How do you keep your
How many days per week do I train?
You can train one, two, or three days per week. You can also train 4-6 days per week. This depends on your goals and your ability to recover. In the beginning, two to three days a week should suffice. As you progress, your program should vary according to your goals. If you are trying to master back levers, for example, you might want to practice it 5-6 days per week but remember not to go all out. Another example would be the old school lifter Steve Reeves. He trained total body three times per week. Clarify your goals, and optimize your recovery. Still not sure? Contact me and lets optimize your goals and lifestyle!
How many sets and reps do I do?
The conventional wisdom out there states keeping in the 5-7 rep range for strength. Many power lifters might keep their reps in the 3-5 range. Other body builders will advocated using the 8-12 range to optimize hypertrophy. So the question is what is your goal? If you take some time to look into other notable figures in Calisthenics, you will see many accomplished athletes keep to the 5-7 range with an occasional period dedicated to hypertrophy. In the beginning I feel it is important to focus on good form.
In regards to weekly volume, you will find many experts state having your total reps 70-90 total reps per week to maximize hypertrophy. This is entirely possible with Calisthenics. Your body does not know the difference between a rock and pulling up your body. With that said, there are things that are much easier to do with weights. You are here, however because you want to dive deep into controlling your body through space as a means to cultivate strength. I do believe lifting weights at some point will be useful as well as using other forms of exercise.
Generally speaking, 2-3 work sets per session per exercise will get you 6-9 total sets per week per body part. You can vary this a lot depending on what you want. If you are unsure still, that is ok. I will help you get started with a simple program that will give you a foundation in good form.
How often should I vary my workouts?
I believe the first step is to build your foundation and awareness. I encourage people to become very aware of how their body is moving so they notice strengths and weaknesses on each side as well as how your joints feel, move, and stabilize.
With that said, reflection on your programs on a regular basis is crucial to your success. Learning to make small changes based on the feedback your getting from your body will help give you some variety and keep you progressing. Push come to shove, you could overhaul your program every two to three months. However, it would probably be more constructive to make smaller changes more frequently based on how your body is responding. If you are working on a particular form of push ups, and your feeling way off and not progressing, and your sleep and nutrition are in check, then it might be a good idea to try a different variation. Sometimes, it is good to take small break from an exercise and come back to it later.
What does progression look like?
Progressive Overload is a huge topic. Other experts in the field have podcasts on this topic that run for a couple of hours. With that said, thinking about what will be your challenge is a good question to ask. Your challenge might be increasing your time under tension, keeping your shoulders more stable, or getting a stronger contraction on a particular exercise. There are many things you can focus on to keep progressing. The key to longevity will be providing a challenge that is safe for your body. If you injure yourself in the name of challenge, you doing yourself a disservice. So be sure to always consider safety!
What signals should I pay attention to during and after my workout?
If you are exhausted to the point where you are unable to maintain good form, it would probably be a good idea to stop and call it a day. Do you feel joint pain while you are working out? Why? Taking a video of your exercise to see what might be causing that would be a good idea.
Fatigued and sore muscles will happen. As you develop consistency and optimize your lifestyle, this will lessen and shorten in duration. If you are sore for several days afterwards, then I wonder what you might not be doing to help support your recovery.
If you find yourself having trouble sleeping and getting sick more often as well as fatigue that you do not know how to explain, then it might be a good idea to take a short break from training. Take a few days off. I would still recommend you move. Walk, ride a bike, hike, swim, yoga, etc… Lower impact activities that will allow you to move and have fun. Then come back to training after a few days. If you feel you just need to rest for a few days, then trust what your gut is telling you.
How do I recover from my workouts?
Getting plenty of protein is important in supporting recovery. It is hotly debated whether or not to have protein immediately after your workout. I have found if I am training in a fasted state, having protein after is a must. If I will be having an intense workout, I might have a preworkout meal and a one immediately after. Some experts will argue there are hormetic benefits to wait for an hour or two after your workout before you refeed. The big idea here is for you to experiment to see what you respond best to. Try working out with a pre and post workout meal. Try training fasted and have a post workout meal. Try working out in a fasted state and wait an hour or two afterwards. You will probably find you will feel your best with one or two of these. I personally find I can do well in a fasted state, but for years I need a preworkout meal. Be your own scientist, and see what works best for you to get an awesome workout in.
Other than that, total protein intake for the day varies based on what research you cite. Many now suggest you have 0.8-1.6g/kg of bodyweight. Others will suggest at least one gram per pound of bodyweight. Vary your protein intake, and pay attention to your workouts and see what you respond best to.
Other than that, it is very important to sleep well to optimize recovery. If you have not already check out the essential oils I offer to help you get to sleep faster and deeper.
I would also recommend meditation and breathing exercises to help you manage your stress. It will be difficult to make progress if you are constantly stressed and in fight or flight mode. In any case, I challenge people to be strong mentally, emotionally, and physically! Meditation and breathing exercises are powerful tools to help you achieve that. Instead of me promoting a singular method at this moment in time, I simply challenge you to start exploring different techniques. Life is a journey. Personally, I started with Yoga and other guided meditations on YouTube. Eventually, I would learn the Wim Hof method, which I absolutely love. These may or may not be for you, so be your own scientist. Explore and share your success and strife with our community.
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