Feedback, FAQ and Support

If you have a question or need clarification on the content of the books you will find your answers.
Can you resend my download link for the books? I haven’t received them.

The links will have been sent to the address you used at checkout with Paypal. Please check that address, including your spam folder. If you have any trouble just shoot us an email and we’ll fix it.

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I purchased the first editions but didn't receive download links for the second edition update. Can you send them again?

On the 30th of December 2018, we gave away the new editions early as a special thank you to our 14,000+ first edition set buyers.

Please check the email address you bought with for an email with subject line: “IMPORTANT: The Muscle and Strength Pyramids v2.0 [DOWNLOAD NOW!]”. This may be your Paypal address. Check also your spam folder.

If you have issues, send an email to [email protected] and let us know your full name and email you purchased with and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Note: This applies to the 95% of people who bought the 2-book set as part of our “free lifetime updates” offer. Those who bought just the one book will need to purchase the second editions. There is no upgrade offer.

Are the books available as physical copies or on Kindle?

We will work on getting physical copies published in the first half of 2019.

There will not be Kindle editions. The graphs and training program tables do not lend themselves well to the format.

Who are the books written for?

These books have been written with physique athletes, strength athletes, and those that coach them, primarily in mind. However, the majority of our readers are just regular people, but serious recreational trainees. If you are a novice looking for a comprehensive approach to muscle gain and or fat loss and have some basic information to start, you’ll be good with these. But if you don’t know how to perform basic exercises, and aren’t totally clear on what macros are or have any idea of how to match them to foods, then this won’t be for you just yet.

What do you mean by, “free future versions, forever”?

Every time we write a new edition of the books, you will receive fresh download links. The 14,000 people that bought the first editions received these second editions 10 days prior to general release on the 25th of December as a Christmas surprise.

Note: this offer only applies to those that buy the digital pair set. Those who buy just the one book will need to purchase any future editions. There is no upgrade offer and this cannot cover any physical editions.

Are the books fully referenced?

Yes. There are 158 unique references in the training book and 301 unique references in the nutrition book, listed at the end of each of the chapters.

What's new in the second editions?

The books are heavily updated and there is around 50% more content. We have a couple of pages dedicated to outlining the changes and new content in detail, but I'll briefly outline what is new.

New Content in the Training Book:

  • A “Quick Start” guide to program building,
  • How to address weak points,
  • The flowchart for when to adjust volume includes other considerations related to recovery, stimulus, and adaptation.
  • Volume counting has been simplified, no longer quantified by repetitions per body part, but rather sets per muscle group or movement pattern.
  • A flowchart to help you determine when a deload is needed.
  • How to gauge progress without testing strength.
  • A discussion of blood flow restriction training.
  • Setting initial volume by experience level.
  • Pairings for rep ranges and proximity to failure with different classes of exercises
  • How to modify training while cutting,
  • How to incorporate autoregulation,
  • Which progression models to pair with different exercises at various stages of your lifting career,
  • How to organize a training split.

New Content in the Nutrition Book:

  • How to determine whether you should ‘bulk’ or ‘cut’.
  • A chapter on making adjustments and measuring progress,
  • Ketogenic diets,
  • The ins and outs of peak week for physique competitors, and making weight (and changing weight classes) for strength athletes,
  • Recovery diet guidelines for physique athletes post-competition,
  • A deeper discussion around finding maintenance,
  • Energy availability, with signs and symptoms to be wary of,
  • Whether tracking caloric intake is necessary initially,
  • How to set protein if your body fat is very high,
  • A visual chart to help you determine hydration levels,
  • Protein digestion as it relates to protein timing,
  • Updated supplement recommendations including a new “A, B, C” tiered ranking system,
  • Extensive additions on the potential psychological pitfalls of relying too much on external nutrition cues (tracking nutrition and bodyweight) and how to use qualitative approaches guided by satiety, hunger, and habit based methods to avoid them.

Does the training book contain sample training programs?

Absolutely. We have six programs for novice, intermediate, and advanced-level bodybuilders and strength-focussed athletes. You will see the principles in action and get started quickly.

Does the nutrition book contain any actual example macro plans of real competitors? What about meal plans?

We don’t have a specific athlete’s example of a full prep (for privacy), but we have example calculations based on real people that we’ve worked with. You’ll see many pictures of these individuals throughout the book’s chapters. We’re very proud of them.

Why offer the money-back guarantee, isn’t that a little unusual for a book?

It is unusual, but here’s the deal: the overwhelming majority of people are decent and honest and don’t abuse offers like this. While we’re confident that you’ll enjoy and get an immense amount of value out of these books, we know that they are not cheap and we want you to feel confident in your purchase. So, if you read them and don’t feel that you got your money’s worth, let us know within 30 days and we’ll give you a full refund.

How do these books build on your 2013 and 2015 Youtube video series?

Great question. Consider those videos the cliff notes and highlight-reel version of these books, without the most recent research that has come out since they were originally recorded. So while the books cover the same broad principles as the videos, they go into far greater levels of detail and cover more context and nuance. The books are around 300 pages each.

Where can I leave feedback?

We value and welcome feedback as that will help us make future editions better. Andy has created a feedback form here.

What’s the reason for the change of the training programs from the first to the second editions?

The weight of the evidence suggests 10–20 hard sets per muscle/group or movement is an appropriate volume to prescribe when no foreknowledge of individual needs/tolerance/genetics exist.

Previously, the first edition programs were based on a 12-year old systematic review (Wernbom 2007) that looked at reps per body part, per week vs. the current meta-analyses we have today, based on ‘hard sets’ per body part/movement per week. Thus, in the present programs, there were instances where we decided to reduce the volume as the first edition programs had volume that was too high based on current evidence.

We have brought volume in line such that the novice programs provide a number of sets per movement/muscle group towards the low end of 10-20, intermediate towards the middle, and advanced towards the upper end.

This may or may not be less volume than what you are already doing, what you like to do, what ‘feels’ right or compared to other popular programs or what your favorite athlete or influencer does or suggests. But, unless you are an experienced lifter who knows from well-recorded observations over years what your specific volume needs are, I’d advise at least trying to progress using similar volumes to what we recommend first, before deciding it’s too low.

If you don’t make progress and it’s too easy… fantastic, just do more volume and now you know more about your body’s needs. But in my experience as a coach, it’s just as likely (if not more likely) that you could progress just as well, if not faster, with a lower volume. If that ends up being what happens for you, you also just learned something very valuable; and when you do stall moving forward, you know you’ll easily be able to handle a volume increase to keep progress going as it was an amount you used to (unnecessarily) perform.

Have a question?

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The Rules and Comment Policy:

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  3. Click reply if you wish to so the conversation is threaded.
  4. We answer comments once per week. Thus, the fastest way to get your answer is to do a search.

824 Comments

  1. Brad

    My question is what if I have to miss a training session due to work on the intermediate progression. Do I just act like I made the planned jump and go the next one or do I do week 2 on week three then deload? Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      If possible, adjust the schedule to do it later in the week, or just pretend like it happened and went well and carry on with the progression. A third option is to just do the sessions in order when you have free time and not worry about where they fall in a week.

      Check out the level on adherence. These things happen, but if you have set up a training program that you struggle to regularly follow, that is not the ideal training program for your schedule.

      Reply
      • Toby

        Hey,

        is it possible to get the books in a german edition?

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Hi Toby, let me answer this as I’m the man that has more experience with translation work.

          Probably not.
          1. The English level of the German population is relatively high, which cuts the market for it.
          2. The books are exceptionally detailed, and would take a single professional 4-6 months of solid work to do, which will be expensive.
          3. We don’t have a German platform to launch in, nor knowledge of how to market there.

          Reply
      • Primoz Baumkirher

        Hi

        Could you please give me some basic guidelines for the final week of my diet before I take my pictures at my best shape ever? aka Peak Week?. I’m currently at around 1750 kcal(P:200, F:45, C:110) at my normal days and two refeeds at around 2450 kcal (P:200, F:70, C:250). What to do with carbs-front/back loading?? Water and salt consumption?
        I probably shouldn’t go over my maintenance kcals when carb loading, right?

        Thank you

        Reply
  2. Yannik

    Will adding more arm work on the intermediate bb-routine may have a beneficial effect for lagging arms or is it rather counterproductive? I also like training arms so does it hinder me when i add another bicep movement with 3×8-12 reps ? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      If you actually have lagging arms, rather than simply enjoying arm work, additional bicep work isn’t a bad idea to bring them up. This can be performed in such a way to avoid it hindering back work by placing it at the end of a session on the day before on off day, a push day, or a leg day. Increase your volume in small increments on that body part, say by 10-20% at most at any one time.

      Reply
  3. Brent

    In the Nutrition book, it is stated that an intermediate 180 lb lifter has the potential to gain 1-2 lbs of lean muscle per month. Is this independent of the actual age of the lifter (ie: 20 years old vs. 50 years old)?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      This is difficult to quantify, but can potentially affect the rate at which you can gain weight without it being predominantly fat. Some individuals this will affect more or less than others, my advice would be at the age of 50 perhaps leaning towards the lower end of the range advised for your training age.

      Reply
      • Brent

        Thanks!

        Reply
  4. Alex

    Is there a way to pay without going through PayPal? I have a prepaid Visa card that I would like to use to purchase the books. Perhaps through Google Checkout?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Alex. To answer your question: no, not currently. Paypal is the only way we’re able to do it. We’re setting up an LLC in the US, so that we can get the merchant accounts with other the payment processors. This will take a month or two however.

      To address your issue: Paypal accepts Visa, and we pay the fees. Just click the “pay with credit card” button when you get to checkout.
      Pay with Credit Card

      Reply
  5. Paul

    I understand there is not an exact answer to this question as everyone is an individual, but was hoping for some guidelines or “signs” I can go by –
    Where you’re explaining about the fitness fatigue model and how an athlete may need to train momentarily in a state where fatigue out weighs performance/recovery to improve fitness. I was wondering how you will gauge how long someone should training in an overly fatigued state before it negatively impacts performance? This will be whilst trying to strike a balance of letting them trained in a fatigued state long enough to reap the benefits of increasing fitness? Thanks Eric.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Paul, most simply, I would advise using a deload week as described in the book, implemented every 4th week as shown in the sample training programs. This is a simple way to ensure you haven’t missed the signs because as you mentioned, this is very individual. Could you use the book to set up a different and yet still effective paradigm? Certainly 🙂

      Reply
  6. Paul

    In the training book most of the examples of progression use the increase weight and drop rep(s) approach. In your experience (or if there is any research on the topic) how effective is using RPE as a weekly/monthly progression instead? (Likely for advanced athletes) Example –

    Week 1 – 3 sets x 120 X 5 reps @ 6 RPE
    Week 2 – 3 sets 122.5 X 5 reps @ 7 RPE
    Week 3 – 3 sets 125 X 5 reps @ 8 RPE
    Week 4 – 3 sets 127.5 X 5 reps @ 9 RPE
    Week 5 – 2 sets 127.5 X 3 reps @ 7 RPE – De load
    Week 6 – 3 sets 122.5 X 5 reps @ 6 RPE
    Week 7 – 3 sets 125 X 5 @ reps 7 RPE
    Etc..

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Remember that RPE is for gauging intensity of effort, not necessarily intensity of load. I would advise using RPE primarily to ensure you are at the appropriate distance from failure, while also ensuring progression of the load at an appropriate pace for your training age.

      Reply
  7. Oscar

    I would like to know your opinion / thoughts on sugar – is it the devil its made out to be, would you put a limit on the amount you have per day, or do you treat it as a carb and enjoy it how you will?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Oscar. In the nutrition book see the section titles, Implementing The “Inclusive” Vs. “ Exclusive” Mindset. (Page 61 currently.)
      This is the approach you want to take. Once you have included everything you need according to the recommendations (minimizing your risk of running into any deficiency problems), there is no problem with including some sugary foods to help fill the remainder of your carbohydrate target for the day.

      Just bear in mind that sugary foods are generally more palatable but less filling/satiating than starchy ones. Use this to your advantage when in a gaining phase if you struggle to eat all the food required to meet your macro targets; remember this when in a diet phase if hunger is causing you issues. (For example: If you feel hungry when cutting, eat more fibrous and starchy carbs. If you feel too full when bulking, switch to more palatable, less filling carbs – fruit juice is a good option.)

      There is nothing inherently wrong with sugar. The key is to ensure that excessive consumption of it does not spoil the balance of your diet. This can be said of everything. Unfortunately, some people are intent on beating their anti-sugar drum and ignore the weight of the scientific evidence – a simple scapegoat makes for a nice media soundbite and sells a lot of books.

      Reply
      • Oscar

        Well, looks like I’ve been living a lie for the past 4 years 🙂

        Thanks for clearing that up.

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Most welcome. I’ll add that I think your response speaks volumes about your character Oscar.

          Reply
  8. Zack

    Quick question regarding nutrition, when cooking with olive oil, how much actually attaches to the food? Normally wouldn’t worry but 1 tablespoon is 14g of fat.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Zack. Depends on how you cook it. You can use one of those nutritional calculators recommended in the book (MyFitnessPal for example) to look these things up.

      Reply
  9. Alex

    Fantastic books!

    I have a question about the intermediate progression. In the book it says that the wave loading progression is for compound movements and the double progression is for isolation movements. However, in the intermediate sample program, it says that only exercises in the 12-15 rep range are done with double progression and the rest with Wave Loading. There are isolation movements like bicep/tricep work and leg extensions in the 6-8 or 8-12 rep range. Should those be done with the wave loading progression?

    I look forward to your reply and thanks for the awesome books.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Sorry Alex, certainly this is something that needs to be made more clear in the future. Use double progression on the isolation exercises regardless of the repetition range. If you struggle to add reps using as narrow of a repetition range as provided, extend the range by a rep on either side. So for example, 6-8 becomes 5-9, 8-12 becomes 7-13, etc

      Reply
  10. Paul

    Hi Eric (Thanks for the other replies)

    So rather then use rep ranges to quantify volume per muscle group, is tracking total KG’s per muscle group / lift similar? If so are there rough guideline ranges of how many Kg’s per session / week? Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You can track volume load on your own to compare current volume to previous volume, but this is not a way to provide guidelines as it doesn’t take into account relative strength. A world champion female powerlifter in the 52kg class would be doing a lot of volume…for her…however, even at this very high level, she would be doing substantially less than an above average 105kg male lifter. The male lifter might have a deadlift of 250kg, while the female world champion might have a deadlift of 160kg. Obviously despite one being an early stage intermediate and the other being a late stage advanced lifter, the tonnage would be completely different.

      Reply
  11. Brad

    Do the recommendations for training volume, intensity & frequency also hold while on a cutting phase, or should they be decreased? If so, what would you recommend here.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Great question. First, remember that the volume guidelines are rough, and they can and should be individualized based on training age, biological age, workload capacity, individual genetics, preference and overall life stress load. With that said, the appropriate volume while dieting probably still should fall in the ranges provided however, they probably will need to be reduced at some point during a diet relative to your offseason. Typically, the early phase (say the first third) of a contest prep diet (for bodybuilding) you can keep volume about the same, and then during the second third, there should probably be a reduction of about 15-25%, and then if necessary another reduction during the final third of a similar magnitude. Additionally, deloads should be kept in at a regular pace and not skipped.

      Reply
      • Jeff

        Hello Eric

        I hope you don’t mind if I follow up on Brad’s question here!

        If someone is at a very high body fat percentage (even though training for over a year with decent strength gains, thus qualifying as an intermediate trainee) the recommended fat loss of .5-1.0% of body weight would reduce in a pretty significant deficit. If still adhering to the macro nutrient recommendations (protein either lbm *2-3 or height in cm, carbs ~1g per kg of body weight and fat .5g per kg of body weight), could/should the recommended volume still be kept or cut from the beginning?

        Or to put it differently: would someone with significant amounts of body fat just recover “better” to negate the higher deficit (due to more energy being available (I think you briefly mentioned something like this in one of your “peeling back a layer” episodes))?

        As you stated, the books were written for already fit/lean individuals and I would just like to make sure!

        Also I want to thank you, Andrea and Andy again for these absolutely fantastic books, I’m constantly scrolling through them because there’s so much good stuff in there!

        Best Regards
        Jeff

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Hi Jeff, I’ll take this question as Eric is at the 3DMJ conference for the weekend.

          While an obese and a lean person may both be in calorie deficit circumstances, their energy availability is different. Fatter individuals have a larger pantry to dip into when the food on the table isn’t enough, leaner individuals don’t. This blurs the lines of what is possible on a calorie deficit because the energy available for recovery is different.

          Therefore, someone that starts off at a high body-fat percentage probably won’t have any issues increasing training volume throughout their cut for longer.

          Reply
  12. Andy Morgan

    Certainly Rami, I’ve just done that now.

    Reply
  13. Matt k

    These questions were originally posted on Andy’s page but he directed me here and thus these questions are more aimed at Andy but I certainly look forward to hearing from all the authors.

    The books seem to advocate a few major departures from the martin style leangains protocol / Andy’s nutritional advice as I follow it..

    1. Are you of the position now that training fasted (bcaa/raised catecholamines) is no longer superior to the small carb/protein/fat pre workout meal advised in the nutrition book? Or is it context specific ?

    2. The nutrition book seems to say there is really no benefit to cycling calories (on day off day style) in terms of growth, uptake etc, (as separate from refeeds and sub 12%ers) Does this mean that (unless you prefer it for adherence) you no longer recommend carb/calorie cycles for on day/off day as your site calculator outputs?

    3. Intermittent fasting is only briefly mentioned in the book (and that you still use it occasionally for some clients), do you still recommend it for all the benefits other than adherence? if you answer this question “yes” and question 1 “yes”, then I imagine that first meal would count towards your 8 hour window, yes?

    Thanks again, these books certainly appear to be debunking a lot of the core assumptions of lean gains… actual glycogen depletion levels, the value (or not) of failure, no calorie/carb cycling, pre workout meals, etc I am excited to get to the bottom of this after having great success with Leangains, the idea of even greater success is awesome.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Matt, thanks for posting here as this will help others.

      1. Yes to both. It’s always context specific as what is most important is using a meal set-up and training plan than you can keep. This has been my opinion for a while. You’ll see it in this article, the section, “Clearing up the nonsense surrounding intermittent fasting”. I thought I had already linked you to that before.

      2. If I believe it will help someone with their adherence (breaking up the monotony perhaps) then I will recommend it. You’ll see in the article (linked above) that I stated that the benefits are marginal and unconfirmed, Eric is of the opinion that it won’t technically provide additional benefits. Eric is more knowledgable than I so I’d go with him on this one. 🙂

      3. It’s always context specific. Square pegs shouldn’t be forced into round holes. This is the reason I moved away from always recommending Martin’s Leangains protocol as I’ve gained experience as a coach. Have a good read of the section I’ve linked to, it’s all covered in detail there.

      To anticipate a possible further question, here’s one I asked Eric a month or so back when we were writing the book:

      Andy: Just to clarify: You’re saying there is no benefit to your training from having the refeed on your training day, if you train in the morning or afternoon. (Carbs are too late.) Is there a benefit to recovery or calorie partitioning (GLUT4 was it?) by having the refeed after the training? Is there just theory for this but no evidence (yet)? Or do the pros of having the carbs refeed happen before the workout outweigh the pros of having it after?

      Eric: Andy, you would definitely preferentially store carbohydrate as glycogen from the depleted muscles that you trained on a training day by having a large bolus of food afterwards. But, I don’t really see the logic of going into a workout depleted, and then saving your carbs for post workout so to get better glycogen resynthesis. You are only getting better glycogen resynthesis post workout because you are depleted in the first place, if this makes sense. So yeah you could make an argument that from a nutrient partitioning standpoint having a high carb day after training in the morning would mean greater glycogen synthesis for the rest of the day, but I would think that would not be as beneficial of an option as going into a workout topped up in glycogen and having less central fatigue and greater work capacity.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Hope that helps Matt.

      Reply
      • Matt k

        1. I have read that article but I am still very unclear as to your current opinion. I’ll try to be very specific as I understand there are many contexts, but in general I understand adherence benefits but those are not my concern, I am concerned with the benefits other than adherence.

        Is the benefit of jacked up catecholamines from bcaa fasted state superior to the energy supplied by a pre workout meal advised in the book? If you could answer for cutting and bulking that would be appreciated (if it is again contextual)

        2. So carb/cal/cycling is ditched. Thank you.

        3. If intermittent fasting has no major benefit (jacked up catecholamines) other than adherence and stubborn fat oxidation for super lean people, then is any sort of “window” to eating all your calories thrown out the window completely? (assuming good meal spacing) 10am workout 1am finishing food all good?

        Thanks again for the replies, this is by far the reason why I was so quick to purchase your books, this level of support is unheard of.

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Matt, thanks for the reply.
          1. Sorry for the lack of clarity. I do not believe it is technically superior, though individual circumstances (schedule/adherence, placebo/belief effect, preference for feeling) can make it so.
          3. All good.

          “Thanks again for the replies, this is by far the reason why I was so quick to purchase your books, this level of support is unheard of.”
          – We’re work addicts. :/ Lyle McDonald has done a great job over the years in his Bodyrecomposition.com forums answering questions for his readers. It’s there, it’s just not common. Happy new year to you and your family Matt.

          Reply
      • Frances

        That article is great.. but I could have learned from the article for free instead of purchasing the book for $30? Some of the numbers don’t align with the numbers in the book though. Have there been revisions to your method since the article or the book were published? I’m not sure which came first.

        Reply
  14. David

    Hi guys,
    With protein recommendations I’d always previously worked off lean bodyweight as that’s the important stuff that you want to preserve. Your calculations are based however off of actual bodyweight.

    Aren’t people going to be getting a lot more protein than they need by working that way? Especially if they’re higher in bodyfat?

    Always seems to be confusion around this for me and what I read.

    Thanks
    David

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      There is very little research out on the effects of protein when set by LBM, but you are right in terms of theory. However, the problem is that most people are atrocious at estimating their own body fat percentage, and also don’t have access to good measures of body fat percentage. That said, you can easily convert the recommendations of the guide into g/kg or g/lb of LBM vs total bodyweight: .9-1.4g/lbs or 2-3g/kg of LBM. That said, given these books are primarily targeted at non overweight individuals, I feel very comfortable with the recommendations being based on total bodyweight.

      Reply
      • Andy Morgan

        Hi David, great question and one I very nearly asked Eric myself and Andrea myself as I was going through their draft making suggestions. Here’s an article I wrote about the subject of estimating body-fat percentage. You’ll see that I’ve listed up all the methods we have available for calculating it, along with their accuracy levels (SEE):
        A Quick Guide To Estimating Body-fat Percentage

        Reply
  15. Jeffrey

    All, a great resource and series … THANK YOU

    A clarification question for you.

    In Andy’s Complete Guide there was reference to building 1lb muscle requiring approximately 2,500 calories and losing fat 3,500 calories. Of course, both are a guideline.

    In the Nutrition book it makes references to building 1lb of muscle requiring 3,500 calories.

    I’m wondering where the difference may be and/or if something has changed.

    As an example, for myself, I’m following the Leangain bulking protocol and going for the 1:0 ratio and am using the 2,500 calories to figure out the surplus calories.

    As always, thanks in advance for your help and insights.

    Jeffrey

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Jeffrey, great question! The ~2500 value is likely close, and 1lbs of muscle gain wouldn’t likely take a full 3500 calorie addition to maintenance to achieve. However, the ~2500 value is also a scientific guesstimate at best, and also its important to point out that it is more than likely going to come with at least some fat gain. For these reasons, the 3500 calorie value can be used with reasonable accuracy when going up or down. It’s a heuristic decision as it allows only one number to be memorized and implemented, and the practical differences in setting up a gaining diet will be pretty minute regardless of whether you use 2500 or 3500 if you follow the rate of weight gain values we recommend.

      Reply
      • Andy Morgan

        This discrepancy was something that Jeffrey bought to my attention in the email this morning, I asked him to write it here. It made me pause and wonder for a minute but makes perfect sense now that I see we’re accounting for fat gain in the 3500 number. The 2500 was an estimate after discussion with Nuckols. The instructions in the guide Jeffrey is referring to are to multiply that by a factor of expectations of fat gain (1.3-2.0) depending on how slow or fast you wish to take it (or how optimistic you want to be), so we’re in line. 🙂

        Reply
  16. Cam

    Didnt see this addressed in book so couple of quick question:

    – During a bulk, at what level of BF% would you recommend transitioning into a mini-cut / cut cycle to shed some bodyfat before resuming the bulk? Put another way, at what level of BF% does the research suggest that additional weight is more likely to be stored as fat rather than lean muscle?

    – So for practical application. If one’s goal is primarily hypertrophy and adding lean muscle, does the research suggest bulking in the 10-15% range and then doing a mini-cut when hitting the high end and continuing this kind of cycle? How sustainable is this course and any other tips/recommendations you would have from practical experience with clients?

    Thanks,
    Cam

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Cam, good question. There are problems when body fat gets too high with “nutrient partitioning” or “metabolic health”. As a general rule, males should probably not get over 20% and females ~28%. Ideally, a gaining phase should probably start at the 10-15% body fat range for men, and the 18-23% range for women.

      Critical is following the rate of weight gain guide so that body fat accrual is slow and minimal as you don’t want to be constantly mini cutting if the goal is muscle gain.

      Reply
      • Ervin

        Hi Eric, just to follow up on this topic. Your colleague Alberto mentioned in an old 3DMJ video that beginners should not do a mini cut and should focus on gaining. Does this still apply? If so, would 20% for males and 28% for females still be the upper limit for beginners?

        Also, a separate question- I’ve lifted a number of years and based on the current rate of progression with my lifts, I would consider myself intermediate (p35 nutrition). However since I’m usually a small eater, my body weight has not changed much over the years (<60kg). Now that I want to start gaining, am I stuck to the intermediate rate of weight gain, or can I go with the beginner numbers?

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          That video assumes the person is not over fat.

          And I can’t evaluate your training status in a comment so make your best judgement for rate of Weight gain. If you quickly gain bodyfat using the beginner speed slow down.

          Reply
  17. Javier

    Awesome stuff guys.
    Regarding progression, how do you program progression with dumbbells when increasing the weight 5 lbs a week even while lowering reps isn’t really an option.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Javier – see the progression chapter. Isolation exercises using double progression for intermediate trainees is covered there.

      Reply
  18. Joey

    The books are excellent guys; just wondering though..
    Does the 3,500kcal deficit p/w also apply to setting up a diet for females? Or would this figure change due to the fact females more than often have very different caloric intakes(lower than males).

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Joey, this is automatically addressed simply by following the rate of weight loss recommended in the book. You don’t set as large of a deficit for someone who is smaller because the goal might be to lose .5-1% of 130lbs vs 200lbs. 3500kcal is related to the energy content of fat, and has nothing to do with how much fat you have, which is related to the size of the deficit you set.

      Reply
  19. Audie

    Salutations! I originally posted this through to Eric through Facebook but it seems all the cool kids are hanging out here and I wanna be in the gang so I’ll just repost here

    “Hi Eric, I have a “thank you and a bit of a question too. I totally appreciate we’ve never met so let me start with the “thank you” =-)

    For quite some time I’ve followed your exploits listening to podcasts and watching youtube videos. I recently bought both pyramid books and I hope you will consider them a triumph, they’ve certainly given me some insight beyond what I’ve had from my training so far. So thanks man, I appreciate your efforts and I’m busy putting something together right now and for the first time I feel pretty secure in the knowledge that what I prescribing for myself is actually going to do the job intended.

    My question is, could you point me in the direction of some resources on exercises that target specific muscles please? In general I want as much “bang for buck” with my exercise selection as possible but my main issue is I want to train my legs as completely as possible but I want to actively de-train my glutes as well and I want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.

    many thanks
    Audie”

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Audie, thanks for the message and the kind words and I’m very pleased to hear you are feeling more confidence in your training due to what you’ve learned.

