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Thread: "The Truth" w/ Eric Broser (Q&A and Training Articles)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hossjob View Post
    Eric, is there anyway you can post the Ironman article where Ron Harris interviews you? I must have lost it when we moved into our new house.
    I will look for that.
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    Iffin' they aint gonna stickie this here train em' up n' git em' bigger thread, we-un's is gonna bump it.
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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    AS PROMISED...

    POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK 2
    Variations and Advanced Techniques
    Part I

    In the May 2005 addition of Ironman I wrote an article entitled POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK...Time to Grow Without Plateau, outlining a training protocol that I developed about five years ago to help more advanced lifters break out of a rut, and start adding on new muscle, similarly to the way they did when they first started training. Since that article came out, my email has been inundated with positive feedback by those that have been using the program with great success. Dozens and dozens of lifters have written me, expressing that POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK is one of the most enjoyable and effective training programs they have ever utilized, bringing their enthusiasm for the iron to an all time high! Nothing could make me happier, as being successful at helping others reach their fitness and physique goals has become just as important to me as reaching my own.

    Over the past 4-5 years I have been using P/RR/S myself, on a continuous basis, making steady gains in both muscle mass and quality, which is pretty impressive after lifting for 15+ years. During this time I have experimented with different variations of the basic program, creating a more intense version for advanced lifters, and a beginner's version as well. Being a personal trainer for bodybuilders and athletes of all levels for many years has also allowed me to tweak the original P/RR/S program to meet the unique needs of each individual, depending on what it is they desire to accomplish at a specific time of year. P/RR/S can be altered to be more geared toward hypertrophy, strength, or cutting cycles.

    Before I begin to delve further into the topic of P/RR/S advanced techniques and variations, let me quickly review some of what I presented in the initial article in order to refresh everyone's memory...or just in case you missed the article entirely.

    P/RR/S Revisited

    Most people tend to fall into one specific way of training early on, and then rarely break very far from it as the years go by. As long as trainees are progressive with the weights they use, this approach will work, at least for the first few years of training. However, as more time goes by, this one dimensional system will bring about progressively diminishing returns as far as hypertrophy is concerned, and along with it, increasing frustration. This situation may lead some towards dangerous anabolic steroids, others to add far too much volume to their workouts (thinking they are not doing enough), and a few to quit training altogether. Obviously, none of these are very positive solutions to the problem at hand.

    What many people fail to realize is how incredibly adaptable the human body can be, and how low on the priority list gaining large amounts of muscle is to our bodies. Like I said, for the first couple of years, as long as you workout consistently, and progressively heavier, you will be able to get bigger. However, after a while, simply lifting heavier weights is not a novel enough stimulus to trigger the body into adding more muscle . Not only that, but this is a very narrow approach to training that leaves various pathways to growth completely untouched, and your full potential entirely untapped! As I mentioned in the first article, most people focus only on training the Type II muscle fibers because they have the greatest potential for hypertrophy. However, to reach the outer boundaries of our genetic limit, we need to train every single fiber along the continuum, from the slowest of the slow, to the fastest of the fast. In addition, we must make a ferocious effort to positively affect every metabolic and hormonal system that can contribute to advancing our muscle size and density. And dare I mention the word hyperplasia? Correct, never proven in humans, but the possibility certainly exists...

    Enter POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK...a cyclical approach to training that has you using a unique protocol every week, that will collectively tap into all of your body's mechanisms for growth.

    Basic P/RR/S Formula

    Week # 1 is the POWER week, and it is meant to smash your Type II A and Type II B fast twitch muscle fibers, as well as get large amounts of natural testosterone to course through your veins. Here is the outline for a basic POWER week, along with a sample workout for hamstrings:

    Rep Goal: 4-6
    Rest Between Sets: 4-5 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 4/0/X
    Exercises: Mostly compound

    1-Lying Leg Curl:3 x 4-6
    2-Stiff Leg Deadlift: 3 x 4-6
    3-Single Leg Leg Curl: 2-3 x 4-6

    Week # 2 is the REP RANGE week, the goal of which is tear through all the intermediary muscle fibers that lie along the continuum from Type I to Type II fibers as well as to stimulate growth producing metabolic adaptions within muscle cells. Here is the outline for a basic REP RANGE week, along with a sample workout for triceps:

    Rep Goal: 7-9, 10-12, 13-15
    Rest Between Sets: 2-3 minutes
    Lifting Tempo: 2/1/2/1***
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    ***1 second hold at peak contraction for certain exercises (ex. Leg Extensions).

