PDA

View Full Version : Ben's strength log


Ben Byram
11-21-2010, 12:41 PM
Hello!

Not browsed this forum long, but there seems to be some knowledgeable people on here, so I thought I'd start a training log to hopefully get some constructive criticism to help me hit my training goals as quickly as possible. Maybe someone may benefit from my mistakes too...

I am training for strength with a little easy cardio thrown in for health and recovery purposes. My background is probably 10 years of useless training with too much general activity and too little food for any muscular growth (5 years at 11st 4lbs) until I found some decent resources online and started training and eating better about 3 years ago. Started with the KBs via Pavel, then did Starting Strength, Texas Method and this year 5/3/1. Gains have been slowed somewhat by my training being interspersed with preparing for snowboarding holidays and playing around with Ross Enamait influenced concurrent programmes.

My short-term goals are to match my previous modest strength bests whilst keeping my weight below 14st (196lbs). I set this limit as I'm a gangly ectomorph and realistically I'm carrying too much ballast heavier than this. Not bothered about being the next Arnold, just want to get strong without dedicating my life to training and being chubby. I went up to 14st 9lbs at my strongest, but my conditioning level was poor and in retrospect was far too fat. I'm now crawling back to that level slowly.

Best lifts. (All in kg).
Squat 140x2
Bench 100x3 (shite).
Press 80x1
Deadlift 200x1
Power clean 92.5x1

Long-term goals.
Press BW.
Power clean 100kg.
Bench press 1.5xBW.
Squat 2xBW. (Miles off this).
Deadlift 2.5xBW.

Training
I won't record it on here, but all training is preceded by foam rolling, 10 mobility/stability drills with a couple of static stretches, most from Cressey/Robertson's Magnificent Mobility and about 4' on the C2.

My current programme started as 5/3/1, now it just uses the percentages mostly. I like the 5/3/1 session on week 3, so I haven't changed that. I also will max out on the heavy set on week 3 only. I spent months trying to get it 5/3/1 to work unsuccessfully. AMRAP at high reps did nothing for my strength base and I just treaded water. In the end I just ditched the AMRAP and went for steady improvements with lower reps. I also prefer to do the heavy set first, then do the other work sets afterwards, done in reverse pyramid fashion a la Martin Berkhan's suggestion on leangains. Extra back-off sets have been added for volume as I don't get stronger otherwise.

So basically, it's a 3 day per week, full-body session influenced by 5/3/1, Texas Method (fluctuating loads on pushes, pulls and squat) with some assistance work done reverse pyramid or straight sets.

I'm running this plan until it stops working, then I'm probably going to do a specialization routine using Pavel's Russian Squat Routine and something on bench press (Russian Bear?).

Mon
Off

Tues
Squat (heavy)
Press
Chins
Narrow-grip bench press
Loosening deadlift (more of a stretch).

Weds
C2 (20' @120-140HR)

Thursday
Squat (light)
Bench press (light)
Deadlift / RDL
Ab roller
Barbell curl
One-arm DB farmers walk

Friday
Off

Saturday
Power clean
Bench press (heavy - for me)
Squat (speed-sets)
Dips
10' KB finished (alternating TGU and Renegade Row)

Sunday
C2 20' @ 120-140 HR

I've not included all the fine detail as this already reads like the Dead Sea Scrolls, but I'll happily elaborate if anyone is interested.

34 yrs old.
13st 11lbs (193lbs)

Ben Byram
11-23-2010, 01:48 PM
Tuesday 23rd November

This is week 3 of a 4 week cycle as in 5/3/1.
Realised somewhere along the line I'd forgotten about staying tight in the eccentric part of the rep. Focused on this today and whole workout was easier than the last few weeks have been as a result.

Squat:
105x5, 120x3, 135x2 RPE 10, 92.5x15 RPE 10.
Progress, so happy. Didn't drive my traps sufficiently into the bar on the 1st rep of the heaviest set and almost bailed forwards - managed to pull it back.

RPE's are based on an old Mike T. article. RPE 8 being 2-4 spare reps, RPE 9 being one rep saved, and RPE 10 balls out. Book on my Christmas list if I can find it UK based.

Press:
60x5, 67.5x3, 75x1.
I don't push for extra reps on week 3 on the press, just increasing through each cycle. Focus is my nemesis - the bench press.

Chins:
20x4, 10x6, BWx9.
PB for weighted chins.

Narrow-grip bench press:
65x9x3.
Added this last week, to try and shift my bench press having seen a recent video by Ed Coan suggesting varying grips. Figured I'd try it.

Loosening deadlift:
20x13x2.
Performed in the privacy of my own home. As I've got stronger in the past, my lower back has spasmed after getting progressing tighter. This has kept my back feeling better. Done with a KB whilst stood on a step for extra ROM. Taken from Pavel's BB book, and Kono's idea orginally.

Ben Byram
11-24-2010, 11:32 AM
C2:
20'@120-140 HR, 2:16.4s/500m average.
Conditioning pretty poor currently, due to skipping the rower because of a persistent cold. Session is dull, but does the job.

Ben Byram
11-25-2010, 01:31 PM
Squat:
95x5x2
Technique felt good, slowed down the negative aspect, still focusing on tightness even on light sets.

Bench press:
65x5x2
Felt about right.

Deadlift:
180x5.
5 rep PB or should I say PR, I dunno... Very happy with this, has taken a year to get my pulls sorted out since I stopped the Texas Method and got distracted with other stuff. Last year 175x5 was followed 2 weeks later by a 3RM, 2 weeks later pulled 200kg. Will keep alternating a heavy set of 3 (RPE 9 ish) fortnightly with a full bore set of 5 until it stops working, then will probably introduce 5 heavy singles. Deadlift sessions alternated with RDL's seem suited to my spider/orangutan build.

Ab roller:
BWx10x3.

Forgot barbell curls. Annoying, but they are only curls.

One-arm DB farmers walk:
34x3 laps (approx 20m).
I find this hard. Obvious I work in an office when it comes to carrying.

Followed by curry. The feeding secret of champions!

Ben Byram
11-25-2010, 11:51 PM
13st 10.2lbs / 87kg.
Have lost a pound this week as the missus has been dieting and I eat what she serves, bless her. Strength up, weight down. Happy days!
Training on Fridays is illegal.

Ben Byram
11-27-2010, 01:28 PM
Power clean:
82.5x5, 77.5x3x3.
Probably a bit dubious calling the first 5 reps a set as missed the 5th rep and had to do it again. Wasn't pulling my back into extension properly on the heavy set, addressed this is the last few sets and seemed to rectify itself.

Bench press:
75x5, 85x3, 95x3, 65x12.
Created a bit more of an arch in my back and made sure my eyes were the right side of the bar. Felt better.

Squat (speed-sets):
75x2x8 on the '.

Dips:
32.5x4, 20x6, 10x7.

TGU 20x3 / Renegade row 20x6:
6.5'.
Was planning to do these for 10', but my shoulders felt like toast pretty quickly. The KB's were added for a little extra conditioning and the KB's are fun, but I'm questioning whether I'd be better binning this finisher now...

Having blatantly forgotten the real purpose of assistance work, time to evaluate my weaknesses and make necessary alterations next week... if required.

Deload week now, sweeeeeeeeeeet..............

Ben Byram
11-28-2010, 10:50 AM
Indoor snowboarding 90'.

Making a couple of tweaks to the assistance work to address the following hopefully...

Added barbell row to strengthen upper back which I hope will benefit all lifts, and in particular give me a more stable base when benching. Dropped curls in exchange...

Changed dips for explosive bench press as I think I am lacking speed and will benefit from more benching. Plus my dips have improved quite a lot recently whilst my bench is still crap. Can't be that beneficial?

Dropped the loosening deadlift in favour of back extensions to strengthen the lower back, particularly for the pulls and to a lesser extent the squat.

Chins stay because I like them and I'm trying to beat my mate at them. Ab roller and farmers walk stay because they've made my trunk feel solid when pressing and coming out of the hole on the squat. Plus I need the grip work for my little girlie office hands.

My analysis of weaknesses is complete amateur hour, so we'll see how it goes.

Now my week looks like -

Mon
Off

Tue
Squat (heavy)
Press
Chins
Bench press (explosive)
Back extensions

Wed
C2

Thu
Squat (light)
Bench press (light)
Deadlift / RDL
Ab roller
Barbell row

Fri
Off

Sat
Power clean
Bench press (heavy)
Squat (speed-sets)
Narrow-grip bench press
X-trainer (added because the KB's tempt me to work too hard and affect recovery - conditioning needs improving)

Sun
C2

The circle is complete.

Ben Byram
11-30-2010, 02:01 PM
Deload week using 50%x5,60%x5,65%x5 on the bench, press and squat. Any lighter than this and I detrain and struggle through the first week of the next cycle. Percentages based on training 1RM's for the current cycle, not estimated or actual 1RM.

Nice and easy on the other stuff, generally dropping a work set. Stopping with 4-6 reps left probably.

Squat:
70x5, 85x5, 92.5x5.
I felt a bit tight in the hamstrings and focused on hitting proper depth. I used to go rock bottom, but started to get loose before I came up. Cut the depth a little short to remedy it, but now it seems I can sometimes go a smidgen high if I don't consciously bounce a little. Weird.

Press:
40x5, 47.5x5, 52.5x5.
Shoulders still fatigued from Saturday. Feel vindicated on binning TGU's. I figure my shoulders need less work and my triceps need more...

Chins:
BWx6x2.

Bench press (explosive):
60x8.
Just a tester. Surprised how taxing this felt, hopefully this means plenty of scope for improvement. I want to be doing sets of 5+ with 100kg on the heavy day before I die of old age. Determined to improve my less than impressive benching.

Back extensions:
20x15.
Nice steady set to re-introduce the exercise. Was up to 25x20 last year. Going to use a 25kg plate and work up to high reps. Using 2 plates is awkward.

Enjoying an easy week, always battered by week 4. Thinking about sleeping a lot.

Ben Byram
12-01-2010, 11:46 AM
C2:
2x15'@120-140HR.
Interval 1 - 2:13.4 / 500m average.
Interval 2 - 2:16.6 / 500m average.

Doing longer duration cardio on deload week whilst strength training takes a break. Keeping the intensity nice and low, so recovery takes precedent still. Have done 140-150HR on previous cycles, cardiovascular endurance improved, but strength didn't.

HR was actually higher in the 2nd interval which illustrates my lack of endurance. Not a priority, but would prefer to see these more even, especially as my average HR was lower in the first interval.

Ben Byram
12-02-2010, 12:54 PM
Continuing the deload, just coasting through. Found myself being annoyed by the ridiculous training going on all around me. Doing obscure movements with plastic logs weighing 5-10kg is the latest. I reckon some of the women would be better swinging their handbag around a bit, it probably weighs more...

Squat:
70x5, 85x5, 92.5x5.
Concentrating on depth and now a little concerned I'll struggle hitting my weights on the next cycle. We'll see....

Bench press:
50x5, 60x5, 65x5.

RDL:
115x5.
Much harder than they should be because I didn't take chalk.

Ab roller:
BWx6x2.

Chest-supported row (or what Keiser call 'Upper back'):
45x8 (who knows what units these are?).
I guess one machine won't kill me. Decided to do this instead of barbell rows, mainly because Cressey advocates them and he knows about shoulders and stuff. Secondly my lower back is getting plenty of training already and they will be done after heavy deads twice a month. Performed with a stretch before starting and a 1s hold at the end of the pull with scaps retracted.

One-arm farmers walk:
32x20-25m.
Again grip a lot harder without chalk in my sweaty mitts.

Ben Byram
12-02-2010, 11:55 PM
13st 9.8lbs. 87kg.
-0.4lbs this week.

Ben Byram
12-05-2010, 11:35 AM
Dragged myself to the gym. Training shifted to Sunday because of heavy drinking Friday and Saturday night.

Focused on technique following some nerding around the internet for any new worthwhile information I could find this weekend.

My current warm-up:
Foam rolling upper back, adductors, and quads.
Mobility/stability:
1. Cat/camel - 12 reps.
2. Bird-dog - 8 reps.
3. Lying spinal-twist - 8 reps.
4. Goblet squat (3s pause at the bottom a la Dan John) - 8 reps.
5. Warrior lunge - 20s.
6. Scap press-ups - 12 reps.
7. Band dislocates - 8 reps.
8. Pigeon - 20s
9. Supine leg-hwhip - 6 reps.
10. Overhead squat - 5-8 reps. (Have started wiggling around a bit in the bottom as suggested in Dr. Peter on this site).

4' C2.

Power clean:
67.5x5, 62.5x3.
First set ugly. Remembered I'd read an article by Bill Starr on Starting Strength site where he suggested thinking of driving the feet through the floor rather than pulling the bar for high pulls. Applied that to the second set and they felt like nothing and the bar stayed much closer to my body. These are light weights, but I'm excited about the prospect of driving my numbers to 100kg through a more efficient movement.

Bench Press
52.5x5, 62.5x5, 67.5x5.
Concentrated on getting a good arch, loading the traps on the bench and using my back more to drive the weight as per Will Heffernan's recommendation on Informed Performance. My back is reasonably strong, so thought I'd try it.
http://www.youtube.com/user/willheffernan#p/u/112/1B_qrgiqm2Y
His technique seems to help with my setup. Starting to find what works for me based on that video, SS and Dave Tate's stuff.
(Keep elbows under the bar, pull the bar down, pull the bar apart).

