Weight Training Workouts-Advanced

Weight Training Workouts: Advanced

single arm dumbbell biceps curls

It is assumed that anyone that is beginning an advanced weight training program has been lifting weights for at least one year. The intent of the advanced weight training program is to continue to build lean muscle mass and to develop muscular definition

Prior to moving to the advanced weight training program, you should have a thorough knowledge of general weight training concepts and how to increase muscle density. You should also have developed a workout schedule that is reliable and repeatable, and be in-tune with which types of exercises work well for you and which exercises do not.

In addition, each individual at the advanced weight training level must be in-tune with their body and know the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain.” When lifting fairly heavy amounts of weight, it is important to understand the amount of stress that the exercises are placing on the joints. In fact, many individuals at this level already have certain joints that give them problems from time to time.

This being said, it is important to remember that true health and fitness is a lifelong goal, and any injuries sustained from weight lifting at this stage could compromise your long-term health.

Finally, the advanced weight trainer should have a good understanding of the nutritional aspects associated with weight training. The advanced weight trainer should be familiar with the various supplements that are available and the primary benefits of each.

It is imperative that an individual that is aggressively tearing down their lean muscle tissue and pushing their body to increase in size and strength supply their body with the fuel that it needs on a daily basis, not just on strength training days. This includes a healthy and nutritious diet and possibly a supplement regimen as well. 

Prerequisites for Beginning the Advanced Program

Individuals interested in starting the advanced strength training program should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The individual is familiar with all major and minor muscle groups and understands how each muscle functions, the range of motion of each muscle, and how each muscle is best exercised.

  • The individual understands the primary and secondary muscles that are worked during each exercise they perform.

  • The individual is able to perform the exercises with the proper form.

  • The individual uses the correct breathing technique for each exercise type.

  • The individual understands the concept of pyramiding.

  • The individual understands which muscles are push muscles and which muscles are pull muscles.

  • The individual has developed a strong structural foundation.

  • The individual has learned the difference between good pain and bad pain.

  • The individual has a solid grasp of the nutritional requirements associated with weight training at this level.

Introducing New Concepts – Supersetting

weight training squats

At this point in your weight training routine, it is time to introduce a couple of concepts that may be new to you. The first concept for discussion is super setting.

A super set is defined as performing multiple exercises, one after the other, without a rest period between them. The purpose of super setting exercises is to exhaust the muscle group further than normal and to force it to grow.

In many cases, adding a supper setting approach to your weight training routine works well for individuals that are stuck at a certain weight level on a specific exercise (i.e. max on flat bench press is 325 pounds). 

In addition, super setting is an excellent method for shocking the muscle group and forcing it to continue to increase in strength and muscular size and density.

There are several variations of weight training super setting that can be performed. For example, an individual could perform super sets while working the same muscle group, or they could perform super sets utilizing two different muscle groups.

When performing super sets using two different muscle groups, the two muscle groups could be a push and a pull muscle group, a push and a push muscle group, or a pull and a pull muscle group. Examples of each of the three scenarios are listed below:

Example of a push/pull super set routine with two different muscle groups:

  • Perform a set of flat barbell bench press (chest)
  • Immediately perform a set of standing barbell curls (biceps)
  • Repeat this process until you have completed 4 or 5 sets of each and then rest

Example of a push/push super set routine with two different muscle groups:

  • Perform a set of flat barbell bench press (chest)
  • Immediately perform a set of straight bar pushdowns (triceps)
  • Repeat this process until you have completed 4 or 5 sets of each and then rest

Example of a pull/pull super set routine with two different muscle groups:

  • Perform a set of wide grip pulldowns (back)
  • Immediately perform a set of standing barbell curls (biceps)
  • Repeat this process until you have completed 4 or 5 sets of each and then rest

In addition, a push/push routine and/or a pull/pull super set routine could be performed using the same muscle group.

Example of a push/push super set routine with the same muscle group:

  • Perform a set of flat barbell bench press (chest)
  • Immediately perform a set of flat bench dumbbell flyes (chest)
  • Repeat this process until you have completed 4 or 5 sets of each and then rest

High Intensity Workouts

weight training biceps

At the advanced weight training level, your goal should be to focus on aggressive, high intensity workouts that target the muscle groups being worked. In addition, you should minimize the rest period between sets, allowing the muscle group less time to recover.

The goal of an individual at this level should be to get to the fitness center (or gym), aggressively work the muscle groups, and get out – not spend time socializing. In other words, each workout should be relatively short but high-intensity. An additional benefit to this approach is that the individual will get a light cardiovascular workout as well. Furthermore, this approach will enhance muscular definition and minimize body fat levels.

