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

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    http://www.t-nation.com/training/from-beginner-to-badass-5-strategies

    Here's an interesting article from Charles Staley about building strength in other ways than a 1rm. I think its an interesting article because as you noted when you watch some of the PL videos there is such an emphasis on shortening the travel of the bar its hard to really equate this to layman's strength training. Overall I feel like a narrow grip is safer from an injury standpoint than a wide grip, but this is just an experience observation. My shoulders hurt less the narrower I go, which is also true with a pull down motion.

    Something about the bench press too, the straight bar might not be the best bar to bench with. I think a 45 degree bar might be best with a closer grip press. I wonder if you can rotate your palms so the bar sits on the heel buthave it closer to a 45 vs. 90? You could do a thumbless grip but I think this is pretty unsafe. I'll give it a try next time. I'm curiosu how you like your neutral grip bar.

    I think doing a max lift on everything might be a little too much, actually I think maybe 7 lifts a day might even be borderline too much. Some options might be to rotate the DL and squat, so only one of those a day. Or to rotate 2 backs to 1 front and 1 back to 2 fronts? Maybe I could build some intensity up a little more then?

    That's good self regulation, if you feel ok hitting that same weight every week. I'm all about running less! Funny that we are on a running website...
     
  2. Bare Lee

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    Another possibility, is to start neutral, and rotate to pronated at the top. This is also proper form for a straight punch.

    Yah, I think we always have to translate, because almost all the science of lifting, and certainly most of the advice on the websites I've come across, has been developed by either bodybuilders or powerlifters, but what we really want is something more like what pro trainers of football or rugby players employ.

    I read that article when it came out a few days ago. I've become a regular reader/skimmer of T-Nation now. I like the idea of doing a density workout once a week, but that would have to be further down the road. Right now I'm making good progress with more of a frequency and intensity approach.

    I just read one of the links in that article: http://www.t-nation.com/training/escalating-density-training-revisited
    The density would be good conditioning, and I think you could also do it will variations of your normal lifts, so you get in his variety advice too. It's kind of like that cluster idea, but with a greater emphasis on strength development over conditioning.

    For the most part, I think of running as my conditioning component, but a little more gym-type conditioning would be good. Also the plyometrics stuff I can never seem to do consistently.

    It's also a little hard to believe that all reps are created equal, as Staley argues. Besides disliking higher rep ranges, I think 3-5 reps usually hits just the right intensity for me for strength development. And I also intend to get back to doing Squat and Deadlift singles once in a while when I have full confidence in my right knee, and sometimes with the Bench Press and maybe the OH Press too.

    I agree with him though, that the countless set/rep schemes are probably useless, at least for novice and intermediate lifters. 2-3x5 or 3x3 works fine. It's no coincidence that the people catering to the average lifter, like Stronglifts and Rippetoe, have gravitated toward this simplicity--because it works!
    Well, with my 36"-wide power rack, it's impossible to go very wide. The inner width is 32", minus, say, four inches for hand-width, puts my grip width at about 24". My closer grip is probably something like 20-22". It will be nice when I get the Rogue shorty bar and have knurl mark measurements too.

    Yah, I saw a Lee Hayward video where he interjects a gruesome section (around 1:10) showing thumbless grip fails:


    I'm going to start my workout a little earlier today, since no one will be around, and experiment with a few things, one of them being the bar placement in the hand. I'll try your idea too, could work.

    With the T-Grip bar, it might also be possible to do the 45-degree angle you and Sid are talking about, although I'm not sure if it would balance. I'd probably have to get a multi-grip or Swiss bar, and those are expensive. Maybe on Craig's list? I mostly want the T-Grip bar for bentover rows, because, unlike the Swiss bar, there's just a single bar in the middle so you can bring the bar all the way up to your torso for a good ROM. Since I stopped doing bentover rows with a barbell, my shoulder has felt a lot better.

    I agree though, it seems like the 45-degree angle would work best with a closer grip.

