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Bridge 1.0 - Thank you

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  • Bridge 1.0 - Thank you

    Barbell Medicine Team,

    Thank you for the Bridge 1.0. It is a great program. After struggling through SSLP and trying Madcow, I am on week 6 of the Bridge and actually look forward to the training. I can tell that my work capacity has increased, and my lifts are steadily going up. I'm also not sore and am able to recover better than on the other programs.

    One question - how does one tell which program to do next? I have 2 weeks left on The Bridge, and then have several weeks of work-related travel, so I am thinking about doing the 4-week Time Crunch template.

    Thanks again for a great program.


  • #2
    I am on week 7 of the bridge and am planning on running 3 day hypertrophy template next. I have been lifting for about a year, quite seriously since September.

    My tentative plan for the rest of 2019 looks like the following:

    - Finish the Bridge 1.0
    - Hypertrophy 3 day
    - The Bridge 3.0 OR HLM
    - The Bridge 3.0 OR HLM
    - Hypertrophy 3 Day OR 4 Day
    - The Bridge 3.0 OR HLM OR 12 Week Strength (if 4 day Hypertrophy prior; otherwise keep rotating my preference of B3 or HLM with 3 day hypertrophy until I am ready to move on)

    I have the master template and also plan to run the GPP Endurance at some point as a change of pace but probably not for awhile. My main goals are strength first then hypertrophy.

    I anticipate my job to be busiest in August as usual and I a running a hypertrophy template then rather than strength accordingly, so may consider time crunch too.


    • #3
      Generally a good method is to cycle a strength program with a hypertrophy program. However, it also depends on what you want to do. What are your long term goals and how does the current block feed into that goal. Here is a thread where this is discussed:

      I have run hypertrophy programs back to back for the last couple of blocks (Hyp v2 3 day, Hyp v3 3 day, Hyp v3 4 day) due to my focus on losing body fat while maintaining strength. Looking at my goal and what I should do, I should "theoretically" continue running Hyp until I am at the level of body fat I want to be. However, I am, mentally, craving some heavier lifting. As such, once this hypertrophy block is over I will be doing Bridge v3 at maintenance.



      • Manu
        Manu commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Ted, I am curious in why you say you should "theoretically" run hyperthrophy template until you reach your goal of body fat. Could you please explain this a little bit more? What do you think are the benefits of Hyp vs The Bridge for achievieng your goals?
        I am interested in hearing more about that because I am in a similar situation. I am 85kg, 92cm waist and about 20-24% bodyfat . My goal now is to gain some lean body mass. I was thinking about running Bridge 3.0 after finishing Bridge 1.0 and maybe doing 3 day Hyperthrophy after that.
        It would be great to know your thoughts about why you think hyperthrophy is better for losing bodyfat.
        Thank you.

    • #4
      Manu I am replying to you here as distinct from a comment as I ended up typing a bit more than I initially thought... Oops...

      The answer to your question directly:

      The hypertrophy templates have more volume which is better for maintaining muscle tissue on a caloric deficit.

      The more nuanced answer (still a bit light as there is much more to it):

      The key point is that body fat is lost through diet. However, the amount of muscle retained is (assuming protein needs are met) due to programming. On a fat loss, the key is to keep as much muscle as possible. This is the same as trying to gain as much muscle as possible if on a caloric surplus (within moderate limits, not a dirty bulk). The only difference is the caloric intake. The literature, and it seems the bros had this right, shows that volume is the key to increasing muscle size. So training for muscle size and cutting calories (again moderate deficit, there are other posts across this forum on this topic (some info here with further links therein result in the maximum retention of muscle mass. This is done by taking fat loss long and slow and by training for hypertrophy. If one is training to gain muscle and the limiting factor is caloric intake, the body will likely retain as much muscle as possible.

      Training for strength includes some volume; this is as part of the strength equation is hypertrophy, but the other parts of the strength equation are skill (i.e. in able to handle a single max effort) and neurological adaptations (i.e. with the muscle you have can you (i.e. your brain) use all the muscle fibers available to it). This is why on a fat loss you can gain strength, but as training is specific, training for strength will train more skill and neurological factor and less hypertrophy, which inevitably means some muscle loss on a caloric deficit .

      Bodybuilders train with high volume (sometimes too much), they don't care about weight lifted (to a point) and use diet to manipulate calories and end up incredibly lean, both natural and chemically assisted. The process is the same between the two. The volume training is there to keep the muscle loss to an absolute minimum (some will inevitably be lost, that is how the body works, but we want to minimise it as much as possible).

      If your goal is to get as shredded as possible and maintaining all muscle possible, it is hypertrophy training all the way down. However, I guess most on this form want to also build strength. As training is specific (there it is again), you need to pick a specific goal(s) (long, medium, short) and work towards those.

      For example: I am looking to get leaner, minimise muscle loss, but also minimise strength loss. Thus why it has been hypertrophy for the last few blocks. However, I am itching a bit to consolidate and increase strength while keeping body fat where it is. So I plan to slowly increase calories next block while doing Bridge v3 and then likely resume fat loss on a Hypertrophy v3 4 day. I started to focus on slow body fat loss in September/October 2018 at around 89kgs with a 97cms waist resulting in around 24.5% body fat and circa 67kgs lean body mass. I am now 84kgs with a 90cms waist resulting in around 19.5% body fat and keeping at circa 67kgs lean body mass (yes I record and track all these stats), with minimal loss in strength (keeping my [email protected] at PR levels, or just short of). So my short term goal is being accomplished. My new short term goal is to change next block to build strength and keep body fat where it is (emerging strategy type view of the next block). My medium term goal has been and is to get down to 12% body fat which translates to around 75kgs at 80cms waist, while keeping strength at current levels. My long term goal is to max out my muscle mass (I add some bro work in my GPP for delts/calves/arms) and strength while staying between 12% to 15%. My projected maximum weight at 12% body fat is circa 93kgs which has a 80cms waist circa 82kgs of lean body mass, which admitted is just a guide and a rough projection. That is a gain of circa 15kgs of lean muscle and despite being a rough projection, it is a goal to work towards. The long term goal needs me to get to 12% first and then slow muscle gain bulk and strength gain to 17% (I don't want to be fatter), lean down again to 12% while keeping all muscle gained to that point and strength gained to that point, then slow muscle gain bulk and strength gain to 17%, rinse and repeat ad naseum.


      • #5
        Thanks for your answer teddyd . Makes sense all that you are saying. I will read it again to be sure not to miss anything.
        ​​​​​​My goal until now was to lose some weight, after a couple of years trying to do it unsuccessfully I finally lost around 15 kg in the last 5 months so now I am trying to figure out what are my next goals. I think I should focus on gaining some strength first (although I have been strength training intermittently for the past 5 years I consider myself as a novice) and let the hypertrophy for later. I will try to maintain my weight as it is until May or June and do the bridge from start to end a couple of times or maybe alternate with hypertrophy and see how it goes.
        My biggest problem in the past has been quitting training when I couldn't add more weight to the bar, usually after 3 to 4 months because I didn't know what to do then (I was doing SL 5x5). With the Barbell Medicine programs at least I know what to do after the linear progression ends so hopefully I will not quit this time .
        Thanks again for your answer.