# Thread: Various Training Techniques

1. ## Various Training Techniques

Posted below are a zillion different training styles.

Enjoy!

~Pinnacle~
Last edited by Pinnacle; 12-04-2005 at 11:47 PM.

2. Sorry about tha guys..everything worked yesterday.
I'll paste them all in order..

Escalating Density Training
by Charles Staley

Q2 (Pronounced "Q-squared") this is a portion of training called Escalating Density Training, or EDT, and it constitutes the hypertrophy portion of Q2 training.

What Causes Muscle Growth?

If I may dispense with the usual formalities and get right down to brass tacks, so to speak, I'd like you to consider the following statement:

"When a biological system experiences a challenge, it modifies itself in order to be able to more easily meet similar challenges in the future."

Now, in my opinion, if you're interested in growing muscle, that statement contains everything you'll ever need to know. Muscle is in fact a biological system, and it grows (or atrophies) in direct proportion to the amount of work it is forced to do.

Of course, all training systems approach this reality by suggesting an endless array of often conflicting recommendations regarding exercise selection, number of reps and sets, length of rest periods, and so on. One system says 3 sets of 10; another says one set to failure. One system recommends resting 1 minute between sets, another 3 minutes. One system employs partial range of motion, another full range of motion. On and on it goes. What gets lost in all this is the simple reality that whatever system allows you to do the most work per unit of time is what causes muscle to grow in an optimal manner.

That being said, the next question is "What is work?" And the answer is reflected in the following equation: M x D = W (M= mass or weight, D = distance, and W = work)

Every training principle you've ever heard of, plus most of the ones you've never heard of, are designed to allow you to do more and more work over the weeks and months. And Q2 is no exception. In fact, let me be the first to say that there is absolutely NOTHING new here. The only thing that's new is the way I'm "framing" or presenting the information. In a sense, the EDT system is just a foolproof way to ensure that you perform more and more work in each workout that you do. The benefits of the EDT method are as follows:

Motivation: When you do an EDT workout, you know when it'll start, but more importantly, you know precisely when it will END. Also, you know exactly what you need to do in that time period. In other words, you have an explicit goal — a definite purpose, and a well-defined time frame for accomplishing your goal. You have to experience this in order to fully appreciate how easily it is to get "up" for ED workouts.

Auto-Regulation: Forget about sets and reps. Forget about rest intervals. Forget about time under tension. I'm totally serious — all of these parameters distract you from the essential truth — that you need to do more work this time than you did last time. It literally took me over 20 years of studying these factors to realize that they don't matter. So take out your training log, see how many total repetitions you did during your last workout for the same muscle groups, start the stopwatch, and beat that number.That's all. If you do this every workout, you'll grow. And if you don't you won't.

• Clarity of Progression: EDT workouts don't allow you to hide from the essential truth of training — progression. You may think you were abiding by the law of progressive overload before, but with EDT, you KNOW you are.
EDT involves doing a workout, measuring how much work was done, and then consistently and gradually increasing that amount of work. When you do, muscle will grow, metabolism will increase, and you'll have a leaner, more muscular body. Now, as it turns out, there's a paradox at work here. Because good fatigue management strategies allow you to do a lot more work, you'll end up plenty sore anyway, so for you masochists out there, fear not — you'll be in plenty of pain.

The EDT Program

Monday: Lats/Elbow Extensors
First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Chins (palms facing you)
A-2: Lying EZ-Bar Tricep Extensions
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Seated Rows (Low cable or machine)
A-2: Reverse-Grip Tricep Pushdowns (palms up)

Tuesday: Lower Body/Trunk
First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Back Extensions (a.k.a. hyper extensions)
A-2: Ball Crunches (crunches off a Swiss Ball)
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Leg extensions
A-2: Leg Curls

Thursday: Pecs/Elbow Flexors
First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Strive Bench Presses (or any machine bench press variant)
A-2: Low Cable Curls
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Hammer Incline Presses
A-2: Preacher Hammer Curls

Friday: Lower Body
First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Alternating Lunges
A-2: Sit-Ups
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Seated Calf Raises
A-2: *Russian Twists

*Sit on the ground or a bench with knees bent to 90 degrees and lean your trunk back to 45 degrees. Keeping this trunk angle, and with arms out straight, fingers interlocked and arms maintained at 90 degrees to the upper body, rotate the trunk from the waist (not the shoulders!)

Comments on Exercise Selection
This is not a rehab or functional-strength program. It's designed for lean-mass development only. The inclusion of machine-based exercises in the above cycle is based on my preference to avoid technical or coordination-intensive exercises (such as squats or deadlifts) while in a "panicked" state of mind. In theory, this program can be done using more technical lifts as long as you remain "present" or "in the moment." However, for your first exposure to EDT, I strongly suggest sticking to the program as provided.

Procedure

• Each workout consists of two 20-minute time frames separated by a short (5-10 minute) rest period. In each time frame, you'll perform two exercises, for a total of 4 exercises per workout.

• In each time frame, the two exercises are performed in alternating fashion, back and forth, until the time frame has elapsed.

• After warming up the first 2 exercises, select a load that approximates a 10-12 RM for each exercise. Ideally, the weight used for each exercise should be equally difficult.

• Sets, reps, and rest intervals: Generally, most people will find it most effective to do higher repetition (but not maximal effort) sets and shorter rests at the beginning, and then gradually progress to less reps per set and longer rests as fatigue accumulates. As an example, you might begin by performing sets of 6 with very short (15-30 second) rests. As you begin to fatigue, you'll increase your rest intervals as you drop down to sets of 4, then 2, and as the 20-minute time limit approaches, you might crank out a few singles in an effort of accomplish as many repetitions as possible in 20 minutes.

NOTE: Do not perform early sets to failure, or even near failure. My recommended starting point is to do 1/2 of what is possible (e.g., 5 reps with a 10-RM weight) at the beginning of the time frame. As the time limit approaches however, you'll find yourself working at or near failure as you attempt to break your rep record.

Progression: Each time you repeat the workout; your objective is to simply perform more total repetitions in the same time frame. Apply the 20/5 rule: as soon as you can increase the total number of reps by 20% or more, start the next workout withy 5% more weight and start over.
And that's essentially it. No pre-ordained numbers of sets, reps, or rest periods. It's entirely up to you. Your job is only to complete the 20-minute work period, and then improve on it the next time around.

Charles Staley is a sports performance specialist and director of Integrated Sport Solutions in Las Vegas, Nevada. A former martial arts competitor and trainer, Staley is also an Olympic weightlifting coach, as well as a master's level track and field competitor (discus event). He has coached elite athletes from many sports, including martial arts, luge, boxing, track & field, bobsled, football, Olympic weightlifting, and bodybuilding. Staley has written hundreds of published articles, and has lectured extensively on the topics of human performance and sport training.
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Last edited by Pinnacle; 12-04-2005 at 10:09 PM.

3. Pendulum Bodybuilding
by Christian Thibaudeau

The Basic Bodybuilding Pendulum

As explained in my first article on Pendulum Training, if you're a bodybuilder it's best to use a three-step approach that includes two structural/hypertrophy phases and one functional/strength phase. That last phase is important to maximize neural improvements, which will, in turn, potentiate the muscle gains you’ll get from your "regular" bodybuilding training. It’s also a phase that can have drastic effect on muscle tone, hardness, and density. Therefore, I feel it's necessary to include some heavy lifting, even in a purely aesthetic program.

Both structural phases will focus on muscle mass, but both are also very different from one another. The first phase includes more volume and more density (thus the use of several "advanced" techniques) while the second phase uses slightly more weight. Each phase lasts one week and the general schedule is as follow:

Week 1: Structural 1

Week 2: Structural 2

Week 3: Functional strength

Week 4: Structural 2

Week 5: Structural 1

Phases 1 and 5: Structural 1

This phase of training will use less weight but will be the most energy-draining phase of all. The focus is on increasing lactic acid build-up and maximizing total muscle breakdown (to stimulate a massive anabolic response to training). To do so we'll use techniques such as supersets, tempo contrast, and isometric-dynamic contrast. The rest intervals will be short and the volume relatively high. Each muscle group is to be trained once a week. The training schedule is as follow:

Monday: Quads and Hams

Tuesday: Biceps and Triceps

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: Chest and Back

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Shoulders

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Quads and Hams

A) Tempo contrast back squat

You'll perform sets of 8 reps in the back squat. Sound easy? Not so fast! We'll use a tempo contrast method. This means the rhythm of the repetitions will vary during the set from slow to explosive:

Reps 1 and 2 = 604 tempo (down in 6 seconds, up in 4 seconds)

Reps 3 and 4 = 20X tempo (down in 2 seconds, up as fast as possible)

Reps 5 and 6 = 604 tempo

Reps 7 and 8 = 20X tempo

Work sets: 4 x 8

Rest between sets: 120 seconds

B) Isometric-dynamic contrast leg curl

Regular leg curls are easy; they’re for sissies! Instead, we're going to use an action contrast method here. This means that on each rep you'll include a pause at the mid-point of the exercise (halfway down). The duration of the pause will vary on each rep. We'll perform 7 reps:

Rep 1 = 12 second pause

Rep 2 = 10 second pause

Rep 3 = 8 second pause

Rep 4 = 6 second pause

Rep 5 = 4 second pause

Rep 6 = 2 second pause

Rep 7 = no pause

Work sets: 4 x 7

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

C) Back squat

You'll perform only one set of squats, but that'll be one set of 20 reps! Right after those 20 reps of pure pleasure you'll step out from under the bar (if you can), put your back on the wall, bend the knees 90 degrees and hold the position until you drop on the floor. Try to handle the position for more than 20 seconds without crying please.

Work sets = 1 x 20 + isometric hold for max time

Just when you thought the fun was over! Once again we'll only perform one set of twenty reps on the Romanian deadlift. After all the work you’ve done I'll be nice to you and you won't have to do any isometric work … for now! Complete your twenty reps in good form, lie down on the floor until you regain your composure, drink your shake and go home to rest and grow!

Work sets = 1 x 20

This first workout is brutally intense, but it should be completed in less than 45 minutes.

Tuesday: Biceps and Triceps

Ah, a beach workout! After all that leg blasting I'll throw you a bone! But this doesn’t mean it'll be an easy day; far from it. If we want those huge guns, we’ll have to work for them!

A1) Isometric-dynamic contrast standing barbell curl

We'll use the same concept as we did for the leg curl: you're going to hold the weight at the mid-point (arms at 90 degrees) for some time. Once again, the duration of the pause will vary on each rep:

Rep 1 = 12 second pause

Rep 2 = 10 second pause

Rep 3 = 8 second pause

Rep 4 = 6 second pause

Rep 5 = 4 second pause

Rep 6 = 2 second pause

Rep 7 = no pause

A2) Reverse barbell curl

This is a simple reverse curl performed with either a straight bar or an EZ-curl bar. The exercise is straightforward; no special technique. You're going to perform 12 reps of this movement. Use a controlled rhythm, but don’t go too slow either.

A1 and A2 are a superset. Both exercises are performed without taking any extra rest in between. You'll perform this superset 5 times.

Work sets: 5 x A1 + A2

Rest between supersets: 180 seconds

B1) Tempo contrast nose-breaker (lying barbell extension)

This is your basic nose-breaker. Lie down on a bench and lower the bar to your face while keeping the elbows pointing straight up. We'll use a tempo contrast method. This means the rhythm of the repetitions will vary during the set from slow to explosive:

Reps 1 and 2 = 604 tempo (down in 6 seconds, up in 4 seconds)

Reps 3 and 4 = 20X tempo (down in 2 seconds, up as fast as possible)

Reps 5 and 6 = 604 tempo

Reps 7 and 8 = 20X tempo

B2) Cable triceps extension with V-shape bar

This is a regular cable triceps extension. You'll perform 12 reps using a controlled, but not too slow-rhythm.

B1 and B2 are a superset. Both exercises are performed without taking any extra rest between. You'll perform this superset 5 times.

Work sets: 5 x B1 + B2

Rest between supersets: 180 seconds

C) Tempo contrast preacher curl

By now it isn’t necessary to explain what a tempo contrast is (hopefully).

Reps 1 and 2 = 604 tempo

Reps 3 and 4 = 20X tempo

Reps 5 and 6 = 604 tempo

Reps 7 and 8 = 20X tempo

Work sets: 3 x 8

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

D) Isometric-dynamic contrast straight-bar cable triceps extension

Contrary to other exercises, for this exercise you'll hold the pause in the fully extended position. Focus on really flexing your triceps super hard!

Rep 1 = 12 second pause

Rep 2 = 10 second pause

Rep 3 = 8 second pause

Rep 4 = 6 second pause

Rep 5 = 4 second pause

Rep 6 = 2 second pause

Rep 7 = no pause

Work sets: 3 x 7

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Thursday: Chest and Back

A) Tempo contrast bench press

We'll use the same type of execution as the other tempo contrast exercises:

Reps 1 and 2 = 604 tempo

Reps 3 and 4 = 20X tempo

Reps 5 and 6 = 604 tempo

Reps 7 and 8 = 20X tempo

Work sets: 3 x 8

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

B) Isometric-dynamic contrast seated cable rowing

Perform this exercise seated with a straight back. Stretch the lats during the eccentric portion of the movement but don’t bend the trunk forward. Once again, we're going to include a pause on each rep; this time the pause is performed when the bar is on the sternum.

Rep 1 = 12 second pause

Rep 2 = 10 second pause

Rep 3 = 8 second pause

Rep 4 = 6 second pause

Rep 5 = 4 second pause

Rep 6 = 2 second pause

Rep 7 = no pause

Work sets: 3 x 7

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

C) Isometric-dynamic contrast incline bench press

On this drill the pause is executed when the bar is two inches from the chest. At that position, really concentrate on not only holding the bar, but on flexing the pectorals hard.

Rep 1 = 12 second pause

Rep 2 = 10 second pause

Rep 3 = 8 second pause

Rep 4 = 6 second pause

Rep 5 = 4 second pause

Rep 6 = 2 second pause

Rep 7 = no pause

Work sets: 3 x 7

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

D) Tempo contrast machine pullover

When this exercise is performed with a tempo contrast, it can be one of the best back builders you can do!

Reps 1 and 2 = 604 tempo

Reps 3 and 4 = 20X tempo

Reps 5 and 6 = 604 tempo

Reps 7 and 8 = 20X tempo

Work sets: 3 x 8

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

E) Dips

You'll do three sets of dips with no added weight. Perform as many reps as you can on each set. Really emphasize a controlled motion.

Work sets: 3 x max reps

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

F) Barbell shrugs

Perform 4 sets of barbell shrugs. Hold the fully shrugged position for 2 seconds on each rep.

Set 1: 10 reps

Set 2: 8 reps

Set 3: 6 reps

Set 4: 20 reps

Work sets: 4 x 6-20

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Saturday: Shoulders

This is the hit and run session of the week. If done properly it should take you no more than 30 minutes to complete. This will leave you some time to perform your favourite abdominal routine or work on your perceived weaknesses with some extra work. Note that all exercises are performed in a regular fashion, no contrast.

A1) Military press

Reps: 8

Tempo: 501

A2) Dumbbell shoulder press

Reps: 12

Tempo: 301

A3) Lateral raises

Reps: 20

Tempo: 201

Note: A1, A2 and A3 are a superset and are performed without any rest. Repeat the superset 6 times with 120 seconds between each superset.

Remember that this phase is to be performed on weeks 1 and 5.

Phases 2 and 4: Structural 2

We'll still be working on developing muscle mass, but this time we'll use less "advanced" techniques and increase the average load to be lifted. We'll also increase the training frequency to two sessions per muscle group. There'll be less direct work for the biceps and triceps (which will be directly trained only once a week) following this schedule:

Tuesday: Chest, Back, Shoulders

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Shoulders

Friday: OFF

Saturday: Chest, Back, Biceps, Triceps

Sunday: OFF

A) Front squat

Reps: 8

Tempo: 501

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Reps: 8

Tempo: 501

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

C) Leg press

Reps: 10

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

D) Leg curl

Reps: 10

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Tuesday: Chest, Back, Shoulders

A) Bench press

Reps: 8

Tempo: 501

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

B) Barbell rowing

Reps: 8

Tempo: 501

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

C) Military press

Reps: 8

Tempo: 501

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

D) Incline dumbbell press

Reps: 10

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

E) Seated cable rowing

Reps: 10

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

F) Lateral raise

Reps: 10

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Thursday: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Shoulders

A) Back squat

Reps: 6

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

B) Good morning

Reps: 6

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

C) Seated dumbbell shoulder press

Reps: 6

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

D) Lunges (alternate)

Reps: 8 per leg

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

E) Front raise

Reps: 8

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Saturday: Chest, Back, Biceps, Triceps

A) Bench press (close grip)

Reps: 6

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

B) Weighted chins (or lat pulldown)

Reps: 6

Tempo: 301

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

C) Flat dumbbell bench press (hammer grip)

Reps: 8

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

D) Barbell shrugs

Reps: 8

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

E) Preacher curl

Reps: 8

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

F) Cable triceps extension

Reps: 8

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 4

Rest between sets: 90 seconds

Remember that this phase is to be performed on weeks 2 and 4.

Phase 3: Functional Strength

During this week of training we'll use heavy weights and only include compound exercises. Each session will be a whole body workout. The objective is to stimulate the nervous system while giving the muscle, energy and hormonal systems a break. The schedule to use is as follows:

Monday: Whole body 1

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: Whole body 2

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Whole body 3

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Whole body 1

A) Front squat

Reps: 5

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 5

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

B) Incline bench press

Reps: 5

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 5

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

C) Seated rowing

Reps: 5

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 5

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

Wednesday: Whole body 2

A) Back squat

Reps: 3

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 6

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

B) Close grip bench press

Reps: 3

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 6

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

C) Barbell rowing

Reps: 3

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 6

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

Friday: Whole body 3

A) Back squat

Reps: 2

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 8

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

B) Bench press

Reps: 2

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 8

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

Reps: 2

Tempo: 201

Work sets: 8

Rest between sets: 180 seconds

This phase is to be performed on the third week of the cycle. Don't skip it! It'll really help boost your bodybuilding gains in the future. Strive to move a lot of weight, but never sacrifice form for more weight!

Conclusion

This training program is to be followed for two to three consecutive cycles (10 to 15 weeks) for maximum gains. You can change the exercises with each new cycle, but you’ll find out it's not necessary for continuous gains on this program because the variation of training methods, volume, and intensity is enough to keep the body in an adaptive mode.

This program is best suited to someone who wants to gain a lot of lean body mass; however, for it to be maximally effective, you should adopt a sound bodybuilding diet.

The bottom line is that this program is extremely effective, probably even more so than you think!

The great part is that Pendulum Bodybuilding is fun to do! The frequent variation will help you stay motivated and you'll end up enjoying your training just as much as your progress!

Christian Thibaudeau is a strength and conditioning coach who works with a wide range of elite athletes. He has successfully trained athletes requiring a wide array of physical qualities ranging from strength and power (football players, Olympic lifters, strongmen competitors) and important energetic capacities (hockey players) to proprioception and stabilization/balance (figure skaters ). He's also a competitive Olympic weightlifter and a football coach. Christian is completing his M.Sc. degree in exercise science and has been a research assistant in that field for the past two years. You can pick up his book, The Black Book of Training Secrets, right here at this site.
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Last edited by Pinnacle; 12-04-2005 at 10:12 PM.

4. Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)
Hypertrophy-Specific Training arose out of the research looking at both the stimuli and mechanisms for muscle cell hypertrophy. Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST) is based on physiological principles of hypertrophy first discovered in the laboratory. These principles were then organized into a "method" of mechanically loading the muscle to induce hypertrophy. Of course, translating these principles into applicable methods (sets & reps & schedules) brings in some possibility of error. As the science continues to explore the exact mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy, this error will be whittled away.

I didn't start out knowing how muscles grew. After all, it is a process that cannot be observed with the naked eye. In the beginning I simply did what others were doing. Then, I began reading muscle magazines and buying books. Still, I wasn't able to achieve the level of muscularity I saw so prominently displayed in the magazines.

For about 10 years I trained with all the popular training styles. I made decent progress in the beginning but as time went by, I seldom saw changes in the mirror, at least not any I could get anyone else to notice. But I continued to pursue the art.

As I entered college and graduate school, I finally had access to real research that was only just then beginning to take form. The interest in muscle growth is fairly new in academic circles. As I began to explore the research, it became clear to me that the routines and traditions I was exposed to as a bodybuilder, were NOT based on physiological principles on a cellular level.

It was a "fantastic voyage" compared to the European inspired global view of training. At the microscopic level scientists were talking about things like "myogenic stem cells", "growth-factors", "mechanical loading", "synergistic ablation", "smeared Z-lines", "MAPk/ERK" and many other things hidden to the naked eye. All of these things were left out of the equation of traditional training routines.

As hypertrophy-specific research progressed in specificity it was clear that traditional training routines had stumbled across many important principles of load induced muscle hypertrophy, but because of their limited perspective (volume and intensity) they failed to capitalize on some critical truths exposed by research at the cellular level. The principles of hypertrophy that HST is based on are as follows (not an exhaustive list):

HST Principles

Mechanical Load is necessary to induce muscle hypertrophy. This mechanism involves but isn't limited to, MAPk/ERK, satellite cells, growth factors, calcium, and number of other fairly understood factors. It is incorrect to say "we don't know how muscle grows in response to training". The whole point of the HST book is not to discuss HST, but to present the body of research explaining how hypertrophy occurs. Then HST becomes a relatively obvious conclusion if your goal is hypertrophy.

2) Acute vs. Chronic Stimuli

Over time, the tissue adapts and becomes resistant to the damaging effects of mechanical load. This adaptation (resistance to the stimulus) can happen in as little as 48 hours (Repeated Bout Effect or Rapid Training Effect). As this happens, hypertrophy will stop, though neural and metabolic adaptations can and may continue. As opposed to hypertrophy, the foundation for the development of strength is neuromuscular in nature. Increases in strength from resistance exercise have been attributed to several neural adaptations including altered recruitment patterns, rate coding, motor unit synchronization, reflex potentiation, prime mover antagonist activity, and prime mover agonist activity. So, aside from incremental changes in the number of contractile filaments (hypertrophy), voluntary force production (i.e. strength) is largely a matter of "activating" motor units.

4) Strategic Deconditioning

Utilizing Lactic Acid As A Stimulus For Tendon Repair/Health
Now HST incorporates a few other things such as higher reps (for lactic acid) to prepare the muscles and tendons for future heavy loads. This serves as "regular maintenance". Without it, you increase your risk of chronic injuries and pain. The metabolically-taxing reps enhance he****g of strained tendons.

Compound Exercises

HST also suggests using compound exercises to maximize the effects of loading on as much muscle as possible per exercise.

Progressively Adjusting Reps To Accommodate Progressive Load

HST suggests that you use 2 week blocks for each rep range. Why? It has nothing to do with adaptation. It is simply a way to accommodate the ever increasing load. Of course, you could adjust your reps every week (e.g. 15,12,10,8,5,etc), but this is more complicated and people might not understand. Often times, in order to communicate an idea you must simplify things, even at the expense of perfection. If people can't understand it, they won't do it. What good would that do or anybody? Then, over time, people figure out for themselves the other possibilities that exist within the principles of hypertrophy.

Low Volume Per Exercise (average volume per week)

HST suggests that you limit the number of sets per exercise per workout to 1 or 2. This is based on "some" evidence that sets beyond the first "effective" set do little more than burn calories. There is nothing wrong with burning calories, but when you get to be my age you just don't have the exercise tolerance that you once did. Using hormone replacement (HRT) therapy would of course, increase the number of sets you could do without undue stress.

Some may question the validity of HST not utilizing more than 1 or 2 sets per exercise. The number of sets is set low to accommodate the frequency necessary to create an effective and consistent environment to stimulate hypertrophy. Over the course of a week, the volume isn't that different from standard splits (e.g. chest should tri, back bi, legs). (see table)

Comparing The Volume Of HST To Traditional Training Routines:

Instead of doing 6 sets on bench in one workout, those sets are spread over the course of a week (2 on Mon, 2 on Wed, 2 on Fri). Either way the muscle sees 6 sets each week, however, with HST the distribution of the loading sessions creates a consistent environment conducive to hypertrophy. When you do all six sets at once, you put unnecessary drain on the central nervous system (CNS) and invite centralized overtraining symptoms and burnout.

