Journal: First of three: Day 1 of my full-body split

Coming off the back of a torn hamstring (long story), a recent hernia repair and yet another bout of travel, I’m finally heading back to the gym!

For the last year, I’ve been hammering myself pretty hard following a variety of high volume programming. And truth be told, while it has worked, by some definition of “worked”, it’s also left me feeling pretty beat-up and generally decrepit.

To be fair, some of that is not about the programming, some of that’s squarely on me either pushing too hard, training through [the wrong kinds of] pain or including exercises because I think I should have them in my program.

So over the coming months, we’re again changing things up.

Inspired by a post from Jason over at Anymanfitness, starting this week, I’ve moved to a low volume, high-frequency program, hitting the whole body just three days a week. Nothing special there, this is a tried and tested approach for beginners and advanced trainees alike.

The only real questions for me in terms of programming were whether to shoot for consistency across the three workouts, or look at three different full-body workouts. After some deeper thought and good advice from Sean Hyson, I opted to go with three different workouts across the week.

I’ll pull the whole program together for you at the end of the week, including some of the reasoning behind the choices. But for now, here’s the first of the three workouts I completed last night:

A:  Chest supported row   3 x 8-12
B:  Kroc rows   2 x 20*

C:  Incline crush press   10, 6, 15

D1:  DB RDL   3 x 8-12
D2:  KB front squat   3 x 12-15

E:  Cable curl   3 x 8-12
F:  DB decline hammer   3 x 8-12

G:  Suitcase carry   10 x 30 secs (5 each arm)

Bear in mind that programs need testing and this was the first run-through of this specific program. All in all, it went well, with overall volume/work feeling about right. The flow was good, with no problems transitioning between exercises, and the whole program came in at just under the hour.

Rest intervals were generally short, certainly no more than 90 seconds, and warm-up sets are not included in the counts above.

So, for example, I hit at least a couple of extra sets of Kroc rows at 12 and 6 reps, before tackling the two work sets. And even those warm-ups were shorter than normal due to the addition of the previous activation exercise, chest supported row.

I’m feeling appropriately sore today, nothing too crazy, but I can tell I’ve worked.

Of course, I’m just coming back from a layoff of sorts, so DOMS will be high at first and drop-off somewhat over time. That said, it’s been a while since I’ve had full days of recovery between workouts, so I’ve got some learns to go through, no doubt.

Truth be told, I’m pretty excited about the new workout schedule, and that’ll get me a long way in of itself.

I’ll follow-up throughout the week with the rest of the program.

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