20in30 – The Catch Up Post!

Well well well… I missed about 4 posts I believe due to some crazy work schedules but I was able to work out! So this post is nothing but training logs, hope you like it!

Thursday – Deadlifts

Had a good workout with a friend on Thursday.

Sumo Deadlift: 2×3 @80% then 1×3 @85%

Romanian Deadlift: 3×5 with 225

Bent Over Row: 3×8 with 135

Planks: For a long time…

Friday – Volume Bench

Barbell Bench: 6×7 @70% (last week I hit a total of 40 reps and this time I did a total of 42)

Band Pull Aparts: Set of 10 for every set of bench

Close Grip Bench Press: 3×10 (Once I get all 3 sets for 10 reps I up the weight)

Dumbbell One Arm Row: 3×12

Machine Decline Press: 3×15

Machine High Row: 3×15

Monday – Bench Intensity w/ Arms

I did a few things different this time since it is the 3rd week. I want to start handling even heavier weights. So I did some board press before the bench.

Board Bench Press: Work up to a heavy double (something heavier than my actual bench)

Bench Press: Work up to a 3rm (205 lbs) then 3×3 @90% of 205

Close Grip Lat Pulldown: Set of 10 for ever rep of benching.

Barbell Lying Tricep Extensions: 4×12 with the heaviest weight I could handle

Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 4×12

Cable Curls: 3×12

Cable Tricep Pushdowns: 3×12

Tuesday – Squat Day

Squat: 6 singles every minute on the minute(EMOM)

Bulgarian Split Squat: 3×8 (I upped the weight this week)

Seated Calf Raise: 4×15

Ab Wheel Rollout: 4×10

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20in30 Week 2 Speed Day – Being Flexible

Flexibility is important, and I’m not talking about reaching down and touching your toes or an awesome full king pigeon pose.

behavioural-flexibility

King Pigeon Pose

You have to be flexible with your workout regimen. Sometimes your plan doesn’t always work out and you might have to tweak your program a little bit.

Should you have a plan? Yes! Goals are extremely important, in fact I talked a little bit about it here. Making a plan to accomplish the goal is vital but sometimes things happen and if everything doesn’t go according to plan, THE WORLD WILL NOT END! Well, maybe eventually.

So next time you are supposed to do a particular exercise in the gym and that piece of equipment is broken or the the 135lb, 19 year old kid is texting a novel to his ex girlfriend on the leg press machine, don’t worry about it and make a substitution. Take a quick detour. I wouldn’t suggest deviating from the plan everyday but once in a while won’t kill you. Detour

I have been having a tad bit of elbow pain and when I tried to do some dumbbell incline press, they hurt worse. I instead just did dumbbell shoulder pressing and it felt better. Tada! No sweat! Actually, copious amounts of sweat. But either way, you can’t let the detours rattle you, just keeping lifting and working. On to the workout!

Banded Barbell Bench Press: 9×3 @55% of 1rm (I ended up using 115)

Band Pull Aparts: 1 set of 10 for every set of bench.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3×12

Rear Delt Raise: 3×15

Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3×10

Chin Up Holds: I just did several sets of isometric holds. Working on position and grip strength. More on that later!

20in30 Squat Day-The importance of the pause.

Squatting is a basic human movement and everyone should be able to do it. Unfortunately, most of us sit at the computer or on the couch and lose the ability to get into a good stable squat position.

I still don’t have a great squat. Everyday I look at my 15 month old son and his ability to squat all the way down with his butt on his calves and move explosively from that position. It truly is a joy to see such fantastic human movement. So how am I going to get better in that rock bottom squat position? I have been doing mobility, but I’m changing it up a little bit.

Pause Squat

Instead of focusing so much on mobility and stretching, I’m going to just try to accumulate more time in the position of a squat. Whether weighted or not, the human body adapts to being in a position. So I’m going to try and help my body out a little with external loading (weight on my back.) I’m accomplishing this through pause squats. The worst exercise known to mankind and the one that I probably need the most.

Pause squats are very humbling because you can’t lift as much weight but they are extremely effective at making you stronger and even more comfortable in the bottom position of the squat. They can even teach you how to breathe better but that’s a whole other story. Today I paused every first rep of each set of my high bar squats for about 3-5 seconds; instead of doing 3×3 I did some heavy singles, paused. Again, not a ton of volume but I’m really focusing on my bench. I would hate to kill myself on pause squats and then not be able to do the prescribed reps the next day for bench.

Here’s the workout! Day 9 of the program.

Paused High Bar Squat: Worked up to 3 heavy singles (275, 295, and 275) Also did some additional pause work with 225.

Bulgarian Split Squat: 3×8

Donkey Calf Raise: 4×20 (Hit a top set for 10 that was a rep PR)

Ab Wheel Roll Out: 2×10 then 2×8 (Added an extra set and my abs are fried…)

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20in30-Week 2 Intensity Day

It’s Week 2 and today is all about intensity again, heavy weight for a few reps. Last week I worked up to a 3rm. My goal this week is to hit that same weight for 3 reps + 5lbs. If I can do that every week for a month than I will reach my goal of 20lbs in 30 days. This simple progression is called linear periodization, utilizing the principle of progressive overload.
But first, a quick story. Way back in the 6th century, Milo of Croton was said to be a giant of a man and incredibly strong. He was a 6 time Olympic victor in wrestling and supposedly ate 20 lbs of meat and 20 lbs of bread…a day!
 Milo
The real story I want to tell you is how he supposedly gained all his strength. He apparently carried a calf everyday on his shoulders. Now carrying a calf may not sound too incredible but Milo carried it everyday until it was a full grown bull! That is impressive! Whether the story is true or not is irrelevant, the story is a perfect example of progressive overload. Everyday lift a little more weight. Everyday get a little bit better.
This is what linear progressions are based on, progressive overload. Linear progressions are a great way to increase volume and intensity over time and it’s incredibly simple. Add weight to the bar or reps every workout or week. Programs like Strong Lifts and Starting Strength use this linear model and it truly is effective, especially with beginners. (Newbie gains are the best!) However, you can only move in a linear fashion for so long before gains come to a halt. I’m utilizing a linear progression for my intensity day and only for a month before going to different style of programming.
So with all that being said! Here was my workout for today. At the end of the 30 days I will have this program available in a PDF format. Interested? let me know!

