I Tried Sam Sulek’s Workout Routine as a Natty: My Experience



In health and bodybuilding, pursuing a perfect physique usually leads folks down numerous paths. Some select to keep pure, whereas others look towards enhancement to supercharge their beneficial properties. In my journey, I’ve determined to stay pure. It fits my targets and way of life. That stated, to every their very own. I’ve nothing towards those that select the steroid route. 

Steroids are part of bodybuilding tradition. Amidst this panorama, Sam Sulek is presently the largest identify within the sport. We stay within the period of social media celebrity bodybuilders. Prefer it or not, Sam is the frontman for a era of lifters. He has three million YouTube subscribers that comply with his each transfer.

But, behind the veil of admiration lies a query that many dare not voice aloud: can mere mortals obtain related outcomes with out the help of performance-enhancing substances?

This text embarks on a quest for fact as I, a self-proclaimed ‘natty’ or pure athlete, comply with Sam Sulek’s exercise routine for a month. Can I make it 4 weeks, and are his controversial strategies efficient for somebody not on the juice? Be a part of me as I navigate the highs and lows, the challenges and triumphs, all in pursuit of progress.

Desk of contents:

  • Understanding Sam Sulek’s Routine and Philosophy
  • Sam Sulek Coaching Program
  • Sam Sulek Weight loss plan
  • Preparation for the routine
  • Detailed week by week expertise
  • Challenges and variations as a pure athlete
  • Outcomes, insights, and private progress
  • Others who’ve tried

Understanding Sam Sulek’s Routine and Philosophy

As somebody who was part of health YouTube within the early 2010s, I can see why Sam Sulek is so profitable at a younger age. His movies remind me of old-school YouTube from again within the day. Speaking to his digital camera within the automotive, no fancy health club enhancing, no clickbait, simply uncooked coaching footage with commentary.

Someplace alongside the way in which, health YouTube stopped being about health. The movies grew to become Conserving Up With The Kardashians greater than Pumping Iron. As a substitute of laborious coaching, it was flashy vehicles and fancy enhancing. And even worse, a pretend persona changed the realness folks craved from a health influencer.

Sam is a throwback in the easiest way. He’s only a school child at Miami College of Ohio who loves coaching and being part of the bodybuilding neighborhood. Nonetheless, together with his current explosion in recognition throughout social media channels, the critics have come out of the woodwork. That is part of recognition. As he places out extra movies, the criticism will solely develop. Earlier than we define his program, I wish to assessment the “Sam Sulek fast information” of his routine and philosophy.

sam sulek workout plan

The Good

A lot of the controversy round Sam’s coaching is unwarranted. Is Sam Sulek pure? Almost definitely not, however he’s nonetheless doing many issues proper. Listed below are three issues all of us ought to copy.

1. Effort

It would not take lengthy to understand Sam Sulek trains laborious when watching one among his movies. It ought to go with out saying, however effort is principally answerable for the outcomes you get from the health club. You may have the very best program on paper, however your progress shall be restricted if the hassle isn’t there. 

One among Sam’s philosophies is to push every set as laborious as doable, usually to failure and past. He routinely makes use of drop units, assisted reps, and lengthened partials to exploit each set for all its value. 

Many individuals would profit from placing extra effort into their coaching.

2. Lengthened Partials 

Lengthened partials are partial reps carried out on the backside of the carry when the muscle mass are most lengthened—for instance, the underside of a barbell curl or the underside of a dumbbell row. When achieved on the finish of an ordinary set, they could be a nice technique to stimulate the muscle a little bit extra.

3. Brief Exercises (45-60 minutes) 

I do not care what number of medicine you might be on. Nobody must do three-hour bodybuilding exercises. Sam focuses on effort, not time. The reality is that most individuals use the time spent within the health club to validate how laborious they’re working. It is defective logic. A 3-hour exercise with lengthy relaxation durations and simple units isn’t efficient. Whenever you practice laborious, brief exercises are essential. A exercise is a dash, not a marathon. Go in, go laborious, and go residence.

