Q&A: June 2022

by on June 27, 2022

I workout out in a garage gym — rack, plates, chinup bar,DBS and a full pulley system — I’m an intermediate lifter. What programs would work for me? Big fan. Miss John every day and so happy he is still with us in a virtual spirit.

Cris Edmonds
Mario we all feel his loss to this day. And it will hit me at the most random times of the day. John was so much for all of us, such a great man and an inspiration on how to live life to the fullest. Let’s get to your question, with that set up and know you are an intermediate, I would go with Warlock all day long. Then after that, I would transition into 12 Weeks Pain and Suffering. Now for a few exercises you may have to get creative, but I’ve had 100s of clients over the years do MD programs with less than what you have. We just have to find alternatives that fit the movement pattern. Thank you so much for your question and if you need some substitution ideas, do not hestitate to reach out to me on IG @cedmonds18

What is the best power building program you have?

Cris Edmonds
Honestly all of them…….but if you are after nailing the big 3 (squat, bench, deads) every week, I would go with Program X. This is an old school program, but you will love the set up and progress like a machine in terms of size and strength.

Now if you wanted a new option that is set up by John and Dave Tate, Unity would be another excellent option in my opinion.

Hey, me and my girlfriend are huge fans of all of your guys and JM programs. I was just wondering when that new black widow program that has been getting teased will come out, thanks.

Cris Edmonds
I was really hoping to have this done months ago, but if I’m being 100% honest with you guys is a mix of being super busy and its pretty heart breaking every time I start reworking on it. That is the final project John and I were working on together and it just takes a toll on me emotionally when I pull it up.

My goal is to have it wrapped up in the next month or two. I really appreciate your patience.

I have chosen 6 workouts, how do I order

Cris Edmonds
Ok so there are multiple ways to set this up, let’s go over them now –

Pull, Push, Legs, Pull (pump), Push (pump), Legs (pump), OFF

If you wanted an Arm Day it could look like this –

Back/Abs, Chest/Shoulders, Legs, Back (pump), Chest/Shoulder (pump), Arms, OFF

If you wanted an Arm Day and need legs twice you could do this –

Legs (quad/adductor focus), Chest/Shoulders, Back/Abs, Arms, Legs (ham/glute focused), Upper Body Pump of choice, OFF

There are 3 different options that you can chose based on your body, recovery and what needs to come up.

Hey Cris, I’ve been following the diet you set up for me in January and tweaked a bit in April. I’m feeling great about the results. More muscle and less fat. Things are moving in the right direction.

In January, I started the Creeping Death II program and in April, I began the Gamma Bomb. LOVE THESE PROGRAMS!!

Initially, per your suggestion, I was going to do 6 weeks of this Gamma Bomb while lowering my carbs a bit and then jump into the Powerbuilding program. But I’m loving this style of bodybuilding training and don’t really want to move to a power program at this time.

Question – What would be the next program you’d recommend? I know the Gamma Bomb will switch to more leg-focused after the de-load weeks. I could do that, or repeat GB’s first 6 weeks again – OR – jump into another program entirely so I’d have more in my toolbox.

Also – I am losing a bit of fat around the belly but at a very slow rate. Probably a good thing since I’m 56 yrs old and tight skin is not a genetic gift of mine..ha.. But I really want to get leaner than I’ve ever been. Hopefully without doing several hours of cardio a week… I can’t seem to bring myself to enjoying cardio… it is what it is, I suppose.

So, in an effort to lose more fat, gain more muscle, and really tighten up, should I drop a few more carbs? Maybe even some protein since I’m consuming about 280 g/day currently. Current weight is 188 lbs.

Thanks SO MUCH for all your help!

Cris Edmonds
Thanks for the question man and I’m glad you are seeing progress off the 1-Time Diet I built you. So a lot to unpack here, lets break this down one at a time.

For your next program, I would go with Creeping Death II or Higher Evolutionary. Both of these will be excellent options to continue down the road of progression of size and strength.

Now onto the tightening up bodyfat wise, there are a ton of things here to consider:

  • The mindset of “hating cardio” I would really push you to change how you look at it. Cardio is simply a tool to burn fat and improve heart health. I don’t like brushing my teeth, taking the trash out or going to the doctor but I do it bc its required. I just embrace the fact that cardio is needed and will make me better (in terms of performance in the gym, improve my recovery and get me lean AF so my wife can’t keep her hands off me).
  • If you don’t want to do hours of cardio, do HIIT cardio on a spin bike for 15 rounds and its over in 15 mins
  • Or another option I have a lot of my guys do is a 10 min brisk walk after every meal. Breaking it up like this is beyond easy ,will total you at 60 mins per training day and aids in digestion like a MFer.

I would add the following supps to your plan to aid in fat loss:

  • 2 caps Thermoburn
  • 5mgs Yohimbine HCL
  • 2000mgs Taurine

Put VasoBurn on your abs, obliques, low back

Then for diet I would NOT lower protein, you aren’t even at 2g per pound and if your goal is gaining lean muscle in a deficit, you have to have protein high to aid int this process.

I would actually push your off day to ZERO carbs

Lower your Base Training Day carbs to 120g (50 pre, 20 intra, 50 post)

Then I would have 2 high carb days per week (take carbs up to 300-350g and take fat as low as possible only coming from trace sources in lean meat)

There you have it man…..time to burn some fat.

My Mother recently found out after having knee issues for a decent time that she has a worn pad on her kneecap (Patellofemoral Chondromalacia). I know John was known for longevity and training around injury.

Do you have any suggestions or programs that would work around this?

