T Nation

London's Log


#1

Former boxer, current soldier.

Tim Kennedy from the UFC and a US soldier said somewhere that you should train with the purpose of being the hardest person someone ever tries to kill. I think it's a sound principle and it underpins the shift in focus of my training since stopping boxing and starting with the military.

One of the main reasons for starting this log is that for most of my life I've been a boxer, and had done no serious resistance training before the last 18 months or so. Without a background in that sort of thing, it's been quite a sharp learning curve, one I'm not entirely sure I've mastered yet. I now live in the middle of nowhere, with no boxing gym nearby, and no training partners to train with.

I have a home gym with plenty of weight (for my current strength levels), and a reasonable amount of outdoor space. In addition to the barbell, I have a sandbag(favourite tool), and a 25ft 3" hemp rope tied to a tree branch.

My overarching aim is to be the fittest, strongest, biggest, most athletic bastard I can be. Given that I'm still learning how to achieve this aim, I thought a log would be beneficial, particularly a log here in the combat section, where I've already learned so much over the years, and where there are a few people about with similar goals who might be able to help guide me on my way.


Training:

Currently half way through my 4th cycle of 5/3/1. I've been calorie depleted for the past few weeks, so things have been noticably harder for the last two cycles or so. That is about to change, so I expect to be able to push progress a bit further now before I reset.

Typically I tend to do some low intensity training in the morning, like rucking or gentle longer distance (3-5mi.) running. 4 afternoons/week I'll train with weights, and follow it up with some HIT, like 350m intervals, or metcon stuff of the kind Donny does in his training. The remaining 3 afternoons/evenings, I'll do some bodyweight stuff for the basics, and some dedicated grip/hand work.

The daily goal is to always go to bed more dangerous than I woke up, even if it's just 5 minutes throwing pivot hooks in shadow boxing. All this stuff adds up over time, and the hope is that if I can improve something, however small, even on my worst day, then the cumulative effect can ultimately be more significant.

For a while, when I first made this shift in training, I bought into the whole train 3 days a week and don't move too much if you want to get big and strong and the idea that cardio killed strength gains, and so on. I'm sure this is good information for many people, but for me I feel like taking this advice totally fucked me for a while. It never felt like enough work for me, and there were too many aspects of training that I wanted to be good at. I can handle a pretty high volume as long as I eat a lot and rest properly. It's taken me a while to realise this, as I'm more or less a beginner in strength training, and not especially gifted for it by comparison to many on this site. That said, I think the past few months, since I got on 5/3/1, things have started coming together and I'm making progress in every area of my training.

I do all my pressing work with a homemade fat bar - ie a bar with pipe insulation duct taped to it. I'd guess it's about 3" around. I don't know if it is limiting what I can lift, but it has stopped me getting wrist pain from pressing.


Stats as of 14/4/15:

Age: 25
Height: 6'1
Weight: 182lbs

Training stats:

Bench TM: 176lbs
Squat TM: 255 lbs
Push press TM: 140lbs
Deadlift TM: 320lbs

Short term goals (Start of August):

Bench: 209lbs
Squat: 319lbs
Push press: 170lbs
Deadlift: 350lbs

I think the lower body lifts are there already. I've done plenty of labouring and what-have-you over the years, and had a pretty good base for pulling/squatting. Pressing on the other hand...


13th April 2015

Last night's training.

3 circuits, no rest between circuits of:

40 pushups
30 neck curls
50 crunches
10 leg raises
20 BW squats
100 flutter kicks
50 chinnies
10 v-ups
5 dead hang chins, 5 second pause at the bottom

10 minutes constant shadow boxing.

Light session, as I was pretty smashed after training the day before.

I'll post today's training later, once it's done.


#2

Great that you started a log, looking forward to following it. :slight_smile:

One thing that I didn’t see you mention was flexibility/mobility training. Do you do this type of training regularly and just forgot to mention it or is it something that you simply don’t do (but should)?


