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  1. #1
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    Default Other Training Styles

    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.

  2. #2
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    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

    Additional Notes:

    • 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.

  3. #3
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    Default 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.

  4. #4
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    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

    D) Romanian deadlift

    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 a**ominal 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:

    Monday: Quadriceps, Hamstrings
    Tuesday: Chest, Back, Shoulders
    Wednesday: OFF
    Thursday: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Shoulders
    Friday: OFF
    Saturday: Chest, Back, Biceps, Triceps
    Sunday: OFF

    Monday: Quadriceps, Hamstrings

    A) Front squat
    Reps: 8
    Tempo: 501
    Work sets: 4
    Rest between sets: 90 seconds

    B) Romanian deadlift
    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

    C) Deadlift
    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!

  5. #5
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    Hypertrophy-Specific Training
    By Bryan Haycock, M.Sc.

    The History of HST

    Hypertrophy-Specific Training™, or simply HST™, is a method of training designed to quickly and effectively induce whole body muscle growth. It arose out of the research looking at both the stimuli and mechanisms for muscle cell hypertrophy. 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. </SPAN>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

    1) Mechanical Load
    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
    In order for the loading to result in significant hypertrophy, the stimulus must be applied with sufficient frequency to create a new "environment", as opposed to seemingly random and acute assaults on the mechanical integrity of the tissue. The downside of taking a week of rest every time you load a muscle is that many of the acute responses to training like increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels, and mRNA levels all return to normal in about 36 hours. So, you spend 2 days growing and half a week in a semi-anticatabolic state returning to normal (some people call this recovery), when research shows us that recovery can take place unabated even if a the muscle is loaded again in 48 hours. So true anabolism from loading only lasts 2 days at best once the load is removed. The rest of the time you are simply balancing nitrogen retention without adding to it.

    3) Progressive Load
    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
    At this point, it is necessary to either increase the load (Progressive load), or decrease the degree of conditioning to the load (Strategic Deconditioning). The muscle is sensitive not only to the absolute load, but also to the change in load (up or down). Therefore, you can get a hypertrophic effect from increasing the load from a previous load, even if the absolute load is not maximum, assuming conditioning (resistance to exercise induced micro-damage) is not to extensive. There is a limit to the number of increments you can add to increase the load. You simply reach your maximum voluntary strength eventually. This is why Strategic Deconditioning is required for continued growth once growth has stopped (all things remaining equal).

    HST Methods
    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 healing 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 below)



    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. 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.



    • All maxes should be established before beginning the first cycle. Your maxes will determine what weights you will use throughout the entire cycle. Find your 15 rep, 10 rep, and 5 rep max lifts for each exercise you are going to use. For the second cycle simply add 5-10 pounds to all lifts.
    • There is an obligatory increase in weight (from 5-20 lbs.) each workout. This means that at times you may be working with less than your maximum weight for any given rep scheme. This is by design. You will reach max poundages for a given rep range on the last workout of each two week block.
    • Determining weights for each workout: Assign your max weights to the final workout of each 2 week block. Then, in 5-10 pound increments, assign weights in decreasing fashion starting from the last workout working backward to the first. So, for example, if your 10 rep max is 200 pounds, assign 200 pounds for the last workout of the 10 rep block, then assign weights that build up to your max in 6 workouts. For our example, using 5 pound increments, the weights for the whole 2 week block would be 175,180,185,190,195, and 200. Do this for each exercise for each rep scheme.
    • The obligatory increase in weight adheres to the principle of Progressive Load. Physiological systems always seek balance or homeostasis. This means they will react, change, and adapt in order to counter act the stressor that is forcing the system to go out of balance. In the case of mechanical loading, the load is the stressor, and an increase in connective tissue and muscle proteins is the reaction designed to bring the muscle back into homeostasis.
    • Repetitions will decrease every 2 weeks in the following order: 15 reps for 2 weeks Þ 10 reps for 2 weeks Þ 5 reps for 2 weeks Þ then continue with your 5 rep max for 2 weeks or begin 2 weeks of negatives. 15¹s can be skipped when you are about to start over after the first 8 week cycle. If you are feeling strain-type injuries coming on don't skip the 15s.
    • The decrease in reps accommodates the increasing load. However, the high rep workouts serve an important purpose. Higher volume anaerobic work benefits the muscle by both increasing resistance to injury as well as increasing functional capacity.
    • Sets will be limited to 1-2 per exercise. There is no problem with a single set per body part as long as it is a maximum effort and/or the rep tempo and form is strictly controlled or the weight is extremely heavy preventing further sets.
    • What most people understand to be overtraining is a result of Central Nervous System (CNS) fatigue. It has been mistakenly believed that overtraining symptoms arise from fatigue of the muscle tissue itself. Research has demonstrated this NOT to be the case. Keeping CNS fatigue low during frequent training allows dramatic strength gains, thus allowing higher and higher poundages to be used thus promoting ongoing hypertrophy.
    • Each muscle group should be loaded 3 times per week. This adheres to the Frequency Principle. A loading stimulus for hypertrophy must be frequent enough to create a consistent ³environment² for the muscle to adapt to. If the muscle is loaded too infrequently, the muscle will adapt and then un-adapt before the stimulus is applied again.
    • Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday are rest days. Light cardio (20-40 min.) may be performed on rest days. Incline treadmill (brisk walk) should be first choice.
    • Rest is important. Although it is fine to experience some accumulation of fatigue, adequate and regular rest is important to avoid injuries and control stress.
    • Complete each workout using designated poundages even if muscles are slightly sore from previous workout. It is important to know the difference between an injury and ordinary muscle soreness. NEVER train a muscle that is at risk of injury. Always warm up sufficiently to avoid injury.
    • Following each 6-8 week cycle, a one-week period of Strategic Deconditioning should be taken during which no, training should be performed. This time is used to recuperate and allow any minor over-use injuries to heal. Try to get plenty of sleep as well as participate in leisure activities outside of the gym.
    • Strategic Deconditioning is very important for long term growth. You have to do it eventually if you hope to bust a previous plateau in ³size². Once your muscle is tuff as shoe leather, all the work in the gym serves only to maintain what size you already have. SD primes the muscle to respond once again to the training stimulus and allows growth to resume.
    • The whole workout can be split into a morning and afternoon session. It can likewise be doubled, performing the same workout morning and evening. Keeping volume (number of sets and exercises) low is critical if doubling the workout.


    NOTE: Workouts should be done in similar fashion for each rep scheme using the appropriate poundages determined by your *RM.


    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.

    Bryan Haycock, author and founder of the Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST) method and Hypertrophy-Specific Nutrition (HSN), began lifting weights in 1978. Over the last 23 years he has incorporated his passion for bodybuilding into his education as a physiologist and career as a writer and consultant for the sport supplement industry. In October of 2000, Bryan wrote a short unassuming article describing a method of training that research had indicated would lead to the greatest degree of muscle growth. He called it Hypertrophy-Specific Training. Although he and his clients had been using this method for sometime, he had never shared it publicly. In late 2001, frustrated with currently available supplements, Bryan recognized the opportunity to better meet the needs of his peers working professionally in the health/fitness industry by creating a line of ultra high quality products that could be used by him and other professionals.
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  6. #6
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    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

    The key for me when using this routine is to start light, at weights that you can easily nail your reps and concentrate on form. For example, say you can bench 225lbs for 8 reps, start with 195lbs on the bar. This should be easy, but if you keep your reps slow and in control, you will still get a good pump and have a good workout. Next week, bump up the weight by a SMALL increment, remember the key is to be able to keep adding weight, it's not a race to get to the massive poundages. If you add too quickly you will plateau in a hurry and the routine wont do jack for you. So you hit 5x5 on 195, next week its 200, the week after 205, etc. When you get to a point where you're starting to have trouble hitting your reps, add something extra to help, if you're natural, thats when I would throw in creatine and whatever else as this will help you keep adding weight. If you dont get all 5x5, then do not add more weight next week, stick with the same and the odds are you'll hit it next time you try.

    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
    deads 5x5
    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
    deads 5x5
    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

  7. #7
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    German Volume Training is a method of strength and mass building endorsed by Charles Poliquin. Gains of 10 pounds or more in six weeks are not unusual. Poliquin’s research into strength training is extraordinary to say the least. His methods work. The following is based on his advanced GVT protocol. This routine is meant for advanced athletes with strong mind-muscle connections and abilities to cope with intense training. If training progression has stalled, then a new routine may be in order to get back on track. It may be necessary to take a few days of recovery and detraining, before beginning an advanced volume training split. One step back - three steps forward.

    GVT works through a process of progressive fatigue, over several sets using the same load. Lactate levels build up causing an increase in testosterone and growth hormone, anabolic hormones supporting muscle gain and fat loss. With proper loads and rest intervals, an adrenal response also occurs with increased neural efficiency. The first few sets should be relatively easy - on purpose. By the fifth or sixth set, muscular failure should be evident. But then the real magic of GVT occurs: a rebound in strength by the seventh or eighth set. It can feel uncanny but should be a welcomed event; an appropriate response brought about by the training theory.

    Advanced GVT, using lower repetitions per set than a standard GVT routine, is a very demanding program. Recovery days will need to be frequent until a better assessment can be made. Retraining too soon will cause overreaching symptoms to emerge. Poliquin suggests training each body part every five days, but only performing the same exercise every 10 days. Exercises completed within two workouts will be similar, but different enough to recruit a different motor pool.

    Keep within target rep counts, adding small increments each week. Dropping below target rep counts will help, as long as there is a strict adherence to the rest intervals. However, your workout should progressively try and obtain the heavier load at the target rep count before proceeding. The same load for more reps is a significant gain in limit strength - especially over 10 sets! But if repetitions are taken too high, the sets will not be intense enough for an advanced trainee to maximize gains.

    As always, use a training journal and only count the reps performed in strict form.

    Diet

    Typical method: high-protein and high-calorie diet. Protein, carbs and fats are restricted enough to maintain a zone-type ratio of 40-30-30. Since keeping total calorie intake high is priority, some days carbs will be higher.

    Cardio Training

    Minimize aerobic training during the cycle but still perform with an attempt to simply maintain current conditioning.

    Volume Training

    Rest Intervals: There is minimal rest between sets (about 60-100 seconds between supersets; for example, A-1, A-2, 60 seconds rest then repeat), which gives a process of accumulative fatigue. Proper rest intervals must be strictly enforced to get the desired effect.

    Tempo: For long range movements such as squats, dips and pull-ups, a 4-0-X-0 tempo is used; lower the weight in four seconds and immediately change direction and lift explosively for the concentric portion. Use a 3-0-X-0 tempo for movements such as curls and triceps extensions. Advanced trainees, because of their enhanced neurological efficiency, should only use explosive concentric tempos.

    Number of Exercises: A limited number of exercises per body part are performed. Therefore, exercises that recruit a lot of muscle mass are preferred.

    Overload Mechanism: Flat pyramids are used for each session - the load never changes. Once you are able to do 10 sets of x reps, adhering to the constant rest intervals, loads are increased on the bar by about 8 percent, and the process repeats. Forced reps, negatives, or burns are avoided; as the volume of the work will take care of the hypertrophy and result in deep muscle soreness without having to resort to set prolongation techniques.

    Extreme Stretching: After completing a routine, extreme static stretching is finished for 40-60 seconds per muscle. This helps stretch the muscle fascia and prepare it for increased muscle growth.

    Following is the routine:

    Complete Alpha days, Bravo days and then repeat (variable rest days).
    Continue making the rep/load adjustments with small variations from the outline.

