WORKOUTS

Muscle-Building 12-Week Workout: Week 12

Welcome to week 12 of the RealJock.com Muscle-Building Workout from strength specialist Mike Clausen. If you've made it this far, congratulations! Looking for a new workout after this one? Try the companion RealJock.com Strong and Lean 12-Week Workout from super-trainer Billy Polson.
WEEK 12, DAY 1 EXERCISE VIDEO DEMOS

DAY 1: EXPLOSIVE POWER TRAINING - PULL EXERCISES FOR BACK AND BICEPS

WARMUP
Superset Exercise Muscles Weight (Goal) Set 1 Reps (Goal) Set 1 Reps (Actual) Set 2 Reps (Goal) Set 2 Reps (Actual) Set 3 Reps (Goal) Set 3 Reps (Actual) Set 4 Reps (Goal) Set 4 Reps (Actual)
Tube Rows Back N/A 20 20 20
WORKOUT
Begin Superset
S Wide-Grip Pull-ups Back (lats, rhomboids, traps) N/A 12 12 12 N/A N/A
S Tube Pull-Downs Back (lats, traps) N/A 15 15 15 N/A N/A
One-Leg-Spot Pull-ups Chest N/A 12 12 12 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Seated Cable Rows Back (lats, rhomboids) 85% Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
S Medicine Ball Soccer Throws Back (lats, rhomboids), Core Medium 20 20 20 N/A N/A
Barbell Russian Dead Lifts to Barbell Romanian Dead Lifts with Barbell Dead Rows Back (lats, traps), Core 50% Rep Max 25 25 25 N/A N/A
Wide Push-ups Back (lats), Chest, Core N/A 12 12 12 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Narrow-Grip Pull-Downs Back (lats, rhomboids), Core Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
S Smith Machine Inverted Palms-Down Pull-ups with Release/Re-Catch at Top Back (lats, rhomboids, traps) N/A 10 10 10 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Single Cable Rows Back (lats, rhomboids) Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
S Medicine Ball Pull-Overs Back (lats, serratus) Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
Dumbbell 21 Curls Biceps Rep Max 21 21 21 N/A N/A
Speed Tube-Assisted Dumbbell Curls Biceps 50% Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Standing Barbell Curls Biceps Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
S Incline Dumbbell Curls Biceps Rep Max 12 12 12 N/A N/A
Speed Tube Curls Biceps N/A 15 15 15 N/A N/A
Stability Ball Pike-ups Abdominals N/A 20 20 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Speed Decline Situps Abdominals N/A 20 20 N/A N/A N/A N/A
V Situps with Heels on Wall and Legs Straight Abdominals N/A 20 each side 20 each side N/A N/A N/A N/A
Single Dumbbell Toe Tab Abs Abdominals Light 20 20 N/A N/A N/A N/A
CARDIO TRAINING
Exercise Time Overview
Treadmill 30 Minutes Do 30 minutes of jogging on the treadmill machine. Get your heart rate up to a moderate level.
EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS IN BRIEF
Exercise Overview
Tube Rows Take one handle of a resistance tube in each hand, with the center point of the tube attached to a fixed point level with your waist. Be careful to attach the tube to something that will not move when you pull on it. Stand facing the point of attachment and extend your arms directly forward, with your palms down. Step back until there is significant tension through the tube. If you do not have access to tubes, use a cable machine instead. Begin to bend your elbows and pull them straight back as you simultaneously rotate your palms to face each other and scoop your pinkies back toward your body. Continue to bend your elbows and pull them back until they pass close to your rib cage and fold behind your back; your palms will be close to your chest, with your shoulder blades flexed together. Lower your arms back to the starting position, allowing your elbows to open as they come forward, and rotating your hands back over to be palms down. Move immediately into the next tube row, keeping a steady, fluid, and constant rhythm.
Wide-Grip Pull-ups Stand on the platform of a Gravitron machine and hold on to the grips at the top with your hands wide (about six to eight inches more than shoulder-width apart on each side) and your palms facing away from you. Step off of the platform and onto the foot rests, allowing your body weight to bring you down until your arms are fully extended. Next, lift yourself up until your head fully clears the Gravitron's grips and your shoulders are almost touching the grip bars. Keep your posture tall, shoulder blades retracted, and chest up in order to keep the work in your lats throughout. From the top, reverse position and lower yourself back down to starting position.
Tube Pull-Downs Take one handle of a resistance tube in each hand, with the center point of the tube attached to a fixed point level with your breastbone. Be careful to attach the tube to something that will not move when you pull on it. Stand facing the point of attachment and extend your arms directly forward, with your palms down. Step back until there is significant tension through the tube. Next, keep your arms extended as you pull them straight down and back behind you. Your arms will pass wide of your torso, until they are behind your hips, with your palms facing back. Make sure you keep your grip on the tube handle light throughout this movement. Keep your wrists straight—don’t let them flex. Raise your arms back to the starting position, keeping your arms fully extended throughout. Move immediately into the next pull-down, keeping a steady, fluid, and constant rhythm.
