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The Most Effective Muscle building Method in the World??
What is Rest Pause Training?
Rest-Pause training is a method of training based on always performing the minimal effective dose necessary in a workout to achieve progressive muscular adaptations.
Basically, do not do MORE volume of work than necessary to stimulate muscle growth in a given workout, and by training efficiently this way on a long enough timeline, you can get stronger and bigger month over months for years, with no real plateaus.
This method requires precise workout tracking and extreme focus, as every workout you must aim to exceed prior performance. It is not a “fun and exciting” way to train, but for those men who do train this way, it is renowned for its effectiveness.
RP (abbreviation) is similar to High Intensity Training, although they have somewhat different origins. RP was conceptualized in the 1990s by a Bro Scientist and Bodybuilder named Dante Trudel who struggled with muscle gain past the intermediate stage, and set out to explore the scientific research how muscle gain actually worked.
RP training is one of the best methods in existence for building muscle and strength consistently over long periods of time, with an solid anecdotal record the past 30 years of thousands of bodybuilders that have used it, both natural and enhanced.
This Interview with Dante is from about a decade ago at least, and it is raw and unfiltered. It describes his entire RP philosophy, its origins, and how it works.
The Doggcrapp Workout
By Dante a.k.a. Doggcrapp
My whole goal is to continually get stronger on key exercises = getting continually bigger. I will state this, the method I am about to describe is what I have found that makes people grow at the absolutely fastest rate possible and why I am being inundated down in this area to train people. It's going to go against the grain but I'm making people grow about 2 and a half times as fast the normal rate so bear with me. A typical workout for the masses is (lets use chest for an example) doing a body part once every 7 days (once a week) and sometimes even once every 9 days or more. This concept came to the front due to recovery reasoning and I agree with most typical workouts your going to need a great deal of recovery. Here's the problem---lets say you train chest once a week for a year and you hypothetically gain 1/64 of an inch in pectoral thickness from each workout. At the end of the year you should be at 52/64 (or 13/16). Almost an inch of thickness (pretty good). To build muscle we are trying to lift at a high enough intensity and load to grow muscle but with enough recovery so the muscle remodels and grows. The problem is everyone is loading up on the volume end of training and its taking away from the recovery part of it. You can train in a way so you can train chest 3 times every nine days and you will recover and grow faster than ever. If you train chest 3 times in 9 days you are now doing chest roughly 136 times a year! So instead of 52 growth phases you are now getting 136 growth phases a year. I personally would rather grow 136 times a year than 52. At a hypothetical 1/64th of an inch per workout you are now at 136/64 (or roughly 2.1 inches of thickness). So now your growing at roughly 2 and a half times as fast as normal people who are doing modern day workouts are. Most people train chest with 3 to 4 exercises and wait the 7-9 days to recover and that is one growth phase. I use the same 3 to 4 exercises but do chest 3 times during those 9 days and get 3 growth phases. Everyone knows a muscle either contracts or doesn't--you cannot isolate a certain part of it (you can get into positions that present better mechanical advantages though that put a focus on certain deep muscle fibers)--for example incline presses vs. flat presses. One huge mistake beginning bodybuilders make is they have a "must" principle instilled in them. They feel they "must" do this exercise and that exercise and this many sets or they won't grow.
How I set bodybuilders workouts up is I have them pick either their 3 favorite exercises for each body part or better yet the exercises they feel will bring up their weaknesses the most. For me my chest exercises are high incline smith machine press, hammer seated flat press and slight incline smith press with hands very very wide----this is because I look at my physique and I feel my problem area is upper and outer pecs---that is my focus. Whenever I train someone new I have them do the following --4 times training in 8 days---with straight sets. Sometimes with rest pause sets but we have to gauge the recovery ability first.
Day one would be Monday and would be:
Day two would be Wednesday and would be:
Day three would be Friday and would be:
Day four would be the following Monday and would be
And so on Wednesday Friday Monday Wednesday etc.
