Weekly Workout For Men: Show Me Your Shoulders...The Stoics view of how we should train the body

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Suppose, for example, that in talking to an athlete, I said, “Show me your shoulders,” and then he answered, “Look at my jumping weights.” Go to, you and your jumping weights! What I want to see is the effect of the jumping weights. –  Epictetus, Discourses, I, 4 

This is possibly one of the greatest statements.

How many times have we said to ourselves, tomorrow I will buy my new weights, or get my new running shoes, or my new protein powder and pre-workout.

We do those things, but we still don’t have the thing that we really want:

  • Character

  • Discipline

  • Grit

  • Consistency


 

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It’s easy to talk about all the cool things that we are going to do. It’s easy to sit down and think about all the things that we are going to accomplish. It’s easier to go and buy all of the newest gadgets or the coolest new workout program, or even the best Strength training equipment.

You know what’s not easy?

  • Doing

  • Accomplishing

  • Using the Strength Training Equipment

  • Action

That is essentially what Epictetus is saying here. He is saying that you can talk all day about the things that you have or the things you are going to do and accomplish, but what really matters, is what you have to show for it.

Show me your shoulders!

You go to your jumping weights, or your protein and pre-workout. You go to your planner, or your new years resolutions.

You go do all that.

I’ll take action.

So, what is it going to be for you? Are you going to talk about all the things that you want to accomplish. Are you going to put the cart before the horse?

Are you going to shoot…or are you going to talk?


Now there are short and simple exercises which tire the body rapidly, and so save our time; and time is something of which we ought to keep strict account. These exercises are running, brandishing weights, and jumping…But whatever you do, come back quickly from body to mind. –  Seneca, Epistle 15

Workouts don’t have to be long extended periods of boredom and routine. They can be as fast as you want them to be.

In fact, I know of a workout that can be done in under two minutes that will completely blast you.

Personally, I can’t do it in under 2 minutes, but I can do it under 5.

Seneca, believed the same thing. He believed that time was our most precious commodity, and with that mindset, he didn’t believe in spending hours upon hours training the body.

Enter HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), or even CrossFit.

Crossfit essentially originated in the 1970’s when Greg Glassman was doing gymnastics. He took personal training jobs for the next decade and finally in the late 90’s developed a system called CrossFit. He tested it using the LAPD, and it boomed. In 2000 he opened the first CrossFit Affiliate.

Since then, it has grown exponentially. I was originally introduced to CrossFit when I bought the book by Mark Divine Called “8 Weeks to SEALFIT”, which I still recommend to anyone who wants to get in extremely great physical shape, and something I typically do once a year.

It taught me how to do many of the movements that are associated with Crossfit, and before I did SEALFIT, I had never lifted a barbell before other than for bench press. Most of my workout routines were intermittent, inconsistent and pretty much Bro Science.

I had never been in better shape than when I started doing SEALFIT.

After doing that, I really wanted to know how to lift weights correctly and do some of the Olympic Lifts. I got a coach who helped me learn all of the lifts and even helped me learn all of the gymnastics movements.

Since then, I have developed a Workout Plan for anyone interested in CrossFit, but not quite ready to go full-on. Someone like myself who wanted to learn how to lift and get stronger, but didn’t want to hurt himself doing all of the Olympic Lifts.

I wanted to be able to workout at home in my garage, but wanted a program that would help me achieve the results that I wanted.

  • Build Strength

  • Put on Muscle Mass ( I have gained 25# in one year)

  • Run under 6 minute mile

  • Dead lift 2x Body-weight

  • Do Fran in under 5 minutes

So I developed a Strength Program, that I continue to use to help me with my fitness goals. It has helped me to continue to grow in both strength and work capacity.

It is the 360 Man Project 8 Week Strength Program, and comes with meal plans, fitness videos and trackers. There is also a shopping list and some other Bonuses.

I believe, just like Epictetus, that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym, you just need to exercise and have something to show for it. If you want to be the man you are made to be, fitness is a great place to start.


Weekly Workouts

Monday

21-15-9 of:

  • Box Jumps

  • Push-ups

  • Sit-ups

3 rounds of:

  • 10 x 185# Deadlift

  • Max Handstand Hold

  • 10 Toes to Bar

Practice Handstand Walking



Tuesday

Warmup:

  • 500m row

3 rounds of:

  • 5 Pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats

Workup to 5 RM Snatch

  • Then do 5 reps @ -5% 5RM

  • Then do 5 reps @ -10% 5RM

“FRAN” 21-15-9 (For Time) of:

  • Thrusters (95# Rx)

  • Pull-ups

10 minutes of 30 sec on and 30 sec off Row (use any modality of choice if you don’t have a rower)

Bench Press Program

  • Do 12 reps at a weight that is difficult for you to do 12 reps


 

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Wednesday

  • 500m row

  • 50 Double-Unders

Weighted Pull-ups:

  • Max Weight 5x5

  • 5x5 Kipping with 20# Vest

  • 5x5 Butterfly with 20# Vest

Barbell Curls:

  • 4 sets of 4-6 reps

DB Shoulder Mobility:

  • Lateral Raise, Front Raise, etc… (Use Light Weight)

500m row


Thursday

Warmup:

  • 500m row

  • 10 bar facing burpees over barbell

  • 10 PVC Snatch

  • 10 PVC Jerk

  • 10 PVC Push Press

  • 10 PVC Static Overhead Press

KB Ladder: (Start with Lightest Weight, complete 70 reps, then move on to the higher weight)

KB Weights I used were 35#,40#,45# & 53#

  • 10 KB Swings

  • 10 KB Snatch (Each Arm)

  • 10 Ground to Overhead

  • 10 Push Press (Each Arm)

  • 10 Front Squats


Friday

  • 500m row

  • Workup to 75% of 1RM Front Squat

  • Do 5x5 at 75% 1RM Front Squat

  • Workup to 80% of 1RM of Squat Cleans, then 5x5 of Squat Cleans @ 80% 1RM

  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of Strict Pull-ups
    **(rest 15 seconds between sets until 5 reps, then no rest)

  • 10 Turkish Get-ups (5 each Side)


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