Voltron: Training log 2011



  • So i've never posted in the Fitness forums before, but since its that time of year where we all start to make goals for the next year etc (even if its only dreaming) so i thought i would throw down some stuff in writing to help keep me motivated, and maybe help motivate someone else too!

    First a bit of background. Ive always been active in training and sport, but about 3 years ago the motivation for pure training disappeared (left the army) followed shortly by the time to play sport (having children). My body weight increased from my natural 75-80kg to about 85-90kg. A bit of fat and a bit of muscle but i've always been skinny so no big drama.

    About November 09 i stopped smoking. By the other side of christmas i had ballooned up to 102kgs. The epiphany came when i was in the wedding party for a mate in mid january. We jhad been measured for suits a couple of months before but come the day i couldnt fit into the thing! Something had to be done.

    So i started some casual training, a bit of running (walking!) and some aimless weights until about june i came across this: [URL="http://www.daimenhutchison.com/rugby/showthread.php/11259-5-x-5-and-the-Texas-Method-wish-Id-done-this-from-the-start-!?highlight=stronglifts"]http://www.daimenhutchison.com/rugby/showthread.php/11259-5-x-5-and-the-Texas-Method-wish-Id-done-this-from-the-start-!?highlight=stronglifts[/URL]

    It look good so i started around the end of june. I never thanked Phoenetia for this post but i should, its pretty much changed my life. Thanks buddy! Ive made a comittment to training like i never have before (i think i've maybe missed 2 sessions in 6 months, and only with much heartache), and the enjoyment and gains i've seen from it are outstanding.

    I've moved on to the Bill Starr madcow program (you can find it here: [URL]http://stronglifts.com/madcow-5x5-training-programs/[/URL]), and my current stats are as follows:

    Squat 5 Rep Max 145, 1Rep Max 155.
    Deadlift 5RM 155, 1RM 165
    Bench 5RM 95, 1RM 105
    Overhead Press 5RM 65.
    Power clean 82.5 5RM, 92.5 1RM

    I Started squatting about 55kg, deadlift 75kg, bench 65kg, OH press 35 kg so those numbers above represent a big gain. I'm stronger than i've ever been in my life.

    Now, where i'm at at the moment is a bit of a plateau. The high end weights ive been using have seen my form start to suffer, but the desire to keep progressing has been driving me to push weights that are probably too heavy. My motivation has dipped with this also. So ive swallowed my pride and de-loaded everything by about 10% in order to reconstruct my technique and remake those gains slowly.

    My goals for this year are to deadlift 2x my bodyweight, which is currently 95kg, so 190 (i've been following MN5s deadlift progress with envy). Bench 120kg (not sure why that weight, just sounds good) and make the powerlifting 1000 pound club, which is 1000lb combined wieight of your best deadlift, squat and benchpress. If i make the first 2 goals this will take care of itself.

    So thats it, i'll update this thread periodically if anyones interested in my progress, and if anyone is inspired to start this type of training and wants some help, feel free to ask and i'll endeavour to answer from what experience i have. Cheers.



  • Good work my good man. I've done quite a bit of that sort of training on and off and I've gotta say it does rock the party that rocks the party. Sounds like you are kicking ass as well, always a great motivator. Obviously you want to eat as much protein as humanly possible during this time, I find it's pretty easy at this time of year although getting snarky looks when you get the last chicken breast, last sausage, last lamb chop and the last piece of steak off the BBQ makes it harder. The Powerclean is a funny one for me, I find some days I do really well, some days I don't and if I actually found a proper coach to analyse my technique I'd do a bit better at it. Deadlifts are often mind over matter and as long as there is ample space to fall over and just about spew your ring out afterwards they're pretty good. With OHP is this a push press ? ( ie do you use leg drive ? )



  • No leg drive on the OHP, strictly straight legs. I've even started doing it seated to ensure correct form.

    I agree on powerclean. Ive only been doing this about 3 months and the increases are blowing away the other exercises. This is to do with strength gain of course but heaps of it is just getting used to the movement and refining your technique. Also the same on the inconsistency, some days great other days very poor, every now and then i think ive got it sussed and then the next workout its all back to square one. Only time and practice will get me there i think.

