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Pillars of Growth
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Steelex Offline
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Pillars of Growth
I'm writing this in sort of a looser, rambling style. I don't really have time to edit it like I normally would, so just pick whatever you want out of it.

About 75% of the people training on here are ultimately looking for bigger muscles. Even if they say they're cutting, when they get down to the size they want to be, they'll want bigger arms, chest, whatever. For every guy who says he just wants to be lean, there is a liar. He just may not know it yet.

So with that said, there are two pillars of growth. Without one or the other, you're pretty much going to stay where you are at, or just move very very slowly. Its not worth your time to train just to gain 1-2 lbs of muscle a year. If you gained 10 lbs of muscle in 3 years, you basically wasted 2 years. The worst part is, you probably only had to do 20% more work to get 80% more results.

The first pillar is the easy one, training. Your training has to be sufficient to cause a growth stimulus. Now understand that this changes over time. What you do as a guy lifting for the first time in his life won't cut the mustard later on when you're already 30lbs of muscle heavier and you overhead press 1.5x your bodyweight. It just wont. It all has to increase, weight, intensity, reps, ect. You're going to have to push yourself to a higher level. Now I'm going to say this, you may start squatting 100 lbs, and then a year later you squat 300 lbs and that 100 lbs feels like nothing. Well, when you can squat 550 lbs, that 300 lbs is still going to feel like a whole hell of a fucking lot.

There comes a point when its all going to feel very fucking heavy, and it becomes a mental game of you mentally adapting to that heavy as shit feeling, and pushing forward. The amount of effort you're going to put in to go from 180 to 220 is nothing compared to the work you'll put in to get from 220 to 235. Now say what you want about training styles, light weight vs heavy weight, blah blah blah, but you look at the guy in the IFBB who has made the most improvement in the past 5 years (Dallas Mccarver) and he's retardedly strong. He literally deadlifted more at 25 then Ronnie Coleman ever did. If you watch his videos you can see that hes moving shitheavy fucking weight for moderate reps, while style focusing on muscular contraction. Now you can say "Oh hes a genetic freak and hes on steroids" and you're 100% right, but if a guy who is on a different planet than you genetically and on a heavy dose of super supps needs to lift very heavy iron to grow, then wouldnt that apply to you as well? You have to constantly push yourself to get from point A to point B. If your legs are looking the same after 3 years of lifting, look at your squat numbers. Did they really improve that much? Going from 225 to 315 isnt that big of an improvement just FYI. Going from 225 for 10 to 405 for 20 is a big improvement, and you're going to have some massive fucking legs from that. If not, congratulations you're a world class powerlifter in your weight class. You let the strength gain dictate the food, sleep, drugs, supps, ect. When the strength gains stop, you need to evaluate where you're fucking up.

This ties in directly to the second pillar which is growth environment. This is the more complex one. Theres no cookie cutter approach to this, but essentially you need to get as close to optimum growth environment (both within yourself and outside of yourself) as possible. This means as much food as you NEED, as much water as you NEED, as much protein as you NEED, as much sleep as you NEED, and the right hormonal environment. You kind of have to evaluate this one on your own, but think about how a baby grows so fast. It sleeps all the time, eats, and has growth hormone surging through its body to trigger growth. Now for some of you, the hormone part is a big fucking issue. Your body can only grow so damn big and hold so much muscle with the hormones you have. This is where you make the choice to use some gear or stay natty. Your call. However, probably 90% of you will choose to go on a cycle way too early, before you've learned how to perfect your training and seen what your genetics can really do.

Its my experience that most people really perfect their training while on a cycle, because they are able to see the results of the tweaks and changes they make in their training routine. Regardless of all of that, you have to figure out how to create the optimum growth environment within yourself to progress, and thats the most challenging part. Training hard is simple, you just train really fucking hard. The hard part is identifying all the variables in your routine such as your hydration, food, drugs, rest, ect. All of these require a lot of heavy lifestyle management on your part, and to be honest this is where most people drop the ball. The growth environment you need to get yourself to level 1 is not the same one you need to get to the next level. Its going to take more food, more rest, possibly more androgens, ect. If you're not growing and you're just plateauing, you need to evaluate whats going on here. Its usually something obvious, like sleep or food. Why? Because they're actually the hardest to control. Its easy to take a needle in the ass, its hard to force feed 5000 cals a day when you're a 190lb guy with the metabolism of a cheetah on ephedra, and its hard to go to bed at a decent hour when your whole life is going on.

