riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The end of my strength program.

I enabled anonymous commenting so that anyone can comment. But because of that I added the word verification thingy so I don't get spammed or whatever.


Also, today was the last day of my 5-week exercise program. I'm gonna wait another two days for the last bit of muscle repair and growth before I measure myself, and then I'll post the numbers from before I began the program and the new numbers to see what changed, etc, and track my progess. Then i'll be starting a new program which i'll discuss when it's time.


If anyone cares, this is what the program was like... I took it from a book published by the Men's Health people that I had bought long ago called The Testosterone Advantage Plan (a plan that I never used and never will, hehe, but the book had tons of useful info and this great program so it kinda made up for the purchase price). This specific program was geared toward strength gains and testosterone release, not muscle size. There is a big difference between the two when it comes to program design and results. And this was the first time I try a strength program and do very low reps with much heavier weight... it was great! And much to my surprise, I feel like I gained more muscle on this strength program that I did on hypertrophy (muscle size) programs... but i'll find out if that's true or not when I see the numbers.


Anyway, the program is three days a week, 4 exercises a day. The first three exercises are compound, whole-body testosterone-releasing, mass-building exercises and the fourth exercise was usually an isolation exercise focusing on the legs only or the abs so i cancelled the fourth exercise of every day... I was not gonna do any isolation exercises on a strength program.. Plus I was doing kung fu three days a week as well and it would have been too much for my poor abs and legs. A note about the kung fu thing: I didn't do any for the last two weeks cause of the trip to Lebanon and Jordan and being really busy with studies after coming back. Hope to get back into that in a couple days.


Day 1:

* Deadlift. Warm up set: 7 reps. Second set: 6 reps. Sets 3-5: 4 reps (real heavy).
* Bench Press: same set and rep ranges as above.
* One-arm row (elbow out). Set 1: 7 reps. Set 2-4: 6-4 reps.

Day 2:

* Assisted pullups: Same set and rep ranges as Deadlifts, Bench Press.
* Pulldowns: Two sets of 8 reps as soon as I finish the assisted pullups to fry every last muscle fiber I had. This was supposed to be "dumbbell stepups" but like I said i'm already getting lots of leg exercise from the squats, deadlifts, and kung fu.
* Dips: Three sets of 8. This was supposed to be "overhead tricep extension" but I thought I'd do a compound tricep exercise like the dips instead, to give more stimulation to my chest and whole body as well, and more testosterone release... This is the only exercise in the program that had a hypertrophy set-rep range instead of a strength one. I wonder if it was wrong for me to do that, but I dont see why it would be.

Day 3:

* Back Squats: Same rep ranges as Deadlift, Bench Press, Assisted Pullups, etc.
* Seated Military Press: Same as above.
* Assisted chin-ups: 4 sets, each set a little less assistance than the first, until the last one there was barely any assistance. This was supposed to be "preacher curls" but chin-ups are a superior biceps exercise and it does the entire body as well and releases more testosterone, etc.



We'll find out two days from now what the results are like. I repeat, this is a strength-focused program, and they usually do not stimulate much muscle growth compared to hypertrophy-focused programs, so I'm not really expecting much difference in body composition.. Yet for some reason I feel like I gained a lot more muscle. There's also those 2 kilos of fat (well hopefully some muscle in there too) that I gained from my 11 days in Beirut & Amman, cause I was trying to get as much protein into me as possible before I went back to Egypt where my eating habits suck.


Whatever the results are like though, I really enjoyed this strength-focused program and I'm looking forward to more such programs.

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