T Nation

Lo/Rez Training



Good call. I’ll do that.


I’m going to stop that now though. I can already tell pressing every day isn’t going to work for me, at least not at this point of development. And I don’t see how I can fit OHP into my schedule and still improve BTN presses.

Someday though, I’ll add standard OHP into my schedule. Now’s not the time.

Recording this here for memory’s sake:

A recommended beginners pressing schedule, from a someone who worked with and studied the olympic pressers back when pressing was part of the olympics. From what I can tell, guy knew what he was talking about.

5 6 7 8 9 10 x 3
5 6 7 8 9 10 x 4
5 6 7 8 x 5
add 10 pounds, start over

That’s a 10 lbs increase over 16 sessions, so, realistically, 10lbs a month if you actually train every other day. Then again, Starting Strength only increases 20lbs a month, and with a whole lot less volume.

More info… turns out the guy who wrote that article was the same guy who trained Doug Hepburn, who could press 400lbs from the rack, and set the world record at 380lbs clean and press. So yes, I think he knows what he’s talking about.


And with respect to the breathing squat, I may consider this method for judging when to progress.

[quote]My one fear was not being able to satisfactorily gauge the hardness of a set. Don?t forget that 5 pounds onto a set of 20 reps is a 100-pound loading. I found collars which weighed 1¼ pounds each. So now, my standard increment would be 2½ pounds once I?d worked up to the stage when it would be needed. Even so, I wanted a gauge for the hardness of a set. Suddenly it hit me ? pulse rate. I?d registered over 180 on a very hard set, so an easier set would have a lower rate.

I started to squat at 200 pounds and my pulse rate was under 120. Within 2 weeks my knee was cured and I started my 5 pounds per workout increases. Up to 280 my pulse rate never exceeded 130. The 5-pound increments remained until 300 pounds, then I started training medium, light, heavy, as before. This time I pegged the light night at 300. The heavy workout would move up in poundage and the medium workout would be placed midway between the heavy and light workouts. Above 300 pounds I increased the poundage by 5 pounds per week. I had the occasional pulse rate around 140.

Once at 320, things got tougher and I started using the 1¼ pound collars. I was now getting the pulse rate up to 160. This was measured as soon as possible after the set of squats was done and no more than a minute after. With practice, I can say that for me on the breathing squat the ranges of pulse hardness are:

up to 120 no effect
120 to 140 easy
140 to 160 medium
160 to 180 hard
over 180 very hard

I tried to keep my heavy sets as near 160 as possible, but not over 160. If I had a pulse reading over 160, there would be no poundage increase until it was back under 160 again, and then only a 2½ pound increment.[/quote]

From ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/06/breathing-squats-from-70lbs-to-400-x-20.html


BW + 20: 3x12
– Well, the layoff did me good. I hadn’t quite gotten BW+17.5 before, but was able to get BW+20 this time. Good. No chest pain. A little twinge in my right shoulder on one of the reps, but good after that.

75: 3x8

Went to the company pool party. I know I wasn’t as scrawny as I felt, but I still felt scrawny. A handful were in decent shape. One guy was a beast. Mostly just played water volleyball.

Straight Arm Pulldowns
80x15 80x12 80x 9 + 70x3

Low Cable Rows
130: 10 10
120: 10 + 3, restpause

I’m going back to GOMAD. Maybe not a full gallon, maybe a full gallon. I’ve been stuck in this 145-147 range for over 10 days now. I want to bump up to 153ish in the next 2 weeks.


Sunburn hurts. Mine’s pretty mild, since I used sunscreen, but still, ow.

Breathing Squats
Took awhile to get myself psyched up for these, and then when I was nice and peaceful and calm, I started out going too slow. So by rep 15, the bar on my shoulders was really starting to hurt and I set it down for about 15 seconds and then finished.

Heart rate hit 158bpm. 200 next time? Or 195 again? We’ll see.

