After rotator cuff surgery, I added something to the exercises and physical therapy regimen that helped speed my recovery. I naturally boosted my growth hormone by taking inexpensive amino acids found in the health food store.
Here are bodybuilding routines tested and promoted by Chad Waterbury. Check out his archives for other great info and workout routines - Chad Waterbury.
Workout #1: Full Body / 2 Lifts Per Day / 3 Days Per Week
For this workout, pick 2 compound exercises - 1 upper body and 1 lower body. Perform the same 2 lifts 3 times per week. Lift as quickly as the weight will allow with good form.
Example: Standing Military Press and Deadlift. The standing military/deadlift combination hits nearly every muscle group in your body.
For sets and reps, use 5x5 or 5 sets of 5 reps with the heaviest weight possible. Workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Deadlift for 5 reps
Rest 45 seconds
Standing military press for 5 reps
Rest 45 seconds then repeat the combination of 2 lifts 4 more times (5 total rounds)
Try to add a small amount of weight each week and continue the program for 6 weeks.
Workout #2: Full Body / 3 Lifts Per Day / 3 Days Per Week
Here's another full body workout consisting of one upper body pushing lift, one upper body pulling lift, and one lower body compound lift. The 3 lifts are performed in a circuit - do one set of each different lift along with prescribed rest then repeat the cycle.
Monday - 8 set of 3 reps each, rest 30 seconds between each set
Wednesday - 5 sets of 5 reps each, rest 30 seconds between each set
One-arm shoulder press
Friday - 4 sets of 10 reps each, rest 30 seconds between each set
Pull-up with a narrow grip or lat machine pull down.
Incline dumbbell bench press
This workout routine changes loads in each workout and allows you to recover and grow. Make sure your nutrition is right and you're getting plenty of sleep.
Workout #3: Full Body / 25 Total Reps / 3 Days Per Week
Waterbury has found that a volume of 25 total reps for each lift in a routine, with a load that you can only lift 6 times the first set, is best. Perform the workout as a circuit to get maximum rest between each lift of the same exercise.
Here are 3 versions of this plan:
In the first routine, you do as many reps as you can in each set. So you don't have a fixed target number of reps in each set, only 25 total in all the sets combined. This workout plan is outlined in Waterbury's book Huge in a Hurry.
Use a weight that lets you do no more than 6 reps for your first set. Continue using that amount of weight and complete as many reps as possible each time (AMAP) until you reach 25 reps per exercise. Also added to the 3 compound exercises of this workout, is 1 isolation exercise which lets you focus on any lagging body parts.
1.Upper body pull (chins, rows) for as many reps as possible (AMAP)
Rest 30 seconds
2.Upper body push (dips, bench, military) for AMAP
Rest 30 seconds then repeat 1-4 in circuit fashion 7 more times to complete 8 rounds total.
Famous bodybuilder Reg Park used it to build tremendous size and strength. The 5x5 program is still one of the most effective programs for adding size and strength. As a good bodybuilder workout, it combines intensity and volume to build strength and size without over-training. See The Daniel Craig Workout for a version of this routine.
Instead of complicated workouts that are a real chore, the 5x5 is simple and gets results. See Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle for excellent advice from Tom Venuto.
The 5x5 program simply means doing five sets of five reps per exercise. For example, you would do two warm-up sets of 10 reps. Then load the bar with the weight you will do 5 sets.
Choose a weight that only becomes difficult to complete on your fifth set. When you can do five reps on all five sets, increase the weight.
Strength: Rest 3 minutes between sets. Size: Rest 90 seconds between sets. Combination of strength and size: Rest 2 minutes between sets.
In terms of workout days, you can do a split routine working out the upper body one day and lower body the next. You can also do a full body workout 3 times per week. Try each to see which works best for you. The New High Intensity Training offers a quicker form of muscle development than the 5x5, in only 2 full body workouts per week.
Use compound exercises for your workouts such as squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, bench presses, and weighted dips.
Limit your isolation exercises. Instead of repeating the same exercises in each session, change the movement for each muscle group.
For chest, you could perform bench presses on Monday, weighted dips on Wednesday, and incline benches on Friday.
This allows you to progress without plateaus and without injury. Here's a sample 5x5 workout:
It's a fact that every top bodybuilder is a genetic freak and uses steroids. They will gain muscle size on virtually any program they use. Even so, they are at or near their genetic limit for muscular growth. Because of this, they have to train with extreme intensity and volume to eek out additional growth.
To get this intensity and volume, bodybuilders need to split workouts into body parts. Full body workouts just won't work. Now for the other 99% of guys out there, all with average genetics and still far from their genetic limits, full body training is definitely the way to train.
Since I started working out with mostly gymnastic rings and bodyweight exercises using the HFT exercise program, I've gotten much stronger and have added substantial muscle . . . and this comes after 36 years of working out!
After major rotator cuff surgery, my doctor said I would never again be able to do exercises like dips and bench presses. Now I use all body weight movements with rings. I enjoy the challenge and without any weight lifting my arms are the biggest they've ever been (consider how an Olympic gymnast's biceps look).
I even travel with my rings and straps frequently staying in hotels for work and working out in my room. Check out HFT2 to get started immediately!