Schools of thought on proper training strategies vary greatly. From Heavy Duty high intensity programs on one end of the spectrum to high volume training on the other all work at one time or another. Almost everything worked when you first started training. Then, your gains seemed to decrease in direct proportion that your training knowledge increased.
In this article we’re going to get those gains started again with our Back-To-Basicstraining and nutrition program.
1. Your training program must be progressive in one or more of the following areas:
Amount of resistance or weight used for a particular set.
Number of reps performed with a particular weight.
The amount of Time in which a particular series of sets are performed.
2. You must improve in one of the above areas to stimulate the potential for growth:
Even with the proper stimulus growth will only occur with proper rest and recuperation.
Proper nutrition and supplementation with an assist from genetics determine HOW MUCH growth.
3. Some indispensable do’s and don’ts:
Buy a workout journal. It can be a spiral notebook or as fancy as you like. Keep track of every training session. Use the star method * to track your progress. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time give yourself a star in your journal.
Use proper form. You don’t get a star if you raise your butt off the bench or have your spotter lifting 50% of the weight while he says, It’s all you.
Make sure each exercise is working the correct area. If you’re training back yet getting a pump in your arms, something’s wrong. Loosen your grip and focus on pulling with your back. Use the your hands are hooks philosophy. Conversely if you’re working biceps and your lower back is stiff the next day, that’s a sure sign you’re cheating way too much on your curls.
Use a full range of motion on every exercise to develop big, full round muscle bellies. That means squats to parallel or below not modified good mornings. Full-range Leg Presses not lock outs to see how much weight the machine holds. Bent Over Rows should be performed in the traditional manner – flat back, torso near 90 degrees, legs bent slightly, pull weight to upper abdomen – use traditional or reverse grip but DON’T make it into an inclined thrust pulling the weight to the top of your thighs.
Train each bodypart one day per week on the following schedule: Day 1: Chest / Triceps Day 2: Back Day 3: Legs / Calves Day 4: Shoulders / Biceps
The particular days you train are not important, just make sure you get 4 days in throughout the week. If you want to throw in a 5th day, simply start the 4-day cycle over where you left off.
In this program we’ll use two of the oldest and most basic progression schemes:
1. Pyramid Training: Add weight lower the reps each set. Set 1: 12 reps with a very easy warm-up weight – not all you can do for 12 reps Set 2: 10 reps still pretty easy Set 3: 8 reps – use a weight you could get for 9 – 12 here but stop at 8 Set 4: 6 reps – use a weight you could get 6 – 8 reps with but stop at 6 Set 5: 4 – 6 reps – a max set. Here’s where you can earn stars in your training journal. Once you reach 6 reps add weight to the final 3 sets (which will earn a star on each of these sets next time) and start back at 4 reps on set #5. Exercises using the Pyramid system are marked with *.
2. Double Progressive System: Use the same weight for all sets. Start at the low end of the suggested rep range. Gradually increase the repetitions, usually adding one rep each week until you reach the top number of suggested reps for each set of a particular exercise. Then add weight and start over at the lower end of the rep scheme. Exercises below where you should use the Double Progressive System are marked **.
Here’s how you’re basic program to build muscle might be set up:
1. Bench Press (pyramid)*
2. Incline DB Press (double progressive)** 3 sets x 6 – 8 reps constant weight. First session do 6 – 6 – 6 and gradually add reps and earn stars until you get to 8 –8 –8 then add weight and start back at 6. If you get bored adding reps, reduce rest time between sets to earn additional stars.
3. DB Flyes** 3 x 8 – 12 reps.
4. DB Pullovers** 3 x 8 – 12 reps
5. Close Grip Bench Press* (pyramid) 4 x 12 / 10 / 8 / 5 – 7
6.6 & 7 Super Set – Triceps Pushdown** and Dips** 3 x 6 – 12 reps each – constant weight no rest between exercises, rest only after both exercises have been performed. 7. Heavy Calf Raises** 4 x 8 – 12
8. Light Calf Raises** or Donkeys** 4 x 15 –20 reps
That ends Day #1. There are lots of opportunities to earn stars in your training journal. Don’t be in a big rush to use as much weight as possible in each exercise. Try to leave each workout knowing you can improve in at least one exercise the next.
Back and Legs
Day #2 – Back
1. Chins** – 4 sets up to 12 reps per set. (If you ever get to 12 reps on all 4 sets, start reducing rest periods or add weight.) 2. Dead Lifts – 3 sets 10 reps (add weight each set but stay at ten reps per set) Concentrate on perfect form and add weight very gradually in 5-lb. increments each week. You can do a compound Deadlift and Shrug movement instead of regular Deadlifts if you wish to stress traps a little more.
3. Bent Rows* or T-Bar Row* – 4 sets pyramid 12 / 10 / 8 / 6-8
4. Reverse Grip Front Pulldowns** or 1 Arm DB Row** 3 x 8 – 12
5. Straight Arm Pullovers** 3 x 10 – 12 (lie on a bench length wise – keep arms straight) 6. 10 minutes of abs
2. Leg Press** or Hack Squat** 4 x 10 – 16 reps (you may want to increase 2 reps per workout here) 3. Leg Extension** 3 x 12 – 15 reps
Superset #4 and #5 4. Leg Curls** 3 sets x 10 – 12 reps
5. Lunge or Straight Leg Dead Lift** 3 sets x 10 – 12 reps Superset #6 and #7
6. Seated Calf Raise** 5 x 10 – 12 reps
7. Free Standing (no weight) Calf Raises 5 x 25 – 50 reps (OUCH!)
Day #4 – Shoulders / Biceps
1. Military Press* – Pyramid 4 sets x 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 – 8 reps
2. DB or Machine Laterals** 3 x 8 – 12 reps 3. DB or Cable Bent Laterals** 3 x 8 – 12 reps
4. Barbell Curl* 4 x 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 – 8
5. Incline DB Curl** 3 x 8 – 10
6. Machine Curl or Preacher Curl** 2 x 8 – 12
Training journal is an integral part of this program
Your goal is to make slow and steady progress. Use the star method to track your progress. A 10 Star workout means you did an extra rep or used more weight on at least ten sets during your workout. Finish the whole program in record time and you get another star.
Remember progressive training sets the stage for growth, but proper nutrition is the only way to actually make it happen. A Back-To-Basics Nutrition Program includes three good bodybuilding meals and three Protein Drinks, a high potency vitamin / mineral pack and liver tablets.
Breakfast: 3 – 4 eggs any style, 1 cup cottage cheese or 4 oz beef patty, 2 pieces rye toast with peanut butter or hot cereal with a banana or other fruit. Beverly Super Pak Lunch: Roast beef (about ½ pound) and Swiss Cheese sandwich on Rye Bread, two pieces fruit, glass of low fat milk. Dinner: Large meat serving – steak, chicken, etc., baked potato or other starch, green vegetable, salad.
Between Meals: 2 Scoops Beverly Ultimate Muscle Protein blended in 16 oz low fat milk. Take 6 Ultra 40 Liver Tablets with each drink. Each drink and Ultra 40 dose provides more than 60 grams of the best protein for building muscle in the world.