Get the lowdown on basic punches, gear, and shadowboxing.Read article
Chances are, you’ve heard of the way of the fist, the way of the gun, and maybe even Fastball’s 1998 alt-rock hit, “The Way.” But are you familiar with the Iron Way? It’s a strength-style program created by LaRoy Warner, owner of Iron Camp gym in Greenwich, CT, and it could be the key to your next strength and mass gains. After all, it has already benefited folks in the NYC metroplex and beyond.
The Iron Way focuses on compound exercises like the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Instead of concentrating on specific sets and reps, the focus here is on auto regulation—meaning, lifters can choose whether to lift heavy or light depending on how they’re feeling that day. The split is also accessible. You’ll lift only two days per week, eliminating any excuse not to follow it. Finally, the circuit-style accessory work consists of pulling and pushing compound exercises to aid your main lifts while helping you build muscle mass.
“The emphasis of this program is on quality movement first,” Warner says. “Once we have that, we look at the speed of the movement.” In other words, if your back squat reps look slow, don’t add weight to the bar. Conversely, if the weight is moving quickly, then you can push it harder. “This way, we aren’t married to percentages and reps and can adjust based on how you feel that day,” Warner says.
The Iron Way takes the strength-enhancing properties of powerlifting and stirs in the size benefits of bodybuilding. The end result is a cocktail that seamlessly blends the best of both worlds: the hypertrophy for the “show” and the strength for the “go.”
The sets and reps for the two-day split depend on how you feel and how your reps look, but generally one day is heavy, the next day is light. (See Warner’s recommended progression below.)
*Depending on your movement efficiency, test your main lifts—the bench press, deadlift, and squat—by working up to a max single or double. Then repeat with some progression (5 to 10 pounds) if applicable.