T Nation

John Berardi VS Ian King

If any of you have ever read John Berardis workout routine written last year (with photos of himself included) do you notice that he seems to be really into high volume training since he believes great nutrition the ticket. Compared with Ian Kings ideas of 10-20 work sets(12 being average) max 30 sets, a 1/2 to one week layoff of training every 3 weeks and the aspect of only training to failure 1x every three weeks. Also Ian King talks about life stress and the effects on recovery. Maybe I feel as though I can relate more to Ian Kings ideas since I believe I am closer to his age (Im 35) and have two children. My life can not be just about training and eating. I just wondered if others noticed the differences. Remember I am not bashing JB’s information, I follow his diet recommendations. This was just an observation.

This is an excellent point. I have always leaned more towards Ian kings ideas but lately I have been doing a training program by coach davies and the volume is off the charts. Every workout I am dragging myself out of the gym. But my body has changed alot in just about 4 weeks. It is hard to tell what is best I guess just cycle it and see what works for you.
I think they all have their place. After doing coach davies workout alot of what I have “learned” will always be part of my programs.

Mr.King’s training routines have less sets (total) per training session than just about anyone out there. He’s a renegade of sorts. If you follow the protocol and his methods, you’ll find that results are inevitable. The philosophy works for me and several others that I know and have worked with.
Most of what JB has taught us here on this site has been on the subject of nutrition. My own personal knowledge has increased ten fold through him alone on this subject. And it has made a MAJOR difference. His training teachings have been few to this point but I can see how he could train with a higher volume of sets with proper nutrition backing him up.
So I guess I find myself applying much of what both have to offer. Perhaps JB will entertain us with more on his personal training in the future. I would be interested to hear more of his training routines and how he calculates the volume, optimal reps, sets, etc…

I agree with your observations. Pesonally, I like Ian King’s approach versus high volume for strength training. Remember, Ian’s approach is based on whats optimal not whats tolerable. I am 43 years old. I have made more gains with Ian King’s approach than any other. However, I had to include periods of different training where I incorporated some of Coach Davies ideas for improved work capacity. I believe there is a difference between high volume for strenght training and GPP/weighted GPP for improved work capacity. JB’s approach is simply high volume resistance training which IMO is not of any benefit to me.

I think training volume is highly individual just like dieting. I tend to do better on a little higher volume. I tried Ian King’s programs, but I found them to be a little low on volume. I usually stick with 12-20 sets while dieting depending on how severe dieting and over 20 if bulking. As you can tell Berardi has good genetics and can probably handle more volume than most people. I also know that in the past Berardi has said that he used HIT principles in his bodybuilding days. So I guess he has changed his opinion on training volume because of his better understanding of nutrition and recovery.

I am considering a “Coach Davies” style of training right now. Little more volume -just for a change of pace. But you’ll notice that just about every expert (Tate, Davies, King, Poliquin) are different in their recommendations. It all boils down to personal preference as to what works for you. But you know, I just completed the 5x5 routine, and it’s a very deceptive routine. It’s alot more volume per bodypart than you’d expect. Whupped my ass - and I loved it.

And I'm 36-years old (or "young" *smirk), and still find that a little more volume in the gym works for me. But yeah, agree with a previous post that Berardi has been more of a nutritional expert. However, I'll take a gander at his training recommendations just to see what he says. Haven't done that.

I think you guys have hit the most important
points. But to recap:

1. JB has good genetics suited to doing high volume. YMMV (your mileage may vary).

2. Each individual will vary as to what
amount of volume will work best at any given time. (Due to many factors.)

3. Personally, I have benefited much more
from JBs nutrition info than any training
info he’s provided.

4. Personally, I have had more success with Ian King workouts than I have with any
other. Way better than Poliquin. Way better
than any high volume approach. Also better
than pure powerlifting approach. For me,
some of Chales Staley’s programs would prob
be second after King’s. But, that’s just me.

