Achieving the Warrior Physique Part 2 – Training
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The Warrior Shredding Program workout routine will allow you to effortlessly drop body fat while building strength in the gym and getting more chiseled than ever. This is the program I use when I want to cut down to very low body fat without going crazy.
In the last article I covered nutrition and dieting for the ripped and wiry warrior build and physique. In case you missed it here’s part one warrior physique part 1. In this article I am going to talk about a systematic workout approach to build your body according the warrior physique standards! But first let’s take a look at some Kinobody examples!
Koy is a buddy of mine who is clearly in shredded shape! His bodyfat is ridiculously low and as a result his vascularity becomes much more pronounced. Koy is around 5’10 and 150 lbs and has the warrior physique!
Bryden is my 16 year old younger brother and is also 5’10 and 150 lbs. I’ve been helping him with his training and nutrition for the past two years. In that time he has gradually decreased his body fat and improved his muscle definition and strength significantly.
3. Greg (me)
This is a picture of me from the summer of 2011. I’m around 170 lbs at 5’10 and 6-7% body fat. Since that time I’ve put on a substantial amount of muscle.
Strength Training for the Warrior Physique
Strength training is a large component of the warrior physique! Without it you may get lean but you will lack muscle definition and shape.
As well, strength training is imperative as it will give your body the proper proportions and aesthetics when combined with a low body fat.
However, with the warrior physique, the volume and intensiveness of the workout session will be lower. This is because we don’t want to overdo the muscle building.
With the warrior physique we are after a natural amount of muscle mass in conjunction with minimal amounts of body fat.
Repetitions will be primarily lower as to avoid sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Therefore most of the muscle gains will be accrued from increases in the contractile filaments of the muscle, aka myofibrillar hypertrophy.
When limiting muscle growth it makes sense to target this type of hypertrophy because it will have a direct influence on strength and power and it will give the muscles a harder and denser look.
As well, adding muscle with lower reps will ensure that you look good all of the time since this type of muscle growth doesn’t fluctuate based on blood, glycogen or fluid.
You may notice that some exercises will be higher in repetitions. This is because particular exercises and muscle groups respond best to higher reps.
For the lateral and rear delts I like to go higher in reps and volume. This will help keep your shoulders bigger and fuller giving you a more masculine appearance.
Warrior Strength Training Routine
Workout A will be focused on hitting your chest, shoulders and triceps. Workout B will be dedicated towards training your back, biceps and legs. I have been following this type of split for several months now and have made my best gains ever!
By going with a 2 day split (half your body on one day and other other half on the other day) you get to hit each muscle group once every 4-5 days. From my experience this is the absolute most effective muscle frequency for strength and muscle gains.
1) Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
2) Standing Barbell Press: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
3) Weighted Dips: 2 sets x 6-8 reps
4) Barbell Upright Row (medium grip, pull to lower chest): 4 sets x 10-12 reps
5) Hanging Leg Raises: 4 sets x 10-12 reps
6) 15-20 minutes of low intensity cardio (optional)
1) Weighted Chin ups* (hands facing each other): 3 sets x 4-6 reps
2) Barbell or Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
3) Bulgarian Split Squats: 2 sets x 6-8 reps
4) Cable Rope Face Pulls: 4 sets x 10-12 reps
5) Dip Bar Leg Raises: 4 sets x 10-12 reps
6) 15-20 minutes of low intensity cardio (optional)
*Make sure you’re using a high-quality weight belt that won’t get in the way or distract you during the exercise.
Exercises 1, 2 and 3 rest 2-3 minute between sets and stop 2 reps before muscular failure. Use the same weight for all work sets. Exercises 4 and 5 rest 60-90 seconds between sets and stop 2 reps before failure.
For exercises 1, 2, 3 and 4 increase the weight by 5 lbs when you can perform all sets for the maximum number of reps. So for incline barbell bench press you will increase the weight by 5 lbs for the next workout when you can do 3 sets of 6 reps.
Try and add at-least 1 rep to 1 of your 3 sets each workout. So the first workout you might get 5, 4, 4. The next workout you’d try to get 5, 5, 4 and then 5, 5, 5. Once you build up to 6, 6 and 6 reps then you will add 5 lbs the next workout.
