He did! But I probably ate more to be honest. Thanks for the kind words; wish I could send you some virtually.
Stuart McRobert in Brawn said something like (I’m paraphrasing/shortening):
Put in the years to build the physique you desire THEN move into a maintenance routine that brings energy, joy and a maintained physique. I’m 58 with 37 years of lifting/fitness under the belt. Never been one to put emphasis on singles, always used rep ranges of 5-15 depending on goals. 20-40 minute sessions 2 or 3 times a week gets it done for me now.
Sounds like you have instinctually/experientially hit on McRobert’s advice!
I love your lifting style! (And your name is awesome too.)
Yes, Stuart McRobert has some really different and cool approaches to weight training! It’s been exciting to have him writing articles on here now. Thank you for the kind words!
You are seriously my hero. Everything you post here - I feel hard. Your mentality is so healthy and positive. I try to live this every day, but sometimes the mind games take over. Hearing that it’s okay to not be super hardcore and hard charging from someone that’s living it too goes a long way in helping me believe I’m on the right path. Your log is such great therapy!
Just, THANK YOU!!
Well thank YOU for the feedback! Finding out that my rambling confessions are actually helpful to someone means a lot!
I wasn’t sure about keeping a log here since I didn’t feel like my style of lifting would be worth sharing, but it’s been awesome to connect with like-minded people, like you!
I went to the gym with knees feeling great but kinda short on time, so the plan was to pick three exercises: one to emphasize quads, one to emphasize hams, and one to emphasize glutes. So I just made the most of my current faves.
• 100 controlled reps - no weight
• EMO2M: 4 sets of 6 slow reps with 45 lbs on each side
I’ve been thinking about an article Coach Thibaudeau wrote a while back: The 100-Rep Method For Big Legs and decided to give it a shot this morning. I actually had to pause every 25 reps at the top. I didn’t re-rack or anything but just took about 5-10 seconds to let the burning ease up. Hopefully with time my legs will tolerate it better.
The thing is, I got mixed up and had the impression that you do these 100 reps just on leg days. NO SIR. You do it at the beginning of every workout. This sounds like the perfect dose of masochism for me right now.
So I’m all in now! 100 reps of the leg press at the beginning of every workout!
The 4 sets of 6 afterward actually felt fine! But instead of adding more weight than the 45 on each side, I chose to just slow down the reps in case my knees started acting up again. Maybe next time I’ll use more weight.
• 3 Burning, searing drop sets: 15 reps of the first weight, 10 reps of the second weight, 5 reps on the third weight, then partials if possible. Repeat two more times!
Swiss Ball Ham Curl
• 4 sets of 10 reps (with an isometric hold at the end of each set)
When I discovered how powerful this exercise is, I never went back to the lying ham curl machine.
From an outsider’s perspective, it looks like you’re not doing anything hard. But your upper hammies will beg to differ. Your legs will even shake if you’re contracting hard enough and going slow enough.
If you can’t feel it working, tweak your form a bit. I try to push my hips toward the ceiling because they start wanting to dip as fatigue hits. Though there is a version where you keep your hips low on purpose.
Make it harder by using one leg on the eccentric, or slowing each rep down significantly, or pausing at the hardest part and squeezing those leg muscles as hard as possible. Bradford Cooke demonstrated the coolest variations here: The Toughest Bodyweight Leg Exercise EVER
Anyone want to try the 100 leg press reps (every workout) with me?
I’m in!! This is going to be AWFUL!!!
On that note, how long are we doing this for? lol
Well, crap. I already forgot to do it before today’s upper body session! I might have to set a reminder or something. Darn it!
Hmmm how long do you want to do it for? We could pick out a special date on the calendar, like valentines day, St. Patrick’s day, first day of spring, or lent. OR we could just say, let’s go from Jan 20 to Feb 20. Up to you!
I can hardly keep my head on straight this month. So of course I forgot the 100 reps of the leg press.
Outside of regular work, we’ve been busy with appointments (dog, human, dental) and working around the contractor’s schedule. Our bathroom is getting a big update because… DUN DUN DUUUUUN… mold!
But this was our beautiful drive to the gym this morning.
• Straight Arm Band Pull-Down: 3 sets of 20-25 per arm
This is mainly just to activate the long head of the triceps and prevent elbow pain before it starts. There’s a pic of this somewhere above. I won’t do upper body exercises without doing this first. Add occasional pauses at peak contraction to really feel the lats and triceps.
A1. Hammer Strength Chest Press
4 sets of 10 full reps (with 10 partials at the top each set).
First set: 45 pounds each side
Second set: 50 pounds
Third set: 55 pounds
Fourth set: 60 pounds
A2. External Rotation Exercise With Band
Around 15 or so reps for each arm between sets of chest press. This is not for hypertrophy but for improved posture and healthy rotator cuffs.
(These pants have a swipe of paint on the left butt cheek. It’s Sherwin William’s Amazing Gray. Highly recommend that color.)
B. Lateral Raise Machine
3 Sets of: 10 full ROM reps and 10 partials, then drop set and do 10 reps with partials, then drop set and same thing. Repeat a couple more times for funsies.
Why a machine for lateral raises? For some reason I can get more of a MM connection in my delts with a machine. It also prevents my elbows from flaring up because I’ve eliminated the grip, (though I ended up doing some super light DB lateral raises later in the workout).
C1. Seated Row
C2. Arnold Press + Mechanical Drop Set to Overhead Press
C3. Bent-Over Lateral Raise
I did four sets of this and went light on everything. I’m trying to avoid getting the pinchy pain in my upper back again. Also, that’s an area of my body that’s pretty developed. I don’t mind “backing” off it a bit. Pun intended.
