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PLP Challenge, 30-Days In

I did 37 reps today, which is day 37 for me. I started w/ 1 rep because my rep max on pullups was 4 when I started.

My goal is to get leaner, so I do my reps as a circuit. Today I did chins, 180deg lunges (1 front, one 45deg, then one side lunge each side) then pushups w/ my feet on a table. I then rest 30s and repeat the circuit until I get all my reps. today I did x3x12sets +1. I alternate doing 3’s, 4’s and 5’s. I can do 30+ push-ups and lunges, but can’t do anything close with chins, so I just do the other two so I get a consistent rest period between chin sets and keep my heart rate up.

I have dropped 6 pounds on the scale, and I am just hit my 5/3/1 bench and squat sets with same weight and reps as I did last cycle. I am at my thinnest waist line in over 10 years. Punched another new hole in my belt this morning.

[quote]benmoore wrote:
I’m still trying to think how to put this all together in a program (and have this as a major component).[/quote]

The point of the PLP Challenge is just the opposite. This should just be something extra to add on to your normal routine. Structuring your programming around the PLP doesn’t make much sense. It’s just a way of increasing your work capacity.

i forgot to take pics, but i can tell it’s making differences on my work capacity. i think i must be getting insane, but i think i gained 0.2 inches on my arms.

[quote]ashylarryku wrote:

[quote]benmoore wrote:
I’m still trying to think how to put this all together in a program (and have this as a major component).[/quote]

The point of the PLP Challenge is just the opposite. This should just be something extra to add on to your normal routine. Structuring your programming around the PLP doesn’t make much sense. It’s just a way of increasing your work capacity.[/quote]

Everybody’s training is unique to their own individual goals. For conditioning especially, I think Ben is on to something. Sometimes I think we get waaaaaaay too anal about this is for this, and this is for that…

Chad didn’t say to add cardio intervals to PLP, I just did…

Dan John wrote somewhere that his kids like barbell complexes b/c they were gaining size with them. Fat loss and conditioning were the original “goal” of barbell complexes. Yet some people get bigger using them… Dogma has it not to train same body parts 2-days in a row. CT smashed that one…

Think outside the box!

27 days in now and unless I have miscounted I think I have improved max pullups by 3 already haha!

I’m on day 39 now and my pullups have improved tremendously. I recently did a set of weighted chins with 40kg extra for 4 reps which is a massive PR and I can now bang out 10 rep sets of bodyweight pullups with ridiculous ease. Max is probably around 20 or so but I’m not gonna try maxing till at least when I’m done with the 60 days. My recovery rate has definitely gone up and I am also noticing more general “stability” in my legs.

I’m thinking next time I do this thing or something similar I might substitute push-ups for ring dips, since I have definitely felt most benefit from the pulls and they are the hardest of the three. Bodyfat has stayed fairly consistent… Maybe a tad leaner.

Today is my 54-reps day. Essentially 2-weeks from the finish line. The results are fantastic, but I am bored senseless by pullups, and to a lesser extent, lunges. Like my body is going, “Whaa?? Not again, already…”

The pushups are my favorite part, and will remain a staple of my next program. I used to do endless pushups as a youngster, so it feels great to get back in that groove. I forgot how well they translate to all pressing movements, and the added core stability benefits.

I’m never going to get fed up of pullups due to having a background in parkour/freerunning in the past! Day 28 today and feeling good! Pushups have gone down a little but this is because I am using this as my sole workout during the exam period. Pullups up however continue to shoot up. Would love to do this with dips.

Wait what… pullups up by another rep. Going to put this down to being a couple of lbs or so lighter on account of dropping carbs yesterday… Knocked out 13 reps up from 9 when I started! Also starting to notice that my core fatigues during pushups. Oh dear I am so poorly conditioned! Cannot wait till exams finish.

EDIT: Just noticed mild tenderness in the elbows. Will continue to knock back the fish oils and see what happens.

I~m getting so bored of doing plp with 5/3/1 i wish i can end it soon.

I’m doing PLP and 5/3/1 also. I love it though! I’m on day 51. I have leaned out a tiny bit without really changing my diet. I like it because it gives me an excuse to exercise almost all day long. I just break them into 10 rep sets throughout the day.

