Last year was the year of my life.
While the world was going mad right in front of my eyes, I got to take a step back and focus on the things that really matter.
Family, community, health, and the creator of all things – God almighty.
And as a neat aside, I got myself in shape.
The training routine I created during this time is partly to blame for my explosion in performance and even more so, my explosion in quality of life.
I am 36 years old. But I feel better today than I did in my late teens. Better than I did in my 20’s.
And it’s not even close.
What is this “secret” training routine I speak of?
It’s certainly not something I picked up reading the latest scientific studies or watching some internet expert ramble on about the “optimal” workout program.
My training is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, quite frankly.
Years of trial and error have forged this program. Years of banging my head against the wall (with little less than a massive headache to show for).
But then 2020 rolled around. And the authorities decided to enforce a national lockdown here in Ecuador.
Things were about to change. In a big way.
Like many of you, I now had a lot of time on my hands. And I promised myself I wasn’t gonna let it go to waste.
I set up a militant daily regimen. Early bird wake-up time, strict work/productivity schedule and dietary routine, and lastly – I began training my body every 24-hour cycle.
Whereas before I would follow a more traditional template of working out 3-5 days a week, I started training every single day (on day 477 of back-to-back workouts as we speak). Whether a quick 10-minute session or an hour of grueling effort, the work got done every day, without fail.
During this time, I also abandoned the typical split routines popular in mainstream fitness (i.e. push-pull-legs) and focused on doing one main exercise a day.
It was a complete 180.
And the results I got were nothing short of spectacular.
I began making progress at an unprecedented rate (not just physically). Keep in mind, this is after 17 years of consistent, dedicated training.
I started with a blank slate and believe me when I say, I’m never going back.
So what does my routine look like? How do I set up my daily workouts? How do I gauge progress? High volume or high intensity?
I train every day. And I do one main exercise every workout.
These are the only non-negotiables. The rest varies from day to day.
I might do up to 3-4 exercises in a session, but I pick 1 exercise for the day dedicating the bulk of my time and energy to that particular exercise.
Some days I work with high volume (lots of sets, lots of reps) and some days I’ll only do a handful of sets with higher intensity (“harder sets”).
Some days I try to beat the record books and some days I simply bang out a couple of pump sets.
Depends on a few things:
- My food intake the day before
- How much time I have available
- What I wanna do that day
Last one’s key.
Time is precious. I don’t have any to give away. Not in training, not anywhere else.
I don’t force myself through tedious workouts anymore. In fact, I only do stuff I enjoy doing.
Luckily for me, I love to train and genuinely enjoy the vast majority of my workouts.
You should too.
Your training should be hard as nails, challenging, occasionally overwhelming, but ultimately highly rewarding.
Training must never become boring or tedious.
What should you focus on then? Volume or intensity? Progressive overload? Time under tension? Building a streak of back-to-back workouts? Or just getting a thick pump and feeling like Samson in the gym?
All of the above.
You will find varying your volume and intensity will give you the best bang for your buck. Switch it up.
Personally, I don’t use nor recommend a set periodization schedule. In my experience, the body will let you know precisely how much volume and intensity it can handle on a given day… if you pay attention.
You’re probably thinking, “How do I progress with this style of training?”.
- You train every day
- You monitor your monthly progress on key exercises
You DO NOT chase a personal record every day.
Train to get better – yes – but do not force adaptation and development by chasing one more rep every workout.
I learned that the hard way, not too long ago.
Instead of crushing my body 7 days a week, I am now building up my engine for record-shattering performances.
That means some of my workouts are light, short, almost effortless and on other days, I will go as hard and as long as the body will let me.
Strength goes up naturally. The PRs come naturally. In fact, everything comes naturally at this point.
Smooth sailing, as they say.
This is a very simplistic yet HIGHLY effective and rewarding way to train.
And this is what I’ve been doing for the last one and a half years. By far the best and most productive stretch in almost 2 decades of training.
[And this is what you’ll find in my VICTORIOUS program… + an array of glorious strategies I picked up along the way]
This is my blueprint. That’s right I follow a blueprint. I do not follow a rigid program.
I don’t need a program or an “expert” to tell me exactly what to do.
I’m a big boy.
Will that work for you?
Only one way to find out. Get off the couch and get to work.
Train every day. One main exercise. Monitor your development.
And if you want to maximize your time in (and out of) the gym, get on VICTORIOUS – The Alpha and Omega Of Bodyweight Training
In fact, I don’t even count reps anymore. Indicator of good work for me is a challenging set brought close to or (ocassionally) to failure. As I count sets only, I try to make more of them over time (weeks/months) or just switch to harder progression if I feel like I can make tons of them. Alternating intensity and volume is a great way to boost progress.
I like that.
It’s all about finding the sweet spot between intensity and volume. You need both to develop muscle and a high-performance body, but you can’t burn the candle on both ends (high volume + high intensity every session) and expect to see favorable results. Gotta walk the line.