T Nation

Colbstar's High-Performance Mass Log

5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength
Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
Power Clean 3x3

Stretch:

  1. Agile 8 by Joe DeFranco

Lift:

  1. Power Clean, 3x3 (185lbs TM)
    95lbs - 3 reps WUP
    115lbs - 3 reps WUP
    130lbs - 3 reps @ 70% of TM
    150lbs - 3 reps @ 80% of TM
    165lbs - 3 reps @ 90% of TM

  2. Assistance
    A. Power Clean from Blocks above knees: 145lbs - 4x5, 135lbs - 1x5

5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Cycle 3, Week 2: Bench

Stretch:

  1. Kelly Starrett’s Upper Body Mobility List (some of them)
  • Foam Roll T-Spine
  • Band Lat Stretch
  • Band Behind the Body Front Rack Stretch
  • Wall External Rotations
  • Band Bully Internal Rotation Stretch

Lift:

  1. Violent Movement: Medicine Ball Slams
    20lbs - 3x3

  2. Main Strength Lift: Bench Press, 3x3 (195lbs TM)
    95lbs - 5 reps WUP
    105lbs - 5 reps WUP
    115lbs - 5 reps WUP
    135lbs - 3 reps @ 70% of TM
    155lbs - 3 reps @ 80% of TM
    175lbs - 3+: 6 reps @ 90% of TM

  3. Assistance: 915/Power Look Style
    A. Pause Floor Press: 145lbs - 2x5. 150lbs - 1x5, 1x4, 145lbs - 1x5
    B. Dumbbell Bench: 60lbs each - 2x7, 1x5, 50lbs each - 1x7
    C. Ring Flies: BW - 3x10, varying the angle as fatigue sets in
    D. Econo Pulley Triceps Pushown: 35lbs - 3x8-10

Sprint: None. Extra assistance.


I’m still trying to be a technique specialist.

5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength
Friday, April 1st, 2016
Cycle 3, Week 2: Deadlift

Stretch:

  1. The Essential 8

Lift:

  1. Violent Movement: Kneeling Jump, landing on feet
    10lbs plate - 3x3

  2. Main Strength Lift: Deadlift, 3x3 (415lbs TM)
    135lbs - 5 reps WUP (chucks, double over)
    185lbs - 5 reps WUP (chucks, double over)
    225lbs - 5 reps WUP (chucks, double over)
    290lbs - 3 reps @ 70% of TM (chucks, double over)
    330lbs - 3 reps @ 80% of TM (chucks, left over under)
    375lbs - 3+: 3 reps @ 90% of TM (Belted, chucks, right over under)
    I know I could’ve gotten another, but not without some rounding that I wasn’t willing to let happen.

  3. Assistance: 915 Style
    A. Deficit Deadlifts on 2 Inch Block (Floating or Paused depending on grip strength): 250lbs - 5x5 (no belt, double over EXCEPT on set 5 where I used left under)
    B. Chins: BW - 1x20 in as little time as possible: time issue

Congrats to my sister Makenna for making Drum Major today! I’m very proud.

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Neural Charge and Bonus Work

Neural Charge: 3 round of these 4 Movements
Snatch High Pull
Diamond Grip Incline Plyo Pushup
Stair Climbing Jump
Push Press

Bonus Work:

  1. One Arm Barbell Row
    50lbs on barbell - 3x10 each

  2. Chin-Ups
    BW - 3x6

  3. Econo Lat Pulldown
    75lbs - 4x12

  4. Low Incline Chest Supported DB Row
    60lbs each - 3x8 w/ pause at contraction

  5. Econo Face Pull
    25lbs - 3x20

5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength
Sunday, April 3rd, 2016
Cycle 3, Week 2: Press

Stretch:

  1. Kelly Starrett’s Upper Body Mobility List (some of them)
  • Foam Roll T-Spine
  • Band Lat Stretch
  • Band Behind the Body Front Rack Stretch
  • Wall External Rotations
  • Band Bully Internal Rotation Stretch

