MB Madaera
Lost 31.7 lbs fat
Built 11.7 lbs muscle


Chris Madaera
Built 9 lbs muscle


Keelan Parham
Lost 30 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle


Bob Marchesello
Lost 23.55 lbs fat
Built 8.55 lbs muscle


Jeff Turner
Lost 25.5 lbs fat


Jeanenne Darden
Lost 26 lbs fat
Built 3 lbs muscle


Ted Tucker
Lost 41 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle

 
 

Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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New BDJ Book
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Been enjoying an advanced read of Johnston's new book, full a great friggen ideas and combos. Looks quite dense like the cluster sets he has talked about here. I remember many years back when Landau brought up breakdowns on the Serious Strength board and how I was getting big into strings of mini sets. When you zone train a lot you tend to make a lot of adjustments as you get good at it. This leads naturally to what Brian calls clusters. The thing is BDJ has a real knack for picking out the best combos and this read is filled with them. I have had to stop many times just to make myself some notes so I can keep track. Bottom line, it is good to see Brian in agreement with me that thick groupings of mini sets can make variation really come alive.

By example pumping a few reps then holding that position static for a moment and repeating is killer especially when you vary the position in the ROM in which it is done. Take a chin/dip assist and a DB sumo squat and circuit around with it this way to insane effect. (BTW Brian really gets into the circuits in a big way in this book). You can start in the mid third of the Dip, pump three reps hold for three and repeat to high congestion then switch to DB sumo then Chin then start back at dip near the bottom, then Sumo same then Chin near top. Finally go around Dip, Sumo, Chin doing near top, top and bottom respectively. Rarely do you even need to change load.

Anyway Brian gets into it way way more in depth and it is well explained, I also believe there will be an accompanying DVD which should really make it easier to pick up on. Great to see him back at writing after many years hiatus, I'll post a full review later.

Regards,
Andrew
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cmg

Sounds great! Please advise when it is available.

Thank you Andrew!

Ron
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DNAHelix

New York, USA

I have Brian's DVDs, which have a lot if great ideas, and I am looking forward to his book. Hopefully he will put it for pre-sale for us before it goes on sale for general public.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Thanks Andrew. Only you and Dr. Darden were provided advanced copies, and I am fortunate enough to have someone of Dr. Darden's caliber to contribute the foreword.

The book has several ideas, all of which can be done on their own or integrated within the same workout and even set! Although I provided details on every application, just because I think it's clear, it may not be... and that's the reason I need to put together a DVD demonstrating these things.

I have a few things on my plate, then expect to get to it by the end of August. I have nearly 50 video segments to shoot, and so I'm not sure how quick this will be completed (I have to learn how to use a new program as well... Movie Maker Live... but I'm expected to be have this project done sometime in the Fall).

It won't be for sale to the general public per se... I'll offer a copy to whoever wants a copy, but I'm not developing a site to sell it. The primary reason for organizing this latest book is for my own sanity... I was applying so many ideas that I was forgetting what I was applying, lol. I like to have a catalogued inventory from which to refer to and to keep things straight (sometimes you come across something pretty darn good, but after milking it, you leave it... and even forget about it).
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Andrew,
that routine sounds interesting, who is the target audience for the book?

Clusters and combo's are advanced but you included beginner equipment in your combo (chin/dip assist) which seems more like the cross-fit approach of helping beginners perform difficult exercises with training wheels.

Looking forward to hearing more in your review.

Brian,
how long you can milk the different exercises before they stop working; do you have a chart or any general observations in the book?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Tom:

It depends on the complexity of the application, how hard it is trained, when you peak in the loading, etc. I tell people that once the load feels right (it could take a workout to figure it out), then no more than two workouts then change. That does not mean change everything, but that some aspect needs to change.
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st3

Brian,
I want a copy. I've purchased most of your stuff over the years and its been helpful. However, I really "got it" when I watched you at the resurgence conference. Your live application helped revolutionize my personal training. Make sure to letme know when your new work is available!
Steve
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wellness warrior

Brian
Enjoyed and performed your circuit training as described in Synergy 2012. Looking forward to your new book and DVD....please keep us posted when available.

Andrew - Thanks for the "heads up" on the new book.
Be Well
Terry
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Tomislav wrote:
Andrew,
that routine sounds interesting, who is the target audience for the book?

Clusters and combo's are advanced but you included beginner equipment in your combo (chin/dip assist) which seems more like the cross-fit approach of helping beginners perform difficult exercises with training wheels.

Looking forward to hearing more in your review.



The audience would be anyone who wants to breath new life into their training...without going off on a useless tangent that is.

