Strength Training for Singles (1RMs): Eight-Week Workout Cycle, 1

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Haha I personally find it a little easier to have a set schedule for lifting but I have been really leaving the endurance plan a bit more impulsive. So I am going to run with the daily max concept and see how it goes.

    About the farmers walks, I think since you are doing the russian twists and swings you could probably just skip the waiters and suitcase walks and just focus on the double handed farmer carry. Unless of course if you want to focus on the overhead stabilization piece, but I realy think the twists will hit that more effectively. And just load up your trap bar with 150lbs and go walk down the block and back? You are already a kook for running barefoot.

    Also why are you significantly stronger with the yates row vs. the P-row? And since pull ups are a priority maybe do them first thing each workout? Or at least before your other rows?
  2. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Not sure what you mean by the "daily max concept."

    Yah, we'll see. If I like the weighted vest walks/runs on my commutes, it might not be necessary to do the loaded carries as part of my st sessions. I could also carry dumbbells to my office. It's a mile, so I would start light and then add to it as I built endurance.

    Well, last week I did the P-Row at 165, which was the max I could do with good form, letting the bar return to the ground each time. I tried to do P-Rows at 185, but it ended up more as a Y-Row (I like this shorthand, by the way, for Pendlay versus Yates--but we could also call them 90-Row and 120-Row, I guess, to indicate the different angles). I wasn't purposely trying to do a Yates Row however, so I'm not sure what the true 3-5RM should be. I intended to find out this last Monday, but I had a crappy workout, so I keep both rows light. In general, I would think the Yates or 120-Row is going to be 30-50 pounds heavier than the Pendlay or 90-Row, because of the greater support offered by the lower back, glutes, and hammies.

    I tend to like doing the lighter exercises later in the workout, and Pull-downs/Pull-ups are lighter than my rows right now. I'm also still trying to figure out which exercises irritate my left shoulder and which don't, and I suspect chinups/pulldowns are somewhat more aggravating than rows, so I want to do rows first. If I find one exercise in particular is the culprit, I will eliminate it. My sense though, is that it was the wide-grip bench press, which has been eliminated. I also overtrained last week on Monday, and this seemed to irritate my left shoulder in a somewhat new way. So, it's quite possible that will a little more sense, I have already figured out how to manage this issue, but it will probably take several more months to find the optimal mix of exercises, orders, sets and reps to keep it under control.

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  3. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    I wonder if the rows are similar to the decline/flat/incline press variations? It makes sense thinking of it anatomically as you would be utilizing both your lats and traps with a Y-row and primarily lats with a P-row. Yeah thats true weightde vest walking would be like a long distance loaded carry.

    Not sure what you mean by the "daily max concept."

    Well if I am going to do a max lift like tomorrow on the bench my ~true max is 265, so I am going to focus on hitting a training max which is the weight I know I can hit on almost any given day, likely 255. If the first one goes up easy I'll do two reps, and then a third if the second goes up ok. If all three go up without a struggle that will indicate I should increase the next weeks max so 260 next week. So I will have a daily max that I want to hit and once I do I will walk away instead of continuously pushing until failure. Then I'll drop down to 80% of that lift for some back off sets.
    It's kind of an autoregulation concept I made up after worrying myself about missed reps. I'll give it a try and see if it works.

    Kind of similar to Jim Wendlers training max or 90% of your true max. But maybe with a little more accuracy and built in auto-reg. If I hit one rep at 255 and really struggled I can also opt to drop down weight next week and build back up.

    What do you think? I have never really done max type training for a long period of time.
  4. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, that's pretty much the way I've always done it, except I set the max at 1-2 reps. I've done this for a very long time with the bench press, at least since my time in Chicago, and maybe also while I was training in Japan. I also did deadlifts in Chicago and Japan, but I can't remember exactly how I did them. Over the last year or two, I've mostly been doing the deadlift in 50-pound increments because my biggest standard bar weight-plates were 25. It's only recently that I've been refining the deadlift training max with 10-pound jumps, and have been surprised at how quickly it's gone up. Now that I know my true 1RM is 355, maybe 365, what I have to do is determine what a reasonable training single is going to be, and then the triples and five-rep set. I'll probably try 335/315/275 next Monday. 315 might be a little high for the triples, we'll see. 305 might be better. I may start the workout by trying to hit 365 again, but I'll probably wait another 2-3 weeks before I try it, or just give it a rest while I work on improving my 1/3/5-rep training maxes.

