Leangains Workout Plan Overview

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The Leangains workout that I do is modified to my goals but this is very close to the recommendation. I workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday and rest all other days. I almost exclusively use barbells.

My goal is to put my body under maximum amounts of stress in short bursts then get the hell out of the gym. No burnouts, no screwing around. Some days I do 5 minutes of abs and/or more accessory work but I do it knowing that I am just having fun.

*Tip: I have noticed that I get most of my shoulder/back pulls and injuries during this “fun” time and rarely do it anymore.

I do 2 working sets:

I do a few warmup sets on each exercise before I move to the working sets. The goal of the warmup sets is to get my body ready to be put under a lot of stress. Below is an example, obviously you would adjust for your own warmups.

Example: Bench Press Warmup Sets

  • Warmup Set 1: Just the bar for 10 reps
    • This gets your joints moving and prepares your body to handle weight. This also helps me practice my form for the heavy sets
  • Warmup Set 2: 95lbs for 6 reps
    • Add a little weight and practice form – further preparing for heavier presses
  • Warmup Set 3: 135 for 3 reps
    • Here I have enough weight to feel it. To preserve my energy for the big presses I only do 2-3 reps.

After warming up I’ll take a 2-3 minute rest and then do 2 working sets.

Set 1: The maximum weight I can do for the desired rep range.

Set 2: Drop weight by approximately 10% – take 2-5 minutes rest. The goal of the second working set is to do (1) one more rep than I did in Set 1. So if I did 7 reps in Set 1 – I will do 8 reps in Set 2 and then stop.

Even if I can do more reps I stop. I never go to failure.

I was told this helps you progress and although I don’t know the science behind it I can tell you that I have almost always progressed in weight/reps – even during when I’m cutting and in a caloric deficit (which is not common).

My Exact Leangains Workout

Monday:

  • Deadlift 3-5x
  • Overhead Press 6-8x
  • Weighted Chin Ups 4-6x (I got this weighted dip belt on Amazon)
  • Barbell Rows 6-8x
  • 1 set of Weighted Close Grip Chin Ups 6-10x

Wednesday:

  • Bench Press 6-8x
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 6-8x
  • Barbell Curls 6-8x
  • Tricep Extensions 6-8x

Friday:

  • Squat 6-8x (I use these Rehband knee sleeves for knee protection)
  • Leg Curls 6-8x
  • Leg Extension 6-8x
  • Weighted Wide Dips 6-8x
  • Calves 12-16x
  • 1 set of Ab Rope Pulldowns 25x

Get Used to Working Out Less

At first it may be hard to convince yourself to workout less. (3) Three days a week and (2) two sets per exercise are much less than I was doing before. I struggled with it at first because it didn’t “feel” like I was doing enough.

The key is to get it done, do it right and then force yourself to get out of the gym. For me the results don’t lie.

http://www.malandarras.com/intermittent-fasting-and-leangains-transformation-with-photos

Leangains.com

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Case Study: Nerdfitness – Stacy

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Meet Stacy

As we’ve learned from Mark Twight, trainer for the actors from 300, “appearance is a consequence of fitness.”

Diet:

While I did switch to a 80/20 Paleo Diet for a while, ever since my Hashimoto’s diagnosis I’ve been doing an extremely strict auto immune Paleo diet. I basically eat meats, veggies, and berries.  The auto immune part of Paleo cuts out nuts and seeds, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers), and eggs.  I do have milk and butter, but only whole and organic grass fed. I don’t do any other dairy (like cheese) at all.  I don’t even cheat with gluten or soy anymore, no matter what.  I feel SO much better since adopting this new diet.

  • Every Sunday (or whatever works, but usually its Sunday) I cook a few pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.  I then portion it out and keep them in ziploc bags.  If I don’t have time for that, you can get all natural precooked sausage (both chicken and pork) that works just as well as a “bring to work” meat.
  • 5AM: pre-workout: (first thing in the morning) – protein shake. (nothing special).  Its not paleo, and i love every sip of it.  Then I go and work out.  If I go to the gym with a full stomach, I will not leave with a full stomach.  :)
  • 7:30AM: on my way to work: apple or pear.
  • 9:30AM: sweet potato with cinnamon. I keep them at work, and cut them up, throw it in the microwave for 5 minutes with cinnamon.  Comes out amazing.
  • Another protein shake somewhere in here between breakfast and lunch.
  • 11:45AM-12PM: lunch: two of the bags of chicken I precooked and a bag of the steamfresh vegetables.  The entire bag, its like 3.5 servings of vegetables.  My favorite is broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
  • Lunch 2: spinach salad with shrimp, red peppers, green peppers, red onion, lemon juice.
  • 2-3 snacks in the afternoon. Could be one of these: Apple with almond butter, bell pepper (I eat them like apples… I’m weird), carrots (they even make carrots cut like chips), bags of chicken (yes, those bags of chicken I consider a snack as well, not just a meal), a zucchini (yes, plain, raw, uncooked), celery with almond butter and raisins, strawberries, frozen mixed berries.
  • 7-8PM: dinners: 95% of the time it’s meat (steak, sausage, shrimp, salmon, or chicken) with one of the following: red peppers, green peppers, red onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower (steamfresh bags!), and/or summer squash and zucchini
  • Every once in a while i make something awesome, like this (but really, that takes a lot of time).  When i DO make something like that, i make it in mass bulk and will eat it for the week.
  • In the winter, I’ll usually make a beef shank stew on Sundays that I can eat for a lunch or two as well.

Focus on:

Follow up:

Right now I’m focused mainly on strength, doing a crazy Russian squat program where I squat heavy 4x a week, working other big lifts in around that. I try to get in conditioning, in the form of something like sprints, burpees, or sled pushes a few times a week as well. I’ve also been swimming a lot, but that’s more for fun, recovery, and meditation.

Staying Hungry:

I guess I never reached a point where I felt like I was content with where I was at.  I always want more, and there’s always something new to learn.  People will tell me that once they reach, say, a 315 lb squat they will be satisfied. But to me, I’m thinking, “Why? Why wouldn’t you want to try to squat 316 lbs next time?”

I have this concept of hitting a PR every day, no matter what, and that could mean anything from lifting 1 more pound, doing 1 more rep, or finishing 1 second faster.  I hate the idea of being “comfortable,” because if I’m not pushing out to the edge and trying to do better, then I’m not growing.

I think because my overall goal, sport specific aside, is to be able to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to, without warning, without my body holding me back.

And by that I mean if a friend calls me tomorrow and says, “I found a secret treehouse in the middle of the woods, but we need to hike a gigantic mountain and bike 50 miles to get there,” I want to be able to say “I’m in” without hesitation.  So I always want to push my body’s limits.  Plus, it’s fun.