The Prepared Man Fitness Routine

Tuesday morning leg day.

There is an absolute standard of fitness. To be fit is to be able to drag or carry an unconscious adult out of a burning house on one, maybe two gulps of air. Alternatively, it’s to out sprint a dog, given a head start, and climb over a 7ft wall. To be fit is to be able to fight and defeat anyone who can outrun you and outrun anyone you cannot defeat.” – Jacob Lund Fisker, ERE

I love this definition of fitness. It aligns with my training goal of being prepared for whatever life throws my way – even though I’ve never had to outrun a dog.

This post will outline my training principles, the framework I follow, the movements I prioritize, a few sample workouts, and recommended resources. This type of routine will not make you the strongest, fastest, or biggest – but it will leave you strong, fit, and prepared. You are encouraged borrow, hack, discard, and combine to find something that works best for you.

First Principles for The Prepared Man Fitness Routine:

  • Save yourself and become a student of fitness and movement – You need to save yourself. Doctors won’t make you healthy and trainers won’t make you fit. They can help you along the way, but ultimately you need to have a basic understanding of movement patterns, proper form, and programming. Recommended resources are below.
  • Progressive overload – the body adapts to the demands put on it. Progressively and slowly place more demands on the body by adjusting one of the four key variables: time, sets, repetitions, &/or load (weight).
  • Oscillation of strength & hypertrophy on a weekly basis – this is where tracking (writing down) your sets, reps, and weights becomes imperative. Since you will rotate between strength and hypertrophy weeks you will need to refer two weeks to see how you are going to apply progressive overload to your hypertrophy or strength rep ranges. Hypertrophy rep ranges are 8-12 repetitions per set; strength rep ranges are 1-5 reps per set.
  • Anti-glycolytic training – this is what the Russians call “strength aerobics”. My preferred way of implementing this is by setting a clock (anywhere from 1-2 minutes), and when the time is up I begin my next set, typically doing 10 sets for my primary movements. If you’re doing 5 weighted pull ups every 1 ¾ minutes you can accumulate 50 pull ups in under 20 minutes. This can be applied to dips, clean and press, swings, squats, etc. I like applying this to my primary movements because it helps keep you on track for getting your workout done in a reasonable time and is a great way to accumulate repetitions.
  • Consistency > Intensity – you want to progress slowly enough that you have enough energy to train the next day, next week, next month, etc. Consistency is how you stay fit for life.
  • Choose human powered movement whenever possible – whenever time allows it, walk or bike to your destination (grocery store, errands, commute, etc.). Take phone calls on foot whenever possible. This additional movement touchpoint is key for staying fit in the long run.
  • Set a goal to test yourself quarterly – setting a goal within the system helps to keep training fun and motivating. It will also give you an area to focus on for the quarter.
  • Insource what you can so you outsource what you cannot – if you become a student of movement you will be able to stay ridiculously fit with a couple kettlebells, gymnastic rings, a jump rope and a pair of running shoes. This less than $300 set up will save you cash in the long run. This will allow you to outsource highly skilled pursuits that would require a) and expert and/or b) someone to practice with (i.e.: martial arts, rowing club, rock climbing, Olympic lifting etc.)
  • Learn to defend yourself – every prepared man should have a basic level of understanding in how to grapple and throw a punch. I personally grapple 3-4x per week but have found that I was able to become an acceptable (good enough) boxer by taking a personal lesson twice a month and shadow boxing once a week for 6 months. You don’t need to dedicate your life to these pursuits, but you should be familiar.

Framework:

Type of TrainingFrequency
Resistance Training4x per week (30 minutes)
High Intensity Cardiovascular Training4x per week (10 minutes)
Mobility & Stability6x per week (15 minutes)
Skill Development1-4x per week (1 if your goal is “acceptable”, 4 if your goal is to be competitive)
Low Intensity Cardiovascular TrainingDaily (walking/biking)

Weekly Split of Resistance / High Intensity Cardiovascular Training:

  • Monday:
    • Upper body resistance training
      • Primary Movements
        • Pull Ups
        • Kettle bell clean & press
      • Core
        • Turkish Get Up
        • Hanging leg raise
    • High Intensity Cardiovascular Training
      • Movement options for cardio
        • Burpee
        • Kettlebell clean & press
        • Jump rope
  • Tuesday:
    • Lower body resistance training
      • Primary Movements
        • Squat
      • Secondary Movements
        • Romanian Deadlift
        • Lunge
      • Core
        • Hollow Body Hold
        • Side Plank
        • Copenhagen Plank
    • High Intensity Cardiovascular Training
      • Movement options for cardio
        • Hill sprints
        • 1-2 Mile run
        • Speed skaters
        • Jump lunges (body weight)
        • Jump squats (body weight)
  • Wednesday
    • Walk
    • Mobility & Stability (full body)
  • Thursday
    • Upper body resistance training
      • Primary Movements
        • Dips
        • Row
      • Core
        • Turkish Get Up
        • Ab Wheel
    • High Intensity Cardiovascular Training
      • Movement options for cardio
        • Burpee
        • Thruster
        • Kettlebell clean & press
        • Jump rope
  • Friday
    • Lower body resistance training
      • Primary Movements
        • Kettlebell Swing
      • Secondary Movements
        • Single Arm Swing
      • Core
        • L-Sit
    • High Intensity Cardiovascular Training
      • Movement options for cardio
        • Jump lunges (body weight)
        • Jump squats (body weight)
        • Speed skaters
        • Hill sprints
        • 1-2 Mile run
  • Saturday / Sunday
    • Walk
    • Mobility & Stability (full body)

Sample cardiovascular training (straight from my training log)

  • Upper Body Sample 1:
    • 10 sets
      • 25 double unders (jump rope_
      • 5 burpees
  • Lower Body Sample 1:
    • 1 set
      • Body weight walking lunges without rest (6 minutes)
      • Body weight jump squat Tabata
  • Upper Body Sample 2:
    • 5 sets – 2-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible), 2-minute rest
      • 10 thrusters
      • 10 burpees
  • Lower Body Sample 2:
    • 10 sets every minute on the minute
      • Hill Sprint (15 seconds)
      • Walk down to starting point (45 seconds)

Recommended resources:

Disclaimer

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website.  Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice.

kevinconnelly.blog is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site.  You are encouraged to consult with your doctor with regard to this information contained on or through this website.  After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider.

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