It is also important to periodically modify the exercises being performed for each muscle group, the sequence of the exercises, and the muscle groups being exercised together. The human body has the ability to adapt to its environment. For instance, let’s use the example of an individual that begins a jogging routine where they jog through their neighborhood on a predefined 3-mile course. At first, the individual may find it difficult to maintain the same rate of jogging for the entire three miles. However, over time the individual’s body responds to the new activity placed on it, jogging becomes easier, and the individual is able to maintain the same rate of speed for the entire three miles.

While it is true that the individual’s body is in better shape, the body will remain at this level of fitness until it is pushed to a new level. Weight training is no different. Once the human body has adjusted to the demands placed on it through a weight training program, the body will cease to continue making gains.

For this reason, it is imperative that the individual modify their weight training program every couple of months. The modifications need not be extensive, but they must be deliberate, focused and targeted.

For example, let’s say that an individual has ceased to experience growth in their biceps. One approach may be to incorporate a giant set approach to working their biceps. This approach would require that the individual perform 3 or 4 exercises simultaneously. For example, perform one set of standing barbell curls, followed by a set of EZ bar preacher curls, followed by seated concentration curls. These three exercises would be completed without any rest between them. By modifying his approach to working his biceps, he will “shock” his biceps and force them to respond to the new demands being placed on them.

Increase Your Reps

There are two types of exercises associated with weight training. The first are exercises that are considered explosive movements (i.e. flat barbell bench press, straight bar squats, etc.). Explosive movements stimulate the development of white blood cells, and hence, growth in muscle mass. The second type of exercises are considered rhythmic movements (i.e. hack squats, EZ bar preacher curls, etc.). Rhythmic movements stimulate the development of red blood cells, and hence, definition of the muscle.

In order to successfully achieve muscular definition, the individual will need to make sure that they incorporate enough rhythmic exercises into their workout routine for all muscle groups. Rhythmic exercises typically require an increased number of repetitions. For example, when working the chest, cable crossovers (15 to 20 repetitions) or dumbbell flyes (12 to 15 repetitions) are appropriate repetition figures to target per exercise. In addition, rhythmic exercises are beneficial for stretching and elongating the muscle tissue, maintaining soft tissue flexibility, and increasing stamina and cardiovascular endurance as well.

Sample Routine

Below is a link to a sample routine with the specific exercises associated with the advanced weight training program. Remember to focus on the correct breathing technique and controlled movements and form for each exercise.

Advanced Full Body Weight Training Routines

The advanced weight training routines are intended for individuals that have been regularly strength training for at least a year or more. Individuals that wish to perform an advanced weight training routine should have a thorough grasp of how to correctly perform a large variety of exercises, understand each of the major muscle groups and their range of motion, understand the concepts associated with pyramiding, supper sets, giant sets, push and pull muscle groups, and how to combine exercises that target lean muscle tissue growth and muscle definition to create a well balanced and sculpted physique.

As an advanced weight trainer you should have a firm grasp on the nutritional requirements necessary to support muscle growth and development, the proper amount of rest required for each muscle group, and the various muscle groups to exercise during each workout. Another item of importance is to understand what your body is telling you and to know the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain. While muscle soreness is expected, joint pain, for the most part, should not be.

Please feel free to click the hyperlink below to view the various advanced weight training programs and to download them if you would like. In addition, be sure to view the various push/pull, push/push, and pull/pull weight training programs as well as the weight training programs that target the concepts associated with super setting and giant sets.

Important Information for Advanced Weight Trainers

The advanced weight training program is not for everyone. In fact, the advanced weight training program is specifically designed for individuals that want to push their muscular development and strength to a level that is conducive to body building or power lifting. While many individuals are content with the beginner and intermediate weight training programs, some wish to push their strength training regimen to a higher level.

If you want to begin the advanced weight training program, it is imperative that you focus on all aspects associated with weight training. Below is a list of several items that individuals performing the advanced weight training program should focus on:

  • Defining their short and long-term weight training goals

  • Committing the necessary time to weight training

  • Aggressively performing all exercises with a high level of intensity

  • Ensuring that each muscle group gets the appropriate amount of recovery time

  • Ensuring that their body and mind get the appropriate amount of sleep, rest and relaxation

  • Understand the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain,” when to eliminate an exercise from their weight training routine, and when to take time off to allow injuries to heal

  • Developing a nutritional diet that supports the added nutritional requirements of an advanced weight training program

  • Ensuring that their nutritional diet includes supplements targeted toward achieving their short and long-term weight training goals

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