The Pop 'Em Out Muscles In A 10×10 System

Earlier this week I mentioned how certain body parts can be improved by training deep muscles that you can’t see. Muscles like the pec minor, brachialis and soleus can help “pop out” your chest, arms and calves respectively if trained properly.

I then introduced an arm routine that included work for the brachialis using the “10 sets of 10 reps” method. Why did I choose that system of training in particular? Because it works and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Guys like “The Iron Guru” Vince Gironda, “Strength Sensei” Charles Poliquin and “The Black Prince” Robby Robinson have all been advocates of the 10×10 system. And trust me, these guys know a thing or two about training!

The question is, can we include exercises for the other “pop ’em out muscles” in a 10×10 system?

Of course we can! Here’s what the routine looks like:

Monday – Arms
A1. Seated Preacher EZ-Bar Reverse Curl: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
A2. Flat EZ-Bar Triceps Extension to Forehead: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
B1. Mid-Incline Dumbbell Curl: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s
B2. Kneeling Rope French Press: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s

Tuesday – Thighs
A1. Back Squat: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
A2. Lying Dorsiflexed Leg Curl: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
B1. Seated Leg Extension: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s
B2. Standing Semi-Stiff-Leg Deadlift: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s

Thursday – Chest and Back
A1. Mid-Incline Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Press: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
A2. Mid-Neutral-Grip Chin-Up: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
B1. Flat Limited-Range Dumbbell Pullover: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s
B2. Bent-Over EZ-Bar Row: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s

Friday – Calves and Abdominals
A1. Seated Calf Raise: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
A2. Supine Cable Knee-In: 10 x 10 @ 4010, 90s
B1. One-Leg Calf Raise: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s
B2. Standing Dumbbell Side Bend: 3 x 12 @ 3010, 60s

Just a couple notes regarding the Thursday workout:

  1. The neutral-grip chin-up along with the semi-supinated-grip row complements the pronated-grip reverse curl and supinated-grip incline curl from Monday’s workout. By varying the grips in this manner, it spreads the work and promotes a more balanced development among the elbow flexors. See page 62 of The Elite Trainer for more information on the effect of grip orientation on the elbow flexors.
  2. With the 10×10 method of training, the flat limited-range dumbbell pullover is better suited as a secondary “B” exercise rather than a primary “A” exercise. It’s best to stimulate the pec minor, not annihilate it!

With this system, take plenty of branched-chain amino acids both before and during your workouts and make sure to take in a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein after your workouts. Next week I’ll show you a very potent post-workout cocktail that you can use.

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