Concurrent Strength Training & Running 2015: Eight-Week Workout Cycle II

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    Yeah sometimes I think I need a little more feedback to make some better progressions. I could go back to a linear progression, or the wave like progression but I think leaving myself a little flexibility by having a starting and finishing point and leaving the 8 week variation up to feel.

    Well, flexibility makes things harder to measure. But if flexibility helps motivate you to work out, that's more important that measurability, I would think. The weekly wave and micro-loading makes everything very precise, but most importantly for me, it makes everything doable and mindless, which is motivating, which is most important for me. I no longer have to approach a lift and wonder if I will be able to finish the set. Now I tell myself, "of course I can finish it, it's only a pound or two heavier than last week!" In the past, if I bumped up five or ten pounds and then find I can't do all the reps, do I go back down? Do I work to add reps each week until the sets are complete? If I do the latter, I'm no longer controlling for volume. Plus, it sucks to fail. My transition from 5x115 to 5x120 and again from 5x125 to 5x130 was frustrating, as it takes many weeks before I can do the next increment up for full reps and sets. So for me, micro-loading has been a great solution to the problem of applying a progressive overload consistently, while keeping volume and intensity pretty constant, per workout and per week. It's a bit boring, but very smooth.

    For some reason I have a hard time seeing some progress that's why I think I will keep track of a couple of extra items, plus kilometerage running and biking. Might give me a better idea of the whole picture.

    Well, it seems like every cycle you try something new, so it's going to be hard to track progress that way. I think if you're going to continue to experiment with different protocols, then yeah, it would be a good idea to test the easily measurable lifts at the end of each cycle. Then you could see which program led to the greatest increases. But you still need a more objective basis for loading. For example, how are you deciding how many reps at weight x to do for your bench? For me, the bottom line is usually the 5RM or the 8RM. Like yesterday, it would've been really hard for me to do another rep on either the press or bench press. So, if 5RM = 85%, then it's pretty easy to project all the other loads at each rep-count. Is the 2RM really exactly 95% of the 1RM, or 10% more than the 5RM? No, probably not, but close enough for training maxes, right?

    Ok so I will do total weight per lift and workout for the lifts that are easily measureable
    DL-SLDL-PC
    Squat-Gob Squat-TB DL
    Bench-CGBP
    Press-Inc Press

    I may also add some ramp up sets for the bigger lifts. But I am not sure as then it will be hard to compare starting and ending loads

    Yah, it's easiest if you stick to straight sets across or descending sets based on specific percentages, like my 1/2/3 descending sets at 100%/95%/90% 1RM. I could just take off five or ten pounds and see how many reps I can do at each increment, but then it gets hard to measure and program. Not that it really matters. I used to do descending sets by feel, dropping five or ten pounds until I didn't feel like doing it any more. The nice thing about having everything programmed in advance is, once again, for me anyway, that it makes the workouts really mindless. I can get into more of a zone and not think about anything. Just follow the chart and daydream in between sets.

    I really want to monitor weight to figure out how loss really affects my lifts, or should we do weight belt holes for monitoring! Yeah time probably doesn't matter to much maybe just lift/run/bike days per week may be enough. I'll put it together in a database and build some charts maybe the visual will help give me some clues?

    Yah, once I can see a chart I may be able to give more constructive feedback.

    Yeah those bar graphs are what made me start thinking a little more about. Visuals can sometimes make you notice things that don't stick out with numbers. And if you build up enough cycle the trends can be interesting. The only difficult thing in comparability.

    So to clarify your 90% comment, you take your rep max x 90% for your training load? I need to look more closely at your spreadsheets.

    For me, 90% isn't an exact number as in Wendler's 5/3/1. It's more akin to Tuchscherer's 9 RPE. It's the idea that I'm trying hard, but I'm never at risk of failure. I can always complete the set, but the last rep is a bit of a struggle. Perfect. It's the idea of always leaving a little in the tank, and just counting on volume and progressive overload over time to produce improvements. I mean, yesterday's workout didn't feel any harder or easier than last Monday's, but I added one or two pounds to each of my lifts, so I made progress. It's really an Easy Strength sort of model, with DUP, microloading, full-body, Texas Method, and moderate to high frequency and volume thrown in as a possible optimization of lifting parameters that also conforms to my motivation, time, and energy constraints.

    Hey speaking of belts, I think I am going to look for a new squatting belt. The one I have is really digging into my pelvis when I am down and it prevents me from doing more than 2-3 reps at a time. unless I want a big red irritation on my hips. Do you have a recommendation for size? I think the one I am using is a 4in 10mm belt.

    I haven't gotten my 10mm Inzer belt yet. But for comfort, you can't go wrong with the Spud 3-ply belt. It's nylon so it doesn't dig in around the edges. I wouldn't be surprised if I keep using it even after the Inzer arrives, but I thought I'd give the lever belt a try before I make a final belt decision. You could also try a 3" belt, right?
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  2. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    OK, I tweaked things a bit and labeled things better for this week's chart:

    At the top right of the workout chart is the powerlifting total for Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift 1RMs. As you know, one of my goals is to reach 1000lbs total.

