T Nation

X-21: I Explained That These Were "Experimental" Tires

So, new year new program. As the great Graham Lowe said, champions work on their very best features and their very worst. This suggests I need to:

  1. Keep squatting
  2. Stop being such a powerlifting water-buffalo

Over the coming three weeks I am going to be trying out Eric Brown’s RP-21 program: https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/lift-like-a-monster-look-like-a-hero

My old Built for Battle log is here: Era Of Brutality: Built For Battle Speed/Explosive Option (Oh, And Ballet) And yes, the ballet posts will continue twice a week on this log. RP-21 sounds pretty tactical in itself but as this is an experiment, I am granting it a cold war X-plane designation and honouring Hunter Thompson in the title.

Day One follows…

  	Exercise 	Sets 	Reps
A 	Barbell Squat 	7 	3
B 	Romanian Deadlift 	6 	5
C 	Barbell Hip Thrust 	6 	5
D 	Dumbbell Walking Lunge 	6 	5
E 	Standing/Seated Calf Raise 	6 	5

Brown recommends 70% of 1RM as a target so I set 170kg for the squats, 110kg for the RDLs.

Both our racks were taken so I did the deadlifts first. It’s a while since I did them in any volume so this already felt like a challenge. Then I grabbed a 25kg DB and went off on the walking lunges. I…see why people do those now. OK, I now want to puke but I’m also starving. Now for the calf raises; this sounds like a lot but I routinely do sets of rises in parallel, 1st, 2nd, and 5th as a warmup in dance, so, sure, knock 'em in.

On with the show. Hip thrusts - I did these with the bar as I’ve never done the exercise before. Might load it up next time. Stand up…fuck me, my arse and legs are twitching and cramping and I feel dizzy. Interestingly I can feel it’s the musculature ballet teachers go on about that’s whining. This could be good?

Because I’m impatient and an idiot I now have to do seven sets of three reasonably heavy squats. The second set makes me feel like puking again. I crank through them. Done.

I can see how this might work…

The historical X-21: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_X-21

I was hoping for something cooler. Its main feature seems to have been being far too complicated

I am sore.

Day Two. Still as sore as fuck, but program gonna program.

Exercise Sets Reps
A Dip 7 3
B Chin-Up 6 5
C Overhead Press 6 5
D Barbell Curl 6 5
E Skullcrusher 6 5
F Conditioning: Short Sprints, Bodyweight Complexes, Heavy Bag, etc.

True to the loading rules, I decided to use 20kg of assistance for the dips and chin-ups - first time in a long while I hadn’t just done them with body weight.

The superset of dips and chin-ups turned out to cause a really startling pump in the pecs. Which was nice.

Bashed on with 75kg overheads, 2x10kg plates on a 15kg bar for curls, 26kg DB for skullcrushers. As for the conditioning block, I am thinking of putting sprints here but couldn’t figure out how to program the fancy new TV on the internet treadmill in my sweaty gassed condition.

(I’m not sure if that’s really boomer - failing to understand a computer - or really millennial - being too weights obsessed to use a goddamn treadmill.)

So I decided to do a ton of 20kg kettlebell swings for time. 1.28 for the first 100, then whatever to get the other 100 done without too much whining.

Anyway, that certainly felt worthwhile even if I did not wish to vomit at any point. I’ve got dance tomorrow night so I might pretend that’s a conditioning day.

Might as well tag @Allberg in

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Shit, how did you format your workout so nicely?

I just pasted from T-Nation itself. Now let’s hope I can paste the lifts, too!

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Workout three.

Day 4: Lower Body

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Hack Squat 7 3
B Dumbbell Lunge 6 5
C Glute Ham Raise 6 5
D Weighted Burpee 6 5
E Standing/Seated Calf Raise 6 5

OK so we talked over how to set up the hack squats and eventually I just did…squats? and then whacked through the lunges. I did not vomit.

The GHRs were also a problem; I set up with my feet locked under the bar catch of a rack, lying on a bench. Renato Paroni’s training insisted that I must take the weight of a back-bending manoeuvre in the abs. I did want to puke though.

Burpees; no idea what weight to use or how, but apparently people bitch about these. I probably need to add weight.

Calf raises: ok let’s calf raise.

