On many threads there have been discussions of weight training methods and the like. I was wondering if any of you have some advice for a serious lifter (the body weight exercises just don't cut it, though they are worked in) looking for a new work out program that I can more easily integrate with my partial arts practice. I lift about 4 days a week and have formal classes about 5 days a week (~7hrs).
I tend to rotate through body areas by days (Back; Chest; Arms; Legs; Shoulders, not necessarily in that order) and (currently) do about 15 sets per day not counting warm-up sets. I am not platue (sp) right now (actually getting stronger) but I don't really care if I can bench more or curl more anymore. The caveats to any proposals is that I really don't want to lose any strength, took a long time to get what I have, and I can't do squats due to back injuries (need to avoid spine compression so they won't operate again).
I really dont recommend squats. There are a few exercises that weight lifters just shouldn't do. Squats is just one of them. Any exercise that put extensive pressure on your back isnt good at all. You end up with premature symtoms of aging i.e. hunch back. Leg machines are pretty good to use instead. What really nice are those machines where you lie down on the floor and press up with your legs. Your back doesnt take up any of the weight and you wont have back problems because of it. Thigh and calves machines are pretty decent too. You dont want the leg machines where you stand up and the weight is placed on your shoulders. This is a pretty bad machine on your bachk for obvious reasons.
Are you trying to build strength or are you trying to build mass? For mass you have to continously add more weight; for strength you should do more reps.
I would be concern if you are overtraining. If you are over training then you are tearing your muscles but not letting your body repair itself. This can itself cause muscle loss.
One thing for sure you have to alter your traing regiment every few months or so. If you dont then your body will presume you are going to do the same routine and wont build. When you switch so often here and there this stresses your body to react to the new changes and build muscles.
You might want to change from free weights to wires and pulleys. Just to keep your body on edge.
I hear alot about "off periods" but I dont know how detrimental they could be. Most say they lose some muscle mass when they are on off period (which could last for a few weeks or a month?? according to some) and after you start hitting the weights back again your body is shocked into building even more muscles. Its risky if you ask me.
You could also get a good army workout manual. That doesnt use weights and works your body plythometricaly, or tension exercises etc. It depends on the exercises. I still have to do more research on that.
Hope that gives you some help. Check out some the workouts the military uses. they have some pretty good tested excercises. Scientifically tested with millions of dollars of good tax payers hard earned money.
ironmind has a product to let you do squats with no pressure on your back. is a belt that lets you hang the bar between your legs. i've never used it, but you might check it out.
plyos are great except that doing a lot of them will probably give you joint problems. i can do upper body plyos without much trouble but i don't like the lower body stuff.
I predominantly use leg machines and "uphill" sleds for legs, as I said couldn't do the squats even if I wanted to.
I do tend to make periodic changes in my work outs (aka. shock the muscles) as you mentioned, however I don't want to completely abandon free weights as I don't want to lose a lot of strength and I'm at the point where I can't just use b.w. or plyometric exercises and keep my strength up. I do a lot of push ups, pull ups and dips worked in with everything else but don't feel they'd be sufficient alone. I think the main problem is I'm rather bored and don't really want to get bigger (just under 6'1" and about 215#).
I’m pretty sure I’ve taken care of some over training problems I was having a few months back (currently in a strengthening phase) so I can start hard on a new system if I come up with one.
All this being said I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for with this thread but thanks a lot for the input. Any other big guys out there with some ideas?
Here's an article the guy I train with wrote:
btw, i'm about 176, so take my advice for what you will :)
Thanks a lot, haven't read the whole thing yet but should be able to get some good info from it. I love the standing military press (one of the pics and listed exercises), one of my favorites for sheer stupid machismo, nothing like repping 225 that way. Only do it every couple of months though compresses the hell out of my spine, probably shouldn't ever do it for that reason.
Poorboy, that's a good thing I've figured out that I'm pretty much always going to weigh 215 (pretty steady for about 4 years now, just get stronger) and the only course of action that I can take is to try and trade muscle for fat.
x, looked it over and that's just the sort of stuff I'm looking for! Thanks a lot.
I'm also going to look at the source literature (a benefit of being a grad student at a school with a good research library).
Anyone else know the work-out regimes of heavy weight mma competitors? I'm a pretty crappy ma'ist but a good lifter.
I'm a personal trainer.
And I've been studying strength training for a long , long time.
And I have to say that article was pure gold!
One more thing.
I have to say that squats/dead lifts are and absolutely amazing exercise!
They are an advanced movement. And should only be done if the trainee possesses the proper amount of core strength and joint flexibility.
I usually substitute the leg press for my clients until they obtain the proper core conditioning and motor mechanics for the squat to be performed safely.
As far as changing up a program and “shocking the body” that is referred to as intensity cycling. Something that Matt Brzckyi advocates.
As the article stated there are three different energy sources (actually four) that the body uses to create ATP. Working at different intensities utilizes different sources of fuel. Also different muscle fiber type (fast twitch ,slow twitch)
I usually begin a client with a higher volume program which includes compound movements with isolation movements. And work for muscle endurance to work the slow twitch fibers. I also focus on developing flexibility and core strength.
I also start them off on machines. Machines are good to start because
1 you can limit the range of motion if you need to
2 they are self spotting
3 they require much less isometric contraction of the core muscles (abs and spine erectors)
as I advance them into the strength phase I switch to free weights.
I then drop the iso movements and focuses on the core compound movements and maintain strict poundage progression. That is one idea of intensity cycling to work both muscle fiber types and utilize all sources of ATP production.