October 29, 2011

October 25, 2011 Glycogen Depletion Day 2

  • Squats / Front Squats S.S.: 135*12/135*12 135*12/135*12 115*12/115*12 115*12/115*12 115*12/115*12
  • DB Incline / DB Rows S.S.: 55*15/55*15  55*13/55*15 55*12/55*13 55*12/55*12 55*12/55*12
  • AB Wheel: 13, 13, 13

Oof.  Figured this would be easy since the squat weight was so light. Yeah not so much.  I'm not sure how much glycogen I have left after this stored in my muscles but it can't be much.  Diet is still my 'conditioning day' day with less than 50 carbs per.  Still drinking a shit ton of water. 

October 25, 2011

October 24, 2011 Glycogen Depletion Day 1

  • BB Flat / Pullup S.S.: 185*12/BW*10 195*12/BW*10 200*9/BW*10 185*10/BW*8 185*10/BW*7
  • Leg Curl / Leg Ext. S.S.: 90*12/60*12 90*12/60*12 90*12/70*12 90*10/70*12 80*12/80*12
  • Standing DB Press / DB Curls S.S.: 35*12/25*12 35*12/25*12 40*12/25*12 40*12/25*10

So for Halloween I'm going as a Gladiator/Spartan/Whatever.  I'm following Thibs Shredded in Six Days protocol that he lays out in this article.  I'm at trace carbs, The workouts for today and the next 2 days will be focused on glycogen depletion; as such these supersets are done with 30 seconds between supersets.  Was pretty tired after this one, but it wasn't too bad. We'll see how it goes tomorrow

October 22, 2011

October 21, 2011 Lower

  • BB DL: 315*4 315*5 315*5 315*5 365*5
  • Rope Pullups: 9, 7
  • Front Squat / PUPP G.S.: 185*5/:30/185*5/:30/185*5/:30
  • Shoulder-Touch Planks: 10, 10
  • Decline Situps...just for the hell of it: 25, 15

Recently I watched this video, and it made me want to take a look at my deadlift form:
  So for today's session I decided that since I had to do a deload week anyway I would focus on my setup and keeping the bar close to my shins on the way up. Felt good man.   Also when I searched for that video I used blogger's youtube search function and pasted in the DL video's url.  This also came up for some reason:

So for the rest of this session I put in some rope pullups, kind of got away from them recently.  Next I decided to throw in a Front Squat & PUPP giant set.  I got the idea from here it's an article from Dan John that lists some challenges to try.  Here's an excerpt:

Simply take a squat movement and use a weight that you can get for ten reps. For this workout, however, we'll halve those reps, so we'll do sets of five. Instead of resting, you will PUPP.

Here's an example:
Front Squat
Front Squat
Front Squat

Be careful on the last set as the heaving of the chest makes handling the barbell a bit suspect. I strongly encourage you to rest for a little bit after this workout.Yes, you can PUPP longer than 30 seconds. Yes, five reps with a weight you can front squat for ten is very light. And guess what? Neither will matter when you attempt to leap off the ground and front squat that last set. How about this? Try it first, then decide if you want to ask me about longer PUPPs and more weight on the bar.

I definitely thought this would be easy.  I figured maybe for someone untrained it would be hard.  I actually thought I had misread it at first and that there were supposed to be 4 sets of each.   Yeah it didn't matter.  After that last set of P.U.P.P.s I collapsed and lay face-down on the floor of the squat rack for at least two minutes.  The hardest part was actually not vomiting from the burning in my shoulders.  The front squats really put a stretch on my delts, and then the PUPPs don't let up on them either.   Overall it was a great session, and I finished with some decline situps since I haven't done any type of situp in about 3 years.  I'm still not impressed with them, and will continue doing my usual core routines

October 20, 2011 Upper Body

  • BB Incline: 225*8 225*7 225*8
  • Pullups: 14, 10, 6
  • Standing Press: 145*5 145*4
  • Dips: 9, 9

Did this one with minimal rest between sets, wanted to see how it worked.   I'm going to begin another mini cut pre-Halloween. I'm going as a Roman gladiator, I want to look extra cut for this.  Going to manipulate my water intake starting probably this coming Sunday, and follow Shelby Starnes' protocol for pre-show sodium/water/nutrient intake

