intro to training

Breaking Matt: Intro to training

My usual blogging buddy Sammy (who writes Craving Results) is on holiday this week. So I thought I would use this space to blog about my own workout regime. If I enjoy doing it I’ll try and add a post a week too, and if I hate it I’ll treat this as a one-off and NEVER mention it again. Think of this post as an intro to training (hence the title).

Until today I’ve always shied away from writing about my training routine, for a number of reasons.

Firstly there is the inconsistency of it all. Until the beginning of the year I averaged one blog post every 2 months, and I would send daily emails for a week or two before losing momentum. However since January I have only missed 3 daily emails (meaning I’ve managed 280/283 emails so far) and this is the 68th blog post I have published (with 9 of those written by Sammy), I have also written 250+ articles for clients. Basically I can now call myself a consistent writer. Meaning that the prospect of writing a once-per-week blog isn’t quite as daunting as it would have been a year ago.

Secondly there was the inconsistency of my workouts, for a long time my training was erratic. I had no sense of purpose, no enthusiasm for training, and if I’m being truly honest I felt a bit like a fraud. But again, I have become much more consistent recently, and have started to get some decent (by my standards at least) results. What’s more is that I’ve realised that a blog where the writer struggles and is honest about the fact is much more interesting than the blog of some goody-two-shoes, paleo loving, fitness freak. I would like to thank Sammy in particular for opening my eyes to this fact. I LOVE reading her blog posts because they are real, raw, and relevant.

intro to training

A great example of my old workout calendar – EMPTY

So why would my blog post be of any interest?

It might not be (in which case feel free to piss off). I feel that since I straddle the line between regular dude who struggles to train, and fitness know-it-all who spends every day writing about and researching all aspects of fitness and nutrition*, I can contribute something fairly unique. I can talk about how I struggled performing a back-off set last Monday, and then back it up with scientific evidence of why Back Off Sets are superb for strength & hypertrophy [1]. I’m kinda hoping that the human touch will allow me to sneak in loads of dry boring strength & conditioning research so you can all learn about this stuff – whilst still enjoying the blogs!

Intro to training

I’ve always experimented with my training. Partly because I get bored easily but mostly because I like to test out all forms of training on myself before introducing it to a client. In the past I’ve loved German Volume Training, I’ve done 5×5 strength training, circuit training, TABATA, Supersets, and Push Pull. These all have their place, and I use a lot of them for my clients  but when I got back on the training wagon I decided that I wanted to follow something that I would personally enjoy.

To that end I decided to follow a traditional bodybuilder (BRO) split program. So Mondays are Chest & Tricep, Tuesdays are Back & Biceps (with deadlifts), Wednesdays are Leg days, Thursdays are Chest & Tricep (with shoulders), and Fridays are Back & Biceps. If I have the energy then I have Saturdays or Sundays where I perform a mishmash of a session adding in all the exercises that I couldn’t fit into my regular program (this is where Face Pulls, Planks, and Rear Delt Flyes live).

One thing that I have found works for me though, is not to obsess about hitting the correct session on the correct day. For example on Wednesday I managed to temporarily pull my hamstring whilst sneezing (I’m aware of how ridiculous this is). I was also shattered after only getting 5 hours sleep – compared to my usual 7-8. Felt shit, I didn’t want to train, I had a lot of work to do. I WAS NOT TRAINING LEGS!!!

A few months ago I would have skipped the gym completely. I’d already trained Mon and Tues, and would have the remaining 4 days to fit in the remaining sessions. But instead I compromised, I would train Chest & Triceps (with shoulders). And you know what? I fucking loved that session! Everything went right and I had a blast. I trained legs on Sunday instead (Friday was Back & Biceps) and Saturday was spent in London chasing Pokemon with  my girlfriend because I am a fucking NERD

intro to training


Looking Forward

This week’s entry was always going to be a bit different. As I had to introduce myself and explain what I was doing. In the future I’ll be straight up stealing emulating Sammy’s writing style. Talk about my workouts, and my diet. I will also count my steps (But I will use Pokemon Go to track them – see above as to why). I can’t promise any of Sammy’s amazing recipes though because I only cook 6 meals:

  1. Chilli
  2. Coq Au Vin (if you just laughed … have a word with yourself**)
  3. Spaghetti Bolognaise
  4. Meat pie (seriously grow up**)
  5. Stir fry, and
  6. steak***

Hope that intro to training was enough for ya?

Talk Soon

Matt “Best Meat Pie in town” Smith

[1] Goto, K., Nagasawa, M., Yanagisawa, O., Kizuka, T., Ishii, N., Takamatsu, K. 2004. Muscular adaptations to combinations of high- and low-intensity resistance exercises. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 18(4): 730-737

*Just to give you an idea of what I’ve been writing about for clients: 1) Best Bumper Plates for Crossfit 2) How to naturally lower blood pressure 3) What is Hyperplasia 4) How to Periodize your program successfully 5) Is muscle memory a thing

** You fucking legend

*** Okay you can have the recipe for this:

  • STEP ONE = Steak
  • STEP TWO = Fire
  • STEP THREE = Beer

About the Author Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the owner of Beer N Biceps. He has a degree in Sports Science, 10 years of experience working in the fitness industry, and has written for hundreds of fitness websites. He is a lover of good quality beer and believes that drinking in moderation can form part of a healthy lifestyle.

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