Intermediate resistance training over 40
On this episode, Coach Allan discusses some intermediate resistance training strategies to boost the effectiveness of your weight training.
Let's Say Hello[00:00:45.420] – Allan
Hey, Raz, how are things going? [00:00:48.240] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today? [00:00:50.140] – Allan
I'm doing well. We're recording this a couple of weeks in advance, so I'm still on my trip in the United States, kind of rounding down the Miami area, finishing out the last couple of stops up further north in Florida and then into Mississippi. But by the time this goes live October 4, I should be back at the Bed and Breakfast in Bocas Del Toro and trying to get things back into some semblance of normal. [00:01:20.850] – Rachel
Right. Well, good. I hope you've had a good time visiting all your family and friends. [00:01:24.490] – Allan
Yeah, it's tiring. And then a friend of mine, he's doing a YouTube channel and he asked me to go out there and like it and comments and do things like that to help him get his YouTube channel going. I went out there and he had a video where he's eating at the restaurants that I would usually be eating at, talking to friends that I would normally be talking to. And so it kind of got me a little homesick, which is strange. I'm in the United States visiting family, but I'm home sick to get back to focus. [00:01:54.190] – Rachel
Sure. How long have you guys lived in Panama? [00:01:57.310] – Allan
we're approaching three years. [00:01:58.820] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. That's a long time. That's definitely your home. I can totally see that. Yeah. [00:02:04.790] – Allan
Yeah. So our dogs are there and our place is there and then something happens like this guy, apparently, I don't know. He just decided he wanted to throw a flower pot at the window of the gym and bust the glass. And I did bust it open open, but he busted the glass and so it's now get that fixed. And the guy came back and apologize for doing it and said he would make it right. You pay for it. But it's not my building. So we're, like manager, insert my message. [00:02:31.580] – Allan
We got to get that window fixed, so just stop. You know, it's like if you're there, those kind of things are not hard to deal with, but when you're over 3000 miles away, it's a little bit more difficult. [00:02:43.600] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. My goodness. Well, I'm glad you've had a good time visiting family and friends. That's the most important part. It's a long trip for you, though, but I think 4000 miles. [00:02:53.570] – Allan
You know, when we're getting done with get done with this, we'll put over 4000 miles on a rental car. Yeah. So Tammy is gonna drive down to Key West. I think tomorrow, and I'm not gonna go. She's gonna go down there and hang out with a friend and spend the night and then drive back the next day. But, yeah, I'm not doing that part of it. I'm gonna step here and hang out my family here. So we'll put on over 4000 miles on that rental car before we return. [00:03:20.050] – Rachel
Amazing. My gosh. [00:03:22.730] – Allan
So it'll be a long month, long five weeks, but good stuff. [00:03:28.000] – Rachel
Yeah. I'm glad you got to spend the time here. [00:03:31.270] – Allan
How are things up there in Michigan? [00:03:33.320] – Rachel
Oh, good. Good things are good. You know, one of the great grand prizes for turning 50 is a colonoscopy. So I will be prepping for that in the next few days. And hopefully by the time this air, I'll have some good results to share. But this will be my first colonoscopy. [00:03:50.940] – Allan
That sounds like a show. [00:03:52.390] – Rachel
It is. It's actually, it's not terrible. The prep work, I'm sure it's going to be real thrilling later, but I'm kind of excited to have this done. Colon cancer does run in my family, and since I've hit that age, it's just one of those things I can check off the list like a mammogram, which I do every year anyway, but, yeah, it's just one of those things that will give me a little peace of mind. [00:04:16.370] – Allan
Okay. Well, good. I hope it all comes out good. [00:04:20.820] – Rachel
Good one. Yeah, it'll be fine. But I'll be sure to share my results once I know them. [00:04:27.600] – Allan
Good. Are you ready to talk about some resistance training? [00:04:30.880] – Rachel
Yes. Let's do this today.
Today, I want to take some time and talk to you about some of the more intermediate and advanced resistance training, things that you can do. And these are some of these things that are appropriate for people over 40. So I'll kind of emphasize this that if you're new at training haven't been doing something for more than a year, this episode is probably not going to be for you. You might learn a few things about muscle resistance training and things like that, but just recognize that the strategies and tactics that we're talking about here today are not for the new training.
If you haven't been training for at least six months and maybe a year or more, you might not want to look into these, but this is something, if you're really interested in weightlifting resistance training, you might find interesting. So I do want to start this episode off with a caution. If you're new, if you're new to this, then yeah, definitely think twice before trying some of these. These are not things that you do, particularly for if you're just bored with your program. If you're bored with your program, change up some of the exercises, change up your sets and reps do those other things that change up the workout and make it different and more interesting.
