In part 1 I outlined three of the reasons why full body training is so effective, along with cool sample workouts. Now I’m going to show you how to design a total body program with two specific goals in mind: muscle growth or maximal strength gain. I don’t know any natural guy who thinks he’s too big and strong.
Before I get to that, let me quickly touch on one reason why there’s so much controversy surrounding the body part split vs. full body training debate.
You see, it’s common for people to look for training advice from the biggest guy in the room. That’s why every guy who’s looking to build muscle wants to know how Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, or Jay Cutler trains. That’s exactly what I wanted to know back in my teens. And many bodybuilders with massive amounts of muscle follow some type of body part split. Yet, I’m telling you that a full body training program is the best way to build muscle.
Why the discrepancy?
First, and most obvious, is the fact that every top bodybuilder uses huge amounts of steroids and is a genetic freak. These guys can build muscle on virtually any type of program – but that’s not really important. What’s important to remember is that a bodybuilder is near his genetic limit of muscle growth (even with boatloads of steroids in the equation), so to gain muscle he has to go through extreme levels of training to add an extra 8-10 pounds to his frame.
If a pro bodybuilder wants to add a half-inch to his 19″ arms he has to train them with an insane amount of intensity and volume because, as I said, he’s near his genetic limit. By default, a bodybuilder will follow a body part split because a full body workout simply isn’t possible when you need that much volume and intensity.
So for the other 99.9% of guys out there. I’m talking about natural guys with average genetics who still have plenty of muscle left hidden in their physiology, full body training is the way to go. I’ve experimented with every type of training system out there over the last 16 years. If a body part split added muscle and strength fastest, or if it was best for fat loss, I’d be extolling the virtues of it right now. After all, I don’t own any stock in a full body training company.
Make no mistake about it: if a million bucks were on the line to transform a natural lifter as fast as possible, even the biggest proponents of body part splits would have the person follow a full body program.
Body part splits are for elite bodybuilders that just need to add muscle to specific areas of their body. If you’re someone who needs to add 15 or 20 pounds of muscle to your entire frame, a full body program will get you there in one-third of the time that a body part split takes.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff: training.
Full Body for Strength
When strength is the goal you must lift heavy. I prefer three reps per set with the heaviest load you can handle. The overall volume of the workout must be kept low so your body can recover within 48-72 hours. For rest, I recommend following a circuit style of training because by the time you repeat an exercise you’ve had a few minutes of rest.
One big misconception about rest periods is that they must be passive. To get three minutes of rest between sets of deadlifts you shouldn’t just sit around for three minutes because it’s a waste of time. Furthermore, sitting down for minutes at a time doesn’t help. You could be training upper body movements during that time without any negative impact on your recovery between sets of deadlifts.
Here’s a sample workout for strength.
Load: 3RM for all sets. You can adjust the weight up or down with each round, the weight doesn’t have to be static. It should be the heaviest load you can handle for 3 reps.
1A Upper body pull for 3 reps
Rest 45 seconds
1B Upper body push for 3 reps
Rest 45 seconds
1C Squat or deadlift for 3 reps
Rest 45 seconds and repeat 1A-1C twice more (3 rounds total)
Two or three exercises per workout works well for maximal strength training.
Full Body for Muscle Growth
In order to gain muscle fast, you should lift as heavy as possible. However, hypertrophy requires more volume per workout than pure strength does. Since you can’t lift super heavy with a high volume the relationship between intensity (load) and volume must be like Goldilock’s porridge: just right.
I’ve found that a volume of around 25 total reps per exercise with a load you can lift no more than 6 times the first set is ideal. The rest periods can be a little less than for maximal strength, however, it’s still ideal to get as much rest between exercises as possible. This is why, once again, I favor a circuit.
Here are three examples that all follow the rules I just mentioned, but each takes a slightly different path to the finish line. Use whichever version best suits your available time.
Example #1
This first example is based on doing as many reps as your body can handle at any moment. Therefore, there’s not a target number of reps in each set. I wrote about this type of training, and the value of it, in my book Huge in a Hurry.
Load: start with a weight that allows no more than 6 reps for the first set and continue using that same starting weight until you complete 25 reps per exercise.
1A Upper body pull for as many reps as possible (AMRAP)
Rest 30 seconds
1B Upper body push for AMRAP
Rest 30 seconds
1C Squat or deadlift for AMRAP
Rest 30 seconds
1D Single-joint exercise (curl, calf raise, triceps extension, etc) for AMRAP
Rest 30 seconds and repeat 1A-1D until you reach 25 reps of each exercise
Example #2
Another way to reach 25 total reps is with the classic 5 sets of 5 reps (5×5) combination that Bill Starr made famous.
Load: the heaviest weight you can handle for 5 reps with each set. The load can change throughout the workout.
1A Upper body pull for 5 reps
Rest 30 seconds
1B Upper body push for 5 reps
Rest 30 seconds
1C Squat or deadlift for 5 reps
Rest 30 seconds
1D Single-joint exercise (curl, calf raise, triceps extension, etc) for 5 reps
Rest 30 seconds and repeat 1A-1D four more times (5 rounds total)
Example #3
In this example you’ll complete 8 rounds and do 3 reps per set. This is the type of training that most guys prefer because it works incredibly well for adding muscle fast.
Load: the heaviest weight you can handle for 3 reps with each set. The load can change throughout the workout.
1A Upper body pull for 3 reps
Rest 30 seconds
1B Upper body push for 3 reps
Rest 30 seconds
1C Squat or deadlift for 3 reps
Rest 30 seconds
1D Single-joint exercise (curl, calf raise, triceps extension, etc) for 3 reps
Rest 30 seconds and repeat 1A-1D seven more times (8 rounds total)
Three to five exercises per circuit is recommended in any of the above three samples.
Be sure to revert back to part 1 since it’ll answer many of the program design questions that you’re probably asking yourself right now. In that installment I show you how to switch exercises throughout the week so you’re not repeating the same exact workout structure.
In part 3 I’ll uncover all the tricks I use to create some of the most intense and effective fat-burning workouts you’ve ever seen.
Stay Focused,
CW

Wikio

About EdR

Tant que les lions n’auront pas leurs propres historiens, les histoires de chasse continueront de glorifier le chasseur. (proverbe africain)

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