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.
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:
- Renegade Training
- Hypertrophy Specific Training (H.S.T.)
- High Intensity Training (H.I.T.)
- German Volume Training
- Maximum OT (Max-OT)
- and the ever-popular Super High Intensity Training (S.H.I.T.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.|
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.
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 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.
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.
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.