Barbell Big Three Crop narrow

Barbell Big Three The best bodies in the world were built with these basics.

There are multiple ways to go about achieving the same shredded look with resistance training. There is already too much training information available on the internet. My goal is not to add to it, but to simplify it. The topic is too vast and varied to cohesively guide on everything without confusing and paralysing people with information. It’s simply not necessary either.

We will focus on a training style with a bias towards progressive strength gains in the main compound movements. I believe this is the fastest way to get strong, fit, and change your physique with the least risk of spinning your wheels (i.e. effort without results).

I don’t want you to waste years of your life, as I did, before finding what really works.

You can achieve amazing change by training just 3 days a week for an hour.

If you are new to training, you’re in luck. This will be the best training year of your life, and is your opportunity to make the most dramatic changes to your body. You will have ‘beginner bonus gains’ as I like to call them. Do not waste this opportunity, and do not suffer fools that try to steer you off the path toward ineffective routines.

If you have been training a while and haven’t seen the progress you thought you would, a renewed focus on the basics will benefit you greatly also. It’s not too late to start now, but it would be a waste to continue something and expect a different result.


Training Principles

 

1. Progressive Overload Must Occur

An effective training routine must follow The Principle of Progressive Overload. This means it must allow for you to consistently add reps, or weight to the bar over time to drive physical adaptation and change.

Barbells exercises are best I feel: They are one of the easiest tools for allowing incremental loading, they are toughest to cheat on, and the easiest to gauge your progress with.

 

2. Volume and Frequency Needs Be Appropriate for Your Training Level

A beginner needs less overall training volume to bring about change than an advanced lifter. Do the minimum you can to keep progressing at a sustainable rate. The pros train 5+ days a week because they have built up the workout tolerance for it, and also because they need it to still make gains. (You’ll also see skinny guys down the gym copying them without knowing any better. Focus on your own training, not others.)

<—- Beginner — Intermediate — Advanced —->

Cutting:   3 days — 3 days — 3-4 days

Bulking:   3 days — 3-4 days — 4-6 days

Most trainees are not nearly as ‘advanced’ as they thinkCheck your ego at the door. Do not jump to something you perceive to be more ‘advanced’ – you’ll simply make slower progress. Simple training routines focused on barbels do not make for a sexy article in a magazine which is why you don’t generally see them in there.

 

3. You Must Always Strive To Use Good Form

If you do not use correct form you will not only sacrifice your gains, but set yourself up for injury somewhere in the not-too-distant future. Training with good form is critically important.  I recommend you to:

  1. Read Mark Rippetoe’s ‘Starting Strength – 3rd Edition‘. He’s considered one of the best. It is the best ‘how-to’ guide to performing barbel exercises I have ever read.
  2. Watch his Youtube video lectures. Video yourself and check your form my comparing.
  3. Invest in a good personal trainer to check your form. (Easier said than done, 99% of the staff in commercial gyms will be clueless, hence this comes in third. For most people self-teaching is the only viable option.)

Making a small investment now will pay big dividends in the future. The mindset, “I’m going to practice these barbell lifts”  rather than, “I’m going to crust a huge weight!” when you walk into the gym each day is an important one, especially when you’re starting out.

Form is something that you will work on for months and even years. So don’t get an ego about it, stay humble, have the mindset of practice, and you can’t help but get stronger and grow.

 

4. Adequate Recovery Is As Important As The Training Itself

Training provides the stimulus and stress telling your body to adapt. Recovery allows the adaptations to take place. This means:

  1. Getting sufficient sleep
  2. Minimizing stress in the other areas of your life
  3. Giving your body the food it needs

Don’t neglect any of these areas or it will hold you back.


