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

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
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    Welcome to Cycle III!

    All are welcome to join, either in logging their strength training workouts, or in contributing to discussions.

    --------------------------------------------------------

    This Cycle, I will continue with the basic plan developed in Cycle II. In that plan, Monday is Medium Volume & Intensity, Wednesday is High Volume/Low Intensity, and Friday is Low Volume/High Intensity:

    2015 Cycle 3 Intensity to Volume Ratios 15.04.jpg

    This creates a nice weekly wave of varying volumes and intensities.

    Each workout's volume is calculated by dividing the workout's repetitions by the total weekly repetitions and then normalizing it as a percentage. Each workout's intensity is calculated by dividing the workout's average intensity by the total weekly average intensity and then normalizing it as a percentage. Average Intensity is measured by dividing total weight lifted by repetitions.

    I will also try to add a set to most of the lifts. If this is too much, I will either fall back on the volume level of Cycle II, or reduce the weight of the performance lifts, either across all rep counts or just the five and eight rep-counts, to accommodate the greater volume.

    Cycle III High Volume.jpg

    I may just increase the squat sets to five on Monday and Wednesday, and then hold the three other performance lifts and the pulldowns to three sets a piece, and the two different kinds of rows to two or three sets a piece. The OH Press has very nearly caught up to the Bench Press, so perhaps just slowing the increase of the Bench Press, rather than maintaining greater volume for the OH Press, will be enough to bring them in line by the end of the year.

    I've also reset the 1RMs a little so that three of the lifts start out nice and even. The Squat is the normal increase to 250. The OH Press stays at 160, and the Bench Press goes up a pound more than it should to 260. The Deadlift, however, will increase 2.5 pounds to 312.5. Initially I will add 2.5 pounds to the Deadlift each week, two pounds to the Squat, one pound to the OH Press, and a half pound to the Bench Press (but with a one-pound increase in weeks 4 and 8). This projects to the following strength gains in Cycle III:

    Deadlift: 20lbs
    Squat: 16lbs
    Bench Press: 5lbs
    OH Press: 8lbs

    Here are the projections in chart form for Cycle III:

    2015 Cycle 3 Strength Gains Chart--projected.jpg

    As can be seen, in this cycle the Squat load will catch up to the Bench Press load.

    Here are projections of strength gains for 2015 and 2016.

    2015 & 2016 Load Projections 15.04.jpg

    The second table for each year is for ratios. Holding the OH Press at a constant value of 2, I use the ratios to manipulate the rate of load increase so that, by the end of the year, the OH Press to Bench Press ratio would attain the idealized 2:3 ratio, since the OH Press's rate of increase is greater. Once this ratio is attained, I will relink Bench Press load increases to OH Press load increases so that any increase in the OH Press would automatically trigger an increase in the Bench Press at a 2:3 ratio. Meanwhile, the Squat and Deadlift are also increasing more rapidly than either of the presses.

    2015 Ratios.jpg

    Then, somewhat implausibly, I continue the manipulation until the Iron Ratio of 2:3:4:5 has been attained for all four performance lifts by the end of 2016.

    All this is a way of saying that, in general, I'm feeling pretty good about the presses. So now I would like to work a bit harder on the Squat and Deadlift. The Deadlift has felt pretty good the last two weeks of Cycle II, so I think I can push it a bit more. I feel more confident that I'll be able to catch any sort of issue or niggle one or two reps before it becomes a problem, so I'm more willing to up the deadlift intensity more than I have since my injury in December and January.

    In other words, I'm more or less declaring myself healed until my body tells me otherwise. Still, I will count on greater volume in the Squat to help drive gains in the Deadlift. The Deadlift will not receive greater volume than the other lifts. If I'm not able to sustain a good rate of increase in the Deadlift, that will be fine too. I don't want to increase its volume so I will reduce the rate of increase if I have to.

    In any case, these are just projections that help guide weekly and cyclical planning. Adjustments can and will be made at any time, if I get feedback telling me to.

    Running-wise, the goal will be to continue to improve my aerobic fitness, and gradually integrate some variety in my weekly running. Ideally, I will end up with a schedule of

    Tuesday=Hills,
    Thursday=Tempo,
    Saturday=Long Run.

    ---------------Week 1: Cycle III---------------

    Template for this week:

    2015 Cycle 3 Week 1 -- 15.04.27.jpg

    Sunday - 04.26

    More helping my wife and daughter set up their garden, and then stump removal so I can finish putting up the monkey bars. This project is taking way too long.

    Monday - - 04.27
    Feel very sore from the yard work and stump removal on Sunday. I good reminder about the specificity of training. During the yardwork, I felt it most in my lower back, but today it's mostly in my upper back.

    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    Squat: 5 x 5 x 213
    TK OH Press: 3 x 5 x 136
    Deadlift: 3 x 5 x 266
    B Press: 3 x 5 221
    N Pulldown: 3 x 5 x 182.5
    P Row: 3 x 5 x 145
    1DB Row: 2 x 5 x 105

    This might have been my hardest workout yet, mentally, so I'm proud I got through it. I think I was dehydrated from the yardwork and mild sunburn, then my upper back was really starting to hurt, especially the left shoulder blade. Pretty much after each set until I got to the Bench Press, I was thinking about quitting. Even the first squat warm-up with an empty bar was hard. I really should've stretched out during and after the yardwork. I think the digging and whacking the stumps really took it's toll, but a little stretching Sunday night probably would've taken care of things.

    Anyway, after the second squat workset, things started to loosen up a bit. I got through all five sets OK. The first one felt as heavy as a single though.

    The OH Press was the same weight as last week. It was challenging but definitely doable, maybe a little easier than last week, so hopefully my one-pound per week increases will prove too conservative after another few weeks. I expected my sore shoulder blades to interfere with this lift, but it didn't seem to have any influence at all. Strange.

    I thought on the Deadlift, surely the sore upper back would make it impossible, but I got through the warm-ups fine, and I felt super confident on the worksets. The loads are heavy enough now that I have to pay more attention to technique. On one rep I felt a little strain in my lower back when I got sloppy.

    On the Bench, it was once again pretty close to my limits. Hopefully it will get easier with the half-pound increases. My powerlifting technique feels pretty automatic now.

    Everything else finished up OK, but it took me 90 minutes to get through the workout. I took really long rest intervals and had to refuel three times, and drink about a half gallon of water.

    Overall, I think this is a pretty good workout routine--five squat sets, but then everything else pretty much three sets a piece. More than a volume approach, it's a squat-centric approach. I'll do the same on Wednesday. I guess my conversion to the Rippetoe/Bill Starr Squataholic school of lifting is complete.

    Tuesday - - 04.28
    AM
    I could barely sleep, the pain in my left shoulder was really bad and I couldn't find the handheld vibrating massager.

    PM
    Running –
    Wednesday - - 04.29
    Late morning
    3 miles, to Franklin Bridge and back, about a mile run? I thought a little postural exercise my help loosen up my stiff and painful left shoulder blade. Not really, but hopefully this outing will prime me for something better on Thursday.

    PM
    Man, the left shoulder blade is getting worse. I gave in to painkillers, scheduled an appointment with a Shiatsu massage therapist friend. I might see the Chiro again too.

    Really mystifying how a non-acute, post-use soreness could get like this. I think I'll treat this set-back like the sacro-iliac issue, which led me to microloading and a few other tweaks that were useful. This time around, I'll interpret the time I need to take off as a sign to back-off a bit and give the greater volume idea a good try. I think it's also a sign I need a little bit more variety in my exercise selection. It's hard to imagine this happening if, for example, I had been doing my dips and Landmine Twists. Maybe I also need a little more plyo/conditioning work. So I'm back to thinking about making Wednesday a more diversified workout, and leaving Monday and Friday the same.

    Thursday - - 04.30
    AM
    Saw both a Chiro at my neighborhood clinic, and a Shiatsu/Reiki massage therapist. The Chiro couldn't do much for me, but the massage really helped. He found tons of painful knots. I'm going back on Friday for another 20-minute session.

    I'm sleeping a little better, but still pretty much immobilized, as I can't bend my back without pain. I'm taking Ibuprofen. I might start stretching on the weekend, but for the moment, I'm trying to give the muscles complete rest for a few days, to see if they can heal themselves more.

    Very frustrating, but I know it's actually a very minor thing and I should be good to go by next week sometime. Might have to skip weights for another week though, so I could see myself trying the daily running for a week to try to push past the initial sucky threshold of regaining running fitness. Man, this is turning into a saga. It's not supposed to be this hard, right?

    Giving more thought to making Wednesday an assistance/variation day. Would two days a week for the main lifts be enough for continued progress?

    Friday - 05.01
    Saturday - 05.02
    AM
    I noticed a red rash and welts on my chest and arm pit Friday. Went to Urgent Care when I saw my blood pressure was 170/110. Mystery solved: I have shingles.

