5×10 How do you read this?
Preform five sets of ten reps.
Example: 5×10 Dumbbell Bench press. You would preform ten reps of bench press then rest. That is one set. Do this five times
*Superset* What is this?
Supersets refer to doing multiple exercises back to back with no rest. Traditionally they are used to train protagonist and antagonist muscle groups together (chest and back for example). In the daily workouts you will see supersets often. They are used to link two or more exercises together in a group. Monster Sets are are the same as supersets, but highlight the fact I’ve combined more than 3 exercises.
Example: *Superset* Dumbell Press 4×10 Dumbbell Flys 4×10
You would preform 10 reps of presses followed by 10 reps of flys then rest. That is one set. Repeat 4x to complete the superset
SLOW 4/4 Count
Sometimes you will see specific timing to preform each rep. A 4/4 second count means you will preform each counting to 4 seconds on the concentric movement and 4 seconds on the eccentric movement. Each rep should take a total of 8 seconds to complete.
Example: Straight Bar Curl SLOW 5/5 Count 4×6
Count to five as you slowly curl the bar up. You should not finish curling the bar until you reach five seconds. Pause then slowly lower that bar for 5 seconds while maintaining an intense contraction of the biceps. That is one rep. Rest then complete the same for three more sets.
Time Under Tension
As described above, time under tension is increasing the amount of time a muscle is under stress. You will see time under tension used often in the form of slowed down reps (4/4) or paused reps where you hold a contraction for a moment. The goal is to overload the muscle with stress to encourage growth and increase overall caloric expenditure.
How do I implement these workouts if I can’t train the muscle group on the specified days?
This is just an outline and a recommendation. Occasionally I have obligations mid week or an unexpected event means I have to take a day off. That’s ok. Being flexible is an important part of having a long term strategy. It is far better to be consistent overall than obsess about perfection. I find not scheduling specific days off from the gym is ideal because you cannot predict when life will get in the way. If you must take multiple days off you can also combine two muscle groups into one day. To do this I recommend cutting down on the sets, or removing 1-2 exercises from each day. For example, if you cannot train legs Saturday add in ten sets of squats and some leg extensions before you hit arms friday. Think like an athlete. Do not fear the work others wouldn’t do.
I’m just starting out. When should I try the advanced workouts?
If you are just starting out I recommend a minimum of four weeks of training before attempting the advanced routines. This is a time to learn the movements. This will vary from person to person. A good rule of thumb is when you feel your results have started to slow down you are ready for a more advanced routine. If you’ve been training for three months consistently it may be an ideal time to increase the intensity. Remember, the harder you train the easier it becomes to train at an increased level of intensity. What may seem impossible now can become normal soon as your body adapts.
I don’t know how to preform an exercise
All exercises in the daily workouts are written in their most common form. I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to learn each one as they come up. There is a great deal of repetition but through slight variations no workout is the same. In this way, you can quickly learn most of the basics thanks to google and youtube. Simply type in the name of the exercise (Example: Barbell Incline Press) and you will get many examples. If you have questions about how to preform a specific exercise please contact me and I’ll go over it personally. As this site is growing I hope to have my own database of instructional workout videos to make this more convenient. You will often find I give written instructions under an exercise with form tips to get the most benefit or to stimulate the muscle from the desired angle.
21 Method and 28 Method
These are mix of method concepts that combine multiple training principals into one set. You will have to drop the weight by a lot to complete these correctly. The 21 method refers to 21 repetitions in each set and the 28 method refers to 28 repetitions in each set
21 Method: 7 Regular Reps, 7 SLOW Reps with a 6/6 count, 7 quarter reps at either the top of bottom of the movement.
Example: Seated Dumbbell Press 21 Method (4 sets)
Preform 7 Presses at a normal speed (this will feel somewhat easy since you are using a lighter weight). Without rest preform 7 additional presses only each rep will take 12 seconds (6 seconds up and 6 seconds down). By this point you should barely be able to finish the 7th rep. Now that your muscle has been completely taxed we are going to burn it out. Without resting preform an additional 7 short quarter reps at the top of the movement. That is one set. Rest and do it three more times to complete all four sets.
28 Method: Same as above, only preform two sets of quarter reps. One at the top and one at the bottom.
Example: Seated Dumbbell Press 28 Method (4 sets)
7 regular reps, 7 SLOW reps 6/6 count, 7 quarter reps at the top, 7 quarter reps at the bottom = one set.
How much rest should I take between sets?
Unless otherwise specified take 60-90 seconds rest between sets. I typically avoid taking more than two minutes rest as it drags out my workout and lessens the intensity. There are specific times when I will take more rest. If trying to go very heavy (say lower reps like 5×5 or 5×3 I will sometimes take 3-4 minutes rest between sets to fully recover and move the heaviest weight possible.
How much weight to use on the warmup?
The point here is to supply blood and heat to the muscle to avoid injury before going into more intense training. I normally shoot for no more than 50% of my max here. This is a time to go slow and focus on the mind muscle connection.
How do I find motivation?
Motivation happens when you start to see results. It is a useless and fleeting concept for starting a new habit. Instead understand how to think like an achiever:
Philosophy – Values – Action – Results – Feelings/Motivation
This is the order in which you should tackle a new goal.
Philosophy – Working out is something so beneficial it is ridiculous not to do it. I believe the most successful people make their physical health a priority. Physical health directly influences mental health and has a great impact on how you do anything in life.
Values – Above all else I value the feeling of being healthy and chose to sacrifice short term comforts for long term prosperity.
Actions – Regardless of how I feel I will take action. I chose to act based on my intelligence, not my emotions. I understand I have ultimate control over my actions and chose to be master of my body and mind.
Results – Only after I have seen results will I ask myself how I feel. To do so any sooner means basing my actions on how I feel which could change at any time.
Motivation – Congratulations. You seen your hardwork over the weeks turn into a results. Maybe you’ve lost weight, you’ve seen your strength go up, someone complimented you or you look better in the mirror. Regardless, motivation is simply the reward of working hard. It has little to do with the foundation of habit building. It is just a nice bonus. Somedays you might not feel motivated. Always go back to your philosophy and values before you decide you should quit.