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Stoke The Fire : Part 2



Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Training Articles
By Tim Ziegenfuss PhD, CSCS | Feb 21, 2007



Stoke the FireThe original Stoke the Fire workout was all about taking a break from traditional hours and hours of cardio to drop body fat, while simultaneously stimulating muscle growth. Over the past few weeks, feedback from people who followed the program has been incredible. In fact, Stoke the Fire worked so well, people wanted to know what to do next. After all, going stale is one of the biggest threats to making gains. Thus, Stoke the Fire II continues the assault, but with an added kicker: maximal strength. Most people want to get as big and as ripped as they can at the same time in the same workout. We all know this isn't easy, but Stoke the Fire II gives it the old college try -- by combining heavy strength training for maximal strength development and muscle growth, along with the use of some super-setting and mild circuit training to increase muscle mass and burn body fat, respectively. Like its predecessor, Stoke the Fire II can be set up for an upper body, lower body, or total body workout. Think of this workout like a pyramid. The top exercise is the main strength builder to increase maximal strength. Choose a major strength exercise such as the bench press, squat, or deadlift -- the big money exercises. The next level uses two exercises that assist with strength development, but supersets them for muscular hypertrophy. The base of the pyramid is a mini circuit composed of three exercises performed back to back with no rest. It works muscle groups that you feel are nagging body parts and/or need to be hit with more volume. How to Set Up the Program The top level of the pyramid consists of one exercise (squat, bench press, deadlift, or power clean), performed for 4-6 work sets at a load heavy enough to only allow the completion of 3-6 repetitions. Rest periods between sets will be the longest (2-3 minutes) during this portion of the workout. Enjoy it while it lasts. The second level of the pyramid consists of two exercises that are supersetted (i.e., no rest is allowed in between). Perform 3-4 work sets of 6-8 repetitions in each set. Rest about one minute after the superset is completed, and then repeat. The exercises you choose for this level will depend on how you are currently training. If you are doing a split program (upper body/lower body) then choose exercises that assist with the development of the same main exercise you did in the current workout. For example, if you are doing bench press for level one, choose exercises that train the shoulders, triceps and lats. If you are doing squats for level one, choose exercises that train the quadriceps, hamstrings and lower back. Finally, when level one consists of deadlifting or power cleaning, choose exercises that train the traps, lower back, hips and grip. For those of you following a total body program (i.e., training your entire body in the same day) you'll want to choose exercises that assist one of the main lifts from a different day. For example, choose exercises that help the squat and deadlift or power clean if you are bench pressing that day or choose exercises that assist with the bench press and squat if you are deadlifting and so on. See the Sample Workouts for details. The base of the pyramid consists of the mini circuit used in the original Stoke the Fire workout. Choose three different exercises and perform them in order with no rest in between. These exercises can be lagging body parts or ones that focus on the body's core muscles, (abdominals, obliques and spinal erectors). Perform 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions and do not rest at all for these mini circuits. That means starting the second and third sets right after one another going through all three sets without rest! Feel free to choose your own exercises and put together a workout that matches your specific goals or scroll ahead and use one of the sample workouts.
Upper Body Workout (Day 1):
I. Bench press 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
II. Superset: a. Shoulder press or Dip b. Side Lateral 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Lying Triceps Extension b. E-Z Bar Preacher Curl c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Lower Body Workout (Day 2):
I. Squat 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
II. Superset: a. Alternate Lunge b. Leg Extension 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Narrow Stance Leg Press b. Seated Calf Raise c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Day 3 - off
Upper Body Workout (day 4):
I. Barbell Row 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
II. Superset: a. Pullup b. Close-Grip Pulldown 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Hammer Curl b. Triceps pushdown c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Upper Body Workout (day 5):
I. Deadlift or Power Clean 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets.
II. Superset: a. Stiff-Leg Deadlift b. Leg Curl 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Goodmorning b. Standing Calf Raise c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Total Body Workouts:
Day 1:
I. Bench Press 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets..
II. Superset: a. Alternate Lunge b. Barbell Shrug 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Dumbbell Row b. Leg Curl c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Day 2:
I. Squat 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets..
II. Superset: a. Incline Dumbbell Press b. Romanian Deadlift 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Upright Row b. Calf Raise c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Day 3:
I. Deadlift/Power Clean 4-5 sets x 3-6 reps, 2-3 minutes rest between sets..
II. Superset: a. Shoulder Press b. Goodmorning 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps, no rest between exercises, rest 1 minute after each superset.
III. Mini Circuit: a. Dumbbell Hammer Curl b. Leg Extension c. Ab. Choice 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps, no rest.
Stoke the Fire II allows you to train for strength, size and body fat loss all at the same time. Quite a threesome, "eh" Keep in mind that there are many variations to this and other workouts that promote strength development, muscular hypertrophy and fat loss. Effective as it is, this is only one way to rearrange some of the basics so that you can keep things fresh and new. And as a wise man once said "all programs work, but none works forever". Click here to read Stoke the Fire : Part 1



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