For those who actually enjoy working out and want more of it!
For the past year or so, my brother and I have really gotten into the love of training. I mean I have been training and working out all my life but we have really taken this to another level the past few years. It’s just such a passion. Pushing your self each day to be better then the last trying new moves, weights and workout routines has just become a fun hobbie, life style and dedication. As soon as I am up in the morning I am doing my cardio routine. Then 4 pm comes and its time for some heavy calisthenics and barbell training. Then later in the evening I will put in a yoga routine to the DVD player or go for a run, play hockey or baseball. Training is just fun. The challenge it brings to you both physically and mentally is a rush! It’s definitely a developed habit that you can obsess over a bit. But that just it, only the really successful will be called obsessed. It’s something I am proud of actually. We do this as much as 6-7 days a week. I play hockey 3-4 nights per week and I play baseball on top of my workout routines. Some people think we are crazy, others say we are over training or going to burn out burn out, but I disagree. In fact, I am in the best shape of my life and to even maintain this level of fitness my body needs constant stimulus and exercise or I find I am lethargic, lose strength and performance. But how can that be possible? Anyone in their right mind would tell me I am over training. But I am not. We are just pushing what’s possible as an amateur athlete who is carefully tracking and implementing key strategies in our routines
Something that comes up a lot in fitness circles and spurs intense debate training frequency. How often people train and the structure they do so in can be vast and unique. Some people train 3 times per week, others 6 and some twice a day! Others high reps, low reps, high weight, body weight etc. But in the end it’s all some sort of load on your muscles and nervous system that can cause fatigue. There is no right answer for a training split it should more geared towards your goals. The body can and will adapt to anything you throw at it and wont to improve on. so if you are like us and want to train a lot and make it a huge part of your life style and success read on.
Most people, the way they structure their training would be burned out and over training if they did “this much” work on a typical body building style split. The usual chest tris, back bis, shoulders, legs, arms deal wouldn’t work for someone like me doing so many activities. Lots of reps, sets and exercises isolated onto one muscle is a way to over train if done to frequently. But there is other ways. Most notably total body training. Like we do in our garage calisthenics program as well as other forms of movement like yoga, Pilates etc.
If you like to train in many areas of fitness or want to start and exercise like we do while also leading an active lifestyle where you won’t be sore all the time, you definitely want to add some of these tips to your regime. Progressive load is where your body continues to adapt and makes someone “fit”. If you keep the body guessing, with lots of different types of fitness and exercise you can build a high functioning body with great endurance, muscle and recovery abilities and still be able to swim, walk, hike, run, weight train, practice yoga, pilates, play sports etc without burning out.
- Structure your workout days as push, pull. No matter what, I always run my routines as push, pull now. Its gives me the most flexibility in my schedule. On any given day I am not working sore muscle or fatigued from the workout before because I have complete opposing body parts to work on alternating days. Have you ever done a chest workout and your shoulders where sore for shoulder day? Yah this wont happen with this type of split
- Use compound exercises in the push, pull. If you do most of your work out on compound moves you will get much better results in a push, pull routine than doing lots of isolation movements. Muscle is a result of strength gains in this type of training.
- Concentrate on strength gains and progressive loading. Keep adding weight to the bar and keep reps low on your strength movements. You will gain muscle, but notice you won’t be sore or getting “pumped” as you aren’t over working the muscle and completely tearing it down all the time. To load properly make sure you are tracking key movements so you can add weight or leverage every few weeks.
- Keep Max reps to 5 per set. I never do more then 5 reps. Mostly because all my weights and body weight training are high strength focused and heavy weight. train as number 3, using 5 reps.
- Make the workout “total body” example, if it’s your pull day you do it all, rows, dead lifts, barbell curls, pull ups etc. If its push day you do bench, shoulder presses, skull crushers and squats. Don’t have splits where your push day is just chest. Keep it to 3 sets per exercise with warm ups and 5 reps. You get a total body workout, burn more calories and have much better overall performance as your entire body is warmed up and limber
- Track weights and leverage with goals to increase as the weeks go by. Always add weight and leverage to the body to challenge it with deliberate practice and force it to improve through recovery
- Rotate body weight training days with free weight barbell days in your push pull schedule. Switching it up has huge benefits to motivation and staying creative in your routines. Day one calisthenics, day two barbell weight train etc.
- Do active recovery! Yoga and stretching is so important. I do yoga 2-3 times per week. I started maybe 4 years ago and never looked back. The feeling is amazing and your muscles and body feel rejivinated
- Train abs with a few key movements such as: Hanging leg raises, ab wheel and L-sits. A lot of ab work is not needed with this much total body focused training. so dont spend to much time here. Compound movements, and thise three core moves blast your core more then enough.
- Nutrition. Ok this should probably be number one but what can you do. This is one of the most important aspects of performance, training and recovery. If you are getting the proper macros your body needs to recover and rebuild on a meal by meal basis through the day with a very consistent effort you will find you have tones of energy, can recover extremely fast and can support constant work loads on the body. Eating clean is an understatement. If you are starving your body of proper nutrients you will not last. One thing i learned becoming vegan was proper nutrients day in and day out keep your body in tip top shape. I always have energy and feel amazing and it is because my body has the nutrients it needs to recover from the loads i put on it. I am not saying go vegan, I am saying eat like you give a F#ck. See “Thug kitchen” if you are interested in delicious eating for your health.
- Use your weekends, or days off if your not a Monday-Friday person from work as a separate training style. I do all my calisthenics and strength work throughout the week but come the weekend I am hockey, hiking, running, yoga focused. These are what I call my stay fit recovery days. My muscles get a break from being torn down with calisthenics and weights, but get a nice stretch, blood pump and sweat instead where i get to enjoy the more rejuvinting side of fitness.
Of course always trust your body, if you’re feeling tired, lethargic or really sore, then of course a rest day is needed. But if you structure everything right and want to lead and incredibly active lifestyle where you blossom with energy and focus, implement some of these into your routine and see how hooked you get with continuous progress and improvement in your fitness levels due to active recovery and different styles of training.