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Project Heavygan: Eat Plates To Move Plates


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Hey I recently joined the board and have been spending time reading through your journal. I've gotten lots of great info, inspiration, and ideas from reading it. Keep it up!

 

First off, welcome to the board, mate! This is such a great compliment - thank you and thank you for reading! I'm glad you were able to gain something from my long-winded ramblings. If you have any questions about anything, don't hesitate to ask.

 

Here's my 2c (FWIW)...

 

DL's - great to lift barefoot, or at least with a shoe that puts you as low to the ground as possible. You can buy some deadlift slippers, they don't cost much and are mostly legal at meets.

 

Squats - ideally you want to lift in either a squat shoe or a heeled shoe.

 

http://forums.musculardevelopment.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=268303&d=1324071635&thumb=1

 

The benefit of squat shoes are that they have a wooden heel, this serves two purposes: a) the heel raises you slightly higher and opens your hips through the movement, slightly increasing your felxibility (great if you have tight hips and/or calves b) The wooden heels means you don't get any loss of power from when you start driving back up. With a normal rubber soled shoe you lose power on the ascent as the force is compressed into the rubber, therefore this translates into a loss of power (small I know, but you want all the advantage you can get). You might as well put yourself in the strongest position from the start

 

I was hoping you'd have some advice/knowledge to share on this topic. Definitely didn't even know that there was such a thing as deadlift slippers, just knew there were compression socks, so I'll be adding those to my list, too. Seems like there's a lot I don't know about in terms of "equipment."

 

The first point you made about increasing flexibility is something I didn't know but am extremely pleased to know. After doing some research I found out that Chucks are bad for knee travel so that was my main reason for wanting to find something more appropriate but, as someone with tight hips, too, the fact that squat shoes help with that pretty much solidifies my decision to pick up those Adidas in the near future. Thank you for your input!

 

I haven't lifted barefoot since the beginning of October when I joined my gym. However, there's no "explicit" rule against it so maybe I'll try out barefoot deads this week to see how they feel - even if it's just for my warm ups since I might not be inclined to do so with heavy weight just yet.

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03.09.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week Two, Day Two

The Triumvirate Template Test

 

NUTRITION

60/146/220

New macros don’t go into affect until tomorrow since the decision to bump wasn’t solidified early enough in the day.

PROLOGUE

The first thing I thought when I woke up was “I want to go squat.” So I did.

 

SESSION

Warm-up: 2 minutes hill walking, 4% incline, 4mph, stretching, extremely light leg extensions

 

Squat

65x5

95x5

115x3

130x3

145x10 (PR)

Squats are feeling 100x better than they were three weeks ago. Not going to lie, I definitely attribute this to the 10x5 BBB squats from last week.

 

Back raises

35x10x5

These are coming along nicely – the weight increase didn’t feel like much of anything.

 

Leg press

180x10x2

90x15x2

This, I think, is the only template that suggests these as an assistance lift for squats. I considered SLDL but, since I also opted to do back raises, I figured hitting my quads/hamstrings was more important. However, I’m not sure if I’d choose these as my main assistance lift if I do pick this template.

Hanging bent leg raises

10x5

Slow and controlled. My core and back are definitely my weakest areas.

 

Dumbbell side bends

35x12

30x15

A bit tender from Sunday’s conditioning session so I cut these short. Not a big deal since I’ll be hitting them again on Thursday.

AFTERWARD

After the gym and lunch, I discovered that it is nearly impossible for me to find jeans to accommodate my disproportionate body. I’ve always had a tiny waist that transitions rather abruptly into a pretty wide set of hips – something my mother, to this day, finds hilarious given the fact that I do not give, pardon my French, a flying fuck about an “hourglass shape” – and when you pair this with thighs that grow thicker by the week and unnecessarily big calves, well, let’s just say it makes someone who already hates shopping hate shopping any more.

However, since all the pants I currently own no longer fit quite right because of the aforementioned, I knew it had to be done. After forty-five minutes of trying on, literally, 14 different pairs of pants in Plato’s Closet, I finally found a pair that I found acceptable – some Levi 511s.