Andrew Berry

First and foremost, see a PT and follow any of their suggestions for therapy. I always defer to experts in the field when it comes to injuries, wear and tear.

Next, I look at the nutrition and supplement program. 2/3’s of cartilage dry weight is made up of collagen. I would add a quality collagen supplement in daily at 10 grams am and pm. Next, I would look at inflammation and look into supplements like fish oil and curcumin to help control this. I am also starting to get into cryo therapy to zap inflammation and recommend looking into this therapy. It takes 3 minutes, and you feel great afterwards.

Now, when it comes to training, I have a simple rule. If the pain is more than a 3 (out of 10), don’t do it, you are probably injuring it further. It’s hard to give an exact exercise regimen so my advice would be to try all of the lower body machines and play around with foot positioning. For example, putting her feet lower on the leg press might increase the pain and possible damage to her knee, but placing them higher and wider might allow her to do the exercise in a way that mitigates the pain. I would find ways to make the exercises she can do harder without adding more weight on… for example, using 3-4 second negatives on each rep.

So, to wrap it up, I would start with any of the training programs but do plenty of warmups and if it hurts past a 3 out of 10, sub an alternate exercise in. Do many warmup sets and play with the foot positioning to find the one that leaves her the most pain free? Make exercises harder by adding difficulties that don’t involve increasing the load. And, have a recovery regimen in place with anti-inflammatory supplements, therapies and supplements to help keep inflammation and pain at bay.

I know a lot of the programs are geared towards training at a real commercial gym and not a home gym and I already have Warlock and Baby Groot. I have a home gym.

What program should I purchase that includes a lot of the most popular or famous intensifier techniques and finishers? I am between gamma bomb and either of the creeping deaths. I based on how I train, I think gamma bomb would fit more.

Andrew Berry

You can literally do any of the programs if you are lacking equipment but have a creative mind. If you had a question about a sub for a specific machine or exercise you don’t have access to, shoot a follow up over.

What are your favorite approaches to getting beefy calves?

Andrew Berry

This one is simple. Training them and training them often. Let’s say I want my calves to grow and just feel beefy all the time- assuming I haven’t been training them much. I will simply start with training them twice a week, and then after 1-2 weeks increase it to 3 sessions a week for a few weeks. Eventually I will get it up to training calves 4-5 days a week.

I think it’s important to train them first, so you don’t neglect them after the other body parts are finished.

I would also vary how you train them. One day I might do one set to 100 reps, stopping at failure points for 10 seconds before resuming- this takes longer and is a lot harder than it sounds. Another day I’ll do 4 sets of 10 plus 5-10 partials. On another day, I’ll do 4 sets of 8 or so with 5 second stretches in the hole. Other days, I’ll do something like 10 reps, then add on either a 10 second stretch or contraction mid set and repeat this process 2 more times for 30 reps in a set and do 2-3 sets like this. I find that like the arms, getting a great pump is a good driver for growth with calves. Don’t neglect anterior tibialis work as well.

What do you all do for flexibility/mobility work?

Andrew Berry
I start every session off with:

  • 20 dowel over and backs
  • Lying external rotation for infra and supraspinatus
  • Pso-rite for 60 seconds
  • Foam roll glutes and hip flexors and lats
  • 90/90 stretch
  • Walking lunges for 2-3 sets added in on leg days.
  • Cryo therapy on days off- it’s more of a recovery modality but I feel the anti-inflammation helps with mobility

How would you fix someone’s slow metabolism?

Andrew Berry

First, I would do an assessment of the diet, exercise, sleep and supplement regimen and confirm that the client isn’t mistaking some less-than-ideal habits for a poor metabolism. Next, I would get labs done to check if there is some sort of hypothyroidism. I would ask for a full metabolic panel and include TSH, free t3, free t4, reverse t3 and t3 antibodies. That would give us some crucial information to determine if there was an issue that needs to be addressed medically or with supplements. Often times, there might be an issue whether it be primary hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s. This can be remedied with medication and/or supplements at times. Sometimes, the person is just lacking in key nutrients.

Another thing that comes to mind is the liver. When the liver isn’t working optimally, the thyroid will have issues as well. The liver is where most T4 converts to T3. Well, it also converts a larger portion of T4 to Reverse or inactive T3. If the liver is working optimally, you will get a better T3 conversion rate. Doing a detox and adding some phase 1 and 2 liver detox/modifiers can help here.

Now to stimulate the metabolism I would probably start with small caloric increases. Something like 20 grams of carbs a day for a woman and closer to 50 grams for a male. I would probably run it in a “2 weeks higher, 1 week lower” fashion, making another bump in calories every 2-3 weeks.

If this is a prep situation where someone has been dieting for weeks on end and weight and progress has stalled, then a refeed of sorts will probably be the best move. This is where you add a bolus of calories, typically but not always, a majority of carbs. Research has shown that higher carb feedings has more of an effect on resetting leptin levels than a mixed meal. A sufficient level of leptin is needed for normal TSH production as well as thyroid hormones from the thyroid.

The size and length of the refeed depends on several factors… where the base calories are at and how long someone has been pushing without a break among others. Let’s say for example, someone has been on a diet without refeeding for 6 weeks and calories are around 2500 with carbs at 200 grams. One might double the carbs for a day and see what happens. I often employ two day refeeds at times and pull the cardio back or out completely. The idea here is to do everything the opposite of what we have been doing… rest more, burn less calories, consume more calories, get great sleep etc. Doing these things will hopefully get the metabolism going and fat loss back on track.

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