    Alpha: Chest, Back and Delts

    A-1: Flat Barbell Presses
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    A-2: Bent Barbell Rows
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    Rest ~100 seconds

    B-1: Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo
    B-2: Reverse Rear Delt Flyes
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo
    Rest ~90 seconds

    Military Dumbbell Press
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo

    Alpha: Legs

    A-1: Barbell Squats
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    A-2: Hammer Strength Leg Curls
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    Rest ~100 seconds

    B-1: Hammer Strength Leg Extensions
    3 sets of 8 on a 30X0 tempo
    B-2: Romanian Deadlifts
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo
    Rest ~90 seconds

    Seated Calve Raise
    3 sets of 15 on a 30X0 tempo

    Alpha: Arms and Abs

    A-1: Incline Dumbbell Curls
    10 sets of 5 on a 30X0 tempo
    A-2: Close Grip Bench Press
    10 sets of 5 on a 30X0 tempo
    Rest ~100 seconds

    B-1: Cambered Reverse Curls
    3 sets of 8 on a 30X0 tempo
    B-2: High Pulley Triceps Extensions
    3 sets of 8 on a 30X0 tempo
    Rest ~90 seconds

    Hanging Straight Leg Lifts
    3 sets of max on a 40X0 tempo

    Bravo: Chest, Back and Delts

    A-1: Incline Dumbbell Presses
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    A-2: Wide Grip Pull-Ups
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    Rest ~100 seconds

    B-1: Hammer Strength Presses
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo
    B-2: Hammer Strength Rows
    3 sets of 8 on a 30X0 tempo
    Rest ~90 seconds

    Military Barbell Press
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo

    Bravo: Legs

    A-1: Leg Press
    10 sets of 5 on a 40X0 tempo
    A-2: Hammer Strength Leg Curls
    10 sets of 5 on a 30X0 tempo
    Rest ~100 seconds

    B-1: Hammer Strength Hack Squats
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo
    B-2: Back Extensions
    3 sets of 8 on a 40X0 tempo
    Rest ~90 seconds

    Leg Press Calve Raise
    3 sets of 15 on a 30X0 tempo

    Bravo: Arms and Abs

    A-1: Standing Barbell Curls
    10 sets of 5 on a 30X0 tempo
    A-2: Incline Cambered Triceps Extensions
    10 sets of 5 on a 30X0 tempo
    Rest ~100 seconds

    B-1: Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls
    3 sets of 8 on a 30X0 tempo
    B-2: Low Pulley Triceps Extensions
    3 sets of 8 on a 30X0 tempo
    Rest ~90 seconds

    Hanging Straight Leg Lifts
    1 set of max on a static hold in the contracted position

  8. #8
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    The HSS-100 Program — Bodybuilding With an Edge
    by Christian Thibaudeau

    The Most Powerful Muscle Building Program Ever?

    When you observe the strength training community, you quickly notice how each coach has his own "pet program." For example, Coach Staley has EDT, Coach Poliquin has GVT and GBC, Chad Waterbury has several different programs, Westside guys have, well, Westside training, and the list goes on and on.

    My problem is that I love the iron game so much that I'm never able to design what I'd call my "ultimate program." Sure, when I first talked about Optimized Volume Training it made a lot of noise, and many people fell in love with the program and the results it brought on. But I have a deep-rooted, visceral need to experiment and find new ways to spark muscle growth. As such, I always hated to limit myself to the confines of one single training methodology.

    I personally need to be allowed some freedom when designing or using a program, and I'm sure that a lot of you are the same way. That having been said, it's also important to have a certain framework to work from. So I recently designed a training system specifically for bodybuilding purposes; one that has proven to be super effective for all those who've used it, and which still allows for a lot of variation.

    This system is called HSS-100. Quite frankly, I never used anything as powerful when it comes to building muscle mass.


    HSS-100: What Does That Mean?

    While it's a cool name for a program, it must mean something, right? It sure does:

    H = Heavy lift

    S = Superset (or triple set)

    S = Special technique or special exercise

    100 = 100 rep set


    Let's break it down!

    Exercise 1: Heavy lift performed as a stand-alone

    Heavy lifting can stimulate muscle growth even though you're "technically" outside of the proper hypertrophy zones. It does so via three mechanisms:

    1) Direct Action: Heavy lifting places an important growth stimulus on the fast twitch fibers. While the total volume might not be high enough to stimulate maximum muscle growth, it can certainly increase FT fiber size.

    2) Indirect Action: Gaining strength will allow you to use more weight during a subsequent accumulation phase and this will translate into much improved gains.

    3) Potentiating Action: Heavy lifting improves the CNS's capacity to recruit the high threshold fast twitch muscles fibers. These have the highest growth potential but are very difficult to stimulate. Increasing neural efficiency is a very effective way to develop the capacity to stimulate them and thus drastically enhance growth potential.

    Plus, heavy lifting increases myogenic tone (tonus) which makes your muscles appear and feel "harder."

    For this first exercise in your workout, you should pick a compound movement, preferably with free weights. For example:

    Quads: Front or back squat

    Hamstrings: Romanian deadlift or good morning

    Back: Bentover barbell rowing or chest-supported dumbbell rowing

    Pectorals: Incline, flat, or decline press (barbell or dumbbells)

    Deltoids: Push press, military press, dumbbell shoulder press

    Biceps: Standing barbell curl (barbell or EZ-bar)

    Triceps: Close-grip press (incline, flat or decline) or JM press

    Traps: Power shrugs (barbell or dumbbells)

    You should train this first exercise mostly in the 4-6, 6-8, and 8-10 rep ranges, although it's possible to go down to 2-4 reps from time to time.

    Between 3 to 5 sets should be performed (3 sets if working in the 8-10 range; 4 sets if working in the 6-8 range; and 5 sets if working in the 4-6 range).

    Exercise 2: Superset (or triple set)

    A superset (basically alternating between two different exercises) can stimulate hypertrophy via several pathways. First of all, it drastically increases training density, which has been shown to favor the onset of an anabolic hormonal milieu mostly via an increase in growth hormone release. While I'll be the first to admit that transient hormonal changes won't turn you into the incredible hulk, when you want to attain that perfect physique every little bit helps.

    A superset can also allow you to thoroughly stimulate a certain muscle group. This is accomplished by coupling a compound exercise with an isolation exercise. While it's no secret that big multi-joint, complex exercises are the best growth stimulator, they do have their shortcomings, the most important being that your body will always strive to complete the exercise with the less energy expenditure/effort as possible. This means that it won't necessarily put the most training stress on the desired muscle group, but rather on the one best suited to do the job.

    For example, you might perform the bench press to build up your pecs, but if your front delts and/or triceps are overpowering, chances are that your chest will be left sub-optimally stimulated from your bench pressing work. By adding an isolation exercise for the pectorals either after (post-fatigue), before (pre-fatigue), or before and after (pre and post-fatigue) you'll be able to fully fatigue the chest.

    As we just saw, there are three main types of supersets:

    1. Pre-fatigue (isolation first, compound second): Advantageous if you have problems recruiting a muscle group during a compound movement. Pre-fatiguing the muscle group will make it fail first during the compound lift.

    Pre-fatiguing the muscle will also increase the mind-muscle connection as you'll "feel it" more because of the pre-existing fatigue/burn. So if you have problems "feeling" or recruiting a certain muscle group, pre-fatigue might be the solution. The downside is that you'll have to use less weight for the compound movement because of the pre-fatigued state of the muscle.

    2. Post-fatigue (compound first, isolation second): The main advantage of this method is that it allows you to keep on using big weights in the compound lifts because you're finishing the muscle with the isolation exercise instead of fatiguing it first. In most cases, this will lead to better growth stimulation.

    However, if you have problems recruiting or feeling a certain muscle group during the compound lift, the post-fatigue method might not be as effective as the pre-fatigue method.

    3. Pre and post-fatigue (isolation, compound, isolation): This method combines the preceding two methods into one giant set of three exercises. It's very effective as it'll ensure that you fully annihilate the targeted muscle group, plus it'll improve the mind-muscle connection by pre-fatiguing it.

    The downside is that this method is tremendously stressful on the body and nervous system. More than one such set is probably overkill for most natural trainees. However, if you decide to use this method and perform only one such giant set, it can prove to be quite effective.

    Exercise 3: Special exercise or technique

    The third exercise is used to really isolate the desired muscle group or portion of a muscle group. This is accomplished either by selecting a special exercise or a training technique favoring the development of the muscle group (e.g. iso-dynamic contractions are great to build the back, biceps, and hamstrings).

    Here are some exercise suggestions:

    Chest

    Combo Press

    Combo Low Incline Press

    Multi-Angle Dumbbell Press

    Start at a high incline, perform reps to failure, drop down to a low incline, perform reps to failure, drop down to a flat press, and once again rep out to failure. Keep the same weight for all angles and don't rest between positions.

    Close-to-Wide Dumbbell Press

    Press-to-Flies Dumbbells

    Simply execute the concentric (lifting) portion of the movement as a dumbbell press then the eccentric (lowering) portion as a dumbbell flye.

    Back

    Rope Lat Pulldown

    Eagle Pulldown

    Seated Rope Rowing (trunk bent forward)

    Spider Rowing

    Rack Pull

    Chest Supported Incline Shrug

    One-Arm Barbell Rowing

    Scapular Retraction

    Quads

    Sissy Hack Squat

    Pulley Hip-Belt Squat

    Isometric Bulgarian Squat (30-60 seconds per leg)

    Sissy Squat

    One-Leg Squat

    Hamstrings

    Pull-Through

    Loaded Back Extension

    One-Leg Back Extension

    Biceps

    Wide Grip/Elbows-In Preacher Curl

    Close Grip/Elbows-Out Barbell Concentration Curl

    Jettison Technique Barbell Curl

    The Jettison curl is a form of drop set. You begin with a dual source of resistance: a barbell plus a resistance band. You perform reps to failure with both implements. As you reach failure, you drop the resistance band and continue to rep out with only the bar. When you once again reach failure, you drop the bar, grab the band, and finish off with more reps to failure.

    Drag Curl

    2/1 Curl

    As you can see by the pics, you lift the weight with two arms and lower it using only one.

    Triceps

    Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension

    Rotating Triceps Extension

    Bodyweight Triceps Extension

    Traps

    Lean Away One-Arm Shrugs

    Calf Machine Shrugs

    Haney Shrugs

    Supinated Cable Shrugs

    Deltoids

    Ahrens Press

    Exercise 4: 100-Rep Set

    The final exercise of the workout is a "flushing" set of 100 repetitions. Ideally you'd complete the 100 reps without any rest, but at first, while you build up your work capacity, it's okay to take a few 3-5 second pauses during the set.

    The purpose of this set isn't to stimulate hypertrophy directly, but rather to enhance recovery from the previous workload. The very high rep/low intensity set will increase muscle flushing which will help bring blood and nutrients to the muscle group as well as the tendons.

    It'll also help get rid of the metabolic wastes accumulated during the workout. Plus, systematic use of very high rep sets can increase muscle capillary density (more blood vessels going to the muscles) which will further enhance recovery capacity as well as work capacity.

    There will still be a minimal hypertrophy effect from such sets, mostly in the slow-twitch muscle fibers. While athletes don't want that, bodybuilders who are only interested in size will accept any added hypertrophy they can get!


    Workout Breakdown

    How do you put all this together? I'll show you! A workout will look like this:

    Accumulation Phase (4 weeks)

    Heavy: 4-5 sets in the 6-8 rep range (with occasional foray into the 4-6 range)

    Superset (pre-fatigue) isolation movement: 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps

    Superset (pre-fatigue) compound movement: 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

    Special exercise: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

    100-reps exercise: 1 set of 100 reps

    Intensification Phase (4 weeks)

    Heavy: 4-5 sets in the 4-6 rep range (with occasional foray into the 1-3 range)

    Superset (post-fatigue) compound movement: 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps

    Superset (post-fatigue) isolation movement: 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

    Special exercise: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps

    100-reps exercise: 1 set of 100 reps

    High Volume Phase (4 weeks)

    Heavy: 4-5 sets in the 8-10 rep range (with occasional foray into the 6-8 range)

    Superset (pre and post-fatigue) isolation movement: 1-2 sets of 10 to 12 reps

    Superset (pre and post fatigue) compound movement: 1-2 sets of 8 to 10 reps

    Superset (pre and post-fatigue) second isolation movement: 1-2 sets of 12 to 15 reps

    Special exercise: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

    100-reps exercise: 1 set of 100 reps

    Max Strength Phase (4 weeks)

    Heavy: 5-6 sets in the 1-3 rep range

    Superset (post-fatigue) compound movement: 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

    Superset (post-fatigue) isolation movement: 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps

    Special exercise: 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps

    100-reps exercise: 1 set of 100 reps


    Training Split

    With HSS-100, I suggest training each muscle group once every 5-7 days to allow for maximum recovery. The following split is adequate:

    Monday: Quads

    Tuesday: Back/Traps

    Wednesday: OFF

    Thursday: Hamstrings

    Friday: Chest/Shoulders

    Saturday: OFF

    Sunday: Biceps/Triceps


    Conclusion

    The HSS-100 system is probably the most powerful muscle-building program I've ever designed or tried. Understand that this program is designed to put a lot of beef on your frame and necessitates a large caloric intake with at least 1.25 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

    Proper post-workout nutrition is a must and so is during-workout nutrition. The latter will allow you to reap the most benefits of the 100-rep set: you'll have more nutrients floating in your bloodstream to carry in your muscles during the 100-rep set.

    The beauty of this program is that it can be adapted to your liking and needs. It allows for some variety while keeping its powerful effect. Most of all, it makes training fun again!

  9. #9
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    The Max-OT Basics
    4 to 6 - 6 to 9 - 2 to 3 Minutes - 30 to 40 Minutes - 5 to 7 Days
    Max-OT follows a specific and proven set of parameters that are key to maximizing muscle growth. These specific parameters are the underlying core of Max-OT's physiological impact on muscle. If you remember one thing from this lesson remember this - a muscle will only adapt (grow) if it is forced to do so. The mechanics of Max-OT's are designed to force muscle to grow each and every workout. As far as I am concerned, if you aren't growing from each workout you're wasting your time. In a nut shell, but nowhere near complete, you can summarize Max-OT like this:

    1. Each workout should last approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
    2. Train only 1 or 2 muscle groups per workout/day.
    3. Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.
    4. Do 4 to 6 reps per set.
    5. Rest 2 to 3 minutes between sets. (STR)
    6. Train each muscle group once every 5 to 7 days. (ITR)
    7. Take a 1 week break from training every 8 to 10 weeks.

    As you can see there is a small bit of leeway in each of these rules. A very small bit. Max-OT is designed specifically around these parameters. To be completely successful and get the maximum benefits from Max-OT you must follow these rules exactly as they are presented. You cannot adapt the rules you like and discard the ones you don't. Each parameter depends on and works with the other parameters. Each workout should last approximately 30 to 40 minutes. If your workouts are lasting more than 40 minutes something is wrong. In fact, they should be much closer to 30 minutes than 40 minutes. Now I understand there are situations at certain gyms - crowds - that make this a tough proposition, but it's very important that your workout is completed in this duration of time. If that means finding another gym to train at then start looking. If you are training with more than one workout partner and this extra man is stretching your workout then you need to make adjustments - lose the third wheel. This imposed time limit fits neatly into Max-OT's fundamental principle - Intensity. Max-OT defined intensity is "Maximum muscle overload in the minimum amount of time." The Max-OT 30 to 40 minute workout offers the following benefits: It's much more feasible to maintain maximum mental and physical intensity for 30 to 40 minutes than for 90 minutes. In fact, after 30 minutes mental focus and intensity start to decline rapidly. Training for 30 to 40 minutes maximizes hormonal spikes related to high-intensity training. Max-OT training maximizes key hormonal output based on intensity and duration. Training for 30 to 40 minutes optimizes the "anabolic-window" high-intensity training provides. Going beyond the 40 minute threshold places you outside the optimum hormonal response time. Training beyond 40 minutes increases the risk of over-training and increases catabolic hormone secretion. As you drift outside the "anabolic-window" you enter a detrimental "catabolic" phase. Training beyond 40 minutes decreases anabolic activity. So as you can see, there are physiological advantages to keeping your workout in the 30 to 40 minute range. And there are definite physiological disadvantages to training beyond 40 minutes. Max-OT is all about efficiency. You'll see the word efficiency used many times throughout this course. Train only 1 or 2 muscle groups per workout/day. Max-OT training involves maximum muscle fiber stimulation and overload in a minimum amount of time. In order to accomplish this, adjustments must be made to achieve these objectives within the desired "optimal-time" parameter. Training one muscle group per workout is paramount to the Max-OT principles as it optimizes key physiological and psychological high-points designed to extract the greatest effect from your training. Every time you train the Max-OT way, you leave the gym fully confident that you performed a workout that will result in muscle growth. The Max-OT "one body-part per day" principle takes advantage of the "duration of maximum intensity" that occurs both physically and mentally when you train. By pre-establishing in your mind that you will only be training 1 muscle group you are able to generate much greater mental focus and intensity. This psychological "edge" directly and favorably impacts physical intensity output. Bottom line, you train each muscle group much harder, achieve greater muscle fiber contraction, greater overload, and spark more muscle growth by establishing 100% physical intensity and 100% mental focus.

    Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group. For each muscle group you train Max-OT principles stipulate between 6 and 9 total "heavy" sets. That's total heavy sets. No matter how many exercises you do, you will only do between 6 and 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.

    What's a Max-OT "heavy" set? A Max-OT heavy set is a set done with a weight that will allow at least 4 reps, but no more than 6 reps. This is very important and fundamental to Max-OT.

    What's a Max-OT set? A Max-OT set is a set performed to "positive failure" with a heavy weight for 4 to 6 reps. In other words, a warm-up set is not a "Max-OT set". It is a warm-up set and that's it. So don't count your warm-up sets as part of your 6 to 9 sets per body part. This is important.

    What is "Positive-Failure"? Positive failure is when a set is performed to the positive limit of muscle exhaustion. In other words, you are done with a set when you are no longer able to complete a rep on your own. This positive-failure should occur between the fourth and sixth rep. Max-OT does not employ forced reps beyond maybe partial help on the last rep of a set. Contrary to what most have been led to believe, forced reps are counter productive to building muscle. They artificially fatigue the muscle, deplete muscle energy stores, and produce non-progressive overload just to name a few. How many times have you seen people in the gym training and one guy's spotting another and yelling in his face to do two more reps when he really should have stopped two reps ago. Do not do forced reps.

    Do 4 to 6 reps per set. This is the heart of Max-OT. You will do 4 to 6 reps on virtually all lifts. There will be some lifts that you will do a little more reps on, but only a few. The 4 to 6 rep range is important and critical to success of Max-OT. We will go deeper into the understanding of this further in the course, but for right now you need to ingrain this "4 to 6 reps" into your mind.

    What is meant by 4 to 6? When I say to do between 4 and 6 reps, this means that you will use a weight that is light enough to allow you to getat least 4 reps, but is also heavy enough to where you cannot do any more than 6 reps. If you can't do 4 reps, then the weight is too heavy. If you can do more than 6 reps, then the weight is too light. This is important and is critical component of Max-OT. 4 to 6 reps is the "ideal" rep scheme for building muscle. It allows maximum muscle fiber overload and maximum muscle fiber recruitment.

    Intensity

    A big advantage (aside from the physiological benefits) is that it's much easier to mentally focus your energy on a set of 4 to 6 reps than it is on a set of 10 to 12 reps. Knowing that your set will be short and intense will allow you to generate maximum mental intensity, maximum muscle contraction, and maximum muscular force. Max-OT, in itself, is a more productive muscle building approach that literally acts synergistically with each technique, component, and principle to exponentially accelerate your results. Once you understand that heavy weight is the most influential stimulus for muscle growth, you will continue to strive for greater overload. You will continue to get bigger and stronger in less time.

    Rest 2 to 3 Minutes Between Sets - STR. Max-OT, as its name inspires, is all about maximum intensity and maximum overload for maximum results. Building on the principle of lifting with maximum intensity and overload for 4 to 6 reps, between set recovery is very important. I call this "Short Term Recovery" - STR. As you perform reps with heavy weight many physiological reactions are taking place to make all this happen. Muscle contraction takes cellular energy, oxygen, chemical reactions within the cells, and a host of other molecular activities. As each rep is performed you deplete your muscles' capacity to contract with the same force as with the first rep. By the time you get to the 5th rep you have tapped out your muscle intracellular energy capacity. This is Max-OT. It's pushing a muscle to this extreme that produces results. Recovery between sets allows you to repeat this process until enough overload volume has been performed to stimulate and force new muscle growth. The idea of maximum recovery between sets is to maximize your muscles ability to lift maximum weight during the next set. Notice the word "maximum" used a lot here? Between set recovery should last about 2 to 3 minutes. This amount of time allows the muscle to recover its intra-cellular energy stores and flush any lactate out of the muscle that's hanging around from the previous set to restore its anaerobic capacity. Now between set recovery will vary between individuals. Some people just recover much faster than others. As I pointed out earlier you want to strive for is recovery that will allow you to lift the maximum amount of weight for your next set. For some this is 90 seconds, for others it's the entire 3 minutes - sometimes even longer. It's important to be fully recovered before your next set because your ability to maximize the overload on the muscle will directly reflect in the muscle growth it produces. This critical between set recovery phase (STR) is exactly why Max-OT does not incorporate "super-sets", "pre-exhaustion", or other fatigue inducing techniques. We'll get deeper into later, but realize right now that fatigue does not build muscle - overload builds muscle. Fatigue simply fatigues. Once a muscle is fatigued it can't be properly overloaded. Most all lifters confuse fatigue with overload. This will take some logical thinking on your part to separate the two - again because of all the miss-information published in the magazines. Things like "feel the burn" are not what building muscle is about.

    Train each muscle group once every 5 to 7 days. Here we go from "immediate" between set muscle recovery (STR) to "intermediate" recovery (ITR) - the recovery between training sessions of the same muscle group. Example: The time between one leg workout until your next leg workout. This is very, very important and one of the major components responsible for facilitating the muscle growth process. Recovery. How many times have you heard this word? Do you really understand what it means and what impact it has on muscle growth? I can answer that with one word -everything. Complete recovery of each muscle group after a Max-OT training session before the same muscle group is subjected to overload again is of equal importance to the overall results as the actual training itself. Recuperation is everything. There are many things you can do to enhance recovery. Nutritional advances have made this a "no-brainer" and almost foolproof process. We will get into that in greater detail later. Right now we are primarily concerned with the "time" between workouts to allow for full muscle recovery. Most training programs have you training way too often. This habit is to hard break. Building muscle is an "excess-endeavor". You always want more. This being a major motivation, it's against normal thought to - do less to get more. The muscle growth process does not occur in the gym. Let me repeat, muscle growth does not occur in the gym. Muscle growth occurs during the recovery period - the critical time between workouts of the same muscle groups. As a result of overload, muscle must adapt to compensate for future overload. This recovery period is the time when muscle is recuperating, growing, and becoming stronger in preparation for more overload. Adapting. If a muscle is not allowed to fully recover between workouts muscle growth will be impeded, over-training will occur, and muscle breakdown will be inevitable. You will become stagnated. Muscle mass and strength will more than likely decrease. Energy levels will dwindle, appetite will lessen, and motivation will disappear.

    Recuperation

    As you can see, recovery between workouts is absolutely critical for muscle growth success as well as for optimal health and well being. This is why a major component of Max-OT training is to optimize recovery between workouts. Allowing 5 to 6 full days between training of the same muscle group is essential for full and complete recuperation. Recuperating fully leads to maximum muscle growth. Incomplete recuperation leads to muscle and strength breakdown. As I said earlier, most training programs have you training far too much. The days of training the same muscle group on Thursday that you trained on Monday are long gone. Max-OT takes the elements of intensity and overload and maximizes the recovery the implementation of these two growth promoting elements requires. Every element of Max-OT is designed to potentiate and synergistically work with the program as a whole. The longer recovery time is necessary to allow for full recovery from the higher than normal muscle fiber stimulation that Max-OT generates. Max-OT style training places much greater demands on muscle recovery. Greater muscle fiber stimulation and maximum recovery will lead to maximum muscle growth and strength increases. This is what Max-OT is all about.

