It’s been a week since Total Anabolism 3.0 was unleashed to the public.
Questions have been coming in thick and fast which I will now address.
Some of the questions are answered clearly and emphatically in the book itself. I said right from page one that you have to read the whole book.
I put a lot of time and effort into research and writing (and re-writing) this book and putting out there for free. All I ask is that if you want to maximize your muscle gains, read the thing in its entirety.
Some questions that I’ve been getting are from people who obviously haven’t read the book. These questions will be ignored. It’s the equivalent of accepting a gift from someone, seeing that there is an instruction manual that comes with it, handing the manual back to the giver and saying, “I can’t be bothered reading it, YOU read it and then tell me how it works”.
So that’s the rant over. Now to the questions…
“I love the workout Mark but is this THT cycle the final one? The only one? Is this it?”
In the comments section of the previous article I wrote the following,
“TA 3.0 is a FIRST INSTALLMENT based upon the past year’s research. There will be 3.1, 3.2, and so on.
Put simply, the TA 2.0, higher volume (more sets) approach is NOT over and done with! It will definitely have its place in this new system. However, I just need to spend some more time testing and tweaking it to fit. In short, there will be cycles of TA 2-style training and you will then “cycle the cycles”, so to speak.
The principles of Intensity, Volume, and Frequency are fundamental, BUT you can vary them and make the necessary adjustments in the other principles to compensate.
I say in the ‘1 set to failure’ section that I am not 100% sold on the idea that 1 set stimulates as much growth as multiple sets and that I would clarify this in a future update of the book.
Here’s it in summary for those who can’t wait…
Example, if I do more sets (let’s say 6) I will stimulate more growth (if done correctly) but also need much longer to recover. This would mean a higher volume but also a longer training frequency (longer POP).
The THT principles still hold true but they have been MANIPULATED to vary the program which I feel will be necessary in the long-term.
Please note that I will have the updated version ready before any of you finish a 3.0 cycle, so you’ll know what to do before that time comes.”
“I don’t have access to a dip station, what else can I do instead?”
Don’t be too concerned. Do incline bench presses instead.
“I’ve downloaded the workout logs, but there is no log for the Consolidation workouts.”
There ARE logs for the consolidation workouts. The Excel file contains 3 sheets. Open the file and look to the bottom. You will see 3 sheets labeled, “Mass1“, “Mass2“,and “Consolidation“. Simply click on each one to display the corresponding log.
You should also have noted that each 4th workout is missing i.e. there is no Workout 4, Workout 8, and so on. That’s because these are consolidation workouts and you have to click on the appropriate tab to display these training logs.
(Be aware that I made a mistake in the consolidation logs. I wrote ‘squats’ where it should have been ‘leg presses’ – please correct accordingly.)
“How do I warm-up for this workout?”
Since this is a fully body workout I would suggest a minute or 2 on either a cross trainer or a rowing machine at LOW intensity. Follow this up with a light set of squats (50% of working set) to get the whole body warmed up. That’s all you’ll need for the whole workout. There is NO need to do a light set of every exercise before the real working set.
“I need replacement exercises since I don’t have the necessary equipment.”
Before I answer this it is important to note that this cycle of THT does require the exact exercises listed. I will list some substitutes here, but if you cannot get resistance at the PCP, or work a muscle according to its function, the workout will not be maximally effective.
It is not my job to create the most popular workout in the world, or the one that everyone can do, but to let the FACTS dictate the precise training stresses/exercises that are MAXIMALLY effective for muscular hypertrophy. Having said that, of course growth can still be stimulated with more traditional exercises.
- Lat pull downs SUB WITH pull ups or decline cable pullovers
- Cable Preacher curl SUB WITH Standing cable curls or barbell curls where you lean torso forward at the top to create resistance at the PCP
- McManus Push Downs SUB WITH Lying barbell french curls
- Cable Shrugs SUB WITH dumbbell/barbell shrugs or even get a shrug bar
- Dips SUB WITH Incline Bench Press
- Decline Sit-Up SUB WITH Regular Sit-Ups with a weight on your chest or any cable crunching movement if you have access to it
- Pec Deck SUB WITH Pec Deck-style movements with a cable crossover machine. If you have only barbells and dumbbells just perform bench presses since dumbbell flies provide zero resistance at the top of the movement. Also consider partial flies followed immediately by flat bench press, done in the same manner as the shoulder superset in THT.
I hope that helps.
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Thanks for the great download, I’ve been using a similiar training method, only I’ve been using mainly compounds. I switched to the isolation type movements you mention and I’m sore as hell today! Not complaining at all!! I love it!! I’ve been using the MANS diet with this method of training and have found my POP to be 3-4 days depending on how active I am between workouts (ie. playing ice hockey and softball weekly). I never really cared for splits. I prefer to allow my body to recover in usison as opposed to separate body parts. In my opinion, you’ve taken scientifically proven facts about training and nutrition, and have applied them in a system where they compliment eachother for an approach that makes sense. Great Work!!
Mark due to me having no pec deck available I will then do 1 set of BB Flat presses then supersetted with DB Flat files.
Now would I be better placing CHEST after SHRUGS because on your workout log the CHEST is followed straight after TRICEP PUSHDOWNS which I will be to fatigued to give my chest enough justice?
Quick question Mark…just got done with school and the school gym had the fly machine like you show in the video with the elbows down and arms at 90 degrees. The gym I go to now that I am back at home only has the fly machine with the long lever arms and the handles with arms straight out…is this fly machine sufficient for THT?
I’m a great fan of yours, thanks for the articles.
I practice power/strength yoga daily for an hour and aikido twice a week for two hours at a time on non weight lifting days .
Will yoga and aikido slow my muscle grow? I love them both as much as I like weight lifting.
First off, a big thank you for taking the time with TA 2, and now TA 3. I’ve been a skinny fella for years, still am, but thanks to the specific instructions, and more importantly, the mechanical and biological reasons behind them, in TA2, I’m putting on muscle for the first time in my life!
I just want to give some feedback about this new system, and it’s in no way a criticism because I’m sure it works, it just won’t be for me! At the very least it’s meaningless to you, and at the most it might provide further stimulus to the debate (although I think you’ve already won that).
I won’t follow TA 3 for one simple reason, and that’s because I don’t follow your diet plan as well. Why is this such a big deal?
Because with TA 3, with the new idea of POP, if I followed my diet with this new structure, I’d probably get fat!
I’m soon to be 37 years old, and whilst I have a quick metabolism etc(hence the skinniness), my recovery rate will be, I’m sure, about 3 days. That’s a whole lot less workouts. With the diet that I have, if I have to wait 3 days before each workout, I’m pretty sure I’d get less muscle and more fat.
Don’t get me wrong, I eat healthily with the occasional lapse, but I eat carbs (wholewheat) and don’t worry about my diet too much. WIth this new program, for the first time ever, I think I’d have to be careful.
I don’t want my life to be run by what I eat, and constantly thinking/worrying about the next meal, and having to be strict, and basically my diet/workouts taking over my life.
With TA2, I honestly feel that this isn’t an issue, and feel/see the gains (as does my girlfriend haha).
Anyway, ramble over-I’m sure this new system works with the dietary parameters, but as mentioned, the strictness involved/potential for less workouts makes it a non starter for me. But I’m sure it will kick butt for those who will follow it!
Quick note: I’m lactose intolerant after a bout of nasty tropical food poisoning years ago (sadly Glutamine also affects my tummy) which makes things a lot harder for me. I use egg protein powder instead of whey. So following the diet/coming up with substitutes makes following the diet a lot harder.
thanks – and that question about dips reminds me once again that you should write a book of some kind for “small space workouts” – imagine that somebody in 300 square feet in NYC has only dumbbells of varying weights, a chair(s), bed, table, maybe a swiss ball and then design alternatives for every major exercise (meaning no big machines)…dude, i would pay for such a book, and i believe others would too (and not on here, i mean at a bookstore)
Dave – Mark has already written the book. You don’t need a gym if you use your head a tad. Or, use a ton of dumbells and a bench for just about everything. A basic bench with barbell stands and dip bars on the back doesn’t go for much and can be stood on end when not in use. I should know because I did the same thing for years when I lived in an apartment.
Sorry Mark, but I found that comment to be more than a little insulting. Your books are more than any serious lifter needs to get the shape that they want.
Pics coming this week – I promise!
North Bay, ON, Canada
Why bother posting? “Your system works but I’m not doing it” adds no value.
TSPA is a huge success for me. Starting stats 180 lbs / 20% body fat (36lbs).
