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What training program has given you the best results?


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Hey fitness friends,

 

Which OFF-SEASON training programs have given you the best gains? Volume training? HIT? Doggcrapp? 5x5? Your own formula? Fill us in already!

 

For over a year I have been doing a 3 split of Chest/tris/calves, back/bi's/calves, and quads/hams. I stay in the 6-8 rep range and do three sets per exercise. The number of exercises varies depending on time/energy, and I have succeeded with volume training as well as going heavy with a few sets. As gains wane as of late I'm looking to change my training program (amongst other things), and I'm looking for suggestions, as well as just being curious what is working for others.

 

Do tell!

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For me...nothing worked better than lifting every day...alternating upper and lower and not resting until I had no choice. Food had to be a large part of this since you can't train a high intensity like this without it. In all I'd lift 28-30 days in a month. The lifting was intense. First off I'd always warm up with 15 minutes of cardio no matter what I was doing. For upper body I would warmup with chest, then back, then tris, then bis in sets of 15 for each muscle group then going to the next 3 times in a row. After that I'd stretch a little. Then using the same pattern of lifting I'd do 3 sets on each muscle group but increasing the weight and keeping the reps at 8 or so. I'd do this rotation of body segments 5 times or more...so atleast 15 sets on each major muscle group. In the end I'd do what I did for the warmup for a cool down then I'd do 2 burnout sets for each other than triceps...they got a special treat. With my tris on pull downs I'd work my way down the rack starting with the highest weight(150lbs in my gym) doing 25 reps or so depending on how I felt and making my way down one plate at a time. I'd normally stop when I got down to 30lbs because 30 is not much different than 10lbs.

For legs I'd do basically the same thing but in a different order of course. I'd do 15-30minutes of cardio first. Then I'd warm up with leg curls, leg extensions, calf raises, then easy squat sets. In sets of 15 3 times each. Then I'd do 3 sets of each a bit heavier...the only thing I'd change up would be the heavy leg stuff. I may fit two-three series of squats in...then do a few series of leg press, then lunges were normally my last series of three but I'd do them across a basketball court with 80lbs dumbbells. At the end I'd do my same cool down but with leg curls/extensions, and calf raises.

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I have had my best luck by far with hitting each muscle group once per week, usually with a four day split. Chest/tris/forearms -- Upper back/traps/biceps -- Shoulders/abs -- Legs/lower back. I stick almost exclusively to classic, compound, powerlifting exercises, doing about three sets of 6-10 reps each exercise, 2-3 exercises per bodypart. I once did a similar six day split, but have had better luck using this one and focusing on the main compound exercises.

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I've gained a fair amount of size using both HIT and something based around 5 x 5.

Last time I did a HIT program I added about 12lbs of lean muscle in about 7 weeks (Lost Body fat too).

 

I've also stacked on the muscle on 5x5 or 4x6 programs, I reached my heaviest 249lbs after concentrating on these sorts of workouts....

 

It will be interesting to see what works for you....

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For sheer size and strength, I did best on low rep/low set compound exercise training routines (squats, deadlifts, rows, overhead presses as the base for it), usually doing 3-6 reps/set for 3 work sets on no more than 3 exercises, hitting each body part once per week. I respond well to lower rep training so long as I don't lift more than 3x per week - I tend to need more recovery even when I don't feel remotely sore if I train heavy. Problem is, I put on a fair amount of fat from eating a lot during that time as well and my cardio abilities went out the window Still, went from 265 to 285 in just about a year when I'd thought my weight had pretty well peaked out. If I lift high-rep and/or lift often my weight tends to stay the same and I don't gain a lot for strength, but my endurance does improve greatly. This is why I'm trying a modified squat/deadlift program with high sets and low reps for a few months - the weights aren't more than 60-80% of my max, but I'm going to do so many of them that if it doesn't kill me, it'll make me stronger AND give me the endurance kick from the volume of the workload.

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