"Never!" you shout. "Bodybuilding is an important part of my existing lifestyle!" Your response may be true, but if there is anything happening in your life aside from bodybuilding, then chances are that someday you'll have to invest some of your precious workout time in other pursuits.
Perhaps it's a time-consuming family obligation, or maybe you have to work two jobs for a while. Maybe you're employed full-time and trying to carry a full 16 credits at the college level. Then perhaps you have to study for exams or a critical license test. You could also be moving from your business or residence and relocating.
For one reason or another, you find yourself cramped for gym time that makes full-length muscle fiber-alerting workouts impossible. A lack of training time should never become an excuse for procrastinating or missing workouts completely. Have no fear! A simple solution is to devise a plan where you can do a workout, including dressing and showering, in 20 minutes.
What can you do in 20 minutes? Plenty to keep you from becoming as shapeless as a half-inflated balloon and enough to keep the high level of strength and muscle bulk you've already developed, until you can once again return to your previous full-length optimum workouts. Maintaining your hard-earned gains is best accomplished by performing one of the seven following Slam-Training workouts.
1 - Behemoth Muscle Bulk & Power
Within the structure of this workout, I suggest that you use four basic exercises: "Feet off the Floor" Supine barbell bench press, Barbell bent over rows, Barbell back squats and 45Âº (machine) Leg presses. It seems the best sequential order of doing the exercises is to begin with the bench press, next do the Squat, follow it with the Rowing and finish up with the Leg press.
Performed in this manner, you are able to partially rest the upper torso while working the legs and then let the legs grab some needed rest as you do the upper body exercise(s). You don't have time for long rests between sets and exercises; neither can you afford as high reps as you might like. So work with 5-or-6 reps each set with no rest or as little as possible.
Begin the series or exercises by doing 5-6 reps in the "Feet off The Floor" Supine barbell bench press with about one-half of your usual exercise poundage; without a pause, do 5-6 reps in the Barbell back squat with approximately two-thirds of the usual exercise poundage. Squat down only as far as knee and lower back integrity and flexibility will allow.
Move on to the Barbell bent over rows, again for 5-6 reps with one-half of the usual exercise poundage. Use a narrow hand spacing of no more than 6 inches. Still with no rest, blast out 5-6 45Âº Leg presses (on a machine) with two-thirds of a regular exercise poundage. This completes the first series!
There are five more series to go and so you may take a breather, but it must be only long enough to change weights for each proceeding series.
Series Two: Increase poundage ten to twenty percent on each exercise, doing another 5-6 reps of each.
Series Three: The weight jump factor follows that of the above two series.
Series Four: On this series, increase the poundages so that the absolute most weight can be used in each of the four exercises for 5-6 maximum repetitions.
Series Five: Decrease the poundages used in the above series by ten percent and do 5-6 continuous reps.
Series Six: Again reduce the poundages used in series five and do as many "burn-out" repetitions as you possibly can, to complete failure.
Going through a single series of the four exercises, and preparing the weight jumps when either moving up or down will take about two and a half minutes. On your limit sets (series four), it may take a bit longer, but you can still finish the six series in 20 minutes. Always rest the total body one or two days between workouts!
2 - Rotating Sets and Reps Workout
Monday & Thursday
Tuesday & Friday
Follow the above workout program for a month or so if you are limited for workout time. During the first week of the program, adhere to the 4 sets x 12 reps outlined above.
During the second week, change your sets and reps to 6 sets x 8 reps on the three upper torso exercises and for the squat movement, do 3 sets x 16 reps. The third week, change your sets from six to eight and the reps from eight to five on the upper body exercises.
On the squats, reduce the sets from three to two and increase the reps from 16-to-20. Week four remains the same as week three. Always try to increase the poundage whenever possible but not at the expense of "technique emphasis."
3 - Non-Stop H.U.G.E. Workout
Begin this workout (two or three alternate days per week) by warming up with the Clean and press over head for 6-8 reps. Add enough poundage so that you can do 4-6 reps. This is your initial starting point. Each proceeding set, add 5 pounds to the barbell until you are unable to perform more than one repetition.
When you get to this point, it is time to add an additional 20 pounds or so to the barbell and begin doing sets of 2 Cleans (simultaneously) and 1 Jerk Overhead. On this exercise, you clean the barbell twice in succession and on the second clean, you then jerk the poundage overhead. This is one set. Now add 5-10 pounds to the bar and repeat the sequence as described.
Continue on in this manner until you can only clean the barbell one time. When you fail to clean the weight for the second rep, add 15-20 pounds to the bar and begin Barbell high pulls to the belt line. This movement is best done for 2 consecutive reps each, adding 5-10 pounds per each set.
When you can't pull the barbell to belt high for a second rep of a set add 20-25 pounds to the bar and begin conventional deadlifts. Continue adding 15-20 pounds each proceeding set and when you can't do the required second rep of a set, it is time to stop!
There is absolutely no rest between sets of any of the exercises listed. The only rest you get is during the upgrading of poundages for each exercise of a particular exercise.
4 - Super Fitness Strategy
On this particular 20-minute Slam Training workout all you will need is a barbell of a weight can curl five times in good form and two dumbbells whose total weight is about half of that of the barbell. Since this program is more of a localized muscular fitness protocol compared to the previous three workout programs, the weights used do not need to have to be extremely heavy.
