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Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

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Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:02 am

I've mulled all this over and feel it would be silly of me to wait until January to post it, so with no further ado, welcome to my 2014 training log.

My training goals are ultimately to continually get all around stronger in a number of areas including maximal strength, conditioning, muscular endurance, flexibility, agility, basically all of it. These always have been my goals, but this year I feel I stepped off of that path by becoming too focused on individual numbers goals weren't necessarily conducive to the end I have in sight.


Training Highs and Lows of  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

HIGH: I deadlifted 405 for the first time in my life after many failed attempts. I believe I tried on two or three separate occasions before my first success, failed again after and then got it a second time a few weeks later.

LOW: I pulled my back on an ego deadlift attempt (there were some kids watching and I wanted to put on a show). I know I should not have even tried 420 after working fairly quickly up to a grueling 405 (the second and only time I ever pulled that weight).


HIGH: Full HeSPU - this was a long time in coming, but I can now consistently do at least one, even when I am run down from work, training or otherwise.

LOW: I trained HeSPUs overzealously and created moderately serious discomfort in my wrists, to the point at times of actual pain (which has since been resolved) by training with higher frequency and volume than I was ready to handle.  It was bad enough at times that I could not even do pushups.


HIGH: I snatched 175, one of the few stated goals that did hit.  Like my 405 deadlift goal, I hit this twice so far.

LOW: I smashed my wrist on a failed clean by falling backwards with it and digging my elbow into the dirt.  I lost a lot of training time on this one.


HIGH: Performed a number of very impressive jumps off of and over things.

LOW: Hurt myself on two of those jumps!  One time the injury was fine within 3 days.  The most recent time it has taken two weeks so far and I am still not back to 100%, nor even 70% (I will be back to 100% and more, just give me time, probably another week or two).
 

Overall assessment of the year's training
I didn't pick a program and really stick to it. For me a "program" ended up consisting of doing the same basic workout a handful of times in a progressive manner. But in these gung-ho phases I didn't really plan deloads, so I just pushed until I  burned out then I simply backed off altogether for a week or three, hitting practically random workouts until I felt strong again. I generally felt stronger overall as the year went by, though when something was gained something else was always lost. And my gains were never remarkable in any one area because I had made the crippling mistake of planning to fail by failing to plan. Sure I had the goals, but I did not map out a clear path to get there.  And each time I got injured to one degree or another it killed my motivation and stalled my progress.


A slight twist
This year is going to be different. I am going to train, first of all, with a much simpler main goal; this year I aim to train back up to full health, and rehabilitate and strengthen every little spot that either currently is or may become injured or inordinately weakened.  And regarding the latter, the goal is actually to get and STAY injury free all year.

To this end I have reorganized my office at home to include enough floor space for stretching, basic BWEs and posture exercises, and I've moved some indoor friendly training tools inside, such as my resistance bands, hand grippers and tennis balls. These are here to expand my staple training territory beyond the garage.  More exposure to training environments means more frequent training.


Realistic Training Goals Focused on Work Done, Not Speculative Future Results
I am not going to say that I plan to lift such and such a size of weight. Instead my goal is to regularly work hard within my abilities (whatever they may be that given day) and to accomplish a certain amount of work each month until the end of the year. How I feel at the time will generally determine how heavy I lift or how intensely I train. I'll be conservative with how often I max and will instead focus on getting in many a quality session, striking as fine a balance as possible between intensity and volume, according as my recovery needs dictate.

The goal over the course of the year is to perform each movement/exercise for a max effort (in either max weight or reps), and train some of the movements progressively at some point during the year. I believe this approach will best suit my fickle training nature, while still enabling me to develop the well-roundedness that I strive for.


Movement/Exercise Over the Year
 
Olympic
Snatch
C&J

Squat
High Bar Squats
Low Bar Squats
Front Squats

RFE Split Front Squats
Heels Elevated Squats
Sandbag Squats
 
Hindu Squats
Weighted Hindu Squats
Pistols
Shrimp Squats

Deadlift/Hinge
Clean Deadlift
Snatch Grip DLs
Snatch Grip RDLs
Zercher

T-Handle Swings
Good mornings
 
Pressing
HeSPUs
 
Hand Release Pushups
Divebomber Pushups
Weighted Divebomber Pushups

Push Press
Snatch Grip Press
Snatch Grip Push Press
Military Press
 
Susp. Dips/Weighted Susp. Dips

Pulling
Pullups/Weighted Pullups
Rows/Snatch Grip Rows
Shrugs


Core
Ab wheel
Resistance Bands (Cable Pulling)
Turkish Get Ups
Barbell Side Bends
Sledgehammer swings (yes I finally just got a tire tonight!)
Sandbag Shouldering
Overhead Walk
Farmer Walk

Misc
Parkour
Running

Exactly how I arrange these into my sessions and whether I arrange them into a few cycles, many mini cycles, evenly distribute them over the whole year or do some earlier and others later is yet to be seen. I will probably try a mix of strategies with different movements and see what I like best.



