fbpx

Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

guest

Privacy policy.

527 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sean Dunstone
Sean Dunstone
December 12, 2020 23:35

Hi Andy, I hope you are doing well – I see that COVID cases in Tokyo have hit a record since the beginning of the pandemic.

Occupationally, I am required to maintain a high level of aerobic fitness (e.g. beep test level 10 minimum). I am starting the novice bodybuilding program as of Monday, and wondering how I can incorporate my cardio training into it.
Would it be a bad idea to add sprinting or high intensity work outs on a treadmill at he end of the session 3 times a week?
Ideally I’d like to stick to the bodybuilding program only but I can’t because I must maintain a level of aerobic fitness.

Thanks.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 14, 2020 08:21
Reply to  Sean Dunstone

Hi Sean, thank you for the question.

There can be an interference-effect. The dose makes the poison. In this case, the dose you probably need to achieve and maintain a level 10 isn’t high enough to poison your gym training efforts. But steady-state cardio (perhaps that you slowly ramp up one session a week) is going to be easier to recover from than HIIT, and the training more closely matches your test circumstances.

John Desvarieux
John Desvarieux
December 6, 2020 08:42

Could you replace the incline press with a vertical press in the upper volume days?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 6, 2020 15:37

Sure.

John Desvarieux
John Desvarieux
December 6, 2020 05:10

Is the schedule day 1: lower day 2: upper rest day 3: lower day 4: upper ?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 6, 2020 15:37

Hi John,

It’s a four-day per week program, meaning you have three rest days. You’re free to split this as you like, but I’d recommend having no more than two training days back to back.

Joe O Connor
Joe O Connor
December 4, 2020 22:30

Hey Andy, I was wondering how to do progressive overload on the likes of the lat pulldown and tricep rope push downs when the weight is in increments of 9kg and 4kg respectively? Any help would be much appreciated!

Joe

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 5, 2020 09:20
Reply to  Joe O Connor

Hi Joe,

They will almost certainly be 10 and 20 lb increments, but they rounded the numbers when converting to kilos. You can use the same linear progression and linear periodization or double progression rules.

Joe O Connor
Joe O Connor
December 5, 2020 10:10
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks very much Andy! This will be so helpful!!

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
November 29, 2020 19:09

Hey Andy, hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I have been making really great progress on this lean bulk with your program. I just had two questions for clarification

In the book it says when stalling on a weight twice during the novice progression, “return to same progression pattern but increase load only half as much” (pg. 241)

  • Does this mean for Bench Press for example, if I were to stall on a weight twice: I would now deload 10% for a third time and also incorporate micro-loading and just work my way back up?

For Chest Fly’s

  • Would it be okay to substitute for Decline Bench Press to target Lower Pecs? I don’t have a cable machine & I don’t like how DB Fly’s feel

Thank you!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 30, 2020 09:59
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ,

For questions specifically on the book’s content, please see the support page we have created. You’ll see Eric and I have answered close to 1000 questions there.

Danny
Danny
November 27, 2020 13:35

Do you think rear delt isolation exercises like facepulls/reverse flys are necessary in this routine?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 27, 2020 14:51
Reply to  Danny

Hi Danny,

No. If we did, we’d have put them in.

Lars
Lars
November 18, 2020 07:19

What deadlift variant would you recommend for overall mass and strength?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 18, 2020 09:08
Reply to  Lars

Hard to beat the conventional or sumo barbell deadlift. Either one.

Khalid
Khalid
November 12, 2020 03:13

Hi Andy,

I have a question on deloads and one relating to front squats:

  • I am on a cut and have stalled on some movements. Sometimes a full deload is programmed for me (-1 set, -10% weight). Should I apply the -10% novice deload protocol on movements that have stalled for the past two weeks, and work back up, or should I just stick to the prescribed RPE and wait till a full deload is programmed for me?
  • For front squats, as the weights get heavier I notice it puts strain on my fingers ( I use an Olympic grip). Is the cross body grip an effective alternative?

Kind regards,
Khalid

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 12, 2020 09:51
Reply to  Khalid

Hi Khalid, thank you for the questions.

1. When a full deload is programmed, have it across all exercises. When that is not the case and you struggle two weeks consecutively, take a deload for that exercise of 10% (lift 90% of the load you could previously get).

After the deload, if after warming up you feel you can lift the next incremental load (perhaps 103%, for example), please do so. If you need to stay at the same weight (100%), please do so. If you need to lift slightly less (97%), please do so. — Let first set RPE dictate the load selection.