One-Leg-Spot Pull-ups Stand under a Smith machine bar facing the bar, with your feet hip distance apart and your hands grasping the bar at about shoulder distance apart, with palms facing away from you. Bend one knee and lift that foot off the ground, so that you only have one foot on the floor. Next, keep your shoulders down and back as you bend your elbows and pull yourself up toward the bar in a classic pull-up. As you do so, use the foot on the floor to help you to balance, and to push off with as needed. Lift until your chin clears the bar, pulling with the pinkie side of your hands to distribute the pressure and pressing your elbows slightly forward as you lift. From the top of your motion, slowly lower back to the starting position, resisting the downward motion through your shoulders and upper back, and keeping a constant pressure on the foot on the floor.
Seated Cable Rows Sit on the floor or on a flat bench at a cable row station holding a double-handle attachment with your elbows tucked in and your arms extended with palms facing. Your hands should be slightly less than shoulder distance apart. Your back should be flat, your chest out, your abs engaged into your spine, your posture tall, and your legs slightly bent. Pull the handles in toward your stomach, leading with your pinkies and squeezing the shoulder blades together as you pull. Imagine you are trying to wrap your elbows around behind your back. Keep your back flat, your abs engaged strong into your spine, and a tall posture as you pull. When you have pulled the handles all the way in to your abdomen, reverse direction and return to the starting position, resisting the pull of the cable through your lats as you extend your arms. Do not let your elbows come wide as your arms extend.
Medicine Ball Soccer Throws Grasp a medicine ball in both hands and stand with feet shoulder distance apart and the ball held straight overhead, with arms extended. Next, keep you arms straight as you use a powerful throwing motion to reach forward and down with both arms, throwing the ball at the ground. Use your lats to generate the power for pushing the ball downward. As the ball bounces off the floor, catch it with arms extended, and immediately bring your arms straight up overhead, controlling your upward motion as you return to the starting position. Immediately upon reaching the starting position, once again throw the ball toward the floor to begin the next repetition.
Barbell Russian Dead Lifts to Barbell Romanian Dead Lifts with Barbell Dead Rows Stand upright in front of a weighted barbell with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and take up a modified squat position, with your knees slightly bent, hips pressed slightly back, and back flat. From the modified squat, grip the barbell with both hands about shoulder-width apart and palms facing you. The barbell should be at the level of the middle of your shins, either resting on the floor (if the plates are large) or held off the floor in your hands. Keep the majority of your weight back on your heels, while still applying pressure through the balls of your feet. Keeping your chest forward, use your legs to lift the barbell and stand up to a fully upright position. From the standing position, bend slowly at the hips and slightly at the knees, until your hips are bent at nearly a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back flat. When your back is flat and your hips are at a 90-degree angle, raise the bar directly up toward your breastbone, bringing your shoulder blades together behind you. Slowly lower the barbell back to your mid-shin level. When your arms are fully extended, slowly bring your upper body back to a chest-front standing position using the strength of your hamstrings and glutes. Maintain a perfectly flat back and keep your belly button pulled in to your spine like a weight belt would feel. Your arms will stretch straight down holding the barbell. Finally, from the standing position press your hips behind you and bend your knees as you sit into a squat. Keep your back flat as you squat down. Lower the barbell to the floor or down to your shin level starting position before repeating the entire sequence.
Wide Push-ups Take a push-up, or plank, position on the floor, with arms extended, hands under shoulders, legs straight, hips flat, and center engaged. Now, move your hands to the side a few inches, such that your hands are wider than your shoulders. Next, lower your chest toward the floor in a push-up, keeping your center engaged so that your hips neither droop nor pike upward. As you lower your chest, keep your back broad even as you bring your shoulder blades together. Try to develop the feeling that you are suspended from above, through your shoulder blades, rather than pushing against your hands. Come all the way down, until your chin nearly touches the floor. From the bottom of your push-up, press back up to the starting position, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.
Narrow-Grip Pull-Downs Seat yourself at a cable station beneath a narrow-grip attachment suspended from the cable. Stabilize yourself using the pads above the knees. Reach up and grip the handles so that the palms are facing each other, with your hands a little less than shoulder-width apart. Pull the handles downward toward the chest, keeping your chin up. As you pull down, keep your shoulders down and broaden your chest. Bring the bar close to your chest, with your elbows at your sides. Pull through the pinky side of your hands to get the bicep muscles involved. Slowly resist the upward motion of the handles, and let your back muscles stretch as you return to the starting position.
