Sunday, May 28, 2017

Make 4X the Gains - Chad Waterbury (2017)

Originally Published in This Issue (June 2017) 

More Articles by Chad Waterbury: 

A More In Depth Look at High Frequency Training Here:

by Chad Waterbury (2017)

 - Take a break from body-part splits and add size by hitting every muscle four times per week -

As is true in almost any skill, the more you lift, the better you get at it (and the bigger you get as a result). The more frequently you train a muscle, the faster it's going to respond by growing. So if you've ever trained only one or two body parts in a session - totaling only one or two sessions for that area a week - prepare to switch to a full-body, high-frequency routine that will gains at mind-blowing speed. 

The problem with high-volume body-part splits is that they beat your muscles into the ground. For instance, if your chest day contains five or six different exercises for the pecs, they'll need several days to recover before they can be worked again. It's great to train a muscle from all the angles and improve its work capacity, but going so long between workouts robs it of a chance to be exposed to the training stimulus again sooner, and that's blowing an opportunity for growth.

To train a muscle more often, you have to reduce the work you give it in a single session, but that's okay. Instead of working your chest with 12 sets in one session, you might do 12 total sets over the course of a whole week, with each session building on the gains of the previous one. 

While muscles respond well to being worked often, the joints can resent it big time. Doing heavy bench presses one day followed by shoulder presses and dips on other days will be hell on your shoulder joints and set you up for injury. To train often and safely, you need to pick mainly joint-friendly exercises and keep recovery foremost in your mind, and that's why you'll see various chest-supported rowing movements and bodyweight exercises in our program. 

Training the whole body in each session will ensure you make balanced gains and work the same muscles four different times in a single week. Think about it: If you were hitting your arms once a week, that's 52 arm workouts a year. If you start hitting them four times a week, that's a whopping 208 arm workouts per year. 


You'll train four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) on a rotating schedule. So you'll do Workouts A through C Monday through Thursday, and then you'll repeat the cycle with Workout A again on Saturday. You'll pick up next Monday with Workout B. 

Each workout consists of exercises that are paired and alternated, so you'll do one set of the first exercise in the pair, rest, then do a set of the second exercise, rest again, and repeat until all sets for that pair are complete. 

Workout A (Monday . . . Saturday . . . Thursday etc.) 

Chest-supported Dumbbell Row, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Cable Bench Press, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Bulgarian Split Squat, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Lateral Raise, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Workout B (Tuesday . . . Monday . . . Saturday etc.)    

Pullup (or Lat Pulldown), 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Feet-elevated Pushup, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Barbell Hip Thrust, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Chest-supported Rear Delt Raise, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Workout C (Thursday . . . Tuesday . . . Monday etc.) 

Chest-supported Row, Palms Up, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternated with
Decline Bench Press, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Goblet Squat, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Neutral-Grip Front Raise, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

The Details 
In Weeks 1 and 2, begin every set of every exercise with a five-second static hold. That means you'll hold a certain point in the range of motion for that lift. (See the exercise descriptions to follow). Immediately afterward, perform five full range of motion reps. Rest 10 seconds and perform a four-second static hold, followed by four full range of motion reps. Rest 10 more seconds, do a three-second hold, then three full range reps. All of the above equals one set.

In Weeks 3 and 4, do a six-second static hold and then immediately do six full range of motion reps. Work down to a four-second hold and four full reps. 

In Weeks 5 and 6, do a seven-second hold and seven reps. Work down to a five-second hold and five full reps.  

The Exercises

Chest-supported Dumbbell Row:
Set the bench to a 45-degree angle. With your palms facing each other, draw your shoulder blades back and together as you row the weights to your sides. Begin each set by holding the finished (rowed) position.

Cable Bench Press: 
The top position is the static hold position. 

Bulgarian Split Squat:
The front leg bent (lowered) position is the static hold position.

Lateral Raise: 
The arms raised to ear level position is the static hold position.

Pullup (or Lat Pulldown):
Pull yourself up (or the bar down) until your chin is over it and the bar nearly touches your collarbones. This is the hold position.

Feet Elevated Pushup:
Rest your feet on a bench or other elevated surface that allows you to perform all the given reps. Begin in the top position and try to pull your hands together. They won't move, but actively trying to slide them together in front of your chest will activate more pec fibers. This is the position of the hold. 

Barbell Hip Thrust:
The hips raised position is the static hold position.

Chest-supported Rear Delt Raise: 
Set the bench to a 45-degree angle and lie with your chest against it. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and raise the weights up until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Hold that position.

Chest-supported Row, Palms Up:
Set the bench to a 70-degree angle. The static hold position is the top position.

Decline Bench Press: 
Set the bench to a 15- to 20-degree decline and perform a bench press with hands set shoulder width apart. Lower the bar to your sternum. Hold the up (pressed) position.

Goblet Squat:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly out. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands under your chin. Push your hips back and lower your body into a deep squat. Hold this bottom position.  

Neutral-Grip Front Raise:
Hold dumbbells with your palms facing each other and raise up to eye level at a slight angle to your torso. Alternate arms. The top position is the hold position. 

Arm and Calf Specialization

If you want to target your arms and/or calves over the six-week plan, place this circuit at the end of any two of the workouts. For example, you could tack it onto the end of Monday's and Thursday's sessions.

Perform one set* of each exercise in sequence and repeat for three total rounds. Rest 60 seconds between the exercises.

*Note that these exercises are done the same way as all the others, alternating isometric holds with full reps.

Chest-supported Incline Curl:
Set bench to a 70-degree incline and lie against it with a dumbbell in each eye, er, hand, palms facing each other. Curl the weights up, supinating the wrists so your palms face up at the top. Hold the top (curled) position for the isometric.

Triceps Pushdown:
Perform pushdowns with a rope handle. Hold the extended (contracted) position.

Single-leg Standing Calf Raise:
Hole the top (contracted) position.   

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