How I Train, Part 2 - Lifting
As noted yesterday, I have divided my training into 3 parts: lifting, conditioning (or what I call "Self-Abuse due to Catholic Upbringing") and stretching/mobility. Each of these three things are the base of any program, no matter who you are. There may be other things that you have to train (for example an football player will have speed work, skill work, etc). But the three things things that form my base are lifting, conditioning and stretching/mobility. In my programming, I have decided to give equal weight to all three for a more balanced approach. Sure, my heart is, and always will be to lift heavy things. But I cannot neglect the two other portions. Today I will give a detailed example of the lifting portion of my training.
I lift weights twice per week - each session is divided simply like this:
Between the squats and deadlifts, I perform sets of chin/pull-ups, 3-5 sets of unweighted work and the rest is usually with weight. Reps fall between 5-15. Between the press and the bench press, I do either the Hungarian Core Blaster (pictured, which is nothing more than a cheap version of a KB swing) or T-Bar rows. Sets are usually 5, reps are usually 10-20. Squats are done with a Buffalo Bar (also pictured), deadlifts with a deadlift bar, and all pressing is done with a FBall bar (also known as a Swiss bar). This is the most comfortable bar for me to use after shoulder surgery.
After that, 1-2 sets of ab wheel, neck and various shoulder rehab work is done. I do not time my workouts or rest periods - I just aim to get the work in and do it correctly. I do the basic 5/3/1 program but switch the first and second weeks. As you can see, the workouts are not terribly complex but focus on the main lifts and a few assistance lifts/rehab. I am very focused on the main lifts and each set - no set is taken for granted and I demand focus and attention on each rep. I do not waste my time in the weight room. I'd rather have a great workout on a few things than an average workout on a lot of exercises. Each workout starts with a basic warm-up of dynamic and static stretching and PVC rolling.
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