A selection of training methods

Discussion in 'Training Information' started by Hilly, Feb 9, 2011.

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  1. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    This thread is dedicated to all common/different training types.

    It will be a sticky and locked so it doesnt get clutterd with random posts.

    If you have used a training program you feel should be added or know of 1 i have missed then please pm me and i will add it as we want this site to contain as much useful information as possible.


    5x5 training
    DC or Dogg Crap training
    FST7 Training
    Advanced Full Body Training
    Lower volume push/pull/legs
    Light / Heavy Training
    Escalating Density Training
    German Volume
    P/RR/S ( Power, rep-range, shock )
    RACK, Arterial Dan, PHHead and 6 others like this.
  2. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    3 day 5x5
    Monday, Upper
    Bench 5 x 5 Ramping to a top set of 5
    3 Board Bench 2 x 3 (optional)
    Chin 3 x as many as possible
    Tricep PD 3 x 8
    Lateral Raise 5 x 10

    Wednesday Lower
    Squat 5 x 5 Ramp to top set of 5
    Deadlift 3 x 5 Ramp to a top set of 5
    Ab work
    Calf work (optional)

    Friday Upper
    Bench Press 5 x 5 static weight for all sets
    Dip 3 x 8
    Row 5 x 5 Static weight for all sets

    This is periodized. It starts light and works up over 4 weeks. It then either continues progressing for beginners, or the 5 x 5's go to 3 x 3's for people past the beginner stage.

    Week One, 5 x 5's done ramped up to ONLY 80% of your 5 RM
    Week Two, 5 x 5's ramped to ONLY 90% of your 5RM
    Week Three, 5 x 5 ramped up to 100% of your 5 RM
    Week Four, break your 5RM PR by 10-15 lbs
    Week 5 use that SAME TOP WEIGHT for your top set of 3 reps, this in unloading you.
    Weeks 6-10 break 3 rep PR's

    Accessory lifts done 1 rep short of failure on last set only. Set PR's whenever possible.
  3. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    DC training. Taken from an interview done with the creator Dante Trudel. For more information go to Intensemuscle.com
    RH: Can you give me an example of how the bodyparts might be arranged in a typical training week?
    D: For the majority of bodybuilders who are in need of size the following works the best

    monday=chest, shoulders, triceps, back width, back thickness
    wednesday=biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings, quads
    friday-repeat of mondays bodyparts
    monday-repeat of wenesdays bodyparts

    This above way bodyparts are hit twice every 8 days or so

    For advanced bodybuilders (and with that I'm talking very elite bodybuilders and extremely strong people) I sometimes go with the following

    monday=chest shoulders triceps
    tuesday=biceps forearms backwidth backthickness
    thursday=calves hams quads
    friday-repeat of mondays bodyparts
    monday-repeate of tuesdays bodyparts
    tuesday-repeat of thursdays bodyparts

    This way bodyparts are hit twice every 9 days or so and I can work on advanced bodybuilders lagging bodyparts somewhat better with this split.

    RH: One very radical aspect of DC Training is that there are no isolation movements. How do you answer those that believe muscles need to be worked from several angles at each workout for ‘complete development?’
    D:Let me clarify that. My trainees have kind of put the notion out there that no isolation exercises are ever being used. I honestly dont care what exercise someone uses as long as he can be progressive on it over time. If someone really believes in an exercise then they can have at it. Obviously a tricep dumbell kickback which you can hypothetically go from 15 to 45lbs is going to be alot less effective than a close grip bench press where you can start at 200lbs and end up at 405 in my scheme of doing things. I think this all comes down to the "Must" principle again I was talking about earlier and obsessive compulsiveness. When Ronnie Coleman came into this sport from powerlifting did anyone see big gaps of muscle missing from his physique? Is Johnnie Jackson playing catch up with certain bodyparts from powerlifting all those years? I dont see distinct weaknesses in their physiques. They were just somewhat smaller versions of what you see today. People are doing every foo foo exercise under the sun thinking it bombs muscles from all angles and in my opinion all your doing alot of the time is wasting energy resources. Once a growth response is reached in a workout then pretty much everything done after that is just cutting into recovery time and burning up glycogen (and god forbid muscle mass). Steve Michalik and his gang were doing up to 75 sets per bodypart and with elite genetics to boot set absolutely no difference in size or advanced development than the people doing 20, 15, 10, 5, or even 1 set a bodypart (mentzer).

