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

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    I think the microloading concept really comes into its own on the more technical lifts, of which the squat is probably the hardest. So, although I hesitate giving advice to you, once you reach a load where the load starts to feel heavy, but your form is still good, that's where you really need to introduce microloading. Maintain the form, and start to increase the weight very slowly, like a pound to three pounds per week. Even just a pound a week adds up to 52 pounds in a year, and meanwhile, you've been honing your form the whole time. Anyway, that's how it's been working for me. I still have my goals, but the main thing is to practice good form during the workouts. The increases have become secondary. And the increases are still contingent on improving with structural balance. I used to feel a little silly doing bench presses well below my capacity, but now I appreciate more how they fit into the workout as a whole, and that feeling of integration you get towards the end.

    That looks pretty sweet. I agree, the neutral grip is nice. That's why I put my handle grip ends on the inside of my brakes and shifters rather than on the ends of the handlebar, so that I could have a shoudler-width neutral grip when I'm cruising, but I can using the wider, pronated grip for braking, shifting, and for when I need more stability, like over a rough or icy road.

    It was good to hear of some of the pitfalls of a road bike. I sometimes fantasize what it would be like to zip along on a lighter, faster bike, but you reminded me how nice it is to have something a bit more rugged. If and when I have some discretionary income again, I'll probably opt for getting an acoustic bass again, rather than a nice road bike. Besides, the heavier bike is better for fitness purposes, right? I'm envious though, of your aluminum frame.

    Had a nice cold-weather trial ride the other day. Only a little adjustment from cold-weather running, mainly due to the greater windchill. I got some nice gloves instead of mittens, and bought some ski googles too, both clear for darker rides, and tinted for sunny. I'm also experimenting with different windproof tights. Other than that, it's the same gear. But my feet did get cold, and I see I just missed Sockwa's 50% off Black Friday sale. I'm thinking of picking up the G Hi model, with more thermal properties and a high top. I really like the barefoot or minimalist pedaling feel, so I'm going to try to avoid boots if I can find a way to keep my feet reasonable warm. Just ordered some sheepskin insoles.

    Glad to hear the lifting is going well and that the shoulder is healing up. I don't recall giving you a time frame, but I'm glad it's working out. Ligaments/tendons can take a while.

    I'm feeling like I'm due for a couple of months of good progress now, so it will be fun to compare notes, as always. Really, these interactive logs are great motivation, and instill a nice sense of obligation for those days when I really don't feel like it, even if you (and BA and Sid) turn out to be sophisticated, interactive exercise robots. (And what happened to BA by the way? Is he moving houses again?) I've also found the logs useful for going back and analyzing certain things, like learning how to manage my knee issues by looking at how certain things or combinations of things set it off or, conversely, may have alleviated it.

    Anyway, took a nap yesterday instead of lifting, so I'm due for a session later today. Looking forward to testing out the DLs a bit more.
     
  2. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow Barefooters
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    i'm alive and have no way to influence your assessment of my humanity or computationality! this week, of course, has been that wonderful american invention known as "thanksgiving" (thank you political intrigue and clash of civilizations for giving us, your great-great-great-great-grandchildren, an excuse to construct a day or two of relaxation, familial bonding, and gratitude). the previous week, i decided that mommy needed a vacation. so, the children were packed up and off we went to the grandparents, leaving mommy behind. because we all know that if mommy goes along on a vacation, then mommy is not actually on vacation. she then got to eat out, read her books, go to work, and all those good things without having to worry about us slackers getting in her way all the time. thus, i was voluntarily on child duty 24-7, out in the country, during deer hunting season. so, not really any time or facilities for weights nor any good places to run.

    before i left, i tested my squats and presses. apparently, i'm just about where i was in december of last year. so, no progress, but fortunately no regress, either. and the last 6 months have been pretty inconsistent on the weight training front. as always, i need to just buckle down and try to be consistent.

    on the running front, i have been toying with a couple things. one is to try to pick up speed again after a few months of going really slow and really long. the other is to get really tough (?tolerant) feet to be able to handle the grit of my preferred ultra venue with ease. so, i have been trying to force myself to take my own advice and go run on the chip-n-seal. hence, you will see that i have updated the log to include chip-n-seal miles.

    i have to run about 1.65 miles to get to the beginning of the rough stuff. just before the chip-n-seal starts, there is a section about 0.2 miles long of, well, just a bunch of seal with no chip. on hot days, it is literally soft, but on all the other kind of days, it is just super smooth. thus, it is minimally damaging to the feet. so i have been trying a tiny interval-like thing where i try to go as fast as i can across there when i pass over it. then, back home, i download my GPS track and run it through my super-clunky-but-i-wrote-it-so-i-trust-it interpretation scripts and programs. apparently, the fastest i can run is about a 5-minute-mile pace. now, this is not up-on-your-toes sprinting, but i am turning those silly feet over as fast as i can. with a tail-wind, i think i get up to about a 4:45 pace. so clearly, i am not going to be setting any world records... anyways, it might be interesting to see if i can make any sort of improvement on that or not.

    the chip-n-seal is obviously much easier to run on when it is warm (the first couple in the log, you will notice, were run at blazing speeds; the more recent ones, not so much). but, it is getting better. wednesday, i ended up going much farther than i intended and did *not* end up with the brown soles as opposed to last week when just walking on my dad's gravel driveway gave me brown landing zones, although narrower than those from the race. maybe someday i will figure out what the deal is with that. i'm currently working off of the "tearing up capillaries and leaking red blood cells out" hypothesis, but i haven't figured out if the brown stuff gets reabsorbed, or rubbed off as the skin naturally falls off (and/or is helped by what you run on). presumably, rubbed off since i don't think there are many lymph vessels running through calluses and other thick skin. but, i feel like it disappears faster than you would expect the skin to be destroyed and regenerated.

    anyways, i'm still here, just trying to juggle all of life's excitement.
     
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  3. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    I typically do my 5 mile run in the AM and pullups/press in the PM. On Thursday, I recognized that I might not be up for for my evening workout, so I interspersed my pullups and press every mile or so on the treadmill.

    This actually seemed to help my pullups. Perhaps, I was able to stay warmed up? Usually, I would rest and do something else around the house.

    I wonder if walking or jogging on the treadmill might also help me stay warmed up for the squat/row and bench/dead?

    The whey arrived, all 44 glorious pounds. It's in the original manufacturer's bag from Mullins Whey. I found out that it's also available directly from Mullins. However, with coupons and free shipping, Z Natural Foods is cheaper. Both are cheaper than supplement companies that put it in a jar with a new label.
     
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  4. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    So I commuted on the new bike and it was surprisingly fast, maybe 1-2 km/hr slower than my other race bike. So I am happy with the performance. That brooks leather saddle is pretty comfy too, glad I purchased it. I actually think I might sell my road bike now, I don't really have a use for it as I really prefer the touring bike over it and I don't ever plan to race. I also replaced the grips with the brooks leather grips to match the seat, dang feels like I'm turning into a hipster. I should probably grow my beard back and start drinking IPA's again. Yep for our purposes a slightly slower and heavier bike really shouldn't make any difference and the reliability factor is much more consistent so overall I think its a win.

    Yeah the weather got colder here for a week, but now its back into the 50s and I am riding in shorts again. I was thinking about getting a pair of rain boots for the cold, my shoe covers are garbage and the boots would be much simpler.

    Started the squat microloads today and 91kgs was a piece of cake. I think the only downfall with microload scheme is the slow progress but I think as long as I can handle the monotony it should go pretty smoothly. A one kg increase a week might be the right increase in what my entire body can handle with rebuilding, maybe not when I start to hit my true maximums but nothing has felt anything but easy so far.

    Saw what you commented about your pull downs. For some reason I have been feeling the same with my back work as too much heavy is counteractive. I am wondering if that's why Rip doesn't prescribe specific heavy back work and assumes we get the work inherently with the bigger lifts? Seems like a reasonable theory for me at least. What do you think?
     