    ---------------Week 2: Cycle III---------------
    Sunday - 05.03
    Monday - 05.04
    Tuesday - 05.05
    Started to feel a little bit better.
    Wednesday - 05.06
    Energy seems to be returning. First day with no nap since Saturday. All of the blisters seem to have popped, and the rash feels like a sunburn. I think I've escaped the worst symptoms. Must have a mild version. My body is craving a workout of some kind, but I think it's best to wait until I'm 100%. Shingles can have longterm effects if not treated right.
    Thursday - 05.07

    Friday - 05.08
    PM
    Lifting - 8RM
    Squat: 125 x 5/5
    1DB Press: 25 x 8, 30 x 8
    Dips: BW-blue band x 5/5/5
    Pullover: 55 x 8/8
    Curls: 55 x 8/8
    Back Extension: 1/2BW x 8/8

    Last day taking antiviral, decided to do some light weights to see how the body reacts. If it reacts fine, then it's a way of priming the body to begin fuller workouts next week.

    Squats felt awkward with the bar across the crusting sores, but it felt good to squat again. After the last set, I could feel my hammies cramp up a bit, like elastic recoil.

    Then, since I just wanted to do light lifts, I decided to experiment a bit with some of the proposed lift variations for Wednesday's 8RM Day, most of which are inherently lighter lifts.

    The 1DB Press felt like a nice variation of the press. I thought about trying the Arnold Press, but it seems if I'm going to institute Wednesdays as variation day, then some unilateral variation is a good thing to add to the mix, along with different ROMs.

    The blue band assistance on the Dips was perfect. It's the least resistant band I have, but it's just enough to allow me to ease into doing full dips again without putting stress on the shoulder. Focused on technique and not letting the shoulder come forward at the bottom of the movement.

    Felt good to be doing Pullovers too, curls, not so much. But they use the same EZBar and load, so it's convenient to do them together.

    I finished cutting a hole in my back extension bench pad, to make room for my 'junk' as the kids say nowadays. That worked pretty well. The extensions are a lot more comfortable now.

    I'll try to finish the monkey bar project this weekend, and, if the body still feels OK, try to get back into my normal st routine on Monday. I still have a fair amount of residual pain, but it doesn't seem to affect muscle function, and the fatigue is lifting, so it should probably be OK.

    Saturday - 05.09
    Started to feel burning itching. A new shingles phase. Blisters mostly healed though, and fatigue is lifting.

    ---------------Week 3: Cycle III---------------
    Sunday - 05.10
    Burning itchy is almost unbearable at times.

    Monday - 05.11
    Woke up at 2:30am from itching. Start using Calomine spray with topical analgesic in the morning. Seems to help a bit.

    Thought about lifting, because my energy levels seem to have returned to about normal, but just didn't feel like it with all the discomfort.

    Tuesday - 05.12
    Had a pretty good day, but then at night I woke up to the burning itching again. This thing is hard to figure out. I guess because it's a virus of the nerves, it doesn't follow the usual recovery pattern. I hope I'm not one of those unlucky bastards who has this neuralgia drag on for weeks or months. There are almost no traces of rash on my arm and back now, just my chest and armpit. You'd think the pain would have the courtesy to wrap things up too.

    In the afternoon I was a race monitor for my daughter's school one-mile fun run. 240 participants! All top 15 boys ran between 6 and 7mm, and I think the top 15 girls were all below 8mm, and a few below 7mm. So there's the sad truth: I'm slower than elementary school kids.

    Wednesday - 05.13
    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    Squat: 3 x 5 x 175
    TK OHP: 2 x 3 x 125
    Deadlift: 2 x 5 x 225
    B Press: 2 x 5 x 175

    Had really bad painful itching throughout the day. I tried a skin oitment that almost made it worse. But I felt good otherwise, so I decided it was time to start getting back at the ST. I just did light loads. Everything felt heavy, nonetheless, but no niggles, so I'll push it a little more on Friday. Maybe continue building up through next week? I think I will target next Friday as my return to full loads and sets. The sweat on the bench press dripping onto my upper back felt quite painfully. Stung by my own sweat.

    Evening: about a mile barefoot walk to and from park.

    Thursday - 05.14
    Evening: about a mile barefoot walk to and from park.

    Friday - 05.15
    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    SQ: 215 x 5/5/5
    TK OHP: 125 x 5/5/4/5
    DL: 265 x 2/2/3
    BP: 215 x 3/3

    I was going to work up to close to my 5RM of a few weeks ago in ascending sets of five reps, starting with the loads I used on Wednesday, but I felt strong despite only sleeping four hours (I woke up from the burning itching), so I went straight to the 5RM loads after warming up. I got a call from the dentist during the third set of my Overhead Press, so I did another set. Both the Squat and the Press felt pretty good, so I'll go back to my idea of using them to drive the other loads. Next week will therefore be spent trying to get the Squat and OH Press back to where they were, and, if I have enough energy and motivation left over, get the other lifts up at the same time. If it feels like too much, I'll just focus on the Squat and Press and give the other lifts another week or so to catch up. I'll use the time off from shingles as an excuse to give a slightly greater volume approach a try too. I may try five sets of Squats and Four sets of presses on Monday, then keep everything else at about three sets.

    Belt was about an inch tighter. My wife has commented that I've lost some weight from shingles. I just haven't had much of an appetite. I think I may try keeping the calories somewhat reduced as I begin to train again. Maybe I've been exaggerating the whole "ya gotta eat if you want to make gains" idea.

    Saturday - 05.16
    Late AM
    Running
    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshall Bridge Circuit. I ran about 2/3 of the way, at an ultra pace, the rest I walked. Better than I expected considering it's been 3-4 weeks off. I think I'll stick to a pure aerobic pace until I can run 4-6 miles continuously, then work the hills and tempo runs in? After 18 months of sporadic running, I think my aerobic base is pretty much depleted.

    Evening: about a mile barefoot walk to and from park.

    ---------------Week 4: Cycle III---------------

    Here's the template for this week:

    2015 Cycle 3 Week 4--15.05.18.jpg

    I'm boosting the volume for squats, not sure about OH Press. I'm lowering the 1RM by ten pounds for both the Deadlift and Bench in order to accommodate the greater volume. I'm also going to try making Wednesday's 8RM Day more of an assistance/variation day. So these will be the two experiments of Cycle III.

    Sunday - 05.17
    Monday - 05.18
    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    SQ: 5 x 215/221/221/221/221
    TK OHP: 3 x 136, 5 x 125/125/125

    Forgot to add the extra six pounds to the squats to bring them back to where they were three weeks ago. Sets 2-5 went fine, but I felt fatigued afterwards. I may have overestimated my recovery rate from the shingles. The OH Press felt pretty heavy at 136, which was my last 5RM load before the shingles onset. I only did three reps then brought the load down to 125. Crap.

    I didn't feel like doing any more lifting after that. Hard to say if it was the shingles or the fact that I only slept four hours due to the shingles pain. This is getting old. On a positive note, it was good to see I hadn't lost anything off the squats. Not sure now what to do on Wednesday . . .

    Edit: I just realized I had set my Squat 1RM for 260 instead of 250, so 215 for 5RM was close to the prescribed 213 (@85%). I guess this means I'm ready for 260. I always suspected that the squats were too light, now it's confirmed.

    Tuesday - 05.19
    PM
    Running –
    Just didn't feel like it.

    Wednesday - 05.20
    PM
    Lifting - 8RM
    SQ: 3 x 8 x 195
    TK OHP: 5 x 120; 8 x 115

    Just didn't feel like doing more. Almost no will power. I wonder if the pain from the shingles is wearing down my CNS. I felt good--well fueled and rested--but just didn't have the mental fortitude to continue.

    Thursday - 05.21

    Friday - 05.22
    PM
    Lifting - 1-3RM
    SQ: 1 x 265/275/265, 2 x 252, 3 x 245/245
    TK OHP: 1 x 160/152, 3 x 140/144
    DL: 2/3/3 x 265
    BP: 3/3 x 215
    N PD: 3/3/3 150
    P Row: 3/3/3 x 125

    Since my OH Press had gone poorly this week, I decided to test the 1RM to see where it was at. Since Squats come first, I decided to test that 1RM too. After warming up, I went for 265, a nice even two 45s and one 25 plate on each side. That went up easy, so I tacked on another ten pounds, bringing it up to my old PR of last year. That PR was probably a technical fail, because it went up pretty wobbly. This time 275 felt very solid, and I achieved good depth.

    So that was very encouraging after a lousy week. My true 1RM is starting to approach 300.

    Next came the Press. I managed 160, which was my pre-shingles PR at the end of last cycle, but it was a grind. I couldn't do the prescribed double at 252, but I managed the prescribed triple on the second set of those. So, hopefully, I just need a week or two more of full workouts to get the OH Press back up to speed and then I can start adding a pound a week again.

    The Deadlift and Bench Press I just did to prime them for next week, since I hadn't done them at all this week. I did them at slightly lower weights than I had the triples at the end of last cycle.

    Now with the Squat up to 275, I'll have to start making more of a push on the deadlift. All of a sudden it's weaker than my squat! I've been holding the deadlifts back too much I guess, but it was good to give them plenty of time to rehab from the Sacroiliac injury. I've re-established my Squat PR, and have achieved new PRs in both presses, so now it's time to build back up to my old Deadlift PR of 255/265. Once that's established, I'll be PR-ing in all four performance lifts most weeks. In the meantime, I'll soon be PR-ing in three of them every week. It's a bit silly, but it's good motivation to get those micro-PR pats on the back. That's not really the point of micro-loading, but it's an added perk--weekly PRs.

    After the Bench Press, I then did the upper body pulls, also light, just to prime them for next week. With the Squats doing well, I need to make sure I have enough time and energy at the end of workouts to put in a good effort on the pulldowns and rows.

