The "Secret Weapon" Program
It's time to get tough or die. This ride is going to be hard and fast, so you better hang on. To hell with all the preconceived notions about training frequency and recovery. And to hell with all the strength coaches who won't give out their best training programs. I'm going to give you one of my most effective secret weapons: the "Quattro Dynamo" program.
This is one of the most intense, hypertrophy-inducing routines I've ever created. I've waited too damn long to give out this information, but the wait is going to be worth it! Here's the mission: induce the most dramatic muscle-building stimulus ever devised in the shortest amount of time possible. It ain't gonna be easy and there are a lot of different parameters to follow, but hang with me and I'll reward you with the best mass program you've ever tried!
I'm not going to give you a catchy introduction, nor am I going to tie this program into another story in order to make it more interesting. It doesn't need anything. It stands alone in this industry, and you'll quickly realize why.
We're going to hit every muscle group four times each week for three consecutive weeks. You're going to hurt, sweat, cuss and possibly bleed. If this doesn't sound appealing to you, then move on to another program that has you sitting comfortably on a leg extension machine!
The Method Behind the Madness
The only way a trainee can withstand a program that consists of training every muscle group four times each week is to constantly rotate strength training methods. I've set up this program with effective sequencing devised from years of trial and error. Be thankful you weren't one of my patsies! Instead, relish in the polished program outlined below:
The first session of the week is devoted to maximal strength training. The reps will be low and the load will be relatively high. Our aim is to recruit the fast-fatiguing (FF), high-threshold motor units that have the greatest potential for size and strength increases.
This session is totally devoted to developing endurance strength. There's only been 24 hours of rest since the previous session, so this method must be as diverse as possible.
This endurance session will serve two purposes. First, the slow-oxidative (SO) motor units will be recruited since they're relatively fresh. This is due to the fact that the previous session minimally recruited these motor units. Second, the program acts as a recovery-inducing session since the blood flow (i.e. nutrient transfer) will be high. This dramatically increases recovery.
Day 3 should include no weight training whatsoever, but a fifteen minute, low-intensity session of cardiovascular activity. The reasoning is based on the increase in blood flow to all of the muscle groups, thus aiding the recovery process.
This session is devoted to hypertrophy/strength training. The fast, fatigue-resistant (FFR) motor units are recruited. Since the two previous sessions haven't taxed these motor units, we must hit them for complete muscle growth.
This is a day of rest and no weight training is performed. Another fifteen minute, low-intensity cardio session is recommended.
Here comes the explosive strength training! The load is very light and the speed of the movement tempo is lightning fast. This session will, once again, recruit the FF motor units. Since the stimulus is drastically different from Day 1, the possibility of overtraining is minimized.
Rest, rest, and more rest. No weight training and no cardio. If you must engage in carnal activity, find a "take charge" kinda gal and stay lashed to the bedposts.
Repeat program, starting with Day 1.
Now let's move on to the parameters. Each session has a relatively low volume and the intensity must be kept in check. If you push yourself to an intensity that's too high during any session, that overtraining sumbitch will be keeping you up at night (literally).
Day 1 (Maximal Strength)
Rest: 60 seconds between antagonist supersets
Load: 5 rep max (The extra two reps are kept "in the hole" so you won't train to failure.)
Tempo: Perform concentric (lifting) fast; perform eccentric (lowering) under control.
Day 2 (Endurance Strength)
Rest: 90 seconds between antagonist supersets
Tempo: Same as Day 1
Day 4 (Hypertrophy Strength)
Rest: 75 seconds between antagonist supersets
Tempo: Same as Day 1
Day 6 (Explosive Strength)
Rest: 60 seconds between consecutive sets
Tempo: As fast as humanly possible while maintaining proper form.
Most of the recommended exercises consist of compound movements. The reasoning is based on efficiency. You'll get the most "bang for your buck" with compound movements since multiple muscle groups are taxed in a single exercise. If you chose isolation exercises, the session would last upwards of two hours every time you hit the gym – not good.
A note of caution before you get into the exercise details: it isn't blatantly obvious that all of the muscle groups are being trained four times per week, even though they are. For instance, I only prescribe direct ab movements on two of the workouts for the week. This is due to the fact that the other two days are greatly challenging the abdominal musculature indirectly. Just keep that in mind.
Now, on to the exercise sequencing of each workout!
Note: Use a high bar position on your traps, feet shoulder width, toes straight ahead, full ROM (range of motion).
A2) Lying Leg Curl
Note: Keep the toes pointed straight down throughout the movement; don't let the hips lift off the pad.
B1) Barbell Bench Press
Note: Use a 24" grip width (that's 24 inches between the first fingers).
