ISSUE #69

INSIDE THIS ISSUE...

- "RAPID FIRE Training for Serious Growth"
- "Strength & Mass: An All-in-1 Program"
- "The BIG WHEELS Training Plan"
- "Eliminate the weakness: Train the STRONG Side First"
- "Internet Strength and Conditioning Forums"

 

1 - "RAPID FIRE" TRAINING FOR LEAN MASS

Take your traditional "hardcore" bodybuilding workout of 5 exercises, 4 sets per exercise, 8 reps per set and you have a substantial amount of training volume (160 reps!). Assuming each rep takes 3 seconds, each set will last 24-30 seconds. That's a total of only 12 minutes of work. Now add in 3-minute rest intervals between sets (if you expect to perform 8 reps with the original weight) and you have approximately 50-60 minutes of rest. Thus, the workout lasts ~70 minutes, not including warm-up time!

Is there a way for an advanced bodybuilder to train for mass in less time, but with the same volume? Yes, there probably is and "Rapid Fire" training is a way to do it! In this type of routine, your training goal will be to perform a specific number of repetitions (i.e. 32) in as few sets as possible, rather than aiming to perform a specific number of sets of a specific number of repetitions (i.e. 4 sets of 8 repetitions). Note that both approaches will result in 32 repetitions being performed using the same weight.

So what is the difference? The purpose of "Rapid Fire" training is to do as many sets as necessary to get 32 reps at 8 RM in the exercise while taking SHORTER rest periods (1 minute or less). While you will inevitably end up performing more work sets, this will be offset by a reduction in rest time. The end result: The same amount of work performed in a significantly shorter time period. In addition, this should provide a "training shock" to your muscles, possibly causing them to adapt by growing bigger and stronger, faster than with traditional training. Finally, your work capacity and strength-endurance should skyrocket at the end of a 3-week cycle.

It is time for a head-to-head comparison of "Rapid Fire Training" with a traditional "hardcore" bodybuilder's workout. Remember that your goal is to perform all sets with the same weight.


RAPID FIRE TRADITIONAL

Set #1 = 8 reps Set #1 = 8 reps
Rest 1 minute. Rest 3 minutes.

Set #2 = 6 reps. Set #2 = 8 reps.
Rest 1 minute. Rest 3 minutes.

Set #3 = 5 reps Set #3 = 8 reps.
Rest 1 minute. Rest 3 minutes.

Set #4 = 4 reps. Set # 4 = 8 reps.
Rest 1 minute. Rest 3 minutes.

Set #5 = 4 reps. Set #1 = 8 reps
Rest 1 minute. Rest 3 minutes.

Set #6 = 3 reps.  
Rest 1 minute.

Set #7 = 2 reps.  
Rest 1 minute.

"RAPID FIRE" = 7 sets, 32 reps, 6 minutes rest, ~9 minutes total time.

vs.

TRADITIONAL = 4 sets, 32 reps, 12 minutes rest, ~14-15 minutes total time.

The end result for repetitions is the same but with half the rest time. The amount of time spent actually lifting is almost identical. Therefore, the "Rapid Fire" training routine requires less than two-thirds of the time of a traditional bodybuilding approach. Clearly, the greatest benefit of this training routine is the huge reduction in workout time. A second benefit would be the performance of an unaccustomed training protocol and the possibility that it could shock your body into "rapid fire" muscle growth.

 

SAFETY: Specific lifts (i.e. bench presses) demand that you have a spotter when you are performing any type of training that rapidly promotes fatigue. If you don't have a spotter, choose safer alternatives (i.e. a machine bench press).

 

2 - DON'T LISTEN TO THE CRITICS:

YOU CAN KICK START YOUR MASS GAINS BY TRAINING FOR STRENGTH!

Many people across the course of history have said, "It can't be done." For example, no one was ever expected to hit 62 home runs in one year...but did that stop McGwire and Sosa? So when you read in an article or hear a trainer say that you can't gain significant amounts of strength and mass at the same time...take the attitude that, "yes, it can be done!" In fact, you can train for both within the same workout!