    Yah, it's definitely borderline overtraining to be doing all these lifts every workout at a decent intensity, but so far, so good. I think I also have longer intervals between sets than you do, and maybe spend more time warming up for the big lifts? So that's more recovery time. If I take 10-20 pounds off of everything, as I've done a couple of times when pressed for time or with lower energy, it's a lot easier to keep things moving along. But I really like those super intense workouts too, where you're really just spent afterwards, and the next day you can virtually feel each muscle rebuilding.

    I'm committed to doing both the Squat and Deadlift each workout now, and to doing the Squat at a consistent intensity level, but I could see backing off the Deadlift from time to time. My Pulldowns and Rows are already close to a 1:1:1 ratio with my Bench Press, although it's an imperfect measure because it's based on five-rep equivalences, and not 1RMs, which are kind of impossible for pulldowns and rows. So I'm mainly concerned with bringing up my OH Press, Squat and Deadlift to the 2:3:4:5 ratio, based on the Bench Press at the 3 value. That's pretty much my guide right now, as far as workout priorities, order, and sets/reps. I'm actually pretty excited about getting my squat up over 300, and getting OH Press up too. I used to treat the Press as an assistance or lesser lift, but now I think it's more important to me than the Bench Press.

    Well, I ran a mile this morning. Felt pretty good, the sloth spell has been broken. Should be above freezing tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully I can get in some skin-to-ground contact.

    I agree with you that running has taken a back seat to lifting lately, but ideally, I do them in pretty good balance. About three hours of lifting per week, and 3-4 hours of running. I think I might go back to my daily run-commutes and run 3-6 miles Tu-Th-Sa. The daily short runs are a good way to keep the legs loose, but I don't think they do much for aerobic capacity. In general, I'm thinking I should be running shorter distances at faster paces. Fits in better with lifting, for me. It feels more like a workout to run at tempo pace for 25-40 minutes, than to run at an aerobic pace for 1-2 hours.

    Looks like your squat is improving, good job. Have you ever tested your 1RM?

    Congrats!
     
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  3. Sid

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  4. Bare Lee

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    The second photo at the bottom is what you want. The top of the hand and forearm should form a single plane otherwise you're going to screw up your wrist. Okinawan Karate is an older, traditional style. Most modern styles of Karate have adopted boxing stances and strikes. I trained Ashihara Karate, which was derived from Kyokushin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyokushin

    Also, the elbow doesn't lock out unless you've misjudged the distance of your target. You should hit it a little before full extension for maximal impact, tensing the fist just before contact so that the power flows from the knees/hips up through the torso and into the arm efficiently.

    Here you can see the non-punching hand in neutral position, which is how the punch begins, and the punching hand in pronated position:
    http://www.expertboxing.com/boxing-techniques/punch-techniques/how-to-throw-a-jab

    The same rotation might be a good way to do DB Bench and OH Presses.
     
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  5. Abide

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    It's nice to have a simple routine that doesn't change much, its easy to track and measure too. I definitely think it is the best option to go with concurrent training. I also think its very similar to what the football and rugby guys are doing with the big difference being more conditioning and less slower efforts on their end. On the other extreme you have this http://crossfitendurance.com/about/ I can't understand the purpose of doing all the variety and how it adds to strength or endurance.

    Did I do this right?
    2 - 183
    3 - 275
    4 - 367
    5 - 458
    If so that sucks! Maybe its should be on your current press level!
    2 - 160
    3 - 240
    4 - 320
    5 - 400

    Yeah I really don't think a quick 5k a day is a bad idea. If it you enjoy it of course. I think you could keep on the heavier side weight wose too which would help the lifting.

    I max squatted once a while back and I topped out around 285. Its probably my weakest lift compared to the others. The mechanics just feel so odd everytime I try. I did the low bar again today and I noticed that there is not any difference between my efforts from either position. I guess I should be squatting the way that helps hill climbs? Any idea? High bar probably.
     
  6. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I like the simplicity. I like to workout relatively mindlessly, and just focus on making the reps with good technique. It's also nice not having to mess with much in the way of equipment changes. With my new set-up, all I do is put on and take off plates, move the bench and bar around.

    Steve Magness has critiqued Crossfit endurance from a runner's perspective, and Rippetoe from a lifter's. I don't know anything about it, except a lot of people like the social atmosphere and there appears to be a lot of dating going on. I guess it's good that free weights have become more mainstream after the decades of machine dominance.

