T Nation

General Strength Training from Finland

29-year old man from Northern Finland. Coming back from hiatus and long term of just practicing better techniques. Now I am after muscle size and strength with compound lifts.

25.3.2019 Monday
Press medium grip:
47,5 x 8, 8, 8
Bench medium grip
50 x 15
Lat pulldown wide grip:
70 x 12
Rotator-cuff training

26.3.19 Tuesday
Zercher-squat
77,5 x 5, 5, 5
Hamstring curl
20 x 12
Hanging knee raises
BW x 7, 7

27.3.19 Wednesday
Press with dumbbells
18 x 10, 10, 10
Bench narrow grip
55 x 10
Lat pulldown btn.
70 x 15
Hammer curl
10 x 15, 15
Lateral raises, rear delt rases, forearms, rotator cuffs

28.3.19 Thursday
Back squat
70 x 5, 5
80 x 5
Trap bar farmer walk
70 x one round
110 x one round
Reverse hyper
BW x 10, 10
Calves

29.3.10 Friday
Seated press wide grip
42,5 x 8, 8, 8
Bench wide grip
52,5 x 15
Lat pulldown narrow gip
70 x 15
Reverse curl
12 x 17, 17
Rotator cuffs

30.3.19 Saturday
Front squat
82,5 x 5, 5
75 x 5
Trap bar farmer walk
110 x three rounds consequently
Lying leg raises
BW x 12, 12

1.4.19 Monday
Press medium grip
47,5 x 9, 9, 9
Bench medium grip
52,5 x 11
Lat pulldown
70 x 15
Hammer curl
10 x 16, 16
Lateral raises, rear delt raises

2.4.19 Tuesday
Zercher-squat
80 x 5
75 x 5, 5
Trap bar farmer walk
145 x one round
Hanging knee raises
BW x 8, 7, 7
Calves

3.4.19 Wednesday
Press with dumbbells
20 x 10, 10, 10
Bench narrow grip
55 x 12
Lat pulldown btn.
70 x 16
Lateral raises, forearms

4.4.19 Thursday
Back squat
85 x 5
67,5 x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 @ 60’
Trap bar farmer walk
60 x five rounds consequently

5.4.19 Friday
Seated press wide grip
42,5 x 9, 9, 9
Bench wide grip
55 x 12
Lat pulldown narrow grip
65 x 12, 12, 12
Rear delts

1 Like

8.4.19 Monday

Press medium grip
47,5 x 10, 10, 10

Bench medium grip
55 x 10
60 x 10

Lat pulldown wide grip
70 x 12, 12, 12

Hammer curl
12 x 13, 13, 10

Rotator cuffs

This is my standing press -workout of the week. I do every rep from dead-stop from bottom-position, where I also take a new breath. I generate no motion from knees nor the hips. The latter seems to be a some kind of trend at the moment, most notably in Mark Rippetoes federation.

In my opinion press differs from push press as in that in press we no do not generate any kind of motion from lower body. It is difficult to see that why it would matter if the momentum is generated from the knees or from the hips. I see press as an movement where the weight is moved with triceps, deltoids, pecs and traps. Other muscular systems of the body are there just to stabilize the movement.

I also try not to bend too much behind. My reasoning for this is not only that is aesthetic (looks cool to press weights while being bolt straight), but that it is much healthier for the lower back. And I guess this kind of pressing actually trains the shoulder girdle better than bending backwards and making it an incline bench press.

Pressing 47,5 kg for three sets of ten is actually lifetime-pr. :smiley:

Variety is good, after years of Kettlebell training and using mainly strict presses and push press I noticed that they both carryover each other pretty well. I usually saved Jerk on certain days and maybe one or two sets here and there. But with Barbell they variation between strich and push could bring overall great results.

Oh you should try the Z-press if you really want to eliminate lowerbody from the lift and put more load on the core stabilization.

Nice workout !

1 Like

I have practiced both jerk and push press, but for me the charm is to press the “blunt way”, without any assistance. Push press would be a really good triceps assistance though: Press alone won’t probably be enough for the tricep because the bottom position is such a limit for using heavy weights.

Thats actually the only reason I started benching again: I use it as an assistance for my triceps, which will drive my overhead press up (hopefully).

