How Zone Training Helps Your Bodybuilding Workouts
Zone Training (also known as Stage Repetitions, JReps, The Johnston Rep Method, etc.) is an awesome muscle building technique that was made popular by Dr. Ellington Darden and Brian D. Johnston.
Using this method produces wicked pumps and deeper muscle growth stimulation than any other type of training. The reason for this is that with full reps there is always a sticking point in the movement where the exercise is hardest and also points where the exercise is almost too easy. For example, a full barbell squat if done without any momentum, would be very hard in the bottom position and would get easier in the middle position and be very easy in the top just before lockout. So your muscles would be limited by and would only be truly fatigued in the hardest point of the exercise.
The way to do Zone Training is to perform the bottom half to fatigue (not failure), and then perform the top half. You will find the top half is now as challenging as the bottom half, and the top half also becomes as productive in developing strength and recruiting muscle fibers as the bottom half.
Stage Repetitions break the exercise down into thirds, for the Squat it would first be the bottom third, followed by middle third, and then top third. But you have to judge each exercise for what the hardest, next hardest and easiest part of the exercise is and break it down that way. For example in the barbell curl, start with the middle third, then work the top third, and lastly the bottom third.
The reason why Zone Training (Stage Repetitions or J Reps) is so productive is that you reach muscular fatigue or near fatigue2-3 times per set and throughout the full range of movement,as opposed to only once per set and often at the sticking point when doing traditional full range reps. Remember to reduce your training loads by at least 20% and also train in a slow and controlled manner.
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What results have you had from Zone Training?