Grunt11's Training Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by grunt11, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Wow, G11. That's really all I can say. Wow.

    So is this a more refined version of Westside - or is it parts of the overall template mixed in with your own stuff? Regardless - and as I said many months ago, this is workin' for ya.
  2. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    For the Max Effort and Dynamic Effort primary and supplemental exercises/methods it’s vanilla Westside with the only exception that I often have been skipping the supplemental exercise on ME Squat day since after a Max Squat or Deadlift my lower back has felt hammered plus I want to get some cardio in since GPP is what I most need to improve right now.

    For the accessory exercises I pretty much follow their template with a few exceptions. I often have worked at the lower end of the exercise/set/rep range, for example it might call for 1-2 extra Triceps exercises so I do 1, but I always try to hit those body parts with at least the minimum accessory work. The other thing is I often use myo-reps for most of the accessory exercises to get more done with fewer reps and all the advantages that entails.

    Before their forum started getting spammed with 100s of adds every day (they still haven’t fixed it) I was posting regularly over there and getting good comments. I asked about my routine and one of the lifters Shane Sweatt said it looked good. He only questioned my use of “bodybuilding” techniques (myo-reps) but when I explained my situation age, previous overuse injuries and small frame that still needs more upper body mass (legs are pretty much maxed out) he said it sounded good. The only comment I got from there on changing something was that I was doing to many warm up sets on Max Effort day and burning out, that’s when my PR started happening again but the current round is 100% because of hormone replacement. There’s a big difference recovering going from a free test level of 60 (only twice that of a women, when age adjusted I should have been around 500) up to the 800-900 range right now.

    The key to Westside is to tailor your program to fit your needs and not follow someone elses template. When starting it about 9 months ago most everything I read said it takes about 6 months to start getting it down since you really need to pay attention to what does and doesn’t work for you which takes time to learn. But the basic premise is to “do what you suck at” since that is likely what’s holding everything else back. My experience is that it’s working not just because my PRs but because my weaknesses have changed. For example when I started I was weak off the chest benching, failing 3-4 inches up. Now when I fail it’s a few inches from lockout which means the extra chest/shoulder focus I was using corrected that issue and now my Triceps are the weak link so I need to focus more on board and pin presses.

    For Squating and Deadlifting I’ve really learned the importance of technique. Yesterday when I did 315 lbs. it nearly crushed me because I had a poor setup. So I made sure my setup was perfect on 340 and smoked it. When I did 370 and unracked the bar but my setup felt loose so I re-racked it waited a minute and smoked that one too. I’ve always read/heard about “getting tight” but didn’t until recently understand the meaning. Now I can feel it every time I lift because not being tight = squished like a bug.

    I do still follow the HST principles on my Repetition Effort (or accessory exercises) with one minor deviation in that I don’t SD every 6-8 weeks usually something closer to 16 or even 26 weeks.
  3. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Everything you said made perfect sense, and it's drawing me closer to finding a common ground in methods that are sort of a dual strength/size focus. The whole notion of a method being adaptive is truly gaining momentum with me, and I realize that that can be read in two ways - training adaptability and rep adaptability. The former refers to overall cycle setup (by the individual) and overall execution and the latter is more the focus on the rep-by-rep execution (your notion of being "tight" which I wholly get and second with fervor). As many on this forum have said, "lift heavy things, grow big and strong" but there is another layer to that and it's absolutely to the individual to find what the sweet spot is. And - as you have and I both found in the past couple years, this whole thing changes as we age.

    As long as HST and SST principles are in place, someone will grow big and strong - but it's how those principles are applied by the individual that a 51 year old monster can squat 370 and not destroy anything in the process.

    Proud of 'ya man. Crazy, crazy proud.
  4. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Thanks a lot Tim!

    It sounds like you are on the same track of thinking as I am. I’ve learned that how I do reps is very important and what method works best depends on the exercise and my goals. So for some things, especially isolation exercise, myo-reps works best but for others like Deadlifts max-stim reps do, while still other things like Traps and Calves just need lots of heavy reps done in multiple sets.

    One of the things that I feel makes the Westside method so effective is its adaptability and flexibility based on the needs of the individual. Because beyond the ME and DE exercise everything else is open. That, I think, is the biggest reason people fail with the method in that there’s no simple template of doing this many reps with this % of your 1RM.

    Although the Principles of HST and SST Stay the same to get the best results each person is best served by optimizing the implementation of those principles to best suit the individual.

    And yes the sweet spot sure is a moving target changing with chorological age, training age and IMO even progression through a cycle or cycle age.
  5. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    ME Bench, Today:

    BW = 185 lbs.

