Samstag, 15. Februar 2014


Den Herr oben kennen viele meiner Leser. Er hat mir auf schon mehrere super Interviews gegeben! Randy Roach ist Historiker, kein anderer wohl auf der Welt weiß so gut über das "Iron Game" Bescheid wie Randy, der Kerl kennt Leute wie Bill Pearl, Franco Columbu, Boyer Coe und und und. Er hat zwei sagenhafte Bücher geschrieben, "Muscle Smoke and Mirrors", die ich wirklich jedem ans Herz lege. Das sind Schinken und wer sie liest, versteht, woher unser geliebtes Training seine Wurzeln hat. Randy hat diese zwei Werke trotz einer schweren Augenerkrankung geschrieben. Er ist fast blind, doch er öffnet mit seinen Werken vielen die Augen. Der Kanadier war so gut und hat euch hier einen Gastartikel für meinen Blog auch exklusiv dagelassen. Lernt von einem, der Old-School-Trainingswissen ohne Ende hat.

Training with 6s   

Over the past century in the Iron Game probably every set and repetition scheme ever imagined under the sun has been tried and exhausted on both sides of the Atlantic and I am quite sure this protocol may already be familiar to a number of veteran lifters. Bodybuilding pioneer, Vince Gironda’s 6 by 6s, 8 by 8s and 10 by 10s are somewhat close in format but not identical in execution. Gironda came up with a number of rep and set schemes through his 50 year tenure in the bodybuilding gym business from the late 1940s until the late 1990s and those are just a few of them. His style was labeled compression training as Vince would like to “compress” a good number of sets into a small window of time simply by reducing the rest between sets down to roughly 20 seconds. He believed that more work in less time was the stimulus for muscle to grow.

I had used Gironda’s systems a few times over the years for a change of pace inter-mixed with high intensity routines as prescribed by Arthur Jones. I think most know that when training for lengthly periods in any form of failure based training one has to break from it time to time for various levels of neural recovery.

How I Came Across 6s

I was experimenting with full body workouts after refraining from them for many years. The problem with doing this type of training after decades of lifting is that you are at the top of your strength curve which allows for much heavier weights than when used at the beginning and intermediate stages. As I became stronger over the years I found that I had to break leg training out separately as it just seemed to be a muscle group wired in a manner that could trash me system wide much easier than any upper body groups combined. Compounding this was the fact that I would work legs in the higher rep range for safety and this also proved to be very taxing especially on well designed machines such as the MedX Leg Press, Paramount Low Body, and the Pendulum Squat which I own and train on. These movements could easily turn into a cardio-respiratory SOS as so many muscle fibers are called into play through such a long range of motion.

One particular workout day I simply reached the point where I just did not feel like doing legs in a high rep format but was still hesitant in going heavy in a lower rep range. I have the first production model of the Pendulum Multi unit machine that has perhaps the finest squat movement on the market. I decided to hop in the machine totally empty and do 6 perfect, full range, slow and controlled repetitions. This was by no means super slow, but certainly slow enough to remove momentum so I did not drop into the bottom position for any recoil on the turn around. I found myself totally engrossed in the movement more so than I had before. Even though the load was very light I had such a dialing in on the working muscles that I actually began to pump through the whole lower body with an empty machine and only 6 repetitions.

I obviously could have done many more repetitions but decided that 6 would be the limit. Since I was still fresh I added one 45 pound plate, rested for about 20 to 30 seconds and did another 6 repetitions again focusing on pure form and control through all 6 repetitions. Upon completion I automatically added another plate, rested 30 seconds and did yet another set. I kept this format right up until 6 repetitions was pretty much the limit of repetitions that I could actually complete without failing.

As stated, I did not take the set to failure nor did I add any more plates. At that point I just rested another 30 seconds and did an additional set at the same weight. Now on this one I was not going to reach 6 repetitions which was fine. I stayed focused on form and control with the last repetitions moving even slower due to the load. Again, I focused hard on not breaking that form for any additional leverage or momentum. All load was purely on the designated muscles for that lift. I did one more set that ended up at 3 repetitions and that was it.

What I found was that like Vince Gironda I had compressed a fair amount of work and could perform in a low rep range with a load relative to that range and be quite safe. My legs were very pumped and what surprised me most was that even though I was breathing hard I was not exhausted and could go on to easily do other body parts.