    RH: Could you walk the readers through a set, DC style? Let’s assume the person is properly warmed up and ready to do a set on say, close-grip lat pulldowns.
    D: They would explosively pull it down to the chest and then on the negative return they would resist (control) on the way up. I don't want specific seconds, or a certain time amount, I just want control on the negative to the point if they had to, they could easily reverse direction. They would keep going to the point in the set where they would reach failure, hopefully between rep 7 and 10. At that point, they would take 10-15 deep breaths (usually 22 seconds or somewhere in that area) and then start the exercise again and go to failure once again . Then another 10-15 deep breaths. And then once again to failure. During the rest pauses you do not stay strapped to the bar or anything, you take your 10-15 deep breaths and then get back in there. Oxygen is the key here. What I'm looking for in a restpause set usually is a 11-15 rest pause total (with 3 failure points in that set). That usually comes out to something like 8 reps (failure) ...10-15 breathes....4 reps (failure)....10-15 breathes.... 2 reps (failure) = 14 rp. (hypothetically a total of 11-15 rest paused reps is what im after).

    RH: Because of the rest-pause nature of DC Training, there tends to be a good mix of machines used. Do you believe that machines like Hammer Strength can stimulate muscle growth as effectively as barbells and dumbbells?
    D: I would like to see everyone build a base and use free weights whenever possible. If someone has a training partner, there is no worry at all using free weights with my methods. But sometimes my trainees don't have a spotter and in those cases I try to set them up on machines that they can "save" themselves on while going to the 3 failure points during a rest pause set.. For example, it's very easy to save yourself on an incline smith press at a failure point, you just turn the bar and rack the weight, while with the free weight barbell incline press, i would hate to see one of my trainees sitting there with a guillotine bar on his neck at failure and have no way to get out of it without screaming "help!" Regardless a lot of people misconstrue this as a love for machines when in actuality I'm trying to keep safety in mind for someone who does not have a spotter. Its as simple as that. If push comes to shove my choice would always be a free weight exercise over a machine if it can be done safely. Thats why I tend to use power racks and smythe machines alot, so someone can go to the well and back and not worry about becoming "tomato canned" for lack of better words (laughing)

    RH: Here’s a direct quote from an Internet hater regarding DC Training: “It’s a lazy man’s training program guaranteed to turn you into a fat tub of lard.” How do you respond to a statement like that?
    D:Well with any training routine regardless if it's mine or someone elses, if you throw cardio to the wayside and eat like a glutton your going to end up with an accumulation of adipose tissue (bodyfat). I have seen many people use different training methods while not having their diet dialed in - who end up eating gross amounts and the wrong types of food thinking thats the secret. They end up being a fat pile of "lard" and blame it on the training routine instead of the real reasons...lack of cardio and an idiotic diet.

    RH: How is DC Training fundamentally different from other abbreviated training systems like Heavy Duty?
    D:To be honest Ron this one always rankles me. The HIT advocates love to shove anything thats a lower volume training routine under their gigantic HIT umbrella. I don't beleive in Menzter's theories, I kinda though he went off the deep end at the end there getting crazy about overtraining and in no way want to be associated with "HIT" protocols. My methods are lower volume but extremely heavy. My whole mentality is based around progression over time. With the normal bodybuilder training a bodypart 52 times a year (once a week) and with my clients training bodyparts 75-92 times a year (hence that body part growing 75-92 times/yr instead of 52), thats how I am getting these guys up in muscle size so fast. I can't have them doing 15-20 sets per body part or I cant get them recovered and that defeats the purpose of this all. So its heavy, progressive, lower volume training with recovery in mind so I can get these guys training that bodypart frequently. People have such a hard time grabbing this low volume per workout concept. But in actuality Im doing the exact same things as most volume trainers out there if they look at the big picture. They might be doing 4 different exercises for their back in todays workout (hitting back once a week). Im doing those same exact 4 exercises in a weeks time, but in two separate workouts while training back twice in a week
  4. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    What is FST-7?
    FST-7 is a training system I devised after years of research and a great deal of trial and error with many clients. FST stands for Fascia Stretch Training, and the seven refers to the seven sets performed for the final exercise of a target bodypart. I have had many clients use this system for overall growth and especially to improve stubborn bodyparts that were seemingly resistant to just about anything else the person had tried. FST-7 encompasses several factors both inside and outside the gym. This month we will focus on the training aspects.

