Q: I just want the best workout program for building muscle. Please simplify all the rhetoric and just tell me which one is the absolute best.
A: That’s easy. There is no best routine. It’s the nature of how the human body adapts. We always say it takes
That’s the reason our own programs are constantly evolving—a new exercise, a new X-hybrid tactic, a drop set, etc. And after 10 weeks or so, we often move to a new program from one of our e-books (Jonathan recently went all the way back to our first X-Rep transformation program, with a few new alterations).
If you’re looking for one routine you can use for a long stretch that provides both size and strength, try a program based on the Power/Rep Range/Shock protocol. With that, you get built-in rep-range change every week, as follows…
Week 1: Power. Train every exercise with straight sets—no supersets, tri-sets, or drop sets—and reps stay in the four-to-six power zone. Use slightly higher reps on endurance-oriented muscles like calves, abs,
Week 2: Rep Range. For the first exercise, you pick a weight that gets you seven to nine reps. For the second exercise, you do 10 to 12 reps. On the third exercise, you move the rep range up to the high end of fast-twitch recruitment—13 to 15 reps.
Week 3: Shock. This week is for putting your muscles through the meat grinder with supersets, drop sets, and so on. Reps for most muscles stay in an eight-to-10-rep range, but extended-set techniques are a must to maximize time under tension, occlusion, etc.
You can even take your current routine and simply change it each week to conform to the Power, Rep Range, or Shock protocol. Increase or decrease the weights you use on each exercise to attain the rep-range goals each week, then on Shock week, combine exercises, do drop sets, and blast the muscles into Jell-O. Your first three-week stint will be somewhat erratic because you have to figure out weights for each different protocol; just be sure to write them down or use your phone’s notepad…
Incidentally, end-of-set X-Rep partials work well in any of the three protocols, but they are especially appropriate for Shock workouts. For the uninitiated, at full-range exhaustion, you move the bar to the semi-stretch position, such as near the bottom of an incline press, and you grind out 10-inch partials…
Does P/RR/S work? The first time we tried it, we were shocked (pun intended). We got strong very quickly. Our work weights just kept going up by leaps and bounds at every workout, and our muscle size increased noticeably as well…
Remember, you must continually give the muscles something new to cope with to keep them growing. Power/Rep Range/Shock is an excellent way to get automatic variation for size and strength acceleration.
NOTE: The P/RR/S program we used is on pages 103-114 in the 3D Muscle Building e-book.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ATTENTION OVER-40 BODYBUILDERS
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.