    Max Effort:
    Flat Bench Press bar x 10, 95 x 5, 135 x 3, 185 x 1, 205 x 1, 215 x 1, 230 x 1, 210 x 2

    Flat Bench Press 195 x 6, x 6

    Narrow Grips Bench Press 135 x 12 +4 +4 +3
    Triceps Press Downs (will do at work)
    Lat Pulls (will do at work)
    DB Rear Delt Rows 45 x 15 +5 +5 +5
    Shoulder Press (will do at work)
    Lateral Raises 10 x 20 +5 +5 +5
    Rear Delt Raises 7.5 x 20 +5 +5 +5
    Handing Leg Raises BW x 20
    Side Bends 40 x 30
    Crunches BW x 30
    BB Curls 70 x 12 +4 +3

    500m rowing warm up

    Had to cut a few things short to get packed for work since I’m on alert to support missions helping out with hurricane Sandy so I will try to finish at work.

    I added back another 5 lbs. on my Bench but still 10 lbs. short of my PR. If I tried again with better form I’m sure I could have done more but my form sucked and I pretty much just muscled the bar up with my arms.

    I’m not sure what’s causing it but my arms especially my biceps are getting pumped up so much it’s painful and actually causes me to stop some sets.

    I talked to the doc yesterday, he was gone last week, and found out that they held my test dose at 160mg/week not because I made the target range quite the opposite I’m still only half way there but it was because my red cell count was so high I needed to give blood. Since I can’t give blood right now due to where I’ve been they just drained 500ml last week and re-drew blood this week to check I went down. Then they will probably up the test doseage again. My present level was 382 up from 60 when I started but they want me in the 650-800 range.
  6. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    ME Everything, Today:

    BW = 180 lbs.

    Max Effort:
    Squat bar x 10, 95 x 5, 135 x 3, 185 x 1, 225 x 1, 275 x 1, 315 x 1, 345 x 1, 370 x 1, 390 x 1 PR
    Bench Press bar x 10, 90 x 5, 135 x 3, 185 x 1, 210 x 1, 225 x 1, 235 x 1, 245 x fail
    Deadlift 135 x 5, 185 x 3, 225 x 1, 275 x 1, 315 x 1, 345 x 1, 370 x fail

    I had nothing really to post for the last 10 days because I missed several workouts doing hurricane Sandy support and because this last week I ran a week of UD2. I didn’t bother to log the glycogen depletion workout on Monday or the Tension workout I did on Thursday because they didn’t seem significant. So I’m just posting the power workout.

    Because I have Monday off and go on a week-long trip to Guam and Hawaii I’m not going to be able to continue dieting so I decided to split today’s power workout doing maxes today and rep work tomorrow. I should be happy with today’s workout especially after a week of dieting but I feel it’s really a mixed bag.

    Squats went really well setting another 5 lb. PR, but this time there was nothing left in the tank. It was probably as close as I’ve ever come to almost missing a lift and still making it. About half way up I almost came to a stop but managed to throw my hips into it just at the right moment and push through the sticking point. If my setup and decent hadn’t been perfect I wouldn’t have been able to pull it out.

    The Bench was actually pretty good even with the fail at 245 lbs. since 235 lbs. was still a 5 lb. improvement since I deployed. I should have just stopped there but I felt pretty good about 235 lbs. however, when I lowered the bar it didn’t even budge at the bottom. Well theoretically that was still good since the Westside philosophy is that on ME how much you strain is as or more important than whether you make the lift.

    Now for the bad news, it’s not so much that my Deadlift suck but why. I worked my way up doing conventional Deadlifts to 315 lbs. but that really felt awkward so I switched to a narrower than usual stance with my feet just outside my arms because of pain I’ve been getting in my left hip joint. While I made 345 lbs. it hurt even more. I still wanted to try a max so I tried to pull 370 lbs. conventional but didn’t even move the bar.

    I’ve had hip issues before while running long distance due to my left leg being a little more than half an inch shorter than my right from a motorcycle accident and I’m pretty sure that’s also what’s going on here. Besides backing off from Sumo Deadlifts I going to have to look at getting some sort of insert to correct the imbalance. For some reason it doesn’t seem to bother me as much when squatting though to be safe I’ve been keeping my legs farther in until I work out to near a max.

    The UD2 week went pretty well, not nearly as bad as I remember it feeling the last time. Once again I did the entire glycogen depletion workout on Monday and also included all my Dynamic Effort lifts since I figure those are mostly training the nervous system and not muscle growth so cutting calories wouldn’t be a huge deal. Rather than doing a PM workout on Thursday I did it in the AM because I hate to workout after work and wanted the extra recovery time before doing an ME day. To make up for it I did a whole lot of rowing which when I looked it up burns more calories than just about anything else.

