Natty on Pennies

I don’t like doctors but coughing blood I’d start making phone calls. Pneumonia can be pretty serious.

Hope you feel better soon buddy.


Yeah, I know - that’s why I hope it’s just something milder

Thanks man

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Get well soon!

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Thanks dude

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General life update

The fever is gone and I’m no longer coughing blood, all that’s left is a sore throat

So I guess it wasn’t anything serious after all - but I’m not going to push myself for a couple of days now, just to be sure to not get sick again.

But after I’m all good I’ll be going at it again, man I’m hungry for some iron.


General life update - part three hundred

I’ve been writing too many of these recently, but hear me out - it’s really hard to write anything informative when you’ve got a million different things going around

But yes, I should get back on track - both with logging and with training.

Yesterday I spent a total of five hours in the gym. Yes. Five hours. I trained three times as we didn’t have anything else to do yesterday. It felt really good.

But it got me thinking - I’ve really got to lay out a program here and follow it. It’ll need to be a flexible one and it can’t be so demanding that I’m immobilized for days. It’ll also have to support my needs in the army aka. be a fast and durable runner, be able to do a lot of push-ups, situps and be a great vertical jumper. In addition to that you need strong back and shoulders. (I’d also like to retain as much muscle as possible)

So, nothing impossible, but it’ll be interesting to design such program.

I’ve been reading a book about Arthur Jones’s system to building muscle and I’ve really been enjoying it. (The name of the book was Nautilus training system bulletins 1-3 or something like it, I’m not quite sure. It has 374 pages of golden information)

I came across this great quote in the book:

“Obviously there is a limit beyond which you should not go, but this limitation applies only to the actual
“amount” of exercise—not the intensity of effort; maximum intensity of effort is an absolute requirement for the greatest possible degree of growth stimulation—but it must be achieved without
totally exhausting the body’s recovery ability.”

Maybe I like it because that’s exactly what I preach

Oh well

I really recommend the book, if you manage to find it by this vague hint of a name.

I guess that’s all for now.


Observations on training pace and training hard

Something I’ve noticed during army is that training with a faster pace is extremely brutal and it is also a great way to build muscle and work capacity. And I’m willing to bet that my performance has dropped less than it would’ve if I trained like I used to (with a slower pace.) Now training with a fast pace DOES NOT mean training with a fast tempo. I’m not just flailing around in the gym. I’m in control of the weight, not the other way around. I can promise you, if you train with a fast pace and remain in control, you’ll be shaking after just a couple of sets. That’s because your body is working much harder than it is used to. And once you get accustomed to that - you start going up in weight and it all starts over again. You should be shaking after a training session, you should feel bad. If not, train harder.

Of course my training regime has changed, but the changes haven’t been anything drastic, mostly just order of exercises, dropping out the small stuff and using a bit more volume.

I’m really looking forward to what I can accomplish with this style of training once I get out of the army. I have a feeling that it’ll be something great.

In addition to my usual training I’ve done some conditioning-based work, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I should start as a crossfit coach. The other day I did this:

30 reps of clean and push press (every rep is cleaned)
30 reps of clean and front squat (every rep is cleaned)
30 reps of clean and row (so a clean first and then a pendlay row)

(Don’t try this if you don’t know how to perform the exercises properly - high rep Olympic weightlifting is not the best idea even if you are proficient with them)

Now why would I do that? Well, because if I do something really hard and fucked up now, the things I need to do later will feel easier - it’s all about training for a purpose. (It’s the same thing with my strength/hypertrophy work)

So, what is the thing I’ve noticed?

Train hard. Train intensively with a fast pace. Train for a purpose. Do the hard stuff now and have an easier future.


A case in point on training hard and with a fast pace - my training session from today: (Just for “educational purposes” but feel free to try it out)


  • Every single rep of this session was very controlled, apart from the last few of rows and curls as they are quite safe to perform even with a bit sloppier form.

  • I did a static hold and exaggerated negative at the end of every set apart from rows (so after the last rep I tried to hold the bar still for as long as I could and then I tried to resist the lowering of the bar as much as I could)

  • There was no rest between sets, none.

  • Every set was between 6-15 reps, apart from the three rest-pause sets, which were between 15 and 25 total reps. (Rest-pauses were done DC style, with 15 breath long pauses between three mini-sets)

  • There is no overhead work in this session as I was able to train with a reliable spotter and wanted to take advantage of that.

  • I won’t listen the weights just so you don’t get caught up with them

  • Yes, the exercises that were performed last did suffer a bit but I don’t care

End of notes, that section is already longer than it needs to be.

