Fitness Routine

Physical fitness is composed of many things, but the two critical areas I’m going to discuss today are exercise and nutrition. I’ve been weight lifting for ten years. During those ten years I constantly researched the next new program to get me past a plateu. During that research I found a plethora of information, some of it met with a consensus, but most of it was contradictory. One article would describe german volume training as the best exercise routine while going on a high protein no carb diet. The next would discuss using a high carb, low fat diet combined with an bodyweight only workout. The lack of scientific studies always bothered me and still does. Lots of people claim things, but I prefer to see the science backing up the claims. To benefit from my years of of knowledge gathering I present to you four gems: Training for Mass Second Edition by Gordon LaVelle, Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff by Jim Johnson, Nutrient Timing by John Ivy, Ph.D. and Robert Portman, Ph.D., and Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier. Each of these books has their pros and cons, but taken together will give you a really solid knowledge of physical fitness as it applies to exercise and nutrition. For an in depth analysis of each of these books, please checkout my post on Physical Fitness Knowledge.



I’ve gone through a series of different workouts over the years, but the more research I did the more I was able to tweak my workouts for increased efficiency, decreased stress on the body, and improved results. My research led me through countless articles online, books, professionals, and anecdotes. My father told me about a weight training program he did in college and gave me the basic outline and showed me how to do it. After all my research I’ve found that he was pretty spot on with the method, high intensity training. Not really surprising considering he can just sit down at the bench and bust out 275 for twelve repetitions after not having done any weight lifting for twenty five years.


The principle behind high intensity training is that exercise should be brief, infrequent, and intense. In terms you can utilize, you should workout each muscle group to failure and provide plenty of rest before doing so again. I have found the best studies to back this up mentioned in Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff and Training for Mass gives you a good run down on how the exercise program should be structured. Pairing these two will provide you the information you need to create your own High Intensity Training program.


One of the big differences with one of these types of programs is the short length of the workout. This reduces the chance for injury due to overuse, increases the amount of time you have to do other activities, and ensures you have enough energy to finish your workout. Psychologically this may be hard to come to grips with if you are expecting increase time to provide increased results. The key here is intensity. Just because it is shorter doesn’t make it easier. To get results you will need to hit momentary muscular failure. The point where you can no longer perform the exercise with good form.


I highly recommend picking up one or both of those books to build your high intensity training exercise routine. Here’s the rundown if you want the quick overview.


You want to break the muscles into different groups you will do over a series of days. I highly suggest you experiment to see what works best for you. I have found that providing a rest between back and arms is essential for me to continue to see improvements. You will also want to determine what type of exercises work best for you for each muscle group. Depending on your physiology you might find a particular exercise causes pain and isn’t as effective. For a rundown on what types of exercises may be better for you body check out the morphology article. The last key component you will want to take to heart is that you will only have one working set and that the intensity of it should increase each session. What I mean by that is there will only be one set per exercise where you are taking it to failure. Here is an example of the workout program I currently do:


Day 1:

Chest – Due to my workout habbits/facilities when I was younger my chest is way overdeveloped compared to my back. I have been working to get them back in alignment and do a much more minimal chest day.

Dumbell Flat Bench

1 Set of 35 for 12 repitions

1 Set of 55 for 8-12 repetitions

1 Set of 75 for 8 repetitions.


I would instead suggest doing incline bench and decline bench rather than flat bench. I also caution against using a barbell for flat bench as the rigid structure of the excercise can be hard on your rotator cuff.


Day 2:


Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs – I use lat pull downs to warm up for Pullups with added weight.

1 Set of 80 for 12 repetitions

1 Set of 120 for 12 repetitions

1 Set of 150 for 6-12 repetitions

Wide Grip Pullups – I’ve found this exercise to be much easier to get into if you don’t have anyone to help pull the bar down for you since it weighs more than you do. I also have found that the angle of the bar at the gym I use puts more pressure on my wrists than the pull up bar.

1 Set of Bodyweight + 35 pound weight for 11 Repetitions.

Seated Rows

1 Set of 80 for 12 repetitions

1 Set of 120 for 6-12 repetitions

1 Set of 160 for 12 repetitions


1 Set of 45 for 12 repetitions

1 Set of 85 for 12 repetitions


Day 3:

Legs – coming back from a pulled hamstring, going is a little slow

1 Set of 80 for 12 repetitions

1 Set of 120 for 12 repetitions

1 Set of 150 for 6-12 repetitions

1 Set of



General Guidelines