With each exercise start with a light weight (3-5lbs) and do 8 reps to warm up. Then go to the highest weight you can do for 8-10 reps while paying strict attention to technique and form. After completing that set, immediately drop down to a slightly lower weight and do it to very near failure and continue to work each successively lighter set to failure or near failure down to the fifth set where you then pick a weight light enough that you can do 20 to 30 reps to max out the slow twitch endurance fibers more completely. Now you rest, usually from a minute to a minute and a half if you need it. The time required for each muscle group is short; typically 3-6 minutes including rest whether you use one, two or three different exercises for the muscles groups. Repeat the method, working different muscle groups. This can be a whole body workout in one trip to the gym or broken up into two or three workouts.
NOTE: More seasoned lifters will want to add a second or even third exercise immediately after the first one that works the same muscles before resting. Or you can simply repeat the first set again for multiple sets.
Shoulders: Lateral raises to work all three parts of the shoulder, front, middle and back. Start with the elbows slightly bent and leaning slightly forward. The dumbbells or cables are raised to shoulder height keeping the little finger raised slightly higher than the other fingers.
Chest: Choose either an incline, flat or decline bench to start and it’s best to rotate every two weeks between the three bench angles to build the top, middle and bottom portion of the chest muscles. When decreasing the weight from the heaviest to the lightest weight it is good to change quickly to each lighter weight as the chest muscles recover very quickly due to an exceptional blood supply. This is especially true when doing the last set as it should be quite thoroughly fatigued before beginning the high repetition set.
Triceps: Use dumbbells, an EZ curl bar or a pulldown lat bar.
Biceps: Use dumbbells and rotate the palm inward to maximize contrac- tion, or an EZ curl bar or cables. The EZ curl bar can be done with reverse curl to work the forearms.
Back: Use lat pulldown, bent over rows or dumbbells as shown.
Legs: Use dumbbells or an olympic bar and only do two or three sets before abandoning any added weight and do the high rep set without any weight.
Calves: Use two heavy dumbbells going up on one tip toe and back down to the ground or go up on both tiptoes if you’re unable to do it with one leg only. This is repeat- ed using only one dumbbell and then no dumbbells for the high rep set.
Abdominals: Start the warmup with 7 set-ups and then add as much weight in the form of a plate or cable held behind your neck that you can do 10-12 set-ups and almost no more. Next, reduce the weight and go for four sets with successively lighter weight and then do 20-30 with no weight.
This workout will get you started and beyond. Add different exercises for each body part as you see fit. Change up your routine periodically to ensure a more complete workout and to prevent the workout from getting stale or boring.
Tip: Wanting to kick this workout up a notch? Try sprinting through the last 4-5 reps of each of the high rep sets. Enjoy the power this workout, the time efficiency, its ability to build muscle and the ability to provide growth of both the strength and speed muscle fibers and the endurance muscle fibers, and providing cardio. You will learn to both respect and enjoy it and. Make it your own.
“Adding a good exercise program to your life can give you a lot more life. For many years I was all about diet for my patients’ health. Then when I began to add resistance exercise to my patients health program it began to fix problems I had previously only partially improved. I saw the exercise catapult them to the next level. That improvement was not only seen in their increase in energy and their physical health, but in their mental health, their relationships and their overall productivity each day.” — Dr. Lane Sebring
Special thanks to Justice Quintana my trainer and his wife Rachel Emery and the use of their gym, Just Results for this photo shoot and their Krav Maga classes.
Dr. Lane Sebring