Taking an approach similar to a competitive powerlifter has distinct advantages for a bodybuilder. A powerlifter tries to lift the most weight he can (using whatever supporting muscles are necessary. A bodybuilder tries to develop all of his muscles with size and shape to create a proportionate body. Using heavy weights that only allow 4-6 reps per set and progressively increasing your weights (strength) you can use heavier weights and add more muscle mass. IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO GET THAT DENSE MUSCULAR PHYISIQUE!
Many a bodybuilder from the past and present uses these techniques. Arnold frequently too time to implement it into his workouts. Current Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman typically trains with 10-12 reps per set, sometimes 15 or more for legs, but even he uses power training with 800lb deadlifts, incline presses with 460lbs and squatting 675lbs.Team Universe champ trains like this all the time and it sure has worked wonders for him. New sensation King Kamali trains for strength and power and his amazing success at such an early point in his career is a testament to its efficacy and that what ya should give it a try.
Here is a sample of how to do it:
- Bench Presses 3 warm-ups using 50, 75, 80 % of your 6 rep max. Then sets of 6, 4, 4, 3-4
Bench Lockouts in the Power Rack (only about a quarter of normal range of motion) 3 x 3-5 reps
With the Lockouts, you should aim for a range of motion that is about half of a normal rep. Since the range is shorter you use heavier weights, and this will help condition your muscles and connective tissue to heavier loads-- leading too...bigga, badda muscles!
- Incline Barbell Press 2 x 8-10 then 1 burnout set for a pump
- Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 4-8 reps
n.b.- rest 3-5 minutes between sets
- Squats (use same warm-up progression as you did for bench press) Then heavy sets of 8, 6, 6, 4, 2-3
- Bottom Squats these help you out of the deep position of the squat, the part of the lift where you drive your legs out of the hole. Do 3-5 sets of about 5 reps a piece.
- Leg Press 2 sets of 8-15 reps
- Leg Curl 3 sets of 8
TAKE A REST DAY AND COME BACK FOR:
- Deadlifts for sets of 8, 6, 6, 4, 2-3 Partial Deadlifts in the Rack for 3 sets of 6-8 alternated with Good Mornings
- Power Chins 3 sets of 6-8 reps
These are similar to wide grip chins except your reps are more explosive. ATTACH WEIGHT IF POSSIBLE. If you are not strong enough to do these do 2 sets of as many reps as possible and then do 2 heavy sets on the pulldown
- Standing Barbell Curls 3 sets of 4-8. The first set should be strict but you can cheat a little on the other 2 sets
- Take another Day off
- Military Presses 3 sets of 6
- Shrugs 5 sets of 6reps
- Barbell Holds 4 cycles. Take a weight about 110 % of your deadlift poundages and try to hold it for 15 seconds-- this will strengthen your grip like no other
- Lateral Raises 2sets of 8-12 reps
- Calf and ab work NOW TAKE 2 DAYS OFF BEFORE REPEATING
Drop sets are my favorite technique for upping my intensity. With this approach you take a heavy weight and once you reach failure with it, you pick up a lighter weight and continue to go to failure. By doing this you end up training both fast twitch muscle fibers (which are responsible for lifting heavy weights and low reps) and the slow twitch fibers which are called upon by your body for endurance work.
The idea is to do drop sets for an exercise after you have already done the bulk of the exercises sets. I will use the leg press as an example.
After my warm-up sets on the Leg Press I use the following rep and weight scheme:
- 15-20 reps with 950 lbs.
- 10-12 reps with 1000 lbs.
- 8 reps with 1060 lbs.
- 7-8 reps with 1080
If you are doing drop sets with barbells make sure to arrange the right plates so that you only take a couple of seconds to make the proper adjustments. If you are using dumbbells, arrange the appropriate pair of dumbbells so that you do not have to waist time looking for the right weights.
If you listen to Rap or Hip Hop you have no doubt heard the scratching of records to create the bagin' dope sounds of today. The Reverse Pyramid Principle will get you on your way to a bangin' body!!
Like drop sets, the reverse pyramid allows you to fatigue a variety of muscle fibers by altering the poundages used and consequently the reps you perform with them. The difference with the reverse pyramid, is that you still are taking rest between the changes in weights. After a thorough warm-up you select a weight that will allow 6-8 reps. After reaching failure with that weight over 1-2 more sets you reduce the poundage and then take about 1-2 minutes of rest (or whatever you usually take during standard sets). Now when you go back to the bar, the weight is lighter but not much, you should only be able to manage 8-10. Do this again for another set.
Example: Incline Barbell Press 2 warm-ups with 50-75% of your working weight
- 2-3 sets x 6-8reps
- 1 set x 8-10 reps
- 1 set x 10-15 reps
- 1 sets x 15 + reps