My next four weeks

Go ahead and skip this entry. I’m only posting this because it’s been requested. I have other friends who post similar entries, and even I skip over them. Because, really, unless you’re looking to snag someone else’s lifting schedule and routine, this is nothing but a list of funny names and an explanation of numbers.

That being said, I’m switching things up for June. Previously I did two full-body lift days, two HIIT (high-intensity interval training) running days, one day with a whole bunch of pushups and random body-weight leg exercises (my favorite day!), and then a weekend of consciously being active.

I’m now going to a body part plan that works that part or those parts thoroughly through and through. Being a product of the Internet age, I don’t know what my attention span will think about it. However, all of the people who get great gains seem to break things up like this. Who am I to shun it before I even try it?

So, for the next 4-6 weeks, this is the plan:

Monday: Weights Day 1: Legs

Barbell squat
Dumbbell lunges
Leg extensions
Lying leg curls
Standing dumbbell calf raises
Knee/hip raises

This explanation goes for all weights days:

I tend to see gains in my workouts for weeks and weeks, so I don’t need to switch it up too much. However, some people lift one day how I explain below, lift another day where they really pile on the weight and lift it only a few times, then lift another day where they’ll put on lighter weights and do it a gazillion times.

I do three sets of each exercise with progressively higher weights and lower reps.

A ‘rep’ (repetition) is when you lift the weight up and down and then say, “One”. When you lift it up and down and then say, “Two,” that’s your second ‘rep’.

A ‘set’ is when you lift the weight a few times in a row (your ‘reps’), then stop for a rest. Think of it like a round in boxing.

On the first set, I do a weight that I can lift ten reps without slight exerted effort. On the second set, I do a heavier weight that I lift eight reps with more effort. On the last set, I put a progressively heavier weight on, and I lift it until I can’t lift it anymore, or until I do it ten reps.

If I can lift the final set more than seven times, this tells me that it’s time to increase the weight for all of the sets. At the start of a program, sometimes it takes a little while to figure out how much the weight should be for you for these sets. I carry around my schedule and a pen as I’m working out to take notes so I can plan better the next time I do that exercise.

And finally, if you don’t know what the exercise names mean, search this page for a photo and explanation. (Section 4 has a name search.) I use that site’s given names when I write up my plans, since I use their BodySpace tool to track my progress.

Tuesday: HIIT Day 1: Quarters

3 miles total, with 0.25 walk then 0.25 sprint

I do this on the treadmill, but you can use any machine or any activity that you like. Also, the quarter mile interval amount is completely random. I can run a quarter mile like all hell (and no further at that pace), so I use that. Your splits might be 100 meters of running, the length of the pool while swimming, one minute on and one minute off on the elliptical, really fast on your bike and then until you can breathe normally again, etc.

Wednesday: Weights Day 2: Back, Shoulders, and Biceps

Seated cable rows
Pull ups
Barbell shoulder press
Upright barbell row
Wide-grip lat pulldown
Side lateral raises
Hammer curl – dumbbells
Barbell curls

Thursday: HIIT Day 2: Inclines

To 2:00, incline 1
To 4:00, incline 2
To 6:00, incline 3
To 8:00, incline 4
To 10:00, incline 5
To 11:00, incline 4
To 12:00, incline 3
To 13:00, incline 2
To 14:00, incline 1
To 15:00, incline 0

I keep it at a nice and easy pace, since this gets pretty rough as you climb.

This is described as a treadmill workout, but you can do this on any machine by cranking up the effort and maintaining a set pace. I can’t think of how to simulate this without being on a machine.

Friday: Weights Day 3: Chest and Triceps

Barbell bench press
Barbell incline bench
Dumbbell flyes
Lying triceps press
Triceps pushdown
Leg pull in

Saturday: HIIT Day 3: Body for Life Intervals

To 2:00, warm up

For the next four minutes, cycle through a progressively faster interval: one minute at 60% of effort, another at 70% of effort, another at 80% of effort, and another at 90% of effort.

Repeat these four butt-kicking minutes four times. I cannot lie: YOU WILL WANT TO DIE.

When done with those four cycles, run like all hell for one minute. I repeat: YOU WILL WANT TO DIE.

When that minute is up, jump to the side of the treadmill, hit the down button as fast as you can, and eventually climb back to the moving track to walk really slowly until you can feel your chest again.

When the coughing, hacking, and wheezing stops, turn off the treadmill, and just go get in the shower. You won’t want to do anything else at the gym

Again, you don’t have to do this on the treadmill. Any sort of cardio (read: movement) is fine. I just happen to be a masochistic witch who does everything on the treadmill. Also, I’m not posting the speed at which I do anything for a reason. When I say 60%, I mean YOUR 60%. My 60% might damn near kill you, scaring you off from physical fitness. On the other hand, my 60% might make you point and laugh. And really, I don’t feel like hopping a flight to point my finger in your face and tell you to eff off.

Sunday: Whatever

I can be a slug and watch Lifetime movies all day. Or I can go for a bike ride. Or I can lounge at the beach while slathered with SPF 45. Or I can go for a walk. Or I can daydream about how dreamy the trainer at my gym is. Or I can dance around my house while singing to Hambone…

You get the point.

Nutritional info to come soon.


3 responses to “My next four weeks

  1. This is a pretty impressive workout schedule.

    Out of curiosity have you ever thought about incorporating swimming into your routine? I’m thinking about adding it right now…there are cardiovascular and muscle benefits to doing it but I’m still trying to figure out, if I do it, what workouts I’ll replace.

  2. I’ve thought about incorporating swimming in, but two things hold me back:

    (1) There’s no pool at my gym.

    (2) I’m more of a “I don’t sink” kind of swimmer.

  3. Not having pool at the gym would making adding a swim routine rather hard. 🙂

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