How Nate's Getting His Butt Kicked in the Gym (And How That Can Help You)
I just finished Day 1 of a new training program and I feel incredible. No, it isn't anything “magical”. It's what you'd expect from a welll-written program from a smart guy that focuses on building multiple strength qualities, hypertrophy, and keeping you healthy.
I feel incredible because, well, I've been a bit of a wuss and haven't followed a training program in months.
I know, I know. I've written before about how stupid it is to write your own progarms. But you don't understand: I haven't followed any training program over the past 12 weeks.
No post-it notes or workout journals. No exercises scribbled onto note cards or written on legal paper. I've just been going into the gym (most of the time) and winging it.
Sure, it's been fun. I've taken long-ass rest periods on heavy deadlifts. I've supersetted every chest exercise known to man for absolutely no reason. One day I pushed a Prowler for 30 minutes (with lots of rest and one near-vomit session).
But I've been missing something all along: the feeling of accomplishment.
Nothing feels better than looking at what you're supposed to train that day, rocking the workout, and scratching shit off a list. It's just satisfying.
But when you make up your own program on the fly it's easy to bitch out on hard exercises and not push yourself. Hell, it's easy to skip going to the gym altogether.
(I'm doing the Show and Go system by Eric Cressey, by the way. It's the perfect follow-up to Built for Show and was created for guys who want muscle and performance in one complete package.)
So, I've got this new training program and, if it's cool with you, I want to share two new things I'm currently doing in the gym.
2 New Things Nate's Doing in the Gym
– Three days per week of strength training
To be honest, I'm a big fan of four-day splits and had been doing a few variations of those leading up to the last 12 weeks of “what-the-hell” training. I do think three-day training programs are good for beginners (which is why I recommended them in Built for Show) and for people who are strapped for time or are trying to build up other parts of their lives. That's the mode I'm in.
With Cressey's program, I'll be in the gym for a total of 3-5 hours per week (depending on how long the energy systems work takes me) and kicking ass every minute. And while Show and Go offers a four-day version, I plan on sticking to the three-day schedule since I'm 1) writing a new book, 2) getting ready for a month-long trip to Europe.
I want to make sure I'm going to follow the program when I'm abroad, and I know I can make it three days per week. (If not, I give you permission to punch me in the face or send me hate mail.)
Three-day programs—when written well and performed like you're on a freakin' mission—will create enough stimulus for muscle growth, strength gains, and fat loss.
– “Filler” exercises in between main exercises
When I was talking with Cressey a few days ago, he told me how most guys don't focus on the “ancillary” aspects of training. I totally agree.
Sure, we've got the lifting weights part down. But what about the foam rolling, flexibility, and cardio (energy systems)? What about the exercises to help our posture and make our joints more mobile?
We don't do them, that's what.
I enjoyed my first day on the new program because it included these kinds of exercises during training. Doing scapular wall slides right after a set of front squats? Yep. Super-setting god-awful Palloff presses with cable rows? Sure.
This is the stuff most of us would skip if it weren't written into the meat of the program.
Got a Training or Nutrition Question? Let Me Help You.
So that's what I'm up to. Since I get dozens e-mails asking about my current training program, I figured you guys—my faithful blog readers—would like to know. And I'll be sure to keep you up with how the program's going. (In fact, I'll put periodic updates in my newsletter, so sign up for that if you haven't already.)
But now I want to help you. I really appreciate you reading by my blog and articles and want to give back.
So if you've got a training, nutrition, or even a lifestyle question, post it below before Friday September 24th and I'll do my best to answer it.
(Oh, and if you're in the market for more muscle and strength, be sure to check out Cressey's Show and Go System.)