Multiple Consecutive Eccentric Workouts

HST utilizes, when practical, eccentric workouts for 2 consecutive weeks. This suggestion is only for exercises that can be performed in eccentric fashion without risk of injury. Eccentric sets are performed with weight that exceeds their 5 rep max. This is done to extend the progression in load, began at the beginning of the HST cycle, for an additional 2 weeks. The fear of over training is no greater during these two weeks than previous weeks if volume is controlled for. Recent research has demonstrated this. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17, to name a few) Clearly, the effects of eccentric muscle actions on muscle tissue are one of the most well researched subjects in exercise physiology. As the research continues to explore the facets of load induced muscle hypertrophy, HST will apply the new knowledge and become even more effective.

For today, HST represents the state of the art and science of hypertrophy. I have now used these principles myself, and have used them successfully to train competitive bodybuilders for some time. It is not "specifically" designed for competitive track athletes, Powerlifters or Olympic lifters, although I have had many athletes from different sports apply HST to their off-season training with ground breaking results. It is designed according to research looking specifically at muscle hypertrophy, not muscle performance. This subject deserves a lot more attention than I am able to give it here.

To get started on the HST program, follow this workout on Monday, Wednesday & Friday: **See attachment**

I will cover the topic more thoroughly in the future, including the references that first shed light on the principles that gave rise to HST. In the meantime, if you want to grow as fast as possible, you must apply currently know hypertrophy-specific training principles.

Body Part Suggested Exercise(s)

Legs
Squat or Leg Press & Leg Curls (Leg Ext. Optional)

Calves Sraight Leg Calf Raise

Chest Bench (Slight incline) & Dip (Use DB's if shoulders bother you)

Back Chins (W&N grip) & Seated or Bent Over Row (W&N grip)

Shoulders Lateral Raise (Rear) and Shoulder Press

Biceps Any single curling movement per session (switch it frequently)

Traps Shrugs

Triceps Tricpes Push-down or Lying Tricep Extension

Torso
Crunch (w/ weight) or machine

References

1: Nosaka K, Newton M. Repeated Eccentric Exercise Bouts Do Not Exacerbate Muscle Damage and Repair. J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Feb;16(1):117-122.
2: Nosaka K, Newton M. Concentric or eccentric training effect on eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jan;34(1):63-9.
3: Proske U, Morgan DL. Muscle damage from eccentric exercise: mechanism, mechanical signs, adaptation and clinical applications. J Physiol. 2001 Dec 1;537(Pt 2):333-45.
4: Nosaka K, Newton M, Sacco P. Responses of human elbow flexor muscles to electrically stimulated forced lengthening exercise. Acta Physiol Scand. 2002 Feb;174(2):137-45.
5: Allen DG. Eccentric muscle damage: mechanisms of early reduction of force. Acta Physiol Scand. 2001 Mar;171(3):311-9.
6: Clarkson PM. Eccentric exercise and muscle damage. Int J Sports Med. 1997 Oct;18 Suppl 4:S314-7.
7: Paddon-Jones D, Abernethy PJ. Acute adaptation to low volume eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Jul;33(7):1213-9.
8: Nosaka K, Sakamoto K, Newton M, Sacco P. How long does the protective effect on eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage last? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Sep;33(9):1490-5.
9: McHugh MP, Connolly DA, Eston RG, Gleim GW. Exercise-induced muscle damage and potential mechanisms for the repeated bout effect. Sports Med. 1999 Mar;27(3):157-70.
10: Nosaka K, Sakamoto K, Newton M, Sacco P. The repeated bout effect of reduced-load eccentric exercise on elbow flexor muscle damage. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2001 Jul;85(1-2):34-40.
11: Rennie MJ. How muscles know how to adapt. J Physiol. 2001 Aug 15;535(Pt 1):1.
12. Nosaka K, Sakamoto K. Effect of elbow joint angle on the magnitude of muscle damage to the elbow flexors. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Jan;33(1):22-9.
13: Lieber RL, Friden J. Morphologic and mechanical basis of delayed-onset muscle soreness. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2002 Jan-Feb;10(1):67-73.
14: Nosaka K, Clarkson PM. Influence of previous concentric exercise on eccentric exercise-induced muscledamage. J Sports Sci. 1997 Oct;15(5):477-83.
15: Carson JA. The regulation of gene expression in hypertrophying skeletal muscle. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1997;25:301-20.
16:. Lieber RL, Friden J. Mechanisms of muscle injury after eccentric contraction. J Sci Med Sport. 1999 Oct;2(3):253-65.
17: Nosaka K, Clarkson PM. Muscle damage following repeated bouts of high force eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Sep;27(9):1263-9.

Attached Files< The HST Routine.doc (37.0 KB, 8 views)

5. DOGCRAPP TRAINING MANUAL
With everyone talking about DC training I thouhgt ya guys might like to see this...
Posted by scorpio @ MuscleChemistry.com

Introduction to Philosophy:
My whole goal is to continually get stronger on key exercises=getting continually bigger. I will state this, the method I am about to describe is what I have found that makes people grow at the absolutely fastest rate possible and why I am being inundated down in this area to train people. It’s going to go against the grain but I'm making people grow about 2 and a half times as fast the normal rate so bear with me. A typical workout for the masses is (lets use chest for an example) doing a body part once every 7 days (once a week)and sometimes even once every 9 days or more. This concept came to the front due to
recovery reasoning and I agree with most typical workouts your going to need a great deal of recovery. Here’s the problem---lets say you train chest once a week for a year and you hypothetically gain 1/64 of an inch in pectoral thickness from each workout. At the end of the year you should be at 52/64 (or 13/16). Almost an inch of thickness (pretty good). To build muscle we are trying to lift at a high enough intensity and load to grow muscle but with enough recovery so the muscle remodels and grows. The problem is everyone is loading up on the volume end of training and its taking away from the recovery part of it. You can train in a way so you can train chest 3 times every nine days and you will recover and grow faster than ever. If you train chest 3 times in 9 days you are now doing chest roughly 136 times a year! So instead of 52 growth phases you are now getting 136 growth phases a year. I personally would rather grow 136 times a year than 52. At a hypothetical 1/64th of an inch per workout you are now at 136/64 (or roughly 2.1 inches of thickness). So now your growing at roughly 2 and a half times as fast as normal people who are doing modern day workouts are. Most people train chest with 3 to 4 exercises and wait the 7-9 days to recover and that is one growth phase. I use the same 3 to 4 exercises but do chest 3 times during those 9 days and get 3 growth phases. Everyone knows a muscle either contracts or doesn’t--you cannot isolate a certain part of it (you can get into positions that present better mechanical advantages though that put a focus on certain deep muscle fibers)--for example incline presses vs. flat presses. One huge mistake beginning bodybuilders make is they have a "must" principle instilled in them. They feel they "must" do this exercise and that exercise and this many sets or they won’t grow.

Base Program:
How I set bodybuilders workouts up is I have them pick either their 3 favorite exercises for each body part or better yet the exercises they feel will bring up their weaknesses the most. For me my chest exercises are high incline smythe machine press, hammer seated flat press and slight incline smythe press with hands very very wide----this is because I look at my physique and I feel my problem area is upper and outer pecs---that is my focus. Whenever I train someone new I have them do the following --4 times training in 8 days---with straight sets. Sometimes with rest pause sets but we have to gauge the recovery ability first.

Day one would be Monday and would be:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
Back width
Back thickness

Day two would be Wednesday and would be:
Biceps
Forearms
Calves
Hamstrings

Day three would be Friday and would be:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
Back width
Back thickness
(Sat+sun off)

Day four would be the following Monday and would be
Biceps
Forearms
Calves
Hamstrings

And so on Wednesday Friday Monday Wednesday etc.
Stay with me here--You’re only doing one exercise per muscle group per day. Your doing your first favorite exercise for chest on day one--your doing your second favorite exercise for chest on the next chest workout and your third exercise for chest on the next. You’re hitting every body part twice in 8 days. The volume on everything is simply as many warm-up sets as you need to do- to be ready for your ONE work set. That can be two warm-up sets for a small muscle group or five warm-up sets for a large muscle group on heavy exercise like rack deadlifts. The ONE work set is either a straight set or a rest pause set (depending on your recovery abilities again). For people on the lowest scale of recovery its just that one straight set---next up is a straight set with statics for people with slightly better than that recovery----next up is rest pausing (on many of the of movements) with statics for people with middle of the road recovery on up.
Three key exercises are picked for each body part (hypothetically we will use flat dumbell bench press, incline smythe bench press, and hammer press) ---USING ONLY ONE OF THOSE EXERCISES PER WORKOUT you rotate these in order and take that exercise to it's ultimate strength limit (where at that point you change the exercise and get brutally strong on that new movement too). That can happen in 4 weeks or that can happen 2 years later but it will happen some time (You cannot continually gain strength
to where you eventually bench pressing 905 for reps obviously)---Sometime later when you come back to that original exercise you will start slightly lower than your previous high and then soar past it without fail---
As you progress as a bodybuilder you need to take even more rest time and recovery time. READ THAT AGAIN PLEASE: AS YOU PROGRESS AS A BODYBUILDER IN SIZE AND STRENGTH YOU NEED TO TAKE EVEN MORE REST AND RECOVERY TIME. Example: My recovery ability is probably slightly better now than when I started lifting 13-14 years ago but only slightly...but back then I was benching 135lbs and squatting 155lbs in my first months of lifting. Now I am far and away the strongest person in my gym using poundages three to six times greater than when I first started lifting. With my recovery ability being what it is both then and now do you think I need more time to recover from a 155lb squat for 8reps or a 500lb squat for 8reps? Obviously the answer is NOW! This past year I have been really pounding the slag iron as heavy and hard as I can in preparation of trying to get onstage at about 252lbs early next year. That means a hard 300lbs to me off-season and I’m pretty damn close to that right now. The gains I have made in strength this past year even at my lifting level are nothing short of phenomenal (in my mind). With those strength gains comes the ratio of recovery factor. Whereas a year ago I was training 2 on one off 2 on one off and getting away with it with extreme stretching etc....about 2 months ago I took an extra day off on the weekend because of work obligations and I just started to feel somewhat tired because of how heavy my weights were. If my strength keeps progressing at this level I am eventually going to have to train Monday Wednesday Friday Monday Wednesday Friday like outlined above simply because I am reaching poundages that are so far and away above my beginning weights-I have to take the necessary recovery precautions. I am still training as often as I
possibly can per body part--that’s key to me. The more times I can train a body part in a year’s time and recover will mean the fastest growth possible! I’ve done the training a body part every 10 days system in the past and while recovering from that--the gains were so slow over time I got frustrated and realized the frequency of growth phases(for me)was to low. I want to gain 104 times a year instead of 52--the fastest rate that I can accumulate muscle (YET AGAIN WITHIN ONES RECOVERY ABILITY-I CANT SAY THAT ENOUGH)

In the past 4-5 years that I have been slowly changing my philosophies of training I’ve been gaining so fast the last couple of years it’s been pretty amazing. I’ve got my training down to extremely low volume (a rest pause set or ONE straight set) with extreme stretching, and with recovery issues always in the back of my mind. I realize the number one problem in this sport that will make or break a bodybuilder is overtraining. Simply as this--you over train you’re done as a bodybuilder gains wise. Kaput. Zip. A waste of valuable time. But I also think there is a problem with under frequency (only if you can train hardcore enough with extremely low volume to recover)--As stated in an earlier post I skirt right along the line of overtraining--I am right there...I’ve done everything in my power (Stretching, glutamine, "super
supplements", sleep)to keep me on this side of the line and its worked for me. I believe everyone has different recovery abilities--the job of a bodybuilder is to find out what their individual recovery ability is and do the least amount of hardcore training to grow so they can train that body part as frequently as possible. For anyone who wants to follow my lead that would mean starting out with straight sets training 4 times in 8 days and strictly gauging yourself recovery wise with every step up you take (statics, rest pauses)

Alternate Programs:
MON TUES THURS FRI- For people who have (above normal) recovery ability (hitting body parts twice in that time-or twice in 7 days)

MON WEN FRI MON- For pretty much the norm of society with average recovery ability--hitting body parts twice every 8 days

MON TUES THUR FRI- With body split into three parts-for people with hectic schedules these are extremely short workouts yet stay roughly in the same scheme as the above.
On this schedule someone would group body parts like the following:

DAY ONE:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
(Stretches)

DAY TWO:
Biceps
Forearms
(Stretches)
Back width
Back thickness

DAY THREE:
Calves
Hamstrings
(Stretches)

In the first week of doing this, day one would be hit on Friday again and then the Monday of the following week would be Day 2 again, Tuesday would be Day 3, Wednesday off, Thursday-day one again etc. You would still be hitting body parts twice every 9 days and these workouts would be about 35 minutes tops.

Set & Exercise Examples:

Example Day One:
First exercise smythe incline presses (ill use the weights I use for example) 135 for warm-up for 12--185 for 8 warm-up--225 for 6-8 warm-up-----then 375 for 8 reps to total absolute failure (then 12-15 deep breaths) 375 for 2-4 reps to total absolute failure (then 12-15 deep breaths) 375 for 1-3 reps to absolute total failure (then a 20-30 second static hold) DONE!--that’s it 375lbs for 8+4+3= 375 for 15 reps rest paused..... next week I go for 385 (again rest paused)-----directly after that rest pause set I go to extreme stretching flyes and that’s it for chest and on to shoulders, triceps and back........the next day I come in to do chest would be day 4 and I would do hammer flat presses in the same rest paused manner (and then extreme stretching again)---the next day I come in to do chest is day seven and I would do my third favorite exercise rest paused and then the cycle repeats. Three chest workouts in nine days with low enough volume to recover in between workouts and high enough intensity and load to grow rapidly--my workouts last an hour—I’m doing one exercise for one all out balls to the wall rest pause set (I don’t count warm-ups only the working set) ---so in simple terms I am using techniques with extreme high intensity(rest pause) which I feel make a persons strength go up as quickly as possible + low volume so I can (recover) as quickly as possible with as many growth phases (damage/remodel/recover) I can do in a years time.

Just in case any of you were confused every body part is hit 3 times in 9 days and advanced techniques such as rest pause is used (if it can be used)....Some exercises like hack squats and some back rowing exercises don’t allow themselves to rest pausing too well. A sample couple of days for me would be the following (I’m not including warm-up sets--just working sets):

Day One:
Chest- Smythe incline 375 x 15 reps rest pause (RP) and 20 second static rep at end
Shoulders- Front smythe press-330 x 13RP
Triceps- Reverse grip bench 315 for 15-20 reps rest paused
Back width- Rear pull downs to back of head 300 x 18RP (20 second static at end)
Back thickness- Dead lifts straight set of 12-20 reps

Day Two:
Biceps- Dumbbell curls rest paused for 20 reps
Forearms- Hammer curls rest paused for 15
Calves- On hack squat straight set for 12 reps but with a 20 second negative phase
Hamstrings- Lying leg curl rest paused for 15-20 reps and then 20 second static at end
Quads- Hack squat straight set of 6 plates each side for 20 reps (of course after warming up)

DAY Three: Off

Day Four & Five: Same as day one with same concepts but different exercises (and again the same with days seven and eight)

Every exercise is done with a controlled but explosive positive and a true 6-10 second negative phase. And the absolutely most important thing of any of this is I write down all weights and reps done from the working set on a notepad (and every time I go into the gym I have to continually look back and beat the previous times reps/weight or both)---If I cant or I don’t beat it, no matter if I love doing the exercise or not, I have to change to a new exercise. Believe me this adds a grave seriousness, a clutch performance or imperativeness to a workout. I have exercises I love to do and knowing I will lose them if I don’t beat the previous stats sucks! But there is a method to this madness because when you get to that wall of sticking point of strength (AND YOU WILL, THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN HACK SQUAT UP TO 50 PLATES A SIDE) that is when your muscle=strength gains will stop.....and you must turn to a different exercise and get strong on that one. And then someday you will peak out on that one too. You can always come back to that loved exercise in the future and you’ll start somewhat low and build up to a peak again- and trust me that peak will be far more than the previous one. Some exercises you’ll stay with and gain strength at for almost up to a year and some exercises you’ll be at the limit in 4 weeks and lose them but its all in the plan. I love reverse grip bench presses--knowing that I have to beat 315 for 17 reps rest paused or else I have to change to maybe dips next time puts a serious sense of urgency into workouts. I
either have to beat it by doing something to the effect of 320 for 15 rest paused or if I stick with 315, I have to get at least 19 reps rest paused or so. If I’m feeling crappy or having an off day I might give myself a little leeway and allow myself another go at it next time around but that’s it. The notepad is your intensity level, how badly you want to keep doing an exercise will be how hard you push to beat the previous. Looking at that piece of paper knowing what you have to do to beat it will bring out the best in you. Again it’s all in the plan to make you the strongest bodybuilder possible which will equal out into the biggest bodybuilder possible

Heavy is relative--it doesn’t mean 3 reps --- it means as heavy as you can go on that exercise no matter if it is 5 reps or 50 reps. I personally like to do hack squats for 20 reps but I use about 6 plates on each side rock bottom--that’s as heavy as I can go on that exercise for 20 reps. I could do sets of 6 and probably use maybe 8 or 9 plates a side but my legs (and most people I train) grow best from heavy and 15-50 reps.

Question: When you say you go balls to the walls for four weeks, then take it easy for 2 weeks, can you elaborate on the taking it easy part regarding training. Do you take two weeks off? Do you just not train to failure?

Doggcrapp: I still train to failure and rest pause but I’ll use those two weeks to get my sanity back honestly. I’ll use those two weeks to either stay with an exercise that I know I’m gaining on, or change up an exercise I feel I’m maxed out strength wise on at that moment. Again I would leave it up to you guys what you want to do. A lot of you will just want to stay with what’s working. I just find myself going crazy sometimes with some of the weights I get up too and try to think of ways to make a movement harder so the weight comes down. –I’ve gone as high as 765lbs on a rack deadlift for 6 reps and I start going stir crazy with anxiety knowing I have to lift that heavy. So Ill do something crazy during those two weeks like rack deadlifts for 30 reps with 495 (real fast) or try out some exercise that I was wondering about. If I like that exercise Ill stay with it. If not I go back with what works. If I am doing something that is working continually I will stay with it during those two weeks. Id say 3/4 of the exercises I stay with and I’ll tool around with some ideas I had with the other 1/4.

Question: How much of an increase should we look to add a week in terms of weights? When we pause, do you mean rack the weight after the initial 8 reps, take 15 deep breaths, then fire out 5-6 more then rack and take deep breaths again, then finish? I believe I understand the principal to an extent, but I want to be sure.

Doggcrapp; Again the bigger the strength increase will be, the bigger the eventual size increase will be. Personally I have to beat my previous by either 2 reps or I have to add weight and at the very least get the minimum number of reps I allow myself rest paused on that exercise (or like previously stated I lose that exercise). If you find yourself blasting for weeks on end gaining just a rep here and a pound there, I think that is a waste of time--the gains will be coming too slow. Somewhat rapid increases are what we are striving for. If you really put your mind to it you can make rapid strength increases on any exercise and you can make those 2 rep or 5lb (at least) jumps for a lengthy amount of time.

Here I'll give you an abbreviated version of what I am looking for:

Day 1- Paramount shoulder press (warm-ups), and then 185X14RP (which was a 8+4+2 or something to
that effect) twelve is the lowest I will allow myself on this movement, twenty is the highest)---the next
time you would do paramount shoulder press again would be:
Day 10--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
185x18RP
Day 20--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
195x13RP
Day 30--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
195x16RP
Day 40--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
195x18RP
Day 50--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
205x12RP
Day 60--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
205x14RP
Day 70--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
205x13RP DAMMIT - I BLEW IT NOW I HAVE TO GO TO DUMBELL PRESSES NEXT TIME

In the real world I doubt you would of bombed out there, I bet you would of made it up somewhere around 240 to 260 before bombing out You do 185lbs to total failure (which we will hypothetically say is 8 reps ok) FINISH ON THE NEGATIVE-rack the weight and start breathing as deeply as you can to get as much oxygen in for 12 to 15 deep breaths (during this time you might or your training partner might be getting whatever exercise your doing ready for you again--like both of you bringing the bar back to the top again etc) I say 15 deep breaths but I want that whole time period to last maybe 20 seconds tops so depending on your breathing 12 to 15 deep breaths. You went to failure with 185, you racked on the negative, took 15 deep breaths, and now you take the 185 again and go to complete failure again (lets say hypothetically failure was 4 reps) DO THE NEGATIVE PORTION 8 SECONDS DOWN AND RACK IT--15 more deep breaths, then 185 again to total failure FINISH ON THE NEGATIVE AND RACK IT. Depending on your recovery ability, the exercise and if your an advanced trainer or not instead of racking it at the very end you can "try" (and I say try) to hold the weight in a static hold for 20 seconds just before racking it(good luck you'll be shaking like a leaf at that point--I've had some words come out of my mouth trying to hold my static that could hit a triple word score on scrabble)

Reason for not doing traps: I let deadlifts and heavy rack deadlifts take care of traps. My reasoning: I can’t see where a 250lb shrug is going to beat 600lb+ rack deadlifts that I try to pull up and back at the top anyway.

How to do rack deadlifts: In a power rack, safety bars at knee level (your pulling from knee level)--keep your back arched or at least flat the entire movement (not rounded at all)--if your back starts rounding, its time to end the set or your using too much weight. Personally I pull with an overhand and underhand deadlift grip and with my arms perfectly straight, try to pull my shoulders up and back at the top. I then do about a 4-5 second negative down but I wouldn’t suggest that to others unless I can show how to do it. (I keep locked---my back arched and knees slightly bent and lower it)..It kind of takes a little getting used too.

Back Width: With all width movements rest paused I like front pull downs to the chin, rear pull downs to the mid-ear level (no lower), gravitron chins (the air compressor one with the platform), hammer under grip pull downs, and rack chins. Rack chins: Find the widest smythe machine you can (or barbell in a
squat rack) and put a bench in front of it- put the bar about shoulder height- use wrist straps and put your grip as wide as comfortably possible-put your heels up on the bench but cross your legs to take them out of the movement- your legs should almost be straight but not quite- now do chins explosively up and 8 seconds down until the full stretch- any rep that your chin doesn’t either go over the bar or hit the bar doesn’t count! Do one warm-up set and then have someone put a fixed plate barbell (like used for barbell curls) in your lap. On every rest pause the spotter grabs the barbell off the chinners lap and the chinner stands up and counts his 15 deep breaths (and he stays strapped up to the bar). Then the chinner gets back into position after 15 deep breaths and the spotter puts the barbell back on the chinners lap. I want one warm-up straight set with no added weight done for 10-12 reps and then one all out rest pause set for 15 to 20 reps with added weight (use a 30lb barbell this first time out), then 10-30 short range static reps at the end. These are going to be excruciating and tomorrow your lats are going to be killing you. This exercise is my lat width pronto exercise.
You can rig this up where you don’t need a spotter. I’ve done this before by putting my weight belt really loose around me and putting a 35lb plate down the back of it with a short chain, or you can rig up some benches where you can get that barbell off your lap but it’s much easier if you can get someone to help you for the one working rest pause set. You need to really push the stretch down the bottom and then try to explode up to the bar on every rep

Back Thickness: I like over grip bent over rows, rack deadlifts, floor deadlifts, and T bar rows using a barbell in a corner and using the pulley handle from a seated row around it (and using multiple 25's or 35's instead of 45's to increase the range of motion)—I’m not a fan of t-bar rows with the pad on the chest apparatus--with heavy weights your lungs go out before your back does.

Quads: a typical quad workout for me is super heavy weights on either a squat, a leg press or a hack squat for 15 to 30 reps (the last 7 reps for me is truly succeed or death). Someone who has a sweep from hell and his wheels are his best body part I usually have him doing a heavy 4-8 rep set on certain exercises (squat)and then maybe a hardcore 20 repper on other exercises. But most guys who could use more leg size I have them do one set in the 4-8 range to failure and another follow-up set with as much weight as they can use in the 15-20 range to failure on legexercises. It just depends on what I see by their pictures. That is about the only time you will ever see me have a person do 2 sets of the same exercise. With bodybuilders with troublesome legs it’s usually those 20 rep sets that make their legs grow and I just have them do that hard and heavy 4-8 rep set to keep the strength gains moving up the ladder.

