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Nordic Blood: Looking Like a Tank Despite Wearing Winter Gear & 30m 180kg Loaded Carry and a Front Lever Before I'm 30

I’ve been musing about sustainability recently, as I’ve been watching too many — or just enough — documentaries lately. One thing I see, time and time again, is the need for variety to have balance and if you do not have variety you might be able to strive for a goal short-term but usually see long-term consequences. So, for instance, in agriculture you’d be able to grow a few crop cycles at a higher yield but eventually ruin the soil unless you rotate crops intelligently. You can optimize for dairy production, at the detriment of other qualities. Or you can establish a symbiotic system that feeds into itself.

And you see this in training to, I think. In more aspects than one. You need training stress. You need recovery. Both equate to growth. You need strength, and you need mobility. With just one, and not the other, you are placing your body at increased risk for injury. And then there is conditioning.

And I’ve noticed that you see this in many different approaches that the coaches on T-nation share.

It’s prevalent in training methodologies (push/pull/legs) which is kind of on the micro-level. And again at a macro level.

Take Wendler for instance, if you follow his writing you’d work towards all of these facets at any point but you have leaders and anchors as a means to systemise pushing different qualities. You have Carter, who believes that powerlifters should occasionally train like bodybuilder (and I’d suppose vice versa). You see balance across seasons in one of Thib’s writings elsewhere.

It would be interesting to take this idea to the extreme, where training and diet simultaneously is very varied and see how that works.

Like, overlaying Primer 5/2 (varied macros and fasting which I’ve linked in an earlier post Nordic Blood: 30m 180kg Loaded Carry and a Front Lever Before I'm 30) with a nuanced training program that combines every conceivably quality from heavy lifting to steady-state work. Maybe something like what is posted at the end here: https://www.t-nation.com/training/destroying-fat

Day 1: Heavy lifting chest/back + alactic work
Day 2: Lactate-inducing workout 1 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work
Day 3: OFF
Day 4: Heavy lifting quads/hams
Day 5: OFF
Day 6: Lactate-inducing workout 2 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work
Day 7: OFF

but the two don’t overlay perfectly. And for me, well, I have climbing too. So it’s not something for me. Right now. But it’s fun to philosophise.

June 3, 2019

Squat workout today. Start of my 4th 531 cycle.

Here are my numbers (mostly a back-up for myself),

Training maxes:
SQ: 112.63277109999999
DL: 129.1941711
OHP: 47.597085549999996
BP: 64.59708555

Estimated 1RMs:
SQ: 132.50914247058822
DL: 151.99314247058825
OHP: 55.99657123529411
BP: 75.99657123529413

“Week” 1
SQ: 75,85,97.5
DL: 85,97.5,110
OHP: 32.5,37.5,42.5
BP: 42.5,50,55
“Week” 2
SQ: 80,92.5,102.5
DL: 92.5,105,117.5
OHP: 35,40,45
BP: 47.5,52.5,60
“Week” 3
SQ: 85,97.5,107.5
DL: 97.5,110,125
OHP: 37.5,42.5,47.5
BP: 50,55,62.5

I used to run 5’s PRO and FSL with the main lift of the day. I’ve changed that now, instead I do 5’s PRO still but I pair squat with deadlift supplemental (and vice versa) and similarly for bench/press.

I’ve opted for the snatch grip deadlift as my deadlift supplemental and front squat as my squat supplemental.

For the snatch grip I calculated my weight as 90% of my first set of squats and then I did that for three sets of eight. Next week, I’ll keep the weight from this week but do 10 reps, and then 12 on the final week.

Did pull ups between my squat sets, 5kg, 8 reps. Again, will progress 8/10/12 and then add weight next cycle.

Finally, for today, I did some horizontal rows in a machine for sets of 12 and 50% of my TM for 20 reps on the back squat for conditioning. I did pulldown abs as part of my warm-up.

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After this cycle I’ll retest my maxes with a belt on deads and squats. I think my lower back will be quite happy about the change up.

June 12, 2019

Missed reps on my final set of overhead presses today.


  1. My sleep has not been on point for weeks
  2. I’ve been doing additional handstand work
  3. I didn’t include any intra-workout nutrition yesterday when climbing
  4. My weight has been fluctuating up and down, but not really a positive weight trend
  5. Weights were just heavy today

Not too worried about it to be honest. I believe it’s primarily reason number two that is the culprit but my shoulder hasn’t been agonizing me too much.

