Big Four Style Cycles

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by capitolcitykid, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. capitolcitykid

    capitolcitykid New Member

    I am pretty set on using a big four style routine on my next cycle but I have a couple of questions.
    If I use dips, pull ups, deads, squats, calf raises, and military presses, are my shoulders getting enough strain from the other exercises to cut it out of my workouts? Also, Im concerned about doing deads with squats and if I should alternate due to overlap?

    In my next cycle Im planning to do 1 set of each exercises in the morning then again at night (3 times a week).  I know I will be getting lots of metabolic strain from this workout but Im wondering about metabolic stress in this situation? What would be the best route for getting enough stress without overdoing it and using up those important bulking calories?

    Ive also been toying with the idea of changing my PM workout in the negative weeks to loaded stretches and isolation movements using exercises like pullovers, overhead extensions, incline hammers, donkey calf raises and so on?  Should I just use my 5RM for the AM workout and then use my PM workout for negatives (using the iso exercises)?
  2. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    If you remove the military presses, then I don't see how the shoulders will get enough strain. They get stretched a bit during dips, but you shouldn't go down too far with heavy I'd suggest leaving in at least one pressing movement - incline or military.
  3. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member


    My current routine is as follows 5 times per week:

    Incline Bench Press
    Chin up
    Military Press

    Seated Rows
    Leg Press

    I originally had 7 exercises each workout but had to cut back. This volume is working out very well for me. My lats are responding to the extra volume very nicely. I am in the 5's now and think for next cycle I will add a french press in the morning and a curl in the PM. Also, I think during the 5's on my next routine I may add another lat exercise mid-day since they are responding so nicely to the high frequency. My left lat, which has always lagged my right lat, has filled out incredibly nicely.

    My personal opinion is that your total volume looks a tad bit on the low side. I think I would increase the frequency another one or two days per week. Stress should still not be a problem. Just remember to eat

    I would vote to keep the same exercises and do negs or drop sets with them as oppossed to isolation movements. You would be recruiting different fibers with the new exercises and they may not be properly conditioned to go directly into 5's. That could be a set up for an injury.

    I definitely would alternate the squats and deads. In fact, as you can see from my routine, I do not do the same exercises twice in the same day. I like to alternate and recruit as many fibers as possible.

    Keep us posted on your progress. [​IMG]
  4. Lance

    Lance New Member

    I've been doing 5xweek full body workouts as of late, with Deads and Squats every workout. Hasn't been a problem.
  5. capitolcitykid

    capitolcitykid New Member

    O&G, how about your calves, do you do any work for them? You also make a good point about recruiting different fibers and I think I am going to change up my plan for that reason.  Ill throw in bent over rows, incline bench, and shrugs just to cover it all.
  6. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Kid, my calves are as big as they are ever going to get so I don't work them. It seems that muscles that you use a lot in everyday life, such as calves, wrists and forearms, need a lot of work to grow but, once you have them where you want them, don't need much maintenance to keep them there.

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