Updates from the Garage Gym – End of 2022

Various gym related updates in a single post.

Winter Gym Has Been Activated

I finally got winter gym going. For those unaware, I have a home gym. I haven’t gone to a commercial gym regularly for almost 3 years now. I started this gym about Jan 15th 2021.

Winter gym means a few things:

  1. I divide the space I’m in roughly by half using a thermal curtain through the middle. This helps keep the space somewhat enclosed at least.

  2. I turn on a small space heater. It doesn’t do much, but it’s better than nothing. Plus insulation is limited, so it would take a lot more to make a big difference.

  3. I make sure to keep a set of shoes at the gym. This helps keep the space dry from snow/water outside. I also use this extra set during the whole workout to keep my feet warmer.

Beyond that, winter gym involves some other considerations and setup outside the space itself:

  1. Warm ups are vital. I don’t mean in the vague mind/muscle connection increase sense. I mean literally I need to work extra hard to have my temperature be comfortable. So I emphasis them even more than usual.

  2. Layers are a big deal, especially as outside temps never get above freezing throughout the day. Tonight for example I did a t-shirt, long sleeve athletic shirt, and a hoodie, legs I had tights and long pants on. Even if I overdo it, it’s easy to drop a layer mid workout. The reverse is way worse!

  3. I will use gloves sparingly. Usually for some initial warm up sets. After that I find they interfere with grip and will drop them. If it’s bitter cold, say <= 10F/-12C outside, I may use them more.

  4. Mentally prepare for the fact that it will be so cold that I won’t feel warm after a complete workout. It will happen once a winter usually. It’s unpleasant.

Working on my own program

I’m buckling in to try and come up with my own program for 2023. I’ve never tried to write my own workout. I usually use existing ones, sometimes modify them, or just make something up now and then. So, this is my first attempt at thinking through what I’m doing on a program. It’s emphasizing pushing movements, specifically strict overhead press.

My strategy is looking at three major blocks. Roughly speaking, the trajectory will be high reps/lower weight at the beginning, going down to low reps/heavy weight at the end. Nothing too surprising there. Each block I’m thinking is 3 weeks + 1 week deload.

The blocks could look like this:

  1. Higher rep focus. Thinking of using pyramid style sets to get more volume in, mainly on pushing-related movement. Something like sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. Then a static set/rep scheme for the secondary movement, say 3x10 or so depending on the week. This will be hard but good to force lower weights to an extent.

  2. Balanced. Kind of a balance of the higher rep/higher weight stuff. Thinking of doing most work in the 5-10 rep range, probably progressing down reps while increasing weight each week.

  3. Higher weight focus. This will be work in the <= 5 rep range. Really focusing on feeling an intense weight again. Probably peak at about a 2 rep set here, maybe RPE 9 or so.

This is all pretty new for me. So we will see how it goes. Testing some of the pyramid stuff the past few days has felt good, and very taxing. So this change seems promising!

That’s it from the garage this week!