Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different workout programs. Most of last year, I’d switched to a “strength” workout. I started it about a year ago and did it until I hurt my back in early September. I made significant gains (increased my deadlifts by about 50%), but then I was so torqued I couldn’t even go to the gym for a month. It’s been slow rehab ever since.
Since November or so, I’ve been doing a hypertrophy-focused workout. I’m in a recovery phase right now and so I’ve dialed back the volume a bit. In a few weeks I’ll be moving back into a power phase.
So I’ve determined that the best workout is: changing your workout every 6 weeks or so. According to Charles Poliquin, it takes approximately 6 weeks to adapt to a particular workout. For the rest of this year, I’m going to alternate between lifting for size (hypertrophy) and lifting for strength (low reps, high weight, high frequency) with recovery phases (medium weights, medium volume and frequency) after each.
I’m hoping that by changing the focus, I’ll avoid creating imbalances and thereby (hopefully) keep myself injury free.
Things have been crazy busy at work, so I haven't found the time recently to update things.
For the last two or three weeks, I've been doing the German Volume Training protocol. Yesterday I did chest and back (Day 1) and today I did legs and abs (Day 2).
My idea is to focus on hypertrophy for the time being. I'm not interested in being bigger from an aesthetic perspective, but the reading I've done in recent weeks suggests that there are a number of benefits to periodically focusing on hypertrophy. One has to do with body composition. I've had the goal to lower my bodyfat percentage for a long time, but haven't been successful. One way to do this is to increase the absolute amount (and percentage) of lean muscle tissue. Another benefit is to prepare myself to go back to power training — the idea being that more muscle will allow me to best my previous limits in the different compound lifts.
I gotta say that this protocol is very different from what I'd been doing most of the year. I'm sore as hell all the time, presumably because the volume is way higher than my body is used to.
This is going to be quick, but I just wanted to let the two or three of you who read this know that I'm still alive and kicking.
Started off this year with a workout on my birthday. It followed the same format I'd been using for a while, that is, deads and bench. It went off without incident. Two days later, I went in to do the same workout and tweaked something in my back. I stopped the deadlifts immediately, but went over and did my usual bench workout to finish. By about three hours later I was in serious pain and asking Misa for the phone number to our massage place. Got a massage and the vacuum cups the next day and then again two days after that. The treatments helped, but I was out of commission (read no workouts) for about 3 weeks.
I slowly started to incorporate some bodyweight stuff after that, first pushups, then some bodyweight squats as well. Not sure when my first day back in the gym was, but I'll guess it was early October.
Since that time I've been slowly increasing the volume. No deads yet, but I've done quite a few workouts doing good mornings and have recently gone to squats. Got in an unexpected workout tonight as my evening class was cancelled. Squats, hip adductors, calf raises, bench and a set or two of dips.