Last edited by Dave on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Plans change)
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Avocadoshake on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:46 am

Interesting.

As you have followed my logs, you may have noticed that my training consists of a few exercises that I really like to do on a given day and others that are optional or interchangable - like curls for a combo walk when I don't feel the need for a heavy finisher, because I've hauled the weights across the living room already.

Then I treat my off days as fun days, not going lazy, but doing stuff I like or working on things, I feel that need to be worked on - like my squats, but I keep it fun and off - or light, recreational. Especially squats are recreational for me, only a few deep reps for stretching.

Then I do 3 weeks on, one off. The first week I'm anxious and eager to go back. The second week I make some nice progress. The third week is the last and I go through it with the off week in sight and even go gung ho at times within seven limits - it's the last week.

I recap and work on things that needed to be worked on during the off week - and I try to have fun.

That has worked very, very well for me so far.

I know that log is not about me and I don't want to misuse it to brag about me, but to speak about my own experiences.

Oh, btw. I noticed that constant grip work is not for me. A few heavy burst 1 - 2 times/ week give me better gains - after the foundation I built, mind you.

With that strategy, I have upped my weights as you might have seen. Swings: from 8 to 20 kg and TGUs from 8 to 20 kg, Strict press from 4 to 16 kg, to name a few - you know how thin and stiff I have been.

Having said that, I plan to do 3 - 4 weeks of circuit training after my current cycle and go back to bulking during December.

And I've learnt, that there is usually no quick fix. A suboptimal condition - posture issues for example - need about the same time restoring that was needed to manifest them in the first place.

I'll be watching this and wish you great success with your modified training.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:31 am

Dominik, watching you is part of what moved me in this direction.  TMK as well; who seems to build goals around number of workouts.  In my opinion, results will come as long as the time is taken to put in the work - and you both (among others) are great examples of that.  :up:
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Iliander on Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:55 am

This is great. I'm wanting to start a new log for over a month now but it felt stupid since there're still some months in 2013. But now you did this I might make a new log too, it's indeed silly to not do it.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:32 pm

If you're ready, you're ready. I saw your winter log plan and it definitely looks good!
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Afternoon Training in the Home Office

Post by Dave on Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:52 pm

15 minutes only, but a kick butt session nonetheless!  All exercises were done fast and furious with no rest other than maybe to readjust position or to take a couple extra breaths:

Short and fast warmup with a light resistance band, then:

Hindu Squats x 50

Cable Pulling (Purple Loop)
Chest Pull x 20
Triceps Press x 10
1/2 Archer Pull x 10/10
Overhead Downward Pull (palms facing up) x 15
Curls x 15/15

TGUs (16 kg kettlebell) x 10/10
Hand Release Pushups x 20

The hand release pushups were very hard and slow after all that other stuff.  My heart rate is noticeably faster, I'm sweating like it's summer and I have the shakes.  This is a good start.  :)
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Avocadoshake on Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:33 pm

Dave wrote:TGUs (16 kg kettlebell) x 10/10
:shocked: 
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by amit_shah25 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:04 pm

Dave wrote:Realistic Training Goals Focused on Work Done, Not Speculative Future Results
I am not going to say that I plan to lift such and such a size of weight. Instead my goal is to regularly work hard within my abilities (whatever they may be that given day) and to accomplish a certain amount of work each month until the end of the year.
Yeap. Thats what it is about. Enjoy the journey. Destination don't really mean much :mrgreen: 

Good to see some running in there ! If you are into parkour stuff, it does need you to be able to run smoothly, roll yourself into fall etc.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:20 pm

Amit, thanks for checking in!

I forgot what a great pump those resistance band exercises give in the upper back when done for highish reps!  :cheers:
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Avocadoshake on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:31 pm

Dave wrote:Amit, thanks for checking in!

I forgot what a great pump those resistance band exercises give in the upper back when done for highish reps!  :cheers:
:nod:
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:14 pm

Last night I played in the garage and crossed off a couple things from the ToDo list.

One arm thingamabober x a few sets of 3-5/3-5
Did not use any real weight yet, just wanted to try it with 135. I like it; it gives a good challenge to the core and pc due to quickly switching from one handed to snatch grip and might be useful toward improving one handed snatching, once additional weight is added that is.

