click here for part three, 'Supplementation'!
click here for part four, 'Cardio'!
click here for part five, 'Pre-Contest Preparation'!
Are you frustrated with busting your butt in the gym hour after hour, month after month, and year after year with little or no results to show for it? Are you frustrated with all of the conflicting information about how to train? I AM PROMISING YOU RIGHT NOW THAT I WILL BECOME YOUR SOURCE ON HOW TO BUILD MUSCLE AND GET LEAN IN THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE!!! How do I plan to do that? Simply by providing you with the truth and a plan that will work at least three times faster than anything else you have ever tried before.
Let me first give credit where credit is due. I did not create this concept that I am about to dispel to you. The man who deserves all of the credit is the president of AST Sports Science, Paul Delia. For almost two decades now, Paul has taken the combination of scientific knowledge, honesty, and integrity (rare qualities in the supplement industry) and provided our sport with a no B.S. approach to weightlifting. Paul has given us a very valuable tool in Max-OT training - - a tool that has created some of the greatest drug-free competitors in our sport (Skip Lacour, Jeff Willet, Derik Farnsworth, and Earl Snyder).
My part in all of this was to learn it inside and out, upside and down. I put it to use 1000% and reaped the rewards from it and still continue to after years of using it. I got as close as I could to Paul (and still try to make myself an even greater asset to his company) so I could learn everything about Max-OT. My job now is to spread the word and educate as many as I can...whether that be just one, one hundred, or one thousand.
How Are You Going To Help Me?
If you are asking yourself, "Who is this guy and how can he possibly educate me?" I am pleading with you to not think this way and to give everything I write the opportunity to do for you what it has done for me and so many other bodybuilders in the world. Do not think that the more complicated and complex a training, dieting, or supplementation program is, the more effective it is. I know this for a fact because I have been there. I have done the high reps, the low reps, the volume training, the high-intensity training, the Zone Diet, the Atkins Diet, Cybergenics, Hot Stuff, etc... You name it in this sport of ours, I have tried it. I have been a personal guinea pig for it all (or at least most of it) for the last 15 years.
What I have uncovered in the last two years is the only way that any of us should train, eat, or supplement to get the absolute most out of our efforts and to maximize our dreams and our desires.... man or woman, young or old, genetically-gifted or the so called "hard gainer."
In a series of articles, I will uncover all of this and more and will lay out, in detail, a plan for you to follow. Here's the formula: I write it + you read it + you do it = maximum muscle in minimum time! I will also be including an online journal that will show you week by week what exactly it is I do in my quest for building muscle and achieving maximum leanness. I am one who definitely practices what he preaches and I do it passionately and with certainty. And, more than anything in life, I want to help educate as many as possible that have the same love for the iron as I do. So, with no further ado, let's start training for Maximum Results with Maximum Overload!
Maximum Overload Training
What are the principles behind Maximum Overload Training? Before I answer that, I want everyone reading this to do one thing for the rest of his or her training life. Always, always ask yourself "why" you are doing something. If you do not have a logical, scientifically proven reason to your "why," do not do it. I tell you this because as I lay the program our for you, I will explain each principle in detail. You will not just walk away knowing the "whats," but you will be educated in the "whys."
To understand the principles behind Maximum Overload Training, you must first understand the physiological process of building muscle. One thing and only one thing is responsible for building muscle, OVERLOAD! What do I mean by overload? Overload is providing your muscle(s) with a stress that it is not used to or weight that has never been used before. That is why so many people can train so many different ways and achieve some sort of muscular response from it. Some will do 6 reps, some 12 reps, and even some 15 reps or more.
Some people use supersets, some straight sets, some drop sets. Everybody has their own way of how to build muscle and they all work to some degree. Why? If you are providing your muscle with more weight than it was previously used to, it is going to respond with some growth no matter what your rep scheme is. So, what's the problem then? Well if you are like me you are not after just some growth, you are after MAXIMUM GROWTH! And if you are anything like me you are after it in the shortest possible time. We are unfortunately involved in an activity that allows us to do things (for lack of a better word) "wrong" and still get some results. Do not settle for some. Train the BEST way possible and maximize your results.
Do not train for more than an hour, 30-40 minutes being the optimal length.
It is scientifically proven that this shorter duration training maximizes your hormonal spikes. Training any longer is going to increase your secretion of cortisol, a catabolic hormone. Your routines also need to have a "sprint-like" quality to them to maintain maximum intensity. If you train too long you are going to pace yourself, whether that be consciously or subconsciously.
Train only 1 to 2 major muscle groups in a workout.