    2015 Cycle 2 Week 7--15.04.14.jpg

    The numbers under the name of each lift are that week's 1RM for that lift. This is derived by adding a small increment to the preceding week's load, or by applying a formula that derives the number as a percentage of another lift. For example, the Pendlay Row is 65% of 85% (for 5RM) the Bench Press 1RM, and the Bench Press 1RM is simply one pound more than the preceding week.

    When one of the presses's 1RM is highlighted, that means it's reached a five-pound increment and the 1RM will be tested with 2 singles, 2 doubles, and 2 triples on Friday.

    When the squat or deadlift 1RM is highlighted, that means it's reached a ten-pound increment and the 1RM will also be tested with 2 singles, 2 doubles, and 2 triples on Friday.

    On the right side of each day's workout there is a column of total reps, total lbs, and total kgs for each lift. The total loads are derived by multiplying each set's reps and load, then adding the sets together.

    At the bottom of each workout is its percentage of total weekly volume, average intensity, total reps, total kilograms, and total pounds. It's pretty easy to see that the 5RM workout has moderate intensity and volume, the Wednesday workout has lower intensity but higher volume, and the Friday workout has higher intensity but lower volume. So it's a nice double weekly wave or DUP of intensity (M-L-H) and volume (M-H-L).

    To the side of the workout chart, underneath the running chart, are boxes with the week's total reps and total pounds, plus the total weekly reps and pounds for each of the four performance lifts. As can be seen, the Squat and OH Press get about 18 more reps per week than the Deadlift and Bench Press, or about 50% more volume overall.

    For each week, I print out the relevant page and then simply check off each set or amend the chart if I miss or add reps or sets or lifts.

    There's also room in each chart for assistance lifts, plyometrics, and anterior chain work. After the workout week is done, I delete all the rows that weren't used for any lift so that the weekly workouts are more compact and easier to follow on my mega yearlong chart.

    Multiple Weeks.jpg

    If/when the rates of weekly 1RM increases become too hard or too easy, I can easily slow down or speed them up by manipulating the formula that adds weight to each independent lift each week. Right now there only three independent lifts: the Squat, OH Press, and Bench Press. Once their numbers are adjusted, the other lifts' loads and all the rep-counts change automatically.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  3. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Illinois

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    332
    perhaps, i should refine my characterization of how/why the ratios thing could be useful. historically, there has been a tendency for hormonally-crazed teenagers to focus on impressive feats; usually, this means "mirror muscles" and/or bench press. the method becomes excessive isolation (for the "guns") and overspecialization (for the bench press). this could lead to imbalance (too much "pushing", not enough "pulling") and injury (you know: from all the girls hanging off of you and snapping your chicken legs like mixed-metaphorical twigs).

    so, the ratios try to remind you that there are more than two exercises in this world and to try to make sure you don't hurt yourself. perhaps, pullups and rows are just as dangerous as bench presses but they are both less popular and "feel" safer. thus, i would say that (all the usual caveats apply) at this stage, it is ok to let the rows and pullups become comparatively stronger than their pressing counterparts, but they other way around should give you pause.
     
  4. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    I think you have more mental focus than I have. My weeks vary so greatly between how I am feeling and what kind of cardio stuff is going on. I could barely get up 90kgs on the squat last week but then this week 100kgs was simple. I am not sure why there is such variation, but I am sure its mostly mental. It's one of the reasons I have a hard time following specified loading. I love the way you make yours so brainless though thanks for walking through the spreadsheets.

    BTW your press will be tested by 150 = 100% and then 95% and 90% for the other ranges? Is that how I read it? If so nice gains on the press recently! I got crushed underneath 2 reps of 67.5kgs today.


    I worked out a plan and then put together a chart but once you start using too many variables the chart gets ugly. So I am going to stick with average loads to track over the 8 weeks plus body weight.

    Capture.JPG

    The only issue I am going back and forth on is if I want to increase every lift during the cycle. Or if I should just pick two a day? I started light for this first cycle so I should have some room to work with it.

    I organized the lift based on the rep parameters from what I decided would work best for each lift. I'll measure averages including my body weight for the week for the pull ups

    Basically the goal will be to hit the week 8 goal by Week 8 but it can be done anytime through the cycle. This will give me some flexibility if I only want to hit 100kgs in the DL for example one week. I will mostly do straight weights but I can vary this as well if I feel like it. By next cycle I can tweak the exercise selection or rep counts so I'll have some flexibility to make some small modifications.

    Here is the chart to check average intensities, with the start and goal plotted. The weeks will fill in as I do them.

