I read an interesting article on programming workouts and it had a very interesting opening statement: begin with the end in mind. This is an overlooked factor by many recreational fitness enthusiasts who perform random movements at the gym with no rhyme or reason, or worse, simply read a magazine while leisurely pedaling on a stationary bike. On the other end of the spectrum a 12 week program for a dedicated athlete preparing to compete in Strongman events will be radically different from someone wishing to run a marathon.
Those of you who have been following my articles know that my goal is to live as long as I can as best as I can. With this end in mind I broke down what a workout should be into four individual parts:
1. Warm up and vestibular reset: 1-15 minutes
2. Strength Training (Testosterone): 20-30 minutes
3. Finisher with Training Mask (Growth Hormone): 10-15 minutes
4. Isometric Recovery: 5-10 minutes
This is simply ONE way to structure a workout. However, I have chosen to structure my workouts this way to achieve some very specific goals.
The warm-up will prepare the body for the for activity. The vestibular reset which is mainly accomplished through some form of cross-crawling enhances the functioning of the brain, not only for the workout, but for the 23 hours after as well.
The strength training portion will use mostly heavy singles or a 5×3 approach with heavy weights to jack up my testosterone. I have chosen to do only ONE exercise for this portion so that all my mental energy is dedicated to one movement. I find this to be extremely liberating.
Since I am healing a fractured ankle and a completely torn lateral ligament, my doctor has requested that I do not do any sprinting or movements that mobilize the ankle until I am healed. Since sprinting was one of my ways to boost Growth Hormone and stay lean I had to find an alternative. I was talking it over with a friend and he suggested barbell complexes. It was the right idea and I implemented it. I added the training mask to train the breath and it was the best thing I ever did. This portion not only addresses a way to stay lean when you can’t run, but the extra focus on the breath provided by the mask leaves me in the most peaceful and meditative state for hours on end.
Finally for recovery I will do some isometrics for 1-3 minutes, followed by specific stretches and spinal elongation.
When executed properly you show up with a plan, kick ass for 45 minutes, do some recovery and leave in one hour or less.
Here is an example of my Monday workout:
a. Joint Mobility for spine and lower body
b. March front and back 3×20, Bear Crawl front and back 3×10
c. KB Swing, Catch, Squat, Press 3×9
2. Strength: Squats (10 Heavy Singles Rest/Pause – do one rep, rest one minute, rep)
a. 135 x 5
b. 225 x 3
c. 275 x 2
d. 315 x 1
e. 315 x 1
f. 315 x 1
g. 315 x 1
h. 315 x 1
i. 315 x 1
j. 315 x 1
k. 315 x 1
l. 315 x 1
m. 315 x 1
3. Finisher: Barbell Complex with Training Mask (85lbs) 6 sets (one set equals all 4 exercises and 24 reps done without stopping) 30-60 sec rest between sets
a. BB Row x 6
b. BB Deadlift x 6
c. BB Front Squat x 6
d. BB Push Press x 6
4. Recovery: Isometrics and stretching
a. Isometric Squat with 100lb DBs on each leg 1 min
b. Gravity Boots 3min
c. Hang from pullup bar (grip and spine) 1 min
d. Stretch calves, quads, hams, and hips
For maximum recovery I am currently training on Mondays and Thursdays with a goal of walking 10,000 steps and doing mobility on my off days.
My Thursday workout was as follows:
a. 5 sets of: 1 min Bear Crawls/2 min Systema Walking (15 min total)
2. Strength: Dips (Upper body squat) 5-4-3-2-1 fashion, do 5 slow and controlled dips, stop and rest for 5 breaths, immediately do 4 reps, stop and rest for five breaths, immediately do 3 reps, etc until you get to 1 rep.
a. 5x 5-4-3-2-1
3. Finisher: Sledgehammer Swings with mask, 30 second rest between sets
a. Sledgehammer swings 6×24
4. Isometric Recovery:
a. Bar of Iron 1 minute
b. Lower Back Hang 1 min
c. Hang from pullup bar 1 min
d. Stretch chest, shoulder, back
Naturally if you keep your brain alive and functioning well through the vestibular reset and keep your testosterone and growth hormone at youthful levels through training you are nourishing and increasing your longevity.
May this inspire you to decide what your end from training is and structure your workouts to make you successful in that arena.
If you do not yet have an exercise regimen, when would be the best time to start?
Remember, your current body is the result of the way you have lived your life for the past 10 years. By the same token, your health in the next ten years will be determined by the actions you take today.