The Best Workout Plan

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The best workout plan doesn’t exist….but this is pretty close

“The Russian’s are coming” are words that would have terrified any American walking around sixty years ago. But if you’re a fitness trainer, you probably would have welcomed them with open arms; it’s the Russians that are responsible for some tremendously strong and fit athletes. Even if you don’t plan on competing in the next Olympics, the Russian “way” of training can help you stay lean and mean.

Being a personal trainer means giving clients effective, and safe, strength and conditioning. While training is sometimes treated as a joke here in America, sports science in Europe is serious business, so I consider the Russian philosophy on training as a major influence on my career. That’s why it’s safe to say that they can provide you with the very best workout plan out there.

The problem with most workout routines is that they’re one hit wonders. You do the workout, have some fun, and get results if it was a sensible workout plan……but then what? Where do you go from there? You can’t make the mistake of doing the same thing over again and expecting something new to happen, so what’s the next step?

Look no further than Russian sports science.  This form of training allows you to progress month to month and year to year – there’s no reason not to make any gains. Now keep in mind, if you’re goal is to compete in powerlifting or try and become a bodybuilder, then this type of plan isn’t for you. But if you’re an athlete looking for a way to train year round, or simply want to keep adding a bit of muscle and strength throughout the year, then you just hit the training jackpot.

The best way to this is to divide your training into multiple phases; for simplicity, we can call these phases light, medium, and heavy. This can refer to the intensity of the training. Spend no more than six weeks in one phase; you can last the whole six weeks with progressions or simply go to the next phase when you can’t add more work to your training. Let’s take a look:

Light Phase –This is the period to make changes to your body (i.e. lose bodyfat or gain muscle mass). It should be characterized by 3-5 sets of anywhere from 8 to 15 reps (pick your poison when it comes to your rep ranges). If you’re up for it, this is also the time to use drop sets and other self-torture forms of training.

Medium Phase – This phase is focused on what we call functional hypertrophy; or basically strength that carries over into the real world. It’s a great time of training for athletes but it can also give your body that dense and hard appearance (i.e. what most people call “toned”). Look for doing 4-6 sets of 4-8 reps.

Heavy Phase – Your heavy training period is all about raw strength – 4 to 7 sets of 1-3 reps to give you superhuman strength. From here you’ll go into another light phase, so this strength should allow you to lift more weight than the previous light phase. Pretty cool, huh?

Let’s look at an example using a chest/back split:

Light Phase

A1. High Incline DB Semi Supinated Press – 4 x 10-12, 4-0-1-0, rest 45 seconds

A2. Seated Low Row with Rope to Neck – 4 x 10-12, 3-0-1-0, rest 45 seconds

Medium Phase

A1. Mid Incline, Mid Grip Bench Press – 5 x 4-6, 3-1-1-0, rest 75 seconds

A2. DB Row – 5 x 4-6, C/F, 3-0-1-1, rest 75 seconds

Heavy Phase

A1. Heavy Wide Grip Flat Bench Press – 6 x 2-3, 3-2-1-0, rest 90 seconds

A2. Close Grip Supinated Chin Up – 6 x 2-3, 4-0-1-0, rest 90 seconds


Were you looking for an exact blueprint as your “best workout plan?” Unfortunately, that exact plan doesn’t exist. But follow this outline, and you’ll be pretty darn close to having an excellent workout routine.


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