Careers in the physique industry take many roads, although they usually start on a bodybuilding stage. Eric Broser’s right turn into coaching occurred early, as he was winning shows like the Natural Eastern USA and others competitors started asking him for advice. Being someone who claims his “always running 1,000 miles per hour,” he took it to the limit and beyond, earning pro status in two natural organizations and becoming a judge even as he was picking up training certifications and delving into program design. Twenty some years later he’s a globally popular online and in-the-flesh personal trainer, working at the Mecca of Bodybuilding, Gold’s Venice, California, as well as the developer of intricate training systems that keep the gains coming for his clients and the thousands who have used his methods.

Broser is big on long, descriptive names for his tremendously tough techniques, and he’s big on acronyms. P/RR/S, FD/FS—it sounds like abracadabra. No wonder his clients call him “Merlin.”

So which is it? Is Eric Broser a magician of physique transformation or just good intuitive trainer who’s got the knowledge, experience and smarts to figure out some things. You be the judge.

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By Ruth Silverman
Photos by C.J. Jolliff

Muscle Media Magazine

When did you first pick up a barbell and why?

Eric Broser

I first picked up a barbell at age 16 simply because I was sick and tired of being so skinny. At 5’11 1/2” and 125 pounds, nobody was mistaking me for the Incredible Hulk. In addition, I had always admired the muscular physiques of certain cartoon characters and athletes.

Muscle Media Magazine

Briefly, describe your journey from competitor to coach. When did you know this was going to be your life?

Eric Broser

The funny thing is that people approached me about coaching them early on. At age 21 I earned my natural pro card, and all of a sudden other competitors wanted me to assist with their stage presentation, posing and diet. Soon after came training. As time went on, I started writing for magazines like Iron Man, Muscle Mag International and Muscular Development, and more inquiries started coming; however, it wasn’t until I began to use the Internet, that my career as a coach fully manifested. Promoting my theories on diet and training via bodybuilding discussion forums helped me make a name for myself on a global scale. Competitors and athletes from dozens of countries began to email me, which prompted me to start my “online distance coaching/training” business.

Muscle Media Magazine

What led you to start developing training programs?

Eric Broser

By nature I am both an artist and scientist, especially when it comes to transforming the human body. While I read hundreds of articles by pro bodybuilders, coaches and gurus, I still always forged my own path. I kept meticulous records about my training and looked for patterns where more or less progress occurred. I did the same with dozens of my clients, trying to discover what methods were best for igniting hypertrophy. It was not until my late 20s, when my own progress seemed to stall, howver, that I dug deeper into human physiology and began formulating a specific strategy for continuous muscle growth.

Muscle Media Magazine

Looking for one word to describe your programs, I come up with “variety”—changing things up frequently, hitting every muscle every possible way. Is that about right?

Eric Broser

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. The body is a complex organism that is built to adapt to almost anything thrown its way. If you feed it the same thing too often, it will no longer see any need to respond (i.e., build muscle). You must constantly force your muscles and central nervous to deal with novel stimuli in order to force anabolism. Additionally, there are multiple pathways that can lead to larger muscles, and if they are not all addressed, progress will be less than optimal.

Muscle Media Magazine

You must get bored easily.

Eric Broser

In some respects yes—and in others, no. I am actually a very regimented creature, living each day similarly to the last. But I am also a thinker. My mind gets bored if it is not creating new, better and more progressive concepts—and not just about bodybuilding.

Muscle Media Magazine

Let’s talk about the evolution of your training systems.

Eric Broser

P/RR/S was my first fully realized program. It took me about two years of research and experimentation before I felt it ready to present to the bodybuilding industry.

Muscle Media Magazine

Where did you start, with science or in-the-trenches gym research?

Eric Broser

I started first by looking through my workout journals to determine at what points I’d made my best gains. I studied the specific exercises, rep tempos, rep ranges, times under tension, rests between sets, sets per muscle, and training frequencies. Then I began looking to science in order to discover if there was research that coincided with what I had been seeing. This allowed me to refine my experimentation in the gym and make ongoing tweaks until I was satisfied that I had struck gold.

Muscle Media Magazine

With P/RR/S the program changes every week, correct? What are the different approaches?

Eric Broser

The basic P/RR/S protocol works in three-week cycles. Power emphasizes basic movements; heavier weight; very slow, eccentric contractions and explosive positives. Rep Range takes you through four exercises and four rep ranges per body part. For the first movement the range is 7-9, the second is 10-12, the third is 13-15 and the fourth is 16-20. The tempo varies but will fall around 2/1/2/1 for most movements.

