I guess no training blog would be complete without a blurb about what the author is currently doing in their training. So here it is, my current training program. I’ll try to document my training split here and as time goes on I’ll try to add in specific workouts to give you an idea for what I do on a daily basis. One thing to note here is that, although I’m currently in fat loss/cutting mode, my training rarely changes format based on the current goal. This is because my primary goal is always the same. To gain or keep muscle while minimizing fat gain or, in this instance, losing fat. However, I do alter training in a cyclic manner based on different goals for each cycle. I generally cycle between periods intensity, volume, and frequency training. Currently the goal is intensity since I just finished a volume style cycle based on the 10×10 format. Since intensity for weight training is defined as percent of 1RM (1 repetition maximum) this, in essence, means I’m going to be lifting heavy weights for low(er) reps.
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My Training Split
Day 1 – Shoulder, Traps
Day 2 – Legs
Day 3 – Triceps, Biceps, Forearms
Day 4 – Back
Day 5 – Chest, Abs
My split has random rest days depending on what I have happening that day. I have a full-time job, and a family so not every day has a realistic space in which to schedule an hour-long workout. With a split such as this I have potentially two days each week to take off. Some weeks I get a full 7 days in and some I only get four. The goal is to get to the gym an average of 5 days per week. Other than that I don’t worry about it too much. This isn’t a licence to just skip gym visits nor is it a permit to not do it on days when you are busy. What it means is that you have leeway. In all honesty, 5 days a week is possible most weeks for even the busiest of individuals. If it’s not, you simply aren’t making it a priority in your life.
Volume and Rest Intervals
In this phase the goal is to lift heavy. Lifting heavy throughout a routine means you’ll need to rest a little longer between sets in order to allow muscle energy stores to recover between sets and thus allow maximal output on the next set. Thus I have a standard rest interval of 3 minutes between sets for the same muscle. However, though the goal is to lift heavy we are never going to heave and throw weights. Controlled contractions…..always! Muscles respond to tension and the easiest way to add tension is to slow down on the negative (lowering) portion of a rep and push with high level of force in the concentric (raising) phase. When raising the weight try to accelerate it along its path using just the muscle you are trying to target. It won’t move very fast but the goal is to try. This also increases tension. Slow down, fast up. Simple right?
For volume, I’m aiming on the low side between 6-8 sets for most body parts and we’re going to be keeping the reps in the 6-8 range as much as possible, sometimes going as high as 10. As I outline my individual body part routines later you’ll see there will be points where I’ll go above or below this but it’s usually an error in judging the correct weight. If it’s too heavy I’ll come up short. If it’s too light I’ll still keep pushing till I fail at that weight. Why waste a set? Going a little over on your rep count isn’t going to hurt your long term goal of building muscle. In each of these scenarios I’ll adjust the weight for the next set to bring myself into the correct rep range.