Light Pullovers

Wide Grip Bradford Press – thumbs past rings

Since my shoulders can’t handle any real weight right now, and since I’m going out of town for the weekend, I figured I might as well try these for a pump. Reading through spar4tee’s logs gave me some inspiration, and the referral to the High Protein High Sets routine gave me the basic outline. Just wanted a pump. Got a pump. Last few reps of the last two sets were rough.

I definitely felt some RC uncomfortableness while doing these, pain I’d been feeling off and on the last day or so. But towards the end, that part felt better, and the shoulders were pumped like crazy.


Something happened this weekend. Went out of town to a festival in Columbus. I was having a generally good weekend, but my appetite was completely dead from Saturday on. Monday, depression kicked in hard and I took a day off work.

Somewhere in this list of very bad things – minimal food for 3 days minimal hydration for 3 days some alcohol not a lot of sleep – I triggered some of my worst depressed states. Spent the day on the couch, effectively catatonic, fixated on the computer as my brain was trying to repress things.

Lost 6 lbs between Friday morning and Tuesday morning. Damn dehydration.

Will be back in the gym tonight.


Seems she’s done with the survey, but for the sake of posterity, my Alexithymic results.

127 points total.

Category: Difficulty Identifying Feelings: 24 Points <15 - 18>
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

Category: Difficulty Describing Feelings: 18 Points <10 - 12>
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

Category: Vicarious Interpretation of Feelings: 8 Points <8 - 9>
In this category you show some alexithymic traits.

Category: Externally-Oriented Thinking: 30 Points <18 - 21>
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

Category: Restricted Imaginative Processes: 16 Points <18 - 21>
In this category you show no alexithymic traits.

Category: Problematic Interpersonal Relationships: 21 Points <15 - 18>
In this category you show high alexithymic traits.

Category: Sexual Difficulties and Disinterest: 10 Points <10 - 12>
In this category you show no alexithymic traits.


Feeling quite bad before starting this workout.

Breathing Squats
200 x 10, 3, 3, 2, 2
– these were only short pauses while I racked the bar to catch my breath. Will be repeating until I hit 200x20.

21.25: 12, 12, 10 + 2 assist
– Right elbow hurt during a few reps, moved/jerked to compensate, felt it in right shoulder biceps tendon. Decided I’m going to start microloading these so I can stay as close to 3x12 as possible.

BTN Press
95: 6
75: 12, 12
– Lower back arched too much and hurt after first set. I’m going to work with 80x3x12 next time and go up from there. Will start using Prone Hyperextensions as mentioned by McCallum. Not sure when/where, but will reread the program.

BB Curls
75: 3x9
– Was about to say… nothing to complain about here, but my shoulders were actually hurting on this one, near my lateral delts.

Straight-Arm Pulldowns
80: 12 + 70:6
70: 15, 12
– Lower back still sore for these.

– I hit PRs in all but the BTN Press, but overall felt and feel awful. Sore, weak, aching, etc. Probably the biggest PR of all was the fact that I still went into the gym and worked the routine.
– I did the whole program, all at once. None of this splitting stuff out. No accessory lifts. Just the original programming, rearranged.

Now off to buy some groceries.


Feeling good at the start of this one. Had a few glasses of milk in my stomach, and then a Rockstar Recovery about 15 minutes before. 20 calories, caffeine, B vitamins, taurine, insoitol, l-carnitine.

Used the Thoracic Bridge from the article a few days ago. Also did some shoulder dislocates, moving my hands in until it was too tight.

Warmed up for squats with a few sets of 10sec static holds with 255lbs. Picked this idea up from reading a few 20 rep squat threads and logs around the web. Felt very heavy at first, and then it settled in quickly, and improved my bar placement. Made 200 feel “light”.

Breathing Squats
200: 1x20
– used music this time. I’d been lifting in silence, and this helped too. And, as mentioned, it felt much lighter after the holds.