October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011 Lower

  • BB Squats: 315*2 335*1 345*1 315*2
  • Front Squats: 225*3 245*2 265*1
  • Power Cleans; 95*5 115*5 135*5 145*2

keeping my core tight while squatting definitely makes a huge difference.  Going to keep plugging away at it.  Front squats went well.  Adding in power cleans here too instead of snatches.  I'll put snatches on another day, maybe after deadlifting, which sounds like a brutal day, but if I just do those 2 exercises I should be able to manage.  Good session here

October 17, 2011 Upper

  • Bench Press: 280*3+2 285*2+1 270*2+1 265*2 225*8
  • Pullups: 75*2 75*1 65*3/BW*6
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*2 215*1
  • 24kg kb swings: 35

Bench is going well, got some good forced reps with a great spotter.  Pullups going well too.  Push pressing added some more weight on, and then finished with some metabolic stuff (swings). 

October 16, 2011 Conditioning

  • Weight-drop->medium over box jump -> Broad Jump: 12.5*5 12.5*6 12.5*6 12.5*6
  • Battling Ropes: 50, 40, 40
  • Paloffs: 50*3 60*2

 Wow....well that was a fun series....basically hold a db in each hand (that's what the weight listed is), dip down, dip down again and drop them and on the way up from that dip jump over the box, as you come up out of the crouch from landing you explode up and broad jump.  Very tiring.   Finished with some ropes & paloffs. 

October 16, 2011

October 14, 2011 Lower

  • BB DL: 405*2 415*1 425*1 315*5
  • Glute-Hams (on lat pulldown): 3
  • Pistols: 4, 4
  • Chinups: 12, 6
I'm still not back at 100% on deadlifting, I feel like my lower back/glutes/hams are still exhausted.   I guess that makes sense considering last Friday was supposed to be a 'light' day and instead I broke my leg press record by 250 lbs. or whatever and my glute bridge record by 100 lbs.  Whoops.  This coming Friday I'm going to keep the weight low on deadlifts, like in the 315 range, and see how I feel.  Glute-Hams on the lat pulldown worked, but they hurt my knees...Did more pistols. I enjoy them even if they're hard; I feel like it'll work out any imbalances I have.  Finished the posterior chain off with some chinups.   

On a separate note I've been thinking of reorganizing my training; I do the deadlifting at the end of the week since I have a day off right after, but that doesn't really make sense.  It's the hardest lift I do, and it comes after squatting on Tuesdays and sprinting or some other heavy conditioning on Wednesdays.  I'm still sore sometimes when deadlifting, which is probably not good.  I should probably be deadlifting on Mondays.  Just like you prioritize within a workout, doing the largest lifts first, you want to do that during your training week as well.   I take Saturdays off, and Sundays I do conditioning work, but it's usually more anaerobic work (ball slams, kb swings, etc.) and box jumping (which I could do all day and not end up with a seriously fatigued CNS).  So Mondays should probably be deadlifting day, Tuesdays incline benching etc, Wednesday conditioning, Thursdays Squatting, and Friday bench pressing.  That is if I keep the same routine when bulking as I have now.  I'm not entirely sure I will though.  More on that later though; I'm thinking of doing something like a push-pull-olympic or explosive split.

October 13, 2011

Bulking Guide, Part 2

So if you’re trying to bulk fairly cleanly the simplest strategy is to have two days: One in which you have macros set to account for a workout, and one to account for not working out or doing some conditioning work.   Look at the picture over here on the right; these are my macros while at maintenance (~197 lbs, ~10% bf).   I have four workouts per week where I do weight training, and then two conditioning days, with Saturday as my off day. These macro levels are for a cut, but pay attention to the way carbohydrates are spread out.  In a clean bulk, they’ll be spread out the same.  On training days 90+% of carbohydrates come at breakfast, pre-workout, and post-workout, with 70+% of them coming pre and post workout.  That means that a greater proportion of those carbohydrates are going towards ‘useful’ purposes of aiding in the maintenance or construction of lean body mass, or restoring glycogen.  Of course 100% won’t be used for this,  but with this strategy you can keep things relatively ‘clean’ and employ those carbohydrate calories for something useful as opposed to having them contribute mostly to adipose tissue that you need to dispose of later with a cut.