Lift:

  1. Violent Movement: DB Push Press
    50lbs each - 3 sets

  2. Main Strength Lift: Press, 3x3 (125lbs TM)
    45lbs - 5 reps WUP
    55lbs - 5 reps WUP
    65lbs - 5 reps WUP
    90lbs - 3 reps @ 70% of TM
    100lbs - 3 reps @ 80% of TM
    115lbs - 3+: 6 reps @ 90% of TM

  3. Assistance: 915/Power Look Style
    A. Klokov Press: 85lbs - 5x5
    B. Neutral DB Overhead Press: 30lbs each - 4x10 per side
    C. Bus Driver for delts: 25lbs - 3x10 per side
    D1. Econo Biceps Curl: 50lbs - 3x8
    D2. Barbell Curl: 35lbs - 3x10

Sprint:

  1. Family Bike Ride: 7 miles
    This was a blast.

So I’m always thinking about training. My current personal… debacle if you will… revolves around these 2 ideas:

  1. I’m… not bored with my training… but not as excited about it. I always seem to want to change something up and try new things.
  2. I keep getting away from athletic activities (conditioning, bodyweight skills, running, playing sports, swimming, etc). Riding bikes today really hit me hard this way because I had a ton of fun just relaxing and pushing myself.
    Maybe I’ll do a little crossfit stuff occasionally to have that change of pace and athleticism.

Hello again! I took a ~3 month hiatus from the log you are currently reading and posted all of my training in [this] (Colbstar's Conjugate Log) log instead. You can find my reasons for this original departure in my other log.

After devoting quite a bit of time in and out of training to really learning the methods of the legendary Westside Barbell, I was super motivated to switch from 5/3/1 to that. It just seemed like such a natural progression. I was bored and getting slower with 5/3/1, so why wouldn’t Westside be the next step? Variation upon variation and speed work - which I figured out was the real missing link - sounded like gifts from God. So, I trained very, very hard - as usual - for the past 3 months and gave it a go. Box squats, bands, the dynamic method, floor pressing, triceps, you name it. Of course my 3 months of training didn’t allow me to try EVERYTHING (gear - which I was/am not interested in, the reverse hyper machine, specialty bars), but I got a really good idea of how the Conjugate method was supposed to be utilized. In general, you have the 3 methods:

  1. Max Effort
  2. Dynamic
  3. Repetition
    Using all 3 at the same time during your training cycle - or even during the week, you can build upon all types of strengths including but not limited to:
  4. Quickness
  5. Explosiveness
  6. Speed-Strength
  7. Strength-Speed
  8. Absolute Strength
    And for the most part, I felt like it was really working! Why am I stopping, you might ask?
  9. Not as much carryover to my raw squat as I’d like. As my last session in my 2nd log shows, I failed 2 major attempts that were both STILL underneath my all time 345lbs best raw squat in gym. I haven’t been able to even come close to that good of a squat since running the 915 back in January of 2015.
  10. I’ve been neglecting mobility. Westside ALMOST NEVER mentions mobility work, so I quit doing it. I though “oh starting with jumps and throws will be enough”. It never is. And god do I HATE MOBILITY WORK. But I was having such a hard time squatting yesterday… my hips felt week despite all of the box squatting.
  11. A crappy military press session: Westside also does not care much about overhead pressing. They use it as assistance mostly and usually seated with dumbbells. I need to press heavy for my soul.
  12. Muscle mass: I desperately want more muscle mass. I have absolutely improved my torso, glute, hamstring, and tricep strength a mass a little, but not a whole lot else.

In general, I’d say that I’ve learned a lot of different lessons from a lot of different programs.