These are not something that you want to do if you're under trained, and that means, yes, probably about a year or so of consistent training, and then you kind of plateaued and you're not seeing the improvements that you wanted to see. Most people are going to be able to get enough benefit out of just basic weightlifting that they don't really need to do these things. You can build strength and muscle without these tools without these strategies, but just recognize that, yes, if you want to optimize your growth, optimize your strength, optimize your power.
These can be very powerful tools in your tool chest. And then the other side of it is when you implement some of these things because of the additional volume because of the way you're working, you do increase your risk of injury. I do take that into account. Injury is a very important thing. It's rule number one in resistance training, do not injure thyself, and so you do not want to injure yourself. So you really have to be very thoughtful about how you approach intermediate resistance training.
To start this conversation, I really want to get into volume because that's what we're really doing when we're doing these processes, we're trying to increase the volume of work or we're trying to increase the volume of intensity for what we're doing when we're doing these exercises. So just recognize that normally we could do weights, reps and sets, and that's going to be enough for us to improve or increase the volume of the work that we're doing. If I do one more set than I did before, then I've increased the volume.
If I've added more reps, I've potentially increase the volume. And obviously, if I'm doing the same number of reps and sets and I've increased the weight, you know that I've increased the volume and each of those is specific to how you're trying to train. So are you trying to train strength? Are you trying to train for muscle growth? Are you trying to train for muscular endurance or stamina or power? And so as you look at the way you're lifting, recognize that the way your lifting needs to align with what you're doing and the volume increases that you do also have to align with that.
So there are different ways. Like I said, we can do this. We can do more work per week. We can do more work per workout. We can increase the time that it takes for us to do each exercise. It's called time and attention, and we'll get into that in a minute. But what you do, what we're doing here is we're basically in most of these, we're trying to increase the volume of work, the volume of work that the muscle has to do. And so we'll get into a lot more detail in that as we go forward, but just recognize, I'm going to keep coming back this term volume and just realize that volume just means more work.
It means more work for the muscle, either in reps, set, time under tension or the weight we're lifting. Before you get started on a program like this, it's really important for you to define the purpose of why you're doing what you're doing, because each of these strategies helps a certain aspect of muscular development. And so you don't want to do something that's going to improve your strength if you're absolutely actually trying to increase power, and you may not want to increase muscle mass if you're trying to increase power.
So in looking at what you're trying to accomplish, recognize that the goal, the purpose drives the strategy that makes the most sense for you. Probably the most common way to increase volume. And the one that I would usually start with someone who's approaching the intermediate lifting stages, meaning they've done some lifting. They're comfortable with the full body workouts. It's an hour or so of work, and they get the reps in. They get the sets in, and as a result, they're seeing some benefit. But a lot of times what happens is then that kind of plateaus, and we need to add volume and a lot of times it's really hard to add volume to a single workout.
Meaning if I have you doing one exercise, two exercises for legs, one for chess, one for back, one for shoulders, and a little bit of core work. That's practically an entire hour workout already. To add more time to that workout isn't practical for a lot of people.
So one approach is to do splits. So typically a split. What that means is that you're splitting up the work across different body parts so that you can do more work each workout. But you're also going to have to do more workouts each week.
So a very common split is the upper and lower split. So what we'll do is we'll come in, say on Monday, and we'll do a lower body workout, so that's mostly leg work. So squats, leg press, lunges, split squats, maybe a little bit of machine work. And that's your leg workout. You'll hear the term leg day called out a lot. So you do a leg workout on Monday, and then on Tuesday, you come back in and you do an upper body workout. So that's where you're doing pushups, bench press, pulls, rows, different things like that.
You you might even throw up in some arm workout, some shoulder workout, and that's your upper body work. And so you've split into an upper lower Monday, Tuesday, maybe you take Wednesday off. You come back Thursday, Friday, and you do another lower upper. As a result, you hit your legs twice in the same week, which is what you would have done before. But now you've actually added more volume because you had more time to do more exercises, more exercises, then more sets and more reps for each of those parts. And as a result, they're getting more volume.
The other common split is called a push pull legs. And the way that works is you would come in and let's say on Monday, you go ahead and do your push and push is where you're moving away from your body. So you think of pushups bench press flies overhead, press that type of thing. So you're mostly working your chest and shoulders and then probably your triceps. A pull is when you're pulling something towards yourself. So you're doing a rows, you're doing lat pull downs and then potentially some other movements where you're working your biceps.
So that would then be the pull. And then your legs obviously is just a lower body workout, and you do a leg workout. Now the advantage of pushpull legs is then you've already given yourself the full two days off from that push workout. You could come right back the next day and do another push and you can rotate this all the way through and not have a day off effectively. Although I'd still encourage you every once in a while. Do take recovery day. There's a lot of volume.