    The Y-Row definitely hits the traps and Rhomboids more, making it more like a high pull that's gentler on the shoulder.

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  5. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    So I tried the method today and it went well, actually the third rep of 255 felt the snappiest?
    Anyway it ended up taking too long though and I was thinking of another way to cut the time down to get everything in, so here is a new idea.

    Fridays for Bench and TBDL I'll do one rep of each 10 sets EMOM, since they are different enough I should be able to get in the two reps pretty easily in the 60 seconds. They will be heavy too close to 90%. If I find its not enough time I could also choose 75 or 90 seconds sets. So 8 or 7 reps.

    Edit: Scratch that I don't have enough weights. Maybe do it with the press, or I can just mix it with pull ups? EMOM - 1 TBDL x 2 pull ups for 10 and EMOM - 1 Bench x 2 SLDL
  6. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    It will be interesting to follow your evolving rep schemes.

    It's a real struggle to be efficient, and yet get enough in for a good stimulus. I'm feeling cheated so far this week because neither of my ST sessions have felt challenging enough. I'm going to try to really blast it today.

    Next week hopefully I'll be able to refine my 1/3/5 approach a bit more, maybe something like 2x1/3x3/2x5 for the big three heavy lifts--squat, deadlift, bench. That would be 15 reps. Just need to finalize the weights for each rep-count.

    Ideally, I would get in the three main lifts of each workout--bottom, middle, top--in about 30 minutes, then have another 30 minutes left over for everything else--assistance, rotational, carry, plyometrics, stabilizers, mobility, and martial.

    Found someone to put a D-ring on the bottom of my new Title foam-water heavy bag yesterday, so I'll go home a little early today and fill it up. I'm anxious to see how it feels. The weighted vest also came, I was going to walk to work with it, but I woke up too early to motivate, and I also need to stop by Menards for a few supplies so that I can finally finish my new garage gym set-up.

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  7. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Yeah that's the tough part that I like to be flexible with. Today for example after hitting 3 x 1 x 115kgs in the bench I knew doing 3 x 5 x 90kgs would be too much so I just pushed for one set with almost as many as I could. And once I did one rep of TBDL at 145 I knew just a few would be plenty.

    I think 80% for the 3x3 and 75% for the 2 x 5 would be a good place to start, and maybe time yourself so you are not getting too much rest.

    What else are you doing to the gym?
  8. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Was that three consecutive singles or 1x3? If the latter, then I would say your true 1RM is higher than 265, like 275-285.

    Yah, I should probably time my rests more, but I just go by instinct. I just pace back and forth until I'm ready to go again. Another advantage with the home gym is that there's nobody to shoot the shit with, and I don't let myself do anything productive, like pick up or do the laundry. I just wait for my heart rate to go down and for the muscles to freshen up a bit and then I'm back at it. I think it's important to rest adequately though, so that the ATP-PC levels are restored and I can go at it again with maximal intensity. With the lighter exercises the rests tend to be pretty minimal. With the 1-rep deadlifts, they can last several minutes sometimes, so I should only allow myself a couple 1RMs. Last Monday when I came down in 10-pound increments I did 5-6 heavy singles then straight sets and I think the deadlift portion of the workout lasted 20-25 minutes. But it's good to do that once in a while I think, to take advantage of times when you're really feeling it.

    For the heavy bag, I need some chain links, and a few different lengths of shock cord, to see which one works best to anchor the bag's new bottom D-ring to a set of plates on a 3/4 pipe, tee, and floor flange. I also want a longer 1" pipe for my dip bars, either 18" or 24". The space in front of me, before the perpendicular bar holding the station to the j-clips on the posts, feels a little cramped. I also need to reorganize the floor plan a bit and prune some of the accessories hanging on the wall that I never use, in order to make the space less cluttered and efficient. I want to make the transition between exercises, especially the later plyo, mobility, etc., smooth and fast. I also have to work out how I'm going to get the 140-pound bag up and down easily.

