T Nation

2019: A Better IronOne


That looks quite enjoyable. We’re expecting 4-6 inches of snow tonight and the high tomorrow will feel like 2 Deg F.


@Rizla81 Thank you! Taking it up a knotch this year, safely!

@JMaier31 Man, I hear ya. We’ve been under water for the last month. It has rained 14 out of the last 18 days. Just miserable. Sun is out and about 62 today. The sun is a real mood changer. I was in my happy place out there.

On a side note, I have 1 kid throwing up and 1 kid popping a fever. If I get through this without getting sick it’ll be a miracle. Hopefully they can recover quickly without Dr visits. HATE THIS TIME OF YEAR.


189.7 this morning. Def over worked and under ate yesterday, which I love to do occassionally. It’s almost like throwing in a fast or a cheat (other end of the spectrum). A shock, which will often create a ‘swoosh’. My buddy @Serge_A_Storms talks about this phenomenon, which in my experience is most certainly a real thing.

I know I’m starting to hit my ‘100% diet commitment zone’ when I bring home dinner for the family, which last night for me was a basil/pesto/feta/roasted pepper blend and spinich Mediterranean blackened Chicken sandwich. It is phenomenal. It’s a semi-cheat typically. Well, I only ate half the bun and scraped off half the feta/pesto, replaced with slow cooked lima beans at home and got a small mixed greens salad as the side.

Here’s the nutrition info:

Today is legs.

Squats 2x20
Seated Band Leg Curls 5x15


Hollow Hold 5x

I’m going to start squatting shoeless again to make sure my feet are active. They like to get all useless and let me put to much weight on my heels and get me hip breaking which screws the whole squat up.


You look solid Iron and that back how do you guys do?
I might focus on physique after my program.
Do you think one could chase the big deadlift and focus on physique for the rest.
Something like a heavy DL once a week and a speed DL once a week, the rest bodybuilding style?


Sure. Just work in higher rep ranges. Perhaps slow down your typical progression to allow for more bodybuilding work.

Think ‘powerbuilding’. It’s pretty much what I do, and am working on getting back to as my heart allows.

The most important thing in my opinion to gaining muscle outside of diet is rep quality. Grinding reps and making it a total body movement will lend subpar results. Slow your eccentrics and explode your concentrics. Huge game changer.


You could always do one of those ‘bodybuild the upper, athlete train the lower’ programs that they post on the main site periodically.

Do you think just a little bodybuilding work at the end of a strength session would be enough to make an appreciable difference? I’m more focusing on hitting set and rep goals than slow eccentrics and mind-muscle connection, but since I am going at least somewhat for aesthetics right now, maybe a little change of pace would do me some good?


Physique gains are all about time under tension and nutrition. You could easily pursue strength on the big three or four and then do bodybuilding work the rest of workout.

The research shows training to failure results in hypertrophy (under the right nutritional circumstances). The study compared 8 reps vs 30 reps. Both groups grew equally but the 8 rep group was stronger. For your program I’d suggest picking your priority muscle groups (probably shoulders, chest and arms) and smoking them at the end of the session.

You could simply lift til failure, do a drop set to failure, or try any of the following:

  • 1.5 reps - example: on incline bench I go down, half way up, down, all the way up, that’s 1 rep. On other lifts I do the half rep on the top half of the movement.

  • 21’s - do a mechanical drop set with this. 10 full reps/10 top or bottom half reps (whichever is harder) / 10 top or bottom half reps. Example: cable press down 10 full/10 bottom half or lockout/10 top half.

  • myo reps - Go to failure on regular reps (shoot for 12-15 reps), rest 15 sec and do 3 more reps, repeat for 6 round of 3 reps or until you fail. If you do all 6 rounds of 3 reps then the weight was too light or you didn’t go hard enough on the first all out set.

  • mTor reps or slow eccentrics - do a 5 sec eccentric on all reps and go to failure (this sucks)

I think those are all of the techniques I use for my hypertrophy stuff. Feel the burn and embrace the pump.


@JMaier31 pretty much nailed it. Dont over think it, but get the basics right. Weight down, strain/stress up.


