How to Design Your Own Workout Plan + Make it More Effective
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designing a workout can seem really daunting it seems like a whole lot to take on at once the thing is if you start looking at your individual workouts it kind of is that way but if you back up and you look at the big picture like your workout periodization over the course of a week or over the course of a month you can get a broader view and a simpler understanding of what you’re really after so the purpose of this video is to break down the different variables that go into training the different stressors because remember training is all about just adaptation its adaptation to stress and it’s all about how often and how intensely can we instill stress upon us while still recovering okay I will honestly say that the reason that we over train isn’t because we’re overtraining it’s because we’re under recovering and ultimately under breathing which I’ll talk about because if you look at the big picture of things if we’re not getting oxygen we’re not getting energy that’s why all the nutritional protocols and all the nutrition stuff that I talked about at the end of the day comes back down to proper oxygenation better oxygen delivery better blood delivery that’s why I talk about fasting things like that so anyhow without further ado let’s break this all down I do want to make sure you hit that red subscribe button and then hit that little bell icon because we got new videos coming out just about every single day every single morning so keep it locked in here all right so there’s four main variables that we look at now I did a video on this and I’ll link it down below in the description that goes into detail a little bit more on these four variables if you’re interested but you’re gonna want to check that out after you watch this so these four variables are all the different kinds of stressors when we’re usually going into a workout okay we have volume that’s how much or how many sets of something that you’re doing for example if you go into the gym and you train chest and you only train chest you’re doing a lot of volume on your chest right that’s a lot of abundance of chest exercises then we have intensity that’s how hard you push okay how many do you go to 100% maximal intensity do you only do five reps but you’re going all the way to the max that’s intensity then we have duration how long is your workout how much time are you spending in the gym or better yet if you’re an endurance athlete how long are you going for or how long you’re biking for then we have frequency now that’s how often how often you’re training now frequency I put in parentheses because we can’t always modulates e at the individual workout level for example frequency is how often you go to the gym and train it’s not how often you hit a body part while you’re actually in the gym so it’s in parentheses because these three apply intra workout this applies in your overall periodization now here’s where things get really important I want you to pay attention to what I’m saying here because although it sounds complex it’s actually very easy if you ever exceed 80% of your rating a perceived exertion and I’ll explain what that means a second you’re going to have less recovery rating of perceived exertion is your own quantifiable just amount of like where do you tax your body the most okay so if you are working at what you believe is a hundred percent of your RPE then that means you are at a hundred percent of what you feel and what you think you are capable of at that point in time obviously you can skew from person to person right but here’s the interesting thing okay rating of perceived exertion can be done on a percentage so you can be at eighty percent so if I told you I want you to go and benchpress at 80% of your rating of perceived exertion that means that you’re going to go and benchpress at what you feel is eighty percent okay it’s not quantifiable from a research standpoint as much but it’s quantifiable for you as an individual here’s what’s really fun though this eighty percent rating of perceived exertion can apply to any one of these things okay you can go at 80% of your rating of perceived exertion of volume you can go 80 percent of your intensity like how hard you push you can go 80 percent with your duration eighty percent of what you feel the maximal amount of time you could handle is the point is once you exceed 80 percent in any one of these categories you’re going to have less recovery that is not a scientific fact but that is something that I have seen through decades of training and what I’ve seen with decades of working with different people and of course through my own 100 pound transformation so what we’re getting at to really cut to the chase is we want to be doing full-body workout because it allows us to have more stress periods on the body but with also more recovery cycles now what I mean by this is what I don’t want you to do is go into the gym and obliterate one body part or go and just do high-intensity interval training to the point where you just demolish yourself because then what’s happening is you are causing such a stressful cycle on your body in one just large fashion you don’t get a chance to actually recover a perfect example is going into the gym on Monday and doing 30 sets of chest ok you do 30 sets of chest bench press or something now the alternative would be doing maybe you do five sets every day for seven days this is hypothetical but then what do you come up with then you come up with a total of 35 sets by the time you at the end of the week so your cumulative total of stress on the muscle ends up being more by doing a little bit every day so at the end of the week net-net you end up with more taxable load on the muscle that you’re trying to trade so this works with any occasion right I would almost rather you come in and do seven minutes of high-intensity interval training every single day or six days per week then do forty minutes where you completely crush your central nervous system and you never recover so what we want is small acute bouts of inflammation versus crushing debilitating amounts okay this is the big picture for recovery this is the big picture especially if you’re someone over the age of 40 really and you’re really looking at modulating inflammation and recovering but if we crush our body and we have this massive inflammatory response to try to cover up the fact that we just destroyed a body part we’re going to get sick we’re going to hurt our training and we’re not going to be able to ever hit that intensity that we need now here’s the question that comes to mind though with more like small stress recovery cycles do we ever get enough of a stress response on the body to actually trigger growth because here’s what we have to