Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Current Training Schedule

There are so many different methods of training out there, and the one that is right for you will depend on so many things: your personal preferences, your goals, your body, etc…  I want to share my training schedule, and some of the methods I use, but please note that just because I train in a certain way does not make it the only way – as I tried to explain in this post, both training and diet need to be tailored to each individual in order to be effective, I cannot stress enough how important this is!

I train in a very typical “bodybuilder” sense – I train for size and aesthetics, as well as strength and general health.  I occasionally throw some powerlifting-related training into my routine, but for the most part it is very centered on bodybuilding.

What does this mean, exactly?  It means I dedicate each training day to a specific bodypart – and focus solely on it during my lift.  Sometimes I combine a large bodypart with a smaller one (i.e. back & biceps or chest & triceps), but generally speaking I keep it to one a day.  I train anywhere from 4-6 days a week, depending on how I feel on any given day.  I do tend to lean towards “overtraining” (which I don’t necessarily believe in, but that’s a post for another day), but I also listen to my body – if I need to take the day off I do, no big deal (easier said than done).  This is a fairly new concept for me, because in the past I would have gone anyway, everyday – I was a bit obsessive during the years when I was competitive…

So getting back to my point here – my weeks typically look something like this:
Day 1: Back & Biceps
Day 2: Chest & Triceps
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Shoulders & Abs
Day 5: Rest
And then I restart the cycle – because I train on a 5-day cycle, my weeks are always different – one week I will lift Back on Monday, while the next week it will be on Sunday – this is a fairly new training split for me but so far I am really enjoying it.

I weight train for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half – it just depends on how I feel that day – I don’t think that you have to train for any specific amount of time to see results, it depends more so on the quality of your lifts during that time.  I don’t do much cardio – sometimes after a shorter workout I will do 8-10 minutes, but never more – keep in mind, I am trying to gain weight – so the less calories I burn the better.  When I do cardio, I try to incorporate it into my lift – for example, after training legs I will do intervals on the bike or stepmill – and after back I will get on the rower.  I have to keep my cardio fairly limited anyway, due to a foot injury, so it all works out..

When I train, I tend to stick to heavier weight and I vary my reps – anywhere from 5-12 reps per set.  The heavier I go, the lower my reps are – a technique I really like is pyramid sets – start with a weight you can get 10 or 12 reps on – and keep increasing you weight and dropping your reps until you are at your heaviest set for about 5 or 6 reps, and then go back in reverse. An example (my squats from last night) I started with 95 pounds and did 12 reps – then I did 115 pounds for 10 reps – 135 pounds for 8 – 155 pounds for 6 – 135 for 8 – 115 for 10 – and 95 for 12.  Pyramid sets are a great way to try to increase your weight on an exercise while still getting the benefits from the higher rep sets.

Please keep in mind that achieving and maintaining your goal takes a lot of hard work – don’t try something and give up on it when you aren’t seeing results immediately – keep trying!  Sometimes it may take some tweaking to your plan, and sometimes it may just take a little extra effort, but every workout puts you that much closer to your goal (whatever it may be).  It has taken me 6 years to look the way I do now, and a lot of consistency to keep my results.  If you are interested in starting a training program, let me know, I would be glad to help! 

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