      To answer your question, I would be looking to learn the origin and attachments of the leg muscles so that you can understand what functions they perform. If you know what joints are moved when a muscle contracts, you can get a good idea of what exercises train which muscle groups. There are lots of muscular anatomy sources online. Bret Contreras has a lot of good resources on his blog and other platforms on exercise selection. Also, do me a favor and email Bret Contreras this question and tell him I sent you, having someone contact him about wanting to make their glutes smaller would infuriate him to no end given that he’s an expert in glute hypertrophy and I’d love to hear about his reaction 🙂

      Reply
      • audie

        Eric, you are indeed a wicked man and I think my respect for you just went up a notch 😉

        The deed however is done, and I’ve messaged Mr Contreras in the hope of tweaking his nose for you. I’ll let you know how it pans out. I hope he’s not going to come over and suplex me “ultimate warrior” style, though if he goes as far as dressing up in the neon tassels and the war paint I think I’d be cool with that =-)

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Audie, you are the man for the Ultimate Warrior reference FYI

          Reply
  20. Evoryan Zafir

    Hi guys. Don’t have a question, but just wanted to give virtual “high-fives” (and a few celebratory burpees!) to the authors of these two cutting edge books! At a quick perusal of both, I was drooling at the vast amount of information that my eyes and brain were about to feast on (no calorie deficit here!). Then, upon a deeper reading of them, it was affirmed that you guys have outdone yourselves! These books are what I have been waiting for. Pertinent information with the science, the experience, AND the expertise to back it up. This will compliment the coaching manual I purchased from Andy, which has helped me a great deal to achieve my goals (currently in a slow bulk, and steadily gaining). I like the fact that everything is organized and laid out in a comprehensible fashion…no BS. THANK YOU and WELL DONE! I will be returning frequently to continue seeking out your wisdom. Keep it coming!
    – Evoryan

    Reply
  21. Mike

    Hi Eric,
    Great info and thank you so much.

    Two questions I had were:

    In the intermediate hypertrophy program on the upper body day why is there only one horizontal push excercise leaving the chest with an average of 20 reps for the whole workout? Also, I don’t see lateral raises listed anywhere in this program and was wondering why?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You are welcome Mike. To answer your question, don’t rigidly focus on the 40-70 reps/session. Global volume across the week is more important. Please read the summary of the VIF chapter and take to heart my words on not looking at this in black and white. As you may notice, the weekly volume is ~111 reps on average during the non deload weeks for chest. The upper body day provides progressive overload and strength training, the push day provides volume as a growth stimulus.

      Finally, as far as lateral raises, because there is already plenty of volume for all heads of the delts. If you have an assumption that the lateral head is only trained during a lateral raise, that would be an assumption to reevaluate.

      Reply
  22. Cristi Tituleasa

    Hello guys,
    I have a question regarding working sets that I didn’t find in the training book. When are straight sets better than ramped up and what’s the advantage of using one or the other? Is there a resource where I can find more clear info?
    Also, if RPE is to be used with ramped sets, would it also be set up in a “ramped” way? Hope that makes sense 🙂
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Cristi, whether or not you use pyramids, reverse pyramids or straight sets doesn’t make a very large difference. That said, however you do it, make sure you can steadily track progress. Straight sets as shown in the sample programs and progression chapters allow for a very straightforward, logical progression, which is why we used them. However, there is not a singular way to train and you could easily set up a program with a reverse pyramid or pyramid style of set organization if you wanted.

      Reply
  23. Anderson

    Hello Eric, firstly thank you all for the amazing work put into making these books.

    I believe my question is related to Cam’s. As I understand maintenance can be very relative, depending on which weight/body fat you intend to stay at. My difficulty is in selecting that target weight for a lean gaining phase.

    I have been keeping track of my body fat thru caliper measurements with a certified professional, so first my question would be, should I still aim for the 10-15% range base on caliper estimates?
    And the second one, is there a low enough body fat percentage that may harm one’s progress in a lean gain?

    The motivation behind both questions is I get very low values at these estimates (single digits) but I feel like going above it would yield me poor conditioning, visually speaking, and a much higher caloric target.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Anderson,
      Just to clarify as I’m not quite sure what you mean by maintenance being “relative” in the first part of your question, let me just state that what your maintenance is during a lean gaining phase is only important for initially setting up your diet. From that point, you would just simply be adjusting your nutrition up and down in small increments so as to continually fall in the range of gaining 0.5-1.5% of your bodyweight per month (based on training age).

      If you are maintaining your bodyweight, you aren’t in a lean gaining phase…you are just eating at maintenance.

      The best way to find your maintenance is to simply track and determine what it is, as is advised in the book rather than using an estimate.

      And calipers can be inaccurate, highly inaccurate. I would not advise using them for determining body fat percentage, however looking at your raw sum of skinfold total can be useful. Here is a good guide for estimating body fat https://rippedbody.jp/how-calculate-body-fat-percentage/

      And finally, you can be lean enough to where it causes issues with muscle gain. Where this is, is individual. If you can make steady progress while staying lean, then you probably aren’t too lean.

      Reply
  24. Brad

    Eric, first off great resource!

    I know you’ve been researching auto-regulation as a part of your masters and the book covers RPE. However I’m interested in learning about and applying principles such as fatigue %/back-off sets rather than going into a training session with a prescribed number of sets. Additionally, using APRE/+ sets to auto-regulate loads across microcycles. Do you have recommendations on these tools and how best to utilize them? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      I would recommend checking out Michael Tuchscherer’s “Reactive Training Manual” and also his website reactivetrainingsystems.com great stuff there if you are looking for more depth.

      Reply
  25. Cristi Tituleasa

    And how does one evaluates itself, novice or intermediate or in between, since maybe training, sleep, etc wasn’t adequate? Try a novice template, see if progress happens and if not, move to intermediate? Or is there another way to evaluate?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      see page 64 of the training book and page 35 of the nutrition book.

      Reply
      • Matt

        I just wanted to point-out one confusing thing: you refer to Rippetoe’s description, which has novice progression being workout to workout, intermediate week to week, advanced month to month, but then in the nutrition book it’s listed as beginner week to week, intermediate month to month, and advanced multiple months.

        This is further confusing because your Progressing as a Novice Trainee section is based on session to session improvements, following Rippetoe’s guideline, but then the Progressing as an Intermediate Trainee section is based on monthly gains.

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          I’m okay with the confusion because there aren’t actually distinct phases, plus Rippetoe uses the workout to workout definition for novices because he has them doing the same rep range on all days. Personally, I think there should be variation in rep range on a day to day basis within a microcycle, so because the novice isn’t repeating the same exact set and rep combination until the following week, the load isn’t increased until following week. This is shown in the sample training program for novices example. Also, see the first bullet point on page 139 the programs are intended for Novice bodybuilders and powerlifters, not necessarily complete novices to the weight room. Thus, I’ve extended out the rate of progressions a bit.

          The definitions are a bit arbitrary, remember that. Most important is understanding the concept that rate of progress slows with training age, and therefore your periodization strategy should adapt to accommodate it.

          Reply
  26. Daniel

    Great reading guys! I’ve been reading/watching whatever I can from you two and I’m really excited to start following your sage advice. What adjustments, if any, do you recommend to your diet and training plans for an overweight (i’m guessing i’m close 30% BF) male who has some experience with strength training but would be considered a beginner based on your timeline.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Thanks Daniel! First, not much needs to be changed, except I would recommend using the low end of the protein recommendations as your total bodyweight won’t be representative of your LBM until you have lost more body fat.

      Reply
  27. Steve

    Hi Andy and Eric

    If I’m dieting at a deficit at 2500 kcal’s and I’ve set my protein at 200g which is roughly 1g/lb of body weight, Does it really make any difference what the split of fat/carbs is?

    You both advise a similar way to asses macronutrients but as long as I’m in a deficit and my protein is high enough I can’t see why it matter. Apart from satiety and adherence. Can you confirm or deny.

    Regards

    Steve.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Steve feel free to re-read the macronutrient chapter and look at the situations and individual cases (insulin sensitivity) in which the ratio of carb to fat can matter. Then, also look at the behavior and lifestyle chapter and note “Tier 2”, and the times which it might not be worth following an exact and specific breakdown of carbs and fat.

      A lean female competitive bodybuilder with PCOS is not a slightly overweight recreational male trainee. A crossfit competitor is not a powerlifter etc etc etc

      Just because you personally might not fit into a category where the carbohydrate and fat breakdown of your diet (outside of extremes) makes a significant difference, doesn’t mean that’s true for all readers.

      Reply
  28. Don

    I didn’t see this addressed in the books, but is there an effective way to ‘measure’ recovery? For progression on lifts there is a flow chart with a decision tree centered on recovery (page 75). It has been my experience that this is an accurate tool for breaking a progress plateau, but how do we assess recovery accurately?

    The second part of my question refers to increasing volume to continue to progress. Is there an optimal way to know just how much more volume should be added to break the stall? I understand that it is individual, but for intermediate/advanced individuals progress is very slow to begin with, so I find it difficult to maintain that fine line of adding enough volume without creating excessive fatigue. Thank you in advance for your answers and thanks for providing this wealth of information for others to benefit from.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy way to assess recovery? Well, let me say most of the time when you are chronically under recovered, you can “feel” it. As far as a more objective way to determine whether you are recovered and also doing enough volume, is whether or not you are progressing in training.

      Decrements in performance and mental burn out are the two most common signs of overreaching and overtraining. If this happens regularly but after deload you come back and improve in the next mesocycle, that’s absolutely fine. However if you don’t come back and improve your performance after a few months as an advanced lifter, you might be in need of a lower volume or lower intensity approach (in general a lower stress approach).

      However, if you are not feeling mentally burned out, and aren’t progressing, a good rule of thumb is to increase volume on stalled lifts by 10-20%.

      Reply
  29. Scott

    I enjoyed the books a lot, easy to read and an invaluable resource!

    With regards to frequency, is it only about volume distribution to mitigate fatigue, or is supercompensation a factor, ei. If you wait too long before your next training session, your newly raised ‘fitness level’ will fall back to baseline, which is why training once a week will most likely not get you stronger/bigger? Or, will the same adaptions take place (assuming the same volume) it’ll just take 3 or 4 times as long?

    Hope that makes sense.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Scott, it’s a little bit of all of the above. Frequency affects frequency of practice, it allows you to better organize your total volume to get a greater total stimulus over a week (if we are talking about weekly frequency), and it avoids effects of detraining…which is less of a concern unless you are going with very low frequency programs, once per week or less.

      Reply
  30. Gianluca

    Your work is great… A question for you: what about Reverse diet or metabolic reset? In the book you speak about refeed And diet break but not about Reverse, I think is a very interesting topic! I would like to have some informations about! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Gianluca, after a diet is over, you want to return to maintenance; get out of a deficit. I would cut cardio roughly in half, and increase calories immediately by a substantial amount, enough so that you are no longer losing weight. If you are a bodybuilder at the end of prep and very lean, you would want to get into a small surplus and purposely gain body fat to get healthy again, allow weight room progress and muscle gain to happen, get hormones producing again, get your energy expenditure up to normal and get your hunger to a more manageable level. Delaying this and staying in a deficit by slowly increasing calories (without returning to maintenance) can be problematic for long term muscle gain, bone health for women if they have lost their menstrual cycle, and can cause issues with disordered eating if it prompts people to try to “make up” after each time they slip up and binge during the reverse diet. Keep an eye on the 3DMJ YouTube channel for future videos, we are working on a “Recovery Diet” video that will be released in January on this topic https://www.youtube.com/user/Team3DMJ

      Reply
  31. Campbell

    Hi guys, thanks for adding this section.
    This is kind of related to Matt K’s questions and Eric’s answer to Andy regarding refeeds on training days:

    For the purpose of retaining lean mass while cutting, is there much difference between these 2 scenarios (and is what I’ve described roughly what actually happens):

    1. Eating close to or slightly above maintenance on training days to try to maximise MPS, and then reducing calories on rest days and hope that the calorie deficit doesn’t reduce MPS too much.

    2. Eating close to or slightly above maintenance on rest days, when MPS shouldn’t be affect too much as there’s no deficit, and then reducing calories on training days and hope that the training-induced rise in MPS overrides/mitigates the deficit-induced reduction in MPS.

    I know it’s not just about MPS but juts looking to clarify.

    Thanks again

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Campbell, you’re right, it isn’t all about MPS, and even if it was no one has the MPS data on the scenarios you are describing. And I honestly don’t think the answer needs more clarification, between the convo between myself and Andy that I posted, the section in the book and also the section on “Borrowing” on page 105, you can probably tell that in most cases, this doesn’t matter much.

      Reply
  32. David

    In terms of lateral deltoid development, I noticed the absence of lateral raises or isolation work for the lateral deltoid in the intermediate bodybuilding sample program. Looking at Alberto Nunez who has continued to include them despite his minimalistic approach, it seems as if he thinks they’re necessary. Do you think that they are necessary for maximising development?

    Thanks,
    David

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Please read pages 57-58 you’ll notice i included lateral raises in that sample training split show there. Then please read page 129 “An Important Note On These Sample Programs”

      Hopefully you get the point that you can certainly include lateral raises in a program and have a well setup approach, and that it should be individualized, rather than thinking the sample programs in this book are supposed to be used by everyone.

      When I train for bodybuilding, I include lateral raises, I do them to get more volume on my lateral delts because I have a narrow skeletal frame and every extra effort to look wider is worth trying. However, that doesn’t mean everyone should. Plus it’s also worth mentioning that while the lateral raise does a great job at stimulating the middle deltoid, so do a lot of exercises, both push and pulls, for example a seated row activates the middle deltoid similarily to a lateral raise https://www.jml2012.indexcopernicus.com/fulltxt.php?ICID=1055261

      Oh and Alberto Nunez, I think I’ve heard of that guy 😉 But seriously dude, we should not be wasting this much time discussing lateral raises. I mean come on, they are lateral raises lol. But, just because Berto is teaching how to effectively do a movement and explaining it’s benefits doesn’t mean he is saying it’s “necessary”. Necessary means it must be done in order to build a physique. Of course he doesn’t mean that. But can it be useful? Is it important to understand how to perform it optimally if you are going to use it? Yes on both accounts, that’s the reason for the video, not to say “all bodybuilders should be doing lateral raises”.

      Reply
  33. Steve

    Thanks for the reply Eric. I’ll re read like you suggest I obviously missed the point somewhere.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Steve all good dude! Main point is that in some cases you are 100% right, the ratio of carb to fat is not relevant and protein and calories is perfectly appropriate to track (say for example an offseason recreational trainee), however in other cases it definitely can matter (say for example a contest prep bodybuilder trying to get very lean who is already skirting near the low end limits of either fat or carbohydrate and who has to make a further adjustment)

      Reply
  34. Matt

    Hi, loving the books. Two training questions:

    1) In terms of undulating your training, what’s the pros/cons between having distinct hypertrophy/power/strength days vs beginning each workout with a power exercise (e.g. deadlift), then doing one for strength (e.g. bench) , then for hypertrophy (e.g. squat)?

    Basically, I enjoy beginning each workout with a strength or power exercise, then doing hypertrophy work after, and want to know if I’m shortchanging my results by not splitting the work up in a DUP fashion.

    2) What would be the differences in training effect between using the same weight to do 3×10 vs 6×5?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1. I think that’s a perfectly fine way to train. Wouldn’t necessarily be better or worse. But do me a favor and don’t call a deadlift a “power exercise” 🙂 power is Force x Velocity, Strength =/= Power
      2. Matt! Come on now buddy, this is exactly the type of question we want you to advance past asking,
      Step one, read point two on page 15
      Step two, feel great shame for asking this question
      Step three, read Chapter 2 on VIF…carefully!

      😉

      Eric

      Reply
      • Matt

        My bad Eric – clearly reading the VIF chapter while watching football over the holidays was not a good idea. I’ve reread it and yeah, dumb questions.

        But I have two questions about progression:

        1) On page 142 there appears to be a typo where it says “if you have to decrease the load TWICE ONCE more, it is now time to move on…” Which is it?

        2) And what do suggest when some lifts stall and others are still progressing? So say I’m following the novice bodybuilding sample program, and my bench and squat are progressing but my DL and OHP have stalled. Is it best to continue with the program as written but switch only the progression scheme for the DL and OHP to intermediate? And maybe add a bit more volume to assist that particular lift? Move to the intermediate program but keep the progression scheme the same for the Squat and Bench until they stall?

        Thanks man

        Matt

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          No worries man 🙂

          1. Sorry that should read once more.
          2. Once you’re stalling on multiple compound movements using the novice approach, I’d recommend fully switching over to the intermediate progression plan.

          You’re welcome!

          Reply
  35. Chris

    Hey Eric, thanks for the great book you’ve written. One question: what do you mean by “Wt B Ext” on day 5, p. 155, chapter “Intermediate Bodybuilding Sample Program”? Is it meant as a horizontal or vertical row?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Good question, going to add this to the FAQ, Wt B Ext means “Weighted Back Extension”

      Reply
  36. Rico van Huizen

    Dear Eric,

    As a former 3DMJ’er and huge fan of your work! I want to thank you for the contribution in the fitness industry as a whole and especially the Natural Bodybuilding community. Like always an outstanding job.

    My question is according to setting up carbohydrate to fat ratio for female athletes. I’ve read an article ( https://bayesianbodybuilding.com/why-women-should-not-train-like-men/ ) about women needing less carbohydrate and more fat, because of hormonal reasons with estrogen responsible for this.

    Normally, I would set women on the guidelines like men in terms of carb & fat ratios with individual specificity. But it’s pretty confusing, like always! LOL

    What’s your take on this?

    Kind Regards,

    Rico van Huizen

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Rico what’s up man! Thank you so much for reading our books, I hope you enjoy them!

      To answer your question, the data on women doing better with higher fat and lower carb diets is not always consistent, and also largely speculative (i.e. very few studies that look at long term outcomes vs short term substrate utilization). That said, the likelihood is higher that a female bodybuilder or strength athlete will perform better with a lower carb, higher fat diet than a male, and this is explained on page 52 of the nutrition book.

      With that said, just because it is more likely that a woman will do better with a lower carb higher fat approach doesn’t mean this should be a default setting. Nothing beats controlled trials of experimenting with the client as is described on page 53.

      Reply
  37. Ryan

    Hi guys, awesome resource!

    The intermediate Bodybuilding sample program doesn’t include incline pushes. You did state that these could be done instead of the vertical push as long as the incline was not to severe. If my upper chest is a weak point that I want to develop and I chose to include incline bench as oppose to military press, would this be to the detriment of my shoulders? Would I be best to perhaps perform military press on the strength days and incline press on hypertrophy days?

    Cheers.

    Reply
  38. Ryan

    Thanks for the quick reply Eric.
    I’ll make sure I read the texts thoroughly before asking questions!
    I did have a question about fat loss phases during an extended gaining phase. If I reach my ceiling weight/BF% and want to strip fat so I can get back to gaining, do I follow the protocols outlined in The Nutrition Pyramid Calculation Aid (0.5% weight loss per week) or use a more aggressive deficit (10kcal/Lb ) as advised in Nunes’ ‘mini cut’ video on youtube.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Ryan, no worries. The calculation aid recommends slower rates of loss for leaner people, but if you are just going to use a very short diet to break up an extended gaining phase, ~1% is fine, just keep it to 4 weeks or less.

      Reply
  39. David

    Hey Guys – thanks again for the reply above about protein consumption based on BW or LBW, makes sense to me.

    I’ve always until now been working with lifestyle based nutrition clients and powerlifters (like me) , and am now moving over into the physique scene with a couple of clients and just have a couple of questions around that:

    1. Is there any recommended reading for Peak Week? I’ve always been under the impression that you shouldn’t need to change much for peak week because you should be lean enough by that point that little trickery is needed. But there are I’m sure certain subtle changes that need to be looked at.

    2. Reading through the training book, I already program and progress in a very similar fashion which is great to see. Rather than program cardio for physique clients, could I program traditional body building templates in the morning and then Occlusion Training in the evening 3 times per week? Controlling the fat loss in the most part with nutrition?

    Or am I way off base here?

    Thanks, David

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You’re welcome David.

      Also, congrats on moving onto working with physique competitor clients. It’s a difficult but very rewarding thing to do (if you do it well).

      1. I go very briefly into training for peak week in the training week on page 87 of the training book. However, the nutrition manipulation details are a little more detailed and in depth and I decided not to include them in the nutrition pyramid. The main manipulations I recommend are carbohydrate loading (conservatively) and also acute sodium increases on the day of the comp immediately prior to competing. There are two places I have gone into great depth outlining these processes. One, is in the Unit I teach in the SBS Academy, a year online course for personal trainers who want to coach powerlifters and bodybuilders that myself and Dr. Michael Zourdos collaborated on to produce along with the folks at SBS. Check it out here: https://thesbsacademy.com/

      However, if you aren’t willing to spend a year doing an intense online learning course (although I highly recommend it), another option is to wait until Lyle McDonald has finished his two upcoming book projects that I collaborated with him on. He is writing a guide specifically for women looking to improve their physiques, and also a encyclopedic compendium of everything related to nutrition and exercise. For both, he asked me to step in and write some sections on peaking for physique athletes. The books should be released at some point in 2016 so keep an eye on his website http://www.bodyrecomposition.com

      2. Traditional bodybuilding and occlusion training 3x week is A LOT of volume. You can use weight training in the form of metabolic depletion circuits or very light weight barbell complexes, but you have to be very careful of how it interacts with the main lifting and to keep an eye on recovery. I would personally recommend not taking this approach until you have a lot of experience with how to program it and integrate it with normal training and also until you have experience with the physical and mental stresses competitors experience at the hardest stages of prep. My advice would be to keep cardio to the guidelines outlined on page 31-34 of the nutrition book.

      Reply
  40. Alex

    For compound movements with dumbbells, would it be advisable to use a double progression instead of the wave loading when the dumbbell weights go up in 5lb increments (which would be adding 10lbs per week while lowering 1 rep)?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Alex, first start with wave loading, run that as long as you can making those larger jumps, if you stall twice after recycling the load, then move to double progression.

      Reply
      • Jarri

        Hi Eric,

        Two stalls in total or two stalls after recycling the load the first time, which would make 3 stalls in total?

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Follow the guidelines in the progression chapter and in the chapter on the example programs to determine if you have stalled. Don’t get too hung up on the details. If you can’t make consistent progress using the intermediate approach (and not starting too heavy) then go with the advanced approach.

          Reply
  41. David

    Morning Eric,

    Thank you very much on point number 2. My biggest concern with that was going to be the overall volume and managing the fatigue aspect. Even though BFR is a lot less weight I’m sure it’s incredibly taxing. Clients will have to suck up the cardio.

    I’ve heard of both projects with Lyle and am waiting to purchase them when they become available, but regardless of that I’m hoping to join enrollment for the SBS Academy on 1st February. Unfortunately living in South Africa our economy and exchange rate is diabolical but I’m trying to make a plan to make it happen.

    Thank you again for the answers, really helps me a lot.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You are very welcome David, and you are right BFR is less taxing, so is depletion work, but you need to carefully consider it in how it fits in with the training plan as it still “counts” and you can’t endlessly add it (not that you can regular cardio either). So yeah, just something to use sparingly like HIIT and to consider how it fits in with the overall plan.

      And I would be honored if you purchased the books we’re working on and of course if you joined the academy as well, but don’t break the bank to do so, make sure you aren’t putting yourself into a tough financial position just for the course.

      Reply
  42. Dan

    Hey guys, fantastic books! After watching the videos, I bought the books more to support you guys than thinking about additional value; I felt I owed you the purchase (if not more). I am amazed how much the books help in going from theory to application, and I hope people reading this take my recommendation to purchase the books as they help you actually design your nutrition and training plans.

    I’ve got a couple of questions for you guys and I would appreciate your feedback. I’m 33 and have been lifting weights for about 20 years. I came across Andy’s website a year ago and it completely changed how I train, so I’d say I’ve been training “intelligently” for a year and would consider myself intermediate based on your definitions. Also, I travel for work a few days of the week every other week or so so it is hard to have a consistent training schedule.

    Today I just started the intermediate bodybuilding sample fairly verbatim. I will probably make modifications as I go along as you recommend, but I wanted to start with something that was a solid foundation. With my travel schedule, there are weeks that I will only be in town 2-3 days of the week (which means it may take 2 weeks to complete a 5-day training). Would it be insane to combine the first two days and the second three days to have 2 full-body sessions a week? I know brushing your teeth twice a week for a long time isn’t as good as brushing twice a day, but is this better than dragging out a 5-day program for two weeks or trying to do what I can in a hotel gym (which would make tracking progress really hard)?

    Also, I’ve been doing RPT and never have thought about RPE. Just so I’m clear, there’s several exercises where I am leaving 3-4 reps on the table and leaving at least 1-2 reps on the table for all exercises? I was previously doing RPT with RPE of 9.5 or 10 for the first set and RPE of 9 or 9.5 for the rest. It felt so foreign today leaving the gym on leg day and feeling like I could go for a 5-mile run, so I just want to make sure I didn’t miss something.

    In this vein, for the isolation progression, even if you haven’t completed all of the reps, you should stop before the high end of the range even if you still have a few reps in you? I know you spell it out very clearly, but it felt so odd to me to not push myself to the max in every set.

    Thank you again so much for doing this. For years, I was doing things very wrong, wasting so much time, and this has been incredibly helpful!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Dan, thanks for the kind words, the buy, and I’m really pleased you bought the books as we truly believe they provide a lot of value to even those who who have viewed the vids, so I’m glad you experienced that!

      To answer your questions, it would probably be a better choice to just take longer to complete the workouts in order when you are traveling, or its the holidays etc and you can’t get in the number of sessions per week that are prescribed. You CAN try to combine an upper/lower into a single workout…but that is tough….I’ve done it, and you can certainly try it…it sort of works out since you have more off days, but some lifts definitely suffer on that day.

      Secondly, great question in regards to the RPE values provided. This is sort of clarified in the novice progression section, but we will make this more clear in the next update of the books. Read page 141 of the novice progression, you’ll notice it states that the RPE values provided should be for the first set, and the final set shouldn’t be completed any higher than 1 RPE value than this.

      Essentially, this sort of applies to all the programs. Meaning, the RPE is primarily there for the first set. After that, keep the same load, but don’t hit failure. The RPE values prescribed are low enough so that subsequent sets don’t result in you missing sets and reps. In some cases you’ll be skirting failure on your final sets, for example the RPE 8 to 9 exercises where you are doing 3-5 sets, in other cases you will stay far from failure, like the single leg work, and this is by design. So my apologies that this isn’t that clear, but yeah, the RPE values are for your first set, then try to maintain load and complete all sets and reps without hitting failure. In most cases you’ll need to use the lower end of the provided RPE range to do this, unless you’ve got great strength endurance.

      Reply
  43. Marc

    Hi Eric and framily,

    First I wanted to thank you and your team for helping everyone through the content of these books. You brought the research to an easy to understand and apply format that will help a lot of people reach there goals and focus on what really matters.

    Second, I wanted to know what you personally do or recommend to clients or others to deal with the days where motivation and dedication is lacking. I love the feeling that I get from going to the gym so adherence to training is not a problem but sticking to my diet targets or goals sometimes is. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      What’s up Fram!

      Specifically with dieting, it’s important to break it up. You can use the Diet Break concepts more frequently when you struggle to find the motivation to stick to it. Basically, take a week to maintain, and not track as closely (see Behavior and Lifestyle chapter for minimalist tracking strategies), and then once you are refreshed and ready to get back at it, dive back in.

      Also, you shouldn’t have to spend a long time dieting or a large part of your life. The goal is to get to a healthy bodyweight, then focus on putting on muscle mass, and only dieting when it comes time to get on stage, or to just drop back the body fat a bit to break up extended gaining periods (2-4 weeks every 6 months or so). If that’s not what’s occurring…there is larger underlying problem.

      Reply
  44. Mike

    Hi Eric,

    For the intermediate bodybuilding routine is it supposed to be run lower, upper, rest, lower, push, pull, rest and repeat? Or all 5 days in a row and then take two days off and repeat?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Mike, ideally, probably run best as 2 on 1 off 3 on 1 off, BUT, it certainly can be ran 5 in a row with weekends off if that works for you schedule, just might take a few weeks to adapt to the demands of that schedule though

      Reply
  45. Matt K

    Eric and Andy,

    Happy new year to you both and as to not leave workaholics without their addiction…I have more questions.

    I seem to have butted up against a contradiction/limitation when analyzing the “typical male” from the examples frequently used in the book.

    -Nutrition book states to not go above loosing 1% of body weight per week (200 lb male =2lb)
    -Nutrition book states to not go below .5g/lb on carbs and not to go below .25g/lb for fat
    -When calculating for the typical 200lb male from nutrition book’s recommended calculation techniques, set to loose 2lb, it would put this male below 50g fat and below 100g carbs (with a 1.3 activity multiplier).

    Would this mean that any time calculations are done for cutting that are still within the recommended .5 to 1% body weight loss per week but do not meet the minimum requirements on carbs and fat, that person should default to the closest calories that allow for the minimum carb and fat to be met? If calculations are within 3-7g is this close enough or are these minimums hard, hormonal shattering limits set forth by experts for a damn good reason 😉 ?

    Thanks again guys
    ps…math for typical 200lb male from book loosing 2lb a week.
    ((200×10) x1.3) -1000) =1600kcal ((1600x.25) /9)=44gfat (1600 – (200×1.1 x4) + (1600x.25) ) /4 =80g carbs

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Simply put, people with low energy expenditures have to accept slower weight loss. In this case, you’d default to a slower deficit to avoid going below the thresholds….you could of course go slightly lower, as .5g/kg for a 200lbs male is 45g of fat and still technically be in the guidelines 😉

      Reply
      • Paras

        Hi, just recently bought the book, and i just started reading it. I am on the Nutritional Pyramid Calculation Aid, and i choose my activity level, and its asking me to choose between 1.3-1.6. Does 1.3 mean minimal and 1.6 mean maximal in that activity level ?

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Hi Paras, thanks for the question.
          Right, you’ll be somewhere in that range. Some people will have an idea whether they are at the lower end or upper end from previous dieting experience. If you don’t, then just choose the middle of the two numbers, 1.45.

          Reply
  46. Alex

    Thanks for all the support.

    I was wondering about weak points (for bodybuilding). I know Lyle McDonald recommends specialization cycles to bring up lagging body parts. Is just adding volume over time enough to take care of lagging body parts or would you ever suggest doing something like a specialization cycle where volume for the other body parts is reduced and volume for lagging body part is increased?

    Thank you so much

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Both can work, probably something only needed at a very high level to do the full specialization where volume is set to maintenance for all body parts except one major and one minor like Lyle recommends. If you follow the approach of just putting more volume on weak body parts over a career, this sort of takes care of itself. For example I habitually do about twice the volume on my upper body that I do on my lower to keep a more or less symmetrical physique, I haven’t intentionally reduced volume on my lower body, it just doesn’t need as much to progress in my case.

      Reply
  47. Scott

    I use barbells at home but my time in the evenings is limited, so in order to avoid long training sessions I’ll usually do some accessory/auxiliary stuff at my office (we have a simple gym) during lunch and then complete my heavier compound lifts in the evening. Ideally these would be the other way around, but just wondering if there were any potential issues with this setup, assuming volume is equal to that of one session. Incidentally I haven’t noticed any fatigue from earlier in the day impeding my main lifts so far.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      This is one of those things where theoretically it might be better to do it in reverse….but you can’t…and it’s been working thus far, so just go with it 🙂

      Reply
  48. Michael

    Eric,

    Really appreciate your care with all these responses. Just two more questions for you.

    1. I got a bit confused about the intermediate wave loading progression in the intermediate bodybuilding program and I just needed clarification, for the squat, deadlift, hip hinge, and leg press we would use the larger 10lb jump week to week and for all other excercises 5lbs?

    2. What is your take on weightlifting belts for a recreational bodybuilder with no current powerlifting aspirations? Would it be useful to use one?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1. Correct!
      2. They allow you to have more stability in your midsection, which allows you to put more of your force applied into the bar and lift heavier (we’re talking 10-13mm powerlifting belts not some velcro thing from a sports equipment store). No real downside, but not necessary, especially for physique related goals in my opinion. If you want to lift more though, just for the sake of lifting more, you could get one.

      Reply
  49. Brad M

    Guys, not sure if it was in the book, read both in day 🙂

    However, here’s my question. The book details intermediate progression based on assumption that day one and day two for a muscle group are different. IE, bench is done week 1, day 1, week 2, day 1, therefore progression happens weekly.

    If one does a movement on both day 1 and 2 of a given week, should progression be per WO or still weekly, or alternatively, just don’t do this to begin with?
    Also, Eric, that number didn’t work. Got some creepy Lyle guy…:)

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Brad, it actually is in the book…and since you made me laugh I’ll give you a pass…normally I’d just say “go back and read the book more thoroughly” lol. No second pass though, one time deal homie!

      Anyway, it’s not based on the assumption you aren’t doing the same muscle group/movement multiple days per week, it IS based on the assumption that you are using different rep ranges across different days (which I recommend and prescribe in some of the sample programs), and directs you to use a distinct progression on each day and only compare that progression to the previous weeks, not the same days in the week. Hopefully that’s clear?

      Reply
      • Brad M

        Thanks Eric, I’ll still go back and read it more thoroughly. I’m still 8-12 weeks from my first ever formal building program, so I’ll piece it together slowly and read s l o w e r 🙂

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          For sure man, and good luck!

          Reply
  50. Thomas

    When going into a mini cut would you advise lowering volume, such as excluding exercises like shrugs and rear delt exercises etc… Also when going into a mini cut 4-6 weeks, is it likely for a person to lose much muscle if they are losing weight at around a rate of 1-1.5lb per week?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Mini cut, no I wouldn’t recommend lowering volume, should be short enough that’s it not an issue…and 6 weeks MAX, I’d prefer 2-4 weeks. And I don’t recommend arbitrary absolute numbers for weight loss like 1-1.5lbs, I recommend .5-1% of your bodyweight per week. For a mini cut use closer to 1%.

      Reply
  51. Alex

    Loving the workouts and progression. Just a quick question.

    Is it recommended to split up heavy days and lighter (hypertrophy) days for an intermediate and advanced bodybuilder as opposed to spreading the heavy (1-6 rep) exercises through the week on separate days so you are fresh for them (deadlift, squat, bench OHP, Row)? Does it matter at all?

    Thanks again

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Please see the sample programs to see how I recommend splitting up training.

      Reply
  52. Ross

    When progressing with dumbbells with upper body movements as a novice, do you just add load every other week to avoid adding a 10 lb load every week?

    Do you add 5 lb / 10 lb after completing last weeks volume only if you’re using %1RM based progression? Pick a weight day by day, session by session, to complete the prescribed RPE?

    There may be a slight typo on page 154 on the Novice Bodybuilding Sample Program. “Dl Variant” intead of “DL Variant”. (:

    Thanks

    Reply
  53. Angel

    Hi Eric,

    In the chapter on progression, you talked about accumulation blocks/adding sets when discussing advanced lifters. I’m an intermediate lifter, so I know I’m better served using a simpler approach which would yield faster progress. This made me think about how to milk my intermediate gains by making smaller adjustments over time rather than changing programs completely (because I would love to make progress faster than advanced lifters for as long as possible).

    I know that I should do enough volume to progress (but not too much) and then increase volume if I’ve plateaued. So my question is the following:

    For the sake of simplicity let’s say I’m following the wave loading example on page 69, and I’m able to make progress with 3 sets following this progression scheme for 6 months, and then I plateau. (Let’s also assume I’m eating enough to build muscle because I bought the Nutrition book, too.) Rather than jumping to advanced methods, would it make more sense to just reset the weight like a novice and then add a set to the same scheme? (So training session 1 would be 4×8 instead of 3×8, training session 2 is 4×7 instead of 3×7, etc.)

    Also, the books were really helpful and answered a million other questions I had, so thanks!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Angel, that certainly can work, but you’d have to determine whether you’d actually be making faster gains. If you reset the weight like a novice and dropped loads back, it would then likely take two 4 week intermediate cycles to then progress….now you’re looking at an 8 week block of training before you increase loads to new levels….that basically is the length of the sample advanced programs. The only real difference is you aren’t doing an AMRAP or 1RM test at the end.

      Reply
  54. Cristi Tituleasa

    Is it possible to fit the training concepts for an intermediate in just 3 days a week? Just wanted to know since I try to make a template that would fit my schedule and recovery, but incorporating the amount of frequency, volume and some strength work (like in the examples) is out of my grasp so far.

    I’m shooting for 2x for muscle group and about 50 reps/day. Am I stretching it? Some tips or something would really help.

    Or should I consider at least 4 days and stretch the microcycle on the second week?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Sure this can work. For a powerlifter, you’d probably do a Bench/Squat day, a Deadlift/Accessory day, and then a day doing all three main lifts.

      For a bodybuilder, you’d have a full body day dedicated to low rep, heavy loads, low volume strength, and then an upper and a lower with higher reps and higher volume.

      And focus more on total reps/muscle group per week vs per session. You’ll have a very hard time hitting 50 reps per body part in the full body strength session and you shouldn’t try. Go lower volume on that day since you’ll have more movements, and higher intensity, and go more volume on the upper and lower days.

      Reply
      • Cristi

        Thanks. This again confirms my tendency to over complicate things. Reading that made me say “Duh, that’s obvious”…

        From this approach (having a bit of strength and more hypertrophy included) I understand that this would make a training block for hypertrophy which would be followed by a training block focused more on strength (more strength, a bit of hypertrophy). Am I right?

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Cristi, just follow the model of the intermediate program, just using the split I suggested. You don’t need to have a block of accumulation and intensification (although you could if you wanted), you can just follow the wave loading progression within each exercise.

          Reply
          • Alexander

            I would also like to train 3 times per week with the Intermediate Bodybuilding Template. How would the sets and reps in the upper/lower-days look like to hit the average reps/wk?

            On the full body day I would go with 3×3-5 in the main lifts.

          • Andy Morgan

            I think with 5 minutes, a calculator, and a little thought and you can get this one yourself Alexander. I’m all for answering questions, but I’m firmly against spoon feeding as it just screws people out of independent thinking ad leaves them in a mess for the future.

  55. Jeff

    Hey Eric

    Thank you for creating such an awesome product. It was not only very informative, but also a fun read!

    In the training book there was one thing I couldn’t figure out:
    When I was comparing the novice powerlifting templates it all added up perfectly, but with the Bodybuilding ones I can’t find a way to add up the numbers to arrive at the same Reps/Wk.

    For example:

    At the bottom of page 135 there is a breakdown of the Novice Bodybuilding Program. There it says:

    UB Push: Chest: Reps/Wk: 90.
    UB Push: Delts: Reps/Wk: 85.

    If I add up all the pushing movements from both Upper days, then add the vertical pulling movements, I get an average of 85. But what movements stimulate the chest and not the delts?

    I ran into the same issue when comparing the intermediate bodybuilding program.

    I know that it doesn’t matter if I would just want to stick to one of the sample programs. The reason I’m asking is that there has to be some kind of overlap I’m not thinking of and/or an assumed overlap that I’m wrong about. So it’s just a mix of being really curious where my thinking is wrong and also making sure that I calculate my volume correctly, when I’m coming up with my own plan.

    I hope the question makes sense and I’m not being stupid.

    Best regards from Switzerland
    Jeff

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Jeff, thank you for saying so! And remember, the way I’m tracking volume isn’t the “right” way, it’s just the way I’m doing it. Muscles are activated in all kinds of movements you wouldn’t expect, the bicep can act as a week shoulder flexor in some cases, the adductors as hip extensors, the triceps as shoulder extensors etc etc etc.

      So with that disclaimer, the reason why the volume doesn’t appear to add up, is because I counted Flys only as Chest volume. Does a fly train the anterior delts? Yes, but a lot of movements overlap so you have to draw the line in the sand somewhere.

      Not being stupid at all, just don’t think there is a clear cut right and wrong way okay?

      Reply
  56. rob

    eric perhaps you can help me with this as i cant get a clear answer on it…in terms of artificial sweetners like sucralose understanding this may seem like a lot i tend to use sometimes perhaps about a bottle or so sometimes more roughly for the day of the walden farms syrup in conjuction with my meals throughout the day to add more flavor as the bottles are quite small and consist of only a cup and a half so there not very volumous is it of any health concern such as is this a dangerous amount as the the bottle isnt pure sucralose. i am talking strictly outside the realms of being in a deficit as it greatly helps with adherence making foods taste better.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Artificial sweeteners, to include sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame k, and stevia in moderate amounts are not an issue. The sweetness can stimulate hunger just like normal sugar, so be sure it’s actually helping vs hindering cravings (different for everyone and moderation is king). Only artificial sweetener I’d try to limit more would be saccharin, which when consumed closer to the maximum recommended dose by the USDA can cause some issues related to glucose response and gut microbes. Doesn’t need to be cut out completely, just curtailed. Fortunately saccharin is one of the least common artificial sweeteners, the only diet soda I know of which has it is Tab. Also these are the pink packets of artificial sweetener FYI if you drink coffee or tea.

      Reply
  57. Lewis Reche Amado

    Hi Mr Helms!! Just purchased your training pyramid book. Just wanna ask something and I hope you can answer me! (dunno if you already did answer this question on Lyle’s group)

    For fat loss am I able to still use the novice bodybuilding sample program? (I will add some rear delt and back width work)

    Thank you in advance. Im taking notes about the book. Will feedback through the forums I’m in and Lyle’s group.

    Reply
      • Lewis Reche Amado

        Thank You Eric. I guess I’ll keep doing just the back “width” work you did quote. Direct work isn’t workin’ anyway.

        The real question was, what’s better during a cut, follow de powerlifting program or follow the bodybuilding program? With the little knownledge I have, I know I can’t build muscle in a calorie deficit but I can build up strength.

        So… That’s it. My english is not the best, sorry xD. Sometimes ir hard for me to explain.

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          I quoted the back width portion, because you don’t really train for width or thickness, you train the muscles of your back by doing their joint actions with enough stress to stimulate the muscles that do those joint actions. The lats grow from rows and pulldowns, the mid traps are trained in rows, the rear delts are trained with when any shoulder abduction happens etc etc etc. It will serve you to learn the actual functions of muscles to determine exercise selection rather than thinking of them in terms of “which exercises are for which muscles” if that makes sense.

          And a cut doesn’t change the principle of specificity. If your goal is strength, train for strength. If your goal is size, train for size, regardless of your nutritional status. Also please read the section “metabolic magic” in the nutrition book, a caloric deficit does not automatically mean you cannot build muscle.

          And no need to apologize 🙂

          Reply
          • Lewis Reche Amado

            Thanks for your answer Eric!

            As my last question…

            Are the guidelines listed the same for woman? I tried ctrl + F on the PDF and it says “no results” haha (for “woman”)

          • Eric Helms

            You’re welcome! And the guidelines apply to both men and women.

  58. rob

    Thanks a lot Eric i know it may seem like much to be having 1-2 bottles used but based on your response id assume its ok in terms of health that I’m taking in this amount. its something that i feel helps greatly with adherence and making things taste better while controlling cravings and as long as the health effects are not something of concern (i.e health longevity.etc) as theirs so much mixed reviews on non caloric sweeteners just wanted to get a clarification.

    Reply
  59. Matt

    Hey Eric, I’ve a question about running the bodybuilding vs powerlifting templates. Your recommendations address those who compete, but what about those of us who are just recreational lifters, with no competitions to base our training cycles around, but nonetheless are interested in both strength and aesthetics? Is there an order or method you suggest to choosing between the styles of lifting? (e.g. bodybuilding when bulking/powerlifting when cutting; bodybuilding till you stall, powerlifting till you stall, and back n forth; etc.) Or does running a powerlifting program not even really offer any additional benefits if you’re not going to compete?

    Also, as a related question, would either be easier to run, or more conducive, when eating a calorie deficit?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Check out the section in the training book on those who compete in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, I know you aren’t a competitor, but take a look at the suggested options, figure out what your primary goal is, and determine which of the options fits it best. Consider you will get bigger following the powerlifting program, and you will get stronger following the bodybuilding program. If you really want to improve the big 3, use a powerlifitng approach, if you want general strength and size, probably follow the bodybuilding approach.

      As to your related question please see this answer https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/support/?replytocom=168#respond

      Reply
  60. Silviu

    Hello,

    I am very eager to buy the books, but given the fact that I am on a tight budget (I come from a country with low purchase power) I am planning on buying them sepparately. After owning them both, will I qualify for the updates or do I have to buy the whole pack at once, because I could wait for two months to raise the money, but I would also like to get my hands on one of them sooner.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Silviu, I would advise you to save the money and buy the bundle after you have raised the money, this will be less expensive for you, and considering this is a significant financial contribution you would want to pay a lesser amount. Don’t let impatience lead you to making a poor financial decision. 2 months is a very short period of time.

      Reply
  61. Sean

    Hey, Eric. Great informative book. Unfortunately I’ve lost my portable drive which I had the book saved to. Is it possible for my download link to be sent again? It’s saying I can’t download the books again

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      please email us at the support email as it says listed above

      Reply
  62. jack

    Can you give an example of the deload for the intermediate wave loading progression deload with an squat dead alternated on the same day? Do you just take the deload wherever you are in the cycle since it will take twice as long to complete it with alternated lifts. Sorry if I missed this in the book but I couldn’t find it. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Lots of ways to do it, little harder to conceptualize but still doable. Here is one way:

      Day 1 / Day 3 (Day 2 and 4 could be upper body days in this example)
      Wk 1 Squat 3x8x70% / Dead 3x5x77.5%
      wk 2 Dead 3x4x82.5% / Squat 3x7x72.5%
      wk 3 Squat 3x6x75% / Dead 3x3x87.5%
      wk 4 Dead 2x3x77.5% / Squat 2x6x70%
      wk 5 Squat 3x8x72.5% / Dead 3x5x80%
      wk 6 Dead 3x4x85% / Squat 3x7x75%
      wk 7 Squat 3x6x77.5% / Dead 3x3x90%
      wk 8 Dead 2x3x80% Squat 2x6x72.5%

      Reply
      • jack

        Thank you for the reply. I meant how do you do the intermediate progression deload if you are alternating squat and dead lift on the same day but only doing one per day.
        Week 1 day 1 squat
        Week 2 day 1 dead lift.

        Sorry for the bad question. Thanks!

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Honestly Jack, that’s probably not a very ideal frequency (once every two weeks) for such important movements. Not a bad question, but perhaps not the best way to set up training in the first place.

          Reply
  63. Silviu

    Thank you for your response, Eric! I will do so.

    Looking forward to it!

    Reply
  64. Alex

    Please forgive me is this has already been answered but I did not find the answer in the training book or this section of the website.

    I know you recommend cutting cardio in half for diet breaks, do you recommend cutting cardio on deload weeks as an intermediate/advanced trainee or does it stay constant?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
  65. Andy Thai

    Hi all,

    I don’t really have any questions at the moment, but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you that worked on these books and giving us this opportunity for feedback, questions, and etc.

    Signed up for 3DMJ Skype one-on-one consultation after reading these books.

    Oh, but I do have one question though. I didn’t read finish reading all the questions and answers yet, but I saw a post from Don and him wondering if there was an accurate way of measuring recovery. I heard of Bioforce HRV a tool to help measure recovering or a method is to measure resting heart rate first thing in the morning, if the heart rate is above average resting heart rate by a significant amount you need more rest. I’m not sure if that is true or not, or if it even applies to bodybuilders and power lifter. But just a thought.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Thanks for taking the time to say so! You’re going to get a lot out of the consultation, we look forward to helping you achieve your goals!

      And as far as HRV, I don’t personally think we have enough data on that metric to effectively use it to autoregulate training for lifters just yet.

      Reply
  66. Donna

    Hey Eric,

    I have a question regarding choosing between fat loss or muscle gains program. Because u made it clear in the
    book that our efforts should be best aimed at doing either fat loss or muscle growth, 2 questions arise from this:

    1) how do i know which prog to choose? I have this dilemma because i am skinny fat (i.e. My weight is where i want it to be with very moderate muscle cuts and a very stubbornly fat belly) and i am afraid that if i choose muscle gaiins i will end up with more belly fat and increase my weight due to higher cal intake; and
    2) once i know which program to follow, how long or short should i stay in that program? How do i know if its time to change?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1. I would stick to a muscle gain plan unless you are actually overweight. Skinny fat can be cured by gaining more muscle and also losing fat, but constantly being in a deficit will make it really hard to put on muscle. So put the muscle on first, then in a few years once you have a solid base, do a cut. Remember to follow the guidelines for rate of muscle gain. I don’t advise fast gains so if you set up your training program well and put forth consistent efforts you will gain very little body fat.
      2. This is actually something that is very clearly outlined in the progression and sample programs sections. It discusses how to progress at each training age and when to go to the next level.

      Reply
  67. Brad M

    Eric,

    Just wondering if you’ve given any thought to including a sample tracking log that specifically suits the layout of the prescribed work outs/progression. I like paper based tracking and having something that I can see weeks at a glance would be nice. My current printed log shows each day, so flipping back and forth is a lot of, well, flipping back and forth 🙂 Thought maybe 3DMJ might use a standard formatted template for weekly progression that can be printed and kept in a binder.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Brad. I’ll leave this to Eric for when he gets back from vacation. ~2 weeks.

      Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Brad, hadn’t considered it honestly in this day and age. Also, you could just do this on excel in a few minutes, and print that out pretty quickly, might even be a more individualized option for you 🙂

      Reply
      • Brad M

        Thanks Eric. I can probably throw something together, just thought you might have something that was specifically suited to the progression schemes provided that would be sort of “week at a glance” type format.

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          I do have lots of excel sheets that I give to clients that are built around tracking very similar training programs to what are in the book, however, they aren’t exactly ebook friendly as they are full of formulas and other stuff

          Reply
          • Brad M

            What I have is a small (5x7ish) 3 ring binder that I take to the gym and use pen/paper to track WOs. I probablt erroneously said week at a glance, when I should have said month, where you can see each week’s progression on one sheet. I’ll have to give this some thought on how to best design. Currently I have each WO on it’s own sheet, and flip back and forth. I just thought there might be something easier 🙂

          • Eric Helms

            The excel sheets I set up for clients show the exercise on the left, the day on the top, and then going horizontally next to the exercise, is setsxrepsxload, on days when the exercise isn’t performed, I black out the cell. Then going down vertically is each subsequent week. Normally my clients just have the excel sheet open on their smart phone while training or print out the week to take to the gym. Not sure if that helps?

  68. Lee

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the fantastic wealth of information you’ve shared!

    I have a couple of questions based on volume when cutting (I did read your responses above but didn’t get answers to the below):

    1. You say when cutting the volume should still fall within the recommendations but on the lower side. So keeping in mind the recommendations are 2-3x per week for each movement/muscle group with 40-70 reps each session, that would mean the lower side is 2x a week for frequency, with 40reps each session. Does this mean you recommend when cutting people still squat/deadlift/bench twice a week? So maybe upper/lower split over 4 days with 40reps per session? Isn’t 4 days in the gym too much during cutting?

    2. You’ve mentioned that going to failure isn’t necessary for hypertrophy, and you can do sets to RPE 8 and still gain mass. But what about lean mass retention during a cut? Should you be taking all sets to RPE 9-10? Perhaps a middle ground of doing ‘higher risk’ exercises (Big 3 for example) to RPE 8 and taking all the ‘lower risk’ accessories to failure?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Lee, thanks for the questions.
      Isn’t 4 days in the gym too much during cutting?
      – That would depend on the context. If someone is used to only 3 days of training, and a training day was added with a concurrent bump in volume (1/3+), then yes it could well be.

      1. The 40-70 reps, 2-3x per week is a guideline, it can be better to think of weekly volume instead (so, 80-210 reps). The number of workouts performed (and thus the frequency with which each body part/lift is trained) is a result of organizing that volume around your preferred workout schedule, not something to set in and of itself. Volume will often need to be decreased as a cut progresses, which can bring scope for reducing the number of days someone trains.

      2. Maintaining sufficient workout volume appears to be the most important factor. Training to failure can hamper how much volume we can perform, and so shouldn’t be a goal in and of itself. More on this in the progression chapter.

      See also Eric’s comment reply time stamped: 01.01.2016 AT 4:42 AM

      Reply
      • Lee

        Thanks Andy. Another question specifically for you:

        The routines for cutting listed on your website all seem to be way under 40reps per body part per week (RPT 3 Day split, 5×5). Have you perhaps changed your views since then and plan on updating these recommendations? Or can you comment why your views are different?

        Thanks mate!

        Lee

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Hi Lee. Yes, the routines on my site are long due an update. It’s not like they suddenly won’t work, but what you read in this book is far more in depth and will work better when applied properly.

          Reply
      • John

        And just to be a bit more clear on this….still keep a periodized routine while cutting or does it make sense to stick with the same something like the intensity phase only and increase weights where you can?

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Still keep it when cutting. Progress until you can’t any longer, then seek to hang onto the progress you have.

          Reply
  69. Nigel

    Hi,
    Great book , i just wanted to clear one point i didn’t see addressed neither in the book nor here,
    During a cut do you want to still progress (weights) or keep the same weight during the period you are in a calorie deficit

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Nigel. Yes, seek out progression wherever possible.

      Reply
  70. Michael

    Great book. Quick question I have been lifting for 20 years and prefer full body workouts just due to adherence with my career and family life. That way if I miss a day nothing gets neglected. With my 20 years of lifting expierence…using full body routines for 3 days a week should I use the 40 reps per session guideline per muscle group or the 70 reps per session guidelines. Considering my trainng expierence your book says use the upper end (closer 70 reps per muscle group)…but given my age (late 30s) and basically only 1 day of rest between training sessions with full body workout …which rep guideline should I try to stick to to stay as close to optimal as possible? Thanks

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Michael, thanks for the question.

      The only way to find optional is to experiment with what works best for you. I’d say that if you’ve been training for 20 years though, training the full body every other day probably isn’t going to be optimal for recovery and progression.

      The guidelines in the book are 40-70 reps, per body part/lift, 2-3x times per week, that’s over those guidelines at 3.5x per week. Consider splitting up your work into a four day week (perhaps basing this on one of the four day sample templates in the back of the book), see how you progress, and then adjust overall volume from there.

      Reply
      • Michael

        Andy,

        Thank you for your reply.

        If I want to stay with Full Body Routines 3 days a week due to adherence… (even though its not optimal as you advised in your early post). What total rep range per muscle group should I use from the book. 40 total reps over 3 times a week or keep pushing it higher all the way up to 70 per muscle group 3 times a week. Given I have been training 20+ years. I am not trying to body build…I am more interested in staying as healthy and strong as possible (think playing sports with the family and etc). Thanks

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          You mean you have only three days to give per week to the gym, right? Not that you necessarily want to stick to doing a full body routine each day.

          The key is the get in the right amount of volume and yet still be able to recover. You’re an experienced trainee so there’s no need to make guesses here. Whatever you are currently doing, if it’s helping you to maintain, do that plus a fraction more.

          You may need to do split your routine into a form of A/B split (alternating upper/lower for example, so that one week you have A/B/A, then the next B/A/B) so that you can perform at a high enough intensity and still recover; you may find that the reduced body part frequency that an A/B split has prevents you from being able to get in enough volume for each body part per week, as the workouts would just go on for too long otherwise.

          After 20 years of serious training, it’s highly likely that both of these approaches will fail to be however, as you’ll simply need to add another day of work to your week to get in enough volume to drive further adaptations and progressing. If you don’t have the time in your schedule to do that then maintenance of your adaptations may well just be the most suitable goal in and of itself currently.

          Reply
          • Michael

            Actually I meant I wanted to stay with Full Body Workouts.

            Thank you for your time!

          • Andy Morgan

            Yes, I get that. But my point is that what you want to do, what you can do, and what you need to do, might not be in alignment.

  71. Nuno Ferreira

    Hi guys,

    Great work leading to this books, congratulations. I have a question, and would be glad if you could answer it:
    I’m adopting the wave undulating progression scheme for an intermediate, and on my current training I am using sets of 8 @ RPE 9 (assume 100lbs for instance). Next week will be a Deload. For compounds, and wanting to use 8-12 rep range, if I work the progression scheme backwards, to derive the weights for the following cycle, I am almost sure that with 5bs increments I will not be able to complete the reps on week 1 (12 reps with 95lbs) and week 2 (10 reps with 100lbs). Can it be because of currently using an RPE of 9 in my 8 rep sets? If this is the case, is it advisable using higher decrements, guaranteeing that the next cycle’s week 3 would be a 5lbs increment from previous cycle’s week 3? (for instance, week 1 would be 12 reps with 85lbs, week 2 would be 10 reps with 95 lbs, and week 3 would be 8 reps with 105lbs)

    Thanks a lot for your time.
    Regards.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Nuno. I think the issue is that you’re starting off with a weight in the first session too high for you to continue to progress with. Go with a lower RPE.

