A Best-Of-Both-Worlds Workout
The ideal is being big and strong. Many bodybuilders catch a lot of flak for having the muscles but not the strength to back them up. Times have changed from the golden age of bodybuilding. Franco Columbu and Arnold Schwarzenegger were big and strong.
How could anyone forget the scene in Pumping Iron when Franco was in his hometown on Sardinia, off the coast of Italy? Not only did he look as if he could lift a car, he did lift a car. While the big-and-strong routine won't automatically enable you to lift a car, it will help you pack on some serious beef while making you strong as an ox - okay, enough with the bovine metaphors.
This routine has four cornerstones.
1. Constant Variation Of The Set-And-Rep Schemes:
By continually varying the set-and-rep scheme of your workout, you'll prevent your muscles from adapting. By keeping them guessing, you'll be providing the optimal environment for optimal growth. Variety in your sets and reps will also keep training fresh for you. Nothing is more boring than doing three sets of 10 week after week.
2. Movement Selection:
You need high-yield exercises that maximize muscle stimulation and stress numerous muscle groups at once. What am I getting at? Compound, multi-joint movements give you the biggest bang for your buck and should be the cornerstone of any routine when you're looking to put on size and strength.
3. Training Frequency:
Many people get stuck in the pattern of training each body part once a week out of fear of overtraining. Fortunately, if you reduce your per-session body part training volume, you can increase your weekly body part volume without running the risk of overtraining. In fact, the increase in volume will stimulate more muscle growth.
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4. Training Through Soreness:
This is a great tip I learned from strength coach Chad Waterbury. Initially it seems like a bad idea and something that could again lead to overtraining; however, as long as you stimulate and don't annihilate your muscles, training through soreness will lead to decreased soreness and increased fitness.
Get the full article in the November edition of Iron Man Magazine. Complete article contains complete workout.
Editor's note: Michael Roussell has a B.S. in biochemistry and is currently pursuing an M.D. at the University of Vermont with the intent of specializing in rehabilitation medicine. For more of his articles, visit www.Bodybuilding.com. IM