Use the SMART system to set your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Have you been working out semi regularly for years, but feel like it is just not all coming together? Has inconsistency, poor diet, the lack of a good supplement program, or not enough time been holding you back from achieving your fitness goals? Give this program twelve good weeks and chances are you’ll not only achieve your best results to date; but you just may set yourself up for consistent and steady gains in the future.
Managing family, work and social life and still getting the most from your training can be tough. But with proper planning and setting specific goals you can really make your mark this year. I personally know how tough this can be, while getting ready for the INBF Midwest Natural my wife was pregnant with our fourth child. Using some of the tips I will give you, I was able to take first in the light heavyweight division and win the Overall to get my WNBF Pro Card.
The first step is to determine your goal. Whatever you decide, you should also set a series of smaller goals leading up to the main objective.If you want to bench 300 lbs you don’t just go in and try day after day until you finally get up 300. You would use a system of planned progression, giving yourself a starting point with specific benchmarks along the way to your goal. In the case of increasing a lift to a certain poundage you would want to establish your starting point and plan a small increase in weight on a weekly basis, leading up to your goal. A technique I find very beneficial is visualization. Visualize your sets before you complete them and visualize your intensity. I always do this the night before a workout and on the way to the gym to become focused. See yourself completing the lift, or the desired number of sets in your minds eye. Then go in and perform just like you visualized you would. You need to will it, to make it a reality. Same goes with gaining or losing 20 lbs. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals, all leading up to your big goal. Use the SMART system to set your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Write your goals down and look at them daily. You can tape them to your bathroom mirror, or anywhere else you will see them everyday.
Time management is a real key to success. You should have an "ideal schedule", but be flexible. Manage your time efficiently. Remember, this is your goal, not your wife or girlfriends, kids or employer’s. There are going to be obstacles along the way, preparedness and flexibility will foster success.
We all know that nutrition is going to be paramount. Fine tune your nutrition plan to meet your fitness goal whether it is fat loss, muscle gain, or a little of both. Set yourself up for success by preparing your meals ahead of time. It is definitely easier to hit the drive thru after a long day at work and the gym than to go home a cook a healthy meal from start to finish. Cooking your food in bulk assures that a high quality, goal oriented meal is a few microwave minutes away. Take a weekend afternoon to prepare for the week. For example, you know that at most meals you will be having a lean meat. Count the number of whole food meals you plan to eat that week, usually 3 per day x 7 days = 21 servings of lean meat. Fire up the grill or oven and cook any combination of chicken breast, lean beef burgers or steaks and fish to meet your weekly needs. Most anything will keep in the refrigerator for the week, if you’re wary of this, just freeze half. Next comes the carb source. Bake an entire tray of potatoes, or cook a large pot of brown rice to have on hand for the week. Fresh veggies may be best, but nothing is easier than popping a bag of frozen broccoli, green beans, etc. into the microwave. These are usually good for 2 servings, so use half and keep the other half for your next meal. Salads are made easy with the pre washed, veggies added, bags available at the grocery store. They are also usually good for about 2-3 servings. Use what you need and put the rest in Tupperware for the next use. You can go one step further and get the compartmented Tupperware and pre sort each of your meals for the week including your meat, carbs and veggies in one ready to go pack.
The Diet: This example is for a 200 lb male
If you are significantly smaller, you may want to adjust the portion sizes accordingly. I recommend eating 6-7 meals per day. If you truly want to gain muscle and strength while losing fat, you need to take a slightly different approach and look at your meals in a different light. Erase the old notion of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. To really ignite your metabolism and get things going, break it down to 6-7 smaller meals, at thoughtfully planned out times throughout the day. Your food is a means to an end, and the way you are going to achieve your goal.
The second step of our program is your supplementation.
If you have been working out semi regularly but are somewhat new to the supplement world I recommend beginning with the essentials of a good supplement routine. These are the things you can take year round to decrease bodyfat levels, increase strength and muscular gains, and give all around support to your nutrition and health.
