T Nation

Squats & Headspins


Decided to start loggin here on T-Nation.

I’m 29 Male and I love bboying (known in the mainstream as break-dancing). Over the past year I also found out I love lifting weights and being active in other ways.

I decided to put a twist on Dan John’s One Lift A Day. I didn’t pick the sets/reps he suggested, because talking to some strong guys at my gym, didn’t felt like it was aggressive enough.

My days are not set in stone but for the last 8 months have gone something like this:

Sunday - Front Squat 10x5, RDL 10x5, Sprints
Monday - Bench Press 5x8, Pull Ups 5x12, Swim
Tuesday - Back Squat 10x3, GHR 4x12, Walk
Wednesday - Overhead Press 10x6, BB Rows 5x10, Hurdles
Thursday - BW Exercise Only Day, Swim
Friday - Deadlift 10x3, Lunges 10x6, Sprints
Saturday - OFF (with NFL season I haven’t been doing BB complexes on Sunday like I was)

Current 2RMs.

Front Squat - 295
Back Squat - 355
Deadlift - 385
Bench Press - 250
Overhead Press - 180
BB Rows - 255
Chin Ups - 22 (in one all out set)


T Nation and Dan John Changed My Life!


10 Minutes of bboying
Practiced flare to airflare to 90

Back Squat - 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3
GHR - 4x12
Decline Situps w/ 25lbs - 4x15

45 minute walk

Flare to airflare to 90 is pretty hard. I tend to use too much momentum when transitioning from flare to airflare. I don’t have a video of myself, but this was the combo I was practicing before lifting (video below). I"m more of an “attacker” when bboying so this usually leads to high surges of energy in my movement vs more controlled and smoothness when transitioning from power move to power move.

Squats felt like bacon on a Saturday morning. Extra crispy and peppered.


In for this


Pretty cool stuff, man. I think it’s great to see people that pursue some degree of strength in the barbell lifts as part of a broad fitness-life goal.

I’ll be following.


Awesome work man! I’m very in.

I actually love this style of minimalistic training while still working in the ‘fun’ fitness work. Keep it up!


Glad to have you on board mate!

Thanks man. Yeah I think it’s pretty unique to what I know all my friends to do, even the strong ones! I think being “in-shape” and “strong” are all subjective. For example a collegiate D1 wrestler, a world record powerlifter, or even a professional tennis player are all “strong” in their own way. None of them are going to be weak that’s for sure. I think everyone needs a mix of barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight, jumping on and off things, moving your body around, yoga, swimming, wrestling, climbing, falling, and even dancing! I think a person needs to do all this over time to be really well rounded.

But that’s for just the average joe like me. I’m not training for anything particular. If you are not training for a particular goal, but just “exercising” I think people would be surprised how well rounded and strong they can be. Plus working out should be fun! Maybe not when pushing heavy weights (even though it amps me the fuck up!), but in general. Glad to have you on board!

Thanks man, appreciate having you on board. It has to be fun! If not how can you just grind day after day? But yes man I’m so glad I found this Dan John program. When I first started it literally everyone around me (even my strong friends were skeptical) said there was no way doing 1-2 lifts a day was going to do anything but make me tired. So I decided to ask some of the big ass dudes at the Gold’s for advice and they told me a few things:

  • Eat well and don’t miss many gym sessions.
  • If my heart is set on One Lift a Day, I should add 1-2 assistance lifts and push the main lift for many sets and reps as I can. Add reps before adding weight. They explained to me how assistance lifts and main lifts work together with this type of setup. I’m essentially doing 3 upper days and 3 lower days a week.
  • Run this program for 1 whole year. Changing assistance movements allows me to beat the boredom of repetitive exercises.
  • If I follow these 3 steps, I will be bigger and stronger than all my friends. They promised me that.

