The Colorado Experiment

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Discussions surrounding Casey Viator inevitably gravitate towards The Colorado Experiment, a pivotal undertaking in the realm of fitness. Conceived by Arthur Jones, the visionary behind Nautilus weightlifting equipment, the experiment aimed to gauge Viator’s muscle-building potential within a brief timeframe.

Spanning 28 days, the experiment unfolded with meticulous oversight from Jones himself. Viator adhered to a rigorous regimen, alternating training sessions every other day in a controlled environment. Notably, half of his exercises emphasized negative-only repetitions, intensifying the challenge.

Viator’s initial progress was staggering, packing on 27.25 pounds of muscle within the inaugural week alone. By the conclusion of the experiment, his muscular gains totaled a remarkable 63.21 pounds, averaging an astounding 2.26 pounds daily. Commencing at 166.87 pounds with a body fat percentage of 13.8, Viator concluded the trial at 212.15 pounds, standing at 5 feet 8 inches and aged 21.

Crucially, Jones ensured the experiment remained free from supplements or steroids, emphasizing Viator’s adherence to a six-meal, 4,000-calorie diet. Training predominantly on Nautilus equipment, Viator engaged in approximately 12 exercises per session lasting around 33 minutes each.

While The Colorado Experiment yielded impressive results, skepticism persists regarding its validity. Critics point to Viator’s unique circumstances, having previously won the Mr. America contest at an unprecedentedly young age of 19. Following this triumph, a hiatus precipitated by a health scare led to significant muscle loss, complicating the interpretation of his subsequent gains.

Distinguishing between muscle building and muscle rebuilding is pivotal. Viator’s prior accolades and genetic predisposition underscore his exceptionalism, acknowledged by Jones himself. While the experiment’s outcomes remain unparalleled, subsequent endeavors with different subjects have yielded commendable though less dramatic results, indicative of Viator’s genetic advantage and singular circumstances.

The Colorado Experiment Workout

The program Jones designed was unusual. The exercises are common but there a few variables you need to consider.

One Set: the goal is to perform every exercise listed below for just one set to complete failure. Perform 6-8 reps per exercise and never cheat. Perfect form is essential. Add 5 percent once the weight is too light.

Negatives: the program involves negative reps. This means you only perform the lowering portion of the exercise. Spread the rep over 4-8 seconds and have a partner help you reset the weight. Perform 6 to 8 reps as you would normally. Negative reps allow you to use around 30-40 percent extra weight.

Metabolic Conditioning: start out with a rest time of no longer than one minute. Gradually decrease the rest time to thirty seconds. This will allow for metabolic conditioning. Decreasing the rest time too quickly will impair your muscle gains.

Below are all fourteen workouts used in the experiment. Remember to perform them on alternating days. You need at least one day of rest in between each workout.

Workout #1
  1. Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Barbell
  2. Leg Extension Machine (Negative)
  3. Squat with Barbell
  4. Leg Curl Machine (Negative)
  5. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  6. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  7. Overhead Press with Barbell
  8. Chin-Up (Negative)
  9. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  10. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
Workout #2
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Chin-Up (Negative)
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  9. Dip
  10. Squat with Barbell
Workout #3
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Chin-Up (Negative)
  5. Dip (Negative)
  6. Shoulder Shrug with Barbell
  7. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  8. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  9. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  10. Behind Neck Chin-Up (Negative)
  11. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  12. Leg Extension Machine (Negative)
  13. Squat with Barbell
  14. Leg Curl Machine (Negative)
Workout #4
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Chin-Up
  5. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  6. Dip
  7. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  8. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  9. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  10. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  11. Squat with Barbell
  12. Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Barbell
Workout #5
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Chin-Up (Negative)
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  9. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  10. Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Barbell
  11. Leg Extension Machine (Negative)
  12. Squat with Barbell
Workout #6
  1. Chin-Up
  2. Dip
  3. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  4. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  5. Shoulder Shrug with Barbell
  6. Overhead Press with Barbell
  7. Dip
  8. Squat with Barbell
Workout #7
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Chin-Up (Negative)
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Behind-Neck Pull-Up (Negative)
  9. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  10. Squat with Barbell
  11. Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Barbell
  12. Leg Extension Machine (Negative)
Workout #8
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Chin-Up
  3. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  4. Dip
  5. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Overhead Press with Barbell
  9. Dip (Negative)
  10. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  11. Chin-Up (Negative)
  12. Squat with Barbell
Workout #9
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  3. Chin-Up
  4. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  5. Dip
  6. Overhead Press with Barbell
  7. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  8. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  9. Chin-Up (Negative)
  10. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  11. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  12. Dip (Negative)
  13. Squat with Barbell
  14. Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Barbell
Workout #10
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Lat-Machine Pulldown to Chest
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Chin-Up
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Dip
  7. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  8. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  9. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  10. Lateral Raise with Dumbbells
  11. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  12. Squat with Barbell
  13. Stiff-Legged Deadlift with Barbell
Workout #11
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Chin-Up
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Dip
  7. Biceps Curl with Barbell – (Negative)
  8. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  9. Behind-Neck Pull-Up (Negative)
  10. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  11. Squat with Barbell
  12. Leg Extension Machine (Negative)
Workout #12
  1. Overhead Press with Barbell
  2. Chin-Up
  3. Dip
  4. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  9. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  10. Dip
  11. Wrist Curl with Barbell
Workout #13
  1. Bent-Armed Pullover with EZ-Curl Bar
  2. Bent-Over Row with Barbell
  3. Overhead Press with Barbell
  4. Chin-Up (Negative)
  5. Dip (Negative)
  6. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  9. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  10. Dip (Negative)
  11. Wrist Curl with Barbell
  12. Squat with Barbell
Workout #14
  1. Overhead Press with Barbell
  2. Chin-Up
  3. Dip
  4. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  5. Bench Press with Barbell (Negative)
  6. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  7. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  8. Biceps Curl with Barbell (Negative)
  9. Overhead Triceps Extension with Dumbbell
  10. Dip (Negative)
  11. Wrist Curl with Barbell
  12. Squat with Barbell

Thanks to The Bodybuilding Archive for this information.