Every week I’m in the gym at least 3 times a week keeping my 6’0″, 165 lbs body in condition. I normally don’t spend more than an hour and 15 minutes getting my main exercises and 20 minutes of interval cardio in at the end. Right before I left for Trinidad about three weeks ago I was lifting weights like any normal gym day, when I noticed this guy who looked like he was a one man army. He was lifting with his other friend who looked like he stepped out of the movie “300”. It wasn’t that heavy lifting type of muscle that you see a lot, but a symmetrical, chiseled lean muscle look that is almost intimidating. The kind of body that women at the beach like to stare at through their sunglasses while whispering to their girlfriend.
I walked up to this guy and told him, “Man you seriously look like a comic book character, what’s your name?”. The guy laughed and told me his name (we’ll call him Cesar). Cesar and I talked about the importance of nutrition and he told me about three key exercises that were the basis for his Sparten body. So here are the three exercises that you should incorporate into your routine with 2 – 3 minutes rest time between sets.
The first exercise is the wide grip pull up which I affectionately call the “Rocky” pull up. You place your hands shoulder width apart and then pull your body up using your lats until the back of your neck hits the bar. Start off and see what your strength level is. I usually keep my reps to 7 – 12 per set. If you are just starting find someone who is willing to hold your feet to help spot you initially to build your strength.
The second exercise is the infamous dip. If you can find a “v”-shape dip bar that would be the best to give you the most pectoral (chest) extension. You want keep your legs together and bend your knees with your head up. On the repetition you should go as low as you can and then extend and raise yourself up above the bar. Do 5-7 repetitions and then take a 2 minute rest. What I do is incorporate the other weight lifting exercises for the day (back/shoulder, triceps/biceps, chest) with all of these. You’ll see that cycling these three exercises into the entire 45 minutes to hour of your lift will have you looking like the Incredible Hulk. I noticed sizable gains and chisels within the first week of integrating them into my workout.
Lastly you’ll want to setup 2 stacks of weights. Start laying three 35 pound weights one on top of the other a body lengths away from a bench press. After you’re done with the first, build your second stack of three 35 pound weights a little more than shoulder width apart from the first stack. Now this is the ultimate setup for a calisthenic pushup that is using your own body weight. First place your feet in the middle of the bench (you’ll want to setup these 2 stacks 90 degrees from the middle of the bench to one side) and then place the palm of your hands on the side of the top most weight on each stack. Keep your back straight and go down for your first pushup. The proper form should have your chest touching the ground and going between the two stacks of 35’s. You should adjust the stacks for your height and proper shoulder width. I usually do about 7 – 10 reps and then rest. The key here is quality of form, your chest should feel like it’s been stretched like never before. You want to squeeze your pectoral muscles at the top of the pushup to get the maximum results.
When you focus on the 1 or 2 muscle groups and then incorporate these 3 calisthenic exercises into your 1 hour routine, you will see results within the first 2-3 lifts guaranteed. I just gave you all a golden nugget of wisdom that I found. This in conjunction with the nutrition tips that form the foundation of my eating habits and specific exercises create the body you see below.