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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:15 am 
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Thanks Pete,

I do them barefoot too!

Dr J. :lol: I like that one!

Andy,

Sorry for hijacking you discussion, I'll move it elsewhere form here on!

John


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Not hijacking, really. You asked a question about something I do, Pete jumped in to contribute, etc. It's all good.

The thing about journal discussions, is that they sort of "belong" to the person whose journal is being discussed, so as long as it's OK with that person, you can go almost any direction you want. It's like having your own personal forum!

I'll be doing BSS this afternoon (if work doesn't go crazy), and it's time to add a little weight. I haven't tried them with a bar yet, but that's coming before too long. Also soon, I will need to start doing conventional rear squats again. It's been months, and I think I'm ready, or at least almost.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:40 am 
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Here is one crazy way to do Bulgarian Split Squats...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9XA9qEQzGs

...if it was posted by Joe "ACE Certified since 2007" Everytrainer, I'd think it was crazy. But it's not...and everything else I've had them make me do there has been an eye-opening "OH...hell that sure works something, doesn't it?" experience. So when you're really bored, Doc...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:55 am 
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Andy, you've been brainwashed by the Bulgarians!


Face Pulls - My trainer has me doing them high rep - I'm always doing them for 15 reps. Presumably endurance is the goal more than strength. But you're doing them for 5s...how is that working out?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:36 am 
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So DeFranco may be part Bulgarian? That is pretty crazy-looking. It made me think of my now-departed slosh tube.

Yeah, they picked me up in a space ship last week, and stuck probes into my head. Don't worry though, that sort of thing happens to me all the time.

I'm still feeling my way with the face pulls. I keep thinking I'm getting close to the limit on weight, but I'm not yet. I guess I could have been adding weight a little faster. My bench/face pull days don't take it out of me like my chin/press days do. I guess I'm getting there.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:46 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
So DeFranco may be part Bulgarian? That is pretty crazy-looking. It made me think of my now-departed slosh tube.


I keep looking at stuff like that, or think of the kid doing prowler sprints while dragging a sled behind him (!), or the guys doing clapping pushups while wearing multiple weighted vests, or the figure-eight dumbell swings...and thinking "I'm glad I just have to box squat and do pulldowns and back extensions." I figure the real lesson to learn is that they don't make everyone do everything in the arsenal...it's really picked to help you work something specific. I'm just glad my specific doesn't include the Bulgarian Split Squat Kettleball Extravaganza.

But I'm pretty sure he's as New Jersey Italian as you can get. :)


Jungledoc wrote:
I'm still feeling my way with the face pulls. I keep thinking I'm getting close to the limit on weight, but I'm not yet. I guess I could have been adding weight a little faster. My bench/face pull days don't take it out of me like my chin/press days do. I guess I'm getting there.


Well, you'll have to adjust up next time. You got, what, 7 reps on set 5 for the DB press at 40# dumbells? You should probably go for 45#s next time although you might not get all 5 x 5.

Hard to guess on the face pulls, because I don't know what the plates weight. 5#, maybe, or 10#? If we call it 5s, you got 10 at (5 x 6.75 = 33.75#) and want 5s, so you'd want 40# or 8 plates for 5s.

That's my guess, anyway, stealing the rep coefficients from Stuart McRobert in "Beyond Brawn."


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Well, I think I'll go up 2.5 on the DBs. I switch somewhat randomly between DB and BB, depending on if I have a spotter.

On the FPs we have little add-on weights that are 2.5. That seems like a good step up. It should slow me down soon. Maybe I should go up faster.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:30 pm 
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I'm basically curious how fast you'll progress with face pulls done more for strength, since I'm told to do them at stamina-building rep levels.


What happened to the slosh pipe?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:03 pm 
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Well, I'll go up a little faster, and let you know.

PVC pipe is pretty expensive (just how expensive, I don't know, cause I get it from the maintenance shop, then they bill the mission which takes it out of an account that they keep for us, so I never see the actual numbers), and my wife was appalled that I'd spend money for what just became an unused toy under the front porch. Sam had a large collection of traditional weapons, including some bows, one of which was made many years ago by the grandfather of the family that adopted Sam and became his "PNG family", and a lot of arrows, some of which were also very old. A piece of PVC pipe makes a nice shipping case for such things, and that's what my slosh pipe became. Sam hung the best bow and some arrows on his dorm room wall, and even when the RD saw them, he let Sam keep them since he recognized that they were more artifacts than weapons, which are forbidden in the dorm. He didn't want Sam to keep bush knives under his bed, but I think they are still there.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:13 am 
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Jungledoc - I've got a few points for the lower back soreness. Along the lines/similar to what Peters already said...