The funny thing about this is, when I was Cardio Kid, I owned a pair of 511s and they were baggy on me despite being the “skinny” cut – my legs were that damn shrimpy looking from all the running. The pair I bought on Monday, however, look like appropriately fitted straight-legs. Thank you, squats and deadlifts, thank you.

We’ll see how long these fit, though, since the visible changes in my quads and hamstrings are more noticeable than any other area in my body. I am more than okay with this even if it means that owning pants that “fit” will never happen again. There is a reason sweatpants were invented.

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Whenever you post a sizeable blog it always contains something I ve recently had to do myself, so if I comment a lot you know why lol

 

I'm jean hunting tomorrow, my current 30"waist ones  now pinch but my quads are makin it impossible to bet my phone & wallet in my pockets & I refuse to have a man bag...

 

If you don't mind the input i'd really recommend pairing squats with either stiff leg deads of good mornings. you're getting serious moneys worth with either of these but I guess it comes down to how your back is. That's why programmed assistance is great, you could start as light as you want to help your body adapt/nail form while still making gains.  You could in reality go with triumvirate but still use the programmed assistance on either of those assistances. My lower body days are pretty simple but it's always big work I hit

 

FYI my backs ok but my quads feeling disgusting today 

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I've recently discovered the awesome problem of trying to fit your keys, phone, and wallet into your pockets - quads tend to make this difficult.

 

I'm building my back up with the raises to start doing good mornings with the bar. I don't see leg presses as part of my programming regardless of the template I choose and I'm leaning towards pairing squats with GMs/deadlifts with front squats to focus on my weaker points.

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Our similarities are uncanny.

 

It really is crazy how "simple" 5/3/1 is but how much more intensely it makes you look at yourself and your program, really makes you pay attention to what works for you and why it works.

 

My foam roller came in the mail today (right fast shipping considering I placed the order on Monday) and since I want to make sure I'm using it right, I started looking for videos of exercises for it. Of course, Elitefts has some good ones, though, this one for squats I found to be exceptionally helpful:

 

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I went with pairing those four as I want to (as you said) build my hamstring & lower back muscles up more to aid with my sciatica. That's why reverse hypers are also great on a ghr frame, they take the weight off the lower back so you get to control it better, those along with ghr are helping but I know it's something that's always has/will bother me. I go back & forth in my head over switching from conventional deads to sumos but I'll hold off as long as I can. My back only really ever hurts when I sit down, but it's slowly getting there, very slowly. That's why I basically had to start from the ground up on squats & deads after it started hindering me after moving, I'm almost only just touching intermediate type weight. But I'm not a hero about it, I'll be back pulling higher again in the coming cycles.

 

The next couple of days I ve planned to do loads of mobility work, those vids are good seen them all.

 

I can't agree more about 5/3/1 making you actually think why you're doing a,b & c... After the back injury I went to hack squats & I was banging out for reps (a-t-g)  550lb so when I started squatting again I thought I could pick up where I left off, WRONG. That's what got me really into the 'science' of wanting to be big & strong, not just big.

 

The view of training for performance over a look will sever you well & is the mentality you luckily already have. Let's not lie though we love our cloths getting tighter

 

Now all I need to do is bombard you with Wendlers dislike for counting macros & we will be truly male/female versions of one another or vice versa..on that I read the zone diet today, boring lol I'll stick to I know what works for me pizza tonight

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I have no idea why my gym doesn't have GHR frame - we only have the one for back raises. Well, that's not true - I know we don't have one because I lift at a commercial gym dominated by people who are into cardio/curls. I already decided once my contract goes up, I'm finding a gym that's geared toward strength training, if not powerlifting specifically. Plus, I've always trained solo and I'd be interested to see how finding someone or a group of people to train with would be.

 

The things that really hold my squats/deads back are my hip flexors, Osgood-Schlatter, and my weak core so that's why I'm bumping up the mobility and flexibility work, getting knee sleeves/squat shoes - it's ridiculous to think that I'm just now realizing that taking care of these things, instead of ignoring or "pushing through" them, is going to make stronger. I guess everyone starts somewhere.

 

I've never pulled sumo before and I wonder how that'd change my deads - it's my lower back that's the weakest as my upper back's been coming along pretty nicely the last few months from the rows and chins.

