As a lifter, whether new or seasoned, there will come a time when the constant pounding of the weights would take its toll. Most lifters have built the foundations of their strength and size with a barbell. Going heavy on the bench press, deadlift, squat, overhead press  and barbell row has made up the backbone of our routines for a good reason: They work. But after a while, your body starts to rebel against you. The aching in your joints will start to control your progress. Your strength will also start to plateau, and building muscle will become a struggle. If you continue to lift with joint pain, you will only end up hurt.

The secret to dealing with most training injury is to work as hard as you can on exercises that will not worsen the joint pain and will help you recover instead. The truth is, it is still possible for you to build strength and muscle mass without the barbell. By using more work with machines and cables, you can keep joint pain at bay and set yourself up for success without the need to stop training. Here’s how it’s done.

CABLE LATERAL RAISE

You can do two arms at the same time to save time, but doing cable lateral raises one arm at a time lets you focus on the strength of each shoulder. Squeeze each rep at the top.

PROGRAM KEYS

JOINT MOBILITY

Maintaining proper joint range of motion is the key for any athlete, not just because it is “healthy” in some vague sense of the word. By adding a sound dynamic warmup that aims to improve range of motion in the hips, shoulders, and thoracic (upper) spine,not only do you help reduce the risk of injury, you also actually improve your performance.

SYMMETRY WORK

Barbell exercises are usually done with both sides of the body at a time (bilateral). After some time, this type of training will cause you to suffer muscle imbalances. In order for you to balance out both sides of your body and improve your core strength, you need to incorporate some unilateral training in your routine. Machines, dumbbells and cables work well for this goal.

INTENSITY TECHNIQUES

There are three major ways for you to build muscle: one is mechanical tension (lifting heavy), another is metabolic stress (think: going for the pump with high reps), and muscular damage (with long eccentrics and high volume). To compensate for the lack of mechanical tension with a barbell, you can increase the other two.

DYNAMIC WARMUP Perform the following exercises straight through before the start of each workout.

EXERCISE REPS
Foam Roller Back 5
Foam Roller Glutes 5
Knee-hug-to-chest into Walking Lunge 5 each side
Toe-touch Squat 10
Pushup 10
Lateral Lunge with Arms Overhead 5 each side
Jump Rope 2 minutes

THE WORKOUTS DIRECTIONS:

Perform each workout on the days of the week prescribed. If you are not able to squeeze them in on these prescribed days, just ensure that you space them out as much as possible. Perform any exercises labeled with letters A, B, C, etc., in sequence with minimal rest.

LEGS

EXERCISE REPS SETS REST*
1 Dumbbell Goblet Squat** 4 10 90
2 Dumbbell Straight-leg Deadlift** 4 10 90
3A Lying Leg Curl *** 3 8/8/8
SUPERSET WITH
3B Hanging Leg Raise 3 8 90
4A Seated Calf Raise 3 10
SUPERSET WITH
4B Standing Calf Raise 3 20 90

CHEST, SHOULDERS, TRICEPS

EXERCISE REPS SETS REST*
1 One-arm DB Chest Press** 3 8 90
2 Cable Lateral Raise 3 10 90
3 Machine Shoulder Press*** 3 8/8/8 120
4 Pushup 3 Failure 120
5A Rope Overhead Extension 3 15
SUPERSET WITH
5B Dumbbell Suitcase Carry 3 30m each side 60

BACK, BICEPS

EXERCISE REPS SETS REST*
1 One-arm Machine Row 4 10-12 90
2 Machine or Cable Lat Pulldown ** 4 10-12 90
3 Machine Pullover*** 3 8/8/8 120
4A Ab-wheel Rollout 3 8
4B Machine Preacher Curl 3 8
4C One-arm Cable Curl 3 8
4D Dumbbell Suitcase Carry 3 30m each side 120

TOTAL BODY

EXERCISE REPS SETS REST*
1A Walking Lunge 4 8 each side
1B Chinup 4 8
1C One-arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 8 each side 120
2A Machine Squat** 3 10-20
2B One-arm Machine or Cable Row 3 10-20
2C Machine Chest Press*** 3 8/8/8 120
3A Cable Triceps Pushdowns 3 10-20
3B Cable Straight-bar Biceps Curl 3 10-20
3C Machine Donkey Calf Raise 3 10-20 120

*Based on seconds.
**Focus on a slow negative (eccentric motion), lowering the weight for four seconds.
***You will perform a set with a weight that you can handle for eight reps. Immediately drop the weight by 20% and perform eight more reps. Do this once again for a total of three times.

Written by: Admin

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