My training routine

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Written By Suzan

Since I started posting photos of my early morning workouts on Instagram, people have been asking about my training plan. So I’ve decided to write a blog post about it.

First it’s really important to understand the basics of hypertrophy training and mechanical tension. I believe that knowing why and how you’re doing something makes everything easier in life. If you want to build more muscle or get leaner, keep in mind that training is only about 20% of the whole process. You will have to prioritise nutrition, stress management and getting enough quality sleep for recovery. There are only 24 hours in a day and workouts usually take 1-2 hours so what you do with the remaining 21-22 hours really matters. If you want to achieve your fitness goals you will have to understand basic nutrition, like what macros and calories are and how they affect your body.

I was an active kid and have been training different sports since I was very young but decided to get more into fitness when I finished high school and started with university. It took me a few years to really understand what is important if I want to gain more muscle mass and what doees it mean to push myself hard enough to get good results and to learn about nutrition. I’ve been lifting weights and planning my meals for over 12 years now. I know my body well and know exactly what and how much I need  to stay the same size or to lose/gain weight.

During Covid lockdowns I started running again because being stuck indoors was driving me crazy. I wanted to spend more time outside to get more fresh air and a tan. Running has been great for my mental clarity. When I’m out there alone, pushing my body, it clears my mind and helps me get rid off any negative thoughts. So when I’m feeling low or tired I go for a run to feel better. It is very therapeutic and I always come back feeling better and full of new ideas. Plus it helps me burn extra calories so I can enjoy more food without feeling guilty!

In weight training I focus to push myself hard, almost to the point of failure or just one rep away from it. I usually do training plan for 8-12 weeks and I focus on progressive overload. Current reasearch shows that the most optimal rep range for muscle hypertrophy is 5-8. Which means that if you want to gain muscle you will have to do working set with maximum weight you can push for 5-8 reps. I always start with 2 warm-up sets, one at 50% and the other at 70-80% of my maximum weight. Then I do 1-2 working sets with the heaviest weight I can manage for 5-8 reps. For example, for chest press I do 4 sets in total with the last 2 being the working sets. Last week of the program my chest press looked like this:

  • 10x 85kg (warmup set)
  • 8x 130kg (warmup set)
  • 6x 170kg (working set)
  • 7x 150kg (working set)

For the past 10 weeks my training has been more focused on arms. But overall my routine includes weight lifting and running. Here’s what my training week has looked like for the last 10 weeks:

Day 1

Morning: chest+shoulders+triceps

  • Machine Chest Press (support) 12/8/6/7
  • Lying cable lateral rises – 10/6/8/8
  • Cross body tricep extensions – 10/6/8/8
  • 1 arm overhead cable triceps extension – 10/6/8/8

Evening: easy run 5-6km

Day 2

Morning: back+biceps

  • 1 arm lat pulldown (bech supported) – 10/6/8
  • Barbell row – 8/4/6
  • Cable curls – 10/6/8/8
  • Zottman Curls – 6/4/8/8

Evening: easy run 5-6km

Day 3

Morning: run – easy 10-11km

Day 4

Morning: legs

  • Calf press – 10/6/8
  • Lying leg curls – 10/6/8
  • Leg Extension – 10/6/8
  • Hip thrusts – 10/6/8
  • Quad Leg press – 10/6/8

Evening: easy run 5-6km

Day 5

Morning: arms

  • Seated alernating bicep curls – 10/6/8/8
  • Close grip bench press – 12/8/6 + back off set 8
  • One arm Machine Preacher Curls – 8/4/8/8
  • One Arm Cable Triceps Pushdown – 8/4/8/8
  • PJR Pullovers – 8/6/10

Evening: easy run 5-6km

Day 6

Morning: run – easy 10-11km

Day 7

Morning: run – easy 10-11km

Training is very personal because it is programmed based on your current goals. If you want to get good at it you will have to learn about it and understand the science behind it. But the most important thing is to find physical activity that you really enjoy because it will help you feel better physically and mentally.

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