For the beginning resistance trainer, strength and mass will both increase greatly over the first few months of training (provided the training schedule and nutritional plan are adequate). In fact, in comparison to most experienced lifters, beginners can increase muscle mass and decrease body fat at the same time! However, as your experience increases, your margin of improvement slowly decreases. It's a negative correlation.

Strength coaches often plan for a training phase to emphasize either muscle growth or absolute strength. They plan for one or the other, but not both. In most cases, that is a wise decision and represents the training principle called periodization. However, who is to say that once and a while a bodybuilder or athlete can't put the two together and go for both adaptations? In fact, training plans can be designed to address both strength and mass within the same workout!

The following 3-week program is based on scientific principle and theory. In each workout, you will perform 2 heavy sets (1-3 RM) of an exercise (after a thorough warm-up). After that, you will move on to perform your regular bodybuilding routine based on the "RAPID FIRE" methods (outlined in section #1 of this newsletter).

In theory, the 2 heavy sets will provide a neurological enhancement for the rest of your workout. This method is based on a complex physiological process referred to as "post-activation potentiation". This potentiation takes place at the molecular level within your muscle fibers and somehow seems to enhance power after a maximal contraction. In a lab setting, the greatest post-activation potentiation occurs after a 10 second voluntary maximal isometric contraction.

Dr. Digby Sale from McMaster University explains that more "potentiation" occurs with higher intensity efforts. That is, you should get more benefit from performing your 2 heavy sets as close to your 1 RM as possible. ALWAYS properly prepare for a maximal effort (see the warm-up within the program below). In theory, you will still get "potentiation" from a 3 RM effort. Dr. Sale also quoted research stating that the effects of "post-activation potentiation" can persist for up to 20 minutes after your max efforts.

For example, after performing 2 heavy sets of bench presses, you should be able to use a heavier weight than usual for your incline dumbbell presses (i.e. you may be able to get 8 reps with a weight that you can usually only press for 6 reps). Alternatively, you may be able to get additional repetitions using your regular load (i.e. you may be able to pump out 9 or 10 reps with the weight you usually use for 7-8 reps). Thus, your bodybuilding work can benefit from an advanced strength training neurological enhancement. This program is similar in design to the 1-6 principle made popular by Charles Poliquin.

You will train using the 4-day body part split made popular by Ian King.

If you plan to stick to a TEMPO, use (2 - 0 - 1).
You are going to be doing sets of "X" amount of reps and your goal is to perform 32 reps in as few sets as possible.
Perform each set at 6-10 RM. Rest 1 minute between sets.
I.e.) Your sets may go like this: 9 reps, 7 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 2 reps.
Warm-up sets in ITALICS
Follow this program for a no more than 3 weeks.

DAY 1 - Horizontal PUSH/PULL

Rear-delt Dumbbell (DB) Raise 3 x 10 (Shoulder warm-up)
Bench Press 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 1 x 3, 2 x 3
(Week 2: 2 x 2, Week 3: 2 x 1)
Incline DB Press 32 reps
Wide-grip Seated Row 1 x 8, 32 reps
Superset
Flat DB Press 20 reps
Pec-deck 20 reps
Superset
DB row 20 reps
Wide-grip Seated Row 20 reps


DAY 2 - "QUAD dominant" (Front thigh)

Parallel Squat 2 x 8, 1 x 6, 1 x 3, 2 x 3
(Week 2: 2 x 2, Week 3: 2 x 1)
Wide-stance Leg Press 32 reps
Forward Lunge 3 x 8 (each leg; rest 2 minutes between sets)
Calf Raise on Leg Press 1 x 6, 50 reps
Ab Cable Crunch 50 reps


