Strength Training for Singles 2014: Eight-Week Workout Cycle I

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Nice work getting in ten 155 deadlifts. I should try the EMOM sometime just to see how I compare, but I doubt I could do 155. This afternoon I'll try 156 for 2-3 singles, bumping up from 152.

    I guess at some point I should try front squats or goblet squats as you do, but right now back squats work the quads enough that it interferes a bit with my running the next day, so until that effect lessens, no point in working the quads more than I'm already doing.

    I think low-bar back squats might be good for overall strength, and high-bar for mobility, so, even though I'm trying to keep everything pretty basic, perhaps a little variation won't hurt. I suppose at some point I could try straight-leg deadlifts too, but I think attacking the squats in two slightly different ways might help further my development on the squats, which is my weakest big lift by far. Funny how it comes back again to the back and rows being the only exercise where some variation seems worth pursuing.

    Yah, 1x5+, or 2x5 with the second set being optionally higher rep might be a good way to go. It's always good to program in some flexibility. Here's a slightly revised version of the schedule above, with a two-set-per-rep-count patterning:

    ST 3 Two-week Cycle 14.09.22.jpg

    Kinda getting frustrated with the sore knee and shoulder, but yesterday I massaged both pretty aggressively, and it seemed to help, so I think I need to try a little harder to get to the plyo/mobility stuff in my workout, I think that will help too. I've probably underestimated how much the lifting requires stretching and massaging too. The tightness is more obvious after running, but all this heavy lifting is probably winding stuff up pretty good too. I got out my softball and really dug into my shoulder while laying on top of it in a tripod, using the other arm just to balance with little weight-bearing. It really hurt, but I could feel the relief immediately afterwards. Funny how we forget about stuff we already know, like trigger points in this instance.

    Yah, it's funny also those workouts when you go in feeling tired or unmotivated but end up doing well. I don't think I've ever had a run or a st session where I wasn't glad I did it afterwards. It's good to remind myself of that whenever I'm feeling crappy or lazy.

    My upper back gets pretty sore from heavy deadlifts. Like someone hit it with a padded bat.

    How's the baby btw? Is it starting to get easier?
     
  2. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Yeah quite a bit, my wife is awesome with him so we end up getting good sleep though the night.
    Glad to hear about the shoulders, I have to admit I have been skipping all of my shoulder mobility stuff and just doing the sun salutations is making the shoulders feel great. Proactive stretching must be working.
    I am starting to feel some creakiness from running lately. I actually think its a combination of being on my feet for long periods of time in addition to the running. I'm gonna keep an eye on it and see if it goes away during the week when I am in the office and sitting more. Maybe its more from standing than running? Which is funny because I have been thinking about getting a standing desk....
    Yeah just do the squats, there really is no reason to add more light lifts. A heavy back squat surely hits the quads more than a light goblet squat. Simplicity rules most of the time.
     
  3. Bare Lee

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    I remember the first 2-3 months are the hardest. Just making sure they sleep without forgetting to breath and don't swallow random stuff while awake. We'd like to have a third, but I don't know if I could go through all that again. Our kids are just getting to the point where they can start helping out a bit, so there's an initial return on the investment. If I had started younger though, I'd probably get the spare.
    Yah, I've got to program proactive stretching and massaging into the weekly routine somehow. Can't just wait until I feel tight or develop a niggle. I guess I tend to feel like stretching and massaging more when I run consistently. I''ll look into those sun salutations again. Those, plus the splits, plus aggressive massaging might do the trick.

    I like using the standing phase of my sit-stand desk about 10-20 percent of the time. That's enough I think.
    Amen. Just need a reminder occasionally. I've gotten off most of the fitness email subscriptions, so that helps. Basic lifts at high intensity. That's it.

    One thing that's impressed me is how I'm feeling Saturday's intense bench presses in my back as well. With less intensity, I don't think the supporting muscles get worked nearly as much. Like 85% intensity might be 85% benefits for the targeted muscles, but only 50% or something for the supporting ones, whereas 95% intensity might bring 95% of the benefits for both the targeted and supporting muscles, if that makes sense.