    As for diet thats a toughy. At 95kg i think i have a satisfactory weight, if you look at olympic lifters in this weight class they are beasts (although obviously in not aiming for that level). Ive still plenty of fat to loose, so i would be quite happy to lose some weight or stay the same and just increase muscle to fat ratio. But every thing ive read about strength training says eat eat eat, gain weight, gain muscle. But if i do this i'll certainly not lose fat, and may even gain some, and i'm not sure i'm prepared to accept that for some extra muscle. Still dont know how to approach that side of things i think i change my mind from week to week at the moment. Probably depends on how hungry i am!



  • i have started over the last few weeks a 4 second down phase on one exercise for each bodypart (rest of exercises normal), and that has been blasting my body to pieces. for chest I do incline, decline and straight bench with the four second descent. weights obviously much lighter, but feels like you've been run over. Try different little things to keep the mind fresh and the body guessing all the time keeps things fresh. change rep ranges too.



  • volty, you can gain muscle and not gain fat, simple process of not eating more calories than you burn (complete basic).

    Make sure you get enough protein so your muscles can build, cut out your carbs at night, as they are a waste of time at any rate, and train hard!

    A nutritionist would be a good idea to get you on the right track, and money well worth spending.



  • Cheers for the tip Bartman.

    My weight has been fairly consistent for about 6 months now, so i'm not eating more or less than i'm burning. But you're saying that if i change the type of food i'm eating (ie cut out the carbs and fat, more protein) it will be more effective? So i can stay the same weight (ish) but lose a bit of fat and gain a bit of muscle?



  • [quote name='Voltron']No leg drive on the OHP, strictly straight legs. I've even started doing it seated to ensure correct form.

    I agree on powerclean. Ive only been doing this about 3 months and the increases are blowing away the other exercises. This is to do with strength gain of course but heaps of it is just getting used to the movement and refining your technique. Also the same on the inconsistency, some days great other days very poor, every now and then i think ive got it sussed and then the next workout its all back to square one. Only time and practice will get me there i think.

    As for diet thats a toughy. At 95kg i think i have a satisfactory weight, if you look at olympic lifters in this weight class they are beasts (although obviously in not aiming for that level). Ive still plenty of fat to loose, so i would be quite happy to lose some weight or stay the same and just increase muscle to fat ratio. But every thing ive read about strength training says eat eat eat, gain weight, gain muscle. But if i do this i'll certainly not lose fat, and may even gain some, and i'm not sure i'm prepared to accept that for some extra muscle. Still dont know how to approach that side of things i think i change my mind from week to week at the moment. Probably depends on how hungry i am![/QUOTE]

    Good work on that dude, not that I've actually done them for ages but I find I prefer push presses as you lift more and it is more of a "power" type exercise. May try some seated ones though now you've planted the seed in my mind !



  • volty- if you lose fat and gain muscle, you'll gain weight, good weight though!- but best bet is a nutritionalist - and if you can find a trainer / nutritionalist type dude, you've won the battle!



  • [quote name='BartMan']volty- if you lose fat and gain muscle, you'll gain weight, good weight though!- but best bet is a nutritionalist - and if you can find a trainer / nutritionalist type dude, you've won the battle![/QUOTE]

    Yeah dead right. Certain foods don't agree with different body/blood types aye Bart. Also a bit of weight ( coming from MN5 in the very late 90s ) is ok if you have a bit of height !



  • Good workout yesterday, thought i'd post how my training program at the moment works.

    Its basically based on 5 sets of 5 reps, 3 exercises per session, 3 sessions per week. The top or working weight increases each week (this is the final set for each exercise). The remaining 4 sets are ramped up to the top weight. Squats, bench press and power clean are the main 3 exercises, forming the basis of 2 workouts each week; the remaining workout is a lighter squat session plus deadlifts and overhead press. So based on that the below is a typical week (what i did last week) All sets are 5 reps unless otherwise stated:

    [B]Monday[/B]

    Squats

    80
    95
    107.5
    122.5
    135

    Bench

    52.5
    62.5
    70
    80
    87.5

    Power clean

    47.5
    52.5
    62.5
    70
    77.5

    [B]Wednesday[/B]

    Squat

    80
    95
    107.5
    107.5 (these are the first 3 weights from Mondays session)