Warm-ups for Legs: Johnny the behemoth who squats 650lbs is going to have to use a lot more warm-up sets than Jimmy the stick-boy. Something like:
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x 6
405 x 6
495 x 4
650 x failure (4-8 reps)
The bottom line is whether its riding a bike for 15 minutes and doing one warm-up set or doing 10 warmup sets, warm-up sets are just warm-up sets--they mean nothing to me in a growth concept. I feel you should warm-up as much as you deem possible that makes you ready to go all out. This is the mistake I think people make when they say they get injured from low volume training. They think "one set" and go in and try to squat 405lbs without 3 warm-up sets with 135, 225, and 315. A sample hack squat warm-up I’ll do (just so you can see I’m not growing or taxing myself in the least from warm-up sets) is 90lbs on each side for 10, 160 each side for 6, 225 each side for 4, and then 315 on each side Ill go for 12-20 reps

Let’s say leg day one is: Leg press, day two: Hack, day three: Squat. You don’t have to do 50 rep leg
presses every time they come around. You could pile more and more weight on every week and let your reps drop slowly till you’re moving some serious poundage at 10-12 reps. Trust me, I bet any money this will be far and away higher weight than you’ve ever been on the leg press. Or you could alternate--50 rep leg presses and then the next time 12 rep heavy....just throwing some options at you in case you thought you HAD to do 50 rep leg presses. By the way I don’t rest pause them--I just sit there with the knees very slightly bent and breathe 5 deep breathes and go, breathe 5 more and go etc...at 40 reps the last 10 I’m doing 3 (breathe) 3 more (breathe) 2 more (breathe) 2 more. (and I refuse to put my hands on my knees at all times).....

Rest Pausing: After some time at rest pausing I noticed I started counting 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 at roughly the same pace during every eccentric phase of exercises I did. I went home and did it at a stop watch and kept the same counting cadence and it always comes out somewhere about 8 seconds (every time). So something like a bent over row or rack deadlift Ill count to 8 (5 seconds)and if it’s a bench or bicep curl etc, etc Ill count to 10. With me, counting to 8 always comes out to 5 seconds or so and counting to 10 comes out to 7.8 (lets just say eight) seconds or so. So 99% of my exercises I’m doing a 8 second negative phase on. As far as rest between the rest pauses I find breathing in and out deeply 12 times comes out to about 23 seconds for me every time so I just stick to that. I used to count "one one thousand, two thousand etc etc" but I’ve been rest pausing for a long time now and its all second nature to me.

6. Stretching:

CHEST: Flat bench 90lb dumbbells chest high--lungs full of air-- I drop down into the deepest flye I can for the first 10 seconds or so with my lungs full of air and chest out---then staying there I arch my back slightly and try to press my sternum upward --this is absolutely excruciating--the rest of the 60 seconds I try to concentrate on dropping my elbows even farther down (I try to but I don’t think they are going any lower--LOL)---the last 15 seconds I’m pretty much shaking like a leaf, I have tears in my eyes and I think about dropping bodybuilding and becoming a tap dancer on Broadway (ok that parts not true)--My opinion is people should use dumbbells that are a little over half of what your heaviest set of 6-8 reps would be. I cant state this enough--extreme stretching royally sucks!!! Its painful. But I have seen
amazing things with people -especially in the quads.

TRICEPS: Seated on a flat bench-my back up against the barbell---75lb dumbell in my hand behind my head(like in an overhead dumbell extension)--sink dumbell down into position for the first 10 seconds and then an agonizing 50 seconds slightly leaning back and pushing the dumbell down with the back of my head I like one arm at a time in the bottom position of a dumbell triceps extension----going to the extreme stretch and then slightly pushing on the dumbell with the back of my head.

SHOULDERS: This one is tough to describe--put a barbell in the squat rack shoulder height--face away from it and reach back and grab it palms up (hands on bottom of bar)---walk yourself outward until you are on your heels and the stretch gets painful--then roll your shoulders downward and hold for 60 seconds.

BICEPS: Olympic bar in a power rack or squat rack about neck high---face away from it and reach back and put both hands over the bar gripping it----now either sink down with one leg forward/one leg back or better yet squat down and try (I say try because its absolutely excruciating) to kneel. Go down to the stretch that is almost unbearable and then hold that for 45 to 60 seconds. Your own bodyweight is the load. What I do is put the bar at a place on the squat rack in which I can kneel at a severe stretch and then try to sink my ass down to touch my feet. If its too easy I put the bar up to the next rung.

BACK: Honestly for about 3 years my training partner and I would hang a 100lb dumbell from our waist and hung on the widest chin-up bar (with wrist straps) to see who could get closest to 3 minutes--I never made it--I think 2 minutes 27 seconds was my record--but my back width is by far my best body part--I pull on a doorknob or stationary equipment with a rounded back now and its way too hard too explain here--just try it and get your feel for it.

HAMSTRINGS: Either leg up on a high barbell holding my toe and trying to force my leg straight with my free hand for an excruciating painful 60 seconds or another exercise I could only show people and not type here.

QUADS: Facing a barbell in a power rack about hip high --grip it and simultaneously sink down and throw your knees under the barbell and do a sissy squat underneath it while going up on your toes. then straighten your arms and lean as far back as you can---60 seconds and if this one doesn't make you hate my guts and bring tears to your eyes nothing will---do this one faithfully and tell me in 4 weeks if your quads don’t look a lot different than they used to.

CALVES: my weak body part that I couldn’t get up too par until 2 years ago when I finally thought it out and figured out how to make them grow (with only one set twice a week too) I don’t need to stretch calves after because when I do calves I explode on the positive and take 5 seconds to get back to full stretch and then 15 seconds at the very bottom "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand etc" --15 seconds stretching at the bottom thinking and trying to flex my toes toward my shin--it is absolutely unbearable and you will most likely be shaking and want to give up at about 7 reps (I always go for 12reps with maximum weights)--do this on a hack squat or a leg press--my calves have finally taken off due to this.

Static Holds:

Different than extreme stretching. I do extreme stretching for each body part after its finished (holding into a weighted stretched position for 60 seconds)--- Statics are what I do immediately after a working set to try to create even more of an overload ---example: lat pulldowns-300x 14 reps rest paused to failure and then immediately I do a static hold which is pull the bar down 4 inches and lean back slightly. I fight like hell to hold it for 20 seconds counting (one one thousand, two one thousand, three...) but I usually end up shaking like a leaf on some movements (incline presses etc)--trying to hold a three hundred plus pound incline press in a 20 sec. Another example: Incline bench press, John Doe has just completed a rest pause set with 275lbs. He takes the bar off the rack and brings it about 4 inches down (as this is usually where peoples strength range is) and tries to hold it there for a true 20 second count. To be totally honest with you its nothing more than a personal favorite of mine to reach an overload threshold--- someone else might want to do burns down near the bottom for 6-15 short reps, someone else might want to do a 20% more weight negative.

Cardio:

Individualistic choice but I like treadmill or a walk around the neighborhood. Days per week - offseason- 0 to 2 times a week, pre-contest--every day except leg days, minutes per sessions - always 45 minutes (60 minutes if someone got to a serious sticking point)

Nutrition:

Protein Powder: I use Optimum pro complex due to its varied proteins (55gram serving) and 5 grams of glutamine (not glutamic acid) per serving (THATS A HUGE REASON FOR ME)--I pay 38 bucks for 4.4lbs on the net (with no shipping because I buy over 200 bucks worth)--yes I go thru a bucket every 5 to 6 days, but not having to buy glutamine separately and getting in 20-30grams each day of it makes me smile. The protein powder is the most expensive thing in my diet everything else is pretty cheap.

A sample day for me is (with protein grams after each item) – Bulk Diet:

Breakfast: oatmeal(5) with soy grits and ground flaxseeds on top (23) a little bit of milk(2) in the oatmeal and a protein drink (55)=85grams

After-workout snack: two potatoes(7) and a double serving protein drink in cranberry grape juice (110) =117grams

Lunch: (quick one because of my work)-can of ravioli (11) and protein drink(65) (cup of water cup of milk in there) =76grams

Snack: two 99cent big Macs(54) and 2 cups of milk (20)=74 grams

Dinner: 1lb of hamburger (100) cooked drained and then washed off with water thoroughly (to remove as much fat as possible)with condiments and noodles (4) =104grams

I keep reasonably lean by taking in zero to trace amounts of carbs (found in vegetables) after 6-7pm

Night-time meal: six egg white omelet with peppers or peas(20) or roast beef cold cuts with half waterhalf milk protein drink (65) =85 grams

That’s 541 protein grams on average and with me usually eating larger portions than measured I probably venture toward 600 grams a lot. If you look at the food I eat its pretty cheap,specially the way I buy it in bulk.

Sample Day – Bulk Diet - Total Calories:

1) protein drink(olive oil 600/milk 210/water 0/powder 260/flaxseed 50+ oatmeal 200+ banana 102=1420cals

2) post workout drink=3 cups cranberry juice 390, four scoops protein powder 520, 2 baked potatoes 284=1194cals

3) chicken rice casserole-cup of rice 190 chicken 581, sauce 150 , two cups milk 280=1201 cals

4) T bone steak 1419, water with lemon (trace), mashed potatoes (400)=1819cals

5) protein drink with olive oil 600/powder 260/milk 210/ water 0 and protein bar 290 = 1360

6) two cups 2% milk 280 and 2 cups cottage cheese 440=720

Total calories: 7714

Diet Philosophy: For fat sources, I like omega-3's (flaxseeds) and extra virgin olive oils (mono unsaturated fat)--118 calories per tablespoon. I throw 2-3 tablespoons in my morning and afternoon shakes but not in the post workout or bedtime ones (self explanatory). Go slow with olive oil or you will be seat belting yourself to the toilet the first couple days. As far as diet I am like Palumbo in that aspect...I like high protein, moderate (good) fats and low to moderate carbs..I eat the amount of protein grams I want to ingest first and if its before 6-7pm I satisfy the rest of my hunger with carbs. If I go to McDonalds I'll blast as many hamburgers as I can and skip the fries(laughing) but true. After 6-7pm I will go high protein and trace to low carbs (example huge steak and a lot of a vegetable but no rice, pasta or bread).

This is the way I have found thru trial and error that I can keep myself and people I train fairly lean but still have them gaining at the highest rate. I’m not a calorie counter at all. I’m a protein gram counter. I weigh myself and others once a month on the same scale and if they are not gaining I already know they are on high protein so I fix the problem with added mono unsat's (olive oil), flaxseeds and some extra carbs here or there. A simple way to keep the scale going up: I run into the same problem from time to time and I know I cannot eat any more than I do.....the savior for me is extra virgin olive oil--I work my way up to 3-4 tablespoons per protein drink...118 calories per tablespoon of a mostly monounsaturated fat (besides its other health benefits.
10

I like people to do this at their meals:
1) pound down the protein amount they must get in first for that meal

2) add flax or olive oil to that meal if it allows i.e. protein drinks etc (and its before 6pm)

vegetables you want with your (after 6pm) protein sources.
Way to cut cost of eating: I buy in bulk period. I buy eggs (5 dozen), ground beef(10lb chubs), rice etc in bulk and save a grip of money. I also always buy according to unit price which seems simple but most people overlook it. I scour flyers for steak deals and go to the supermarket that is selling London Broils for 1.87 a LB and snatch up a slew of them. I am a stingy frugal shopper--my biggest expense is protein powder (I use the 4.4 Pro complex). At lunchtime at work every day I go out to eat (otherwise I go nuts eating homemade food all the time). I am "COUPON BOY"---I get tons of restaurant coupons in the mail and use them religiously.

Cutting Diet: Lets say "John Smith" is a 275lb bodybuilder holding 16% body fat in the off-season. He is smooth but his heavy training and high protein eating have made it possible for his body to hold 275lbs with probably an ideal contest weight of 226-234lbs or so. Since his present diet is allowing him to hold a "hypothetical" 230lbs of lean mass, what do you think is going to happen on a "cutting diet"....oh he will get ripped but probably at a 60-40 or 70-30 body fat to muscle mass ratio loss. My opinion is to leave the training heavy and leave the diet 90% what it is. The only changes I would make are to be religiously strict with low/trace carbs after 6pm and drop dairy 6 weeks out. Let the cardio take off your body fat!

7. Forty five minutes at a slightly brisk walk on a treadmill first thing in the morning on an empty stomach-- on every day except leg days will do it. Add in maybe usnic acid and a thermogenic and your going to end up inside out shredded. That’s from a bodybuilding standpoint as I hate seeing someone gain 15lbs of muscle from training so hard in the off-season just to panic diet it all off trying to get ripped. In a general everyday sense for people who don’t care about losing 8-20lbs of muscle mass on their way down to leanness,--cardio and a cutting diet will work faster for them. Again, the diet I prefer is high protein, moderate carbs, and moderate good fats (olive oils, flax oils, EFA's)--your stomach is always going to be full on this diet and I want it to be. A main staple of my way of doing things is cutting carbs at night.

The only carbs coming in after 5, 6, or 7pm (depending on your schedule and your meal timing) are trace carbs found in vegetables and such.

8. Rest Pause Training
Written By Mike Mahler

Mike Mahler is a strength coach and a certified kettlebell instructor based in Santa Monica, California. Mike has been a strength athlete for over ten years and designs strength training programs for athletes, law enforcement, and fire fighters. Mike is available for phone consultations and personal training in the Los Angeles/Washington DC area. For more information, visit Mike's site at www.mikemahler.com or email Mike at mahler25@yahoo.com.

Go to any gym these days and you see most trainees doing an endless number of reps all in the hopes of attaining the oh-so elusive and fleetingly short pump. Blame it on Arnold who, years ago in the movie "Pumping Iron," said that getting a pump was as good as coming, or, in Arnold-ese, comink. Ha!

Regardless, going hard and heavy seems to be a part of some distant past as most people these days think that squat racks are a convenient place to do barbell curls. To make matters worse, many gyms have become magnets for meaningless conversations and look more like places for people to hook up then for serious training to take place.

I'm not sure what's worse, the meaningless conversations or the pseudo lifters that attempt to look serious by growling and grunting with each high-rep set and then browse through the newspaper between each worthless set.

Mind you, I'm not saying that high reps are a waste of time. High-rep programs such as the "Super Squats" program produce incredible results and I often do high-rep ballistic sets for high-octane fat burning. However, a very effective and forgotten way to get much stronger and bigger is to do several sets of low reps with short rest periods. One form of this training philosophy is called rest-pause training.

Rest-pause training will separate the serious lifter from the pseudo lifter in no time, as you don't have time to mess around between each set. In additon, this form of training is super intense and requires your full attention.

Bodybuilders during Arnold's competition days used to do rest-pause training from time to time, to get bigger and harder physiques. Mike Mentzer had incredible results with rest-pause training and found it to be an effective way to blast through training plateaus.

Unlike a standard powerlifting routine where you do low reps (1-3 reps) for several sets with long rest periods (3-5 minutes), rest-pause training requires you to take 10-15 second breaks between each set. You're basically taking a short break between each rep in order to use the maximum amount of weight. Since the breaks are short and the weights are heavy, hypertrophy will follow like a charm.

As effective as rest pause training is, it can also be extremely difficult to break into. After all, most people will have trouble taking their one-rep max on the bench press and doing it every 10-15 seconds for 5-6 sets. Chances are they won't get past the second set and will most likely be lucky if they even get that far.

Luckily, I recently came up with a way to combine a training approach that I learned from Coach Ethan Reeve of Wakeforest University with rest-pause training to make it much more user friendly.

What you do initially to prepare yourself for modified rest-pause training is to take your three rep max and do ten singles with that weight. Instead of taking only 10-15 seconds between each set, take one-minute breaks between each set.

For most people, this won't be too difficult and that, of course, is the point. I want you to build a pattern of success with a few relatively easy training sessions to prepare you for the brutal rest pause training sessions to follow. Once you can complete all ten singles with one minute breaks, decrease the breaks to 45 seconds between each set. Keep the weight the same.

Once you can complete all ten sets at 45 seconds, go down to 30 seconds. Once you can do that, go to 15 seconds (even though you're only resting 15 seconds, you'll still rack the weight in-between).

At 15 seconds you'll definitely understand how rest-pause training works and you'll love how hard and pumped up your muscles feel after doing several sets. It's much more satisfying then the bloated, soft feel of doing lots of reps with a relatively light weight. If your body-fat is low enough, your veins should look like they're going to explode.

Once you've completed ten sets with 15 second breaks, increase the weight by 10 pounds and go back to one minute breaks between sets. Work your way down the rest pause ladder again until you're back to 15-second breaks. At that point, increase the weight again by another 10 pounds.

After using this method for only ten days, I added 10 pounds to my best overhead press. Before rest-pause training, I had been stuck at a frustrating plateau for months. In additon to the strength increase, I got several comments from friends and family that my shoulders and arms looked much bigger. I was elated to say the least.

Another benefit to rest pause training is that it gives the CNS (central nervous system) a tremendous boost that's better then any caffeine rush that I've ever experienced. I literally felt invincible and wanted to take the world on after each workout.

At this point you're probably wondering how you could incorporate rest pause training into your program. I never thought you'd ask!

Monday / Friday

Chest, Back, and Biceps
Bottom Position Medium-Grip Bench Presses: 10x1
Note: Do these inside of a power rack. Set the pins as low as possible-making allotments for the width of your chest-and begin the lift from the down position.
Bent-over Barbell Rows: 10x1
One Arm Dumbbell Curls: 10x1

Wednesday / Saturday

Legs and Shoulders
Bottom Position Squats: 10x1
Note: Do these in a power rack. Put the pins down low and begin the squat from the down position.
Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 10x1
Standing Military Presses 10x1
Standing Calf Raises: 10x1

Rack the weight each time and take one to two minute breaks in between each exercise. Each workout should be pretty brief; not more then 45 minutes, at least in the beginning. As you get better and the rest periods get shorter, you'll take much less time to complete each workout.

As you can see, this is a very simple program and it's meant to be that way! Rest-pause training isn't easy and takes everything that you have. Also, you may have noticed that I haven't added any specific triceps exercises. You'll get all you need with the bottom-position bench presses and the military presses, so leave the triceps-isolation exercises out for five weeks. Regarding abs, feel free to do a few sets of weighted sit-ups, side bends, or windmills after each workout.

I challenge you to give this program a try for five weeks and discover for yourself what the old-time strongmen have known for years: the path to a strong and hard body is paved with heavy, low-rep training. Let me know how it works out for you.
__________________

9. Hybrid Hypertrophy

If I’m good at anything, it’s the ability to take relatively well-known parameters and arrange them in a more effective manner. I’m ecstatic to inform you that I’ve been experimenting with a new method that induces a metamorphosis of size and strength. As the transcendent Bob Dylan once sang, "Times, they are a changin’." As such, be prepared for what follows!

Torching the Burnout Method

One method that’s always resurfacing in various forms in the field of hypertrophy training is the "burnout method." Excluding the awful name, a few trainees have found it somewhat useful in packing on a little muscle. It basically consists of performing an exercise with pseudo-maximal strength parameters, followed by a sub-maximal set taken to failure. It’s reared its head in many forms, but one of the better known methods is this:

Exercise: Squats (for example)

Sets: 5
Reps: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
Load: 10 Reps Max, 8RM, 6RM, 4RM, 2RM

Followed by:

Exercise: Squats

Sets: 1
Reps: 18-20 (taken to failure)

To summarize, the first five sets consist of increasing loads and decreasing reps in an effort to recruit the high-threshold fast-fatigable (FF) motor units. Once maximal strength has been "primed," one last set with a sub-maximal (~60% of 1RM) is taken to failure.

Not a bad idea, but it definitely has its shortcomings:

Shortcoming #1 — Failure training. Bad, bad and more bad. Sending your kids to play with Michael Jackson bad. Training to failure is so outdated that I can’t even bear to discuss it. Failure training induces excessive CNS fatigue. Successful training (of any sort) revolves around fatigue management. Therefore, any method that induces excessive fatigue should be avoided.

Bottom Line: The burnout method revolves around taking the last set to absolute failure and this should be avoided in order to keep the nervous system as fresh as possible.

Shortcoming #2 — Excessive Parameters. If you try to accomplish everything in one session, you’re going to be in trouble, and overtraining will be right around the corner. If you focus on increasing one or two strength qualities during a single session, you’ll be much better off.

Bottom Line: Excessive sets + Excessive rep ranges + Muscular failure = Shitty results.

Shortcoming #3 — Inferior Maximal Strength Gains. I don’t care if you have no desire to ever step foot inside a powerlifting or Olympic lifting circle, you must be cognizant of maximal strength training if you want to become massive and massively strong.

Bottom Line: The burnout method leads to sub par strength gains which, in turn, wreak havoc on your hypertrophy efforts since the recruitment of the massive FF motor units are only emphasized in the middle portion of the workout.

Shortcomings #1 and #2 are relatively easy to resolve. Regarding failure training, the only modification that needs to be made is to stop one rep short of failure. Simple enough.

Shortcoming #2 (excessive parameters) can also be fixed. You could merely replace the inverse set/rep relationship with more constant parameters such as 3 x 3 or 5 x 5. But the biggest shortcoming of all (inferior maximal strength gains) hasn’t been addressed — until now.

One of the most interesting observations I’ve made within the realms of iron apparatuses is that the nervous system best "remembers" the last set. It’s akin to listening to a three-hour seminar: you usually only remember the end points. The same appears to be true with weight training.

Therefore, the traditional burnout method leaves your nervous system remembering a light load that primarily taxed the fast fatigue-resistant (FFR) motor units. This is bad news if it’s done week in and week out because you’ll lose your maximal strength levels in no time.

But wait, you don’t care about maximal strength, you only care about muscle mass increases, right? Please refer back to my "bottom line" statement in the aforementioned point #3 before I track you down and choke you out!

The Solution

I’ve found a better way. If you incorporate the following method into your next hypertrophy phase, you’ll be bigger and stronger than ever. This method is based on three important principles:

1) Avoiding absolute muscular failure.

2) Maintaining relatively constant parameters that don’t confuse the hell out of your nervous system.

3) Achieving greater maximal strength increases.

Here’s how it works. To begin, you’ll perform the first compound exercise for 3-4 sets until you reach a 3RM for that lift. Remember, a 3RM represents a load you could lift for three perfect reps without losing form. If you must compromise form to reach the third rep, decrease the load 2.5% and try again.

Second, you’ll pick a different exercise for the same muscle group and perform 12-14 reps while stopping one rep short of muscular failure.

Lastly, you’ll perform one set of 2-3 reps with the same compound exercise that you start with. Oftentimes, you won’t be able to perform all three reps with the same load you started with, but you should be able to perform at least two reps. This will effectively re-recruit the FF motor units so you won’t leave the CNS remembering a light load.

Keep in mind, this isn't a "pure" maximal strength program; this is a hypertrophy-based program that also causes maximal strength gains.

The Program

I titled this program "Hybrid Hypertrophy" since it combines a few different methods into the same session. Up to this point, most of my programs revolved around training a single strength quality within each session. Since this program combines a few methods into each workout, you’ll be able to perform it for up to four weeks before switching programs. (Some of my clients have performed this program for as long as six weeks without losing the effect, but stick to four weeks as a starting point.)

Note: Please do everything in your power to adhere to the following exercises. I tried to choose exercises that are virtually ubiquitous to every gym, whether it be commercial or home. Each day consists of specific exercises that I’ve found most useful.

DAY 1

Exercise: Close-Grip Bench Presses

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Rest 60 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Barbell Skull Crushers

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Close-Grip Bench Presses

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 75 seconds between sets
Note: Shoulder-width stance, non-mixed grip. Keep your torso as vertical as possible.

Rest 75 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Front Squats
Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3
Note: Shoulder-width stance, non-mixed grip. Keep your torso as vertical as possible.

Exercise: Chin-ups

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 75 seconds between sets
Note: Use a palms-up, wider than shoulder width grip.

Rest 75 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Decline Bench Dumbbell Pullovers or Straight Arm Cable Pulldowns

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14

The straight-arm cable pulldown.

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Chin-ups

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3
Note: Use a palms-up, wider than shoulder width grip.

DAY 2

OFF. Perform 15-20 minutes of jogging, uphill walking (for calf development), or GPP work.

DAY 3

Exercise: Power Cleans

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 75 seconds between sets

Rest 75 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Barbell Back Squats

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14
Rest 240 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Power Cleans

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3

The Power Clean

Exercise: Decline Sit-ups or Flat Sit-ups w/Feet Hooked

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 60 seconds between sets
Note: Hold a dumbbell at your chest for added resistance.