Stay with me here--You're only doing one exercise per muscle group per day. Your doing your first favorite exercise for chest on day one--your doing your second favorite exercise for chest on the next chest workout and your third exercise for chest on the next. You're hitting every body part twice in 8 days. The volume on everything is simply as many warm-up sets as you need to do- to be ready for your ONE work set. That can be two warm-up sets for a small muscle group or five warm-up sets for a large muscle group on heavy exercise like rack deadlifts. The ONE work set is either a straight set or a rest pause set (depending on your recovery abilities again). For people on the lowest scale of recovery its just that one straight set---next up is a straight set with statics for people with slightly better than that recovery----next up is rest pausing (on many of the of movements) with statics for people with middle of the road recovery on up. Three key exercises are picked for each body part (hypothetically we will use flat dumbell bench press, incline smith bench press, and hammer press) ---USING ONLY ONE OF THOSE EXERCISES PER WORKOUT you rotate these in order and take that exercise to it's ultimate strength limit (where at that point you change the exercise and get brutally strong on that new movement too). That can happen in 4 weeks or that can happen 2 years later but it will happen some time (You cannot continually gain strength to where you eventually bench pressing 905 for reps obviously)---Sometime later when you come back to that original exercise you will start slightly lower than your previous high and then soar past it without fail--- As you progress as a bodybuilder you need to take even more rest time and recovery time. READ THAT AGAIN PLEASE: AS YOU PROGRESS AS A BODYBUILDER IN SIZE AND STRENGTH YOU NEED TO TAKE EVEN MORE REST AND RECOVERY TIME. Example: My recovery ability is probably slightly better now than when I started lifting 13-14 years ago but only slightly...but back then I was benching 135lbs and squatting 155lbs in my first months of lifting. Now I am far and away the strongest person in my gym using poundages three to six times greater than when I first started lifting. With my recovery ability being what it is both then and now do you think I need more time to recover from a 155lb squat for 8reps or a 500lb squat for 8reps? Obviously the answer is NOW! This past year I have been really pounding the slag iron as heavy and hard as I can in preparation of trying to get onstage at about 252lbs early next year. That means a hard 300lbs to me off-season and I'm pretty damn close to that right now. The gains I have made in strength this past year even at my lifting level are nothing short of phenomenal (in my mind). With those strength gains comes the ratio of recovery factor. Whereas a year ago I was training 2 on one off 2 on one off and getting away with it with extreme stretching etc....about 2 months ago I took an extra day off on the weekend because of work obligations and I just started to feel somewhat tired because of how heavy my weights were. If my strength keeps progressing at this level I am eventually going to have to train Monday Wednesday Friday Monday Wednesday Friday like outlined above simply because I am reaching poundage's that are so far and away above my beginning weights-I have to take the necessary recovery precautions. I am still training as often as I possibly can per body part--that's key to me. The more times I can train a body part in a year's time and recover will mean the fastest growth possible! I've done the training a body part every 10 days system in the past and while recovering from that--the gains were so slow over time I got frustrated and realized the frequency of growth phases (for me) was to low. I want to gain 104 times a year instead of 52--the fastest rate that I can accumulate muscle (YET AGAIN WITHIN ONES RECOVERY ABILITY-I CAN'T SAY THAT ENOUGH)
In the past 4-5 years that I have been slowly changing my philosophies of training I've been gaining so fast the last couple of years it's been pretty amazing. I've got my training down to extremely low volume (a rest pause set or ONE straight set) with extreme stretching, and with recovery issues always in the back of my mind. I realize the number one problem in this sport that will make or break a bodybuilder is overtraining. Simply as this--you over train you're done as a bodybuilder gains wise. Kaput. Zip. A waste of valuable time. But I also think there is a problem with under frequency (only if you can train hardcore enough with extremely low volume to recover)--As stated in an earlier post I skirt right along the line of overtraining--I am right there...I've done everything in my power (Stretching, glutamine, "super supplements", sleep) to keep me on this side of the line and its worked for me. I believe everyone has different recovery abilities--the job of a bodybuilder is to find out what their individual recovery ability is and do the least amount of hardcore training to grow so they can train that body part as frequently as possible. For anyone who wants to follow my lead that would mean starting out with straight sets training 4 times in 8 days and strictly gauging yourself recovery wise with every step up you take (statics, rest pauses)
MON TUES THURS FRI- For people who have (above normal) recovery ability (hitting body parts twice in that time-or twice in 7 days)
MON WED FRI MON- For pretty much the norm of society with average recovery ability--hitting body parts twice every 8 days
MON TUES THURS FRI- With body split into three parts-for people with hectic schedules these are extremely short workouts yet stay roughly in the same scheme as the above.
On this schedule someone would group body parts like the following:
In the first week of doing this, day one would be hit on Friday again and then the Monday of the following week would be Day 2 again, Tuesday would be Day 3, Wednesday off, Thursday-day one again etc. You would still be hitting body parts twice every 9 days and these workouts would be about 35 minutes tops.