This is more psychological. You are more apt to pour more into your workouts if you know you are only hitting one or two muscle groups in a given workout.
Do 6 to 9 total heavy sets per muscle group.
I will tell you right now, this is generous. Honestly if you are pouring maximum intensity into your workouts, you probably won't need much more than 3 to 5 heavy sets. The stronger and more experienced you are, the less you will need. Also, with the given rest periods that will be prescribed, this is about all you could accomplish in the recommended time frame.
Do 4 to 6 reps per muscle group.
This is the heart and soul of maximizing your training. Why? For you to get the most muscle growth possible, you want to attack the muscle fibers that have the most growth potential - - your white, fast-twitched muscle fibers. Any other fiber has minimal growth potential in comparison and it is scientifically documented that the way to hit these white fibers is with a heavy weight in a 4 to 6 rep range. Also, any higher rep range is going to draw excess lactate into the muscle, thus fatiguing the muscle.
Remember... overload builds muscle, not fatigue. If you are constantly pulling lactate into the muscle, you will hinder your performance and shortchange your overload. Lastly, the added benefit of the 4 to 6 rep range is the "focus"element. It is a lot easier to put forth 100% mental intensity into a set that lasts 15-20 seconds than a set that would last double that time.
Rest 2 to 3 minutes between sets.
Another scientifically proven aspect of performance is that it can take anywhere from 90 seconds to 3 minutes for your Krebb's cycle to recover maximally, depending on the muscle being worked, the amount of weight used, and the exercise being performed. Again, if you do not fully recover between sets you are going to compromise your next set performance. Thus, in turn, would shortchange your overload on your target muscle. Optimal rest-time between sets would be 2 1/2 minutes, so set your stopwatches.
Train each muscle once every 5 to 7 days.
It has been shown time and time again that a muscle can take as long as 5 to 7 days to fully recover from a heavy, high-intensity workout. Get this straight if you don't already know it...WE DO NOT GROW IN THE GYM! Our lifting is just the stimulus for muscle growth. The recovery process is where the muscle responds by growing stronger and bigger, readying itself for future stress. If you do not allow full and complete recovery of your muscles, you will impede your growth and soon venture into the realm of overtraining.
Now that I have laid out the principles for you, you are probably asking yourself what a typical routine would look like. Below is one that I have just finished as I write this. I say finished because I change my routine every 4 weeks just for mental variety and stimulation. This routine is a great template for all of you to start with in your quest for MAXIMUM MUSCLE!
Mondays - Legs
Squats (4 warm-up sets) 3 x 4-6
Leg Press (1 acclimation set) 2 x 4-6 - View
Stiff leg Dead lifts (1 acclimation set) 2 x 4-6 - View
Standing Calf Raise (2-3 warm-up sets) 3 x 6-8 - View
Seated Calf Raise 2 x 6-8 - View
Tuesdays - Chest & Forearms
Incline Bench Press (4 warm-up sets) 3 x 4-6
Bench Press 3 x 4-6 - View
Decline Press 1 x 4-6 - View
Barbell Wrist Curl (1 warm-up) 2 x 8-10 - View
Standing Dumbbell Wrist Curls 2 x 6-8 - View
Wednesdays - Back & Traps
Bent Rows (3-4 warm-ups) 2 x 4-6
V-bar Pull downs 2 x 4-6 - View (Pull-up shown)
Weighted Pull-ups 2 x 4-6 - View
Straight-bar Cable Rows 1 x 4-6 - View (Shown with handles)
Dead lifts (2-3 warm-ups) 2 x 4-6 - View
Barbell Shrugs 1 x 4-6 - View
Thursdays - Shoulders & Triceps
Seated Dumbbell Press (4 warm-ups) 3 x 4-6
Seated Military Press 2 x 4-6 - View
Side Laterals (1 acclimation set) 2 x 4-6 - View
Lying Extensions (1-2 warm-up sets) 2 x 4-6 - View
Pushdowns 2 x 4-6 - View
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 1 x 4-6 - View (Shown with barbell)
Fridays - Biceps & Abs
Barbell Curls (4 warm-up sets) 2 x 4-6
Hammer Curls 2 x 4-6 - View
E-Z Bar Curls 1 x 4-6
Weighted Leg Lifts (1 warm-up set) 2 x 12-15 - View
Cable Crunches 2 x 8-10 - View
There you have it. All of the whats and whys to get you started onto new and fast muscle growth. Any questions, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tune in next week when I show you how to eat for Maximum Results. In the meantime, train hard and God bless!