    With the shingles pain, it was hard to motivate, but I found once I got warmed up, the exercise seemed to alleviate the pain a bit. So no more excuses, got to get back to full workouts.

    PM
    Running
    0.6 mile. Ran down to the park with my son, both of us barefoot. Then when he was done playing, we ran back. It's about a third of a mile each way. He only stopped at the stop signs to look both ways. Wow, I may have a running partner soon.

    Saturday - 05.23
    Late AM
    Running
    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshal bridge circuit. I kept to the ultra-slow pace of last week, and made it three miles without stopping. Opps, I forgot I stopped after about two miles to stretch out the ITB, which had begun to feel tight.

    So anyway, that felt very good; the running is coming back much quicker this time than at other times I've tried to get back into shape. Strange. And, like the weights on Friday, I didn't feel the shingles pains at all while running. So no excuse not to push the exercise while I'm waiting for the shingles to heal up.

    ---------------Week 5: Cycle III---------------
    Sunday - 05.24
    Template for this week:

    2015 Cycle 3 Week 5--15.05.24.jpg

    I brought the Bench Press 1RM down to 250 just to make sure I have plenty of energy to continue pushing the first three lifts. I've also reduced the squat sets to three on Monday and Wednesday, down from five, now that the squat is more advanced (according to the Iron Ratios) than the deadlift. I'll keep the OH Press sets at four on Monday and Wednesday at least until it's back to where it was at the end of last cycle, but maybe longer, since it's the lift that seems to benefit most from extra volume.

    This is a good basic template and workout order, so hopefully I can coast a bit now and just tweak volume and rates of increase as certain lifts become weaker or stronger. For the time being, I'll keep the sets as they are, and increase the lifts as follows:

    Deadlift +3 pounds per week
    Squat +2 pounds per week
    Presses +1 pound per week

    According to current projects, after a while, the Presses's rate of increase will slow to +0.5 pound per week, until, by the end of the year, they are at a 3:2 ratio, Bench Press to OH Press, after which the Bench Press increases will be tied to the OH Press increases at this ratio. The OH Press's rate of increase will continue at +0.5 pounds per week.

    Meanwhile the Deadlift and Squat will continue to increase at three and two pounds per week, respectively, until sometime next summer (2016) when they should align with the presses in the Iron Ratio. After that, all increases will be tied to increases in the OH Press at those ratios (2:3:4:5).

    Of course, the rates of increase may slow or speed up, and eventually I will plateau, but working off projections like this is a good guide for planning my weekly workout loads and percentages across all the lifts.

    Monday - 05.25
    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    Memorial Day nixed the workout.
    Tuesday - 05.26
    Wednesday - 05.27
    Thursday - 05.28
    Friday - 05.29
    Saturday - 05.30

    Started taking Gabapentin for pain-management again mid-week, and this made me woozy and completely unmotivated to train. Helps me sleep though.


    ---------------Week 6: Cycle III---------------

    Template for this week:

    2015 Cycle 3 Week 6--15.05.30.jpg

    I've decided to go with 80% and 70% for Monday and Wednesday's workouts, instead of 85% and 75%, respectively, for the performance lifts. I'll go back to doing just an extra set for the Squat and Overhead Press. That will be the extent of my volume approach. On Friday, I'll keep the 1, 2, and 3-rep sets at 100%, 95%, and 90% of training max. The idea is that I may have been doing this anyway, since I've often been surprised at how my 1RM is greater than its projection based on the 5RM. The 5RM is probably lower when done for multiple sets. It would also be nice if Monday and Wednesday's workouts were slightly easier, especially after all the time I've taken off due to the shingles.

    Sunday - 05.31
    Mid-AM
    Running – Aerobic
    6 miles, Ford Parkway-Marshall Bridge Circuit. Only about a mile and a half running. Beautiful weather, I found myself at the tail end of a marathon on the West Bank. Some poor bastards were running as slow as I was. Glad I didn't have to worry about sweepers like they did.

    I might make this my regular route, and slowly bring up the running portion until I can run the whole thing continuously, and then work on pace. Getting tired of the 3.5-mile, Franklin-Marshall bridge circuit just north of it in any case.

    I was pretty high from the Gabapentin, which made this a particularly pleasant mid-morning outing. This was the last day, I decided, to take full doses of Gabapentin during the day. Supposedly, you can build up a tolerance to it, but this hasn't happened to me. This week I'll try to either do without it during the day, or reduce the dosage. I have no idea how much longer the shingles' post-herpetic neuralgia is going to last, but I can't afford to spend much more time knocked out from pain killers.

    Monday - 06.01
    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    SQ: 3 x 5 x 220
    TK OHP: 3 x 5 x 128
    DL: 3 x 5 x 248

    I only ended up doing three sets a piece for the squat and overhead press instead of the prescribed four. Just didn't have much energy with the Gabapentin. I tried doing without it for a few hours in the morning, because the weekend had gone fairly well, but the stabbing pain returned. It's localized now in my left armpit and the underside of my upper left arm, so that's a sign of progress. Plus the skin isn't nearly as sensitive to touch as it was. So it's healing. Hopefully I'll be close to normal in another week or two.

    Anyway, all the lifts felt good and solid. It felt especially good to feel the squat movement again. I didn't have the energy or motivation to complete the workout however. I felt strong, but the stamina wasn't there. The Gabapentin makes you content and lazy.

    The Inzer belt performed great. After the first few squat sets, I took it in one more set of holes, and that felt perfect. I like how I can unlatch the lever in between sets to loosen it without the belt coming off. Overall, it's the best belt I've tried by far. 10mm is thick, but I didn't notice it digging in, even on the deadlifts. The purple gave me a feeling of strength somewhere between petite Prince and the mighty Vikings.

    Tuesday - 06.02
    Noon
    Running – Aerobic

    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshall bridge circuit, about 2/3 running, beautiful day. Legs still felt a little tight from Sunday's run so I stopped to walk the rest of the way, but mentally, I felt like I could've run a lot longer. There was no urge to stop. So, just gotta keep pluging away and get a little better each time out.

    Shingles pain is mostly a dull ache today, which is totally putupable. The sharp, shooting pain is greatly diminished, almost nonexistant. So I stopped the Gabapentin and am just taking Ibuprofen. I feel a lot better this way, almost normal again.

    Wednesday - 06.03
    PM
    Lifting - 8RM
    SQ: 8/8/8 x 193
    TK OHP: 8/7/6 x 112
    DL: 6/6/6 x 217
    BP: 4/8 x 182

    Man, I still don't have any stamina. I was gassed by the time I got to the Bench Press. I guess illness eats into work capacity much more than time off due to injury. Not sure how to proceed, but restoring a good work capacity would seem to be the priority. My strength levels aren't too bad. Hopefully I'll be back to where I was by the end of this cycle. Bringing up the running should help too. I still don't have much of an appetite, but I was pretty well-fueled for this workout--that wasn't the problem. Maybe I'll give myself two hours to complete Friday's workout, try to jump start things with a full and intense workout.

    After my squats and press, I tightened the Inzer lever belt one more set of holes, making it super tight, tighter than was possible with the buckle or velcro belts. During the deadlifts, I could really feel my ab muscles contracting against it, making me feel super supported, but I'll have to look into how tight you can go without causing problems. When I unlatched the belt in between sets, it's just loose enough not to squeeze at all, but still in continuous contact around my belly and back.

    Thursday - 06.04
    PM
    Running – Aerobic
    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshal bridge circuit, beautiful summery conditions, worked up a sweat. My knees felt a little niggling at times, so I walked some, maybe a third of the way total. I guess it's time to get back into my pre-/post-running stretching and massaging routine. Funny how none of that is necessary when I'm just lifting. Anyway, it's encouraging each outing feels a little bit better. The sole sensitivity I developed on Sunday's run is all but gone. Looking forward to building my callus back up to respectable leatheriness.

    Friday - 06.05
    Woke up at three with a stabbing pain in my armpit. Took more Gabapentin, but when I woke up again later, I felt high. This lasted throughout the day, evolving into a feeling of relaxation and laziness. I thought if I tried to lift, I might hurt myself in this state of relaxation and apathy, so I skipped the workout. Besides, I was a little concerned about the niggles I felt in my knees during Thursday's run, so a day off might not be a bad idea.

    Saturday - 06.06
    AM
    Lifting - 1-3RM
    SQ: 1 x 275, 2 x 260, 2 x 3 x 247
    TK OHP: 1 x 160/155/135, 3 x 5 x 128
    DL: 1 x 310, 2 x 295, 2 x 3 x 279

    I couldn't find my weekly workout printout, so I guessed at some of the percentages.

    The Squat continued to feel solid at 275 1RM, so next week I'll start increasing the 1RM by two pounds per week.

    I loosened the Inzer belt by one set of holes. The extra tightening I did last workout was a little extreme, and probably counterproductive if it limited the abs' ability to fully contract against the belt. One notch looser feels just right. The belt kinda dug into my sides, above the bone, so I used the Spud nylon belt after I finished my squats. I will take some time to break in the 10mm-thick leather, but overall, I'm extremely pleased with the Inzer Forever Lever Belt. I really like how easy it is to loosen the belt in between sets without having to take it off.

