2

votes

organic lifting schedule

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM

This post is in response to a question I posed on a previous thread

(http://paleohacks.com/questions/16212/stiffness-and-mobility-loss-from-lifting#axzz18Is4k7LP)

and an awesome answer from James.

Here it goes:

So I've largely adopted Mark Sisson's exercise reccomendations (i.e. about 2x week intense resistance training, sprint occasionally, play and relax the rest of the time).

This has been an incredibly sane and enjoyable transition from high school days as a long distance swimmer (crazy intense 2.5 hr aerobic workouts 6xweek*...though I do miss my endless lung capacity...I used to be able to snack on 50yd underwater swims) and my quality of life has improved a ton.

THE QUESTION:

Instead of lifting religiously 2x a week, what about lifting/doing an intense resistance workout and NOT engaging in another lifting session/resistance workout again until soreness from the previous workout has subsided and been gone for at least a day or two?

I.e. NEVER workout** MORE than 2x week, but be willing to workout significantly less than that as dictated by body feel/soreness levels.

Is there any benefit to working out religiously 2x week?

Are there any disadvantages to only working out intensely when you no longer feel sore, even say only engaging in intense workouts 1x week or even less (gasp!)?

Since applying Paleo principles I'm starting to realize that in so many situations, less is often more (little bit of a trope but I think you get the idea).

Any advice/feedback?

Does anyone workout this way?

also,

has anyone tried experimenting with working out 2x/week, but one workout focused on max strength and the second focused more on flexibility, speed-strength (to borrow some ross terminology) and mobility, i.e.

workout a: standard 5x5/bbs/push-pull-legs high weight low reps business

workout b: high speed circuits employing a wide variety of exercises that require large range of movement using bodyweight and light weights/odd objects (sandbags etc.)

The one thing I maybe loved the most about simple 5x5 2x/week was its simplicity....oh well....I'm tired of being too bulky, stiff and sore....

*I can definitely personally attest to the negative impacts of this type of training. After four years of this, yes my endurance was NUTS (could bound up long flights of stairs, never ever winded except under extreme efforts) but at the same time suffered from sleeplessness, irritability, bouts of depression and an overall too-intense mindset.

**by 'workout' I mean high-intensity workout and am not talking about play/low intensity activities that sisson advocates like dance, walking, hiking, whatever. obviously still applies: never be afraid to rest/sleep alot.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on January 01, 2011
at 08:55 AM

@Darren.. Their "super slow" lifting style comes in for a lot of flack in a lot of circles tho and is mostly ridiculed. Having said that, I have read the book and gained a lot of useful info. Of particular interest was the muscle recovery methodology and timescale. (Makes you wonder at pro BB and their 2 hours + a day workouts). I don't think that's what ecb is interested in tho.

710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 21, 2010
at 10:14 PM

awesome!!! great comment. yea i've actually been experimenting with: 1) one high-weight/intensity resistance session/week at MOST, but basically not lifting again until i'm not even kind've sore and haven't been for a day or too 2) one workout a week focused on speed and mobility (i.e. circuit work with mostly compound, full range body weight stuff and dynamic stretched) 3) each workout no more than 20-30 min max its been working great and I feel way less sore! I think sweet potatoes/tubers post workout def. helps!

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on December 18, 2010
at 04:22 AM

looks good :-))

710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 17, 2010
at 08:47 PM

haha very, very good point.

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on December 17, 2010
at 06:57 PM

you shouldn't add more questions as one of the answers but rather update your original question.

710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:45 PM

thanks james, this is an incredibly helpful answer. Its nice to try to look like a magazine cover (for a long time I pretended I wasn't vain and didn't want to be a little more ripped--this was self delusion) but my top priority is feeling good, mobile and relaxed. So no, personally, I'm not trying to win any body building competitions.

  • 710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

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4 Answers

best answer

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 16, 2010
at 10:50 PM

Unfortunately, I don't think you can really get the answer you're looking for. I've seen a whole heck'uve a lot of different variations out there. Tons of different methodologies and reasons for them. A lot of them seem to be conflicting or ill defined, and it really depends on your goals to determine which is "right" and which is "wrong" for you (and whether you trust the "guru" that gives the advice. I try to stick with the science where possible, but the last arbiter is your body and your goals.

Example, soreness. General rule of thumb is if you are overly sore, you don't exercise. Your muscles are damaged and need to heal. You're just compounding the damage if you exercise, plus flirting with possible injuries (torn muscles, dropped weights, etc).

However, if you're just sore, you can work through it (lighter weights, not so hard), and it can be beneficial because it increases blood flow, getting nutrients to the muscles.

Sounds great right? But what is "sore" and what is "overly sore"?

Also, I recall reading a theory that exercising hard while "overly sore" could actually induce greater muscle gain. The idea being the body knows it's damaged, and the extra exercise brings extra demand on the muscles and tell the body to grow more to compensate.
I haven't seen any studies on whether or not this really happens though.

Now, whether or not you'd want to try this depends on your goals (cost/benefit). If you're working to attend a bodybuilding competition, looking for every edge you can get, you're probably more willing to deal with the pain and possible injuries than you would be if you're just trying to get fit.

710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:45 PM

thanks james, this is an incredibly helpful answer. Its nice to try to look like a magazine cover (for a long time I pretended I wasn't vain and didn't want to be a little more ripped--this was self delusion) but my top priority is feeling good, mobile and relaxed. So no, personally, I'm not trying to win any body building competitions.

best answer

1
622a34307765c2f7c1dfdc7345842418

on December 21, 2010
at 09:22 PM

You should take a look at Body By Science by Doug McGuff and John Little, which specifically addresses the question of workout frequency. (Spoiler: their answer, backed up by a ton of experimentation and science, is that working out more than once per 7 to 10 days is actually a waste of time, and can sometimes be counter-productive.) I don't think the book is aimed at body builders or hard-core weight lifters, just Regular People, but it's a very, very interesting book that may change your outlook toward lifting.

It's also a paleo-friendly book, and was discussed here 10 months ago.

710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 21, 2010
at 10:14 PM

awesome!!! great comment. yea i've actually been experimenting with: 1) one high-weight/intensity resistance session/week at MOST, but basically not lifting again until i'm not even kind've sore and haven't been for a day or too 2) one workout a week focused on speed and mobility (i.e. circuit work with mostly compound, full range body weight stuff and dynamic stretched) 3) each workout no more than 20-30 min max its been working great and I feel way less sore! I think sweet potatoes/tubers post workout def. helps!

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on January 01, 2011
at 08:55 AM

@Darren.. Their "super slow" lifting style comes in for a lot of flack in a lot of circles tho and is mostly ridiculed. Having said that, I have read the book and gained a lot of useful info. Of particular interest was the muscle recovery methodology and timescale. (Makes you wonder at pro BB and their 2 hours + a day workouts). I don't think that's what ecb is interested in tho.

0
61852721b5ff3613f56f043fe890a679

(1172)

on December 31, 2010
at 04:58 AM

what are your fitness goals?

0
710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:43 PM

per a helpful suggestion, see the original question for updated version.

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on December 18, 2010
at 04:22 AM

looks good :-))

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on December 17, 2010
at 06:57 PM

you shouldn't add more questions as one of the answers but rather update your original question.

710a2d86803b176778ce7db770944bb7

(626)

on December 17, 2010
at 08:47 PM

haha very, very good point.

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