Rest 60 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Cable Crunches or Swiss Ball Crunches

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14

The Cable Crunch

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Decline Sit-ups or Flat Sit-ups w/Feet Hooked

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3
Note: Hold a dumbbell for added resistance.

Exercise: 45 Degree Incline Dumbbell or Barbell Bench Press

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Rest 60 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Standing Dumbbell Military Press

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14
Note: Keep your palms facing each other throughout movement.

The Standing Dumbbell Military Press

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Exercise: 45 degree Incline Dumbbell or Barbell Bench Press

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3

DAY 4

OFF. Perform 15-20 minutes of jogging, uphill walking or GPP work

DAY 5

Exercise: Dips

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Rest 60 seconds and perform:

Exercise: French Presses

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14
Note: Perform with an EZ-Curl bar, if available. If not, use a barbell or use dumbbells and keep your palms facing each other.

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Dips

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3

Exercise: Seated Cable Rows or Bent-over Barbell Rows

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 60 seconds between sets
Note: Utilize a shoulder-width, supinated (palms up) grip for either exercise.

Rest 60 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Dumbbell Rear Delt Side Raises

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14
Note: Lay facedown on a 30-45 degree incline bench and perform dumbbell side raises. Or, perform them from a standing, bent-over position, if desired.

Rest 180 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Seated Cable Rows or Bent-over Barbell Rows

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3
Note: Utilize a shoulder-width, supinated grip for either exercise.

Exercise: Rack Pulls or Partial Deadlift with Dumbbells or Barbell

Sets: 3
Reps: 3
Loads: 6RM, 5RM, 3RM
Rest: 75 seconds between sets

The Partial Deadlift (Rack Pull)

Rest 75 seconds and perform:

Exercise: Box Squats

Sets: 1
Reps: 12-14
Note: Utilize a box or bench that allows your hip joint to drop just below knee level.

Rest 240s seconds and perform:

Exercise: Rack Pulls or Partial Deadlift with Dumbbells or Barbell

Sets: 1
Reps: 2-3

DAY 6

OFF. Perform 15-20 minutes of jogging, uphill walking or GPP work.

DAY 7

Off completely.

Supplement Plan

If you want to achieve mind-blowing results on this program, you should supplement your workouts as follows:

1. 45-60 minutes before the workout: 1-2 capsules of Spike.

2. During Workout: half serving Surge.

3. Immediately after workout: 1 full serving of Surge with 5 grams of micronized creatine. (Take note that the second serving of Surge should be a full serving, not a half, on this program.)

4. Wait 30-45 minutes and consume another full serving of Surge.

5. Wait 30-45 minutes and consume a meal that consists of a 2:1 ratio of carbs/protein (minimal fat).

6. Two hours later consume one serving of Power Drive mixed in carbonated water.

7. Before bed: ZMA.

The above plan is ideal for maximum hypertrophy on this program. In addition, Alpha Male and Methoxy-7 will further your gains. None of the above are absolutely required, but I must state that every one of my clients who achieved incredible results on this program followed the above supplement plan exactly as stated. Keep that in mind.

Pushing the Limits

This program pushes the limits of recovery, but the results are outstanding if you incorporate this method the next time you’re long on sleep and short on stress. You'll be blown away
__________________

10. Super Slow Resistance Training
Jeff Nelson, M.Ed. and Len Kravitz, Ph.D.

Introduction

There are many different methods of resistance training. One form of resistance exercise that has drawn attention is superslow resistance training. Evidence of increasing interest is becoming more apparent with the rise of internet references and the availability of superslow certifications. This form of training has been presented as a safe and effective means of building strength in both beginning and advanced weight training (Westcott, 1999). Superslow training, originated in 1982 by Ken Hutchins, was developed in an osteoporosis study with older women because of the need to utilize a safer speed for subjects to perform the resistance exercises. The result was the beginning of a new resistance training technique, which became known as superslow strength training. In a standard Nautilus training protocol, 8-12 repetitions are performed (Westcott, 1999). Each repetition represents a two-second concentric action, a one-second pause, followed by a four-second eccentric action. The total time for the set requires approximately 55-85 seconds for completion. The superslow protocol represents 4-6 repetitions consisting of a 10-second concentric phase followed by a four-second eccentric phase. This protocol also requires about 55-85 seconds for completion. One possible advantage of superslow training is that it involves less momentum, resulting in a more evenly applied muscle force throughout the range of motion. A potential disadvantage of this training is that it is characterized as tedious and tough.

Physiology of Superslow Training

An objective of superslow resistance training is to create more tension in a muscle for a given workload. This is accomplished by decreasing the speed of movement. The amount of force or tension a muscle can develop during a muscle action is substantially affected by the rate of muscle shortening (concentric phase) or lengthening (eccentric phase) (Smith, Weiss, and Lehmkuhl, 1995). The amount of tension generated in a muscle is related to the number of contracting fibers. Each muscle fiber (or muscle cell) contains up to several hundred to several thousand myofibrils, which are composed of myosin (thick) and actin (thin) protein filaments (Guyton and Hall, 1996). The repeating units of thick and thin filaments within each myofibril comprise the basic contractile unit, the sarcomere. In a muscle fiber, the slower the rate at which the actin and myosin filaments slide past each other, the greater the number of links or cross-bridges that can be formed between the filaments (Smith, Weiss, and Lehmkuhl, 1995). The more cross-bridges there are per unit of time, the more tension created. Thus at slow muscle action speeds, a higher number of cross-bridges can be formed, which leads to a maximum amount of tension for a given workload.

The tension in a muscle is related to the number of motor units firing and to the frequency with which impulses are conveyed to the motor neurons (Berger, 1982). Physiologically, using a slower speed protocol requires the activation of more muscle fibers and an increase in the frequency of firing in order to maintain a force necessary to lift a given workload (Smith, Weiss, and Lehmkuhl, 1995). This provides stimulation for muscle strength development. The initial strength development involves neurological adaptations (stimulation of muscle fibers through increased firing and recruitment) followed by muscle hypertrophy (Enoka, 1986). In muscle hypertrophy, an increase in protein synthesis results in a multiplication of myofibrils within muscle fibers leading to an enlargement of the cross-sectional area of the muscle (Berger, 1982). There is also a corresponding increase in the number of actin and myosin filaments, which subsequently increases the capacity for cross-bridge formation (Guyton and Hall, 1996).

Superslow Resistance Training Research

Although superslow resistance training has been around for a while, only two peer-reviewed manuscripts have been written. The first manuscript describes two studies by Westcott et al. (2001). The first Wescott et al. study was conducted in 1993 and consisted of 74 previously sedentary men and women with an average age of 56 years. The subjects were placed in groups of six and closely supervised for eight weeks. All of the subjects performed one set of 13 exercises (Nautilus equipment) three days per week. These exercises consisted of the leg extension, leg curl, leg press, neck flexion, neck extension, pullover, chest press, chest cross, lateral raise, bicep curl, triceps extension, abdominal crunch, and low back. Of the 74 subjects, 39 (10 males and 29 females) trained at a regular speed and 35 (13 males and 22 females) trained at the slow speed. Although both groups differed in the time spent in concentric phase, both groups had a 4-second eccentric phase. Each of the subjects was tested using either a 10-RM weight load (regular speed group) or a 5-RM weight load (slow speed group) at weeks 2 and 8 in the study for the determination of pre- and post-test strength assessments. The results indicated that the slow speed group attained superior strength gains, gaining an average of 26 lbs in strength for the 13 exercises combined, compared to an average of 18 lbs for the regular speed group.

The second study of the first manuscript was conducted in 1999 and consisted of 73 previously sedentary men and women with an average age of 53 years. This study was similar to the 1993 study except that it was a 10-week study and the pre- and post-test strength assessments were based on 10-RM weight load (regular speed group) and a 5-RM weight load (slow speed group) of the chest press only at weeks 2 and 10 in the study. Of the 73 subjects, 43 (13 males and 30 females) trained at a regular speed and 30 (10 males and 20 females) trained at the slow speed. This study supported the 1993 study conclusions in that the slow speed group achieved higher results that the regular speed group, gaining an average of 24 lbs in strength for the chest press, compared to an average of 16 lbs for the regular speed group.

The other recent peer-reviewed manuscript describes a study by Keeler et al. (2001). This study consisted of 14 sedentary women with an average age of 32.8 &#177; 8.9 years. The subjects were randomly assigned to either a superslow group (6 subjects) or a traditional training group (8 subjects). Strength was assessed for both pre- and post-test using a 1-RM on 8 strength exercises: leg extension, leg curl, leg press, bench press, compound row, biceps curl, triceps extension, and torso arm (anterior lateral pull-down). The subjects trained three times per week for 10 weeks. For this study, the superslow protocol was defined as a 10-second concentric muscle action, followed by a 5-second eccentric muscle action. The traditional protocol consisted of a 2-second concentric phase, followed by a 4-second eccentric phase. Both groups performed one set of each of the eight exercises reaching momentary muscular fatigue between 8-12 repetitions. The traditional and the superslow groups began the exercises using 80% and 50% of the 1RM, respectively, until muscular fatigue was reached. The weight was then increased in increments of 5% when the maximum repetitions could be completed in good form. Increments of 2.5% were used for the leg press exercise only. The results indicated that both groups had a significant training effect for the 8 exercises. Further, the traditional group improved significantly more than the superslow group in total weight lifted for the leg press, leg curl, leg extension, torso arm, and the chest press. The results for the chest press indicated that the traditional group improved by an average of 26 lbs compared to the superslow group improving by an average of 9 lbs. It was concluded that traditional training is superior to that of superslow strength training for improving strength as assessed with the 1-RM for the initial phase of strength training in sedentary women.

Discussion

The Westcott et al. (2001) manuscript describes two studies (1993 and 1999 studies) that report the superslow resistance training resulting in superior strength gains than a traditional strength training method. In contrast, the Keeler et al. (2001) study indicates that the traditional strength training group improved better than the superslow group for 5 of the 8 exercises. The different outcomes between studies may be due to different subject populations, training methodologies, and testing procedures. Westcott et al. recruited sedentary men and women with an average age in both studies of 54.5 yrs., where as the Keeler et al. study had sedentary women whose average age was 32.8 yrs. Very little is documented how various age populations may be differentially affected by the training regimen (superslow versus traditional speed), although this factor certainly needs further elucidation.
The Keeler et al. (2001) study trained the traditional resistance exercise group using 80% of 1RM while the superslow group trained at 50% of 1RM. Both groups performed 8 to 12 repetitions to muscular fatigue. The authors said it was recommended that the superslow training group weight load be reduced 30% from what is normally used (however, the source for this recommendation was not cited in the study). Contrariwise, in the Westcott et al. (2001) studies, the traditional training group performed 8 to 12 repetitions to fatigue where as the superslow training group performed 4 to 6 repetitions to fatigue. Given that resistance load intensity has a direct association with muscle force production, this is a major difference noted in training methodologies of these investigations, and certainly warrants further investigation.

Finally, in the Keeler et al. (2001) study, strength measurements were quantified with 1-RM assessments of strength for the superslow and the traditional strength training groups. Conversely, in the Westcott et al. (2001) investigations the traditional strength training group was assessed with a 10-RM while the superslow was measured with a 5-RM. Certainly, the differences across the board in strength assessments may also be contributing factors to the varying results observed in these investigations.

Conclusions

Although a final conclusion of the efficacy of superslow training versus traditional strength training warrants further research, some strong applications can be ascertained. Both training methods demonstrated significant increases in strength from pre- to post-testing. Since variety of resistance training stimulus is an important aspect of training design, perhaps incorporating both of these methods is a viable option for many clients. While some clients may find the superslow method somewhat tedious and challenging, other clients may relish in this type of challenge. Therefore, the personal trainer is reminded of the importance of individualizing the workout scheme to keep the client motivated, as well as challenged. Future randomized studies are needed to establish whether a true difference does exist between superslow and traditional protocols in developing strength in men and women (of all ages).

References

Berger, R. A. (1982). Applied Exercise Physiology. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Lea & Febiger.
Berne, R. M., & Levy, M. N. (1998). Physiology (4th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby, Inc.
Enoka, R. M. (1988). Muscle strength and its development – New perspectives. Sports Medicine, 6, 146-168.
Guyton, A. C., & Hall, J. E. (1996). Textbook of Medical Physiology (9th ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: W. B Saunders Company.
Keeler, L. K., Finkelstein, L. H., Miller, W., & Fernhall, B. (2001). Early-phase adaptations of traditional-speed vs. superslow resistance training on strength and aerobic capacity in sedentary individuals. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 15(3), 309-314.
Smith, L. K., Weiss, E. L., & Lehmkuhl, L. D. (1996). Brunnstrom’s Clinical Kinesiology (5th ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: F. A. Davis Company.
Westcott, W. (1999). The scoop on super slow strength training. Idea Personal Trainer, Nov-Dec, 37-42.
Westcott, W. L., Winett, R. A., Anderson, E. S., Wojcik, J. R., Loud, R. L. R., Cleggett, E., & Glover, S. (2001). Effects of regular and slow speed resistance training on muscle strength. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 41, 154-158.

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11. Periodization
by Dave Tate

When it comes to setting up a strength-training program, I feel it's important to understand all aspects of the program, including how it all fits together. The organization of training can be defined as periodization. There are several periodization models being used today for the development of strength. This article will explore some of the basic definitions of the concept as well as the Western (or linear) method of periodization.

The Western method of periodization is one of the most popular methods for strength development. It's the same method I used for the first 12 years of my competitive career. Did it work? Sure, up to a certain point, but then I hit a plateau. This was when the injuries started and my strength began to digress. After we get the basics out of the way, I'll explore why this happened and why so many coaches and athletes still use the program today.

Terminology and Definitions

Periodization is the organization of training into basic workable units. These units are defined as the training session, the micro cycle, the meso cycle, the macro cycle and the quadrennial. Let's define and explore each of these just to make sure we're all on the same page.

The Training Session: The training session consists of one workout designed to fulfill a specific purpose. These training sessions can be once per day or up to six per day depending on the goals of the program. The most import aspect of the training session is that it should have some type of meaning. There should be a definite training goal in mind. Your goal for that session may be to perform one more repetition than last time, or to lift five more pounds. Your goal could also involve fulfilling some type of restorative or recovery purpose.

The problem is that many training sessions today don't have a specific purpose that will lead to the short or long term goals of the athlete. The athlete or coach just goes in the gym and wings it, but each session must build on the others to fulfill a desired purpose. For example, if you want a bigger bench, then each training session for that lift must have the development of the bench press in mind. If your exercise selection doesn't complement this, you'll just be spinning your wheels.

All exercises chosen should fulfill a purpose related to the development of strength, stability, confidence, muscle balance, technique, or bringing up weak points. If one or more of these variables isn't being met with the chosen movement, then dump that exercise!

The Micro Cycle

The micro cycle is the recruitment of a number of different training sessions. There should be at least two training sessions per micro cycle that consist of different types of workouts. The micro cycle also should have specific meaning and purpose. There are many different types of micro cycles including the introduction, restorative, competitive and the shock micro cycle. The average micro cycle will range five to ten days with the average being seven days.

The Introduction Micro:
This cycle can and should be used for a number of introduction purposes. It can be used for educational purposes to teach the clients or athletes about the training program and all its variables. This is a very important aspect of training that many coaches and trainers overlook. I believe that the client or athlete must know how the program was designed and why it was designed that way. Better yet, they should be a part of the program design.

Whenever I design a strength-training program, the client is a very large part of the process. Who knows better than the trainee what works and what doesn't work for him? The client has more experience training themselves than anyone, so why not use this knowledge to better the program? The trainee must know where they're going and how and why this program will help them get there.

A second type of introduction micro cycle may be used to introduce the trainee to the exercises he'll be performing over the next few cycles. This gives him a chance to have a "walk through" of the different exercises and get used to the correct form and technique that'll be needed for the higher intensities later on.

Exercise technique is another overlooked aspect of most training programs today. When I walk into any gym or health club I'm impressed with the lack of technique being practiced. You'd think with the number of trainers and coaches around today that this problem would be getting better, but in many ways it's worse. Now you have trainers who have no idea what they're doing showing a client how to perform an exercise!

Not all trainers are bad, of course. There are many excellent trainers I've spoken with across the world and I've learned a great deal from many of them. These trainers are usually very expensive and hard to find so it would be best for most people to buy a book on exercise technique or attend one of the many seminars offered by today's top strength coaches.

The Restorative Micro: This cycle is designed to aid in the recovery process. It can involve anything from taking a week off to implementing some restorative techniques such as contrast showers, steams, saunas, massage, active rest or "feeder" workouts.

Active rest involves those workouts that implement a type of training other than what the athlete normally does. For a weightlifter this can include walking, or for a football player, playing basketball.

The "feeder" type workouts are those intended to better prepare the muscle for an upcoming training session. When these workouts make up the majority of the training micro cycle it then becomes a restorative cycle. Active rest and feeder workouts will be discussed in a future article because of the importance they have in the total development of a strength training program. After all, if you're not recovering, then you're not making gains!

The Competitive Micro: This is the cycle leading up to the competition or event. For a powerlifter this would consists of the five to seven days right before the competition. During this time they should lower the training volume and intensity.

The week before can make or break the outcome of the competition. Too much work and the lifter will go into the meet overtrained and tired. Too little work and he'll go in under prepared. For the football player this can be the last three to six days before the game. It becomes a tight balancing act during the season to ensure the optimum amount of training with the right amount of recovery and restoration.

The Shock Micro:
This micro cycle is designed around shocking the body into new growth and adaptation. This shock can come in many forms and can range from taking a week off to a high volume training cycle.

The Meso Cycle

This cycle is made up of many micro cycles designed around one specific purpose. Most programs use this cycle to develop one component of fitness such as strength, power, endurance or some other physical ability. These cycles range from one to four months. There are many types of meso cycles including introduction, base, competitive, restoration, strength and power cycles.

The Introduction Meso: This cycle is designed to introduce a person to fitness or strength training. Like the introduction micro cycle, most of the time is spent on the teaching of the movements and training program.

The Base Meso: It's been said many times that you can't build a house on a weak foundation. The base meso cycle is usually designed to build a strong and fundamental base of fitness (a solid foundation).

An example of the effectiveness of a base-building meso cycle would be my wife, Traci. When she first came to train with us a Westside, her back was so weak and sore that she had a hard time picking up an empty barbell.

Most of her training during the first few months consisted of building up her abdominal, lower back, glutes, hips and hamstrings. She performed endless sets of reverse hypers, glute-ham raises, and abdominal pulldowns. When her base was built up, heavier training was introduced and within the first year she'd totaled her fist "Elite" with a 360 squat, 240 bench, and 315 deadlift in the 123 pound class. Not bad for not being able to pick up a barbell without pain 12 months earlier. Without taking the time to develop a solid foundation, her gains wouldn't have been possible.

Other Meso Cycles: The strength and power meso cycle is designed around building strength, while the competitive meso cycle is that cycle leading up to the competition or test date (the day you attempt a new PR). These meso cycles can be designed a number of different ways and all are intended to bring out the highest level of competitive strength.

Competitive strength is different than maximal strength because it utilizes the elements of the competition to bring out the highest strength levels. With competitive strength, many times there's a break from training right before the competition to help the body restore and prepare for peak performance. There's also the element of the spectators and a "psyche up" to help bring out higher strength levels.

Maximal strength is the max level of strength that can be displayed in the gym. This is why many times we don't recommend training with a psyche-up in the gym. Psyching up during training can actually be detrimental to strength performance because of the increased demand on the central nervous system.

The Western Method of Periodization

The Western or linear method of periodization is the most practiced yet most misunderstood form of periodization used by lifters and coaches today. I was first introduced to the Western method from the NSCA journal and from the "workouts of the month" section in Powerlifting USA magazine. This method consists of a hypertrophy phase, basic strength phase, power phase, peak phase and a transition phase. Many times other terms will be used but the parameters are basically the same.

The Hypertrophy Phase: This phase is intended to condition and build muscle mass. This phase is characterized by a high volume and low intensity. In this case, the volume refers to the amount of repetitions being preformed while the intensity refers to the amount of weight lifted in relation to your one rep max. The typical load or intensity lifted is in the 50 to 70% range for three to five sets of 8 to 20 reps. The average rest between sets is two to three minutes and the average length of the entire phase is between four to six weeks. These parameters are intended to build a solid base of support for the upcoming strength phase.

Sample Hypertrophy Cycle

Week 1:5sets/10reps/62%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 2:
4sets/10reps/64%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 3:3sets/10reps/66%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 4:3sets/8reps/68%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 5:
3sets/8reps/70%intensity/Rest 3mintues

The Strength Phase: The goals of the strength phase is to, you guessed it, increase muscle strength. The parameters for this phase are characterized with a typical load between 75 to 86%, utilizing three to five sets of 4 to 6 reps. The average rest is two to four minutes and the duration is four to six weeks. As you can see, the intensity is beginning to increase while the volume is beginning to decrease.

Sample Strength Meso Cycle

Week 1:5sets/6reps/75%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 2:
5sets/6reps/77%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 3:4sets/5reps/79%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 4:4sets/5reps/82%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 5:
3sets/4reps/85%intensity/Rest 3mintues

The Power Phase: This phase is designed to increase the overall power of the athlete. The parameters of this phase are characterized by performing three to five sets of 3 to 5 reps with 86% to 93% intensity. The duration of this phase is normally four weeks. The rest is usually between three to five minutes.

Sample Power Meso Cycle

Week 1:3sets/4reps/87%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 2:
3sets/3reps/89%intensity/Rest 3mintues

Week 3:3sets/3reps/91%intensity/Rest 4mintues

Week 4:3sets/3reps/93%intensity/Rest 5mintues

The Peak Phase: This is the final phase of strength development. This phase is designed to "peak" on all the abilities that have been developed earlier. The peak phase is characterized by performing two to three sets of 1 to 3 reps with 93% or more. The average rest is now increased to four to seven minutes and the duration is two to four weeks. You'll again notice that the volume is lower and the intensity is increased.

Sample Peaking Meso Cycle

Week 1:3sets/3reps/95%intensity/Rest 5mintues

Week 2:
2sets/2reps/97%intensity/Rest 7mintues

Week 3:2sets/1reps/99%intensity/Rest 7mintues

The Transition or Active Rest Phase: This is the final phase of this macro cycle known as the Western method of periodization. This phase can be done a couple of ways. The first is to perform three to five sets of 10 to 15 reps with 50% of your new one rep max.

The second way is to break away from training altogether and only perform light physical activity. For many powerlifters and strength athletes this phase is normally just taking time off and performing no weightlifting. Others may choose to go to the gym and perform bodybuilding style exercises with very little work done in the classic lifts (squat, bench and deadlift).

Problems and Pitfalls

This Western method of training has become very popular in the United States over the past 20 to 30 years and has been practiced by most powerlifters and strength athletes in one form or another. If you read the training programs of most powerlifters you'll notice this same structure. As I mentioned earlier, this is the same training routine I used myself for 12 years before moving to Columbus to train at Westside. I had very good results with this training for some time, but I also had many problems with it as well.

Having now gotten away from this type of training and looking back as an outsider, I can see where the program is lacking and why I had so many problems. I used to feel it was the only way to train (mostly because it was all I ever knew). It was also the only type of program for which I could find a lot of research. Some of the limitations to this linear style of periodization include:

1) It's a percentage-based program
2) It starts with a high volume
3) It only has one peak
4) Your abilities aren't maintained
5) The program has no direction to the future

According to Vladimir Zatsiorsky in the text, Science and Practice of Strength Training, long breaks (from working at percentages close to your 1RM) can ruin physical fitness. Vladimir asks, "If a mountaineer wants to climb to the summit, will he climb halfway up then back down to go back up again?" These long breaks are detrimental because motor abilities are built and retained at different rates which are fairly specific to each individual. Some may be lost very quickly while others will be held.

According to Zimkin, as much a 10 to 15% of strength can be lost in a period of a few weeks. This is where a percentage-based system has many problems. If the lifter has lost 10% of his strength and begins the cycle at 62% of his contest max, the actual percent can really be as high as 72%. This is why many times the lifter will get through three quarters of the training cycle and then start missing lifts. Many times I'd get to week eight or nine and not be able to complete the desired number of reps. With this type of training you have to hope your strength catches up to the intensity.