Anyway, absorb that shit.
03-29-2017 10:42 PM
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AtyourCervix Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Pillars of Growth
Good thread man. Pleasure to read.
03-30-2017 09:46 AM
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RE: Pillars of Growth
Question: I'm currently looking into starting a PHAT training regimen but due to time constraints/other obligations, I am unable to get to the gym more than 3 days a week.

Right now I'm on a 3 day split with weekends off. Would it be beneficial or a waste of time if I just alternated power and hypertrophy every week?

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03-30-2017 12:54 PM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Pillars of Growth
Look into DC training, using the two way split. If you can drum up some serious intensity, its a great program.
03-30-2017 01:17 PM
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kaotic Offline
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RE: Pillars of Growth
Steelex, you're definitely becoming a pillar of the weight lifting community here man.

I already see flaws in what I do.

Specifically sleep, going to bed late at 11 and getting up 6:45ish

DRINKING doesn't help, matter of fact, I've had a vodka water each of the last 3 nights. (Going on dates).

I'm going to have to sacrifice nights out, less booze (which I've been cutting), no blow up my nose, and eating alot more.

I've been using the "Strong" app to track my workout progress, tweaking it ever so slightly.

Matter of fact, I started using my fitness pal to track my food intake, currently
40% carbs
30% fats
30% protein

I see the issue with food in my diet (we haven't talked about that) which sits at about 3000 calories give or take (with the Macros above).

The waxy maize you recommended is something I'll need to look into.

Secondly, pushing weight up more, I've been pushing, BUT plateauing because of a left shoulder issue (which as been getting better).

I think a fear i have is getting fat around my stomach, I have some, I feel bloated sometimes.

This worries me with eating so goddamn much and not burning it up during a workout to make muscle.

Your post is another reminder of the dedication it takes to get where you want to go, and to not piss away money/time/pain to get what you want.


P.S. For guys who want help, Steelex will gladly help you, matter of fact I've chatted with him on the phone, he's given me a 2 day split workout which has been great and I've definitely seen changes, especially upper body.

He's just downright an all around good man !

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(This post was last modified: 03-30-2017 01:38 PM by kaotic.)
03-30-2017 01:34 PM
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Post: #6
RE: Pillars of Growth
(03-30-2017 01:34 PM)kaotic Wrote:  Steelex, you're definitely becoming a pillar of the weight lifting community here man.

I already see flaws in what I do.

Specifically sleep, going to bed late at 11 and getting up 6:45ish

DRINKING doesn't help, matter of fact, I've had a vodka water each of the last 3 nights. (Going on dates).

Which begs the question, is it possible to have fun with girls without drinks being involved? I'm struggling with that as well.

Great post OP by the way and I don't meant to turn it into a game thread.
03-30-2017 04:35 PM
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Ringo Offline
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RE: Pillars of Growth
Solid post, Steelex.

(03-30-2017 04:35 PM)TigerMandingo Wrote:  
(03-30-2017 01:34 PM)kaotic Wrote:  Steelex, you're definitely becoming a pillar of the weight lifting community here man.

I already see flaws in what I do.

Specifically sleep, going to bed late at 11 and getting up 6:45ish

DRINKING doesn't help, matter of fact, I've had a vodka water each of the last 3 nights. (Going on dates).

Which begs the question, is it possible to have fun with girls without drinks being involved? I'm struggling with that as well.

Great post OP by the way and I don't meant to turn it into a game thread.

Of course it is. You can always smoke weed.

Just playing.

Do you mean in dates, or everytime you meet a girl (bar, park, home) there's alcohol involved?

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03-30-2017 04:40 PM
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RE: Pillars of Growth
^ Basically everytime you meet a girl, yea. I find it very difficult to exclude alcohol from the equation.
03-30-2017 04:44 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Pillars of Growth
I'll be totally honest, going out and partying and drinking and banging isn't that much of a detriment to your lifting at a lower level.

You get to a certain point though where if you fuck up a crucial detail (sleep, food, hydration), you're not going to beat the log book and youll halt progress for a few days. I have had many many times where I stayed out till 3am playing with some chick, and then go hit the gym the next evening and totally BOMB. Like stop on the 3rd rep of a 10 rep set because you know it's just going not to happen. As you get bigger and stronger, you have to keep your growth environment closer to perfect. This typically means limiting those late nights.
03-30-2017 05:00 PM
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Post: #10
RE: Pillars of Growth
Steelex,

Great post. I often like to think of them as legs on a table. The legs hold up an awesome body and if any of the legs are off or shorter than the others you get suboptimal gains.

A big part of growing was fixing the "broken" legs on my table: diet and sleep.

