Concurrent Strength & Endurance Training 2017: Cycle VII

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
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    OK, four weeks to atone for our poor showing this year, and prepare for 2018.

    I will continue with my Push-Pull Split and try to add one pound to my Squat 1RM at each iteration of the split, then use my Iron Ratio to determine the loads of the other five, primary lifts. My Iron Ratio is:

    Deadlift = 4.6
    Squat = 4
    Bench Press/Chin-up = 3
    Row = 2.5
    Overhead Press = 2

    I will also try to ride 4-5 miles each morning or at least walk a couple of miles each day, and finally work in the sled push and pull after my afternoon lifting.

    The short-term goal is get up to around a 275-pound Squat 3RM (= about 315-pound Deadlift 3RM), either by the end of this year, if I am able to add more than a pound to each Push-Pull iteration, or early next, if I continue to add just one pound.

    After that I will decide if I want to continue with my simple program of adding one pound to each Push-Pull Split iteration, using a 3 x 3 protocol on the six primary barbell lifts (including chinups or pulldowns), or try something new or different, like building reps at a given load, or going back to a weekly wave of 5-7-3 reps.

    I think it will be tempting to just keep microloading until my 1RM Deadlift projects to 400 pounds, and I can finally test it and hopefully claim title to our contest, unless Abide comes through and adds another two pounds to his PR. Of course, it's always when I think too much about the future that my present training tends to slack off . . . .

    Here are this cycle's load projections, based on adding one pound to the Squat 1RM after each iteration of the Push-Pull Split:

    Cycle VII 2017.jpg


    ---------------Week 1: Cycle VII---------------

    Sunday, 17.12.03
    AM
    Riding: 2 mi., commute
    Walking: 1 mi., mid 40s.

    I was going to go for a bike ride, but one of my brake pads was rubbing on my new rims, so I went home to make adjustments. Later, went for a barefoot walk to the store with my daughter and one of her goofy friends.

    Monday, 17.12.04
    Late Afternoon

    Lifting: Push, Squat 1RM = 283 lbs
    SQ: 2/3/3 @ 255 lbs
    TKOP: 2 x 3 @ 128 lbs
    BP: 2 x 3 @ 185

    The first Squat workset felt heavy, but the second and third felt fine. I think I need to warm up a bit more. Tall Kneeling Overhead Press also felt a little heavy but solid. I stopped at two worksets in order to have plenty in the tank to continue working up my Bench load. But during Bench warmup, everything felt pretty lite on my last warm-up set of 135, so I skipped 175, as planned, and went right up to 185, or two 45s and one 25, for my worksets. Felt pretty solid as well, but I held it to two worksets just to make sure I'm not over-stressing the shoulders after a fair amount of time not benching or benching at lower loads. I'm less than ten pounds off my Iron Ratio load now, so no hurry. I'll try a proper load next time and see how it feels.

    Felt good to start off the first Monday of the cycle on solid footing, with all three lifts more or less where they need to be in order to serve as a base for progressive microloading.

    My custom cables came in the mail, so I put the main one on the two permanent pulleys. The length turned out perfect. I'll try the low-row cable on Tuesday's Pull workout.

    Then I put the finishing touches on my new garage gym, hanging the fractional plates on the side of the 4x4 beams, as well as the locking collar, which I had been storing on a plate storage bar up high. Now everything's easy to access, and the simplified and orderly setting helps me motivate for and focus on the necessary drudgery of lifting. I really like the six-lifts simplicity, and pretty basic equipment set-up. I may yet work in a little assistance though, with the usual preferences for Dips and Pullovers on Push days, and Cable or Dumbbell Rows on Pull days, and possibility the Landmine Twist as well.

    Tuesday, 17.12.05
    Snow overnight. That gives me an excuse to put off sled work and cycling for another day or two.

    Late Afternoon

    Lifting: Pull, Deadlift 1RM = 325 lbs
    DL: 3 x 3 @ 293 lbs
    Rw: 3 x 3 @ 160 lbs
    PD: 3 x 3 @ 120 lbs

    Got to finally do some pulldowns on my new setup. Kept it relatively light for the re-introduction. Not sure how to set the load for Pulldowns, maybe tie it to the Row ratio of 2.5? I remember last time I did pulldowns with some consistency, I tended to top out around 200 pounds before my body would get pulled up. Also wondering if I should follow Abide and make the upper body pulls and maybe all the upperbody stuff higher rep . . .