So, the training session:

  1. T-Bar row, one set of 6-15 (preferably on the higher end)

  2. Bent-arm dumbbell pullover lying across a bench, one set of 6-15

  3. Another set of T-Bar rows, with 10% less weight than was used with the first set, 6-15 reps

  4. Close-Grip bench, 6-15 reps, after the last rep a static hold and an exaggerated negative was performed

  5. Third set of T-Bar rows, 20% less weight than was used in the first set. 6-15 reps

  6. Dip, one rest-pause set of 15-25 total reps, with a static hold and an exaggerated negative after the last rep

  7. Barbell curl, one rest-pause set of 15-25 total reps, with a static hold and an exaggerated negative after the last rep

  8. Rear delt pulls, a rest-pause set of 15-25 total reps with a static hold and an exaggerated negative after the last rep.

So, that’s a total of eight sets. Eight extremely hard and productive sets. I experienced a pump so great I couldn’t stand still after this session even though I was spent. And half an hour later I felt even more energetic than I was when I got to the gym.

And guess what’s the best thing about this?

I did all of that in fifteen minutes. Yes, fifteen minutes. If we add the time it took to warm up, I’d say it took me half an hour to get through with this. Considering the amount of work and the growth stimulus I most likely got from this session, I’d say it was a rather good deal.

If you want to experience something great, give this a try. You’ll need to be a bit insane and you need a good spotter for this (to drop the weight on the rows -you don’t have time for that- and to look after you on the bench) but if you have both of those, you’ll fall in love right away.

If you want, I can go a bit more in-depth about exercise selection, order of exercises and that stuff

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Dante would be proud! Good looking session mate.

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Thanks man!

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interesting hard and fast pace training. i do t-bar row once in while. i usually do 5 work sets with some mobility work between the sets. its hard but not that fast pace. my goal isn’t hypertrophy though, but i take any hypertrophy i accidentally get through my course. my main goal is to be able to deadlift 200 kg and learn the muscle up. and i believe the t-bar row is a ancillary move to this end. hope you dont mind me asking, but would you suggest that i tweak my approach for optimal results?

/br bonoboschimp

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That’s a great goal

I’ll be happy to help, but I’ll need to see just how you’ve laid things out at the moment - I’ll need to see your programming

But even without seeing it I can give you some good accessory movements for the deadlift (muscle up would be more based on skill than strength, if you can do a lot of pull ups with good form, you won’t fail a muscle up due to lack of strength)

But, for the deadlift:

  • Snatch-Grip deadlifts to improve leg drive and to help with staying tight, I’d do sets of 4-6

  • Deficit deadlifts, again, for leg drive. Sets of 4-6 work here as well

  • Deadlifts with a slight pause when you’ve just come off the floor: to build tension and to help you keep tight in the beginning of the movement. Sets of 4-6 work well, sets of 15-20 will absolutely kill you (but you could still try them)

  • Opposite stance deadlifts: if you pull sumo, use conventional once in a while and vice versa

  • Narrow-stance stiff leg deads with long ROM. To build the musculature needed for deadlifts, go for a bit higher reps here, say 8-12

  • T-Bar rows, dumbbell rows and pendlay rows for building the upper back. Don’t be too caught up with the form, but make sure that you are not just flailing around with the weight. Use a higher rep range here, 8-15 for example.

  • Rack pulls and heavy supports to overload the top portion of the lift and to make heavier weights feel lighter in you hands. Use lower reps with these to really load up the bar - say 3-5 reps and 10-15 seconds for the supports

  • Box squats with your deadlift stance for leg drive, make sure the box puts your hips to about the height they are at the beginning of your pull. Sets of 3-5 for strength and 8-15 for size work great.

  • Single leg work: lunges, Bulgarian split squats and that stuff, for balancing out imbalances and keeping your joints happy (this could also go into the accessory category just below)

For accessory work do a lot of leg curls, glute-ham raises, back extensions, reverse hypers and cable pullovers (also known as straight arm pulldown) an work would also fall into this category

Now that is a hell of a lot of stuff there - do you need all of that? No. But it’s good to have something to choose from. I’ll tell you, you can get to a 200kg deadlift by doing only the deadlift and none of those movements, but they definitely help. What you have to do is to critically think; what are my weaknesses in the deadlift? If it’s staying tight, choose snatch-Grip deadlift and straight-arm cable pulldowns and get strong with those.