    Are those ratios based on your OH Press or Bench Press?

    Let's face, like a lot of guys, we've been upper-body-centric in the past. I used to think running covers the lower body, so why bother with squats? And I never put a whole lot of emphasis on Deadlifts even after I started doing them in karate 20 years ago.

    2 - 160
    3 - 240
    4 - 320
    5 - 400

    is about right, or take maybe 83-85 as my base unit, as my bench press is probably due to go up pretty soon. It's probably about 255 even though I failed that when I tried it a few months ago. So

    2 - 170
    3 - 255
    4 - 340
    5 - 425

    But of course, it doesn't have to be exact, so for the time being I'll aim for the first set of 1RM ratios. Still, it would be mighty nice to squat 340 and deadlift 425, no doubt. And a 170 OH Press would be very satisfying.

    How close in are you griping the bar when you squat? Scrunching in my shoulders has really helped me gain stability and confidence. I think I agree with you that squats are more of a higher rep lift than the deadlift or bench. Five reps feels pretty good right now, and I like doing three sets. Better than 3x3 higher intensity squats I think. I'm really leery about putting too much pressure on the knees.

    For hill climbs, you're right, right? Low bar>high bar>front squat = posterior > quad emphasis. Maybe you should just do front squats, since you've already got the posterior chain covered with your Deadlifts. For me, I prefer back squats for the same reason. Feeling sore in my quads interferes with my running. And I don't really run inclines or faster paces that much, so quad development isn't that important to me.

    Strong back, good mobility, and some sort of aerobic capacity is what I'm after, everything else is gravy.

    Here's another meathead criticism of jogging.
    http://www.t-nation.com/training/jogging-delusion
    I dunno, I don't see it.
    http://www.t-nation.com/training/jogging-delusion
     
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  7. Abide

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    The first is based on my bench and the second on my press. I think the second one is probably more appropriate since I don't have much inspiration to get above a 400lb deadlift. I'm not even sure I can get to that point. Maybe next year I will just focus primarily on building the squat?

    I do them pretty close probably about the same width as my bench. Interesting as my press and deadlift are about the same width too.

    Alright maybe I'll just work the high bar for now, the biking does hit my quads pretty well. Once I get the MTB routine down a little more I might consider the front squats.

    If that is the goal I think some aerobic activity for 30 minutes 3-5 days a week is probably best. Even lifting 3 days, running 3 days and maybe doing a conditioning finisher once a week is probably a good mix. I think I could live on my weekly commutes on the bike and lifting and that would be adequate. I read those articles and I think they are preaching to a different crowd than us. I think the better message would be to tell people to lift more weights and keep up the cardio.

    edit: Quite often, an activity isn't all that harmful in and of itself, but because it takes the place of something else that's much more beneficial. Jogging is just such a case in point. So if you've got a good resistance-training program in place and you enjoy jogging a bit for whatever reason, I don't think you're in need of professional intervention. But - and there are many, many people in this category- if you think jogging is a superior form of exercise for fat loss, or health, or overall functional fitness, the evidence simply doesn't agree with you.

    I suspect the editors at Tnation probably edit quite heavily to draw clicks. Its either hate on Cfit or jogging that draws most of their views I think.
     
  8. Sid

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  9. Bare Lee

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    Since both of us are bench press dominant, maybe we should throw that out and just try to get the 2:4:5 ratios right for the OH Press:Squat: Deadlift, and have them progress evenly from there. Based on my OH Press 5RM, that would mean 120:240:300, so my Squat needs the most work. The 5RM at 80% 1RM (275) is 220 there, and I'm currently only up to 200. So I've got 40 pounds to go. Should be able to get my 5RM Deadlift up to 300 fairly soon though.

    I really like having the percentages chart I copied from you, really clarifies things for me. In the first cycle, I established 1/3/5 rep maxes, but linking them to percentages in a chart makes it much easier to plan and chart progress, make adjustments, etc.

    I haven't tested it yet, but a lot of people say the squat has more carryover to the deadlift than the other way around. I like the hip and shoulder mobility that the squat promotes too. Once one of us gets to 400 DL, we could think about a Squat contest to 320. Or we could do them concurrently. I have no chance at winning a Bench or OH Press contest with you, so I won't even think about that.