    Looking forward to the deadlifts later . . .
     
  4. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Thanks for the confirmation about the standing desk, I used to stand at one exclusively for a couple of years and then I came down with PF and I started sitting about 50% of the time to help fix it. The creakiness was still there but the PF did go away so maybe 25% or less is the way to go?

    Yeah thats funny about the bench but its similar to my experience, when I do close to a max bench I always get soreness in my lower traps and very little in my chest and shoulders. It's strange how that works at those loads.
     
  5. Bare Lee

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    I don't know about exact percentages, I'm just guessing, but I sit back down when I get tired, and stand up when I get tired of sitting. It's hard to type standing up, so when I'm writing it's mostly sitting, but reading PDF files works fine standing up. But yeah, I'd say 25% or less is the way to go. I also intend to start squatting a bit more while reading a book, but I never get around to it. I do read sometimes with my legs splayed apart against the bookcases with some furniture glides.

    I wonder if this points to the fact that, for me at least, my back still has a ways to catch up to my front, or if it's just the nature of heavy loads. Maybe it's just that every big lift goes through the back. The back is the platform for everything else, so the heavier the load, the more the platform is taxed.
     
  6. paulbeales

    paulbeales Barefooters
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    Interesting. I used to stand all the time at my standing desk, but I too have started sitting and standing as feels right. I seem to be about 60/40 standing/sitting at the moment. (It's great to have the choice.)

    I would love to be able to do some squatting at work too, but as my desk is permanently fixed in the standing position, I don't think that dog is gonna hunt :)
    .
     
  7. Bare Lee

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    I think we've just identified a market niche. We need to invent a sit-stand-squat desk! Opps, never mind, I just found out my desk goes low enough to squat in front of it. No excuses now . . .
    I got the Ergotron Workfit S I think. Got it used.
     
  8. Bare Lee

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    Did two singles at 345 (156). I don't know how many more I could've done, but not many, so ten is impressive. I think you're months ahead of me!
     
  9. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    You know the first 3 and the 9th and 10th are the hardest 4-8 seem to go up quite easy. I don't know about months remember the week before I was only able to get 4.

    I did weigh myself yesterday I am sitting at 91kgs or exactly 200lbs. so that 180 number will be a double bodyweight pull which will be cool. So keep it up so we can keep motivated, I think you are closer than you think.
     
  10. Bare Lee

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    We'll see. I was really happy with yesterday's workout, reducing sets but increasing weight. Now I think I'll have a better feel for how I'm progressing and when it's time to make another push, similar to how I operate on the bench press. When 345 starts to feel easier, I'll know it's time to bump it up 5-10 pounds. In the meantime I'm really happy with how automatic and mindless the workouts are becoming. Kind of like a good 5K or 10K run. You just do it without having to think about things too much. I think I resisted it at first, but I've come around to more of a workaday, programmed set-x-rep approach like you.

    Unlike the DL and Bench, with the Squat, I still feel like I'm a ways from developing a good feel for it. I'm going to bump the rep counts up 10 pounds too, starting tomorrow, and see how that feels. One thing I like about all the big lifts these days is that I don't need to spend much time at all warming up. Yesterday I think I did just a few reps at 135 and 225, and then a single rep at 315, and I was good to go, even though I felt like crap from mild sleep deprivation.

    Maybe one of the three deadlift workouts in my two-week cycle I could try your EMOM x 10 protocol. Try it at 325 or 335 and see how I do. That could be a better variation than my drop sets, which are kind of undefined.

    I'm at 248 this morning, down two pounds. I'm shooting for 225 at this point. If I can get the running going again, should be there by late winter or spring sometime.In any case, you're a lot stronger pound for pound. It would be interesting to see what my lean bodyweight is at this point. I can almost feel my back growing.

    Anyway, I'm definitely going to keep at it. I still think the contest is yours to lose, but it's good motivation and it's great training virtually with you. 405 DL, 315-365 Squat, and 275 Bench Press remain the goals, but I think the rate of progress is going to be more of a grind from here on out, after relatively fast gains this last spring and summer.

