For years, bodybuilders and strength athletes have wondered what, if any, set/rep/rest scheme was ideal for the purposes of maximal strength and/or hypertrophy. Coaches and laypersons alike seem to believe that the 5x5 system is ideal, apparently due to its endorsement by the likes of eat lead and shit bullets-style brutal hardasses like Ed Coan, Captain Kirk Karwoski, and Bill Kazmeyer, all of whom used that system religiously.
That system might have worked fine for them. It might work fine for you. I do know this, however- Kaz benched 350 THE FIRST FUCKING TIME HE EVER LAID DOWN ON A BENCH AND ATTEMPTED THE LIFT. We could have spent all of his time doing pushups and eating Pez and would have rocked a 400 lb bench.
I personally never got a goddamned thing out of 5x5 training, and would be happy to explain at great length to Mr. Mark Rippetoe how shitty I think his 5x5 system is. Instead, I do a shitload of ultra-heavy singles, doubles, and triples, and I manage to gain size, strength, and cuts, simultaneously.
“How the fuck did you do that?” “That’s impossible!” Well, no, actually, and go fuck yourself for thinking that. My training style incorporates a ton of different methods, but I’ll address the Uncle style first and foremost.
The Uncle! System
This arose out of nothing more than competition, and a tidbit I recalled from
As Matt demonstrates, Uncle can be done with snatches, too, or with any full body, balls out exercise.
When I departed the fair city of Philly, I found that I had to modify my training accordingly, and did not want to abandon Uncle simply because my lifting partner, in all of his selfishness, failed to follow me hither and thither around the country. Thus, I began conducting one man Uncles against the clock- I would pick a weight between 85% and 95% of my 1RM and lift it as many times as I could in a set period of time, which usually ended up being 30 minutes. This is a fucking man-maker.
Why, you might ask, should you do this? Because I fucking told you so. Other than that, it incorporates a variety of training methodologies into one, and give you a great benchmark for your personal strength endurance. Lastly, it increases your capacity for performing brutal, volume heavy workouts, and generally transforms you from a slack-jawed faggot into a goddamned sexual Tyrannosaurus.
Roux-Lange, the oft-quoted turn-of-the-century exercise physiologist, laid out the following in his Funktionelle Anpassung Usw:
Only when muscle performs with greatest resistance in a unit of time than before, will its functional cross section need to increase... hypertrophy is seen only in muscles that must perform a great amount of work in a unit of time.
This is the philosophy on which John Little built his Power Factor training, and the ideology on which Charles Staley created EDT. Both systems are essentially the same idea. Power Factor Training measures workouts by pounds lifted per minute, so it uses the formula weight x sets x reps / time = Power Factor. Staley uses a slightly different measurement, calling the result of the same formula average force per rep, but the idea is essentially the same (though he would dispute this claim, I'm sure). Staley's system uses 15 minute blocks of 2 exercise supersets. Both systems, however, caution their followers against using ultra-taxing full-body exercises, as they carry too much risk. Any student of economics knows that one can only see maximal returns with maximal risk, and that low risk funds and stocks invariably produce low yields. I'm not about low yields, and I'm not about low risks. Nothing risked, nothing gained, right? Thus, the principle tenet of Chaos and PAIN is this:
MODERATION IS MEDIOCRITY
EXTREMITY IS EXCELLENCE
The Bulgarians are proof that ever-increasing training loads with full-body, high risk shit is the way to go. Additionally, the European Journal of Exercise Physiology published an article by Andy Fry in 2002 that stated that "heavy intensities must be used to result in a maximal growth response as measured on a cellular level. You can't get the best possible results without using the heaviest weights possible." As such, it behooves one to use the heaviest weight possible, as many times as possible, over the shortest period of time, as it achieves all three of the types of ways to achieve maximum muscle tension: lifting a maximal load, lifting a non-maximal load to failure (as you can repeat it after a short rest), and the repeated effort method. Thus, utilizing this technique, you can simultaneously achieve four goals:
- Increase muscle cross sections
- Increase ME strength
- Increase muscular endurance
- Look like a total fucking badass
Go forth and conquer, fuckers.
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