    Wednesday, 17.12.06

    Thursday, 17.12.07
    Late Afternoon

    Lifting: Push, Squat 1RM = 284 lbs
    SQ: 3 x 3 @ 256 lbs
    TKOP: 2/3/3 @ 128 lbs
    BP: 2 x 3 @ 192

    Felt a little strain in my right shoulder on the second set of the Bench Press, so called off the third set. May have climbed up to my Iron Ratio load a little too quickly it seems.

    Friday, 17.12.08
    Right shoulder feels stiff waking up.

    Saturday, 17.12.09


    ---------------Week 2: Cycle VII---------------

    Sunday, 17.12.10

    Monday, 17.12.11
    Early evening

    Lifting: Pull,
    DL: 3 x 3 @ 225 lbs
    Rw: 3 x 3 @ 160 lbs
    PD: 10 @ 100 lbs

    Shoveled the driveway, patio, and sidewalks, then got the kids. My right glute has felt a little niggle since last week, occurring on one of the Squat reps I think. It's the same spot that led to crippling pain a few years ago when I pulled it while doing deadlifts. I felt it a little while shoveling an hour before my workout, so I just did 225 to make sure everything is OK. Also went light on the pulldowns as my right shoulder is still bothering my from last week's first full-load bench press. Crap, the niggles have returned.

    Tuesday, 17.12.12
    Late Afternoon

    Lifting: Push,
    SQ: 3 @ 225 lbs

    Still felt a bit of a niggle in my right glute. I'm probably being too cautious, but I shut it down on my last warm-up set. And with the niggle in my right shoulder still there, but getting better, I decided to shut it down altogether, and skipped the presses too.

    Wednesday, 17.12.13

    Thursday, 17.12.14
    Late Afternoon

    Lifting: Push, Squat 1RM = 261 lbs
    SQ: 1/2/3/3 @ 235 lbs, 5 @ 222, 5 @ 209
    BP: 3 x 3 @ 95
    TKOP: 3 x 3 @ 95 lbs

    I brought everything down to see how my niggles handled it. I reduced the Squat 1RM by more than 20 pounds and adjusted everything accordingly, but went even lighter on the presses just to be sure. Everything felt OK. On the squats I made an attempt at the 1/2/3/3/5/7 protocol that I mentioned in my last post. I didn't make it to seven reps at 80% 1RM, but I could tell adding a set of five and seven reps is the right thing to do. It also felt good to begin my 3RM worksets with just a single rep, then two, before getting to two sets of three.

    I may keep the Squat 1RM light even if my niggles clear up, and build back up from there. I like it when everything feels easy, plus it gives me time to see how the added volume and higher rep counts feel. In any case, even though I never gave the super simple 3 x 3 protocol a chance for more than a cycle or two, I'm pretty sure three reps is the optimal count for maximal strength gains, but somewhat higher rep counts are probably good for overall development and fitness. I'm trying to make general fitness the priority, and strength gains second, but it's hard not to chase those PRs. Just gotta be patient though, and do what feels best overall.

    Now I'm thinking for the Pulls I will try to shake things up somewhat too, and diverge from the 3 x 3 protocol there as well. Maybe increase the Deadlift to Squat ratio to 5:4 instead of the current 4.6:4, and do four sets of two instead of three sets of three. Then for the upperbody pulls do everything five reps. I think Abide suggested something similar at some point. I may also increase the volume of the pulls, try to get closer to the 2:1 back to front ratio a lot of people recommend. So that would mean adding in dumbbell rows and cable rows too, and maybe two different kids of pulldowns. Plus upper body pulls seem less taxing than upper body pushes/presses, so I think it makes sense to increase their relative volume.

