What I learned from following a high volume training program for 4 weeks

So I was following this program called 90 days to built by Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes. I signed up for his email list and he just started sending this program which would simulate 90 days of training with him as he is a personal trainer.

So the program is basically 4 lifting days split into 2 upper body and two lower body workouts, 2 cardio days and 1 day off. For the lifting days you follow a higher calorie high carb diet for the cardio days you follow low calorie low-carb high-fat diet and for your day off is a full 24 hours of fasting.

Each weight training workout consisted of five exercises for 5 sets each with reps I between 8 to 15, sometimes 20 reps.

So what did I learn?

1. My conditioning is shit. I’ve lifted weights off an on for almost 20 years but never stuck with it or followed through with a proper diet on top of smoking for 20+ years. I’ve mostly dabbled between programs and never really done such high volume.

2. I’m not as strong as I thought I was. Doing 15 sometimes 20 reps per set is fucking grueling. 

3. Fasting is hard. Ice done some IF but the full 24 hours fast I couldn’t handle. I broke down a few times even on the low calorie days.

4. It’s not really that hard to track your calories and macros. I used to think it would be hard to eat 30-40% protien but once you start tracking your food you actually get a decent idea of what kinds of foods you need to eat.

Before this program I dabbled between stronglifts and a few others. I found with stronglifts I got too fat and maxed out too soon on my weights, and I blew out my elbows going for a 5×5 max. Doing a lot of volume may be exhausting but it felt easier on my joints and my muscles were actually getting harder and tighter. 

I’m actually starting a new program by the same guy based on a 70s bodybuilding style bulking program and I’d like to do a slow bulk to gain another 10lbs and maybe try to recomp from there.

It gets frustrating sometimes trying to build a new body because it takes a long time. There are no quick fixes or miracle diets. It takes patience, discipline, perseverance and a plan. I’m looking at this whole thing like a newbie again and I’m in it for the long game. This is a lifestyle choices for me not just something I pick up and do once in a while.

Building a Home Gym

This last year I recently  moved into a new home. Part of the reason I bought the place was that it had the perfect space for a home gym.

Why build a home gym in the first place?

  • You save money on expensive gym rates
  • You save time travelling
  • You can workout whenever you want
  • You don’t have to wait for benches or machines
  • You don’t have to deal with losers at the gym
  • You save time period

What to buy

BASICS

  • A power rack
    With a power rack you don’t need a spotter for squats or bench presses and can also be used for chin ups.
  • A set of olympic weights
    At least 300lbs, rubber coated to protect your floor
  • A weight bench
    One that’s at least rated for 500lbs with the user. A flat bench is great but you get more use out of an adjustable incline/decline bench

These 3 pieces alone are enough to get you started on building a great body and strength with the five main basic exercises; squats, deadlifts, bench pressing, rows and overhead pressing

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT

  • Dumbbell handles with collars
    Eventually you’re going to want to do some isolation exercises, such as; flyes, dumbbell curls, lateral raises, etc.
  • Specialty Bars
    Some bars make it easier to do certain moves because you can grab the bar at different angles e.g. EZ curl bar, Triceps bar,
  • Rack Attachments
    Some racks have available cable attachments and dip attachments for additional exercises
  • Punching Bag/Wavemaster
    What gym is complete without a punching bag to beat out your frustrations and practice your moves. Punching bags are great cardio!
  • Treadmill/Elliptical Trainer
    Also great if you can find a good deal. I haven’t been able to add one yet but it’s definitely on the list! Treadmills are always going on sale! Keep an eye out. I might get a used one if the price is right.

So there you have it. My basic set-up cost me under $1,000. It’s already paid itself off in time saved traveling and the convenience of working out whenever I want.

If you have the space and some extra cash why not invest in yourself? The rewards of working out and taking care of yourself are literally priceless.