Workout Routines

The Superman Program: Training

Add size, gain strength and burn tons of body fat in the next five weeks with this new take on a classic training method.

squat-hero-tips-strength
Duration 5 weeks
Equipment Yes

Super Specifics

This program is novel for many reasons, and your muscles will respond well to it. That said, you’ll have to let go of some of the training dogma you’ve come to live by. For example, in Workout 1, you’ll notice that you first do a chest/back superset and then a superset of back and shoulders. Afterward, you hit chest again. Most guys would worry that the break from chest would cause it to deflate—but if anything, you’ll notice just as much pump in your pecs as you would otherwise.

Another issue some will have is the number of sets per muscle group. Chest, back, and shoulders get only eight total sets per workout, and biceps and triceps get seven. This may seem insufcient, but remember, you’re training each body part twice a week for a total of 14–16 sets. Plus, you’re doing a total of 40-plus sets per workout. Any more and you’d probably be in the gym a lot longer than you have the time (or recovery) for.

For practical purposes, exercise pairings were chosen based on proximity of equipment. For example, supersetting incline barbell presses and lat pulldowns would be illogical, because at your gym these two pieces of equipment might be far apart, forcing you to rest too long between sets. Not to mention, keeping both the incline and pulldown stations free and clear in a crowded gym can be next to impossible. All paired exercises in this program can be done at the same location.

After Week 5, it’s time to go back to straight-set training for at least four to six weeks. But we’ll bet that the gains you make now will have you returning to supersets before long—so feel free to add four more weeks to the program, as shown in “Rep Counting.”

Superman Training Split

Day Body Parts Trained
Mon/Thu Chest/Back/Shoulders, Traps, Calves/Tibialis
Tue/Fri Legs/Abs, Biceps/ Triceps, Forearms
Wed/Sat/Sun Rest

Rep Counting

This program build muscle two ways: by increasing weight while reps decrease, and then the opposite.

Week Reps Per Set
1 12-15
2 8-10
3 4-6
4 8-10
5 12-15
6* 8-10
7* 4-6
8* 8-10
9* 12-15

 

*For those who want to continue for an additional four weeks

Week 1

Workout 1: Chest/Back/Shoulders, Traps, Calves/Tibialis

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
BarBell Bentover Row 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Bench press 4 12-15 1 Min
Lat Pulldown 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 12-15 1 Min
Incline Dumbbell Flye 2 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Incline Rear-Delt Raise 2 12-15 1 Min
Cable Crossover 2 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Cable lateral raise 2 12-15 1 Min
Dumbbell Shrug 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Dip Shrug 4 12-15 1 Min
Standing Calf Raise 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Standing Toe Raise 4 12-15 1 Min

Workout 2: Legs/Abs, Biceps/ Triceps, Forearms

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Squat 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Hanging Knee Raise 4 12-15 1 Min
Romanian Deadlift 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Crunch 4 12-15 1 Min
Leg Extension 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Leg Curl 4 12-15 1 Min
Side Plank Reach-Through 3 To Failure 0 Min
Triceps Pressdown 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Barbell Curl 4 12-15 0 Min
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension 3 12-15 1 Min
-superset with- Cable Overhead Curl 3 12-15 0 Min
Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl 3 12-15 1 Min
-superset with- Barbell Wrist Curl 3 12-15 1 Min

Workout 3: Chest/Back/Shoulders/Traps

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Reverse-Grip Bench Press 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Reverse-Grip BarBell Row 4 12-15 1 Min
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 2 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Decline Dumbbell Flye 2 12-15 1 Min
Dumbbell Upright Row 2 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Dip 2 12-15 1 Min
Arnold Press 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Reverse-Grip Pulldown 4 12-15 0 Min
Behind-the-Back Smith Machine Shrug 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Behind-the-Back Smith Machine Straight-Arm Dip 4 12-15 1 Min
Seated Dumbbell Toe Raise 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Seated Calf Raise 4 12-15 1 Min