 

Super Set 1

Bench Press: Work up to 3RM+5lbs (200lbs today) – Then 90% for 3×3

Cable Row: 1 set of 10 for every set of bench press, including warm ups.

 

Super Set 2

Hammer Curls: Sets of 50, 40, 30

DB Tricep Extensions: Sets of 50, 40, 30

 

Super Set 3

Cable Curl w/ Iso Hold: 3×15 (arms were trashed so I stopped at 15 a piece)

Cable Tricep Pushdown W/ Hold: 3×15

20in30 – Volume Bench

Need to put on some size? Get stronger? If so, you probably need to crank up the volume!

Today was my volume bench workout and so as promised earlier in the week, I will talk about what in the world volume is.

The formula for volume is simple. Volume = Weight x Sets x Reps. For example, if I squat 100 pounds for 5 sets of 2 it would equal 1000 lbs of volume.

In order to keep progressing with your strength goals, your volume has to increase over time. That doesn’t mean you need to add thousands of pounds in volume each and every workout but small timely volume increases are important.

There are pretty much only three ways to add volume with either more weight on the bar, more sets, or more reps per set. Sounds simple right? It Is fairly simple but there are lots of combinations to keep things interesting. Continuing with our earlier example of the 100lb squater, to make an increase from 1000lbs to 1200 instead of 5 sets of 2 @100lbs we could do 4 sets of 3 @100lbs. Then the following week go to 5 sets of 3 at 100 lbs, and repeating the process with a little more weight on the bar next month.

To really gain hypertrophy (build muscle) increasing the volume is vital. Just don’t jack the volume up to fast or you will become brutally sore.

So long story short, this is my volume bench day, AKA the day I do higher reps of bench press.

Bench Press: 5×8

Band pull apart: 5×10

Close Grip Bench Press: 3×10

One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3×12

Machine Chest Press: 3×15

Machine High Row: 3×15

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20in30 – Day 3 Speed Bench & Shoulders

Today is day 3 of my program and my triceps are still thrashed from Monday’s workout. I actually expected to be pretty sore and not able to bench big weights today, which is why I programmed today to be a speed day.Band Bench

Let me explain the whole “speed day” thing. I’m using 50% of my 1rm for the bench press and adding bands to the bar. Adding bands (or chains) is known as accommodating resistance which was really first utilized by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. The bands only have slight resistance when in the bottom of the lift (bar on chest) but when pressing up the resistance increases, overloading the top portion (the lockout) of the lift. Because the lift gets harder as you push up, the bands help you to focus on moving the bar quickly, also known as SPEED! So why would I be doing this? Well there are several reasons.

  1. Explosiveness: Learning how to move the bar quickly and explosively is extremely important, especially with heavier weights. This allows me to work that aspect and not just grind out every rep.
  2. Lighter Weights: Speed work is usually done with 50%-60% of a 1rm. The lighter weights are perfect on a day like this because I am sore and feeling a little beat up from the past two workouts. I got in extra work but it didn’t pound me into the ground like going for another 3 rep or 5 rep max.
  3. Technique: I’m using the speed work to hone in my technique. I’m taking the opportunity to do a slight pause on the chest and keep my body as tight as possible and then explode. I’m hoping that I can get an increase in my 1rm just from technique alone.

So that’s my speed day in nutshell but here’s the actual workout.

Banded Bench Press: 9×3

Band Pull Aparts: 9×10

Dumbbell Incline Press: 5×10 increasing weight every set

Lying Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise: 5×15

Lateral Raises: As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) w/ 25, 20, 15, 10 lbs. Do the whole sequence twice.

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20in30 – Day 2 Squat Day

Today was squat day.

Even though the main goal of this program is progressing the bench press, I don’t want to lose strength in the other big lifts (squat and deadlift.) It is usually best to have one main goal; because of that I will only be squatting and deadlifting once a week. Squat I usually squat 2 to 3 times a week and at one point I squatted everyday for 45 days. So the low frequency is odd to me but I don’t want to burn myself out on squats and not be able to hit my bench numbers the next day.

I did 3 sets of 3 on high bar squats and I chose high bar for a couple of different reasons. I’m not nearly as strong with a high bar squat as low bar so this gives me a chance to work on the technique and build strength in this style of squat. Also, because it is a lighter load it’s less systemic stress on my body, which hopefully will allow full recovery for my next bench press day (AKA Wednesday.)

 

 

 

 

Here’s day 2 of the program.

High Bar Squat: 3×3

Bulgarian Split Squat: 3×8

Donkey Calf Raise: 4×20 (Raised the weight every set)

Ab Wheel Roll Out: 3×10 (Best ab exercise ever!)

 

Hit a fairly easy 3×3 at 275 today and it felt good. Looking forward to the speed bench day tomorrow! Getting better everyday.

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Day one of the program here!!!