I believe that most of my maxes, when I went for them before starting 5/3/1 were on the low-end, and as I’ve said before, next deload week (not next week but the week thereafter) I’m going to retest my maxes to figure out what they are when using a belt on deadlift and squat.

I don’t think I’ll do anything with regards to my bench weight, it’s progressing even though it might be on the low end. My OHP weight should maybe be downregulated a smidge and then I could do every rep from a dead start.

Status update:
TRT is weird. Hormonal roller-coasters, yay. Been hitting the gym consistently since I last wrote, with occasional bouts of being ill. Usually, just a throat thing.

Overdid squats for a while, so I aggravated my hip-flexor again. I seem to be able to back squat twice a week without this becoming an issue. Should probably err on the side of caution here and just do it once.

Recently, I’ve been doing full-body workouts 3x a week while continuing to climb three times a week but I’ve been exploring them and working around issues so they haven’t been to systematic. I’ve given myself some rep-ranges to guide my weight increments on a few recurring exercises and I’ve kind of enjoyed this approach.

Today’s workout was,
A1. Leg Press 3x15: machine + 190kg 17,16,15, about 1 minute rest
A2. Dips 3x AMRAP
B1. Wide-grip BP 3x8-10 (@50 was my previous best for 10 reps): got 3x10@52.5
B2. Chin-up 3xAMRAP
B3. Cable pull-through 3x6-8, 8@28, 8@35, 8@45. The machine doesn’t go higher
C1. Behind-the-neck OHP 3x8-10@30:?, 8, 8
C2. Barbell curl 3x10@30
C3. Bent-knee situp: 3xAMRAP
C4. Hip-thrust 3x6-8:?@80,10@80, 8@100

I’m soon going abroad for a few days, for vacation. When I get back, it is my intention to continue with three workouts a week, an A workout and a B workout, which is inspired by the beginner prep-school from 5/3/1 Forever, but I don’t use 5/3/1-percentages or supplemental work but I’m keeping with different set/rep-ranges to hit before incrementing my weights.

The A-workout:
Warm-up: good mornings / glute activation / explosive movements (jumps, snatch)
A. Deadlift 4-5x6-8 reps, handstands between sets
B1. Deadlift supplemental (possibly another variation like snatch-grip or deficit) 3-4x9-12 reps
B2. Overhead press 3x8-10 reps

The B-workout
Warm-up: ab-wheel roll-outs / hanging leg raises / glute activation / explosive movements (jumps, clean)
A. Squat 4-5x6-8 reps, push-ups and band pull-aparts between sets [0]
B1. Squat supplemental 3-4x9-12 reps [1]
B2. Bench press 3x8-10 reps

Assistance is 5 rounds of,
KB swing 10-15
Dips 8-10 reps (A)/Push-up 10-15 reps (B)
Horizontal row (inverted, chest-supported, …) 10-15
Ab-wheel roll-out 10 / Hanging Leg Raises AMRAP

[0]: To reduce the risk of aggravating my hip flexor again I’m considering alternating back squat and front squat between sessions.
[1]: Maybe Zercher. Front squat is a bad fit as I’m unable to keep my elbows up for that many reps. Or, Zercher for one of the sessions and lunges for the other. I should lunge more, as I hate it.

Originally, I had another idea which was posted here: Natty on Pennies but that has since transmorphed into the above. Again, as that posts mentions, with all the climbing I need very little direct vertical pulling and biceps work.

@isdatnutty 's program Beginners: Nutty's Simple Program gave me the idea that I might run pause squats as assistance on one of my squat days. So, something like

Squat workout 1:
Main lift: Back squat
Supplemental: Pause Squat

Squat workout 2:
Main lift: Front squat
Supplemental: Zercher Squat

Designing programs is fun.

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Looks good man! If I were you I would rather do this :smile:

Squat Workout 1:
Main Lift: Back Squat
Supplemental: Pause Squat

Squat Workout 2:
Main Lift: Front Squat
Supplemental: 20 Rep Front Squats

Haha, elbow would go from ≤ to \/ but maybe that is what I need. My abs are my weak spot, it’s why my hip flexor flares up whenever I squat too often.

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Use straps then. Front squats will fix that ab weakness ASAP. I find that squatting twice a week seems to be the right frequency. Especially one day back and one day front.

