Total Confusion Or Winning Program? 3 Styles Of Training To Beat Adaptation!

Another year is about to end and with it comes great expectations for the next. Endless though are the number of workout schemes available today, so how could we possibly ensure we select the correct one? I will outline a few of my favorites.

Article Summary:
  • High intensity training takes a great amount of mental fortitude.
  • Time under tension is one of the most overlooked aspects in training.
  • High volume refers to a large number of sets, usually 15 or more.
  • Another year is about to end and with it comes great expectations for the next. There is no doubt we all have goals and aspirations to transform our bodies in the next twelve months but where do we start? The different goals, schedules and body types we possess ensure there is no perfect workout for everyone ... just perfect for you!

    Endless though are the number of workout schemes available today, so how could we possibly ensure we select the correct one? Each of you reading this article has made the decision to "transform their body," but how you decide to do this can be confusing. Some may want to get bigger, some more defined and others just want to live a healthier lifestyle in 2009.

    No matter which road you take there aren't many of us who don't wonder from time to time, "Am I doing the correct workout to reach my goals?" "Will this be another wasted year?" I'll admit I am constantly re-evaluating my training and reasons behind it. There has to be the "perfect" workout right? Wrong!

    There just isn't and I want to make that clear. There is no perfect program! No matter who you are or how you train you must constantly change the stimulus to continue to change your physique and reach your goals. The body is the greatest tool you will ever own and is a master at adaptation.

    Eyad Yehyawi
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Author, Eyad H. Yehyawi: "I Am Constantly
    Re-Evaluating My Training And Reasons Behind It."

    There are, however, principles and techniques that have stood the test of time. Techniques and modalities of training that many have found tremendous success with and will continue to do so.

    I promise that by the time you finish this article, a style of training will grab your interest and give you the incentive to train harder and reach those goals that have been just out of reach in the coming year. Not one of these did I create but have followed them all with great success.

    They were developed by some of the greatest minds in the industry and they all have their place. We are all individuals and therefore react differently than your best friend or even sibling would to the same training stimulus.

    As this article develops, you will find yourself getting more excited as the pieces fall into place and you realize how we react to different training styles. Once that occurs, creating the ideal program tailored to your needs and goals will be simple. Let's get started!

    There are, in my opinion, three ways to train and all can be advantageous:

    1. High Intensity Training (HIT)
    2. Increased Time Under Tension
    3. High Volume

    High Intensity Training (HIT)

    I will never forget when my buddy Brian and I jumped on this wagon. It is a marvelous training style but many may join the party for the wrong reasons. You see this type of training involves training each body part with 1-2 sets! Ladies and gentleman, that is not a typo.

    Mike Mentzer, one of the greatest and most controversial minds in bodybuilding, was a huge advocate of this and is credited with bringing it to the forefront. Dorian Yates, former Mr. Olympia champion and an intense trainee to say the least used this as the cornerstone of his physique.

    Mike Mentzer Bio:
    His impressive frame, combined with his idea that bodybuilders didn't have to train seven days a week for an hour or two at a time, created shock waves in the industry. Muscle builders began to realize that they, too, could have a life outside the gym.

    [ Click here to learn more about Mike Mentzer. ]
    [ Click here for the interview with Mike Mentzer. ]

    Dorian Yates Bio:
    Dorian has won 5 Mr. Olympia's in a row. He is the biggest of the professional bodybuilders and when beside him makes all other bodybuilders look small. His nickname is the 'Shadow.'

    [ Click here to learn more about Dorian Yates. ]
    [ Click here for the "5 Days Of Dorian" feature. ]

    One set? Are you kidding? How in the world could anybody grow on one set? That's a great question but in some individuals it does work. It, however, takes a tremendous amount of dedication and desire. You can't just show up and "complete" one set but must approach it like it your last set on earth.

    The mental fortitude this takes is nothing to be taken lightly. A trainee must truly be more afraid of that set than completing 10 sets of 10. Maximizing one's intensity is a must and anything less is just not going to cut it. To start with, one must thoroughly warm up and then do 2-4 sets of progressively heavier weights to bring blood to the target muscle.

    Mental Fortitude
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Mental Fortitude This Takes
    Is Nothing To Be Taken Lightly.

    As I learned from Charles Poliquin, warming up with 15-pound dumbbells will not prepare you for 50-pound curls. This basically means each set should see you doing fewer reps while slowly approaching your work weight. So, for bench press, one may do push-ups, then 5x135; 4x185; 3x205; 2x225 and then their work set of 8-10 reps with say 240 per this example.