      Reply
  72. Lee

    Hi guys,

    When bulking (counting calories consitently etc.), sometimes I’ll find that weight gain stagnates for 3-4 weeks. But after increasing calories, weight tends to increase rapidly for 2-3 weeks (Usually by a whopping 2kg) before going slow or stagnating again. Assuming activity levels aren’t changing and calories are counted correctly, is there an explanation for this phenomenon?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Sure, that’ll be from water and glycogen increases due to the bump in carb intake. If you’d like something more detailed then see here:
      Why Do Sudden Changes In Weight Happen?
      If you’d like something even more detailed then put your mail address in the box on the right as my email course covers this in two of the five lessons on the mistakes that people usually make when they start dieting.

      Reply
      • Lee

        Thanks Andy. I knew about glycogen already and even the 3g of water per 1g of carb. For some reason though, I couldn’t objectively look at the data and tell myself that. Thanks for clearing up my paranoia. Isn’t it funny when you try to coach your self that despite best efforts, bias always creeps in and clouds your judgement. I know you’ve written about this extensively.

        Anyway, thanks for taking the time Andy. It means a lot.

        Reply
  73. Matt k

    Home gym training questions…

    1. Does a reverse hyper machine qualify as a hip hinge variant? (and what are your thoughts on these machines?)

    2 . Are there any leg press variants that don’t require a machine?

    3. Are there any horizontal row variants that don’t require a cable machine?

    Thank you endlessly
    Matt

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Matt, thanks for the questions.
      1. It’s a different action. Just do it with a dumbbell if you don’t have a barbell. I’m sure Bret Contreras has more thoughts on this on his site it you’re interested in the theory as he’s the hip man.
      2. A leg press variant refers to machines that work the legs in a pressing action. But if that’s not possible, then you can use an alternative exercise that mimics the action.
      3. Seal rows, one arm barbell rows on a bench.

      If there’s something that isn’t clear in the book then feel free to ask, but otherwise I think the questions this time brush against the “fair use” policy ceiling in the comments given how highly personal they are. Plenty of resources out there for you to find out about these things.

      Reply
  74. Mark

    Hello everyone!

    Just a quick question if any of the available coaches can chip in on this!

    Do you happen to have a ‘written write-up’ example of the accumulation, intensification, realization setup as discussed in the training book? Maybe just for myself and the other readers to get a grasp on how to set up a training protocol based on that!

    If also the coaches are familiar with juggernaut 2.0, how does your method of Accumulation, intensification, realization differ from theirs?

    Thanks!

    -Mark

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Mark, thanks for the questions.
      1. Not currently. This is something we could include in a future edition or resource somewhere on the website (as it’d span so many pages if in PDF version). Thank you for the suggestion.
      2. I’m not, but I imagine the broad principles will be the same.

      Reply
  75. Alexander

    Sorry for the unclear question, it wasn’t my intention to get spoon feed with a cookiecutter answer. In fact, I set up a template with 3 days, but wasn’t sure, if the volume/week would be sufficient.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      You’ll need to split the missing volume from the one day across your other training days to maintain the balance. Then just adjust from there.

      Reply
  76. Mark

    Thank you for the response! It would be awesome to see a PDF post in an updated edition with rough guidelines for setting up your own accumulation, intensification, realization block…

    Andy, while you’re the main poster here and Eric is on break. If I may ask you a quick question regarding your Ebook for diet adjustments… Why do you prefer to have clients consume less than 100g carbs on off days? I was under the assumption that in the nutrition template, keep calories constant throughout the week!

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      I typically get clients to cycle their calorie intake across the week, with a lower calorie intake on their rest days. In combination with this, I’ll usually have people have more carbs on their training days and keep fats loser. The result is a low carb intake on the rest days out of necessity. This isn’t for everyone (those that are new to counting, or can’t cope with the complication), but many like the variety it brings.

      Reply
  77. Louis York

    The question I have is about maintenance calories. I did the two week weigh-in method and ended up losing .4 lbs. Can you please give me an example of how to caculate a loss? The book only gave an example of how to calculate weight gain. Thank you in advance! Great books btw! Really broadened my perspective on bodybuilding.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Louis, can you clarify the question for me?

      Reply
  78. Scott

    Is this availible in paper book form or only download?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Scott, just a PDF currently. You’ll see more details about this at the top of the FAQ on the sales page.

      Reply
  79. Louis York

    In regards to caculating maintenance calories, Eric recommended using the two week weigh-in method where you weigh yourself for 14 days in a row consuming the same amount of calories each day. Then average each week and multiply the difference by 3500 (depending on desired rate of fat loss). The book gave an example of a gain of .2 lbs from week 1 to week 2, which was then multiplied by 3500 to get the caloric surplus.
    Now, I lost .4 lbs from week 1 to week 2 suggesting I was consuming less than my maintenance calories. How can I figure out how much of a deficit I was in for those 2 weeks? Sorry for the long winded question..

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Louis, the 3500 number is a good approximation for a deficit also, so the math is the same.

      You lost 0.4lbs – that’s an approximate 1400kcal deficit, assuming no water, glycogen or gut content fluctuations. Consider leaving it for another week to get more of a trend as you can’t rule out those things just yet.

      Reply
      • Louis York

        Will do! Thanks Andy

        Reply
      • Paras

        Hi Andy, Ive been in a cutting phase for a month now and at 2035 calories, i lost 1.6lbs between those 2 weeks. i also did cardio as well (low intensity) for about 1050kcals in total. so does that mean my deficit was 1.6×3500= 5600 with cardio and 4550kcals without cardio? and my maintainance being 2035+650 without cardio?

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Please see the FAQ item about this Paras.

          Reply
  80. Mario Solano

    Just wondering this, maybe I was a bit too tired last night, but can you clarify that method that Louis mentioned? I read that within the Nutritional Pyramid as well, but when I averaged my weigh ins, I just ended up with a bodyweight number and of course that multiplied by 3500 was a ridiculously large number. What was the basic formula for it? (im doing this on excel on my laptop)

    Or if you dont want to give out too much info on that, could you direct me to the page # so I can read that section again when I’m home from work!

    Thanks a million 😀 😀

    -Mark

    (also any future forums for users?! would be awesome to see)

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Calculating and Adjusting For Weight Gain or Loss

      a ridiculously large number
      – Ignore the changes to your diet in the first week of dieting as there will be large swings in weight due to change in carbohydrate intake, and thus water balance and glycogen levels. You’ll now need to wait a few weeks to see your trend in weight change before making adjustments. I’d suggest you wait till the 4th week point. My guide to tracking here.

      Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jake, thank you.
      Not currently, though we may have an affiliate program up on the site in the future.

      Reply
  81. Billy

    His Eric, hope your okay, I’ve recently bought both of your books and must say they are fantastic. Something on overdue in the community. However I was wondering if I could trouble you for two questions I have,

    1) do deloads have to concur at the same week, for example: I trained a movement progression into the 4th cycle, but done it within two weeks as I should have set it up and trained it once per week and done a different exercise on a different day and trained a different rep scheme as progression through another exercise. So I’m potentially on my 4th time training this movement should I Deload? Even if all other lifts are not at the Deload point? I hope that makes sense dude.

    2) I’ve dropped a fair bit of volume to stop non functional overreaching as you call it. To get. A bit more functional objective volume in, my question is my chest doesn’t seem to be as ‘pumped’ forgive the bro terminology I’m not refering to when I weight train I mean in general in the morning ect compared to how it used to be, could this be less glycogen storage due to less volume ect? (I’m not in a deficit of your wondering) my question is, is this reduction in size a sign that I need more volume? , is it a negative I need to worry about of course I’ll sacrifice the look of it now in order to increase size in the future.

    Hope the war questions make sense dude, an thanks ever so much for reading/replying look forward to all the content you real ease in the future and can’t thank you enough for the books. Especially the section on how to help other people you clearly have a humble, and kind personality that is certainly to be desired.

    -Billy.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1) I’m not entirely clear on what you are asking. I read the question a couple times but don’t understand. That said, a deload should provide systemic recovery, so however you set up your training, if/when you do a deload, it should provide that.
      2) I think it would be best to stick to more objective ways of tracking progress, perhaps strength and measurements and pictures over the long term.

      You’re welcome!

      Eric

      Reply
  82. James Wilson

    Can I buy a printed version, or is it only for download?

    Thanks,
    James.

    Reply
  83. Rich T

    Hi guys, thanks for the truly excellent books. Probably dumb RPE question: above it says, “RPE values are for your first set, then try to maintain load and complete all sets and reps without hitting failure.” But since it’s your first set, how do you know what the right load is to achieve a certain RPE that day? Also, the book prescribes progressing weight each week (for intermediate)… does RPE override that, ie, you don’t progress unless you are feeling up to it? Thanks…

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Rich. Most trainees will be able to feel this out by the warm-up, and have a good idea what load will be appropriate from previous experience. If the exercise is new to you then go with the beginner progression, or just pick up a weight and see how you feel based on your warm up, then adjust based on how you do in that workout in the next workout.

      Also, the book prescribes progressing weight each week (for intermediate)… does RPE override that, ie, you don’t progress unless you are feeling up to it?
      – There’s no black and white answer to this one. Some days you’ll feel stronger than others, but it’s important to push for progression where possible, and the progression will bring up the load you can use with the same RPE over each cycle. Now, it’s ok to overreach past the RPE guidelines a little to do this, but if you are chronically finding that you are over then you need to adjust one or more of the VIF elements (reducing load would be the simplest first step).

      Critical thinking is essential to your success, so never follow a program blindly. Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Rich T

        Yes, that’s very helpful — thanks Andy!

        Reply
  84. Matt

    Hey Andy and Eric, do you guys have much knowledge and/or experience with sleep disturbances as they might relate to training?

    The reason I ask is because (I think) I’m getting toward the end of my beginner linear periodization, running a modified 5×5 program, and recently I’ve been having issues where I wake up throughout the night. I fall back asleep and still get ~7-8 hours a night, but I worry if the quality of my sleep is a concern.

    Aside from sleep, everything else is great – I’m eating in a slight surplus, general stress levels are minimal, I’m still progressing in the gym (though my workouts are getting pretty tough to get through), my mood and energy levels are great, my body feels good.

    Do you guys have any experience with or insight into the connections between training and sleep? Are sleep issues an indicator of something that I should be aware of?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Matt, not our area of expertise, but sleep is important yes. Ideally you want to get an appropriate quantity and quality of sleep to help you adapt to the demands of training. If this is a continuing issue I’d advise seeing a specialist.

      Reply
  85. Brian

    Hi guys, loving the books! I had a question regarding some of the content in the Training book. I didn’t see anything about Occlusion Training (BFR) though there seems to be quite a bit of data showing it’s benefits to producing similar results to higher intensity loads in terms of hypertrophy. Any chance that you guys will be adding a section about BFR in a future version of the books? Thanks again for the awesome books!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      I considered including it, and may include something about in a future version, but as you said, BFR can provide similar hypertrophy to non occluded training, but it isn’t above and beyond the benefits of normal training nor is it known to be complementary (ie adding it to an already well set up plan likely wouldn’t be any better than normal traiing that was added). That said, it can be very useful in situations where the absolute mechanical load on the joint or soft tissue can’t be high (due to injury) and when you still want to stimulate hypertrophy. I’ve successfully used occlusion training when joint injuries effect my lifters, and it results in a much faster return to previous strength performance levels in powerlifters, and can be used just like any other type of training to stimulate growth, just with lower loads. Also…I don’t recommend it straight out of the gate just because it’s painful and easy to do incorrectly. For good info on this stuff check out anything by Dr Jeremy Loenneke this is his area of research and he’s also a competitive natural bodybuilder and powerlifter.

      Reply
      • Brian

        Thanks for the reply! Yes, Dr. Loenneke’s was what I had been referring to as I have been utilizing BFR to come back from a SLAP repair in the my left shoulder, definitely a useful tool.

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Awesome, sounds like you’re already accessing the best info on this stuff and so pleased to hear its helped you.

          Reply
  86. Yannik

    Hi guys, i have to thank you once again for the awesome content. I already asked a question but there’s another one concerning the deloads. I’m running the intermediate program and it’s going pretty well. Next week is my first planned deload week ever in my 3 years of lifting and i wanted to ask you if i just keep my calories at the same level or may decrease them a little bit. I considered that the caloric expenditure from 5 days of lower training volume and intensity eventually decreases NEAT and doesn’t have a great muscle growth stimulus anyway. Of course i know about supercompensation but does the body need as much calories for it to occur? Just being curious, thanks in advance. 🙂

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      The difference in caloric expenditure for the entire day on a deload compared to a normal week is 1% of next to nothing 🙂

      And adaptation is a continual not an acute process, so keep your calories as you would normally.

      Reply
  87. Greg

    Hi Eric,

    I hope you will find the time to read and respond to this short message.
    In your latest book you say that ‘pure strengths athletes 50-75% of your volume should come from the specific movements …’

    Do you mean volume as sets/reps or load/sets/reps?

    Cheers and I appreciate your response

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Hey Greg! Thanks for the question, I mean volume in terms of total reps performed, not volume load.

      Reply
      • Greg

        Cheers

        Reply
  88. Huy Bui

    Are there physical copies of the books that I can buy?

    Reply
  89. Mark

    Hello!

    I’ve been a previous commenter, but this question is for Mr.Helms

    While DUP is a popular means of training currently, By any chance, will you incorporate any future PDFs of maybe a DUP program you’ve written out for an athlete? It would be nice to have a bit more ‘generic protocol’ as to how A DUP training cycle may look like in the long term picture!

    Thanks a ton!

    -Mark

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Mark, all of the programs in the Training Pyramid book have elements of daily undulating periodization in them and could be considered “DUP”, the nature of your question tells me you don’t fully understand what DUP is and I’d highly recommend reading Chapter 3 Progression, and also the Sample Training Programs chapters again to help you fully grasp the concept.

      Reply
  90. Wick

    Hi!

    Is the training program also effective for people who are on PED’s? i’t is a frequently asked question i get..

    Wick

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Theoretically, the same mechanisms which make a drug free lifter grow optimally, would make an enhanced lifter grow, the PEDs should just make the process faster and more effective. That said, all I have is theory since I have no experience working with lifters on PEDs.

      Reply
  91. Mark

    Will do! this is a very thorough read and I have to admit some chapters may need to be read a few times to fully grasp the concepts at hand!
    Will read again!

    Thank you Mr. Helms!

    Reply
  92. BJ

    WOW !! What an amazing masterpiece you guys have put together !! This is gonna last me a life time. One question though, after leaning down to desired bodyfat. How would you reverse diet to maintenance calories, then into a bulk ?

    Reply
  93. Bert

    Great reading.

    In the example routine of training Lv 2: p.56: “majority of the work is in the 6 rep and lower range, …” However the example routine in p.55, i notice that this only entails all the leg & press movements. The pulling movements are actually >6 reps. This means that “majority” actually means out of all the muscles combined, and not majority of each muscle group. It looks like the upper pulling movement is getting all hypertrophy treatment while legs & upper pushing gets strength. Is there a reason why certain muscles get a higher/lower rep range, and certain ones get higher/lower intensity? For some reason i thought it should be more spread out evenly, each group having high/low rep as well as intensity. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Remember, this is just a sample split, if you want to see the actual sample programs, check out the end of the book. Also, the reason is because most people have a very difficult time keeping form on heavy pulling movements. It’s very easy to use body english, so it can be useful to keep the loads a little lighter. So long as you are progressing you’ll be getting enough of a strength stimulus. Rows 6-8 is also there.

      Reply
  94. Carlos

    Great books guys!really usefull info!
    I have lerned almost everything i expected, i only have some questions on how to plan my individual trainning program.
    1. When u say 1-2 compound exercises for each major muscle group(you include biceps or triceps?) , and 1-3 for isolation, you mean per sesion or per week(training split)?

    Ex. I want to choose my chest exercises for a 5day split(upper/lower/push/pull/leg), so ill have 2compound+3iso to split along the upper/push days, or on upper day choose 1-2 compound+1-3iso and for push the same?
    2.For weak points what % of volume ull increase?
    Your books explain almost everything, but just cant find that clear info on how to set an individual program.
    Great job guys! Wanna thank all the effort you make for people to learn!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Carlos you’re skirting pretty close to some rule violations here, specifically 3 (individual programming) and 4 (you can use google to find out the definition of a compound movement and isolation movement).

      Also hit Ctrl F and search for weak points and also volume so you can see what has been discussed on increasing volume and weak points already.

      Regards, Eric

      Reply
  95. Chris Olender

    I was wondering if you could elaborate on the 35-40% recommendation for fat with regards to family history of diabetes? This value is mentioned in the online nutrition calculator and also briefly touched on in the nutrition book. My father has been a diabetic for most of his life and as well as his father who is no longer alive. I am in very good health physically with no abnormal blood work (tracking macros consistently for 1 yr+ along with weight lifting 3-4x/week for about 2 years consistently) but am curious as to how such a recommendation would apply or benefit me? Traditionally, my fat macros have been set at about 20-25%, would I notice some type of health (diabetes-specific or otherwise), training benefit or favorable body composition (currently about 12-13% body fat if I estimate modestly) increasing it to 35-40%? Would this affect fat gain/deposition at all as I am currently in a lean gain phase?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Chris, just because you have a family history of diabetes doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to benefit from a higher fat intake. It just means that you may be at a higher risk (not guaranteed) of being more insulin resistant. If your family members aren’t active, don’t have the best diets and developed diabetes later in life, that is very different from being relatively active, or at least not sedentary, and eating a more or less normal diet and getting diabetes. The latter would more likely indicate a strong genetic component if that makes sense. More than likely, you being lean, active, and watching your diet has a huge protective effect against you getting diabetes, and so long as you keep this lifestyle you won’t have anything to worry about. However, it is possible that due to the potential (not guaranteed) underlying genetics that you may benefit from a lower carbohydrate intake due to a degree of insulin resistance. Only way to tell would be trying out a higher fat intake and lower carb intake and tracking data, and doing this a couple times as recommended in the book and comparing. And/Or getting some metabolic testing done. This is getting a bit outside of my scope though, so if you are truly concerned about your risk of diabetes or have concerns about your metabolic health, talk to your doc. As to the rationale, technically the goal isn’t higher fat, rather it’s lower carbohydrate, higher fat just makes you consume less carbohydrate with the way the book recommends setting up your diet because when you increase fat, carbs go down because you have a set number of calories with protein relative to body-weight. Someone who is insulin resistant will have a more difficult time “handling” a higher carbohydrate load while keeping blood sugar levels in normal ranges and insulin levels in normal ranges. But again, not saying for sure that you are insulin resistant to any degree, the book just states things that might make that more probable of being the case.

      Reply
      • Chris Olender

        Would there be any benefit (or negative effects) on body composition at higher levels of fat while keeping it isocaloric between both models? For example, am I more likely to store my lean bulk “surplus” as adipose tissue compared to muscle with an overall larger daily contribution from fat?

        Wouldn’t increasing fat (thus decreasing carbs) affect my gym performance?

        Is this a situation where nutrient timing of carbohydrates to certain periods of time (aside from around a workout) would become more beneficial over another method for overall health/insulin sensitivity/body composition?

        Also is there any literature to suggest higher carbohydrate load is handled any different (with regards to digestion/insulin sensitivity) if consumed prior to bed? As I often eat a decently sized meal when I get home from work late but am forced to go to bed very soon in order to wake up for work again in 6 hours.

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Chris, I think you are missing my point. There may be a benefit of a different carb/fat ratio depending on if a person happens to be insulin resistant, in the book I pointed out potential markers that could make this potential more likely. To determine if that is the case you have to test this over time to find out if that is the case.

          And please see the nutrient timing section for you last question. Remember, what I wrote about in the books is what matters, I didn’t haphazardly leave out things that are critical, I included everything that is relevant and important based on my experience and interpretation of the literature.

          Reply
  96. Carlos

    Sorry man, i didnt pretend to violate any rules. My example wasnt to try to ask my individual situation, i only asked how someone should proceed when choosing their individual goals.
    I mean,choosing 1-2comp + 1-3iso for each session or per week(split) isnt an indivudual question.

    Again sorry,didnt wanted to ofend, im spanish, and im not sure if my english is on point so i cant express myself well.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      All good Carlos no worries, and I think I initially misunderstood. Please see the sample programs as they show examples of what is appropriate for how many exercises to select for each bodypart.

      And for weak points, only something to deal with once you are advanced in 95% of cases, and if you are at that point, increasing volume on weak points by 20-30% while decreasing volume on the rest by 10-20% is a decent way to go.

      🙂

      Reply
  97. Ross

    For machines with bigger jumps in plates, such as cable rows (7.5lb increase on both sides for +15lb total), would Double Progression be more suitable?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Ross, thanks for the question.

      “…would Double Progression be more suitable?”
      – Yes, it’s a good way to keep progressing (when that stalls) given the incremental increase is so high.

      Reply
  98. Bert

    Hi guys, another question, this time regarding nutrition. Seeing that carb & fat intake are flexible (within a range), and total calorie & protein count are the dominant factors, is there merit in keeping the carb & fat intake be consistent from day to day? Can fat vary from the min recommended range to the max in the day to day? Speaking purely for the recreational lifter & lay public crowd. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Bert. I’d say yes, absolutely. Just be aware that the additional freedom there, while intended to improve adherence, could backfire for some folks as it gives them too much leeway, they miscount without realizing it and they screw themselves up. Some consistency with the meals for those not experienced with counting (perhaps having the same 6-10 meals on rotation at the start) is not a bad idea.

      Reply
  99. Kevin

    Hi there

    I purchased the muscle and strength pyramid

    Just finished within few days

    Overall, wanted to give 5 stars towards this book.

    hopefully, looking forward to change my entire fitness goals and methods

    However, one quick question about the nutrition, there wasn’t specific information about training fasted. I usually train before my workout, so usually grab something fast digestion carbs and straight heads to gym. Should I include protein source before my workout?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Kevin, thank you, glad you enjoyed the books!

      Should I include protein source before my workout?
      -It would be prudent to do so to prevent any muscle catabolism. Two options:
      ~10g of BCAAs 10 minutes before or a 25g whey shake around an hour before will do the trick. Neither technically fasted but the same feeling.

      Reply
  100. Bert

    Hi Eric/Andy, Bert here again. Can you clear something up for me? On p. 142 under Intermediate Progression, the progression rules state to use Wave Loading progression on all lifts except isolation movements. I understand that these are primarily addressing the main 3 lifts.

    RDL, FSQ and any Horiz/Vert push/pull are accessory lifts. Curls, tricep & leg extensions are isolation lifts. Should accessory & isolation lifts take part in any progression while the main lifts are going through the Wave progression? Do you recommend holding them constant just to maintain a baseline volume (for work capacity?), or maybe move on to the less aggressive double progression model? This is in consideration of the fact that pushing to progress these lifts may be detriment to recovery for the main lifts.

    Guys, these books have been tremendously edumacational. I feel very equipped with tools after reading them. Ive done alot of flipping back & forth across different chapters to make sure I understand all the concepts, but I promise to read both books again for the 2nd time. Thanks so much for being thorough.

    *electronic fist pound*

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      In the intermediate powerlifting program you use wave loading on everything, in the intermediate bodybuilding you use it on everything, except the exercises in the 12-15 rep range in which case you use double progression.

      *fist pound back at you*

      Reply
  101. TK

    Thank you very much for the information in the training book (have yet to read the nutrition one, but sure it will be just as awesome).

    I had a few queries, if you have the time to answer them, I would certainly appreciate it:

    1- when I was watching the original videos there was mention of body part overlap when putting together a programme. I bought the book hoping that there would be more information about this. I found that there was not a whole lot about this. Is that because is it something not worth over complicating? (e.g. I do BP & OHP therefore all of the reps for those will count towards chest/tris/delts) Or can this get too complex e.g a third of bench volume will count to triceps volume or a fifth of OHP volume will count as chest volume because upper chest is involved?

    2- In the final level of the pyramid I noticed no mention of myoreps/cluster sets. Is this a form of training you may include in future versions? I thought there was some evidence to support these techniques? (As an aside the inclusion of BFR in future versions would be appreciated)

    3- You mention overload eccentrics in the text and say that slow eccentrics logically aren’t an equivalent (an opinion that Inhave always held too). Any suggestions on how to include these in programmes?

    4- In some of the 3DMJ video material there is mention of flexible workout schedules (e.g. Having a weekly volume to “tick off” as you do items) and abbreviated (e.g. CEO) workouts. I was hoping to see mention of these in the first level of the pyramid. Any guidelines for doing these? In regards to flexible programmes – Let’s say you are using an amalgamation of the entire intermediate program over a week – any absolute nonos? (Eg. Doing all the deadlifting on the same day -as an extreme and obvious example?)

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1. I went into it as much as I think is appropriate and there is no way to know, for everyone (because we don’t all have the same length arms for example), what proportion of the reps from bench or ohp contribute to triceps. Plus, movements train more muscle groups than we often acknowledge, which I point out in a few spots, also see this response https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/support/#comment-157
      2. They can certainly be used. If you understand how clusters and myoreps work and integrate into VIF you can integrate them. Check out Borge Fagerli’s work for more info on myoreps. The only downside to them is they are difficult to quantify in terms of volume compared to traditional training because there are more effective reps in some cases. Also for info on BFR see these comments
      https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/support/#comment-118

      https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/support/#comment-311
      3. Overloaded eccentrics are very easy to do wrong, and carry a pretty high risk, and have a very specific time period when I think they should be included, so not something I think is appropriate for the books which are broader in nature.
      4. This is useful once you’re at the advanced level, use percentage 1RM with regular AMRAP/1RM testing for main lift progression, and then for accessories use double progression and wave loading and slot in accessories based on your schedule and time. But make sure you have some logic and common sense with which accessories and when you do them relative to your main lifts and each other see this comment
      https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/support/#comment-393

      Reply
  102. Bert

    Hi guys, as im putting together a good program that contains flexibility for availability, the following question arises. In the case of a Wave Progression, ideally you have A B C routines for 3 days of the week. Workout A1-A4 is the wave progression for routine A from week 1 to 4, and occurs in the same day week to week. However, is it ok to have the flexibility such they don’t recur in the same order in the following week? For example: week 1 is A1 B1 C1, but week 2 is B2 A2 C2. Notice the order of workout A and B has switched in the 2nd week.

    This is helpful in cases where certain equipments are not available on the day that you had intended to do them. For example I show up pumped & ready to do squats, only to find that the one rack in the whole gym has been occupied indefinitely by a dude doing a dozen sets with 5min rest intervals. In the case of most commercial gyms, squat racks & bench press are usually under stocked- so this is not an unlikely occurrence. If I were able to do a switcheroo with a session that has Deadlifts instead, and save my Squat led session to a different day, that would help tons. When you look at the weekly work performed, all the intended workouts are still completed. What do you think? Could this order change sabotage the progression somehow?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      This can work, you are basically describing flexible non linear periodization and studies on this have shown it to be at least as effective as having a set day for each training session. There are scenarios where this wouldn’t be a good idea, like back to back deadlift days or something like that, but a little logic and common sense along with the flexible approach and you’re golden

      Reply
  103. Ashkan

    Hi Guys,

    First of all awesome books, best investment i made in fitness to date!

    I had a question when reviewing content for Cardio in the book, i am currently do a 5 day split similar to your Intermediate Bodybuilding Template, and i want to incorporate 2 LISS Cardio or 1 LISS and 1 HIIT Cardio as i am currently in a deficit.

    I wanted to know in terms of recovery would i be able to put those cardio session on my 2 off days during the week or would it be better to have 1 of them after a weightlifting session and have 1 full rest day.

    Sorry i had posted this earlier but seems it was deleted somehow

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Ashkan, thank you!
      The LISS isn’t likely to affect your workouts wherever you put them. The HIIT is a trickier one and there’s no real “best” way to schedule it – the important thing is that it doesn’t affect your strength training sessions, so make a decision, try it for a couple of weeks and see how you feel.

