Serge Nubret Pump Training Results
After finishing my run on HST, I moved into a 3 day per week, low volume powerlifting split and found myself, once again, beating myself into the ground – I’m talking 12-15 hours sleep everyday, appetite practically dead and my joints aching like murder.
Science-types might proclaim there’s no such thing as CNS fatigue or adrenal burnout, but there’s definitely a recovery-ability spectrum and training affects people in a variety of different ways.
For me, it seems to be the same story the last few months. When I stop the high intensity shit and move to bodybuilding style training using high volume, high frequency, lower intensities, I respond amazingly – I need only 5-8 hours sleep a day, my appetite takes off again and my body aches and pains magically disappear.
The last 4 weeks I used a version of Serge Nubret’s pump-training and although it’s one of the most painful and hard hypertrophy programs out there, I felt amazing and achieved incomparable pumps each sessions.
Famous for his incredibly lines and symmetry predating the visually similar Flex Wheeler, Nubret was also famous for his 5-6 hour long gym sessions and the incredible amount of volume he used per workout.
There’s a few versions of Nubret’s program floating out there, but I use the one featured on T-Nation written by Brad Kelly. Because I was feeling a bit beat and busier than normal, I trained one bodypart per day, on a weekly schedule. (The program calls for training bodyparts on a twice weekly frequency)
Training quads on this program is one of the more brutal experiences out there with its 22 sets per session and 30-60 second rest periods. If you’re doing this program for the first time, I would start off with training each bodypart on a once per week frequency and then after 2-3 weeks, train 2 bodyparts a day and each muscle group twice a week.
Who is Pump Training Suited for?
I would definitely put this routine in my top 3 programs for hypertrophy.
It’s a great routine for someone who’s tired and aching and coming off a high intensity phase yet still trying to eke out a little more hypertrophy.
I think it’s a perfect routine for someone travelling and might not always have access to a lot of weight, or for the person who trains at a busy gym and need the flexibility of being able to adapt their program on the go with whatever equipment is available.
You’re not going to be aiming for strength PR’s here (in face be prepared to be humbled by the weights you are going to use), although I still like to add a pound or two the bar each week so that some progressive overload is there. You also need to keep the rest periods as short and strict as possible. A “you-go-I-go” approach with a training partner is best because you have both accountability and encouragement present to push you when your mind and body is screaming at you to stop.
The aim is to swell those bodyparts with as much blood as possible, get the work in and then somehow, hobble home. You might want to think about walking or have someone else drive because your legs will be shaking like Elvis’ or your arms too full of blood to even manage to turn the steering wheel by the end of the session.
As I said, this is one of my favourite hypertrophy programs and an excellent routine to move into after a heavy power phase to rest and regenerate some of those achy joints and swell those bodyparts to new dimensions.