After my second week in the new job, I decided its time to move into a split routine. I really liked the full body plan, but I want to workout more often and incline walking on the treadmill for an hour at a time was starting to drive me insane. Walking outside is better, but to me it felt like way too much time invested for very little return. I’m also somewhat active during the day, but most of the time my steps hit around 5-7000 steps a day without even trying (although this includes walking around the gym while lifting). This on top of a weight lifting session is more than enough and I dont feel the need to waste time doing extra walking at the gym.
The last split I tried was a “bro split” and I became bored quickly and also felt it was pretty ineffective. My preferred split and one I come back to frequently is push, pull, legs, push, pull. A 5 day split hitting multiple muscle groups per day. I’m also thinking about adding in two days of high rep workouts to facilitate better blood flow and nutrient partitioning. This workout will be mostly isolations or machines based not very heavy at all but pretty high in reps.
My workouts focus on 5 Key Lifts. One key lift a day to start each workout and these monitor my progress. Similar to the full body approach, these lifts use a rep goal for 24 reps for 4 sets. Once I’m able to get beyond that threshold I increase the weight. The key lifts are:
- Barbell Bench Press
- Dumbbell rows
- Barbell Squats
- Barbell Shoulder Press
- Chinups (for reps not weighted)
After this my workouts are pretty variable. Usually do 2 exercises each for all muscles except back and legs, which I will do 3 each for per workout. Abs get hit everyday. Usually only 3 sets for AMAP most days and then on leg day, I will do 3 exercises that are heavier. Also reps and sets for all these exercises are 3-4 sets for 8-15 reps. I try to avoid going too heavy on everything but the key lifts and focus on hitting the form.
I’ve really been enjoying this approach and almost wake up excited to go the gym. I’ve been getting some nice visual results as well when it comes to muscle definition as well. My mood and energy have improved dramatically. For some reason, walking was just started to bore me very quickly. I think its due to the lack of free time I have now that I started a job. When I only have an hour to workout each day, I want to feel like I worked out and walking obviously dont give that feeling. I also noticed if I would take two days off in a row then I would start to feel very sluggish. I think my body responds well to the increased volume.
I’m also keeping the heavy lifts down 4 sets of 6 reps max. Lifting too heavy all the time can burn you very quickly, especially if your lifting every day. However, keeping the weights lighter to moderate and not doing too many sets will allow to workout far more frequently.
As for diet, I’ve been eating intuitively as of late. Meaning I’m not doing any more high days,low days, carb cycling or trying to hit a certain number of calories. I’m not overeating, undereating or stressing about what to eat. I’ve been doing this a long time and I dont need to be as focused on diet as I have in the past. Dont get me wrong I’m still eating very healthy, probably around 80/20 or so, but I just dont care about amounts any more. I’m letting my natural hunger and energy decided what I eat. I’ve noticed the intense lifting regulates my appetite in a very positive manner. Protein is being kept high as usual, but I just let my hunger guide the way. As for carbs and fats, I could care less. I noticed that as long as I eat protein at each meal then carbs and fats always balance out to where they need to be anyway. The place I work has some pretty good snack options like beef jerky, popchips and protein bars so if I get hungry I usually grab one of those. I do admit I have been downing a lot of caffeine though haha. Mainly because the drinks at work all have caffeine in them and they have two giant coffee machines that look too good to turn down. Like I said I’m not really worrying about it. I would say the only constant in my diet as of late is eating a very similar dinner and dessert each night, mainly because I dont like thinking about what to cook. Usually 2 large pieces of meat a bag of vegetables (microwave) with some fat thrown in and protein pudding with peanut butter and berries for dessert. So I get a very high protein intake at night before sleep along with my daily supplements. I can honestly say my sleep has never been better. I usually workout fasted in the morning mainly because I wake up and immediately go the gym before work, so I dont feel like eating nor am I hungry. I just eat right afterward. Gym performance is very good with this approach.
My schedule does change starting Sunday to 6am – 3pm, so the morning workouts are gone, but I will simply just move it to 3:15pm. The gym is likely to not be too packed at this time, since I’m getting there before 5.