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First off, before I indulge you with this hardcore workout program I want to make it clear that if you are a beginner trainer, which means you have not been lifting and eating like a bodybuilder seriously for more than a year, this training article is not for you. 3-S Training is for hardcore lifters with experience under their belt.
I am going to teach you the last training split you will ever need. I know what you are thinking, "I thought that you were supposed to change things up every 6-8 weeks so the body doesn't adapt and plateau". You're right, you should change things up every so often to shock the body into new growth. That is the beauty of this training split.
The training split rotates and the exercises are interchangeable but the process and foundation of the program is untouched. All one must do is follow the simple guidelines.
In my years of training I have come across hundreds of training splits. Each has their own twist.
After spending years trying all these programs out I realized there are basically 3 critical components to increasing your muscle mass. Each component needs to be stimulated effectively in each workout for maximum growth. These components are the foundation of 3-S Training and they are strength, size and shock.
The key to 3-S Training is hitting on all 3 components in every workout. You will never spend 4-6 weeks working on your one aspect of your training like strength and neglect the other. You will hit all 3 components in each workout which will result in maximum stimulation of all the muscle fibers.
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Let's go into a little more depth with each component and see how and why we want to use all 3 in each workout.
Strength is the foundation of all training. Heavy weights really stimulate the type IIb muscle fibers. These fibers are dense and hard to get at but with heavy weight training you will be able to stimulate them into new growth.
The strength exercises are going to be all compound movements. No isolation exercises. Compound exercises will let you use the most weight, because several muscle groups are recruited in each exercise.
Other than the leg press all exercises will be free weight exercises as free weights give you the ability again to recruit the most muscle fibers by bringing in stabilizer muscles. The rep range will be 4-6. Below is a list of the exercise that I would choose for strength exercises:
Size, also known as hypertrophy training, is the name of the game for all bodybuilders. As a bodybuilder, it is not how strong you are on stage, it is how big you are. Nothing will put on more muscle mass on your frame than size training.
Stick with an 8-12 rep range. This rep range is best at hitting type I and II muscle fibers. Exercises can be either compound or Isolation.
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I like to do as many compound exercises in my program as possible because they stimulate the most muscle fibers but some isolation exercises are good also. Concentration on contracting the muscle on each rep will lead to better recruitment of all muscle fibers and better overall growth.
Below is a list of my favorite size training exercises for each muscle group:
- Barbell Bench Press
- Incline Bench Press
- Decline Bench Press
- Dumbbell Bench Press
- Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
- Dumbbell Decline Bench Press
- Dumbbell Pullovers
- Bent Over Barbell Rows
- T-Bar Rows
- One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
- Lat Pulldowns
- Close Grip Pulldowns
- Reverse Grip Pulldowns
- Standing Military Press
- Seated Military Press
- Seated Dumbbell Press
- Dumbbell Side Laterals
- Dumbbell Rear Felt Flyes
As you can see some of the same exercises that I listed in the Strength section can be used as Size training exercises. The only difference would be the rep range used for each.
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Concentration On Contracting The Muscle
On Each Rep Will Lead To Better Overall Growth.
The final component of the 3-S Training System is Shock training. This form of training is used to get insane muscle pumps to help expand the hard fascia tissue around the muscle to make room for more growth. With Shock training your focus will be to bring the most intensity possible to the table. To do this you will use shock techniques.
These techniques will tear up that muscle tissue like no other, your muscles will have no other choice but to grow. Some of my favorite shock techniques I will list below:
- Supersets: Performing 2 exercises back to back without a rest. The exercise could be for the same muscle group or agnostic muscle groups (opposites for example chest and back or biceps and triceps).
|VIDEO GUIDE: SUPERSET|
- Tri Sets: Performing 3 exercises one after the other for the same muscle group.
- Giant Sets: Performing 4 or more exercises one after the other for the same muscle group.
- Drop Sets: Performing an exercise to failure with a given weight then picking up a lesser weight and continuing to perform reps. You can repeat this process for as many times as you would like.
|VIDEO GUIDE: DROP SETS|
- Pre Exhaust: Perform an isolation exercise followed by a compound exercise. The isolation exercise will exhaust the target muscle so when you get to the compound movement the assisting muscles can help you push the target muscle in to further fatigue.
- Negatives: You will need a training partner for this one. Use a weight that you could only perform 1-3 Reps on your own. Perform the eccentric (lower of the weight on the bench press for example) slowly and under control.
