Cycle 7-Jim wendler’s 531 boring but big week 7

Well finished off week seven today. A today or two behind due to sickness. So far so good but as Dan John says “every program works for 6 weeks”.

Lifts are progress well especially squats, which I’m getting pr’s every couple of weeks. All lifts besides press are well above the 5 reps for the last set so it’s looking good. With press my guess is the high starting point relative to the other lifts will make harder to progress. I also changed my board a little to better track progress

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Cycle 7-Jim wendler’s 531

Well another week down and already in theory up my max squat from 77 to 83. All up not bad going though it still takes a few days to recover from squat day.

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Definitely passing the Min reps on the last set so hopefully will see some progress on the other exercises in a month or two.

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Cycle 7 – Jim wendler 531 week one

Well one week down and it’s has been fun. I’m not doing conditioning work at the moment just the boring but big program :-). Which has an unusual effect of actually looking forward too each training. Apart from squat day the whole week has gone well with me feeling really pumped by the end on the 5 sets of 10 of each exercise each workout. This is one thing you don’t get as much when you do bodyweight work. Here is the white board for the month with the max rep in brackets each workout.

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Another thing you’ll notice that my bench max is the same as my squat max (yes my wife thinks I have pencil legs and now I know it’s true). I have told say squat work has really been missing with the bodyweight workouts I have been doing and this has resulted in an in balance in my lifting. But if I can manage some linear improvement with 531 in nine months time my max will be a respectable 122. But for the moment I’m happy being a weakling 🙂

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Catch up post

Well I haven’t posted for a few months, but finally have a few minutes to post. Over the last few months I have completed the Sandbag training program, Dan John 10000 swing challenge, and have just had my squat catch delivered for starting Jim wendler’s 531 boring but big program for the next 6 months of training.

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Cycle 5 sand bag training week 2

So far so good really enjoying the change of doing strength and conditioning training on separate days. I’m still playing around with the weight of sand I need and thinking about buying a bigger bag. The strength sessions are 5 sets of 5 of two to three exercises which gives me a nice pumped feel but actually doesn’t tire me lot to much.

I’m using all my sand (40kg) for deadlifts and squats. Which for deadlifts is a little light but for squats seems to be ok. The problem I’m having is finding a heavier bag. Currently I can only find one in the United States which costs 150 usd and will take over 120 pounds of weight (around 55kg). For the conditioning work though the Sandbag is great, I just load the bag with 22 or 25kg and go for it. Though this morning I had to drop the weight down to 17kg as I couldn’t manage the sets of 20 overhead presses with 25 kg. Also loving the fact I’m back doing pull ups, I such at them so need to do more.

I have noticed my core gets a major workout doing this type of training and my hands feel tired after each workout something I didn’t get with the bodyweight exercises.

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Cycle 5 sand bag training

So I’m still going, I started sand bag training a week ago following the basic program from Matthew palfrey’s book on Sandbag fitness. I have to say after doing maximum capacity training this program is a good change. It has 4 days a week of training, 2 days for strength work followed by 2 days for conditioning. I’m also going to try fit in the odd boot camp training with the guys from work so I get some community based training.

The reason for choosing Sandbag training are quite simple. My stuff is still in transit and I want to start doing weights based training. So I spent $60 nzd (around 30 euro or usd) on a bag and $15 nzd on sand (40kgs). It’s far cheaper than weights and easily portable, I even took my bag to boot camp and one of the other guys went out and brought his own that day.

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Cycle 4 Maximum capacity training program review

Well I have finished 12 weeks of mct, and are left wondering how to accurately reflect how the program went. So to do this ill start with what I liked, then go through what I didn’t and finally what happened to me over the program.

What worked

The major benefit of this program is the time for each workout being so small. Most workouts are 16 minutes long. Despite the short workouts the intensity means you should make some real fitness improvements if you have a medium or low-level of fitness. It works by increasing the difficulty of exercise every 3 weeks and the intensity of the training every week.

The diet is straight forward and works. I lost 3 km’s in the first 6 weeks. Samy peyret really outlines a simple calorie counting based diet that works. It also matches the amount of training you are doing so is a major benefit of the program

What I didn’t like

The training, oh my god was it hard and oh my god was it boring. There was only 3 routines throughout the program that just had different exercises. I found it impossible to get excited about the program at all, I was like working out by punch card. I turned up did the training and then left, not feeling any better or more energised by it. Strangely enough though my metabolic conditioning improved, but i never want to do it again.

