Friday, April 24, 2009

I am giant!

Well today I saw the fruits of my labors being harvested and what a grand harvest it was. In laymen terms I had just finished the first part of my strength training program. One I devised myself to increase my overall strength since it had been a good six months since I've done something of that sort. I did a variation on the 5x5 rule in which in the first week I'd do 5x5 for two exercises (Chest= Flat Bench and Incline) (Back= Dead-Lift and Barbell Row)(Arms=Close-grip bench and EZ-Bar Curl,) followed by two other exercises with a standard 15-8 rep range for four sets each. Next week I did 3x3 and the following I attempted my one rep max followed by 3 reps followed by 5.

I was able to increase my bench press from 200 lbs to 225 and my dead-lift from 300 lbs to 335 lbs. I am not attempting my max for my incline and row until next week since I do not want to attempt a one rep max twice in one workout for two different exercises. The reason I'm estatic is because this is the first time I've put together a strength program that has shown concrete results, which means I'm doing things right. In turn it has sold me on the 5x5 rule in full. I would recommend something similar to this for anyone who wished to increase their strength, but I would probably not recommend the particular exercises to anyone who hasn't worked out for at least a year though since it does put a tremendous strain on your muscles and it could injure someone who isn't used to doing the aforementioned exercises.

Here is basically my workout program if anyone wishes to follow.

Monday Arms/Traps/Lower Abs (I used to skip arms so I put them first to make me do them.)
Triceps
Close Grip Bench (5x5, 3x3, 2x2)
Rope Cable Extensions (3 sets 15-10 rep range)
Straight Bar Extensions (3 sets 15-10 rep range)
Biceps
EZ-Bar Curl (5x5 3x3 2x2)
Flat Bench Cable Curls (In this exercise I laid on a flat bench, got an cable straight bar and did the curling motion while on my back) (3 sets 15-10 reps)
Hammer Curls (With cables or dumbbells) (3 sets 15-10 reps)
Lower Abs
Reverse Crunches (3 sets to failure)
Traps
Reverse Incline Bench Shoulder Raises (Lying stomach first on an incline bench I proceeded to do shoulder raises, this hits the upper traps) (3 sets 15-10 reps)
Cable Row Shrug (Sitting on a cable row machine, but instead I do a shrug instead of a row) (7 sets 10 reps each with 30 second rest between sets)

Tuesday Quadriceps and Calves (I am not doing the 5x5 rule for my quadriceps)
Quadriceps
Barbell Hack Squats
(4 sets 15-8 reps)
Machine Leg Press
(4 sets 15-8 reps)
Leg Extensions
(4 sets 20-10 reps)
Sissy Squats
(4 sets 20 reps)
Body-Weight Squats
(4 sets 20 reps)
Calves
One Footed Body-Weight Calf Press (I simply stand on the platform behind an incline bench and do one footed raises while balancing myself with the bar, I go for the lower range of motion in this exercise) (3 sets 20 reps on each foot)
Leg Press Calve Press (3 sets 20 reps)

Thursday Chest/Obliques/Rear Delts
Chest
Flat Bench (5x5 3x3 1x1)
Incline Bench (5x5 3x3 1x1)
Cable Crossovers or Cable Raises (4 sets 15-10 reps)
Dumbbell Incline Fly (4 sets 15-8 reps)
Obliques
Dumbbell or Medicine Ball Twists (3 sets to failure)
Rear Deltoids
Bent Over Shoulder Raises (3 sets 15-10 reps)
Cable Machine or Cable Rear Delts Raises (3 sets 15-10 reps)

Friday Back/Front Abdominal/Front Delts
Back
Dead-Lift
(5x5 3x3 1x1)
Bent Over Barbell Row
(5x5 3x3 1x1)
Behind The Head Pulldown
(4 sets 15-10 reps)
Cable Rows
(4 sets 15-10 reps)
Front Abdominal
Crunches
(3 sets 25 reps)
Front Delts
Smith Machine Shoulder Press
(3 sets 12-8 reps)
Incline Bench Barbell Shoulder Raises
(3 sets 12-8 reps)

Saturday Hamstrings/Calves (Though I admit I've been neglecting them)
Hamstrings
Yoga Ball Leg Curls
(4 sets of 20 reps)
Sumo Style Dead-Lift
(4 sets 12-8 reps)
Seated Leg Curls
(4 sets 20-10 reps)
Side to Side Weighted Leg Stretches
(I step from side to side, stretching out my inner hamstrings while carrying a weight on my shoulder. (4 sets 20 reps)
Calves
Leg Press Calve Press
(3 sets 20 reps)
One Footed Calve Raise
(3 sets 20 reps)

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