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

Discussion in 'Training Information/Training Regimens' started by Bare Lee, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    I think I am going to do this once a week probably on Thursday just to schedule a forced light day. I think it might be a good quick pump and help with recovery from running. I am also hoping it will prime the next session. I think doing a Monday and Friday schedule is too much time off.

    That's kind of funny about your wife. Mine recently started lifting regularly so I set her up with some kettlebells and a bench and she does kind of a hiit superset routine. She's seeing some good results. I'm gonna try to con her into using the barbell next.
     
  2. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Yah, I was thinking about that possibility too, midweek workout done light, really hitting it Monday and Friday. Or else my other idea of emphasizing two lifts per workout, and doing the others relatively light. In any case, I could feel Wednesday that I hadn't quite recovered from Monday's workout, but I'm also a little sick, so time will tell. Definitely enjoy the full-body workouts though, no doubt, and the shifts between exercises are pretty smooth now. The only real drag is having to warm-up before the bigger lifts, but I think as long as I keep things at five reps or 80%, I don't need to warm-up that much. Just 2-3 sets building up.
     
  3. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow Barefooters
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    i'm beginning to wonder if i should just face up to the fact that i am physically incapable of really "hitting it". i seem to be an "every day" sort of person. as in: this week i have been on travel and thus adapting to the hotel. it has been easier to get to the little "fitness center" than to go out running. i'm not super comfortable running in the dark evenings even though this is the rich part of town. since i actually have to go to work during the day, that means early morning is the only available time. but then, you have to get up early under messed up circumstances. thus i've only gone for a single run.

    anyways, the point is that i have been doing the weights every night for about an hour (as you can see in the log at the beginning of the thread). while i am necessarily being cautious in determining how much weight i can handle with the dumbbells, i think i'm getting in a moderately intense workout (for me) that has been moving progressively more weight with no rest days and i'm feeling great. (ok, sitting in meetings isn't great, but the workouts are fine once i do that first pullup.) i've been inadvertently focusing on grip strength (pullups + one-arm-rows + farmer's walks), so that has gotten a little bit more "tired" through the week. even so, tonight i did like 38 pullups or something ridiculous and didn't fall off the bar. running seems to be the same way where i feel better and (possibly) make progress when i'm doing like 5 or 6 days a week rather than 3 or 4 or fewer. i guess it is one of those "listen to your body" things.

    so the question becomes: is this because i'm too weak to be able to push myself hard enough to actually need recovery time or because of a natural affinity of my body/mind type to very regular (but possibly low-ish) effort? the infallible source "they" always warns against overdoing things and skipping rest days, etc. but....
     
  4. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    I don't think lifting every day is a bad thing at all and suspect you will acclimate pretty easily especially in the absence of running.
    Pavel's power to the people plan and the 40 day workout you do 5-6 days a week. Both have you lifting about 75-80% of max or what might be considered "easy". However they are also lower volume progams.
    Crossfit uses the 3 on 1 off schedule and they also do a lot of volume although its usually light weights.
    In your situation you are probably doing more of a crossfit mix because dumbbells tend to be self limiting in the weight load. They are so awkward and complicated to get in position and I think you have that built in govenor working for you. It's likely you don't even have enough weight available to truly be approaching your maxes so I really don't think there is a good reason to not do every day.
     
  5. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I've read several places that the more advanced you are, the more intensely you can work out, but also the more time you need for recovery. At the novice level, just about any stimulus will get results, and you won't be trained enough to be able to lift intensely.

    Also, as Abide suggested, with dumbbells it's hard, but not impossible, to attain the same intensities as barbells. I can't even imagine what a dumbbell squat or deadlift would be like at 200+ pounds. I like dumbbells as assistance for the presses though, and I can actually attain a greater intensity rowing with a dumbbell than I can with a barbell, but that's mostly because I can support the back with a one-handed dumbbell row.

    I think I've recently passed to a new level (maybe a true intermediate level?), where it seems like I can work more intensely and get a pump fairly quickly. Or maybe it's just the switch to fullbody workouts. Now it's just a matter of finding out what sort of intensities I can maintain on a regular basis, and how much recovery time is adequate. On Wednesday's workout, for example, I could feel that I still hadn't completely recovered from Monday's, and I felt a little beat anyways, so I did everything light.

    I've been surprised that I've been able to run everyday, but I don't run far or fast.

    I think perhaps in the next cycle we can all just keep updating the first entry?

    Try low bar? For me, the bar feels much more stable and secure in the low bar position. What's your stance like?

    Nice view.
     
  6. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    The best equipment for resistance training is whatever one can do consistently. One can make progress using dumbbells, barbells, or machines. They all work the body a bit differently.

    Barbells allow one to use more weight than dumbbells. Sure, dumbbells are harder to use in many cases. (Since when is exercise supposed to be easy?) That doesn't make barbells better, just different.

    Running level with a tailwind might allow one to go faster. Running hills are harder. It doesn't mean that either is better, just different.

    Variety is nice, when you can get it. Otherwise, it's best to use whatever allows for consistency.

