Monday, May 9, 2022

Five Powerbuilding Workouts - Dennis Weis



This is a six-week mass and strength micro-cycle periodization concept
 popularized by Steve Davis, IFBB Mr. World. 

Micro-Cycle 1 (Weeks 1-2)

On two nonconsecutive workout days (Monday/Friday or Tuesday/Saturday) during the first two weeks of training, Davis suggest using the One-Rep Principle in which a weight can be handled in a strict positive/negative contraction. 

The idea is to do 10 continuous one-rep sets, decreasing the poundage just enough to grind out one more single rep until 10 reps are completed. There is no rest between each of these one-rep sets except to remove plates for the next rep. This will up one's strength and power.  

Micro-Cycle 2 (Weeks 3-4) 

During the third and fourth week of training, 10 sets of maximum triple reps are done with no rest other than the time it takes to remove just enough weight to accommodate three more continuous reps. Continue on in the manner described until all 10 sets of 3 reps are completed. This will increase muscular size. 

Micro-Cycle 3 (Week 5-6) 

On the final weeks (5 and 6), 10 sets of 7 reps are suggested. Use the same training style and procedure as described for weeks 1 through 4, only use sets of 7 reps. This will develop muscularity. 

The Davis Set methodology lends itself quite well to the use of the master exercises which work the major muscle groups, such as High Bar Olympic Squats, Low Angle Bench Press, Close Grip Barbell Bentover Rows, Seated Press Behind Neck, Braced Barbell Curl, Seated and/or Lying EX-Bar Triceps Extensions. For the minor muscle groups, master exercises such as Leg Curls, Stiff Legged Deadlifts and Braced Reverse Curls can be easily structured into the Davis Set concept. 

Select only one exercise per muscle group when using the Davis Set. 

Some strength coaches may argue that The Davis Set incorporates a fatigue factor (no rest between sets) into the size, power, and muscularity equation. This may be true, but who is going to argue the point when such a great gain factor is so evident from doing the Davis Set? 


This is a two day a week total body power-bodybuilding program using compound exercises. 

Begin the select exercise with a weight that you can perform for a MAXIMUM TRIPLE SET. Upon completion of the 3rd rep return the weight to the floor or rack. Take 10 deep breaths and do another maximum triple set. Take another 10 deep breaths and finish off a final maximum triple set. 

Immediately increase the poundage, no matter how slight, so that you accomplish 3 MAXIMUM DOUBLE SETS, remembering to take 10 deep breaths between each set. 

Immediately conclude the exercise by increasing the poundage and doing 6 MAXIMUM SINGLE EFFORTS. 

Here is an outline of a total body workout using this method: 


In this method, 8 power overload sets of 4-6 complete range of motion reps are performed, literally one after the other with no rest-pauses whatsoever. 

Power Shock training incorporates a formula of alternating percentages (weight jump factors) of a current one-rep maximum effort, for calculating the amount of weight to use when moving from one set to the next (either up or down). 

Calculate your current unfatigued one-rep maximum in a select exercise (without over or underestimating it), and then you're ready to start the program. 

Here is how a Power Shock workout would look using a single-rep maximum of 400 pounds: 

Making the System Work

1) Power bodybuilders who are less than 35 years of age should do one muscle-specific warmup set of 8 reps with 45% of current one-rep maximum. Those over 35 in some cases need to do an additional warmup set of 8 reps with 65% of max. Rest 1.5 to 2 minutes after the warmup. 

2) Use compound, strength-building exercises and not isolation movements. 

3) Select only one exercise per muscle group and use this method on no more than two muscle groups per week. 

Repeat the above six week cycle rotation, but select a different power overload exercise for each muscle group. For example, if you were using the barbell flat bench press for the chest you might go with the barbell incline press. Power Shock Training should only be performed once per week on selected muscle groups. 

Remember that each and every set (2-9) is performed without any rest-pauses whatsoever other than the time it takes to implement the weight jumps. 


With this method you use six basic exercises and do each of them for a 10-set pyramid (increasing the poundage up or down from one set to the next). The exercises are the high bar Olympic-style squat, regular deadlift, barbell bentover row, flat bench press, barbell clean & press, and the two hands barbell curl. These 6 exercises have been selected because of their pronounced anabolic effect on the major muscle groups of the body. 

The following methods are very intensive and power bodybuilders who use them have found it best to do only two or three of the six mentioned exercises in any one workout. Here are a couple of examples of how you might structure these six exercises into any of the three workout methods. 

To increase the  gain factors in muscle mass and strength it is a good ideal to schedule one to two days of rest and recovery between workouts.

Method 1

Begin each exercise with a warmup set with approximately 60% of the maximum poundage that you will be using on the initial two to three barometer hard work sets. Do 8 continuous reps with this relatively light poundage. 

Rest 3.5 to 4 minutes. 

Now begin your first barometer set with a poundage which will allow you to do 6 continuous reps and absolutely no more. 

Rest 1 minute. 

Begin your second set with the same poundage and perform another 6 reps if you can. 

Rest another minute.

Now perform your third set with with the same poundage for an all out effort. You may only get five reps but that is fine. Your only concern should be when you bottom out at four reps or less per set. When this happens (and most generally you will first notice it on the third or fourth set), reduce your poundage by 10 pounds for the next set, but only when you bottom out at four reps in a particular set.

Continue on in the manner described. Do a set, rest one minute, etc., until you have completed 10 sets. After giving this program a run-through you will probably notice that the 8th, 9th, and 10th sets will be working your muscles to their absolute capacity, so here it would be a good idea to take two or three very deep breaths between each rep.

Method 2

10 sets are done in the following manner: warm up with 60% of your maximum for the amount of reps you plan to perform. 

