Here's what you do:
Train calves twice a week (as part of your leg workout or separately,
whichever works better for you).
Do 2 exercises for calves each workout, first do standing calve raises
(or any other calve raises where your leg is not bent), 2nd do seated
calve raises (leg bent).
For each exercise, do 5 sets as follows:
You're going to start your working sets with your heaviest weights, so
make sure to do enough warmup sets to be ready to handle the heavy
Set #1 - Do the heaviest weight that you can possibly get 5 reps with.
If you don't reach 5 reps, then next workout do the same weight and try
to reach 5. If you do reach 5, make sure to increase the weight in your
Set #2 - Add some more weight, 10 or 20 pounds is generally good. Do an
"isometric hold" with this weight. In other words, do one rep, and hold
the weight at the top, with your calves completely stretched. Hold the
weight in this position for as long as you possibly can, try for 20
seconds or so.
Set #3 - decrease the weight, such that you'll be able to do 10 reps.
Set #4 - decrease the weight, and do 15 reps
Set #5 - decrease the weight, and do 10 reps, VERY slowly! It should
take 3 seconds to lower the weight and 3 seconds to raise it. The goal
here is to make this last set last very long, to keep the calves under
tension for up to a full minute.
Note: As described for set #1, keep increasing the weight from one
workout to the next!!! As soon as you reach your target # of reps, it's
time to increase the weight.
Had a killer hamstring workout the other night, so thought I'd post it here:
I'm doing a routine I devised where I do 4 working sets per exercise, the first set is very heavy for 3 reps (strength set), the 2nd set is heavy for 8 reps (mass set), the 3rd set is lighter for 15 reps (endurance set), and the final set is slightly lighter for a verrrrrrrry slow 8 reps (3 seconds up, 3 secs down).
First exercise was leg presses, doing my heaviest set at 650 pounds and working my way down.
Second exercise are "bottom half squats" - I go all the way down very deep, but then only go halfway up - this emphasizes the hams and butt more than the quads.
Third exercise are unilateral leg curls (on the machine). I do these unilateral now since doing them with both legs there wasn't enough weight for me.
Then I give my hams a brief break by doing 4 sets of standing calf raises (same rep scheme).
Finally, I did 4 sets of deadlifts.
Then I limped over to the treadmill and did some HIIT for 20 minutes.
I did my very first workout on September 16, 1986, so I've been training for 21 years, 5 months, and 25 days!
I estimate that I've done approximately 350 workouts per year over that time (including days when I worked out 2 or 3 times!), which means I've worked out approximately 7520 times!
On average, over that time my workouts have been about an hour and 15 minutes in length. Soooooooooooooo.........I've spent 564,000 minutes in the gym. This equals 9,400 hours or 392 days, or................1 year and 26 days!!!!!
Good thing I love working out and the results I've gotten!!!
Here’s another workout routine for you to try, it’s called the 5/10/20.
For each bodypart, choose 3 or 4 exercises. After doing some warmup sets, preparing for your heaviest working set, do a heavy set for 5 reps. This should be the heaviest weight you can do for 5 reps. Then, after your normal resting time (say a 45-60 seconds or so), decrease the weight and do a set of 10 reps. Finally, rest and do a set of 20 reps. Do this for every exercise in your routine.
What this does is work your muscle fibers in 3 different ways – the first set is a strength set, the second set is the muscle-building set, and the third set is an endurance set.
You can also add one isometric hold after the 3rd set (on each exercise).
Try it out and let me know how it goes!
Here’s another way to shock a lagging bodypart. I’ve done this for biceps with great success. Choose one exercise for the bodypart – in my example, standing barbell curls. Choose a weight that you can do 18-20 reps with.
Take a deck of cards, take the first card. Do a # of reps equal to the value of the card – if you get an Ace, you can rest for one minute. After completing the prescribed # of reps, choose another card and do your next set (you should be “resting” for no longer than 15 seconds, just enough time to choose the card and start your next set). Try to get through as many cards in the deck as you can! It may sound easy, but trust me, IT’S NOT!
The first time I did this, I got thru approximately 20 cards, the 2nd time, approximately 30 cards, and the 3rd time I got totally psyched that I was going to get thru the whole deck and I did – could barely bend my arms for the next couple of days!
As always, remember, with any shock training method such as this, don’t do it too often or you’ll overtrain and limit your results. Just use this every now and then to shock a lagging bodypart into growth.
I decided to get my bodyfat tested over the weekend as I hadn't had it tested in a while. Last time I had it tested, the trainer used the calipers and my bodyfat came out to 7%, about 3 weeks before my competition. Wasn't sure how I've been doing lately, so wanted to get it measured to find out...
They no longer use the calipers at my gym, so the only test available was the bodyfat scale, which I've found to be very unreliable in the past. But, as it was the only option I had the test done anyway. Got on the scale, my weight reading was accurate, and then the bodyfat reading came up as "LO". The trainer said to me, "you should be hospitalized"!!! LOL!!! She said my bodyfat was too low for the scale to measure it. She looked it up in her manual and it said that a reading of "LO" indicates a bodyfat of between 2 and 4%. I HIGHLY DOUBT that I am anywhere near to being that low, but thought it was pretty funny anyway!
Want a great way to shock a lagging bodypart and fight your way past a plateau? Try this… do your usual workout for the bodypart, either in the morning or midday, then, a few hours later, go back to the gym and work the same bodypart again!
Do the 2nd workout in one of 2 ways:
1) Lower weight, high rep sets.
2) Medium weight, very slow reps.
The bodypart your workout will get a big shock out of this, trust me, I’ve done it. You may find that the particular bodypart rarely gets sore anymore, well, it WILL be sore the next day!
Note of caution: be careful not to do this too often or you will be overtraining, which is of course counter-productive. Just do this every now and then when you need a boost.
Try it out and let me know how it goes…
Another thing that has worked very well for me in my back training is the following:
Isometric holds on the assisted pullup machine. What I do is, set the weight to a weight that I could normally do around 10 very good clean reps for, then pull myself all the way up, and hold for as long as I can, usually for about 45 secs to a minute. It's a great way to finish your back workout, working the muscle in a different way than normal positive/negative reps. As always, try different grips. I like to do these isometric holds with my palms facing away from me, then my palms facing me, and finally 2 sets with a mixed grip - i.e. one palm facing me and one palm facing away.
I've been told that my back is my best bodypart. Tough to say for sure as I rarely get to see it, but I have seen pictures of it and I guess it looks aight. Sooooooooooo, I'm probably doing something right when it comes to back training.
Here are my tips on training back: #1, when training back it's verrrrry important to focus on working your back muscles and not your arm/biceps. It's very easy to have your biceps do most of the work, but you need to really focus and concentrate on pulling the weight using your back instead. I used to make the mistake of using mostly arms on my back exercises, so I could do really heavy weights. Believe it or not, I made that mistake for almost 20 years!!! When I finally made the adjustment to use my back more, my back really started developing! #2, you're going to hear this a lot from me...do the exercises slowly, working the muscle you intend to work rather than using momentum and the rest of your body to do the exercise! So many times I see people doing their pulldowns or row waaay too fast with too much weight, swinging their whole body to get the weight moving. All this is doing is working the lower back more and working the lats less. Keep it slow and work those lats!
#3, hit your back from multiple angles and use multiple grips! I generally do 2 pulldown exercises and 2 rowing exercises per back workout, and I change these 4 exercises every month or so. You can use an overhand grip, underhand grip, close grip, wide grip, etc, but keep changing it to work all of the areas of your lats!
Don't expect to beat your previous by a lot, just by very little. Especially if you're someone who's been lifting for a while, you're not going to make fast gains, it's going to be very gradual. For your heaviest set on a particular exercise, you may just beat your previous by 1 rep. The key is to keep increasing the weight and reps as much as possible, but understanding that it's gradual.
Do you keep track of your workouts, i.e. sets, reps, weights? I strongly recommend it!
What I do is keep a sheet of paper for every bodypart, with a list of all of the exercises that I'm doing for that bodypart, then I write down every set indicating the weight I used and the # of reps. Then, when I do the next workout, I do everything I can to beat my previous workout, either by increasing the weight or the # of reps that I get. At the very least I make sure to match the previous, but it's very rare where I don't beat it. It's a great way to see your progress and to keep motivating yourself every set.
Yes, I probably look like a total dork walking around the gym with my pen and paper, writing down every set that I do, but..........I look like a total dork who's in pretty good shape!
I’m thinking of creating a blog of training tips. I’ve been training since 1986, finally competed in my first bodybuilding contest this year, so I’ve picked up tons of tips along the way.
Just want to know, would people be interested in reading my tips? If so, I’ll go for it and post tips as often as possible either every day or every couple of days or so.
Just let me know what you think, thanks!
I'm thinking of creating a blog of training tips. I've been training since 1986, finally competed in my first bodybuilding contest this year, so I've picked up tons of tips along the way.
Just want to know, would people be interested in reading my tips? If so, I'll go for it and post tips as often as possible either every day or every couple of days or so.
Just let me know what you think, thanks!