Men’s Health – Total body workbook

BEGINNER
Frequency: Do these exercises as part of a total-body
weight workout three times a week.
Rest: 1 minute between exercises
Progress: Increase weights each week, shooting for increases
of 21⁄2 to 5 pounds at a time.
How long: Follow this program for your first 4 to 8 weeks
of exercise, or your first few weeks after returning from a
break. When you stop making strength gains, you’re ready
for the Advanced Beginner program.

ADVANCED BEGINNER
Frequency: Do these exercises as part of a total-body
weight workout three times a week.
Technique: Increase weights by 21⁄2 to 5 pounds for
each set.
Rest: 2 minutes between sets
Progress: Start each week using your heaviest weight
from the week before.
Variety: After 3 or 4 weeks, go back to the Beginner
exercises, but use the guidelines above.
How long: When your strength and muscle size stop
improving, or when you have the time and energy to
do more exercises, move to the next level.

INTERMEDIATE

Frequency: Do these exercises as part of a split routine.

Divide your workout into two sets of exercises—see “Key
Info” below—and perform each workout twice a week.
Technique: Start each exercise with the heaviest weight
you can use for eight to 10 repetitions—no fewer, and
not many more. Drop the weight slightly for subsequent
sets if you need to.
Rest: 2 minutes between sets
Progress: Increase weights each week by 21⁄2 to
5 pounds.
Variety: After 3 weeks, rotate exercises. Mix in some from
both Beginner programs and from the Advanced program.
In any workout, avoid doing both biceps exercises
or both triceps exercises fromthe same angle and with
the same apparatus. For example, if a standing barbell
curl is your first biceps exercise, do a preacher curl or
incline curl with dumbbells for your second.
How long: Train like this for as long as you’re satisfied
with the results. If you have the time and ambition to
work even harder, move up to the Advanced program.
By the time you’re an intermediate lifter, you’ll need to split your workout into two parts, doing each twice a week.
There are dozens of different ways to divide up your exercises, but Pearson says to follow this rule: Always work your
triceps on the same day you do chest and shoulder presses. If you do these exercises on separate days, you end up
working your triceps hard four times a week. “This is one reason many lifters don’t make gains in their bench presses,”
Pearson says. “Their triceps are simply tired all the time.”
PREACHER CURL WITH EZ BAR (BICEPS)
Sets: 3 Repetitions: 8–10
“SKULL CRUSHER” TRICEPS EXTENSION
Sets: 3 Repetitions: 10–12
KEY INFO

ADVANCED

Frequency: Perform these exercises as part of a split
routine twice a week.
Technique: Start each exercise with the heaviest weight
you can use for the required repetitions. Drop the weight
slightly for subsequent sets if you need to.
Rest: 2 minutes between sets
Progress: Add 2 1⁄2 to 5 pounds of weight a week.
Variety: Shift exercises after 3 weeks; include some from
the other programs if you want. Do each exercise from a
different angle and with different equipment.
How long: Three to 4 weeks at a time, two or three times
a year. If you do it year-round, you’ll burn out.

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