Set & Exercise Examples:
Example Day One:
First exercise smith incline presses (ill use the weights I use for example) 135 for warm-up for 12--185 for 8 warm-up--225 for 6-8 warm-up-----then 375 for 8 reps to total absolute failure (then 12-15 deep breaths) 375 for 2-4 reps to total absolute failure (then 12-15 deep breaths) 375 for 1-3 reps to absolute total failure (then a 20-30 second static hold) DONE!--that's it 375lbs for 8+4+3= 375 for 15 reps rest paused..... next week I go for 385 (again rest paused)-----directly after that rest pause set I go to extreme stretching flyes and that's it for chest and on to shoulders, triceps and back........the next day I come in to do chest would be day 4 and I would do hammer flat presses in the same rest paused manner (and then extreme stretching again)---the next day I come in to do chest is day seven and I would do my third favorite exercise rest paused and then the cycle repeats. Three chest workouts in nine days with low enough volume to recover in between workouts and high enough intensity and load to grow rapidly--my workouts last an hour�I'm doing one exercise for one all out balls to the wall rest pause set (I don't count warm-ups only the working set) ---so in simple terms I am using techniques with extreme high intensity (rest pause) which I feel make a persons strength go up as quickly as possible + low volume so I can (recover) as quickly as possible with as many growth phases (damage/remodel/recover) I can do in a years time.
Just in case any of you were confused every body part is hit 3 times in 9 days and advanced techniques such as rest pause is used (if it can be used)....Some exercises like hack squats and some back rowing exercises don't allow themselves to rest pausing too well. A sample couple of days for me would be the following (I'm not including warm-up sets--just working sets):
Chest- Smith incline 375 x 15 reps rest pause (RP) and 20 second static rep at end
Shoulders- Front smith press-330 x 13RP
Triceps- Reverse grip bench 315 for 15-20 reps rest paused
Back width- Rear pull downs to back of head 300 x 18RP (20 second static at end)
Back thickness- Dead lifts straight set of 12-20 reps
Biceps- Dumbbell curls rest paused for 20 reps
Forearms- Hammer curls rest paused for 15
Calves- On hack squat straight set for 12 reps but with a 20 second negative phase
Hamstrings- Lying leg curl rest paused for 15-20 reps and then 20 second static at end
Quads- Hack squat straight set of 6 plates each side for 20 reps (of course after warming up)
DAY Three: Off
Day Four & Five: Same as day one with same concepts but different exercises (and again the same with days seven and eight)
Every exercise is done with a controlled but explosive positive and a true 6-10 second negative phase. And the absolutely most important thing of any of this is I write down all weights and reps done from the working set on a notepad (and every time I go into the gym I have to continually look back and beat the previous times reps/weight or both)---If I cant or I don't beat it, no matter if I love doing the exercise or not, I have to change to a new exercise. Believe me this adds a grave seriousness, a clutch performance or imperativeness to a workout. I have exercises I love to do and knowing I will lose them if I don't beat the previous stats sucks! But there is a method to this madness because when you get to that wall of sticking point of strength (AND YOU WILL, THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN HACK SQUAT UP TO 50 PLATES A SIDE) that is when your muscle=strength gains will stop.....and you must turn to a different exercise and get strong on that one. And then someday you will peak out on that one too. You can always come back to that loved exercise in the future and you'll start somewhat low and build up to a peak again- and trust me that peak will be far more than the previous one. Some exercises you'll stay with and gain strength at for almost up to a year and some exercises you'll be at the limit in 4 weeks and lose them but its all in the plan. I love reverse grip bench presses--knowing that I have to beat 315 for 17 reps rest paused or else I have to change to maybe dips next time puts a serious sense of urgency into workouts. I either have to beat it by doing something to the effect of 320 for 15 rest paused or if I stick with 315, I have to get at least 19 reps rest paused or so. If I'm feeling crappy or having an off day I might give myself a little leeway and allow myself another go at it next time around but that's it. The notepad is your intensity level, how badly you want to keep doing an exercise will be how hard you push to beat the previous. Looking at that piece of paper knowing what you have to do to beat it will bring out the best in you. Again it's all in the plan to make you the strongest bodybuilder possible which will equal out into the biggest bodybuilder possible.
