How to get action hero muscles while on quarantine

I know how many of you are dreaming about “action hero’s muscles”! You can achieve it too and you should start right now. Gyms are finally open and we can go back to training. But a lot of people are still afraid of coronavirus or can’t hire professional trainers because of money problems.

I decided to give you some training advice which you can use in the gym or at home (if you still prefer to work out in your house). All information below is the passage from my book “Bodybuilding and other secrets of success” which is a bestseller in Russia/CIS already and will be published in North America this year.

As a warm-up, you should do some jumps or even “shadow boxing” for 3-5 minutes, before you start to work with weights. And below are three different Workout Plans (for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced) to help you get stronger and bigger muscles.

Workout Plans for Beginners

I included various exercises which are aimed at muscles’ strengthening and developing. You need to just combine them in training programs. For beginners your first workout routine should include:

  • Monday – Chest, Shoulders, Back, Arms, Thighs and Abs
  • Tuesday – Off
  • Wednesday – Chest, Shoulders, Back, Arms, Thighs and Abs
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – Chest, Shoulders, Back, Arms, Thighs and Abs
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

As you must have figured out, you will be doing the same exercises and work for the major muscle groups three times per week:

  • Chest – Barbell Chest Press
  • Shoulders – Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Back – Dumbbell Single Arm Row
  • Arms – Dumbbell Bicep Curl, Pushups with Elbows Tight at Your Side
  • Thighs – Dumbbell Squats
  • Abs – Incline Bench Crunch

In your first month of muscle-building do two sets per each exercise (ten repetitions in each set). In your second month of training add one set per each exercise.

Workout Plans for Intermediate

After several months of regular training, you can move to a more difficult workout routine. According to this routine, you will have to work out four times per week.

  • Monday – Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Abs Tuesday – Arms, Thighs, Calves and Abs Wednesday – Off
  • Thursday – Chest, Shoulders, Back and Abs Friday – Arms, Thighs, Calves and Abs
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

Thus, you will train each muscle group twice a week. Here’s a list of weight training exercises for each muscle group:

  • Chest – Barbell Chest Press and 45 Degree Incline Bench Dumbbell Fly
  • Shoulders – Seated Dumbbell Press and Bent Over Dumbbell Laterals
  • Back – Barbell Row and Bent Over Dumbbell Row
  • Arms – Biceps: Dumbbell Bicep Curl and Concentration Curls; Triceps: Pushups with Elbows Tight at Your Side and Tricep Skull Crushers
  • Thighs – Dumbbell Squats and Dumbbell Stepping Lunge
  • Calves – Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises
  • Abs – Floor Leg Raises and Seated Twists

Each workout you should do at least three sets per each exercise (train approximately in the ten repetition range). Continue to follow this workout routine minimum for two months.

Using dumbbells is the best way to do the above-mentioned exercises. Let me explain why. In the beginner and early intermediate stage, dumbbells are more convenient for at-home use than a barbell.

They are shorter and take up much less room in the home. You can save a barbell until better days. When your gains come slowly after a while you can introduce an exercise with a barbell or use weight-lifting machines.

Workout Plans for Advanced

After six months of weight training, you can move on to doing a different workout routine. Here is my workout routine which I did at the beginning of my bodybuilding career. I should say that it helped to achieve good results:

  • Monday – Chest, Back, Abs
  • Tuesday – Shoulders, Traps, Thighs, Calves
  • Wednesday – Biceps, Triceps, Forearms, Abs
  • Thursday – Chest, Back, Abs
  • Friday – Shoulders, Traps, Thighs, Calves
  • Saturday – Biceps, Triceps, Forearms, Abs
  • Sunday – Off

Here’s a list of weight training exercises that I did:

  • Chest – Barbell Chest Press 5 x 12, 8, 8, 8, 6
  • Incline Bench Dumbbell Fly 4 x12
  • Wide Grip Push-Ups 4 x 12
  • Back – Dumbbell Pullover 4 x 12 (lay flat on a bench and lower behind your head)
  • Dumbbell One Arm Row 4 x 10
  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Row 3 x 12, 10, 8
  • Shoulders – Seated Dumbbell Press 5 x 12, 8, 8, 8, 6
  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Laterals 4x 10
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise 4 x 10
  • Traps – Dumbbell Shrug 4 x 10 (elevate shoulders up & back, don’t bend your arms)
  • Biceps – Dumbbell Bicep Curl 5 x 12, 8, 8, 8, 6 Concentration Curls 3 x 10
  • Triceps – Tricep Skull Crushers 5 x 12, 8, 8, 8, 6
  • Pushups 3 x10 (elbows tight at your side)
  • Forearms – Dumbbell Reverse Curls 4 x 10
  • Thighs – Dumbbell Squats 3 x 10
  • Calves – Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises 5 x 20
  • Abs – Floor Leg Raises 5 x 20
  • Abdominal Crunch 5 x 20
  • Seated Twists 3 x30 (with the bar on shoulders, both sides)

Let me remind you what number series 5×12, 8, 8, 8, 6 means. You should pick up the start weight so you could do twelve reps in the first set. Then increase the weight so you could do three sets of eight reps (eight reps per set). Finally, you again increase the weight so you could do just six reps. This training method is known as Pyramid Weight Training. You start light and keep adding weight on successive sets.

There is simply no need to alternate your workout routine. If you want to change something up you can add new exercises to your routine or replace some of the previous ones. In a gym, you can replace some dumbbell exercises with those which are performed on exercise machines. For instance, instead of seated dumbbell press, you can use press machines, etc.

You should consult with the physician before you start regular training with weights. And don’t forget the main “action hero secret”: stay positive and believe in yourself always!

Mr Universe and star of “Black Rose”, “Showdown in Manila” and “Maximum Impact”