Update 3rd July, 2012
I now cycle my very own program (Reveal The Steel) year round and no longer use Visual Impact. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great program, but what I’ve come up with is completely different, and works for me a lot more long-term.
I’m currently completing a program outlined by Rusty Moore over at fitnessblackbook.com called Visual Impact.
This is a program designed to give you the ‘mens health’ or ‘Hollywood’ kind of look rather than the bulky muscle-bound look that a lot of muscle hypertrophy programs are aimed at.
My preference used to be on the latter, but I’ve since learned the error of my ways and reduced size, become leaner and sharper, and my girlfriend is a lot happier for it! Programs like this one, aren’t for everybody, especially those looking to become HUGE.
I’ll outline Visual Impact for you below as well as give you my honest opinion on it.
Visual Impact is split up into 3 phases
Phase 1 Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Simply trying to add volume to muscles rapidly.
Phase 2 Hybrid power-muscle building. Maintain muscle + harden it up.
Phase 3 Lower volume and heavier weights to really harden up existing muscle. Strategic HIIT added for stripping more fat.
So what’s REALLY in Phase I?
Phase I concentrates on Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy over the entire body.
Pyramid sets working within the 6-15 rep range will cause ‘cumulative fatigue’.
Rest periods will be short and the overall volume is high.
The weight lifted is secondary to the fatigue created from set to set.
Day 1 Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Day 2 Legs, Calves, Abs
Day 3 Back, Biceps, Forearms
The entire body is worked over 3 workouts with a rest day every second day
I tend to train 4 times a week, therefore Day 1 is repeated on the friday, then I start off the next week starting with Day 2.
Muscles are grouped to allow for maximum fatigue in each workout giving you the optimum scenario for mass building.
Sample day of Visual Impact training
I won’t reveal what’s in every day, but ill outline the first day of Phase 1 so you can get a taste.
Barbell bench press Rep range 12, 10, 8, 6, 12-15
Add weight from set to set and go light at the end. Sub incline barbell if upper chest is a weak area.
Flat bench dumbbell flyes 4 sets same weight
Use weight you can do 12 times and rest 45 seconds between sets. As each set progresses, you’ll do less and less reps due to fatigue.
Incline dumbbell presses 3-4 sets same weight
Same as previous exercise.
Standing military press Rep range 12, 10, 8, 6, 12-15
Add weight from set to set and go light at the end
Dumbbell lateral raise 4 sets same weight
Use weight you can do 12 times and rest 45 seconds between sets.
Seated shoulder press machine 3-4 sets same weight
Shoulders will be destroyed from last 2 exercises. Pick a weight you can do 12-15 times and rest 45 seconds.
Lying triceps extensions Rep Scheme 12, 10, 8, 6, 12-15
Add weight from set to set and go light for the last set. You can use either a regular barbell or ez-curl bar.
Cable pressdowns 4 Sets With Same Weight
Use either a rope or bar and aim for the burn rather than pushing heavy weights
Close grip push-ups 2-3 sets to Failure
Do the reps in a smooth rhythmic motion and build up the burn with each rep.
Optional HIIT 15 Minutes of Interval Cardio
Limit excessive cardio when gaining mass, but 15 minutes of short interval cardio with long rest periods in between sets will increase HGH without taxing the system too hard.
Aim for a 3 to 1 rest-to-intense ratio on intervals. So 90 seconds of walking alternated with 30 seconds of running.
Honest opinion of Visual Impact
It’s been giving me great results in terms of hardness to the muscles, and with the added HIIT in coming months, I’m hoping to be even more beach-ready for the summer.
The program is designed for the mid level to advanced trainer, so if you’re new to fitness, you might want to try something else first to avoid injury and burnout.
Editor’s note: Have you tried or are you on Visual Impact yourself? What have your results been like.
Leave your comments below.