Heavy is relative--it doesn't mean 3 reps --- it means as heavy as you can go on that exercise no matter if it is 5 reps or 50 reps. I personally like to do hack squats for 20 reps but I use about 6 plates on each side rock bottom--that's as heavy as I can go on that exercise for 20 reps. I could do sets of 6 and probably use maybe 8 or 9 plates a side but my legs (and most people I train) grow best from heavy and 15-50 reps.
Question: When you say you go balls to the walls for four weeks, then take it easy for 2 weeks, can you elaborate on the taking it easy part regarding training. Do you take two weeks off? Do you just not train to failure?
Doggcrapp: I still train to failure and rest pause but I'll use those two weeks to get my sanity back honestly. I'll use those two weeks to either stay with an exercise that I know I'm gaining on, or change up an exercise I feel I'm maxed out strength wise on at that moment. Again I would leave it up to you guys what you want to do. A lot of you will just want to stay with what's working. I just find myself going crazy sometimes with some of the weights I get up too and try to think of ways to make a movement harder so the weight comes down. �I've gone as high as 765lbs on a rack deadlift for 6 reps and I start going stir crazy with anxiety knowing I have to lift that heavy. So Ill do something crazy during those two weeks like rack deadlifts for 30 reps with 495 (real fast) or try out some exercise that I was wondering about. If I like that exercise Ill stay with it. If not I go back with what works. If I am doing something that is working continually I will stay with it during those two weeks. Id say 3/4 of the exercises I stay with and I'll tool around with some ideas I had with the other 1/4.
Question: How much of an increase should we look to add a week in terms of weights? When we pause, do you mean rack the weight after the initial 8 reps, take 15 deep breaths, then fire out 5-6 more then rack and take deep breaths again, then finish? I believe I understand the principal to an extent, but I want to be
Doggcrapp; Again the bigger the strength increase will be, the bigger the eventual size increase will be. Personally I have to beat my previous by either 2 reps or I have to add weight and at the very least get the minimum number of reps I allow myself rest paused on that exercise (or like previously stated I lose that exercise). If you find yourself blasting for weeks on end gaining just a rep here and a pound there, I think that is a waste of time--the gains will be coming too slow. Somewhat rapid increases are what we are striving for. If you really put your mind to it you can make rapid strength increases on any exercise and you can make those 2 rep or 5lb (at least) jumps for a lengthy amount of time.
Here I'll give you an abbreviated version of what I am looking for:
Day 1- Paramount shoulder press (warm-ups), and then 185X14RP (which was a 8+4+2 or something to
that effect) twelve is the lowest I will allow myself on this movement, twenty is the highest)---the next
time you would do paramount shoulder press again would be:
Day 10--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
Day 20--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
Day 30--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
Day 40--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
Day 50--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
Day 60--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
Day 70--paramount shoulder press (warm-ups)
205x13RP DAMMIT - I BLEW IT NOW I HAVE TO GO TO DUMBELL PRESSES NEXT TIME
In the real world I doubt you would of bombed out there, I bet you would of made it up somewhere around 240 to 260 before bombing out You do 185lbs to total failure (which we will hypothetically say is 8 reps ok) FINISH ON THE NEGATIVE-rack the weight and start breathing as deeply as you can to get as much oxygen in for 12 to 15 deep breaths (during this time you might or your training partner might be getting whatever exercise your doing ready for you again--like both of you bringing the bar back to the top again etc) I say 15 deep breaths but I want that whole time period to last maybe 20 seconds tops so depending on your breathing 12 to 15 deep breaths. You went to failure with 185, you racked on the negative, took 15 deep breaths, and now you take the 185 again and go to complete failure again (lets say hypothetically failure was 4 reps) DO THE NEGATIVE PORTION 8 SECONDS DOWN AND RACK IT--15 more deep breaths, then 185 again to total failure FINISH ON THE NEGATIVE AND RACK IT. Depending on your recovery ability, the exercise and if your an advanced trainer or not instead of racking it at the very end you can "try" (and I say try) to hold the weight in a static hold for 20 seconds just before racking it(good luck you'll be shaking like a leaf at that point--I've had some words come out of my mouth trying to hold my static that could hit a triple word score on scrabble)
Reason for not doing traps: I let deadlifts and heavy rack deadlifts take care of traps. My reasoning: I can't see where a 250lb shrug is going to beat 600lb+ rack deadlifts that I try to pull up and back at the top anyway.
