Back to KBs

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JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Thu May 15, 2014 11:36 pm

On Tuesday I ended with the question, "If I can't do heavy (100#+) repetition barbell complexes, what will I replace them with?" I've spent the last two days trying alternatives.

Yesterday was a kettlebell complex, which I didn't completely love:

1) COMPLEX, 2x16kg: SW x10, CP (1 clean+1 press) x10, FSQ x10, sumo x10, bent row x10.
3 complexes
2) one-arm bench 24kg. x10 (Easy til the last two reps. Then suddenly hard.)
3) H2H-style overhead "press" throw back and forth. 24kg, 3+3; 16kg, 4+4, 6+6/2
TONNAGE: 7265kg

That complex was fine and not too challenging, but with these KB complexes, almost every movement involves the shoulders, and the complex ends from local shoulder fatigue. Occasionally that might be good, but not very often.

So today I tried a circuit, my (very liberal) variation on something in that RKC Kindle book of workouts called The 500.

SW 40kg x10
back squat 185+chains x8 fast
SW 40kg x10
one-arm bench 24kg x 5L, 5R
SW 40kg x10
chins bwt. x5 (hard by this point)
SW 40kg x10
front squat 24+32kg x8 fast (Thought I'd use that 185+chains, but couldn't budge it by this point.)
SW 40kg x10
press 2x16kg x10 fast

Two circuits of the above, minimal rest. TONNAGE: 8340kg

That wasn't easy at all, but it wasn't awful either, because the work was distributed enough. And I'm shocked by the tonnage that built up. It was hard to believe those lightweight grinds (which, granted, felt damned heavy under the fatigue) more than doubled the tonnage of the swings--my legs knew they'd been worked, and I like that. I'll go back to variations of that, maybe swinging 32kg x20 next time (the way the workout's author intended) and definitely keeping the front and back squats.

So the KB circuit looks like a keeper. And I can still get the crazy-long bodybuilding TUT of barbell complexes if I stay with higher reps and lighter loads. (I noticed that Javorek recommends his higher-rep complexes, #1 and #3, for hypertrophy; the heavier stuff is for cardiovascular conditioning.)

There's one I'm wondering about now: I can bang out four or five of these 8-9K workouts a week, but is it getting too predictable? Should I mix in some lower tonnage days and maybe even some higher ones? Am I unconsciously easing off on the intensity (meaning, the cardiovascular and fatigue challenge) so I can record a lot of tonnage? Hmm, on that last question, I'd say "No." Even though the last two workouts haven't been as brief as some I've done (like when I do just three or four complexes and call it a morning), I've kept rests short.

One last wrinkle: I got braces yesterday. Eating involves concentration and pain, at least for now, and I'm going to have to be careful not to start undereating. Based on experience, I think that could only continue so long before I suddenly freaked out and started sucking down milkshakes.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Mon May 19, 2014 4:59 pm

I've been resting for the last few days while I learn how to eat with these braces on. The only work I've done was some presses a couple of days ago:

C&P 130#,3; 140#, 3; 135#, 3

This morning I took a couple of KBs to the park. I had a new idea for a KB complex that would dilute the local shoulder fatigue by adding sets of swings between everything:

1) COMPLEX: 32kg, swings x10, thruster x10, swing x10, bent row (two hands) x10, swing x10, deadlift x10. Once L, once R, minimal rest.

2) snatch 24kg x 10+10, 8+8 with no rest between the four clusters
TONNAGE: 5350kg

But the swings didn't solve the shoulder fatigue, which came from the thrusters. Instead the shoulder fatigue just made my second and third sets of swings anemic and slow and low. However, I think I'll tinker with this complex instead of throwing it out, because (1) the fatigue and pump in my grip, arm, and shoulder were tremendous, and (2) it gave me 4500kg of work in four minutes max, with much less psychological awfulness than Tabatas. Maybe I'll start by breaking the thrusters up and do them 4-5 at a time. Also, add goblet squats, cleans, and more rows.

My Tanita scale is killing me. Because of the braces cutting my cheeks, I went off my simple, reliable eating routine, and although I thought I might have dropped weight, this morning the Tanita said I'm up two pounds and a percent of bf in the last three days. But I've got a healthy skepticism about short-term trends and Tanitas with no "athlete" setting. (It's even conceivable that three days of rest--more than I've had in months-- put some muscle on me and the Tanita is lumping it in the wrong category.)

