Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5x5 Strength Program

"Do It for Yourself. What people think of you doesn’t matter. You have nothing to prove to others. This is your life. Do what you need to do to be who you want to be."

So my goals are simple for 2010: GET STRONG, GET LEAN, STAY ACTIVE, EAT RIGHT, STAY HEALTY. Will be using the 5x5 concept the next few months.

My #1 goal is to really improve on my strength starting the year. So this new program I'm doing suggests to increase the weight plates by 5 lbs on each side of the barbell EACH session as the programs suggests.

And that meant starting with the Olympic Bar at 45 lbs last Saturday a day after Christmas (yes, I've started the program Dec 26th, by the time New Year comes around the program the load should be more challenging). The weights do progressively get heavier mind you. Alot of people I understand burn out from this routine because they start with too much weight and they're ego gets in the way.

I've learned to throw the ego out the door and started with just the BAR. It was strange thinking I was starting with the Bar in this 5x5 routine. But after doing 2 sessions already - I'm understanding the whole reasons behind the training philosophy and it's not a bad idea really.

Again, each session will require you to increase the weights by 5lb increments on each side. I'm noticing after doing a full months worth of BW exercises, even with just a bar I definintely can feel my body getting acclimated back to proper form on these lifts again.

The program also has push ups, pull ups and core work in each session so develop accessory muscles too. The program alternates from Workout A and Workout B, with 48 hours of rest between each workout so a total of 3 full body workouts a week.

Aim is not to want to look strong or show off at a gym but I certainly want to feel strong which is why I'm doing this.

This is something I haven't really focused on much. Maybe it was the injury my friend had about a year and a half ago. It's a mental thing if you've ever seen an injury like this happen with your very eyes. As I work up to heavier weights on the bench, at least now - I can really develop confidence as the weights go up by 5 lbs on each side each week...

If I can improve on my strength on some strong lifts - I think this benefits me in the long run with other programs.

So here are my "average fitness man" goals more specifically:

- To improve my strength in the barbell bench press, overhead press, squat and deadlift.

- To try to avoid the overtrain bug as best I can.

- Keep my knees healthy.

- Goal is to be able to lift 1.2 x my own BW - or better. So that means to be able to get up the weights to 215 lbs hopefully by the end of 12 weeks. 5x5 approach will be used. Goal is to achieve this by 12 weeks (March 31st). If not - I'll keep at it til I do or hop onto a new routine if the interest isn't there anymore. Maybe sooner, may be later...that will all depend.

- Continue adding 5 lb plates on that bar each time. The weight/load progression on this program I'm on gets heavier and heavier.

- To continue to lose that unwanted bodyfat weight. I did gain a little over the holidays.

- To be able to mix in conditioning routines simultaneously with strength work. Again, I've gained some holiday weight here and my BF has gone up to 17.5%. Will continue to do high intensity intervals, but my main focus is strength and will not let intervals hamper my energy reserves for the next 5x5 lift workout.

Will be doing warm ups as usual and maybe some soft tissue work up as well on off days. Foam rolls will be a constant as well as stretching.

That's it, folks...let the 5x5 begin.

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