Fitness.

Building a Strong and Durable Body

On this page I document my fitness. This page works both as a place to document what I've been doing (retrospectively), and provides a north star (goal) for my fitness.

The overarching goals for my fitness are as follows:

  • Feel content/happy because I:
    • Feel energized because I am fit
    • Like the way I look
    • Like the challenges the sports activities present (during sports)
    • Like feeling happy about having done something challenging (after)
  • Extend my lifespan by being fit

At the moment of the last update (July 2020) the gyms are back open and I plan to resume my normal/new schedule. This amounts to twice daily dynamic stretching (20min total), 5x p/w fitness (weightlifting + bodybuilding) and isometric stretching. Next to this, I do keep active by walking quite a bit with Max (45-60min per day).

Documenting My Fitness.

Building a Strong and Durable Body

This interactive webpage allows me to enter my workouts and keep track of when I've done them. To keep things simple, there are only but a few categories. In the future I hope to display the results here (now I can enter the data myself).

Fitness Plan.

Why and What

I like looking good, I like being able to do fitness (using the word very generally here), I like being able to do outdoor activities. But I'm no Superman, it's tough to learn new things, it's even tougher to learn on your own. So, I need a plan. A plan that I can follow, adjust, upgrade, and get feedback on. Here is that plan.

Goals.

The Why

My current fitness goals are listed below. I'm doing them mostly because I think they are interesting problems to solve. Things I can't do yet, and things I hope to do sometime soon. Health is of course also important and I think that's an underlying goal to the rest (to be fit and have good conditioning).

  • Ass-to-grass full-depth squat with heels on ground, feet shoulder width (flexibility)
  • 100kg Clean & Jerk, later 100kg Snatch
  • 150kg Squat, 100kg Bench Press, 200kg Deadlift
  • (relatively long-term) Mobility to do a Squat Jerk
  • (relatively long-term) Full (middle/side) Split
  • (later) Handstand and Double-Unders (Jump Rope)

Stuff I couldn't do before / what I've already achieved.

  • Touch my toes when stretching
  • Overhead squat, and Snatch (took some time to learn)
  • 100kg+ Squat
  • Ran the Rotterdam Marathon, twice
  • 42km obstacle run

Planning.

The What

This is the after-pandemic planning. The focus area for now is gaining flexibility and reentering back into weightlifting. This should be true for the coming months and I will re-evaluate this in September.

Day Fitness Stretch Total Time
Monday Weightlifting (power) & Bodybuilding (pull) Full body 120 min
Tuesday Rest or Burpees Ankles, Hip 30 min
Wednesday Weightlifting (technical/speed) Full body 100 min
Thursday Weightlifting (technical) & Bodybuilding (push) Full body 120 min
Friday Weightlifting (power) & Bodybuilding (pull) Full body 120 min
Saturday Rest Ankles, Hip 15 min
Sunday Weightlifting (technical/speed) & Bodybuilding (push) Full body 120 min
Fitness Plan Fitness Log

Stretching.

The Current Focus

Here I will go into some more depth on what stretches I plan to do. This is mostly based on Stretching Scientifically. So go read that review (or better, the book) to make your own plan.

This sub-page of Fitness, documents my plan for stretching.

Morning (before breakfast)

Warm-up, namely:

  • Joint rotations from fingers to toes (wiggle, wiggle)
  • 10 squats
  • 10 standing cross-body toe touch
  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 reverse-lunges

Dynamic stretches (decrease over time), namely:

  • Arm circles (4×10)
  • Arm swings front to back (4×10)
  • Leg swings, front (4×12 per side)
  • Leg swings, side (4×12 per side)
  • Leg swings, back (4×12 per side)
  • Standing bend to front / lean-back (15x)

Before sports

Warm-up (same as above)

Dynamic stretches (same as above)

Weightlifting specific stretches, namely:

  • Pass-through with pvc (10, lx5, rx5)
  • Cossack squat (10x l-to-r-to-l)
  • KB/barbell on knee stretch (2×10 per side)
  • Slow ATG squats + reach (10x, can hold onto rack)
  • Rotator cuffs (1.25kg)
  • Slow mountain climbers (10x per side)
  • Thoracic extension (1 min total)
  • Snatch progression (3x per position)

After sports (4x p/w, Mo/We/Fr/Su)

Isometric stretches (one per body part, choose from list):

