Saturday, December 11, 2010

Full body compound workout.

I found a couple of new blogs to follow and it's funny how my tastes have changed.  I used to follow religiously a girl that taught cardio classes and talked about what she ate all of the time, then I followed a runner/triathalon girl, now there are a few lifting girls I'm following.  One isn't too careful about swearwords so I won't post her link here ( although I think she's just young or something), but here are the other three:  Foods of AprilMother Fitness and Nia Shanks  (and yes, that is the author down the side of the page on Mother Fitness) . So this Nia lifts HEAVY --girl can deadlift 300 pounds (and she weighs 122), and bench 145.  She advocates doing full body compound exercises only --not focusing on and burning out specific muscle groups. Think pull-ups versus biceps curls, or squats versus quad extensions. I'm not positive about doing this exclusively, but it's VERY interesting --and makes good sense to me.  These are functional movements for the most part. You're always going to want to pick things up off the ground for example (actually --I think Nia USED that example ).  So I've done two workouts so far like this, and I'm FEELING it.  Here's Wednesday's:

Barbell squats 135 pounds (a small note here: I "thought" I was able to do a lot more weight squatting, but I wasn't going all the way down.  It's so easy to trick yourself! This is down to where I can feel the tops of my thighs touching up against my pelvic girdle): 6 reps, 6 reps, 6, 8 (I got the hang of it here).

Deadlifts 95 pounds (note --these aren't "straight leg deadlifts" --they are conventional deadlifts) 8,9,9,7

Pullups (note --I was doing assisted by putting my feet on the bar and trying to do as much as I can with upper body, but I never felt like I was making any progress.  I tried "negatives", but found I ended up doing assisted without noticing --like I'd trick myself.  Finally, I asked Jeff to spot me, and finally I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to doing them on my own.  He says he's only pushing up about 20 pounds worth of me and I don't know about that, but I really feel like I'm maxing out finally.) 3 1/2, 3, 2 1/2, 3

Shoulder Press -25 pounds each arm: (note: standing is what Nia recommends.  I usually would do these sitting and one arm at a time so I could spot myself with the other arm -- and I could do 35's this way.  Standing, with both arms at once, your whole body is working to stabilize.  Much more "neuromuscular stimulation" --core, shoulders, legs, etc.) 7,7,5,4

Inverted Row: (here's a link in case you don't know what these are --I didn't, and they aren't on ) 10, 10, 10, 8

That's it.  I did another workout today, (Nia advocates three times a week, but I didn't see her program until Wednesday) substituting "step-ups" for the squats.  These (I think --I asked her to send me a link to a video) are where you start on a step --like 4 inches --with a barbell, and step back down into a lunge.  So hard to keep balance and form!  I started with 115 for the first set, and had to go down to 95 to keep the form without Jeff holding my torso.  I'm the kind of lifter who always seems to start out heavier than I can really do!

Anyway, here's some tips if you want to train like this for a few months. Pick 4-6 compound exercises, and do somewhere between 3 and 6 sets.  Pick a weight that you can do for 5-10 reps, but that should be all you can do by the last set.  Go until your muscles give out. Be safe! Have a spotter there, or make sure you have a place to drop the weight safely if you need to.  If you can do more reps at the end, do them, but pick a heavier weight next time.  You need to get adequate rest in between workouts, and get enough protein into you: 20-25 grams within 45 minutes after your workout, and 100-200 grams every day.  This doesn't have to be meat or dairy! Good sources include beans, nuts (higher in fat, so watch these a little), quinoa, oats, and protein powders like rice, hemp, soy, or yellow pea. This allows your muscles the rest and raw materials to rebuild stronger after you break them down working out.  That's the whole point of your workout!
 Do this three times a week if you can, or at least twice, until you can build up to three.  If you notice that you aren't able to increase reps or weight every couple of workouts, it's time to change things up.  Either change the number of sets, the number of reps (or both), or the exercise.  This is how you push through a plateau, but make sure first that it isn't an issue of not getting adequate fuel or rest. 

If you find that you'd like some help, feel free to contact me, I'm a trainer, and would love to work with you.  You'll find that you get addicted to the feeling of lifting just like you did with cardio, and I really believe it does more things, and better things for your body (although I'm not above getting an extra kickboxing session after a cookie binge party!).


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april said...

Wow you are really strong!! I found the same thing sadly with my squats- I'm not going down all the way although I thought I was! I need to work on my flexibility because my body just doesn't want to sink that low. Ugh!

belann said...

Still doing my little routine. Maybe you can tell me how to jazz it up a little. Don't think I could do quite the routine your doing. Sounds awesome.

ktbwood said...

I just found your blog! LOVE it! trying to build muscle.. ive already gained about 3 pounds of muscle over the past year! I think I may be wearing my muscles out tho because I have stopped increasing.. do you recommend a "rest week" here and there?

Terry Earley said...