T Nation

My 40,000kg Experiment

Just a little something I’ve been doing over the last few weeks. In case anyone is looking for January ideas on getting fitter. This will work.

In summary - over the last 5 weeks I have preformed push press into front squat for a total volume of 2,000kg each day (baring a time off for injury and 2 rugby games) for 20 work outs. I got fitter. I’m pretty sure not weaker. Although this will be tested soon as I restart 531. Even if I did it was worth it.

Details:
In early December I made a commitment to get fitter. After some research I wanted to do “grace” the cross fit WOD. A good online record of times meant I could keep it competitive. Something I think Cross fit does REALLY well. To keep you disciplined.

But limited workout options mean I have no where I can dump the bar. And trying to put my axle down after each rep was going to be hard on my lower back.

After some more thought, I went to a thruster, but this hurts my wrist. So I landed on push press into front squat.

With such a change in the exercise, chasing the times posted online for completing Grace could no longer be my goal. Things that had worked for me in the past - to keep me disciplined were challenges. After some more thought I came up with the following:

40t of volume over 20 workouts. Each work out would consist of 2000kg of volume. Split into 5 sets. Each with 400kg of volume.

The sets I used (the way I did the reps was all push press, then all front squats):

5 sets of 10 reps - 40kg
5 sets of 8 reps - 50kg
5 sets of 5 reps - 80kg

There also have been occasions when I have used a ladder up to 50 reps.
1,2,3,5,5,6,7,8,9,10. Notice this adds up to 56 reps. This is because time has been short and the first 3 sets can be used as a warm up.

I should also add that I aslo played 2 games of rugby in this period (total of 140mins) and had a week off for a bruised spine.

Starting stats:
My first go at a 2000kg work out was as poor as you’d expect from someone that had neglected cardio for most of 2021. I went in for the 40kg 5x10. It took me over 5 minutes. I know this as I set a timer for 60 second intervals. This should mean completing the whole thing in just over 4 minuets.
Start set 1 - at minute 0.
Start set 5 at minute 4.
But I failed to start the last set on the 4 minute mark. And left it a whole other 60 seconds.
When I finally did the 5x5 with 80kg on day 10 I managed it in 4:55.

Results:

My current best for 40 reps at 50kg is 3:20 (a good 2 mins faster).

For 25 reps at 80kg its 4.06. This is on an axle. Where as the 4:55 was on a standard barbell. I find the axle MUCH more challenging. I can get under 4mins on this.

I’m not slimmer than when I started. But I have indulged over christmas. So this is to be expected. If I had done this over the summer I would have dropped a few kg I’m sure.
My arms are bigger. Noticeably. And my shoulders. My legs feel tighter. More dense maybe. Like the tissue is harder.
From a competition / strong man point of view - I always hated log - reps in 60 seconds. As it tested my fitness too much. I did try the log during this period of fitness blitz. And my old PB of 80 6 reps in 60 seconds would fall EASILY. I managed 85kg for 5 reps in under 20 seconds. With “gas in the tank”.

Also - the 40kg definitely and the 50kg possibly are now at such a level I am regarding them as “daily movement” not a work out. I can complete 50 reps for the 40kg weight, and do a work out later that same day.

This base level of movement is something I will be looking to keep right now. Every day - 2000kg of volume.

Side notes:
The push press part of this is key. The explosive push “pre fatigues” the legs. My max front squat is about 170kg. But I could find 40kg x 10 hard during set one of my front squats. So long as I’d done my push press well. You want the burn.

To go faster - rep speed is not as important as rest times. Until you can do all 50/40/25 reps without a break this should be your focus. Not doing each rep faster. Fast reps = shallow squats.

I hope someone finds this useful.

5 Likes

I’ve only had a few likes - but I know a few more people have read this. So a small update:

After a month off heavy weights (75% of max and above) I 1/2 expected some sort of strength loss. Well - on all 4 lifts I monitor (front squat, dead lift, press, push press) I have increased my strength. Over a month off lifting heavy, whilst doing “cardio” and I’m fitter and stronger than when I started.

I can not recommend this sort of work out enough. If this work out is not a bit of you - then do something else but similar.
Look into cross fit - change a few things up. But pick something that makes your think “Nope” and do it. Hell - I even used the assault bike 10 on 20 of.

Things I plan to try in the very near future:
EMOM -alternating between
1 1/2 plate bench, 3 plate squat. 10 reps of each. See how long I can last.

200kg yoke 15m drop and return - E2MOM.

60kg sand bag clean and 15m carry. Trips in 5m

Number of tire flips in 5 mins (150kg tire)

2 Likes

I’m following this as it’s got some similarities to my own journey. I hit my low goals in terms of strength standards but I moved to wanting to gain much more mountain fitness, again.

The one strength movement I wanted to keep was clean and press as it seemed to balance out and help biking, mountaineering and climbing. I decided on using Grace as the test and aim to improve my terrible time due to poor fitness.

I have my barbell outside so it’s not a great plan at the moment. I do Kettlebells c&p inside to keep me going when it’s wet, cold etc.

I doubt I’ll add anything more to this. I’ve said what I wanted to. I’m glad you found it helpful.

Clean and press is a great movement for all over athletic ability. Same with kettle bell version.