Squat:
70x5, 85x5, 92.5x5.
Just thought about hingeing at the hips and let everything else sort itself out. Felt good, we'll see what it feels like with a bit more weight on the bar.

Narrow-grip bench press:
52.5x8.

X-trainer:
15' @ 120-140HR.
15' felt like an eternity because of boredom, but I think this will serve my needs.

Ben Byram
12-07-2010, 01:46 PM
Training percentages for squats and presses in this session are as in week 1 of 5/3/1, just reversed, i.e. 85%,75%,65% of training 1RM.

Squat:
122.5x5, 107.5x6, 95x10/10/9 - (RPE 9 for last 3 sets).
Just thought about the proper movement of my hips. Technique felt solid and deep enough.

Press:
70x4, 60x6, 52.5x7.
Missed the 5th rep of the first set annoyingly. Perhaps partly due to poncing around showing another lad press-up variations on Sunday and more likely because I was trying to pull my elbows down in the eccentric (thinking it might work like it does benching - activating the lats), but forgot about lifting the chest and keeping the trunk and legs tight. Will continue with what I have planned, should be alright. The earth is still spinning......

Chins:
20x4.5, 10x6, BWx9.5.
Calling these half reps because chin didn't clear the bar.

Bench press (explosive):
62.5x8x3.
Not explosive enough in the last set. Reduce to 60kg. Putting your feet on the bench and lifting your hips to arch your back for setting up makes a massive difference. Why wasn't I doing this ages ago. Fookwit!

Back extensions:
25x15x3.
Didn't push these too hard, will add a couple of reps next week.

Ben Byram
12-08-2010, 12:42 PM
C2:
2x16'@120-140HR / (5' rest between intervals).
Interval 1 - 2:12 ish.... was interrupted.
Interval 2 - 2:16.2 / 500m.

Yes, long steady cardio of sorts at snails pace. I have a rower in the spare room luckily.

Ben Byram
12-09-2010, 01:41 PM
Squat (light):
100x5x2.

Bench press (light):
67.5x5x2.

Deadlift:
185x3.
Some muppet stepped right in front of me to do lunges with one 8kg dumbell on his shoulder just before my heavy set. Fueled my set with a mild rage which was useful. Not sure I had another rep in the bag, think I need to add a set to RDL's in my deload week as detraining a smidgen perhaps...

Ab wheel:
BWx11x3.

Chest-support machine row:
50 thingsx8x3.

Offset farmers walk:
36x20-25mx2.
I don't enjoy the farmers walk.

My gym has just installed it's 4th vibration plate machine!!!! Yet we still have 1 squat / bicep curl rack.......?

Ben Byram
12-09-2010, 11:56 PM
13st 11.2lbs. 88kg.
+1.4lbs this week. My Triassic diet is in full effect (eat everything in sight with an emphasis on meat, preferably lamb!).

More Christmas drinking this weekend....:D

Ben Byram
12-12-2010, 12:08 PM
Hungover...... much sweating.....

Power clean:
85x3, 80x3/2/2/2.
Technique a little better from driving the feet initially and didn't get my usual bloody shins because my knees were moving out of the way. No dramatic increases though. Not sure whether to look at the floor 10 feet ahead as Rip recommends or to bring my gaze forward. I should be power cleaning more than this based on my deadlift surely?

Bench press:
87.5x5, 77.5x6, 67.5x8x2.
Getting soreness in my upper back and quads when I'm benching now. I think that is a good sign.

Squat (speed sets):
75x2x8.

Narrow-grip bench press:
65x10x3.

X-trainer:
15'@120-140 HR.

Going to make an effort to get more sleep this week. Knackered.

Ben Byram
12-14-2010, 01:52 PM
Shit day, good workout. Satisfied as had a day less recovery than if I'd trained on Saturday as I would have preferred.

Squat:
90%x3, 80%x4, 70%@RPE 8x2.
130x3, 115x4, 100x5x2.
Had to work very hard for first 2 sets. Turned into good mornings a bit - keep knees out coming out of the bottom. Extend the back before starting.

Press:
90%x3, 80%x4, 70%x5.
72.5x3, 65x4, 57.5x5.
Back on track.

Chins:
20x5, 10x7, BWx9.
PB on weighted chins. Been after a set of 5 with the blue plate for a while. Nice.

Bench press (explosive):
60x8x3.
Stick with this weight for a while.

Back extensions:
25x20x2.

Ben Byram
12-15-2010, 12:20 PM
2x20'@120-140HR (5' rest between intervals).
Interval 1 - 2:14.9 / 500m average.
Interval 2 - 2:17.0 / 500m average.

Going a bit longer today because I find the 3's week easier than the 5's or 5/3/1 week. Plus, no deadlifts tomorrow, just RDL's which are easier.

Ben Byram
12-16-2010, 01:43 PM
Squat (light):
100x5x2.
Focused on arching the back.

Bench press (light):
67.5x5x2.

Chest-supported machine row:
52?x8x3.

RDL:
145x5, 130x6.

Ab roller:
BWx12x3.

Offset farmers walk:
36x20-25mx2.

Order jumbled around a bit as someone was using the squat rack for bench press partials.

Noticed some tennis coach training today which could have been mistaken for the circus as 3 people were balanced on stability balls on their hands and knees trying to move around like seals....

Ben Byram
12-18-2010, 03:24 PM
Yesterdays weight:
13st 10.6lbs / 87kg. Same 6 weeks ago.

Power clean:
92.5x1, 95x1 (PB!), 97.5xFx3, 85x2x4, 85x1/F.
Still working on technique having read some old posts including Glenn Pendlay and Gregg Everett. Lots to work on. Driving the legs through the floor, jump with bar at mid-thigh, pull the shoulders up, not the bar; pull the shoulders to the bar at full extension. Think I'll stick with working up to a heavy single, then dropping 10kg and doing doubles. More work at a higher percentage of 1RM which seems to be effective for olympic type exercises from what I've read.

Bench press:
95x3, 82.5x4, 72.5x5x2 (RPE 8).
The 95kg was a mistake, should have been 92.5kg. Thought it was a struggle. Cybernetic periodization if I feel like talking shit (and lying). Took it easy on back-off sets to save some energy for the heaviest week.

Squat (speed-sets):
75x2x8.
Nice and snappy, feet leaving the floor a tad.

Narrow-grip bench press:
67.5x8x3.

X-trainer.
15'@120-140HR.

Tried muscle-ups tonight. No chance. A 46 year made them look easy. Swinehund. Typing when drunk is tedious.

Ben Byram
12-19-2010, 10:37 AM
C2:
20' @ 120-140 HR.
2:15.2 / 500m average.
Planned to do longer, but couldn't be bothered, mulled wine didn't help... Pleased I have done 3 cardio sessions this week for the first time in a while, seems to be enough to really feel the difference.

Ben Byram
12-21-2010, 02:07 PM
40' nappage before starting, not unusually...

Squat:
107.5x5, 122.5x3, 130x1, 135x1, (no back-off sets).
Pissed off with with squats which have gone backwards from last month, knew I was in trouble when the first set felt hard. Was planning to go for 3 plates and do 140kg for first time in a while. Pathetic. Struggled to keep my knees from being pulled back when it gets hard, I guess my quads are weak.

Will change the programming and implement front squats to develop my quad strength on Saturdays instead of speed-sets which most people appear dismissive of at this level of strength; they don't appear to be helping with my knees getting pulled back either in hindsight. Was thinking about Dan John's one lift a day set scheme, but I guess it will be too much to recover from with front squats too? I think I need more work at a higher percentage of 1RM.... Hmm.....

Press:
77.5x1, 80x1.
Cut volume so I'm not battered for benching Thursday. (Compressing the important lifts into 2 workouts this week, then taking 5 days complete rest over Christmas). Done 3.5 months without any missed sessions, but with deloads every 4th week.

Some consolation with this. Achieved my goal this year of pressing 80kg a stone lighter than last year. 7.5kg shy of bodyweight press. Hopefully next year!

Chins:
20x5.
These are plateauing. Might try Shaf's ladders next year done once per week.

Explosive bench press skipped as benching Thurs.

Back extensions:
25x21x2.
First set easy, 2nd set was punishing after the first dozen.

Ben Byram
12-23-2010, 10:55 AM
Bench press:
75x5, 85x3, 100x2.
Shoulders have been aching, so wasn't expecting much. First 2 sets didn't feel strong. Happy with 100x2, my best is 100x3. Was hoping to get back to there this year. Close enough. Seems my presses are going up okay, especially as brought bench day 2 days forward.

Deadlift:
185x4.
Was hoping to get 5 reps, but the 4th rep was a proper grind, even worse than my 5sec press on Tuesday. Technique wasn't very good, bar drifted away from my shins. Was thinking about driving my legs more as I tend to be very hip dominant and destroy my shins in the process. Need to find a middle-ground.

New Year Programme.

A few changes…

Squats:
More volume at a higher average intensity on Tuesday trying to go by feel rather than percentages as I seem to have burnt myself sticking to what is planned. Using Dan John’s one lift a day set/rep scheme, but training multiple days because that seems to suit me better. Basically Texas Method on squats, volume, light, intensity. Using different squat variations to control the intensity.
Overhead squats to help flexibility and trunk strength on light day.
Front squats to strengthen the quads/trunk instead of speed-sets.
.....EDIT: got RTS Manual for Christmas, have amended squats to try and autoregulate them with RPE's using similar rep ranges to Dan John's one-lift template.

Presses:
Unchanged as they’re improving.

Pulls:
Power cleans and deads on same day to improve recovery of the lower back, so I'm training the lower back just twice heavily per week. It's been feeling like it's going to get tweaked for the last couple of weeks.
Singles/doubles on power cleans and deadlifts to try and push them up a bit. Seem to be stalling out on the deadlift progress and bored of 3's and 5's.
EDIT: trying fatigue stops with singles and doubles, warming up the deadlift with a heavy...ish triple PC.

Assistance:
Same exercises as before, shuffled a little to maximize recovery.
Changed set/reps on chins as they’ve stalled.
Still no assistance on squats, although toyed with a single-leg lift for hip stability (watched Mike Robertsons freebee video).
EDIT: added YTWL's to balance the rotator cuff from all the pressing, prehab really.

Voila...

Tuesday (volume)
Squat x5@ RPE 9-10, Triples @ RPE 8-9, Doubles @ 8-9, deload.
Press 5/3/1 reversed as previous.
Chins 3x5-7 weighted / 3xmax BW
Bench (explosive) 3x8@RPE 6-7
Back extensions 2x20+

Wednesday
C2: 20-40’ @ 120-140 HR.

Thursday (light)
Overhead squat x5@RPE 8-9
Bench (light) 2x5
Chest-supported row 3x6-8
Ab roller 3x10-20
YTWL's 3x8
X-trainer 15-20’ @ 120-140 HR.

Saturday (intensity)
Power clean Triple @ RPE 9 / Max single, doubles @ RPE 9-10
Deadlift Singles @ RPE 9-10 / Off.
Bench press as previous.
Front squat Triples @ RPE 9-10
Narrow-grip bench press 3x8
Offset farmers walk 2x20-25m.

Sunday
C2: 20-40’ @ 120-140 HR.

If someone brighter than me sees anything stupid in this, please chime in!

Merry Christmas!

Ben Byram
12-24-2010, 05:08 AM
13st 12.4lbs. 88kg.
+1.2lbs.

Ben Byram
12-29-2010, 05:14 PM
Glad to be back in the gym, I've been stiff and sore, especially around the lower back and hips. Only exercise has been 15' yoga yesterday and a few mobility exercises to loosen my lower back. I don't react well to doing nothing...

Getting use to RPE's and fatigue stops, so a bit untidy on first attempt.

Squat (volume - should have been anyway):
115x5 @9.5
112.5x5 @9.5
110x5 @10
Thought 115kg was conservative to shoot for considering I did 122.5x5 a month ago, but it wasn't happening. Still tired in this movement and back still feeling the deadlift last week.

Press (intensity)
72.5x3 @10
65x3 @9.5
65x3 @9
65x3 @9
65x3 @10
Was going to stick with what I was doing previously, but 72.5x5 was not happening, so changed this to RTS intensity session on the cuff. Perhaps hasty? Done now.

Chins:
15x5x2, 15x4.

Bench press (explosive):
60x5 @7.5
55x8 @6.5
55x8 @6
55x8 @7
Bit tired from the pressing.

Back extensions:
25x22x2.
Made my back feel a lot better for flushing some blood back through.

Ben Byram
12-30-2010, 03:00 PM
Feeble weights tonight...

Overhead squat:
40x3 @9
35x5 @8
35x5 @9
First time I've loaded the bar with these, I don't understand why they are hard, but they are.

Bench press (light):
70x5, 65x5.
Lowered the weight a little because still tired from yesterday's presses.

Chest-supported row:
52?x10x3.

Ab roller:
BWx13x3.

YTWL's:
6x3, 4x3x4-5 ish.
Hmm.... weak rotator cuffs. Had to break into little sets as shoulders fatigued quickly with little bag of sugar weights.

Ben Byram
01-02-2011, 11:05 AM
Fridays weight 13st 13.4lbs (+1lb).
89kg.

Not noticeably fatter after Christmas, so that's cool.

Must have been in the gym nearly 3 hours today. Not sure how practical that will be all the time. Deadlift aside, an enjoyable session. Loving the RTS principles, couldn't help myself and used it for volume bench too. I should stick with what is working, but this makes more sense the more I think about it.

With a little less intensity it seems I can generate a lot more volume than I expected. Obvious... perhaps.