So for example, if you did 3*8*100 on the squat row this week, next week do 2*8*90, and then if the RPE allows, progress to 3*8*102.5 after the deload week.

2. You can use a cross arm grip. I do this myself.

Khalid
Khalid
November 12, 2020 10:02
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks Andy!

Aleksander
Aleksander
November 6, 2020 04:56

How many weeks should I train this program?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 6, 2020 12:44
Reply to  Aleksander

Hi Aleksander, thank you for the question.

For as many as you continue to progress. 💪🏻

Jaden
Jaden
October 18, 2020 21:01

In the book, you mentioned for hypertrophy, RPE should mostly be 5-10.

When should we train at low RPE (RPE 5-6) for a bodybuilding program? In the routine above, all of the exercises are listed at high RPE (RPE8) for first set whereas in the powerlifting program, there is a technique building day where we should train at very low RPE.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 20, 2020 10:18
Reply to  Jaden
Jaden
Jaden
October 20, 2020 23:29
Reply to  Andy Morgan

OK Thanks for the reply, one more question: In day 1: Lower body(strength), will my squat be weaker after doing deadlifts? If so, which exercises should I perform first?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 21, 2020 09:39
Reply to  Jaden

The squats are programmed first. I recommend you lift in the order written.

Miguel
Miguel
October 16, 2020 01:35

Excellent info.
I got confused as after reading many coaches, the common split for beginners is a 3x fullbody workout. Do you have any available, or the Lower/Upper split is the only one?
Thanks anyway for such an interesting content and for free!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 20, 2020 09:15
Reply to  Miguel

Hi Miguel,

Sure, here’s my three-day Big 3 Workout. The article I linked to at the top covers the differences between the programs I have available: How to Choose The Right Training Program.

Frankly, I have this program labeled as “beginner” because it performs better in a Google search than Novice, which is how it’s actually intended.

The popularity of three-day programs for true beginners is as much to do with not giving someone more time commitment than they can handle, as it is not giving them more training stimulus than they can handle. (Beginner > Novice > Intermediate > Advanced)

Hope that helps!

Leo
Leo
September 30, 2020 11:31

Hi, according to the linear progression, if I manage to complete the target repetitions for all sets, I will increase the load the following week. So how many sets should I perform for a compound exercise to optimize progress? For example, performing 3sets of squats will progress faster than 5 sets of squats right?

If I perform too much sets for a given exercise, wouldn’t that slow down my progress because it will be harder to complete the target reps for all 5 sets each week versus only doing 3 sets?

I have the book btw, so maybe it was explained in it but I missed it.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 1, 2020 18:07
Reply to  Leo

Hi Leo,

There is no “best program,” or “best number of sets for compound movements.” Different programs have different combinations of frequency, intensity of effort and load, and training volume. No one program or number of sets is for all people at all times.

This guide will help you choose a program: How to Choose the Right Training Program

This guide will help explain how the variables come together to create programs: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
September 13, 2020 18:45

Hey Andy,

I have a complete home gym with a squat rack, cable machine, and dumbbells. I read that you recommend to substitute:
Leg Press > Front Squats
Leg Extension > Barbell Bulgarian Split Squats
Leg Curls > RDL’s

Do we stick to the same rep ranges for each one, because for the RDL’s the 3×12 rep range really taxes me out. Should I lower the rep range to 8 or perhaps just really lower the weight and stick to the given 12 reps each set.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 14, 2020 07:00
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ, I can’t offer to re-work the program for you based on your equipment availability, but here’s my guide to exercise selection which should be useful. Either rep range will work fine.

Jeff L
Jeff L
September 10, 2020 09:44

For Lower Day 1 on the Deadlift Variant, would there be any benefit to doing RDL’s over a conventional deadlift?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 10, 2020 13:54
Reply to  Jeff L

Hi Jeff,

Pros and cons, but very similar exercises. Without specific reasons, I’d stick with the options we have. If you have reasons to not do those and the RDL works for you, please feel free to do that. Here’s my guide to exercise selection.

Max
Max
September 4, 2020 17:29

Hey Andy,

pretty basic question here, but what is it about “feeling the muscles work”?

On any exercise, there are basically two ways of executing them, in my opinion.
The first would just be with proper form, and without much attention paid to the “burn” etc.
The other would also include proper form, but would shift the focus on really feeling the muscles work, meaning slow negative, peak contraction with a x-second hold, and so on.
Which version would you recommend? Is there any difference between compound and isolation exercises in this regard? I find it a lot harder to progress with the second version, but there are a lot of different opinions about this topic in the industry.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 8, 2020 10:17
Reply to  Max

Hi Max, thank you for the question.

