Sunday, December 27, 2009

The 3 to 5 "Plus" Program

     Here's a simple program that really works well when it comes to gaining strength and plenty of muscle to go along with it.  In fact, it may be more conducive to muscle growth than to pure strength.

     Okay, first things first.  Go back and read my post on "The 3 to 5 Method for Strength and Power."  Here's a quick link.

     Read it?  Good.  Now, the one thing I want you to do different with the training program here is I want you to limit your training to just 3 days each week (as opposed to 4 or 5).  This way you have enough energy to perform the "plus" part of the training program—don't worry, we'll get around to just what the "plus" part is in a moment—and enough recovery time between workouts.
     So the 3 to 5 part of the workout might look like this:
Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps
Deadlifts: 5 sets of 3 reps
Bench Presses: 4 sets of 5 reps
Close-Grip Chins: 4 sets of 5 reps
     When you are finished with that portion of the workout, you will now perform the "plus" portion.  For this, pick a bodypart that is lagging behind the others and needs a little "specialization" work.  Then, pick a good "bang-for-your-buck" exercise to train the muscle group.  If your chest is sub-par in development, for instance, you could choose the dumbbell bench press.
     On this exercise, perform 100 reps.  Pick a weight, however, where you would typically reach failure between 25 and 30 reps.  Don't count sets.  Just count reps.  Do however many sets it takes until you reach 100.
     If you have a bodypart that is really lagging behind the others, then you could work it at each training session.  If you have several that need attention, then rotate exercises at each training session for a different muscle group.
     A week of training might look like this:
Monday
Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps
Deadlifts: 5 sets of 3 reps
Bench Presses: 4 sets of 5 reps
Close-Grip Chins: 4 sets of 5 reps
Dumbbell Bench Presses: 100 reps
Wednesday
Front Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps
Power Cleans: 5 sets of 3 reps
Incline Bench Presses: 5 sets of 3 reps
Bent-Over Rows: 4 sets of 5 reps
Dumbbell Squats: 100 reps
Friday
Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps
Deadlifts: 5 sets of 3 reps
Bench Presses: 4 sets of 5 reps
Close-Grip Chins: 4 sets of 5 reps
Pullovers: 100 reps
     This is another one of those workouts that looks simple on paper—and it is.  But that doesn't mean that it's not highly effective.  It's that too.

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