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The BEST workout ever!

So this is a bit of a milestone year for me. I started training when I was 14 years old, so now at the ripe old age of 34 I’ve been training for 20 years. In my 20 year roller coaster career of lifting weights I have learnt a few things that I have decided to share. This information is real and has no price tag attached….and there is a reason for that.

The long debated argument of sets and reps still rages on. Every bodybuilder, fitness professional, coach etc will have their own spin on things. You may even pay some “experts” for their secret recipe of how much to lift to be just like them. Just today I was reading an article on a very renowned website called ‘hardcore biceps workout’. For starters the guy had very uninspiring arms and secondly he had no basis as to why this would work. It was an arbitrary number of sets and reps on basic exercises. So why do what he says? why do what anyone says?

In 2008 I went on a fact finding mission for about a year where I read so many different opinions, styles, techniques and routines in order to find the perfect number of sets and reps and workout split. I thought there must be a trick I’m missing or some golden challis out there that meant I would just get bigger and better. What I discovered was far better.

There is no perfect routine, set count, reps number or workout split. Only what works for you. Every top bodybuilder does something differently to the other. They are all top bodybuilders so how can they all be right? or wrong? Everyone at the top gets beaten at some point, so the new top guy, is his routine better?

The answer is no. The thing I realised is that if you stick to some basic principles you will achieve all you can. Then you narrow it down to what works for you through trial and error until you have your perfect routine.

It must be progressive – you must continue to add new stress to your muscles, be it in sets, reps and weight. My best advice is to record your workouts so you can look to do better every time.You must seek to improve regularly – If you’re not improving regularly i.e. adding more weight or more reps then you’re not recovering or not stimulating, so you’re doing too much or too little.Work your ass off – you do actually have to try. If its easy then it’s not training.Find failure – for adding muscle mass find failure in rep ranges of 6-12. This is age old and has been studied a lot.More isn’t always better – some people respond to higher intensity i.e 1 very tough set. Some respond to volume. Try both, but you’ll quickly get injured if you try too much volume and intensity at the same time.Don’t give up - Stopping or changing too regularly will give inconsistent results and you’ll never know what works.Stick to the basics - always include the big compound movements like squats and dead lifts if you’re able to do them.

I know it’s not what people want to hear, most of you reading this will want a definitive answer or routine to copy. This is my point. After 20 years of training, I realised, there is no right answer. There are just principles to adhere to, science to understand and hard work to be done.

My perfect routine is the one that works for me right now. You may use another trainers as a guide to get you started but make it your own through dedication and trial and error.

Just to back up my claims I’ll tell you what I’m doing right now for free. No edit. No lies. No charge

Monday – Chest – 3 ex 5 working sets

Tuesday – Back – 4 ex 5 working sets

Wednesday – Shoulders and calves – 2 ex front delt, 2 ex back delt 1 ex traps 5 working sets, calves 2 ex 7 sets

Thursday – Arms and abs – 2 ex Biceps, 2 ex triceps 5 working sets, 5 super sets on forearms, Abs 2 ex 7 sets

Friday – Legs- 2 ex quads 2 ex hamstrings 7 sets

Sat and Sun rest

This is me above for my achievement reference.

I eat around 3500kcals per day and I alternate my weeks between heavy training, high rep training and slow rep training.

You can follow this routine if you like but it’s what works for me, and it took me 20 years to work that out.

If you would like to know more about training, nutrition or fitness goals then contact me or come by my gym.

Happy lifting Ali ‘Fat Al’ Stewart

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