As many of you know, I train 80+ people at any given time. Training that many people from all walks of life from guys and girls that just want to drop a few pounds of fat and gain a few lbs of muscle, to competitive bodybuilders and powerlifters gives one a LOT of feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Here are some of the methods I have implemented over the last few years for most clients that have resulted in BIG changes in results and client satisfaction.
I went from just having clients taking a week off when needed to deloading them (usually cutting volume drastically, keeping intensity high) on pre-defined periods and results went up across the board dramatically.
Non-fasted morning cardio
For all the guys trying to stay lean when bulking, or cutting, I went from fasted cardio, to the simple addition of some BCAA’s or whey prior to their cardio. Fat loss still occurred at about the same pace, muscle retention/accrual went up big time. This is no doubt because at this time of the day cortisol is normally highest and food intake tends to blunt this effect making for a much better testosterone/cortisol ratio.
Opposite Training Methods
If I get a client that comes to me after doing a lot of volume, I usually put him on a lower volume strength routine—BAM nice increases. If I get a guy that comes to me already strong and doing low volume strength work (and their goal is size) I use volume. Contrasting these methods back and forth work wonders for a LOT of advanced lifters. If a guy is small and weak they just need to be doing strength training irregardless of their goals IMO.
Most BB’ers ovoid conditioning work like the plague. BIG mistake. My goal here is not elite conditioning levels, just a solid base and once established they are in a much better to make fast size and strength gains. And in this context, I am only looking for 20 minutes HIIT twice a week as a base level. More can be done if the clients recovery levels and motivational levels doing so will be productive.
BCAA’s at relatively high doses do wonders for most lifters and the more advanced, the better the cost to benefit ratio. The research as well as anecdotal evidence is everywhere so I won’t go into it here other than to say that in my experience with a LOT of lifters it is overwhelmingly posistive.
Hardgainers and Volume Work
Hardgainers have been so conditioned by the current thinking on how to train hardgainers they often end up totally inside the box thinkers about this. Volume can be done and is often extremely effective under the following conditions:
They are not EXTREME hardaginers—and yes, these people exist.
The volume used is about 8-12 sets a bodypart, no higher, with 9 being a sweet spot for many.
Intensity is regulated—NO FAILURE TRAINING ALLOWED.
They deload every 3-4 weeks and/or switch to lower volume work.
In fairly high doses (10-40 grams total oil, not epa/dha) it helps with fat loss, preserves muscle when dieting, seems to help gain muscle (small degree here) when massing. And is simply one of the best things you can do from a health standpoint. A MUST take supplement IMO.
Effective Non-Stimulatory Fat Loss Supplements
TTA, Forskolin, and Avant Labs Sesathin has made my job a lot easier when working with clients that need to lose bodyfat. Because they are non-stimulatory compliance is better. Epinephrine and nor-adrenaline levels are not effected, and crashing when coming off is not a factor. Fat loss is accelerated a good amount for most trainees and this makes diet times shorter and clients happier.
Just a few things off the top of my head that have helped a lot of clients level of satisfaction.
Destroy That Which Destroys You
"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."