Something that is never really discussed in bodybuilding are workouts that involve stimulating individual muscles during different parts of the workout.
What I mean by that is this – there is this mentality with building muscle that says we have to torch a muscle and then move to the next.
It's not a common practice to return to that same muscle group during random times during your workout while taking breaks and moving to other muscle groups in-between.
There are all of these stupid fucking rules in bodybuilding now, and if you're going against the rules then you must be doing something wrong right? WRONG!
I've found through my own bodybuilding experience a system of building muscle that works EXTREMELY WELL FOR GROWTH, CONDITIONING, AND RECOVERY!
The same muscle group can be trained 2-3x per week on this system and you can feel recovered before each workout. And yes, anabolic steroids will only help!
COMPOUND MOVEMENTS TELL US THAT OUR MUSCLE GROUPS WORK TOGETHER
You hear it all the time don't you? “How do I get biggest the fastest way possible?” they all wanna ask.
And you always hear people recommend heavy compound movements, because compound movements tie in multiple muscle groups to complete certain lifts, which in turn stimulates not only individual muscles but this stimulates your body as an entire working unit.
So when somebody does a bench press they aren't just working their chest, they're working their triceps, shoulders, and lats as well (the lats need to support the chest for the movement, since the body works on a front to back/agonist antagonist muscle group movement).
When someone does a deadlift they aren't just working on their back power, but they're using their traps, lower back, legs, and abs as well.
An overhead clean and press isn't just training the shoulders, but it's stimulating the forearms, back, and legs as well.
This is the reason that so many olympic lifters, strongmen, and powerlifters build size without training every little exercise there is, and yet still look more developed than many others who are practicing traditional isolation exercises.
I like to use the analogy of what is called “the shatter effect.”
If I were to throw a rock through a glass window there would be a hole where the rock went through the window, but the entire window would be damaged and cracked.
This is the way a systematic compound lift stimulates muscle growth; the hole represents the major muscle group that was directly targeted from the exercise, all of the cracks around that hole are your other muscle groups assisting the primary muscle group targeted by the compound exercise.
So we have known for a long time now that the body likes to not only work as an entire unit, but grow and recover as an entire unit also!
There really isn't anything left to prove about compound lifts benefitting muscle growth. HOWEVER, there is a negative with doing too many compound lifts….
WORKOUT RECOVERY FROM COMPOUND LIFTS CAN TAKE LONGER
Now, here is where I dwell into the advanced, nitty gritty when it comes to bodybuilding…
Workout recovery can often be much more difficult when performing too many compound lifts/sets of compound lifts in a given week.
Sure, a beginner Mon/Wed/Fri routine focused primarily on compound lifts might be feasible, but there can be detriments to that as well, depending on who you are and your level of development in the gym.
A guy who has been in the gym several years and has already built a solid base foundation may not be able to realistically go to the gym 5x a week and feel recovered before another workout if all he's doing are heavy, compound lifts.
Things can change as we get further along the muscle building road, not to mention that I myself just like going to the gym for mental reasons as well as what I want to accomplish physically.
Actually, my mental sanity is probably a bigger reason I go to the gym now more than any other reason!
I still perform compound lifts during my routines, but I do so sparingly so they don't take so much out of me that I can't walk back into the gym the following day and have another good workout!
An example of what I'm talking about here would be a back routine consisting of deadlifts and/or rack deads for 3 or 4 sets somewhere in the workout, but not 8 sets of 3 reps (which would take up a larger portion of the workout).
Nope, I'll hit my pull-ups, pull-downs, cable rows, exercises like those, and SOMEWHERE intermittently I'll throw in the compound movement, and there are days where I may even skip it depending on how I feel that day.
Go for several weeks without doing a compound movement or free weight work, then yea you may lose a little bit of mass. Go for a week or two in-between some of compound exercises as a seasoned trainer who has already built a great deal of muscle mass? Nah, you aren't gonna lose a damn thing!
So as I got deeper and deeper into developing my body, it started to get a little confusing sometimes.
I would constantly think to myself ,”Well everyone says I need heavy, compound lifts for overall size and strength, yet it's getting harder to recover from lifting solely in that manner, yet I also don't want to get too far away from proactive measures like bodyweight work (pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc).
So what the fuck do I do?
Is there some type of training method that allows me to include a few different styles of training?
Is there a training style geared towards getting me good muscular development while also getting me conditioned and allowing me to recover quickly enough to hit the gym on a routine basis?
AND THAT MY FRIENDS, IS WHEN I SAID FUCK-ALL TO TRADITIONAL WEIGHT TRAINING!
I just said fuck it all, I wanna do what felt right in terms of several aspects of physical development and strength. I didn't want to just go to the damn gym twice a week like other strength training routines called for!
I didn't want to sit there 5 minutes between each set of 3 reps, leaving the gym and not even feeling like I had a decent workout or elevated my heart rate and sweated out toxins!
I didn't want to do these random splits with these perfect little 8-12 rep ranges, touted as “best for muscle hypertrophy”.
So I began going into the gym and attacking it like a fucking animal. I stayed moving in the gym!
I dropped the thought process of what time during the workout I would do a set to failure or when the hardest set would be during workout.
Fuck, I began starting set #1 of the workout off as a warmup set from hell!
I began throwing in heavy work AFTER high rep work. I looked at the workouts like fighting. In a fight you don't throw everything you have in the first 2 seconds and then tell the opponent 5 minutes later that you need to stop because you're out of energy.