    Take a 1 Week Break From Training Every 8 to 10 Weeks. Make no mistake about it. Max-OT is a brutal form of training. It's heavy. It's intense. It's result producing. It encompasses a total approach. It's not just the training part of the equation. It's the mental approach, the nutritional approach, the timing aspect, the exercise techniques all rolled into one. Understand that muscle growth and strength enhancement doesn't happen by accident. All in all, muscles beyond maturity do not want to grow. You must force a muscle to grow. It must be subjected to a stimulus that compels it to adapt and grow. There must be a reason for a muscle to grow or it won't. And, the more effectively you nurture this growth the greater the results you will experience. As I discussed earlier, recuperation is of vital importance to muscle growth. Recuperation will determine how well your muscles respond to Max-OT training. There are 4 important "time-spans" of recuperation:

    1. Short Term Recuperation (STR) - Between sets.
    2. Intermediate Term Recuperation (ITR) - Between workouts.
    3. Muscle Specific Recuperation (MSR) - Between identical workouts.
    4. Cyclical Recuperation (CR) - Between Max-OT Training cycles.

    Taking a week off from training every 8 to 10 weeks is very important for overall recuperation and muscle growth. Many people have a psychological barrier to taking time off from training. They feel like they are going to shrink. Not so. In fact, with Max-OT, after your week off for CR you will usually come back bigger and stronger. This week off allows your body to repair and grow. It is literally recovering from 8 or 10 straight weeks of heavy training. Fed properly, your body during this CR phase will be in a very high "anabolic" state. Muscle growth and repair will be constant 24 hours a day. One very important thing, well, actually two. Do not do any type of strenuous aerobic or anaerobic activity during this week. You don't have to be a slug, but refrain from any exhausting or physically taxing activities. This is a recuperation week that is a key element in Max-OT. Also, you should consume plenty of lean protein during this CR as well. When you take a week off from training you still need to eat and supplement properly for growth to occur. In fact, is vitally import during this phase.

  10. #10
    RX MEMBER Shawn Bellon's Avatar
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    by future

    I did an old offseason routine for 8 week from powerlifting:
    It was a 3/2 split:
    Day 1: Chest/Back
    Day 2: Legs
    Day 3: Arms, Shoulders


    I would do 1 exercise for each bodypart. Do about 8-10 sets for larger muscles 6-8 for smaller. Reps just went by how I felt but usually were high rep to failure. I would to warm ups but try to get 3-4 work sets for each exercise. Then I would take off a couple of days. IF I was a bit tired I would take a third day off then repeat the cycle. Then start up training for my powerlifting again. I was usually very fresh and ready to role. I do almost no free weight exercises during this time. I just rested up alot.

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    NOVICE HumanAnvil's Avatar
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    I personally like Pendalay's 5x5 training. Just finished 5 weeks of it an now need to change a few exercises.

  12. #12
    RX MEMBER BigJD69's Avatar
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    5x5 is good for putting on size. My trainer would have me train that way in the offseason!

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    Super Saiyan buster12's Avatar
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    I like the fiber type training as well.

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    PENCILNECK
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    Will you be doing a write up on PRRS Training?

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    PENCILNECK Outside Backer's Avatar
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    I asked this same question and it got deleted

  16. #16
    PENCILNECK RUHL's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Push Press Potts View Post
    Will you be doing a write up on PRRS Training?
    POWER...REP RANGE...SHOCK
    Time to Grow Without Plateau
    by Eric Broser

    For those of you out there that have been training for more than a couple of years, I’d like you to take a little trip down memory lane with me...Remember back in the beginning, when you first started training, when new muscle and more power came almost every week? When the main goal at every training session was simply to add more weight to the bar and get it from point A to B in any way possible. When every night you would hop on the scale after the last meal of the night (of course when you would be at your heaviest for the day) and be thrilled to see that you weighed ½ a lb more than the night before. When all you had to do to gain muscle was to eat more, train more, sleep more, and abracadabra, alacazam, presto...there was more, of YOU!!

    Ahhh, those were good times, weren’t they? But as all intermediate to advanced bodybuilders know...all good things come to an end. After about the first year of training, gains begin to slow down, weights don’t climb quite as easily, and the scale doesn’t budge like it once did. Despite your best efforts in the gym, pounding away on the same exercises for the same range of reps on the same days, nothing seems to be happening anymore. What’s the deal?

    The fist thing you must understand is that muscles are not just a lumps of tissue. Muscles are extremely complex structures, that like onions, have many layers that need to be peeled before reaching the core. So, without turning this into a class in anatomy and physiology, let’s just take a quick and basic look inside these molehills we all wish to turn into mountains...our muscles.

    Muscle is composed of bundles of muscle fibers also known as myofibers. Each fiber contains myofibrils, which themselves are composed of small bundles of myofilaments. The myofilaments are made up of two proteins, known as actin and myosin, and are the elements of muscle that actually shorten upon contraction.. The actin and myosin function within the sarcomere to produce these contractions. The sarcomere is the smallest functional unit within muscle.

    In general there are three distinct fiber types found in skeletal muscle. These three include: Type I, also known as slow-twitch or red fibers; Type IIA, and IIB, also known collectively as fast-twitch or white fibers.Type I are the slowest, smallest, and have the highest level of endurance of all the fibers. They are most active in slow movements and long-term aerobic activities, and take a long time to fatigue. Next come the Type IIA and the Type IIB fibers, which are the fastest, largest, and least endurance oriented in the group. They are most active in short-term quick-burst or power activities. They are powered entirely through the anaerobic (without oxygen) system, and contract nearly twice as fast as slow twitch fibers, but fatigue much more rapidly. It is important to remember, however, that within our muscles there also lies “intermediate” fiber types that show both high oxidative and fast-twitch characteristics.

    As you contract a muscle, each fiber type is recruited in a specific order. The smallest (lowest threshold) fibers, the Type I, are recruited first. As the speed or force of contraction is increased, you will sequentially recruit the intermediate fibers, and then the Type IIA and IIB muscle fibers. However, to recruit the Type IIB fibers it may take over 90% of a maximal contraction!

    All people are born with these muscle fiber types. Most muscles contain almost an even split of these basic slow (Type I) and fast (Type II) fibers, with of course intermediate fibers that lie along the continuum between them. There is of course some genetic variation between different muscles, and from individual to individual. Some people are “born” to run marathons (slow-twitch dominant), while others are born to run sprints (fast-twitch dominant...and very lucky if they want to be a bodybuilder).

    Although it is the Type II fibers that have the greatest potential for hypertrophy, in order to obtain maximal muscle size, it is imperative that we regularly train ALL of our muscle fibers. Why limit ourselves to only maximizing the potential of a portion of our fibers? Doesn’t it make sense that in order to come as close as possible to our genetic limits that we strive to “get at” every last fiber in each of our muscles? Of course! In addition, muscles also become larger due to other adaptions to training aside from actual fiber hypertrophy. Enhanced muscle size also occurs by way of increases in mitochondrial enzymes, increases in stored ATP and phosphocreatine, increases in stored glycogen and triglyceride, and also from the laying down of additional capillary beds.

    So now the question is... “How do we go about successfully working all of our muscle fibers as well as stimulating all of the other pathways associated with maximum muscle hypertrophy?” The answer can be summed up in one simple word...VARIATION! After you have laid a foundation in your first couple of years of lifting weights, it is time to start to vary your training. Too many misguided trainees use the same exercises, in the same order, with the same rep tempo, rest between sets, training techniques, and rep ranges...day after day...week after week...and month after month! You must understand that the human body is an incredibly adaptable machine and thus will quickly cease to respond to stimuli that it is exposed to time and again. Do you know what one of the biggest roadblocks to progress, in anything that we do, is? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! That’s just plain craziness!

    Now that I (hopefully) have you convinced that variation is your friend, your question to me probably is, “Ok hotshot...sounds good, but how do I go about this?” The answer lies in something called P/RR/S, which is short for POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK. “Cool name...but what the heck is it?” Another fine question! It is a method of cycling workouts that I developed after lifting weights for more than a dozen years, utilizing every training technique and program I had ever seen, or read about, along the way. In those 12 + years of training I had gone from a 125 lb weakling, who could barely bench press the 45 lb bar, to a 225 lb title winning bodybuilder that could bench press 400 + lbs...all without the aid of drugs. However, although I had done nicely, adding about 100 lbs to my frame, I still wanted more, but was not getting it. I had hit a wall and could not climb over it, or go around it. This forced me to examine everything I was doing in order to come up with a new plan of attack. I felt my diet and supplementation were solid, so I began focusing more on my training. Over the course of several months I slowly developed a program that had me gaining again, and before I knew it, I was up to 250 lbs, and feeling stronger than ever! The reason I named this program POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK will be apparent in just a moment, but I must tell you that I can honestly say that I have seen more consistent progress using this system than on another other I have ever tried. I have used P/RR/S for four straight years now and I am continually getting bigger and better. Of course, the system has continued to metamorphosize along the way as I continually tweak it in order to make it even more efficient at stimulating hypertrophy. In fact, I have developed several “hybrid” P/RR/S programs to fit the unique needs of different trainees, based on goals and level of experience. But I am getting ahead of myself. What I would like to present to you at this time is the basic P/RR/S plan, so that you can get an idea what this is all about.

    So, ready to grow? Read on...

    Part II

    Week 1: POWER


    The goal during POWER week is to make a direct attack on the Type II A and II B muscle fibers, with an emphasis on the II B’s. These are the higher threshold fibers and the way we get at them is with heavy weights. The goal for this week is to utilize weights that allow for 4-6 reps to failure. The way in which you perform your reps is of great importance during POWER week. I have found that an eccentric (negative) contraction of about 4 seconds followed immediately by an explosive concentric (positive) contraction works best at nailing those fast-twitch fibers. Remember...even though you will be attempting to explode with the weight during the positive portion of the rep, it will not move very quickly at all due to the heavy load you are lifting. Rest between sets is also very important. Since you want to be able to lift as heavy as possible during POWER week, you will be resting about 4-5 minutes between sets in order to fully regenerate ATP and creatine phosphate stores in the muscle cells. As far as the exercises go, choose those that are basic or compound in nature. These include movements like bench presses, squats, deadlifts, military presses and bent rows. POWER week workouts will not impart a tremendous pump, but rather will make your muscles feel as if they’ve been smashed with a wrecking ball.

    Rep Goal: 4-6
    Rest Between Sets: 4-5 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 4/0/X
    Exercises: Mostly compound

    Here is an example of a typical POWER workout for chest:

    1-Bench Press: 4 x 4-6
    2-Incline Dumbell Press: 3 x 4-6
    3-Weighted Dips: 2-3 x 4-6

    Week 2: REP RANGE

    As I mentioned earlier there are several fiber types that lie along the continuum between Type I and Type II muscle fibers. The goal of REP RANGE week is to show these “intermediary” fibers no mercy! We will accomplish this by using three distinct rep ranges (hence the name of this week) for three separate exercises for each body part. The first exercise will be to failure in the 7-9 rep range. The second will be to failure in the 10-12 rep range. The final exercise will be to failure in the 13-15 rep range.
    In order to make the stimulus this week even more unique from the POWER week, you will also change your rep tempo. Both the eccentric and concentric portion of each rep should take 2 seconds to complete, while the mid-point of the movement (isometric contraction) should be held for one full second. Additionally, if you happen to be using a movement that contains a strong “peak contraction effect,” such as leg extensions, you are also encouraged to hold this portion of the rep for one full second before you begin the eccentric portion of the rep. The exercises used this week should be both compound and isolation in nature, with free weights, machines and cables all being fair game. One particularly effective approach is to choose a free weight compound movement for the 7-9 rep range; a free weight isolation movement for the 10-12 rep range; and a machine or cable movement for the 13-15 rep range. Of course, you are encouraged to experiment a bit to get an idea of what feels most effective to you. Rest between sets during REP RANGE week will be 2-3 minutes. You can expect a tremendous pump from REP RANGE week workouts, and some deep muscle soreness in the days that follow...but we love that kind of pain, don’t we!


