T Nation

Look Like/Perform Like Log

So, giving CT’s Look Like A Bodybuilder/Perform Like An Athlete program a try.

I’ve been lifting relatively seriously since last July when I changed gyms and moved to a 5/4/3/2/1, ramping from 82% to 100% 1RM program based on big lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench presses, leg presses, plus dips and pullups), inspired by Built for Bad. My back squat PR is 190kg/418lb, bench 130/286, dead 160/352. That said, I wouldn’t sign any cheques on the form…

A short-term goal at the moment is preparing for a dance intensive in the week beginning 15th of August. This is one of the reasons I want more olympic and conditioning lifts in my life.

Anyway, the LL/PL max training weight is defined as 87.5% of 3RM, so pressing day looks like:

Overhead press 8x3, 70kg/154lb
Push press ditto
Back squat 6x3, 120kg/264lb
Bench press 8x3, 80kg/176lb

If time and energy permit:

Machine leg presses 8x3, 300kg/660lb
Dips 8x3, bodyweight
Maybe some chest flyes, 8x3, 2x20kg

Pull days:

Muscle snatches 8x3, 60kg/132lb
Snatch-grip high pulls 8x3, 70kg/154lb
Deadlifts 8x3, 110kg/242lb

If time permits:
Pullups 8x3, bodyweight
Chest as above

all days:
Stretches: Cunningham basic workout, drop second pliés 2x for 32 counts, barre stretches devant/derriere/arabesque/a la seconde

The LL/PL program works through weekly zones, the first of which is MTW less 10kg, the second less 5kg, the third at the MTW, which is followed by a 3RM test workout to reset the numbers. On the second and fourth weeks, you add weight on the second-last set in each exercise.

Being weird, though, I thought I’d do a first week at the MTW to get started. I’ve managed to train every day since 23rd July, i.e. 9 successive workouts, and I moved to the first deload week on Saturday. And I feel great - for a typically intense CT program, it’s pretty “well tolerated”.

That said, I have managed to rip off a deadlift callus. Also, the transition from heavy week at the MTW to moderate week 10kg down was pretty exciting - one of the LL/PL principles is that you’re meant to shift the bar as fast as possible, a bit like a powerlifter doing speed work, so you can give yourself a nasty surprise by shoving the bar up so fast you lose it over the top of the movement. What goes up must come down…


Happy to see you keeping a log here! I’m looking forward to this.

So after a day off I was back in the gym yesterday evening for a Zone 2 press day. 8x3 OHPs at 60kg, push presses at 60kg, bench presses at 70kg, squats at 110kg, as fast as possible. That other guy tied up the rack for ages so I did the overhead work out in centre as it were - snatching the bar into position for each set. Add-ons were the chest flyes and dips - I didn’t have time for the rest.

One thing I like about LL/PL is the quasi-cardio/conditioning side; results in a great workout high.

I’m beginning to feel the impact of 10 workouts in 11 days. My left shoulder is a bit sore and clicky, and my lower back was sore this morning, probably due to leaning back too far in the overhead movements. Also, the off day felt distinctly “recovery-y”. That said, I also noticed some gain last night, and I think some fat loss too - looking more “V-shaped” and lighter, but with bigger shoulders. I could sign up for that.

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Two more workouts. In a hurry on Friday to quit my job (for another one), so just did the 3 prescribed pull day lifts. So grateful for it, though - day of awkward meetings was totally calm.

Today, did press day plus the whole card of add-ons, and pinched the studio nobody uses for stretching on the barre. I may have marked through one of my variations from last term.

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Today, another workout. Zone 2 pull day. Add-ons: 8x3 pull ups. I think I’m beginning to see the 3rd row of abs. Which would be awesome in a slightly man-slutty way😉

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Back in the rack today. Zone 1 press day, plus leg presses and dips. Did stretching earlier in the day and a bunch of random dance work; perhaps this is why leg presses were a bit tired and weak.

