Friday, April 2, 2010

Secret to Success? Back to Basics

We are now in the 10th week of this 10 week program -- last week of the Growth Phase. Indeed, this was our final leg routine before moving on next week to a completely new routine -- one that will supplement our cutting diet which beings on April 15 with a view to being in "summer shape" June 1. (See the end of this blog for today's workout.)

We've learned a lot during these last 10 weeks, and here are the Big 3 lessons:

1. Back to basics. If you're not doing free squats, barbell bench press, free bar dead lifts, and unassisted pull ups, you're cheating yourself. All the fancy equipment built to focus on the different body parts are NOT a substitute for the basics that are the core of every successful physique competitor's routine.

2. Heavy. Light weight is a waste of time. Regardless where you are in your development, the goal is always to build muscle. The only way to do that is to lift heavy weight, using proper form and full range of motion. We see a lot of folks in the gym who come to socialize. That's fine if you don't expect results. We see others who load on the weight and then limit the range of motion to the point it accomplishes nothing, e.g., guys who load 8 plates on each side of the leg press machine and then have a drop of about 3 or 4 inches, or cross their arms across their chest which acts both as a limit on the range of motion and allows one to use their arms to cheat the weight up. Decide what it is you want -- to assuage your ego or to get big and muscular. The former lets you cheat; the latter means you lift heavy but never so heavy that you sacrifice form and range of motion.

3. Diet. Diet, diet, and diet. We see people in various gyms who obviously come in regularly, work hard, and whose appearances never change. Why? Because they don't understand or have the discipline to control their diets -- calories, carbs, fats, and proteins -- all measured, everyday, without fail. I can spot a carb-addict from 50 feet. Always smooth, and never seem to gain any size. Bottom line? If you're eating bread, tortillas, pastries, and other processed carbohydrates as a regular part of your diet, forget it. If you drink alcohol regularly, forget it. Don't waste your time in the gym. It is not going to make any difference. Just get on an eliptical trainer and try and keep your weight under control. That is possible without being too strict on your diet. But to get buff, you must DIET, and that means for all 23 hours a day you're not in the gym.

That's the bottom line and that is not going to change. It is universal truth.

Now, today's workout which focused on HEAVY WEIGHT (the Growth Phase):


Warmup - 10 minutes on Precor eliptical trainer

Modified Compound Superset:
Squats 5 sets x 12, 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Leg Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Hack Squats 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Thigh extensions 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Adductor Machine 4 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)
Abductor Machine 4 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)

Calf Press 4 sets x 8-10 reps (No rest)
Seated Calf Raises 4 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

That's it. Have a great holiday!

Train hard; diet harder!!


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