I will be checking my PMs weekly, so you can catch me there. I will not be posting.
03-30-2017 06:50 PM
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RE: Pillars of Growth
(03-30-2017 06:50 PM)Fortis Wrote:  Steelex,

Great post. I often like to think of them as legs on a table. The legs hold up an awesome body and if any of the legs are off or shorter than the others you get suboptimal gains.

A big part of growing was fixing the "broken" legs on my table: diet and sleep.

If I had a dollar for every time someone I am helping via PM or outside the forum asking me why they won't get bigger and I ask them for a breakdown on their training routine, the one thing missing is when they rest, I would easily have a few hundred bucks.

It's extremely common for guys to work out 6-7 days a week in their routines, as if more is better. Nowadays I tell guys straight up, if they are not willing to rest enough because of how excited they are about lifting, don't bother asking me how I got bigger/gains.

It's like telling a guy he should rest for 3 days to a week, that his wife is a cheating whore. They cannot believe you told them that. That concept is lost. You cannot tear down your muscle fibers so that they can rebuild on top of each other, if they never healed from the last time. They think drinking tons of glutamine or AAs will make them heal faster, when they are just shitting most of it out and wasting product.

On top of that, I know it's controversial, but gains in my opinion do not look as good on guys that go super hardcore every week on bulks the same way they do cuts, as they do on guys that take their time. For me I did not want to just get bigger and stronger, but I wanted it to look aesthetically nicer. I get it though. For some guys it's a business and they are semi-pro or pro. If you do not have pro aspirations, why the huge rush?

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03-31-2017 08:03 AM
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RE: Pillars of Growth
(03-30-2017 01:34 PM)kaotic Wrote:  DRINKING doesn't help, matter of fact, I've had a vodka water each of the last 3 nights. (Going on dates).

I used to be strictly a beer guy about a year ago. I loved craft beers (still do) but ultimately decided all the extra calories in beer just wasn't worth it.

So now I just drink Vodka and water with lemon. And I love it. I usually just get standard stuff like Tito's or Grey Goose. Seriously after a few of them they will taste like lemon water. Not to mention you are hydrating with the water so your hangover's won't be that bad the next day.

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03-31-2017 11:04 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Pillars of Growth
Alcohol doesn't fuck your progress. Staying out till 3am and waking up at 6am to go make a living fucks your progress.
03-31-2017 12:30 PM
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RE: Pillars of Growth
(03-31-2017 12:30 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Alcohol doesn't fuck your progress. Staying out till 3am and waking up at 6am to go make a living fucks your progress.

And what about testosterone injections and drinking alcohol ? What are your experience with drinking and being always on fire ? (I'm assuming you blast and cruise).
03-31-2017 01:05 PM
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TravelerKai Offline
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RE: Pillars of Growth
(03-31-2017 12:30 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Alcohol doesn't fuck your progress. Staying out till 3am and waking up at 6am to go make a living fucks your progress.

It doesn't help your T levels to drink. Especially beer because its not just alcohol, but alcohol and carbs. So when the alcohol gets processed/filtered through your liver, it breaks down and releases estrogen. The yeast and other components of beers can help form excess fat cells on your stomach area that release even more estrogen as well (DIM supplements can stop this). So beer hits you twice, especially full bodied craft beers like pale ales, porters, stouts, etc. A whisky is less impactful, but still not good. I know from personal experience when I stopped being a beer snob, I saw marked improvement.

Someone correct me if I got some of this wrong, but I am paraphrasing something I learned from medical people and doctors I know that lift or are deeply into fitness.

Also, I do still agree that a lack of sleep (Stage 3 REM Sleep at that!) will wreck your gains and does not help bolster your T levels.

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03-31-2017 01:12 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Pillars of Growth
It's all relevant to your current liver health, blood pressure, ect...

Test itself isn't especially harmful to the liver. Other steroids, particularly oral steroids and some injectables (Tren) are pretty bad for your liver. I wouldn't reccomend doing them, whether you drink or not.

I swore off tren and orals. If that prevents me from hitting the next level then so be it, but you gotta draw a line in the sand about what you're going to do. For me lately, that line is a gram per week. My blood work (which I recently had done for the first time) is looking good, so I might as well keep it that way. If you can't grow on 600mg test and 400mg deca, the problem isn't the drugs.
03-31-2017 01:17 PM
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RE: Pillars of Growth
TravelerKai I agree. If you're natural, then it's Paramount that hormonally every card in your deck is an ace, which means limited drinking.

For what it's worth I drink less than twice a month, no more than 1-2 drinks.
03-31-2017 01:20 PM
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