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I am currently doing a standard 3xweek, full-body weight-lifting routine, doing all the major compound exercises (squat, DL, bench, row, and overhead) for 3-4 sets a piece, in the 5-10 rep range.

I AM SEEING GAINS IN TERMS OF WHAT I CAN LIFT .... I am however worried that I am not getting enough mobility and endurance. By mobility, I mean that I am not using my muscles in various angles and different movements. By endurance, I mean that I only ever go to 10 reps max.

So I had this idea: rather than do my routine 3 times every week, let me alternate between two workout days A and B.

The A program is like my standard day, i.e. the 5 exercises above, for 3-4 sets each, in 5-10 rep range.

The B program is basically me doing sets in the 10-20 rep range, using a combination of various isolation and compound exercises to target the muscles differently than from day A. For example, for legs I would throw in some bulgarian splits and some calf raises, for chest I would do cable flies, for shoulder I would do raises, for arms I would do skullchrushers and curls, for back I would do pullups, etc. All the exercises would be for low-weight, high reps, targetting mobility + endurance.

So basically I would alternate between the days: A -> B -> A - > B -> A, etc.

Is this a bad/good idea? I'm basically trying to get the "best of both worlds", i.e. combining high-weight compound weight lifting strength with low-weight high-rep athletic mobility and performance-focused lifting.... But I fear I might lose out gains in both areas by mixing them?

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    It all depends on your goals here. If you're just going for health, try incorporating some variety, maybe even cardio. If you're just going for performance, you're gonna want to use periodisation in your training so this A-B-A plan may not be optimal. – E.Aigle Feb 15 at 10:41
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    If mobility is the problem, then do some mobility/yoga/stretching/prehab every single day you can. No reason not to. Lots of benefits. For endurance, I'm not sure I understand the problem. If you want cardio, do cardio 2-3 times a week – it will detract a little from strength progress but not much and it's a good idea. I don't see the point in chasing 10+ reps for its own sake, but it, too, can work. But it will take the most from your strength progress, especially once you start to get to heavy weights. – Dave Liepmann Feb 15 at 11:27
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    The most severe criticism of your B program is that it's too similar to A. If you want mobility + athleticism then do something more different from A. Starting where you're starting, your calves will benefit more from adding jumping rope or running or soccer or calisthenics than they will from adding calf raises. – Dave Liepmann Feb 15 at 11:29
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It sounds like you're misusing the term "mobility". That usually refers to the range of motion that you can put a joint through, like a dynamic (moving) type of flexibility. What you're describing ("using my muscles in various angles and different movements") is "exercise variation".

Your idea basically seems to be doing alternating days of strength style training (low rep compound exercises) with bodybuilding style training (higher reps with more isolation exercises). This is one way of implementing a program that blends strength and bodybuilding training, which is commonly referred to as "powerbuilding".

Whether this is a good idea or not really depends on what your goals are. If you're training purely for competition in a strength sport, then you'd be better off just doing strength training. If you're training purely for physique improvement, then a dedicated bodybuilding program may be better. But if you're just training for general health or just to keep making progress, then it's certainly not a bad idea, and the exposure to a greater variety of movements and rep ranges will probably be beneficial. Your plan also somewhat resembles a program format called "daily undulating periodisation" or "DUP", in which the rep ranges used vary from session to session. This is likely to give you better progress that just always sticking to the same rep ranges, but a properly periodised program (where the intensity and reps performed change from week to week or month to month) might be even better.

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  • This is a good answer, I'd like to add that mobility training can easily be done on off days, which can be complimented with stretches,etc.. also I would encourage for people to focus on one goal at a time. You can make better progress in one goal then you can having three. After a periodization plan, you can make your next focus on high reps (still having high and low rep days). for example, a high rep day could be 20-25 while low rep day could be 15-20, adding in metabolic circuits, etc. – Ace Cabbie Feb 15 at 17:10
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If you cannot do the exercises with full range of motion (ROM) due to mobility issues you need to foam roll etc to increase your ROM before you workout.

Once you have normal mobility it is important to have stability in that ROM. Mobility without stability increases risk of injury.

Matt Wenning has created several workout routines built around conjugate programming. The essence is that each week you focus on a new aspect of strength and conditioning. I would suggest the following layout:

Week 1 stability

Back squats replaced by bulgarian split squats

Barbell bench press replaced by dumbell bench press

Etc

Week 2 strength

Your current workout routine for sets of 5 reps

Week 3 conditioning

Back squats replaced by box squats

Bench press replaced by push-ups

Deadlifts replaced by kettlebell swings

Etc

Can also use more functional work capacity exercises like sled push etc.

A lot of reps (>=20)

More details about such a programme he has created: Army Ranger Workout

Also if you want to build a bit more muscle mass before moving on to this program you could replace week 3 with a hypertrophy week where you do your usual routine for sets of 10 reps.

Unfortunately due to Covid etc. I have not been able to test this myself, but it is something I want to do later. Sounds like a good way to get fit in a well rounded way, with good transfer to athleticism as well as everyday life.

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