TGUs, 16 kg x 7/7

Weighted Pullups + 35 x a few singles, 2 x triples and a set of 4, in that order.

Hand Release Pushups x 20

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Batteries died right as I was getting into it though... :/
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:44 pm

Just now:

5 minutes snatching with 16 kg KB.  No rest.  134 reps performed, as 20/20 x 3 and 7/7
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:37 pm

Here are a few of the things I have knocked off the list this week:

Turkish Get Ups (with a weight vest to boot!) x 2 sessions
Running (short run but a run nonetheless)
Deadlifting (a few reps one handed with 155 and some RDLs)
Squats, a variety.
Snatches
Resistance Bands
HeSPUs

and a few other things here and there.

You know, what Mike said today makes a lot of sense and accounts for a lot of why I have beaten myself up lately about my training.

itlives wrote:
Welcome to life. Life is about sacrifice. You always sacrifice something for something else. With your increasing knowledge of different exercises come the task of working what you need or want the most.
Don't get in the I want to do this but I need to do this mind set. You'll get overwhelmed.

I know I need to work strength. But I LIKE condition more so that's what I do.
Have fun with with it - live longer.
I really like just doing whatever comes to me at the time rather than preplanning sessions.  That way I can just have fun with it.  I think I might even revise the exercise selections above, as well as the number of sessions.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by amit_shah25 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:04 pm

Another idea would be to stick with "one or two things" for a month or two, and keep changing it every month. That would give you more flexibility in terms of "doing it all". And sticking with it for a month or so will let you see measurable improvements ..
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:09 pm

Another idea, yes, and it may happen.  It may not.  I look at the above list and even that makes me feel "obligated".  Actually, as of right now I'm absolving myself of any and all self imposed training obligations other than to keep training, have fun and stay safe.  Whatever form that takes is fine by me if these three conditions are met, if I get through the list, great, if not, I am not even going to bat an eyelash.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Rastaman on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:25 pm

I think you've  got the right approach Dave.  I  tend to set goals and plan out specific  methods to get  there most of the time.   The workouts do become a bit boring at times and lend to overtraining when pushing to  meet a goal in a specific time frame.  Spontaneous,  unplanned  workouts sound  like  a great change.

Your doing a pretty good job working your  way through the list thus far.  I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of 2014 your renewed approach  will show great progress in all areas.

Enjoying training is after all what it's  all about!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:33 am

Thanks Chris. I am starting to look at it this way: Yes maybe I wanted to do more sandbag work and grip work this year, but did I get stronger without it? Yes. Mission accomplished, even if I hardly touched the sandbag.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:51 pm

Did some thrusters last night which knocked off front squats and push presses.

Did some more band pulling as well, including reverse curls.  I alternated these with KB bottoms up holds @ 0:45 and then 1:00 each hand. The combination was a great forearm pump.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by ccheatum on Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:20 am

I think Mike is right. Do what you like and have fun. Training really is supposed to be fun!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:03 pm

Snatch 16 kg x 80/80 for 160 total reps in less than 6 minutes

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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:17 pm

Resistance bands: chest pulls, curls, triceps extensions.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by ccheatum on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:36 pm

Dave wrote:Resistance bands: chest pulls, curls, triceps extensions.
I really enjoy resistance bands. There are a lot of great exercises to do with them!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:36 am

I think resistance band reverse curls are the best forearms pump I've ever experienced.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by CheesedogTheFirst on Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:00 am

That's a lot of nice snatchin'! :up: 
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by amit_shah25 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:06 am

Intense.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Fatman on Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:19 am

Dave wrote:I think resistance band reverse curls are the best forearms pump I've ever experienced.
Do them in the upper half of the movement only (i.e. from top to 90 degrees, then back up).

Instant tickets to Popeye-town.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:26 pm

Yeah I noticed that the top portion was the hardest and hit my forearm right at the elbow like crazy.  But from 90 degrees eh?  I'll give it a go!


Last night I did some front squats with 155, for a single set of 20.  Each rep after 8 was hard though, and my clean grip kept slipping, one finger at a time until on the very last rep I was no longer using clean grip, but T-rex grip.  :loopy:
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:58 pm

Snatch 16kg KB x 50/50 one arm at a time, non stop.

Pistols x 25/25 alternating legs, non stop

Resistance band miscellany
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:00 am

Fatman wrote:Do them in the upper half of the movement only (i.e. from top to 90 degrees, then back up).

Instant tickets to Popeye-town.
And 3 times harder! I'm thinking just holding the 90° position for time would do wonders too!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Iliander on Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:46 am

Dave wrote:Snatch 16kg KB x 50/50 one arm at a time, non stop.

