A Merry Rogue

One working Dad's journey to find "healthy".

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Weight Lifting Workout

It always seems that my workouts are  "work in progress" no matter how much research & though I put into them before I start the program.  A tweak here, a change there.  Aside from all the changes I end up making in the first week or the program, one thing remains the same.  My workout generally contains one exercise per muscle group.  The exercise I'll use on Monday for biceps will be different from the exercise I use on Wednesday & Friday.  No two days will include the same exercises.

There are several reason that I chose to lay out my weight lifting plan this way.  I chose to include one exercise per body part each day that I lift because it is a great way to train for . . . well, Life.  Or rather, as we were taught in weights class, for sports.  In sports, or any other physical activity, you use your entire body to perform what is required.  So it makes sense to work your entire body when you workout.  You are preparing it for the rigors of whatever activity you are training for.  In my case, aside from the desire to get back into shape, the activity I have in mind is Stage Combat.  As I talked about in "What's In A Name?" Or "Soreness Abounds!" (among other posts), I perform as Will Scarlet for the Robin Hood show at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  Where this year I will most likely be partaking in several Stage Combat scenes throughout the day.

The reason that I chose to use a different variation of each exercise each day is because each one of those exercises affects the muscle differently.  Take the shoulders as an example.  The way that I look at it (which may not be "medically correct") is that there are three major areas of the shoulder muscles.  The anterior (front), the posterior (back), and the trapezius (neck to shoulder muscle).  These of coarse can be broken down even more, but let's keep it simple.  During the week I have one exercise to focus on the trapezius on one day,  anterior on another day, and posterior on another day.  This way I am effectively working the entire shoulder area.

The other bonus of this is muscle confusion.  By working muscle groups in a different way each day, you are making it so that your body will take longer to adapt to the exercise.  Which will lead to greater gains in strength & muscle building.  Being that I change the Set/Rep layout of each week is another factor that adds to the muscle confusion.  Each week does something different.  The 3X3 week is the "Heavy Week".  I don't use this one that often, just every once in a while.  It is designed to be a way point.  A week where you prove that the program is working by lifting heavier and heavier weights each time you hit that week.  If you find that you aren't increasing weight, then you're doing something wrong.  The 5X5 week (as well as my 3X10 week) is designed more for endurance.  You are lifting the weight 25 times in total (30 in the 3X10 format).  The 5-4-3-2-1 week is designed to burn out your muscle.  You will gain strength, but you will also gain size from this week.  The intent is that for each set you lower the amount of reps, but increase the weight.  By the last set, you're muscles will be screaming at you.

It has been a long time since high school, but there were two other weeks that you got to add after the first or second year.  I believe they were 10-8-6 and/or 4-4-2.  I could be mistaken, but I don't use them anyway.

As I did with the Kettlebell post, here is one example of my workout log from Wednesday's 5-4-3-2-1 session.  This is the one where my friend & roommate John came with and spotted for me.

Wednesday, 02/01/2012 - Weights Workout

So there you have it, my current weights workout.  The next format will be ever so slightly different, where I will work a muscle group once per week.  This format is used in the P90X program and is used by many body builders and power lifters.  The methodology behind this format is that you do several exercises for each muscle group to exhaust it and then let it fully heal before working again.  Putting a larger focus on strength and size.  I'll post more about that when I begin to use that type of workout.


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