How to: 5sec tension, 3sec rest, 5 reps, 30sec end, rest 1min, x3 sets

Start with shorter (end) time of tension, increase over time

  • Shoulders: lay face down, arms forward stretched, raise thumbs up OR
  • Shoulders: lay face down, arms 90 degrees, raise hands
  • Shoulders: stand, hold pvc pipe at shoulder width, move overhead
  • Shoulders: stand, hold pvc pipe behind back, hands up/down get closer
  • Trunk/Back: foam roll on back, PNF tension OR
  • Trunk: stand, move upper body sideways OR
  • Trunk: sit or sit on knee, twist sideways
  • Abdomen: lay on front, move upper body up OR
  • Abdomen: same, but grab feet too
  • Inner thigh: middle split PNF hold OR
  • Inner thigh: sumo squat OR
  • Inner thigh: sit on knee and hands, raise one leg sideways (pissing dog) OR
  • Outer thigh: lay on back, one leg across, with band OR
  • Outer thigh: sit one knee bend forward, other leg behind, bend over OR
  • Outer thigh/Hip: sit with legs in 90degrees, lift back foot
  • Front thigh/Hip: one knee forward, other leg back, stretch hip forward OR
  • Front thigh: stand, fold one leg backwards, pull back (upper body can go forward)
  • Front thigh: sit on knee and foot, move hips forward OR
  • Front thigh: stand, pull foot backward (lean forwards) OR
  • Front thigh: sit on knee and foot, pull foot backward
  • Front thigh/Hamstrings: middle split PNF
  • Hamstrings: stand or sit, grab foot, pull it towards you OR
  • Hamstring: lay on back, pull feet towards face OR
  • Hamstring: stand, foot on table, tilt upper body forwards / back leg backward OR
  • Hamstrings/Back: Sit and pull upper body forward (pancake)
  • Calf/Ankle: KB/barbell on knee stretch OR
  • Calf/Ankle: bend over, grab foot, pull it towards you OR
  • Calf/Ankle: stand on stairs, one foot, push heel down OR
  • Calf/Ankle: stand on stairs, one foot, push knee forward

Relaxed stretches (optional):

How to: 30 sec in deep position, can repeat after 60 sec rest (180 sec better?)

  • Shoulders: sit on hands and knees, hands forward, chest down
  • Calf/hamstring: sit, pull toes towards face
  • Inner thigh: lay in split position with support OR
  • Inner thigh: lotus position (not with hands)
  • Hamstrings: stand/bend/lay and pull foot towards face
  • Front thigh: stand and pull knee backwards OR
  • Front thigh: sit on knees, butt on foot, lean backward
  • Back: foam roll
  • Ankle/Hip: deep squat
  • Ankle/Hamstring: Cossack squat

Walk it off (5 minute walk)

Non-sport days (afternoon)

Dynamic stretches (same as above)

Relaxed stretches (same as above or follow-along)

The Archive.

Old planning etc

A full-body workout two times per week to keep the muscles stimulated.
Do a short 5 minutes warm-up (jumping jacks, light stretches, jog-in-place) before
Try and do more than noted below and/or make it more difficult (e.g. with resistance band)
Estimated time = 45 minutes

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
KB (16kg) Squats 3 20 slow and controlled down (and up), ankle mobility
Pushups 3 10 with resistance band and/or hands on yoga blocks
KB Floor Press 3 10
Bent Over KB Row 3 15 one arm, other hand on chair
KB Swing 3 15 to eye-height
KB Bicep Curls 3 8 and/or with resistance band
Chair Dips 3 12 and/or resistance band triceps
Shoulder Press 3 8 strict (no dip)
Abs 3 15 sit-ups, or other variations

Currently I'm following along with one of the videos listed below. Over time I could also find other videos, but these ones are a good basis for keeping some of the weightlifiting ideas in my mind. Alas it's al without weights/barbell, but I currently don't have access to that (or want to fall through the floor).















I have my excel for the 'normal/gym' weightlifting here.

Currently I'm following along with one of the videos listed below (recommended if you want to have an upbeat coach and a 'sweat guarantee'). These are just but a few examples and over time I can find more videos by The Body Coach or others that focus on HIIT training.















I've also found the YouTube channel of Iron Wolf. This marine is a fitness machine. His workouts (that he posts) are focused on doing burpees. The simplicity of it, and the conditioning, really attract me to it. Besides just 'normal' burpees, some of the videos extend it with other variations. Pro tip: just jog in place for longer if you get tired, start with a time in mind and continue until you've reached that time limit. Maybe crazy idea: do this every morning?

These are ideas for flexibility routines, mostly inspired by Tom Merrick (The Bodyweight Warrior). But after reading Stretching Scientifically, I've decided that I want to modify this and try and make a routine that is as effective as possible.

This sub-page of Fitness, documents my plan for stretching.

