Son of Grok

My Workout Structure

April 16th, 2009

I get a LOT of email about workouts. How I workout, how often I workout, what my workouts look like etc. I think I will just lay it all out on the blog here to hopefully answer peoples questions by addressing as many of these questions as possible.

I workout basically ever other day (around 3 days per week). I workout for around 30 minutes. I workout hard, continuously and with very little rest. Between sets or exercises, I hit the punching bag, sprint on the stairstepper, do jumping jacks or something. That is my rest.

A lot of the emails I get tell me something to the effect of “On days I don’t workout, I do sprints or tabatas etc…”. Well, not me. Sprints, tabatas, etc ARE workouts. I incorporate them into my every other day workouts. On the days in between, I rest… I don’t workout at all! with the exception of my30 min to 1 hr walk of course which I TRY to get in 5 days per week.

I have a list of about 15 different workouts that I do. I go down the list. This is not to “shock my muscles” or anything like that. Rather it is to keep me from getting bored and to keep working out entertaining. This list is not definite and if I feel like doing a new or a different workout, I will throw it in. I try to go climbing once per week which I count as a workout (not on the list as it gets inserted whenever the day falls). The list alternates some light workouts with some heavy and works out very well for me.

The list looks like this:

Chest & Tri
Back & Bi
Body Workouts
Chest & Back Super
300 Workout

“Interval” workouts involve some type of sprints and some light intervals. “Tabatas” involve 4 or 5 different light tabatas. Once I complete the list, I start over.

As always, if my body needs an extra day rest, I take it. The list takes about a month to get through so I only do the same workout (with a couple exceptions) once about every month.

I do end every workout almost exactly the same though. I do one set of heavy deadlifts and one set of heavy hanging power clean into overhead press after every workout.

Do you train similarly? How do you train? What are your thoughts?

24 Responses to “My Workout Structure”

  1. Reid

    I think I helped inspire this post! Thanks for the information. This is helpful for those of us looking to create our own routines. It would be interesting to know how many different exercises you typically do per workout including the number of sets and reps. For example, when you say “Back and Bi”, what does that consist of?

  2. Scott


    I was definitely curious about this…just a few questions.

    Do you track your workouts and try to improve (by increasing weight, reps, etc.) the next time they come up in your schedule?

    How do you measure progress across such a wide domain and variation of workouts?



  3. Smoketheblowfish

    Like the Grokness, change is a constant for me. I’ve been using Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training for the last 11 months….switching workouts every 3-4 weeks (depending on my mood).

    *3-4 days of resistance training
    *3 days of High Intensity Intervals (done the same day as resistance)
    *1 day of long slow painful boring mind-numbing (almost out of adjectives) monotonous tedious tiresome Cardio.
    *2 days of a mind-blowing BW or DB Circuit (I have 16 different gems in the rotation)
    *Workouts M-F are at 5am. If I workout on the weekend, I’ll sleep in and wait ’til 6:30am.

    I do end every workout almost exactly the same though. Glistening with man-sweat and hoping my wife will be eagerly anticipating my sweaty arrival at home.

  4. Camille

    I train similarly, but I don’t train body parts; I do full body work and train for movements. Your last post reminded me to turn you on to Body Tribe (if you don’t already know them). Chip Heath and crew ROCK! –

  5. Matthew

    I just started a basic lifting program in february and have really enjoyed the strength work.

    This summer though, i’m planning to do something similar to what you wrote. For now the plan is to draw up a few different workout, and then roll a die each day to choose my workout for me.

    we’ll see though, i just want to keep it fun and outside this summer

  6. Jedidja

    I’ve been using TT workouts too, although not as consistently as @Smoketheblowfish.

  7. Son of Grok

    I will try to elaborate on those workouts in some up and coming posts.

    I do track them. I have an excel worksheet that I plug everything into. I measure progress from workout to work out. S I look back at the previous time i did the workout and see if I did better. The 300 test I do once every cycle is a pretty good measure of overall fitness and so therefore is also a good gauge of progress for me.

    I dig Craigs turbulence training approach. I have tried a couple of his workouts including his “crazy eight”. I had to make it harder for myself but was a good workout. You work out way too much for me brutha! lol.

    You will notice only a couple of my workouts really focus on any body parts. Even for those I stick most to functional compound exersices. Nothing really isolation at all. Digging the BodyTribe!

    You will find your workouts evolve as you go. The workouts I am doing now are not the same ones I was doing 7 months ago! lol.

    TT is good place to start. I can dig it.

  8. Rambodoc

    I currently do a Cosgrove-type barbel complex one day, legs one day, upper the 3rd (C?P, pushup, Bench, shrug). On the other 3 days of the week (Mondays are off), I do interval sprints in the field, and an hour long Kickboxing class on Sunday. At home, I installed a pull-up bar recently, and I am sincerely trying to “grease the groove” (the more you do, the better you get at it). So, add around 30-40 pull-ups daily (not continuous, alas!).
    All said, I am still fatter than I need to be (14 % BF), and so I soldier on!

  9. James


  10. Eman

    “On the days in between, I rest… I don’t workout at all! with the exception of my30 min to 1 hr walk of course which I TRY to get in 5 days per week.”

    Walking is extraordinarily important for human health – people just do not realize how vital it is, perhaps because it is so simple. Thank you for highlighting this point.

    Primal people spent long periods of time on their feet, constantly walking and moving around – with the men often off hunting or gathering or herding from longer distances, and the women often more locally. Many nomadic and/or herding tribes walked constantly, only settling in to one place for a limited amount of time before they pulled up camp and continued walking on.

    Humans are meant to walk constantly. Modern humans who are cooped up indoors or in desk jobs for 10 hours or whatever a day are living VERY unnaturally! Our ancient ancestors likely walked, hiked, or even just casually strolled miles each day in a perimeter around their camp – and often times (hunting, herding, moving camp, etc) for perhaps well over a dozen miles per day.

    I don’t really believe in jogging or running too much – perhaps sprinting or for a short time (I do that sometimes), but walking is more than sufficient because i don’t think the human body is meant or designed for intense jogging or running for long periods. But we are designed to walk constantly, that’s for sure.

    I live in a pedestrian-friendly area (it’s also an area [North Carolina] with year round tolerably warm weather) and thus I walk miles upon miles every other day (at least 7 miles every other day), and sometimes I’ll walk for 2-4 hours for well over a dozen miles). And I feel great for it.


  11. emergefit

    Amen on the deadlifts! If the avocado is the perfect fruit, and I believe it is, deadlifts must be the perfect exercise, and that much more as a “finishing” movement. I’m also big on low-back extensions for those who have access to that apparatus.

  12. smoketheblowfish

    Dude/SoG, I just read your bio after seeing the link on Fitness BlackBook. Very impressive! I also realized that I’m working out too many days…that’s gotta change. Your results from primal eating are really making me reconsider my ways. Now to form a plan back at the Bat Cave.


    The Illegitimate Bastard Son of Korg

    ps. I workout way too much for me…but it’s so addictive and what else would I be doing at 5am?

  13. Rambodoc

    Setting the record straight: I measured yesterday, and it says I am 11.7% BF! Give another % point for inaccuracy, and I have still made progress! :-)

  14. Greg

    I try to get a workout in five days a week, but mine is mixed up. I hit the gym 2-3 days, run 2-3 days, and mix in a cycling ride for good measure. Once the pools open up, I’ll substitute some pool swims in as well. Basically trying to mix my workout up as much as possible to eliminate boredom.

  15. Andy

    Sup SOG….got your blog link through Mike Z. Great one.

    5 days a week sometimes 6…6th day usually for some challenges.

    Athletic based conditioning involving olympic lifts such as what you’re doing Deadlifts, Cleans, Squats also Metabolic based Resistance training…always total body – never isolate any muscles much. I have done arms but I incoporate that in a routine day not as an off day.

    Here’s my compilation of routines I like to do:
    Turbulence Training
    Cosgrove (here and there)
    Dos Remedios Power Training (here and there)

    Exercise routines:
    Olympic Lifts
    Total Body Supersets/Circuits
    BB complexes
    Body weight routines for endurance and conditioning
    KB swings
    Heavy Bag
    Direct Core Strengthening 3x/week
    Intervals of ALL TYPES (I guess tabatas would fall in this category)

    I will take breaks when needed…no more than 2 days off in a week. I don’t do cardio stuff like the elliptical or distance running much either. I find those boring personally.


  16. Eman

    Came across the following article on fats in foods you might be interested in –

  17. Chris -

    My training really varies with the season. It’s not as structured as true periodization but it’s close.

    Right now it’s rock season, so I climb indoors about two days a week, and outdoors most weekends. I’ll also do some high intensity weight circuits (generally shamelessly stolen from mtnathlete) a few days on top of this as recovery permits. These are very close to Crossfit workouts, but with slightly lower intensity (most of the time) and about 4 times the volume.

    Not to mention that my girlfriend, like me, is an overgrown kid, so relaxing for us tends to be some for of active play like trail run, tennis, etc.. that we don’t count as a formal workout.

    So the rock season training isn’t terribly interesting unless you’re a climber :-)
    During the off season (between rock and ice seasons) I’ll be hitting the gym for this type of workout around 4 days a week. Those workout logs tend to be much more interesting for others to look at.

    This amount of training is well over what is needed for health and fitness, I’m coming at it from a “sport performance” perspective. I’m always struggling with overreaching though – if I don’t get enough sleep for a few nights while doing this I’ll be in trouble.

    As an aside, where in NM is the gym you’ve been climbing at? My mom lives out there a few hours from Albuquerque. Rayna and I are heading out in a month or so for a week and plan on doing some climbing when we’re out there. If the schedules work you’re welcome to join us sometime – we could do a “cave man climbing” duel post.

    Drop me a line by email if you don’t want to post the details on here.

  18. Mom of SOG

    SOG is being hammered right now with new job so I will answer ur question temporarily Chris:

    And did anyone catch the new study out?

    Stay slim to save the planet

    Overweight people eat more than thin people and are more likely to travel by car, making excess body weight doubly bad for the environment, according to a study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

    “When it comes to food consumption, moving about in a heavy body is like driving around in a gas guzzler,” and food production is a major source of greenhouse gases, researchers Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote in their study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

  19. Fred

    Recently I’ve been doing doing the TT HardCore Fat Loss program 4 days a week and taking a thai boxing class 2 nights a week, primarily for conditionng. Teach kid’s and teen’s Aikido classes at a local dojo on Saturday mornings where I do the bodyweight warmups with them to get my Saturday workout. I came across your site from blogging with Mikez from “SmoketheBlowfish”, who I have respectfully dubbed: “Maniac Mike” for obvious reasons. He has great taste in sites that rock, so here I am. Like your site a lot…thanks for the terrific posts.

  20. MizFit

    I used to train entirely the same.
    Im getting back there.
    as soon as the Toddler is less of an energysuck :)

  21. lm

    Mizfit: Love ur term ‘energysuck’ LOL
    Are there any mom/kid classes offered where u live? I met some of my favorite moms and kids while exercising with them. You use ur baby/toddler as the weight :)
    Back in the day, our local YMCA offered them but now I hear that there is a group called Moms in Motion that is popular

  22. John Sifferman - Real World Strength Training

    I’ve been immersing myself in the Circular Strength Training system in preparation for their weekend seminar in August. Clubbell training, bodyweight exercises, prasara yoga, and mobility training are forming the staples – but I’ve also made it a point to just get outdoors and play more – running, jumping, and climbing things.

  23. Thursday, April 7, 2009 - Quick Bodyweight Workouts for a Busy Lifestyle

    [...] Son of Grok reveals how he Works Out. [...]

  24. Tra

    I use crossfit endurance for my running, and i’m working on developing basal fitness to start crossfit (practicing press, squat, deadlift, etc.) i like function shizzit like pushups, situps. body weight stuff rocks!

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © Son of Grok. All rights reserved.