    I'd like to try Front Squats at some point, but for the moment, it makes sense to keep working on my fledgling back squats. I've only just begun to feel really solid on the form, time to start pushing the weight.

    Good insight on that article. Yah, like you said, we have to translate a bit. Extreme/elite training in both ST and endurance is probably incompatible, except for a few rare individuals like Alex Viada (http://www.completehumanperformance...ce-training-for-strength-athletes-part-1.html). For modest lifters and runners, I don't see the contradiction. And a lot of those anti-running studies are specious: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/will-running-too-much-kill-you :

    "In the ACSM abstract, the results they present are adjusted for "baseline age, sex, examination year, body mass index, current smoking, heavy alcohol drinking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, parental CVD, and levels of other physical activities." Some of these factors are clearly confounders, like baseline age, sex, smoking, drinking, and family history. Some of them are debatable, like other physical activity. But some are inarguably mediators: there's no doubt whatsoever that running affects BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and those factors in turn affect mortality. In fact, those "confounders" are in large part the reason running is thought to extend lifespan – so statistically eliminating them is akin to asking "If we ignore the health benefits of running, does running have any health benefits?"

    Good point about T-Nation editing. As I think I've noted, there also seems to be an endless stream of articles offering up different set/rep/etc. protocols meant to make their readers insecure or confused about their current program, and so needing to check in once in a while. Still, there's some good stuff on that site, and I like at least skimming most of the articles that pop up during the week. I also get a kick out of the macho writing style. I should try to write a linguistics essay like that.
     
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  10. Bare Lee

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    Sid, I'm not going to read through all that. I was referring to a straight punch to the face. For body blows, roundhouses, uppercuts, etc., obviously the technique changes. So let me put an end to this misunderstanding by restating that for a default straight punch to the face (and probably sternum) one usually rotates from a neutral to a prone hand position, and you might want to try this with your dumbbell presses. I have no interest in getting into a discussion on boxing technique, I was just trying to suggest a lifting variation.
     
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  11. BroadArrow

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    so i'm thinking that next week (for the final week in the cycle), i will try to do some testing of what i can safely push/pull around. but first, i'm doing some order of magnitude guesses to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses based on the various ratios you guys have dug up.

    so the first simplest is the harmonic series ratio system or whatever with the

    press:bench:squat:deadlift = 2:3:4:5

    to make the numbers easy, i already know that i can put up 80lbs on the press (really, for a set of 5, so i can probably do more) so maybe guess that 90 is a reasonable value. this gives the base on 45, with the following easy values:

    press: 90 (the "datum")
    bench: 135 (projected target)
    squat: 180
    deadlift: 225

    now, as has been previously discussed, i don't have a good way of testing the bench at the moment. 135lbs is conceivable, but i think a little higher than i could really do properly. the 180 squat is probably way too high to do with any reasonable range of motion and form. the deadlift probably is conceivable.

    so again, i'm led to the conclusion that the squats are the laggards despite my legs having always been my perceived strong points.

    the other system had a different set of exercise with much less "pretty" ratios.

    close bench -> 1
    incline bench -> 0.83
    chinups (total weight, including body) -> 0.81
    military press -> 0.64
    curls -> 0.46
    external rotations for 8 repetitions -> 0.09

    on that theory, let's go off of the chinups. i know i can do bodyweight worth. i'm not sure how far above that i could go. so let's just stick with that. plugging and chugging, we get:

    close bench: 191
    incline: 159
    chinups (datum): 155
    military: 122
    curls: 88
    external rotations: 17

    for those, the curls are a bit high, but conceivable. the external rotations (if i am interpreting them correctly) are basically a breeze. but there is no way i'm putting up 122lbs in a military press or 191lbs in a bench press. so, apparently, i have massive "guns". who knew?

    so, looking toward the next cycle, i think i want to:
    a) do higher volume (both within workouts and of the workouts themselves) with less rest between sets to try to squeeze more work into my finite time availability and take advantage of my (seeming) natural affinities
    b) emphasize the squats and press
    c) add in machine-based bench/chest press and balance that with 1-arm machine rows using the low cable attachment point on the machine

    how reasonable does that sound?
     