    Chart.JPG

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  5. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    Hey, you're preaching to the choir now. I've said the same thing here many times. But five things to consider:

    1.) I'm thinking of delinking the Pendlay Row from the Bench Press because I'm anticipating the former progressing at a faster rate than the latter. The Bench is well-established (for exactly the reasons you've described) so I'm closer to my potential I think, and therefore my rate of progress will be slow. The Pendlay Row, however, is relatively new to me. I've never liked bentover rows in general, but the deloading after each rep in the Pendlay style relieves the pressure on my lower back and makes the lift more appealing, and worth trying. On Monday in fact I could really feel it targeting my lats well.

    2.) If the Pendlay Row does in fact progress at a faster rate than the Bench Press, it will be easier to manipulate the loads independent of the Bench Press, rather than constantly monkeying with the percentage formula. It was Bench x 0.8, then I raised the Bench, and now it's Bench x .65. If the Pendlay begins to settle in, I'll have to take it up to 0.66 or 0.67, and then 0.68 or 0.69, and so on. I would be easier to simply add a pound each week and adjust that up or down as I get a better feel for lift.

    3.) I'm doing two other kinds of rows each week--Cable Rows and One-Hand Dumbbell Rows--and these will remain linked to the Bench Press at a fixed ratio for the time being. The ratio of these is actually higher than that of the Pendlay Row. For the Cable Row, it's 0.85, and for the 1DB Row, it's 0.50, which is actually 1:1 to the Bench when you consider it's splitting the reps between both hands.

    4.) Almost all my lifts are essentially 'back' lifts except the Bench Press, and even there, with the new powerlifting technique, I'm putting a lot more back into it. So I don't think the problem of balance is there anymore. The Squat works the back, the Deadlift really works the back, Pulldowns and Rows work the back, and OH Presses work the back. And in any case, I have a canary in the coal mine--my left shoulder. If it starts getting sore again, I'll know that the anterior delt is becoming overdeveloping in relation to the posterior delt. But I think OH Presses, and the greater volume I'm doing them compared to the Bench Press, has more or less taken care of that concern.

    5.) There's a huge difference in volume between my bench press and my upper body pulls, especially if include pulldowns.

    BTW, it's very hard to maintain a routine while on the road. You're doing quite well.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  6. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    BTW I bought this belt today http://www.helisports.com/strength-equipment-accessories/Hastings-Lifting-Belt-2411-S.html

    It was cheap and I am having a hell of a time finding a 3" leather belt here. I could go with the leather belt on that site that has the 3" front and 4" back but I hate double prongs. That best belts site is also apparently not taking orders right now?
     
  7. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    I think you have more mental focus than I have. My weeks vary so greatly between how I am feeling and what kind of cardio stuff is going on. I could barely get up 90kgs on the squat last week but then this week 100kgs was simple. I am not sure why there is such variation, but I am sure its mostly mental. It's one of the reasons I have a hard time following specified loading. I love the way you make yours so brainless though thanks for walking through the spreadsheets.

    Well, yah, you got a much more intensive cardio program, and those long races may take longer to completely recover from than you think. Even if you feel OK after just a day or two, there's some longer term recovery going on. Once you run for more than an hour or so, lots of catabolic processes I don't really understand kick in. The longer you run past an hour, the longer it takes to counteract the catabolic state. And you probably don't have enough overall weekly running volume to improve on your recovery times that much. So you really are serving two masters, whereas my running is pretty minimal and qualifies more as conditioning than as a fitness activity in its own right. Hopefully that will change a bit in the future, with weekend long runs of 8-12 miles, but right now, I have minimal interference with my ST.

    I do think, however, that one reason my ST progress has become more consistent is because the dosing has becoming more constant and the volume greater. In other words, I think the higher frequency and volume approach is working for me. It's like the manual labor analogy. The first week or two on the job is a bitch, but eventually you adapt and your work capacity goes up. By the time it's September and you're ready to go back to college, you can easily keep up with lifers on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you just do weekend yard work or fixer-upper projects, it's always going to suck to some extent.

    I guess it's true, I have a fair amount of mental focus, for some things anyway. Like yesterday, when I really didn't want to do hills but I did them anyway. But I'm taking care of my decaying parents, and I'm overweight, so I'm strongly motivated to achieve and maintain a certain level of fitness for the rest of my life, and I know from experience that the only way to do that is to be consistent. It's so easy to fall off the wagon. I still can't believe that I could routinely run 12-16 miles on my weekend long runs eighteen months ago, but now I can barely run one mile without stopping for a walking break. You stub your toe, or you take a few days off because it snowed and it sucks to run with shoes on, and pretty soon days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years.

    But, also, the whole point of my present scheme is to reduce the need for mental focus. I just follow the chart, put in the time, and know that the workout is very doable. I'm not going to force things and miss a lift or miss any reps, but over time, I will still make progress. This has been a real revelation for me. The pressure to make progress TODAY is gone. Reading people like Wendler and Rippetoe has really helped adopt a more long-term mentality. I mean, basically, right now I'm already strong enough for general fitness purposes, so anything on top of this is bonus, so no need to rush things. Now I just need to get back to that sort of baseline fitness in running, where I'm already OK and anything on top of that will be gravy.

