The sun rises here in Vilnius, Lithuania before 4:30am. It didn’t set until after 10pm last night (I took a photo of the ‘old town’ and posted it for you on Facebook here.)
So at 5:15am (Vilnius time) I was up and answering some questions on the TT blog (while it was 10pm back in Toronto – do you find time zones as mind-blowing as I do?)
And long-time reader Jason posted this excellent question, leading to my reply about a surprising NEW way to set up your workouts.
Q: Craig, I am having a hard time getting to the gym regularly. I have 2 small children at home…so I get to the gym 2 maybe 3 days a week. Plus, the days are very sporadic. I have done a bunch of your workouts (BDH your workouts (BDHC,OG TT, Lucky 7, MRT, Meatheads, etc. but most are 4 days and seem pretty scheduled. Any suggestions?
Answer: You bet, and it’s a great question.
You’re about to discover a new way to train. But first, let me explain that the old “7-day cycles” that we silly trainers have been pushing on society are really just “BS”.
There’s no science that says doing chest every Monday is the right way to train, and yet those silly magazines that you and I have bought for years keep on telling us to do that.
But that just doesn’t work for busy folks and family obligations. Let me give you 2 solutions.
Solution #1 – Use a rotating schedule.
I’m currently experimenting with a nine-day program, where I don’t repeat the same workout for 9 days.
This gives me more days off from hard training for recovery. And my strength continues to improve while my body fat stays low (due to nutrition and staying active outside the gym).
You could simply use a 4-day per week program spread out over 14 days:
Week 1 – Workout A, off, off, Workout B, off, off, off
Week 2 – Workout C, off, off, Workout D, off, off, off
Etc. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Plus, as you mentioned, if you are on a random training schedule, it allows you to be flexible on when you train.
You could do: A, off, off, off, B, off, off, off, C, off, D, off, off, off.
Or you could do three workouts one week and only two the next.
Cycle through the program until you’ve done it for 4 rounds, even if that takes you 6 weeks. That’s fine. Your results will be great, you’ll be less stressed about the routine, and like I said, it will give you more time off for recovery (so fewer aches and pains).
Basically, there’s no scientific justification for getting hung up on the awkward 7-day schedule that workout routines have tried to stick to.
The 7-day set schedule is really just B.S.
Now that said, you could also add in a NO-Equipment bodyweight workout to the schedule to to the schedule to get three consistent workouts per week.
That brings us to…
Solution #2 – Mixing regular TT workouts with BW-only workouts
Your schedule could then switch to:
Week 1 – A, off, off, B, off, BW Anabolics workout A, off
Week 2 – C, off, off, D, off, BW Anabolics workout B, off
Week 3 – A, off, off, B, off, BW Anabolics workout A, off
Week 4 – C, off, off, D, off, BW Anabolics workout B, off.
There’s little reason why you wouldn’t get great results with that system.
That was my reply to Jason…
And then the magic of time zones kicked in, and Jason replied from back in America on Wednesday night…even though it was Thursday morning here in Europe!
Jason said, “Dude!!! Youo much. I felt like I was trapped into a set 4 day routine. Super hard with little kids.” My mind just about explodes when this happens…it’s like I’m living in a real-life version of Back to the Future here in Europe. Alright, hope that helped you out.
Ok, time for an early morning workout here in Vilnius. This is my third summer visiting Lithuania, and each time I stay here, I train at a great gym in the “Forum Palace”. Allows me to be a meathead.
But later today we’ll be heading out to a rustic camp for 4 days and there will be NO equipment at all…yet I’ll be taking 60 college-aged kids through bootcamp workouts almost every day…
…using only bodyweight exercises.
More travel training stories to come,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer