It is a sad fact that even the best routine only works for so long.
What is also true is that, sometimes, even the hardest of trainers—gets tired of doing the same routine over and over.
Yes, I know it is shocking—but true.
When this happens, one of the best things you can do, is to use a shock routine.
As the name implies, a shock routine is something that you do, to “shock” your muscles into new growth.
One of my favorite means of implementing a shock routine is to do it for say, three to six weeks and then switch back to your normal routine.
NOTE: If you plan on doing a shock routine for say six weeks make sure you clear out your schedule so that you can get extra sleep and get all of your meals in, as there is no reason to do a shock routine—at least in my opinion—when you cannot get the maximum benefit from it.
With that thought in mind, I am going to give you two of my favorite shock routines—along with some ideas on how you can use them.
Yes, if you are thinking twice-a-day training you are correct.
While it can be a brutal way of training—I have found it to work wonders for me.
If you are really “burned out” it might be a good idea to take a week off from training—completely—before you try one of these “shock” routines.
This serves two purposes.
Frist, it will give you muscles and nervous system a chance to recover.
And second, if you are anything like me, you will be “more-than-ready” to hit-it-hard, once you week of rest is over.
And that is a very good thing.
With that said, we all come from different training back grounds, so if you find two-a-days are just too much for you—either stop them all together, or cut back on the number of sets.
MY FAVORITE SHOCK
I have always loved training shoulders, and to me, shoulder training, would not be shoulder training without the overhead press.
So, what I will do, for my first workout of the day, is to work the overhead press—I prefer using a barbell, but you can use dumbbells—for a hard 5×5 (for those who do not know, 5×5 is five sets of five reps per set, for a total of twenty-five reps) taking as much time as I need to recover between sets.
For my second shoulder workout of the day I will do three sets of twenty reps each for side lateral, front raises and bent over laterals.
Each rep in this workout is done slow and in control—no cheating or swinging.
The other thing I do, is to take no more than thirty seconds rest between sets, as I want to pump up my shoulders to the max.
From time to time—if the energy is there, I will “finish my shoulders off” with some very light weight and very high rep (for me at least) dumbbell presses.
Usually one set of thirty-reps is all I can do.
But, it is enough, to end the workout with massively pumped up shoulders—perfect.
Another great two-a-day is to do heavy incline presses—once again in the 5×5 style.
And then for the second workout, do, breathing pull-overs.
For these the weight does not matter—you simply want to fill your lungs with as much air as possible on each rep.
Aim for twenty reps per set.
Right after you finish the pull-overs jump down and do as many push-ups as possible.
You do not have to go to failure on these, just go until you think one or two more reps are possible.
Work up to doing five sets of this pull-over and push-up super set.
By the time you are done, your chest should be pumped to the max.
For a “finisher” if you are good at them, you can end with a set of chest dips.
I usually like to do the heavy workout as early in the morning as I can, so that, I have the maximum recovery possible for the workout later in the day.
Which I try to do as late at night as I can—to once again, maximize recovery.
It is imperative, that if you are going to follow this routine, that you take in some serious post-workout nutrition.
I like to take in a whey isolate shake—along with around ten to fifteen grams of L-Glutamine.
I was never a fan of adding carbs like dextrose to my post workout shake.
Also, if you can—and I know this is not going to be a reality for most people reading this—a solid hour nap after the first workout, does wonders for your recovery.
Of course, you will need to make sure you are eating some high-quality protein, like, boneless and skinless chicken breasts, some quality carbs like sweet potatoes and some high-quality fat like almonds every two-to-three hours.
A POINT ON NUTRITION
Only you know your body, so do what works best for you, for me, I feel better and gain more muscle on a high protein, high fat lower carb diet—than most—but again that is just me.
Some people need tons of carbs—I found out early in my bodybuilding journey, that I needed less than most.
Moral of the story, you can read all the books—and online posts—but only through experimenting will you find what works best for you.
A WORD ON SUPPLEMENTS
As I mentioned earlier, I like to take in a high-quality whey isolate shake and L-Glutamine post workout, however, I realize that the pre-workout stimulant and “pump” products are all the rage—so I thought I would comment on them.
I am not a fan of these products—and I do not use them.
First, simply, because, I feel that you should not need anything to “get you up” for your workout.
The motivation should come from within—and from proper sleep and eating habits.
Second, I have not seen (and I will admit that I might have missed it) a bit of proof that these products actually do anything to build muscle.
With that said, if you are a fan of these products, by all means use them, but, I would do so with this thought in mind.
I would save these types of products for when they are going to be most effective—like during a period where you will be doing a “shock” routine or some other form or very hard training.
This way, you will get the most benefit out of them.
There you have it, two of my favorite “shock” routines.
If you feel like you are in a workout rut—or your gains have simply stalled, give one of these “shock” routines a try, for three to six weeks.
If you do, and you combine them with high quality nutrition and supplements, along with plenty of rest, I know you will be pleasantly surprised with the results you get!