Sunday, 29 January 2012

The lean bulk (training phase 4)

The final week of my lean bulk has arrived…and this week is all about recovery! After an intense ‘all out’ block of training, once in a while it is a good idea to take a step back and let your body re-charge. You could sit around and do nothing, but I want to do some light work to get the blood into the muscles which will flush them through bringing vital nutrients for recovery. I am going to be focusing heavily on flexibility and mobility this week (a factor that is often lost from tight muscles due to heavy, intense weight training) so plenty of stretching and foam rolling going on. This also means there is only one gym session involved this week, meaning the rest of the work can be done in the comfort of your own home. I think it’s also nice to get a break from the same drab environment of the gym I’ve spent the last 10 weeks in etc. diet and supplements will remain the same as previous weeks.
Ok, so here is the weekly split:
·         Foam rolling session (home)
·         Density training session (gym)
·         Mobility session (home)
·         Stretching session (home)

Day 1: foam rolling session
Spend approx. 120 seconds on each area including calves, quads, hamstrings, IT band, erector spinae and lats.

Day 2: 20 minute density training session
(To review my previous article on density training check out http://fitinfivehundredwords.blogspot.com/2011/11/density-training.html)
To sum it up you pick 5 exercises which you perform in a circuit fashion, your aim is to get as many sets as you can complete in the 20 minute session.
The exercises I will be using for this weeks session are:
A.      seated pause 30” box jump (0kg/15 reps)
B.      overhead squat (10kg/15 reps)
C.      DB bench press (22kg/15 reps)
D.      bent over BB row (40kg/15 reps)
E.       med ball slam (0kg/20 reps)

Day 3: mobility session
Spend aprox. 120 seconds on each drill, starting small and increasing range of motion.

1. Shoulder circles
2. Spinal rotation
3. Hip circles
4. Side to side lunge
5. Ankle circles

Day 4: stretching session
hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Feel the stretch, but don’t try and tear the tendons from bone!
1.       Calf stretch
2.       Lying quad stretch
3.       Lying hamstring stretch
4.       Seated inner thigh stretch
5.       Seated chest stretch
6.       Seated lat stretch
7.       Seated deltoid stretch


My next post will be a summary of how I thought this lean bulk programme went and my overall results and final weigh in etc. have i achieved all my goals i set out 10 weeks ago?...watch this space to find out!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The lean bulk (training phase 3)

6 weeks down 4 to go!...I’m so surprised how quickly this programme is going. During this post I’ll present all the workouts for phase 3 of my lean bulk. Once again each workout is warmed-up with the ‘barbell warm-up complex’ and mobility drills, which I presented in a previous blog post back in September 2011. I’m using a 4 day a week split, which I’ve put together using the template I talked about in my previous blog post back in October 2011 called “the push/pull formula”. The spit is as follows:
·         Explosive exercise, push, abs
·         Explosive exercise, pull, abs
·         Explosive exercise, push, arms
·         Explosive exercise, pull, abs
You’ll notice I’ve dropped arms training back to once a week now. As I find my arms respond really well when I take a step back and not train them as much. On the other hand abs are now being hit 3 times a week and each workout starts with an explosive exercise of some kind (all of which are great for getting your heart rate fired up and your bodies neuromuscular system turned on for the rest of the workout). Once again no calves training due to the work they get from the explosive exercises.
Reps during this phase are between 4-8, which is more in the strength range. So the focus is all about getting as much weight possible on the bar with good form for the desired amount of reps. Ok, so here are all the workouts. I’ve also included some short video clips of exercises you may not have heard of before.
Day 1: explosive exercise, push, abs
Exercise
sets
reps
notes
Power clean
4
1-3

Snatch grip deadlift
4
4-8
Perform on a raised platform for greater range of motion, but be warned – you’ll be plagued with DOMS the next day!
Fatgripz incline DB press
4
4-8
Use low incline
TRX handstand press-up
4
4-8

Hanging windshield wiper
3
4-8

Fitness slide seal walk
3
5-10 metres
Resist the urge for your spine to drop. See video clip for demonstration

Day 2: explosive exercise, pull, abs
Exercise
sets
reps
notes
TRX muscle-up
4
1-5
If you’re proficient enough perform on a straight pull-up bar. See image for demonstration.
Split leg good morning
4
4-8
Same as standard BB good morning, just take a staggered stance. Then switch feet
Pendlay rows
4
4-8
A reverse grip BB row from a dead stop off the floor. Focus on ripping the bar off the floor
1 arm lat pulldown
4
4-8

Cable twist
3
4-8

3 point supine bridge
3
30-60 sec.
A bridge on your back on your feet and elbows. Raise one foot off the floor

Day 3: explosive exercise, push, arms
Exercise
sets
reps
notes
Power snatch
4
1-3

DB step-up
4
4-8
Use 18” box
BB bench press
4
4-8

DB push press
4
4-8

Fatgripz Zottman curl
4
8
Superset with below exercise
Rope press down
4
8


Day 4: explosive exercise, pull, abs
Exercise
sets
reps
notes
Jump squat
4
5
Add weight if needed
Reverse hyperextension
4
4-8

1 arm DB row
4
4-8

Fatgripz pull-up
4
4-8

Reverse cable woodchop
3
4-8
See video for demonstration
TRX rollout
3
fail


TRX muscle-up:


fitness slide seal walk and reverse cable woodchop:

video

That’s all for now! But i'll be back in 3 weeks with the workouts for phase 4, which is an active recovery week. Then a final ‘wrap-up’ and progress check to finish.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The lean bulk (phase 2 progress check)

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, I certainly did. In this post I’ll just give a quick rundown of my progress and how I thought phase 2 of my lean bulk went…
The main thing is I’ve still got abs (despite my Christmas blowout) and I’m now weighing in at 72.2KG which means I’ve gained 1KG in the past 3 weeks, which is great news. It does sound a lot, but I did eat my fair share of junk food over Christmas. My upper chest, shoulders and hamstrings are all looking much thicker which I’m happy with. Another thing I achieved was to power clean 80KG for 2 consecutive reps. This means I’ve just got to work up 1 more rep during phase 3 to hit my goal.
However not everything went to plan - I did miss a total of 3 workouts over the last 3 weeks just down to my busy schedule and the gyms shorter opening times. My legs and oblique’s aren’t looking as lean any more either, but never the less it hasn’t seemed to of had much of an impact on my progress.
During phase 3, once again I will be using a 4 day push/pull split. Exercises will be changed slightly (which you will see when I post them up) and the rep range is between 4-8. This means I am in more of a strength phase now, so the focus is really going to be all about packing as much weight on the bar as possible. I will also be adding in kre-alkalyn creatine to my supplement regime which should really help with these strength goals. That was short and sweet, but I’ll be back in the next few days with my entire workouts for phase 3.