  1. My dad got me into training 4 years ago. This is where it all started.
  2. Insanity taught me to work even harder and that I had what it took to actually get abs.
  3. Bodybuilding got me into strength training and building muscle.
  4. Powerlifting and 5x5 made me really appreciate overload on the main movements.
  5. Elliot Hulse made me appreciate simplifying training.
  6. HPMASS made me up the frequency and volume. Also sled work.
  7. John Meadows’ work taught me some serious bodybuilding techniques.
  8. 5/3/1 taught me to look for the long term.
  9. 915 showed me the value of assistance work.
  10. Westside… well I’ve explained that quite a bit already.
  11. Crossfit training helped me work on mobility and conditioning.

Training just rocks. On to the Cube.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Deadlift - Heavy

Warmed up with some jump ropes and various running drills

  1. Deadlift
    135lbs - 3 reps
    185lbs - 3 reps
    225lbs - 3 reps
    275lbs - 1 single
    315lbs - 1 single
    360lbs - 5 sets of 2: not belted, alternating grips

  2. 2 inch block Pull
    380lbs - 2 sets of 2

  3. 2 inch deficit Pull
    335lbs - 3 sets of 5

  4. Snatch Grip deadlift
    185lbs - 3x12 w/ straps

  5. Barbell Shrugs
    185lbs - 3x12 w/ straps

  6. Lying Leg Raises - legs off bench
    10lbs ankle weights - 3x12

My traps and lower back were SORE after this session.

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Bench - Reps

Warmed up with some bear crawls, push ups, and pull ups

  1. Floor Press
    145lbs - 3 sets of 9

  2. Close-Grip Floor Press
    155lbs - 2x6

  3. Floor Press w/ 1 sec pause 1 inch from bottom
    130lbs - 2x5

  4. Rope Climb
    BW - 3 sets of 2 climbs

  5. Plate Hammer Curls
    25lbs each - 3x10

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Bodybuilding Day: I’m very aware that I was supposed to do my Dynamic Squat workout today. Unfortunately, because we are on vacation, I had to use the hotel gym that had very little equipment. So, in order to make sense of this day’s session, I went ahead and decided to make it The Cube’s bodybuilding day.

Rolled out my upper back a little bit.

  1. Standing DB Overhead Press
    10lbs each - 12 reps
    15lbs each - 12 reps
    20lbs each - 12 reps
    25lbs each - 12 reps
    30lbs each - 8 reps
    35lbs each - 8 reps
    40lbs each - 8 reps
    45lbs each - 8 reps: Tweaked my neck on these. I recently tweaked it doing barbell overhead press too.
    50lbs each - 8 reps
    These were all of the dumbbells that this gym had.

  2. Rear Delt High Machine Row
    4 sets of 12, ramping up in weight

  3. Machine Chest Press
    4 sets, the last bring a strip set. Various weights

  4. Seated Machine Overhead Press/Cable Lateral Raise SUPERSET
    2 sets of 10 on both

This took about 40 minutes to complete. It was a great way to pump up and take advantage of the machines! I didn’t pay too much attention to the weights, just going for a good burn.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Squat - Explosive/Dynamic

Warmed up with Broad Jumps and the Agile 8

  1. Squat
    205lbs - 8 sets of 3

  2. High Bar Squat
    225lbs - 2 sets of 5

  3. Parallel Pause Squat
    190lbs - 3 sets of 8

  4. Good Morning/GHR Sit-Ups SUPERSET
    145lbs - 3 sets of 10 reps/10lbs + BW - 3 sets of 10 reps

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Bodybuilding Day

Warmed up with the Essential 8

  1. Military Press
    95lbs - 4 sets of 10
    This was a volume PR for me for sure. No neck pain today.

  2. One Arm Barbell Row
    95lbs + the barbell setup - 3x6 per side

  3. Pull-Ups
    BW - 4x8

  4. 2 Arm Dumbbell Row
    80lbs both sides - 3 sets of 10 w/ pause at the top

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Deadlift - Explosive

Warmed up the Agile 8

  1. Deadlift
    135lbs - 3 reps: warm-up
    185lbs - 3 reps: warm-up
    225lbs - 3 reps: warm-up
    290lbs - 8 sets of 3