    1-Smith CG Bench Press: 3 x 7-9
    2-Lying Triceps Extension: 3 x 10-12
    3-Dumbbell Kickback: 2 x 13-15


    Week # 3 is SHOCK week, where you will become very intimate with searing muscle pain! The burn and lactic acid that this week produces will flood your system with growth hormone, while the monster pumps will have your body laying down some new capillaries to make room for the rushing blood! Here is the outline for a basic SHOCK week, along with a sample workout for delts:

    Rep Goal: 8-10 (dropset is 8-10, drop, 6-8)
    Rest Between Sets: cardiovascular and mental recovery
    Lifting Tempo: 1/0/1
    Exercises: Compound, Isolation, Machine or Cable

    1-Superset: Seated Side Lateral/Behind the Neck Press: 2 x 8-10 each
    2-Superset: WG Cable Upright Row/Bent Lateral: 2 x 8-10 each
    3-Dropset: Barbell Front Raise: 1 x 8-10, drop, 6-8

    Once you complete the 3-week P/RR/S cycle, return to the beginning and repeat, with the goal in mind of training more intensely on the next cycle. I suggest you use the same exercises for three straight cycles, and try to lift heavier weight and/or increase your reps at each workout. After three full cycles either take a complete week off from the gym, or at least do a very light week to allow for repair and recovery. Upon returning to P/RR/S, feel free to switch some or all of the exercises, and prepare to push even harder through the next three cycles.

    Now that I have refreshed everyone's memory about the premise and principles behind the POWER, REP RANGE, SHOCK training strategy, I am now going to discuss some variations of the program, as well as some advanced techniques that can be employed by very seasoned lifters and/or those that are P/RR/S veterans (note: P/RR/S was originally introduced on the Internet several years ago and now has a large following that have been on the original program for some time). So, take a quick sip of that protein drink, and read on...

    Advanced Techniques

    POWER WEEK: One technique that I like to employ during POWER week to intensify the basic protocol is something that I call 1, 3, 5 Training. Powerlifters often use something similar in their own training and it is extremely effective in the scheme of P/RR/S. To use this technique you pick three basic exercises for your workout. For the first exercise you will be performing single-rep sets. For the second exercise you utilize three-rep sets. For the final exercise each set will be for five-reps. The goal is to pick weights that cause you to reach failure at 1, 3, or 5 reps for the respective exercise. This type of training should NOT be done alone, as it is dangerous without a spotter. If you choose a weight that is too heavy or too light, simply adjust for the next set. Follow the rest, tempo, and exercise guidelines mentioned above for standard POWER weeks. Here is a sample workout for back:

    1-Deadlifts: 6 x 1
    2-Weighted Pullups: 4 x 3
    3-Bent Rows: 2 x 5

    Make 100% sure that you are thoroughly warmed up before getting into your work sets or an injury could occur. This type of training is extremely taxing on the CNS, so also make sure you take measures to maximize your recovery in between each workout. This means meticulous attention to diet, supplementation, and sleep!

    REP RANGE WEEK: The standard protocol for REP RANGE week is to pick three exercises per body part, and to do the first for 7-9 reps, the second for 10-12reps, and the third for 13-15 reps. One way I like to break from tradition this week is to again pick three exercises per body part, but to hit each of the three rep ranges during each exercise. As an example, here is what a quad workout might look like:

    1-Squats...1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9
    2-Leg Press...1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9
    3-Leg Extension...1 x 13-15, 1 x 10-12, 1 x 7-9

    *Feel free to reverse the order and start with the lower rep range and work to the higher one as a variation.

    Another way I like to spice up REP RANGE week for more advanced lifters is to open up the boundaries on the reps a bit. Although it is not something I recommend you do often, occasionally pushing the reps into the 20-50 range can really encourage a growth spurt by forcing your body to deal with a stress it certainly is not used to, as well as inducing positive metabolic changes and the laying down of more capillary beds within muscle. Here is how I might use this technique to cause the delts to think about packing up, and finding a more sane person to live with:

    1-Military Press...2 x 7-9
    2-WG Cable Upright Row...2 x 10-12
    3-Bent Lateral...1 x 13-15, 1 x 16-20
    4-Side Lateral...1 x 21-25*, 1 x 26-50*

    *Switch to a 1/0/1 tempo for these sets. Move the weight rhythmically, but not sloppily. On all other sets use the tempo used for standard REP RANGE week.

    Training in this manner can be extremely physically and mentally challenging as you will have to deal with a lactic acid burn that will make you want to cry. Also, the length of the very high rep sets will have some people lose focus and concentration, especially if a hot chick in the tiny spandex short walks by. But don't let the girl or the burn get in your way of completing every last rep! Perhaps your perseverance will impress her, especially if you're not bawling like a baby by rep 35!

    **Ironman 2006

    I will post Part 2 of this article next week!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by V Shredder View Post
    We have a poll thread in the No Bull section petitioning the powers that be to have Eric write a natural column in MD. Feel free to vote
    Oh I know that.

