There is already a sticky for individual exercises, but this is for those who have something a bit more complicated than a few random exercises here and there.
Whether you are involved in a sport, need to be in shape for work, are trying to lose weight, are trying to keep weight off, are trying to bulk up, or just want to sport an 8 pack, let's see what everyone is doing. Don't feel the need to write a freaking novel like I do, I can't help it lol. I love fitness, and when I start writing I don't tend to stop :/ Be as brief or as long winded as you'd like, and lets see if we can't learn something from each other.
That said:What are the goals you hope to obtain through your fitness routine, and what is that fitness routine?
My goals are as follows:
1. Score of 275+ out of possible 300 on my biannual Army physical fitness test, but preferably exceed the maximum requirements in all categories for a score of 300. For my age group this means 75 push-ups in 2 minutes, 76 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and 2 mile run in 13:18. Note that I am not a fan of conventional sit-ups. They are not only an inferior exercise in regards to core development, but place unnecessary strain on the hip flexors. The only time I actually do sit-ups is when doing the fitness test itself.
2. Have exceptional climbing strength. Though my days of rappelling from helicopters are, more than likely, over and done with, to be honest I just enjoy being kind of a show off on a rope, pull-up bar, or gymnastic rings.
3. Have exceptional aerobic and muscular endurance. This is critical for my needs in the Army, for my goal of taking part in the next Tough Mudder competition that comes to Montreal, and just basically useful in general.
4. Powerful and explosive striking power. Though not currently actively involved in martial arts, I was involved in some local san da (Chinese kickboxing) competitions while living in Las Vegas. I also often travel to some pretty shady countries from time to time and just like to know that I can defend myself if necessary. I do so by maintaining my ability to drop bombs and deliver quick knockouts. And who knows, I may even get back into some minor competition if my girlfriend approves lol…
Currently, my routine is based off a 50 day routine pulled from “Never Gymless” by Ross Enamait. Each week consists of a combination of integrated circuit training, isometrics, strength training, core training, and interval training followed by one or two days of rest. I may still go out and do physical activities on rest days, but I don’t specifically train.
More specifically, here’s how a typical week goes:
• Integrated Circuit Training: Done once per week. Though relatively short, ICT drills are intense, so I do them on the first day after the break. They consist of endurance training exercises done in rapid succession, with little or no rest between exercises. About 10 to 20 minutes of maximum intensity muscular and aerobic endurance training, at the end of which my body should be screaming. If it’s not, then it means I need to bump up either the difficulty of the exercises or the intensity with which I do them.
• Isometrics: I do these as a form of strength training, and it is best explained like this. If you push against a wall, it’s not going to move no matter how hard you push. If you can slowly work yourself through an entire range of motion utilizing this principle, you are essentially working that range of motion with infinite resistance. Very useful for developing fast twitch muscle fiber. This is one of the techniques Bruce Lee is rumored to have used to develop his devastating strikes, including his famed 1 inch punch. I used them to develop my kicks and elbow strikes (I prefer to avoid punching, as even successful punches tend to lead to broken hands if you’re not wearing gloves).
• Strength training: Twice per week. This includes both maximal-strengh and explosive-strength training. Nothing revolutionary here. Again I focus on pulling strength and prefer to avoid free weights out of a need for the convenience of being able to work out outside or while traveling, but if you want to model your own routine after mine, any gym based resistance training workout designed to fit your needs so long as it involves high resistance with low repetition.
• Core training: Twice per week, same days as strength training. Again nothing revolutionary, any standard routine will do. Standing rollouts using an ab wheel, Russian twists for developing rotational power (again for developing strikes), and leg lifts from a pull-up bar or gym rings are among my favorites.
• Interval training: The goal is similar to the ICT done on the first day of each week, just done utilizing a different workout protocol.
Here’s what I’ve got for this week. I have my workouts planned out in detail a month or two in advance.
ICT – 100 jumps with jump rope as fast as possible, 10 plyometric pushups, 15 medicine ball slams, and 20 lateral jumps over the medicine ball, all done in succession with maximum intensity and no breaks or pauses, then take a very short break (no more than 30 seconds, less if possible), then repeat the routine. Repeat 8 times.
Isometrics – Using various immoveable objects ranging from walls to rope tied to the wall, work through thigh kick range of motion. Hard to explain, but I’ll give it a shot. For the first step, I might tie put my foot behind the corner of a wall and push, as hard as I possibly can, as if I were going to deliver a kick but with the wall in my way. After pushing against it for 20 or 30 seconds, find another immoveable object that allows me to do the same thing, but perhaps 10% into the range of the motion of the full kick, perhaps by wrapping a rope around my leg and attaching it to something stationary. After working through the full range of motion, take a short rest and repeat for a total of 5 repetitions.
Strength (maximal + endurance) – Rope climbing. To turn rope climbing into a maximal strength training workout (as opposed to endurance), I usually just add enough weight that I can only make maybe 5 to ten pulls up the rope before I have to lower myself down, and that is what I originally had on my plan for yesterday. I tried something different as an experiment, however. I put on a weight belt and instead of attaching weights, I attached two 80 lb chains, which I left coiled on the ground. This allowed me to begin climbing with relatively little weight, but as it uncoiled, added a few pounds with each pull up the rope. Once I felt myself nearing muscle failure, I began lowering myself down, which inversely began lowering the amount of weight I was lowering until I got back to the ground.
Core: Russian twists with medicine ball – Perform until muscle failure, rest 90 seconds, repeat. 5 sets.
Interval Training – For interval training, early this morning I went to a trail in some woods near my house and tied my gymnastic rings on some tree branches, and then paced roughly 50 meters from the rings and put a mark for my pushup location. The workout was as follows: 10 muscle-ups on the rings, 50 meter sprint at maximum speed towards the mark, 10 plyometric pushups on the mark, run backwards to the rings, repeat. Continuous, without any rest stops whatsoever, for 15 minutes.
Isometrics – Same as Monday, but working through the range of motion I would use in delivering an elbow to the side of the head.
Strength (explosive) – Weighted piston squats. One legged squats wearing a 60 lb vest (or backpack). The key to making them explosive and thus activating the reclusive fast twitch muscle fibers, which are typically reserved for emergency use during an adrenaline rush, is to push with maximum force and effort, as hard and quick as I can, for each repetition as opposed to focusing on form and rhythm. Form is important, thus I would suggest first becoming very proficient at doing any given exercise with good form before incorporating it into an explosive strength workout. Squats are done wearing a 60 lb vest on one leg, alternating from right to left after each repetition. 20 reps, 5 sets, 90 seconds rest between sets.
I might do some kicks and elbows on a heavy bag, but no specific workout planned.
Saturday and Sunday:
Disclaimer: Nothing I do was created completely by me. I utilize a set of exercise physiology books from the NSCA, and have a few books more specific to my agenda from boxing coach Ross Enamait. If anyone is interesting in doing the same type of routine I do, I highly recommend Ross's line, which can be found at www.rosstraining.com
, especially Never Gymless (if you prefer bodyweight exercises) or Infinite Intensity (if you have regular access to a fully stocked weight room).