A Week of Workouts with Me
- 5×5 Lifting
- Biking, Swimming, Running for future Half-Ironman
- 20-25miles put on the Pedometer at Work a week
- 5min Yoga/Stretch Prior to Bed
After a recent struggle with muscle wasting and overtraining, I began doing a 5×5 weight lifting program 1-2 times a week utilizing different variations of the program and a more minimalist training protocol after listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. The 5×5 program is a great program for building muscle, but I have a fundamental background in the lifts of squat, snatch, clean, and some other Olympic lifts that can cause injury if done improperly. I don’t recommend doing these exercises with heavy weight (or any weight) to start until working with someone that is certified or at a minimum experienced with these lifts. Since starting this program I have gained muscle while maintaining my ability to do aerobic exercises through balancing these with higher intensity, shorter triathlon specific workouts. I try to do at least 2 running, 2 biking, and 2 swimming workouts a week. I do one sprint workout for each area. For running, this commonly consists of an up-tempo 4 mile run or a sprint workout at the track consisting of sprints (100m-400m) and Plyometrics. I also do one longer workout for each category per week like swimming 1000m at a comfortable pace, or an hour long run or bike ride. I have been utilizing shorter more intense workouts lately after hearing about Ben Greenfield’s success with his “Minimalist” approach to ironman training. I have a goal to do a Half-Ironman next August; and hope to actually gain some muscle without losing endurance in the next year because of my recent muscle wasting.
I began doing the P90X Yoga DVD weekly my junior year in college after I started to truly realize the importance of stretching and recovery to physical health. There are also mental/spiritual benefits of Yoga as well; I feel less stressed after a Yoga session. I usually do the 1st 32 minutes of the P90X DVD 1-2 times per week now; I actually just did a Yoga session prior to writing this post a day after doing a 5×5 workout session that resulted in waking up pretty sore (I’m trying to listen to my body better). Every night before I go to bed I foam roll for a couple minutes and then do a 5 minute basic Yoga routine to mainly stretch out by spine prior to bed. I was introduced to foam rolling (a great recovery trick) during my collegiate football days and utilize it 5-10 minutes a day; sometime before and/or after exercise and before bed.
A tough aspect of my everyday health is properly calculating and meeting my nutrient demands because I walk 20-25 miles a week at work, which adds additional demands that many people don’t have. I have read and researched about what others do for their nutrition, physical activity, and balancing the two for optimal health. I tried to do exactly what these experts, like Abel James and the Jeminet’s, preach. The length of my intermittent fasting, increased nutritional demands, as well as aspects of exercise (length, intensity, and recovery) all have to be considered in my weekly exercise and nutritional regimen. Early on this year, I was doing too much physically that lead to fatigue and muscle wasting; I was running 20-25miles a week preparing for a half-marathon, lifting about 3 hours a week in an attempt to keep explosive muscle from my collegiate football days, and walking 20-25 miles a week as an Registered Nurse. I was doing all this while experimenting with a low-carbohydrate diet that ended up being too low and introducing intermittent fasting into my lifestyle. The recent changes I’ve made have increased my energy, athleticism, stopped muscle-wasting, and allowed me to maintain my endurance as I continue to recover from overtraining. This is just another example of why You have to find what works for You.
A 5×5 Lifting program is based around 3 primary lifts: Squat, Bench, and Clean. The program is built around these 3 lifts (and their variations) because these lifts utilize multiple muscle groups. The traditional program is a 3-day a week lifting program where you do each exercise 5 sets of 5 reps on each lifting day; going extra hard on 1 of the 3 lifts per day. For example, go hard on Squats Monday, Bench Wednesday, and Clean Friday; but still do 5×5 of the other two lifts all 3 days. At StrongLifts there are great variations to the 3 lifts that include more and other muscle groups, which is very important especially with bench which is not a very functional lift. This program has been shown to work in terms of gaining strength for many people throughout the years. If you are looking to lose weight utilizing circuit training and body weight exercises are great ways to do so. I still try to do one body-weight and resistance band (TRX, Bodylastics) workout per week; which when done in a circuit format includes a cardio aspect.
A triathlon is a race usually consisting of swim, bike, and then run challenging people in a variety of exercises. There are other versions of triathlons that can include things like rowing and distances of triathlons vary. The Ironman is possibly the ultimate triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile (Marathon) run. The extreme distance of an ironman usually consists of great amounts of training and wear on the physical body.
Yoga is an Eastern art that has been used for thousands of years in Asia and has many variations. Although yoga has been done for thousands of years, it has most recently become popular amongst athletes and Western countries due to the proven benefits of improved strength, flexibility, reduced stress, better sleep, improved posture, and others.