  12. Bare Lee

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    That sounds pretty good to me. We all have our strengths and weakness, and I think it's a really good idea to target our weaknesses, in some way or another, whether it's putting them first in a workout, doing them more frequently across workouts, or doing more sets/reps within a workout. These ratios are good guides (but nothing more) as to what to target. You're really good at pullups, so I think you could just let them coast for a while, the same as I'm doing with the bench press. It's too bad you don't have access to a proper bench press. As I recall (before I had any awareness of these things), it's pretty easy to force things unnaturally on the machine bench, so I probably wouldn't do anything fewer than 5-8 reps. But I dunno, they're probably a lot better these days.

    What sort of squats have you been doing? Low or high bar? Any thoughts on some of the technical aspects we've been discussing?

    Those Poliquin ratios, besides their lack of Greek beauty standards, aren't as useful to me because I don't do a lot of those lifts. Thanks for reminding me about the external rotations though. I'll try to get some in today. In general, I don't really know if it's useful to worry about progress in assistance-type lifts. I like the idea of letting secondary and stabilizing muscles gain strength as a by-product of greater strength in the prime movers. Aesthetically too, having bulging delts or biceps looks odd to me, unless everything else is bulging too. Basically, build a big back, and everything else will follow, is my thinking these days, since the back is the platform for pretty much everything else.
     
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  13. Bare Lee

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    I was thinking after yesterday's workout, feeling spent but great, "why would I want to do anything but this?" It's a complete workout, yet extremely simply and mindless.

    And like you say, it's extremely easy to track progress as well. It's a real reward when you get to bump up the weight on a given lift.
    This piqued my curiosity, so yesterday I measured my various grip widths. Here's what I got, measuring the space between my hands:

    Deadlift & OH Press = |<--20"-->|

    Bench Press & Neutral Pulldown Attachment = |<--23"-->|

    Squat = |<--35"-->|

    I should probably check out my grip width on the BB Bentover Row too. It's probably closer to my Bench grip than my Press grip, since like the Bench and Pulldown, and unlike the Press and Deadlift, the elbows go past parallel to the torso. That might be the deciding factor. I thought it was funny that after measuring my Bench grip width, the fixed handles of the Pulldown attachment were exactly the same width, measuring between the middles of each handle.

    You must have good shoulder mobility if your bench and squat grip width are the same.

    I also found out my power rack's dimensions are actually 36.5" wide from the outer edge of the posts, not 36" as I had thought.

    I'm also wondering if having the manufactured j-hooks is really an improvement over my carriage-bolt hooks. I think I like the smaller contact point betweeen the hook and bar with the carriage bolts. I just need to find a better covering material. I've been using copper tube with athletic tape. I think I need to glue some bicycle tubing onto the copper tubing instead.
     
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  14. Sid

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  15. Bare Lee

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    I think their conclusions confirm the standard views in strength training/powerlifting/bodybuilding. But it's still a body-part perspective.

    I like the analysis of people like Rippetoe, because they look at it from a biomechanical point of view, looking at anatomical function and physics to determine the best techniques. The fundamental question is: given a natural movement pattern or force/direction pairing, what is the most efficient and safest way to move the most weight, in order to develop strength?

    http://journal.crossfit.com/2007/10/bad-form-by-mark-rippetoe-octo.tpl

    The exercise that moves the most weight in a given force/direction pairing in an optimally safe and efficient manner is also the most efficient one to select, given limited time (workout and recovery) and energy.

    If there are six basic force/direction pairings, then one's routine should be based on the best exercise selection for each of the force/direction pairings.

    This gives you:

    Push: Squat (medium stance, low-barbell position)
    ↑Pull: Deadlift (medium grip & stance with barbell)
    →Push: Bench Press (medium grip with barbell)
    ←Pull: 1-DB Bentover Row (bench supported)
    ↑Push: Overhead Press (medium grip & stance with barbell)
    ↓Pull: Pullups (medium grip)

    Of course, adjustments can be made according to equipment availability, capabilities, current health and potential risk, and training goals, but I think these exercises should serve as the baseline reference for any variation. That is, if you can't do one of them, chose the substitute that comes closest to mimicking its properties whenever possible.

