MuscleBear Beef-Up : Wendler Workout vs Westside Barbell Routine
If you’re serious about transforming yourself into a big Muscular Bear, you need to either start your weight training hard and heavy or change-up your current workout routine. With a Back To The Basics and very focused core Mesocycle muscle building phase you can pack on a measurable amount of muscle mass in a short period of time. HIT - H.I.T - H.I.I.T. - whatever you call it - High Intensity Interval Training that focuses on the largest muscle groups in your body is the way to alter your calorie burning Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) and start trading pounds of fat for pounds of muscle.
In my quest to transform into a Muscle Bear, I’ve made dissappointingly slow but steady gains using a conventional split weight training routine. But even with a systematic approach to alternately training legs, back, arms, chest, etc. on alternate days, it seemed rather scatter-shot and lacking focus. Split Routines are common for most weight trainees and bodybuilders, and allow you to work out 5 or more days a week while still allowing various muscle groups to recover while you’re building up the others. For a lot of fit Bear men, daily exercise is simply part of a ‘Fit For Life’ mantra and it can be hard to actually take days off and really do NOTHING to allow your body, metabolism and nervous system to truly rest and recover like it needs to.
It was a challenge, but I decided if I was really going to take my quasi-muscular Bear physique to the next level, I needed to Stop. Rethink. And Re-Focus on basic core exercises in a Mesocyle. I’d lost the Bear belly, started seeing real muscle definition, but kept losing weight. Clearly I was losing more fat, but not trading it pound for pound with new muscle.
A MuscleBear workout of Classic HIT Training focusing on only my largest muscle groups, done in combination sets of opposing muscle groups helped me gain more lean muscle mass in 6 weeks than I had in the previous six months. A big part of that was reading up on two very popular Mesocycle programs: The WESTSIDE BARBELL WORKOUT and the WENDLER 5 3 1 RESULTS-oriented methods favored by Muscle Bear bodybuilders or Powerlifting Muscle Bears who are dead serious about achieving rapid muscle mass and strength gains.
Most of these Wendler and Westside Barbell inspired routines were modified to include free-weight barbell and dumbbell combinations such as bench presses alternated with bent-over barbell rows, shrugs with overhead presses, bicep curls alternated with tricep extensions, etc. I really stayed focused on free weights and only allowed myself to use machines to substitute for a few critical H.I.T. moves. Because of sacral and lower lumbar issues, a variety of leg press and hack squat machines helped me minimize the issues that strict form in free-standing barbell squats demands. And it’s just hard to substitute the unique muscle building qualities that the standing or lying leg curl and leg extension Cybex, Nautilus or Hammar Strength machines can bring to beef-up and define your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Both the Westside Barbell program and Wendler Training Method incorporate the option for varied supplemental exercises to balance out their core-training lifts.
Keeping in mind the six largest muscle groups of the body, I really kept myself critically aware of a few things: A Bear’s triceps are generally twice as large as biceps, so I made sure to pump and burn the back of my arms more consciously. That my leg workouts needed to become much heavier and painful to shock my muscles and metabolism into serious mass building mode. Ditto for dumbbell shrugs to add the visual mass that well-developed trapezius muscles add to an imposing physique. And for a thick, strong back, I had to load up and grind out more bent-over and barbell rows.