Training Methods - Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding!

Here is a training method that I have developed and used to reduce the possibility of injuries and increase focus. This new method is called Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding. Check it out now!
It may just be me, but my career has been marked by professional endeavors where my life becomes the embodiment of my work and vice versa. I served in the Army, living the life of a warrior for many years, with that warrior spirit continuing today.

My warrior nature continues in my current career as a nuclear power plant operator, although the enemy consists of valves, pumps, paperwork, radiation and more paperwork. I remain a warrior at home, work and in the gym.

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Over the years, I have read numerous articles and books on weight training and bodybuilding. Most all of the training methods and theories in these publications have some catchy phrase and title that attempts to set them apart from the others.

If you look through this site, you can read about:

Contained within this article is my contribution to this confusion, a training method that I developed and use.


Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding

I call it "Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding". I believe it is catchy, imaginative, and fit for the sport. And just maybe, like the trainer of champions, I can be credited with inventing an ever-lasting training method recognized around the world.

The nuclear power industry is unique among the business world. The entire industry has a focus area rarely seen outside of sports called 'Human Performance'. Human Performance focuses on the actions and behaviors that are taken to accomplish a job without error. (This is not related to the supplement company called Maximum Human Performance.)

Additionally, the experiences and best practices are shared among all operating facilities to help improve performance across the industry. So, I share this best practice with you.

Finally, the nuclear power industry is full of many ex-Navy Nuclear personnel. The ex-Navy folks tell me there is a saying in the Navy, when a tough problem arises, you should "nuke it out." I took that saying to heart when I needed to change my training. I started "nuking out" my training with Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding.

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You should try nuking out your training. It allowed me to improve my human performance in the gym and make some of the best gains in my life. Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding is rather easy to use and can be used in conjunction with any training regime.

What I have found is that when training is broken down to the most basic level, it focuses on improving human performance. I concluded that I should use some of the human performance tools in the gym like I do at work. In the end, I found that the human performance improvement tools come in very handy for all my training.


Human Performance

So what does Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding look like and what does it entail?

Well, I consider this training method an extension of the tools that I use at work to improve my human performance. The human performance tool we use most often is called "S.T.A.R."

S.T.A.R. stands for Stop, Think, Act and Review. It is a part of the daily operation of nuclear power plants around the world. Since all actions have the potential to effect the safe generation of power and protection of the public, STAR is used as a Self-Checking tool (a process you do as an individual to ensure you do a task right). STAR is a component of Human Performance.

Think Before You Act
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Think Before You Act.

Why human performance in the nuclear industry? Well here are some interesting facts.

There are currently 103 operating nuclear power plants in this country. The industry attempts to operate each plant flawlessly to ensure there are no more Three Mile Island events. On a daily basis, a large number of manipulations are performed (switches turned, valves opened, buttons pushed, parts disassembled and assembled etc.).

The success rate for these manipulations is incredibly high, on the 99.999% error-free level. Performance errors are tracked and used to improve performance.

Errors that could potentially lead to a nuclear safety event or damage plant equipment or personnel in a year can be counted on your hand. For example, our plant had a recent run of over 9 million man-hours without a loss time accident. A significant accomplishment for any industrial environment, clearly demonstrating a strong human performance focus.

Mark Subsinsky: Nuclear-Powered!
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Mark Subsinsky: Nuclear-Powered!

When you consider these numbers, think of the possibilities and quantum leap that can be made in other areas of performance in your life. Consider your current training program:

  • Can you recall how you felt or even what you did during your last workout?

  • What do you perform on a routine basis during training?

  • When was the last time you had an accident, near miss, or injury in the gym?

  • When was the last time you evaluated your course of progress?

  • What happens if you go to failure on a set of bench presses?


Be A Star

When I was thinking about writing a training article, I wanted to examine what I was doing in the gym and what successful techniques I used. As I reflected on it one day at work, I realized that the STAR principle is the one that I used in most activities, including at the gym. STAR is a mental process that I end up doing for a training set.