    Is fascia limiting your muscle growth?
    There are three types of fascia in the human body, but the type bodybuilders should be concerned about is deep fascia. This is dense fibrous connective tissue that interpenetrates and surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels of the body. The high density of collagen fibers is what gives the deep fascia its strength and integrity. The amount of elastin fibers determines how much extensibility and resiliency it will have. In other words, some of us have fascia that is thicker and tougher than others. The most genetically blessed bodybuilders have thinner fascia, which is why their muscle bellies appear to be larger and fuller, with that round ‘bubbly’ look that all bodybuilders covet. Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath would be two prime examples of individuals blessed with thin fascia. Their muscles expand easier. Think of it in terms of it being easier to blow up a balloon as opposed to one of those water bottles that strongmen like Franco Columbu used to. Jay Cutler and Nasser El-Sonbatty are two men that clearly have thicker fascia. This didn’t prevent them from building substantial muscle mass, obviously, but neither man ever had that round ‘Marvel Comics’ appearance to their muscles. Yet the average bodybuilder has thicker fascia than either of those two champions. In an effort to expand their fascia and allow growth to occur, some have turned to Synthol and other items that are injected deep into the muscle belly. There have even been some advisors, mainly online, that make it seem as if this is the only solution and must be done. They will also try and insist that all the pro’s use Synthol and site inject, which I can assure you is not true. Synthol and related products are foreign substances, and you can never be certain how they will metabolize in the body. We are starting to see various health issues with bodybuilders that are more than likely related to site injecting. Yes, you do need to stretch the muscle fascia to experience optimal growth, but that is not the way to do it.

    All stretching is not the same
    I am not the first person to recognize the importance of stretching the muscle fascia. First John Parrillo, then more recently Dante Trudel of DC Training fame, incorporate aggressive stretching during workouts as part of their training programs. They had the right idea, but stretching the fascia by elongating the muscle is not the best method. FST-7 is based on stretching the muscle from the inside out by volumizing it. This is accomplished by getting the greatest pump possible while training.

    Do I still train heavy, or can I just pump up with light weights?
    One thing I don’t want anyone misconstruing is that FST-7 is all about pumping. That’s just one component. I also believe that a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle, and you absolutely must train with heavier weights in the 8-12 rep range. I have tried many variations of heavier and lighter training with clients over the years, and discovered that both types are needed. Heavy weights will build thickness and density, but they will not give you that round, full look. Similarly, getting incredible pumps all the time can impart some of that roundness, but you won’t ever get extreme muscle size without training with heavy straight sets. So you need to focus equally on maximizing both your strength and your pump in the same workouts to see optimal results. Here’s an example of a biceps workout, FST-7 style, that shows you how to incorporate both:

    Alternate dumbbell curls 3-4 x 8-12
    Machine preacher curl 3 x 8-12
    EZ-bar curl 7 x 8-12 (rest 30-45 seconds between sets while sipping water – more on this next month)

    I don’t typically like to use very high reps, because too often you will experience general fatigue and get short of breath before you have built the maximum pump in the muscle. I also don’t like the weight to be too heavy and limit the reps any lower than eight, because this is when you see form breaking down and ancillary muscles kicking in and robbing the target muscle of the proper stimulation. You can think of the ‘7’ set as blowing up a balloon. We keep the rest periods fairly short, because as you pump up the muscle, a little blood escapes in that time. You can think of it as blowing up a balloon with a slight leak in it – even though the balloon is being inflated, some air is escaping. The key is to build on the pump sets by set, exponentially, so that it reaches its maximum state by the final set. If the rest periods were too short, you wouldn’t have enough energy to do justice to the seven sets. Another question I often get is, should the weight be constant as the seven sets go on? It can be, but it’s perfectly fine to reduce the weight one or two times as needed to stay in the proper rep range. There may also be times when you need to increase the weight, but this happens less often.

    How often can I train bodyparts this way?
    Generally speaking, this type of training is too traumatic on the larger muscle groups to use more than once a week. Due to the sheer volume of muscle cells, soreness tends to linger too long to allow for more frequent workouts. For instance, Phil Heath recently completed a back workout and was sore for four days. Since he is supposed to be training back and chest twice a week in preparation for the Arnold Classic, this threw him off his schedule somewhat. The higher than normal amount of microscopic tears in the muscle caused by FST-7 training necessitates a bit more recovery time than standard training protocols. However, smaller bodyparts like arms and calves certainly can and should be trained twice a week. This gives you twice as many opportunities to stretch the fascia in what are often exceedingly stubborn bodyparts. Here’s a sample split that displays how you could arrange this:

    Day one: Biceps and triceps, calves
    Day two: Legs
    Day three: OFF
    Day four: Chest and triceps
    Day five: Back and calves
    Day six: Shoulders and biceps
    Day seven: OFF

    This is a split geared toward someone with the goal of improving stubborn arms. There are many other variations depending on what the individual’s goals might be.

