Overview of My Current Training Program:

Fitness, Health & Wellness, Nutrition, Training, Weight lifting, Workout Program -

Overview of My Current Training Program:

           I haven’t been writing blogs or doing much related to fitness pertaining to my website and social media for the past few months. My reasoning behind this little absence of mine was due to an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I recently moved out of a toxic work environment in Lubbock because I got offered a General Manager position at a gym in the Dallas area. The changes that have ensued gave me an opportunity to take a step back from things and embrace the changes going on in my personal life. But now that I have settled in, I’m looking forward to being more consistent with my fitness “brand”. The blogs will be back and I will be publishing at least one every week. I have a lot of things planned for the near future and I hope y’all enjoy what I bring to the table. 

            In today’s blog post, I provide insight and a brief overview over my current cutting/maintaining training program. I started the program on July 15th at 163 pounds and plan to end the program on September 15th or when I hit my goal weight of 152-155 pounds. My current program includes my cardio regiment, nutrition protocol and my daily training schedule. I am currently utilizing a push/pull/legs split for my style training and I am pushing myself to train around 6 days a week. I do not recommend trying to mirror this program if you are a beginner because it will be too taxing on one’s body to start out, but the principles outlined in this program will be applicable for everyone.

            When formulating my own training program, I tend to have an unorthodox method of programming in terms the reps and sets involved. This training program emphasizes hypertrophy training methods but also includes a mix of strength and endurance training principles as well. During this “cutting” phase, my nutrition protocol will include small caloric deficits versus caloric large deficits because I am attempting to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. I am taking a more patient approach with my nutrition. In order to reach and achieve a specific fitness goal, it all starts in the kitchen, you simply CANNOT outwork a poor diet. This principle is imperative for anyone trying to really make a change in their life.

            This blog post will include the first month of my training and cardo regiment because I will be adjusting my training as the two-month duration continues. The first month of this program will have a heavier emphasis on lifting, meanwhile the second month will have a heavier emphasis on cardio.  I will include various nutrition and training principles that will help an individual design their own program and provide the needed information that will allow an individual to add longevity to their training as a whole. This is NOT the only way to formulate a proper cutting program but this way has proven to be beneficial for myself.

 

Training Principles:

            Hypertrophy focused training is geared towards increasing overall muscle size and can also help an individual tone up due to the muscular and cellular demands imposed. Understanding different styles of training is the best way to maximize results when wanting to achieve a specific fitness goal. Due to a smaller caloric deficit, training with a hypertrophy emphasis is feasible and can be very beneficial while running a cutting style program.

 

            Push Focused Muscle Groups:

  • The chest-muscle complex (upper, middle, lower pectoral), anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids, and the triceps muscle complex (triceps brachii lateral head, long head, medial head) 

            Pull Focused Muscle Groups:

  • The back-muscle complex (rhomboid major and minor, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, levator scapulae), posterior deltoid, and the bicep muscle complex (biceps brachii short and long head, brachialis, and coracobrachialis)

            Leg Focused Muscle Group:

  • The quadriceps muscle complex (vastus lateralis, medialis, intermedius and rectus femoris), the hamstring muscle complex (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), the glute muscle complex (gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius), the hip flexors, and the calf muscle complex (gastrocnemius and soleus)         

            Understanding the make-up of the specific muscle groups being utilized will allow an individual to create a training program that provides progression and longevity. The more familiar one is with the muscles being used, the better the overall results will be from the training program. I did not provide programmed sets and reps for my training program, mainly due to my specific training goal. Programming (changing with time) sets and reps throughout a training program is a big contributor to progression but since I will only be doing this style of training for a month, it should not hinder my progression. 

            The main component needed in order to maximize a training program lies within performing slow and controlled reps. Doing the exercise correctly with less weight is more beneficial than doing a partially correct exercise with a ton of weight. Maintaining form and performing correct reps can be the biggest difference maker. For more information, please check out a few of my other blogs that dive deeper into this topic. Links will be at the bottom of the post.

