Thursday, April 27, 2006

Weight Training - More Cardio Based Training for the Summer

Next week I will be trying a new program but I will still be using the Weight Lifting Journal to track my progress. For this routine I will be changing up my lifts every week, like usual, but I will not have a 3 minute rest period between sets. I will decrease that to one minute to make this more of a cardio workout instead of just a mass and strength workout. For the summer months I want to trim down a little more for definition and during the winter months I eat more and train heavier.

With having one minute rest between sets, this allows for little time for me to catch my breathe. After completing one set I barely have time to add new weight and then lift again. The nice thing about lifting this way is that it shocks your system, if you are used to something else, and is a great fat burner. I lost the most weight when I was doing this system and I also increased my endurance and stamina. The only thing that I do differently with this method is I increase very slowly throughout my progress. I do that because if I try to go to fast then I will actually see reverse effects. When you increase your weight to much to soon you might hurt yourself or you don't do as many reps and therefore don't do as good of a workout. If you can't get the reps out of the workout, then you are treading thinly on a fine line of reverse effects because your muscles haven't been as fatigued

My protein intake will increase substantially due to the switching of routines. I have found that if I switch up routines I will be sore sooner and for a longer period. Because of this I will increase my protein intake to help fill in the new gaps that my lifting has opened. I will then start to see a fat lose for a certain time period until I a plateau. Once I hit that plateau I will do more cardio outside of the gym, if I haven't started already. The key though, and this is something that I need to keep in front of me, is to control my diet and my portion size. I will need to create me healthy snacks and more healthy drinks. My normal snack option is to have a mixture of celery and carrots. I think this year I will change it to include green peppers and broccoli. If anyone else has a good suggestion for a nice healthy snack, please let me know.

You can download the excel file on the right side of this site.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Work smarter not harder

There is a lot of contradiction going on in that sentence. For all that are lifters, you would think that that would be switched around, but I have a method and a tool that keeps that statement true. The tool that I use is called "Weight Lifting Journal." This journal is not just any ordinary journal that is nicely created just to put your information down. This tool, with the help of engineering data analysis, will take your information and give you a representation of your lifting history. It will allow you to view the information and see when you might start to go up or if you are currently at a plateau. I have been using it for over 2 years and I have seen more increases than ever before. The accuracy of the information coming out of the tool is just as important as the information going into the tool. I have some methods of taking great notes from each exercise that you will perform. I will go over my routine from start to finish and I will explain everything as I go. My reason for this blog is to have a dumping ground for ideas and tools that have helped other people on their journey to achieve that goal body. This blog is also intended for people to ask questions while using the tool so that I can help them. I gave it to a couple of my college friends and their lifts went up with a little help from me to guide them. They are now using it completely on their own and still seeing the increases. This tool helped me understand what works for my body and that is why I cycle my lifts every three weeks. I believe is shocking your body so I change my routine for three weeks and then start all over again in the next cycle. Every cycle that passes I go up in weight from as low as 5
lbs to as high as 10 lbs. If I go up 10 lbs I find that I will plateau so I try to control myself to just 5 pounds. I will also take off a week or two just to let my body fully recover and then when I hit it again I might go up again or I might go down again. Usually I go up in weight by having that time off.

Down to the Meat and Potatoes:

Before I hit the gym I write down in my paper journal to exercises that I need to perform, the lifting weight from last time and the predicted lifting weight this time.

I do cardio for 20 minutes to warm myself up before I start lifting. I also wear a sweat shirt and sweat pants to keep myself warm enough to stay limber. This allows me to have longer rest time between sets so I can push as hard as I can on every rep.

After I get done with one set I record my experience in my paper journal. I write down the weight that I lifted and indicate the intensity so I will know for future reference if I should increase, decrease, or stay the same. If the lifting was good and I have completed all of the reps without a lot of difficulty, then I place a straight line after the weight. This tells me for next time, that I can increase or stay the same depending on how I feel. If I have a difficulty lifting the weight but I am able to complete all of the reps, then I place a squiggle mark (~) after the weight. This tells me that I should stay the same for next time and try to get a straight line. If I am not able to complete the reps then I will place a squiggle mark at the end of the weight and make a one to two word note as to why I was not able to complete the reps. After the data has been entered into the notebook I will then enter that into
the tool, "Exercise Progression" tab, so I can then see my progression on the various charts. This allows me to analyze my information and determine my next step for lifting. If I was not able to complete the reps, then I make the number red in the data fields as a flag to tell me to review my notes to see how the exercise went.

The "Progression Data" should not be tampered with because that does the calculations for all of the charts. The "Exercise Progression" tab is the area that should be used to change the lifting exercises and enter your data from your lifts. If you enter your exercises in column "B" it will update the rest of the "Routine" fields on so you don't have to. One thing that you will realize is
that everything is linked together so it makes it easy for the user to click on the exercise on the routine tab and it will take you to the field for that cycle and that date. The only fields that need to modify is the exercises within the "Exercise Progression" tab. The tool is setup to report or transport you to the different areas of information.