Workout Wednesday: Lower Body Mixed Methods

Size, strength and explosiveness – your training goals may vary, but if you’re after all three and you’ve got a legs day coming up, mix this workout in once a week.

A variance of rep ranges serves to address multiple goals: higher rep strict movements for hypertrophy, some heavier low-rep movements for strength gains and even some dynamic movements to improve your athleticism and explosiveness!

Romanian Deadlifts

4×12. Keep your knees only slightly bent, and keep your lower back flat and feet no further than hip-width apart.

Front Squats

5×5. Maintain a neutral head position, and keep your elbows up – eye-level, if you can – throughout the lift. Take a stance at least as wide as shoulder-width.

DB Reverse Lunges with added ROM

3×6 per leg, doing all reps for a single leg at once before alternating. Use a short platform (6-12 inches) for your front foot, and lunge backward. Let your back knee drop to an inch above the ground without hitting it.

Box Jumps, Broad Jumps or Jump Squats

5×3, max effort. Jump as high or far as you can for three max-effort reps. If you don’t have a box or platform, broad jumps and jump squats are perfectly suitable alternatives requiring no equipment.

Optional: Ab Circuit

Three tri sets – no rest between exercises: Crunches (30, 20, 15), planks (30 seconds), hanging leg raises (10, 8, 6)

WORKOUT: Squat for Strength

Few lifts are as gratifying to watch grow as is the squat. When executed with good form, the barbell squat is an iconic exercise that belongs in almost everybody’s workout regimen.

Building up squat strength can take time, because it is a “skill” lift – by nature of being a compound lift, many moving parts demand practice and control. Once you have developed a clean, well-formed squat, however, you can start building big all-body strength. Below are a few key squat pointers, followed by a workout you can execute twice a week to start increasing the load you can hoist on this classic lift.

Squat Keys

1. Plant the heels. Many amateur squatters experience knee problems from squats, not because the movement is inherently unsafe, but because of this common form mistake. When you shift your weight to the balls of your feet instead of your heels, you immediately put more stress on the knees and allow them to track forward over your toes. When you first unrack the weight, try a brief moment of popping up onto your toes (as if you were doing a calf raise), then lower yourself and dig in with your heels. Your choice of shoe matters for squats too – either go barefoot, or use a hard, flat sole.

2. Chest up; head neutral. Focus on a point on the wall at standing eye level in front of you, and keep your chest elevated with your shoulder blades pulled back together. This position ensures that your shoulders won’t round forward during the squat, which again can bring the weight forward, creating a dangerous position for your lower back and knees.

3. Refer to your joints. Meaning: Your ankles, hips and knees should all be indicators of your form. At the bottom of the squat, your hip joint should be parallel to your knees; the bar and your shoulders should be over your ankles. Get a spotter or use the timed camera on your phone to check your form and make any adjustments you notice.

The Workout

Walking Lunges: 2×20 per leg. Lunge forward with your right leg, hands on your hips and torso erect, and land on your right heel. Your back knee should drop low but not hit the floor; before it does, begin the next step quickly.

Squat: 10 (warm-up set), 10, 5×3, 3×3, 1×3

This pattern will get you stronger. By working up to a heavier load gradually, you spend more time under heavy weight while still getting the requisite reps for muscle growth. If you have a squat belt and/or knee wraps, consider using them on your sets of 3 and 1.

Foam Roller/Hamstring Stretches: 5 minutes. Do a variety of leg stretches to increase blood flow and help reduce soreness. Focus on the calves, hamstrings and quads (note – foam rollers on the quads may be uncomfortable).

Suspension or Swiss ball hamstring curls: 3×12. Lying on your back with your feet in suspension cables or heels on a Swiss ball, keep your arms flat at your sides and lift your hips off the ground. Now, curl the ball toward your butt using your hamstrings, and roll it back out until your legs are fully extended again. That’s one rep.

Post-Thanksgiving Recovery Week

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving, taking full advantage of the day-long dietary cheat you’ve worked so hard to enjoy!

