Hey all, hope life is good.
It’s gotten pretty cold here on the midwestcoast, but can’t complain with the fall/winter we’ve had so far.
Today we’re going to discuss how to put a complete workout together, and then share a little video at the end of some upper body training.
- Warm Up: I recommend 5-15 minutes of warming up. Not too much that you’re gassed before you hit the weights, but enough that you feel “primed” for the workout. My rule of thumb is that I’d like to break a light sweat before I hit any heavy weights. Increase blood flow, body temperature, and joint mobility now – prevent injury later.
- Explosive/Plyometric: If you’re going to be doing any sort of dynamic/fast-twitch (i.e. box jumps, plyo push ups, olympic lifting) exercises, do so early in your workout when you’re not in a fatigued state. Explosive movements are often very taxing on the CNS and require a good deal of technical efficiency. Fast when you’re fresh.
- Strength/Heavy: This is where we “throw some weight around”. While I DO NOT recommend maxing out every time in the gym, or every week (even month) for that matter, this is when you push yourself. Gradually work up to weights in the range of 85-95% 1RM. (side note – use multiple warm up sets, but keep your reps low. Again, “prime” the muscles without too much fatigue.)
- Hypertrophy/Weak Points: After you’ve gotten explosive and strong, build some muscle with more moderate weights and higher reps (10-15). This is also the time to create balance in your training. If you hit some heavy bench press earlier, mix in incline presses and DB rows for example. Don’t neglect the back side of your body. You should be pulling as much as you’re pushing. Feel free to add some core work in here as well. Putting these “accessory” movements into a circuit is also a great way to use your time efficiently and get your heart rate up to burn calories.
- ESD/Conditioning: Energy system development is more important for athletes, but can be used by anyone. If time allows, get some conditioning (dare I say cardio) in after your weight training. We don’t run before lifting so our muscles are fresh for the iron. Again, think efficiency. If time is short, interval sprints, complexes, or bodyweight circuits are great “finishers”. You can also save the cardio for a non-lifting day.
- Mobility/Flexibility/Restoration: Stretch, foam roll, stretch, eat, sleep. Does a body good and helps reduce/limit muscle soreness while maintaining range of motion. Two very good things.
So, putting it all together, don’t worry about breaking down each section and performing every exercise/drill under the sun. Get the work in and get out. Our muscles and bodies grow at rest, not in the gym. Training is only the stimulus for change/adaptation. Jim Wendler states it well: “Stretch, Lift, Sprint.”
Snatch for power. Seated military and pull-up for strength/balance. Javelin press for size/fun. Rollout for core. (not shown are warm up and cooldown, but don’t neglect those)
Keep it simple stupid.
Have fun in your training.
Strive for greatness.
Enjoy the process.
“Knowledge isn’t power; applied knowledge is power.”