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Training with purpose

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Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:43 am

Back at school for the spring semester.

Finally, after four years training; I have a real goal to train for. Pavel's new company Strongfirst is putting together a new deadlift-only powerlifting team. For men to join they need a 2.5x bodyweight pull; which I can do. I just have to have a lift 'on the books' in a real competition, powerlifting or the 'tactical strength challenge'. There's the April TSC coming up in 14 weeks, so sometime this week I'll email one of the gyms doing it and put myself on the roster.

The TSC events are: a max deadlift (3 attempts), max strict form 'tactical' pullups in one set, and kettlebell snatches for 5 minutes.
The deadlift is really the only thing that matters to me--I have to pull 2.5x bodyweight + in the competition to join the SF DL team. So, that is the primary goal. However, I plan on doing well in the competition itself... looking at past results, if I compete in the 'novice' division, a 440 deadlift, 30 strict pullups, and 150 snatches with 16kg would land me, if not #1, probably in the top 5 (out of 30-60 people) from all participating gyms in the country which would be kinda cool.

I would consider the other two divisions ('open' or 'elite'); but there are plenty of 550+ pullers in the 'elite' division and a 5.00 snatch test with a 32kg would kill me, though pullups with +10kg would be a strong event for me. The 'open' division is a possibility but I don't want training 24kg snatches to detract from my deadlift training (which is a possibility), plus, again looking at past results, in 'open' the best I'd do is middle of the pack to 2/3 of the way up, out of everyone. So, I'm playing it safe and planning on competing as a 'novice'.

As of now, I can deadlift somewhere over 365 (385 certainly, probably 405 but not much more), I have done 25 strict pullups, and I can snatch the 16kg for 100 reps in 5.00 without much difficulty even though I never, ever do KB snatches.
I will use ~6 weeks of density training as a springboard, then do contest-specific prep for 8 weeks.
This competition is perfect for me (back strength and endurance, grip strength/endurance and work capacity... deadlifts and pullups!) So I'm very excited.
Training begins tomorrow.

:zerk:
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by TheMasterKey on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:02 am

Looking forward to watching this unfold.

I think you're going to learn alot through this experience.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:44 am

Excellent!
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Iliander on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:05 am

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by itlives on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:55 am

I know the thinking behind the class entry thing.
I think I'd enter the middle class. Even if you don't place in the top 5, you're still in the Pavel thing.
I've always thought placing in a tougher class is preferable to winning in an easier class.

When I tournament fought, I always went heavyweight even though I was a lightweight. I have a crap-load of 2nd place trophies to show for it! :facepalm: ....on second thought (pun).....
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:16 pm

Thanks guys.

Itlives--yeah, true, about the 'open' class; but mainly it's a copout for trying to boost my 24kg snatches over 100 reps in 5.00... which would drain me (slightly, at least) for deadlift twice weekly. The placing really doesn't matter as much, it was more a thought process of 'I should do the novice class instead' followed by 'hey, I could be really competitive here' :mrgreen:
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:29 pm

itlives wrote:I've always thought placing in a tougher class is preferable to winning in an easier class.

This may be so, but to my thinking there is nothing wrong with one's first official meet being a confidence builder. Besides, I think people qualify as novices for the first 2-3 years of their lifting anyway. Intermediate after 3-5 and hopefully advanced after 6 years, by which time they should be moving 500 in the squat and 600 in the deadlift, if they've been training smart and hard consistently.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by itlives on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:04 pm

I admit, I don't know squat about the lifting world. I was just thinking it was to get into the Pavel thing.
On second think, you make a lot of sense, Dave. Jman could actually go somewhere with this stuff if he wants.
Since this is a first step, I recant!
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Josh T. on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:30 pm

Good luck man. I saw that SF post earlier last week. I would consider doing it if I wasn't already doing Ninja Warrior stuff. I'd get smoked by the snatches anyway. I could see you beasting the novice division.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:45 pm

Dave.cyco wrote:
itlives wrote:I've always thought placing in a tougher class is preferable to winning in an easier class.

This may be so, but to my thinking there is nothing wrong with one's first official meet being a confidence builder. Besides, I think people qualify as novices for the first 2-3 years of their lifting anyway. Intermediate after 3-5 and hopefully advanced after 6 years, by which time they should be moving 500 in the squat and 600 in the deadlift, if they've been training smart and hard consistently.

