TrainingOn the training side I have found that a three-day a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) program works well for me. I need more recovery time between training sessions so this plan gives me one or two days off between each training day.
The training plan that I follow is based on constant progression of either reps or weight. My body part split is: chest, shoulders, triceps, and back (Call it split A). And, biceps, forearms, calves, hams and quads (Call it split B). I actually have three different routines for each day. An easy way to look at it is calling it Split A workouts 1, 3 and 5 and Split B workouts 2, 4 and 6. So I have six different workouts that I rotate through. For me that means that I go through one entire rotation of all six every 14 days on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.
The idea within any particular workout is to increase your reps or weight from the last time that you used that same workout. For most of my exercise choices I use a three set rest/pause concept which equates to one extended working set after a couple of warm-up straight sets. (Editor’s note: Rather than reducing the poundage in order to extend a set, Rest Pause involves taking a set to failure and then pausing for two to three slow deep breaths, allowing for enough recovery so that you can continue on to knock out a few more reps.) I’ll give one example. If I am doing chest today the exercise might be Hammer Strength Wide grip benches. My last working rest/pause set was 385 for 8/5/3 or a total of 16 reps at 385. So today I get back to that same workout again (14 days from the last time I did it). My goal today is to either increase the total number of reps from the three rest pause sets (so aim for say 18 total reps) or I could increase the weight to 395 and then try to get the same 16 total reps. You work within a certain range of reps (for me it is usually 17-23 total reps) when you hit the top of the rep range you add weight, your reps will go down and you start the process of adding reps all over again.
There are some exercises that do not lend them selves to rest/pause style for safety reasons. Two examples would be squats/leg press or dead lifts. I still use these exercises but in a straight set style not rest paused. The main idea is to follow this constant progression approach which should equate to gains in strength and that should mean that you have added muscle. It is important to limit total training volume with this approach and to get adequate rest between training days. If you don’t do either, you will be overtraining as a natural athlete and you will not see the desired results. It is an approach that requires a log book as you would never remember what you had done 2 weeks ago without one. I have created a MS Excel spread sheet which works well for me.