My secrets to achieving a lean and toned physique

My secrets to achieving a lean and toned physique

I thought I would structure this article a bit differently than previous articles. I’ve had a fascination with athletics from as early as I can remember. Before moving to the US at 14 years of age my primary sport was soccer. I played almost every position on the field but enjoyed the right wing and defensive midfield positions the most. I loved the physicality both required and excelled as a result.

When I moved to the US, I adopted football and wrestling as my primary sports. These sports taught me a lot about pushing through adversity to grow as an athlete. One of the common threads between wrestling and football is weight training. To excel in either sport, you have to dedicate yourself to improving your physical fitness. Even though I may not be competing anymore, I still lift weights on a regular basis. In this article we’ll go through the workout routine that I’ve been utilizing over the past 3 months to build strength and achieve a lean mean physique.  {WARNING: Please seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any strenuous work out routine}

What is strength training?

Have you ever seen a lean, toned person out lift a larger more bulky guy? I’d be willing to bet that the leaner individual regularly engaged in some sort of strength training regime. Strength training consists of workout routines whose purpose is to build strength and explosiveness. Unlike training regimes that focus on bulking and muscle endurance, strength training regimes will require you to operate at the lower end of the repetition scale. This means that you will need to lift HEAVIER weight for FEWER repetitions.

The optimal number of repetitions for strength training is between 1-6 repetitions. This repetition range can be achieved using weights that correspond to 85% – 95% of your 1 rep max. Lifting heavy weight will shock your nervous system so it’s important to get the proper amount of rest in between sets. The recommended rest time in between sets is between 2 – 4 minutes. Although this may seem like quite a bit of rest your body will need it to operate at peak performance.

My workout routine and results

Before - Strength TrainingAfter - Strength Training

Using the following strength training regime coupled with a healthy high-protein and fiber diet (discussed in my upcoming book) I’ve been able to lose almost 8 pounds of excess body weight and improve my lifts by 20%.  Below I’ve provided a list of last week’s workout to give you a baseline to go off of:

Monday

Incline Dumbbell Press: 80, 75, 70 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Shoulder Press: 50, 45, 40 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Lateral Raises: 30, 25, 20 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Tricep dips w/ weight: 45, 40, 35 lbs sets of 10

Skull crushers: 70, 60, 60 lbs sets of 8

Tuesday

Bicep pull ups w/ weight:  45, 40, 35 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Seated Bicep Curls: 40, 40, 35 lbs sets of 10 each arm

Preacher Curls: 75, 70, 65 lbs sets of 10

Dumbbell Rows:  85, 80, 75 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Bent over rear flys: 55, 50, 45 lbs for 5, 6, 8 repetitions respectively

Wednesday

REST DAY (Optional Abs day)

Thursday

Front Squat : 175, 165, 155 lbs for 5, 6, 8 repetitions respectively

Leg Press: 275, 265, 255 lbs for 5, 6, 8 repetitions respectively

Split leg squat: 55’s, 50’s, 45’s lbs for 5, 6, 8 repetitions respectively (each leg)

Quad extensions:  90 lbs for 3 sets of 8

Hamstring extensions: 90 lbs l for 3 sets of 8

Friday

Incline Dumbbell Press: 80, 75, 75 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Shoulder Press: 50, 45, 45 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Lateral Raises: 30, 25, 25 lbs for 5, 6 and 8 repetitions respectively

Tricep dips w/ weight: 45, 40, 40 lbs sets of 10

Skull crushers: 70, 70, 60 lbs sets of 8

You should modify this routine to incorporate weights that correspond to 85%-95% of your 1 rep max. As you complete each exercise, make sure to write out your results in a notebook or in your smart phone. This will make it easier for you to reference in the future when you increase weight for each of your lifts.

Maximizing your results

Maximize your results - Strength Training

Because of the nature of strength training, it’s important to give your body time to rest in between workout sessions.  The optimal number of workouts will be between 3-4 times per week. Along with your work out schedule, you should make sure to eat a healthy diet and get a proper amount of sleep.

Working out creates small tears in your muscles which your body will need to repair for your muscles to grow. To accelerate the process of healing, you should make sure to incorporate enough protein into your diet. Eating a high protein diet will ensure that your body with have the building blocks necessary to replenish your muscles.  Sleep is also an essential part of the formula.  As you sleep, your body goes to work utilizing proteins and other amino acids to repair torn muscle tissue. As your muscles heal, they become stronger and denser. For more information about how to get a great night’s sleep, check out my article titled “5 things you can do today to get a great night’s sleep” (http://thestrongprofessional.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-good-nights-sleep/)

Now that you’re armed with the tools to build strength and achieve a lean/toned physique, try the routine out for a month. I’m sure that you’ll be happy with the results. Be sure to update me on your progress and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. I love hearing about your success!

P.S.

My book recommendation for this article is “Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition” by Frederic Delavier. In the book, the author illustrates an array of exercises/stretches and explains how each affect the anatomy of the body. This is one of the most highly rated books on the subject of human anatomy, physiology and strength training and I highly recommend it. I’ve provided the link to the book below:

Check out “Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition” by Frederic Delavier