I spent the winter mostly focused on heavy lifting, in order to get my strength back from a few years of having to take off from any training. After about 5 months, I got it back nicely. In April, I transitioned to a training schedule that had lighter weights and more reps. I also upped my running intervals, riding and rock climbing. Here’s the schedule I have settled in on:
- I am following Mark Sissson’s plan, with some modifications. Its largely your own body weight or low weight with pretty high reps. I do chest and legs, back and legs and shoulders, respectively, on days 1, 3 and 5.
- I’ve also thrown in one set or running intervals (9×30 seconds uphill), at least one ride and one rock climbing/bouldering session.
- Same schedule on days 1, 3 and 5, but its 2 sets with a max of 15 reps. When I hit 15 reps both sets, I up the weight the next time. I also change up the exercises a bit. For example, instead of pushups in week 1, I do barbell flys in week 2.
- Like week 1, I’ve also thrown in one set or running intervals (9×30 seconds uphill), at least one ride and one rock climbing/bouldering session. Or, I might substitute the ride or run for a hike.
- Same schedule on days 1, 3 and 5, but its back to heavy weight, just like my winter schedule. I don’t want to lose strength, so will keep a week of heavy weight in the mix. I do 4 sets with a max of 5 reps. When I hit 5 reps in all 4 sets, I up the weight the next time. I also change up the exercise once again. For example, instead of barbell flys in week 2, I do a standard bench press.
- I continue in these weeks with an easy ride and rock climb, but no intervals.
I’d really like to get my max number of pushups to 50, and pullups to 12, according to Sisson’s plan. I am only about 75% there on both. The pullups is probably my biggest focus. I’ve always been weak doing them, with my long and lanky frame, and I’m a bit PO’d about it, so am really driving to hit that benchmark. When I started 6 months ago, I could only do 5; I am now up to 9.
As I’ve settled into this summer program, I’ve noticed that my top strength in week 3 has actually increased! Pretty cool. Last week was week 3, and it felt pretty easy, so I am upping the weight next time. Originally, I had thought that if I could just hold my top weight through the Summer, I’d be happy. But, now, I don’t see why I shouldn’t increase it, especially since it feels somewhat easy.
One thing I recently dumped was loading up the weight for squats. With more weight, I could not do deep squats because they put too much pressure on my back and knees. If I had a sled, I could load the weight up because sitting helps support my back and knees better. Now, my squats include pretty low weight, but I go all the way to the floor. As a result, my strength and flexibility in my hips has improved greatly and my legs feel better overall.
I plan to stick with this schedule through the summer, at least, and then change it up again in the fall.
Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.