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The Fastest Way to Get Jacked

Get Jacked

I’m about to present to you the training approach I’m on at the moment and it is proving to be a completely awesome experience. For the first time in a very long while, I’m seeing changes almost daily and I feel full and pumped all the time… I’m dieting down and get jacked!

Just to put things in context, my crew and I are planning a photoshoot in about 8 weeks. I’m just coming off a hectic series of seminars around the world during which my training and nutrition were far from optimal, not to mention the stress. So, I really needed to kick everything up a notch to be in solid shape.

I’m about to present to you the training approach I decided to use. I guarantee that it can change your physique faster than everything else. The caveat is that it’s brutal work. You might feel run down at times and fatigue might get to you. Stick with it. It’s a short-term plan to whip you into shape rapidly. It not going to be comfortable. Some of what I’m doing might fly in the face of logic and common “theory”. But it works.

A PAGE FROM ONE OF THE GREATS

The basic outline of the plan is inspired by Bill Pearl. Bill was an old-school bodybuilder who won the Mr. Universe and was likely the thickest bodybuilder of his era. He was also my very first training inspiration. When I was in high school they gave use, free library reading periods and I found Bill’s book “Getting Stronger” and spent all my periods reading that book (which was also a great way to learn English for me).

Pearl’s type of physique has always been my favorite: thick with monster triceps! And super strong to boot.

Anyway, the system I’m now using has been inspired by one of his training approaches.

Those of you who are newer to the training world might recognize elements of what we call “Daily Undulating Periodization” in which the whole body is trained at a high frequency, with varying intensity levels.

ALL ABOUT FREQUENCY

For this program, there are 6 training days per week. Yep, I told you that it was going to be a lot of work!  Three of these sessions are whole body workouts and the intensity level and volume varies at each of these three workouts. The three other workouts are focusing on a pattern of movement (pressing muscles, pulling muscles, legs) and focus on non-neurologically demanding work… mostly isolation, cables or machine work, not going to failure. This allows for the greatest training frequency. And the more often you can hit a muscle group without exceeding your capacity to recover, the more you can grow.

Why?

Because every time you train a specific muscle you trigger protein synthesis in that muscle. And that increase in protein synthesis lasts 24-48 hours. If you only train a muscle once a week you can’t really maximize protein synthesis (and thus muscle growth). That’s why enhanced bodybuilders often train each muscle only once per week: steroids, growth hormone and the likes artificially enhance protein synthesis… it is less necessary for them to trigger local protein synthesis through training (although they would still greatly benefit from a higher frequency of training).

Training a muscle twice per week yield much better results than once a week, and the evidence for three times per week being even superior is very strong (but not yet conclusive). According to Dr.Shoenfeld, advanced athletes might benefit from an even higher frequency to maximize growth.

TRAINING SCHEDULE

Monday, Wednesday and Friday are whole body days. Sunday is off and the other days are the body part days.

Monday: Whole body

Tuesday: Pushing muscles

Wednesday: Whole body

Thursday: Pulling muscles

Friday: Whole body

Saturday: Lower body

Sunday: OFF

WHOLE BODY DAYS

These three workouts will use three main “groups” per session: pushing, pulling and legs. And three difficulty/stress levels will be used per week. Each “group” will be trained with each of the three levels of stress once per week. But on each workout, you will always have only one group at each stress level.

Confused yet?

Here’s how it will look like:

Monday

Pulling: high stress

Lower body: medium stress

Pushing: low stress

Wednesday

Lower body: high stress

Pushing: medium stress

Pulling: low stress

Friday

Pushing: high stress

Pulling: moderate stress

Lower body: low stress

Here are what the workouts look like:

High stress for each group

Pulling

A1. Seal row (chest supported DB row) x 6 reps

A2. Seated cable row neutral grip x 12 reps

A3. Bent over lateral raises x 25 reps

A1, A2 & A3 are a superset, no rest between exercises, 2-3 minutes between sets

Do 3 sets

Lower body

A1. Squat (front, back, Frankenstein, low bar, high bar, whatever style you prefer) x 6

A2. Lunges x 12 (per leg)

A3. Leg extension (or leg curl depending on weakness) x 25

A1, A2 & A3 are a superset, no rest between exercises, 2-3 minutes between sets

Do 3 sets

Pushing

A1. Bench press or weighted dips x 6

A2. Cable cross-over or pec deck machine x 12

A3. DB bench press x 25

A1, A2 & A3 are a superset, no rest between exercises, 2-3 minutes between sets

Do 3 sets

Medium stress for each group

Pulling

A. Seated row (use the grip with which you feel the best back contraction)

4 x 8-10

Hold peak contraction 2 seconds on each rep

90-120 sec of rest between sets

B. Straight-arms pulldown

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

75-90 sec of rest between sets

Lower body

A. Squat (whichever variation you prefer)

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

120-150 sec of rest between sets

B. Romanian deadlift

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

120-150 sec of rest between sets

Pushing

A. Bench press variation (normal, incline, floor, close-grip, etc.)

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

90-120 sec of rest between sets

B. Overhead press variation (DB shoulder press, military press, behind the neck press, etc.)

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

90-120 sec of rest between sets

Low stress for each group

Pulling

A. Pull-up variation (weighted if possible, use resistance band for help if not strong enough)

4 x 5

90-120 sec of rest between sets

Lower body

A. Squat or deadlift variation (whichever is lagging or you want to emphasise)

4 x 5

120-150 sec of rest between sets

Pushing

A. Bench press or overhead press variation (whichever is lagging or you want to emphasise

4 x 5

90-120 sec of rest between sets

PUTTING THE THREE WHOLE BODY SESSIONS TOGETHER (MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY)

Considering what we just saw here is how the whole-body workouts will look like during the week.

Monday

A1. Seal row (chest supported DB row) x 6 reps

A2. Seated cable row neutral grip x 12 reps

A3. Bent over lateral raises x 25 reps

A1, A2 & A3 are a superset, no rest between exercises, 2-3 minutes between sets

Do 3 sets

B. Squat (whichever variation you prefer)

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

120-150 sec of rest between set

C. Romanian deadlift

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

120-150 sec of rest between sets

D. Bench press or overhead press variation (whichever is lagging or you want to emphasise

4 x 5

90-120 sec of rest between sets

Wednesday

A1. Squat (front, back, Frankenstein, low bar, high bar, whatever style you prefer) x 6

A2. Lunges x 12 (per leg)

A3. Leg extension (or leg curl depending on weakness) x 25

A1, A2 & A3 are a superset, no rest between exercises, 2-3 minutes between sets

Do 3 sets

B. Bench press variation (normal, incline, floor, close-grip, etc.)

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

90-120 sec of rest between sets

C. Overhead press variation (DB shoulder press, military press, behind the neck press, etc.)

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

90-120 sec of rest between sets

D. Pull-up variation (weighted if possible, use resistance band for help if not strong enough)

4 x 5

90-120 sec of rest between sets

Friday

A. Squat or deadlift variation (whichever is lagging or you want to emphasise)

4 x 5

120-150 sec of rest between sets

B1. Bench press or weighted dips x 6

B2. Cable cross-over or pec deck machine x 12

B3. DB bench press x 25

A1, A2 & A3 are a superset, no rest between exercises, 2-3 minutes between sets

Do 3 sets

C. Seated row (use the grip with which you feel the best back contraction)

4 x 8-10

Hold peak contraction 2 seconds on each rep

90-120 sec of rest between sets

D. Straight-arms pulldown

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 4-5 seconds

75-90 sec of rest between sets

THE PUMP WORKOUTS (TUESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAY)

These three sessions rely on low-CNS work. See, muscles can recover very fast. You could train every muscle every day if you avoid fatiguing the nervous system and if your nutrition is adequate.