If it’s leg drive, you could take snatch grip deads, get strong as hell with them and then rotate over to deficit deads once you stall

One thing I’ve noticed about the deadlift is that if you start with, say sets of 12-15 you can get really, really strong before your reps start to drop. If your three rep max was, say 160kg/365lbs and you started with 120kg/275lbs to failure (at, say 15 reps) you could probably get to 140kg/315lbs for 15 in four weeks, and 160kg/365lbs for 8-10 in eight weeks. (Adding 5kg/11lbs every session, doing deadlifts once a week) I used this approach when I broke 180kg/405lbs a few years ago

So, in reality deadlifting is just about training hard - don’t do singles three times a week, you’ll just fry yourself, and once you miss a lift it’ll be hard to get back to it - deadlifting is a mental game.

When setting up your program I would go with one of these layouts:

  • One heavy deadlift day where you use “bigger” accessories, such as deficit deads, T-Bar rows and Glute-Ham Raises, and one light deadlift day where you use “smaller” accessories, such as leg curls, reverse hypers and straight-arm pulldowns. Now light deadlifting could mean going balls to the walls with higher reps on the deads or doing dynamic work, just pick what you like and can recover from if you pick dynamic work, you can use heavier accessories)

  • The approach above, but with an added squat day - the main movement could be deadlift stance box squat, and you could do, say deficit deadlift on that day too - this approach requires a great recovery ability.

  • A deadlift day and a squat day, both once a week. With this approach you can rotate between heavy deadlifting and light deadlifting biweekly or just keep doing the same stuff every week. This is probably the easiest approach for your recovery.

  • Two squat days and one deadlift day per week

It should be noted that even though it says “deadlift day” you don’t actually have to deadlift - you can get to a 200kg deadlift without ever performing the lift itself. On deadlift days you could use snatch-grip deads or deficit deads as your main lift, once you get to 180kgs on either one of those, you’ll be able to deadlift 200kgs conventionally.

When structuring your training days I’d go with this:

  1. Your main movement (Snatch grip dead, deficit dead, sumo or conventional/squat variation on a squat day) choose a set/rep scheme you like and know to work, be it one all-out set, 3x5 or whatever you can come up with. Personally I’d go with one set of 3-6 and after that one set of 6-10

  2. An assistance movement for strength (Same as above or a squat variation) a couple of sets (say 2-3 of 4-6 will work here)

  3. An assistance movement for hypertrophy (same as above, stiff leg deads, rows) 2-3 sets of 8-15 is a good starting point

  4. -5. accessory movements no more than two, from the “for accessory work” section. (So leg curls, straight-arm pulldowns and that stuff) 1-2 sets of 8-20 would be sufficient. Don’t skip on this stuff even if it seems to be light, it’s the stuff that’ll keep you in the game for a long time.

Getting strong is rather simple, really. This is just one of the many ways you can go about deadliffting, and there sure are other that work at least as well as this one.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask - I’m quite sure you do have them as this post is rather long and it can be confusing.

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i have my training log:Yet Another Training Log

however, to put a long story short. i try to train every second day and i rotate between 4 different training sessions, of which 2 are directly focused on DL, 1 is focused on the back squat and 1 is focused on T-bar row and power cleans/push pressed. every second of my DL sessions i just do 6 sets of 2 at 80% RM, i feel that i cant tolerate another heavy DL session in my schedule.

for the muscle up i do neutral grip chin ups every second training and dead hangs on my off days, i am trying to strengthen my hands and elbows and shoulders to tolerate direct muscle up training. i cant yet do a lot of pull ups with good form.

recently i have started to do lunch training with my colleagues at work, that training interferes with my regular but its really good for building network professionally so i will keep on doing it for a while.

thats some stuff i have not yet tested.

hmm, i think it might be my grip and when the bar i just under the knee caps. ill try later on to upload a video, just got to figure out how to do it.

i think my recovery ability is not that good. i easily get sick and my joints complain every now and then.

i usually make a heavy double and then something like 6-10

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I’ve got to check that out

That sounds like a solid split for deadlifting purposes if the training sessions themselves are designed properly

What are you doing in the other session? How do you go about increasing the weight in this session?

Eventually you’ll need to be good at pull-ups before you can start shooting for muscle-ups. Don’t forget directly targeting rear delts, biceps, forearms and triceps - get those strong and your elbows, shoulders and hands will be strong and happy as well

For grip - rowing without using straps is magic, farmers walks also help. For weakness below knee caps try pausing the bar when you’ve just come off the floor.