  5. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Glad the new bike is working out for you. Yah, racing bikes in a big peloton sounds like a real drag. I've heard leather saddles take a while to break in, but once they're broken in, they're golden.

    I don't think microloading should lead to slower progress. You can always manipulate the rate of increases or make bigger jumps if it starts to feel too easy. The key is to try to attain a consistent level of intensity workout to workout, not too hard, not too easy. What I really didn't like was not knowing if I could complete a set or rep. Now, especially for the squats, it's great approaching the bar knowing I can do solid reps with good depth every single time. All the number crunching outside of the workouts makes the actual workouts mindless and relaxing.

    For me, right now, I'm in a pretty good spot, so there's no longer any real push for greater progress. I'm just letting the gains come to me. My squat is as strong as it's ever been. My deadlift should be close to where it was a year ago sometime soon, and my presses will get back to where they were in a few months. It is really boring being this satisfied though. For the four main lifts, I don't really see much need to experiment with anything new, it's all just programming tweaks right now, like trying to figure out how to work in conventional deadlifts. Once a week for three sets? Or one set per workout? It will depend on how my knees react.

    Also trying to figure out the upper body pulls. My pullup push for this cycle hasn't been very successful, but the mid-cycle flu bug kinda screwed everything up, and lately I've been so work-obsessed that I haven't been finding time to grease the groove on my nonlifting days.

    I think Rip wonders what rows accomplish that isn't already done with deadlifts. I think he likes chinups over pronated or neutral-grip pullups because the former recruit the biceps more, which makes them easier but also makes them more of a complete lift, I think. I can see the argument against rows, but then some people, like Kroc, have said rows, dumbbell rows in his case, really help their deadlift too. And it seems to me it's simply a good thing to be able to do 5-10 bodyweight chinups, regardless of how they affect the other lifts.

    Everyone has their opinion about how these lifts interact and should be programmed. I like my stupid approach of simply noticing that there are six basic force/direction pairings, so just do all six for a balanced routine. I agree with you, however, that it's worth thinking about whether or not the upper body pulls should be programmed the same, in terms of sets, reps, and loads. That's kinda what I'm going through right now. For the Pendlay Rows, using the same 5/8/3 or 5/7/3 weekly wave seems to make sense, but I'm not sure about the other stuff. I guess I'll use the upcoming half-cycle to experiment a bit with that. I would like to adhere to the Iron Ratio, but I don't want to wait forever for my pullups to come up. Right now, using the 9:10 ratio instead of the 1:1 ratio of pullup to bench press, I'm OK, so I think I'll just focus on whatever load gets me quality reps and not worry about it too much. I've noticed on the fourth or fifth rep of my 190 loads for the Neutral-grip pulldowns, and sometimes the third rep of my 200-pound Supine Pulldowns, that I need to jerk it a bit more at the initial pull in order to get the bar all the way down below my chin. One thing I've become more and more convinced of as I progress, and that's the importance of strict form on most exercises. So it might be better to do fewer reps per sets and more sets, in order to maintain the quality. Kind of like how some people argue against higher rep deadlifts, because the form tends to degrade with fatigue, and that's dangerous (for deadlifts). I think I may have strained my right shoulder a bit while doing heavy pulldowns with degraded form.

    One other thing, something we've talked about, is the idea of keeping the pull to press ratio at 2:1, volume-wise, and not really worrying too much about whether or not the pulls are at the same intensity as the presses. Just get them in, as many have advocated, which is viewing them more as assistance. I don't know if I would go that far, but there does seem to be something different about them. Still, it would be awesome if my Pendlay Rows and Pullups could keep pace (according to my Iron Ratios) with the other lifts as I get stronger on the latter. One other thing again, is the possibility that I should let go of the idea of varying my grips on the Pulldowns, and just focus on Supine Pulldowns or Chinups until they get stronger. Once I can start to do bodyweight Chinups, then maybe incorporate different grips, but while I'm making the push, just get good at one thing, and do it all the time. Thoughts?
     