How to do rack deadlifts: In a power rack, safety bars at knee level (your pulling from knee level)--keep your back arched or at least flat the entire movement (not rounded at all)--if your back starts rounding, its time to end the set or your using too much weight. Personally I pull with an overhand and underhand deadlift grip and with my arms perfectly straight, try to pull my shoulders up and back at the top. I then do about a 4-5 second negative down but I wouldn't suggest that to others unless I can show how to do it. (I keep locked---my back arched and knees slightly bent and lower it)..It kind of takes a little getting used too.
Back Width: With all width movements rest paused I like front pull downs to the chin, rear pull downs to the mid-ear level (no lower), gravitron chins (the air compressor one with the platform), hammer under grip pull downs, and rack chins. Rack chins: Find the widest smythe machine you can (or barbell in a squat rack) and put a bench in front of it- put the bar about shoulder height- use wrist straps and put your grip as wide as comfortably possible-put your heels up on the bench but cross your legs to take them out of the movement- your legs should almost be straight but not quite- now do chins explosively up and 8 seconds down until the full stretch- any rep that your chin doesn't either go over the bar or hit the bar doesn't count! Do one warm-up set and then have someone put a fixed plate barbell (like used for barbell curls) in your lap. On every rest pause the spotter grabs the barbell off the chinners lap and the chinner stands up and counts his 15 deep breaths (and he stays strapped up to the bar). Then the chinner gets back into position after 15 deep breaths and the spotter puts the barbell back on the chinners lap. I want one warm-up straight set with no added weight done for 10-12 reps and then one all out rest pause set for 15 to 20 reps with added weight (use a 30lb barbell this first time out), then 10-30 short range static reps at the end. These are going to be excruciating and tomorrow your lats are going to be killing you.This exercise is my lat width pronto exercise.
You can rig this up where you don't need a spotter. I've done this before by putting my weight belt really loose around me and putting a 35lb plate down the back of it with a short chain, or you can rig up some benches where you can get that barbell off your lap but it's much easier if you can get someone to help you for the one working rest pause set. You need to really push the stretch down the bottom and then try to explode up to the bar on every rep
Back Thickness: I like over grip bent over rows, rack deadlifts, floor deadlifts, and T bar rows using a barbell in a corner and using the pulley handle from a seated row around it (and using multiple 25's or 35's instead of 45's to increase the range of motion)�I'm not a fan of t-bar rows with the pad on the chest apparatus--with heavy weights your lungs go out before your back does.
Hamstring exercises: leg curls rest paused, stiff legged deadlifts, and I do the following movement on a leg press religiously (man this one is easier to show and hard to explain here): legs wide, feet are at the very top pushing only with your heels, toes are off the plate. Rest paused for 20 reps. Your pretty much doing a leg press with only your heels and your toes off the top of the plate--it blasts hamstrings and you will feel it as soon as you get up the next morning. You need the right leg press to do this though-some plates are angled weird. I go as deep as I safely can on these--don't let your ass round up-you can do this by taking in a lot of air, keeping your chest high (and your head stays on the back rest) when your lowering it and your ass will stay down.
Quads: a typical quad workout for me is super heavy weights on either a squat, a leg press or a hack squat for 15 to 30 reps (the last 7 reps for me is truly succeed or death). Someone who has a sweep from hell and his wheels are his best body part I usually have him doing a heavy 4-8 rep set on certain exercises (squat) and then maybe a hardcore 20 repper on other exercises. But most guys who could use more leg size I have them do one set in the 4-8 range to failure and another follow-up set with as much weight as they can use in the 15-20 range to failure on leg exercises. It just depends on what I see by their pictures. That is about the only time you will ever see me have a person do 2 sets of the same exercise. With bodybuilders with troublesome legs it's usually those 20 rep sets that make their legs grow and I just have them do that hard and heavy 4-8 rep set to keep the strength gains moving up the ladder.