 

Training Protocol:

 Push Day 1: Chest, Triceps, Anterior/Lateral Deltoids

  • Dumbbell Bench Press- x 12, 10, 10, 8, 8
  • Dumbbell Incline Press- x 10, 10, 8, 8
  • Dumbbell Flys- 3 x 12
  • Dumbbell Military Press- x 10, 8, 8
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise- 3 x 15
  • Straight Bar Cable Pushdown- x 15, 15, 12, 12, 10
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension- x 12, 10, 10

 Core:

  • Decline Bench Sit-Ups- 3 x 15
  • Decline Bench Russian Twists- 3 x 30
  • Hanging Leg Raises- 3 x 8-12

 

Pull Day 1: Back, Bicep, Rear Deltoids

  • Barbell Bent Rows- x 12, 10, 10, 8, 8
  • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown- x 10, 10, 8, 8
  • Wide-Grip Pull-Ups- 3 sets to failure
  • Cable Face Pull- x 15, 12, 12
  • Smith Machine Upright Row- 3 x 10
  • Straight Bar Cable Curl- x 15, 15, 12, 12, 10
  • Dumbbell Alternating Curl- x 12, 10, 10

 Core:

  • Hyperextension- 3 x 10
  • Bosu Ball Crunches- 4 x 15
  • Ab Rollout- 3 x 12

 

Leg Day 1: Hamstring/Glutes

  • Barbell Back Squat- x 10, 8, 8, 6
  • Romanian Deadlift- x 12, 10, 10
  • Leg Press- x 12, 10, 10, 8
  • Dumbbell Goblet Squat- 3 x 12
  • Dumbbell Step-Ups- 3 x 6 (each leg)
  • Hamstring Curl- 3 x 15 + drop set

 Core:

  • Cable Crunches- 4 x 15

 

Push Day 2: Chest, Triceps, Anterior/Lateral Deltoids

  • Barbell Bench Press- x 12, 12, 10, 10
  • Barbell Incline Press- x 12, 12, 10, 10
  • Bodyweight Dips- 3 sets to failure
  • Dumbbell Arnold Press- x 12, 10, 10
  • Dumbbell Front Raise- 3 x 12
  • Skullcrushers- x 15, 15, 12, 12, 10
  • Cable Kickback- 3 x 12 (each arm)

Core:

  • Decline Bench Sit-Ups- 3 x 15
  • Decline Bench Russian Twists- 3 x 30
  • Hanging Leg Raises- 3 x 8-12

 

Pull Day 2: Back, Bicep, Rear Deltoids

  • Dumbbell Lawn Mowers- x 12, 12, 10, 10 (each arm)
  • Standing Cable Lat Pulldown- x 15, 15, 12, 12
  • Neutral Grip Pull-Ups- 3 sets to failure
  • Seated Cable Row- x 12, 10, 10
  • Dumbbell Shrugs- 3 x 8
  • Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl- x 15, 15, 12, 12, 10 (each arm)
  • Machine Preacher Curl- 3 x 12

 Core:

  • Hyperextension- 3 x 10
  • Bosu Ball Crunches- 4 x 15
  • Ab Rollout- 3 x 12

 

 Leg Day 2: Quadriceps

  • Barbell Front Squat- x 10, 8, 8, 6
  • Single Leg Split Squat- 3 x 8 (each leg)
  • Narrow Foot Leg Press- x 12, 12, 10, 10
  • Dumbbell Walking Lunges- 3 x 8 (each leg)
  • Hip Abductor Machine- 3 x 12
  • Quad Extension- 3 x 15 + drop set

 Core:

  • Cable Crunches- 4 x 15

 

 

Nutrition Protocol:

            Like I previously stated, this is the MOST important aspect of training. An individual simply cannot outwork a poor diet. This principle is the underlying determinant on whether an individual is able to achieve their training goal or not. I will provide a brief overview of what macronutrients are and how to calculate goal macronutrients. For more information, please check out a few of my other blogs that dive deeper into this topic. Links will be at the bottom of the post.

            Macronutrients are the building blocks of all of the food we consume on a daily basis. Macros are broken down into calories, protein, fats, and carbs. Calories are simply a unit of energy for the body, and our body needs a certain amount each day in order to fulfill our daily energy requirements and maintain the current body composition. When the body is in complete caloric balance, it will meet daily energy requirements and maintain the individual’s current bodyweight. When the body is in a negative energy balance or caloric deficit, the body will breakdown stored fats and lean mass in order to meet daily energy requirements, resulting in weight loss. On the contrary, when the body is in a positive energy balance or caloric surplus, the body will have an excess of calories after daily energy requirements have been met, and this process forces the body to grow or gain weight. The body’s energy state and exertion will determine what kind of body composition change will or will not occur.

            Protein is comprised of amino acids and is the building blocks of muscles. Each gram of protein equals 4 calories. Protein plays a role in lean mass gain/preservation and is a key component in overall muscle recovery. Without adequate intake of protein, the body will lose lean mass. Each individual will need to take in a different amount of protein in order to maintain or gain lean mass. In order to ensure adequate amount of protein, each individual will need to consume around .7-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, as this will help preserve lean mass. In order to gain lean mass, protein intake needs to be high. An individual would need to intake 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight in order to build additional muscle tissue.

            Carbohydrates are the body’s major source of energy, and play a key role in pre-workout fuel and post-workout recovery. Similar to protein, each gram of carbs equals 4 calories. Carbs are broken down into simple carbs (glucose, fructose, galactose) and complex carbs (oligosaccharides and polysaccharides). Simple carbs consist of pretty much anything that has a high sugar content or any processed foods. Simple carbs are most efficient for energy production, as they can play a beneficial role in pre-workout or post-workout meals due to the fact that they can be broken down and utilized quickly. Simple carb intake should however be moderate.  Complex carbs consist of vegetables, whole grain products, and sweet potatoes. Complex carbs are what the body needs to function properly and they play a beneficial role in overall energy production.

            Fats are comprised of many different structures, including saturated, unsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. Each gram of fat equals 9 calories, which makes this macronutrient the most calorically dense. Fatty acids play a large role in maintaining proper function of natural bodily functions, and also play a role in energy production, but are not as efficient as carbs as a fuel source. Saturated and unsaturated fats are found in various meats, butter and cheese. Polyunsaturated fats are found in olive oil, various nuts, and fish. Polyunsaturated fats consist of omega-3 & 6, which are essential fatty acids needed by the body in order to function properly. 

            Understanding the breakdown of macronutrients allows an individual to figure out what their body is most receptive to. When this has been determined, the body can be manipulated into doing essentially whatever one wants it to do. Tracking and calculating macronutrients is a tedious task but will provide REAL results if done correctly.

 

Calculating Target Macronutrients:

            Once a desired fitness goal is decided, the next step is to calculate the body’s total daily expenditure. This number will vary individual to individual, but is ultimately determined by the individual’s current bodyweight and the individual’s activity level. The activity level of each individual is determined by the number of hours of activity that the individual undergoes in a given week.          

            Sedentary or lightly active (1-3 hours per week)

                   individuals use the multiplier of 14.

            Moderately active (4-7 hours per week)

                   individuals use the multiplier of 16.

            Extremely active (8-10 hours per week)

                   individuals use the multiplier of 18.

 

The activity multiplier will be multiplied by the individual’s current bodyweight. For example, my current bodyweight is 163 pounds and I use the multiplier of 18.

           My Total Daily Expenditure (TDEE):   163 x 18 = 2,934 calories

 

Step 2: Caloric Deficit (negative energy balance)

            If the primary fitness goal is to lose weight, the body has to be in a caloric deficit. In order to determine the appropriate caloric deficit, the number for total daily expenditure will be used. To ensure the body to be in a negative energy balance, the amount of energy taken in each day will need to be lower than the total energy exerted in a given day. The number for total daily expenditure will be multiplied by a specific percentage in order to determine the appropriate caloric deficit.

            Least aggressive approach - multiplier .15 (15% caloric deficit)

            Moderately aggressive approach – multiplier .20 (20% caloric deficit)

            Most aggressive approach- multiplier .25 (25% caloric deficit)

 

Depending on the chosen approach, the multiplier will be multiplied by the individual’s total daily expenditure. For example, the approach I would choose would be the more aggressive approach, from here I would multiply 2,790 (TDEE) x .25 in order to determine my goal caloric deficit.

 Goal caloric deficit: 2,934 x .20 = 2,347 calories 

This number will serve as the target caloric goal for each day while running a caloric deficit.

  

Goal Protein:

            Once a caloric goal has been determined, the next step is to figure out the appropriate macronutrient goals in order to meet this caloric goal. There are many different ways of going about this step, but what I have found to be most successful is running a high protein diet. Using a high protein approach allows the body to preserve lean mass and helps curb appetite. Depending on the primary fitness goal, we will use two different set multipliers. The multiplier for losing weight will be less than the multiplier used for gaining weight.

 

When the primary fitness goal is to lose weight, we will multiply bodyweight by a set multiplier in order to provide the gram goal for protein.

