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Fouad Abiad's Project Inferno Day 47:Calves & Delts

Today is our last weight workout for Week 7. Then we only have one more week of weight training on Project Inferno. Today, we’ll start with calves, followed by shoulders. And we’re going to make training for both body parts as intense as possible.

Remember that I like to start my workouts with calves because they’re a weakness of my physique. Emphasizing training your weaknesses at the beginning of a workout helps you work them more intensely. Too many people save their weakness for the end, when they’re already tired from training other body parts. When you really want to improve your weaknesses, put these body parts at the beginning of your workouts regardless of what other programs tell you.

My first exercise, standing calf raises, is many people’s least favorite calves exercise. That’s true for me, as well, because this exercise is challenging, and it’s difficult to perform correctly. You can easily cheat by shrugging your shoulders or bending and straightening your legs at the knees to help you lift the weight. But you want to avoid doing either of these during most of your reps, focusing on using only your calves to raise and lower the weight. Standing calf raises is probably the most important move for adding mass to your calves. So really emphasize strict reps—don’t load up the weight beyond what you can perform with good form unless that’s a technique you’re using at the end of your workout. I did a little of that today to take my calves to full exhaustion with this move.

When you have high insertions like I do, it’s important to build the gastrocnemius. So, after I performed 5 sets of standing calf raises, I transitioned to 5 sets of legs press machine calf presses. I like this second move because it mimics donkey calves presses. This move also really feels good to me mechanically. That’s an important consideration—use the exercises where you really feel your target muscles working. Mix things up, but build your workouts around the basics that work best for you.

With both of these moves I’m mostly targeting my gastrocs because that’s where my lower legs need the most work. When you want to build the soleus, the muscles that lie underneath the gastrocs and gives your calves that V shape, you can include seated calf raises with your legs bent at about 90 degrees. Choose the moves that work best for you in addressing your weaknesses.

Today’s shoulder workout starts with machine shoulder presses. Remember that you shouldn’t always start with a pressing move, but I like to do that on days when I’m feeling strong. When I start with a pressing move, I like to choose one that’s safer. Remember that heavy pressing moves are your best mass builders for shoulders—that’s true whether you use a machine, a barbell or dumbbells. When you go with lateral-, front- or rear-delts raises as your first move, you’re emphasizing those smaller muscles. That’s a great strategy when you’re trying to make improvements in one of these aspects of your shoulders, but it doesn’t target overall mass building for shoulders the way heavy shoulder presses do.

Then, I performed dumbbell shoulder presses on an incline bench as my second exercise because I’m feeling really good today. Notice that I have the bench lowered about 15-20 degrees—I feel like this is a safer angle than placing the chair all the way to vertical, and I can press a little more weight. Because I’m feeling strong and I want to work my shoulders hard today, I’m placing my two heavy pressing moves at the beginning of the workout. This emphasizes increasing mass and overall roundness in the deltoids.After these heavy pressing moves, I go to my isolation exercises. I’m placing reverse dumbbell flyes first. We’ve performed this unusual move earlier during Project Inferno. Remember that I only use a small range of motion using a very heavy weight by comparison to what most people use for rear-delts raises. I only take the weights out and up about 30 degrees, and I lead with my pinkie finger. Above this point, you start to transition out of your rear delts, and I want to place continuous tension on these small muscles in the delts. Notice that I’m swinging the weights, but I’m doing that with control while emphasizing my rear delts. It’s excruciating to perform this many reps, but you really tax the rear delts and you really feel the blood and lactic acid accumulate in these muscles when you use this technique, which I learned from John Meadows.

Next up is lateral raises, which I performed seated. Today, I’m using a double rest-pause. We’re targeting middle delts, and these small muscles don’t need heavy weights; they need intense stimulation to grow. You perform 10 reps and then you rest for 5 seconds. Now perform 5 more reps, then another 5-second rest and then 5 more reps. In the end, you’ll perform a total of 20 reps for each of these 3 sets.

My last move for shoulders is single-arm cable front raises. I perform these without resting between sets. You get plenty of rest for one arm while you’re working the other. So, perform 10 reps with one arm and then the other. Then go immediately back to the first arm. It’s a great way to finish off your shoulders, especially when you’re depleted and your goal is to add detail, which is usually what you want to emphasize near the end of a bodybuilding fat-loss program. Choose the weights that allow you to successfully complete this exercise with good form for 3 sets.

When I got to the gym today, I felt like shit. But now I feel like I’m on top of the world. That’s why you have to go to the gym. Don’t rely on motivation before your workouts. Motivation is fleeting, but discipline is forever.

Stay focused, and stay on your diets.

 

Download the Workout

 

Morning cardio

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Perform 55 minutes before consuming food

 

STANDING CALF RAISE 5 sets x 20 reps
LEG PRESS CALF PRESS 5 sets x 20 reps
MACHINE SHOULDER PRESS
7 sets x 10 Reps
INCLINE DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS 3 sets x 10-12  reps
Reverse dumbbell flye
3 sets x 30 reps
Seated dumbbell lateral raise 3 sets x 10+5+5 reps 
Single-arm cable front raises 3 sets x 10 reps (Each Arm)

Post-workout cardio

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Perform 40 minutes immediately after weight-training or add this session later in the evening

 

TAKEAWAY:

You may have noticed that my shoulders training today was a little unorthodox. Because the muscles you’re targeting are so small, I wanted to overwork them by taking very minimal rests and using higher volume after I trained for mass building. The reason for this is to shock the muscle. I don’t do this every week, but I like to use these techniques about once a month. I like that feeling where you can barely lift your shoulders at the end of a workout. If I go too many weeks just relying on traditional techniques, then I lose that feeling of an intense muscle pump with the lactic acid build-up that leads to better growth. That’s when I throw in one of these shock workouts.


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