  2. 2 inch block Pull
    315lbs - 2 sets of 5

  3. 2 inch deficit Pull
    270lbs - 3 sets of 8

  4. Roman Chair Back Raise
    45lbs bar on back - 3 sets of 10
    The last rep of the 3rd set was concentric failure.

I wanted to hit some shrugs at least after, but I did not because of the amount of time it was taking to put up all of the equipment in the heat. It’s ~100 degrees plus Southeast Texas humidity when I train, so it does tend to weigh on you a bit. Either way, great workout for sure.

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Bonus Work: I was on vacation this day at Six Flags. The hotel I stayed at had a VERY limited setup, so instead of spoiling my upcoming Cube Bench session, I decided to just do some small stuff.

Standing Calve Raise: holding a dumbbell, ankles hanging off a staircase to stretch calves
50lbs dumbbell - 4 sets of 12

Standing Calve Raise: holding dumbbell, feet flat on the ground so there was no stretch
Holding two 50lbs dumbbells - 3 sets of 10

Sit-Ups
30lbs dumbbell on chest - 4 sets of 12

Every rep was under control. I’m definitely considering a focus on bodybuilding.

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Bench - Heavy

Warmed up with some light stretching, some arm swings in all directions, and squeeze presses for pec activation

  1. Bench Press
    95lbs - 2 reps: warm-up
    115lbs - 2 reps: warm-up
    135lbs - 2 reps: warm-up
    175lbs - 5 sets of 2

  2. Close-Grip Bench Press
    185lbs - 2x2

  3. Bench Press w/ 1 sec pause 1 inch from bottom
    165lbs - 1x5, 1x4

  4. Stretch Push-Ups
    BW - 3x12

  5. Ring Flies
    BW - 3x8, adjusting arms on every rep for max tension

  6. DB Triceps Extension - elbows tucked
    20lbs each - 3 sets of 10

This was an awesome pump and a productive workout I’d say! Like I said in my post for yesterday… I’m definitely considering a more bodybuilding approach. Even natural bodybuilders are more jacked than natural powerlifters. But I’ve gotta keep heavy and strong on the basics, so I think I’ll stick with the Cube for a while and try to get the best of both worlds.

After really re-evaluating my progress and goals, I decided that bodybuilding is here to stay. Considering my bodyweight is only ~158lbs, I’d say my 1RM strength is pretty good. Continuing to chase those numbers without focusing first on increasing my overall muscle mass and bodyweight has lately seemed like the plain ole rat race. I wasn’t really getting anywhere, and the 1RM is just a number. Also, bodybuilding really focuses on eating healthy of course and meal timing. These two things are very important, and if switching my focus to bodybuilding helps me stay more consistent with those two things as well, then I’m all in. I decided to utilize a John Meadows approach because I love the structure: pre-pump the muscles, activate the high threshold fibers through (generally) heavier lifting, strive for a maximum pump, and then finish with a stretch to activate mTOR, stretch the fascia, etc etc. The research is out there, and John Meadows has a system that puts it all together. I am also generally more motivated when I know that I only have one day a week to absolutely trash my muscles. It makes me put all in. And because effort is everything, I need to be all in. I’ll always remember what CT mentions a lot: The most important thing is not the perfect program; the most important thing is 100% belief in the program. I honestly 100% believe in Mountain Dog training. I’m fairly confident that it doesn’t get much better for bodybuilding. When I started his programs before, I always wanted more strength work or got distracted by another routine. But I think that as it stands, I am indeed satisfied with my level of strength. ALSO, because mechanical tension is one of the three main mechanisms for hypertrophy, John has adjusted accordingly and included some slightly heavier work on the main lifts in some of the workouts. Now I just need to do it! I’m tired of not looking like I like as much as I do.

