Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keeping it simple...

My summer has officially come to an end .... Pretty sad stuff, but in all honesty I'm a routine guy and going back to teaching puts me in a very structured routine Monday-Friday.  Lifting/exercise-wise things always change when I go back to school.  I have learned a lot this summer about programming for different goals and I think I need to kick my own ass for some of the stuff I did in the gym and ate at the dinner table. 

Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.  Time to move forward.  Just an fyi, you can't out-train a crappy diet!   I forgot who originally said that, but I had a fun time trying to prove them wrong...

On with the real message of this post- keeping it simple in and out of the gym.  I got this idea from a livespill on T-nation.com- and Jim Wendler (the godfather of no bs lifting advice) described a 3 day lifting approach that would fit my schedule perfectly.  All basic stuff, NO fluff!  You can check out the Wendler link for the original plan, of course I added a couple things to it, but I've followed this routine for the past week and it only takes about 45min including a warm-up. The key is doing what is important, and focusing on slow and steady improvement.

Here's what it looks like:

Day 1 (Monday)
Squat - 4 sets of 5 (medium weight)
Dead Lift 5/3/1
Dumbbell Bench 3 sets (around 8-15 reps)
Pull-ups 3 sets / Band Pull aparts (my idea, not in the original plan)

Day 2 (Wednesday)
Squats 3 sets of 5 (light weight)
Bench 5/3/1
Clean 5 sets of 3 (my addition-I love this lift)
Dumbbell Row 4 sets of 8-12
Dips 2 sets, a lot

Day 3 (Friday)
Box Jumps (I like to jump on things) 
Squats 5/3/1
Overhead Press 5/3/1
Chin-ups 5 sets (weighted / around 5 reps per set)
Biceps / Triceps -  2 sets of whatever  (I live in South Florida, gotta hit the arms a little)

My conditioning is as follows:

Tuesday- Sprints. Usually about 20-30 minutes of sprinting and recovery.  Anywhere from 40 to 100 yards.  I try to switch up the distances and the rest intervals on a regular basis.

Thursday- Hill Sprints.  Anywhere from 12-16 sprints on the small hill or 8-12 on the big hill. Yes, we do have hill in South Florida at Vista View Park. aka- Mt. Trashmore.

Saturday- Lazy / Steady state cardio (about 30 min) and foam rolling.  I do this in the morning, just to get out of bed and get functioning before I go train some clients. 

Sunday-Sprints or Sled work.  Gotta get pushing and pulling my sled for a great conditioning session.  If I'm feeling lazy Ill just do some tempo runs after a dynamic warm up.  I do need to step it up and put that freakin' sled to work!

Well that's the plan for the next 4-6 weeks.  I will make necessary changes where needed (open house at school, out of town for a wedding, etc...)  Some people feel the more "complicated" the program the better the results, which is far from the truth.  The point is, sometimes making things simplified and doing basic movements with maximum effort and intensity will get you where you want to be. 


Mark Reyes said...


People are often mislead, by what they read in literature in Muscle & Fitness and other magazines.

Most people, feel that getting into shape requires complex work outs and bizarre diets to improve their health.

Damon Brobst CSCS said...

You're 100% correct. People spend more money on weight loss supplements and gym memberships than ever before, but our country is getting more and more out of shape. Stick to basics and don't fall for gimmicks is the best and safest way to get in better physical shape.

BryanFrancis said...

Great topic Damon and I think the problem people have with keeping it simple, is that many times "simple" means HARD! People practically shit themselves when their faced with a challenging squat, deadlift, or interval program. These are the most basic of movements, but avoided at all costs. It's no mystery why people are becoming more dysfunctional doing all this "functional" training. Simplicity, proper mechanics, and intensity NEVER fail! Way to spread the word!