Specialization Routines

Q: Awesome books!!! Workouts feel so productive, and I look forward to the challenges your plans put on me.

I was just looking into the chest specialization to use when I get done with my 14 week mesocycle. The question is on workout #2: after the neck press the other exercises do not show any rest periods. Same thing on workout #4. Are they to be done one after the other and then loop back to the first exercise?

Thank You,


My Answer: In general, if there are no rest periods designated, then rest periods are up to you. For the chest specialization routine, all other body parts are on maintenance training, which means 3 sets of 6-8 reps with no strict adherence to rest periods.

To keep things consistent, however, do the neck presses in workout #2 with 90 seconds rest, then do the other exercises with 90 seconds rest as well. Rest 90 seconds for all exercises in workout #4 also.


Q: What should the lifting tempo be with this program? Any recommendation on what kinds of food I should be consuming while following this program?

Thank you very much,
-A. Herrera

My Answer: As a general catch all rule, it would be ideal to perform each rep with slow negatives, fast positives. Tempo is always tricky, however, because tempo depends on the mechanics of the exercise and the muscle group being worked. Some exercises simply don’t allow for slow negatives without a reduction in weight.

Given the exercises listed in the program, this what their ideal tempos should look like:

Bench press- slow negatives, fast positives
Pulldowns- fast negatives, fast positives
Laterals- fast negatives, fast positives
Dumbbell curls- slow negatives, fast positives
Close grip bench press- slow negatives, fast positives


Q: I have one question to ask: I have been training for a few months. Do you think that I should rest for 1 or 2 week without training? BTW I workout 3 times a week.

-Kenny T.

My Answer: If you’ve only been strength training for a few months, then you’re still a newbie. So I don’t recommend prolonged layoffs within the first year of your training. Most of your gains in size and strength will occur in the first year of training, so it’s best to take advantage of this window of opportunity.

If you want to take a break because you’re going away on a trip or you’re busy taking care of important matters, then by all means take a break. One week at most. Any longer and you will detrain and atrophy. In other words, you will lose size and strength the longer your layoff.

If you’re an advanced bodybuilder and you’ve already got a decent amount of muscle and strength, then you can take periodic layoffs. People who’ve already built up a large muscular physique can maintain their physiques on less frequent training. Which is why you find a lot of bodybuilders hitting a body part directly only once a week. This is why Volume Four: Training for the Busy Bodybuilder is meant for the advanced bodybuilder.

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