21.25: 3x12
– Didn’t do any warmup, should have. First set was a bit rough. Following two sets were good. Counted from 12 down, which was easier than counting up.

Attempted a BTN press here. Laughed at the fact I didn’t consider my triceps in rearranging the exercises.

Straight-Arm Pulldowns
70: 2x18
70: 10 + 60: 5 + 50: 3
– I don’t think I ever did these for a legit 3x18 at 70, so I went back to that. These are supposed to be in the 15-18 range.

75: 3x10
– Grip is still wide, just inside the rings.

BTN Press
95: 6
85: 10, 11
– Not sure why these suck these days. So. Back to 85 until 3x12. Tried a staggered stance, but my back was still arching… just less so than before. Those SA pulldowns aren’t good for the back.

Overall I was pleased with this workout. I felt great after the squats though, 200 has been a frustrating mental barrier. I love the static holds for making those seem easier. And that mobility drill is quite awesome with respect to hip flexibility.


Measurement update. It’s been a little more than 15 days since last time, but close enough.

Right upper arm: 12.25, was 12
Left upper arm: 12.75, was 12.5
Right forearm: 10.5 was 10.5
Left forearm: 10.5 was 10.5
Chest: 37.5 was 37
Waist: 29.5 was 30
Hips (at widest point… i.e. glutes): 36 was 35.75
Left thigh: 21 was 21.5 (measurement error or fat loss?)
Right thigh: 21.25 was 21.5 (measurement error or fat loss?)
Left calf: 13.25 was 13.25
Right calf: 13.25 was 13.25
Shoulders around: 45 was 44

Bodyweight: 146.3 (was 145)

Clearly I need to work on my diet and bump those calories up. 1.3lbs in 3 weeks is pathetic.

Body composition changes were good though. Waist is 1/2" smaller, Chest is 1/2" bigger, Shoulders are 1" bigger.


Progress photos, or lack-of-progress photos.

In grayscale, since the colors were too inconsistent between the photos.



  • 3 rounds thoracic bridge
  • 265lb static squat holds
  • took a preworkout for the first time; beta alanine, creatine, arginine, glutamine, caffeine, taurine; 3 scoops

205: 15
– I got overheated. Not sure why since the temperature claimed 72 degrees, but that’s what happened. Maybe the preworkout?

30: 20

BW + 22.5: 3x12
– finally made it to half a plate; yay! But chest is hurting on these again, even more than last time. I think I’ll push it, up the fish oil again, and throw in some aspirin.

Kneeling SA Pulldowns
70: 3x16
– trying to just do a 3x15,16,17,18 progression on these, instead of the dropset approach from before. I can do 80 for awhile, but I want to get 70x3x18 first.

75: 3x11

Standing BTN Press
80: 3x12
– some RC or tendon pain at first; YTWLs between 2nd and 3rd set made the 3rd set go well. Will probably add these to a warmup.

Overall decent session. Not great, and the squats surprised me. I like the idea of the preworkout but I’m not sure what happened with the squats.

Either way, made progress.

Also added 500mg vitamin c with bioflavinoids to the diet as of yesterday.

Supplements currently:

  • 2 tbsp fish oil
  • 1 tbsp wheat germ oil
  • 5000 IU vitamin D
  • 500 mg vitamin C
  • One ‘n’ Only multi


Just for fun, another photo.

7 weeks progress. (5/17 to 7/6)

Not a fair comparison; pre-workout before, post-workout after.


Took 3 scoops of that preworkout as an “energy drink” this morning. Trying to get the beta-alanine, creatine and arginine into my system. Interestingly, I felt “overheated” again at work, so maybe that’s just how I react to that preworkout.

