Right at that point where you feel your muscles only have a little bit more to give it’s the perfect time to invoke that timeless Mortal Kombat phrase of ‘Finish ‘em’ and end your set with a limit busting finishing move. We’ve taken the liberty of prescribing the exact punishing moves that you should do for each of the biggest muscle groups. Isolation moves are usually better than any multijoint exercises, as they allow you to concentrate on the exact muscle in question, therefore eliminating any assistive muscle groups. They are tailored to ensure that you feel excessive blood flow into your muscles, giving you that last ditch pump and helping speed up muscle growth.
Chest finisher: The 40-second press-up
How to do it: Get into the normal position for a press-up, ensure that your back is completely flat from head to toe, and your core remains tense. Spend the first 20 seconds slowly lowering your body to within one inch of the floor and the second 20 seconds pushing yourself back up to the start position. If it’s not too embarrassing try to shout out each second, this will have you to maintain a steady pace throughout the reps.
Sets/reps: Do four of these one after the other for an excruciating chest finisher.
Quads and Hams finisher: Leg extension / superset with walking lunge
How to do it: Get yourself a set of fairly light dumbbells and place them close to the leg-extension machine. Start by jumping on the machine (no, not literally), ensuring your knees are inline with where the machine pivots. Contract your quad muscles so that your legs are fully straightened, try to hold this for 1 or 2 seconds and slowly bring your legs back down to just before the point where the weight stack will touch. Repeat this move until failure. When you reach failure get off the machine and do a set of walking lunges in the nearest open space to the leg extension machine. Take long strides allowing your body to descend a little bit short of your back knee touching the floor.
Sets/reps: Choose a weight that allows you to do 12 reps on the leg extension and at least 10 steps per leg on the walking lunge. Rest two minutes after the lunges and repeat the superset twice more.
Tricep finisher: Rope pressdown
How to do it: Attach a rope handle to an upper-pulley cable and grasp it with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Stand erect, pinning your elbows to your sides for the duration of the move. Allow the handle to pull your forearms up to where they’re just above parallel to the floor.
Squeeze your triceps to press your hands toward your thighs, turning your palms downward (pronation) to spread the handles apart at the bottom to further contract the muscles. When you can’t do any more reps this way, simply keep your hands facing each other and perform as many reps as you can. Reduce the weight by just one plate and repeat. Continue this pattern of going to failure with pronation and then without, taking a short break and dropping the weight.
Sets/reps: Do one long set to start off with, you should be able to do around 10/12 reps. Then keep dropping the weight and doing another 10 until you can’t do anymore.
Bicep finisher: Barbell curls – High to low reps
How to do it: Best done with a partner, but can be done alone if need be. Put a fairly light weight on the barbell and start with 20 reps, hand the barbell to your partner for his 20 reps while you rest and then have him hand it back to you for your next set of 18 reps. Keep this up, going down by 2 reps until you get to 10 reps. When doing it with a partner it helps to keep each other motivated while ensures that your rest time between sets gets less and less. Be sure to keep your elbows locked firmly by your side, no swinging!
Sets/ reps: As explained above
Back finisher: Seated plate rows
How to do it: Stack up the seated row machine with 5kg plates until you’ve hit a weight that you can comfortably lift for 12 reps. Sit yourself on the machine with your arms extended and just below shoulder height. Pull the handles towards you keeping your elbows tucked in and then begin to extend back to the start position. Stop a quarter of the way into the motion and pull back to the top position again before fully extending your arms. We like to call this the ‘baby pump’ rep, a smaller range of motion but no less punishing.
Sets/reps: Do 20 reps of these and then take away a 5kg weight plate and repeat. Do this until there are no plates left to remove and you should be suitably finished.