If you've ever tried Shortcut To Shred, a trainer on Bodybuilding.com, then you've already seen a good example of how Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., trains. His workouts are intense, always changing, and are programmed so that he can maintain both his mass and his lean body composition.

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., Fitness 360

Efficiency In Action

"I think my overall training philosophy can be summed up in the old bodybuilding adage: Everything works, nothing works forever," says Jim. So Jim consistently changes his workouts. "I change the exercises, the weight, the rep ranges, the rest periods, how fast I perform each rep, and how frequently I train each muscle group each week. That's the essence of all my programs—they're constantly changing from week to week. I'm also a firm believer in periodization," explains Jim. "I often combine different periodization models into one program."



Says Jim, "If I'm not in the gym training, then I'm not doing my job, because that's when I'm learning and making up new exercises and creating new programs." Jim also has to stay in shape so that he's camera-ready for photo and video shoots. "I need to be as muscular as possible, but also as lean as possible. So at this stage of my training, I'm more focused on staying conditioned than I am about getting bigger and stronger."

What is cardio acceleration?

"I'm a natural athlete," says Jim. "At 45 years old, I'm pretty much at my genetic peak for gaining size. I'm not going to get much bigger than I already am. Of course I'm always trying to push it to the next step, but I'm never going into this huge mass-gaining phase because I'm trying to stay lean. Any mass that I do gain will be very lean."

To stay lean, Jim likes to use what he calls "cardio acceleration." Instead of working the treadmill for hours, Jim does 60-90 seconds of a high-intensity movement between all of his regular sets. "It's really the only way I train now because it's so efficient. It keeps me lean and allows me to build muscle and gain strength."

Think you'd be tired of training after doing it for more than 30 years? Jim disagrees. "This happens to be what I really love doing. It's not like I need motivation to go to the gym. It's something that I wake up and can't wait to do. It's fun for me."

Jim's Training Split

I'm currently finishing up my "Down-And-Up Mass Program" and this week the workouts are as follows. I do 60-90 seconds of cardio acceleration between every set.

Monday
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
2 sets, 6-8 reps
+ 13 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Important Notes:

After reaching failure on the second set rest 15-20 seconds and then do as many reps as possible until you reach failure again. Then immediately reduce the weight by 20-30% and complete as many reps as possible until reaching muscle failure again.



On the unilateral movements like the kickback and the standing oblique bend, don't rest. After completing the exercise on both sides, immediately repeat with the side you started with. Then go all the way through the rest-pause and dropsets until all 4 sets are completed on each side.

Tuesday
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
1
Barbell Deadlift
2 sets, 6-8 reps
+ 15 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Important Notes: After reaching failure on the second set rest 15-20 seconds and then do as many reps as possible until you reach failure again. Then immediately reduce the weight by 20-30% and complete as many reps as possible until reaching muscle failure again.

Wednesday
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
1
Military press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
+ 12 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Important Notes:

After reaching failure on the second set rest 15-20 seconds and then do as many reps as possible until you reach failure again. Then immediately reduce the weight by 20-30% and complete as many reps as possible until reaching muscle failure again.

Don't rest on the cable rotation exercises. After completing this exercise on both sides immediately repeat with the side you started with all the way though the rest pause and dropsets until all 4 sets are completed on each side.

Thursday
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
1
Barbell Squat
2 sets, 6-8 reps
+ 9 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Important Notes: After reaching failure on the second set rest 15-20 seconds and then do as many reps as possible until you reach failure again. Then immediately reduce the weight by 20-30% and complete as many reps as possible until reaching muscle failure again.

Friday
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets
1
Cable Crossover
3 sets, 16-20 reps
+ 13 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Important Notes: Do not rest between sets on dumbbell kickbacks. After completing this exercise on both sides immediately repeat with the side you started with all the way though until all 3 sets are completed on each side.



Saturday
Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
1
Straight-Arm Pulldown
3 sets, 16-20 reps
+ 15 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Sunday: Active Rest

Jim Stoppani Fitness 360 Main Page

About the Author

Cassie Smith

Cassie Smith

Cassie Smith is a freelance writer living in Boise, Idaho.

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