Come So Far, Not Stopping

Jesus that’s terrible. Every day is precious in life, i’ve realised that more and more over these last couple of years.

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Spot on. It’s so easy to get caught up with so much random crap we forget how fragile all this stuff really is.

At 11pm last night the missus and I decided to get up early and drive ~60miles to a popular beach with the dogs before it gets busy. Getting up at just before 4am to get there for 5am-ish. Here I am worrying that it means I’m not getting great sleep for recovery after my hard gym sesh yesterday. Absolutely ridiculous when I think about that poor lad.

Live life. I’m not a pro bodybuilder or anything of the sort, nor did I ever have any aspirations to be. I’ll remember this morning, I won’t remember the little bit of recovery I may or may not have missed out on.

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Bench felt well off today. Even with the bar it just didn’t feel right, I went conservative with the top set and it still felt like someone had turned gravity up. I’ve got into the habit of bouncing the bar up and bending my back a bit when the reps get tough so I can bash more out, don’t know what’s started this but I need to sort it out!

Everything else steadily climbing though. Meh.

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Still figuring out how to program squats twice a week without going under 10-12 reps. 3x12 twice a week feels like too much already. Today I just did 1x12 with a weight I did 3x10 of last time out with the aim to do 3x12 next time. Not a plan as such, just playing it out by feel as long as the weight/reps keep going up.

Most programs just have a lighter variation (front squat/leg press) on the second day but I feel I have a lot to profit from regular squat frequency continuing to nail form.

Got like +6 across 3 sets of lat pulldowns today which is nice.

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What about not going heavier but doing speed/power box squats or something like that. So not too heavy, still squatting just faster or a pause with a power focus on the way up?

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Thanks. Yeah, especially on the pauses - it could do me some good feeling it all out at the bottom. I’ve always had a bit of wave of “I’m not at that level to need to worry about those alternates” but my situation is quite nuanced/complex at the moment so maybe my stubborness needs to drop.

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I only weigh myself intermittently as I’m fairly confident I know where I’m at with my calorie needs. Just weighed myself around 9-10 weeks into a bulk and up around 3.5lbs - of course this won’t be 100% accurate as I don’t weigh myself enough to see detailed trends, but I would guess I’m gaining around 0.3-0.4lb/week which I’m chuffed with. Keep this up and I’ve got a long bulk ahead of me. :slight_smile:

+1 on every set of the main compound today. Added weight everywhere else.

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Heartburn been a real bastard this last week. I think it always is when the heat goes up a bit. Waking up feeling like the entireity of my insides have been bathing in acid - from my bowels all the way up to my nose.

I do eat a lot of crisps/chips at the moment. I find they are fantastic for me pre-workout. I’m not sure of any substitutes that are as cheap, accessible, and easy to just grab and eat. I was having oats for a while but they never sit right with me whereas salted chips do - even though they are more “unhealthy”.

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Gross
Do you train first thing or later on? I agree that oats being a complex carb and longer to digest are a no go pre workout unless it’s a couple of hours before. I’ve been exclusively going 1.5 scoops of whey and two rice cakes topped with raw honey and banana which for me has been on the money for the past few months.

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I eat ~250cals as soon as I wake up and train an hour after.

A glass of lactose-free milk and ~100-150cals of carbs suits me best. Need to try rice cakes again - great suggestion! I don’t even care if I have them with nothing on. After so many elimatination diets in the past I’m used to eating for function and not taste. :melting_face:

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Another tough lower out of the way.

3x12 on Squats

Put 142.5kg on for RDLs, got a solid 7. Planned to do a second 7 and then a back-off set of 12 like I’ve been doing the past few weeks. I don’t understand why days like this occassionally happen but the grip was slipping on the 5th rep of the second set despite obvious straps so I bailed despite having the other 2 reps there for the taking.

Because of that I didn’t want to do the back off set and opted for another heavy set of 5 - which WAS close to failure. So 7, 5, 5 when I wanted 7, 7 + back-off set.

Still take that as progress, but it’s so frustrating. I can go months not having my grip slip but get the occassional day where it’s as if my straps decide to hate me. Last time it was on a hot day like today too. I’m wondering if it’s just the atmosphere and my hands are too clammy or something.

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Rice cakes are a great option as @aholding88 mentioned. And what do you think about pre-baking potatoes and trading the chips out for baked one of those with a little olive oil and salt; or roast some potatoes for a quick grab option? These aren’t chips but definitely a healthier option.

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@QuadQueen, I like them suggestions. I plan to do all of it! (along with the rice cakes).

Decent session in the gym today. My bench on paper hasn’t gone up in a few weeks but my form is much better now. I had old numbers in my head too much in my head and was forcing so many reps with an exaggerated butt off the bench and trying to bounce reps I shouldn’t be going for. This week I’m where I was 3 weeks ago but much cleaner and legit.

