A method for the madness

I thought I would write a little about my current gym training. I do this for a few reasons 1. Because I think for people its an effective style of training in that a) it gets the required results b) does so without any serious risk of injury and c) doesn’t induce too much fatigue and or muscle soreness so as to effect ones ability to perform ones job. 2. I don’t really have a second point…I pretty much covered then with a, b and c…as per usual I hadn’t really thought this post through.

So…there a some presuppositions or preconditions to this program and they are as follows:

1. That it must be time effective.

2. That it must not induce excessive muscular soreness or fatigue.

3. That irrespective of point 1 and 2 that it must produce results.

The Program

Warm Up – 5 to 10 mins of cardio…for me this is usually just a 2km row.

MobilityWork – I always focus pretty much on my hips and shoulders…eventually I”ll get around to posting a menu of mobility exercises but I assume everyone reading this pretty much knows what I mean. I do a couple of hip drills and a couple of shoulder drills and essentially just cycle through all the drills I have in my head on an ongoing basis.

Supplementary Work – I tend to do this first now…it is very much just an extended warm up…hard but not exhausting. I tend to do a couple of antagonistic exercises here…this could be push ups and inverted rows…5×10 of each say…nice and controlled and focused…no sloppy form. It could be some pull ups and some single arm dumbbell shoulder press. The way I work it is that if my main exercise is horizontal pushing…say dumbbell floor press, bench press etc etc then my supplementary work is in the vertical plain…say pull ups and shoulder press. It might be the same if my main exercise was heavy dumbbell rows. I am just going to assume you see the pattern…if my main exercise was weighted pull ups the supplementary work might be flat dumbbell press and dumbbell rows etc etc. This supplementary work is usually 5 sets of 12-15 reps for the most part.

Main Exercise – This is just a big primary movement. Something that I can do reasonably heavy. Weighted chins/pull ups, leg pressing, bench, heavy rows…whatever….and I just cycle through these exercises on an ongoing basis. 2-3 warm up sets the depending on the exercise and how I feel I go for 5 sets of 5-8 reps.

Then finish with some easy low intensity cardio and some good hard flexibility work.

That’s it. From this though I’ve managed to maintain my ability to do 12-15 pull ups and bench my bodyweight for 10-12 reps and do 50 push ups in a minute etc etc etc and meet all of the other ‘fitness’ and ‘endurance’ targets I have each and every time I am tested….and I get tested quite a lot. So it’s program from which I am not making huge gains….but I don’t think even if I focused on making gains in anyone area there is a huge amount to get. I have however not had a training injury in a year. I also manage to fight training 4 times a week as well as all the other cardio I do and have done so without any major injury.

Thought I’d deal with gym work first

I get about a fair bit so my gym program takes the form of a template rather than an actual program. For any of you reading this that actually know me I am sure you know what I mean but for those of you that don’t…it might be a bit of a change of thought process.

First, lets get your brain tuned in….while you are reading this…I’ll assume you are sitting at a desk somewhere in front of a computer…just because I am old fashioned. So, what I want you to do is as follows:

1. Sit up straight.

2. I want you to pretend that you are bench pressing at your desk i.e mimic the hand placement and ‘go through the motions’. Hopefully if you aren’t completely gormless what you have done is sat at your desk with your arms extended and moved them back and forth from the extended position pretty much to having your hands beside your chest and back again.

3. Now what I want you to do is to pretend that instead of bench pressing that you are dumbbell pressing.

4. Now what I want you to do is to pretend that instead of dumbbell pressing that you are machine chest pressing.

5. Now what I want you to do is to mimic one of each…so, first mimic bench pressing, then dumbbell pressing, machine pressing one after another.

What you should have discovered is that there is pretty much little to no discernible difference between any of these movements. What you are really doing is just ‘horizontal pressing’. Now you can extend that…because push ups and your pec deck and your dumbbell flies although they slightly different are all just really ‘horizontal pressing’ as well.

Just take a deep breath….it will be ok…I say this knowing that some of you just had your mind blown.

So in consideration of this there are lots of things to think about…for example…when you changed from doing 5 sets of 10 reps of bench press last month and decided to ‘change up’ your program by switching to 5 sets of 10 reps of dumbbell press you really changed pretty much nothing at all.

Before I wrap up this post…you can apply this generalisation to all exercises….for example chin ups, pull ups and lat pull for downs are all just vertical pulling…push pressing, military pressing, dumbbell shoulder press are all just vertical pushing…I am sure you get the picture.

That’ll do for now…like I said this is an area I am going to ramble through at my leisure. So…to be continued.