What I found out is “One Lift A Day” (with a slight tweak) works and can be something someone runs for a lifetime. Takes all the thinking out of it! I don’t know how some people do workouts with like 10 exercises in them haha! Some days after my main lift and 1 assistance I’m done haha.

And the big strong guys from Gold’s kept their promise. Because I followed their 3 pieces of advice I’m almost a year in and I’m stronger than 90% of my friends! Definitely the most athletic overall.



20 Minutes of bboying
Practiced Flare to Airflare to Windmill to Halo to Flare

BB Row - 205x10, 205x9, 205x8, 205x7, 205x6, 205x5, 205x5, 205x5
BB Bench Press - 205x8, 225x6, 245x2, 205x5, 205x4, 155x17
Curls - 5x12

20 minute swim sprints

Flare to airflare to windmill was a nice change of pace. Another few weeks of power only practice before I start incorporating it more “dancing” back into my routines again.

I’ve been doing my pulling exercise before I do my pressing on my upper body days and ever since i started doing that the front of my shoulder never ever ever hurts now. The first 1.5 months I was doing this program I would bench or overhead press first and my shoulders would always be tender. Now they feel strong as shit. Benching has always sucked for me. I’m just not comfortable doing it. Always been more comfortable doing overhead presses. Overall, good quick session. Was only in the gym for 90 minutes total and that included shower/hot tub/post-stretch time.

Video of the bboy combo practice sequence I was doing (video not of me)

One of my favorite songs of all time. Had me ready for my last set of bench press.


Definitely watching this topic. I dance and I like big compound lifts.


In! I followed a fairly similar routine to this over the summer, albeit with a bit less structure. Didn’t really get any stronger but got some physique gains out of it oddly enough, keep up the good work!


Glad to have you on board! You bboy? Got to love the big lifts. I think they give you best bang for your buck. Probably gets most people to 80% of their physique goals.

Thank you! Yeah man a program no matter what it is (if it’s designed smart) should work. I mean if you think about it whether you do full body, upper lower, push pull, or do something everyday over the course of weeks and months you are working the same muscles. I basically do a basic full body workout, but it’s just spread over 6 days!



Forgot I’m flying out to SF for a business meeting at 11, so had to get my workout in today this morning after being reminded. I just worked out at basically a bit after midnight. Got to get it in no matter what. Tomorrow will be my BW only exercise and stretch day since I’ll be in SF. Find a nice park, go for a run and then hit the monkey bars for lots of pull ups, push ups, hand stand push ups, and if they have parallel bars some dips. Gonna eat lots of greasy Chinese food as well!

15 Minutes of bboying
Practiced Airflare to 90

Front Squat - 225x5, 245x5, 265x5, 275x5, 265x5, 245x5, 245x5, 245x5, 245x5, 225x5, 225x5, 225x5
RDL - 225x10, 225x10, 225x10, 225x8, 225x6
Hanging Leg Raises - 4x20

20 minute hurdles

Airflare to 90s I need to work on being more in control in total. I’m explosive enough, but I need to learn to hone it down and control the transition better to set myself up with more power into the next move.

Front Squats felt super heavy all the way through. I think that’s due to just doing BB Rows less than 12 hours ago. Hurdles felt explosive and smooth. Threw in a front flip at the end of it just for fun haha.

Now off to SF!

Video of the bboy combo practice sequence I was doing (video not of me)


Ballet, motherfucker!


Seriously, the entry to the flare thing reminds me of that contemporary move where you knee drop the standing leg, sweep the working leg right round, and roll through. On intensive week this summer I hadn’t done those for months and it was hell.


Cool log man! I’m in.

I use to bboy back in high school. I was more of style guy than a power guy. But at that time everyone was into power, so I wanted to stand out.

That’s awesome you are doing the one lift a day with your tweaks. I ran something similiar (two lifts a day) for a short period of time and I loved it. Quick sessions that had you in and out of the gym fast.

I might have to toprock to warm up or something after seeing this log!


