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  • Writer's pictureCarlie Pipe

Pump, Cardio, Repeat

Intro theme "Crop Over Life" by Tanya Stephens and Simon Pipe.

When you go to the gym, you're probably trying to achieve 1 of 4 major sets of results:   1. Get big 2. Get big and strong 3. Get small 4. Get small and strong So Corey, Tennyson and Carlie broke down how to approach your gym routine (reps, routine, caloric intake) based on which one you're trying to achieve! Listen here:

CARLIE: (00:16) Well, we're back again with RUNNIN BOUT: This Crop Over Life. I'm your host Carlie. Of course. I'm joined as usual by my right hand man, Corey Revolution Running Certified Trainer. I've also got the man on the outside, note how that was phrased, not the other way around. The man on my outside, Tennyson Harrigan. He's a certified gym and fitness instructor with a specialization in strength and conditioning. He's also the owner of Base Fitness distributors of My Protein products. You can find them at and of course on IG @basefitnessonline. We're going to get to a big topic today. Um, how to approach your workout depending on what kind of results you want to see. But first I have an inspirational quote I thought, you know, as it's running, why not come with something a little motivating and uplifting, right? So, um, the quote is: if you have 99 problems, you can run away from all of them.

(01:17) There you go. From the recesses of my mind, that is glad that sit with you. Um, so anyway, we've got a good topic for you. Um, Tennyson, I think today. How do you approach your workout based on the kind of results you want to see ? We've kind of broken it down into four areas. You can either be looking to:

(01:36) 1. Get big, 2. Get big and strong, 3. Get small or 4. Get small and strong. So how would we approach, if we're going for number one, getting big.

TENNYSON: (01:50) All right. And I think that is what most men go for that bodybuilder look, the big arms, the big chest. It's mostly dependent on how you train in the gym. You want to be doing what you call hypertrophy exercises. Hypertrophy basically means getting your muscles bigger and typically is recommended that you do reps of between 10 to 12. Some people say 15, um, of a weight that gets hard to lift around the 10th rep thereabout. If you're doing 12 around the 12th rep there about if you're doing 15. Reps of 8 work sometimes as well depending on the body parts. But generally that is the rule. You do those reps for between three to four sets and you take very short rests in between. So if you could rest about, 35 seconds between sets and then go again, that's ideal.

TENNYSON: (02:55) What you're going for is a pump with the blood fills. I didn't gorgeous the muscle. That is the stimulus that is going to produce growth, right? For muscles. It gets a bit more technical because if you're doing chest vs legs vs your core, calves, vs your glutes. They're different ranges and different, um, ways to modify the exercise to make it more effective. But generally you're looking at 10 to 12 reps, maybe 15. It depends on how tolerant you are and you're going for three to four sets. If you do that, 3 to four times a week, try to hit all the major muscle groups and you eat a caloric excess, which is what we spoke about last week. Eventually you're going to get bigger muscles.

CARLIE: (03:38) So the minimal rest is so that you don't recover really between the sets. You want to be pushing the limit.

TENNYSON: (03:46) Basically and it, it's about encouraging the pump. So if you wait too long, um, your, your heart rate's going to go back to normal. You're not going to get that big muscle and engorging pump that you're looking for but you really trying to create that pump. Hypertrophy results from time under tension. So you really want to get your muscles, um, under stress and keep putting them under stress over an extended period of time,

CARLIE: (04:11) time under tension. That sounds like a work day for me....consistent time under tension

TENNYSON: (04:16) So note that will get you big but that will not get you strong and that's a completely different thing,

CARLIE: (04:23) Which sounds like a crazy, it sounds wrong to me almost.

TENNYSON: (04:26) It would make sense to most people because your automatic assumption when you see a bodybuilder is at wow this guy must be really strong. But when you start getting into strength sports, you realize that he is probably not really strong based on how he trains, don't get me wrong, there are body builders who are very strong, but that is not always the case. You don't get strength or gain strength by doing body building type training up to a limit. Yes. Up to a point. Yes. But when you're talking about actual strength, no you don't.

