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Full-Body MED Training

This 3-week whole-body version of one of my classic programs will help you maximize muscle size AND strength.

MED training

If you’re still doing the Countdown to Strength Challenge, stick with that and finish strong. But if you’ve just completed it like I have, it’s time to move onto the next #TrainWithJim program – a 3-week routine called Full-Body MED Training.

If you’ve completed my original MED program with the 4-day training split, you know you’re in for quite a ride with this style of training. If you haven’t done it before, you’re about to understand what I’m talking about.

My MED program combines drop sets and extended sets with micro-loading to make for a brutal way to attack your muscles with training techniques that force both new muscle growth and strength.

MED Extended Sets + Drop Sets

Let me first explain the “ED” part of “MED.” The “E” stands for extended sets, and the “D” references drop sets.

A typical MED set for chest would be as follows:

  1. Do reverse-grip bench press with a weight that limits you to 8-10 reps. Once you reach muscle failure, switch to a standard (overhand) bench press and do as many reps as you can until hitting muscle failure again. That's your first extended set.
  2. Immediately do a drop set by reducing the weight around 20%-30% and starting back at the reverse-grip bench press. Once you hit failure with the reverse-grip, do another extended set by switching to an overhand grip and doing the standard bench press to failure.

What you do at this point – keeping going or move onto the next muscle group – depends on your current fitness level and training experience:

  • If you have less than 6 months of consistent training experience, you can stop at one drop set (which will be listed in the workout charts as 2 sets total, since you'll technically be doing two sets, using two different weights, of each exercise).
  • If you have more than 6 months of experience, immediately do another drop set, starting back with reverse-grip bench press and following with an extended set on standard bench press. In this case, you'll technically be doing 3 sets per exercise.
  • If you have more than 1 year of consistent (and intense) training under your belt, consider doing one more drop set after that for a total of three drop sets and 4 sets total per move.

Rest Periods

Both extended sets and drop sets are intended to be done with no rest between exercises or weight changes, so from the start of your MED set until the end (whether that ends up being 2, 3, or 4 sets total), rest only as long as it takes you to switch your hand position on the exercise or change the weight. How long to rest between muscle groups is up to you. Since you'll be training a completely different bodypart, you shouldn't need much (if any) rest. My advice is to rest between muscle groups only as long as it takes to set up

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