#3

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Great that you started a log, looking forward to following it. :slight_smile:

One thing that I didn’t see you mention was flexibility/mobility training. Do you do this type of training regularly and just forgot to mention it or is it something that you simply don’t do (but should)?[/quote]

Thanks Sento, I’m hoping you’ll keep me headed in the right direction, like a deadly older e-brother.

I do some foam rolling when I remember, and when I do my bodyweight stuff I make sure to do the squats and the hindu pushups and what have you as much for the range of motion as for the strength/conditioning effect. I also hang from the pullup bar sometimes to stretch out my back, and I try to do a bit of static stretching after I train. I also do this, mainly for mobility/strength in multiple plains, but I don’t do it with a heavy load, more for the mobility effect:

Truthfully though, it’s very haphazard and that’s mainly through my own ignorance. I am also aware that I probably don’t do nearly enough of it. If you’ve got any advice for mobility and flexibility, I’m all ears.


#4

14th April 2015

5/3/1 Push Press

3’s week: 98x3, 112x3, 127x7 Joker set - 145x3 FSL 3x8
3x2 10-point lunge
2x10 ab roll outs

Grip work:

3 x 10 finger tip pushups
5x wrist roller
5x20s holds each side CoC training grippers suspending 10lb weight

=====================================

Shitty day for it. Wanted to get more lifting done, and some conditioning in. Ended up helping a mate put up some scaffold, and had to rush to get anything in. Done 3 decent conditioning sessions since Friday, so not a disaster, but still frustrating.

Edit: meant to say that the joker set for 3 reps was surprisingly easy, all things considered, and I reckon I could have had 6 or 7 reps with it. I strict pressed the first 2 sets of 3, and each rep of the FSL work.


#5

Nice to see you keeping a log!


#6

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
Nice to see you keeping a log! [/quote]

X2^^^^^^^

Also, post some videos. I really need a laugh every now and then:))


#7

Thanks guys.

Unfortunately Idaho I can’t post any videos of myself, as that would be extraordinarily bad PERSEC, all things considered, and might impact my ability to perform my role.


#8

15th April 2015

AM: 20 mins straight shadow boxing

5/3/1 Deadlift - Double overhand grip

3’s week: 222x3, 255x3, 286x3 - All double overhand. Never do rep PR with the deads, prefer to hit the reps and leave it at that

Paused DB shrugs - 3x12
Plate raise - 60 reps

Neck bridges - 3x15 conventional, 3x40s full length front bridge isometric

Conditioning:

5x:

100m sprint
10 burpee rope climbs (one pull up each side)
10s punchout w. leg pump
20bw squats
40m hill sprint
50 jumping jacks
50 jumping lunges
10 burpees
10s punchout w. leg pump

Rest was the 140m walk back to the start. Completed 5 reps in just under 22 mins. This was quite demanding. The 40m hill sprint was in many ways the hardest bit, which was quite surprising.

Weights today were pretty comfortable. I’ve been wanting to do direct trap work for a while, I’ve been looking for compatible assistance for my deadlift day, and I’m a fan of Paul Carter, so his article was well timed.


#9

IMO, the best trap-dominant accessory lifts for deadlift are Pendlay Rows (go a little too heavy so you have to cheat a little bit, these work best as a full body movement), Kroc Rows, Karwoski Rows and Power shrugs from blocks (or pins).

That conditioning circuit looked absolutely brutal. I would have had a heart attack.


#10

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
IMO, the best trap-dominant accessory lifts for deadlift are Pendlay Rows (go a little too heavy so you have to cheat a little bit, these work best as a full body movement), Kroc Rows, Karwoski Rows and Power shrugs from blocks (or pins).

That conditioning circuit looked absolutely brutal. I would have had a heart attack.
[/quote]

That’s interesting, thank you for the input. I’ve always struggled to feel things in my traps, and they are a muscle I’ve always admired on people. Kroc rows I seem to feel exclusively in my lats and shoulders, but I’d be the first to say I’m possibly doing them wrong. I’ll have to search for the others on Youtube and see what you’re talking about, as I used to glaze over with anything too involved lifting wise, back when my life revolved around boxing. I didn’t honestly feel like I got a good trap pump today, and the plate raises mostly fried my shoulders. I don’t have bad traps, relatively, but I think that’s a result of labouring and shouldering the sandbag, which is pretty much my favourite thing to do. Definitely a muscle I’d like to focus on for as long as it takes to slap some mass on them.