So at some point it's probably worth taking a day off. So if I'm going to do a push pull legs, I'll do a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then I take Sunday off and that's six days of lifting. Each day I'm working a different part of my body. I'm getting each body part in twice per week, which is what I was doing mostly when I was doing full body, and so it gives me the opportunity to add a lot more volume by doing the split.
But it also means you're dedicating a lot more time to the gym than you would if you were just doing two 1 hour full body workouts. Now you're in the gym up to 6 hours a week, which can be quite a bit of time. So recognize to get more volume, you've put more time in.
Now, one way to get around this little bit of volume and time is to mix in a thing we call super sets or monster sets. Now, this is where you're going to do two exercises pretty much in a circuit, and the two exercises work different body parts so effectively you can get an exercise in faster because your rest period is effectively when you're doing a different exercise.
So an example of that would be if I wanted to do bench press and then I wanted to do dumbbell rows. And so I would do my bench press. As soon as I finish my bench press, I turn around and do my set of rows. And then as I moved back to the bench and make sure I'm getting enough rest between exercises. But you can kind of see how because I did it that way. I cut out a rest period that I would have had in between each exercise.
And as a result, I could get a lot more done. A monster set is where you put three or more exercises together in a circuit. And I don't want you to get this confused with circuit training, where you would walk in and there's a series of machines and you're just doing these eight different exercises in the circuit. This is when you're going heavy. If you're intermediate lifting, you're doing a lot more weight than you would be doing on those machines. You're probably working with free weights.
And so you would put together potentially three exercises that could be again, it could be the bench press. It could be a dumbbell row, as I said. And maybe your third exercise is squats or something for your legs. And so you do that monster set, and then now you can go right back into another round, and you basically have eliminated the need for those rest that'll allow you to get more volume in a shorter period of time. So you don't necessarily have to split your workout in multiple days.
You can add super sets and monster sets to reduce the amount of time, which allows you to do more sets or exercises for each body part in the same amount of time. It also can be very fatiguing. And I found that super sets and monster sets really aren't for me because I don't recover from the cardiovascular perspective of just exercise exercise. I need that little bit of rest time to get myself fired back up to really be able to optimize the weight that I'm doing. And another aspect of this is it is really hard in a commercial gym to set up a series of super sets without really just being all over the gym.
And in an age of COVID, that's even worse if someone's trying to work out in a gym and you're taking up three or four pieces of equipment at a given point in time, it's really hard. Unless you're going to a commercial gym when no one else is there off hours or like me, own the gym, then you can go in and do it when you want to. But it's really hard in a commercial gym to do super sets and monster sets effectively without a lot of planning and doing it at times that are just more appropriate for that.
But that is a way to add more volume that you can do. So ways to add Volume Right now, we have split and we have super sets. And I mentioned earlier time under tension.
So when we're doing our normal workout and we're starting out, you probably notice a lot of muscle growth and you probably know, I mean, maybe not physically muscle growth, but you notice that you got stronger pretty quick. You might have started with five pound dumbbells and you're almost within a month, you're up to ten pound dumbbells.
That's 100% increase that's huge. What's typically happening during that period of time is not that you're piling on a bunch of muscle and getting a lot stronger. What you're doing is your brain and your muscles are beginning to communicate more effectively. So your brain is trying to fire off enough muscle fibers to do the movement that you're asking it to do. And as you go to do that movement, you get more efficient and that efficiency of the communication where your brain can know what a weight is and can fire off just the right amount of muscle fibers is a really cool thing that allows you to get stronger. Now, by doing time under tension, which just basically means slowing down our tempo.
So you think normally if you were going to do, let's say push up, you would go down a count of one, you go up. So it's really almost like up up up up right. Now, to do time under tension, I'd say slow that down to maybe 2 seconds, 3 seconds. So it's 3 seconds down 3 seconds up. Another way that you can put time under tension is when you're in that down position, maybe you stay there for a pause and that pause training will keep you fired. The muscles firing longer.
That will help your brain and your muscles talk much, much more. Because as you're trying to do the movement slower, the muscle is going to have to fire off more and more muscle fibers to keep the weight under control and moving. So time under tension is a very effective way of building muscle and strength. But time under tension is not beneficial if you're training for power. So if you're trying to do something like sprints and you want to be able to sprint faster, I would not do time under tension training for your legs because you're training your muscles to fire slowly and consistently, and that's not the kind of thing you need if you're trying to build power.
So if you want to build a little bit more muscle mass and you want to get a little stronger and you're looking for a way to kind of bump up the volume of what you're doing. Time under tension is a really good tool to do that. You can take a smaller amount of weight and make it harder for your body because you slowed down your body's, firing off more muscle fibers, and that's causing more stimulus, which will cause more growth in both the muscular and the strength aspects.
