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K.I.S.S. (some things to get you started)

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  • K.I.S.S. (some things to get you started)

    Bodybuilders and strength athletes are always saying you have to train past failure to make good strength and size gains. What do they mean? There are a number of different ways of going beyond the pain barrier in order to work a muscle as much as possible, all of which take dedication and enthusiastic training, with the absolute want to make gains. The aim of a workout is to stimulate as many muscle fibres in the muscle as possible, and to do this the muscle must be trained to complete exhaustion.

    Some of us think we train hard. I used to think so, but looking back that was only at a level of about 80% of how hard I train now. Even if your diet is perfect, and you take quality anabolic aids, you will not grow if you don't give it 100% in the gym. And 100% means 100%, i.e. until you physically (not psychologically) cannot do anymore.

    Some bodybuilders claim they train better without a partner, but most find they need one, not only for encouragement, but to give assistance in order to do a few more reps after reaching failure on a weight.

    Ways of training beyond failure are discussed below, many of which require assistance from a training partner:

    Forced reps
    Train to failure, then get a spot to assist you in lifting a few more reps out, but keep your form strict.

    Drop sets or stripdowns
    This is where you train to failure with a weight, then immediately use a lighter weight. Typically triple-drops are used, but there's no reason not to go all out sometimes and drop until hardly any weight is being lifted, going to failure on each weight.

    Negative reps
    Positive failure is where it is no longer possible to lift the weight. This is reached before negative failure, which is where it is no longer possible to control the negative movement of the weight. Here, after you have reached positive failure, your training partner will lift the weight, and you have to control it on the way down for a few reps.

    Negative resistance reps
    This is where, after positive failure, your training partner lifts the positive part of the movement and then pushes the weight down lightly and you have to try to resist the force. For example, in biceps curls, do a set until positive failure, then your partner lifts the weight up to your shoulders; he then applies some downward pressure while you attempt to keep the weight in the curled position. Be careful with these as they can cause injury - keep your form strict, only do 2-3 reps like this and only do them occasionally.

    Cheat reps
    Obviously, cheating should be discouraged, and try to keep perfect form on all exercises to minimise risk of injury and maximise isolation effort on the muscle. However, if you have reached failure with perfect form, cheat reps performed carefully can help you squeeze an extra few reps out and go beyond failure.

    Rest-pause or extended set
    I don't see many trainers using this method, but it's very simple and effective. Simply train a set to failure, put the weight down, shake off the pain, then pick the same weight up and go again, 2-3 times.

    Half reps or partials
    When you cannot do another full rep, do a few more with just half the movement; as this is still stimulating the muscle.

    Two or more different exercises may be performed in succession with no rest in between. This may be two exercises for the same muscle group, or 2 for antagonistic muscles (I feel the latter is not very effective, as you cannot give your all for the second muscle after training the first set to failure).

    In a workout, to maximise exertion on a muscle, try performing isolation exercises before compound movements. This will ensure that the muscle in question will be well worked from the isolation movement, so during the compound movement it will tire before other muscles, so is maximally worked. This principle is more appropriate for bodybuilders and not strength trainers.

    Different ways of training beyond failure can be incorporated together in the same set. For example in bench pressing: Train to positive failure, followed by 2-3 forced reps with your training partner; put the weight down, and strip some weight off and go again with the same principle as a triple drop; after the last drop try banging out 10 half reps. Precede bench press by dumbbell flyes, so the isolation movement is first.

    My philosophy is, it doesn't matter how you train as long as you are genuinely training to maximum effort, and you are training safely.

    Do enough warm ups as needed but I think 1-2 should be enough. The listed workouts are for 1 set to failure. You can use different intensity techniques that are listed above. Don’t use more than 3 techniques per workout to avoid overtraining.

    Day 1:

    Full Squats - 15-20 reps

    Dumbell Pullovers – 10-12 reps

    Behind Neck Press - 10 reps

    Chins - 10 reps

    Dips - 12 reps

    Barbell Curls - 10 reps

    Shrugs - 15 reps

    Stiff-Legged Deadlifts - 15 reps

    Day Two

    Deadlift (can use dumbbells, straight leg, Romanian or Rack) - 8-10 reps

    Squat (low bar, power stance) – 6-10 reps

    Leg Press or Hacks (feet low on platform and straight ahead) – 15-25 reps

    Bench Press – 15 reps

    Push Press – 8-10 reps

    Pulldowns (close grip) – 8-12 reps

    Shrug – 15-25 reps

    Dumbbell Overhead Press

    Hammer Curls – 8-15 reps

    Triceps Pressdown – 12-15 reps

    Day 3

    One-repetition chin-up (30 seconds up, 30 seconds down) immediately followed by:

    Biceps Curl – 8-12 reps

    One-repetition dip (30 up, 30 down) immediately followed by:

    Triceps extensions (barbell or dumbbell) – 8-12 reps

    Leg press – 20 reps

    Calf Raise – 25-30 reps

    Lateral Raise with dumbbells – 12-15 reps

    Shoulder Press (barbell or dumbbells) – 20 reps

    Row (barbell or seated or machine) – 12-15 reps

    Bench Press ( dumbbells on decline or incline bench) – 8-12 reps

    At the end of every workout do:

    Crunches on ball ( 4 sets to failure with 20 secs rest between sets)

    Do 20-35 minutes of cardio on alternating days that you train

    BROMALAINE (digestive enzyme for protein)

    If you do not have any MRP (meal replacement powders) make your own with protein powder, peanut butter and ground oatmeal.


    Big Bowl Favorite Cereal
    Skim milk
    Protein Shake (40-60g protein) - Separate
    Fill half the bowl with cereal
    Add milk until it reaches top of cereal (not too much)
    Add yogurt
    Fill rest of plate with cereal
    Add more milk
    Cover cereal with honey
    Eat up, and don't be afraid to go for seconds.
    Protein Pancakes
    1 cup of Oatmeal
    11 egg whites
    1 whole egg
    1 packet of sugar free jello
    Stir together in a mixing bowl
    Cook on a frying pan
    (49gP, 54gC, 6gF)
    Chicken Burger
    300g Chicken Breast
    400g Turkish Bread
    Lemon Pepper
    Cook Chicken Breast
    Cut Turkish Bread in half
    Put Mayonnaise on Bread
    After Chicken is cooked Place on bottom half of Bread
    Place Cheese on top of Chicken
    Add Lettuce and Tomatoes
    Before closing the topside of the Bread add Lemon Pepper.
    Tuna Patties
    1 can tuna
    1 onion
    tablespoon of salt
    οΏ½ teaspoon of pepper
    οΏ½ teaspoon of parsley
    3 medium potatoes (boiled and mashed)
    1 tablespoon of Butter
    Mix potatoes, tuna, Onions, Slat, Pepper and Parsley.
    Make into Patties
    Fry in butter until brown and heated on both sides
    Serve with veggies or salad
    4 whole eggs
    4 egg whites
    2 cups of cooked rice
    Half a block of cheese/cottage cheese (melted)
    Cook up, mix all together, enjoy.
    Chicken Breast
    Some Chunky Tomatoes
    Spicy Chili Beans
    οΏ½ onion (chopped)
    Cut Chicken Breast into skillets
    Cook Chicken Breast and Onions
    Stir in Tomatoes and Chili Beans
    Cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes
    Serve and sprinkle with Low Fat Cheese
    After Workout
    500ml of milk
    2 eggs
    200g low fat yogurt
    1-cup oats
    2 tablespoons of peanut butter
    3 tablespoons of honey
    2 bananas
    1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil
    2 serves of protein powder (40g)
    Everything you need plus more.
    After Workout
    2 scoops of you protein powder
    3 tablespoons of cottage cheese
    1 serve of low fat yogurt
    For a change to your usual shake
    Before Bed
    Protein powder shake
    Protein powder (40g Protein all up)
    Ice Cream
    Either blend all together into a thick shake or have the ice-cream separate.
    Tuna Cheese
    1 can of tuna
    1 serve of cottage cheese
    Mix together and eat
    Provides an easy way to get the tuna down and doesn't taste to bad either

  • #2
    What is a Push Press?


    • #3
      Originally posted by km0f0 View Post
      What is a Push Press?


      • #4
        alll that looks intense i would like to start going hardcore like that


        • #5
          Try it. Just be careful.


          • #6
            Originally posted by km0f0 View Post
            What is a Push Press?
            its a standing barbell press overhead in which with every rep u bend ur knees with the momentum of the bar and thrus up with every rep

            hope i explained that correctly


            • #7
              great info future! - will have to forward this to some of my up and coming friends.
              Current Prep: KC Golds Classic - 2011


              • #8
                Real nice tips future

                I did see something that made me look twice though... Ice cream shake before bed?


                • #9
                  This is really some great info man.
                  I will start in mid September.!!!


                  • #10
                    hey good info for beginners, thanks for posting this
                    Check out before getting ripped off!


                    • #11
                      Thanks for posting this. Great information for a beginner like myself.


                      • #12
                        thanks for the food list!


                        • #13
                          Thank you very much for this! I found I work harder with a partner than without - I tend to give up at the psychological barrier when alone but the physical barrier with a partner.
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