T Nation

Antiquity's New Year, New Program, New Start, 2021 T-ransformation Log

I’m not sad at all to see 2020 come and go. In addition to the obvious world-wide challenges, I had some personal trials and tribulations involving injury, long term stomach problems, work changes and stress, and the typical family life dramas.

Starting point: I’m starting in decent shape, but a bit less lean than I have traditionally been. I’m weighing in at 178.0 lbs, about 5-8 lbs above my norm for the last ~5 years. My strength levels and conditioning are pretty good. Throughout the pandemic, I have allowed more “splurges” than usual. A splurge for me is beer (IPAs), pizza, burritos, etc… rather than fast food or sweets.

Training and objectives: So I’m going to be running Tactical Barbell. I’ve heard lots of good things about it, bought the two books (Strength and Conditioning) and will be following it for at least 17 weeks (which covers the Base Building phase and 3 cycles of Strength work) and hopefully beyond. The program is both strength and conditioning, with an emphasize to be the kind of dude that can run a half marathon, crank out 20+ pull ups, and DL 2.5X bodyweight any given day. The strength training is a barebones, with just a handful of heavy, compound lifts down 3x a week. A bit like 531, but with less changes from workout to workout, and no supplemental/assistance. You get this as part of your conditioning.

I want to lean up, feel great, and stay (or get, depending on your perspective) strong. As I’m now closer to 50 than 40, I’m hoping this will reset my training and take my results to a new level.

Nutrition: My day-in day-out eating is pretty good. I’m a whole food type of eater and don’t often have packaged foods (bars, crackers, any snacks), processed, flavored foods (fat free stuff), and avoid artificial flavors and sweeteners. I’ve tried low carb, but I would say when I’m on point I have a pretty balanced carbs/fat/protein diet. Breakfast = eggs, fruit, maybe toast with cottage cheese. Lunch = meat, rice, fruit/veggies, or a sandwich. Dinner = meat, veggies, fruit/veggies. I do have a protein shake with plain kefir and frozen blueberries each training day. Been having a bit too many beers this year, and I do like the stronger, heavier ones like IPAs and other hoppy ales. A 350 cal pint (and who are we kidding, pints) is not a great addition to a diet, but this damn pandemic has made it easier to justify.

Here’s how I look this morning:


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12/22/2020

Week 1, Day 1 of Base Building from Tactical Barbell. These workouts are customizable, so what I’m doing is not the “set in stone” moves.

This a strength/endurance cluster workout. The reps adjust up over the next five weeks, but the cluster of exercises stays the same.

3 rounds of 20 reps for each, with ~30 sec between exercises, and about 2 minutes between rounds.

KB swings (28 KG bell)
Push ups
Pull ups
Goblet Squats (16 KG bell)
Ab wheel rollouts
Band Pull aparts (just thrown in as a bonus, not really in the spirit of the program)

Took about 25 minutes to get through this.

Notes:. Probably too ambitious to put pull ups in there. As the reps progress each week up to 50, no way I’ll be able to do that in a fatigued state even if I do rest-pause liberally. I was afraid the goblets were too light, but by the third round certainly not. I am doing them as full, ass-to-grass squats.

I kept the warm up from Pavel’s Simple and Sinister: 5 reps Prying goblet squats with 3 curls at the bottom, 5 bridges, and 5 KB halos. Done three time through.

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In for this.

Really chuffed to see folk doing TB.

SE cluster looks good. Would have probably went 24kg for the goblets but hey ho, you’ll tweak as it progresses.

Pull ups? If you can bang out 3x50 in 3 weeks from now then you’re elite tier

I’d stick to inverted rows personally.

Stick to BB rigidly. You’ll feel the benefits and once you crush those 60 min runs then you know it’s go time

Can’t wait to see how this progresses

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I have a 22 and 36 KG bell under the tree, so next time I’ll try the 22 KG bell for the squats. The 28 KG seemed a bit much but I should push it.

I think that’s the right call. I’ll make that change next time and stick to that.

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A 24kg is tough, esp the 40/50 rep weeks

My goblet squats would turn into KB DLs half way through the set as it’s difficult keeping that weight in the goblet position.

Standing on 2 bumper plates allows you to get nice depth however

It’s no big deal because SE block isn’t about hypertrophy or strength. It’s about giving the tendons a rest from strength work and developing that mental toughness to help get through those long sets.

In for the log although I will definitely forget the name and miss it. Nice to see a new “flavour of the month” on these boards too.

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Hmmmm this sounds amazing. The kind of stuff I’d enjoy.

Ouch… Yeah I did 50 strict pull-ups 2 weeks ago, took me around 7 minutes. 3 x 50 would be, with fatigue, like 25-30 minutes of pull-ups alone… Yikes!

Also inverted rows are so underrated.

Will definitely follow along and cheer for you!

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12/23/2020

TB Base building, Week 1, Day 2

Long, slow run:

4.32 miles in 46:53. Average HR = 154 bpm.

Kept it real easy, and just getting in the time. Called for a 30 minute run, this is close enough.