Another interesting approach is called variable resistance training, and you can do variable resistance training even as a beginner. But when you really want to kind of leverage some things, this is where a variable resistance training becomes really, really good. Basically, variable resistance training just means that you're providing a variable level of resistance based on where your strength points are in a movement. So to give you an example, because there's a certain amount of muscular leverage in working each bit of weight. If you think about a bicep curl.
So you're holding a dumbbell by your side and you want to bring that dumbbell up to basically your front deltoid to curl and use the bicep to do that. At the very bottom, you're at your worst leverage point. And so the weight that you can start at that bottom is much lighter than the way you could do. If you had your hands say just six inches away from your shoulder, you're at that point have a much better leverage point and can do a lot more weight.
So that's one of the disadvantages of fixed weights like dumbbells and kettlebells. And things like that is that they aren't variable, whereas you can use bands or chains or the cambers on certain machines to change up the resistance throughout the movement. So here's an example, let's say I had that same dumbbell in my hand, and instead of just the dumbbell, I had a chain draped over that dumbbell so that as I lifted the dumbbell closer to my chest, on my shoulder, as the dumbbell came up, more chain is off the floor, meaning there's more resistance against the movement.
So that at the top, I have a much higher resistance than I did at the bottom. Cables do the same thing. I mean, sorry, bands do the same thing. That's probably what you've experienced as you stretch a band. It provides a variable resistance. And then some machines, you may notice that if you're looking at the mechanism, the camber that's lifting the weight, that it typically spins and it's pulling typically a strap or something, it's pulling that and as it turns, if that's just around camber or around pulling, it's a very straight resistance if they put a camber on there where it's like lopsided that can provide variable resistance.
The NATOs machines were really famous for this in the 70s and 80s, as they provided this kind of variable resistance through different movements. So it's very common now to see those on machines. The cool thing about resistance training when it's variable resistance is that it is providing you the maximum amount of resistance or at least a better range of resistance as you do a lift. As you get that muscular leverage going, looking for ways to add variable resistance to an exercise can help a lot. So one way that you can do this is you can use bands.
So if you strap a band to something or you're doing the band curls that's band movements that's one thing. I talked about the chains. So you'll be doing a bench press and you can have chains over the bar. So the bar goes up, more chain is off the floor and therefore more resistance. And then there are bands that you can use to assist you on, like pull ups. So you take one of those bands, you wrap them over the bar, you put your foot in that band.
And then as you go down and you're in your weakest position at the bottom, then the band is fully extended. Therefore, it's giving you resistance up to help you. And as you get closer to the top, there's less pull on that band, and it's giving you less assistance. So there's lots of different ways to use variable resistance in assisting you to have the maximum amount of weight effectively resistance in an exercise. So you're increasing the resistance based on your strength profile and the leverage of your muscles.
So variable resistance is a pretty cool tool, and it can even be used by some beginners. And if you're using bands for your workout, then you've experienced some of that.
Another one is called negatives. And I'll explain this in a little bit more detail, because sometimes it really confuses people. But in every movement, you're going to be constricting muscle. Tighten a muscle to affect that movement. And so basically, if you're doing a curl, a bicep curl we talked about you are shortening your bicep. In shortening, it that is the concentric portion of the movement.
As you shorten your bicep, that brings the dumbbell up as you go back down, that's the eccentric portion of the movement. In the eccentric portion of the movement, you are resisting that resistance. Okay, that sounds weird, but your muscle is preventing the weight, the resistance from going where it wants to go. It's fighting gravity. And that's the point where your body is building core strength, getting really stronger and that you're firing off the things you need to be stronger to hold that weight against that resistance.
So a negative is effectively where you're doing a time under tension thing, but you're only doing it during the eccentric portion of the movement. Let's say I want to improve my pull ups, and I know I can do a few, but I want to be able to do more. I want to get stronger in the pull up. What I can do is I can get myself a little step ladder, and I can step up to a point where the bar is at my chest, and then I can let my body go down slowly fighting that resistance.
So I'm working through the negative portion of that exercise. The eccentric portion of that exercise. And I can tell you that don't do this unless you really want to have DOMS, because this is one of those situations where DOMS is going to happen if you're doing this. Another way that this could be done is you could be doing a dumbbell curl or barbell curl, and someone can help you get the bar up and then you fight it going down. And so that's another very common negative resistance training that people will do.
But again, this is is very extreme. It's a lot of volume and does some damage. So you just be aware that if you're using this as a means for building strength or some mass, but mostly strength, it's a really good tool to break through some Plateau. So if you're struggling with pull ups and you've been lifting for a while and you've been doing pull ups and doing other polls and things like that to build some strength, a negative approach, getting someone to help you through the positive or using step ladder in some cases can be a good way of getting a little bit of extra volume in there.