    Another thing that helps maintain mental focus during a workout is taking adequate rest intervals to recharge, not only the muscles, but also one's CNS. I like to completely daydream while I pace back and forth, maybe take a sip of water, then a little before the next set, start thinking about my form, and visualizing the set. The hardest mentally are the squat sets, so I like to do them first, when I'm freshest. It doesn't take much of a lapse in concentration for the form to start to degrade.

    Anyway, thanks for suggesting the further tweaks to my spreadsheet. I think I've geeked it out about as much as I going to now. It's interesting to see it slowly evolve.

    BTW your press will be tested by 150 = 100% and then 95% and 90% for the other ranges? Is that how I read it? If so nice gains on the press recently! I got crushed underneath 2 reps of 67.5kgs today.

    Thanks! But actually, I tested 150 a month ago. Then when it came time to jump from 125 to 130 for my 5RM sets, I couldn't do it for more than one set. So that's when I got the idea of micro-loading. I figured I could at least do 126 for five reps, three or four sets, so two and a half weeks ago I recalibrated my 1RM based on that and came up with 148. Adding a pound per week, last week my 5RM was 127, and this week it's 128, which projects to a 150 1RM again, and so now it's time to 'test' it once more. Of course, I expect it will be pretty doable, since I could do it a month ago and I've probably gotten stronger since then. The 1/2/3/5/8 RM percentages are probably a little off. I could probably do 155 if I had to. But the whole idea of my volume approach is to let my 5RM and 8RM sets do the real work. The periodic 1RM Fridays, done once I reach an increment of five pounds, are there (1) to test progress, a la the Texas Method, but also (2) the periodic 1RMs, with descending sets, and the intervening 3RMs, done straight sets across, on Fridays are there to fully activate the muscle for maximal fiber recruitment, which, in turn, the theory goes, will prime them for more volume work the next week. In other words, the volume and intensity work feed each other. Looking at a lot of different programs, this seems to be a common framework. Here's an interview I read yesterday that explains things a bit better: http://www.scribd.com/doc/213559650...Zourdos-on-Daily-Undulating-Periodization-DUP.

    I worked out a plan and then put together a chart but once you start using too many variables the chart gets ugly. So I am going to stick with average loads to track over the 8 weeks plus body weight.

    That looks really good to me. It gives you the variation you want yet it's very well organized and logical. If you can stick to that, I'm sure you will make good progress. I especially like how you've theorized the best rep ranges for each lift, and yet by including the variations, you cover a range of rep counts for each movement, so you get that DUP in there as well. Very clever. I may have to try something like that in the future too.

    The only issue I am going back and forth on is if I want to increase every lift during the cycle. Or if I should just pick two a day? I started light for this first cycle so I should have some room to work with it.

    My thinking these days is that pretty much all the main lifts have carryover, so it's best to make progress on all of them at the same time. It might lead to greater progress in any individual lift in the long run, because the foundation or platform is there. I think developing one lift or two lifts at a time can be short-sighted, but I know there are lots of people who would disagree with that. Some powerlifters, for example, think it's stupid to do overhead presses since they aren't competition lifts, but I'm pretty sure my Overhead Press is making my Bench Press and probably my Pulldown stronger. It might also be helping my Squat. It's kind of like doing intensity all the time. In the short term, you might make faster progress, but in the long run, you'll plateau sooner because you haven't put in the volume to build up work capacity. I think frequent full-body lifting works the same way. In the short term, you might not make as much progress on, say, the Bench Press, as you would if you really focused on it, but in the long run, with a fucking strong back, core, and shoulders due to getting stronger on all the other lifts, your bench might be able to go even further. I dunno, just a theory, or an instinct. Experience and opinions may vary. The other nice thing about doing all the lifts all the time is that recoveries are very even. No "oh shit, I can barely walk" after a legs day, for example. Once again, I think consistent dosing is key to smooth, consistent progress.

    I organized the lift based on the rep parameters from what I decided would work best for each lift. I'll measure averages including my body weight for the week for the pull ups

    Basically the goal will be to hit the week 8 goal by Week 8 but it can be done anytime through the cycle. This will give me some flexibility if I only want to hit 100kgs in the DL for example one week. I will mostly do straight weights but I can vary this as well if I feel like it. By next cycle I can tweak the exercise selection or rep counts so I'll have some flexibility to make some small modifications.

    I think that's a very good way to build in the kind of flexibility you need with all your racing coming up. Looks like a winner.

    Here is the chart to check average intensities, with the start and goal plotted. The weeks will fill in as I do them.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Yah, like you say, it's always nice to have a diagrammatic representation of these things. It will be interesting to see what it looks like at the end of the cycle.
    Yah, that's cheap, but it tapers in the front. I guess that will keep it from pinching you. Let us know how it feels.