    Charles Poliquin Bio & Articles:
    Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the World's most successful strengthcoaches, having coached Olympic medalists in 12 different sports including the U.S. female track and field for the Olympics 2000.

    [ Click here to learn more about Charles Poliquin. ]

    This set must be intense, like someone has a gun to your head and is saying, "If you don't give me one more rep, tomorrow won't matter much!" That's the type of intensity one must bring to the table to find success with HIIT. If you don't think you can achieve this type of intensity, then HIIT is not for you.

    The reason being is that if you don't fully activate the high threshold fibers and force them to initiate growth, many will remain untapped, and with no sets to follow, your growth potential is severely inhibited.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    This Set Must Be Intense.

    dot Fast And Slow: dot

      Generally speaking, the muscles have two main fibers, type I (slow twitch) and type II (fast twitch). Slow twitch are generally considered endurance or aerobic (with oxygen) fibers, while fast twitch are generally considered strength or anaerobic (without oxygen) fibers.

      As an example, sprinters rely more on fast twitch fibers while marathon runners rely more on slow twitch. Fast twitch fibers have various subtypes (IIa, IIb, IIc) - some having higher endurance (IIa), and others having lower endurance but better strength potential (IIb/IIc).


    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    4 HIIT Techniques!
    Looking for a way to increase intensity? Blast your muscles into oblivion with these four powerful and proven HIIT techniques.
    Alex Stewart

      Slow twitch fibers have subtypes as well, all having high endurance and low strength capabilities. In any case type II, high-threshold fibers are most responsible for muscular growth and are what we should primarily focus on. If they are not adequately stimulated then muscular growth will lag behind.

      I found great success with HIIT early but found myself getting burned out after six weeks. I just couldn't bring that type of intensity to the table week after week. I was getting more fatigued, was not looking forward to the gym, and felt like I was actually making less progress after about the sixth week.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Just Couldn't Bring That
    Type Of Intensity Week After Week.

      I do like HIIT but often mix many training styles in with it. I truly believe from my experience that few athletes and trainees can achieve full activation of the high threshold fibers with just one set. They may feel they have but their "survival" skills often come into play and the body actually quits on them before the muscle is fully stimulated.

      It's not that they "don't want it bad enough," it's just that the neuromuscular connection terminates the set long before the muscle is fully stimulated. It is merely a survival mechanism to ensure that no harm is done to the body.

      Many trainees have tremendous mind-muscle connections and can therefore fully activate their high threshold fibers with 1-2 sets. Others, and in my opinion the majority, need more than this and therefore may not find the most success with HIT.


    Video Tip Of The Week:
    Tip #11: Kendall Wood's Mind-Body Tip!

    In this Video Tip Of The Week, WNSO/FAME competitor Kendall Wood explains how to use the mirror to your advantage when exercising to really focus on the muscle being worked. Integrating this technique with HIIT will allow you to get the maximum intensity while stimulating the muscle.

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    dot Neuromuscular Efficiency: dot

      This process of "self-protection" and how some do not succeed with HIIT training is related to neuromuscular efficiency. Neuromuscular efficiency simply refers to how efficiently our brain can stimulate our muscles to act. The central nervous system controls everything that we do.

    The Central Nervous System.
    The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.

    This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.

    The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.

    Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.

      So, when our muscles are stimulated to lift a weight, our brain has to send a signal strong enough to move that weight. Remember though that our brain and body are essentially made to protect us.

      So, when a weight we start to lift stimulates our muscles, the brain has to decide whether it should push forward, or inhibit any more nerve impulses to the muscle.

      This easily explains why an individual progresses so quickly when they first started lifting. The communication between the muscle and CNS became more efficient as more fibers were stimulated with each increase in weight and training session.

      Initially, since few were stimulated in the absence of training, it was easy to wake up a few muscle fibers and initiate growth and strength increases. Then, as the weights got heavier, we started to fail.

      This simply happened because there weren't enough nerve-muscle communications stimulated to complete the contraction and keep us progressing. Soon we became frustrated and either stopped working out, or did the same weights repeatedly. Hence, the body ceased to change anymore.

      Now, with prolonged and progressive training, using various techniques such as HIIT, the "mind-muscle" connection learns to become more in sync, and more weight can be lifted.

