May 07 , 2011

Anthony

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In my last blog post I talked about how Aaron and I were going to do an exercise experiment based on a training methodology I read about in The 4-Hour Body, written by Timothy Ferriss.  He claimed that he was able to gain 34lbs of lean muscle in a mere 28-days, while only spending a total of 4 hours exercising in a gym (8, 30min workouts total over 28-days).  He laid out the workout plan in his book as well as the methodology of each workout.  A single workout consisted of the following:

Perform 1-set of 7-reps of each exercise (1-rep = 5-second concentric contraction, 5-second eccentric contraction).  10-seconds per rep!  Rest 3-mins between each exercise.  If you do it right, you’re only working out for 25-minutes and 10-seconds (18-minutes of that is rest).

Check out this video of Aaron and I doing one of these workouts.  I did a lot of editing here so I didn’t have to make a 30-min video.  I shot the footage on my iphone. The main thing I want you to pay attention to is how slowly each exercise is performed.




Points of interest:

  • if you can finish 7-reps in a particular exercise, you are to add weight on your next scheduled workout (10% of the previous load or 10-lbs, whichever is greater)
  • if you struggle to finish the 7-reps, you are to go to absolute failure and hold it for as long as you can!  this is tough!  You then try that same weight again in your next session.
  • finally…  Eat like it’s your job when you’re recovering.  I tried to eat 3250-3500kcals/day…  I found this very difficult to do.

The first 4 workouts are to be completed in two weeks with 2 days of rest in between each workout.  Yesterday we did our 4th workout.  According to the book, we’re now supposed to rest 3 days in between each of the remaining 4 workouts.

I read the chapter a number of times all the while being quite skeptical on how this could possibly work.  Traditionally gaining mass typically meant high-volume weight training (e.g. hypertrophy: 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps per exercise).  I was excited to get started on this experiment and I noticed a difference in the first exercise of the very first session.  My muscles were on fire even after 1-set!  After the 4th session though, I’m wondering if I’m just getting used to moving the load that slowly and that’s the only reason for what seems to be an increase in my strength.  Notice how my measurements didn’t change too much…  Interesting to see how the rest of the month goes.  Stay posted…

Here are my numbers after 4 workouts:

Measurement Workout 1 Workout 4
Weight (lbs) 180.4 184
Tanita % BF 11.4 12.1
Waist (in) 30 1/2 30 7/8
Hip (in) 40 1/8 40 1/4
Inner Thigh (in) 23 7/8 24 1/8
Upper Arm (in) 15 1/2 15 7/8

 

Exercises Workout 1 Workout 4
Incline chest press (lbs) 60 75
Wide grip pull up body weight body weight
Shoulder press (lbs) 95 105
SLDL (lbs) 70lbs 80lbs
Skull crushers (lbs) 75 90
Drag curl (lbs) 60 75
Back squat (lbs) 135 175

 

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