    Edit: I forgot to answer your question: yes, the 2RM is 95%, and the 3RM is 90%. My 5RM is 85% and the 8RM is 75%. These percentages are overly precise, and the relationship between 1/2/3/5/8 RMs probably varies quite a bit lift to lift too, but it's easiest to make everything the same, since it doesn't really matter if one rep-count is a little easier or harder than the lift's other rep counts, as long as they're all doable and amenable to weekly increases.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  8. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    OK, I realized what I wrote above about trying to improve in all the lifts at once is somewhat contradicted by my emphasis on the Squat and OH Press. But this is based on my theory that the Squat and OH Press and perhaps the Pull-up/-down are somehow more foundational or 'balanced' than their complements, the Deadlift, Bench Press, and Row, which are there more to 'fill in the gaps.' I'm not actually trying to make greater progress on the Squat and OH Press however. Rather, I think all the lifts will progress better and more evenly if I do the Squat and OH Press first and with greater volume. Eventually, I would like to give the pullup the same amount of attention, but right now, that would be too much I think.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  9. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    I definitely think you hit the nail on the head, especially about stepping back to see the whole picture. It's also something that almost all the older strength guru's agree upon and have built their philosophies around. The end game of any of the lifts really isn't something you can control. I think there is very likely a general range you might be genetically capable of achieving. Why neglect something to get a couple of pounds further in another at twice the cost?

    Here's another thought about your focus on the press and squat. Eventually your lifts are going to start plateauing and it's likely going to happen at different times for all the lifts. This is the one given with linear progression. Regardless of where you started with each of the lifts over a given period of time you are going to eventually establish your personal organic ratios of strength development. As long as your programming stays broad in scope in respect to the movement patterns, fairly homogenous in volume and progression between the patterns, and overall consistent I really don't think the starting point matters. I think it might be important to think about what happens once you hit the wall with the press for example, will you drop weight back down as Wendler recommends, switch the increases to every other week or drop reps per set? Or try out a couple of different ideas?

    In fact our discussions and recent readings have made me expand my next cycles plan. So now I am doing some additional volume but also including the various angles to give the primary lifts a break but also to work that carry over effect.
     
  10. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    We have talked about this a little before and I was trying to organize some ratios between the upper lifts on my run. What do you guys think about the following.

    Bench Press = Weighted Pull Ups (body weight + extra) = Inverted Rows (BW + Extra) = 85% Pendlay Row = 50% OH Press = 50% Horizontal Row
     
  11. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    If I don't plateau, I will own all the world records in 5-10 years!

    My sense is that my presses will plateau long before my squat and deadlift. I feel like I'm just getting started with the latter two, but it will take at least a year to build a good base. It was only last year that I began taking squats seriously and got up to 275 fairly quickly. And last summer when I began to push the deadlift, I added something like 80 pounds to it over just a few months. Those are novice-like improvements. So I would say my presses are intermediate, but my squat and deadlift are still upper-novice. So there's still a lot of room for improvement. I would be happy if all four of the performance lifts could be considered "advanced" at a leanish body weight of 220 (http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightL...tp://startingstrength.com/files/standards.pdf). I think this is definitely attainable, especially if I use one of the those age-adjusted strength standard charts (http://www.lonkilgore.com/freebies/squat_standards_pounds_small.pdf).

    Even so, the rate of progress will slow long before I plateau. In that case, I'll first reduce the amount of weight added per week, which can be as low as a half pound per week. When that gets to be too much, I'll only increase every two weeks instead of every week. When I can only increase a half-pound per month, I would say I've effectively plateaued. Then, to put your question in Lenin-like terms, "What is to be done?"

    I could drop the weight back down as both Wendler and Rippetoe recommend. Or try a different routine, like an AB full-body split, three lifts per workout, that lets me work each lift more intensely or with greater volume. Or I could try what you're proposing for the next cycle, and work on lift variation more, a sort of Westside solution to the problem. Or I could just declare that I'm strong enough and convert the Wednesday workout into more of a conditioning/plyometric/density workout and keep the Monday and Friday's workouts for maintenance. So lots of options. Of course, I could get bored with my present routine long before I plateau too. Hopefully the decision is a long ways off and I can just keep humming along for the rest of this year at least, get my OH Press over 200, my Bench over 300, my Squat somewhere in the mid 300s, and my Deadlift over 400. I think I can do that before plateauing.