    I was shocked to see how much water weight I had because of creatine and glycogen. From Monday morning to Thursday morning I dropped from 186 lbs. down to 178 lbs. Since starting the recarb and creatine again on Thursday morning I’m only back up to 182 lbs. but my calorie calculations say I should only have lost about 1 lb. of real body mass.

    I will probably try another week of UD2 when I get back, probably at least two back-to-back to see how I tolerate it as I can handle cutting calories on workdays much better than on weekends.
  7. 390 Squat! Outstanding!!!
  8. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Big congrats on the squat pr. You're almost in the 400 club. Very impressive.
  9. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Thanks guys!

    The nice thing about approaching 400 is that 400 is a milestone and so is 405 because it will look so cool to be able to load 4 plates on a side.

    I did a bunch of overtime at work today so I didn’t finish the rep work of my max effort day so I might just do it tomorrow since I’m leaving on a trip for Guam on Tuesday so I won’t be dieting again this week.

    Related to dieting I felt really good at work today weighing only 180 lbs. and not the 186 I topped out at a couple weeks ago. I know it’s mostly water weight but I felt much lighter on my feet. I think that once I get done bulking that 180-181 is going to be a good weight for me and that also happens to be the top of a powerlifting weight class.
    I also think that the rowing is really paying off. I haven’t been logging it but I’ve been hitting the rowing machine quite a bit. My times are improving and I’m not getting winded doing simple things at work anymore.
  10. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Flip! You made a 390 lift after a week of UD2?!! That's a great achievement.

    As I use kgs, I get to use 4 wheels a side at 'only' 396lb :) It always takes away from the lift though because it's under 400lb.
  11. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Hey that’s cheating! ;)

    I was actually kind of shocked that I could hit another PR after a week of UD2 and it was a serious calorie cut (50%) of maintenance and anywhere from 45-60 minutes (done in 15 minute increments) of rowing each day plus working a fairly active job. Hell in three days my body weight dropped from 186 lbs. to 178 and by the time I did the Max Effort day I was only back up to 180 lbs. The cool thing about that is I can still count the lift as happening in the 181 lb. weight class unlike the previous one. :)
  12. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    ME Squat, Today:

    Max Effort:
    Sumo Deadlift 135 x 3, 185 x 1, 225 x 1, 275 x 1, 315 x 1, 365 x 1, 390 x 1 PR Done!

    Well my Deadlift is finally back after the two month deployment. It’s only been limping along not even getting back to my previous PR while my Squat is improving steadily which just didn’t make any since at first. Now I’m pretty sure that the problem I’ve been having with my left hip joint was the cause. When it started to hurt was doing deadlifting and I’m guessing that without realizing it at first I was favoring that side and losing a lot of strength as a result. Since then I’ve adjusted my stance on both the Squat and Deadlift, still going wide but not the ultra-wide I was using. I also changed my foot position to keep my toes pointed more in line with my legs rather than pointing more forward to try and get better Hamstring/Glute activation. Both these are making the pain subside (not totally gone but getting better all the time) and I am no longer noticeably favoring the left side.

    I wish I had taped the lift since it felt about as perfect as any lift I’ve ever made. Also I’d sort of like to see how red, maybe purple, my face turned as I was pulling the bar up. It felt like my face was going to explode.

    I haven’t been logging lately partly because I was gone for a week but since then my workouts have been sort of haphazard. I’ve been pretty much hitting the main DE and ME lifts but everything else has been a mess. I’ve also been doing a lot (relative to what I was doing) of cardio mostly rowing, some biking and a little running all of which seem to be coming along nicely. The best thing is that it hasn’t seemed to have hurt my lower body lifts since I’ve hit PRs on both the Squat and Deadlift while doing the extra cardio.
  13. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Awesome PR. Like your squats, you are getting so close to four plates a side. It would have been cool to record the lift but you know, it never seems to work out. At least for me, none of my PRs have been achieved when recording it. I think it's a mental thing in my case though. It sucks that you haven't been able to lift consistently but on the other hand, you are still hitting PRs so that's great. Usually that doesn't happen for most people when they are not able to workout consistently.
  14. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Thanks Tote!

    It will be cool to get four plates on a side and not just for a PR but working weight say around 95% of 1RM so I can do it consistently.

    I’ve been self-conscious of recording myself for the very reason you mention that it would likely cause me to “overthink” the lift and screw up my form.

    I hate not being able to consistently workout since I love exercising. I made my best gains starting HST I’m convinced not just because I was new to it but because I was religious about doing my workouts and eating right, both of which have been inconsistent lately. One good thing to come out of it is that I’m finding that at least in the case of Squats and Deadlifts less seems to be more at least for now. Although my workouts have been inconsistent I’ve been pretty good about hitting my primary DE and ME exercises and occasionally a Supplemental one to work a weak point. Since my Quads have always been big and my Hamstrings and Glutes are getting there too I think the added accessory work was just wearing me out and slowing strength gains.