It doesn’t include any pull based exercises. This and the increase in weight in my last 5 weeks (see conclusion) has led to my max pull-up dropping to 4 from 12. This is painful to admit because it is really something that I was worried about and did realise in the early week to add in. The lack of motivation meant i didn’t bother doing anything extra after the trainings, and that has led to an imbalance in strength. It includes handstand push ups, which require more training. Ok I have done convict conditioning and other body weight programs and I can do a few HeSPU, but if you haven’t then I don’t think you should be doing them and especially not as a tabata set. It’s just to advance and to much of a strength exercise for me to have as a conditioning workout.

What Really happened to me.

So the facts are sad, I moved back to NZ and we have been living with my parents till we move into our own place, and its christmas 😦 . I actually feel bad giving the program a review as I think it works, I hate it but it does work. Over the first 6 weeks I lost 3 kg over the last 6 weeks I gained 6 kgs, so i’m 3 kgs heavier (Mama’s cooking eh). Now my fitness level is close to the same but my result for pull-ups was bad, this I do think is a short point of the program. I personally wont even look at this program again its just not fun and i don’t ever want to repeat it. It is good if you have little time and space but that’s it. I have to recommend if you are looking for a long term program you find another one, any other one. If you don’t mind the boredom and like high intensity work outs then this is the program for you, but not me 🙂

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Cycle 4 Max capacity training end of week 5

Well i’ve now finished week 5. the last 2 weeks have been interesting, I have moved to other side of the world (New Zealand) and gotten the flu for the first time since I started training and this blog ( 2 years). Now MCT is actually great if you are travelling, by far it has been the simpliest program to do when you dont know where you will be. I have trained inside and out in 3 different houses and had no problems.I must admit though I didn’t train through my sicknes so I’m 3 days behind but will catch up by training every second day for the next few weeks.

Weeks 4-6 follow a new set of exercises that are a step up from weeks 1-3. Which you can really feel when you are training, which is good as it really keeps your conditioning  up. These weeks also introduced a new exercise for me, the Indian lift. Which is basically lifting yourself off the ground or off a chair by your arms only and holding it. Man it had my chest burning by the 2nd or third set , which I really wasn’t expecting.

Results wise its also looking good. I’m down to 81 now which is my lowest weight in 10-12 years. and 1.5-2 kgs in 5 weeks.

 

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Cycle 4 – Max capacity training end of week three

Well this week was the time attack protocol, which for me was the first fun week. The time attack protocol takes your first set total from 50 10 protocol (a) and adds it to your minimum rep total from tabata Protocol (b) times by 3. So (a + b)  x 3 =goal reps for time attack. The book states you should aim for under 16 minutes. This is the first work out that I found were fun as you have a goal to reach and beat.  My workouts times for week three were 16:05, 14:51 and 14:24.

So not bad times but I must admit only doing 45 minutes of exercise a week doesn’t make me feel like I’m training at all. This week I finished my 3 weeks of gtg pull ups so will take a week or two off and test then start again. The lack of exercise during the week also inspired Me to do a run with my father in law, we ran 7 km’s in 38:17 mins. That an average of 5:28 per km which is not bad considering I have only done 45mins working out each week over the last 3 weeks.

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Cycle 4 – Max capacity training end of week two

Another week down, this week was the same exercises but done as a tabata protocol. Now technically this means you do actually less exercise in you 16 minutes than the 50 10 protocol but my god it’s harder. I think the main reason is 50 seconds means you pace your self more. With the tabata 20 seconds on 10 off you can just go hard the for the whole work period. Also there is a lot less chance of failure kicking in.

There is also one thing I have noticed, mct is not fun. I don’t actually look forward to any of the workouts. I know what they are and that they are just going to hurt, I’m actually dreading each one. The joy of conditioning work eh 🙂

I’m also struggling with the calorie intake this week again. I have finished work (I.T. desk job)  and are packing our apartment before we move back to Auckland. I’m supposed to add one times my bodyweight into pounds to my calories per day for every 2 hours of extra workouts in the week. Now I’m doing 8 hours of low level lifting and I’m lost as to what this should count as. I have decided to allow an additional 350 calories per day for this. So I aimed for between 2050 and 2400 a day,  which I’m hitting most days.

The grease the groove pull ups is still going good, I did above 20 reps for the first 4 days this week and did 30 today and will aim for 30 tomorrow then rest Sunday. I have been doing a four sets of 5 but today I have done sets of 2 throughout the day which I think actually leaves me less fatigued with a higher reps count.

Again its too soon to see progress but I’m down a kg on the scales now (from the start) and half a percentage point of fat. This could all be water but at least it’s heading I think it’s heading in the right direction.

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