I have done Z-press with dumbbells and it felt like a really awesome deltoid hypetrophy-exercise. I will most likely introduce it to my training in the future…

9.4.19 Tuesday

Today is the second time I squatted in the spirit of Pavel Tsatsoulines view of strength-oriented hypertrophy training: The Russian Bear.

Back squat
87,5 kg x 5
70 kg x 5 x 20 @ 90’

Calves 3x

Opposed to 60 seconds, I felt like 90 second rest has a better trade-off between fatigue and technical quality of the sets.

In The Russian Bear there is another strength-set @ 90 % of the first set of five, but from my training philosophy point of view, I feel like I don’t need it. The first set is good also as waking up the nervous system for the lower sets - in Finnish we call them “ylimenosarja”.

At the moment I think twenty sets is a good maximum amount of sets.

Feels good to be back squatting again. I haven’t done this since my olympic weightlifting days.

1 Like

10.4.19 Wednesday - light workout

Seated press narrow grip, no pause
30 x 12, 12, 12

Bench narrow grip
65 x 5

Lat pulldown btn.
60 x 15, 15, 12

Lateral raises, rotator cuffs

Im thinking of changing this workout from overhead-focus to bench-focus. Overhead press is my primary focus, but I think in overall I might get better trade-off with 2 press 1 bench than 3 press 0 bench. Now my bench-workouts are scattered around after the ohp’ing. With this orientation I wouldn’t need to bench on other days after my press sets.Overall I think the change would make my training program more rational. Will see.

To clarify, for 2019 I have committed myself to pressing twice a week and squatting twice a week. That works without a problem. But I also recently interested in carrying, so thats one more training day. And now Im thinking that a separate bench day just to focus on triceps could benefit my pressing.

1 Like

11.4.19 Thursday

Trap bar farmers walk
150 x one round - pr
115 x two rounds - pr

Hamstring curls

I’ve been thinking about the reasonability of this training slot in the long run.

  1. I have recently started adding back-taxing exercises (back squat, ohp) and progressive overload into my program
  2. I already have one carrying exercise in my program (zercher squat)

I want to do carrying training but at the moment I think Im spreading myself too thin when it comes to exercise selection, my goals, my recovery and especially my lower back. In my intuition it feels a lot wiser to skip carrying for now and concentrate on bringing core strength back in other, less spine-taxing ways.

1 Like

12.4.19 Friday

Seated press wide grip
42,5 x 10, 10 , 10 - pr

Lat pulldown narrow grip
65 x 15
60 x 15, 15, 15, 15

Rotator cuffs

I have done this press variation with a dead-pause at the bottom, but from now on I think I would benefit from having a continuous motion as well.

I was also about to train forearms and side delts, but I got caught up in conversation.

1 Like

Good way to fire up core is to have long pause at the top position of Over head press. That also helps greatly to build up shoulder stability.

Might try to alternate Zercher and farmer carry weekly, and focus them more as GPP rather than PR movements.

12.4.19 Friday-evening

Zercher squat
82,5 kg x 5
65 kg x 5 x 20 @ 90’

Had a nice workout with my friend. Sauna afterwards. Now I will go to McDonalds and rest for next two days. B-)

I am such a pig for pr-sets (although I rarely do single sets with high intensity, I rather go for volume and let pr’s come on their own) that Im wary of disturbing that progress with other stuff. like GPP.

The switching idea is good, but Id like to keep two squat days / week. I also like to think squatting on The Bear -routine as some sort of GPP…

1 Like

15.4.19 Monday

Press
50 x 6, 6, 6, 6, 7

Bench narrow grip
55 x 13

Lat pulldown behind the neck
60 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

Hammercurls, facepulls and rotator cuff training

I’m not sure but I think my best sets for pressing 50 kg are 3x8 and 5x7. I’m aiming to break those next - not sure that which one. Real sign of progression would be to press several sets of 9 with 50kg. :slight_smile:

Took this workout purposefully lazily.

1 Like

16.4.19 Tuesday

Back squat
90 x 5
72,5 x 5, 5, 5 @ 90 ’

I aggravated my left inner thigh / hamstring area. There is a spot in my thigh musculature that has nagged me from time to time since time immemorial and I just have to wait it to heal. It has something to with wide leg stance: I squat my toes pointed very outwards and legs are more than shoulder width away from each other.

I did hamstring curls, abs, calves and forearms instead. :slight_smile:

So I had to bail my Russian Bear -workout. You might even say that… I couldn’t bear it. Thank you.

1 Like

17.4.19 Wednesday

Z-press
5 x 8 x 40 kg

Dumbbell seal row
3 x 10 x 25 kg

Reverse curls and rotator cuff training

As it was suggested above, I took Z-press at least for this cycle. Felt my abs working really hard.

I think my training in three week periods. For the next three weeks I will press a bit more, 5 sets per workout. I usually like to switch between 5 and 3. Five being more about building, three more about testing - both still having nice volume to them which I always want from my workouts.

Now that Im pressing three times a week and with hefty volume, I think the importance of variation in grip width and movement itself comes up. I used to always press with same technique, stance, grip width and even rep-length because of “technical efficiency” or just sheer stubborness. It actually didn’t serve my training well.

EDIT: Oh, about seal row. I did a lot of rowing last winter and autumn, which I think aggravated my sternum region somehow. At worse, I couldnt rest on my stomach without being careful, or otherwise I felt really painful discomfort in my sternum. Feels like it is behind me now, at least I could row with 25 kg dumbbells. First set I actually did one dumbbell at a time so that it halved the forces pressing my sternum. :smiley:

1 Like

18.4.19 Thursday

Front squat
3 x 70 kg
10 x 3 x 60 kg @ 90’

Hamstring curls 2x15-20

As I told the day before yesterday, I aggravated my thigh. It actually felt fine the same evening and yesterday it was completely okay. I went to the gym - not to do a hard training session - but to feel things out. No pain, but I could feel “something” in there. Is it possible that the muscle has cramped somehow to protect itself? Nevertheless, this encourages me to do the usual Zercher squat -workout on Saturday.

PS. My midback - the thoratic region - is really, REALLY sore from Z-presses… I have never felt this kind of sensation! :smiley:

Yes muscles can cramp up to protect themselves. To counter the thoratic stress I would recommend to do pullups, or lat pulldown towards chest and face pulls (or that is what I usually do) after heavy press sets. They open up the chest pretty well and help out the imbalance. Kinda same logic as doing good amount of ab workout after heavy DL or squat day, to ease off the lower back (and don\t forget to hang so the spine decompresses a bit).

The leg cramp thing is bit odd, but maybe increased mobility work and more warmup on those muscles could help or some cossack squats.

1 Like

Yes, facepulls are great. I do them before every upper body workout for three sets of 12-20 and sometimes after the workout. It is also a good way to “fire up” rear and lateral delts for ohp’ing.

Good stretch for thoratic region is just to lay on back on a foam roller and let it stretch the upper spine. Another one is to stand in a door way, grap walls from both sides and lean slight forward. It is the opposite of “hunched over pc, playing Civ 4” -posture that I regularly perform.

For spine decompression I regularly do “cat camel” -stretches… Lately Ive slacked on the ab work. I have justified that because of doing so much compounds. Poor excuse, I know.

19.4.19 Friday

Seated press wide grip
5 x 7 x 45 kg

Lat pulldown narrow grip
2 x 10 x 70 kg
1 x 10 x 60 kg

Barbell curl (bottom and back against a wall)
3 x 8 x 20 kg

Facepulls and rotator cuff training

I might need to lower the weight on this variation of press. I think the intensity gets a tad too high. I may shoot for 5x10-12x40kg next week. Will see.

I recommend this curl variation for all the bicep-enthusiasts.

1 Like

20.4.19 Saturday

Zercher-squat
1 x 100 kg
5 x 85 kg
6 x 5 x 67,5 kg @ 90’

Hamstring curls and forearm training

Trained with a friend and I felt a bit gassed out, so I didnt go all the way in my timed squat sets. I’m not interested in planned 1 rep max -training, but today I just wanted to feel 100 kg in my arms.

Also went to swimming today in the local sports center. They have a legit cold-water pool there (6 degrees). Took some dips in it and also in the warm water pool (36 degrees).

1 Like

22.4.19 Monday

Press
5 x 5 x 52,5 kg

Lat pulldown btn.
3 x 15 x 60 kg

Hammer curls, facepulls and rotator cuff training

I think I’ll be going for 5x5x57,5kg and 5x5x60kg in the press. I justify this with two reasons: I already have longish rep ranges in my other press variations and I’d like to go for blue plates in the bar. :smiley:

1 Like