(originally answered by author/writer Dennis B. Weis and edited by Strength Coach Chris Wilson)
BENCH POWER = PUNCHING POWER?
Q: I have a bodybuilder friend that wants to get into Mixed Martial Arts Competitions. He’s 6’1″ And about 230-240lbs. He’s a pretty strong dude and thinks that he should be able to hang with any of the heavyweights out there. He can Bench Press 400 plus. I and the boys think that he should be a real hard puncher due to his benching strength. From a weight lifting point of view what should he do to get ready? Thanks!
A: Well, let me tell ya there is a lot more to Fighting than being able to bench press a lot of weight. In fact, you tell your friend that Bench pressing has virtually nothing to do with Punching!
And on top of that, you tell your friend that punching is a very small part of mixed martial arts. Maybe you and your friend should go check out a good Jujitsu school and quit bothering me with these asinine questions! Or better yet, just keep lifting weights and stay out of the ring. Guys like Ken Shamrock and Mirco Filipovic mangle guys like your friend for fun! I sure hope this helps ya!
Perfect Training Program?
Q: I have read much of muscle pumping techniques you write about in your books and reports. I have been bodybuilding for 15 years now and before that I did six years of powerlifting. I’ll cut to the chase and say that after 21 years of training I still do not know the best system to use. I remember reading where you said that you have had over 40 years of experience in bodybuilding. What is the perfect routine you have found?
A: After 40 years of pumping the dog crap out of my muscles I have learned that my body does not respond to the same workout every training session. It is understood that changing different exercises, tempo’s, combinations of exercises and the seemingly illogical use (or lack thereof) of sets and reps serve to stimulate muscle growth.
Realize that even the contest entering and winning pro bodybuilders don’t even know what the “perfect training program” is. These individuals, regardless of what they eat or how they train, will develop outstanding physiques and win the top bodybuilding contests. Suffice it to say that the training and eating methods of these champions cannot possibly be followed by the average bodybuilder with the same results.
Bodybuilding is a very individual discipline and one should not be misled by the methods of these chemically assisted “genetic superiors.” The fact is the body evolves through many physiological changes during a lifetime. As a result you will discover that with any training program, “They all work, some better than others, but not all the time.”
Muscle Mass & 80% Nutrition?
Q: A lot of the top bodybuilders over the years have said in their seminars and articles that putting on muscle mass is at least 80% nutrition. That would only put a 20 percent value on all the hard training. How can this be?
A: Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, was probably the first pro bodybuilder quoted as saying that. Think about it this way. If nutrition was really 80% of the equation for putting on muscle mass, then why not just forget about training altogether and just chug down a ton of creatine drinks every day?
I have no doubt that there are some naive rookie bodybuilders out there who are actually going to take my advice and do it.
Actually, when Larry said 80%, he just picked that figure out of thin air to emphasize upon the mindset of bodybuilders just how important the nutrition factor is when combined with training. He and others are in no way devaluing the importance of hard training.
STOP Screwing Up Your Spine with Endless Crunches &
Sit ups to get Ripped 6-pack Abs – Do THIS Instead!
By Dennis B. Weis
Smash through training barriers and make “phenomenal progress” with the amazing 30 Day 50 / 50 Counter-Split Specialization.
One of the most radical, but muscle producing methods of specialization we have come across is, the old-school 30-Day Fifty / Fifty Counter-Split Specialization.
This is a little known training secret that many top bodybuilders have used for years as a means of forcing rapid gains in size and strength and urging along improved muscle shape, naturally.
Basically it is a counter-split which consists of priority training a lagging muscle group SIX-DAYS-A-WEEK. Here’s how it works.
The muscle (segment) group needing specialization is trained for muscle size and strength on Monday-Wednesday and Friday. Countering (hence the term “counter-split) those training days the muscle (segment) group is shape trained on the intervening days (Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday).
Fifty percent of specialization training will be for the development of muscle size and strength and can be performed on three alternate days per week.
Muscle Bulk & Strength Mon-Wed-Fri
Using the biceps for an example choose one multiple joint or compound exercise which will work the belly of the muscle.
Do 4 to 9 sets each and low reps of (9-3) prevail; using maximal weight on each set of an exercise. Here’s how it works:
1st Week – Begin the program by doing the Standing Barbell Curl for 4 sets x 9 reps on each training day.
2nd Week – Do a total of 5 sets x 7 reps of the Seated and/or kneeling Barbell Curl on each training day.
3rd Week – Do 6 sets x 5 reps of the Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curls, on each training day
4th Week – Do 7 sets x 3 reps of the Standing Barbell Curl on each training day during this final week of training.