    I'm really curious to see what a truly complete, one-hour workout that does a decent job of covering all the exercises I have laid out would be like.

    I'll try to take some pics when it's all done.

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  9. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    It was 3 discreet singles with a minute of rest between them. I wonder if I could get a 275 bench right now? Soon hopefully I'll build up to it. It's really confusing converting back and forth so I am going to just shoot for 140 Kgs and I will probably work up in 2.5kg increments to get there. I am at 115 today so a good 8 weeks if things keep progressing. Yeah keeping things tidy also helps speed up the sessions. I wish I disn't have to share the garage with 20 bikes and yard equip. Back in AZ I had a great extra garage that I only used for my gym. The only bad thing was the ceiling was too low to press Overhead. Here I have a normal one so I don't have to drag weight in and out like I did before. Speaking of which do you clean your weight to press or use a rack?
  10. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    140 kgs is 308, right? That would be a pretty awesome bench press. Good luck!

    I think I'll spend at least another month or two strengthening my back before I start pushing the bench in earnest. For the time being, I just want to work off 225 as my single and do 3x3- and 5-rep back-off sets. Get everything nice and solid. Short term goal would be something like 245, then, if possible, 275 would be a good long term goal for me.

    Two weeks ago I started racking the standing OH Press, before that I was cleaning it. I want to isolate the cleaning movement from the pressing movement to see if one or the other irritates my left shoulder more. That is, I want to see if I can do OH presses without any shoulder problem. Judging from yesterday's workout, I can, if I keep the overall rep count reasonable. I have the bar loaded with five-pound plates and a few 2.5 and 1.25 to make 125 pounds. Need to stop by Play it Again Sports and get a few more five-pounders. It gets hard to keep track of the weigh with the really small plates.

    Also, I weighed my dumbbell handles and they're almost five pounds for the 18" and almost 4.5 pounds for the 14". So I'll just count them both as five pounds, which means my max 1-dumbbell row is 125, not 120.

    20 bikes? Are you living in a commune?

    Filled up the heavy bag with water yesterday. Got it up to 135. I figured out that I can use the pulldown cable to hoist the bag up, simply by adding 25-pound plates to the loading bar on the back post. On the sixth plate the bag goes up. I brought it back down to five plates, and added a 10-pound plate to discover its true weight. The pulleys are a kind of scale. Funny. I secured the bag to an anchor using my stack of 20-pound plates, which don't get used much anymore, and a shock cord attached to the new D-ring I had sewn on the bottom. It's a pretty sweet set-up. By the time I finished, it was dinner time, so I just got in a few punches and kicks. I'm going to have to take it real slow for the first month or two to make sure I don't break anything, but it feels pretty good at the end of a workout to do a little martial plyometrics like that.

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  11. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Week 2
    Monday 8/18/14
    Goblet Squats --1 x 10 x 32kgs
    Deadlift ----------EMOM x 10 x 145Kgs
    Press ------------- 1 x 72.5kgs - 3 x 3 x 60kgs
    Neutral Pull Up -3 x 6
    Farmers -------- 80m x 95 kgs
    AM bike commute 17.3k - 32:30 had a nice tail wind.
    20 minutes sun salutations
    PM bike commute 17.6k - 40:50

    Had a good workout today, everything was moving quickly except for my failed 75kg press. I need to learn to rest a little more between max attempts.

