Five weeks ago I decided to follow a workout routine. You might ask, what's the big deal? Well, I have become one of those fitness enthusiast constantly in search of the perfect plan. In regards to strength training, I spent hundreds of hours (or more) deciding between full body workouts versus split routines, high reps or low reps, and gyms or home gyms.
This leads nowhere.
A friend at work recommended a workout by Jim Stoppani, a bodybuilding guru with surprising credentials (as in Dr. Jim Stoppani). I decided to try the workout as is, without tweaking this, that, and the other thing. For the most part, I have behaved.
The only significant change I made was substituting one of the back exercises for a similar technique on the same machine. But I digress.
The Shortcut to Size workout comes with video links and a PDF download. I started out with a paper notebook, but soon created a Google spreadsheet to track my results.
The workout is a four day split, which seems out of vogue. Crossfit is all the rage. But I enjoy this workout and actually do it. The problem with many crossfit routines is the need to learn new skills and find a facility allowing the powerlifting exercises.
Day one includes chest, triceps, and calves. Day two back, biceps, and abdominals. Day three shoulders and calves. Day four legs and abs. The most interesting aspect of this plan is the micro cycle concept.
In the micro cycle plan, the first week requires higher reps. Each week the rep range decreases, which seems to allow recovery while still building both strength and size. So far I really like this concept.
Finding time is a problem, and if you miss a day, everything is messed up for the week. These types of workout splits have always caused scheduling problems for me, but I'm making due.
The other plot complication is Stadium Season. I have a group of friends at work that start running stadiums, track workouts, and distance runs from now until late fall. It's awesome. A few days ago I insulted my legs and calves with what we call a Timed Ten: ten laps (to the top and back down) on the stairs as fast as you can.
This means I won't be doing the leg days as hard as Dr. Stoppani suggests. In fact, I can barely walk right now.
I think this scheme of Dr. Stoppani will show results. One thing is provable. I won't make progress without doing something and sticking to it.
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