Ken's Journal Discussion

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KenDowns
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Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:29 am

Placeholder.

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nygmen
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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by nygmen » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:49 pm

RE the warm up issue:

Certainly play around and find what works for you. But I find that "over warming up" is better than not warming up enough.

If you are getting stronger on your work sets, you probably need more warmup.

Thing is, even if you tire a bit during warmups and have a lesser day on your worksets, you are still working on increasing your work capacity, where if you don't warm up enough you are risking injury.

my .02

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:50 pm

nygmen wrote: Certainly play around and find what works for you. But I find that "over warming up" is better than not warming up enough.
Something to keep in mind, thanks.
nygmen wrote: If you are getting stronger on your work sets, you probably need more warmup.
Yeah, I saw this very clearly on my deadlift today, 3 sets has always brought me to the working set with satisfying confidence, but it's got to be four from now on -- until it becomes five, six...
nygmen wrote: Thing is, even if you tire a bit during warmups and have a lesser day on your worksets, you are still working on increasing your work capacity, where if you don't warm up enough you are risking injury.
The injury aspect I had not considered. Thanks for adding that in. That is probably my governing principle.

All in all I'm a born experimenter, but I'll consider this one data point to be conclusive.

Also, if you think I ask a lot of questions or seem to drill into details, you should meet my two training partners, my wife the M.D. and my friend the Mathematics Phd candidate. Everything I tell them is met with a barrage of questions. I was looking to be able to say, "well go ahead and try a skimpy warm-up. I tried it, and here is exactly what happened." We're three peas in a pod that way.

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by Jungledoc » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:30 am

You might try more reps on lighter sets, more sets, fewer reps as you get to the higher weights. So for a squat of 365,

35x10
95x5
135x3
185x3
225x2
275x1
315x1

Or something. For example, Dave Tate sometimes does 2 or 3 sets with an empty bar before he starts loading up.

One indication that you are not warming up enough, is if the second work set feels better than the first.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:48 pm

A few items of interest this week.

My training partner and I are now taping each other regularly, which makes discussion of form points much easier.

My training partner has come up to speed on spotting my form on rows and deadlifts. Seems I have quite the hard time keeping my back straight. His vicious spotting led to:

1) An increase in my rowing ability after some corrections

2) A decrease in deadlift after similar corrections. Seems I was doing the raise-your-hips-before-lifting thing. Once I stopped I discovered my quads ain't as strong as I thought.

Finally, yesterday my buddy abandoned his rowing sets for an "emergency tango lesson." I am not making this up. He's a lot younger than I am and his lady friend called. It was cute, I told him to have a good time.

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by mark74 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:55 am

KenDowns wrote:Today's Tagline: so, if 5+ means at least five, and I do only 5, it still counts, right?
Heh. I assume you're being facetious here but there's a borderline case that bothers me. The top set on week 3 is 1+, does that mean you can only stall that week if you can't lift the weight at all?
I don't know where the blind could lead the sightless
but I'd still like to witness

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:21 am

mark74 wrote:
KenDowns wrote:Today's Tagline: so, if 5+ means at least five, and I do only 5, it still counts, right?
Heh. I assume you're being facetious here but there's a borderline case that bothers me. The top set on week 3 is 1+, does that mean you can only stall that week if you can't lift the weight at all?
Well, to recap, I'm doing an intermediate program, each lift is hit 3 times/2 weeks. For sets/reps I use Wendler's 5/5/5+, deload, and 5/3/1+. The 3/3/3+ is absent, so it's not strictly 5/3/1. I suppose the best name for it is "Texas Intermediate 5/3/1" which ought to confuse pretty much everybody.

I should have mentioned in the log I just got back from vacation, this is the first time in my lifting career I've gone on vacation, and i really had no idea what to expect. Sleep and diet were both erratic on vacation, and I was not as rested and fed as I normally am for this first workout.

So getting to the point here, yes I was being semi-facetious. I was surprised at how hard it was to make the 5 reps on the top sets. All three lifts were tough - 5th rep was a grinder on all three. I did better than 5 on those weights before vacation.

I'm still learning here. The 5/3/1 day will tell the tale. i'd like to think with rest and restored diet I could make 2 on the 5/3/1 day for all lifts. We'll see.

EDIT: To answer your actual question, I would think a failure to make 1 on 1+ is a definite fail, but yeah, what happens if you make exactly 1? Again, we'll find out.

