Guest Post By IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski of www.HypertrophyMAX.com
1) Chicken, egg whites, rice, and rice cakes ONLY…..If you want to get shredded.
PLEASE DO NOT do this! Your body needs micro nutrients and vitamins. I know of so many aspiring bodybuilders and people that just want to better their physique that hire people who tell them to follow this diet. FIRE THEM!
2) Fats make you fat.
Fats are essential for countless essential body processes. All fats are good (trans fats excluded) in some proper ratio. Rotate your fat sources and watch your libido and test levels skyrocket. I’m just saying…
3) You’ve gotta lift heavy to grow
Cmon people! If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written you know this is not true. You’ve got to lift properly, and maximize tension to grow! Don’t worry, its easier than it sounds once you get it.
4) A calorie is a calorie (all calories are created equal)
Sounds like meathead math to me! Even when trying to get as big as possible, the WORST thing you can do is eat indiscriminately. This will set you up for insulin resistance and LESS muscle growth. I can’t believe all the kids brainwashed into thinking pop tarts are okay!
5) I’m trying to work my “tie ins”
I still laugh when I read this. J WTH is a “tie in” There is NO SUCH THING people. A muscle is a muscle, and its structure is what it is. Where two muscles tie together is simply where two muscles tie together. You CANT train that. You can certainly train a muscles ENTIRE length, but not the space between two muscles.
6) I’m training to stretch my fascia.
Ummm, FASCIA DOES NOT STRETCH! 100% proven fact that fascia has the tensile strength of STEEL. It may expand, much like muscle does when it gets warm, and become more pliable, but as soon as it cools its right back to where it started. Fascia grows in much the same way muscle does. You may break fascial adhesions which gives the illusion of expansion or greater range (this is a great thing!) but unfortunately its not stretching to allow for muscle growth peeps. Volumize your muscle via training and fascia will see a need to adapt and expand or grow.
7) Narrow grip T-Bar rows work my inner back
A-mazing! NO-IT-DOES-NOT! Narrow grip on back simply impedes ranges and forces you to use greater internal rotation of the shoulder joint (rotator muscles)
8) I don’t want to “overtrain”
Listen, an hour or two 5 days a week IS NOT overtraining…EVER…PERIOD. Unless you don’t eat, and don’t sleep…in which case overtraining is the least of your worries.
9) Low intensity cardio is best for fat burning
Hopefully, by now, most of you know that this is a big load of BS and that low intensity cardio does in fact burn a greater percentage of overall fat WHILE doing the exercise but does NOTHING for your BMR aka calorie burning for the rest of the day.
10) Fasted cardio burns more fat
NOPE! Never been proven. Ever. In fact, it has been showen that cardio(or any exercise for that matter) done after consuming calories has a greater thermogenic effect.
(more calories burned)
11) Preacher curls work my lower bicep
Oh boy! Weve ALL done this at some point. Myself included. But thankfully I know better now. As much as it would nice to work my lower bicep or lengthen my bicep, preacher curls do not do this, and either do any exercises. They may overload the lower portion of the strength curve, thereby making you stronger in that part of the range giving you the misconception that youre lengthening your bicep. In reality, youre just getting overall thickness to your bicep.
12) Close grip bench works my inner chest
Or ANY exercise for that matter…you CAN NOT work your “inner chest”. I actually had a fight with another pro about this. To improve development of your inner chest it is simply necessary to fully shorten your pec muscles. Much like a bicep curl “for peak” forces your muscle to be fully shortened and thereby grow upward, same idea for inner chest.
13) I must touch the floor on stiff leg deadlift for a full range and maximum stretch in my hammies.
Cool you can touch your toes. That doesn’t mean that youre getting a greater range in your hamstrings. It often means that youre achieving a greater range via putting your spine in a compromised position. Go only as far as your hamstrings flexibility will allow.
14) When you stop working out, does all that muscle turn to fat?
