I believe that things don’t happen by accident, and as very eloquently mentioned in a TED talk, ideas come from the conjugation of many different factors.
In this specific case, we were filming exercises for the training software and it was a leg day, particularly squats. In order to do the filming more efficiently and capture the highest number of exercises in one session, the cameras and equipment are set in a way that will allow me to perform the exercises virtually in a row, doing only little changes in between them. We have had mornings of more than 100 exercises in about 2 hours.
After that day of filming my legs started getting sore that very same night and the soreness lasted for the next 6 days. And that’s where the idea of this idea came from.
Now, as I wrote before, If you didn’t try it, don’t prescribe it, it was time for me to do it. You might be asking, why would I do it again if I already did it during the filming? Because of two basic reasons:
- Using the right weights. Obviously, during filming, the weights are set in such a way that they allow me to do a large number of exercises, but not to get a proper training session, even though the soreness was very deep.
- Refining the program, adding the antagonist, amongst others.
The only difference after doing it with the right weights was that I didn’t feel the soreness the same night as before, but it also lasted for 6 days.
What was the next step? Have my trainers and some clients do the program. In general, they all reported basically the same thing. Walking in the next days was challenging, and going downstairs was kind of suicidal.
What are the bases for this program?
- The concept of Omni training: Omni is a prefix that means universal. Applied to training, basically implies that the workout is based on as many variations as possible of the same exercises, obviously respecting the 60-minute length of a productive training session.
- The concept of mechanical advantage: This implies that you’ll go from the hardest setup of an exercise to the easiest, which will prevent you from excessively decreasing the weights in the subsequent exercises.
Here is the program:
A1. Squats Quad Back BB Narrow, 3 x 4-6, 3-2-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
A2. Squats Quad Back BB Normal, 3 x 4-6, 3-2-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds
A3. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Inward Plantarflexed, 3 x 4-6, 3-2-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
A4. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Outward Plantarflexed, 3 x 4-6, 3-2-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds
B1. Squats Back BB Heels Elevated Narrow, 3 x 4-6, 4-1-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
B2. Squats Back BB Heels Elevated Normal, 3 x 4-6, 4-1-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
B3. Squats Back BB Heels Elevated Wide, 3 x 4-6, 4-1-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds
B4. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Inward Poliquin Style, 3 x 4-6, 4-1-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
B5. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Neutral Poliquin Style, 3 x 4-6, 4-1-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
B6. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Outward Poliquin Style, 3 x 4-6, 4-1-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds
C1. Squats Back BB Heels Flat Narrow, 3 x 4-6, 5-0-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
C2. Squats Back BB Heels Flat Normal, 3 x 4-6, 5-0-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
C3. Squats Back BB Heels Flat Wide, 3 x 4-6, 5-0-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds
C4. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Inward Dorsiflexed, 3 x 4-6, 5-0-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
C5. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Neutral Dorsiflexed, 3 x 4-6, 5-0-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
C6. Leg Curl Prone Machine Feet Outward Dorsiflexed, 3 x 4-6, 5-0-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds
Note: The difference between Quad Squats and Heels Elevated Squats, is the steepness of the wedge used to elevate the heels. On the Quad Squat, it should be very steep.
The total time to do this routine is about 61 minutes. Don’t worry, that extra minute is not going to dramatically affect your cortisol levels.
In order to get the maximum hypertrophy results, every single set must be done to almost failure. What do I mean by “almost failure”? obviously that I don’t want you to fail in any of the sets, but the last rep of every set should be hard enough, that if you try to do an extra rep, you’ll fail.
This type of loading implies that you’ll need to decrease the weight in every subsequent set of the same exercise in order to complete the number of reps prescribed. If you don’t have to decrease the weight, most probably the weight used was simply too low, or you have the endurance of a Canadian goose.
What are the main applications and results from this routine?
As the title of the article implies, to create an impressive hypertrophy response from it, addressing virtually all parts of your quadriceps and knee flexors, based on the changes in the stance and feet position. If you load yourself or your client the way I just mentioned, you can be sure that almost every single fiber of the muscles worked will be sore.
This routine can be used on regular population looking for higher levels of hypertrophy and better body composition provided that the training age is higher than 2 years.
It can also be used for athletes that need to gain muscle mass and improve body composition, at the beginning of the off-season.
Can I apply the same principles to different muscle groups in my body?
Absolutely, all you need to do is finding 8 variations of an exercise per body part.
Enjoy the new size of your legs along with the nice and deep soreness!
Coach Carlos Castro