One way to combat this is to pick a smaller weight at the start and then jump it up toward the end. This is what many lifters, including myself, used to do. The problem with this is you never really know when to jump it up. This will lead you to being able to perform triples in training with more weight than the single you could perform on the platform at a meet. Percentages have to be used only as guidelines.

Another problem with the Western method of periodization is that many abilities aren't maintained. The muscle mass that was built during the hypertrophy phase isn't maintained throughout the full cycle. Same goes with the strength phase. The best training weeks are normally the first or second week of triples coming off the strength phase. Then your strength begins to shut down because it's very hard to train at or above 90% for longer than three weeks. This is another reason why you may be able to triple more in training than what you can display on the platform.

As mentioned above, there's only one peak with the linear method. If you want to enter multiple meets or have a competitive season such as a football player then what do you do? Another mark against this traditional approach.

The Western method of periodization also advises you to drop the supplemental movements as the meet approaches, especially during the final three or four weeks during the peak phase. The reason for this is that the intensity is so high that you'd want to keep the volume down. My question is why would you want to drop the movements that made you strong in the first place?

Lets face it, if it was true that all you have to do is squat, bench and deadlift wouldn't we all be doing it? Not only that, but wouldn't every gym in the country have 20 or 30 guys who could bench 500 since half the members only do bench presses and curls anyway? Why would any of us do any more than we have to?

The fact is, we've all found out through trial and error that we need supplemental movements to push our lifts up. A great example of this is if your pecs and shoulder were strong enough to bench press 500 but your triceps were only strong enough to bench 420. If that were true, what do you think you'd bench? You're only as strong as your weakest link and it's your responsibility to find out what that weak link is and fix it. If your car needed new tires to run faster would you buy a new car or change the tires? The supplemental aspect of your training is perhaps the most important and yet you're expected to drop it right before a competition?

You're also never really told what and how to train the supplemental lifts. Are you supposed to begin with a high volume and drop over time while increasing the intensity like you do with the main lifts? If you're anything like I was then you just kind of wing it and hope it all fits into place.

With all this in mind, why would anybody use this type of periodization? Well, the answer is quite simple: it's what most lifters have always done or been told to do. There have been few, if any, alternatives that work as well or better

12. 5x5 Training
Written by Needsize

The premise of the routine is progressive overload, meaning that every week you are putting increasing amounts of stress on the muscles, generally through small increases in the amount of weight used. The progressive overload forces the body to grow to adapt to the increasing amounts of stress, even though the body really isnt training to failure.

The routine consists of choosing a heavy compound exercise to use for each bodypart, these can include, squat, deadlifts, bench press, close grip bench, standing barbell curls, military press, etc. On top of the initial 5x5, you also choose 2 other exercises, and aim to do 2 sets on each, of 8-10 reps per set.

Here's a sample routine

Chest

Flat bench 5x5
incline dumbell press 2x8-10
incline flyes 2x8-10

This routine is very effective as it targets fast twitch muscle fibres(5x5) as well as slower twitch(8-10reps) all in the same workout. Generally when done correctly you can gain lots of size as well as some pretty incredible strength all at the same time. I'm only a bodybuilder and dont give a rat's ass about strength, but have hit lifts (ie, deadlift 550lbs for 5 reps) that would allow me to compete as a powerlifter.

Eventually no matter what you are doing or what you are on, the strength gains will come to an end. What I have found worked well for me was when I couldnt add more weight to the 5x5, I switched over to 5x3 instead, and was able to keep adding weight. The beauty there is that as you keep adding weight past where you were stuck on the 5x5, that weight you were stuck on will feel like a joke when you go back to it as you were just lifting more, albiet for less reps.
Here's an example I used when my squats went stale. I had been stuck on 405lbs for a while, but just couldnt get all my sets so that I could add more weight, so heres what I did.

week 1 410lbs 5x3reps

week 2 415lbs 5x3reps

week 3 420lbs 5x3 reps

week 4 425lbs 5x3 reps

week 5 430lbs 5x3reps

week 6 435lbs 5x3 reps

then back to 5x5

week 7 405lbs 5x5(now this felt really light after 435lbs)

week 8 410lbs 5x5
etc.......

But this time when I finally plateaued again, I was squatting 445lbs for 5's. Notice the weight increases were very small, percentage wise it was almost nothing, but see how it added up. When I first started the 5x5 routine back in the day, I was squatting 225lbs for 5x5, and since then the program has allowed me to put over 200lbs on my squat, and about 4" on my quads

I forgot to mention, I dont think this approach will work for calves as you need a higher rep range

No, not all 5x5 are to failure, the first couple you should have to work for and get a good pump from, but they wont be to complete failure or you wont have a chance of getting all your sets. What tends to happen with me is a set feels pretty close to failure, but after a rest of 3-4 minutes, I can hit the next set easily enough. I do take to 8-10 reps to failure though

when supersetting I wait that minute or so between every set, so a set for bis, wait 1-1 1/2 minutes, do a set for tris, and so on. On the 5x5 I rest 3-4 minutes for say squats, but on most others, including deads I superset with another exercise same as with arms. For the 8-10 ones, usually around 2 minutes, but I cut that lower and lower as I progress through the workout

I wear a watch so I keep the breaks consistent, this way I know that if I go up in weight or anything then it wasnt because I rested longer. Its during the 8-10 sets that I start cutting the rest times down

I've got my body split into 4 days, which leaves me with 3 rest days per week

Day 1 chest/calves
Chest- see earlier post
standing calve raises 5x15

Day 2 back/shoulders

military press 5x5
side laterals 3-5x8-10
chins 2x8-10
shrugs 2x8-10
rows 2x8-10
bent over laterals 2x8-10

Day 3&4 rest

Day 5 bis/tris
close grip bench 5x5
standing barbell curls 5x5
weighted dips 2x8-10
incline dumbell curls 2x8-10
skull crushers 2x8-10
preacher curls 2x8-10

Day 6 legs

squats 5x5
leg press or hacks 2x8-10( I dont do any more exercises for quads as I dont need to)
stiff legged deads 2x8-10
leg curls 2x8-10
seated calve raises 5x15
abs - weighted static holds

Day 7 rest

It's pretty rare that I change the 5x5 exercises as there really arent that many good mass building exercises. For tri I sometimes switch close grip with weighted dips(but frankly I dont want to add any more weight to my dips), maybe switch military press with dumbells, etc... But there is no substitute for deads and squats, and using a bar instead of dumbells on stuff like bench or curls give me more freedom to add whatever amount of weight that I want, instead of having to go up 5lb per side every time

Another Sample routine

Day 1 chest/calves
Flat bench 5x5
incline dumbell press 2x8-10
incline flyes 2x8-10
standing calve raises 5x15

Day 2 Back/Shoulders

military press 5x5
side laterals 3-5x8-10
chins 2x8-10
shrugs 2x8-10
rows 2x8-10
bent over laterals 2x8-10

Day 3&4 rest

Day 5 Bis/Tris
close grip bench 5x5
standing barbell curls 5x5
weighted dips 2x8-10
incline dumbell curls 2x8-10
skull crushers 2x8-10
preacher curls 2x8-10

Day 6 Legs

squats 5x5
leg press or hacks 2x8-10( I dont do any more exercises for quads as I dont need to)
stiff legged deads 2x8-10
leg curls 2x8-10
seated calve raises 5x15
abs - weighted static holds

Day 7 rest
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13. 9 Week Basic Training Program
Dave Tate

This is an old program I wrote some time ago for many of my clients who were just getting into this type of training. This program does not use chains or bands because we did not use them at the time. I still use it as an introduction training program.

Week 1

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Good Mornings: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max.
Glute Ham Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps. Stress the eccentric, try to get a four count on they way down.
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Board Press: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max.
Lying Barbell tricep extensions: 6 sets of 10 reps
Push Downs: 3 sets of 10
One Arm Press: 3 sets of 15

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 50% of 1RM (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
One Leg Squats: 4 sets of 10 with each leg
Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 6 reps
Barbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 rep

Week 2

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Good Mornings: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raises: 3 sets of 8 reps. Stress the eccentric, try to get a four count on they way down.
Reverse Hypers : 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps
Straight Leg Raises: 3 sets of 20 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Board Press: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions: 6 sets of 10 reps
Push Downs: 3 sets of 10
One Arm Press: 3 sets of 15

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 54 % of 1RM; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
One Leg Squats: 4 sets of 10 with each leg
Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 6 reps
Barbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 3

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Good Mornings: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raises: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Reverse Hypers : 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps
Straight Leg Raises: 3 sets of 20 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Board Press: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions: 6 sets of 10 reps
Push Downs: 3 sets of 10
One Arm Press: 3 sets of 15

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 56 % of 1RM ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
One Leg Squats: 4 sets of 10 with each leg
Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 6 reps
Barbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 4

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Low Box Squat: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raise: 5 sets of 5 reps
Partial Deadlifts: 3 sets of 20 reps
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Floor Press: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
JM Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10
Seated dumbbell Cleans: 4 sets of 8
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15

Day3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 60 % of 1RM ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
* after your sets of box squats work up to a heavy double. This is not a maximum attempt so do not miss the attempts.
Reverse Hypers: 5 sets of 8 reps
Chest supported Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps
Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets of 6 reps
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Close Grip Bench Press: work up to 2 sets of 3
One Arm Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets of 10
Front Plate Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 5

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Low Box Squat: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raise: 5 sets of 5 reps
Partial Deadlifts: 3 sets of 20 reps
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Floor Press: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
JM Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10
Seated Dumbbell Cleans: 4 sets of 8
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 50% of 1RM ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Reverse Hypers: 5 sets of 8 reps
Chest supported Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps
Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets of 6 reps
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
* after your sets of box squats work up to a heavy single. This is not a maximum attempt so do not miss the attempts.
Close Grip Bench Press: work up to 2 sets of 3
One Arm Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets of 10
Front Plate Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 6

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Low Box Squat: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raise: 5 sets of 5 reps
Partial Deadlifts: 3 sets of 20 reps
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Floor Press: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
JM Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10
Seated dumbbell Cleans: 4 sets of 8
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 52 % of 1RM ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Reverse Hypers: 5 sets of 8 reps
Chest supported Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps
Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets of 6 reps
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Close Grip Bench Press: work up to 2 sets of 3
One Arm Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets of 10
Front Plate Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 7

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Good Morning Squats: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raise: 5 sets of 5 reps
Lunges: 4 sets of 10 reps (each leg)
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Ball Press: 3 sets of 20 reps (avg. rest period = 5 min)
Seated dumbbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets 10 reps
Incline Barbell Tricep Extensions: 5 sets 6 reps
face Pulls: 5 sets 15 reps

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 54 % of 1RM ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
* after your sets of box squats work up to a heavy double. This is not a maximum attempt so do not miss the attempts.
Reverse Hypers: 4 sets 8 reps
Pull Downs: 3 sets 8 reps
Glute Ham Raise: 4 sets 15 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
* after your sets of box squats work up to a heavy single. This is not a maximum attempt so do not miss the attempts.
Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 4 sets of 6 reps
Reverse Grip Push Downs: 3 sets of 15 reps
Front - Side - Rear Delt Combo Raise: 2 sets of 60 reps (20 each raise)
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets 10 reps

Week 8

Day 1 (max effort squat day)
Good Morning Squats: warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel that you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continuing working up to a one rep max
Glute Ham Raise: 5 sets of 5 reps
Lunges: 4 sets of 10 reps (each leg)
Reverse Hypers: 3 sets of 8 reps using the small strap
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Ball Press: 3 sets of 20 reps (avg. rest period = 5 min)
Seated dumbbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets 10 reps
Incline Barbell Tricep Extensions: 5 sets 6 reps
face Pulls: 5 sets 15 reps

Day 3 (dynamic effort squat day)
Box Squats: 10 sets of 2 reps with 62 % of 1RM ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Reverse Hypers: 4 sets 8 reps
Pull Downs: 3 sets 8 reps
Glute Ham Raise: 4 sets 15 reps

Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM; use three different grips ; (45 to 60 sec rest between sets)
Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 4 sets of 6 reps
Reverse Grip Push Downs: 3 sets of 15 reps
Front - Side - Rear Delt Combo Raise: 2 sets of 60 reps (20 each raise)
Pull Down Abs: 5 sets 10 reps

Week 9

Day 1 (max day) near end of week
Box Squat: work up to a 1 rep max
Bench Press: work up to a 1 rep max

* These maxes will be used as the 1RM for the next eight week cycle
__________________

14. OVT: Optimized Volume Training
by Christian Thibaudeau

Part of his evolution was due to a training program he developed called OVT or Optimized Volume Training. Previously, this program was only available to those that read the ***** forum, but now he's making this updated version available to everyone. Fire up the printer; this could be the next big thing in bodybuilding!

Around 1995, the bodybuilding world was introduced to a new form of hypertrophy training: German Volume Training. That article was written by an up-and-coming star in the strength and conditioning community (Charles Poliquin) and it really changed the way people trained to gain mass. The premise was relatively simple: pick a few exercises and do ten sets of ten reps. It was simple and effective.
However, the program had some weaknesses, some of which were pointed out in TC's "German Volume Training 2000" article here at *****. A few of those weaknesses were:
Possible overuse injuries from such a high volume of the same exercises.
Very high level of boredom. (Call me crazy, but for me to stay motivated I must have at least some fun in the gym!)
Not enough emphasis on some muscles and some muscle functions. With GVT you couldn't use many exercises because the sheer volume would be too much! As a result, muscle imbalances could develop.
This final problem is new: GVT neglects strength. In fact, I've known several athletes who actually got weaker on GVT, even if they gained a lot of mass. The reason is that super high volume coupled with low intensity causes mostly non-functional hypertrophy and doesn't require an intense neuromotor involvement.
It was this last weakness that got me thinking, experimenting and tinkering. That's how I came up with a variation of volume training that will increase strength and functional hypertrophy alike. Enter Optimized Volume Training!

The Overview

For OVT, I kept the basic premise of doing 100 total reps per muscle group. This is a time-proven approach. However, the distribution of those reps is vastly different from the original GVT program.
First difference: Every set is in fact a superset of two exercises working the same muscle group. The first exercise in the superset is a big compound movement (e.g. bench press, squat, deadlift, row, even clean or snatch) and it's done for five reps using as much weight as possible. The second exercise in the superset is an isolation movement for the main muscle being worked in the first exercise. This second exercise is also done for five reps, but with a small load and a very slow tempo.
Second difference: While in GVT all ten sets were of the same exercise, we'll employ two different supersets per muscle, each superset being performed five times (50 total reps per superset). This will allow us to use four different exercises for a muscle group, which should take care of boredom and imbalances.
Third difference: In the original program, the prescribed rest interval is sixty seconds. Since we want to be able to lift a bit more weight we're going to take 120 seconds in OVT, but there's no rest between exercises in the same superset.
Fourth difference: Rather than perform all sets with the same weight, as is the case with GVT, you do use as much weight as possible and adjust the load after each set (plus or minus 5 to 10 pounds, depending on the ease/difficulty of the preceding set).
Don't worry if you don't grasp all of that right now. I'll provide a complete sample program below!

Training
Split
Because of the high demands of the program, each body part is only worked once per week. The following split is to be used:
Day 1: Chest and back
Day 2: Legs and abs
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Biceps and triceps
Day 5: Off
Day 6: Anterior/medial deltoid and rear deltoid
Day 7: Off
While exercise selection can vary according to your preferences, the following has been proven very effective:

Day 1: Chest and Back

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Bench press
5
5
201
None
A2. Flat dumbbell flies
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. Incline bench press
5
5
201
None
B2. Incline dumbbell flies
5
5
602
120 seconds
C1. Lat pulldown
5
5
201
None
C2. 1 arm rowing
5
5
602
120 seconds
D1. Bent-over barbell rowing
5
5
201
None
D2. Seated cable rowing
5
5
602
120 seconds

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Front squat
5
5
201
None
A2. Lunges
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. 1-leg back extension
5
5
201
None
B2. Leg curl
5
5
602
120 seconds
5
5
201
None
5
5
602
120 seconds
Abs are done according to individual preferences. If you need some ideas, checkout my ab training article here.

Day 4: Biceps and Triceps

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Barbell curl
5
5
201
None
A2. Dumbbell curl
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. Preacher curl
5
5
201
None
B2. Hammer curl
5
5
602
120 seconds
C1. Weighted dips
5
5
201
None
C2. Decline triceps extension
5
5
602
120 seconds
D1. Lying triceps extension
5
5
201
None
D2. Cable pressdown
5
5
602
120 seconds

Day 6: Anterior/Medial Deltoid and Posterior Deltoid
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Military press
5
5
201
None
A2. Incline lateral raise
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. Alternate dumbbell shoulder press
5
5
201
None
B2. Cable front raise
5
5
602
120 seconds
C1. Seated cable row to neck
5
5
201
None
C2. Incline rear delt raise
5
5
602
120 seconds
Note: If you're unfamiliar with any of these exercises, just type the name of the movement into the search engine on the left and you'll find a description and probably a photo or two.

Changing the Exercises

Exercise variation is important. For OVT, I recommend using blocks of four weeks of training. Perform the same exercises for four weeks, then choose other exercises and complete another four week block. A complete cycle of OVT lasts eight week, after which you should engage in an easier form of training for one to two weeks to allow for the maximal delayed effect.
Here's the second four week block:

Day 1: Chest and Back

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Low incline dumbbell press
5
5
201
None
A2. Low incline dumbbell flies
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1Weigthed dips
5
5
201
None
B2. Flat dumbbell flies
5
5
602
120 seconds
C1. Pullover
5
5
201
None
C2. 1 arm cable rowing
5
5
602
120 seconds
D1. T-bar rowing
5
5
201
None
D2. Seated cable rowing
5
5
602
120 seconds

Day 2: Legs and Abs
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Front squat
5
5
201
None
A2. Step-ups
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. Natural glute-ham raise
5
5
201
None
B2. Leg curl
5
5
602
120 seconds
5
5
201
None
5
5
602
120 seconds

Day 4: Biceps and Triceps

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. EZ bar curl
5
5
201
None
A2. Zottman curl
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. Preacher curl
5
5
201
None
B2. 1 arm cable curl
5
5
602
120 seconds
C1. Overhead rope triceps extension
5
5
201
None
C2. 1-arm cable triceps pressdown
5
5
602
120 seconds
D1. Lying triceps extension
5
5
201
None
D2. Cable pressdown
5
5
602
120 seconds

Day 6: Anterior/Medial Deltoid and Posterior Deltoid

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest intervals
A1. Push press
5
5
201
None
A2. 1-arm lateral raise
5
5
602
120 seconds
B1. Standing dumbbell shoulder press
5
5
201
None
B2. Barbell front raise
5
5
602
120 seconds
C1. Seated cable row to neck
5
5
201
None
C2. Incline rear delt raise
5
5
602
120 seconds

One of the keys to OVT's success is the constant drive to increase the load on the first exercise of all supersets from week to week. This will literally make or break the program! Strive to increase the load but not at the expense of proper form!
For the second exercise of each superset, load progression isn't as important. Its role is mostly to increase training volume and total time under tension (TUT). If you can increase the load in this exercise, great! But as long as you're progressing on the heavy exercise you'll be fine. The important thing is to go as heavy as possible for the first exercise of a superset while using a light, controllable load for the second one.

Conclusion

I firmly believe that a new door has been opened as far as gaining size is concerned. Not only will OVT give you a lot of new muscle, but that new muscle will be functional and you'll have the strength to go with your size!

Note: Got a question for Coach Thibaudeau? Join him in his new forum — The Lair of the Ice Dog — exclusively at *****!

Christian Thibaudeau is a strength and conditioning coach who works with a wide range of elite athletes. He has successfully trained athletes requiring a wide array of physical qualities ranging from strength and power (football players, Olympic lifters, strongmen competitors) and important energetic capacities (hockey players) to proprioception and stabilization/balance (figure skaters ). He's also a competitive Olympic weightlifter and a football coach. Christian is completing his M.Sc. degree in exercise science and has been a research assistant in that field for the past two years.

15. Big A's growth training

Growth principles for beginners
This is a general guide for beginning and intermediate bodybuilders that don't know the principles behind muscle growth yet or are not happy with the results that they are currently getting.

We will go through training, diet and gear. I will
tell you the principles behind everything that I
recommend for you to do, so you can understand why
certain things happen, so in the future you can fix
problems yourself.
Bodybuilding is a very simple and logical endeavour.
Everything that you do has to be logical. Only logical
actions will give you results. Every time that you
come across a new principle, always ask yourself it it
makes logical sense. If it does not, dump it!

TRAINING

Why does a muscle grow? Because it has to adapt. When
does it have to adapt? When you expose it to something
that it has not done before. When is something that it
has not done before? When the muscle is taxed 100%.
That's 100% effort. What's 100% effort? When you train
to 100% PHYSICAL, not mental failure. So, to make the
muscle grow, you have to train with 100% effort
otherwise, the muscle will not adapt/grow.
Now, using the above logic, for a set to be beneficial
to your growth, it needs to be 100% effort. So, a 100%
effort set of an exercise, will make you grow. Then,
what is the point to do a second set of that exercise?
You cannot go more than 100%. The muscle already has
been taxed by 100% from the first set, so why should
you do a second one? You will just eat into your
recovery ability.
So, you should only do one set to failure per
exercise. Later on, I will describe the training
program and how exercises and warm-ups are involved.

A muscle will not grow until it's recovered. The
muscle will not begin to recover until the nervous
system is recovered. It takes roughly 24hours for the
nervous system to recover from a workout. Only then
will the muscle begin to recover and grow. So, you
should never train 2 days in a row. Even if you train
different bodyparts, you still use the same nervous
system. You train 2 days in a row, your nervous system
recovers, but by the time the muscles begin to, you
train again, so the body has to concentrate again on
recovering the nervous system.
A training frequency of 3 days per week (Mon, Wed,
Fri) is more than enough. Numerous pros, including
myself, train like this offseason for maximum growth.
Even if you use streroids, you still have to train
like this. Steroids increase your recovery ability,
but they also make you stronger at a quicker rate. The
extra strength will give you the ability to train
harder/tear more muscle tissue, so you will need the
extra recovery that the steroids will give you.

The following is a great training program that I
recomend:

Mon - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
* Incline press - warm-up sets, 1 work set
* Flat flyes - 1 work set
* Millitary press - 1 warm-up, 1 work set
* Lateral flyes - 1 work set
* Rear delt machine - 1 work set
* Tricep pushdowns - 1 warm-up, 1 work set
* Lying tricep extensions - 1 work-set

Wed - Quads, Hams, Calves
* Squats - warm-ups, 1 work set
* Leg press - work set
* Leg extension - work set
* Leg curl - warm-up, work set
* Stiff leg deadlift - work set
* Standing calf raise - work set

Fri - Abs, Back, Bis
* Rope crunches - warm up, work set
* Lat pull down - warm-ups, work set
* Deadlift - warm-up, work set
* Bent-over rows - work set
* Shrugs - work set
* Standing BB curls - warm up, work set
* Concentration curl - work set

You do a lot of warm-ups for your first exercise of
the day. You do one warm-up for the first exercise of
each bodypart, only to optimise the firing of te
neuropathways.
Let's use chest as an example - if for example your
max (work set) in the incline press is 3 plates, then
you do 2 warm-ups with the bar, 2 warm-ups with one
plate, 1 warm-up with 2 plates and then your work set
with 3 plates. The work set is a set where you fail at
about 6 reps. Every workout, you have to do more reps
or increase the weight in that work set (remember, the
muscle has to do something that it has not done
before). So if one work out you fail with 6 reps, the
following nothing less than 7. When you reach 8 reps,
the following workout you should do (increase) a
weight where you can do minimum 4 reps. Then increase
your reps again every workout until you reach 8 again,
and so on. Each rep has a tempo of 2-1-1. That is 2
seconds in the negative, one second in the contraction
and 1 second in the positive.
Then, after you fail in the incline press, you move
straight to flat flyes. You do not need a warmp now
because your chest is more than warm after you failed
on presses.
And that's it for chest. The basic routine stays the
same. If you want variety, small changes as using DB's
instead of BB or doing flat presse and incline flyes
for example, is mor ethan enough variety to keep the
muscle 'confused'.

DIET
VERY simple. Very important that you try to get as
close to 500g of protein per day. Easiest way to do
that is to have a whey protein shake in water with
every meal. Fats and carbs don't matter. Calories
don't count, macro nutrients (protein, fat, carb) do.
If you get to add fat on, just cut out the fats and
keep your carbs bellow 300g/day. That's all it is!
Very simple, but hard to stick to, so not many people
get results. On gear, the more protein you eat, the
more you grow. Is as simple as that.

