What I'm doing in the gym this week

Alex Bennett 19 February 2018

After a month-long session of circuit routines and cardio designed to burn fat (and sadly muscle) plus a very strict Ketogenic diet I got the results I was after, as much fat loss in a month as possible at my current weight taking me from 20% to 18% total, a long way from where I started at 39.9%, I was so fat!

This month I am taking a bit of a break from the diet while not going silly but allowing myself the freedom to eat more while focussing more on strength routines. The routines follow a strict push/pull dichotomy for 4 days and then a rigorous cardio routine on the Friday courtesy of Tammy at Primal.

Each of these routines requires no more than 60 seconds rest between the sets and doing each exercise set in one go before moving on. The aim here to increase your weight week on week.

To warm up I do two Tabata circuits, which involves 16 minutes of almost nonstop work. The warmup is a blast of HIIT cardio and I love doing them to Tabata songs, specifically this one, narrated by the man himself Matt Fraser.

The Tabata sets involve 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds rest, blasting through the 4 moves a total of 16 times with no rest between (I have to reset the song quickly, as it’s only for a circuit of 8) - I then move onto my second easier Tabata. Both routines are below;

Ice Skaters, Cross Body Mountain Climbers, Prisoner Lunge, Burpees

Side Shuffle, Mountain Climbers, Plank, High Knees

Once I have blasted through this I usually take a 5-minute rest before I move onto the strength session to refill on fluids as you lose a good portion of your body weight to sweat.

Monday - Pull

Monday is the easier day of the 4-day routine and the best for vanity, by the time you’re done your arms are so pumped they are easily a third larger than at rest, so I usually wear a nice tight t-shirt post workout to catch a glimpse of myself in shop windows walking back to work. Super vain I know, but being proud of my body now is a new thing for me and flaunting it is all part of the progress!

Wide Grip Pull-ups (weighted), 4 set of 6 @ 10kg Bent-over row, 3 sets of 8 @ 60kg Barbell curl, 3 sets of 10 @ 37.5kg Cable Row, 4 sets of 12 @ 85kg Lat pull-downs, 2 sets of 10 @ 60kg Tricept pull-down, 4 sets of 10 @ 80kg

Tuesday - Push

Chest day, always fun - but ensure you’re safe if working solo, always bench press with a safety rack, given the time of day I usually train I typically have the gym to myself and with the trainers taking advantage of the quiet gym I think they usually have their staff meeting at around this time, so if I drop the bar or something bad happens I don’t have to sit helplessly until someone notices me squirming under a bar equal to or greater than my bodyweight. I speak from experience.

My warmup is the same except post-Tabata I do some specific shoulder mobility drills.

Bench Press, 4 sets of 6 @ 85kg Decline Bench Press, 3 sets of 8 @ 55kg Include Bench Press, 3 sets of 10 @ 55kg Overhead Press, 2 sets of 12 @ 40kg Clap press-ups, 1 set of 15

The clap press-ups are new to me, I can only manage 3 or so at a time if I want to power myself high enough to manage a decent clap, otherwise, I flop to the ground in a very undignified fashion.

Wednesday - Legs & Abs

The hardest of the days, or at least the one with the heaviest weights! Last week running this I was a fool and didn’t warm myself up as much as I should have, and come Thursday was stricken with severe neck pain (I probably craned my neck too much during my good mornings rather than looked at the ground just above my feed). So remember, spend at least 10 minutes stretching before you do any of this. I skip the Tabata’s on this workout too, it’s enough work to through this in a reasonable time.

Deadlift, 4 sets of 6 @ 160kg Dumbell squats, 3 sets of 8 @ 35kg (each hand) Good morning, 3 sets of 10 @ 40kg Jumping Lunge, 2 sets for 1 minute each Hanging leg raise, 1 set of 20

Thursday - Core

This is the same as the core routine from my previous blog post, you can find that here

Friday - Conditioning

This varies week to week depending on how evil Tammy is apparently feeling, they are usually great fun and I recommend anyone at any level giving a conditioning class at Primal a go, we are usually paired up with someone of equivalent strength & power so we can work at our maximum rate and assigned a bunch of varying bodyweight and machine-based workouts, usually to time or to a ladder building up to a max amount and then back down. I never leave a Friday lunch conditioning feeling I could have done more, I work to 100% throughout and it’s a good way to round out the week and get ready for 2 days rest over the weekend! I will continue this workout and a more relaxed approach to my diet until the end of February where I will go back to a Ketogenic diet and a split of 2/3 cardio and strength, so my Monday and Friday will no doubt be conditioning and my mid-week will be strength based. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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