remember we grow muscles and we end up having a stress response to intense activity so we need to have some degree of intensity right we can’t just say well I’m just going to do 10 today and that gets me a total of 70 push-ups at the end of the week well if you did 70 push-ups right now the stress on your chest would be intense the lactic acid buildup would be intense the hormetic response on your body would be intense so there is an argument that says like okay if I only train up to 60 70 percent of my maximum intensity but I just do it frequently sure volume is going to be there but I do do I lack the intensity that is required for me to actually have a stimulus to grow and advance and that’s where I say yes to a certain point okay you should be training to where you can constantly recover but you should also be working extremely hard at least a couple days per week you should be working to maximal or at least submaximal intensity a couple times per week whether it be through hit whether it be through intensity or whatever it is okay but the big picture of all of this is still to be at that 80% as frequently as you can five six days per week but with enough time to recover I want to touch on the breathing side of things for a second because this all comes into the equation too okay Laird Hamilton is someone that I really admire ok Laird Hamilton is a world-class surfer very famous in that world but what I want to be able to explain is things that he talks about in the way of breathing as it ties in with all this remember what I mentioned the beginning of this video I don’t necessarily believe in overtraining I believe more in under recovering and under breathing and if you look at the energy currency that is required for all activity its oxygen okay we always need oxygen so if we’re not breathing right then we’re not able to recover so if we can get more oxygen than we can train at a higher intensity and recover better so what I’ve broken down here is a structure for full body training with different emphasis okay so a different emphasis on body parts different emphasis on hypoxia which is not breathing and kind of holding your breath and things like that I’ll talk about all these in a second now I will say if you’re someone that’s just starting out and you’re someone that wants to kind of learn the big picture of how to set up a program and you kind of want a little bit more done for you I do recommend that you check out Laird Hamilton’s app there’s a cool app that I’ve used so check this out this is kind of cool especially when it comes down to the breathing so it’s called the xvt life app and I like it specifically for the breathing okay so if we train our body to breathe if we train our muscles that are involved in respiration to work properly then we can get more oxygen so anyway this is just really cool because he’s got breath hold ladders he’s got respiratory muscle training he’s got three-part breathing pelvic floor awareness all these different things that are associated with breathing to train you to breathe better and one of his philosophies is warming up the respiratory system before you workout which is a huge thing so I found that if I’m ever trying to push it to maximal intensity that if I warm up my breathing muscles first then I improve my performance now there’s also been studies that have shown that there’s a five to seven percent improvement in your workout performance if you warm up in your breathing muscles that’s like by doing rapid inhalation and exhalation to a certain degree but also if you practice training those respiratory muscles you can get up to a 12% increase in performance simply because you’re getting more oxygen anyhow I highly recommend you check out this app and it’s not just breathing so now like if I actually wanted to look at the workouts I can actually go and do a variety of different workouts that are full-body that show like all kinds of different things that follow through that full-body setup that I want so landmine workouts band workouts everything that kind of flows in line with what I’m talking about I’ll come back to it in a second but let’s talk about how to actually break this down and do this there’s a link down below to check out xvt life if you guys do want to check it out really cool app you can try it out for free and everything okay so I recommend that you do a full body routine but I recommend that you change up your emphasis now again I’ve done another video that talks about adding emphasis to the body parts and doing different things and I’ll explain what that means so in other words if you go to the gym on Monday and you train full body then you may want to say okay well I’m going to have in a stressful emphasis on one body part today meaning I’m going to pick chest and I’m going to do 80% for the my whole body but on chest I’m going to go 100% and then the next day maybe you do 80% full body but you do a hundred percent on your legs the point with that is you should always be changing up your stimulus you change up your stimulus so that you still get that intensity you still get that stress response okay you still get that mTOR activation you still get the intensity that you need to trigger the adaptive or the adaptation right so very very important there but you don’t have to do it with just body parts see this is where things get creative what about training in a hypoxic state okay so this is another way that you inflict stress upon your body when you are working out at a high intensity your muscles get deprived of oxygen they turn hypoxic they go into a hypoxic state so my point with this is if you train in such a way where you deprive yourself of oxygen more like you do holding your breath things like that you practice training literally while holding your breath I’m not gonna go to detail on that practice my point is that you do different stimulus different kinds of stimuli that are going to create a different response let me give you some other examples okay you can change up your intensity just by adding intensity to one set for group okay so you go into the gym you have your 80% workout where you’re training at 80% and you say today is an intensity day today I’m going to add one intense set per muscle group everything else is just 80% so I go my benchpress I’m doing 80% but I do one set that I go to maximum and then same thing with legs so you’re barely touching on intensity but you’re not doing that every day the next day that you come in you pick another stimulus okay the point is is you get creative with the different stressors because your stressors on your body aren’t just about how much weight you’re lifting the stressors are all about the different hormetic response that you’re having within the body let me give you another example and this is not any kind of product plug at all this is