LIFTING HEAVY THINGS
I do each of the headlined sections below ~1 time per week (I usually do one day on/one day off but lately I’ve been trying to squeeze in four workouts each week). To program my workout, I choose 2-4 exercises from each bolded group and arrange them hardest to easiest. I love supersetting but it’s easy to overdo it so I highly recommend reading more about them before you try adding supersets to your workout routine. There are variations of many of the exercises below (using a barbell or dumbbells, incline or decline, standing or sitting, alternating, etc.) so make sure you do your research and mix it up to keep your muscles guessing.
I can’t stress this enough: form is priority. But so is efficiency. I aim to finish any workout within 30 minutes (not counting any warm up work I do) and I think it’s one of the main reasons I get away with doing very little cardio. If you don’t bring your phone, that shouldn’t be a problem. ;) For real though, your phone has no place in the gym (it took me way too long to realize that my workouts take half the time if I leave my phone behind). If you use it to listen to music, put it on DND.
Incline dumbbell press
Hammer grip bench press
Dumbbell press (palms in)
Rear delt row
Arnold dumbbell press
Front plate raises
Side laterals/front raises
Dumbbell tri extension
Close grip bench press
One-arm dumbbell row
Alternating renegade row
Reverse grip bent over rows
Bent over barbell rows
Incline hammer curls
Bicep curls to shoulder press
Kettlebell sumo high pulls
I know it’s frowned upon but I only do a proper warm up when I feel like it. Every once in awhile I’ll run for 5-10 minutes (though very rarely because I hate running). On lower body days I’ll do kettlebell swings or wall balls or tabata squats. On upper body days I’ll do chin ups or pull ups or push ups. However, I always do a high rep warm up set before I start my workout. On hammie day it’s deadlifts, on bicep day it’s curls, on quad day it’s squats, and on chest day it’s bench press.
When I say “comfortable” weight I don’t mean easy. It’s just not weight you’re struggling to move.. until the 7th or 8th rep.
Italics = supersets
My goal on hammie day is to (almost always) totally fatigue my hamstrings. It works for me but is definitely not for everyone. I go heavy and hard. If you go that route ease into it otherwise you won’t be able to walk comfortably/right for DAYS.
Romanian deadlifts (5-6 sets; 10 rep weight to 3 rep weight)
Kettlebell one leg deadlifts
Kettlebell step ups
Kettlebell sumo deadlifts (5 sets; 30 seconds rest between sets)
Lying leg curls (3 sets to failure)
Ball curls (3 sets to failure)
I always aim to keep my bench weight relatively comfortable. Same with triceps. I go all out on my shoulders.
Bench press (5 sets; 10 rep weight to 6 rep weight)
Seated bent over rear delt raise
Car drivers (3-5 sets)
Incline dumbbell press
Incline dumbbell row
Side laterals to front raises (3 sets to failure)
I always push the limits on back squats. Everything else on quad day is just detail work. I lift comfortably and really focus on my form/keeping my core tight.
Front squat (5-6 sets; 10 rep weight to 3-4 rep weight)
Bulgarian split squat (3 sets each leg) (no rest between legs)
Kettlebell walking lunges (50 lunges each leg with as little rest as possible)
Calf raises w/ dumbbells in hand (3 sets to failure) (toes forward, inward, then outward)
I alternate between using comfortable weights + higher reps (10 reps max) and heavy weights + lower reps (3-5 reps). If your upper body bulks easily you’ll likely want to stick with comfortable weights.. unless you’re looking to bulk then get on with your bad self.
Hammer curls to shoulder press (5 sets)
Dumbbell curls (5 sets)
Reverse grip bent over rows
Kettlebell sumo high pulls (3 sets; heavy)
I rarely do abs but have a pretty solid core thanks to good form and - wait for it - genetics (I carry all my weight in my ass and thighs). A lot of people say abs are made in the kitchen and while there’s some truth to that, it also comes down to genetics and how your body distributes fat. Regardless, if you engage your core during your workouts, you shouldn’t have to spend much time training your abdominal muscles. If you want visible abs (and you naturally carry weight in your midsection), you’re going to have to train them like crazy and eat a diet that’s devoid of most things delicious.. which is no way to live, IMO. ;)
I completely overhauled my diet over the course of the past two years. I went from an unintentional low protein/low carb/low fat diet to high protein/high carb/high fat and I feel so much better for it. In early 2017 I started eating meat again because my body started craving it something fierce (big fan of intuitive eating) (and also a firm believer that our bodies know best). Prior to adding meat, I’d put a solid 14 pounds on my 110# frame but was having trouble putting on more weight (you can only eat so much, man). Once I started incorporating poultry back into my diet, I put on an additional eight pounds in two months (which is really fast for me; I'm a hard gainer). I currently weigh 140 pounds and am truly the strongest and healthiest I've ever been.
I pretty much eat whatever I want (within moderation) but I do try to cap my daily added sugar intake to 20g. If I end up going over, I don’t beat myself up about it because life's too fucking short, guys.
If you’re exhausted and truly don’t feel like working out, take a day off. Hell, take a week off. An entire month if that’s the signal your body’s throwing your way. I can count on one hand how many times I worked out from March 2017 to June 2017. It was an intense period of time for me and I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed and kick my own ass (or let someone else kick my ass). Eventually things calmed down and I picked right back up where I left off. Now, if you’re just being lazy.. get that ass to the gym. You’ll feel so much better for it, I promise.
- No I’m not bulky and yes most of my pants still fit (thank you, denim with elastic). Yes I still have cellulite but you know what? I give zero fucks about it (‘cause my ass looks good).
- Here’s a little before/after action (I've gained 10# since the photo on the right was taken).
- I use this planner to track my progress (very important when you’re trying to build muscle).
- I don’t track macros (that shit is for the birds) but I did track my protein intake in the beginning to make sure I was getting enough to build muscle.
- I drink a 36g protein shake within 30 minutes of finishing my workout. I use this protein powder and 1 scoop of this peanut butter powder (mixed with a fuckton of water). If I need an energy boost, I go for a full shot protein shake (made with this protein powder).
- Favorite crops and favorite tanks and favorite shoes (they provide zero support, though).
- Choose your protein powder wisely. Vega Performance Protein is the only plant-based protein powder I use. It certainly is not my favorite flavor wise (sooo much stevia) but I drink protein shakes to nourish my muscles, and Vega PP does that the best.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org but please note that I will not give out specific training/nutrition advice as I am neither a trainer or a nutritionist. I follow a program that works for my body and I urge you to figure out what works for your body, too.