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Swolo Like Solo

Back in the gym today. Started my second hypertrophy block. This time I’m not going autoregulate volume. I drove myself into the ground last time. Lesson learned. This time I’ll autoregulate intensity but I’m not going to do the same for volume. Each movement is performed double rest pause and that’s it. I’m alternating between two full body routines (MWF).

Workout A
Hip Thrusts
Hip Abduction
Donkey Calves
DB Bench Press
BB Rows
Reverse Cable Curls

Workout B
Hip Thrusts
Flat Back SLDL
Hip Abduction
Seated Calves
DB Should Press
Weighted Chins
Hammer Curls

Hitting glutes every time I work out. It seems to be the only thing that keeps lower back pain at bay. Also doing the same thing for biceps because it really helps with my elbow pain.


What I like to mantain the loads constant and vary volume during the mesocycle is that I began “to know the load”. When the mesocycle ends, I have a strong knowledge about to increase - or not - the load a little bit for some lift. The main problem, in my case, are my shoulders which does not suport huge volume (which inevitably will apear in some week/microcycle during the whole meso).

Reading your decision makes me think about regulate intensity due to my shoulders. Time management is another advantage in this case.


Yeah for sure. I’m still trying to fine tune how I approach things. Typically I’ll cycle between strength and hypertrophy blocks (about 1-3 months at a time). Usually I will autoregulate intensity and keep volume consistent while chasing strength then autoregulate volume and keep intensity fairly stable when chasing hypertrophy. This cycle I was lazy and autoregulated both and sometimes pushed myself way to far and didn’t back off in subsequent workouts. The workout I did earlier was an enforced double rest pause. Tossing around some ideas here but perhaps autoregulation isn’t for us bastards that don’t know know what the word “moderation” means. An alternate approach might be to program overreaching… maybe something like this…

Week 1 - 1 activation - 1 redline (e.g. a cluster 1 shy of failure)
Week 2 - 1 activation - 2 redline
Week 3 - 1 activation - 3 redline
… repeat until overreaching starts to occur then deload

Hmm as I write this… it doesn’t sound entirely terrible.

Anyone have any other thoughts?


I went with the programmed overreaching. This week I’m doing 1 activation followed by 1 redline set. In the subsequent weeks I’ll additional redline sets. I just found a weight that I could hit for roughly 8-10 reps.

Hip Thrusts
RDL (with calves against a bench)
Hip Abduction
Seated Calves
BB Row
DB Bench Press
Hammer Curls

I’m really digging the RDLs and SLDLs with my calves against some immovable object. I’m finding that it really helps you to keep my form on point. I’ve also noticed that having really strict form on these movements is really helping with my back pain. On with block 2 of this 3 block hypertrophy series!

Usually after I workout I don’t feel that great and lifting seems like a chore more than anything. After Monday’s workout for the first time in forever (queue the music) I actually felt really good. The difference? I didn’t grind myself into paste. One extended working set (activation + 1 redline) then call it. I’m starting to realize that playing with overreaching is a fine balance between pushing yourself just enough and being able to recover that fatigue. What is sad is that you can train hard for weeks on end, take a deload week off and still fail to produce the gains you are looking for (yes it can happen). Let this be a lesson. Training hard is a good thing but you also have to be kind to yourself. Chasing tons of volume is great when you are on gear. But if you are natty and older that strategy isn’t going to work out so well. Lesson learned.

Hip Thrusts
Hip Abduction
Donkey Calves
DB Shoulder Press
Wide Grip Pullups

Hit the gym this morning, double rest pause on everything. Added weight to the items with a +

Hip Thrusts+
Leaning Hip Abduction+
Seated Calves
DB Bench Press+
BB Row+

Ditching the planned overreaching because with the stresses in my life its just too much. Find a a weight I can hit between 8-10 reps… I hit 10… add weight next time 10 lbs for lower… 5 for upper. Rinse and repeat

Simple workout, in and out. + items will increase the weight next time. Shoulder and elbow held up ok.

Hip Thrusts - 345+
RDL - 200+
Hip Abduction - number 10+
DB Shoulder Press - 45s
Chins - Body Weight

Just another routine workout (+ increasing the weight next time)

Hip Thrust - 355+
SLDL - 235+
Hip Abduction - 11+
Seated Calves - 125+
DB Bench Press - 45+
BB Row - 125+

Noticed that I’m able to recover easily between workouts with a single set and I’m not carrying excessive fatigue. For the first time in a long time the weights are starting to increase again. Considering ditching concentrated loading blocks all together and just doing a simple progressive overload.

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Another routine workout, made small progress

Hip Thrust - 365 (got 8 reps, 2 more before increase)
SLDL - 245 (hit 10 reps… 255 next time)
Hip Abduction - 12 (9 reps… 1 more before increase)
Donkey Calves - 320 (hit 10 reps so 340 next time)
Bench DB Press - 50 (hit 10 reps so 55 next time)
BB Row - 125 (hit 10 reps so 135 next time)

If I feel like rest pausing I do… if I don’t then I don’t.

Another routine workout + means hit top of range and increasing weight next time

Hip Thrusts 365+
RDL 215+
Hip Abduction 13 (hit 8 reps)
Seated Calves 135+
DB Shoulder Press 55 (felt heavy)
Chins BW (felt heavy)
Hammer Curls 40 (felt heavy)

Not sure whats up… made progress in some areas… the others felt really heavy… shoulder and elbow held up “ok”

Another routine workout. Got some gainz

Hip Thrusts 375 (moving up to 285)
SLDL 255 (moving up to 265)
Hip Abduction No 13 (moving up to 14)
Standing Calves 340 (moving up to 360)
BB Rows 130 (moving up to 135)
DB Bench 55 (got +2 reps, still in range)
Hammer Curls 40 (got +2 still in range)

So far I’m digging just simple progression. One thing that bothers me about concentrated loading is that its hard to see where you will end up. Not to mention it is quite possible to complete wreck yourself such that you won’t see gains at all after weeks of hard work. I’m not young anymore, concentrated loading blocks are for people who need them. I don’t. At least I can say that I’ve done many and know what to do and more importantly what not to do.

Also one thing I’ve noticed is that you can indeed make great progress with a single working set and you don’t even need to extend it using cluster or rest pause techniques. Volume can always be added but is a mental screw job to take it away. I’ve come to the conclusion that doing more just for the sake of doing more is a terrible strategy and actually sets you back if it impedes recovery.

I’ve noticed that I’m making fast progress and I’m not sure whether its from pushing my recovery to its limits during my last few concentrated loading blocks (e.g. recovery mechanisms on max with less workload) or something else. I remember reading something similar in Supertraining about the long term training effect and how it takes time for it to appear and after several blocks of concentrated loading that those week deloads aren’t enough. Basically the author states that the time needed to actually recover is much longer than your typical week off and concentrated blocks are best followed by blocks of less volume training a different modality.

Who knows… its Friday and I hear coffee calling my name…

Another routine workout

Hip Thrusts 385
RDL 225 (hit 10 reps going to 235 next time)
Hip Abduction 14
Seated Calves 145 (hit 10 repts going to 155 next time)
DB Shoulder Press 50
Pull Ups BW
Hammer Curls 40

Pretty routine… a little tired spent the weekend eating bbq and drinking beer.

Feel a cold coming on. Woke up feeling terrible. Didn’t workout today I’ll try again Friday. Was thinking that high frequency training fully body style doesn’t give you alot of room to make mistakes in your recovery. All it takes is a day of bad eating or a sleepless night then your next workout will be garbage. I toned down the volume but seem to still run into recovery issues. It sounds like I need a split that has a little more room for error. I’m debating whether or not I want to move to a upper/lower next block. In the past it has been one of my favorites. I think hitting a muscle group 3+ or more times a week is just fine but your recovery has to be on point. Mine is not.

Come on?

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That’s one hell of a cold.

But then, my last one lasted 4+ years, so…

Hi freq won’t let you do a ton of volume for very many sessions before it beats you down. You have to switch exercises fairly frequently too or you get overuse pangs. My preference has always been 3x3 or 1n5 or a top 3/5 with some light accessory work on off-days using 3-5 main movements when going high freq total body.

Actually I didn’t think anyone really read this :stuck_out_tongue: Fine Fine I’ll start up my training journal again. Here is the latest scoop…

So after my cold I ended up hurting myself skateboarding (I get it… i’m old lol) and its been about 7 weeks that my wrist has been messed up. I’ve been really focusing on lower body and thinking how I can keep high frequency training without wrecking myself. Here is what I’m doing so far

Bulgarian Split Squats double rest pause
RDL double rest pause
Hip Thrusts double rest pause
Hip Abduction
Seated/Standing Calves

RDL double rest pause
Hip Thrusts double rest pause
Bulgarian Split Squats
hip abduction
standing/seated calves

hip thrusts double rest pause
bulgarian split squats double rest pause
RDL double rest pause
hip abduction
seated/standing calves

Throughout the week i’m cycling which of the main lower body movements has priority. Varying the stimulus throughout the week is really helping with recovery. I’m in a calorie deficit and have lost about 8 lbs in the last two months but I’m getting tired of dieting so I’ll be shifting back into maintenance soon. My wrist is finally starting to heal and this injury gave me an idea…

If your recovery is limited because of age, diet or whatever be wise in how you spend your energy

That said… I realized that you really cannot train your whole body with high frequency and lots of volume… its just stupid… so why not choose an area to focus on while training the others at maintenance?

Since I’ve been training lower body for so long my next cycle will put lower body at maintenance while focusing on the upper body. Maybe something like this…

Monday - Upper
Wednesday - Upper
Friday - Upper
Saturday - Lower

I’m open to feedback

– Ralphie

Finishing up a deload week then its back to it, I’ll post what I’m doing this training block soon enough. I think my wrist is just about healed.

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