    Muscle Fibers
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    As The Weights Get Heavier,
    Failure Begins To Set In.

      There are those of course who we have deemed "naturally strong and muscular," and these individuals simply have tremendous "mind-muscle" connections to start with. You know, the guy who weighs 200 pounds, can bench press 400 pounds, and only does 6-10 reps once per week!

      The point is they can summon a tremendous amount of nerve-muscle connections easily, get to the "growth" fibers quickly, and thus stimulate their muscles to grow with minimum sets and reps. Thus finding tremendous success with HIIT!


    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Electrifying Hardcore Workout!
    For individuals who have been training two to three times per week, for six months or more and are looking for additional strength/size progress.

    dot What If HIT Doesn't Work? dot

      Most of us are not that lucky. For most, including myself, the brain will deem a weight too large for the amount of muscle we have, and it forces us to stop by not allowing us to complete any more repetitions.

      So, it inhibits the response sent to the muscle, and we therefore can't lift a given weight load. This is called CNS shut down. Again, it is a process in which the CNS will "shut down" muscle contraction long before the muscle is fully stimulated.

    The 3 Laws Of HIT!
    [ Click To Join The Thread. ]
    The 3 Laws Of HIIT!
    Muscle grows in response to high intensity overload. That's why we lift weights. Because just pumping your arm up and down all day won't increase its muscle size or strength.
    Started By:

      It is once again done to protect our muscles from stress and damage, but is one of the main reasons so many of us fail to gain muscle, as the high threshold fibers are not adequately stimulated.

      You must understand this, so you can recognize when this occurs, and change your training accordingly. It is important to realize that the muscle and CNS are different. Our muscles need that progressive overload and extended tension time to initiate the growth response.

      Extended tension times simply mean having a set that lasts longer than your average 15-20 seconds. The muscle has its own "needs" and if the CNS shuts down before the muscle meets the stimulus it needs to grow, it just simply won't!

    Have You Had A Good Experience With HIT?

    Yes - It Worked Great
    No - I Didn't Notice A Difference
    I Haven't Tried It Yet

      So, what techniques are we going to use to increase the time under tension and get past CNS shutdown? How can we continue to make strength and muscle gains if our CNS shuts down long before we want it to, and we find no success on HIIT? That is exactly what the next section is all about!

    Increased Time Under Tension (TUT)

    You must extend your set to the point in which the high threshold fibers are stimulated. Time under tension is one of the most overlooked aspects in resistance training. In fact, if HIIT doesn't work for you then time under tension may be why.

    Studies have shown numerous times that to maximize stimulation of the high threshold growth fibers you must extend your set past positive muscle failure. This can be accomplished through continuous tension on the muscle for 30-50 seconds, or with the use of super sets, x-reps, drop sets or other techniques.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    You Must Extend Your Set To The Point In Which
    The High Threshold Fibers Are Stimulated.

    From what I have observed in the gyms I have trained in, the average set lasts 15-20 seconds, half of what is most conducive to growth. It is a vital component, and you'll see why soon.

    Many individuals do three sets of eight reps and if you time them, you may get a time under tension of 12-15 seconds, not even half of what you need! Now, there may be times when strength gains are your goal and muscle growth is not. While this will have a time and a place in our training protocol, it won't be ideal all the time.

    WOTW Workout Of The Week:
    Increasing Time Under Tension.

    Time under tension is a measurement of the amount of time the muscle is under tension.

    [ Check Out The Workout Of The Week! ]

    In building strength we are more focused on neuromuscular efficiency. Activating more motor units with each training session. In this case, time under tension is low, which means you may get stronger but not bigger, as the CNS adapts to the stimulus. The muscle however is not stimulated to grow nearly as efficiently as with increased tension times.

    It is important to realize that in some individuals, to maximally stimulate muscle growth, we must ensure that time under tension is sufficient, and that we fully stimulate the high threshold growth fibers.

    dot Dogg Crapp Training: dot

      No, I have not lost my mind but think it's important to bring this relatively new training philosophy to attention. In many ways it is like HIIT but with a twist as more fibers are activated with increased tension times and a few more mini-sets.

      Dante Trudel is the founder of this innovative system many refer to as DC training. DC training is described as taking a given weight that would produce maximum failure at 8-10 reps.

    Dogg Crapp Training:
    This program is based upon the belief that heavy progressive weights provide the chief impetus for muscular growth. Dante Trudel believes that increases in strength are crucial to increases in muscle mass. This program differs from conventional high volume training programs in that it takes advantage of the principle that volume and frequency are inversely related.

