Andy's Journal Comments

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:49 pm

That's no doubt why you got interested in MMA fighting in the first place!


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Post by pdellorto » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:58 pm

I do it to make friends. First we slug each other, and then we're buddies. :)

Actually, one guy I was buddies with and then we slugged each other! Oh, the apologies afterwards.

"I'm sorry I punched you in the head over and over."
"I'm sorry I landed on you after my throw."
"Is your hand okay? You can use my ice pack..."

:D

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Post by pdellorto » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:01 pm

I knew you'd like that plank variation. I haven't tried it yet, I'm sure it'll come up soon enough in my training.

Good workout overall. You're really making steady progress. Do you notice the improved strength in your day-to-day life in PNG?

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:16 pm

Strength in daily life.... Hmmm.... I don't do too much that is challenging strength-wise. Helping with lifting patients, occasionally. Moving boxes or furniture around the house, etc. But I feel stronger.

What I am really encouraged about is that I have deliberately increased how much I eat, and I haven't gained weight yet.

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Post by pdellorto » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:31 pm

Hmm...sounds like time to add a little more food. :)


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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:28 am

I have been. Yesterday for the first time the scale budged up a little. All solid muscle, of course!

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Post by TheHeb » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:19 pm

Doc, I noticed you seem to be having some trouble with your grip on the Front Squat. I've got pretty long forearms too, and I found that pointing my elbows in seemed to help me keep my elbows up high and the bar on my shoulders. So basically the bar is on my shoulders, and my fingers are under the bar just outside of my shoulders. I only manage to get three fingers under the bar but it still seems to stay where it should. You should give it a try and see if it helps.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:57 pm

Thanks. That is basically what has evolved for me, and it's getting better. I've also gone back to squatting in our primitive little cage, since I'm the only one around for whom the hook is at the right height for squatting (it's not very adjustable). This eliminates the problem of putting the bar down when I don't have a good grip on it.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:25 pm

I've just finished a 6-week cycle in my routine. I use 6 weeks for not very good reasons, but it works for me.

For the next two weeks, I'm doing a little deloading. I'll take a day off completely, and then do some work with exercises I haven't done before, and test PRs on some old familiar ones. The first of January I'll start a new cycle, and I'm looking for input on that.

Here's my basic template, and the lifts I've been using this cycle. I work out 3 days per week. I generally do only one lift in each category each workout day.

Lower body, rotation 3 lifts:
- Squat
- Bulgarian split squat
- DL/rack pull
I'm thinking I'll keep these as they are.

Push, alternating 2 lifts:
- Standing shoulder press
- Pushup (I've been doing these in a sort of super-set with chins)
I'm thinking of doing flat bench again, alternating with incline DB presses.

Pull, alternating 2 lifts:
- Chin-up (ss with push-up)
- Face pull
I'm thinking chin-ups without the super-set, probably weighted, and bent-over DB rows. Maybe barbell row. We don't have a good place to do seated cable rows, although I like these and am thinking of building something to adapt the machine for these. Maybe later.

Core, cycling through 4 exercises, but others thrown in:
- Front plank
- Side plank
- Pallof press
- Weight switches.
I try to mix up rectus and oblique-dominant exercises. Need new ideas.


Now I'm planning to add a 5th lift using a variety of assistance exercises. This may be something to further hammer an already-fatigued muscle, or to try to correct a perceived imbalance. I'm thinking Cuban rotaions, laying external rotations, lateral raises, shrugs, scap retractions, ets. Maybe even an occasional curl. Maybe calf raises?

Comments? Suggestions?

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Post by pdellorto » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:37 am

Doc, here are my suggestions. Heavily influenced by what's been working for me, naturally.
Jungledoc wrote: Lower body, rotation 3 lifts:
- Squat
- Bulgarian split squat
- DL/rack pull
I'm thinking I'll keep these as they are.
I'd take the opportunity to change to a variation of these.

So, for squat, do back squats or box squats.
For Bulgarian Split Squats, do them with an extended ROM (you know the ones I mean), or replace them with Reverse Lunges or Reverse Lunges off a box. Or Step-Ups, with dumbbells or a barbell.

For the DL/rack pull, try doing RDLs, or widen out the grip and do snatch-grip DLs with a nice light weight. Either will load the back less and the hamstrings more.