For a bulk we’re just going to increase the carbs around workout time, add a tad bit of healthy fats /carbs in to the morning and up the protein a bit.   Start by setting protein somewhere between 1.5g and 1.75g per pound of lean body mass.  Next, set your fat intake to between .5g and .75g per pound of lean body mass.  Finally, set the peri- and post-workout carbohydrates to around 1g per pound of lean body mass (These numbers come from Shelby Starnes , read his articles on T-Nation for a ton more info).   Here’s a picture of how it might shake out,below this paragraph. 

The percentage of carbohydrates that are consumed around breakfast, pre-workout, or post-workout is even greater now, at 95%.  The percentage just in the pre and post-workout time is up as well, to over 75%.  You’ll also notice that on conditioning days the fat and protein are up, as are the carbohydrates a bit.  Most of these extra carbs come in the morning.  The reason you want these extra calories/protein on your conditioning or off days is that you are still healing from previous workouts.  If you wanted to you could split it out even more; say a day you train legs take in the most carbohydrates, the day you train upper body or smaller muscles slightly less carbohydrates, and on off days or conditioning days even less than that.  It’s really up to you how you split things out.  It’s also important to realize that your body will change as you pack on mass, and you may need to adjust things.  If you’re gaining fat too fast adjust fat/carb intake, if you’re not gaining mass fast enough try adding some more in.  Just make sure whatever carbs you add in are focused around breakfast and more importantly peri- and post-workout times.   That’s really all there is to a clean bulk, from a nutrition standpoint.  It's not overly difficult  Best of luck, and here's a mediafire link to a PDF version of this guide. 

Alright, that wraps things up, I hope that this was simple and easy to follow; I’ll probably update this after I get some feedback.  If you want to send comments, critiques, death threats, etc. I can be reached at Accipitergym@gmail.com.  Happy Lifting! - Matt

Bulking Guide, Part 1.

There as many ways to bulk as there are to skin a cat: 4. Actually there’s a metric crap-ton of ways, but here’s the most well-known ways.

1. Eat everything. Pizza, hamburgers, take-out, etc. Do no conditioning work and no cardio. Nutrition stays the same on off days as it does on days you workouts. 6000, 7000,8000 calories even can be the norm here. You will gain lean mass. You will gain even more fat. Think GOMAD & fast food.

2. Eat like this:

This was actually the first step of a cut. I was over 5000 calories using whole milk instead of the 2%. I didn’t eat garbage foods, and I still did some conditioning work. You’ll still gain a ton of fat this way though.

3. Eat selectively; increasing macros based on if you’re working out on a given day or not, and even basing it on what part of your body you’re working on a day.

4. Eat slightly more than usual, say a 100 or 200 calorie surplus primarily from protein and some extra carbs, stay disciplined, do this year round. It'll take a while but over the years you'll slowly put on mass.

This guide focuses on #3 in the preceding list; the others are fine, but 1 & 2 are pretty simple. In fact you could probably modify amounts seen in the above screen shot to fit your own caloric needs and have a pretty simple guide for a semi-dirty bulk. #4 is also ok, but most people I’ve spoken to are interested in making gains quicker than that strategy would allow. #3 is what people call a tactical or strategic bulk, and that’s what the rest of this guide will be devoted to.

I’m not going to go into great depths here about insulin and the mechanics behind it, but it is something that will help you understand the rest of what follows here. Insulin is a storage hormone, and when it’s circulating in your blood your body will take glucose out of circulation and either dump it in fat cells, or as glycogen (fuel for your muscles to do work) in muscles or your liver. Basically when glucose levels in your blood rise above a certain point (100mg/dl) your pancreas releases insulin which then pulls that glucose out of the blood and deposits it in one of the aforementioned spots. The fortunate part is that if muscle & liver glycogen are depleted raised insulin levels will not result in glucose being converted to fat. This is because your body will top off your muscle & liver glycogen stores first. Conversely, when insulin levels are low tissue is more likely to be broken down, and fat is your body’s first source of fuel.

