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double your workout gains with two-a-day training sessions

If you don’t like being in the gym, this program isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re a true M&Fer, you can’t wait to get back in there after every session. Sometimes you even wish you could go back sooner. If this is your attitude, or you’re a college student with an open class schedule or a guy who’s currently between jobs and must vent his frustrations by lifting as much heavy iron as often as possible, two-a-days are exactly what you need.

The Fruits of Frequency

Training twice a day is a concept as old as bodybuilding itself but was popularized by Arnold more than anyone. He firmly believed his “double-split system” allowed him to separate himself from the pack and win his first Mr. Universe title. His rivals criticized it, saying it was too much training, and to their point, two-a-days have run many a lifter into the ground. But applied scientifically, there may be no better method for making big gains in a short period.

The reason is frequency. Provided you can recover from each session, the more often you train a body part, the faster you can deliver a growth stimulus and the sooner your muscles will respond. Training your chest so hard that it takes a whole week to recover before you can hit it again isn’t as effective as hitting it light one day and then hard three days later. That’s two chest- building workouts in one week, so you essentially double the stimulus.

Keep your sessions six to eight hours apart, and get as much sleep as possible at night. Good nutrition is part of recovery, so eat at least one gram of protein per pound of your body weight daily.

You’ll train one or two body parts per session. The morning session will be light and the evening one heavy (or vice versa). The sessions won’t be very long—you should be out of the gym in 45 minutes. The exception to this is Day 1’s workout. Your leg blitz is so intense that you won’t be doing a second session that day. You won’t miss it.

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Double Your Gains: Directions

SPLIT: Each workout day comprises an a.m. and p.m. session except Day 1. We suggest you set up your training week as follows: Monday, Day 1; Tuesday, off; Wednesday, Day 2; Thursday, Day 3; Friday, off; Saturday, Day 4; Sunday, Day 5. Take that following Monday off and begin the cycle again Tuesday. Do no cardio.

HOW TO DO IT: Perform the exercises as straight sets. Note that some of the exercises need to be done in a specific way.

Day 1: QUADS/HAMS

1 Lying Leg Curl

Sets: 4 Reps: 12

2 Squat:

Sets: 4 Reps: 12, 10, 8, 6

Increase the weight each set but stay two reps short of failure on all sets.

3 Leg Press w/ Bands

Sets: 4 Reps: 8

Use two pro mini-bands if you’re new to banded exercises, or two monster mini- bands if you’re more experienced. Fold each band over itself so you have two loops, and hook one end on the plate-loading peg of the leg press station on each side. Hook the other end on the bottom handle. Perform leg presses as normal.

4 Hack Squat

Sets: 3 Reps: 15

Use a hack squat machine and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on the foot plate. Squat down as deeply as you can.

Day 2: CHEST (light)

1 Neutral-Grip Machine Press

Sets: 6 Reps: 8

Use a chest press machine and grab the handles with your palms facing each other. Feel the stretch at the bottom of the movement and flex your pecs hard after lockout.

2 Pec Minor Dip

Sets: 3 Reps: 5

Suspend yourself over the parallel bars of a dip station. Keeping your elbows straight, pull your shoulder blades together so your torso moves closer to the floor. Spread your shoulders to come back up.

3 Ladder Pushup

Sets: 1 Reps: To Failure

Place a bar on the bottom rung of a power rack and perform as many pushups as possible. Immediately move it up about a foot to a higher rung and rep out again. Raise the bar one more time another 12–18 inches and rep out again. If your gym has one, use a cambered bar (it’s curved in the middle, so you can lower your chest farther down).

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Day 2: SHOULDERS (heavy)

1 Heavy Lateral Swing

Sets: 4 Reps: 35

Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand (more than you’d use for a strict lateral raise) and use momentum to swing the weights away from your sides. the range of motion is small. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and tilt your head back (to minimize trap involvement).

2 Cage Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 6

Stand in a power rack and hold the bar at shoulder level with hands shoulder-width apart. Split your stance so one leg is in front of the other. Press the bar into the supports of the rack and upward so it scrapes along the metal. Keep the bar in contact with the frame as you lower it.

Day 3: Upper Back

1 Meadows Row

Sets: 3 Reps: 8

Wedge a barbell in the corner of a room and load one sleeve with small plates. Stand with one leg in front of the other and bend over at the hips to grab the end of the bar with an overhand grip. Row the bar to your side.

2 Dumbbell Pullover

Sets: 3 Reps: 12

Lie back on a bench holding a dumbbell with both hands. Press up, locking your arms, until the weight is above your face, then lower it behind your head with arms nearly straight until you feel a stretch in your lats.