The Dangerous

First, his strategies are clearly working. That stated, from watching his movies, listed here are three issues I like to recommend he cleans up.

1. Utilizing Free Type

Look, I wish to maintain his depth excessive. He bullies the weights, and I like to see it. Nonetheless, you may nonetheless practice with most depth whereas controlling the eccentric and minimizing momentum

Whenever you watch Sam Sulek practice, he tends to decrease the weights quick. The eccentric a part of a carry is essential for constructing muscle as a result of it locations the muscle underneath rigidity. On the similar time, it lengthens, resulting in higher muscle fiber recruitment, elevated muscle harm, and in the end, enhanced muscle progress and energy adaptation. Reducing the weights underneath management limits momentum, making the muscle mass work more durable to maneuver the weights. It is a technique to get extra out of much less, particularly on pull exercises.

Plus, utilizing poor kind presents a higher probability of damage. Getting harm and needing to overlook exercises isn’t a recipe for making beneficial properties.

2. Inconsistent Vary of Movement 

The double-edged sword of lengthened partials is that they’ll create an inconsistent vary of movement. When Sam performs a set, the reps slowly lose vary of movement as he goes. There is no such thing as a set level the place the reps cease being full vary of movement and develop into lengthened partials. This isn’t a giant deal, however most individuals could be higher off not muddying the waters. Use a full vary of movement for as many reps as doable, and as quickly as you may’t do one other full rep, change to lengthened partials.

3. Random Train Choice

Sam would not comply with a set coaching program. He needs to do a certain amount of quantity (units) for a muscle group, however the train choice is totally random. He chooses what to do primarily based on how the train feels that day. Now, basing train choice on really feel could be a good factor typically. Nonetheless, consistency in actions week to week makes it simpler to trace progress. Plus, you will have a greater thought of what workouts work after you will have caught with them for an prolonged interval.

sam sulek back workout

Sam Sulek Coaching Program

As talked about, Sam picks workouts on the fly, so he doesn’t comply with a particular exercise plan per se. The next is the exercise I’ll base my program on. If wanted, like Sam, I’ll substitute some workouts whereas staying true to the character of this system.

Leg Day

  • Seated Leg Curl: 4 units x 12-15 reps
  • Single Leg, Leg Extensions: 3 units x 12-15 reps
  • Heel Elevated Barbell Again Squats: 2 units x 12-15 reps
  • Single Leg, Leg Extensions: 4 units x 12-15 reps
  • Body weight Sissy Squats: 4 units x 8-10 reps

Chest and Shoulder Day

  • Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 units x 8-12 reps
  • Hammer Energy Chest Press: 2 units x 8-10 reps
  • Smith Machine Incline Press: 2 units x 8-10 reps
  • Pec Deck: 2 units x 12-15 reps
  • Cable Flies: 2 units x 12-15 reps
  • Single Arm Facepull: 4 units x 12-15 reps
  • Reverse Pec Deck: 7 units x 12-15 reps
  • Dumbbell Lateral Increase: 7 units x 15-20 reps
  • Machine Lateral Increase: 4 units x 15-20 reps

Again Day 

  • Barbell Row: 4 units x 8-12 reps
  • Lat Pulldown: 3 units x 8-12 reps
  • Single Arm Pulldown: 2 units x 8-10 reps
  • Free Movement Lat Pull Down: 2 units x 12-15 reps

Arm Day

  • Underhand Cable Pressdown: 3 units x 12-15 reps
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension: 3 units x 12-15 reps
  • Dip Machine: 3 units x 10-12 reps
  • Straight Bar Cable Pressdown: 2 units x 12-15 reps
  • Dumbbell Alternating Curl: 2 units x 10-12 reps
  • Single Arm Cable Bicep Curls: 2 units x 12-15 reps
  • Straight Bar Cable Bicep Curls: 2 units x 10-12 reps
  • EZ Bar Preacher Curl: 2 units x 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Spider Curl: 2 units x 12-15 reps
  • Dumbbell Alternating Curl: 1 set x 12-15 reps

sam sulek shoulders workout

Sam Sulek Weight loss plan

Sam takes a versatile strategy to vitamin. He weighs and measures the whole lot he eats and goals to devour a certain amount of protein and carbohydrates. Since he tracks his meals, he would not comply with a selected meal plan. What’s extra, a lot of his energy come from nontraditional bodybuilding meals. 