Power clean (intensity):
82.5x2@9.
No explosion. Felt off.

Deadlift (intensity - should have been):
140x1@8.
My lower back is still fried from a heavy session 10 days ago. Confirms to me that (1) I need 2 weeks between heavy deadlift sessions and (2) - pushing myself to the limit is not productive for gaining strength. Also like the idea of warming up with power cleans, but in reality I think it just will tire me out before deads. Won't do it again. Will alternate power cleans and deadlifts weekly for the timebeing, although power cleans weekly would be my preference to work on technique.

Bench press (volume):
80x5 @9, 80x5 @9, 80x5 @9, 80x5 @9, 80x5 @9.5, 80x5 @ 9.5, 80x5 @10.
Technique felt solid. Ended up 7x5 just like Dan John's week one in his one-lift-a-day programme.

Front squat (intensity):
90x3 @8.5, 92.5x3 @9, 92.5x3 @9, 92.5x3 @9.5, 92.5x3 @ 9.5, 92.5x3 @9, 95x3 @9.5, 100x3 @10.
Not done these in over a year. RPE's above are what I thought, but probably more like RPE 8 for the early ones in reality - hence more of a volume session. No bother.

Narrow-grip bench press:
67.5x9x3.

Offset farmers walk:
38x25m.

Ben Byram
01-04-2011, 01:39 PM
Loving RPE based workouts, enjoying my workout more because I'm not forcing myself to do what I've planned and leaving feeling fresher. No grinding sets. Bit early to assess progress, but hopefully extra volume will carry me forward to the strength of a chubby bear.

RPE 6 = explosive with minimal effort.
RPE 7 = fast with max effort.
RPE 8 = 2-3 reps left.
RPE 9 = 1 rep left.
RPE 10 = maximum (but not muscular failure as I interpret it, i.e. uncomplete rep)

Squat (volume):
112.5x3 @7.5
112.5x3 @8
112.5x3 @8.5
112.5x3 @8.5
112.5x3 @9
Technique feeling much better and posture improved. Not sure whether this is a result of a few quick yoga sessions at home to try and save my battered hips or if it's from front squats, overhead squats, rows.... or all? Not arsed... it's helping.

Press (intensity):
70x2 @9
70x2 @9.5
70x2 @ 10

Chins:
BWx10 @8 (surprisingly easy)
BWx10 @10
BWx6 @9.5
Felt like I had 13 reps for chins. My best is 14 at lower weight, so happy. Will push for BWx10x3 as not done that before. Now switching weight week by week, rather than doing all heavy weighted.

Bench (explosive):
55x8 @6
55x8 @6.5
55x8 @7

Back extensions:
25x20 @8
25x20 @9
BWx15 @7 (just to flush some blood through).

Feel good. Reckon I may not need to deload with the RTS principles plugged into my plan. That would give me 25% more quality training time. That's got to be good.

Ben Byram
01-05-2011, 11:39 AM
C2:
20' @120-140HR.
2:15.4/500m average.

Ben Byram
01-06-2011, 01:32 PM
Total gayness.

Overhead squat:
20x5x2, 30x5 warm-up
35x5 @8, 20x5@7, 35x5@10
Shoulders fatigue very quick in this position.

Bench press (light):
70x5 @7
70x5 @8

Machine row:
54?x10x3

Ab roller:
BWx10x3 @8
Took it easy on these as my hip flexors/adductor have been giving me grief.

YTWL's:
4x7/5/5.
Moving better through these than last week.

X-trainer:
17' @120-140HR.

Ben Byram
01-08-2011, 12:12 PM
Wasn't feeling it today, forgot about bench press and mucked the order up, so wasn't as fresh as I should have been for the front squat and narrow-grip bench press.

Power clean:
80x2 @8
80x2 @8
80x2 @8.5
80x1 / miss
On the last set the bar flew up for the first rep, then just didn't get under it for the second. Was tempted to do another set, but decided to call it a day as was feeling tired.

Front squat
100x2 @9
100x2 @10
Expected more after last week, but perhaps because I went straight into after the power cleans?

Bench press:
82.5x3 @8
82.5x3 @8.5
82.5x3 @8.5
82.5x3 @8
82.5x3 @8
82.5x3 @9
Took me a few sets to get going. Again has turned into Dan John's one-lift a day scheme, i.e. 6x3. Perhaps he knows a thing or too!!!!


Offset farmer's walk:
40x25m

Narrow-grip bench press:
67.5x10 @9
67.5x9 @10
67.5x5 @9
Got tired quick, stick with this weight until I get 67.5x10x3.

Ben Byram
01-11-2011, 02:02 PM
Squat (volume - supposedly):
120x2 @8
120x2 @8
120x2 @8.5
120x2 @9
Not getting much volume in on these. Technique feeling much more solid though since I started doing front squats. Weight over the mid-foot and back more upright.

Press (intensity):
70x1 @8
75x1 @9.5
72.5x1 @9
72.5x1 @10
Bit complacent on the last one and didn't push my head through, so lost balance going forward.

Chins:
10x5 @8
10x5 @9
10x5 @10
Still in 2 minds how hard to train the assistance work. Was planning to go up to RPE 9, but wanted a set of 5 on the last one. Meh.

Back extensions:
25x23 @8
25x25 @9
Never done a set of 25 with the 25kg plate before, so I guess my back is better.

Bench press (explosive):
55x8 @6
55x8 @6.5
55x8 @6
55x8 @7
Moved these to the end of the workout, so my shoulders are fresher. Not sure these are doing me any benefit now, my presses are all pretty explosive, will replace this with incline bench press perhaps as haven't done that in years.

Ben Byram
01-12-2011, 11:45 AM
C2:
15í @ 2.14.9/500m, 5í rest, 15í @ 1.17.0/500m (120-140HR)
Yawn.....

Ben Byram
01-13-2011, 01:39 PM
Overhead squat:
35x4 @8 (lost balance on the 5th rep)
35x5 @8
35x5 @8
35x5 @9
Technique clicked today. Have been doing what can only be described as a snatch (tee hee) with a band, then following it through into a band dislocate in the bottom of the squat.

Bench press (light):
65x5 @7
65x5 @7

Keiser machine row:
56x10x3
Binning this next week to do cable rows. Just don't like using it.

Ab roller:
BWx14 @8
BWx12 @8
BWx10 @9
Playing around with RPE's still. I want to get to 20 reps, then I'll start trying the standing ab roll-out.

YTWL's:
4x8 @9
4x5 @9
4x5 @9
I think these are helping my shoulders, they are feeling more solid. Not a very scientific description....

X-trainer:
15'@120-140HR

Ben Byram
01-15-2011, 11:27 AM
Bit disappointed with the weights I used today, but left feeling like I worked hard enough and wasn't wasted.

Deadlift (intensity):
160x1 @8
170x1 @9
170x1 @9.5
170x1 @10
Have detrained on the deadlift since I overdid it before Christmas and was forced to take it easy. Usually the deadlift feels easy of the floor for me and gets harder as I go up. Today the difficulty felt even all the way up. Maybe pulling once per week is not enough for me....

Next cycle will do power cleans for volume, barbell row for light and deadlift for intensity and do the TM properly.

Bench press (should have been volume, but did intensity for no apparent reason... Doh!):
90x2 @9
90x2 @9.5
90x2 @10
My shoulders feel unstable and are getting very sore from all the added pressing recently. Have started doing some more scap work in my warm-up, added face-pulls, rolling with a tennis ball and swapped chest-supported rows for seated rows to improve my shoulder health. Hopefully that will be sufficient for now. Next cycle I plan to do some 1-arm dumbell presses on the light day to address this and the imbalance in my left / right strength. May be pressing too much?

Moving Bench to Tuesday's session. I starting doing it on Saturday's because I was hitting the deadlift hard and didn't want to overwork my trunk. Not a problem anymore.

Front squat:
105x1 @9.5
105x1 @10
PB. Never done more than 100 before.

Narrow-grip bench press:
70x8 @9
70x7 @9
70x7 @9

Farmers walk:
42x30m.
Had to stop and take a 10-20s break twice due to my weak hands. The farmers walk with 2 DB's is much more comfortable than the 1 handed version. Me likey!

Face pull:
30x8 @8
Feels good after the benching. Will do 3 sets next week.

Starting to think my plan is a bit disjointed.... I am blathering today.

Ben Byram
01-16-2011, 11:13 AM
1hr indoor snowboarding:
Although short of practice, overhead squats and front squats seem to be helping my board stance.

Ben Byram
01-18-2011, 02:06 PM
Normally the 4th week would be a deload week for me, but decided to just carry on assuming the RPE based workouts would adjust accordingly. I did feel tired, just plodded through.

Squat (volume):
107.5x5 @8.5
110x5 @9
110x5 @9.5
110x5 @10
Probably should have stuck at 107.5 and got a few more sets in. It's taking a while to build my work capacity. I'm use to one heavy set and pretty light back-offs.

Bench press (volume):
80x5 @9
80x5 @9.5
80x5 @10
Benched on Saturday, so I guess that explains the drop in volume. Did 80x5x7 a few weeks back?!

Chins:
BWx10 @8.5
BWx8 @9
BWx8 @9
Have gained a pound on 2 in the last 2 weeks, can feel it.

Back extensions:
25x26 @8
25x20 @9

Incline bench press:
50x8 @7.5
50x8 @8
50x8 @8.5
i've not done these in years. I presume you don't arch on these?

Bosu ball press-ups (feet on bench):
BWx16
Added these in to help with stabilising my shoulders, they're a similar angle to the incline bench, so make sense as a finisher. Mike Boyle seems to like them anyway....

Still unsure if my programme is going to work. Must be patient.

Ben Byram
01-20-2011, 01:52 PM
I was planning to train tonight, but I feel wrecked.

I thought I could just keep training because I am using RPE's, but in hindsight it just isn't going to work for me. Tired, grumpy and I don't feel like training whatsover which is not like me. Plenty of indicators that I need to back off, I have no wish to push through it and see if I adapt.

I will take the rest of the week off and maybe do some mobility work and an easy session at the weekend.

3 weeks hard, one week easy will continue to be my bread and butter training scheme. Will repeat the last 3 weeks RPE/set scheme and see what happens.

Ben Byram
01-22-2011, 12:12 PM
Deload.....

Power clean:
60x3 @6
70x3 @7
75x3 @8
Focusing on pulling my shoulders to the bar aggressively at full extension. Easier than it sounds and not convinced I get full extension when the weight gets near to 80kg.

Press:
50x5 @6
55x5 @7.5
My shoulders (anterior delts I think) are still sore and tight, especially on the right hand side. Started as soon as I began using a bigger arch in my bench press?

Front squat:
60x3 @6
70x3 @6.5
80x3 @8
My technique on these is far better than the back squat. Tempting to bin back squats altogether.

Seated cable row:
38.5x7 @8.5
Just easing myself into a new exercise ready for next week.

YTWL's
4x8x2
Did the Y's, then T's... and so on, easier to get into a groove than doing them consecutively.

Face pulls:
30x10 @8
30x10 @8
30x10 @8
25x10 @8
Realised my elbows are a bit low after the 3rd set (missus noticed), so adjusted for the last one.

Starting to feel like myself again today ready for next week.

Ben Byram
01-27-2011, 01:32 PM
I felt ruined on Tuesday still, just did my warm-up and chilled out instead of training.

Squat (volume):
107.5x5 @8
110x5 @9
110x5 @10
First set felt reasonable, but got tired very quickly.

Bench press (volume):
80x5 @9.5
77.5 @10
Felt weak... called it a day at this point.

The first 3 weeks of this programme have exhausted my recovery ability, I still feel over-reached/overtrained or whatever.

I will train this weekend and see what happens, but in all likelihood I need to simplify what I am doing. Bollocks.

Will start another 3 week cycle next week. I can't sustain this obviously, so will do a cycle with intensity focus and hopefully capitalise on this over-reaching and then alternate volume / intensity roughly like Mr T. suggests albeit on 3 full-body workouts per week as that is my preference.

On a positive note I have reduced my shoulder pain by vicious rolling of the sore areas with a hockey ball against a wall, and the sleeper stretch seems to be bringing relief. No doubt also a result of too much volume on pressing.

Ben Byram
01-27-2011, 01:40 PM
Double-post

Ben Byram
01-29-2011, 03:32 PM
Feeling good again, decided to take it easy and then start training harder again next week. Technique felt good on all exercises. Some soreness and stiffness in the front of my shoulders (especially the right) still, but getting better.

Deadlift:
160x4 @8
Should have done RDL's in hindsight as will be deadlifting on Tuesday. Quite light though....

Press:
55x5 @7
55x5 @7
55x5 @8

Front squat:
80x3 @7.5
80x3 @7.5
80x3 @8
Enjoy front squats far more than the back squat.

I have decided to sort out my routine dropping some assistance work and re-organising the week properly. I have been doing too many pressing exercises in particular and after a few weeks my recovery was lacking. Will be applying Bill Starr's heavy-light-medium template properly now and trying to just do assistance exercises when necessary, although I find this hard to do.

The plan is do 3 weeks volume, a deload week, 3 weeks intensity, another deload week taking inspiration from RTS. Week by week I will change sets/reps randomly by rolling a di to select 1 of 6 options for either volume or intensity. If the same set-up comes up within the 3 week cycle, I'll roll again.

To start with the only supplementary work is to try and balance out my shoulders. I'm treating the last cycle as volume, so the first run through will be intensity focused.

Squat, push, pull every session and set/reps the same for these except the cable row which will be higher reps.