 

While injuries and mistakes suck, I think how you handle them and rebound from them really says a lot about a person's character and I commend you for having the diligence, patience, and willingness to grow and learn from it instead of giving up or making the situation worse. Your progress has been phenomenal and I know that you know slow and steady is the best way to improve - your squat/dead numbers in another six months to a year are going to be insane.

 

I don't know if i'll ever give up counting macros - I've found tracking them to be really interesting, mostly because I think it's really cool to see how different breakdowns affect different things (like long-term vs. short-term energy, holding water weight, losing weight, etc.) and makes me more attentive to what kind of foods "work" for me without being obsessive over food (don't measure my food, don't care about hitting exact numbers, don't care if I go over one day). I suppose it's the equivalent of a hobby for nutrition nerds. Haha.

 

Damn. Now I want pizza. Maybe I'll do that after conditioning today.

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You can still do ghr work, All it takes is hooking your feet under something & lowering yourself down until you give way & drop. Then you can explode back up by pulling your glutes & hamstrings. Have a look on the tube I'm sure there will be examples. My gym is very commercial to, Loads of cross trainers ect & the owners now pushing spin classes. To his credit though he puts his money into the equipment, All machines he has are hammer strength so top quality. A decline, incline & two flat benches for presses. Loads of adjustable benches in front of the mirrors but only 1 power rack & a rack. Luckily it's all oly bars to. Pre loaded mini barbell racks ect so in all & for how much it costs its great. I have no idea why ghr are hard to find...

 

Thanks again for the kind words, We may bro down a lot but I'm fine with that haha I think you're pretty awesome with how you actually listen to people but also do the leg work & educate yourself. Unlike the moron who messaged me on fb basically saying he wanted help to begin training but couldn't be bothered to sit & research so thought it would be easier to just ask me. My reply was "nice start" that was it lol In reality I'd of liked to of chalked up & clapped in his face.

 

Sumos take weight off the lower back for sure but your glutes, hams ect take the extra work load. I wouldn't be overly bothered if I had to pull this way if my back dictates it...But I hope all the work & slow 5/3/1 will move me along. I will send you a deadlifting ebook if you want it? Did you like the pic I emailed you last week?

 

As for macros, Once your numbers get serious you'll just eat. That's partly why bbb challenge is where I'm heading in a few weeks, Be interesting to see if the revamped vegetarian version I have made up (the meal plan) works. With that I'm just starting with usual portions & see if my appetite grows with the program... Mass moves mass

 

 

I'm going to bench to trap them tomorrow, You must of heard of them if you're into hardcore?

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TRIUMVIRATE TEMPLATE TEST

 

03.22.12

Cycle One, Week Three, Day Three

 

NUTRITION

58/140/200

 

SESSION

Foam rolling: 10 minutes

Hill sprints: 11 minutes - 30 seconds on, 45 off

Hill walking: 10 minutes - 10% incline, 4mph

Jumping rope: 10 minutes

 

03.22.12

Cycle One, Week Three, Day Four

 

NUTRITION

58/160/210

 

SESSION

Warm-up: Foam rolling, stretching, light leg curls.

 

Deadlifts

75x5

105x5

135x3

155x3

175x10

The first pull at 155 felt so fucking heavy that, for an instant, I thought I was only going to get my required reps in at 175. I took an extended rest between sets to prowl around the gym, nodding my head to some Nails, and then proceeded to beast through the last set. Felt awesome.

 

Hanging leg raises

10x5

 

Front squat

70x10x2

65x10x2

60x10

 

03.23.12

Cycle One, Week Three, Day Five

 

NUTRITION

55/163/215

 

SESSION

Warm-up: Elliptical, jumping rope, chin-ups.

 

Dumbbell OHP

15x5x2

These should have been 20s but someone else was using them to do curls.

 

Barbell OHP

45x3

50x3

55x11 (PR)

For the first two sets I used a false-grip, which ended up feeling much more natural than I anticipated. Should have stuck with it for the 55 as "thumbs over" felt less stable than the previous sets. Overall, though, these went better than I expected since I wasn't feeling it at all.

 

Chin-ups

10x5

First two were assisted with different weights/grips; last three were all rack chins.

 

Dips

10x5

Various assisted weights in between sets of chins and face pulls.

