Monday, November 5, 2012

CAUTION: Not for the Faint of Will

If you're like me, you workout every day because
  • You want to get STRONG
  • You want to get BIG
  • You're addicted to RESULTS
If that's you then try my workout routine. I caution you now it takes DISCIPLINE, DEDICATION, and TIME Commitment like you've never seen before.  If you want to workout to get skinny, or get beach muscles for your next vacation; this isn't the workout for you.  If that's you go find some get-thin-quick dance class at your gym.  This program is for meatheads who live to lift.

Before we get to the specifics, here's some general guidelines.
  1. Don't skip LEGSDAY ever! You need to learn to love it because it is the most integral part of your workout.  Your legs are the largest muscles in your body.  Stress them and they release growth hormone among other chemical signals into the blood than benefit your muscle development everywhere.  That leads us to #2:
  2. Nutrition is key.  If you want to get big and grow muscle you need caloric excess.  That means you take in more calories than you burn.  The key is what to take in and when you take it in.  Protein is king, and among the proteins Whey is the god.  You have 30 minutes from the second you rack your last weight to get some protein in you.  More on this later.
  3. When you think you can't; prove yourself wrong.  Every person has a lot more in them than they think.  Always push yourself for that last rep, that extra plate; but remember PRACTICE GOOD FORM, and when you don't feel comfortable, USE A SPOTTER.  And on that note, one more guideline:
  4. FREE WEIGHTS in general are much better for you than MACHINES.  While everything has its uses, use free weights whenever possible.  I understand many of you may be working out in small gyms, home gyms, or don't feel comfortable with the free weights (USE A SPOTTER); but trust me your body and your goals will thank you for the extra effort.  Free weights require you to balance the weight as you work it.  That helps to develop accessory muscles around the muscle you are targeting.  This leads to a more balanced appearance, higher caloric burn, and most importantly: greater real world strength gains.  Think about it, in the real world how many things are balanced perfectly for you?  Train for the gains you want!  If you want strength, use free weights, if you just want beach muscles, find another program!  The other nice thing about free weights is that you're free to move them in a range that fits your body.  Machines have locked tracks that dictate the path of the weight.  This can (especially at high weights) be very bad for your joints.  A key to getting strong and being healthy is protecting your body.  Mess up your joints and you won't be lifting anymore. 
So now for the details.  I designed this workout plan around my goals, if this fits you as well feel free to borrow it.  As always check with your doctor if you have any questions and to make sure you're healthy enough for vigorous strength training.  Weight lifting can be dangerous, so make sure you're comfortable with each exercise before you start exerting yourself with heavy weights.

I do a double-split workout 6 days a week.  That means I workout twice a day for 6 days with one day to rest.  This workout was inspired by Sylvester Stallone's Rambo 4 workout. The goal to gain strength is to do 5 sets, of 5 reps, of the maximum weight you can do.  That means every rep is a struggle which means every rep has an effect.  Again, if you're just starting lifting work your way up to this.  Start with light weight, or an empty bar and gradually work your way up, developing technique and form as you go.

  • Morning
    • Chest
      • Bench Press
      • Incline Bench press
      • Dumbbell Press
      • Dumbbell Butterflies
    • Back
      • 1 Arm Dumbbell Row
      • Hyper extensions with weights
    • Core
      • Various
  • Afternoon
    • Shoulders
      • Dumbbell Flye
      • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
      • Military Press
    • Arms
      • Alternating Dumbbell Curls
      • Barbell Curls
      • Cable Curls
      • Dumbbell Tricep Press
      • Tricep Dips (hold dumbbell between feet for extra weight)
    • Cardio (Pick one, mix it up)
      • Boxing Heavy Bag
      • Run distance
      • Sprints
      • Run Stairs
  • Morning
    • Rear Delts, Traps
      • Barbell Shrug
      • Upright Barbell Row
      • Deltoid Raises
    • Core/Cardio
  • Afternoon
    • Legs
      • Leg Press (one exception to no-machine rule)
    • Cardio
I've been doing this specific program for 2 weeks now.  It is a great time commitment, but to be honest it makes everything else in the day easier.  I feel healthier than ever, have more energy, and as a result paying attention to boring lectures is easier, and exam scores are up.  Studies have shown that weight lifting among college men directly corresponds to higher GPA's.  My physical gains so far are encouraging.
  • I've added 15 pounds in 2 weeks, while noticeably lowering my body fat percentage greatly.
  • Bench Press is up 60 pounds.
  • Squats are pushing 400 pounds coming off a catastrophic rugby injury to my knee last spring.
    • Added strength in legs has stabilized my knee and made it feel better than any treatment so far.
  • Leg Press at 1250 pounds and rising following knee injury.
  • The changes are noticeable.  In the past 2 weeks:
    • A friend I haven't seen in a few weeks asked me if I was taking steroids (NO!)
    • A tour at the gym stopped to watch me squat then used me as an example to the prospective members.
    • A stranger at the gym asked me in amazement how much weight I was legpressing (1200lbs at the time).
    • Muscles are bulging, shirts are tighter around the shoulders/chest/arms, looser in the abdomen, pants are tight around the quads, cardio endurance is up.
That is the first 2 week's results!  I think the hardest part of devoting time to working out for people is the lack of motivation.  To me the best motivation is results! Work hard and you will see results! I keep a gym notebook and any time I need a little motivation, all I have to do is look back a few pages and I'm raring to go.

Follow me on Twitter @keepermike1949 for more updates and words of encouragement, and to let me know your thoughts!

Just the fancy legal stuff: All of the above is my experience with my workout program.  I have no problem with you using, modifying, and sharing it.  It is here for the benifet of anyone who wants to get in shape.  That being said, use it at your own risk.  I take no liability for anything that may happen as a result.  And remember before beginning a workout routine, have a physical and talk to your doctor.  Be Careful. Stay Safe. Lift Heavy. Be Strong!

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