NO, YOU FIND THAT STRENGTH FROM SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE… AND KEEP SWINGING EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE WORN DOWN!
I just said fuck it all, after seeing everyone train the same damn way I knew there had to be something that people weren't getting.
Now, I kept the thought process of my body responding as an entire unit in mind, that compound lift mentality never left me.
But one thing I always wondered about, was why couldn't I train a specific muscle group, then go to another muscle group briefly, then return to the one I was training beforehand?
Why did everything need to be stimulated and completed before moving on in a workout? I had to use my own judgment here, and that judgement told me that when I would go from 1 muscle group to another, and another, then return to a couple muscle groups and hit them again, my pump would grow larger!
You see, take the chest cable fly for example…
Now, during a high rep set of cable fly's you're directly targeting the chest, but you're also “touching” on the biceps while holding your handles in position with your elbows slightly bent.
It's somewhat stimulating to your biceps right? So why on earth couldn't someone do some chest work, then go into bicep work, then back into another chest exercise afterwards?
And because the chest work stimulated the shoulders, why couldn't the same be said for shoulder work in the same workout?
Why in the fuck could I not have a day where I trained chest, biceps, and shoulders all in the same workout? Oh yea, because nobody does that in a normal bodybuilding routine right? Because people continue to do what everyone else is doing!
And so it began; I experimented with placing exercises in different orders, doing harder movements last rather than first, intermittently doing exercises that tied all the muscle groups together, and you know what it got me?
ONE HELL OF A NASTY PUMP!
When I began doing Shredded Ops style training I could literally look in the mirror halfway through the workout and see a different body staring back at me! The pump was everywhere and it seemed that stimulating muscle groups together in the same workout was working quite well!
My chest began to work harder as the deltoid work was thrown in-between, and it began responding even faster from that point forward!
Likewise, my deltoids became more and more pumped as I would go back to chest work between sets of side lateral raises or presses!
I began to physically see first hand in the mirror, the results of other muscle group stimulation causing an even more pronounced pump on adjoining muscle groups.
The chest ties in to the deltoids, and the deltoids tie into the biceps. Everything ties into adjoining muscle groups and the body not only works as a whole unit, but it gets further stimulated as one as well!
This was something that I hadn't directly seen until I began performing this style of working out myself.
I mean, sure I knew that compound lifts stimulated all muscle groups, but I didn't know that I could build myself up that much simply by stimulating my body in different combinations/order of exercises then going back to those exercises while touching on others in-between!
I began thinking to myself, “THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE ARE MISSING!”
You see, everyone practices some of the same basic principles in the weight room, despite their training style. Some of these principles are exactly what's holding them back from progressing further along with development!
Everyone wants to train themselves to fail by rep #10.
Everyone wants to hit a muscle and be done with it in 10 minutes and move on to the next muscle.
Everyone wants to train exclusively one way or the other. If they're doing crossfit then they're doing crossfit, and if they're powerlifting then they're only powerlifting.
It's either heavy day or light day, isn't it? Why can't we mix training up sometimes?
I train my body to take on whatever is coming its way in the gym. I see nothing wrong with pre-exhaustion sets before throwing in a more challenging set with heavier weight.
You see, our minds can get in a rut sometimes, our bodies know exactly what's coming their way by training like this.
How many people out there are walking into the gym on a regular basis only to train their body to fail at the same spot every time. And before that set even goes down you've probably convinced yourself that you're going to hit failure at the same point you hit failure last time!
You are training to fail at the same place each time and something needs to change!
Look, this is BODY BUILDING. That means that if something works to make you a big son of a bitch, you do it!
That doesn't mean training with weights that impress everyone in the gym and inflate your ego. That doesn't mean training to get injured, only to have to take time off.
I can promise you that most of you haven't tried this style of training I've laid out in Shredded Ops and Let the Blood Spill.
This style of training will create one big and conditioned fucker! With the right diet and compounds thrown into the mix, not only will you drop the fat, but your body will begin taking on an entirely new look without losing the muscle mass!
I've seen it over and over again with people who try these workouts; they all report back the same thing, they say..
“John, I'm not losing any weight but my waist on my pants is falling off! I'm staying the same weight but looking like a different person!”
I always suggest for people to try something they haven't been doing in order to get further along with bodybuilding development.
So, with that being said, if you decide to dive into my brutal style of training, keep an open mind and ignore the common core bullshit you read about everyplace else!
SOUNDS GREAT, SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THE 1 WORKOUT STYLE NOBODY PRACTICES?
Nobody practices training through hell by rearranging the order of their sets, heavier sets, exercises, and going back and forth to a muscle group while stimulating others along the way!
Everyone wants to keep things exclusive and I've learned that the body just doesn't always respond to exclusions when it comes to workouts.
I've also learned the difference between just throwing weights up and maximum muscle stimulation with weights in your hands.
There is a big difference between those 2 ways of weight training, A BIG DIFFERENCE!
When you add nitrous to a car does it take away from the way the cars parts work together to go faster? NO, IT ENHANCES IT!
But the car still continues to run on regular gasoline, shifts with the same clutch it was shifting with before the nitrous shot, and uses the same transmission.
This my friends, is what Shredded Ops and Let the Blood Spill can do for you! It's the nitrous shot to your car that allows you to pull past the rest of the pack!
TRAIN HARD, TRAIN HARDER THAN HELL!
EVERYONE IS WEAK NOW, IT'S TIME TO SHOW SOCIETY THAT WE DON'T OPERATE LIKE THEY DO!