The most difficult thing about following a exercise program is deciding when exactly
to change it. You've always got two voices in your headí¬the one telling you to stay
the course and give your exercise time to work, and the other one tempting you to
scrap the routine you're doing altogether and try something new to shock your
body. Of course, listening to one influence or the other can lead to disappointing
results, but you can't listen to both, either.
The first thing I do when I look at a exercise is identify what the most important
parts are and separate them from the rest. Obviously, if the goal is bigger shoulders
and a stronger press, the overhead press is the most important exercise. It's the
first thing on the list and there's plenty of volume assigned to it. This is where
most of your gains are going to come from. The dip and the lateral raise are pretty
much just add-ons and, while useful, aren't going to make or break my progress.
If I'm running short on time, can I skip them and still get a great exercise? You
bet. But I really want to make sure I hit the overhead and Arnold press hard. Let
me show you how to make one program last indefinitely by making slight changes over
time that both keep things interesting and allow continued gains. During the first
week of a reduced calorie and carbohydrate diet, you will flush a lot of excess
water and lose weight rapidly.
This is neither unhealthy, nor an indication of what your rate of weight loss will
be like during weeks 2 and 3. With that said, men should expect to see an 8 to 12
pound loss during these 3 weeks, and women will likely lose 5 to 10 pounds. Flip-flop
back and forth between the 2 exercises listed in this block. Perform as many reps
as you can per exercise, and stop a set when you come close to failure. Continue
this pattern of alternating exercises, and performing as many reps as possible,
until your 8 minutes are up. Finishers are not for the faint of heart. Completing
finishers requires you to embrace the suck, relishing the challenge and pushing
through the physical pain and mental barriers.
Fitness must be engaged. Below is a list of my best finishers, with application
varying from fat loss, increased work capacity, or as a challenge to build mental
toughness. Well-timed finishers develop the mind and body to outlast the competition
and persevere through any challenge set-forth. You can increase the reps on several
of the exercises. However, this isn't mandatory. Some lifts, like the overhead press,
work better if you stick with the reps assigned to them for longer.
The form on overhead presses tends to break down quickly, so sets of five are great
for working with heavy weight and getting some volume in, but five reps isn't so
many that you get sloppy. Also, since the goal is strength, it doesn't make much
sense to push your reps too high, or you train a different quality than the one
your program is intended for. In Week 2, I'd probably increase the weight by two-and-a-half
to five pounds on the sets of five, or keep the same load as the prior week and
shoot for six reps but no more.