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EyeDentist, How Do You Train?


#501

Any updates ED, whatcha working on??


#502

Hey scoots, thanks for asking. Not much going on with me, except trying to drop some of the post-contest weight I picked up. (I was really struggling to do so until I got the running ramped up.) I’ve dropped about 5#; would like to drop another 3 or so, then maintain, with an eye toward possibly doing another contest in the Spring.

I’m still dealing with this nagging shoulder pain, but am determined not to go under the knife until/unless it gets so bad I basically can’t lift at all.

As for exercising, I’m currently following a 4-day split, as follows:

  1. Push
  2. Run 1 hr
  3. Pull
  4. Core (abs/hypers) + Stepmill
    (Repeat)

Delts, Chest and Back all get worked on both Push and Pull days, but via different exercises (obv). So these groups are getting hit every other day. Triceps get work only on Push day; Bis on Pull. (Both sets of Bis/Tris tendons have expressed their gratitude for this arrangement.) Push and Pull days each take ~60-70 minutes to complete.

The Core work consists of alternating ten sets of 200 crunches with ten sets of 30 hypers (both done constant tension style). After completing the Core work, I hop on the Stepmill and work as hard as I feel like working (ie, sometimes it’s intense, others it’s a slog) until I hit 220 cals (~20 minutes, maybe a little less). This workout takes ~50 minutes.

That’s about it for me. How’s your lifting going?


#503

I hear ya on the shoulder, I started eliminating movements that would aggravate it and that didn’t leave much, had a spur and arthritis removed and the surgeon also fixed the elbow tendinitis at the same time. Tough to learn to do certain things with the non-dominate hand, took a year to get strength back up but was worth it.

You want to lose 8#'s ? Too much celebratory peanut butter? :wink:

Nothing special on the lifting (reason not to keep a training log here), started 5/3/1 beginning February and like it. Just trying to go from suck to shit :slight_smile:


#504

EyeDentist, are you sill doing higher rep training ?


#505

[quote]befoley wrote:
EyeDentist, are you sill doing higher rep training ? [/quote]

No–at least, not the really high rep workouts I was doing some time ago. I’m currently doing 3 working sets/exercise, each in the 8-20 rep range. The last set employs some sort of intensification technique (usually drop-set and/or rest-pause).

That said, I do finish each workout with 3 sets of 50 reps of a continuous-tension shoulder exercise.


#506

Hey EyeDentist,
Care to outline what this new training approach looks like?


#507

Hi Barguist, I haven’t received any PMs. Like you, I’m not sure if they’re even enabled. Or maybe they work only for members who’ve reached a certain level? (Just speculating.)

As for what I’m doing: As mentioned above, I’m working Chest, Back and Delts every other day, following a ‘true’ push/pull strategy. Here’s how it’s laid out as of recently. I do 3-4 working sets/exercise, pyramiding the weights up (and reps down) each set. The first couple of sets are taken to within 1-2 reps of positive failure. The last set is taken to positive failure, and then extended via a dropset +/- a rest-pause type set in the middle. I rest about a minute between sets 1 and 2, but will rest a little longer (2 min, maybe 2:30) before attempting the final set. I track the weight/reps of my final set, and try to ‘beat the book’ every workout.

Push day:
–(I was starting with a machine overhead press, but my hinky shoulder wasn’t tolerating it, so had to drop it. Very frustrating.)

–Chest: Single-arm machine incline press. The first set will be in the 20-rep range; the 2nd ~15, the 3rd 8-12, to failure. I then drop the weight by about 1/3 and do a rest-pause set; ie, get as many as I can, then rest 10-15 seconds, get as many as I can (at the same weight), rest 10-15 sec, etc. I’ll do this for about 4-5 iterations, at which point the weight starts feeling too heavy to be productive. I then drop the weight another 1/3 or so, and rep out this light weight until positive failure.

–Lats: Pullover machine. Same approach as above.

–Upper back/rear delts: Reverse pec-deck flies. Same as above, but I also do a lot of partials at the end of the last set.

–Triceps 1: Occluded rope pullouts. Very light weight. Basically I just lock out my tris by pulling my hands away from one another (ie, out, not down)–very short ROM. Start with a reverse (underhand) grip and go until I can’t do any more like that, then switch to a palms-down grip and continue. Stop at 100 reps.
–Triceps 2: Cable pushdowns. Pyramid 3 sets in a manner similar to what I do for Chest.
–Triceps 3: Lying DB extensions. The purpose of this exercise is to stretch them out, so I let me head hang off the end of the bench, and reach back and toward the floor on each rep. Two sets in the 15-20 rep range (no intensification stuff).