    Overhead press (seated)

    40
    45
    52.5
    57.5

    Deadlift

    102
    115
    130
    145

    [B]Friday[/B]

    Squat

    80
    95
    107.5
    122.5
    137.5 (3 reps)
    107.5 (8reps)

    Bench

    52.5
    62.5
    70
    80
    90 (3 reps)
    70 (8 reps)

    Power clean

    47.5
    52.5
    62.5
    70
    80 (3 reps)
    62.5 (8 reps)

    So the Friday workout is essentially the same as Monday, except the top weight increases by 2.5, and the reps decrease to 3. You do a final set of 8 reps at the 3rd weight to kick your ass. The following Monday the top set is the same as Friday but back to 5 reps, whilst all the other weights increase by 2.5. This gives you a continuous but (hopefully) achievable progression, at least for several weeks.

    As i mentioned in my first post, i have deloaded by a bit from my previous maxes, so i'm looking to get back to my 5 rep max weights by about week 4 to 5 - this is where it gets intense - setting a new 5RM record every week for a s long as the body can handle it.

    Right now my focus is squats, as this by far the easiest to cheat and lose form when the weight starts to get heavy. I'm really trying hard to make sure every rep goes well below parallel, so my quads are screaming today.



  • [quote name='Voltron']Right now my focus is squats, as this by far the easiest to cheat and lose form when the weight starts to get heavy. I'm really trying hard to make sure every rep goes well below parallel, [B]so my quads are screaming today[/B].[/QUOTE]

    That's when you know you are on the money bro! that is a mean looking programme, fully intense! I know what you mean about taking the time to ensure form is still good. Nothing worse that loading up on weight and having poor form as you struggle with it, sometimes it is a balancing act as you might have good form on reps 1-5 and on the 6th it all goes pie.

    Good to see a new (returning) face on the fitness threads!



  • [quote name='Paekakboyz']That's when you know you are on the money bro! that is a mean looking programme, fully intense! I know what you mean about taking the time to ensure form is still good. Nothing worse that loading up on weight and having poor form as you struggle with it, sometimes it is a balancing act as you might have good form on reps 1-5 and on the 6th it all goes pie.

    Good to see a new (returning) face on the fitness threads![/QUOTE]

    Yep Form is the word of the day. Its all about strength, not pushing the biggest weight you can. Well it is about pushing the biggest weight you can, but doing it properly! The big weights will come with time and strength.



  • Well i officially am hating squats. I had to bail on the 4th rep of my top set (137.5kg) yesterday. Theres something about failing a rep ot squats that is so much worse than any other exercise. I'm starting to have nightmares now.

    On the plus side i felt good at 90kg on bench press so i decided to do a second set. So 2 sets of 5 at my top weight yesterday.



  • I posted this on another thread a little while ago but i thought id repeat it here. Its called the Bear and is my favourite ass-kicking 5 minute workout:

    [video=youtube;0WOP9J7QPwI]

    The movement starts with the bar on the ground, power clean, front squat, overhead press (lower to the back), back squat, overhead press (lower to the chest), lower to the ground.
    Squats must be below parallel, elbows locked out on the press.

    I managed a set of 7 reps (1 rep is a complete movement from floor to floor) of this at 70kg the other day, which i was bloody impressed with (just for MN5, all the presses were push-press. No strict form at this weight i'm afraid!). So the reason i'm posting this: keen to see if anyone else wants to have a go, would be great motivation if someone was pushing me to go a bit higher.

    So to all the gym guys out there i lay down the challenge! Post your results



  • man their faces from 4min onward show just how gnarley that is!! excellent effort Voltron, you matched Freddy's last set weight!!



  • [quote name='Paekakboyz']man their faces from 4min onward show just how gnarley that is!! excellent effort Voltron, you matched Freddy's last set weight!![/QUOTE]

    Yeah only difference is he did the first 4 sets and i only did one. Still, the first 4 were lighter so they dont mean anything, right? Freddies got nothing on me



  • [quote name='Voltron']I posted this on another thread a little while ago but i thought id repeat it here. Its called the Bear and is my favourite ass-kicking 5 minute workout:

    [video=youtube;0WOP9J7QPwI]

    The movement starts with the bar on the ground, power clean, front squat, overhead press (lower to the back), back squat, overhead press (lower to the chest), lower to the ground.
    Squats must be below parallel, elbows locked out on the press.