    I look forward to next cycle and getting a better idea of whether my present rates of increase are Goldilocks qualifying or if I'll have to tweak things a bit. My sense right now is that the rate of increase is a little conservative, but I won't really know for sure until another month or two have passed. But it seems like the Squat and OH Press are getting easier. But even if I find that the rate could be higher, I might stick to a more conservative rate just to keep the workouts relatively easy and mindless. I can't emphasize enough how nice it is to approach a lift or a set and know beforehand that it's completely doable. That's the real charm of micro-loading. A lot of people do the equivalent of adding reps until a certain number has been reached, and then adding weight at bigger increments than I'm using, but the microloading suits my personality much better. I really hated going from a solid 4x5x125 OH Press to a shaky 1x5x130, and then having to come back down to 125 for the second set. The alternative would have been to do a second set at 130 for as many reps as I could manage, and fewer yet for the third and fourth sets, adding reps each week until I once again can do 4x5 straight sets across, now at 130 instead of 125, but then volume and intensity become erratic workout to workout. And you have to psych yourself up more before each set. I like the calm, workaday approach most of the time.
    As for ratios, those look pretty good. Not sure about the Pendlay Row, at 80% of my Bench Press, it felt too heavy, but I think that might just be because I haven't done the lift very much. My 1DB Row is pegged at 50% of my Bench Press. I don't do Pullups or Inverted Rows yet, but I think what you propose sounds about right. If by "Horizontal Row" you mean something like a Cable Row, then mine is 85% of my Bench Press. I'll try to list all my formulas at the end of this cycle.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  12. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    Yesterday I tweaked the chart just a little more. Abide and BA's graphics really helped push me into full geek mode.

    2015 Cycle 2 Week 8--15.04.16.jpg

    One thing that struck me was, in the bottom right, by adding a percentage table comparing the four performance lifts, how my Squat and Deadlift have nearly equal poundages, at 31% and 29%, respectively, of the total poundage for the four lifts, but the Squat volume is 50% more, 30% versus 21% of the weekly volume for the four lifts. And likewise for the OH Press compared to the Bench Press. I think this is just about the way it should be. It keeps me from overtraining the heavier lift in the two pairs.

    It's also nice to have added the Average (Weekly) Intensity category, just before the four lift table. This is simply the total weekly poundage divided by the total weekly reps. It should go up by a pound or two each week. If I can keep everything at the same effort level, this becomes an effective way to measure strength gains, or rate of strength increase. That is, if each set of weekly workouts feels about the same in terms of effort, yet the total average poundage is increasing weekly, it's easy to measure exactly how much stronger I'm becoming week to week. I had never thought about it like that before.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  13. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Yep take the conservative route. I think overall working a single weight (or reasonably close weight in your plan) 2-3 weeks in a row will help eliminate those good workouts where you think you can lift more than you actually can and then base your increase off that one in a vacuum. I think that will be the way I approach the next cycle as well. I think that average load number will also be a good indication as well.

    Yeah I meant something like a landmine row, and based just off weight. It's hard to get a true measurement for some of the back lifts other than the P row.
     
  14. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    Yah, one nice thing if the rate of increase is indeed conservative, is that I might start to get through the workouts a little quicker and have time and energy left over for some accessory lifts afterwards. Maybe even some plyometrics and anterior chain work. It's tempting to scale things back right now, but I've also got my sights set on the 400-pound deadlift and 320-pound squat that the present rates will lead to by the end of the year.

    Yah, even for the Pendlay Row, there's wiggle room. In general, I like to do the upper body pulls a little light and make sure I'm keeping the form perfect. Except for the 1DB Rows of course, which I like to overload, but I may have to rethink that . . . One thing I've been feeling lately is that I need to do a little more rowing, so maybe I could do two kinds of row per workout, a little lighter perhaps, and only two sets a piece. Yesterday for example, I didn't have time to set up the cable rows, but it would've been easy to get in a quick set of light Pendlay Rows, and then I thought, with more time, maybe it would be good to do both? Seems like both the Pendlay Row and 1DB Row deserve more attention than just once a week.

    In general, I'm really coming around to the idea that there are four performance lifts and then the upper body pulls are somehow different and can be approached a little differently too, whereas I like to keep the same approach for all four of the performance lifts, and just vary the volume, so that the lighter lower and upper body performance lifts get 50% more volume than the heavier lower and upper body lifts.

    Shit, just when I though I was done thinking about this stuff for the rest of the cycle . . .
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    Abide likes this.
  15. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Funny I was thinking the same thing. Overall I think the pulls other than the P row seem to respond better to higher volume. I think DJ and Wendler have also mentioned this as well.
     
  16. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    If you have the references handy, I'd like to have a look. But if you're like me, I tend not to organize the fitness links. I've got hundreds of bookmarks in no particular order other than date bookmarked.

    "Volume" is also a little ambiguous. It can mean total number of reps per lift/workout/week, which is the way I use it, or number of reps per set, in which case I would replace higher volume with "higher reps" or "higher rep-count" or something similar. Seems like a worthwhile distinction to make.

    Anyway, I think next week I'll try something like this for the rows at the end of my workouts:

    Monday
    Pendlay Row: 2 x 5 x 145
    1DB Row: 2 x 5 x 105 (both hands)

    Wednesday
    Pendlay Row: 2 x 8 x 128
    Cable Row: 2 x 8 x 165

    Friday
    1DB Row: 2 x 3 x 115 (both hands)
    Cable Row: 2 x 3 x 195

    I think I proposed something like this before, but never followed through on it.

    I'm only adding one set over all, and a little extra set-up time, which doesn't add to overall minutes because it's done during the rest interval anyway.