    Then assistance exercises can be added in for body-part focus, ROM or joint-angle variation, working on a weakness within a basic movement, etc.

    The programming should try to optimize training frequency, intensity, volume, safety, and possibly density all at the same time. Doing all six lifts, or all seven if we include loaded carries, each workout at 3x3RM or 2x5RM sets/reps, three times a week, comes close to this optimization.

    This is what I'm thinking these days anyway, based on our discussions, various articles, and the results I'm getting.
     
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  16. Abide

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    After some talk about the percentages I did some math to see if I am working the efforts correctly. I used the average of these three lists for the 3rm and 5rm calcs so 3rm is 91% of the 1RM and 5RM is 86%.

    http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html

    Based on this I think I might be going a little too heavy? I did a 3 x 3 on the deadlifts at 140 or 85% of my 1 RM for ease of plate loading and based on this calc that is 92% of my 3rm?

    Is this logical thinking? I am wondering if I should be sitting at the 80% level more frequently?
     

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  17. Bare Lee

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    Yah, I think the three ExRx 3RMs and 5RMs are a little high, but maybe they're thinking in terms of PR/true RMs, and not training RMs, a useful distinction you made a while ago. So on the Bench for example, my training 5RM is now 210, which is probably about 80% of my true 1RM, but if my life depended on it, or it was somehow important to me to see what my true 5RM is, I could probably do 220 or 225, or closer to 85-87%, like the three experts recommend.

    In my chart what I've done is take my true 1RM for my DL, Squat, and Bench, based on tests in the last cycle, and then put the training 3RM and 5RM at 85% and 80%, respectively, of that because this is what I found is doable for multiple sets of 3 and 5 reps on a consistent basis while experimenting in the last cycle. Likewise, my training 1RM is probably something like 95% of my true 1RM, but I'm starting to question the value of doing training singles. I don't know if it's an efficient way to train, as per my little 'thinking out loud' exercise in my last post. If I want to optimize intensity and frequency and volume and maybe density all at the same time, it's probably best to stick to the 3-5 rep range most times, based on my experience. I'm finding I can do the six basic lifts 2x5 three times a week and still have sufficient recovery time, so I think it optimizes all three or four parameters with respect to one another.

    For the Rows, Pulldowns, and OH Press, I do the opposite. I project from my 5RM to what my 1RM should be, based on the percentages derived from the 1/3/5 rep tests of the DL, Squat, and Bench. This is because I find it hard to get a good reading of what a true 1RM is for the Row, Pulldowns, and OH Press. I have a hard time maintaining good form on anything less than 3 reps or so. But I think as I gain strength, it may become more possible to do a true 1rm and attempt to PR once in while on those lifts too.
     

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  18. BroadArrow

    BroadArrow
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    Barefooters
    1. Illinois

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    well, i did my "testing" in my workouts of the last two days. now i can just mess around for the rest of the week and pretend to be doing a little sabbatical or deloading or something. :) the results go something like this:

    press -> 85lbs. maybe i could do a little more (since it was for a 2 repetition followed by a 3 repetition set, but it sure didn't feel like any more weight would have gone anywhere except back on the rack)
    deadlifts -> 215lbs. again, i could probably do a little more, but i didn't trust my grip and don't want to have to pay to replace the floor.
    pullups -> 10 in a row. this assessment doesn't have any wiggle room.
    squats -> 175lbs. now, this was only to parallel as opposed to my preferred deep squat. i started with a 170lb attempt which was successful enough i decided to bump it up by 5lbs. there was a whole lot of a deadlift like motion at the turnaround point. so i think it was more a measure of my deadlifting/back ability than squatting/legs so to speak. as far as the more technical side, i think i am doing a medium foot width, high bar, thumbless grip approach with no belt. since my work sets are such low weight still (a whole 90 whopping pounds!), i haven't been forced into observing and refining everything. my sorta-plan is to increase the weight slowly so i will gradually sneak into the heavy range and be able to adjust and observe a little bit at a time.

