The concept of “shocking” your muscles into growth is one of the oldest maxims in fitness—but that’s because it’s sound advice. If you’ve hit a plateau in gaining size and strength, it’s time to try this time-tested wisdom out and get into something new. I’ll show you what this means over the next eight weeks, using a classic training strategy that will jolt your body into growth.

How It Works

You’re going to spend one month training with heavy weights, low reps, and a low volume of sets. The following month, you’ll lighten the load, raise the reps, and up the sets. Heavy lifting is very draining, sending the signal that your body needs all its reserves to adapt to stress. When that stress is suddenly removed, your muscles are free to grow faster.

Directions

Frequency:

The program has two four-week phases, each containing four workouts.

Time Needed:

45–60 min.

How to Do It:

Alternate sets of the “A” and “B” exercises. The remaining exercises are straight sets. In Phase I, you’ll do three sets of four to six reps for each exercise and rest 90–120 seconds.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4
 

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Day 1

1A.Bench Press

Hold the bar with an overhand, outside shoulder- width grip. Your shoulder blades should be squeezed together with your entire back arched. lift the bar off the rack and lower it to your sternum, then press the weight up.

1B. Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and rest your opposite hand and knee on a flat bench. allow the arm with the dumbbell to hang. row upward. complete all your reps on one side, then switch hands and repeat

2A. Dumbbell Overhead Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. keeping your core braced, press the weights straight overhead. if your shoulders hurt, do the exercise with your palms facing in.

2B. Weighted Chinup

Attach a weighted belt to your waist or hold a dumbbell between your feet. hang from the bar with your palms facing you, and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. do not swing your body to gain momentum.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4
 

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Day 2

1. Squat

Hold the bar outside shoulder width and pull your shoulder blades together. take the bar off the rack and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. take a deep breath and push your hips back to lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.

2. Good Morning

Set up as you did for the squat. keep your legs straight, push your hips back, and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor while keeping your lower back arched.

3. Decline Situp

Set a decline bench to a challenging but safe angle and lie back on it with your feet secured. sit all the way up so your abs contract fully.

4. Calf Raise

Use a standing calf raise machine, or stand on a step with a dumbbell in one hand and balance yourself with the other hand. lower your heels until you feel a deep stretch in your calves, hold for a second, and then raise your heels and come up.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4
 

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Day 3

1A. Push Press

Hold the bar at shoulder level. Dip your knees as if you were going to jump and use upward momentum to help you press the bar overhead. lower the bar under control.

1B. High Pull

Hold the bar with your hands outside shoulder width. Push your hips back until the bar is above your knees. Explosively extend your hips as if you were going to jump, and pull the bar straight up, shrugging, until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Control the bar on the way down.

2A. Weighted Dip

Attach a weighted belt to your waist. Lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. If your shoulders hurt, bend your hips and knees.

2B. Chest-Supported Row

Set an incline bench to a 45-degree angle. Lie facedown on it with a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang. Row the weights to your sides.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4
 

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Day 4

1A.Deadlift

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. grasp the bar just outside your knees. take a deep breath, then sit back on your heels. keep your lower back in its natural arch and pull the bar into you tightly as you extend your hips and stand up to lockout.

2. Bulgarian Split Squat

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand lunge-length in front of a bench or chair. Rest the top of one foot behind you on the surface. lower yourself using your front leg until your rear knee nearly touches the floor.

3. Medicine Ball Rotational Throw

Hold a medicine ball at arm’s length and stand in front of a wall. rotate your torso to one side until you feel a stretch in your abs, throw the ball hard into the wall, and twist back.

4. Seated Calf Raise

Use a seated calf raise machine or sit on a bench and rest your feet on a block or step. hold dumbbells on your knees and lower your heels until your calves are stretched. pause, and then raise your heels.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4