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Thu May 22, 2014 4:12 am

A relatively easy session today (though it was more than I meant to do, and I worry that on this "easy week" with the new braces and house guests, maybe I'm committing the Dan John sin of having my easy days be too hard).

I meant to do Litvinovs in the park, front squatting the 40kg and the 24kg, but the 40 is so big it's very unwieldy to front squat it. So I changed to swings.

1) LITVINOV: SW 40kg x30 + 100m sprint
Plenty of rest between. I played frisbee with my dad and the dogs.
2) pushups bw KBs, x12 slow.
row 40kg x10
goblet squat 40kg x10

TONNAGE: 7900kg

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Tue May 27, 2014 12:37 am

I've had house guests all week, so the last couple of workouts have had to fit into strange hours (not the early am, which is one of the great tips I got from the John Douillard book). So they've been just "generic, park bench" workouts with no real conditioning component.

TWO DAYS AGO:

I wanted to mostly squat, and I started light and added weight every set, changing movement as bar weight grew.

1) OH squat 125 x5; 155 x5; 185 x3
2) FSQ 185 x3; 205 x3; 225 x3
3) Oly back SQ 255 x5; 285 x3; 295 x3
4) C&P 129 x2, x2, x3, x3 (Mixed these in with the squats. Form felt out of practice, after 8 days.)
5) PBN 109 x4 (Too tired after the presses and all the squats to do much of anything.)
6) bent row 109 x10
TONNAGE: 4250kg

No belt (haven't used one in months), but I did wear my Oly shoes. However, my knees hurt some in the front squat and back squat. That's completely unprecedented for me. I'd say the shoes are to blame. And they didn't help me keep my weight over the heels (the thing I need to work on), so I'll give them one more try and then stop wearing them if the pain recurs.


TODAY:

Legs sore, so this was mostly a pressing workout.

1) Clean & Press. 6-5-4-3-2-1 with 109, 119, 129, 135, 140, 145
2) chins. Bodyweight x3. Heavy chain x3, three sets. Heavy chain +10# x3, two sets. (Alternated these with the presses.)
3) COMBO: two swings + one snatch, 24kg, 7+7. Did these on a break among the presses and chins.
4) windmills 32kg, 5+5
5) wide-grip OH press 109# x5, three sets
6) carry 40kg ball (i.e. KB with broken handle)
TONNAGE: 5700kg

I enjoyed that carry. I canted it over one hand and then the either, almost like it was in the rack position, and that put a nice stress on either side of the body, especially the abs.

I should do some easy windmills or TGUs frequently. That position felt creaky today. (The sore inner thighs didn't help.)

My eating and hydration have been looser with the all the guests and the braces pain (which is greatly diminished now). However, body comp has hardly been affected. I'll count myself lucky and now get back into my routine.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Fri May 30, 2014 6:40 pm

I've had a busy few days of training.

TWO DAYS AGO
I'm doing my best to hit all of Dan John's fundamental movement patterns regularly, and where I lag most is loaded carries. Training in my garage lends itself well to everything but TGUs and loaded carries. So I cooked up a swing-carry routine:

Swing 40kg bell twenty times. Suitcase carry it to a station 30m away, where the 32kg bell is waiting. Swing that twenty times and then rack-carry it to the 24kg bell. Snatch or swing that twenty times and overhead-carry it to the 40kg bell. Rest 75-90s and repeat for three rounds total.

This was just right: challenging to the point that I tried to talk myself out of the third round, which Cosgrove says is the test for whether your complex is challenging you enough.

Next, I CAT pressed the 24kg bell for 3 sets of 8. Done. TONNAGE: 7300kg


YESTERDAY
I'm falling in love with the front squat (easy to go deep and stay tall), and I've liked doing Litvinovs, so I bought a 5-ft Oly bar that I can toss in the hatchback and drive to a park or a field. It will also help with loaded carries. I also made thick handles by buying a bar pad and cutting it in half (its only legitimate fate).

1) Litvi-sprint. 140#, CAT style. Moderate rest.
2) Clean & Press. 140# x1 (haaaaard today); 90# x 3 sets of 8, CAT.
alternated with
Thick Handle Bent Row. 140# x1; 90# x5, x4, x5

I tried to finish by farmer walking the 140# bar and the 90# KB, but I didn't bring collars and the plates slid off.

