Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Heavy-Light for Faster Gains, Part Two - Greg Zulak

The great mythic hero of our story . . . still at it! 
I do hope Uliftthese don't overtrain! 

Part One of his journey is here:

We pick up our story immediately following the Heavy end of his labors . . . 

Other than the obvious, my words are housed within the [    ] bracket home. 

Immediately follow the Heavy sets with 3 high rep sets of benches (12-15 reps) with little rest to pump up the pecs [congest the chesters, fluff the floppers, balloon the boobers]. 

A second variation of the above might be the same heavy sets of bench presses, but instead of doing several high rep sets try doing one or two series of descending reps, or triple drop. 

For example, after your last set of heavy benches, lessen the poundage to one that will allow 6-8 reps, and with no rest, drop some weight off the bar and immediately proceed to do as many reps as you can; reduce the weight again, and again force it with as many reps as you can [again and again and again, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow . . . do try to stay in the moment when you lift, it ain't a bad place].

You should do a minimum of 15-20 reps over the three drops. [Confused? Mr. Zulak is calling the first drop the one from your final Heavy set to that 6-8 rep poundage you go to]. For each reduction drop the weight 10-20%. Try 10 on the first and 20 on the second, depending upon your recuperation abilities, your strength and your level of achievement. If you can only get 8-10 total reps over the three drops the reductions are too small, and more than 30 reps, the reductions are too big. [15-20 total over the three weight drops and you're in what's known as the Contented Goldilocks Zone]. 

For example, if you started with 200 pounds for your first set of 6-8 reps, then your weight reduction should be somewhere between 160-180, and the next reduction to between 140-160. 

Finally, a third variation of the first example of Heavy-Light (and my personal favorite) is to follow your heavy sets with a superset. For example, heavy benches followed by several supersets of say, Dumbbell Flyes -> (dash, close forward arrow, that arcane superset-with symbol used in mythical journeys] Incline Press, or Gironda Pec Drips [arrrr, drop that R] -> Dumbbell Pullover, with little rest between sets. This is very satisfying because you get to handle heavy weights and finish each bodypart with a super pump. 

Another concept of the Heavy-Light method is supersets of heavy and light reps within the same bodypart. For example, Heavy Cheat Curls -> Strict Preacher Curls. Heavy Bench -> Dumbbell Flye. Heavy Squat -> Leg Extension. 

The first exercise is done for low reps (4-6) while the second exercise is done for high reps (8-12). 

The way Bob Green and Dan Mackay advocate this variation of the Heavy-Light method is to do heavy HALF reps followed immediately by strict, full reps. For example, heavy 1/2 rep concentration curls, 6 reps, followed immediately by 6-8 strict, full reps of concentration curls. 

Done this way, they feel the Trainee experiences deep stimulation to the fibers and connective tissue resulting in more power and bigger muscles while the full reps bring out a full pump and develop the capillaries, so you get the best of both worlds.

The third, and a very effective way to incorporate the Heavy-Light method into your training is to cycle your lifting and have alternate heavy and light training days. [There's some material by Anthony Ditillo explaining a few approaches to doing that. They're here on this blog, possibly hidden within some of the longer of the posts of his here. No accident this blog deal is kinda hard to find some stuff in. You seek this, and find that as well in your search, or some kinda plan like that.]

A sample routine might be a four day routine with two days done strictly for power and two days for bodybuilding and pump. Train the whole body each day and use the every other day routine, training 4 days every 8 days with a full day's rest between each exercise day. 

On the power days you should strive to use maximum poundage for low reps with long rest periods between sets (up to 3-5 minutes). The rest periods may seem rather long if you're not used to them, but the need for long rest periods between sets is essential for you to go really heavy. 

Remember, POWER NEEDS REST. The more you rest, the heavier you can go,. The two go hand in hand. On the pump days train the opposite way. Use moderate to light weights for higher reps with very little rest between exercises and sets. Try using supersets and tri-sets wherever possible to speed up the workout and increase the pump. Really concentrate on your muscles and work for a maximum skintight pump. Think of your muscles as balloons and try to pump them up until they burst [pins not allowed here, even if you're a steroidal type].

Here are some sample routines you may want to try: 


Bench Press: 1 x 20; 5 x 5
Squat: same as above
Bentover Row: you guessed correctly
Weighted Dips: you got it
Deadlift: and so do I


3 tri-sets per bodypart, 8-10 reps per set. 

Chest: Incline Press -> Flye -> Pec Dips 

Back: Pulldown -> Bent Arm Pullover -> Cable Row

Delts: Seated PBN -> Side Raise -> Upright Row

Biceps: Preacher Curl -> Barbell Curl -> Reverse Cable Curl

Triceps: Tri Extension -> Tri Pressdown -> Tri Dips

Thighs: Let Ext -> Leg Curl [a.k.a. curls not for the girls] -> Hack Squat

Calves: Standing Raise -> Seated -> Leg Press Raise or Donkeys [who have small calves, oddly enough]

Forearms: Reverse Curl -> Wrist Curl -> Reverse Wrist Curl

Try and complete all three tri-sets for each bodypart in 10 minutes or less. Done this way you should complete the routine in 1.5 hours or less. [keep moving with this one!]

Finally, the last variation of the Heavy-Light method is to cycle your training, using a heavy, low rep routine for 6-8 weeks, then change over to a high rep routine for the following 6-8 weeks, and alternate back and forth. 

This routine will really shock your muscles into new growth and they will burn and ache like crazy when you get deeply into the high rep routine, because the muscles will have gotten used to the lower reps and longer rest periods used during the heavy routine. 

If it worked for Uliftthese it can work for you, and I wish you well on your own mythic quest with these heavy toys we love to lift so much. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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