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How to Cancel Out the Effects of Alcohol

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There is one activity that you probably do on the weekends—or some nights during the week—that could be leading to extreme weight gain (depends on how much).

It could also lead to your death—if you’re not careful.  What activity is it?

Drinking.

Now, I agree there are plenty of benefits to having a drink or two at night.

It’s been shown to improve heart health, may reduce your risk for diabetes, and may even decrease your risk for having an ischemic stroke.

But again, this is light drinking—only a glass or two a night.

More than that and you could be putting your health—and life—at risk!

Studies show that heavy drinking could lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, memory problems, and weight gain.

Now, up until recently, it was believed there was no way to reverse the damage associated with drinking.

But that was then, and this is now…read more

How to Create Your Perfect Bodybuilding Split

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If you've read one of my previous posts “5 Reasons Why Your Muscle Building Program Sucks,” you will know that most people suffer from Program ADD or Program Hopping.

This is when you jump from split to split.

I like to tell people to follow a split for at least 3 months.

This allows you to establish a baseline and progress.

Through my experience, lifters jump from split to split because they get bored with their current split and are looking for something new and exciting.

How about we fix that problem?

How about you create your perfect bodybuilding split now so that a month or two down the road you won't be looking for a new split?

I'm glad you are on board with this idea.

So, how do you go about creating your perfect bodybuilding split?

You do so by following these 5 steps.

Step 1 – Determine how many days a week you are available to train.

Your schedule may allow you to train Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Step 2 – Determine how long your sessions could last.

Your schedule may allow you to workout for an hour on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and allow you to workout for 30-40 minutes on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Step 3 – Determine how many days a week you want to train.

Even though your schedule allows you to train 5 days a week, maybe you only want to train 4 days a week.  Maybe you don't want to train on Fridays.

Step 4 – Determine how long you want your sessions to last.

Although your schedule allows you to train for an hour on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays maybe you only want to train for 30 intense minutes on each of those days.

Step 5 – Make a list of your favorite exercises (it could be 2 or 20, just write them down).

  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Seated Cable Rows
  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Chest Press
  • Hack Squats
  • Concentration Curls

Let's say the above are what you come up with for your absolute favorite exercises.

Step 6 – What are your favorite bodypart(s)?

This piggybacks off of #5.

Chances are that your favorite exercises target your favorite muscle groups.

From your list of favorite exercises your 3 favorites are Lat Pulldowns, Seated Cable Rows and 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows.

All 3 exercises target your Back so your Back is probably your favorite muscle group.


Putting it all together…

You will be training on Mondays for 30 minutes, Tuesdays for 30-40 minutes, Thursdays for 30 minutes, and Saturdays for 30 minutes.

Each day will focus on 1 or 2 of your favorite exercises.

Since Back is your favorite muscle group, you will be performing more work for your Back than any other muscle group.

2 examples of a perfect bodybuilding split

Split #1

Monday

  • Lat Pulldowns  5 x 12-15
  • Concentration Curls  3 x 12-15

 

Tuesday

  • Hack Squats  5 x 15-20
  • Hamstring Curls  5 x 15-20
  •  Calf Raises  3 x 15-20

Wednesday – off

Thursday

  • Chest Press  10 x 10
  • Seated Cable Rows  3 x 8-12
  • Triceps Pressdowns  3 x 15-20

Friday – off

Saturday

  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows  3 x 8-12
  • Push Ups  3 x failure
  • Standing Dumbbell Military Press  3 x 12-15

Sunday – off

Split #2

Monday

  • Hack Squats  4 x 15-20
  • Lat Pulldowns  4 x 8-12
  • Chest Press  4 x 8-12
  • Barbell Curls  2 x 12-15
  • Triceps Pressdowns  2 x 12-15

Tuesday – off

Wednesday

  • Pull Ups  4 x failure
  • Push Ups 4 x failure
  • Concentration Curls  2 x 12-15
  • Close-Grip Bench Press  2 x 12-15
  • Leg Press  2 x 8-12

Thursday – off

Friday

  • 1-Arm Dumbbell Rows  5 x 8-12
  • Dumbbell Bench Press  5 x 8-12
  • Leg Press  2 x 15-20
  • Hamstring Curls  2 x 15-20

Saturday – off

Sunday – off


photo credit:  Vaibhav Arora 

5 Muscle Building Tips That Always Work

bodybuilding

bodybuilding

All I wanna do is build muscle.

So does everyone else it seems because if you type in “how to build muscle” into Google you get millions of sites.

With all this information at your finger tips you can see how easy it can be to get confused.

You see, back in the day, Arnold and those guys weren't bombarded with a shitload of info.

They just went into the gym and worked really hard.