Team PLP, I almost bailed last night due to boredom, and tendinitis on both elbows. But that was me at midnight cranking out sets of chins. I felt compelled. The last 3-days have been a serious grind to plow through the pullups. I am now 11-days away from completion. 59-rep through 69-rep days.

I think I erred by doing too many 8-10 rep sets which caused some DOMS, and tendon issues. I am using ice and taking ibuprofen virtually every day now. The thing is, once you get sore, you can’t really heal b/c the volume doesn’t let up. The last week I have done 385 pullups. That seems hilarious when I think how I used to think 100 pullups in a week was a lot…lol.

My single leg stability has improved remarkably, though.

I curse you, CW, for not making this a 50-day challenge! ha ha… Hopefully, I will hit one more groove, and bring it in strong!!

Feep it up Felix, you are almost there brother.

How do you guys break it up when you get passed 45?

I do my pushups in one set usually. I ripped out 48 today.

Pull ups usually go 10, 10, 8, 7, 6, 6, etc…

Felix, I usually get elbow/shoulder pains when doing PULLUPS (overhand grip) but am finme when doing CHINS or neutral grip chins. I’d suggest changing your grip and see what happens.

Day 48 for me today, 57 reps. 12 days left. I’ll say my work capacity has probably increased from doing this, which is a great thing.

@plutus: Thanks brother, appreciate the support…This is like running up a steep hill, and I can see the crest, but the hill keeps gettin steeper. Honestly, I’m loving the challenge.

Volume breakdown: Normally, I will split pushups into two sets, feet elevated, and really focus on form, and by taking a slow negative, I’m actually getting a training effect. Also, doing a push up plus, (scaps protracted at top) which is a form Chad suggested in his Q/A live spill. Feels great. Sometimes I will just rep out 40-50 reps, and clean up the rest in another little set.

Lunges: yesterday I just did 58-reverse lunges in a row. Today, I prob. split it into four sets of reverse lunge, lunge, walking lunge, and side lunge.

Pulls: 1-2-3-4-5 warmup, then just multiple sets of 5-10.

@ashlarryku: Yeah, good tip, thanks for that…I am doing multiple grips, pronated, supinated, neutral, and even mixed grip. I’m kind of the opposite as you: the chin up grip is causing the problem on the medial epicondyles, (golfer’s elbow). But I can do more reps per set that way. The pullup grip seems to aggravate the right triceps tendon, which I thought was kind of weird, but the long head of the triceps is pretty involved in shoulder extension, so that may be the reason.

My lats around the mid back feel very strong, like they want more… but around the armpits getting very sore…At least three acquaintances have remarked that I’m getting “buff”, which gives me a nice morale boost…

Sorry, this post got a little long-winded. Keep on keepin’ on everybody!

On Day 46.
I guess I am still the only one doing these as a circuit. But then again, as a fat powerlifter, bodyweight pullups were a max-effort lift a year ago. I am doing my 180deg lunges and elevated pushups (feet up on whatever is around - bench, chair, pinball machine, etc) just to pass the time between sets of chins. Last night, I did pyramid reps 1,2,3,4,5,6,6,5… and then did one extra set of 3 each to get to 45. I make it more CV by keeping my rest periods to 30s. I can usually get breathing by the end if I stay on the clock. Plus, I hate to do anything for 8+ reps, except when I am doing a 225 bench rep rest.

Is anyone trying to get all their reps in the morning, fasted? I thought I could get more metabolic effect. Everything just frickin hurts for the first 20 reps of each, especially the mornings after my 5/3/1 workouts.

Felix, I have the same issue with my elbow. Like ashy suggested, I gave up on pullups and now do only chins and neutral grip. The inside of my right elbow burns for my first few sets, but doing overhand pullups, I can only get a few reps at a time.

I had to ditch the program - elbows are wrecked!

Will probably not return to this program for the time being… probably.

@orcrist: good post. yeah, sometimes i like to do this whole deal fasted, but not straight out of bed, more like after i’m up for a bit, and body temp is warmer. The whole thing is about daily discipline at this point.

For me, if I just take the time to warm up, stretch my bi’s and pec minor like crazy…warm up the shoulder girdle with various circles, and ROM drills…well then I will prob. get through all the reps okay…Plus get sleep, get enough nutrition later, ice the joints, and a whole bunch of bullshit, that I’d rather not do.

