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Dan's Health & Fitness

Training Routines

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The Brinkzone

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The Routines

My Gym Routine:
This is a very intense workout which only take's 15 minutes to complete. I do one to three warm-up sets while increasing the weight each time. My heavy set is done to failure with a static hold, or partials at the end. I then move immediately to the next exercise. Back: pulldowns 1x6, Chest: benchpress 1x6, Legs: legpress 1x15, (I use the entire stack, so I will do several sets of partials with one leg at a time), Shoulders: wide-grip dumbell rows mixed with dumbell shrugs 1x8, Triceps: under-grip benchpress 1x6, Biceps: under-grip pulldowns 1x6, Abs: weighted crunches 1x12, Lower Back: extensions 1x20. I finish workout by stretching.
 
My Favorite Routine:
My favorite routine Although I change routines often, this is the routine I use most often. I perform one or two warmup sets, increasing the weight each time. My heavy set is taken to failure, where I then perform partial movements, or a static hold for several seconds. Tuesday: Chest, shoulders and triceps Benchpress 1x4-8 Close-grip bench 1x6-10 Triceps dip or kick-backs 1x8-12 Barbell press 1x6-10 Dumbell side-lateral 1x6-10 Thursday: Back, biceps and forearms Dealift or back extensions 1x10-15 Shrugs 1x10-20 Bent rowing 1x6-10 Chins 1x6-12 Barbell curl 1x6-10 Hammer curl 1x8-12 Saturday: Legs Squats 1x10-20 I do a set of crunches every other workout and stretch at the end of each session.
 
Super Slow (Slow-Mo) Reps:
Super Slow repetitions have been around for a few years now, but I never really put them through a thorough test, until now! I was doing some research in a medical web-site when I happened to find an article on Super Slow reps. The article was written very well, and it made Slow-Mo reps sound worth a try. The principle behind this system is to take a full ten seconds to raise the weight, and ten more seconds to lower it. That is one repetition! Obviously, you cannot use as heavy a weight as when doing the normal four second up, four second down repetition system. This fact alone makes it worth a try, as you cant find a safer way of training! There is absolutely no way to use momentum in this system, which places much less stress on your joints. Keeping the stress on the muscle for twenty seconds per repetition really helps to increase your strength in a hurry! I had just completed my third workout using a variation of this system and I had to increase my weights prior to starting the next one! The first session was more or less a get the feel of a different system type of workout. It felt pretty good, but I was not greatly impressed. During the second session, I found a better way of keeping track of my rep count. This helped me to concentrate better on my form, and to get a full ten second count in both directions on each repetition. I felt a slight, but welcome soreness in my chest, back and legs the next day. The soreness was not like what you feel after doing slow negatives with a heavy weight, but just enough to let me know I did something right! So I raised the weight on most of my lifts prior to my third workout, and things went very well. I did the slow motion reps with weights that are close to my normal workout weights when I am using a normal rep cadence. I would give this system about three or four weeks to see if the strength gains keep happening, or if things begin to taper off. In theory, it should work well for quite some time before the muscles adapt and beg for something else to shake them up again! Heres how it works. You will do a full body workout a maximum of three times per week. You do one exercise per body part, or in the case of legs, one each for quads, hamstrings and calves. You perform only one set per exercise, so you must give each set full intensity! You do not change your rep speed to get an extra rep. You do not stop a set until you reach or very nearly reach muscle failure. Be sure to get a spot when you do bench press and squats! Move quickly from one exercise to the next. Start with larger muscle groups, and finish with arms and abs. Try to really concentrate on the muscles moving the weight (when it takes twenty seconds per rep, you have plenty of time to concentrate) ! To help keep track of the rep count, I will count the rep number at the end of the positive and negative portion of each rep, for example, for the bicep curl I will count 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 while going up and down on the first rep. rep two is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2, rep three is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 3, and so on. This makes a huge difference when trying to count rep cadence and rep count at the same time! It should take less than thirty minutes to complete this routine, but why spend more time if thirty minutes gets the job done? Give it a try and see if it works for you. Sample routine: Calf raise Back extension Squats Stiff-leg dead-lift Bench press Cable rows or Lat pull-down Shrugs Barbell press Pulley push-down Barbell curl Hammer curl Crunch
 

