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VAN DAM Lift
Workout



I get a lot of mail from my fans asking what exercises I do, and when. My workouts are designed to fit my needs, lifting heavy and sticking to the basics.

I plan my whole workouts around a few important sets. I warm up before I hit the heavies, which I do, and I give my heaviest set the most energy. I group two muscles together usually for a workout and this gives me my best workouts. This way I am able to give enough attention to a couple of selected body parts while the other muscles are recuperating. I lift three or four times a week. I try for four but wrestling two or three times a week sometimes makes it difficult.

From everything I've read, your muscles need at least 48 to 72 hours to recupe after being blasted in the gym but I've found waiting closer to a week before hitting the paticular muscles again can be okay too, especially if you are trying to build big muscles. You will hit the same muscles indirectly while working other muscles out. For example, I love to do dips. Love 'em! Since I can't do them without hitting both chest and triceps, I plan my workouts accordingly. If I am doing chest and triceps on the same day, great! If not, I may want to do chest on Monday with back (tonight's workout, as a matter of fact) and later in the week, like Wednesday or Thursday do triceps with biceps. You see, I can't bench without doing triceps (and I love to bench) and I will be hitting triceps indirectly on chest day and then blasting them a few days later, get it?

Also, my biceps almost always get pumped during a back workout. This is just because of the movements my body makes during the exercises. I may as well go ahead and finish biceps after back or, if I have another routine in mind, I will let bi's rest a couple days and blast them directly after adequate time.

I change my workouts every time I am in the gym and always have. I always change the combination of muscles I'm working, or the exercises I'm doing, or the number of reps. Most exercises are compound, which means they work more than just one muscle. I also change the weight every set and usually, increasingly, do less reps as I add weight. I find six to twelve sets for each muscle is plenty, depending on what your goals are. I do about ten sets for each, divided into three exercises. These are usually a basic heavy lift followed by a couple of lighter lifts. I do the heavy first (after warming up) because that's when my strength is the greatest. Okay, my whole workout takes about an hour and now you're ready for some examples.


After stretching, I usually pick about three different exercises for each body part I'm going to work.

The following are some of my favorites to choose from:

CHEST- bench press, incline press, dumbell presses, dumbell flyes,pec deck, cable cross flyes

SHOULDERS- Behind neck press, military press, dumbell shoulder press, dumbell side/front lateral raises, uprightrows, shrugs

TRICEPS- dips, nose busters, reverse grip bench press, over head dumbell tricep extension, cable tricep machines, dumbell kick backs

BICEPS- standing alternate dumbell curls, barbell curls, concentration curls, one arm curls with cable

BACK- dead lifts, pull ups, t-bar rows, lat pull downs, bent over rows with barbell/dumbells, seated pully rows

LEGS- squats, leg presses, hack squats, leg extension, leg curl,stiff legged dead lifts, any calf machines

Everyday before I hit the weights, I do some cardio to warm up (after stretching). Usually this will be six minutes on the stair master or running on the treadmill. A little more time is good, too, but this will get my blood flowing. Then I warm up the muscle I will be working, to tell my blood where to go. Here's an example of what I do in a week:

DAY 1: CHEST & BACK

Exercise


Set


Reps


Weight

Bench Press


1


12-15


135 pounds, very easy




2


10


225 pounds, easy




3


6-8


315 pounds, still no struggle, just starting to slow




4


3-4


405 pounds, very hard, bust it




5


4-6


335 pounds, slow, negative set, intense

Dumbell Bench


6


10


100 pounds, easy




7


8-10


120 pounds, getting tougher




8


6-10


135 pounds, that felt good, love the pump!

Pec Deck/Fly Machine


9


10-12


Whatever, squeeze that bitch!




10


10-12


A little heavier, easy enough to do slow

Lat Pull Downs


11


10-12


Easy




12


10


Add some weight




13


8-10


Heavy set!

T-Bar Rows


14


10


Pretty easy




15


10


Heavier, I add a 45-pound plate each time




16


6-8


I love doing these super heavy

Seated Pulley Rows


17


10-12


Not too easy, almost done, so lift!




18


10


Actually cuss on this one!

DAY 2: LEGS

Squat


1


12-15


135 pounds, easy set




2


10-12


225 pounds, where's the weight?




3


6-8


315 pounds, starting to feel it




4


4-6


405 pounds, save some strength




5


4-6


495 pounds, I like to push myself on this set!

Leg Press


6


12


5 or 6 plates on each side, cake




7


10-12


Add a few more 45's




8


8-12


Heavy, heavy

Leg Extensions


9


12


Kinda heavy, no problem




10


10-12


Heavy set

Leg Curls


11


10-15


Not too bad




12


10-12


Add some




13


8-10


Add some more

Calves


14-20


12-15


Burn them muthas!

DAY 3: SHOULDERS, TRICEPS, BICEPS

Behind neck Barbell Press


1


10


Light weight




2


8-10


Add some iron




3


4-8


Heavy is good

Side Laterals


4-5


8-12


Good form with dumbbells

Front Laterals


6-7


8-12


Same

Tricep Nose Busters


8


10-12


Warming up




9


8-10


Are




10


6-8


you

Overhead dumbbell press


11


8-12


getting




12


8-12


the




13


8-12


hang

Press down rope/pulley


14


12-15


of




15


12-15


this?

On this routine, my triceps get pumped on chest day (bench & dumbell bench use tri's) and again when I hit them directly. It also takes triceps to press weight over head for shoulders. If I were to do triceps, and on the same day or even the day after try to hit the bench, I would be so, so much weaker. I can't do that to my bench. I love the bench press. On chest day, no matter what else I'm doing, it's "bench day". I bench every chest day but I alternate flat bench with incline on different days to get the most out of both.

Now, this is just one of many options. Changing the routine keeps it interesting. Here's another option :

Day 1 - Chest, Triceps

Day 2 - Back, Biceps

Day 3 - Legs

Day 4 - Off

Day 5 - Chest, Shoulders

I do this one a lot. When I do legs, I squat. Always. I change the rest of the workout and change the heavy, low rep to lighter, higher rep ratio on the squats. This works out well because some days you just feel like going heavier than others.

Besides sticking to the basics, I pick three or sometimes four different exercises for each part from a list of many. For chest, I like to do bench, dumbell press, dumbell flies, cable crossovers, hammer strength,single dumbell pullovers, any variations on a decline, incline, whatever! Get the picture? You have to try everything for awhile to decide what you like and don't. And it'll be based mostly on how it feels to you (which is a good thing).