My elbows feel terrible, so I’m definitely trying this out. Thanks!
For real! I did lower body today, so it was easier to remember - but on an upper body day, all bets are off!
Yeah, let’s do this. We’ll die together for a month! It’s perfect. lol
It’s surprising how common the elbow pain problem is! It’s hard to know which solution will work because it all depends on what’s causing it.
For a while “nerve flossing” kinda helped mine, but it wasn’t a permanent fix… even when I did it constantly. Then I used those forearm bands that place pressure on certain muscles to ease the pain. That was super helpful too, but still didn’t eliminate it altogether.
The banded straight arm pull downs – and really squeezing that tricep at the bottom – have worked wonders for my elbows, so I hope it helps yours too!
The trainer who taught it to me recommended higher reps for it, like 15-25.
Sounds like a plan!
This is the first official day of the 100-reps of leg press to start every workout. We’re going from Jan 20 to Feb 20. Quad Queen is doing this with me, and given her name, I suspect it’s a total breeze for her!
Wanna join us? What’s really cool is that you get significantly better each time you do it.
• 100 controlled reps, no weight
Knees felt incredible! I think pumping a ton of blood into the quads and warming up the joints like this may be what I’ve been needing all along. Last time I had to pause every 25 reps. This time I only paused at 50 reps and 75 reps. My goal is to get through all 100 reps without having to pause for a few seconds at the top.
More Leg Press
• 4 sets of 6 slow controlled reps, every minute on the 2 minutes (EMO2M)
This ended up giving me well over a minute of rest between sets. I inched the weight up a bit every set for funsies.
First set: 90 pounds
Second set: 100 pounds
Third set: 110 pounds
Fourth set: 120 pounds
4 sets of 15-20 reps, drop set and repeat, then partials
This is such an isolated movement that going to failure doesn’t seem to negatively affect me. No CNS fatigue, just burning pain and a massive pump in the glutes. I don’t care that this isn’t a big lift. It feels incredible and makes my butt perky.
Ham Curl on Ball
4 sets: 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
Slow and controlled with a pause at the lengthened position. This doesn’t just hit the hams, you also feel it in the glutes and calves.
Treadmill walk. Every muscle group in my lower body was pumped. My workouts are minimal right now, but is there a point in doing more if you’re already getting the results you want?
Loaded carries translate the most to real-life activities that require strength.
Our contractor is in his late 60s, so I’ve insisted on hauling the heavy stuff up to the second floor for him. I’d feel like an utter slob if I made him go up two flights of stairs holding slabs of sheet rock, bags of cement, floor tiles, etc. This is a real-life situation where strength is required.
Would maxing out for one rep on anything make me more efficient at this task? I have doubts about that since I did it relatively quickly without having worried about 1RMs since about 2019.
Another real-life situation I’ve been in recently? Carrying a dog with a hurt paw. Again, loaded carries are the thing that’ll prepare you best for that. Bicep curls too. Not even joking.
Even a dog as light as 35-pounds will make your biceps BURN if you have to carry her down a mountain or even just a few blocks from your house. Deadlifting translates here too, but you’re kind of only doing it once. And you don’t even have to be that strong in the deadlift. If your dog is under 100 pounds, then that shouldn’t be too hard… aside from the fact that they’re dog-shaped.
Another recent real-life situation where strength was involved? Moving furniture around the living room. Aside from loaded carries, sled work translates here too. You’ll be able to push an awkwardly shaped, ever-moving swivel chair on carpet fairly easily if you’re decent at moving a heavy prowler.
Question: What exercises would prepare you for the real-life things you’ve found yourself doing recently?
I am definitely guilty of being too judgmental of other lifters, but it would never occur to me to think someone who wasn’t very strong shouldn’t be wearing knee sleeves. I might have that though about knee wraps, but never about sleeves.
I appreciate your honesty! Ha! Okay well you guys have me convinced, and now I’m going to have to grab some knee sleeves. I kind of forgot to order them because my knees are feeling awesome right now, but it may be wise to have them on hand.
Here’s a question: what would you tell someone who thinks it’s better to fix the underlying issues causing the achy knees instead of using things like sleeves to ameliorate the pain?
I’d say absolutely work on the underlying issues, but put the knee sleeves on so that your knees stay warm and happier. For some people, the underlying issues aren’t fixable or at least aren’t completely fixable and so waiting to use the sleeves until fixing the issue doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Now if you change knee sleeves to knee wraps and you tell me that the lifter is wrapping his/her knees up so they can keep squatting heavy and they are in pain after every workout, then my answer would be quite a bit different. But the light knee sleeves folks talked about above don’t come anywhere near this category.
Deadlifts and loaded carries (of any kind)
There is no amount of groceries I cannot lift.
If the underlying issue is years under the bar, this is akin to asking for better parents to improve my draft prospects.
That sounded more black and white than I intended. I do think a lot of times we outsmart ourselves, though. Why not find a way to train? Sometimes it really is just our anthropometry or injury history creating the issue, and not that we are too lazy to stretch or whatever. I don’t know a great way to say which is which, other than to know thyself (or post pictures on the site and we’re all too happy to tell you you’re a fat bum that isn’t close to maxing your genetic potential, but I digress).
It’s a super interesting subject, though, because we see both. On the one end, you’ve got the folks that never actually make it to the workout because they have to activate and prehab muscle fibers I can’t find in a textbook. On the other, we’ve got folks that will wrap and strap everything and take 14 minutes between every single rep rather than address why their hips won’t budge.