Smith Machine Inverted Palms-Down Pull-ups with Release/Re-Catch at Top Set the Smith machine bar so that it is on the fourth, fifth, or sixth height setting (the bar height will be below your chest height and above your belly button), depending on your individual height relative to the Smith machine. With your feet on the floor in a wide stance in front of the Smith machine, position your upper body underneath the bar of the Smith machine, holding the bar a little wider than shoulder-width apart with your palms facing down. Hang from the bar with your arms extended fully, and allow only the heels of your feet to touch the floor. Keep your body straight and your core engaged—don't let your butt sag down. Next, lift your upper body up quickly and forcefully until your chest nearly touches the bar. At the top of the motion, use the power of your pull-up to float your body a bit as you quickly release the bar and then re-catch it as you drop back down. Lower yourself down until you are back at the starting position. From the bottom of the motion, immediately begin your next repetition with a powerful pull back up.
Single Cable Rows Set up a cable row with a single-hand-grip attachment at the lowest height setting (just off the floor). Stand upright about four feet from the cable row machine, holding the grip attachment with your right hand. Make sure your right arm is straight and angled down toward the base of the cable row machine. Perform a single-arm cable row with your right arm by pulling the cable as far back as you can using your back muscles. Focus on retracting your right shoulder blade by wrapping your elbow back towards your spine. When you have brought the cable back as far as you can, reverse direction and bring the cable back to starting position. Repeat for a full set on your right side, then swap to left side for a full set.
Medicine Ball Pull-Overs Lie on your back on a flat bench with a medicine ball (or dumbbell) held in both hands with your palms facing inward. Extend your arms straight up toward the ceiling while keeping your shoulders pulled down. Bend both elbows slightly toward the ceiling, but not out to the sides. Next, keep the angle in your elbow as you lower both arms toward the floor beyond your head. Keep your shoulders down and retracted as you do this, and do not lower beyond the level of your head, or you risk shoulder injury. Also be careful not to let your elbows poke to the sides as you lower your arms. From the bottom of your motion, bring your arms back up until they are above your nose, keeping your shoulders down as your arms rise, and trying not to pause at the top of your motion.
Dumbbell 21 Curls Stand upright with dumbbells held in each hand at your sides and your palms facing forward. Keep your upper arms at your side throughout the exercise. Hold your elbows in front of your ribs; this will help keep the biceps muscle engaged throughout the movement, and will prevent you from inadvertently swinging your body to lift the weight. Next, use a scooping motion to begin as you lift the dumbbells up together until you are halfway through a full bicep curl, pause, then lower your arms back to starting position. Flex your bicep at the top of the movement, and resist the weight all the way down. Don't fully unlock your elbow at bottom of movement. Try your best to never allow your bicep to rest at top or bottom of any of the three series of movements. Do a total of seven of these lower-half bicep curls. After you have finished seven of the lower-half bicep curls, you are ready to move on to upper-half biceps curls. Lift the dumbbells up to a starting point that is halfway through a full range bicep curl, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle and the dumbbells held out in front of you. Curl the dumbbells up together to the top of a bicep curl, but lower down only until your elbows are back at the 90-degree angle. Again, flex your bicep at the top of the movement, and resist the weight all the way down. Do a total of seven of these upper-half biceps curls. After you have finished seven of the upper-half bicep curls, lower the weights to the original starting position, with the dumbbells held in each hand at your sides and your palms facing inward. Lift the dumbbells up together and do seven full range of motion biceps curls. When you have finished seven of these curls, you have completed one set of hammer 21 curls.
Speed Tube-Assisted Dumbbell Curls Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing inward. Take an exercise tube and hold one handle in each hand, along with the dumbbells. Allow the center of the tube to rest on the floor, and stand on it one foot. Place the other foot on the floor at about hip distance from the foot on the tube. Stand upright with arms at your sides and palms facing forward, with knees very slightly bent. To reduce the intensity of this exercise, instead of standing on the tube, wrap it around a pole or other fixed point behind you at the level of your feet. Next, curl both hands quickly upward, lifting both the dumbbells and the tube handles. Keep your upper arms close to your body throughout this motion. Keep your core engaged, your wrists straight, and your elbows in front of your ribs throughout the movement. When you have reached the top of the movement, reverse the motion and bring the weights swiftly back down to the starting position. Be sure to keep your biceps engaged as you bring the weights back down. Continue the curls in a fast but controlled manner with one foot on the tube until you have completed one quarter of the reps in the set. As you move into the second quarter of the set, add intensity to the exercise by placing both feet side-by-side on the tube. Add further intensity in the third quarter of the set by taking your feet wide, still standing on the tube. For the final quarter of the set, remove your feet from the tubes and complete the set with only the dumbbells.
