Simply put, I build high-performance muscle mass on athletes. I don't care if you're a CrossFit competitor wanting more snap on his cleans, a bodybuilder who needs to bring up his back, a hockey player wanting more power on his slap-shot, or an MMA fighter wanting to go up a weight class, the fundamental goal is always the same:
Build muscle, maximize explosiveness, and increase capacity for heavy lifting — as fast as humanly possible.
Sometimes I only have just a few weeks to get the job done. So, for example, how do I compress 18 workouts in just 6 days — without killing the athlete?
What I'm about to tell you is something that has completely revolutionized the way I look at training, as well as my expectations for how fast I see athletes achieving gains.
Increased Frequency is Key
In the simplest terms, the key to maximum gains lies with increased training frequency and volume. Frequency and volume are obviously tied together, but of the two, frequency is by far the most important factor.
I can accomplish everything I need to maximize gains through increased frequency, which in effect equates to also increasing volume. It's far more effective, at the extreme level, to perform three 30-minute workouts per day than to do the same volume in one 90-minute workout.
Likewise, it's more effective to spread the amount of time per week you devote to training over more days than fewer. For example, let's say that you're currently training four days per week for an hour each workout, a total of four hours per week.
I'm telling you, from my experience, you'd make a lot better progress performing six 40-minute workouts per week. You'd make even greater progress training 35 minutes per day, seven days a week.
Face it, when we lift weights, all we're doing is asking our body to react to the stimulus and grow muscle. Which would you rather do? Ask (stimulate) your body to grow four times per week or six times per week?
"But won't I overtrain working out that often?"
You might be thinking that, so let me kill off this misconception right here and now.
I have worked with all kinds of responders, and increasing training frequency is exactly what works best even for those who can't tolerate a lot of exercise. In fact, it's the hardgainer who has the most to gain from increased frequency.
As with all athletes, you have to know how to stimulate the maximum growth response with the minimum amount of neural fatigue. If you do that, provided you have the time, anyone can train seven days per week.
Neural Charge Training (NCT)
As I've said, increased training frequency is a major component for maximizing gains. On the other hand, increasing training frequency is simply not possible without the correct strategy and would in fact overtrain the body — sapping the life out of your motivation, leaving you inflamed and sore, cranky, and with the energy level of a corpse.
By utilizing one of my key strategies for increasing frequency, called Neural Charge Training (NCT), you can train every day, even two or three times per day, with tons of energy to spare.
I use Neural Charge Training, along with mega doses of Plazma™ to train advanced bodybuilders 18 times per week! And that's even while they're on a reduced-calorie diet.
Don't Treat Training Like Competition
Ask anybody who competes in a strength sport, powerlifting, or olympic lifting and they'll tell you that after a competition your nervous system is drained for 5-10 days. During that period your capacity to perform is diminished, and continuing to push your system under those conditions can lead to some serious problems.
The same is true when you go for a true max effort in the gym, which is why I refer to those days as "test sessions." Training should not be like a competition where you're maxing out, as it will prevent you from training hard and often.
Test sessions, on the other hand, should be planned ahead and used specifically to assess your progression. After a test day, I highly recommend using mostly Neural Charge Workouts for the next week to allow for recovery to occur. It's likely that you will find yourself growing during that period.
The Geeky Science
Due to its unique explosive loading methods, Neural Charge Training impacts all levels of neuromuscular function, including neurotransmitter uptake and release, excitation-contraction coupling, and motor-unit recruitment. It also stimulates the body's natural release of anabolic hormones.
The combined effects of this supra-physiologic state stimulates catecholamine release and lowers the insulin-to-glucagon ratio, along with increasing the production of cyclic AMP, which in turn helps activate the three lipolytic (fat burning) enzymes.
Finally, Neural Charge Training increases insulin sensitivity, thereby enhancing the signaling between the fat cells, the brain, the liver, and the active muscle tissues. The end result is maximized muscle-protein anabolism, while simultaneously promoting fat-loss.
Benefits of NCT
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Stimulates the release of anabolic hormones
- Loads more nutrients into the muscle cell
- Jumpstarts recovery
- Enhances work capacity
- Stimulates further growth
- Prepares the body for the next workout
I've found nothing that works better than Neural Charge Training at increasing the rate of gains and enhancing recovery.
You want to experience that?
Neural Charge Training will deliver every time!
Neural Charge Workout
- Perform 4-Exercise Circuit: A Neural Charge Workout is comprised of 4 explosive exercises — 2 for the upper body and 2 for the lower body — that are performed in a circuit, alternating upper, lower, upper, lower (or visa versa).
- Use Explosive Rep Style: Perform 3-5 explosive reps per set of each exercise.
- Limit Workout to a Maximum of 20 Minutes: Repeat the circuit continuously for no more than 20 minutes. The entire focus of NCT is performance, which means you should continue the circuit as long as performance levels are maintained. Depending upon exercise selection and residual fatigue going into the workout, you'll typically get between 4 and 8 rounds of the circuit.
- Avoid Metabolic Fatigue: Avoid a racing heart rate and huffing and puffing at all costs. The goal is to stimulate muscle and performance gains and enhance recovery, NOT metabolic conditioning. So make sure your heart rate and respiration return to near-normal levels in-between sets. While waiting for the next set, walk around the gym, take a drink, keep moving. In other words, don't sit down.
- Drop Exercises From Circuit: If at any time, during a workout, you notice a decrease in performance of an exercise, immediately drop that exercise from the circuit and continue without it. Don't be concerned if you end up having to drop all but one exercise. And if you're down to one exercise and see a performance decrease in it, end the session.
Seeing a Neural Charge Workout in action is the best way to fully understand the concept. So here's a video where I'm coaching one of my athletes through one of these workouts. You can watch the 13 minute video (13:19) or you can view the exercises by clicking the links below the video.