You might try doing jumps for some explosive lower body work. Long jumps are easy to measure. Do like 5x5 or 8x3, with 1 minute rests. Box jumps are great if you have a box high enough. Practice jumping high and landing soft - I usually end up doing 5 x 10 on these at DeFranco's.
Jungledoc wrote: Push, alternating 2 lifts:
- Standing shoulder press
- Pushup (I've been doing these in a sort of super-set with chins)
I'm thinking of doing flat bench again, alternating with incline DB presses.
Substitute an incline DB bench for the standing shoulder press. You can mix up the grips - do neutral grip or pronated (as if you held a bar) - and mix up the incline - steep (close to upright, like 15-30 degrees off vertical) or not so steep (45 degrees) or shallow (60 degrees off vertical).

Pushups - Vary them up. Feet up, pushups off a barbell in the rack, pushups off hex dumbbells on the floor, pushups with a band for resistance. Or do the flat bench.
Jungledoc wrote: Pull, alternating 2 lifts:
- Chin-up (ss with push-up)
- Face pull
I'm thinking chin-ups without the super-set, probably weighted, and bent-over DB rows. Maybe barbell row. We don't have a good place to do seated cable rows, although I like these and am thinking of building something to adapt the machine for these. Maybe later.
I highly approve of cable rows, even though I pulled a muscle doing them. They stress your back nicely without getting into the balance/lower back stress issue that barbell rows can involve. You can also do one-arm dumbbell rows. I think that's an extremely underrated exercise - and it's often bizarrely put down as "non-functional" even by people who use rowing machines. Clearly they've never done alternating-oar rowing or had to get something behind the couch. :)

Chinups - again, very the grip. Check my recent workouts - they have me doing mixed grip (like a deadlift), neutral grip, neutral wide grip, wide grip pullups, shoulder width grip pullups, and chinups. Try some of those.

Face Pull - I love this one too, but maybe you can vary it up. One-arm cable pulls (basically a one-arm face pull)? Body rows on a barbell in the rack? Chest-supported rows?
Jungledoc wrote: Core, cycling through 4 exercises, but others thrown in:
- Front plank
- Side plank
- Pallof press
- Weight switches.
I try to mix up rectus and oblique-dominant exercises. Need new ideas.
Check my workouts, again. I can try to describe or find videos of any of the wackiness I do. You can do an ab circuit, if you want, mixing different types together. Planks have a special hell if you do them first and then do dynamic ab exercises, then do the same circuit again 1-2 more times.
You can stick a bar in a corner and do Russian twists, too.

You might want to do a single exercise one workout, and then a circuit the next, and so on. So maybe Day 1 you do something like Russian twists or weighted crunches, then Day 2 you do planks/v-ups/side hip thrusts, then Day 3 you do a different single exercise (maybe alternate back between 2 of them). That way you always have a "new" exercise to do.
Jungledoc wrote: Now I'm planning to add a 5th lift using a variety of assistance exercises. This may be something to further hammer an already-fatigued muscle, or to try to correct a perceived imbalance. I'm thinking Cuban rotaions, laying external rotations, lateral raises, shrugs, scap retractions, ets. Maybe even an occasional curl. Maybe calf raises?
Sure, no harm in this. You might want to consider super-setting such work in with a similar exercise to same time. Either an opposite (you've seen me do pushups supersetted with band pull aparts) or an identical exercise (seated DB power cleans with band pull aparts or face pulls). It's just faster because of less rest.

I'd keep the reps high, though, from personal experience. 10-15 reps is a lot easier, because you know to keep the weight low.

As for calf raises, I'd just say ask the same question you do with every other exercise. Why? How do these help me? I do that with my curls. They are usually thick-handled, which helps my grip. When they aren't, they are often Zottman curls, to help my forearms. Etc. It is all in there for a reason.

I hope that helps. Once you have a more settled routine down, I'll give you a deeper critique.

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:40 am

Thanks.

On the lower body stuff, I may take your suggestion on the squats, although I don't feel like I've given the front squats a fair chance, and I've only really been doing them for a few weeks. I did a lot of BW and light goblet squats first. I like back squats better, and miss doing them. Both the DLs and Bulgarians I'd like to stick with a bit longer. I've just gotten to the point where they are hard work, and I'd like to see if I can take them a bit higher, weight-wise.