NOTE: I am still sore from workouts 1 and 2, though.

Exercise Sets Reps
A Pull-Up 7 3
B Gironda Neck Press 6 5
C Seated Dumbbell Military Press 6 5
D Preacher Curl 6 5
E Dumbbell Flat Tight Press (elbows tucked in) 6 5

Banged this out. Used 80kg for the neck press, discovered I just wasn’t going to get anything like I wanted on the seated press, eventually did 24kg DBs, total 20 for the curls (going to add more), 2 30kg DBs.

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Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Squat 7 3
B Romanian Deadlift 6 5
C Barbell Hip Thrust 6 5
D Dumbbell Walking Lunge 6 5
E Standing/Seated Calf Raise 6 5

Back at it with an extra 5kg-ish. So 165kg for squats, 115kg for RDL, a 30kg DB for lunges. Decided to add two 10kg plates to the bar for thrusts.

Yesterday, hit day two, week two:

Exercise Sets Reps
A Dip 7 3
B Chin-Up 6 5
C Overhead Press 6 5
D Barbell Curl 6 5
E Skullcrusher 6 5
F Conditioning: Short Sprints, Bodyweight Complexes, Heavy Bag, etc.

Reduced the assistance on the dips by 5kg. This was unexpectedly tough in a sort of awkward way. Then did the chin-ups with full bodyweight because I needed to show off after that and it’s a strong lift for me.

Upped the OHPs to 80kg. Curls with the ez bar for 35kg, 30kg db for the skullcrushers.

Then did two sets of 100 20kg kettlebell swings - first in 1min 20, second in 1m 6.

As an outside observer your strength is all-over the place to me.

This is me reading,

“Woah, I want to do that”

“I do that for 8 reps at the end of an upper body session *confused*”

“Sweet, someday…!”

“First time I did that exercise I put 80 kilos on the bar, no sweat, what’s going on here…? (no offense)”

The programme says about 70% for the first week, so I used that to estimate how much assistance to use with the dips.

As for the hip thrusts, I think I could go quite a lot heavier, I just wanted to feel my way in. Remember it’s a superset with squats and RDLs before you get to them - and I think on day one I did the squats, RDLs, and DB lunges before them.

Monday’s session was much less dramatic, even though I added a couple of plates to the bar for the thrusts, and I did not wish to vomit at any point. Also I wasn’t anywhere near as sore afterwards

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Sorry man :slight_smile:

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Hack Squat 7 3
B Dumbbell Lunge 6 5
C Glute Ham Raise 6 5
D Weighted Burpee 6 5
E Standing/Seated Calf Raise 6 5

(Yes, that was yesterday’s workout)

I’m also back to the studio this week. Thursday night was…sucky.

Sunday afternoon saw an unexpected gem as my teacher is away and one of her more famous friends covered. This meant: an absolute thrashing at the barre, and then encouraging the other half of the class to sing along with Whitney.

Riiight. At least on the second pass I made a proper job of the sequence, and I am free of all prejudice, or something.

[The girls can sing, though. Legit impressed]

Exercise Sets Reps
A Pull-Up 7 3
B Gironda Neck Press 6 5
C Seated Dumbbell Military Press 6 5
D Preacher Curl 6 5
E Dumbbell Flat Tight Press (elbows tucked in) 6 5

Back in after a disastrous week that saw my streak fall apart. This was an absolute battle.

(That said I managed to grand jété cleanly on Thursday night, which I totally did not for yer man on Sunday.)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Barbell Squat 7 3
B Romanian Deadlift 6 5
C Barbell Hip Thrust 6 5
D Dumbbell Walking Lunge 6 5
E Standing/Seated Calf Raise 6 5

Ok so…first up I had to spot the guy who prays before each lift for, uh, 140kg bench and 120kg incline bench, each for reps. Yeah he’s annoying but…strong lift.

Then hit the squats at 170kg and my back spasmed up really badly on set 3. I eventually bailed after set 5. No idea what that was about but…

Romanian deadlifts seemed to help? Even if the walking lunges were punishment with the back and a 28kg DB.

Hip thrusts with 70kg were ok. Also found a way of doing deeper calf raises but still not so exciting.

Other news: we got a GHR bench, dammit!

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Any videos of you dancing coming soon?