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Bulldozer Training, Version 2.0

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In the original Bulldozer Training system, I explored the muscle growth principles of controlled fatigue, higher time under tension, and higher intensity. If you recall, Bulldozer Training Version 1.0 was a combination of the following training system, without aspects that I viewed as non-vital:

Max Stim. The Max Stim system takes controlled fatigue to the extreme, advising trainees to rack the weight after each repetition. As soon as the trainee is ready for another rep, they un-rack the weight and perform another single rep. This one rep scheme is repeated until 20 total reps are achieved.

On paper, this is an awesome way to pack on muscle mass. But when the rubber hits the road, racking the weight after each rep becomes troublesome, if not dangerous, when performing heavy compound exercises. It actually becomes more of a workout just racking and un-racking the barbell for squats, bench presses, military presses, etc.

For this reason, Bulldozer Training abandons the controlled fatigue system of one rep at a time.

Doggcrapp Training. DC Training is a wonderful system. But I’m not a huge fan of training to failure numerous times during a brief and intense training session. I do not view training to failure with this frequency as a viable, long term approach to weight training.

For this reason, Bulldozer Training abandons the practice of training to failure.

So, now that we understand the road that lead to the creation of Bulldozer Training Version 1.0, let’s explore the next generation of Bulldozer Training.

Why a New Version? I successfully trained using the original Bulldozer Training system for many months. My joints felt great, and I always looked forward to the next workout. My strength was increasing workout after workout. I view everything about the first version to be a success.

So why the need for a second version? Experimentation and diversity. After a brief stint with a German Volume Training-like system known as Hyper Growth, I decided that I wanted to play with a slightly higher volume then in the original Bulldozer system.

Systems like German Volume Training and Vince Gironda’s 8×8 require performing a huge number of reps during a limited period of time. Generally in these systems, because of the brief rest between sets, you are reduced to using an ego-busting lower weight just to achieve all the reps required for each set.

I asked myself…what if we expand the rest periods as we progress through one of these higher volume type of macro-sets? The main flaw with high volume/short rest training is that it’s nearly impossible to hit the 8-10 rep recommendation on the last few sets… unless you are basically lifting weights that are as light as a feather.

I hate lifting light. I hate it. And accordingly, I hated training with German Volume Training, Gironda’s 8×8, and the Hyper Growth method.

So, Bulldozer Training Version 2.0 was born. It’s a high volume system that focuses on heavier weights, time under tension and controlled fatigue. Let’s dig into the nuts and bolts.

But before I do, I want to make something clear: version 2.0 was not necessarily devised to be better then version 1.0; it was created as an alternative. You can’t train using a single system indefinitely. I’m always asking myself…what next? This go around, version 2.0 was what’s next?

Expanding Rest Periods. The primary training principle of Bulldozer Training version 2.0 is expanding rest periods. Simply put, the longer you progress into a macro set, the greater your rest periods become between mini-sets. Sounds confusing? Let me clear up all the double talk.

In Bulldozer Training version 2.0, you perform 7 total sets for any given exercise, with limited rest between these sets. The 7 sets are known as a macro set. It’s basically one large set with brief, controlled fatigue periods of rest that allow you to regain strength.

Each of the individual sets within the macro set is known as a mini-set. So, if you are bench pressing, you would perform one macro set comprised of 7 mini-sets. Following this? I hope so.

Here is how each set looks. Again, I will use the bench press as an example.

Bench Press Macro Set

225 x 7 reps (This is one mini-set)

…rest 30 seconds

225 x 3 reps (This is one mini-set)

…rest 30 seconds

225 x 2 reps (This is one mini-set)

…rest 60 seconds

225 x 3 reps (This is one mini-set)

…rest 60 seconds

225 x 4 reps (This is one mini-set)

…rest 90 seconds

225 x 4 reps (This is one mini-set)

…rest 120 seconds

225 x 5 reps (This is one mini-set)

As you can see, you performed 7 mini-sets in one macro set. The rest period pattern between sets was 30, 30, 60, 60, 90, and 120 seconds respectively.

The expandingd rest periods allow you to continue to use the same amount of weight without generally compromising rep totals.

Rep Ceilings. Bulldozer Training focuses on weight progression. It should always be your goal to perform more reps then your previous workout. Progression is king. Live for it, dream of it, and strive for it.

So when is it a good idea to move up in weight while using Bulldozer Training version 2.0? I recommend that you bump your weight up by 5 pounds when you hit a total of 32-35 reps over the course of a macro set.

