Jump to the routine

Chaos in the Gym Workout

Add muscle by shaking things up just enough with this slightly unorthodox grouping of chest, biceps and calves.

Jump to the Routine
  • 4 weeks

  • 32

  • Yes

Chaos in the Gym Workout
Chaos in the Gym Workout

Math may well have been your least favorite subject in school, but what if we told you about a mathematical theory that can help you multiply your gains in the gym? We’’ll skip the algebra and get right to the bottom line on how to make your workouts more productive. Truth is, following a single routine can sometimes become too routine, while the occasional shock workout may provide a new stimulus but sometimes doesn’t quite fit into the scheme of things.

This month we’’ll try what we think of as organized chaos -— elements that maintain some consistency from one workout to the next, while introducing a spin that keeps the body off guard so it won’’t adapt to a particular routine. You get stronger and build muscle while mixing it up just enough to keep your regimen fresh and stimulating.

If chest and bi’’s is one of your favorite combinations, then this training scheme is for you. We also include calves just in case you’’ve neglected your lower legs. Hit a nerve? Good. Train these three muscle groups over a four-week period. The exercises remain the same throughout, but you’’ll add weight and perform fewer reps in successive workouts on your first mass-building exercise for each bodypart.

We’’ll create some chaos with the second exercise. In Week 1, do 3-–5 partials (executing the move over just half of the range of motion) after you reach muscle failure. In Week 2, hold the peak contraction for three long seconds as you squeeze the muscle as hard as you can. During Week 3, perform drop sets, quickly reducing your working weight by about 30% when you reach muscle failure and continuing your set. In Week 4, do heavy negatives. Train with a good spotter this week, because you’’ll use about 20% more weight than you normally handle, and slowly fight the downward movement -— called the eccentric contraction -— as your partner helps you lift the weight on every rep. Also, for chest and bi’’s only, do a third exercise with straight sets.

Your muscles will be sore in all the right places by the end of four weeks -— proof positive that even muscleheads can learn a thing or two from math geeks.

NOTE: Choose your weights so that you approach muscle failure by the rep listed.

Routine

Want a copy on the go?
Print

Week 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
10-15**
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps for the 1st set, 12 reps for the 2nd & 10 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Equipment
Smith Machine
Sets
3
Reps
10+3
Rest
--
Use partial reps.
Exercise 3 of 32

Decline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
10-12*
Rest
--
Perform 12 reps for the 1st set & 10 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 5 of 32

Barbell Preacher Curl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
10+3
Rest
--
Use partial reps.
Exercise 7 of 32

Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 8 of 32

Seated Calf Raise

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
20+5
Rest
--
Use partial reps.

Week 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
8-15*
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps for the 1st set, 10 reps for the 2nd & 8 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 10 of 32

Smith Machine Bench Press

Equipment
Smith Machine
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Use peak contractions.
Exercise 11 of 32

Decline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12,8,8,8
Rest
--
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 13 of 32

Barbell Preacher Curl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Use peak contractions.
Exercise 15 of 32

Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
15
Rest
--
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 16 of 32

Seated Calf Raise

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Use peak contractions.

Week 3

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
6-15*
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps for the 1st set, 10 reps for the 2nd & 6 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 18 of 32

Smith Machine Bench Press

Equipment
Smith Machine
Sets
3
Reps
8/8
Rest
--
Use drop sets.
Exercise 19 of 32

Decline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12,7,7,7
Rest
--
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 21 of 32

Barbell Preacher Curl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8/8
Rest
--
Use drop sets.
Exercise 23 of 32

Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12-15*
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps for the 1st set & 12 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 24 of 32

Seated Calf Raise

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
15/15
Rest
--
Use drop sets.

Week 4

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
5
Reps
4-15*
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps for the 1st set, 10 reps for the 2nd & 4 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 26 of 32

Smith Machine Bench Press

Equipment
Smith Machine
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Use negative reps.
Exercise 27 of 32

Decline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12,6,6,6
Rest
--
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 29 of 32

Barbell Preacher Curl

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Use negative reps.
Exercise 31 of 32

Smith Machine Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
10-15*
Rest
--
Perform 15 reps for the 1st set & 10 reps for the last 3. Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.
Exercise 32 of 32

Seated Calf Raise

Equipment
Bench
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Use negative reps.
See all of our tutorials