I have lately read repeatedly about people trying to transition from strength-focused training. For some reason people cannot simply shake their attachment to strength-focused training (for whatever athletic or fitness endeavor, although one will gain strength on bodybuilding programs as well) and finally divorce their attachment to low reps (below 6), periodization schemes to function as an athlete or powerlifter, “the big three”, and the notion that bodybuilding training is simply pumping and refining (it isn’t!).
Here is bodybuilding training, from what I’ve learned and experienced, and it doesn’t go much past this (copied verbatim from my personal progress thread):
- Four or five way split that allows each muscle to be trained once every five to seven days with two or three non-lifting days per week.
- Compound, isolation, and machine exercises.
- Reps: Mostly 8 to 12, sometimes 6 to 8, or higher than 12.
- Sets: 2 to 4 work sets, sometimes more
- Three or four exercises for large muscle groups, with up to 5 for back.
- Proper pre-exhaust and exercise sequencing (sorry, if you have a muscle lagging in size, than just “adding weight to the bar” will not do the trick after the first two or three years of trying to do that!)
- Proper exercise selection to target a segment of a muscle and body type (eg, arm or torso dominant). I do not give a shit about any “science” showing you can’t target a portion of a muscle. I really don’t!
- Rest periods: as little as needed.
Authors to read for BB training are listed below. And we’re talking BB training in its purest form–not general fitness, not athletic training, not powerlifting training, not weekend warrior training, not busy-dad-career-man training, and so on.
Christian Thibaudeau (his BB stuff specifically)
I don’t know why people continue to challenge such simple advice when they exclaim how much they want to look like a bodybuilder or eventually compete as a bodybuilder, or even challenge the practices they need to use to get there (eg, “Do you really think a split is the way to go?” "Isn’t using isolation exercises and pre-exhaust for way down the road, til ya gained a 80 pounds of muscle? lol)