I was a little over-eager in the gym on Monday. I did four solid sets of bench instead of three. Today, Thursday, I could feel that slight difference of one extra set. Here’s the current weekly workout.
Flat Bench: warm up, 205 x 12, 225 x 9, 245 x 5
Pull Up: 250 x 8, 240 x 8, 230 x 8
Shoulder Shrug: 115 dumbbells x 33, 115 x 27
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: warm up, 60 x 12, 70 x 8, 70 x 6
Straight Bar Curl: 95 x 10, 95 x 9, 95 x 8
Tricep Pushdown: 120 x 10, 120 x 8, 110 x 8
Wednesday – Off
Incline Bench: 185 x 10, 185 x 10
Decline Bench: 185 x 10, 185 x 10
Low Cable Row: 170 x 12, 170 x 10
Wide Grip Chin Up: 180 x 9, 170 x 8
Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug: 115 x 33, 115 x 27
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 60 x 12, 70 x 8
Lateral Dumbbell Flies: 30 x 10, 30 x 10
Dumbbell Curl: 55 x 12, 50 x 10, 45 x 10
Three Sets of Various Tricep Lifts
So far I’m in the seventh week of following the above. By limiting the number of sets to three, while still handling some heavy weight, I’m able to hit each body part twice a week instead of once. Two days of rest seems to work during the week but that third day over the weekend seems to make it all possible.
I was looking at my lifting calendar dating back to March: It looked something like this:
March – chest 4, back 3, shoulders 3, arms 3
April – chest 4, back 5, shoulders 4, arms 3
May – chest 4, back 4, shoulders 3, arms 2
And then there was June:
Chest 7, back 7, shoulders 7, arms 7.
Seeing that pretty much convinced me that this new routine should work. Instead of hitting each body part three or four times a month I got in seven for each – without feeling sore or tight from not getting enough rest. I found that I could do three sets of flat bench of 205, 225, and 245 twice a week and have just as many reps on Thursday that I did on Monday. Sure, it’s better to switch up the end of the week exercises from the beginning of the week but I’m just saying that one week I tried it, and it worked. The cool thing is that you can easily fit the nine or ten sets in to a 35 minute period. Even though I watch all the Brewers games on TV at night I have time to read the paper about the game in the gym.
The only flaw to this program is that (currently) I don’t have much variety in there but I’m still in the experimental stages. I watched a video of Branch Warren (he took 4th in the 2008 Arnold Classic) that just showed his workouts. Watching that probably attributed to my over-doing it on Monday. His chest days looked like three sets of incline (going up to 405), three sets of flat, three sets of flat dumbbell presses, three sets of weighted dips, and three sets of cables following each with incline pushups. The video was pretty impressive and Mr. Warren’s a big dude. After that kind of a workout you don’t do any other chest exercises for a whole week. I’ve tried that with some success but I think a little OJ (juice) is needed in order to get the full recovery. I’d like to get some other chest exercises in my plan but you don’t want to skip a good and heavy flat bench day. That leaves three or four sets for the second chest day of the week which you can pick and choose whatever exercises you'd like.
Anyway, so that's what's been going on. Give it a shot. Oh, and be sure to check out Branch Warren. Dude's only 5'7" but he's a monster.