Training has been a bit more sporadic over the past couple of weeks than I would have liked it to be but at least I am doing what I can. As I reported in a earlier post the first time I squatted with 135 lbs for 3 sets of 6 reps and I could barely walk the next day. In fact it took 3 full days before I was pain free, a very serious case of DOMS!
Yesterday I trained legs and was able to squat 135 lbs for three sets of 8 reps and I was not sore at all so very happy that my body is adapting quickly. Now that my body is more accustomed to training again, I think it’s time to start a training program. Training programs are great because it allows you to have a game plan every time you step in the gym and you can track your progress. I also like to print out my program and bring it with me on the gym floor so I know what I did last time for that exercise and I can try and beat it by doing more reps or adding more weight.
My goal with creating this program was to train each body part twice a week, so I broke things up into an upper/lower split. Training frequency is key to making progress as a natural bodybuilder, every time you train it’s a signal to the muscle to grow. Keep in mind you have to balance that with allowing the muscle time recover, so I feel 2 times a week is a good starting point. Monday and Thursday I train upper body. Tuesday and Friday I train lower body.
Next I wanted to vary the intensity between the 2 training sessions so one is focused on strength training, lifting heavy in the 4 to 6 rep range and the other focused on hypertrophy using lighter weight in the 8 to 12 rep range. For now most of the program is geared around doing 3 sets per exercise and once I can hit the max reps for all three sets at a given weight its time to up the weight the next training session. This is what is referred to as linear progression and is a great place for beginners to start as well as someone returning to training after taking some time off. I decided to stagger the two strength training days as I felt going heavy two days in a row was a bit much to start out with. As a result I train upper body strength Mondays and lower body strength on Fridays.
Since I am not working with a coach atm I thought it would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts around what and why I am doing with my training. It also allows you to ask questions or provide suggestions as to what might work better. Below is a link to the full program I designed and will be follow for the next 4 weeks. The exercises I selected focus on areas I feel need the most improvement so upper chest, shoulders, arms and hamstrings while still covering all the bases.