But again, be careful because this is bordering on more of the advanced stuff, and it is something you have to manage.
Another one I wanted to bring up, and I almost didn't want to talk about this one because it's one, it's a little controversial. And two, it's not entirely safe. You be very careful with this one. And it's called Occlusion. Now occlusion is basically where we're blocking blood flow to a muscle, and then we're doing work. And there's been some studies that basically show if you're looking to build muscle mass, Occlusion can be a good tool for allowing you to add that volume of that work and changing the nature of that work.
So the muscle does some different things. So basically what you do is let's say I wanted to do a bicep curl. I would put a strap on my arm above that bicep and tighten it just enough to slow down or reduce the blood flow to my arm. And then I would do those bicep curls. I've tried Occlusion before. It's moderately effective. It's not great effective. So it's not like some of the other things that we've talked about today, but for the advanced lifter that's looking to add a little bit more mass to a limb, because obviously there are certain parts here you just can't exclude.
So it's mostly used for arms and legs. And if you're looking to add a little bit more mass to those, this could be something you do, but I doubt there's very many people over the age of 40 that really ever need to consider Occlusion training. But I wanted you to know it was out there because you might see someone doing it and wonder what it's about. Now, by no means was this an exhaustive list of all of the things that you could find in a bodybuilding magazine or a power lifting magazine?
But I wanted to put this out there from the perspective of just understanding. There are additional strategies to mix this up. People who've been lifting for years don't necessarily still just go in and do the full body workout. And if you go into a gym, you might see some people doing some relatively strange things. And I wanted to just give you an idea of why they might be doing those things. If you have any questions, I do encourage you to come message me. Let me know what's going on.
If you have a question, you see someone doing something in a gym and you're just interested in why they might be doing that thing. Just let me know now, don't videotape them, but maybe you can just describe to me what you saw them doing.
So let me kind of summarize all this. If you've gotten into resistance training and you've lifted for a while and you find yourself beginning to Plateau with the workout that you have and you want to mix it up, that's cool. Mix it up. Add additional exercises, just pull out an exchange exercises.
Make sure you're covering all your bases. Don't be the guy that doesn't lift with the legs. You need that too. You need to at least make sure you're doing something for your legs. So if you're a runner and you want to build some more upper body strength, cool, do that. But make sure what you're doing is a balanced training based on what you're trying to accomplish. Now, when you're ready to do something more and you want to move into some of these more advanced lifting approaches, you're going to have to manage the volume.
You do not want to jump into these things full board. When I mentioned negatives, I'll only do negatives for one set. So I'll do my sets pull ups or whatever I'm doing. And then if I want to do negatives, it's only going to be pretty much on the last set. So I'm finishing out and I'll do that. Manage the volume. We're over 40. We don't want to get injured. So as you're increasing volume, do it responsibly and then have a purpose. So don't just go into this and say, I want to just try these different things for the sake of trying them.
Understand each of these different approaches has a different benefit. So don't just do something for the sake of doing it. Have a purpose, a mission, a reason why you want to do a certain thing. Time under tension is great, but not for power. It's great for muscle and strength. Negatives are really good for strength. Occlusion is good for additional muscles. So just understand what the work you're doing is going to do potentially different things and do the things that help you do that. Pick the right approach.
Like I said, don't just jump in and do something. Pick the approach or approaches. And I would recommend one at a time. So you see how it works for you. Make that change. Try it. If it doesn't work, check it. It's working for you. Then maybe you keep it. But don't pile on all of these. There's no reason for you to be doing variable resistance training, time under tension, negatives and Occlusion all at the same time. There's absolutely no reason for you to do that.
So find the thing that works for you and start working it in. And if it works, then keep it. If not, toss it out and then know when to say when. I was talking to a client, and he was asking the question, when am I strong enough? When is this enough? And the reality of it is it is enough when you can live the way you want to live now. I mentioned earlier in one of the earlier episodes that I'm planning to do a tough Mudder, and so now I have very specific purposes for my training, which is what I kind of needed.
So as I go into my training, I need to build strength, particularly in my ability to pull, because a lot of the tough Mudder activities are climbing related. So the ability to pull my body weight, it also means, yeah, I got to kind of lose a little bit of body weight and I get to build some stamina and then this one other little caveat, which is probably going to be the biggest challenge for me overall. Is there's one obstacle called the Everest. And it's a ramp that you have to run up and then jump and grab.
They do have a rope there, but I'm not sure about that, but they didn't have that when I did the first one. But running and jumping requires some speed. It requires some athleticism. And so I've got to do some work to build up a little bit of speed. So my training is going to be very specific to that. Now I know that doesn't relate to this whole process of talking about intermediate weightlifting, but just recognizing that to run faster, I need power in my legs. I don't need a lot of strength in my legs.