    I managed a set of 7 reps (1 rep is a complete movement from floor to floor) of this at 70kg the other day, which i was bloody impressed with (just for MN5, all the presses were push-press. No strict form at this weight i'm afraid!). So the reason i'm posting this: keen to see if anyone else wants to have a go, would be great motivation if someone was pushing me to go a bit higher.

    So to all the gym guys out there i lay down the challenge! Post your results[/QUOTE]

    Shit I'm rooted just looking at that ! Those guys must be using those plastic weights cos they look a hell of a lot more than what they are lifting. I'm sure I'll ache all over after trying this, can't wait !



  • I'm going to give this a crack for sure - maybe tomorrow if I can get motivated, and before my trainer can get back to me and tell me not to do it!!!



  • damn, trainer says go for it - twice a week is fine, and can flag leg and shoulder exercises, retain chest back and arms - so 6 days, as chest is twice a week. damn - tomorrow day 1...



  • ouch.

    4 sets. reps went 7,4,5,4. Weight 55 throughout.

    instead of lowering bar behind neck bought it to the front again to protect dodgy shoulder, but still 2 squats and 2 presses.

    Found it too hard to go up from the squat to the press in one movement, so was squatting, re setting sort of thing, and then driving into the shoulder press.

    But wow and kapow, loved it!!



  • Talk about make it double hard! The back squat is heaps easier than the front one and on the shoulders is the best place to have a rest. That said the worst part for me is lowering to the shoulders from the press, the front not too bad but onto the back i'm virtually dropping the bar on myself which gives the old shoulders a hammering! You dont want to be doing that if your shoulders crook.

    I try my best to drive out of the squat into the press as thats less effort overall but i'm the same as you, after a few reps i have to break it into 2 movements. But pressing 55kg 40 times is no mean feat any way you do it!



  • it is a great drill though - second lot is Monday. last week rounded out 'the bear' with 4 sets of Smith squats and 4 sets of smith shoulder press too, just to smash myself properly.

    I expect the more reps i do in the bear, the less I will be inclicned to do extras at the end!

    As I said on my thread, i think once i can't do the double press and souble squat, I will just do one so i can get to 7 reps, or no doubt, 4 full and 3 half etc.

    But I'll say it again, superb drill!!



  • Showed the Bear clip to my PT, looks like I may have something new to do this new year ?!?



  • Hell of a good session today, deserves a post!

    Have fine tuned my routine a bit as i felt that although it was very high intensity i wasnt getting enough work at the top weights. SO now its 5 sets (the same) a couple of warm up ones (any weight and reps, just enough to build into it) then 3 x 5 at top weight. So today i managed 3 x 5 @ 135kg and 95kg for squat and bench press respectively and 3 x 3 @ 85kg for power clean (only doing sets of 3 on PC as technique suffers with fatigue onrep 4 and 5. Technically should be doing extra sets to keep the volume the same but i'm making nice progress like this so i'm happy). All of these represent personal records for multiple sets of 5 (or 3) so i'm super stoked. Followed it up with 3 sets to fail of wide grip pull ups (8,6,5) and even a set of curls. Yeah!

    Also have taken Barts advice (sort of) and started a super high protein diet including egg-white protein powder (foul) and have gained 1.5 kg in about 2 weeks. Yeah!



  • Bit of a change of pace for the next couple of weeks, having a break from the weights and taking the chance to see if i can drop a bit of the flab.

    My current numbers are (3 x 5 reps): Squat 137.5, Bench 97.5, overhead press 62.5, deadlift 165 (1 x 3 reps), power clean 87.5 (3 x 3 reps). Reasonable progress so far this year. Pretty close to a couple of goals (140 for squat and 100 for bench) so will have a bit of a rest to keep me mentally sharp and hopefully will get to both of those marks by sometime in April.

    Doing cardio only every day at the moment. Tough start since i havent done much for ages. First run, about 3 ks, and my knees dont like it, feel really heavy. Funny how i can work out a muscle group 3 times a week (quads), but when asked to do something a bit different like run they hurt like a bastard the next day. Weight on sunday 94.9 kgs do we'll see how much i can drop in 2 weeks.



