If you’ve been working out for some time, you know that there comes a time when your body starts to respond differently. But, at the same time, you’re all for training hard. So, how about investing in a workout program that covers one muscle a day? I’m serious!
Doing one muscle group a day is quite functional, since you focus on that specific group doing the best exercises for that region only. “You can split your workout into different days of the week, on Monday, one group, on Tuesday another one, so on and so forth”, that’s what Vinícius Possebon, a physical educator, coach and the creator of the 48-hour Burn program has explained to me.
I’m sure you’re questioning the reasons why working one muscle group a day could be better than doing two groups. Well, the answer is pretty simple: When we train different muscles on the same day, we tend to do our best on the groups we like better or feel more comfortable to work out.
“Another factor is the order of the exercises. The first ones will always be better performed. Plus, the second group you work out will not bring the same outcome as the first either. After all, at this point, your body is already fatigued”, points Possebon.
So, for instance, if you’ve done your back workout first and your biceps in the second place, your back will benefit from the best performance. Now, if you restrict one group a day, there will be no excuse. It’s 100% focus on that.
What should the workout be like?
The main point we must take into consideration here is that the workout must be high intensity so that the results are satisfactory. According to Cacá Ferreira, a corporative technical manager at Cia Athlética, in São Paulo, the guidelines for advanced workouts have concluded the following recommendation:
8 sets per muscle group (this way, if you’re training your legs, use two machines: one called leg extension and the other, leg curl. You’d do 4 sets in one and 4 in the other one).
And a nice rule of thumb:
6 to 12 reps
1 to 2 minutes pause
4 seconds on eccentric (when the muscle lengthens)
0 seconds (between eccentric and concentric) do not stop;
2 seconds on concentric (when the muscle shortens)
0 seconds (between concentric and eccentric) do not stop;
Load: It should be suitable to the exercise and the person performing it. “This exercise should be performed with both high intensity and load, which means you should leave your comfort zone and do the last reps with some difficulty”, instructs Dinei Siqueira, a physical educator at Academia Bodytech, in São Paulo.
Besides that, high intensity exercises promotes workout even when you’re still, resting. “That is, the workout demands that the muscle remains active on the days it’s not being exercised. It’s pretty much the same thing when you want to burn fat: even if the exercise is just five minutes long, the body keeps burning fat for 48 hours more”, Possebon explains.
Pre and Post-training preparation
It’s a no-brainer. Just keep doing what you’re doing in your workouts. Warming up, which can be done with your own body weight or with jumping jacks, running, cycling or skipping rope.
“After the workout, go for specific warm-up with the same movement, but lower weight. And there’s one more suggestion: an important equipment here is the stopwatch to measure the movement speed (maybe during the first reps, so we know if the pace is right) and the recovery time so that it’s not too long”, Cacá Ferreira recommends.
Now It’s Your Turn
So I asked the trainers to design a workout program in a way we can do one muscle a day only. This is what we got from it. I suggest you read slowly and try to choose the workout you feel is the right one for you. Plus, you can update your workouts every two months or join them so that you’ll work out harder.
Ready? So let’s start with the workout Franklin Bisneto, a trainer at Academia Bio Ritmo, in São Paulo has created for us.
A – Chest
Bench Press 4 sets of 6 reps
Incline Bench Press 3 sets of 8 reps
Crossover machine 3 sets of 8 reps
Crossover 3 sets of 8 reps
B – Quadriceps
Full Squat 4 sets of 6 reps
Leg Extension machine 4 sets of 6 reps
Leg Press 3 sets of 8 reps
Isometric Leg Extension 3 sets of 15 reps
C – Back
Lat Pulldown – 4 sets of 6 reps
Pullup (supine rows) – 4 sets of 6 reps
Rowing (pronated grip) – 3 sets of 8 reps
Shoulder extension – 3 sets of 8 reps
D – Triceps
Skullcrusher 3 sets of 8 reps
French Press 3 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell 3 sets of 8 reps
E – Biceps
Curls 3 sets of 8 reps
Pronated Curls – 3 sets of 8 reps
Hammer Curls 3 sets of 8 reps
I know. You can get tired just by reading this, right? Well, hold your horses because I still got three more, pal. Now, take a look at the workout Dinei Siqueira has made for us. Well, don’t you want to bulk up? Be strong! This is how it’s supposed to go.
Joint warm-up in the bench press (do 30 reps with the bar alone, making sure you’re lengthening the required muscles)
Bench Press 4 sets until failure.
Inclined Dumbbell Fly 4 sets until failure.
Peck Deck 3 sets until failure.
Decline Bench Press 3 sets until failure.
Chest Press 5 sets until failure.
Hot Tip: wrap your workout session up with a Stretch Roller .
And hey, do you miss working your butt and abs? Well, well! Vinícius Possebon has deisgned two workout plans that will make you sweat like a horse.
Unilateral Split Squat Jump
As if you were about to jump, but with one foot in front of the other. Change the position of the feet the next set. First, place your right foot ahead. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Be careful so your knee won’t move too far forward. You don’t want to strain them.
Squat forming a 90 degree angle at your knees and jump next. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Watch your knees. They should not move too far forward. Place your hips way back. Watch your posture and squat forming 90 degrees.
Plank Side Walk
In the plank position, move to one side and then to the other keeping both hands on the floor. Try to make this movement as fast and wide as you can. The faster you go, the higher you’ll heart rate will get and the more fat you’ll burn.
As fast as you can and raising your legs as much as possible. Feel your fat melt and keep going.
Plank with Alternate Arm Reach
Stay in the plank position and alternate arms, bringing them to your shoulder level. First, raise the right arm. Next, the left. Don’t forget to contract your abs during the movement, so that your hips won’t move down. Inhale through your nose and raise your arm; exhale as you lower your arm.
Jack Knife Crunches
Lie down and extend your legs and arms as much as you can. Open and close your trunk like a jack knife, making sure your hands touch your legs. Be careful as to not lower your chin to your chest, or you might twist your cervical spine. If it gets too hard, bend your knees. Always contracting your abs.
Lie on the mat. Next, extend your legs and pull them in toward your chest. Inhale through your nose, as you extend your legs and exhale through your mouth, as you pull your legs back in. Watch out so you don’t open your knees or you could strain your back.
Verical leg crunch
Lie down and raise your legs. Move your chest to your legs until your hands meet your feet.
I’d say you’d better start your workout right away. Take these workout plans with you. Don’t forget to lift as much weight as you can. This way, we, men, will be able to achieve our main goal: hypertrophy! Have a nice workout!