I need power. So I need strength in my upper body. I need grip strength. I need power to be able to run a little faster for at least a sprint. And those are the things that I'll be working on as I build what I got to build, to be able to be competitive and do what I want to do in this tough mudder. And I say you need to do the same. But also then know when to say when if you get into splits and you're working out every day of the week, eventually you're probably going to break yourself so kind of build in those rest days, build in those recovery periods and then pay attention to your body because your body is going to tell you when things are not going well, and you just have to be open minded and check the ego and listen to when your body tells you to stop.
[00:32:27.880] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz. [00:32:29.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. I do love to talk about resistance training, and sometimes I often use the word weight training, but I do my fair share of weight training and body weight training. But whenever I think about increasing what I'm doing or making things a little bit harder, I just simply think about adding weights or adding more weight to what I'm doing. [00:32:52.800] – Allan
And for most of us, that's exactly the approach to take. You get to a certain strength level where you feel good about the amount of weight you're moving, then you're good. You're maintaining muscle, you're maintaining strength. And as long as you're not struggling with that same weight, then you're staying about where you need to, because that's quite frankly, no reason for anyone to be able to put 160 pounds over their head. The most you're ever going to probably ever try to put over your head is 25 pounds and that's just putting luggage [00:33:22.920] – Allan
The overhead bin on an airplane. So if you want to be independent and be able to do that and then being able to open a jar, so there's things that you're going to want to do for independence purposes, but you're not going to have your body weight that you're trying to put into an overhead bin. That's just unless you're bringing a person with you, we don't want to talk about that. But just realize a functional level of strength for most of us is all we need. [00:33:50.570] – Allan
Now I have set up to do a tough Mudder in August of 2022, and you can go to 40plusFitnesspodcast.com/Chicago. I'm on the 10 to 10:45 run of that. And so if you're interested in doing a tough Mudder, there's one in Chicago I'll be doing it. I'd love to see you. If there's enough people that are interested in, we might do a little meet up or something afterwards, have a couple of beers and have some dinner or whatever. So yeah, if you're interested in maybe doing a tough Mudder, the classic is the one I'm doing. [00:34:23.940] – Allan
There's also a 5K in 10K. There's shorter versions of it. If you don't think you're going to be quite up to that. But that said, my training for the tough Mudder is going to fundamentally alter the way that I approach training. I'll be using several of these intermediate principles of ways to increase the volume of what I do. I'll definitely be using splits because for me to get done what I got to get done, I won't be able to get it done. Just doing two to two and a half workouts per week, on average, just doing full body, and then I'll be doing a lot of things and there'll be a lot of two days kind of things where I'll do the weight training in the morning and then later on I'll do some endurance work to get myself to a point. [00:35:12.570] – Allan
But the way I do my training will change because I'm trying to affect different things. I'm trying to affect strengthen some places, I'm trying to affect power in others and then muscular endurance and others. And so as I go through my training more so towards the back end of it is I'm starting to specialize for that sport, if you will. But on the front end, there will be some basic things that I'll be doing to build up core competencies and strength, power and endurance so that I'm able to get that done. [00:35:42.350] – Allan
And it won't be about muscle mass. So I'm not going to try to become a body builder for the sake of doing this event because that won't benefit me at all. In fact, the goal will be to actually get stronger and smaller, so it will change a little bit about what I do. But again, that's where these kind of these intermediate level things come in, because I will be specializing. I will be doing something different as you're doing longer runs, looking at doing an ultra or anything like that crazy stuff you did this weekend with the five K, ten K half and then full marathon, four days in a row, that kind of mileage. [00:36:19.630] – Allan
Do you really want to have leg training in your full body workout? The Monday after you do all that and short answers? No. [00:36:28.070] – Rachel
Definitely no. Yeah. [00:36:31.360] – Allan
So you have opportunities to use some of these principles is intermediate principles to have volume where you need it and specialize it for the types of things you need where you need it. [00:36:42.620] – Rachel
Well, that's exactly right. My goals right now are a little different than yours, but that's the whole point about putting these types of plans together based on your goal. And you mentioned you're not going to be adding muscle mass. You want to be leaner. So you're gonna choose activities that correspond with that goal. In the offseason, I'll probably spend a little bit more time in the gym not gaining mass. Like you said earlier, the keyword for me is maintaining strength. And so in the winter, when I'm not running as often, I can do some more of those leg days to keep some strength. [00:37:23.240] – Rachel
And yeah, it just fluctuates with what my schedule is. And just like you, you've got your eyes set on this tough Mudder, so you'll be putting your training together to address those goals. [00:37:34.660] – Allan
