Author: Scott Smith
Fitness Tip for the week: Periodize your workout (Part 2)
Back in November I posted a sample workout that works really well when run in a circuit fashion, with the main focus of increasing calorie expenditure. Basically, the idea is to complete one high repetition set for a particular muscle group and move immediately to another without resting. If you did 12 of these total body workouts in one month, you did amazing!
For February I’m recommending a different style of workout with more of a focus on increasing muscle size. This workout will ask you to complete 6-15 sets of various exercises for one major muscle group before moving on to the next. Also, keep the weight relatively low and force your muscles into exhaustion by using a slow tempo, under 60 second rest intervals, and perfect form. Don’t go for explosive speed on these lifts. We aren’t trying to lift heavy weights at this point in the program.
And for the ladies who don’t like hearing about growing muscle, I need to remind you that as long as you aren’t taking in significantly more calories than you are burning you are not going to get huge. I promise. Muscle is a dense tissue that is critical for increasing your body’s ability to burn fat (and fat is much less dense and takes up more space in your skinny jeans). So just to make that clear … muscle burns fat, therefore building muscle is always good, regardless of whether you want to gain or lose weight.
Try this Back and Leg workout…
3 sets of 15 cable pulldowns (light weight)
4 sets of 8 – 12 seated row (moderate weight)
3 sets of 10-12 reverse dumbbell flyes (light weight)
2 sets of 20 bodyweight air or prisoner squats
3 sets of 20 walking lunges
4 sets of 8 – 12 front or back squats (moderate weight)
4 sets of 8 – 12 romanian deadlift (moderate weight)
Nothing ground breaking here, but remember the goal is to take no more than 60 seconds between sets (time yourself, this is not easy to do with a slow tempo and moderate weight). You can also SUPERSET a back lift with a leg lift to increase the intensity of the workout. (Example would be to go back and forth on rows and squats without any rest). My idea of a slow tempo is at least 2 seconds for each direction the weight travels.
After this workout your muscles will be primed for growth, so don’t forget to knock down a shake or meal immediately following your session.
Try this approach with other muscle groups but I wouldn’t do 12 sets on more than two muscle groups per workout or you will lose intensity by the end. Good luck!