I am applying all your advice in your keeping lean through Christmas article but I have a question regarding the weight training routine suggested.
Basically, I follow a traditional bodybuilding routine where I train 5 days dividing my days by body groups. I have never used full body routines and I am currently considering going on one (including your Manly Strength program).
I would like to ask you how would you go about incorporating the full body routine in your article to my split routine.
Thanks so much, I really like reading your opinion on training (also the advice you give in bb.com, you really are an authority there!).
James, Ohio (USA)
Great news that you have decided to enjoy your holidays yet plan, as my article advices, to keep lean and mean during Christmas! Thanks for the kind words too, I simply enjoy helping others and the fact that so many people appreciate my advice is a consequence of my passion for fitness.
Your question is relevant because some of Manly Curls’ readers do precisely train as you do, with a split routine.
I have two recommendations for you, either continue with what you are doing and throw in the following exercises that I will describe or start training with a full body routine since you have expressed an interest in these. Let’s go by parts.
Training with your split routine
If you continue with your split routine, continue training as you’d otherwise do. However, I want you to do the following at the end of your workout:
Full squats: 2 sets of 15 reps with 135lbs. If you don’t squat over 200lbs when you normally squat (e.g Leg day), then use 100lbs instead for the 2×15. Try to emphasize exploding up as you ascend from the squat.
Straight leg deadlifts: 2 sets of 15 reps with 135lbs. Again, if you don’t deadlift regularly with over 200lbs, use 100lbs for your 2×15.
Overhead press: 2 sets of 15 reps with an Olympic barbell (7ft barbells) without any added weight plates. If you don’t have access to a 7ft barbell, use 20lbs dumbbells on each hand.
Only rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
Do the above 3 exercises regardless of what day it is in your routine. So if you are having a cheat meal when you usually have your Leg day, then go about your normal Leg day and, at the end, include these 3 exercises. Don’t worry, these 3 exercises, done as outlined, will not impair your workout recovery and will, in fact, accelerate it.
Starting to train with a full body routine
Do the routine as I outlined in the article for two weeks. This will allow you to condition yourself for a full body routine. Train one day, rest the next, then train again and so on. Choose a conservative weight and add a repetition to each set every training day.
After two weeks, you can choose either of these two solid full body routines: my Manly Strength program or Bill Starr’s The Strongest Shall Survive. The great thing about these two routines is that they can be used year round and they will yield both great strength and muscle mass gains. I have used both and I designed my Manly Strength routine with all the information I have gathered through years of training experience and mentoring of great strength coaches.
Apply my advice and don’t forget to enjoy your Christmas holidays!
All the best,