What am I doing right now!


It’s the age of Facebook and twiiter. People are constantly updating us on the minutia of their lives. I realized that it’s been a while since I talked about what my workout program looks like at the moment so I thought I would take a minute to fill you all in.


These are still the basic guidelines I follow when setting up a training plan. With this in mind I’ll fill you in on what I am doing right now.

I train three days per week Monday – Wednesday – Friday. I alternate between a strength training day and a conditioning day (although in truth there is carryover in each direction with the the training that I do).  Because I am alternating I end up doing three strength workouts and three conditioning workouts every two weeks. If week one is Strength – Conditioning – Strength, then week two will be Conditioning – Strength – Conditioning.

On the strength days I set my GymBoss for 20 minutes and see how many cycles of push – pull – legs, I can get done. Some days I may just choose three exercises and repeat the TRI-SET as many times as I can in the 20 minute block. More often, I cycle through varied movements in each TRI-SET, always choosing a Push, a Pull, and a Leg exercises in each sequence. I do any and all warm-up stuff before I start the timer.

Once the timer starts I proceed to do a single, all-out work set of each exercise. I train to positive (concentric) failure on each work set. I track reps as well as TUT. I always do as many perfect reps as possible but do have target Rep /TUT ranges in mind. For most upper body exercise I am shooting for about 4-6 reps and a TUT of 40-60 seconds. For most lower body exercises I shoot for 6-9 reps and a TUT of about 60-90 seconds. For hips, ABs & low-back I may do slightly higher reps shooting for 8-12 reps and 80-120 seconds of TUT.

Ultimately I get what I get,  always doing as many perfect reps as possible. If I get a few more or a few less than the goal, I don’t sweat it too much.

Example Strength Series:

Clean Dead-lift & Shrug

Bench Press

Leg Curl / Stiff Legged Dead-lift
Incline Press
Recline Pull

For my Conditioning days I most often select a set time or distance and attempt to either cover that set distance in less time, or go further in the same amount of time from workout to workout. Currently I use the Versa-Climber as my conditioning tool and I see how far I can climb in 20 minutes.

Well there you have it. Pretty simple really. Using this basic template you could spin-off workouts with endless variety depending on what tools you have available. You could also keep it super simple and just do Push-ups or dips, Single-Leg Squats or lunges, and chin-ups or recline pulls for strength. On conditioning day you could just choose running and either see how fast you can cover a set distance like three miles, or how many 100 yards sprints you can get done in 20 minutes.

Now…Get to it!



Train hard

Following up on last weeks excellent article from Dr Ken Leistner, this week I am presenting some more words of wisdom from John Wood. If you don’t know who John Wood is, you should. He is an athlete, and author, a coach and an entrepreneur. He has some great web-sites that are definitely worth checking out (see the links at the bottom).

Train hard

By John Wood

Early on, I was taught why training the legs was important, and why I needed a stronger neck, and how grip training would make me a better athlete– all simply necessary parts of training.

It made sense then, as it does now, that when you train, you should train everything – no real secret there, with the whole “chain is only as strong as its weakest link” thing.

I also was fortunate to learn why certain machines did have a place in a training program, and what advantages they could bring.

But despite my introduction and familiarity with these “unusual” types of training, the things that have always been consistent in my training — even from the very beginning — have been Effort and common sense.

I had the know-how to make the right choices, and when I trained, I put all I had into it.  Didn’t matter if it was high reps or low reps, didn’t matter if it was machines or barbells, didn’t matter if it was body-weight
or kettlebells…

The process couldn’t be any simpler, regardless of what I was training with:

1. Train a certain way
2. Recover
3. Get Stronger
4. Repeat

In short, I just trained, and didn’t worry about what anyone thought.  The results from said training were all I needed.  When someone trains a certain way, they come back a day latter a little bit stronger what else needs to be said?

But today we have all kinds of nonsense floating around about training…

Things like:

I hear that if you do any of your sets “to failure” you’ll burn out your central nervous system.

I hear that core strength and posterior chain work is THE most important thing you could ever do.

I hear that I should be training my “white fibers” and leaving the red fibers alone.

I hear that you can make an exercise “more functional” if you do it while standing on a beach ball.

I hear high reps are bad and low reps are good.

I hear low reps are bad and high reps are good.

I hear machines are “the devil.”

I hear bicep work is “worthless.”

I hear kettlebells are the greatest thing since sliced bread… but don’t you dare try to do any of those exercises with a dumbbell…

I hear conditioning work is a one-way ticket to over-training-ville.


So, what happened to “just training?”

Seriously, what happened to doing a couple basic exercises and focusing on just getting stronger?

What happened to understanding training so YOU can make the right choices despite what any guru or message board prophet says?

What happened to being strong AND in good shape
like a real athlete?

What happened to eating real food instead of

I really don’t know —  I do know that not everybody “falls for” what’s going around these days,  but many do, maybe they will come around, although probably not…

The fact of the matter is that when you train correctly, that is to say with overload, progression and recovery etc, all that scientific mumbo-jumbo that people like to spout is taken care of.  That’s right, train progressively and you’ll hit the type II white fibers, and the Golgi tendon apparati, and even the deep core…

Meanwhile, I’ll just keep training… somehow, I keep getting stronger, I hope you do the same.

TAKU’s Note: Well…there you go. It does not get much more straight forward then that. Pick a tool, pick a workout, and train hard. Check out some of Johns web-site links below. If you drop him a line, tell him TAKU sent you.







One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in the gym is trying to emulate the training routines of champion athletes. Emulating the champs routine will not get anyone any closer to being the champ.

Remember most outstanding athletes are more a product of their personal mental and physical attributes then the actual training methods they utilize. These natural talents are then further enhanced through dedicated practice of specific sport skills and adherence to the proper physical preparedness protocols. Combine these with tactical motivational and philosophical support by the right coaches and mentors and we are witness to a sort of synergistic alchemy. This is the beauty of seeing the truly exceptional athlete in action. When seen at their peak you are witnessing the product of years of dedication and hard work.

So remember, there is no secret pill, powder, potion or routine that will guarantee athletic success. Be passionate about your sport. Combine that passion with a solid foundation of proper sports  nutrition, strength training and conditioning. Experiment to find what works best for you. Make a plan and keep accurate records. Seek out the guidance of the best coaches you can find and or afford. Train hard. Recover fully. Repeat.

Finally stop trying to be like anyone else. Be the best you, that you can be. And have fun while you are at it.