Too much of today’s weight training is derived from pseudoscientific studies and espoused by linguini-limbed “personal trainers” to unwitting clients who need an excuse for not working out hard enough to build muscle. Those people don’t have the ability or the will to grasp what I do.
Perhaps even worse, so-called bodybuilders are even more aghast when they find out how I train. They have an issue with it because my entire triceps workout is one working set of one exercise. “Wait a minute,” they say. “This isn’t the same stuff other top pros do.”
My response is “Exactly.” I’m not saying that conventional training didn’t help me make progress, but it took me only to a certain level of professional development, and there I hit the wall. I needed to go on from there, and that meant changing my intensity and protocol to what it is now. It allows me to put every ounce of my energy into training for pure muscle, without wasting any of it on cardio. I don’t do any cardio — none — proving that if you train hard and heavy enough, you get a deeper and more efficient cardio workout than if you danced the afternoon away on a so-called cardio machine.
People say it’s impossible to achieve my level of conditioning without cardio, but the proof is in what you see. This training is so hard on the muscles that you need an almost superhuman mental drive. What it amounts to is one set with two rest-pauses (three rep sequences) of one exercise with maximum weight. That’s it. I’m serious: one set. I want to emphasize that it’s not Mike Mentzer-style training, but it’s extremely intensive; so difficult, in fact, that you first need to “qualify” for it by mastering this no-rest triceps workout.
Begin with two warm-up sets of triceps pushdowns of 20-25 reps, then pyramid up in weight through three sets of eight to 10, six to eight and four to six reps, each so far beyond failure that the cable will no longer move or your grip becomes so dead that your hands slide right off the handle. Without rest, go right to single-arm overhead dumbbell extensions — no warm-up necessary — for three sets of the same monster-heavy pyramided rep sequence to the same kind of failure. Again without rest, go directly to bench dips, one set, with enough weight in your lap that you can’t press yourself back to the top by the time you reach the 10th rep. If you can do 11, you need more weight.
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