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6 THERMOGENIC Tips and a 9 Week Program

 

You train with intensity to rival a full-force hurricane, eat so much protein you are on a first-name basis with the staff at your local grocery store, and regularly consume the best performance supplements money can buy. You are happy with your gains, and appear to be ticking all the right muscle-building boxes.

However, if you feel you have yet to achieve the best gains of your life, you are probably right. In fact, if you’ve been in the training game long enough you may even be experiencing a training plateau.

No matter how hard we try with each workout or how diligent we appear to be working on all aspects of our training approach, there are likely to be untested training methods that, when included, will further fast-track our rate of muscle-building progress to reveal what we are truly capable of in the gym.

While packing on the mass is, for many, the easy part, achieving the exceptional leanness that’ll reveal one’s hard-won muscle is seldom, if ever, truly realized. That’s all about to change. With the six workable gym-proven tips outlined below, you’ll finally be ready to unveil the shredded physique you’ve always wanted.

BY STEADILY REVVING UP YOUR METABOLISM AND OBLITERATING STORED BODY FAT WITH THE FOLLOWING TACTICS, YOU’LL GET LEAN, AND STAY LEAN, WITHOUT SACRIFICING VALUABLE MUSCLE TISSUE.

The following article provides an approach to building a physique that’s both muscularly dense and fully shredded, an approach I’ve personally found to be successful with the many lean body hopefuls I’ve trained. Follow it as prescribed to reveal a level of muscular development that’ll have your gym buddies questioning your latest “training stack”.

Periodization

Concluding any training program with the same approach used during its initial stages is a big mistake.

FIRST, TO CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE THE MUSCLES TO GROW, THE BODY MUST GRADUALLY BE EASED INTO INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT WORK THAT’S PERIODICALLY INCLUDED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE BODY IS SHOCKED INTO CHANGING FOR THE BETTER.

Attempting everything at once from the outset may, on the other hand, result in over-training and stagnation or, worse, injury and regression.

Secondly, by dividing your training into distinct phases, you’ll ultimately experience the cumulative benefits of each stage. In this way, just as the body begins to acclimate to a given phase, another is presented to keep the muscles guessing and growing.

Thirdly, by enhancing muscular growth via an ever-changing set of training variables you’ll keep your metabolic rate climbing as the physiological adaptations required to adjust to greater levels of intensity will increase the body’s energy demands (I.e, increase the rate at which the body burns calories – at work, and at rest). In addition, the increased muscularity brought about by such training will cause the metabolism to further skyrocket (more metabolically active muscle means more calories burned at rest).

CONTINUALLY CHALLENGING ONE’S CAPABILITIES WITH A UNIQUE TRAINING STIMULUS FURTHER ENCOURAGES STUBBORN MUSCLE TISSUE TO WORK HARDER AND GROW BEYOND THE PARAMETERS SET BY STANDARD, ACROSS-THE-BOARD, TRAINING APPROACHES.

The training program I’ve outlined below is divided into three distinct 3-week phases utilizing the same effective protocols, but modifying these variables to further increase each phase’s difficulty level.

In Phase 1, a solid foundation of mass, strength (through the periodic employment of low rep sets) and conditioning is the objective, while the more intensive Phases’ 2 and 3 will promote a great deal more super-compensation through staggered rep ranges, hypertrophy-based training, the introduction of intensity principals, a greater number of different movements and a higher overall workload.

BY PERIODIZING TRAINING, IN THIS FASHION, THE BODY WILL BE FORCED TO ADAPT AND COMPENSATE. MORE MUSCLE GROWTH AND FASTER FAT LOSS WILL BE THE RESULT.

Rest Periods

Given the following program’s gradual increase in intensity from phase to phase, rest between sets (as outlined below under “program notes”) becomes increasingly more important as training progresses.

REST BETWEEN SETS MUST BE CLOSELY MONITORED IN ORDER TO KEEP THE INTENSITY PLACED UPON THE MUSCLES HIGH WHILE IMPROVING RECOVERY BETWEEN SETS TO HIT EACH MUSCLE GROUPING WITH MAXIMAL EFFORT.

Maintaining strictly defined rest periods also helps condense our workouts into shorter workloads which helps ensure training is both harder and faster. As such, we can get out of the gym quicker and begin the recovery process sooner. Equally as important, such compounded intensity also has a thermogenic effect on fat loss – keeping the metabolic rate high and adipose on the decrease.

While shorter rest periods increase overall training intensity, the heavier the weight is the more recovery that’ll be needed between sets.

