Life is a balancing act. A man has to work, but needs to play as well. There is laundry to be done, dishes in the sink to do, and the new season of Ozark is on Netflix. Work your 40 + hours, build your social life, and pursue your passions and interests outside of the office and take time to see the family or call the parents etc. We are busy here in America (not necessarily a bad thing) Granny always said, and I quote…
“Idol hands is the Devils Workshop.” -Granny Lineberry somewhere in her garage probably smoking a cigarette circa 2000-present day.
Oh yes, and then there is all the training, meal prepping, and grocery shopping. That vicious cycle of buy it, cook it, clean it up, eat it, and repeat it that seems to control the perfectionist inside of you in search of the all elusive six pack. Trust me friend, I have been where you are today. I too have googled every great combination of words involving the phrases how to followed by get ripped, shredded, stronger, bigger, faster, etc. Still after all that googling I have found the following prescription that the fitness world is out there selling you, it looks something like this…
1. 6 meals per day – a ten foot long grocery list that takes you up and down every aisle at the store.
2. Training 4 to 6x per week with 2 hours of cardio mixed in
3. high volume training with 20-35 sets per workout costing you on average 6-8 hours of per week of training + 2 hours of cardio thats 10 hours per week (before you factor in travel time to and from that expensive box gym that your a member of)
And the crazy thing is, we buy this crap! Who has this kind of time!? Better question: if someone even had this time available, who in their right mind would want to spend it training? (there is more to life I promise)
Bottom line – Fitness should add to everything your pursuing and life and not take away from your family, your spiritual growth, or bankrupt you in the name of organic food shopping and the expensive gym membership and don’t forget the gas to and from the health club. Training is meant to be enjoyed and to enhance your life, not rob you of it.
So, before we get to the nuts and bolts, here are a few of my training principles (free of charge).
1.Pick a time to train and stick with it – this is a date with yourself and don’t miss it. I always try to train in the morning hours in a fasted state. I enjoy the feeling of training on an empty stomach and it primes my body for the day ahead.
2.Less is more, if less is intense enough. This principle can be a tricky one considering everyone has a different opinion of what defines, “intense”. One metric that will never lie is your heart rate, I would recommend investing in a good watch (I use a fitbit) to keep track of your heart rate while training. A good rule of thumb is that while your training, try and keep your heart rate around 70% to 85% of your max heart rate. To find your max heart rate take your age and subtract it from 220 (example if your 25 years old 220-25 = 195 max heart rate during exercise) So 70% of 195 would be equal to 137 BPM.
3.Focus on compound movements (Squat, bench, deadlift). If you are constantly getting stronger in just those 3 movements, you can guarantee progress in your body composition.
4.Have a plan for when, what, and why you’re going to eat. Forget how many meals per day, the main ingredient for success here is all about the math, calories in vs. calories out. For losing weight take your body weight and times it by 12, to gain weight use 14, and to pack on a few pounds take your body weight and multiply by 16. Then take note of how your body responds and use ole fashioned common sense to amend the formula as needed.
5.Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints. If you really want to change the way you look and feel. Learn how to incorporate sprinting into your workout routine and you can thank me later.
To sum it up, if you can implement these 5 principles into your routine, I can guarantee success in the long run. Make a date with the gym and keep it short and sweet. Zone in on big movements that recruit your biggest muscle groups and keep the intensity high (all about the heartbeat). Finally, add those magical sprints to the mix once or twice per week and watch your whole outlook on training change.
If you have found this advice helpful and practical let me know. I would love to hear from you.
below is a copy of my exact workout routine that I am currently following. Note that I don’t try to cover every body part in a weeks time. I complete my workout cycles in ten day increments, then I start back from the beginning. I have found this allows for me to recover much better than normal and also cuts down on my time in the gym. Over a ten day period I have three big lifts – short and sweet. Run sprints one day. Jog for light recovery one day, and I usually end up shooting basketball, hitting the heavy bag, going for a hike, or long walk once or twice during that ten day period as well. As for my abs, I throw them in at the beginning of every lifting day for about 15 minutes.By keeping your rest periods short 60 to 90 seconds top, you can be in and out of the gym in under 45 minutes.
Current Workout Routine
Chest and Triceps
Incline Bench Press 3 sets 6 to 8 reps
Dumbell Flat Bench 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
Bodyweight dips 3 sets 12 to 15 reps
Pushdown tri set
Rope pushdowns 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
Flat bar pushdowns 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
reverse bar pushdowns 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
*for the tri-set – complete all three movements as one giant set. Rest 1 min and repeat for two more sets
Sprints and conditioning
Warmup 2 mile run
100m Sprints 6 sets 2:30 rest between each sprint
Cool down – walk and stretch
Day 3 Rest
Day 4 active recovery 20 minute light jogging
Back and Biceps
warmup 5 sets of 5 slow pullups
Deadlifts 2 sets 3 to 5 reps
Pull downs 3 sets 6 to 8 reps
One Arm Rows 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
21’s Barbell curls 3 sets of 21 reps
hammer curls 3 sets 6 to 8 reps
Day 6 Rest
Day 7 Rest
Legs and shoulders
Squat 3 sets 5 reps
Dumbell lunges 3 sets 8 reps
Leg curls 3 sets 10 reps
Shoulder press 3 sets 8 reps
Side raises 3 sets 10 reps
Day 9, 10, Rest basketball, hiking, heavy bag if my body feels like it
Day 11 Repeat Cycle