Unless you’re planning on being a bodybuilder stop lifting like one. Does your workout look a little like this? Back/hams/biceps – chest/triceps/forearms – quads/shoulders/traps? Are you doing 3 sets of 8, pyramids, tri sets, super sets, etc? Well if all this looks familiar, good luck at the Olympia.
Now I know most of you are not training to be bodybuilders so why are you lifting this way? I would rather see you join the cult; C—-fit. Now I don’t agree with their complete philosophy, and I think the Paleo diet is a bit ridiculous, however they do have some pretty good workouts. That being said, they also take things too far for the average person and that can be quite dangerous.
So if you’re working out (lifting) just to stay in good shape, cut fat, put on a little muscle, and just get a little stronger you should be hitting all your muscles in each workout; to some extent. Start each workout with a major movement and then follow with exercises to support. I typically divide the workout by 4 parts, military press, dead lift, flat bench press, and squat. You can do this however you feel comfortable just follow the format.
Here is an example: Day 1 – Military press, barbell row, close grip press, dips. Day 2 – Dead lift, straight leg dead lift, barbell curl, rack pull up. Day 3 – flat bench press, incline chest press, and pull ups, bent lateral raise. Day 4 – squat, shrugs, leg curls, and hang cleans.
The next issue I would like to address is how much weight, how many reps, and how many sets to perform. I see it all too often, people just through some plates on a bar do 8 or 10 reps, add some more weight and repeat with no rhyme or reason. Well I’ve developed a formula that works well and lets you see your progress, and most importantly you will feel your progress. The rep range I work in is 8 to 12, if I can’t hit 8 reps; the weight is too heavy, if I can do more than 12, well then it’s not heavy enough. Next is sets, I typically do 3 sets increasing the weight by 5 pounds per set. Here’s an example, set 1 – 100lbs set 2 – 105lbs set 3 – 110lbs. Now as long as I hit my rep range the next time I do this exercise I will start at my middle set weight: example 105, 110, 115.
Next, be sure to write down your workouts and record everything, by writing it down on paper you know exactly what you need to do in each workout. I don’t care how good your memory is there is no way you can remember every weight and every set and every rep. Also by writing everything you can see you progress on paper, as well as in the mirror and in the way you will feel.
Now each time through the 4 workouts is 1 cycle. I recommend that every fifth cycle is used as an active rest period. This will help prevent reaching a plateau and or burning out. To achieve this active rest you will be doing the same workout as in the cycle, the only difference will be in the weight used and reps, during this period you will use the weight from the middle set of your previous workout and performing 8 reps for 3 sets. After 1 cycle of active rest resume the above format.
Be sure to start each workout with a good full body warm up, and stretch when you finish lifting. I’ll address flexibility training, cardio training, and abs in future blogs.
If you don’t fully understand or would like more detail on this please message me and I will be happy to give you more info and explain in great detail.