Thursday, December 28, 2006

Questions & Answers

I play in competitive flag football leagues and tournaments and I have been trying to find a workout to improve my playing ability as well as maintain my size and strength. I typically play football three days a week and I found it difficult to fit the typical workout plan into the rest of the week. I read the MVP Muscle Plan in Men’s Fitness and I found that it works perfect for me. I can get three great workouts in between my game days. I also work in law enforcement and I feel that this workout can also benefit me in my job. With this workout I can increase my speed and agility for football but also build strength for my job. I was wondering what substitutions I could make to the workout to change it up a little as not to get too burned out on one workout. Thank you for the great workout and I hope to read many more great articles.

If you play football three days per week, three days is probably the maximum amount of days that you can lift. And like the MVP workout, you should stick with one lower body day only and two upper body days. There are tons of exercises you can sub in for the ones listed in the magazine article. For your purposes, here is a typical layout of what each training day should look like:

Day One
1) Flat, Incline, Board, Floor or Rack Bench Press- 3-5 x 1-5
2) 1 Arm DB Row, Chest Supported DB Row, Bent Over Barbell Row, Reverse Grip Barbell Row, T-Bar Row, Chin Up, Pull Up, Neutral Grip Chin Up, Towel Chin Up- 3-5 x 1-5
3) Upper back/ rear delt- Bent Over Lateral Raise, Seated DB Clean, Face Pull- 3 x 6-10
4) Biceps- Barbell Curl, Hammer Curl, Incline Curl- 2-3 x 6-8
5) Triceps- Pushdowns, Parallel Bar Dips, Extensions- 2-3 x 8-10

Day Two
1) Box Jump, Depth Jump, Altitude Landing- 3-6 x 1-5
2) Olympic lift- Snatch, Clean, High Pull, etc.- 3-5 x 1-5
3) Squat or Deadlift Variation- Front Squat, Back Squat, Box Squat, Deadlift, Snatch Grip Deadlift, Deadlift off plates, Deadlift from rack- 3-5 x 1-5
4) Single Leg Exercise- Split Squat, Step Up, Reverse Lunge,etc.- 2-3 x 6-12
5) Posterior Chain Exercise- Back Extension, Glute Ham Raise, Reverse Hyper- 2-3 x 8-10

Day Three
1) Row Or Chin Up variation- 3-4 x 8-10
2) DB press or pushup variation- 3-4 x 8-19
3) External rotators- 2-3 x 12-20
4) Biceps- 2-3 x 8-12
5) Triceps- 2-3 x 8-12

Abs can be done at the end of each workout or just on the leg day or just on the two upper body days, whatever works better for you and your schedule.

I am currently on a very long-term (3 months so far, 3 more to go) of an Anabolic Diet cycle, i.e. just fat & proteinduring the week, and massive carb-ups during the weekend, so long weekends are indeed a feed-fest, time to replenish glycogen stores and any musclelost during the week. This has worked brilliantly, down from 13% BF to 8%so far, aim to hit 6%.What are your thoughts on the Anabolic Diet and Body-Opus- type diets ? Any articles you may have produced on this topic ?

Obviously this is working for you so I probably wouldn't be in a hurry to switch anything just yet. I have used similar plans with much success in the past. My problem with diets like this is that they are generally not healthy and do not provide an ample amount of fiber and vitamins and minerals. Anytime you restrict your intake of vegetables, something is wrong. Low carb diets are great for losing fat but there are problems associated with them as well. As long as you do a low carb and not no carb diet and are sure to eat plenty of vegetables and avoid tons of saturated fat you should be ok.

If you stay on a very low carb diet for a long time you will also find that your insulin sensitivity will start to decrease after a while. This is not a good thing.

These kinds of diets should be used sparingly, such as to really kick start a fat loss cyle like you are doing or, more appropriately, at the very end of a fat loss cyle, to help lose the last few stubborn pounds of bodyfat.

As far as gaining mass goes on these diets, my advice is to never try it. The name the "Anabolic Diet" is a bit misleading because there is really nothing anabolic at all about removing carbohydrates from your diet and you would be hard pressed to find a single sould who ever built a lot of size without carbs in his diet.