Author: Robbie Alekson
Published: Aug 4 2011
It is truly amazing how many different workouts and diet plans have come to the marketplace in last 10 years. For most people, working out is a chore, and quite often it can become boring or stale very quickly. This is one of the main reasons why the industry has grown so much, and why so many products have been released. I have had the good fortune to try a lot of these workouts, and I would like to share with you some of the best routines that I have tried.
When I was in junior high, I played a variety of sports ??? football, baseball, basketball, and golf. I grew up a skinny boy, and unfortunately for me, with a rather large mouth for such a skinny body, and I opened my mouth a little too much to people that I really should not have been messing with. Anyway, after getting a beating one too many times, I decided to take it upon myself to start working out with weights to gain some muscle and not be such a wimp. Have you ever seen the ads with the large muscle bound guy kicking sand in the face of the skinny guy on the beach? That was a perfect rendering of my situation, and I can tell you that I fondly remember seeing those ads and I could see myself getting sand kicked right in my face. Anyway, this was just about 1985-1989 (ancient history LOL), and at that time, working out had not hit the mainstream. If you wanted to grow muscles and get bigger, the only real option was to read information that was put out by bodybuilders, the really huge and beefy guys. I ended up buying some books and magazine that were sold by these real muscle heads, and the techniques that I learned were very simple, and to this day, still help me to make the most gains.
Once of my favorite basic workouts goes something like this, it???s called Climbing the Ladder: You workout your chest and back on Mon / Thurs, your shoulders and arms on Tues / Fri, and Legs on Wed / Sat. For chest you need to start with bench presses, and for back you start with front pull downs. This technique is so simple, but the results are fantastic. For each exercise, you will be starting with a relatively easy weight, approximately 50% of your maximum for one repetition. Lets say you start with bench presses. If you can max out at 225, you would load 115 on the bar and press it 6 times. Then you add 15 lbs, 130, and press it 6 times. You continue loading the bar with 15 lbs more for each set, and press it 6 times ??? until you cant get 6 reps during your set anymore.
This technique works really well because it is very quick, requires no warm-up, and works great on a nautilus machine too. You can just keep adding a plate for each set, and you rest for about 60 seconds between each. If you apply this technique to the basic exercise for each muscle group, you will rapidly gain size and strength. For back you can apply it to pull downs or bent over rows, for chest you can apply it to bench and incline presses, for shoulders apply it to upright rows and overhead presses, for arms use it for curls and for triceps overhead extensions, and for legs apply it to squats and leg extensions.
Another favorite technique of mine that is fantastic is to break each movement into two parts ??? I call these 21???s : for bench presses, you would press from your chest halfway up for 7 reps, then press from the halfway point until your arms are completely extended 7 times, and then do 7 full bench presses, lifting the bar from your chest all the way up until your arms lock.
You can do this for every exercise, just break that movement up into 2 parts like we just did. To do 21's, you don't need to a lot of weight to get a fantastic pump and to grow your muscles like crazy. You can probably start with about 50% of your max again, but this time you might want to jump only about 10 lbs for each successive set, and keep it to a total of 3 or 4 sets. You probably should rest for about 60 seconds between each set, more than that and you won't get as good a pump. If you do more than this, you will really shred your muscles, in a good way, but it will take a lot to recover and you will be very sore. I would probably start off with just 2 sets until you get used to doing this technique. 21's are one of the best ways I know of to break out of a plateau and change up your workouts from time to time.
The last technique is more advanced, and is very similar to our Climbing the Ladder, but the difference is, you are starting out with the most weight that you can lift for 6 reps, and drop 10 lbs for each successive set. This time, you should only rest long enough to catch your breath between sets, this one really burns, and expands the capacity of the muscle to utilize body fat for energy. This technique, as you can guess is called Drop Sets, and they are really amazing for a change up in your workout and to break through a plateau. I really get strong fast when I do drop sets, probably because you are lifting the most you possibly can for 6 reps when you start. By the time you get to your last set Climbing the Ladder, you are not doing really anywhere close to that, since you have already done several sets to get there.
Try my favorite workout techniques, and see if they make a huge difference for you as they did for me. Even though these techniques are "oldies" they really are "goodies" , and I am positive that your workout will produce absolutely outrageous gains in muscle size and strength if you give them a chance.
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