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A superset is a pair of exercises performed one after another with little or no rest between sets. Immediately upon the completion of your set of reps, you move to the next exercise in the sequence. From that point, you either rest and repeat the sequence or go to another exercise. While you have probably done this type of training before on specific body parts, when applied for a complete cycle of the entire body over several weeks, the results can provide the solid gains that have been eluding you.

Also, instead of just using the push-pull or antagonistic method for the arms, you are going to build an entire routine out of a single concept and push your limits. Your workouts will alternate between longer, heavy-duty, big-set training days and quicker, intense-drive-set training days. By the end of the week you will have hit every muscle fiber at every angle, bringing about maximal muscle recruitment and laying down the foundation for longterm gains.

YES, STRENGTH DOES BUILD SIZE

The strength vs. size debate continues to push the envelope in determining the best course of action for developing a killer training program. Intuition would automatically suggest stronger equals bigger, but practice has shown otherwise. Mass is a term that has had a tough fate when it comes to finding its true home. Mass may be more closely related with size than it is with strength. Strength, however, reigns as king when it comes to dominance in the weight room and supersedes all other training adaptations in terms of immediate results. You will notice gains in strength far before those seen in size. And, if you continue to build strength, when looking to build size, you will be able to handle a greater load than you were able to before, thus increasing your overall total volume per training session. This means size, mass, or whatever you want to call freaky big muscles, will come steadily. To optimally build thick muscles, you need to incorporate a variety of styles that attack both strength and size so that neither gets left behind.

PUTTING THE “SUPER” IN SUPERSETS

big-ramy-dumbbell-flyesTypically, supersets are performed with antagonistic exercises, but you could make the second exercise one that uses the same muscle group. And, technically speaking, a dropset or a pre-exhaust or post-exhaust pair of exercises could also be considered a superset. For the purpose of our training protocol, however, we are going to purposely train antagonistic muscle groups by alternating between exercises that specifically address key muscles. But since we want entire body thickness and size, this program ups the ante by hitting muscles at a variety of angles across several different pulling and pushing sequences. This way, no stone is left unturned, or better put, no muscle is left to question whether or not it will get hit; it definitely will.

Since most of you have probably applied the push-pull or antagonistic training approach to the smaller muscle groups such as the arms, you are probably well aware that continual supersets with minimal rest can quickly lead to exhaustion. When expanding the methodology to larger muscles, fatigue—in the form of lactic acid burning—quickly supervenes and needs to be considered. To this end, approach this program with caution if expecting to perform large volume in a short period of time.

Having said that, there are two different approaches to the same muscle group combinations each week. The intent is to improve blood flow, increase pumps, and attack the volume that is needed to invoke serious muscle growth. By alternating workouts each week, you invoke the release of key hormones that activate and accelerate muscle growth, as well as improve your ability to handle volume against a faster pace. And the fact that you get a killer pump while doing this certainly doesn’t hurt this equation for building optimal muscle size.

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OLD METHODOLOGY, NEW APPLICATION 

big-ramy-triceps-pushdownsYou already know that repeated stress, heavy-duty lifting, and big volume cause muscle size and strength to improve. You want to match your muscle-building hormone response with proper recovery so that you can continue building rock-hard muscle.

Suffice it to say that by using the multifaceted approach of heavy and light alternating sessions, you get the benefit of volumerelated hormonal changes with respect to improved growth hormone response, and with repeated hammering on the same muscles, the continued increase in testosterone will provide maintenance and growth support.

But perhaps even more important is the fact that doing the same routine day in and day out not only gets stale and causes plateaus, it may also normalize testosterone and growth hormone release. Thus, supercharging your workouts with this antagonistic approach in and of itself, makes sense—old methodology, new application, increased challenge to muscles, greater growth.

TRAINING PROTOCOLS

dexter-jackson-leg-extensionsEach muscle group will get the benefit of your tyranny twice per week, and volume will be adjusted for optimal recovery.

ROUND 1

  • The first workouts of the week will be a heavyduty, all-out assault.
  • Complete all the sets and reps of a single exercise, taking every set to or near failure, then swap body parts for the next exercise for its full set and rep scheme.
  • Take sufficient breaks to build up your strength, but rather than continue to work that same muscle group again as in a traditional body-part workout, switch to the antagonist muscle. Once you complete that exercise, go back to the first muscle group and continue the cycle. The idea is to completely blast the muscle(s) via that particular exercise before attacking its antagonist partner.

ROUND 2

  • The second workouts of the week will be lighter, high-set, fatigue-inducing punishment.
  • Focus is on traditional superset/triset style workouts with no rest between exercises until all the exercises of the superset (or triset) are complete.
  • The split is scheduled so that all the upper-body training hits the weekend so you can strut around stacked, pumped, and in charge.