    Which exercises are best suited to the ‘7’ sets?
    Certain exercises are more appropriate than others for the ‘7’ sets. The big compound free weight movements like squats and deadlifts usually are poor choices, for two reasons. For one thing, they involve several other muscle groups and don’t do a good job of isolating a target muscle. Also, they require technique and balancing, which tends to break down if one attempts to perform multiple sets in such a short time span. Machines are a good choice in many instances because they keep you in a fixed plane of movement and thus make it easier to isolate a given muscle. Those with selectorized stacks also make it very fast and convenient to increase or decrease the resistance as needed. Here are some suggested movements that I have found work very well:

    Back width: Machine pullovers (Hammer Strength, Nautilus) or cable pullovers

    Back thickness: Seated row machines with chest support

    Chest: Pec deck or peck flye machine*, cable crossovers
    *I find that the pec decks with the pads for the elbows usually work very well for shorter trainers, while the pec flye machines
    with handles seem to be better for tall guys. Try both – you will know by the pump and range of motion you achieve which one is a better choice for you.

    Shoulders: Machine lateral raises with pads – my favorite is made by Bodymasters. Hammer Strength, LifeFitness, and Cybex also produce similar models.

    Quads: Leg extensions, leg presses

    Hamstrings: Seated or lying leg curls

    Biceps: EZ-bar curls, machine curls, cable ‘front double biceps curls’

    Triceps: Cable pushdowns using rope attachment
    Overhead cable extensions
    Skull crushers (for advanced trainers)

    Calves: Standing and seated raises, calf raises using leg press
    (alternate between these three)

    When should I do my ‘7’?
    The best time to do your ‘7’ is as the final exercise for a muscle group. You don’t want to do it first, as this would take away from your performance on the heavy straight sets that are also a critical factor in building muscle mass. Finishing off a bodypart with a great pump is something many top bodybuilders have been doing instinctively for years, not knowing that they were expanding their fascia and maximizing growth. It may be tempting to do your pumping sets earlier on if you can’t seem to get any kind of pump going, but I would urge you instead to do something like a set or two of 21’s to get the blood flowing and then proceed with your heavy sets before capping it all off with your ‘7’ set for that bodypart. Remember, ‘7’s’ are done at the conclusion of each bodypart, so if you are working multiple bodyparts in a given workout, you will be doing two or more of these extended pumping sets.

    Next month

    Now you know what you need to do in the gym, but there is more to FST-7. Next month we will look at how your nutrition should be set up to optimize your workouts and recovery as well as facilitate a better pump. I will also give you some real-life examples of clients that have used these methods to improve bodyparts that had been otherwise unresponsive for some time.


    Sample FST-7 bodypart routines*


    Close-grip bench press 3-4 x 8-12
    Weighted or machine dip 3 x 8-12
    Overhead cable extension 7 x 8-12
    (beginner and intermediate)
    Skull crushers 7 x 8-12


    Leg extensions 3-4 x 8-15
    Squats 4 x 8-12
    Hack squat or leg press 3 x 8-15
    Leg extension or leg press 7 x 8-15


    Incline dumbbell press 3-4 x 8-12
    Incline dumbbell flye 3 x 8-12
    Flat Hammer or dumbbell press 3 x 8-12
    Pec deck or cable crossover 7 x 8-12


    Seated dumbbell press 4 x 8-12
    Barbell or dumbbell front raise 3 x 8-12
    Dumbbell lateral raise 3 x 8-12
    Lateral raise machine 7 x 8-12
  5. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    Advanced Full Body Training
    Advanced Programs: Using the Heavy, Light and Medium Concept

    When lifters reach more advanced stages, they often switch to a split routine. Sometimes a split can be a good idea and sometimes not. A periodic return to a three day a week full-body routine is ALWAYS a good idea. One advantage is that all the muscles get equal attention, which gives you proportionate strength throughout your entire body and helps to determine any weak part. With most trainees the split system is often upper-body heavy and lacking in work for the legs and lower back.

    A lot of lifters say they can’t perform three full-body workouts a week because they can’t do justice to other bodyparts because if they train legs first they’re too tired. The reason for this is simply – they’re out of shape. After a few weeks on a full-body routine they’ll have their strength up to previous levels on all bodyparts, and before long they’ll have surpassed personal records.

    Another advantage for advanced lifters is that their muscle groups get worked more frequently with a full body workout. Here’s the kicker – you still hit each bodypart heavy only once a week. The other two sessions are light and medium workouts. This form of training has worked for many decades and still works today.


