Lo/Rez: From CGA to EGA

[quote]spar4tee wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:
2. Deadlifts apparently do thicken the midsection. Gironda was right. You can see that my obliques got wider.[/quote]
Well of course. Your core and trunk are heavily involved in the deadlift. They are muscles and hypertrophy will take place given the right conditions. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s not just the obliques but also the lats and erectors (and even the rectus abdominus) that will make your midsection appear thicker.[/quote]
Oh I know.

When I first was reading up on Gironda, almost every time someone new on any forum asked about “squats and deadlifts thickening their midsection”, the response was “don’t worry bro, you can’t change your genetics”.

But all it takes is a couple looks at pro strongmen and it’s obvious.

You also have to factor in that pro strongman specifically train for a thicker midsection. Its not just squats and deads, but lots of heavy core work to get better at heavy lifting.

^ Just chiming in. It’s one of those things where goals do matter, right? A lot of us like to do the heavy compound lifts, but if your goal is purely aesthetics, you might de-emphasize some things. I don’t do weighted obliques for that reason. FWIW, I don’t think my lifting has widened my waist, at least not much.

Looks like your shoulder rehab has come along. I’m impressed that you can do dips, since that’s a movement that seems to really irritate mine.

(Back from vacation now.)

What I found interesting about those comments was that people seemed to think that hypertrophy of the midsection wasn’t possible.

At this point though, I would much rather be strong through the hips/abs/lower back, since that actually translates well to overall bodily strength. I’d hate to think I’d intentionally keep myself weaker for the sake of slightly better “aesthetics”. I’d much rather build out width in the upper back and shoulders than try to limit growth around the waist.

Dips, and ring dips, don’t seem to bother my shoulders much. Once upon a time, I had some shoulder pain at the front of my shoulders from parallel bar dips though. And chest pain/costochondritis when I was doing dips + pullovers. All that went away though.

The pain I feel now is all toward the outside of my shoulder, just underneath the bony part. Lateral and front raises still give me some trouble if I don’t get everything aligned just right. I can’t hold the bar in a proper front rack position either without pain.

On the other hand, I did get a second shoulder press workout in last week, without pain during or afterward, so there’s progress somewhere.

Last Thursday’s lifting session. March 5th.

[Heavier Gym] Barbell Press from Rack
45 x 10
55 x 8
65 x 8
70 x 8
100 x 1 x 3; 100 x 7 x 2
80 x 6, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3
70 x 10

Just like the other gym I lifted in last year (same chain), this barbell is heavier than either of mine. Since I have two barbells that feel the same, and both were sold as weighing 45lbs, I just assumed they’re actually 45lbs. But this gym’s barbells are all heavier than mine. I think I’m just going to take a scale to my gym and weigh mine now.

Good news from this workout was that I had zero shoulder pain afterwards from it. Right elbow didn’t feel great though; still some pressure and weird pain when straightening here and there. I’m going to find an ART practitioner to work on it.

Friday and Sunday I did a couple hikes. One in Sedona, and one in Washington, overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. I did them with my girlfriend, and her cardio/conditioning is just much better than mine. I’ll need to work on that. I also need some actual hiking shoes.

Sunday I did ring dips, 10 lbs x 5,4,3,2,1. Moving to 15 lbs today.

I re-read Calvert’s Super Strength on the plane, and a bit of Jowett’s stuff last night when I couldn’t sleep.

A couple thoughts. I’m going to add in pullovers again, I’m going to build a wrist roller, and I may start adding in some heavy swings with something like the “hungarian core blaster”.

The first, because “deepening the rib box” is something that both authors are still pretty insistent can be done even into the 30s, and they talk about it from a health standpoint, as in, more room for the lungs and organs.

The second, because strengthening the wrists and forearms will help with my pressing, and probably elbow pain, and may carry over to “allowing” my upper arms to get bigger.

The third, because there’s enough anecdotal evidence for me to give this a try, beyond what I did with my kettlebells in the past. Better movement patterns through the hips, strengthening the hips and core, better transfer of power from the lower to upper body, etc.

I may also consider implementing end-range partials/lock-outs here and there, with the premise of “stronger tendons and ligaments can enable stronger muscles”.

90-100 years after these books were published, there’s really nothing too new. The core lifts back then were heavy swings, snatches, clean and jerk, overhead press, bench/floor press, dumbbell flys, squats, deadlifts, rows, and some lockout-based stuff. And there was a distinction between “lifts that are impressive” and “exercises that make you strong”. And meat and eggs and vegetables and fresh air are good for you.

Earlier

Ring Pullups
bw x 3
15lb x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This was completely wrong. Should have been 4, 3, 2, 2, 1. Whoops.

Ring Dips
bw x 3
15lb x 3, 2, 1, 1

Pullovers
A few sets with ~18 lbs.