    Just throwing in a little extra at every opportunity.


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    POSITIONING FOR PECS
    by Eric Broser

    Although I pride myself on having a balanced and even physique, I would still have to say that my pecs are my “standout” body part. In the offseason, I generally wear a size 54 jacket, and only a 34 pant. My jacket size is mostly due to the mass and thickness of my chest more than anything else (which makes me wonder what size jacket Ronnie Coleman or Marcus Ruhl must wear...WOW). Whenever people see me with my shirt off, the majority of questions and comments I get are in regards to my pecs. “How much do you bench? How do you find shirts? Wow, your chest is bigger than my wife’s...and she has implants!!” But I digress...

    The interesting thing about the fact that my chest is now my best body part is that when I started training, it was probably my worst! While I only weighed a paltry 125 lbs at a height of 5'11" the first time I touched a barbell, you could still see at least some muscular development in my arms, shoulders, and back. However, my chest was literally flat! I looked like an ironing board with nipples!

    So, how did I get my chest to go from minuscule to massive...tiny to titanic... pathetic to powerful? Did I have a special, secret exercise taught to me by aliens from the planet Schwarzeneggeron? Nope. I just did the basics like bench presses, incline presses, flyes, dips, and pullovers. Did I have access to an experimental protein powder developed by Eastern Bloc scientists that caused site specific protein synthesis in the fast twitch fibers of the pectorals? Nope. I just used the same old whey, casein, and egg powders like everyone else.

    “Great Eric...enough with the comedy. Just tell us your secret!”

    Ok, it’s all about “positioning” my iron-addicted friends! “Positioning? What the heck are you talking about now?” Let me illustrate my point by telling you about a friend I used to train with years ago. Every time we would go through an intense chest workout, doing the same exact exercises, sets, and reps, he would tell me that his shoulders and triceps got a tremendous pump, but that his chest felt like it had hardly been worked. Within the next day or two he would again complain that he was sore as could be in his anterior delts and inner triceps, but felt nothing in his pecs. For me it was the exact opposite! My chest always got incredibly pumped and sore from training it, while my shoulders and triceps seemed barely touched.

    Over the years that we trained together my chest continued to grow and grow, while his chest never changed much. However, his shoulders and triceps were developing quite nicely. The strange thing about my friend’s pec-dilemma was that he trained with great focus and concentration; used very tight and strict form; and progressed very regularly in terms of weight lifted in each of his chest exercises. He and I eventually chalked it up his lousy pecs to genetics. We felt that he simply did not have the genetic capacity to build a thick, massive chest.

    Then one day, just for the fun of it, the two of us decided to videotape a chest training session when we were both nearing a competition we were preparing for. That day we did bench presses, incline dumbbell presses, flat flyes, and cable crossovers. We did a pretty complete job of taping all of the exercises from a variety of angles and heights. Later on, when we were watching the tape I began to notice something interesting in the way he was performing each of his exercises...something I never really caught onto before while acting as his spotter. On every movement, as he reached the top of the rep, his shoulders were ending up much higher than his pecs. This was making his chest basically concave at the point of contraction. In addition, he was also locking out very hard at the top...but you could see that he was not really locking out the rep by flexing his pecs, but his tris. However, when I examined my own form, I could see that my ribcage remained high throughout each set, while my shoulders stayed down, pressed into the bench.

    My friend was effectively turning each of his pec exercises into shoulder and triceps exercises, while I was optimally stressing the chest with each movement. This is what I am talking about when I mention the word “positioning” in regard to chest training. As soon as I pointed out these “form flaws” to my friend he immediately set out to correct it. During his first chest workout using improved body positioning, he could feel a pump and burn in his chest like never before. He also started getting sore in his pecs, which is something he really never experienced. Within a few months his chest started taking on new fullness and shape, and began to quickly match up to his excellent delts and arms.


    I urge any of you out there that feel your pecs to be lagging behind to have someone with a good eye examine your form on all of your chest movements. Every day that I am at the gym I see dozens of people with the same form flaws that my friend used to have. What people need to realize is that building a big chest is not as simple as lying on a bench...unracking a bar...and pushing it from point A to point B. No! Each chest exercise, whether it be a bench press, incline press, dip, flye, or crossover requires the exercise to begin before ever even moving the weight!

    Here’s how to start properly POSITIONING FOR PECS:

    1-lay down on the bench and set your feet firmly on the floor
    2-arch your lower back slightly
    3-raise your ribcage up high
    4-squeeze your scapulae together
    5-pull your shoulders downward and push them into the bench

    *These same principles apply to dips, crossovers, and seated press and flye machines as well, with the exception of rule one (although the feet should always firmly be planted).

    Now you are in position to achieve maximum pectoral recruitment with far less delt and triceps interference. The key, however, is to keep your body in this position throughout the set. It is not enough to start this way and then slowly break back into bad habits as the set progresses. You must learn to “lock”your body in this position and stay there!

    Trust me when I tell you that if you are not used to performing your chest exercises this manner, it will feel awfully strange at first, and you will probably not be able to use the same weights as you normally do. However, with time, you will get used to POSITIONING FOR PECS, and it will become second nature, like driving a car. Also, you will eventually work up to the same poundage as you were using previously. The greatest reward will be the new growth you will quickly begin to see in your chest!

    Apply POSITIONING FOR PECS to the chest routines listed below, but don’t be too upset if that tux hanging in your closet never sees the light of day again!

    Upper Pec Pounder:

    -Incline Dumbbell Press...3 x 6-8
    -Smith Bench Press to Neck...3 x 8-12
    -Superset: Incline Flye and Dumbbell Pullover...2 x 8-10 each


    Middle Pec Madness:

    -Narrow Grip Bench Press...3 x 6-8
    -Narrow Grip Smith Incline Press...3 x 8-12
    -Superset: Flat Cable Flye and Pec Deck...2 x 8-10 each

    Lower Pec Pumper:

    -Decline Bench Press...3 x 6-8
    -Decline Flye...3 x 8-12
    -Superset: Cable Crossover and Dips...2 x 8-10 each

    **Ironman magazine 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodyfx2
    Although I pride myself on having a balanced and even physique, I would still have to say that my pecs are my “standout” body part.
    Just rub it in, why dontcha......
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grubrunner View Post
    Oh I know that.

    Just throwing in a little extra at every opportunity.

    Word.
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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    i dont hate it. i just think I've had and will keep having better results with more volume at volume time and more weight at power .

    It's probably a little bit radical for most though so this looks okay for b-c .

    nice program though. It 's a little closer to my own anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blooming lotus View Post
    i dont hate it. i just think I've had and will keep having better results with more volume at volume time and more weight at power .

    It's probably a little bit radical for most though so this looks okay for b-c .

    nice program though. It 's a little closer to my own anyway.
    If you have found a method that works best for you, then by all means, stick with it!!
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    Awsome another training gem for free. Thank you very much for sharing this with stuff with us bodyfx2 and i can't wait for the rest of it next week. now to just finish up my current program so i can give the basic program a try and maybe move on to the advanced stuff later.

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    Iron Addict Canuck_Muscle's Avatar
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    Eric your training method looks insane!! I am waiting on a order of supps, that should be here next week. When I get those I am gonna rock that training method for all it is worth!! Thx for posting that. I am actually excited about training again lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by bodyfx2 View Post
    If you have found a method that works best for you, then by all means, stick with it!!

    Thanks. I'm at pretty nuetral condition at the moment but when i kick my own program back up if i'm around i'll try to post something myself.

    cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anabolic_Allan View Post
    Awsome another training gem for free. Thank you very much for sharing this with stuff with us bodyfx2 and i can't wait for the rest of it next week. now to just finish up my current program so i can give the basic program a try and maybe move on to the advanced stuff later.
    My pleasure bro. Keep me posted!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck_Muscle View Post
    Eric your training method looks insane!! I am waiting on a order of supps, that should be here next week. When I get those I am gonna rock that training method for all it is worth!! Thx for posting that. I am actually excited about training again lol
    It makes me very happy to hear you say you are excited about training again! Get to it bro!!
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    I'm starting Power week tommorow, Eric. Lifting that heavy is gonna be tough doing it by myself. The Rep Range week should be no problem, but the Shock week scares the piss out of me just reading it. I have no training partner......... if I don't return, send a search party.
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by V Shredder View Post
    I'm starting Power week tommorow, Eric. Lifting that heavy is gonna be tough doing it by myself. The Rep Range week should be no problem, but the Shock week scares the piss out of me just reading it. I have no training partner......... if I don't return, send a search party.
    With POWER week, choose exercises that are safe to do alone (like db bench presses vs barbell), unless you can get a good spotter. This way, you can train all-out without fear.

    I have done this program alone for years!
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    Ok. Stupid question but: how about smith machine for bench during Power week? Just askin cause my gym is BUSY and sometimes you gotta make due. Just wondering if I should go ahead and wait for the DBs or not.


    Man I really need to get a partner.


    I just forwarded this very Pt2 to a buddy of mine here at work, Eric. Guy is 6'5 470 and is all old school. Man he lit up like a christmas tree at GE Electric when he saw it.
    "Life is about choices: tap, nap, or SNAP!" ~ Future UFC Lightweight Champion Marcus Hicks

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