 

Face pulls

70x10

70x15x2

70x10

I was going to do rows but the dumbbells I wanted were in use. These will do.

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OHP is the Triumvirate with the added face pulls - supposed to be just three lifts but threw them in because chins were feeling weak. The dumbbell stuff is because the bar's 45 and my lower sets are 35/40.

 

Still no word on fixing my computer but I'll be using my old lady's when she's not pounding out grad school work until I can get everything sorted out.

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03.26.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week Three, Day One

Loadable Assistance Template

 

Fads come and go, but the barbell remains the same. Respect it accordingly. - Jim Wendler

 

NUTRITION

50/135/240

Rough estimation. I had Chipotle for my post-work out meal.

 

VIGNETTE

Working nights has been killing my attempts to eat more. I eat as much and as close to my 5:00 p.m. clock-in time as possible and then, for the next 6.5 to 7 hours, I'm on my feet and moving around (and carrying things) without any food until I clock out. Couple this with the fact that I've gone back to training after work because the gym is less crowded and I go about 8.5-9 hours without a substantial meal. Since hunger has been through the roof, eating right after training isn't the issue and neither is eating again within the hour following. It's trying to eat after that or large amounts of food at once that I've found problematic - I'm either too full or exhausted to do much of anything other than eating a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Of course, these are all excuses - I shouldn't be complaining about needing to eat more food when there are people who are doing bodybuilding contest prep and only getting 1,200 calories a day and there's no way my maintenance is only 2,000 these days. It's simply a matter of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated throughout the day, eating twice before work, once in between my shift and the gym, and then twice again when I get home. It's not brain surgery - it just requires more effort on my part and I need to man the fuck up about it.

 

SESSION

Warm-up: Cycle, hip flexors, hip circles, stretching, foam rolling, light leg extensions.

 

Barbell squat

80x5; 100x5

120x5; 140x3; 155x10 (PR)

Seriously considering resetting my max to lower on the next cycle and working my way back up to this kind of weight. Depth was dodgy even at 140 and my hips have no been happy with how wide my stance is recently.

 

Stiff-legged deadlifts

70x10; 80x10; 90x10

These felt way too light but that's the point, I suppose.

 

Back raises

40x10x3

Using the bar for good mornings is not going to be an issue - these felt great.

 

Leg curls

70x10x3

 

Hanging leg raises

10x5

Wanted to get a little bit of abdominal work in but nothing major.

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Definitely going to drop weight on my squats a bit and I'm almost 100% sure I'm going to run BBB for my first 2-3 cycles before moving on to the loadable assistance (unless this week really wins me over). I've never lifted in a caloric surplus before and BBB seems like I'll get the most bang for my buck in terms of growth and strength gains. I mean, for all intents and purposes, while it wouldn't be "starting from scratch," running 5/3/1 with the BBB template and eating to grow is a reboot from the last six months were all I've really done is spin my wheels with too low of calories and a billion different exercises. I need to keep it simple and keep things in perspective.

 

I always check your log first, mate, even before I update mine. I'm always pretty stoked to see when you've put up a lengthier blog or an article/quotes - there's always some useful and entertaining information in there, most definitely.

 

A shout-out from Wendler? Damn. What'd he say?

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He's into his extreme metal like me & I showed him this video http://youtu.be/WrVet2SVw-M He just said thats awesome ect the bands don't live all that far from me.

 

I ve really enjoyed the loadable assistance, it's again something I'd champion. I love programming shit now, I ve started programming warm up sets to . I had been doing them off the top of my head & tbh were pretty spot on but It's still good to know what to warm up with. I am though pretty excited to get going on the bbb challenge.

Someone asked me about the program & after I had told them the guy said "ye but some days you don't wanna lift like that" I just said "dude if I haven't got at a maximum 5 solid reps in 3 sets why bother at all" haha

 

I think bbb would be a good way to go, Like you say with squats you can get a fuck load of work in with minimal fuss & if right now your shifts don't suit you?

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03.26.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week Two, Day Five

Programmable Assistance Template

 

NUTRITION

54/179/223

 

SESSION

Warm-up: Jumping role, shoulder dislocations, dips.

