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kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #26
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
The amount of volume that you're doing is unnecessary and probably detrimental. Assistance exercises are just that, assistance. You shouldn't be hitting them for 4-8 reps for four or five sets, it should be more like 3-4 sets at 20+ reps a set. Assistance exercises are supposed to be light shit to pump up the muscle, bolster the joint and all that. There are no contests for the heaviest tricep extension.

I'm guessing that your goal is to put on mass. From what I've read, you've staled out and your body isn't responding to the volume or the reps. I don't like to use the word "overtraining", but I'd say this would be a good example of it.

I would say to cut the isolation exercises, do a regular push/pull/legs routine with some very heavy weights three or four times a week, throw in some high intensity cardio (be it sprints, swings, clean and press for time, whatever) twice a week and don't eat any carbs after 4 or before noon. Simple changes.

Based on your original workout you'd probably do just fine with a 5/3/1 kind of program with the Boring but Big template (one accessory exercise 5 sets of 10 reps). It'll save you a lot of time and give your body a rest. You'll probably get stronger too. Find a hill around where you live and sprint up it a dozen times twice a week and you're golden.

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01-25-2017 09:25 PM
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Post: #27
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Kaotic, there's no such thing as a hard gainer.
You simply aren't eating enough.
I thought i was a hard gainer and struggled to put on mass until i counted out my calories. It turns out i wasn't eating nearly as much as i thought i was.
Once i figured that out all of my meals had potatoes, pasta or rice with them. A generous helping of it. At the end of the day if you want to get big you're going to need to bulk up. That means eating some trash food in your diet. It sucks and it kills your abs but it's a must do in this situation.

Also there's no point in cutting now, just go right into bulking.
Once you figure out your Total daily calorie needs add about 500 calories to it and start your bulk there. As you get bigger you'll need to gradually increase your calorie intake.

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01-26-2017 03:42 AM
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Post: #28
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
(01-25-2017 09:25 PM)Hannibal Wrote:  The amount of volume that you're doing is unnecessary and probably detrimental. Assistance exercises are just that, assistance. You shouldn't be hitting them for 4-8 reps for four or five sets, it should be more like 3-4 sets at 20+ reps a set. Assistance exercises are supposed to be light shit to pump up the muscle, bolster the joint and all that. There are no contests for the heaviest tricep extension.

I'm guessing that your goal is to put on mass. From what I've read, you've staled out and your body isn't responding to the volume or the reps. I don't like to use the word "overtraining", but I'd say this would be a good example of it.

I would say to cut the isolation exercises, do a regular push/pull/legs routine with some very heavy weights three or four times a week, throw in some high intensity cardio (be it sprints, swings, clean and press for time, whatever) twice a week and don't eat any carbs after 4 or before noon. Simple changes.

Based on your original workout you'd probably do just fine with a 5/3/1 kind of program with the Boring but Big template (one accessory exercise 5 sets of 10 reps). It'll save you a lot of time and give your body a rest. You'll probably get stronger too. Find a hill around where you live and sprint up it a dozen times twice a week and you're golden.
My only addition to this, or the most important one, is that there's no one right exercise when it comes to compound lifts. He does not have to do free weight deadlifts or squats or bench to grow but it would be convenient for him to do some kind of compounds to save time, energy and to work in fewer splits.
This young dude already has some spinal abnormalities; if he eagerly deadlifts and squats for ten years, he could have the spine of an old man. Fortunately there are safer alternatives for that.

This may also sound heretical but in addition to the risks involved, just getting his upper body workouts right would still put him ahead most of the population. The erector muscle of the lower back is poorly visible and legs are not as important as the upper body for aesthetics. I would rather have a guy figure out a safe way to work on his erectors (weighted extensions on a special bench), ass and legs (hack squats, leg press, leg curls etc.) rather than have him jump at deadlifts and ATG squats immediately.

I would also argue that the term 'accessory exercise' has more meaning for powerlifters and weightlifters as opposed to bodybuilders. A lat pulldown works just as many muscles or more as a bench press but it is not a competition lift, which is why we think of it as an icing on the cake instead of the inner core.
01-26-2017 04:41 AM
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Post: #29
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
On the topic of writing down your workouts:

I think this is a must, can't imagine recording it all by memory.

