New Year's Training Plan

I would like to share with you all, what will be my new training routine for the next six weeks of this new year.

For the first time since starting my fitness journey, back in 2009, I have decided it was important to take some time off from the gym, to rest. I have been reading a lot about the importance for athletes to take time and allow the body to rest, so that one can return to their workouts stronger than before. I believe everyone, not only athletes, can benefit from active rest, to completely recover from training and accumulated fatigue.

This month I took two weeks off from my typical training routine and I decided to start working on one of my main goals for this year, to become more flexible. At the beginning of my fitness journey I did not stretch as much as I should have, and over the years I have definitely felt changes in my body from all the years of resistance training with little stretching. Mobility and flexibility are so important for general everyday activities and it is important for us to be able to move freely, and have some level of flexibility, to prevent injury.

During these two weeks of active rest, I joined a yoga studio and have been attending yoga classes three to four times a week. I have also been performing self-myofascial release (SMR), using my TriggerPoint Grid foam roller. SMR is great for increasing blood flow to the muscles, improving circulation, reducing inflammation and scar tissue, as well as improving flexibility. Spending some time performing yoga and SMR has definitely helped loosen me up and relieve built-up tension in my muscles and joints.

Another goal of mine for 2016 is to become stronger. Therefore, I have decided to do lower reps, heavier weight, and go back to the basics when starting my resistance training again this coming week. In this new program I have put together for myself, I plan to focus on incorporating compound movements into my workouts, which are great for building muscle mass. I also plan to increase the time my muscles are under tension when performing my reps. This means I will  be performing exercises at a slower pace during the up and down phase. For example, I will be taking four seconds on the flexion part of the exercise, pause for a second under tension, and then take another four seconds on the extension part of the exercise. Keeping the muscles under tension during resistance training incorporates and recruits more muscle fibers. Recruiting more muscle fibers in turn can mean more muscle growth. Feel free to do your own research, read up on increasing time under tension and see if this would be something you might benefit from.

Here is my four days training routine.

Day 1, Legs/Calves

Warm-up on Stair Master for 15 Minutes.

  • Barbell Squats 6 Sets for 6-8 Reps
  • Romanian Barbell Deadlifts 6 Sets for 6-8 Reps

  • Lying Leg Press Feet Shoulder width apart 6 x 8

  • Smith Machine Lunges or Walking Lunges 4 x 10 Each Leg

  • Leg Extensions 4 x 8

  • Lying Leg Curls 4 x 8

  • Calf Press on the Leg Press Machine 4 x 20 Or

  • Standing Calf Raises 4 x 20

  • Seated Calf Raises 4 x 20

  • 10 minutes of Self-Myofacial Release Foam Rolling

Day 2: Back/Biceps

Warm-up on Stair Master 15 Minutes.

  • Pull-ups 3 Sets as many Reps as possible

  • Bent-Over Barbell Rows 5 x 8

  • Wide-Grip Cable Pull-downs 5 x 8

  • T-Bar Rows 5 x 8

  • Deadlifts 5 x 8

  • Seated Cable Rows 4 x 10

  • One Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 x 10

  • Back Extensions 4 x 10

  • Standing Barbell Bicep Curls 4 x 8

  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls 4 x 8

  • Preacher Curls 4 x 8

  • Overhead Cable Bicep Curls 4 x 8-10

  • 10 minutes of Self-Myofacial Release Foam Rolling

Day 3: Shoulders/Glutes/Abs

Warm-up on Stair Master for 15 Minutes. Then perform 5 minutes of lightweight seated Rope-Pulls or one set of Flat Barbell Bench Press for 20 reps.

  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press or Smith Machine Standing Shoulder Press 4 x 8

  • Arnold Dumbbell Press 4 x 8

  • Front Dumbbell Raises 4 x 8

  • Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises 4 x 8

  • Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delts Raises 4 x 8

  • Smith Machine Shrugs 4 x 10

  • Smith Machine Sumo Squats 4 x 10

  • Smith Machine or Barbell Bridge 4 x 10

  • Butt-Blaster Machine 4 x 10

  • Cable Kickbacks 4 x 10

  • Declined Reversed Crunch 4 x 10

  • Weighted Abs Crunch Machine 4 x 10

  • Standing Cable Twist 3 x 10 Each Side

  • Hanging Leg Raises 4 x 10

  • 10 minutes of Self-Myofacial Release Foam Rolling

Day 4: Chest/Triceps

Warm-up on Stair Master for 15 Minutes. Then one set of Flat Barbell Bench Press for 20 reps.

  • Flat-bench Press 4 x 8

  • Flat-bench Dumbbell Flyes 4 x 8

  • Dumbbell Pull-overs 4 x 8

  • Cable Cross-over 4 x 8

  • Push-ups 3 Sets as many reps as possible

  • Seated Machine Triceps Press-down 4 x 8

  • Lying Closed-grip Barbell Triceps Extensions 4 x 8

  • Standing Cable Press-down using Rope 4 x 8

  • Dips 3 Sets as many Reps as possible.

  • 10 minutes of Self-Myofacial Release Foam Rolling

I also plan to do 90 minutes of Yoga 3x a week and may also add 15 minutes of cardio at the end of my workouts depending on time. Rest days between workouts will vary depending on my work schedule.

I hope you all enjoy this post and if you give my workout a try be sure to let me know how you like it. 

Good luck with your goals this New Year!

P.S. If you are interested in the TriggerPoint Foam Roller click on the image and don’t forget to get a 10% discount when you use code: VANTIB.