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Sometimes, our fans can teach us a thing or two, which is why each week Muscle & Fitness will be selecting a Bad-Ass Workout of the Week, submitted by one of our highly knowledgeable readers. Then our training experts will explain why we chose the workout, how how to make it even more bad-ass; and what training style it works for.
This week, Dan Trink, Director of Training at Peak Performance, assesses this routine from our Facebook fan Burk Morphew. Let us know what you think, and show off your own workout at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we think it's worthy, we'll post it on the Muscle & Fitness website.
Cable Lateral Raise: 10,10,15,15,20 (1 arm will go forward while other goes up sideways at the same time for 1 rep. Then both arms change directions for next rep).
Dumbbell Upright Row: 10,10,15,15
Behind the Back Smith Machine Shrugs: 10,10,15,15,20
Hanging Leg Raises: Bring feet above head so that your back comes off the chair and targets the abs 3 sets to failure w/3 minute rest in between.
Decline Russian Twist: Get in a decline bench and hold dumbbell (I use 15 lbs.) straight out in front. Slowly go from side to side. Do 2 sets of 10 in-between the leg raises.
Pushdowns: (do this from your knees with handle adjusted all the way to the top) straight bar 10,10, – V bar 15,15 – straight bar (reverse grip) 20
Bench Dips: (between 2 flat benches-lay a weighted barbell in your lap). 10,10,15,15,20
Cable Overhead Extension: (I use the rope) 10,10,15,15,20
Standing Dumbbell Curl: 10,10,15,15,20
Dumbbell Incline Curl: (1st sets arms outward, second sets inward) 10,10,15,15,20
Reverse Grip Barbell Curl: 10,10,15,15,20
Dumbbell Step Up: 10,10,15,15
Romanian Deadlift: 10,10,15,15
Seated Leg Curl: 10,10,15,15
Standing Calf Raise: 12,12,12
Seated Calf Raise: 12,12,12
Dumbbell Incline Press: (reverse/inward grip) 10,10,15,15,20
Dumbbell Press: 10,10,15,15,20
Cable Flye: (from a flat bench between 2 cable stations) 10,10,15,15,20
Dumbbell Pullover: 10,10,15,15,20
Dumbbell Deadlift: 10,10,15,15
1-Arm Dumbbell Row: 10,10,15,15
Pull-Ups: (each set to failure) 1st palms in, 2nd palms out, 3rd wide grip
Seated Rows: 10,10,15,15
Straight-Arm Lat Pulldowns: 10,10,15,15
Decline Bench Barbell Skull Crushers: 8,8,12,12
Decline Bench Barbell Skull Crushers: (with reverse grip) 8,8,12,12
Cable Kick Backs: 8,8,12,12
Barbell Scott Curls: 5,5,5,5,5
Reverse Grip Curls: 8,8,12,12
OK, let’s just start with the fact that your name is Burk Morphew. Any workout a guy named Burk Morphew is doing is going to be bad-ass. You sound like you could be an action hero. I’m expecting to see your name on the Expendables 3 movie poster.
If you are going to be training this often (6 days per week) I really like the one-main-body-part-per-day set-up you have going here. It’s a great way to get in the amount of volume needed for muscle growth. And, speaking of volume, the ascending set-rep scheme is a rarely used yet effective strategy. It cannot be overstated how lifestyle factors—no fried foods, high meal frequency, protein-rich diet—are critical to your success. If you are able to maintain single-digit body fat at your age (37) clearly you’re bad-ass.
I’d love to see you start each workout with a bigger bang-for-your-buck exercise right out of the gate. Think barbell moves like the military press (shoulder day), close grip bench press (arms day), deadlift or bent-over row (back day) and front squat (leg day). And while I think the higher rep sets are getting you the volume you need for muscle growth, there may be diminishing returns staying up in that range for 6 months as you’ve described.
I’d also love to see you bring the rep ranges down into the 4 to 6 range and begin getting stronger in these lifts. It’s the best way to add pounds to the bar when you go back to higher rep training and pounds of muscle to your frame. And since we’re going heavier, I’d also like you to take an extra day of rest and recovery and train 5 days per week. This can easily be accomplished by working bi’s and tri’s on the same day and simply adding in abs to the end of two of your workouts. Recovery is often the most under appreciated aspects of training, especially by guys who get off on always getting after it.
If you like to train often and are a fan of body part splits with tons of volume, clearly this is for you. But, like Burk, you have to have the other lifestyle factors in place, so party animals need not apply. And having a bad-ass name will make any workout more bad-ass. Truth!
Dan Trink, CSCS, is a strength coach, personal trainer, fitness writer and nutritional consultant. He is also the Director of Training at Peak Performance in NYC. You can find out more about Dan at www.trinkfitness.com or on Facebook at www.faceboook/trinkfitness.