      At the eighth to tenth rep, when you hit 100% failure, you put the weight down, rest 15-20 seconds and resume with the same weight. This time you more than likely will only get 4-6 reps. After you fail on this rep range, you rest another 15-20 seconds.

      Finally, you end by completing one final set with the same weight, usually getting 1-2 reps. This technique is brutal and will tax all your high threshold fibers.


    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    My Take On DC Training!
    What follows is my take on DC training, focusing on the things I've found that I liked and exploited to my advantage.
    Mark Subsinsky

      I often use this technique as my second set after HIIT as I like stimulating a few more fibers with each successive set. The combinations are endless!

    dot X-Reps: The Ultimate Time Under Tension Technique: dot

      Jonathan Lawson and Steven Holman from Iron Man magazine invented the technique called X Reps and it has changed the way I, and many others are lifting. In the past, many bodybuilders have used the term partials to describe this technique.


    What Are Partial Reps?

    Partial reps is simply moving the weight through a partial range of motion (usually, but not necessarily, the strongest range of motion of the exercise). This allows much more weight to be used. Partials can also be done at the end of a set to extend it. Continue with the same weight but do partial reps, shortening the range of motion more as you tire until you are just doing lockouts.

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      What this entails is to complete a set of a given exercise, as specified by your program, and then when you reach neuromuscular failure (can't do another rep), you continue with 8-10 inch pulses in the semi-stretched position.

      This basically is the location in the lifts range of motion in which the muscle is under maximum tension and has its greatest power potential. You can do them at any range during the lift but the most effective is the semi-stretched position.

      Lets take cable curls. When you can't do another full range rep, you lift the weight to the spot where you can't get it any higher, lower 8 inches under constant tension, back up to the stop point, back down, etc. until you can't move the weight at all.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Standing Bicep Cable Curls.
    Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG - Video iPod

      This will give you another 15 seconds of stimulation and keep the muscle firing to illicit a greater growth response past CNS shutdown. This removes, or reduces the effect of CNS failure that is preventing you from getting another full rep, and it all occurs after you reach positive failure.

      You know, the point where you usually stopped before! It is an intense technique and is very difficult, physically and mentally. The effects are mind blowing though and for more information on this amazing technique go to

    dot Summary Of Techniques To Increase Time Under Tension: dot

    • X-Reps Or Partials: It is essentially a continuation of any set, on any exercise, after positive failure is reached. After you can no longer complete a full rep, focus on the 8-10" range of motion where tension is maximal, usually the mid point of any lift. Continue performing as many reps as possible in 8-10" pulses until you can't even do that anymore!
    • Drop Sets: Two sets of the same exercise repeated back to back without rest. There is a 20-30% reduction of weight for the second set.
    • Super Sets: Two different exercises, completed back to back without rest.
    • Dogg Crapp Training: Take a given weight that you can get 8-10 reps to failure, rest 15-20 seconds, then repeat with the same weight until failure (usually 4-6 reps), again rest 15-20 seconds and finish with one last set to failure (1-2 reps). This amounts to a total of 14-20 reps with the same weight.

    Which Technique Do You Use To Increase Time Under Tension?

    X-Reps Or Partials
    Drop Sets
    Super Sets
    Dogg Crapp Training

    High Volume

    Now, drop sets, supersets, and DC are not the only way to hit all fiber types. Although I believe they are the most efficient, you can set up a program to focus on high volume (more than 15 sets) if you wish. I firmly believe you don't ever need more than 12 sets per body part, but confidence in your program is key.

    Therefore, if you feel you need more sets, then by all means perform them. Many athletes, such as the great Bill Pearl and Arnold, felt that they needed a high volume workout to initiate gains. These would often include 20-25 sets per body part. I would rather have an athlete train on a program they believe in than train with one they don't.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger!

    Click Play To Start The Show.

    If you need 15-20 sets to make gains that's fine, just limit the use of drop sets, x-reps and super sets. I promise this will lead to overtraining and injury if combined with excessively high volume.

    Let's look at high volume a little closer. What if you did high volume workouts, such as 10 sets of 10 reps, would it work? Well, you would definitely hit all the fiber types, work the endurance and strength components, and initiate growth, but also spend many hours in the gym, inhibit recovery time, and increase joint pain.