Fortunately, manipulating this is not rocket surgery; the centerpiece of a strategic bulk is your carbohydrate intake. When you ingest carbohydrates they ultimately get broken down and enter the bloodstream as glucose. So if you want to put on weight while keeping your fat accumulation to a minimum you need make sure that the carbohydrates you consume are being used for something, and not just stored as fat. In this case that really only means three things: stopping catabolism after sleeping, being used as fuel pre-workout, or being used to raise insulin levels post-workout and shuttling glucose to your muscles. Let’s cover these three now.

1) Breakfast: When you get up in the morning you’ve been fasting for several hours, at least eight if you’re doing it right. Your insulin levels at this point are the lowest they will be all day, and you are at the highest risk for catabolism. Your liver has also spent the night pulling glycogen out of its stores to make sure that your blood sugar stays stable and doesn’t murder you while you sleep. What this means is that carbohydrates you ingest with breakfast are going to help get your insulin up which stops the catabolic cycle that occurs when you sleep, and those carbohydrates are most likely going to restore glycogen in your liver and not be stored as fat.

2) Pre-Workout: The 2nd time in which you can safely consume carbohydrates is prior to working out. Your body is going to need fuel for the battering you’re about to put your muscles through. In this case consuming some complex carbohydrates and finishing them up about an hour – 45 minutes before hitting the gym is going to result in your body using the byproducts of those carbs mostly as fuel for the workout as opposed to storing them as fat.

3) The final area in which carbohydrates can safely be consumed is post workout. So you’ve gone ahead and put in your reps at the gym and now your glycogen stores are low, in both your liver and muscles. You also want to get protein and nutrients to the muscle tissue you just decimated in your workout. Fortunately carbohydrates help here too. Simple carbohydrates result in a quicker spike in insulin levels as they are broken down into glucose quicker. As mentioned previously insulin is the storage hormone of your body. This quick spike means that your body (your muscles) is rapidly ready to consume the protein and carbs that you take in from your post workout meal or shake. In other words those carbs aren’t going to fat either. They’re going to restore the glycogen that your muscles burned during the workout, and they’re going to result in a spike in insulin that shuttles the protein you consume into repairing and strengthening the muscles you just worked.
      Some people ingest simple carbohydrates while working out; this is the 4th safe time to consume carbohydrates. I’m not including it here because it shouldn’t change much if you’re cutting or bulking. Unless you want to be a complete slob. The principle here is that you’re using simple carbs mid workout because they break down rapidly and are rapidly available as ‘fuel’ for your body.

October 13, 2011 Upper

  • Incline Bench: 225*7 225*6 215*6
  • Neutral Grip Pullups: 14, 9
  • Dips: BW*15 BW*13 BW*8
  • Standing Press: 145*5 145*4
  • Face Pulls: 60*12 60*13

FINALLY got dips to work without hurting my clavicles.  I was going too low before I believe and putting too much stress on them. This was MUCH better.  My shoulders were jelly after doing them and the inclines so my standing press numbers took a dip here.  Felt great doing the dips though. Totally worth it. 

October 12, 2011 Conditioning

  • Over Box Series Jumps / PUPP S.S.: 8kg*10/1:00 12.5 lbs*10 / 1:00 12.5*10/1:00 12.5*10/1:00
  • Plyo Bench Pushups: 4, 3, 3
  • Knee Stretch: 1:00 1:00
  • TKEs: 50

I tried holding a weight while doing these over box jumps, worked out well.   Did some bench pushups since I don't do enough plyo stuff for my upper body.  Below you can see the knee stretch I did, it's from this T-Nation article.  I did the one on the far left, with no reach.   Finished with TKEs.  I need to start taking stretching/mobility work seriously so I'm going to be tracking what I do from here on out. 

October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011 Lower

  • Squats: 300*3 315*2 335*1 350*X
  • Snatches: 95*4 135*3 145*2
  • Good Mornings: 185*3 135*8
  • Pistols: 6
  • P.U.P.P.: 2:31 NEW PR!!
  • Ab-Wheel: 12

I should be able to squat 350 but on this attempt I unracked it ultra-shitty.  You generally want to have a belly full of air, I was exhaling as I descended. Stupid.   Snatches went well, I'm focusing on breaking the weight off the floor rapidly, may do some speed deadlifting after regular deadlifting this week.   Good mornings for lower back.  Somehow got 6 on pistols.  They look VERY weird when I do them using my right leg though, kind of like things aren't straight, my upper leg goes in and crookedly, I need to post a video.  Beasted out the PUPP, not sure I ever want to do that again.