    Rep Goal: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15
    Rest Between Sets: 2-3 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 2/1/2/1***
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    ***1 second hold at peak for certain exercises


    Here is an example for a typical REP RANGE workout for shoulders:

    1-Military Press: 4 x 7-9
    2-Seated Side Lateral: 3 x 10-12
    3-Reverse Pec Deck Flye: 2 x 13-15

    Week 3: SHOCK

    In my opinion, SHOCK week is the most intense and excruciating portion of this routine. It will without a doubt test your ability to withstand pain, fend off nausea, and fight back the tears! SHOCK week separates the men from the boys, the freaks from the fakes! The goal during this week is complete and utter annihilation of every fiber, from slow-twitch, right on down to the fast-twitch Type II A’s; to force your body to release natural GH like water from a collapsed damn; and to literally “force” your muscles to grow in a “do or die” like fashion! Each grueling session during shock week contains 2 different types of supersets and a punishing dropset for each major bodypart. The first superset will be performed in what is known as “pre-exhaust” fashion. This means that an isolation movement will be performed first, with a compound movement immediately after. The second superset will be what as known as “post activation,” made famous by Ironman contributing author Michael Gundill. In post activation supersets, it is the compound movement that proceeds the isolation movement. Each of these supersets provides a unique stimulus for both your muscles and nervous system. Once you have completed your supersets it is time for a dropset, which will complete the torture that you will impart on your muscles during SHOCK week. Reps for each exercise will be in the range of 8-10, and the tempo will become more rhythmic in nature. An eccentric contraction of just one second will be followed immediately by a concentric contraction of the same speed. There will be no resting (as long as you can handle it) at the top or bottom, as each rep should be performed in a “piston-like” fashion. Rest between sets should be long enough to allow you to catch your breath fully, as well as to prepare your mind for the next onslaught. Your individual level of cardiovascular conditioning, as well as your constitution, will determine the length of your rest. Free weights, cables, and machines are all utilized during SHOCK week. My warning to you is that you better be prepared when you enter the gym on SHOCK week, because every workout will leave you breathing with the intensity of a steam engine and a burn that will reach your very core! Fun!


    Rep Goal: 8-10 (dropset is 8-10, drop, 4-6 more)
    Rest Between Sets: cardiovascular and mental recovery
    Lifting Tempo: 1/0/1
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    Here is a typical SHOCK workout for triceps:

    1-Superset: Rope Pressdown/Lying Extension: 2 x 8-10 each
    2-Superset: CG Bench Press/Underhand Grip Pressdown: 2 x 8-10 each
    3-Dropset: Single Arm Overhead Dumbell Extension: 1 x 8-10, drop, 6-8

    After you have completed the 3 week POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK cycle, return to the beginning and repeat. With each cycle do your best to increase the weights you lift and/or the reps you achieve. After three full cycles I recommend that you take off one full week from the gym before returning to the program. After your break, you might want to switch up some or all of the exercises that you used in the cycle proceeding.

    I would like to mention that the P/RR/S program that I presented in this article is not meant for beginners (although in a future article I will explain how those with less experience can begin to employ my system, as well as how more advanced lifters can work with an even more intense version). You can begin to use the program as presented here, after about two solid years in the gym.

    So, if you have been training for some time, are stuck in a rut, or are looking to take your physique to the next level, POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK training may just be your first class ticket to “FREAKVILLE!” Enjoy the ride my friends.


    a sample template for PRRS training. Below is such a template. This is not a "set in stone" program, but an example of how one might use PRRS.

    BACK

    WEEK 1: POWER

    -rack deadlift...3 x 4-6
    -bent row...3 x 4-6
    -weighted chin...2-3 x 4-6
    -CG seated row...2-3 x 4-6

    WEEK 2: REP RANGE

    -CG weighted chin...2 x 7-9
    -WG T-Bar row...2 x 10-12
    -dumbell row...2 x 13-15
    -pullover...2 x 16-20

    WEEK 3: SHOCK

    -SUPERSET: pullover/WG pulldown ...2 x 8-10 each
    -SUPERSET: stiff arm pulldown/reverse grip bent row...2 x 8-10 each
    -DROPSET: CG seated pully row...1 x 6-8, drop, 6-8, drop, 6-8

    BIS/TRIS

    WEEK 1: POWER

    -barbell curl...2 x 4-6
    -preacher curl...2 x 4-6
    -hammer curl...1-2 x 4-6
    -CG bench press...3 x 4-6
    -skull crush...2 x 4-6
    -single arm dumbell extension...1-2 x 4-6

    WEEK 2: REP RANGE

    -alternating dumbell curl...2 x 7-9
    -cable curl...2 x 10-12
    -concentration curl...1-2 x 13-15
    -weighted dip...3 x 7-9
    -pushdown...2 x 10-12
    -kickback...1-2 x 13-15




    WEEK 3: SHOCK

    -SUPERSET: barbell curl/CG chin...2 x 8-10 each
    -SUPERSET: preacher curl/reverse curl...1 x 8-10 each
    -DROPSET: cable single arm curl...1 x 8-10, drop 6-8
    -SUPERSET: pushdown/CG bench press...2 x 8-10 each
    -SUPERSET: reverse grip pushdown/incline overhead extension...1 x 8-10 each
    -DROPSET weighted bench dip...1 x 8-10, drop 4-6, drop, 4-6

    CHEST

    WEEK 1: POWER

    -dumbell bench press...3 x 4-6
    -incline press...3 x 4-6
    -weighted dips...3 x 4-6

    WEEK 2: REP RANGE

    -incline dumbell press...3 x 7-9
    -bench press...3 x 10-12
    -flye...2 x 13-15
    -cable crossover...16-20

    WEEK 3: SHOCK

    -SUPERSET: cable crossover/incline smith press...2 x 8-10 reps each
    -SUPERSET: incline flye/dips...2 x 8-10 reps each
    -DROPSET: machine bench press...1 x 8-10, drop 6-8, drop 6-8

    DELTS

    WEEK 1: POWER

    -military press...3 x 4-6
    -WG upright row...3 x 4-6
    -"cheat" lateral...2 x 4-6

    WEEK 2: REP RANGE

    -single arm dumbell press...2 x 7-9
    -WG cable upright row...2 x 10-12
    -bent lateral...2 x 13-15
    -cable side lateral...2 x 16-20

    WEEK 3: SHOCK

    -SUPERSET: seated side lateral/hammer machine press ...2 x 8-10
    -SUPERSET: reverse pec deck/WG upright row...2 x 8-10
    -DROPSET: cable front raise...1 x 8-10, drop 6-8

    LEGS

    WEEK 1: POWER

    -squats...4 x 4-6
    -leg press...4 x 4-6
    -single leg extension...2 x 4-6
    -lying leg curl...4 x 4-6
    -stiff deadlift...3 x 4-6

    WEEK 2: REP RANGE

    -leg extension...2 X 7-9
    -hack squat...3 x 10-12
    -leg press...3 x 13-15
    -lunge...2 x 16-20
    -seated leg curl...3 x 7-9
    -stiff deadlift...2 x 10-12
    -single leg lying leg curl...2 x 13-15

    WEEK 3: SHOCK

    -SUPERSET: leg extension/front squat...2 x 8-10 each
    -SUPERSET: leg extension/leg press...2 x 8-10 each
    -DROPSET: single leg leg press...1 x 8-10, drop, 8-10
    -SUPERSET: lying leg curl/stiff deadlift...2 x 8-10 each
    -DROPSET: seated leg curl...2 x 8-10, drop, 6-8


    This might be a typical 3-week PRRS phase for back...

    POWER:

    -WG PULLUPS...4 X 4-6
    -UNDERHAND GRIP BB BENT ROW...3 X 4-6
    -CG SEATED CABLE OR HAMMER MACHINE ROW...3 X 4-6

    REP RANGE:

    -WG BB BENT ROW...3 X 7-9
    -UNDERHAND GRIP SEATED CABLE ROW...3 X 10-12
    -CG PULLDOWN...2 X 13-15
    -STIFF ARM PULLDOWN...2 X 16-20

    SHOCK:

    -SUPERSET: WG PULLDOWN TO CLAVICLES/UNDERHAND GRIP PULLDOWN TO LOWER CHEST...2 X 8-10 EACH
    -SUPERSET: CG T BAR ROW/DB PULLOVER...2 X 8-10 EACH
    -DROPSET: SINGLE ARM SEATED CABLE OR HAMMER ROW...1 X 10-12, DROP, 6-8 MORE

  17. #17
    PENCILNECK RUHL's Avatar
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    POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK 2
    Variations and Advanced Techniques
    Part I

    In the May 2005 addition of Ironman I wrote an article entitled POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK...Time to Grow Without Plateau, outlining a training protocol that I developed about five years ago to help more advanced lifters break out of a rut, and start adding on new muscle, similarly to the way they did when they first started training. Since that article came out, my email has been inundated with positive feedback by those that have been using the program with great success. Dozens and dozens of lifters have written me, expressing that POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK is one of the most enjoyable and effective training programs they have ever utilized, bringing their enthusiasm for the iron to an all time high! Nothing could make me happier, as being successful at helping others reach their fitness and physique goals has become just as important to me as reaching my own.

    Over the past 4-5 years I have been using P/RR/S myself, on a continuous basis, making steady gains in both muscle mass and quality, which is pretty impressive after lifting for 15+ years. During this time I have experimented with different variations of the basic program, creating a more intense version for advanced lifters, and a beginner's version as well. Being a personal trainer for bodybuilders and athletes of all levels for many years has also allowed me to tweak the original P/RR/S program to meet the unique needs of each individual, depending on what it is they desire to accomplish at a specific time of year. P/RR/S can be altered to be more geared toward hypertrophy, strength, or cutting cycles.

    Before I begin to delve further into the topic of P/RR/S advanced techniques and variations, let me quickly review some of what I presented in the initial article in order to refresh everyone's memory...or just in case you missed the article entirely.

    P/RR/S Revisited

    Most people tend to fall into one specific way of training early on, and then rarely break very far from it as the years go by. As long as trainees are progressive with the weights they use, this approach will work, at least for the first few years of training. However, as more time goes by, this one dimensional system will bring about progressively diminishing returns as far as hypertrophy is concerned, and along with it, increasing frustration. This situation may lead some towards dangerous anabolic steroids, others to add far too much volume to their workouts (thinking they are not doing enough), and a few to quit training altogether. Obviously, none of these are very positive solutions to the problem at hand.

    What many people fail to realize is how incredibly adaptable the human body can be, and how low on the priority list gaining large amounts of muscle is to our bodies. Like I said, for the first couple of years, as long as you workout consistently, and progressively heavier, you will be able to get bigger. However, after a while, simply lifting heavier weights is not a novel enough stimulus to trigger the body into adding more muscle . Not only that, but this is a very narrow approach to training that leaves various pathways to growth completely untouched, and your full potential entirely untapped! As I mentioned in the first article, most people focus only on training the Type II muscle fibers because they have the greatest potential for hypertrophy. However, to reach the outer boundaries of our genetic limit, we need to train every single fiber along the continuum, from the slowest of the slow, to the fastest of the fast. In addition, we must make a ferocious effort to positively affect every metabolic and hormonal system that can contribute to advancing our muscle size and density. And dare I mention the word hyperplasia? Correct, never proven in humans, but the possibility certainly exists...

    Enter POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK...a cyclical approach to training that has you using a unique protocol every week, that will collectively tap into all of your body's mechanisms for growth.

    Basic P/RR/S Formula

    Week # 1 is the POWER week, and it is meant to smash your Type II A and Type II B fast twitch muscle fibers, as well as get large amounts of natural testosterone to course through your veins. Here is the outline for a basic POWER week, along with a sample workout for hamstrings:

    Rep Goal: 4-6
    Rest Between Sets: 4-5 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 4/0/X
    Exercises: Mostly compound

    1-Lying Leg Curl:3 x 4-6
    2-Stiff Leg Deadlift: 3 x 4-6
    3-Single Leg Leg Curl: 2-3 x 4-6

    Week # 2 is the REP RANGE week, the goal of which is tear through all the intermediary muscle fibers that lie along the continuum from Type I to Type II fibers as well as to stimulate growth producing metabolic adaptions within muscle cells. Here is the outline for a basic REP RANGE week, along with a sample workout for triceps:

    Rep Goal: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15
    Rest Between Sets: 2-3 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 2/1/2/1***
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    ***1 second hold at peak contraction for certain exercises (ex. Leg Extensions).