After 4 weeks 175 lbs / 12% body fat (21 lbs)
I’m going to start 3.0 in the next week or two (perfect timing). Many thanks to all the work you do.
TED- no offense but that doesn’t sound like the best reason for not trying TA3. Regardless of what training program a person follows he or she should always modify the diet accordingly. However, if that person is eating healthy and not taking in excessive calories he or she isn’t going to get fat. Remember, once the muscles have been stimulated they need time to grow. During this time the metabolism is elevated due to catabolism and anabolism. Then once new muscle tissue has be created the metabolism has permanently increased slightly. As long as you are not taking in more calories than your body needs for this ongoing process (and as long as you aren’t living on the wrong kinds of food such as processed junk food) you are not going to get fat.
I like the science and ideas behind TA 3.0 and all, but after doing it couple times I don’t like it. I did TA 2.0 and enjoyed it more. It’s not that it doesn’t work, I just like higher volume and splits. You don’t get that satisfactory pump in your muscle when you do full body cause of the low volume, and specifically this 1 set volume. You can apply the POP method with splits as well just how Mark explained above. More volume, more rest thus how you do Back, Biceps let’s say Monday and rest longer(typically a week). I mean my POP is every other day, but for those who need longer- that’s like lifting twice a week. And the consolidation is super short. I’d do this if I had like a job, family, etc… but I’m still a high-school kid and got a shitload of time on my hands and I just wanna lift longer and enjoy it. I’m doing FST-7 right now.
You asked why bother posting. I state clearly at the statrt:”At the very least it’s meaningless to you, and at the most it might provide further stimulus to the debate ” Further stimulus to the debate is the bit you might have missed. As Mark himself states in TA3:
“Now, am I totally 100% convinced that 1 set will produce the maximum growth possible for any given bodypart? NO. While the data suggests that it may produce maximal or close-to-maximal growth, I disagree with some others in the High Intensity Training camp who believe that a second
set is the worst thing you could possibly do. Upcoming releases of this program will clarify this as well as expand the program as a whole so stay tuned!”
I was giving my own take on the subject, specifically on diet, which Mark is free to ignore.
@ Steve-that’s very true. I do eat healthy, but with lapses, and I also like a drink (hey I’m English-it’s what we do!). As stated, due to my age, and my likely recovery time between workouts being most likely 2-3 days, I would be working out less, with little cardio, which at my age of 36 (soon to be 37) would probably not be a good thing. I think Zero’s post is along my line of thinking.
If I could workout Mon/Wed/Fri using TA3 then I wouldn’t mind, but as stated, it would most likely be Mon, Thurs, Sun due to my age and subsequent recovery times. Combine that with a decent, but not overly strict and totally monitored diet at the age of 37, with no cardio in the workouts, and I’m not totally sure what I’d end up looking like!
@Paul. Thanks for that feedback. Glad you made the switch and are starting to experience new growth again.
@principal_lite. Remember, it’s flies first, then bench presses. Yes it would be a good idea to have more of a break between tri’s and chest if you are going to use this method.
@Mike. You’ll need to test it. The point is this: if your chest fails before your arms, it’s ok. If you find your front delts or biceps fail before your chest, it is not a good choice. Those machines involve the biceps a lot more than a proper pec deck. I’m not sure who the genius was who designed it. 😉
@Domingo. It just depends on the intensity of those activities. Low intensity is fine since it’s purely aerobic. If it’s anaerobic i.e. you ‘feel the burn’ or experience muscle fatigue, it’s becoming more anaerobic and may interfere with the recovery process to a degree. If your goal isn’t to get bigger as quickly as possible then it shouldn’t concern you too much anyway.
@Ted. I get it. You eat more than necessary so you feel you need to exercise more to work it off. Well you know my advice is to tell people to eat their sufficient calorie requirement and not above it. This applies whether you’re on TA 2 or TA 3, although a TA 2 cycle will expend more calories. I’d just like to say that exercise isn’t as effective as it’s made out to be (calorie-burn wise). You can’t eat a 600 cal slice of pie then train for 600 calories and think it’s all worked off. A book called ‘Body By Science’ comes highly recommended for more on this. Anyway, you say your TA2 cycle is producing gains and that’s what matters most, so good luck to you.
@Tim. Great to hear about your Total Six-Pack Abs success man!
This work out is the motivation I needed just a quick question in regards to recovery my upper body recovers quick but the squats put my legs out for 3 days any suggestions on a replacement so i can train more frequently ?