–Delt finisher: High-rep Smith shoulder presses. I put an embarrassingly light amount of weight on the bar, and do 3 sets of 50 reps. One min rest between sets. All the reps are midrange (roughly the middle 3/5 of the full ROM). This keeps the delts under tension the entire time. The first 20 reps feel ridiculously easy, but by the time I get to the final 10-20, I’m desperately searching for an excuse to stop (please, won’t someone pull the fire alarm!).

OK, gotta get back to work. I’ll post my other days later.


#508

Continuing…

Pull day:
–Rear delts: Narrow-grip Smith Haney rows. My hands are just wider than my hips. Like the Chest work above, the first set will be in the 20-rep range; the 2nd ~15, the 3rd 8-12, to failure. I then drop the weight by about 1/3 and do a rest-pause set; ie, get as many as I can, then rest 10-15 seconds, get as many as I can (at the same weight), rest 10-15 sec, for about 4-5 iterations. I then drop the weight another 1/3 or so, and rep out until positive failure.

–Lateral delts: Wide-grip Smith Haney rows. Hands are not quite snatch-grip wide, but not far from it. Same approach as above.

–Chest/front delts: DB crossovers. Like DB front raises, except the hand crosses over to the other side on the way up, and I squeeze the upper chest at the top of the rep. Five sets of 20, no intensification, no failure. (My shoulder is really limiting both my exercise options and my intensity re ‘pull’ Chest exercises.)

Lats: Underhand-grip pulldowns. 3 sets, last with intensification techniques. I try to go really heavy on this.

Lats: Single-arm machine rows. In contrast to the pulldowns, I keep these light and squeeze hard at the top of the ROM, trying to really feel the lat. 3 sets of 15, no failure or intensification.

Upper back: High-pulley rows. Sort of like face pulls, but without the rotational component. 3 sets, last with intensification.

–Biceps/brachialis: Occluded cable hammer curls and cable regular curls. 50 slow hammer curls, followed immediately by 50 regular curls. Ouch.

–Forearms: Rollers/reverse curls superset. Got this idea from a CT article. Use the roller (slow up, then slow down), followed immediately by reverse grip curls to failure, with one dropset. Repeat 3 times.

–Delt finisher: High-rep partial laterals. I use embarrassingly light DBs, and do 3 sets of 50 reps. One min rest between sets. All the reps are midrange (roughly the middle 3/5 of the full ROM). This keeps the delts under tension the entire time.

In other news, I’ve just started my semi-annual attempt at working Legs again. If past performance has any predictive power, I’ll strain something in the next few weeks and swear Legs off forever (again).


#509

Thanks for the VERY detailed description! Wanted to PM you and toss around ideas about training with messed up joints - but I don’t want to derail the thread. Right shoulder, right knee and lower back problems. Bye, Big 3. Barbell pressing is a no no.
I’m still at a level where I should be focusing on mastering the basics and build a strength base, but the “just do 5x5” approach isn’t really an option.
Much like Yogi on this site, I have a narrow bone structure, and appearantly I’m made of some kind of skin-like glass while my training buddy trains HIT style in a way that makes Branch Warren look like Bubble Boy. Steel wire tendons ftw!

Now, about them sexy legs. How are you planning to smoke 'em? Don’t remember if you’ve already tried doing reverse sled drags…?


#510

[quote]Barguist wrote:
Thanks for the VERY detailed description! Wanted to PM you and toss around ideas about training with messed up joints - but I don’t want to derail the thread.
[/quote]

No worries re derailing. Ask away; surely someone following along will come up with something useful.

[quote]Much like Yogi on this site, I have a narrow bone structure, and appearantly I’m made of some kind of skin-like glass while my training buddy trains HIT style in a way that makes Branch Warren look like Bubble Boy. Steel wire tendons ftw!
[/quote]

I can relate. (To being bird-boned, not to your Wolverine training buddy.)

Aw yeah, nothing quite as sexy as skinny, pale, hairless, veiny legs (sorry ladeez, he’s taken!)

When it comes to programming Legs, my challenges are several:
–My hammies and adductors have a running wager as to which will pop first. The winner usually claims victory the first time I put 2+ PPS on the Smith machine.
–Speaking of Mr. Smith…I have to do all my squatting on it, because I can’t get my right hand behind a bar across my upper back (the shoulder simply won’t allow it). Thus, when I squat, it’s freehand; ie, after I unlatch the Smith bar with my left hand, I keep both hands at my sides until it’s time to re-latch it.
–Because of my chronic biceps tendon issues, DLing with any sort of significant weight is out. (I tried explaining to my biceps tendons that RDLs are a leg exercise, and thus shouldn’t count as work so far as they were concerned. They refused to listen.) It’s also why I can’t perform excellent exercises like sled-dragging.

tl;dr My Leg workout is pretty goofy.