            Losing weight protein multiplier - 1

(1 gram of protein per lb bodyweight) 

            163 pounds x 1 = 163 grams of protein 

 

Goal Fats: 

            After the goal number for grams of protein has been found, we can move on to finding the goal number for grams of fat. Determining the goal number for fats can be constant for either a caloric deficit or caloric surplus. The goal number for fats can vary due to personal preference. If an individual prefers more fats over carbs, we will use a larger multiplier. If an individual prefers more carbs over fats, then we will use a smaller multiplier. My personal preference is to use the larger multiplier, I prefer more fats versus more carbs. I use the larger multiplier approach regardless of my personal fitness goal at the time.

            Smaller multiplier- .3 (.3 grams of fat per lb of bodyweight)

            Larger multiplier- .4 (.4 grams of fat per lb of bodyweight)

            163 pounds x .4 = 65 grams of fat 

My goal macronutrient goal for grams of fat would be 62 grams, due to my personal preference of using the larger multiplier. 

 

Goal Carbs:

            Finding our goal number of carbs is a different process than that of finding our goal protein and fat numbers. In order to determine our macronutrient goal for carbs, we will have to add up the caloric totals for fats and protein. Regardless of the fitness goal, this approach will be utilized in order to determine the goal gram amount of carbs.           

Losing Weight:           

            163 grams of protein x 4 (calories per gram) = 652 calories

            65 grams of fat x 9 (calories per gram) = 585 calories 

            652 calories + 585 calories = 1,237 calories

(calories accounted for when losing weight)

 Once the number for calories accounted for to this point has been found, we will need to subtract that number from our goal caloric totals.

            Weight loss caloric total = 2,350 calories

                        2,350 calories – 1,237 calories = 1,113 leftover calories        

After the number for leftover calories has been found, we will now divide that number by the caloric amount of each gram of carbs. 

            1,113 leftover calories / 4 (calories per gram) = 278 grams of carbs

 

Goal Macronutrients:

 For the first month of this cutting program, my target goal macronutrients would be:

 Calories- 2,350 calories

Protein- 163 grams

Fat- 65 grams

Carbs- 278 grams

  

Cardio Protocol: 

            I utilize various forms of cardio such as steady state, HIIT circuit training and I take group boxing cardio classes. I usually try to do a class for my cardio because it is easier to get cardio done with a group versus by myself. I try to do cardio 3-5 times a week, but this varies week to week with what I have going on, if time allows then I will take cardio classes, if not I perform my own cardio exercises. I will provide an example of steady state and HIIT circuit training workouts.

 

Example Steady State Cardio Sessions: 

            Stairmaster:

                        Week 1: 3 x 20 minutes, level 7-9

                        Week 2: 3 x 20-25 minutes, level 8-9

                        Week 3: 4 x 25 minutes, level 9-11

                        Week 4: 4 x 25-30 minutes, level 10-11 

Or: 

            Incline Treadmill:

                        Week 1: 3 x 25 minutes, 4mph, 4-5 incline

                        Week 2: 3 x 25-30 minutes, 5mph, 5-6 incline

                        Week 3: 4 x 30 minutes, 5-6mph, 6-7 incline

                        Week 4: 4 x 30-35 minutes, 6-7mph, 7-8 incline

                         

HIIT Work:Rest Ratio example: Complete one exercise before moving to the next

            Jump Rope: 5 x 20s work time/10s rest time

            Kettlebell Swings: 5 x 20s work time/10s rest time

            Med Ball Slams: 5 x 20s work time/10s rest time

            Bodyweight Jump Squats: 5 x 20s work time/10s rest time

            Dumbbell Step-Ups: 5 x 20s work time/10s rest time (alternate legs)

            Push-Ups: 5 x 20s work time/10s rest time

Or:

            Jump Rope: 6 x 10s work time/20s rest time

            Kettlebell Swings: 6 x 10s work time/20s rest time

            Med Ball Slams: 6 x 10s work time/20s rest time

            Bodyweight Jump Squats: 6 x 10s work time/20s rest time

            Dumbbell Step-Ups: 6 x 10s work time/20s rest time (alternate legs)

            Push-Ups: 6 x 10s work time/20s rest time

 

            I hope this blog post helped provide some insight on how to structure a cutting training program. This is a brief overview of the current program I am using right now. I hope everyone enjoyed reading this and please feel free to reach out and ask any questions you may have. I appreciate everyone that took their time to read this!

  

https://www.huntercatheyfitness.com/blogs/news/how-to-structure-a-push-pull-legs-training-program 

https://www.huntercatheyfitness.com/blogs/news/macronutrients 

https://www.huntercatheyfitness.com/blogs/news/tracking-calculating-macronutrients