That is the basic example I always use because it is easy to understand. When those who don't mix it up try it they are often very surprised at the result. Looking at things in a new way while staying within effect bounds can end up being far more stimulating than you might expect. Brian has a true knack for...I shouldn't say 'mixing it up' but rather restructuring things in new highly effect ways. Everyone can learn the skill but this book will go a long way to getting you there.

Regards,
Andrew
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

wellness warrior wrote:
Brian
Enjoyed and performed your circuit training as described in Synergy 2012. Looking forward to your new book and DVD....please keep us posted when available.

Andrew - Thanks for the "heads up" on the new book.
Be Well
Terry


I have been really enjoying the circuit stuff as well. Going back and forth between circuit weeks and then weeks of new structures to hammer choice muscle groups provides a nice motivation.

Regards,
Andrew
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HDLou

Brian Johnston wrote:
Thanks Andrew. Only you and Dr. Darden were provided advanced copies, and I am fortunate enough to have someone of Dr. Darden's caliber to contribute the foreword.

The book has several ideas, all of which can be done on their own or integrated within the same workout and even set! Although I provided details on every application, just because I think it's clear, it may not be... and that's the reason I need to put together a DVD demonstrating these things.

I have a few things on my plate, then expect to get to it by the end of August. I have nearly 50 video segments to shoot, and so I'm not sure how quick this will be completed (I have to learn how to use a new program as well... Movie Maker Live... but I'm expected to be have this project done sometime in the Fall).

It won't be for sale to the general public per se... I'll offer a copy to whoever wants a copy, but I'm not developing a site to sell it. The primary reason for organizing this latest book is for my own sanity... I was applying so many ideas that I was forgetting what I was applying, lol. I like to have a catalogued inventory from which to refer to and to keep things straight (sometimes you come across something pretty darn good, but after milking it, you leave it... and even forget about it).


Brian. You ever consider converting your latest books to an e-book format and selling them on amazon.com as kindle books?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I could be wrong, but I think you need a US bank on US soil to have an account with Amazon.com; I looked into it years back when running the IART.
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Fatso

Brian Johnston wrote:
I could be wrong, but I think you need a US bank on US soil to have an account with Amazon.com; I looked into it years back when running the IART.


You can open a createspace account from anywhere in the world. They're owned by amazon and will let your book be listed there. You set your own pricing and margins. That's what I've done with mine (No Time to Fry: Tales of a Leicester Buncer).

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MMHD

I don't have many of the IART books. I have Prescribed Exercise and the first J-Reps book. Would I benefit from this book or do I not have enough background knowledge to be able to apply it?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I do provide general guidelines and possibilities to apply any of the methods. More generally, I will have video clips of each method or application, and then you can decide how to apply it. For example, if you typically do a chest press in your workout, then you can do chest presses based on application #22. The book and DVD set has much to do with doing exercises in different ways.
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HeavyHitter32

Looking forward to checking this out.
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Hitit

Brian Johnston wrote:
I do provide general guidelines and possibilities to apply any of the methods. More generally, I will have video clips of each method or application, and then you can decide how to apply it. For example, if you typically do a chest press in your workout, then you can do chest presses based on application #22. The book and DVD set has much to do with doing exercises in different ways.


Also looking forward to checking this out. Put me on the list of person's interested please :)
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Robert Francis

New York, USA

Didn't know there was a new BDJ book coming out. There's nearly nothing written after 1961 that I have ant interest in reading EXCEPT Johnston. I'll want to add it to my library ASAP.
z.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

VARIATION
The Mother Of Invention
Brian D. Johnston

Book review and perspective by Andrew Shortt

Those who know Brian's work know he has long held variation as a serious principle of muscle building. For those who have followed his work there is little need to justify it except to answer your obvious question...yes there is plenty 'new' here. Those of you who prefer to keep it simple will find on whole, Brian does stick to the best of the best basics only reorganized in effective, surprising new ways. This in a sense no different really than better knurling on a bar and rubber coated, handle hold designed plates. This book is still fixed solid in the foundation of real muscle building which effectively expands on things while not ignoring tried and true.

The case for variation is found in adaptation, let me once more make this case adding a subtle angle I have yet to have read elsewhere. Variation can stimulate perfection or fall flat if not cause outright confusion.The link is pretty much straightforward, adaptation is in response to a variation in conditions. Adaptation through muscle growth is not something you go and get or force to occur as many believe. You don't force a change in your muscles they respond to a change in conditions. Understand that and you will move miles ahead in your workouts. You may force your body to respond to a stressor but it doesn't have to grow and past the novice stage it most often doesn't. The response is to recover from the stress but not necessarily to build new muscle, a big part of strength is gaining better skill and endurance/tolerance. Muscle grows by responding in a particular manner relative to a particular change in the conditions it exists in not just using the muscles against heavy weight.

