My new fitness routine

Introduction

This is going to be a reference page so I know what to do and why I'm doing it.

The goal is for my routine to be zero-friction: make sure I exercise every day and maintain the meta-stable habit. Otherwise I will definitely slack off.

Goals

My priorities are to shore up my weaknesses and then build upon my strengths. In decreasing order of priority, therefore, my goals are:

  • Fix my anterior pelvic tilt
  • Fix my internal shoulder rotation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase strength and hypertrophy

To that end, I'll be doing the following:

  1. Stretch every day with Starting Stretching (SS) routine
  2. (For internal shoulder rotation) Add doorway face pulls, subscapularis and pec minor stretches to the SS routine
  3. (For APT) Add modified sprinter lunge to the SS routine
  4. Perform 6-day push-pull bodyweight routine

Anterior pelvic tilt

I have mild anterior pelvic tilt (APT). The natural angle of anterior pelvic tilt should be 3-4 degrees downward on the waistline, mine is a bit more than that, I think.

To remedy this, I'll be following Athlean-X's tips for anterior pelvic tilt (video here].

  1. Don’t stretch hamstrings
  2. Strengthen glutes with the "modified sprinter lunge" shown in the video (around 4:31)
  3. Stretch lower back
  4. Stretch hip flexors (part of Starting Stretching, more later)
  5. Strengthen abs without engaging hip flexors

Strengthening the glutes and stretching the hip flexors

Strengthening the abs

I will be doing two main exercises that don't strengthen the hip flexors because training the hip flexors can exacerbate APT. Athlean-X link:

Many different ab exercises enlist the help of the hip flexors as a prime mover. This occurs a lot in lower ab exercises but can also occur in things as simple as the crunch. If you allow your ab training to include too many of these you will wind up simply over strengthening the hip flexors more and leads to a vicious cycle of more pain.

I've chosen two main exercises from the video to do:

  1. Side plank (with optional leg lift)
  2. Gymnast "captain's chair" back protraction

I will be doing these ab exercises in my daily hypertrophy routine (more on this later).

Internal shoulder rotation

I have very bad internal shoulder rotation due to a combination of i) benching too much without doing as much horizontal pull work and ii) spending too much time in internal shoulder rotation (typing on keyboard)

Again following Athlean-X's recommendations

Editing a YouTube comment here:

  1. 2:50, Thoracic spine stretch: Stomach on ground, arms above head 45* angle, rotate back while keeping chest wide open, working your way to the left and right side
  2. 5:48, Subscapularis stretch: 30 seconds: externally rotate arm as much as you can, hook arm against doorway. While arm is kept back way rotate your chest out in the other direction
  3. 07:08, Pec minor stretch: hold shoulder back against door, pinch shoulder blades together, raise arm up
  4. 08:26, Band pull-aparts: Externally rotate arms away with thumbs pulled back, keeping shoulders/traps down, 20 sets of 1
  5. 10:27, Band serratus/lower trap exercise: Whilst holding a resistance band, protract your arms (without rounding the back). Externally rotate arms out just enough to feel band tension. Raise above the head, down, reset, repeat

I'm going to do the first three stretches every day as riders to the SS routine.

I will also be doing doorway face pulls. Face pulls strengthen the posterior deltoids which should help pull back the shoulders.

Flexibility

I am very inflexible. I can't touch my toes, my hamstrings are very tight, my shoulders are tight, everything that can be tight is tight. I would like to do the splits eventually. Here's what that looks like now:

I'm doing Starting Stretching every day, but skipping the hamstring stretch. Here's an infographic:

Starting Stretching infographic

Strength and hypertrophy

I'll be starting with a Push-Pull bodyweight bodybuilding routine that I found on /r/naturalbodybuilding, exercising six times a week.

The PDF is in this directory and the Reddit post is here.

Pull

  1. Heavy vertical pull 2-5
  2. Medium intensity horizontal pull 2-5
  3. Bicep isolation 2-5
  4. Side delt isolation 2-8
  5. Heavy hamstring exercise 2-5
  6. Medium intensity hamstring exercise 1-5
  7. Abs 3

Push

  1. Heavy horizontal press 2-5
  2. Medium intensity incline press 2-5
  3. Triceps isolation 2-5
  4. Heavy quad compound 2-5
  5. Medium intensity quad compound 2-5
  6. Straight legged calf exercise 3-8

For ab work I'll be doing the exercises I wrote in the previous section: these are

  1. Side plank (with optional leg lift), and
  2. Gymnast "captain's chair" back protraction.

I'll be replacing some of the exercises with dumbbell work: for instance, I'll be using DBs for lat raises, and could consider DB squats if pistol squats get too easy.

I might also consider working in vertical presses sometimes to replace the incline press e.g. DB shoulder press.

Warm-up

Pasting directly from the Reddit post for reference:

Do this before every session:

Part 1: Elevating your core temperature.

Here you can either do 3-5 minutes of LIGHT cardio (brisk walk/bike ride/elliptical), or super light full body exercises like the ones you can see in this video. Since the only objective here is elevating your body temperature, you absolutely don't want to get tired, out of breath or sore, just stop when you feel like you're warm enough. Breaking a sweat is ok.

Part 2: Dynamic warm-up.

Here you want to move explosively through the ranges of motion you're going to be using in the workout. Follow this protocol:

  • 10 leg swings front to back (explosive).
  • 10 leg swings side to side (explosive).
  • 10 big arm circles forward (explosive).
  • 10 big arm circles backwards (explosive).
  • 10 cross body arm slaps (explosive).
  • 5 repetitions (per leg) of a lunge with torso rotation (only if for you it's a light exercise and doesn't tire you).

After that, the regular training session starts. Then, do the following before every exercise that's going to work a muscle group for the first time in the session (for example if in the same session you have two exercises for the chest, then do the following only before the first one):

Part 3: Sport-Specific Warm Up.

Do a set of 5 reps from the previous level of the exercise you're about to do. So if you're warming up to do the horizontal press level 3, in this instance do one set of 5 reps of the horizontal press level 2. If you're warming up for a level 1 exercise, and its intensity can be lowered as explained here, do the lower intensity version; and if the intensity can't be lowered, do 5 partial reps: 2 partials from the bottom part of the movement, and 3 partials from the top part of the movement. If you're about to do an exercise without a specific level, use a lighter exercise that targets the same muscle group.

Rest for a few seconds and then do your working exercise for half of the reps. So if you're warming up to do incline push-ups, and last time you got 12 reps in your first set, then in this instance do one set of incline push-ups for 6 reps. Rest for a minute, and start your regular working sets.

Conclusion

My current routine is a big departure from my earlier days where the only thing I wanted to do was get big with as little effort as possible. I suppose I'm paying the price now with the imbalances that have occurred as a result.