    People knock the old Bowflex rods. Yeah, they're a joke! (I'm 175 lbs, but doing "360 lbs" of resistance on pulldowns?!) However, they helped me build up to the point where I can now do pullups. :D
     
  7. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Cables can be great, too!



     
  8. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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  9. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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  10. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    OK, finally took some pics of my garage gym:

    Left of Garage Door (Outside facing In):
    01.jpg
    Gear Storage & Heavy Adjustable Dumbbells--90, 110, 130 pounds

    Center to Right of Garage Door:
    04.jpg
    Power Rack, Dumbbell Rack, & Accessory Wall

    02--Dumbbell Rack.jpg
    Dumbbell Rack (low pulley foot plate stored underneath)

    03--Heavy Bag & Accesory Wall.jpg
    Heavy Bag & Accessory Wall

    26.jpg
    Accessory Wall (minus low pulley handle)

    12.jpg
    Bar Holder

    Top of Power Rack:
    06.jpg
    Elbow Loops for Knee Tucks/Leg Raises

    09.jpg
    High Pulley Neutral Grip Pulldown Handle

    10.jpg
    Small Plate Holders

    Bottom of Power Rack:
    05.jpg
    Unloaded Pulley Bar & Standard & Olympic Plate Holders c/ Bench

    07.jpg
    Unloaded Pulley Bar & Plate Holders

    08.jpg
    Low Pulley Handle & Foot Plate

    21.jpg
    Safety Pins made from Carriage Bolts

    20.jpg
    Nail Plates for screwing Power Rack to Rubber Mats

    Power Rack Modules:
    13.jpg
    Shorty Bar & J-Hooks Position for Bench Press & Seated OH Press

    14.jpg
    Squat Position with Carriage Bolts

    15.jpg
    Power Hooks Position, Unloaded

    16.jpg
    Power Hooks Loaded

    11.jpg
    Dip Station

    Off the Power Rack:
    17.jpg
    DIY Deadlift Jack

    18.jpg
    Landmine Platform

    19.jpg
    Loaded Landmine Bar

    22.jpg
    Bench & Belt

    23.jpg
    Belt

    24.jpg
    Chalk Bag

    25.jpg
    Hyper Bench, Foot Roller, Foam Roller & "The Stick"
     
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  11. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I actually prefer Cable Rows over Barbell Rows, but Dumbbell Rows over both.

    All I was saying is that to attain certain intensities/loads, certain movements have to be done with barbells. How would you rack a 300-pound dumbbell squat? Or do a 400-pound deadlift like Wolfy: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/hugh-jackman-deadlifting-400-pounds

    Dumbbells and cables have their place, mos' definitely (note power hooks and pulleys in my garage gym). I consider cables and dumbbells, along with barbells, part of the free weight arsenal. Dumbbells allow for certain ranges of motion that are impossible with barbells, and cables allow for certain angles that are impossible. I used to do cable flyes like in that first video all the time.

    I've never liked machines, because they remove skill and sometimes force unnatural movements. But at the novice level, it might be a good way for folks to ease into things, I dunno. I know a lot of people are intimidated by free weights, and they do require greater skill, so it takes more commitment to get started with them. I chose free weights when I first started lifting mostly because my older brother and his friends were all doing them.

    Massive bench press? I hope you were joking . . .


    P.S., sorry I deleted your "like" for my garage gym pics, but I realized the pics were too big, so I reduced them further. It was easier to start all over again.
     
  12. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Quite. You've mentioned taking it easy on the bench, due to being comparatively more advanced in this area. Just wanted to make sure BA wasn't doing the same thing. :D
     
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  13. Bare Lee

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    Yah, don't get me wrong, I'm pleased to be benching 250 as an old fart, but I know there's tons of old farts doing a lot better than that. And my older brother was benching 315 in college, with strict form (not the powerlifting form in that video), and his best friend, of Zubaz fame, went on to open up a gym with massive bodybuilder and powerlifter dudes. I felt like a famine refugee whenever I visited.

    I think BA has given reasons for ignoring the bench press. One thing I've recently learned, or theorized, is that the bench press is probably the last thing someone should worry about. Getting everything else strong leads to immediate improvement in the bench, whereas doing the bench without being strong in other areas can lead to shoulder issues. So yeah, right now my focus is getting everything up to my bench level, using the 2:3:4:5 ratios, with the primary unit being Bench/3. So on an excel sheet I take my bench number, divided it by three, then multiply it by 2 for my OH Press, 3 for my Bench, Pullup & Row, 4 for my Squat, and 5 for my deadlift. The numbers don't have to be exact, of course, but I think it's a pretty good formula for good, overall strength development. Kind of like that McMillan pace calculator for different distances. Good guides. Instead of the bench/3, you could also take your lean bodyweight and divide it by three to get the primary unit, since a lot of people would agree that a BW Bench Press is a good standard for basic strength, kind of the threshold between novice and intermediate.

    Bench to Lift Ratios 250.jpg

    BW to Lift Ratios.jpg
     
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  14. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Can you share some of this information that you've discovered on the bench press? Thanks!
     
