workout routineSummer bodies are built in winter.

Most people won't even begin to think about getting “ripped” for summer until well after those April showers have come and gone, and the threat of tank top season is closing in on them. But you're smarter than that. You know that you can't “rip” what isn't there, and that building a nice base of muscle before stripping away that fat is essential to rocking those more revealing tops with confidence. While the rest of the world is back in hibernation, and New Year's Resolutions are becoming a fading memory, you are ending winter with a bang. Pulling out all the stops to be sure that you have as much muscle as possible to be closer to the tighter, leaner, arm-baring, version of yourself that you hope to reveal this summer…

The Workout Routine: A 4-day workout split, featuring a push/pull/leg approach with added arm focus. Certain exercises contain a higher volume of sets in order to stimulate greater hypertrophy (muscle growth/adding size to the muscle). This is especially beneficial to advanced strength trainers stuck in the typical 3×10 rep/set rut. If you are newer to training, start with only 2-3 sets of each exercise.

workout routineWeights: Begin every weight session with a 5-10 minute dynamic warmup and 1-2 warmup sets (using lighter weight). Select a weight that presents a struggle for the last few reps. Remember to log your weight selection, being sure to increase weight whenever possible. Because the rep range varies within each exercise, the weight amount should not stay the same for every set. Adjust your poundage accordingly. If you can do 2-3 more reps than specified with your chosen weight, your weight is too light, and it is time to increase. You must push yourself for maximum results, every set should be challenging. There must be at least 48 hours in between repeating a specific day. Do not perform Days 2 & 3, or Days 4 & 1 on consecutive days, due to the nature of the exercises targeting similar muscles. End with 5-10 minutes of stretching, while the muscle is still warm to prevent injury.

Rest periods: unless otherwise specified, 30-60 seconds. Higher reps (10+) = shorter rests, low reps (<10) = longer rest — for weighted moves, no longer than 30 seconds for core/calf tri-sets.

Cardio: 2 days of cardio included in the workout routine. They are added to weight training days to accommodate a busier lifestyle, but can be done on different days, if preferred. When performing cardio and weights on the same day, opt to do weights first (this doesn't include the warm-up done before weights). If including more than 2 cardio days, choose to lower intensity every other session to reduce leg swelling. Be mindful, though, that the amount of cardio that you intend on doing is figured into your food allowance. Try not to use cardio to do the job that can be done with proper eating. Learn to appreciate cardio and what it can do for you (aid in recovery, heart/mental health), but don't unnecessarily abuse it.

Food: To truly get the most out of this or any workout routine, the food intake should match the nature of the workouts. For best results, eat at TDEE (maintenance) or above, at least on lift days. This is to provide sufficient energy for lifts, and to maximize muscle growth. The EM2WL weight loss calculator (set goal at “gain muscle, lose fat”) will give you an idea of your best calorie range for building muscle, and possibly losing body-fat. Attempt to eat 1g of protein per lb of body-weight (i.e. 150g for 150lb person) or 30% of your calorie intake, and sufficient carbs (around 40-45% of your total intake), mostly surrounding your workouts. (If diabetic, insulin sensitive, etc., eat carbs as per doctor/nutritionist orders).

**Follow plan for 4-6 weeks**

Day 1: Push

Exercise:

Reps

Sets

Incline Bench Press
6,6,8,10,12 5
Flat Bench Press
8,8,10,10,12 5
Decline Dumbbell Flyes
8,8,10,12 4
Weighted Dips
8,10,12 3
Shoulder Press 8,10,12 3
Calves tri-set
Standing Calf Raise
12,15,25 3
Seated Calf Raise
12,15,25 3
Leg Press Calf Raise 10,15,20 3

 

Day 2: Pull

Exercise:

Reps

Sets

Deadlift
6,6,8,10,12 5
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
8,8,10,10,12 5
Seated Cable Row
8,8,10,12 4
Cross-Cable Lat Pulldown
8,10,12 3
Preacher Curl 6,8,10,12 4
Core tri-set
Decline Medicine Ball Twist 15,15 2
Hanging Knee Raise
15,15 2
Hip Thrust
15,15 2
Cardio
15-30 minutes cardio

 

~Rest/Yoga/Cardio (opt.)~

 

Day 3: Legs – Giant Sets

Giant-sets = all exercises done in a row, with no rest. Rest 2-3 minutes between each giant set.

Exercise:

Reps

Sets

Giant set #1
Smith Machine Squat 10 4
Lying Leg Curl
10 4
Weighted Glute Ham Raise
10 4
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 10 4
Giant set #2
Leg Extension
10 4
Hack Squat 10 4
Leg Press 10 4
Barbell Front Squat
10 4

 

Day 4: Arms

Groups = Move through each exercise in the group, in order, w/30-40 second rest between exercises. Then return to the first exercise, and repeat for each set until all sets in that group is complete. Then begin the same process for the next group.

Exercise:

Reps

Sets

Group #1
Overhead Barbell Press 6,6,8,10,12 5
Barbell Curl
6,8,8,10,12 5
Lying Tricep Extension
6,8,8,10,12 5
Group #2
Upright Row 6,6,8,10,12 5
Incline Dumbbell Curl
6,8,8,10,12 5
Close-Grip Bench Press
6,8,8,10,12 5
Core:
Seated Knee-ins 25 2
Side Plank Hold as long as poss 2
Cardio
15-30 minutes cardio

~Rest/Yoga/Cardio (opt.)~

 

More of a visual person? Check out the “at-a-glance” options, by clicking on the desired day.

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