This 4 week progressive sets outline is generally adaptable for the intermediate bodybuilder. Super advanced bodybuilders can begin with 5 sets per a major or minor muscle group, needing specialization, each workout day during the first week of priority training. Do 7 sets the second week of training and 9 sets the third and fourth weeks. Very few super advanced bodybuilders will ever need more than nine sets of one exercise per muscle group each workout session.
Rest-pause between sets 2-5 minutes.
Shape Train Tue-Thur-Sat
The remaining fifty percent of specialization you will shape train (training is structured for the development of blade sharp separation and granite hardness in a muscle sector).
Choose one muscle specific or isolation exercise which will target the (major or minor) muscle group needing specialization. Do 4 to 9 sets each and high reps of (9-12) prevail; using light to moderate poundage on each set of an exercise.
1st Week – Begin the program by doing the Preacher Bench Barbell Curl for 4 sets x 9 reps, on each training day.
2nd Week – Do Dumbbell Hammer Curls for a total of 5 sets x 10 reps, on each training day.
3rd Week – Do One-Dumbbell Concentration Curls for 6 sets x 11 reps, on each training day
4th Week – Do the Gironda Body Drag Curl for 7 sets x 12 reps, on each training day during this final week of training.
Rest-pause between sets 45 – 90 seconds.
For the 30-Day Fifty/Fifty Counter-Split Specialization program, or any other training protocol’s to be successful Impeccable Exercise Form is a must for accelerating the muscle gain and strength factors and derailing the onset of training injuries.
Always be concerned with doing an exercise correctly for the prescribed number of reps rather than how much poundage you can use in an uncontrolled (i.e. “jerking” or “bouncing” movements) manner. Here’s a unique way you can accomplish impeccable exercise form and increase exercise poundage logically.
Impeccable Exercise Form:
Biomechanical changes with regard to the speed of the negative (eccentric) and positive (concentric) phase of consecutive reps in a set is important to your progress and success in specialization training procedures.
Perhaps every third workout it is a good idea to do the first half of your reps in a set super slow where it takes you ten seconds in the positive phase and five seconds per rep in the negative phase.
Or decrease to eight seconds during the concentric (peak contraction) phase and four seconds in the negative phase. This procedure should only be done for one set and two at the very most on a scheduled training day.
Poundage Increase Logic:
Use what is called The “Kaizen” Method (The Japanese word Kaizen means “constant and never-ending improvement.”) in the poundage’s used, for a particular rep scheme (9-3 or 9-12), at the beginning of each training week. Add 1 ¼ -2 ½ pounds to each side of a barbell and as little as ¼ -½ pounds per dumbbell used.
(Tip: Add 1 1/8th inside diameter cast iron flat washers and/or magnetic PlateMates on the barbell or dumbbells to accomplish the weight jump factors.)
While the above increases may seem unremarkable it makes the weight of the barbell and/or dumbbell(s) physiologically and psychologically easier to use, each and every week, as opposed to say adding 10 pounds to a bar and almost instantly hitting a plateau and not being able to add poundage for weeks at a time.
Note: Concluding this overview of the old-school 30-Day Fifty/Fifty Counter-Split Specialization suggests to us that training six days per week is a bit much for the full recovery of the muscles and nervous system.
I think a modified training approach where-in the MUSCLE BULK AND STRENGTH PROGRAM is performed on Monday and Friday and the MUSCLE SHAPE PROGRAM on Tuesday and Saturday, to be more muscle friendly. Another variation to this training option would be to train on Monday and Tuesday, rest & recovery on Wednesday, then train on Thursday and Friday and rest & recovery on Saturday and Sunday.
And if the above weekly 4 day modified training frequency still wasn’t accommodating rest & recovery then the MUSCLE BULK AND STRENGTH PROGRAM should be done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday that is if the priority training is geared slightly more towards the increase of muscle bulk & strength and the MUSCLE SHAPE PROGRAM on Saturday only.
Further modifications would suggest that if the priority training was accented toward muscle shape stimulation, then do the muscle bulk & strength training on Monday only and the muscle shape training on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The 30-Day Fifty/Fifty Counter-Split Specialization technique is somewhat similar to ‘Zane’s and Schwarzenegger’s method of specialization (consecutive training days etc.) with the main difference being that it lasts twice as long for improving a lagging muscle (segment) group.
As with any regular and/or specialization training program you will experience low level time factored training results where it seemed like your body is on “strike” (over-trained) so after this intense 30-day specialization program is completed, stop, take a 7 day layoff from all training and then go back onto a regular training schedule of sets and reps for the previously lagging muscle (segment) group.