This week is slightly different than last as I’m doing Push, Pull, Legs, Shoulders over a 4 day split instead of my normal 3 day. I took half a day off on Wednesday in the morning and was able to go lift before work. I have a new schedule that will likely change my hours from 1pm-12am Sunday – Wednesday. The huge advantage is that I can shift my workouts to the morning when the gym isn’t nearly as packed. Although I have really come to enjoy my split over the weekend, so I may just keep those 4 days in a row as rest days and hit it hard over the weekend, regardless of my shift.
I have really come to enjoy low volume training. Here is my pull workout from this week:
- DB Rows – 110lbs (unilateral) for 9 9 7 reps
- Chinups (full extension – chest to the bar) 10 8 7 6
- DB Rear Flys 20 x 9 8 8
- DB Curl (two handed) 35’s x 10 6 6
- Cable Woodchoppers (abs) 37.5x 10 9 9
This is a very basic workout, but every exercise had perfect form and the weight was selected to fatigue all of my muscle fibers. I did this after a 1 mile and half warmup on the treadmill. The thing is this workout took me about 30-40 minutes and I had almost nothing left in the tank afterward. It kind of makes you wonder what attracts people to high volume. If you can spend over 1 hour and half in the gym on one-two bodyparts it probably means your not working hard enough. I mean a chest is not a large muscle group and even advanced bodybuilders can hit it hard in 30-40 minutes. Not sure where the obliterate it for 2 hours caught on. Again its like if you can lift with the same muscle group for that long then you probably need to increase the intensity, because at that point you should barely be able to do a pushup not pump out 100 more worthlesss reps on the chest fly machine.
I like the idea of keeping cardio and weights separate. I think some cardio before lifting is beneficial because it warms the body and joints for heavy lifting. A lot of workouts try to make a weight workout into a cardio workout. I dont really know why. Use weights to build muscle with heavy lifting. If your using submaximal weights that you can pump up 100 times then your probably not building muscle and could burn far more calories by doing cardio. I also find workouts very satisfying at the end when I know I’m too tired to do much more. If I was in the gym for 2 hours and still felt like I could do more, I would really start to question what they hell I was doing in the first place. I think the simple answer is your just not lifting intensely enough. I’m also not talking about super heavy weights either, which I dont think are very effective. But heavy enough with 4-10 reps with perfect from on every rep.
In regards to volume though I think it comes down to one major thing: how much you can recover from. If you can smash your body with 2 hour workouts a day and come back stronger the next workout then its working for you. Strength progression is a key indicator whether or not you are recovering from your workouts or not. Obviously if you losing strength then your taking more out of your body then your giving back. This can be handled by doing less volume or eating more food.
I’m a minimalist though and like to keep this as simple as possible. I like the idea of a minimum effective dose.
I have completed two of my four workouts this week and not going to lie my bench workout was no bueno. The weights felt very heavy and I dropped a few reps from last week. My pull workout went very well though and I increased my reps from last week. I weighed in at 168.2lbs at a low weigh in this week, so it may have had something to do with dropping weight. I’m considering doing pull first and push second, so my muscles can soak up some of the higher calories on the weekend. The problem with the first workout of the week is that I’m still somewhat depleted by the weekdays low calorie intake and this negatively impacts my workout.
Diet this week was 1900 calories average – 162 protein / 197g carbs – 50 fiber / 54g of fat