DAY 3 - REST

DAY 4 - Vertical PUSH/PULL

Rear-delt Dumbbell (DB) Raise 3 x 10 (Shoulder warm-up)
Chin-up OR Reverse Pulldown 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
DB Shoulder Press 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Cable Lateral Raise 20 reps (1 arm at a time; no rest b/n sets)
Superset
Seated DB Curl 20 reps
Lying Triceps Extensions 20 reps


DAY 5 - "HIP dominant"

Deadlift 2 x 8, 1 x 6, 1 x 3, 2 x 3
(Week 2: 2 x 2, Week 3: 2 x 1)
Stiff-leg Deadlift 2 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Reverse Lunge 3 x 10 (each leg; rest 2 minutes between sets)

DAY 6 & 7 - REST

 

SAFETY

Specific lifts (i.e. bench presses) demand that you have a spotter when you are performing any type of training that rapidly promotes fatigue. If you don't have a spotter, choose safer alternatives (i.e. a machine bench press).

Spotters are also essential when you are training for max efforts.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Because of the intensity and volume, this training routine should be limited to 3-weeks and advanced lifters only! When you enter into the program, make sure you are well fed and free of injury. Schedule a recovery week of low-volume training after week #3. You should great gains in size and strength at this time. Finally, make sure your nutrition and rest are MORE than adequate. You may want to check out the MASSIVE ACTION program.

 

3 - BIG WHEELS: A TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE ELUSIVE "BIG LEGS"

Big Wheels. We all had them when we were kids. You know, the toy tricycles with the super-huge front wheel. But as we grew up, we forgot about the toys, and even with lots of high school sport participation, some have never again have had "big wheels". In fact, some are stuck with a major case of training wheels. However in this case, "big wheels" refers to big thighs and calves. Below is a program that is going to help you grow the biggest wheels on the block.

The key to the workout is the 4-day split that sections the legs into "QUAD dominant" and "HIP dominant" workouts. This 4-day split routine was made by popular by Ian King and allows you to blast the front thigh and rear thigh on separate days. It also revolves around the "Rapid Fire" rep scheme outlined in section #1 of the newsletter. Make sure to put your leg training days immediately after a rest day so that you are rested and ready to train hard!

You are going to be doing sets of "X" amount of reps and your goal is to perform 32 reps in as few sets as possible.

Perform each set at an 8-10 RM. Rest 1 minute between sets.

Your bench press may go like this: 9 reps, 7 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 2 reps.

Warm-up sets in ITALICS

DAY 1 - "QUAD dominant"

Parallel Squat 2 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Forward Lunge 3 x 8 (each leg; rest 2 minutes between sets)
Calf Raise on Leg Press 1 x 6, 50 reps
Ab Cable Crunch 50 reps

 
DAY 2 - Horizontal PUSH/PULL

Rear-delt Dumbbell (DB) Raise 3 x 10 (Shoulder warm-up)
Bench Press 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Wide-grip Seated Row 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Superset
Incline DB Press 24 reps
DB row 24 reps

 
DAY 3 - REST
 
DAY 4 - "HIP dominant"

Stiff-leg Deadlift 2 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Reverse Lunge 3 x 10 (each leg; rest 2 minutes between sets)
Calf Raise on Leg Press 1 x 6, 50 reps
Ab Cable Crunch 30 reps

 
DAY 5 - Vertical PUSH/PULL

Rear-delt Dumbbell (DB) Raise 3 x 10 (Shoulder warm-up)
Chin-up OR Reverse Pulldown 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
DB Shoulder Press 1 x 8, 1 x 6, 32 reps
Superset
Seated DB Curl 20 reps
Lying Triceps Extensions 20 reps

 
DAY 6 & 7 - REST

 

SAFETY

Specific lifts (i.e. squats) demand that you have a spotter when you are performing any type of training that rapidly promotes fatigue. If you don't have a spotter, choose safer alternatives (i.e. machine leg press).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Because of the intensity and volume, this training routine should be limited to 3-weeks and advanced lifters only! When you enter into the program, make sure you are well fed and free of injury. Schedule a recovery week of low-volume training after week #3. You should great gains in size and strength at this time. Finally, make sure your nutrition and rest are MORE than adequate.

