January 10, 5 Great Workouts for Hardgainers If there is one person who is most responsible for the resurgence of "abbreviated routines", aimed primarily at those with fair metabolisms and genetics, it is Stuart McRobert. His books "Brawn" and "Beyond Brawn" are must-haves for your weight training library, as they comprise some of the clearest and most commonsensical knowledge and hype-free training advice ever written on the subject. His routines are particularly aimed at those who have a hard time gaining weight, so-called "hard-gainers". The major premise in most of his writing is that the vast majority of trainers simply do not have the recovery ability to train full-time, year round, on the typical routines we see in muscle magazines which McRobert alleges are typically written by and for those with genetic advantages or chemically enhanced. Those routines, McRobert maintains, will either be ineffective or eventually induce injury if one structures their training around them. He is also a promoter of: abbreviated training, progressive resistance, sleep and recovery, compound exercises, free weights.
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January 10, Brawn - A Minimalist Training Routine In my opinion, of all that has ever been written on the topic of weight training, the most comprehensive and most useful overall to the the vast majority of the population comes from Stuart McRobert. His two major works are "Brawn" and "Beyond Brawn", both of which are essential primers in the basics of weight training, detailing everything you need to know about gaining slabs of solid muscle with minimalist training routines.
His ideas of abbreviated training using basic compound exercises using a few sets per exercise, at most, twice weekly would actually promote muscle growth!
Those like myself, who believe that the old maxim "less is more" holds true when it comes to weight training and many other things , will love the simplicity of the bare-bones minimalist routines laid out in his books as "frameworks". The reasoning here, is that one seldom needs more than one exercise per bodypart and when using heavy compounds - squat, bench, rows, deadlifts, cleans, press etc.
Using these types of movements you actually get the most efficient workout by hitting several muscle groups with one exercise. The typical routine of his uses compounds per workout, along with some "accessory" movements, few overall work sets, and sufficient rest between sessions - fortified with proper rest, nutrition and lifestyle management. The approach presented by McRobert is contrary to the "conventional wisdom" promoted by routines in the major muscle magazines on shelves today: the obligatory 6 day per week "muscle building" workout.
The training reality for the vast majority of the public is about as far as you can get from these sorts of workout routines. Sadly, go into any gym and you can see the vast majority of trainers who never progress from year to year, all because they are to afraid to go against this conventional thinking of the "bodypart-a-day" day a week routines. They are slowly running their growth potential into the ground by following the advice of steroid flooded, genetically gifted bodybuilders.
Sure, there are those who might benefit from a high volume, high frequency routine for a limited period of time - everything "works" for a while. And these routines might initially look like they work for a beginner, for whom, everything works due to their disuse atrophy, but even this progress will be short lived as the body adapts to the stress. Too many trainers have succumbed to the "more is better" propaganda that typifies so much of our culture today.
All I can say, as a general comment, is that the time invested certainly shows. BB is not filled with scientific explanations, information or lots of technical graphs and charts there are a few or many pictures again, there are a few. With 22 total chapters [23 in the revised edition], no aspect of productive weight-training has been overlooked. BB is divided into three primary sections. Section 1 is entitled "Establishing a secure foundation" and discusses general information of value for those who are embarking upon the goal of adding muscle mass.
Section 2 is the real meat of the book and is entitled "How to train. Topics include setting up a training cycle, exercise intensity, exercise selection and technique, intensity cycling, personalizing your program, overtraining, and others. As stated above, Stuart has truly left no topic uncovered in BB.
More importantly, only topics of true importance to the average trainee are discussed in this book. Unlike most bodybuilding books, which are no more than simple fluff, BB actually accomplishes the goal of providing tons and I do mean TONS of useful, no-nonsense information for genetically average trainees who want to increase their strength and size. BB presents numerous interpretations in terms of set and rep goals, length of a cycle, training intensity, and exercise selection. The last topic deserves further comment.
I happen to agree with him, in general terms. However, after suffering various injuries, most of which were related to poor exercise form and overtraining in his youth, Stuart can no longer perform certain movements safely or without injury. Instead he had to find suitable replacements which were also safe, effective and productive. Individuals who want to be handed a one-size-fits-all exercise prescription for strength and mass gains may be put-off by BB, because no such prescription is forthcoming.
By the same token, individuals looking for "get big quick" promises will be let down by this book. While one chapter does discuss a strategy for maximal muscular gains in minimum time, the overall theme of the book is that "slow and steady" wins the race.
However, if you want to know the best way to reach your goals of increased and strength and mass, BB is a book that trainees MUST have on their shelves. I could probably keep writing about BB for pages and pages, doing a chapter by chapter review of it. But that would be overkill, I think. So my endorsement does not come lightly. It is not a powerlifting or weightlifting "book. It should be brought into the gym and reviewed prior to training, as a reminder to do things correctly and well, and for motivation.
It is information upon information about how to train properly and effectively if you believe in the concept of "basics first" training. I obviously liked it a lot and recommend it highly. Ken E.
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I know, because he changed mine. After several years of devoting myself to training according to his recommendations, I went from nondescript to large, muscular, and powerful beyond my wildest expectations. I devoured his first book, BRAWN, the very evening it arrived in my mailbox all the way from Cyprus, sometime around The next day, I began implementing the methods he wrote about in the book. Crusader for them would be more accurate. Folks I mention him to generally fall into one of two camps. His published writing is a treasure trove of advice for anyone serious about getting big and strong.
5 Great Workouts for Hardgainers
Some people have told me they use abbreviated training routines, but on investigation I discovered that they use nothing of the sort. For most hardgainers a maximum of only five or six exercises per workout produces much better results. Some people have told me they use the big compound exercises, but on investigation I discovered that more than half of the exercises they use are isolation movements. Some people have told me they use good form, but on investigation I discovered they use a travesty of good form. For example, they squat with their heels elevated and parallel to each other and lower the bar on bench presses to the wrong position on their chest. Some people have told me they use controlled form, but on investigation I discovered that they use nothing of the sort.
Brawn - A Minimalist Training Routine
January 10, Brawn - A Minimalist Training Routine In my opinion, of all that has ever been written on the topic of weight training, the most comprehensive and most useful overall to the the vast majority of the population comes from Stuart McRobert. His two major works are "Brawn" and "Beyond Brawn", both of which are essential primers in the basics of weight training, detailing everything you need to know about gaining slabs of solid muscle with minimalist training routines. His ideas of abbreviated training using basic compound exercises using a few sets per exercise, at most, twice weekly would actually promote muscle growth! Those like myself, who believe that the old maxim "less is more" holds true when it comes to weight training and many other things , will love the simplicity of the bare-bones minimalist routines laid out in his books as "frameworks". The reasoning here, is that one seldom needs more than one exercise per bodypart and when using heavy compounds - squat, bench, rows, deadlifts, cleans, press etc.
Hardgainer Routines by Stuart McRobert for Natural Lifters
The Bastion of Drug-Free Bodybuilding instruction For hardgainers and other bodybuilders Are you struggling to build muscle? Are you a hardgainer? Most bodybuilders make little progress simply because the conventional bodybuilding methods they apply suck. Quickly become your own expert personal trainer. The guidance for building muscle, losing fat and improving fitness is the same for men and women. The benefits from proper bodybuilding training are extensive for both sexes. The visible benefits are the most obvious, but there are many internal benefits that improve health and fitness.
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