October 10, 2011 Upper

  • BB Flat Bench: 280*3 285*2 275*2 225*10
  • Pullups: 75*2 65*3 65/BW G.S.: 2/7
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*3 210*1
  • Meadows Rows: 135*3 160*1
  • Rope Slams: 30, 30

 Getting back to normal on heavy benching after the summer of higher rep stuff.  That was fun, but I like lifting heavier best.  Did a giant set on the pullups for the heck of it, feelsgoodman.jpg, everything else went well, push pressing is going good, honing form still, I want to get it to where 99% of the time my form is perfect, still feel like I'm not quite there yet.  Finished with some rope slams for a metabolic component.  I want to be particularly shredded on Halloween

October 9, 2011 Conditioning

  • 7kg MB Slams: 50, 50, 50
  • 34" Plyo Box Jumps: 4kg*10 8kg*10
  • 34" Seated Plyo Box Jumps: 10kg*10 12kg*10
  • Paloffs: 50*3 60*2

So since I can't quite get onto the medium & tall box stacked on each other (about 39") without worrying about catching my shins on the steel frame, I decided to hold a weight in front of me while jumping on the regular height box.  This way I'll get used to jumping with the extra weight, should make getting on the taller stack easier.  Honestly though I wish they had soft boxes to jump on instead of these steel ones, seems like a leg-break hazard.  Apparently the club in Medford has soft boxes.  Also liked how holding a kettlebell while doing the jumps took the arm swing out of the movement and made me focus more on legs. 

October 7, 2011

October 7, 2011 Lower Body BEAST MODE

  • Leg Press: 540*4 630*3 720*2 NEW PR!! 810*1 NEW PR!! 855*1 NEW PR!!
  • Glute-Bridges: 405*3 455*3 NEW PR!!  505*2 NEW PR!!
  • Elevated-Foot Rope Pullups: 14, 13, 10

WHARGARBL.  OK, so I was starving for this workout, I thought I was going to pass out about 5 minutes in.  I thought my old record on leg pressing was like 780.  Apparently it was 700.  I beat that 3 straight sets, and my final set was 155 lbs. over my previous record.  I was actually out of room on the sled for weight, I had to balance a 45 behind the foot plate.  Also thought on glute bridges that 455 was my old record, turns out it was 405. I beat that by 100 lbs. for a double. So yeah...good session

October 6, 2011 Upper

  • BB Incline: 225*8+1 225*6+1
  • Pullups: 14, 10
  • Standing Press: 140*8 160*4
  • Shoulder-Touch Planks: 12

Was super pressed for time here, still got in a good session though.  I'm not sure what my record is for dead hang pullups but I feel like I could hit it soon whatever it is.  Did some forced rep on the incline too. Good stuff.  

October 5, 2011 Sprints

  • 100m Sprints: 8
  • 50m Sprints: 4

 It was nice and cool out, strong breeze as well kept me nice and cool while running.  Finished in about 25 minutes. 

October 4, 2011 Lower

  • Snatches: 95*1,1,1,1,1 135*1,1,1 155*1,X,X,1 165*x 135*1,1,1,1,1 135*1,1,1 95*1,1,1,1
  • Front Squats: 225*2 245*1 255*1
  • Overhead Squats: 135*2 135*5
  • P.U.P.P.: 1:15

Since I'm not doing back squats I decided to try getting form down on snatches.  My #1 biggest thing I need to work on right now is my speed off the ground.  I'm so slow it looks like I'm deadlifting even with 135.  Every few reps I pull it off the ground fast and snap it up and over in one movement, but 80% of these reps were slow and looked like 3 separate movements done rapidly together instead of one fluid thing.   One of the trainers was talking about overhead squats and I realized I hadn't done them in a while so I tossed them in there as well.