    The Overhead Press was a disaster. 160 and 155 felt super heavy. They weren't even grindable. I dropped 20 pounds but even 135 felt heavy as a single. So I brought it down to 128 for sets of five across, which I knew I could do because I did that on Monday. I should probably spend a week or two just doing sets of five, to build my work capacity up again. It's hard to figure out how the shingles could've caused a drop of at least ten pounds off my 1RM, but not have affected my squat and deadlift, unless the nerve damage in my upper left torso and upper arm is more than superficial. Maybe it's just a matter of the healing in that area interfering with my CNS's ability to fully activate the muscles. I think next week I may try a first set a bit heavier, to activate the muscle fibers, and then lower it for 2-3 more worksets, to build capacity. I'll maintain the fiction for the rest of this cycle that my 1RM is 160, and if it doesn't come up by the end of the cycle, I'll reduce it to a more realistic 150 to begin Cycle IV.

    The deadlift felt relatively easy and niggleless. So that's a relief, both my squat and deadlift are solid and ready to resume a weekly progressive overload via microloading. Those two lifts' improvement is the most important to me at this point, since the presses are still relatively stronger according the Iron Ratio. No harm done spending a few weeks recovering the presses while I make a push for new PRs on the lower body lifts. I'll get a new PR on the Squat next week, and then on the Deadlift sometime in September. I could push the Deadift harder, but I like the idea of building up a decent amount of volume before I start going for PRs. I'm still leery of hurting myself.

    ---------------Week 7: Cycle III---------------
    Template for this week:

    2015 Cycle 3 Week 7--15.06.07.jpg

    I think on Monday and Wednesday, I'll do the first set of the performance lifts at 85% and 75%, respectively, and then the ensuing sets at 80% and 70%. I need to find some way to continue building volume in the main lifts without sacrificing the upper body pulls at the end of the workout. With the shingles, it's been hard to complete more than half of each prescribed workout, so it's kind of a Catch-22: I don't have the work capacity to build the work capacity I need in order to finish my workouts.

    Sunday - 06.07
    Mid-AM
    Running – Aerobic
    6 miles, Ford Parkway-Marshall Bridge Circuit. My left calf felt tight, probably from the prior day's deadlifts, so I began walking. But the calf never loosened up. And the lower hammie began to tighten as well. I stopped to stretch several times but the relief was brief. By the time I realized it was going to keep getting tighter and tighter, I was already to the halfway point, Ford Parkway Bridge. I tried to run some, but after a half mile I saw that I was just accelerating the cramping/tightening, so I went back to walking. By the time I got back to my car, I was limping a bit. I could feel the tightness all the way up to my right glute. It felt similar to the hammie strain I experienced last fall. I'm pretty sure the deadlifts provoked it. I have been pretty sporadic about doing them heavy. I'll avoid them during Monday's workout, stretch out a bunch, and see if the hammies, glutes, and calf muscles loosen up by Tuesday's run.

    Monday - 06.08
    PM
    Lifting - 5RM
    BP: 2/3/4/5/ x 215
    TK OHP: 5 x 125/130/130/125

    With my right leg feeling strained/stiff, I decided just to do upper body stuff, but then my dad needed a ride to the eye doctor, so I just got in the presses. Need to recover my bench press and continue getting my OHP back up to speed. I guess that will be the mission until my right leg feels loose enough to do squats and deadlifts again.

    Tuesday - 06.09
    PM
    Lifting
    N PD: 5 x 150/150/150/150
    P Row: 5 x 125/125/135/135

    It felt a little premature to run on my strained right hammie/calf, so I got in some upper body pulls. I haven't done these for a while, so I went light just to prime things. It's interesting lifting two days in a row, but I don't really like it.

    Wednesday - 06.10
    PM
    Lifting - 8RM
    BP: 8 x 196/183/183
    TK OHP: 2 x 121, 5/2 x 113
    SQ: 5 x 85
    DL: 5 x 175
    CG N PD: 3 x 5 x 150
    P Row: 2 x 8 x 130

    Tried the Bench Press at 75% then 70%, felt pretty good to have the second and third set be lighter.

    I was going to do the same thing on the OH Press, but it just wasn't there. I think I was still tired from the previous day's pulls.

    I then did light squats and deadlifts just to see how my tight right knee and hammie area would respond. Seemed OK, might try for more on Friday.

    The pulls were a little hard doing them again without a day for recovery, but I got a little pump, the first pump I've felt in a long time, so that was nice.

    Hopefully now I'm primed, or nearly primed, for fuller workouts on Friday or beginning next week.

    Thursday - 06.11
    PM
    Walking
    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshall bridge circuit, light rain. My right knee felt really stiff, so I only attempted to run a few steps.

    I was able to go the whole day without painkillers, so that was good, but then I succumbed in the evening when the neuralgia bounced back post-run. It was then that I noticed my right knee was swollen. I've read that Ibuprofen can lead to joint swelling, so maybe that's the cause. I'll continue avoiding Ibuprofen for a few days and see if that helps bring down the swelling.

    Friday - 06.12
    PM
    Lifting - 1-3RM
    Stabbing pain throughout the day, no painkillers. I'm starting to wonder if the swelling in my right knee is caused by the Gabapentin, for which edema in the limbs is a known side effect. So off both Gabapentin at night and Ibuprofen during the day to see if that helps reduce the swelling. Meanwhile, the shooting pain has returned, so Friday was a bad day. I laid down for some bench pressing, but just didn't have the motivation to get past warm-ups sets.

    Saturday - 06.13
    AM
    Running
    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshall bridge circuit, all walking. The knee is a little less stiff perhaps, but the second half was still a little gimpy, and it's hard to descend stairs. OH well, need some exercise to help me sleep through the night.

    ---------------Week 8: Cycle III---------------
    Sunday - 06.14
    Woke up at 2:30am, a lot of stabbing pain. I managed to get back to sleep for a few hours, then I was busy setting everything up and overseeing my daughter's birthday party, so I didn't notice the pain that much until I had a chance to sit down after it was all done.

    Monday - 06.15
    Bad day, a lot of stabbing pain.

    Tuesday - 06.16
    Woke up at 2am. Saw a doctor. He pooh-poohed the idea that the swelling in my right knee could be caused by either Gabapentin or Ibuprofen. He also didn't think it would be a problem for my kidneys or liver to take Ibuprofen for another month or so. So I guess I'll start taking them again, avoid squats and deadlifts and running until next week, and see if the swelling increases or continues to dissipate. The knee is feeling better everyday, and I can almost descend stairs completely normally now.

    PM
    3.6 miles, Franklin-Marshall bridge circuit, all walking. Knee started to feel a little gimpy after a half mile, but I continued anyway.

    Wednesday - 06.17
    Thursday - 06.18
    Friday - 06.19
    Saturday - 06.20


    __________________________________

    Cycle III Results:
    Somehow, my squat went up without despite the Shingles, but then I wasn't able to maintain it because my right knee started swelling. The swelling has mostly disappeared at the end of this cycle, but the knee is still painful. So I started the cycle with shingles, and ended it with a bum knee. The only good news is that I've lost a little weight from the prolonged recovery from Shingles.
     
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  2. Abide

    Abide
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    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
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    I am not sure what this cycle is going to look like. The goal will be to get my shoulder back to close to 100%.

    Things learned from last cycle. The split routine was a nice change in pace. However the lower frequency of the lifts seem to have caused some regression in strength towards the end of the cycle. The first four weeks I did notice a nice uptick in my strength levels, but this regressed the latter four weeks which may also be related to the longer races as well. The two power orientated lifts, power cleans and push presses added some nice variety and a metabolic challenge. Overall the contribution to strength though was minimal, and the potential for an injury is higher with these lifts. I think for these reasons I will probably not add them in as the risk is much greater than any reward. In the future I might do another split routine, however I will only run it for 4 weeks vs. 8. I think it will be more complimentary in that time allotment.

    -------------Week 1: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 4/27
    MTB - 45k @ 180min

    Tue - 4/28
    Bike Commute - 35k @ 85 min

    Wed - 4/29
    Step ups - 100 @ 10kgs alternating legs
    TBDL - 4 x 10 @ 65kgs

    These are about the only two lifts I can do right now. I might be able to work in farmer walks as well, but today the positioning felt awkward. I tried benching again and it was extremely painful after a going down a couple of inches. Shit this sucks.

    Thu - 4/30
    Run Commute - 18k @ ~130 min
    Lunch Yoga
    Bike Commute - 17.5k @ 50 min

    Felt terrible during today's run. Shoulder was sore but fine during the run, it's getting better, just slowly. Ran about 1k barefoot and the rest in my luna's. I have to be honest I didn't really like either all that much. My soles are very sensitive these days and the luna toe strapping was bothering me. Back to my five fingers I guess.

    Fri - 4/30
    Run Commute - 18k @ ~126 min
    Bike Commute - 17.5k @ 40 min

    Ran again today, which led to some significant shoulder irritation at one point.

    -------------Week 2: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 5/4
    Squats - 3 x 10 @ 60kgs
    DL - 3 x 5 x 60/70/100
    DB rows - 3 x 10 x 15kgs
    Some lighter shoulder stuff

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 74 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Pretty happy I can get back on a few lifts even though my capacity is about 50%. I can't do any pressing and benching yet. On Wed I am going to work on the bar for the press and bench. I think I might need to shift to a wide grip initially as that is more comfortable right now. Holding the bar in the squat is tough and the weight on my shoulders is painful but bearable.

