The only bodybuilder worthy of his profession is a power bodybuilder. He couldn’t care less about what he sees in a mirror. Rather, he feels the call to get into the gym every day for no other reason than to slam the heaviest weights he’s ever tried. You can spot these guys a mile away. They’re as big as bridge pilings and just as hard. Worse, you can spot the guys who don’t power bodybuild. They don’t have hard muscle; it’s beach muscle. That’s fine for the average Joe, but for me?
No way. I’m not in this game to look at myself, but to lift–and the only way to lift is from the soul. That’s power bodybuilding. It’s doing whatever you can to magnify the resistance against your muscles, and I accomplish that with extreme overload and concussion reps. I pound away like a piston, as hard as I can, at the heaviest weight I can find, until one of us gives.
Concussion reps cannot be cautious reps, where I’m only concerned with the precise firing of each precious muscle fiber. Just the opposite. I want every last one of those precious muscle fibers ripped to shreds and smashed lifeless into charred, smoking, carboniferous debris. I lift very heavy weight, and the only way to rep it is to get a run for it and ram myself into the weight like a pile driver. I’m a fired cannonball, the weight is a concrete wall, and I’m going to hit it with such violence that it’ll disintegrate from the concussion.
Reps per minute (RPM)
I don’t care about the pace of my concussion reps, only their power. None of that “two seconds up, one second down” stuff for me. I go by feel. I don’t work at a rabbit’s pace, nor do I use those stupid slow reps. I make the weight dictate my rpm.
Think weight, not reps
I don’t concern myself with counting reps. Thinking in terms of “how many” can be seductive, because once you hit a certain number, you’re tempted to stop. Never stop! Repetitions are almost always psychologically, not physically, limited. If you find you can do three sets of an exercise for a given number of reps with good control and without struggling for the last life-or-death repetition, then you haven’t done a complete set. If, instead, you use all-out explosive full-power concussion reps, you’ll find that you can usually get one more than expected. At the very least, you’ll go further than if you hadn’t tried. I believe that every time you go into the gym, you can increase something in your workout by 10%, and it’s your duty to find that variable.
A concussion rep is approached with a different state of mind than that of other bodybuilding movements: it’s a record-busting detonation of strength. No matter what the weight, whether it’s one pound or 1,000 pounds, my goal is to break my personal record. Every time I go into the gym, the record for at least one exercise is going to fall. For that to happen, my goal must be fixed on the number of pounds I’m lifting, not on the number of reps. If I have a training partner, I let him take care of the rep counting.
Freed from keeping track of the numbers, all of my concentration can be focused on keeping my entire body tight. That’s my practice, and it’s what I preach: flex everything, starting with your core. You don’t have to look like you’re doing a most-muscular pose, but practice tensing your entire body. It should feel pretty much the same for your warm-up as it does for your maximum set.
This sensation, though, necessitates the use of heavy weight and concussion reps. Lighter weights and slow reps allow you to be sloppy on your initial sets. Whereas, if you’re forced to tighten from the start, you not only have more control earlier, but you can take bigger pyramid steps, thereby reaching your heavy productive poundage earlier. Heavy weight forces you to use good form, light weight doesn’t. Get a little lackadaisical, and you pay for it.
I’ve always held to the philosophy that a person’s physique is a billboard of his training. Therefore, my workouts start with the biggest, most powerful exercises and low reps–that’s the only way to maximize comprehensive overall mass gains. Simultaneously involve as many muscles as possible. Then, once they’re fatigued as a system, you can individually fatigue them further with the remaining exercises in your workout.
Unfortunately, the current practice seems to be for bodybuilders to do their power movements last in their workouts. They rationalize that they are reducing the chance of cheating. I claim it’s so they don’t have to use so much weight.
There’s no way around it: if you want the greatest growth rate possible, you have to ram those explosive concussion reps against mighty weight, with powerful passion. Power bodybuilding is extreme bodybuilding.
|Power Biceps Workout |
|Standing barbell curls||3||10-12|
|Seated alternate dumbbell curls||3||10-12|
|Seated dumbbell hammer curls||3||10-12|
|Two-arm cable curls||3||10-12|
|Power Back Workout |
|Machine high rows||3-4||4-6|
|Reverse-grip barbell rows||3||4-6|