HEAVY
Squat
Bench press
Deadlift / RDL

LIGHT
Overhead squat
Seated cable row
Press
YTWL's

MEDIUM
Power clean
Incline bench press
Front squat
Face-pull

Week 1: x3@9-10
Week 2: 3RM
Week 3: 2RM
Week 4: deload

Ben Byram
02-01-2011, 01:25 PM
Went into this workout a little apprehensive as I have had mild pain radiating from my hip down my right leg, knee, and ankle which I presume is sciatica. Have brutalized myself with the hockey ball which seems to have helped. Shoulder still tight and sore and I can't sleep on it... but nothing fell off or broke, so it's all good. Lots of SMR, stretching and mobilising is helping.

Squat
122.5x3 @9
122.5x3 @9.5
122.5x3 @10

Bench press
85x3 @9
85x3 @9.5
85x3 @10

Deadlift
155x3 @8
160x3 @9
160x3 @10

Ben Byram
02-03-2011, 01:58 PM
Shoulder feeling better. Discomfort from sciatica eased after training and stretching.

Overhead squat
37.5x3 @8
37.5x3 @8 (lost it in front of my face, but pressed it back up - should have dumped it)
40x3 @8.5
42.5x3 @9.5
42.5x3 @10
Improving at these. I like the focus required.

Seated cable row
38.5x8 @8
38.5x8 @8.5
38.5x8 @9.5

Press
67.5x3 @9
67.5x3 @9.5
67.5x3 @10
Thought these may be an issue after the OHS, but doesn't seem to be a problem due to the massive difference in grip width. Also pressing 2 days after benching is fine, although low volume and a new cycle, so early days.

YTWL's
4x8x3
Crap at L's, don't get enough rotation. Moving better though, I've been doing scap wall-slides which I think are making my shoulder blades more stable.

,,,, oh, and 15' X-trainer at 130-140HR.

Ben Byram
02-05-2011, 10:16 AM
Haven't done power cleans and front squats for a couple of weeks...

Power clean
80x2 @8.5
77.5x3 @9
77.5x3 @11
No snap by the 3rd set.

Incline bench press
67.5x3 @9.5
65x3 @9
65x3 @8.5
67.5x3 @10
Practically the same as my overhead presses so isn't really 'medium' over the training week. I presume they will improve reasonably quickly as I haven't trained the movement properly.

Front squat
95x3 @9
95x3 @10
No technique issues that I'm aware of.

Face-pull
30x9 @8
30x10 @9
30x11 @9

Ben Byram
02-06-2011, 06:45 AM
C2
25' @120-140HR
2:16.9 / 500m average

Ben Byram
02-08-2011, 01:44 PM
3RM's this week. Decided to add a back-off set of 8-10 reps for squats and presses on heavy and medium days, as I'm not going any assistance work this seemed sensible to avoid the volume getting too low. Not for pulls though. Based on Bill Starr's recommendations for back-off sets in SSS...

Squat
125x2 @8.5
127.5x3 @10
105x8 @9

Bench press
92.5x3 @10
80x8 @9

RDL
150x3 @9
155x3 @10
160x3 @10
Have started doing these with a hook-grip because grip is holding this lift back although I can hold my heavy deads okay. Hurts the thumbs a bit, but I can lift considerably more. 145x4 was my best with a normal grip.

Ben Byram
02-10-2011, 02:01 PM
Overhead squat
45x3 @10
Ugly, bar was coming too far forward.

Cable row
38.5x8 @9
38.5x8 @10

Press
70x3 @10

YTWL's
4x9x3

X-trainer
15'@120-140HR

Ben Byram
02-13-2011, 05:22 AM
3hr 15min plodding through the hills in Snowdonia. Fit enough for it to be enjoyable. Knees feeling good, normally they are sore on the descents. Putting this down to deep front squats strengthening the muscle around the knee.

Weight at 14st 1lb yesterday (197lb / 89kg). 2 weeks into creatine loading @ 5g/day. Net gain of +1.4lbs over 2 weeks, presumably water weight. Waist looking fullsome!

Ben Byram
02-13-2011, 11:04 AM
3RM's... no back-off sets today because this should have been done on Saturday and I'm mindful of recovery before Tuesday's 'heavy' session.


Power clean
85x3 @10
Equal to my best 3RM.
Technique points I'm working on:
- Setting the back with as much arch as possible.
- Squeezing the bar off the floor and accelerating throughout the lift.
- Hitting FULL extension. I struggle with this.
- Pulling myself under the bar aggressively at full-extension.

Incline bench press
72.5x3 @10
Have been fiddling with grip-width. Opted for 2nd finger on first olympic ring. This is half-way between my relatively narrow press grip and my standard bench grip. My logic being it should carry over effectively to both. Feels strongest too.

Front squat
100x3 @10
102.5x3* @10
New 3RM!

Face-pull
30x12 @8
30x12 @8.5
30x12 @8

Ben Byram
02-15-2011, 01:36 PM
Squat
132.5x2 @10
100x7 @8.5

Bench press
100x2 @11
70x8 @8.5
Spotter touched the bar on the 2nd rep, but probably wasn't going to make it. *%^&@@ bench!!!! Not convinced the incline press on my medium day is the best choice, I suspect the narrow-grip bench would be better. However, I will stick with it for a couple of 4-week cycles to see.

Deadlift
190x2 @10
New 2RM. Had a little spare. Tried to pull 170x1 with a double overhand grip in the warm-up, but put it down before it slipped out of my hand. Power seems to dip just below the knee, then pick up again mid-thigh.

Ben Byram
02-20-2011, 09:34 AM
3 hours walking in the Lake District.

Ben Byram
02-21-2011, 01:49 PM
Power clean
90kg, 3 misses.
All the explosiveness of a wet sponge. Almost racked the last one for what it's worth. Wearing Nike Frees on a rubber floor probably doesn't help transfer power to the floor, but is no excuse. Annoying.

Incline bench press
75x2 @10
55x12 @9.5

Front squat
107.5x2 @10
110x2 @10
90x5 @9
PB!
Got a bit overzealous with the back-off set, 80kg would have been better.

Face-pull
35x7 @9
35x7 @9
35x7 @9
Done these for 6 weeks, so going to bin them. My shoulders feel better, but not fixed. However, don't these are the answer. Started some scap pull-ups in the warm-up today and found a big difference in mobility between my left and right scapula.

Ben Byram
02-24-2011, 01:18 PM
Deload. Worked up to fairly light set of 5 in the following, plus did a few very light snatches experimenting with grip width. Not sure what is recommended. Normally my hands go right to the collars for OHS and SN, but I went in by some of the little rings. Felt better on my wrist and shoulders now my shoulders are flexible enough to handle the narrower grip.

Decided I can't be bothered with recording everything on deload week, just giving it all a break. Plus the weights are tiny.

Overhead squat
Cable row
Press
Barbell curl - going to start doing these next block purely for my creaky elbows. Honest.
X-trainer 15' ~140HR.

Ben Byram
03-06-2011, 12:41 PM
Squat
105x4 @9
105x4 @ 9
107.5x4 @10

Bench press
80x4 @9
80x4 @9.5
80x4 @10

Deadlift
150x4 @9.5
147.5x4 @9.5
147.5x4 @10

Pretty poor workout, but felt very tired following a stressful week.

Ben Byram
03-06-2011, 12:46 PM
Overhead squat
40x4 @8.5
40x4 @8
42.5x4 @8
45x4 @9
45x4 @10
Started snatching into the overhead position to practice them. Narrowed the grip recently and feels stronger.

Barbell row (Pendlay style from the floor)
80x4 @11
75x4 @9
75x4 @9.5
75x4 @10
Decided to swap cable row for these because I think they fit better into my programme and I prefer to work with a barbell.

Press
60x4 @9
60x4 @9
60x4 @9.5
60x4 @10

One-arm swing
20x15x2
Added for recovery and make my back feel better, not pushing them whatsover.

X-trainer
15' @120-140HR

Ben Byram
03-06-2011, 12:50 PM
Power clean
72.5x4 @9
72.5x4 @9
72.5x4 @8.5
72.5x4 @9
72.5x4 @9
72.5x5 @9.5
72.5x4 @9.5
Focused on squeezing the weight off the floor then accelerating through my heels. Stopped after 7 sets because my knee was getting painful.

Incline bench press
65x4 @9
65x4 @9
65x4 @9
65x4 @9
65x4 @9
65x4 @9
65x4 @9.5
65x4 @10

Front squat
87.5x4 @9
87.5x4 @9.5
87.5x4 @9
87.5x4 @10
Got tired by this stage, took too long a rest before the 4th set.

Barbell curls
32x10x3 (2í rest between sets)
Added because my elbow joints a giving me jip, and this helps.

Got a good amount of volume in today, so happy.

Ben Byram
03-09-2011, 12:07 AM
Waving the volume week by week. This week doubles at 8-9RPE (start with 2-3 reps spare and stop when only 1 spare).

Squat
115x2 @8
115x2 @8
115x2 @8
115x2 @8.5
115x2 @8
115x2 @8
115x2 @ 8
115x2 @ 8
115x2 @8.5
115x2 @8
117.5x2 @9
Technique felt better and better the more practice I got with doubles.

Bench press
82.5x2 @8.5
82.5x2 @8
82.5x2 @8.5
80x2 @8
80x2 @8
80x2 @8
80x2 @8
80x2 @8
80x2@8
80x2 @8.5
82.5x2 @9
A narrow foot position feels stronger.

RDL
140x2@8
140x2 @8
140x2 @8.5
140x2 @9
RPE's a bit skewed by grip, these were more based on how the rest of my body felt. Hands felt weak though.

Today took forever, but I can see the benefit in lots of low rep sets in terms of easy volume at a decent %1RM for me.

Ben Byram
03-10-2011, 01:30 PM
Overhead squat
45x2 @8
45x2 @7.5
47.5x2 @8
50x2 @8
50x2 @8.5
50x2 @8.5
50x2 @9

Barbell row from the floor
75x2 @8
75x2 @8
75x2 @7.5
77.5x2 @8
77.5x2 @8.5
77.5x2 @8.5
77.5x2 @9

Press
62.5x2 @8
62.5x2 @8
62.5x2 @8
62.5x2 @8
62.5x2 @8
62.5x5 @9

KB swing
20x16x2

CV 10' @120-140HR, 5' X-trainer and 5' bike as my knee was bothering me and the bike seems to help.

Ben Byram
03-12-2011, 08:01 AM
Power clean
80x2 @8
80x2 @8.5
77.5x2 @8.5
77.5x2 @11
Should have started lighter. It's hard to judge RPE's on a skill based exercise in my opinion. My power clean technique seems to be improving, but the weights are not going up. I may just be tired. I'm considering just doing a max single, then back-off triples for the volume block and doubles or singles for the intensity block. Something like that...

Perhaps the barbell row is too much stress for a light day comparative to the power clean?

Incline bench press
67.5x2 @8
67.5x2 @8
67.5x2 @8
67.5x2 @8.5
67.5x2 @8
67.5x2 @8
67.5x2 @8.5
67.5x2 @9

Front squat
90x2 @8
90x2 @8.5
90x2 @8
90x2 @8
90x2 @8
90x2 @8
90x2 @ 8.5
90x2 @8.5
Felt better after a few sets when I'd loosened up. I haven't been stretching this week because the workouts have been so long.

Barbell curl
32x12x3
Alternated these with the front squats.

Ben Byram
03-15-2011, 02:26 PM
Squat
105x5 @8.5
105x5 @9
105x5 @9
105x5 @9
105x5 @9
105x5 @9
105x5 @9.5
105x5 @9.5
105x5 @9.5
105x5 @10
More volume than I've ever done with squats before. My squatting style has changed from a very posterior chain dominant power squat to deep olympic squats as a result of training front squats and overhead squats. Will be interested to see if this extra volume realizes as extra strength in the intensity block. Something has to work.

Bench press
77.5x5 @9
77.5x5 @9
77.5x5 @9.5
77.5x5 @9.5
77.5x5 @ 10
I'm either tired or getting weaker benching.

Deadlift
142.5x5 @9
142.5x5 @9
142.5x5 @10
I think I was just tired by this stage.

Ben Byram
03-17-2011, 02:44 PM
Overhead squat
40x5 @9
40x5 @9
40x5 @9
40x5 @9
40x5 @9
40x5 @9.5
40x5 @9
40x5 @9.5
40x5 @9
Practising the snatch to get into position. 'Stand up, jump down' as I read on a site recommended on a recent thread.

Barbell row
65x5 @9
65x5 @9
65x5 @9.5
65x5 @10

Press
55x5 @9
55x5 @8
57.5x5 @9.5
Wound this up early as short of time. My shoulder girdle is feeling generally tired.

Ben Byram
03-20-2011, 02:35 AM
Power clean
65x5 @7.5
67.5x5 @8.5
67.5x5 @8.5
70x5 @9
70x5 @9
70x5 @9.5
70x5 @9.5
70x5 @10
Lots of volume. trying to make sure I get full extension and then jump under rather than being too upright.

Incline bench press
60x5 @9
60x5 @9
60x5 @9
60x5 @9
60x5 @8.5
60x5 @9
60x5 @9.5
60x5 @10

Front squat
85x5 @9
85x5 @9
85x5 @10
Was very tired by this point and nothing in my legs. Lower back, hips and hamstrings felt tight even after lots of warm-up sets.

