For the latest installment of our Intensity Techniques, we’ve decided to give a big shout out to Eric Broser who has built a truly dynamic and intense lifting program. He developed the very popular Power, Rep Range, Shock Training system (before it was cool to develop your own training system).
A few years ago, his very sick and twisted mind developed what we would call the mother of all intensity techniques – Muscle Fiber Destruction/Fiber Saturation (or FD/FS, for short). In essence, he takes different sets to emphasize the eccentric (or negative) part of the rep and the “stretch under tension” part of the rep. Here are examples of each using the dumbbell chest press.
For the Fiber Destruction part, we’ll start with the eccentric portion. You would start with the weight at the top, then slowly bring the weight down (the negative or eccentric part of the rep) for a count of 4-5 seconds; pause for 1 at the bottom; then explode the weight up…that’s one rep. You’d normally do between 6-8 reps because of how intense this technique is.
For the stretch under tension portion, using the same exercise, you’d bring it down for a count of 1 or 2 (however long it usually takes you), then hold the controlled stretch at the bottom for 3-4 seconds; then explode the weight back up. Again, that’s one rep taken to about 6-8 reps.
Finally, for the Fiber Saturation part (here’s where the fun really begins!). With the previous techniques, you’ve really damaged the muscle. Now it’s time to soak your muscles with as much nutrient-rich blood as possible (and trust us, this is a good thing). For these sets, we move the weight in a piston-like fashion for very high reps – anywhere from 20-50 reps. You will obviously need a lower weight than what you usually do. A good guess would be about ½ of what you would normally use for a given exercise.
You can check out his FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout online to get more details on the entire protocol, but you get the idea. And, with this technique, the world is your oyster. You can perform them however you want to. The only limiting factor is your mind!