Clearly every bodybuilder that stops training will turn to a massive fat slob. All that muscle has to go somewhere right? Well, no. Fat and muscle are two completely different entities. Its like turning chicken breasts into donuts. Although it might be cool, I don’t see it being likely anytime soon unless you can track down Doc Brown and his flying Delorean.
15) Saturated fat is bad
Actually, saturated fat has never been shown to have any correlation with all the negative things the media might have you believe. Heart disease etc. When it does become bad is when its combined with sugars! Saturated fat on its own actually have many great positive benefits in the body. Hormone production etc.
16) Taking glutamine and Whey protein together is bad. They compete.
In fact they can help with increased protein synthesis when combined.In fact glutamine improves immune function and immune function is an indicator of strength. Weak immune system = weak muscles.
17) I’m going to diet and lose bodyfat before I start weight training
Ok, maybe not said by a lot of bodybuilders, but I still here this idiocy all the time. Listen people, Weight training is THE best way to lose body fat and change composition. Vinny and I can take ANY physique to 10% body fat with weights and diet alone!
18) Can I get a lift off?
If somebody says this before they start, walk away! If you cant lift it on your own, you have no business lifting that weight. The only exception is some crappy old shoulder and incline presses that make you reach 4 feet behind your head to grab the bar. In such cases I remove #18
19) Creatine causes cramping and muscle tears.
Nothing even close to that has ever been shown, but the media loves to tell stories that sensationalize everything that they put out.
20) I just can’t build my triceps (insert YOUR lagging bodypart here).
YES you can. You just need to learn HOW to do things properly. They might never be the best in the world, but you can bring up any lagging bodypart to match the rest of your body with knowledge of proper execution.
Click the link above for Colossal Gains In Size & Strength
Andy Bolton is an English powerlifting and strongman legend. He was the first guy to deadlift one thousand pounds in a powerlifting competition. Andy won his first competition at the age of 21 and just kept going from there, never looking back. He is the current World Powerlifting Organization world record holder (2,806 pounds) and holds the WPO world records in squat (1,213 pounds) and deadlift (1,009 pounds). His best competition bench press is a whopping 755 pounds.
In his latest work, Super Size Your Strength, Andy teams up with fellow powerlifter Elliot Newman to share their insiders’ secrets for driving your squat, bench press and deadlift to new, amazingly powerful highs. Let’s take a look and see what they have to say.
Supersize Your Strength is a 16-week training program to build raw/unequipped strength. In other words, if you wear knee wraps on your squats this program is suitable for you but if you wear squat and deadlift suits and bench shirts, then you need to look elsewhere.
The book is broken up into eight easy-to-read chapters that cover everything you need to know to follow the program and build your squat, bench press and deadlift. The sharp focus on these ‘big three’ exercises is one aspect of this book that I really like. If you’re a powerlifter this sharp focus makes perfect sense. If you’re not a powerlifter but just a guy who wants to get strong, this approach still makes sense because by focusing on the big three lifts, you’re building absolute strength from head to toe. In other words, Supersize Your Strength helps you build the foundation you need to grow all over your body. All of this is covered in chapter one.
The next chapter provides an overview of the complete 16-week program. The program is designed for a four-day training schedule and is designed to be followed exactly as-is, without modification. The only modification allowed is a switch to a 3-day switch schedule.
Chapter three covers the all-important warm up. If you expect to be lifting the kinds of weight these guys do, it is absolutely critical that you properly warm up—no exceptions. Extensive photographs are provided for each warm up exercise.
Chapter four outlines the 16-week training program. The guys include handy charts that cover each four-week period of the program. The number of exercises performed each day ranges from a low of four to a high of seven. Rest periods between the sets should be between 60 and 180 seconds, depending on the type of exercise you’re performing. You’ll need to read chapter five though first, because this is where all of the exercise movements are laid out for you. Again, like in chapter three, pictures demonstrate proper form.
The very few modifications that are allowed in the Supersize Your Strength program are covered in chapter six. For example, if a four-day cycle doesn’t work for you, it is acceptable to switch to a three-day split routine by combing certain exercises. The program includes 20 minutes of cardio per week. However, you are allowed to add some additional cardio time to this schedule. Keep in mind though that the goal of the program is to build super strength so it is important that you not spend too much time doing cardio.