16. You missed one tho:

NBCEBTKS Training***

**NBCEBTKS Training: Nark's Bulk/Cut and Everything but the Kitchen Sink Training

GREAT POST Pinn!

17. ## Charles Polquin Method

Lactic Acid Training for Fat Loss
by Charles Poliquin

Whenever an athlete shows up at my training facility looking like he has spent the better part of the off-season camped in front of Krispy Kreme Donuts, I immediately put him on a program that incorporates short rest intervals.

Short rest intervals lead to an increased production of lactate, and an increase in lactate leads to dramatic increases in Growth Hormone, thus resulting in very significant losses of body fat.

This method is called the "German Body Composition" program, or GBC for short.

While many people in the field–TC included–have professed skepticism that the exercise induced GH release was sufficient enough to cause significant fat burning, my personal experience with scores of athletes confirms the effect.

Consider that the typical amount of GH that professional bodybuilders inject each day is actually a smaller amount than that released by the pituitary during lactate training! In fact, if the program is done correctly, GH production is 9 times normal–enough to make an army of dwarves grow tall.

While the original GBC program proved to be very popular for lay people and the average athlete, I often use an advanced version of GBC for elite athletes and super conditioned amateurs.

Not only does Advanced GBC lead to dramatic fat loss, but it is also quite effective in growing muscle and developing muscular endurance.

At first glance, the program seems easy, perhaps ridiculously so, but if done properly, it is anything but easy. When I first presented a version of it to the National Judo Team, they laughed.

I simply challenged them to do 3 circuits of the following:

12 squats (at 12RM)
Rest 60 seconds
12 chins (at 12RM)
Rest 60 seconds
12 deadlifts (at 12 RM)
Rest 60 seconds
12 dips (at 12 RM)

Despite their confidence, they only completed one circuit and promptly turned green.

The first time I tried it with Marty LaPointe from the Detroit Red Wings, we practically had to put him on the plane in a wheel chair.

The secret to making it effective, though, is choosing the correct resistance. In the version of advanced GBC training I am about to present, you must choose weights that accurately reflect your 6RM of an exercise, your 12RM, and your 25RM.

In other words, you must pick an exercise that will crush your spleen after 6 reps, after 12 reps, and after 25 reps. You should have one eye pop out of its socket upon completion of the last rep, whether it is 6 reps, 12 reps, or 25 reps.

The Advanced GBC Program

You will perform 2 exercises each training session using the following split:

Day One: Chest and Back
Day Two: Legs
Day Three: Off
Day Four: Shoulders and Arms
Day Five: Off
Repeat

The cycle is meant to be performed 6 times. Doing it longer will result in diminishing returns.

Here are some suggested movements, along with the prescribed rest periods.

Day One: Chest and Back

A1. 6 Incline Dumbbell Presses at 45-degree angle
Rest 10 seconds
A2. 12 Incline Barbell Presses at 45-degree angle
Rest 10 seconds
A3. 25 Incline Dumbbell Press at 30-degree angle
Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 3 times

B1. 6 Weighted Chins
Rest 10 seconds
B2. 12 Bent-over Rows
Rest 10 seconds
B3. 25 Seated Cable Rows to Neck
Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 3 times

Day Two: Legs

A1. 6 Squats
Rest 10 seconds
A2. 12 Lunges
Rest 10 seconds
A3. 25 Leg Extensions
Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 3 times

B1. 6 Leg Curls
Rest 10 seconds
B2. 12 Romanian Dead Lifts
Rest 10 seconds
B3. 25 Reverse Hypers or Back Extensions
Rest 2 Minutes
Repeat 3 times

Day Three: Off

Day Four: Arms and Shoulders

A1. 6 Seated Dumbbell Presses
Rest 10 seconds
A2. 12 Seated Lateral Raises
Rest 10 seconds
A3. 25 Lateral Raises with Cables
Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 3 times

B1. 6 Dips or Close-Grip Bench Presses
Rest 10 seconds
B2. 12 Decline Barbell Extensions
Rest 10 seconds
B3. 25 Cable Pressdowns
Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 3 times

C1. 6 incline Dumbbell Curls
Rest 10 seconds
C2. 12 Standing Barbell Curls
Rest 10 seconds
C3. 25 Standing Pulley Curls

Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 3 times

• If you work out at a commercial gym, you might be hampered by slackers and fat cows who steal your exercise stations. As such, you may need to improvise and do different movements.

• Strive to do each circuit 3 times per workout. Progress to 4 circuits per workout after two or three weeks.

• Use a 40X0 tempo on the sets of 6; a 20X0 tempo on the sets of 12; and a 10X0 tempo on the sets of 25.

• You must use the entire 2-minute rest period. If you do not, you might not be able to use sufficient weight (or complete the prescribed reps), thus affecting lactate production

• Doing fewer reps tha what is prescribed will not elicit enough lactate and consequently not produce enough GH.

• These workouts demand a high level of motivation, so you had better be on something like Biotest’s Spike to help you complete the workout.

Additional Notes Regarding Fat Loss

As a reader of Testosterone Nation, I am going to assume you are familiar with rudimentary rules of proper eating. However, I would like to stress a few points that you might not have routinely considered.

First of all, keep in mind that approximately 75% of the American population simply does not do well with carbs. As such, try to eat carbohydrate foods that score below 50 on the glycemic index. The obvious exception to this is post workout, when it is recommended that you do eat high GI carbs, along with protein.

Secondly, simply eat more vegetables–lots more vegetables. That simple trick alone will help you burn fat. You might also consider gorging on the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, as there seems to be an epidemic of "man boobs" in America. These vegetables are strongly anti-estrogenic, and including them in your diet could go a long way in eliminating this unsightly and decidedly embarrassing problem.

Final Words

You don’t have to be a pre-diet Jarrod from Subway to undertake this program, but if you decide to try it, you’ll be very pleased with your newly found definition and newly found size and endurance.

18. ## Another Charles Polquin Method

German Volume Training
by Charles Poliquin

Supersets and tri-sets allow you to perform a lot of work in a short period of time. The rest-pause method allows you to use heavier weights, so you can recruit the higher threshold muscle fibers, and eccentric training enables you to overcome strength plateaus. The bottom line is that almost any training method will work (provided you do it with intensity!), at least for the few weeks it takes for your body to adapt to it. There is, however, one training system that stands above all the rest. It's brutally hard, but I've found it to be a very effective way to pack on muscle fast!

In strength-coaching circles, this method is often called the "ten sets method." Because it has its roots in German-speaking countries, I like to call it German Volume Training. To the best of my knowledge, this training system originated in Germany in the mid-'70's and was popularized by Rolf Feser, who was then the National Coach of Weightlifting. A similar protocol was promoted by Vince Gironda in the U.S., but regardless of who actually invented it, it works.

In Germany, the ten-sets method was used in the off-season to help weightlifters gain lean body mass. It was so efficient that lifters routinely moved up a full weight class within 12 weeks. It was the base program of Canadian weightlifter Jacques Demers, Silver Medalist in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Jacques was known in weightlifting circles for his massive thighs, and he gives credit to the German method for achieving such a spectacular level of hypertrophy. The same method was also used by Bev Francis in her early days of bodybuilding to pack on muscle.

The program works because it targets a group of motor units, exposing them to an extensive volume of repeated efforts, specifically, 10 sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to the extraordinary stress by hypertrophying the targeted fibers. To say this program adds muscle fast is probably an understatement. Gains of ten pounds or more in six weeks are not uncommon, even in experienced lifters!

Goals and Guidelines

The goal of the German Volume Training method is to complete ten sets of ten reps with the same weight for each exercise. You want to begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to. For most people, on most exercises, that would represent 60% of their 1RM load. Therefore, if you can bench press 300 lbs for 1 rep, you would use 180 lbs for this exercise.

For lifters new to this method, I recommend using the following body-part splits:

Day 1: Chest & Back
Day 2: Legs & Abs
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Arms & Shoulders
Day 5: Off

When using this program or any other, you should keep a detailed journal of the exact sets/reps and rest intervals performed, and only count the repetitions completed in strict form. Here are a few more guidelines to ensure optimal progress:

Rest Intervals: When bodybuilders start with this method, they often question its value for the first several sets because the weight won't feel heavy enough. However, there is minimal rest between sets (about 60 seconds when performed in sequence and 90-120 seconds when performed as a superset), which incurs cumulative fatigue. (Interestingly enough, you might find you get stronger again during the eighth and ninth sets. This is because of a short-term neural adaptation.) Because of the importance of the rest intervals, you should use a stopwatch to keep the rest intervals constant. This is very important, as it becomes tempting to lengthen the rest time as you fatigue.

Tempo: For long-range movements such as squats, dips, and chins, use a 4-0-2 tempo; this means you would lower the weight in four seconds and immediately change direction and lift for two seconds. For movements such as curls and triceps extensions, use a 3-0-2 tempo.

Number of Exercises: One, and only one, exercise per body part should be performed. Therefore, select exercises that recruit a lot of muscle mass. Triceps kickbacks and leg extensions are definitely out, squats and bench presses are definitely in. For supplementary work for individual body parts (like triceps and biceps), you can do 3 sets of 10-20 reps.

Training Frequency: Because this is such an intense program, it'll take you longer to recover. In fact, if you're familiar with the writings of Peter Sisco and John Little, you'll find that the average "Power Factor Rating" of the 10-sets method is about 8 billion. Consequently, one training session every four to five days per body part is plenty.

Overload Mechanism: Once you're able to do 10 sets of 10 with constant rest intervals, increase the weight on the bar by 4% to 5%, and repeat the process. Refrain from using forced reps, negatives, or burns. The volume of the work will take care of the hypertrophy. Expect to have some deep muscle soreness without having to resort to set prolonging techniques. In fact, after doing a quad and hams session with this method, it takes the average bodybuilder about five days to stop limping.

Beginner / Intermediate Program: Phase 1

This is a sample routine based on a five-day cycle. Once you've used this method for six workouts per body part, it's time to move on to a more intensive program for a three-week period.

Day 1: Chest and Back

Exercise: A-1 Decline Dumbbell Presses, Semi-Supinated Grip (palms facing each other)
Sets: 10
Reps: 10
Tempo: 4-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: A-2 Chin-Ups (palms facing you)
Sets: 10
Reps: 10
Tempo: 4-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: B-1 Incline Dumbbell Flyes
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 - 12
Tempo: 3-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Exercise: B-2 One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 - 12
Tempo: 3-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Notes: Rest 90 seconds between each "A" exercise and each superset; rest 60 seconds between each "B" exercise and each superset. Incidentally, I only recommend three sets of ten in this program for the "B" exercises. The "B" exercises constitute supplementary work, and doing ten sets of them would result in overtraining.

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Exercise: A-1 Back Squats
Sets: 10
Reps: 10
Tempo: 4-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: A-2 Lying Leg Curls
Sets: 10
Reps: 10
Tempo: 4-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: B-1 Low-Cable Pull-Ins*
Sets: 3
Reps: 15 - 20
Tempo: 2-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Exercise: B-2 Seated Calf Raises
Sets: 3
Reps: 15 - 20
Tempo: 2-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

(*Take a weightlifting belt and buckle it. Attach it to the low pulley of a cable crossover machine. Lie down on your back in front of the machine, and hook your feet in the belt. Then pull your knees towards your chest.)

Notes: Rest 90 seconds between each "A" exercise and each superset; rest 60 seconds between each "B" exercise and each superset.

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Arms and Shoulders

Exercise: A-1 Parallel Bar Dips
Sets: 10
Reps: 10
Tempo: 4-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: A-2 Incline Hammer Curls
Sets: 10
Reps: 10
Tempo: 4-0-2-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: B-1 Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raises*
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 - 12
Tempo: 2-0-X-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Exercise: B-2 Seated DumbbellLateral Raises
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 - 12
Tempo: 2-0-X-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

(*While seated on the edge of a bench with your torso bent over, raise the dumbbells out to the side, making sure the top two knuckles (the ones closest to your thumb) are in line with your ears at the top of the movement.)

Notes: Rest 90 seconds between each "A" exercise and each superset; rest 60 seconds between each "B" exercise and each superset. "X" in the tempo means to move as fast as possible, keeping the weight under control.

Day 5: Off

Beginner/Intermediate Program: Phase 2

After six of those five-day cycles, I recommend you do a three-week phase where the average set is six to eight reps, and do only four to six sets per body part over a five-day cycle, or you can do any other split that suits your recovery pattern. After this three-week block, you can return to the German Volume Training method by doing the following ten sets of six reps routine. In the exercises that are prescribed for 10 sets, use a load you'd normally be able to do 12 repetitions with. The goal in this phase is to do ten sets of six with that load.

SAMPLE 10 sets of 6 routine:

Day 1: Chest and Back

Exercise: A-1 Incline Dumbbell Presses
Sets: 10
Reps: 6
Tempo: 5-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: A-2 Wide-Grip Pull-Ups (palms facing away from you)
Sets: 10
Reps: 6
Tempo: 5-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: B-1 Flat Dumbbell Flyes
Sets: 3
Reps: 6
Tempo: 3-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Exercise: B-2 Bent-Over Rows with EZ Bar
Sets: 3
Reps: 6
Tempo: 3-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Notes: Rest 90 seconds between each "A" exercise and each superset; rest 60 seconds between each "B" exercise and each superset.

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Exercise: A-1 Bent-Knee Deadlifts
Sets: 10
Reps: 6
Tempo: 5-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: A-2 Seated Leg Curls
Sets: 10
Reps: 6
Tempo: 5-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: B-1 Twisting Crunches
Sets: 3
Reps: 12 - 15
Tempo: 3-0-3-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Exercise: B-2 Standing Calf Raises
Sets: 3
Reps: 12 - 15
Tempo: 3-0-3-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Notes: Rest 90 seconds between each "A" exercise and each superset; rest 60 seconds between each "B" exercise and each superset.

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Arms and Shoulders

Exercise: A-1 Parallel Bar Dips
Sets: 10
Reps: 6
Tempo: 5-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: A-2 Incline Hammer Curls
Sets: 10
Reps: 6
Tempo: 5-0-1-0
Rest Interval: 90 sec

Exercise: B-1 Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raises*
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 - 12
Tempo: 2-0-X-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

Exercise: B-2 Seated DumbbellLateral Raises
Sets: 3
Reps: 10 - 12
Tempo: 2-0-X-0
Rest Interval: 60 sec

(*While seated on the edge of a bench with your torso bent over, raise the dumbbells out to the side, making sure the top two knuckles (the ones closest to your thumb) are in line with your ears at the top of the movement.)

Notes: Rest 90 seconds between each "A" exercise and each superset; rest 60 seconds between each "B" exercise and each superset.

Day 5: Off

German Volume Training for the Advanced Trainee

For the advanced trainee, variety in training is even more important to elicit adaptation. With the advanced trainee, I use a system called the four percent method. That is, I increase the load four to five percent every workout for two workouts in a row, and I reduce the target rep by one rep for every weight increase. Then I reduce the weight four to five percent and increase the rep bracket to its original starting point. Since this is very mathematical, let's look at an example that will clearly illustrate this point.

Let's say you can barbell curl 100 lbs for 12 strict reps, and you haven't been able to increase the amount of reps or weight on this exercise. Here's a sample routine that would increase your curling strength:

Workout 1: 10 sets of 6 @ 110 lbs
Workout 2: 10 sets of 5 @ 115 lbs
Workout 3: 10 sets of 4 @ 120 lbs
Workout 4: 10 sets of 6 @ 115 lbs
Workout 5: 10 sets of 5 @ 120 lbs
Workout 6: 10 sets of 4 @ 125 lbs
Workout 7:

Test day. At this point, you would curl 120 for 12 reps, a 9% gain over 6 workouts!

Here's an example of the German Volume Training method with the 4% to 5% method for someone who can bench press 300 lbs 10 times in strict form:

Workout 1: 10 sets of 5 @ 300 lbs
Workout 2: 10 sets of 4 @ 315 lbs
Workout 3: 10 sets of 3 @ 330 lbs
Workout 4: 10 sets of 5 @ 315 lbs
Workout 5: 10 sets of 4 @ 330 lbs
Workout 6: 10 sets of 3 @ 345 lbs
Workout 7:

Test day. At this point, you would bench press 330 lbs for 10 reps.

To recap, perform the Beginner/Intermediate Phase 1 program for six weeks (six 5-day cycles). Then, progress to the Beginner/Intermediate Phase 2 program for three weeks. After that, you'll be ready to graduate to the Advanced program.

This program is elegant in its simplicity, but that's what the Germans do best. Just ask any Mercedes Benz or BMW owner.

19. Iron Man's HIT Training Explained

First let me start by saying that our muscles contain two types of tissues, (type 1) and (type 2) fibers.. Type 2 fibers contain the most growth potential so those are the ones you will want to concentrate on if your a bodybuilder. Theres 3 sub-categories of these type-2 fibers. "A-fibers", "B-fibers" and "C-fibers." When all three type-2 fibers are worked it will make the difference between a guy who looks big and a guy who looks BIG!!!

Type A can be stimulated by hitting failure on a weight that will allow for the performance of 11-15 reps. Type B fibers with 6-10 reps and type C fibers will be stimulated by hitting failure in the 1-5 rep range. Good form is always a must!

Wait (3 minutes) between sets to allow ATP/CP levels to replenish so the most weight can be used each set when using the (basic movements). When incorportating (isolation exercises) for weak body parts a rest of (90 seconds) is all that's needed. Lactic acid builds up when one moves too rapid to the next set on basic exercises or when using advanced techniques such as pre-exhausted super sets. LACTIC ACID will destroy the bodies ability to regenerate ATP/CP. How affective your AAS program regimine works in conjunction with your training program will be determined by how well your body regenerates ATP/CP levels. When levels of ATP are made low they trap (ANDROGEN RECEPTOR SITES) and block the signal for the body to grow. Diet and proper rest between sets has a positive affect on ATP/CP.as well.

As most have already figured out, it's the Big Basic Exercises not the "puny isolations" exercises that will put the most mass/strength on your body. Show me a man who can use 350 lbs on the shoulder press and I'll show you a man with a big set of capped shoulders. Isolation exercises will not build deltoids to such monsterous proportions but isolations movements do have their place.

One heavy set of 1-5 reps will stimulate the C fibers such as that of powerlifting program and this will build up strength that cannot be achieved on a typical bodybuilding rep scheme of 8-12. Added strength allows one to break down more muscle tissue over a period of time forcing the muscles to expand in size. Just look at the muscle size on some powerlifters! Let me explain further by saying you will not obtain significant muscular growth as the weight load goes from 250, 260, or even 270 with the same form and total sets but you will grow like a weed in a short period of time once your weight load reaches the 280 lb mark. This is why low reps are mandatory in reaching one's full bodybuilding potential.

NOTE: While low reps have been know to tear down joint cartliage tissue over a period of time, the high reps I have included in this program will help compensate by re-constructing/re-building those joints back up. Other than added muscle size/strength, this is another reason you should be training in a holostic manner.

I ask? "why would anyone want to use a (chop stick) to eat with when they could be using a (shovel)"? Chop sticks are comparable to isolation exercises such as "leg extensions" for the quads, and the shovel would be equivalent to "squats" for that same muscle group.

NOTE: If you want to improve on the exercises that contribute the most to making progress in the size/strength category you must "BUILD" your workout around those exercises.

I believe in leaving isolation exercises for pre-comp/cutting when more time under tension will be needed through the use of (double power drop sets) to burn calories and work the muscles more intensely but a lagging body part can sometimes benefit from isolation exercises as well. Bodybuilders should try and put less drain on the already vulnerable CNS during a cutting phase. Isolation movements can be incorporated to allow for more volume, yet cause less drain on the CNS as compared to adding in more energy draining compound movements. In additon, "OVER-USE INJURIES" can be avoided when dieting down by adding isolation exercises. A higher level of volume will be needed and using "ONLY" compound movements could result in "OVER-USE" injuries.

NOTE: Cortisol and Estrogen levels are much "lower" during a cutting phase placing more demand on our joints.

Lifting "heavy" on a long term basis with heavy isolation movements in the off season has damaged many a joints because they are not considered a natural movement for our bodies! However, if you have a lagging body part that doesn't seem to be responding well to basic movements only it will be okay to add one isolation exercise for "high reps" so that "4" sets will be performed twice each workout for a body part instead of "3".

NOTE: If you decide to add an isolation exercise in for a lagging body part later on down the road, you would do a medium and heavy set for the basic exercise and 2 high rep sets for the isolation or second exercise you choose. For e.g.; Decline bench for 2 sets-medium/low rep sets with 3 minutes rest and incline flyes for 2 sets of 11-15 with 90 seconds rest. Or you could do Inclines for a medium and heavy set then do 2 high rep sets of flat flyes. Everthing else in the program laid out below stays the same. Give the basics only training a minimum of 4-6 months before adding in any isolation exercises for a lagging body part because much of the time a bodybuilder won't give a routine time to see if it will produce for a given body part. It's quite common for trainers to feel that an (isolation movement such as lateral raises) are really "lighting" up their delts when the same "pump" could have been produced from using high reps on (compound movements/ over head pressing).

NOTE: Less rest between sets always produces more of a pump but over-load is the key.

If your joints becomes irritated with a particular basic exercise simply change to another basic exercise if needed. For instance, if inclines begin bothering your rotator cuff switch to declines. But its imperative to use the exercise that makes your particular body grow best, not what is working best for your training partner. We all differ a bit in how our bodies respond to certain exercises. I prefer 15 degree declines for overall chest development where as a 30 degree decline works my arms and shoulders too much. Others likes 15 degree inclines best. A few even thrive on the flat bench press. GO FIGURE! If changing exercises doesn't help the joint irritation issue at hand simply rest the injury so it can heal.Then get back after it!!!

It's been provben that the shape of our muscles cannot be changed. In other words you will in no way turn a blocky person into a small waisted symmetrical one by using certain exercises such as those of the isolation version, or by not using certain exercises like heavy compound movements.

Many trainers use mostly "incline presses" for chest but their lower chest may still grows more so because it's the way their chest genetics are laid out. Simply stated, there is no such things as an upper chest and a lower chest. A muscle contracts as a whole.

Think about it, "what musculoskeletal muscles would be out of balance if "ONLY" one basic exercise (the most productive exercise) for your particular body was performed"?

If you think about it Ronnie Coleman is really only doing about "3" sets to failure per body part twice a week not "12" if you where to exclude all his time consuming warm up sets.

Theres 4 reason that working a muscle group "TWICE" each week is better than only "ONCE." (#1) If you can break a muscle down more frequently and then let it re-build you will get more growth cycles. (#2) You are able to use the most weight for any rep range on the first 3 sets for any particular muscle group, therefore you'll break down more muscle tissue with 3 intensified sets done twice weekly as opposed to 6 sets done only once a week.(#3) Each body part has it's own individual (protein turn over rate) and I think every body part needs to be treated as a lagging body part by performing more frequent workouts per muscle group. Training any body part with more frequency produces more "circulatory androgens" similar to that of a site-injection protocol.That's why you will frequently hear of trainers hitting a "weak" muscle group (twice per week) as opposed to (once). (#4) Another very important advantage to be gained by working every muscle group "TWICE" each week as opposed to only "ONCE" is being able to rotate different exercises for a particular muscle group once the body reaches a plateau with that one particuar exercise you have decided works best for each body part. After a period of time the body develop what is know as (fiber recruitment pattern burnout) from doing the same exercises over and over. "BUT" changing to another exercise altogether while leaving the "MAIN MASS BUILDER" up on the shelf for a period of time (for example 6-8 weeks) is a BIG MISTAKE!!! What happens is the bodies neural pathways goes into "DE-TRAINING" where it has to "re-learn" the (MAIN MASS BUILDING) exercises all over again much like someone learning how to walk again after being involved in a bad accident. My program is designed so that you find that "ONE" main mass building exercises for a muscle group that works best for your particular body, then you milk that exercises for all it's worth until it quits producing results. Once you discontinue to show improvements with that exercise alternate your MAIN MASS BUILDING EXERCISES (for e.g.; declines) with the ALTERNATE EXERCISE (for e.g.; inclines) every other workout until you start seeing strength gains once again. It's best to discontinue using the "ALTERNATE" exercise altogether and do only the "MAIN" exercise once the plateau has been broken by 10 lbs on upper body exercises and 20 lbs on lower body exercises. However if you are experiencing joint problems in for a particular muscle group by using the same exercises twice each week it can be of great benefit to alternate between 2 exercises each time you train so you can avoid overusing that joint.