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Supplemented with:
6000IU of Vitamin D3 (NatureMade), taken w/ breakfast
5g of Biotest Micronized Creatine (Biotest), taken peri-workout
3 Caps of Biotest ZMA, taken before bed

I’ll be using John Meadows’ Reactive Pump Hypertrophy program, found here on T-Nation. Because I used to use Plazma, I was given the link to these workouts. I also still train at home, so I had to modify it as much as I could.

Day 1, Week 1: Legs - Heavy
Workout completion time: ~60 minutes

Warmed up with 150 jumps with the jump rope

  1. Seated Band Leg Curl
    Monster Mini on each leg - 4 sets of 8 reps
    *25 bottom partials performed after the 4th and final set

  2. Banded Squat
    135lbs - 3 reps NO BANDS
    185lbs - 3 reps NO BANDS
    225lbs - 3 reps NO BANDS
    225lbs w/ mini band on each side - 4 sets of 6
    This setup provided 40lbs of tension at the top.

  3. Backwards Tire Sled Pulling for Quads
    25lbs, 50lbs, 75lbs, then 100lbs used in 1 escalating set for 4 trips of pulling.
    This exercise was supposed to be a Leg Press Escalating Set where you’d have a partner add weight to the leg press 3 times after the 1st set of 4 reps for 16 total reps. Instead, I pulled the sled for 1 driveway trip with each respective weight for 4 trips total.

  4. Front Squat
    95lbs - 1x10, 1x15, 1x20
    At this point, I honestly could barely handle the 95 degree and ~80% humidity weather. The JM workout was kicking my butt for sure. I was supposed to do partials at the end of the last set and stretch my quads in between, but I spent the time trying to stay alive inside with the A/C.

  5. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift
    80lbs each hand - 1x15

Then I went to work.
I came home and did a 2nd set of 15, as prescribed, because I didn’t think I honestly would make it. Like I said, the heat was really bogging on me for this workout - which was pretty tough for sure. I only THOUGHT that John Meadows’ workouts were hard inside an air conditioned gym!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Supplemented with:
6000IU of Vitamin D3 (NatureMade), taken w/ breakfast
5g of Biotest Micronized Creatine (Biotest), taken peri-workout
3 Caps of Biotest ZMA, taken before bed
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder, taken intra-workout (53g of carbs, 359mg of sodium, 215 cal)

##Reactive Pump Hypertrophy Program 1.1
Day 2, Week 1: Chest/Shoulders - Heavy
Workout completion time: ~70 minutes

  1. Decline Dumbbell Press
    30lbs each - 1x8: WUP
    50lbs each - 1x8: WUP
    60lbs each - 4 sets of 8, smooth reps

  2. Banded Bench
    95lbs + bands - 1x5
    145lbs + bands - 5 sets of 5, explosive
    Note to self: I used the monster mini bands but did NOT double loop them. This setup provided only a tiny bit of tension at the top and zero tension at the bottom.

  3. Low Incline Barbell Press
    135lbs - 3 sets of 6, constant tension reps
    These were done not touching the chest and not totally locking out except on the last rep of course.

  4. Mechanical Dropset Push-Up Sequence
    Here we, as in my friend Kyle and I, used 3 different push-ups instead of the recommended Cambered Bar and Ladder setup:
    We used a 1) Stretch Push-Up, 2) Push-Up, 3) Incline Push-Up.
    1st round - 12 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps
    2nd round - 5 reps, 5 reps, 4 reps

  5. Seated Side Lateral Raise
    10lbs plates - 3 sets of 12
    This was a generally easy weight for me. 15lbs would’ve been more appropriate, but I didn’t feel like setting up the adjustable dumbbells.

  6. Banded Press
    65lbs + mini bands on each side - 3 sets of 5
    The last rep of the last set was a push press because I reached failure.
    Another note to self: this setup is not the same as the squat where the bands are taut at the bottom with 2 dumbbells.