Later

Attempted to go to the gym at 6pm. The power rack and squat rack were occupied the whole time, and all the barbells were in use. Waited for awhile, but couldn’t get in.

At least it was because people were squatting, overhead squatting and snatching. One guy doing RDLs.

Went to the other gym, same situation.

Came home. I’ll either do my presses later tonight or tomorrow, mid-day or something.

I’m apparently really spoiled by a home gym. I just want to continue this pressing from the rack with the heavier barbells for now.

Went over lunchtime, much emptier. Found out I wasn’t allowed to use this gym with my membership, so I have to use the lower grade one. All I need is a bar and a rack.

Heavier Barbell Press from Rack
45 x 10
50 x 8
55 x 8
60 x 8
105 x 2 x 3; 105 x 2; 100 x 5 x 2
80 x 6, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3
70 x 10

Very last rep required a ton of backbend to get it up. Didn’t rest quite enough before the set, so had to rely on sheer willpower more than normal.

Did all these in my lifting shoes.

My pressing is abysmal. A couple years of shoulder and elbow issues can take some of the blame, but still.

I’m surprised that 120 x 5 on Z presses doesn’t translate to 120 x 5 on standing presses. It seems my shoulders and arms are strong enough to do it, but somehow I’m having trouble transferring that weight when I’m on my feet. I also have a fair amount of hyperextension around my low back, even with the lifting shoes. Given that my glutes, hamstrings, lower back and upper back are well trained at the moment, my abs or quads are likely the weak point. Neither are getting trained much right now. I thought the Z press would help with the hyperextension, but I seem to be wrong.

It’s also possible that my “hip flexors” are tight, but I’m relegating that idea to the back burner. I’d rather approach this by building more strength than by mobility or flexibility drills. Strength seems to mask movement issues pretty well; might as well take advantage of that. Plus, that might not be the issue at all.

As far as shoulder pain, it seems to be better when pressing from the rack than clean and pressing. Granted, this is also with a barbell instead of the axle. Front rack position has been painful, which might rule out front squats (for quad strength). Barbell hack squats might be an option, depending on how my knees handle it. My knees don’t like me squatting high bar in olympic shoes.

For abs, there’s weighted ab work and rollouts. There’s also TRX rollouts that can be done with the rings.

In other news, I find it really interesting how much body structure plays into which lifts are “naturally strong”. I have narrow shoulders and long arms, both of which hurt me for any kind of pressing, but I’m built for deadlifting. My girlfriend has shorter legs and a longer torso, which makes her very well suited for squats.

Broader shoulders and back make a difference when it comes to pressing. If you skip back to the writing before the introduction of steroids (so, pre-1954), there’s a lot of interesting information about actually adjusting one’s skeletal structure. Pullovers and chest breathing (with or without breathing squats) focused on actually increasing the size of the ribcage, both front to back and around. This then drives the scapula outward, which widens the shoulders. You can’t make the clavicles longer, but you can make some changes to the rest of the structures.

Additionally, Jowett puts a special focus on bone, tendon and ligament strength. Crucifix holds and similar were the techniques he advocated for improving the shoulder skeletal structure. He also has a number of exercises too for increasing forearm size, and by extension, wrist size by increasing the ligament thickness. And he’s also a strong advocate of heavy partial work. Given that he basically made a name for himself by juggling anvils, I hold him in pretty high regard.

What I also find fascinating is that his knowledge of anatomy and detailed technique for certain lifts is on par with the kinds of things Stu mentions. He has such a scientific understanding of lifting technique, from a time that most people today assume were the “lifting dark ages” when everyone was ignorant. If someone translated his writing into modern language, he could be hailed as yet another modern “guru” as most of it would be considered cutting edge.

It’s just funny how much stuff we forget as a culture.

Ring Pullups
bw x 3
15lb x 4, 3, 2, 2, 1

Really focusing on keeping good control and getting full relaxation at the bottom. Since I’ve got a slow progression going, I’m working toward increasingly “perfect” reps. Better control is never a bad thing.

Ring Dips
bw x 3
15lb x 3, 2, 2, 1

Pullovers
A few sets with ~18 lbs throughout the day. Most of the work is limited in a range to stretch the chest.

Overhead Situps
A few sets with ~18 lbs.

These I read about in “The Key to Might and Muscle”. Basically hold weight above you and do a situp. Nothing more. Figured I’d just tack that on with the pullovers using the same weight. There might be some opportunity to combine the two.

Ring Pullups
bw x 3
15lb x 4, 3, 3, 2, 1

Then later went to the lower-end gym that I’m allowed to use with my membership. Hit it at a better time, and had a rack to use.

