Fitness Friday: Pump up the Volume

Yes, I know it is Saturday.

I took a break from the gym during the month of July. I convinced myself that since I was doing a lot of kayaking and swimming I didn’t need to spend so much time at the gym, though in reality most of my exercise came in the form of Martini curls:

Lots and lots of curls… ugh.

Aaaanyway, I’m back in the gym and the theme of this month is going to be volume, just finding ways to add more repetitions without taxing my joints or my brain. I tend to be a gym minimalist but as the summer is drawing to a close I’m willing to spend more time working out.

Going back to May I’ve a good experience adding volume to my bench press doing incline bench press for 3×10 after my regular bench presses 3×5, so I’ve decided to spread it out across my whole program. After a heavy lift I add an easier but related lift for higher reps and a lower weight, and finish off with various cable pulls or pushes, depending on what is available.

Currently it looks like this two times a week (or once if I am pressed for time):

  • Bench press: 3×5
  • Incline press: 3×10
  • Safety squat: 3×5
  • Leg press or trap bar deadlift: 3×10
  • Various cable exercises: 6 x 10

And once a week it looks like this:

  • Press: 3×5
  • Barbell complex: 3×5
  • Deadlift: 1×5
  • Leg press or trap bar deadlift: 3×10
  • Various cable exercises: 6×10

The safety squat is new for me. I can’t squat with a straight bar because of my crappy shoulders. I was replacing it with trap bar deadlifts but while they are an enjoyable lift they do not quite imitate the total body effort of the squat. The safety bar squat more closely approximates the regular squat, though it is less stable in the upper back, it is more stable than the front squat.

For the cable exercises I might do curls, rope pulls, pull downs, rows, or assisted pullups or dips, all depending on what machines and attachments are available, and what I feel I need to work on.


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