May 22, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
Yesterday I introduced an eating and supplementation strategy to get you as lean as possible in one week. Of course, proper training is important as well. In fact, you should overtrain during this period and the way you do that is by training six days out of the seven. They won’t be long sessions, mind you, but they’ll be “dense!” Here’s how the program is structured:
Day 1 – Chest and Back #1
Day 2 – Legs and Abdominals #1
Day 3 – Shoulders and Arms #1
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Chest and Back #2
Day 6 – Legs and Abdominals #2
Day 7 – Shoulders and Arms #2
Day 8 – Event
A1. 60-Degree Incline Barbell Press
A2. Seated Reverse-Grip Cable Pulldown
B1. Flat Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Press
B2. Seated Pronated-Grip Cable Row
A1. Back Squat
A2. Lying Dorsiflexed Leg Curl
B1. Romanian Barbell Deadlift
B2. Swiss Ball Crunch
A1. Parallel-Bar Dip
A2. 45-Degree Incline Hammer Curl
B1. Flat EZ-Bar Triceps Extension
B2. Seated Zottman Curl
Take this day off from training. This would be a good time to take care of some “aesthetics” and go for a tan, haircut, dental cleaning, and maybe do some shopping for clothes, toiletries, and so on.
A1. 30-Degree Incline Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Press
A2. Half-Kneeling One-Arm Cable Pulldown
B1. Standing Cable Crossover
B2. Bent-Over Reverse-Grip EZ-Bar Row
A1. Bent-Knee Hex-Bar Deadlift
A2. Seated Dorsiflexed Leg Curl
B1. Wide-Stance Good Morning
B2. Hanging Leg Raise
A1. Seated Reverse-Grip EZ-Bar Preacher Curl
A2. Close-Grip Bench Press
B1. Standing Cable Curl
B2. Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Loading Parameters: 4 x 10,12,15,20 @ 2-0-1-0, 60s
Perform 4 sets of each exercise in the following manner: 10 reps (set 1), 12 reps (set 2), 15 reps (set 3), and 20 reps (set 4). You’ll need to lower the weight each set in order to accomplish the proper number of reps. The tempo is fairly quick (1 second to raise the weight and 2 seconds to lower it) and rest only 60 seconds between sets. If you play your cards right, your work sets should be completed within 20 minutes, add 5-10 minutes for a warm-up, and the entire workout should not exceed a total of 30 minutes.
Your strength may be down a bit this week. Don’t worry about it. Just select an appropriate weight for each set to get the job done. It’s not about lifting heavy weights. It’s about depleting the body as much as possible.
Tip #4: Structure your program in a vertical sequence, pairing antagonist (opposite) body parts or movement patterns for optimal effect (note the “A” and “B” exercise pairs in the program above). Doing so will increase the amount of rest between sets of an exercise allowing for sufficient recovery while promoting greater range of motion and balance around the joint(s). All of this will increase strength and performance which will give you that extra edge when energy levels are low.
As much as possible, do some low-intensity aerobic work at night. My recommendation is to go for a long walk after your last protein feeding. This has several benefits: a) It will expend energy and help deplete you further. b) The increase in circulation can facilitate recovery between workouts. c) It has a calming and relaxing effect. For many people, this is a great way to unwind after a long day rather than flopping on a couch. d) It will help to clear your mind and think better. Several people have told me that they planned and rehearsed their wedding speech during this time.
Wow, What A Feeling!
This plan gives you permission not to train while you’re away and actually grow and get stronger while you rest and eat. The first half of the week is necessary to recover from all the training and stress leading up to the big day, and the second half of the week is used to overcompensate so that you return from your vacation bigger and stronger.
Ultimately, the plan allows you to enjoy your holidays or special event since you can consume what you like, when you like, with absolutely no restrictions! Your muscles will simply soak it all up. They’re like sponges at this point and from my experience, you have a good three or four days of filling out the right way. The analogy I give is like the first time you take creatine – it’s that kind of feeling where your muscles swell up with fluid as if you’re connecting a garden hose to them! Also, you can ride the anabolic wave of increased testosterone and insulin, while a jacked-up thyroid will keep fat gain at bay (for a little while at least).
So there you have it. Battle through one tough week of boring food and frequent, high-density training, and you’ll be rewarded in the end with a lean, rock-hard physique.