The CAT presses were fine as long as I didn't do the eccentric and the turn-around real fast. That made my shoulder sore, so I paused them on my chest.


TODAY
I didn't feel like doing much, but I'll have a day or two off, so I just set a goal of loosening up my hips (which I've neglected) and doing 120 snatches. So I started with the first two parts of the S&S warmup: prying goblet squats (aaaggghh, the rust!) and hip bridges. I have to begin doing that everyday again--my hips loved it when I did--and the two S&S stretches, which I've always punked out on. Also deserving of adding to the mix, the idea from the Polish weightlifters and Bram of doing shavasana at the end of each practice.

1) Snatch 24kg for a total of 120 (in 4 sets of 24 to 35)
2) Chins. Bodyweight x 24 total (8, 6, 6, 4)
3) Press behind neck. 85# x 2 sets of 8
alternated with
OH squats 85# x 2 sets of 8
TONNAGE: 9000kg

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Bobby
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by Bobby » Fri May 30, 2014 7:38 pm

Like the look of that swing-carry routine.
You`ll toughen up.Unless you have a serious medical condition commonly refered to as
"being a pussy".

JasonC
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:58 am

Bobby wrote:Like the look of that swing-carry routine.
Thanks, mon.

I took the weekend off and didn't feel like doing anything this morning, so I did straight S&S. It was the first time in a couple of months and went fine. I'm much stronger in 40kg swings than two months ago, and the rests were about 30s, which is ok. It was harder to ease back into TGUs, and I did 3 of 5 with 32kg. Followed Bram's practice and ended with shavasana. Great move. TONNAGE: 5600kg

It's going to be a busy three weeks at work, so maybe I'll go back to S&S during this period. Only thing is that I might see what happens if I alternate the TGU sets with the swing sets. Resting 30s between swing sets seems like wasted time.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:36 pm

I’ve been fretting about my fat loss being interrupted (disrupted schedule  less controlled eating), and it’s threatening to make me do crazy random shit, like suddenly wanting to start 50/20, even though I’m not looking to focus on hypertrophy now.

So the first step has been to order a newer Tanita with the “athlete mode” so that I have confidence in its bf readout and I can experiment with my eating in a more controlled way. The second step has been to return to a routinized daily diet.

Then today I returned to one of my favorites, swings alternated with barbell lifts. But today I did higher rep sets:

Swings 40kg, 10 sets alternated with barbell lifts…
… squat (CAT) 135# 10; 185# 10/2
… press (CAT) 115# 7; #105 7; 95# 8 (Still made R shoulder a little sore.)
… chins bwt. X6 (Twisted elbows too much)
… wide-grip rows 95# 10, 6, 7
TONNAGE: 8800kg

The CAT squats hit CV system hard, especially in high-rep sets of 10. I’ll use front squats sometimes, and those may tire the lower back less when paired with swings.

Concentrating above all on keeping weight on heels is becoming a success, and a pivotally beneficial one. It changes the way I stand and walk, with waaaay less tension.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:41 am

FRIDAY

Snatch 24kg. 40, 40, 40
Semi-sumo Deadlift. 295# + 2 white bands (like JumpStretch red bands). 9 singles in John McKean's "3x3" style (i.e. speed singles).
Bench, med. grip with a little chain, CAT. 3 sets of 10 (105#, 145#, 185#) and one easy triple with 225#.
ab hang
Thick-handle rows, 95#. One set of 10 and four sets of 5.
a little passive stretching
TONNAGE: 8000kg

SUNDAY
Litvinov hill sprints. Swung 24kg and braked hard with lats, 30, 20, 20.
TONNAGE: 6300kg

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Bram
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by Bram » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:22 pm

JasonC wrote:
I took the weekend off and didn't feel like doing anything this morning, so I did straight S&S. It was the first time in a couple of months and went fine. I'm much stronger in 40kg swings than two months ago, and the rests were about 30s, which is ok. It was harder to ease back into TGUs, and I did 3 of 5 with 32kg. Followed Bram's practice and ended with shavasana. Great move. TONNAGE: 5600kg
I think that was Bud's idea, but glad it worked!
"When times are good be grateful, when times are tough be graceful."

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