Most neophytes don’t know how to get started in bodybuilding they spend many years doing the wrong things before they learn what exactly the right things are. In this article I will address one of the mistakes the newbie’s make and give a simple antidote to the problem of developing strength and size as a bodybuilder.
I think before we go any further its important to understand that strength training for a bodybuilder is not the same as for other athletes. A bodybuilder must develop strength while building muscle size, shape and endurance, and on many occasions these goals are exclusive of each other. So let’s start this discussion with how to choose the correct weight.
What does your trainer mean when he says light weight or moderate or heavy? How do you know by the weight what rep count you should use? I try to simplify this all too confusing problem in just a few lines.
Everyone get confused about what is heavy weight, what is moderate weight and what is light weight. I will try clear this up for you right now. Heavy weight is any amount that is so heavy that on your first set you can only complete 6 to 8 reps. I think it goes to reason that on your second and third set you will not be able to complete as many.
Moderate weight is any amount that is so heavy that on your first set you can only complete 8- 12 reps. Of course less on the following sets Light weight is any amount that is so heavy that on your first set you can only complete 15-25 reps
Now there is one more thing that I want to address that is strength. understand this, just because you are getting bigger does not mean you are getting stronger; however, if you are getting stronger you are getting bigger even if you can’t see the size increase! Finally, train to get stronger, but not for strength, if you understand the principles of the Progressive Resistance System this will make more sense
The four days per week workout The four days per week is called a split routine, because the body is split into four sections Unlike a lot of trainers I think there is a relationship between growth and total amount of sets completed in a week’s time. On the three day routine you had 9 set for chest, back and quads, and six set for shoulders. In this routine the weekly sets will range between 12 and 16 per body part.
In no way do I advocate the High Intensity Training (HIT) methods that you’ll find in all over the internet. I don’t deny how well it works; I just feel much of the injury throughout my career has come as a result of working out with too much intensity. Age and wisdom has taught me to the never to even advocate the negative or forced reps for any reason I personally call them injury reps! But let move on to what I think will work.
Some important things to understand about this routine
1. Workouts are never longer than 1 hour! Never!
2. Dips are done with no weight, except “bench dips” if you have a partner
3. “Max” represents the most you can do correctly( never do forced reps)
4. Unless I specify dumbbells, use only barbell
5. shoulder press are done to the front of the chest not behind the neck See article my article on shoulder injuries
6. Lat pull downs are done at shoulder width never wider and only to the front of the chest.
7. Seated row are done either on a seated row machine or on seated on a low cable row machine. If doing them on a low cable row machine lean forward only enough to full extend your arms keep lower back arched. Never let the shoulders roll forward for that “extra stretch”
8. Barbell curls are done in smoothly never jerky or fast.
9. Leg press are done with full range of motion your calf should touch your hamstring at the stretched position.
10. Leg curls should be contracted until heel touches you butt.
11. Seated calf raises this exercise is harder than it appears. Calf should get a full stretch at the bottom of the movement, and completely contracted at the top.
12. Warm up and cool down with about 10 t 15 minutes of stationary bike or ski machine ( I only do low or no impact aerobics, never run, never stairs,)
13. Stretch only after you have completed the workout and only for the muscles worked that day.
Workout 1 Monday
Dips 4 set of 8-12 reps Bench press 4 set of 8-12 reps Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 set of 8-12 reps Shoulder Shrugs 4 set of 8-12 reps
Workout 2 Tuesday
Pull Ups 4sets of 6-8 Reps Lat pull downs 4 sets of 8-12 reps Seated Rows 4 sets of 8-12 reps Seated Calf Raises 4 sets of 15-25 reps
Workout 3 Thursday (after one day rest)
Hack Squats 4 sets of 15-25 reps Leg Press 4sets of 15-25 reps Leg Curls 4 sets of 8-12 reps Standing Calf Raises 4 sets of 15-25 reps
Workout 4 Friday
Barbell Curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps Dumbbell Curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps Bench Dips 4 sets of 8-12 Reps Close Grip Bench Press 4 sets of 8-12 reps