Huge in a Hurry
Found this in Men's Health January '09 (Huge in a Hurry) by Chad Waterbury - 5 principles of size (as the spread offense for the gym rats, he says).
1) Lift big to grow big - nothing new here, although I do realise that i should no longer lift 60% of the amount I could lift for a single max-effort reps - a weight I could lift 15-20 reps in a single set (by a definition, that is light, he says), whereby I should start doing an 80% (i.e. max. 5-6 reps per set. Now that is heavy. That will be a good jump from what I lift nowadays.
2) Lift fast to get big - under control is key as good form requires it, but never slowly and deliberately. This is a concept I got wrong from seeing the personal trainers in the gym. Apparently, the faster we lift, the better the results (under control that is). Anything worth lifting is worth lifting fast, as long as we control the weight and don't let it control you. That means you'll lower the weight a bit more slowly than you lifted it, return it to the starting position without dropping it or shifting the body out of proper alignment.
3) Quit when you're ahead (good one) - this says that the heavy weights fails us quite quickly, that when they quit us, we'd struggle. Two ways we'll know when that happens - (a) speed of repetition slows, and (b) changes in form, or either shorten the range of motion, or have to cheat in order to complete the required sets.
Apparently at that point, it makes more sense to end the set than to keep going in poor forms and compromised speed. Stop at any point when it's compromised, and have another go to complete the prescribed sets.
4) (continue from (3)) Don't sweat the small sets - follow principle (3) and quit each prescribed set when speed slows or form changes. Focus on total reps for each exercise, and let the sets take care of themselves, i.e. if I were to do curls for 15 reps in 3 sets, that is 45 reps total, with heavier weights I may not be able to complete within the prescribed 3 sets, but in 5 sets to hit the 45-rep goal (at 80% of the amount I could lift for a single max-effort reps).
5) Think big to grow big - each workout is built around one lower body exercise (squats, lunges, deadlifts) and 2 upper body's (one pulling and one pushing). The key is to work the bigger muscles (and let go of the bicep curls? how?)
Chad says that the with these new school of exercise will make us spend less time at the gym. Now, for me, even looking at Arnel's 300 Spartan workout and few other more, it is an increasing trend to work this ay and slowly ditching the traditional workouts. Am still a bit apprehensive, but it may be good and worth the try. Definitely will design something around this regime after my first stage of workour Week 1 - 4 ends in end of January '09.