Standing Barbell Curls Stand with a barbell held in front of you so that your palms are facing away from your body. Hold your elbows in front of your ribs; this will help keep the biceps muscle engaged throughout the movement. Your hands should be positioned on the bar directly in front of your shoulders so that your upper arms are touching your ribs. Curl the bar up toward your chest. Be careful to engage your core so that you do not swing your body. Focus on using your biceps muscles to curl the bar. When you have brought the bar up so that you fully flex the bicep (while keeping your wrists straight), reverse the motion and bring the bar slowly back down to the starting position. Be careful not to bring the weight up past a point where your forearms are perpendicular with the floor—stopping the range of motion at this point will keep your biceps fully flexed and engaged at the top of movement. Be sure to keep your biceps engaged as you bring the weights back down.
Incline Dumbbell Curls Lie on your back on an incline bench set at at 45-degree angle. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms upward. Press your shoulder blades into the bench and keep your elbows slightly bent. Next, bend your elbows into a curl. Keep your upper arms at your sides and your wrists flat. Your shoulders should remain steady. From the top of your motion—when your hands are slightly past vertical (making sure your bicep stays flexed) even at top of movement—lower your hands back to the starting position. You should feel a good stretch through your bicep in this extended position.
Speed Tube Curls Take an exercise tube and hold one handle in each hand. Allow the center of the tube to rest on the floor, and stand on it one foot. Place the other foot on the floor at about hip distance from the foot on the tube. Stand upright with arms at your sides and palms facing inward, forward, or downward, with knees very slightly bent. To reduce the intensity of this exercise, instead of standing on the tube, wrap it around a pole or other fixed point behind you at the level of your feet. Next, curl both hands quickly upward in a bicep curl. Keep your upper arms close to your body throughout this motion. Keep your core engaged, your wrists straight, and your elbows in front of your ribs throughout the movement. When you have reached the top of the movement, reverse the motion and bring your hands swiftly back down to the starting position. Be sure to keep your biceps engaged as you lower. Continue the curls with one foot on the tube until you have completed one quarter of the reps in the set. As you move into the second quarter of the set, add intensity to the exercise by placing both feet side-by-side on the tube. Add further intensity in the third quarter of the set by taking your feet wide, still standing on the tube. For the final quarter of the set, remove your feet from the tubes and complete the set with only the dumbbells.
Stability Ball Pike-ups Take up a push-up (plank) position, with your hands under your shoulders and your back flat, but with a stability ball under your legs. The ball should be beneath your shins and the tops of your feet, with your toes pointed. Engage your abdominals so that your hips do not droop toward the floor. Next, use your abdominals to fold your body upward, pulling your hips and buttocks straight toward the ceiling. Keep your feet pointed, so that the ball comes under your toes as your hips rise. At the top of your lift, the ball will be held under your pointed toes, and your back will nearly be in a straight line with your arms. Your shoulders should remain above your hands or slightly behind them—never in front. From the top of your lift, lower your hips as you press the ball back carefully with your feet, allowing it to be captured by the tops of your feet as you return to the starting position. Do not allow your hips to dip below a flat line with your shoulders and feet.
Speed Decline Situps Do these decline situps with a focus on power and controlled speed. Sit on a decline bench with your back toward the lower end. Bring your hands behind your head and your elbows out to the side. Tuck your chin into your chest for safety and slowly lower your shoulders down toward the bench, controlling your downward motion with your abs and keeping your elbows to the side. Keep your chin tucked as you descend. Once your shoulders are touching or almost touching the bench, bring your chin toward your chest and slowly roll your upper body off the bench until you come to fully vertical. Keep your chin tucked as you rise. Think of peeling yourself off the bench—you should not flop or jolt to get momentum.
V Situps with Heels on Wall and Legs Straight Lie on your back on the floor with your feet resting on a wall such that your legs are at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Flex your feet and rest only your heels on the wall. Your legs should be straight and your arms should be extended overhead. Next, begin by bringing your arms up and forward as you tuck your chin down toward your chest. Engaging your abs and exhaling as you lift, bring your upper body off the floor as your arms come forward. Keeping your heels on the wall, try to touch your toes at the top of your lift. Slowly uncurl and lower your upper body back down to the floor, bringing your arms back overhead as you lower down. Keep your chin toward your chest until your shoulders are touching the floor.
Single Dumbbell Toe Tap Abs Take a single dumbbell in both hands, holding it by the end caps. Lie on your back on the floor, your arms extended overhead. Extend one straight leg on the floor, and bend the other so that your foot rests on the floor. Next, simultaneously raise the dumbbell overhead as you lift the extended leg. Your head, neck, shoulders, and upper/middle back should rise off the floor at the top of your lift. Continue this motion until the dumbbell meets the toe of the straight leg. Lower yourself back to the floor, returning the dumbbell and raised leg to their original positions. Repeat these steps for 20 reps on one side. Then swap change legs for the next 20 repetitions. Keep your breathing regular throughout the exercise. Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower your arms and leg.

EXERCISE IMAGES

Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith