T Nation

The Bird Cage 5: Ultimate Warrior

“In order to watch the birds,it is necessary to became part of the silence”- Robery Lynd.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the latest instalment of the adventures and pursuits of your favourite bird.

Officially starting in 24 hours.

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Hey mate, good to see you back. What are you up to these days? Are you still doing BJJ?

I am hyped to the max. Welcome back, Birdy.

Hey IronBird,

Just got back from a holiday and have decided its time to get back into things. Since I retired from football 18 months ago I have been taking things easy. I have dabbled with some BJJ and have made minimal progress.

How have you been?


Hey DeBird,

Thanks for the welcome back! Its guys like you that keeps me coming back for some T-Nation spirit!

How have you been? Still kicking ass?


Always, birdie, check out my log. Closing in on a 375 paused bench if everything goes as planned, even more touch and go. Breaking 500+ for a beltless deadlift. I could probably hit a 5 plate squat right now if I put on my belt and knee wraps.

Will be following. Good luck on your Journey.

So here is the rough plan…


My goals are a little vague at the moment and will need refining as training progresses, but the following is what I have in mind.

Strength goals:
Power to weight ratio is all important here. Must remind myself to lift explosively. Hoping to achieve 115 kg for reps on the bench press, and I might even aim for a 15-20 reps of BW. Have to be careful due to my lower back issues, although I will like to be able to front squat my BW for 7-10 reps. Sounds weak, but for those that know my history with lower back issues this will be some achievement. Other movements I would like to master are weighted dips and pull-ups. I am also considering looking into my overhead press, which I have to be careful with due to a sometimes angry shoulder.

Physique goals:
I always feel better when Im lean. Im not going to fuss over my weigh too much but usually I feel best at 92-94 kg’s. I want to return to my previous low body fat %. If I could I would like to add some some size to my quadriceps and shoulders. Important to note that my physique goals are secondary to everything else.

BJJ goals:
I will be training BJJ 2-3 times a week. I have been training BJJ off and on for about 6 months now. Im still a clueless white belt. I don’t think I will ever became a master of the art or win competitions, but my goal here is to be proficient at the art and for self-defence. I don’t just want to look like a bad-ass, but I want the skills to kill as well.

Conditioning goals:
I will be alternating practicing handstands and one handed push-ups for 10-15 minutes before every gym session. Aiming to achieve a handstand for 20 seconds and to be able to do 5 reps each hand of one handed push-ups. I will also like to include some sprinting eventually. I am a former soccer player and I was a proficient runner and sprinter. i will concentrate on shorter distances such as the 400m and 100m, as long distance running don’t really fit in with my other goals.

Training program:

Im starting off with a slight modified WS4SB 3-days a week. I have had decent success with t before. Im also a fan of 531 which I may switch to after 3-6 months. Will be in the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I will ride my bike to and from the gym for at least 2 of these (8 km one way trip). BJJ training is on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and some Sunday evenings. I suppose Saturday will be my rest day.

I love food and I am particular with what I eat. I have experimented with a few different methods previously and have kind of come up with my own “system”. I will be limiting carbs to the pre-workout and post-workout window, and employing a “carb cycling approach”. I will also use intermittent fasting on days when I don’t train at the gym in the mornings. Im not going to weigh and count my food every day but will most likely eat very similar most days. I am thinking of starting off with 4 decent sized meals a day with no snacking. Weekends I will allow for some “cheat meals”.

Lets do this.



Great to have you logging again mate!

Welcome back to the cage buddy.

Lets do this!


Monday, 19th September 2016.



Max Upper

  • Foam roll and dynamic warm-up
  • Bike ride to the gym
  • Practiced handstand against the wall (supersetted with some hip stretching)
  • Bench press: 5 sets of 5 reps of 80 kg, one back off set 10 reps with 60 kg. 3 reps of pull-ups in b/w sets.
  • dB incline bench press: 20 kg x 15, 20 kg x 18
  • supersetted 3 sets of: seated row (10 x 45 kg), incline hammer curls (10 x 15 kg)
  • supersetted 4 sets of: rear delt raises (6kg x 12), one handed dB suitcase walk with 20 kg’s
  • bike ride home.

notes: Feeling a little weak, but that was expected after a 3 week lay of from any activity. Feels good to be back in the gym. Next week I will increase the weight for all exercises except for the hammer curl which was too heavy.