Nothing to do with confidence--I won't even see the vast majority of the other 'competitors' in any given class... any gym might have only 5 or 10 competitors at most. I just don't wanna bust @ss trying to work on 24 (or 32!)kg snatches, which I kinda suck at, when the DL is the real focus here. Snatches could be my summer project if I ever want to do the TSC again, there's another in September and of course next year....
Here's a sample of results from a fairly recent comp:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Again, 440/~30/~150 would be a win in most 'novice' divisions, these days... and they're pretty realistic targets for me.

Just emailed the NY gym owner who's one of the closer guys hosting it.
Density pressing planned for this evening, but I might reschedule to next morning if there are too many resolutioners in the gym :no:

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Re: Training with purpose

Post by amit_shah25 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:00 pm

Keeping an eye jman.

I agree with you on sticking with novice. Moving up to open could be a next stage.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by CheesedogTheFirst on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:40 am

That's awesome Jman. I know you're going to crush your competitors! :twisted:
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:12 am

1/15

Angled bar chins up to +70x3

Close grips 115x50 reps in just under 11 minutes

One arm db press 40lb x10/10

Couple more chins... and done.

--Decent first session back. Haven't done any horizontal pressing in a month, no chins in several weeks either... so this felt pretty decent. By the time I got to the dumbbell presses I was almost too pumped to reach straight overhead... work capacity will improve with time though.
Probably using 135 for close grips next. 165 for 50/20 would be nice by the end of this mini cycle (2 weeks or thereabouts).
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:21 pm

Close grip refers to overhead press, then?
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:50 pm

Close grip bench.

My 50/20 OHP is roughly 2/3 of my 1RM when my technique is good, so I doubt I could do 115. Definitely not in 10 minutes... my max press would definitely be approaching 200 at that point.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:24 am

Got it. can you clarify something else for me? 50/20 means what exactly?
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:39 pm

50 reps, 20 minutes. It's the bryce lane density thing. Can also be 100/20 or 75/20 or even 20/20 or whatever... just a way of saying reps/time I guess.

1/16
Dumbbell deadlift 100s x25/10 (5x5 in 9.08, to be precise)
Weighted pullups up to +70x4
Speed DL up to 275 DO (this wasn't so speedy), 305x1 +10s hold mixed grip

BTB wrist curls up to 135x20
Alt. db curl 30s x20
standing cable crunch 30,40, 50, 60, 30, 40 all x10
One-leg leg curl 3x10/leg, right leg noticeably weaker than left.

--So yeah, pull day today. Gonna start with 10 minutes on DB deads, then do 15 next session, 20 the session after that (aiming for 50/20) and then one more session going for more reps in the same time.
Speed DL is for the groove but even when I was tired from the DBDL I couldn't resist going a little heavier.
Left rear delt hurt on the warmup set (with 35lb) for pullups but then I brought my grip in a bit closer and all was well.
Accessories were fine. Unilateral work for hams/quads/midsection is going to be a priority in terms of 'extras' at least for a while... some glaring issues there.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:39 pm

1/17

Close grip bench 135x50/16 (sets of 5-10 in just under 17 minutes)

Paused weighted pullups +50x3, +70x2

Rotator cuff exercise on preacher bench 2.5lb x20/20

--Decent fast session. Bench was noticeably unstable given tremendous upper back fatigue/soreness from yesterday, and being not quite fully recovered from density benches the day before yesterday (normally I'd try to take 2 days off). However, I still finished in 17 minutes; I'd wanted to come in under 15 which I could probably manage while fresh, so that's satisfying.

I need to get motivated to do some sort of leg training. I was a pistol fanatic for a while and then a high rep squat fanatic for a while; but now if I'm not doing heavy fronts or something I'm totally unmotivated to do leg work, and that ain't good. The dumbbell deadlifts definitely include a good bit of leg drive, but I need to do something... just high rep bodyweight leg stuff would be a good way to get back into it.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:16 am

Have you ever worked snatch grip deads for high reps? I find them to be simply awesome for leg stimulation. And though I'm a bit late to the high rep squat party, I must say that it is quite possibly one of the hardest things I've ever done. I probably wouldn't have thought to do it if not for seeing you do it first, so thanks for that and for posting about Tom Platz. :)
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:47 am

Possibly. I really wanna work on some sort of moderate to high rep full range and/or unilateral squat variant... maybe just cycling between shrimps, staggered stance free squats, and pistols. But, the next pull for my 50/20 mini-cycle is going to be some sort of hip-dominant movement. Could be low block sumo deads, hack lifts, or snatch grip deads. Either of the latter would be great for quads; I remember trying arched back hack lifts for density work last year and thinking that that could be the only thing to ever pack some mass on my quads if I did it seriously for a while....