This took over 2 hours, so was a bit long. Ready and looking forward to a deload week. Curious to see if the extra work over the last few weeks pays off when I do my 3-week intensity block.

Sciatica is back, I think skipping post-exercise stretching to save time hasn't helped.

Ben Byram
03-21-2011, 12:22 PM
C2
20' @120-140 HR.
Veeeerrrrrryyyyy slow. Have been slack on my recovery / easy endurance work.

Ben Byram
03-22-2011, 01:34 PM
Deload week.... Ramping up to a set of 5 @ ~65% 1RM.

Squat
87.5x5

Bench press
65x5

RDL
110x5

Ben Byram
03-24-2011, 02:02 PM
Deload...

Overhead squat
35x5

Barbell row
55x5

Press
47.5x5

KB swing
16x10

20' cardio @120-140HR, + a few lengths in the pool for further recovery and to loosen my shoulders.

Ben Byram
03-27-2011, 10:49 AM
Deload...

Power clean
60x5

Incline bench press
50x5

Front squat
70x5

Started intermittent fasting yesterday using Leangains 18 hour fasting and 8 hour overfeeding. Stomach bloating has gone after the first fast and I feel a lot better in the mornings so far.

Get married in 16 weeks and would like to lose 16 pounds fat before the big day. Starting weight 14st 2lbs (198lbs) as of Friday and I estimate 22% BF, hopefully I will be down to 15/16% BF with minimal/no loss of strength.

Lower back has got overly tight again. I think I am paying for lack of stretching and having no ab assistance work has let the lordosis and resulting kyphosis creep back. Will address this starting next week.

Ben Byram
03-27-2011, 10:55 AM
Rowing
20' @~140HR.
2:17.9 / 500m average.
Done this morning in a fasted state, felt no difference. I'm still unfit...

Eduardo Chile
03-27-2011, 12:10 PM
Ben,

For your RPE's on your olympic lifts I wouldn't use the same defintions.

Try something like this. Tweak as you see fit.

10 - No reps left and slow speed
9 - No reps left at bar speed slowed down
8 - Max effort for max bar speed
7 - High bar speed sub maximal effort

You can customize the RPE's to mean whatever you want.

Ben Byram
03-27-2011, 12:27 PM
Cheers Eduardo, integrating speed into the the RPE's makes good sense. The flaw to the RPE's on the olympic stuff is when you miss a rep due to bad technique in my opinion, but that looks more practical. I suppose I can just apply a little common sense.

Ben Byram
03-29-2011, 01:55 PM
Squat
120x1 @7
125x1 @9
125x1 @9
125x1 @10
Rock bottom and now they are pretty much olympic squats I think.

Bench press
70x1 @6.5
80x1 @8
85x1 @9
85x1 @8.5
87.5x1 @9
87.5x1 @8.5
90x1 @9
90x1 @9
90x1 @10
Seemed to get more tension the more I did, hence they got easier and RPE's went up and down a bit.

Deadlift
180x1 @9.5
175x1 @9
175x1 @10

KB Windmill
12x3
16x3
20x5
These feel very good after deadlifts. Gives a good stretch on the shoulders and loosens my 'core'.

I felt pretty good going into the workout, but can't say I was impressed with what I lifted. Less than I planned on all exercises. However, I'm sometimes not the best first session after a deoad. Almost felt too relaxed and used to doing lots of easy volume with no aggression or mental effort from the last volume block.

A little concerned that the large drop in volume combined with IF will lead to some muscle loss, but I figure I'm carrying enough excess to get away with it. Plus the Leangains approach seems to minimise muscle loss from what I've read. Keeping carbs pretty high on training days. We'll see...

Ben Byram
03-31-2011, 01:39 PM
Overhead squat (snatch into position)
50x1 @9
50x1 @9
50x1 @9
50x1 @9
50x1 @9.5
50x1 @10
Ragged.

Barbell row
80x1 @8
82.5x2 @8.5
85x1 @9
85x1 @9.5
85x1 @10
Widened my grip to reduce the emphasis on my lats and use more postural upper back muscles...

Press
67.5x1 @8
70x1 @8
70x1 @8.5
72.5x1 @8
75x1 @9
75x1 @10
Presses felt good and snappy with the exception of the last one.

Ab roller
BWx12 @8
Just easing these back into the programme.

X-trainer
15' @120-140HR

Ben Byram
04-02-2011, 06:42 AM
Weight yesterday morning = 13st 13.2lbs.
Lost 2.8lbs in my first week of IF.

Is this too rapid? I fairly sure I'm >20% BF, so I would assume I've plenty of extra fuel to spare muscle loss.

First training session in a fasted state, actually felt much better. Normally on a Saturday I have a mini-nap between sets on occassions.

Power clean
85x1 @9
85x1 @9
85x1 @10

Incline bench press
70x1 @8
72.5x1 @9
72.5x1 @8.5
75x1 @8.5
77.5x1 @9.5
77.5x1 @11
Failed the last set. Surprising as the set previous was fairly quick. Seem to have lost the ability to grind a rep out somewhat.

Front squat
100x1 @8
105x1 @9
105x1 @10

Pressing is going okay, lower body stuff not so good. Hopefully it will pick up next week.

Ben Byram
04-05-2011, 01:57 PM
Squat
115x3 @8.5
117.5x3 @9
117.5x3 @10

Bench press
85x3 @8.5
87.5x3 @9
87.5x3 @9.5
87.5x3 @10

RDL (hook-grip)
142.5x3@ 8.5
145x3 @9.5
145x3 @10

KB windmill
20x5x2

Ben Byram
04-07-2011, 01:17 PM
Overhead squat
45x3 @7
50x3 @8
52.5x3 @9.5
52.5x3 @10
Learnt to rotate my thumbs from vid posted on IGX recently. Much easier on my shoulders and more stable. Fonzie is a good queue.

Barbell row
75x3 @9
75x3 @10

Press
65x3 @9
65x3 @8.5
67.5x3 @9
70x3 @10
Shoulders are feeling stronger.

Plank
2'
Forgot my ab roller and didn't fancy using a barbell or whatever.

X-trainer
15' @135-155HR
HR monitor wasn't working initially and went a little harder than planned. Meh.

Ben Byram
04-09-2011, 07:04 AM
Weight yesterday: 13st 12.8lbs / 88kg (-3.2lbs in 2 weeks).
Got very slack on the diet over the weekend. IF is easy though.

Fasted workout...

Power clean
72.5x3 @9
72.5x3 @9
72.5x3 @8.5
75x3 @9
77.5x3 @11

Incline bench press
67.5x3 @10
Started too heavy.

Front squat
92.5x3 @9
92.5x3 @10
Tired.

Barbell curl
35x12, 35x10, 35x8 (90s rest intervals)

Ben Byram
04-12-2011, 01:06 PM
Squat
135x2 @10
Improved my 2RM by 2.5kg over 8 weeks, but I think this minimal increase was more down to stubborness than any increase in strength. On the 2nd rep I stopped three quarters up for about 2secs in a mild panic before standing up, no problem coming out of the hole. Wasn't a pretty olympic squat either.

Bench press
100x1 @11
Depressing. Clearly this programme hasn't helped my bench, it's actually gone backwards which is impressive given how poor I was to start with. Barely came off my chest. My shoulders are probably the only pressing muscle that isn't overly weak, need more lats and triceps.

Deadlift
150x2 @8
Didn't push this as it wasn't happening. Called it a day to watch the footy (soccer).

Although I may just have had a bad day, I doubt it. For me a very simple Starr H-L-M template hasn't been successful, although it felt good to get a lot of volume in at times. I enjoyed waving the reps weekly using RPE's, so I'll try that again.

As other people smarter than myself have alluded to previously, being someone who doesn't have natural levers for the big 3 I need more variety of exercises to train all muscles involved properly, especially for the bench press.

Also, by the time I get to the 3rd big exercise of the day I'm pretty knackered when the volume is high training full-body. Dieting through the intensity block hasn't helped progress.

I will finish off this routine, then start a new programme training 4 days per week alternating upper-lower body more in line with the RTS manual, but not quite as much volume on assistance/supplementary work and an emphasis on getting my bench press up. I hope this will allow me to put full energy into all the big exercises whilst bumping up my weekly training volume.

I will include exercises I know have worked for me in the past and limit each workout to 2 main exercises for low reps and 2 assistance/supplementary exercises for higher reps to work my weak points. Of course, I'm probably pissing in the wind whilst on a diet, but I can try.

Any constructive comments are welcome....

Eduardo Chile
04-12-2011, 02:55 PM
Check out my training on here and I'm working with Mike and doing the custom program. I think following his template he has laid out in the book, you will make gains.

I seem to have more variety in my programming with upper body lifts than the lower body lifts.

Another thing is thinking of muscular weaknesses does not work well in my opinion. You need to to think of everything in movements.

I also see you are working up to a 10 a lot and that may hinder your progress. "Leave some in the tank" so to speak and work up to a 9 for the most part.

At your strength levels you likely don't need much work in the intensity range and need to work more on morphologically changes. Stuff in the 3-5 rep range. The logic being your strength levels are not high enough elicit enough of a physical change by working in the intensity range, 1-3. This range is more for CNS work. I'm hoping to total 1300 and I'm doing most of my work in the 3-4 rep range with ocassionally working down at 2 reps.

Check out Mike's forum as he will respond.

Ben Byram
04-13-2011, 05:02 AM
I have actually been following your log and I do lurk on the RTS forum, there's some smart fellas on there, MT comes across well. I didn't realise Mike was actually doing your plan. I have planned out a draft of my next programme already and I'd be grateful for any assistance. I train in a commercial gym, so I haven't got too fancy with it given my level. I will post it later when I'm home. I will take onboard your comments as it's quite amateur.

I suspect it will be difficult to improve strength and diet, but I was hoping the extra tub I am storing around my midriff would give me a chance. My priority is too trim up for my wedding, dull as that is (the diet!)

With respect to weaknesses, I don't really have the knowledge to identify them properly, so it may be more accurate to say I planned to just add assistance stuff that helped me improve strength previously, just basics; dips, chins, narrow-grip bench etc. Perhaps I should make these more specific?

Interesting points regarding the rep ranges. Perhaps, I'd be better extending the volume block a week and knocking a week off the intensity block. Something to think about. I did try doing volume and intensity in one week (Texas Method) early this year, but it nailed me to the floor. I may just have been deconditioned. That said, from what I've read in the book Mike thinks focusing on one at a time is more effective irrespective of training development.

I do think it is definitely time for a 4-day training template at least for a few months.

Eduardo Chile
04-13-2011, 08:34 AM
Chances are your weakest at the bottom of the movements. Pause Bench, Squat and Deadlift will be good for you.

Assistance work can be incline, dumbbell movements, GM variations, squat variations, deadlift varations. I wouldn't do stuff too specific in your assistance and use a higher rep range to increase your muscle mass.

Deadlifts variations
Olympic lifting from floor here and there
Stiff leg exercises

Squat
High Bar
Manta Ray
Safety Squat Bar
Lunges
etc

Ben Byram
04-13-2011, 10:44 AM
It's not strictly as per the book, but I know it's aimed for more advanced trainers than myself so I wanted to reel in the assistance a bit.

My squat is weak at the top. My bench used to be weak at the top (triceps), but I failed off the chest yesterday I'm guessing because my lats have weakened whilst I stopped chins for 2 months. I may just be weak all over. Deads also used to struggle at the top only and pulling off the floor was always easy, but now I'm weak below the knee / off the floor. I'm not sure why that is, perhaps upper back/abs. I wanted to try training without assistance exercises as many people say you can, didn't work though.

So...

Mon
Power clean
Squat
Front squat assistance 3 sets
Ab roller 2 sets

Tue
Bench press
Weighted chins
Press assistance 3 sets
Peck deck (I know, I know - pure vanity, so my chest doesn't disappear on the diet).
Bodyweight chins 1 set @ 9
Cardio 15-20' @120-140HR

Thu
Deficit DL / RDL / DL (changed weekly)
Front squat
DL assistance? Back extensions / KB swings?
KB windmill 2 sets

Sat
Narrow-grip bench press
Barbell row
Dips
Curls (vanity / helps my chins)
More easy cardio.

The first 2 exercises of each session will be RPE based and the others will be done for higher reps, I was thinking sets of 8-10 for the most part.

For a volume block how about... Week 1: x4 @8-9, week 2: x3 @8-9, week x5 @9-10. I know MT doesn't advocate deloads generally, but I like them, so I could deload in week 4 then repeat instead of doing an intensity block. Or I could do the intensity block with max set of 3-5 and a back-off set of 8-10 for a little more volume?

My gym has an emphasis on chrome, mirrors, vibrating machines and various balls rather than actual training equipment, so fancy bars / rack pulls etc are out. Nice jacuzzi and pool though!

I've overtrained and put my back into spasm several times, so I was planning to rotate deadlft variations weekly and I'm a bit hesitant to add assistance. I was also thinking to do just one set as sets across have just worn me out and made me weaker.

I hope you've not fallen asleep by now... thanks for you help.

Ben Byram
04-14-2011, 01:12 PM
As I'm away this weekend I decided to cherry pick the exercises I'm bothered about today and see where I'm at. I'm skipping the deload week to save fussing about putting my calories back to maintenance to stop muscle loss during my diet.

Basically it seems my presses and front squat have maintained over 2 months, no improvement. Better than my bench has done. Some back-off sets added so I'm not reliant on the singles, except on the power cleans where I was spent.

Power clean
80x1 @7
90x1 @11
90x1 @11
85x1 @10
87.5x1 @11
Blah.

