Ho hum. Yada, yada, yada. Is this how you feel about your current workout routine? Do you use the same old, same old, 3 sets of 6-10 reps for each exercise, day in and day out?
There’s no reason to stay in a rut. And there’s no reason to keep your routines methodical and boring. Training should be engaging. It should make you think, and excite you. The last thing you want is for a training system to turn you into a zombie. So fasten your seat belts, it's time to blast off!
The Blastoff Training System
The Blastoff training system is based on 4 waves. During a 4 week period, you will move from a heavy volume, lighter weight wave of 10 sets x 10 reps, to a heavier weight, 4 set x 4 rep wave.
Here are the waves:
- Wave 1: Ten's. Wave 1 utilizes 10 sets of 10 reps, with 60 seconds of rest between each set. Start with a weight that is approximately 50% of your one rep max (1RM) for the lift.
- Wave 2: Eight’s. Wave 2 utilizes 8 sets of 8 reps, with 90 seconds of rest between sets. Start with a weight that is approximately 60% of your one rep max (1RM) for the lift.
- Wave 3: Six’s. Wave 3 utilizes 6 sets of 6 reps, with 120 seconds (2 minutes) of rest between sets. Start with a weight that is approximately 70% of your one rep max (1RM) for the lift.
- Wave 4: Four’s. Wave 4 utilizes 4 sets of 4 reps, with 180 seconds (3 minutes) of rest between sets. Start with a weight that is approximately 80% of your one rep max (1RM) for the lift.
It is recommended that you use a 4-day split while training with the Blastoff system. The split can be setup to suit your training preferences. Don’t overload one day with too many body parts and exercises. You want to try to keep each workout under an hour.
Here is a sample 4-day split:
- Day 1. Chest and Triceps
- Day 2. OFF
- Day 3. Back and Abs
- Day 4. OFF
- Day 5. Shoulders and Biceps
- Day 6. Legs
- Day 7. OFF
You’ll want to use a staggered wave approach when starting the Blastoff training system. You have 4 workouts each week, and you want to perform all 4 waves in that given week. Here is how a staggered wave structure would look like for the sample split routine:
- Chest and Triceps…Wave 1
- Back and Abs…Wave 2
- Shoulders and Biceps…Wave 3
- Legs…Wave 4
- Chest and Triceps…Wave 2
- Back and Abs…Wave 3
- Shoulders and Biceps…Wave 4
- Legs and Triceps…Wave 1
- Chest and Triceps…Wave 3
- Back and Abs…Wave 4
- Shoulders and Biceps…Wave 1
- Legs…Wave 2
- Chest and Triceps…Wave 4
- Back and Abs…Wave 1
- Shoulders and Biceps…Wave 2
- Legs…Wave 3
For a given wave, when you can perform all of the sets for the target rep range, move up in weight the following time you perform that wave again. For example…let’s say you manage to bench press 250 pounds for 4 sets of 4 reps. This is the wave 4 workout. The next time you perform the wave 4 workout for bench press, add 5 pounds to the bar.
This sample progression style is followed for each of the waves. When you can hit all 10’s, 8’s, 6’s and 4’s, move up in weight for that specific wave.
To structure a routine using Blastoff waves, we need to first understand how long a single exercise will take with the given rep and set schemes. With the stated rest periods, a single set for each wave should last the following amount of time:
- Wave 1. 20 minutes per exercise (10 sets w/60 seconds rest)
- Wave 2. 20 minutes per exercise (8 sets w/90 seconds rest)
- Wave 3. 16 minutes per exercise (6 sets w/120 seconds rest)
- Wave 4. 13 minutes per exercise (4 sets w/180 seconds rest)
Always try to limit your workouts to no longer then 60 minutes. When using Wave 1 and Wave 2 workouts, you will not be able to perform more then two primary sets, and one accessory exercise per workout. On Wave 3 days, you will be performing 3 primary exercises, and on Wave 4 days, you will be performing 3 primary exercises, and 1-2 accessory movements.
- Wave 1. 2 primary exercises, 1 accessory exercise
- Wave 2. 2 primary exercises, 1 accessory exercise
- Wave 3. 3 primary exercises, 0 accessory exercise
- Wave 4. 3 primary exercises, 1-2 accessory exercises
Primary and Accessory Exercises
In general, you’ll want to use heavy, compound movements as your primary exercises. Accessory work can either be an isolation exercise targeting the second muscle group on a given training day, or a standard 3 set x 6-10 rep hypertrophy approach as a second exercise to supplement a larger muscle group.
Example 1: Two Primary Exercises for the Chest
Example 2: One Primary Exercise Each for the Chest & Triceps
As you can see, the program is flexible. While you will be using a limited amount of exercises per day, the manner in which you use them is completely up to you. Instead of using flyes as the second exercise for chest, you could choose dips, dumbbell bench presses, pec deck, etc.
On Wave 3 days, you will again be using only 3 exercises, but each of them will be with a 6x6 rep and set scheme.
Wave 4 days are more flexible. Because they are primarily a strength training day, you’ll want to resist the urge to do isolation work when using the 4x4 protocol.
Here are two sample Wave 4 workouts:
Example 1: Three Primary Exercises, 2 for Chest.
- Bench Press, 4 x 4
- Incline bench Press, 4 x 4
- Flyes, 3 x 6-10 (Accessory)
- Closegrip Bench Press, 4 x 4
- Skullcrushers, 3 x 6-10
Example 2: Three Primary Exercises, 3 for Chest (Chest focus).
- Bench Press, 4 x 4
- Dips, 4 x 4
- DB Bench Press, 4 x 4
- Skullcrushers, 3 x 6-10
- Closegrip Bench Press, 3 x 6-10
Please note that in both Wave 4 examples, two accessory movements are used. Again, this is not mandatory. You can use only one accessory movement if you choose.
In the Blastoff system, you are moving from light weight and high volume, to lower volume and heavy weight. Do not add additional exercises to this structure. The Blastoff system provides a natural, cyclical approach to training that can induce crazy muscle growth while avoiding the joint straining burden that comes from constantly training with heavy loads.
This is not an easy program. Volume days will leave your body very sore. Drink plenty of water, and get plenty of rest.