In my opinion, the place for “feeling the muscles work” is as a troubleshooting step if progress is not made after the more important things are covered. I would absolutely not recommend a novice trainee try it because they can lose themselves in trying to “feel” the muscles when they don’t have the mind-muscle connection for that yet.

1. Focus on lifting with good form and trust that the target muscles will be hit.

2. Purposefully slowing the tempo to “feel” the muscle will likely lead to more soreness (both at the time and the days after), but it leads to less training volume being done and is therefore likely inferior. Perform forceful concentric contractions and control the eccentric to some degree.

3. Soreness will happen whenever an exercise is unfamiliar, and thereafter it will come in waves as fatigue builds and subsides. But soreness (or a lack of) is not a gauge of a good workout — progression in load over time is.

Max
Max
September 8, 2020 18:35
Reply to  Andy Morgan

That’s what I was looking for, thanks a lot!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 9, 2020 07:58
Reply to  Max

Most welcome!

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
September 4, 2020 11:58

Hey Andy, I have been training with your Novice BB program for two weeks and it’s been really great so far. I had some questions for clarification.

1.Is it okay to T Bar row (Bending over) for horizontal pull even though lower back may be compromised? I would do seated row but it hurts my shoulders for some reason.

2.On lower body day 1, for Squats I typically warm up three sets building up to my working set. Since Deadlift is the next exercise do you recommend including Deadlift warm up sets as well or would it be safe to go straight into my working sets because my legs are already warmed up from squats? I feel like I am taxing myself from warming up for Deadlifts too sometimes

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 8, 2020 10:04
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ, thank you for the questions.

1. Could be a form issue (including seat height and the way you’re gripping), so I’d consider experimenting a bit more with that. But as long as your lower back feels fine, then swapping to a non-supported version fine. Otherwise, consider another chest supported row like 1-arm DB rows with the other arm supported on a bench.

2. It’s always best to warm-up for these big compound exercises. Even if your body temperature is high, you want to practice the movement pattern. Just don’t do it so much that you are fatigued. Here’s my guide to warming up.

Johnson
Johnson
August 30, 2020 22:37

Hi Andy, just curious, how come you didn’t include any forearm isolation exercises like reverse curls/ wrist curls?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 31, 2020 09:16
Reply to  Johnson

Hi Johnson, thank you for the question.

I haven’t found it necessary. The forearms are worked through the course of your regular training.

Ali Hassan
Ali Hassan
August 25, 2020 18:29

Hey Sir!
I hope you are well. I love your website. This is the best resource i ever visited. You are doing great job.
Sir i have a question … In the program you used ‘%1RM’ and ‘RPE’ scales for intensity. In one exercise you used %1RM and in the other RPE, why?
For example in Day Two.. ‘Upper Body Strength’, for horizontal push you used %1RM and for second exercise horizontal pull, you used RPE… why is that? can’t we use same for both or is there any difference/reason?
Thanks.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 26, 2020 08:29
Reply to  Ali Hassan

Hi Ali, thank you.

The %1RM is there to guide the load selection the first time you lift, for those who are new to RPE and wouldn’t know what load to choose otherwise.

For the second session onward, you’ll ignore this number.

To know the %1RM, you need to know (or estimate) your 1RM. Some exercises don’t lend themselves well to that, so we’ve omitted them. In this case, you’ll guess at the load you can do, based on experience. If you have no experience, just choose a load and see how you do. Nobody is perfect the first time.

Alex
Alex
August 24, 2020 17:37

I’m following the Novice program from the Muscle Pyramid book. It is a lower/upper 4 days per week program. Could I take all of the exercises and programming from it and spread it out into a Push/Pull/Legs 6 day per week program? Or should I stick with the suggested lower/upper?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 25, 2020 07:35
Reply to  Alex

You could, but the same work spread over six sessions isn’t likely to achieve a different result. This article may interest you: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
August 23, 2020 18:12

Hey Andy,

Thank you for sharing. What exactly constitutes a “beginner”, someone less than two years of experience?

How long should someone use this program before moving up into the intermediate program in the ebook?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 24, 2020 09:45
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ, thank you for the comment. There are many ways to define it, but here’s how I want you to think about it:

1. Someone who can progress linearly (add load) from session to session.
2. For as long as you continue to progress with it.

Scroll to Top