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Redefining Bodybuilding | Chest and Legs


Your new routine is holding you back! Last week we discussed “circus tricks” that don’t belong within your workouts. This week we will highlight another misconception in stimulating muscle growth.


A popular “theory” has been coined within “extreme” workouts, that of muscle confusion. It states that in order to see results, the body needs to be stupefied. Let’s think about this for a moment. Does it make sense that in an effort to move forward one would need to make oneself less efficient at a given task? For example, when learning to drive, you wouldn’t blind yourself or practice driving to a destination backwards to become a better motorist. However, you would use the same principles that were originally taught while learning new skills to progress.


Hypertrophy is augmented in the same manner. One does not need to confuse the body to see results. Nonetheless, building a more powerful machine, as it were, does require utilizing unchanging principles in an environment that forces progression.


Principles of Hypertrophy 


  1. Diet: Do no attempt to out train your diet. What you put into your body will fuel your workout and your results.
  2. Time under Tension: Control your weights; do not let them control you. Keep your focus on the muscles at work.
  3. Peak Contraction: Squeeze and let it burn.
  4. Compound Movements: Big movements such as presses, rows, squats and pulls should be the cornerstone to any program.
  5. Stay Consistent: Give your programs adequate time to produce results, and continually look for ways to progress within a given program.
  6. Recover: While “overtraining”, in a traditional sense, may be very unlikely in a singular workout, a string of routines without proper recovery will hold back your progress.



Your Supplements:




Your Movements:


DB Incline Press: Use a spotter to watch your wrists, not your elbows. The wrist is the first thing to go with a dumbbell press. Try a mechanical drop set for these. First, utilize a high incline dumbbell press for 10 reps. Sit up and have your spotter lower the incline to 45°- Press to failure. Sit up and have your spotter lower to the lowest incline without it becoming a flat bench and press to failure again.


Flat Flyes: Get a nice stretch at the end of the movement and pause for one second. Squeeze chest hard at the top.


Dips and Push-Ups Superset: Rest as little as possible between movements. Use a close hand stance for your push-ups. If you cannot get to 10 reps for your pushups, go to your knees.


Hack Squat: To perform the classic hack squat, stand with a barbell behind you and resting on the ground against your calves. Place feet approximately shoulder width apart, preferably with heels raised on 2x4 blocks, push hips back and bend to grasp the barbell with an overhand grip. Tightly pinch the shoulder blades and drive your heels into the ground as you rise to a standing position.


High Box Step Ups: Perform 12 reps on one leg and then alternate to the other. Do not fully rest the active leg until completion of side. Use a mid-to-upper shin box height.


Romanian Deadlift and Plié Squat Superset: To perform the Plié squat, place feet as if you were performing a Sumo Deadlift. Cross arms with elbows high and squat as low as possible with back completely upright and knees tracking over toes. Form must be precise or training response is greatly reduced. If performed perfectly, the position will resemble a belt squat, but the individual is likely to put greater emphasis upon lower body given the posture.



Your Workout:


DB Incline Press –4x10
Flat Flyes – 3x15


A1) Dips 3x12
A2) Push-Ups 3xfailure


Hack Squats
1x10 @ 50%
1x10 @55%
1x10 @60%
1x10@ 70%


High Box Step Ups 3x12


B1) Romanian Deadlift 3x8
B2) Plié Squat 3x15


This program was originally put together for someone who wanted a sick upper body pump while still training legs. While Chest day and Leg Day go together like peanut butter and french fries, it does help reveal much of program design. Some questions you may have for this program are:


  • Why were these specific exercises chosen within this routine?
  • Are push-ups worth performing as a bodybuilder?
  • Why were hack squats used here instead of traditional back squats?
  • Why use a lighter weight hack squat in this routine in comparison to the exercise density of the other movements?
  • Are high step ups or anything other than squat and machine-based leg movements worth my time if I’m trying to build as much muscle as possible?
  • Are plié squats best utilized in a tutu?


All of these questions and more will be answered in next week’s article.
TEAM USPlabs IFBB Pro AJ Williams
Prepared by Nik Ohanian and John Davies


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.