      Reply
      • Ashkan

        Thanks Andy!

        Reply
  104. Josh

    Hey guys,

    I ended up buying the nutrition book on my iphone instead of the computer (so I can read when I’m at work) I wanted to access the calculation spread sheet but it does not work quite as well being on a little screen. I was wondering if there is a possibility that I can access it on my computer instead of buying another copy. I hope I am being clear enough and not confusing. Thanks in advance, you guys are truly great dudes and I am looking forward to reading this!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Josh, theres probably a way to share the file download from your phone with your mac. – Google that and see. If not, just download it again using the download link in the original email and save it to your computer. If that’s expired, as we warned, shoot us an email to the address at the top of the page and we’ll send you another one. If you could try those first two steps first though that would be appreciated.

      Reply
      • Josh

        Hey Andy,

        I ended up just downloading it from my e-mail. I realized that as soon as I sent the message, sorry about that. Thanks for the response!

        Reply
  105. Bert

    Despite understanding the low priority placement of Supplementation in the nutrition pyramid, I still want to ask this question just out of curiosity. I understand there is no research that gives evidence for this, but in your opinion, is there any reason to believe that digestion of BCAA supplementation is superior to Whey, SPECIFICALLY for the release of leucine, and SPECIFICALLY in relation for fasted weight training or post workout sup? Its a very specific question, and I just wanted your opinion.

    I remember a 3DMJ video of Eric describing the daily state of our bodies as constantly going from anabolic to catabolic throughout the day. Catabolic during a workout, anabolic during a meal. Then there is the overhyped and unsupported marketing ploy of describing leucine as the “anabolic trigger.” Would a BCAA sup post training provide faster release of leucine compared to a meal or whey, consequently increasing the area under the curve on the anabolic side? (albeit probably very slightly?)

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Bert. Before one of us go down the rabbit hole of high theory put potential irrelevancy in answering your question:
      1. What is it specifically that you are doing?
      2. What is it that you want to achieve or avoid?

      Reply
      • Bert

        Andy, regarding the BCAA question. Currently i do use BCAA prior to training fasted (train first thing in AM purely for time convenience sake). Im wondering if immediately taking BCAA post training has any additional benefits over just eating a meal, and how significant would it be, if at all?

        Reply
  106. Tuan

    Hello,

    I’m currently running the intermediate BB program and have lagging lateral delts. I was wondering if lateral raises would be considered a vertical push. If so, would you advise doing it on the upper day (4s 5-7r), push day (3s 6-8r) or in addition to those two exercises. Also, if adding these additional sets, what set/rep scheme would be appropriate to prevent fatigue from adding too many sets?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Careful you’re skirting the edges of rule 3 🙂

      But, you could consider them a vertical push, but I would probably put them at the end of an upper and/or push day and use a double progression approach with 8-15 reps

      Reply
  107. Rudy

    Hi guys, I’m interested in buying the books and wanted to know if they would also be ideal for someone whose main goal is powerlifting and hypertrophy work secondary. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Yes they cover that and tons more.

      Reply
  108. tao

    hey guys I have a question regarding the nutrition book:

    on page 131 there’s table (the breakdown of novice powerlifting program).

    1) why are there three columns of reps/wk?

    2) I don’t understand the exercise column here, UB push are all main compound exercise and UB pull are supposed to be all accessories? (I know I definitely read it wrong, please correct me)

    3) why the first column of reps/wk for LOWER is 68 whilst others seem to be the above two numbers added together?

    4) LOWER intensity is 100% ? what does that mean (I’m guessing it’s UB PUSH + UB PULL but why??)

    please help me to solve the mystery, thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      I believe you mean the training book.

      To answer your questions

      1) why are there three columns of reps/wk?
      To represent the three titles of those columns (read the cell to the left of each reps/wk column) reps per week organized by Muscle Group, by Exercise, by Intensity

      2) I don’t understand the exercise column here, UB push are all main compound exercise and UB pull are supposed to be all accessories? (I know I definitely read it wrong, please correct me)
      UB Push=Upper Body Push, exercises where you are pushing with the upper body, UB Pull=Upper Body Pull, exercises where you are pulling with your upper body (this includes deadlift volume in addition to rows, chins etc)

      3) why the first column of reps/wk for LOWER is 68 whilst others seem to be the above two numbers added together?
      Notice the 3 different colors. Each is a distinct set columns and 3 rows. If you read the title of each row in the first column of each set, which is to the left of the number, you will see that the third row title in the second and third column sets are the Total, so the total of anything based on a percentage, is 100%. However the first set is discussing the number of reps for each body part, “Lower” refers to Lower body, the number 68 is the number of repetitions performed in lower body movements.
      4) LOWER intensity is 100% ? what does that mean (I’m guessing it’s UB PUSH + UB PULL but why??)
      Lower only refers to it’s column, not the other columns, notice how they are color coded with different shades of blue. Only the first two columns have anything to do with UB Push, UB Pull, and Lower. The other colored columns have their own titles: Main and Accessory in the second set of 2 columns, and >6RM and <6RM in the third set of 2 columns.

      Reply
  109. Joseph

    I am having the same issue with the table on page 131. I still don’t comprehend what is happening in it. The first column that has Reps/Wk and says 67 means what? I don’t get what those reps/week are supposed to be saying when the other two rows are sowing 110 reps/week

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Joseph, just imagine there is a pace between the 3 sets of different shaded blue columns, so you have Rep/wk divided by body parts (upper body push, upper body pull), exercise (main or accessory), and intensity (6RM or lower and higher than 6RM). When it’s shown as a number, it’s the actual number of working reps performed, when it’s shown as a percentage, it’s the proportion of the total reps.

      Reply
  110. Tulik

    I bought and read the books, gained a lot of knowledge from the books and I really liked it, thank you!

    One thing that wasn’t written in the book of nutrition and i don’t fully understand is:

    if my maintenance calories are 2600, to gain weight i add 200 calories that is 2800 calories,
    after 2 weeks i gain for example 0.5kg and after 2 more weeks my weight stayed the same, how many calories i need to add again? the question is when and how much calories i need to add to keep gaining weight?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Andy actually does a great job in talking about how to adjust the diet once you’ve set it up in his book on this topic https://rippedbody.jp/adjustments-manual/ I recommend this book highly if you want to really dive in. For a very basic answer to your question, the relationship between energy and bodyweight still holds true, so for example, for every .5lbs off of your target weight loss (.5-1% per week) that you are, decrease calories by 250 (or increase them if you are losing too fast). I would wait 2 weeks before adjusting (based on a 7 day average) if things were going smoothly last week as it could just be water masking the loss. Andy goes into how to do measurements so you can see if you are still losing fat during these periods where weight doesn’t tell the whole story in his book.

      Reply
      • Tulik

        Hey Eric, thanks for the answer, I’ve checked the book and it looks like the topic is around “Cutting” period, and my question was regarding bulking period “keep gaining weight” 🙂

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          So yeah, still the same answer, excect you increase calories per week a whole let less than the amount you’d decrease them because you aren’t looking to gain .5-1% per week (the rate at which you want to lose), you’re looking to gain .5-1.5% of your bodyweight per MONTH. So I’d recommend more like 50-100kcal bumps to your weekly intake.

          Reply
          • Tulik

            Thanks, one more question:
            I work out at the gym three years, but till this day i did basic workouts like push pull, with no specific weights and without progressive overload.

            My body weight is 156lbs with around 12% bf

            1RM for squat is 286lbs,
            1RM FOR bench is 242lbs

            i think the numbers are very low for some one after 3 years, right?
            The question is where i should put myself, novice or intermediate?

            Thanks.

          • Tulik

            One more question on progression, for example I’m using intermediate compound movement progression & double progression.

            I should use this for every exercise that i do ? or i should pick only a few exercises to progress?

            Thank you!

          • Eric Helms

            You want to try to progress on all exercises.

          • Tulik

            And one more question on nutrition book, I’m very sick right now, so i took off the whole week from training.
            I’m doing lean gain with 2800 calories right now, should i keep eating 2800 calories while sick and not training?

            Thanks.

          • Andy Morgan

            I’d keep it as is.

  111. Bert

    Andy, regarding the BCAA question. Currently i do use BCAA prior to training fasted (train first thing in AM purely for time convenience sake). Im wondering if immediately taking BCAA post training has any additional benefits over just eating a meal, and how significant would it be, if at all?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Please put this in a response to the previous question Bert and I’ll answer you there and delete this one.

      Reply
  112. Raj

    Firstly wanted to thank all of you for producing such a high quality product. Having read a wide variety of training resources, your work is definitely strikes the perfect balance between science and practical application. I got to the templates, then started re-reading various chapters to really understand how it all fits in together, rather than just jumping on another programme I now have a template that I can manage and adjust properly with the resources you have provided.
    I am currently running the intermediate powerlifting programme and had a couple of questions.
    1) I have a varied schedule so my training days are not consistent during the week, so there are times where the 2 strength days may fall back to back (do try to avoid this). Would you recommend doing them as written or swapping the deadlift and bench around for more of an upper/lower approach to get the work in?
    2) For deloading, am thinking of using the deload week to test single rep maxes with all other volume being fairly low for the week. Do you think this would work or am I missing the point of the deload?
    Kind regards
    Raj

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You’re welcome!
      1. That could certainly be a solution when you can’t avoid back to back sessions. Give it a shot see if its better.
      2. That can work, and you may find you feel fresh after a week such as this, however, you may also find you aren’t very strong after doing multiple 1RM or AMRAP tests. You’ll recover from lower volume, but you’ll potentially have reduced force production capacity. This can certainly work however, if you follow that week up with a higher volume (relative to your training) at lower RPEs so you aren’t having to push near your normal maximal strength capacity. I actually do this in training quite often, I’ll have 3 weeks of pushing, a deload, then 3 weeks of pushing followed by a 1 week taper that ends in a 1RM test, then the next week it’ll be higher reps with moderate loads so even if the athlete isn’t as strong as normal, they can still complete all prescribed loads…however if they are still limping a bit after testing, I’ll just chuck another deload week at them with low intensity.

      Reply
  113. Juan

    Hi,

    I only have 1 question.. is there any plans to make this book available in Spanish?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      We would like to do that at some point yes.

      Reply
  114. Don

    I have a question about volume as it pertains to the addition of BFR. When you incorporate BFR using the protocols that Jeremy Loenneke outlines(35 reps+15 reps+15 reps+15 reps), it increase the total volume for a body part pretty severely. So if I occlude for say triceps, one day a week, the total weekly volume for triceps would be pretty high given that it has overlap for a lot of other exercises such as presses and dips. So in meeting total volume goals for the week, is BFR volume counted in the same way as other movements, especially in light of the lower intensity. If so, what would be the best way to manage that in a program?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      First, I LOVE that BFR can be used when a joint is injured to keep a training stimulus without loading the joint, but I don’t necessarily like it as a regular training stimulus because it’s very difficult to keep the same level of cuff tightness, which affects how quickly you fatigue, how much pain you experience, and thus ultimately the load you can use and the reps you can do. So progress gets harder to track. Its also important to point out that BFR is not superior to regular training, so if you are using it just because…you aren’t getting an additional benefit.

      Reply
  115. Andre

    Fantastic Books!!
    The two best I’ve ever read on bodybuilding to be honest

    2 Nutrition Questions for now

    QUESTION 1: Can an argument be made that re-feed days make a fat loss diet HARDER to adhere to? I’ve founding that balancing my calories out more throughout the week (more on training days/ evening training) and less on off days allows me to not be quite as hungry and perform better in the gym. From my understanding, Re-feeds days are more psychological (as a diet break) than physiological ?

    QUESTION 2: Is it OK to stay in a caloric deficit and continue cardio on a De-Load week when dieting for Fat Loss? Could the combination of low training stimulus and low calories result in accelerated muscle loss?

    Question 3: For advanced trainees, looking for lean gains; might it be superior to use all of your monthly caloric surplus over the 3 weeks of harder training and bringing the calories to maintenance during the De-Load in week 4 where the objective is simply to drop fatigue?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Thanks glad to hear it!
      1. Please read the section on refeeds, the leaner you are, the more they become not just psychologically but physiologically beneficial. BUT, if you personally find they detract for adherence, then don’t do them, that’s base of the pyramid stuff. This isn’t the norm for most people, but it might be true for you.
      2. Yes. No it won’t, but running yourself into the ground because you don’t follow basic principles of training might 🙂
      3. No I don’t think so, adaptation is not only an acute process and deloads are as much an intro into the next block of training as they are a break from the last, and you want to be prepared, full of glycogen, recovered and “supercompensated” (as much as I don’t like that word).

      Reply
  116. Togay Koc

    Thank you for all the great info in your books.

    I have a few questions.

    1 – in order to improve adherence (level 1) some of your material on YouTube mentions flexible training schedules. Any guidelines / major things to avoid when doing this? (E.g. Not doing all deadlifting and squats for week on 1 day, not training only one marathon session per week – probably both obvious examples)

    2 – in regards exercise selection and body part overlap, is it just as simple as considering the overlap and reducing volume for other exercises or are there more precise guidelines? (E.g. Doing 3×8 bench contributes 8 reps to tricep volume)

    3 – would you recommend including overload eccentrics which you mention in the book? If so, at what advancement level and how/where?

    4 – in regards to improving adherence as well as in regards to rest timing do you guys advise myoreps/cluster sets?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You’re welcome!
      1. Guidelines for everyone, don’t just train 1-2x/week, get in at least three to avoid marathon sessions….2x CAN work, but after the novice stage make that rare as they will be long, hard, and brutal fullbody sessions.
      If your goal is strength: have a list of accessory movements (not your main lifts or big compounds) to get through by the end of the week, place them as they fit in terms of your time schedule. Try not to train deadlifts or squats on back to back days. Do that you’ll be alright.
      If your goal is hypertrophy: don’t train squats and deads on consecutive days.
      2. Upper body pushing exercises in the horizontal (including incline and decline) plane count for delts, chest tris, vertical is delts and tris, upper body pulling counts for back, rear delts, and bis, squat patterns is the entire lower body, deadlift patterns is the same, but a lot less quads and a lot more lower back. Consider that when organizing
      3. No I wouldn’t actually, while theoretically useful and while it is possible to do them right, it’s also very easy to do them wrong. You need a spotter you trust A LOT and very good control in terms of form. Maybe something to try at the advanced level only.
      4. You can certainly use clusters to get in you volume, given you get adequate rest.

      Reply
      • Bert

        Eric, in the intermediate powerlifting sample program tables p154-155, there is either a deadlift or a squat, or both on each training day. The tables show a 4 training day week out of 7 days. When you say “don’t train deadlifts or squats back to back” in the comment above, is this possible given the frequency shown? Or am I misunderstanding something? Also, does back to back mean same day DL & Squat is fine?

        -Bert

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          I meant on consecutive days.

          Reply
  117. Tom

    Hi,

    I’ve just finished both these books – which are invaluable as a coach and I was just wondering what other trusted resources (books or otherwise) you would recommend?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Great question.
      Practical Programming by Mark Rippetoe
      The Guide to Flexible Dieting by Lyle McDonald
      The Lean Muscle Diet by Alan Aragon and Lou Schuler
      Both the Art and Science of Lifting by Greg Nuckols and Omar Isuf
      Diet Coaching and Adjustments Manual by Andy Morgan (name soon to change but will be on his website rippedbody.jp)
      If you are coaching bodybuilders, Beyond the Build by Andrea Valdez

      If you want to get really geeky
      Supertraining by Mel Siff
      The Science and Practice of Strength Training by Zatsiorsky and Kraemer
      all the rest of Lyle McDonalds books

      Reply
  118. Gianluca

    Hi,

    I have a question about deloads. If I have to reduce weights for an exercise ,for example Military press,cause I stall on progress, will I have to deload for all the exercises? Or I can deloads only Military and continuing progression for other exercises?
    Thank you !

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Yes you can deload one movement if you progressing fine everywhere else. However, ALL of the principles related to the useful of regular deloads still applies.

      Reply
  119. Chris Olender

    I’ll try to make this as clear and concise as possible:

    -Currently in a lean gain phase (2800 kcal currently since 1 week ago, previously was at 2700 kcal for over 2 months)
    -Does it make sense to continually, yet slowly, gain weight at the same caloric intake and not plateau for over 2 months?

    With regard to cycling calories to prepare for a higher day like Super Bowl Sunday, I would like to cut no more than 10% under maintenance (which I assume is 2700?) on Wednesday and Thursday (both 13 hour work days and no gym) which would give me about 400 kcal per day and ~800 kcal extra for Sunday.
    -My question is how can cycling like this can affect muscle gain/fat gain in a lean gain phase?
    -More specifically if I workout on Tuesday (2800 kcal), but then the following two days (no workouts on these days) are 2400 kcal to save up 800 kcal for Sunday.
    -Does this mean I won’t provide enough nutrients to maintain a surplus on the low days and subsequently lose weight (muscle?) and then be more prone to gain weight (more fat vs muscle?) on the high day Sunday (3600 kcal)?
    -How does the timing of workouts and the (24-48 hour?) post workout potential for growth come into play here with regards to caloric cycling?
    -Is there a point of diminishing return where if after a certain period (>48 hours?) you would need to workout again to induce more anabolism/muscle growth? Surely stimulating MPS via appropriate meals would not be enough to build muscle if there was no catalyst for growth like resistance training?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      I would recommend gaining at .5-1.5% of bodyweight per month, relative to your training age. Do so until bodyfat gets too high. For men, probably don’t let yourself get to the point where bodyfat starts with a 2.
      To answer the rest of your questions, simply use the borrowing guidelines in the nutrition book, if I thought they would hinder anything, I wouldn’t recommend them. A 10% reduction or a 20% increase on a single day in your whole training career (unless you are planning on stopping lifting the week of the super bowl haha) will have the same effect on your training gains that a fly’s fart will have on a tornado.

      Reorganize your training week to fit it in around the event so that you still accomplish your volume within the week, and use the borrowing guidelines.

      Reply
  120. Bert

    For many, maintaining quality time with family & friends is definitely a factor for adherance to training. In many instances it involves something active, and therefore can be considered a moderate or maybe even intense cardio session. For example playing basketball with your son on the weekends, or hiking trip with the buddies. My question is, what is the best way to arrange your workouts to minimize interference to your progress at the gym? Place leg training days as far away before, or after the date of activity? Train regularly with less intensity that week in anticipation of the activity? I wonder how do you guys, Andy & Eric, juggle out of gym activites with your training- but still maintaim progress. Also, do you incorporate extra calories for that day/week with this activity?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Personally, I just do them and don’t worry about it at all. That said, maybe your out of gym activities are more intense than most people? If that is the case, probably putting leg days somewhere 48 hours after these activities or more would help to ensure you are recovered before you hit the gym.

      Reply
  121. zachary kaplan

    How do I transition from cutting diet to a diet break, and how long should i stay there for. Thank you for creating this book, although I am far from where I would like to be, I have made progress over the past 2 months that I am proud of. It is comforting to trust in a process and just concentrate on putting in the hard work.

    Best Wishes
    Zack Kaplan

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Please see the section on diet breaks in the nutrition book, it has its own section starting on page 70 I believe

      Reply
      • zachary kaplan

        Can you continue to do re-feeds when on maintenance/lean gain? I openly admit, come Friday and Saturday I tend to go out with friends and drink. Calorie reduction during the week allows for the extra calories consumed Friday and Saturday.

        Reply
  122. Guy

    HI guys,
    First of all I want to thank you on the great job you did in those 2 books. Really informative and enjoyable read.
    One question though that I can not find an answer for in the books is regarding adjust the diet between dieting for fat loss and the transitioning for ‘slow bulk’. I know that I should except a rapid weight gain immediately when I bump my calories as a result of glycogen and water replenishment. But my question is how much weight is Reasonable to gain in this post dieting phase and how much is too much in case too quick fat gain is unwanted (unlike a bodybuilder post contest prep for example).

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Unless you actually get as lean as a bodybuilder and experience intense, unrelenting, physiological hunger that will not be satiating regardless of caloric intake, and unless you decide to partake in the ritual binging that occurs immediately post show…you dont’ have to worry about what bodybuilders experience. For a reasonable cut to a more or less sustainable body fat level, simply just go to the appropriate caloric intake to result in the .5-1.5% per month weight gain as advised based on training age in the book, don’t count the first week’s weight gain as it might be more rapid due to food volume, water and glycogen.

      Reply
  123. Aaron

    I’m in the process of designing my own program based on the principles in the book and the sample programs. How exactly do you calculate and distribute volume totals for smaller muscle groups that are involved in compound movements? For example the volume for delts when combined with all forms of pressing and pulling, and same for quads and hams during compound movements.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      The way they are calculated in the book is that triceps are counted in all pressing movements as are front delts, and biceps and rear delts in rowing and pulldown/pullup movements. Lateral delts based on EMG studies (which I posted somewhere in this FAQ (use CTRL+F) are activated in most pulling and pushing movements. Squat and single leg patterns train quads, hams and glutes, deadlift and related patterns train glutes and hamstrings. That is not “the way” to track volume, but it is how I do it in the book. If you find a body part lags behind using this movement, you can always add some additional volume via single joint isolation exercises (something else to CTRL+F)

      Reply
  124. Matt

    Two questions about training:

    1) Just to confirm, you guys are fine with heavy squatting and heavy conventional deadlifting on the same day (per the intermediate bodybuilding program)? Or is that DL meant to be an assistance DL variation? I ask since I often see warnings against doing both heavy on the same day when past the beginner stage.

    2) How do you guys suggest adjusting training when (non-major) injuries pop up? Do you suggest not changing the program aside from ceasing the exercises that are problematic? Or do you suggest replacing those with exercises for other bodyparts, thus keeping the overall program volume similar but shifting volume/emphasis to other bodyparts?

    If that doesn’t make sense, I ask because I have issues with my right shoulder and right knee that crop up every now and then, and I wonder if when this happens whether I should use that time to emphasize the areas that aren’t affected, which for me would mean shifting volume from lower pushing and chest exercises to posterior chain and shoulders.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1. Confirmed.
      2. First, if it hurts don’t do it, train around it, replace it with something pain free. In the case of some (mainly single joint) movements, BFR can be used (use CTRL+F if you don’t know what I’m referring to) and most importantly, if you can’t easily work around it and the pain isn’t gone in a matter of weeks, I would see a specialist.

      Reply
  125. Nathan

    Thank you to you both (and Andrea) for providing two really incredible resources, as well as being so informative I personally found them to be utterly empowering. Sincerely, thank you.

    Just one thing to clarify for me:

    If you’re neither gaining or losing scale weight – Lets say, maintenance calories (and assuming correct macronutrient consumption). Is it possible to be reducing BF and gaining muscle at the same time?

    Or is it the case that there has to be an overload or deficit to move one way or the other only?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Nathan please read the section “metabolic magic” in the nutrition pyramid eBook, you’ll have a better understanding of how scale weight is not necessarily always represented by caloric intake and how indeed muscle gain can occur in a deficit and to a vastly lesser degree fat loss can occur in a surplus in some cases. For a deeper look check out this article: https://shreddedbyscience.com/can-you-gain-weight-in-a-calorie-deficit/

      Reply
  126. Chris

    Hi guys,

    I’m having issues ordering the ebooks. I’m from Canada, and it says my credit card is invalid. I checked to make sure my billing information is correct, just to be sure. I’m really eager to order these, so anything you guys can do to help me out would be great!

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Chris, this is something you’ll have to get sorted on the Paypal end. We don’t have any control there I’m afraid. Call them, they are usually very helpful.

      Reply
  127. Moe

    just one question if you dont mind since i cant find a answer within the nutrition ebook…

    I train 4+ days a week and for 2hours or longer at times, i took some bad advice from a friend and was on 1700-2000 calories for a few months as a cut without any knowledge of my maintenance calories. i think it maybe damaged my metabolism because the caloric deficit made me weaker, i lost muscle and i barely got out of each workout without insane DOMS. After watching Eric Helms videos on youtube i realized my mistake and gradually increased my calories to 3000 where i have yet to see any change in weight to GAIN (since the 1700 calorie change). After further calculations in ‘lean gains’ i am currently at 3355 calories and for the first time i have started to LOSE weight? i have lost one pound in just a few days at this amount of calories. i am truly confused. Am i in a deficit? i want to gain muscle. i apologize for the length of this question but as you can see i have nowhere to go. Again i want to thank those responsible for the writing of this magnificent piece of work, truly an answer to 99% of questions i have ever had.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Moe. Your metabolism isn’t damaged, you just mistook a random weight fluctuation for a change in calorie balance circumstances.

      If you are losing weight, you are in a calorie deficit. However, it’s essential to gauge this over a period of several weeks, with weight taken as averages described to establish trends. A big shit or slight dehydration, can cause a drop in weight signaling falsely that you’re in a deficit otherwise; some constipation and/or water bloat and/or a spike can falsely signal you’re in a calorie surplus otherwise.

      More on tracking in my article here:
      How To Track Your Progress Like A Pro, To Ensure Body Composition Goal Success

      Reply
      • Moe

        Thank you Andy for replying! i saw that my weight fluctuated often throughout this last week by
        1-2lbs even. i took your advice and averaged my weigh-ins while at 3000 cals and found them to be 190.64 and then kept weigh-ins for my first week at 3355 cals and the total weekly average weigh-in came out to 190.82. According to what i have understood in the nutrition book…calculating this .2lbs increase, does that mean i gained .2(3500cals) = 700cal surplus for the week? does that mean im only in a 100cal surplus every day, so that my actual more accurate maintenance is ~3250 calories? i really would appreciate sorting me out of this slight confusion about my maintenance calories, although really happy with a final gain in weight even if only .2 lbs!

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          “According to what i have understood in the nutrition book…calculating this .2lbs increase, does that mean i gained .2(3500cals) = 700cal surplus for the week?”
          You can’t tell anything based on a single week of data. That could be a difference in gut content, water weight, glycogen levels. Track across multiple weeks, establish a trend, and only then should you adjust.

          Reply
  128. Jose Fuentes

    Hi,

    As an addition to Gianlucas question about deloading, if you do the exercise a couple of days a week like in the powerlift program. Should you, if you stall deload the exercise for the whole next week or just the same day for the next week?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jose! The whole of the next week.

      Reply
  129. Campbell

    Hi guys,
    I’ve recently come across some studies showing that muscle damage caused by eccentric training leads to transient insulin resistance. If this is the case, would that have practical implications regarding macro timing / selection during the period of insulin resistance?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Campbell try to find studies where the measured outcome is body composition or strength, that’d be what you base changes to your plan on. Not data that is one step removed. Plus muscle damage should not be excessive if you are training appropriately after the initial stages of a change to training.

      Reply
  130. Stefan

    Hey Eric

    I recently purchased both of the ebooks and so far they have brought a great deal of knowledge to me and I am just about to hit the gym with my first session of the intermediate bodybuilder programme that you have given as an example.

    However, I am quite confused as to how I am supposed to progress on this programme? Every other programme that you have included in the book has rough estimations on load or reps increased while the intermediate bodybuilder one, doesn’t.

    I would really appreciate it if you could clarify.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Stefan. Instructions on progression for the intermediate bodybuilding program follow the same rules for progression for the others.

      Reply
  131. John

    Hi, may i know what is the currency used for checkout?

    Reply
  132. Joel Viray

    Hi,

    I bought the books and love them so far. I’m at roughly 28% body fat at 259.4lbs as of this morning. If I follow the protein recommendations I’m nearing 300 grams of protein. Not really ideal to eat that much, I believe. Is the cm to height you mentioned okay to use? I’m going to try 20% fat and fill the rest with carbs. I want to cut all kinds of weight by the summer.

    Does this sound like a good plan?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Joel.
      – Yes, that’s why I wrote it in the FAQ.
      – That’s up to you. Notes on choosing the balance of carbs and fat in the macros chapter.

      Reply
  133. Jayden

    Hi Team,

    I am currently reading through your muscle and strength training book and am loving it!
    I am towards the very end and just had a question as I couldn’t see anything about it in the book.

    What are your thoughts on 2 sessions a day training? My friend tells me he enjoys it and it works for him at the time being but I try to tell him that it isn’t more effective than training once a day and it is quite unsustainable.

    He likes to do chest in the morning and then back in the evening.

    What are your thoughts? is there a way to make it beneficial, if time is not an issue!

    Regards

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jayden, when you’ve finished reading your way through you’ll have your answer. Let me know in a reply here if you wish to confirm understanding.

      Reply
      • Jayden

        Thankyou

        Reply
  134. Pau

    Hi Guys,

    First of all awesome books, one of the bests investment i made in fitness to date! (along with Lyle’s books)

    I have a pair of questions about the Novice Bodybuilding routine and a suggestion for the next update, there I go:

    1- Wouldn’t you add some reverse flies, face pulls or Y prone lift? Maybe 2×15 the 2 day, using APS with flies. Just to promote shoulder health.

    2- I don’t understand a little thing about the novice progression:

    “If you can’t complete all sets and reps as assigned with the same load (ideally within the RPE range), do not increase load on the same day the next week, attempt the same weight again”

    How do you do it?
    For instance, (I’ll take the 3×15 flies as a example) I start the first set of flies within the low range of RPE (7), next set I hit a 8 of RPE and the last one would be 8’5 or 9. What should I do?
    – Stop the reps as soon as I hit the high range of the RPE allowed (8) and finish the workout with these sets of flies: 1×15, 1×15, 1×13 – Mantaining weight next week and trying to finish all the reps within the RPE range.
    – Finish all the sets and reps – Mantaining weight next week and trying to finish all sets within a lower RPE.
    If I don’t hit the RPE range allowed the second week? Would this be what you call a “stall”?

    3- Suggestion: I would like you to link a little both books, that is to say: What possible changes to do in the training when mantaining, or if I’m bulking and start to transition to def. do I mantain the same volume?
    I know it’s been answered in this FAQ, but it would be nice to be added in the books.

    PD: Sorry for my english

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Pau, thanks for the questions.
      1. You could do that You’ve read they are good for shoulder health, but it would be a mistake to take that to assume that are necessary for everyone. Look at the reason they have been recommended and then consider how you would apply that to the individual. Same can be said of a ton of “corrective” or “preventative” exercises.
      2. The RPE range is a guideline for where the intensity of the first set in the progression should fall, it doesn’t relate to the following sets.
      3. Thank you. We’ll be considering all these questions when updating the books. 🙂

      Reply
      • Pau

        Thanks for the kind answer.

        So if I did the flies (7-8 RPE) and I can finish all the sets and reps but in a 10 RPE the last one (hitting failure)… Do I keep with the progression and increase load?

        The single leg press for instance, have a low RPE (6-7), If I kept progressing that way, wouldn’t I (at some point during the progression) start the first set in a higher RPE?

        Sorry, I don’t understand this bit… :/

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Most welcome.
          1. Right.
          2. The training progression will drive adaptation which will cause the RPE to stay around the same level.

          Reply
  135. Khalifa

    Hi,

    Is there a possibility of purchasing a hard copy now or in the near feature?

    Thanks,
    Khalifa

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Khalifa. We’re looking into it, but if we do go ahead it won’t be till the second half of the year.

      Reply
  136. Abi Durrant

    Hi Eric and Andy,

    I have looked through this page to no avail so apologies if this question has already been answered. As a female looking to build up her glutes, how would you recommend programming these targeted exercises in? Could I include instead of calf exercises on lower days for example? Or would you recommend having less volume on upper body and spread out program into 3 lower body days and 2 upper?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Abi. Add in some extra glute targeting exercises two days a week perhaps. Isolation work on these are generally fairly easy to recover from, just work your way up in intensity so you don’t cripple yourself with DOMS initially and the impact to the rest of your training will be minimal and you can probably get away with not changing (or swapping out) other exercises.

      Reply
  137. Chris Ellis

    So I just read the books and they are absolutely amazing! Thank you for this information. I had a question about the Refeed days. So I do track my Macros and the book did mention that you have to lower your calories if you want a Refeed day. But then it said leave Protein and Fats the same just raise your Carbs to maintenance level. So did I read this wrong or is that the correct way, just raise my carbs and leave everything else the same on a Refeed day?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Chris, thanks for the question. You’ve confused a couple of things. The way you do the refeed is described correctly: Increase your carb intake, leave the other macros alone. However you need to account for the increase in caloric intake on that day by subtracting from the rest of the days in the week to ensure the calorie balance is maintained for the week.

      Reply
      • Chris Ellis

        So could I just drop my protein and fat and raise my carbs on my Refeed day to keep calorie balance instead of dropping them for the week to maintain? Would this also work?

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          You could, but I wouldn’t unless this is a deal-breaker in terms of your adherence. Protein is important for reasons covered in the macros chapter.

          Reply
  138. Santiago Nannini Velutini

    Hi, im Santiago from Venezuela, i read and view the nutritional videos and now I’m doing as you said, but I’m confused in the Macronutrients case of the pyramid, if i have to eat in a meal 120grs of Protein and 140grs of Carbs, that means that i have to serve me 120 grs of chicken or meat and 140 grs of rice? or i have to follow the nutritional facts of the chicken and rice that for example said that 170grs of rice have 45gr of carbs, so i will have to serve me 528grs of rice to eat 140 grs of Carbs???

    Hoping your comments.

    Santiago Nannini Velutini

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Santiago. See the resources section at the end of the books for links to food calculators.

      Reply
  139. Paras

    If i was to aim to lose 1.5% of my body weight/week, by using the single day refeeds, would i ever plateau is losing weight ? and if i do what kind adjustments do i make ? would i have to re calculate my maintenance and and start from there again ?
    THANKS ALOT GUYS I REALLY LOVE THIS BOOK

    Reply
  140. Jennifer Behlmaier

    Hi,

    So I consider myself an “intermediate” currently with my weight training. I’ve been following a “Lower/Push/Pull/Off/Lower/Push/Pull/Off” (keeps repeating), which is similar to the layout you included in the book for an intermediate bodybuilding program and I typically end up lifting 5 times a week. Would you recommend I follow the 5 day split you lay out, or stick with my current LPP split? I have found great progress hitting each muscle about twice per week. Also, should the workouts stay the same for each LPP workout, or should I do like LPP “A” and then LPP “B” workouts?

    Also, how would you recommend going about adding “strength” exercises into the training? I have seen people who rotate strength workouts with their A and B days (performing only the compound movements as their strength exercises, isolation done in the “hypertrophy” range). Just looking for some feedback, thank you!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jennifer, if you are making good progress with what you are currently doing, why change it?

      Reply
  141. Jack

    Hi,

    As someone who has been training for almost 3 years but has an extremely poor bench (under 225lb) would I be considered a novice and should I aim to progress using a lower rep linear based approach (5×5) or would I consider myself an intermediate and progress in a DUP fashion. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jack. See the chapter on progression, note that the Novice, Intermediate and Advanced categories are not about how much you lift, but how well you recover. You’ll see guidelines there for you.

      Reply
  142. Paras

    Hi guys, I have been in a deficit for 2 months now, and i want to figure out my maintenance, will the 2 week method still work ?(assuming i use the same caloric intake for 2 weeks)

    Reply
  143. Chris Ellis

    Ok so another question. Vitamin D3 was a suggested supplement to take. All of the D3 products that I have found have olive oil in them and they don’t say how much it contains in each pill. Now do we have to include that in with our fat Macros? And if so how do we go about this if it doesn’t give the value? Or is it so small that it doesn’t matter? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      All fat counts, but as that is such a small amount it’s probably not worth counting.

      Reply
  144. Andre

    One disconnect in the strength community that I see is that many claim that volume must go up over time to progress. I understand that “weight” is a contributor to volume but if strength stalls, the answer is typically to “do more work” which means sets/reps, assuming that one can recover from it.

    However, other respected coaches and athletes says that as an athlete gets stronger, they typically need less sets because of a prolonged SRA (Strength/Recovery/Adaptation) curve and their ability to do more volume with fewer sets because of how strong they are.

    Both make sense to me in certain ways yet they both contradict one another. What are your thoughts on this matter? What am I missing?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Andre.
      “What are your thoughts on this matter?”
      – The former. You’ll see this covered thoroughly in the VIF chapter of the training book.

      Reply
  145. Corey Loudon

    Hi, i recently purchased the ebooks and was wondering how to find the special page on the website with the spreadsheet calculation aid ?? Can’t find it anywhere.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Corey.
      It’s here. The title in the resources section is a clickable link and you’ll see the password there.

      Reply
      • Matt

        Hi Andy, just FYI, I’ve tried multiple times to get the spreadsheet to work in Google Chrome but it fails every time (the spreadsheet loads but some of the calculations don’t work and it’s a struggle to work many of the drop-down boxes).

        It works fine for me with Internet Explorer, though under Level 2 (Macros), it shows a breakdown for “Normal Days” and then below it there is nothing where it looks as if there’s space for something else, which is weird. Dunno if that’s how it’s suppose to be or not (i.e. is there is an alternative to “Normal Days”, whatever that means?)

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Matt, thanks for letting me know. As soon as it was created I knew it would prove difficult for some people using some software, we’ve taken it as far as we could without scrapping it completely. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how few people have had issues and sorry you’re one of those affected.

          As for the “normal days” this refers to any day that isn’t a refeed. If you’ve chosen the “lean gain” option then this will be the only option and there won’t be any refeed days present in the form. Likewise for those choosing a “cutting phase” but opting out of having refeed days.

          Reply
      • Corey

        Thanks alot! The books are awesome guys!

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Thanks Corey, appreciated and you’re most welcome.

          Reply
  146. Tom

    Hello. I am an intermediate with physique/bodybuilding goals. Could I run the intermediate Lower/Upper/Lower/push/pull as Lower A/push A/pull A/Lower B/push B/pull B/off instead of using the strength days? I would just be repeating the Lower/push/pull layout provided with different exercises on A and B days but still following the same rep/set scheme provided. Reason for this is that I have a condition that prevents me from lifting heavy in the low rep ranges with squats and deadlifts.

    Thanks and great work!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Tom. Sure, that could work. Give it a go and see how you get on.

      Reply
  147. Zack Kaplan

    When losing weight at what point should I use the new to determine maintenance and intake calories. I’m about 15lbs down in 2 months, going on a diet break for 2 weeks. Just don’t want to think my maintenance calories are higher than they should be.
    Thank you
    Zack

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Zack. To find maintenance calories for the diet break just add back in your weekly average weight loss in pounds multiplied by 500 each day.

      So, if you’ve been losing 0.5 lbs per week, then add in 250 kcal each day to bring yourself to maintenance. Technically, this will bring you to something I’d call “diet condition maintenance”, not regular metabolic maintenance, but that’s what you need to do for now, until you’re looking to end your diet. When you are, you can read more about coming up to maintenance and the differences I mentioned here:
      How Do I Find Maintenance Calorie Intake After Dieting?

      Reply
  148. Luca

    Hello, how the refund system work? Must I conctact you via e-mail? Thank you

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Just send us an email on the address at the top of the page Luca and we’ll have that arranged for you.

      Reply
  149. Matt

    Maybe I missed this but what’s the reasoning behind decreasing volume over your programs’ mesocycles, followed by a deload, then back to it’s highest volume, vs other programs that start with a lower load and add volume, by say doing more sets for example, over the course of the cycle then deloading?

    I take it that there’s an important rationale for why you place the highest volume week after the deload rather than vice versa, but I’m not sure I understand why that’s preferred.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Matt. The one is a novice linear progression (page 66), the latter is an intermediate linear periodization (page 68). They both have their places depending on the recovery capacity/advancement of the trainee, so both are covered. The deload is recommended every four weeks regardless. This is all covered in the progression chapter, just give it a re-read and skip the advanced part for now.

      Reply
  150. Johannes Cimzar

    Hey, i just bought your books on my computer! I also downloaded them to my phone with the link in the mail, but the files won’t open… Thank you!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Johannes. Two possibilities I can think of:
      1. It could be a difficulty downloading PDF files on your phone (clicking the link will just trigger the PDF download), in which case your best bet is to search around for support articles about PDF downloads for your particular device.
      2. The download link expired. The link is set to expire after a few days and a certain number of downloads attempts. If you’ve ruled out the former, just mail us on the address above and we’ll send you a fresh download link.

      Reply
  151. Const

    Hey,
    Can I use Double Progression on my compound movements as well on the intermediate bodybuilding program or am I going to run into problems if i decide do to so? Im asking because I enjoy double progression more than wave loading periodization.
    And should I really deload every 4th week even if I use double progression for my compound movements because Im 16 years old and usually my energy levels are very high and I really like lifting heavy every day.
    Thanks for your answer and time.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Const, thanks for the questions.
      1. The latter is better suited but you can try that if you would like.
      2. Yes, always deload. The idea is to let residual fatigue dissipate before it becomes a problem, therefore you won’t generally feel you need one.

      Reply
  152. Brad M

    Guys, question relating to cardio. As I approach my bulking phase, I want to continue doing at least 3 days worth of cardio. My nutrition strategy is to add ~200 cal over maintenance, and top up, averaged across the week, additional cals from the cardio.

    You reference a table with cals burned per 10′ blocks (I think 10), although this in no way correlates to what my Garmin states I burn. I know this isn’t a real number, but I usually use about 80% of what it outputs in my calculations. This is still a good number off from the values given in the book.

    So, other than try it and see, do you feel these are very real numbers for the average trainee? Or, as with all things, simply a good base to launch the “try it and see” from?

    I have also factored in the cals I spent being alive for the duration of the cardio session, but the numbers are still a fair ways off.

    P.S. Please stop linking to other books in here, I’m going broke 🙂

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Brad, thanks for the questions.

      Due to the inaccuracies in their measurement methods, and then the fixation it brings people using them on adjusting calorie intake on a day by day basis, I personally think that using activity trackers is asking for trouble. (The others may feel different, they are free to chime in.)

      That said, people go bat shit for gadgets in the $100-200 range, especially when they can justify the splurge to themselves as it’s for their health goals. For this reason, the sale will not cease any time soon, nor will the marketing hype surrounding how accurate they claim to be.

      Im my opinion you’re better off binning the device (or auctioning it), and fixing your calorie expenditure based on the recommendations in the book. They will likely give closer estimate, and though they may be inaccurate, it will be consistently so, which is important. Don’t fall for the sunk cost fallacy and continue using it to your own potential detriment.

      PS: No more books for the foreseeable future from me. I’m all typed out after last year, and they covered the topics I wanted to cover. If I have additions I will just update them. YOUR WALLET IS SAFE! 😀

      Reply
      • Brad M

        Thanks Andy. I don’t don’t have the Garmin to track cals specifically, I’m a runner and use it for tracking distance, pace, etc. So well worth the cost for me for the functions I use. And I get it at cost, so… 🙂
        But my newest version has a reasonable accurate HR meter built in (compared to an oximeter I have) and I get cal output with my data regardless.
        I just wondered how those numbers were so far off the book numbers. I’ll go with the book for calorie compensation, and adjust as needed.

        And thanks for slowing down the book flow, getting overwhelmed 🙂

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Ah, as regards to how much or how far, I really don’t know.
          I believe that a further issue is the inconsistencies, rather then just the inaccuracies with some models. Kind of the same issue with body-fat measurement devices.

          Anyway, good luck!

          Reply
  153. rob

    Eric, in terms of protein intake when dieting/gaining say if ones in a deficit and is hitting at least 1 gram per lb lbm protein and at the 10% bf mark if they are cutting on a higher carb intake and tend to be getting a majority of their protein from carb sources say oatmeal/rice/vegetable and roughly half from whole sources is this an issue as not much “complete proteins” are being consumed even though total protein intake consistently being met?

    Reply
    • rob

      Andy whats your thoughts on this? from my question regarding protein?

      Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Carbs don’t typically go up on a diet as someone gets leaner and this intake is below my cutting recommendation in the book but it would still be very unlikely that anymore than 20 to 30g of protein would be coming from carb sources per day unless an extremely high carb intake was used.

      Reply
  154. Maria Vouga

    How does hypothyroidism affect in the level 1 (energy balance) calculations?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Maria, TDEE will be lower. Here‘s more on the subject. Any questions regarding this needs to be directed towards a doctor.

      Reply
  155. Kevin

    Hey Matt, I have a question concerning volume. After reading the eBook for training, I was wondering how would one go about changing volume of their current program (in my case is about 220+ per session) to the recommended/beneficial range, in the book the beneficial and recommended rep range per muscle group was 40-70 per session, currently I am doing a P/P/L and some session I do up to 220+ reps per muscle group, for example on a pull day I would do 220+ reps for back muscles.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Kevin, thanks for the question. The recommendation is 40-70 reps per muscle group, 2-3 times per week. So, that’s 80-210 reps across a week. If you’re just doing your back the once then you’re actually just outside of those guidelines, which are just approximations anyway. Thus, if you’re progressing, then don’t worry about it.

      Reply
  156. Michael

    Hi, just some questions about block periodization. Specifically the accumulation block, for powerlifting purposes.

    1.In the book there’s a mention of going from 100 reps to 195 reps over the course of the 6 weeks.

    2. If volume is successfully increased over the course of the training block, however intensity does not change, would this still be a successful training cycle? Or must volume increase be accompanied by intensity increases. I imagine both would be the best case scenario, however intensity increases would be minimal at best since the increasing volume would induce large amounts of fatigue right?

    3. Would it make sense to run multiple accumulation blocks for a skinny lifter lacking muscle mass? E.g. 2-3 runs of 6 week blocks, before transitioning into 4 weeks of intensification and 2 weeks of peaking.

    4. The book recommends 2/3rds of volume coming from 4-6 rep range for strength. For a lifter lacking muscle mass aiming to maximize strength, would it be superior to utilize 6-12 rep ranges for the purpose of accumulating more volume for hypertrophy, which in turn would improve strength?

    5. Is undulation on a frequent basis necessary in block periodized training? Let’s say I only did sets of 8 during my accumulation block, but the next block (accumulation) i do sets of 10, and the block after (intensification) sets of 4 etc. Basically undulating each block rather than undulating in a daily/weekly fashion. Would either one be acceptable, or is one superior to the other (even in the slightest)?

    Thanks so much

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Michael, thanks for the questions.

      1. Yes, successful.
      2. Right.
      3. Theoretically, yes. But a skinny lifter lacking muscle mass won’t need to worry about accumulation blocks and the like yet. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if they have been concerning themselves with such things and not growing, it’s probably a case of “too much theory, not enough effort” that’s been holding them back. Really common. Causes people to jump from novice progressions to intermediate and advanced progressions too soon, and in vain.
      4. Well, we could chase our tails in theory loops on this one. For those looking to focus on strength, go with the recommendations for that in the book.
      5. I believe DUP or WUP would be superior to changing it up over blocks.

      Reply
  157. Samuel

    Hi,
    I’m a little bit confused about the advice on increasing volume on page 37 in the block before the last one.
    It says that you should only increase volume when progress has plateaued. At the end you are reminded that a heavier load leeds to a higher volume when sets and reps stay the same. So you should not higher the load unless you hit a plateau. But how do you even know if your progress has plateaued when you should not do more reps, sets or a heavier load?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Samuel. You will increasing the load. Have a good read of the progression chapter, there are examples there.

      Reply
  158. Const

    Hey, thanks for your answer!
    Well youve said that a wave periodization is better suited for intermediate bodybuilders but before I bought the book i was and am still able to increase in a given rep range (For example 3 sets of 3-5 Bench press) by at least 1-2 reps per week and increase weight like maybe every 1- 1.5 months on a double progression plan (Didnt even know it was called like that before buying your book so I did it unintentionally). Wouldnt it be more beneficial to keep the double progression plan until I hit a plateau? Because i mean on wave periodization you have to wait 4 weeks after youve progressed in weights or reps until you have the chance to try and progress again in the same rep and set range as far as ive understood.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Const. If you’re progressing with what you are doing, consider carefully before changing it. If you’d like test it, split test two lifts you’re currently progressing equally well with and see how you go.

      Reply
  159. Jen

    Hi,

    I have a question regarding the fat loss recommendations in the book. I am confused about the cardio prescription aspect outlined in the book as well as the nutrition calculator you have provided as a free tool. It says 2000 calorie deficit from food. So say I did 2 400 calorie cardio sessions per week, would I add back those calories to my intake and spread it across a few days, add it to the day I do the cardio, or not add any calories back at all? It told me my low days should be 1400 and refeed days (3 per week) should be 1850. How do I go about factoring in calories burned through excess cardio? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jen. Add it back in on the days you do the cardio, unless you’re using cardio to create an additional calorie deficit.

      Reply
      • Jen

        Thanks for clearing that up, I appreciate it! Great books by the way. The amount of lives you three have touched/are touching through the knowledge provided in these books is truly life changing. Thank you so much for everything you all have provided. I literally utilize these each and every day of my training & nutrition.

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Most welcome Jen, very glad to hear it! 🙂

          Reply
          • Jen

            Hi, Another question…

            -Opinions on carb cycling/low carb? Do they actually prove effective, or only cause a drop in weight due to less water?

            -Also, I have been cutting now for around 4 months, just took a diet break last week to which I increased my cals to 2000 a day (mainly from carbs). I had been cutting on around 1700 cals + 4 400 cal cardio sessions a week. I used the nutrition calculator aid from the resource section and it recommends me to cut on 3 refeeds per week (1900 cals) and 4 “low days” at around 1300 (more like 1600 due to cardio offsetting calories from the cardio I do that day). Should I stick with my numbers I used before the diet break, or just go with the numbers recommended from the resource nutrition aid calculator?

            -Instead of the intermediate progression laid out in the book, can we instead progress using straight sets? So instead of increasing load each week, keep the same load but try and do more reps each week totaling your goal rep range. For example, bench press: 100 lbs x 8 reps goal (within the 6-8 range), and THEN increase by 5 lbs once you hit your rep goal consecutively for 4 sets. So the following week you increase weight, but aim for 6 reps?

            Thanks! Sorry these questions develop as I reread and think more in depth

          • Andy Morgan

            1. Covered in the book.
            2. Work from the numbers you already have if you have them. This is covered in the calorie setting section of the nutrition book.
            3. Sure.

  160. Max

    I’ve a couple questions, one regarding overtraining and the other regarding your programs.

    1) About overtraining, I see it covered in the book but I don’t see anything specific how to come back/recover from it. After (I guess) trying to push my linear progression too hard, I’m returning from a bout of overtraining (or maybe nonfunctional overreaching) in which I’ve struggled with sleep disturbances, niggling pain, fatigue and mood changes, as well as pretty big performance drop offs. I’m better now but sleep still isn’t back to normal and fitness still is less than it was.

    I’m getting ready to transition to one of your programs but I’m not sure how to do so. Do I pick a program and just start off really light? Do I start with something in a higher rep range (I’m coming from doing mostly 3×5; 5×5 work)? Do I wait until I’m 100% feeling full of awesomeness again and then jump right in? I’m itching to train again but I’m also fearful of overdoing it and setting me back again (which has happened before).

    2) About the programs, I think I fall somewhere between beginner and intermediate. I’m in my mid thirties with 5+ years of lifting behind me but I’ve only been focusing on the “big” lifts for ~3 years now. On one hand my lift numbers feel really low at 6’1″and 175 lbs (Squat 215×5; Bench 190×5; DL 330×5) but on the other I’ve really struggled pushing beyond those when going back to a linear program (e.g. 5×5). When I get back at it full strength, should I jump into the intermediate bodybuilding program (as written or maybe with less volume) or try to eke out some gains with the novice linear program?

    Thanks so much you guys for these books! I feel like I’ll be referring to both for a long time!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Max, this is a wall of text, it’s unfair to us and others trying to read. Please tighten it up and write in another comment and I’ll delete this one.

      Reply
      • Max

        Sorry. My first question was about overtraining. It’s discussed briefly in the book but there’s no mention of what to do if you think your situation is that bad (e.g. how to recover, when to return to training and what that training should look like).

        My second question was about choosing between intermediate and novice programs when you suspect your linear gains are behind you but not 100% sure.

        Sorry for the text. Thought it was important to provide context. Apologies.

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Sure no worries.
          1. Implement a deload week. Reduce volume across the exercises where your are chronically overworked/sore/failing to recovery. If you think it’s really bad, take a full week off of training before that – won’t hurt.

          2. Try the linear progression and see how you do, you can always change it, that’d the point of the book – implement, test, tweak, test, tweak, etc.

          Reply
  161. Stephen

    How do I return and get a refund

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Stephen, just shoot us an email on the address above.

      Reply
  162. Tom

    I couldn’t find the answer in the book, but what should someone do when target weight gain stalls during a gaining period? How many calories should be added and which macros should they be distributed to?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  163. Wesley Rombaut

    Hi, i work 3 rotating shifts in one week. It is not possible for me to have 7 weighins in the same conditions, in best case i could have 4. What can i do to have a representive average?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Wesley. You can take the average of the four.

      Reply
  164. Matt

    I have tried to purchase both books multiple times and the website tells me that the Card I am trying to use does not work for this type of purchase. I’ve tried with multiple cards, both credit and debit. And I have tried multiple days. Still will not accept my payment. What should I do?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Matt, contact Paypal support, they’ll be able to help. Nothing we can do at our end I’m afraid.

      Reply
  165. Tarik

    Hi Eric and Andy,
    I bought book few days ago and really love all material so far and just finished nutrition book, im just confused about one thing in “nutrition book and its about “CARDIO”..
    For example: This morning i used bike on level 2 and its say that I will be using 40 kcal in 10 min and i did session for total 400kcal burned-low intensity(bike display showed) but i had my Polar heart monitor on and it said that i used total 180 kcal total(all the time i seen like 85 heart beats on polar display even lover), So different calculations polar and bike. .
    My question: should we trust, use polar and count cardio intensity by heart beats or trust display on mashines?
    Can I get little bit more explanation about cardio if there is any chance.
    Looking forward hearing back from you guys.

    Thanks a lot in advance and keep good work. Definetelly following.
    Cheers
    Sincerely,
    Tarik

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Tarik. They’re both estimates, I wouldn’t trust the machines though, ever, too much variance.

      Reply
  166. Jarri

    Hey guys. First of all, congratulations on putting out two high quality books. Yet to go through the diet book but I’ve finished the training one and have a few questions.

    1) In the Intermediate Bodybuilding Program, I understand that you use wave loading progression on the compound lifts and double progression on the isolation lifts. A bit confused as to what progression method applies to SL Variant, Wt B Ext and Face Pull. Seems like they could be candidates for double progression given how regularly increasing load may not be possible on them. Am I right?

    2) I believe we increase the load 10lbs only on Squat, DL, LP and HH. What about SL Sq Variant? Also 10lbs (if indeed it’s supposed to be progressed via wave loading)?

    3) Dumbbells go up in increments of 2.5kg either side so that’s an 11lb increase effectively for something like dumbbell lunges if I choose it as the SL Variant. Also, similar issues with DB rowing movements, minimum weight increment would be 11lb. Is that too much for wave loading on these movements? If yes, would double progression make more sense as a workaround?

    4) Weight increments for rowing machines is 15lb. Again, seems infeasible for wave loading so again, would double progression be a better option?

    5) This is probably the most important question. HH variant is recommended to bring up the glutes mainly, I presume. If I have overdeveloped glutes already compared to hamstrings and the rest of my lower body, would it make sense to sub out HH for say, a RDL or Stiff Legged Deadlift? If HH is still recommended, what other movements besides Hip Thrusts and Glute Bridges are advised? Can a Glute Ham Raise suffice?

    6) If I don’t have access to a Seated Calf Machine, is it ok to just do Standing Calf Raises instead?

    Thanks again for the brilliant work!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jarri,
      1. Right.
      2. When performing exercises using less of the overall musculature in the body, you’ll lift less and the increases will be less.
      3. Yes.
      4. Right.
      5. Sure.
      6. Right.

      Trust your instincts. You have the critical thinking skills to answer these yourself as you already had.

      Reply
      • Michael

        So in a novice bodybuilding routine.

        If the Day 4 -Upper I decided to do the compounds with dumbbells (Dumbbells go up in increments of 2.5kg either side so that’s a 5kg increase effectively), What progression would you recommend? A linear progression, a double progression or mantaining the same weight (with a better RPE).

        Same question with other isolation exercises like leg press, if the machine/dumbbells allow a progression of 5kg, what progression should be used?