NOTE: Keep in mind you get the most for your efforts with the first 3 sets. After 3 sets you get less results for your efforts. So spend your energy on the exercises (that count the most) with the first 3 sets (that count the most) by attacking the A-B-C type- 2 fibers, which (count the most) and by using that one and only exercise that (counts the most). Leave the rest of your success to genetics, nutrition, drugs, and rest.

Heres where some tend to get a bit confused and quickly overtrain their CNS and larger muscle groups, putting a halt to any strength gains that could have been made long term. Bodybuilders have been brainwashed through MUSCLE MAGS that it requires more sets to stimulate a "larger" muscle groups like quads, as opposed to the "smaller" muscle groups like the biceps. The answer would be "NO IT DOES NOT"!! Why? Because the smaller muscle groups in exception to forearms and the lower back recover at a faster rate than the larger muscle groups. The biceps recover quicker than any other bodypart even though they are considered a small muscle group. For larger muscle groups such as the legs, it take longer for the cells and muscle fibers to elevate protein synthesis along with the extra time needed for the CNS to regain its composure. Regardless of what some may have been led to believe, the chest is actually a "SMALL" muscle group like the arms.Traps are actually a "LARGE" muscle group not a small one, because they cover nearly 1/3 of the total back mass. The calves are a small muscle group but recover very fast. Deltoids are considered a large muscle group like that of the legs and lats, yet they get pounded so hard with chest/back work they are easy to overtrain. I think you can see what I'm saying here as it only makes "common sense".

Why a total of 6 sets for overall back work as opposed to 3 sets? This is decieving because in reality your only doing 3 sets for your lats "chinups" (not rows). The reason is because pulldowns/pull ups hit the lats where as various rowing movements hit the muscle of the mid-upper back. These are two different muscle groups just as the quads are the antagonist for the hamstrings. By not doing 3 sets sets of rows along with 3 sets of chins ups it would be like doing 3 sets of bicep work and leaving out the triceps. That would cause a severe muscle imbalance. So your only doing 3 sets for lats (pulldowns). The other 3 sets (rows) are for the upper/inner back thickness muscles..

NOTE: For each push-pull movement the antagonist muscle group recieves the same amount of work sets. For ie; (CHEST PRESS-ROWS). (SHOULDER PRESS- PULLDOWNS) and so one.

Why do a push pull routine for the first 3 weeks of the 6 week cycle? Because of PTOR (protein turn over rate). If for example, you trained lats heavy on Monday and then trained your biceps the following day, it would most certainly disrupt the anabolic phase of the biceps growth and recovery process due to secondary involvement during the "compound" lat movement you performed on the prior day. This could make for poor bicep growth.

Some may ask; but wouldn't it limit my ability to use as much weight as possible on shoulder and tricep exercises after pounding the chest? As with any training protocol the body quickly adapts. Anyone who has ever incorporated a pre-exhaustion program for a particular muscle group knows that at first the weights used will be less until the muscles adapt to the change. Once your system gets used to training delts and triceps after chest, the amount of weight you'll be able to use rises at a rapid rate. Wait at least 5 minutes depending on your time re-straints before going to the next body part so maximum strength can be regained. Waiting only 3 minutes between exercies in "NOT" enough!! Sit on a bench doing nothing during this time..Be that Big guy who sits around on his butt as though he's doing nothing, yet hes the BIG GUY.

NOTE: During the first 3 weeks you should not be able to use nearly as much weight on the arms because yor training them directly after the toros.Your only finishing tha arms off per se!! But during weeks 4-6 of the 6 week cycle you will train arms first on a different split while they are completelyl fresh. You'll be "AMAZED" at your newly found arm strength. During weeks 1-3 your (torso strength will sky rocket) as arm strength struggles but during the last 3 weeks of the 6 week cycle your torso strength will slow down as your (arm strength sky rockets). After a 7-10 day layoff you will return to to the week1-3 split and your torso strength will sky rocket once again because of the added arm strength gain during weeks 4-6 and the benefits of the rest pause added during that period of the 6 week cycle. I call this the (SLINGSHOT METHOD)!!!

The IRON MAN "HIT" program consist of doing two warm up sets per body part. The first warm up set should be very light and about 15 reps. The second warm up set will consist of a moderate weight for 6-8 reps. (In noway should these sets be fatiguing). One warm up set will be sufficient for some muscle groups. For e.g.: biceps after training the back and shoulders after chest work. Next 3 total work sets per body part are to be performed. Work the type 2- B-fibers (6-10) first.Then perform a 2nd set hitting the low repped A-fibers(3-5). Finish off by blasting the C-fibers (11-15). When working the legs and/or traps use a high-mediun-low rep set/scheme. Use a medium-low-high rep/set scheme when doing the rest of your upper body.

Each set is to be taken to complete failure or one rep shy depending on your recovery abilities and any prior joint inuries you now possess. Training an exercise to complete failure can aggravate a pre-existing chronic joint conditions and should be avoided. (For e.g.; you would not want to hit complete muscular failure, especially on the heavy low rep sets on any over head press movement if you have shoulder problems. You can still get stronger and grow larger muscles by using the 3-5 rep range in a non-failure approach. Train for your individual needs. Stimulate the muscle and move on. No need in doing multiple sets as you'll only be hurting your joints and zapping the CNS by doing so. Why waste uneccesary time in the gym through countless sets when end road can be met with less?????? Hit one sub-category of type-2 fibers with one intense set and move on to the other 2 fiber type!!!!

NOTE: I've found that attacking the C fibers (heavy weight/low reps) first will greatly increase ones chance for an injury.

The IRON MAN "HIT" routine consist of a 6 week loading phase and a 7-10 day unloading phase. The body adapts within 3 weeks to any mass building routine, thus, dictating a need for change. On weeks 1-3 you will load with straight sets with the push-pull system. During weeks 4-6 you will load even further by adding a modified rest pause at the end of each last set for each muscle group. During weeks 4-6 the 3 day per week split will change because the body begins to adapt significantly to most attempts at altering homeostasis after a 3 week period. To be successful in producing maximum muscle growth it is necessary to create maximum growth thresholds and then change or stop before the body is able to induce it's own counter measures. Remember to create growth one must work with the body's own counter measures so that one side of the anabolic/catabolic ratio is altered in favor of anabolism and not catabolism or homeostasis.
NOTE: One should not be able to reach the upper rep range on their last set during weeks 4,5, and 6. (DELAYEY FORCED REPS ) needs to be employed on the last set of every exercises but not on the heavy 1-5 rep unless it's done last. Never do your DELAYED FORCED REPS before the last set of each exercises as it will cause too much fatigue and would severely decrease ones ability in being able to lift a maximal amount of weight.

(Now heres how to do a delayed forced rep):

Lets say you are able to get 11 reps on the last set of incline presses with a goal of 11-15 in mind. You should rack the weight after hiting failure on your last set for that exercise, rest only long enough (generally 5-15 seconds) so that you can pick up the weight and crank out another 1-3 reps to make the upper limits of 11-15 range. No one should help you do this (delayed forced reps) and they are not the same as (regular forced reps) where someone is giving you assistance. Some may find that doing more than 2 reps is too exhausting on the CNS. The delayed forced reps do not have to be pushed to absolute failure but should be very difficult and taking them to failure will result in maximum growth if your body can recovery from it. If you make 15 reps on the high rep set or the 5 reps mark when doing the heavy set last, go ahead and do the delayed forced rep anyways. Normally the ideal situation would be to shoot for around 3 reps on the heavy set before doing the delayey forced reps and/or shooting for 11-12 reps before performing the delayes forced reps on the higher rep range. This will keep you at the higher end on the heavy sets and at the lower end on the high rep sets. One should only use the modified rest-pause technique on weeks 4,5, and 6 of the 6 week cycle. Do not use rest-pause during the first 3 weeks as it will cause burn out of the CNS.

NOTE: Once again lets go over the importance of changing the routine split on weeks 4-6. Failure to do the split as I have it set up will result in less than optimal results. Training arms while fresh (not after upper torso movements) during weeks 4,5, and 6 always brings forth new growth to the bi's and tri's by using a SLING SHOT approach. Newly found strength will be brought to the arms, an obvious weak link when trying to get stronger on compound movements in the upper torso such as presses and rows. (Expect to come back much stronger on the compound movements when you return to start the 6 week cycle all over again due to the strength you have gained in the arms by training them in a different manner all together in conjuction with delayes forced reps). Expect to stuggle a bit more during weeks 4, 5, and 6 when trying to increase weight in the compound movements because the arms will only be given 1 full day of rest instead of three as with the push-pull split and expect to stuggle more with trying to get the arm strength up during the push-pull phase when the arms are being pre-fatigued with compound exercises. However this SLINGSHOT approach is necessary to break plateaus in both "upper torso" and "arm" strength. During this time frame (weeks 4,5, and 6 your push pull split will change to the following because the push-pull split is too demanding on the system as a whole when rest-pause is incorporated and the change is needed to provide the SLINGSHOT approach we just discussed. :

Monday: Chest, shoulders, lats, traps, abs

Wednesday: Biceps,triceps, rotators, calves, quads,hams.

Friday: Same as monday and so on.

With the IRON MAN 3 day per week High Intensity Training, 3 sets are performed twice in an 8 day period. Its imperative you never work out two days in a row so the CNS can be ready for the next workout. The CNS's ability to recovery "does not" increases as we progress in our training. The stronger we get the more intensity that can be generated through lifting heavier weights, therefore making the recovery process take even longer. Steroids only compound the problem by making one stronger. MWF is optimal for off-season trainers of all stages. Leave the 5 days per week training for pre-competition or conditioning.

NOTE: A layoff is indicated every 6 weeks on the IRON MAN "HIT" for a period of 7 TO10 days. Since training would normally be terminated on a Friday and would not be resumed until Monday of the (second-following week) when taking off the full 10. You may lose some nervous system function but no muscle loss will occur. You will come back stronger and break personal records on every exercise. (FAILURE to take this lay off will inevitably hold you back in SIZE-STRENGTH)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOTE: If the diet is not spot on don't expect to gain a whole lot on this routine other than some added strength and density. Extra calories will be needed with an emphasis on protein. Ectomorphs will even need more fats and carbs than endo's. The best gains will come about by going over your target weight, then dieting back down later. Let it be known that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for the majority to achieve maximum muscle "size-strength" without putting on some body fat. You will have to go over the required weight- within reason, then lose the fat slowly and keep the hard earned muscle during the dieting down period. Cycling calories by eating more for a 4 days then dropping back down to normal for 3 days can help you ZIG-ZAG those muscular weight gains to a higher standard. This same ZIG-ZAG approach is the best plan for losing body fat as well.

NOTE: For gaining mass you must add 2 calories or so per pound of lean bodyweight to your daily caloric intake 4 days each week. It's best to spread these calories out among 5-6 meals per day. Then on the remaining 3 days for that week reduce your calories back to the original (minus 2 calories per pound of body weight). Protein should be kept constant throughout during any diet but carbs or fats either one can be maipulated when bulking or cutting. It's a personal preference as to which one you like eating the best and to whether or not you want to use a low fat diet of a low carb diet. Both work extremely well as overall calories becomes the biggest factor in weight gain or loss as long as protein is the main food source.. You will need to adjust your calories monthly to reflect the new caloric needs of your increased muscle mass. (This is secret most seek but few seem to find when trying to gain weight). USE THE DIET THAT YOU CAN LIVE WITH NOT SOMEONE ELSES!!!

NOTE: For losing body fat you must do just the opposite as the mass gaining diet. For 4 days each week, reduce your calories through carbs or fats by 2 per pound of lean body weight. Then on the remaining 3 days of that week add 2 calories per pound of lean body weight back into your diet.

NOTE: The above diet methods have been found to work better than any other mass gaining and/or fat loss diet there is because it re-sets the bodies set point/Basic metabolism rate without hitting the dreaded plateaus with most diet plans!!!!!!!! Anabolic steroid users can increase or decrease their calories by 3 for each pound of lean body mass if need be. Try using ZIG ZAG your calories and stay away from extreme diet plans and you will see results!!!!!!

MONDAY: (WEEK 1)

Chest: One compound movement for chest. I have found the 15 degree decline or incline press to be the best for most but some like flat bench presses.

Shoulders: One over head compound pressing movement like dumbell presses or a smith machine, etc.

Triceps: Close grips or lying tricep extensions if your elbow joint can handle them..

Traps: Shrugs.

ABS: weighted crunches or weighted cable reverse cruches : Do a higher rep range on abs so the lower back is not injured.

WEDNESDAY:

Back width: pulldowns or better yet chin ups.

Back thickness: rows

biceps: dumbell curls..Avoid heavy concentrated curls such as one arm spider curls as they can rip the tendon/muscle clean from the bone.

calves: standing calf raises "not the seated version" as they are for the soleus.

hams : leg curls

FRIDAY: Same as mondays workout

(WEEK 2)

Monday: SAME AS WEDNESDAY ON WEEK ONE AND SO ON.

NOTE: I left out deadlifts as Iv'e witnessed several trainers trainers blow out spinal disk performing this movement while using proper form. It destroyed their bodybuilding activities along with their life so I avoid recommending this exercise. Be careful if you choose to do them! This workout program will need to be adjusted if you incorporate deadlifts. Partial deadlifts would be a more affective replacement for those looking for more upper back/trap mass. But if you MUST do deadlifts for only (1) sets after "TRAPS" on the push-pull weeks and do the deadlifts after " TRAPS" on week 4, 5, and 6 when doing the other split. They must always be done last!!!!

Preventing "boredom" will always be an important factor in everyones success. While rotating to a different exercise each session is not recommended on my program being able to do so with the (basic mass builders) in case of prior injuries or boredom of using the same exercise is fine. Thats fine!!! A good illustration would be doing squats one workout and substituting squats for the leg press machine the following workout and then back to squats the next time around and then back once again to the leg press and so on. As stated before it's the best way for those experiencing joint problems to train.

NOTE: ALTERNATE BETWEEN ONLY TWO EXERCISES INORDER TO KEEP THE NEURAL PATHWAYS STRONG.

You must avoid incorporating such movements as heavy shoulders laterals, pullovers, flyes, leg extension, concentrated curls, good mornings, wrist curls, etc when trying to further your progress as these will not aid in adding the size-strength you seek but will most certainly set you back with nagging or possibly chronic "injuries". They can be done for brief period of time such as in the conditioning phase but most won't be able to stick to doing them heavy on a long term basis without doing some type of damage. If you feel the need to add them for a lagging body part use high reps (11-15) only!!!!!!

NOTE: Serious competitors will make their best overall gains by subdividing their training year into about 75% bulking/25%cutting cycles. You need to have a bulking periods (where they try to gain as much strength-muscle mass as possible and ACCEPT some fat gain). This period should consist of 12 weeks of bulking/mass training on the (IRON MAN "HIT)", (two 6 week cycles). Then you will want to do a (4-6 weeks cutting phase) (IRON MAN PRE-COMP-BELOW), where the goal is "fat loss" and "sparing muscle mass-strength" with the power double drop sets and the addition of more aerobics. I highly suggest that non-competitors incorporate 4-6 weeks of the 5 day per week cutting phase after doing 12 weeks on the mass gaining phase to add variety and a shock to the body. 2 Compound movements for each body part can be used instead of a compound and an isolation if the isolation exercise brings about too much irritation to the joints or an old injury.

NOTE: This is a time for anabolic users to lower their dosages and give their bodies a break from all the force feeding.

If you are a serious competitor..Allowing yourself to get "TOO FAT" in the off season for extended periods of times makes it extremely hard to diet down without losing a ton of muscle. So 'bulk' for 12 weeks and then diet down through carb/calorie cycle for 4-6 weeks to strip off some of the fat you've gained while keeping the muscle mass/strength. Don't be surprised if you make forward progress in muscle mass with this specialized conditioned routine. No need in dropping calories unless your heading into a contest or overly obese.

NOTE: Take a 7 day lay off after 4 weeks or 7-10 days off after doing 6 weeks of using the cutting period, then bulk again, then- diet again. It's the ultimate way to make continual progress given your diet is spot on.

20. PRE-CONTEST/CONDITIONING PHASE.

NOTE: Most bodybuilders use drugs during the pre-contest/conditioning phase that significantly increased the results by allowing (more fat loss) and (less muscle loss or even a slight gain in muscle mass). Utilizing a 3 day staggered calorie/carb count along with five days per week of anaerobic/aerobic training for a 12 week period will be the ultimate when dieting/training for a show.

The workout will consist of doing what I refer to as "DOUBLE POWER DROP SETS" (low rep drop sets). I have found this to be the very best "HIT" method for getting "Competition Ready." It allows for the use of heavy weights inorder to maintain hard earned muscle size/strength, shorter rest periods to provide a nice pump to the muscles, and enough volume to provide a hardening effect to the bodies musculature as a whole. I have learned that volume training with heavy weight and low reps (4-6 reps) while utilizing (DOUBLE DROP SETS) is the VERY best way to train when going for that rock hard physique. The 4-6 rep range allows you to use heavier weights, which helps to maintain your strength levels and harden up those muscles by stimulating (ALL FIBER TYPES) without producing "too much" of a pumping effect.

NOTE: Heres what consist of (1 power double drop set). Begin the selected exercises with a 4-6 rep max to failure, then drop the weight by about 10 to 20 percent or so with each drop. A (30- 45 second rest period) should be taken between each set within the drop set series. Repeat with the lighter weight for the first drop set for 4-6 more reps to failure, and wait 30-45 seconds before finishing off with a second drop set (last set of that series) for 4 to 6 more reps to failure. Wait a total of 3 minutes before repeating another series of (DOUBLE POWER DROP SETS). A total of 12-18 reps should be performed within each series of double drop sets. After working an individual muscle group you'll definitely understand how this works and you'll love how hard and pumped up your muscles feel after doing several sets. It's much more satisfying then the bloated, soft feel of doing lots of burning reps with a relatively lighter weight. If your body-fat is low enough, your veins should look like they're going to explode.

The IRON MAN "HIT" conditioning/pre-comp routine consist of a five day anaerobic split with 30 minutes of aerobics to be performed on each of the workout days. Only those with an ectomorphic body type should skip on the aerobics. Weekends are off periods!!!

(Heres a list of common errors made when dieting down):

1. Cutting calories excessively causing muscle loss and a slower metabolism. Remember if you want to stay big you have to keep your calories at a REASONABLE level.

2. Overtraining by doing too much "anaerobic/aerobic exercise" in an attempt to make up for poor eating habits. The majority of fat loss should come from PROPER NUTRITION.

3. Lifting weights that are too LIGHT will not stimulate all 3 subcategories of type-2 muscle fibers. In order to stay BIG, STRONG, and gain DENSITY, you must continue lifting intensely with HEAVY weights.

4. Not utilizing a 3-4 day STAGGERED calorie/"CARB" count or zig zag approach.

5. Not eating enough MEALS throughout the day.

6. Not eliminating all DAIRY products.

7.Giving in to food URGES causes your bodies to DESIRE them even more so.

8. Getting too IMPATIENT by expecting to see BIG progress in your problem areas right away just because you have lost a few pounds of fat.

9. Doing too much cardio first thing in the MORNING on an empty stomach depleting glycogen stores to the point where it interferes with your evening weight training session.

10. Being contest ready too LATE in the game will not allow one to gain the desired fullness come contest day.

11.Chose a target bodyweight that will leave you as lean as you can possibly be regardless of the WEIGHT CLASS it puts you in.

12. GUESSING on how many calories you are eating will make it impossible to gauge what needs to be adjusted.

13. Relating to the scales more so than the MIRROR.

14. Not drinking right at 2 gallons of WATER daily.

15. Not ingesting enough tendon, muscle, and joint supporting essential FATS.

16. Not using glucosamine/chondroitin to aid in JOINT function.

17. Not eating enough PROTEIN to preserve lean tissue. A minimum of 1.5 gram per lb of lean muscle tissue will be needed.

18. Neglecting ZINC supplementation to help keep test/estrogen levels in balance.

19. Using the OUTDATED carb depleting/loading phase the night before a show.

20. Not using supplemental fat loss AIDS.

21. Eating too much protein and NEGLECTING clean carbs and essential fatty acids to help protein to be utilized more efficiently.

22. Not upping daily meals to 5-6 per day for better ASSIMILATION when ingesting over 2500 kcalories.

23. Not watching for feedback to see if insulin levels are too HIGH or too LOW will cause bodyfat increases and/or excessive hunger.

24. Relying soley on carb MANIPULATION for bodyfat loss because it's an overall calorie deficit that causes fat loss. If calories remain unchanged a reduction in carbs will not bring forth the desired fat loss.

25. Not keeping your aerobic INTENSITY between 70%-80% of VO2 max for a total of 30 minutes.

26. Using CREATINE because it can cause muscle strains along with overall water retention and interfere with carbohydrate metabolism.

27. Not using MCT oil (up to 3 TBS daily) to help control sugar cravings and energy levels.

28. Not keeping essential FATS at around 10% of total of daily calories.

29. Eating too many carb sources in the form of SIMPLE SUGAR at anytime resulting in fat storage.

30. Eating lots of CARBS during dinner (last healthy meal of the day) is a bad idea since your body is slowing down for the day and you have that eight hours of sleep in front of you. Keep them to an absolute minimum if any during this time frame.

31. Not eating all the sugar free popsicles or jello sweetened with SPLENDA you want when craving sugar. After a low or no carb dinner is the best time to use these in your battle of the bulge.

32. Trying to fix something in the diet that isn't broken. NEVER make drastic changes to try and gain a little if your are getting results.

33. Using high glycemic carbs such as DEXTROSE post workout.

34. Putting your TRUST in various supplements, for eq; CHEAP protein powders/malto, inorder to make your diet more economical when you could be eating multiple cheap meals throughout the day consisting of such things as canned Tuna, Brocolli, Egg whites and old fashion quaker Oatmeal/splenda.

35. Not eating the biggest carb meal BEFORE a late evening resistance workout to be performed after (4 pm).

36. Not eating the biggest carb meal directly AFTER a resistance workout done prior to late evening (4 pm).

37. Not eating enough clean carbs such as lettuce, brocolli, and greenbeans resulting in a clogged up digestive track.

38. Not keping clean carbs low enough if relying on fat manipulation instead of carb manipulation for fat loss.

The IRON MAN "HIT" split looks like this:

(Day 1)

Chest: Low incline press 2-sets, standing cable crossovers 2-sets.
Abs: machine crunches-2 sets, reverse cable crunches-2 sets (8-10 reps to be used with each drop sets instead of 4-6 when training abs)

(Day 2)

Lats: Wide grip pulldowns-2 sets, bent arm pullovers on machine-2 sets.
Upper back: Rows to the belly button 2-sets, rows to the lower chest area 2-sets.
Lower back: Hyperextensions 3 straight sets (15-20) reps to be used with each drop set. If deadlits are to be used for lower back instead keep the reps at (4-8) for 3 sets.

(Day 3)

Shoulders: Over head shoulder press-2 sets, one arm at a time cable side laterals-2 sets..

Rotators: 1- set of one arm at a time bent lateral raises to be performed with a cable.

Traps: Front of the body barbell shrugs 2-sets, behind body barbell shrugs-2 sets.

(Day 4)

Biceps: Incline dumbell curls 2-sets, one arm at a time spider cable curls 2-sets.
Triceps: Lying tricep extension 2-sets, pushdowns 2 sets.

(Day 5)

Quads: Squats-2 sets, leg extensions 2 sets.
Hams: Lying leg curl-2 sets, standing one leg at a time hamstring curls-2 sets.
Calves: Calf raises 2-sets, seated calf raises 2-sets

(Day 6) OFF

(Day 7) OFF

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NOTE: The IRON MAN "HIT" works for beginner and advanced trainers alike due to the differences in intensity each trainer isable to generate given their current strength and size. Beginners do not have the muscle size/strength to generate the same amount of intensity as an advanced trainer, therefore closing the gap on recovery when it comes to the total amount of volume perfromed. Steroid users do not need more volume than naturals trainers and vise versa because steroids do nothing for helping the CNS to recovery. All trainers of all body types will recuperate using the same amount of volume.

I see a whole lot of confusion on the boards about how to run AAS cycles. It seems theres a new book written every month. Many are making it out to be much more complicated than it really is and this should not be.