I'll try some pull-up grip variations in the next couple of weeks, then I'll settle on one to use for the cycle. Someday I'll write and article titled, "Designing Exercise Programs for Obsessive People." The first rule will be, "Don't try to get them to mix things up too much. When I change anything in technique, it's hard to compare one workout with the next, which for reasons that are probably too deeply hidden in my psyche to understand, is important to me. The second pull will probably be DB rows, just cause I don't have to build anything, and I agree that it's a good exercise as long as it's not the only pull you ever do (as it is for some people). I don't think I should be building new stuff for the gym when I still haven't built the garden bench that was my Christmas gift to my wife 2 years ago! :red:

Push will probably be flat bench and incline DB press.

Yeah, I'll look back at the core stuff in your workouts and check with you about some videos.

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:56 am

Jungledoc wrote:Both the DLs and Bulgarians I'd like to stick with a bit longer. I've just gotten to the point where they are hard work, and I'd like to see if I can take them a bit higher, weight-wise.
Rotating in variations might be good anyway. When you go back to the originals next rotation, they should go up. Plus you're approaching your maximum weight on DLs, so going down to a lighter-but-harder variation could be useful.

Plus it lets you say "Okay, I did those for 6 weeks. Now I leave them alone for 6 more, and just work on some different variations. When I come back, we'll see how much more awesome I am at them." It becomes a reward - when do I get to try my DLs or regular BSSs and see how much I've improved? I don't get to bench too often right now, but I'm always looking forward to it to see how I'm improving. Used to look forward to box squats, too, bleh, stupid mis-aligned hips. :cry:
Jungledoc wrote:Someday I'll write and article titled, "Designing Exercise Programs for Obsessive People." The first rule will be, "Don't try to get them to mix things up too much.
Heh. Understood. But in a way you can break your obsession by doing each exercise once every few weeks. Next time you get back to that variation you can see if your intervening work helped improve it.

It's easier for me, though, because I'm paying someone to think about this for me. He makes the changes and doesn't obsess on it, and I can't. Even if I spend my nights sleepless, wondering if blast strap pushups is better than swiss ball DB benching for my strength-endurance, I don't get to chose what I'm doing. Sadly, you do, so you have to fight through the obsessive worries yourself! You can do it, man!

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:35 pm

Hmm.... I wonder what it would cost to get your trainer to do house calls in PNG. :lol:

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:38 pm

Another issue that I didn't bring up is my desire to lift all the weight in the gym, at least all the O-bar plates, at once. The only way this can happen is with rack pulls, and in the next few weeks, as some new plates will be arriving! Silly goal, I know. There will be somthing about this sort of thing in the article on obsessive people.

BTW, we have 330# of O-bar weights.

There's a shiny new bar and a new bench coming as well!

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Post by pdellorto » Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:12 am

Jungledoc wrote:Deads/Rack Pulls
Testing for PR. Last week I did 255 for 3, but today I couldn't pull 260 for a single. No idea why not.
Fatigue? You've been pulling and pulling and pulling. Sometimes you just can't recover fast enough.
Jungledoc wrote:So I know that's not a lot of weight for a lot of guys, but it's a big jump for me. I think the Rippetoe videos helped.
330# is more than I've pulled in any rep, partial or full. That's an achievement.

And I'm not surprised the videos helped. His videos are among the most helpful I've seen. Clear explanations, and importantly he's often correcting minor mistakes in form as someone is lifting heavy. It's much clearer when you can see the "before cue" and "after cue" lifts. As much as I love the SquatRx videos, he's doing the stuff right the first time, and I can't always "see" what needs correcting. It's helpful to see someone do it wrong and get coached into correct form.
Jungledoc wrote:Lifting all the weight in our little gym has been a goal for me for quite a while so it was really fun to look around the floor and see no extra plates laying around and knowing that I'd just lifted them all.
Heh. Merry Christmas, doc!
Jungledoc wrote:Still, a little strange that I could take my RP up by 25# but couldn't do a single 5# heavier than my 3RM DL!
I guess your problem is a weakness off the floor - you've said you've broken reps off the floor and then gotten stuck. I'll repeat my suggestion you try snatch-grip DLs next cycle - you have to get good and low to do them. Or you could do haltings - the opposite of a rack pull, you pull until its just past your knees and then lower it back down. Another one I got from Mark Rippetoe's writing.
Jungledoc wrote:Chins--the most I've done in a single set.
I think I'm one up on you - I've done 11 at least once in the past. Although not at this bodyweight. 10 chinups is a good show, doc. Get 10 more and you can win a free t-shirt from the USMC at their public recruiting drives.

Good cycle, doc. You've made some nice progress.


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