For the last six days I’ve been beta testing and reviewing the new Muscle Shocker app and must say I’m very pleased with how the system is able to give me a workout that’s fine tuned for specific muscle targeting.
Day 1 review of using the app
Upon first opening the app it went through a series of info based screens. Most of them were fairly straightforward with information about how to watch the demo videos, setting up the workout and how to add and change exercises during a workout. However, I was a bit confused at how they’ve set up the “one rep max” system. Undoubtably I was excited to jump right in so I didn’t read the whole screen about the ORM’s (one-rep-max) so once the workout began and I was not sure exactly what the system was asking me to do after I had skipped the ORM prompt screen. “75% ORM” & 8 reps..? I had to go back into the info page via the top nav bar and this meant leaving the workout.
**Update – the developers or changing the app so instead of “X% ORM” it will actually give users something like “a medium to heavy weight”
Unfortunately, leaving the workout means that when you go back in, and reselecting the same muscle group and shock target you end up getting a slightly different workout. I was a bit bummed about that as I was excited to do a “super shocker” and when I got back into the second round I was given a less complex drop set. I get it though, they have set this thing up so that users get a different workout every time. I would suggest thought that there be an option to look back and potentially repeat previous exercises. I know they’ve got a version two already in the works so hopefully that’s one of the new features.
Shuffle is cool! haha, really though, I was able to tap the ‘shuffle’ button a few times and ended up back a new ‘super shocker’. That’s really a nice feature that I have used a few times since.
Starting the workout
Anyhow, on day one I did a ‘push day’ and shocked the triceps. Right of the bat the system prompted me to warm up. I normally don’t do this so I asked my buddy Charles who was nearby on the peck dec machine if he thought that was necessary. He once was a competitive bodybuilder so for me, what he says goes. Charles told me that he always does about 10 minutes of cardio before his workouts. Sure enough, the google machine backed this up as I couldn’t help but research it a bit later that night.
After doing a grueling five minutes of jumping jacks I began the Muscle Shocker regiment. It started me out with a circuit style exercise I had never done before, at least not like this. The ‘Super Shocker’ involved closed grip bench press and weighted bench dips. I’d actually never done that second exercise before. Basically though, it had me to do a short drop set of the close grip bench press followed immediately by another drop set for the bench dips. Okay now in full honesty, that first set wore me out. In a good way. Luckily there were only three sets to be done but each was a quite a task. From there, a simple dumbbell kickback exercise for triceps followed by a few simple exercises for chest and shoulders. The whole workout took me about 50 minutes. I normally workout closer to 70 minutes but wanted to see how i’d feel the next day and give it some blind faith.
Triceps were sore!
That night, I was pleasantly surprised to find my triceps sore about 7 hours after the workout. Next day, even more sore. Now this could have had a lot to do with the weighted bench dips but then again, without the app I don’t know that I would have ever performed those. I looked them up the next day and sure enough, when it comes to mass gains, according to Jay Cutler, dips are the #1 way to more gains (Source). A bit more research and sure enough, elevating the feet and adding weight helps put the resistance on the triceps instead of the chest. Mind blown. Thanks for that one, Muscle Shocker creators!
I also looked into the duration of the workout being as short as it was. It seems as though I may have been spending too much time in the gym and likely loosing out on gains due to this. According to a strength coach Jason Ferruggia, after about 45 minutes of heavy lifting your levels of stress hormone cortisol begin to increase causing, potentially, more harm than good when it comes to building mass (source. Again, mind blown.
Aside from learning a few new methods, using the app also showed me that I’ve really not even tried to increase my knowledge level of lifting since I started, nearly ten years ago. With this in mind, my advice: Do your research. It’s possible that what you’ve been doing may be leaving out other great exercises that you didn’t know about and you may be stuck in some bad habits, such as spending too much time in the gym.
I wrote this first one and sent it to my buddy who’s one of the creators of this app. He asked if I’d go ahead and keep writing them so expect more to come!
By the way, although I am by no means a professional body builder I do lift a few times a week and am always willing to try to new things when it comes to gains.
Images: the images in this article were added by the web master to make for a better read and help emphasize certain certain aspects. The article was also edited for grammar, spelling and overall readability while maintaining original work as much as possible.
Out beta tester, Tim, who wrote the original article is 31 and is operating the app on an iPhone X.