You could track your workouts old school, notebook and pencil.

I prefer to use Google Spreadsheets. Easy to use on both desktop and cellphone.

Obviously there's a thousand ways to organize the spreadsheet, divide each day of the split in different tabs, etc - that's up to you.

What I love about it is that I can always have it handy - since I love working out listening to podcasts or music, I carry my phone with me to the gym. No risk of forgetting last week's numbers or what exercise you have to do next.

I've been tracking my workouts this way since 2013, it's cool to see the progress.

You can also use it to track your bodyweight week by week.

Not sure if this is the case, but if you have a target weight for a certain lift, say deadlift 315lbs, it's easier to program what your week by week schedule should look like until you peak at 315 at the end of the cycle.

There's a ton of templates online, but PM me if you need help setting it up.

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(This post was last modified: 01-26-2017 02:05 PM by Ringo.)
01-26-2017 02:03 PM
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Post: #30
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
That's a swell idea, never thought of Google Spreadsheets.

I used to use one of those bound notebooks that you get for 99 cents at wally world, but they generally get all messed up after about six months. After a year or two of doing that I didn't need to write anything down anymore, although it is a good idea if you're really gunning for a particular goal (like a 315 bench or something).

Nowadays I use Madbarz under the "Create Your Own Workout" and I just let that time the sets and record everything for me. Much easier, imo.

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01-26-2017 04:44 PM
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kaotic Offline
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Post: #31
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
(01-25-2017 08:13 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  Kaotic-

Are you still having trouble sleeping?
I know I recommended melatonin to you one time. That stuff is amazing and will knock you out like a rock. Just take 1.5mg or 3mg at 7:00 or 8:00 PM and you'll probably sleep just fine.

No I don't, I just choose to go to bed late, staying up doing random shit at home, going out, or on a date, or banging a plate.

I actually take ZMA's right now. I'll check out that Melatonin thanks !

(01-25-2017 09:25 PM)Hannibal Wrote:  The amount of volume that you're doing is unnecessary and probably detrimental. Assistance exercises are just that, assistance. You shouldn't be hitting them for 4-8 reps for four or five sets, it should be more like 3-4 sets at 20+ reps a set. Assistance exercises are supposed to be light shit to pump up the muscle, bolster the joint and all that. There are no contests for the heaviest tricep extension.

I'm guessing that your goal is to put on mass. From what I've read, you've staled out and your body isn't responding to the volume or the reps. I don't like to use the word "overtraining", but I'd say this would be a good example of it.

Agreed, my gut was telling that something was working right. For example, I cut down my shoulder workouts a bit and felt way more stronger yesterday, even did higher weight.

Quote:I would say to cut the isolation exercises, do a regular push/pull/legs routine with some very heavy weights three or four times a week, throw in some high intensity cardio (be it sprints, swings, clean and press for time, whatever) twice a week and don't eat any carbs after 4 or before noon. Simple changes.

Based on your original workout you'd probably do just fine with a 5/3/1 kind of program with the Boring but Big template (one accessory exercise 5 sets of 10 reps). It'll save you a lot of time and give your body a rest. You'll probably get stronger too. Find a hill around where you live and sprint up it a dozen times twice a week and you're golden.

Yeah my goal is mass, and Steelex has reached out to me, I'll write more about that later.

It's funny you mention that because we do have a big ass hill on my street, perfect.

(01-26-2017 03:42 AM)kinjutsu Wrote:  Kaotic, there's no such thing as a hard gainer.
You simply aren't eating enough.
I thought i was a hard gainer and struggled to put on mass until i counted out my calories. It turns out i wasn't eating nearly as much as i thought i was.
Once i figured that out all of my meals had potatoes, pasta or rice with them. A generous helping of it. At the end of the day if you want to get big you're going to need to bulk up. That means eating some trash food in your diet. It sucks and it kills your abs but it's a must do in this situation.

Also there's no point in cutting now, just go right into bulking.
Once you figure out your Total daily calorie needs add about 500 calories to it and start your bulk there. As you get bigger you'll need to gradually increase your calorie intake.