Here’s a pattern day of consuming in Sam’s journey to achieve muscle mass.

Meal 1: Breakfast 

  • 3 servings of cereal 
  • 3 cups of complete milk

Meal 2: Submit Cardio Snack 

  • 16oz Apple Juice
  • King-Sized Crunch Bar

Meal 3: Lunch 

  • 16oz Steak
  • Massive Bowl of Mashed Potatoes

Meal 4: Intra Exercise 

Meal 5: Dinner 

Each day Vitamin Breakdown: 200g of protein, 665g of carbohydrates, 160g of fats, and 4,900 energy

Preparation for the Routine

In preparation for this system, I’ll make a number of changes to suit my way of life. For one, Sam follows the four-day break up outlined above however solely takes relaxation days when wanted, usually solely as soon as per week. Once I was in school, I did one thing related. Nonetheless, now that I am in my 30s, have three youngsters, a full-time job, and too many tasks, I cherish these relaxation days. So, I’ll maintain the four-day break up however keep on with solely 4 weekly exercises.

I plan to do legs on Monday, chest and shoulders on Tuesday, again on Thursday, and Arms on Friday or Saturday. Setting this system up this fashion ensures I can keep it up for your complete 4 weeks. Is it precisely how Sam does it? No, but it surely’s shut. Apart from coaching frequency, I’ll keep on with Sam’s philosophies carefully.

Now we have to make some changes to the weight loss plan, too. I am unable to eat 5000 energy daily for a month. By the top of this, I’d appear to be a small condo building- and never in a great way.

I’ll comply with Sam’s versatile weight-reduction plan strategy however intention for 160g of protein, 390g of carbohydrates, 90g of fats, and 3010 energy. These macros ought to put me right into a slight surplus.

sam sulek arm workout

Detailed Week-by-Week Expertise

Right here is how my month of coaching and consuming as Sam Sulek went.

Week 1

The primary week on a brand new program is at all times an adjustment, however all issues thought of, it went effectively. Earlier than beginning Sam’s routine, I used to be on an higher/decrease powerlifting break up. The concentrated quantity of the brand new routine hit me fairly laborious on chest and arm days. My chest was destroyed once I bought to the cable flies. 

Vitamin went effectively, too. I’ve been versatile weight-reduction plan for over a decade, so diligently monitoring macros is nothing new. The calorie enhance was a problem the primary few days, however I loved the additional meals as soon as I bought used to it.

Week 2

As I began week two, my arms have been nonetheless sore from week one. I do not know once I final did that a lot arm work in at some point. 

In true Sam Sulek vogue, I needed to make some train substitutions on leg day. It was Monday night, so the health club was packed. A gaggle of highschool boys have been hanging across the squat rack, and I did not wish to wait, so I opted for Smith Machine squats as a substitute. As a powerlifter, this isn’t a substitution I’d make, but it surely works since Sam’s program is a bodybuilding routine. From a muscle-building standpoint, the Smith Machine is underrated.

The remainder of the coaching week went easily.

Week 3

In week 3, vitamin began to develop into a difficulty. For some purpose, my urge for food disappeared. On Monday and Tuesday, I needed to choke down some meals at night time to hit my calorie purpose. On Wednesday, I added a little bit “junk meals” that’s greater in energy, which helped.

Earlier than my afternoon exercise, I had a Pop-Tart. I used to do a number of pre-workout Pop-Tarts once I was youthful. It is a straightforward technique to get 35-40g of carbs and round 200 energy. I additionally had two servings of ice cream after dinner. Whereas Pop-Tarts and ice cream usually are not what you’d usually take into account bodybuilding meals, so long as you hit your macros, 10-20% of your energy can come from something you need.

