Block Training – Brief & Brutal Muscle Building Workouts

8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5) You need to be a registered member to rate this post.
Loading...
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn4Share on Google+1Share on Reddit0

Rest-pause training. It’s one of my favorite ways to build muscle.

Forget normal sets and reps. Instead, think brutality. Intensity. Limited rest. Heart-racing, pump-inducing madness.

Back in the day I created a lifting style called Bulldozer training. It featured a specific number of sets for each exercise, with a defined rest period in between each effort. Rest periods were typically 30 seconds. This allowed you to catch your breath, but didn’t allow a muscle to fully recover.

This was the point.

Related: My Top 10 Workout Intensifiers for Enhanced Gains

Tax a muscle. Catch your breath for a brief moment. Hammer that muscle again (and again, and again), never fully allowing it to recover.

This style of training was highly effective. In 2008 I ran it for a complete year and had some of the best muscle building results of my 30 year lifting career. Workouts were typically 45 to 50 minutes in length, but they were non-stop, action-packed brawls.

Over the years many of you have tried Bulldozer training. Gains were made. Testimonials poured in. And as a result, people wanted more. More rest-pause workout splits. More rest-pause training options. More gains.

So this weekend I was sitting around analyzing my goals for the rest of 2016. I needed to pare down my time in the gym, while also allowing time for cardio. So I said to myself:

Self! This is a good time to break out rest-pause training.

Building Muscle Using Block Training

Huge Gainer

Power your gains with a post-workout Huge Gainer shake. Order now.

OK, so what exactly is rest-pause training?

Rest-pause training is a muscle building approach that restricts rest in between sets, maximizing time in the gym and the bodybuilding process by never allowing a muscle to fully recover.

Bulldozer training is effective. But after having run it for a straight year I wanted to try something new. Some more intense. Something a bit different and a bit more insane.

Enter block training.

Block training tosses out the concept of sets. It also tosses out defined rest periods. So with no fixed number of sets, and no monitoring of rest in between sets, I know what you’re thinking… How the heck does it work.

Well before you click away, understand that block training is anything but complicated. It’s simple. Deviously simple.

You pick a weight. You pick a block of time. You hammer our as many reps as possible during this time frame, resting only briefly between efforts. This pattern of “sets” and limited rest is repeated until the block of time expires.

Are are some of the program nuts and bolts:

  • Exercise blocks. Exercise block periods are generally 3 or 5 minutes.
  • Weight. Start with a weight that you could normally perform 15 reps with.
  • Rep goal. This if your goal for each block of time. If you reach this level (or more), add a small amount of weight the next time you perform this exercise. Progressive overload is king. If you aren’t pushing for progress you are handicapping your muscle gains.
  • Rest. Rest only briefly, and as needed, while in the middle of an exercise block. Catch your breath, gather your wits, and attack.

Remember that sets and rest periods do not matter. Reps do. Attack the weight and try to perform as many reps as possible during the exercise block. Rest as needed, only long enough to catch your breath and gather your wits.

Included in this feature are the following splits:

  • 3 or 4 day Upper/Lower Split
  • 3 Day Split
  • 4 Day Split

 

3 or 4 day Upper/Lower Block Training Split

This block training split features 4 workouts. They can either be performed as part of a 4 day upper lower split, or cycled as part of a 3 day upper/lower split.

4 day split sample schedule:

  • Day 1 – Upper A
  • Day 2 – Lower A
  • Day 3 – Off
  • Day 4 – Upper B
  • Day 5 – Lower B
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off

3 day split sample schedule:

  • Day 1 – Upper A
  • Day 2 – Off
  • Day 3 – Lower A
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Upper B
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off
  • Day 8 – Lower B
  • Day 9 – Off
  • Day 10 – Upper A
  • Day 11 – Off
  • Day 12 – Lower A
  • Day 13 – Off
  • Day 14 – Off
  • Continue cycling through A and B workouts.
Upper a
Upper/Lower Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Bench Press  4 minutes  40
Lat Pull Down  4 minutes  40
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press  4 minutes  40
Push Ups  2 minutes  AMAP
Seated Cable Rows  2 minutes  30
Side Laterals  2 minutes  30
Cable Triceps Extensions  4 minutes  40
Seated Dumbbell Curls  4 minutes  40
Upper B
Upper/Lower Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press  4 minutes  40
Pendlay Rows  4 minutes  40
Upright Rows  4 minutes  40
Low Cable Crossovers  2 minutes  30
Machine Rows  2 minutes  30
Push Press  2 minutes  25
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions  4 minutes  40
EZ Bar Curls  4 minutes  40
Lower a
Upper/Lower Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Squats  4 minutes  40
Leg Curls  4 minutes  50
Leg Extensions  3 minutes  40
Reverse Lunges  3 minutes  AMAP
Seated Calf Raises  4 minutes  50
Plank  4 minutes  AMAP
Lower B
Upper/Lower Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Leg Press  4 minutes  50
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts  4 minutes  40
High Box Step Ups  3 minutes  AMAP
Good Mornings  3 minutes  30
Standing Calf Raises  4 minutes  50
Ab Wheel Roll Outs  4 minutes  AMAP

Bodybuilding

3 Day Block Training Split

3 day split sample schedule:

  • Day 1 – Chest and Arms
  • Day 2 – Off
  • Day 3 – Quads and Shoulders
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Back, Hamstrings, Calves and Abs
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off
Chest and Arms
3 Day Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Bench Press  5 minutes  50
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press  3 minutes  30
Machine Chest Press  2 minutes  30
Push Ups  2 minutes  AMAP
EZ Bar Curls  3 minutes  30
Cable Triceps Extensions  3 minutes  30
Hammer Curls  3 minutes  30
Close Grip Bench Press  3 minutes  30
Quads and Shoulders
3 Day Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Squats  5 minutes  50
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press  5 minutes  50
Leg Press  3 minutes  40
Upright Rows  3 minutes  35
Leg Extensions  3 minutes  40
Side Laterals  3 minutes  35
High Box Step Ups  2 minutes  AMAP
Face Pulls  2 minutes  25
Back, Hamstrings, Calves and Abs
3 Day Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Deadlifts  5 minutes  30
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts  5 minutes  50
Pendlay Rows  3 minutes  35
Leg Curls  3 minutes  40
Seated Cable Rows  3 minutes  35
Seated Calf Raise  3 minutes  40
Lat Pull Downs  2 minutes  25
Ab Wheel Roll Outs  2 minutes  AMAP

Muscle Building

4 Day Block Training Split

4 day split sample schedule:

  • Day 1 – Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2 – Back and Biceps
  • Day 3 – Off
  • Day 4 – Shoulders, Traps and Abs
  • Day 5 – Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off
Chest and Triceps
4 Day Split
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Bench Press  5 minutes  50
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press  3 minutes  30
Machine Chest Press  3 minutes  35
Low Cable Crossovers  3 minutes  35
Close Grip Bench Press  3 minutes  30
Cable Triceps Extensions  3 minutes  35
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions  3 minutes  35
Back and Biceps
4 DAY SPLIT
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Deadlifts  5 minutes  30
Pendlay Rows  3 minutes  30
Lat Pull Downs  3 minutes  35
Seated Cable Rows  3 minutes  35
EZ Bar Curls  3 minutes  30
Seated Dumbbell Curls  3 minutes  30
Rope Cable Curls  3 minutes  35
Shoulders, Traps and Abs
4 DAY SPLIT
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Push Press  5 minutes  50
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press  3 minutes  30
Upright Row  3 minutes  35
Side Laterals  3 minutes  35
Face Pulls  3 minutes  35
Power Shrugs  3 minutes  40
Ab Wheel Roll Outs  3 minutes  AMAP
Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
4 DAY SPLIT
Exercise Block Rep Goal
Squats  5 minutes  50
Leg Press  3 minutes  40
Leg Extensions  3 minutes  40
High Box Step Ups  3 minutes  AMAP
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts  3 minutes  30
Leg Curls  3 minutes  40
Seated Calf Raise  3 minutes  40
Total Views: 4182
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn4Share on Google+1Share on Reddit0

Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.