(The VIDEO below was filmed July 2015. It is unedited to show the full time of rests periods and exercises)
I divide, or "Split", my body's muscles into 2 separate Workouts. I have different workouts/exercises for both of my two Workout Splits (#1 & #2) and many variations, thus "A", "B", "C", etcetera.
Workout Split #1 engages the following muscles:
ARM (back of) -Triceps/"Tris"
LEGS (upper) -Gluteus/"Glutes" (back of upper leg/butt) & quadriceps/"Quads" (front of upper leg/thigh)
I start out with a total of 50 Wide-Hand Position pushups -these “warm up” my mind, but also the pectorials, especially the outer part of the pec muscle as that is the part of the pectorials I seek to target with the dumbbells in this Workout #1 variation. I have my hands placed wide, and also on dumbbells.
After the first 25 I immediately switch to a farther apart end of the dumbbells so as to make my hands even further wide spread apart. Doing Wide-Hand Position pushups works the outer pec muscle very well and you can feel it as your pecs are stretched as you go down in the push up, and as you push up.
Placing your hands on dumbbells forces you to concentrate on your balance and thus helps cement that all important Mind-Muscle Connection all body builders and weight trainers seek during their workouts.
As with any type of push-up I do, I don't seek high reps, I use controlled form and try not to rush through them, or cheat and not go low enough to feel the chest muscles work.
I then begin what is commonly called a 'Drop-Set' (where you progressively drop the weight -in 5 or 10lb increments usually- but do 2, 3, 4 or more sets of the same exercise) of Dumbbell Flies.
As with Chest Presses (see Workout #1-A) I lower my arms until I feel my elbows touch the ground.
1st Drop Set, repeated for 2 Sets
60lb dumbbells -8 Reps -6 Reps on 2nd Set
50lb “ '' -8 Reps -6 Reps on 2nd Set
40lb “ “ -8 Reps -6 Reps on 2nd Set
(I could not do more than 6 reps of each weight the second time around)
2nd Drop Set, repeated for 2 sets
40lb dumbbells -8 Reps
30lb “ “ -8 Reps
20lb “ “ -8 Reps
You may notice that as I went lower in weight from 40lb to 30 and then down to 20lb that I progressively out-stretched my arms, so as to work the OUTER part of the pectorials.
It is a perfectly safe, and VERY EFFECTIVE, Chest Fly IF you use lower weight.
The more stretched out your arms are the more the outer aspect of the pec is emphasized in Fly movements. (And the less the Triceps are secondarily involved -people that use extremely heavy weight to do flys are not only risking injury, they have the dumbbells close to their torso at the start of the movement (low position) and use their Triceps to “fly” the weight to the end of the movement (upper position) as much, if not more than, their Pecs!) I like to start out my Fly exercises with a heavy or moderate weight to wear the Pecs down, but I know that it is when I use the lower weight and more outstretched arm/hand position the that outer Pec is getting most of the work raising the weight up, and the Tris are excluded. Flys are a SQUEEZE exercise for the Pecs and most be thought of as such, not a pressing movement (like bench presses are).
As with all chest exercises you must remember to protect your shoulder joints by squeezing your shoulder blades together and slightly arching your back and chest upwards (towards the sky/celing) and not allow your shoulder to be loose or “out of joint”, else it may end up injuring the joint and/or tendons.
You may be wondering why I don't use a BENCH to do my Chest exercises (Flys and/or Presses).
The answer is simple: SAFETY.
You don't have to use a bench to work your chest effectively. Nor do your elbows have to drop below your torso/back to work the pectorials (chest muscles) fully. A bench certainly allows you to lower your elbows more, and thus allows you to stretch the pecs more, but there is no safety feature if you make a slight mistake during the lower movement. Laying on the ground, or floor indoors, is the safest way to work your chest; there is no need in risking a torn pec or injured shoulder rotator cuff.
The drawback is not that the pec don't get stretched fully (it still will get a great workout) but in the fact that there is only the FLAT position. There are no Incline or Decline bench pressing options using only the ground or floor, obviously
Thus the upper and lower parts of the pectorials don't get to develop like they could. I am not into competitive body building so I am not concerned with such physique details. The pecs do get a general, yet still great, workout and they do develop just fine in size and shape using only flat position flys and chest presses.