Choosing The Right Routine

Don’t worry, I have you covered here too. First though two things I’d like to make clear:

  • The most important thing for the beginner trainee is that you get on a good strength training program then stick to it. There’s not really any point in you arguing the minor differences between good, tried and proven strength routines. Nor do you really have a base from which to judge them independently. Just start something.
  • The most important thing for the intermediate and advanced trainee becomes not what program you follow (for you must have followed a good one or you wouldn’t be intermediate or advanced), but how you tweak it to follow the principle of progressive overload so that you keep advancing with your training.

All good? Excellent. Let’s move onwards then on choosing the right routine for yourself.

Next: Which Routine Is For Me? →

479 Comments on “Training Effectively – Core Principles”

  1. Pingback: A Full Guide To Progressing Your Chin-ups | RippedBody.jp

  2. Enrique

    Hi Andy, sort of an awkward question. Is it true that heavy squatting and deadlifting can cause hemorrhoids? I’ve never experienced them myself, but I’ve heard about a lot of people that got them from lifting heavy things. If it is true, what can we do to prevent them when training? Some people say you should do the Valsalva Maneuver while others say that the pressure build up in the abdomen from doing it can cause more problems. I found it weird that there is not much information on this topic especially since a lot of powerlifters suffer from hemorrhoids.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Enrique. I can recall hearing of this once. I’m not aware of any connection, not to say there isn’t one (my powerlifting friends are Japanese, and they wouldn’t discuss this sort of thing), but that I haven’t looked into it. I would assume that it’s rare given that I haven’t heard of it even through all the people I’ve trained and interacted with online. Your doctor might be your best bet. Greg Nuckols might know more. (Strengtheory.com) If you find out let me know.

      1. Enrique

        Hi Andy, I just read a bit more about it and asked a friend of mine who is a doctor. Apparently the lack of information is because people don’t like too talk about it. 50% of people get them before they turn 50. The epidiemology is huge. In the end probably the biggest factor is your genetics and wether your veins in that area are weak or strong. The thing is that anything can put you at risk. Endurance training, weighlifting, sitting too much, being too weak. So I guess there’s no point worrying about them. I know endurance athletes who have had them and I know couch potatos who have had them. General guidelines should be don’t put pressure on your anus when you lift, don’t turn the toilet into your office and don’t overdo the wiping. I guess that it is reassuring that you have never heard it from any of your clients.

        Thanks for the reply

  3. Chiranjeev Sharma

    Hey Andy! Hope you’re doing well. I just started training 3x week.I like to hit everybody part 3 times weekly mostly compound movements like shoulder press, incline bench press, deadlift, squats, chin-up and sometimes pull-ups but it feels like as if I’m not doing much in the gym. How important are the accessory exercises for someone who wants to compete. Thanks in advance andy.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Chiranjeev. The more advanced people get, the more that symmetry and balance gets important. But for those that don’t have a good base to start with, too much focus on accessories is akin to chiselling a pebble.

      Thus, the only way to answer your question is: Increasingly important the more advanced one gets, but exceptionally unimportant for the beginner and intermediate. My approach remember is to have strength as the focus and driver of gains. (That is not the only approach of course, but you don’t want to follow that approach then I am not the appropriate person to ask.) More on my thoughts on accessories covered in the FAQ.

  4. Nikos

    Hi Andy,
    Nick here.. :)
    If I want to -clean- bulk, how many times should i workout a week? I mean is the 3 day split (monday deads/chin , wednesday bench/push ups , friday squat/overhead press) enough? Btw thank you for all the great stuff and work you do!

      1. Nikos

        Thank you so much for reply..
        One more question if I am not bothering you.
        Forgot to mention : 34 years old , almost 5 years training and only the half last one on leangains diet style…185 lb, around 12-13% body fat (estimated, visible abs but not deep cut) 220lb squat and 300lb deadlift..
        Question is ; Recomb or bulk? I think that at my age i cannot get bigger but thicker/more solid maybe? (maintenance calories about 2,700) feel like i lost the way..
        Thank you so much!!
        Nikos , Greece :)