CARLIE: (04:59) It's crazy. So big muscles doesn't necessarily mean it's a strong muscle.

TENNYSON: (05:03) And know that's, that's a huge misconception.

COREY: (05:07) If you look at somebody like Hafthor, the Mountain, he's, he's

CARLIE: (05:13) Is this a game of Thrones reference

COREY: (05:18) He's an actual athlete. He is like, his body's not beautiful to look at. No.

CARLIE: (05:27) Are you sure?

COREY: (05:27) He doesn't look like a bodybuilder, but he's strong to all.

TENNYSON: (05:37) The world's strongest man. Well, he's second, he came second, just last week cause he was injured. But before that previously, yes. World's strongest man,

COREY: (05:45) He squats something ridiculously like what, 1000lbs? Yeah. Ridiculous.

CARLIE: (05:50) Amazing. That's pretty cool. So with getting big, your real focus is on just getting your muscles bigger, which is the hypertrophy. Aesthetics.

COREY: (06:06) So we were saying that right before I go to the crop over fete I need to do how many pushups?

CARLIE: (06:13) You said 10 to 12 reps. You're failing around the 10th or 12th, 35 seconds between and three to four sets.

COREY: (06:20) So 10 pushups right before I leave home.

TENNYSON: (06:24) A couple of sets of that. So that guys do that. I've done that just to get a nice big chest pump, get a bicep pump, you want to look good in the shirt so you do a pre-pump before you go out.

COREY: (06:32) This was before you were married, right? Say Yes.

CARLIE: (06:39) You can still look good when you're married hear.

TENNYSON: (06:40) Yeah, it's true. It's true. I haven't done in awhile but it cause I do go out but yeah, you do that. It doesn't last very long. Unfortunately after three hours a pump disappears.

COREY: (06:51) So that's a long time to be in a fete.

CARLIE: (06:53) Now listen, is "pump" like a bodybuilder word?

TENNYSON: (06:56) It is. Get a massive pump. Pump it up.

CARLIE: (07:02) I feel like it's, it's so right for the Crop Over Life season that we're in .

COREY: (07:09) Pump, rinse, repeat.

CARLIE: (07:10) It's going to be the title of this episode. It's just been decided by the way, cause I love it. Now you did mention a caloric excess of about what kind of range should we be looking at?

TENNYSON: (07:21) Uh, it's actually is the same three to four hundred. Okay. Just has to be consistent. You also emphasize protein because you need the protein building muscle but you don't necessarily have to eat a whole bunch of protein. Actually once you just in that excess, um, area, your body's gonna put on weight and if you're doing the right things in the gym is going to be muscle. That's, that's what it is.

CARLIE: (07:47) Okay. And do we separate days? Like do we do a chest day? A back day?

TENNYSON: (07:51) Bodybuilding typically works best if you like section out the muscle groups. So, um, you hit chest and triceps because the triceps also are involved in lots of chest exercises so they go together. You do back and biceps typically the same, you do, um, quads and calves and abs. You do hamstrings, glutes and lower back. That's typical bodybuilding split. Um, when I used to do it, I would have two legs day so I'd do my full lower body twice in the week, less on the arms and shoulders because my arms and shoulders respond faster and it varies from person to person. So some people don't need to work legs and they have huge legs, I have very, very, very skinny legs. So I had to focus on that. So that's, that's how you do it. And you look in the mirror and you look at what's happening and then you train based on what you see happening in the mirror, that is basically what you do.

CARLIE: (08:47) Okay. So moving on now to big and strong, how do we approach if we want to be big and also strong to me that that sounds like, you know, kind of make sense. You want to be able to lift stuff.

TENNYSON: (08:59) That's my life goal. I will never give you the big cause I have a very small frame. Frame size: you determine that by measuring your wrist, your ankles, or your elbows, you could tell how your skeleton is. That predetermines how much muscle you could put on. Also how strong you could actually get relative to other people. But if you want to be as big as possible for your frame size and strong as well, you need to do strength training and eat a crap load of food.

COREY: (09:31) Is that a scientific size portion size, a crap load.

