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The Volume-Style Strength Program to Get Cut Like Casey Christopher thumbnail
Per Bernal
Per Bernal

With our volume-style strength program, you, too, can build a praise-worthy physique like Christopher’s.

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Casey Christopher was born to be a jock. “One of the first words out of my mouth as a baby was ‘ball,’” Christopher says. “Since I can remember, I’ve always played one sport or another. Sports were my life.”

After growing up competing in every conceivable sport—football, baseball, basketball, and track and field, to name a few—Christopher, 28, eventually channeled his athletic abilities into a career as an IFBB Pro League physique competitor, earning his pro card at the 2017 NPC Nationals. He also balances his IFBB career with his job as a hairstylist in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It’s a lot to handle, but years of sports have given him plenty of grit.

“I had a track coach who once told me, ‘Don’t listen to your brain. It’s lying to you. Listen to your body,’ ” Christopher says. “People go through the motions in the gym. If you put in extra effort, you’ll hit your goals.” The point: Apply this philosophy to the Christopher-approved program on these pages, and you’ll be on your way to your best body yet.

Pump Up the Volume

The following program, designed by Matt Pudvah, C.S.C.S., the head strength coach at the Manchester Athletic Club in Manchester, MA, has you progress by performing more reps week to week rather than adding weight. “Accumulating large amounts of volume will place more stress on the body and force it to adapt,” Pudvah says. Also, increasing the sets, not the weight, is safer on your body. You’ll still bolster strength, but spare your joints in the process. Once you’re able to complete all four weeks of the program, add five pounds to upper-body exercises and 10 pounds to
lower-body exercises, and repeat the cycle—though, take a break after two to three cycles.

Directions

For the main lifts, use 80% of your one-rep max (1RM) and a weight that you can do for eight reps with two in the tank for accessory lifts. Refer to the sets and reps chart below to see how you’ll progress for moves marked with an asterisk.

Total Volume Chart

Main Lifts:

  • Week 1: 15
  • Week 2: 18
  • Week 3: 21
  • Week 4: 24

Accessory Lifts:

  • Week 1: 24
  • Week 2: 30
  • Week 3: 40
  • Week 4: 48

Volume Training

Sets & Reps Week 1:

  • ​​Main Lifts: 5 x 3
  • Accessory Lifts: 3 x 8

Sets & Reps Week 2:

  • ​​Main Lifts: 6 x 3
  • Accessory Lifts: 3 x 10

Sets & Reps Week 3:

  • ​​Main Lifts: 7 x 3
  • Accessory Lifts: 4 x 10

Sets & Reps Week 4:

  • ​​Main Lifts: 8 x 3
  • Accessory Lifts: 4 x 12

The Volume-Style Training Split

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