#511

Oh yes, squats (sigh)… I can relate. Tried everything. High bar, low bar, close stance, medium stance, crane kick stance… Just feels off and downright hurts.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that they are not for me, for the time being. I’m going to give the sample leg workouts from the Meadows article on legs and see where it takes me. Hopefully not to the ortho.
My only concern is squatting with Mr. Smith with the knees not being able to shoot forward. How far out in front of you are your feet positioned?

I’m still in my twenties, so it’s a hard pill to swallow not being able to do the basic stuff. I really have to be creative and careful with my choice of exercises while seeing guys like Spidey and other awesome people on here blasting away.

So yeah - to goofy leg training…!

Thanks in advance, ED. You’re truly inspirational!


#512

[quote]Barguist wrote:
Oh yes, squats (sigh)… I can relate. Tried everything. High bar, low bar, close stance, medium stance, crane kick stance… Just feels off and downright hurts.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that they are not for me, for the time being. I’m going to give the sample leg workouts from the Meadows article on legs and see where it takes me. Hopefully not to the ortho.
My only concern is squatting with Mr. Smith with the knees not being able to shoot forward. How far out in front of you are your feet positioned?
I’m still in my twenties, so it’s a hard pill to swallow not being able to do the basic stuff. I really have to be creative and careful with my choice of exercises while seeing guys like Spidey and other awesome people on here blasting away.

So yeah - to goofy leg training…!

Thanks in advance, ED. You’re truly inspirational! [/quote]

Did you try box squats? I had the same issue, and I finally was able to live with box squats. I can sit further back and it absolutely forces me to pause at the bottom, which are two areas I always struggled with when doing traditional squats. Give it a try before throwing in the towel.


#513

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I loves me some Meadows! He’s had such a huge influence on my thought process.

I use different foot positions at different points in the workout. (See below.) My overall strategy is, I want my legs to be as zonked as possible before attempting a standard squat ( = feet under me, somewhat wider than shoulder width). Ideally, my legs would be so pumped and tired that 135# would feel like 315#, and I could get some quality leg stimulation using PowerPuff’s bench weight. (Nothing humiliating about that…) This has two huge advantages: First, it minimizes the amount of weight I have to subject my tendons to; and second, it maximizes the likelihood that my hinky hammies and adductors are as warm and greased as possible, thereby reducing the probability I’m going to pull one of them (from 100% down to, say, 30%).

It so happens today is Legs day. Here is the game plan:

  1. Core work. To save time/energy, I’ve cut the volume in half, so it’ll be four sets of 250 ab crunches alternated with 4 sets of 40 butt crunches (ie, hyperextensions limiting the ROM to the top 1/5).
  2. 220 cals (~20 min) on the Stepmill. Burning a few cals, but more importantly, starting the process of getting blood flowing in the quads, hams and adductors.
  3. Four sets each (alternating exercises) of leg extensions and seated leg curls, as follows:
    –Set 1: 50 reps with ROM limited to the fully flexed position. Very light weight–enough to have a burn at the end, but not an all-out set.
    –Set 2: 50 reps with ROM limited to the middle 3/5. Weight is a little heavier, but again, not an all-out set.
    –Set 3: 50 reps with ROM limited to the bottom 1/5. Ditto.
    –Set 4: 20 reps FROM. The weight is such that this requires an all-out effort, and the last few reps may be partials.

OK, time to face the music. Let’s go visit Mr. Smith.

  1. Superset sissy squats with Smith hack squats. Three sets, 10 reps each exercise. The Smith hacks are done with feet close together and way out in front, so that at the bottom of the movement I look like I’m doing a ‘wall squat.’ The hacks are done non-lock style; ie, I only go up about halfway. Note that both of these exercises are very quad dominant, so the hammies/and adductors pretty much sit these out (if I do them correctly). I’ll stay at the same weight for all three sets, and while it will feel challenging, I will not come close to failure.

  2. Superset Smith hacks with Smith close-stance regular squats. Three sets, 10/10. So now the hack movement is the first exercise in the superset. After the 10 hack-reps, I move my feet directly under me (still with a very narrow stance) and do 10 more non-locking reps. Note that the close-stance regular squats bring the hammies and adductors into the game, but hopefully not so much as to cause them to revolt.