Been loving the gym recently. I much prefer just hitting a few movements HARD. I’m a bit all over the place with cardio though. I try to do it after my upper sessions if I got time. I was doing 10mins on a skillbike in gear 6 just trying to get the distance I travel in that time up - which has been going well. I have felt that it’s too much on the legs when I’m fatiguing rather than my cardiovascular sytem though. Today I went down to gear 5 but for twice as long. It wasn’t as exhaustive but I didn’t have to keep slowing down due to leg fatigue.

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I was looking for advice on a second squat day when trying to stick to high reps. @RT_Nomad suggested to me about doing my normal 3x12 and then 2x20 on the lighter day. I’m currently in the process of phasing it in but pairing it with something I’ve recently had success with.

Today I did 1x12 of a weight 5lbs higher than what I got my last 3x12 with, and plan to hit that for 3 sets across on Friday. Then I did just the one set of 20 after around 5 mins rest. I started extremely light, just 135lbs and it’s absolutely pathetic how gassed I was feeling so quickly. I hit the 20 reps and had a lot of reps left in me but did not plan to go over that threshold. I think my plan going forward is to add 5lbs to the 20 rep set for as long as I can and if I ever don’t get the 20 reps out, stick with that weight until I do.

Whilst it’s working I feel like I’d be foolish to get rid of 1x12 of what I plan to hit for volume next session, and hoping the 20 rep set doesn’t interfere with recovery. I don’t think it will.

Texas Method used to do a heavy 1x5 that would then become the volume workout the following session so it’s kind of taken from that. Of course there wasn’t a 20 rep set on the end of that though! I handled 3x5 and 3x8 squats on different sessions as welll as the same rep ranges for deadlifts on different sessions a few years back so I can’t imagine a sole 20 rep set will kill anything - especially when the weight is so pitiful.

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62.5kg x 5
56kg x 8
50kg x 10

…on the seated OHP today. I’m probably close to a body weight seated OHP 1RM which is pretty cool considering how many backwards steps I took the past 12-18months. I have no interest in ever testing that stuff anymore though.

Progress on most exercises has now slowed to a +1-4 across 3 sets now. I really need to start tracking again. Somehow I’m still remembering everything though.

An old dude came up to me and said “I just realized how much bigger more muscle-y you’re getting”. That’s nice.

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@QuadQueen , just wondering. Is there a minimum water amount you recommend daily for an average client? I seem to drink less than a lot of my peers but there’s such mixed information out there. Some experienced coaches will say to aim for a gallon, others say just drink when you’re thirsty. I understand that a lot of the studies that people churn out stuff from now are quite outdated.

I tell folks to shoot for 1/2 of their body weight in ounces daily. That’s a good jumping off point. Increase it if you’re thirsty, it’s humid or you’ve sweat a lot. You want your pee to be the color of weak lemonade - not clear and not beer/apple juice color.

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20 rep squats are hideous but extremely effective. You could always use an SSB for those sets?

I wouldn’t want to disagree with anything @RT_Nomad has said but from a different perspective you could look at a lighter session as a form workout. Few sets of 5 focusing on form and bar speed perhaps?

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I’d have played around with the SSB years ago if my gym had one. :frowning:

I’ve just finished reading Mass Made Simple by Dan John because I know it incorporates high rep squatting. It’s a pretty cool idea to aim for 50 reps in as little sets as possible. I also like lighter sets of 5 and when my squat was it’s best, it’s what I was doing a lot of. Even as you get further in something like Starting Strength, those midweek lighter sets of 5s are priceless.

I wonder if i’ll just keep the 3x10-12 on one day and make the second session a hybrid mess of 1 set to push intensity to create a new PR that will carry into the volume session, and then a back-off set (or sets) to focus on form depending on what I feel like. A few light sets of 5 focusing on speed or 1 set of 20 that I feel really safe in the hole with - not really pushing to close to failure with but still trying to increase the weight when I can - maybe microload 1kg each week until it’s unsustainable. Auto-regulating whether I do light 5s or a 20 rep set could be nice.

I see a lot of high rep squat programs have quite low volume in terms of sets. I hope my plan doesn’t go against this too much. I think maybe I’m not currently pushing those 20 rep sets to the point of 1 more rep, almost dies, 1 more rep almost dies etc. Just keep going until the rep speed slows qutie a bit and then stop.

Maybe my plan is dumb. Maybe my 20 rep set is so light so it doesn’t matter that volume is as it is. I mean 5 hard sets a week isn’t crazy - I’m just observing high rep squat programs that keep it to a minimum and understanding that there is an obvious reason for that.

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IMO, without AAS, the second hard leg day makes cortisol a major concern. But a “light” leg day could be progressive. Just add a little weight each week to the 20 rep squats. After a few weeks you should be getting conditioned well enough that the next rep is getting difficult from the weight more than your condition.

With good conditioning you could gauge your max weight when you need to stop for more than two breaths to do the 20th rep. I do believe the light leg day should be challenging, just not exhausting. The heavy leg day should be crippling, so much so that you are best served to take the next day off.

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