Home Bodybuilding News 12 Week Workout Program — Lee Hayward’s Total Fitness Bodybuilding Tips

12 Week Workout Program — Lee Hayward’s Total Fitness Bodybuilding Tips

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Everyday I get dozens of e-mail & comments from folks asking me all sorts of exercise related questions such as:

– How many days per week should I workout?
– How many exercises should I do for each body part?
– How many sets and reps should I do?
– Should I lift heavy weights / low reps or light weights / high reps?
– How often should I train each body part?
– Etc. Etc. Etc…

The challenge is that there is no “Right” or “Wrong” answer to these questions. There are countless variables that come into play when designing a workout program for someone; (i.e. level of training experience, individual fitness goals, previous workout routines, etc.)

In this blog post I’m going to cover this topic in more detail, my main goal is to try and clear up some of the confusion about working out. While providing you with a sample 12 week workout program that you can follow to make some solid muscle and strength gains.

Like I already mentioned, there is really no RIGHT or WRONG way to workout. You could ask 10 different bodybuilders to explain their workout routine and most likely you would get 10 different answers.

“Everything works, but nothing works forever.”

That is probably the most important thing to remember for making consistent progress with your workouts. You can follow most any type of workout routine and you will make good progress for the first few weeks (provided that you are getting adequate nutrition, rest, etc.). But generally after a few weeks of following a set workout program your progress will start to slow down and eventually you will no longer make progress with that routine.

Our bodies are very smart and naturally accommodate to stress. Your body will add as little muscle as necessary to get the job done. This is why construction workers get only big enough to handle the exact amount of work they do during a days work and no bigger, even though they are doing physical work All Day Long.

Adding muscle is a very unnatural thing to your body. You must constantly throw “curve balls” at your muscles to get them to grow. Generally, you will make the best progress for the first 3 weeks of starting a new workout routine. After 3 weeks your body starts to adapt and your progress will slow down.

Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t continue making progress after 3 weeks of following a particular program. But for the most part you’ll see your fastest results (i.e. muscle gains, strength gains, or fat loss) during the first few weeks of starting a new routine.

So to maximize these mini 3 week growth spurts, I designed the following workout program into 4 different 3-week workout cycles that you’ll follow back-to-back in order to make a 12 week workout program.

This program requires you to workout 4 days per week. Ideally you would workout on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. And rest on Wednesday’s and weekends. But if this doesn’t fit your schedule you can workout on other days of the week. Just make sure that you do not workout for more then 2 days in a row before taking a day off.

By doing this you will give your body plenty of time for recuperation and muscle growth. Muscles do not grow while you are working out; they grow while you are resting. Working out will stress and damage the muscles slightly. Then your body reacts by building up the muscles in order to handle the extra work and stress.

Note:
With each of the exercises do as many warm up sets as you need to get to your top working weight. Then perform the required sets and reps with the same weight.

For example:
So let’s just say your top weight for 5 sets of 5 reps is 100 lbs.

– Do one warm up set with 50 lbs.
– Do another warm up with 75 lbs.
– Then go to your top weight of 100 lbs. and perform 5 x 5 with 100 lbs.

If you get all 5 x 5 with good form, then up the weight to 105 lbs. for your next workout and repeat the process.

If you can’t get all 5 x 5 or you found them extremely difficult, keep the same weight for your next workout.

The 12 Week Workout Program

Weeks 1, 2, and 3 do the following weekly workout routine.

Squats:
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Dead lifts:
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Standing calve raises:
– 5 sets of 10 reps

Hanging leg raises:
– 5 sets of 10+ reps*

Seated dumbbell shoulder press:
– 5 sets of 8 reps

Leg curls:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Wide grip pull downs:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Bicep dumbbell curls:
– 4 sets of 12 reps*

Tricep push downs: (with rope attachment)
– 4 sets of 12 reps*

Barbell upright rows:
– 3 sets of 15 reps

*You can super set biceps and triceps back and forth.

Keep records of the exercises, weights, sets, and reps that you do. Each workout try to beat what you did for your previous workout. With the squat, dead lift, and incline barbell bench press try to add 5 lbs. to the bar each week and do the same number of sets and reps.

Weeks 4, 5, and 6 do the following workout routine.