But now that you’ve sufficiently loaded up on gravy and pie, it’s a new week and time to get back at it. Do you need to do anything drastic? Assuming you went into the holiday following a consistent plan, the answer is no. But our goal this week is to provide you a quick jolt that will get you right back into the flow anyway, because establishing consistency quickly is the key to rebounding from those breaks where you fall off the wagon a bit.

Bookmark this page for this week, as we’ll have updates to it daily with workouts, supplement suggestions and more!

Hit a full-body fat detox workout to get the blood flowing and your whole musculature involved to shake it up from the holiday slumber.

Additionally, consider introducing a fat-burning supplement stack:

As directed –

  • LIPOCOR: A lipid replacement system that provides your body with the fats it needs so it can get rid of the stored ones it doesn’t. Improves skin, hair and muscle tone as well.
  • HYPERCOR: Effective fat-burners that work in several different stages to attack body fat on multiple fronts. Great to stack with LIPOCOR!
  • DETOXIN: Flushes the kidneys and liver, ridding the body of excess water, waste and toxins that cause bloating and distention. Increases digestive effectiveness.

Upon waking –

  • BCAA: Branched-chain amino acids help repair and rebuild muscle tissue, plus save already-existing tissue from catabolism. CRUCIAL when trying to lose body fat because they force the body to use it as energy instead of turning to muscle tissue for it.

30 mins. pre-workout–

  • BCAA
  • THERMOVEX/NOX-P3/STANCE: Energy boost and increased blood flow for your workout to maximize results and let you get a more intense session in — perfect for high-intensity workouts.

Immediately post-workout–

  • PRO7EIN SYNTHESIS: Complete protein blend to restore, replenish muscles.
  • 1 Banana. This is basically the only time simple sugars will be beneficial to you!

MONDAY

4 Tri-Sets: Pull-Ups to Failure/12 Squats/12 Bench Press

4 Supersets: 8 Clean-to-Push Press/5 Box Jumps (technically a tri-set, with three movements, but the clean-to-push press is a compound movement)

Burnouts (complete two sets of each movement to failure, resting just :15 seconds between sets, before moving on to the next movement)

-Plyometric Pushups

-Squat Jumps

-Inverted (Hanging) Rows

TUESDAY

15 minutes high-intensity interval training on the treadmill or elliptical. Alternate in this order: 1 minute of running (about 70-80 percent intensity), 30 seconds of sprinting (100 percent intensity), 30 minutes of jogging. Repeat 5-7 times.

WEDNESDAY

4 Tri-Sets: 12 Bent-Over Rows/12 Stiff-Legged Deadlifts/12 Incline Bench

4 Supersets: 8 Clean-to-Push Press/5 Box Jumps

Burnouts (complete two sets of each movement to failure, resting just :15 seconds between sets, before moving on to the next movement)

-Plyometric Pushups

-Squat Jumps

-Inverted (Hanging) Rows

THURSDAY

15 minutes high-intensity interval training on the treadmill or elliptical. Alternate in this order: 1 minute of running (about 70-80 percent intensity), 30 seconds of sprinting (100 percent intensity), 30 minutes of jogging. Repeat 5-7 times.

-Core Circuit: 3 Tri-Sets — 8 Hanging Leg Raises/15-30 crunches (or 10-12 Janda sit-ups for the more advanced)/:30-:45 planks

-Additionally, use today to get some high-quality, extensive stretching in. Foam-roll the hamstrings, calves, upper back and quads; this will alleviate and prevent soreness and tightness.

FRIDAY

4 Tri-Sets: Pull-Ups to Failure/12 Squats/12 Bench Press

4 Supersets: 8 Clean-to-Push Press/5 Box Jumps

Burnouts (complete two sets of each movement to failure, resting just :15 seconds between sets, before moving on to the next movement)

-Plyometric Pushups

-Squat Jumps

-Inverted (Hanging) Rows

The NUTRISHOP Hard-Gainer Trainer

Those of us who are naturally more thin and lean and have trouble adding and maintaining weight of any kind are called “hard gainers,” and we’ve got the workout and supplement plan for you!