Morning (before breakfast)

Warm-up, namely:

  • Joint rotations from fingers to toes (wiggle, wiggle)
  • 10 squats
  • 10 standing cross-body toe touch
  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 reverse-lunges

Dynamic stretches (decrease over time), namely:

  • Arm circles (4×10)
  • Arm swings front to back (4×10)
  • Leg swings, front (4×12 per side)
  • Leg swings, side (4×12 per side)
  • Leg swings, back (4×12 per side)
  • Standing bend to front / lean-back (15x)

Before sports

Warm-up (same as above)

Dynamic stretches (same as above)

Weightlifting specific stretches, namely:

  • Pass-through with pvc (10, lx5, rx5)
  • Cossack squat (10x l-to-r-to-l)
  • KB/barbell on knee stretch (2×10 per side)
  • Slow ATG squats + reach (10x, can hold onto rack)
  • Rotator cuffs (1.25kg)
  • Slow mountain climbers (10x per side)
  • Thoracic extension (1 min total)
  • Snatch progression (3x per position)

After sports (4x p/w, Mo/We/Fr/Su)

Isometric stretches (one per body part, choose from list):

How to: 5sec tension, 3sec rest, 5 reps, 30sec end, rest 1min, x3 sets

Start with shorter (end) time of tension, increase over time

  • Shoulders: lay face down, arms forward stretched, raise thumbs up OR
  • Shoulders: lay face down, arms 90 degrees, raise hands
  • Shoulders: stand, hold pvc pipe at shoulder width, move overhead
  • Shoulders: stand, hold pvc pipe behind back, hands up/down get closer
  • Trunk/Back: foam roll on back, PNF tension OR
  • Trunk: stand, move upper body sideways OR
  • Trunk: sit or sit on knee, twist sideways
  • Abdomen: lay on front, move upper body up OR
  • Abdomen: same, but grab feet too
  • Inner thigh: middle split PNF hold OR
  • Inner thigh: sumo squat OR
  • Inner thigh: sit on knee and hands, raise one leg sideways (pissing dog) OR
  • Outer thigh: lay on back, one leg across, with band OR
  • Outer thigh: sit one knee bend forward, other leg behind, bend over OR
  • Outer thigh/Hip: sit with legs in 90degrees, lift back foot
  • Front thigh/Hip: one knee forward, other leg back, stretch hip forward OR
  • Front thigh: stand, fold one leg backwards, pull back (upper body can go forward)
  • Front thigh: sit on knee and foot, move hips forward OR
  • Front thigh: stand, pull foot backward (lean forwards) OR
  • Front thigh: sit on knee and foot, pull foot backward
  • Front thigh/Hamstrings: middle split PNF
  • Hamstrings: stand or sit, grab foot, pull it towards you OR
  • Hamstring: lay on back, pull feet towards face OR
  • Hamstring: stand, foot on table, tilt upper body forwards / back leg backward OR
  • Hamstrings/Back: Sit and pull upper body forward (pancake)
  • Calf/Ankle: KB/barbell on knee stretch OR
  • Calf/Ankle: bend over, grab foot, pull it towards you OR
  • Calf/Ankle: stand on stairs, one foot, push heel down OR
  • Calf/Ankle: stand on stairs, one foot, push knee forward

Relaxed stretches (optional):

How to: 30 sec in deep position, can repeat after 60 sec rest (180 sec better?)

  • Shoulders: sit on hands and knees, hands forward, chest down
  • Calf/hamstring: sit, pull toes towards face
  • Inner thigh: lay in split position with support OR
  • Inner thigh: lotus position (not with hands)
  • Hamstrings: stand/bend/lay and pull foot towards face
  • Front thigh: stand and pull knee backwards OR
  • Front thigh: sit on knees, butt on foot, lean backward
  • Back: foam roll
  • Ankle/Hip: deep squat
  • Ankle/Hamstring: Cossack squat

Walk it off (5 minute walk)

Non-sport days (afternoon)

Dynamic stretches (same as above)

Relaxed stretches (same as above or follow-along)

I will follow the schedule (above) for the coming weeks with one extra factor. I will do a cycle like you do in weightlifting of doing more and more for 3 weeks, and then do a deload in the 4th week. The deload means I will do only a few reps of the exercies or fully rest from specific flexibility exercises and possibly only do a full-body activation routine in the morning (10-15 min).

I will also test some flexibility feats to keep track of how I'm progressing with them. See below what I'm tracking. I plan to test myself every first week of a cycle (so after the deload) and when warm (so testing the 'max' range).

Test Date Date Date Date Date Date Date
Ankle left x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm
Ankle right x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm
Reach floor x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm
Pancake x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm
Middle split x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm x cm

Some short explanation of the measurements:

  • Ankles: measuring how far my knee tracks over my toes
  • Reach floor: measuring hamstrings by seeing how low I can go when bending forward
  • Pancake: measuring how far I can go with pancake as degrees from 0 (sit) to 90 (flat)
  • Middle split: measuring how far my butt is from the ground

General routine (video)



Ankles (video)

Exercise Time/Reps Sets Notes
Sit Stick Drill 120 sec 1 sit on knees, stick under butt, roll from top to bottom of calf
Heel Stretch 10 reps + 30 sec 3 (per side) stand on stairs, move knee forward (through center), hold bottom at end of set
Weighted Dorsi Flexion 3 reps (10/5 sec work/rest) + 10 reps back/forth 3 (per side) sit on knee and other knee as in squat, move knee forward, further each rep, KB on knee, use band on ankle
Goblet Squat 60/180 sec work/rest 3 squat with KB

Hamstrings (video)

Do this follow-along or the exercises below. The exercises below should be better (with more weight-elements).