    Friday, 17.12.15
    Early evening

    Lifting: Pull,
    DL: 4 x 2 @ 275 lbs

    Deadlift felt fine, no niggle. If I continue to do Deadlifts at two reps instead of three, I may just keep the Deadlift to Squat ratio at 4.6:4, and use 95% of the DL 1RM. That would be simplest and keeps my system intact. I think Deadlifts, being the heaviest lift, are the most dangerous to do in a fatigued state, so I like the idea of just doing two reps and an extra set or two, instead of three reps in three sets. Just have to decide if it's best to do four sets of two reps or five sets of two reps.

    Overall, I seem to adopt more and more of Abide's protocols. I'm seriously considering making all the upperbody stuff five reps per set. For the presses, this would probably be easier on my shoulders. I've considered something like this before, with a continued focus on heavy Squats. Maybe now's the time to try that experiment. So a split would be:

    Push
    Primary

    Squat: 1/2/3 @ 90%; 5 @ 85%; 7 @ 80%
    OP: 3 x 5 @ 85%
    BP: 3 x 5 @ 85%

    Secondary
    Dips: 2 x 5 @ 85%
    Pullover: 2 x 5 @ 85%

    Conditioning: Sled

    Pull
    Primary

    Deadlift: 4 x 2 @ 95%
    Rw: 3 x 5 @ 85%
    MG PD: 3 x 5 @ 85%

    Secondary
    NG PD: 2 x 5 @ 80%
    C Rw: 2 x 5 @ 85%
    DB Rw: 2 x 5 @ 85%

    Conditioning: Rower

    (MG = Medium Grip, NG = Narrow Grip)

    So even within the six primary lifts, I'm making Squats and Deadlifts the point of emphasis, with slightly less importance attached to the upperbody lifts. Also, within the secondary lifts, the secondary pulls are probably more important in order to maintain structural balance. The presses just take more out of me, and don't really seem to require any real assistance exercises, whereas the pulls seem to benefit from variety. I think Abide has made this point as well. In any case, I doubt I'll get around to pullovers or dips anytime soon, but I will probably make a stab at getting some more upper body pulling.

    Saturday, 17.12.16
    Late Afternoon

    Conditioning: Sled
    Four laps @ my wife and son (=180 lbs) + sled (=87lbs).

    Got home late and didn't really feel like lifting, so I decided to finally give my sled a push out on the streets. I had taken off the wheels a week or two prior. The street still had a thin layer of snow on it, so not much resistance and no dreaded scraping noise. Instead of plates, my wife and son offered to ride on top. Interestingly, they equal almost exactly the four 45-pound plates I had intended to load. I pushed them to the end of our property lines out on the street, pausing after each way, going back and forth a total of eight times, or four laps. Felt pretty good. I'll have to measure the distance for documentation sake.

    I justified not lifting and doing sled work instead as a sort of test of a possibility I've been mulling over, which is adopting a three-day split between Push-Pull-Cardio, instead of my current, nonfunctioning plan to cycle 4-5 miles in the morning, then lift and do conditioning in the afternoon. Normally, the sled push would be at the end of my Push workout, as its conditioning component, but I let it sub as a Cardio workout, a sort of placeholder if I do go through with the three-day workout plan. Lifting six times a week feels like too much, if not physically, then definitely mentally. So the idea would be to lift and do conditioning two days in a row, then take a break with a longer bike ride. This would get me out of my plan to ride the bike every morning for a shorter distance, which would also get boring on a daily basis. On the lifting days then, I could just walk to my office instead of drive.

    So it would be

    Day 1
    Lifting: Push
    Conditioning: Sled Push or Medicine Ball Throws
    Aerobic: Walking

    Day 2
    Lifting: Pull
    Conditioning: Rower or Sled Rope Pull
    Aerobic: Walking

    Day 3
    Aerobic: Cycling

    There could be some flexibility to this plan, perhaps lifting more than two days in a row if it snows too much to cycle for a day or two, or skip the cycling if I miss a day of lifting, etc.

    I guess I'll spend the last two weeks of this cycle trying to decide between the two plans, so I can get off to a running start at the beginning of next year/cycle.

