T Nation

80 Days of Training


I've been out of it for a while. I've taken some concussions that have impacted my ability to recover from neurologically demanding work, and am prone to joint issues of all types. This program should be doable.

stats: 6'6", 245lbs
supps: Indigo-3G, Plazma, MAG-10



Diet: http://www.T-Nation.com/diet-fat-loss/time-restricted-plus-diet

Exercises (as two 40 day cycles):
1) Assisted Pullup (2x5)
2) Assisted Dip (2x5),
3) Hanging Leg Raise (1x5),
4) Long-Cycle Clean and Jerk (20-50 reps)
5) Reverse Hyperextension (2x5)

1) Chest supported Row (2x5)
2) DB chest press variation (swiss ball, if that doesn't work, flat/incline bench or machine) (2x5)
3) landmine twists (1x5),
4) reverse hyperextension (2x5)
5) Belt squat (20-50 reps)/battle ropes (timed set to exhaustion)


This is my next 80 workouts, scheme for alternating back and forth is TBD.

I will use a RPE chart to determine loading parameters. I'm doing it right if every session is a RPE of 9 (1 in the tank), if it drops to 8, I didn't raise weightfast enough, if it goes to 10, I raised weight too fast and I should take a rest day or alternate the session type.

The strength exercises will be done time-under-tension style, so one set will have the muscle under tension for the full duration of the set, and I will track total time spent under tension (no racking the weight, waiting a few seconds, and trying another rep).

If the belt squat gets awkward to load in terms of adding more plates, I'll start adding bands from the belt to my feet, since I'm tall and my shins are long in comparison to plates, I can get good depth on these without standing on benches.

Peri-WO is Indigo-3G, one scoop Plazma pre, and two scoops MAG-10 post. If I should be using more, I would appreciate it someone would tell me that. I remember a Poliquin post calling out gymgoers for doing fewer calories of work than their sugary "recovery beverages", I don't move much weight, and I'm aiming for an effective dose.

I generally keep myself in nutritional ketosis, I try very hard to eat carbs only during the peri-workout period, and I've found that with Indigo-3G, this works well, as long as I have enough ketones in my blood. I ate a ton of carbs when I did HPMass and bulked a lot, lets see what keto + adequate carbs in the peri-WO period look like.

Workout 81 will be testing the deadlift to see if anything good happened.


Session A1 complete.

Long Cycle, 15 reps at 2x35, 80 seconds. RPE of 8-9
Pullups, 2x5 @ ‘14’ or 76lbs assistance, 15 second sets, RPE of 9
Dips 2x5 @ ‘10’ or 52lbs assistance, 20 second sets, RPE of 7-8
Hanging Leg raise: 5, ugly RPE of 9
Reverse Hyperextension 2x6 @ 70lbs. RPE of 8


Oh god this is embarassing.

I started with the long cycle, my shoulders ran out of gas first, I think I’ll do that second-to-last in the future. The pullups had a lot of assistance, and it took me a bit to figure out that weight on the assisted pullup machine…but they were the nicest looking five pullups I’ve ever done in my life. I still need to find the groove on the dips and I’m using too much assistance. Hanging leg raises were ugly, I was waving back and forth like a pendulum, and holding my shoulders in the socket with my lats was harder than it should have been. I was a little over-exuberant on the Reverse Hyper, I’ll raise weights and take the 5 reps much slower.

The absolute lack of sets in the 30-45 second range is pissing me off, I don’t have much in the way of pump, and I don’t feel like I actually “worked out”. Next time, LCCJ comes after pullups/dips/HLR, and will hopefully have enough time under load to get some kind of pump. I know I can do much better than 15 freaking reps with 35s!


Session A2

Pullups: 2x5@14, 15 second sets, RPE was a solid 9
Dips: 2x5@8, 15 second sets, RPE was a solid 9
Hanging leg raise: 5 RPE 9
LCCJ: 21 @ 2x35.
Reverse Hyper 1x6@100 1x5@170, 15 second sets


All pullups were very good, I might have had another rep in me, I definitely had another set in me, so I’ll try upping the assistance to 12 next session. Dips were better than last time, did second set with ‘wide grip’, didn’t like it, sticking to ‘narrow grip’. Hanging leg raise felt good, form was much less shaky, shoulders were sucked in, started trying to extend legs at the top. The reverse hypers were a little weird. The 1x6@100 I got a little over enthusiastic with, so I pushed the weight much higher for the second set. The set at 170 was a little weaker than it should have been (had trouble holding at the top), so I should use less weight, I’ll try 150 next time and see how that goes.

All sets were around 15 seconds, LCCJ was 1:43, I’ll start doing that last instead of Reverse Hyper last, as it doesn’t seem to put any stress on my low back at all, and gave me a good shoulder/posterior chain pump.

I see Dan John revisted the program he posted and provided his template: http://www.T-Nation.com/training/40-workout-strength-challenge I wonder if this had anything to do with folks on the forums (including myself) revisiting his original post on the topic.

I’m now comfortable posting some reasonable goals for “Workout A” of this program:

-I would like to be able to do five pullups or dips with good form against resistance, instead of with assistance.
-I would like to do five straight-leg hanging leg raises off the bar at my gym that hangs from chains
-I would like to be able to use 250lbs for the reverse hyper, for solid reps with five second holds at the top.
-I would like 50 reps in the LCCJ with something heavier than a pair of 35s.


Session A3
Pullups 2x5 @ 12, RPE 9
Dips 2x5 @ 6 RPE 9.5
Hanging Leg Raise 1x5 RPE 8
Reverse Hyper 2x5 @ 120 RPE 9.5
LCCJ: 24 @ 2x35


This session wasn’t so great. The pullups went well, I’ll stay at 12 for next time. The Dips at 6 were a little shaky, so I think I lowered assistance too fast, but I did complete them, so I’ll stay at 6 for the next session. The Hanging Leg Raises are getting easier, but my flexibility is still kind of awful, I may need to try lying leg raises with straight legs and try to build that flexibility up. The Reverse Hypers at 120 were “ok” I may have gone too heavy, my abs were not fully engaged on the last few reps, and my SI joint is paying for it, I think I’ll go back down to 100 and get solid reps next time. The 24 reps in the LCCJ were pretty brutal, I think I pressed a few of them out, I seriously thought about just abandoning the movement…but on the other hand, I’m halfway to 50, and I didn’t feel any knee or back issues from this.

So recap: next session, Pullups at 12, dips at 6, Reverse hyper at 100.


Session A4

Pullups @12 2x5 9
Dips @6 2x5 9.5
Reverse Hyper @110 2x5 8
Hanging Leg Raise 1x5 8
LCCJ @2x35, 2x10 10 (1:20 per set)


Pullups are good at 12, raising next time might be doable, not sure. Dips @6 are getting better, but form is still not perfect and they’re still taxing. Reverse Hyper stays at 110, the first seven reps were good, my abs crashed on the last three. Hanging Leg Raise is getting easier. I’m going to stop timing the strength work, these sets haven’t changed in duration.

LCCJ was two sets of 10 instead of one set of 20, I gassed out after 10, got angry, and did 10 more. This is no bueno, maybe I was off my game today, lets see how the next one goes.


Pretty cool seeing another person on here trying to tame the beast known as Long Cycle. Your goal of 50 reps is a really good goal to reach and is something I am shooting for myself (shooting for 50 reps with 2x55lb kettlebells). Before this week I had been doing 5 sets of 10 with my bells and super-setting pull-ups and feeling pretty good about myself. I started this week doing timed sets and jerks was first on my agenda Monday and had a hard time pacing myself. I got to 12 reps in about a minute and had 7 minutes to go and had to really focus and get my head back in the game.

My best advice is to make sure you are pacing yourself and not going all out too quick. This is something I also need to focus on BIG TIME! Long Cycle really should be a workout all on its own but I’m dumb enough to still try it after my 5/3/1 Overhead Press work for 8 minutes and see how it goes. Looks like you have a fun version of the 40 day program. Keep up the good work.


Thanks for the support! So I figured out why I had such a shitty session, I woke up the next day with a terrible cold, and today was my first day back in the gym. I kept to the diet listed in my OP, I think the regular use of MAG-10 is probably why my rebound session today went so well.

Session A5:

Pullups: 2x5 @10 RPE 9
Dips 2x5 @6,4 RPE 9
Hanging Leg Raise: 1x5
Reverse Hyper 2x5 @110 RPE 9
LCCJ 1x27 @2x35s Time: 3:40


Pullups got stronger than I thought they would, I’ll stay at 10 for the next one. Dips were much better at 6, so I went for 4 for the second set, those went well too, I’ll stay there for the next set, soon I’ll move to unassisted. Hanging Leg Raise is getting better, I’m holding for a few seconds at the top, and starting to extend my legs. Reverse Hypers went “well”. LCCJ is brutal, but it did improve. I’m not sure if it’s my cardio, my shoulder endurance, or just mental, but this workout is deceptively difficult. I rested a bit in the rack position, I think I’m going to start setting minimum time in addition to minimum reps (20) for my long sets, this should help keep me disciplined.

Edit: Around four or five hours later, I read this article and felt kind of motivated https://www.T-Nation.com/training/squat-the-fat-off so I did the iso-hold plus fifteen with the 32kg kettlebell. Feels good, won’t add it to my workouts, but leaving it in the log in case I you know, screw up the long cycle at my next session.


I3G out of stock and not back for 4-6 weeks?! This is a catastrophe.

Session A6:

Pullups: 2x5 @ 8
Dips: 2x5 @ 4
Hanging Leg Raise: 1x5
Reverse Hyper 2x5 @110
LCCJ: 21 @ 35s 2:40


Went overboard on the pullups, too much weight too soon, I got five reps in both sets, the first three were solid, the last two had some kicking and stupidity, I’ll stay at 8 for a while. Dips at 4 was good, will probably raise. Hanging Leg Raise is probably not the ab exercise I need to do, but I’m getting better at it, soon I’ll have straight legs, right now, I’m limited by my low back, I think if I pull any further than I am, I’ll hurt it.

21 reps in the LCCJ, probably the best form I’ve yet had for any of them, I focused on keeping my hips forward in the rack and holding that position properly, worked well.


Session A7:

Pullups 2x5 @8 RPE 10
Dips 2x5 @4 RPE 9.5
HLR 1x5
Reverse Hyper 2x5 @110
LCCJ: 22/3:40

This session was no good, my last few pullups are always a struggle and kind of messy, I think I need to check my ego and go back to 10. Dips went better than before, I might be able to raise weight next session. HLR is bad, I don’t think I have the hip mobility, starting next time, I’ll do the drills on my back to improve this instead of hanging. Reverse Hypers are getting better, I think I might be doing something wrong, as I sometimes feel them in my low back and not in a good way.

Form in the LCCJ is improving, rep count is not. At some point, I think I’m going to have to set a ten minute timer and force myself to do fifty in as many sets as it takes.


Session A8

Pullups 2x5 @ 8, 10 RPE 9.5
Dips 2x5 @4 RPE 8
Hanging Leg Raise, 1x5
Reverse Hyper 2x6 @110
LCCJ: 25 @ 35s 3:25

Notes: good session, dropped pullups to 10 in the second set and got four good reps and one lousy one in both sets. Dips are getting easy at 4, might be time to raise weight. Hanging Leg Raise is getting better, I didn’t do supine drills today, but I will next time. Reverse Hypers are getting much better. LCCJ is still a bear, but 25 with good form is an improvement. Forearms are totally smoked.


Session A9
Pullups 2x5 @8 RPE 9
Dips 2x5, no assistance RPE 9
Hanging Leg Raise (supine practice) 1x5
Reverse Hyper 2x5 @110 RPE 8
LCCJ: 30 (messed up timer)


I have the flexibility but not the strength to do the HLR properly. Staying at 8 for the pullups, I think I raised it too fast, but they’re getting to be pretty smooth. The dips without the assistance were “fine”, which is great. Form on the reverse hypers has improved a great deal, and I’m having trouble keeping to just five reps, so it may be time to either add weight, or start doing them for more reps, my core definitely needs work, as if anything is limiting me on these, it’s my abs. 30 reps in the LCCJ was hard to say the least, but the last two were probably the best two reps I’ve ever done. I’m getting much stronger in the “Jerk” phase. I’ve started doing a single set of “Russian leg curls” as well as a warm up for my hamstrings prior to the LCCJ, this seems to be a good idea, I’m making sure that I stop long before they feel like anything other than a warmup.

Body composition has visibly improved


Session A10:
Pullups 2x5 @8
Dips 2x5 (unweighted)
Reverse Hyper: 2x5 @140
LCCJ: 32 2x35s 3:50
Hanging Leg Raise 3x5 (1 hanging, 1 on my back, 1 on an incline)
Russian Leg Curl 1x5 (did this in between Reverse Hypers, felt like good ‘active recovery’, I don’t count this as a set)


Trying to figure out the best way to train the HLR, I think it’s going to be lying on my back on an incline, I was able to extend my legs, but not to pull them all the way to my hands, this means that I can progress. Lying supine is too easy, and hanging vertically is something I can do, but I’m nowhere near progressing through the movement. Reverse Hypers are awesome at five reps, I’m going to keep the weight right where’s it’s at. Dips are solid for five reps, probably not a good idea to add yet. Pullups @8 seem to be stagnating a bit, probably because I jumped upwards too early, I’m staying here until they feel “too easy”. LCCJ to 32 was a beast, but…progress.

Review of Progress: I’m ten sessions into this, and my Reverse Hyper weight and LCCJ reps have doubled, I’m able to do dips unassisted.

I think I’ve managed load on the Reverse Hyper and Dips the best, in both cases I raised weight when they felt “too easy”, in the case of the reverse hyper, I wasn’t able to stop myself from doing an additional rep and felt fresh, this told me it was time to move up. I have not managed the pullup load well, and I think I only just figured out how to progress on the Hanging Leg Raise, by doing it on a 45 degree incline.

Objectively, this is progress, though it’s hard to appreciate it, as I’m still so weak in comparison to where I want to go.


Session A11:
2x5 Pullups @8
2x5 Dips unweighted
1x5 Leg Raise (45 deg)
2x5 Reverse Hyper @140
LCCJ: 20 reps, 2:00

I was in a hurry today, I’ve been doing these exercises in a leisurely circuit style, today, I just went from one to the next. Everything went well, second set of pullups was a little shaky. LCCJ I made 20 reps, but I made them in two minutes, so this is still progress, I think I may have left something in the tank on the LCCJ, which is also a good thing.


Session A12:
2x5 Pullups @8
2x5 Dips unweighted
1x5 Leg Raise (45 deg)
2x5 Reverse Hyper @140
LCCJ: 24 reps, 3:30

I didn’t actually sleep between the last session and this one, oops. Pullups feel easy enough that I’m considering raising weight. I definitely have to try the dips with 10 lbs. Progression or lack of it on the other three exercises is bugging me. Also, ow shin splints wtf is this.


Session A13:
2x5 Pullups @6
2x5 Weighted Dips @10
2x5 Reverse Hyper @140
1x5 45deg Leg Raise
20 LCCJ in 2:00

Notes: Missed the last pullup rep. Mind-Muscle connection in the dips was off, but the reps were fine. Reverse Hyper is good, leg raise is still worthless. LCCJ was much harder than it should have been, form on the clean started to break a bit near the end.

Also, low back pain is a thing after most sessions, think it’s a mixture of the HLR and form breakdown on the clean and ‘catch’ portions of the LCCJ. Thought I was doing the reverse hypers wrong at first, still haven’t completely ruled that out. Seems to be resolved when I stretch out and “pop” my SI joint.

If anyone knows why I’m getting low back pain from this and has suggestions, I’m certainly open to them.

Time to take a few days off and switch to session B.


Pullups 2x5 @6
Dips 2x5 @25lbs
Hanging Leg Raise (45deg)
Reverse Hyper 140
Battle Ropes


Needed to adjust the height of the grab-bar on the reverse hyper to remove back pain, it wasn’t the LCCJ, I ruled that out by doing ropes today instead. Pullup progression seems to be continuing, I just needed to get some rest. Woo.


Sessions A15 and A16

Pullups 2x5
Dips 2x5 @25
Hanging Leg Raise (45deg)
Reverse Hyper 140

Notes: Good sessions, doing SI joint mobility work between sets of reverse hypers help. LCCJ to 25 is something I can now do reliably.


Session A17
Pullups: 2x5 @6
Dips 2x5 @25
Hanging Leg Raise 1x5 (45deg)
Reverse Hyper 50
LCCJ 30/3min

Notes: Dropped the reverse hyper to 50 and focused on my glutes, back pain didn’t happen. Looks like I was doing them wrong, new rule for this exercise, if I can’t hold the weight static with legs outstretched at the top of the lift, it’s too heavy. LCCJ is good, dips with the weight between the legs is good, pullups are getting better, but not ready to raise weight. This program is working properly, and we will see how it goes.


A18, done yesterday, same as previous with lccj at 30 reps in 340


A19: same as A18, 25/245 lccj. Pull ups are getting much easier