Home strength routine to complement my constantly-varying class?
May 13, 2014 2:03 PM   Subscribe

As I described previously, my daily fitness class changed its structure. I decided I'd like to create a strength routine I can do at home on my off days to complement the classes, but I've never made my own self-directed routine before. Details inside

So the class is MWF and 90 minutes. It consists of:
-30 minute MoveNat-based mobility
-30 minute strength training (olympic lifts, one lift type per day)
-10-20 minutes crossfit-style high intensity WOD
We don't know what specific exercises we'll be doing until we walk in each day.

On my off days, I have access to my apartment gym, which is fairly well equipped though without barbells. However, I've never made my own routine, and most online resources assume that you're doing just that (like starting strength). What I need is help figuring out a system so that my home routine complements what we did in class the day before. Like "We did squats yesterday, so I should do deadlifts at home today" (If that's the rule?). I have to be able to do the home routine in my apartment gym by myself.
posted by nickhb to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're doing the above three days a week, your off days should consist of stretching, maybe so very light cardio (walking, biking), and lots of water and good food. That's not a workout that needs to be supplemented - you'll just trash yourself.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:06 PM on May 13, 2014

Three days a week is plenty for weight training. I like to do yoga on my non-lifting days.
posted by baby beluga at 2:16 PM on May 13, 2014

Olympic lifts plus Crossfit three times a week? Try rehab.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:44 PM on May 13, 2014

Why do you feel the need to do extra strength training when you're already doing strength training three days a week? That's about the amount most routines suggest you do- you could maybe add some cardio or yoga/etc on the other days, but given how intense your weight days are already you might be better off in the long run if you treat them as actual rest days.
posted by MadamM at 8:50 PM on May 13, 2014

Sorry, I realized that sounded really sarcastic. What I mean is, I think you'll be getting plenty of the big compound movements, and you should complement that with the sort of extremely isolated stabilizer and synergist work common to lots of rehab programs. For example, 4-way leg raises, hip bridges, wall squats, and single-legged Romanian deadlifts for your lower body. Or, angel wings, IWTLs, side-lying external rotations for your shoulders and rotator cuff. Not all at once, of course, because most people do not have that kind of recovery capacity.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:52 PM on May 13, 2014

In your previous question, I recommended additional pure strength work on T/TH because I thought your non-CrossFit-CrossFitty classes were purely WODs. Doing 30 minutes of Oly lifting is a different story and I apologize for misunderstanding. Regardless, I still reserve some dissent from the general "why do more strength training than that?" opinion of previous responses. One lift three days a week is not necessarily enough. Or maybe it is--I don't have enough info to know.

If I were you, I would evaluate A) how strenuous the MWF schedule is on me, B) how much strengthy work is done during the course of metcons (which might vary by huge amounts), and C) how varied or complete the strength work is in that 30 minutes of Oly lifting. Let's break this down:

For (A): if MWF classes leave me tired then all other days are for walks, stretching, yoga, naps, and eating. If I've got energy to burn then I'd do some sort of stretching-plus-strength work. More on that below.

For (B): if your metcons are push-ups/air squats/crunches, that's a different story from pull-ups/hang cleans/overhead squats/deadlifts. Bodyweight endurancey metcons leave more room for strength work than strengthy metcons using barbells/dumbbells/kettlebells.

For (C): "olympic lifts, one lift type per day" could mean several things. Do you just do cleans and snatches, or also squats and deadlifts and push presses? If you're doing a ton of volume and it includes the slow lifts in addition to the fast lifts then that leaves less room for additional strength workouts.

So, that's a bunch of caveats. The part that's left is how to design your home workout, and that part is pretty vague: do a bunch of stretching and mobility work and bodyweight calisthenics, and if your self-evaluation says that you have room for strength work then pick a single lift that doesn't overlap adjacent workouts in the past or the future. The future is the hard part: if the class squatted on Monday then I would want to do either deadlifts or pull-ups or dips on Tuesday...but what's planned for Wednesday? You'll need to either ask the instructor what's planned, or find some sort of unfilled niche (do they never deadlift? never back squat?), or accept wacky, frustrating, unproductive doubled-up workouts. Or, if the volume is low enough in all these workouts, maybe doubling up won't be so bad! Without knowing the rep schemes it's impossible to know.

Regardless, the categories that I use to create opposites are squat/lower-body pull (e.g. deadlift, clean, snatch)/upper-body pull/upper-body push. When working out successive days I try to switch between either upper and lower body or between the type of lift (squat/pull and push/pull). Fast lifts can also be alternated with slow lifts, with a preference for doing the fast lift *before* the slow lift, whether in the same workout or in adjacent days: power cleans before deadlifts, jerks before push presses, push presses before presses or dips.
posted by daveliepmann at 1:41 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

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