Yeah. And so in that specialization, and that's where this stuff really becomes critical as a beginner. It's really just about building fundamental skills when you first start lifting weights and to go back to the whole weight training because I will go back and forth. But just recognize, I know when I say weight training is like we don't want to go pick up iron bars in a gym. If all these sweaty guys grunting and all that stuff, it's about resistance is the end game of it. It's a little bit more technical term for what we're doing. [00:38:05.300] – Allan
We're applying resistance to build strength, muscle endurance or muscle mass or power. And so if I use one interchangeably to me, it's all the same. But I understand that some people get turned off by terms like bodybuilding and weight lifting and all that. So just realize it's all resistance training just how you decide to do it, whether it's your body weight or its weight or its resistance bands or chains, whatever it is, it's still the same are generally the same. But the perfect example would be there's an obstacle called Everest, and it's basically it's a ramp that as you get to the top of it, it gets steeper and steeper until it's straight up. [00:38:47.950] – Allan
And to get up this thing, you have to sprint, you have to sprint and you have to keep running. And then you reach out and try to grab the edge. Now, truly athletic people can run up, grab the edge, pull themselves up and over. But because this is a tough mudder and not a competition, there'll be plenty of people that will be sitting up there ready to help you. Oh, you reach your arms out as you're running up this thing, and they'll reach down and credit grab you and help you over. [00:39:13.950] – Allan
So it's a very helpful, very cool vibe there. But that said, I'm not a sprinter from perspective of being 56 years old at that time and trying to sprint, I'm going to have to build some speed. I'm going to build some power into my legs. And that means when I get on like a squat or a leg press, I'm not going to have a whole ton of weight on there. And I'm not going to go slow, like time under tension, like I would normally do for muscle mass. [00:39:41.210] – Allan
It's going to be about quick, high rep, low weight stuff to get my legs faster, pumping get with the strength relative to weight that I need to build the power so that a sprint will help me at least get myself halfway up that wall and then hopefully the other half of my body up his body length. And so hopefully at that point, I'll be able to grab the edge. And then I'll probably need one or two of those guys up there to help me over. And then I'll reach out and help the person behind me, which is what it's all about. [00:40:15.370] – Allan
So it's a very different type of training. Then I would be doing otherwise because otherwise, like you, I'd be like, okay, add more weight, slow down time under tension splits to add volume. I'm not a big fan of super sets and monster sets. That's just not something I've ever really enjoyed when I was trying to put on muscle mass. Those were actually valuable for me, and I've used them, but I'm not a fan because I actually like to lift. I like to rest. For heavy weights, [00:40:52.210] – Allan
I will easily take two minutes to three minutes off between each set so that I've got the maximum amount of energy to apply into the next one. And that really helps me for building muscle mass. But that's not again, not the type of training I'm going to be doing here. If I did a monster set, it would be because one I didn't feel like I had enough time to get everything in or it would be where I was actually just trying to do something fast. Again, building power in parts of my body. [00:41:18.490] – Allan
So for my legs, I might put together a period of time where I did. I'm probably not a monster set, but a super set with two exercises that were working my legs in different ways and then just the quick back and forth between the two. So there's limited rest and trying to just raise my energy level for that. But each of these has their place. But probably the only one I'd say is just don't do is the Occlusion training. There's not a lot of reason unless you're going to try to do some kind of Masters level body building or something like that. [00:41:58.970] – Allan
Occlusion is not safe. Unless you do it wrong. You can do it really wrong. So it's not one of those things I would encourage most people to try. I've done it before when I was trying to put on mass, and again, it shouldn't have been putting on mass because I was also training for a sport, but I don't always do the right things, but there's a lot to this stuff. There's some books, ebooks, volumes of books on how to do this stuff. So simple is good. [00:42:32.620] – Allan
And then over time adapt because most of my clients all train for a while and it's like they get that neuromuscular connection and they start getting a lot stronger and that feels good. And then now you're starting the Plateau and you're like, oh, no. What am I going to do? And then I'm like, okay, well, you're just going to change the workout up a little bit, give you something new, some workouts, some exercises that are going to complement what you've been doing and build strength in a slightly different way. [00:42:59.410] – Allan
And then you just keep doing that. And that can work for most people almost all the time. But then there's others. They'll say, okay, I want to take it to that next level, and that's where splits and time under tension and variable resistance. All of those things can come into play at one level or another. Not all necessarily at the same time, but at different points in time, we're going to do it. I will definitely be doing negatives. I talked a little bit about negatives. I will definitely be doing negatives to build strength in my back for pull ups. [00:43:32.130] – Allan
