Weightlifting 102

Preface

I suggest anyone reading this, and is new to the gym, to read the previous part post first: Weightlifting 101: Part 1 – The Basics and Foundations for Starters

While this post is meant to for anyone, including beginners, the routine and advice is advanced. I personally don’t believe in having people start out on beginner routines. They learn incorrectly and have difficulty adapting to higher levels. There is no real reason for it other than making an easy to follow routine and “learning” to lift on compound exercises. Well that’s stupid. Learn something once, the right way.

The Routine

I bet the majority of you will want this part the most. I’m going to put it at the top here. But if you give a shit about reaping the results from a routine like this, then you better read this whole damn post and not just come for a routine to copy the routine thinking “doing that will get me results“. Basically if you’re only interested in the routine, fuck off, go do cardio at Planet Fitness or something. What you do in the gym does matter, but the routine/list of exercises doesn’t matter a ton. It’s how you do it and what you do outside the gym.

So let me explain how this split works. I call it a continuous split cycle. Instead of having muscle groups on certain days of the week with certain days as rest days, I just go to the gym every day, or any day I want, and pick off where I left off last in the cycle. For example: Chest -> Back -> Legs -> Chest -> Oh shit I skipped a day -> Back -> Legs – > Chest

Not a hard concept to understand. Essentially I never have an actual rest day. There’s almost no point since every muscle group is getting at least 36 hours to recover (36 hours is how long it takes for a muscle to fully recover from a lifting session.)


Modes for lifting

My routine is based around hypertrophy (size) training, but you can switch that up a bit for your own goals. So my routine won’t have anything except what exercises I do. Sets and reps will be based on the below goal rules. You can apply these to any routine.

General Global Rules:

  • Never stop at a certain number of reps. Always lift until you hit failure and can not do another rep
  • As a beginner, you will often stop thinking you can’t do another rep. Do not cut yourself short. Your capable of another rep despite pain or mentality, do another rep; TRY
  • Rest periods are important. Do not try to be a “badass”. Do not go shorter than 1 min
  • Use good form always. But it’s okay to break it a little for an extra last rep.

If your goal is Hypertrophy (muscle size), follow these rules:

  • Do 4 sets of every exercise. Aim for 12 – 16 reps
  • Rest Period between each set is 1 min and 15 secs each

If your goal is Strength (how much weight you can lift), follow these rules:

  • Do 3-4 sets of every exercise. Aim to do around 5 reps
  • Rest Period between each set is 1 min and 45 secs each, up to 2 mins

If your goal is MIXED (Size and Strength), follow these rules:

  • Do 4 sets of every exercise. Aim to do around 8 – 10 reps
  • Rest Period between each set is 1 min and 30 secs each

 


Cycle Day 1Chest Day – [Chest, Triceps, Shoulders]

  • Bench Press OR Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Skullcrushers
  • Superset: Dumbbell Delt Lateral Raises + Dumbbell Delt Front Raises Failure for Front Raises
  • Decline Cable Flys (You should look like you’re doing a Most Muscular flex on these, the motion is in the elbows, not your wrists)
  • Tricep Pushdown Extensions (Strict form, bend knees, elbows never move)
  • Rear Delt Flyes
  • Cable Flys (same rule of thumb for decline, but just for hitting general chest area
  • Hanging Leg Raises + Dips (At set finish, do Dips until failure)

Cycle Day 2Back Day – [Back, Biceps, Lats, Traps]

  • Pull Ups [optional] (This is first because it is the hardest exercise to perform on here, you should do it first if you want to do it)
  • Preacher Curls OR Barbell/EZ Bar Curls (Do not rock back, elbows should never move)
  • Hammer Curls (Up and down like you’re using a hammer, easy to do both arms at the same time)
  • (Alternating) Dumbbell Curls 
  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns
  • Seated Lat Row
  • Barbell/Hex Bar Shrugs
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Standing Forearm Curls (After rep failure, hold until grip failure, use dumbbells obviously)

Cycle Day 3Leg Day – [Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs]

  • Squat
  • Deadlift OR Front Squat
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Leg Press
  • Weighted Ab Crunch Machine
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curls
  • Declined Bench Sit Up + Ab Twists
  • Calf Raises

 


Dieting

Don’t make this shit complicated, it’s not. You can make a meal plan if that helps you keep on track with your macros.

Simple General Rules for Dieting

  • Calories In, Calories Out – Boils down to basically how many calories of food you are eating vs you are expending (Metabolism + exercise)
  • Keep up protein intake no matter what
  • It is better to burn more calories instead of intaking less food
  • Fasting is not magic, it doesn’t aid in weight loss. It is a method to prevent you from being so hungry in the morning, you eat more than you should
  • Do not starve yourself. You body needs calories and it will adapt to its needs. If it thinks you’re starving, it will lower it’s metabolism to compensate. You’ll start to gain fat as a result of this mode
  • Fat and Carbs are NOT BAD. You need these just like protein, but keep it proportional
  • Get 0.8-1 grams of protein per lean body mass weight (lbs) per day. You could make it even simpler by saying 1 gram per pound of body weight per day. More than you probably need, but whatever

I’m fat and I want to lose fat and gain muscle:

  • Eat less food. Eat 25% less food per meal, it’s that easy
  • Count how many calories you’re getting in. Use MyFitnessPal to track calories and see where you should stop eating per day
  • Eat more vegetables in your meals
  • You can use Fatty foods to help you feel fuller faster at meals
  • Use Whey to supplement or replace a meal

I’m skinny and I want to gain muscle:

  • Eat more food (especially protein). And don’t tell me you eat a lot or you have a high metabolism. That’s 100% bullshit. Eat more protein.
  • Take an extra Whey Protein shake during the day
  • Increase general protein (and meat/dairy) intake
  • Do not overeat on food to try to get bigger. Gaining fat won’t help you gain more muscle.