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by stuward » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:47 pm

If you can do exactly 1, I would leave the weight where it is for the next cycle. That's what I do anyway. With 3, putting the weight up is obvious. To me the real question is what happens if you get 2? Is that really enough progress to allow a weight increase? It really only indicates about 2-3% improvement. If you're normally going up in 5% increments, I would wait until you get 3 reps.
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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:21 pm

When we use Wendler's formula with it's 1/30 increments, we have to remember that we cannot measure fractional reps, so any of 1 rep, 2 reps, 3 reps etc. actually represents a range of possible results, depending on whether you barely completed the last rep and know you've got nothing left, up to being 100% confident of having another complete rep in the tank. So:

1 rep means anything from a 2% regression (barely made the rep) to a 1% gain (highly confident of 1 left in the tank)

2 reps means anything from 1-4% gain

3 reps means anything from 4-7% gain

In that 2 rep situation, assuming a 210# 1RM (my bench at the moment), it could be anything from:

Worst: 1% gain = 2.1 lbs, either increase by 2.5 or leave it alone
Best: 4% gain = 8.4 lbs, increase by 5

In the three rep situation, also assuming training 1RM of 210#, it could be anything from:

Worst: 4% gain = 8.4 lbs, increase by 5
Best: 7% gain = 14.7lbs, increase by 15!!! (Don't think I'll be doing that :grin: )

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:13 pm

Results of Cycle 1 of my self-programmed Intermediate

MAIN RESULT: Think I'll go to 5/3/1 "as written". I was hoping to make gains on a 2 week cycle, since I'm so fresh off Stronglifts, and I'm sure I could, but I just really want to make things more interesting with some volume work and accessories, and I just can't do that with 2 big lifts per session. If I add just 5x10 on two of the three lifts then workouts run from 75-90 minutes, my training partner has already finished, past time to cook dinner, etc. Oh, and I'm dead afterwards.

BTW, to anybody who said this might happen, you earn and official "I told you so." There are at least two winners...

So, to start 5/3/1 "as written", my results from this 2 week cycle would be:

All weight in pounds

SQUAT
PR: 260
Training 1RM: From 250 to 235

The numbers say I could repeat the same weight, but I'd rather deload to get more volume (and hopefully benefit) from the all-out sets.

BENCH
PR: 215
Training 1RM: From 210 to 190

A disaster. Could not even make one rep at 95%. Can't really blame vacation because I improved on Deadlift and Rows. Could it be because I did squats for 5/3/1+ followed by 5x10 before doing bench? I know they are different muscle groups, but maybe I just completely burned myself out. I really don't know.

ROW
PR: 145
Training 1RM: From 140 to 142.5 (increase!)

Both of my pulls went up, and both of my presses went down. Go figure.

DEADLIFT
PR: 325 (4 months ago)
PR: 319 (3 weeks ago)
Training 1RM: From 300 to 310 (increase!)

Pulled 8 reps on 5/5/5+ day, and 5 reps on 5/3/1+ day, seems safe to go up.

I love deadlifts. Deadlifts is da bomb. :headbang:


PRESS
PR: 145 (4 months ago)
Training 1RM: From 140 to 130

Like the Squat, the numbers say I could repeat 140, but when that happens I'd rather deload and try to get more volume (and hopefully more benefit) from the all-out sets.

CHINS
PR: 230 (bw + 60)

Tried doing these like a power lift, with 5/3/1 numbers, but very inconclusive. Going to ask about these on a separate thread in General.

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:21 am

KenDowns wrote:Next week I really want to be down to 6 sets.
Then try leveling the sets. Instead of every set being to failure, plan the sets and divide the reps evenly. So if you want to do 30 reps in 6 sets, just start out doing 5 reps per set. Then to progress you can add a rep to the last set, or to the first and last. If you want to do only 30, you can go to 766665, 776664, etc., until you eliminate the last set.

There's a sticky, if you haven't seen it, with a lot if ideas and links about training pull-ups.

Every February (well, we've done it twice, and it was in February both times) we have a pull-up challenge, where we all try to increase our chins by 10%. It's tough to do.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:12 pm

Doc, think I'll try that. This would mean I'd be attempting 6 x 5 to make the 30.

Hmmm, once I get there, I figure I might slip the extra rep in at sets 3 and 4, leaving me with one more 5, and then a closer.

Just as a note, I'm not really going to failure, I stop each set when the last rep slows down noticeably.

Next chins day is Saturday, stay tuned. :smile:

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:40 pm

hi
Are you doing these?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8nFGuY77CE" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Any tips on setting it up?
I have trouble dealing with bar, without the largest plates, its too low and I have to muscle it around while in compromising postion
Do you use a bar pad?

thanks!

ps. Your date is probably wrong in your log today.



ah... I just realized, maybe your training partner helps you set up for the thrust?

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by KenDowns » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:31 pm

Oscar,

Thanks, I changed the date.

Yes, that's the exercise I'm learning.

I don't have an issue with getting under the bar because I made myself these little blocks. Basically 5 cuts of 2x4 plus a bit of board puts them at exactly the height of a regulation 45# plate, or 8.25". It's easier to wiggle under when the bar is that height. I use them for deadlifts, rows, and now for hip thrusts.

I don't have an official bar cushion (or whatever it's called), but I do have a yoga mat that works well. I just grab it and roll it up under the bar - it rolls up in a second, no fuss. A camping bedroll would probably do the job as well.

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Re: Ken's Journal Discussion

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:45 pm

Oh yeah. I have a yoga mat. I'll try that before forking out the $30.
And more indication of having just basic wood working skills would do me good

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