Chapter seven is focused on things you can do to increase your strength gains. Specifically, this chapter highlights pre-, during- and post-workout nutrition, along with the all important recovery. I found the nutrition section of this chapter especially useful. The guys provide a lot of great information about carbs, protein, timing your nutritional intake and more. Remember that nutrition is the foundation of all gains in size and strength. You can lift until you can’t lift any more, but if you don’t have the proper nutritional foundation, the gains just won’t happen. The recovery section in chapter seven is also very well done.
The last chapter outlines your post-program strategy to maintain your gains.
Andy and Elliot also include four bonus books: Explode Your Squat; Explode Your Bench; Explode Your Deadlift; and Bigger Lifting Through Stronger Abs. Each of these volumes provide a nice range of tips and tricks to keep exploding your results beyond the 16-week Supersize Your Strength training program. All-in-all I’m happy to give the program a solid recommendation. Andy and Elliot obviously know what they are doing in terms of strength training and they do an excellent job of conveying their knowledge and wisdom to the reader.
Do THIS And You’ll Get Bigger, Stronger And Faster – Guaranteed.
By Andy Bolton author of Supersize your Strength
You may wonder what it is that I’m referring too. After-all, to guarantee that you’ll get BIGGER, STRONGER and FASTER is a pretty bold claim, right?
But it’s a claim I can back up with results.
My own results (multiple world records and titles).
My training partners results.
My clients results.
Now, what the hell am I talking about?
Here’s your answer…
I’m talking about Training Program Design.
You see, the right training program can accelerate your gains in the gym faster than virtually anything else, but the wrong program can leave you without any gains for months (or even years) and can lead you down a road of injury and frustration.
The trouble is, it sounds easy – all you have to do is write an effective training program and you’ll achieve all your muscle-building and strength goals.
BUT – it’s not easy!
Not by a long way.
I see many guys hurt themselves and make little or no progress in the gym because they are clueless when it comes to training program design.
Some Bench Press 6 times a week.
Others only train the ‘mirror muscles’.
Others only train their upper body’s.
The list of mistakes goes on and on.
The most important things you need to get right if you want to get big and strong are:
- Good sleep
- Proper nutrition and hydration
- Lifting technique
- Training program design
Without a good training program you are doomed to failure. With a good training program it can be like removing the brakes, adding the Supercharger and saying “HELLO” to a whole new world of gains.
When I was starting out in the world of strength I found the best lifters I could and I studied what they did. At first I copied their programs and made decent gains.
Over the years I added my own unique flavors to the mix and made even better gains. Now I share my knowledge and wisdom (20+ years worth) with other lifters and athletes and they very often experience the best gains of their lives.
They add muscle.
They get stronger.
They get faster and build explosiveness.
If you’d like me to help you to get bigger, stronger and faster, by providing you with a “kick-ass” training program, click the link below:
Compound Exercise Overload (CEO) – The “Boss” of Rapid Strength Gain
by Nick Nilsson author of Muscle Explosion
Add 30 pounds to your bench press in THREE days? Impossible?
What if I told you that with just one very-specifically performed training session, you can increase your strength levels 5 to 10% in a matter of three days. If you currently bench 300 lbs, that’s a 30-lb increase!
You’d most likely tell me I’m insane (or some other not-so-polite choice of words)…conventional wisdom says that real strength is built over long periods of time, not in short bursts like this.
Well, some training “rules” are meant to be broken. All you need is the right framework, a touch of insanity, and the guts to put it to work.
Compound Exercise Overload (CEO) is my “secret weapon” designed to strategically overload a single exercise with MASSIVE volume in one session. With CEO, you take a single compound exercise (like the squat, deadlift or bench press) and do ONLY that one exercise for the entire workout. You’ll work with relatively heavy weights, you’ll get 30 seconds of rest between sets and you’ll do this for 40 minutes straight.