  6. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    It's a good question. I only have been doing neutral grip pull ups for the last 6 months and I think has been very beneficial to the health of my elbow and shoulders to some extent. Occasionally I will get the urge to switch to regular pull ups and I noticed when I do a set of them there really isn't any different between the hand positions from a strength standpoint, just that the neutral grip ones are much more comfortable and I have a much greater range of motion. So yeah I would probably go with the one that is most comfortable and lets you lift the most weight with the most fluid range of motion while having relatively strict form. Compare that to the bench, would you do a wide grip bench press anymore at all? I can see the benefit of narrow grip to an extent, but lifting the most weight in the safest position is probably always going to be the best choice. I suspect that's what thrall talks about in the squat vid you posted but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet.
     
  7. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Thanks for the reminder about safety. Here's more from Jason Ferruggia: http://jasonferruggia.com/the-shocking-truth-about-chin-ups/

    I guess my alteration between Neutral-grip, Close-grip, and Supine-grip has been keeping my wrists, elbows, and shoulders healthy so far, so why mess with success, right? I'll probably try the three-rep sets for a while and see how that works. With just three reps, the rest intervals between sets are minimal, so it shouldn't add much time to do more sets to make up for the lost reps. I'm also tempted to add my row rotation back in somehow, but with my current set up, Cable Rows are a bit of a hassle to set up. I have to switch cables. Maybe do Face Pulls instead? We'll see. Thanks for the feedback in any case.

    The Thrall video argues that deeper squats give more benefit, so even if the loads are reduced somewhat, if you're not a competitive powerlifter, one should opt for the more challenging version with greater ROM. I have to say, lately I've been getting better about consistently reaching better depth, and I likes it. It feels good, and you do get more of a bounce if you want it, although during warm-up sets especially, I like to pause a bit before coming back up. One thing I might try today is to bring up the Squat and RDL loads to 80% 1RM, instead of 75%, now that I'm doing seven reps instead of eight. In essence, I'm adding 15 pounds for the privilege of doing one less rep per set. I just hate doing higher rep sets.

    Thrall also had a video on warm-up, mostly mobility exercises. The other day I was throwing snowballs with the kids and man, my throwing arm could barely take it. I need to make mobility an integral part of the routine. First thing in the morning would probably be the easiest way to work it in.

    Now that my squat has reached a decent novice/intermediate level, I should probably switch to more of a purely fitness approach, and drop the strength component back down to equal status with conditioning and mobility . . .
     
  8. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    I also considered a multigrip bar for for the bench, overhead, and press. However, with my equipment setup, it would get complicated, particularly with the rope clamp safeties.

    Eventually, I found a fairly comfortable grip width. Although, it's different for each exercise.
     
  9. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Yeah alternating grips is a good idea, I do that with deadlifts, and it's why occasionally I'll do a set or two with pull ups with double overhand. But overall I feel like the neutral grip suits me best and even when I do inverted rings rows or DB rows I naturally mimic that grip.

    Face pulls are good, but I'm not sure how necessary they are if you are already doing rows and pull downs? I think doing a natural grip cable row is virtually the same thing but you can load it much heavier than you could face pulls? Then again I am falling onto that minimalist/specialist mindset recently so take it with a block of salt.

    Yeah I have actually been really enjoying doing a narrower stance deep squat, I think I have the mechanics for me all worked out. I don't pause or bounce anymore but what has been working is to keep everything really tight and lower slowly and smoothly keep and one continuous motion. I also try to push out of the hole as fast as I can.

    Speaking of varying grips I cant seem to remember if you got your mutli grip bar from that company?


    You know I have only been using my swiss bar for rows, but not that you mention it I wonder if it would be good to use for the close grip bench press too? It doesn't works so well for the press because it shifts the mechanics a bit to get around my noggin. BTW how do you like the rope safeties? You still haven't posted a pick of the setup.
     
  10. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Yah, chinups or supine grip pullups are pretty unnatural I guess. It's not the way we climb things, is it? I'll probably stick to the three-way alternation though, just to hit the back muscles from all the angles. Especially if the upper body pulls go back to being purely assistance, I mis' well opt for variety.