Rut-buster Routine:  If your muscular gains have come to a halt, or you just become bored with the daily routine, try this out for size. Split your body into three parts, and perform each workout once per week on non-consecutive days. You will have to drop the weight a bit, but you still want to reach failure around six repetitions. You perform each set without rest. Try not to rest between body-parts, either. For example, if you are working chest, you do a set of flyes to failure and immediately follow with a set of bench presses. You finish with a set of dips. You then repeat this process two more times and move on to triceps. This routine will take you around ten to fifteen minutes to complete and will really shock your muscles into growth! Day One(chest and triceps) Chest Flyes 3x6 Bench press 3x6 Dips 3x6 Triceps Triceps pushdowns 3x6 Triceps press 3x6 Abs Crunches 3x15 Day Two (back and shoulders) Back Chins 3x6 Bent rowing 3x6 Back extensions 3x8 Shoulders Dumbell side laterals 3x6 Barbell press 3x6 Day Three (legs and biceps) Legs Leg extensions 3x6 Squats 3x8 Leg curls 3x6 Biceps Barbell curls 3x6 Hammer curls 3x8 Thats all there is to it! Try it out to jump-start those muscular gains.

Rest-Pause Training Rest-Pause is an advanced training technique used to push a muscle past the point of temporary failure. The standard principle is to use a weight which is a bit heavier than you would normally use for a given exercise. In this case we will use the Bench Press. You normally do six repetitions with two-hundred pounds. You are trying to increase the weight a little, so today you will place around two-hundred and thirty pounds on the bar. You still would like to get your six repetitions, so you pound out three reps and rack the bar. You will then rest, or pause for around fifteen seconds and perform another one or two reps. You rest again for fifteen seconds and press out another rep. When you are finished, you will have your six reps with a much heavier weight and this may push you right past a sticking point! Please remember to always use a spotter when doing heavy lifts such as the Bench Press so you can concentrate on pressing the weight up rather than worrying about how you will get out from under the bar if you fail! Again, this is the standard principle of Rest-Pause training. There are many variations of this technique. One variation I like to use will take my normal set past the point of temporary muscular failure. In this case we will use the Barbell Curl as our exercise of reference. I take my set to failure at around six repetitions. I set the bar down and count to ten. I now squeeze out as many additional reps as possible, which may be only two or three. Thats it! I have pushed my muscles past the point which they had adapted to. You can use your own imagination to find many more ways to use Rest-Pause training. As with any advanced technique, use Rest-Pause sparingly as it can quickly lead to over-training. Use the heavy Rest-Pause training to push past a sticking point, then go back to straight sets until you get stuck at a certain weight again. You can use the modified version of one additional set after a ten count once every couple of weeks, or as needed. The modified version is also a useful technique for those who have trouble taking their muscles to failure. Just follow the same directions above, but the two sets will count as one. I personally believe in one set per exercise, but if you do two or three sets, do the ten second pause only on your last set.

The Quick Hammer:  Do you occasionally find yourself pressed for time when preparing for your workout? Or, maybe you just do not feel like going through your normal routine. You need something a little different! How about this? This is a quick, ten minute workout to totally blitz the body. It is done on the line of circuit training except it is a mass gaining routine with heavy weights and lower to mid-range repetitions. You will take three basic, compound exercises which cover the chest, back and legs. Your other muscles will get plenty of stimulation from these compound pushing and pulling movements. You perform each exercise without rest in between. For example, we will take chin-ups for the back, parallel bar dips for the chest and squats for the legs. Start with the chin-ups and do as many repetitions as you can. Next, do the same with the dips, then go on to the squats. Try to perform each rep slowly, with emphasis placed on the negative, or downward portion of the movement. After the squats, take about ten seconds to catch your breath, then start the second cycle. Perform each rotation three to four times, then do a cool down and stretch and you are done. This routine can be followed any time you are short on time, or when you just need a little change of pace. You will definitely feel the muscles you worked out in this fashion the next day! You can substitute many exercises into the routine, as long as you make sure to do one exercise each for back, chest and legs. Examples of exercises: (Choose one from each group) Back: chins, bent rowing and t-bar rowing. Chest: dips, bench press and push-ups. Legs: squats, lunges, dead-lift and leg presses. This program can also be done taking your normal rest periods between each set. Obviously, it will then take longer than ten minutes to complete, but it is a very substantial training routine. With the longer rest intervals, you will probably use more weight on the lifts, so you will build strength a bit quicker doing the routine in this manner. Either way, you are working the largest muscle groups which will add strength and mass very quickly to your body. Give it a try and see for yourself, what can be done in as little as ten minutes!