 


Supplementation

There is nothing wrong with taking supplements. You WILL NOT get all the nutrition you need day in and day out from eating healthy food.

  • Whey Protein – This helps increase your protein intake in the day with minimal calories
    • Take immediately after lifting sessions
    • Other go times, in addition, are aftering waking up, 1 hour before lifting, and before bed
    • Recommended brand: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (ON)
  • Multivitamin – There are many vitamins and minerals you don’t get in foods often
    • Take in morning and before bed
    • Recommended brand: ON Opti-Men
  • Fish Oil – Omega-3s are good for you and your digestion amongst other body functions. Good if you don’t eat fish daily
    • Take in morning and before bed
    • Recommended brand: ON Fish Oil
  • Calcium + Vitamin D – People don’t get much sunlight these days. Vitamin D is very important for males and Calcium helps bone health. You need both for them to work together
    • Take in morning and before bed
    • Recommended brand: Doesn’t matter, I use Spring Valley, I found it at Walmart
  • Zinc + Magnesium – Good for test levels, sleep, and male health
    • Take before bed
    • Recommended brand: ON ZMA
  • Green Tea Extract – Helps metabolism and all the good shit green tea gives you. Also caffeine. May help suppress appetite for some people
    • Take in the morning
    • Recommended brand: Doesn’t matter. But I got a GNC brand Green Tea Complex I like because it’s got a lot of capsules and high dosage
  • Pre-workout – I like to have pre-workout to drive my mood and help feel “in the zone”. You can also just drink coffee, take caffeine pills, whatever
    • Take 30 mins before lifting
    • Recommended brand: Nitraflex by GAT

 


Cardio

I fucking hate this shit

When I am looking to cut down more fat, I do extra cardio stuff. But I don’t run, and you can read those reason in the tips section below

Instead of do:

  • Sprint Intervals
    • Burns a lot of calories in short time, increases your body’s HGH levels, promotes muscle growth
    • 60 secs sprinting, 60 seconds walking (that’s your rest)
    • Sprinting is 10+ MPH. I go 12 MPH
  • Incline Walking
    • Easy, good cool down from sprints, burns a lot of calories, doesn’t eat/waste muscle mass for it
    • 15-20mins
    • Max incline mode on a treadmill
    • 3 – 4 MPH

You can do these whenever. I like to do these every morning after I wake up, while still fasted.

You can do these after lifting too. I say after lifting, and not before because you will be very tired from these. You can do other HIIT cardio post lifting too, like HIIT cycling on a stationary bike

 


Tips and Other Good Advice

Stomach Vacuums

These are great for core/abs/waistline. Do these every morning when you wake up. Look up how to do stomach vacuums correctly if you don’t know how. Do around 6 of them every morning. If you’re fat and above 18% body fat, these are useless for you, cut down first.

 

  • Muscles need 36 hours to recover from a lifting session. Utilize this information however you wish
  • Negatives (the opposite direction of your exercise’s main motion) do not help you. Do not do them slowly. In fact you want negatives to be forced out
  • Holding a muscle in the contracted position mid rep does nothing for you but feel good, you’re wasting energy and reps
  • Recovery is important. If you’re not recovering, you’re wasting away. Get 8 hours of sleep, keep rest periods between sets
  • Flex in the mirror. See what you have, need to improve, how your muscles move and act
  • Flexing is an exercise. So if you flex between sets, increase rest time
  • Motivation is a self-driven thing. If you have issues getting motivated to go to the gym and workout, that’s on you. You have to find something that drives you. A reason, a goal, a desire. Just know that every missed day of the gym is one day of progress gone from being who you want to be physically
  • Rest days are not mandatory. But one per week or every 2 weeks helps you ensure your body and nervous system is getting a break to recuperate
  • Supplements are not needed for gains. They just help.
  • Take progress pics every week or two. Changes are gradual so you may not notice you change in the mirror
  • Stop stepping on the scale. Two reasons: Most people have a goal for body composition. In body composition, weight doesn’t mean much, so the numbers are useless. Your number changes could be water, fat, muscle. Go by eye and see how your progressing in composition and size. Second, there is a psychological aspect to this. This affects me greatly too, but seeing weight changes, such as my weight dropping, can make me hungrier.
    • If you want to track you weight, do it once a week, and only in the mornings
  • When you lift doesn’t really matter. It’s more preference than anything. I like to lift in the evening/night. It’s when I have the most drive for lifting. Lifting at night with pre-workout can be detrimental to sleep though.
  • Consistency is the most important part about fitness. You can do stupid shit and get results eventually if you’re consistent. So no matter what, keep consistent in doing fitness and doing it everyday
  • Make time for fitness. Everyone has 1 hour per day to workout. No excuses.
  • Calisthenics are good. Add them to your routine if you like. Do them if you can’t go to a gym
  • Running/Jogging is not beneficial for gains or your knees. Do Sprints, Stairs, and or incline walking instead. Running burns calories, but it will promote muscle wasting for those calories instead of fat. Muscle mass is not good for running and survival. Your body would rather eat muscle mass before it’s fat storage.
  • “How much weight should I do?” – Whatever it takes to be in your rep range. If you’re hitting the upper rep range, increase the weight. If you’re lifting for strength, aim to increase weight on all lifts by 5 lbs per week.

 


Questions and Help

I’m on Twitter @Mikesulsenti and Instagram @Mikesulsenti – Don’t be afraid to tweet or DM me asking for help or if you have questions about this routine or anything else fitness related

You can also comment below but it may not be as immediate as Twitter