Progress Update and Training Program

bodybuilding_gymTraining 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.

Training Program

7 Responses

  • Hey VG,
    I’m currently training 1 body part per day; chest, back, arms, shoulders, Legs. Monday to Friday. I generally do 2-3 sets to positive failure on all sets which really fries the CNS.
    I will try to post a spreadsheet of my programme in the near future, time permitting.
    I have just come back from a week away with the school in Wales on an outward bound week of extreme activities for 10/11 year olds.

    Cheers, Graham.

    • Hey Graham,

      I read the article and it is interesting, I am a big believer in Active Release. I know I have posted stuff on Fascial stretching by John Parrillo in the past and I do think there is some benefit in doing a stretch in the muscle once it’s full of blood but probably not to the extent that Parrillo prescribes. Hence my BW AMRAP Chest dips at the end of my chest exercises, I actually hold the bottom position for as long as I can once I can no longer complete another rep. I am sure I read a recent study that showed this type of stretching triggered additional growth signals. I will see if I can’t find it.

      Edit – Ok found it here. I was going to try this in my own routine once I get up to speed to see if it helps.

      • Hi VG,
        A very interesting and Brutal! article on weighted stretching. These stretches are similar to ‘omni contraction reps’. I’ll have to give them a try.

        Cheers, Graham.

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