Not all training programs have to be complex. In fact, one simple, popular and effective protocol is based on the number four, and there’s a good reason why it works. What makes the protocol unusual is that each exercise provides a unique training stimulus. When training a given body part, after warming up:
1. The first movement is done very heavy for a set of just four reps to focus on building maximal strength.
2. The second is done with relatively lighter weights – hit failure at eight reps – to focus on muscle size, on the lower end of the optimal hypertrophy range.
3. The third is done with even lighter weights that also build size on the upper end of the optimal hypertrophy zone – 12 reps.
4. The last move is done with very light weights taken to 16 reps, to pump the muscle by initiating intramuscular biochemical changes and driving fluids into the muscle cell, and that encourages a degree of muscular endurance.
Combine mainly multi-joint exercises from different angles and you’re set.