Exercise Time/Reps Sets Notes
Jumping Jacks / Squats 120 sec 1 general warm-up to get started
Standing Leg Swings 15 (per side) 1 move through full range (back and forth)
Sit Stick Drill 120 sec 1 sit on knees, stick under butt, roll from top to bottom of calf
Sciatic Nerve Glide 15 (per side) 1 lay on back, extend one leg upwards
PNF Heel Stretch 4 reps (15/5 sec work/rest) 2 (per side), superset with next stand on stairs, push into front of foot, don't move heel up, relax deeper
Banded Hamstring PNF 4 reps (15/5 sec work/rest) 2 (per side), superset with previous lay on back, one leg up, band under foot, pull, contract quads &
hip flexor when relax to pull leg towards face
Jefferson Curls 10 reps + 30 sec (at end) 3 stand, roll forward with KB, use quads & hip flexors to pull forward

Middle-Splits (video, 2, 3)

Exercise Time/Reps Sets Notes
Frog Pose 30 sec (move around), 10/5 sec work/rest, 30 sec (move around) 2x2 (up and down) activation, then force knees to ground / pull knees up higher
Pissing Dog 10/5 sec work/rest 3 (per side) start on all fours, then raise one leg as high as you can to the side
(knee still bended, or straight leg toe pointing up)
Middle Split Hold 10/5 sec work/rest x2, 30 sec rest 3 tilt top of hip forwards, push/raise legs
Weighted Seated Pancake 10 reps, 30 sec hold 1-5 can sit on pillow/block with butt, KB behind neck
Side-Squat to Cossack Squat 5 reps (per side) 1-2 move from side to side, keep hip low

Hip (video)

Do this follow-along.

Back (video)

TIMER

X = new exercise, Y = new rep/set
X 60 sec Y 180 sec X 60 sec Y 180 sec X 60 sec Y 180 sec X 60 sec Y 0.2 sec Y 0.2 sec Y 0.2 sec

Exercise Time/Reps Sets Notes
Roller on Back 60/180 sec work/rest 4 lay on back, roller under back, move back and forth with hands across body or above, holding KB

Shoulders (video)

Do this follow-along.

Literature

Next to the above videos, I've also been reading two books about flexiblity. Click on the links to check out my notes on the books.

Day Fitness Stretch Total Time
Monday Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Short 120 min
Tuesday Rest Short 15 min
Wednesday Weightlifting Short 100 min
Thursday Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Short 120 min
Friday Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Short 120 min
Saturday Rest Short 15 min
Sunday Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Short 120 min

Day Fitness Flexibility Total Time
Monday Weightlifting & HIIT Ankle, Back 90 min
Tuesday Hiking(rest) Hip, Shoulders 60 min
Wednesday Weightlifting & HIIT Back, Hamstrings 90 min
Thursday Bodybuilding Ankle, Split 90 min
Friday Weightlifting & HIIT Hip, Shoulders 90 min
Saturday Hiking(rest) Back 60 min
Sunday Bodybuilding Hamstrings, Split 90 min

More Details.

Some more about fitness and flexibility

Minimal Effective Volume and Maximum Recoverable Volume
I like these two concepts as they capture a large part of the fitness and flexiblity journey is about. At the beginning you need very little to stimulate muscles. Heck, if you've been confined to a bed for a while, even walking around stimulates the muscles enough for growth.

But after a while you need more and more to keep on stimulating the muscles (for power of strength). For flexibility there is a somewhat similar system as you can reach the 'maximum' length after a relatively short time (2-3 months), but then can continue by extending them via another (more difficult) way.

Another implication of the model is to, when training for a while, get smart about recovery. Know how to schedule that you don't always exhaust yourself. Recovery is half of the equation.

N = 1
It's vital to know what works and why it works in training. The why is important because you're just one person. And your results may differ from the average. You may need more time to recover, your flexibility may be limited somewhere unusual. So know what should work, but then test it on yourself. For me that also means knowning how I can have a lot of energy/motivation for sports and work (and social life) in the best way.

Weightlifting Doesn't Make You Look Good
Just a reminder for myself that weightlifting isn't really building much muscle. Those on PEDs in the sport aren't huge, they are powerful, and those not on PEDs don't always even look like they work out that much. So, for looks I should also keep a routine that incorporates bodybuilding.