Q: Which cycle should I start with? Is there any particular order I should do them in?
- I would recommend starting with Version 2.
- Why? It’s more consistent week by week and targets strength gains in 4 week microcycles for the overhead press, squat, and bench. By executing these three movements consistently, you will be able to effectively build a strength base.
- There is no “best” order to do these cycles in. My advice- pick one you like and just do it. They all work well. Just do one!
- Note: Version 1 is more like Crossfit in that the routines vary quite a bit week by week. In this cycle, you will be executing 5,3, and 1 rep maxes on a more consistent basis (combining philosophies from Westside barbell and Wendler’s 5/3/1)
- My final tip– once you get the hang of what I’ve done, start programming yourself. Look at the template and build your own workouts. You’d be surprised how much variety you can achieve.
Q: What is that dinosaur logo thing?
- I’m glad you asked. It’s a brontosaurus without hands doing snatches. Snatchasaurus. Snatchasaurus Flex.
Q: I want to join the SwoleFIT brotherhood; where do I start?
- Read the “Start Here” page.
Q: What are all these acronyms?
- Most acronyms used are derived from Crossfit nomenclature. As much as possible, I’ll provide a video link to explain them.
- SWOD = Swole Workout of the Day
- ARWOD = Active Recovery Workout of the Day
- EMOM = Every Minute on the Minute
Q: What experience is necessary to do these workouts?
- These workouts would be optimal for those who have had some prior experience with resistance training and athletics in general. Experience with Crossfit is also very helpful.
- This is not sport specific training. It’s intended for people who want to work an effective fitness routine into their daily lives in a fun, effective, and minimally time consuming manner.
- However, with practice, anyone can do this routine. Just know that proper form is indispensable, especially on olympic lifts and squat variations. There are a number of resources, both in print and in online videos on proper form which I’ll share as I introduce movements.
- As always, consult your physician before starting any workout program and please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog.
Q: What qualifies you to be an expert, Konrad?
- As of April, 2014, I am an ACSM Certified CPT.
- Fitness has been my passion for the past 10 years, and I’ve consequently gained quite a bit of firsthand knowledge of various routines and methodologies for both fitness and nutrition. I’ve read countless articles, watched innumerable videos, and tried out many different workouts. I’ve seen varying results in both myself and my friends who shared my love for working out. From these observations over the years, I learned what did and didn’t work, and applied this learning to my own practices.
- A lot you have probably heard the maxim, “Work smart, not hard.” SwoleFIT is about working hard AND smart. For the best long term gains, you have to push yourself, but also know when to back off and do recovery work.
- As always, for your health and safety, please consult with your physician before you start any physical workout program.
- For more info on how I came up with this workout, and my general life story read this article on the origins of SwoleFIT.
Q: What is prescribed rest and why do you include it?
- Prescribed rest refers to the recommended rest periods between circuit rounds.
- This allows your heart rate to drop slightly and your intensity levels to remain high over the duration of the workout.
- More importantly, it allows you to preserve proper lifting form throughout the entire workout.
Q: What do you mean “work up to a 3 rep max?”
- Do 2-3 warmup sets at a very light weight, around 50% of your 1 rep max. Rest 1-2 minutes b/t these sets.
- Do 3-5 working sets of 3 reps each. Each set you should add successively more weight until you’ve reached more or less your ‘3 rep max.’
- For example this would be my bench workout (on a good day): 3 x 3 @ 135#, 1×3 @ 185#, 1×3 @ 205#, 1×3 @ 225#, 1×3 @ 245#
- Rest 3-4 minutes between working sets to ensure full recovery.
- Set PR’s (personal records). Feel awesome.
Q: These workouts are too easy; how do I mod them?
- You have several options: increase weight on weighted movements, decrease rest time between rounds, increase # of rounds.
- ALSO, like I said in my SwoleFIT template post, every workout doesn’t have to leave you feeling completely dead afterwards. This is not optimal for long term strength gain, muscle growth, and muscle/joint health.
Q: These workouts are impossible; what do I do?
- Pretty much the opposite of the last answer: decrease weight on weighted movements, increase rest time between rounds. If necessary, add rest time between movements.
Q: Why do you include non-functional movements, like curls?
- Because they give your biceps a SICK PUMP which feels/looks awesome. It’s also just plain fun.
- Including curls in your routine is optimal for max bicep growth potential, one of my personal goals (probably a goal shared by many others for varying reasons)