This technique is literally like compressing a month’s worth of training into a single workout…with the results to match it.
Compound Exercise Overload works to increase strength in several ways:
1. CEO focuses your nervous system on a single specific exercise/movement pattern, i.e. “greasing the groove” (credit to Pavel Tsatsouline for this concept). There is no competing training stimuli here, just a very specific focus on one exercise. This maximizes the neuromuscular adaptation to that exercise, tuning your nervous system to that exercise. Your body becomes its function and the function is that exercise.
2. The massive volume of training with CEO creates an emergency situation in your body. This “emergency” demands rapid adaptation in muscle and connective tissue, as well as in the nervous system. And, in the human body, emergency equals priority. Your body, in preparation for another future onslaught of this nature, pushes muscle growth and strength increases to the top of the list.
3. The high volume and short rest periods in CEO force a tremendous amount of blood into the target muscle group, driving nutrients into those target muscles. This influx of blood also stretches the fascia (the tough connective tissue that encapsulates muscle tissue, limiting its growth), which theoretically, will give the muscles more room to grow. This high-volume training also increases capillarization of the target muscles, resulting in a more permanent increase in blood supply. The better the blood supply, the more efficiently that muscle receives nutrients for growth and performance and gets rid of waste products.
4. CEO systematically reveals and addresses the weak points in your lift. For example, let’s say you’re using this technique with deadlifts and the weak link is your lower back. As you go through the workout, it’s going to be your lower back getting continually worked at its near-peak performance levels…everything else will be relatively sub-maximal. This is good because massive overload on your weak link is going to result in fast increases in strength in that weak link, which will directly carry over to the rest of your lift. When you go back to that lift in a normal workout, your lower back will no longer be the weak link and the rest of your muscles can now function closer to their actual strength potential, resulting in an immediate jump in total strength.
Put these four factors together and you have a training protocol that will give you big results in a very short window of time.
How To Do Compound Exercise Overload Training…
With this technique, your body will become a machine at whatever exercise you’re focusing on, so choose wisely…I recommend either the squat, bench press or deadlift for maximum results.
The deadlift is a good choice because it’s a great mass exercise, and all you need is a barbell and floorspace. You won’t tie up a bench press station or rack for 40 minutes. If you train when your gym is quiet and it’s not an issue, then bench or squat is fine (note: if you do choose to bench, I recommend doing these in the rack, especially if you don’t have a spotter who enjoys hanging out behind your bench for 40 minutes while you train…this technique doesn’t lend itself well to training partners working in with you, unfortunately).
Keep in mind, you’re going to be doing a LOT of sets of your choice of exercise and any form errors will be amplified over the course of the workout. Your form should be spot-on on every rep of every set…no exceptions. We’re trying to teach your body how to perform the exercise correctly.
Perform your regular warm-up before getting started, then load the barbell with a weight which you could normally complete at least 6 good reps with.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a stopwatch, regular watch or other form of timer here, to keep tight on your rest periods and total workout time. Otherwise, you’re going to have to count to 30 in your head, which is not accurate (plus that 30 seconds tends to stretch into a LOT longer as you go through the workout). Use a timer to stay honest.
Set the timer for the TOTAL workout time…in this case, it will be 40 minutes. During the workout itself, just mentally note the time you finish the set and count the time from there. For example, if you finish a set and there is 16:45 left on the timer, you have until 16:15 on the timer for rest.
Start your timer then perform ONLY 3 REPS with your starting weight, even though you CAN do 6. DO NOT go anywhere near failure on this first set or ANY set for the entire workout. The key is massive training volume, not training to failure…and that’s one rule we can’t break here.
When you’ve done your 3 reps, rest 30 seconds. Now set up and do 3 more reps. Rest 30 seconds.
Repeat these three-rep sets with 30 seconds of rest until you are unable to get 3 reps with that weight anymore. This could take anywhere from two to ten minutes or more, depending on the exercise and the amount of weight you’re using.
Here’s the key…if you’re on the second rep and it feels like you would have to really push hard to get that third rep, STOP! That’s the end for this weight.