In the above example, the total number of reps performed for all 7 mini-sets was 28. The next time into the gym, try to hit at least 29 total reps. And again, when you achieve 32-35 total reps, bump the weight up. You will find that when you hit 32-35 reps for a given weight that you will start progressing in weight much more quickly.

Say you hit 32-35 reps in the bench press with 225 pounds. The next workout you might find that you hit 30 reps at 230 pounds. And the following workout you nail 34 reps with 230 pounds. Once you hover around the 32-35 rep range for a macro set, it should be a while before you hit a weight that causes you to stall.

Strength Endurance. Bulldozer Training utilizes a training principle known as strength endurance. Basically, you are training your body to handle any given amount of weight for longer periods of time.

But don’t be fooled; this does not make the Bulldozer system a powerlifting system. You will get stronger, no doubt about it. But forcing the body to endure a greater volume of work during a set period of time will lead to hypertrophy.

That is one of the aspects of Bulldozer Training that I have grown to appreciate. You can’t play with your rest periods. You have to get back under the bar and hit it. Therefore, each macro set for a given exercise will last approximately the same amount of time.

If your bench press macro set takes 11 minutes, it will most likely take 11 minutes during your next workout. But your volume of weight increases as your strength endurance increases.

You’ve probably noticed that your body recovers more stronger the longer you rest between sets. For this reason, many trainees subconsciously find themselves training longer while using the same routine. This expanded time approach to volume training isn’t necessarily the best way to pack on muscle. Your volume is growing, but the volume over time factor is slowing down.

Time Under Tension. Bulldozer Training version 2.0 forces you to train with a greater time under tension. Basically, a high percentage of your time spent in the gym will be under the bar. And because of this, you will be experiencing an ever-growing volume over time.

Because the time period for a given macro set stays virtually the same, you assure yourself that an increase in reps and/or weight equals an increase in volume divided by time. This ups the intensity factor, pushing your body to respond with muscle growth.

Workout Framework. Bulldozer Training version 2.0 can be used with any preferred split. How you split your routine is up to you. But  please, stay within the following guidelines.

  1. 45-60 minute workouts. Don’t spend more then an hour in the gym. It’s generally catabolic (muscle reducing) for natural trainees to train over an hour.
  2. Failure. Do NOT train to failure. Occasionally, you will over estimate your capabilities and fail on a rep. But generally, try to stop 1 rep shy of positive failure.
  3. Heavy Compound lifts. Stick primarily with heavy compound lifts.
  4. Splits. A natural trainee shouldn’t lift more then 4 times a week. Keep your training split to a push-pull-legs, or something similar to the example provided below.

Sample Routine. The following is a sample 4-day split routine. Follow the given macro set with the stated rest periods using good form.

Day 1. Legs

  • Squats or Front Squats
  • Leg Extensions or Lunges
  • Romanian Deadlifts or Hamstring Curls

(Work calves as needed…higher rep totals are recommended)

Day 2. Chest and Triceps

  • Bench Press
  • Incline or Decline BB Press, or Dumbbell Flat Bench or Incline Press
  • Closegrip Bench Press or Dips

Day 3. OFF

Day 4. Back

  • Deadlift (Do NOT use Bulldozer style – perform 10 rest-paused singles)
  • Pullups, Barbell Rows or Yates Rows
  • T-Bar Rows, Low Pulley Rows, or DB Rows

Day 5. Shoulders and Biceps

  • Seated Barbell or Dumbbell Overhead Press
  • Arnold Presses or Upright Rows
  • DB Curls, Barbell Curls, Preacher Curls or Seated DB Curls

Day 6 and 7. OFF

Bulldozer Training, Version 2.0, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

6 comments

  1. How much weight should you start with? How much % of 1RM?

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  2. I’ve tried it for shoulder and arms, and it feel really great. Love the concept. I only have one question ?? Could you tell us how many bulldozer sets you are doing for each exercise ? By example, are you only doing 1 bulldozer sets for th OHP and then move on, on the next exercise. Or are you doing like, 2 bulldozer sets. ?? (for my test I did : OHP, Upright row and BB curl, 1 bulldozer sets for each (30-40 rep total with 7 mini sets) A response would be very appreciated :)

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  3. sir on your program.would you alter this program for someone who is 55 yrs old &type 2 diabetic.Just curious thanks for your imput

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    • Hi Brad,

      I wouldn’t alter it. The short rests are very good for conditioning. You may need to find exercises that work best for you, but other than that the program should work well for you.

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  4. This is very interesting it looks like a type of training that suits very well for me. I will test this training routine and give you some news. Keep up the good work

    Regards,
    Clifford.D

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