Leaving the gym today, I got kind of depressed because I loved my workout so much!
Have you ever felt sad after leaving the gym? You just loved your workout so much, you didn't want to leave?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe I'm just weird.
Let's back up a bit. Last week, I was getting to the point where, even though I still loved working out, I kind of dreaded every day except legs and shoulders. Why? I'm getting tired of isolation exercises, like bicep curls and tricep extensions. I don't know about you, but I don't feel any power when doing these. But I LOVE love love military presses, squats, dead lifts, rows, etc. The compound exercises. They make me feel the most confident and strong.
So getting back to my point. I started looking around for routines that focused mainly on these big lifts as opposed to the isolation lifts and I found the 5 x 5 program from Strong Lifts. At first (and even now) it sounds a little too-good-to-be-true but I'm gonna go with it because there's a lot of evidence that it works.
My main goal for working out right now, I guess, is building muscle. I say "I guess" because this still scares me a bit. The whole "getting bigger" idea puts Ed on edge. But I know what I want to look like (strong) and that means I need more "mass". So, based on my goals this program seems to line up perfectly. I want to be stronger and gain muscle.
The basics of the program:
The 5 x 5 program uses the main compound lifts which include the squat, dead lift, bench press, rows, and shoulder press. It's set up so that you complete three exercises per workout three times a week. Today I did squats, rows, and bench press. Wednesday, I'll do squats, dead lifts, and military press. Friday, I'll do what I did today again. So you are alternating between these two main workouts each each. Next week I'll have two dead lift days instead of the two bench press days this week.
The main point of the program is that you add weight each time you workout. In order to do this you start with low weight to make sure your form is right and then slowly add on five pounds to each exercise each day you work it. So, today I started with ninety-five pounds for squats, which is pretty easy for me, but when I go to do squats on Wednesday, I'll add five pounds making it a hundred pounds. The difference too, with these squats is that I'm going a lot lower than usual. My hip joint wants to be below my knee joint on each rep in order to get the full benefits from the exercise. This is the same with all of the other lifts. You want to make sure your form is spot on so that when you add weight, you can handle it.
The 5 x 5 part comes in as the number of sets and reps you preform. You complete five sets of five reps for each exercise, except the dead lift, where you will only do one set of five reps. I personally love this because I'm not a huge fan of busting out a million reps. I'd rather go big or go home, if you know what I mean.
Anyways, by the end of the twelve weeks my weights for each exercise should be pretty high. I should make good gains if I follow the program exactly. The hardest part for me will be that I won't be working out every day, but only three days a week. I will most likely do some sort of light cardio or light training work on Tuesday and Thursdays so I don't go insane.
So yeah, I'm pretty excited and can't wait to start seeing more progress! If you want more information about the program, check out the website, it's awesome. Strong Lifts.
Enjoy you're week...I'll see you on Wednesday for another awesome recipe!