T Nation

Hernon Style Training


sometime ago I read this -very informative-3ead


Decided to give a go to Hernon style session ,3 sets x muscle with different load and reps,
1stx5 reps,2nd (less 10% load than 1st) x9reps,3d (less10% load than second x12/14 reps).
I used same excercise for all 3 sets,slightly inclined bench bb press.

first set; 231lbx5 reps,slow eccentrics 4sec, failure.
3min rest.
207x6 (six reps to failure).
3min rest.
187x7 (seven reps to failure).

I can't hit reps number described in the link above while reducing the load of 10%.....
I have trained in rest pause mode for last 6months (typically 5/3/1 plus half reps ) with good size gains (returned to over 17inch arm but i'm 22lb lighter now).
any tips to use an Hernon style session?? (as it sounds very logical hitting different muscle fibers in just one w/o........)


Mikael from Italy


I can't do that either. Whenever I use that method, I treat it as 3 different rep ranges (with about 3-4 minutes rest between each set) and adjust the weight used as needed rather than following an exact rule for it. I also like using different exercises, 2-3 rather than 1.

Modok does his sets that way I believe, and if I remember right he takes about 4 min between sets but goes with the -10% method? (chime in here, modok).

I do seem to recall that you prefer a very low frequency approach and rather low protein intake, no? Hernon trained every bodypart 3 times a week at first, and now recommends twice weekly training for everything usually... Just something to consider aside from your main question. If you want to try things out the way he recommends, then I'd make every 4th week a light week or so until you figure out how well you recover on this.
And you may have to train muscles again while they're sore, shouldn't be a problem past the first 1-2 sessions if you eat right though...


I am surprised to see that someone else trains this way on T-Nation. I have tried various rep/set/progression methods and I always returned to reverse pyramids. I just feel like I need to be fresh while using my top set as well as going to as close to "failure" on every set.


yes and not CC,
i train chest/shoulders and arms twice a week while back/legs one a week mainly because I run a supermarket so my job is dynamic (I wear out a pair of running shoes per year) and dorso/legs are stressed up nicely,plus sunday i go to casting field to hammer the rods and do about 8km walking on long grass to dig the weight out,
anyway I try to reduce work/sport dynamism and go up with weights frequency



hmm. why such long resting periods?

i typically drop 5-10% (depending on movement) but rest 2 mins at the very most.... other wise i think my sessions woule be close to 2 hours


modok and cc, you two train in what seems to me the most logical and economic way to me out of all the "advanced", big guys on these forums - ie focussing on a smallish number of maninly compound movements, not 5 or 6 exercises per bodyp[art once a week etc..
I am 6foot 1, 175lb (fairly skinny obviously) and what i want to ask you is whether I would be better off focussing just on squat, dead, pressing and pulling multiple times a week each, or is it worth spending say 15minutes at the end of a workout doing arms, calves, lateral raises etc.. (or is this time that cpuld be better spent on one of the aforementioned compound exercises). I generally train 3 maybe 4 days a week.

thank you both for any help


thanx Modok, tomorrow I try a 20% drop (back width /leg day) and see if I can hit the damned high reps LOL



Not being Modok or CC or as advanced,but having experienced similar training questions ,I would stick with the more frequent compond movements until you have put on a good amt of muscle and strength. I wish I had done the same 30 yrs ago. I used to hit the muscle from every possible angle with 2 x a week and training 6 days a week with some success but I never really got BIG.


I think you are selling yourself a bit short here, your new avatar pic, even if it is 20 years old looks fucking awesome obviously not a branch warren or ronnie coleman type physique but a good blend of size and lines and symmetry, you should post here more often


Good topic here Buzza. Great development and personal achievement.

I notice you are using a 4 second eccentric but elsewhere have seen Hernon style training use the mid 80% ROM to push out reps seemingly X0XO tempo - does the tempo make a remarkable difference to the program? Personally I'm with Buzza on full ROM and 4 second tempo.

CC, you mentioned about using 2 to 3 exercises instead - could you please suggest guidelines on exercise selection? I believe Hernon has suggested Dips or Decline Press for the first chest exercise but would Incline Barbell, Flat DB Press then Chest Press machine work just as well (as an example, decreasing degrees of difficulty). Or forget about all that, pick an exercise, focus on the reps (??). Thank you.

Never thought about dropping more than 10% on the weights and wouldn't have thought about it or the muscle fibre concept without Modok's post. Thank you Modok.

"Bodypart Once Weekly" has to be one of the best threads on TCA and this forum. Nearly every post is informative and useful, like listening in on the conversations of bodybuilding giants. Superb.


You look like Ed Corney in the new pic. Insane man


yeah, this 3ead is a milestone .

btw , just comeback from local gym (i usually lift in my warehouse) in the break from work.
did reverse lat pulldownz.
242x6 (1 more rep:-) next time I add 2kilos/5lb).
4min/25% drop
4min/15% drop

drops could seem too big (to me also) but i barely closed the last rep (failure at half movement)...felt pretty tired at the end.

then did dbs shrugs (my traps seem to have growth up just with dbs rows&tbar so why don't add a more specifical movement??)

then forearms,legs (light bcause my kness are fucked),neck and abs (no Hernon style , Rest pause still).

so Big weight drop (25%) between first and second set still sounds weird,maybe continuing to train with high reps (second and third set ) i will close the gap???

Mikael from Italy


very ispirational,great blend of size/symmetry!

Mikael from Italy


using reverse pyramids is what got me from 165 to 188 .they just seem to make more sense by doing your heaviest sets first when youre freshest and also using 3 different rep ranges in one w/out .


just used Hernon(ish) protocol for pushing muscles (chest,tris),
25% plus drops between sets also here,final set of 12 reps really toasted me down LOL
hope it works...

Mikael from Italy


Oh? Were they chocolate reverse pyramids then?



As for the arm question... Come on man, you are asking two of the "arm guys" that... If anything, modok is even more of an arm guy than I am, he has 20 inch guns at 200 lbs after all and used like 3 times the amount of work sets for his arm stuff vs. what I did (over the week).

Forget about "compound vs isolation", just do what gets the job done. Figure out how to get strong across the board, that includes arm exercises (from curls to extensions to tricep press variants).


yes yummy choco,vanilla ,creamy reverse pyramids


Anyone have any word on Hernon's diet recommendations?

I read somewhere (another forum perhaps) that he prescribed NOT eating on a clocked schedule, but only when hungry, and that you should follow a strict protein/carb/fat ratio at every meal. I wish I had the source on that info, but hoping one of you would know.


x2. i would absolutely follow that