    Tuesday 8/19/14
    Some easy sprints about 3k of total running.
    AM bike commute 17.3k - 37:42
    20 minutes sun salutations
    PM bike commute 17.6k - 41:20

    Wednesday 8/20/14
    Back Squat ----4 x 3x 90kgs
    Swings --------1 x 23 x 32kgs
    Incline Bench -3 x 5 x 80kgs
    BB Rows ------3 x 5 x 60kgs
    Pull Ups --------1 x 7
    Ab Roll outs - 2 x 10
    20 minutes sun salutations

    Squats felt a little better might make the jump to 100 next week, or have been considering a 50 rep set of 60kgs on DJ's recent article.
    Thursday 8/21/14
    AM bike commute 17.3k - 37:10
    20 minutes stretching
    PM bike commute 17.6k - 39:00
    Track workout
    400-800-1200-1600-2000 with a 400m jog between kept them all at a sub 8mm pace pretty happy with the effort 7 miles total running.

    Friday 8/22/14
    Bench --------- 2 x 1 x 120kgs - CG 3 x 3 x 90kgs
    TBDL ---------- -3 x 5 x 90kgs
    Pull Ups --------4 x 5
    Ab Roll outs -- 3 x 8
    AM bike commute 17.3k - 38:09
    20 minutes stretching
    PM bike commute 17.6k -

    Pretty wiped out this morning from the run last night. Out of all the activities I do runnning always seems to require the most recovery time. Maybe just running easy 5ks is the better way to go. Hopefully over the weekend I can work in a lap or two around the MTB track and a swim on Sunday.
  12. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Oh yeah I forgot about the short ceiling issue. I notice I can press more without a clean, I think the setup and initial positioning helps me.
    Its great the bikes are our main source of transportation and then of course you need a mountain bike, road bike, pub crawl bike, grocery shopping bike with trailer etc... a bit excessive I know but aren't bike riders the biggest gear whores?
    Yeah 308 would be good some day. I've done it before and hopefully I can do it again, but I have read that the bench is affected mostly by weight so if I keep dropping its might not happen, and like you I need to start hitting the back some more too.
    Great idea with hanging the bag on the rack, never was much of a martial artist but have always tinkered with getting a bag. Don't break any tarsals kicking the crap out of it.
  13. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, I think getting everything right on the bar, before unracking for the OH Press, helps. I picked up eight more 5-pound plates at Play It Again Sports, which brings me up to 155, including the 15-pound bar, so I'm good for the next 6-12 months. I've always neglected the OH Press, never treated it as a main lift, so I got some catching up to do.

    Wow, I never realized you were that into cycling. we're going on our first family picnic+cycling outing next weekend. We'll see how far the kids can go before they get tired. I'll be using the same bike I cycled through Africa, Europe and the Middle East with. It was the third bike of the trip, a true (Marin) mountain bike I bought in Cape Town after the 10-speed Peugeot I bought second-hand in London, and the 18-speed Raleigh hybrid I bought in Dublin proved inadequate to the task. It would be nice to get a real nice racing bike someday though. My bike is such a clunker, but it's super strong--a good general-purpose bike.

    When you say the Bench Press is most affected by weight, do you mean pushing the 1RM instead of relying on higher rep sets for improvement? If so, I wonder why that would be.

    Yah, I'm not going to do any serious bag training. I'll be treating the bag work more like exercise than training. Just a bunch of single-strikes mostly, trying to generate as much force as possible, so it'll really be a kind of plyometrics. And yes, I'll be taking it very slow. I don't what to break anything or get arthritis.

    Really looking forward to this afternoon's workout. I'll do my best not to attempt a 365 DL again, and try to keep the single to 335.

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  14. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Ha after we talked about missed lifts I went ahead and missed one today. Its hard to keep yourself in check.

    I mean your actual body weight tends to influence your bench moreso than the other lifts. I don't know if its actually true or not I seem to remember reading one of the easiest ways to increase your bench is to increase body weight.

    I'd love to hear about your biking trip did you keep a log or a blog about it, maybe write a book? Otherwise someday I'll make my way up to Minnesota and bring a case of beer for the story! That's kind of funny I also have a Marin mountain bike, I'm surprised to hear you found one in Cape Town. As for biking I'm really not much of a "biker" and its mainly a source of transportation, well except for the mountain biking (which is more of a recent hobby). I don't think I would ever actually do an on-road bike race as I tend to think there terribly unsafe. Probably just my bias. However doing a cross country/continent ride like you did really fascinates me, I really wish I would have done something like that in my youth. Now I am going to have to wait another 18 years to consider it. Hindsight.