The conditioning was pretty brutal - I’m a lot better at it than lifting weights!


#11

16th April 2015

It’s gone midnight, so technically it’s the 17th here, I suppose.

Quick bit of work this evening, was mostly an off day, but I got restless.

Circuit:

3x

HSPU x5
BW squats x50
Crunches x 50
Neck side-to-sides x50

Finish:

3x50 pressups

Throughout the day I did a few rounds shadow boxing, 113 fingertip pushups, as well as various other finger extension work. Also closed CoC gripper 1.5 for 5 x 3 each hand.

Pretty straight forward, HSPUs are getting stronger, even though I’ve been sporadic in training them.


#12

16th April 2015

It’s gone midnight, so technically it’s the 17th here, I suppose.

Quick bit of work this evening, was mostly an off day, but I got restless.

Circuit:

3x

HSPU x5
BW squats x50
Crunches x 50
Neck side-to-sides x50

Finish:

3x50 pressups

Throughout the day I did a few rounds shadow boxing, 113 fingertip pushups, as well as various other finger extension work. Also closed CoC gripper 1.5 for 5 x 3 each hand.

Pretty straight forward, HSPUs are getting stronger, even though I’ve been sporadic in training them.


#13

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
IMO, the best trap-dominant accessory lifts for deadlift are Pendlay Rows (go a little too heavy so you have to cheat a little bit, these work best as a full body movement), Kroc Rows, Karwoski Rows and Power shrugs from blocks (or pins).

That conditioning circuit looked absolutely brutal. I would have had a heart attack.
[/quote]

Loft, how do you feel about high pulls off blocks? I know lots of Olympic Lifters use those and they generally have some pretty impressive traps. I always felt those and deadlift pulls off pins/rack deadlifts (going as heavy as I could) in my traps a lot.

Another thing which really fries your traps (but may not necessarily build them as big) is handstand work (cast wall walks, wall runs, etc…), but only if you fully flex/open your shoulders and shrug like you should if holding a correct handstand.

On that note, how are you elevating your hands for the Handstand Push-ups London (plates, paralletes)? Pretty impressive that you have worked up to HS push-ups; I always felt Headstand Push-ups/HePU (where you only bring your head to the floor while your hands are on the floor) pretty tough let alone Handstand/HSPU (where you elevated the hands and bring the shoulders to the hands). That is pretty much a Bodyweight Overhead press for reps (maybe a little less if you are using a wall for assistance, but still impressive nonetheless).


#14

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
IMO, the best trap-dominant accessory lifts for deadlift are Pendlay Rows (go a little too heavy so you have to cheat a little bit, these work best as a full body movement), Kroc Rows, Karwoski Rows and Power shrugs from blocks (or pins).

That conditioning circuit looked absolutely brutal. I would have had a heart attack.
[/quote]

Loft, how do you feel about high pulls off blocks? I know lots of Olympic Lifters use those and they generally have some pretty impressive traps. I always felt those and deadlift pulls off pins/rack deadlifts (going as heavy as I could) in my traps a lot.

Another thing which really fries your traps (but may not necessarily build them as big) is handstand work (cast wall walks, wall runs, etc…), but only if you fully flex/open your shoulders and shrug like you should if holding a correct handstand.