TENNYSON: (09:38) You could literally, unless you have a very limited Buddhism, you can not eat enough if you trying to become as strong as possible and as big as possible

COREY: (09:46) cause you got to feed the muscle.

TENNYSON: (09:47) Yeah. And a strength workout is extremely taxing on the body.

CARLIE: (09:53) Um, more taxing than our hypertrophic big workout.

TENNYSON: (09:57) Yes, it's, it's very taxing. Um, because you, you basically overload the central nervous system, a lot trying to lift close to your maximum capacity, um, you don't do that every workout, but you do that very often and it, it really takes a toll on the body, not just the muscles but the joints and ligaments as well. So it is a whole different other world. But at the strength program, what you're looking to do is lift between three to five reps. Um, maybe six of a weight that is between 60 to 75% of your one rep Max, one rep, Max Max, right? That is the most weight you could possibly lift on something. Yes.

CARLIE: (10:45) And not be able to lift it a second time.

TENNYSON: (10:47) Exactly. The three lifts that you focus on, are squat, bench and deadlift. You do that because those, those lifts express human strength the best because you on both feet using both hands so you could express maximal strength, um, doing a squat, bench or deadlift. Right? Um, and that's how you get stronger. Basically.

CARLIE: (11:09) You would do all three of those in one, one workout or

TENNYSON: (11:12) some workouts you do all the three, typically you focus on one and a variation of it, of the other. And then you do what you call accessory movements, which are variations of squat, bench and deadlift. But everything is focused on getting stronger in the squat, bench and deadlift. Um, so that's the numbers you play with three to five reps, sometimes eight if you're going a little lighter and the ranges you look in with that 65, 70 to 80% of your one rep Max. If you go any higher and that you are looking at one rep, two reps and you typically do that at the end of the cycle when you're testing for your strength. Um, if you go lower than that is at the beginning of a cycle when trying to get your conditioning up. So you do maybe eight reps, 10 reps at that kind of thing.

CARLIE: (11:55) Oh, I didn't realize that you would do as little as like five reps on something to get strong. I always thought it was, yeah, I do eight to 10. So I'm learning for sure.

TENNYSON: (12:07) Yep. Um, if anything more than five reps, if you're doing strength, you, your form starts to breakdown. The power lifters are known for taking lots of rest because every single rep has to be perfect. If your form is breaking down, then you risking injury one and you're not getting the proper stimulus because you always need to practice how you play. You need to do the full range of motion. Every single rep every single time.

COREY: (12:30) Similar thing with weight lifters because they take a long time between reps

TENNYSON: (12:35) Weight lifters even more so because their moves, the um, clean and press and the snatch are super technical. You have no margin of error when you only doing close to your max, you could get it very easily.

COREY: (12:46) The next thing is, I mean like a snatch is such a temperamental movement. Like you catch a snatch and just you'd be like a millimeter off and that is gone.

TENNYSON: (12:56) Yeah. Yeah. Precisely. So strength, strength range, three to five reps of a weight that is very difficult to do for those reps. And you train three times a week. Strengths specifically, um, you could train more, but if you do it an extra days, maybe a cardio day or active recovery day, that kind of thing.

CARLIE: (13:17) Should I be doing strength training as a running?

TENNYSON: (13:20) Every single human being on planet earth should be doing strength training. And I will tell you why when you get older, your body tends to each or muscle away. That's called Sarcopenia. And your bones also become less dense. That's called osteoporosis. Strength training delays the onset of both of these things. And that is the only thing that does that. Not Running, not, not cardio, not balancing on a ball with a thimble in your hand. You have to get, have to get strong. So when you in your seventies and eighties, you appreciate it because you could walk upright, you could bend down, you could get up the toilet, you could still function actively in life.

TENNYSON: (14:13) It's overlooked and I really want to advocate it, especially in the Caribbean. Um, you don't have to become a power lifter, but you should at least, maybe even just once a week, just get in basic strength training just to keep your body healthy for, for life. This is simple as that.

CARLIE: (14:34) I have a question for you. How do we figure out what's our Max that we can lift in one rep, our Max load, whatever. Do we literally just kind of keep adjusting the wait until like, okay, I can't push this one?