I should have stated im not a hard gainer, I'm just leaner naturally hence calling myself an ectomorph.

Like I said, I was 130 wet years ago, I ate good, I ate alot and currently around 164 (Just weight myself today)

You're right, I'm already leaning that, so might as well keep moving that way and cut later.

(01-26-2017 04:41 AM)SegaSaturn1994 Wrote:  My only addition to this, or the most important one, is that there's no one right exercise when it comes to compound lifts. He does not have to do free weight deadlifts or squats or bench to grow but it would be convenient for him to do some kind of compounds to save time, energy and to work in fewer splits.
This young dude already has some spinal abnormalities; if he eagerly deadlifts and squats for ten years, he could have the spine of an old man. Fortunately there are safer alternatives for that.

I do barbell deadlifts and squats, I'd never do dumbbell versions of them.

I do have some lower back issues, especially with dead lifts, however, I alleviated the issues by doing sumo dead lifts, and focusing on my footing when doing deep squats with a lighter weight.

Quote:This may also sound heretical but in addition to the risks involved, just getting his upper body workouts right would still put him ahead most of the population. The erector muscle of the lower back is poorly visible and legs are not as important as the upper body for aesthetics. I would rather have a guy figure out a safe way to work on his erectors (weighted extensions on a special bench), ass and legs (hack squats, leg press, leg curls etc.) rather than have him jump at deadlifts and ATG squats immediately.

Basically advocating not having leg day ? I still enjoy dead lifts and squats - currently my record on squat is 315 - that's with almost getting my ass to grass.

Leg day is honestly one of my favorite days since I have goals to chase. We do have a hack squat machine, press and curls, which I do also.

(01-26-2017 02:03 PM)Ringo Wrote:  On the topic of writing down your workouts:

I think this is a must, can't imagine recording it all by memory.

You could track your workouts old school, notebook and pencil.

I prefer to use Google Spreadsheets. Easy to use on both desktop and cellphone.

Obviously there's a thousand ways to organize the spreadsheet, divide each day of the split in different tabs, etc - that's up to you.

What I love about it is that I can always have it handy - since I love working out listening to podcasts or music, I carry my phone with me to the gym. No risk of forgetting last week's numbers or what exercise you have to do next.

I've been tracking my workouts this way since 2013, it's cool to see the progress.

You can also use it to track your bodyweight week by week.

Not sure if this is the case, but if you have a target weight for a certain lift, say deadlift 315lbs, it's easier to program what your week by week schedule should look like until you peak at 315 at the end of the cycle.

There's a ton of templates online, but PM me if you need help setting it up.

I 100% agree and I'm checking out some workout logs apps for my iPhone, some look really promising and I'll be sure to set this up before starting my new program.

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01-26-2017 06:39 PM
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Post: #32
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
+1 To Steelex for reaching out to me.

I spoke on the phone with him at length about my goals, what I should be doing, where I should be headed, etc.

This guy knows his shit, he's super intelligent, and I think we're on the same bandwidth about where we're I should be headed.

With his permission I'm posting his message to me with the workout:

Quote:It's divided into A days and B days. You just alternate them, and do them as often as possible. By often as possible I mean that you do the workout when you feel you're recovered and can add more weight to the bar. Each exercise has a rep range, and the idea is to take all your sets to the high end of the rep range before you add weight (you'll add as much as you can while still keeping it within the rep range, whether that be 20 lbs or 5 lbs).

The idea here is to stimulate muscle growth just enoigh so you grow, but not trash it. You want to get back in and hit the same workout as soon as you can make progress. The exercises are listed in the order I would recommend you do them in, but it's all up to you. You might want to do a google search on how to do the rack chin and the Kroc row.

I recommend that for your first couple exercises of each workout you do a couple of warm up sets before you hit your heavy work sets. It's also mandatory that you keep a paper log book and consistently beat the log book every workout.

A Day (upper body)
Overhead dumbbell press 2 sets 8-13 reps
Wide grip rack chins (with straps) 3 sets 8-13 reps
Dumbbell bench press 3 sets 11-15 reps
Preacher curls 2 sets 5-10 reps
Lateral raises 3 sets 11-15 reps
Kroc dumbell rows 2 sets 25-40 reps

B day (legs, core)
Rack pull deadlifts with a shrug (pull the bar up over your junk and hold it for 5 seconds at the top)
3 sets 5-8 reps
Bb squats 2 sets 6-10 reps, 1 set 18-20 reps using 60% of what you used on your first two sets.
3 sets of planks held for 1-2 minutes.

