by John Barban Adonis Method
If you’ve been paying attention to the diet and fitness industry you’ll notice that different workout styles come in and out of vogue. Most recently cross fit has become popular, but it will fade in time just like many other styles like athletic training, Olympic lifting, power lifting, and ‘functional training’.
Each of these styles of workout had it’s benefits, but they key to maximizing that benefit is to take it 100% seriously and follow it with dedication.
I was recently talking with fitness author John Barban, and he described it as the difference between training with a purpose, or just merely ‘working out’.
The following story is what he told me when he realized what is was like to finally start ‘training’.
“I started powerlifting in my late 20’s. I thought of myself as a pretty strong guy at the time, and I also thought that I knew how to train. Well I quickly found out I wasn’t that strong, and until I started powerlifting I wasn’t ‘training’, I was just ‘working out’.
You see most guys go to the gym without a structured plan, without knowing the exact sets, reps and rest times they will be faced with each day, and without understanding how each individual training sessions builds towards the next one.
My first powerlifting session left me in pain for over a week! We did an hour of squatting, then an hour of bench pressing, then another hour of squatting!!! And that was just Monday!
I had no idea what my body was capable of, and after that workout I realized I had just been going through the motions at the gym.
I started looking around the gym and realized most other guys were just working out. Sure they were building up a sweat and moving some weight, but they had no structure to their workouts, no plan, and they certainly weren’t pushing as hard as we were. And the most glaring of all, they weren’t making any progress, they looked the same week in and week out, and they lifted the same amount of weight in the same pattern week in and week out…looking back it’s no wonder that they never changed, they had no idea how to train or to progress.
Our powerlifting workouts were structured and regimented right down to the number of seconds of rest between sets. We had to complete every rep before we could move on to the next set. We had to complete ever set before moving on to the next exercise…no questions asked. If you missed a rep at the end of your set, you were not allowed to move on to the next set until you completed that rep, even if you had to do it as a single set of one rep.
This is when I truly understood what it meant to be ‘training’ vs ‘working out’.
Most guys go to the gym and just put in a ‘workout’. They go by feel, and ‘listen to their bodies’. I can tell you that this will not produce the results you’re hoping for.
If I had ‘listened to my body’ I would have quit powerlifting half way through the first workout when I found out we were going back to the squat rack for our second hour of squatting!”
The point is that true growth and gains come when you’re outside of your comfort zone, and when you’re pushing past what you did the last time.
This is the most basic and fundamental concept in weight training, it’s called progressive resistance, the key word being ‘progressive’. That means it must get more challenging over time.
Without a structured program how will you ever know if you’re progressing, how will you know what the next step really is to get to your goals?
The short answer is, you won’t.
This is why a well designed structured program that is targeted towards your specific goals is a must.
I’m not suggesting you do powerlifting, in fact John doesn’t do powerlifting any more either. He realized that getting stronger at all costs was never really what he wanted.
What he really wanted was a symmetrical and proportioned physique with the classic V-taper, wide shoulders and a ripped narrow waist. This meant he had to come up with an entirely new training system to get there, and undo some of the changes that his previous powerlifting did to his body. Namely getting too big throughout his waist and allowing himself to gain far too much bulk and fat.
Using his experiences from past training programs he designed a system that progressed towards the goal of the V-taper proportions.
I’ve seen the program is it’s not like any other system I’ve come across. You’ll recognize principles of powerlifting, functional training, bodybuilding, and even Olympic lifting in it for sure, but never in this pattern or in this style.
The most interesting thing about this program is that it’s designed with the single goal of a perfectly proportioned physique in mind.
If you’re ready and willing to get outside of your comfort zone and start progressing towards your ideal physique then this program is what you’re looking for.