just talking about things like blood flow restriction training okay where you those and things where that people put bands around their legs or bands around their arms to try to restrict blood it’s another stressor okay another idea would be training in a super hot environment okay training in a really hot room you don’t always have the ability to do this but it’s an example right you are inflicting stress upon yourself in different ways so by changing your intensity by changing your volume by changing your blood flow restriction by adding some states of hypoxia by training in different temperatures training in extreme cold training in extreme heat doing one different stimulus that’s different every single day another one that you can do is focus on more interactive ation through time under tension okay so time under tension is the kind of training where you’re not focusing on heavy lifting you’re focusing on keeping the muscle under load so if we going back again to what I was talking about here with mTOR activation we’re not trying to necessarily debilitate the body we’re just trying to elicit enough stress to trigger growth and the argument is that if we’re training an 80% all the time when we ever get that growth well we just need that imp or activation that’s all we need for growth okay we don’t need all the other fancy stuff like people think so in order to get mTOR activation we need to do a lot of eccentric movements so another example today I’m gonna go into the gym and I’m gonna train at 80% but some of my exercises I’m going to practice some time under tension eccentric movements where I focus on letting the weight overpower me on the negative repetition right so maybe it’s a bicep curl we’re on the way down I’m doing a lot of slow negative contractions because that’s gonna allow us to have a low energy cost with high absolute power that just means that basically we’re putting the most metabolic cellular load on the muscle that we possibly can so what does a given week look like in that case let’s just walk you through a simple example Monday you come into the gym and you say today is going to be my intensity variable I’m gonna train everything at 80% so that I have just the maximum amount of recovery okay but then I’m going to have one intense set where I go heavy on each muscle group okay then Tuesday I come in the next day I say today I’m still gonna train at 80% just low volume and just make sure that I can train the same body parts but today maybe your next variable is gonna be hypoxia so maybe you’re saying for one set with each muscle group I’m gonna hold my breath or I’m gonna train in a hypoxic state so that I trigger more cellular adaptation that way all examples here okay then the next day let’s say you come in and you say I’m gonna train it once again at 80% except now my stressful variable is going to be time under tension I’m gonna do one set with each muscle group with time under tension focusing on that slow negative okay or on the triceps when you’re pushing down on that slow negative on the way up okay then maybe another day you want to train with bfr bands I’m not advocating them I’m not saying anything about that I’m just giving you an example okay so then that would be you know Wednesday you come in you do that okay then Thursday you say okay well maybe today I’m going to have a little bit more of a high-intensity interval training day and I’m going to get more of a hypoxic training day by going really hardcore anaerobically with my cardio so basically pushing yourself into intense oxygen debt the simple point here is that you always need to be changing your stressor and I know I sound like a broken record with that but we are we have this thing ingrained in our minds that our stressors always need to just be linear like if your stressor is just continually increasing the load that you’re lifting you’re either going to plateau or you’re going to get injured and it’s not exactly the best in resolve but if you actually vary up the stressor you’re still activating the same mechanism just via a different pathway so if mTOR is our ultimate goal to build muscle or to establish strength then why can’t we achieve mTOR different ways rather than just lifting heavy okay again the rebreathing the recovery is everything okay if you can breathe properly you can push it and you can get that extra intensity and again this is exactly where I recommend that xvt life app because even me as an experienced more advanced lifter and someone that knows how to period eyes my own workouts I still rely on an app like that to help me period eyes especially when I’m stressed out or when I don’t have time to think about designing my own workouts so although this is something that you can do yourself and this particular setup isn’t really in that app I just recommend it so you could learn the breathing and learn the techniques there and it’s just a really simple mechanism there so if you just remember this constant variation here you’re gonna be well on your way and I do invite you to check out the video that I did literally last year that broke this down in a little bit more detail in terms of how to set up your muscle groups and how you would structure your muscle group work and things like that on a given day so anyhow as always to make sure you’re keeping it locked in here my channel make sure you check out xvt life down below in the description and I will see you in the next video
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How to Design Your Own Workout Plan + Make it More Effective – Thomas DeLauer
The purpose of this video is to break down the various stressors, or variables, that go into working out. Training is adaptation to stressors, and, as such, we need to properly understand these stressors so that we can structure our workouts in such a way that we can manipulate them – at the right times – to maximize muscle gain, weight loss, etc. withOUT plateauing or overtraining!
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References and Resources
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10 -Oh B, Butow P, Mullan B, Clarke S, Beale P, Pavlakis N, Kothe E, Lam L, Rosenthal D. Impact of medical Qigong on quality of life, fatigue, mood and inflammation in cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Oncol. 2010 Mar;21(3):608-14.
11 -Oh B, Butow PN, Mullan BA, Clarke SJ, Beale PJ, Pavlakis N, Lee MS, Rosenthal DS, Larkey L, Vardy J. Effect of medical Qigong on cognitive function, quality of life, and a biomarker of inflammation in cancer patients: a randomized controlled trial. Support Care Cancer. 2012 Jun;20(6):1235-42.
12 -Irwin MR, Olmstead R. Mitigating cellular inflammation in older adults: a randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi Chih. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;20(9):764-72.