Super Pak: Take with your first meal of the day to fill all of your vitamin and mineral (micronutrients) needs
Mass Aminos: 4 tabs with each meal. This will complete the nutrient profiles of your meals, keep blood nitrogen levels high, increase protein synthesis, and help you add lean mass year round.
Glutamine Select plus BCAA’s: 2 scoops daily — 1 scoop prior to training and one at bedtime. Glutamine Select benefits include immune and digestive systems support, aided recovery, anabolism and even fat loss.
Creatine Select: 2 scoops prior to workouts and at meal 1 on non training days. Now that you have a consistent training routine, CS will aid in strength and muscle gains while helping to delay muscle fatigue so you can get the most out of your training.
Quadracarn: 3 tabs, 3x per day with or between meals. Quadracarn is a supplement with countless benefits. The most important right now being hormone support, fat loss and increased muscle mass.
The next step of our threefold approach is the training. Here again, consistency is crucial. Set your goal for how many days you are going to train each week and achieve it, no matter what. This may mean training in the early am, after the kids go to bed, or on Sunday when you usually take off. Achieving small goals on your way to the "big one" is instrumental for, not only keeping your morale high, but your overall success. This workout should lay a good foundation towards any goal. Feel free to vary the days to fit your schedule. I suggest starting the week with your weakest bodypart. You should try to change your routine every 8-12 weeks to constantly shock your muscles.
This particular workout will be split into 3 phases, each lasting four weeks. You are going to change your exercises after 2 weeks, but then will come back to the starting exercises in the next phase. In all phases you will be using a Pyramid rep scheme. Pyramid rep schemes are used to increase the overall volume of your training. In Pyramid sets you will begin with a lighter weight, but perform a higher rep count. After your first set is complete you will increase weight and lower the number of reps for the following set. In the next set you will again increase your weight and lower the reps even further. You are essentially building a pyramid with the number of reps you are using, starting with more at the base and decreasing toward the top. One of the biggest advantages to this type of training is that it trains your body to get used to a wide variety of weights and rep ranges. If you are always training with heavy weights and low reps, your body will adapt to this and you will find yourself not as strong if you have to perform any type of activities that require muscular endurance or a higher rep range.
3 Phase Split
Phase 1 Weeks 1-4 — Pyramid reps 12-10-8-8; change exercise after two weeks
Phase 2 Weeks 5-8 — Pyramid reps 10-8-6-6; use same exercises from week 1 & 2 for 2 weeks, then switch to same exercises used in weeks 3 & 4 for the next 2 weeks.
Phase 3 Weeks 9- 12 — Pyramid 10-8-6-4; again use same exercise sequence from Phase 1 and 2
Day 1: Chest and Abs
(Choose one for first 2 weeks, and then switch to the other)
Flat Dumbbell (DB) or Barbell (BB) Press
Incline Press DB or BB
Close Grip Press DB or BB
Flyes DB or Cable
Lower Ab movement
as many sets as you need to reach 50 reps
Day 2: Legs and Calves (Choose one for first 2 weeks, and then switch to the other)
Squat, Leg Press or Hack Squat
Lunges or BB bench step ups
Hamstring Curl or Romanian Dead Lift
Calf Raises seated or standing
Day 3: OFF (Optional HIIT Cardio)
High Intensity Interval Training type cardio would use a 1:1 or 1:2 ‘all out’ to ‘active rest’ ratio.
Example: Sprint for 30 seconds on treadmill or track and then walk for 30 sec or 1 min.
Day 4: Shoulders (Choose one pressing moverment for the 1st two weeks, then switch to another.)
BB, DB or Machine Shoulder Press
Lateral Raise DB or Cable
Front Raise DB or Cable
High Pull or Reverse Fly on Pec Dec
Day 5: Back and Abs (Choose one for first 2 weeks, and then switch to the other)
Bent Over Row BB or T-bar
Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-ups
Machine or Cable Row
DB Row or Pullover
DB Row or Pullover
Upper Ab movement
3 sets to failure reach 50reps
Day 6: Biceps and Triceps:
(Choose one for first 2 weeks, and then switch to the other)