Warm-ups for Legs: Johnny the behemoth who squats 650lbs is going to have to use a lot more warm-up
sets than Jimmy the stick-boy. Something like:
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x 6
405 x 6
495 x 4
650 x failure (4-8 reps)
The bottom line is whether its riding a bike for 15 minutes and doing one warm-up set or doing 10 warmup sets, warm-up sets are just warm-up sets--they mean nothing to me in a growth concept. I feel you should warm-up as much as you deem possible that makes you ready to go all out. This is the mistake I think people make when they say they get injured from low volume training. They think "one set" and go in and try to squat 405lbs without 3 warm-up sets with 135, 225, and 315. A sample hack squat warm-up I'll do (just so you can see I'm not growing or taxing myself in the least from warm-up sets) is 90lbs on each side for 10, 160 each side for 6, 225 each side for 4, and then 315 on each side Ill go for 12-20 reps
Let's say leg day one is: Leg press, day two: Hack, day three: Squat. You don't have to do 50 rep leg presses every time they come around. You could pile more and more weight on every week and let your reps drop slowly till you're moving some serious poundage at 10-12 reps. Trust me, I bet any money this will be far and away higher weight than you've ever been on the leg press. Or you could alternate--50 rep
leg presses and then the next time 12 rep heavy....just throwing some options at you in case you thought you HAD to do 50 rep leg presses. By the way I don't rest pause them--I just sit there with the knees very slightly bent and breathe 5 deep breathes and go, breathe 5 more and go etc...at 40 reps the last 10 I'm doing 3 (breathe) 3 more (breathe) 2 more (breathe) 2 more. (and I refuse to put my hands on my knees at all times).....
Rest Pausing: After some time at rest pausing I noticed I started counting 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 at roughly the same pace during every eccentric phase of exercises I did. I went home and did it at a stop watch and kept the same counting cadence and it always comes out somewhere about 8 seconds (every time). So something like a bent over row or rack deadlift Ill count to 8 (5 seconds) and if it's a bench or bicep curl etc, etc Ill count to 10. With me, counting to 8 always comes out to 5 seconds or so and counting to 10 comes out to 7.8 (lets just say eight) seconds or so. So 99% of my exercises I'm doing a 8 second negative phase on. As far as rest between the rest pauses I find breathing in and out deeply 12 times comes out to about 23 seconds for me every time so I just stick to that. I used to count "one one thousand, two thousand etc etc" but I've been rest pausing for a long time now and its all second nature to me.
CHEST: Flat bench 90lb dumbbells chest high--lungs full of air-- I drop down into the deepest flye I can for the first 10 seconds or so with my lungs full of air and chest out---then staying there I arch my back slightly and try to press my sternum upward --this is absolutely excruciating--the rest of the 60 seconds I try to concentrate on dropping my elbows even farther down (I try to but I don't think they are going any lower--LOL)---the last 15 seconds I'm pretty much shaking like a leaf, I have tears in my eyes and I think about dropping bodybuilding and becoming a tap dancer on Broadway (ok that parts not true)--My opinion is people should use dumbbells that are a little over half of what your heaviest set of 6-8 reps would be. I cant state this enough--extreme stretching royally sucks!!! Its painful. But I have seen amazing things with people -especially in the quads.
TRICEPS: Seated on a flat bench-my back up against the barbell---75lb dumbell in my hand behind my head (like in an overhead dumbell extension)--sink dumbell down into position for the first 10 seconds and then an agonizing 50 seconds slightly leaning back and pushing the dumbell down with the back of my head I like one arm at a time in the bottom position of a dumbell triceps extension----going to the extreme stretch and then slightly pushing on the dumbell with the back of my head.
SHOULDERS: This one is tough to describe--put a barbell in the squat rack shoulder height--face away from it and reach back and grab it palms up (hands on bottom of bar)---walk yourself outward until you are on your heels and the stretch gets painful--then roll your shoulders downward and hold for 60 seconds.
BICEPS: Olympic bar in a power rack or squat rack about neck high---face away from it and reach back and put both hands over the bar gripping it----now either sink down with one leg forward/one leg back or better yet squat down and try (I say try because its absolutely excruciating) to kneel. Go down to the stretch that is almost unbearable and then hold that for 45 to 60 seconds. Your own bodyweight is the load. What I do is put the bar at a place on the squat rack in which I can kneel at a severe stretch and then try to sink my ass down to touch my feet. If its too easy I put the bar up to the next rung.
BACK: Honestly for about 3 years my training partner and I would hang a 100lb dumbell from our waist and hung on the widest chin-up bar (with wrist straps) to see who could get closest to 3 minutes--I never made it--I think 2 minutes 27 seconds was my record--but my back width is by far my best body part--I pull on a doorknob or stationary equipment with a rounded back now and its way too hard too explain here--just try it and get your feel for it.
HAMSTRINGS: Either leg up on a high barbell holding my toe and trying to force my leg straight with my free hand for an excruciating painful 60 seconds or another exercise I could only show people and not type here.