    The culture here really influences using your bike as a major mode of transportation. And it's great fun to load up the family and go cruise around town running errands. The two oldest 7 and 5 usually ride their own bikes and the youngest ones ride in a trailer or on the back of one of ours. Its unfortunate bike riding isn't more prevalent in the US it would definitely help with some of the health and congestion issues if it is embraced some day.
  15. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Yah, I kept a pretty good journal. It was the last two years of a eight-and-a-half-year trip around the world. As I like to say, I took an early retirement, but I've been behind all my peers' life trajectories ever since. I don't mind too much. Especially starting a family late, I think I'm a much better husband and father than I would've been had I started earlier.

    I'd have to photocopy the journal, something I should do anyway. I've thought about writing a book, but I can't find the time or motivation. I also need to find an interesting angle so it's not just another story about some westerner using the third world as his playground. My biggest regret is not using all the aerobic fitness I had built up when I got back. I tied running a bit, and it was super easy to go 5-6 miles my first time out. Should've kept at. I could've been one of those ultra barefoot running pioneers!

    Anyway, your part of Europe is great cycling country. My favorite is France, where even the tertiary roads are well-paved usually, the drivers are generally respectful of cyclists, even small villages have excellent set-menus, meats and cheeses, and the landscapes change every 100-200 kilometers. It's also pretty easy to free-camp or find a cheap room when you need to clean up.

    Cycling in the Twin Cities is getter better and better, with a lot more dedicated paths and lanes. Still, people still get killed.

    OH Presses are probably the easiest lift to fail, right? At least with strict form. The initial lift-off is even harder than deadlifts' lack of a stretch reflex.

    I think in principle, there's nothing wrong with testing one's 1RM once in a while, as long as it doesn't become a habit. Maybe once a month is OK? Anyway, this thread is all about setting new 1RM PRs, so it's got to be done with some frequency. Or we could just go with what you call a "training 1RM" or simply "singles" which are understood to be 90-95% of one's true 1RM.

    Anyway, looking forward to a week of continuing to refine my rep-counts. It's an interesting new wrinkle to my routine, and I think it may help me become more efficient if I can get it right.

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  16. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Well like I said if you do get around to scanning let me know. Out of curiousity what weight were you at during most of your trip and what kind of kilometerage were you doing daily?
    Thanks for the info about France, I might end up doing a nice long bike ride through Belgium and France when the family is back home visiting. Not sure how far I would get but maybe to visit a few trappist breweries.
    I'd have to agree with you about having kids later in life especially after you get a lot of the major life obstacles out of the way and take advantage of some fun adventures. Plus once they get a little older you can drag them along on your crazy ideas!

    I'm gonna follow up about the 1rm on the other thread
  17. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    I like body-vests :),ik got a 20kg one.Which is quite heavy but I only use it on short runs or walks.Sometimes for squats or kettle-bell swings

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  18. Robin Barefooters
    1. Belgium

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    Thanks :) now I'm wondering if I could swim with mine lol

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  19. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

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    Week 2

    MONDAY
    Had a good workout refining my 3x1/3/5 approach to the deadlift. I intend to try this approach, or a close variant, like 2x1/3x3/2x5/1x8, for all of the big lifts--deadlift, squat, bench press--in an attempt to become a little more disciplined and efficient. In the past, I've relied on pure autoregulation. I also like this approach because it involves three or four different bar speeds. Essentially, I'm getting in both a max effort and a quasi dynamic effort workout in a single session.

