The hoodies are already part of your daily attire and soon enough will be joined by jeans and work boots. Time for the shorts, tank tops and sandals to hit the closet for a while so instead of bitching and moaning about the cold weather, use these fall and winter months to bulk up. And that means enjoying some cheat meals and maxing out on your lifts.
Don’t get too crazy, though. You don’t want to blow all of that hard work from the spring and summer. But if done correctly, you can add some quality size that can be maintained even when you are back in short sleeves and no jacket.
If you were doing a lot of lighter-to-moderate weights and higher rep counts, all you need to do is bring the weight up a bit and lower the reps. And you want to get back to doing more basic compound movements instead of isolation exercises. Here’s an example:
Flat Bench Press – 3 sets of 12, 10, 8 reps
Incline Bench Press – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Decline Bench Press – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Flat Bench Flyes – 3 sets of 15,12,10 reps
Rear Delt Raises – 3 sets of 15,12,10 reps
Seated Behind-the-Neck Presses – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Seated Side Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 15,12,10 reps
Standing Front Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 15,12,10 reps
Dumbbell Shrugs – 4 sets of 12,10,8,8 reps
Bent Over Rows – 3 sets of 10,8,8 reps
Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10,8,8 reps
Single Arm Dumbbell Raises – 3 sets of 10,8,8 reps
Seated Cable Rows – 3 sets of 10,8,8 reps
Standing Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Seated Concentration Curls – 3 sets of 15,12,10 reps
One-Arm Incline Curls – 3 sets of 12,10,10 reps
Close Grip Bench Press – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Skull Crushers – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Triceps Pushdowns (with rope) – 3 sets of 15,12,10 reps
Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 10,8,8 reps
Squats – 4 sets of 12,10,8,6 reps
Leg Presses – 3 sets of 10,8,6 reps
Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps
Leg Curls – 4 sets of 10,10,8 reps
Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 12,10,10,8 reps
Weighted Rope Crunches – 4 sets of 25,20,15,12 reps
Seated Barbell Wrist Curls – 4 sets of 15,12,10,10 reps
Give yourself some wiggle room with added cheat meals but try to keep it in perspective. Nutrition is the key to looking good and you will be wasting a lot of time and effort in the gym if you’re sloppy in the kitchen. But you want to add calories and protein, so feel free to keep the portions high when it comes to eating cleaner food. That will be your strategy throughout these months – small portions for the infrequent cheat meal and larger portions otherwise.
Good carbs before and after your workout will help you put on some lean muscle mass, as well. So stock up on oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potatoes.