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Reverse Muscle Building Workouts


Superstar Billy Graham
Former WWWF Champion and
Partner of Arnold

Some of the classic bodybuilding pairings for the upper body are Chest and Triceps, Shoulders and Triceps, and back and Biceps.

These are time-tested methods, of course, BUT sooner or later, you’ve got to mix your training up a bit.

Do the same stuff for too long, and you’re sure to become stagnant in your results.

Before you know it, your training split is actually holding your training results back.

And if you’re anything like most people, you get sick of doing the same stuff like that all the time.

Today, I am going to show you how you can mix your training split up. The guys who have tried this with me have loved it, and I think you will too.

Reverse Muscle Building Workouts

Here’s how I do most of my upper body workouts with a “bodybuilding/muscle building” style workouts.

  • Chest and Biceps (or Chest, Shoulders, and Biceps)
  • Back and Triceps

What you end up with is some of the most ridiculous pumps you have ever felt.

Chest and Biceps day blows up your chest and biceps until your shirt screams in agony. Throw in some shoulder work and its even more phenomenal.

On Back and Triceps days, your lats, posterior delts and traps get smoked, and when you throw in triceps along with it, you get the most interesting pre-exhaust sensations.

Here is an example Chest, Shoulders, and Biceps day that JT Straussner and I recently did.

Example Reverse Muscle Building Workout:

Note: Each letter signifies one training block, either a single exercise or a pairing. Each number shows the order of exercises done in pairings.

Example Reverse Muscle Building Workout

A. Bench Press: We worked up to 275 and hit it for 3 sets of 6 to 8.

B. Seated Dumbbell Military Press: We worked up to 70’s and we to failure or near failure on these, since we didn’t pair them with another exercise.

C1. Rock Front Raise: I saw the Rock doing these in a recent issue of Men’s Fitness. Good for an occasional use now and again, but I prefer Kneeling Landmines to be honest.
C2. Farmer’s Shrugs: This is my favorite way to work shrugs. Perfect way to go with heavy weights without straining the back. Find out more here: Heavy Shrugs Without Hurting Your Back.

D1. Push-ups : This is a great pushing exercise that builds your chest, delts, and triceps. We did a slight variation of the push-up with the feet elevated, since we also did Flat Bench Press.
D2. Pull-aparts: This is often used with a light band to work the smaller muscles that abduct the shoulders, BUT we used heavier bands here to work the bigger muscles and the triceps.

***Note: For the D1/D2 combination, we focused on 20 reps per exercise and for some sets, we had to do Rest Pauses in order to get the target reps.

E. Reverse Curls Stare-down: This was just plain INSANE. We loaded the EZ Curl Bar and hit set after set until our arms were about to blow up.

Left: Superstar Billy Graham Right: Arnold

So, the majority of the workout was Push & Biceps. I added in Shrugs because I like to get those in a couple of times a week. Same with the Pull-aparts.

This workout provides some of the necessary ingredients for growth: multi-joint movements, isolation movements, varied rep-ranges, and varied loads. When you mix the variables like this up on a routine basis, you can’t help but grow.

My suggestion is to try one thing at a time though. First off, try the switch to Chest and Bi’s and Back and Tri’s using some of the exercises, rep-ranges and loading you like. Once you get a taste of these two non-conventional workout set-ups, then you can start tweaking with some of the other adjustments.

Enjoy the crazy pumps.

All the best in your training.


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