The goal every time you hit the gym should be hypertrophy — the increase in muscle volume. To achieve this on a lean frame, you won’t be able to simply use a generic workout plan. Like all lanky guys experience when we clothes shop, you need something a bit more custom-fitted, tailored to you. Forget three sets of 10. We need to reach deep muscle fibers, building the slow-twitch ones larger and the fast-twitch ones stronger. To do that, we’ve set up this workout plan that will not only add size, strength and endurance of strength, but will provide just enough of a calorie burn to ensure that you’re not storing up fat.

Follow this plan for 4-6 weeks, and DO NOT cheat yourself — make every workout, do every set and get every rep. Anything less than full effort is a failure! It is a four-day split, with three rest days, ample time to get both physical and mental rest before you’re back in the gym, so there are no “burnout” excuses here.

Download and print out the .PDF version of this workout for easy gym use!

The supplement plan that works best for hard gainers is one that addresses the need for a calorie surplus, muscle recovery and rebuilding and even hormonal issues that aren’t as uncommon as you might think.

Absolutely, if you’re a hard gainer trying to build muscle fast, we recommend:

  • GAINER7, MASS COMPLEX, KARBOLYN or MASS FUZION — all effective at delivering quality calories in a hurry post-workout.

  • BCAA SPORT. Around the clock, your body needs amino acids to prevent catabolism, where the body feeds on muscle storage for energy.

  • N’FUZE  — Abundantly researched and shown to increase muscle volume and strength, there is no reason to pick a low-quality version of creatine anymore — it’s mostly a very affordable supplement. Kre-Alkalyn is a buffered form of creatine that ensures nearly 100 percent of this product goes to the muscles and doesn’t get converted into useless creatinin.

  • ANITEST, ARABOL, AUGMENT, 1-XD and HGH-191 are outstanding options to get your body back to growing, the natural way. Hard gainers are hard-wired to simply not produce much muscle mass. This can be changed with more natural testosterone production. As many lean guys can attest, during puberty there was one massive growth spike where we got taller and filled out (at least as much as we were going to). Natural testosterone, which caused that spike, decreases dramatically as men get older, leading to increases in body fat and decreases in muscle  mass.

  • Pre-workout products like N’SANE, NOX-P3, ANX-P3, STANCE and THERMOVEX deliver more energy, both of mind and body, for the most high-quality workouts you can get. Plus, the increased blood flow means your other supplements are working more efficiently.

THE TRAINING PLAN

MONDAY (Chest and Back)

5 Supersets: Wide-grip pull-ups (failure)/barbell bench press (x12). Clear the bar with your chin and lower yourself all the way down; likewise, on bench, pull the bar down to your chest and, without bouncing it, drive it back up. Perfect form is the biggest key.

5 Supersets: T-bar rows (x12)/dumbbell incline press (x12).

5 Supersets: Seated cable rows (x12)/dumbbell flys (x12).

TUESDAY (Legs and Abs)

5 Supersets: Wide-stance squats (x12)/narrow-stance leg press (x12). On the leg press, keeping your feet close together, toes pointed straight forward, will target the upper leg’s outer sweep more, while a wider squat with the toes pointed slightly outward allows for a deeper, more engaging movement.

5 Supersets: Romanian deadlifts (x12)/wall sits (x15 seconds).

5 Supersets: Hamstring curls (x12)/seated calf raises (x20).

3 Supersets: Hanging leg raises (x8)/decline crunches (x10)/planks (x30 seconds).

WEDNESDAY (Arms)

5 Trisets: EZ Bar Curls (x6)/French triceps press (x12)/Reverse-grip curls (x6)

3 Supersets: Weighted dips (to failure)/preacher curl machine (x25)

3 Trisets: Hammer curls (x10 per arm)/V-bar cable pushdowns (x20)/incline dumbbell curls (x10 per arm)

THURSDAY (Shoulders and Abs)

4 Supersets: Arnold Presses (x12)/Upright rows (x12)

Standing overhead press: 4×12

5 Supersets: Lateral raises (x15)/front raises (x15)

3 Trisets: Hanging leg raises (x10)/decline crunches (x12)/planks (x30 seconds)

 

The NUTRISHOP Lean Gains Plan for Men

When we hear people set fitness goals, we usually here one or the other of these: to gain muscle mass, or to lose fat.