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Zone 1 pull day, plus pull-ups, stretching/barre. Great to be in early with nobody getting in my way. Back is fine, shoulder click is still annoying.

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I bet. I lift early in the morning and then was taking ballet class from 10 am to noon. I couldn’t do legs on those mornings before class or I’d just feel like my legs weren’t able to get me off the floor. Sautes of LEAD.

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A 2 hour class? Gnarly. I like the 90 minute format as when you think about it, you get twice the time across the floor once everything else is done as you do in a 1 hour. But that’s a long time to keep concentrating.

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Yep. Two hours feels pretty brutal, even with the barre work at the beginning, I found it mentally really taxing.

So, today’s the day. Intensive week is here. No weights this weekend > well yesterday was the day. Just finished day 2. Main lessons: drink water all the time. Literally. I got through a gallon today and finished vastly stronger than yesterday. Also, don’t stare into the pianist’s eyes to spot your turns, it worries him

Thursday evening was worst from a soreness/injuries perspective; my feet just went on strike and refused to do anything else without a lot of whining, and my legs felt like lead. I was wondering what it would be like in the morning, but as it happened, it was fine.

Monday afternoon was worst from a fitness perspective; I just ran out of energy and bonked like a knackered cyclist. I could still dance but I couldn’t remember the choreography or concentrate. And it took me all of 15 minutes to realise that if I was struggling with turns barefoot, I might benefit from getting my flats on.

The answer was just more water; after that I targeted getting through a litre per class, one over the lunch break, and some more after the show for a total of a gallon (British). Also I started getting some sugar into me with lunch as a quick kick-start.

I think I could have handled a fourth class per day; I was playing for the whistle a bit after 3 o’clock, but a more aggressive class leader could probably have pushed me. In all, that kind of work capacity was one of the aims I had in using LL/PL as a beat-up program for the intensive and I’m pretty pleased with that.

Also, I was partnered with…another man! for lifts, and that was pretty obviously because I was the only person around who stood any chance of lifting him. Thanks, Coach Thibeaudeau!

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Just been back in the gym. MTW -5kg press day. Those weights feel like they’re made of iron or something! That said, I seem to have gained a bunch of conditioning. Huge deep breaths through the lifts. Did the extra stretching I did all week as well.

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Last Zone 2 workout this cycle DONE. Quite pleased with myself for working out each day after finishing the intensive. Deadlifts seemed really easy, snatches less so. Did my intensive week stretching round; noticed that local gym’s barre, which used to scare me, now seems comically low.

And…aaargh. Halfway through Monday morning, and the crash is here.

Brutal!! You mentioned the mental part. Once I’m exhausted I just can’t concentrate. And so much of this is remembering what’s next.

Nice! I wish I had been doing this when I was in college.

Same here. “Now he’s doing ballet. It’s June. Sorry. August.”

Christ, the delayed impact today sucked though. Taking this weekend as pure rest might have been wise. I was actually thinking of where I could take class this evening, but just no.

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After two rest days, back in the gym for a MTW press day with +5kg on the second last sets, plus dips and leg presses.

Damn that was good. Lifts feel more “conditioning-y”, big deep breaths, less pain. Also, deeper squats. I can feel there’s more in the tank. Looking forward to next week and 3RM testing!

Also, did my intensive week stretching round. I think I’ll keep that. Great quote from girl on the intensive who’s a JA with a very very famous company: “I kind of hate and love stretching…it’s the pain…”

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Enforced break over the weekend due to travelling. But hit it this morning for a press day at MTW, with the +5kg uplifts. Dips, leg presses, and a full stretching round. Feeling strong, even if the left shoulder click is still bothering me.

Weird really; that one actually hurts, while all the dance-related ones scattered over me feel good. Shoulder injuries are tiresome, though; last August I missed an 100kg bench attempt and I could feel it until November.

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Pullday! Pretty good although I missed one attempt on the snatch intensifier set (75kg). Went back and got it, though. Noted: some fella staring at my port while I was stretching out afterwards