I've been doing a BBS type of lifting since the late 70's. This approach to lifting originated with Nautilus. Mike Mentzer brought a free weight and machine approach to it. When Mentzer quite competing and when to personal training he tracked his trainees progress. Some of them were making progress and he wondered why. Making muscle gains (no matter the system) comes down to managing muscle stimulation to grow, nutrition, and rest to allow the development to take happen. In his personal training Mentzer could see his trainees were working as hard as he thought they should and they tracked their nutrition so he reasoned they weren't resting enough between sessions. So he began increasing the amount of time between lifting sessions until his hard gainer trainees making progress. McGuff in BBS takes the same approach and makes the same analogy I've used for years: Treat strength training the same a getting a flu shot. A flu shot introduces a specific stress into the body which then takes it two weeks to fully adapt that stress.
I'm not the big on counting reps and time. I keep it to a general rule and go by feel and asking myself questions: "Does the weight I'm lifting feel like the right amount?" If it's a little too heavy I might do breakdowns. "Is the time range per set about right?" I want time under tension to be at least 1 minute but I'm not too picky about time after that. And most importantly, "Do I [I]feel[/I] like I'm stimulating the response I'm looking for?"
While I'm keen to give myself enough rest to allow for development, I'm not that keen on not touch a weight within as set number of days. For example: If you are giving yourself 7-10 days off for rest, I don't see any problem in doing a full-body compound weight session on day 1 (the BBS Big 5) and then come back the next day to do another weight workout. Day 2 might be isolation exercises to round out the previous days session. Then take off the next 7-10 days from weights.
But even with this type of training protocol, because the body adapts to specific stress, if you want to continue to make gains you still have to block your train year. So part of the year you might want to do a P90X type of training. Point is you still have to mix up the training year with lighter training block, higher volume blocks, etc. If someone is interested in reaching a higher level of fitness they'll have to spend some time deliberately overreaching for a few weeks to a month from time to time and then give the body time to recover before starting a new block.
Interesting Scott. So u have worked all out on say day 1 with compounds and then worked all out on day 2 with isolation, then rested 7-10 days? Any exercise in betwen that time (cardio - long, interval etc)?
Until I stall I am trying out week one: Bbs day 1, bike/swim/row day 3, bbs day 5. Week two: bike/swim/row day 1, bbs day 3, bike/swim/row day 5.
That's generally how I'm working out right now. Later in the year I might switch to something like P90X for a while. Over the years I've turned to more of an instinctive approach to working out. Instead of a ridge schedule I ask myself if I could go all out on a particular day. This week I did isolation on Monday and just finished a BBS typed of workout today (Wednesday) because yesterday I was busy and strained my back a little the night before moving furniture. Today I did 8 different exercises for a full body workout. I won't hit the weights again until maybe next Wednesday. In between those days I'll put in walks and maybe some wind sprints.
I began bodybuilding at age 19. I'm now 55. I'm not as lean as Mark (~12-14% bf) but at 206lbs I carry more muscle. IMO people spend too much time working out and not enough time working smarter. I have a 56 yr old friend who like to run fun runs and does pretty well in his age group. Other ask him how he trains and are confused to find he only runs about twice per week.
The problem with trying to mix much cardio and muscle building is that you can't do both real well at the same time. Joel Jamieson [url=http://www.8weeksout.com/]8 Weeks Out[/url] believes it send a mixed signal to our genes in that one tends to cancel out the other. From personal experience I have to go along with that. I've never been about to do both at the same time. Mostly, I just increased my cortisol levels.