Adaptation is a response to influence, something which stresses an organism. If we are the organism and the influence is draining and damaging our muscles, our bodies to some extent, build added muscle. This effectively reduces/manages the influence so our body can better handle the imposition of the environment. We lift, we drain and inflame our muscles and they get stronger. The fact is building new muscle makes the tasks imposed by the influence (lifting heavy weight with said muscle) more possible but does not change the nature of the damage and drain. More muscle means you can lift more weight more often however there is still drain and damage and there is now more tissue to feed. This is likely why we don't build much muscle even after decades of lifting weights and thousands of workouts not to mention hundreds of thousands of reps. This is something lifters tend to forget, look at it this way - if you only build one single little pound of muscle per month that would be 120lbs of raw muscle built in only 10 years...doesn't happen. Even with massive amounts of expensive drugs this small extra pound of muscle is beyond the reach of almost everyone. We do increase tolerance to the discomfort of tough muscular training as well as skill in handling the various forms of load. This is so the 'type' of stress has less of a direct damaging and draining effect.

The point of adaptation isn't to make greater stress possible but to prepare and protect. Think about it from an overview for a moment - we have always aged and died. Once your body chemistry stops adding...life starts subtracting. Adaptation was always a rough method to manage environmental stressors (cold, heat, changing terrain and form of availability to food and water). It isn't designed to make super health but preserve it short term if possible. Thus, adaptation to contracting muscles against heavy resistance sees little muscle growth even over many years of consistent training...your arms for instance, don't quadruple in girth given time. It only makes sense for the body to try and make heavy loads 'lighter' on individual muscles as there then is less possibility of acute trauma to specific tissues.

Ultimately not letting a specific stressor cause a specific stress IS the adaptation.

Example: repeated exposure to cold ambient temperature and the skin thickens (most obvious with regular bouts of swimming in cool water) you don't just become better at producing body heat you stop the stressor from getting directly at you. Building thicker skin is adding tissue so this might be confusing, the point is about metabolic efficiency. Perhaps considering our joints and bones as we age is more appropriate. As we become brittle and weak we adjust our body mechanics. We don't just move with old posture and slow down because we are old, we change to make things easier...to avoid the stress of body weight movement. Aging and weakening is a naturally occurring process and as a direct result so is conservation of energy and avoidance of damaging stressors. Posture and movement degrades from an athletic perspective not just because the tissues degrade but because it is safer an more energy efficient short term.

We wont die from lifting heavy loads repeatedly but we will damage and drain. It is inefficient to keep building pounds of muscle because it perpetuates more drain and more possible damage as muscle needs fuel. It is far more sophisticated to diffuse the influence of a stressor. With muscles (as well as bones and connective tissue) the more you subject them directly to load, drain and damage (inflammation etc) the more they pass around the work to avoid direct access to specific tissues. Ultimately any new muscle growth just means you can lift more thus drain your system more. For survival, especially when it comes to energy resources, you need to avoid the direct effects of the stress influence.

Climbing up steep hillsides and mountain terrain does no make massive leg muscles. It might strengthen and even grow untrained legs at first but very quickly this stops. It is in your make up to find ways to even out the drain and pace yourself. You don't just naturally climb faster and faster building ever bigger legs. Even though there is plenty of resistance you build 'skill' in the movement and increase your tolerance by involving all aspects of your physicality as you pace yourself. This is how we know volume has a finite application in muscle building, just adding more and more workouts, sets and reps is useless. Such simply drains you more and encourages your body to pace itself.

High intensity enthusiasts tend to use volume and frequency to good effect through the application of intensity. High intensity allows us to lower volume and frequency thus better manage the drain, damage and repair process. The thing is repeated bouts of only slightly more weight and/or reps IS, in a very real sense, eventually...volume training. You keep adding more sets and workouts over the years and the body just paces itself and blocks the stressor. Add a little more weight and lift in the same basic fashion every workout and its just a lifetime volume approach, more and more of the same and no new gains. Moreover, genetic limits combined with aging sees a backslide if there is no forward progress. Maintaining muscle as we age is not a matter of holding fast it is about matching progress with regress.

The main culprit to lack of muscle growth and muscle loss is the bodies innate ability to pace itself and share the work and drain amongst its various abilities. It is a very important aspect of survival, just look at a distance athlete at work if they change pace only slightly their endurance is greatly affected usually for the worse. Keep things the same and body can survive longer, things always go better when there is a natural flow and repetitive rhythm to tasks. It is so inherent in our make up the experts at Mensa suggest humming a song in your head with a simple beat during a tough mental task like an exam. Homeostasis has been the cornerstone of our health for eons.

The human organism protects the entire organism (GAS) not just the muscle tissues. The body will sacrifice a part to preserve the whole...as it must for survival. This is why we can survive muscle wasting diseases and the loss of limbs. The point with regards to muscle building is we aren't short on resources to replenish with and we can effectively manage the damage. We tap into the compensation/super compensation process but are heavily constrained by its primary traits.