  • [quote name='Voltron']Bit of a change of pace for the next couple of weeks, having a break from the weights and taking the chance to see if i can drop a bit of the flab.

    My current numbers are (3 x 5 reps): Squat 137.5, Bench 97.5, overhead press 62.5, deadlift 165 (1 x 3 reps), power clean 87.5 (3 x 3 reps). Reasonable progress so far this year. Pretty close to a couple of goals (140 for squat and 100 for bench) so will have a bit of a rest to keep me mentally sharp and hopefully will get to both of those marks by sometime in April.

    Doing cardio only every day at the moment. Tough start since i havent done much for ages. First run, about 3 ks, and my knees dont like it, feel really heavy. Funny how i can work out a muscle group 3 times a week (quads), but when asked to do something a bit different like run they hurt like a bastard the next day. Weight on sunday 94.9 kgs do we'll see how much i can drop in 2 weeks.[/QUOTE]

    Good luck with the cardio Voltron

    Have you ever done interval cardio? There is a fair bit of science around about its effectiveness with fat loss. I've had some really positive outcomes from it, and the key thing for me is that it minimises time in the gym.

    As the term suggests the intervals are based on time exerting lots of energy coupled with time doing 'active' resting

    If you haven't done it before and you're interested, try running at say 8-10mph for 30 secs and then walking at 4mph for 1min - do that for 20mins and see how you go. Over time the idea is to increase running speeds (not walking or 'active' resting) and to shorten active rest periods.

    A couple of studies I've read said the best results came from a 24 sec intese activity with a 36 sec active rest period - the 1:1.5 ratio of activty to rest.

    This can work for any stationary type machine like tready, bike or even the eliptical.



  • [quote name='ACT Crusader']A couple of studies I've read said the best results came from a 24 sec intese activity with a 36 sec active rest period - the 1:1.5 ratio of activty to rest.

    This can work for any stationary type machine like tready, bike or even the eliptical.[/QUOTE]
    If you have access to a rowing machine and enjoy rowing a good approximation is 125m on and 30secs off. By using a set distance it makes it easier to track progress on your working metres IMO

    A relatively short amount of time on the rower can really destroy you



  • [quote name='ACT Crusader']A couple of studies I've read said the best results came from a 24 sec intese activity with a 36 sec active rest period - the 1:1.5 ratio of activty to rest.

    This can work for any stationary type machine like tready, bike or even the eliptical.[/QUOTE]
    If you have access to a rowing machine and enjoy rowing a good approximation is 125m on and 30secs off. By using a set distance it makes it easier to track progress on your working metres IMO

    A relatively short amount of time on the rower can really destroy you



  • Used to do a bit of interval training in the army, never liked it to be honest, probably because it was more "brutal" than "scientific". If i remember correctly we would have fartlek training (short sprints interspersed with slow jog) and "rep runs" 1200, 800 or 400m timed runs with rest periods between. Similar but not exactly the same as what you're suggesting.

    Now that ive got the idea in my head im quite keen to do something along those lines. Dont do gyms unfortunately so will have to be a bit creative. Might have to judge the speeds and time the periods or use measured distances and not worry too much about time, as Duluth suggested. Maybe sprint 100m, jog 50m for 10 mins or something. Or i might be able to work it into a punch bag workout. Will try it out tomorrow and report back.



  • Search youtube for HIIT or Tabata for ideas outside the gym. I swear by the interval training and it has contributed to me losing over 20kgs in weight



  • [quote name='Duluth']If you have access to a rowing machine and enjoy rowing a good approximation is 125m on and 30secs off. By using a set distance it makes it easier to track progress on your working metres IMO

    A relatively short amount of time on the rower can really destroy you[/QUOTE]

    That distance version looks good.

    A while ago when I had a PT he would stand over me and record distances for a 30sec on 30sec off for 5 mins. The rule was I couldn't get below my first 30sec interval. He would do the whole yelling etc and I was absolutely smashed after 5mins and the 30sec rest seemed like 2seconds...

