What kind of weight training program are you’re using these days?

Question:
What kind of weight training program are you’re using these days? It seems like training science has come a long way in the last ten years or so and I was wondering whether your philosophy of training has changed or if you’re doing anything new. I was also wondering if you’re competing any time soon.

Answer:
Training science has definitely come a long way since I first started in this business 20 years ago.Even in the last 5 years, there has been an enormous amount of innovation in training styles and modes.

This has changed the way I and many other trainers prescribe workouts for other people. You can’t make one blanket recommendation for everyone – each person has to be taken on a caseby case basis – and with so many new training tools, techniques and styles, we have more choices now than ever.

Best advice: keep an open mind and keeping experimenting with new things. I don’t think anyone should restrict themselves to one mode of training.

For me, however, because I’m a bodybuilder, the choice of training method is a no-brainer. I use the bodybuilding method, the same method I explain in my ebook, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (http://www.BurnTheFat.com)

The training variables in my workout program change all the time including exercises, sets, rep range, tempo, range of motion, which intensity techniques are used, and so on.

I’ve found that to avoid plateaus, changing workout variables frequently becomes more and more important as your training age increases (training age is how long you’ve been training – I’ve been doing it for 25 years!). So, I’m always changing some variable.

However, the overall schedule and training frequency I’m using now is the same one I’ve used for years. It’s a 4 day split routine on a 2 days on, 1 day off schedule.

This is the 4 day split:

Day 1: chest, Biceps abs
Day 2: Quads, Hamstrings, calves (light) Day 3: Shoulders (incl traps), Triceps, abs day 4: Back, calves (heavy)

This is done on a 2 days on, 1 day off rotation, which means I don’t (usually) do weight training more than 2 days in a row.With this schedule, each body part is worked once every 6 days, with the exception of abs and calves, which are worked about twice a week.

Occasionally, I’ll hit arms twice a week if I want to specialize.

I’m very aware of the trend away from body part split routines that has taken place over the past decade or so, as well as the recommendations to use full body training or movement- pattern based split routines (vertical pull, horizontal push, rotation, etc, etc,) instead of programs that include “chest and bicep days”

Those recommendations make perfect sense if you are talking about sports training, where body part split training is not appropriate or fitness or fat loss training for the ordinary Joe, where bodybuilding routines may not be necessary or practical.

In fact, I created my own semi-full body, movement-pattern based training program in my newest book, The Body Fat Solution, because that book was not written for bodybuilders or for bodybuilding goals

However, I have to chuckle when I hear training “experts” say that bodybuilding split routines such as the one I use are altogether ineffective or in some way bad for you.

Granted, there is a lot of nonsense still being published in the muscle mags (like 20 set bicep routines and so on), but the 4 day split, 2 on 1 off, is the training program I have used for almost every bodybuilding competition I have ever won.

If I win a competition or if I achieve my physique goal, then how does somebody figure that the method I used is ineffective training? Beats me. Another one of those mysteries of the universe.I could have shelves full of trophies and some critic will still come along and say, “You’re doing it all wrong! You have to do full body workouts and hit each muscle at least 2X a week!” come to think of it, I DO have shelves full of trophies… and critics DO say that, LOL!

Actually, one thing I have done for years is to use some sort of abbreviated “back to basics” type of routine once a year or so, which might be a full body program like Randall Strossen’s famous Super Squats program or it might be a split routine with low volume, using some type of variation on the classic Mentzer-esque “high intensity Training” (H.I.T) methods or some of the newer variations on H.I.T. (DC-inspired, etc)

I’ve found that those briefer routines with less volume improve my strength significantly. However, I’ve also noticed that they don’t (at least directly) give me the muscle size and appearance that the split routines do.

Clearly, each person is different and if you experiment and pay attention using the “feedback loop method” (see chapter 4 of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle – available from www.BurnTheFat.com), you will eventually learn from direct experience what works best for you.

But, make no mistake:

Contrary to the rumours, body part split routines are far from dead. You can see my photos on my blog (www.burnthefatblog.com) with the results of split routine training, from my last couple of competitions.

One rumor that IS true:

Yes, I am competing again this year, so I will be posting some news and even newer photos soon and I will demonstrate by example once again that usually, the best programs are those old classics, not the latest new fangled-fad or trend.

To learn more about the exact system I use to get lean enough to see 6-pack abs, visit my site at www.BurnTheFat.com

Train hard and expect success!

Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle is the most detailed, one-stop guide to fat burning nutrition you’ll ever find.That’s why so many people call it the fat loss bible.




 

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