Review of John Barban's Adonis Index Workout By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
Not sure what they're doing up north but there have been a number of very successful strength trainers and fitness authors coming out of Canada in the last few years. John Barban is no exception. He's university-educated and besides working as a personal trainer, he's also got an extensive background working in the nutrition and supplement industries. Along the way, he learned a lot and is passing his knowledge along to us through his Adonis Index Workout.
John takes an interesting approach to physical fitness with this program. Basically, what he's done is work backwards, starting from the ideal male physical form—Adonis—and then developing a program to enable men to achieve that physique. So unlike other programs, Adonis isn't about getting as big as you can. Rather, it's about working to attain a body that is essentially the archetype of male perfection—Adonis.
To identify the 'perfect' male physique, John dug into research on physical attraction—in other words, discovering the male form that women find the most attractive. He also looked at the Golden Ratio, which is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion found in nature. Adonis' body is proportioned according to the Golden Ratio as are many of the male and female figures depicted in classical art. Understanding that the goal is to look like Adonis, John has developed a program that will enable just about any guy to achieve that ideal, as long as he's willing to follow the plan and put forth the effort.
To say that John has developed a comprehensive plan is an understatement. He's actually put together one of the most complete programs I've encountered in a while. The main manual is more than 160 pages, plus it comes with 12 supplementary guides that cover specific workouts and training cycles. On the plus side, you're getting a lot of valuable information and guidance for your money. The only downside is that so much information can be a bit overwhelming for some guys.
John seems to understand that though and he starts off by saying that you should read the Flow Chart in Appendix 3 before you dive into the book. Reading the Flow Chart you'll find that the Adonis program is comprised of four different four-week cycles and two mini "Rage" cycles, each of which lasts for two weeks. This will keep you busy for 20 weeks.
When you're done here, you have the option of starting over or moving on to the Advanced ATS 12-week workout, which is what John recommends you do to achieve the best results. The Advanced ATS workouts are a triple stacked periodized workout system that uses advanced rep tempo techniques as well as three different periodization models within three four-week cycles. And if you're a novice trainer, then John even offers up a 12-week Muscle Building Foundation program to help you get your 'sea legs' before taking on the more complex Adonis training. I know it sounds pretty complicated but once you actually start going through the program it all comes together and is a lot easier to follow.
With the basics out of the way you can sit down and start reading through the program. The first part (four chapters) gives you some interesting background about how the idea for the Adonis program came about as well as an especially informative and interesting take on the bodybuilding and supplement industries. This chapter should actually be required reading for any guy interested in strength training and building muscle.
Part two of the Adonis main manual is somewhat of a history lesson about human proportions, variations in human size, the Golden Ratio and the 'Adonis Index.' I have to say that this is really fascinating stuff. For instance, the Golden Ratio's proportions appear in nature in the contours of seashells, in the shape of a hurricane or in the spacing of leaves on flowers. In ancient Greece and Rome the Golden Ratio was used create the sculptures that defined the ideal powerful and masculine body. All of those male sculptures you see in across Italy and Greece were created using the Golden Ratio.
In the third part of the book, John gets into explaining everything you need to do to become an Adonis yourself. As I said earlier, once you actually start delving into the program it's not quite as complicated as it appears to be when you first pick up the book. Everything you need to know—goal setting, exercises, training routines, supplements, nutrition and rest—is laid out for you.
If your vision of the 'ideal you' includes having an Adonis-like body, then you may want to consider giving the Adonis Index Workout a try.