Critique my routine

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2012 1:51 AM GMT
    Recently I feel that I am kind of plateauing and I am not 100% sure of what it is that I am doing (wrong). I'm going to write out my routine and see if you guys can help me with it. My goal this year is to be at 170lbs and 9-10% bodyfat. I'm currently 160lbs and somewhere near 12-13% bodyfat.


    Mondays: HIIT running for 1.5 - 2 miles. Followed by crossfit. My crossfit routine generally includes 25-30 reps of these exercises: (3 circuits total)

    Box-jump, Wall-ball shots, Push-press, Berpees, TRX-pullups, medicine ball slams, Kettlebell swings, snatch, pushups on bosu, squat-jumps, mountain-bike, ab roller.

    Tuesdays: Lower body day, usually start with deadlift, then squats, leg presses, lunges, Bulgarian split squats, front squats, etc. I mix up the exercises depending on what I did last time.

    Wednesdays: Pretty much repeat what I did on Monday, but with different sets of exercises.

    Thursdays: rest

    Fridays: Upper body day, usually start with bench press, then dumbbell presses, weighted pullups, T-bar rows, cable rows, military presses, bench-pull, etc.

    Saturdays: Running mid-long distance, generally with 2 miles steady warm up, and 2-3 miles intermittent sprints and walking, finishing with 1 mile cooldown jog.

    Sundays: Generally do a half-mile running warm up, then I focus on the arms, specifically tris and bis. On the biceps I do curls (dumbbell, barbells, hammer, seated, standing, it depends what I did the previous week). For the tricep I do a good amount of French press, skull crushers, narrowgrip bench press, dips from many angles (incline decline flatline), and tricep extensions.


    Helpful inputs appreciated. Thanks.
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    Jan 05, 2012 1:58 AM GMT
    What does your diet look like?

    And how long have you been doing this routine?
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    Jan 05, 2012 2:08 AM GMT
    Larkin:

    My diet is like this:

    I generally eat small meals every 2.5 - 3.5 hours.

    On the weight lifting days (Sun, Tues, and Fri) I slightly overconsume calories, and I usually do this by adding more carbohydrates. But "clean" carbs like steamed sweet potatos, brown rice, and oatmeal. Sometimes fruits. In terms of protein I try to vary my sources, chicken breast is a staple though. Lean beef and salmon are also the regulars. In terms of supplement I drink myoplex or muscles milk. But I only consume it after the weight lifting like it is suggested.

    On the other days I underconsume calories, and I usually would simply cut the carbs in half.

    I've been keeping this routine for about 6-7 months now. I mix the exercises so I would think that keeps "confusing" the muscles. But I'm not sure if in the bigger sense my body gets in a big cycle, expecting that "oh this is a running day, this is a heavy lifting day" etc.

    Does that make sense?
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    Jan 05, 2012 2:11 AM GMT
    Makes sense. Your diet regime looks solid. How often do you take breaks? Single day breaks or week long breaks?
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    Jan 05, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    My one-day break is Thursday where I generally just rest. (or the most I would do is run around the block for maybe a mile to jumpstart my metabolism)

    I would take a week-long break usually when I'm traveling and on vacation. That's when I don't workout except do like 2-mile morning runs on the beach, and my diets kinda go out the window. No overly gross food like cheeseburgers and pizzas that are oozing lard, but like real food like how I'd normally eat on my cheat days (which is Thursday when I rest)
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    Jan 05, 2012 4:04 AM GMT
    Your routine seems pretty intense. Lots of stamina type exercises. Maybe cut back on the running? Or you can implement different techniques to your lifting routine, like pyramid sets, drop sets, etc.
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    Jan 05, 2012 4:40 AM GMT
    xrichx saidYour routine seems pretty intense. Lots of stamina type exercises. Maybe cut back on the running? Or you can implement different techniques to your lifting routine, like pyramid sets, drop sets, etc.


    I'm scared that if I cut back on running I will accumulate bodyfat icon_cry.gif

    With the weights I also vary the types of lifting, sometimes I'd do high reps to failure, drop sets, sometimes I'd do explosive 2-3 reps but many many many sets. I try to randomize it as much as possible...

    Any more suggestions? I am really grateful! Thx
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    Jan 05, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    Hehe. Your recent pics tell me that your bodyfat is just fine. I think the crossfit will help keep that in check anyways.

    In terms of nutrition, try to increase your carbs post-workout. Like get a tub of Glyco Maize. Add a couple scoops to your post-workout protein shake. Or if you prefer, you can use fruit instead and mix your shake in a blender. Basically, any easily digestible carb.
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    Jan 05, 2012 6:40 AM GMT
    Yeeks.

    E, you make me look lazy as shit by comparison.

    Mines is:

    Mon.
    - Squats and Overhead Press, done for 5 sets of 5 reps.
    - Then 1 set of 5 reps for Deadlifts.
    - Then weighted pushups (3 sets) to failure.

    Thurs.
    - Squats, Bench Presses and Barbell Rows, done for 5 sets of 5 reps.
    - Then weighted chin-ups (3 sets) to failure.

