Day 2 Report from Charles Poliquin’s 5-Day Hypertrophy Bootcamp in Rhode Island
The nickname for Day 2 was Dropping The Hammer of Doom on the Lower Body!
When it was announced my team of three would be doing three quad dominant workouts in one day I thought, “How is that even possible?” Especially when you’re training the same muscle group each session. And especially since I never considered myself a masochist.
Completing three workouts a day on the same body part (I’m predicting) is going to be the “a-ha” moment of the week and I don’t think any of us thought we could make it through. So far we have… but we still have another leg day on Thursday so maybe I should shut up. If you’re thinking…
Are we sore? Oh my gawd yeah.
Did I want to crawl into the fetal position, suck my thumb and call my Mommy? By the 25th set of the first workout, yup!
Isn’t this over training? Absolutely. But it’s strategic and brief.
Will I recover? Of course!
We’re all listening to the wisdom and experience of Charles and sticking to his precise peri nutrition protocols and increase bumped up nutrient intakes by 50% overall normal requirements.
Plus, we’re in groups of three so the moral support is awesome. I’m in a group with two Alpha Males and we’re having a blast pushing each other to the brink of death.
Here are some of my take aways from our in-class sessions and nazi-style workouts…
1. Pre Workout Stack: 40grams of BCAA, 5grams of Carnitine (l-carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine from tartrate), 1 electrolyte pack, beta-alanine. I had this stack three times today!
2. BCAA increase blood sugar while we train, are strongly anti-catabolic, require no energy to digest (maintaining growth hormone levels), increase cortisol (cortisol provides energy) insulin and growth at the same time, increase insulin sensitivity, and increase androgen receptivity. Best way to take BCAA caps is to put them in a cup and carry your cup around with you. If you can only afford one supplement, BCAA is your best pick. Plus, if you have a sensitivity to dairy, throw away your protein powder (unless it’s lactose free) and just use BCAA.
3. When hamstrings act as a knee flexor, you utilize more slow fast twitch muscle fibers. When hamstrings act as a hip extensor, you utilize more fast twitch muscle fibers. Therefore, your knee flexor exercises should be more explosive, lower reps and heavier. And your hip extensor exercises should be more controlled, higher reps and moderate weight.
4. Quads have mixed fibers for the average individual. In short, the average individual has a various distribution of muscle fibers so to get your quads to grow you need to use a wide variety of rep ranges.
5. The fastest way to break a muscle growth pleateau is with Eccentric training.Notice the hanging clamps with weights on them? Once you hit the floor, those clamps fall off so you can travel down with more weight than you come up with. Incredible!
6. Research almost never tells the whole story. For example, we know that having sugars during a workout is excellent to replenish your muscle glycogen but the insulin spike blunts growth hormone production. So here’s the lesson: If you really want to become a student of exercise you need to read further into the research and science to be able to see the entire story.
7. The best exercise science research comes from Findland, Germans, Andrew Fry, William Kraemer and Lawerence Weiss.
8. When doing eccentric training the rule is that you prescribe a tempo and the tempo DICTATES the load. You know you’re doing eccentric training properly if you’re shaking uncontrollably at the end. If you did a 10 second eccentric on squats, you’re still in control on the last second of the last rep.
9. Bodybuilding is the easiest concept in the world. Essentially, the goal is expose your body to a stimulus it has not figured out how to handle yet. Do you think I’m going to make gains of of 3 a days? Yup!
10. Critical Drop Off Index: During hypertrophy work (your goal is to gain size), when your strength drops off by 20% in a workout, that means it’s time to stop the workout. During CNS work (your goal is to gain strength), when your strength drops off by 7% it’s time to stop the workout.
11. An indication of a REALLY flipping amazing coach is if he can help you gain strength without your body weight going up weight classes! Perhaps, the biggest challenge of a strength coach.
BONUS TIP: When you squat boys you squat “Balls to the heels” as one of the instructors yelled. Yes, your balls should touch your heels. Slightly bigger balls is an not cheating.
12. Specialized eccentric training should not make up more than 20% of your yearly volume and should not be introduced until after 2 years of base.
13. Too much eccentric training makes you stronger but also slower.
14. Good coaches will always change their philosophies as they evolve.
15. If you’re not experiencing severe mental anxiety and depression after two weeks then you’re not training hard enough! This was a huge “a-ha” moment. A typical bench after a set…
16. Soccer players have the fewest “athletes” in professional sports… One of the worlds highest paid soccer players can not do 4 chin ups. Another onne of the worlds highest paid soccer players has the record on his team for clean and jerk. 72kg. That’s good if you’re 15 years old … and a girl.
17. In a locker room of 63 professional baseball players, Charles was reminded that 5 of them looked relatively fit.
18. The majority of professional athletes are not as fit as you think. Many are simply genetic freaks.
19. Here’s what one of our instructors, Derek, yelled out to one of the groups on leg press when the intensity dropped, “50kg on the leg press has never been a heavy weight in the history of weight lifting. We’re not making history today. Get your “blank” act together.”
20. Muscle modelling occurs from eccentric training, not concentric training. If you’re failing to control the weights on the negative portion then you’re wasting your flipping time. Go home and take up chess.
21. Don’t train with Charles Poliquin. You’ll want to commit suicide.
22. Big Ben Pakulski is sitting at 130kg and 5.1% bodyfat! Charles did his BioSig and he’s a beast! Ben pushing on on the fifth exercise of a 5 exercise giant set. 20 reps with no pause at the bottom or top is a recipe for setting your quads on fire.
23. I bailed three times while doing 10 second eccentric squats because my hips are too tight.
Six workouts down and nine to go. Keep praying for me. Comments and questions below!