The Old School bodybuilders entered the gym with mental clarity.

Guys today enter the gym today not knowing if they should do a high volume program or do a 5/3/1 program.

Too much info.

I'm here to give you 5 muscle building tips that will always work.

When in doubt, just come back to this list and you can't go wrong.

1.  Intensity Trumps Program Design.

Train like you are about to go to prison.

If you knew you had a few months until you served some serious time in prison how hard do you think you'd train?

Pretty damn hard.

Well, that's how you should be training.

Train like your life depends on it.

If you look around your gym you will see that most guys are simply going through the motions.

You can have the best program on paper, but if you aren't lifting with intensity you won't get any results.

On the other hand, you can have a crappy program on paper, but if you lift with balls-out intensity you will get good results.

So, instead of trying to find the “perfect” program, start working out with 100% intensity.

2.  Frequency is Better Than Volume.

Most programs followed today have you hitting each muscle group once-a-week with a ton of volume.

This is far from optimal.

It is far better to break up that massive session into multiple smaller sessions.

For example, lets say that you perform 120 reps for your Back every Monday.

Instead, you will build more muscle faster, if you split that up into 2 weekly sessions of 60 reps per session or 3 weekly sessions of 40 reps per session.

The idea is to stimulate a muscle as often as possible without exceeding your recovery abilities.

3.  Double Progression Works.

To keep building muscle over time you must progress.

There are many ways to measure progression.

You can add reps with the same weight, add weight with the same reps, increase the number of sets, or decrease the amount of time it takes to complete the same amount of work.

A sure-fire progression system to keep packing on slabs of muscle is the double progression system.

Pick a rep range that's separated by 2 or 3 reps.

So, rep ranges like 6-8, 9-12, 12-14.

Those are just 3 rep range examples.

Perform your sets using your selected rep range.

Once you hit all your sets in the top of that rep range, add weight.

For example, let's use lat pulldowns.

Let's also use the 6-8 rep range and let's use 4 sets.

Set 1 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 2 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 3 – 120 lbs x 7 reps

Set 4 – 120 lbs x 6 reps

You hit your 8 reps on the first 2 sets, but failed to hit your 8 reps on your second 2 sets.

Your next session might look like this:

Set 1 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 2 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 3 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 4 – 120 lbs x 7 reps

You hit your 8 reps on all but the last set.

Your next session might look like this:

Set 1 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 2 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 3 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Set 4 – 120 lbs x 8 reps

Here, you hit all 8 reps on all your sets.

Congrats.

Now, it's time to add weight.

So, next time you would use 130 lbs for all your sets for the 6-8 rep range and try to hit 8 reps for all your sets.

This progression system works every time for building muscle.

4.  Get Lean and Stay Lean.

You are more anabolic the leaner you are.

The leaner you are the more likely it is for your body to use excess calories to build muscle.

Conversely, the fatter you are, the more likely it is that your body will store excess calories as fat.

With all things being equal, you will always build more muscle if you are leaner.

5.  Perform at Least 90% of Your Work in the 8-12 Rep Range.

Most rep ranges are effective for muscle building.

I have found that the 8-12 rep range is the sweet spot.

Perform most of your work in this 8-12 rep range.

Add weight when you can.

The confusion ends now.

And the muscle building begins.


 

photo credit:  Anton Mukhametchin

The “Mass in 30 Minutes” Program

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It is more common than not to see and hear guys lifting weights for over an hour a day 5 or more days a week.

There is something I need to tell you – this is too much.

If you are lifting weights for an hour or more per session then you are not working out hard enough.

What do I mean by “not lifting hard enough?”

  • It could be that you are using too many isolation exercises.
  • It could be that you are focusing on small body parts.
  • It could be that you are using light weights.
  • It could be that you are ending sets too many reps short of failure.
  • It could be that you are using long rest intervals.
  • It could be one or more of the above.

Personally, I am exhausted at the 30 minute mark.

Do you want to get a sense of how you should be working out?

Perform 10 sets of hack squats where you hit failure at rep 20 on each set.

Rest 60 seconds in between sets.

Guess what happens?

You won't last 30 minutes.

The “Mass in 30 Minutes Program” will change the way you look at training.

I can almost guarantee you that you will build more muscle in 30 minutes than most people will in an hour or more.