On that note, how are you elevating your hands for the Handstand Push-ups London (plates, paralletes)? Pretty impressive that you have worked up to HS push-ups; I always felt Headstand Push-ups/HePU (where you only bring your head to the floor while your hands are on the floor) pretty tough let alone Handstand/HSPU (where you elevated the hands and bring the shoulders to the hands). That is pretty much a Bodyweight Overhead press for reps (maybe a little less if you are using a wall for assistance, but still impressive nonetheless).[/quote]

I should probably clarify that. I’m using PVC paralletes I made myself to get the extra height, although I’m still about 3 or 4" off a full HSPU (just over halfway through the arm bend past parallel). More generally, they are just one of those things that I’ve actually been doing for quite a while. When I dislocated my shoulder, maybe 6 years ago now, I started using handstands for static holds and they were important for me in restoring stability to the joint. I was told by the doctor I may never lift my arm over my head again, so naturally HSPUs seemed like the natural goal. Given how long I’ve been working them (against the wall), I wouldn’t actually say I was that good at them, particularly given that I’ve only been lifting seriously for a relatively short period. I’m also pretty disappointed at how badly they’ve transferred across to my barbell pressing strength, which is fairly pitiful.

I should also clarify that some of the things I’m doing I’m not chronicling completely - like I usually do the pushups with my feet on my bed, but since I have no idea how high that is, I don’t bother mentioning it (it’s only pushups at the end of the day), or that my pullup bar is a piece of scaffold, so it is more like doing a fat bar pullup in some ways. Because I don’t train in a conventional gym, I have no means of comparison for my numbers. To me, pullups are something that is done on a big thick bar because that’s what’s available.


#15

17th April 2015

5/3/1 Bench press

1’s week - 5x132lbs, 3x150lbs, 3x167lbs (rep PR) - Probably could have had 5 if I’d had a spotter, but training alone, I don’t put collars on the weights in case I have to dump them, so I always tend to stop a bit shorter than I’d like, and the whole movement needs to be a bit more deliberate.

FSL - 4x6 @132lbs, paused

Pendlay rows (thanks Loftearman) - 10x105lbs, 10x127lbs, 3x10x138lbs

Rear delt raises - 34 reps, rest pause style

30 mins jumping rope - mixed it up with 250 crossovers, 250 doubleunders, 500 turns sprinting in place. Barely broke sweat, conditioning is in a pretty decent place at the moment, will probably just maintain this level and try to add some more weight work, although I’m not sure what I’d add other than token curls etc.


#16

18th April 2015

5/3/1 Squats

5x192.5lbs, 3x215lbs, 3x242lbs (from pins in bottom position).

28x192.5lbs This is BW +11lbs, more or less. Hit 28 reps from bottom position. Pretty shaky afterwards. If I put this into Wendler’s 1RM calculator, I get an estimated 1RM of 170kgs, which is certainly more than I can do from pins. Not really sure what’s going on, but I suspect maybe it is technique or confidence related. Obviously it’s only an estimate, but I am surprised that my 1rm from pins is more like 120kg.

Neck work - front and back bridge superset, 1 min each x3 sets

3 x 25m no leg rope climbs

Conditioning

15mins straight, no breaks:

1 burpee, 1 manmaker, 1 up/down = 1 rep

I did somewhere around 80 reps (240 total), I lost track past 50 reps as it took all my focus to keep pushing hard and I was working to the timer rather than a rep goal - this was pretty brutal.


#17

19th April 2015

10 reps lifting 86kg stone

50 reps 150lb sandbag shouldering in 11:54 I hadn’t done this in a while, so I set the timer for 20 minutes work. Since I had 8 minutes left, I paused the timer, put 50% bw (40kg) on the bar and did:

8 mins thrusters, doing 30 jumping jacks each time I dropped the bar. No idea on reps. About 50 thrusters maybe in total. I hate thrusters, I find them harder than any other kind of conditioning.

Then 5min skipping/5 min shadow boxing for 6 rounds total (30 mins), no rest between rounds, just moving from one to another.

Reflecting on yesterday’s conditioning, I doubt I got as high as 80 reps, probably somewhere around 70, as I’d definitely slowed down by the end, and was sucking wind pretty hard.


#18

That conditioning circuit was crazy.


#19

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
That conditioning circuit was crazy.[/quote]

It was not in any way enjoyable.


#20

Congratulations on the enlistment London. Lord Kitchener would be proud.

Without undermining OPSEC, are you regular army or para? Or something else? What a rush either way. I wish you the best!