Fluctuating training volume - I reckon I can lift heavy so much largely because of this. I train in 4 week cycles, with high, medium, very high, then low(deload) on the 4th week. The deload is basically HALF my normal volume. I still lift with the same intensity, but half the reps. A simple way to implement a deload is just half your current volume every 4 weeks. See how it feels.

I think Peter said this aswell but - Change variation. If you do the same variation all of the time, you'll just stagnate (beginners excluded), and eventually regress, or get injured. Changing things up keeps the CNS fresh.

Know when you've not got it - Sometimes, you'll start to lift and you'll just feel like crap. Listen to you're body and back off - get the reps in, with perfect form, but lower the weight. On these days there's no point trying to hit PR's anyway - you won't make it.

My biggest reference for this is my friend and training partner (for 2 days per week). He started lifting with me because of back pain. I'e had back issues myself, but nothing I would clas as a real injury (well, i've tweaked my SI joint before, but that was down to 100% stupidity). My friend had it for about 2 years. He just recently DL'd 420lbs, 2.5x b/w, about 1 year after starting. He can be a real nightmare sometimes - He got into it for the rehab, but got obsessed with strength. Once he proclaimed to me, "I don't want any sets over 3 reps from now on", lol. I try and get him to fluctuate training stress, rotate rep ranges and variations, and I get responses like, "i just come in and lift heavy all the time, that's what I like". Then I get a call, "could barely get out of bed this morning... I have knee pain... I've lost strength..." etc etc. Secretly, i've gathered lot's of info from his stubbornness.

It's just a case of finding the right system for you, assuming you have the obvious covered, like form. If you're starting to feel sore (bad pain) or whatever, then I would advise you 'clear the decks' and deload for a week. Play the intensity of the lifts by ear - if you're feeling up to it, then keep the lifting intensity high and just cut the reps/sets. If you're feeling like crap, cut both down. This will give you a chance to heal up properly, and you can start a fresh the following week. Truth is, no one can tell you what volume or intensity you should be doing, it's just a case of trial and error, and if you're approach is structured, you'll have it sussed in a few months, and you'll learn a lot about yourself.


KPj


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:38 pm 
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KPj and Peter:

Thanks for your (as usual) helpful replies.

I think you're absolutely right, KPj, about the volume and the fluctuation. I'm just trying to figure out how to structure the move from the high partial-ROM pulls to increasing ROM and building intensity while keeping the volume reasonable. When I discovered that I could pull 275 from the top position, I got feeling kinda macho about it, and wanted to do it a lot, and maybe go up from there. But I also wanted to work toward pulling from the lower heights. Also, I'm only doing them once a week, so the whole process seems slow to me.

How about this?
12" heavy (185, 225, 275) 3x3
10" medium weight and volume, (135, 185, 225) 3x5
8" light weight, high reps (135, 155, 185) 5x5 and then back to the
10" medium weight low volume (135, 185, 225 for 3x3); maybe this is actually where I'd start, next DL day.
And then each time through the cycle add weight or lower all the heights by 2"? That way it will be 4 months before I'm actually pulling from the floor!

The heights are the heights of the plate off the floor, not the bar.

Maybe I should just do light 3x25s for a few days, and then decide where to go next. Life is so complicated! :lol:

For variations what would you suggest? Sumo, suitcase? Again, since I pull off the floor only once a week, doing what you do and changing every 2 weeks would only have me doing each one twice, not really enough time to find my range, at least at first. Maybe I should just switch to sumo for a few weeks? Or maybe just do conventional DL for now, and then start to do more variations later when I'm pulling a greater ROM?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:20 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
How about this?
12" heavy (185, 225, 275) 3x3
10" medium weight and volume, (135, 185, 225) 3x5
8" light weight, high reps (135, 155, 185) 5x5 and then back to the
10" medium weight low volume (135, 185, 225 for 3x3); maybe this is actually where I'd start, next DL day.
And then each time through the cycle add weight or lower all the heights by 2"? That way it will be 4 months before I'm actually pulling from the floor!


In all honesty, I reckon you're over complicating things. Now, that's probably contradiction of the year coming from me! I'm deffinitly the guy that fails to see the forest for all the trees, ya know.

You're right about changing every 2 weeks. Every 4 weeks will be better.

Think of rack pulls just as 'a deadlift variation'. So, on that specific day, you do a deadlift variation. This could be rack pulls from above knees, below knees, speed pulls, sumo's from mid shin - anything, whatever you've decided it will be. If you're lowering the height - just approach it like a new exercise. I wouldn't purposely lower intensity - due to 'playing around' with a new variation, the intensity will be somewhat lower anyway. As long as that variation is within the limits of you're flexibility, then the actual variation you're doing is negligible - as long as you're rotating every 4 weeks or so.

