Do You Really Need That?

Morning guys,

What do you have planned for the day?

Legs, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms or CV?

It was deadlift day this morning for me.

The reps where simple. Warm up to 80% for 1 then do 2,3,4,5 with that weight and start adding weight thereafter for a countdown of 4,3,2,1 to a heavy sub-max single, then there was some bent over rows for good measure. I you were to do this workout you could even add a few cheeky curls at the end.

The workout could look like this:

A1 – DL – 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
B1 – Row – 10,8,6,20
C1 – Curl – 8min AMRAP

Simple.

Keeping your workouts to 2-4 exercises makes you focus and put in some real effort and quality work. I’ve always found that having 9 different variations of bicep curl gets boring and tedious, this also leads to a lack of intensity.

When you take a look at your workout how many exercises do you have?

If it’s more than 4 I would start to question why. Now, there will be a lot of people who will answer and say how it helps them progress etc, but have they really made any real progress, honestly…

There will be obvious exceptions in the way of the genetically gifted and the ‘enhanced’ but for the majority of people doing too much is well, doing too much and won’t give them any extra benefit. if anything it will send them backwards and potentially leave them imbalanced because they will end up doing more of what they like or want to do as opposed to the things they don’t like but in fact NEED to be doing.

Your program should be balanced and set with at least a 1-1 ration of the following:

Push-Pull
Squat-Hinge
Get Up/Loaded Carry-CV

Provided you actually record your workouts (if you don’t I suggest buying a training log immediately) then you will be able to see how they fair in terms of balance. We shall assume that you’re a good trainee and that your program is perfectly balanced but you just have too much going on and you’re finding your workouts less and less intense while evermore time consuming.

Here are some options for you to consider based on training 2,3 or 4 days per week. If you train more, say up to 7 this style of limited movements can work quite well for strength/size/fat loss goals provided you’re programming correctly, but you do well to would work in bouts of say 10,20 up to 40 days straight (goal dependent) and then take a rest week,

I have also known people to stick with the same weights for round 9 days and have a testing day on the 10th to establish their weights for the next 9 days, more on that later.

2 Day Example:

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (horizontal)
– Pull (horizontal)
– Ab Roll Out

Day 2 –
– Deadlift
– Press (vertical)
– Pull (vertical)
– Ab Roll Out

3 Day Example –

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (horizontal)
– Pull (horizontal)

Day 2 –
– Deadlift
– Press (vertical)
– Pull (vertical)

Day 3 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

4 Day Example –

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (vertical to horizontal)

Day 2 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

Day 3 –
– Deadlift
– Pull (vertical to horizontal)

Day 4 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

What about Sets & Reps? This will be very objective depending on your overall goal, but these rep targets will help you know the total amount of working reps you will need.

Warm Up sets 2-6 (Ideally 2-4)

Full Body Movements – 10 Reps (deadlift, snatch, clean & press/jerk, get ups)
Half Body Movements – 15-25 Reps (Squat, Row, Press)
Isolation/Ballistic Body Movements – 50+ Reps (Swings, Lateral Raises, Face Pulls)
Carries/CV – Distance or Time – Min 100m or 2min

As for the loading that will again depend largely on your goal but here is a good baseline to follow:

Strength 85%+ of 1RM
Hypertrophy 60-80% of 1RM
Fat Loss 60-70% of 1RM

When it comes to your CV you can get nice and technical and us Karvonen Formula to establish your target heart rates and aim to stick between 65-90% of HRR (heart rate reserve) for optimal results.

However, with both of the guidelines above you could always opt for using the RPE scale of 1-10 (rate of perceived exertion). This will mean 10 RPE is max effort and 1 is doing nothing. Therefore when lifting weights an RPE of 8 will be roghly the same as 80% 1RM which means you should get 5 solid reps and maybe 6 at a push, for CV it’s almost the same, 10 is max effort and 7 is a hard but sustainable jog.

I’ve given various rep/set schemes in the past so today there will only be a few examples, if you want more just look back through older posts.

10 rep target – 10×1, 5×2, 3×3, 2×5, 5-3-2, 4-3-2-1
15-25 rep target – 5×3, 5×4, 5×5, 4×6, 3×8, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1
50+ rep target – 5×10, 4×15, 50 reps (rest as needed)
Distance/Time – 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 3min, 5min, 8min

You can play around with what numbers you fancy as long as they fit in with your workout and hit the target numbers.

Don’t be afraid to cut out useless exercises, if you think your arms will shrink then do some supinated weighted pull ups or weighted tricep dips, there are lots of possibilities that will give you a lot of bang for you buck and keep things exciting and save time too.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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