    Sat.
    30 min. Kettlebell routine, alternating Turkish get-ups and swings.

    I seem to be maintaining my weight and bodyfat as is, maybe gaining a little muscle mass. I just started this routine, so I don't have enough data to say if it is doing me good yet.

    no running or excessive cardio (which I hate anyway lol)
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    Jan 05, 2012 8:25 AM GMT
    rest on Wednesday and Thursdays so to give your body more time to recover and cut out all cardio for about 3 weeks ..i think if you do minor tweaks to your routine every couple of weeks you'll break the plateau.
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    Jan 06, 2012 12:30 PM GMT
    Hmm, E, the best advice I can give is to completely change your routine.

    The way a plateau works is that your body has stopped responding to the stimulus. That's what the body does: finds equilibrium, screens out what it considers "background stimuli", and only deals with things that are new and unusual. The same phenomenon happens with hearing, actually. There are thousands of sounds happening around you all the time that you just don't notice, not because you can't hear them but because you hear them once and then start filtering them out as "routine". You stop responding.

    What I would do if it were me would be to shock my system somehow. Maybe take a whole week off, then start an entirely new lifting/cardio regimen. Or dramatically alter your diet for a short while. Maybe try a ketosis-style low carb thing like Atkins for a couple weeks just to let your body know you're breaking the routine.

    Your body needs a shock.
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    Jan 06, 2012 12:33 PM GMT
    Take a week or two off and let your body get used to that... then start up again. ;-)
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    Jan 06, 2012 1:00 PM GMT
    My routine is pathetic compared to this. That sounds amazing.

    My questions would be what are your goals? Are you wanting to increase/decrease size, or maintain?

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    Jan 06, 2012 6:07 PM GMT
    Larkin saidHmm, E, the best advice I can give is to completely change your routine.

    The way a plateau works is that your body has stopped responding to the stimulus. That's what the body does: finds equilibrium, screens out what it considers "background stimuli", and only deals with things that are new and unusual. The same phenomenon happens with hearing, actually. There are thousands of sounds happening around you all the time that you just don't notice, not because you can't hear them but because you hear them once and then start filtering them out as "routine". You stop responding.

    What I would do if it were me would be to shock my system somehow. Maybe take a whole week off, then start an entirely new lifting/cardio regimen. Or dramatically alter your diet for a short while. Maybe try a ketosis-style low carb thing like Atkins for a couple weeks just to let your body know you're breaking the routine.

    Your body needs a shock.


    Sounds like a great idea! I'm going to vacation in a week, and during my flight I can plan a new routine, and when I come back I can start anew and all refreshed!

    What a wonderful recommendation Larky! Thanks icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 06, 2012 6:09 PM GMT
    onaquest saidMy routine is pathetic compared to this. That sounds amazing.

    My questions would be what are your goals? Are you wanting to increase/decrease size, or maintain?



    Physically, I'd like to be at 170lbs and around 8-9% bodyfat.

    But it goes deeper than that, do you know the feeling that after a really intense workout and you feel really refreshed and open? I would like to re-gain that feeling post-workout again, in a consistent basis.
  • rafiki87

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    Jan 06, 2012 7:03 PM GMT
    Yeah, the work-rest ratios are off, and I think there's too much going on in a week.

    Strength Endurance workouts are 1:1 or 1:2 depending on how quickly you recover - basically your 3 sets of 8-10 rep days in the weight room.

    Aerobic Power (maximizing your aerobic capacity) workouts are 1:1 maybe less - running, swimming, playing sports, etc.

    Power (applying force at high velocities) workouts are 1:1 or 1:2 depending again on how quickly you recover - basically your cross-fit days.

    Max strength workouts are at least a 1:2 maybe even 1:3 - basically the days where you max out your lifts so it's 4 sets of 4 reps (or less).

    What these ratios mean, for every day you work on a certain athletic ability, it's the number of days off that you need. This also applies for between sets rest periods.


    When you said you've lost that refreshed feeling after a good workout, it's really your body saying, it needs a break.



    Best suggestion is to take a good 2-3 weeks off, rest and regenerate.

    Then start a max aerobic power phase, some running and swimming, light weights at higher rep ranges - do this for about 3 - 5 weeks. Could choose injury preventative exercises in this phase.

    Then go into a strength endurance phase, the goal is to develop a strength base, maintain some running on the recovery days to cycle out the lactic acid. Do this for about 6 weeks.

    Then go into a Max Strength phase, the goal is to develop more explosiveness to be used in a the power phase later on. Keep it for about 9 weeks.

    Go back to one more strength endurance phase, for another 6 weeks. The goal is to stabilize the gains you just made in the max strength phase. Maintain some running/light cardio on the recovery days to cycle out lactic acid.

    Then go into a power phase. Cross-fit your hearts desire for say 6 weeks. By this time it's summer. Maintain some running/light cardio on the recovery days to cycle out lactic acid.

    I really wouldn't worry too much about body-fat percentage. Elite athletes don't go under 13% otherwise it affects their performance and recovery.


    Sorry if I was a tad verbose. icon_redface.gif Hope it helps.