HST log of a lightweight rower

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Pekkias, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    Hello everybody!

    I'm a 25 year old National top level lightweight rower (from a small European country). I have rowed 10 years, and trained with weights about the same. I have had various programs ranging from Olympic lifts to more ”basic” strength programs. I have gained some improvements in strength and muscle with them, but I think none of them have been really optimal (probably the main issue has been with applying progressive resistance). Now strength isn't the main ability in rowing (especially in lightweight), nevertheless I do believe that it is an important ability, at least to a certain degree, as you have to move the boat weight too.

    I accidentally stumbled to HST a few weeks ago, and immediately felt I had to try it. I guess it was the ”not training to failure” and the easy-to follow progression that really got me into this. Now I know it's probably not going to be as effective as it could, because I am training endurance at the same time pretty hard. However my current program has basic weightlifting three times per week (basically a pull/push/legs split) and my coach agreed I could have HST fullbody 3times a week a go. (Waiting for next fall and off-season to really take all the benefits ;) )

    My primary goal is to gain strength, and I'd eventually like to gain 2,5 kg of muscle.... More muscle I really can't have, as I currently weigh 70 kg (the average kg limit for a lightweight crew). However with about 12% bodyfat, I can cut from that (+fluids before the weighing) in the competitive season to get to 70, even if I gained 2,5 kg muscle.

    After reading and trying to learn things from the forums and FAQ quite a long time I decided to go with the following exercise routine A-B-A-B... currently on Thu-Sat-Mon:

    Edit: See the changed program in post #9

    Workout A with 15RM (kg's)

    • 1. Squat 82,5
      2. Leg curl 50
      3. db bench (slight incline) 20
      4. Pullups 15xBW
      5. bent over db laterals 5
      6. db Shrugs 70(total)
      7. Ez curls (standing) 25
      8. Skullcrushers 20
      9. Ab crunch (on the floor) 5
      10. Calves standing 65

    Workout B with 15RM (kg's)

    • 1. Leg press (wide) 150+machine(40?)
      2. Leg curl 50
      3. Flat bench 55
      4. Deadlift 120
      5. 1-arm db row 30
      6. db shoulder press 15/arm
      7. Hammer curl (seated) 12,5/arm
      8. Tricep pulldowns 45 (lb?)
      9. Ab crunch (on the floor) 5
      10. Calves standing 65

    The weights will go separately with the splits, both about 80%-90%-100% of the RM's. I am going with the basic two week blocks. For sets I'm going for 1x15 – 2x10 – 3x5. As you see it's basically the example program on the HST website only with Dead lifts and db shoulder press on day B instead of shrugs and rear delts plus Flat bench instead of dips as I feel my shoulders can't handle them (yet). Each of the above listed exercise were in my previous program too, among others.

    Now this is pretty many exercises, but I can handle it (of course advice is always still welcome). My old 3 days a week split program had 8-10 exercises per session, each with 3 sets, some going to failure, and it wasn't a problem.

    Now I have tested the 15RM from all the previous exercises as you see (finished yesterday). I am not going to test the other RM lifts, but go for the estimated 1,2*15RM for 10RM and 1,15*10RM for 5RM. Why is that? Well I would have liked to test them all but the time is an issue. Testing both A/B splits would take me 4 more weight sessions = almost two weeks. I'm having two months now to the start of precompetitive season, where I do not have that many weightlifting sessions per week in my training schedule. I would not have time to finish my cycle before that if I'd test them all. Now I can start next Thu with 9 days of ”SD” from weights (plus this week is a recovery week from endurance training, so I only have about 7 hours of other training this week too).

    After this cycle during precompetitive/competitive season I think I will have weights twice a week. After reading the simplify and win thread, I am probably going to try a twice a week 4/4 A/B exercise workout found there to at least maintain strength levels.

    I'm probably going to post to this log once per week a summary how the sessions have went, not after each session.

    Now I hope I got the basics right. Any comments would be welcome!

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  2. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member


    We have a resident rowing enthusiast here - Lol.

    His user name is Lol, I'm not 'laughing out loud' - btw.

    You might take a gander at his training log when you have some time to kill. He bought a C2 rower and competes with his brother for 1K times.

    Best of luck to you with HST - I'm certain you are going to be happy with your results. I've yet to see a trainee come to the forum, put in the work, and not rave about their results (myself included).

    It sounds like you know very well how you want to approach your cycle. I have no advice for you, but look forward to reading your log and witnessing your progress!
  3. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Yup, welcome to the forum. I was gonna mention Lol as well, but WD beat me to it.
  4. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    Thanks for the tip,

    After looking lol's log I think I'm going to take Clean and press to my competitive season's program instead of db press (but not yet to this cycle).
  5. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    2.3.2011 measures


    Today morning I took some measures, so that I have something to compare after the cycle. They are measured before eating or drinking anything. I was in the sauna last evening so I probably was a little dehydrated.