    Lately I've been warming up to my DL single quite quickly, going up in 90-pound increments. In yesterday's workout, once I got up to a 315 warm-up single, I took stock of my being, and then decided to make 335 my max weight for the day. I actually failed the first lift, but then got my head straight and did 2x1x335, 3x1x315, 1x2x295, 3x3x275, 1x5x225, and 1x5x245. Based on these sets, I would say either 335 or 325 will make a good weight for the singles. 295 felt a little challenging as the 3x3 weight, but 275 felt a little too easy. Maybe if I hadn't spent so much time at 315 however, 295 might've been OK, so I'll try that next time. 225 felt too light for the 2x5 weight, so I added 20 pounds and 245 felt pretty good. So, next time I'll try something like this, with probably minor adjustments as I settle in:
    3x1x335
    3x3x295
    2x5x245

    This is an easy set-up too, because each weight is 20 pounds up from the Olympic grip plate increments of 225-275-315. It will be nice if I can keep it like this and not have to think too much about different plates, but it might also be nice to try to bring up the five-rep set to 255 so that each rep-count increment is exactly forty pounds apart. We'll see. The idea then, as discussed on the other thread, is that when 3x1x335 starts to feel easy, I'll try to go up 10 pounds for each rep-count. I might be able to go up uniformly for each set, but it might work out to be something more like
    1x1x345, 2x1x335
    then
    2x1x345, 1x1x335
    then
    3x1x345
    over several weeks' time, and likewise for the 3- and 5-rep count sets.

    I'll try to nail a similar 3x1/3x3/2x5 rep-count scheme for the squats and bench tomorrow, but I'm thinking if deadlift rep counts are spaced 40 pounds apart, then maybe squats should be 30 and bench presses 20, something like this: Squat 3x1x245/3x3x215/2x5x185; Bench Press 3x1x225/3x3x205/2x5x185.

    The rows are also becoming more routine:

    90-degree Bentover BB Row (Pendlay): 3x5x165
    120-degree Bentover BB Row (Yates): 3x3x185

    For the 120-Row, or Y-Row, I found myself returning the bar to the floor each time, raising the bar with my lower back and hammies to the 120-degree position while beginning the row using my lats, traps, and biceps, and then finishing with a jerk up--kind of a bent over 3/4 power clean or high pull. Three reps felt good for the 120-Row, five reps for the 90-Row. The 90-Row works the middle back and the 120-Row works more of the upper back. A good combo.

    For the assisted chinups, I did 3x4. In the future, I'll notate this as 3x4xGreen, which will indicate that the chinup was done with the assistance of a Serious Steel Green Band. (#3 Blue Band = Resistance 20-80lbs, #4 Green Band = Resistance 50-120lbs, #5 Black Band = Resistance 60-150lbs).

    For the Hyperextensions, I went up from a 40-pound dumbbell to a fifty: 3x5x50. It's a little tricky lifting the dumbbell off the floor and then heaving it up over and behind my head while laying prone and half-suspended in the hyperbench. I didn't want it to land on my neck. But by the third set I was getting fairly smooth, and could land it gently on my traps. Just getting the dumbbell in place is a good exercise in-and-of itself! Fifty pounds with a somewhat decreased ROM seemed about right for the hypers.

    Then I finally got around to doing some hanging knee tucks: 3x5xBW (leg weight). I had intended to do hanging leg raises, but doing them as knee tucks--bringing the knees up to my chest--felt better, and it was an excellent compliment to the hyperextensions done right before.

    Finally, I finished with Lawnmower (Low Pulley Transverse) Rows, 2x5x50, as my rotational exercise. It's going take a while to refine my body position, but these did a great job of attacking the upper outside corner of my back. I did them something like this, but with my opposite hand bracing against a rack post, for greater leverage:


    Didn't get to the box jumps, leg swings, loaded carries, or the kicks, but I think if I can be more efficient at the top of the workout, with the deadlifts, and smoother with the equipment changes, then an hour should be enough to get everything in. Still, I'm thinking about putting off the plyometric stuff another week or two while I wait for my running fitness to get a bit better. Last week my legs were sore pretty much every day. Today I feel just the right amount sore in my back, butt, and hammies without having to worry about it interfering with my run later this afternoon.

    So, based on yesterday's workout, the DL/Pull session is firming up to look something like this:

    Deadlift: 3x1x335, 3x3x295, 2x5x245
    90-Row: 3x5x165
    120-Row: 3x3x185
    Chin-ups: 3x4-5xGreen.
    Lawnmower Row: 2x5x50
    Hyper-extensions: 3x5x50.
    Hanging Knee Tuck: 3x5xBW or c/ 10-lb ankle weights.
    Leg Swings & other Mobility: 1-2x5x10 (ankle weights)
    Loaded Carry: DB 50
    Kicks

    TUESDAY
    6mi., slow and steady.

