by Gilly Brewster
Advanced body builders are an elite group of individuals who have successfully overcome the odds and remained consistent in their training. At this level, almost everyone has already gained quality muscle mass, as well as lost significant amounts of body fat.
Their physiques may already be close to their ultimate goals. With a little polish, time and patience, you will be a symbol of symmetry and sexuality.
About the Advanced Body Builder
Advanced body builders are usually defined by experts as those who have already mastered both basic and complex movements. These are consistent gym enthusiasts who can easily get a feel of the muscles working.
To be considered in the advanced level, you should already have known well your muscle-mind connection, levels of tolerance to stress and recovery rate.
You should be able to identify on your own if your diet is in par with your training, if you have reached a plateau or are overtraining.
Others classify body builders as advanced according to the number of years they have been working out. Most will only consider you advanced if you have been working out consistently for 2 to 3 years at least.
Individuals in the advanced level are able to recover faster and will need to isolate each muscle group further to attain definition and cuts. While most beginners and intermediates aim for size, advanced body builders aim to refine the muscle mass they have gained.
The initial two phases may be referred to as bulking stages, while the advanced phase may be referred to as the cutting phase for some individuals. Advanced body building may also be the maintenance phase wherein individuals maintain the muscle size and only intend to create a more symmetrical appearance.
Mapping Your Routine
The common practice among body builders is to increase the intensity of their workouts by adding more days, more sets, more repetitions and more exercises in their routines. Natural body builders, however, may find that working out 4 to 5 days per week is sufficient, while others may benefit from a 6-day-a-week workout.
Always consider the possibility of overtraining so spread out the exercises, muscle groups and intensity levels evenly throughout the allowable days every week. Since you will be doing more sets, exercises and repetitions for each body part, you should also give enough time for these to recover.
Many trainers recommend adding 1 to 2 more exercises for a total of 4 to 5 per body part. The exercises will be comprised of 2 to 3 compound movements and 2 to 3 isolation movements.
An example for quads or the thighs would be the barbell squat, leg press, barbell lunge, leg extension and hack squat.
Smaller muscle groups like the biceps, triceps and abs can be efficiently targeted with fewer sets to avoid overtraining. A total of 2 to 4 exercises for the minor groups are adequate.
Other trainers recommend changing the intensity of workouts per week to prevent overtraining. Weeks or days may be classified as light, moderate or heavy. Light days are described as lifting lighter weights or loads or reducing the number of exercises and sets.
Moderate days are described as lifting fairly heavy weights, while heavy days are described as lifting up to 85% to 95% of maximum. Cycle the intensity among the given weeks or days.
To add intensity to your routine, you may now incorporate techniques that produce new kinds of stress to the muscles. Proper form is essential as well as maintaining the mind-muscle connection with each rep.
Make sure you extend and contract your muscles fully for optimum gains. Supersets are excellent for saving time and stressing two muscles simultaneously.
More blood is pumped to the area, spurring new growth such as doing bench presses and pull-ups alternately.
Another method is doing tri-sets. These are similar to supersets but you do one exercise after another for a total of 3 sets for the same body part.
An example would be doing a set of barbell curls, followed immediately by a set of preacher curls then finish off with a set of concentration curls. The approach will cause a burn like never before.
There is also the pre-exhaustion technique wherein you fatigue your target muscle group by doing one set of isolation exercise to failure, followed by one set of 10 to 12 reps of a compound exercise for the same muscle.
The opposite is post-exhaustion where you first do a working set of the compound exercise, followed by an isolation movement to failure. Remember to give as little rest time as possible between exercises to maintain the pump and burn.