        Thanks!

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          Sure, so this is pretty much the same question, you’re just missing the broader principle.

          In terms of progression speed: Linear progression > linear periodization > double progression.

          For all exercises, choose the one furthest to the left of the continuum that you can actually progress with. This is the way you’ll progress fastest. When you can’t do the one, you move onto the next.

          Reply
      • Jarri

        Thanks a lot, Andy!

        I do need to trust my instincts more. 🙂 I just have this urge to do things the right way and sometimes need the approval of someone more experienced than I to know that I’m doing them right!

        Reply
  167. Kevin

    Thanks for the reply Andy! Concerning my approx. if 220 reps for my back muscle in a single session, I actually have two back days because I run a L/P/P/L/P/P/OFF, so I was wondering how would I go about fixing these rep ranges if my body was adapted to these high volumes weekly? If I can progress on these high volumes and fully recover, is it okay to continue or am I doing too much volume for the same results I can obtain with lowered volume? Thanks in advance, and the eBooks are truly amazing and helpful!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      If you’re already adapted to it then there’s nothing to fix Kevin. 🙂

      Reply
  168. Harley

    Okay so i wanted to tell you where i am coming from so it will better help you answer my question.I am 19 years old..I have been working with coaches for the last year and a half….i have been training very very seriously for the last year and a half, weighing every single thing i eat and drink, literally doing everything to a T…i am literally addicted to this lifestyle and it pretty much rules my life in what i do every single day…i am in college studying exercise science and nutrition currently and hope to have a bachelors degree by the end of next school year…i will then most likely go on to get my masters…my question is would getting these books help me out with my journey,
    1. would having a good coach still be beneficial even after reading these books, if i want to literally get and obtain the most optimal results possible the fastest way?
    2. I seem like in my thought process i need a coach to tell me how to critique my diet and training to get the results because i don’t want to make a mistake that could cause me to get to my results in the quickest way

    I have been thinking on buying these books for a while because of Matt Ogus

    so what are your thoughts on my questions i appreciate it
    any other answers that you think would be beneficial to know about what these books will help me out with and what i can change after buying them is greatly appreciated as well…looking forward to the reply

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Harley.
      I think these are two of the best books available in the industry. They will compliment any coaching you have, and give you a broader understanding of what they are doing with you, assuming they are competent. The books may give you the confidence to go on your own without a coach, they may make you want to receive coaching more. I can’t answer that. You’re spending hundreds of dollars on coaching anyway, these books are a no brainer for the value they offer.

      Reply
  169. Ross

    Sorry for beating this topic in so many angles, but can you widen the rep range on a wave loading run?

    Ex. 3-5 becomes 2-6

    Just started Intermediate Bodybuilding and still trying to work around dumbbells.

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      You can but you’d need to adjust the deload schedule

      Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Susan, sorry for the inconvenience. Send us an email on the address at the top of the page.

      Reply
  170. James

    Hi guys i have a question regarding the Intermediate BB Program.
    I currently do weighted back extensions with 45lbs and there are no bigger plates available in my gym.
    Also, i have an anterior pelvic tilt so it may be conterproductive either way to train my lower back specifically.
    Do you have a recommendation which exercise could replace it? The pull workout seems to be very short when i just cut out the weighted back extension.
    I would 1. either add a set or two on every back movement 2. add another back movement or 3. keep doing 3x12x45 every training session. What’s your suggestion? Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      James, first and foremost get the APT checked out before potentially exacerbating an already existing issue. Another back exercise may not be what you need right now. Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore and Dean Somerset’s websites are excellent for this stuff. You may need to change up your programming considerably, but the broad principles in the books will still hold.

      Reply
  171. Robin

    Hi, firstly thank you for the amazing book! Just have a couple questions (:

    1) For antagonistic pairing sets, the book suggest push exercise 1, rest 2 minutes, pull exercise 2, rest 2minutes, repeat. Wouldn’t that be around 4.5 minutes between each push exercise? Isn’t that a tad bit too long for an optimal rest period?

    2) For the third and fourth upper body exercise if i don’t do antagonistic pairing sets, the book recommended at least 2.5 minutes of rest between the compound exercises. Is the focus for these secondary compound exercises here metabolic fatigue, or still progressive tension overload. if it’s the former, would a shorter rest period be more beneficial?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Please reread the section on rest periods it seems you are under the impression that short rest periods can aid hypertrophy when this is not the case.

      Reply
  172. Carlos

    Hi. How can I see the book I purchased. I accidentally deleted the email link.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Carlos, sorry for the inconvenience. Send us an email on the address at the top of the page.

      Reply
  173. Marvin D

    Hey guys, great books!

    My question is about workload while cutting. When my strength starts dropping on an exercises where I used to do e.g. 3 sets of 8-12 reps with a certain weight and now I have to lower the weight, would it be a smart move to use the lower weight but instead do 4 sets of the exercise to keep the weekly workload around the same? I understand that this is contrary to the idea to cut workout volume during the diet due to the worse recovery from less food but wouldn’t a consistent workload during the cut ensure muscle retention better than lowering the volume (if I am still able to recover from it of course)?

    And also, is it acceptable to take longer rest breaks between the exercises when dieting, if that ensures that I am strong enough to use the same weights that were used the previous week? The equal volume should be, according to the pyramid, more important than the potential metabolic fatigue of the shorter rest time that I am then missing out on.

    Best regards from Germany and thanks in advance

    Marvin

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Marvin, thanks for the questions.
      Not that these are the only answers, but you’re my opinion so here we go:
      1. I’d aim to keep the load on the bar and reduce sets rather than vice versa.
      2. I’d keep them the same so that you’re comparing like for like.

      Reply
  174. Harley

    Hi, i noticed that there also is the macro calculator that comes with these books as well…that is awesome….one ? i had was that for a little over a year i have had a really high protein intake and a moderate carb intake…when switching to what is suggested on the calculator which puts me at 2.5g/kg of protein that drops me about 100 grams of protein then what i have been taking for a long time and ups my carbs by a ton…will this be bad to switch to right away and cause a negative affect to my physique since my current coaches have had me on that kind of macro split which is different than what yo guys recommend..thanks for adding in this book that is not even mentioned when paying for the package ….i love it already..so much info, i dont even know which book to read first haha…

    once i finish my next 8 weeks with the coach i am currently with now, i am not gonna get another coach and instead going to try and do things myself with the knowledge i will learn from these book

    Reply
  175. Patrik

    Are these two books only on english available?

    Reply
  176. Robin

    Hi,

    I tried finding an answer for this but couldn’t.
    Why does your team prefer a wave loading progression as compared to double progression for the main compound lifts? What are the pros and cons of both?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      I would say that’s not an accurate translation. Double progression is slower and thus is used on isolation exercises where you make smaller jumps in load. Faster progression via wave loading is used on compounds where larger increases in load are still a small percentage of your absolute strength.

      Reply
  177. Tarik

    Hi Eric . Thanks a lot for getting back to me really appreciate it. Just one more quick question: what are numbers from where low cardio starts and where ends? Same for medium intensity? How to know that? Heart beat percentage?
    I feel like my cortisol levels are very high right now so im trying to do as much low intensity cardio and not medium and hit because im sure they causing much more stress on body. Trying to get back my hormone level get to normal. Thats why im very curious about numbers for cardio effort.

    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Tarik this is in the book. If you want to use cardio keep it to the limits for total cardio per week and for high intensity cardio which causes the most stress. You also don’t have any idea what your cortisol levels are and you never need to worry about managing your hormones, just your recovery.

      Reply
  178. Harley

    One thing i noticed as reading through the books is that my coach has me on a really really high volume workout…my question is that after my scheduled time with him is over in about a month, will switching to the amount of volume that you describe in your books which is a little lower than what my coach is having me train at now affect my gains( in the idea of adaptation and my body now being adapted to the higher amount of volume, and then switching to yours at a lower volume) will i still make gains?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Harley a lot of your questions are the same “I was doing this before, now I’m going to change is that okay?”

      You’ll never get anywhere without experimentation and you aren’t going to be lifting for 6 months but hopefully the rest of your life. Give it a shot see what happens and no more fear based questions! 🙂

      Reply
      • Harley

        Haha, i appreciate it and yes you are correct, i always tend to over think things… i have realized now that i just have to experiment…i am sticking to my current diet now during my deload then once this deload week is finished which is at the end of my cut i am going to be implementing all the new techniques i have learned from the book to start a lean gain of roughly 1.5 lbs a month as i read the nutrition book in just 3 days..now onto the training one…i cant wait to change my diet and training with research based knowledge and really learn how my body works and works the most efficiently on…….love the depth that you cover with these books thanks once again man i love reading them.

        Thank you, i think this really changed my life and makes everything so much easier! It’s awesome

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          You’re very welcome, good luck and good gains to you!

          Reply
  179. Harley

    I noticed in the nutrition book it mentions that on a gaining phase you should have around 0.2g/lb of protein before and post workout and cutting you should have protein and carbs pre and post WO…..

    my question is that when gaining should your meals also contain carbs10-20% and if so during gaining or cutting does it matter if the post workout carbs are fast or slow digesting carbs ……and should fat be excluded from post workout since it slows digestion

    sorry for all the questions but i am trying to make sure i understand everything completely

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      We didn’t leave anything out. The recommendations are correct as written for both cutting and gaining. And if we didn’t mention GI its because it doesn’t matter.

      Reply
  180. Togay Koç

    I just wanted to thank you guys for the training book. Using the templates and guidance I have gained new excitement in my training and feel that I have the tools to make my own specific programme. Thank you so much, mission accomplished!

    Reply
  181. zachary kaplan

    Hope all is well,

    I currently find myself in the same rut as passed training experiences. I am attempting to increase weight via the two intermediate strategies “wave loading compound/double progression isolation”. However, I believe I am misinterpreting the definition of failure and thus am progressing with weight while form is suffering and ultimately mentally and physically burning out. Should I judge failure as an inability to no longer complete a rep with a continuous fluid motion, or when form breaks down. I realize the two often coincide. My goal is hypertrophy and I honestly struggle with understanding when to increase weight. Should I remain at a certain weight when my RPE for the given set/rep has decreased? I believe understanding this point and checking my ego will hopefully get me back on track. Again thank you for your time and effort.

    Best Wishes
    Zack

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Zack I think an easy way to think of it is that if you have to change the form to do an exercise you’re no longer doing the same exercise. As far as the RPE question it’s already been answered. But yes check your ego and focus on following the progression plan.

      Reply
      • zachary kaplan

        Thank you. I really appreciate the advice and the prompt reply

        Reply
  182. Nicolas Ahumada

    Question: Is it available for Kindle? I’ve looked in the Amazon store and I couldn’t find it. Thank you

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Nicholas you can purchase the books and then email or USB transfer the books so you can read them on your kindle.

      Reply
  183. Matt

    Hi guys, thanks again for all the feedback. A few quick questions:

    1) Andy, on your site you’ve advised against doing dips but I see they are prescribed in the Intermediate bodybuilding template. What’s changed?

    2) For someone feeling a bit beat up from heavy lifting, what do you think about running a month or two with your templates but in a slightly higher rep range (instead of 3-5s, do 6-8s on “heavy” days; and 8-12 and 12-15s on lighter days). Especially if hypertrophy is the primary goal, this sound like a good idea? Should number of sets be decreased?

    3) When moving to the Intermediate program, based on the premise that we should only be lifting as much volume as necessary to make progress, would it not make sense to add a couple sets to the 4-day Novice bodybuilding template before adding in an entire whole new day of lifting?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Matt, thanks for the questions:
      1. Sure, my opinion hasn’t changed, but the book was a joint effort, not mine alone. Personally, I think they pose an unnecessary risk so I don’t program them for clients for the most part. Up to you. This is where critical thinking comes in Matt.
      2. You could, but that’s avoiding the underlying issue of built up fatigue. Recall the fitness-fatigue model starting on page 32. Take a week off. Start taking the monthly deloads recommended. If you still feel beat up then cut back volume. That should do it. Then, if you still have issues, try lighter weights in the higher loads. Unless you have genuine joint issues though that should be unnecessary.
      3. Absolutely! 🙂

      Reply
  184. Harley

    Andy, i realized when using your calculator to set up my macros that it gave me an option to have my rest days with a slightly lower calorie count and it also gave me a macro count that i could keep the same for everyday of the week….if im working out 5 days a week which it says you can use either one….i read somewhere in the book that you could be robbing yourself if you cut calories down too much on rest days..any explanation to this
    thanks

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      “I read somewhere in the book that you could be robbing yourself if you cut calories down too much on rest days”
      The bolding is key.

      You’re young and very new to this information. You’re reading these books and trying to follow them as a guide, while also having downloaded a free guide on my own site with slightly different nuances. The issue is that you don’t currently have enough experience to see these as “nuances”, they just look like conflicts. On top of this you have a coach who will probably be telling you other things. Do yourself a favor, put my book down, stick with these, follow it solidly for a year or two, then you’ll start to see the shades of gray instead of just black and white.

      No more questions. I’m cutting you off for your own good, cause you’re just writing without thinking things through fully at any point that things pop into your head. 6 in a week is more than fair, plus it’s overwhelming for us authors to answer.

      Read, digest, put it into practice, and you’ll do well. Good luck Harley.

      Reply
      • Harley

        okay..thank you, i totally respect that…im going put everything to trial and make things happen.

        in a way i appreciate you cutting me off haha…now it is time to make gains!

        Reply
  185. Nicolas Ahumada

    Thank you for the answer. I forgot to ask, what are the file format of the books? pdf? Thank you

    Reply
  186. Octavio

    Hello team M&SP,

    First of all, I want to congratulate and THANK YOU for such an awesome piece of work for us bodybuilders, powerlifters, powerbuilders, trainers, and everyone in between. It’s life-changing.

    I just wanted to point out a possible typo on the %1RM for “Week 2, day 6 – Upper” in the sample “Advanced Bodybuilding Intensification Block.” Reviewing the other sample routines, and Lower body progression of the same routine, I think it was supposed to be an 85% for that week, instead of that 87.5%1RM.

    Maybe it was already pointed out by someone else… it not, I hope this clears some possible confusion for the readers.

    Maybe someone else already pointed it out, but it not

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Fantastic catch thank you! Going to change this and will be updated in the next edition.

      Reply
  187. Joseph

    So with the intermediate powerlifting program example it is a 4 days a week schedule. Would you complete these as 2 on 1 off 2 on 2 off? So Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday ?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Yes that’s a perfectly fine way to do it. Or you could do 2 on 2 off 2 on 1 off, or if you schedule demanded a different organization.

      Reply
  188. Prasanna Thani

    Great job with the books, absolutely love it – thanks! Searched the FAQ (ctrl+F) and didn’t see these posted above (apologize in advance if they were!), so thought I’d go ahead and ask:

    1. How will updates to the book be handled? Will emails be sent to the users who bought the bundle informing them an update is available? Or will there be a page on your site somewhere that shows what the current version of the book is?

    2. The nutrition pyramid had great resources in terms of tools to help pick and choose a meal plan using the framework provided in the book – which was great! The training pyramid discusses the importance of form and proper technique on exercises, but I didn’t see a resource that I could use to validate if I’m doing it right. Does that mean the only alternative is to hire a professional? Is there a site/book you’d recommend to ensure we’re doing the compound lifts correctly – especially seeing how important proper form would be?

    Cheers,
    Prasanna

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      1. We’ll be sending out an email once a second edition is written
      2. A book isn’t the best tool for teaching proper form. Google is a good tool to find form videos, however in person instruction by a trained professional would be ideal. Find someone who is a CSCS or certified personal trainer who is also a competitive raw powerlifter to teach you the compound barbell lifts.

      Reply
  189. Dennis

    For people using kg instead of lbs. Beware that the calculation based on the 3500 rule on page 39 does not work if you use kg in the equation. You have to convert your weight to lbs and then use the 3500 formula to calculate your calories above maintenance. It took me like 10min to figure this out cause i kept getting completely different results when i did the equation with the 82kg intermediate instead of using 180lbs.

    You should definitely make people aware of this in the book.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Yes it is important to realize that 1kg is not equal to 1lbs. The book clearly states that the 3500 calorie rule is for 1lbs not 1kg.

      Reply
      • Dennis

        I’ve read it 2 times through and it doesn’t say anywhere explicitly that in the equation you should use lbs and not kg…

        Anyway, even though the training pyramid book spends a great deal on progression and what to do in many cases, the nutrition book does not at all i feel like. There is literaly 2 sentences that take on the topic what you should do when you do not gain or lose weight and those refer to the 3500 calorie rule.

        What do you do when you don’t gain weight? What do you do when you don’t lose weight? What do you do when you’re gaining to much fat? How do you adjust your macro in the case that you are gaining weight but to much fat? What if you are losing fat but to much muscle in the process? Protein is best calculated by body weight, but what if you dont gain any weight, do you simply adjust fats and carbs and leave protein as it is? What if you are allready consuming the highest protein recommendation for your bodyweight, do you bring up protein even more? I can ask a dozen questions like that and i feel like the book tells me nothing about what to do.

        It clearly explains that anything above a certain amount of monthly bodyweight gain will likely by fat, but it doesn’t tell you what you should or can do if you are actually gaining to much fat. It also doesn’t touch the subject of differences between peoples metabolism, wich have a huge impact on how much calories someone may need. Those aimed caloric surplusses in the book for example will make an ectomorph guy like my cry like a baby.

        I’ve got a great deal out of the training book, but the nutrition book didn’t tell me much i didn’t know yet except confusing me a ton with that 3500 calorie rule and it leaves me with alot of questions regarding progression. That subject isnt even mentioned.

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Dennis, I’m always happy to take critique, but not if it’s just innacurate:

          Page 28 “1 lb (~0.5 kg) of adipose tissue contains ~3500 calories”

          Page 29 “Hypothetically, if you gained 1 lb (~0.5 kg) of fat in a week, you would be, on average, consuming ~500 calories more than your maintenance per day, as 7 days x 500 calories = 3500.”

          page 31 “As previously discussed, 3500 calories roughly equates to 1 lb (~0.5 kg) of adipose tissue”

          page 32 “a 3500 kcal deficit per week and I would be able to lose a pound weekly”

          page 36 “Combining this fact and the metabolic cost of creating muscle tissue, the “3500 calorie rule” actually holds up decently well for setting up your diet for weight gain as well as weight loss [14]. This is not to say that a pound (~0.5 kg) of muscle mass has 3500 calories in it, but rather, that you may have to increase your calories more than expected to gain muscle because of the energetic cost of synthesizing this muscle. ”

          page 37 “3500 kcals is the value of 1 lb (~0.5 kg) of adipose tissue, ”

          page 49 “using the ‘3500 calorie rule’ of losing approximately a pound per week (~0.5 kg),”

          page 73 “For example, if you want to lose 1.5 lbs (~0.7 kg) per week, you need to produce a 5250 kcal deficit per week (3500 x 1.5).”

          NOW, with that out of the way, Dennis I do agree that the book is light on adjustments to keep progress going. And this is something the second edition will have more of, and anyone who bought the bundle will get a free update. To help you out in the interim, keeping protein static and adjusting calories up and down (and cardio if you are cutting) to stay in the target rate of weight gain/loss is the way to go. When you aren’t losing or gaining an easy rule of thumb is to either increase or decrease calories by 100kcal/day and then see how you fair in the next week or two.

          Reply
  190. Tulik

    Hi, i started my own program after reading the books, i’m doing wave loading progression for compound movements.
    I’m right now on week 3 and i have a little problem with bench press, and only with bench press because other compound movements are ok with the progression.

    Let me show you what i did, and please tell me how to proceed
    Week 1 – Bench Press – 3X8 – 70KG
    Week 2 – Bench Press – 3X7 – 72.5KG
    Week 3 – Bench Press – 3X6 – 75KG
    Week 4 – Deload (right now i’m on week 3)

    The problem: on week 3 i did 2 sets of 6 reps, and the third set only for 5 reps, what i do in this situation?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Tulik, this will happen from time to time, just work to progress anyway. Though if it happens consistently you look to change up the VIF in some way.

      Reply
      • Tulik

        1. So just continue to increase weight next cycle after the deload week?
        or try to stay with same weight and complete full 3 sets of 6 reps next cycle?

        2. Another question off topic, when you calculate protein, you did from all foods you eat the same day, or just from foods that is lean protein like eggs, meat, protein powder, etc… (I’m asking because there is protein in rice, peanut butter,etc.. )

        Thank you!

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          1. I’d do the latter, as it’s more conservative, but if you’re feeling really good on the day you can try for the increase.
          2. Yes, it all counts.

          Reply
  191. Joseph

    How much would more added assistance for hypertrophy affect the intermediate power lifting program? I was thinking of kind of using and open list of some assurance movements e.i. Curls, pushdowns, cables flyes etc.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Joseph.
      Sure you could do that. Impossible to quantify though. The point of the programs is to give you a base from which to test, adjust, and experiment to see what works best for you.

      Reply
  192. Harley

    Ik that Andy cut me off but this is a serious well thought out question…

    [Cut by Andy]

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Harley, one thing that’s important to understand is that I (we) live and die by my reputation(s). I have a solid one, because what I say I will do, I always do.

      Figure it out.

      Reply
  193. JR

    Is there a guide on how to create your own workout log on spreadsheet/ google drive to track periodization and your progress?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi JR. Not currently, though we could look to put one out in the future. I’m definitely keen on that idea.

      Reply
  194. Danny

    Do reps from isolation movements count towards your volume recommendation of 40-70 reps?
    If so, isn’t it true that you produce less volume load when doing isolation exercises compared to compound exercises when you equate total reps?

    Thanks Eric Helms and 3DMJ Crew!

    Reply
  195. Jorge Sosa

    Is it possible to buy only one of the books ?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jorge, sure. Just scroll down to here.

      The place to you can choose to buy just the one ebook.

      Reply
  196. Adam

    I realized that on the deload section of the book it looks like i should be deloading every 4 weeks pretty much no matter what for continuous progress, i searched through the FAQ but it doesnt seem like this specific ? was asked directly….so am i correct in saying that every exercise of every workout is deloaded on the 4th week, or just certain ones …as i read through the book it looked like everything is supposed to be deloaded on the 4th week but im just making sure..thanks

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Adam. Yes, though this isn’t a hard and fast rule, as with everything in the book, it’s important to tailor it to your individual recovery capacity/progression. However, if you don’t have an idea of that yet and are looking for a starting point, go with every 4 weeks.

      Reply
  197. Oliver

    If a non-compeditor starts bulking at 8% bf, then bulk up to 15% bf and then cut to 8% again to repeat the cycle, how big should the defizit be? A slow cut, as you tell in the book (0.5-1% bf/W) or a faster Cut (0.75-1% bf/W) to save time and bulk again. Or is a shorter bulk cycle with mini-cuts the best way to go? (8 till 12% BF, then a minicut).

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Oliver, thanks for the questions.
      How big should the defizit be?
      – Whatever is necessary to bring around the target rate of weight loss.
      …or is a shorter bulk cycle with mini-cuts the best way to go?
      In terms of different ways of bulking and their pros and cons, this article I wrote on the subject is thorough.
      How To Adjust Your Diet To Successfully Bulk

      Reply
  198. zachary kaplan

    In regards to wave loading progression for intermediates. For horizontal pulling 4 x 6-4 should this be done on a wave loading approach? Should all pulling movements be used on a wave loading approach? I find that it is hard to continuely progress with wave loading, would there be a decrease in rate of progression if i performed all lifts (compound and isolation) in a double progression format based on my own recovery capacity? I know I am no where near an advanced lifter based on strength and/or size.

    Thank you for all your effort. This is the best investment I’ve made in regards to weight training and diet
    Best Wishes
    Zack Kaplan

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Zach, thank you, glad to hear that.

      – In terms of progression speed: Linear progression > linear periodization > double progression.

      For all exercises, choose the one furthest to the left of the continuum that you can actually progress with. This is the way you’ll progress fastest. When you can’t do the one, you move onto the next.

      Reply
  199. Lee

    Hello Thanks for the great books.
    I am confused on how to figure how many calories to add if I want to gain.
    I figured out my maintenance.
    The formula for adding calories is 3500 x target rate of gain per mo / 30.
    Mine would be : 3500 x 1%/30 – 1.16. I would only ad 1 calorie a day?
    I have read and re read this, look at the examples and can’t figure out how you come up with the numbers.
    Thanks of your help.
    Lee

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Lee, thanks for your patience.
      In this case the target rate of weight gain should be in pounds.

      Reply
  200. Manuel

    hi guys, i have three questions

    1. what about rest days, is there any recommendation on cutting phase or bulking or it’s all about to match the volumen on the week?

    2. what about drinking simples sugars after training, it’s could be contraproducente for cutting phase or something like that?

    3. calves and forearm count as a leg and arm group or should I consider them as a separate group?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Manuel, thank you for the questions.
      1. I don’t understand the meaning of this.
      2. Technically, no, not counterproductive as long as the calorie/macro targets for the day are met. However, hunger is the enemy of the dieter, it’s better to eat your calories rather than drink them. This comes back to level 1 – Adherence.
      3. Separate, but be aware of exercise overlap. (Many pulling movements will train the forearms due to the gripping element. Squats and lunges will indirectly train the calves, etc.)

      Reply
  201. Keefe

    Thanks for the two great books!
    Just a question about the novice/intermediate sample bodybuilding programs.

    For both programs, Upper A advised Horizontal Push first, then Vertical Push
    In the novice program, Upper B advised Horizontal Push first, then Vertical Push
    In the intermediate program, Upper B(or Push) advised Vertical Push first, then Horizontal Push.

    Why the change? And the does it really matter which comes first? Thanks for the advice!! (:

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Keefe, thank you. I don’t believe it was written with any specific reason in mind, feel free to go with the ordering of your preference.

      Reply
  202. Blake

    When the book says 10 min of HIIT what exactly does that mean? Is it 30sec on 30sec off for 10 min, 10 min of the max effort intervals or some other permutation?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      The book actually gives estimated calorie burn for 10 minutes of vigorous activity rather than HIIT. And there isn’t necessarily a one size fits all approach for HIIT or one that is definitely better than the other. You have a lot of choice here, 1:1 ratio of work to rest can certainly be an option if you have the conditioning to do that.

      Reply
  203. Andy Cowan

    Been Considering these e-books but just wondering if there was a great deal about cutting for a show? Where to keep carbs at.. Front load or back load or stay the same for week out. or does it depend on where your at? how much carbs the day of? Water retention… how to you get it out of the skin for the “Dry look” is it achievable for the physique athletes not on Roids? male or female, can they achieve the dry look. More interested in the cutting procedure as i have a good background with in exercise science and weight training (current fitness director, Personal trainer, Kinesiology grad) just the nutrition part when getting close to a show is what i’m struggling with. Big fan of you guys and Jacob Wilson. Also fallow Ogus (give him a Some credit for when i buy. But again does the E-Book cover this in detail or do you have another one regarding Cutting/Pre-show (2 or 3 weeks out) Thank so much!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Andy, this book is all about setting up a diet and individualizing it, but doesn’t go into the specifics of peak week if you’re looking for that specifically. You’re welcome!

      Reply
  204. Matt

    In terms of progressing from one program to the next, I assume that when progress halts while in a calorie deficit, even following a couple deloads as prescribed in the book, it doesn’t make sense to progress to the next level, correct (e.g. beginner to intermediate)? Do you just keep deloading and trying again, focusing on at least maintaining performance, until the diet is no longer restrictive?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      The workouts templates are examples of how you might go about organizing your training, a starting point if you’re struggling fro ideas. We don’t want you to jump from the one to the other, build your own by adding volume and/or exercises to keep yourself progressing based on the principles within the book.

      Reply
  205. Frank

    My bad if this was covered and I just missed it, but why is having separate high intensity days and dedicated medium/low intensity days better than a mix every day? Basically, I see a lot of programs that start with a main lift at high intensity, and then followed by assistance work, but you guys obviously have reasons for why you organized the week the way you did, but I’m not sure I understand why that’s preferred?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Frank you’ll notice there is actually a mix of both in the programs. Not sure if you’ve looked through both the bodybuilding and powerlifting programs fully. But, more so what is important than separating intensity/rep ranges, is simply ensuring you have days that are lower in stress comparatively to the high stress days so you can ensure recovery across the week before you go into the days where you need to be at your best to push loads close to your limit.