Week 4

By the final week of this system, I settled into a pleasant groove. The soreness dissipated, and my physique was dealing with the additional energy effectively. A month of bodybuilding coaching was a pleasant change of tempo for me mentally. My previous exercises have been changing into stale, so emulating Sam Sulek for a month was enjoyable.

Challenges and Variations As a Pure Bodybuilder

Surprisingly, I solely made a few adjustments. Though Sam is most definitely on steroids, for probably the most half, his coaching philosophies work effectively for pure athletes, too.

Probably the most vital change I made was to incorporate fewer partial reps on the finish of every set. Through the first week, I attempted to remain true to his apply of together with partial reps to get probably the most out of every set. Nonetheless for me, I felt prefer it brought on my units to develop into sloppy. As a compromise, I simply took every set to failure utilizing a full vary of movement and included additional partial reps on the final set of the train. Moreover, I solely included a few drop units per exercise and didn’t embrace any compelled reps.

The slight drop in depth from decreasing partial reps, drop units, and compelled reps is sufficient to make Sam’s program simpler for naturals. Specializing in effort and pushing every set to failure (or shut) is a sound methodology. Nonetheless, as a pure, you need to restrict how a lot you transcend failure.

sam sulek workout split

Outcomes, Insights, and Private Development

Following Sam’s program pushed me out of my consolation zone. General, it was a superb expertise.

For starters, I gained 5 kilos. Whereas not a loopy transformation, it is substantial for under a month. The additional diligence in monitoring my meals was a big issue. I’ve been slacking on that for some time. Constantly consuming 3,000 energy opened my eyes to the truth that I had been undereating.

Secondly, I swear my arms bought larger. I ought to have measured them earlier than, however they appear larger to me. Arm coaching, significantly biceps work, was one other space the place I used to be slacking. I want to point out my biceps a little bit extra consideration sooner or later with extra arm exercises.

Lastly, my physique feels higher. Heavy powerlifting coaching takes a toll on the joints, and the upper rep units helped my physique really feel higher than it has shortly. I believe incorporating a complete month of bodybuilding coaching is a good suggestion to provide the joints a break.

Others Who Have Tried

Listed below are another feedback from natty lifters who’ve tried Sam Sulek’s exercise routine: 

“I began doing it round August simply to strive, now it is the one approach I practice. One thing about it makes my exercise that rather more satisfying. It might not be optimum however its probably the most progress I’ve seen within the health club undoubtedly, want I began it sooner.” [source]

“For me it labored, my chest grew so much larger since I began doing his break up, my biceps began (lastly) rising and my legs too.” [source]

“Ive been operating it besides with extra relaxation days earlier than he popped up. Legs Chest n Shoulders Relaxation Again Arms Relaxation. Relaxation On the finish of the day like the opposite commenter stated splits are very particular person however i’ve discovered this to be fairly good.” [source]


Effectively, there you will have it – my expertise as a pure athlete coaching like Sam Sulek for a month. General, Sam will get a number of pointless criticism. He’s only a younger man who loves to coach and shares his ardour with tens of millions. Is the whole lot he says and recommends wonderful recommendation? No, in all probability not. Is he on performance-enhancing medicine? Almost definitely. Nonetheless, we are able to nonetheless be taught from what he does.

Sam trains laborious. That’s greater than I can say for many lifters. He additionally diligently tracks his macros, guaranteeing he hits his every day calorie and protein targets. If everybody did these two issues, progress could be so much simpler to return by.

It may be useful to strive widespread coaching routines. Not solely is it enjoyable, but it surely may also be an academic expertise. Nonetheless, the secret is discovering what works greatest for you. The perfect program for Sam will seemingly be completely different than what’s greatest for me otherwise you. With coaching, it is like our moms instructed us as youngsters: we’re all particular snowflakes.


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