Last year, I took the world famous FST-7 training system of Hany Rambod's and tested it out for myself. Now, I am going to put another training philosophy from another legendary guru to the test. There has been talk throughout the bodybuilding world about Neil Hill's Y3T system. People throughout the United Kingdom and beyond swear by it and now it is making headlines here in the United States. After doing some research on the principles and the system, I decided I have to find out for myself how great this Y3T is.
Who Is Neil Hill?
Neil Hill is to bodybuilding in the U.K. what Hany Rambod is to bodybuilding in the U.S. Since his own career got cut short by an injury, he has become a legend for turning some of the greatest amateurs from across the Atlantic into pros. Two of his greatest pupils as of late are young pros James "Flex" Lewis and Zack "King" Khan. Neil is so revered that he is known these days as Yoda, like the character from Star Wars fame. To coin a phrase, "hardcore, he is."
Neil Hill is also a spokesperson for Gaspari Nutrition and writes a column for Muscular Development Magazine.
What Is Y3T?
Y3T stands for Yoda 3 Training. The principle of Y3T is to systematically keep your muscles guessing how you are going to train so that your body has less chance to adapt. This is done by rotating your training style over a 3-week period. Let's examine how each of these weeks looks more closely.
This might not seem like much, but you are going to go heavy and you will be saving yourself for what is to come in the near future.
Week 2 is not much more complicated. You begin to add isolation movements to your routine. You also bump up the reps to the 8-to-12 range. So your week 2 chest workout might be like this.
Again, it might seem too simple to work. The isolation movements are going to change how your muscles are hit and they are helping your body get ready for what is to come. Check out Week 3 before you judge this system.
Week 3: Total Annihilation
Week 3 is the most intense training week by far. Neil calls week 3 "Total Annihilation." You incorporate different kinds of intensity techniques into your training. Giant sets, supersets, tri sets, drop sets and rest-pause sets are all a part of your week 3 training. You could use any or all of these to really hit your muscles hard. Let's go back to chest day. Remember those first two workouts you did? They are nothing like this.
Now although this may take you 15-to-20 minutes to complete, you are moving every second and it is intense. Do not take this lightly.
Now obviously you don't go heavy with these movements. The point is to save your joints and tendons from all the heavy training. Your muscles get stimulated, but in a different way. Rotating the workouts both shock the body and help you feel challenged each time you go to the gym. The week 3 workouts, since they don't require so much weight, will help enhance pumps and stretch out the muscle fascia. This is similar to what FST-7 is designed for.
Incorporating Y3T Training
Now you may be asking yourself how to incorporate Y3T into the rest of your training. Let's take a look at back. Your three weeks may look like this.
You should have the idea at this point. You can implement Y3T with any body part you choose. I advise you to choose body parts that you feel you need to improve on. Trying to do Y3T on the whole body, especially the third week will lead to overtraining and make you more susceptible to injury. Also, if you haven't been training for long, then I suggest doing only one cycle instead of two.
The greatest thing about Y3T is that you can cater the workouts around your particular goals. If you feel you need more outer sweep on your quads, you can perform the movements for legs with your feet close. If you need upper pec development, you can perform the majority of the exercises or even all of them on an incline bench or focus the movement on the top of your chest. The possibilities are endless.
Trying it for Myself
Now that I have learned more about Y3T, I am going to test it out in the gym for myself and of course for everyone reading at bodybuilding.com. Neil is going to provide me with my own Y3T program to perform. I will test Y3T on each muscle group just like I did when I tested FST-7. With each muscle, I will show how I trained the first two weeks and then cover my "annihilation" of that muscle in the third week. I hope you check out the future articles and watch as I take Y3T for a test drive!