Squat Static Holds
265: 3 x 10sec

Breathing Squats
205: 1 x 20

Light Pullovers
30: 1 x 20

BW + 23.75: 3 x 12
– chest was hurting a lot on these, but as long as I stay tight, my shoulders feel good; girlfriend didn’t think there were any real complications from costochondritis, so I guess I’ll just learn to manage the pain (but I’ll probably still research further)

Kneeling Straight-Arm Pulldowns
70: 3 x 17

75: 3 x 12
– did YTWLs in between sets of curls

BTN Press
85: 3 x 12
– moved my hands out a little bit, middle fingers on the rings

I had dinner between the squats/pullovers and everything else. Girlfriend is back in town and I worked late, so dinner was pretty much ready when I got home. I had enough time to get the squats in before.

Psychologically the squats are tough. It’s so easy to just set the bar down. Especially since I noticed some unevenness in form during the last 5ish reps, and things just weren’t too pretty. I counted down from 20 this time, and that helped some… since it was quite literally just “5 left… 4 left… etc” It also helped reminding myself that it’s only a couple minutes of work, and then I can stop. Tried a lot of tricks.


Further research on the costochondritis:

Seems to be completely benign. Painful, but won’t cause futher complications. Clinical treatment is rest, ice, and ibuprofen 400-800mg every 4-6 hours. Pretty standard regimen.

Besides that, there’s always fish oil. My current dosage turns out to be 9600mg of Omega 3’s a day. That’s basically double the Flameout recommendation (which is 4 pills and 4625mg omega 3s), and is equivalent to taking 32 standard 1000mg fish oil pills a day.

Most useful thread I’ve found on here: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_injuries/help_costochondritis

So my plan is:

  • keep taking the fish oil as I currently am; 2 tbsp Carlson’s Very Finest Lemon liquid fish oil
  • use some Voltaren Gel post workout
  • use ibuprofen at night, if necessary

Otherwise, don’t let this pain stop me since it’s just pain. And it’s a very clear indication that my ribcage actually IS expanding.

So for all those who say ribcage expansion doesn’t work, I’m actually trying it, measuring it, and making it happen.


Still continuing the 3 scoops preworkout in the morning.

Bodyweight was up significantly. I’m guessing due to the creatine. 150.6 today, 148.7 yesterday, 147.5 the day before that, and 146.2 before that. My diet’s been more consistent too, as has the hydration, so it could be that too.

Thoracic Bridge
3 x 5sec each side

Squat Static Holds
280: 3 x 10s

Breathing Squats
210: 1 x 20; ~5 sec break after rep 15, ~10 sec break after rep 17
– was very hot and sweaty; the last 7 reps or so got pretty tough, arms and upper back got numb for a bit, my brain was telling me to just put my arms down since they felt too heavy to hold the bar up… i.e., let’s just balance the barbell on my back and squat, who needs hands?
– will be repeating this to get a true 20

25: 12, 12, 11
– used some Voltaren gel before working out; chest was hurting some, but I genuinely just couldn’t grind out the last rep; 2nd to last rep was a grinder, and didn’t have enough for another

Kneeling Straight-Arm Pulldowns
70: 18, 18, 15
– unexpected muscular failure; thought I’d at least get closer. Repeat until 3 x 18.

Standing BB Curls
80: 3 x 8

Standing BTN Press
90: 3 x 12
– the last couple reps in each set were pretty rough

Overall session wasn’t bad, but not great. Seems I go one session where I don’t quite get everything, then another where I do. But progress is progress.

The worst part about today was the overheating. Wunderground said “feels like 83”, but in the garage it was probably quite a bit hotter. After showering and mid-dinner, I started getting typical body-shutdown types of things from sheer overheating.

I’ll need to find a way to keep my body cooler since it’s only going to get hotter.

Pump after working out was good. I’m guessing the arginine and stuff in the preworkout are doing their job. What I look like post-workout surprises me, because I genuinely didn’t realize I could look like that. It has me looking forward to the future.

Also, doing everything in one day, and giving myself a full day’s recovery is a good move. My mind’s still thinking about training, but letting the anticipation of training build up is good.

Total session time today was right around 1 hour 20 minutes. That’s including time spent just cooling down.