TENNYSON: (14:46) No, that's quite dangerous. You could calculate your max from, um, I think up until 12 reps. So if you figure out what you could do, the Max for 12 reps to two reps, you could calculate it and get your one rep Max is usually quite accurate. But it's pretty useful to know your one rep Max because that's what you need to actually know for you to push yourself to get stronger.

CARLIE: (16:39) Okay. Bros, what are your One Rep Maxes

COREY: (16:45) let's not play that game

TENNYSON: (16:49) I'm actually a very weak power lifter because I haven't done it for very long.

CARLIE: (16:55) Okay. So what's our caloric excess, before we move on to the next one, um, for getting big, I believe we said about three to 400 calories in excess. So for getting strong, you did mention we need to go above that.

TENNYSON: (17:15) Yeah. Um, is is also worth mentioning that if you want to be as strong as possible, you're not going to be as strong as possible at 12% body fat. You need to have a little excess body fat to be as strong as possible. Somebody will take it overboard. People tend to think powerlifter like to be fat. Um, there's a little truth to that, but you're at your strongest - men, you are at your strongest when you are about 17, 16% body fat so you're not going to have rippling abs. But the testosterone profile is going to be much better for doing strength. Um, so at where was I? How did I get here?

CARLIE: (17:59) How many calories in excess do we want to be.

TENNYSON: (18:04) Uh, I could tell you my experience, I try to be four to 500 or above, but that my basal is very high. So as a high metabolism guy, my basal metabolic rates is I think 2,400 calories on a regular day to eat that is very hard. If I want to actually put on weight I need to be, it's an 3000 calories daily. I've tried it and failed many times. I'm currently 163. I'm trying to be 175 that's nearly impossible.

CARLIE: (18:51) Um, all right. So how about those of us who want to be lean? That's why we go to the gym. What do we do?

TENNYSON: (19:18) You want to be ripped, right? Um, the first thing is the caloric excess should be, um, slightly lower. So you're looking at one to 200 above, cause you don't want to let your muscle die or be eaten way. So you need to keep a slight excess. But the biggest thing is the training that you do in the gym. So you would be doing lots of cardio, different types, the steady state, kind of the high intensity interval training type, kind, or the circuit type cardio. And um, you could mix up the training and you could also do a little bit hypertrophy. You could do a little bit of strength, the weight lifting aspect of it isn't terribly important. The biggest aspect of that is actually the amount of cardio you get in because that is what will keep the fats off. Take off more fats to give you the whole Chisel, Lean look.

CARLIE: (20:56) So right. Getting that ripped look, we want to be introducing a lot more cardio into our gym approach.

TENNYSON: (21:31) More days in the gym too? Five days, four days. You need to train more regularly. You should get some cardio pretty much every workout. Um, that's how that Bikini Bikini fitness people on the men's physique, people train coming onto the show. Lots of cardio. Um, lots of sweating, lots of pushing yourself and taking very little rest.

CARLIE: (22:01) So are we going to be wanting to do more reps when we're doing gym stuff like 20 reps as opposed to five or where do we kind of fall in that range, right?

TENNYSON: (22:12) Like if you're in a circuit a weight lifting circuit you could, you could have 12, maybe like 20 is a little better cause you want to get your heart rate going and um, the rest is very like you literally should be bouncing between, um, move to move to move. So you never really give yourself a chance to recover fully. That's what's gonna really get into the, the whole metabolic fat burning process. Um, but you don't have to always do that. You could literally also train hypertrophy style and just get in a lots of cardio. It really is, it really boils down to the amounts of cardio you get in. Um, if you train strength for hypertrophy you going to maintain muscle, but it's not good to really affect the whole fat situation. Right. Which is what you're looking at, which is what you're looking at.

CARLIE: (23:01) The type of cardio we do affects if we're training fat. Like I heard this myth that you have to be doing 20 minutes of cardio before you start burning fat. Is that true?

TENNYSON: (23:13) Yeah. So steady state cardio, um, before your body gets into the whole fat burning mode, you have to be at it for at least 25 minutes. Um, and then your body starts to start to decide, okay, I'm going to cause you need to burn out your glycogen stores.

