I?m not one to chime in on most people?s journals and workout threads, but I have scrolled my way through plenty and one thing nearly all of them have in common is 10 or more exercises and a billion and one sets? okay I may be exaggerating, kinda?
The problem with including excessive amounts of workouts in a regiment is the quality depreciates with every extra exercise. People seem to be worried about quantity, filling up all the white space they can and make their workouts look as complex, long, and brutal appearing as possible. This is unnecessary and furthermore counterproductive to your goals.
The goal should be to limit your workout to 5 or less exercises and identifying a weight that is sufficient to maximally stimulate your muscles in every given exercise, then to stimulate your muscles in different ways you can do two things:
1) exchange/swap your exercises from one week to the next
2) Switch been Heavy and Light weight, while still maximizing muscle stimulation
Doing the above will allow you to concentrate on core movements, and move weight that maximally stimulates strength.
Next we need to look at an easy and dependable method for Identifying maximum workloads. Most people just go by ?feel,? I feel like I can bench 275, then go to 245, then 225, then some reps at 135. While I will not say that engaging in the practice of feeling your way through a workout is always bad, it definitely isn?t an optimal training method. However, it can and does result in some good workouts. But, the goal here isn?t to just ?workout? the goal is to train, and to have progress.
The benchmark for our primary lifts will utilize Prilepin?s table. A very simple table that will help us maximally work our muscles for strength
Reps / Sets
Basically what we are going to do is take a percentage of your contest max (if you don?t compete then we can take a percentage of your gym 1RM with good form) and perform the classic lifts at this percentage. Take note of the broad range of reps per set this makes possible, this is due to our variation as lifters. Some respond better to higher reps and some to lower reps? you have to be the judge of where you fall. I like to have both in my system.
Let us look at each field and generate an example before moving on. Let us say that I am benching at 55-65 percent of my max. I would therefore do sets of 3 to 6 reps and my goal would be the optimal 24 reps. So, I could do 6 sets of 4 reps, 4 sets of 6 reps, 8 sets of 3 reps. Etc.
On a personal note, if I am having a complete shit day I would keep my range at the lower end, if I am having a god like day then I would keep my range on the high end.
Let?s rewind to where I mentioned switching between heavy and light. These are relative terms based on your 1RM percentage. Light would be working 55-80% intensity and Heavy days would be 80-90+% intensity. It would be advisable to incorporate both training intensity in your regiment. So, if I am benching twice a week I could bench once at a heavy intensity and once at a light intensity. Trying to keep at least 72 hours between training times, which doesn?t always work but the general point is you want to recover and heal from your previous workout.
Following the above guidelines for your primary lifts (bench, squat, deadlift) is sure to develop raw strength and power. After performing the primary lift at the given intensity percentage you can move on to accessory work. Think of this as the ?bodybuilding? work or the things that will strengthen your primary lifts. Again, we want to keep the exercises under 5? So let us look at bench
Bench 65% 4 sets of 6 reps
Dumbbell Press 3 sets to failure [heavy]
Skull Crushers 5x5 [heavy]
Dips 3x to failure
That is a simple and complete upper body workout and notice with our accessory work we can get subjective. We can work to failure, or we can do designated sets and reps. Remember the goal is to maximally work your muscles. So when I say heavy skull crushers I want a weight that is sufficiently heavy that 5 sets of 5 reps is a brutalizing experience, maybe even requiring a spot on your last two sets to ensure you can get that last rep.
Now let?s look at a sample two week routine utilizing all the principles outlined above
Possible Accessory Movements
Hyper extensions, glute ham raise, leg curls, leg extensions, lunges