Try eating more if you are not on a diet currently, it helps with staying healthy - lot’s of fruits, vegetables and protein. For joints, it could be caused by strength imbalances (and thus it’ll be fixable), if not, MSM is a good supplement to look into.

If that feels good, go on with it

my other DL session was explained later, but its the heavy 2 and then 6-10

i increase weight when i think i have earned the the right to do it, and that is when it falls below 80% of my estimated 1 RM



i have to look into this

thank you
/br bonoboschimp

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Hey man, so my workouts look typically like this, its just become too time consuming. Iv recently begun supersettimg back work with whtever main movement etc to save time.

Overhead press
4×6 @70% of 1rm
1 amrap set with lighter weight
Leave a couple inthe tank.

Supersetted with Chest supported rows 4×6 and one amrap set.

Incline smith machine press 3×10
Pushups 3×10
Seated rows 3×10
Facepulls 3×20-35

Now im thinking turn the seated rows , Facepulls and curls into a tri set and supersetting the pushups and incline press.

the problem is i suck at pushups and if do pushups in a superset , im worried i wont increase my pushup proficiency /strength. This could be me over thinking , but i should be fine if i do pushups first followed by incline press in the superset.

Im thinking if i do this i could shorten my workouts into an hour instead of 1.30-2 hours. Its just to time consuming when i have study, meal prep and eating to do.

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If push-ups are a higher priority to you than incline smith machine presses, why not just superset them with seated rows and then use the remaining exercises in a tri-set?

Apart from that, dropping your set count from 3 to 2 will shorten your sessions a bit while not interfering with your gains - you could also try doing, say 3 or 4 sets of your main movements instead of 5 (so 2-3 regular ones and one AMRAP)

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Thanks for the input @danteism , il do as you suggested and put the pushups with the seated rows and remaining exercises as a tri set. Il also give less sets a go to and if im not getting much strength gains then compared to more sets i can always switch back.

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A couple of weeks back I saw some guys doing a grip strength competition besides a crossfit booth. They were holding a 45 pound plate in each hand for time. Some of the guys looked rather muscular and fit, but none of them could hold the plates for more than half a minute.

Then, an older lady - who was probably in her 80s came by and asked if she could try. The guys asked her if she wanted to hold 10 pound plates instead of 45s and she told them she’d just try the bigger ones. So, she picked them up and held them for 58 seconds. That’s twice as much as the top score of the guys was.

Now why would that happen? Well, the woman probably grew up in a farm doing hard manual labor during her youth. I’m not saying that the strength she gained then carried over to her 80s, but when you need to work hard for a living you learn how to operate when you are tired and you need to push yourself a bit. You learn how to strain. Today, there’s no need for that - an average person can just sit down and make a living that way - you could live your whole life without ever pushing yourself, so obviously when you go to the gym or attend a competition you have no idea of how far you can push your body and thus you fall short of what you are capable of.

So, what did we learn?

  1. You probably are not training as hard as you thought you were

  2. You should learn how to strain

  3. You grandma could just be tougher than you’ll ever be

Talking of straining - here’s the outline of my yesterday’s training session. (Yeah, it was one if those “hey, your eyes are a bit red” - sessions)

Lower body

No rest between sets apart from the time needed to move between exercises.

All sets were between 6-15 reps, apart from rest-pause sets (rp) that were between 15-40 reps. All sets were to failure.

One set of each exercise was performed (so if it says “Squat”, it means one set of 6-15 reps of squat. If it says “Leg press RP” it means one rest-pause set of leg press)

  • Stiff legged deadlift
  • Front squat to a low box
  • Stiff legged deadlift (90% of the first set’s weight)
  • Leg curl RP
  • Stiff legged deadlift (80% of the first set’s weight)
  • Leg press RP
  • Quad stretch
  • Seated calf raises DC style

This took me about 20 minutes to complete, and man was it hard.

Now I wouldn’t suggest trying this out - at least not in an all-out manner - if you don’t have a strong lower back. Of course this will make you lower back stronger, but you need to have some lower back strength in order to be able to do this workout properly and in a safe manner.

When I got into the army I kind of lost my joy for training because I couldn’t do my thing (lifting heavy weights for a couple of hours a day in an empty gym) and I hadn’t yet figured out what my new thing could be. But now that I’ve gotten into these “hit and run” type of sessions that are really brief and intense, I’ve found the joy again.

I live off of intensity and hyping up, I’ve always been like that and I’ll probably never change.

Find a way of training that brings you joy and you won’t need motivation to train.


Are you kidding?

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