3/3/2019 - 189.7 lbs - Legs

Roll glutes, quads, upper back, Downward dog for about a minute really hunting for the spots, bridge, side plank with abd, single arm/leg plank, few hip circle squats

Back Squat
95x20 - started to get a little dizzy around rep 18
95x15+5 - had to rack at 15. Dizzy. Rested a few mins and knocked out 5 more real quick. All really easy reps, just cant knock the dizzyness that builds yet.
Seated Band Leg Curl
5x25, 1x50 fast contractions. Super pump.


Hollow Hold
x5, only 15s rest between bouts

Incline Treadmill Walk
30 mins

Tried squatting barefoot. I just dont have the ankle/calf mobility, and I’m so sick of spending time trying to get it. Put the adipowers on and it was a world of difference. My squat moving forward is a narrow stance oly style squat to parallel. It’s just easier on my hips, and body in general. I feel like I can just drop down. Every single rep was easy, obviously it 95lbs, but my heart/body thinks its 500 lbs and wants to pass out haha. Just not there yet. It’s ok though, I did not go past the threshold. Just up to it. Heart never lost rhythm, and never felt like I was in the danger zone. The hope is I’ll keep upping the threshold until I’m mostly unlimited.


Nice, it looks like you’ve got how to pace yourself dialed in, pushing but not too hard. .I had an angiogram done about 10 years ago when I was having some chronic chest pains, they went in through my femoral, just injected dye and took pictures, didn’t have to do any ballooning or ablation, so I was lucky. It’s good that yours is something they could address and correct, though, for sure. I’m seeing you being close to 100% by the end of the challenge at this rate.


I thought you planned on only doing 2 sets, you naughty boy :slight_smile:

Good job Iron, keep up the good work.
For ankle mobility try sitting in the third world squat for 5 minutes.


Yep. Could have done without that last set :slight_smile:

3/4/2019 - 190.6 lbs - Misc/Off

40 minute walk

Ab Wheel
Band Shoulder Prehab Series
3x through

Side Plank w/Abd + Side Plank Hold
Band Int/Ext Shoulder
2x through

Got to pay more attn to the core now that I’m gettin lean, right?


Thats great man


This is so true!


3/5/2019 - 190.8 - Chest/Back

Quick 3, band shoulder series, arm rotations

Low Incline DB Press
10x20, 30x20, 50x20, 60x10, 10, 9
Paused Ring Pushups (feet down)
-alt with-
KB Single Arm Row
44x10, 62x10, 80x10+44x10

Band Pressdown
1x50, 3x15

Awesome pump. Close to failure a lot, in a good way. A stress/muscle kind of way. The pump going directly to paused ring pushups after the db presses was legit.


Pump work looks like fun. I need to get into the gym some time when I have extra time, get a good upper body pump going, and then take some pictures.


I supersetted DB Bench with regular push ups last week and it sucked. I could only do 6 push ups on round three. I think I used 60s for the first two sets and had to do to 50s to finish - and still did less reps.


3/7/2019 - Legs - 189.8lbs


BWx10, 18x10, 26x10, 44x10, 62x10, 44x5+5+5+5
10x10, 30x10, 40x10, 50x10, 60x3x10
Single Arm/Leg Plank
-alt with-
Side Plank w/ Hip Abd + Hold

Been out of town on business, was pretty tired but got it done. Was breathing hard throughout, so I think this one counted as cardio too. I’ll take it. On a fresh day the 80lb KB is going overhead.


3/8/2019 - Shoulders/Arms - 190 lbs

Quick 3, shoulder rotations, band shoulder

Axle OHP
25x6, 55x6, 75x6, 95x6, 105x6, 115x6, 125x5, 105x11, 75x20
-alt with-
Band Single Arm Row
3x10, 1x20 (both arms, low row)

Tempo Skullcrusher
35x30, 45x30, 55x30
Axle Curl
35x30, 40x30, 45x20+10

Band Lateral
25, 25, 25

30 min incline treadmill walk

Long week, tired. Shoulders we’re a little beat up from yesterdays OH work. Should have planned that out a little better. All in all, good. Toughest set by far of the workout was that final set of axle curls. Ouchy.


3/9/2019 - Misc/Cardio - 189.5lbs new low

Roll/stretch glutes, quick 3

Band Shoulder Series 2x
5s Ecc Ab Wheel 3x10
IR/ER Band 3x10 each
Band Wall Slides 3x10

40 Min incline treadmill walk

Pizza night. Not going to limit myself.