But if I do all of this stuff, I get to keep going with a minimum of soft tissue pain. Jumping up completely cold out of bed onto a pullup bar…might as well just take a cheese grater to my tendons…

60-reps today…9-more days to go…

[quote]benmoore wrote:
I had to ditch the program - elbows are wrecked!

Will probably not return to this program for the time being… probably. [/quote]

Casualty! Sorry to hear it ben…Hope they heal up okay…At some point, one does have to consider whether they are doing more harm than good…I think a caveat to the program may be to keep the reps per set low. But damn when you’re counting to 60, you kind of want to do that 11-12 rep set to make some progress on the total.

Good luck!

Day 52 - 18 days left.

Guessing by the inactivity on this thread, we have had more casualties. I’m starting to question my sanity - must mean PLP is working. Yesterday was very busy, so at 10pm last night I did 5/3/1 Powercleans and 5/3/1 squats last night, then my 51 PLP reps.

I have to give Chad props for highlighting this PLP method. Prior to this program, I had never done a bodyweight strict-form, widegrip overhand pullup before. Last night I did x3x8sets, alternated with x3x9sets of chinups. And it felt good to use the next smaller notch on my weight belt for squats.

I am not done yet, but wanted to write out here are a couple things I’ve learned, in case anyone is thinking about doing PLP this summer. Other PLP’ers, please add to this:

  1. Mix up your pulling grips, lunge variations, and push-up hand positions! It reduces boredom, and it really reduces the soft tissue stress.
  2. Pick exercises and rep schemes that feel like ~60% effort. So, if a max rep set would be around 20, do sets of 12 for that exercise. For me, that meant very short sets of pullups (3-6 reps) and a difficult pushup variation (on my knuckles, feet at least 18-24" off the ground)
  3. Circuit training approach - I have gotten a big metabolic boost (dropped 12 pounds the first month). It forces a rep scheme around the weakest of the three movements, and its easier to keep track of the reps as the numbers get bigger.
  4. I am completely rethinking my approach to training volume. When I trained Simmons/conjugate method, I might have been doing only 60-100 bench reps in a week, between DE, ME and lockouts. I have done 350+ pushups in the last seven days!! This PLP experience has rocked my little training world, and will reshape the next few phases of my training.
  5. Great way to bring up a weak point. For quads - do forward lunges. Hip power - side lunges. Hams and Glutes - do step ups. Similarly, pulls vs. chins, wide/narrow, pushup variations. Do some of each, but more of whatever weakness you want to focus on.
  6. Eat, especially if you are desk-job-guy like me. My leanness stalled 3 weeks ago, and I was starting to drag. I increase my daily feed by 300kcal (almost all in the form of whey protein) My weight stopped dropping, but my leanness increased and my energy came roaring back.
  7. Make a promise to yourself to do the damn reps. This program will tap into your inner-shao-lin-monk. Daily discipline is a great habit to build in any endeavor. Making a deal with yourself is a great way to avoid talking yourself out of it.
  8. Chad Waterbury’s article and Livespill talked about fitting in the reps throughout the day outside of regular workouts. I couldn’t always do that, so I often did my reps as a “finisher” on my training days. If it was bench day, I just picked easier pushup variations. I didn’t do many side lunges after squatting, etc. On off days, I did my circuit at the same time I normally train.
  9. If you do a lot of chins and closegrip pushups, you really don’t want to do much arm isolation work while on PLP. I’ve found that I could handle the volume if I stuck with compound movements for my regular workouts. Iso arms burned my arms out too much to try and come back and do 40+ chinups the next day. And yes, my arms are bigger.
  10. If you can, mix up the thickness of your chin bar. I bought a 7’ piece of 2" “black” pipe from Home Depot and bracketed it to my squat rack. (I bracket an Olympic bar for the other days.) I used the thick bar 1-2x per week. It gave my finger calluses a rest, and it hit the muscles differently. I started using the 2" bar, on day 34 and I have had very little elbow pain since then.

Um, sorry - this turned into a wannabe-T-Nation article. Hopefully it helps someone else. It felt good to coalesce my thoughts anyway.