Hi there! First things first, take a gander at the top of my site. You many or may not have noticed I finally managed to get around to making a heading for Pursuit of an Outlier. I had the two side pictures which I thought were perfect to go along with the theme of my site: pursuing your passion and getting out of your comfort zone. The middle picture is a Rye, NH beach in the summertime – aka my spot of bliss. So I’m really excited about that.
Today I want to take some time and show you guys the layout of my training cycles and my most recent training cycle. Last week was week 4, which is my week where I test out around 95% of my max, and this week I am de-loading. I figured this was the perfect time to go over my cycle and show you guys what I’ve been up to in the gym!
Week 1: moderate weight (75-80%). 4 lifts + 1 conditioning + 2 yoga
Week 2: increasing weight (80-85%). 4 lifts + 1 conditioning + 2 yoga
Week 3: heavy weight (85-90%). 4 lifts + 1-2 conditioning + 2 yoga
Week 4: max weight (95%). 4 lifts + 2 conditioning + 2 yoga
Let’s break it down:
Weeks 1-3: main lift is 5×18.104.22.168.2 or 6×3; and accessory work is 3 sets
Week 4: main lift is 5x.22.214.171.124.1 or 6×3; and accessory work is 4 sets
I was nervous trying this scheme out as I had never tried a set/rep outline like this before but it’s done wonders for me.
I’ve put 20 pounds on my bench in the past month along with 25 on my deadlift in the past two months. Guys, I haven’t been this strong in years and I’m happy to say that with this strength I feel good. By that I mean, before I was constantly tweaking something and getting injured. Now, where I do have the occasional tweak for the most part they are occasional. I think for me it’s also important to recognize the days where I’m really flaring and back off. I’ve actually had gym sessions where I will go warm up and then just leave because I’m too tired and my body needs healing not working. Three years ago that never would have happened. I would’ve pushed through, made things worse, and then repeat the process the next day. Hello, over-taxing. There are other little things which I do to help my body heal and recover from pushing it such as yoga (which as you can see from my outline I schedule in twice weekly), chiropractic, foam/lax ball rolling, and then supplementing + eating well as my foundation.
Deadlift from a few months ago prior to taking some time off from heavy lifting to heal.
Stuck around 155#. Cleary rest, proper programming, and body tlc helps strength substantially.
Just this week I was having a conversation with a friend in regards to the bone density update and he said “You used to over-train. Everyone knows that. But you don’t anymore and you take better care of your body than any other 21 year old I know, heck you take better care of your body than anyone I know.” Makes me smile. Little things like that comment make me realize how far I have come and how grateful I am to have supportive people in my life.
The actual lifts:
What is each lifting session composed of? A main lift + accessory work.
Strength bench day: 1. bench 5×126.96.36.199.2, 2. dips, 3a. 1 arm row, 3b. double unders, 3c. sit ups
Strength deadlift day: 1. deadlift 5×188.8.131.52.2, 2a. bulgarian split squats, 2b. pull ups, 3a. GHD back ext., 3b. leg ext.*
Speed bench day: 1. bench 6×3, 2. weighted chin ups, 3a. DB OH press, 3b. tricep push down, 4. push ups
Speed deadlift day: 1. deadlift 6×3 (reset between each rep and pull with speed), 2a. step ups, 2b. weighted plank, 3a. double unders, 3b. v-ups
Conditioning is usually sprints or intervals on the bike. Sometimes I’ll just do speed jump rope or freestyle. Occasionally I’ll throw together something like 10×100 DU’S (double unders) 5×50 DU’s 2×25 DU’S and call it a day. It all depends. I might even hit up a crossfit class.
* I know leg extensions get some major criticism in the fitness world. I use these to help my quads out because with all the deadlifting I do my hamstrings are definitely growing stronger, but I am unable to squat so I feel like I need something to help balance myself out. *
What I’m changing for the next cycle:
I mentioned this week I am de-loading so right now I’m in the midst of tweaking things to better fit where my body is at and my goals. I rarely make huge changes to my lifting and only do so when needed, otherwise it’s just little things. I am going to be changing up a few accessory moves and that’s it. I feel like this last cycle really worked well for me and I feel great. I have energy in the gym the bulk of the time and I’m putting on muscle and gaining strength. Don’t change something that isn’t broken. I’m not changing this until I feel like it’s no longer working, so when I hit a plateau that I can’t seem to pass, or if I need to medically. One thing is for sure, I’m not nixing pull ups. Goal: 20 dead hang. Current: 12.
“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just…start.” – Ijeoma Umebinyuo