Listen to a few tracks from AND THEN THERE WAS X, glance at photos of Chris Cormier to get psyched.
My rest periods vary according to the exercise. With a compound movement like the leg press I will rest as much as 3 minutes on my last two sets but with other exercises I will keep my rest periods to a minute or less.
An important component of my workouts is that I am picky about which exercises I do. Although barbells and dumbbells are generally superior to machines and cables this is not always the case. Leg training is a good illustration of this. Squats, which are probably the best all around exercises are not always included in my leg routine. I find that heavy leg presses are a superior movement for me because all the stress is borne by my quads (the target muscle, i.e. the muscle you are trying to overload by doing the exercise) along with glutes and hamstrings to a lesser extent. While leg presses direct most of the stress to my quads, squats, which require quite a bit of lower back involvement, end up fatiguing muscles like the erectors and muscles of the hip curdle before gettin' the quads.
If I do Barbell Squats I usually place them second in the routine, after leg presses when my legs are already sucking wind. In case any of the purists out there think I was some wimp who discontinued squats cuz I was to weak or that my technique was bad and that I couldn't direct the stress to my legs ...WHEN I SQUATED 405 LBS FOR SEVEN ASS-TO-THE-GRASS REPS AT A BODYWEIGHT of 175, nobody in my gym thought I was a wimp.
Sometimes after a hard set of leg extensions I will go into the squat rack and put 245 lbs on the bar and start reppin' ... when you squat that weight for 33 reps and then get back under it within 1 minute to start reppin' the wimp detector registers low! So all the meatheads who think people who leg press ... I am ready and willing to throw down!
My legs responded very well to this workout and are already sore. I believe in fully working every single muscle in the lower body. Quads need a combination of lots of weight with low reps and then moderate with higher reps to get size and cuts goin.' As you can see, I also end up working my glutes a little with the presses, lunges and deadlifts. With hamstrings I focus on extra strict form. My next leg workout, I am gunning to get 950 lbs for 20 reps on the leg press.
MEAL 1: 12 egg whites, 2 yolks scrambled with fat free cheese and seasoned with basil and garlic, 2 bowls of cereal, black coffee 80g protein, about 75g carbs, 12g fat
MEAL 2: 1/2 cup oatmeal with 4 scoops of whey protein powder, 2 tablespoons or so of honey, natural peanut butter 70g protein, 85g carbs, 16 g fat
MEAL 3-4: 6.5oz tuna tossed with greens, tomatoes, bell peppers poppy seed dressing 40-50 g protein, 30g carbs, 12g fat
MEAL 5: 9 oz grilled sword fish, french bread with butter, 1 cup spinach, slice of German chocolate cake 65g protein, 90 g carbs, 25g fat
Totals protein 300 g, carbs 315g, fat 65 g (that comes out to about 3100 calories)
Chest and Biceps
I glance at a most muscular shot of Arnold and look at one of his bicep poses.
As you can see, much of my chest training revolves around incline pressing motions. I do this because the upper chest is an area which is hard to develop but one that, when fully developed, really makes the pecs look sweet. On my pressing movements I focus on using strict form with extremely heavy weights -- this helps me build size and strength. With the incline dumbbell presses I also get the benefit of working the slow-twitch or endurance muscle fibers by doing a superset. My last two exercises help carve in striations and shape.
With Biceps I like to do 2 and no more than three movements and usually I do not exceed 8 sets since they are a small muscle. My first exercise is one which allows me to use a lot of weight -- barbell curls or dumbbell curls, but dumbbells are my preference. I usually start out with my heaviest weights first and I cheat a little on the first set and on the other sets my form is stricter. I recommend that you try doing it like this sometime. Sometimes I will just go to failure with one pair of weights just for a change of pace.
Nutrition: Meals one through four were pretty much the same so I will not list them. My dinner consisted of about 11 oz of lean ground beef, 2 cups pasta and 1 cup of sauce. The days totals came out to about 300 g protein, 300 g carbs, and 60 g fat
WED - AN OFF DAY--
I DIDN'T DO A DAMN THING, I ate some junk though -- went out to dinner with a chica and chowed down on burgers, milkshakes and cake -- Unless you got my metabolism I suggest that you DON'T EAT like this.
Glance at a back double bicep shot of Chris Cormier, Flex Wheeler or Coleman
The next exercise, a rowing motion allows me to thicken my back from lat insertion to where the traps tie into the neck. Barbell Rows are one of the most difficult exercises -- you need heavy weights to get anything out of them but you use your legs and lower back big time to stabilize your torso. They add slabs to both sides of your back like no other -- all the guys with good backs from Arnold to Dorian Yates to Ronnie Coleman swear by bent over barbell rows -- so I do too. Gotta be careful with these though cuz it is easy to cheat. The one arm version is good cause it allows to get a slightly longer range of motion while lettin' ya lift a heavier weight -- which translates into more strength and, in turn, size. The last thing I do to put the finishing touches on is a superset of close-grip pull-downs and prone dumbbell rows. The pull-downs allow for a greater range of motion and thusly work the entire length of the lats but also thicken them up like a row. I do the prone rows lying face down on a 45-degree incline bench. This motion takes advantage of the burn I have in my lats and takes it up a notch while also working a lot of the middle/upper back areas like the traps, rear delts and teres muscle.
In my next entry I will show you my shoulder and triceps workout -- I don't have enough space to fit in to this article. I suggest that you incorporate some of the techniques and practices I use, but just because something works for me, doesn't mean it will be for you -- experiment and find what works -- Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.