QUADS: Facing a barbell in a power rack about hip high --grip it and simultaneously sink down and throw your knees under the barbell and do a sissy squat underneath it while going up on your toes. then straighten your arms and lean as far back as you can---60 seconds and if this one doesn't make you hate my guts and bring tears to your eyes nothing will---do this one faithfully and tell me in 4 weeks if your quads don't look a lot different than they used to.
CALVES: my weak body part that I couldn't get up too par until 2 years ago when I finally thought it out and figured out how to make them grow (with only one set twice a week too) I don't need to stretch calves after because when I do calves I explode on the positive and take 5 seconds to get back to full stretch and then 15 seconds at the very bottom "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand etc" --15 seconds stretching at the bottom thinking and trying to flex my toes toward my shin--it is absolutely unbearable and you will most likely be shaking and want to give up at about 7 reps (I always go for 12reps with maximum weights)--do this on a hack squat or a leg press--my calves have finally taken off due to this.
Different than extreme stretching. I do extreme stretching for each body part after its finished (holding into a weighted stretched position for 60 seconds)--- Statics are what I do immediately after a working set to try to create even more of an overload ---example: lat pulldowns-300x 14 reps rest paused to failure and then immediately I do a static hold which is pull the bar down 4 inches and lean back slightly. I fight like hell to hold it for 20 seconds counting (one one thousand, two one thousand, three...) but I usually end up shaking like a leaf on some movements (incline presses etc)--trying to hold a three hundred plus pound incline press in a 20 sec. Another example: Incline bench press, John Doe has just completed a rest pause set with 275lbs. He takes the bar off the rack and brings it about 4 inches down (as this is usually where peoples strength range is) and tries to hold it there for a true 20 second count. To be totally honest with you its nothing more than a personal favorite of mine to reach an overload threshold--- someone else might want to do burns down near the bottom for 6-15 short reps, someone else might want to do a 20% more weight negative.
Individualistic choice but I like treadmill or a walk around the neighborhood. Days per week - off season- 0 to 2 times a week, pre-contest--every day except leg days, minutes per sessions - always 45 minutes (60 minutes if someone got to a serious sticking point)
Protein Powder: I use Optimum pro complex due to its varied proteins (55gram serving) and 5 grams of glutamine (not glutamic acid) per serving (THATS A HUGE REASON FOR ME)--I pay 38 bucks for 4.4lbs on the net (with no shipping because I buy over 200 bucks worth)--yes I go thru a bucket every 5 to 6 days, but not having to buy glutamine separately and getting in 20-30grams each day of it makes me smile. The protein powder is the most expensive thing in my diet everything else is pretty cheap.
A sample day for me is (with protein grams after each item) � Bulk Diet:
Breakfast: oatmeal(5) with soy grits and ground flaxseeds on top (23) a little bit of milk(2) in the oatmeal and a protein drink (55)=85grams
After-workout snack: two potatoes(7) and a double serving protein drink in cranberry grape juice (110) =117grams
Lunch: (quick one because of my work)-can of ravioli (11) and protein drink(65) (cup of water cup of milk in there) =76grams
Snack: two 99cent big Macs(54) and 2 cups of milk (20)=74 grams
Dinner: 1lb of hamburger (100) cooked drained and then washed off with water thoroughly (to remove as much fat as possible)with condiments and noodles (4) =104grams
I keep reasonably lean by taking in zero to trace amounts of carbs (found in vegetables) after 6-7pm
Night-time meal: six egg white omelet with peppers or peas(20) or roast beef cold cuts with half water half milk protein drink (65) =85 grams
That's 541 protein grams on average and with me usually eating larger portions than measured I probably venture toward 600 grams a lot. If you look at the food I eat its pretty cheap, specially the way I buy it in bulk.
