Dominic Arioli also known as coach Dom runs ROC boxing in Rochester New York and coaches boxing at Aquinas High School. He writes:
Q: I have a question for you Dave. Some of my kids at Aquinas are using a muscle building supplement called Dark Matter. It’s a post workout recovery supplement. What is your take? They all want to get bigger. I want them to do it the right way with a good healthy diet. Dominic.
A: It’s great to hear from you Coach Dom… you are on the right track. Dark Matter by MHP is a fine supplement as far as products go. It won’t harm your athletes (provided they drink sufficient water to support the creatine intake) however, supplements are not THE magic of getting bigger. They can be an aid when kept in the right perspective but proper weight training and proper diet to gain size are MUCH more important to gaining size. As well, the foundation of confidence and self worth comes from character and the accomplishment of goals.
You knew me in High School so I’m sure you remember I went from a very soft weak and pudgy 119 and 5’3” as a freshman in high school to at my biggest and strongest at 215 and 5’7 at my peak in my early 20’s. At that time, I was doing squats for sets of 10-12 with 405 and bent over barbell rows with 365 for sets of 8 and could do 10 overhand pull-ups with a 50 pound dumbbell attached to my waist. Recently I squatted 315 for 8 on my 56th birthday… I’m not saying any of this to brag but your guys will want to know my credentials and that the program I’m recommending works.
The program I’m going to recommend is tried and true used by Arnold, Reg Park and many others when they were younger and it will work for your athletes as well IF they give it a chance. Athletes should focus on strength training as their core verses traditional bodybuilding routines. Training should be built around the following exercises alternating training days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday):
Squat 5×5 (Squat deep parallel or below)
Bench Press 5×5 (perform these like a Powerlifter with the elbows at a 45 degree angle towards the feet NOT elbows straight out to the sides like a bodybuilder). This will protect them from shoulder injuries)
Bent over Barbell Rows 5 X 5
Push-ups 3x As many as possible.
Reverse Crunch 3×12 (roll feet and hips back over head)
Calves 3 X 10
Overhead Press 5×5
Leg curls 3 X 10
Stiff-legged Deadlift 1×10
Prone Plank Bridges 3×30 sec
The 5 X 5 (Five Sets of 5 Reps) should be followed for 12 weeks. I’ll recommend a Nutrition Program to be followed with it on tomorrows post. I’ll also recommend a very good program to follow after the 12 weeks of 5 sets of 5.
Here’s how to work the 5 sets of 5 program: Have your athletes determine what weight they’re capable of using on each recommended exercise for 5 reps. Then their starting weight on the program will be 50% (yes HALF of what they are capable of) of this weight on all 5 sets resting 60 to 90 seconds between sets. 5 sets of 5 reps is a progressive program so the very next time they work that exercise they are going to add 5 pounds to the bar on every exercise. Each workout, add weight until they reach a point where they cannot complete 5 reps on all 5 sets. This will come in about week 6 or 7. At this point they should be back on to the previous weight on just THAT exercise or on just THOSE exercises. Once again they will be coming back up in weight. It becomes a Teeter Totter with weight progression but they will end up much stronger than where they started. Getting stronger is a one step back two steps forward process. Every World Class Powerlifter and Olympic lifter uses this back down and progress forward method in one way or another. They should also read Iron Man Magazine… wink! Visit: http://rocboxing.com/
Stay tuned for your nutrition program.