Press
70x1 @8
75x1 @10
77.5x1 @10
65x3 @9
65x3 @9

Front squat
105x1 @8.5
110x1 @10
112.5x1 @10
90x3 @8.5
90x3 @9.5

Dips
BWx12 @7

Neutral grip chins
BWx10@9

These last 2 are just practice before I start training them again next week.

Eduardo Chile
04-14-2011, 02:04 PM
Your exercise selection isn't bad. I don't think it's optimal though. I think it's safe to say pauses will be good exercises for you.

What are your goals? The more specific the better and think of them in terms of this cycle.

Two, exercise selection is only part of the equation. What type of stress do you intend on producing for each given week? A medium, high, low approach seems to work. 5%, 7%, 3% or 3%, 5%, 0% may work for you. If you want to throw in a hard block go high, medium, high. The training generator on rts can be good for that.

If you program properly you will find you do not need to have a set deload week. Why stop progress if you are recovering fine? If you're not recovering then maybe you need to scale back what you're doing or increase your sleep, improve your diet. Your recovery week can be 0% fatigue but working up to a 8 or 9.

Your planned days need to be a bit more specific. Something like this may would be easier to follow.

Monday Week 1
Squat X 4 @ 9, x amount of fatigue
Pause Bench X 4 @ 9, x amount of fatigue.
GM's X 8 @ 9, x amount of fatigue.

Monday Week 2
Squat X 5 @ 9, y amount of fatigue
Pause Bench X 5 @ 9, y amount of fatigue.
GM's X 8 @ 9, y amount of fatigue.

Monday Week 3
Squat X 4 @ 9, z amount of fatigue
Pause Bench X 4 @ 9, z amount of fatigue.
GM's X 6 @ 9, z amount of fatigue.

Ben Byram
04-15-2011, 12:06 AM
Weight 13st 11.2lbs (193lbs). Down 1.6lbs this week and 4.8lbs overall.

Eduardo, the advice is golden. Much appreciated! There is a lot to thing about there, I need to think about it. I will integrate the pauses, I've seen your progress. I'm sold. Putting the pause bench in place of the press seems appropriate as they both have emphasis on the bottom of the movement I believe, but then I will need to drop dips for the press. I'm reluctant to have no overhead work. I can use pause squats in place of the front squat assistance.

This cycle my focus is to lose bodyfat whilst maintaining or in an ideal world increasing my strength. I'm realistic, I know a diet will hinder my strength gains. When I'm down to 13st I can thing about recomping or gaining a bit of muscle, as it is I just get fatter when I gain weight.

I'm in agreement on deloads, I just did them because I've found them necessary. I tried skipping it the first time I tried the TM with RPE's and I thought I was fine, then felt buried in the 4th week and it took a couple of weeks to recover. I guess I just pushed too hard. However recovery is going to be hindered on a diet, so I must consider it.

I'll change the exercies, then have a read on the fatigue stress stuff, I figured I'd better learn to walk before I run, but I should optimise things.

Eduardo Chile
04-15-2011, 06:58 AM
I think setting a goal for strength increase over a 8-12 week cycle will help you out a lot.

Increase squat by 4% by the end of the 10 weeks, etc. Doesn't necessarily have to be a test day, but that likely is the best way to test how successful the cycle was. A formula could work as well.

I would do the same thing with the weight loss and figure out how radical of a calorie deficit you need weekly/daily.

For the exercises, you should be switching them out every two to 4 weeks. You might want to keep the squat in there week to week, and something very close to the deadlift and bench, like pauses or deficits, in there every week. This would allow you to put the press in or out as you like since it should have bottom end carryover to the bench. You shouldn't need any special equipment your gym doesn't have, you can find an exercise to fit your needs.

Again, you need to sit down and figure out your goals. You seem to want to have the olympic lifts in there and this is fine, but take it into consideration with your planning.

You may find for your deload, working up to an RPE of an 8 or 9 is enough with no fatigue. But, I think taking a deload week of doing nothing or having a cake week is of no value in most cases where you could have gained an inch instead of a foot or at least stayed where you were.

Ben Byram
04-15-2011, 08:10 AM
So you think it is realistic to increase strength significantly with a calorie deficit? For context, I am probably ~20% BF and I have been training a few years for strength almost exclusively, and many daft years beforehand before I bothered to learn anything, although I appreciate you wouldn't think it looking at my numbers.

A 12 week cycle would be fine, I'm surprised you think I should rotate exercises so frequently. I actually would prefer that for interests sake.

My nemesis is the bench, that is my priority. I would like to get my deadlift past 200kg, I did 190x2 I think 2 months ago. It would be nice to beat my previous best squat of 140x2. I will think some more about targets, I don't really lack motivation in the gym, just results.

With the diet, I have a fair idea how to calculate my required calories and macronutrients, but I don't want to get carried away with it. I make sure I hit 200g protein daily and I'm doing 16 hour fast / 8 hour feeding eating more carbs/less fat on training days and less carbs/more fat on days off. Leangains basically which I wholeheartedly recommend. I don't want to analyse it more unless I need to. I'm aiming at 1-2 pounds per week and if that isn't bang on I'm not bothered as long as I have room to hit 13st before mid-July I'm happy.

There will be some deviations for life, for instance this weekend I have full schedule of boozing on Saturday which although not optimal for recovery will happen at times.

I'll try x8's instead of deloads, no worries.

I suppose I can rotate power cleans in as assistance to the deadlift, much like the press. I want to power clean 100kg at some point. The overhead squats were just a bit of an experiment, same with snatches. I'm not bothered about the full olympic lifts currently.

Cheers!

Eduardo Chile
04-15-2011, 09:32 AM
I think you can make strength gains while dieting. I think it takes careful programming, but it can be done. I've seen logs of high level lifters do it.

Just make sure you pick exercises for a good reason and they are applicable to your weakness. With bench it's ok to throw in a floor press, pin press, board press etc for a couple weeks here and there.

One other thing is really work on your technique. Videotape yourself and post videos online if you want for critique. Learn how to take advantage of your leverages. You may have a quite a few pounds lerking here. I'm constantly trying new mental cues and positioning to figure things out. On the squat I've tried different feet position, different shoes, different hand positions, etc.

Ben Byram
04-15-2011, 12:34 PM
I'm think I'm actually beginning to understand the RTS system. I presumed exercises would only be rotated once every 6 weeks+my 2 deload weeks=8 weeks, so this is quite fundamentally different and more interesting. Do you not find you get a lot of DOMS hitting new exercises without an easy session first?

I've had a quick look over the book now and this is my template and ideas for the first run through, as per my previous outline I'm not going to do 3 presses on bench day as my shoulders didn't like it last time I tried, so I will do a horizontal pull one time and vertical pull the other, i.e. a chin. To me this looks more balanced on the shoulder girdle and should be sufficient work now.

Also, I'm using narrow-grip bench press as a main lift as this is the best variation of the bench I've found and there's no rack in our gym. I can do lockouts in the squat rack at one height only though, ha. I'm a bit limited on horizontal pull variations that will work with low reps (barbell row, seated row, Keiser chest-supported row, DB rows).

I'll cycle more frequently on upper body and less frequently on lower generally.

Monday (SQ+DL)
Squat (non-cyclic)
Deadlift assistance - hang power clean
Squat supplement - pause squat
Abs - ab roller

Tuesday (BP)
Bench press (cycling - normal/pause/3s pause) - pause bench press (1s)
Chins (cycling grips and pull-ups) - neutral grip chins
Shoulders (cycling overhead exercises and inclnes) - push press
Chest isolation - pec deck
1 set bodyweight chins - neutral grip @8
Cardio - 15-20' @120-140HR

Thursday (SQ+DL)
Deadlift (cycling - normal/deficit/pauses)
Squat variation - pause squat (3s)
Deadlift supplementary - back extensions
Abs - KB windmill

Saturday (NGBP)
Narrow-grip bench press (cycling as per the bench)
Horizontal pull - barbell row
Lockout supplement - dips
Bicep isolation - barbell curl
Cardio - 15-20' @120-140HR

I need to spend some time reading up the chapter on fatigue percents, then I'll figure out what I'm going to do with them. I'm thinking I'll start with an easy week to transition to 4 days per week and extra training volume, then medium-high-low as you suggest. Perhaps I should try that to start with and re-assess rather than planning too far ahead...

Ben Byram
04-15-2011, 01:05 PM
Okay, I've read about fatigue percents. I presume you measure your 'volume' / time beginning your first work set? I think the time restraints will push me to take less rest between sets.

Do I need to adjust my fatigue percents for the upper body as they're not 6 pushes, there are 5?

I'm thinking...

Volume for first 4 weeks.
1: x6 @8-9, 0% fatigue.
2: x4 @8-9, 5%.
3: x5 @8-9, 7%.
4: x3 @8-9, 3%.

Then a deload of sorts (@9 with 0%) depending on how it's gone and I'll do concentrate on volume with the odd intensity week thrown in.

I appreciate your time in looking at this. It's quite complicated for lifting weights, but satisfyingly geeky. My head hurts, must drink now...

Ben Byram
04-18-2011, 01:24 PM
Week 1: x6@8-9 <18' work-sets.

Squat
97.5x6 @8
97.5x6 @8
97.5x6 @8.5
97.5x6 @8.5
100x6 @9
Just focused on movement of the bar and applying maximum leverage to drive it. Sounds like nonsense, but just focusing on the bar itself seems to tidy up my technique naturally.

Hang power clean
55x5 @8
55x6 @8
55x6 @8.5
55x6 @8
57.5x6 @8.5
60x6 @9
Scapulae were behind the bar for the first few sets, realised and pushed my shoulders a little forward and they felt better. Then concentrated on getting full extension and power.

Pause squat (1s below parallel)
60x10 @8
60x10 @9
60x8 @9
These are evil!

Ab roller
BWx12 @8
BWx10 @8
Figured I'll do all my assistance @ RPE 9, but taking it easy on these as they give me serious DOMS.

Eduardo Chile
04-18-2011, 02:25 PM
Ben,

That looks good. Don't be afraid to experiment.

But, don't do the pec flies! You got plenty of chest excersises. You'd be better off throwing in some shoulder prehab or whatever you feel you need if time is an issue.

From what I understand about fatigue percents, you should average about 30% total for lower and upper body. 6 exercises at an average of 5% basically.

The earlier the fix any technical issue the better off you are.

Ben Byram
04-19-2011, 05:32 AM
Cheers Eduardo.

However, as dumb as the flies look I'm going to leave them in, at least for now. Perhaps due to my monkey arms I find my chest gets virtually no stimulation from presses. I suppose I could widen my grip, but I don't like the feel on my shoulders. I don't see them doing any harm and I may even build the area a bit as it's been neglected.

I've got an upper-body prehab type warm-up and a lower one worked out based on what I've done previously, they seem to do the trick for looking after my shoulders, back and hips. I'll put it in the log soonish.

I think the easiest thing to adjust for 5 pressing exercises is to whack an extra 1% on the fatigue stress, then we have an average of 5x6%=30%. That said not all the exercises using the fatigue %. ?!

Technique wise, I based on all my techniques on Starting Strength. I've deviated a little through experimentation as time has gone by and I've read around a little more. Always room for improvement though...

Ben Byram
04-19-2011, 01:08 PM
1 hour very easy bike. Got to make use of the sun when you can in England.

Pretty sore from the pause squats, so some stretching too.

Ben Byram
04-20-2011, 01:41 PM
Very stiff and sore legs, especially hams from the pause squats. Not had that for a while.

Just training upper-body was a luxury today, I've been doing full-body for ages.

Pause bench press (1s)
65x6 @8
65x6 @8
65x6 @8
65x6 @8
65x6 @8.5
65x6 @9
Again surprised the difference in difficulty by lessening the stretch-reflex.

Neutral-grip chins
BWx6 @7
(BW+2.5)x6 @8.5
BWx6 @9
Not done chins for a while. Couldn't do much.

Push press (2-3' rest between sets)
67.5x6 @8.5 (3í)
60x8 @9 (2')
57.5x6 @10
First time I've done these. Bit botched, forgot what I was doing on the first set and hit the wall faster than expected in the last set.

Pec deck (2' rest)
50x10 @7.5
50x10 @8.5
50x10 @9
So wrong, but so right.

Neutral-grip chins
BWx6 @9

Enjoyable...

Ben Byram
04-21-2011, 01:41 PM
Still had DOMS in my legs and abs today from the pause squats and ab roller respectively. Didn't have the work capacity to even do 15 mins worth of work-sets.

Deadlift
130x6 @8
130x6 @8
130x6 @8.5
130x6 @9
Technique felt good. Focused on staying tight and keeping close to the legs with the bar - engaging the lats.

Pause squat (3s)
60x6 @8
60x6 @8
60x8 @8.5
60x8 @9
Not an exercise to massage the ego. Deceptively difficult.

Back extension (with 2s hold at the top)
10x8 @7
10x8 @7.5
10x8 @8
Decided to hold the top as per Lyle's article on technique. Hopefully it will reduce the likelihood of my occasional backache. Again little weights, was doing sets across of 20+ with 25kg previously.

KB windmill
20x6x2 @8

Will take the last 2 movements to RPE 9 next time.

