SPROUTING ON UP

Draft

Ask: Strong legs, arms, abs, 30 push ups, plank for 5 mins, undetermined amount of single leg squats,  as proxy measure for strength and fitness.

Note: Isometric exercises are not necessarily good measures of strength. Correlation between plank time and ab hypertrophy is low. However, strong abs+fitness–> probably strong plank. Additionally, for balance, adding 12 pull ups  as goal (typical is pull up qty = 0.5x pushups).

Convention would advise 3×10 or 4×8 type set structuring,  but I think we can optimize over convention slightly.

Let’s start with set formats. Current knowledge puts 5-8 sets per movement as the optimal range of efficacy, while strong body of evidence for Daily Undulating (reverse, linear!) Periodization has empirically been shown to be one of the more effective schemes, especially for generalized strength, with the simplest implementation being alternating strength (~5 rep)and volume (~12 ) rep days. My theory behind the point of alternating days is to focus on different areas of neuromuscular and physiological adaptions afforded by high per-rep intensity lower volume strength workouts (neuromuscular adaptation) and lower per-rep intensity but higher metabolic intensity high volume workouts (hypertrophy, proper technique reinforcement). In general, the effort should be the same between workouts, but placed in different areas.

Writing a microcycle is a bit hard without knowing how many days per week are  involved, but a simple format would just be alternate every workout and ascend volume through the week. My personal favorite format for a workout is:

Main Sets, compound lifts

Accessory Sets, isolation movements

Burnout Sets, circuits and intervals

Imagine the workout them for the day is Squats and Bench. Early on, one is fresh and rested for the large compound lifts, i.e. a 5×5 (strength) squat / bench superset. The accessories build on that — 5×6-8 weighted single leg squats + 5×6-8 leg extensions to work the legs further but isolate the quads, and 5×6-8 weighted dips and 5×6-8 heavy tricep pulldowns to work the chest further but isolate the  triceps. While accessories/isolation tends to fatigue the muscles specifically, the body gets some rest before BURNOUT time. To finish out, a fun set would be as fast as possible: 20 squat jumps, 10 pushups, 18 squat jumps, 9 pushups, etc to 2 sqj 1 psu.

The next day, assuming enough recovery time from the squats, could be Deadlifts and Pullups, which would follow a similar Main Set / Accessory / Burnout structure, but this time with an emphasis on volume (e.g. 6 x 10 main), and so on. Days 3 and 4, to get fancy, could be Volume SQ + PLU, Strength DL + B, and so on. Alternatively, while beginning routine, time allowing, or just in expectation of advanced leg soreness, one could do a 3-day PPL bro-split, which would would add space per day for Arms! e.g. D1: B + Triceps,  D2: PLU + Bi, D3: SQ+DL.

Perhaps the point of this post more to expose nomenclature as a jumping-off point for subsequent googles.