is a GREAT technique for building mass and strength
like clockwork, using free weights, machine or
bodyweight exercises...the framework doesn't change
and it adapts very easily to whatever resistance
Originally, I came
up with this technique to allow me to take exercises
where I could do a LOT of reps (like push-ups)
and turn them into effective mass-builders.
After using it for
that, I realized it was an excellent way to train
with free weight and machines as well. The concepts
remain exactly the same.
Training is relatively simple. It's a form of
Density Training (somewhat similar to EDT by Charles
Staley). I'll use back training for my example
here (chin-ups, specifically) to show you what
it's all about.
For working back,
I use a 15 minute block of time (this will vary
according to bodypart - use less time for smaller
parts). If you're doing a free weight exercise,
choose a weight you could get about 10 reps with
for this technique.
- First, start
by doing a set of 3 reps. Then stop and rest
10 seconds. Now do another set of 3 reps. Stop
and rest 10 seconds.
- Keep going using
3 rep sets and 10 seconds rest until you can't
get 3 reps anymore. When you hit this point,
begin taking 20 SECONDS rest in between your
3 rep sets.
- Keep going using
3 rep sets and 20 seconds rest until you again
can't get 3 reps anymore. Then take 30 SECONDS
rest in between your 3 rep sets. If you have
to increase again, go to 40 seconds, and so
- Keep going in
this fashion until your 15 minutes are up.
It's just that
simple! DO NOT go to failure on any of your reps...the
idea is to manage your fatigue so that you can
maximize your training volume (i.e. more reps
and sets), doing more sets and reps up front (which
is known as front-loading) and fewer as you fatigue.
And, because I originally
worked up this technique to go with bodyweight
training (where you can't change resistance),
instead of decreasing the weight, you will instead
just increase the rest periods, which gives your
body a bit more time to recover in between sets,
allowing you to keep doing sets with the exact
You'll find when
using this technique with different exercises
(especially bodyweight exercises, where some tend
to be a bit easier than others), you'll be able
to go longer before having to increase rest. For
example, when doing chins, you'll have to increase
rest sooner than you will with push-ups.
Rest assured, even
if you can do 50 push-ups, you'll STILL get to
a point where you're not able to do 3 reps sets
on 10 seconds rest and you'll have to bump up
the rest periods. Take a 2 minute rest in between
bodyparts for recovery.
It's a great way
to work bodyweight exercises without resorting
to high-rep endurance training. With the 3 rep
sets, you're still hitting the power-oriented
muscle fibers, which is what allows you to make
this type of training work for mass building.
It can be used with
just about any free weight or machine exercise
Here are the time intervals I've been using for
this type of training:
Back, Chest and
Thighs - 15 minute blocks each
Hamstrings, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Calves
and Abs - 7 1/2 minute blocks each
I've also changed up some of the bodypart blocks
so that I'm actually working 2 bodyparts at once
(I did this with abs and calves).
Here's a split I've
been using (based on bodyweight training)...you
can certainly feel free to come up with your own.
Just be absolutely
sure to keep your total workout time to under
an hour (I've been shooting for 40 to 50 minutes).
This type of training
concept is simple enough where you can also just
insert it into whatever your favorite training
My preference is
for a 2 day on, 1 day off, 2 day on, 2 days off
type of training split, e.g. Monday, Tuesday,
- 15 minutes of chin-ups - I was using a regular
underhand, close grip for these, coming all the
way up and down to full extension.
- 15 minutes of dips
of Calves and Abs - 7 1/2 minutes -
NO rest in between bodyparts or sets. I would
just go straight from one-legged calf raises (5
reps on each leg using no weight) then right into
Sit-ups (5 reps on that exercise, too) then
back to calves. Because they're such unrelated
bodyparts, they're getting rest while you're working
the others, so you don't need specific rest for
- 7 1/2 minutes - Barbell curls
time: 45 minutes
- 15 minutes of Squats
- 7 1/2 minutes Stiff-Legged Deadlifts or Leg
- 7 1/2 minutes of Pike
Handstand Push-Ups, Barbell or Dumbell Shoulder
- 7 1/2 minutes of Decline Close Grip Bench Press
Time: 37 1/2 minutes
That's the scoop
with Time/Volume Training! Like I mentioned, you
can insert this methodology into pretty much any
training split and any program. It's one of THE
best ways to get a mass-building effect out of
bodyweight training (when you can get high reps
with an exercise) that I've ever found.
Give it a try in
your next workout to test the concept then try
a couple of complete workouts with it using bodyweight
or free weight. Then you can take the concept
with you on the road next time you travel and
apply it to some bodyweight training in your hotel