A year ago I weighed 190 pounds. Two-and-a-half weeks later I had gained 10 pounds and dramatically increased my strength. This may not sound impressive, but at the time I was 20-years old (no more growth spurts) and I had reached a plateau in my training. The regimen was pretty specific and time consuming. Thankfully, I was home from school for the holidays and had plenty of time to make myself useful. I had arranged to train with a friend of mine, which was a good break from the norm.

The training split was different from what I was use to doing. It was a 3-day split with one off day, which meant that every body part would be worked twice in a 7-day period. This seems ridiculous, but remember, it was only for 20 days. The workouts were pretty lengthy (about 2 hours) and full of volume (about 25 sets per body part). Also, we used extremely heavy weight. The schedule worked out as follows:



  • Day 1: Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2: Legs and Biceps
  • Day 3: Back and Shoulders
  • Day 4: Rest

To me, this was very unorthodox, but I was willing to give anything a try. Now, the actual workout breaks down like this:

Day 1: Chest and Triceps

Chest
1
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip
8 sets, 10, 10, 6, 6, 4, 3, 3, 3 reps
2
Decline barbell bench press
4 sets, 6, 4, 3, 3 reps
3
Dumbbell Flyes
4 sets, 6, 4, 3, 3 reps
4
Incline EZ-bar skullcrusher
4 sets, 8 reps
5
Cable Crossover
3 sets, 8 reps
Triceps
1
Chest dip
4 sets, 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
2
Standing barbell overhead triceps extension
4 sets, 8, 8, 6, 6 reps
3
EZ-Bar Skullcrusher
4 sets, 8, 8, 6, 6 reps
4
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown
4 sets, 8 reps
5
Triceps Pushdown
4 sets, 8 reps
6
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
3 sets, 8 reps

Day 2: Legs and Biceps

Legs
1
Barbell Squat
6 sets, 12, 10, 8, 8, 6, 6 reps
2
Leg Press
4 sets, 8 reps
3
Leg Extensions
4 sets, 10, 8, 8, 8 reps
4
Hack Squat
4 sets, 8, 8, 6, 6 reps
5
Lying Leg Curls
4 sets, 10, 8, 8, 8 reps
6
Barbell Deadlift
4 sets, 8 reps
Biceps
1
Barbell Curl
2
Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl
4 sets, 8 reps
3
Reverse Barbell Preacher Curls
4 sets, 8 reps
4
Hammer Curls
4 sets, 8 reps
5
High Cable Curls
3 sets, 10, 8, 6 reps
6
Concentration curl
3 sets, 12, 10, 12 reps

Day 3: Back and Shoulders

Back
1
Pullups
1 set, to failure
2
Smith machine bent-over row
4 sets, 8 reps
3
Lat pull-down
4 sets, 8 reps
4
Behind-the-neck pull-down
4 sets, 8 reps
5
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
4 sets, 8 reps (per arm)
6
Seated Cable Rows
4 sets, 8 reps
Shoulders
1
Military press
5 sets, 10, 8, 6, 4, 4 reps
2
Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck
4 sets, 8, 6, 6, 4 reps
3
Alternating dumbbell front raise
4 sets, 8 reps
4
Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 8 reps
5
Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raise
4 sets, 8 reps
6
Barbell shrug
4 sets, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps

Pretty full workouts, huh? I know it seems absolutely crazy to do this much. If I hadn't actually done this workout and seen the results, I would not believe it myself. Like I said before, the weight used needs to be extremely heavy, but you should be able to control the weight. On your major lifts (the lifts at the beginning of the workout), you need to be doing a lot of forced reps. Your body should feel like it was run over by a car when you get through.

Diet

As far as diet is concerned, here is what I did: I was eating about four meals per day, and an hour and a half after the first, second and fourth meal, I drank a shake. The meals consisted of some type of meat (chicken, beef, steak, etc.), carbohydrates (noodles, rice, etc.), and some kind of vegetable. Nothing too complicated. The shakes were extremely important, I think this may have been where the secret was. Every shake consisted of the same thing: 5-7 grams of creatine monohydrate, 10 grams of glutamine, and 40 grams of protein.

If you eat correctly, then at the end of the day, you should be getting about 20 grams of creatine, 30 grams of glutamine and 120 grams of protein from the shakes alone. Make sure that you eat plenty of carbohydrates (about 80 grams each meal) so that your body doesn't use protein for the jobs of glucose.

Another vital part of this training is sleep. I slept about 11 hours a day on average. This is when your body grows and recuperates. The extremely tough workouts call for plenty of sleep and lots of rest on top of that.

This program is effective, and I highly recommend it to anyone who may be in a slump or needs something to do over the holidays. The results are phenomenal. When I went back to school I was so much stronger, my clothes fit tighter, and a lot of people were coming up to me asking me what my secret was over the break.

Many people thought I had started a cycle of steroids and didn't believe me when I tried to convince them otherwise. The best thing was that my strength continued to increase (not as dramatic as before) and my body weight also continued to (slowly) increase. After that two-and-a-half-week program, I took three days off and rested. I continued to eat as much and I cut out supplements after the third week. After taking a week off of supplementing I started back on the same formula. Also, I changed my workout around a bit in order to try something new.



About the Author

David Knowles

I began lifting when I was very young, around eight years old. My dad had always been a big guy, so I started going to the gym with him to watch him workout.

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