COREY: (23:32) you've got to get past the glycogen.

TENNYSON: (23:33) That's the energy that's already available in a muscle. So when when somebody gets past that, it gets, starts to go into the fat stores to get energy for the activity. So that's where you start to burn it

COREY: (23:44) because your, your muscles will naturally burn the, the sugar that's in your blood first. Then the sugar that's in your muscles and then, and only then will it try to burn fat.

CARLIE: (23:56) Um, now what about doing weights bouncing between the weights first for the 25 minutes and then hitting the treadmill?

TENNYSON: (24:03) That's a different thing. Your heart rate is supposed to be a certain range for steady state cardio. So if you're out of breath, then you're not doing steady state cardio is really just an elevated heart rate.

CARLIE: (24:16) You should be able to hold a conversation.

TENNYSON: (24:19) Exactly. That's steady state above that then you're in a different um, fitness as a way for energy system,

COREY: (24:27) You want to stay in within the aerobics aerobics zone. What you just said about being able to have a conversation that's an excellent guage. Um, for me and I'm my runners, I usually, I usually give them three paces, um, for, for workouts and the first one where we would be in the aerobic zone. It's conversational pace. If you can't have a conversation with the guy that's next to you, then you're running too fast.

CARLIE: (24:57) That puts you in Anaerobic. So what about being small, being lean, but also being strong?

TENNYSON: (25:06) Okay. Um, I don't know why somebody would want to be small and strong.

CARLIE: (25:13) What does that even mean?

TENNYSON: (25:22) I'm biased. But you basically don't eat as much so you still do your strength training. Um, but you are more careful with your diet. You have a much cleaner diets and you also do a little bit of cardio because you would need the cardio to keep the excess body fat off. But it's the same template for getting stronger. That doesn't change across any discipline. You need to do what you need to do to get stronger. It's just that if you don't want to bulk up, put on excess body weight, then you just keep your diet as clean as possible.

CARLIE: (26:21) Okay. See that's making sense then what you're saying. Um, because you're not following the really heavy cardio approach, you're following more of a strength approach, but you're putting more attention into your diet and keeping it cleaner. Like you said, maybe not taking in as many calories. So what's the best approach for a runner pacifically to take?

TENNYSON: (27:28) If i were to train a hypothetical long distance runner, you don't need much strength training. Um, you should still get in a strength training phase in your macrocycle which is your yearly plan where you focus on getting stronger. But I would say if you just do these arbitrary number, if you get up to 1.5 body weight squats, um, two times body weight, dead lift and you could basically hit that anytime during the season, you pretty good. Um, for running long distances. And then you focus on your core strength, which is where we spoke about last time. You need to have a pretty solid core for running any type of running and you should be good from there you don't really have to do any upper body stuff.

COREY: (28:14) In running in terms of strength, like I tend to put a little bit more focue on um, the smaller tendons rather than on the muscles specifically. So your stabilizers in your ankles and your knees, hips, and even then going beyond the strength in terms of flexibility. So some mobility of your hips and ankles is very, very important.

TENNYSON: (28:43) You're getting into conditioning so for a runner you focus on making those leg ligaments as stiff as possible for optimal force transfer. Um, and that's running drills basically but that's the conditioning aspect of of things. And you would really focus on those things.

COREY: (29:08) My group is, we are finishing up our off season. I kind of do a bit of an off season between training cycles and in that period of time I take the emphasis off of actual running and then focus more on drills and then a little bit of like hill running just to build that Muscular Endurance.

CARLIE: (32:58) Well, and thank you guys for listening. Again, this has been another episode of Runnin Bout: This Crop Over Life. Um, of course I'm joined by Corey Revolution Running Certified Trainer and Tennyson, who is a certified gym and fitness instructor who specializes in strength and conditioning. He's also the owner of Base Fitness - distributors of My Protein products. You can find them at and on IG @basefitnessonline. Um, you can also follow me@carlierunsbarbados on IG and log on to for more episodes of the podcast. You can also follow us on iTunes and just stay connected with everything. Uh, we'll be back soon.

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