How Often Should You Workout
When you choose what dietary plan to follow or what style of workout to follow it should be something that you can fit into your life. A variation of which you should be willing to do for life. If you cannot see yourself training in the gym 6 days a week for example then do not do this.
As you add something into your life that wasn’t there before, it may be a little challenging to begin with. As time progresses, it will meld into your everyday life and you won’t think twice about it. The problem with training 6 days a week for example, is that it may cause you to sacrifice precious social or family time.
A good starting point therefore is around 3 times per week. This workout will be built around this. So that you can follow it for the 2 years and still have a great family and social life and do the things you deem important.
Building Your Workout Step-by-Step
Step 1: Pick a variation of one of the lower body key exercises from Podcast #001. Example: Barbell Squat
Step 2: Pick an upper body variation of one of the key exercises. Example: DB Bench Press
Step 3: Use 2-3 auxillary exercises to enhance certain body parts. It’s a good option to have a vertical row as one of these. For example, you may select a seated row. The other exercises may be body parts you want to specifically focus on such as chest, arms, legs or shoulders.
Step 4: Pick a repetition range
Repeat the Process for days 2 and 3 with Main Exercises you haven’t used yet.
During your exercises it’s important to bear in the mind that your “strength” exercises are your primary focus. You are not aiming to follow your ego, but to learn the skill of performing the exercise appropriately and then increasing the weight.
Think of this as learning a new skill, such as picking up a new sport. If you’ve never played tennis before it will feel strange and uncoordinated. As you progress, you’ll be become better and faster. The same principle applies to training and lifting weights.
Example Workout A
A. Squat 4 x 10-12 – Primary Exercise
B. DB Chest Press 4 x 10-12 – Primary Exercise
C. Seated Row 3 x 10-12 – Auxiliary Exercise
D. Tricep Extensions 3 x 10-12 – Auxiliary Exercises
E. Core – Auxiliary Exercises
Failure or No Failure
The obvious question many of you will be asking yourself at this point is how hard you should push yourself on each exercise. Form is the most important aspect of all this, if you cannot maintain form then do not continue. Having said that, as you get better you will be able to maintain good form until almost failure. Failure meaning you cannot perform a single repetition more.
When performing all exercises stay 1 or 2 repetitions short of failure. The problem with going to failure on the first set is that on set 2 you won’t be able to perform very well. This means that over the course of the workout you’ll actually lift less weight overall.
On your final set, especially on your auxiliary exercises, it is fine for you to reach failure. In fact, if you’re working in a high repetition range such as 15-20 it may be necessary. It is less necessary in heavier repetition ranges as you recruit more motor units (basically more muscle).
Keeping Track of your Workout
You should ALWAYS keep track of your workouts. This is key if you want to make long-term progress. You won’t be able to advance without knowing what weights you used over the last couple of training sessions and how often you were able to lift said weight.
I do not recommend using your phone, but if you have to then use some sort of spreadsheet app. The issue with using your phone, is that it’s easy to get distracted and waste your precious rest. This time should be used to write down your weight and get mentally read for the following set.
My recommendation would be to use a notebook. People who do not track, do not make progress OR do not make anywhere near the progress they could.
Volume is how much weight you’ve lifted overall. This is a good number to look at to see your progress over time. If you track your workout in a spreadsheet at home, you can make it automatically calculate your volume.
How to calculate:
Weight X Repetitions = Volume
Example: 20 kg x 8,8,8,8 So you’ve done 4 sets and 8 repetitions in each set lifting 20 kg each time.
20 x (4×8) = 640 kg lifted
Easy! As time progresses you will see this number rise. This means you lifting more weight overall and therefore making progress.
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