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
2
Reverse Triceps Bench Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
3
Incline Dumbbell Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
4
Dumbbell Flyes
2 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Cable Crossover
2 sets, 6-8 reps
6
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
7
Seated Triceps Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
8
EZ-Bar Skullcrusher
2 sets, 6-8 reps
9
Triceps Pushdown
2 sets, 6-8 reps
10
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
2 sets, 6-8 reps
11
Smith Machine Hip Raise
2 sets, 6-8 reps
12
Ab Crunch Machine
2 sets, 6-8 reps
13
Standing Cable Wood Chop
2 sets, 6-8 reps

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
2
Bent Over Barbell Row
2 sets, 6-8 reps
3
Seated Cable Rows
2 sets, 6-8 reps
4
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
2 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Underhand Cable Pulldowns
2 sets, 6-8 reps
6
Straight-Arm Pulldown
2 sets, 6-8 reps
7
Barbell Curl
2 sets, 6-8 reps
8
Incline Dumbbell Curl
2 sets, 6-8 reps
9
High Cable Curls
2 sets, 6-8 reps
10
Dumbbell Prone Incline Curl
2 sets, 6-8 reps
11
Hammer Curls
2 sets, 6-8 reps
12
Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
2 sets, 6-8 reps
13
Palms-Down Wrist Curl Over A Bench
2 sets, 6-8 reps
14
Standing Calf Raises
2 sets, 6-8 reps
15
Seated Calf Raise
2 sets, 6-8 reps

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
Standing Military Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
2
Seated Dumbbell Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
3
Smith Machine Upright Row
2 sets, 6-8 reps
4
Side Lateral Raise
2 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Face Pull
2 sets, 6-8 reps
6
Barbell Shrug
2 sets, 6-8 reps
7
Barbell Shrug Behind The Back
2 sets, 6-8 reps
8
External Rotation with Cable
2 sets, 6-8 reps
9
Cable Internal Rotation
2 sets, 6-8 reps
10
Smith Machine Hip Raise
2 sets, 6-8 reps
11
Ab Crunch Machine
2 sets, 6-8 reps
12
Plank
2 sets, to failure

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
2
Front Barbell Squat
2 sets, 6-8 reps
3
Leg Press
2 sets, 6-8 reps
4
Leg Extensions
2 sets, 6-8 reps
5
Barbell Walking Lunge
2 sets, 6-8 reps
6
Romanian Deadlift
2 sets, 6-8 reps
7
Lying Leg Curls
2 sets, 6-8 reps
8
Seated Calf Raise
2 sets, 6-8 reps
9
Standing Calf Raises
2 sets, 6-8 reps

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
2
Low Cable Crossover
3 sets, 16-20 reps
3
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets, 16-20 reps
4
Dumbbell Bench Press
3 sets, 16-20 reps
5
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
3 sets, 16-20 reps
6
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
3 sets, 16-20 reps
7
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
2 sets, 16-20 reps
8
Cable Lying Triceps Extension
2 sets, 16-20 reps
9
Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension
2 sets, 16-20 reps
10
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 16-20 reps
11
Barbell Hip Thrust
3 sets, 16-20 reps
12
Crunches
3 sets, 16-20 reps
13
Side Bridge
with Reach-Through.
2 sets, to failure (per side)

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
2
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets, 16-20 reps
3
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
Perform standing.
3 sets, 16-20 reps
4
Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows
3 sets, 16-20 reps (per arm)
5
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 16-20 reps
6
Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 16-20 reps
7
Dumbbell Prone Incline Curl
3 sets, 16-20 reps (per arm)
8
Standing Biceps Cable Curl
Behind the back.
3 sets, 16-20 reps
9
Preacher Curl
3 sets, 16-20 reps
10
Barbell Curl
3 sets, 16-20 reps
11
Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment
2 sets, 16-20 reps
12
Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
2 sets, 16-20 reps
13
Palms-Down Wrist Curl Over A Bench
2 sets, 16-20 reps
14
Standing Calf Raises
3 sets, 16-20 reps
15
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 16-20 reps

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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