Monday, September 22, 2008

New workout starts TODAY

I am about to start another microcycle (a workout that lasts 4-6 weeks with a particular focus) today. I will be completing a power exercise -- snatch, jump shrug, clean-- to start each workout and then complete four structural exercises and finish up with a core workout.

Today I will be doing snatch, back squat, db bench press, and shoulder press. On the power exercise I will be completing sets of four reps and the remainder of the workout I will be doing four sets of six repetitions to focus on strength building.

I have been working on flexibility throughout the week and doing a little more cardio at a lower intensity. There have been many studies published that have shown negative side effects on muscular growth (size-wise) when too much cardio is done too often.

YES, cardiovascular activity is beneficial to maintaining a healthy body, but lifting at the intensity levels I am is a cardio workout in itself... I am not just trying to brag... Next time you lift, after your set take your heart rate. I was doing a set of steps ups and my heart rate was in the 190s!!!!

ok, then there is the argument that cardio -- treadmill, elliptical, running outside-- keeps your heart rate up for an extended amount of time and lifting doesn't... It just depends. I am very strict with my time between sets and I keep it around a minute and a half for hypertrophy (sets of 8-12 reps) and a little over two minutes for strength exercises (sets of less then 6 reps). AND i lift for around an hour and a half with actual lifting being an hour and warm-up, core, and stretching filling in the remainder of the time. I have no doubt that this is the best type of cardio I am able to do while still having my exercising focus staying on adding muscular size.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Use a Consistent Program that has some Variations

I am a strong believer in changing your work outs for your athletes to keep their muscles in a constant state of shock, which has been proven to spur more growth... BUT completing the same conditioning routine the week after a win during football season is more supersitious than a great technique.

Variation plays a role is keeping the athletes prepared for the unexpected as well as constantly working your athlete's muscles in different ways. Cross training is built on this very concept.

The football team I am working with completed triangles (athletes run the length of the field, around the goal posts and then sprint back), which I believe is too far to be runing to work on explosive quickness. But the head coach had the playes do this simply because they did the same thing last week and won. If this process is done weekly just because of a W, I forsee a big L to come soon.

He has experience being a head coach so we will see how his method works, whether superstitious or great technique.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Eccentric Workout

I just had graduate school start back and with some personal training, classes, and my workout... I haven't been on here in a while. This past week has been one that I am sure has sparked some growth in my body.

I did an entire week of eccentric weight training this week. Eccentric activity occurs when resistance is put on the muscles as they lengthen, unlike concentric which occurs when resistance is put on muscles as they shorten. Take, for example, a fron squat... You descend slowly until you reach the bottom of your front squat and then explode up.

On each repetition I slowly descended while counting three seconds off... holding anohter two seconds at the bottom of the lift, and then exploding up. I used this technique for a set of 8 and two sets of 6 repetitions on every lift besides my power lifts this week. I used about 65% of my one rep max on the lifts... but since this was the first time I have ever devoted an entire week to eccentric lifting... it took a little playing around to find the perfect weights to use on each lift... everything was recorded on my work out card... I will try to attach it asap.

Since your muscles are lengthening while resistance is being put on them, the amount of muscle regrowth should be exponentially higher than a usual workout. For this reason I wouldn't recommend to complete eccentric training more than one week every 4-6 weeks during your workout. I am also going to have a unloading week next week (use lighter weights to allow my body to recover).
My lifting partner Chance Cianciola, CSCS, masterminded this part of the workout. He is going to be one hell of a strength coach. Thanks and see ya around

be as physically strong as you can potentially be... start today

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