    Thanks for offering a counterargument to Face Pulls. It's one of those things you see a lot of people recommend, like that rotator cuff exercise with a dumbbell. So I get this annoying sense of obligation to include them. I like the minimalist lifting routine as well, but I'm wondering if some more rinky dink exercises once in a while might help maintain joint health. Something to try in our upcoming mini cycle perhaps. But in general, I like the principle of hitting maximal muscle mass / prime movers with the heavy barbell lifts and letting the secondary and supporting muscles take care of themselves. Like you say, with heavy Rows, most if not all of what is hit by Face Pulls is already hit by those.

    It's great when the Squat finally starts to feel comfortable and we work out our own particular version of it. I think it takes more time than any other lift. A month or two ago I widened my stance a bit and this really helped me achieve depth more consistently. I also feel it more in my hip adductors and groin area.

    Last time I talked to T-grip was last spring. The guy offered a refund but I asked if they were still going to restock that bar, and he said yes, so I told them I would wait. I then called and messaged them several time in September but no one answered or replied. Today their web page says the five-foot bar is still "temporarily out-of-stock," more than a year later. So I just want a refund. But how to contact them? I'll try again in a bit. I don't really want the bar anymore anyway. I'm happy with a straight barbell and my joints seem fine with it too.

    Yah, Sid, we want pics.
     
  11. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    The rope clamps are good, but sometimes they slide a bit before engaging, if the positioning isn't squared off. So, I'll engage the clamps before each set of squats to make sure they are in position.
     
  12. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Sorry, been tied up with other responsibilities. Still haven't patched the drywall yet. Here are some snapshots to tide you over.
    uploadfromtaptalk1449186135511.jpg
    uploadfromtaptalk1449186167130.jpg
     
  13. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow Barefooters
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    that is a nice setup. the cage/rack thingee is great. it would be a nice place to do curls, i mean, to uh, be able to squat without worrying about putting dents in the walls/floors/arms/legs when you become irrationally exuberant.
     
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  14. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Very nice, you have a lot of bumpers in there! Why do you use the rope safeties, you have the rack catches?
     
  15. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    The ropes allow me to stop the squat at any point along the movement. I can also readjust without having to walk it back to the j-hooks.
     
  16. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Do you have to rotate it a bit to get it to catch on the rope? I'll hunt down the website.
     
  17. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Looks sweet! I like the simplicity. And I like the rope spotters, although the guy in the video really needs to work on depth. I've been thinking about a better spotting system for my set-up too lately. I think I would like to test out my 1RM Squat, but I'm reluctant to do it without spotters, even though I would probably be OK, as I'm pretty sure my projected 1RM is still below my actual, gun-to-the-head capability. Achieving a projected 1RM just doesn't provide the same satisfaction as a real, tested single. I'm also thinking of making a dip station, so perhaps a trip to Menards this weekend. Pics promised if I go through with one or both of the projects.

    It's pretty cool that we all four are doing fairly minimalist routines with minimalist set-ups. Still, I've got a bit of a boner for a new adjustable bench, the Superbench by Ironmaster (http://www.ironmaster.com/products/super-bench). The only problem is that everyone says the flat bench is a little high, and the seat a little low for taller people when it's set at 90 degrees. I'm thinking I would like to get off the floor for my Overhead Press, and back to seated. I don't think kneeling with these heavier weights is good for my knees. But if I go back to seated presses, I think I would like back support so that I can maximize the load. Of course, I won't work my core as much, but that gets plenty of work during the squats and deadlifts as it is. That bench would also be good for doing chest-supported rows and few things like that, and it has a dip attachment, which would save me making my own dip station out of plumbing pipe, and probably doesn't cost any more.

    Anyway, congrats on your purchase! I think it was money well-spent. That set-up should last you a lifetime.
     
  18. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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  19. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    One needs to make sure that the clamp is squared off relative to the rope, as shown in the photo. It doesn't work so well if the clamp is at an angle.
    [​IMG]
     

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