      Reply
  206. Sam

    Hi guys,

    First off, love the books, they’re really helpful.

    Secondly, I was wondering if you could help me out. Per the guidelines in the book, I’ve definitely passed the intermediate level. I’m not in a position to progress my lifts week to week, but I can’t say for certain I’d be able to hit the gym 6 days/week to train consistently. So I feel given the base of the pyramid is adherence, that the advanced bodybuilding program isn’t appropriate, but there’s no way I can progress my lifts weekly. I quite like the layout of the intermediate program, do you have any recommendations for adapting this for an advanced lifter that can’t train six days a week? Possibly doing 3×4-6 on the heavy days for three weeks and a deload, and then 3×3-5 maybe followed by some testing? Or would rotating the main lifts be a possible solution, or maybe a combination of the two?

    Thanks for the help.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Sam, you certainly don’t have to use the exact templates. And even the intermediate level you don’t really make progress on a week to week basis. With the wave loading as set up, you really only increase the load for the same number of reps every 5th week. My advice, is just start with the intermediate approach or something similar, and see how you fair. If you stall out on the progressions in a couple months, the you can try an approach where you organize your lifts in an accumulation->intensification setup with testing AMRAPs every ~8 weeks or so. Check out the progression chapter for an example of how to do it, and set something up that fits your schedule

      Reply
  207. Aditya

    I was following the novice progression scheme and things were going great. I completed a lower body (LB1) and an upper body (UB1) session in the week that just passed on Monday and Tuesday respectively. But, I fell horribly ill on Wednesday and couldn’t train till Sunday (today). I missed my LB2 and UB2 workouts. I should be fine by tomorrow (Monday) to hit the gym again. Should I pick up where I left off by doing the LB2 and UB2 on Monday and Tuesday and then continue? What about the progression numbers? Should I go ahead with the five/ten pound increments on the weights for various exercises? Or keep the weight the same as the previous week just for this week? Or should I recalculate my 1RM?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Aditya. When sick, just pick up where you left off. Shit happens. You weren’t in the middle of a carefully planned phase to have you peaking for a competition, so don’t overthink it.

      Reply
  208. Mark A.

    Hello!

    My general question is if you could give an example of how to re enter a dieting phase after a diet break… Does one resume the same deficit and previous macros or can one start a deficit at a higher intake prior to the diet break!?

    Thanks

    – Mark

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Good question, you might be able to diet on higher calories than before after a diet break, or, if you were stalled you might be able to make progress on the calories you were at previously when you were stalled. I would just try going back to where you were, and if you lose too fast you can always increase calories a bit.

      Reply
  209. Freddy

    Hi guys,
    I really liked your ‘Muscle & Strength Training Pyramid” series on YouTube, Eric!

    I’m thinking about buying both books but was wondering if the books (and the sample workout programs) address athletes like football or basketball players or if the books are more for bodybuilders and powerlifters.

    Of course I understand that the information and principles can be applied by any athlete but just wanted to know if the books address athletes like football players specifically.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      They only address bodybuilding and powerlifting directly as sports, but of course the principles apply directly to anyone who desires gaining strength or muscle mass.

      Reply
  210. Casper

    Hi guys. Just started the Intermediate Bodybuilding program. When choosing exercises, it is better to stick with the same exercise for several weeks and it is better to switch? Should you choose the same vertical pulling exercise for both “upper” and “pull” or can you choose to differents?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Keep it the same within the day, but you can have different movements on each day if you’d like. Read the exercise selection level/chapter if you want more info on the potential pros/cons, but it likely won’t make much of a difference.

      Reply
  211. Alex

    Hi,

    Would the novice bodybuilding routine be suitable for someone relatively new to the weight room, with only a couple of weeks spent on technique and light weights? Or is it intended more for someone who has gone through a ‘proper’ beginner routine before?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      If your technique is solid and you can lift in a safe manner, you could start it, but that’s not most people after only being in the weight room for a couple weeks, you might want to give it another couple weeks of ingraining form before jumping in.

      Reply
  212. Junior

    Hey,

    I’m really enjoying the book, It’s very handy to have all this information conveniently organised at your fingertips. You guys & Andrea have done an excellent job.

    I just have a few queries regarding advanced powerlifting programming.

    When running back-to-back accumulation blocks how would you suggest increasing maxes between blocks? Adding 2.5kgs-5kgs to your max before the next block, or AMRAP testing at the end of first block then using that to estimate maxes for the subsequent accumulation block.

    Also, would you suggest a deload after AMRAP testing, or performing AMRAPs @8-9RPE to ensure you’re not to beat up and can just right into the next block.

    I’m really looking forward to running the advanced tapering approach outlined in the sample programs I’ve always been afraid of doing too much or too little on meet week and this looks spot on.

    Thankyou.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Junior, thank you for the kind words, and honestly, great questions. It can work both ways in either instance and will come down to the individual. If you can be sure to complete all prescribed volume in an accumulation block after increasing maxes by 2.5-5kg and you know you won’t be hitting failure a lot or risking missed reps, you can run two accumulation blocks without testing. OR, you can do AMRAPS, not necessarily a right or wrong answer. And if the week following the AMRAPs has sufficiently light loads, and you won’t be near failure, the AMRAPs shouldn’t put you back too far. However some people get pretty beat up from maxing and they might benefit from a deload, but AMRAPS to a ~9RPE can sometimes solve this.

      Reply
  213. Albano

    The book is available in Spanish?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      No, the book is only available in English at this time.

      Reply
  214. Tulik

    Deloads question:

    I’m doing bodybuilding program with wave loading progression for compound movements, and basic/double progression for rest of the exercises, every 4th week it’s a deload week by the book.

    The question is, i should to deload for all exercise in my training program, or just do it for compound movements?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  215. Joshua

    I was just wondering what days you recommend putting the additional 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps of bi, tris, and hamstring curl when addin it to the intermediate powerlifting program as seen in the dual athlete part.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Whichever days you have time to fit them in, they shouldn’t interfere much with the main lifts.

      Reply
      • Josh

        Awesome thanks so much for the confirmation. Keep up spreading the truth.

        Reply
  216. Mark A.

    Thanks Eric!

    Just an anecdotal account of this, I noticed with myself I lost a bit more upon returning to a deficit with higher calories as opposed to returning to my previous macros prior to the diet break.
    Last time I resumed dieting with the same macros, my hunger was through the roof and weight was stalled along with measurements.

    I hope a second follow up question is okay if you have time…. Being a follower of other 3DMJ athletes and their training protocols, how would you implement a ‘deload’ with regards to one that is training with an auto regulated program such as RPEs?

    Any rough guidelines you suggest?

    Again thank you for the quick response!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      For sure happy to help and always better to diet on more calories if able.

      And for sure, typically I reduce RPE a full point on the scale and reduce volume by one third.

      Reply
  217. Casper Kristensen

    Thanks for the answer Eric. How long do you recommend to stick to the same exercise? Fx if I choose pulldown for vetical pulling exercise for 4 weeks (including deload), should I change the exercise here or can I stick to the same for another 4 weeks?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      At least 4 weeks stay the same. I typically have athletes stay with the same accessories for roughly 8 weeks or so.

      Reply
  218. Steven

    Have a quick question regarding biceps. All of my back work involves straps and a thumbless grip. Since this limits the biceps in the movement to a degree, would it be ok to add in direct bicep work on the advanced bodybuilding program? If so, how much would you recommend, especially if arms are a weak point?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Steven.
      Absolutely. Not meaning to be vague here but however much is needed. Start with the recommendations, and add from there if necessary.

      Reply
  219. Marc

    On page 85 of the strength pyramid book (which refers to how to progress on the strength days of the daily undulating periodization periodization scheme), it says: “you can use linear progression on your strength days such has been outlined previously for intermediates, or you can run through this cycle in longer blocks and test every 5-6 rotations (8-10 weeks) after a taper.”

    I don’t understand what you mean by ‘or you can run through this cycle in longer blocks’. What progression scheme are you actually following (on the strength days) as you’re running through the cycle? Is it still going to be a linear periodization type of progression where you increase the weight at the same time as dropping the reps? But if so, how can you follow that progression scheme for 8 weeks whilst only deloading after 8 weeks – your rep range would be massive (like, from 10 reps on week 1 down to 3 reps on week 8)…?

    Basically, how do you actually progress on strength days of DUP if you chose to ‘run through this cycle in longer blocks’?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Marc for actual week by week examples of how to run longer progression cycles of DUP just take a look at the advanced powerlifting and bodybuilding sample programs at the end of the book.

      Reply
      • Marc

        Thanks for the reply.

        I think there is a slight discrepancy between the accumulation block of the advanced bodybuilder sample program (seen on page 161) and the guidelines for the accumulation block in the ‘integrating block periodization’ section (seen on page 81)?

        On page 81 it says that you should increase reps done per muscle group throughout the 6 week accumulation block, whereas on page 161 the reps done per muscle group actually decrease throughout the accumulation block.

        On page 81 it says that the accumulation block should last for 6 weeks, whereas on page 161 it lasts 4 weeks only.

        On page 81 it says that the frequency of hitting each muscle group should increase from week 4 onwards, whereas on page 161 this doesn’t happen (since the block ends on week 4).

        I realize that the program on page 161 is a sample, but I’m confused since it doesn’t seem to be following the rules previously outlined for the accumulation block on page 81? Especially since the guidelines on page 81 state that the reps per muscle group should increase as the accumulation block goes on, yet the example on page 161 shows the opposite…

        And, if you were to follow the guidelines on page 81 and thus increase reps done by 10 reps per muscle group per week (for the first 3 weeks of the accumulation block) – does the weight stay the same? You just literally add in 10 reps with the same weight each session? For example;

        Week 1: squat, 200lbs x 3 sets x 10 reps
        Week 2: squat, 200lbs x 4 sets x 10 reps
        Week 3: squat, 200lbs x 5 sets x 10 reps

        Is that right?

        Reply
        • Eric Helms

          Marc, the sample programs can’t break the rules earlier in the book, because the book doesn’t provide rules 🙂 Both accumulation blocks are perfectly fine approaches to training. Remember the goal of this book is to learn how to program not to think there is only one way to do it.

          Reply
          • Marc

            OK, great and thanks for the reply.

            But could you let me know the method by which you’re meant to add in the additional reps if using the accumulation block progression outlined on page 81 (whereby you add 10 reps per muscle group per week)? Firstly, I’m assuming those 10 additional reps should be at the same load as the working sets?

            This is not a personal question, I’m asking this as an example to understand how you’re meant to add sets and reps: what if you’re doing sets with reps that are not divisible by 10 – for example, sets of 7 reps? To add the additional 10 reps on subsequent weeks, would you add additional sets of 7 (until the next set of 7 reps would give you more than 10 total additional reps over last weeks session), then if necessary tack on one more set of however many reps it takes to make the number of additional reps (over last week’s rep total) equal to 10?

            For example;

            Week 1: (200lbs x 7 reps x 3 sets) = 21 reps
            Week 2: (200lbs x 7 reps x 4 sets) + (200lbs x 3 reps x 1 set) = 31 reps
            Week 3: (200lbs x 7 reps x 5 sets) + (200lbs x 6 reps x 1 set) = 41 reps
            Week 4: (200lbs x 7 reps x 7 sets) + (200lbs x 2 reps x 1 set) = 51 reps

            …?

          • Eric Helms

            It’s per bodypart not per exercise. And if you are off by 2 or 3 reps it doesn’t matter so long as the principle of increasing volume in a stepwise fashion is being followed. This is not math there is not a black or white right or wrong answer.

  220. Ainsley Martens

    Hello,
    1. Is it safe for an overweight individual to lose weight at a faster rate than already fit individual. If so, what rate (how many pounds per week) would you recommend?
    2. What are your thoughts on having a different set of macros for rest days and for training days? How would you go about calculating this?
    3. If you have a client who is experiencing things like low energy levels, having bad workouts, not sleeping well, very hungry or not hungry at all, would you make macro adjustments for things alone/ what adjustments would you make? How would looking at the data influence that decision (making progress, or not making progress)?
    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Ainsley, thanks for the questions.
      1. The more fat that is carried, the quicker it can be lost without muscle mass losses. However, sustainability is key. This is the reason for the 1% of bodyweight per week upper limit guideline.
      2. Sure, you can do that. Maintain the weekly calorie balance, have more on the training than the test. Thoughts and calculations are on my site here.
      3. I’d instruct them to have a diet break while we figure out the reason. Could be that the energy intake is too low, the training volume too high, a high level of stress, poor sleep environment or not getting into bed early enough. I wrote an entire book on this, but you can get the short course here.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  221. Paul C

    Eric, Andy,

    I was just wondering…

    Is there a specific place we can place our results due to having the knowledge of the two books? Like a ‘book success’ page of some sort?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      No, but that’s a good idea. Let me make a page and I’ll get back to you in a reply Paul.

      Reply
      • Paul C

        Andy, also, was looking to see if you’d agree with my calorie intake.. Sounds horrible but, I’m at 1500 since I’m 5’2.. Dropped from around 22/24% body fat to 13ish, just to see if I can make it. I have about 8 more weeks to my cut, do you think 1500 is too low? It’s been constant and I’ve been losing around 1.5/2 lbs a week

        Reply
        • Andy Morgan

          I just made this page for testimonials.
          As for your question, please see comment rule 2.

          Reply
  222. Abby

    I have 2 questions in regards to the “nutrition-aid” section/support section.

    1. Under energy balance, it mentions “low day”. Is this only 1 day and then a 1 refeed day (which was recommended). Are the other 5 days “normal cutting calorie days”? Or is it 6 low days and 1 refeed days?

    1b. If I leave out the number of refeeds, it gives me a certain calorie number for the low day, but if I put in 1 as recommended, it gives me a completely different number. Is there a reason for this? Should I leave the refeed number out? Or keep it in? (Hopefully this makes sense)

    2. Under macronutrients, it says there is a minimum of 22.5% fat, but in the book it says anywhere between 15-25%. Is this based on my weight/calorie range/activity level? I’m confused on why it won’t let me use 20%, what I would like to put. But want to follow the correct guidelines.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Abby I am assuming you are referring to the calculator not the book itself. You might want to read fully through the book before using it and these answers will become apparent. The book recommends 1 to 3 refeeds per week depending on how lean you are. The calculator automatically selects 1 2 or 3 based on bodyfat entered but you can manually adjust it. Low days are all the days of the week that aren’t refeeds. So 6 low days if there is 1 refeed 5 if there are 2 refeeds etc.

      And the book also mentions a fat minimum of .5g/kg regardless of percentage of calories. So it won’t let you go below that.

      Reply
  223. David

    I followed the 2 week maitenance calorie calculator method you provided in the nutrtion pyramid but between my 2 weekely averages i lost 1.2 pounds. Would i mulitply 3500 by 1.2 or how should i equate with that number? Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi David. Yes, multiply by 1.2. However as the drop is quite high a better option would be to wait another week to rule out water/glycogen fluctuations, then do the math from there.

      Reply
  224. Jay

    Hey Guys,

    I had a question regarding protein intakes for a somewhat enhanced athlete. One of my older friends has just started on testosterone replacement therapy due to low levels and he asked me what his protein intake should be. As he is not doing it for a cycle and rather therapy he is injecting 1ml per fortnight. He said he’s just wanting to maintain and/or get slightly leaner. Do you think his requirements for macros (namely protein) be a little higher as his levels will soon be elevated?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jay. As the dose your friend is taking is there to push him into the normal physiological range, not beyond, I’d go with the recommendations as they are.

      Reply
  225. Matt

    Finished the Nutrition portion of the 2 part book (Muscle and Strength Pyramid). Amazing info!

    I am finding that many Protein powders list the BCAA totals, but rarely include a breakdown. Was hoping you could thumbs up/thumbs down a few that have adequate Leucine content. Or simply offer insight on validity to ON’s Platinum Hydrowhey? Much appreciated!

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Sorry, this has to be down to you Matt. We can’t be responsible for recommending specific products.

      Reply
  226. Bert

    So weighing yourself every day and averaging throughout the week should take care of daily fluctuations. What about fluctuations on the weekly averages? Should you be able to see a nice progressive increase or decrease at this level?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Bert, thanks for the question.
      It’s still normal to have fluctuations but the trend should be clearer.

      Reply
  227. Thomas Fogarty

    I have a question I just stared the advanced bodybuilding upper/lower routine. I know you mentioned about now having ab exercises In there but I do like doing some ab exercises like the hanging leg raises. Could I do the hanging leg raises after my lower body workout? i just don’t want to fatigue my lats for the following day

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Thomas, think of it like this.
      If you do them do you find your lats fatigued the following day? More importantly, does this hamper you from training as intended on that day? There aren’t any yes or no answers here, it just comes down to diligent self experimentation.

      Reply
  228. Andre

    Eric,

    I’ve noticed that with the 2-3 week frequency recommendation for each bodypart,all of your sample programs are allowing for 48 hours rest at minimum before you train the same muscle group again. I was curious if it was suitable to train the same muscle on back to back days.

    Let me explain my reason for asking and provide some context. I do all of my training at my home but go to a local gym once per week on the weekend because I like some of the equipment they have for back. There is also a chest Fly Machine there which targets my pecs extremely well.

    So my question is, Do you think it is suitable to train chest on Saturday (at home) and follow that up with 2-3 sets of Flies (at the gym) on Sunday and then have another Chest day on Tuesday or Wednesday, later in the week?

    I would assume this is acceptable because the chest volume is low on the Sunday workout and I’ve always seen Layne Norton programs where he trains the same muscle either twice in the same day or back to back days as does the Russian Smolov programs. However, I just wanted to get your take on this.

    -Andre

    Reply
  229. Edwin Samaniego

    How can I regain my password for my calculator for macros

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      See the first listing in the resources chapter Edwin.

      Reply
  230. Hamza Mahmood

    Hey guys! I still consider myself a novice but was thinking if I could us Wendell’s 5/31 or Smolov Jr (7/5/3) as an intermediate. I am not sure if these two programs are categorized as linear periodization. I would love if somebody can clarify the type of progression used in these programs.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Please see the fourth comment rule Hamza.

      Reply
  231. Harry Smith

    Hi Eric, Andrea and Andy!

    If you could answer that would be great.

    1) The training pyramid doesn’t give any advice on trying to bring up a lagging body part and integrating that into a programme. How would someone structure a program to emphasise / bring up a lagging body part?
    Years of bro splits left me with baby quads and duckling lats.

    2) Eric, your vid with Matt Ogus discussing recovery dieting was great it really helped me out.
    You mentioned learning to love your offseason physique – that the goal is trying to gain fat ASAP when in a recovery diet. I know it is very specific to each individual but do you have any advice regarding structuring macros for this period of the recovery diet – is there any research in this field that could answer my questions for me?

    All the best,

    Harry

    Reply
      • Harry

        Thanks Andy, the podcast was great

        Reply
  232. Jen

    Hi,

    This question pertains to the females out there who used this books. Since we have a menstrual cycle, what methods would you recommend we go about to track weight? Obviously there are more weight fluctuations for female bodybuilders (females in general) due to water weight gain during certain periods of our cycle. Do you think weight tracking is the best method for females? Or will it cause us to think we are not making progress, or change our macros prematurely? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jen.
      Do you think weight tracking is the best method for females?
      Yes, you just need to compare the same time points in your cycle when looking at your tracking data.

      Reply
  233. Zachary Kaplan

    when cutting, what progression plan should I attempt to utilize for the intermediate lifter? I feel it is not likely to continue to progress or even possible retain complete strength levels while losing weight over 3-4 months.

    Best Wishes
    Zack

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Zach, good question. We’ll include a note on this in the next edition, for now I’ll take this answer from my book, ‘The Last Shred’.
      What Are Reasonable Expectations For Training Progress When Cutting?

      Recall from part ve that it is possible to gain muscle mass while in a calorie de cit, but our ability to do so decreases with training advancement, severity of the caloric de cit, and leanness.

      For bodybuilding, typically the early phase (say the rst third) of a contest prep diet you can keep volume about the same and still progress. Then during the second third there should probably be a reduction in volume of about 15-25%, and then if necessary another reduction during the nal third of a similar magnitude. To put that another way, in the rst third you’ll still gain muscle mass, in the second third you’ll plateau, and then you’ll make some small losses towards the very end, but ideally you will break even.

      For powerlifting it will be a similar story to the bodybuilder, except with two key di erences. Firstly, there will be no “latter third” with muscle mass losses as the powerlifter does not need to reduce body fat to the same extreme level as the bodybuilder. (Powerlifters will rarely go under 10% body fat, but bodybuilders need to be around the 5-6% mark to be competitive even in natural divisions nowadays, thanks to modern day conditioning bandits like Alberto Nuñez.) Secondly, the latter half of the powerlifter’s cut can go hand in hand with a periodized plan (e.g., linearly periodizing by tapering volume and increasing intensity/load) to get gains in strength to peak for their meet without necessitating muscle gain.

      Regardless of the category of trainee, deloads should be kept in at a regular pace (every four weeks) and not skipped. If someone is fairly new to lifting, or coming back from a break from training, they can expect to make progress for a longer.

      Reply
      • Zachary Kaplan

        Should I switch from the type of progression? I found that I could not maintain progress with linear progression and thus went to double progression still maintaining RPEs and with very slight reduction in volume.

        Reply
  234. Ryan

    As someone else mentioned, I think it would be incredibly helpful to have excel spreadsheets based on the books sample programs to track periodization and progress available somewhere.

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      I don’t disagree and we considered this but not everyone has excel which is why we opted for the online calculator for the nutrition book and the tables in the book. Don’t want people who are without excel to feel like they are missing out.

      Reply
  235. Bert

    For vegetarians, are there any general nutrition recommendations that are not mentioned in the book? For example: perhaps a higher role of BCAA supplementation, or higher daily protein intake due to relatively inferior absorbability of vegetable proteins? or anything else? Thanks.

    -Bert

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Yes, creatine and beta alanine supplementation is recommended more highly as creatine and carnosine are only present in meat. A multivitamin is as well. Zinc and iron (especially in women) are more likely to be deficient. I would recommend blood work ideally.

      Reply
  236. Martin

    Hi Andy,

    in the video example for your client Scott, you mention that you recommend 0.9 – 1.3 grams of fat / kg of LBM. In your example, this would mean a daily average of about 73 grams of fat.

    If I use the suggestions from the Nutrition Pyramid, I would have a range of 0.5g / kg of total bodyweight (physical minimum) up to 25 % of your total daily calories. Again, using your example, this would add up to a range of 45g (physical minimum) to 59g of fat if I didn’t make a huge error in my calculation. *

    Is there any reason you are recommending a much higher fat intake than the Nutrition Pyramid recommends?

    (* My calculations are based on Scott’s initial bodyweight of about 90kg and initial daily calory intake of about 2100, assuming he has 3 training days and 4 rest days).

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Martin. In the Nutrition Pyramid we talk about ‘absolute minimum intake’, in the video and on my site I talk about ‘recommended minimum range’.

      Reply
  237. Harry

    Hi everyone,

    There’s no guidance regarding implementing techniques like dropsets, giantsets, pre/post exhaust etc.

    Do these techniques have their place within a natural trainee’s programme?

    Would you include them just like any exercise – managing volume across the week?

    The books are great, this is the first time cutting I’ve actually felt like I’m coaching myself intelligently and really making progress, not blindly trying different things.

    Huge thanks

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      There is a reason they aren’t included. Tracking volume using these techniques is hard and they are based on the assumption that fatigue and damage are primary mediators of hypertrophy, which they are not. Can they be effective? Yes. But they aren’t necessary and are hard to quantify.

      And that’s fantastic to hear!

      Reply
  238. Paul C

    Eric, Andy,

    I’m 5’2, currently at 145.6 around 12/13% bf down from 164 at 24/26% bf.

    I’ve been at 1500 calories because of my size and how short I am.. Losing about 1.5/1.8lbs a week.

    Does this caloric intake sound about right for someone my size?.. and would you have any recommendations for future caloric intake to bring my bf% to 8/9%?

    Reply
    • Eric Helms

      Paul consider this a warning for rule breach. Please note the rules of asking for help on individual setup and “is this right?”.
      Secondly, you are not following the weight loss guidelines in the book which we recommend.

      Reply
  239. rob

    I have posted this comment several times but it seems to go away so i dont know ifnaomethings wrong with how im leaving it but hopefully it goes through this time.
    Eric/Andy does there see something wrong with this macro splitup and protein consumption in terms of not enough whole protein ..i understand fat is low but enjoy a higher carb intake for the activity and training.

    meal 1 ~60c 6f 30P (protein from whey powder)

    meal 2 ~240C 10F 120p (90 protein coming from vegetable and starch and the rest from chicken)

    meal 3 ~135 C 15F 70P (20 protein starch rest from eggs)

    total macros ~440C 35F 230P @150 lb bodyweight and more or less maintaining weight (which is quite odd in my opinion to be maintaining weight on this or slightly hovering between 150-153ish but have maintained consistent here for quite some time)

    i feel as if protein is way to high based on body weight but meal 2 is the one that really don’t want to adjust for adherence issue and if protein is pulled from other meals then most protein is from vegetables and starch which is probably not optimal in my assumption.
    and to further clarify this is accurate as the macros are directly off the bag and the vegetable is broccoli in meal 2 and its calculated correctly.. i understand its a large vegetable consumption but i enjoy some large meals.

    also excuse the long comment jus wante to clarify.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      I’ve been deleting it Rob. See comment rule 2.

      Reply
  240. Rizani

    Hey,
    first let me thank you for your amazing work!! Really appreciate it! So my question is: DMAA (DMBA) causes a false positive for amphetamines in drug-tested sports competitions and should not be used by athletes being moderated by a drugs ethics association. As incautious as I was i bought a booster with DMBA (I didnt even think of that or just didnt care). And by time my passion for Bodybuilding got bigger and bigger and I seriously consider competing in the distant future. So will there be any problems when I do want to start competing?
    Thanks
    -Rizani

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Thanks Rizani, appreciated.
      Regarding your question, this is something to check with a doctor and the federations you’re looking to compete in.

      Reply
  241. Jarri

    Hi Eric and Andy,

    Deloading this week and had a question related to it.

    For isolation exercises where we use double progression, if I’ve managed to increase the weight during the four weeks, do I implement the deload with this new weight or choose the lowest weight I used during the cycle?

    Example:

    Week1: 100lbs x 8, 8, 7
    Week 2: 100lbs x 8, 8, 8
    Week 3: 105lbs x 8, 8, 8
    Week 4:100lbs x 6, 6, 6 or 105lbs x 6, 6, 6?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Jarri. Neither. 100 x 6,6.
      See the top of page 69.

      Reply
      • Jarri

        Hi Andy,

        Thanks!

        I mistakenly wrote 6, 6, 6 when I meant 6, 6. The confusion was over the weight since the example for double progression on pg 71 shows the same weight being used over the 4 weeks. But from your answer, I guess the rule is to choose the lowest weight used in the cycle for your deload.

        Reply
  242. bj

    I read both books and plugged in all my info into the nutrition calculator, but i had a question about adding cardio in and raising calories to compensate.

    [deleted]

    If i add in in 150 calories of cardio 3x a week, which is 450 cals total. Do i get to eat…[deleted]

    i might be overthinking this, but its driving me nuts.

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi BJ, thanks for the question. I’ve removed the parts which are irrelevant, your calculations, which we said in the comment rules we aren’t prepared to look at.

      If you’re doing cardio with an energy expenditure of 450 calories, and you wish to maintain the calorie balance, then you need to add back in those 450 calories with food. You can do that on the 3 days you burn 150 calories, or spread it across your week (450/7), or eat it all on the one day, doesn’t really matter a great deal.

      Reply
  243. Tulik

    Bench press every training session (4 times a week) :
    I’m doing intermediate bodybuilding program 4 times a week, and my bench press is very weak, my question is – can i bench press every training session (1-2 sets) just to increase my bench press weights and get stronger at it?

    Reply
    • Andy Morgan

      Hi Tulip, thanks for the question.
      See the decision tree on page 75.
      Regarding frequency, that’s just about organizing the volume you have in a week. Have a thorough re-read of the Volume-Intensity-Frequency chapter and how they are inter-related.

      Reply