    1-Smith CG Bench Press: 3 x 7-9
    2-Lying Triceps Extension: 3 x 10-12
    3-Dumbbell Kickback: 2 x 13-15


    Week # 3 is SHOCK week, where you will become very intimate with searing muscle pain! The burn and lactic acid that this week produces will flood your system with growth hormone, while the monster pumps will have your body laying down some new capillaries to make room for the rushing blood! Here is the outline for a basic SHOCK week, along with a sample workout for delts:

    Rep Goal: 8-10 (dropset is 8-10, drop, 6-8)
    Rest Between Sets: cardiovascular and mental recovery
    Lifting Tempo: 1/0/1
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    1-Superset: Seated Side Lateral/Behind the Neck Press: 2 x 8-10 each
    2-Superset: WG Cable Upright Row/Bent Lateral: 2 x 8-10 each
    3-Dropset: Barbell Front Raise: 1 x 8-10, drop, 6-8

    Once you complete the 3-week P/RR/S cycle, return to the beginning and repeat, with the goal in mind of training more intensely on the next cycle. I suggest you use the same exercises for three straight cycles, and try to lift heavier weight and/or increase your reps at each workout. After three full cycles either take a complete week off from the gym, or at least do a very light week to allow for repair and recovery. Upon returning to P/RR/S, feel free to switch some or all of the exercises, and prepare to push even harder through the next three cycles.

    Now that I have refreshed everyone's memory about the premise and principles behind the POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK training strategy, I am now going to discuss some variations of the program, as well as some advanced techniques that can be employed by very seasoned lifters and/or those that are P/RR/S veterans (note: P/RR/S was originally introduced on the Internet several years ago and now has a large following that have been on the original program for some time). So, take a quick sip of that protein drink, and read on...

    Advanced Techniques

    POWER WEEK: One technique that I like to employ during POWER week to intensify the basic protocol is something that I call 1, 3, 5 Training. Powerlifters often use something similar in their own training and it is extremely effective in the scheme of P/RR/S. To use this technique you pick three basic exercises for your workout. For the first exercise you will be performing single-rep sets. For the second exercise you utilize three-rep sets. For the final exercise each set will be for five-reps. The goal is to pick weights that cause you to reach failure at 1, 3, or 5 reps for the respective exercise. This type of training should NOT be done alone, as it is dangerous without a spotter. If you choose a weight that is too heavy or too light, simply adjust for the next set. Follow the rest, tempo, and exercise guidelines mentioned above for standard POWER weeks. Here is a sample workout for back:

    1-Deadlifts: 6 x 1
    2-Weighted Pullups: 4 x 3
    3-Bent Rows: 2 x 5

    Make 100% sure that you are thoroughly warmed up before getting into your work sets or an injury could occur. This type of training is extremely taxing on the CNS, so also make sure you take measures to maximize your recovery in between each workout. This means meticulous attention to diet, supplementation, and sleep!

    REP RANGE WEEK: The standard protocol for REP RANGE week is to pick three exercises per body part, and to do the first for 7-9 reps, the second for 10-12reps, and the third for 13-15 reps. One way I like to break from tradition this week is to again pick three exercises per body part, but to hit each of the three rep ranges during each exercise. As an example, here is what a quad workout might look like:

    1-Squats...1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9
    2-Leg Press...1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9
    3-Leg Extension...1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9

    *Feel free to reverse the order and start with the lower rep range and work to the higher one as a variation.

    Another way I like to spice up REP RANGE week for more advanced lifters is to open up the boundaries on the reps a bit. Although it is not something I recommend you do often, occasionally pushing the reps into the 20-50 range can really encourage a growth spurt by forcing your body to deal with a stress it certainly is not used to, as well as inducing positive metabolic changes and the laying down of more capillary beds within muscle. Here is how I might use this technique to cause the delts to think about packing up, and finding a more sane person to live with:

    1-Military Press...2 x 7-9
    2-WG Cable Upright Row...2 x 10-12
    3-Bent Lateral...1 x 13-15, 1 x 16-20
    4-Side Lateral...1 x 21-25*, 1 x 26-50*

    *Switch to a 1/0/1 tempo for these sets. Move the weight rhythmically, but not sloppily. On all other sets use the tempo used for standard REP RANGE week.

    Training in this manner can be extremely physically and mentally challenging as you will have to deal with a lactic acid burn that will make you want to cry. Also, the length of the very high rep sets will have some people lose focus and concentration, especially if a hot chick in the tiny spandex short walks by. But don't let the girl or the burn get in your way of completing every last rep! Perhaps your perseverance will impress her, especially if you're not bawling like a baby by rep 35!

    Variations and Advanced Techniques
    Part II
    by Eric Broser
    Ladies and gentleman reading this article, please forgive me if any of the following text seems incoherent, has many misspelled words, or would only make sense in the Twilight Zone, the Bizarro World, or after eating some of those “funny brownies” you and your buddies used to make in college! I am wrecked…hammered…spent…crushed…destroyed…nauseous… and massively oxygen deprived, and can barely lift my fingers to the keyboard to type, let alone able to put together an intelligent and well-thought-out article on training! So then why in the heck am I trying to write an article under such conditions? Because I just got home from the gym after performing and outrageous SHOCK workout for legs, and I figured what better time to write about SHOCK training then right after a SHOCK workout! Yes, I am very much in the mood to “get down on paper” the exact experience I just lived, but unfortunately, I kind of feel like I only have two semi-functioning brain cells left, and THEY are arguing over whether I should have white rice or a potato with my post workout shake! “C’mon guys, stop bickering…I need you two!”

    Ok, maybe its best if I have some food, take a shower, and smack these cobwebs out of my head before I go on? Nahhh, scrap that idea! My legs are too tired and wobbly to get me from here to the kitchen anyway, so I might as well sit here and write! Here it goes…

    In part I of “POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK… Variations and Advanced Techniques,” I gave you a quick review about the basic principals behind the original P/RR/S protocol, and then upped the ante by revealing ways to make both POWER and REP RANGE week even more intense and growth promoting. In part II I am going to show you how to rev the intensity of SHOCK week into the stratosphere!

    Now, as I mentioned before, earlier today I went to the gym to put the SHOCK treatment to my legs. Knowing that I was going to be writing this article today, I decided to use ALL of the SHOCK techniques I would be discussing…you know, just for the “fun” of it! Yeah right! I figured this would help me be more “colorful” in my description of each technique. And speaking of color, I am just lucky that I didn’t throw up my fruit punch flavored creatine halfway through this torture session! So, if you just ate a big meal, you might want to take some time to digest before reading this, because I don’t want you ruin your new copy of Iron Man! So grab a bucket and read on, if you dare…

    Its about 1 pm and I take my normal pre-workout mixture of 5 grams BCAA’s, 5 grams glutamine, and 5 grams creatine mixed in water. I wait about 30 minutes and drink a whey shake along with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. I then throw on some gym clothes, grab my belt, my wraps and MP3 player and head to the gym. It was along the way that I came up with the “brilliant” idea of using all of the SHOCK techniques I wanted to write about…something I am sure to be sorry about in the morning!

    Upon arrival I say a few hellos, but avoid getting into any drawn out conversations. It is SHOCK (or should I say Ultra-SHOCK) leg day after all and I need to focus! After a quick trip to the locker room, I head right to my first exercise…Hack Squats.

    ADVANCED SHOCK TACTIC # 1

    1 and ½ Reps:

    For the first set I warm up with 1 plate on each side and do 8 rock bottom reps. The second set is again a warm up, but this time it is 2 plates per side for 6 full range reps. Now, its “go time” as I throw on a third 45 lb plate per side, and then take a minute to contemplate the pain I am about to face. You see, I am not about to do a conventional set because this is not a conventional workout! It is SHOCK week baby and it’s all about pushing past the pain barrier and heading into territory that only a small percentage of lifters are willing to enter. On each rep I am going to slowly sink to rock bottom, then push up only halfway. I will then sink back to the bottom, and then fire myself to the top! That sequence will only be counted as one rep, with the eventual goal of getting 8-10 reps in this vile manner for two all-out sets. Doesn’t sound so bad? Try it with a truly challenging weight, and I guarantee you will rethink your position.

    With Hack Squats out of the way, it is time for me to make way over to one of the five Leg Press machines my gym has. Being that my legs feel like rubber, my first thought is to simply go to the one closest to me, but unfortunately, that was not the particular machine I wanted. No…today I wanted to go vertical! Done with a truly full range of motion (where you literally bring your knees into your armpits) the vertical Leg Press is certainly the most grueling.

    ADVANCED SHOCK TACTIC # 2

    Stage Reps:

    To get into the groove of the movement I started with 2 plates per side and did 8 clean reps. After a quick sip of water I threw on another plate and did 6 more deep reps. At this point I started to get butterflies in my stomach as I was keenly aware of the nightmare I was about to voluntarily sink myself into. However, my focus was solid…so much so that the incredibly hot babe doing Stiff Leg Deadlifts behind me could not even throw me off (who am I kidding…I watched her do an entire set before I started mine). With the machine loaded with 4 plates on each side and my feet set firmly on the platform I said a quick prayer (“Dear GOD, why am I doing this…?) and unlocked the safeties. I felt a few people around me looking on in confusion, probably wondering why I was using so little weight (as they would normally see me using almost twice that amount). “Wait and see,” I thought to myself. I slowly began to bring the weight down, but stopped it dead only ¼ of the way. One, two, three, four, five I counted in my head before lowering the weight to the ½ way point. Again, I counted one, two, three, four, five, before finally lowering the platform to the bottom. After a one second pause I exploded the weight back to the starting position and said, “One rep down, 9 to go!” A horrifying thought for sure, but the masochist in me loved every minute of it! Two sets of this craziness, and I was toast.

    Sweating as if I were wearing a fur coat on the sun, I poured some cold water on my head and crawled over to my final quad exercise of the day…Leg Extensions. The one extension machine that I really like was being used by a couple of young bodybuilders, and when I asked them how many sets they had left, I was secretly hoping they would say 20 a piece so I could lay down and take a nap! No such luck, however, as they were on their final set. Oh joy (not)!

    ADVANCED SHOCK TACTIC # 3

    X-Reps:

    At this point my quads were twitching and shaking uncontrollably, so I decided to do only one all-out set of extensions. Any more than that, and I was afraid my legs would go on strike and force me to skip training hams! Not an option fellas! After one 6-rep warm up with 100 lbs, I stuck the pin at 180 and took a few deep breaths. I was all too aware I was about to meet my nasty little friend lactic acid head on, and I was not looking forward to it (gotta love him though as he always brings a nice supply of natural GH along with him!). Rep one was really tough as it felt like my quads wanted to simply cramp up, but I fought it off and pushed out 8 more reps in a piston-like fashion. When full reps were finally out of the question, I began doing short, pulsing-type reps in the first 1/3 of the movement (these are the X-reps). I am not sure how many I got, as I began hallucinating that I was lying on a beach next to the hot Stiff Leg Deadlift girl, rubbing oil on her glutes (what better way to distract myself from the searing pain!). As soon as I got up, it felt like a damn broke inside my quads releasing gallons of blood, literally filling my thighs to the point that it felt like my skin would rip from the inside out! X-reps are truly amazing for growth, as they allow you to push past nervous system failure, forcing the type II fibers to continue firing in the exact portion of an exercise where maximum force production and tension takes place (the semi-stretched position). Try them…but bring a fire extinguisher!

    As I rolled out of the Leg Extension machine and collapsed to the floor I felt a rush of relief knowing that I would not have to face another quad workout for another week. However, I did not let that comforting thought distract me from the fact that I still needed to SHOCK my hamstrings before I could go home. So, after stretching my quads hard for a couple of minutes, I picked myself up (or should I say pulled myself up, as my thighs seemed to be temporarily boycotting any movement whatsoever), and strolled over to the Lying Leg Curl machine with all the grace of a three-legged dog.