BIG WHEELS is a BONUS workout just recently added to the comprehensive MASSIVE ACTION program.

 

4 - ELIMINATE THE WEAKNESS: TRAIN THE STRONG SIDE FIRST!

How's your training going? Are you free of weakness and injury? If you answered great to the former question and yes to the latter, then skip this article and flip to the credits. But if you aren't doing your best these days, maybe this is a way to improve...

Many people complain about a weaker limb or a muscle that was injured long ago and that still has not gotten back to equal strength. Because the body is composed of identical left and right sides (paired muscles), this offers the body the opportunity to develop strength imbalances. To remedy this, strength coach Ian King advocates doing your weaker side first in an exercise, and then doing the same number of reps with your strong side. The argument is that the weaker side will be more challenged and will eventually catch up to your stronger side. While this is no doubt an effective way to increase your weaker side, why focus on the weakness?

By using the "weak side" rule, you may end up settling for less. After all, in "weak side" training, your mindset is on improving the "negative" strength status, rather than focusing on the possible positives, such as improving the strength of both sides while still enabling the weaker side to catch up.

The principle of strong-side training is only recommended in non-rehabilitation states. That is, if you are simply returning from an injury and need to strengthen one side of your body via physical therapy, then do not use strong-side training. Instead, stick with the program recommended by your therapist because they are the rehabilitation professional. Only use this program if you have a strength imbalance due to limb dominance (i.e. you favor your right arm or leg in everyday activity) or if an injury from your distant past (more than 1 year to be safe) has held back the strength of a specific muscle. In other words, strong-side training is for healthy bodies only!

Here we go, step 1: Identify your problem area. This technique is most appropriate for bodybuilders that are training for purely aesthetic reasons. For example, is one calf muscle smaller or is one biceps less "full" than the opposite? Is the left pectoral weaker than the right? The problem area may be due to a past injury. For example, your right leg may be weaker due to a long-ago fracture. You may also have a weak side simply due to limb dominance.

In step 2, you will choose the unilateral training exercises that will help equalize the strength and muscle mass differences. Check this newsletter for some unilateral training ideas: http://www.cbathletics.com/issues/39.htm

Many people already train the strong side first by nature, yet they don't include the compensatory volume to help eliminate the strength and muscle mass deficits. In fact, you may ask, "Won't the strong-side just remain stronger after this type of training? While there is no proof, in theory, the answer should be no. The weak side will train with a "higher intensity" and equal volume and thus should make more rapid improvements.

So in your workouts, work your stronger side first, and then force your weaker side to do the same number of reps with that weight, even if it requires you to take a 15-30 second break. For a weak right biceps, you would do 10 reps with the right arm and then follow with 10 reps for the right arm (proper technique only). Take as long as necessary to get all 10 reps before you return to the next set for the strong side.

According to Lou Schuler of Men's Health, "The reps performed with the weaker will be at a higher intensity--since that side is weaker, it perceives the weight as heavier. So a set of 10 reps to less than failure with the strong side might be an all-out set of 10 to failure in the weaker limb. Thus, because of the higher intensity, you'll see faster improvements on the weaker side."

 

5 - INTERNET STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING FORUMS

There is an excellent training newsgroup called "SUPERTRAINING" available via Yahoo! The group is run by Dr. Mel Siff and encourages critical thinking.

In addition, there are 2 nice messages board available for athletes of all sports at:

1) SportsSpecific.com Locker Rooms : This is moderated by Ryan Lee, MS, CSCS.

2) www.menshealth.com : Scroll down to the fitness message board link

 

 

CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING
www.cbathletics.com
cb@cbathletics.com

CB Athletic Consulting, Inc.
 
 
Copyright © CB Athletics 2015. All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer