T Nation

Era Of Brutality: Built For Battle Speed/Explosive Option (Oh, And Ballet)


#1

So this feels like a natural break after a 6 month campaign of the 5/3/1 Beach Body Challenge (https://forums.t-nation.com/t/were-going-to-the-beach-5-3-1-beach/). Time to try CT’s Built for Battle, and specifically Option 2 Explosiveness and Conditioning (https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/built-for-battle). With CT’s blessing I’ve switched power cleans for SGHPs.

For reference, here’s the percentages table:

        72.5%	77.5%	80%	82.5%	87.5%	90%	92.5%	95%	3RM	105%	110%
SGHP	65.25	70	72	74.25	78.75	81	83.25	85	90	95	100
Bench	72.5	77.5	80	82.5	87.5	90	92.5	95	100	105	110

Squat	130.5	139.5	144	148.75	157.5   162	166.5   171     180     190     198
PP	72.5	77.5	80	82.5	87.5	90	92.5	95	100	105	110
Pull-up									BW

(eeeuw this website really doesn’t like tab-delimited text, does it?)


#2

I want to hear more about the Ballet bit!


#3

I take Balanchine class at advanced-beginner level twice a week for 1h 45 each time. I’m just back from an intensive week where I was in the studio for six hours a day so probably super fit…or just tired…there are a few stories in the old log if you care to look.


#4

For my own reference, here’s the completed weight and rep table:`Monday

3RM All the Things

Tuesday

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 80 72 145 80 BW
4 85 77 155 85 BW
3 90 81 162 87.5 BW
2 95 85 170 95 BW
1 100 90 180 100 BW

Wednesday

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 72.5 65 130 72.5 BW
4 77.5 70 140 77.5 BW
3 82.5 75 150 82.5 BW
2 87.5 78.75 157.5 87.5 BW
1 92.5 83.25 166.5 92.5 BW

Assistance 1

Friday

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 90 81 162 90 BW
4 95 85 171 95 BW
3 100 90 180 100 BW
2 105 95 190 105 BW
1 110 100 198 110 BW

Saturday

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 70 63 126 70 BW
4 75 67.5 135 75 BW
3 80 72 144 80 BW
2 85 77 154 85 BW
1 90 81 162 90 BW

Assistance 2`


#5

I can see doing this efficiently is going to be important. I plan to seize the rack:-) and set up with a bench and two bars. One in my usual squat/ohp/push press position, the other in a low position to do double duty for the bench press and as blocks for the high pulls, at the opposite end of the rack so I can keep the bench out of my way squatting.

I can see the half-kilo weights getting rounded, too.


#6

First workout! Setup like above…and:

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 80 72 145 80 BW >> SHIT I FORGOT TO DO THE PULLUPS. ALSO REALISED SETUP WAS IMPOSSIBLE AND SHIFTED TO HAVING BOTH BARS AT THE SAME END OF THE RACK
4 85 77 155 85 BW >> REALISED I’D SET UP THE BENCH IN A WAY THAT WOULDN’T LET ME ACTUALLY UNRACK THE BENCH PRESS. CHANGED IT. REMEMBERED THE PULLUPS
3 90 81 162 87.5 BW > DAMN THIS IS GETTING HEAVY. ALSO I NEEDED TO MOVE THE LOW BAR TO GET UNDER THE SQUAT. PEOPLE ARE STARING AT THE WILDHAIRED, RED-FACED, SWEAT-SODDEN MANIAC FRANTICALLY TOSSING IRON AROUND
2 95 85 170 95 BW > SQUATS FEEL HEAVY AFTER TWO WEEKS WITHOUT THEM
1 100 90 180 100 BW > DONE IT.

went back and got the missing set of 5 pull-ups.

Elapsed time from the first lift: 43 minutes.

God knows how I did this (Thibs says between 45 and 60 minutes), because I seemed to spend an amazing amount of time swapping weights around and doing mental arithmetic (or quite often, MENTAL! arithmetic - I kept setting up the wrong loads). It’s almost like the set-up process is part of the workout, like chessboxing.

Lessons learned:

  1. Really think about the set-up. I can’t overemphasise this. If you don’t get it right you’ll spend a lot of time and energy resetting between exercises, which is meant to be a timed rest period. Also, you may find you’ve painted yourself into a corner. Two bars at one end worked a lot better.

  2. Watch out. This workout involves chucking 3RM loads about for reps, fast, in a rack with at least one other loaded bar, while doing the quick changeovers. You could very easily miss a lift, drop the bar, or (my favourite!) slam the bar into the other bar (e.g by benching or high-pulling your low bar high enough that the plates hit the one you’ve set up for squats). You want the safety bars in (not least so you can use them as blocks for the high pulls or cleans).

  3. at least for me, set up the low bar one notch lower - this should be OK for bench but make for a less awkward unrack for the high pulls.

  4. work, bitch, like the lady said. I can see why it’s called Built for Battle; by the end of the second circuit you will feel like you’re in a war with the iron and the only solution is to be insanely aggressive and hate everything. the payoff is that you’ll walk away feeling like a king.

  5. do think carefully about placing the low bar if you’re going with “both bars at one end” as it may keep you from getting properly under the bar for squatting - this would be a great way to get an injury or have a really spectacular crash.


#7

Great review! Marked down for future reference.


#8

Two things: I slept like a baby and my biceps and traps are incredibly sore.

Taking class this evening so we’ll make this an off day.


#9

OK so that was a bit shit. Just felt lacklustre…maybe still hungover from intensive week? My feet definitely felt hammered. Not sure the B4B helped much either. Then again, one of the best things about going on intensive is not getting to do the choreography three times maybe and that might be the last time you ever see it, like you do in class. Everything’s better when you know what you’re doing.


#10

Second B4B Workout

This time I actually tried to use the timed rest rather than pushing straight into the next lift once it was set up. I still ended up usually cutting it short and overrunning by 10ish seconds before the squat due to all the reloading. I also figured out how to make a “bar at each end” setup work - this was quite a bit more efficient and solved the “can’t get under the squat” problem. Also, remembered to drop the safety bars before SGHP-ing so I can do it properly.

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 72.5 65 130 72.5 BW
4 77.5 70 140 77.5 BW
3 82.5 75 150 82.5 BW
2 87.5 78.75 157.5 87.5 BW
1 92.5 83.25 166.5 92.5 BW

Elapsed time 38 minutes (oh and I made the 78.75 and 83.25 SGHPs 80 and 85 respectively, the 157.5 and 166.5 squats 160 and 165 respectively, just to save wanking about)

Now for the assistance: 10/8/6 reps DB incline press and DB row w/28kg DBs. this was fine, I will probably use more weight. Split squats and RDLs: I have never done these and didn’t feel like trying something for the first time while completely gassed and racing the clock. So I pussied out.

Result: Sore. But satisfied. Wondering how to organize my training week so as to keep some energy for dance.


#11

Now I had a ripper of a class this afternoon. This is the one I was cut from at the end of May with the suggestion I go to the woodshed and get better. Well, that’s done. Great combos, too; wanna throw two huge kicks on half pointe, waltz under, soutenu, drop in fourth, hit a Balanchine turn, and go the other side? YES YOU MAY.

(weird thing: amazingly smooth floor. last week I was battling with sticky floors to the extent you could hear the whole class SLLLURP on every move. today? just this side of ice skating.)


#12

Hit the gym. Using the new setup as last time. Order of exercises: Pull-up, bench, SGHP, squat, press.

Reps Bench SGHP Squat Press Pull-up
5 90 81 162 90 BW > all of this is just fine
4 95 85 171 95 BW
3 100 90 180 100 BW > SGHPs feeling heavy but goood
2 105 95 190 105 BW > pressing is the biggest challenge
1 110 100 198 110 BW > decided to “only” go for 195kg squat (aka a 5kg PR) and took a miss…just didn’t feel right after unracking. that said I also screwed up and loaded an extra 5kg on the SGHP, and I’ll happily have the 5kg PR there. also, good to have the 242lb/110kg bench back after it didn’t show up the other day.

Elapsed time 42 minutes.


#13

I am convinced my traps and arms look bigger. IIRC Thibs claims SGHPs have startlingly quick effects.


#14

JackJackJackJackJack Yer Body at 9am in the gym

Hit the Saturday workout above, rounding the weights to the nearest five or zero. Some guy tied up the rack so I did all the pull-ups waiting for him. Also, only one barbell was free - more real lifters than usual.

It’s a deload day but only slightly (still involves 95kg bench and push pressing, 165kg squatting, 85kg high pulls). Also did the second assistance circuit with 25kg corebag curls, 2x10kg lateral raises, 28kg hammer curls.


#15

Test Big Lifts

Bench: 60kg x10, 80kg x8, 90kg x4, 100kg x4, 110kg x2, 120kg x1 > 10kg PR, 3RM maaybe 105?
SGHP: 60kg x10, 80kg x5, 90kg x4, 100kg x3, 110kg x1 > 5kg PR! I think I’ll set 95kg as 3RM
Squat 140kg x10, 160kg x8, 180kg x5, 190kg x3, 195kg x1 > 5kg PR, new 3RM 190kg
Push press: no advance waaaah
Deadlift 140kg x3, 160kg x1, missed 170kg, missed (just) 165kg but I think it’s coming.
Pull-ups and chin-ups.

you know what this means…

Bench 120kg/264lb
Squat 195kg/429lb
Dead 160kg/352lb
TOTAL 1,045lb up 44lb from last time. now to find someone to lift!


#17

OK so:

Done, in about 30 mins flat out. Also, I took class last night and it’s still raining callouts (got one for grande battement, off a teacher who trained in Russia, which is saying something as they’re all about kicking high and giving 'til it hurts).


#18

…but then we all fell apart in jumps and kept missing the last beat. I decided to count the next run, got to 8, realised everyone else wasn’t stopping, and overran the count by one…although the count in my head was 12…fell about laughing and it took most of the remaining five minutes to regain concentration.


#19

Woke up with a stinking sinus cold. Shit. Hopefully it won’t stop me taking class on Sunday, but certainly not lifting today. Anyone else on B4B noticed this?


#20

Not on B4B but, how’s your eating? Gaining weight? If not, maybe all the training has you in a deficit and that’s why your immune system is compromised. I seem to have an easier time to get sick whenever I’m running a calorie deficit.


#21

My ballet teacher thinks I’ve lost weight (!) and I am definitely looking leaner…but I really want that.