As some of you know, I’ve been shifting gears a little when it comes to my training. This past month I’ve been focusing more on dumbbell lifting than barbell or powerlifts. When I move in July I’ll mostly be using a pull-up bar and dumbbells so I’m trying to figure out a plan ahead of time to make that work.
I love dumbbell training because free weights (especially when you only do one arm or leg at a time) are better for strengthening muscle stabilizers as well as the larger muscle groups, so I can get lift heavy and strengthen all the muscles in my body. One thing I’ve noticed that I miss about barbell lifts (especially deadlifts) is that my upper back muscles have lost some size. They are still defined but I don’t feel quite as powerful as I did when I was deadlifting 200+ lbs. 2-3 times per week. I’m sure if I add in more bent over rows and pullups that will come back, but I thought it was interesting to note how much deadlifts work upper back and lat muscles, not just legs.
Here’s my current training plan going forward:
I’m going to do Murph every Monday. Why? I’ll be doing an in depth post soon explaining in more detail, but the short answer is that (a. I loved it, but (b. since it was my first time doing it and I wasn’t sure how to pace myself, the amount of time it took me to finish was ridiculous. My first goal is to get it done in less than 60 minutes. My time yesterday was 79 minutes and 50 seconds. The pull-ups and push-ups were what killed me the most – it was really hard to figure out a way to do those without building up so much lactic acid that I couldn’t keep going. I read a fantastic article yesterday (link here – “How Not to Suck at Murph”) that gave a lot of great tips for how to do it more efficiently, and that post also is what inspired me to try doing it every week for awhile.
Tuesdays and Fridays will be my main leg strength days, where I will combine lifting, barre work, and plyometrics to build more leg strength and power.
Wednesdays and Saturdays will be optional upper body strength training days, with one of them being a rest day. Depending on the week, sometimes I need to work out on the weekends, and sometimes I need a break in the middle of the week. So it will vary week to week, but I want to get in at least one more upper body strength specific workout per week besides “Murph”, which is very upper body intense already. I always rest on Sundays unless I really feel the need to do some active rest like going for an easy run or walk.
So there you have my basic training plan for the near future, I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.