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Undulating Full-Body Micro System Live Training Transcript

The complete transcript of my training session breaking down my Undulating Full-Body Micro System

Undulating Full-Body Micro System Live Training Transcript

Note: This tutorial video was recorded as a live Facebook event. The text below is an edited transcript of the tutorial intended to provide members with a convenient means of referring to and further researching the topics and content detailed in the video.


Alright, guys, I'll wait a few minutes but for those of you who are joining in, I just literally landed here back in LA from Canada. Today I was up in the Montreal area, Quebec area of Canada for my Popeye's drop-by, similar to my GNC drop-bys here in the States but in Canada, I launched in Popeye's. It will also be in GNCs as well in Canada, but first is at Popeye's. So make sure, those of you who are Canadian JYM Army members, that you stop by your local Popeye's. They are literally everywhere. Wonderful sports nutrition stores, and they currently carry Pre, Post, and Pro JYM, but I'll have the full line there very soon. J, just takes a while getting all those products internationally.

Now—for those of you joining in, I just got back from Canada so today is Workout 4 out of the 5 workouts we're doing this week in my Undulating Full-Body Micro System. What I've been doing with my Train with Jim series these last few weeks I've been giving you a mini-tutorial on periodization. We started with linear periodization—where each workout progressively got heavier; reps got lower—and then last week we switched it up and did reverse linear periodization—which is just the opposite, so we went from heavy weight and each workout we reduced the weight; reps got higher.

Keep your Muscles Guessing with Undulating Periodization

Well this week we're in the middle of what's called "undulating periodization", and as that name implies—undulating means it sort of bounces all over—some workouts, we're doing heavy weight/low reps; the very next workout you might go very light with high reps, and the workout after that you might go heavy—not as heavy as the previous workout, maybe a moderate range. And it jumps all over the place.

For example, yesterday we did reps in the 9-11 range, and it was another crazy travel day for me so I actually did the workout in my hotel room with bands—I showed you how to modify the workout with bands. And that's the great thing about the Train with Jim series: Not only are you getting tutorials on all these training techniques—not only do you get to see how I personally train every day—but I show you how I adapt it for each situation. I'm on the road, I don't have time to get to a gym—I show you guys how to modify using bands.

Down to Details – Rep Ranges and Drop Sets Explained

Today's workout—like I said, yesterday we did 9-11 reps—today the reps drop down into the 6-8 rep range. So take a look at today's Undulating Full-Body Micros workout and you'll notice we're doing three sets, 6-8 reps. And then on the third set, we're going to do a drop set so you're going to reduce the weight—somewhere around 20-30%—and then continue banging out reps. Don't worry about how much you drop on the drop set, as long as you do it.

Remember—for those of you who are confused about how this goes with drop sets—what it means, "three sets with a drop set", you're going to get to see me demonstrate it right here the entire workout, three sets. So on the bench press, we're going to be doing—starting with reverse-grip bench press—let's just say after my warm-up I get to 225lbs. I'm going to do 225lbs 1 set, 6-8 reps, put the weight back down in the rack and take my rest period.

I'll keep my rest period probably somewhere around a minute or less, I'll keep this workout moving fast. Don't worry about how many reps you get on the successive sets. Set 1, I want to make sure that I'm getting my 6-8 reps—only on Set 1. You're going to keep the weight the same on all three sets. How long you rest is going to determine reps you're going to get on the next successive set.

So you're going to do a set, make sure you hit at least six reps, no more than eight. If you get less than six, the weight's too heavy; if you get more than eight, the weight's too light. You should be falling somewhere in the 6-8 rep range, hitting failure on that first set. Rest as long as you want. Set 2 you're going to take, again, right around muscle failure or just before muscle failure.

That's Set 2, whatever you can get—obviously you shouldn't be hitting 6-8 reps again unless you're resting a long period of time. You'll probably get maybe 4-5 on the next one. You're going to take a quick rest, do Set 3, go to failure on reverse-grip bench press—maybe you'll get 3-4 on that one.

Then what you're going to do is rack the weight after you've hit failure on that third set. Immediately reduce the weight and then do that drop set. Then you're done—on to the next exercise.

For this workout, we have ten exercises. We typically are going to start with chest, and then move on to back; then typically a leg exercise, then over to shoulders, traps, calves, triceps, biceps, forearms, and abs.