The third week of the cycle is called Shock, and the goal is to annihilate every muscle with intensity techniques such as super sets, drop sets, rest/pause, add-on-sets, 1 ½ reps, pre-exhaustion, post-activation and more. You use a controlled tempo and try to keep constant tension on the muscle.

Muscle Media Magazine

There’s a rest week too, correct?

Eric Broser

For most trainees I recommend one week off of training after three full P/RR/S cycles.

Muscle Media Magazine

Fiber Damage/Fiber Saturation training kicks it up a notch. Talk a little about FD/FS and the science behind it.

Eric Broser

Although P/RR/S was bringing fantastic results, I felt I needed an even more challenging protocol that could be used for short bursts throughout the year, when a specific muscle is lagging or simply to press the gas pedal to the floor.

The goal behind every workout is to cause as much muscle fiber trauma as possible—the main stimulus behind igniting the anabolic process—via a three-pronged attack. It begins with sets done with weights that will only allow 3-4 perfect reps. Next are sets including eccentric—negative—contractions of at least 5-8 seconds. Last are sets of an exercise that has a strong stretch component, such as dumbbell flyes, with the stretch held for 3-5 seconds on every rep. That’s the Fiber Damage part of the equation. It’s followed by Fiber Saturation, which calls for very high repetition (25-50), constant-tension sets so that an enormous influx of blood infuses the damaged tissue with oxygen, hormones and nutrients.

Muscle Media Magazine

This is advanced training and not for the fainthearted. Can regular trainees benefit from your systems?

Eric Broser

FD/FS is only for advanced bodybuilders and athletes. It is too intense for beginners and intermediates, and certainly not necessary for the basic fitness enthusiast. With P/RR/S, while I initially developed it for advanced trainees, I was forced to modify it for beginners and intermediates because I was receiving so many inquiries. Because they don’t need as much variety, I may have beginners do three Power weeks followed by three Rep Range weeks and then one Shock week for six months to a year to start.

Muscle Media Magazine

How do you approach a client who’s seriously out of shape and needs to start from the beginning?

Eric Broser

It always starts with a long conversation about the client’s short-term and long-term goals, level of experience, medical condition, injuries and limitations, lifestyle, stress levels, time available to commit, mind-set and more. My university degree is in psychology, and much of my study focused on the mind/body connection, which is so vital. I try to learn as much as I can about every new client, because it allows me to work more effectively as a coach and motivator.

Muscle Media Magazine

Your latest incarnation is FTX2. More initials—but what does it mean?

Eric Broser

I certainly love acronyms huh? FTX2 stands for “Fast Twitch X 2.” Basically, we are looking to stimulate the fast-twitch muscle fibers more effectively—the ones most responsible for hypertrophy. Here’s a sample chest workout to outline the mechanics behind it.

Muscle Media Magazine

A couple of years ago, you moved your base of operations to Southern California and the Mecca of Bodybuilding, Gold’s, Venice. How has it influenced your methods and your career?

Eric Broser

Because I am now located in the hotbed of the physique sports, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best in the world. Some of the men and women I coach make a living off of their body, which means I have an even greater responsibility to them. I also feel quite blessed to be surrounded every day by so many icons in the sport, some of whom I looked up to as a teenager.

I do want to mention a gentleman I met a couple of years ago when he filmed me taking my client, IFBB Pro, Abbas Khatami, through a workout. David Bourlet has been greatly responsible for helping me take my career as a coach, mentor and teacher to the next level via my weekly online show, “B Built By Broser,” which we have been doing for more than a year on YouTube in conjunction with Muscle Insider magazine. Meeting Dave has been one of my greatest blessings—and because of him I will forever be known as “Merlin.”

Muscle Media Magazine

Any plans to compete again? You know what they say about bodybuilders never really retiring?

Eric Broser

The last show I did was Lonnie Teper’s NPC Iron Man Naturally in 2011, where I won the open heavyweights. I was very happy to have reached my best ever condition at age 43 and felt satisfied to call it a day. However, training at The Mecca has begun fostering that “itch” to get back onstage once again. With the new classic physique division being implemented this year, you may see me jump back in the fire!

Muscle Media Magazine

Readers can find ebooks and DVDs about P/RR/S and FD/FS training, as well as your training services, at BroserBuilt.com. Is that the best place to contact you?

Eric Broser

To order any of my ebooks, it is best to contact me at bodyfx2@aol.com. To check out my pricing and programs for online coaching/training, please visit my Website first and then email me.

Facebook.com/coachericbroser

Pinterest.com/ericbroser

Twitter.com/EricBroser

@COACHERICBROSER

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