While many of us claim to “love” the gym (some even document this affection with endless selfies), the truth is most of us only love the results. If going to the gym led to morbid obesity and early death, it’s doubtful we’d see those irritating posts telling us there are no excuses… which might actually be a good thing, but I digress.
The point is we go the gym to get results. It’s easy to stay motivated when things are going great — when you’re losing weight, getting stronger, looking better, feeling better, etc. It’s a different story when your progressing at the rate of continental drift.
So, how can you kick-start your fitness program? Here are some tips from some well-known fitness fanatics:
Creating a More Chiseled Chest
Although Arnold Schwarzenegger was known for his great arms (keep reading for further tips on building those as well), he’s probably most respected in bodybuilding circles for his killer chest. According to Schwarzenegger, he developed his prodigious pecs by working them in tandem with his back in an epic superset.
“One of the most important reasons why a chest-back superset program works so well is the fact that most chest exercises are pushing movements, while all back exercises are pulling exercises,” the Austrian Oak explained. “The chest muscles are resting during the last exercise and the lats are resting during the chest movement. While each muscle is alternately resting and working, [the chest] stays fully flushed and pumped up.”
“When the chest and upper back are pumped simultaneously, there is an indescribable feeling of growth stimulation and massiveness.”
Schwarzenegger’s Chest Workout
First Combo (5-6 sets)
- Bench press – Starting with 30-40 reps, then increasing the weight and decreasing the reps.
- Wide-grip behind-the-neck chin-ups – 15 reps.
Second Combo (5-6 sets)
- Incline barbell presses – 10-15 reps.
- T-bar rows – 10-15 reps.
Third Combo (5-6 sets)
- Flat-bench dumbbell flyes – 10-15 reps.
- Wide-grip barbell rows – 10-15 reps (performed standing on a block for better range of motion).
Fourth Combo (5-6 sets)
- Dips – 15 reps.
- Close-grip chins – 12 reps.
- Stiff-arm pullovers – 15-20 reps.
Building Bulging Biceps
Although Kenneth “Flex” Wheeler never won a Mr. Olympia title, he was highly respected in bodybuilding circles. Both Schwarzenegger and 8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman have called Wheeler one of the greatest bodybuilders in history — in large part due to his awesome aesthetics and bulging biceps.
Yet, Wheeler did not do a crazy number of sets and reps to achieve his 24-inch guns.
“The biceps are relatively small muscles, and it shouldn’t take much work to exhaust them if you’re training them hard,” Wheeler explained. “I do no more than 10 sets once per week, but if I push every set to failure, that’s the perfect amount to keep my arms consistently growing without overtraining.”
Wheeler’s Bicep Workout
- Cambered-bar curls — 4 sets of 10 reps.
- One-arm preacher curls — 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Concentration curls — 3 sets of 10 reps.
Lifting for Large Legs
There is only one name when it comes to growing gigantic gams (you’re welcome for the 1950s slang) — Tom Platz.
Platz never won a Mr. Olympia title — his best showing was in 1981, when he checked in third after many of the top pros boycotted — but, in his heyday, his legs were only slightly less impressive than Heidi Klum’s. (Klum had her legs insured for $2 million in 2004 but found out that her left leg didn’t measure up to her right one. ”I had one scar here from when I fell on a glass, so this [left leg] isn’t as pricey and this [right] one,” she told Showbiz Spy.)
Platz had no such concerns about symmetry. The man known as “Quadzilla” was a big believer in volume… lots and lots of volume.
“Every successful athlete — or businessperson — enjoys taking calculated risks. You have to. Especially in the gym when you’re squatting 500 for reps and you can’t get one more but grunt out ten. Your nose starts bleeding, you fall into the rack and that’s set one,” Platz says.
Platz’s Nosebleed… Uh, Leg… Workout
- Squats — 8-12 sets of 5-20 reps.
- Hack Squats — 5 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Leg Extensions — 5-8 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Lying Leg Curls — 6-10 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Standing Calf Raises — 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Seated Calf Raises — 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Hack Machine Calf Raises — 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Up to 6.9-pound increase in lean muscle.
- Up to 22.5-pound improvement in the bench press.
- Up to 52.5-pound increase in the squat.
Also remember to consume a high-quality, fast-digesting protein like Zero Carb® Pristine Protein® after your workouts for maximal results!