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Training Style to Know: The 7-4-7 Method

Find how switching your reps mid-set can bring on big muscle gains.
James + Therese

A great physique can be yours without spending hours in the gym. Want proof? The 7-4-7 method harnesses all the power you can muster by structuring your sets in perfect tandem with the weight you're using. The result? Simple: The body you always wanted without moving into your local gym. Don't worry, you can thank us later.

Stay with the program for at least four to six weeks to see results.

How It Works A 7-4-7 exercise starts with seven reps using a moderate weight. Without rest, you'll increase the load (and sometimes tweak the exercise slightly) to knock out another four reps. Finish by lightening the load and completing another seven reps. At 18 total reps per set, as opposed to the 8 to 10 you're probably used to, you're getting enough volume to tax your muscles and force your body to call in reinforcements (by laying down new muscle tissue). Increasing the intensity midset means you recruit more muscle fibers in a wider range. This dual approach is a rarity in muscle-gain plans, and it makes 7-4-7 the right combination to unlock growth.

DIRECTIONS:
Frequency:
Perform each workout (Days 1, 2, and 3) once per week.

Time Needed:
40 minutes

How To Do It:
Choose a weight you can perform no more than 8 reps with, but do only 7. Immediately add weight so you can do only 4 reps (and fail at four).

Then, reduce the load to something a little less than what you used when you began with 7 reps. Complete another 7 reps. That's one set.

Hybrid exercises (such as the overhead press/push press and front squat/back squat/jump squat) are done the same way, but the grip and bar position change.

Exercises that are paired (marked "A" and "B") are done in alternating fashion. Complete all sets for one pair before going on.

GO HARD!
How can you make the 4-rep part of the 7-4-7 sets harder?

Add Weight
Increasing the load makes any exercise more intense.

Make a Substitution
To lift more weight, you can switch the exercise to something similar but that allows for more load, like going from a front squat to a back squat.

Change Your Grip
By moving your hands in, you make the exercise easier biomechanically so you can handle heavier weight. Switching up your grip also changes recruitment.

Increase Your Speed
Performing exercises explosively recruits muscle fibers that have the most potential for size.

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