Pack on size and boost your strength – without spending all your time in the gym

1A Snatch-Grip Dead Lift

Targets: glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors (back)
Stand facing a barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend over and grab the bar with your hands twice shoulder-width apart. Drop your hips as low as possible while keeping your torso as upright as possible. Keeping your arms straight, drive your feet into the floor while straightening your hips and knees to stand up. Return to the starting position.

1B Dumbbell Bench Press

Targets: chest, shoulders, triceps

Sit on the edge of a flat bench and rest a dumbbell on each knee. Roll onto your back as you bring the dumbbells to the outside of your shoulders. Press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are extended. This is the starting position. Bend your elbows to slowly lower the weights until your upper arms are slightly below parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position.

3A Push Press

Targets: quads, deltoids, triceps

Step into a squat rack with the barbell set at collarbone height. Grab the barbell with your hands just past shoulder-width apart. Unrack the bar, step back, plant, bend your knees and drop your hips into a quarter squat. Explosively straighten your legs as you drive up the barbell. Return to the starting position.

3B Seated Hammer Curl

Targets:brachioradialis (forearm) muscles, biceps

Sit on a bench holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing each other. Tense your biceps. Keeping your upper arms stationary (don’t let them drift forwards), raise your forearms until your biceps are fully flexed. Pause for one or two counts before slowly returning to the starting position.

2A Front Squat
Targets:quads, hamstrings, spinal erectors
Step into a squat rack with the barbell resting at collarbone height. Lift the bar off the rack using the grip shown below, step back and plant your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Arching your lower back a bit, bend your knees slightly and drop your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position.

2B Chin-Up
Targets: back, biceps
Grab a chin-up bar with your palms facing towards you, hands slightly past shoulder-width apart. Raise your feet off the floor and hang in the air. Point your chest towards the ceiling and pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. (If you can, touch your upper chest to the bar.) Return to the starting position.

4A Back Extension
Targets:spinal erectors, hamstrings
Lie face down on a back-extension bench so that your upper thighs rest on the pads. Secure your ankles under the footpads. Place your hands behind your head. Bend forwards at the waist. Return to the starting position. To add resistance, hold a medicine ball or weight plate.

4B Reverse Crunch
Targets: abs
Lie on your back on a flat bench, holding it for support. Bend your hips and knees so that your thighs point up. Roll your pelvis back until your hips begin rising off the bench and your knees pass over your chest. Return to the starting position. To add resistance, do this crunch on a decline bench.

Your Six-week Plan

Directions
Perform this workout three days a week with at least a day of rest between sessions.
Alternate exercises of the same number (1A and 1B, for example) until you complete all the sets in that pairing. Only then should you move on to the next pairing.

Weeks One & Two
Volume:Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions of every exercise, resting 45 seconds between each set and exercise pair.
Rep speed:Aim for a lifting tempo of one second up and three seconds down for all exercises except 3A, which calls for exploding up.

Weeks Three & Four

Volume:Perform four sets of eight to 10 reps for all exercises except 4A and 4B, which remain at three sets. (The added challenge for these come from using a weight or medicine ball for 4A and a decline bench for 4B.) Rest 60 seconds between sets and exercise pairs.

Rep speed: Aim for a lifting tempo of one second up and three seconds down for all exercises except 3A, which calls for exploding up.

Weeks Five & Six

Volume: Perform four sets of six to eight reps for all exercises except 4A and 4B, which remain at three sets. (The added challenge for these come from using a weight or medicine ball for 4A and a decline bench for 4B.) Rest 90 seconds between sets and exercise pairs except 4A and 4B, which remain at 60 seconds.

Rep speed: Aim for a lifting tempo of one second up and three seconds down for all exercises except 3A, which calls for exploding up.