    There is much debate out there as to which is better: high volume vs. low volume. Again, high volume refers to a large number of sets, usually 15 or more, while low volume is usually performed with sets in the 6-12 range and can include HIIT and workouts with increased tension times.


    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Intensity Vs. Volume!
    There's been a lot of talk about intensity lately. I'm going to explain the importance of intensity and how it varies with volume.
    Big Red

    I will be honest and say that 75% of the time, I shy away from high volume and prefer low volume with techniques such as HIIT and increased tension times. Some individuals feel they must do 15 sets of barbell curls to make gains. Others feel they can do 3 intense sets and make the same progress.

    Both protocols will eventually hit the fast-twitch fibers and induce growth. You must however whey your ability to recover with the number of set you perform, body type, risk of injury, and confidence in your program. Therefore, if you love high volume workouts, don't worry, they do have their place and can be used.

    dot German Volume Training (GVT): dot

      GVT refers to taking 60% of your one rep max on a given lift, and performing 10 sets of 10 reps, with the same weight, and usually 1-2 minutes of rest in between. This is the only exercise you do for that body part. Even though you're not increasing the weight, in some ways you are, as you're required to get 10 reps each time!

    Weight Lifted Reps
    1 RM

      It is brutal but highly effective, and by the end, the 60% feels like 200%! In this case, you are increasing the resistance by forcing yourself to get 10 reps each set, and you are hitting the high threshold fibers secondary to the high volume. The one thing an individual should be cautious about is high volume with high intensity.

      In this case, drop sets, x-reps, and other advanced techniques are absolutely contraindicated. What I mean is, if you prefer multiple sets with multiple reps, you shouldn't use techniques such as drop sets and supersets. This leads to nothing but overtraining and injury, and can keep you out of the gym for a long time. That is why I prefer shorter, more intense workouts.

      • Select any exercises you want but compound lifts work best.
      • Perform 10 sets of 10 reps with one exercise per body part.
      • Use 60% of your one rep max for each exercise.
      • Rest 1-2 minutes between sets. This is a tough workout!

      Example Workout: Chest & Biceps

        Dumbbell Incline Presses: Max Is 100 Pounds x 60% (60 Pounds)

        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 60 lbs

        Standing Dumbbell Curls: Max Is 60 Pounds x 60% (35 Pounds)

        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs
        • 1 x 10 with 35 lbs

      You will find that the workout is ridiculously easy at the beginning but as it goes on you will find more and more fatigue sets in. It is perfectly fine if you don't get all ten reps but give it all you have.

      Personally, I find that sets 6-8 are the toughest and I often get more reps on the last two sets! This can be attributed to increased neuromuscular activation and a "summoning" of more motor units as they realize you mean business!

    Power-Rep Range-Shock

    Is there a program that incorporates of all these techniques? Well, not exactly, but there is a system that is pretty close and one I find myself using more often that not. In saying that, I urge all of you to look into the teachings of Eric Broser. I have had the privilege of working with him personally and to say his teachings and programs are effective would be a gross understatement.

    His programs focus around a principle he invented called Power-Rep Range-Shock (P/RR/S). Mr. Broser essentially divides each week into one of the above techniques and thus initiates variety into his workouts, as well as his mental fortitude. It is no surprise that this works as we already covered variation as being one of the principles to consistent gains.

    With the P/RR/S system, the power week is performed with all exercises done in the 4-6 rep range. Compound lifts are emphasized and no partials, drop sets or other advanced techniques should be incorporated. The negative should be slow and controlled. A few forced reps can be thrown in there on the last set for each body part but that's it!

    Time under tension is not as long as the other weeks but our goal here is to tap into the high threshold fibers immediately and quickly stimulate more motor units. This often shocks the CNS, builds strength quickly, and increases testosterone production. Rest periods are 2-4 minutes between sets.

    It is almost a down-regulated week as there will be little lactic acid accumulation. Don't worry though, the deep muscle soreness that follows will remind you it was anything but an easy week!

    Lactic Acid:
    During power exercises, when the rate of demand for energy is high, lactate is produced faster than the ability of the tissues to remove it and lactate concentration begins to rise. This is a beneficial process since the regeneration of NAD+ ensures that energy production is maintained and exercise can continue.

    The rep range week follows and usually prescribes three different exercises and rep ranges. The first is 3-4 sets of 7-9 reps, the second 2-3 sets of 10-12, and the third 2-3 sets of 13-20 reps. This truly fatigues and stimulates all the fiber types and focuses most of the reps in the hypertrophy or growth zone.

