By Josh Bryant ProSource
Finishers challenge your will power, provide a great “pump” and are a hell of a lot of fun.
Finishers add an extreme metabolic stress component, which is a key factor in maximizing hypertrophy. This is particularly important for that “meat head” lifter who has avoided high rep and bodyweight training like the plague.
Counter to the false gospel some “functional” trainers preach, the “pump” is important and necessary to maximize muscle growth. Finishers, done properly, will induce the mother of all pumps.
For these finishers all you need is “you,” a high pain tolerance and a desire to get better.
Everyone wants bigger arms; triceps compose over 60 percent of the arms so there is no better place to start.
Most triceps exercises in the weight room are open kinetic chain movements (meaning the force you produce makes the weight move). Closed kinetic chain exercises move your body as you produce force, like an athletic endeavor or combat situation. Bottom line benefit: Closed kinetic chain movements are more natural and more functional.
With this benefit in mind, we are going to finish your next training session with bar dips. According to Per Tesch’s iconic book, Targeted Bodybuilding, MRI scans showed of all the various triceps movements tested, including close grip bench presses and skull crushers; dips were the only movement to stress all three heads of the triceps significantly.
Try this finisher to finish off your next triceps workout.
Jailhouse Method Dips (reverse pyramid)
The Jailhouse Baker’s Dozen is a total of 91 total repetitions, where set 1 is performed with 13 repetitions, set 2 is 12 repetitions, set 3 is 11 repetitions, etc. Each set descends by one less repetition. After each set is performed, walk 16 feet (eight feet across your cell and eight feet back). Your goal is to do this in seven minutes, if this is too difficult try band-assisted dips. If this is too easy, try a jailhouse 15 or 20, the key is completion in less than 10 Minutes. It’s a finisher, not a new workout.
Prepare for the pain, and then get ready to grow.
No one can deny the effectiveness of heavy bench presses and inclines in building a massive chest. Yet, this push-up routine at the end of a chest workout will have even the most advanced bodybuilders looking to tap out.
The Deck of Pain
A favorite of street soldiers and hardened cons, the deck of pain is a way to use the slick gambler’s favorite tool for more than just Five Card Stud. Take a 52-card deck and shuffle the cards so that you have no idea what card will come up next. Flip the first card and do however many push-ups the card says. So, for numbered cards, do whatever number of push-ups coordinate with the number on the card. For picture cards (jack, queen, and king) do 10 push-ups. For the aces do 11 push-ups. Once completed, you will have done 380 push-ups.
Aim for 15 minutes. If this is too difficult, opt for the “girl” push-up variation or even push-ups against a wall.
Inside the gym, heavier power squats force an athlete to sit back more while squatting, which places a greater amount of the load on the glutes and hamstrings. Because a bodyweight squat is more of a squat down motion, bodyweight squats enable you to absolutely torch the quads.
To blast your quads and to fill out those classic black boxing trunks, attempt this Tyson Squat workout at the end of your leg day:
Tyson Squat Workout
Start with 10 cards and line them up 2-4 inches apart. Squat and pick up the first card, then move to the next card and place the first card on top of the second card. After which, you squat twice more to pick up each card individually, before moving to the third card. Walk to the third card and squat twice to stack each card, then squat three times to pick up each card before carrying the cards to the fourth card, proceeding with the pattern. You will continue this pattern of individually stacking and picking up the cards until you move through all 10 cards in the line. At that point, you will have completed 100 squats. You can add cards as your strength and endurance increase.
Your goal is to make it through twice in 10 minutes. If this is too hard, try once in six minutes. If the workout is too easy, try the squats with a one-second pause at the bottom or opt for lunges.
Science and anecdotal evidence concur: to maximally develop a muscle, a very wide variety of rep schemes should be used. Finishers add this key metabolic stress element to the hypertrophy equation. Because of this, I suggest supplementing with ProSource Beta Alanine because it can help to buffer the effects of lactic acid.
Keep in mind, these finishers should be nasty, brutish and short, in the words of Thomas Hobbes. Do not exceed 10 minutes in total duration. Progression should be toward density (i.e. doing more in less time).
Bodyweight finishers are fun, challenging, spark new growth cycles and are highly functional. Instead of pumping out light weights on machines, try a method that has built powerhouses for decades.