Keys to this program

  1. Rest 60-90 seconds between all sets
  2. Take all sets to either 1 rep short of failure or to failure
  3. Think about your muscle when it contracts.  This is the mind-muscle connection.
  4. Lift angry (before each set you must psych yourself up)

Mass in 30 Minutes Program 

Monday – Back & Bi's

1)  Lat Pulldowns  8 x 8-12 reps

2)  Alternating Dumbbell Curls  4 x 12-15 reps (each arm)

 

Tuesday – Chest & Tri's

1)  Chest Press  8 x 8-12 reps

2)  Dip Machine  4 x 12-15 reps

 

Wednesday – Legs

1a)  Goblet Squats  5 x 15-20 reps

1b)  Hamstring Curls  5 x 15-20 reps

 

Thursday – Off

 

Friday – Back & Chest

1a)  Seated Cable Rows  8 x 8-12 reps

1b)  Push Ups or Weighted Push Ups (use weighted push ups if you can do more than 40 push ups) 8 x failure

 

Saturday – Legs

1)  Leg Press  5 x 15-20 reps

2)  Dumbbell Lunges  5 x 15-20 reps (each leg)

 

Sunday – Off

 

Stick with this program as long as you want, but for a minimum of 3 months.

Record your workouts and try to add weight when possible.

You might be noticing that you are only using a small number of exercises.

What about muscle confusion?

What about exercise variety?

Muscle confusion is a bull shit term that was created within the fitness industry to help market products and programs.

In reality, most people fail to gain significant results because they use too many exercises and, therefore, never really gain any significant strength in certain exercises.

So, stick with the exercises in the program above and slowly try to add weight over time.

5 pounds here and there occasionally, over time, adds up to a lot of weight and a lot of muscle.


 

As far as your diet goes I like to keep it simple.

You don't need to eat like a pig unless you want to look like a pig.

Take your bodyweight and multiply that by 18 and that's roughly the number of calories you should be consuming every day.

So, if you weigh 200 pounds you should consume 3,600 calories a day.

Take a before pic now.

Take an after pic 6 months later.

If you love the results, send them over to me and you will be featured on our website.


photo credit:  Svavar “Suave”

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My Top 3 Chest-Building Exercises

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What is Monday?

It's National Chest Day.

Having a big chest is awesome.

The great news is is that it's not complicated to build one.

It's actually quite simple.

Select just a few compound exercises and get really strong in them in the 8-12 rep range.

The following are 3 awesome chest-building exercises.

Again, focus on 1,2, or all 3 of them.

Add weight when you can.

90% of the work you do should be in the 8-12 rep range.

1. Push Ups (weighted)

I am convinced that push ups are the best mass builder for your chest.

I do not know why competitive bodybuilders do not make them a go-to exercise.

I think it's because they are viewed as a sissy exercise or something you warm up with.

If you took 2 people and had 1 of them perform barbell bench presses for 3 sets of 10 reps and you took the other person, placed a 45 pound plate on their back and had them do 3 sets of 10 of push ups, over time the push up person would have a bigger chest.

My #1 tip is that if you want a big, awesome chest then get really good at weighted push ups.

2. Dips

Dips are freakin' amazing.

My favorite exercise of all-time is the dip machine.

You sit down and select a weight and it simulates a dip as if you were doing them on bars.

Unfortunately, dips are also a very risky exercise for your shoulders.

If you have bad shoulders or have had shoulder issues I would stay away from them.

If you love them like me, then what you should do is to do them at the end of your workout.

Pre-exhaust yourself.

For example, do 200 push ups over X amount of sets.

At that point you are pretty tired.

At that point you can bang out a couple sets on the dip machine.

You would be using a much lighter weight yet it would feel much heavier, therefore, reducing the risk of injury.

3. Dumbbell Bench Press

When bench pressing, ditch the barbell.

Your chest is not optimally targeted when performing barbell bench presses.

In addition, there is a huge risk of injury.

Use dumbbells.

Dumbbells allow you to form the mind-muscle connection.

They are also much safer.

Here is a Chest Specialization Split (follow for 3 months)

 Monday

1) Push Ups 7 x 8-12 reps

2) Seated Cable Rows 4 x 8-12 reps

3)  Alternating Dumbbell Curls  2 x 15-20 reps

Tuesday – Cardio or Off

Wednesday

1) Dips  7 x 8-12 reps

2a) Triceps Pressdowns 2 x 15-20 reps

2b) Lateral Raises  2 x 15-20 reps

Thursday

1a)  Hack Squats  4 x 15-20 reps

1b)  Hamstring Curls  4 x 15-20 reps

2)  Standing Calf Raises  4 x 15-20 reps

Friday

1) Dumbbell Bench Press 7 x 8-12 reps

2) Lat Pulldowns  4 x 12-15 reps

Saturday & Sunday – Cardio or Off

Weekly Totals:

Chest – 21 Sets

Back – 8 Sets

Quads – 4 Sets

Hamstrings – 4 Sets

Calves – 4 Sets

Biceps – 2 Sets

Triceps – 2 Sets

Shoulders – 2 Sets

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Want Faster Results?

Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.


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