Monday: (five minutes of light cardio to warm up)

Barbell shoulder shrugs:
– 5 sets of 10 reps

Leg extensions:
– 5 sets of 10 reps*

Leg curls:
– 5 sets of 10 reps*

Seated calve raise:
– 5 sets of 10 reps

Incline sit ups:
– 3 sets of 15+ reps

Seated barbell shoulder press: (i.e. military press)
– 5 sets of 8 reps

Stiff leg dead lifts:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Leg raises:
– 4 sets of 12 reps

Crunches:
– 4 sets of 25+ reps

Dumbbell front lateral raises:
– 4 sets of 10 reps

Bicep barbell curls:
– 4 sets of 12 reps*

Tricep push downs: (with V bar attachment)
– 4 sets of 12 reps*

Close grip pull downs:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

*You can super set biceps and triceps back and forth.

Keep records of the exercises, weights, sets, and reps that you do. Each workout try to beat what you did for your previous workout. With the decline bench press and the bent barbell row try to add 5 lbs. to the bar each week and do the same number of sets and reps.

Weeks 7, 8, and 9 do the following workout routine.

Monday: (five minutes of light cardio to warm up)

Squats:
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Partial Dead lifts: (use a power rack and set the bar just below your knees)
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Chin ups:
– 4 sets of as many reps as you can do

*You can super set biceps and triceps back and forth.

Leg press:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Hyper extensions:
– 4 sets of 10 reps

Pull down ab crunches:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell shoulder press sitting on the stability ball:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

EZ bar bicep curls:
– 4 sets of 15 reps*

One arm over head dumbbell extensions:
– 4 sets of 15 reps*

One arm dumbbell rows:
– 3 sets of 15 reps

*You can super set biceps and triceps back and forth.

Keep records of the exercises, weights, sets, and reps that you do. Each workout try to beat what you did for your previous workout. With the squat, partial dead lift, and flat barbell bench press try to add 5 lbs. to the bar each week and do the same number of sets and reps.

Weeks 10, 11, and 12 do the following workout routine.

Monday: (five minutes of light cardio to warm up)

Leg press:
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Stiff leg dead lifts:
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Wide grip pull downs:
– 4 sets of 10 reps

Leg raises:
– 5 sets of 15 reps

Tuesday: (five minutes of light cardio to warm up)

Dips: (add extra weight if needed)
– do a couple light warm up sets first
– 5 sets of 5 reps (train heavy, but don’t train to failure)

Chin ups:
– 4 sets of as many reps as you can do. If you can do more then 10 reps, add weight.

Side lateral raises:
– 4 sets of 10 reps

Seated cable rows:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Standing calve raise:
– 4 sets of 15 reps

Seated dumbbell shoulder press:
– 4 sets of 10 reps

Standing one arm dumbbell curls:
– 4 sets of 10 reps*

One arm over head dumbbell extensions:
– 4 sets of 10 reps*

Close grip pull downs:
– 4 sets of 10 reps

(*Super set the curls with the over head tricep extensions. For example, set of curls with one arm, set of curls with the other arm, set of extensions with one arm, set of extensions with the other arm, with no rest in between.)

Keep records of the exercises, weights, sets, and reps that you do. Each workout try to beat what you did for your previous workout. With the weighted dips and leg press try to add 5 lbs. to the bar each week and do the same number of sets and reps.

Conclusion…

Each 3 week phase of the 12 week program is different. As the weeks progress you’ll be focusing on training the muscles with different exercises during each phase. And the reps you perform for the exercises will vary during the weekly workouts. This will ensure that the muscle stimulation provided is unique and fresh and this will help to keep your body on the “anabolic edge” for maximum muscle growth. Training like this will allow you to make consistent progress over the long term.

These short training cycles work perfectly with our body’s natural adaption and growth patterns. Like I mentioned before, our bodies are very smart and quickly accommodate to stress. Adding muscle is a very unnatural thing to your body, so you have to constantly throw “curve balls” at your muscles in order to get them to respond to your workouts and grow.

Taking Your Muscular Development To The Next Level…

After you complete this 12 week workout program you can go through the entire program again and strive to beat your personal best lifts from the first time through. Or if you want, you can move on to something totally different to better suit your training needs.

And if you are looking for a more advanced and in depth training & nutrition coaching, then I’d recommend you sign up for the Total Fitness Bodybuilding “Inner Circle” Coaching Club.

This is a private members only club where you can work directly with me and get personalized help with reaching your muscle building and fitness goals. As a member you’ll get set up with your very own diet and workout program for building muscle, burning bodyfat, and quickly achieving your personal fitness goals.

To learn more about the Total Fitness Bodybuilding “Inner Circle” Coaching Club and get started with a risk free 8 week trial, just click on the link below:
www.TotalFitnessBodybuilding.com

This content was originally published here.

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