  15. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    I suspect that at some point, using a lighter weight results in a more cardio focused workout, rather than strength.
    However, if the alternative is getting mugged, then... :D
     
  16. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow Barefooters
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    oh, i have *huge* bench press numbers. back in the day, i could do like, what was it? 95lbs!

    the main hangup at the moment is that i don't have an actual bench. last year, i invested in a "machine" for my wife based on the osteoporosis-avoidance theory. but, she hasn't really used it. then, one of her healthcare providers slipped her a one month free membership at one of the local gyms (on the opposite corner of town; somewhere, a texas oilman is smiling). somehow, the gym wrote her down as having a one *year* free membership. and in any case, i've sorta converted to the bar-and-stands theory of life anyway and would try to push her in that direction. like, shouldn't squats be the bestest thing ever for strengthening bones? anyways, i am thinking of asking her if she really wants the machine or if i should put it up for sale and extract out even the tiniest fraction of the money i poured into it. i should be able to get enough out of it to afford a "real" bench and maybe a couple more plates or heavy-ish dumbbells or something. or she might want to actually use it. either way is a win.

    there is also the time aspect of there are only so many minutes available to squeeze in exercise. but i might mix it in a little in the future.

    i think i did my guesses on 1-rep-maxes and working off of the deadlift as the main measurement for the ratio trick, the others seemed roughly in line, except for the squat which was way, way, way, low. which is weird. and why i got sucked into this. :)

    but, my volleyball serving has gotten a little erratic after the 50-mile run, so maybe i should do even the token machine benching a little bit to make sure everything is moving together. :) although, i suppose i should stay true to the plan and make such modifications after this unofficial 8-week-cycle completes...
     
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  17. Abide

    Abide Barefooters
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    Yeah that's a good plan first page for all the weeks.
    Your set-up looks great I should have suspected that kind of organization from you. I really like your landmine I think I am gonna bring one of those back home with me later this year. Good idea to store your weights on the rack. I ordered a squat rack that had the side attachments but then they sent me a power cage instead and I was tired of waiting. Thats why I just stack them against the wall. I really would have liked that setup though.

    So does that hot tub work? I had one back when I lived up in the hills in CO, I loved that thing. Best $10k investment ever.

    I do a narrow stance and high bar position. I have tried the low bar and wider stance and it just feels so awkward for me. I get the exagerrated good morning motion when I do it and severe knee caving. I think I have a longer torso and shorter legs which is why the upright squat suits me better. I can squat deep comfortably which I think makes me a better candidate for the olympic style squat.

    Brett Contreas posted about knee caving over the weekend and I think I might do the goblet squat thing as he recommends and see if that helps.

    "Having trouble keeping the knees out during squats? Don't look to special exercises such as lateral band walks to fix it. Instead, perform daily goblet squats with proper form, making sure the knees track properly and don't cave inward. This particular issue has more to do with motor programming than muscle strengthening, so it's important to get in ample quality repetitions throughout the week until the pattern is ingrained. Perfect practice makes perfect."
     
  18. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    No chest press on the machine?

    Does she feel comfortable working out in the gym? Exercise videos might get her warmed up to the idea of strength training. Good luck!
     
  19. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow Barefooters
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    the machine does have a chest press (one of the criteria i set when looking for a machine) which i put to pretty good use early on. but, it is still the constrained motion thing. and since i'm taller than what the machine was likely designed for, i don't necessarily line up with the optimal path of motion (even after dropping the seat all the way down, etc.).

    as for my sweetie, half of christmas last year was the machine and the other half (though much cheaper, obviously) was a full set of workout videos that she wanted. she has made good use of those. basically, she is trying to figure out what works for her and her situation. since i want to stay married, i'm trying to make options available rather than imposing any particular structure.
     
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  20. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Well, I think some of it was from you, but over the last six months or so, what I've gleaned is more or less encapsulated in this article:
    http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-...oost-your-bench-press-and-save-your-shoulders
    The basic problem, especially with young guys, is that we focus on 'the mirror muscles.' So we overdevelop the front relative to the back, creating imbalances and tensions. A good rule of thumb is to do 2:1 back to front exercises. What are back exercises? Basically everything except front exercises! The deadlift and row are the best, but the squat, pulldown/pullup, and overhead press also develop the back. And as Abide discussed on the other thread, the back, specifically tight lats and shoulder blades, form the platform for launching the bench press. The deadlift, overhead press, and squat are also excellent for teaching yourself how to tense your trunk to achieve stability. But lately what I've been trying to do, beside adjust my bench press form, is to do 2:1 rows to bench press.

    But you gotta consider that most times I've lifted in the past, the bench press was my main lift. For someone with a different background, it could be the opposite. With your swimming for example, maybe your back is already equally developed to your front.

    But if were to coach a novice, I would definitely make the bench press the last on their list. I would first tell them to develop a good squat, then a good deadlift, then a good row, then a good overhead press, then a pullup/pulldown. Then when all of those have been mastered, start working on the bench press, because now they have a good foundation.
     
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