Intro 5 – Training (Cutting and Bulking)

Everyone wants to have ripped abs, huge biceps and a big chest. And it’s easy to have them right? Do 1000 crunches everyday and your abs will eventually show, right? Do biceps curls every day and your biceps will explode from your T-shirt, right? Do bench presses and 1000 push-ups everyday and you’ll have a massive chest, right?

WRONG!

How come that’s wrong? Well… there are many reasons, unfortunately.

First of all, doing crunches will not make you lose your belly. To lose fat you must first look at your nutrition, then think about crunches – which aren’t a really good abs workout, but we’ll talk about that later. It’s been proved that you need to do around 100.000 crunches to lose only around 500 grams.

So, because we’ve started with “ripped abs”, let’s continue talking about them. How can you have abs? Well, let me tell you a secret. You already have abs, you already have a 6 pack or an 8 pack (depending on your genetics), it’s just that it’s covered by a layer of fat, or as we may all call it, the belly. How to lose it? By doing cardio, lifting weights and eating under your maintenance. Some think that doing 14 sessions of cardio every week, one in the morning and one in the evening, it’s all you need. Doing so, you will lose a lot of muscle and, if you’re nutrition is not in place, there’s a good probability that you won’t lose anything.

The rule is: 70% nutrition and 30% training. You can have the best training on the planet, lift 100kg overhead and jog everyday, if you don’t eat how you are supposed to eat, it won’t help you.

First you need to look over your “diet”, calculate your macros and stick with a healthy diet that will give you energy for your training. After that, find a workout that will work for you. Then, if your goal is to lose fat, add to your weight lifting workouts a minimum of 3 cardio sessions. If you’re a fat ectomorph – which I would really want to see, seriously – then it is not necessary to do cardio too often or too much because your body will burn a lot of calories just from staying in your couch and from your simple weight lifting workouts. But considering that fat ectomorphs are a rarity, you will have to do those cardio sessions.

And that’s it. Simple as that. Eat under your maintenance (read the Cutting article), have a weight lifting workout-program, do a minimum of 3 sessions of cardio per week. You don’t need to starve to lose weight.

 

Now you know the basics. Let’s continue talking about how you should train and what kind of cardio you should do to have the best results.

We continue talking about training for people who want to lose fat. When it comes to training, there are different styles of doing it. Full body, upper/lower split and single split.

A full body workout is when you work your entire body in one session. That means you will work you shoulders, back, chest, arms and legs in one session. In my opinion, this is the best for losing weight as you burn a lot of calories in a single session. The thing that you need to know is that, when doing such a training, you will need at least 48 hours between your training sessions so your muscles can recover. The 2nd thing you need to know is that these sessions should last somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes at MOST. The 3rd thing is that you will only do ONE exercise per body part in every session; if you do more than an exercise you will have to spend more time recovering. The 4th thing is to not rely on isolation exercises, but on compound exercises. The list below will give you examples of isolation and of compound exercises.

Compound exercises – work more muscles at the same time (use more than one joint):

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Bench presses
  • Overhead presses
  • Rows
  • Pull ups/Lat pull-downs

Isolation exercises – isolate only a single muscle (use only one joint):

  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps pushdowns
  • Cable/Dumbbell flies
  • Leg extensions
  • Leg curls
  • Lateral raises

Doing compound exercises will help you burn more calories and will train your body as a whole.

Upper/lower splits mean that you will train your upper body in one session, then your lower body in another. These are really good for building muscle as you can groups of muscle 2 times a week and can focus more on them. In these kind of training sessions you can incorporate isolation exercises because you will usually have 2 to 3 days of recovery.

Usually, upper/lower splits look like this – 1,2,3 are the days in which you workout:

  1. Upper body
  2. Lower body
  3. Rest
  4. Upper body
  5. Lower body
  6. Rest
  7. Rest

Single split routines should be used, in my opinion, by experienced lifters that have lifted for at least a year, know their body, how it works, and know how to use their muscles in a way that, for example, when they do a bench press (which works shoulders, chest and triceps) to use only their chest – isolate the chest, even if it is a compound exercise. For these kind of lifters, full body or/and upper lower splits will not work as well as for beginners.

