Q: I recently purchased your FD/FS e-book [at X-Workouts.com], and after two weeks on the program I’m smiling like a child on Christmas morning. I just got off the scale, and I’m up seven pounds from the day I started. Are you kidding me? A seven-pound gain in two weeks? Not only that, but the veins in my delts and forearms are much more prominent, so I know I haven’t gained any bodyfat. I have two questions: First, can I please “break the rules” and stay on this program most of the year? Second, I have a show coming up in five months and was wondering if I could use FD/FS throughout my prep.
A: Your results are very exciting but not entirely uncommon with those who follow the FD/FS protocol to the letter, which leads me right to your first question. Do you think that FD/FS will add seven pounds of muscle to your frame every two weeks for the rest of the year if you continue to use it? That would mean a gain of a little more than 14 pounds per month and 168 pounds in a year. Sounds cool if you want to look like the Incredible Hulk, but like a comic book character it’s nothing more than pure fantasy.
One of the reasons FD/FS works as well as it does is that it was specifically designed as a short-term “shock” or “blitz” program to help lifters break through plateaus and/or force the body into some rapid and significant hypertrophy. If you use FD/FS for too long, however, you’ll see diminishing returns for two very important reasons. First, the unique effects will quickly wear off as the muscles and nervous system adapt to the stimulus. Second, FD/FS is an extremely intense method of training that, when used for too long, can cause mental and physical burnout—and zero growth.
That’s just how our physiology works. I experimented with the FD/FS system quite extensively before releasing it—with myself and with some of my more advanced clients. I consistently saw that the tolerance for the program—meaning the amount of time it took for signs of overtraining to occur—was somewhere between two and four weeks. For me, exhaustion begins to set in after only two weeks of all-out FD/FS training. So please don’t break the rules:FD/FS for two to four weeks—and use it only when you can train at the highest levels of intensity, get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep every night and follow a diligent nutrition and supplementation regimen.
As to your question regarding the use of FD/FS during contest prep, I originally believed that it would not be beneficial because of the tremendous demands it places on your entire physiology, especially when you’re on an ultralow-calorie diet and doing a lot more cardio than usual. After some experimentation, however, I found that FD/FS can be used successfully during contest prep on one or two lagging muscle groups at a time—just not on the entire body.
A good example is one of my clients, pro natural bodybuilder Kyle Harris, who appears with me on my DVD. At one time he had a terribly underdeveloped chest. During his entire prep for one show I had him use only FD/FS training for his pecs while he blasted the rest of his physique with the Power/Rep Range/Shock method. The result was that on contest day his pecs were not only bigger and thicker than ever but also far more striated and separated.
So the answer to your second query is really yes and no. Definitely do not use FD/FS for your entire physique while getting ready for a show, but do choose one or two lagging areas and specialize on them with FD/FS.
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at Home-Gym.com. His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at X-Workouts.com.