Having a plan in place before you go to the gym should be your primary objective. You should know exactly why you’re going to the gym on any given day and what the purpose of that workout should be. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
I’ve got an exercise and nutrition plan in place, clearly outlined, for the entire first 6 months of 2009.
I have a plan in place detailing
- What exercise program I’m following
- Planned increases in the work load
- Planned time off from training
- Planned changes to the program for diversity and muscle confusion
- What nutrition program I’m following
- Scheduled cleanse days
- Scheduled back to back cleanse days
- Planned single refeed days
- Planned double refeed days
- Planned reward meals
- Planned reward beverages (red wine)
Before I sat down to schedule in these various parts of the program, I took into account holidays where food might play a role, a 5 day mini vacation to Las Vegas, a wine tasting event I wanted to attend, a social get together we put together, and a possible vacation to Peru.
I find that I can focus on short intervals of time, such as 9 days or 30 day type programs, so I plan and commit to programs I create with those type of time frames in mind.
I do however, keep the bigger picture in mind so that the 9 day and 30 day minicycles piece together into larger 90 day macrocycles.
I begin with the larger picture in mind, in my case 6 months, Jan 1 2009 through July 1st, 2009. I know I’ll be away in February for 5 days, on February 17th, so I first tackle the days from the new year through February 17th, or roughly 47 days.
I calculate in a rough “working break” while I’m in Vegas, expecting to do some sort of travel workout using body weight for convenience, but allowing myself some freedom that week. It’s essentially a week off from training intensely, while switching to a lighter workout maybe twice that week. I’m also allowing for deviance from a strict nutritional program, and while keeping my goals in mind, factor in the food in Vegas. Meal replacement shakes fit the bill allowing me to keep nutritional intake steady.
I consider the first 47 days phase 1.
It seems like the trip to Vegas, creating a week off, to be a natural place to recover while preparing for phase 2, where I increase my training intensity and modify my nutritional program.
So here it is
My Exercise Program for 2009
For the first 6 months of 2008, I will be training using the Seven Minute Muscle Workout program designed by Jon Benson. (also known as 7 Minute Muscle)
The Seven Minute Muscle Workout takes me back to my earlier days of exercise when I first began working out at my lowest weight of 187 pounds. In looking back at my training journal from 1993 through 1995, it was the principles Jon outlines in the Seven Minute Muscle Workout that I was following.
The logic behind it is sound, and it’s the intensity of it that I’ve been craving for the past two or three months.
It’s also short – very short, so it works into my business goals as well. I’ve found that it takes me longer to get to and from the gym than the time I actually spend IN the gym, and yes, it’s really only a 7 minute workout. At least that’s phase 1. It does get more intense.
The 7 Minute workout program also calls for 3 minutes of abs and 9 minutes of cardio.
This allows me to achieve 8 hours of sleep, a drive to the gym, a quick workout and then be at my desk on time to start work. It’s quite brilliant.
In a short 26 minute audio clip, you can listen to Jon explain how the 7 Minute Muscle Workout works.
As for my nutritional program, I’ll leave that for another post.
Phase 2 Of My 2009 Training Program
After my scheduled down time in Vegas, I begin phase 2 of the Seven Minute Muscle Workout. I increase the training time to 14 minutes. Jon explains that the training time can either be doubled during one visit to the gym, or can be broken into 2 parts with one in the morning and the other in the afternoon or evening.
I plan to break them up allowing for maximum intensity during both training sessions. Breaking them apart also allows for me to increase my metabolism at two different times in the day helping to burn more calories and improving my mood from the endorphins that get released.
Phase 2 will last for a full 2 months ending one week prior to the end of April when I have another scheduled 5 day break from training.
Phase 3 gets more intense yet as I begin the busiest time of the workout. Phase 3 is a full 21 minutes of training per day, which I will break into 3 parts. A morning workout of 7 minutes, and afternoon workout of 7 minutes and a third workout in the evening of 7 minutes for 21 minutes total.
The third session is unlike the other 2 and again, Jon’s brilliance comes to light where he fully loads both fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers (type 1 and type 2) at each workout making sure the muscle has been fully loaded and fully thrashed, sparking new growth and while being able to do it on a calorie restricted nutritional program.
Training three times a day requires a great deal of commitment.
- Drive time to and from the gym
- Attention to laundry duties while sweating through so many clothes
- Setting priorities with training coming first, movies or social gatherings second
- Making sure to get enough sleep each night facilitating Human Growth Hormone output
- Pre-preparing meals in batches to reduce cooking times
- Factoring in shopping time for fresh vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds
Because the 7 Minute Muscle Workout can be scheduled to be a Monday to Friday program, this allows the weekends for cleansing, or catching up on other duties left out while training 3x a day. Basically, I can catch up on the weekends or factor in my cleanse days.
The third phase of my program may be 30 days long, May 1st through June 1st, or it may be 45 days long – continuing through June 15th when I’m done the Transformation contest . The unknown factor is a trip to Peru we just found out about. My fiancé has been asked to lead a photo tour of Peru with Red Lotus Tours, and I will be her assistant. We do not have a final date set for that yet.
July 1st brings phase 4, where I completely change things up and begin an Advanced Mass Building program a little different than this program, but with the same goals.
The overall goal of this training program is to gain 15 pounds of muscle and achieve single digit body fat, whatever number that may be when the time comes.
I’m having body composition measurements taken on a monthly basis by my fitness club using the laser method. This will keep me informed as to progress as I move through the various phases and help me tweak my nutritional program as required.
I trust the Seven Minute Muscle Workout. It’s sound and I will follow the principles as outlined. I wanted to jump forward to the 14 minute workout, but after a discussion with Jon, he advised me to begin at the beginning and so I am. Funny, he sounds like me. Just what I tell my own clients when they ask me how to start.
For the record, my Fiance, all 102 pounds of her, is beginning this same training program with me. It’s NOT for muscle heads and Darlene will prove that she too can begin with the beginner program for 4 to 8 weeks. Because she HAS trained before, she will be doing this for 4 weeks and then moving to the 7 minute muscle workout. Her goal is an increase of 8 pounds of muscle and to achieve 16% body fat.
As I said, it’s not for muscle heads, but apparently a professional body builder was not able to complete the 21 minute portion of it. So yes, it would kick the ass of a body builder too.