Year Long Workout: Phase IV Intro
The fourth installment in our 12-month series guarantees awesome chest and arm gains
You need a break. We're not talking about lounging around the pool with a frozen margarita-although a post-workout protein shake and nap are always a nice way to kick back. But after grinding out so many sets for the past three months, you do need to back off the heavy training a little. Trust us.
After all, you won't make better gains by destroying your muscles in every successive workout-you'll just end up destroying your muscles. Sometimes, simply by decreasing your training volume for a few weeks after periods of intense heavy lifting, you facilitate even faster muscle growth. First and foremost, your goal now is to recover from the hard work you've done since the program began, and you'll accomplish that by performing fewer sets with lighter weights. That's why Phase IV has you doing only two workouts (cycled for three sessions per week) and backing off leg work almost completely in order to save energy.
At the same time, we've tailored your recovery efforts to include plenty of work for your chest and arms-ensuring that these muscles stay pumped as T-shirt season begins. "How is that possible without heavy weights?" you ask. By increasing your training frequency. You'll do plenty of lifts that incorporate the chest and arms in both workouts. And while the work won't be hard, it will be more than enough to keep the muscles growing.
Frequency: Perform the workouts on a rotating schedule, alternating Workouts A and B for a total of three workouts per week. Rest at least one day between each workout. So you'll do Workout A, rest a day, then Workout B, rest, and Workout A once more in the first week. In the second week, you'll perform Workout B twice and A once, and so on.
How to Do It: Perform the exercise pairs (marked A and B) as alternating sets, resting the prescribed amount of time between each set. So you'll do one set of A, rest, then one set of B, rest again, and repeat for all the prescribed sets.
Weight: Use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for each set.
Phase IV Workouts:
1A Dumbbell Bench Press
1B Single-Leg Deadlift
2A Three-Point Dumbbell Row
2B California Press
3A Swiss-Ball Scap Pushup
3B Swiss-Ball Reverse Hyper
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1A Plyo Pushup
1B Single-Leg Squat
2A Dumbbell Curl to Overhead Press
2B Inverted Row
3A Bent Over Dumbbell W Row
3B Weighted Swiss-Ball Crunch
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