    I don't think I agree with DJ/Wendler. Different pulls seem to go better with different rep-counts, much as your lift variations do.

    Cable Rows seem to work in all rep ranges for me.

    Pendlay Rows are better 5-8, because when they get heavy it's tempting to cheat initial momentum.

    1DB Rows seem better 3-5 so that the set on the other hand doesn't seem so long.

    My three pulldown variations seem to mirror the Row variations:

    Medium-grip Neutral Pulldowns seem to work best around five reps, but can work higher or lower, much like Cable Rows.

    Close-grip Neutral Pulldowns are best higher rep, 5-8.

    Supine or Chin-up Grip Pulldowns work best in 3-5 rep range, similar to 1DB Rows.

    Edit: here's another argument for the conservative or 'easy strength' approach:

    "The point here is to minimize the psychological and neurological stress of each workout as much as possible. In Squat Every Day, Perryman makes a compelling argument that, in many cases, the psychological stress of a workout contributes as much, if not more, to recovery debt than the actual workload of the physical activity itself." From: http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/the-bulgarian-method-for-powerlifting/
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  17. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    I can't find any specific articles about back work. I think I just thought that because back work is always treated as an assistance exercise and not a main one. I've always thought 3 reps would be the minimum I would do for any back work like you are doing, but preferably 5.

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/kroc-row-vs-pendlay-row
    http://www.westside-barbell.com/ind...icles-published-in-2003/344-training-the-back

    However I ran across this article and I was thinking that maybe it would be a good test to run through some accessory lifts to see what the optimum ranges are, like what you are suggesting. I guess finding a 1rm max might be difficult though.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/betteru25.htm

    Your rep ranges seem legit, I find the pull downs a little different but that's probably because I can't physically do more then 5 or 6 for multiple sets. Really what's probably most important is progression for back work regardless of rep range.

    I have been thinking about doing a "new" method that combine the step down sets with weighted pull ups to get a little more volume so the lift would be:

    Weighted pull-ups 3x3
    2 max sets of un-weighted pull ups

    Maybe the priming mechanism might work pretty well with pull ups.

    Also I think the landmine rows I have been doing are more equivalent to a yates row.
     
  18. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Ha, so I guess you could tie this into the concurrent piece and BA's bubbles. Eventually you will get out of the dark times as he says.

    How You Feel is a Lie. That phrase is the Broz mantra. You simply can't listen to your body because it's lying to you. Broz can cite countless examples of athletes setting PR's on days they didn't even want to train, as well as days where the athlete felt like a million bucks but didn't fare so well in the gym.

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/max-out-on-squats-every-day

    I like this article and I think its good advice. Although this might potentially conflict with scheduled loading as it's more of an arbitrary system. The range system I am thinking of it's well.

    Bulgarian training demands a daily training max, the best you can lift right now without getting worked up. No stimulants, no psych-up, no nerves. Just go lift it.
    You’ll know when this happens. When lifts slow down, getting out of the ‘springy’ zone and starting to grind, you’re there. Some of you may prefer the RPE score. Using Mike Tuscherer’s scale, you’d stop when you hit a hard 8 or easy 9. You want the daily max to be challenging, to the point that you wouldn’t be able to get a second rep with your heaviest weight, but still confident you didn’t leave it all in the gym.

    http://www.myosynthesis.com/bulgarian-style-training
     
  19. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
    Expand Collapse
    Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,938
    Likes Received:
    6,576
    I can't find any specific articles about back work. I think I just thought that because back work is always treated as an assistance exercise and not a main one. I've always thought 3 reps would be the minimum I would do for any back work like you are doing, but preferably 5.

    Yah, when I do 1db rows or cable rows for three reps, I'm allowing some form cheating, but because they're braced, I think it's OK. You can't brace for the Pendlay Row, and that's maybe why I need them to be five reps or higher, that is, with lighter weights but strict form.

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/kroc-row-vs-pendlay-row

    If I'm going to do 1db rows twice a week, I should probably try to do one day like Kroc Rows, that is, higher rep, but I dunno, I think I'll try the scheme I outlined above first.

    http://www.westside-barbell.com/ind...icles-published-in-2003/344-training-the-back

    However I ran across this article and I was thinking that maybe it would be a good test to run through some accessory lifts to see what the optimum ranges are, like what you are suggesting. I guess finding a 1rm max might be difficult though.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/betteru25.htm

    According to that guy's theory, I'm definitely a fast-twitch kind of guy. I think my 5RM and 8RM are probably lower than my programmed 85% and 75%. Or in other words, I could probably do my 1-3RMs a little heavier. Like today, when I do my 1RM OH Press at 150, I might feel like I could probably have done 155 if I really had to. But I think it's good to keep the 1RMs as a training max rather than a true max. The 5RM and 8RM come much closer to true maxes, which I understood as the nature of the rep-count but maybe it has something to do with my fiber composition. After a while, it just starts to get to be too much to think about though.

