Back on the 24th January I committed to undertaking and completing the 40 Day Program (that I talk about here). I didn’t know quite what to expect and the program is very much a Paretos Law kind of program. A selection of exercises are followed with a minimal effective dose (no more than 10 total, accumulated reps), that address the linch-pins of physical training programs namely, a hip hinge, a squat, a push, a pull and an abdominal exercise.
As discussed in my first post, I chose the Single Leg Deadlift, the Double Kettlebell Front Squat, a Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press, a single arm Row and I gave myself a choice of an ab wheel or abdominal hollow. The latter two are very new me as I have chickened out of such effort for years. I was definitely one of those, “I work my abs fine during swings and squats” kind of guys!
The program flowed reasonably well. I managed to train 5 times a week and I used an auto-regulation progression. Days I felt less than good I completed shorter sets to achieve my 10 reps per exercise. Days when I felt like the incredible Hulk, I smashed out longer sets or moved up a weight.
The rules of this program are simple. Accumulate 10 reps, do not max out and leave some in the tank.
One hiccup occurred 10 sessions in when I developed a random left knee pain that took a few days to subside. This naturally hindered squatting, so I just did a few kettlebell cleans in place as they didn’t cause any issues.
In my initial reading-up of the 40 Day Program I read that many followers reported hitting their bests in the lifts by session 20 – 25. I didn’t go out to prove or disprove this but sure enough, a peak did happen as early as session #15 when I hit a lifetime best in my double kettlebell front squat. Thereafter, not much magic happened until session #28 to #32 when PRs (personal bests) fell like stones before progress came to halt by the 40th session.
To sum up progress:
Interestingly, whilst I gained strength on these particular lifts, I additionally lost over 1kg without changing my diet. My guess is that the higher frequency of large moves had an impressionable impact on calorie expenditure.
So, in relish of the success of this simple program, I am planning on repeating it after following a block of higher effort training. The exercises will no doubt change a little as per needs.
My recommendation is to try this program if only to put lots of practice into the skills of some moves.. and you will probably get stronger too, just follow the rules. Really, what do have to lose over 8 weeks?
The rules, to repeat myself.
Accumulate 10 reps.
Do not max out
Leave some in the tank.
Oh, and if you are interested in having this program laid out for you, just get in touch.