In terms of rep range - Just vary depending on what you've been doing. If you do low reps for a while, you'll be bad at high reps, and vice versa. When I do a new variation I like to do slightly higher reps, then I take it down on the second week and go all out, for example. So, in you're case, you may want to do sets of 5 for the first 2 weeks, then sets of 3 for the next 2 weeks...


Jungledoc wrote:
For variations what would you suggest? Sumo, suitcase?


The only thing you're limited in is depth. You can still do conventional, Sumo, and snatch grip. And you can vary height on all of these. As long as you don't go beyond the limits of you're flexibility, then the deadlifting world is you're oyster! With regards to suitcase DL's - In terms of program design, regard these as a 'core' exercise. You might swap Pallof presses for these, for example.

Sometimes one of the best things you can do is pick a really horrible variation. Sometimes, I'll be doing a variation that allows me to pull 450lbs+ and sometimes i'll be doing a variation that all I can pull is 330lbs. Sometimes i'll do close stance, low box front squats, or squats from pins, and I use ~230lbs - and i'm not talking about speed work here! And when I go back to the variations that i'm training for, almost all of the time i'm stronger.

Also, the horroble variations that are REALLY difficult, awkward, and require hardly any weight also give you're spine a great deload. You can deload it for a whole month and still get stronger over all - now that's productive!

A note on snatch grip - Straps will probably be needed, at least when you get comfortable and heavy. Also, when you go snatch grip, you're essentially increasing ROM just by making you're grip wider. This just needs to be kept in mind... Most will dread the thought of snatch grips, but you may just fall in love with them - one of my favourites (snatch grip rack pulls)

To speed this up the best you can do is stretch what's tight. I'm guessing hip flexors?? It may be worth while trying to put together some stretches or mobilisations for muscles/movments that are restricted - something that will take 5-10 minutes and you could do every day. This done a long a side a program that works 'around' your issues (which you already have) will see results as quickly as possible.

I know what you're thinking - "KPj has a friggin cheek telling ME i overcomplicate things".... I don't know what happens - start typing/thinking and can't stop!

KPj


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Yeah, yeah. We're a bad combination that way!

So, let's try to simplify. I'll pick a height for my rack pulls and leave it there for some time (3 or 6 weeks fits better with my usual cycle, but of course I could change that), then pick a different variation (grip, stance, height) and leave it there for another cycle.

I think the big key for me is just to be strict about the volume, and not keep pulling just because I feel like I can at the moment.

On the flexibility, yeah, my hip flexors need work, but I don't think they are really bad. I can pull from the floor with good form, but I've limited the range to protect my back, and allow gradual increase. Pelvic tilt is better than it was. I need more of a pattern or routine for stretching. I usually remember to stretch after lifting, but it's hard for me to remember to do it on my off days.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:15 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
So, let's try to simplify. I'll pick a height for my rack pulls and leave it there for some time (3 or 6 weeks fits better with my usual cycle, but of course I could change that), then pick a different variation (grip, stance, height) and leave it there for another cycle.


Exactly. As you work through a few variations, you'll get a better feel for your weak points and you can then choose variations in accordance with what needs more work.

Jungledoc wrote:
I think the big key for me is just to be strict about the volume, and not keep pulling just because I feel like I can at the moment.


Yeah, I would agree with that. But honestly, if you're feeling drained/burnt out. Just cut your usual volume in half for a week - it'll make you feel great. If you're in pain, cut volume and intensity i.e. just do the movements. You just need to play around with it - if you do too much all you need to do is back off for a week and start fresh the following week.

The past 6 weeks or so, I reckon i've been lifting on a calorie deficit. Been trying to get my abs to return again (they went AWOL, but they're back now). The usual high - medium - very high - low/deload system didn't work. Burnt out before the third and hardest week! So the last 4 weeks i've done, high - high - low - low, and I feel so much better. And i'm leaner, and I got slightly stronger, too, which I wasn't expecting. Time to start eating like a mad man again.


Jungledoc wrote:
On the flexibility, yeah, my hip flexors need work, but I don't think they are really bad. I can pull from the floor with good form, but I've limited the range to protect my back, and allow gradual increase. Pelvic tilt is better than it was. I need more of a pattern or routine for stretching. I usually remember to stretch after lifting, but it's hard for me to remember to do it on my off days.


Ah, I see. That's fair enough. If you want to step up stretching, it's good to do before you go to bed. You're less likely to forget. But if you have the flexiblity already then it may not be neccessary to stretch every day anyway.

KPj


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:36 am 
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Thanks! Today I cut the volume by more than half, and didn't push the load. I feel good now, but I'll see how it goes over the next few days. I only DL once a week these days. I think I'll use a planned deload week from now on.


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