Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Splitting Short workouts, big gains

Okay, yesterday labor day activities happened to keep me away till late and I ended up with only a short amount of time to workout. I typically run a Monday, Tuesday-upper/lower split and then do full body workouts Thursday and Saturday, leaving Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday as recovery days. This allows me to get 4 good lifts in each week in a way that makes the anabolic stimulus much longer and to the point where it's almost constant, and allows me to eat in the manor that I like and not get fat while still allowing adequate rest so I can throw more heavy shit around. So that one day I can do this.

Labor day was this monday (lower body) and right now I'm increasing my amount of speed work (med ball work, plyometrics, sprints, etc...) so I was either going to be able to get an incredibly rushed full workout in, or......I could split the workout in half doing all the 'speed work' on monday and the rest of the 'lift' on tuesday. In the heat of the moment I decided to go with the split. Monday would be all of my speed work and tuesday would be a day devoted to the lift. I haven't split workouts like this in a very long time, and I gotta say, I absolutely loved it. Was able to get ample rest periods between sets, I also had time for extra mobility and activation work between sets. It was perfect, and the same goes for today. Felt fresh, rested, and ready to get after it.

I bet the first question I get on this is working the legs two days in a row. Well to be more specific the question should be, could working the legs and nervous system in this manor two days in a row not allow for ample rest between the two. Well, we're talking different things here. We are going to put a certain amount of stress on the body's soft tissues as well as the nervous system with both the lift and the speed work. But by seperating them we're in a way using their differences to create a stimulus that doesn't break your body. Plyometrics are the fastest force your body is going to have to deal with, but your nervous system is going to be able to recover enough to perform a lift the next day. Plus, stressing the nervous system is the point, that is what we are going for. This is how we create progress in strength and speed. Just like stress on a muscle builds muscle, stress on the nervous system (in specific ways) improves speed and strength.

I heard from a coach once, of how his intern had asked why he had his athlete do squats and deadlifts during the same workout, and wouldn't it stress the nervous system. Supposedly the coaches response was one word, 'exactly'.
It happened to be Eric Cressey.

Really, to high school coaches that come to me, I almost always advise splitting workouts (though not usually in this manor). They are usually the coaches that actually give a crap about their athletes so I don't mind helping, actually I love it. It's great to find a coach that has wishes the best for his athletes and will work hard to help them. In fact I wish more coaches would figure out that their kids need more than just handed a sheet with a crap workout listed and told to do it. It'd be better for those kids to just stay out of the weight room if that's the case.

I think This subject is gonna be enough for another post and I'll get into it soon. The main point is that you can get great results splitting workouts. Sometimes it just works out I guess. I really needed to split it this week too. Good thing it happened to work out like that.

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