B2) Seated Cable Row
Note: Use a 24", palms-down grip.
C1) Standing Barbell Curl
Note: Use an 18" grip width (18 inches between pinky fingers).
C2) Reverse Grip Triceps Pressdown
Note: Use an 18", palms up grip.
Remember, when you see those A1, A2 thingies, that means to do one set of A1, rest, then one set of A2. Superset like this until all "A" sets are completed, then go to the "B" exercises and so forth.
In the "Parameters" section above, it says to perform five sets of three reps (5 x 3) for Day 1. So, you'll perform a set of squats, rest, then a set of leg curls. Rest again, then go through that superset four more times. Then do the same for the "B" and "C" exercises. Remember, the parameters change for each day!
A1) Seated Behind the Neck Barbell Shoulder Press
Note: Use a 24" grip.
A2) Shoulder-Width Lat Pulldown
Note: Use a 24", palms up grip (24 inches between pinky fingers.)
B1) Barbell Back Squat
Note: Use the same positioning as in Day 1, but with your heels elevated on two 25-pound plates.
B2) Lying Leg Curl
Note: Use the same technique as Day 1.
Again, don't forget to check the "Parameters" section above. Day 2 is endurance strength day, so you'll be using two sets of 25 reps for the exercises above.
Off. Perform 15 minutes of low-intensity jogging or uphill walking.
A1) Barbell Good Morning
Note: Keep the low back tight and arched. Flex the trunk forward at the hips as far as possible before losing your arch (this will depend on hamstring flexibility). Don't flex the trunk forward any further than parallel to the floor.
A2) Hanging Leg Raise
Note: Hang from a bar and lift the legs until they're parallel to the floor.
B1) 45° Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Note: Use a traditional grip with your palms facing away from you (i.e. pronated).
B2) Standing Upright Dumbbell Row
Note: Keep the elbows high; don't lift the dumbbells higher than your lower chest.
C1) Standing Barbell Reverse Curl
Note: Use an 18", palms down grip (18 inches between first fingers).
C2) Lying Barbell Triceps Extension (a.k.a. Skull Crusher)
Note: Use an 18" grip between first fingers.
Day 4 is hypertrophy strength day, so you'll be using three sets of eight reps.
Off. Perform 15 minutes of low-intensity jogging or uphill walking.
A) Explosive Lunge
Note: Keep your trunk as vertical as possible. Step forward as far as comfortably possible and alternate reps between each leg.
B) Explosive Sit-up
Note: Hook the feet and assume a traditional sit-up technique.
C) Explosive Barbell Bench Press
Note: Use an 18" grip width between first fingers. Don't lockout the elbows on any rep.
D) Explosive Supinated Pulldown
Note: Use an 18" underhand grip between pinky fingers. Let the weight stack rest between each rep before pulling down explosively.
According to our parameters, Day 6 is explosive strength day, so you'll be performing six sets of three explosive reps for the above.
Rest, rest, rest! When you're finished, rest some more!
I want you to perform this program for three weeks straight. After the third week, rest a full five days before returning to another program. This rest period will allow for more compensation (muscle growth) to occur. When you undergo your next program, your recovery levels will be supercharged.
You must get ten hours of sleep every day, preferably eight hours at night and a two-hour nap. The nap can be anytime, but I prefer it to start within four hours after your workout in order to increase recovery.
Eat everything in sight for three weeks. This isn't a fat loss program so load up on the calories. Be sure to consume at least 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass and 3.0 grams of carbs per pound of lean body mass. Fat intake should be 0.75 grams per pound of lean body mass. These numbers are an absolute minimum!
You must drink at least an ounce of water per pound of lean body mass. Adequate water consumption will definitely increase your recovery rate, so don't overlook this often neglected nutrient!
During week one, take TRIBEX twice each day. During weeks two and three, take MAG-10 twice each day. Take half a serving of Surge during the workout and half directly afterward. Consume a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement throughout the program. Also, I highly recommend ZMA while on this program since high-quality sleep is imperative.
Honestly, I could've easily written this program as a three-part article since there are so many different variables that need to be considered. But instead, I eliminated the boredom factor and decided to give you the bare-minimum details.
Read this article at least three times before you undergo the program. Even though I did my best to keep it short, there are still a lot of different aspects that must be completely understood before you dive into it..
A Little Outlaw Wisdom
Johnny Paycheck, the late Outlaw country singer, once gave some advice to a young, up and coming singer named Tim McGraw. Paycheck said, "Son, live your life hard and fast. That way, when you hit a ditch, you'll make it through." If your current training has you approaching a ditch, take a ride on the Quattro Dynamo program!