    Length: 185 cm! (Wow, I had to repeat the measure to believe it. I always thought I was 183,5 cm)
    Weight: 69,0 kg

    Body composition (with Tanita body scale). Measured with “normal mode and “athlete” mode + calculated averages:
    Fat%: 12,9/9,3 = 11,1%
    Body water%: 58,5/60,6 = 59,6%
    “Muscle mass” (I think this is in reality Soft Tissue mass): 57,1/59,5 = 58,3 kg
    Physique Rating 4/5 (4 means avg fat, low muscle and 5 means avg fat and muscle)
    BMR: 1764/1824 = 1794 kcal
    Metabolic Age: 12/12 = 12
    Bone mass: 3,0/3,1 = 3,1 kg
    Visceral Fat Level: 1/1 = 1

    And last the “strategic measures”
    Calves R/L: 33/32 cm
    Thighs R/L 53/53 cm
    Hip: 93 cm
    Waist (with empty lungs): 74 cm
    Chest (empty lungs): 99cm
    Shoulders: 109 cm
    Neck: 37 cm
    Arms R/L (loose): 29,5/30cm
  6. serrano24medico

    serrano24medico New Member

    Are there any trainer here who can give full guide.......
  7. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    Today I participated to a 90 km X-country skiing happening... Never skied so long in a single session before... Kept the intensity light so it wasn't too draining...

    Waiting for the SD to end so I can start again with the weights... At the mean time been reading Rippetoes' and that has changed my view from strength training... I'm going to alter the program I posted in the first post... Still have to figure out the details... More from that later...
  8. Zeebodybuilder

    Zeebodybuilder New Member

  9. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    Changed exercise routine and First HST Workout


    My first HST workout was done on thursday... Today is going to be the second one. I decided to alter the routine I posted in the first post to the following. It encompasses the essential movements in Rowing plus a few isos for my weak points. I'll try to go without arm isos and see how it goes. If I dont feel enough strain in the arms I'll prob add bis and tris alternating them:

    Exercise and 15 RM (tested already before, first workout done with about 75% of those listedd below)

    Squat 85kg
    Bench 57,5kg
    Deadlift 120kg/Power Clean 55kg
    Lat raise(Rear) 5kg/Standing DB Press 14kg
    Bent over Row 60kg
    Chins(underhand grip) 15 with BW
    Calves 65kg
    Ab crunch 5kg

    The exercise order was/ is a little troublesome, and I'm experimenting a little with it... The first workout I did Rows third and abs after them between the deads... But I think this order I posted is better.... I'll go with it today.

    The feelings in first workout surprised me alittle. My thighs responded extremely well to even one set of squats with warmups... Also in the other muscles I felt the workout worked but in the thighs the most. The following day I felt a little stiffness but no pain... I think this is going to work good!

    Otherwise I went with the starting weights at about 75% of 15RM, except Chins I clustered 8-5-3 and abs only with BW.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  10. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    15's 2nd Workout 12.03.

    Today was the B split with cleans and shoulder press. Did the workout with about 80% 15RM, all went as planned. The exercise order felt good, so I'll stick to it. I clustered chins 10+6. Plus I added 15 reverse hypers with 2kg weight to the end and some light core work with fitball.

    I think I might have had a lttle bit too much weight on the Rows (started to do them Rippetoe style)... Well, not yet, but I might not be able to keep the form in the last workouts if I keep adding weight... I think I might repeat todays weight in the next workout but let's see.

    Also I don't know if I should just do shoulder press all the time instead of alternating with rear laterals... I'd like to hear some opinions of this... Are the rear delts getting enough stimulation from rows... (Shoulder press doesn't develop them, but rows do a little, right?)
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  11. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Your Rows and Dead Lifts will both develop your Posterior Deltoids. I don’t do anything extra than those for mine.
  12. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    Okay, thanks for the confirmation. I'll do shoulder press each workout then. However I think I still keep rear lat raise as an accessory exercise in the end if I have time. After all shoulders are one of my weak points, I think, as I have neglected them in weight training in the past.
  13. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    15's 3rd Workout 14.03. at 85% 15RM

    Todays workout took forever! The gym was totally full... I had to wait over 5 min to get to Bench and another 5' after the warmup... Also had to sub shoulder db press to barbell. I thought it would be havier with BB but it was lighter!

    Other than the time taken, the workout was successfull. I decided to repeat the last weight with Rows, which was a good call as 15th rep was even today heavy. Also 15 Deads at 110kg deweighting between each rep were hard but I beat the Iron!
  14. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    15's 4th Workout 17.03. at 90% 15RM

    Squat 75kg
    Bench 52,5kg
    Power Clean 55kg
    Press 27kg
    Row 52kg
    Chins 15xBodyweight
    Calves standing 60kg
    Ab crunch 2,5kg

    +One round of Spartacus as metcon/endurance in the end

    Tried to practice low-bar squats. Had some difficulties with the bar placement. Also decided to change db presses to barbell, as the gym I usually go to does not have dumbbels at good increments. The weight in presses felt light. The rows were quite heavy.
  15. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    15's 5th Workout 19.03. at 95% 15RM

    Squat 80kg
    Bench 55kg
    Deadlift 125kg (New 15RM!)
    Press 30kg
    Row 55kg
    Chins 15xBodyweight
    Calves standing 60kg
    Bent over laterals 5kg
    Ab crunch 4kg

    Did pretty many warmup sets with squats, but now I found the right low-bar placement, and the workset was pretty easy compared to the fact it is only 2,5 kg away from my previous 15RM.

