Shaf said...........I want y’all’s thoughts and opinions about my current plan for body recomposition (I've been on this routine about two weeks so far). I spent last year getting stronger with barbell lifts, made good gains, and put on a little more fat than I normally have. I don’t know what my bodyfat percentage is, but I’d guess in the 20-25% range. Not awful, but more than I want. My basic goal is to continue slow progression on the barbell lifts while also getting “in shape” for the summer. I want to be able to feel good about taking off my shirt, but I don’t want to be confused with a twink from CrossFit either. I was a fat fucking kid, and now I’m a strong chubby-ish man (25 years old), and achieving this stupid goal will be a big one for me.
OK, back to the task at hand.
Your original set up:
A. Chins, dips, PCs, DLs
B. Presses, rows, dips
C. Squat, dips, chins
D. Bench, dips, chins
I have no issues with this full body 4x rotation, but I do have issues with the volume. You need more, and you need to focus your efforts on the barbell lifts early in the workout. Experienced lifters, like Wendler, can get a workout in easily with lower volumes, but a relative beginner cannot.
These are my suggestions (alter weights as you need to, this is going from the last 4 workouts you posted)
Power cleans: Warm up (95x3, 115x3, 135x3) 155x5/5/5, 175x3/3/3 (5/5/5/3/3/3 rep scheme)
Deadlift (you should already be mostly ready to go) WU: 225x1, 245x1, 275x5, 295x5, 315x5 (I would say even to tape your thumbs up with athletic tape and work on the hook grip for both PCs and DLs...if you do this, it will hurt, I still haven't been able to master to hook grip after years of saying I would)
Chins and Dips: Superset in a ladder fashion, each exercise laddering separately: example, 1 chin/1 dip, 2 chins/2 dips, 3 chins/3 dips, 1 chin/4 dips, etc..You may want to add weight to this sequence eventually, but right now do it fast and build up your work capacity on these movements and fatigue tolerance.
WHY? PCs are going to do a lot for your upper back, this the emphasis on higher volume. In your workout, it looks like you are just fucking around with the deadlift, you need to get serious and push some linear progression on this.
Presses: WU (45x5, 95x5) 135x5/5/5, 155x3/3/3 - same as PC rep scheme. If you feel like it, do one finisher set of as many reps as you can with good form at 95#, but that shouldn't be done every time. Note how close your PC is to your press....
Rows: I'm going to want you do do a set of rows for each set of presses, i.e. 6 sets. I don't care what type of row you do, only that you keep the rep ranges between 6 and 15. You can experiment with supersetting rows and presses to save time.
Dips: 3 sets of max reps.
Squats: WU (95x5, 135x5, 185x5) I'm going to go completely different here. I want you to do sets of 10 for now. Preferably with 225. 3 sets of 10. If you have to do the last 3-4 reps in a breathing fashion then do it. Too many people go to lower reps squats too early because higher rep squats hurt, but for long term leg strength gains, you need to sweat, bleed, and cry at a higher rep range. Putting in the work for the squat here is going to pay off big dividends down the road. I would like to see you add 10# a week, if possible, until you are getting 275 for sets of 10. Don't puss out on me here, this is what it going to make or break you.
Dips-fuck the dips this time. You've already done them twice. If you've got extra energy, do some biceps work, regular db or hammer curls.
Chins: Great time for chins and bar hanging after squats. 3 to 5 sets of chins, max reps. After each set of chins, hang from the bar and do chin-shrugs (rotate shoulders down and back while hanging). You'll find this type of kelso shrug will beef up the middle back nicely when done regularly.
Bench: WU (135x5, 155x5, 175x5) 185x5/5/5, 205x3/3/3 - pause at the bottom for a brief second.
Dips and Chins: Repeat the ladder you did for workout A, but add reps where you can. Alternately, you could do the same thing with a row variant as I suggest with the press variant above.
Progression on the 5/5/5/3/3/3
-if you get all 3 sets of 5, then bump up the weight.
