I take a minimalist approach to fitness.
The die-hards may call me a Lazy Lifter, and the young bucks an Old Man, but killing myself in the weight-room doesn’t get me any closer to my goal. Which has nothing to do weight-belting myself into a powerlifting meet, or T-boosting and blood flow restricting myself onto to the cover of Muscle & Fitness.
If you’re a gym rat this may surprise you, but I’d venture to say 99.9% of the population feels the same way. And as unfortunate as it sounds, most want to look, feel and perform better with as little time spent ‘working out’ as possible.
With this universal training goal in mind, my programs usually focus on the 4 major compound movements:
- Bend (Knee)
- Extend (Hip)
And for the majority of my clients, tends to revolve around supersetting non-competing upper and lower body exercises:
Without getting into the training variables, I’m sure you can see why this is effective. Especially for those that want a maximum return on their exercise efforts, with a minimal investment in time.
But that being said, this 3 day a week routine of total-body strength training, isn’t exactly Muscle Mania. Sure you can blow it up with slow eccentric tempos (4-0-1-0), high rep ranges (9-12), and short rest periods, but we can definitely do better with respect to building muscle.
The only challenge, is maintaining the efficiency. We don’t want this to become a giant muscular endurance session, and as discussed, our clients aren’t interested in body-part-a-day bodybuilding business.
…enter The 6-60/12-120
Similar to the Total Body routine, this program maintains the Upper-Lower Superset pairings, but gives them their own dedicated training day.
Day 1 – Push-Extend
Day 2 – Pull-Bend
Then, instead of doing separate supersets, it doubles them up (like a quad set). Dedicating the first superset to multi-joint strength based movements, and the second superset (still in the same set) to more isolated exercises.
A1 – Extend Compound – 4×6 – 4010 – 0sec rest
A2 – Push Compound – 4×6 – 4010 – 60sec rest
A3 – Extend Isolation – 4×12 – 4010 – 0sec rest
A4 – Push Isolation – 4×12 – 4010 – 120sec rest
A1 – Bend Compound – 4×6 – 4010 – 0sec rest
A2 – Pull Compound – 4×6 – 4010 – 60sec rest
A3 – Bend Isolation – 4×12 – 4010 – 0sec rest
A4 – Pull Isolation – 4×12 – 4010 – 120sec rest
There’s a little wiggle room with respect to the rest periods, as you could do a split rest (30/30 and 60/60) if you choose, but it was originally designed with a total rest of 60 seconds after the strength superset and a total rest of 120 seconds after the hypertrophy superset “” hence the name!
What’s cool about this program, is that despite the 4-exercise set, it maintains the necessary rest and time-under-tension that’s conducive to the training goal.
For instance, there’s partial recovery (90 seconds) after the first compound leg exercise, which is conducive to hypertrophy. And there’s full recovery (180 seconds) after the second compound leg exercise, which is necessary for strength.
We also see appropriate TUT (Time Under Tension), with the strength set coming in at 30 seconds, and the follow-up hypertrophy set coming in at 60 seconds.
Meaning, the 6-60/12-120 is applying the proper stressor, using the appropriate rest, and maintaining efficiency without turning the workout into a ginormous muscular endurance (aerobic) session.
With respect to training frequency, you’re looking at completing 3 sessions over the course of a week, with at least 2 days rest between similar days.
|Day 1||Day 2||Off||Day 1||Off||Off||Off|
|Day 1||Off||Day 2||Off||Day 1||Off||Off|
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 1||Off||Off||Off||Off|
Technically, you could do 4, but this was originally designed for my clients that were doing 30-minute sessions 3 times/week.
Did I mention that the 6-60/12-120 only takes 21 minutes?
Here’s a sample:
Day 1 – Push + Extend
|A2||Incline BB Bench||4||6||3-0-1-0||60|
|A3||Prone Leg Curl||4||12||4-0-1-0||0|
|A4||Flat DB Flys||4||12||4-0-1-0||120|
Day 2 – Pull + Bend
|A1||BB Box Squats||4||6||3-0-1-0||0|
|A3||Seated Leg Extension||4||12||4-0-1-0||0|
|A4||Prone DB Lateral Raises||4||12||4-0-1-0||120|
And here’s another one, using slightly more compound/functional exercises in the second superset:
Day 1 – Push + Extend
|A1||BB Glute Bridge||4||6||3-0-1-0||0|
|A3||90 Back Extension||4||12||4-0-1-0||0|
|A4||Flat DB Bench Press||4||12||4-0-1-0||120|
Day 2 – Pull + Bend
|A1||BB Front Squats||4||6||3-0-1-0||0|
|A2||BB Bent Over Row||4||6||3-0-1-0||60|
Train Smart Not More
Even when muscle building is the goal, ‘training more’ isn’t always the best approach. In many cases, your clients would see far better results if they put a little more focus on what they do OUTSIDE the gym (eating right and sleeping more).
The reason this is one of my go-to programs, is because there’s no additional stress, in the form of longer sessions or higher frequencies. We’re still training 3 times a week, and we’re still working out efficiently (< 30 minutes).
My clients don’t want to be bodybuilders, and I’m guessing yours don’t either. So instead of trying to convince them that training 4-6 days a week and giving up their social life is necessary to put on muscle, try giving them the 6-60/12-120.