Working it out

As part of my 49 days to new habits, I’m going to be writing about improving my health and strength over time. I’ve been a regular gym goer over the past several year, however I’ve never been able to stick with a plan over that time. I’m stronger than I was a year ago, leaner as well, but am not where I want to be. I’m currently hovering around 208 lbs with body fat just over 20%. I look ok in clothes, but take off the shirt and I’m a bit doughy. I know that at 44 years old it is going to be much harder to lose fat while adding muscle, but I’m hoping that I can build a routine were I am active every day. I have an office job that means I’m sitting down which doesn’t help since sitting kills.

A few weeks back I came across a routine that I’ve been doing that has given me good gains in the short time I’ve been doing it. It is based on your 1 Rep Max. 1 rep max (or 1RM) is where you determine the most amount of weight you can lift with good form one time. There are several methods of determining your 1RM, from actually warming up and then, with the help of a spotter, lift as much as you think you can with proper form. The other way, that I use, is pick a weight you know you can lift 3 times with good form and attempt to do 5 reps with that weight. Say you can deadlift 350 lbs for 5 clean reps, but can’t get the 6th rep out. The weight you are lifting is about 85% of your 1RM. The 1RM for that would be 394-400 lbs. This workout I’ve been doing is based off of this principle.

The routine is pretty simple, you have four main compound lifts, Deadlift, Barbell Military Press, Bench Press, Bent-over Barbell Row. You determine your 1RM and after a few warm-up sets you lift the following:

5 Reps at 80% of 1RM
1 Rep at 90% of 1RM
1 Rep at 92% of 1RM
15 Reps at 60% of 1RM

The workout split is:

Mon/Wed/Fri – Deadlift and Military Press
Tues/Thur/Sat – Bench Press and Bent-over Barbell row

When am able to complete 20 reps clean at 60% of 1RM I increase the weight across the board, adding 10lbs to the 5, 1, 1 rep sets and 15 to the 60% weight for 15 reps. Over the last three weeks I’ve made gains in my lifts. I’ve increased the amount of my Deadlift and Bench Press over that time a few times, but I think that might be because my 1RM was too low to start with. Here is the weights I’m currently using:

Workout A

Mon-Wed-Fri

Workout B

Tues-Thurs-Sat

Deadlift

Bench

Weight

275

305

315

200

Weigh

200

225

230

150

Reps

5

1

1

18

Reps

5

1

1

18

Mil Press

Bent Over Row

Weight

95

115

125

80

Weigh

145

165

170

110

Reps

5

1

1

18

Reps

5

1

1

17

 

Since I’m able to get the main lifts done fairly quick, 10 min warm up and about 10 min on the lifts (I take 60-90 seconds between sets) I have time to add other exercise to the end of the routine (my time in the gym is self limited to 50 minutes that include warm up, workout, shower and out the door). This is what I’ve been doing in addition to the 4 lifts:

Monday: Russian Kettle Bell Swings – 8 sets of 15 swings with 15-30 second rest between rounds
Tuesday: Box Jumps – 8 sets of 10 jumps with 15-30 seconds rest between sets
Wednesday: 15 minutes of HIIT 8MPH run for 1 minute then 5MPH jog for 2 minutes
Thursday: Squat – same routine as 1RM workout but with lower weight – currently based on a 250 lbs 1RM
Friday: 5 sets of 5 pullups and 6 sets of 10 wall balls (w/ 12lbs medicine ball) throws with 20 seconds between sets
Saturday: 15 minutes of HIIT (same as Wed)
Sunday: Active rest day – easy 5K run

This seems like a lot, but for 7 weeks it isn’t that taxing. In addition to diet, that is what my posts will consist of, writing about this workout and my progress with it over the next 49 days. I wanted to write a longer post describing the routine so I can keep the actual daily updates shorter.

This is Day 0 of 49 (Part 2).

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About DavieO

A 45-yr old (in 2015) guy that is living down south, problem is I'm from New England. Got a wife, three kids (one with autism, the other two are twins (but neither are in curls)), and a dog. We are living the good life, just barely. I'm hoping to use this as a creative outlet, being able to write about things I see, hear, view and like and things going on in my life at that point. Could be about fitness, eating, baseball, football, kids, home, life, cooking (my other creative outlet), and anything else I find amusing, interesting, or just have a few (or many) comments on.
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