I parallel how STAR is used at work and how it is used in the gym:

STAR Principle At Work & In The Gym.
Stop Work: Stop and focus your attention on the task at hand and eliminate distractions.

Gym: No difference in the gym. You need to focus on the set you are about to perform. This is when and where the Mind-Muscle link starts. You should be so focused that you wouldn't recognize a hottie next to you.

Think Work: Understand exactly what is to be done before performing the action. Identify correct component, equipment, etc. Consider expected response and indications. Decide what actions to take should expected response not occur.

Gym: You should have your plan of attack for the set, be it a single set, superset, drop set or other combination. Know the exercises and weights you are to use, number of reps expected, if you will use intensifiers such as forced reps, negatives, etc. Are you using a spotter, straps, chalk, or gloves for assistance?

The last part of this, at work (actions to take should expected response not occur), has more of a safety aspect in the gym. If you can't make the last rep, what are you going to do - do you have a spotter, should you use the Smith machine, is the squat/power rack properly configured?

Act Work: Without losing contact, physically touch component, confirm that it is the correct component, and without losing contact, perform the action.

Gym: Grab the equipment to be used, ensure you have the proper grip, and perform the exercise.

Review Work: Did you get the expected results? If not, perform action(s) determined earlier.

Gym: Did your set go as planned? Did you make the reps you expected? Are there any injuries? Can you move on to your next set in a timely manner? You should be able to quickly analyze the set performed and move to your next set.

The breakdown of your workout, using the STAR principles, can help you in focusing and improving your human performance and your safety. STAR provides the groundwork for examining and advancing your workout to the next level.

The STAR principle also provides an analysis of where you are, what you're doing, how you are going to do it and what you are expecting for each exercise you do in your routine. Is it necessary for each set you do? Of course it isn't. But, it should be considered on a routine basis for most of your working sets. That's how I use STAR in the gym.

One of the most awful training accidents that I've seen in the past few years was Jean-Pierre Fux's leg injury. The accident/injury was covered in Flex magazine.

Fux was squatting for a photo shoot in a power rack, however, a spotter wasn't used and safety stops were not inserted in the rack. Fux's knee gave out, causing him to crash to the floor with the weight on his back. Fux severely damaged his knees/legs, as well as his career.

Jean-Pierre Fux's Leg Injury
Jean-Pierre Fux Was Squatting 695lbs In A Flex Magazine Photoshoot When Suddenly Both Legs Collapsed. He Tore All Four Quadricep Muscles In His Left Leg & His Pattella Tendon In His Right Leg. More Pics Availible On His Website.

If the STAR principals were used, one if not both of these safety practices could have been in place and minimal damage may have that occurred when his knee gave way. STAR is something to consider in many of the activities that you get involved in.

Bodybuilding.com Daily Workout Log Another aspect to consider is the use of a training log. You can even "pre-program" your workout in the training log so you have a roadmap to follow in the gym to save yourself some time. You can choose preprinted books, printable logs, or just a plain sheet of paper. Personally, I like the freedom of just having a blank page and making my own notes.

In your training log, you should include the exercises that you perform, number of sets and reps and anything special about the set. I like to annotate the regular and forced reps completed and any other item of significance, such as whether I felt any pain or other unusual events.

The training log will enable you to track your progress and analyze what you are doing for each muscle group, as well as enabling an analysis between groups.


STAR In Action

So, Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding is a rather simple but effective method to improve your human performance in the gym. Additionally, it can improve your safety in the gym by helping avoid hazards and potential injuries.

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Finally, Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding forces you to think and train more methodically, providing an analysis tool and tracking method for your efforts.

Put Nuclear Powered Bodybuilding in action for your next workout and see if it makes a difference. It can be used with whatever training regime you may be using, be it Max OT, Westside, HIT, etc. It should, at a minimum, make you think a little more about how you train. Give it a try; it's the most powerful method of training known to man.


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Be A STAR!