    Anyway I am hoping to log a 75k MTB ride tomorrow in prep for my staged race in a couple of weekends. I have a longer mountain run planned in the Kilarney Mountains next week. But the rest of the week next week will be off for vacation.

    Tue - 5/5
    Bike - 12k

    Fail on the trail... had some mechanical issues and nowhere was open for parts.

    Wed - 5/6
    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga

    TBDL 3 x 3 @ 125kgs
    LM Presses 3 x 10 @ 25kgs/5kgs
    Curls 3 x 10 @ 20kgs
    Rows 3 x 10 @ 32kgs/15kgs

    Thu - 5/7
    MTB - 12k @42 min
    PM
    MTB - 12k @ ~35 min

    Fri - 5/8
    Run Commute - 18k @ 123min
    Bike Commute - 17.5k @ 40min

    Started having an IT issue on my right knee on today's run. The body is breaking down! Terrible timing.

    -------------Week 3: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 5/11
    Run 12k up a mountain in Killarney.

    Fri - 5/15
    MTB - 67k @ 6:11 +/- 2,200m

    Sat - 5/16
    MTB - 95k @ 8:06 +/- 2,600m

    Sun - 5/17
    MTB - 100k @ 9:10 +/-2,900m

    Well the race was significantly more difficult than expected. I'll post a race report about it in the next couple of days.

    -------------Week 4: Cycle III--------------
    Tue - 5/19
    LM Press 5 x 10 @ 10kg right / 20kg left
    LM Rows 5 x 10 @ 40kgs
    Curls 3 x 10 @ 30kgs
    Pull overs 3 x 10 @ 20kgs
    Famers 1 x 150m x 65kgs

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min

    So that's about all I can do for the upper body right now, any sort of bench and pull ups cause too much pain. I think I should be good to squat and DL a little heavier now.

    Wed - 5/20
    Squats 10 x 5 @ 80kgs

    Thu - 5/21
    Run Commute 18k @ 126 min
    Lunch Yoga
    Bike Commute 17.5k @ 40 min

    Fri - 5/22
    Bike Commute 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Sun - 5/24
    4x
    Squats 10 @ 60kgs
    LM Press 10 @ 15/20kgs
    Inv Rows 10 @ BW

    -------------Week 5: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 5/25
    Run ~18k @ 120 min

    4 x
    Farmers 80M @ 85kgs
    LM Press 10 @ 15/20kgs
    LM Rows 10 @ 40kgs

    Tue - 5/26
    DL 3 x 2 @ 130kgs
    Press 3 x 5 @ 40kgs
    Pull ups 3 x 5 @ BW

    Bike Commute 35k @ 77 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Wed - 5/27
    4x
    TBDL 10 @ 85kgs
    LM Press 10 @ 15/20kgs
    Pull ups 5 @ BW

    Bike Commute 35k @ 75 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Ok last lifting session for the week. Everything feels good even after lifting 4 days in a row. My ITBS still is lurking but was very slight on Monday's run. I hope it doesn't bother me too much for Saturdays 105k. This will be another distance record for me by 4k!

    Thu - 5/28
    Lunch Yoga
    Bike Commute - 17.5k @ 40 min

    Fri - 5/29
    Bike Commute - 35k @ 77 min

    Sat - 5/30
    ~35k @ 4:00

    Race fail... https://6movements.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/grand-trail-des-lacs-et-chateaux-105k-or-25k/

    Sun - 5/31
    Yoga and foam rolling

    SDL 3 x 3 @ 140kgs
    Press 3 x 10 @ 30kgs
    Pull ups 5 x 5 @ BW

    -------------Week 6: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 6/1
    Run 2.5k @ 15 min

    3X
    Squat 10 @ 60kgs
    Inv Rows 8 @ BW
    Ab rollouts 10 @ BW

    Then: hip thrusts 2 x 5 (ten sec count at top) @ 100kgs
    Side lifts x 30 each side

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Still working through some treatment options for my knee. I looked back on my log and the only thing that sticks out and is unusual prior to the first time I had the ITBS issue was my shoulder injury. Maybe the imbalance from that caused the ITBS? I am going to try to see a chiro to see if they can help. Get diligent about stretching and focus on dropping some weight. Hopefully something will work...

    Tue - 6/2

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga
    Walked a 5k


    Wed - 6/3
    TBDL 3 x 10 @ 85kgs
    Press 5 x 4 @ 40kgs
    P Rows 3 x 10 @ 60kgs

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga
    Walked a 5k

    Thu - 6/4
    MTB 14k @ 40 min
    Barefoot walk 5k

    Fri - 6/5
    Squats - 3 x 5 @ 70kgs
    LM Press 3 x 10 @ 20kgs
    P Rows 3 x 8 @ 60kgs

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Sat - 6/6
    Trail run 16k @ 120min

    ITBS in full effect, it took about 90 minutes before it was painful on the downs.

    -------------Week 7: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 6/8
    Bike Commute - 35k @ 79 min
    Lunch Yoga

    Squats 3 x 5 @ 72.5kgs
    LM Press 3 x 10 @ 20kgs
    P Rows 3 x 10 @ 60kgs
    Ab rollouts 3 x 10
    Pull ups 3 x 5 @ BW

    Hopefully I will get a lifting session in tonight.

    Tue - 6/9
    Bike Commute - 35k @ 81 min
    Lunch Yoga +
    30 leg raises
    10 hip thrusts 5 sec hold

    Lets see if I can do the night lifting twice in a row. Ended up being a little too sore to lift in the evening.

    Wed - 6/10
    Squats 3 x 5 @ 75kgs tightened up my stance a bit
    LM Press 3 x 10 @ 22.5kgs
    Pull ups 3 x 5 @ BW

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Lunch Yoga +
    30 leg raises
    10 hip thrusts 5 sec hold

    Thu - 6/11
    Lunch Yoga

    Fri - 6/12
    Run Commute - 18k @ 120min
    Lunch Yoga
    Bike Commute - 17.4k @ 40 m

    Sun - 6/14
    MTB - 50k @ 3:00

    -------------Week 8: Cycle III--------------
    Mon - 6/15
    OTM x 10
    DL x 2 @ 110kgs
    Pull ups x 5

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 80 min
    Yoga + a bunch of ITBS exercises

    Tue - 6/16
    Bench 3 x 10 @ 30kgs
    Rows 3 x 10 @ 50kgs


    Bike Commute - 35k @ 83 min

    Another blah morning. I suspect the calorie restriction has taken it's toll on my energy levels. I might try to get in 3 days of lifting and then the following week I will be traveling and won't have time to lift at all. After that hopefully things will start falling in place.

    Wed - 6/17
    Lunch Yoga

    Let's see if I can get something done tonight. I am going to experiment with a routine I have been stewing on for a couple of days.

    Thu - 6/18
    Run Commute - 18k @ 2:15
    Bike Commute - 17.5k @ 44 min
    Yoga

    God the knee felt awful this run. I'm screwed...

    Fri - 6/19
    DL EMOM x 20 130kgs
    Ab roll outs 3 x 10
    Pullups 3 x 5

    Bike Commute - 35k @ 81 min
    Yoga

    Workout went great. Really like the EMOM convention. 140kg shouldn't be a problem next week. I think I'll do the singles a few times and then bump to doubles and then bump weight.
     
  3. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow
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    Barefooters
    1. Illinois

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
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    -- assessment of last cycle --
    - how it worked out -
    i'm still happy with the full body workout thing. i had three weeks of travel which interfered, but everything still went ok. so far, there has only been complementarity between running and lifting and not substitutability/competition

    - progress toward cyclical and yearly goals -

    i think i met most of my aspirational goals for working set loads. the fake bench/chest press thing on the machine never quite made it to #13 for the working sets, but i think i gained some strength in it. i don't know if my grip strength has improved or not, although i did a bunch of pool noodle squeezes during one of my travel weeks and emphasized the "fat" bar for pullups.

    the squats seemed to improve a fair amount this cycle and i had some good weeks at 130lbs whereas i was shooting for 120lbs. although, i discovered in the last two weeks that weirdly, my left leg seems weaker (or at least less confident) in doing pistol squats than my right leg.