Did anyone else notice that in JB’s article approx 4-6 weeks ago on weight loss he suggested an Ian King type split, quad and hip dom, pushing & pulling days. This was not long after they did a seminar together. It will be interesting to see what crops up on JB’s site. Personally the Ian King workout philosophy suits me pretty well too, and is the cornerstone of my training with other bits thrown in now and then. The big thing about both JB and IK is that what they say promotes good health as well as excellent results.

Has anyone ever followed Ian Kings rep suggestions that deals with training experience? 6-10 years exp. 6-10 reps,>10yrs exp. 4-8 reps(these reps are for hypertrophy)and for strength 6-10 yrs- 4-8 reps,>10 yrs- 3-6 reps. He also recommends periodization.
Weeks 1-3, total sets 20-25, sample reps 12-15
Weeks 4-6, total sets 10-15, sample reps 6-8
Weeks 7-9, total sets 15-20, sample reps 10-12
Weeks 10-12, total sets 5-10, sample reps 4-6
I am a little confused, does he recommend that one would follow the repetitions with weight training experience or follow a periodization routine?
I really believe that recovery from high volume training has to alot to due with age and stress levels.(life responsibility) Nutrition is vital, but usually with age comes more life changes, career, mortgage, marriage, kids, especially while young = less sleep. Back to nutrition, I think that JB has age on his side, plus access to high quality supplements. I am sure that he has alot of life stress dealing with work/school etc. although I get the impression that the stress of marriage and children arent involved. How many people do you know that could afford just the basics, Advanced protein (32 serv.) and Surge (10 serv.) I wish that this site would give more dietary suggestions instead of supplements. My husband fears MM2000 all over again.(note: I have some of the very first pamphlets written by Bill Phillips, long before there was ever a magazine) Living in Canada, for just my husband and myself to use Surge would cost us about $200(cheapest I can find Surge is $50 a pop) To add the advanced protein that would be another $50 a container. Then salmon oil that meets the min. 5g a day costs a fortune, then add Flax seed oil. Now add groceries for a family of 4, mortgage payments and all of the rest. Looking better than the average fatty is expensive. Since I have been weight training seriously since around 19 years of age, first competed at 21 and now am 35, I have done alot of high volume training and living the total bodybuilding lifestyle, eat,sleep,train. Now at 35 years of age, trying to live that way is next too impossible, ya ya I know if you want it bad enough, but try explaining that to a 3 and 5 year old. I guess I get a little frustrated since I love muscle and have always wanted to reach my genetic potential and it feels like one needs supplements to do so(real surprise). Do I want cheese with that whine? you say, sorry. So has anyone tried Ians suggestions?

Also realize that Ian King has a strength coaching background which means that strength training programs have to be matched with all the other stresses an athlete faces such as practices, gpp, spp etc. Obviously the more you’re doing outside the gym, the lower the volume needs to be inside the gym which is probably why he favors a low volume approach.

This is a great discussion and I, as well, have given it much thought. I have done both Davis’ and King’s workouts with good success. Which did I do better on? Ian’s. Why? Well first I think the biggest factor is work capacity. In Coach Davies’ world this is very important, and I have to aggree-it translates wonderfully on the field. But Ian King is (from my understanding) interested in only using enough volume to provide a stimulas (which would probably be the more benificial method for someone primarily interested in body composition). Another factor is muscle fiber composition, I have a fairly high fast twitch fiber “make-up” so perhaps this makes the lower volume approach more effective (for body comp, I’m not to interested in performance). Just my thoughts, anyone’s critiques are welcome.

I did a search and could not find that article with JMB training and his pics-what is it called and where can I find it? Thanks!

It is issue #162 June 22, 2001 called Creation of a T-Man.

Holy cow, I just checked out JMB’s pic. In the B&W pic he looks like Jude Law’s character ‘Gigolo Joe’ in Spielberg’s A.I. =)