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    Photo Credit: courtesy of David Rich

The quest for the perfect workout program, part 3

By David Rich

Third in a five part series
At some point along the way, we've all come to the realization that in order to develop the body you've always wanted, you need a great workout plan. Simply going to the gym a few hours a week and randomly lifting up weights won't do it.

And with all the people out there hyping up their workout programs, it's hard to know which one choose. I’m not going to go over every workout program out there, but I will teach you 10 proven factors that make up a perfect workout system.

No. 5: Volume
In the world of bodybuilding volume is king. Volume is basically the amount lifted in the given workout. Example: barbell curls at 100 pounds x 10 repetitions x 5 sets = 5,000 pounds lifted during that workout.

There is a belief that you can do a small amount of volume, like one set, but do it really intensely to produce the same kind of results. The problem with that belief is that the human body wasn’t made to adapt and grow to that type of training. Think about. For almost all of the history of mankind, whether he was a farmer, a hunter or a gather, almost everything man did involved lifting and pulling things over and over again. We have adapted to that form of life.

Growth takes place after the workout due to our body’s reaction to the training. When this happens you produce powerful growth hormones that cause your muscles to increase in size and strength. Volume training produces the greatest amount of these hormones.

No. 6: Tempo and repetition speed
Muscles were made for speed, especially when it comes to sport training. During the concentric part of the lift, I try to push or pull the weight as fast and hard as possible, while keeping good form and control. This produces greater strength and muscle size gains because of the greater force output applied (power = force x distance / time).

During the eccentric part I take two-to-five seconds. The slower you go the safer and the more intense it is, that’s one way to increase the intensity of your workouts. It also increases your eccentric strength.

You also want to make sure you feel each rep. When you’re doing 10 reps don’t worry about your tenth rep, when you are on your fifth rep. Focus on no. 5 and do it right.

David Rich is a personal trainer and model. Visit his web site, FitnessModelBody for more information.

Part 1: Training length and exercise selection
Part 2: Recovery times and resting between sets
Part 3: Volume and tempo
Part 4: Form and repetition
Part 5: Periodization and training intensity