Monday, July 21, 2008

The Pennsy Workout

This is the training program I'm working right now. I've fine tuned it a little based on what I learned in the first go-round. The goal here is general fitness, endurance, and muscle mass.


Each day focuses on one power lift. I start the lift of the day with an empty bar and slowly build up to the day's weight for working sets, usually with three or four reps at each weight. Then I do 5 sets of 5 reps at the heaviest weight I can lift. There are long breaks, two or three minutes between each of these sets.

The exercises that accompany the power lifts are meant to support muscle groups critical to the day's lift. So Clean & Press is followed by arm and shoulder work. Squats go with legs and lower back. Bench Press day is chest and lats. Deadlift day hits upper back, glutes and wrist grip.

These "assist" exercises are done at max weight with very short breaks, just long enough to catch my breath. 3 sets of 10 reps each.
DB Curls & Arnold Press Combo
DB Lat Raise, Ben Lat Raise Supersets

Hip Abduction/Adduction Supersets
Straight Leg Deadlift
Front Squat

DB Incline Press
DB Decline Press
Close Grip Bench Press

DB Incline Bench Pull
Good Morning
Barbell Shrug
Low Pulley Cable Row
DB Wrist Curls
DAILY WARMUP (on lifting days)

These daily exercises are all bodyweight movements. I vary the sets and reps depending on what hurts, what feels great, and what I don't want to wear out. For example, I don't do the lunges on Squat day or if my ankles are hurting.
Assisted Dips
Calf Raise
Assisted Pullups

Ideally, I would like to do four days with two days rest. That rhythm gets broken up by soreness, schedules, and the calender. The reason for the long rest is to make room for a long running day. I also work in a sabbath day when I don't run or lift at all. Since my running program is a seven day cycle and my lifting is a four day one, variety is sort of built in.


This is pretty straight forward.
Monday - training run
Tuesday - cross train, bike or elliptical
Wednesday - training run
Thursday - Yoga, no running or weights
Friday - day off
Saturday - long run
Sunday - day off
The long run is designed to stretch my endurance. Everything else is about maintaining conditioning and fat burning.


I work stretching in between reps so I have something to do besides pant and pose. I always stretch after a workout or run. I never stretch without warming up the muscles involved. I take a good, indulgent long time to stretch as gently and thoroughly as I can. Then I sauna, shower, and go home to eat protein and complex carbs. (meat and plants)

The whole deal takes about two hours. By spreading the work over several days, I'm getting more recovery time, increasing strength growth, and spending less time in the gym each night. Things are working well right now as I prepare for a 5K on August 9th. If nothing breaks, I'll be ready.

That's actually a good goal. I want to finish my next 5K without breaking anything. Unlike my first one where I knocked myself off the road for two months.

Maybe I'll take a skateboard along, just in case.



Good advice from Brad at Promatx - Your body is telling you something. Listen to your body, and you won't go wrong.

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