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Blog Training Workouts

At-Home Minimal Leg Workout

Let’s wrap up this at-home series with a challenging lower body workout. If you’re like me (40-plus) you’ve taken to a few machines for an effective leg workout. Over the years of heavy squats and leg presses taking their toll, however, I’ve resorted to smarter training. I do think a little at-home training can expose us to interesting and inventive ways to effectively train with what we have.

At-home leg training is particularly tricky without so many machines available in the gym. So let’s get creative. Like the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

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Blog Training Workouts

At-Home Minimal Shoulder and Arm Workout

We continue our at-home minimal workouts with a shoulder and arm day. The chest and back workout was simple and to the point. The trick is to not overthink any of this. If you’re training at home temporarily with the thought of getting back to the gym in a few weeks then these workouts will get you through. They may even shock your body a bit into new strength and growth. You never know really.

Here we’ll be tackling shoulders and arms with very minimal equipment. Mainly stuff you can find around the house and possibly some bands. So let’s get to it!

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Blog Training Workouts

At-Home Minimal Chest and Back Workout

Little-to-no equipment? Sometimes I find myself in the same situation. Whether it’s trying to get through a disaster or deployed with the military I’ve always tried my best to make something from virtually nothing.

Below is a super simple, minimal equipment, at-home chest and back workout. It uses some household equipment I bet you have plus I’ve included some optional things to do to make things more challenging.

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Blog Training Workouts

High Rep Chest and Back Training: Massive Pump!

Okay, time to round-out this short series on my new adventure into high rep training. Here I’ll outline my chest and back routine using high rep sets. My shoulder and arm routine felt so great that I then applied it to my leg training. With those two routines I felt no shoulder, knee, or back strain and was able to have some seriously great workouts.

Now all we have left is chest and back training. As I’ve most-likely stated before, I’m a huge fan of training a few body parts in each session. I’ve never been a “chest on Monday” kind of guy. I’m still a big fan of the bodybuilders of the 60s and 70s and their training frequency so yeah, works for me.

Let’s break down what my last chest and back routine looked like and then I’ll jot down a few notes at the end.

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Blog Training Workouts

High Rep Leg Training for More Mass

Last time I touted the new-found pump from high rep training. Since I had such a good time with that training session I’ve been determined to explore this even further. I’ve been applying the high rep protocol to everything and loving it.

I knew that the always infamous leg day would be a unique challenge, but I was ready for something different and interesting. At 45 I’ve tried almost every type of hypertrophy training technique around: heavy duty, rest/pause, high volume, giant sets, heavy/light, high rep/low rep, and a few I’m sure I’m forgetting.

The high rep training, to my pleasant surprise, was an incredible reminder of how I trained and felt as a newbie. Fast pace, big pumps, and tons of blood flow. So, here is how leg day went down.

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Blog Training Workouts

High-Rep Shoulders and Arms for a Day

If you’ve read over my last entry for the shoulder and arm workout you’ll notice a few things that could potentially become problematic over time for us forty and up types. Namely the barbell lying extensions (nose breakers, skull crushers) and the lower rep shoulder stuff.

My elbows tend to get a little tender with lying triceps work where the elbow is subjected to sheer stress. That single joint action with progressively heavier weight seems to compound over time. Add this to the shoulder work (specifically overhead presses) which are subject to both a ton of back and chest work to begin with and you’ll understand why sometimes I enter the gym not wanting to punish these joints.

So, the other day I entered the gym doors with the goal of not pulverizing anything. I wanted to try to keep the weight lifted low, just for the day, and still get a great workout – not to mention try something new. I set out to accomplish this in a few ways.

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Blog Training Workouts

My 3 Favorite Go-To Training Splits

Over my (too many) years of training I’ve tried many training splits. Since I grew up watching Pumping Iron and reading Arnold’s books along with being a huge fan of the “Golden Era” of bodybuilding I’ve always been a fan of more frequent training. I tried the one-bodypart-per-day thing, but it never really “took.”

I remember trying it one week and couldn’t understand why anyone would train chest on Monday, for example, and then have to wait an entire seven days to train it again. I was always ready to go just a few days later. Of course, I dove into heavy duty training, high volume among others, but that’s another post for another day.

I like training with some sort of higher frequency so through years of experimenting I’ve always come back to three main splits. Whether it’s coming back from and layoff, something going on with health, or life just getting in the way, I can say with confidence that these three have been tested with great success. Below I’ll list them out and describe the when and why behind each.

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Blog Training Workouts

My Current Shoulders and Arms Routine: Pumped!

This one is short, sweet, and to the point. I see so many trainers work their shoulders and arms into oblivion with countless sets and marathon sessions. They seem to devote a terrible amount of time to arm training especially when leg training pales in comparison.

My mindset towards arm training has always been one of focusing on compound work and keeping it super simple. What I mean is by focusing on all of the pressing you do (bench presses, shoulder presses, etc.) it cultivates a ton of indirect work for your triceps. All you need to do is finish them off with a couple of movements (simplicity).

The same holds true for biceps. By rowing and chinning repeatedly you build up your biceps indirectly with very heavy loads. All you need are a couple of biceps moves to call it a day. And finally, your shoulders get pummeled so much with any upper body move that they won’t need an entire training session full of endless presses and lateral raises to stimulate growth.

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Blog Training Workouts

My Current Chest and Back Training Routine

I’m a firm believer in training a lot in one session. This does’t necessarily mean I spend a ton of time in the gym (currently one hour), it just means I like to pack a lot of training into each session. I’m not one to bring my phone with me, stare at the TV (I hate those in gyms!), or chat up someone about nonsense for 15 minutes at a time.

When I tell people I like to train chest and back in the same workout they often look at me with a little confusion. You see, I don’t perform a ton of sets for each body part. I do what I need to do and get out. There’s other things I need to attend to like a family and stuff.

As I stated in my leg training post, I’m a big fan of A/B training routines. They spark interest and keep the gains going. So I apply the same to my chest and back training.

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Blog Training Workouts

My Current Leg Training Routine: Sore for Days

I’m a tall guy (6′ 2″) so squats have always been a challenge for me. And that also means effective leg training in general has been challenging all my lifting life. It took many years to get to the point where squats actually helped instead of hurt me (lower back, knees, hips). And on top of all that, I’ve never been one to load up the squat bar, crank out a few heavy sets, and call it a day all the while my legs grew and grew in the meantime.

Leg training is a fickle beast especially as you get older. I’m well into my forties and most of my counterparts have abandoned leg training altogether. I’m either convinced that leg training is an essential part of a program replete with fat-burning potential, overall, full-body growth in strength, and makes me feel more balanced, or I’m just nuts.

The following is a simple, but highly effective leg training program that doesn’t require plates on plates of weight, insane intensity, unlimited amounts of gym time, or unparalleled genetics. It’s a sound program that just works.