Full-body Routine: 10 minute warm-up and light stretching Calf raise 1x15 Squat 1x8 Bench press 1x6 Lat Pull-down or Chins 1x6 Bent Rowing 1x6 Back Extension 1x12 Barbell Press 1x6 Shrugs 1x8 Lying Tricep Press 1x6 Hammer Curl 1x8 Crunches 1x20 Take each set to temporary muscle failure. Try to move from one set to the next with very little rest. If you keep up the intensity, the workout should take around fifteen minutes not counting the warm-up. Be sure to raise and lower the weights very slowly, as this is the safest and most productive way to train. On exercises calling for six repetitions, when you work up to ten reps, raise the weight prior to your next workout and start back at six reps. On squats and hammer curls, change the weight when you reach twelve repetitions, back extensions around fifteen, calf raise around twenty and crunches around twenty-five. This is a good, all-around routine for building muscle mass and keeping the muscles you already have in great shape. It should be performed on two to three non-consecutive days per week. For most of us, two workouts per week would be plenty. Be sure to occasionally change exercises to keep your muscles guessing and growing! As always, be sure to check with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Pyramid Routine With the Pyramid Routine, you start with a light weight on your first set and complete around fifteen reps. Each additional set you do, you raise the weight and lower the repetitions. This is the safest and most effective way to perform volume training and to build strength. Start with failure around fifteen reps on the first set and try not to go below four reps on your heavy set. Chest Workout Bench press 1x15, 1x10, 1x6, 1x4 Incline flye 1x15, 1x10, 1x6 Dips 1x15, 1x10, 1x6 Back Workout Chins 1x15, 1x10, 1x6, 1x4 Rowing 1x15, 1x10, 1x6 Back Extensions 1x20, 1x12, 1x8 Shoulders and Arms Barbell Press 1x12, 1x9, 1x6 Shrugs 1x12, 1x9, 1x6 Triceps Press 1x12, 1x9, 1x6 Hammer Curl 1x15, 1x10, 1x6 Barbell Curl 1x12, 1x9, 1x6 Leg Workout Squat 1x15, 1x12, 1x10, 1x8, 1x6 Leg Extensions 1x15, 1x10, 1x6* *Alternate every other workout with Leg Curls 1x15, 1x10, 1x6 Be sure to warm up the muscles and perform some light stretching prior to the above workouts. Take a day off after each workout except between arms and leg workouts. A sample workout week as follows: Monday: Chest Tuesday: Rest Wednesday: Back Thursday: Rest Friday: Arms and Shoulders Saturday: Legs Sunday: Rest

Light-Heavy Routine:  You can work your fast-twitch (explosive power) muscle fibers and your slow-twitch (endurance power) fibers in the same workout. Split your body into two workouts skipping a day between workouts for rest and re-growth. Day one (chest, back, triceps, biceps) Bench press 1x15, 1x6 Flyes 1x15, 1x6 Chins 1x15, 1x6 Bent rowing 1x15, 1x6 Back extension 1x20, 1x10 Tricep press 1x15, 1x6 Barbell curl 1x15, 1x6 Hammer curl 1x18, 1x8 Day two (legs, shoulders, abs) Leg extension 1x15, 1x6 Squat 1x20, 1x8 Leg curl 1x15, 1x6 Barbell press 1x15, 1x6 Lateral raise 1x15, 1x6 Shrug 1x18, 1x8 Crunches 1x25, 1x12 After a few minutes of warm-ups and light stretching, go right into the light set of each exercise. This set will replace any warm-up sets, but make sure you use a weight which makes it difficult to complete the set. Follow with the low rep set with a weight which will allow you to reach failure around six reps or so, depending on the exercise. When you are able to do ten reps on your heavy set, raise the weight prior to your next workout. Try this system for a few weeks and see if you do not make new gains in muscle and in muscle endurance!

