Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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Location: Virginia

I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Monday, November 27, 2006

My Workout

This not a picture of me.
In my Thanksgiving post I mentioned how grateful I am for having learned how to workout. A friend has asked what that is. It amounts to having a philosophy, a goal and a plan. By reading many sources I have formed a workout that is baring fruit. The three that have most influenced me are Gym Jones, Dan John and Alwyn Cosgrove.

Gym Jones is a site full of articles on building strength for a purpose. There is little there to give one an idea about what is right for them, but it will inspire one to realize that one can find out.

Alwyn Cosgrove has taken a very practical approach using the data he has gleaned from training many clients at his gym in California. One article that should be read by anyone who is looking to start out is his Developing a Training Philosophy at T-Nation.

I'll throw out some theoretical numbers here. Probably around 80-90% of the population, 80-90% of the time, will respond best to total body workouts. And I'd say that maybe 90-95% of the population, 90-95% of the time, will respond best to either total body or an upper and lower split.

This is a significant statement. It fits well with the very direct information from Dan John. His site is a wealth of articels on simply getting stronger. Lots of stuff for a beginner such as myself. His mission is simple.

1. The body is one piece
2. There are three kinds of strength training
  • Putting weight overhead
  • Picking it off the ground
  • Carrying it for time and distance.
3. All training is complimentary.

From his site I chose a workout that gave me a place to start with a built in method for determining when to add weight to the bar. It goes like this:

I do a clean then from that position I do a military press. With the bar back at my chest I do a front squat. Three exercises in one. I repeat this in three sets. The first has 8 reps, the second six and the last 4. All reps must be with good form. When I can do every rep in good form at the current weight I add ten pounds the next time I do the workout. In a short ten minute workout I have done my full body and I'm very tired.

My philosophy is lift heavy but not so much that form suffers.

My goal is to get stronger. To be able to overhead squat my body weight. Look it up. It's not going to happen for a long time to come. I want to still be able to do so when I am 80.

My plan is to do a little, often, for a long time. A few exercises done properly, adding weight when necessary, over the long haul to produce regular results.

It is essential to keep a log of each workout. Here is a sample from mine:

September 27, 2006

Weight 226

8-6-4 105# Clean/Press/Front squat

2 X 10 Kettle bell swings 45#

Several Squats were bad, generally went good had strong finish. Did 10 squats at 15# to check form. Need to do some light work to fix form.

Volume 2790

One can't be sure of progress without a log.

If one has no weights, find something heavy, a bag of sand, a bucket of gravel or a rock. Pick it up, put it over your head, carry it for time or distance. The important thing is to do a little often for a long time.

I hope this answers the question but also raises others.

In four months I am overhead Squatting half my body weight.





Anonymous brokengun said...

Wow! That certainly provides a starting point. It takes a logical and balanced approach. Who woulda thought it takes brains to build brawn?

10:29 PM  

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