October 3, 2011 Upper

  • BB Flat: 275*3 280*2
  • BB Flat G.S: 275*3/185*15/135*12
  • Pullups: 70*3
  • Pullup G.S: 70*2/ BW*7
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*2
  • Kettlebell circuit (10 swings/ 10 rows/ 10 squats 15kg): 3
  • Ab Wheel: 12
Alright here's the deal, my core and especially my lower back is absolutely demolished with soreness.  Didn't do the conditioning workout yesterday, and I'm not back squatting or deadlifting this week, I'll do a substitute for them.  As for this session I had a great spotter, so I did giant sets at the end of the benching workout.  I also tried it with pullups, felt good man.  Did a little alternative with my conditioning work since a staff member was doing a free kettlebell demo with some people I hopped in.  Good times.

October 1, 2011

September 30, 2011 Lower

  • Deadlifting: 405*1 420*1
  • Trap-Bar Deadlifts: 405*5 405*3 405*3
  • Double Mini-Banded Hypers: 15, 15
  • Face Pulls: 60*10 70*10
  • Weighted P.U.P.P.: 8kg*1:00 8kg*1:00 8kg*1:00

ugh. Probably should've taken the week off from deadlifting after breaking my trap-bar record last week, but I had already rested two weeks ago after my birthday, didn't want to do it again.  Completely flat, back was tired, exhausted actually.  Legs were dead.  Put some weight on my back for the PUPPs

September 29, 2011 Upper

  • BB Decline: 275*5 290*4 300*3
  • 1.5 Pullups: 8, 6
  • Standing Press: 135*10 155*5 165*3
  • Dead Hangs: 135*10sec 135*10sec 135*10sec

Felt like switching it up a bit here, my previous record was 300*1 here.  I never really decline consistently, but I do like it as a movement.  Getting better with exploding at the bottom of the standing press.   Dead hangs are just hanging from the chinup bar with weight strapped to my waist.  The point here is to make it easier to explode from the bottom when I do weighted pullups, since I'd only be about 50-60% of the weight used in the hang.

September 28, 2011 Sprinting

  • 100m Sprints: 8

I just feel worn down this week, not sleeping great, I think I'm eating too close to bed.  I honestly thought I was going to black out after doing just 800m today.  Felt good for the first couple, but after that I was completely flat.   Not good times.  

September 27, 2011

  • Front Squats: 245*1 265*1 280*1 305*X
  • Squats From Pins: 225*3 275*1 295*X
  • Snatches: 135*3 145*3 155*1 155*1

Went for a front squat record again....nothin doin haha.  Tried some pin squatting afterward, and then snatches which is what I really wanted to focus on here, probably should've done them first.  I finally am getting the hang of squatting down low enough as I snap the weight over my head.  It's shocking how much easier it is to complete the movement when done that way.   

September 26, 2011 Upper

  • Bench Press: 270*4 275*3-hit post 265*4 260*4
  • Pullups: 70*3 70*2 70*2
  • Push Press: 185*3 205*2
  • Ab Wheel: 12

I had fun doing the higher rep benching, but it's time to get back to high weight stuff.  It'll probably take me a couple weeks to get used to the weight again, but I've got over a month until my next bulk starts, and I anticipate being back around 300 for a triple by then.   On the pullups I would've used less than the 70 lbs but I didn't feel like walking all the way across the gym with another dumbbell to attach to the belt.  I'm eagerly anticipating this next bulk as well if only for finally being able to up my push press & overhead press numbers.   

September 25, 2011 COnditioning

  • 34.5" Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • 34.5" Seated Plyo Box Jumps: 15
  • 34.5" Weighted Seated Plyo Box Jumps: 8kg*5 8kg*5
  • Shoulder-Touch Planks: 10

I am actually still alive.  I was just busy this week and I wasn't sleeping well for some reason, so I'm posting these all on October 1st.  Anyhoo, I tried holding a kettle bell while doing the weighted seated box jumps.  I just figure I can probably do 50 or 60 regular plyo box jumps, but at some point rather doing more I need to make the jumps I actually do more challenging.  Last week I had put 25 lbs. plates under the legs of the box to try and increase the height but it's really unstable.  I can't quite get the medium box on the tall box, I need another inch or so on my vertical before I can get there, so I'm going to try and do the weighted jumps for a while, see if that helps.