BOTTOM LINE: IT’S BETTER TO TAKE A LITTLE EXTRA TIME TO ENSURE THAT FORM, TIME UNDER TENSION AND REP COUNT ARE NOT SACRIFICED WHEN HEAVY LOADS ARE BEARING DOWN.

Intensity Techniques

A bodybuilding training regime without a generous inclusion of the intensity techniques outlined below will produce only a fraction of the results achieved when such shock tactics are employed. The days of an across the board training approach of 3 sets of 8-12 per movement are well and truly over. A realization of the importance of taking every opportunity to extend and optimize the intensity of each set through a variety of different methods has given the trainee a performance edge to boost bodybuilding progress beyond more conventional training parameters.

Again, as with shortening rest periods (a valid intensity method in itself), using specific intensity tactics serves to heighten the fat burning response via improved metabolic efficiency.

CRAMMING MORE WORK INTO A SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME WILL, AS WITH CARDIOVASCULAR HIIT METHODS, CREATE A SIGNIFICANT AFTER-BURN EFFECT TO GREATLY INCREASE BOTH LIPOLYSIS AND THE USE OF FAT FOR FUEL.

IT’S WISE TO JUDICIOUSLY AND STRATEGICALLY INCORPORATE A WIDE RANGE OF INTENSITY TECHNIQUES TO “SHOCK” THE BODY INTO COMPENSATING WITH MORE MUSCLE IN ORDER TO BETTER RESPOND TO THE REINTRODUCTION OF EACH STRESSOR.

In the following program, (specifically, Phases 2-3) intensity techniques will vary from workout-to-workout, phase-to-phase. Based on the efficacy and proven track record of each, the major intensity techniques to be used in the following program are: rest/pause, drop sets, supersets, and partial reps.

The Mental Edge

Proper bodybuilding training is as much a mental game as it is physically demanding. In the following program, it’s expected that maximum focus will, at all times, be applied. There is to be no talking with friends between sets, no checking text messages when the next set beckons and no updating Facebook with those “intense” training selfies. With its emphasis on condensing and elevating training intensity, the ability to concentrate is a fundamental program attribute and critical to training success.

In addition, the more focused we are in the gym, the more in touch we are with the amount of intensity inflicted on the working muscles.

AS WE NOW KNOW, MORE INTENSITY MEANS A MORE FORCEFUL MUSCULAR CONTRACTION, GREATER TENSION PLACED ON THE CORRECT MUSCLES AND A HIGHER OVERALL WORKOUT IN A SHORTER SPACE OF TIME.

This all adds up to not only more muscle gains but faster and more effective fat loss.

MENTALLY REHEARSE EACH SET BEFORE EXECUTING IT AND VISUALIZE POSITIVE OUTCOMES FROM THE BEGINNING OF YOUR SESSION TO ITS CONCLUSION.

Though not easy at first, practicing mindfulness when in the throes of training will, over time, give you a mental edge needed to elevate progress beyond what might otherwise be expected. It’s the very basis of the much-coveted mind/muscle connection essential to full muscular recruitment.

Pre-Training Supplementation

As effective as mental tricks, intensity techniques, and beneficial training strategies are, each cannot be fully employed if energy levels are low.

Though proper nutrition will ensure a good basic supply of carbohydrates on which to train with ball-busting intensity, the mental arousal, neuromuscular stimulation, supercharged focus and physical prowess achieved via the inclusion of quality pre-training supplementation cannot be overlooked.

SUCH SUPPLEMENTS – IN PARTICULAR, THOSE THAT BOTH HEIGHTEN TRAINING INTENSITY AND ENHANCE THERMOGENESIS AND FAT BURNING – WILL GIVE YOU A PERFORMANCE EDGE UNIQUE TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THEIR POWERFUL INGREDIENTS.

Given its intensive nature, it is advised that all who attempt the following program consume a reputable pre-workout supplement.

Three products which provide powerful workout enhancing, thermogenic and fat burning properties are ALLMAX Nutrition’s RAPIDCUTS SHREDDED, KETOCUTS, AND A-CUTS – the most highly-concentrated and potent formulations of their kind on today’s market.

AS MARKET LEADERS IN QUALITY PRE-WORKOUTS, EACH OF THESE SUPPLEMENTS IS EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE IN PEELING OFF THE FAT WHILE SAFEGUARDING LEAN MUSCLE.

