Bodybuilding Science Finally Has Entered the 'Zone.'
"I believe Johnston's innovative concept (JReps) merits exploration by serious bodybuilders." Ellington Darden, Ph.D., from the book The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results.
Exercise, particularly for the advanced trainee, is about zeroing in on methods and techniques that will elevate your physique to the next level. Arthur Jones made his contribution with the invention of variable resistance equipment and cams, which allowed for a change in tension as muscles contract. However, because of the vast differences among individuals, cammed machines may be the 'improved barbell,' but they still fall short of maximizing the training effect.
What we have discovered is that training in traditional full-range of movement is not the most productive to stimulate muscular change. Rather, exercise can be optimized by training within zones. Now, we're not talking about partial-range training or static holds, as some 'authorities' claim to being the best, but working through the entire range in sections - in logical sequences based on feel and biofeedback of the muscles. This truly is a 'method' that can be integrated within various measures of intensity, volume, and frequency. For more information on training methods, click here...
Body Building Is Not Weight Training.
Bodybuilding is not about lifting weights, but about training muscles. Of course you need to lift weights, so that the load will increase the intensity of muscular contractions and overall demands, but it is an issue of HOW you lift the weight and not HOW MUCH you lift.
A case in point: Many trainees focus on how much they can lift for a certain number of repetitions, and often at any cost. As their entire bodies help to lift up progressively heavier poundages, there is a reduction of the targeting effect in the trained muscle(s), but an improvement in 'skill' and adaptive coordination. The end result isgreater lifting proficiency in the gym, but the muscles are staying the same size.
Nonetheless, it should be pointed out that working in zones is for more than optimizing hypertrophy. It can be used in athletic and rehabilitation training, and to greater effect than traditional methods. Click here to read more...
Bodybuilding Is About Targeting.
There are several key points about proper bodybuilding application. Foremost, you must relax any non-targeted muscles as much as possible, while squeezing and flexing the targeted muscles as much as possible. This is easier said than done in a traditional setting, as your body integrates as one unit to heave up a weight on every full range rep... and as you employ greater overall momentum and cheating... whether you realize it or not.
Zone Training™ (aka The Johnston Rep Method™ or JReps™) takes the 'targeting' philosophy to its ultimate conclusion, as you literally squeeze in and out of select zones to produce the most extensive muscle pump and inroad with minimal sets. After a few workouts of implementing the JRep Method properly, you won't want to return to full range reps again... full range reps simply will feel 'lacking' and will be far less productive. For a discussion on some of the finer points of training in zones, click here...
Bodybuilding Zone Training™ Defined.
A Zone is a point or particular sized sector within an exercise's ROM. as distinguished from other points or particular sized sectors. One zone can share points or sectors with other zones, each of which are distinguished based on proper and individualized application of the Johnston Rep Method™.
This method refers to anaerobic activity based on working an exercise's full ROM by breaking down the action into zones. It is described more fully as thus:
JReps™ is a training method that incorporates any potential combination of movement patterns to 'tax' an exercise's entire range of motion by means of optimizing the muscular inroad of various zones that constitute said range. The directive is to leave no aspect of the full range untapped, with the end result being a superior muscle and strength building environment and adaptive effect in fewer sets than what is possible through traditional, full-range means, regardless of equipment used.
As important to realize, the JRep™ method optimizes set performance and potential results, whereas the integration and balance of the fundamental principles of exercise (intensity, volume, frequency, specificity, [over]load, diminishing returns, and individualism) could take on any measure and strategy. Thus, Zone Training™ is applicable no matter what the general direction intensity, volume, frequency or load happens to take. For a discussion on training strategy, click here....
The Zone Training™ Effect.
The JReps™ effect is no exaggeration, if you follow our recommendations and learn to experiment properly (in accordance to your exercise selections and individuality). These effects will include:
Body Building Is Functional Training.
- Superior growth.
- Better muscle pumps.
- Greater localized fatigue with less systemic fatigue.
- Better targeted feel on any exercise.
- Thicker, fuller muscles between workouts.
- A change in physical appearance because of the above noted factors.
- Increased strength overall, because of the targeted training and sustained tension that takes place throughout the full ROM of an exercise, and without any 'let-off' at various points.
Few fitness professionals understand body building training, or how to apply it. They think it means nothing more than following the latest fitness magazine protocol. This is far from the truth, since optimizing hypertrophy requires some degree of strategy with a proper method of application. Because of this, most fitness professionals shy clear of bodybuilding and have hopped on the 'functional training' bandwagon of medicine balls, stability exercises, etc. However, although such movements may dazzle a client, you simply cannot build much muscle by doing so. What you do develop are specific skills at exercising in an unstable environment... skills that do NOT transfer to unlike skills or activities.
On the other hand, some authorities claim that body building develops 'useless' muscle, but let's look at this critically. A larger muscle will produce more force, which means more strength. That sounds functional and far from useless. Larger muscles mean greater joint stability, and even more cushioning from blows, falls, etc. That's sound functional, as well. Third, the more muscle a person develops, the less he or she will be affected by atrophy due to aging (e.g., a loss of 10 pounds of muscle on a well-developed body is not a big deal, but can be fatalistic to a person who has very little muscle because of no activity (or years of so-called stability training and little hypertrophy!).
As stated, the degree of hypertrophy and change possible with JReps™ Zone Training™ cannot be achieved through other means. It took us 25 years of constant experimentation to figure this out, and to develop a system and method of application that would deliver the goods. This is not a variable, or some gimmick, but a direction in training that serves to optimize muscular feel, inroad, and results - all within fewer sets for any muscle than what is possible through other means. JReps™ Zone Training™ is so effective that you won't be able to perform as many sets per muscle, whether you're into HIT or higher-volume approaches. In either instance, Zone Training™ will challenge you like never before! Moreover, the diversity of JReps™ allows one to develop constantly changing exercise execution, which helps to stimulate better gains because of the 'shock' factor to the muscles. For a discussion on optimizing change and muscle adaptation, click here...
Where High-Intensity Meets High-Volume.
The problem with most exercise philosophies is that a belief in high-intensity or a high-volume protocol is flawed since both ignore the direction of intelligent, smart training. Obviously we need to train hard, and we need to perform enough volume. Whether you train to muscular fatigue or not, JReps™ helps direct you toward the ideal measure of set volume based on certain workout goals and objectives to maximize hypertrophy - factors built into this method to make it more fool-proof. By listening to your muscles' biofeedback, you can determine an ideal measure of sets if you decide to train some zones to fatigue, all zones to fatigue, or none of the zones to fatigue. Consequently, it's not an issue of high volume or high intensity, but a proper measure of exercise strain to stimulate change!
Moreover, if you visit our Case Study section, there you will find a variety of trainees, some of whom train all sets to fatigue, while others prefer a higher-volume approach. In effect, JReps™ is a method that allows you to adjust volume and frequency based on intensity of effort. JReps™ is a method that allows you to manipulate the variables in accordance to your individuality!