3 Medium Grip Pullup

Sets: 3 Reps: 12

4 Stretcher

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Attach a v-grip handle to the pulley of a lat-pulldown station. Place one foot on the seat with your leg straight. Allow the weight to pull your arms straight over your head and stretch your lats. Now lean back and pull the handle to your sternum.

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5 Barbell Shrug

Sets: 2 Reps: 15

Hold the top position for three seconds on each rep.

Day 3: HAMS/LOWER BACK

1 Seated Leg Curl

Sets: 3 Reps: 15

Perform these as a warmup. Do not go heavy or to failure.

2 Stiff-leg Deadlift <>Sets: 4 Reps: 15, 12, 9, 6

Keep a slight bend in your knees. Come up only three quarters of the way from the bottom on each rep.

3 Deficit Deadlift

Sets: 5 Reps: 5

Stack some plates on the floor or stand on a block or step so that you’re about six inches above the floor. Perform the deadlift from this elevation. Choose a weight that lets you perform every rep explosively.

4 Reverse Hyperextension

Sets: 3 Reps: 12

Set an adjustable bench to an incline and lie down on it facing the seat (so your legs hang off the head of the bench). Squeeze your glutes and raise your legs up until they’re in line with your body.

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Day 4: CHEST (Heavy)

1 Decline Dumbbell Press

Sets: 3 Reps: 8

The decline should be slight. Flex your chest at the top of each rep for two seconds.

2 Incline Bench Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 12, 10, 8, 6

Stop each rep one to two inches short of your chest and do not lock out any reps. keep tension on your chest.

3 Reverse Band Bench Press

Sets: 6 Reps: 5

Use two light jump stretch bands. Attach one to the top beam on each side of a power rack, or to the safety rods set at the highest level in the rack. Loop the other end of the bands onto the sleeves of the bar. Perform the bench press, allowing the bands to unload the weight at the bottom of the movement.

Day 4: SHOULDERS (light)

1 Machine Rear-Delt Flye

Sets: 4 Reps: 25

Hold the contracted position for one second.

2 Band Pull-Apart

Sets: 3 Reps: 15

Hold a band at arm’s length in front of you. Keeping your elbows straight, pull your arms backward as in a rear-delt flye. You’ll stretch the band two or three times its resting length. Hold the contracted position for a second.

3 SIx-Way Shoulder Raise

Sets: 4 Reps: 10

Sit on a bench holding a light dumbbell in each hand and perform a lateral raise. Move your arms in front of your body so you’re in the top position of a front raise. Now raise the weights straight overhead. Lower the weights back to the front raise, move them out to your sides (the top of the lateral raise again), and then lower. That’s one rep.

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Day 5: BICEPS/ CALVES

1 Seated Dumbbell Curl

Sets: 3 Reps: 12

Keep your palms turned up on every rep and take three seconds to lower each rep.

2 EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

Sets: 3 Reps: 8

Flex the biceps at the top of each rep.

3 Cross-Body Hammer Curl

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 (Each Arm)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and perform a hammer curl across your body. Your right hand will come up to your left shoulder and vice versa. Squeeze the dumbbell handles hard throughout.

4 Incline Concentrated Curl

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Set an adjustable bench to an incline and lie facedown on it with a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your palms turned toward the ceiling, curl the weights up to your shoulders without moving your upper arms forward. Press the dumbbells together as you curl.

5 Calf Raise On Leg Press w/ Bands

Sets: 3 Reps: As Many As Possible

Place your toes on the foot plate of a leg press machine and let the weight extend your ankles. Press your toes hard into the plate, flexing your ankles to push the weight up.

6 Seated Calf Raise

Sets: 2 Reps: 12

Feel the stretch at the bottom and hold the top position for two seconds.

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Day 5: Triceps/Abs

1 Rope Pushdown

Sets: 4 Reps: 12

2 Dip Between Benches

Sets: 3 Reps: To Failure

Place your hands on a bench behind you; your feet on another bench in front of you.

3 EZ-Bar Incline Extension

Sets: 3 Reps: 15

Set an adjustable bench to an incline and lie back against it. grab an EZ-bar with an over- hand, shoulder-width grip and raise it over your head. Keeping your upper arms in place, bend your elbows and lower the bar until it’s behind your head. Extend your elbows to raise it back up.

4 V-UP

Sets: 4 Reps: To Failure

Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight and arms pointed to the wall behind your head. Then simultaneously raise your legs overhead while reaching for your feet with your arms. Your body should form a v shape at the top.

5 Banded Ab Crunch

Sets: 4 Reps: 10

Loop a band around the top of a power rack and grab an end in each hand. Hold the band by your ears and stand with your feet wider than shoulder width. Push your hips back and crunch your torso down. Push your hips forward when you come up.


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We Love Fitness - 2013