Benching in the Squat Rack? Modifying your Workouts

I may show you how to modify—might change the order that we do calves—just for convenience sake. The version that I'm showing you today is known as my "barbell bench power rack"—all you need are those three pieces of equipment: A power rack, as I'm showing here, my Body Solid power rack here in my home gym; I've got a bench, adjustable bench right there in the power rack; and I've got my barbell. I'll be able to do all ten exercises right there.

Just to be a little quick today—let me show you over here—I've got a second barbell set up, a short one. But again that's just because we're live and I want to show you how to get this workout done quickly, that way I won't have to throw off the 45. The lowest weight I'll have to go down is 135lbs, or over here on the shorter bar I've got 25s on there so that's 95lbs. So I shouldn't need much less than that except maybe for the reverse-grip wrist curls. I'll go lighter, but I'll just strip those 25s off there.

I'll do my upright rows and my barbell curls with the short bar. I'll do my presses, my shrugs, my squats, my calf raises all with the barbell here with the 45s on it; we'll go 45 or heavier.

Warming Up – Save the Stretching for Later

So, starting with the reverse-grip bench press. Now, one of the questions I get is about "What about the warm-ups? What do you do for warm-ups?" Well, generally speaking, you want to do some form of full-body warm-up, whether it's—you can do some calisthenics, running in place. You don't want to be doing the sit-and-reach type of stretching before your workout. That's the last thing you really want to do, is this sort of stretching.

Why is that? Well, they show that can actually reduce your power and strength when you actually get to the actual exercises that you want to be performing your maximal strength power on. So don't be doing this sort of stretching. You're better off doing more dynamic moves: Arm swings, arm circles, high kicks you can do—I'm kind of limited with my knee, remember I had four knee surgeries this year so I'm a bit limited to what I can do for my dynamic warm-up and demonstrate for you. But that's one of the best ways to warm-up. Or you can do even some high-intensity interval training, or just warm it up on the stationary bike or a treadmill. Just to get a general increase in body temperature.

Then, when you get to your exercises—so what I'll typically do—it depends on the rep range that you're working in. The lighter the weight you're using, the less warm-ups you need—if you even need a warm-up at all. If it's a 16-20 rep workout, you really don't need a warm-up, because 16-20 reps—that's light weight. Pretty much, the first few reps are going to be—those first ten reps or so are going to be your warm-up. So don't worry about warm-ups when you're doing very light weight and very high reps.

However, today we're going down to 6-8 reps per set; fairly on the heavy side. Not super-heavy, but it's definitely heavier than the moderate range—10, 12 reps. 6-8 is on the heavier side. So for most people, after your general warm-up, on that exercise—particularly the very first one—you're going to want to do at least 1-2 warm-ups.

So for the reverse-grip bench press, let's say I go up somewhere for the 6-8—we'll see, my knee limits me on pretty much most exercises; you have no idea how much you rely on your legs for exercises like the bench press until you've injured one of your knees, taken them out of the equation.

So I'm kind of limited to how heavy I can go here, so I'm estimating somewhere around 225lbs or so for 6-8 on reverse-grip bench press. So what I'll do is I'll do a 135lbs, 5-6 reps—you don't want to fatigue yourself on the warm-up sets. Then maybe I'll jump up to 185, and then after that, I should be ready to go.

Let's start the workout now, you guys can start timing me. It is around 9:20, almost 9:25 here in LA. So let's see how long it takes me to bang out Workout 4, starting with the reverse-grip bench press.

Target the Upper Pecs with Reverse-Grip Bench Press

Now, reverse-grip bench press is one of the best exercises for hitting the upper chest. Few people realize this. Why is that? What the research shows is that when you simply flip your grip around—like I'm doing here—it's easy to do, just bring the bar down to your chest with a normal bench press and then you can switch your grip with the bar on your chest. It's hard to unrack the bar with the reverse-grip.

From here, you're going to press the bar up and toward your face. You want that natural arc that you get on the bench press. So you're going to lower the bar to about your upper abs/lower pec area on the reverse-grip bench press, and then you're going to press it back and over your face—toward your face. So we'll do about five or six. And you can usually rack it with the reverse-grip, it's just hard to unrack as you're pulling it with that reverse-grip—it's hard to get up.

So now I'm going to go up to 185lbs for my next warm-up. But

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