Shock training was a term coined by Arnold Swartznegger in his book “The Education of a Bodybuilder.”

The idea is that our bodies can adapt to almost any stress so we cannot make gains if our workouts are always the same. Other than a change of exercises, you can shock your muscles into growth through various shock training methods or programs. Feeder workouts are a great example of a shock training. Rich calls it “confusing” the muscle into growth but there is a method to his madness.

Rich Piana runs a very popular fitness channel on YouTube. He is a successful businessman and a former professional bodybuilder. Piana now runs 5% Nutrition where he sells “real food” supplements and apparel.

Rich Piana Feeder WorkoutsRecently I subscribed to his YouTube channel and started following his journey. Rich Piana is documenting his daily progress while working to gain 30 pounds of muscle in 4 months.

The biggest tip he has for his fans is his “feeder workout” method. This is where at the end of the day before we head to bed we do an additional workout followed by posing and then directly going to sleep.

Rich Piana says feeder workouts are all about the pump. High reps drive blood, oxygen, and other nutrients into the muscles. I am not sure if that was his reason for naming them feeder workouts, since they are literally feeding the muscles, or because feeders are in addition to our regular routine.

The key to a successful feeder workout is to use very light weight or even bodyweight with no rest. Again, it’s all about the pump.


  1. Get a pair of 15-pound dumbbells. If 15lbs is too heavy go lighter. You are probably going to be doing feeders in your house so there is literally no need to impress anyone unless your ego gets in the way. With no rest in between complete the following exercise 3 times back to back:
  2. Skull crushers (Laying on the floor – bringing the dumbbells to the sides of your head) – 100 reps
    Hammer curls (On the knees or standing) – 60 reps
  3. Again 3 sets in all, non-stop, no rest.
  4. Follow the workout with posing in the mirror.

After posing its off to sleep RIGHT AWAY. The theory behind this is more psychological. Piana wants you to see and imagine your muscles growing as you pose in the mirror. He says not to eat food or do anything else that might take up your time after posing. Straight to sleep. Rich has a scary movie analogy. Scary movies are usually followed by nightmares. His idea is the same. After posing you should dream about growth, vascularity, and getting bigger.


The pump after a feeder workout is absolutely incredible. Over the years, I have conditioned myself to lift in the 6-12 rep range for 4-5 sets. For me, the results have been brilliant. The pump feels incredible. I also seem to get to sleep faster and sense a more relaxed deep sleep.

One last point. Feeder workouts can be used to bring up any lagging body part. Side laterals followed by Arnold presses would be amazing for shoulders. Bodyweight pushups followed by triceps kickbacks for Chest and Tris and so on.

Hope this post was informative but more importantly give feeder workouts a shot. The results speak for themselves.