Never Miss a Workout – Building Flexibility Into Training

by Chris on November 30, 2012

Whatever your opinion on programing is, the fact is that most people like to follow some kind of schedule or split for their training. People whose background is in bodybuilding usually separate their training into body parts, for example. Coming from a powerlifting background I often organize my training days based on a primary lift. Or you can just use full body workouts. The important thing is that this is usually determined by your life schedule and your recovery.

No matter what your plan is, though, you’re inevitably going to miss training days here and there. Over the last month this is something I’ve had to contend with more often than not. This presents a difficult situation because lately I have no idea how many trainings days I’m going to get in per week. I don’t want to go train my squat and then end up not being able to train anything else that week. So I’m learning to structure my training on the fly based on how many training days I’m planning on having. The goal is to be able to maintain a balanced, effective training schedule even when I have different training days every week.

So here’s an example. Normally I like to do 2 upper body and 2 lower body training sessions per week. But being in the gym and able to workout 4 days a week hasn’t been happening for me. Sometimes I only get 3 days, sometimes only 2. If I’m pretty sure I’m going to get 3 evenly spaced workouts in I’ll just do some full body training. But that hasn’t always been an option. Sometimes my training days are back to back.

In that case here are some “split” options that I’ve been using:

  • Full body push/pull – All presses and pushes on one day (e.g. squats, benching, tricep work), all pulls on another (e.g deadlifts, rows, pullups)
  • Upper/lower – All upper body one day, all lower another
  • Upper body pressing, pulls, lower body – This is a little more bodybuilding-ish. Basically all upper body pressing, all “back” work like deadlifts, rows, etc. and full lower body another day. This is a good 3 day routine when I don’t know how those 3 days will be scheduled

One of my issues with the old style bodybuilding split was that if you missed a day you had to cut out something, somewhere. This meant that if you had a crazy week you probably had to miss out on training something. While it’s nice to be able to stick to a routine you like, the kind of flexibility I’m talking about here means you never have to completely neglect anything. Just make sure everything is trained and you’re getting adequate recovery. That’s what this is all really about: recovery. Be flexible and never miss a workout.

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{ 1 comment }

steve t November 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

In the same boat.So much work with the house.I missed an entire month but I convinced myself somewhat that it’s just a long deload period.I always do full body because I can get called in on a moment’s notice.Today would have been a deadlift day but got called in.Will be working on the house sat/sun so it got pushed back to monday.Strength didn’t decrease too much but was sucking wind on the circuits.

Someone in your elite lifting position knows that most times it’s just small increases but you’ve conditioned yourself to accept that and this is no different

good luck and you know it will get better because you believe it will get better

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