Thanks for feedback Mark will swap things over.
Ted- I am also 37 and have trained for almost three years on a twice per week HIT routine with no additional exercise or cardio. My caloric intake is between 3000 and 3500 per day and I generally maintain my current weight. My metabolism has always been pretty high but has noticeably declined with age. I will admit that I am not in lean condition but I am in no way fat.
In regards to training 3 days per week. I have just started TA3 and am currently training Mon, Wed, and Fri. So far my strength is increasing on each workout which tells me that the POP is correct, at least for now. However, I have always been able to train 2 or 3 days per week with similar results.
In any case you might consider giving it try (after TA2) before dismissing it completely.
Steve, why aren’t you lifting on Sundays, then on Tuesdays when obviously your POP is every other day like mine. You’re hitting atrophy… And I actually tested my POP again and I got stronger in the exercises in 24 hours so… lol? I did at least an extra rep or 2 on each exercise.
@ Mark Yes that’s pretty much it. I love going to the gym, but I also love to eat/drink, and don’t want to monitor my diet too closely. As mentioned, I tend to eat healthy with the odd blowout so it doesn’t normally cause too much of an issue. Thanks for the book recommendation,I was going to order it straight away until I realised that you’ve probably condensed what it says into TA3!
@ Steve. Thanks for the advice, maybe I will give it a go then as you’re roughly my age! My concern is, once again, I don’t monitor my diet, I have no idea what my calorific intake is (nor do I care), but if I apply common sense to my diet (as everyone should) then perhaps it can’t be that bad.
Zero you say you have too much time on your hands, get a girl friend if you have one spend more quality time with her.
Lool bro I hang out and all that shit. Lifting only takes 1 hour. Consolidation is like what, 15 mins? If I had a home gym, it would be a different situation, but it would be pointless packing shit up, riding to the gym, lift… and so on. I simply wake up, chill at home for a bit, lift, and then hangout especially now it’s summer= beach.
hey mark quick question. i have a bowflex that my parents bought awhile ago and i was wondering if that would be smart to use for the exercises in total anabolism 3.0? because most peoplee are incredbily quick to just shoot it down
Zero- As I mentioned previously I get almost the same strength results training 3 days per week as I do 2 days per week. But some of the research out there tends to show better body composition changes from 3 days per week. I decided to increase my frequency just to see if it makes any difference for me. That and the fact that I work a full-time job, averaging 9-10 hours a day plus many weekends. So, when I get a free Sunday I would rather relax than do anything related to manual labor, including working out. If I don’t atrophy on a twice per week routine I surely won’t on a 3 day per week routine. In fact on average I can go two weeks without working out and still maintain my current weight and strength levels.
Kay cool. I can as well depending on what happens in those 2 weeks.
Mark – Is it normal to be losing weight while following a MANS diet (very low carbs M-F, carb up Weekends) and a 5 day THT split? Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way displeased with my body but it just seems like at my age (21) I should be putting on weight and not losing it as agressive as I am being in the gym. I am 6’2″ and when I started using TA 2.0 principals I was around 190, and this morning I weighed in at 183. I do look very cut right now though so it’s not really a complaint, just wondering if it was normal?
I’ve got a question on cable shrugs. What type of equipment bar do we use? Could you post an image example link?
I use a normal Revolving Straight Bar that came with my equipment.
Thanks for your help man! Your posts are a big motivation for me and my friend now when we decided to go really serious with our traing! A great tips from me to you is https://bit.ly/aikxIG What are your tips?
I did the MANS diet recently and lost 5kg in 3 weeks and ended up skinny (72-67kg). It’s incredibly easy to under eat on a low carb diet, despite you constantly eating. I stopped in the end, and am back to my previous plans. I’m not knocking MANS (in hindsight I implemented it incorrectly) but make sure you count your caloiries very carefully on a daily basis else your gains will be gone. The GLAD diet is possibly better for bulking and is much easier to get your calories.
when do you do these consolidation workouts as stated in TA3 im confused?
Hi Mark, does your recommendation of minimal increments in weights apply to beginners as well? If I am starting out wtih 75 lb on flies but know that I can get to more easily (either because I have done more in prior years or because 75 seems too low for my age and size), then should I do bigger increments in the beginning and fall to shorter increments later?
When you have hit three mass phase workouts your 4th will be a Consolidation. Check out link