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The Daily Grind Program Overview

Ramp up your body-part training frequency for major gains with this five-week program.

The Daily Grind Program Overview

The Daily Grind Program Snapshot

  • Length: 5 weeks
  • Workouts per Week: 5
  • Training Split: Full-body split (all major muscle groups trained in each workout)
  • Equipment: Commercial gym or sufficiently-equipped home gym. (For a resistance-bands-only version of this program, check out The Daily Grind At Home.)
  • Featured Techniques: In addition to full-body training in every workout, three intensity techniques are used: supersets, drop sets (in lower rep ranges), and rest-pauses (in higher rep ranges). Drop sets and rest-pauses occur in Weeks 2-5; supersets occur in all five weeks.
  • Rep Ranges: Five different rep ranges (a different rep range each day of the week) used throughout the five weeks, following an undulating periodization scheme. Reps go from low (heavy weight) to high (light weight) – 3-6 reps, 8-10, 12-15, 18-20, 25-30.
  • Rest Periods: 30-60 seconds of rest between exercises; no rest taken within supersets.
  • Cardio: Optional; cardioacceleration between supersets, or HIIT cardio at the end of the workout.
  • Meal Plan: Dieting 101 or Intermittent Fasting to maximize fat loss.
  • Summary: The Daily Grind was my first featured workout on JimStoppani.com to exclusively use full-body training in all workouts to maximize fat loss. Other hallmarks of The Daily Grind include an undulating periodization scheme (where rep ranges change every day without following a traditional pattern), supersets for all exercises, drop sets, and rest-pauses. (There’s also an At Home version of this program that uses resistance bands.)
  • Note: If you’re a beginner or just getting back to the gym after an extended time away (months or years), this program will likely be too intense/advanced for you. If you’re a beginner, consider my Beginner to Advanced Program before taking on The Daily Grind. The first phase of Beginner to Advanced utilizes full-body workouts.

Rules are meant to be broken, particularly when it comes to training. There are so damn many of them swirling around the Internet, most of which are silly and have no solid scientific or practical justification.

Want some examples? Here you go: "You shouldn't train for more than 60 minutes or you'll break down muscle tissue... you need to keep cardio and weight-training workouts separated by at least four hours... using light weight will only build endurance and may hinder muscle growth... you need a minimum of 48 hours for a muscle group to recover before you train it again."

The list goes on, as I'm sure you've noticed from other websites. If you've done any of my workout programs, you've figured out by now that not only are they effective, they also teach you new ways to think about training. Oftentimes, my workouts fly in the face of conventional wisdom and these silly rules, yet they deliver significant results. My newest program here – the Daily Grind – is another example.

The so-called experts who make up these asinine rules – emphasis on "make up," as in fabricate – want you to believe that they have all the answers you're looking for. They likely have some study, maybe even two, on which they base their "cutting-edge" recommendations. That's nice and all, but I prefer to let real results do the talking instead of an unsubstantiated theory. Sure, I base all my techniques on science, but only after they've been proven to work thousands of times over in the gym as well. A program can't just be good in theory; it also needs to work in practice.

Theory is Nice, But Results are Better

Let's look at those rules again. Many of my programs put you in the gym for 90 minutes or longer, yet promote unrivaled muscle growth. So much for the rule that says you need to limit your workouts to an hour or less. My technique of cardioacceleration has you performing cardio between every set of weights, which allows you to gain strength and muscle mass while you shed body fat. So much for the rule that separates cardio and weights. In some of my programs, such as Down And Up Mass, you do sets of 30 reps to produce great gains in both muscle size and strength. Still think going light won't promote muscle growth?

With the Daily Grind, I'm attacking the rule that says you need at least 48 hours of rest for muscle groups between workouts. In this program, you train every muscle group for five days in a row. That's right: There's NO rest permitted between workouts until all five workouts are completed each week. Then you can take two days of active rest.

Frequent Flyer

I'm suggesting you train each muscle group every day for five days in a row?! No, I haven't lost my marbles. There is indeed a method to my madness. And yes, it's backed by science.

Some of you may have read my articles on the ways that muscle grows. Notice that I say ways, plural. There's not just one way that a muscle grows – at least, that's our current understanding. The first is through muscle damage and repair

Another way that muscle grows is through enhanced protein synthesis. Or more importantly, when muscle protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown, which leads to a buildup of muscle protein. When you consume protein after workouts, muscle protein synthesis is elevated beyond muscle breakdown for several hours after the workout. How much it's elevated and for how long depends on your protein source. As I've mentioned in numerous articles, a blend of fast-, medium- and slow-digesting proteins (such as whey protein isolate, egg and micellar casein) keeps protein synthesis elevated higher and for longer than whey alone.

Another factor that appears to influence the length of time that muscle protein synthesis is elevated is a person's training experience. One study from McMaster University reported that muscle protein synthesis was still elevated 24 hours after a workout in fed subjects. This study caused many "experts" to erroneously eschew the post-workout anabolic window recommendations of eating right after workouts. Their reasoning was that if protein synthesis stays elevated for 24 hours, there's no reason to worry about eating right after workouts.

What they failed to realize was that the subjects were fed right after the workout, which is critical for sparking a boost in muscle protein synthesis following hard training. Another fact these "experts" failed to realize is that the subjects in the study were not trained lifters, which likely influenced how long their muscle protein synthesis was elevated for.

In fact, an earlier study from the same lab suggested that in untrained subjects, muscle protein synthesis might stay elevated for up to 72 hours after a workout. However, after eight weeks of weight training, the elevation in post-workout muscle protein synthesis may only remain for about 16 hours. In other words, the more trained you are, the smaller the anabolic window appears to be. If only eight weeks of training can significantly shorten that window, imagine what eight months or eight years can do.

So for those of us who have been training for a while, our anabolic window may only be a few hours after the workout. Meaning, a strategy that can help instigate greater muscle growth is to spike muscle protein synthesis daily in every muscle group – hence, the Daily Grind program.

Believe it or not, there's actually data to support training each muscle group daily. Norwegian researchers did a study on training frequency with trained powerlifters who were originally training each muscle group (or lift – bench press, squat and deadlift) three times per week. They split the powerlifters into two different groups. The first group continued training each muscle...

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