High rep squats are awesome. The pain isn't quite as much as high rep RDLs, but it's certainly 'up there'. Personally I don't actually find them all that hard, the mindset is easy to get into, but they absolutely kill my recovery so I don't do them very often.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:04 am

I noticed the same thing about 50 rep squats vs 50 rep round back SLDLs. It takes me about 1.5 times longer to do the DLs because they put the hurt on much faster.

What did you work up to on each lift, especially the RDL? I figure by following in your foot steps somewhat I might start to get closer to your deadlifting strength.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:16 am

I've done 155x50 on roundback RDLs, no setdown. I switched grips on the 30th and 40th reps, after doing the first 30 double overhand. Also did 95x50 followed by 135x50 in one session, the day after doing 300x10 on conventional DL. That hurt.

I haven't done high rep squats in a while but I did 135x50 horrifically rest-paused weighing 125 back in summer 2010. Also 100x100 ass to heels, using a sandbag, that same month. Fwiw I felt tremendously strong that summer. Obsessing over grip work of all kinds, kettlebell and sandbag strict OHPs, high rep sq/dl, and bearhug/zercher carries really paid off, I think that's a winning 'functional strength' combo in terms of a routine. I remember successfully resisting being bullrushed/tackled/pushed into a pool by a ~200 pound football player once at a pool party that summer.

Never really done snatch grip deads seriously or gone for a max... on hack lifts I can usually do 50 more pounds with a rounded back, than I can max on conventional DL. With an arched back, it's about 50 pounds less or thereabouts... so a 100# difference between purely quad driven and purely back driven pulls off the floor.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:30 am

About the no set down... I've not done it that way. I have been more focused on starting strength, but do you feel that the erectors would grow better with constant tension?
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:36 am

Better growth with constant tension. Better grip strength benefits. No start = faster recovery (though there will probably be more DOMS). Also, it requires more mental toughness...
If you're gonna do it this way, better to put 35s on the bar to increase depth so you can cut a bit of range to avoid hitting the floor without really decreasing the ROM.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:38 am

All my plates are the same diameter, but I guess I could do deficit SLDLs. I already stand on an elevation for Kroc rows and half of my SGDLs.

But I don't take your meaning, "no start = faster recovery"? You mean the constant tension method will be faster to recover from?
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:57 am

Yeah, without the 'shock of the start' (because you're tight and 'zipping up' on every eccentric) you should recover a bit faster even if the soreness is worse. So, you can do front squats or maybe high bar squats, or overhead presses a bit sooner even if your low back still really hurts.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:02 am

Excellent, it sounds like this is the way to go. I'll be sure to thank you next week when I can hardly lift my legs to put on my socks. ;)
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:15 am

Haha. Yeah lemme know how it goes. Prepare for a ton of hamstring soreness in addition to lower back/rhomboids, which always surprises me... not much of a hammie stretch when you go roundback.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:00 pm

1/19

Some lifting at a rock climbing gym, worked up to:

Iron cross attempt on rings x2
Weighted pullup +45lb x1 on ring straps, +70x1 on bar

Strict press 65, 95, 115 all x3, 125x2, 135x1, 2, 1, push press x1 (these felt really good, pressing muscles tired but definitely getting stronger on all presses)

3 or 4 OAC with right arm, one on a climbing hold the rest on a 2''+ thick bar

Couple of straddle front lever attempts

OAC top hold on a ball grip, just a few seconds

One arm vertical 2'' smooth bar hang for just a few seconds

Front squat up to 205x1, back squat 205x1

bent rows 135x5, 155x5

RBRDL up to 255x10 pr though not sure by how much.

Bouldering for about an hour but not too hard, climbing after lifting was very rough.

