Smash It

Smash It

Now –I don’t know about others –but I am one of those people that lose muscle at an alarming rate if I don’t ‘do what I should do’.
Let me explain.
I am more suited to endurance sports than bodybuilding –even now I could run for bloody miles and not have a problem. Bodybuilding –strength training has always been hard –isn’t it for everybody?
If I don’t push hard and level out that intensity –up there, eat right (enough) drink my water and be on my recover,
I loose muscle faster than a snowman in Florida. Not good, I know –but it’s the body-type I have and I have, I can proudly say done the best with what I have.

Ok Let’s Do This

Recently I had a period of dieting for a stage appearance, then dropped right into some power training. The lower reps after a period of dieting just did not stimulate tissue gains at all –in-fact I even lost some by keeping my weight down for an event. The lower reps built strength –and technique but had only minor affect on muscle fullness and size. This is for myself –I may add –but I have noted it with others. I do need some very intense quality reps for my body to ‘jump up’ in size and body composition. Knowing this –I should of not done what I did –well actually, looking at it now it was the best thing to do.
I had a measure up –arms –legs –chest and so forth and also did a body-fat test.
Jeezzzus –lost a shit load of muscle –legs especially –even though I could squat a good few pounds for a little old un.
So –after the shock and it being there in front of me in black and white –and staring back at me in the mirror.
I knew what I needed to do.
I needed to get some muscle back on this frame and I did what has worked so well in the past and at this point in writing here –I am significantly more muscular and leaner than I was 7 weeks ago.
I worked on a high intensity all body program.
A few years ago I wrote this in one of my books.

The best gains of my life came from training the whole body in one workout. So much so that most of the programs, say 90% I prescribe are for the whole body. Why? Well to my sense and logic I feel that you can get more workouts per week/month/year per body part and still only stress the system as much as doing a split routine would.
You therefore improve faster; I have seen it happen thousands of times. Other benefits include way more calories burned per workout – and more after as your metabolism is shot through the roof.
The body works as a unit and there is a lot of indirect effects when the body is worked with the basic prime movers, creating balance throughout the main muscle structures, and less chance of injury.
All body programs are old school but reaped gains for many years, they just got lost in the world of what’s cool at the moment. That is not to say that some split routines are not affective, as they do have their place, but for fast gains in muscle, or body fat loss, I turn to training the body as a whole.
Gains Of My Life
I have always been an advocate of the lower set end of training. Training harder not longer for clients and myself has worked wonders. I have trained clients and worked in the industry for many years. Not blowing my own horn here but has anyone stopped to think why I have had huge success with my clients? My clients took off from 2000 onwards to this point in time, and my girls and guys have won many shows, British and World titles. Could it be that from 2000 onwards I trained all my clients in all body fashion?
Very rare was the occasion that I split a routine and I would have my reasons.

The Program
Over the last six weeks we have followed this program
Leg Extensions
Leg Curls
Pull Over
Bench Press
Lat Raise
Push Down
Calf Raise

One set each to fail –reps between -8 and 12
If you get 12 the weight goes up the next session
If you cannot get 8 it’s to heavy so stick till 12 can be done
Use as many warm ups as needed
I found if I warmed up legs –after the leg part was done I only needed a quick tester on a few moves –by the time you are at Lat Raise –you are as warm as your ever going to get

This was done –Tuesday –Thursday –Saturday
Basic progression in reps and weight –intensity was high but mostly only to positive failure odd times a forced rep

In six weeks –I gained 3 pounds and lost body-fat
I will be testing and measuring in the next two weeks –I can visibly see a difference and feel much fuller –I will post those details

After six weeks –I felt that in order to keep the gains going –remember I am very advanced with 38 years of training under my gym belt. So in order to milk the gains I have dropped into a high intensity split for 6 weeks then recover for a week then repeat the whole process.
Here is the current program

Chest and Arms
Back and Shoulders

Here was yesterday’s leg session
Leg Extension
Combo with
Leg Press
Three rounds aiming for 12 reps
I used 60kg on Leg Ex for set one and reduced by a plate on each succeeding set to keep the reps up towards 12
Leg Press stayed at 5 plates a side –set one was hard –set three was f –ing hell

Leg Curls
2 sets 12 reps

Calve Raise 2 sets 12
Seated 1 set 20

Again very basic –add weight as reps are achieved
Work bloody hard and focus

Give the all body sessions a go – if you keep notes and make sure you give each set your all I think you will be surprised by the gains made
There are a couple of guys –friends I have known for years are wanting to come up and see me so I can put them through an all body session
See you in the New Year –be ready for PAIN ha-ha
Love to ya all Ian

8 replies
  1. Jeffrey Schneider
    Jeffrey Schneider says:

    Great article. Never have tried a full body workout. You got my attention ? But I have been trained by Mike Mentzer in the 90’s and followed Mike’s hit routine. One thing I noticed you are doing 3 sets for most exercises on body part split workout. I really agree with 2-3 sets all out effort will definitely do the trick to Stimulate a muscle growth response. And anymore sets is just overkill. Just like you said in the article. You have to work bloody hard on your sets and push your body to a place where it is very uncomfortable and fatigue those muscle fibers. Thinking about switching to whole body workouts. Thanks for this great information

      • Ian Duckett
        Ian Duckett says:

        Hey Jeff –around 25 min I would say x We have done no abs as they get a huge amount of indirect work x We will work abs though on this six week block x Hope that helps

  2. peter yates
    peter yates says:

    Hi Ian, i am basically the same,when training only for strength i become stringy. I started out with whole body training and to put on and keep any muscle size it still works best for me. I have found that doing one strength exercise to start a session such as squat then doing the rest of the workout with higher reps and shorter rest allows me to get the best of both. Your recent back to the future video inspired me to revisit some of my old full body sessions and i am loving it.Happy new year mate.

  3. Adrian
    Adrian says:

    Hi Ian , Iam exactly the same , splits don’t work for me , I have found over the last 37 years that fullbody routines are the way to go , I used to read a lot of Bob Hoffman’s writings years ago and he made a lot of sense about training the whole body 3 times a week but only pushing hard on one session a week , he called it working on your nerve .
    It does work , I do Monday hard 3x 5 , Wednesday light 15 reps but nowere near failure, then Friday 2×8 or 12, 2 or 3 reps short of failure and the back to Monday push hard , your always ready to push on Monday , I think the other days help with recovery by pumping blood into the muscles but not draining your system. Happy New year .

    • Ian Duckett
      Ian Duckett says:

      Thats really interesting Adrian —I love the old school books and ways –well done sire and happy new year to you x Ian


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