Hey, everyone – pilot here. I hope you’re all doing well. We’re getting ready to welcome the new little lady to the world, so life’s getting pretty busy over here. With everything going on, Gina asked if I could help out with a blog post about the workout plans I’ve been using since they’re fairly different from anything I’ve done in the past.
After quite a bit of searching, I decided to keep it simple (and inexpensive) and used the free fitness plans at bodybuilding.com. The site offered a variety of challenging plans that appealed to me, so I dove right in. Inspiration for a more intense weight training program struck after our 21-day cleanse/detox/whatever you want to call it. Prior to that, I felt okay about my fitness level. I exercised and ate relatively alright, and had no problems exceeding the fitness standards at work, but I knew that unless I made a change now, I would just keep the status quo for the rest of my life. So, I made a conscious effort to do better that “just getting by,” and I’m the beginnings stages of that now (I’m starting into the 6th month this week). Besides, I want to make sure I have a nice, firm hand-shake my daughters’ potential, future boyfriends. God help me…
The first one I went after was “Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Size.” I wasn’t interested in quickly getting bigger with a “shortcut,” but I liked the plan. It was 12-weeks with the first week of each month being high reps/low weight, and progressively moving towards lower reps/higher weight. The end of the month was tough, but then the first week of the new month started back at high reps/lower weights (although, I did increase these “lower” weights as I got stronger). The variety was incredibly engaging. Just when I felt like the high rep week was getting mundane, the weight increase started to up the challenge. When the heavy weights wore me out, we started back.
I’m currently on month (phase) 3 of 5 of Cory Gregory’s “Get Swole” plan. Conversely to my first one, this one builds constantly towards the end state instead of resetting each month. Holy Sh*t, it’s challenging, and unlike anything I’ve ever done. The entire plan is higher reps than I’m used to doing, but with several different exercises. My arms feel like they’re going to fall off sometimes. There are a lot of supersets and other proven techniques. Here’s an excerpt from the Phase 2 Arms workout:
Larry Scott Giant Set
Dumbbell Preacher Curl: 5 sets of 10 reps: 5 full reps, 5 half reps
Straight Bar Preacher Curl: 5 sets of 10 reps: 5 full reps, 5 half reps
Reverse Preacher Curl: 5 sets of 10 reps: 5 full, 5 half reps
Biceps Curl Machine: 5 sets of 30 reps
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps
Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment: 4 sets of 40 reps: 20 full, 20 partial
Bench Dips: 5 sets to failure
Triceps Push-Down: 4 sets of 40 reps: 20 full, 20 partial
I find myself cussing in my head a lot during the workout.
So, what about the results? Obviously, I’m feeling stronger as I progress through the programs. I assume I’m developing more muscle, but it’s a weird thing to assess over time since I see myself every day. The biggest difference is the motivation. If I’m on a plan that has a finite amount of tasks to complete, I feel compelled to complete them (then, I simply start on the next one). It provides awesome focus for each day vs. just working out continuously without any structure until I die?
What’s been the secret to your fitness success? Has it been a program or working to a certain distance or body type? Let me know if you guys have experienced anything similar!