Sample Day � Bulk Diet - Total Calories:
1) protein drink (olive oil 600/milk 210/water 0/powder 260/flaxseed 50+ oatmeal 200+ banana 102=1420cals
2) post workout drink=3 cups cranberry juice 390, four scoops protein powder 520, 2 baked potatoes 284=1194cals
3) chicken rice casserole-cup of rice 190 chicken 581, sauce 150 , two cups milk 280=1201 cals
4) T bone steak 1419, water with lemon (trace), mashed potatoes (400)=1819cals
5) protein drink with olive oil 600/powder 260/milk 210/ water 0 and protein bar 290 = 1360
6) two cups 2% milk 280 and 2 cups cottage cheese 440=720
Total calories: 7714
Diet Philosophy: For fat sources, I like omega-3's (flaxseeds) and extra virgin olive oils (mono unsaturated fat)--118 calories per tablespoon. I throw 2-3 tablespoons in my morning and afternoon shakes but not in the post workout or bedtime ones (self explanatory). Go slow with olive oil or you will be seat belting yourself to the toilet the first couple days. As far as diet I am like Palumbo in that aspect...I like high protein, moderate (good) fats and low to moderate carbs..I eat the amount of protein grams I want to ingest first and if its before 6-7pm I satisfy the rest of my hunger with carbs. If I go to McDonalds I'll blast as many hamburgers as I can and skip the fries (laughing) but true. After 6-7pm I will go high protein and trace to low carbs (example huge steak and a lot of a vegetable but no rice, pasta or bread).
This is the way I have found thru trial and error that I can keep myself and people I train fairly lean but still have them gaining at the highest rate. I'm not a calorie counter at all. I'm a protein gram counter. I weigh myself and others once a month on the same scale and if they are not gaining I already know they are on high protein so I fix the problem with added mono unsaturates (olive oil), flaxseeds and some extra carbs here or there. A simple way to keep the scale going up: I run into the same problem from time to time and I know I cannot eat any more than I do.....the savior for me is extra virgin olive oil--I work my way up to 3-4 tablespoons per protein drink...118 calories per tablespoon of a mostly monounsaturated fat (besides its other health benefits.)
I like people to do this at their meals:
1) pound down the protein amount they must get in first for that meal
2) add flax or olive oil to that meal if it allows i.e. protein drinks etc (and its before 6pm)
3) finally eat carbohydrates to satisfy any other hunger pangs at that meal and don't worry about grams! If you cut your carbs off at 6pm the night before you can pound raisin bran at breakfast and pasta at lunch etc etc your not going to have to worry about it (your going low carb after 6pm again tonight) Off-season you shouldn't feel like your abstaining or dieting--hell if you want 25 chocolate chip cookies--pound them down at 2pm (after you downed your protein drink first) After 6pm worry about carb grams--keep them low to trace--just delete potatoes, pasta, bread, cereals after 6pm and boatload all the corn, peas, or
vegetables you want with your (after 6pm) protein sources.
Way to cut cost of eating: I buy in bulk period. I buy eggs (5 dozen), ground beef(10lb chubs), rice etc in bulk and save a grip of money. I also always buy according to unit price which seems simple but most people overlook it. I scour flyers for steak deals and go to the supermarket that is selling London Broils for 1.87 a LB and snatch up a slew of them. I am a stingy frugal shopper--my biggest expense is protein powder (I use the 4.4 Pro complex). At lunchtime at work every day I go out to eat (otherwise I go nuts eating homemade food all the time). I am "COUPON BOY"---I get tons of restaurant coupons in the mail
and use them religiously.
Cutting Diet: Lets say "John Smith" is a 275lb bodybuilder holding 16% body fat in the off-season. He is smooth but his heavy training and high protein eating have made it possible for his body to hold 275lbs with probably an ideal contest weight of 226-234lbs or so. Since his present diet is allowing him to hold a "hypothetical" 230lbs of lean mass, what do you think is going to happen on a "cutting diet"....oh he will get ripped but probably at a 60-40 or 70-30 body fat to muscle mass ratio loss. My opinion is to leave the training heavy and leave the diet 90% what it is. The only changes I would make are to be religiously strict with low/trace carbs after 6pm and drop dairy 6 weeks out. Let the cardio take off your body fat!
Forty five minutes at a slightly brisk walk on a treadmill first thing in the morning on an empty stomach-- on every day except leg days will do it. Add in maybe usnic acid and a thermogenic and your going to end up inside out shredded. That's from a bodybuilding standpoint as I hate seeing someone gain 15lbs of muscle from training so hard in the off-season just to panic diet it all off trying to get ripped. In a general everyday sense for people who don't care about losing 8-20lbs of muscle mass on their way down to leanness,--cardio and a cutting diet will work faster for them. Again, the diet I prefer is high protein, moderate carbs, and moderate good fats (olive oils, flax oils, EFA's)--your stomach is always going to be full on this diet and I want it to be. A main staple of my way of doing things is cutting carbs at night.
The only carbs coming in after 5, 6, or 7pm (depending on your schedule and your meal timing) are trace carbs found in vegetables and such.