Q- "Are you kidding? How are you going to see size gains with low reps all the time and such few exercises? Maybe good for strength but can't see anyone gaining decent size on this kind of thing, 8-12 reps works best for hypertrophy mate."
A- Interesting. Certainly there's a great deal of clinical evidence to support your specious claim, but there's far more anecdotal evidence to the contrary. For instance, NFL players train, primarily, with low reps, and yet they've no problem attaining hypertrophy. Likewise for Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the hobbyist in Olympic weightlifting is 9 times out of 10, far more physically developed than your average bodybuilding hobbyist. This can occur, and does with my style of lifting, when one's rest periods are kept very short. By shortening one's rest periods, one can actually induce sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, as it places a greater load on the muscles over a given period of time. Staley proved the efficacy of such a method with Escalating Density Training, and John Little and Peter Sisco unwittingly contributed to this theory with their Time Under Tension theory. Finally, given that I am naturally a 130 lb, slight, pudgy guy, and am now a 187 lb and very lean, tremendously strong guy, I would state from my own personal experience that this method of training for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is indeed efficacious. Furthermore, lifting for reps is boring and the product of nothing but vanity, whereas training for strength bears the fruit of utility and generates interest in the activity being conducted. Reps are something to be endured, whereas testing the limits of one's strength is something to be enjoyed. Thus, it proves its supremacy once more.
Ed Coan. Big and ripped. And a powerlifter.Q- How do you progress if you're always working within 80-95% of your 1RM? Do
you try to add 5lbs to the lift every 2 or 3 weeks?
A- I developed this program in response to my frustration with overly programmed routines that require steady, incremental progress. Recent evidence suggests that evolution was not an incremental process, but rather one comprised of massive mutations in response to external stimuli. I believe this is how humanity progresses- long periods of maintaining the status quo, followed by short periods of massive change, a progression that repeats itself infinitely. Certainly, this view would lend itself to a much higher risk of injury than that of the "slow and steady" method, just as a slow and steady evolution would lend itself to far fewer genetic anomalies, but this is not the nature. "Slow and steady wins the race" is a horseshit idea proposed by risk-averse people who will never do a single interesting thing in their miserable, bland lives. They'll eat bland food, paint their houses beige, have the prescribed 2 children with the dog and the white picket fence, and live and die in the same fucking place, working a shitty middle management job for a corporation that never knows their name or face. Fuck that. I'm a "live fast and die young"/"nothing risked, nothing gained"/"no guts, no glory" kind of guy, and this routine reflects that. You progress when you feel like you can do more. You always WANT to add more weight to the bar, but so many factors go into daily performance (eg work hours, sleep, nutrition, supplementation, relationship stress, sexual activity, etc) that it's impossible to accurately predict one's performance from day to day, and properly program for it.
Cube farms and incremental progression can both suck it hard. I'd rather die a thousand deaths as a man than one as a coward.Q- "So the premise is: pick 1 squat, 1 pull and 1 press movement, and just put arm+ab+neck work on off days? And why BTN presses? That goes against everything I've ever read haha"
A- Yup. Really, on the light days you can do whatever you want- I make those dip/pullup days, oftentimes. As far as btn push presses, they're much easier to do than push presses from the front, and more akin to the lockout of snatches. Also, they're done standing, so the mechanics are different- you're not locked in place. Thus, they're not unsafe.
Q- "I noticed you said to hold a deadlift lockout for about 10 seconds. Is that how long you should generally hold other lockouts as well, or just as long as you can bear it? Also, you mentioned that you don't like doing lockouts prior to your full range lifts. Do you do them in place of your full range lifts on certain days, or after the lifts?"
A- 10 seconds just seems to be the time that's popular amongst static hold guys, and it's a ballpark number. I don't agree with Waterbury on the partial prior to full range lifts. I find them annoying and tiresome before full range lifts, and they typically stress the area you need to be strongest before you need it.
Arild Haugen apparently likes deadlift partials. Seems they're working.Q- "Should I use cardio to help cut and decrease body fat? I've talked to guys who have competed before and they swear by doing SS cardio in the morning in a carb-starved state + every other day HIIT after lifting sessions (this is all about a week or two pre-competition)."
A- So as I said, the simple answer is no. At this point, if your bodyfat is fairly low and cardio would be an unnecessary addition, especially given the proper diet. if you feel like adding extra training, add in extra sessions of bodyweight work, light kettlebell work, or assistance work that you want to do, like arms. I would keep away from the cardio, as it could just end up wasting muscle and energy for little or no good reason. If it's not going to anabolic, what is the point, right?
Q- "What do you define as a cheat window?"
A- A cheat window is an evenly spaced 3 hour period during which time you eat all of the shit you don't eat during the rest of the week. It serves a couple of purposes- it satisfies any and all cravings you might have, gives your body a needed influx of calories (which is essential during dieting to recharge your metabolism), and it gives you a mini-carbup, which is a nice break from the miniketo runs you'll be doing. I'd recommend at least one a week, and if you're feeling especially hungry or worn down during the week, add a second one. You'll be surprised at the difference they'll make. Also, make sure that the cheat window is on a day of heavy training, so you'll use the calories left over for good, haha, rather than evil.
Q- This is just a comment and not a question: I'm surprised that you basically have 1-2 exercises per muscle group (bench/dips for chest, pullups/rows for back). I guess I've always done the 3-4 exercises per muscle group method.
A- I think the 3-4 exercise horseshit is for the ADD generation. You cannot isolate specific muscle heads, and you cannot isolate specific muscles, so it's stupid to try. It's much better, in my opinion, to find exercises you are good at and kill them, as they'll force growth by virtue of the fact that you're adding weight to the bar. I look good from every angle, and it's because I hit areas, not bodyparts, with my training. Complex, full body movements like the clean and press also lend themselves nicely to this phenomenon.
Q- "Another quick question: What's your diet like? What do you eat normally on your low carb days, what do you eat for your supercompensation day and what do you eat during your cheat window? My supercompensation day is Friday and I am counting down the minutes. For my first cheat window, I plan to eat a pizza. God it's going to be amazing. Supercompensation doesn't mean cheat, right? It just means carb-heavy? So I can eat rice, bread, etc.?"
A- My diet usually consists of baked wings marinaded in olive oil, cayanne, seasoned salt, Emiril's Bayou Seasoning, and black pepper plus protein shakes on my no-carb days. On Supercompensation days, read my blog for the diet- I posted about a supercompensation. Supercompensation means super carb heavy, plus a lot of creatine. The cheat meals are EVERYTHING you can eat in a 3 hour window. Mine usually consists of burgers, breaded fried chicken, pizza, and buttered popcorn at the movies.
If you want a really good article on the supercompensation, go here.
Well, fellow hooligans, that's it for this installment of "Ask the Asshole". I was unpleasantly nice in this installment, but I assure you that I shall up the fucking ante in the next one. Until that day, fuckers....
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