    I also attribute much of my improvement to better form and finding what works best for me. I’ve gotten to the point that if I un-rack the bar for a Squat and my setup doesn’t feel perfect I re-rack, wait a minute and try again. I’ve started being more consistent on doing proper setup for the Deadlift too.

    I’m not sure about it but I’m also starting to think that the rowing is helping by getting more blood flowing through my pulling muscles to aid in recovery and also for warming up, though I’m not sure of this one yet.
  15. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Well I ran a practice 1.5 miles last week for my fitness test coming up in January and although I would have passed it wasn’t pretty. Hard to believe that two years ago this month I ran my age 50 on my birthday a “tradition” I’d been maintaining since highschool except the year I broke my leg.

    So between that and my desire to start seriously bulking after the test I’m hitting UD2 again (actually it should be spelled UDTO so it’s a “four letter word”). I did the carb depletion workout, well most of it (I skip the Biceps and Triceps since I feel they get hit enough on the push/pull exercises). My chest feels like it’s going to explode and I can’t decide if I should puke or pass out first since both are a distinct possibility. The amazing thing (sort of cool actually) is how after the workout I can tell that I’m carb depleted because the “brain fog” starts setting in immediately. The nice thing about this diet (did I really say that) is that I only have to feel like this for 3-4 days and then I get to feel normal again on the weekend, and since we switched to 4 x 10s I have every Friday off now which is perfect for both carbing back up and the Tension and Power workout recovery.

    The fitness test is the second weekend in January so I’m going to see if I can keep this up for 3-4 weeks depending on if I continue it the week prior to the test or go back to eating maintenance. ;)
  16. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yup, you've definitely lost the plot! :)

    Out of interest, what time do you have to get under for the 1.5 mile fitness test?
  17. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    It’s actually embarrassingly slow at 16:22 for the minimum passing score since I’m now in the 50+ category. Last year after a year of lifting with no cardo until a couple weeks before the test I ran it in about 11:30 but was only pushing it moderately hard. Prior to that when I was ultra-running (not running for speed mind you) I always ran it in just sub 9:00 since 9:15 gave me a perfect score. The saddest thing is that when I was in the Marine Corps I always did the 3 mile run in under 15:30 but I weighed about 125-135 lbs. back then and now I’m at 180 lbs.

    I find it’s not so much the weight that kills me since even at about 155-165 I could run with no problem carrying a 15-20 lbs. running pack with water and all my kit, it’s all the extra muscle mass my heart has to pump blood though that’s the real killer.
  18. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Very interesting. I've been trying to persuade a distance runner friend of mine to add a bit of muscle as I didn't think it would negatively impact on her times. Even though she wouldn't be adding anywhere near what you've added (major props), it looks like I need to shut up for the time being and wait until she stops racing.
  19. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    I hate to say it but as I former distance runner every lb. counts especially if you are worried about speed along with distance. Over the years I tracked my times and as my weight increased my times dropped very quickly even if I maintained or improved my running training. In the case of running distance for speed (not something I worried about while ultra-running) extra muscle also mean’s more glycogen burned both because of carrying the extra weight but also fueling larger muscle fibers which are now doing more of the work that could have been handled by smaller fibers. The faster you burn through the glycogen the more you have to rely on the less efficient fatty acids. I do think you can be too lite especially if you specialize in hills. I found my “optimal” running weight for both speed and distance was around 130 lbs., but the only way I know of to find an optimal weight is trial and error.

    Back to the general weight issue I always remember Frank Shorter relating a story he said helped him win the Marathon. He said that he was up most of the night before the race having a German cobbler shave about 4 oz. off his shoes. He attributed that to making the difference in his winning. The way I’ve always tried to explain it to people when they heard me obsessing about weight was to use a 40k race as an example. If I run a 40k with a 1 meter stride (my average for a good pace) that works out to 20k footfalls/foot, so by adding just 1 lb. total weight times 20k footfalls and you’ve just added 20k lbs. or 10 imperial tons to the push off and impact on each leg. When I ultra-ran I always hated it when I stopped and refilled my 3 liter pack because running while it was near empty was so much more pleasant than after just refilling it.
  20. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, Grunt. That's all very interesting and makes perfect sense. It should be obvious that carrying a little extra weight a long distance adds up to a lot of extra work being done and a lot of unnecessary energy being expended, but it's so easy to miss. I will use this as my reason for being disinclined to run any sort of distance over a mile or so.

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