The Iron Islands are Calling

I can’t wait any longer. My intention was to use this two-week trip as a complete break from barbell training. Get out of my routine, and give my body a break from the heavy squatting and pulling. We’re now on the eleventh day of our vacation, and the iron is calling my name.

Today we leave our cottage outside of Halifax and head into the city centre where we’ll spend our next three nights. Since we have a number of spare hours today between the checkout at the cottage and check-in at the Airbnb, our plan is see if we can drop-in at a local gym for a workout. Assuming we’re successful and locate a gym today, I’ll have enjoyed a solid ten day break from any heavy lifting. Not the complete two weeks as originally intended, but a solid rest period nonetheless.

If and when we find a gym we can use, I want to ensure I cover the main compound lifts. The core of the workout will therefore look something like this (specifically, the working sets):

  • 5 x 5 Squat
  • 5 x 5 Overhead Press
  • 5 x 5 Barbell Row
  • 2 x 5 Deadlift

It’s a simple workout, but it covers everything I need. Squating, pushing, pulling, and finally, hinging. Of course, I may chose to add some accessory exercises to the workout, but the overwhelming majority of benefits will stem from completing these primary compound lifts alone. They are the unsexy, no bullshit lifts. They are fundamental, tried and tested. They are relatively simple to learn (though the squat in particular can take years to really master), and translate directly to actual day-to-day human movement (dare I say ‘functional’?!). Why would I use anything else?

I’ll keep you posted.

Update – Later that day…

We ended up at the GoodLife in the Clayton Plaza in Halifax (for those who might be familiar with the area). The staff was extremely friendly, especially a young gentleman who was very helpful.

The workout didn’t unfold exactly as planned, but it was decent and I’m glad I went. In the end it was just five working sets of squats and overhead press, plus two sets of pull-ups. Got the push, pull, and squat, but missed the hinge. If we have time, we’ll come back once more for a deadlift session.

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