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Workout routine for mix of size/stamina/leaning out?

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  • Workout routine for mix of size/stamina/leaning out?

    Hey all, Mark especially, if you're creeping these boards.

    I am trying to figure a way to avoid chronic cardio in my workout. I started working out heavily about 9 months ago, and went Primal in January. I have since gone from ~240lb to a leaner, fitter, 210 (i'm 6'0")--still trying to get rid of the moobs and belly, but I have had a hard time kicking alcohol for various reasons.

    Anyways, I have an 8-day work week (4 on/4 off), so I have created a workout built around that. I like what I am doing, and unless there is something fundamentally messed up with it, I am not looking to change as I have been getting positive results. I have been less focused on weight lately and more on trimming the fat, gaining muscle mass (not a lot of bulk) and increasing endurance/flexibility.

    In a nutshell, it's something like this:

    Day 1: Stronglifts 5x5 workout A (lift heavy things)
    Day 2: Crossfit (if schedule allows) or HIIT at home/work
    Day 3: Stronglifts 5x5 workout B
    Day 4: Move Slowly/Rest/Play
    Day 5: Sprints and a light run
    Day 6: Stronglifts 5x5 workout A (lift heavy things)
    Day 7: Crossfit (if schedule allows) or HIIT at home/work
    Day 8: Move Slowly/Rest/Play

    I have upped my protein and overall caloric intake for the muscle building. My concern is that I am going through a very difficult period on my life (personally) and have been for the past few months. I wasn't getting the rest I needed initially, and I guess not even now. To deal with the stress I was constantly working out, hiking, biking and running--even on supposed rest days I would go for a 8-12 mile hike, ride my mountain bike hard in the nearby hills or go for a hard 5 mile run.

    However, as I have continued to educate myself on training methodologies, I recognize this has been self-defeating since I am not giving my body adequate time to truly rest.

    I guess my main question is, what can I do that isn't chronic cardio, but still occupies a good amount of my time, and that meshes well with my stronglifts/crossfit workout system? For now and the forseeable future, I see exercise as free therapy and a way to cope with all of my great amount of stress and avoid becoming depressed. However, I know I am over doing it.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

  • #2
    I don't know how long you've been on that particular program, but I wouldn't expect you to be able to progress very long doing both StrongLifts and CrossFit -- they are both very demanding programs (SL 5x5 paticularly) and you're taxing your recovery system pretty hard with any one of those, nevermind both. Personally I would say stick to the SL strength program as the capacity for endurance/stamina increases with strength, and heavy squats do pretty well at exercising the cardiovascular system as well. As far as stress reduction, I personally like hikes, low/medium-intensity bike rides, climbing.... these are activities that also won't interfere with the SL program since they keep the intensity down.

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    • #3
      On an 8-day schedule like that, I would probably do no more than 4 hard workouts, and probably only 3. The other 5 days should be walking or hiking that doesn't make you breathe hard. The hard workouts should be a couple of days of lifting and one or maybe two days of sprints.

      Chronic cardio is putting your hard rate over 80% of maximum for more than an hour on a regular basis.

      You are probably pushing yourself too hard and will likely see better gains from a bit more rest/ moving slowly.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. I am currently reevaluating what I do. I am just looking for that balance. I;m not going to stop SL, but I may just do one CrossFit class every 8 days, along with 1 sprint day. The concept of 3 rest days will be tough, but I will see if it's something I can manage.

        In the meantime, what are people doing for weight gain? I was trying to keep my carbs below 100 every day, which I have been. However, I am using a new weight gain shake mix, and ALL of them are VERY high in carbs. One of the lowest I found is still 80 grams of carbs per serving size, and I have two a day--it gives me the calories I want, 1300, but 160 carbs seems crazy! Or am I going to be okay because of the workouts?

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        • #5
          As long as they are from safe, primal sources even sedentary people can do well with 100-150g of carbs a day; athletic/active people can definitely handle more, especially after a hard workout.

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          • #6
            What other people said - that's too much work, and all the conditioning stuff is eventually going to work against the strength building. Programs like SL5x5 are meant as a temporary way to get strong, to be run for a few months. Btw, SL is just a rip-off of Rippetoe's Starting Strength, did you know that? Those last two sets you are doing are a complete waste of time. Read Practical Programming for Strength Training, it's a great book.

            As for your carb question - I don't get it - if you are trying to gain mass, why are you also trying to limit carbs?
            If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tfarny View Post
              What other people said - that's too much work, and all the conditioning stuff is eventually going to work against the strength building. Programs like SL5x5 are meant as a temporary way to get strong, to be run for a few months. Btw, SL is just a rip-off of Rippetoe's Starting Strength, did you know that? Those last two sets you are doing are a complete waste of time. Read Practical Programming for Strength Training, it's a great book.

              As for your carb question - I don't get it - if you are trying to gain mass, why are you also trying to limit carbs?
              A fair question for sure.

              Regarding SL v SS, to me, it's splitting hairs. Working out and routines have been around for decades--all build off each other. Some consider SL a more gradual introduction to lifting yet ultimately causes early stalling. SS has its fans but most arguments for following that routine are less likely to stall, you start off at a more personal weight load, and it's supposedly the originator of the concept. I myself don't care who ripped off who, I just want the best workout for me.

              With all that in mind, I just started a hybrid version of BOTH. So I'll how that comes out. Also, based on my reading and some of the feedback here, I am dropping crossfit for now, and going to focus on my lifting and some HIIT/Sprints/Stairs--I need to keep my endurance.

              Regarding my question on carbs--I guess that was dumb question. I need the carbs and can rationalize because of my workouts. My only concern is I am trying to lose the belly fat and moobs as add weight--I'm not looking to get huge, just convert my fat to muscle and get a little more size--i'm 6'0", and currently hovering around 207-210. And since I have dropped 35, I am not worried about weight now; I am more concerned with body fat % and strength/size.

              With all that in mind I am only going to have the carb heavy shake after workouts--that makes sense right? And I have having them with heavy whipping cream for the extra calories and satfat.

              Any thoughts?

              Thanks again.

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