TRAINING SPLIT

  • DAY 1: Quads, hams, calves, abs 
  • DAY 2: Chest, back, traps 
  • DAY 3: Shoulders, triceps, biceps
  • DAY 4: Quads, hams, calves, abs 
  • DAY 5: Chest, back, traps 
  • DAY 6: Shoulders, triceps, biceps 
  • DAY 7: Rest

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WORKOUT, ROUND 1

DAY 1: QUADS/HAMS/CALVES/ABS

  • Squat: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2 1/2 min. rest
  • Lying Leg Curl: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2 1/2 min. rest
  • Standing Calf Raise: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2 1/2 min. rest
  • Leg Press: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Straight-leg Deadlift: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Decline Weighted Crunch: 4 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Single-leg Extension: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1 1/2 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Seated Single-leg Curl: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1 1/2 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Hanging Leg Raise: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1 1/2 min. – 2 min. rest

*Complete all sets for each exercise before moving to next exercise.

DAY 2: CHEST/BACK/TRAPS

  • Bench Press: 4 sets, 8 reps 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Lat Pulldown (wide grip): 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Dumbbell Shrug: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Lat Pulldown (palms in): 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Upright Row: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Machine Flye: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Seated Cable Row: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Barbell Shrug: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Cable Crossover: 3 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Straight-arm Pulldown: 3 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Bentover Lateral Raise: 3 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min – 2 min. rest

*Complete all sets for each exercise before moving to next exercise.

DAY 3: SHOULDERS/TRICEPS/BICEPS

  • Barbell Overhead Press: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Skull Crusher: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Barbell Curl: 4 sets, 8 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Lateral Raise: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Pushdown: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. rest
  • Preacher Curl: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Dumbbell Front Raise: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Seated Overhead Extension: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest
  • Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 4 sets, 12 reps, 1.5 min. – 2 min. rest

*Complete all sets for each exercise before moving to next exercise.

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WORKOUT, ROUND 2

DAY 4: QUADS/HAMS/CALVES/ABS

  • Squat triset with 
    • Leg Extension
    • Seated Leg Curl: 4 sets, 12 reps, 3 min. rest
  • Standing Calf Raise superset with
    • Decline Situp (weighted): 3 sets, 15 reps 2 min. rest
  • Leg Press triset with
    • Hack Squat
    • Lying Leg Curl: 3 sets, 10 reps, 3 min. rest
  • Seated Calf Raise superset with
    • Twisting Crunch: 4 sets, 15 rest, 2 min. rest
  • Front Squat (Smith Machine) triset with
    • Single-leg Standing Leg Curl
    • Rope Ab Crunch: 4 sets, 10 reps, 2.5 min. rest

*Exercises that are grouped together are performed one after another with minimal rest after all of the reps for the set are completed. Rest the prescribed time before continuing back through the group of exercises until all of the sets are complete. Then move to the next group.

DAY 5: CHEST/BACK/TRAPS

  • Flat Dumbbell Press triset with
    • Seated Cable Wide-grip High Row
    • Dumbbell Shrug: 4 sets, 12 reps 3 min. rest
  • Incline Press triset with
    • Lat Pulldown
    • Bentover Lateral Raise: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Incline Flye triset with
    • Seated Cable Low Row
    • Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets, 12 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Decline Dumbbell Press triset with
    • Chinup (palmsfacing in)
    • Upright Row: 4 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest

*Exercises that are grouped together are performed one after another with minimal rest after all of the reps for the set are completed. Rest the prescribed time before continuing back through the group of exercises until all of the sets are complete. Then move to the next group.

DAY 6: SHOULDERS/TRICEPS/BICEPS

  • Dumbbell Press triset with
    • Dumbbell Skull Crusher
    • Barbell Curl: 4 sets, 12 reps, 3 min. rest
  • Cable Lateral Raise triset with
    • Rope Pushdown
    • Cable Curl: 3 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Cable Front Raise triset with
    • Overhead Rope Extension
    • Single-arm Preacher Curl: 3 sets, 12 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest
  • Bentover Lateral Raise triset with
    • Seated Dumbbell Extension
    • Seated Dumbbell Curl: 4 sets, 10 reps, 2 min. – 2.5 min. rest

*Exercises that are grouped together are performed one after another with minimal rest after all of the reps for the set are completed. Rest the prescribed time before continuing back through the group of exercises until all of the sets are complete. Then move to the next group.

SUPPLEMENT SUPPORT SYSTEM

To ensure you’re able to keep up the torrid pace and are taking in the necessary nutrition for maximum growth and recovery, consume a solid spattering of amino acids on both the front and back ends of your workout, creatine at either side of your battle, and beta-alanine (to combat the buildup of lactic acid) pre-workout. Knock back a few shots of additional protein throughout the day to provide the support you need to combat this abusive training method. Throw in a test booster for additional strength aid, and you’ll be ready to blast through your workouts. – FLEX