I typically have 3-4 mins between sets.

So far the people I've shown it to said it's solid, but it doesn't hurt for other guys to check this workout out, or suggest tweaking it, or etc.

I'd appreciate any feedback as well.

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(This post was last modified: 01-26-2017 07:29 PM by kaotic.)
01-26-2017 07:00 PM
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Post: #33
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Doctor Redbeard is in the house, and my diagnosis is a clear case of...Fuckarounditis.

This may be the greatest fitness article ever written.

Hannibal gets to the point spot on. Focus on strength for six months, doing one of the 5/3/1 or Greyskull templates, then come back and let us know how it goes.

Edit: cosign the Steelex routine

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(This post was last modified: 01-26-2017 08:55 PM by redbeard.)
01-26-2017 08:54 PM
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Post: #34
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
What Steelex posted sounds near identical to DC training without the fascia stretching. If you're injury prone, be careful as you're gunning for a pr every day. I'd recommend throwing in some mobility after every workout or on a separate day (thoracic bridges, j-curls, and dead hangs from a pull up bar are great stables). B day seems a tad light but super high intensity could compensate. Remember to deload every once in a while, particularly when you're plateauing, to give your CNS a chance to recover. I usually do the same exercises but ~50% weight and shoot for volume.

I've been doing DC training for a few months now and I love it. Strength is slowly but steadily rising. I have a moleskin journal to track all my lifts. I'd recommend that over using your phone, although I have used the gravitas app when I forget the journal.

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Edit: H1N1 and Hannibal on the money
(This post was last modified: 01-26-2017 10:28 PM by Balkan.)
01-26-2017 10:26 PM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
What app is the gravitas app? I looked and don't see anything obvious.
01-26-2017 11:34 PM
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Post: #36
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
The routine I recommended to kaotic is a variation of DC. I don't feel like anybody but advanced lifters can really get maximal use out of the single rest pause set. I don't even do that shit, I still get a lot of good out of a few sets.

But to say that Dante didn't influence my training would be a huge lie.
01-26-2017 11:49 PM
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RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
(01-26-2017 11:34 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  What app is the gravitas app? I looked and don't see anything obvious.

My bad, it's actually gravitus
01-26-2017 11:49 PM
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RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
What an awesome thread, I am certainly going to revisit my workout. I did scan-read the posts for the nutritional information as that's what my brief contribution will focus on.

I'm lactose intolerant, and also sensitive to wheat. My blood type of O and the recommendation of the blood type diet by Dr. D'Adamo (ND) really make sense for me and others I've checked out of other types. I would look into your blood type and see if there are foods you do well with, or are allergic / sensitive to.

There's enough research that indicates modern wheat is no bueno for our bodies / guts / brains. Even if you don't think it's hurting you, it almost certainly is tearing up your cilia and compromising your stomach lining plus potentially affecting your mood. Ditch it and eat rice instead, or some other non-GMO / unmodified source for starches. I do occasionally (very rarely, say once every couple weeks) have a sourdough and cheddar sandwich but take some enzymes ahead of time to mitigate the effect. I've also followed a GAPS diet in the past to help correct gut and skin issues, link in my sig. I also linked to a few YT vids such as 'Wheat: The UNHealthy whole grain' by Dr. William Davis. An engaging and important talk. The research clearly links wheat consumption (and I'd personally say dairy as well but that's more individual) to 'what belly' as he calls it. Just with diet adjustments I was able to get much closer to a flat stomach than ever before. I'm early 40s so hormone balance is an important consideration for me to stay fit and vigorous.

I'd also strongly recommend getting your blood work done (thanks MikeCF) and if you're willing posting that here. Most G.P. western MDs will NOT prescribe the full complement of tests you would need, including things like vit D3 levels, the full complement of testosterone / estradiol / estrogen / leutinizing hormone. If your doc does, count yourself lucky! Otherwise, check out privateMDlabs - which is where MikeCF pointed folks.

