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Variable Training Method

This 12-week program manipulates all major training variables for gains in size, strength and leanness.

Variable Training Method

Variable Training Method Snapshot

  • Length: 12 weeks
  • Workouts per Week: 4
  • Training Split: 4-day split.
  • Equipment: Commercial gym or well-equipped home gym.
  • Featured Techniques: Pre-exhaust in Week 4; negatives, forced reps, and drop sets in Week 7; fast reps in Week 11; and super-slow reps in Week 12.
  • Rep Ranges: Reps stay at 8-10 for most muscle groups for the majority of the program; in Phase 3, however, reps go down to 3-5 and 5-6 in Week 5 with heavier weights, and up to 12-15 and 15-20 in Week 6 with light weights.
  • Rest Periods: For most of the program, you'll rest 1-2 minutes between sets. There are two weeks that manipulate rest periods: Week 9 (3 minutes between sets, except on calves and abs) and Week 10 (1 minute between sets).
  • Cardio: Optional; cardioacceleration between sets or HIIT cardio at the end of the workout.
  • Meal Plan: Muscle-Building Rules to maximize mass-gaining; Dieting 101 or Intermittent Fasting to maximize fat loss.
  • Summary: My Variable Training Method is a program that systematically changes one of six specific variables every two weeks over the course of 12 weeks. The six variables are the foundational aspects of a resistance training workout: Exercise Selection, Exercise Order, Resistance, Volume, Rest Periods, and Rep Speed. By changing these variables regularly, you'll make consistent gains and minimize plateus. By changing them one at a time, you'll learn specifically what your body responds to and what it doesn't.
  • 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 Variable Training Method.

When it comes to lifting weights, change is good. It’s just that simple. Altering the exercises you do, when you do them, and how many sets and reps you perform will keep your body progressing. On the other hand, doing the same exercises with the same number of sets and reps, over and over, week after week, month after month... not so good.

Well, get ready for some change – my 12-week Variable Training Method program is designed to take you through a lot of it. In a very systematic fashion, the plan will constantly alter training variables like exercise selection, exercise order, rep ranges, and amount of weight used.

The Variable Training Method will keep your body changing by preventing stagnation. And hopefully, it will change your mind as well – at least in terms of how you think about training. After all, most of my programs are designed to not only deliver you the best results possible, but also to teach you something new about lifting weights.

Variable Training Phases

There are six variables that cover all the major bases when it comes to changing up your workout routine: 1) exercise selection; 2) exercise order; 3) resistance (the amount of weight used); 4) volume (the total number of sets performed); 5) rest periods between sets; and 6) rep speed (how fast you push the weight up).

With my Variable Training Method, you'll be changing variables one at a time. The program is broken down into six 2-week phases. When one variable is being manipulated, the other five will more or less remain constant. This way you’ll know exactly which ones are working and which aren’t. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the variables will be altered, phase by phase and week by week:

Phase 1 (Weeks 1 and 2) – Exercise Selection

In the first phase, exercise selection is the focus. During the first week, you’ll do nothing but compound (multijoint) exercises for large muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, quads, even triceps) and major mass-building moves for the smaller groups

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