    If you are focused and control the negative, the time under tension is adequate and muscle hypertrophy is greatly increased. Although the final reps are higher, they are still enhancing growth.

    Your fast twitch muscle fibers are already fatigued from the previous sets, which makes tapping into the last few fibers much easier. With higher reps, occlusion and increased blood flow also become important components to growth.

    PRRS Training: Basic & Advanced.
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    PRRS Training: Basic & Advanced.
    Just curious with everyones experience with it, and if its actually as good as everyone says.
    Started By:

    This is in contrast to those who seek to get leaner or "tone" up, and do all their exercises in the 20-rep range with lightweights. These individuals are doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing, and are merely building up their endurance or slow twitch fibers.

    Worse, they are not "forcing" the body to preserve or create new muscle tissue. Adding more muscle will do nothing but increase our metabolism and make us more toned. That is the mistake many make, thinking the use of high reps will build definition. The only thing that will do, again, is build endurance in the slow twitch fibers and slow muscle growth.

    If you train with heavier weights though, reach positive failure and fatigue the muscle, higher reps that follow will then force the muscle to call upon even more fibers, not to mention increasing blood flow and occlusion. The Rep Range week is a perfect example of how one can and should use higher reps to initiate growth.

    Eric Broser
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Creator Of The Power-Rep
    Range-Shock Program, Eric Broser.

    View Eric Broser's BodySpace Profile Here.

    The final week is shock week. This is where you completely destroy the muscles with advanced techniques such as x-reps, drop sets, multi-rep rest pause training and forced reps. The number of sets is reduced, but as we have talked about, the more intense the stimulation, the less volume is needed.

    I add x-reps to all my lifts during shock week and often finish with a drop set. The number of exercises and sets must be personalized per individual but I often only do four supersets and one drop set per body part. Believe me, you'll be thankful shock week only occurs once every three weeks!

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Add X-Reps To All My Lifts During Shock Week.

    dot Why It Works: dot

      This program is great in many ways. Straight power weeks allow for a downgrade in training without you even knowing it. It taxes the CNS greatly and while you'll notice the pump isn't as pronounced, the CNS is stimulated to handle heavier weights and therefore activate more motor units. A trainee's strength will shoot through the roof with these power workouts.

      This isn't bad though as within a few days you'll start pounding the muscles during rep range week. This week adds new stimuli by increasing TUT and decreasing rest periods. Then shock week arrives and the protocol changes again! This time you are greatly increasing blood flow, occlusion, and endurance.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    A Trainee's Strength Will Shoot Through
    The Roof With These Power Workouts.

      Rest periods are minimal and the sets are prolonged. This means all fibers are stimulated, strength and endurance, as well as enhancing lactic acid production. Find what works best for you but remember variation is key. More information can be found at


    Well there you have it, a summary of the most basic and yet effective training techniques that will help you transform your body in 2009. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a beginner, there is always more you can conceive and achieve. Each year brings new challenges and I have no doubt you can over come them and produce your greatest physique to date.

    If you truly want a quick and incredibly intense workout, then HIIT may be your ticket to success. Extending your tension times with DC training, X-reps, or super sets can activate more fibers and cause even the most stubborn muscles to grow. High volume is definitely for those who want extra gym time and believe that more is better.


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    Accounta-Buddies Of Transformation!
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    Kris Gethin

    This type of training will also allow you to burn extra calories and ensure all fibers are fully taxed. P/RR/S is a nice balance of all these techniques and is why I often find myself training with this system.

    No matter the program you choose you must truly believe in it and what you are trying to accomplish. The mind is a powerful thing and if you don't feel confident in your program then you won't be successful.

    Everyone fears getting bigger and too bulky with weight training. I promise you that nothing could be further from the truth. Resistance training will ensure that you continually burn fat throughout the day, increase your metabolism and truly re-shape your physique in the coming months.

    Which Training Technique Has Given You The Greatest Gains?

    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
    Increased Time Under Tension
    High Volume
    Power-Rep Range-Shock

    Try them all but don't forget that training is only a piece of the puzzle. Nutrition, cardio and supplements are also a large part of your success. There is nothing fancy about these programs and trainees have been using them for decades, even if they didn't know it.

    Not every technique or program will be for you but it's your job to evaluate them, educate yourself and find out which ones yields the greatest results. After all, true mastery is finding out what works best for you and the lifestyle you lead.