Monday, October 14, 2013

Base Building Manual

Getting near completion on it.

Throwing out an excerpt since I'm busy with it.......

I’m here to tell you that there is no “one way” to train forever. It doesn’t matter if you are a bodybuilder, strongman, powerlifter, fitness competitor, etc.

Each time you reach a new plateau or come to point of stagnation, you either have to evolve and understand what you need to change to improve, or you just succumb to the stagnation.

Just from a high level overview kind of standpoint…..

Your "offseason" should be spent with lots of work in the 8 rep range, or more. The entire purpose of it should be to create a larger foundation of muscle mass. You are not trying to build limit strength in the offseason.

I see FAR too much of this from guys these days and it's a big reason why they get stuck for so long, at certain plateaus.

You have to create a bigger YOU. This means lots of rep work, doing bodybuilding style training. Why are you spending the offseason, months away from a meet doing singles, doubles, and triples? It makes no sense. You need to plan your training in stages so that one phase sets you up for success in the next phase.

Well if you've been hammering away a limit strength for months on end, you aren't going to be growing. No matter what anyone tells you, no one gets big off of singles, doubles, and triples. You grow via reps and time under tension.

After such a phase, if it was successful, you transition into base building work. This is to spend time in sub max intensities and working technique over and over again via volume.

One of the big mistakes I see guys doing now is training too fucking heavy with high volume work. I don't care if someone has one person who did well with it, the majority of people can't train high volume AND heavy. Once the intensities start rising, the volume has to be backed down. You shouldn't be doing a bunch of volume in the 85+% range. It should be below 80%, where speed is fast and technique is hammered down.

After such a phase, then you taper into a peaking phase for competition where the intensity rises, and the volume comes down. This is the natural ebb and flow of a good training macro-cycle with micro-cycles incorporated into it. This is how you would set up training in phases for year round progress, so that you avoid plateaus and stagnation.

So here are, in my opinion, the different phases that will eventually need to be rotated through your training “life” in order to move you up to a new level. You’re going to have to be cognizant enough in your training life to know when it’s time to take one of these approaches for awhile in order to improve.


  1. Can't wait to read your work Paul!

  2. Looking forward to this book. But your not a fan of heavy high volume? Worked great for me, i also think jim steel is big on the heavy high volume and he himself and the people he trains especially the two women he works with are damn strong

    1. I don't think Jim is a fan of heavy high volume. I think he had a guy write in saying he tried Jamie's style training and did well with it. I will stand by my opinion that you can't train like that for a long period of time, or as a mainstay. And honestly, doing singles is not high volume.

    2. Right... Jamie's workout templates are typically 15x1, 12x2, or 10x3 on only a 2-3 exercises. Thats only 15, 24, and 30 reps. Granted the weight is heavy, but we are not talking hundreds of reps here.

      Pauls 350 method alone probably has more volume in it than many of his workouts, and thats just one section of his workout. Granted the intensity is quite a bit lower but thats the trade off you have to make.

      Everyone is under the impression that Jamie lifts at 100% 1RM for 3 hours at a time for some reason, and thats just not true.

    3. Yeah I don't consider what Jamie does to be high volume at all. I also don't like his training style personally, but it works well for him. I think it works for him in spite of what he does. I also don't think he even does triples anymore. He literally can't get his head out of the whole "singles" thing.

  3. and what if i dont compete yet becouse im weak?

    1. not a good reason. all of us are "weak" compared to someone else that's stronger.

  4. @ XL: I was not strong at all at my first meet. It doesn't matter. PL'ers are generally pretty cool people. The whole experience is awesome to get under your singlet (or belt).

  5. Hi Paul,

    Would you consider 6-8 reps basebuilding?