The return of the belly-slayers.
Oh yes indeedy, this is the week that training, diet and positive mental attitude locked together in perfect synchronicity. Dave’s Big Belly was once again in the crosshairs and the finger of fate was tightening it’s grip on the trigger of truth.
I think that I’ve finally got the balance between training hard and allowing enough time to recover. It’s not easy but what the past month of training far less has taught me is that as long as your muscles/fitness/power/strength are tested – and tested hard – then you don’t need to do much more for them except sit back and rest. Get in, lift hard, get out of breath, get out, eat some meat.
The format of my current sessions are as follows; warm up, strength training, conditioning, finish.
The warm up is a 5 min run followed by some specific mobilisation.
Then I do 3-5 sets of basic heavy lifting. As I can train whenever I want I’ve decided to follow a bastardised version of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. On day 1 – squat. Day 2 – bench. Day 3 – overhead press. Day 4 – deadlift. As far as reps and stuff it also follows alternate take on the 5/3/1 pattern. Week 1 – 5 reps. Week 2 – 3 reps. Week 3 – work up to a single. Week 4 – 10 reps. Then just repeat the whole damn thing again.
The other difference from a traditional 5/3/1 program is that I’m not working to exact percentages but playing fast and loose with the weights. I’ve been training for yonks and I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I can lift on any given day. At my great and venerable age variables like sleep, food, how beat up I’m feeling and what time of the day I train can all have an effect on what I can lift. However I would urge you all in reading Jim’s book and following the protocols laid down within like it’s dogma from the Lord himself.
For conditioning I’m doing full-body circuits with weights until I feel like I wanna die. I’ve stolen an idea from a great strength and conditioning writer called Dan John who recommends that you train movement patterns rather then body parts. The human body has 6 distinct movements: squat, push, pull, hinge, carry and twist. So what I’ve been doing is picking 1 exercise for each one of the movements and performing them as some kind of circuit.
A circuit with a kettlebell might be; squat, press, snatch, swing, farmers walk and turkish get up. The reps and weights could be anything you want.
Barbell circuit – front squat, bench press, bent over row, romanian, overhead lock out and hold, jammers.
Bodyweight circuit – squat jumps, press ups, chin ups, burpees, plank, 50m sprint.
The truth is you could do anything at all. Just pick some grueling, beastly exercises and slam through them with no regard for your own safety or wellbeing.
On Thursday I trained with the long-suffering Wifelet, which is always a joy.
Warm up – 5 min run
Military press – 5 sets of 5 reps @ 20/40/50/60/70kg (wifelet did less 20/22.5/25/30/32.5kg)
Kettlebell jerks – 3 mins of jerks with 2 x 16kg bells (8kg for Zoe) this was quite unpleasant
More running – 30 seconds on 30 seconds off @ 15kmph for 5 mins.