Monday, September 1, 2008

My Current Training Plan - Strength and Speed!

"I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified." - 1 Corinthians 9:27

Earlier this year, I posted my 12-week training plan that helped me increase strength, conditioning and strength endurance while losing about five pounds. I posted the results of that training here - Click me!

Once I finished that program, I spent the next four months (April - July) on fat loss and conditioning programs that included Afterburn 2 and Warp Speed Fat Loss. I lost several more pounds of fat on those programs while increasing my conditioning tremendously, and I only lost a little bit of strength during that time.

Four months is about the maximum amount of time that someone should devote to fat loss training and dieting during the year, as it can be stressful on the body. Thus the reason that I decided to work on maintaining my conditioning and current level of bodyfat while focusing on my strength and speed.

I play ultimate frisbee once each week, so I need to make sure that I am well conditioned. Luckily, the last four months of training prepared me for all the running, sprinting and short rest periods during an intense game. I also know that gaining strength will help me with my overall speed and conditioning.

Currently, I'm on week four of my strength and speed program. I'm actually using the template that Joe Defranco posted in his "Westside for Skinny B*stards III" article. I've made some minor tweaks to fit my goals, but overall, I'm following the same template.

My training week looks like this:

MONDAY – Max-Effort Upper Body

Max-Effort Exercise – I work up to a max of 2-3 sets of 3 reps in some form of pressing exercise. I rotate the exercise every two weeks using a full-range of motion lift for two weeks followed by a partial-range motion exercise for two weeks and repeat every two weeks. For example, I'll peform flat barbell bench presses for two weeks followed by 2- or 3-board presses or floor presses for two weeks and then go to another full-range pressing exercise like close-grip benches or incline benches for two weeks, etc.

Supplemental Exercise – I perform 2 sets of max reps (15-20 reps) or 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps of some sort of pressing exercise (a similar movement as the max-effort exercise).

Horizontal Pulling / Rear Delt Superset - I superset a horizontal pulling movement (rows) with a rear-delt exercise for 2-3 supersets of 8-12 reps of each exercise.

Traps – I perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps of some sort of shrugging exercise.

Arms Superset - I perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps of a biceps exercise (curls) with a triceps exercise (pushdowns or extensions).

Finisher: I perform sled pushes or another short finisher similar to what I posted in a previous blog.

TUESDAY – Speed Training

General Warm-up / Movement skills (5-15 minutes) – The goal of this portion of the workout is to increase core temperature by performing basic movement skills and calisthenics. (Example: bodyweight squats, jumping jacks, skipping, back pedaling, etc...)

Ground-based mobility (5-15 minutes) – Once I've broken a sweat and my muscles are warm, I perform ground-based mobility drills for 5-15 minutes. (Sample mobility drills include: roll-overs into V-sits, fire hydrant circles, mountain climbers, groiners, etc…)

Frequency drills (2-3 minutes) – I conclude my warm-up with 1 or 2 drills that excite the central nervous system before beginning the speed training portion of the workout. These drills only last 5-10 seconds for 2-3 sets for each. (Example: low pogo jumps, wideouts, ankling, etc.)

Speed training – I follow speed-training techniques for non-athletes (distances of 60 yards or less with complete - or close to it - recovery between sprints). The goal of this workout is to get faster.

WEDNESDAY - Off (or light activity)

THURSDAY – Max-Effort Lower Body & Conditioning

Max-Effort Exercise – I work up to 2 sets of 3 reps or 2-3 singles with 90%. Just like my max-effort upper body day, I rotate the exercise I use every two weeks and use a variety of squatting and deadlifting movements.

Unilateral Movement - I perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps of a unilateral quad-dominant exercise such as lunges, step-ups or Bulgarian split squats.

Hip Extension Movement - I perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of a hamstring/posterior chain exercise such as Pull-throughs, Romanian deadlifts, good mornings, etc.

Weighted Abs - I perform a heavy ab exercise for 2-3 sets of 6-12 reps.

Conditioning Finisher – I usually perform one of the following exercises:

1) Sled pushes – I perform 4-6 30-yard sled pushes with about 1 minute rest between sets.

2) Farmer's walks – I perform 4–6 sets of 40 yards with 1-2 minutes rest between sets.

3) Forward or backward sled drags – I perform 4-6 sets of 40-50 yards with 1-2 minutes rest between sets

FRIDAY – Repetition Upper Body

Repetition Exercise – I perform 3 sets of max reps OR 4 sets of 12-15 reps of some sort of pressing exercise.

Vertical Pulling / Rear Delt Superset - I superset a vertical pulling movement (chins, lat pulldowns) with a rear-delt exercise for 2-3 supersets of 8-12 reps of each exercise.

Medial Delts – I peform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of dumbbell lateral raises, L-lateral raises, cable lateral raises, dumbbell military presses or a dumbbell side press.

Arms Superset - I perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps of a biceps exercise (curls) with a triceps exercise (pushdowns or extensions).

Abs - I perform a bridging (planks) exercise with a rotational exercise (Russian twists) for 2-3 sets for time or reps.

Finisher - If I'm up for it, I'll conclude the workout with a short finisher similar to Monday's workout.

SATURDAY - OFF (this is the day I relax and watch college football most of the day - GO GATORS!).

SUNDAY - Ultimate Frisbee (game day)

Some of the tweaks I've made to Joe Defranco's Strength and Speed template is that I change my supplemental and accessory exercises each week. This is something new I'm trying. Usually, I'll use the same exercise for 4-6 weeks before changing. So this is definitely different than what most trainers may recommend. I've never done this before, so I wanted to see if I can "trick" my body from adapting to any exercise by changing it so frequently. I wouldn't recommend this for a beginner, but it may work well for me since I've been training for so many years.

Also, I change the loading parameters (sets and reps) for my exercises every four weeks. I break up my training (using the template above) into four-week phases. This allows me to use the same set/rep range for all my supplemental and accessory exercises for four weeks (using different exercises each week) before changing the loading parameters (sets and reps) during the next four-week phase.

So that's my current plan that I've been following for the past four weeks and will continue to follow for the next several months.

No comments: