Current Routine
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Page updated 20-May-2007

As of May 2007 I've started a 70% heavy periodized workout. This means I do three whole-body weightlifting sessions per week, alternating heavy (4-7 reps), medium (12 reps), and light (15 reps) such that I never do the same level consecutively or with the same bodypart the following day. It's easier to understand the chart:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Back H: pullup L: low & high row (machine) M: lat pulldown (machine, not cable)
Chest M: incline (machine) H: bench (machine) L: cable fly
Legs L: calf raise M: hamstring H: leg press
Triceps H: skull crusher (barbell) L: tri extension (cable) M: dip
Biceps M: hammer curl (dumbbell) H: preacher curl (rack) L: concentration curl (dumbbell)
Shoulders L: side or front (dumbbell) M: rear (machine) H: front (dumbbell)
Other 1 H: wrist curl L: (nothing) M: shrug (machine)
Other 2 L: rotator cuff L: lower back L: rotator cuff

In the mornings before work I do a half-hour warmup of jump rope, punching bag, kicks, lunges, and/or crosstrainer, and then abs. (For some reason I can do a lot more ab reps after cardio.) I try to do that every day but don't always succeed. Once a week I attend a yoga class. My eating is described on the Food and supplements pages.

Some of these choices reflect my individual goals:

I do two sets per exercise. One at the same weight or slightly higher as my previous record, then the second same/higher/lower depending on how the first one went. Before my first set of the day I do a couple light sets.

This schedule leaves out a few exercises I should be doing: decline chest press, neck, leg extension, clean, heavy side & rear shoulder, heavy shrug, etc. But I can fit only so many exercises per day before I run out of energy, so I have to prioritize. Plus there's no neck machine at my gym, and I've maxed out the shrug machine. I'm afraid to do heavy dumbbell shrugs because I'd have to reach two 150 lb dumbbells over the front rack to put them away on the rear rack, so I can't do heavy shrugs right now.

My past routines have been the following:

Drop sets
One set heavy followed immediately by one set light. Or add a third set. I've also done 4-step shrugs, going down 20 lbs each time.
Calisthenics + light only
Many wrestlers do this. It kicked my ass more than I expected, it took a couple months to work up to full speed. I did pushups, crunches, and pullups, the cardio listed above. (Pushups work the chest and triceps, crunches the abs, pullups the back and biceps, and cardio the legs.) While transferring buses on the way to work I did half dips on a bench, weightless squats & jumps, no-chair, and hand gripper.
5-day split
This gives the maximum ability to target all sides of each bodypart. Pec day: incline, flat, decline, fly. Shoulder day: front, side, rear, shrug. Arm day: 2 tricep & 2 bicep exercises. Back day: pullup, lat pulldown, low row, narrow high row, lower back. Leg day: leg press (or squat), leg extension, hamstring, calf raise, abductor, adductor. The trouble is, if you're lifting five days a week each bodypart gets attention only once a week, and if you lift less often you're hitting each bodypart less than once a week.

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Sluggo is Mike Orr, a helluva friendly guy in Seattle. Email me if you have feedback.