    - goals for this cycle -
    for the moment, i have decided that the chest press thing isn't giving me much love and i don't like the constrained motion of the machine. i like the idea of the overhead press better. so, i think i am going to dump the chest/bench thing and re-emphasize the normal press and replace it with a little cable-fly vanity action for the upper chest (i'm aiming for plate armor as opposed to little lumpy mountains and i'll end up with nothing at all...).

    since squats are still the weakest and also responding the best, i'm going to focus on them. so, maybe try to sneak in even more sets. the time/effort will be recovered by cutting even further back on deadlift and keeping the vanity under control.

    pullups will still be overrepresented outside formal workout time because i'm dumb like that and want to see what happens.

    in other news, since my weight has gone exactly nowhere while strength, speed, and endurance have been improving, i'm thinking of mixing up the diet a little bit. heretofore, i have been loosely attempting to conform to the usual propagandist lies about how protein is the best thing ever. i think that all it does is turn my pee yellow. so, just for the fun of it, i'm going to cut back on my contributions to the groundnut and edible dry bean farmers of the world and stick to the fruits and grains part of the old "edenic diet" trope of fruits, nuts, and grains (ok, and actually a bunch of vegetables, too, so it's more like an "after the fall" diet). not a major shift, by any means, but a small shift in emphasis. and then maybe we can see if there is any noticeable effect on running or lifting. (my hypothesis is that there will be no discernible difference and hopefully it will be a teensy bit cheaper.)

    for running, i'm hoping to consistently run 5 or 6 days a week and crank up the miles a little bit while maintaining or increasing my typical speeds. that is, try to get up around 40 miles and keep the 6-episode distance-weighted average pace below 7:30 most of the time. at this stage, i don't have a formal plan for pacing/effort/etc other that what i am about to outline in the next paragraph.

    i once heard a podcast where this "elite" coaching type guy was saying how he would ask track and/or crosscountry guys, "so, how far can you run?" and they were like, "uh, uh, uh, i don't know." with lifting weights, it is fairly straightforward to get a pretty good idea of what you can or cannot do. but with running, the sheer amount of time involved makes those assessments a little more difficult and most runners have never seriously considered it. however, i would like to play with that a little in running to see how far i can run at different (fast) speeds. that is, try to run really fast (just below sprinting and so on) and get a feel for how long i can keep up different effort levels and know how it feels. then maybe i can decide if i am being lazy or doing fairly well.

    workout plan:
    pullups throughout day: (mostly weighted and with fat bar, if i can maintain discipline)
    squats: 3x6 warmup, 6x6 working
    bent over dumbbell row: 1x6 warmup, 2x6 working
    press: 1x6 warmup, 4x6 working
    deadlift: 2x6 (lighter then heavier; pretend to work on form)
    cable flies: 2x10

    old total sets: (1+5) + (1+3) + (1+4) + 3 + 3 = 21
    new total sets: (3+6) + (1+2) + (1+4) + 2 + 2 = 21

    hey, check it out! it should take a similar amount of time.

    aspirational working loads by the end:
    pullups (4 pullups at +26lbs)
    squats: 145 lbs
    bent over row: maintain 85lbs
    press: 80lbs (85 would be nice, but it might have to wait until next time; squats are more important to me right now)
    cable flies: #3 (30lbs +/- friction)


    week 1: april 26-may 2
    [travel fatigue recovery through monday; jet-lag has been blessedly and strangely absent on the return]
    sunday: running 7.25mi at 7:47 pace (first mile in 12 minutes with children)
    monday: running 5.5 at 7:31 pace

    tuesday:
    running 4.0 at 11:02 pace (morning entertaining children who won't sleep), ~1.0 (evening with children)

    (44 minutes)
    squats: ?x6 at 65/75/85lbs, 6x6 at 105lbs
    barbell bent-over row: 1x6 at 65lbs, 2x6 at 85lbs
    press: 1x6 at 55lbs, 4x6 at 65lbs
    deadlift: ?x6 at 135/155lbs
    cable flies (kneeling and pulling from high attachment point): 2x10 at #2 (20lbs)

    wednesday:
    running
    6.25mi at 7:39 pace (morning)
    0.7mi at 11:37 pace (evening; getting children to sleep)
    2.5mi at 7:39 pace (child sleeping in "home gym", so i decided to do a tiny bit of running instead)

    thursday:
    pullups throughout day: 23 (+16lbs, 1 was +30lbs)
    running: 11.2mi at 6:55 pace
    home gym still occupied by sleep refugees

    friday:
    pullups throughout day: 20 (+16lbs) and something like 10 at the park (+0lbs)
    running: 8.2mi at 7:34 pace
    still using the lame excuse that children are occupying the gymnasium

    total = 46.8mi

    week 2: may 3-9
    sunday: running: 14.25mi at 8:00 pace

    monday: (~45 minutes)
    pullups throughout day: 16 (+0lbs)
    overhead squats: ?x6 at 0/15/20/25
    normal squats: ?x6 at 65/75/85/95; 6x6 at 105
    rows: ?x6 at 65/85/85
    press: ?x6 at 55/65

    running: 6.3mi at 7:09 pace

    tuesday:
    pullups throughout day: 5 (+16lbs, 1 was +35lbs)
    (morning: 13 minutes)
    flies: 10/10 at #2
    deadlift: ?x6 at 135/155lbs

    (evening: 27 minutes)
    squats: ?x6 at 85/105/105/105/110/110/115/115/115/120

    running: 5.1mi at 7:48 pace

    wednesday:
    pullups throughout day: 24 (+0lbs)

    running: (midday) 5.5mi at 7:21 pace
    (late afternoon) 5.0mi at 8:28 pace

    thursday:
    pullups throughout day: 10 (+16lbs)
    running: 7.3mi at 7:41pace

    (~40 minutes)
    squats: ?x6 at 85/105/105lbs, 5x6 at 120lbs, 1x6 at 125lbs
    press: 1x5 at 55lbs, 4x6 at 65lbs

    friday:
    pullups throughout day: 25 (+0lbs)
    running: 9.1mi at 7:46pace

    total = 52.8mi

    week 3: may 10-16
    sunday: a few odd pullups at the park

    monday: (50 minutes)
    squats: ?x6 at 85/105/105lbs, 5x6 at 120lbs
    rows: ?x6 at 65/85/85lbs
    press: 1x6 at 55lbs, 4x6 at 65lbs, 1x6 at 70lbs
    deadlift: ?x6 at 135/155lbs
    flies: 2x10 at #2

    running: 3.6mi at 6:56 pace

    tuesday:
    pullups throughout day: 40 (+16lbs, 1 was +40lbs)
    running: 4.5mi at 6:27 pace

    wednesday: (38 minutes)
    pullups throughout day: 18 (+21lbs)
    squats: ?x6 at 85/105/105lbs, 3x6 at 125lbs, 3x6 at 120lbs
    rows: ?x6 at 65/85/85lbs
    press: 1x6 at 55lbs, 3x6 at 65lbs, 1x6 at 70lbs

    thursday: (56 minutes minus toddler interruption)
    pullups throughout day: 13 (+21lbs)
    squats: ?x6 at 85/105/105lbs, 4x6 at 125lbs, 2x6 at 115lbs (decreased the range a bit)
    rows: ?x6 at 65/85/85lbs
    press: 1x6 at 55lbs, 4x6 at 65lbs
    deadlift: ?x6 at 135/155lbs
    flies: ?x10 at #2/#2.5

    running: 5.6mi at 6:49

    friday:
    pullups throughout day: 29 (+16lbs)
    running: 7mi at 7:38 pace

    total = 20.8mi

    week 4: may 17-23
    sunday: running: 11.9mi at 7:57

    monday:
    running: 6.1mi at 7:25
    pullups throughout day: 24 (+16lbs)
    (54 minutes)
    squats: ?x6 at 85/95/105lbs, 6x6 at 115lbs
    rows: ?x6 at 75/90/90lbs
    press: ?x6 at 55/65/65/68/70lbs
    deadlift: ?x6 at 135/155lbs, 1 at 205lbs
    flies: ?x6 at #2/#2.5

    tuesday:
    running: 9.1mi at 7:25
    pullups throughout day: 38 (+16lbs)

    wednesday:
    running: 4.3mi at 7:22
    pullups throughout day: 44 (+0lbs, still with fat bar)

    thursday:
    running: 7.2mi at 7:35
    pullups throughout day: 42 (+16lbs)

    friday: running: 9.0mi at 7:32

    total = 47.8mi

    week 5: may 24-30
    sunday: running: 14.1mi at 8:02

    monday: running: 12.7mi at 8:26

    tuesday: (35 minutes; finally)
    squats: ?x6 at 65/75/85lbs, 6x6 at 105lbs
    rows: ?x6 at 65/85/85lbs
    press: ?x6 at 55/65/65/68/68lbs

    running: 5.6mi at 7:52

    wednesday: running: 7.25mi at 7:28

    thursday: (32 minutes)
    squats: ?x6 at 65/75/85lbs, 6x6 at 105lbs
    rows: ?x6 at 65/85/85lbs
    press: 1x6 at 55lbs, 4x6 at 68lbs

    friday:
    pullups throughout day: 49 (+0lbs)
    running: 9.0mi at 7:44

    total = 56.0mi

    week 6: may 31-june 6

    sunday: running: 16.4mi at 7:18

    monday: running: 6.3mi at 7:20 and 4.6mi at 7:38

    friday: pullups throughout day: 21 (+0lbs)

    total = 11.0mi

    week 7: june 7-13

    sunday: running: 3.7mi at 7:26
    monday: pullups throughout day: 48 (+0lbs, still fat bar)
    tuesday: pullups throughout day: 4 (+16lbs)
    wednesday:

    pullups throughout day: 7 (+0lbs)
    running: 3.7mi at 7:25

    week 8: june 14-20

    wednesday: pullups throughout day: 28 (+0lbs)

    friday: pullups throughout day: 14 (+16lbs)

    [easy search code: asdf]
     
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    I think the JT website has been releasing a lot of good information recently. Much better than the bi-polarness of Tnation.

    The only thing cautionary thing I could think of for building volume slowly is the adequate development of the connective tissues. It's kind of the same advice as the 10% rule for running.
    Then again I'm not big a big fan of volume either, I personally find more volume creates a lot of overuse type annoyances and overall it never really lead me to significant strength gains. I can understand from the lifting perspective because it probably has semi-similar benefits as LSD does for endurance stuff, but I'm not sure if it adds the same level of benefit? I'm curious to see how you do with it?

