Daily Archives: April 15, 2016

Big But Boring [Fitness Friday]


I think I mentioned in some past post I that I recently started a new strength workout on the advice of my personal trainer. I only meet with him once a week but he helped me figure out what weights I should be lifting for the rest of the week. And how did he do that?

Well, he recommended that I try a program he’s used in the past called 5/3/1:Big But Boring. Funny name, right? Well, he got it from here and he says he’s gotten great results with it.

The key, though, is knowing your one-rep max on the following: deadlifts, standing shoulder press, bench press, and back squat. Those can be difficult to figure out on your own so we spent two sessions finding out.

In case you’re interested, my one-rep deadlift is 235 pounds, my one rep bench is 100, squat was 165 and shoulder press was 70. Yes, my upper body is weaker, I know.

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Anyway, with this planĀ I’ve been doing the same strength moves with each workout. On Mondays I do the key move: back squats. I then do what are called assistance exercises and my trainer suggested I do front squats and laying leg curls.

Tuesdays I workout with my trainer so he can spot me on bench presses. I then do an assortment of tricep, back, and bicep exercises.

Wednesdays are cardio and I typically do 30 minutes of high intensity interval training on the treadmill, stairmill or a spin bike.

Thursdays it’s legs again with deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and some Captain’s chair leg lifts for good measure.

Friday is the shoulder press followed by another assortment of upper body stuff.

Saturday is cardio which, right now, means my long run. However, after I run the Carmel Half Marathon tomorrow I think I’m going to do another day of HIIT training instead. My body really responds to HIIT cardio, I’ve found.

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Anyway, even though this is called Boring But Big, the workouts do change in intensity each week so it keeps it interesting. I like knowing exactly what I’m going to do when I get to the gym and I also like knowing exactly what poundage to use on each lift.

The strength gains are incremental so you do need to do this same plan for a few months to see results. But, you know, I’m okay with that. I’ve found that building muscle is really difficult for me but if this is what it takes then I’m all for it!


This week’s workouts:

  • Monday – Lower body strength + 20 minutes HIIT on theĀ stairmill
  • Tuesday – Upper body strength
  • Wednesday – 30 minutes HIIT on the treadmill
  • Thursday – Lower body strength
  • Friday – Upper body strength
  • Saturday – Carmel Half Marathon
  • Sunday – Rest


Recipe of the week: One Pot Mexican Chicken Stir Fry

Made this for dinner this week and it was pretty tasty. I served it over rice and added sour cream. I also microwaved the broccoli for two minutes before adding it to the pan since I like it a little softer.

Here’s a hint, though: if your chicken lets out a lot of juice, drain it off before you add the peppers and the broccoli. Otherwise the veggies won’t crisp up!