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I thought the dropping of the elbows was that you fatigued the upper back which is why normally you don’t see high rep front squat prescriptions around all that much.

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Oh for sure. Either fatigue or a weakness. But zombie front squats and with straps you’ll find your elbows won’t drop as quickly. I wouldn’t do high rep front squats all the time, but like 4-8 weeks of 20 rep front squats, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt lol.

Good tip. I might put it into the rotation :smiley:

Wednesday, 14th of August 2019 (2019-08-14)

First day of @isdatnutty’s beginner program. Starting mid-week, so OHP day,

Nutty’s Program
Session 1

STRICT OH PRESS (ss: Chin-ups - 5x10, ish)
5 @ 40kg
5 @ 40kg
5 @ 40kg
5 @ 40kg
5 @ 40kg

BB INCLINE BENCH PRESS (ss: BB Row 5x10 @ 35kg)
8 @ 40kg
8 @ 40kg
10 @ 40kg
8 @ 40kg

BW DIPS (ss: Curls, Face Pulls - 4x25)

Didn’t time it, but time flew by and I was pretty worked but not beat up after.


Great job man! The program won’t beat you up, well not until you pushing some really heavy weights lol.

How did you get 10 on your 3rd set lol. Did you just take a longer rest or you starting off with some lighter weights?

Set-up was better, so all the reps came easier. The real Incline bench was taken, so I did these with an adjustable bench in a rack and so the quality of the setup was less consistent. And, I don’t go to technical failure on barbell stuff. Letting bar speed dictate when to finish the set.

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Awesome man! Keep at it for sure!

Thursday, 15th of August 2019 (2019-08-15)

2h bouldering session that was overall kind of shitty. Figured out a nice heel-hook on a route I was struggling with.

Friday, 16th of August 2019 (2019-08-16)

Nutty’s Program
Session 2

BACK SQUAT (ss: Ab Wheel - 50 reps total. Almost 5x10)

RDL (ss: BW Bulgarian Split Squat - 4x12)

Pilates Leg Curl (ss: BW Back Ext - 5x12)

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Saturday, 17th of August 2019 (2019-08-17)

I think these reps are correct. I need to bring a pen and paper into the gym

Nutty’s Program
Session 3

BENCH PRESS (ss: Pull-Ups 5x10 (ish))
5 @ 60 kg
6 @ 60 kg
5 @ 60 kg
6 @ 60 kg
6 @ 60 kg

BTN PRESS (ss: Barbell Row 5x10 @ 35kg)
9 @ 30 kg
9 @ 30 kg
9 @ 30
8 @ 30

PUSH UPS - triceps emphasis (ss: BPAs 4x25, Curls 4x25)

Starting conditioning on Tuesday, here’s my planned progression,

Week 1: 10 sec sprints / 90 sec rest x 6
Week 2: 10 sec sprints / 60 sec rest x 8
Week 3: 15 sec sprints / 90 sec rest x 6
Week 4: 15 sec sprints / 60 sec rest x 8
Week 5: 20 sec sprints / 90 sec rest x 6
Week 6: 25 sec sprints / 90 sec rest x 6
Week 7: 30 sec sprints / 90 sec rest x 6

Thinking the training week will be something like,

Monday: DL around lunch, maybe yoga in the late afternoon
Tuesday: Hard conditioning (sprints as per above) just before lunch, rope climbing in the late afternoon
Wednesday: Overhead Press
Thursday: Bouldering
Friday: Squat
Saturday: Bench + Hard Conditioning
Sunday: REST

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Monday, 19th of August 2019 (2019-08-19)

Nutty’s Program
Session 4

DEADLIFT (ss: Ab-wheel roll-out, 10, 10, 8, 6, 5)
3@120 kg
3@120 kg
3@120 kg, something felt twingy in my lower back
3@120 kg, belt, something felt even more twingy
5@100 kg

Was intending to do 110 but the 5kg plates were too wobbly so I just went for 120. Mistake.

Front-squat (ss: DB RDL 5x12 @ 34kg/hand)
8 @ 40kg
8 @ 40kg
8 @ 50
8 @ 50

Felt surprisingly okay given my lower back. Went lighter on the first two sets because of that

Alternating Lunges w 20kg plate (ss: back extension 4x20)
30 total reps

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