In this article, we will focus on the Hypertrophy Macrocycle in our muscle growth phase which is mainly made up by two strategies:
- Chest-Leg Routine
- Full-Body Routine
- 1. What is a Chest-Leg routine?
- 2. Advantages of the Chest-Leg Routine
- 3. How long will the Chest-Leg Routine last?
- 4. What exercises are included in the Chest-Leg Routine?
- 5. What techniques will we use in the Chest-Leg Routine?
- 6. Rest and Active Rest
- 7. About the Routine
- 8. Supplementation for a Hypertrophy Routine
- 9. Chest-Leg Routine Scheme – Week 1
- 10. Hypertrophy Routine – Week 1
- 11. Related Entries:
What is a Chest-Leg routine?
This type of routine consists of changing the workout each day. We will focus either on the upper or lower part of the body instead of a single muscle group. That would be the case of just doing chest or back.
There are several ways of planning this workout. But we will go for Frequency 2 both in the lower and upper parts of the body
That is, we are going to use each part twice a week. We will know how to carry out this routine once we have tested ourselves and found out our performance rate.
Advantages of the Chest-Leg Routine
- Optimal Volume and Frequency for each part of the body.
- Possibility to alternate Linear and Non-Linear Periodization, also known as Undulating Periodization. We can implement and adapt them due to the type of scheme that we work with. This will be done according to several aspects, such as our recovery or psychological state…
- Efficient Stimulus
- We can continue to gain strength while prioritizing the esthetic aspect
- More pleasant exercise scheme than a split routine
- We can focus more on the muscles that we want
- It allows us to follow a “Push-Pull” exercise pattern more efficiently
How long will the Chest-Leg Routine last?
As we mentioned at the beginning, it will last 3 weeks. This article includes the first week. The next two entries will include the remaining weeks.
What exercises are included in the Chest-Leg Routine?
We will mainly rely on the basics (squats, deadlifts, bench press and military press). Although we will not focused as much as we did in the previous strength cycle. In fact, we will include more isolation exercises, since the objective is different now: we want to achieve an esthetic effect.
This type of routine is supposed to be a sequel to the workout focused on performance, but adding an esthetic component.
Possibly, we will experience a severe exhaustion at the beginning. This is due to the fact that we are changing our low-reps routine to one that will exceed 10 reps sometimes. It is all about adapting ourselves.
Moreover, I believe that it is better to use machines as little as possible. Use your own weight and add some weight too.
What techniques will we use in the Chest-Leg Routine?
You may have used some of the following techniques, others may be new. All of them are designed to produce new stimuli through the variation and undulation of the charge we are working with. Moreover, you can shorten the breaks or even remove them completely.
Each week, we will have the chance to test these “training methods”:
- Wave Training
- Descending Training
- Rest & Pause
- “Finisher”, like Myo-Reps
The role of unilateral exercises will be quite relevant since they even increase the isolation within the muscle itself. In fact, they compensate for possible muscle unbalances, enhancing the activation of the core… For example, a bench press carried our with a bar VS single hand bench press with dumbbells is quite different, both in the execution and the stimulus, as well as the indirect muscle activation.
Rest and Active Rest
The next point shows the days we train and the ones we rest. In this case, there are two types:
- Active Rest
The first one involves not doing any kind of physical activity and we will stimulate our recovery to the fullest. The only thing I would advise is walking, or going for a long walk on an empty stomach (60-90 min). Why on an empty stomach? Mainly because we will save time (even though you have to wake up earlier), you will activate your metabolism from the beginning and you will somehow burn more fat…
The active rest involves low intensity cardio for 30-45 minutes. Some of my favorite exercises are:
- Rowing Machine
- Static bike or Assault Bike
On the last day of the week, we will do some High Interval Intensity Training or HIIT. This type of exercise has 3 phases:
- 5-10 minutes warm up
- Effective Work, a maximum of 20 minutes.