there's gonna be pulls. So I will do like, I think I said it in there, that I'll climb on a ladder or step, and I'll get my chest up to the bar. And then I will hold myself in that position and slowly lower myself down as a function of trying to build more strength in my back and arms. [00:43:53.630] – Rachel
Perfect. [00:43:54.770] – Allan
It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt a lot. And I'll have DOMS the next day. But over time that's going to build a lot more strength in my back. I'll be able to hold positions that I wouldn't normally be able to hold because there's there's all kinds of, like monkey bars and swings, and that. So there's a lot of upper body strength required climbing ropes, all of that. So I'll want to build that that up to a really high strength level and one of the fastest ways for me to get there, [00:44:27.350] – Allan
again, someone who's lifted for a while will be these negatives. But I would not encourage most people to do negatives unless you just really want to hurt or you want to build a much stronger back than you would normally have if you became a goal. Like Rachel, you said, okay, I want to do ten foot pull ups. I want to be able to do ten pullups. We would start with just you using doing lap pull downs and some other rows to get your body basically strong. And then we'd get a resistance band, and we would use that resistance band to assist you or have Mike stand behind you and give you a little bit of assist on your pull up, and you'll be able to start being able to do pull ups. [00:45:06.560] – Allan
You'll get to a strength level, you can then it's just a function of doing more volume to get to where you can do. The ten that you want to do is your goal that if that is the goal, but a way to get past even that would be then as an intermediate lifter to start looking at negatives or effectively, maybe even attaching weight to your torso or your legs. So you're pulling more weight up than just your body weight. So then that might be again, another strategy that I use to increase the strength that I have in my back. [00:45:41.560] – Rachel
Wow, that all sound like really wonderful methods that we could try to employ in the gym when it's time to do something different. [00:45:50.460] – Allan
But not all at the same time. [00:45:52.240] – Rachel
I know. One thing at a time, right? [00:45:56.790] – Allan
I don't want you having straps around your biceps, and then you're doing variable resistance, negatives and trying to stay time under tension the whole time. Don't. [00:46:09.680] – Rachel
But this is great because like I said earlier, whenever I think about making any advances in the gym, I'm sure a lot of people think the same way. Just add pounds, just add weight to your weights. And obviously there's a lot of other tactics that could be employed. [00:46:26.300] – Allan
And no, like I said earlier, that's a perfect approach if you're getting there. But there's a point you're saying, okay, I did X weight, and then I did X plus five, and then I did that plus 5. And then it's like, okay, now I'm stuck at this weight. And so let's say your original weight was 40 pounds, and then you're doing 45, and then now you're doing 50. But now you just don't seem to be able to go past that. Every time you try to put 55, you get stuck, you're like, okay, I wanted to do this many, and I didn't. [00:46:58.580] – Allan
And I can't yet. I can't yet. And so the question will be is, what can we do then, to get you past that? Because just adding more weight won't necessarily get you there. If you can't move that weight so we can look at things that would change it up a little bit and be a little bit different, taking long, sometimes even taking a longer rest before you try to do the next set can be all that you need to get that weight moving. But you can look at some of these strategies and say, okay, what's a way for me to do this. [00:47:31.880] – Allan
I probably should have put in here now that I'm thinking about it. And that's called drop sets. And so let's say you're trying to do deadlifts and you're doing 50 and you want to be able to do 55. I might tell you. Okay, put the two and a half on the outside of the callers, start doing them, and then maybe you only get three done. Pull those two and a half off and finish your set. And so that drop set there again. It's just a strategy. [00:47:59.340] – Allan
There's a lot of them. But I should have probably covered that one, how they think about it. But it's just there's these strategies. And so if you're struggling with something, particularly with your weight lifting, in this case, because we're talking about, come on to the Facebook group, ask that question, say, hey, I'm stuck at this or this isn't working the way I wanted it to or I want to understand this concept a little bit better. That's why we have the Facebook group. You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group [00:48:27.890] – Allan
and ask any of those questions. I'm on there regularly. I've been on there less, of course, over the last few weeks because I'm spending time with family and taking some vacation and doing that. So I haven't been out there nearly as much as I was. But as this goes live, I'm there. I'm there for you. So if you have questions about weightlifting, resistance training, all of that, just feel free to come out there and give us a call. Let us know what's going on. [00:48:51.480] – Rachel
Perfect. And you've got so much experience in the gym. I appreciate all your insight on this. This is great. [00:48:57.690] – Allan
Well, thank you. But I'm serious about that colonoscopy. So we're going to get you on the line. We're going to have a conversation about your experience there. And because it is something we all need to be considering. I'm looking forward. I'm actually looking forward vicariously experiencing this three. [00:49:16.750] – Rachel
I appreciate that. I'll take copious notes and I'll let you guys know how it goes. [00:49:23.140] – Allan
Awesome. Well, Rachel, you'll enjoy your week and I'll talk to you next week. [00:49:26.590] – Rachel
Thanks. Bye now.
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