Just a short and sweet post today, lots of work to do before Christmas and I’m trying to be a really good boy these days – Santa is watching…remember that. Probably won’t get an Aston Martin this year, either – but it would probably just get stolen or ruined on the horrible Norwegian roads anyway…
I think people get too obsessed about goal-setting, having goals, working towards a goal, scoring a goal. I mean, how many of the goals for 2011 did you really accomplish? Is it a question of not having enough goals, or maybe the goals weren’t important enough to work for? Or perhaps they were unrealistic? Do you worry and stress about reaching your goal, to the point of feeling like a big failure because you can’t accomplish anything?
I would first of all suggest limiting yourself to one ultimate goal you REALLY want, instead of having many goals you don’t really care about, just because some self-help book told you.
A nice checklist is:
- Make sure the goal is important enough to really work for.
- Define the goal, and be specific about it – what/when/how – set a goal date and a timeline, register for a competition.
- Aquire a strategy, read and learn about the best way of getting there, consult with a specialist or people who have succeeded before you.
- Commit and get started. Tell your friends about it, make sure someone other than yourself holds you accountable for your actions.
- Future-pace, see and feel and smell and hear what it would be like to have already experienced success, having already reached your goal. If you already did it in your mind, it will be easier to achieve in real life, too.
- Monitor and evaluate your progress as you go, re-evaluate your strategy if needed.
- The final and most important factor is: Celebrate when you reach your goal. Too many people put in months or years of work, and when they finally get what they want, they just go “meh, so I did that, now what?” Or always move the goal post so it’s impossible for them to score (also called ‘the perfectionist’). Look, if it was important enough to put in the time and effort to aquire, make a big deal out if it, let the world know, throw a party and invite 50 Cent and J-Lo, indulge in food and drinks, buy yourself something nice, travel and see the world, have some gratitious sex, whatever rocks your boat and makes it a special occasion. Why would you ever set goals if you knew you wouldn’t get rewarded for it?
And sometimes, I would suggest not having a goal at all. How about just enjoying the process? Living from day to day and focusing on whatever is important to you NOW, instead of some random vague future-pacing. You don’t always need a map to enjoy the ride, just slow down and look at the road ahead of you, the trees, and the birds, and then on the road again so you don’t step in doggcrapp. (note to self: Don’t get lost in the metaphor, and don’t annoy Dante Trudell, he’s a big mofo).
Solution: Go to the gym and enjoy lifting some heavy-ass weights or some light weights just getting a bicep pump on, swing some kettlebells around, try out one of the weird exercises I’ve posted on my YouTube channel. Have fun. When was the last time you did that?
A simple auto-regulated routine
Some time ago, I wrote an article about a simple auto-regulation method from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and I will sometimes default back to it when I just want a quick workout, as a combined controlled deload and strength program a high-volume phase, or for a lifter having problems understanding (or a need for) the more advanced RPE-based models. You will do 4 total sets for an exercise. The first two will be submax warm-ups, the last two you will go to failure (it’s perfectly fine to leave a rep in the tank, i.e an RPE 9).
A quick overview: 3RM Protocol 6RM Protocol 10RM Protocol 1: 50% – 6 reps 50% – 10 reps 50% – 12 reps 2: 75% – 3 reps 75% – 6 reps 75% – 10 reps 3: Failure with 3RM Failure with 6RM Failure with 10RM 4: Adj reps to failure Adj reps to failure Adj reps to failure
Reps from rep target in set 3 of 6RM - and then weight adjustment for set 4 (in kg) -4 to -6 -2.5 to -5 -2 to -3 0 to -2.5 -1 to +1 No change +2 to +4 +2.5 to +5 +5 and up +5 to +7.5
A sample exercise if your (previous) 6RM is 100kg:
50kg – 10 reps
75kg – 6 reps
Now 3 scenarios for the 3rd set to failure
100kg – 4 reps
97.5kg – 6 reps (use 97.5kg for set 3 next workout)
100kg – 6 reps
100kg – 5 reps (use 100kg for 3rd set next workout)
100kg – 9 reps
105kg – 8 reps (use 105kg or 107.5kg for 3rd set next workout)
The same basic premise goes for the 3RM and 10RM protocols. You will see this is not too far off from the Reverse Pyramid Training (RPT).
Here’s a simple 3 day routine I would recommend for this phase, with a low-moderate volume and frequency, focusing on compounds lifts and minimizing isolation work:
Bench – 3RM protocol
Deadlift – 3RM protocol
Chins – 6RM protocol
Biceps – 10RM protocol
Squat – 3RM protocol
Floor Press or Dips – 6RM protocol
Scapular plane Lateral Raises or Lying 1-arm Lateral Raise – 10RM protocol
Face Pull or additional Tricep work – 10RM protocol
Seated Wide Grip or 1-arm Rows – 6RM protocol
Incline DB Bench or JM-press – 10RM protocol
Leg Press or Lunges – 10RM protocol
Biceps or Leg Curl/GHR – 10RM protocol
Add some ab work of your choice, I like V-ups, rollouts, planks/bridge, Pallof and Vertical Pallof Press, and sometimes I throw in a couple of high-rep sets of crunches.
One superset I like is a max set of V-ups, followed by a front bridge for time – but one important trick is to squeeze the hell out of your ass. Ok, that sounded gay – but the point being that if you activate your glutes, your hip flexors will deactivate via reciprocal inhibition, and your abs will have to work that much harder. Do 2-4 total of these supersets and you will wince in pain whenever you cough or laugh the next day.
Next week, you may rotate the rep protocols if you’d like, so Day 1 could look like this:
Bench – 6RM protocol
Deadlift or RDL/SLDL – 6RM protocol
Chins/pulldowns – 10RM protocol
Biceps – 6RM protocol
Do this routine for at 4-6 weeks, then make some strategic changes, see my previous blog post for ideas…