Heavier Barbell Press from Rack
45 x 10
50 x 8
60 x 8
100 x 4 x 3; 100 x 4 x 2
80 x 6, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3
70 x 10

This went pretty smoothly. Didn’t feel rushed either, but was still relatively fast paced. Unlike the other sessions, I didn’t feel like it was a ton of hard work.

Unilateral Tricep Pushdowns
4 sets, sticking in the 8-12ish range. Started with my weaker right side, moved to the left, bumped the weight, repeated, dropped the weight repeated, kept it there, repeated.

Deadlifts, from the floor, with ****** octagonal plates
135 x 5, tng
185 x 3, tng
225 x 3
275 x 2
315 x 1
335 x 5 x 1
345 x 1
275 x 5, tng

Mostly I did this because I was a bit annoyed at the few bros on the cable machine, and the couple guys trying way too hard to squat 135 and 185. They didn’t seem to understand the concept of hard work, so I demonstrated. Unsurprisingly, the guy squatting 185 started working harder.

Just a light deadlift session though. It’s been awhile since I lifted from the floor.

It’s kind of neat that 345 is just a “light” session for me though. My plan is for 500 to be the same one of these days.

kgildner pointed out yesterday that I hit 6666 posts. “The mark of the beast with a stutter”, emskee said.

95+% of his posts have been useful and informative.

95+% of my posts have not been.

Going back a few days.

Saturday:
Ring Pullups
bw x 3
15lb x 4, 4, 3, 2, 1

Ring Dips
bw x 3
15lb x 3, 3, 2, 1

Monday:
Heavier Barbell Clean and Press
40 x 8
45 x 8
50 x 8
60 x 8
100 x 1 x 3
long long break, waiting for equipment
100 x 5 x 3; 100 x 3 x 2
80 x 6, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3
60 x 10

I went to the gym at a time where I should have had a rack, but there were two olympic lifters using the racks. I warmed up then sat on a unused chest press machine and read from an ebook for awhile. Then just decided to use the fixed bars (which go up to 100) and do clean and presses.

I was really just looking for a place to unrack the bar, but really, clean and press it was.

This was supposed to be 5x3, 3x2. Technically I did 6x3, 3x2. I’m trying to decide whether to jump to 7x3 next time, or just a straight 6x3. I’m also thinking about a 5lb jump when I go up in weight instead of 3.

This program is trying my patience. While I understand that following it to the letter will be good for me, my ego just wants to throw weight on the bar.

I’m reading through a number of the books on the Bob Whelan Natural Strength site. Stuff by Jowett, Hackenshmidt, Liederman, Sandow, Calvert.

Since he published them on there in blog format, there’s some other random stuff interspersed between chapters. One of them discussed a bulking diet; something of a reinterpretation of the 20 rep squat diets and McCallum’s work.

It calls for:

  1. 3000+ calories.
  2. 2.25 x BW protein
  3. relatively equal amounts of fat and carbs for the rest
  4. 6-8 weeks only

I’m giving it a shot for the next few weeks. I really haven’t experimented with a super-high protein diet for the purposes of weight gain.

After running some numbers, it looks like a good base is 1lb of meat + 3 protein shakes with two scoops protein powder and whole milk.

Yesterday was 1.5 lbs of beef (some in the form of chili), 2 protein shakes, and a malt from dairy queen. It was their “free cone” day, and my girlfriend wanted a cone.

Also, left shoulder blade, inside near the spine, still feeling weird. This goes in and out, but it’s been a few months now.

I might hold off on weighted pullups, and maybe even weighted dips for now. I might work on inverted rows, or just work on bodyweight volume with the pullups and dips.

I’m not having stability issues, but it still feels like the muscle is overstretched or something on that side. Low-trap-ish.

My girlfriend ran in a 15k race this weekend. I was there to watch and support.

Watching the finishers come in made me think about running again. I used to be good at it, and being there at the finish made me miss it a bit.

Not sure how this will play out. I may actually condition myself to run a 5k in the next several months.

I keep posting in here post facto.

3 days of that diet have gone well. I also seem to be a lot hungrier now than before.

Yesterday:
Ring Pullups
bw x some
15lb x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Time to bump this up in weight.

Ring Dips
bw x some
15lb x 4, 3, 2, 1

I started with the rings a bit lower. It seems the bottom position is stretching that area between my left shoulderblade and spine. Not sure yet what this mean. Also, my right elbow is hurting on lockout again. I stopped doing the daily hanging, so that could be a contributor.

7 Mat Pulls with 35lb of Chains
Just worked up to 275 x 5.

Fat Grip Wrist Roller
Assembled this yesterday. No real progression plan. Crazy forearm pump. I’m much stronger rolling it backwards (palms to the ground, rolling the top of the bar toward me) than the other way.

Also had bad luck finding 1-1/2" pipe for making farmers walk handles. Got the handle part figured out though.

