Showing posts from October, 2010

Yoked Out

What's a good way to go about building up your yoke (neck, traps,& upper back)?
Your first version of the Shotgun Method may be a good start, in my opinion. The clean and press and the deadlift would hit these areas. But how would you go about the training for the 3rd day? Would high pulls, shrugs and face pulls or rows be overkill on the third day?

Thanks for your time.


My Answer: You'd be correct in assuming that the first incarnation of the Shotgun Method will build up your traps and upper back. If you want to build up the neck, then Volume One features an exercise you can use to build up your neck.

Now if you wanted to incorporate rows, high pulls, shrugs and face pulls, that's fine. Simply include them in the following shotgun and troubleshooting workouts:

Workout #1: Shotgun

Clean and press (back, traps, triceps, biceps and deltoids)
8 sets of 3-5 reps
90-second rest

Pull-ups (back, biceps, forearms, and deltoids)
8 sets of 3-5 reps
90-second rest

Deadlifts (quadric…

Quad Triset from Hell

Q: Just whipped through Neo-Classical Bodybuilding. Hope to start fully into it in the new year. I'm currently traveling for work every 2 weeks or so, usually to quite rural areas (town's < 2000 population) in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. I mostly adhere to body weight workouts (+40lb weight vest) when on the road. However, come the new year I'm going to be back to a city with great access to a gym, and so will be starting the S+P Program as you have outlined in the first half of the book.

I have been training for 7 years now with weights. I've held a body-weight around 200 lbs. now for 6 years after a max of 300 (fatty lb) some 9 years ago. My most recent focused cycle in the gym was fall/winter 09/10. I gained 25 lbs. doing a 5x5 system, with breathing squats 2x weekly added, then pursued a Muscle and Fitness Rock Solid workout program for 10 weeks to cut. I had some great physique changes that have persisted. I have also incorporated some Crossfit training ov…

How Long on The Shotgun Method?

My girlfriend’s son is a federal inmate in Kentucky. For months his conversation included comments about you and how he’d love to receive some of your strength building material. Corey instructs a strength building class in prison. Recently I’d sent Corey several of your books, which has helped him immensely. Here’s a question Corey wanted answered:

Shotgun Method: How long do you do that routine before you incorporate a decompression phase?


My Answer: Wow, I never thought my books would end up in a federal prison. Anyway to answer your question, the Shotgun Method typically lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks. The Shotgun workouts are very taxing and can take a lot of you. So how long you stay on the program depends on when you start to feel overtrained.

When you first do the Shotgun workout, you will feel somewhat energized, because the multiple sets of low reps is waking up your nervous system. Once you start dreading the workouts or you find your energy levels diminished, then t…

Jump Start Muscle Growth

Hi James,

I've enjoyed all of your articles and appreciate all the info that you share on your blog. I've done quite a few programs that you've outlined (pyramids, Body Contract 2.0, 5x5, 3x5, 8x8, etc.) with some positive results. As a 23 year old ectomorph (6'2", 157 lbs.) who has been working out for 8 years, it's a nice change of pace to see some gains (however slight) in size and strength.

One question that I've had for a while though: are there any guiding principles for creating training macro-cycles (in other words, choosing your next workout program)? Per your response to one question on your blog I'm ordering your Neo-Classical Bodybuilding book for Christmas to dig a little deeper and figure out how to sequence routines once and for all.

As Christmas is a while away though, I figured I'd check out your ectomorph specific PDF in the meantime. Thanks for all the info you've already shared, I really look forward to reading your book. I&…

Less is Better

Basketball players, an example of the ectomorphic body type

Nice article on ectomorph training. I've always been right in the middle. Not a true ecto. My father at 80 is big boned and a former college football player.

Me, on the other hand, never got the height or big bone structure, but have added muscle over the years by experimenting with training programs. For me, less is better. Good article.


My Answer: Glad you like the article, Pat. For natural bodybuilders, less is better, but only in certain parameters. It's better to train in less time. More volume or more intensity in less time.

Like I said in the article, ectomorphs are essentially beginners. For them, less volume done frequently is the way to go.