R.O.B Approach by Rob Thoburn

November 3rd, 2005 by Paul Johnson

Rob Thoburn has been in the bodybuilding and supplement industry for decades. A few years ago he launched a website and a interesting workout routine he called the R.O.B approach. The ROB stands for Rest Only Briefly.

What makes his workout system so unique, is that he was a claimed hardgainer, yet he advocated very high volume at very high intensity. It was basically everything against what bodybuilders have been taught for years now. Hardgainers do low volume high intensity because they are taught that is best for them.

Rob thoburn says that he struggled for years to build muscle. It wasn't until he changed his routine radically to a higher volume and intensity, that he noticed dramatic muscle gains immediately. His pictures from when he was younger, shows a tall very skinny person, so I believe he is a true hardgainer.

Here are some pictures of him now:

Rob Thoburn

Rob thoburn back

Rob thoburn Triple H

Principles of the R.O.B Approach:

Rob Thoburn seems to emphasize workouts more than diet. He doesn't even believe that you need to eat protein around the clock in 6 meals or eating obnoxious amount of calories. What is more important to him is getting the total protein intake per day and making sure you stimulate the muscles in grueling workouts.

The R.O.B approach is not a specific workout routine, he only gives guidelines. The basics of his workout are 5 to 8 reps per set done to failure with only 10 to 50 seconds of rest between each set. He believes in very high volume and even says it's ok working the muscle out 2 times a day. He leaves it up to the individual to decide the set volume per week per muscle, but he puts an emphasis on very high volume and intensity, to force the muscles to grow.

Is the R.O.B Approach the right way for hardgainers?

Rob thoburn has said his workouts will work for not just hardgainers, but everyone. Many have asked what makes his program any different than past volume programs that left hardgainers with little results. He believes the high intensity, with the low rest time is a crucial part in forcing the muscles to grow.

I have tried to ease into the R.O.B approach workouts, but I found the workouts so taxing I could never workout the muscle twice a day or even week, like he recommends. If you don't ease into the workout slowly over weeks, you will feel burned out and overtrained very quickly if your used to low volume. It is very hard workout to keep up with the intensity with so many sets.

I personally never really noticed a dramatic benefit from changing my routine to more like the R.O.B approach. You will also burn a lot of calories from these workouts making it hard to get bigger. The amount of sets and intensity is simply not worth it to me, seeing as I couldn't see a benefit from the workout over other ones. I have noticed that the popularity of his site and program has dwindled over the years. He used to have a forum on his site and used to visit other bodybuilding forums. Perhaps this is a testimony of how others feel about it too.

  1. adam bonnell on December 15th, 2007

    hey im right now studying to be a personal trainer through nasm. ive been around the weights for years and im only nineteen. i have a lot of people around the gym asking about the best ways to tone up. i always say the same thing. The R.O.B program. its by far the most potent workout ive ever tried leaving me crawling out of my own pool of sweat.

  2. Admin on December 18th, 2007

    It is potent and its hard to do on a weekly basis. But wearing yourself to exhaustion is not necessary for muscle growth, unless your just doing it to break through a plateau. I’ve personally wrote the author since this review. In a nutshell, he says the workouts work for him, but he isn’t sure how well it works in general for most everyone else. He had been working for BSN for the last few years (he no longer is) which is why the popularity of his program and site went down over the years.

  3. Tom on March 8th, 2008

    found an old ironman mag. and in it there was an article on OL-training. that is where i found your website address. but see nothing on it in here.
    oh, the mag. was from 2004, have things changed. also noted that i believe it was lawson, that was at that time using it in his x-reps.
    any info will be nice.

    tom jones

  4. admin on March 8th, 2008

    Could you give me the link? Thanks.