If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’d be aware that I’m on a mission to get into great shape for Summer and I have a bit of a plan in mind for the coming few months in order to get there.
We refer to these medium – long term training plans as “periodisation”, as we have different periods within the plan which focus on different aspects related to the overall goal. My goal for this period is to increase strength and muscle mass before entering the next phase where I will have a new strategy to maintain muscle mass while reducing any remaining body fat stores.
I’ve already detailed my 2000 calorie vegetarian nutrition plan I’m utilising at the moment, so lets move on to the training plan.
I’m back to a 5 day split program, training each muscle group (chest, back, shoulders, legs, arms) individually each on their own respective day of the week. The strength building aspect of this program is based on a theory I developed when thinking about the results of a previous pyramid training program I used. With pyramid training you might start out with a certain weight for say 6 reps, then increase the weight for the next set with a target of 4 reps, and so on. What I found more often than not is that on the 2nd or 3rd set, I could still pump out the same amount of reps (or more) despite the increase in weight.
This happens because your nervous system responds to the first set of heavy lifting by switching on more motor units which enable stronger muscle contractions. My strategy for the next weeks or so will be to warm up, then perform the first work set using the same weight as the week before. Then for the 2nd or 3rd set, increase the weight and push out as many reps as possible, then return to the previous amount of weight for the final set. The following week (or perhaps every other week) I’ll be able to start out with the heaviest amount of weight used the previous week.
So here’s the program for the weeks ahead:
Warm Up: One Arm Cable Flyes
Incline Press Machine 1 set x 18 reps, 4 x 6 – 8 reps.
Dumbbell Flyes 3 x 12
Dumbbell Press super set 3 x 12
Pec Dec Machine 3 x 21s
Decline Press Machine 4 x 8 – 12
Cable Cross Overs 3 x 12
Warm Up; Assisted Pull Ups
Back Hyper Extension
Deadlifts 4 x 6 – 8
Latt Pull Down 3 x 12
Reverse Cable Fly superset 3 x 12
Seated Cable Row 3 x 8 – 12
Straight Arm Pulldown 3 x8 – 12
Back Hyper Extension
Warm Up; Cable Medial Rotation
Cable Lateral Rotation
Cable Verticle Rotation
Shoulder Press Machine 1 x 16 – 18, 4 x 6 – 8
Seated Side Lateral Raise 3 x 12
Seated Dumbbell Press super set 3 x 12
Machine Shrugs 4 x 10 – 12
Barbell Front Raise 3 x 8 – 12
Rear Deltoid Lateral Raise 3 x 8 – 12
Warm Up; Lunges
Low Box Squats 4 x 8 – 12
Glute Isolator Machine 3 x 12
Isolateral Leg Press 1 x 16 – 18, 3 x 6 – 8
Isolateral Leg Extension 3 x 10 – 12
Leg Curl superset 3 x 10 – 12
Seated Calf Raise 3 x 10 – 12
Warm Up; Supinating Dumbbell Curls
Overhead Dumbbell Extension
EZ Bar Curl 3 x 8
Skull Crusher 3 x 8
Preacher Curl 3 x 10
Tricep Pushdown 3 x 10
Forearm Wrist Curls, Palms Up 3 x 16 – 18
Forearm Wrist Curls, Palms Down 3 x 16 – 18
Cable Bicep Curl 3 x 12
Cable Tricep Kickback 3 x 12
As you can see, this is not particularly dissimilar from past programs I’ve posted here, with arms day being all supersets between bicep and tricep exercises. Legs day is particularly brutal on this one, and you should also notice some similarity between each day’s program, with one superset for each body part.