How I Got Into Fitness
While it probably is pleasant to have well-chiseled muscles, what really drove me to fitness was watching videos of people doing crazy stuff with their bodies.
I started working out relatively seriously in the summer of 2017 with the Recommended Routine.
Before that, as I had been swimming since I was 6, I’ve always had a decent physical condition, especially leg-wise. I could do a few pullups, a few archer squats, and a dozen pushups with good form. Over the two years that followed, I got some good results here and there despite not working out as regularly as I should have. I managed to do my first muscle up (albeit with considerable kipping); I became able to do pistol squats with both hands behind me (which is an objectively fairly harder variation of the movement); I could even do dragon pistol squats: they’re useless in a routine but they’re a good way to show off both quad strength and mobility; and I could do ten or so pullups.
However, along the way and especially starting from about one year ago, my objectives have since changed: although I still aim at acquiring the “cool” bodyweight movements such as the front and back lever, the planche, the handstand pushup, and the one-arm chinup, they’re not my priority anymore. Now I just want to gain strength. Muscle hypertrophy is a nice bonus but it’s really not what motivates me, except for the six-pack. Even if it doesn’t necessarily show, knowing that I’m stronger than your average Joe is very satisfying to me.
After going through quite a lot of content over the past few years (and recently binging the amazing YouTube channel of Canadian bodybuilder Jeff Nippard), I’ve decided to design my own personal routine centered around efficiency first and foremost, because I’m a hopeless maximizer when it comes to planifying things, and because I have neither the time nor the will to spend five or six days a week in the gym. That routine was mainly inspired by Jay’s Beginner Routine and Jeff’s comment in this video.
My Current Routine
(As of July 20, 2020)
The routine itself is split in Routine A and Routine B, and I alternate between the two. I typically work out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so on one week I do A-B-A and on the following week I do B-A-B, and then the cycle repeats. Both routines should be between one hour and two hours long depending on the breaks you take. With breaks of 2'30, they should last about 90 minutes, not counting the 15-minute optional stretching at the end.
I basically do light cardio on the staircase machine for five minutes before doing the Molding Mobility for about 5 reps for each movement. It’s pretty barebones and I’m considering replacing it all by Jeff’s warmup, but I’ll be honest and admit I’m just kinda lazy and can’t be bothered to think about it too deeply.
Unless specified, the exercises are to be done in 3 sets of 8 reps with appropriate rest in between (I personally rest for about 2'30").
- Back Squat
- Quads and Glutes
- Barbell Bench Press
- Pecs, Delts, Triceps
- Pendlay Row
- Lats and Triceps
- Barbell Biceps Curl
- Calf Raises
- Alternate between Standing and Seated Calf Raises (12 reps for the Seated).
- Grip Training
- Romanian Deadlift
- Glutes and Hamstrings
- Overhead Shoulder Press
- Delts, Pecs, Triceps
- Pull Up
- Lats and Biceps
- 45° Back Extension
- Glutes, Traps, Lats
- Standing Rope Upright Row
- Lateral Deltoids, Upper Traps, Biceps
- 7 Min Abs
- Rectus Abdomini, Transverse Abdomini, Obliques
I like to stretch immediately after the routine for about 15 minutes. I do a slightly modified variation of the Starting Stretching routine. I’m aiming at attaining the splits in a few years; I’ll be sure to write a post when I do.
Hopefully this will be useful to you. Don’t forget to get 48 hours of rest between sessions, because muscles grow most when they recover!