To start, I wanna emphasize again that to me, a small session should allow you to leave the gym feeling better than when you walked in. You should be able to do a small session while feeling like shit, hungover, or after getting kicked in the balls by the Black Stallion, or your ex-wife.
Point being, these sessions are not "hard" in the way big sessions are. 30 minutes max. And during that 20-30 minute time frame, you should be moving almost non-stop.
For example I often just throw a couple of 25's on each side of the ez-curl bar and start doing upright rows. I do as many as I can, then put the bar down long enough to shake the burning out, then go right back at it until I hit 100-150 total. After that I'll hit some rear delt work, like the reverse tit machine, for another 100 reps with minimal rest.
Now it's pretty easy to decide what weight to use when you are doing to knock out a quick 50-100 reps.
A light one.
So some quick answers to some questions that have come in about small sessions.....
- No, you don't want to do a top set to failure after all the volume. The whole point is to NOT impede recovery, yet still get some growth inducing work in.
- Big movements that tend to lend themselves to being friendly with lots of plates on the bar are not good options. Even dumbbell movements don't often do that. For example, db bench press, db overhead press, etc. Not good options.
- Soreness is fine. I still get sore from light weights if I do enough reps, with little rest between sets.
- If you need long rest periods between sets, get your fat ass into shape.
- Pick 2 or 3 movements to go after and basically for the next 20-30 get 250-350 total reps in for the session. Or something in that ball park.
- It hurts. It ain't cancer bitch. Deal with it.
Small session examples/options -
Traps, rear delts, back stuff -
upright rows - 45-65 pounds x 100-150 reps (as many as you can on the first set, then wing it from there)
bent laterals - 20 pounds x 100-150 reps, i.e. 4x25
rear tit machine - something light x 100-50 reps, 4x25 or 5x20
side laterals - 15-20's x 100-150 reps
Prone bench rows - light as shit x 100-150 reps
Band Pull Aparts or Cable Face Pulls - 100-150 reps
Light Flyes of any kind - 100 total reps
empty bar curls - 100-150 reps
ez bar skulls - 65 pounds x 100 reps, 5x20 or 4x25
rope pushdowns - 100-150 reps 4x25
incline db curls - 100-150 reps 5x20
Lower Body - Since I really didn't go over this much. But, not a lot to work with here either, as most lower body movements can be systematically taxing.
Leg Curls (any variation) - 100-150 total reps,
Leg Extensions - 100-150 total reps
Calves - Pick something and go bananas.
Small sessions are used to fill in the gaps. Don't worry about progression so much as just being consistent with getting them in. If you find you are getting stronger and stronger on what you can use for the total reps, that's awesome, but it's not overly important.
Also, if you have a terribly shitty bodypart, it's fine to hit it almost every small session. Remember, this is about prehab and filling in the blanks.
Strength, Life, Legacy -
Book should be out in 2 weeks. I'm probably more excited than any of you about it.
And for the love of God, do something fucking cool this weekend. I don't care if that means eating a whole bottle of blueberry jelly. Have something worth talking about and LIVE an experience.