Let’s Talk Details
1. The Plan
2. Your Job
Pull Ups (Key)
Pistol Squat (Key)
Wall Pushups (Key)
Your “Key” and “Isometric” Exercises are the ones you want to focus on.
Key Exercises – these are the most important movements. They will apply to the best bodyweight exercises and overtime you how to move correctly, confidently, and pain-free.
Isometric Exercises – Make sure to flex your muscles hard to get practice activating your entire body. The more stable you can get in these positions, the more it will carry over into the Key exercises of the next few weeks and then next few blocks.
Our Goal – Use these Key and Isometric Exercises to build up to performing more difficult exercises. In particular, push ups and bodyweight squats with stellar form.
If the exercises are too hard: I recommend adding more support to assist you or anything to make the movement easier. Your range of motion and form will improve over time so start where you are at and know that you will get to where you want to be overtime if you stick to the plan!
If the exercises are too easy: I recommend making them more difficult by making the position more challenging and forcing yourself to recruit more muscle. You also can add weight if you need to which can be increased week after week in a methodology known as “linear progression”.
I would recommend you take a video of you doing your top set from one or two different angles to track your progress on your form.
Any lifts that are not key are accessory movements that are not the priority of progression. Use them to pump blood into the muscles and develop a better mind-muscle connection to get the most out of each rep for growth.
Super refers to superset. When you finish the first exercise, immediately start the set for the next exercise. Make sure to push yourself!
If you need to change any exercises: (if you lack access to equipment)
- Try to use similar movements. Identify the muscles you are working with the exercises you want to replace and use a movements you prefer which target the same muscles.
- If you have access to gym equipment, feel free to substitute exercises that you prefer with equipment you have.
For more Progress:
- Do more cardio and activity throughout the week. This will improve your work capacity to do more volume (sets & reps) to make more progress faster.
- Stretch daily. If you can make your body move well, you will be able to get better at all movements much faster. Try stretching at the beginning and end of the day.
- Build up to High Intensity. Start small and build towards pushing yourself hard. Learning how to move your body with maximum effort is a skill that takes practice and is the best way to build a strong body.
General Fitness Terminology & Lingo:
- Exercises – a movement that provides resistance for a muscle to work against.
- Isometrics – a static movement that is counted by time which engages muscles
- Form – the best way to perform an exercise to simulate the muscles while protecting the joints
- Weight – a generic term for ‘resistance’ which is the opposite force which the muscle contracts against to overcome in an exercise.
- Reps – Short for “Repititions”; Used for counting dynamic movements (ex: pushup) by completion of both the concentric (contracting the muscle – usually the lifting phase of an exercise) and eccentric (lengthening/stretching the muscle – usually the lowering phase of an exercise).
- Rep Range – the ideal number of repititions to complete in an exercise for a strategic reason.
- Sets – a group of reps; used to count the number of time you perform reps of an exercise. Given sufficient weight, this is the primary driver of muscle growth.
- Volume – the total number of sets you are doing. High volume training is a type of training where you are doing a lot of work, but you may also by accumulating a lot of fatigue. This is why high volume training can be built up to but is not necessarily sustainable year round.
- Rest Periods – the time between finishing a set and doing the next set.
Stay in a Good Spot this Block
You want to add just enough sets and resistance to feel like you worked out, but it is not quite a challenge yet. You want a solid workout where you leave feeling accomplished.
Plan your workout and write down the weight, sets, and rep range in the Workout Plan PDF to get you ready for Week 2.
The rep range will be the same. The only difference is that you may not be at the top of the rep range this week. This means you should still strive to hit 12 reps on key lifts and 15 reps on accessory lifts.
I encourage you to pick a single weight for your working sets for each exercise. As you add more sets, you will notice that on the last set, your reps are most likely to be the lowest.
As long as your last set is still in the rep range, this performance drop is okay and expected as your muscles get depleted. Make sure you choose a weight that allows you to be at the top of the rep range for most (if not all) of your working sets. RIR 3 is the goal for each of your sets, however, it is possible that your last set may get closer to RIR 2.
Stay away from RIR 1! You do not want to build fatigue too fast. It is better to have the reps drop and stay in the rep range. Achieving RIR 3 takes priority over staying at the top of the rep range.
Try to do the fewest amount of sets you need to get a good pump in the muscle. However, if you need more to feel a pump then this is the week to do a little more.
Do enough sets where you struggle to maintain RIR 3 on your last set of each key lift. This is a great way to measure your effort to make sure that you are not going too hard too early but also that you are not taking it too easy.
Week 2 is the Goldie Lochs week. We want just enough but not too much volume. However, you may be able to tolerate more volume than the previous block if you recovered well. Consider doing slightly more work if you think your body can handle it and if you are doing a good job managing stress in your life.
It is important to rest a little longer when the resistance is greater. If you struggle to maintain RIR 3 on your sets, you may need to rest a little longer between sets.
However, whenever your rest is shorter it does have the advantage of giving you a better pump and it prevents you from lifting too heavy, so you can do more sets in the same time span without giving excessive fatigue.
Above all else: Make sure your rest periods are not too short where it compromises your form!
Fill out the table with your expected weights and sets before you go workout, so you have a clear mission. Then adjust based on actual performance.
Here’s how I would fill it out for a workout:
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