    And to anyone else reading this, once again, the invitation to participate on this thread is open to anyone working on these basic lifts, no matter your level. The more the merrier.
     
  11. Bare Lee

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    Paul, today more squatting at my sit-stand-squat desk. It is hard to maintain, so I'm sitting on a cinder block now to help me adapt and maintain the position for longer periods of time. Thanks for the idea!
     
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  12. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    I found a personal trainer:

    And for fat loss, there's this:

    Looks like more fun than HIIT, and who doesn't love Handel's (Messiah)?

    On a more serious note, wow, I think squatting for some time at my desk yesterday had a good effect. I feel slightly more limber today. I just have to figure out the optimal height of my squat stool, somewhere between 4 and 6 inches I think.
     
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  13. paulbeales

    paulbeales Barefooters
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    You can't beat a good long squat Lee :)
    .
     
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  14. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    I've been thinking about the nose breathing thing brought up in the other thread and I am beginning to rethink if its a good tool for heavier dudes like us? Mainly if the requirement for oxygen is higher if someone has more muscle mass and nose breathing is actually restricts a more relaxed state. I don't know guess I should tinker with it and pull out my heart rater monitor on my bike.

    Kind of like the carb/fat concept the more muscle you have the more difficult it is to power for long periods via fat. Then again maybe it comes back to adaptations as the other thread indicated.
     
  15. Bare Lee

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    I dunno, I think Tristan nailed it by pointing out that the trachea is the limiting factor. Still, a lot of high-mileage and/or veteran barefoot runners reported success with nasal-breathing on that thread, so it's worth a try. I've been thinking about getting one of those jaw clamps too to see if sleeping without snoring has any positive effect. Today I woke up about two hours too soon again. But I feel OK and had a nice little one-mile run.

    Those yogis are definitely onto something with all their practices--breathing, yoga, meditation, etc.--but I think the theory is sometimes flawed, and the practice may sometimes work for other reasons. Still, although I'm not in the clear yet with the shoulder, massage and stretching has cured, or is close to curing, my left knee issue, so I think staying limber is probably even more primary than developing basic stretch, for overall health and fitness. So maybe the yogis are right about paying more attention to breathing too. One thing, whenever I pay attention to mindfulness and being fully present, I tend to feel a lot better.

    I think you're perhaps right that guys like us caring excess mass probably have higher oxygen requirements, since in addition to the running muscles, our muscles are carrying 50-80 pounds more than a guy with an endurance build. So the nasal breathing might be harder for us, I dunno. When I was traveling by bicycle, and in superb aerobic condition, I seem to remember breathing through my nose on the flats, to prevent dry-mouth. But mountain passes, forget it.

    BTW: I think I'm going to stick to low-bar squats, and just break parallel. Here's a screen capture from yesterday. Am I breaking parallel?
    Squat - Breaking Parallel.jpg
    In this photo, I think the bar is still a little too high because I'm using the squat pad. Next time I'll try it without and work on the bar position a bit more. When I started the session, I still hadn't decided if I was going to do high-bar or low-bar, but with the latter, I don't think it works to have the pad--needed to take it off. Otherwise, I'm happy with the way my form is developing, both the grip and stance feel pretty solid now. Just have to get the bar position solid, and then I can focus on the actual form of the lift.
     
  16. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Yep looks good your hip crease should be below or at the top of the knee level which it looks fine from that pic.
    Your right that this looks a little more like a high bar than a low bar though squat. I think to do a legit low bar you have to widen your stance quite a bit further and lower the bar on your back. Your knees are pretty far ahead of your toes on this one. But if this feels right stick with it.

    Yeah I'm gonna tinker with the nose breathing, half the time it doesn't work because there is too much mucous buildup. I think maybe doing some deep breathing at the desk at work is probably a good idea too. I don't get into the mindfulness that some do with yoga, I just know that the more I do it the more limber I feel. Its nice to have a little break from the desk too.

