So you now know how many calories you actually need (if not CLICK HERE) and you know what foods to eat to reach that calorie level (if not CLICK HERE). All you need now is a training routine that is quick, simple and most importantly will deliver results while keeping you healthy.
If you are looking for a weight training routine that enables you to gain strength and pack on considerable mass as efficiently as possible, well antagonist training is right for you.
What is Antagonist training?
So let’s break it down.
Johnny goes to the gym and trains both his back and chest. He switches between back and chest exercises.
This my friends is antagonist training. All you have to do is train opposing muscle groups together. Some quick examples, chest & back (horizontal push/pull), shoulders and back (vertical push/pull), biceps & triceps.
Ok so now you know what it is, but what is the big deal?
Well let’s go over a quick list then we will dive into more detail
- Longer rest time between exercises that target the same body part
- Higher strength due to longer rest
- More tissue damage due to higher strength (more strength/size gains in the long run)
- Balancing your physique (looking better)
- Injury prevention due to physique balancing
Now for a little more detail
Since you will be switching between muscle groups every other exercise you will ultimately increase your overall rest time. So if you bench press for your first exercise and then perform dumbbell rows for your second exercise, you will be resting your chest until your third exercise which could be incline dumbbell press. This rest period will be much longer than just going from bench press to incline dumbbell press. This increased rest will provide the body with enough time to recuperate and put out maximum effort during the next exercise.
Now that you are able to provide maximum effort during the next exercise you will most likely use a larger load. This increased weight will cause a larger amount of micro-tears in your muscle which, in time, will lead to both strength and size gains.
Another big plus is overall muscular balance. Muscular imbalances are common in avid gym goers. If more pressing is performed than pulling, you most likely will develop strong pectorals, anterior deltoids and triceps.
Mehhh not so fast. If those muscle groups are much stronger than their counterparts you will eventually run into some big issues. Shoulder injuries, loss of range of motion and a “hunched over” physique are just a few.
So it should just go unsaid that training your body evenly should be high priority.
Alright so let’s get into the routine.
You will train 3 times per week. Make it easy on yourself and try for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This will allow for optimal recovery, however, if you have to fit it in on other days that is completely fine.
Your first day will focus on horizontal pushing and pulling movements. These movements will basically mimic each other, but in the opposite direction.
Monday (Day 1)
Barbell Bench Press 4X8
Barbell Row 4X8
Incline Dumbbell Press 4X12
Dumbbell Row 4X12
Tricep Pushdown 4X8
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 4X8
Your second training day will focus on the lower body. You will alternate between quad dominant and hamstring dominant movements.
Wednesday (Day 2)
Barbell Squat 4X8
Romanian Deadlift 4X8
Leg Press 4X12
Leg Curl (lying, sitting or standing) 4X12
Seated Calf Raise 3X15
Standing Calf Raise 3X8
Your third and final weight training day will consist of vertical pushing and pulling movements. During this day you will also perform extra posterior deltoid exercises for shoulder health.
Friday (Day 3)
Barbell Military Press 4X8
Neutral Grip Pulldown 4X8 (use a bar that will allow you to grip at shoulders width)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4X12
Lat Pulldown 4X12
Facepull (or any rear delt exercise) 4X12
Barbell Curl 4X12
So what do you do on the other two days? Well that’s up to you. I suggest saving a day for core work and some cardio. Remember cardio doesn’t have to equal a trip to the treadmill. You can play a game of basketball or go for a hike. Keep it interesting.
So copy this down and give it a try. Remember to always perform a routine for at least 12 weeks. Both strength and size gains take time and consistency.