Ben Byram
04-21-2011, 02:02 PM
Upper
Foam roll thoracic spine and do first and lower rib with the hockey ball.
1 Wall slide x 8
2 Scap press-ups x 12
3 Band pull-aparts x 8
4 Inverted KB shrug x 8
5 Scap pull-ups x 8
6 Halo x 10
7 Band dislocates x 10
8 Neck stretch x 20s

Lower
Foam roll quads, adductors.
1 Cat/camel x 12
2 Bird-dog x 8
3 Lying spinal-twist x 8
4 Anterior/posterior leg swings x 10
5 Side-to-side leg swings x 10
6 Calf stretch x 10
7 Running butt-kicks x 8
8 Warrior lunge x 20s
9 One-leg glute raise x 6
10 Pigeon x 20s

These are my basic warm-ups, but change as required. Mainly lifted from Maximum Mobility.

Ben Byram
04-23-2011, 05:20 AM
13st 10.2.lbs yesterday (192lbs). Down 1lb this week, 5.8lbs overall in 4 weeks.

Fasted...

Narrow-grip bench press
60x6 @7
65x6 @7.5
70x6 @8
70x6 @8.5
67.5x6 @8
67.5 @8
67.5x6 @8
70x6 @9

Barbell row (from the floor)
55x6 @8
55x6 @8
55x6 @8
55x6 @8
57.5x6 @9

Dips (2' rest)
10x8 @8
10x8 @8.5
10x8 @9

Barbell curls (1.5' rest)
32.5x10 @8
32.5x9 @8
32.5x9 @9

Everything felt slightly different today, trained in a different gym with bars without proper markings.

Ben Byram
04-25-2011, 06:59 AM
Week 2: x4 @8-9, 20-22' work sets, 5% fatigue stress lower / 6% fatigue stress upper. (+1% to compensate for less upper-body exercises. I doubt this will make much difference with the light weights being used after rounding to the nearest weight increment).

Fasted... found today very hard. Not sure why; ate, drank and relaxed all weekend with plenty of sleep - so much so that I gained 3lbs in as many days.

Squat
100x4 @8
100x4 @8
100x4 @9
95x4 @8
95x4 @8
97.5x4 @9
Lower back felt it as soon as I unracked the first set. Ran short of time, so increased weight to get the RPE 9 in. All the spring has been sucked out of my legs by last weeks pause squats I think. Please adapt body!

Hang power clean
60x4 @8
60x4 @8
60x4 @8.5
60x4 @8
57.5x4 @8
57.5x4 @8.5
57.5x4 @8
57.5x4 @8.5
My back was sore enough to consider skipping these after squats. Cut short as 22' were up.

Pause squat (1s)
60x10 @8
60x10 @8.5
60x10 @9

Ab roller (on knees)
BWx9 @8
BWx9 @9

Although I didn't put it in my log, my lower back was stiff and sore at the weekend and I don't think the barbell rows have helped on the bench/upper day. Seeing as I've done them for a while already, I'm dropping them in favour of Dan John's batwings this Saturday which will reduce the stress on my lower back. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/reawaken_your_rhomboids

Will do some rolling with the hockey ball, epsom salts etc to try and get my lower back recovered for Thursday's lower-body session. It feels battered and my sciatica is bothering me. Hello ibuprofen.

Eduardo Chile
04-25-2011, 01:28 PM
Is your lower back rounding on the squats or deadlifts?

Good work though.

I usually go either rows or pullups but I need to be better about doing them.

Ben Byram
04-26-2011, 01:04 AM
No, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. My deadlift is pretty high-hipped though to suit my build, so thereís very little quad involvement and lots of lower back. Definitely feels strongest though. Back-rounding only really happens occasionally nowadays if my hamstrings get too tight from no stretching / too much lazing around.

I have a weak spot in my QL on the right side and that is where it hurt when I unracked, but the whole lower back felt over-tight and sore. Offset / normal farmer's walks have been the best thing to strengthen the QL in my experience, so I'll probably use them as a DL supplement soon. The best thing Iíve found to relieve the tension in the lower-back is rolling on the hockey ball with my calves resting on the sofa, moving side to side and loosening any adhesions. Works wonders. That has helped and saved me using painkillers.

My plan to avoid overdoing it with the lumbar area is to rotate the DL variations fortnightly, take the DL supplementary exercise only to RPE 8. I think pause squats twice per week may be overkill when Iíve not done them before, so after this week Iíll swap the 3s pauses for step-ups which being unilateral I hope will decompress my spine a bit too. Also emphasizes the top-end too I think, rather than all being focused off the bottom of the squat

I like pull-ups and chins, but I find rows boring for some reason. They do more for my posture though. Doing both.

Ben Byram
04-26-2011, 01:59 PM
Pause bench (1s)
70x4 @7.5
72.5x4 @8
72.5x4 @8
72.5x4 @8
75x4 @9
70x4 @8
70x4 @8.5
70x4 @9
Used more weight than expected. Happy days!

Neutral-grip chins
(BW+5)x4 @8
(BW+5)x4 @8
(BW+5)x4 @8
(BW+7)x4 @8.5
(BW+7)x4 @9
BWx4 @7.5
BWx4 @8
(BW+3)x4 @10
Satisfied with these. Should have used 1kg after the 'initial' / heaviest sets, but couldn't bring myself to use it. Forgot dip belt, so used DB's.

Push press (2' rest)
62.5x8 @8
62.5x8 @8.5
62.5x7 @9
These are hard work, but good. Used my legs to drive a bit more effectively this time. Grip 2 fingers inside first ring. 1 finger width wider than my pressing grip.

Pec deck (2' rest)
55x10 @8
55x10 @8.5
55x10 @9

Neutral grip-chins
BWx5 @8

Cardio
20' @120-130 HR uphill walking on treadmill.
A half-arsed attempt at some prep before going walking in the Lake District this weekend.

Ben Byram
04-28-2011, 01:24 PM
Deadlift
150x4 @8.5
150x4 @9
142.5x4 @8
142.5x4 @8.5
142.5x4 @9
Started a smidgen heavy, but I like round numbers. Back still a bit stiff and sore before training, but not painful. Felt better after it's 'medicine'. Took plenty of rest as I know I haven't the work capacity to nail loads of sets yet.

Planning to do deficit deads next week, but the only thing appropriate I've found to stand on (a step) is 4" high so the bar barely covers my foot. Is this too high? The alternative is 5kg plates, but they are a bit small and uneven underfoot. 10kg plates have fancy holes through them so no good.

Pause squat (3s below parallel)
62.5x4 @8
62.5x4 @8
65x4 @8
67.5x4 8.5
70x4 @9
67.5x4 @8
67.5x4 @8.5
67.5x4 @9

Back extension (2s hold at top)
10x8 @7
10x8 @7.5
10x9 @8

KB windmill
20x7 @8
20x7 @9
Great for stretching out after deads.

Enjoying training, itching to get back to the gym already!

Ben Byram
04-29-2011, 05:41 AM
13st 10.8lbs (192lbs). Gained 0.6lbs this week as a result of a long weekend eating my Mum's cakes, Easter eggs, and too much booze. Clawed it back from +3lbs at the weekend.

Fasted...

Narrow-grip bench press (grip - one finger off the kurling)
72.5x4 @8
72.5x4 @7.5
75x4 @8.5
75x4 @8
77.5x4 @9
72.5x4 @8
72.5x4 @8.5
72.5x4 @9

Batwings (1s hold at top)
24x4 @8
22x4 @7
24x4 @8
26x4 @8.5
28x4 @9
26x4 @8
26x4 @8.5
26x4 @9
None of the gym benches are high enough, so had to settle for ~40 degrees incline.

Dips (2')
(BW+10)x10 @8
(BW+10)x8 @8.5
(BW+10)x7 @9

Barbell curls (1.5')
35x9 @8
35x8 @8.5
35x8 @8.5

Ben Byram
05-02-2011, 09:29 AM
7 hours easy hillwalking around Buttermere Water in the Lake District.

Ben Byram
05-02-2011, 09:30 AM
1.5 hours easy mountain biking at Whinlatter Mountain Bike Centre. Done fasted.

Ben Byram
05-02-2011, 02:01 PM
AM: 2 hours easy low-level walking near Ullswater (lake).

PM: Gym. This week is volume, high stress, 8% fatigue upper / 7% fatigue lower, 25-28' work-sets.

Squat
90x5 @7.5
92.5x5 @8
95x5 @8
97.5x5 @8
100x5 @8.5
100x5 @9
92.5x5 @8.5
92.5x5 @9
Legs haven't had much rest over the last week. Back still felt overly tight for the first couple of sets (as it has done since the last deadlift workout) despite the usual mobility work and 5 warm-up sets.

Hang power clean
57.5x5 @7
60x5 @8
60x5 @8.5
60x5 @8
62.5x5 @8
67.5x5 @9
62.5x5 @8
62.5x5 @8.5
62.5x5 @9
Quite like these.
Pause squat (1s hold) (2' rest)
62.5x8 @8
62.5x8 @8.5
62.5x9 @9

Ab roller (on knees) / (1.5' rest)
BWx20 @8
BWx15 @9
These have ramped up suddenly, never done 20 before. I wonder if it's a result of the static ab contraction in the bottom of the pause squats. Will start trying partial standing roll-outs against the wall next week.

Ben Byram
05-03-2011, 01:54 PM
Feeling tired today, ready for a rest day.

Pause bench (1s)
72.5x5 @8
72.5x5 @9
72.5x5 @8.5
72.5x5 @9
67.5x5 @8
67.5x5 @8.5
67.5x5 @9

Neutral-grip chins
(BW+2.5)x5 @8
(BW+2.5)x5 @8
(BW+2.5)x5 @8
(BW+3.75)x5 @9
BWx5 @8.5
BWx5 @9
Feel like these are aggravating a muscle around my brachialis/tricep on the left side. Outside of my upper arm basically. Will swap for standard pull-ups.

Push press (2')
62.5x8 @8
62.5x8 @8.5
62.5x8 @10
Pushed the last rep a little hard because I didn't want to repeat last week. Doing old skool Arnold presses next week.

Peck deck (2')
60x10 @8
60x9 @8.5
62.5x8 @9

Neutral grip chins
BWx6 @9

Ben Byram
05-05-2011, 01:46 PM
Didn't feel like going. Had a 20' nap before going. Enjoyed it when I got there. Back is feeling better and this workout was less of a strain on it.

Deficit deadlift (4")
130x5 @8
130x5 @8
130x5 @8
130x5 @9
125x5 @8.5
125x5 @9
Although a lot of effort, was surprised these don't make my lower back as tight as standard deads. Perhaps because the movement uses the legs more initially and momentum takes you through the bit that was straining it. Hmm... made me sweat a lot anyhow!

Step-ups (using barbell onto an adjustable bench, thighs above parallel)
70x5 @8
70x5 @8
70x5 @8
70x5 @8
75x5 @8.5
80x5 @8.5
82.5x5 @9
77.5x5 @8.5
77.5x5 @9
Took too long to find my initial / heaviest set.

Not done any unilateral leg work for some time, so I think I'll do this for a while. I'll move towards exercises requiring progressively more use of the stabilizers. Step-ups>Lunges>BSS.

Back extensions (2s hold at top) (2' rest)
10x10 @7
10x9 @7.5
10x10 @8

KB windmill (1.5')
20x7 @8
20x7 @9

Eduardo Chile
05-05-2011, 02:05 PM
Looks like you got some good worksets in.

I like your progression idea on the unilateral work. If you find you are stronger at the end of it then it did something for you. If not, then figure out why. You are definitely giving your programming some thought.

Ben Byram
05-06-2011, 12:45 AM
Weight 10st 10.4lbs. (EDIT: I dropped 1.5lbs the following day, I think this is what Lyle McD calls a whoosh where water drops out of the fat cells. I've also stopped the creatine a couple of weeks ago which adds to the effect I guess).
Basically I've maintained over the last 2 weeks. I'm losing in the week, but have had 2 long weekends of eating and drinking like a King to offset it. 10 weeks left to lose 10 pounds, it's time to tighten up the diet and do a little tedious checking on the macros to make sure I'm not too far off. Will generally aim for 35% deficit on rest days and 25% on training days, allowing some wiggle room for alcoholism and life.

Eduardo, I can't take credit for the unilateral progression. I got it from Mike Robertson. There's a decent (and free) unilateral video on his website somewhere which is worth looking at, although I'm not sure if that's where I found the progression idea. His voice will put you to sleep, but the content can be pretty good on his site with a fair amount of emphasis on rehab/prehab in general.

You can use overhead work to work the stabilisers harder or dumbells (instead of barbells on the shoulders) to work them less. Adjusting height/deficits on unilateral work also mixes it up.

I'm a thinker, not a doer.

Ben Byram
05-08-2011, 09:51 AM
Drank beer for 10 hours yesterday, so felt awful through this workout. Went pretty well although I suffered. No drinking sessions for a few weeks now. :o

Narrow-grip bench press
70x5 @8
70x5 @8
70x5 @8.5
70x5 @8.5
72.5x5 @9
67.5x5 @8
67.5x5 @8.5
67.5x5 @9
Concentrated on squeezing my traps, then arching (picked off the RTS forum) and felt better. My traps actually felt worked after a few sets which is encouraging. I feel like the batwings may be helping strengthen that area too.

Batwings
24x5 @8
24x5 @8
24x5 @8
24x5 @8
26x5 @8.5
28x5 @9
26x5 @8.5
26x5 @9

Dips
(BW+10)x10 @7.5
(BW+12.5)x8 @8.5
(BW+12.5)x7 @9

Barbell curl
35x10 @8
35x10 @9
35x6 @9
Just felt spent by the 3rd set.

Some arnold presses and a few pull-ups (which felt much more difficult than I expected) before I train them next week.

Ben Byram
05-10-2011, 01:53 PM
Week 3: volume (18-20'), low stress, 3% fatigue stress lower / 4% upper, x3 @8-9.

Got full on nerdy and calculated and tracked my macros these last few days to hit a 30% deficit every day. Higher than I need, but will mitigate some big boozy sessions over the next 8 weeks, by which time I want to get to 13st dead. I can't have been this restrictive on calories before and I think my work capacity has suffered. Tired quickly.

Squat
105x3 @8
105x3 @8
107.5x3 @9
105x3 @9
Frustrated with my weakness squatting tonight. Is squatting 3 plates for a few sets of 5 too much to ask? I'm miles off!

Hang power clean
62.5x3 @8
62.5x3 @8
65x3 @8.5
67.5x3 @9
65x3 @8.5
65x3 @9

Pause squat (1s), (2' rest)
62.5x9 @8
62.5x9 @8.5
62.5x9 @9
I can't say I'm noticing any strength benefits for these as yet. May be different if I wasn't dieting. We'll see how next week goes. I think they tidy up my technique below parallel.

Standing partial ab roller
BWx2x4 @8
BWx2x2 @8.5
6 sets of 2-3 as recommended by Ross E. in Never Gymless. Solid book.

Ab roller on knees
BWx12 @8

Ben Byram
05-11-2011, 01:37 PM
*Not included in volume (time period of 18-20') because RPE too low.

Bench press
70x3 @7*
72.5x3 @7.5*
75x3 @8
75x3 @8
77.5x3 @8
80x3 @8.5
82.5x8 @9
80x3 @8.5
80x3 @9
I actually forgot I was doing pauses, but decided I'll just do these for a while when I realised. Benches do feel quite good technique wise and I think the pauses will benefit my bench press more so than the squat ultimately. Will do standard bench for a while, then do 3s pauses.

Pull-ups
BWx3 @7*
(BW+5)x3 @8
(BW+7.5)x3 @8.5
(BW+10)x3 @9
(BW+7.5)x3 @8
(BW+7.5)x3 @8.5
(BW+7.5)x3 @9
Losing weight is making these easier than they would have been.

Arnold press (2')
22x8 @8.5
22x8 @9
22x7 @10
Really like these. Pushed them a little too hard and found my left shoulder is clearly weaker than my right.

Peck deck (2')
60x10 @8
60x10 @8
60x10 @9

Pull-ups
BWx6 @9

Cardio
~7í before I remembered I have squats tomorrow.

Ben Byram
05-12-2011, 01:41 PM
Deficit Deadlift (4")
140x3 @8
140x3 @8
142.5x3 @8.5
145x3 @9
140x3 @8.5
140x3 @9
Feeling some weakness at the finish. Will start RDL's again as DL assistance on Mondays.

Barbell step-up (1/4 squat depth - same as last week)
75x3 @8
75x3 @7.5
80x3 @8
85x3 @9
82.5x3 @8
82.5x3 @8
85x3 @9
This step is probably too low to be much use. My gym has bought some new spangly boxes, so will try one I've found that will take them effectively below parallel. Tired it and 32kg wasn't very easy for a few reps.

Back extensions (2s hold at top) (2')
10x10 @ 7.5
10x10 @8
10x10 @8.5

Half get-up
12x6 @8
16x3 @10 (L)
12x6 @8 (R)
12x6 @8 (L)
12x6 @10 (L)
12x6 @8 (R)
12x6 @10 (L)
Found a big left/right disparity. My right oblique is very weak. Will do double the reps with the KB in my left hand.. EDIT: I mean sets.

Ben Byram
05-13-2011, 07:46 AM
Weight 13st 6.4lbs. (down 4 pounds this week, I guess half is water loss, not fat).

I've now lost 9.6lbs in 7 weeks, including significant water loss from stopping creatine use. My waist has gone down 1.5" in that time.

I've been working on a 30% deficit every day this last week, except on Saturday when I drank. I think my maintenance calcs were a little low. Worked out as 12.5xBW, adjusting to a multiplier of 13 and will see what happens this week.

Also shifting to a 25% deficit which is more than I need to hit 13st in the next 7 weeks, but will balance out with some fairly prolonged drinking sessions scheduled, including a 4 day stag do in Latvia.

Ben Byram
05-14-2011, 06:42 AM
I'm not sure my strength has improved so far, but I don't think I'm getting weaker on my diet during this cycle. I like it....

Narrow-grip bench press
75x3 @7.5
77.5x3 @8
77.5x3 @8
80x3 @9
77.5x3 @8.5
77.5x3 @9
Will do these with a pause next week. It has helped my standard bench I think.

Batwings (1s hold at top)
26x3 @8
26x3 @8
26x3 @8
28x3 @8
30x3 @9
28x7 @8.5
28x3 @9
I feel like these have improved my posture. Less kyphosis / upper-back rounding. Swapping for underhand hammer-row, I don't think my lower traps get much work, again good for posture I think.

Dips (2' rest)
10x10 @8
10x10 @9
10x8 @9
These will be changed for bench lockouts (in the squat rack!) next week to improve the top half of my bench press specifically. Will perform with a pause on the rack / dead-start.

Barbell curls (1.5')
35x10 @8
35x10 @8
35x7 @9
Gonna swap these for dumbells, keep in simple.

Ben Byram
05-15-2011, 05:40 AM
1 hour indoor snowboarding. Moving better for the weight loss. Done fasted.

Ben Byram
05-16-2011, 01:47 PM
I'm going to repeat the last weeks rep/RPE schemes, so I can see how the programme is going. Today is not a good example as my legs were tired from yesterday's snowboarding. So this week I'm doing medium volume (20-22'), x5 @8-9, 5% fatigue.

Squat
100x4 @8
100x4 @8.5
100x4 @9
95x4 @9
Quads were tired from yesterday's boarding, so just wrapped it up quickly as per the RPE guidelines.

RDL
120x4 @8
120x4 @8
120x4 @8
120x4 @8.5
120x4 @9
117.5x4 @8
117.5x4 @8.5
117.5x4 @9
I have faith these will bring up my deadlift strength. They have worked well for me in the past. Was going to do hook grip, but I haven't done it for a while and it felt like my right thumb was going to snap off; so like a coward I went for less weight with a standard grip at clean-grip width. Grip is a limiting factor, but my grip needs working anyway. Will stick with this a few weeks.

Front squat (2')
60x8 @9
65x8 @8
70x8 @9
Ramped up the sets as legs are fatigued.

Ab roller (standing partials about 4-5' from the wall)
BWx3x4 @8
BWx3 @8.5
BWx3 @9 (came 6" further away on this set)
Knees: BWx10 @9

Ben Byram
05-17-2011, 01:35 PM
Bench press
75x4 @8
75x4 @8
75x4 @8
77.5x4 @8.5
80x4 @9
75x4 @8.5
75x4 @9
Better than last week maybe marginally. Feeling stronger, but slower if that makes sense.

Pull-ups
BWx4 @7*
5x4 @8
5x4 @8.5
5x4 @8.5
6.25x4 @9
BWx4 @8
BWx4 @8.5
BWx4 @9
*Not included in 22' as too easy.

Arnold press
26x6 @9.5
22x7 @8
24x6 @9
I seem to push these too hard. Would have dropped to 24kg DB' sooners, but they were in use initially.

Cable flies
12.5x10 @7
15x8 @9
15x8 @9
The staple of any strength routine. ;)

Pull-ups
BWx5 @9.5

Cardio
25í on treadmill - jogging/walking @ 120-150 HR
Feel noticeably fitter for losing weight despite next to no endurance work. No doubt I am naturally suited to endurance, not lifting weights. May well do a couple of months focused on endurance later this year and try to maintain strength. 6.5" wrists do not indicated a massive potential for size and strength... ahem.

Ben Byram
05-20-2011, 11:01 AM
Weight 13st 5.6lbs. (Down 0.8lbs this week).

I decided to tweak the lower body volume to 20' and keep the upper at 22', otherwise there's neglible difference after rounding to the nearest weight increment without microloading and my upper body is recovering fine, my squat volume is a little low.

Pause deadlift (1s hold below the knee going up)
120x4 @8
120x4 @8
125x4 @8
130x4 @9
122.5x4 @8
122.5x4 @8.5
122.5x4 @8
Forgot my tracky bottoms (sweat pants) and managed to tear my shins up nicely as well as catch my knee lowering a couple of reps. My timing of knee and hip flexion seems out as a result of the deficit deads. Or I'm just shit...hehe.

The day after my right shoulder is in bits, feels like I've aggravated on old rotator cuff injury. Aches constantly and feels weak, I'm hoping some mobility work, ice, epsom salts and ibuprofen will set it right. Funny, as it felt fine last night.

Barbell step-ups (step 2/3 inches above the knee making it below parallel)
35x4 @8.5
32.5x4 @8
32.5x4 @8
35x4 @8
32.5x4 @8
32.5x4 @8.5
My right leg is less stable and weaker than my left, presumably from a lot of lay-ups playing basketball as a kid?

Good mornings (flat-back) (2' rest)
50x10 @7
60x7 @8
60x8 @9
Quite liked these and it feels like they hit my hams harder than RDL's as I'm forced to do them nice and slow and grip isn't a factor.

Half getup (1.5)
12x6 @8 (L)
12x6 @7.5 (R)
12x6 @8.5 (L)
12x6 @8 (R)
12x6 @8.5 (L)
12x6 @9.5 (L)
Tedious inputting this. My L/R disparity isn't as bad as last week, I guess some of it is a coordination. Abs are fairly week in flexion.

Ben Byram
05-21-2011, 09:42 AM
Felt really good today, loving this programme still. Fasted, preceeding a massive Nandos....mmmm.......

Pause narrow-grip bench press (1s)
67.5x4 @8
67.5x4 @8
67.5x4 @8
70x4 @9
65x4 @8
65x4 @8
67.5x4 @9

Hammer row (underhand grip) (1s hold squeezing shoulder blades together)
50x4 @8
50x4 @8
50x4 @8
55x4 @9
52.5x4 @8
52.5x4 @8.5
52.5x4 @8.5
52.5x4 @9

Rack lockout (deadstop, 2s rest at the bottom) (2' rest)
60x8 @8
60x8 @8.5
60x8 @9
I do these in our squat rack. About 4/5" off my chest.

Dumbell curl
16x10 @8
16x8 @8.5
16x7 @9.5

Ben Byram
05-24-2011, 02:06 PM
This week x5@9-10.
Lower: 7% fatigue stress + 25'.
Upper: 8% fatigue stress + 28'.

I'm going to introduce more RPE 10 work over the next couple of months, but still focus on volume.

Squat
100x5 @9
100x5 @9
100x5 @10
92.5x5 @8
92.5x5 @10
+ technique good, getting more upright than I used to.
- weak as piss
A little annoying that I used do 100x5x2 as a light recovery day when doing TM.

RDL
120x5 @9
120x5 @10
112.5x5 @9
112.5x5 @9
112.5x5 @9.5
Grip limiting factor.

Front squat (2')
70x6 @8
70x6 @8.5
70x6 @9

Partial ab roll-out (6 feet from wall)
BWx2 @9 (2' rest)
BWx2x5 @10 (Rest from 1.5-3í)
These are a good challenge. Will do these longer than the normal 2-4 weeks on supplementary work as I want to do a full ROM standing roll-out. These were much harder going a foot further out. I'm 6'1", so used my height as a measurment.

Ben Byram
05-25-2011, 01:40 PM
13st 2lbs (184lbs) this morning. I've lost a stone in 8 weeks, that's 14lbs to most of you guys. Have lost 2" around my waist.

Not had time to analyse it proplerly, but I haven't lost much if any upper body strength I think, but my squat has got a bit weaker. I think the squat strength loss may be a result of doing unilateral work on the second session of the week rather than squatting, not sure squatting once a week is enough for me. I'm not planning to lose much more weight, so I'll run with the unilateral stuff a little longer and see what happens anyway.

I'm planning to do the exercises I think are most effective for me towards the end of the cycle, is this the conjugate method?....hmmmm.......

Bench press
80x5 @9
80x5 @9.5
80x5 @10
72.5x5 @9
72.5x5 @9.5
72.5x5 @9.5
72.5x5 @9.5
Improved my arch in the last few sets.

Pull-ups
(BW+5)x5 @8
(BW+7.5)x5 @9.5
(BW+6.25)x5 @9.5
(BW+6.25)x5 @9
(BW+7.5)x5 @10
(BW+2.5)x5 @10
(BWx5) @9.5
(BWx5) @10
Weight loss helping these.

Arnold press (2')
24x6 @8.5
24x6 @9
24x6 @10

Cable flies (2')
15x7 @8
15x7 @9
15x7 @10

Ben Byram
05-31-2011, 01:37 PM
Felt less than chipper following a 4 day bender in Latvia for my stag do, only including 2 meals that weren't beer.

This week x3 @8-9, 3% fatigue, 18' lower.

Squat
102.5x3 @8
102.5x3 @8.5
102.5x3 @9
100x3 @9
Squat is going down. Hopefully I can rectify this when I kill the diet off shortly.

RDL
125x3 @8.5
120x3 @8
120x3 @8.5
122.5x3 @8
125x3 @9
Made a bit of a mess with the RPE's, felt stronger as I got going.

Front squat (2')
70x7 @9
70x7 @9
70x7 @9

Ab roller (1.5-2')
BWx2x6 @9-10
Knees: BWx7 @8.5
Brutal. 6" from the wall.