    as for improvements, i think this means that the press went up by about 5lbs (or at least is a lot more solid than it was). the deadlifts have gotten much more solid even though the observed max isn't necessarily higher than before. pullups have increased by two or three for the first set to failure. and for squats, let us consider my preferred deep squat. previously, that technique pooped out at about 75lbs. now i can very comfortably do a 5x5 at 90lbs and i'm just slowly working my way up in weight. so that's like a 20% gain! i love starting from a low base!

    anyways. i am pretty excited about succeeding with the ugly squats since i really didn't think it was going to happen. but since it did, my observed current maxes magically work out to the harmonic series ratios of joy:

    base = 43lbs
    press = 2*43 = 86lbs; actual = 85
    bench = 3*43 = 129lbs; actual = ???
    squats = 4*43 = 172lbs; actual = 175
    deadlift = 5*43 = 215lbs; actual = 215

    and we've already established from the previous ratio analysis that i have gigantic cannons strapped to my upper arms. :) not. i'm just wondering when my seemingly improved squat is going to start showing up in the vertical jump....
     
  19. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee
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    Interesting that your ratios are so close to the Platonic ideal-typical. The form of the good with good form. Congrats on the improvements! I hope you find, as I have, that working out these ratios as a base reference helps clarify training.

    It took me at least three months, maybe more like six, before the squat technique began to feel stable. My current view is that it's pointless to do squats with anything less than perfect form. It's a longterm project. I think you're right that you might want to increase the weight until you get enough resistance to force good form, yet not too much that you have to think about just making the reps. I'm just starting to get back to that level myself, after slowly building back up from my strain and weird knee clicking.

    Have you tried box jumps? I would think those would improve your vertical jump more than squats.

    BTW, Rogue C-70 shorty bar is back in stock, so I ordered one. Funny how excited I am about getting it. Like a little kid.
     
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  20. BroadArrow

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    Barefooters
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    i think that i will actually argue with my observed data and say that the press is the only real max. the "real" deadlift is probably higher and the "real" squat lower.

    as for box jumps, it seems like i can do those all day long with no real effect. and by box jumps, i don't mean normal "step off a 15-inch box and stop yourself in a squatting position". i mean the pulled-from-the-textbook/supposed-to-be-so-hard-it-is-reserved-for-professional-athletes kind where you step off of a 24-inch step, impacting in the squat position and instantly springing up into a maximal jump and *then* landing in the same frozen parallel squat position trying to minimize the travel when striking the ground. for 3 or 4 sets of 10 repetitions.... i can do little ankle hops with locked knees with 40lbs of sand on my shoulders and forget what i'm doing and do double the repetitions that you're supposed to.

    this is not to try to say i'm super awesome or anything. it is just that i don't seem to notice any effect even when doing what, by all accounts, seems to be a pretty intense regiment. so my current theory is that the "neural" component or whatever they call it is probably pretty decent since i am able to jump fairly well with what appear to be pretty weak legs. i want to increase the strength part and then see if that does anything.

    and based on the jumping, i should be able to lift a lot more than i do on the squat. i mean, if you do some really oversimplified physics, we could think of jumping as having a launch phase and a flight phase. the flight phase will store up (as gravitational potential energy) V = mgh, right? then (assume a spherical cow...) suppose the launch phase consists of a constant force applied over the launch distance: K = Fd = kmgd. where m=mass of body, g=gravitational constant, h=maximum height reached, d=depth of crouch at start of launch phase, k=multiplier to express force in terms of bodyweights. ok, so overall, V = K, so mgh = kmgd -> h = kd. meaning that the vertical jump is the product of the bodyweight standardized pressing ability of the legs and the depth of the crouch over which you can maintain that force application. well, i roughly know h and d: h = 24inches, d is somewhere between 6 and 12 inches. so the force multiplier will then be in the range of 2 to 4 (and yes, that will include some calf action as well, but calves alone don't get me off the ground with locked knees; once i'm bouncing i can get like 4 inches or something). thus, the legs have to put out 1 to 3 extra bodyweight equivalents. so at the upper end, that means 3*155 = 465lb squat?

    anyways, if there were an easy answer....
     

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