I am firm believer that being physical fit is not only healthy, but it is a lifelong goal in which one can always find a specific aspect to focus on and improve at. This is part of the reason I periodically change up my workout regime. The other reason is that if you do the same thing too often your muscles adapt and you no longer receive optimal benefits from your time put in. When it comes to hitting the weights, I have tried and used a number of different programs that I have found to be effective. Sometimes my lifting partners and I, whether they were my friends Keith, Robert, or Evan, would do different programs or create our regimes. I have also browsed through websites like bodybuilding.com for ideas. I have even purchased books such one on “The Juggernaut Method” which was based on Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. One program that I am back on now that I first used last summer has given me such great results both times that I felt the need to share it however. I found that I gained strength, endurance, hit every muscle group, and got pushed through mental barriers on this program.
The program I am referring to is the conditioning program used by members of the U. of Alabama football team during the offseason. How much of this program is actually identical to what they do, I do not know. I can only go by what I have read in an article from stack.com It is certainly not made for those who are faint of heart or do not want to put in sessions longer than 45 minutes in a gym.
The basic idea is that everything is supersets. Remember, this is a CONDITIONING program. Everything is geared towards exerting your energy but yet having the ability to go on and perform at a high level. It is set up on a three day cycle (off days should be focused on cardio work such as sprinting). Every lifting day hits all major muscle groups…hard. The first few weeks will at times make you want to quit. The supersets are bad enough, but the exercise simply called “complex one” is a test of mental strength. Complex one consists of a set of 6 high pulls, 6 snatches, 6 squat-presses, and then all of that is followed up by a set of ten neck pushes. That is just one out of four sets. By the time I would get to set four I would be doused in sweat from head to toe.
As the weeks go on however the workout eases up in reps. You will begin to do higher weights and less repetitions (not less sets however). Part of the reason for starting at lower weights is that the rep count is higher. A bigger reason though is that the focus is on form for your first few cycles. If you cannot bench or clean 185 lbs properly, how can you possibly do a heavy weight correctly? I like this idea, and the fact that the program forces experienced lifters to refocus and examine any bad habits they may have inadvertently developed over time.
The only drawback to this workout is that as it is a conditioning program it is very taxing on your body. The first two weeks I was extremely exhausted, but that went away by my third week. With the exhaustion if you don’t eat right or sleep well, not only will you be tired but you could also find yourself sick, negating all of that progress you had just made. It also involves of complex power moves, so if your form is not correct you will be very susceptible to injury.
This link – Alabama Workout – will give you the exercise program, a diet program if you wish, and also videos on how to do all of the excercises as some of the excercises are not your basics that everyone in a gym does. If you want to get stronger, bigger, and build endurance in a lifting program, I cannot recommend this enough. Just make sure to change up afterwards if doing the entire fifteen week program, your body will need it.