Building Workout for massive, powerful muscles. I think one of the most commonly asked questions posed to me, and how did I
become so big? The next question of course is ďHow much do you bench
press?Ē. I think gaining quality muscle is a combination of several things:
proper nutrition, plenty of rest and a quality workout program.
I have been lifting to build
muscles and power for several years starting out in a homemade gym that my
friends and I built on my grandmotherís porch. Over the years I have learned
that there is more to building quality muscle than just lifting as much weight
as you can. Technique, planned workouts, proper nutrition
and being committed to becoming the very best that you can be are
integral factors to building hard, ripped muscle.
I have listed below a sample
weekís workout to build muscles and itís the same one I employ along with a
couple of my training partners. While workouts should be personalized, I hope
that you can take some hints that have helped me to get to the level that I am
at and incorporate them into your workouts to come up with the very best program
to assist you in making the gains that you desire.
ALís MUSCLE BUILDING WORKOUT
135 lbs 12-15 reps (warm-up)
225 lbs 12-15 reps (warm-up)
315 lbs 10-12 reps
405 lbs 8 -10 reps
495 6-8 reps
On occasion, I will go heavier, such as 550 lbs for a few reps.
Incline Dumbbell Bench
120 lbs 10 reps
150 lbs 10 reps
185 or 200 lbs 6-10 reps
For a finishing exercise, I will do either an incline hammer or incline smith
machine for high reps.
Back and Hamstrings
I always start with pull-ups as I think they are a great way to not only warm-up
your entire back, but to also build thick muscles.
3 sets 10-15 reps
Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows
225 lbs 10 reps
315 lbs 10 reps
405 lbs 10 reps
495 lbs 10 reps
Strongest Range Dead Lifts
I will normally start with 495 lbs on the bar and progress up to ten 45 lbs
plates on each side.
3 sets - as heavy as I can handle that day for 10-12 reps
As a finishing exercise, I like to use a single-arm movement such as a one-arm
cable row or a Hammer machine.
Stiff-Legged Dead Lifts
I will warm-up with 135 lbs and progress up to 405 lbs for 10 reps. I prefer to
work only 3 sets of this exercise, as I donít want to over train my
hamstrings. I think people tend to hit hamstrings during a back workout and over
training hamstrings will only lead to injury or muscle atrophy.
Lying Ham Curls
Keep in mind that when you work quads, you also fire the muscles of the
hamstrings. It is virtually impossible to isolate your quads (other than leg
extensions) when you are working out. I like to keep this movement at a high rep
range, such as 10-12 reps, for a maximum of 4 sets.
I like to use this machine to strengthen my squat and leg press. The abductors
act as stabilizers and by strengthening these muscles, I find my squat and leg
press improves. I can lift more weight. Keep this exercise at 3 to 4 sets for 10
- 15 reps. Donít believe the hype! This isnít the toning machine that you
once thought it was!
Day Off and a Day of Rest!
Shoulders and Calves
(MY FAVORITE DAY)
Seated Dumbbell Presses
100 lbs 10 reps
120 lbs 10 reps
150 lbs 10 reps
175 lbs 8-10 reps
60 lbs 10 reps
80 lbs 10 reps
100 lbs 8-10 reps
40 lbs 15-20 reps
I will either do Upright Rows or Front Dumbbell Raises for 3 sets to hit the
front deltoid muscle.
For the rear delt, I will perform Bent-Over Lateral Raises using 80-120 lbs for
I will start this exercise using two 45 lb plates on each side of the bar. I
will add 45 lb plate to each side for each set. I will work up to 8 plates on
each side. I think this is one of the exercises that has contributed a great
deal to my thick traps.
I prefer to do two different exercises for these muscles so I can activate the
muscles in different ways. I like to use a Seated Calf Machine to perform 4
sets. I will add on as many 45 lb plates as possible and still be able to
complete 10 reps. I will then move onto Standing Calve Raises or Straight-Legged
Toe Extensions on the leg press and complete four sets going as heavy as I can.
Triceps and Biceps
I like to train these muscles together as I find that I have a better workout on
the rest of my body parts throughout the week because your biís and triís
get hit when training your larger muscle groups.
I will usually perform 4 or 5 sets to really get my elbows warmed-up. My first
two sets are usually light so that I can perform 15-20 reps.
I will perform four sets of this exercise, increasing the weight with each set.
Rep range should stay around 10-12 reps.
Behind the Neck One Arm Dumbbell Extensions
This is one of my favorite exercises for triceps. I feel as though I can isolate
the triceps and since each arm gets its own workout, develop strength evenly in
my arms. I will use 65-75 lbs for 3 sets, 10-12 reps.
I love these because they burn! I like to perform 3 or 4 sets using light weight
for 10-12 reps.
Standing Barbell Curls
I hate these, but my partners seem to love them. I will start light and work up
to about 155 lbs on my 4th set.
Standing Dumbbell Curls
I donít use a lot of weight on this exercise because I really want to isolate
the bicep muscles. I donít believe in having to use your back to lift the
weight. I will perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Dumbbell Preacher Curl or Biceps Preacher Machine
I consider this exercise to be my ďfinishingĒ movement. 3-4 sets, 10-12
This is the day that my training partners and I go into the gym and take over
the leg area; very few people dare to enter this area when weíre there. The
most important aspect to remember when training legs is to WARM UP! I have seen
many guys go in and start squatting right off the bat; using a weight they have
no right using and tear a muscle. Leg injuries take a while to recover from.
Proper warm-up and stretching is essential to preventing injuries.
This exercise is my meat and potatoes. Squatting is difficult for me as I have
limited flexibility in my shoulders and have a hard time holding the bar on my
back to squat. My gym has a Nebula leg press and I have found it to be one of
the best pieces of equipment I have used. Not many leg presses allow you to load
2000 lbs and have a person stand on top! I prefer to keep my feet high on this
exercise and close together. Iím never sure how many sets we perform. We
normally start with 600 lbs on the machine and then add 100ís to each side on
each exercise until we reach 2000 lbs. We then lighten the load and change feet
position to the lower part of the platform for a full leg press. Keeping your
feet low incorporates your glute muscles and helps to build a power base. We
perform 3-4 sets.
then move over to the Smith Machine for squats. I can squat easier using the
Smith Machine because I donít have to hold the bar on my back. One of my
partners just ensures that the bar is turned so it does not hook on the base.
Iíll start at 135 lbs and go up to 405 or 495 lbs for 10 reps unless one of my
partners starts talking trash.
By this point, my legs are pretty exhausted and I will finish with leg
extensions using either a drop set or single leg method, all for 10-12 reps. My
partners will keep going doing hack squats, vertical leg presses or plieí
squats. I find that by keeping my leg workout short and simple, my legs grow
much more. Doing a lot of exercises and reps just burns my legs out and they
tend to shrink.
is - my secret to building thick muscles. Donít get me wrong - none of this it
set in stone. My training partners and I change our routine constantly. We will
even change the days that we train. Lifting should be about challenging yourself
and having fun. If you are in the gym and not having fun and constantly worn
out, try changing things. Do nothing but a workout of squats or challenge your
partner to a dead lifting contest - heck, hit an aerobics class - just do
something to have fun! Remember, the key
to building muscle is not about how long you are in the gym daily, but the quality of your workout !
Good Luck and Happy Lifting!
provided by Al Fortney