Many mourned the retirement of James “Flex” Lewis, an IFBB Pro and 212 Olympia winner, and for a good reason; the man is a specimen. If you’re wondering about the program that got the man to the legend, his coach Neil Hill got him there with the Y3T training protocol.
Let’s give it a review if it could work for you!
About the Creator – Neil Hill
If you follow bodybuilding, Neil hardly needs an introduction but deserves one regardless. Finding his bodybuilding origin in the UK, Neil has always been drawn to fitness and sports in general.
Neil found an affinity for the sport of bodybuilding, which makes sense seeing as, over the pond, the sport is a bit more accessible and less frowned upon than here in the States. Neil had to be pretty good to hang in the realms with British legends like Dorian Yates.
Neil won his Pro Card in 2002 after winning the Paul Grant Open Welsh Championships. While he kept competing for a bit, Neil is remembered more often for coaching rather than competing.
For instance, he did rack up the following wins with his clients:
- 8 x Mr. Olympia Pro Wins.
- 4 x Arnold Classic Pro Wins.
- 38 x IFBB Pro-League Show Wins.
Neil is famous for designing his own training style called the Y3T Method, which he has used to train some of the most elite athletes on the planet, such as Flex Lewis, the winner of 7 consecutive 212 Mr. Olympia titles alongside other greats like Jay Cutler.
Neil has become an icon in the business not just because of his training style, but his nutrition and mentality approach to fitness is also top quality. All these factors are incorporated into the Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding Program. Let’s take a deeper look.
Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding Overview
Y3T or Yoda 3 Training is a training style created by Neil himself after 24 years of trial and error using different training styles and methods. Compared to other training styles you may have come across, the Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding Program is incredibly scientific.
- Fitness level: Intermediate
- Duration: 9 Weeks
- Workouts per week: 4 Workouts per week
- Average workout duration: 60 minutes
- Equipment needed: Full gym
- Goal: Build muscle
This is the training style that got Flex Lewis as big as he is. Sure he was capped at 212lbs, but he barely had an ounce of fat on him at that bodyweight.
This could be the program that works for you too. The whole idea behind Y3T training is to target different muscle fibers, namely:
- Type 2B fast-twitch fibers: 6-10 rep range
- Type 2A fast-twitch fibers: 12-16 rep range
- Type 1 slow-twitch fibers: 20+ reps
This is a rather scientific approach to training, and Neil even stipulates that you train in these rep ranges at certain times to get the best results. If you’re skeptical, trust me, the amount of volume you’re going to be doing is going to lead to something.
Most of the program is done with quite a high volume, 25+ sets per workout. This means less intensity per set and session, so if you’re someone who loves pure heavy lifting, this might not be the best plan for you.
We all still know that you’re going to have to train exceptionally hard to see a difference in your physique. With that being said, let’s break down the most important parts of any training plan: Training, Diet, and Recovery.
Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding Details
Now that we have established a bit of a background of what the plan entails, let’s have a deeper look into that mad training you were just reading about!
If you’re unaware, humans have different muscle fibers. Imagine a chicken breast vs a chicken thigh – the two types of meat are vastly different from one another. The same goes for humans, and how we train could potentiate how these end up growing.
Generally lower and more intense reps are going to grow the Type 2 fibers whilst higher reps are going to incorporate more of the Type 1 fibers.
The general idea of the Y3T training is to alternate training in these different rep schemes to get the possible growth. By training this way, you never get caught doing the same thing, meaning the muscle constantly has to adjust and grow. Your training protocol would look like this:
- Week 1: Type 2B fast-twitch fibers (6-10 rep range)
- Week 2: Type 2A fast-twitch fibers (12-16 rep range)
- Week 3: Type 1 slow-twitch fibers (20+ reps)
There is some exercise and rep difference as you progress, but for the most part, this is how training will look.
Do I Have to Eat Like a Bodybuilder?
As you might expect, bodybuilders eat clean year-round. The advice given in the Y3T plan takes some bits and bobs from a bodybuilder diet and discretely disperses them where needed.
Of course, there is a large focus on the three macronutrients:
The recommendations from the Y3T plan can be neatly summarized as “trying to get big”. While fat loss is predominantly determined by caloric intake, this plan was designed with gaining muscle in mind.
Protein is important for the growth of muscle mass and is the only macronutrient that is capable of actually building muscle. The recommendation is at 1.5-to-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight to increase muscle mass.
Carbohydrates are potentially one of the best things a bodybuilder could eat, as it is the energy you use whilst training, and some evidence suggests that higher carbohydrate diets result in greater muscle gain. The recommendation is at 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to increase muscle mass.
And lastly, fats. Many forget about dietary fats, but they play vital roles such as hormonal regulation, supporting the CNS (central nervous system), and are important for fat-soluble vitamins. The recommendation is 50 – 60 grams per day.
The workout plan is also kind enough to include a sample workout plan.
Relax Like a King
When it comes to training or fitness in general, everyone forgets about recovery even though it’s the most important part! Failing to recover is not only going to hinder gains, but it might end up leading to injury.
The workout schedule is planned in a way that you have 3 rest days per week, which is more than enough to recover from the training. Neil advises you to eat, sleep, and eat some more. A big focus is placed on food and the following supplements:
- Whey Protein
- Fish Oil
- Protein Bars, if your macros call for them
Supplementation cannot replace a well-balanced diet, and you better be eating plenty of food to be able to recover from all the volume. There is no mention of cardio, so you do have all the time in the world to rest.
Neil Hill’s Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding, 3 Pros
- You’ll be targeting various muscle fibers, which is something you don’t always do with other training protocols. This could theoretically lead to better muscle gain and a certain “look” of muscle density we typically only see on bodybuilders
- You’ll get to eat plenty of food! While the diet plan is simple and only somewhat structured, due to the insane volume you’ll have plenty of need for a boatload of calories
- It’s very direct in its approach. This is not a cutting plan. This is not even a plan for beginners. This is a plan for serious lifters who want to get bigger, which means the instructions could be anything and the users would follow suit. Some plans don’t know what they want to be
Neil Hill’s Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding, 2 Cons
- Expect just a mountain of volume. I did not even realize Neil advocates such a high volume, but if you take into consideration you’re training that muscle once a week, the higher volume does make sense
- It’s a bodybuilding workout plan. If you don’t like lifting this way, then logically this isn’t for you. You’re going to be chasing the pump and reveling in skin bursting goodness
Neil Hill’s Y3T 9-Week Bodybuilding – Final Thoughts
Judge things as they are, not as you would want them to be. No one can deny that Neil is a genius in the world of bodybuilding, and as a result, this plan is a bodybuilding plan that has slightly been adapted for the everyday person.
While some may see that as a limiting factor, I simply believe this means that the plan has one goal. Either you’re on the gain train or you aren’t. Neil has gotten many to a much more muscular state, and this plan could help you gain a few extra pounds.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5