    ---------------Week 3: Cycle VII---------------

    Sunday, 17.12.17
    Walking:
    2 mi commute

    Mid Afternoon

    Lifting: Push, Squat 1RM = 263 lbs
    SQ: 1/2/3/3 @ 237 lbs
    TKOP: 3 x 5 @ 112 lbs
    BP: 10 @ empty bar

    I felt a little something still in my right glute, so that was all the excuse I needed not to do the higher rep sets. Overhead Press felt fine at five reps. My anterior delt still felt a little something on the Bench Press, so I just did a lot of reps with the empty bar, to practice the movement.

    Felt good to walk in the cold. I've become such a weather wuss since I gave up running. I need to get back to embracing the elements. Just being outside in them is an essential part of fitness and well-being, I think.

    Monday, 17.12.18
    Walking:
    2 mi commute

    Early evening

    Lifting: Pull, Deadlift 1RM = 302 lbs
    DL: 4 x 2 @ 287 lbs
    Rw: 3 x 5 @ 140 lbs
    PD: 3 x 5 @ 120 lbs

    Not sure about the two rep Deadlift protocol. That third rep often seems like the most productive, but I like the complete absence of any fatigue with just two reps. I have to adjust the upper body pulls a bit. The Row felt too light, even at five reps, the pulldown was too heavy at 130, so I brought it down ten pounds, although I should be able to do 130 after another session or two of priming. Seems like my pulleys and poles add considerable friction to the pulldown. I think my pulldown should be more in the 160-pound range, even after all this time off. I'm just using seven-dollar pulleys from Menards. Maybe I should get some with ball bearings in them?

    Tuesday, 17.12.19

    Wednesday, 17.12.20
    Late Afternoon

    Lifting: Push, Squat 1RM = 264 lbs
    SQ: 1/2/3/3 @ 238 lbs

    I dunno I'm going to be able to motivate for the five- and seven-rep sets on a consistent basis. Plus I get lost of stamina work with the sled and rower and cycling I've got programed in.

    I think maybe three reps for Squats and Deadlifts, and five reps for everything else, may be my programming nirvana, both physically and mentally.

    Anyway, time was short, and it can't hurt to have my sore anterior right delt rest a bit more, so I blew off the presses.

    Thursday, 17.12.21
    Late afternoon

    Lifting: Pull,
    DL: 1/1/2/3 @ 290 lbs
    Rw: 3 x 5 @ 150 lbs
    PD: 3 x 5 @ 120 lbs

    Still wavering on the Deadlift protocol. Can't decide between leaving it at three reps at 90% or two-rep sets at 95%. I kinda like the rhythm of three reps. Felt good today anyway. Maybe I'll keep three reps but change the ratio of DL to SQ again. I dunno, but I like the idea of keeping the Squats and Deadlifts the same at three reps and all the upper body stuff at five reps.

    The new cable station's pulldown pulleys are definitely adding a lot of friction. My son who can't weigh more than 45 pounds wasn't able to be pulled up by 70 pounds when he grabbed and hung on the pulldown attachment. I think I need pulleys with ball bearings in them.

    Friday, 17.12.22

    Saturday, 17.12.23


    ---------------Week 4: Cycle VII---------------

    Sunday, 17.12.24

    Monday, 17.12.25

    Tuesday, 17.12.26

    Wednesday, 17.12.27

    Thursday, 17.12.28

    Friday, 17.12.29

    Saturday, 17.12.30
    Walking:
    2 mi commute

    That's a wrap. Not as good of a cycle as I would've liked, but got a little of everything in, and it helped me decide to try five-rep sets for the upper body press and pulls of Cycle I in 2018.
     
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    #1 Bare Lee, Nov 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  2. Abide

    Abide
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    Hey I'm back.

    Still in the start/stop mode but really need to get into the consistency side and then set some goals. So first things first 3 lifting days a week.

    Looking out to 2018 for some inspiration for trips.

    Maybe I should go back in my pics.

    Anyway back on board with logging tomorrow.

    One new item, warming up is becoming more important. So my new warm up routine is 25 jump ropes, 15 squats, 10 pushups, 15 sit ups.

    I am also going to organize/clean the garage and do any miscellaneous bike fixes the night before so I don't get distracted in the morning.

