Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
Take a look around the next time you’re walking down the street. You’ll notice a lot of dissatisfied men—men who feel they have a bit too much Bruce Banner in them and not enough Incredible Hulk (the size and strength of the Hulk, mind you, not all the rage and destructiveness). Afterward, take a look in the mirror. Are you one of these men? If so, you need a training protocol that will considerably enhance your muscular size, strength, and power—if not quite to Hulk proportions, then, at the very least, surpassing Banner’s.
To deliver such a program, we enlisted Hollywood celebrity trainer Eric Fleishman (aka “Eric the Trainer”), owner of the fitness company ETT Corp. (ericthe trainer.com) and a bona fide comic-book buff.
“I based the following workouts off my Sleeping Giant program, which is what we use to transform the bodies of Hollywood actors,” says Fleishman, who suggests you do his Hulk program for four weeks while following a proper mass-building diet.
Is there a sleeping giant within you? If so, this is the workout you’ll need to awaken your own inner Hulk.
MONDAY: CHEST & BACK
This push-pull workout will crush your upper body. Go heavier every set throughout the program to build both size and strength!
Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets; 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
“Upper Force” Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets; 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
Weighted Pullup: 3 sets; 8, 6, 4 reps
“Triangle of Power” Dumbbell Row: 3 sets; 8, 6, 4 reps
“Bully” Deadlift: 3 sets; 8, 8, 6 reps
“TRIANGLE OF POWER” DUMBBELL ROW
Place your right knee and right hand on a fat bench, and bend at the waist so your back is fat and your torso is roughly parallel to the floor. With your left hand in a neutral grip, pull a heavy dumbbell to your ribs, hold for a second, then return to a dead-hang position. Switch sides and repeat for designated reps.
TUESDAY: LEGS & ABS
The Hulk’s legs are enormous and crazy strong. Heavy, compound lower-body moves are the only way to build your own pair of hulking legs.
Barbell Squat: 4 sets; 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
Leg Press: 3 sets; 12, 8, 6 reps
Lying Leg Curl: 3 sets; 10, 8, 6 reps
Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets; 12, 10, 8 reps
Box Jump: 4 sets; 15, 10, 8, 8 reps
Walking Lunge: 3 sets; For distance
Crunch: 3 sets; 25, 25, 25 reps
Twisting Medicine Ball Throw: 3 sets; 20 per side
Compact Car Push: 1 set; 1/2 mile
With a loaded barbell sitting on your traps and your feet shoulder-width apart, push your hips back and down and descend into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keeping your head and chest up, push with your hips, hamstrings, and quads to return to a standing position.
If you want Hulk-like arms, you’d better be prepared to blast them with big weight and explosive movements.
Barbell Curl: 4 sets; 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
“Size Squeezing” Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets; 10, 8, 6 reps
Zottman Curl: 3 sets; 10, 8, 6 reps
“Superhero” Skull Crusher: 4 sets; 10, 8, 8, 6 reps
Close-grip Bench Press: 3 sets; 8, 6, 6 reps
Heavy Cable Pressdown: 3 sets; 8, 6, 6 reps
“SUPERHERO” SKULL CRUSHER
Bring the bar straight down to your nose, then continue the motion across the face, following the contour of your head, bringing the bar down toward the floor so that your triceps are almost parallel to the floor. Then follow that same track back in an arc. By rounding out the motion, it allows you to overload and challenge the triceps without having any elbow discomfort.
THURSDAY: EAT, REST & GROW
Eat, rest, and grow today. On a mass- and strength-building program, the time spent away from the gym is just as important as the time in the gym, because you only grow when you sleep. Make rest a priority. *See 'SUNDAY' for the supersize nutrition plan.
FRIDAY: SHOULDERS & BACK
You’ll notice we also trained back on Monday. This is because back is a crucial body part. And we’re not just talking about the thickness of the back, like when viewed from the side. From straight on, the shoulder-to-waist differential must be impressive.
Behind-the-neck Barbell Overhead Press: 4 sets; 12, 8, 6, 6 reps
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 sets; 8, 6, 6 reps
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 sets; 10, 8, 6 reps
Heavy Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets; 8, 8, 6 reps
Drywall Shoulder Smash: 3 sets; 1 rep
Barbell Reverse-grip Deadlift: 3 sets; 8, 6, 6 reps
“Wide as Possible” Lat Pulldown: 4 sets; 10, 8, 8, 6 reps
Hammer Strength Row: 3 sets; 8, 8, 6 reps
T-shirt Tear: 1 set; 1 rep
SEATED DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
Grip the dumbbells on the outer part of the handle (not in the middle) so that your hands are up against the plates. With your elbows fared out to the sides, the dumbbells will tilt slightly inward, which puts more pressure on the shoulders. As you drive up, you should feel a stretch in the pecs the entire time. That’s how far back you want to reach with the elbows—not so far back that you’re going to hurt yourself, because the weights are directly over the shoulders. Again, it’s a limited range of motion—same as with the barbell overhead press.
SATURDAY: FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS
For how massive he is, the Hulk has incredible functional strength, so our goal is to merge bodybuilding with the worlds of function, agility, strength, and endurance.
“Pec pounding” Pushup: 3 sets; 40, 60, 100 reps
Wide-grip Pullup: 3 sets; 8, 15, 25 reps
Wind Sprint: 3 sets; 15–25 seconds
Dip: 3 sets; 12, 20, 30 reps
Box Jump: 3 sets; 15, 20, 25 reps
Heavy Bag: 3 sets; 40 punches per arm
Keep your feet in front of your body in a pikelike position, and as you lower yourself, flare your elbows directly out to your sides. This thrashes the lower pecs like few exercises can.
SUNDAY: EAT, REST & GROW
Eat, rest, and grow today. On a mass- and strength-building program, the time spent away from the gym is just as important as the time in the gym, because you only grow when you sleep. Make rest a priority.