The 12-10-8 system
Get past your sticking point!
There may be some days when you're strapped for time, or just want to do something different to really blast the muscles.
Supersets and compound sets work very well for this and you can do the same number of bodyparts in half the normal time!
What's the difference between supersets and compound sets?
A superset is two or more exercises in a row, then a rest break. A compound
set is where you alternate exercises taking about a minute break between each
You can superset just about any two bodyparts together but I find it works best with opposing bodyparts. Here are a couple of workouts you may want to
try every once in a while:
Try to choose exercises that complement each other, that is, they have a similar,
but opposite motion.
Superset number 1: Chest and Back
The chest exercise here is FLAT BENCH PRESS and the back exercise is SEATED CABLE
ROWS. (If there is no cable machine you may substitute bent-over rows).
Do 3-4 super or compound sets here getting 8-12 reps each. (First set should be around 12 reps. Try to maintain the same weight for the remaining sets getting as many reps as possible, going as low as 8 reps. If you can't make the 8 reps on any set, then drop the weight a bit for the next set.)
Superset number 2: Shoulders and Lats
For shoulders you can do either SHOULDER PRESS--to the front or back, barbell or dumbbell or
SHOULDER_WIDTH GRIP UPRIGHT ROWS.
For back do LAT PULLDOWNS or PULL-UPS (overhand wide grip chin-ups).
Again, do 3-4 super or compound sets.
Superset number 3: Biceps and Triceps
For biceps do STANDING BARBELL CURLS.
For triceps do STANDING TRICEPS EXTENSIONS. (Use a close grip on the barbell, press it above your head, then keeping the upper arms locked in place, bend at the elbows to lower the bar behind your head, then press back up.
You can usually use the same weight you curl but if it's too heavy or too light, have a different weight barbell handy.
If you can't do the extensions, you can substitute triceps pressdowns.
3-4 sets here too.
There it is, you can have this workout done in well under an hour and work the whole upper body, and leave the gym with an incredible pump!
Lower body superset workout:
Superset number 1: Quadriceps and Hamstrings
SQUATS and LEGPRESS
Yes, these are very similar exercises and they each work both the quads and hamstrings, but if you've never done these two exercises together you're missing out on some great leg growth. Do a set of squats for 10 reps then immediately do a set of leg press loaded up with at least double the weight you squat. (If you squat 2 plates a side, use 4 or more plates a side on the leg press.) Go for 10 on the leg press too.
Superset number 2:
LEG EXTENSIONS, HAMSTRING CURLS and STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFTS
This is a called triset and you do 3 exercises instead of two. Use a moderate weight and push out 10-15 reps on the extensions, then immediately go to the hamstring curls for 10-15 reps. Here you can take a minute rest if you want and then do a set of stiff-legged deadlifts for 8-12 reps.
Superset number 3:
STANDING CALF RAISES and SEATED CALF RAISES
Finish with calves. There are some exercises to work the front of the calves but it's not really practical to try to superset
them and for most people they're not necessary. Use a heavy weight and blast off 10-15 reps with the standing calf raises, take a minute rest and then do 10-15 on the seated calf raise.
4 sets of each will have your calves begging for mercy. If you still want more, do donkey calf raises as a final exercise.
for the ultimate pump!
If you really want to make an impression on your muscles, try this five-in-one workout. This will cause you to dig deep for inner strength to keep going but the results speak for themselves.
Load a barbell up with a light weight the first time you do this so you have an idea of what it entails. Use about half the weight you can normally curl 12 times.
Here are the 5 exercises:
Normal grip curls
Close-grip triceps press (behind head)
The first set (reverse-grip curls) determines the number of reps for the other sets. What ever you can get on the first set, go for that many on all the other sets. Should be at around 10-15 reps each.
Do these all non-stop, just pausing long enough to change your grip between exercises. It may seem easy at first but wait until you get to the end! This not only builds muscle, it builds endurance and stamina.
It starts with a burn in the forearms from the reverse curls, then when you switch to normal grip, the weight suddenly seems heavy for your poor overworked biceps but you press on and complete the reps. Now you adjust your grip and clean the bar up to your shoulders and start pressing. The shoulder start to burn but that's okay because the next exercise is for the triceps right? NOT! Yes, it hits the triceps hard but the delts feel it too and just when you think you can't stand it anymore, you realize the next exercise is upright rows.
Use a medium grip or a close grip, it doesn't matter, just get the job done. Burn shoulders burn! Get your reps, then drop the weight and go sit down in a corner--you deserve it, and you'll need the two minute rest to recover a bit for the next set. Yes, you're not done yet, 2 more sets of this is what it takes. Can you hack it? Of course you can, you're tough, go for it. Dig deep. If you did 15 on the first set, you can drop the reps to 12 or even 10 for the second set and as low as 8 for the last set. On the last set you may have to drop the weight a bit too. This is best done with a motivated friend so you can encourage and push each other. Enjoy.
The 12-10-8 system
Get past your sticking point!