Here is a workout I’ve done personally for years, and one I frequently recommend to anyone looking for a very focused workout plan. It’s a full body workout that helps simplify and focus your time in the gym with great results for increasing strength and size. This approach focuses on the basic lifts, performed 3-4 times per week with maximum effort. One of the main advantages of this workout and the full body approach is that you hit all your major muscles – hard – and frequently. Rather than doing a split routine where you go to the gym 5-6 times a week, hitting each muscle group 1-2 times per week, with the full body approach you are hitting each muscle group 3-4 times a week, 12-16 times a month. That adds up. What you lose in volume per muscle group/per workout, you make up for in frequency and intensity. These basic lifts provide plenty stimulation to make muscles grow and become stronger. Just make sure you are giving your all to these basics lifts and keeping the intensity high.
So here is the workout:
|Barbell Squat (legs)||4||10|
|Barbell Bench Press (chest)||3||10|
|Pull Ups* (back)||3||Max*|
|Standing Overhead Barbell Press** (shoulders)||4||10|
|Barbell Bicep Curl (arms)||3||10|
|Bent Knee Sit Up/Crunches (core)||4-5||20-25|
*If you struggle to do Pull Ups, substitute with weight assisted Pull Up Machine or Wide Grip Pull Downs. Do 3 sets – as many as you can to failure.
**The official Golden 6 workout has Behind the Neck Overhead Press for shoulders. I choose to substitute these with the Standing Overhead Barbell Press. Behind the Neck Presses get a bad rap. I don’t think they are all that bad (Ted Arcidi swore by them) but I find the Overhead Press packs the most punch for my shoulders.
A few METALBOB tips on using this program:
- Do at least 1 warm up set before Squats and Bench. The warm up set doesn’t count as one of your working sets.
- Strive to progress each workout. Increase intensity by adding weight, keeping rest under 2 minutes, adding extra sets/reps or do a drop set on last set.
- If you can do the 3-4 sets of 10 easily, add weight next time.
- Try to keep the workout under an hour.
- Keep a log – notate how easy or hard your sets were so you know next time where to increase intensity.
Who should do this workout? I’d recommend it to just about anyone looking for a straightforward and effective workout. Beginners especially will see great gains on this program but be sure you have a grasp of the fundamentals for the squat and bench press. Doing this program with a workout buddy is ideal. Give it 3 months, 3-4 times a week and keep a training log.
A few more selling points: starting out every workout with a hard and heavy set of squats gets your body pumped, setting you up for a great workout. Your nervous system craves the full body exertion that lifts like squats provide.
And don’t just take my word for it… there are lots of articles and forums out there that back up my claims. Here’s a good one right here: http://www.t-nation.com/training/full-body-workouts-of-the-legends
Feel free to contact me with any questions about applying this routine.