The idea here is NOT to push yourself to the max on each set…stop short of it and train the body with volume. ALWAYS keep the “do or die” rep in you. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR THIS PROGRAM TO WORK.
If you’re doing squats or deadlifts, remove 10 lbs from each side of the bar – 20 lbs total (if you started with 315, you now have 295 on the bar). Start again doing 3 rep sets and continue with the 30 second rest period. Drop the weight by 20 lbs (total) whenever you can’t complete 3 reps during a set. If you’re doing bench press (which is generally the weakest of the big three lifts), you can choose to go with a 5 lb-per-side drop (10 lbs total), if you like.
Stick with 3 reps on each set – no more, no less. Your body hits a rep-range groove and acclimates to it very quickly. This keeps your nervous system efficient because it becomes tuned to those three-rep sets.
The reason we’re using three reps as the “magic” number is because it IS the magic number. Any more reps and your body starts to build up significant metabolic waste products, causing early fatigue, which necessitates faster weight reduction. Any fewer reps and either the training loads are too high or you don’t accumulate enough volume over the course of the workout to maximize the effectiveness of the training.
After much experimentation, I’ve found 3 reps to be that magic number for this type of training.
Use Compound Exercise Overload training no more than once a week, and only on ONE exercise at a time, to maximize adaptation to that exercise. I also recommend having at least one or two rest days directly after using it.
And while you CAN use this technique as a single workout and see a nice jump in strength, a good way to utilize this technique is 4 to 6 weeks in a row. Perform this workout as your Friday workout every week for those 4 to 6 weeks, taking the weekends completely off. Do not use that exercise at any other time during the week. After those 4 to 6 weeks, your max will be significantly higher on your target exercise.
Key Notes to Maximize the Effectiveness of CEO Training:
1. Keep track of your start and end weights and the length of time you were able to lift each amount of weight. Chart your progress, so next time you have a PR to aim for. If you were able to go more than five minutes at your start weight, then increase the weight next time.
2. Only stretch the target muscle group after the final set of the workout, not during the workout. We want to keep as much blood in the area as possible to maximize the capillarization effects of this training…stretching will flush the blood out.
3. When doing this training with a barbell exercise, use plenty of small plates to finish the loadout. For example, if you’re starting with 315 lbs on the squat, don’t use three 45 lb plates on either side. Pulling those 45′s off takes up valuable training time and energy. Instead, use two 45′s, then a 25, then two 10′s. It’s the same weight but when you can no longer hit 315 lbs for 3 reps, all you need to do is pull a small 10 lb plate off each side. This is much easier and less time-consuming than pulling 45′s off then loading 35′s back on.
4. Stay tight to the 30 second rest period. This naturally increases a bit during the times you’re making weight changes, but even then, try to keep it as close to 30 seconds as possible. Start getting into position for the exercise before your 30 seconds rest is fully up. Even though you have 30 seconds of rest, it takes a few seconds to get into position for the exercise. If you start getting into position right at 30, you’ll be taking 35 to 40 seconds of rest.
5. When you’re doing this technique with deadlifts and using a mixed grip (one hand over, one hand under), it’s a good idea to switch around your grip on alternating sets to help keep your body balanced, e.g. if you grip overhand with your left hand and underhand with the right on one set, grip overhand with your right hand and underhand with your left on the next set.
CEO Training is an extraordinarily effective way to produce fast gains in strength and muscle mass. By tuning your nervous system to a specific movement pattern, eliminating weak points, improving blood circulation and stretching the fascia, this single session of massive training volume overload will deliver gains far beyond what you can achieve with conventional training.
This style of training is an integral part of my mass-building program “Muscle Explosion – 28 Days to Maximum Mass“.
Over the course of 5 days, you’ll be using this technique to perform more than 300 sets of a single exercise of your choice.
It’s an INCREDIBLY challenging and powerful technique that, when used in conjunction with the full Muscle Explosion training system, can yield gains similar to what you would normally achieve in a 4 to 6 months of training (no exaggeration).