Introduction to the Workout
I’ve often been asked by many people in past how I am capable of possessing such immense physical strength and how I am able to lose significant weight when I desire to. This strength through which I demonstrate in the gym is typically through me lifting weights by dumbbells on an incline bench or bench presses. The fact that people were usually surprised is the size of my physique. I’m not a large individual, and I’m not small either. Rather, I’m a well-built individual that carries a significant amount of lean muscle. But at the same time, I am no bodybuilder, and I don’t bother showing my physique since I couldn’t care less what others think. People always wonder how I am able to lift heavy dumbbells or how I bench more than them since they are bigger than me. I always catch the attention of people at the gym, and it’s not only because I’m only a regular either. People who recognize me would be like, “Oh it’s that Asian kid again that has the strength of Superman.” I’m rather a memorable individual in the gym.
To answer this commonly asked question would require the use of many variables, that are not merely related to what type of workout is done in the gym, but also the unique characteristics each person may possess or not. Therefore, there isn’t a simple, straightforward answer to their question.
A lot, if not the majority of people at the gym are training to look good. Most people are only going to be in the weight room and doing resistance strength training. Clearly, they are doing this only to gain bigger muscles so they can please themselves and other peers.
From my observation, when the majority leave, they will not go do aerobic exercises. If they do, it’s only extremely slow aerobic exercises like walking on a treadmill for 5-10 minutes without any struggle.
My workouts aren’t used to impress or please other people but rather to gain and maintain functional fitness. I might impress some people in the weight room, but that isn’t my intention. To be honest, I’m also very impressive when it comes to aerobic fitness. This aspect of cardio training is so underwhelming that people are no way as impressed to see one athlete do high-intensity interval training than a bodybuilder lifting heavy weights. Aerobic fitness alone can not be seen as exclusively masculine compared to strength training. Society emphasizes masculinity through particular showcases of ripped, bulky men with bulging muscles in the media today. Aerobic fitness is more likely to be perceived as being linked to femininity. After all, to build muscle one must lift weights. By only doing aerobic exercises, one can not gain the body muscles that people deeply desire.
The Workout Description
My workouts are more concerned with strength, endurance (both muscular and more importantly: cardiovascular), agility. The purpose of my workouts is to stay physically fit, achieve and maintain leanness, be able to endure more physical demanding environments, and being able to handle stress more efficiently. This workout routine is more closely resembling one of a triathlete since there is an emphasis on cardio. For the weightlifting proportion of my workout, you are going to be focusing on strength and lean muscle, NOT mass. Mass is extra weight to your body that you have to carry around. With all the running in this workout routine, the extra 10 pounds of muscle mass will hinder your body from performing optimally in aerobic exercises.
My Workout Routine
Day 1: Chest
Incline dumbbell bench press : 5 to 6 sets – 6 to 15 reps (If lifting heavier dumbbells, tend to go for 5 to 6 reps especially when cutting to maintain lean muscle and strength.)
Flat Bench press : 4 to 5 sets – 8 to 13 reps
Dumbbell flyes : 2 to 3 sets – 6 to 12 reps
Cable Crossovers : 3 sets – 10 to 13 reps
Day 2: Shoulders
Dumbbell press : 4 sets – 6 to 10 reps
Lateral raises, front, side, and rear : 3 sets to 12 reps
Arnold presses : 4 sets – 8 to 12 reps
Shoulder shrugs – 3 sets – 8 to 13 reps
Day 3: Back
Pulldowns : 3 to 4 sets – 12 to 15 reps (If lifting heavier weight or weight close to body weight, 5 to 8 reps.)
Seated rows : 4 sets – 8 to 12 reps
One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets – 8 to 12 reps
Day 4: Triceps
Pushdowns : 3 sets – 8 to 12 reps
Close grip Pushdowns : 4 sets – 8 to 15 reps
Reverse Grip Pushdowns : 3 sets – 8 to 10 reps
Overhead Tricep Extensions : 3 sets – 8 to 10 reps
Day 5: Biceps
Standing dumbbell bicep curls: 3 sets – 8 to 10 reps
Alternate dumbbell curls : 3 sets – 8 to 10 reps
Alternate dumbbell hammer curls : 3 sets – 8 reps
Seated barbell preacher curls : 4 sets – 8 to 10 reps
One-Arm dumbbell preacher curls : 4 sets – 8 to 12 reps
Cable curls : 4 sets – 8 to 13 reps
Day 6: Legs
Leg presses (both negative and calf raises) : 4 sets – 18 to 25 reps
Seated leg curls : 3 sets – 12 to 15 reps
Seated leg extensions : 3 sets – 13 to 15 reps
Dumbbell Rear Lunge : 3 sets – 13 reps
Day 7 : Rest
Modifications to Workout and Schedule
Every three weeks, I will change my exercises, so my muscles do not plateau.
My workout schedule above is subject to change depending on how busy am I. But the plan shown is ideal for me. I may do chest and triceps on the same day rather than split them into two different days.
I take my cardio very seriously. I jog, walk or run on the treadmill many times per week, particularly after my weightlifting sessions. This serves multiple purposes: to improve and maintain my aerobic fitness (Endurance not only helps improve my weightlifting abilities but also help me handle and decrease stress in the real world), maintain body weight or decrease body fat (Excellent for cutting), perhaps I’m bulking and want to minimize the body fat gained, get rid of harmful bodily toxins through sweating, and helps me become happier by releasing endorphins. I may also do high-intensity interval training for at least 3 to 4 times each week. If my leg muscles are recovering, I may choose instead to just go for a jog or a walk on the treadmill on a slight incline for 8 to 25 minutes depending on how much available time I have left. If I’m not cutting, and thus, not doing HIIT or jogging, I will at least be walking on the treadmill after strength training for 25-35 minutes on a slight incline.
My diet is actually very simple. Most of the protein I consume comes from foods such as steak, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk. About 50 to 60% of my protein intake derives from supplements. I eat MusclePharm Combat Crunch Bars, Pure Protein bars, and Kellogg’s Vector Meal Replacement Breakfast Cereal. I also like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder. As for pre-workout supplements, I take Cellucor’s C4 Explosive Energy.
I eat Sushi occasionally, Chinese food (Rice and Noodles), Wonton soup, and Vietnamese noodle soup on special occasions. I rely on low-fat bodybuilding staples like potatoes and brown rice to fuel my workouts and help speed up recovery. Mushrooms are great too. If I have a sugar tooth, I may rarely eat a little bit of ice cream. I eat tons of vegetables, notably broccoli (Especially when I’m cutting). Therefore, my diet is generally low in carbohydrates. Prior to my workouts and after, I may fuel up on carbohydrates for extra energy so I may perform better at the gym and speed up recovery after. I stay away from carbohydrates and refrain from eating 5 to 6 hours before going to bed. If I’m hungry before bed, I will generally just ignore the hunger by going to sleep or by drinking water or a protein shake.