Getting lean and sexy- the ‘how to’ part 3

As promised, this week I’m bringing you the third version of the workout I did a few weeks ago with the girls. This is the medium difficulty edition and it looks like this:

  • A1: Dumbbell squat and overhead press; 40seconds- aiming for 12-15reps
  • A2: Kettlebell hip swings; 20seconds- aiming for 10-12reps
  • A3: Jump squats; 12reps

100 seconds rest. Complete 3 rounds.

  • B1: Kettlebell Romanian dead lifts; 30seconds- aiming for 10-12reps
  • B2: Dumbbell walking lunges; 20reps

100 seconds rest. Complete 3 rounds.

  • C1-3: Assisted chin ups (4-6reps), push ups (8-10reps), reverse crunch (8reps), rest (15seconds); 5minutes- as many rounds as you can


So this is still essentially the same workout, working the same muscles and energy systems, but a bit tougher than last week and not as brutal as week one. Can you pick up the easy regressions and progressions?

Who gave either of the last two a crack? How did you go? Now you should be able to try one of these three and find one to fit your current level. If not- message me. Remember though, this should be hard work and get you puffing and blowing. Try and complete it with a friend, some friendly competition always helps push me harder and makes the workout more enjoyable. Although well and truly taking after my amazing late mother, I am a reasonably competitive person, so maybe that just suits me well. I certainly know mum and I made a formidable Pictionary team at Xmas time…

Who tried last week’s upper body hypertrophy workout?

This should have been easy enough to follow. And just like the above medium high intensity resistance workout, our hypertrophy session can be regressed and progressed depending on the same variables I mentioned last week. To see that workout and explanation click HERE .

To follow on from there and help complete your first weekly training program, today let’s look at a lower body squat/lunge/bend hypertrophy workout. Much like last week, you can simply adapt this to suit you specifically, but it should challenge you and have you longing for the end. The key– don’t let your rest periods creep away on you, short and sharp and back into it! Choose a more advanced (in brackets below) or easier version of an exercise if need be. Here goes:

  • A1: Kettlebell front squat (barbell front squat)
  • A2: Dumbbell hyperextensions (barbell good mornings)

>Rest for 90 seconds before moving onto-

  • B1: Kettlebell dead lift (barbell dead lift)
  • B2: Dumbbell back lunges from step (barbell lunges from step)

>Rest for 90 seconds before moving onto-

  • C1: Leg press
  • C2: Lying hamstring curl

Again, have a look at last week’s guidelines for your loading parameters: TUT, tempo, rep range, etc HERE.

This may be easy for one person and near impossible for another, so be smart and start to pay close attention to your ability and strength and how you respond to weight stimulus. You know your body better than anyone and it is a smart mechanism so make sure you listen to it.

Ok, now we have been through high intensity resistance training and hypertrophy over the last two weeks. However, these are certainly not the only ways to train and when it comes to getting strong, lean, healthy and sexy there are other things to include.

At this stage the most obvious is maximal strength, seeing as we’re talking strong girls and guys. Now I don’t prescribe this to my clients that have a very young training age, as simple hypertrophy will do the required strength work until a suitable level has been reached. But after that we want to challenge the nervous system and start loading heavy in order to gain some real applicable strength and all the other wonderful, less obvious, benefits that come with it, such as: a better hormonal profile, strong bones and connective tissue, decreased risk of injury, and improved general health, to name a few. Why wouldn’t you?!

So like with hypertrophy there are parameters that we want to use for the training of maximal strength. The below table shows how to pick your load, TUT, tempo, reps, sets and rest:

Time Under Tension Tempo Reps Sets Rest Load
2-20seconds 2-0-X-0 1-5 4-7/exercise 90sec-5mins 80-100%1RM

These parameters can change, for example the tempo of a lift may have a slower eccentric phase, but generally always an explosive- fast as you can- concentric phase, and the rest may need to be longer if you are doing one repetition maximum lifts. However, I would recommend working in a rep range of 3-6 for those people first dipping their toes into the max strength waters. There’s no Ron Burgandy ‘I just did a thousand reps, I can hardly lift my arm’ here. Short and sweet!

That make sense?

The next thing for training max strength is exercise selection. Unlike hypertrophy which we can basically choose anything, with training to get super strong we want to limit it to a few main lifts and some of their accessory lifts. These main lifts being:

  • Dead lift (bend)
  • Barbell squat (Ah let me think… oh, squat)
  • Bench press/Military press (push)
  • Chin up (pull)

Now remember ladies, this is far from being exclusive to massive ‘bulky’ guys, this is for you too. Remember the clip of NN, a small but strong and sexy muchkin, dead lifting 90kg for 3 reps? In fact, let’s take another look for inspiration:

She busts through those reps and gets that heavy weight off the ground with speed. This is a perfect example of max strength training, with great form!

What is happening to my body when I train for strength?

Unlike hypertrophy where we aim to deplete the ATP (energy stores) in the muscle and create micro tears in the muscle fibres, here we are training the nervous system to overcome the large weights in an anabolic environment which will also stimulate testosterone production. So you will need to allow yourself a few sets to warm into the heavier weights, as this is your neural system switching on and ramping up. So instead of damaging the muscle and stimulating growth of new muscle, we are creating an environment that causes a nervous system response to get stronger and overcome that weight easier next time.

The central nervous system also takes longer to recover than the muscular system, so you should pay close attention to your energy levels and your total training volume and step it back if you feel you are struggling to produce a good workout or feeling shattered at the end of the day. Like all training protocols and uncomplicated healthy living, sleep, nutrition and the proper- icing on the cake- supplementation is important with strength training. For more information on the kind of nutrition to follow read my post HERE  and supplementation HERE .

What’s the result of this training?

As mentioned over the last few weeks, training your body to be strong, have great mobility in the right areas, balance and a core that could withstand a cannonball, will create amazing benefits to your body and overall health. If you want to be lean, get your six-pack to show, get guns or buns of steel, or simply be able to lift heavy weight safely and effectively then including proper and appropriate strength training into your exercise program is a must.

Not quite the look for going for… but strength to resist a force like this:

Remember what we spoke about a few weeks ago- strong is sexy! Who wants to look good naked?


I’m generally not one to show off in a serious manner, but sometimes you have to keep banging the same drum right? Here is a current shot of me and a video of me lifting pretty heavy. It’s not the only thing I do, but it is crucial in my training program and certainly has a massive positive influence on my health and body composition.

Who is training for maximal strength?

Girls- tell me what you can lift in the main lifts from above. If you can’t do them, then hit the program I’ve outlined over the past 3 weeks and start getting some base strength. Let me know what exercises you find tough.

Guys– can you dead lift and squat one and a half times your body weight, bench press 100kg (224lbs), chin up with added resistance? If so that’s a great starting point. Let me know and I’ll give you some new targets to aim for, ones to be truly proud of.

Other than that, let’s all try and get one person who doesn’t exercise doing some training this week. And for yourselfset a nutritional goal this week and achieve it!

Remember to follow me on twitter @mcampbell2012 and facebook: Meat Mike Campbell

Happy training.


One comment on “Getting lean and sexy- the ‘how to’ part 3

  1. Pingback: Getting healthy AND sexy- the action plan part 2 | Twenty12: 52 meats over 52 weeks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s