T Nation

Back To Basics, Shut Up & Lift

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how do you typically structure your workouts? What do you do about tempo?[/quote]

Necessity! My workouts constantly change every week it seems. I try to stick to periodization for certain routines. But, I strictly lift based on feel and I just listen to my body on a daily basis. Same with tempo. Same with loading parameters and rep ranges. I use them all.

I lift with singles and I do as many as 50-100 reps with some bodyweight exercises, and then every rep range in between. There isn’t a whole lot of things I havn’t tried at least once to see how I would respond.

I always thought that the body doesn’t recognize(or care) about reps or weights or miles. It responds to resistance or strain and the duration of it by overcompensating and responding to those levels by adaptation… when you push your limits on what the body was able to handle before, then the adaptation occurs and you see results.

So worring about exact reps or weight is something I never do(just guidelines for types of training I may want to do). Deconditioning comes into play here.

I can receive benefits from lower thresholds that I wasn’t able to receive before if my body sees it as a threshold that’s over my limits at the time.(maybe prior I was benching more weight and hit a plateau, now this lighter weight is a threat and is enough resistance to cause adaptation) (maybe even the execution of the lift is better with the same weight causing more stress)

I lift at the speed I feel I need to lift at and alternate constantly between fast and slow speeds. I would say I do this more on a weekly basis. One week all compound explosive lifts geared more towards total body training(maybe throw in a few direct muscle training exercises on a lagging muscle). One week DE, one week ME, the next RE, then I’ll do endurance or isolation work at odd intervals.

I usually do alot of necessity work. ie… work on lagging muscles or weak points. You’ll never see me go to failure on a heavy lift but I do it probably too much on the isolation dumbbell movements. My structure is never to have one, I really do it all based on need.

Rest when I’m too drained to get a good workout(even if it means 5 days off). Work on strength when I feel I am going to plateau. Also, I do alot of cardio and endurance work when I feel this is lagging. I have no routine really. People ask me all the time what I do and I really can’t give them an answer because I do it all and it really just depends on which day you ask me.

The old saying “everything works for awhile” is pretty much what I live by. I have done the same exact methods or exercises and have gotten great results from it and other times gotten squat out of it. So I try to find out what is going to work from week to week(as long as its working i stick with it, change it up when its not working anymore).

Usually you can’t go wrong with heavy loads and lots of reps. Throw some cardio and endurance work in there so you don’t conk out in your workouts and its all gravy. Then a little isolation work for some weak points and areas that need extra attention.

Most of this is compromise. When you train for strength, your FT MU hypertrophy(gain size) and your ST MU atrophy(lose size) and you end up trading a little bit of endurance for strength. I try to maintain a good balance.

The best athletes are the ones that can maintain enough speed without losing to much of it when they train for power. Power(strength) and speed or endurance are seperate entities and to have them all is sometimes rare and hard to do. You won’t see too many powerlifters putting up good times in marathons. They don’t have the endurance. Then again, a marathon runner isn’t going to be to impressive in his/her max squat.