These workouts will stimulate growth via two pathways that are fairly easy to recover from because they produce little muscle damage and CNS fatigue. They stimulate growth mostly through the accumulation of local growth factors and muscle fiber fatigue.

Tuesday

A1. Dumbbell bench press

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 5 seconds, don’t fully lockout at the top

A2. Cable cross-over

4 x 12-15

Squeeze peak contraction 2 seconds per rep

A1 & A2 are a superset, no rest between both, 90 seconds of rest between sets

B1. Incline dumbbell press

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 5 seconds, don’t fully lockout at the top

B2. Incline dumbbell flies

4 x 12-15

Hold stretch position 2 seconds per rep

B1 & B2 are a superset, no rest between both, 90 seconds of rest between sets

C1. Dumbbell shoulder press

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 5 seconds, don’t fully lockout at the top

C2. Dumbbell lateral raises

4 x 12-15

Do not lower completely in the bottom (keep tension on the delts)

C1 & C2 are a superset, no rest between both, 90 seconds of rest between sets

D1. Lying dumbbell triceps extension

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 5 seconds

D2. V-Bar triceps pressdown

4 x 8-10

Squeeze peak contraction hard for 2 seconds on each rep

D3. Rope triceps pressdown

4 x 8-10

Only do the middle part of the range of motion to keep tension constant

D1, D2 & D3 are a triple set. No rest between exercises, 2 minutes between sets

Thursday

A1. Straight-arm cable pulldown with EZ bar, torso upright

4 x 8-10

3030 tempo

A2. Straight-arm cable pulldown with EZ bar, torso bent over

4 x maximum reps with same weight

A3. Bent over DB rowing

4 x 8-10

Hold peak contraction 2 seconds per rep

A1, A2 & A3 are a triple, no rest between both, 120 seconds of rest between sets

B1. Bent over rear deltoid lateral raise

4 x 12-15

Hold peak contraction 2 seconds per rep

B2. Seated cable rowing

4 x 8-10

Hold peak contraction 2 seconds per rep

B1 & B2 are a superset, no rest between both, 90 seconds of rest between sets

C1. Dumbbell shrugs

4 x 8-10

Hold peak contraction 2 seconds per rep

C2. Rope upright row

4 x 12-15

Do not lower completely in the bottom, hold peak contraction 2 seconds per rep.

C1 & C2 are a superset, no rest between both, 90 seconds of rest between sets

D1.Reverse grip EZ bar cable curl

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 5 seconds

D2. Normal grip EZ bar cable curl

4 x max reps with same weight

Squeeze peak contraction hard for 2 seconds on each rep

D3. Rope cable curl

4 x max reps with same weight

Only do the middle part of the range of motion to keep tension constant

D1, D2 & D3 are a triple set. No rest between exercises, 2 minutes between sets

Saturday

A1. Goblet squat

4 x 12-15

3030 tempo, do not lockout completely or pause in the bottom

A2. Leg extension

4 x 12-15

Only perform the middle of the range of motion to keep tension constant on the quads

A3. Bodyweight (air) squat

4 x maximum reps

3030 tempo, do not lockout or pause at any point in the exercise.

A1, A2 & A3 are a triple, no rest between both, 120 seconds of rest between sets

B1. Lying leg curl

4 x 8-10

3030 tempo

B2. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

4 x 8-10

Eccentric in 5 seconds, do not lockout at the top, elevate the front of your feet by about half an inch

B1 & B2 are a superset, no rest between both, 90 seconds of rest between sets

THERE YOU HAVE IT … 

This workout is brutally effective for rapid body composition changes. It is a lot of hard work and it can only be done for a short period of time (4-6 weeks). Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat quality foods to maximize your chances of success.

Try it out and let me know how well it worked for you!

— CT

 

 

Christian Thibaudeau

Written by Christian Thibaudeau

Christian Thibaudeau has been involved in the business of training for over the last 16 years. During this period, he worked with athletes from 28 different sports. He has been “Head Strength Coach” for the Central Institute for Human Performance (of…