    ---------------Week 1: Cycle VII---------------
    Monday, 17.12.04
    Tuesday, 17.12.05
    Wednesday, 17.12.06
    Thursday, 17.12.07
    Friday, 17.12.08
    Saturday, 17.12.09
    Sunday, 17.12.10


    ---------------Week 2: Cycle VII---------------
    Monday, 17.12.11

    Bike commute - 35k

    Had a nice snowy ride into work.

    Tuesday, 17.12.12
    Run - 17k

    Wednesday, 17.12.13
    Warm up x 2
    Squats - 3 x 3 @ 40/60/70

    Bike Commute - 35k
    Yoga

    Was a little distracted. So set up the no distraction goal.

    Thursday, 17.12.14
    Bench - 5 x 5 @ 140-160
    Pull downs - 5 x 5 @ 60

    Friday, 17.12.15
    Bike Commute - 35k
    Yoga

    Saturday, 17.12.16
    Sunday, 17.12.17


    ---------------Week 3: Cycle VII---------------
    Monday, 17.12.18

    Bike Commute - 35k

    Tuesday, 17.12.19
    Run 18k

    Wednesday, 17.12.20
    Bike Commute - 35k

    Thursday, 17.12.21

    Friday, 17.12.22
    Run - 18k

    Saturday, 17.12.23
    Sunday, 17.12.24

    Run - 10k

    ---------------Week 4: Cycle VII---------------
    Monday, 17.12.25

    Squats - 3 x 5 @ 60,70,80kgs
    Squats - 5 x 10 @ 45kgs
    Low pulls - 5 x 10 @ 67kgs

    Run - 5k

    Tuesday, 17.12.26
    Bench - 3 x 5 @ 60/70/75kgs
    Bench - 5 x 10 @ 50kgs
    Pull downs - 5 x 10 @ 50kgs

    Wednesday, 17.12.27
    Bike commute - 35k

    So far so good this week with lifting, I was gonna deadlift today but my legs are still sore from monday. Like difficult to walk down the stairs sore.

    Put some touring handlebars on my bike the other day, I'm not a bog fan. Might go back to my straight bars with aeros. Its seems to be a little faster.

    Thursday, 17.12.28

    Friday, 17.12.29

    Saturday, 17.12.30
     

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    #2 Abide, Dec 12, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  3. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow
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    i will throw yet another placeholder in here. the main problem is that i am now the primary caregiver for the youngest while mommy does part-time work and full-time school and i am trying to work full-time as well. that adds up to at least one less hour of sleep and no time to escape to go running outside (or inside for that matter, though i may have to resort to setting up my serpentine 75 foot tracks again...). i am trying to do a little here and there, but consistency is elusive. in any case, the wife is still alive and seems to be doing ok. each day is a blessing, so i am thankful for each one.
     
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  4. Abide

    Abide
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    Glad to hear the good news about your wife! Hopefully the consistency returns to both of us, this year or next.
     

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  5. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
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    Good to hear from you guys! I was getting lonely.

    Great news BA, sending positive thoughts your way. The care-taking role can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically. Take care of yourself, your loved ones need you.

    Nice photo Abide. I'm enviously supportive of your trips. I've been watching historical dramas on Netflix and Amazon these days when I get insomnia, so it's always cool to see European landscapes.

    Hope you guys can continue to participate. Having some accountability to you guys helps me motivate on those low-energy days. Lifting is getting harder and harder to maintain, mentally, but I know how good it makes me feel, and I'm convinced of Rip's argument that lifting is probably the best anti-aging modality in fitness, so I'm committed.

    I'm considering changing things up a bit, trying to do just two iterations of the push-pull split per week, and do more bike rides. Gotta find a way to work in more post-running cardio. That's been my challenge the last few years. Unlike running, both lifting and cycling are somewhat boring for me, so I have to adopt a workaday attitude and a simple workaday routine to make it work.

    If I do the twice a week split, then I may add a set of five reps and a set of seven reps. Like Abide, I've been thinking I need a little more warmup too, so in addition to my warmup sets, I may do my 3RM worksets 1/2/3/3 (@90%) then 5 (@85%) then 7 (@80%). I would do that for the Squats and Presses. Not sure about the Deadlift and upperbody pulls. I might keep them straight sets.

    Anyway, the main thing is to make sure I achieve proper muscle and neural activation before doing the heavy worksets. Last week I got a niggle in both my right shoulder and glute. I think the cold garage may have something to do with it. And it was in a cold garage that I got that nasty pull in my right glute a few years ago.
     
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  6. Abide

    Abide
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    Now that you said it doing a couple more light sets and a fewer heavy sets might be the best. I've been tentatively following a new plan, still trying to get the timing in though. I really want it to work because there are pieces that were missing form the other plans. I'll post this one up when I get a chance.

    I'm also trying to change and accept it comes down to discipline more so than motivation. Like you said sometimes the benefits are long term and not noticeable on a regular basis.

    Oh yeah I picked up a guitar a few months back and have been strumming away a bit. It's a nice change in pace now that my beer knowledge absorption has leveled off. Still making a quite a bit of beer but its mostly experimentation.
     

  7. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
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    Yah, discipline that's it. But I'm still trying to find the best way to make it easy to maintain that discipline.

    Looking forward to checking out your new plan. Looks like I'm using this half-cycle to experiment with my own.

    Cool to hear you got a guitar. It's always great to have music in one's life. My jamming group has been going well. We meet once every two weeks, which is just about right for me.

    My taste for beer is starting to diminish, but my current favorite is Fulton's 300. If you ever get a chance, check it out. It would be great to sample some of your concoctions. I could see getting into home brewing, especially if my wife helped me out. She has a great, subtle sense of taste. Which can sometimes put pressure on me when grilling.
     
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  8. Abide

    Abide
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    Just looked Fulton's 300 up and I have an oddly coincidental story. I actually put a recipe together that seems exactly like Fulton's 300 over the weekend and was planning on brewing it up next weekend. I really love the Mosaic hop and I wanted to try it out as a solo hop in an IPA, kind of like Bell's Two Hearted ale with Centennial, which sounds like what the 300 is with Mosaic.

    So I should have some ready in about a month to try out! Anyway pm me your address and I will try to get some brews to you, I'll mix in some rare belgians too. It's definitely a fun hobby that pays back, I'm up to 45 batches this year so far. I have one of those fancy german all in one mash/boil kettles so I can get a batch knocked out in about 3 hours with relatively minimal mess and cleaning.

    I am kind of 3 weeks into the new plan, but this week I scaled it down and started back over in week one. So two days into it this week but my legs and back are ridiculously sore. I didn't realize how out of shape I am. I'm just following Wendlers 531 boring but big plan, it's simple and really minimizes the time commitment and fooling around loading and unloading bars.

    It's basically this:
    Week 1
    Main lift 3 x 5+ various %
    Main Lift 5 x 10 @ 50%
    Accessory Pull 5 x 10

    Week 2
    Main lift 3 x 3+ various %
    Main lift 5 x 10 @ 50%
    Accessory Pull 5 x 10

    Week 3
    Main lift 5, 3, 1+ various %
    Main lift 5 x 10 @ 50%
    Accessory Pull 5 x 10

    Rotating lifts 4 days a week, so Squat, Bench, Deadlift and Press. Its boring but supposedly you get big. Not sure about that part but I am sore. Then the accessory work is one back lift, low pull, pull down, bent rows and farmers. Hopefully my shoulder gets stronger and I can do pull ups again. I can do a couple right now but then the joint just fails on one side. I probably need surgery as it often keeps me up during the night but right now I am not willing to fuck up my lifting/biking/running life back a few more months.

    Anyways hope you both had a great holiday!
     

  9. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
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    Thanks for the offer! I wonder though if it might be best to ship in the spring. If the package gets left outside, it will freeze in no time in the winter. It will be a real treat in any case, unless you try to poison me so that you can maintain your 398-pound deadlift record.

    That's an interesting plan. Lots of people have had success with it but I don't know if doing one of the main lifts just once a week would work for me, plus all that pump work! It will be interesting to see how you do. I've just posted Cycle I for 2018, and have laid out my plan for the first cycle there.

    Hope we can both do a better job of maintaining our logs. It really helps to motivate and lift on the those slow/low energy days if I feel accountable to you guys.

    Happy New Year!
     
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