Pistols x 25/25 alternating legs, non stop

Resistance band miscellany
wow nice pistols Dave :clappy: 
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:56 pm

Thanks Ili!

After that last night I also did some one arm pushups and then matched my HeSPU PR of 4 reps and did a few L-Sit Pullups too.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by itlives on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:22 pm

All around good healthy strong man!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:05 pm

Strongish for a jack of all trades I suppose.  :) Thanks Mike.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Rix on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:45 am

Jack of all trades strength sounds good to me.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Brahma Bill on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:56 am

Dave wrote:Strongish for a jack of all trades I suppose.  :)  Thanks Mike.
There are enough people in the world specializing in Bench Press and Curls. You keep doing what you're doing.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:19 pm

Circuit -
Pullups x 10
Barbell Complex @ 155
Shrugs x 10
Rows x 5
Hang Cleans x 5
High Bar Squats x 5

x 3 rounds for the whole circuit, last round was HARD!

The whole workout took 15 minutes.

Built a bench before this and it's a little too wide for bench press but Dragon Flags are A Okay, except that I'm a pansy at them now... I did 1 + f... haha.  Specificity is king.  So I'll do a few more of them over the next couple weeks to get strongish at them again and then throw them in whenever I like.  I'll also trim the edges of my bench so I can use a narrower grip on bench press and touch the bar to my chest (right now it is about 2 inches away).
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by CheesedogTheFirst on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:17 am

Nice circuit!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by ccheatum on Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:37 pm

Awesome circuits! Keep up the good work!!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:23 am

Mike, Rix, Bill, Cheese and CC, thanks for the encouragement!  

I know always kept saying "Oh no I'm gonna do a cycle of blah blah blah" and then I either did it for another workout or for another three, but following a program just isn't my style, and I too often found myself doing nothing instead of what I had planned.  Now that I've given myself permission to just do whatever I feel like with no strings attached, I'm free!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Journeyman on Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:44 am

Dave wrote:  Now that I've given myself permission to just do whatever I feel like with no strings attached, I'm free!
:clappy: 

I'm sure your progress will double, too. Gotta have that enthusiasm about whatever it is you're doing!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by itlives on Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:23 am

Freedom is a great thing. So many people put themselves under bondage of one thing or another and never achieve the contentment that a free spirit has.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:25 pm

Jman, thanks for dropping by!  And for the Jman seal of approval!  ;)

Mike I got your package today, thanks so much, and it couldn't have come at a better time!  I want to send you something as well, but please give me some time, okay?

And great news:  My butt is still sore from pistols the other day plus the above circuit. I've been neglecting my glutes lately, so this is good.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:55 pm

Warm up

20 pound vest for all, Circuit x 4 rounds in 24:00 (including warmup)

Hand Release Pushups x 10
Pistols x4/4
16 kg KB Towel high pulls x 10/10
16 kg KB Towel swings x 10/10
16 kg KB OHP x 10/10
Hindu Squats x 20

Gassed and sweaty.  Big smile.  :) ...




....



Help me creatine, protein, glutamine and cold shower, you're my only hope(s)!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by amit_shah25 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:16 pm

hand release with 20# !! That is solid upper body strength ! That is a bad ass workout.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by itlives on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:42 pm

Very nice routine, Dave!

Glad they didn't stop the package at the border (the liniment could have caused that)! Took me long enough to get to you!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:31 pm

Mike, but you owe me nothing, so what have I to say but thank you? (Thank you!)

Was about to do HeSPUs but I have that feeling in my wrist that says... go open Mike's package. :mrgreen:
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:03 am

I didn't get to it yet. Some unexpected guests and I am only just finishing a little night cap.

rep resistance band mixed pulls
16 kg KB arm supported rows x 50/38+12

Felt an unfamiliar pull in my left side starting around rep 20, nothing sharp or sudden, but enough to feel the need to stop for a moment and reset at rep 38. I see my core needs some solid work from these angles.
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:29 pm

I did a good high rep pulling session and got a serious pump and I've been hungry ever after.  Band pulls and kettlebell upright rows and pushups oh my!

EDIT:  Oh yeah and those arm supported rows too.  Good core stretch. My arms look like an inch larger even 5 hours later!
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by itlives on Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:31 am

What are band pulls?
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

Post by Dave on Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:50 pm

Resistance band pulls from various angles including archer pulls, chest pulls and downward overhead pulls, focusing on the triceps, delts, lats and rhomboids.  Just saying band pulls was easier though.  ;)
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Re: Dave's Countdown to Greater Strength

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