Extra work:

Gonna keep this to a minimum, but wanted just a bit of calisthenics after the run.

Dead hang pull ups, neck to bar: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps. SS by matching numbers with ring dips.

Notes: Feels good to get some road work in again. That had been a part of my weekly training for years prior to my nerve injury in February. It’s also feeling fine, and just the mentality of the long runs needs to come back.

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I’d be keeping the HR a bit lower mate. 120-150 limit.

You’ll probably find that you’re moving real slow however you need to fight that urge to speed up, especially for someone like yourself who has a running background

That will be something I’ll keep track of. Hard to run slower than usual, but I want to stick with the program so I’ll be mindful of that.

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12/24/2020

TB Base building, Week 1, Day 3

Another Long, slow run:

4.32 miles in 47:31. Average HR = ?? (don’t think my Apple Watch is accurate during a run)

Kept it easy again, even a bit slower than yesterday. My watch doesn’t seem to work well during a run at collecting HR data, so I’m just going to use the “talk test” to guide my pace. Just make sure I can talk easily and not be winded at any point.

Extra work:

Some minimal calisthenics work after run. I’m using the Pull Up Fighter program if anyone is interested on the rep scheme and progression. Really going for controlled form with full range of motion, and not just lots of reps which is how I usually program pull ups.

Dead hang pull ups, neck to bar: 10, 8, 6, 4, 4 reps. SS by matching numbers with ring dips.

Notes: I like getting back into running, but each time it takes a bit of motivation to get going. Next run is Sunday, which I’ll extend for one hour+.

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So you’re just running round your neighbourhood talking to yourself?

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Pretty much. Actually had some nice conversation with myself, but was surprised by some of the salty language and politically incorrect rhetoric that came out of my mouth.

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You think you know someone, am I right?

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12/25/2020

Week 1, Day 4 of Base Building from Tactical Barbell. Merry Christmas.

Got some new KBs under the tree. A 22 and 36 KG from kettlebell usa. These are the first really high quality ones I’ve had, and they are noticeably better than the others ones I used. Got to use them after the morning chaos with the family subsided.

Strength/Endurance work.

2 rounds of 20 reps for each, with ~30 sec between exercises, and about 2 minutes between rounds.

KB swings (36 KG bell)
Push ups
Inverted rings
Goblet Squats (22 KG bell)
Ab wheel rollouts
Band Pull aparts (just thrown in as a bonus, not really in the spirit of the program)

I also did a “easy” warm up round with reps of 10, and 5 min on the Airdyne before doing the circuit.

Notes: Was easy, given this is the easier version of S/E work for the week. I love the new KBs, and their weights were better suited for the work. Also, the inverted rings fit the circuit better than the pull ups. Did a bit of rest/pause for the rows and goblets.

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12/26/2020

Recovery Day

5 miles of walking plus easy yoga.

(plus peppermint brownies, but that’s another story).

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12/27/2020

6.07 mile run at 9:57 pace. Just getting in the road work and miles. My Apple watch doesn’t give useful HR data during a run, but just after my HR was ~125 BPM, so I think I’m in a good spot.

Extra calisthenics/KB work about 4 h later:
Clean and press ladders (with 22 KG bell) matched with pull ups: Clean L, Press L, Clean R, Press, R, Pull up. Ascend up to 5 on each arm, and then do it in reverse. Totals = 30 C/P each side and 30 pull ups.

Notes:. One week down, seven more to go on the base building phase. It’s been really good to force myself into running again, because without a structured program I’d let it slide. It’s also been good to take an extended break from heavy barbell work. I’ve really done 2 heavy sessions over the last ~8 weeks, instead doing KB work and now strength/endurance work.

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12/29/2020

Week 2, Day 1 of Base Building.

3 rounds of following (minimal rest between exercises, and 2 minutes between rounds):

30 KB swings (36 KG)
30 Push ups**
30 Ring rows
30 Goblet squats (22 KG)
30 Ab wheel roll outs
30 band pull aparts**

**only ones I could get 30 reps of without rest each round.

Time = ~38 min

(warm up = 5 minutes Airdyne; 10 min mobility/calisthenics work)

Notes: This was absolutely brutal. I don’t know how I’ll be doing this with 50 reps per round in a couple of weeks. I started doing rest/pause for all of them by the third round except push ups/pull aparts, and had to keep fighting the urge to drop down in weight for the goblets. On goblets, was doing them in sets of 10 by the last round, and struggling with these. Probably more mental than anything, just fighting the urge not to set the weight down and shake it out.

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Haha

3x30

When reality kicks in

I wrote this in @kleinhound s log however feel it definitely applies here as well

‘ 3x20 is a warm up

3x30 is ‘oh I never expected that’

3x40 is ‘fuck I’m dreading next week’

3x50 is pull the big boy pants up and get the head down’

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Also @antiquity mate, don’t worry about RPing the sets

It’s the norm. Just get through the session as quickly as possible.

I’m looking forward to seeing your time for the 3x50 session

I think I managed mines in 49 minutes

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