I try to change up my workouts intermittently. I have been focusing less on strength and more on my conditioning. This means higher rep circuit-like training. I have seen some pretty good success with it! My resting heart rate has dropped about 8 bpm (and my hrv has improved similarly) since starting this training block about a month ago. I also have been trying to find ways to incorporate a variety of fitness parameters into my workouts.
For the next month, I will be breaking my workouts into a strength component (20 mins), followed by an SARQ component (5-10 min), and then an endurance component (10 min). I’ll break down the specifics of each.
- The strength component for me can include anything weight-bearing. I will likely keep my reps between 6 and 20 for any exercises I do. Depending on the day and how I am feeling, I might do heavier compound movements (squat, deadlift, bench), or I may do lighter, high-rep isolation work (leg press, leg extensions, lat pulldown, etc.)
- The SARQ component is a new addition to my training program. I have done SARQ exercise with good results every time I decide to do it, but I have been very inconsistent. SARQ stands for Speed, Agility, Reactivity, and Quickness. For me this looks like agility ladder or cone drills, boxing on a heavy bag, using a reaction ball, or even playing some basketball. These types of movements encourage your body to maintain and build your ability to move multi-laterally quickly. And I think they are the most fun!
- The endurance component consists of any cardio movement (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) done at my Maffetone (180 – age) HR for at least ten minutes. This type of training will ensure that you keep your endurance up.
So, today I did a workout consisting of these movements. I didn’t aim for any specific reps, just gently challenged myself.
- Squats. I used 225 lbs and did 6 reps, 5 reps, and then 3 reps. It has been a while since I have squatted so I expected it to be a little more challenging.
- Bench. I used 185 lbs for a set of 8, and then a pause-rep set of 4.
- Heavy Bag. Didn’t take any specific measurements, but I would estimate I did about 3 rounds for a total time of around 5 minutes.
- Incline Walking. After all of that intense work, you can guess that my heart rate was high. So today, walking at a 3.0 incline at a speed of about 2.0-3.0 mph kept me slightly below my target heart rate. I walked for 10 minutes.
Well, that was my workout today. Hopefully you found something interesting that you might be able to use! Until next time…
Sundays are usually a pretty chill day in my house. Laundry, naps, church, and generally relaxing things. My wife recently joined Orange Theory Fitness so she had a class at 7am. Pretty early for a Sunday 😉
Since she was going to be at the gym I figured I would move my workout (normally to be done on Monday or Tuesday) to today. I actually like exercising earlier in the day because it helps set the tone for making sure my nutrition and other things are on point to support training.
I am in the second week of a high end strength block, but have been missing the increased energy that comes from doing higher rep work, so I decided to do the main heavy lifts followed by some accessory work. My workout consisted of…
- 2 sets of 3 reps @ 140 lbs of Overhead Press. I intended to do a 3×3 this session, but felt my form breaking a little so I backed off.
- 2 sets of 3 reps @ 230 lbs of Barbell Row. I’m trying to keep my row and bench at the same weight. I definitely could have done 3×3, but my bench felt heavy last session so I held back again.
- Dumbbell Overhead Press. I did 3 sets of 8 reps with 40 lb dumbbells. I could have gone harder, but I knew my main heavy lifts already provided that overloading stimulus so I didn’t want to push any farther.
- Seated Row. Seated row is one of my favorite exercises and I can really feel it in my lats. 3 sets of 8 with 130 lbs.
- Converging Shoulder Press with 3 sets of 15 with 60 lbs. This was a “burnout” exercise, and by the last few reps of the last set I felt a nice burn in my traps.
- Bicep Curls with 3 sets of 15 with 40 lbs. Just like the converging overhead press, I felt a nice burn at the end.
I usually don’t do quite this much volume when I am in a strength block, but I missed the volume so I just went for it. I guess my next workout will show if that will hinder my progress.
Well, that was my workout today! Until next time…
Sundays are a great day to relax and get caught up on chores around the home. It’s also a great day to get to the gym. I mean, what excuse is there? And luckily for us, our spiritual community doesn’t meet until 11am. Plenty of time to hit the gym and then get fed and ready.
- 15 minute treadmill run/walk. My goal is to get my 5k time into the twenties (I know…I’m a beginner)
- Seated Overhead Press 115 lbs for 3 sets of 8
- Weighted Ab Pulldowns 75 lbs for 3 sets of 8
I would describe the intensity of all these exercises as comfortable. Contrary to pop fitness, you cannot and should not give one hundred percent each workout. That’s a sure-fire recipe for overreaching and maybe even overtraining. I have been keeping my volume relatively low and making sure that I get some time doing cardio. Most of my workouts take 20 to 30 minutes. I can totally commit to 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week. I would argue everyone can. I have learned to scale back a little bit because, unlike alot of “fitness” people, I have a full time job and a family that I want to devote time to.
My meals were:
- Post-Workout: A blender bottle shake with dextrose, whey protein, and lactose free milk
- Breakfast: Ancient Grain Bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese
- Lunch: Cafe Rio Enchiladas with rice and beans
- Afternoon Snack: Belvita biscuits with greek yogurt
- Dinner: It is my mother-in-law’s birthday so I’m going to eat any and everything at her party 🙂
On workout days I will usually shoot for around 160 grams of protein, carbs are a little higher on workout days so maybe 350-450 grams, and then 80-100 grams of fat. On non-workout days I eat more to whatever tastes good so I will have more fat, less carbs, and less protein on those days.
Well…that was my day today. Until next time…