    Another afternoon run between Marshall and Ford Parkway bridges. Hot and humid, but I was able to run continuously except for a short stretching break halfway through on Ford Parkway bridge. I think I'll continue doing this circuit for a while yet. It's an easy way to gauge progress. In another week or two hopefully the pace will start to pick up.

    Here's the halfway point on Ford Parkway Bridge looking north towards Marshall Bridge as I cross over into Minneapolis.
    IMAG0082.jpg
    Here's the end of the run, crossing back over to St. Paul on Marshall Bridge, looking south towards a barely visible Ford Parkway Bridge.
    IMAG0081.jpg
    Besides the water view, it's a nice route because you can see where you're going and where you've been at such a distance. A good feeling of accomplishment.

    WEDNESDAY
    Bench Press: 3x1x225, 1x2x215, 1x3x205, 1x3x195, 2x5x185.

    Notes: I was going to blow off my workout due to sleep deprivation and a minor AC head cold, and also the fact that my legs felt really sore from the previous day's run, and so I didn't feel like doing squats. But I ended up with 20 minutes before had to pick up the kids, so I decided to get in my bench at least.

    Three singles at 225 was challenging, but surprisingly doable, so it seems like all the back work and maybe the recent emphasis on OH presses as well may have had some transference to the bench press, even though I've neglected it for the last several months. I may try one or two singles at 235 next time. Suddenly, a 275 bench seems much more feasible. I felt kind of stuck at 225 for a long time, but I wasn't very good about doing my rows and chinups consistently. Bigger DLs and Squats have also made my back stronger. I like the concept of the lats and other back muscles forming a platform for the bench. I tried to keep all the cues that have been discussed in mind--tight back and shoulders, feet placement, etc., and I think my technique is pretty close to the way it's supposed to be.

    In general, I've been amazed at how all the basic lifts work together and reinforce one another. More and more, I'm convinced you got to do the six force/direction pairings--bottom push down/pull up (Squat & Deadlift), middle push out/pull in (Bench & Row), top push up/pull down (OH Press & Chinups) on a weekly basis.

    When I got to the 3x3 sets, for some reason I miscalculated the weights, added 30 pounds to the two 45s and two 25s, and started with 215 instead of 205. I only managed a double, so I took it down 10 pounds, thinking it was 195, when really it was 205, my targeted triple weight. I did three but wasn't sure I could another triple, so I took it down another 10 pounds, and then I realized that I had been off on the weights. I did a triple at 195 and it felt a little too easy, so I think 3x3x205 will work, although I may have to do the last set as a double until I get a little stronger. Taking off another 10 pounds, 185 felt just right for the two five-rep sets.

    So I was pretty accurate in predicting which weights and increments would work for the 1/3/5 rep counts in the bench press. A starting weight of 225 and coming down in 20-pound increments is about right. Now I'll start to push for a starting weight of 235. It's almost tempting to just go up five pounds, which I've never done in the big lifts. I'd need to pick up a couple of 2.5-pound Olympic plates, and I'm not sure five pounds' difference really matters. It might be good mentally, though, to maintain a more continual sense of progress, as I should always be able to do at least one of the 22 reps five pounds heavier than the previous week.

    My left shoulder felt fine during the workout and still does today, so that's good news too.

    THURSDAY
    Squat: 3x1x245, 3x3x215,2x5x185.
    Pullover: 1x5x45, 2x5x65

    Notes: Once again, the predicted weights and increments were pretty accurate; each set felt challenging yet doable. I was tempted to do one more set of 10-12 reps at 135. As with the deadlifts and bench press, I warmed up pretty quickly and found my body was OK with that, going from bar>95>135>225. Seems like squats are the big lift that needs the least warm-up in fact.

