Monday, March 24, 2014

TRAINING ON A TIGHT SCHEDULE

In the near future my schedule is going to most likely become incredibly compromised, and it’s going to necessitate that I make changes to how I train.  Unlike some, I will not see this as an invitation to stop training entirely, but what it will do is force me to prioritize the things in my training that are the most valuable and the things in my training that can stand to be removed or relocated.  Here, I intend to document my approach and philosophy to this type of training in the hope that you will be able to benefit from this and be able to utilize it during your own schedule crunches.

I will still be operating off of my current approach to training (the “Mythical Strength Method”, as previously documented).  With this frame work, here is how training/prioritization will break down.

1:Warm-up
-Light sets of the main lift that day.  No foam rolling/stretching/mobility (time poorly spent).

2: Primary/heavy lift of the day
-1 big set w/rest pause.  ROM progression style with a deload every 8 weeks, as per the original program.

3: 5 set drop set of similar movement
-IE: If I benched for the primary lift, we do a bench drop set, starting at 225 for 10, then dropping to 185, 135, 95, and the bar for 10.  Similar approach for squats.  Deads will be followed by a squat variation, since drop set deads tend to be dangerous in my personal experience.  This will necessitate strategic plate loading to ensure minimal time between sets.  Additionally, linear progression will still be the goal with these, so each week, add 5lbs or another rep to each set.

Call it a training day at that.  By my estimate, that should last roughly 20-30 minutes and still get me a great amount of volume and strength work.  This would be trained 3 days a week, with a day for squat, deadlift, and either press or bench (honestly don’t know which I am going to prioritize at this point).  You may recognize part 3 of the day as coming out of my article on “salvage workouts”, as this will most likely be a long term salvage workout approach, but I think significant gains can still be made with this approach.

With this being 3 days of training a week, I still intend to have a 4th day of lifting, and this is going to be the day wherein I fit in all the assistance work I’ve neglected throughout the week.  The day will be “full body”, but no heavy competition lifts, just lots of stuff for volume.  I think a basic template could be

1: 100 chins

2: 5x10 reverse hyper

3: 5x10 ghr

4: 100 curls/tricep extensions

Also crucial to this approach would be acquiring volume through small spurts of daily exercises.  I plan to keep a resistance band by the bed so I can hammer out some band pull aparts/dislocations before bed and when I wake up.  Grease the groove can also be valuable in this case, since I have a power tower in my garage and can knock out quick sets of dips and chins each day whenever I pass it.  Additionally, the tabata protocol will be huge for my non-lifting days in terms of getting in more volume in a 4 minute burst.  Tabata log clean and press goes a long way toward making me exhausted and getting more overhead press volume, same with safety squat bar squats and front squats.

This entry is rambling and personal, but here are the overall lessons that can be taken from it.

1: There is always a way to train.  It’s not necessarily ideal, but it exists.

2: Volume doesn’t have to happen all in one training session.  It can be accumulated gradually throughout the week in small spurts.

3: Conditioning is a great time to get in extra training volume for the things you are weak on.

4: Drop sets are probably the fastest (and most miserable) way to get in a ton of volume in a short amount of time.

I will let you know how this goes in the future.  If you try it as well, let me know.

4 comments:

  1. Great article. I was employing a similar method to get more volume in by using drop sets by the plate after working sets. The limited rest really gives you a great deal of overall poundage with short amounts of time. Was able to grind workout sessions out in under 30 minutes if necessary.

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    1. That's awesome to hear. Thanks for the additional data points, I am hoping to achieve a similar effect. I am sure it will help build some balls as well, haha.

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  2. Drop-sets worked well for me on squats when I needed to get out of the gym fast before closing time. Sounds like a terrific template.

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    1. Thanks man. Your endorsement is valuable.

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