    Heavy Workout

    Squats – 5 sets of 5, 1 set of 10.
    Perform 2 warmup sets followed by 3 all-out sets of 5 reps. Pick a weight that makes you struggle to get 5 reps on all 3 work sets. Add weight at the next heavy workout and again whenever you manage 5 reps on all 3 sets. After the last set, drop down in weight for 1 set of 10 reps. The 10 reps should be next to impossible to perform.

    Flat Bench Presses – 5 sets of 5, 1 set of 10.
    Follow the same plan as squats.

    Deadlifts – 5 sets of 5.
    The same as above, but omit the higher-rep set.

    Push Presses – 5 sets of 8.
    Do 2 warmup sets of 8 followed by 3 work sets, going as heavy as possible for 8 reps.

    Barbell Curls – 5 sets of 8
    As above.

    Incline Situps – 3 sets of 45.
    Perform 15 reps as regular situps, 15 twisting to the right, and 15 to the left.

    Light Workout

    Squats – 5 sets of 5.
    Use a weight that’s 60 to 65% of the weight you used in the heavy workout. You’ll probably need only one warmup set, so you can do the remaining 4 sets with you work weight. Concentrate on speed and explosiveness. The concentric portion of each lift should be done as quickly as possible.

    Flat Bench Presses – 5 sets of 5.
    As above.

    Good Mornings – 5 sets of 5.
    This exercise is great for building strong lumbars. Perform 2 warmup sets followed by three heavy sets of 5 reps. Heavy, of course, is relative on this exercise. The mechanics of the exercise don’t allow for great poundages, thus, it falls on the light day.

    Seated Dumbell Presses – 5 sets of 8.
    Do 2 warmup sets followed by 3 all-out work sets.

    Concentration Curls – 5 sets of 8.
    As above.

    Crunches – 3 sets of 45.
    Perform these as you did the incline situps in the heavy workout. I put them on the light day because they don’t involve the effort that other ab exercises do.

    Medium Workout

    Squats – 5 sets of 5, 1 set of 2.
    Perform 2 warmup sets just as you did on the heavy day followed by 3 sets of 5 reps with a weight that’s less than what you used at that workout. I like to use around 85% of what I did on the heavy day. After your 5th set rest a few minutes and do a heavy double with more weight than you used on your heavy day. That will prepare you for the upcoming heavy day, when you’ll attempt to use the weight used for a double here 5 reps.

    Flat Bench Presses – 3 sets of 5, 1 set of 2.
    Same as above.

    Stiff-legged Deadlifts – 5 sets of 5.
    Do two warmup sets followed by 3 heavy sets of 5. The weight you use on these should be somewhere between what you use on the good mornings in the light day and the deadlifts in the heavy day.

    Behind the Neck Presses – 5 sets of 8.
    Do 2 warmup sets followed by 3 heavy sets.

    Barbell Curls – 5 sets of 8.
    As above.

    Hanging Leg Raises – 3 sets of 45.
    Perform these to the front, right, and left side.

    Here are some tips to help you get the most out of this program:
    - Stick with it for least 8 weeks.
    - After a month on the program, increase the weight you use on the light and medium days. Go to 75% on the light day and 90% on the heavy day.


    This program incorporates the heavy/light/medium system, but goes about it differently. In this routine you perform different lifts on each day, and the exercise itself determines what day it falls on.

    Keep in mind that what follows is just an example. Feel free to exchange the exercises on the light and medium days regularly as long as they fall within the guidelines.

    Heavy Workout

    Squat – 7 sets of 5.
    Don’t deviate from the instructions for this exercise, no matter what. The full squat, or some version of it, should be the cornerstone of every workout in every routine. Here, however, you do 2 more sets than you did previously. Perform 3 progressively heavier warmup sets followed by 4 work sets of 5. Once you can get 5 reps on each of these sets increase the weight at the next session.

    Flat Bench Presses – 7 sets of 5.
    Same as above.

    Deadlifts – 7 sets of 5.
    Same as above. If you’ve followed the first two programs faithfully, you should be capable of handling this workload.

    Alternate – Dips/Chins – 4 sets of 5.
    After a good rest, and a few warmup sets, perform a set of dips, rest, do a set of chins, rest and continue back and forth until you complete all 8 sets.

    Alternate – Barbell Curls/Pullover and Presses – 4 sets of 5.
    Same as above.

    Incline Situps – 3 sets of 60.
    20 reps in each direction.

    Light Day

    Olympic-style Pause Squats – 5 sets of 5.
    Use a fairly close stance and squat as low as possible, pausing at the bottom for a second before starting the ascent. Perform 2 warmup sets. Shoot for a weight that’s at least 75% of what you use on the work sets for your squats in the heavy workout.

