The old adage fail to plan, plan to fail is one of the truest phrases ever uttered.
It often sounds like a pile of excuses, but seriously, life has a way of just coming at you and sometimes it’s hard to juggle all the chainsaws it likes to throw.
My biggest issue this past year was my absolute inability to create a workable schedule for fitness.
In some cases, it was truly legitimate. Work has been chaotic and unpredictable this year. I’ve put in quite a few overtime hours. I went from working five-eights to four-tens in an attempt to gain some control, but I just couldn’t pin it all down.
In other cases, my energy and motivation just weren’t there. I start work at 6 am. My gym opens at 5 am. This doesn’t give me time to get in a good gym session in the morning. (Not that I really want to, mind you. My brain is super productive at this hour but my body is most definitely not.)
That being said, I was also too tired and cranky at 5 pm most of the time, as well. This last bit was purely a motivational issue. I know that, generally, once I get started with a workout, the energy presents itself. It was just getting the motivation in place.
Sometimes a change in tactics helps with this, so I shifted to weekend workouts for a couple of months. This helped me light the fuse a bit. Now I want to reclaim my evenings for the gym as it helps me keep my boredom eating under control.
I also want a little variety and room to try some different things. So, that being said, let’s take a look at the two week cycle that I have planned out.
Instead of extreme bulking/cutting phases I prefer to go with a more moderate plan that allows me to maintain enough mass to make continued strength gains while still getting rid of unnecessary fat.
Yoga is, by far, the best addition I’ve made to my fitness regimen. I do a full body workout daily, Sunday – Friday. Currently it’s the same routine, but I’d like to start mixing it up on my days off of work to stretch my limits a bit.
Also, I have a lifelong dislike of cardio, however it’s kind of extra important for me, given the fact that I’m on medically supervised testosterone therapy. So, I work some in daily but I do it in ways that make it enjoyable. For example, I’ll go on brisk nature walks, or I’ll catch up on my reading while on a stationary cycle. Additionally, I don’t ignore things like active lawn work. It takes around 7,000 steps to mow my lawn and kills two birds with one stone.
Week 1 Heavy
Lifting heavy motivates the heck out of me. I currently follow a three-set, progressive weight regimen where I go for a light first set of 8-10 reps, a heavy set of 1-3, and a medium set of 4-7. I aim for a one minute rest period between sets but I’m not overly rigid about it.
Aspirations: bench a clean 250 on the Smith machine and do 8 clean pull-ups by end of year
Week 2 Light
Admittedly, I’m less a fan of high reps. This is where the burn and discomfort come in, but it’s true – no pain, no gain. We just want it to be productive pain, not counter productive. The mode here is still progressive, with a very light first set of 18-20 reps, a heavier set of 8-10, and a medium set of 12-15. I follow very strict form through a full range of motion with deep stretches and full contractions. I also keep that rest time to one minute or less between sets.
Aspirations: get more comfortable and fluid with bodyweight exercises like lunges and push-up variations
|Sun||Prior to 5 pm: Chest & Biceps with 30 minutes relaxed cardio post weights, 1 hr of Yoga post gym|
|Mon||5 am: 1 hr Yoga, 12 pm 40 min walk, 5 pm: Legs & Shoulders with 30 minutes relaxed cardio post weights|
|Tue||5 am: 1 hr Yoga, 12 pm: 40 min walk, 5 pm: Back & Triceps with 30 minutes relaxed cardio post weights|
|Wed||5 am: 1 hr Yoga, 12 pm: 40 min walk, 5 pm: Core with 30 minutes relaxed cardio post workout|
|Thu||5 am: 1 hr Yoga, 12 pm 40 min walk, 5 pm: Circuit training or some kind of group activity/class|
|Fri||7 am: 1 hr Yoga, at some point in day 1 hr (or longer) nature walk or other fun physical activity suitable for the weather|
So here we have the exercise part of the equation planned out. The next part of the problem is actually the biggest part to solve for…nutrition.