  7. Rear Delt Destroyer Set
    1 Set - 60/30/10 hang-and-swing reps: I used the 30lbs, 20lbs, 10lbs for these sets. I looked in the mirror before and after my set. John was right. MY REAR DELTS WERE HUGE!

I can’t wait to do the rest of this week’s workouts! :sunglasses:

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Supplemented with:
6000IU of Vitamin D3 (NatureMade), taken w/ breakfast
5g of Biotest Micronized Creatine (Biotest), taken peri-workout
3 Caps of Biotest ZMA, taken before bed
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder, taken intra-workout (53g of carbs, 359mg of sodium, 215 cal)

##Reactive Pump Hypertrophy Program 1.1
Day 3, Week 1: Calves/Abs - Extra
Workout completion time: ~45 minutes

  1. Calve Raise/Toe Raise Superset
    BW - 2x10 + 5 bottom half partials/BW - 2x25
    Holding one 60lbs dumbbell - 4x10 + 5 bottom half partials/BW - 4x25
    Holding one 20kg kettlebell - 2x10 + 5 bottom half partials/BW - 2x25

  2. V-Ups for Lower Abs
    BW - 4x15

  3. Sit-Ups w/ feet hooked for Upper Abs
    BW - 4x15

This was tough but not hard on the body. I do enjoy trying to keeping active on my days off though.

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Supplemented with:
6000IU of Vitamin D3 (NatureMade), taken w/ breakfast
5g of Biotest Micronized Creatine (Biotest), taken peri-workout
3 Caps of Biotest ZMA, taken before bed
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder, taken intra-workout (53g of carbs, 359mg of sodium, 215 cal)

##Reactive Pump Hypertrophy Program 1.1

Day 4, Week 1: Back - Heavy
Workout completion time: ~70 minutes

  1. One Arm Barbell Row
    25lbs on bar - 1x8 each
    50lbs on bar - 1x8 each
    85lbs on bar - 4x8 w/ STRAPS

  2. Barbell Row
    145lbs - 4x6

  3. Dumbbell Pullover
    30lbs - 4x10

  4. Dumbbell Shrug w/ 3 sec pause at peak
    80lbs each - 3x12

  5. Banded Deficit Deadlift
    185lbs + mini bands - 1x3
    225lbs + mini bands - 1x3
    325lbs + mini bands - 1x3, 1x7: 2nd was the all out set.

So the pullovers were interesting! I’ve never done them with dumbbells but lightened the load enough to really feel them. I really needed to use straps on that all out deadlift set though. Great workout!

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Supplemented with:
6000IU of Vitamin D3 (NatureMade), taken w/ breakfast
5g of Biotest Micronized Creatine (Biotest), taken peri-workout
3 Caps of Biotest ZMA, taken before bed
Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder, taken intra-workout (53g of carbs, 359mg of sodium, 215 cal)
5g of AllMax Nutrition Leucine, taken peri-workout

##Reactive Pump Hypertrophy Program 1.1

Day 5, Week 1: Chest/Shoulders - Pump
Workout completion time: ~60 Minutes

  1. Dumbbell Twist Press/Over and Back with Band
    20lbs each - 1x12/Mini Band - 1x8
    30lbs each - 1x12/Mini Band - 1x8
    50lbs each - 2x12/Monster Mini - 2x8
    50lbs each - 2x10/Monster Mini - 2x8

  2. Pec Minor Dip/Over and Back with Band
    BW - 4x10/Monster Mini - 4x8

  3. Dumbbell Bent-Over Side Lateral Raise
    20lbs each - 4 sets of 15 + 20 hang and swings

  4. Spider-Crawl/Over and Back with Band
    Short Mini Band - 4 sets of 45 seconds/Monster Mini - 4x8

This was an awesome day of working out for me! It really was a nice pump overall ESPECIALLY in my rear delts on the last two exercises. I was also pleased with how the Pec Minor Dip felt.