Sunday, April 3, 2011

Training Update I: Resistance Training

I've been following the principles from Christian Thibadeau's High Performance Mass training system for some time now. For the last 2 weeks I've been following pressing progressions exactly, with a couple of modifications to the program to account for my available days in the gym, and other physical activities. Check out the original article here: There's links on the right for a few related articles.

The focus of the program is on pressing. 2 lower body pressing, and 3 upper body pressing exercises are used. My lifts for this 6-week cycle are:
Lower body pressing: Front Squat & (Semi-)Sumo Deadlift
Upper body pressing: Push Press, Incline Press & Bench Press.

Main lifts are done for sets of 3 reps, performed explosively, working up to a top set, then wave loading from there. Volume is added in weeks 2 and 3, then dropped back to base levels for week 4, with an increase in weight.

Each session is started with an activation exercise. Either Power Clean, or Power Snatch. Accessory work for Traps, Rhomboids and Rear Delts are done in between sets of presses. I use a couple of different shrug variations for traps, and tubing pull-aparts for rear delts/rhomboids. I've also added in wall slides, and lying dumbbell internal rotations to take care of my rotator cuff, which is kind of jacked up right now.

I'm doing 4 training sessions per week. Days one and three (Monday and Friday) consist of front squats and all 3 upper body pressing exercises. Days 2 and 4 (Wednesday and Sunday) are both lower body exercises, incline bench press, and a lat exercise (a pull-up variation one day, and row the other day). I picked front squats and incline press for extra work because I haven't done much of either, and I consider them weak points for me at the moment.

As far as workout nutrition goes, I try and eat a complete, medium-sized meal (full, not stuff) between 1-2 hours before training. During training I sip on a weight gain shake (approx. 450 cals carb, 150 protein, 50 fat), then after training I down a protein shake (~25 g protein from a whey blend, with 10 g of glutamine). Then eat another meal about an hour later (usually a small one)

In the month or so since I got sick, I've gained back about 10 pounds, with minimal fat gain. I feel like my strength levels are back up as well, though I won't know by how much until I test them after this 6 week cycle.

On days I'm not in the gym, I do half maximal sets of 1-arm pushups and pistols, spaced throughout the day. I leave about an hour's rest between sets, trying to complete around 8 per day.

Next post I'll talk about my martial arts training, and hopefully get into how it ties into my resistance training.

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