Workout 4: Legs/Abs, Biceps/ Triceps, Forearms

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
BarBell Rollout 4 To Failure 0 Min
-superset with- Deadlift 4 12-15 1 Min
Roman Chair Crunch 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Back Extension 4 12-15 1 Min
Leg Curl 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Leg Extension 4 12-15 1 Min
Oblique Crunch 3 To Failure 0 Min
Cable Lying Concentration Curl 4 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Cable Lying Triceps Extension 4 12-15 1 Min
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Bench Dip 3 12-15 1 Min
Behind-the-Back Barbell Wrist Curl 3 12-15 0 Min
-superset with- Behind-the-BacK BarBell Reverse Wrist Curl 3 12-15 1 Min

Week 2

Workout 1: Chest/Back/Shoulders, Traps, Calves/Tibialis

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Bench Press 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Barbell Bentover Row 4 8-10 1 Min
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Lat Pulldown 4 8-10 1 Min
Incline Rear-Delt Raise 2 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Incline Dumbbell Flye 2 8-10 1 Min
Cable Lateral Raise 2 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Cable Crossover 2 8-10 1 Min
Straight-Arm Dip 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Dumbbell Shrug 4 8-10 1 Min
Standing Toe Raise 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Standing Calf Raise 4 8-10 1 Min

Workout 2: Legs/Abs, Biceps/ Triceps, Forearms

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Squat 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Hanging Knee Raise 4 4-6 1 Min
Romanian Deadlift 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Crunch 4 4-6 1 Min
Leg Extension 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Leg Curl 4 4-6 1 Min
Side Plank Reach-Through 3 To Failure 0 Min
Triceps Pressdown 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Barbell Curl 4 4-6 0 Min
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension 3 4-6 1 Min
-superset with- Cable Overhead Curl 3 4-6 0 Min
Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl 3 4-6 1 Min
-superset with- Barbell Wrist Curl 3 4-6 1 Min

Calves

Exercise Sets Reps  
Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10  
Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10

 

Abs

Exercise Sets Reps  
One-Arm Cable Crunch 3/Side 15-20  
Ab Wheel 2 TO FAILURE

 

Week 3

Workout 1: Chest/Back/Shoulders, Traps, Calves/Tibialis

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Bench Press 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Barbell Bentover Row 4 8-10 1 Min
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Lat Pulldown 4 8-10 1 Min
Incline Rear-Delt Raise 2 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Incline Dumbbell Flye 2 8-10 1 Min
Cable Lateral Raise 2 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Cable Crossover 2 8-10 1 Min
Straight-Arm Dip 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Dumbbell Shrug 4 8-10 1 Min
Standing Toe Raise 4 8-10 0 Min
-superset with- Standing Calf Raise 4 8-10 1 Min

Workout 2: Legs/Abs, Biceps/ Triceps, Forearms

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Squat 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Hanging Knee Raise 4 4-6 1 Min
Romanian Deadlift 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Crunch 4 4-6 1 Min
Leg Extension 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Leg Curl 4 4-6 1 Min
Side Plank Reach-Through 3 To Failure 0 Min
Triceps Pressdown 4 4-6 0 Min
-superset with- Barbell Curl 4 4-6 0 Min
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension 3 4-6 1 Min
-superset with- Cable Overhead Curl 3 4-6 0 Min
Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl 3 4-6 1 Min
-superset with- Barbell Wrist Curl 3 4-6 1 Min

Calves

Exercise Sets Reps  
Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10  
Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10

 

Abs

Exercise Sets Reps  
One-Arm Cable Crunch 3/Side 15-20  
Ab Wheel 2 TO FAILURE

 

Week 5

Shoulder-Focused

Exercise Sets Reps  
Seated Lateral Raise 4 20, 16, 12, 8  
-superset with- Flat-Bench Flye 3 15  
Bentover Lateral Raise 4 16, 14, 12, 10  
-superset with- Pushup 3 15  
Wide-Grip Upright Row 3 14, 12, 10  
-superset with- Barbell Curl 2 15  
Seated Press 3 14, 12, 10  
Shrug 2 15

 

Calves

Exercise Sets Reps  
Seated Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 10  
Standing Calf Raise** 3 20, 15, 10  
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