    So it's kind of a good news, bad news situation. Pretty much all barbell lifting is off right now. I tried this morning and almost everything causes serious pain. Even squatting with an empty bar. I can hold weight in the trap bar to some extent, 60kgs with some discomfort. On the other hand even though it was a biking injury it doesn't seem to affect biking or running. Getting dressed is probably the most difficult thing to do. The range of motion is coming back slowly, but my entire shoulder/collar bone/traps are quite swollen still and I can't see the collar bone at all on that side. Not sure what to do yet. I might actually just do some high rep body squats, step ups, light TBDL, and hangs from the pull up bar for the next two weeks. Then I have a week off in Ireland and then my staged mountain bike race. Hopefully after 3 weeks I can do some more lifting? I should probably see a doctor but its difficult sometimes over here, and the treatment is probably just resting and building back up slowly. I think I actually might have broken my clavicle...
     
  5. Bare Lee

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    the squats seemed to improve a fair amount this cycle and i had some good weeks at 130lbs whereas i was shooting for 120lbs. although, i discovered in the last two weeks that weirdly, my left leg seems weaker (or at least less confident) in doing pistol squats than my right leg.

    Probably just a coordination thing?

    - goals for this cycle -
    for the moment, i have decided that the chest press thing isn't giving me much love and i don't like the constrained motion of the machine. i like the idea of the overhead press better. so, i think i am going to dump the chest/bench thing and re-emphasize the normal press and replace it with a little cable-fly vanity action for the upper chest (i'm aiming for plate armor as opposed to little lumpy mountains and i'll end up with nothing at all...).

    You could try push-ups, or push-up variations too, like dive-bombers or weighted.

    since squats are still the weakest and also responding the best, i'm going to focus on them. so, maybe try to sneak in even more sets. the time/effort will be recovered by cutting even further back on deadlift and keeping the vanity under control.

    i once heard a podcast where this "elite" coaching type guy was saying how he would ask track and/or crosscountry guys, "so, how far can you run?" and they were like, "uh, uh, uh, i don't know." with lifting weights, it is fairly straightforward to get a pretty good idea of what you can or cannot do. but with running, the sheer amount of time involved makes those assessments a little more difficult and most runners have never seriously considered it. however, i would like to play with that a little in running to see how far i can run at different (fast) speeds. that is, try to run really fast (just below sprinting and so on) and get a feel for how long i can keep up different effort levels and know how it feels. then maybe i can decide if i am being lazy or doing fairly well.

    You could look into something like the McMillan Pace Calculator: https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/index.php/calcUsage/calculate.
    It's kind of like the 1RM percentages in ST. You can plug in your pace at x distance, and get a estimate of what your pace should be at other distances. Might help you set goals.
    workout plan:

    old total sets: (1+5) + (1+3) + (1+4) + 3 + 3 = 21
    new total sets: (3+6) + (1+2) + (1+4) + 2 + 2 = 21

    I also like to keep sets in the 20-25 range.

    hey, check it out! it should take a similar amount of time.

    aspirational working loads by the end:
    pullups (4 pullups at +26lbs)
    squats: 145 lbs
    bent over row: maintain 85lbs
    press: 80lbs (85 would be nice, but it might have to wait until next time; squats are more important to me right now)
    cable flies: #3 (30lbs +/- friction)

    As you can see, I'm also moving more to a squataholic approach.
    That's a good summary of T-Nation.

    Yah, I think I'm taking more of a half-volume/half-frequency approach. After yesterday's workout, I think I've decided to keep most of the lifts at three worksets, but I'm still going for a little extra volume on the squats. In general, I think the frequency is just as important as volume, although of course the two are linked. And I'm not willing to work out more than an hour, three times per week, so there will always be a limit on how much volume or frequency I can do. Also, I'm not sure if I'll be able to handle the extra bench pressing. If I need to cut back, I may increase the sets on the OH Press again. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with my current set-up. I don't anticipate any further tweaks for a while, just adjustments to rates of load increase. All the charts and projections are fun, but they don't really mean anything. It all comes down to weekly load increases, and making sure everything is challenging but comfortable. I'm committed to the full-body, six-lift approach, and I also think the squat-centric approach is the way to go for me, at least for the time being.

    That sucks about the lifting hiatus. Bodyweight squats seems like a good sub in the meantime, otherwise, not much you can do without your shoulders. I would have it X-rayed though. Even if the prescription is just rest, it could be good to know if anything is fractured or not, even if it's just for future reference. Hopefully it's just massive bruising.

    My shoulder blades are killing me after a weekend of removing mostly small stumps, but also whacking at a pretty big one. I kept waking up every 30-60 minutes, searching for a better position. I thought about how hard it must be for you to sleep after your injury. Heal up quick!
     
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    Hey did either of you read this one? http://www.strengtheory.com/high-fr...rch-on-highly-trained-norwegian-powerlifters/
    From the comments in your link. Seems like we are on the right track.

    Yeah sleeping sucks. I thought I slept on my back more but it's been hard to do it exclusively. I think I'll get an X-ray in a couple of days, I'm really hoping its bruising or a minor sprain but who knows. Oddly enough my left arm is acting upright now, probably from the overuse it has been experiencing the last couple of days.
     
  7. Bare Lee

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    Yah, a few weeks ago when I discovered the Nuckols site, I went through about all the relevant articles. That article was published a year ago, I wonder if the study has been peer-reviewed yet? Also, with such dramatic results, you'd think the methodology would be replicated in another study or incorporated into several training programs by now. One commentator noted that the volume isn't exactly the same, since presumably, the higher frequency group is doing more warm-ups. Plus, normally the EOD group would be able to do higher intensity than the ED group, and yet they kept that constant for both, right? So there's a bias towards the higher frequency group. Still, it's another example of the grease-the-groove approach. It makes sense. I used to train karate 5-6 days a week, 4-5 hours per day, and I got my black belt in about 18 months I think. Normally it takes about three to four years at three days per week, about two hours each training session. I could feel myself getting better on a weekly basis. I was the first foreigner in Japan to get a black belt in that full-contact style.

    One thing I've wondered about is doing 30 minutes of weights and 30 minutes of running each day. It would have to be first thing in the morning, otherwise scheduling would be tricky. Higher frequency training like that might be the way to go for the best results, but mentally, I would burn out pretty quickly I think. Unlike running, weights are inherently kind of boring, so I need a day off to keep up the motivation. I could see running every day though.

    I also spent some time looking into all the John Broz/Perryman, Squat Every Day stuff. Here's a few examples:
    http://bretcontreras.com/observations-from-squatting-daily/
    http://pendlayforum.com/showthread.php?t=2874
    http://www.myosynthesis.com/systems-view-exercise

    But as another commentator said, it might be more of a selection protocol than a lifting protocol. Only a few people over time will be able to max lift on a daily basis. Still, that stuff helped emphasize the importance of making the squat the centerpiece to my lifting routines.

    I think my left shoulder ache is from the overuse of lifting the sledge hammer up. Makes me realize how imbalanced my ST is, all strength, little conditioning or mobility. On the other hand, without the ST foundation, I'd probably be a lot worse off after a weekend of yardwork. I think I'm going to just try to dig around the stump and try to yank it out with a truck. Or pay one of my nephews to do it. But young men are so lazy these days.
     
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    Weren't we lazy when we were young? Well I guess now days its easier to keep yourself entertained while being lazy. I used to be lazy but then get bored of it very quickly and try to find a way to make some money.

    Yeah I was meaning from the perspective of squatting 3 times a week vs. once or twice, like the plan I was doing before. I'd be interested in a study but there is just no money in strength training. The facts are there, maybe not scientifically proven, but most people don't really care anyway.

    I can't make a good argument from the concurrent perspective to have more than 3 lifting days a week. That seems to be about the amount that gives you the highest return on time invested from a strength perspective. Maybe from a martial arts standpoint the muscle memory from repetition is more important? And I have to say from an endurance perspective the long run trumps all. On Sunday I just took off running in a t-shorts and shorts and ran for about 3 1/2 hours without any trouble. I am becoming a believer in the long slow run and doing the 30 minutes a day running wouldn't really give you these kind of adaptations? It's something I always was skeptical about but lately my endurance stuff has been flowing really well. Other than my dumbass crashing.

    Did you get the playground up or is it contingent on the stump? Don't they rent stump grinders at your home depot? It'll probably cost less money than your nephew.
     
  9. Bare Lee

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    Oh yeah, I tried to get out of work, but I think there was also a little pride in doing a good job, and my dad was pretty old school about making us do stuff. Luckily my wife feels that way too, so our kids are already helping out a bit.

    Yah, I'm not concurrent like you are, but unless lifting is your life, three times a week is about max. I like having those two days off on the weekend too. I start to burn out by Friday sometimes, but after the weekend I'm ready to go again.

    Yah, I think for basic fitness, daily running, 30-60 minutes is enough, but if you want to be an accomplished distance runner, you gotta have the weekend long run. I would still like to get back to two hours on my weekend long run, but it feels like a long ways off right now. I'll have to review my log from 2013 to see how long it took me to go from 6 miles to 12. I think it was 3-4 months, and I can't even do six miles yet.