Have your lifting partner assist you to near lock out on the concentric (pressing when bench pressing for example). Perform as many eccentric reps as necessary to hit your desired rep range.
|VIDEO GUIDE: NEGATIVE REPS|
- Rest-Pause: Perform as many full range of motion reps as possible. When you can't perform any more reps in good form place the weight down rest for no more than 15 sec and continue the set to failure again. You can repeat this process several times to kick up the intensity even higher.
|VIDEO GUIDE: REST-PAUSE|
- Forced Reps: You will need a training partner to assist you. Perform your set, once you have reach failure have your training partner assist you with addition reps only giving you enough help so you can grind out the reps in a full range of motion. I usually do a maximum of 5 forced reps with each set.
|VIDEO GUIDE: FORCED REPS|
- Partials: Perform your set in a full range of motion once you can't perform anymore reps in a full range of motion try doing 3/4 or 1/2 of the range of motion to extend your set.
|VIDEO GUIDE: PARTIALS|
There you have it. A little run down about each component of 3-S Training. Now that you understand about each component let's move along and get your training split squared away.
3-S Training Split
The training split for 3-S Training is simple. All but one muscle group gets worked once a week. The other muscle group gets worked twice per week. In regard to the muscle group that is getting worked twice a week, choose a weaker muscle group as the extra frequency will help in bring up the lagging muscle.
Let's use me for an example. My shoulders are a weak point of mine, so I will start my first split with training shoulders twice a week and the rest of the body once a week. (note. Arms will be trained together and viewed as one muscle group).
Shoulder Prioritizing Split:
- Day 1: Shoulders
- Day 2: Legs
- Day 3: Off
- Day 4: Back
- Day 5: Shoulders
- Day 6: Arms
- Day 7: Chest
- Day 8: Off
- Day 1: Chest
- Day 2: Legs
- Day 3: Off
- Day 4: Back
- Day 5: Chest
- Day 6: Arms
- Day 7: Shoulders
- Day 8: Off
As you will see this is an 8-day split. This way you will be lifting different muscle groups on different week days each week. Also there is enough rest between each training bout to recover and grow. These workouts will be the most intense workouts that you have ever done. Making sure you recover between each workout is critical.
Chest Prioritizing Split:
Back Prioritizing Split:
Legs Prioritizing Split:
Arms Prioritizing Split:
You will find I like to arrange my workout split so certain muscle groups are never trained on successive days, as some muscle groups if fatigued can hinder performance or put another muscle group in harms way resulting in injury.
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For example back and legs will never be on successive days as the lower back is worked greatly in each day. Chest and shoulders is another pair, for the reason that the shoulder girdle and front deltoids are heavily used in each workout.
Finally I never like to do biceps the day before back as the biceps are worked heavily on back day. If the biceps are fatigued from the workout the day before you put your biceps in risk of getting torn with all the heavy back exercises you will be doing.
Pick the workout split that is right for you. Spend as much time as you would like using the workout split until you have brought up the given weak body part. You will get amazing results each week with 3-S Training and will only need around 6 weeks until you move to another one of these workout splits to bring up the next weakest muscle group.
So you have picked your split now it is time to see the 3-S Training Split in action. Below you are going to see a sample workout routine with the 3-S Training guidelines:
- Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Cable Crossovers: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Underhand Grip Pulldowns: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Bent Over Two Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Pullups: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Reverse Grip Bent Over Rows: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Seated Military Press: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
- Arnold Press: 2 sets of 8-12 reps
- One Arm Side Laterals: 2 sets of 8-12 reps
- Reverse Flyes: 2 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Side Laterals: 3 Sets
- Perform 10 reps. On the final rep hold the dumbbell as high as you can for 10 seconds. Grab the next lightest dumbbell on the rack and perform another 10 reps and again on the last rep hold the dumbbell as high as you can for 10 seconds. Repeat this process one last time so that you have a total of 3 drop sets for each total set.
Remember there is no rest between the performances of these exercises only rest once the sequence of the Tri Set is finished.
Remember there is no rest between the performances of these exercises only rest once the sequence of the Giant Set is finished.
Remember there is no rest between the performances of these exercises only rest once the sequence of the superset is finished. Also hold contraction of each exercise for 2-3 second on each rep.
I said it once and I will say it again, 3-S Training is for Hardcore Advanced Lifters Only and even then I promise you will feel overall body fatigue in the first couple of weeks but if you stick to a sound diet and supplementation program you will be well on your way to bringing up your weak points and putting pounds of lean mass on your frame.
As always is you have any questions don't hesitate to drop me an email.