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CHAPTER 11: TIME TO MUSCLE UP

CHAPTER 11: TIME TO MUSCLE UP

LL Cool J and Dave "Scooter" Honig with Jeff O'Connell
CHAPTER 11: TIME TO MUSCLE UP

Finally, the preparations have been made. The fuse is lit. You're better conditioned and stronger now, ready to kick ass and take names. It's time to big up, baby.

For the next four weeks, en route to building muscle, torching body fat and looking as diesel as an 18-wheeler, it's time for a traditional bodybuilding-style muscle-growth program. This is the most volume we've applied to individual body parts to date. Bombing my chest by doing multiple sets in rapid succession, for example, requires me to recruit more muscle fibers. And the more muscle fibers that are activated, the more potential there is for growth. What's more, I get a tremendous blood rush to the muscles, providing them with the nutrients they need to make me looked toned—no, ripped. Every body part will be hit with some variation on that same theme for the next month.

As always, though, the gold-body mix is alloyed into platinum with some unexpected Scooter Pie specials that make it unlike anything your body has ever experienced. For example, exercises are often paired as supersets to keep your heart pumping while maximizing time efficiency. Over the course of an exercise, reps often rise and fall in step-like patterns as Scooter dials in the perfect recipe for muscle stimulation and growth. One minute you're doing upper-body work and suddenly—boo ya!—we send you off on a 40-minute run.

But the key to any muscle-building phase is the application of the progressive overload principle, which simply means that muscle tissue will only increase in strength and size when it's forced to handle more than it's handled before. Throughout this phase, always try to increase your weights while still hitting the target rep range. If the workout asks you to do 15 reps and you can do more than that, you're going too light. (Conversely, if you can't get to 15, you're going too heavy. Lighten up.) As the reps fall, train heavier still. And to keep the fat-burning fires stoked during this phase, Scooter mixes steady-state runs with inclines and intervals.

As you make your way through "gold," bear one thing in mind: The pace of your initial gains will slow down. It happens inevitably to everyone, so don't be discouraged when it happens to you, too. It's like any sport: A guy picking up a basketball for the first time can probably double his skill set after a month of steady practice, but Carmelo Anthony's improvement would be imperceptible over 30 days. It's been a recurring theme of this book, but the human body is an amazingly responsive machine. As it adapts, further progress becomes that much harder to generate.
11 & 13 (12 & 14 follow): Muscle-Up Workouts

• Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes using a treadmill, a stationary bike or some other cardio apparatus before each workout. Jumping jacks or running in place will also do the trick.
• Select a weight that causes you to reach failure in the rep range given. This should be heavier in Week 13 than it is in Week 11.
• Any two exercises paired in supersets should be done back to back, without resting in between. Once you've finished the pair, rest 1 minute and then do the additional sets. Also rest 1 minute when moving from pairing to the next.
• Rest 1 minute between sets and exercises when doing straight sets.

Exercise Sets Reps
Monday    
Chest:    
Superset:    
Barbell bench press 2 15–20
Push-up (feet elevated) 2 15–20
Incline dumbbell bench press 1 15–20
Back:    
Superset:    
One-arm dumbbell row 2 15–20
Bent-over barbell row 2 15–20
Pull-down 1 15–20
Shoulders:    
Superset:    
Upright row 2 15–20
Seated dumbbell press 2 15–20
Scooter's ab circuit no. 33:    
1) Jackknife 2 15–20
2) Hanging running man 2 15–20
3) Crunch 2 15–20

Don't rest until you've done all three ab moves consecutively. Then rest 1 minute and repeat until you done the required sets.

Cardio:

1) Set the treadmill incline at 1.0 and find the speed that brings up your heart rate to 65 percent of MHR (max heart rate).
2) Increase your speed 0.5 every minute for the next 4 minutes.
3) Back off to your cruising speed for 2 minutes.
4) Continue alternating in this fashion until completing 30 minutes of total work.

Tuesday
Quads:    
Superset:    
Barbell squat or leg press 4 15, 20, 25, 10
Leg extension 4 10, 15, 15, 10
Hamstrings, glutes and low back:    
Superset:    
Lying leg curl 5 10, 8, 8, 6, 20
Hyperextension 5 10, 8, 8, 6, 20

Wednesday
Cardio:

1) Set the treadmill incline at 1.0 and warm up for 5 minutes at 60 percent of MHR.
2) Raise the incline to 2.0 and run 1 minute at 80 to 85 percent of MHR.
3) Run 1 minute at 55 to 60 percent of MHR.
4) Continue alternating these 2 intervals for 20 minutes of total work.

Thursday

Arms:
   
Superset:
   
Standing barbell curl 5 10, 8, 6, 5, 20
Dip (close grip) 5 10, 8, 6, 5, 20
Superset:    
Preacher curl 3 8, 8, 6
Skull-crusher 3 8, 8, 6
Repeat Monday's ab circuit.    

Friday
Scooter's cardio circuit:
1) Jump rope for 1 minute.
2) Without resting, do push-ups for 30 seconds.
3) Without resting, jump rope for 30 seconds.
4) Without resting, do push-ups for 30 seconds.
5) Rest 1 minute and repeat.
6) Continue in this fashion for 20 minutes of total work.

Saturday:
Upper body:

Incline barbell bench press 5 8, 8, 6, 15*, 6
Pull-up (assisted) 5 8, 8, 6, 15*, 6
Seated overhead dumbbell press 5 8, 8, 6, 15*, 6

Cardio: Run 40 minutes at 65 to 75 percent of MHR.
*Drop set: Select a weight that causes you to fail at 5 reps. Lessen the weight and do 5 more reps. Lessen the weight again and do 5 more reps for 15 total in the set.
Sunday:
Active rest

For the rest of LL's Scooter-tailored workouts, pick up LL Cool J's Platinum Workout at bookstores everywhere, or online at amazon.com. For a chance to win a personally signed copy of the book, click here. For LL's exclusive M&F workout, click here.

 

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