how should I do my cardio? What do you recommend in terms of time of day, duration, and frequency?
Regarding your current cardio regimen, you should be aware that if you're doing cardio, it's not really an 'off day.' Be mindful of this if you aren't feeling properly rested and recovered and/or your aren't making progress toward the goals you have set for your off-season. Most of my clients are trying to increase the size of their legs in the off-season, so I advise them not to do cardio on the same day as leg training. As for the pre-contest phase, A good starting point for most bodybuilders is 30 minutes first thing in the morning before breakfast, five days a week. Typically we will increase the length of the session by five minutes each week to an maximum of one hour. A second session of cardio in the evening may be called for, depending on how much fat remains left to lose. There is no one blanket prescription for cardio that I give out, as each individual is different. Factors such as starting levels of bodyfat, relative metabolic rate, age, and gender all come into play.
I'm trying to bring up my back on width and thickness, what type of exercises should I be doing?
For back width, nothing beats pull-ups. Lat pulldowns are a good exercise, but they simply don't compare to pull-ups, which are far more difficult and thus more productive. For back thickness, it's all about various free weight rows: barbell rows, dumbbell rows, and T-bar rows. Deadlifts can also be a valuable tool in building a thicker back, but only when done with proper form. I've seen many bodybuilders injure their lower backs because they simply didn't know how to do the exercise correctly and made common mistakes such as rounding the back. Everyone who wants to add deadlifts to their back program should seek out an experienced trainer who can teach proper technique. With that done, a comprehensive back routine would include pull-ups, some type of barbell or dumbbell row, a lat pulldown, perhaps a cable or machine row, and deadlifts.
Massive respect! You've transformed and revamped some of the best bodybuilders in the world. What are the best exercises for side deltoids besides lateral raises to really make them pop and give you that wide frame?
Lateral raises and overhead presses are the two key movements for building impressive shoulders. But don't just stick with the standard standing lateral raise with dumbbells. Try doing them seated at some workouts, or with one hand and leaning away at others. Use a cable and do them in front of the body, or behind the back. You can also use any one of several seated or standing lateral raise machines. Do straight sets on some occasions, and other times you can do things like drop sets, up and down the rack sets, or FST-7 sets. Infuse the same type of variety into your presses. You can do them seated or standing with either a barbell or dumbbells, use a Smith machine, or one made by Hammer Strength or some other manufacturer. The point is, never let your delts become acclimated to any one workout. As they continually struggle to adapt, your shoulders will grow rounder and larger over time.
I have a question on the FST-7 beginner workouts. On the 7's, are we supposed to flex the target muscle for the entire length of time between the sets? I'm doing 30-45 seconds in between sets of straight flexing. I have a quick mouth full of h20 first. Is this okay?
I wouldn't recommend flexing between all the sets as you're doing, because this will cause the muscle to fatigue before you've had a chance to thoroughly tax it with the 7's, as is the goal. Remember, the weight you use for your 7's should be challenging, and all that flexing will limit your ability to handle heavy weights. What I would advise is to flex for two sets in a row, and stretch for the duration of the third set. This is repeated again, and after your seventh set you can do one final flex immediately followed up by one last stretch. Most bodybuilders find this leads to the most amazing pump possible.
Third annual FST-7 Transformation set to begin!
The next FST-7 Transformation begins in January. You'll get a full three-month training and nutrition program. For more details, visit www.fst-7.com.
Due to popular demand, next time I will present an in-depth look at supplement timing. You'll learn what you should be taking, at what times, and in what amounts to reach your goals and make the most of your physique.