    I keep forgetting how much running depletes your energy levels. I was cursing everything on my ride home last night and this morning. You wold think it would get a little easier eventually?
     
  17. Bare Lee

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    Thanks, yeah, should probably experiment with a wider stance. I'll film more next Monday when I do squats again and do them without the pad, to see if I can get the bar position better. I think it was lower when I was doing them without the pad. Maybe I'll try to film from behind as well. You're right though, the bar and knees are way ahead of my midfoot. If I can correct that, I should be able to do more weight. I guess I'll put the Ass-to-grass squat on hold for a while and work on perfecting the low-bar, breaking-parallel squat. 265 felt pretty good, so with better technique, hopefully I can add 20-30 pounds fairly soon. One of my older brother's best friends who used to own a gym has offered to critique my form, so perhaps I'm ready to take him up on his offer. He has a full gym in his basement and lives nearby.

    Yeah, the mucous can be a problem.

    Yeah, more and more, I'm coming round to the idea that running for more than 30-40 minutes, 60 minutes max, is probably not a good thing. I like those runs when you finish feeling refreshed, not fatigued. Shorter and faster feels better than longer and slower. As I think Alex Hutchinson said, if you run for more than an hour, you're no longer running for your health, you're running for other reasons. Which is fine, of course, but I wonder if it's what I really want to do. It's a little premature, since I'm running pretty minimally these days, but once I regain my running fitness, I may only do a long run once every two to four weeks. I'm still hoping I can do the daily 5K deal.
     
  18. Bare Lee

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    OK, watched the low-bar portion of that bearded guy's video that I posted on the seventh page. Besides a wider stance, as you noted, I need to turn my feet out more, and perhaps adopt a wider grip, pace Rippetoe. I'll try to practice bodyweight squats a few times in order to work on stance before my next squat workout on Monday.

    Also, eliminating a few things, I've simplified the assistance lifts to just

    Russian Twists
    Hyperextensions
    Loaded Carries

    on the Deadlift/Row/OH Press day

    and

    Pullovers
    Dips
    OH Squat

    on Squat/Bench Press/Pulldown day.

    These are pretty much my favorite assistance lifts, the ones where I know I get some benefit. Getting them down to just three helps simplify things, so hopefully soon I'll be able to commit the two-week cycle to memory and won't have to consult a print-out.

    With the boosts in weight, reduction of sets, and simplification of assistance exercise, the program is getting more and more refined, and every workout is going great. Today I'm really feeling it.
     
  19. Barefoot Dama

    Barefoot Dama Barefooters
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    No, No , No,what kind of advice is that Abide? terrible, terrible, advice if you ask me. That's why he's having knee problems-I knew it!
    Ok, now that it's out of my chest I feel better:D
     

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  20. Bare Lee

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    Haha, won't let it go will you Dama?

    Fact One: I just ran another mile, that's two today, and my knee feels great after lifting 2x1x265, 2x3x235, 2x5x205 yesterday afternoon.
    Fact Two: I had been doing high-bar squats at a slightly lower weight with a much deeper squat when I first experienced the knee soreness. Yesterday my knees were probably farther forward due to the fact that I was doing close to a high-bar squat but only achieving the depth of a low-bar squat, due to the increased weight. That probably explains the knee prominence, but I can't be sure. I'll film again on Monday.
    Fact Three: Squatting doesn't make my knees sore, but the soreness has reappeared while running, specially on the landing phase.
    Fact Four: I've been squatting fairly consistently for at least six to nine months, and mostly using a low-bar squat, but had only been running consistently for about a month or two before the knee soreness reappeared, after being rid of it for a year and a half or so.
    Fact Five: I've been massaging and stretching for the last week or less, and now my knee soreness is all but gone. This was the cure when I got the sore knee the first time, almost two years ago. Go figure!

    I don't know why people think squats are bad for your knees. I know my technique still has a long ways to go, but if any lift were going to bother my knees, it would be the deadlift, where the shearing forces are much greater.

    I guess maybe I should tell you than running as far as you do is bad for you.
     

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