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Tuesday, 20th September 2016.


This evening was my first class back at BJJ after my 3 week holiday. I was the only white belt in the class and I feel that I have almost forgotten everything, Will take awhile to get back into the groove of things. Today we learnt some “flow” movements, the “defensive set”, kimonara from guard and we then finished off with some light grappling.

Wednesday, 21st September 2016



Lower Max

  • Bike ride to the gym.
  • Warmup, eccentric pistol squatting and I then mucked around for 10 minutes trying to do a 1-arm push-up.
  • Reverse barbell lunges. 5 x 5 with 60 kg. (3 reps of pull-ups in b/w sets)
  • Supersetted 3 sets: hamstring curls (30kg x 10), BSS with dB (12.5 kg x 10).
  • Single leg deadlifts: 3 sets of 5 reps of each leg with the yellow kettlebell (12.5 kg??)
  • Bike ride home

If anyone could provide me with a program/progression for 1 -arm push-up that would be greatly appreciated. I cant even do one. I dont think I will ever be able to do a full pistol squat with my long limbs and levers, but I will continue to train it as it feels great on my knees.

The work in the weight room was solid, but as expected the weights were a little on the lighter side. I think I have lost more strength than I thought I would from my 3 weeks off. Next week I will increase the weights for all exercises except for the single leg deadlifts.



Regarding 1 arm push ups:

I do not have a progression plan, but my personal experience is that I suddenly was able to do one arm push ups after I was able to do my bodyweight for reps in DB Bench press (50% of BW pr dumble). My DB Bench is way down now, but I can still do one arm push ups. In my case it might had something to do with my BW being so low (60kg). Hope that was helpfull.

woot woot

I’m in fo sho

Saturday, 24th September 2016.



Upper Rep

  • Bike ride to the gym.
  • Wam-up including planking, back-bends, handstand practice and frog jumping.
  • Weighted dips: 5 x 5 with 20 kg. (3 reps of pull-ups in b/w sets)
  • Supersetted: 3 sets of dB overhead press (15 kg x 10), dB rows (30 kg x 10)
  • Curls for the girls: BB curls: 4 sets of 30 kg x 10.
  • Farmer walks: 3 rounds with the 45 kg dBs (one minute break)
  • Bike ride home.

notes: Good tempo. I kept an eye on my rest periods and made sure I didn’t get caught up chatting to people. Handstands felt strong and I managed to keep myself up for 3-4 seconds. Next week I will increase all weights and change the rep scheme with the curls.


How did you learn how to do handstands?

@Destrength : Im still trying to learn them bro. Start every second workout by doing 3 rounds of handstands against a wall and then spend a few minutes trying to do a freestanding handstand. Still have a lot of progress to make.


Monday, 26th September 2016.



Upper Max

  • Bike ride to the gym.
  • Warm-up including archer push-ups.
  • Bench press: 5 x 5 wit 85 kg. (4 reps of pull-ups in b/w sets)
  • Superset: 3 sets of: seated rows (10 x 50kg), seated hammer curls (10 x 15kg)
  • Superset: 4 sets of: suitcase walks with 22.5 kg dB, rear felt raises (10 x 7kg)
  • Bike ride home.

notes: Getting stronger. Next week will increase weights of all exercises except for the bicep curls which I struggled with in the last set. Suitcase walks felt great, especially on my left side which is my dodgy side. Had a day off today, so I came home and smashed some grilled chicken thighs for post WO.


Wednesday, 28th September 2016.



Lower Max Effort

  • Bike ride to the gym.
  • Warm-up including handstand practice and eccentric pistol squats.
  • Reverse BB lunges: 5 x 5 with 65 kg. (3 reps of pull-ups in b/w sets)
  • Superset 3 sets of: BSS (10 x 15 kg), ham curls (8 x 35 kg)
  • 3 sets of single leg deadlifts with the 12.5 kg kettlebell.
  • Bike ride home.

notes: BB lunges felt heavier. I will have to have a look a my older logs, but Im pretty sure I used to lunge 70-80 kg’s. Next week I will increase all weights again.

In other news Im considering signing up to “romwod”. Which is a daily 20 minute online class of stretches for athletes. Anyone have an experience with this? Im thinking of doing this just before bed or on morning when Im not at the gym. I could do with the extra flexibility for BJJ


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BRO!!! Beyond excited to see you logging again. Will be following.

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