- To achieve your fitness goal a well thought out plan is needed
- I find it helpful to break the plan into 3 closely related parts:
- The workouts
- Short term goals
- Long term goals
For the sake of my stupid analogy, I listed the parts backwards when you really think about it. Your long term goal dictates your short term goal, and your short term goal will dictate you actual workout regiment. Having said this, I’ll share my current plan in that order.
Long term goal(s):
Max deadlift @ 2x bodyweight
Max bench press @ 1.5x bodyweight
Max back squat @ 1.75x bodyweight
Like many young guys with too much focus on what you think “the ladies” like and too little common sense, when I first started working out I completely ignored any and all leg exercises. Yes, I mean ALL.
This lasted for a long time. I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit that this has only changed in the past couple years, and therefore I’ve made up my mind to make leg strength my primary long term focus. I feel that deadlifts and back squats are pretty solid leg strength benchmarks, so that’s why I picked them.
There’s also a certification I’m interested in acquiring, and it requires that you be able to deadlift 2x BW, as well as bench 1.5x BW, so that’s why the bench is on this list.
Short term goal:
Achieve a body fat percentage of under 6%
This, at first, may seem completely unrelated to my long term goal, and I guess in a sense it is, but hear me out:
I figure, in order to gain the strength I’m looking for, I’m going to be putting on quite a few pounds, with a good bit of it inevitably being body fat along with the muscle. I’d like to not become a complete fatty, so I’d like to strip the fat down before adding some of it back on. I’d like to achieve this goal before the end of September, so that only gives me 2 solid months, and I’m currently at 9.6%. No more Papa John’s… dammit.
- 3 to 4 times a week: lift weights
- 3 to 4 times a week: 30-45 minutes of cardio
- 1-2 times a week: rock climbing
- Once a week: Yoga (yeah, I said yoga)
- Every other week: Body pump (cardio/weight lifting class)
So as you can see my weekly routine isn’t just Monday – Friday: go to the gym and lift weights.
But let’s be serious, you can only deviate from that so much. Lifting and doing cardio at the gym is still the bread and butter. I try to split my training days into something that makes sense. Currently I’ve been gravitating towards a 3-day split, with the 4th day being a rotator-cuff complex that I’ll post at a later date: I have a legs day, a “push” day, and a “pull” day. I always try to lift before doing my cardio, just so I make sure I have all the juice for the lifts.
The rock climbing is a great forearm workout, and helps with back strength and overall flexibility. It’s also just flat out fun.
I’ll admit the Yoga has taken a little bit for me to get used to. I still have a hard time not cracking up when the instructor gets all spiritual on me, and there I am struggling not to face plant into the backside of the woman in front of me. Pretty sure I look ridiculous, but I have underestimated the importance of flexibility in the past, and it has come back to bite me in the form of injury, so I’m trying my best to be proactive in that regard.
Body pump is… different. First of all, I think it’s a great overall body workout, and hits pretty much every muscle in your body in one way or another. Unfortunately it’s all done to the worst sound track ever devised by man. Imagine someone taking all the horrible pop music we have today, and then giving it to some Swedish techno DJ who most certainly has blond highlights, and saying to him, “See if you can screw this up worse than it already is.” Great job, Sven, mission accomplished.
I tell you what though, that stuff motivates the heck out of some soccer moms. They demolish me in lunges every single time. Every. Single. Time.
I’m going to be sitting down with a fitness coach in the very near future to discuss my plan and get some feedback on it, so I’ll let you know if it changes. Also, if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to lay them on me. I’m always open to good ideas and constructive criticism.