One set to failure:  The following workout is done two to three non-consecutive days per week. After a brief warmup, take each working set to the point where you cannot perform one more complete, strict repetition. If you have difficulty doing this, perform as many reps as you can, set the weight down and count to ten. Then perform as many more reps as you can. Benchpress 1x6-10 Bent rowing 1x6-10 Deadlift or back extension 1x10-15 Squat 1x10-20 Over-head press 1x6-10 Barbell curl 1x6-10 Triceps dip 1x6-10 Crunch 1x12-20 Be sure to keep the intensity very high. Only rest long enough between exercises to get your breath back. Every couple of weeks or so, perform a workout where you cut back the weight and perform around twenty repetitions per exercise. My favorite routine Although I change routines often, this is the routine I use most often. I perform one or two warmup sets, increasing the weight each time. My heavy set is taken to failure, where I then perform partial movements, or a static hold for several seconds. Tuesday: Chest, shoulders and triceps Benchpress 1x4-8 Close-grip bench 1x6-10 Triceps dip or kick-backs 1x8-12 Barbell press 1x6-10 Dumbell side-lateral 1x6-10 Thursday: Back, biceps and forearms Dealift or back extensions 1x10-15 Shrugs 1x10-20 Bent rowing 1x6-10 Chins 1x6-12 Barbell curl 1x6-10 Hammer curl 1x8-12 Saturday: Legs Squats 1x10-20 I do a set of crunches every other workout and stretch at the end of each session. HST-Hypertrophy-Specific Training Incline benchpress 2x6-10 Dips 1x10 Pull-downs 2x6-10 Bent rowing 1x6-10 Back extension 1x10-15 Squat 2x6-10 Leg curl 1x6-10 Shrug 1x10 Shoulder press 1x6-10 Lateral raise 1x10 bent lateral raise 1x10 Lying tricep press 1x6-10 Incline dumbell curl 1x6-10 Crunch 2x10 Calf raise 1x15-20 Perform the above workout two to three days per week. The idea is to keep your body in a positive anabolic state by doing multiple short weekly workouts to keep spiking growth hormone. This way, you keep working your muscles without over-taxing them and this should enhance recuperation. For more detail on this program, visit the HST website at: http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_II.html Static Training Holding a weight in the strongest point of the range of motion is called Static Training. Pete Sisco and Tony Reno sell a very unique machine for this purpose, but if you can't afford this machine, you can perform these reps on a Smith Machine, as I do, or in a cage. You set the bar, or pins a few inches below lock-out. You then push, or pull, depending on the exercise, until the bar is just short of a full contraction. You are only moving the bar a couple of inches. In my case, using the Smith Machine, I don't twist the bar. I move the bar until the hooks hit the next level, which is about two inches. As added resistance, I then push the bar hard against this level. Using the above types of equipment, the most difficult part is adding and subtracting the weight plates, as you will be using a considerable amount of weight with this system. This is why, if you have the money, the Static Contraction Training (SCT) machine is really quite simple. Otherwise, just persevere with the weight plates, as this system does work. These workouts are very brief, but they are quite intense. If you are trying to gain strength, hold the contraction for around 7 seconds. If you are trying to add muscle mass, I recommend holding the contraction for around 30 seconds. This would be about the same amount of time that it would take to perform a set of six repetitions in a normal training set. Monday: Chest and Triceps Benchpress 1x30 Close-grip Bench 1x30 Crunches Wednesday: Back and Biceps Deadlift 1x30 Slide Curl 1x30 Friday: Legs and Shoulders Squat or Legpress 1x30 Overhead Press 1x30 Crunches

Start with light weights. Use proper form. Exercise at your own risk.

"Train smarter, not longer."

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