For a bit of background - I’ve been lifting for about 6 years on and off. I’ve made OK progress in terms of my larger goals (fat loss/strength/general fitness), but I have been flaky and inconsistent with a few significant and nagging injuries both in and out of the gym and some major life changes to mix shit up as well.
I’ve made it my mission that 2013 is going to be the year of undeterred progress and consistency, in the gym, in the kitchen, in life as a whole.
I’ve come to a lot of conclusions regarding my own weight lifting, the biggest is that two very typical sort of beginner/intermediate splits do not work for me - the basic 5x5 3 times a week template leads me way too quickly to over all burn out, and once a week body building type splits tend to exacerbate existing injuries to shoulders, elbows, knees and low back. For the past 8 weeks I’ve been working with a variety of upper/lower and push/pull layouts, and I think I’ve finally hit on a winner for my own personal goals and needs.
Goals: For the sake of keeping goals specific and measurable, my goal at the moment is to follow this program, accurately recording every workout for a minimum of 16 weeks. I’ve programmed in a few “shifts” in terms of exercise selection and set/rep schemes to try to head off stagnation, but the basic template will be the law. That’s it. If I make progress, great, I’ve got a proven winner - if I don’t well, at least I’ve proven that I’m on the way to making this a year of consistency.
The set up: This is an upper/lower split, with two upper days and two lower days a week. I’ll be doing LSS or HIIT type cardio on off days (depending on energy levels), as well as after upper body workouts if I’ve still got gas in the tank. Each workout is designed to provide balance between pushing/pulling or anterior/posterior muscle groups. On the whole I’m putting more emphasis on the posterior muscles because a) that’s where I need the most work and b) if I don’t I wind up with busted shoulders and knees.
The Details: Each workout will revolve around two “big money” lifts, one done for 5x5 and one done for 3x8. On Upper days the 5x5 lift will be followed by an all in drop set of the same exercise. One upper day will lead with a “push” exercise, the other will lead with a “pull”. The two lower days will essentially be identical, but I will rotate the strength emphasis with each workout. I’ll be using a variety of pre hab and accessory lifts to keep things focused on my specific weak spots and injury prone areas.
I will swap out accessory lifts as needed depending on equipment availability/how I’m feeling/stagnation, and I will rotate main lifts at around 4-6 weeks. I’m not programming any direct arm work - but I hit arms on pretty much every “off” day depending on how my shoulders and elbows feel. I may decide to record these mini workouts, but I will continue to do them instinctively and not pre program.
Stats: These are from the first week of this program, I’ll follow up at week 8 and will try to include some pictures as well.
Weight 204 lbs
L. Bicep 14.5"
R. Bicep 14.5"
L. Quad 22.5"
R. Quad 23"