Ring pullups up to +90x2.5, felt pretty good but very tired at this point.

--Fun day, very tiring, something like 1.5 hours just fooling around with my gymnast-ish friend I've mentioned before. I'll take tmr off and try to catch up so this doesn't make inroads on my density push/pull schedule.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:12 am

Wholly kow, did the gym charge you rent for your stay?
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:23 am

Gym's free, climbing was only $5 for 'the day' cause I came with a group.

Entry + gear usually runs about $15 or so, pretty average for a good climbing gym I think.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:27 am

The one I used to go to had a bouldering room. I did all my playing there for $10/day. No gear required, just climb up the wall/ceiling and fall down onto the foam floor 10 feet below, rinse and repeat.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by itlives on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:52 am

That sounds like a cool gym. We have nothing like that around here!
Good work on those pulls!
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:24 pm

It's a very good local climbing gym. At first all they had was a pullup bar in the corner, but then they added a few cardio machines and a pullup/dip station upstairs. Eventually they added a campusing board downstairs and yoga mats and a small dumbbell rack upstairs. Now they've got the campusing board upstairs along with a thick bar, two sets of rings, a set of 'ball' hanging grips, a small squat rack with about 300 pounds of plates, flat bench and situp/decline board.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:28 pm

Another 300 pounds of plates and you'll practically never need to go anywhere else!
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:19 pm

True. A power rack would be nice, of course, as would a lifting platform and some bigger dumbbells....

1/20
Dumbbell deadlifts 100s x35/15 (7 sets of 5 in just under 15 minutes)

Weighted pullups +70x3

BTB wrist curls 165x15 pr, 135x20, 115x20

DB hammer curls 30s, 35s, 40s all x5

225lb DO hold x15 seconds

135lb shrugs x20DO +10+10 mixed grip

--Hands were still tired from yesterday, as was lower back/glutes, but I decided to lift again today and do my best to really run my hands out... which I did very successfully.
Not sure what I wanna do with weighted pullups. I'm basically maintaining them with little to no effort and I can bang out PR territory numbers in the 1-5 range basically anytime I want. I think it's time for a serious plan to get some bigger numbers on low rep weighted pullups, because in a few months it'll be time to focus on max bodyweight reps for the TSC.

I also just found out that the gym in NY will not be hosting a TSC, so I need to find another place. There are a few locations in NJ that I might wanna map out.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by itlives on Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:30 pm

You are blessed with great connecting tissues! The only thing that can limit a person that has no issues is lack of initiative.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:28 pm

Actually, I wish my connective tissues were a great deal stronger. I have tiny joints and I really need to work on my wrists/shoulders/knees.

As for issues, my hip deal hasn't really been fixed which is why I haven't been doing heavy back/front squats. I'm pretty sure now there's something funky with my sacroiliac joint and this has affected the growth of the surrounding musculature, from my hams and quads to my glutes and spinal erectors--all of those are imbalanced in some way or another.
Apart from unilateral work I'm going to do a lot of research into the SIJ to try and fix it once and for all....
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:48 pm

1/24
Been sick, still sick-ish.

Close grips 145x40/16, stopped there, no point continuing

Weighted pullups, worked up to a triple with +70 as my normal 'maintenance' then a set of 10 bodyweight with neutral grip

DB seesaw press 40s x7/7

PJR pullovers 35, 40, 45 all x10

--Decent, I suppose, given how weak I've been feeling in general. One more session of close grips then I think I'll switch to inclines for the next mini-cycle.
I should be well over a bodyweight press by now. My birthday's in 3 weeks and I can probably hit b/w +15 on strict presses by then.

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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Josh T. on Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:03 am

I love how 70lbs x 3 is just maintenance for you. I could probably hit that for a single, maybe a double, on a good day. Of course, weighted pull-ups and my elbows have never gotten along, so it'll be quite a while before I can test that out .
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:46 am

Yeah how's your elbow (pulling) work been coming along? Hopefully you can get back to heavier pullups soon.