Based on your blood work, you can look into correcting any deficiencies and will have a clearer direction for supplementation. Yes, it IS important! I would study the work of Dr. Joel Wallach (lots of info available online). I do NOT use tangy tangerine product in the dose he recommends as the levels of some vitamins are higher than feel correct for my system, but he has very high quality supps. Selenium is a crucial one and he fought to have the FDA recognize how important it is to health neo-natal development. The guy is a badass, if long-winded (ahem!). The RDA is a bare minimum in many cases. I think Zelcorpion was or did post a supplement thread but I haven't dug around for it. That's also very individual but not something to ignore. We do NOT get sufficient vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids from most of our foods. The soil is too depleted. I've stayed healthier and recovered faster from workouts by putting attention and a moderate amount of money into this area. It's my #1 form of preventative medicine (I avoid the western doctor like the plague).

Also, please ditch the high-fructose corn syrup heavy Gatorade and consider 'Rebound' from youngevity. It's designed as an electrolyte-rich post workout replenisher. They do use a sugar substitute (not one of the franken ones) but I haven't had any issues with it. When you sweat you're vitamins and minerals. Runners have very high incidence of heart attack (you're not running and I don't do hard cardio either) and most aren't supplementing properly. You need to get those essential nutrients back into your system after a workout. By the way, from research I've done on human growth hormone (HGH) production you must AVOID SUGAR in a two hour workout window. That's why I prefer having sushi as my post-midday workout snack, and then a bigger dinner.

https://web.archive.org/web/201604301527...naturally/

I typically try to fast at least 12 hours from last evening meal to morning meal. I used to think I needed to eat first thing when I woke up but found I could just wait a couple hours before having breakfast. I do tend to have a cup of coffee with 200mg of L-Theanine (a combination of caffeine and theanine is a great attention / focus booster!) usually with coconut milk and some organic honey. And I'm happily using my Sunbox Jr. (thanks Lizard of Oz!) for Bright Light Therapy which has really helped me feel sleepier earlier, naturally. Oh, the IF / intermittent fasting has a host of benefits for growth hormone production, lower insulin levels, and general overall longevity. The fewer times you need to eat, the less oxidative stress you're putting on your body (and the longer your mitochondria will last). I was curious about how Hugh Jackman got so cut and IF (he does a 16 hour fast apparent and eats within an 8 hour window) was mentioned.

Antioxidants are very important. After a workout I suggest earthing / grounding to help your body regulate the anti-inflammatory response. I made a post a few weeks ago in the thread Youngblade started. You'll also tend to sleep deeper.

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-60550...pid1483517

Many of us are deficient in magnesium and have an abundance of calcium which makes us more prone to cramping and heart disorders. I use Magnesium Calm before bed and it really helps relax me. Throw in 1-2 mg melatonin (3 if you really need it but not recommended to stay with a high dose more than a month IIRC) on nights when you gotta knock out early.

As I said, great workout info and I will personally review it in more detail. This is what came up to help balance the rest, recovery, and nutrition side from my studies and experience.

'100% MAGA' Bill Mitchell interviews military veteran, Patriot, & Q Anon decoder Praying Medic
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01-27-2017 12:52 AM
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Post: #39
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Steelex's routine is good, and you should follow it. You've had personal input from a guy who clearly knows what he's doing. Most programs work, but the ones that work best are the ones that you believe in and which fit most closely with your goals. What Steelex has put together seems to have been tweaked to suit your goals, and you are rightly (from what I can tell) persuaded that he knows what he's talking about. This is a good reason to do the program exactly as it is. You may want to vary your exercises slightly every 4 weeks or so, as a simple AB program done frequently can get insanely boring very quickly for some people. Again though, you're on Steelex's program now, and you should defer to his judgement, assuming he is happy to help you from time to time.
01-27-2017 05:09 AM
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Post: #40
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Steelex program is good and rather similar to what I posted in terms of having just a two day split.

I think that Day B is a lot more intense than Day A because you are doing both squats and deadlifts on that day. Day A seems a little too light.

