We all reach a point in our workouts where we seem to hit a plateau. The human body adopts remarkably well and is able to cope with whatever workout we throw at it. When our bodies adjust, we have to come up with new ways to challenge it, so it can once again become even stronger and more efficient. This is why we need to cycle our workouts, meaning we have to keep changing them. Advanced workout routines are the key to moving forward, especially if you have moved on from the beginner or novice level. Don’t expect an ordinary biceps curl, for example, to have the same effect on you as it did the first 3 months you started exercising. An advanced workout presumes your body is already highly conditioned; hence you can tolerate much more serious physical stress. An advanced bodybuilding workout involves more than the fundamental routines. There will be variations of the basic movements and some totally new exercises that are meant to surprise your muscles. Let us a look into some specific movements for each body part that are reserved only for the highly conditioned bodybuilder.
Push Up, Medicine Ball, Alternating
This is performed lying face down and pressing your body up with your hands so that all that touches the floor are your toes and hands. The medicine ball alternating in both hands will stagger the elevation of your hands, engaging your core muscles. Here is a step-by-step from instructional from workoutbox.com.
Step 1: Adopt the standard push up position
Step 2: Place a medicine ball under one hand to stagger the position
Step 3: Perform a push up by lowering the whole body towards the floor
Step 4: Maintain a strict straight line body posture throughout the move
Step 5: Return to the start position & roll the ball to the opposite hand
Step 6: Repeat the push up move with the ball under the opposite hand
Step 7: This is one repetition
See it done in a video here.
Many websites list this movement as a strictly chest movement, when it is also an advanced back movement. See if you think you would incorporate this exercise into your advanced back routine. These instructions are lifted from scoobyworkshop.com.
“This is an exercise predominately for your lats but it does work rear delts, tris, and a bit of pecs too.
Starting position: arms straight but not locked. Hands around dumbbell handle with palms on the inside surface of the dumbbell. Shoulders are down and back like you are pinching a tennis ball between your shoulder blades. Feet wide apart for balance. Torso and upper legs co-linear and held rigid with flexed abs.
Ending position: Slowly lower the dumbbell with a 2 second count till the elbows are in the plane of your body, do not go further back. Now slowly lift back up to starting position with a 2 second count again.”
You will be using a stability ball to do this exercise. Exercise.about.com demonstrates the movement that will challenge your abs, stability, balance, and, core strength. Keep this movement as part of your advanced ab exercises.
“Get into a pushup position with the ball under the shins/ankles (easier) or the tops of the feet (harder).
Make sure the body is straight, back flat and the abs engaged.
Roll the ball in, bending the knees towards the chest as you squeeze the abs.
Try not to push back with your arms but, instead, keep all the movement in the knees.
Don’t collapse the back as you roll the knees in.
Return to start and repeat for 10-16 reps.”
Kneeling on Stability Ball
Advanced core exercises are very difficult. This may look deceptively simple, but is absolutely killer on the core. Being able to balance on a well-inflated stability ball will require an elite trained core. If you have difficulty at first, use a softer inflated ball. Inflate it stiffer as you gain more balance. Check out the details below from exercise-ball-exercises.com.
Start this ball exercise by placing your hands on the front of the exercise ball.
Bring your knees forward onto the ball and shift your weight forward over the ball.
Engage your abdominal musculature through the abdominal hollowing exercise you learned in earlier pages.
Get comfortable on all fours before getting up.
You will need to roll the ball slightly forward as you rise up into the kneeling position.
As you are kneeling you will need to maintain a neutral spinal position. If your hips are too far forward or your back is arched, it is much more difficult to balance.
Use your arms at your sides to assist in balancing.
Look forward and lift your chest up to get onto your knees.
Hold this position.”
One Legged Squat (The Pistol)
Surprisingly, this is a bodyweight movement but is extremely difficult to execute requiring strength and very good balance to do. It is also unilateral movement, so you can equally stimulate both legs with the same amounts of resistance. A comprehensive tutorial on this difficult movement is over at beastskills.com.
3-Part Curls / 21s
These arm curls will work your biceps throughout the whole range of motion, from full extension to total contraction. They will also practically workout your biceps to failure. Expect a nasty pump from this. Chunkfitness.com provides us with the instructional.
Bottom Portion. Begin by curling the weights upward until your forearms are parallel with the ground, i.e. stop when you reach halfway up (midpoint), while exhaling throughout the movement.
Lower the weights to the initial position, while inhaling throughout the movement.
Repeat steps 2-3 until a total of 7 repetitions are reached.
Top Portion. Without resting, curl the weights completely to top as you would in a traditional biceps curl, while exhaling throughout the movement.
Lower the weights until your forearms are parallel to the ground, i.e. stop when you reach halfway down (midpoint), while inhaling throughout the movement. (Notice that since your first curl was a complete curl, when you now lower the weight only halfway you are working only the top portion of a traditional biceps curl.)
Repeat steps 5-6 until a total of 7 repetitions is reached, lowering the weights all the way down on the last (7th) repetition.
Full-Range Curls. Once again without resting, curl the weights the entire range, exhaling throughout the movement.
Lower the weights to the bottom, inhaling throughout the movement.
Repeat steps 8-9 until a total of 7 repetitions are reached.
Hopefully, those of you who are more seasoned lifters will find challenge and fulfillment doing these difficult moves. Static routines are the biggest enemy of progress with strength conditioning and bodybuilding. Keep challenging your body. It was made to be extremely adaptable to change, so you must constantly find ways to “shock” it with new moves that will produce even more strength and endurance for you to enjoy.