Almost 3 weeks ago I was at my photo shoot and it hit me, what do I want to do from here? Anyone who follows my work knows I am not one to ‘’bulk’’ and ‘’cut’’ like a possessed yo-yo so going from sustainable diet which had reduced my body fat to one which gradually added mass and supported my new goals made sense. This is no ordinary ‘’load up on everything I can see’’ post-shoot feed. My goal is to add some muscle but more than that focus for the first time in my life on strength – I want to get strong and I want to create a certain look. To me there is nothing better than dense muscle, the hard muscle you see on strength athletes as a result of moving heavy weight around and inducing myofibrillar hypertrophy. Their muscle looks like granite and their skin looks thinner than paper – I love it. I also think getting stronger will help me stay leaner due to the hormonal effect and perhaps more importantly the energy required to lift this way.
From a psychological perspective I need a new challenge right now, I crave something new. Getting under the bar and lifting heavy ass weight sounds like fun to me, it gets the mental juices flowing just like the prospect of DTP did as a teenager. That’s what I feel I need right now that buzz before the gym again.
My new training split is something I have thought about for some time, it involves hitting every muscle group twice a week. Nothing ground breaking in itself there, however I am toying around with different approaches and protocols along with the ‘’twice a week’’ training. After a massive interest was shown on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/adamgethinfanpage) I promised I would write down what and why I am doing this.
As I said every muscle group will be hit twice a week. Many who follow traditional ‘’bodybuilder’’ splits are perplexed by this, ‘’how can I do 12 sets of each body part twice a week?’’ That’s the thing you don’t, or at least I won’t.
My new split is across 4 lifting sessions, 2 upper body and 2 lower body. The workouts 1 and 2 are lower rep workouts, one for each half of the body – having said that the workouts will be finished off with slightly higher rep. The second 2 workouts are higher rep workouts, in simplistic terms. The first two workouts are going to be used to help develop strength, stimulate more high threshold motor units (HTMUs) and myofibrillar hypertrophy. The next 2 workouts are going to be used to stimulate slow twitch fibres as well as fast twitch fibres, flush more blood into the muscles and stimulate sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
To add more spice to the mix I will actually rotate rep ranges on the last 2 workouts of each week, going between moderate, high and very high. These workouts won’t be until failure, the first ones will be closer. Tools including slow reps followed by fast reps, drop sets, giant sets and moving through different angles will all be used in the last 2 workouts of the week. The first 2 workouts will be using more basic lifts allowing the weight to do the damage.
As a drug free athlete the science we have access to today tells us that for muscle growth you should train each muscle 2-3 times a week ideally due to the fact that protein synthesis levels remain elevate for 48 hours post-workout before returning to their basal rate. As someone who grew up with bodybuilding as my source of knowledge this is somewhat alien, but I have spent a long time learning about it and put a plan together based on my interpretation AND what I believe will work best.
To shut this down I will leave you with a typical week’s split. You will notice that the smaller muscle groups have fewer sets, pretty simple really when you consider they get a lot of involvement within the bigger compound/multi-joint lifts.
Workout 1 – Upper Body 1
Decline bench press X 4 3-5
Deadlift X 4 3-5
Overhead shoulder press X 4 4-6
Incline cable flies X 2 12-15
Seated cable rows X 2 12-15
Arnold press X 2 12-15
Seated bicep curls X 2 6-8
Weighted dips X 2 4-6
Workout 2 – Lower Body 1
Squats X 4 4-6
Glute ham raises X 4 4-6
Single leg press X 4 4-6
Lunges X 3 8-10
Lying leg curls X 3 6-8
Calf raises X 3 8-10 *10 fast reps to finish set 3*
Workout 3 – Upper Body 2 (moderate rep week)
Superset 1 X 3 Incline dumbbell press & wide grip chin ups 12-15 per exercise
Superset 2 X 3 Upright row & side lateral raises 12-15 per exercise
Superset 3 X 3 Flat cable flies & underhand rows 12-15 per exercise
Superset 4 X 3 Scott press & standing cable face pulls 12-15 per exercise
Superset 5 X 3 Guillotine press & straight arm pulldowns 12-15 per exercise
Superset 6 X 5 Alternating dumbbell curls & overhead EZ bar extensions 12-15 per exercise
Workout 4 – Lower Body 2 (moderate rep week)
Wide stance Leg press X 3 15-20 reps
Bulgarian split squats X 3 15-20 reps
Leg extensions X 3 15-20 reps
Dumbbell lunges X 3 15-20 reps
Lying leg curl X 3 10-12
Calf raises X 4 15-20 *drop set for 10-15 reps each set*
That concludes a typical week’s training – this is by no means the finished article. I am self-experimenting with this and trying new things to help tweak it. However I do feel the foundations are strong and I feel as though it will help me improve my physique as well as my clients. Watch this space. . . . .I am yet to come up with a name for it!!