If you just started lifting and all you care about is increasing your deadlift, your training week could look like this:
If you’re sleeping well, getting proper nutrition, and managing stress, you will make great progress with this training scheme! This could even work for intermediate or advanced athletes. And this training scheme will work for most anything. But very few people are going to train just one thing, three days a week. Most want a few different things. Myself: I want a lot! This makes sequencing a training week incredibly tricky, especially since many of the things I do contradict and compete for my recovery resources!
How to do more
With a little finesse, we can get more of what we want! Here are my principles I follow when sequencing a varied training week:
- PRIORITIZE the thing that is most important at that time.
- Put the most explosive, dangerous, neural, technically demanding modalities in the week on the FRESHEST DAY.
- Leverage CARRY OVER.
- Take advantage of BIOLOGICAL PRIME TIMES (yes, that’s plural!)
Let's put all of these principles to work! I'll walk you through how I would do it! Let's imagine we want to learn flips, build muscle, burn fat, improve our deadlift, and get into rock climbing all at the same time. Not gonna work unless we prioritize. Pick ONE thing you'll spend the most resources on in the next two months or so. We'll pick burn fat because flips and rock climbing are hard when you're heavier, and losing fat is an easy way to look more muscular without building muscle. Great! So now we've already put rock climbing and flips on the back burner. (If we're trying to lose fat we should consider diet of course, but that is a huge discussion. Just don't eat too many ice cream cones, we'll start with that.)
Next, deadlifting is one of the best muscle building and fat burning exercises around! It’s a top strength builder, and the stronger you are, the easier it will be to build muscle and burn fat. So when in doubt, PRIORITIZE STRENGTH. Strength is the gold star attribute and is the foundation of everything. So we can USE the deadlift to reach our other goals, while it in itself is a goal! If you had to choose between deadlifting and rowing, you should probably choose deadlifting unless you're a long distance rower.
We’ll rely on the strength gains from deadlifting to CARRY OVER to the explosiveness needed for flips at a later time, and the back and grip strength which can help with rock climbing. All of a sudden, that three days of deadlifting split looks not so silly after all!
You're not going to do that though! You're going to wanna do more. So let's add all of that other junk back into it.
Adding back in the rest
Tue: Bodybuilding shoulders and arms
Thur: Jump training + Deadlifting dynamic method
Sat: Rock climbing am // Deadlifting pm
Look how I did it though: I put deadlifting day before bodybuilding day because deadlifting is more complex and dangerous than bodybuilding work. And I put rock climbing on the FRESHEST DAY!
Take another look. We have five workouts in 4 days. And that moves us closer to every one of our goals. That's what a lot of people don't think to do when they structure a weekly split: multiple workout days. It's evident when I get asked the super-duper common question "how many DAYS do you work out a week?"
I may work out 6 or 7 times a week for 1-2 hours each time, over four days. When you think of 4 workout days a week, you probably don't think this way though. 4 days does not equal 4 workouts. But that's just it: that's the key! 2 a-days are the secret weapon to fitting in more workload in a week without experiencing as many shitty workouts and getting great recovery. You just have to use them tactically!
So here's why: typically when you're alert and "on" … When you're really riled up, that's the best time to train, and it’s something that you'll experience for a full wake cycle. You'll have multiple BIOLOGICAL PRIME TIMES (BPT) in one day. Usually, you get just one BPT, about 3 hours after waking. However, when you're fully recovered, and you're driven, you can experience two prime times in a day, and have 2 GREAT workouts in one day. Take advantage of those days! Don’t just spend that time thinking, “man I feel great!” get out there and get another session in! Most people wish they were more flexible! Flexibility training is MEGA EASY to squeeze in, so do it!
This allows you to consolidate recovery into OFF days which is what you want. If you actually spend an OFF day recovering (for real) not just waiting but instead doing all the craziness like icebaths, stretch therapy, getting in all your good meals, taking naps, caffeine abstinence, multiple 10 minute walks, etc., you will really see the power of an OFF day, and they don't come that way when you try to do crappy workouts on these days because you feel pressured to train every day. HAVE OFF DAYS!
Putting it all together
Put all of this together, and you’re looking at a way to make progress on multiple fronts at the same time. Keep in mind, improvement will never be equal across the board for all the various things you want to improve; some things you maintain while you work on other things. In the end, though, prioritize the right things, and you’ll unlock the potential to succeed in a lot of things!
That's it. There are a lot more details that go into this. Ask me if you got questions.