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Old 04-13-2011, 09:34 AM   #81
Eduardo Chile
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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
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #82
Ben Byram
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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.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #83
Ben Byram
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Default Thursday 14th March

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.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:04 PM   #84
Eduardo Chile
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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.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:06 AM   #85
Ben Byram
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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.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:58 AM   #86
Eduardo Chile
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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.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #87
Ben Byram
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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!
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #88
Eduardo Chile
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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.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:34 PM   #89
Ben Byram
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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...
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:05 PM   #90
Ben Byram
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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...

Last edited by Ben Byram; 04-18-2011 at 02:08 PM. Reason: changed first week to an RPE 9
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