In a private group I run, this little snippet was posted by Dominic Matteo, a Level 2 Master Class Coach for Precision Nutrition:
3 days of bodybuilding
a day of HIIT
a day of yoga
a day of easy movement in all planes keeping you in zone 2
an optional stretching day. Do it, or don’t. your choice.
in addition, there is a deload every 4th week of everything.
Programming is done in 3 mesocycles.
Sounds damn good to me for most people.
Yet, slap a brand name on this and people lose their minds and point out the “flaws” and how terrible it is.
I want you to look at this and think how this would apply for 90% of people who train.
3 days of bodybuilding – train for aesthetics.
1 day of HIIT work – sprints, Airdyne, rowing, metabolic conditioning.
1 day of Yoga – stretching, mobility, moving your body through awkward ranges of motion.
1 day of Zone 2 work – cardiac health. I will add that I believe two to three days per week of Zone 2 work is ideal for most of us.
1 optional stretching day – If you are super stiff, this shouldn’t be an option.
Deload week every 4th week – that means a light week to allow you to recover and live life outside of exercise.
Programming is done in 3 mesocycles – this is a topic for another post but for now we will just say programming is done in short blocks not a long term plan.
This little snippet is a fantastic plan for 90% of people.
You have it all, and you have a good balance of it with an edge towards aesthetics, conditioning, stretching, mobility, proper progressions, and rest.
There is one issue here that is the elephant in the room.
Realistic goal addressing
This is something that needs to be a hard conversation with yourself, or your coach(es).
Do you play a sport?
What is your sport? What are the energy demands of it? Do you need to worry about “bodybuilding” training at all? How many days a week do you practice and play? How old are you? How many injuries have you had? The list goes on..
Are you a 40 year old person trying to look, feel better, and improve your health?
Do you NEED a 5 day a week lifting program when we can do 4 and use the other days for active recovery protocols? I know you think Yoga is silly but so is being stiff. Cardio is boring, I get it, but so is being out of shape.
Are you a Powerlifter?
Reps aren’t always fun but they help build muscle to support the strength you are gaining. Yes, you do need cardiovascular training and we will use a lot of Zone 2 work because it has minimal effects on your strength and the benefits of increased aerobic capacity and cardiac output is immeasurably beneficial to your weight training. We will cycle through a smart program where you are challenged but we will have strict scheduled light weeks to recover. I know you think you are unique in that you can go “beastmode” all the time, but everyone has a breaking point.
Are you coming back from injury?
What did your Physical Therapist say? What movements bother you and let’s find a way to work around them until you develop the strength and stability to work in those planes? Let’s work on areas in close proximity to your injury so we don’t develop movement issues because of lack of motion in one area.
The list goes on with any goal you can think of…
Goals are critical to results; not just to give you a concrete goal to shoot for but to give you an idea of the direction you will take to reach those goals.
That direction is a make or break moment in your training.
You shouldn’t put a 40 year man through a program designed for a 23 year old college football player, but if that 40 year old man said, “I want to be more athletic”, it is very possible to look at the example Dominic wrote about as a incredibly feasible method to become more athletic.
The difficulty lies in not being honest with yourself, which is a very difficult emotion to come to grips with as you change and your goals change. That same difficultly applies in this statement:
Unrealistic goals versus realistic goals
What does this mean?
When it put this statement in the simplest terms possible it means, what is realistic for you?
Do you think a 6 day a week bodybuilding program is smart for you when you have a full-time job, a family, kids, and you are approaching 40? What is realistic for you to start with so we can assess down the line and see how this is working out before we throw the entire can of gasoline into the fire?
That statement above encompasses what I mean by the acronym:
When you are assessing your goals, line them up with your lifestyle, your recovery ability, your “sport” (if you play or participate in one), and what you enjoy doing to understand what UGRG means for you.
When you train yourself, and write your own programs, this can be a difficult thing to analyze as we tend to err on the side of selective bias with our outlook about exercise.
If you would like help from us in finding a way to reach your goals, realistically and efficiently, please send us an email and we can chat.
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