  5. daniel

    So, im starting to do a body-recomp with a weekly deficit of ~2500 cal, training 4 days a week (I did the macro calculator of your page), starting to implement “the big 3″ even though I’ve 3 years of lifting (im 20, 18&BF) very curious about this one because it throws away all the “normal” gym routines. Actually this is not a kind of question, just wanted to check it with you and if you have some opions? Thanks Andy

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Daniel, at first I was stumped as to what opinion you wanted given, but I think I get it now, “As a lifter of three years, is this appropriate?”
      There is a world of difference between three years of proper lifting, and three years of screwing around thinking you were lifting but actually achieving little. This is exceptionally hard to admit. You’ll see in the goal setting series that I fell firmly into the latter category for… around 5 years.

      Which you are or whether you fall into some grey area between the two I can’t tell you. However, given your age and the comment that suggests that normal routines to you ignore the compound barbell movements, then there is a very high chance you fall into this latter category also.

      Still, you try it, you see how you recover and progress, and then you adjust accordingly. – All the guides you need to know how to do that are here on the site. Good luck!

  6. Nicolas

    Hi Andy,

    I just discovered your website and it’s great! I may change my routine these next days.
    I have a question for you, on top of this article there is a bulking/cutting that I’m not sure to understand…

    So a good cycle for a beginner would be 3 days bulking then 3 days cutting, when you’re in 3 day split routine how do you organize those 3 days? Do you plan you’re bulking days when training or have they to be consecutive?

  7. Steve

    Hey Andy,

    I wondered if you had any advice, or could recommend a good article on dealing with plateaus. I’ve adopted the RPT structure and IF eating pattern. Although I don’t count macros I do pay close attention to the foods recommended on your site.

    My top set on bench has been stuck for months at 105kg for 6. I’m wondering if the solution would be to pay closer attention to macros, or whether there’s usually some other simple solution for people like me relatively new to RPT/IF ?

    Thanks as always for the amazing site.

      1. steve

        Hi Andy,

        Thanks for the reply.

        I’m not cutting or dieting, but I’ve found that adopting the 1pm – 8pm IF feeding window and concentrating on the recommend foods means I’m losing weight. I started this approach to eating a little over a month ago and I’ve lost a few kilos over that time – I weigh over 100kg so it’s not a big proportional drop.

        However, my bench was stuck well before I started my recent more rigorous adherence to the IF approach.

        1. Andy Morgan

          Right, so you’re in a calorie deficit overall. Given that your bench is pretty good already, and the extra distance that the bar has to travel as you get leaner, the lack of increases in strength isn’t surprising and is probably something you just have to accept for the duration of the cut, assuming that fat loss is your goal.

          1. steve

            Thanks Andy,

            Just to check so I’m not misunderstanding the IF feeding window approach.

            Is that something you should only do as part of a cut? If you’re looking to either bulk or maintain should you abandon the 1pm – 8pm approach? Or does it not matter as long as you are getting the required calories for a bulk/maintenance?

            Cheers

  8. Tiago

    Hello again.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I’l follow your advice and see if i can make it.

    About lifting experience, when i did weight training, the last 2 years my trainings were basically 5×5 with compound exercises (deadlifts, squats, bench press, and chin ups, barbell shoulder press). So i feel pretty comfortable performing the exercises.

    The diet is the tricky part for me, counting all the stuff, but i maybe i can do it.

    About training, do you think following Three Day Split RPT (so 3 days a week) can make achieve what i want?

    Thank you!

  9. Tiago

    Hello Mr. Andy Morgan.

    First of all, thank you for writing all you’ve been writing about Intermittent Fasting, it was from you that i started to read about it and become very interested. So thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    I want to lose some fat but i was never good counting calories, macros etc and that’s why i’d like you to be my coach, to help me achieve my goals.

    The thing is, and before filling the questionnaire, i’d like to know if what i want can be achieved with cardio and no weights? I know that you say it’s really important to do weight training to have the best results. I dont weight train but i did it for some years until i quit Oct 2012. From that to now, i just do running. Surprisingly, i thought i’d lose all i gained in the gym by this time, but the fact is that i still mantain some muscle mass. I’m not fat, i can see my abs but my lower abdomen bother me and i’d like to get ripped, like many of your clients, and you obviously.