That’s dope man! I actually went to my first show last year. It was The Nutcracker. Some of those big guys move so gracefully.

Hey man, all dance moves are stolen from different styles. Bboying has stole from everything! But it’s all movements.

That’s dope brother! Yeah style is the big thing now. Everyone can do power. My power relatively to my style, so just working on pushing the combos of power moves.

Yeah I stay longer, but lifting daily seems to work for me. After the year is over, I’m going to try a different program. I was thinking of going to a upper/lower 4x a week type plan. I think the extra rest days might actually serve me well to focus solely on yoga and bboying those days.

Get that top rock in! Awesome way to get the blood flowing. Beats jump roping or jumping jacks!



3 Rounds
20 Air Squats, 10 Push Ups, 5 Chin Ups, 12 Sit Ups

Circuit 1
Chin Ups, Dips, Lunges - 5x10 each
Circuit 2
Handstand Push Ups, Inverted Rows, Hanging Leg Raises - 4x8 each

2x100 yard runs

Found a football field with the old school parallel dip bars and a regular pull up bar. It had sort of double set up like you see those gymnasts have when jumping from one bar to the other. 100 yard runs wore me OUT!



20 min
KB Swings 8x25 - 55lb

Military Press - 135x8, 155x5, 180x2, 140x7, 160x4, 180x1, 145x6, 165x3, 175x3, 150x5, 170x2, 185x0
Pendlay Row - 205x5, 205x5, 205x5, 205x5, 205x5, 205x5, 205x4, 205x3, 205x3, 205x3
Cable Close Grip Row - 4x12

20 min
Practiced head-spin to 2000

Pressing overhead is always fun. I attribute my thick shoulders and traps to this exercise. I have really really short arms (t-rex) so pressing and pulling and squatting (not deadlifting though) came very easy to me. First time trying pendlay rows though. Its different with how strict you need to be. Felt good though. Once in a while I’ll do what I guess is called waving or pyramiding. I like the challenge of it for sure.

Head-spin to 2000 should be easy, but is actually kind of hard. Was losing balance forward. One of those old school combos I have to keep working on.

Video of the bboy combo practice sequence I was doing (video not of me)



20 min - Swim sprints

Did as a circuit basically because the weight area was so packed
Deadlift - 135x10, 225x6, 275x5, 315x5, 355x3, 385x1, 355x3, 315x7, 225x10
Curls - 6x15
Dips - 6x25

20 min - Swim Sprints

I met a dude who told me in the winter months when he first gets to the gym in the morning he’ll swim, go to the sauna and steam room, shower and then will go workout and then end his workout the same way. I guess in the winter months it gets his fully warmed up to workout early in the morning. I decided to try this today. Man, he was right! My body had no tight spots what so ever and it almost felt as if my whole body was activated by the time I got to the weight room. Might have to try this on my non-bboy days.



20 Minutes of bboying
Tombstones to airflares to 90s to babymills

BB Bench Press - 205x10, 225x6, 205x8, 225x4, 205x7, 225x4
DB Row - 100x10, 100x10, 100x10, 100x10, 100x10, 100x10
Chest Supported Row - 4x15

10 Min Battle ropes

Bench Press felt a bit weak today. Probably from all the dips and curls yesterday. But still moved reasonably fast. Lots and lots of rows. Back can’t ever be strong enough in any facet of life.

Haven’t done battle ropes in a while, but had me winded! The double slam or whatever has my heart rate go up very fast.

Video of the bboy combo practice sequence I was doing (video not of me)



Did this as a giant set.
Power Clean - 255x3, 255x3, 255x3, 255x3, 255x3
GHR - 5x12
Hanging Leg Raises - 5x20

Only had 30 minutes to workout today because life. So got in and got out. Cleans are always a nice change of pace. I always do these days that my body just doesn’t have it for squats. 255 felt pretty heavy, since it’s been about maybe 6 weeks since doing them, but I wasn’t star fishing so that was a good sign of control.