Learning how to use various training systems that make the most sense is the best way to muscle up your physique. Check out Brandon’s “Super Six” list.
You’re right about the number of training techniques out there, and I’ve used most of them. I’ve done German Volume Training and all the variations of it. I like drop sets to some extent. I did FST-7 for a while. They all have their benefit. I find incorporating any of these techniques from time to time can lead to better gains because you’re introducing variety and your routine doesn’t become stagnant. I don’t think you should rely on any one system without varying it.
FST-7 is a fairly basic program developed by Hany Rambod. You train with compound movements in the beginning of the workout — heavy and intense in the 8-12-rep range. Then you finish with a seven-set series of isolation exercises, resting just 30-45 seconds after each. For those seven sets you aim for 15 reps, pretty much to failure. The program’s designed to put a greater stretch on the muscle fascia, supposedly inducing new muscle growth. It’s very high in volume, so you have to be conservative with it. You can’t do it over a long period of time because it produces a lot of wear and tear.
Basically, when you use the high-blood-volume training, you’re taxing the oft-neglected slow-twitch fibers to a great extent (think 100s training). We seldom fatigue the slow-twitch variety but they also contribute to the size and shape and performance of our muscles. By attacking the fatigue-resistance fibers first, eventually the fast-twitch fibers “take over,” setting the stage for biochemical reactions related to this kind of stimulus. On the other hand, with moderate-rep bodybuilding training you’re getting those fast-twitch fibers early. They both can induce muscle breakdown. I don’t believe in one over the other, however. The pumping induces a lot of fascia stretching, increasing the muscles’ ability to expand. I think they can both be used and practiced.
I tell people bodybuilding is a journey of self-discovery. You’re not just going through the motions to finish a workout; you’re learning how your body responds and getting feedback every time. You’ll run into issues here and there -you’re bored, you need a change, whatever – and you should always take that opportunity to try something new to see how you respond to it. Over time you develop your own personal training style. That’s where your answers come. Nobody can tell you this system will work or that one won’t. Self-experimentation is key.
This system ………….. was developed by J Neil Hill, a bodybuilder in England. You work at a different rep range every week — 10-12 one week, 12-15 the next, then 18-20 on week three with more advanced techniques. Then you repeat the process and start again at week one. It’s virtually idiot-proof because it gives you a reason to change volume and intensity. Variability is very important for getting your body to grow and respond.
Brandon offers his feedback on six popular advanced training methods to let you make up your own mind.
1 Supersets. “Two exercises, back to back — a staple you can always use. It’s a highly reliable, easy-to-do training technique. Don’t overuse it, though. Your workouts should never consist of all supersets.”
2 Giant sets. “These are a step up from supersets, where you do 4-5 exercises in a row for a single bodypart. It’s a good technique for larger muscle groups like legs. Instead of doing 50 reps of squats, maybe do a giant set with a few different movements.” _
3 100s. “Doing 100 reps consecutively with a light weight. This method may be good for shock value if you’ve never done it before, but it’s more endurance-style training.
If you use it too much, it’ll probably make you smaller.
4 Rest-pause. “A way to overload the muscle by using short rest periods between work segments so that you can continue on and do more reps, it’s a smart approach when you’re training at a high intensity because it allows you to take yourself over the edge with heavy weight.”
5 FST-7. “This system can help you expand the muscle fascia to help induce growth. It’s high volume, and that’s part of the core of bodybuilding. It’s not supercomplicated. You just can’t abuse it.”
6 Y3T. “It’s good because it’s variable. I’ve always been a very intuitive trainer anyway. When people ask what I did to put on all this muscle, I can’t say any one technique has done it for me. Varying the approach is important.”