So I thought I had better go through what my plan is around my workouts. Now I don’t profess to be a PT or an expert in strength & conditioning etc. but I think I have a good fundamental awareness of what to do and how to achieve certain things through my personal experience over the years, reading and learning from PT friends.
I would definitely advise people to check out sites such as bodybuilding.com, which has a whole host of workout plans that you can stick to as well as tons of articles on all aspects of fitness, strength, nutrition etc. as well as a comprehensive store for supplements. This is what I have always used to give me ideas for workouts and get me motivated.
I am going to be taking the idea of microcycles as a general theme into my plan but I don’t really have a time limit or goal date set at this point in time. I want to gain functional muscle and strength, so I want to work out with that aim in mind rather than to just look big.
Microcycles are essentially phases in the workout plan to ensure the muscles are being challenged in different ways and you are hitting the three aims – Strength, Endurance, Hypertrophy (muscle size).
With this in mind, each week or maybe 2 weeks I am going to assign as a microcycle, with exercises focused on achieving one of the 3 categories.
- Strength – achieved with heavier weight and lower rep ranges, with longer rest in between sets e.g. 5 reps for 5 sets with a 2 mins rest in between
- Endurance – this is your muscle stamina, which just like cardio you improve by going for longer. So in this case you would do a lighter weight but for a lot more reps e.g. 15 reps for 3 sets with maybe 60 secs in between
- Hypertrophy – this is what the majority of gym goers want, muscle size. They want to look bigger and feel good about their body when looking in the mirror or have people commenting on their improved muscles. This is achieved with a weight that you can hit between 8-12 reps when resting around 60-90 seconds
First cycle I am focusing on Hypertrophy to get me into it. Then I am going to go for Strength and then Endurance. Rinse and repeat until I feel I have plateaued or get bored and want to change it up.
One of my life goals is to be able to do certain bodyweight exercises (calisthenics) such as the human flag, muscle up, front lever, handstand pushup. Mainly because I think they are proper cool and very impressive, taking incredible strength, focus and control. So once I feel that I have achieved a certain level with the microcycles above, I will start working more and more calisthenics into my workouts.
I will put my workouts up every day and will aim to put up my nutrition too to keep track. Will also be taking progress photos and daily weigh-ins to see how the changes are manifesting themselves.