We’re asking — why not both? While it is more difficult to achieve both goals at the same time, it is possible, and it’s not as hard as some may think. Building lean, strong muscle mass while losing body fat is the holy grail of fitness goals outside of athletic performance, and it requires a dedicated adherence to a smart diet plan and goal-focused training plan.

That’s why we’ve put together this week-long workout you can repeat up to six weeks straight: The NUTRISHOP Lean Gains Plan for men.

For a .PDF version of this file you can print out and take to the gym with you, click here!

With five days a week of weight training (three lower-body, two upper-body), followed by a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, the focus will be on short-but-effective workouts that limit rest periods. Keep them to no longer than 60 seconds between sets; if a superset is listed, you take no rest between exercises within the superset and rest only after the superset is complete. Each day has varying levels of intensity, with Days 2 and 3 sure to be your most grueling workouts.

After every workout, perform 15 minutes of HIIT, using a 45-15 method — that is, go 45 seconds at 70-75 percent effort, followed by 15 seconds of all-out effort. Then ramp it back down and repeat.

We’ve included recommended supplements to take as well, and the timing of them, to maximize your results.

Pre-Workout Supplementation:

45 minutes before workout – 4 ARABOL, 3 N’FUZE, 3 N’RAGE

10-15 minutes before workout: Pre-Workout (NO-XP3, HEMOVEX, N’SANE, VASOCOR, STANCE, ERRATIC, BLUEPRINT)

Intra-Workout Supplementation:

1/2 to 1 scoop of KARBOLYN XR3, 1 SCOOP BCAA

Post-Workout Supplementation:

1.5 scoops PRO7/FORZAPRO, 3 N’FUZE, 3 N’RAGE

1.5 Hours After Workout:

Post-Workout Meal – lean protein, small slow-burning carb (half a sweet potato or 1/4 C of oatmeal, for example), small piece of fruit

DAY 1 LOWER BODYopener-squat-supercharged-ss

Squats: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 (increase weight)
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 14, 12, 10, 8 (increase weight)
Power Cleans: 6, 6, 4, 4, 3
Jump Squats: 4 sets to failure

15 mins HIIT

DAY 2 UPPER BODY

3 Supersets: 12 DB Bench Press/12 Bent-Over DB Rows. Use the exact same dumbbells for both movements, never setting them down.

3 Supersets: 12 Incline BB Bench Press/12 Wide-Grip Pull-Ups. If you can’t do 12 pull-ups, either use an assisted pull-up machine or (if you can’t do even 6-8) go to failure.

3 Supersets: 10 Plyometric Push-Ups/12 Medicine Ball Slams. If you don’t have access to medicine balls (or the gym doesn’t like you slamming them into the ground), you can sub in Wide-Grip Standing Cable Pushdowns.

3 Supersets: 10 DB Flys/10 Inverted Rows. Perform your inverted rows on a Smith machine by lowering the bar, then simply pull yourself up, belly up and body parallel to the ground.

15 mins HIIT

DAY 3 LOWER BODY/CORE

5 Supersets: 5 deadlifts (heavy)/12 narrow-stance squats (light)

4 Supersets: 5 Bent Kettlebell Presses/Plank for 45 seconds (30 if you cannot do 45)

5 Supersets: 3 Power Clean-to-Front Squat/3 per leg – Alternating Box Step-Ups, holding a plate overhead

3×12: Hanging Leg Raises

4×5 per arm: Cable Chop

4×5 per arm: Cable Lift

15 mins HIIT

DAY 4 – REST DAY (HIIT OPTIONAL)

DAY 5 UPPER BODY

3 Supersets: Alternating One-Arm DB Bench Press (8 per arm)/Alternating One-Arm DB Rows (8 per arm) — on the bench press, hold two dumbbells, with the off-hand stabilizing one just above your chest, not resting on it, while the other works.

3 Tri-Sets: 8 DB Standing Press/8 Flat-Bar Triceps Cable Pushdowns/8 Reverse-Grip Pull-Ups

15 mins HIIT

DAY 6 LOWER BODY

4 Supersets: 5 Squats/12 Leg Extensions (heavy on squats, light on extensions)

4 Supersets: 5 Deadlifts/12 Hamstring Curls (heavy on DLs, light on curls)

3 Supersets: 8 Alternating Forward Lunges (per leg)/8 Seated Calf Raises

15 mins HIIT

DAY 7 – REST DAY

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Short on Time? Hit These Three Lifts

The standing press is a great one to incorporate, whether you're in a rush or trying to hone upper-body strength.

The standing press is a great one to incorporate, whether you’re in a rush or trying to hone upper-body strength.

You need to work out, but you don’t have time for a comprehensive, all-encompassing session full of time-consuming, single-joint movements to complement your other lifts, or you can’t do a dedicated muscle group day. Not a problem. You can always do three staple lifts without missing a beat.

DEADLIFTS: There’s hardly a more functional, muscle-engaging exercise than the deadlift; some even rank it above the squat — consider your every-day life, and how often you might bend over to pick something up, compared to getting under it and putting it on your back. Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, back and more — the deadlift will make you work hard and is one of the best time investments you can make in the gym.

You can get the most benefit from the deadlift by treating it as a training-for-function exercise, which means you’re going to go heavy. 5×5 is a great classic set-rep scheme that gets you enough reps while challenging enough for each one to make it worth your while.

PULL-UPS: Pull your body through space until your chin is above the bar. It could hardly sound easier, and yet, pull-ups still remain one of the most basic and best back and arm exercises you can perform. Targeting the lats, traps, rhomboids, biceps and delts, the pull-up is a true, natural test of your strength. When you’re crunched for time, you can hardly do better than banging out a few sets of these.

Because they’re difficult, and because everyone’s weight and strength levels aren’t always in accordance, it can be a bit too tough to try to pull of 3 or 4 sets of 10-12. Definitely shoot for that, but if your arms give out before your back does, find an assisted pull-up machine that helps displace some of your body weight. As a last resort, you can use the pull-down machine.

STANDING PRESS: Take weight. Lift it above your head. Hold it there like a trophy. On top of just looking cool, the standing press is a staple of upper-body strength and utility. Engaging the shoulders, back, upper chest and core, the standing press can allow for big gains in short order when done properly.

Any number of sets and reps totaling 24-30 reps is ideal, but keep the weight safe. You should be able to start with the bar on the floor, or in a hang clean position. A personal favorite set-rep scheme that allows for the heavier end is 4×6 or 3×8, but you could lighten it up and go 3×10-12 as well. If you really want to test your endurance, shoot for 4-10 (and go significantly lighter).

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: Mix In Goblet Squats

Whatever your reason for wanting a new leg exercise — injury, change of pace, a new way to look awesome — goblet squats are a great addition to your workout routine as either a staple movement or a throw-in from time to time.

Similar to a front squat in terms of weight distribution, the goblet squat differs from other forms of the squat in one regard: You hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of you like, well, a giant chalice (or goblet).

The benefits of the goblet squat are many. It helps improve your overall squat form when done correctly, improves balance through the movement with repetition and builds up the core stability and leg strength you’d want from a squatting movement. It also provides a greater range of motion than a standard back squat can, given where the weight is.

Take a wide stance (about a step beyond shoulder width on each side, though you can go even wider), and focus on squat fundamentals — chest out, butt out, shoulder blades squeezed together, head neutral — but instead of climbing under a bar, you’ll simply hoist your weight up to about chest level. If you’re using a dumbbell, use both hands to “cup” (GET IT?) the top head of the weight. If you’re using a kettlebell, simply grab either side of the handle.

As with a normal squat, start the movement with your hips, control it on the way down, and explode up, driving from the heels. Since you’re using a lighter load than normal, it’s a good idea to go for higher rep ranges (at least 10) on goblet squats; there’s no big benefit for going ultra-heavy here — if you’re a heavy squatter, you can do these with a decent weight as a form corrector, but you’re probably better off to keep your big numbers in the rack and on your back.

The great thing about goblets is that they’re difficult to get injured with; if the weight is ever too heavy, you can just drop it in front of you. Just remember to keep your head neutral and back flat, as you would with a regular squat.