And as for pullups with 70, it's just under half my bodyweight and I can still do an OAC, so yeah 70x3 is basically an 'anytime' thing and has been for a while, my best is 70x5... I'd like to hit 100x5 but not sure how exactly to program for that the way things are going now. I think I'm going to start doing descending sets twice weekly and just add weight in small (2.5-5lb) jumps every week. I'll have to stop in mid-March at the latest, though, to train for the TSC.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Josh T. on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:37 am

The elbow is on and off. I think the upped fish oil + glucosamine&chondroitin + circumin is finally starting to kick in though, as my elbow has been feeling better lately. Plus, I voodoo band the crap out of my elbow before every workout, so that has been helping too. If I ever get to weighted Pulls again, it will be on rings for sure.

Have you looked into Reverse Pyramid stuff? I know Berkhan uses that extensively and hit like 100x6 a couple of years back doing it.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:53 pm

I've only tried ring pullups once, just the other day--they felt pretty good. It felt very different getting my lats involved, though; I'm used to connecting my arms more.

I'm not sure what you mean by reverse pyramids but I'm just planning on doing descending sets... e.g. +70x5, +60x5+, +50x5+, bodyweight x whatever. And add a little bit each time. I've actually never tried adding weight to chins in small increments before.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Rix on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:17 pm

your a beasty guy 70x3, i need to get onto weight bw stuff.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:33 am

Thanks Rixstar. How much do you weigh? I think I started chinning with 50# when I was only about 120, and could do about 16 strict reps with bodyweight... just went up from there.

1/27
Dumbbell deadlifts 100s x40/17 (8 sets of 5 in 16 minutes 50some seconds) pr, didn't go for 20, was getting lightheaded.

Weighted pullups +65x5, +55x5, +45x5

One legged leg curl 3 sets of 10, right leg noticeably weaker...

Kneeling rollout 2x10, very tough keeping hips in line, plus, the straight bar with 10s setup actually gives some resistance on the way back up.

2 sets of the arm circuit:
reverse ezbar curl 55lb x7, 7
db hammer curls 30s x10/10, 10/10
Straight bar curl 65x8, 8

--Didn't feel 100% today, definitely, my recovery still isn't quite dialed in so I have to work on that. Stopped early on the db deads, was losing energy fast, getting lightheaded actually, and grip was failing on my right hand too which wasn't good. Weighted pullups weren't great either but I got my planned reps in. Hit up some assistance/corrective-ish work with leg curl and rollout, then did the bicep/forearm flexor work... this was insanely tough. It really is about time that I got down to some direct arm work. Hands hurt after this workout.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:39 am

1/28 took the day off, still tired and feel like I'm getting over a bit of a bug. Also, my low back and hams, and biceps and brachs are all super sore in a good way.
Pressing tomorrow I think. If I do close grips this'll be the last session for this mini-cycle.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:35 am

This density thing you have going on seems to work well for you every time you do it. No doubt due to your influence, I'm becoming a huge fan of density work myself (particularly with closed chain movements).

Journeyman wrote:Kneeling rollout 2x10, very tough keeping hips in line

Interesting you should say that. I have to fight every rep to keep from tilting slightly left at the hips when I do KROs with my two handheld rollers.
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Journeyman on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:50 am

Dave.cyco wrote:This density thing you have going on seems to work well for you every time you do it. No doubt due to your influence, I'm becoming a huge fan of density work myself (particularly with closed chain movements).

Journeyman wrote:Kneeling rollout 2x10, very tough keeping hips in line

Interesting you should say that. I have to fight every rep to keep from tilting slightly left at the hips when I do KROs with my two handheld rollers.

Yeah I do like the density variants. I don't think there's 'one best way' for any form of training, but a progressive reps/time format can definitely work very very well for anyone who wants fitness or strength just as a general thing.

With the rollouts, it's just because of my overall pelvic girdle-centric imbalances. I'm keeping them because with rollouts I can actually focus pretty well on keeping my hips and shoulders all lined up properly which should help everything develop back out in an even way....
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by Dave on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:55 am

While we're on the subject of hips, have you ever done trunk twists with a firmly braced core? I like the feeling I get in my hips and trunk when I do this during my seated glute stretch (the one where you cross one leg with your knee pointing up over the other which is straight out in front and then place the opposite arm behind the raised knee and twist). Perhaps it's a drill that might benefit you as well?
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Re: Training with purpose

Post by itlives on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:27 pm

Just bend your straight leg in and you have half-fish pose-asana :idea2:
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