On this, let's assume that you want to acquire some power in your bench press. Use 7 reps for your sets. Let's say your top bench press for 6 reps is 300 pounds. Begin your first set with 80% of that poundage, 240 pounds. 

Now, while you rest one minute between each set, add 5% to each additional set until you are using 100% of maximum for one or two sets. Then you will begin dropping off 5% each set for the final three sets of the 10 sets.  

To give you a better idea of how this system works, I will outline in detail how your 10 sets will look using the above percentage/poundage figures. 

Example: Base 300 pounds, 6 reps. 10 sets maximum, rest one minute between sets, start at 80%, add 5% each set until 100% is reached. Perform 2 sets with 100%, drop off 5% for each of the final 3 sets.

Note: On the 5th and 6th sets, you may not be able to do the recommended 7 reps per set. Do whatever you can and when you are finally performing 7 reps on all sets (and especially the 5th and 6th sets) upgrade your percentage/poundage scale and begin a new 10-set system.

With regard to this system and its variation, you will find that a pattern of 6 reps to a maximum of 9 reps will build the most muscle mass and strength. 

Method 3

On this 10-set method, use 75-80% of your current maximum poundage for the number of reps you plan to do for a normal set of an exercise. 

For example, if you can perform the barbell front squat with 200 pounds for 10 reps, take approximately 150-160 pounds and begin your program in the following manner. Perform 10 reps, then rest 10 seconds, then do 9 reps, then rest 10 second. Continue in this manner until you are down to 1 rep. Depending on your stamina you may not be able to do more than 1 rep. Go to failure on this final set until you can't even budge the barbell.

Reminder: Structure the Anabolic 6 exercises into the method of your choice
 using Examples A or B mentioned earlier. 


Blast singes are one of the shortcut strategies that many bodybuilders and powerlifters use to up their strength gain factor and to achieve an armor plated contour to their muscles simultaneously. Here's an overview of some of the best-of-the-best Blast Single strategies. 

The Original Charles Ross Blast-Single System

This system of non-consecutive rep training was developed by Charles Ross during the early 1950s. The basic idea is to choose one exercise only and do 10-15 nonconsecutive blast-singes with a minor rest pause of 10 deep breaths between each rep.

Each blast-single is done in iso-tension style, with the muscle tensed as hard as possible for five seconds at the peak contraction (where the strength curve is at its greatest tension) of the movement. During the rest pause between each rep, re-rack the barbell for bench presses and for back squats. For a conventional exercise such as standing barbell curls, place the barbell back on the floor. 

After you complete the 10-15 nonconsecutive blast-singles, take three hours of totally uninterrupted rest and relaxation from this very intense method of training. After the rest, perform the blast-single procedure again, then take another three hour rest, and ten do a final 10-15 single reps. This will give you a  total of 30-45 brutal growth-producing blast-singles for the suggested exercise.

The original Charles Ross Blast-Single System is supposed to be done three times per day at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m.; on a Monday (barbell curls), Wednesday (bench press) and Friday (back squat) frequency using one exercise only. 

Obviously this program just isn't practical if you are employed so I suggest you modify this program to one day only and do it on a day off from work or perhaps during vacation time, on a once a month basis for up to eight weeks.


This program and those to follow are much more accommodating than the Charles Ross method above, and best of all you will have a life aside from bodybuilding! Here's an outline of the 8 Week Ultra Blast-Single workout. 

Notes for the 8 Week Ultra Blast-Singles Workout

 - Whenever you come up with an odd poundage after doing the necessary calculations, simply round the figure off to the nearest 5 or 10 pounds. 

 - Though not indicated after week number one be sure to do some muscle specific warmup sets prior to the performance of the blast singles during weeks two through eight. 

 - All of the percentage-based poundage for the warmup sets and the blast-singles remain fixes throughout the 8-week cycle. Only the number of blast-singles and time dependent rest pauses change on a weekly basis. 

 - Maintain a very strict adherence to the time-dependent rest pauses between each blast single. If you are rest-pausing 50 seconds between each blast single (Week 3), then stick with this rest-pause (time) faithfully. 

 - For this particular 8 week program use poundages which is approximately 30 pounds less than what you could correctly do for an all out blast-single.

 - The Blast-Single concept should only be applied to exercises such as t hose mentioned in the four previous programs. 

 - There is a modification you can add to the program. Upon completion of the blast-singes do the . . . 


Do one rep with a poundage that is very close to your one-rep maximum (94-97% of your maximum). Then reduce the poundage by 10% and immediately do another rep. Reduce the poundage by 7.5% and perform another rep. Take 5% off the barbell for another rep, then reduce tghe poundage by 2.5% for a final rep. 

As you will notice, on your final rep your poundage has been reduced down to around 70% of your one-rep maximum. Under normal training procedures, where rest-pauses are taken between reps, you would in most cases breeze through each rep. 

There is absolutely no rest between single reps (except for the time taken to strip off the necessary poundage). So in reality the final rep at 70% of max may very well feel just as heavy as the first rep at 94-97%. Rest for 30 seconds after the completion of the fifth rep, during which time you reload the barbell for as second and final five single reps, following the procedure as described above. When you finish the second series of five single reps, strip enough weight off the bar to do five consecutive repetitions. This method of training was popularized many years ago by iron game writer Dennis DuBreuil. 

Note: here is an example:


There are some modified blast-single concepts that Chuck Sipes, Steve Justa and Charles Poliquin have used with tremendous success that are worth investigating. 

Chuck Sipes would do a compound exercise blast-single style and then finish off with a shape training exercise for multiple sets and reps. Here are some of the blast-single/shape training exercise combinations he would use from time to time. 



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