- Cool down = 1 minute
The first part will increase the blood flow to the periphery and get our body ready for the intense workout. The “Cool Down” will stabilize and enhance the release of lactate…
We can include several HIIT exercises, it is up to you which ones you want to choose.
About the Routine
It should not take much more than 1 hour, including the warm up and the rest between the sets. Do not take too long to change from one to another.
Regarding the weights, sometimes I will provide the amount or I will use a weight that will be quite reasonable from my point of view. But we will always keep in mind that we have to complete the number of reps with a 2-failure.
It is advisable to do a warm up before starting the routine every day for 5-10 minutes (elliptical bike, row…), as well as 10-15 minutes of stretching. Even though it may be tedious at first, the benefits of stretching are exponential and it is also part of the routine.
The nomenclature will be quite clear and I will add some notes occasionally.
Bench Press: 4 sets – 90-120s
Explanation: we will do 4 Bench Press sets, with a 90-120 seconds break in between. I have specified the number of reps in the list with the weight (+Kg means adding that amount to the previous weight).
¿What is RIR?
In the exercises you will find the reference “RiR”, which indicates the “reps you should leave in the gun”.
- If we see that: [RiR-2, increasing the load] -> we indicate that we should stop when we notice that if we do 2 more repetitions we reach muscle failure; on the other hand, we will increase the load for the new series.
Supplementation for a Hypertrophy Routine
From my point of view, we can keep on taking Creatine, since we already started in the previous strength cycle. It will also be a good choice to add an intra-workout due to the fact that this routine is going to be more demanding than other weeks, and we will use more glycolitic substrate:
Chest-Leg Routine Scheme – Week 1
|Day 6||Active Rest|
|Day 7||Cardio: HIIT|
Hypertrophy Routine – Week 1
Day 1: Chest 1) Bench Press: 4 sets – 90-120s
- Start with weight 15x[50%]
- Perform pyramid with increased load and reduced repetitions ->12x, 10x, 8x
2) Row 90º: 6 sets with 6 reps – 90s
- Add +10kg each set, start with a weight that will allow you to do 12 reps
3) Push Press: 4 sets – 90s
- 8x[60% of Military Press]
- 6x[+10kg of the last value ]
- 6x[+5-10% of the last value ]
- 4x[+5kg of the last value ]
4) Chest Openings with Dumbbells: 3 sets – 90s [RiR-2, increasing the load] 5) Pullover: 4 sets – 90s [RiR-2, increasing the load] 6) SuperSet: 3 sets – 60s [for both: RiR-2, increasing the load]
- Biceps Curl + French Press
Day 2: Leg 1) Unilateral Quadriceps Extension: 5 sets – 60s [RiR-1, increasing the load] 2) Press: 5 sets – 2min [RiR-2, increasing the load] 3) Single Hand Stiff Leg Romanian Deadlift: 4 sets – 2min [RiR-2, increasing the load] 4) Glute Bridge: 3 sets – 60s [RiR-1, increasing the load 5) Abdomen: Full Contact Twists: 3 sets with 10 reps [moderate weight] – 60s Day 3: Chest 1) Weighted Pull Ups: 5 sets – 2min
- Without weight -> until failure
2) Weighted Chest Dips: 5 sets – 2min
- Without weight -> until failure
3) Unilateral Bench Press: 4 sets – 90s [RiR-1, increasing the load] 4) Unilateral Single Hand Row: 4 sets – 90s [RiR-1, increasing the load] 5) Myo-Reps: Z Bar Biceps Curl Day 4: Leg 1) Frontal Squat: 4 sets – 120s
2) Inverted Stride with Bar: 4 sets – 120s [RiR-2, increasing the load] 3) Goblet Squat with Dumbbell: 5 sets of 25 reps [moderate weight] – 60s 4) Calf Raises with Bar: 5 sets of 20 reps [RiR-2] – 60s 5) Abdomen: Ab Rollout : 3 sets of 12 reps – 45s