  3. Superset Smith close-stance reg squats with ‘regular stance’ regular squats. Three sets, 10/10. Now the close-stance reg squats are first in the SS. You see where I’m going with this I’m sure: It is at this point that, hopefully, I can dip a toe into Lake Hamstringstrain without getting bit. That is (so the theory goes), all the work leading up to this will have my quads so tired, and my hammies/adductors so warm, that the unremarkable weights I will be using will not cause problems.

  4. Stretch.

  5. Light a candle to the gods if I didn’t strain anything (or curse them if I did).

I like the idea of the box squats. What I like most about them is they force you to gradually slow the rate of descent as you approach the bottom of the movement. Too many people (raises hand) will allow themselves to ‘drop’ during the eccentric portion of the squat. Doing this dramatically increases the amount of force needed (and the rate at which that force must be generated) to get the bar moving skyward again. (It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that my hamstring/adductor hinkiness was traceable to me overloading them in this manner in the past.)


#514

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
… Ideally, my legs would so pumped and tired that 135# would feel like 315#, and I could get some quality leg stimulation using PowerPuff’s bench weight. (Nothing humiliating about that…)[/quote]

:slight_smile: Hey, I really like 95 lb squats so this is not a deal.

I didn’t realize your biceps tendon is a limiting factor in holding a heavy BB for DL variations. I’m sure you’ve tried straps. I find my hands are often the most sore body part after leg day, so I like straps just to keep my hands from feeling so sore… but probably just having a BB hanging without fully engaging your grip is still going to irritate the biceps tendon. Erg… And trying to do Smith Back Squats without being able to put both hands on the bar… double Erg.

FWIW, I like partial, no lockout hack squats a lot too. Those did more to build my quads than anything else, and I can really feel them with just the 25’s on the sled.


#515

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
I didn’t realize your biceps tendon is a limiting factor in holding a heavy BB for DL variations. I’m sure you’ve tried straps. I find my hands are often the most sore body part after leg day, so I like straps just to keep my hands from feeling so sore… but probably just having a BB hanging without fully engaging your grip is still going to irritate the biceps tendon. Erg…[/quote]

I agree–it’s pretty erg. I have tried straps, and they actually make it worse, because they allow me to handle more weight grip-wise, which increases the strain downstream on the biceps tendons. (‘Well, just because you can put extra weight on the bar, it doesn’t mean you have to,’ you say. To which I respond, ‘Remember, I’m a guy, and therefore genetically predispositioned to do dumb things in the weight room.’)

Yeah, stimulation-wise the close-stance hacks definitely felt like the best part of the workout. I’m probably going to make that the main movement henceforth.


#516

What are smith hack squats? Are there youtube examples?

Are you doing the back squats on the smith machine? What kind of weight are you using for the smith machine leg work?

I was doing smith machine squats for a bit, thinking that it make things a bit easier getting back to squatting, but I found that anything over 315 was just terrible for my lower back and especially elbows. Might have just been form. Seemed to generally resolve itself when I moved to free bar. Maybe there was some trick to the smith that I wasn’t understanding though.


#517

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
What are smith hack squats? Are there youtube examples?
[/quote]

The key is placing the feet WAY out in front. The following is a good example (although personally, I don’t go as deep as she does, nor do I come as close to locking out at the top):


#518

That is very interesting–I’ve never seen it before and I may have to give it a try.

How do you find that loading it works? Does lacking the back support of a traditional hack squat lead to problems? What are your thoughts on the risk of foot slippage? Seems like the injury potential is very real…looking at it, might almost make sense to place a 25 out there for each foot to have the angle…but maybe that would make things even more dicey…


#519

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
That is very interesting–I’ve never seen it before and I may have to give it a try.

How do you find that loading it works? Does lacking the back support of a traditional hack squat lead to problems? What are your thoughts on the risk of foot slippage? Seems like the injury potential is very real…looking at it, might almost make sense to place a 25 out there for each foot to have the angle…but maybe that would make things even more dicey…[/quote]

Taking another look, I don’t have my feet quite as far forward as she does–at the bottom of the movement, my shins are vertical, and my knees are at a 90 deg angle. Call it ‘famous last words,’ but I don’t have a sense that I’m at particular risk for slipping. With her foot position, I agree that she has to be careful re slippage (and if you look closely, I think she has her toes against some plates that are in turn touching the wall).

Re the load needed–for me, not much. In my opinion, it’s best thought of as a high-rep, constant-tension exercise.

As for the lack of back support, that’s one of the advantages of doing them this way–it frees you up to make subtle hip adjustments that allow you to put the load right where you want it (ie, in the quads).


#520

Thanks for the insight! Leg day Wednesday!