    You're right, for karate, a lot of it is skill training, but the adaptations are there too, especially for getting a good high kick stretch, and building up the calluses and toughening up the bone on your knuckles, shins, and forearms. I was also lifting pretty regularly. I think that was the first time I got up to 100 kgs on the bench press. I was doing Deadlifts, Power Cleans, Dips, and OH Press as well. No Rows, Squats, or Pullups though.

    Thanks for the tip re: Home Depot. Since I do this sort of stuff so infrequency, I'm not very good at using the resources available. I didn't even know stump grinders exist.

    BTW, I added some links to the previous comment.

    Edit: I guess one ongoing question I'll have this cycle is whether I've got the volume/intensity right. I'm tempted to take 5-10 pounds off all lifts so that I can do everything a little more quickly and easily. It would be a "one step back, two steps forward" approach, with the idea that I could go further in the end. But it's really hard to dial back the strength gains I've already made, even if it just sets me back in the short term. I think I'd rather stand pat at where I am until everything begins to get easier, then start adding weight again. One thing's for sure, with the bench press and deadlift up to full speed, and with an extra set each, I'm close to my limits in time, energy, and motivation.
     
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    I like that myosynthesis article "System theory, ironically, tells us to ignore all that mess and just go lift some weights and eat some food." probably the simplest and best advice. I like the point of viewing something as useful vs. right, and the usefulness of each model.

    Yeah that was kind of the limit capacity where I am at. I can keep pushing weights but it's tough to get them done in my ideal time slot. I think we could make a case for both as to which is more useful, a few less reps or exercises each day at higher weights or more overall workload with a little less working weight?
     
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    Hey I was meaning to ask, do you think it would be useful for me to do some single arm stuff for my non-injured side? Or do you think it will create too big of an imbalance? Normally my left side is slightly weaker than my right. Maybe it would be a good way to eventually equal them out?
     
  12. Bare Lee

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    Yah, the "usefulness of each model" idea gets back to the discussion about how everything works up to a point, especially for novices and intermediates. It's only at advanced and elite levels, where every pound or second counts, that choosing the right protocol might make a big difference. Anyway, I like systems theory, or cybernetics quite a bit, so it was interesting to see someone apply it to ST.

    You're probably right about volume versus intensity. As long as your got the ratios more or less right, then leaning one way or the other a bit probably doesn't matter too much. I've always been more of an intensity guy, although I've been more open to the volume approach lately. And I like the idea of workouts being relatively easy if I can still get results. Monday I was in pretty bad shape for a workout, so it's hard to judge, but it was hard to get through all four performance lifts when each one is close to my limits. And looking at other programs, especially the 5x5/Starr-based ones, nobody is really doing that kind mix of volume and intensity. I'm probably being overly ambitious. The routine I had towards the end of Cycle II worked pretty well, so I might end up going back to that, but I'd like to give this slightly higher volume workout a try for another few weeks and see if I settle in.

    Right now my back is killing me, so I don't know if I'll even work out today. I think I need to see a massage therapist. I really can't understand what's going on. It was nothing acute, just a post-use soreness that seems to be getting worse as it tightens up, and I can seem to self-massage it out. I think I'll spend some time now in traction using my straddle contraption and maybe also hang from my doorway pull-up bar.

    Funny, these sorts of things always seem to happen when I slack off in my running.
    Yah, I would think single arm stuff on your weak side would be a good idea. On the dumbbell rows, for example, I always start on my weak side, and often do extra reps there, so it would be the same idea.

    Here's a nice interview with Pendlay, basically endorsing a lot of the stuff we've adopted:
    https://www.t-nation.com/training/too-much-muscle
     
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    Hmmm, maybe it's worth adding heavy push presses?

    Pendlay: The push press has more carryover to pressing in general – bench press etc. – than any other upper body exercise. Show me a guy who can push press a big weight and he's going to be able to excel at any other pressing movement, even if he's never done it before.
    A big bench presser doesn't get that same carryover. I don't want to have 400-pound bench pressers who can't do anything else. The guy who can do heavy push presses doesn't have that problem. He's strong at everything.
    And that can't be done with the strict military press either. It's too hard to get it moving. You have such a weak point at the start that it limits the amount of weight you can use.
    With a push press, you can put 10 to 20% more weight over your head. You're forced to develop the ability to recruit those muscle fibers very quickly because you're pushing the bar off your shoulders with your legs and then your arms have to come into play, fast, so it doesn't stall. The ability to do that is very, very valuable.
    Second, with the push press there's just a huge overload at the top. That last six inches at the top is like doing a partial. That has a powerful effect on the body.
     
  14. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I thought about your subtracting push presses and power cleans when I read that. I dunno. He's training athletes, so explosive movements are more important. You made a good case for avoiding lifts that have higher risk potential. I would probably try push presses if I had a higher ceiling, although for me, the sticking point in the OH Press, even when kneeling, isn't right at the beginning, but rather when the bar is about 6-8 inches into the lift. I like the idea of starting workouts with box jumps though, right before I begin my squat sets. I saw someone else recommend that combo.
     
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    Of the two, the push press is probably less risky. I think loading them heavy and keeping them at 2-3 reps per set it should be more safe than the sets of 8 I was doing.
    Plus I think the motion might also have some carryover for running and biking.
    Our sticking points are the same, and that seems to be when you start driving with your arms in the push press so maybe it'll be a good assistance?
    I'll think about it a little more, right now it doesn't really matter since I can't do them anyway.
     
  16. Bare Lee

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    I don't know. Pendlay says part of the reason for doing push presses is to increase the load during the "arm-drive," by getting past the sticking point of overcoming initial inertia. But for us, the sticking point is the arm-drive phase, so we're already maximally loaded in that respect. The other reason is because he thinks it has a lot of carryover to other athletic pursuits, because it's explosive.

    Thinking more about the volume/intensity conundrum. I really like doing three sets each of the deadlift and bench press, instead of two like I was doing. It's probably good to get a little more volume in, and it's also nice to take advantage of another workset after doing the warm-ups. So I think I may reduce the loads by ten pounds, and maybe slow the rate of increase of the deadlift to two pounds per week instead of 2.5, to make sure every lift isn't an ordeal. It would mean I won't reach my 1000-pound total by the end of this year, but who cares, right? And who knows? I might end up being able to increase the loads faster before the year's out if I build up a little more volume first. So now only the OH Press is really challenging. The Squat is already 5-10 pounds below what I could probably do, and now the Deadlift and Bench Press would be too. I'll still get a good dose of intensity on Fridays. I might also make the pulldowns and rows all higher rep, instead of conforming to each workout's rep-count. I kind of want the end of the workout to be easier than the main body, something to look forward to. Maybe even throw out the cable rows and stick to Pendlay and 1DB Rows every time to keep things simple.
     
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    What? The shingles weren't causing the shoulder pain, or were they?

    Yeah I think 2 work days a week is adequate for progress. I even suspect two days a week is really optimal on the full body plan as long as you can get in good days for both.
     
  18. Bare Lee

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    Yah, it never made sense to be that sore from whacking a tree stump and then working out the next day. This also explains why Monday's workout was so hard to get through. I didn't have any rash or blisters as of Wednesday night, but the next time I saw myself in a mirror with my shirt off, Friday morning, I had them. Anyway, I spent most of the weekend sleeping. I'm feeling a little better today. It's painful but manageable. I think I must have a milder version. I'll see my regular doc in a few hours. Hopefully I can start lifting next week. In the meantime, I'll start walking in a day or two. We're both getting off to bad starts in Cycle III. I'm taking it as a sign that I need to tweak things a bit more. I think I'll take up your endorsement of the two main lifts days per week, more of a strict volume versus intensity alternation, and then do a bunch of variation or assistance lifts on Wednesday, using my usual list of suspects--LM Twist, OH Squat, Pullovers, Dips, etc. . . I'm also taking this as a sign to really focus on getting the running up to speed this cycle. That high blood pressure was scary. I had gotten it down to 130 a few weeks ago. I might try the ED protocol again. 2-3 miles every day might suit me best in terms of keeping my blood pressure even-keel.
     
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    Odd I don't know much about the shingles and would not have expected that either, I thought it was just a rash. Glad you getting over it. I wonder if kids with the chicken pox feel this way too?

    Yeah I have pretty much one goal in mind for this cycle just to get lifting normally again. The hard thing about this injury is having a plan is impossible. I have no idea what I can and cannot do from day to day. Although lifting and moving the shoulder has been helping immensely. I am pretty sure I have a Acromioclavicular Joint Sprain, the big question is what grade it is, and I am hoping for a grade 1 but due to the deformation of the area I suspect its a 2 or higher.

    Yeah so from a progress standpoint I am going to focus on the running/biking too. I was thinking about making a bigger push to speed up my rides to work. It will be like adding some intervals/tempos to the mix. I might also take advantage of the downtime and try to drop some weight? My BP has been on the high side the last couple of times I have measured it as well.
     
  20. Bare Lee

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    I would think you'd start to see some improvement in the second week of healing. Hopefully you'll be back to full strength by mid-cycle, by the end of the cycle at the latest.

    I'm also thinking of using the down time to drop some weight, and also try to quit the coffee habit again. The whole blood pressure thing has me a bit spooked. Funny how a week ago I was all gangbusters about new ST PRs. Now I'm craving more overall fitness first, PRs second . . .
     
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