Dumbell press normally is done before shoulder press because it is a heavier exercise that also hits the shoulders. I would also put in more back thickness exercises like bent over rows.

You can put on more muscle on the chest than shoulders and more on back thickness than back width. The former muscles are stronger and have more potential to give you gains. You can move more weight on the bench press vs shoulder press and more on bent over row vs lat pull down.

Anyways steelex has given you a good routine and I am just adding my opinion to an interesting thread. He may have tailored those things to your specific situation but my opinion is.more general.
(This post was last modified: 01-27-2017 10:29 AM by kavi.)
01-27-2017 10:12 AM
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Post: #41
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Its squats and rack pulls. The rack pulls are not nearly as hard on the CNS or the spinal erectors as a conventional deadlift, but still have many of the same benefits.

The conventional deadlift is a great exercise but really you have to give it the respect it deserves as far as how bad it can fuck you. I'd rather a guy did rack pulls and lowered his chance of injury by a lot.
01-27-2017 10:28 AM
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komatiite Offline
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Post: #42
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
(01-27-2017 10:12 AM)kavi Wrote:  Steelex program is good and rather similar to what I posted in terms of having just a two day split.

The only issue I have with it is that Day B is a lot more intense than Day A because you are doing both squats and deadlifts on that day.

It's been a few years since I had been reading about this topic online but I dont remember anyone ever recomending that.

It could work well for you though especially given you may not want to go hard on those exercises due to your situation.

I was thinking that too.ive never incorporated rack pulls into a routine consistently, now I'm intrigued. Are they in the Steelex program because they are just easier to recover from than Full Deads in this high volume routine, or are they specifically tailored due to Kaotics low back issues?
01-27-2017 10:29 AM
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kavi Offline
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Post: #43
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Yeah thats cool. Personally I would focus on less intense deadlifting ( more reps less weight) but I that is just a personal preferance.

Also, you need strong spinal erector muscles for good squats. I am not sure it makes sense to have isolated spinal erectors with rack pulls and then go into squats. Those could be some uncomfortable squats.

It is the same issue as doing shoulder press before bench press.
01-27-2017 10:43 AM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #44
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
   
This was my Stoppani spreadsheet. I had one for Arnold's workout as well. Nowadays I just make sure I get bench, squat, and shoulders in (not deadlift, but heavy dumbbells). And then accessory lifts. Honestly between chest/back day, shoulder/arm day, and leg day, I never lift longer than 45 minutes.

I basically stick to high weights low reps. Sometimes rep out.

Whatever works though. My brother is one of the stronger guys in my state (I've seen him finish 1st in squat competition). He's huge (in an unhealthy, powerlifter way). But I can tell you, when I mentioned I started lifting and was doing a plan (Arnold or Stoppani), these were his comments. This is a guy who's been in to lifting since the mid-90s...

(slightly annoyed tone) "Just go in and lift. It's not complicated. Just go lift weights. You don't need a fancy plan. Lift heavy weights. All these guys with their jug of water and plans and notes and stuff. It's not fancy." (summary, not quote)

And that's my take on it too. I stuck with a plans for a few months, but nowadays I just make sure I do the foundations (bench, squat, shoulders (not deadlift because of back)) regularly and some accessory lifts, but I'm also focusing on BJJ now.

You're looking for something more, which is fine too. My point is, figure out what works for you, and do it.

I'm basically your size, mesomorph, but would have to creatine and maybe more to put on any weight.

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(This post was last modified: 01-27-2017 11:42 AM by heavy.)
01-27-2017 11:31 AM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #45
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Don't get me wrong I love deads. They are great for building muscle and strength. But here is a detailed explanation of why I find them to be detrimental for some people.

1. Deads throw a wrench into your other programming. A heavy deadlift workout can really cut into your recovery for everything else, especially your legs and back.

2. As you get up there in weight with deadlifts (400+) your form has to be on point. Sloppy form will get you injured, and then the rest of your training is going to be messed up for a few weeks as you recover from this.

3. You really need to go into a deadlift workout in optimal conditions. That means well rested, fed, hydrated, NOT HYPED UP ON STIMS. Anything that could cause an error in your muscle contraction can potentially get you hurt. I tend to work out in the evening after working a 10-12 hour day, and I know that being somewhat fatigued can cause your body to have issues with stabilizing the spine. I don't even recommend doing deads in a prolonged caloric deficit, because the CNS will operate just a little harder than the weakened muscles can handle. I think this problem is exacerbated by strong stimulants.