For the leg raise variations try to lift your legs as high as possible forming a V with your legs and torso. As fatigue mounts in you may need to bend your legs slightly to continue lifting your legs up. That’s fine, do the best you can.
Lastly, if you want to speed up fat loss you can add 20 minutes of low intensity cardio after the strength training workout. My preferred method is a brisk walk on the treadmill with an incline. My second favorite option is the elliptical machine. I am not a huge fan of the bike because I find I have to work twice as hard to burn the same number of calories. As well, I spend more than enough time per day sitting on my ass so I’d rather not do that while I’m exercising.
Cardio Training for the Warrior Physique
Cardio training plays an important role in an effective shredded workout plan to help you lean down to single digit body fat.
I’m a big proponent of strength training 3x per week or every other day.
However, I feel that it is important to get physical activity on a daily basis, especially when dieting.
Doing 45-60 minutes of low to medium intensity cardio will help you burn 400-600 calories. This gives you a lot more room to work with in your diet.
For example, if you burn 2200 calories on a rest day then you will need to slice calories down to 1700 to put you into a 500 calorie deficit. Adding some exercise into the mix and you can bring your energy expenditure up to 2600 relatively easy.
Now you can consume 2100 calories and be in an optimal 500 calorie deficit for fat loss. Alternatively, you could consume the same 1700 calories but this time be in a 900 calorie deficit. This would allow you to lose fat at almost double the rate!
So hopefully this shows you how cardio can make dieting much easier.
Now it may be tempting to go beyond this and do 90-120 minutes of cardio on rest days. I don’t feel that this is a particularly wise idea.
I consider 60 minutes of cardio per day to be the cutoff point for assisting with fat loss. After which, the cardio becomes a pain in the ass and inevitably leads to a proportional increase in appetite.
So basically, if you want to eat like a bird or lose fat at a slow rate, complete inactivity is acceptable and can work.
However, if you prefer to eat more calories or burn fat at a faster rate then adding some cardio on rest days may just be the best thing for you.
I recommend performing the type of cardio that you enjoy the most on your rest days (non strength training days).
My preference, when dieting, is towards lower intensity forms of cardio such as walking on the treadmill with a slight incline. This type of training won’t cut into your recovery capabilities.
Depending on how I’m feeling, I might step up the intensity at times, but I let my mood and intuition guide me. Sometimes i’ll alternate jogging with walking. This is similar to interval training but the intensity is fairly low.
If you prefer to play sports, swim or run then do that! The cardio form that will most consistently get done is the type that you should do.
If you are already very active during the day then you probably won’t need to add additional cardio exercise on top of that. Your energy expenditure will already be exactly where in needs to be. Adding cardio to the picture will likely cause more problems than it solves.
What about boosting your metabolism or jacking up growth hormone?
I don’t recommend performing cardio for the sole reason to boost your metabolism or jack up your growth hormone levels. The metabolism boosting effect of interval/sprint training has been drastically misinterpreted.
Best case scenario you’ll burn an addition 15% on top of the calories burned from the interval session. So if you burn 200 calories from a 20 minute interval session then you’ll burn a whopping 30 calories on top of that from the metabolism boosting effect.
And because interval/sprint training requires you to take a lot of rest between exertions your average intensity level will be substantially lower than if you were to maintain a steady pace throughout.
In terms of fat loss, it’s really all about the weekly calorie deficit that you create. Focusing on boosting your growth hormone levels from training will have hardly any effect at all.
Similarly, chasing the testosterone boosting effect of squats/deadlifts or different training protocols has absolutely no impact on overall muscle growth. The only way for these hormones to make a difference is if you take immense quantities, artificially (illegal injections).
When should you perform cardio?
For most people the best time to do cardio will be when it will most consistently get done.
However, as you reach lower levels of body fat it can become more difficult to mobilize stored fat cells.
So for people who are under 12% body fat it’s best to do cardio in the fasted state or 3-4 hours after a meal.
However, for this cardio to have any effect, you must be in a calorie deficit. So doing empty stomach cardio in the morning and then overeating for the rest of the day will cause you to store excess fat.
For those that are already following intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast you won’t have any issues mobilizing stubborn body fat. You will be oxidizing plenty of fat during the fasted phase, assuming you are in a calorie deficit.
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