    For the upper body pulls, I would think that medium, neutral grip probably recruits the fast-twitch prime movers more than the other grips, which bring secondary and stabilizing muscles more into play, which tend to be more slow-twitch, especially the stabilizers.

    That's a problem with that article--how do you even test a 1RM on something like a Pendlay Row? If the weight is light enough that you can do it with strict form, chances are you could do another rep or two if you had too.

    Your rep ranges seem legit, I find the pull downs a little different but that's probably because I can't physically do more then 5 or 6 for multiple sets. Really what's probably most important is progression for back work regardless of rep range.

    What do you mean by progression here?

    I have been thinking about doing a "new" method that combine the step down sets with weighted pull ups to get a little more volume so the lift would be:

    Weighted pull-ups 3x3
    2 max sets of un-weighted pull ups

    Maybe the priming mechanism might work pretty well with pull ups.

    That looks like an good and interesting approach. I sort of did the step-down method when I was doing my 3x1/3x3/2x5 approach last summer/fall, and that might be something I try again.

    Also I think the landmine rows I have been doing are more equivalent to a yates row.

    Yah, I think landmine or t-bar rows are like yates rows, definitely agree there.

    Ha, so I guess you could tie this into the concurrent piece and BA's bubbles. Eventually you will get out of the dark times as he says.

    How You Feel is a Lie. That phrase is the Broz mantra. You simply can't listen to your body because it's lying to you. Broz can cite countless examples of athletes setting PR's on days they didn't even want to train, as well as days where the athlete felt like a million bucks but didn't fare so well in the gym.

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/max-out-on-squats-every-day

    I like this article and I think its good advice. Although this might potentially conflict with scheduled loading as it's more of an arbitrary system. The range system I am thinking of it's well.

    I read that a while ago too. My prior approach used to be pretty arbitrary, but I dunno, I think I'm getting more consistent results now with a more controlled, workaday approach. I do adhere to the how you feel is a lie mantra though. I can be well-rested and have a crap workout, or really tired and have a great workout.

    In general, Broz is kind of the exact opposite approach as the Westside conjugate method. More proof that everything works if programmed intelligently?

    Bulgarian training demands a daily training max, the best you can lift right now without getting worked up. No stimulants, no psych-up, no nerves. Just go lift it.
    You’ll know when this happens. When lifts slow down, getting out of the ‘springy’ zone and starting to grind, you’re there. Some of you may prefer the RPE score. Using Mike Tuscherer’s scale, you’d stop when you hit a hard 8 or easy 9. You want the daily max to be challenging, to the point that you wouldn’t be able to get a second rep with your heaviest weight, but still confident you didn’t leave it all in the gym.

    http://www.myosynthesis.com/bulgarian-style-training

    Izzy claims the Bulgarian Method lacks realism for most people:

    "The bottom line, in my opinion, is that most people who consider “sexy” foreign methods like Sheiko, Smolov, or the Bulgarian Method purposefully forget that the athletes who use these programs come from an entirely different physical background than they do. It isn’t to say these programs won’t work for anyone else, but it is to say that you probably aren’t a part of the intended demographic."

    http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/the-bulgarian-method-for-powerlifting/

    Still, it would be interesting to run 30 minutes every day and lift 30minutes everyday. A complete workout every day, in other words. Might be better than the EOD approach to running and lifting I always find myself taking. In any case, I certainly believe in moderate exercise at least an hour a day. Yesterday I didn't get my run in and today I feel like crap.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  20. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,245
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    According to that guy's theory, I'm definitely a fast-twitch kind of guy. I think my 5RM and 8RM are probably lower than my programmed 85% and 75%. Or in other words, I could probably do my 1-3RMs a little heavier. Like today, when I do my 1RM OH Press at 150, I might feel like I could probably have done 155 if I really had to. But I think it's good to keep the 1RMs as a training max rather than a true max. The 5RM and 8RM come much closer to true maxes, which I understood as the nature of the rep-count but maybe it has something to do with my fiber composition. After a while, it just starts to get to be too much to think about though.

    For the upper body pulls, I would think that medium, neutral grip probably recruits the fast-twitch prime movers more than the other grips, which bring secondary and stabilizing muscles more into play, which tend to be more slow-twitch, especially the stabilizers.

    That's a problem with that article--how do you even test a 1RM on something like a Pendlay Row? If the weight is light enough that you can do it with strict form, chances are you could do another rep or two if you had too.

    What do you mean by progression here?

    I mean just increasing loads or volume. Nothing complicated.

    Yeah testing the lifts is probably impractical. Also something different I have noticed. I have much more capacity for doing multiple sets of heavy lifts for the bench but the opposite is true for the press. Usually I only have one good set per workout for the press. That's probably an indication about the muscle type as well. But there is very likely variation between muscle types within your body. Or maybe that is a product of years of development for patterns.

    Yeah that is recommended hit your training max and do drop sets if you want to do some extra work. Just keep doing what your doing this is just mental stimulus that probably shouldn't be translated to the garage.

     

Share This Page