-if you get all 3 sets of 3, then bump up the weight
-small jumps of 5#s are ok for the press and bench. for the PC, you should be bumping up 10#s.
Progression on DLs
-work linear progression. If you get all three sets of 5, then bump up 10#s the next time.
Progression on Squats
-same deal...if you get all three sets of 10, then bump it up. You should reach the point where the last 3-4 reps are breathing reps, i.e. squat, stand up, take deep breaths until you can do the next rep, etc...I don't want the whole set to be a breathing squat set.
Progression on Ladders
-if you hit 5+ reps in ladder, it's time to add weight to those movements...10#s to start.
-do to fuck with deadlift, power clean, and squat selection. keep those right there.
-press: you can switch from barbell press, to push press, to dumbbell press, to kettlebell press on a 4-6 week basis. If your weights are progressing don't switch though.
-bench: you can switch from bench, to close grip, to incline, to 1-2 board presses, to dumbbell presses, again, don't switch if your weights are still moving up.
Sorry, I forgot cardio.
-going to be tough and intensive. I would do 10-20 minutes of easy steady state cardio afterwards or on the day after.
-after workout B (not the day after, but directly after) would be the time to fuck around with kb circuits for some higher intensity type interval stuff. Don't over do it here.
-after this workout or the day after would be good time for some sort of outdoor trail walk or hike because looking at what you've done before, your legs are going to be sore as hell the first few times you do this.
-kb/bw stuff, like above, don't get too stupid.
Also, one more point.
Perseverance counts a lot here. There is enough variety built into this that it should work for a long time. To get strong requires dedicated work. It doesn't happen by accident, no matter how much people want to believe it will. In fact, think about your long term goals and when you'd like to hit them. Now add twice as much time and you probably are closer to your mark.
It's OK, this is a journey, and you will learn a lot along the way.
When it stops working, comeback and we can adjust things to get it going again. Some other rep options would be a 5/5/3/3/1/1 or a 3/3/3/1/1/1, or even a straight 5/5/5/5/5, or a 6/6/6/6 or a 3/3/3/3/3/3 etc....the point is you need more work than what the 5/3/1 is giving you.
We can undulate the volumes and intensities easily here as well.
OK, overall it would look like
Day 1: Workout A, Cardio A
Day 2: Off or Cardio A
Day 3: Workout B, Cardio B.
Day 4: Rest (you could go for a walk or bike, something enjoyable and easy)
Day 5: Workout C, Cardio C
Day 6: Rest or Cardio C
Day 7: Workout D, Cardio D
Day 8: Rest or Cardio D.
I would try to have Day 6 be rest or long easy walk day and Day 8 be rest or long easy walk day to maximize recovery.
If you are just lifting MWF or something like that then you simply carry over.
That makes recovery less an issue, and opens up more days for cardio stuff.
Squat, Bench, PC 3 X a week, 5 x 5 (Bill Starr) or something similarly simple. Compound movements, KISS.
Cardio 4X a week: Kettlebell ( or dumbell ) swings +walk on treadmill at 8-10% grade for 1/4 mile after each set of swings. 5 sets x 30-50 swings to get the heart rate up, 1-1/4 mile walking to get it back down.
Eat less fat. Dietary Fat is almost all stored as fat in fat people instantly.Limit your fats to whatever seafood you eat (not drawn butter either) and fish oil caps. No cheese, no mayo, no butter, no 1/2 & 1/2 in the coffee...keep it under 15 grams a day for 90 days. Protein: 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. Carbs 1 grams per pound of bodyweight. 960 calories protein, 960 calories carbs, 135 calories fat. Eat lots of greens, salad and veggies.
Experiment with fat free dressings and substitutes...
Most really overweight guys are either carb sensitive (elevated blood sugar and insulin) fat sensitive (with elevated estrogen levels from elevated aromatase due to high body fat %) or both.
Eat a Pig out meal once a week. Mandatory. But only one meal per week. Whatever you want.
Once you hit below 15% bodyfat, momentum will build quickly.
This isn't a life long eating plan...it's emergency intervention...but something similar is likely going to be the lifelong solution for you.