  • A sustained-release thermogenic, RAPIDCUTS SHREDDED targets stubborn body fat, releases it from fat cells and rapidly transforms it into energy. Among its ingredients is included the powerful three-punch thermogenic combo of Green Coffee Extract (to balance blood sugar and boost metabolism), Cinnulin PF (to reduce blood sugar levels and burn fat while protecting muscle gains) and Ashwagandha (to inhibit oxidative stress, lower free radical damage, reduce cortisol and boost energy).
  • An amino-charged energy drink, A-CUTS increases training output via increased training energy. With natural sources of caffeine, Green Coffee Extract, CLA (to reduce fat accumulation in fat cells) and Taurine (to aid the mobilization of fat and to improve insulin sensitivity) A-CUTS also help create the conditions needed to keep fat loss consistent.
  • In supporting the production of ketones without having to adopt a full ketogenic diet, KETOCUTS aids fat reduction by encouraging the body to preferentially use fat for fuel. Containing BHB Exogenous Ketones, MCTs and L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, KETOCUTS provides an excellent source of training energy while supporting cognitive functioning and boosting thermogenesis and fat loss.

Consistency of Effort

As in life, consistency of effort in the gym is needed for positive training outcomes, provided, of course, such effort is of the highest quality. To ensure all training sessions are consistently productive, it is important to mentally rehearse all physical outcomes. Knowing in advance what you expect to get from your workout will, as if by magic, create the conditions necessary for optimal performances each and every time.

BY MENTALLY SEEING YOURSELF LIFTING UNSURPASSED WEIGHTS, YOU’LL BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO GET THE JOB DONE.

A FIRM PLAN OF ATTACK IS NEEDED – VISUALIZING A SUCCESSFUL REP, SET AND WORKOUT MUST BE DONE IN ORDER TO BRING TO FRUITION RELIABLE LEVELS OF TRAINING INTENSITY AND, ULTIMATELY, ONGOING PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS.

Whatever the training objective, optimal workout performance is a must. Be sure never to become complacent in the gym. Note in a training diary all performance indicators and assess these from session to session, with the ever-present objective of surpassing each firmly in mind. Whether you are attempting Phases’ 1, 2, or 3, all of the following program’s workouts must be completed in line with pre-determined standards of excellence.

Program Notes

Rest Between Sets (Based on Rep Range)

4 – 6 = 2 min
8 – 12 = 1.5 min
12-15 = 1 min
15-20 = 1 min
20-25 = 1 min

Recommended Weight

Adjust weight according to the rep ranges. For example, for the rep range of 4-6, one’s heaviest weight should be employed, whereas 20-25 reps will require a much lighter load.

Cardio – Two methods to be employed
  • HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training = cranking up the intensity for 1 minute (90+% of MHR) followed by 2 minutes at a moderate pace (60-70% of MHR)
  • Steady-State (75 percent of Maximum Heart Rate for full cardio duration)

All cardio is to be done before breakfast on an empty stomach (though a thermogenic supplement may be taken 1 hour before each cardio session).

Intensity Notes

SS = Super Set
DS = Drop Set (DS2 = double drop; DS3 = triple drop) – reduce the weight by 30 percent for each successive drop.
PS = Partial Set -upon completion of a set perform 2-3 partial reps.
RP = Rest/Pause – upon completion of a set, rest for 2 seconds, perform 2 more reps, rest another 2 seconds, and perform a final 2 reps.

PHASE 1: Week 1 – 3
Monday
Morning (before breakfast) – Cardio
  • 25 minutes of HIIT
Evening – Chest & Arms
  • Incline dumbbell press: 4 sets of 8-12.
  • Barbell bench press: 2 sets of 4-6
  • Close grip bench press: 4 sets of 8-12
  • Close-grip triceps pushdowns: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Incline dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Standing barbell curls: 3 sets of 4-6
  • Hammer curls: 2 sets of 8-12

Tuesday
Legs
  • Regular squats: 4 sets of 8-12.
  • Front squats: 3 sets of 4-6
  • Lying leg curls: 4 sets of 8-12
  • Leg press: 2 sets of 12-15
  • Calf raises (seated): 3 sets of 8-12
  • Calf raises (standing): 4 sets of 8-12

Wednesday
Morning – Cardio
  • 25 minutes of HIIT

Thursday
Shoulders & Traps
  • Bent over dumbbell raises: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Standing dumbbell presses: 3 sets of 4-6
  • Dumbbell shrugs: 4 sets of 12-15
  • Side lateral dumbbell raise: 3 sets of 8-12

Friday
Morning – Cardio
  • 25 minutes of HIIT
Evening – Back
  • Bent over barbell rows: 4 sets of 8-12
  • Close grip lat pull-downs: 3 sets of 4-6
  • Chin-ups: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Seated pulley rows: 2 sets of 12-15

