Kitchen Sink Training: Back and Chest

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I am often asked by friends and colleagues; “Erick, how do you stay so lean since you only train 3 -4 days/ week?” My answer is usually …

  1. I eat a low-carb, high protein, good fat diet year-round, and
  2. I follow a high-volume, high-density strength training program. 

High-volume, high-density training is nothing new. Many great minds in the iron game have used it with great success – the following three are thus only examples of the many legends that inspired this workout:

  • Bill Pearl, who was known for his enduring training sessions that lasted 2.5 to 3 hrs and in which he said, he attempted to complete about 30 sets/ hour
  • Vince Gironda, the original “trainer to the stars”, who is credited with the “10 sets of 10 reps” and the “8 sets of 8 reps” training protocols, was a big proponent of multiple sets with short rest intervals
  • IFBB legend, Milos Sarcev, still a big proponent of very-high volume giant sets which sometimes include up to 10 consecutive exercises for the same muscle group. 

The following program is the type of training I perform 50% of the time. It is great for hypertrophy and fat loss. In my previous articles, I have repeatedly pointed out that the best way to break out of a training rut is to expose the body to an unaccustomed stress – either qualitative or quantitative. And today’s workout definitely falls into the latter category – it’s a classic high volume workout as one of the aforementioned gentlemen could have prescribed it.


 Workout details The goal of this program is to cram 2 hours worth of training into a 1 hour training session.

  •  Warm up by performing 1-2 sets of the circuit with light weight.
  • Perform 6 exercises for each body part broken in to two circuits; the first circuit consists of 4 exercises, the second circuit 2.
  • You do back and chest on the same day; so all total, you will complete 12 exercises.
  • Tempo: For this workout, every repetition of every set is perform in a controlled manner at a 2010 tempo; a “2010 tempo” is a continuous tension tempo where no rest is allowed between concentric and eccentric portion of the exercise
  • Rest intervals: No rest between exercises; move to the next station as quickly as possible.
  • Rest 2 -3 minutes after completing each round of exercises (as indicated above)