Also, I’m now seriously thinking about entering a 5k in a few months.

I figure 6 weeks of this eating plan, then 6-8 weeks of running training, and I should be in pretty good shape. I also think it would take about 4 months for me to be as good as I was in high school, now that I know what I know. Could be kidding myself though.

I don’t know if, right now, I could run a sub-20 minute 5k. I think I broke 18 minutes once, 17:56 or something. But my memory is fuzzy. I know I was running in the low 18s most of the time.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Also, I’m now seriously thinking about entering a 5k in a few months.

[/quote]

I’m going to try Overhead Situps when I do DB pullovers. Maybe even try that with a cable instead of a DB. I like it when I can find something new to do as a superset.

About running - Since your GF is a runner and she sometimes lifts weights with you… Sounds like a good way to mix it up and do something together. ANd you can relive your glory days. Win.

Hi Lo/Rez,

Congrats on your devilishly high number of posts. And don’t sell your comments too short. I think you are one of the better commenters on this site. Your thorough, analytical style is always refreshing in a thread.

I enjoy your log and keep up with it pretty regularly. Like you, I was a runner before I got into the weights, so we have had some similar progressions.

I understand the itch to run again. I get that when I hang out with my sister-in-law (she’s a former college runner and now coaches and does marathons and big trail races).

Your plan for a quick 5k in the near future sounds fun. Have you thought about how you will mix your training for that with your lifting? I’m always curious about hybrid programs like that.

Thanks to both of you for reading.

The overhead situps are interesting. I’ve only tried them out, so I haven’t really formed much of an opinion. I’m curious how you like them.

As far as running: Fortunately I ran with a good team in high school, with great coaching, so I actually have a decent idea how to train for that. What I’m not sure of is how this will work with lifting. It might work really well, and it might not. Obviously will need more food, but I really have no idea how the “muscle” recovery is going to work with the “endurance” recovery. I know I couldn’t train for sprinting and lifting concurrently, but I just don’t know about distance.

I have exercise-induced asthma. I didn’t know it back in high school, but it killed me during competition (figuratively). It didn’t seem to show up much during training though, so the coaches never noticed. Now that I have an inhaler, this should no longer be an issue.

Running training though, is going to be broken up roughly like this:

  • speed work: ~600-1200m work, at much faster than race pace, with lots of rest between each
  • paced distance work: 5-8 mile runs, slightly slower than race pace, but still fairly hard runs
  • recovery capacity: intervals, faster than race pace, but slower than speed work, with shortened rest periods
  • general aerobic work: not really caring about speed, and this can double as recovery work; could be bike or rower or whatever

Goal is to get faster in the first three over the last time I trained it, every session.

I may arrange this roughly like we used to in-season.

At home, with my newly minted equipment:

Fat Bar Wrist Roller
27.5 lbs for a few sets
25 lbs for several sets, interspersed with long breaks while doing actual work work

Then later hit up a plumbing supply place, trying to find 1.5" black pipe. They only had 21 foot sections, but their other store has a fab shop that can customize it for me. I was going to head over there, but I decided to go to the gym before the post-work crowd.

And… once again, no available rack today. Even at yet another random afternoon time. The whole point of using up my gym membership here was so that I can press, with their barbells, from their racks. And so far that’s happened 4 of the 6 times I’ve used it.

That said…

Fixed Barbell Clean and Press
40 x 8
50 x 8
60 x 8
“power”: 100 x 7 x 3; 100 x 1 x 3
“mass”: 80 x 6, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3
“flush”: 60 x 10

Unilateral Tricep Pushdowns
right arm first, then match with the left; other arm crossed over the body to make sure only the triceps are used
0 plates x 10
1 plate x 8, 10, 10, 6, 5 (variations due to rest periods)

Not a bad session, all things considered. One more press session and I “get” to increase the weight.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
kgildner pointed out yesterday that I hit 6666 posts. “The mark of the beast with a stutter”, emskee said.

95+% of his posts have been useful and informative.

95+% of my posts have not been.

[/quote]

By “his” you mean “of kgildner” right?

[quote]emskee wrote:
By “his” you mean “of kgildner” right?
[/quote]
Ha.

It would be nice if you started a log back up though. Your perspective and experience is nice to have around here.

Ring Pullups
bw x some
20lb x 3, 2, 1

Ring Dips
bw x some
15lb x 4, 3, 2, 2, 1

I’d kept my feet in front of the weight the last couple sessions, and did it behind the weight (knees bent) this time. This seems to be better for that spot on my back, and just a generally stronger position. I think I’ll keep doing it this way.

Then later:

7 Mat Pulls with 35lb of Chains
135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 3
290 x 5
260 x 5

I’m not even sure this counted as a workout, it feels so light. Back to 15lb daily-ish progressions again.