GL and the road back to awesomeness

GL had an amazing pre season last year…he trained his hole off and got the rewards from it…then basically before the season started was a passenger in a car accident which made a mess of him…whether he played again was touch and go for a while. He ended up coming back towards the end of the season with the aid on modern pharmaceuticals…I mean the guy was rattling as he ran onto the pitch.

So like I said yesterday…the season is finished…he’s had a little break and now it is time to put humpty dumpty together again. I thought I’d use GL as an example of how I put a program together for someone. For some people it might seem a bit lame but for others it might be interesting.

Anyway…on we go.

So GL works full time but is extremely dedicated…if I said we were were going to go AM and PM 7 days a week he wouldn’t even bother to ask why…so I can do whatever I please time wise.

So what we’ll do is train Monday to Friday. With ‘heavier’ sessions on Monday and Thursday and ‘volume’ sessions on Tuesday and Friday. We’ll stick a heavy conditioning session in on Wednesday and we’ll do some conditioning work on all 4 of his strength training days…GL is ‘out of shape’ and basically has to get back to being ‘fit to train’ if that makes sense so we’ll keep this really simple and tack a 10km bike ride on the end of Tuesday and Friday sessions and onto the warm up of Monday and Wednesday sessions. The Tuesday and Friday I’ll have him go at it hard…to try and set and beat his best times and the Monday and Wednesday session will just be an easy ride….really just a warm up.

We’ll bang a heavy interval session in on Wednesday and we’ll ramp up the volume every week for 4 weeks and do a lot of prehab and rehab work on this day as well.

So down to the nuts and bolts….this is what I see in my head

Easy Conditioning
Hamstring Dominant – Bilateral
Quad Dominant – Unilateral
Trunk Work
Heavy Chest Pressing
Vertical and Horizontal Pulling for reps
Trunk Work
Guns (yes, I see the word ‘guns’ in my head)
Hard Conditioning

Hard Conditioning
Lower Body rep work
Trunk Work
Pulling Rep work
BW Pressing
BW Pulling
Trunk Work
Moderate Conditioning

Some nasty intervals on the rower

Easy Conditioning
Quad Dominant – Bilateral
Hamstring Dominant – Unilateral
Trunk Work
Heavy Pulling
Vertical and Horizontal Pushing for reps
Trunk Work
Hard Conditioning

Hard Conditioning
Lower Body rep work
Trunk Work
Pressing Rep work
BW Pressing
BW Pulling
Trunk Work
Moderate Conditioning

So the next stage will be writing in all the key exercises…the main things I want to work on. Then I’ll slot in the supplementary stuff that compliments it. Then I’ll work out what type of trunk work needs to be done and put that in. When all that is finished I’ll look at the day in isolation and try to work out how much conditioning work I can fit in…then I pull back a little and look at it all together and make sure that the conditioning work won’t impact too greatly on the strength training work because in GL’s case…initially I’m more concerned with getting his strength back than I am with his fitness or fatness at this stage.

Then the rest will be up to GL…they all have their session plans when they walk into the gym so they know what they are doing. I will modify and adjust programs on the fly as I see fit because some days I will want to push some exercises more that others and I will back off the volume or intensity somewhere else.

For example:
Last night JM had roughly the following…DB Floor Pressing, Trunk Work, Push Up and Inverted Row variation for reps paired, Trunk Work, then Incline BB Pressing and some Bicep work to finish before he hit the bike.

Last week he BB Floor Pressed up to a 3RM with maybe 2 warm up sets and 4 work sets…then we hit the bench and did 3 full singles one at 140kg, then 150kg (his previous 1RM in testing) and then he punched out an easy 160kg.