    One-arm Dumbell Bench Presses – 5 sets of 5.
    This exercise will be tough when you first try it because of the coordination it takes. Stick with it, however, as it will greatly aid your regular flat-bench presses. Five sets each arm.

    Round-back Good Mornings – 5 sets of 8.
    Use caution with this exercise and go much deeper into the negative portion of the lift. Add small amounts of weight slowly.

    Superset – Dumbell Curls/Lying Dumbell Extensions – 5 sets of 8.
    Do a set of curls and go directly into the extensions, then rest and repeat.

    Crunches – 3 sets of 60.

    Medium Day

    Bottom Position Squats – 5 sets of 5, 1 set of 3.
    Set the pins in the rack below parallel. This exercise will bring new meaning to the words hard work if you’ve never performed it before.

    Incline Bench Presses – 5 sets of 5.
    Do 2 warmup sets followed by 3 work sets.

    Power Cleans – 5 sets of 5.
    This is one of the best back exercises in existence. The beauty of it is that you can work your lower, middle and upper back all in one exercise. If you’ve been lifting for a number of years and have never done any cleaning, you’ve done yourself a disservice. Do 2 warmup sets and 3 work sets.

    Close Grip Chins – 5 sets of 5.
    Use a regular knuckles-front grip on these. Add weight on the 3 work sets when possible.

    Lying Barbell Extensions – 5 sets of 5.
    Add weight slowly and in small increments.

    Hanging Leg Raises – 3 sets of 60.

    Here are some tips for getting the most out of the program:
    - Remember, this workout is only a guideline. There are many applicable substitute exercises you can use to tailor the program to your own needs and limitations.
    - If you feel overtrained or run down, avoid taking a layoff at first. Try switching to exercises that require the use of lighter weights for a week or two. That will decrease your total workload and may get you back on track when you return to the heavier exercises.
    - After the first month, don’t be afraid to add a back-off set to your core exercises.
    plod likes this.
  6. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    Lower volume push/pull/legs routine for hitting a body part more regularly
    Day 1
    Bench Press 1/6-8
    I Press 1/8-10
    I Flye 1/10-12


    OH Press 1/6-8
    Side Lateral 1/8-10
    Bent Lateral 1/10-12


    Lying Tricep Ext 1/8-10
    Pushdown 1/10-12

    Day 2

    Bent Row 1/6-8
    Pulldown 1/8-10
    D Pullover 1/10-12


    Shrugs 1/8-10
    Upright Row 1/10-12


    Barbell Curl 1/8-10
    Seated Dumbell Curl 1/10-12

    Day 3
    Squat 1/6-8
    Leg Press 1/8-10
    Leg Extension 1/10-12

    SL Deads 1/8-10
    Leg Curl 1/10-12
    Standing Calf Raises 1/12-15
    Seated Calf Raises 1/15-20
    two days on one off. Push/Pull/Rest/Legs/Push/Rest/Pull ect. Hitting each muscle group every 5th day.
  7. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    One approach that works well for a lot of people is a variation of the heavy/light format. With this approach you train a muscle twice per week. On the first day you really focus on upping the poundages with a take no prisoners attitude when it comes to putting more weight on the bar each week. You’d simply take a body-part and knock out several heavy sets of a basic movement for that bodypart, with the basic idea being to generate progressive tension increases in that exercise on a weekly basis. Then you might do a couple of “pump”sets to get some fatigue in. You would then hit the muscle group later on in the week but with less intensity and intensiveness. On this lighter workout, the idea is to stimulate the muscle to keep growth signaling elevated, but not to totally annihilate the muscle. You could even hit it indirectly (eg. Shoulder press one workout, Incline Barbell press the next) A sample routine is as follows:

    Mon: Lower (Quadricep focused)
    Squat: 4-5 x 6-8 with full rests
    SLDL: 3 x 6-8 with full rests
    Leg press: 2 x 15-20 with full rests
    Leg curl: 3 x 5-8 with short rests
    Calf raise: 4 x 5 (5 seconds down, 5 seconds pause at bottom)

    Tue: Upper (Chest and back focused)
    Flat bench: 4-5 x 6-8 with full rests
    Row: 4-5 x 6-8 with full rests
    Pec Deck- 2 x 12-15 Lateral DB raise- 2 x 10-12 with full rests
    Pulldown/chin: 3 x 5-8 with short rests Triceps (your choice - preferably something compound like lying decline ez bar extensions): 2 x 8-10 with full rests
    Biceps (your choice): 2 x 8-10 with full rests

    Thurs: Lower (glute/ham focused)
    Deadlift- 4-5 x 6
    Front Squat- 3 x 8
    leg curl - 3-5 x 6-12 with short rests
    leg ext- 2 x 15
    Calf raise - 3 x 10-10-10 (triple drop)

    Friday or Saturday: Upper (Shoulder and arm focused)
    Incline Dumbell press 3-4 x 6-8
    wide grip chin 3-4 x 6-8
    Lateral- 3-5 x 8-12 with short rests
    One arm DB Row- 2 x 12-15
    Triceps (your choice): 2 x 10-12 with full rests 3 x 8-12 with short rests
    Biceps (your choice): 2 x 10-12 with full rests 3 x 8-12 with short rests

    You can see we basically hit a muscle group directly hard and heavy once per week with one exercise and then hit it a little lighter that same week, often indirectly, with a different exercise.

    39. Borrowing Something From Powerlifters - Increasing the Weights While Decreasing the Reps

    To fully maximize strength gains, ideally on your tension driven compound movements (typically the first exercise in a workout for a given bodypart), the reps should decrease over the course of a mesocycle. An example of how you might jack with the reps on compound movements is this:

    Week 1 and 2 – Sets of 8-10 (ex: 3 x 8-10)
    Week 3 and 4 – Sets of 6-8 (ex: 4 x 6-8)
    Week 5 and 6 – Sets of 4-6 (ex: 5 x 5)
    Week 7 and 8 – Reduce training to just twice a week and take it easy, recuperate, reduce training frequency and volume.
    Week 9 – Start over with week 1.

    When strength increases enough to perform 2 to 3 reps above the predetermined absolute RM in the last set, the load should be increased to match absolute RM strength.

    The above is just an example. In reality you might continue on and go another couple of weeks of 3 reps on your compound movements. Or you could simply drop the reps each week instead of every 2 weeks. Or you could stick with a given rep range for a month or more. As long as you're making continual strength improvements it doesn’t matter really. The idea is the bar weight is gonna be consistently increasing over time on your “tension” generated movements. On your fatigue movements, bar weight increases are not quite as important yet should still be sought after.
  8. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    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.


    • 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.
  9. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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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.


    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
  10. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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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.


    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.


    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.
    JUGGERNAUT and Jables_86 like this.
  11. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    P/RR/S (power, rep-range, shock) is a training protocol advanced by Eric Broser. Eric Brosser claims to have built his body naturally and thus it is interesting to look at what he developed to growth without steroids.


    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.

    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, 6-
    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.
  12. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    The Texas Method: Strength Training for Intermediate Lifters | StrongLifts.com

    The Texas Method is a strength training program aimed at intermediate lifters. Mark Rippetoe describes it in Practical Programming for Strength Training.

    The Texas Method is the logical next step after the Beginner Strength Training Program II. I’ve followed the Texas Method for several months this year with great success. Here’s how the program works.

    Intermediates & Progressive Loading. You can’t add weight every workout as an intermediate. You use more weight, workouts get intenser. You need 4 days or more to recover. If you stall 2-3 times in a row, you need more recovery time.

    Intermediates still have to apply progressive loading, but differently. No more workout to workout weight increases. Instead weekly increases. Your goal is to lift more weight than the same day the week before. That’s the Texas Method.

    The Texas Method. You’ll alternate between volume days, recovery days & intensity days on the Texas Method.

    Volume: 5 sets of 5 reps with the same weight.
    Recovery: 3 sets of 3 reps with the same weight.
    Intensity: 1 heavy single, double or triple (1×1, 1×2 or 1×3).
    Monday volume, Wednesday recovery, Friday intensity. Always at least one day rest between two workouts. Train on Tu/Th/Sa or Su/Tu/Th if you prefer.

    Volume, Recovery & Intensity. The volume day is the toughest workout. It will cause the most soreness. The recovery day is easy & speeds up recovery by getting blood flowing into your muscles.

    You’ll lift your heaviest weights on the intensity day. Work yourself up towards one heavy single, double or triple. Beat your previous record.

    Exercises. Choose exercises based on your goals. If you tend towards powerlifting: more Bench Press. If you prefer Olympic lifting: more Front Squats & Overhead Press. Whatever your goals, always do the basics:

    Squat & Front Squat
    Overhead Press & Push Press
    Bench Press
    Bent-Over Barbell Rows & Pendlay Rows
    Pull-ups, Chin-ups & Dips
    Power Cleans

    Choosing Your Weight. It’s better to start too light & work with bigger weight increases, than starting too heavy & stall sooner.

    Monday: start with a weight you know you can do 5 sets of 5.
    Wednesday: 10% less weight than Monday.
    Friday: warm-up & attempt a personal record.
    Don’t limit yourself by rules. If you feel the weight is too heavy on Wednesday, decrease the weight somewhat. It’s a recovery day after all. If the weight is too light on Monday use a bigger weight increment the week after.

    Progression. Your goal is to make progress on a weekly basis. Lift more weight than the same day one week before.

    Monday: add 2,5kg/5lbs every week.
    Wednesday: 10% less than Monday.
    Friday: hit personal records.
    You can’t add weight every week endlessly. You will stall. Never on Wednesday because that’s a recovery day. But you will stall on Monday & Friday.

    Stalling on Monday. Example. You did 3 sets of 5 reps, but only achieved 3 reps in the last 2 sets. Two solutions:

    1.Retry. Try again the week after with the same weight. Get the 5×5.
    2.Deload. Lower the weight by 10% on Monday. Build up from there adding 2,5kg/5lbs every week.
    The weight on Wednesday is always 10% of the weight on Monday. Retry for up to 3 weeks in a row. If that doesn’t help: deload. Don’t deload too soon: bad days often cause stalling.

    Stalling on Friday. I’ll assume you’re training hard on Monday. If you are, but can’t break personal records on Friday consistently:

    Alternate between singles, doubles & triples weekly.
    Lower the weight on Monday by 10%.
    Sometimes the Monday’s workout is too stressful. You need more time to recover. Deload 10% & see what happens.
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  13. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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    StrongLifts 5×5 is the popular training program that will make you gain muscle and strength while losing fat – whatever your bodytype, age or genetics – using only 3 workouts per week of about 1 hour each.

    SL5x5 is NOT a silly bodybuilding routine – there’s no training to failure 6x/week for 2h/day until you get “pumped” and sore instead of strong.
    SL5x5 is ALSO NOT one of those painful metabolic workouts that make you skinny and weak instead of muscular and powerful.
    And SL5x5 is DEFINITELY NOT a program that requires expensive supplements or worse steroids to make you gain muscle and strength.
    StrongLifts 5×5 will also increase your endurance and improve your flexibility. As you’ll discover, several of my SL Members have even eliminated nagging back or knee pain, and lowered their blood pressure (without cardio) with SL5x5.

    The secret? Free weight, compound, barbell exercises for 5 sets of 5 reps (5×5) with progressive loading. And that delivers results whether you have ZERO weight training experience or have been training for 20 years.

    Skeptical? That’s normal and healthy. Read on for actual proof.

    Proof That SL5x5 Works. Reg Park, mentor of Arnold Schwarzenegger, used the 5×5 method during the 1950s to become 3x Mr Universe. By also becoming the first bodybuilder to Bench Press 500lbs, Reg Park inspired Schwarzenegger to follow his 5×5 training method to become 7x Mr Olympia.

    I discovered the 5×5 method in 2003. After 5 years of bodybuilding routines, I decided it was time to BE strong, not just LOOK strong. Research led me to Olympic Coach Glenn Pendlay who has used this 5×5 method to produce (so far) 97 national champions who have broken 10 American records.

    Since 1950, for over 60 years, thousands of success stories have emerged from men who have dramatically transformed their physique while gaining amazing strength, fitness and confidence using this powerful 5×5 method.

    SL5x5 is an evolved version of this 5×5 method with long-term planning (“The StrongLifts Ladder of Strength” as you’ll discover the coming months…). I have over 150 success stories from men with different genetics, bodytypes and ages who have changed their life with SL5x5. It’s time-tested proven to work.

    The StrongLifts 5×5 Program. So here’s the Program. 5×5 stands for 5 sets of 5 reps with the same weight. Start with the empty Olympic Bar (45lbs) on all exercises then add 5lbs per workout. On Deadlifts start with 90lbs and add 10lbs per workout (1 set of 5 only!). I warn you, SL5x5 is harder than it looks.

    StrongLifts 5x5 Workout A StrongLifts 5x5 Workout B
    Squat 5x5 Squat 5x5
    Bench Press 5x5 Overhead Press 5x5
    Barbell Rows 5x5 Deadlift 1x5

    The first time you go to the gym you do SL5x5 workout A, the next time you do workout B. Alternate workouts A and B like this every time you go the gym, and always wait at least 48h between 2 workouts for optimal muscle recovery. Most SL Members train Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
  14. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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  15. Hilly

    Hilly Nutritionist and Sports Therapist Moderator

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