The best way to continued progress is through 'proper' use of variation. This because what we want is to continue to get directly 'at' the muscle...specific muscles not just in general. We don't want the load, damage and drain to be shared and thus diffused, we want it targeted and pinpointed to elicit that initial basic, raw response. You can as in the case of compound moves use all sorts of muscles to help handle and thus load each other at various points in an exercises ROM. The fact is there is simply no way you can continue to add enough new load to keep the process going. There is no way to handle enough load to avoid the body learning to better 'handle the exercise'.

Variation is where things get dicey. Some ignore the need and others are too haphazard to make real use of it. I think variation goes wrong on both accounts when it is improperly understood. When it comes to building muscle, variation isn't so much about 'different' as it is about not letting the body adapt as a whole rather instead you want to cause a very localized response. New equipment and a new overall method may see a nice initial payback however it doesn't take long for the body to adapt as a whole. The strain may be great but the motor patterns and nature of the stress are simplistic when it comes to lifting weights.

Brian's book isn't just useful for the specific set ideas he demonstrates, its true value is in helping building the skill to develop effective varied workouts for you as an individual. As I learned during the initial Zone Training days and how it has blossomed forward, the real goods are found in individual response to stimulus NOT some outside theoretical methodology with fixed parameters. Mr. Johnston is a master at pattern formation and recognition, taking a different approach on tried and true applications. Not for the sake of being different mind you but to combine the actual productive parts in a different way. In this way the stimulus remains very basic and strong from an in-roading perspective but by being varied enough to stay ahead of over adaptation where the response is conservation based not growth specific.

All your working out contains variables (your age, body type, goals, available equipment, basic abilities etc). To best slice and dice the variables I suggest you absorb the book and start planning some varied workouts based on your access to equipment. Then try to replicate many if not all the routines, you'll know you're getting it when you start to become flooded with ideas for future sets and workouts. In no time you will even find making on the fly adjustments easy as if they suggest themselves...this is real bodybuilding. This is bodybuilding beyond the genetic constraints, beyond the drugs and hype and beyond style and supplement sales. This is old fashion know-how and decades of experience which refused to rest on its laurels and avoided getting stuck in its ways. This is Brian Johnston on point and in wicked form.

Enjoy,

Andrew Shortt
Master Fitness Clinician
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Table of Contents (DVD to be in the works late August)


Foreword by Dr. Ellington Darden

Introduction

A NEED FOR VARIATION
SAID Principle
The GAS
Darwinism
A Few More Points

GAME CHANGERS
Cluster Sets
A Basic Understanding
Why Train in Clusters
Groups-of-3 Clusters
Myo-Reps
Cluster Build-ups
Multi-Angular Clusters
Occlusion Training
1 ? Rep Occlusion Method
Stutter Occlusion Method
Zone Occlusion Method
A Note on Back & Chest Exercises
Beyond Occlusion Training
Occlusion + Groups-of-3 (2-set Process)
Occlusion + 8s (Continuous set)
Another ?Light + Heavy? Variation
Static Inclusion
Sub-max Statics
Max Statics
Tri-Angular Rep Mix
Tri-Angular Pump Circuits
ROM Increasers & Decreasers
Quarter-Ups & Quarter-downs
Converging & Expanding Reps
Maximum Decreasers
Double Stutters
Build-up Giant Sets
Kitchen Sink Sets
Kitchen Sink Continuous Method
Method Integration
INFImetric Training
Hybrid Equipment Training

NON-LINEAR TRAINING
Cycling In and Out
A Note on Stretch Training

SAMPLE WORKOUT

BEYOND TRADITIONAL CIRCUIT TRAINING
Build-up Circuits
Multi-Angular Zone Circuits
Super Set Circuits
Giant Set Circuits
Multi-Method Circuits
Ascending-Descending Circuits
Increasing-Decreasing ROM Circuits
Zone Combo Circuits
Groups-of-3 Circuits
Increasing-Decreasing Rep Circuits
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cmg

Looking forward to the DVD and book!!

Thank you,

Ron
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farhad

Massachusetts, USA

I am sure Fred H is anxiously awaiting the release of this book...signed copy of course. lol.

I know I will looking forward to experimenting most of these variations with myself and my clients.
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DNAHelix

New York, USA

Brian I am looking forward to it!
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NewYorker

New York, USA

Sounds like garbage
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Are you suggesting Dr. Darden has a poor sense of values and understanding when it comes to exercise application (he wrote the foreword to the book)? And why would you base an opinion on ignorance... of not knowing, except to be a troll. Regardless, this thread is not for you, and likely not the training methods as they require you to think and apply ideas to your individuality. Best wishes.
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