CB: Most guys are being told to follow bodybuilding splits, train multiple times a day, and other non-sense training tactics that don’t work. What tips do you have for people looking to build muscle as fast as possible?
JF: The key to making consistent size gains is making consistent strength gains (in a hypertrophy rep range) while eating enough food and allowing enough time for recovery. You need to constantly be doing more weight or more reps. The body will respond to any given stimulus one time and one time only. If you place the same demands on it a second time (like pressing the same weight for the same reps) nothing will happen. You must always be forcing it to adapt and thus you must always ask it do something it isn’t used to.
The easiest way to do this is add more weight or do more reps with the same weight.
Aside from making consistent strength gains the next most important thing to consider is training frequency. To improve anything in life you need to do it frequently. Building muscle is no different. So you want to train a muscle as frequently as possible, while it is in a fresh and recovered state. This means that you should be training each body part once every 2-5 days, and not once a week like a lot of the muscle mags recommend. That’s too little frequency. The more times you can stimulate growth throughout the year the better. Obviously 104 growth stimulating workouts per year for each body part would be a lot better than 52.
CB: I have seen the phrase “stimulate, don’t annihilate” on your blog in reference to training. Can you explain what you mean by this and the relation to training volume?
JF: To elicit a training response you need to present the body with a stimulus that it isn’t used to. This stress will cause the body to adapt. The body adapts by building itself up bigger and stronger.
Where people go wrong is that they think they need to annihilate the muscle in order to elicit any type of response. This is completely counterproductive. When you annihilate the muscle with tons of sets and reps and intensity techniques like drop sets you drastically increase your recovery time. And as I mentioned previously, frequency is very important. So when you increase your recovery time you have to decrease your training time. You’re shooting yourself in the foot.
The key is to do just enough to stimulate size and strength gains but not annihilate yourself so that it takes forever to recover, or worse- that you put yourself in a state of overtraining.
CB: Triple Threat Muscle is your new program. What separates this program from all the others and can you tell our readers why you created it?
JF: My Muscle Gaining Secrets program is specifically geared toward skinny guys, hardgainers and beginners. This is more of an intermediate/advanced program that is more athletically based. So while the main focus is still on building muscle there is also a shift toward a bit more speed work, mobility and conditioning in Triple Threat Muscle.
The new program was created for the typical weekend warrior or Average Joe who wants to look and train like an athlete but doesn’t actually have the time or recovery ability to spend more than a few hours per week in the gym.
I spent the last two years experimenting on a wide group of individuals to come up with the most effective and fastest way to do this. Triple Threat Muscle is the result of two years of hard work and is based on all of my findings.
CB: And finally, what general tips can you give to our readers who want transform their bodies?
Strength train 3-4 days per week.
Lift heavy and keep most of your sets in the range of 3-10 reps.
Don’t go to failure.
Train each body part 2-3 times per week.
Don’t do more than 12-16 total sets per workout.
Always strive to get stronger.
Eat natural, organic foods and avoid anything processed.
Sleep 8-10 hours per day.
Get out in the fresh air and sun more often.
CB: Thanks brother…be sure to share some success stories with us! Time for me to get out in the sun myself.
The following is an excerpt from Jason Ferruggia’s new 3XM Triple Threat Muscle program. Jason’s new workout he’s spent the last two years working on and testing is all about building the ultimate athletic physique. To start a surge of muscle growth, build strength and explosive power visit his site for more tips at http://www.3xmTripleThreatMuscle.com
Chapter 3: Accumulation & Intensification
I first learned about Accumulation and Intensification (or Adaptation) many years ago from the great Olympic sprint coach, Charlie Francis, and have long since adapted and applied it to the training of normal guys looking to get bigger and stronger.
Accumulation and Intensification involves alternating between phases of higher volume (more sets and reps, less weight and shorter rest periods) and frequency, with phases of higher intensity (less sets and reps, heavier weight and longer rest periods) and less frequency. For example, you might do a four week block of ten to twelve reps with one minute rest intervals followed by a three to four week block of four to six reps with two minutes rest. The Accumulation phase often focuses more on sarcoplasmic/ slow twitch hypertrophy and the Intensification phase focuses more on myofibrillar/ fast twitch hypertrophy.
The way I have set up the Accumulation and Intensification phases in Triple Threat Muscle is that a block of full body training is followed immediately by a block of upper/lower splits. The full body workouts serve as the Accumulation phase and the upper/lower workouts serve as the Intensification phase.
In the Accumulation phase you are training each muscle group every 48 hours with a decent amount of volume. The body responds by building up a reserve of adaptive energies. After three to four weeks the volume and frequency will get to be too much to handle and overtraining could be right around the corner.
However, when you cut this off just before it happens and switch to an upper/lower phase (still training three days per week) the drastic reduction in training frequency and volume leads to massive gains because of the extra recovery ability you built up during the full body workout phase. You go from training each muscle group directly three times per week to now hitting it directly once every five days. This is a HUGE difference and the body responds incredibly well to the reduced volume and frequency by building size and strength rapidly during this phase.
Eventually you may burn out on this and may even start to detrain because your training frequency may be too low. How fast it takes this to happen is individual and is based on a number of factors. But when it does, and hopefully before it actually happens, you switch back to full body workouts to spark new gains and kick start the whole cycle all over again with the increased volume and frequency. This plan prevents you from overtraining or undertraining, and keeps you in the optimal training zone at all times. It’s the best of both worlds.
For more information on Triple Threat Muscle and to get the full mapped out workout plan visit: http://www.3xmTripleThreatMuscle.com