 

Barbell bench press

45x5

55x5

60x5

65x3

70x9

No, your eyes do not deceive you. I loaded the wrong plates for my last set - it was supposed to be 75. I didn't realize this until the fifth rep at which point I became pretty pissed off. I put the 75 up once but still find this to be an epic fail on my part.

 

Barbell incline bench press

45x10

55x10

65x10

I much prefer close-grip to these, namely because it's harder for me to keep my form on lock for some reason.

 

Kroc rows

35x15x2

I wanted higher reps but I'll get them next time. These feel stronger every time I do them.

 

Tricep pushdowns with v-bar attachment

60x10

70x10

80x10

 

Close-grip EZ-bar curls

30x12x3

 

Walking

20 minutes, 1.21 miles, 7% incline

 

03.28.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week Three, Day Four

Programmable Assistance Template

 

NUTRITION

53/123/223

 

SESSION

Warm-up: Walking, light leg curls, hip flexors/circles

 

Barbell deadlift

115x5

135x5

145x5

165x3

185x11 (PfuckingR)

Heavy rows and face pulls are doing wonders for my lock-out; grip is improving from the farmer's walks and rows as well.

 

Front barbell squat

65x10

70x10

75x10

ATG and it felt awesome.

 

Seated leg curl

60x10x3

 

Barbell good mornings

45x10x3

These felt really solid and form was great. I expect them to progress slowly and I'm totally okay with that.

 

Back raises

10x3

 

Farmers walks

100 feet with 45lbs in each hand x 4

 

Hill walking

20 minutes, 20lbs in each hand for 10 minutes, 4.5% incline

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That's a pretty sweet dead pr!! Glad to see you're already making gains! I

Followed Wendlers advice, required reps on the 3x5 weeks then push on the 3x3-5/3/1 weeks. Well

Done!!! 

 

Thanks, mate! Things are going the way they should be now that I'm back on a strength program - can't believe there was a time when my deads and squats were the same numbers. This first deload week will be interesting but hopefully running BBB while make it seem less, well, boring.

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03.29.12

5/3/1: Cycle One, Week Three, Day Five

Programmable Assistance Template

 

NUTRITION

45/163/230

 

VIGNETTE

This whole "not having a laptop of my own" business might be the best and worst thing that's happened for my productivity. On the one hand, I'm behind in doing proper logs, updating my blog, as well as reading my favorite sites, logs, and blogs. On the other hand, I've managed to plow through a few books and graphic novels, outline some articles of my own, and have kept my apartment much cleaner than usual. I suppose I'll take the bad with the good. Kind of like the following OHP session that was full of the wrong lifts/weights because I, inadvertently, left my notebook at home and tried to go by memory, which, after working a full-shift, is rather faulty but also produced a pretty solid PR.

I suppose I should also note that my Adidas Powerlift Trainers arrived earlier in the day so I had to try them out, hence the little bit of squatting included after my main lift. Call me a pessimist but I wasn't expecting to feel much of a difference just because of a pair of shoes. However, to say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an extreme understatement - ankles felt more secure, my knees tracked much more easily, and depth was insane. Can't wait for week three of cycle two already.

 

SESSION

Warm-up: 10 minutes cycling, lots of shoulder dislocations, stretching, and some sets of cable shrugs and wide-grip lateral pulldowns because the rack was being used.

 

Barbell shoulder press

45x8x2

45x5x2

50x5

55x3

60x9

Neither the 15s or 20s were open so I gave myself a few extra warm-up sets/reps with the bar. Thought it was going to thrash my last set but I guess the switch to a false-grip gave me the mental/form boost I needed to go full-on beast.

 

Barbell squat

95x5

115x5

135x5

I wanted so badly to go heavier but I practiced restraint. The time will come.

 

Close-grip barbell bench

45x10

55x10

65x10

I'd much rather do these than incline. And so would my shoulders.

 

]Face pulls

80x15

80x10

70x10

 

Tricep pushdowns with v-bar attachment

60x10

70x10

80x10

Super-setted these with the hammer curls. Should have done dips but the assistance machine was in use and my upper-body is so beta.

 

Hammer curls

15x10

10x10x2

 

Rack chins

5x10

These were done between sets of OHP and CGBP.

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