Direct Assault Arm Training

I read your article on about building big arms, but I was wondering what kind of training routine accompanies that arm routine? I can't figure out a workout program that incorporates that routine without over training.


My Answer: Just follow an abbreviated routine (3-4 sets per body part) for the rest of your body, and you'll be fine. You won't overtrain on this workout. This concept of overtraining is just making you fearful and limiting your progress in the gym. If anything, you can use short term overtraining to achieve long term progress in size and strength. As long as you vary your program from workout to workout, you can accomplish this. You cannot change workouts without a rhyme or reason, however. I go over how to plan acute phases of overtraining in my book Strength and Physique, V1.

I like your arms workout article a lot on the site. I want to give it a try for a change in my workout and also as a good arms shocker. I see it is a Mon/Wed/Fri layout to prioritise a single muscle group (the arms) and hit it from different angles and rep ranges. I take it a similar protocol can be done for delts or even legs? How often can this be done in one's routine? Once a few months?


My Answer: You can follow this protocol for any of your body parts for as often as you'd like. Just follow it for about 4 weeks, switch off to a different program for 3-4 weeks and come back to it again if you like it that much.

I really enjoy your book that I bought about two weeks ago. The workouts are great. I’m glad I invested in your book. I have a question about the quadriceps. Should you employ the same low rep high weight frequency like in hamstrings or should you go with a different approach? I really want to work on my vastus medialis. I would love to have that tear drop effect. 

Thanks for your help.

My Answer: Hey Jonathan, good to hear from you. Glad you like the book. To answer your question, yes, you can use the low rep/heavy weight to develop your quads and the vastus medialis. But the thing about the quadriceps is that they respond to a wide range of reps. How wide of a rep range? How about 1 to infinity?

Seriously though, your quads love a variety of reps, so the heavy weight/low rep approach is only half the equation. The other half is employing super high reps. This is why 20 rep squats work. This is why 4-5 sets of 40-50 reps on the leg extensions would blow your quads up like balloons. So give that a try: alternate between super high reps and multiple sets of heavy weight/low reps. If you're concentrating on developing your vastus medialis, then focus on the exercises outlined in Strength and Physique, V1

Hi James, just found your back routine on the web site and was wondering if you could explain to me: do I do all the exercises in this routine or just pick one of them? Look forward to hearing from you, thank you. 


My Answer: Each of the four techniques is a separate workout. You'd be crazy to do all four SHOCK techniques in one training session. If you did that, then you wouldn't be able to lift your arms for a week. That'd make it pretty hard for you to eat, Andy.

Any suggestions on another program after doing the 5x5? I still want to build more mass.

My Answer: Follow the Post-Exhaust Routine or follow the Shotgun Method.  Either one is good.

With both routines, you'll be increasing the volume significantly, so either one will serve as a good follow-up to the 5x5 program.  When you look to switch programs, you should be looking to modulate volume.  High volume program followed by low volume program.  Modulating volume allows you make continuous gains in size, provided you're eating right and enough.

I go over how to modulate volume in Neo-Classical Bodybuilding.  Volume, however, is only one factor that is modulated from program to program.  There are 4 other program variables that can be modulated in order to sustain muscular hypertrophy.  These other variables are what I discuss in High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth.

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