This week he DB Floor Pressed…to change it up slightly we went 30kg, 40kg and 50kg a hand and went 8 reps, 6 reps and then max reps at 50kg…we did this 3 times for 9 total sets. All the floor pressing is done with a pause on the ground really working on firing out of that bottom position….I think he hit 9, 7 and 8 reps on the three corresponding sets at 50kgs. Now, he looked spent…so after he did his push ups and rows we only did 3 sets rather than 5 on the incline press where he hit 8 quality reps on each set at 100kgs…no point flogging him…I got what I needed out of him and he got what he needed out of the movements…so everybody is happy…well not happy…satisfied…I say not happy because JM always starts to get a little sad towards the end when he knows the bike is waiting for him.


4 thoughts on “GL and the road back to awesomeness

  1. Hi Will,

    Your plans for GL are interesting.

    In consideration of your concern for his strength rather than fitness/fatness, it surprises me to see the amount of conditioning work you have planned.

    I am a recreational exerciser – I strength train simply to lead a healthier lifestyle, but I am aware that my conditioning is awful. Any conditioning I do, however, is reserved for days when I don’t strength train, but having seen your proposed program for GL I can almost feel the work needed to get through it.

    We are normally advised to do conditioning work after strength work. In your experience, and this I know is very general, but how much is the strength training element affected by doing conditioning earlier in the workout?

  2. Love questions like this…what you mean is…that I said that I was mainly concerned about his strength but I am flogging him like he’s getting ready for an ultra marathon.

    Yes, he has a sizeable amount of conditioning work to do BUT most of it is a doddle and he’ll do it easily…the time spent doing it will be more of a pain than than the actual work itself.

    Getting his conditioning up will feed into his strength improvements from an athletic point of view as in…he’ll get fitter and stronger and besides his fatness offends me as much as it does him.

    All these guys and gals are athletes so it is slightly different to recreational trainers…that being said you obviously recognise the fact that you are not as FIT as you could be…in that you don’t think your conditioning is up to par.

    It also comes down to a timing thing…as in how much do you have…I mean I have athletes that do 4 exercises and that might take them 3 hours (and no, that isn’t a joke) so for some of them they would do 30 minutes of conditioning work and then ridicule and abuse other trainee’s for a good 15-20 minutes and be perfectly tuned into to hit there strength work and be banging out the reps…properly fed and hydrated…they do it easy.

    I mean there is so much stuff I could post…I’ve people for whatever the specific reason who do their conditioning work before and or after or even in the middle of their strength training…and it all works…just depends on the athlete and the effect being trained for.

    Does that answer your question?

  3. Hi Will,

    Cheers mate. I understand what you are getting at.

    Since your approach goes against much of what I have seen and read before it just takes a little re-adjustment of thinking to accept that you ing the success of how well the athlete adapts will depend on their work capacity and previous training experience. What I mean is, if you have someone who has trained using your approach of mixing strength and conditioning for some time, and that is what their body is used to, then they their body will adjust and cope accordingly.

    You’re obviously a fan of the rower, and I have been giving my wife some strong hints recently at getting one for our home gym. Concept 2 would be nice, but they’re not cheap, even second hand. We can afford one, but wife proving difficult to convince 🙂

  4. I just think most people over think it…I mean we don’t time rest periods during strength work…you either rest a little of a lot and if you are going to rest a lot…what’s the difference between 3 minutes and 5 minutes or 5 minutes and 6 minutes. I was ready a mates blog yesterday talking about how he hates 5 sets of 5 reps…how can you hate a set rep scheme? Is 5 reps worse than 4 reps…is 3 the best.. give me a break. There are only 3 reps schemes and they are a few, some and a lot. A few being 1 – 3 or 4, some being 5 to 8 or a lot which for me is 10+…I mean whether you do 12 reps or 15 reps…what is really difference neurally and muscularly?
    Same with conditioning…if you are an athlete and you are so precious that actually doing some work effects your ability to perform your strength training after a drink and a breather…then I really can’t see you making it.
    I tell you what I think of the rower…I hate it and if I had to choose one piece of equipment it would still be the first piece I’d get. Keep pushing her and when you get one I’ll help you write yourself a program.

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