I participated in my second fitness competition this past August. During the 9 weeks leading up to my competition I followed a strict diet and continued to train my ass off. While preparing for that I continued to teach 7 group training classes / week where I work.
After my competition I found myself in need of a little break – a life no so structured and pre-determined, and some time to enjoy the company of friends and family over food and drinks, without stressing about every calorie I consumed.
I am back to it now, and the parties and late nights are very apparent during my weight training sessions. From past experience I knew this would happen; so instead of getting frustrated I will smile at those nights without regret and continue forward to become even better than before.
Here is the program I am following for one week only. I feel like it’s a great way to ease back into the gym and wake those muscles up prior to heading into my next training phase.
-Keep it simple
-Gradually increase intensity and volume
1. Decline Leg Press
1a. Dumbbell Bent-over Rows
2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
2a. Dumbbell Chest Press (Flat bench)
3. Barbell Curls
3a. Triceps Push-downs (rope)
4a. Briefcase walk
– Start with 20 minutes of cardio.
Any type of cardio; my goal here is to work up a sweat to rid my body of toxins and mentally prepare to kill it this week. I usually go for the elliptical because I can put both my arms and legs into it.
– Proceed to the weights; 2 sets of 10 reps.
Ya, my numbers are going to suffer – that’s what drinking and staying up late will do. Putting moderate-intense cardio first will also negatively impact my numbers, but for today it’s all good.
Complete the above exercises in superset fashion leaving no more than 1 minute rest between exercises. I choose a weight that will allow me to complete both sets of 10 reps with good form while leaving a couple reps “in the hole” (I could do a couple more, but not today). I’ll start with a warm-up set in most cases, especially if I am not certain of how much to lift.
– 10 minutes of cardio
I opt for incline walking, but any type will do. This is for both warm-up and cardio purposes.
– Proceed to the weights; 3 sets of 10 reps.
I use the exact same exercises as day 1, again in superset fashion. This time I add a third set and try to increase my weights by 5-10lbs during my 2nd and 3rd sets of each exercise while still leaving 1-2 reps in the hole.
Active recovery; enjoy a long walk with my dog.
Same as day 2
– 5 minute warm-up and dynamic stretches.
Last workout before I head into my next phase.
– Proceed to weights; 3 sets of 10 reps followed by 1 drop set to failure.
I continue to use the same exercises but add a fourth set to failure. I will perform 10 reps using the same weight as I did in set 3 and then continue to drop the weight and bang out reps until my form gets too sloppy or until I’m absolutely spent. This does not apply to the briefcase walk exercise.
Day 6: OFF
Day 7: START NEW PHASE WITH CONFIDENCE AND INTENSITY!
Side note: Everything in moderation folks! I do not recommened alcohol consumption and late nights on a regular basis; always keep your training goals in sight.