    So if you really think that the best results to achieve what i want is through weight training, than i’m willing to do it, for sure.

    Thanks a lot for your time and sorry for the big text.

    Keep the awesome job.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Tiago. Counting is part of the process. I can help you with that for sure, but there is no getting around it. You can see here for my guide to counting macros and start practicing now. – With practice it becomes fairly simple, but I won’t pretend that it is for everyone.

      Exercise is essential to muscle preservation when in a calorie deficit. Resistance training is the best way to ensure that all areas of the body are hit, and the loading variables for that are appropriate. If you diet but your only exercise is running, you will lose both fat and a degree of muscle mass from your upper body. If you are already fairly lean and are trying to get the last little fat off your lower abdomen, then this effect will be exacerbated. I couldn’t recommend that, and I wouldn’t take you on as a client in those circumstances.

      1. Tiago

        Hi, thanks a lot for your reply, really appreciate.

        I understand, i guess i’ll stop running and back to weight training again to lose this abdomen fat i still have without losing the muscle mass i still have (i also hate running!).
        When i said that about counting it’s because i dont know how many calories i’ll burn and how many i’ll need to have that deficit.

        If i had the pleasure to be your client, could you give me a little help with that?

        Thanks a lot!

        1. Andy Morgan

          We could, when you’ve got the required lifting experience. But honestly it just sounds to me like you need to have a little practice with the diet site of things first and don’t need to hire me, or anyone else for that matter right now.
          Here are the fundamentals:
          1. Make a calculation.
          2. Stick to it.
          3. Track changes over 3 weeks.
          4. Then adjust upwards or downwards based on how your weight changes vs what you were targeting.

          All the guides for that are on the site.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Drew. Avoid it when cutting for sure.
      Further to my opening sentences at the top of this article, this is from the top of the Training Guides – Home page:

      “The following training advice is not the only way to go about things. Whether you choose to follow this advice or not is really up to you, the diet guides will work independently of the training advice here as long as your training is effective, i.e., it follows The Principle of Progressive Overload.

      Questions are welcomed in the comments on any article, but please keep them on topic. If you find something different elsewhere on the internet that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong, better or worse – just different. But avoid the rookie mistake of trying to include parts of everything to create a ‘super routine’. Remember: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

  10. Akshil

    Hi Andy,

    How are you doing? After have trained under you, i have been making gradual progress following the guidelines you gave in our last conversation. As per your suggestion, I switched to the big 3 routine and was making slow and gradual progress adding weight to the bar while remaining around the same weight on the scale for the past 3 months. The past two weeks, I have been failing miserably on squats with being able to manage 175×3 on the first set after reaching a PR of 175x5x5 2 weeks back. My macros are not leaving me hungry and stress is less. I need your guidance on how to continue. I have implemented mobility work as per Tony gentilcore’s articles on my rest days. That helped me get to my PR in the first place .

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

      1. Akshil

        My sleep was sound the last week due to some Hip pain, I felt better for today’s workout although i trained with 170 lbs. Should i evaluate for another week or two more? I love the fact that my work capacity has increased compared to performing the previous RPT training template, would hate to loose that :)

  11. Matt

    Hi Andy,
    I must have read a ton of articles today! All good stuff. Just a couple of things for you to check:
    In this article:
    …must allow for you to consistently add[ing] reps… (add)
    Though I have stated elsewhere that diet [is] accounts for… (this is at the top of the Training Guides main page)
    Cheers,
    Matt

  12. Paul

    Hi Andy – I’ve had great success with your plan (when I followed it religiously for three months and did no other sport) however, I’ve struggled to integrate the plan into my lifestyle (rock climber) which has me training sport specific for 3-6 hours per week and then climbing outdoors once or twice a week. Can you give any guidance regarding the lean gains plan – training, diet planning and rest days – for the person who has a sport that they also train for? Thanks Paul

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Paul, sure.
      1. Add in some more carbs on those days.
      2. Be aware of the overall impacts of the climbing on your training volume and recovery situation. That’s a lot of back work, so you’re going to need less volume in your strength training routine. You may even consider dropping the number of days you strength train.
      This all depends on your goals at the current time of course.

  13. Seah

    Hi Andy,
    How do you design a well structured AB/AB split for an intermediate trying to bulk? How would I incorporate RPT and sufficient volume to induce hypertrophy? You seem to advocate many low rep schemes but I’ve been reading a lot from Dr Schoenfeld who seems to recommend never going below 6 reps for hypertrophy. What core compound movement should I put on an A day and a B day?

    1. Andy Morgan

      I don’t think it’s prudent to worry about this until people have developed a good base of strength first.
      You’re falling into the program hopping trap Chris. Don’t.

      1. Seah

        Thanks Andy, a little frustrated because although I upped my macros, all that happens seemed to be some weight gain around the waist that obscured my abs but I didn’t experience significant strength increases. Bench press remained the roughly the same, only managed to increase 1 rep after 3 months and the rest of my lifts didn’t rise significantly either. I should be in a surplus because there is some fat gain with my waist measurements rising and me looking less lean on my progress pics. I wasn’t too lean to begin with but the thought of cutting down even further when I only weigh 54kg seems weird. But standing at 11-12%without much visible abs, do u think I shud cut first to 7-8% to improve calorie partitioning?

        1. Andy Morgan

          Chris, I totally get where you’re coming from.
          A little fat gain is going to be inevitable and unavoidable now you are bulking, regardless of how careful you are. I’ve told you that before and it’s especially true in your situation where you need to put on a good amount of muscle to get the abs (the real ones) that you so desire.

          I think the issue here is that you’re letting your focus on your abs get in the way of the bigger picture, which is now that you’ve done the work of getting leaner and setting yourself up better hormonally to bulk with less fat gain, you need to put a little fat back on again to let that happen.

          You’re still a relatively inexperienced lifter. Keep pushing up your strength, and move along the ‘linear progression training continuum‘ and the muscle gains will come. I think if you start worrying about slightly more hypertrophy specific rep ranges, you’ll get lost without clear standards to gauge progression, and risk falling back into the pattern of spinning your wheels and second guessing yourself that we worked so hard to get out from.

          1. Seah

            Hey Andy, so you feel I should stay on a surplus despite being over 10%? Should my rest says still be in a deficit?
            When do I know if its time to cut?

            1. Andy Morgan

              Ideally you’ll want to keep cut and bulk cycles to between 8% and 15%. Lyle McDonald’s recommendation would be 10-15% and has to do with the calorie partitioning we’ve mentioned. That’s just a guideline though, not a rule.

  14. Jeroen

    Hij Andy,

    I’ve been following your site for a while now and I love your guides. I noticed you made the switch from 8-12 to 5×5 in the big 3 routine. For a purely physique orientated trainee (hypertrophy) you would still recommend 5×5?

    Kind regards,

    Jeroen

      1. Jeroen

        Many thanks for the reply Andy! I will be starting with the big 3 routine as soon as I’m done here in south east asia. Cant wait to get back in the game :)

  15. macks

    Hi Andy, wanted your opinion on something. I’m currently on a slow bulk and recently switched from Big 3 to RPT after I’d stalled on Big 3 for about 2 months. Initially my heavy set on RPT stayed at the same weight as the Big 3 loads while my two lighter sets increased steadily in reps and weight from week to week. In the last fortnight every set has dropped in weight and reps across all exercises, even my heavy sets that I brought over from Big 3. I am following the example RPT in your post (3 days a week split routine) and can’t understand why this is happening (especially as my macro intake has increased and I’m no longer in a deficit). Have you seen anything like this before? I don’t push my sets too beyond failure, if anything, I stop just short of it. The only thing that I could suggest is that I have issues with insomnia and sleep apnea that might affect my recovery. Looking forward to any insight you might have, mate.