4. You can get 80% of the benefits of deads with heavy rack pulls, while keeping the risk factor much lower. I guarantee you that if you get your rack pull into the 6's, you'll be able to deadlift in the 5's with just a few weeks of practice. This is assuming you're also squatting.

5. It all comes down to the risk to benefit ratio. I've just seen too many lifters (even good, knowledgeable ones with good form), make a simple mistake like foot placement, not bracing against the belt, ect... And then tweak their lower back and end up on permanent arm day for 3 weeks. The idea behind my training is to streamline your gains and bypass the speed bumps.
01-27-2017 12:43 PM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #46
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
As far as programming the rack pull and the squat together, it really doesn't impact it that much. It's not like programming the squat and the deadlift together, where one would prevent you from going all out on the other. I know after hitting 2 sets of 8 and then a Widowmaker that leaves me seeing stars on the floor sucking in more air than a supercharged hellcat, conventional deadlifts are out of the question.
01-27-2017 12:57 PM
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Post: #47
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
I downloaded the "Strong" app and added all those workouts.

Created 2 routines: "A Day" and "B Day"

Added all the workouts with initial weights.

A Day (upper body)
Overhead dumbbell press 2 sets 8-13 reps
Wide grip rack chins (with straps) 3 sets 8-13 reps
Dumbbell bench press 3 sets 11-15 reps
Preacher curls 2 sets 5-10 reps
Lateral raises 3 sets 11-15 reps
Kroc dumbell rows 2 sets 25-40 reps

B day (legs, core)
Rack pull deadlifts with a shrug (pull the bar up over your junk and hold it for 5 seconds at the top)
3 sets 5-8 reps
Bb squats 2 sets 6-10 reps, 1 set 18-20 reps using 60% of what you used on your first two sets.
3 sets of planks held for 1-2 minutes.


Now my question is:

Should I stick to the same weights the sets? Or up the weight after the 1st set and lower the reps (within the given rep range).


I usually up the weight after every set, BUT, since I'm doing split days, I'll be doing the workouts more frequently, so I guess it would make sense to stick to one weight for 1 day and see if I can hit the far end of the rep range the next, if so, then up the weight.

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(This post was last modified: 01-30-2017 01:12 AM by kaotic.)
01-30-2017 12:38 AM
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redbeard Offline
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Post: #48
RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Why wide grip rack chins vs. traditional chins, or BB rows if the emphasis is lats?

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01-30-2017 12:52 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
Upping the weight after each set is not the best way to go. If you were able to increase the weight each set, it means you didn't get very close to failure on that set, and therefore didn't achieve as much damage in that set as possible.

You want to up the weight when all your sets are in the high end of the rep range. So let's say the rep range was 3 sets of 11-15, and you got 15-12-8. You don't move up. But let's say you got 15-15-14, you move up weight the next workout because obviously the first two sets you aced and you can stand to add some more weight on the bar.

You gotta use a little common sense here, but the question in your mind should be "Will it benefit me more to master the weight I'm at, or go up in weight so I can get one step closer to my ultimate goal (being a goddamn human fork lift)".
01-30-2017 10:57 AM
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RE: kaotic's gym self assesment and progress thread
The rack chins do a great job of developing lat width because they take away a lot of your ability to cheat, and help you focus more on contracting your back muscles. I do them with a pause at the top and a 3 second negative. For many people it's hard to build that mind to muscle connection with their lats, so they're never able to stress the lats as much as they need to grow.

I recommend doing the rack chins with grip straps. I know everyone says "well then you're not building your grip". They have a point. However, the point of the rack chin is to mentally focus on the contraction of the lats, and not be thinking about your grip at all.

The rack chins with the Kroc rows do a lot to put width and thickness on the lats. I didn't have thick lats till I was getting 30+ reps with a 120lb DB. Now I use big zip ties to attach another dumbell to the 120 since that's as high as my gym has them Sad
01-30-2017 11:07 AM
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