Five-a-Day – Dan John’s 40-day-program – five days in


Five days into my five-a-day program I have to say that it is surprisingly tough.

Neither the reps nor the loads are killing me:

  • 2×3-5 Pull-ups
  • Goblet squats 5-10@20-44kg
  • Presses 2-6@20-24kg
  • Get-ups @20kg
  • Swings 20-40@20-24kg

and after the workout I am still reasonably fresh (after I caught my breath from the swings, that is). It is difficult in a different manner though. Firstly I am extremely tired in the evening – yesterday I collapsed at 5pm! Now it was a busy day, but nothing that would justify this kind of tiredness. Also I have to say – starting the workout is tougher than usual. When I was squatting PR’s I might have been a bit nervous just before, but I always was excited doing it.

With this workout, the feeling is more like  “oh sh+t, I have to do it again today, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow..”. This feeling then dissipates once I start the workout and I see how “easy” it is, but still. Let’s see how things go – I might need to break it up with a rest-day or two.

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7 thoughts on “Five-a-Day – Dan John’s 40-day-program – five days in

  1. Interesting! Looking forward how your increased frequency experiment goes. I have some of the same issues, especially after heavy days. Also it’s a time management problem – for me finding two hours twice a week is much easiser than 1 hour 5 times a week.

    • Yeah, used to be the same for me. But to be fair, without the mobility work (…and you do that every day anyway, dont you ?!?…) the core five-a-day can be done and dusted in less than 30min – those are few and short sets.
      I reread Dan’s outline by the way and learned that I do not need to do it every day – 5x per week is enough. I am very happy about this…

  2. Pingback: Five-a-Day – Dan John’s 40-day-program – ten days in | Thor Falk

  3. This isn’t really Dan John’s 40 day program… 1) He says not to stray too far from 2 x 5 2) if you’re dreading the work out this much the weights are probably too high (in his example he starts really light) 3) I don’t think the goblet squat counts as a “big” posterior chain movement…

    • I agree that it is not exactly Dan’s program – not sure you read the background though (it is linked now; it wasnt when you commented). My issue is that in terms of weights I have only have access to two kettlebells, 20&24kg respectively. I am by no means good at DL’s, but I’d need around 100kg for anything meaningful, so unfortunately those are out due to lack of equipment. Dan says to include the goblet squat in the warm-up, so I thought I’d use it instead of the DL. It is not a big posterior chain exercise, but at least it is a big exercise.

      I fully agree with point 2; the other point is that I thought you need to go through it entirely without rest days, which is not the case. So after 5 days even on light’ish weights fatigue builds up. This is better now.

      As to your point 1) I believe I am alright there. I am doing 2×5’ish on the presses (again, keep in mind I have only kettlebells, so as you can’t change the loads there is a bit of a give-and-take on the reps), 3×3 on the pull-ups (can’t to 5 in a row, and 2×3 is too little volume), and about 2×5 on the get-ups. Only the squats are higher reps, but again this is related to the weights. 2×5 even on 44kg would just be too little. And s wings of course are not meant to be 2×5, but 1×20-50, so I am in the range there.

      • That makes sense. I’ve read the background now. It was just that you’re on the front page of google for “dan john 40 day program” and I thought… wait a second this isn’t quite the same! Anyway, hope it works well for you! Doing the basic movements everyday seems to work really well, even if it isn’t strictly the 40 day.

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