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Macks. Some questions to ask yourself that may help.
      Are you stressed or lacking sleep recently?
      Should you be pushing for maxes every set of still working on form? RPT is very taxing on the CNS.
      Should you be on a full split or would an AB split like the progression example in this article help?

  16. Jason

    Hi! Great site with great info. Two questions:

    1. Rippetoe suggests beginners alternate between overhead press and benchpress, but you seem to suggest sticking strictly with bench. Why?

    2. I’ve read in other places about the benefits of interval sprint training, either after weights or off days. What are your thoughts on that?

    Thanks!

    1. Andy Morgan

      Hi Jason.
      1. Initially people benefit from a very narrow focus, especially if they learning on their own and don’t have someone with them to coach them on these lifts. Limiting options to the basics, purposefully, also stops people from getting ideas about further modifications/additions.
      2. For physique goals? Unnecessary, and likely detrimental, regardless of whether you’re chasing a fat loss goal or a muscle/strength acquisition one.

  17. Tim Goodman

    Hey Andy,

    As an intermediate trainee progressing from a cut into my first slow bulk very soon I’d like to increase my training days from 3 to 4.

    Thinking about programming, I’m tempted to go for:

    Mon: Squat & Overhead Press
    Tuesday: Power Clean & Bent Over Row
    Weds: Rest
    Thursday: Bench Press & Weighted Dips
    Friday: Deadlift & Weighted Chins
    Sat & Sunday: Rest

    Which is basically just adding in the PC’s & Rowing to my current routine.

    I’ve chosen to rest Saturday & Sunday as it fits around my current lifestyle (I play cricket on Saturdays).

    Am I in the right ballpark? Is there anything in there you’d advise against?

    1. Andy Morgan

      Looks good Tim. If you aren’t familiar with the power clean and don’t have access to a coach then I would change it for something else as it poses an unnecessary risk I think. That(s up to you though. Some hip hinge movement would be good there, like hip-thrusts perhaps.

      1. Tim Goodman

        Thank you Andy, it’s always good to have a sense check and your time is much appreciated!

        I actually mean Power Clean from the hang position as I find it a lot easier to master but agree it can be quite complex.

        For anybody interested, Mark Rippetoe teaches it brilliantly in the book ‘Starting Strength’ (in my opinion).

        Hip thrusts are a good shout though, I think I’ll potentially alternate with the hang power cleans fortnightly.

        Cut is pretty much finished now so expect a progress report at your inbox soon!

  18. daledykesDale

    Whereas I continue to maintain my barbell deadlift, as a classic ectomorph, I’ve never looked better since transitioning to gymnastics strength skills. I practice them 5-6 days a week for just a few minutes at a time. Acquisition of the skills is gratifying. The way it makes my body look is bonus. :)

    1. Andy Morgan

      Dale, thanks for the comment. What do you think of that Damian Walters gymnast? Looks pretty amazing to me but I don’t have a trained eye in these things.

  19. Chris Seah

    Hi Andy,
    I’m ending my cut in about 2 weeks time, I was wondering how to transition from 3x a week to 4x a week for a lean bulk when carb cycling. You instructed that I would add 50g of carbs to training and 25g of carbs to rest days. If I change my workout schedule to 4x a week how should I adjust my macros?

    Thanks, my 12 weeks with you was great, hope you can provide more advice!
    Chris

    1. Andy Morgan

      Just adjust the intake as I said, but work out on four days Chris. The difference will be small, and we’ll still be under maintenance at that first transition anyway as you’re building things back up.

  20. Ioannis

    Hi Andy,

    great revision of a classic article. It doesn’t get any clearer.