    ADVANCED SHOCK TACTIC # 4
    Forced Negatives:

    While warming up with a couple of light sets, I tried to motivate myself by thinking about the incredible hamstrings of Tom Platz, Tom Prince, and Flex Wheeler. The fullness and roundness that these men possessed in their hamstrings, especially from the side, was simply awe-inspiring! Picturing myself with that kind of development had me ready and psyched to tear it up! Lucky for me, a friend of mine, who has been utilizing my POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK training program for quite some time, was at the gym. You see, in order to perform these particular SHOCK sets properly, I was going to need the help of an experienced trainee.

    “Yo bro, can you help me with these?”
    “Sure, what do you need?”
    “Some forced negatives.”
    “Ohhh, SHOCK week, huh? Yeah, I’ll help!”
    “Thanks…but please wipe that smile off of your face!”
    “Hehehe…this is going to be fun!”
    “I’m so glad the thought of MY pain makes you smile…you sadist!”

    With that, I jumped on the bench and was “ready to rumble!” My goal for the first set was 10 full reps to failure, at which point the real “fun” would begin. The first 7 reps went up pretty easily, but the next three were quite a struggle. Once I finally got that final rep to the top my buddy grabbed a hold of my ankles and began to pull downward toward the floor. I fought him with all of my might until the very bottom (I so badly wanted to make him work almost as hard as me!). But that was just the beginning! He then helped me get back to the top, and again pulled down while I resisted as hard as I could. On the first forced negative it took him about 5 seconds to pull me down, but by the fifth I could not resist at all. Set over! Too bad I had to repeat this excruciating process one more time. One word of warning about this technique…it will make you sorer than you could possibly imagine! Advil anyone?

    Now it was time for my final exercise of the day, the Standing Single Leg Curl. This is one of my favorite exercises for hamstrings as it allows for a very powerful contraction, and excellent isolation. It is also an exercise that I like to work heavy. Hence the inclusion of the next form of self-torture…

    ADVANCED SHOCK TACTIC # 5
    Rest-Pause:

    I had two choices here. One machine has you standing pretty much upright, and the other has you leaning into it. Being that the only way I was even able to stand up at this point was to lean on something, my decision was clear as the following song lyrics ran through my head...”Lean on me, when you're not strong. And I'll be your friend. I'll help you carry on…” But I digress. My plan of attack was only to do one “balls to the wall” set here, but when using this SHOCK tactic, it will feel like 10! I loaded on the entire weight stack and was shooting for just two clean reps, done with an explosive concentric contraction and a controlled negative. Before the first rep I made sure my whole body was tight, and focused all of my energy into my hamstring, as I did not want my lower back to become involved at all. “One…two…three…UP,” I screamed in my head. BOOM, the first rep came up easy! Now, go slow on the way down to a count of three…two…one. Gotta get one more! “UP!” Got it, but no way could I do another. Time to peek up at the clock and wait for 15 seconds to go by. Ok, gonna try for another rep…same weight. “UP!” BAMN, got another one! Rest again, this time for 20 seconds. This process went on until I completed a total of 8 reps. I got 2 reps initially, and then did 6 Rest-Pause reps, starting with a fifteen-second rest, and then increasing it by five seconds between each rep thereafter. This was an absolute killer! But what a way to finish my SHOCK workout!

    This was most definitely one of the most intense training sessions I think I have ever performed. My clothes were drenched, my thighs were fried, and my brain was numb. I literally just layed on the floor for about ten minutes, comepletely motionless, before I could even muster the strength to get to the locker room. I was hoping that hot Stiff Leg Deadlift girl would have some sympathy and offer a massage, but I think instead, I fightened her away! But that’s ok, because I was in total bliss knowing that I was DONE!

    Now I should point out that normally I would not include all of these advanced SHOCK tactics into one single workout, as it is just too taxing and could lead to injury or overtraining. Instead I would combine maybe one or two advanced techniques with the basic SHOCK week protocol that I outlined in my last two P/RR/S articles. Remember, unless you have been using the basic P/RR/S format for at least 6 months (eight 3-week cycles), you shouldn’t be using any of the advanced tactics just yet, as your muscles and CNS will be unable to properly deal with the stress! And if your body cannot recover from your training sessions, not only will you not make any progress…you could actually go backwards!

    Well, I hope you enjoyed that little trip with me to the gym! If you were able to live vicariously through me, then just about now I bet you want to lay down and take a nap! I know I do.

    In a future article, I will delve further into P/RR/S variations and describe how it can be used optimally for strength, mass, and cutting cycles.

    Lights out for now!








    Another SHOCK WEEK Twist!
    I just wrote up this workout for one of my clients, who I have been pounding all week with crazy shock workouts. Here is an example of an antagonistic arm superset program that utilizes two extreme ranges of reps to totally mess with the nervous system.

    -SUPERSET: STANDING ALTERNATING DB CURL/ROPE PUSHDOWN...2 X 4-6/16-20
    -SUPERSET: LYING EZ BAR EXT/FRONT DOUBLE BICEPS POSE CABLE CURL...2 X 4-6/16-20
    -SUPERSET: STANDING BB OR EZ BAR CURL/BENCH DIPS...2 X 4-6/16-20
    -SUPERSET: SEATED TWO ARMS OVERHEAD DB EXT/BB REVERSE CURL...2 X 4-6/16-20

    This is a killer to shock the arms!






    PRRS Heavy/Light Shock Week
    Need a new twist on SHOCK WEEK? Something to totally throw your muscles and CNS off? Try this for example:

    CHEST

    -SUPERSET: BB INCLINE PRESS/FLAT FLYE...2 X 4-6/12-15
    -SUPERSET: WEIGHTED DIPS/LOW CABLE CROSSOVER...2 X 4-6/12-15
    -DROPSET: MACHINE BENCH PRESS...1 X 4-6, DROP, 12-15 MORE

    I guarantee a sick, crazy pump and plenty of soreness!





    PRRS Burst Cycling

    Just wanted to share with TEAM PRRS a method I have been experimenting with that has led to great results for those that I have tested it on.

    I call it PRRS Burst Cycling and it is simply a modified method of the basic format. Here is what it looks like:

    P/P/P/RR/RR/RR/S/S/S/P/P/RR/RR/S/S/P/RR/S

    Now the idea here is to focus on one hypertrophy "pathway" a bit more than usual. What this can allow for is stength adaptions to take place within each of the weekly protocols (P-RR-S) more efficiently. Down the road, more reps with the same weight or the same reps with more weight will lead to better gains.

    Thus, the idea here is to choose a set of the most effective exercises for you (and/or ones that focus on weak points, such as upper chest, brachialis, mid-back, etc) and to stick with them for this entire Burst phase. The goal is to move more weight at each corresponding P-RR-S session so by the final 3-weeks you are far ahead of where you started.

    This is just another way to use the principles behind PRRS.




  18. #18
    PENCILNECK RUHL's Avatar
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    FD/FS: Four Little Letters that Can Mean BIG GAINS!
    by Eric Broser


    Warning: For those Iron Man readers who are afraid of stretch marks, cannot afford to purchase a new wardrobe, or simply do not want to take up more space, please stop reading this article now! Just put the magazine down, slowly back away, grab the remote, and watch some Seinfeld reruns. “No soup for you!”

    However, for the rest of you…the one’s that live to grow…sit back with your favorite protein drink, get comfortable, and read my words, because I have a feeling that what follows may be of great interest to you!

    The wonderful thing about bodybuilding is, just like life, it is a constant and ongoing learning process. Nobody has all the answers, but if you keep your eyes (and mind) open wide enough, you will slowly but surely pick up more and more pieces of the puzzle.

    Several years ago, I introduced a training system to the bodybuilding world called Power, Rep Range, Shock, which I believe contains many of these essential pieces. Most Iron Man readers are intimately familiar with my program, as I have written several articles about it right here in these pages, as well as on many sites all over the Internet. In addition, Steve Holeman and Jonathan Lawson have been utilizing P/RR/S in combination with X-Reps for the last several months, and writing about their experiences in the popular Train, Eat, Grow column.

    However, for those of you that might be new to Iron Man, and/or have not had the opportunity to read about my P/RR/S training program (what are you living under a rock?), I think it is important for me to quickly go over the main points, as it is this original program that was the genesis for the material that lies ahead. For those of you that are already P/RR/S users, consider this a quick refresher course!

    Basic P/RR/S Training

    Power, Rep Range, Shock is a cyclical approach to lifting weights in which you utilize a unique training protocol every week (in 3-week cycles), with the goal of tapping into all of the body’s various growth mechanisms. Each of the three weeks is meant to bring about a specific physiological effect, so that your body cannot adapt to any one form of training, which would eventually result in stagnation. P/RR/S addresses muscle growth from a variety of angles, and allows significant progress to take place on a very consistent, and long-term, basis.

    Week # 1 is POWER training, and it is meant to annihilate the highest threshold fast twitch muscle fibers, increase raw strength, and stimulate a greater amount of natural testosterone to course through your veins. Here is the outline for a basic POWER week, along with a sample workout for back:

    Rep Goal: 4-6
    Rest Between Sets: 3-5 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 4/0/X
    Exercises: Mostly compound

    1-Rack Deadlift: 4 x 4-6
    2-Weighted WG Pull-ups: 3 x 4-6
    3-Underhand Grip BB Bent Row: 3 x 4-6
    4-CG Seated Cable Row: 3 x 4-6

    Week # 2 is REP RANGE training, the goal of which is tear through all the intermediary muscle fibers that lie along the continuum from Type I to Type II, induce capillarization, and to stimulate growth producing metabolic adaptations within muscle cells. Here is the outline for a basic REP RANGE week, along with a sample workout for triceps:

    Rep Goal: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-20
    Rest Between Sets: 2-3 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 2/1/2/1***
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    ***1-second hold at peak contraction for certain exercises (ex. Leg Extensions).

    1-Smith CG Bench Press: 2 x 7-9
    2-Lying Triceps Extension: 2 x 10-12
    3-Rope Pushdown: 2 x 13-15
    4-Dumbbell Kickback: 2 x 16-20









    Week # 3 is SHOCK training, and a true test of your ability to withstand searing muscle pain! The burn and lactic acid that SHOCK workouts produce will help flood your system with natural GH, literally bathing your cells in one of the most powerful muscle producing, fat incinerating hormones known to science! Here is the outline for a basic SHOCK week, along with a sample workout for delts:

    Rep Goal: 8-10 (dropset is 8-10, drop, 6-8)
    Rest Between Sets: cardiovascular and mental recovery
    Lifting Tempo: 1/0/1
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    1-Superset: Seated Side Lateral/Behind the Neck Press: 2 x 8-10 each
    2-Superset: WG Cable Upright Row/Bent Lateral: 2 x 8-10 each
    3-Dropset: Barbell Front Raise: 1 x 8-10, drop, 6-8

    Once you have completed the 3-week P/RR/S cycle, return to the beginning and repeat, with the intention of training more intensely on the following cycle. I suggest you use the same exercises for three straight cycles, and try to lift heavier weight and/or increase your reps at each workout. After three full P/RR/S cycles either take a complete week off from the gym, or at least train at low intensity for one week to allow for repair and recovery of joints, muscles, and the CNS. Upon returning to P/RR/S, feel free to switch some or all of the exercises, and prepare to push even harder through the next three cycles.

    The Next Step


    Like I mentioned earlier, bodybuilding is a constant learning process, and a pursuit where complacency is not welcome (not under my watch!). Even though I knew I had hit upon something wonderful with P/RR/S training, I still took it upon myself to dig deeper. This led me to an advanced version of my program, which I presented to Iron Man readers in a 2006 article entitled, “Power, Rep Range, Shock 2. Variations and Advanced Techniques.” And while the protocols that I presented in that piece once again raised the bar on muscle growth, I have to admit I still remained unsatisfied and hungry for more! I suppose this relentless pursuit of better and more efficient ways to stimulate hypertrophy can be looked upon as somewhat compulsive, but long ago I decided to make it my life’s work to not only explore the outer limits of my own genetic potential, but to help as many others as possible do this as well.

    And here we are. So take a big breath, and put on some comfortable shoes, because I now invite you to take the next step!

