The Weider Principles: Holistic Training

Installment eight of the Hardgainers Growth Enhancement System (H.U.G.E): How to use a variety of training styles to maximize muscle growth.


Holistic training doesn’t only apply to moving metal. It can also invigorate your cardio sessions. Altering your style of cardio will activate different muscles and keep your interest elevated. This can be as simple as going from the StepMill one workout to the treadmill the next and to the elliptical the third. However, on occasion, try to incorporate completely different types of fat-burning activities — the sort that typically take you outside the weight room.

These include sprinting intervals, swimming laps, pummeling a speed bag or heavy bag, jumping rope and mountain bike riding, as well as multi-person sports like racquetball, full-court basketball and sparring sessions for boxing or martial arts. In addition to burning calories, these machine-free cardio activities improve the functional skills and balance crucial to athletes, and they can be a lot more fun than another 40 minutes climbing in place.


There are two potential pitfalls:

If you don’t carefully construct your routine, one style of training can hinder the other, instead of aiding it. For example, if you do a week of HIT workouts just before a week of power/speed workouts, the former can detract from your strength in the latter. Instead, break up a HIT week and a power week with a lower-intensity week of circuit training or high reps.

A variety of styles can lead to a loss of focus. You must endeavor to continuously use greater weights or get more reps with the same weight each time you go through the workout rotation.


In Holistic Training’s Favor:

The variety keeps your intensity and interest up.

You can incorporate power and speed training into a bodybuilding regimen, thus you can keep your primary focus on muscle gains but also significantly boost power.

It’s ideal for those who have multiple sports goals. Perhaps you want to maximize your muscularity but also boost your “hops” and quickness for basketball. A holistic approach will let you incorporate plyometric, leaping exercises and speed conditioning into your bodybuilding routine. As another example, perhaps you want to be both a bodybuilder and a kickboxer. Alternating a weight-training workout and a kickboxing-specific session will let you do both.