[If I were to perform Incline and Decline Flys or Chest Presses I would want to do them on a wide platform, such as plywood to insure that my elbows don't go back too far and risk injury.]
I start with a standing bent-over Tricep Alternating (one arm at-a-time) 'Kickbacks' using a 40lb dumbbell. I do 3 Sets of 8 Reps per arm for the first set, then with little rest time I do a second set and third set with just 6 Reps. Shorter rest periods generally make the number of repetitions you are able to do (of any exercise) less during subsequent sets.
Extremely short rest times (30 or less seconds) between Sets is a great technique to use for all of your exercises from time to time.
The next exercise I do, I kind of give myself 'credit' for 'inventing' as I haven't come across anyone else (yet) who has used my “ stool technique” previously. It is a Laying Down Tricep Simultaneous (both arms at-the-same-time) Kickback, using a stool. I love this exercise because it takes out any body/torso movement and it removes the need to focus on keeping your body, and back, in the correct position. All focus can be given to the Tricep.
I use 30lb dumbbells for 3 Sets of 8 Reps.
During any of my Tricep Kickback movements I bring the weight up towards the front of my shoulder, feeling the Tricep stretch out, and then push it back and up focusing on feeling the Tricep squeeze as it lifts the weight -no swinging of the weight forward or backward/upwards.
My Triceps get a good beating from Chest Presses and Shoulder Presses (on Delt/Shoulder days) so I don't generally spend as much time on them during Tricep day as as I do on the other muscle groups.
On Workout #1 days that I do Chest Presses (see Workout #1-A) the Triceps are already pretty exercised (or worn down, depending on how you want to look at it) so I generally don't go heavy or hard on them. But on Workout #1 days that I don't do Presses and instead do Flys I go at them hard, but again, as I have already stated, I don't hammer them too much if they were worked by Shoulder Presses in a previous Workout #2 session (Shoulder days) the same week. Chest presses are for the Pecs and Shoulder Presses are for the Delts but being presses they automatically involve the Triceps as secondarily involved muscles in the press movement.
* GLUTEUS & QUADRICEPS/Legs (Back and Front of Upper Legs)
Note: I prefer to work one or the other and not both, Glutes and Quads, on the same upper-leg/thigh day but sometimes I do cram and do both. This is NOT one of those times. The exercise I do this time mainly focuses on the GLUTES (butt basically) and the inner thigh muscles, called the ABDUCTORS, to an extent.
For my legs on this particular day I did a One Arm-Dumbbell Dead Lift.
I used 140lbs and a wide stance for lifting, which is commonly called a “Sumo Squat”.
I did only 6 Reps -3 with one arm and 3 with the other- for the first Set and then 8 Repetitions -4 with one arm and 4 with the other- for the next two Sets (for 3 Sets total).
(I try to keep my rests between sets on thigh/leg exercises no more than 1.5 minutes, 2 minutes max)
You won't get huge thighs using dumbbells alone. It takes squatting weight that is heavier than your arms and hands can handle, even with lifting straps, to get large thighs.
I am not interested in gaining the turnip shaped thighs that some seek, I prefer the Old School physique look of thighs which is more of a carrot shape.
It don't take squats with heavy barbells of weight across your upper back to get the Classic Old School Body Building look to your thighs, or butt.
No two of my workouts are exactly the same.
I know what muscle groups, or Workout "Split", I am doing on a given day -I workout 4 times a week, all muscle groups of Workouts #1 and #2 are trained twice a week.
I never plan what exercises to do, weight to use, or number of reps and sets I am doing, until the day of each workout.
The analog clock (seen to the left, the purple-blue looking thing) is so I can keep up with the seconds in my rests between sets and exercises, so that I don't go too long. It is the clock I am glancing at during the workout.
I try to keep my rests as short as possible and never rest for longer than I just have to between sets and exercises. I aim for 30 to 45 seconds, but may go 60. With super-sets, real heavy weight, or extremely high-rep workouts, I usually rest 90 seconds all the way up to 2 minutes between sets.
The clock is also so I can keep up with the overall time of my workouts. I like to keep them around the 30 minute mark, I shoot for no longer than half an hour. It makes me push harder to get more done in that period.