A good example of this kind of split is the next one:

  1. Legs
  2. Chest
  3. Back
  4. Shoulders
  5. Arms
  6. Abs
  7. Rest

 

Continuing with cardio. The best cardio for losing fat and maintaining muscle is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. To explain it in a simple way, it means that you will do intervals of – for example – one minute of sprinting as fast as you can, one minute of rest (walking or just standing still), one minute of sprinting, one minute of rest, etc. This kind of cardio training shocks your metabolism, making it to burn fat and not muscle.

 

You know what to do, somehow, now. You know what kind of workout to choose, you know how to do your cardio. Now I will give you some routine examples for each of the training examples.

 

FULL BODY

Monday:

  • Squat
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Incline dumbbell bench press
  • Dumbbell shoulder press
  • Pull ups
  • Plank

Wednesday

  • Bench press
  • Bent over row
  • Military press
  • Lunges
  • Bodyweight jump squats
  • Leg raises

Friday

  • Deadlift
  • Clean and press
  • Dips
  • Chin ups
  • Step ups
  • Any kind of abs exercises
The days that haven’t been written mean that they are rest days, or cardio days for the ones who want to lose weight.

 

UPPER/LOWER SPLIT

Monday

  • Bench press
  • Incline bench press
  • Pull ups
  • Bent over rows
  • Military Press
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps pushdowns

Tuesday

  • Squat
  • Leg extension
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Seated leg curl
  • Calves raises
  • Abs workout

Thursday

  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Dips
  • Chin ups
  • Cable rows
  • Dumbbell shoulder press
  • Preacher curls
  • Overhead triceps extension

Friday

  • Deadlift
  • Hack squat
  • Good morning
  • Lying leg curl
  • Calves raises
  • Abs workout
The days that haven’t been written mean that they are rest days, or cardio days for the ones who want to lose weight.
SINGLE SPLIT
Monday – Legs
  • Squat
  • Leg press
  • Hack squat
  • Leg extension
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Leg curl
  • Seated calves raise
  • Standing calves raise

Tuesday – Chest

  • Incline chest press
  • Bench press
  • Dips
  • Dumbbell flies
  • Cable flies

Wednesday – Back

  • Pull-ups
  • Bent over rows
  • Cable rows
  • Overhand lat pull-downs
  • Lat pushdown

Thursday – Shoulders

  • Military press
  • Dumbbell lateral raise
  • Cable lateral raise
  • Bent over lateral raise

Friday – Arms

  • Biceps curl
  • Preacher curl
  • Hammer curl
  • Triceps pushdown
  • Skullcrusher
  • Overhead triceps extension

Saturday – Abs

  • Plank
  • Bicycle crunch
  • Leg raise
  • Side plank
Cardio sessions are chosen by personal preference on any of the lifting days.
There are also different ways of lifting, depending on your goal. First you will need to calculate your 1RM, which is the weight with which you can do only one repetition for a certain exercises – this means it is impossible for you to do a second rep. After doing this, look at the stats below and choose them depending on your goal – strength, power, muscle, fat loss or muscular endurance.
STRENGTH
Reps: 1-5, Sets: 4-7, Rest (between sets) :180sec, Weight: 85-100%
POWER
Reps: 1-5, Sets: 3-5, Rest (between sets): 120sec, Weight: 70-100%
BUILD MUSCLE
Reps: 8-12, Sets: 4-8, Rest (between sets): 90-120sec, Weight: 60-80%
FAT LOSS
Reps: 8-12, Sets: 4-6, Rest (between sets): 30-60sec, Weight: 60-70%
MUSCULAR ENDURANCE
Reps: 12+, Sets: 2-4, Rest (between sets): 60sec, Weight: 40-60%
And again, before I finish, don’t forget: 70% nutrition, 30% training.
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