Therefore, the routes to success will be in the exacting technique emphasis employed within each exercise. Spend 3 seconds in the positive phase contraction and 4 seconds in the negative phase of each repetition performed. Do the following exercises and repetitions in the exact following order and without any rest pauses whatsoever.
BB curl 5 reps
DB lateral raise 10 reps
BB curl (again) 5 reps
BB press (standing) 10 reps
BB bent over rowing 10 reps
DB side bends (one dumbbell only) 20 reps each
DB alternate front raises 10 reps
DB front lunges 20 reps
BB shrugs 20 reps
Ab crunches 20 reps
BB back squats 15 reps
DB straight arm pullover 15 reps
Ab knee pull-ins 20 reps
BB bench press 12 reps
BB conventional deadlift 15 reps
DB flat flies 10 reps
One-leg heel raise (hold DB in hand) 20 reps each
Abbreviations: BB=barbell; DB=dumbbell
5 - Super Tri-Series
On this simple but effective routine, begin by performing the Barbell full squat for 10 repetitions (desperately try for 15 reps with a weight you can only get 10 reps with), then immediately do 5 reps with the Pullup (palms facing away grip/shoulder-width spacing), then finish off with some Vertical dips on the parallel bars for 10 reps with just your body-weight only. This completes one Tri-series. With absolutely no rest pauses, begin a second and third Tri-series.
Train twice or three alternate days pre week (or whatever your limited schedule allows). Each week, add 2 additional Tri-series of the three exercises listed until you are doing 10 Super Tri-series.
Another option with regard to the instruction given on the Super Tri-series (especially if you're not used to training in race-the-pump fashion) would be to begin with just one Tri-series and add one additional one each proceeding workout until you are doing three Tri-series, then add 2 additional series as instructed until you are doing the 10 Super Tri-series.
If by some stroke of luck you can break your limited training up, do 5 Super Tri-series in the morning and then another 5 Super Tri-series in the evening on workout days. The 10 Super-Tri series should only be done for 5 workout days, then back off to 4 Tri-Series for 5 training days and then back to 10 Super Tri-series, etc. Pro tip: When you have the opportunity to do full-blown total-body workouts once again, you can expand the Super Tri-series into what is called group sets.
Group sets training is divided into two phases, each one lasting five alternate workout days (work out a day/rest a day). Do a total of 9 exercises, performing 8-12 reps each. You can choose the exercises unique to your personal wants and needs and arrangement thereof, but personally go with Barbell bench press to neck, Alternate dumbbell bent over rowing, Dumbbell lateral raises, Lying French press (skull crushers), Seated dumbbell curls, Barbell wrist curls (palms up), Ab crunches, and Barbell front squats.
Do all 9 exercises in the order they are listed without resting. This completes One Group Set. Each additional workout day (two through five), add one more group set, until you are doing 5 group sets. Train twice per day. On workout days six through ten do only 4 group sets of the 9 select exercises and only once per day.
6 - 25 Maxi-Pump Rep System
This is a race-the-pump, total anabolic workout where one set of 25 maxi-pump reps are performed for each of the following exercises in literally non-stop fashion and in the order listed.
- One-legged dumbbell calf raises.
- Leg curl on machine.
- Leg extension on machine.
- High Bar barbell back squats.
- 30Âº Dumbbell incline press.
- One-dumbbell pullover.
- 30Âº dumbbell incline press.
- Pulley cable cross-overs.
- Barbell press behind neck.
- Dumbbell lateral raises.
- Barbell upright rowing.
- Dumbbell shrugs.
- Dumbbell press over head (Gironda style).
- Front, side, or posterior neck work.
- One-arm pulley cable rowing.
- One-arm bent over dumbbell rowing.
- Close grip bench press with E-Z curl bar.
- 45Âº Preacher barbell curls.
- Lying Barbell French press.
- 30Âº Dumbbell incline curls.
- One-arm dumbbell triceps extensions.
- Two hands barbell curl.
- Reverse barbell curl, and finally,
- Dumbbell concentration curl.
You can walk through the entire 24 exercises in about 27-30 minutes, but only if all the training equipment is arranged and ready to use beforehand.
7 - The Super-Ten
This workout conditions muscle "tonus" improves heart and lung efficiency, and builds enduring strength. Use approximately one-third of your bodyweight on a barbell and begin the exercises, moving from one exercise to the next with absolutely no rest pauses.
The only break you will get at all will be when you reach exercises 9 and 10 (where a switch of hand orientation is necessary). Perform each exercise for 15 continuous repetitions each.
- Parallel barbell back squats-warm up.
- Bent Arm supine barbell pullover (lying supine on an exercise bench).
- Barbell upright rowing.
- Standing barbell press behind neck.
- Barbell standing heel raises.
- Barbell (positioned on back) side bends.
- Barbell front lunges.
- Barbell stiff-legged deadlift.
- Two-hand barbell curl, and finally,
- Barbell back squats (below parallel).
The seven Slam-Training 20+ minute "brief and brutal" workouts will definitely maintain the raw, unadulterated strength and muscular bulk you earned on previously expanded total-body workouts. Give one of these seven workouts a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the excellent results. Stay flexed!
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