    Had to try to beat my previous 15RM with deadlifts, as this was the last workout with them in the 15's. Not sure if that was a good call... Did like 5 warmup sets with increasing weights... Fought the workset to the end and managed to beat the old 15 RM, but my back is now pretty stiff...

    Also got a guy to shoot a video of my technique in squats, deadlifts and rows. Squats had good form the others not so... The row was worst. Got to practice it more. Also found out that I'm jerking the deadlift out of the floor... got to be careful with that to save my back.

    I'm feeling my strength has gone up, as the weights seem relatively light... Thats why I'm probably trying to beat old maxes ;) However I think I should probably hold back a little and concentrate on the form. When I get to the last weeks of fives I've got time to make new records.. And as Brian said: "Undoubtedly, you will rapidly get stronger, making your previously established max inaccurate. This is NOT important... training at your absolute max weight is not necessary to grow…"
  16. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    15's 6th Workout Monday 19.03. at 100+% 15RM

    Squat 85kg (New 15 RM)
    Bench 60kg (Had to cluster 12+5)
    Power Clean 60kg (New 15RM!)
    Deadlift 60kg 17 very light reps just for some recovery
    Press 35kg (Had to cluster 10+3+2)
    Row 55kg
    Chins 17xBodyweight (last rep to nose level but I still counted it)
    Calves standing 62kg
    Ab crunch 5kg
    Hyperextensions 2x12xBodyweight
    Abs in Roman chair 15xBW
    Different kinds of abs 50 reps
    Bent over laterals 5kg/ Laterals 5kg (supersetted both 15x)

    Okay... The day started good with a new 15RM in squat. Could have probably squeezed even more but it was okay. Had small balance problem though at 4th rep... need to find a better balance point from the wall to look at next time.

    After that I should have done 57,5 with the bench, but I didn't find 1,25 plates anywhere in the gym. I wonder where they have went. Oh well I decided to up the weight 5 kg from the last workout to 60kg as 55kg felt relatively light last time. BIG mistake! Couldn't finish the set without clustering.

    The Power Clean was okay. As in the squat could probably have lifted even a little more, but it was okay. One problem I had with it though: had to put the plate in position after 14 reps as it almost fell off. Took a few deadlifts with the same weight to practce form (the weight was very light for deads).

    Same thing with the Press as with the bench. Should have done 32,5, but 1,25 plates were not there. So decided to up the weight to 35. Again, big mistake. Had to cluster even more than with the bench. Then I remembered I had with me 1kg wrist weights, could have used those in both of the lifts... oh well.

    Repeated last workouts weight in the rows, this time could do it with better form. Could do almost 17 chins even with a little sore lats, which surprised me positively after the failures in the pressing exercises.

    The whole set took about 1,5 hours, with the first 5 exercises taking over an hour from it... Had a few warmup sets in each of them and also one "back off set" to practice form. I think I had too long recoveries between the WU's. Next timeI need to be faster.

    Now to calculate target weights for the 10's. I think I have to repeat pretty many weights with the presses and bench as I was too greedy it this workout. Hope the heavy zig-zag doesn't mess up those lifts too bad.
  17. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Yeah, I've never had a coach, so I don't really have any idea what the difference is between high-bar and low-bar squats. I set the bar on my traps, well below my neck, where the muscles form a sort of "shelf". Even though that seems fairly high, I find that, if I try to put the bar any lower, I wind up having to support it with my hands. Bar placement remains a mystery to me, as well...
  18. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    All the more reason to get hold of a copy of Ripp's Starting Strength. I thought you had this TR? Def. recommend it if you're serious about your lifting.
  19. Pekkias

    Pekkias New Member

    Yes, I recommend the book as well. It has changed much I thought I knew about weightlifting... However the downside is for me that I'm trying to concentrate too much on my form now ;)

    Regarding to squat low-bar placement however I did not find it so simple, because even in that book the models seem to have it placed differently... But it might just be the pictures not showing in 3 dimensions. Anyway I think the figure 2-17 on p. 19 is the best. And for me the placement is just about there too. It's a little above the place where the triceps start, on top of my rear delts forming a shelf. However I only manage to get the shelf and the position right after "twisting" my elbows backward and having not too wide grip on the bar. If I don't do it, i feel I hold it only with my arms and that the bar will drop. That is also the only place besides high on the traps which doesn't dig into some bone. However this low placement feels much better to my lower back. With high bar I feel the strain already when unracking the bar with weights above 70kg, but with low bar I still havent felt any strain, at least to 85kg (which is now my 15RM and highest I have lifted with low bar as I previously always lifted high-bar.
  20. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    I have the book, and I have the DVD. I get a lot of help from them, but I still can't figure out bar height and hip drive. I suppose that's because I can't see what I'm doing.

Share This Page