To start out with each individual has a different amount of AAS receptor sites. In additon everyone reacts differently to drugs and what works for your buddy may not necessarily work for you. I know some who swear by Tren while others gain more from Deca or Winstrol . I've seen some men blow up on insulin while others gained little to nothing. Only you can be the judge of which drugs truly works for you and which ones do not. Once you find out which anabolics works for your particular body, you should make use of them often.

Some guys can grow on small amounts of drugs while others must take massive amounts to obtain similar results. No one should exceed any threshold level of a drug until it fails to deliever acceptable results. As with drug selection you will have to find what dosages work for you. There are some unlucky bodybuilders who find the need to use very higher dosages and suffer through side effects inorder to make the same gains others make with a lower intake.

NOTE: Just because Joe is making great gains on 600 mgs of test and 400 mgs of eq per week doesn't mean you can do the same regardless of how good your training program or diet may be.

Anabolics do not shut down receptor sites. If receptor sites shut down after a period of time the PRO'S could not maintain their physiques on the high dosages they use. Their bodies would eventually shrivel up on the same amounts of Androgens being put in the body as the amount of lean mass could not be maintained.

AAS actually INCREASE the number of "androgen receptors". This explains why continually upping the dosage works better up to a point. For e.g.; 800 mgs of test per week will gives the same individual better gains in size/strength than 400 grams. The reason for this is because the left over androgens from the higher dosage will attach themselves to cortisol receptors and produce a larger "anti-catabolic" effect. The body can gain large amounts of muscle in a short period of time but the body soon catches on and reaches homeostasis, dictating a change once again.

High SHGB levels are one of the main culprits to be considered when AAS are no longer working in conjunction with a good diet-training program. SHBG ( Sex Hormone Binding Globlin) prevents testosterone from fitting into the receptors. (Bound testosterone) equals about 97-99% of total testosterone circulation while (free testosterone) equals about 1-3% of total test. Free testerone is able to fit into the receptor. ( Androgens "lower" SHBG while Estrogens "increase" them). Estrogens bind to the same SHGB as Androgens and by lowering SHGB levels you actually cause an elevation in bio-available estrogen. However estrogens can (increase receptor site sensitivity for a short period of 3 weeks and enhance the overall results obtained when using steroids through several pathways including the production of more IGF-1/GH and an increased amount of muscle glycogen synthesis.

NOTE: The primary focus should be placed on altering the ratio of bound and free testosterone by keeping SHBG low with the utilization of varied dosages, incorporating different drugs, utilizing DHT derivatives, manipulating anti-estrogens and discontinuation of the cycle when needed.

When androgen receptors are over-loaded the greatest amount of protein synthesis will occur. Once protein synthesis occurs the need for higher dosages or different AAS will be needed because there will "now" be a larger supply of androgen receptor sites from the added muscle mass you aquired through steroid use . The body reaches homeostasis from an increase in cortisol levels after being on AAS for a period of 6-8 weeks.

Contrary to popular belief, long 12-16 weeks plus cycles are no better for making or retaining gains as opposed to the shorter 4-8 week cycles. Cycles ran in longer duration increase your overall net gain but they also increase your overall net loss post cycle making it harder to maintain due to a longer period of time taken off the drugs. Utilizing short 6 week cycle burst, then bridging/cruising for 3 weeks, then going back on for another 6 weeks allows one to maintain most if not all their strength-size gains minus water retention. This is due to the fact your never off long enough to give the muscles a chance to shrink.

Steroids lose their effectiveness after a 6-8 week period. After this time frame the only way to further gains is to up the dosage or add in other compounds on a 6 weeks on 6 weeks off basis-(preferable dht derivative like tren, var, or winny that will not elevate estrogen and will lower shgb/cortisol levels). D-bol is another excellent choice given anties are in the mix. Adding a DHT derivative steroid on week 3 of a 6 week cycle can bring about very nice gains in size/strength.

NOTE:The body begins to adapt to most attempts at changing homeostasis at about week #6. Thus creating an environment where anabolsim and catabolism are on an even plane. This is the point where steroids resulted in the most gains. The secret is to get out all together before side effects out weighed the benefits, or increase your AAS usage to create an environment where muscles can grow once again.

Controlling estrogen levels was very important for long term health but the use of anti-estrogens can be hard on ones health as well. Proviron was a good drug because it helped control estrogens and SHGB levels. Aromasin also lowers shgb/estrogen levels but Nolvadex decreases GH/IGF-1 and is a bad choice unless you experience gyno. Anti-es do not have to be used when running low dosages of aromatizing drugs. However anties are necessary for most when running large amounts of aromatizing drugs.

NOTE: Estrogens should be allowed to run freely during the first (3) weeks of a cycle containing a generous amount of aromatizing steroids and during a transitional phase when dosages are changed every (6) weeks. Doing so creates an Action/Reaction that can aid in gaining more size/strength. (No "anti-estrogens" should be ran during the (3) week time frame) even if your using high quantities of aromatizing drugs. However failing to add anties to a cycle containing high dosages of aromatizing steroids can cause moods swings, high blood pressure, and female pattern fatty deposit. The male body was not desigend to have large amounts of estrogen running rampant for long periods of time.

One of biggest problems bodybuilders face today is (high blood pressue-kidney/heart stress) from employing high doses of aromatizing AAS like testosterone. This can be avoided to a large extend by mixing different anabolic compounds and running lower amounts of testosterone. Mixing compounds is the key to achieving more gains with fewer side effects.This is called synergy!!! All cycles should involve a testosterone base but anabolic dosages need to be kept much higher than the testosterone if high blood pressure becomes uncontrollable.

A baby aspirin taken at bedtime can help lower blood pressure. Elevated estrogen levels increase aldosterone which brings about overall water retention causing increases in blood pressure. The addition of anti-estrogen can help keep water retention down by eliminating estrogen. Dandelion root can also work very well as a natural diurectic when one needs an immediate water loss.

High hemocrit levels (thickening of the blood) is another major concern. This is caused by an increase in red-blood cell count from using AAS. My Endocrinologist told me high hemocrit levels scared him the most because it increases ones chance of having a stroke. Ways to make the blood thinner again is to take a baby aspirin at night and/or give blood as often as possible.

Liver stress can occur with the use of c17 alfa-alkylated steroids. Those with prior existing liver conditions should never use c17's. Milk thistle, liv-52 or a product sold by our board sponsor here at Pro Muscle called Synthergine can help protect the liver and should always be used when cycling c17's. Drinking plenty of water each day helps with kidney function/liver and should not be neglected.

I've read these out-landish (need to take supplement list) that some recommend while on a cycle of AAS. It totals out to about 15 different compounds. First, who has the money to afford that many add-ons to a cycle??? Second, my guess is mixing that much of anything could make one sicker than the actual steroids themselves.

NOTE: Blood work is a "MUST" "MUST" "MUST" and should be done both before and after cycle when including a new AAS into your program. The key is to see if body reacts to the new drug or combination there of in a negative manner. A few examples would be (Anadrol and liver values), (EQ and hemocrit levels),(Tren and kidney function)( GH-SLIN and sugar levels). It's okay to do several smaller cycles before getting blood work done if you are using steroids that have been proven to get along with your particular body but I can't sress enough about getting regular lab work. If you don't own a blood pressure monitor then go purchase one!!!

There seems to be some confusion in regards to how some advanced bodybuilders break through growth barriers. It's not rocket science but it takes an incredible amount of dedication and will power, especially if you are lagging in the genetic dept.

NOTE: In theory some have claimed that short lived MEGA dosed cycles are healthier than using moderate dosages long term such as the one "BIG A" prescibes with his workout schedule. While theres no disputing these BLITZ cycles can be more affective for many advanced trainers who are no longer able to gain on a protocol like BIG A's, they are not safer and those who use such need to realize this is for very serious athletes and are in no way to be used by recreational lifters. Simply put, it's hard on the body and should be used sparingly.

I'm sure many of you have heard the term BLITZ CYCLES but I also realize many advanced trainers do not "truly understand" the effectiveness that such a protocol can provide???

While theres no down playing the role of "GENETICS", theres also no down playing the role of "DRUGS, DIET,REST and TRAINNG. The BLITZING method will not turn a "Pee Wee Herman" into an "Arnold", but it is possible to (alter ones genetics) with BLITZ cycles when everything is done to perfection. This BLITZING method is probably the most affective way for elite bodybuilder to advance to the next level of development. No amount of drugs, nutrition, training or rest done independently of one another will give the same results as a properly performed BLITZ cycle. It's a combination of BLITZING (drugs, diet, rest, and training) that can result in breaking a growth plateau.

Advanced bodybuilders must (saturate the androgen receptor site with high doses of drugs, eat mega calories-protein/amino acids-carbs-fats, lift heavier weights, and sleep more, if they want to progress past a plateau.

NOTE: Merely changing routines, switching drugs, eating more and/or increasing sleep time "WILL NOT" produce the same results. I'm trying to drive this concept home so everyone will understand what it takes for some to reach the top. Expect to feel bad during a BLITZ cycle so it's best to do these during a non-stressful period. Reaching this kind of development has nothing to do with improving ones health and is quite stessful on the system as a whole, regardless if some have claimed differently.

NOTE: Some might ask: Why can't I just (eat more food, sleep more, and lift heavy) with "less drugs" and get the same results? The answer to the question would be trying to do so without the proper UTILIZATION of drugs will result in mostly (body fat increases) if one has reached the upper limits of their genectic ability due to the body seeking homeostasis.

NOTE: Some might ask: Why can't I just use (more drugs , sleep more, and lift heavier weights) instead of having to ingest more "overall calories" ?? The answer would again be trying to do so without the proper NUTRITIONAL methods will not bring forth protein synthesis because the bodies would be in a state of muscle wasting or homeostatis instead of being in favor of total protein mass increases/anabolic state.

NOTE: Some might ask: Why can't I just use ( more drugs, sleep more, and eat more) without having to lift heavier weights than before? Why not use more volume instead? The answer is (more unit activation and more fiber recruitment) results in hypertrophy and this is done best by using heavier loads for brief intense sessions.

NOTE: Some might ask: Why can't I just use ( more drugs, eat more, and lift heavier without the extra sleep? The answer is the body "repairs" itself during sleep not while your resting on the couch watching television.

BLITZING is basically a last resort effort to furthering ones progress when everything else is failing to produce or you want to make faster gains. Blitzing is basically the same kind of cycling I recommended earlier but on a much more agrresive scale.

I am confident this plan will help anyone wishing to make further gains in mass/strength.

21. 20 Rep Squat Routine
Muscle Building Workout

AKA the super squat routine

One of the fastest ways to gain size and strength in the entire body is by following the squats and milk program. This is an old time routine that has been around for over 50 years, but it works awesome for fast gains. Even if you are a hard gainer.

The way it works is you train 3 days per week (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

Each workout you will start with full squats. Do 2-3 easy warm up sets to get the blood flowing and to warm up your joints. Then take a moderate weight and do 1 set of 20 reps. For each rep take a couple big mouthfuls of air, hold your breath, squat down and up, and repeat. As you progress through the reps you will need to take more breaths in between reps. During reps 15-20 you may need to take 5 or more big mouthfuls of air in between reps. It takes me 3 minutes to complete 1 set all out set of 20 rep squats.

Right after the squats while you are still out of breath, grab a light barbell (i.e. 25 lbs.) and do pull overs while lying on a flat bench. Take a deep breath in between each rep and really feel the stretch in the rib cage as you do the exercise. Do 1 set of 20 rep pull overs with 25 lbs. Keep using 25 lbs. for the pull overs as this exercise is just for stretching the rib cage.

Barbell Pull Overs

Each workout add 5 lbs. to the squats and get all 20 reps. This is the key to making serious gains with the program. You have to make 5 lb. jumps in weight each workout. I just finished a squat routine like this and within 2 months I worked up from doing 20 rep squats with 225 lbs. to 20 reps with 315 lbs.

When doing this program you should do full squats. I personally squat down until the back of my legs touch my calfs. This will make the squats far more effective for muscle growth.

Full Squat

Another thing, do NOT wear a weight lifting belt while doing the 20 rep squats. By squatting with out a belt you will strengthen your lower back and it will be easier to take deep breaths while doing high rep squats.

Make no mistake about it this routine is brutally tough, those 20 rep squats will take every bit of energy that you have, but the gains are awesome. This routine will stimulate your entire body to grow from the stress of the squats. And the pull overs will help to stretch your rib cage and make your chest bigger.

After you finish the squats and pull overs do a circuit of:

Chin Ups

Dips

Decline Bench Sit Ups

Do a set of chin ups for as many reps as you can
Rest a minute
Do a set of dips for as many reps as you can
Rest a minute
Do a set of decline bench sit ups for as many reps as you can

Do this circuit 3 times and your workout is done.

Do this exact routine 3 days per week. Each time make sure to add 5 lbs. to the squats and try to pump out more reps with the chins, dips, and sit ups. This will work every major muscle group in your body and force you to grow like nothing else

22. Swole squats

1) Leg extensions - 4 to 5 sets of 15-20. Nice and slow and controlled, not heavy to put pressure on the knee. This is to thoroughly warm up/pre-fatigue the quads, not injure/stress the knees w/an open chain movement. (many make this mistake)

2) Hamstring curls - 4 to 5 sets of 15-20 using the same tempo as the extensions. Squeeze at the top, and don't lock out at the bottom. Try to flex the toes "down" at the top of the movement, you should feel the hams tighten even MORE.

You will want to superset the above. So do one set of quads, then move quickly and do the hams. That is one complete set. Rest about 2 mins, then repeat, and do this for all 4-5 sets.

Then the real work. You will do 4-5 sets of 20 rep squats. A bit wider than shoulder width, toes straight ahead w/perhaps a "slight" pointing of them outward, but not too far, it tweaks the knee. You want to use a weight that you can do about 15 reps with using a 3/2 tempo, and the last 5 should really tax you mentally but not too much physically. These are NOT rest paused. If you have to stop during the last 5 for more than 2 seconds before you do another rep, it's too heavy. You should just "want" to quit at 15, but you should be able to stick it out and hit 20. The 3/2 tempo is 3 seconds down, and 2 up w/a "slight" exlposion, but not that fast as exploding too fast is not recommended nor good for the knees. Do NOT lock out on the top, thus taking the stress off of the quads, and go ALL THE WAY down parallel when you descend. (No further than that, the ass to floor saying is b.s., you will wreck your knees)

You can use a smith machine for this to really concentrate on hitting the quads and hams at the bottom of the movement. Always, always push through your HEELS.............

4-5 sets of those and you should be cooked. Stretch after this, don't forget to. The next day you will be sore, but the day AFTER that, you will simply want to kill me.

After about a month or so of this (1 of these workouts per week, or every 6th day) you will notice your regular squat max or regular working poundages have increased quite well!! Make sure you are eating well of co

23. german block powerlifting routine AKA 3x3

german block training
ok routine is called german block training or the 3x3. program is 3days a wk one day of rest seperating each day. mon, wed , fri or tues thurs sat. etc. program is 8 wks.
1st 4 wks every day you squat press and deadlift. no auxillary work is needed due to the amount of core lifts you are doing(sounds odd, but it works!!!)
wk 1 58% squat 5 sets 5 reps ,8 sets of 6 reps in the press ,and dead 5 sets of 5
wk 2 60% same rep scheme
wk3 62%
wk4 64%

wk 5-8 are diferent, here is where the fun begins.

wk 5 monday squat 80% 2 sets of 1, press 6 sets of 4 60%, dead 3 sets of 3 60%

wed squat 60% 3s of 3r, press 80% 2 sets of 1 rep, dead 3sets of 3 60%

fri squat 60% 3s of 3r, press 6 sets of 4 reps 60%, dead 2 sets of 1 80%

wk 6 follow last wks same rep scheme, still use 60% for the lighter speed days, and 85% for your max effort days on squat, press and dead.

wk 7 90% for max efort exerises, still 60% for the dynamic or speed exercises

wk 8 95% for max efort exerises, still 60% for the dynamic or speed exercises

sets and reps are the same from wks 5-8 and the days exercises are the same. after wk 8, take a wk of lifting off and the following wk max out. then use you new max numbers and you can do the program again, this type of training can be done year round. back to back to back.....etc.

to start take your current max numbers,add 20 pounds to your current squat max, 10 to your press , and 15 to the deadlift and use the percentages from these numbers to figure out what weights you will use.

side note, this works great for peaking for a meet. also feel free to try chains, bands, board presses, sumo or conventional, deads. you can rotate execises per day just like west side does"conjugate method" especially with the speed/dynamic effort exercises and all the exercises in the first 4 wks. pick one per day!!!! for example dont do half your presses with boards and the flip over to bands for the last few sets. if you want to do boards, do just boards for the entire day. then the next work out day, you can do all bands and so and so on. this is a template, you can fill in the blanks yourself. the program was intended for straight weight, but it can be done using todays new resistance methods. accomadate for band and chain weight and lower the straight weight percentage by 10, 15 or 20 %. if using board presses, rack presses, partiial squats and deadllifts, add 10,15. or 20% to the straight weight numbers. don't alter the max effort percentages or exercises for this program!!!!! do them the way you would max out or the form and technique you would use in a contest.
if you must do some auxillary exercises, be my guest,keep them light and brief, no high volume or heavy resistance, you will get enough from doing the three major lifts 3 times a wk.

24. more on the german block

The training program presented here has been used by some of the strongest German powerlifters including IPF Junior World Champions Ralf Gierz and Michael Bruegger. Gierz totaled close to 2200 lbs. at superheavyweight and Bruegger was the first German powerlifter to break the 2200 lb. barrier at a bodyweight of 26O lbs. Bruegger was also the first German to bench over 600 lbs. in an IPF competition (paused and no bench shirt). The basic concepts of this program have been used by almost every Olympic lifter, including many world champions over the last 40 years.
The 3x3 system is an eight week training cycle that consists of two phases. Phase I is a high volume phase, while Phase II is the competition phase. It shares some similarities with the Louie Simmons style of training program. The similarities include no off-season, training percentages in the 58-64 percent range and the main focus of the 3x3 is its high volume phase. Another similarity is very few of the 3x3 training lifts are in the percentage range of 80-95 percent.
The one thing making the 3x3 unique when compared to Simmons and other current powerlifting training is that the only training exercises used are the competition lifts. There is no assistance work! Why is that? The answer is very simple. In order to get strong in the squat you need to train the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and the lower back. In other programs there are different ways in which to train all these muscles. You can perform a variety of assistance exercises or you can combine the squat with these same assistance exercises. The other option is to train the squat and only the squat. We already know this exercise works all the muscles mentioned above. The major advantage of this option is the squat works the muscles exactly the way they are needed for the competition.
As I mentioned earlier this type of training approach has been used for decades by the Eastern Bloc and Western European Olympic lifters and it works. During the last 10 years I have had the opportunity to talk to and train with many Olympic lifters. In 1992 1 was stationed at the Olympic Training Center while doing my assignment with the German Army. I observed that their training consists of only the competition lifts, the snatch and clean and jerk. Some of you might say that Olympic lifters do a variety of pulls including pulls from a block, high pulls from the hang position, etc. If you take a closer look at these exercises you will see that they are biomechanically identical to a certain portion of the competition lifts. The only difference is that they are not performed through the full range of motion of the competition lift. This will definitely overload the muscles. This is a technique that is very effective if you do it right. Unfortunately I see many powerlifters doing it wrong. They do hack squats, leg presses and leg extensions - exercises that have no bio-mechanical relationship to the competition lift. Leg pressing a 1000 lbs. does not mean that you can squat that weight. Do you see the difference? These exercises do have their place in a training program, but only to rehabilitate from injuries or to create variety once in a while, but not in a serious training cycle.
The 3x3 system works so well because your muscles will be stimulated much more than with other routines. Let’s take the squat again to explain this fact. For example, if your squat maximum is 700 pounds and your training schedule calls for 5 sets of 5 reps once a week you will achieve a fairly high volume com-pared to other training programs. When 75% of 700 pounds (525 pounds) is done for 25 reps (5 x 5) you end up with a total squat tonnage of 13125 pounds per week. This tonnage is determined by the work sets only and not the warm up sets (this is the standard approach in the 3x3 program). Now take a look at the total squat tonnage of the 3x3 system. In week four you use 64% of 700 lbs. which is 448 pounds for a maximum of 40 reps (8 sets of 5 reps). The total tonnage of only one workout is 17920 pounds. You repeat this workout twice and you end up with a total squat tonnage of 35840 pounds per week. That is over two and a half times the volume of the other program. The 3x3 system creates a workload stimulus that forces the muscles to work much harder and therefore to grow faster and get stronger.
Preparations: Before you start with the 3x3 system you need to find your current maximum in each of the three lifts. There are many ways to find this out and it’s up to you which one you choose. You can use your last competition lifts if the competition was recent (within the last 4 weeks). You can also go for a maximum single in the gym (important: use all the equipment you usually wear in competition). If you estimate your max based on reps you can use a variety of equations. A simple one is the Epley equation. In the Epley, you multiply the reps achieved by .033 and multiply the product of this times the weight used. Add the resulting product to the weight used and you have your max. Remember it does not make sense to choose weights that you cannot handle.
Once you have found your current maximum you can calcu-late your training weights for the next eight weeks. I will give you a more detailed explanation of this in future articles. However, before your start the program you will be asked to increase your current maximum in the squat by 25 lbs., the bench press by 10 lbs. and the deadlift by 15 lbs. This will be your new projected maximum and it will be this number that you will base your training. The training weights will be 58-64 percent of this projected maximum in phase I and 60-95 percent in phase II.
Phase I- Weeks 1-4 - High Volume Phase: By doing a lot of sets and reps you will reach a high volume during phase I. This set and rep scheme builds muscle mass, strength and helps to improve your coordination and technique on each of the competition lifts.

Summary: Phase I Day l
squat: 5-8x5
bench: 6-8x6
deadlift: 5-8x5 Day 2
squat: 5-8x5
bench: 6-8x6
deadlift: 5-8x5 Day 3
squat: 5-8x5
bench: 6-8x6

The total number of workouts in phase I is 12. This is three workouts per week. Make sure to rest one day between the workouts and rest two days after the completion of one training week. I used to work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. With this approach I had two days off on the weekend which really helped me to recuperate.

You will squat, bench and deadlift in every workout. Yes - you squat, bench and deadlift three times a week. That’s too much? How do you know? Have you ever tried it? You will not be doing any assistance work, which means that you have all your energy available for the three competition lifts. By the way, I’ve worked with Olympic lifters and they train the squat six times a week. They break it down to four front squat sessions and two back squat sessions. In these workouts they used some heavy poundages. If these lifters were overtrained it is of no consequence because they won a bronze and a silver medal in the superheavyweight category at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
The sets and reps are the same in every workout. Five to eight sets of five reps for the squat and deadlift and six to eight sets of six reps for the bench press.

You work with four different percentages during phase I, but you stay with one percentage for each training week. This means you will use a particular weight for each exercise and work with it for three workouts or one training week. The next week of training will have you using a higher percentage and therefore a higher weight. That way you increase the weights every week. Make sure to use no equipment, except a power-lifting belt.
Phase II - Week 5-8 - Competition Phase: During phase II you will reduce the volume dramatically and increase the intensity week by week. This helps you to adapt to the heavier weights. You will use powerlifting equipment (suit, belt, wraps, and bench shirt) for every heavy lift (1-2 reps). The intention of phase II is to build power, maximum strength and improve your technique with heavy weight.
As in phase I, the total number of workouts in phase Ills 12. There are also three workouts per week. Make sure to get plenty of rest between the workouts. You will still squat, bench and deadlift in every workout. The sets and reps in the daily workouts will vary. Each exercise is divided in two parts:

Technique and power training. You will be performing three sets of three reps for the squat and deadlift and five sets of four reps for the bench press. The training weight is 60 percent of your projected maximum and it and it will be con-stant for the next four weeks.
Maximum strength training. You will use 80-95 percent of your calculated maximum for one to two sets of one rep for each exercise. Train maximum strength on only one exercise per day. I used to max out as follows: deadlift on Monday (day 1), bench press on Wednesday (day 2) and squat on Friday (day 3).
Summary: Phase II Day l
squat: 3x3
bench: 5x4
deadlift: 1-2x1 Day 2
squat: 3x3
bench: 1-2x1
deadlift: 3x3 Day 3
squat: 1-2x1
bench: 5x4

While the percentages for the technique training will be constant, the percentages for the maximum strength training will be increased weekly by five percent.