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Program Design After a Layoff

I am starting up after a long long layoff. Its been two years since I trained consistently. I am running into problems with designing a program because of work capacity.

My body cant handle multiple sets without fatigue or burning out. So for instance doing 5 times 5 program, or one six is not even possible at this point.

I have been doing 1to 2 working sets and 1 two 2 warm ups. in the rep range of 6 to 8. I no its weak, but I didn’t know what else to do.

So chest and back looked like this:
incline dbs 2 working sets

pull downs supinated ( cant chin yet) 2 working sets

incline barbell to working sets 6-8

hammer row to working sets 6-8.

Any Ideas, i’m doing c\b, legs, off shoulders arms\ off off repeat

would you put your lowerback on leg or back day if i’m squating i wouldn’t do it on chest back day?

Quick thoughts:

1 - Don’t worry about you being too weak. You haven’t worked out in a while. Go balls out with what you can do. Two sets sure is little, but if you can’t drop down to just one easy warm-up set and three sets of 5-6, stick to what you can do. What matters most is your dedication to upping your strength.

2 - Incorporate more leg-work. One lower body day and three upper body days isn’t very ideal.

3 - I speak from experience on this one: try to work on just the big, compound lifts. This is good for a number of reasons for someone in your shoes. First of all, you haven’t worked out in a while. You probably need to work out your whole body, and as many muscles as you can at once. Furthermore, you say yourself you don’t have much endurance. A four-day body split requires in general higher sets with higher reps. With three full-body workouts a week, using big compound lifts, you can focus more on lower reps and sets, but bigger weights. I think it’s ideal for someone in your situation.

After a layoff, I just do a full-body workout a couple times a week for a few weeks. This is using mostly compound movement lifts and gradually upping intensity. After the 2nd or 3rd week, I start making a “real” routine.

There is no reason to make yourself overly sore when starting back.

[quote]4est wrote:
After a layoff, I just do a full-body workout a couple times a week for a few weeks. This is using mostly compound movement lifts and gradually upping intensity. After the 2nd or 3rd week, I start making a “real” routine.

There is no reason to make yourself overly sore when starting back.[/quote]

4est is eloquent where I’m long-winded. =P

I’m just starting back this week after 6 weeks off after surgery. I feel out of shape and my abs are still tender and sore. I started ABBH on Monday, but the 10x3 just didn’t feel right - I need something more basic and a little easier for a couple of weeks. Here’s what I came up with if you’re interested. Good luck!

Monday (3x10)
pushups/bench press
military press
lunges
hammer curls

Tuesday - 20 min HIIT cardio

Wednesday (3x10)
T-bar rows
chinups
seated calf raises
skull crushers

Thursday - 20 min HIIT cardio

Friday (3x10)
squat
Stiff-legged deadlift
dips
bent over lateral raise

Weekends - long walk and/or yoga class

Thanks for the Replies guys, I didn’t even think to do full body workouts.

You will find that it won’t take very long to get to your old strength maxs.

You’ll probably want to get your work capacity up, get your heart moving. Try some form of full-body circuit training with low rest periods. It doesn’t need to be heavy, just make it as dense as possible.

Damn, this is like reading a page out of my book.

I had to take two years off. When I came back, I chose to do a machine circuit. This worked well. I always hated using machines. So, when I stopped getting so sore, I moved into compound lifts and all the good stuff.

This is a good opportunity to reprogram your body and take the time to get the movements down right.

One piece of advice:
Be kind to your joints.