I became so enamored with this format that all I have been doing for the past few months for quads are 6s switching off squatting with the Pendulum or Paramount squat units. That’s it. Simply selecting what machine I wish to use on that day and performing anywhere from 6 to 10 sets of 6s with 20 to 30 seconds rest between sets. I never liked free-weight squats and seldom performed them. I am very long in the thighs and short in the torso making the free-weight squat a very awkward and often dangerous movement. I can honestly say that for the first time in 40 years I actually look forward to squats, especially on the equipment I am fortunate to own. At 54 years old, my pump is great and my lower body is as good or better than at any time in my past lifting.. As the weights get heavier it is a good challenge on the cardio-respiratory system as well with such short rest periods between those sets. I have subsequently moved this format to upper body muscle groups with excellent results.

When to raise the weight??

It can be a little awkward when first implementing 6s into any muscle group in terms of starting weight and the size of the weight increment to use which will effect the number of sets taken to get you to your target end weight (TEW). Free weights versus machines will also determine the size of the weight increments for each set. As mentioned, on the Pendulum squat machine I added a 45 pound plate on each set. Anyone able to free-weight dead lift or squat up into the 400s or more would be using 50 pound increments or so. On the free weight bench press I used both 20 and 10 pound increments and with smaller muscle groups such as dumbbell curls or side lateral raises I used 5 pound increments.

 The weight increments for each set also do not have to remain consistent. For example, you may choose to move up by 20 pounds each set in the bench press then near the ending sets reduce to 10 pound jumps. You will quickly get the feel for each exercise you choose. All exercises conducted in 6s are to culminate in that set where you just get 6 repetitions. The number of sets it takes to reach this target end weight will vary from person to person and exercise to exercise. The goal for the subsequent workouts is to reach your target end weight and be able to push the repetitions up to 7 or 8 or more before readjusting and increasing start and target end weights so that you will once again just be able to get 6 repetitions on the new target end weight (TEW). You may actually only pull off 4 repetitions or so on that new TEW and you can choose to stay with that TEW working up to 6 and more repetitions before you increase the weight once again. Even when you do hit 6 to 8 repetitions or so on that target end weight you can still perform additional sets (no more than 2 or 3) using that same weight where you will most likely see the repetitions fall on those subsequent sets.

The important factor when working in this heavier rep range is to constantly focus on form while dialing mentally into the working muscles. You must stay in form to remain safe and not to recruit peripheral resources to assist when the weights begin to feel heavy. It is the initial lighter sets that serve as the preparatory stages somewhat similar to that of the first 10 repetitions of a 15 rep set.

Example: Let’s take a trainee who can bench press 205 pounds for a single repetition. They could set up the 6s as follows:

Set #1: 85 pounds for 6 repetitions

Set #2: 105 pounds for 6 repetitions

Set #3: 125 pounds for 6 repetitions

Set #4: 135 pounds for 6 repetitions

Set #5: 145 pounds for 6 repetitions

(Set #6): 155 pounds for 6 repetitions (TEW) Set #6 has brackets. No others do.

Set #7: 155 pounds roughly 4 repetitions

Set #8: 155 pounds roughly for 3 repetitions

Set #6 was marked for our example as the point where no more than 6 repetitions could be performed without failing. This is the target end weight (TEW). When hitting that TEW you may proceed with additional sets at that weight where you will see your repetitions fall below 6 which is fine. Keep rests down to 20 to 30 seconds. It gets challenging as the weight becomes heavier.

On subsequent workouts you will strive to get more than 6 repetitions on that target end weight. If on the next workout you do perform 8 repetitions on that 6th set (TEW does not have to occur on 6th set) you may wish to reset your Target End Weight to 160 pounds for the next workout.

This is actually a fun manner in which to train and a good way to break up workout monotony when you feel it necessary. You can rotate 6s into the muscle groups at any time to add variety.

If you give them an honest effort, 6s will bring a nice change of pace into your training…then you can try 3s!
Randy Roach,
Author of Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors

P.S.: Randys Bücher gibt es über seine Website und natürlich Amazon zu erwerben. Wie schon am Anfang erwähnt. Zugreifen, der Kauf wird nicht bereut!

P.P.S.: Hier ist eine interessante Doku zu Randy:

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