Literally millions of people have completed my Shortcut To Size program and gained significant amounts of lean muscle mass while getting stronger and even leaner.
Now, I’m taking the S2S template and turning it into a 5-days-a-week program to promote even greater fat-burning, while taking nothing away in terms of building muscle size and strength.
It’s still Shortcut to Size – just with the added element of full-body training to help take your get-lean efforts to the next level.
S2S Split Differences
While my original body part-split version of Shortcut to Size trains each muscle group once a week via four workouts, my full-body version, as the name implies, hits each major muscle group five times weekly – every body part trained in every workout, five times a week.
That said, within the full-body scheme, certain muscle groups will receive greater focus over others in each workout. To be more specific, each training session will include a “focus” on two body parts, where you’ll do 2-5 exercises for each of the two muscle groups (four or five exercises for large body parts, 2-3 for smaller ones); all other muscle groups in the workout will get only one exercise per.
Here’s how the muscle group focuses will go day-to-day in all four weeks of the program:
Workout 1: Chest and Calves Focus (4 chest exercises, 2 calf exercises)
Workout 2: Back and Abs Focus (4 back exercises, 2 ab exercises)
Workout 3: Shoulders and Traps Focus (4 shoulders exercises, 2 trap exercises)
Workout 4: Triceps and Biceps Focus (3 triceps exercises, 3 biceps exercises)
Workout 5: Legs and Calves Focus (5 leg exercises, 2 calf exercises)
With this format, you can focus on each major muscle group once per week with higher volume and intensity techniques but still hit all muscle groups in every workout to keep the metabolic and anabolic genes activated throughout the entire body to maximize fat loss while adding size and strength. The only exceptions to this rule concern calves and forearms. Calves actually receive focus twice per week, since most people can probably use the extra calf work; and forearms don’t get any extra attention, since they get plenty of stimulation through one isolation exercise per workout, plus biceps work.
The muscle pairings are slightly different in the full-body version versus the original Shortcut to Size, which had you training chest and triceps together in Workout 1, back and biceps in Workout 2, shoulders in Workout 3, and legs in Workout 4. Here, I separated triceps from chest and biceps from back and added a separate arm-focused day (Workout 4) before the legs-focused routine (Workout 5). This way, the workouts are shorter and the muscle groups are split up more over the course of the week.
S2S Set Counts
On the first exercise for each major muscle group on the focus day, you’ll do 3 sets total. For all other exercises for that muscle group, as well as all non-focus muscle groups, you’ll have the option of doing 2 or 3 sets. If you’re still relatively new to training (at a beginner or intermediate level) err on the side of fewer sets.
Likewise, if you’re experienced but would prefer to keep the workouts shorter or are feeling fatigued on a given day, go with 2 sets instead of 3. For those with a lot of training experience who want to really push the results forward, aim for 3 sets on all exercises.
As with the original Shortcut to Size, this program uses linear periodization, meaning the weight progressively gets heavier each “microcycle” – which in this case is every week.
Week 1 starts with 12-15 reps per set, then in Week 2 the weight increases to drop the rep range to 9-11 per set. In Weeks 1 and 2, you’ll also add a rest-pause set after reaching muscle failure on the last set of each exercise, be that set #2 or set #3.
In Week 3, the weight increases again to limit reps to 6-8 per set, followed by another weight increase in Week 4 to lower the reps to 3-5 per set. In Weeks 3 and 4, you’ll do one drop set on the last set of each exercise.
Throughout the four weeks, you’ll get the benefit of all rep ranges – high to low. The first two weeks focus more on muscle growth and strength endurance, whereas the final two weeks focus more on strength gains. This constant change of weight and rep ranges helps prevent stagnation.
Once you’ve completed Week 4, you have the option of returning to Week 1 and repeating from 12-15 reps. However, you’ll be able to use significantly more weight to complete the same number of reps. Feel free to repeat the 4-week program one or two more consecutively.
I made a few minor exercises changes from the original Shortcut to Size for the full-body version – for example, reverse-grip bench press for upper chest instead of incline bench press, and bent-over barbell rows instead of dumbbell rows.
But where exercises are concerned, feel free to substitute in comparable movements for those listed. As you’ll see in the workouts below, the exercises remain the same in all four weeks. If you want to change things up, feel free. Do dumbbells instead of cables, or swap in a machine move in place of a barbell. Just do your best to mimic the movement listed; for instance, if you want to do cable crossovers instead of dumbbell incline flyes, put the cable pulleys on the low setting to mimic the incline and target the upper pecs.
S2S Rest Periods
How long you should rest between sets depends on your goal. If your primary objective is strength, rest 2-3 minutes tops between sets. If fat loss is the goal, rest 1 minute or less between all sets; better yet, superset your exercises. I recommend doing the first exercise for the focus muscle group on its own for three straight sets. After that, you can start super setting.
For example, in Workout 2, do bent-over rows on its own, then superset opposing muscle groups after that – wide-grip pulldowns with dumbbell bench press; standing pulldowns with step-ups; straight-arm pulldowns with rear delt raises; shrugs with toe raises; concentration curls with overhead extensions; the two ab exercises paired together (hip thrusts and crunches); and forearms on their own or included with abs.
With the addition of full-body training to S2S, while staying true to the mass-building periodization of the original, you can think of this program as a Shortcut to Size and Leanness!
Full-Body Shortcut to Size Workouts
Jim Stoppani, PhD2020-03-15T15:15:28-04:00