Photo by: mangloard
A New Routine
Finally back in the gym with a decent level of comfort in the shoulder. I’ve been experimenting a bit over the previous four weeks and came up with a routine that I will be playing with.
It breaks down as follows: (1) Four days of work per week for three weeks. Week four is a rest week. Tues, Th, Sat, and Sun work for me. (2) The first three days are focused on one major weight training exercise and a secondary training exercise (read as vanity, fixing a weakness, or fun exercise). Day 4 is all about conditioning. (3) Each week the sets and rep count for the primary exercise change as follows – Week 1: 7 Sets of 5 / Week 2: 6 sets of 3 / Week 3: 3 sets 5, 3, 2 / Week 4: rest. (4) I keep the secondary exercise at 3 sets of 10. (5) I end each session with 7 minutes of cardio (bike, jump rope, even the elliptical machine).
Right now, my major and minor exercises are:
Tues: Bench and Bat Wings and 7m of Cardio
Th: Rows and Hip Thrust and 7m of Cardio
Sat: Squat and Neck harness and 7m of Cardio
Sun: Travis tries to kill me with his conditioning workouts (stay tuned for a future post on this).
I’ve been consciously resting between sets (3m) and not rushing through these workouts.
Inspiration from failure
Inspiration for this set up came from a failed attempt at Dan John’s one lift a day program. I really enjoy focusing on one lift during a gym session. However, I was having to schedule gym time at odd hours to make it there 6 days out of 7. I also found that on TKD days it was too much. That is, I felt demotivated during one or the other session. So, I took his approach to reps and sets, picked three big (major) exercises that I was interested in and scaled back to 3 days with weights. I added focused (minor) exercises that applied to specific areas I wanted to work on: bat wings to help with my shoulder, neck work to help with sparring, and hip thrusts for some extra glute work. I split minor exercises away from similar major exercises (no hip thrusts on a squat day or bat wings on a row day). And added a little bit of cardio at the end, thinking this might help with recovery.
This set up leaves plenty of room for customizing. Not a fan of bench, then do a clean and push press instead. Prefer dead lifts to squats, no problem. Mix and match as fits your needs. The set and rep changes eliminate boredom and there is room for fun and vanity with the minor exercises. The cardio is kind of new (I figure I get plenty with TKD), but I’ve been enjoying it. Measuring progress should be pretty straight forward as you just compare your numbers from the previous month or after the rest week, check your two rep max.
what do you think?
I’m starting my second four week session. The progress and my motivation on these workouts remain positive. Nothing’s perfect and I’m sure there are plenty of holes in the above. Let me know if you see obvious errors that need to be addressed or have thoughts or comments for improvement.