Fitness 360: James Grage, Training Program

James Grage prefers old-school training. He lifts heavy iron on a consistent basis with plenty of cardio in the mix. Follow his training plan!

To James Grage, age and injury are no excuse—they're just an additional challenge. Instead of shying away from training hard, James embraces it. Although he's no longer 22 and, as he puts it, his whole body is just "plates and rods," James pushes himself at the gym with a five-day split of cardio in the morning and lifting in the afternoon.

For a functional twist on the traditional weight-training program, he integrates some bodyweight-only exercises. It's a straightforward program that works for him. Having a 3,700 square foot gym at the BPI headquarters doesn't hurt either.

James Grage Fitness 360
Watch The Video - 14:54

There's something to be said for traditional training, especially when it works. For James, the old-school route has never posed a hurdle. It's a routine that he's been doing for a long time, a routine he enjoys and, most importantly, a routine that's led to results. "My style might be a bit antiquated but, who knows, maybe it'll come back in fashion," James jokes. Whether it does or not, his muscle-building workout is sure to remain the same.

James knows how to give each muscle group the attention it needs without overdoing it. "I'll break up my workouts," he says. "I'll have a back day, a biceps and triceps day, a chest day, and a shoulders, abs, and calves day."

wide-grip lat pulldown

While the basis of his training remains the same, the number of sets and reps has evolved over the years. "When I was younger, I didn't have the injuries," James says. "I could come to the gym, abuse my body; and I would recover, I would grow." These days, he takes a more practical approach. "Really, at this point in my life, my biceps aren't going to get any bigger, my chest probably isn't going to get any bigger, and that's not even my goal now. I like the size I am and I like the strength—now it's just sustaining that and doing it over a long period of time."

Instead of training to exhaustion, James comes in and warms up with a set of 15 reps, then goes down to 12, and then 10. It's what his body is comfortable with and, more importantly, it's sustainable. "Progress is all in the recovery," he admits. "If I can't recover from it, it's pointless."

To James, it's not all about the training program, it's about how you apply it. "It's how much heart you show when you go into the gym," he says. "It's how hard you push yourself out of your comfort zone. It's just like anything else in life—it's the hard work."

His advice: Have a goal and flesh it out. "Find a goal, commit to it, and push yourself," James says. "Dig in and latch onto it. I think that's probably what's made me successful in most things in life."

James' Training Program

Day 1: chest and abs
warm-up
1

Pushups

1 set of 40 reps
Pushups Pushups

working sets
2

Rope Jumping

90 seconds between all sets
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

3

Chain Press

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Chain Press Chain Press

4
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip

5

Cable Crossover

3 sets of 20, 15, 10 reps
Cable Crossover Cable Crossover

6

Suspended Push-Up

3 sets to failure
Suspended Push-Up Suspended Push-Up

7

Hanging Leg Raise

3 sets to failure
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise

8

Ab Roller

3 sets to failure
Ab Roller Ab Roller

9
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

10
Weighted Crunches Weighted Crunches

11
Overhead Stretch Overhead Stretch

EXTRA: ABDOMINAL TRAINING

15 minutes: mix of Hanging Leg Raises, Ab Wheel, Swiss Ball Crunches, Scissor Kicks on a bench, Weighted Crunch with cable machine using rope grip, and Side extensions

incline dumbbell curl
incline dumbbell curl
Day 2: back and traps
1

Rope Jumping

90 seconds between all sets
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

2

Pullups

3 sets to failure
Pullups Pullups

3

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

4

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

5

Ring Pullups

3 sets to failure
Pullups Pullups

6

Suspended Row

3 sets to failure
Suspended Row Suspended Row

7

Dumbbell Shrug

30 reps (light weight, slow, controlled motion)
Dumbbell Shrug Dumbbell Shrug

seated leg curl
Day 3: legs
warm-up
1

Step Mill

5 minutes
Step Mill Step Mill

2
Overhead Stretch Overhead Stretch

working sets
3

Rope Jumping

90 seconds between all sets
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

4

Bodyweight Squat

2 sets of 50 reps
Bodyweight Squat Bodyweight Squat

5

Hack Squat

3 sets of 30, 25, 20 reps
Hack Squat Hack Squat

6

Leg Extensions

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

7

Lying Leg Curls

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps
Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

8
Rowing, Stationary Rowing, Stationary

9
Overhead Stretch Overhead Stretch


SEATED BENT-OVER REAR DELT RAISE
SEATED BENT-OVER REAR DELT RAISE
Day 4: shoulders
warm-up
1

Pushups

1 set of 40 reps
Pushups Pushups

2

Pullups

1 set to failure
Pullups Pullups

3
Overhead Stretch Overhead Stretch

working sets
4

Rope Jumping

90 seconds between all sets
Rope Jumping Rope Jumping

5

Shoulder Press - With Bands

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Shoulder Press - With Bands Shoulder Press - With Bands

6

Machine Shoulder (Military) Press

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Machine Shoulder (Military) Press Machine Shoulder (Military) Press

7

Cable Seated Lateral Raise

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps
Cable Seated Lateral Raise Cable Seated Lateral Raise

8

Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

9

Upright Barbell Row

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps
Upright Barbell Row Upright Barbell Row

10

Suspended Push-Up

1 set to failure
Suspended Push-Up Suspended Push-Up

EXTRA: ABDOMINAL TRAINING

15 minutes: mix of Hanging Leg Raises, Ab Wheel, Swiss Ball Crunches, Scissor Kicks on a bench, Weighted Crunch with cable machine using rope grip, and Side extensions

Day 5: biceps and triceps
1

Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps (light weight)
Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl

2

Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

3 sets of 20, 15, 12 reps (light weight)
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

3

Two-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Two-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl Two-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

4

Ring Dips

3 sets to failure
Ring Dips Ring Dips

5

Reverse Barbell Curl

3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps
Reverse Barbell Curl Reverse Barbell Curl

6

Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension

3 sets each arm of 15, 12, 10 reps
Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension

7
Pushups (Close and Wide Hand Positions) Pushups (Close and Wide Hand Positions)

8

Chin-Up

1 set to failure (with biceps concentration)
Chin-Up Chin-Up


James Grage Fitness 360