Diet is key. I've been fat and I've been thin...currently 187 @ 11% BF and I'm 51 y/o. Not ab god ripped but I never have been (even at 150Lbs and cycling 300+ miles a week) something like the above works...fat and carb can be tweaked...but better to err on the side of too little of each at the beginning...in my experience.
Shaf's answerr to the HH..............
M.E Black Box
After practicing and coaching the CrossFit methodology for over two years I am increasingly convinced that the most successful athletes are those who come to the dance with the greatest strength and power.
He has consulted Joe Kenn's "The caoch's Strength Training Playbook". I'm pretty sure this is where the rep schemes come from.
ME = maximal effort
Black Box refers to not needing to understand "why" it works.
Two rep ranges:
Week 1: 5-5-5-3-3-3 (also called Intro reps)
Week 2: 3-3-3-1-1-1 or 8x2 or 10x1 (advanced reps)
T = Total body (OL variations)
L = Lower body (squats, front squats)
U = Upper body (presses, weighted chins) Rutherford feels BP and Inc BP are the LEAST productive movements
For this example:
T = Power cleans, hang cleans (PC + HC)
L = Back squats, front squats (BS + FS)
U = standing press (SP), weighted pull ups (SP + WPU)
Putting it together:
1: XF - WOD or something similar...see notes below
2: ME T - intro reps (PC)
6: ME L Intro reps (BS)
10: ME U intro reps (SP)
14 ME T (adv. reps) PC
18: ME L (adv reps) BS
22: ME U (adv reps) SP
For Day 25, you'd start this over using the Hang Cleans (HC) as the next ME work and then follow the same kind of pattern.
NOTE: "monostructural" metabolic efforts (i.e running , rowing, cycling, swimming" xf sessions should be put on days AFTER the ME stuff. Rutherford also recommends the ME sessions be preceded by a XF WOD with some gymnastics elements
Rutherford said this template was used during a high school basketball season with great effect.
Make up 3-4 full body workouts. Each workout will have 1 exercise that you really focus and work on, the rest in the workout will be considered assistance or secondary exercises. It's important to work hardest on your focus lift.
For me, I'd consider:
Front squat (F)
Bench press (F)
SSB squat (F)
Snatch grip deads (F)
What matters is that you work hard on the one lift marked (F)....the rep scheme doesn't really matter that much, you just need to focus on it, then you fill in with the rest...Pavel's old recommendations of 3-5 sets for 3-5 reps each isn't a bad place to start.
Insert ab work, arm work, cardio where it fits and makes to most sense....for example, days before hard training sessions (in the above list, workouts 3 and 4 should be the hardest) you don't schedule hard interval style training.
You could do it lots of different ways, just off the top of my head:
1. Focus lift could be 15-30 minutes of EDT style work (Charles Staley's plan, or even Bryce Lane's 50 reps in 20 minutes thing)
2. Higher sets, lower reps (thing Waterbury's 8x3)
3. Poliquin's 10x10
6. 20 breathing reps (in the appropriate exercise)
1. Work up a a 1 RM, 2 RM, or 3 RM maximal lift that day
2. 4-6 sets of doubles or triples at a set % of your 1RM (80-90%)
3 5 singles of the same weight (90-95%1RM)
By this you might do any of the above Volume schemes, then take a heavy single afterwards, OR you could do an intensity scheme, but then do 1-2 down sets of 5-12 reps (depending on your preference)
One really quick and dirty guideline that's true most of the time.
Want to get bigger? Work the fatigue aspect of training, i.e. shorter, incomplete rest periods
Want to get stronger? Do all your sets after complete rest (4-5 minutes)
And finally, alternate the volume and intensity every 3-4 weeks. One you get cooking, then taking an easy week in between every block would work well.
The first 13 weeks might look like this:
Intensity Weeks 1-3
Volume Weeks 4-6
Deload or Rest Week (could be something like only do work under 80% or cut volume dramatically, or hike or vacation or just don't do anything)
Intensity Weeks 8-10
Volume Weeks 11-13