    I'm still in the first week of it, but I think having a fixed set & rep scheme is going to work well for me. I was able to do the squats fairly efficiently, yet mindlessly. I didn't have to think about what to do next or how much to put on or take off. Now I'm thinking maybe I should also time my rests, but that might be going to far. In general, I'm coming around to Abide's way of doing things.

    I'm also warming back up to the idea of doing squats twice a week. They are the weakest of my big lifts. It would be nice to get the 1RM up to 300 fairly soon. Then maybe bring all three up at about the same rate, say, five pounds a month if possible?

    I also got in pullovers for the first time in a long while. I guess a few generations ago they were known as upper body squats, so it seems fitting to do them on squat day. I started out light to make sure my left shoulder was ok with them. It was, so I added 20 more pounds. I used to do them at 85 with a greater stretch. This time I kept it at 65 and limited the stretch. I'll add weight and ROM next time.

    FRIDAY
    Finally did a morning 1-mile commute with the 60-pound weight vest. Felt it most in the traps. My sense is that it will get easier fairly quickly, but I could be wrong. It might work out best to do one way walking with the vest, and one way short tempo run without it, using the vest just one way, thus alternating with leaving it at home or at the office. Eventually, it would be nice to run the one mile with it on. I experimented with running for half of a block of the commute this morning, and it felt OK.

    PM
    1mi walk home--didn't run because my stomach was a little upset by the protein shake I had 30 minutes before. Then,


    OH Press: 3x1x125, 2x3x115, 1x3x110, 2x5x100.
    1-DB Row: 3x3x125, 3x5x105
    Russian Twist: 3x5x100
    2-Low Cable Row: 3x5x170
    Chin-up: 1x3xGr

    Notes: Tried 135 on my second set of OH Press singles, failed at the sticking point, but I feel like it's not that far off. The goal is to get up to 155 eventually, which would be ExRx's intermediate standard. On the triples, I took off five pounds on the last set, as I noticed I was favoring my right arm a bit. The last set at 110 instead of 115 felt more balanced. Taking five off the quintuples, from the planned 105 to 100, felt really good too, just right.

    I was going to try a heavy 145-lb single in the One-Hand Dumbbell Row, but I didn't have the mental focus, so I just did triples and quintuples.

    I really liked the 2-Hand Low Cable Rows. I think I get more benefit with these than with the barbell rows because it's so much easier to brace the back using the feet. My wife brought the kids home early right before my second set, so I had an audience.

    On the chin-ups I felt a little something in my left shoulder on the fourth rep, so I called it a day. With the kids around, I didn't get around to do declining singles for the squat. I wanted to do something like 275, 265, 255, 245, 235, 225, but it would be too hard to concentrate with the kids around, maybe wandering close to or under the bar. Oh well, this way my legs will be fresher for my run in a bit.

    SATURDAY
    We were going to go to the State Fair midweek, when it's less crowded, but the kids couldn't last that long, so instead of going on my run Saturday morning, I came home and we headed out. Walked about 3-4 miles total I think.

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  20. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Message Count:
    5,024
    I was pretty slim, maybe 180-185? Daily kilometers varied greatly depending on conditions and distance between villages, but in Europe and good roads in Africa and the Middle East I was doing about 100 miles per day, or about four hours' riding in the morning and four hours' riding in the afternoon. I was carrying water, food, camping gear, and lots of replacement parts--axles, spokes, bearings, cables, tires, inner tubes, tools, etc. My bike without water weighed close to a 100 pounds I think, but I could be remembering that wrong. In Namibia, I carried 13 liters and went through it in half a day.

    Here's a few photos I have scanned already:

    Towards the end of the trip, near the Romanian/Bulgarian Border: bike cut 2.jpg
    Towards the beginning of the trip, in the Spanish Pyrenees with the Raleigh cross trainer/hybrid: bike vinettes_001.jpg

    Namibian desert: bike vinettes_004.jpg
    In Europe towards the end of the trip, I traveled with a Californian from Helsinki to Warsaw: bike vinettes_006.jpg
    Here's the barbell I had made in Mozambique: Weights.jpg

    ________________________

    Robin and dutchie53 like this.

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