    First Things First


    Before going forward I want to take a little time to discuss what muscle growth means and what is really happening when it occurs. Most often people relate hypertrophy to an increase in “protein synthesis,” or the production of new cellular proteins from amino acids. However, the process is far more complex than this, requiring an overwhelming cascade of physiological events to occur in a specific order, while dozens of bodily hormones and chemicals rush into action. To discuss all of this in depth would take the space of entire book, and likely bore you tears, so let’s skip to the meat and potatoes of this whole thing because I really don’t want any of you to fall asleep, or even worse, dehydrate (and besides, meat and potatoes are yummy).

    In order for muscle hypertrophy to occur, new cells (known as satellite cells) must fuse with existing muscle fibers. Normally these satellite cells are dormant, and sit “minding their own business” adjacent to muscle fiber sarcolemma.

    An intense weight-training workout can serve as a trigger for satellite cell activation, leading to the first stage of hypertrophy, known as proliferation. It is at this point that these cells will begin to divide and multiply, forming into myoblasts. The myoblasts then fuse with existing muscle fibers and donate their nuclei in a process called differentiation. Because muscle cells contain many nuclei, increasing their number allows the cell to regulate more cytoplasm, inducing more actin and myosin (the two main contractile proteins in skeletal muscle) to be produced. This increases overall cell size and protein content, leading to a larger muscle mass.
    So, in a nutshell, what bodybuilding comes down to is a continuous process of damage and repair, over and over. Hard weight training traumatizes our muscles, causing injury to the fibers, leading the body to respond by not only repairing the damage, but also making the muscle fibers bigger and stronger in the process (however, this is only if the body is given the proper rest and flooded with enough nutrients to do so).

    What this means to you is that if you are not training intensely enough to damage your muscle fibers, your body will never turn on the anabolic “machinery” necessary to force hypertrophy to take place. And, even if you do train hard enough, but don’t give your body the building blocks necessary (via food and supplements) to complete the repair and building process, you will continually take one step back, and one step forward…leaving you literally standing still.

    Enter FD/FS Training!


    FD/FS stands for “Fiber Damage/Fiber Saturation,” and is a training method I have been working with and tweaking over the last 8 months, while looking to add some significant muscle mass to areas that I consider weak points. I should mention that in no way have I abandoned P/RR/S training, but have used FD/FS to greatly augment it.

    With FD/FS the workout is basically broken into 2 phases. In the first phase (fiber damage), the goal is to utilize training protocols known to cause significant micro-trauma in the muscle fibers. As I mentioned earlier, this is a necessary step to setting the growth process in motion. The techniques to be used in order to achieve this goal with the utmost precision are: 1) Heavy Weights, 2) Eccentric Emphasis, and 3) Stretch Under Tension. If you have ever performed a workout using any of these methods, you more than likely felt a good degree of soreness in the target muscles over the following days, which is indicative of the type fiber damage we are looking for. However, when all of these techniques are combined properly, you definitely will experience a whole new level of muscle pain, ache (the good kind!) and stiffness. Now that is all well and good, but remember, your body must be able to not only repair all of this damage, but also reinforce the muscle fibers by making them larger and stronger. Digging a whole is fine, as long as you not only refill the hole, but also pile some new dirt on top! Got it?

    This is where the second phase of the workout comes in (and where the magic happens)…fiber saturation. Once you have damaged the muscle fibers the goal is to now bathe them with as much nutrient/hormone-rich blood as humanly possible. That’s right, it’s time to chase the pump…big time! In other words, I don’t want you to wait to get home for the recovery process to begin. I want you to facilitate immediate repairs, and take advantage of the fact that during a workout (especially when high repetitions are involved) there is as much as five times the normal amount of blood flowing directly to the muscles than when at rest! In my experimentation with various FS protocols, I have found that what works best are: 1) Very High Repetitions, 2) Continuous Tension, and 3) Post Activation Supersets (compound movement followed by isolation movement). The goal when performing FS sets is to use a “piston-like” tempo, where the weight is almost constantly moving. There is no time for “stretch and squeeze,” as all we wish to do is force so much blood into the target muscle that it feels like it may burst! The muscle has already undergone the trauma necessary during FD, and now it is time to nourish it!

    Speaking of Nourishment…


    In order for FD/FS training to work to its potential, there is also a nutritional protocol to be used along with the program. The types of training techniques utilized during the FD phase are very brutal on both the muscles and CNS, which is why the FS stage of the workout is a necessary component. Since there will be a tremendous amount of blood traveling to the muscles during FS, we can take further advantage of this by overloading the system with certain nutrients before, during, and right after training. The period starting from right before the workout to immediately after is your greatest opportunity nutritionally to hasten the muscle building process!

    A Better Look


    Now that I have verbally bombarded you with “what’s” and “why’s” of FD/FS, lets take a look at what a typical day of training might have in store with a sample chest workout for both intermediate and advanced trainees (beginners have no place dabbling in such advanced training methods just yet).

    Intermediate FD/FS Workout:

    -Bench Press…2 x 3-4 (3/0/X tempo)
    -Incline Press…2 x 5-6 (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Incline DB Flye…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Bench Press…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Smith Incline Press…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Cable Crossover…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo)

    *Rest between sets on first three movements should be about 2-3 minutes. Rest between sets of last three movements should be no more than 1-2 minutes.

    Advanced FD/FS Workout:

    -Bench Press…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Smith Incline Press…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo) or…Eccentric Only Smith Incline Press**…2 x 5-6 (6 second negatives)
    -Incline DB Flye…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Bench Press…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Machine Dips (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Pec Deck (1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    *Rest between sets on first three movements should be about 2-3 minutes. Rest between sets of high rep movement should be no more than 1-2 minutes. Rest between exercises during superset should be no more than 15 seconds.
    **When performing an eccentric only set you must have one to two spotters available to lift the weight back into the start position. Remember, most trainees are 30-40% stronger when lifting eccentrically than concentrically.

    Feed the Machine


    As I discussed, the nutritional aspect of this program is almost as important as the workouts themselves. In fact, I would say that FD/FS training is about 30-40% more effective for muscle hypertrophy when the following protocol is utilized. It was not until I began using this exact approach that my gains began to skyrocket, allowing me to add about 8 lbs over a 3-week period of FD/FS!

    45 minutes before training:

    -Whey Protein Isolate…50 grams
    -Waxy Maize Starch or Maltodextrin…50 grams
    -Vitamin C…1000 mg
    -Phosphatidylserine…800 mg

    Sip starting 15 minutes before workout and then throughout workout:

    -Waxy Maize Starch or Maltodextrin…25 grams
    -Gatorade or similar drink containing electrolytes and glucose…25 grams
    -Essential Amino Acids 5-10 grams
    -BCAA’s…15-20 grams
    -Glutamine…15-20 grams
    -Creatine…5 grams
    -Beta Alanine…3 grams

    15 minutes post workout:

    -Whey Protein Isolate…50 grams
    -Waxy Maize Starch or Maltodextrin…50 grams
    -Antioxidant Blend (I like Radox by Syntrax)…1 serving

    *Other ingredients can be used as well at all three times, such as ATP, citrulline, arginine, ALA, etc, but the above is more than enough to feed your muscles what they need.

    Notes


    Because of the extremely demanding nature of FD/FS training I highly recommend that it only be utilized during periods of the year when gaining muscle mass is the primary goal. You need to be well fed and well rested to fully reap the rewards of this program. With the exception of the most advanced bodybuilders, and/or those that do not train drug-free, I do not feel that FD/FS should be used during a cutting phase.

    Further, FD/FS was not created for continual use, and should be cycled in and out of your regular training regimen, whether it be Power/Rep Range/Shock, DC, HIT, or any other method. It should only be used for 2-3 weeks periods or both physical and/or mental burnout can occur. Consider FD/FS as a “short burst” mega-mass gaining strategy!






    Oh shoot, look what time it is, I gotta go! It’s time for me to go see my psychotherapist. You see, he is a client of mine and I had him try an FD/FS workout. He is now convinced that I am completely out of my mind, and desperately need help! But I don’t think I need a therapist…only a tailor!!

    Peace Iron Warriors!


    Eric broser: I personally get burnt out if I run FDFS for more than 2 weeks. I put so much effort into FDFS that I think my CNS just says "no more," after 2 weeks.
    I recommend doing a rep range week in between FDFS cycles and not a POWER week. This is because FDFS is tough on the CNS, and power training also taps heavily in the CNS as well. RR week will give your CNS a little bit of a break.



    One more secret: During FDFS training is a good time to increase your intake of high saturated fat protein sources like red meat and eggs.


    For 8 weeks I would use something along the lines of this:

    1-POWER
    2-REP RANGE
    3-FDFS
    4-FDFS
    5-REP RANGE
    6-SHOCK
    7-FDFS
    8-FDFS




    Sample from tank

    Chest

    -Bench Press…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Smith Incline Press…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo) or…Eccentric Only Smith Incline Press**…2 x 5-6 (6 second negatives)
    -Incline DB Flye…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Bench Press…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Machine Dips (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Pec Deck (1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Biceps

    -BB Curl…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Hammer Preacher Curl…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -DB Preacher Curl…1 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Curl…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Reverse Curl (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /DB Hammer Curl (1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Back

    -Seated Row…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -DB Row…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -WG Lat Pulldown…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Deadlift (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Hyperextension(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Quads

    -Hack Squat…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Leg Press…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Leg Extension…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Unilateral Leg Extension…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Leg Press machine(1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Walking DB Lunge(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Hamstrings

    -Lying Leg Curl…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Straight Leg Deadlift…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Single Leg Curl…1 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Seated Leg Curl…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Adduction (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Abduction(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each


    Shoulders

    -WG Upright Row…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Shoulder Press Machine…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -DB Shoulder Press…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Side Lateral Machine…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset:Cable Front Lateral (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Cable Rear Lateral(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Triceps

    -CG Bench Press…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -V-bar Pressdown…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Overhead Extension…1 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Extension…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Dips(1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Reverse Pressdown(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each











    Sample from TaPo31

    Chest

    -Bench Press…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Smith Incline Press…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo) or…Eccentric Only Smith Incline Press**…2 x 5-6 (6 second negatives)
    -Incline DB Flye…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Bench Press…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Machine Dips (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Pec Deck (1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Biceps

    -BB Curl…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Hammer Preacher Curl…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -DB Preacher Curl…1 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Curl…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Reverse Curl (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /DB Hammer Curl (1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Back

    -Seated Row…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -DB Row…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -WG Lat Pulldown…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Deadlift (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Hyperextension(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Quads

    -Hack Squat…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Leg Press…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Leg Extension…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Unilateral Leg Extension…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Leg Press machine(1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Walking DB Lunge(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Hamstrings

    -Lying Leg Curl…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Straight Leg Deadlift…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Single Leg Curl…1 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Seated Leg Curl…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Adduction (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Abduction(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each


    Shoulders

    -WG Upright Row…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -Shoulder Press Machine…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -DB Shoulder Press…2 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Side Lateral Machine…2 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset:Cable Front Lateral (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Cable Rear Lateral(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each

    Triceps

    -CG Bench Press…2 x 3-4 + 1-2 forced reps (3/0/X tempo)
    -V-bar Pressdown…2 x 2-3 +1 + 1 + 1 rest/pause style (6/1/1 tempo)
    -Overhead Extension…1 x 7-8 (2/4/1 tempo)
    -Machine Extension…1 x 30-40 (1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps)
    -Superset: Dips(1/0/1 tempo; non-lock-out reps) /Reverse Pressdown(1/0/1 tempo)…1 x 20-25 each






  19. #19
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    thanks man

  20. #20
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    I just realised I train like a girl...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Shelter RATM View Post
    I just realised I train like a girl...
    no worries. i dont train. i stimulate the muscle and feel the pump then i leave the gym.

  22. #22
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    this is the reason why i like these threads, very informative.. thanks

  23. #23
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    Enroll yourself now on No excuse fitness for you to achieve your desire shape, they’ve got a lot of services that they can offer to you. And they also got a lot of professional and experienced personal trainer. Visit their website noexcusefitness.com now or you can call them in this number (949) 313-4034.

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