It’s Monday, the start of a new week, your motivation is high and you can’t wait to get to the gym to train your favorite body part. For a majority of lifters Monday has become known as international chest day and it’s likely your favorite training day of the week.
It’s very common to prioritize the body part we want to train early in the week, which might produce great results for that certain body part but could result in lacking progress in other areas of our physique.
We also know our body requires frequent changes in training stimulus in order to continually make progress and avoid plateaus, so if you’re starting to notice that you possess the chest of Arnold but struggling to have the rest of your physique keep up then it could be time for a change.
This program takes a natural, old school, total body approach to your training protocol and throws in a twist.
You’ll be performing total body workouts three days a week with one exception: you will identify 1 body part that is lacking and dedicate two days per week solely on that body part. Do not immediately disregard this program simply because you think it’s not possible to make credible gains with a total body approach to your training split.
Your M-W-F workouts will consist of 12 sets of weekly volume which should be close to equal to the number of sets you are conducting if you are training each body part once a week. The Tues/Thur workouts are the days where you will focus on your prioritized body part and will consist of 12 sets per workout upping the training volume to 24 sets per week. This increase in volume will help elicit a positive adaptation of growth on the specific muscle group and over time your weakness will turn into your strength.
Progressive overload, aka the most important law of muscle-building, is the main training concept that we will utilize in order to force our muscles to adapt to greater demands. The majority of rep ranges being utilized will vary from 8-12, the proven rep ranges for muscular hypertrophy, with some targeted strength reps mixed in on the compound lifts.
Each workout and each week we will strive to make continued progress through increasing the weight or increasing the number of reps per exercise. For example, if you were able to squat 315 for 3x8 then the next week you would strive to increase your training volume by squatting 315 for 3x10. Once you can complete a given weight for all 12 reps then it is time to increase the weight.
In simple terms you can think of progressive overload as doing more over time. As long as you are continuing to make progress then your body is continually going to be forced to adapt.
For this example we will be prioritizing our Back as the one body part where we want to make significant improvements. You have the ability to select any body part you want, the only adjustments you will make is not including that body part in your total body split on M-W-F, so you can easily make the appropriate substitution.
- Try and keep workouts to 60-75 minutes. If you are in the gym for longer than that you are wasting a lot of time
- Make sure you conduct a thorough warm-up prior to beginning your working sets. Warm-up sets are not included in the workout routines.
- After 4-6 weeks evaluate your targeted body part. If significant progress has been met rotate your prioritized muscle group and begin again.
|Workout 1: Total Body 1||Sets||Reps||Rest (secs.)|
|Barbell Back Squat||3||6-8||120|
|Barbell Bench Press||3||6-10||120|
|Overhead Tricep Extension||3||8-12||60-90|
|Lying Hamstring Curls||3||8-12||60-90|
|Seated Lateral Raise||3||8-12||60-90|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||10-15||60-90|
|Dumbbell Hammer Curls||2||8-12||60-90|
|Workout 2: Specific Body Part 1||Sets||Reps||Rest (secs.)|
|Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown||3||8-12||60-90|
|One-Arm Dumbbell Row||3||8-12||60-90|
|Workout 3: Total Body 2||Sets||Reps||Rest (secs.)|
|Barbell Overhead Press||3||6-8||120|
|Dumbbell Incline Press||3||8-12||60-90|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift||3||8-12||60-90|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||10-15||60-90|
|Weighted Decline Crunch||3||10-20||60|
|Workout 4: Specific Body Part 2||Sets||Reps||Rest (secs.)|
|Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row||3||8-12||90-120|
|Seated Cable Row||3||8-12||60-90|
|Narrow-Grip Lat Pulldown||3||8-12||60-90|
|Workout 5: Total Body 3||Sets||Reps||Rest (secs.)|
|Barbell Good Morning||3||6-8||120|
|Close-Grip Bench Press||3||8-12||60-90|
|EZ Bar Curls||3||8-12||60-90|
|Seated or Standing Calf Raise||3||10-20||60|
|Seated Dumbbell Press||3||8-12||60-90|
|Dumbbell Sumo Squats||3||8-12||60-90|
|Dumbbell Flat Bench Chest Flys||3||8-12||60-90|
|Ab Wheel or Barbell Rollouts||3||Max||60|