Saturday
Rest day

Sunday
Morning – Cardio & Abs
  • 45 minutes of steady state cardio
  • Swiss ball crunches (with weight): 4 sets of 12-15
  • Hanging leg raise (with weight): 3 sets of 15-20
PHASE 2: Week 4 – 6
Monday
Morning – Cardio
  • 35 minutes of HIIT
Evening – Chest & Arms
  • Flat bench dumbbell flyes SS with cable crossovers: 3 sets of 15-20
  • Dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 12-15 (DS2 for final two sets)
  • Incline dumbbell presses: 2 sets of 8-12
  • Incline dumbbell curls: 4 sets of 8-12 (PS for final two sets)
  • Hammer curls: 3 sets of 4-6
  • Barbell preacher curls: 2 sets of 12-15 (RP for final set)
  • Close-grip triceps pushdowns: 2 sets of 8-12 (DS3 on final set)
  • Lying barbell triceps extensions: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Close grip bench press 2 sets of 8-12 (RP for final set)

Tuesday
Legs
  • Regular squats SS with leg extensions: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Leg press: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Dumbbell lunges: 2 sets of 8-12 (RP for final set)
  • Leg curls: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-12 (DS2 for final two sets)
  • Calf raises (seated): 3 sets of 12-15 (DS3 for final set)
  • Calf raises (standing): 4 sets of 12-15

Wednesday
Morning – Cardio
  • 35 minutes of HIIT

Thursday
Shoulders & Traps
  • Side lateral dumbbell raise: 4 sets of 12-15 (PS for final two sets)
  • Bent over dumbbell raise SS with barbell press: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Dumbbell shrugs: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Dumbbell upright rows: 3 sets of 8-12 (DS3 for final two sets)

Friday
Morning – Cardio
  • 35 minutes of HIIT
Evening – Back
  • Chin-ups: 4 sets of 12-15
  • Bent over barbell rows: 3 sets of 12-15 (DS3 for final two sets)
  • Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Close grip lat pull-downs: 4 sets of 8-12 (RP for final two sets)

Saturday
Rest day

Sunday
Morning – Cardio & Abs
  • 45 minutes steady-state cardio
  • Swiss Ball crunches SS with hanging leg raises (weight added to each): 4 sets of 12-15
  • Side dumbbell bends: 3 sets of 15-20
PHASE 3: Week 7 – 9
Monday
Morning (before breakfast) – Cardio
  • 35 minutes of HIIT
Evening – Chest & Arms
  • Incline barbell press SS with incline dumbbell press: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Incline dumbbell flyes: 2 sets of 15-20 (DS2 for final set)
  • Barbell bench press: 2 sets of 8-12 (RP for final set)
  • Close grip bench press: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Close-grip triceps pushdowns: 4 sets of 12-15 (DS3 for final two sets)
  • Lying barbell triceps extensions: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Incline dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 12-15 (PS for final two sets)
  • Standing barbell curls: 4 sets of 8-12 (RP for final set)
  • Hammer curls: 2 sets of 12-15

Tuesday
Legs
  • Leg press: 4 sets of 8-12 (RP for final two sets)
  • Regular squats: 3 sets of 15-20 (DS3 for final set)
  • Leg extensions SS with hack squats: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Leg curls: 2 sets of 12-15 (DS3 for both sets)
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-12
  • Calf raises (seated) SS with toe raises on leg press machine: 4 sets of 8-12
  • Calf raises (standing): 4 sets of 15-20 (DS3 for final two sets)

Wednesday
Morning (before breakfast) – Cardio
  • 35 minutes of HIIT

Thursday
Shoulders & Traps
  • Side lateral dumbbell raises SS with bent over dumbbell raises: 4 sets of 8-12
  • Standing dumbbell presses: 3 sets of 12-15 (RP for final two sets)
  • Dumbbell upright rows: 4 sets of 12-50 (DS3 for final two sets)
  • Dumbbell shrugs SS with front raises: 3 sets of 8-12 (PS for final two sets of front raises)

Friday
Morning – Cardio
  • 35 minutes of HIIT
Evening – Back
  • Bent over barbell rows: 4 sets of 8-12 (DS3 for final two sets)
  • Seated pulley rows SS with close grip lat pull-downs: 4 sets of 8-12
  • Chin-ups: 3 sets of 12-15
  • Deadlifts: 4 sets of 8-12 (RP for final two sets)

Saturday
Rest day

Sunday
Morning – Cardio & Abs
  • 60 minutes of steady-state cardio
  • Hanging leg raises SS with rope crunches on pull-down machine: 4 sets of 15-20
  • Swiss Ball Crunches: 4 sets of 15-20 (add weight)
  • Floor crunches SS with dumbbell side bends: 3 sets of 15-20

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