You walk past the mirror at the gym, sweating and heading to the locker room, and can’t help but flex. You would have liked to spend more time on arms today, but you’ve only got 5 or 10 minutes to spare before you hit the showers and go to work.
Enter the workout finisher.
Doing a finisher at the end of your strength training routine can be great for fat loss and mental toughness because your energy stores are low and you’ll be feeling fatigued.
However, if you switch your emphasis to hypertrophy to bring up a lagging body part, you’ll get the best of all worlds.
Why? There are 3 main drivers for hypertrophy.
- Mechanical tension
- Muscle damage
- Metabolic stress
Now, hopefully you’ve taken care of the “tension” part by lifting heavy. And by limiting your rest periods while working one part of your body with three different exercises, the finishers below will cause plenty of muscular damage and stress.
Furthermore, performing these circuits with the prescribed rest periods will improve your cardiovascular fitness, which many lifters neglect. Better cardio can speed your recovery between trainings by improving blood flow from your heart to your working muscles, which can help clear up metabolic waste products after a tough workout. Not only that, but better cardio means better recovery between sets. It’s a win-win.
[Forget cardio? Read these 5 powerlifting “rules” you should break.]
Use the following body part routines to get your sweaty pump on. And if you really need to do cardio, throw a leg finisher in there. Your heart will be glad you did.
Why Do Body Part Finishers?
When you’re pushed for time, limiting your time, reps and equipment is a great way to train up a lagging body part with a minimum of fuss and fanfare.
There’s nothing magical about this 8 minute and 8 rep protocol. You can change it to 5 reps 5 minutes, 6 reps 6 minutes or 10 reps 10 minutes, all depending on how much time you have.
However, adjust the weight you use accordingly. If you go too heavy or light, you can always change the weight during your circuit.
The following exercises are suggestions. Feel free to substitute your favorite (or least favorite) exercises in.
Workout Finishers for Muscle Gain and Conditioning
Complete each training as a circuit, resting as little as possible between exercises. Rest 30 seconds at the end of each circuit and do as many rounds as possible within the eight minutes.
Select a weight that allows you to complete all repetitions with good form.If you are stacking these workouts, rest 1 -2 minutes between rounds and choose no more than three in the one session.
1A. Goblet split squat: 4 reps on each leg
1B. Goblet squats: 8 reps
1C. Bodyweight hip thrust: 8 reps (pause for a count of 3 in the top position)
Note: Use either a dumbbell or a kettlebell.
Eight-minute legs Part two
1A. Kettlebell swings: 8 reps
1B. Offset Kettlebell front squat: 4 reps on each arm
1C. Birddogs: 4 reps on both sides
1A. Overhead triceps extensions- 8 reps
1B. Incline biceps curl: 8 reps
1C. Triceps pushdowns: 8 reps
Note: You will need access to a cable machine and dumbbells. Keep them both close.
1A. Seated front raises: 8 reps
1B. Seated lateral raises: 8 reps
1C. Seated rear lateral raises: 8 reps
Note: Use either dumbbell or weight plates
1A. Dumbbell chest flies: 8 reps
1B. Single arm chest press: 4 reps on each arm
1C. Incline push-ups: 8 reps
1A. Front plank with shoulder tap: 8 reps on each side
1B. Side plank with hip dip: 8 reps on each side
1C. Reverse crunches: 8 reps
[Read more: 10 simple plank variations for a stronger core.]
1A. Dumbbell pullover: 8 reps
1B. Bent over reverse flies: 8 reps
1C. Single arm row: 8 reps on each arm
Don’t let time be an excuse to add muscle to a lagging body part. Working on your weaker points will improve your overall appearance and help improve your big lifts. With a little sweat equity and effort at the end of your training, you’ll like what you see in the mirror.
Go head and flex away.