Saturday, August 30, 2014

Workout of the Day: Back to (Circuit) Basics

It's been just under 2 months since I rejoined a gym and I'm starting to see the results.  At first I was going my old school routine of 2 body parts a day, Super Set style with a split looking like Chest/Biceps, Legs, Back/Triceps and Shoulders/Arms, repeat.  But of course you start to get bored, life picks up, blah blah blah.  I incorporated some Vince Gironda style volume training last week but it was just a lot on my joints.  Needing to be reinvigorated, I found new-old inspiration from one Mirko Cro Cop.  The Croatian Sensation just won his latest MMA match via a doctor stoppage after an elbow from the bottom opened up Judo specialist and Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii's hairline scalp like a faucet of blood.  His preparation videos show him doing a circuit of general compound moves like kettle bell swings, chin ups, push ups, dips and the like.  Of course circuit training has always been one of my favorite ways to train as you can pump up your entire body in quick succession and the fast pace helps burn extra calories.  Over the last 18 years of training and gleaning over the methods of various bodybuilders, athletes and actors, I always come back to the basic principles set forth by Jean-Claude Van Damme and Frank Zane then more recently Daniel Craig and Mirko Cro Cop.  Basically, it's a mix of fast paced, concentrated efforts with opposing muscle groups with a focus on form rather than weight utilizing basic exercises that activate multiple muscle groups versus isolation or too many cable movements.

For today's circuit, I was after an upper body pump:

1) Clean and Press, to get the whole body involved and the testosterone flowing
2) Incline Push Up, changing hand position with each set
3) Close Grip Chins, to work the forearms and biceps more than the lats
4) Low Incline Dumbbell Curl, to take the front delts out of the movement
5) Dumbbell Hammer Extensions, still on the low incline with elbows near my head to keep pressure off the joints
6) Gironda Cable Rows, with arms outstretched and head down starting position, pulling back and up to the chest to work a different angle
7) Dips, elbows in tight with a nice stretch for the pecs and triceps
8) Preacher Curls, elbows in tight on the bench, lowering all the way down and flexing at the top
9) Cable Pressdown, elbows in tight, standing close to the pulley to ensure it was only triceps

3 sets of that and it was time for some back extensions, neck and forearms followed by a few miles on the bike done in intervals to keep my heart rate up and also to keep my attention since cardio is frigging boring.  Then I wandered into a studio and hit the bag for a few minutes followed by stretching and breathing exercises to get my mind and body to slow down.  Feeling great after a busy week and only a couple of workouts, I'm looking forward to Legs tomorrow.

Getting that summer pump:

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