    What are your thoughts on training less than 3 times a week on a cut for someone older and/or with a stressful schedule? Stuart Mc Robert seems to be a proponent of this.

    As you may recall I have been facing some fatigue issues with the program and I am thinking to add more rest days around the more stressful periods.

    Cheers
    Ioannis

    1. Andy Morgan

      There is definitely a place for it, however it’s is prudent to assume that it’s not necessary then adjusting all variables one by one until you determine this works best.

  21. Ray Riverol

    Hi Andy,

    Previously i was doing an isolation type workout routine every day at lunch for and hour and class (P90x, or nike fitness club or xfit (for a 2nd hour in the evening). This seemed to plateau (as expected) and i was basically doing same amount of weights week in and week out.

    I came across leangains.com and your website and completely revamped my approach.

    Now i have been doing a Monday (bench/squat), Wednesday (overhead press/weighted pullup), Friday (pendeley row/deadlift) routine for 5 or 6 sets of RPT and note down improvements week upon week.

    From doing this, ive had same or even better results from amount i can lift and muscle definition, so basically becoming more efficient with my training and reducing stress to nervous system.

    Im doing 45 day cycles of bulking and cutting. Now being in my cutting phase.

    A couple things i have not been able to improve much on are calves and love handles.

    For calves: I have small calves genetically to begin with, so they have been a sore point to me. Would you suggest on Tue, Thurs or Saturday to do specific exercises for calves to help them grow or add farmers carries as an extra compound body movement? Is there enough stress on calves from just squats and deadlifts?

    For love handle area, would you suggest to add low intensity steady state cardio (keeping my heart rate low) and if so how much should be done? Add to tue, thur, sat “rest” days?

    I guess this may also depend on cutting or bulking phase if would be too much stress on nervous system?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ray

    1. Andy Morgan

      Ray, thanks for the comment. Glad you’re finding the guides useful.

      “Im doing 45 day cycles of bulking and cutting. Now being in my cutting phase.”
      I do not advise setting things in an arbitrary way like this. This is the p90x mentality breaking through still.

      1. If you wish to add in some calf work, as long as it doesn’t hinder the main lift progression by being too sore to balance/produce the required force then that’s fine.

      2. I wouldn’t.

  22. Darren

    Hi Andy,

    Over the past couple of years, I have experimented with your approach at one time getting very good results. However, I did not get the results I wanted due to not completely committing to all of the principles you specified (no cardio, not tracking. etc). I have restarted the program and have started following it to the letter. My question for you if you have ever had the experience where a person has permanently screwed up their metabolism by doing long duration (60 mins.) moderate intensity (75% HR) cardio six times a week? For about eight years, this has been part of my flawed weight loss strategy. I at no time got as lean as I wanted to, I was always hungry, and never as strong as I should be. I am 43 now and I am worried that I may have done permanent damage. Thanks for putting this site together.

    Darren

    1. Andy Morgan

      Spend the last five minutes trying to find where I quoted Alan Aragon on this recently, it was something like the following:
      “I know of no evidence one can permanently damage the metabolism by extended calorie restriction.” I would imagine that extends to the energy input side of the equation through cardio.

      1. Darren

        Thanks for your reply. Would there be anything special I would need to do in order to repair my metabolism other than dropping the cardio and concentrating on strength training?

  23. Jon

    Hi Andy,

    Great site and very interesting. I have always done cardio workout like Instanity or just go jog 2-3 miles on the weekend. I’ve never done weight training before so I watched videos you suggested for Mark. I notice for the Press videos, they are pressing the weights standing up. Is there a big difference if I was to press standing up or bench press? Which is a better recommendation?

    Thank you.

  24. Scott

    Any thoughts on Bryan Haycock’s HST (Hypertrophy Specific Training)? Better or worse than pure strength training on Leangains?

  25. Kierran Clarke

    Hi Andy,

    I have a friend who i am helping out. Do you have a recommendation for a work-out that can be done at home with no/minimal equipment, or an article you can point me too?

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