    Unfortunately I can't remember any of the distances



  • [quote name='Voltron']Used to do a bit of interval training in the army, never liked it to be honest, probably because it was more "brutal" than "scientific". If i remember correctly we would have fartlek training (short sprints interspersed with slow jog) and "rep runs" 1200, 800 or 400m timed runs with rest periods between. Similar but not exactly the same as what you're suggesting.

    Now that ive got the idea in my head im quite keen to do something along those lines. Dont do gyms unfortunately so will have to be a bit creative. Might have to judge the speeds and time the periods or use measured distances and not worry too much about time, as Duluth suggested. Maybe sprint 100m, jog 50m for 10 mins or something. Or i might be able to work it into a punch bag workout. Will try it out tomorrow and report back.[/QUOTE]

    I've always found that type of training is 'easier' when there is someone inflicting it on you! ie rugby or sport training. I enjoy running and have done shuttles/speed work in the past but that Tabata stuff is pretty (very) intense! However it is very cool in that you can apply the approach to all sorts of cardio workouts.



  • Holy crap what a workout yesterday!

    No offence dK, i'vee seen you mention tabata before but just the name has put me off, like its some sort of fad latest craze thing. But i had a look into it and decided i could apply it to something. Did a workout with squat thrusters, 30kg bar and i'm blown away with the intensity. My quads and hamstrings are screaming this morning. I feel like a squat virgin and it hurts like the first time!



  • [quote name='Voltron']Holy crap what a workout yesterday!

    No offence dK, i'vee seen you mention tabata before but just the name has put me off, like its some sort of fad latest craze thing. But i had a look into it and decided i could apply it to something. Did a workout with squat thrusters, 30kg bar and i'm blown away with the intensity. My quads and hamstrings are screaming this morning. I feel like a squat virgin and it hurts like the first time![/QUOTE]

    None taken. Welcome to my world of pain



  • So i havent posted for a while, weight loss went well, down to about 89kg now so pretty pleased. Unfortunately my 2 week cardio phase stole the momentum from my weight training (plus i started a new job with longer hours so have less time) but i am still plugging away, have been doing mainly higher reps/faster pace with lower weights. Not pushing for PBs but might get back to that type of thing soonish.

    The main thing that i have changed is starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about 2 months ago. Absolutely loving it, get a great work out and it satisfies my desire for a bit of violence. The main reason im posting today is last night at class i saw a vaguely familiar face in the carpark (it was dark (i mean the carpark not the face)) and when i went inside i held the door open for him, and bugger me if it isnt Tana Umaga. Just came along for a roll apparently (he obviously has done BJJ elsewhere). I nearly wet myself. Didnt get to roll with him but if he keeps coming i will for sure. Look forward to photos of me choking his ass out (or not)!



  • Have been getting back into the weights with a bit of gusto in the last month or so, getting back toward my best from the top of this thread. Set a new world record* for deadlift today, 175kg for a single rep. Weight is down to around 88kgs so 175 represents a very small step to reaching one of my goals from the very first post in this thread, to deadlift 2 x bodyweight. Didnt think about it till later otherwise i would have loaded on an extra couple of kgs to make it official. Still pretty stoked though, will give 177.5 a crack next session.

    Also had grading for my first stripe at BJJ on wednesday. Made a couple of mistakes so im 50/50 as to whether i passed. Find out tomorrow. Pass or fail there is no feeling greater than choking someone out in open mat sparring so will keep plugging away.

    *World record for all lifts performed in my garage



  • Actually just weighed myself now, with no pants on i'm 87.2 (88.1 fully clothed) so that would mean i have lifted twice my weight. Although when i performed the lift, i was wearing the pants so not sure if that would count?



  • Christ, that's a big lift. See stars after that?



  • Awesome effort on the deads Voltron.

    I dont do enough heavy squatting to get anywhere near those numbers for the deads. My quads just can't take that weight....yet



  • Wicked bro!! nothing better than reaching a target lift! that is some serious tin to shift, esp at your weight. Did you use straps or is that just pure grip strength (super impressive either way). Reckon a nice round figure of 180kg is on the cards now - then 200kg will be in sight!

    I'm doing DL's tonight - don't think I'll have a crack at that kind of weight but its def got me gee'd up!!


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