This was the company canoe trip. I saved some woman’s life who was effectively drowning because her canoe capsized, neither the guy nor girl could swim, the water was over their heads, and their life vests weren’t on them tight enough to keep their face above water. Got kneed and kicked in the face, trying to calm her down and get her onto my kayak.

I also got very badly sunburnt, even with sunscreen.

My left leg was swollen from the sunburn, so I halfassed things.

25: 8, 12, 9

80: 3x9
– Brought hands in a bit; the wide hand placement seemed to stress my deltoids, somehow.

BTN Press
95: 9

Sunburn was somewhat better, but I wasn’t feeling 100%. The heat sucked, and I’m emotionally run down.

Squat Static Holds
260: 4x10s

Breathing Squats
210: 1
– this just felt all around off

BTN Press
95: 3x12

Too long of a break, bad sunburn, work and personal stuff, bad sleep. All around feeling bad these days. Can’t seem to get my mind right. Can’t seem to focus. Bits of anxiety here and there, lots of depersonalization. I’ll probably retry the squats tomorrow, but we’ll see.

Right now spending the last couple days with my girlfriend before she moves is much higher priority than training.

Bodyweight is 151.9, so at least that’s something. And I did save someone’s life.


is that essentially how you do the breathing squats? full depth, 1 deep breath per rep for the first 9, 2 deep breaths for the rest? I’m impressed that you’re able to add weight every session. I feel like I should give it a shot if it’s that effective. Any idea where your 1rm is?


[quote]flipcollar wrote:

is that essentially how you do the breathing squats? full depth, 1 deep breath per rep for the first 9, 2 deep breaths for the rest? I’m impressed that you’re able to add weight every session. I feel like I should give it a shot if it’s that effective. Any idea where your 1rm is?[/quote]

Really have no idea where my 1RM is. Nor my 5RM actually.

But no, that’s not quite what I’m doing.

Load the bar on my shoulders, then three deep breaths in the chest, trying to fill the ribcage as much as possible, then squat. Then another three breaths, and again. Basically just do that for 20 reps, with a minimum of three breaths per rep. It draws the reps out quite a bit time-wise.

I had some trouble when I first started doing it this way with getting light-headed and numb in my arms, but that went away over time. Then I started getting fatigued in my mid-back, and that’s where the static holds helped.

I then follow with straight-arm pullovers with 30lbs or so. I just do them on the ground and focus on the stretch in the chest. Inhale filling the chest, lower, then back up. Keep your lumbar region on the ground, since this helps target the stretch to your chestplate.

I’m still not certain about the whole ribcage expansion stuff, but between the squats, pullovers, and weighted dips, there’s a lot of stretching of the costal cartilage.

Hope that helps.



Took a break for the last several days, due to helping my girlfriend pack for her move, and just maximizing my time with her.

Over lunch today I got in a few sets of BTN Press. The BTN Press just makes me feel better for some reason.

BTN Press
100: 3 x 12

I’ll do more later.

Just for S&G, I felt like experimenting with the layer system tonight. I didn’t feel like my earlier BTN work was enough, and I really really didn’t feel like doing the rest of the workout. Didn’t start doing this until… 23:15 or something.

Ramp to 100
55x3, 65x3 , 75x3, 85x3, 95x3, 105x0, 100x1

90x7, 90x4, 90x2
90x10, 90x3
90x11, 90x2

(I just realized I should have stopped at 7 on the last two sets. Oh well, there’s always next time.)

(And then I read some more, and I got really confused. So I guess it’s 10s between every rep, but not clusters in the traditional sense of 3-7 reps, then short rest, then 3-7 reps. Hm.)

80x5,4,2,1 (couldn’t get 3)

This was interesting. I definitely feel things got worked a lot more than my standard 3x8-12… but it was only an experiment.


yea that makes sense. that article did mention the pullovers as well. It sounds like it takes about 3 minutes to complete the set, does that sound about right? I can see why your arms would go numb, haha.