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Should I train (and eat) like a novice?

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  • Should I train (and eat) like a novice?

    TLDR: not sure if I should try NLP and GOMAD or jump straight into the bridge and go easier on the calories.

    I'm 25, 6'2", 162lbs, ~11% bf (skinfold). I've always been very skinny. Lifts are 295x6 deads / 225x5 squat / 165x5 bench / 95x5 press.

    PROGRAMMING
    Been doing SS-style (in terms of form) lifts as part of a bodybuilding-ish program for 6 months (and dumber bodybuilding programming without big lifts for 6 months before that). Going to the gym 5x a week, and each workout (chest-abs / back-calves / shoulder-abs / legs-calves / arms-abs) starts with 4-6 x 3sets of one of the 4 big lifts (no powercleans), adding weight each time I hit 6 reps.

    NUTRITION
    I gained for most of that year, eating 3200 calories (55% carbs, 25% protein, 20% fat) at the peak, and I grew from 140 to 175lbs. Then I went on a "cut" (I know, stupid) for 2 months and landed at 2100 cals (50, 30, 20).

    Question 1:
    In terms of programming, should I try NLP or jump straight into the bridge? I'm used to more training volume than NLP, and I've made steady gains (weight and strength) doing the big lifts over the past 6 months, BUT I'm underweight and weak and have been doing each big lift just once per week (but benching twice).

    Question 2:
    In terms of nutrition, should I bank on sustained novice gains and eat accordingly (maybe GOMAD and aim for ~4500 calories total, like Case Study 1 in Jordan's TBAB article)? Or, if those swift results are unlikely to occur (since I've already gained ~20lbs good weight and I'm not exactly untrained), maybe I should stick to something less drastic like 3500ish calories (or even less). What do you all think?

    I'm definitely open to other options, too. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Tyler,

    Thanks for the post and for joining us here. As for your question, it seems like you're wanting some outside guidance about what is right for you programming and nutrition wise, but you have not stated what your actual goals are and motivations for obtaining those goals.

    In any event, if you put strength as a high priority for long term development (a reasonable idea) then I think you could do LP. GOMAD is up to you. Nothing special about it unless it's the only way you'll be a calorie surplus. Once NLP stops working, go to the The Bridge and continue gaining weight. You've been doing a bunch of training volume that has not been productive so I'd wager that doing a more focused, higher intensity program will probably be fine.

    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Thanks for the response, Jordan! You guessed my goals correctly: I want to get stronger (also bigger), and I'm more concerned with long term progress. Per your advice, I'll start LP soon and see where it takes me.

      I'm still curious about nutrition. I have your TBAB article in mind, since your case studies #1 & 2 are roughly equivalent to my situation: "Johnny" is 5'10" (4" shorter than me) and starts out at 160lbs (my current weight) completely untrained (not exactly like me). You have him gain weight rapidly for the first ~6-8weeks until he hits 20% bf, since apparently this will help him maximize his NLP gains later on. After that period at 4200-4800kCal (Case Study 1), you take him down to 3800 so that he gains weight (esp. fat) at a slower rate (Case Study 2).

      I guess my question is whether I should think like Case Study #1 (gain weight quickly until I hit 20%bf) or Case Study 2 (slower, more balanced fat-muscle gain). Like CS#1, I'm very skinny, but like CS#2, I've already had some exposure to training (albeit less productive/focused/intense than LP). Will gaining weight quickly (as in CS#1) still be beneficial to my LP progress, given that I'm not purely untrained?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tyler View Post

        I'm still curious about nutrition. I have your TBAB article in mind, since your case studies #1 & 2 are roughly equivalent to my situation: "Johnny" is 5'10" (4" shorter than me) and starts out at 160lbs (my current weight) completely untrained (not exactly like me). You have him gain weight rapidly for the first ~6-8weeks until he hits 20% bf, since apparently this will help him maximize his NLP gains later on. After that period at 4200-4800kCal (Case Study 1), you take him down to 3800 so that he gains weight (esp. fat) at a slower rate (Case Study 2).
        Yea but you're not untrained so a rapid weight gain is unlikely to do much for you at this point. Additionally, all calorie prescriptions and management must be done empirically, i.e. based off what's happening with you.


        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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