The weight room is a home for failure. Each set and rep tests our resolve, forces us to ask big questions of ourselves. Brooke Erickson's fails frequently as she pounds the hard-rubber floor of the weight room, but she fails to succeed. She beats back negativity and drives her physique toward championship status.

Brooke Erickson's Fitness Program

Watch The Video - 14:46



Brooke's Training Phases

"The biggest thing for me is to never feel like I'm stuck in a rut, to never do something so much that it's no longer fun," Erickson said. "Training, going to the gym: It shouldn't be something you dread. It should be something you enjoy."

Each of the four phases has its own effect on the body. The strength phase is clearly intent on making you stronger. The hypertrophy (growth) phase helps build mass though more repetitions. The power phase (Brooke calls it the "Having Fun" phase) doesn't include a rep range; she just goes all out. Her de-load phase includes light weights to help the muscles relax, tone, grow and rest.

Erickson trains 6 days per week, 2 hours per day when she's preparing for competition. She works on a Lower/Upper, Lower/Upper split. She works troublesome body parts twice per week (she does shoulders 3 times per week).

You won't find any blasé blah endurance cardio in this program. Erickson is a HIIT woman. Her high intensity interval training works on 30-second-to-1-minute splits: sprint for 30, walk for 30.

Brooke never uses Sundays for workouts. She has three young children, so quality time with them takes precedence. In the off-season (about 3-4 months per year), she will also take Wednesdays off, but in season it's just a lighter day (like abs, biceps, cardio).

"On Sundays I do nothing," Erickson said. "The only thing I do is play with my kids. I devote that to family. That's family time."

A lot of the typical excuses for failure sound like ancient Greek to this stalwart American.



"A plateau to me just means your body has adapted. A lot of people see it as a complete obstacle when really it's not. It's usually very simple to overcome a plateau. It just takes adjusting something. If you're patient and you adjust something, typically within two weeks you still see a difference."

Dropset Of Questions!

We're going to hit you with 5 questions. Answer the first question in 10 words. Drop 2 words from each subsequent answer. Let's rock!

1. A friend can't commit to fitness. Convince her! (10 words) Transformation isn't a future event; it's a present day activity.

2. When was the last time a workout made you puke? (8 words) I don't puke because I value my calories.

3. How can children avoid obesity? (6 words) Play more and eat less junk.

4. MacGyver Training: Create an exercise from a tree, a medicine ball and a pair of wrist straps! (4 words) Hanging weighted knee raises.

5. You get to speak on World Television. What do you say? (2 words) Watch me!



Brooke's Training Philosophy

I believe when you walk into the gym, you should have a purpose. Whether it's something as simple as losing 5 pounds or training for a competition, having a goal will provide direction and focus.

The biggest challenge is making the time. The second-biggest challenge is making the best use of that time. I know what my goal is every time I walk through the gym door and the only person who can hold me accountable to that goal is me.

Day 1: Back/Shoulders
1
Pullups
4 sets, 8-10 reps (45 sec rest)
2
Superset
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row
4 sets, 8-10 reps
Straight-Arm Pulldown
4 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Superset
One Arm Lat Pulldown
4 sets, 8-10 reps (per arm)
Cable Crossover
4 sets, 8-10 reps
4
Superset
Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 4 reps
Cable Seated Lateral Raise
4 sets, 4 reps
5
Superset
One-Arm Side Laterals
Partials.
4 sets, 4 reps (per arm, negatives)
One-Arm Incline Lateral Raise
4 sets, 4 reps (per arm)
6
Superset
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
4 sets, 4 reps
Cable Crossover
4 sets, 4 reps
7
Upright Barbell Row
4 sets, 4 reps
8
Bicycling, Stationary
HIIT. 5 min. warm-up and 5 min. cool-down.
1 set, 20 mins (1 min 40 sec of moderate intensity, 20 sec max intensity)
Day 2: Legs
Warm-up with 5 min. on Step Mill, foam rolling, and 1 warm-up set of Barbell Squats.
1
Barbell Squat
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Leg Extensions
4 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Leg Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Standing Calf Raises
5 sets, 15 reps
Day 3: Biceps/Triceps
1
Barbell Curl
21s.
3 sets, 21 reps (7, 7, 7 reps)
2
Incline Dumbbell Curl
4 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Kneeling Cable Triceps Extension
3 sets, 8-10 reps
4
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
3 sets, 8-10 reps
5
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
3 sets, 8-10 reps
6
Bicycling, Stationary
HIIT. 5 min. warm-up and 5 min. cool-down.
1 set, 20 mins (1 min 40 sec of moderate intensity, 20 sec max intensity)
Day 4: Back/Glutes
1
Pullups
4 sets, to failure
2
Leverage Iso Row
4 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
4 sets, 8-10 reps (reverse drop set)
4
Smith Machine Bent Over Row
4 sets, 8-10 reps
5
Triset
One Leg Barbell Squat
or perform on Smith Machine.
4 sets, 12-15 reps (per leg)
Dumbbell Step Ups
4 sets, 12 reps
Plie Dumbbell Squat
4 sets, 20 reps (then drop weight and go to failure)
Day 5: Legs/Glutes
Warm-up with 5 min. on Step Mill and Foam Rolling.
1
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
4 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Superset
Standing Leg Curl
4 sets, 8-10 reps
Barbell Walking Lunge
Long strides.
4 sets, 40 reps (per leg)
3
Standing Calf Raises
5 sets, 15 reps
Day 6: Back/Shoulders
1
Pullups
4 sets, to failure
2
Straight-Arm Pulldown
3 sets, 8-10 reps (on 4th set I do a static hold on the eccentric motion for 20 seconds)
3
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row
4 sets, 8-10 reps
4
Seated Cable Rows
4 sets, 8-10 reps (With Rhomboid Focus)
5
Seated Dumbbell Press
4 sets, 8-10 reps
6
Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 8-12 reps
7
Reverse Machine Flyes
4 sets, 8-12 reps
8
Seated Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 8-12 reps
9
Front Incline Dumbbell Raise
4 sets, 12-15 reps
10
Cable Rope Rear-Delt Rows
4 sets, 8-10 reps
11
Bicycling, Stationary
HIIT. 5 min. warm-up and 5 min. cool-down.
1 set, 20 mins (1 min 40 sec of moderate intensity, 20 sec max intensity)

Day 7: Rest

Enjoy the day with my family doing something active!

[ Brooke Erickson's Fitness Program ]

About the Author

Dustin Lapray

Dustin Lapray

Dustin Lapray is a writer, journalist, and editor living in Boise, Idaho.

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