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All-Purpose Health and Fitness Thread


Super Ape
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It's nice to see this much activity in this thread. Today was my first workout in almost two weeks. In the mean time, I have totally Jerichoed myself, as the abs are f'n gone! Did the usual Monday workout on a Tuesday, getting a pretty damn good pump in the chest and triceps. Biceps and lats, not so much. Made a bunch of plans as to how I should proceed from here, hoping to keep the walking and jogging in the regime until the weather makes it too harsh.

Once all the fluff from the excess eating and drinking has subsided, I should try and go heavy on everything I can. We should try and ask for more 25kg plates for the gym so the trapbar could get past 451 lbs. Late autumn early winter should also be when I hope to get my bench up to 300 lbs. I try not to rush things with that, though.

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Deadlifts nearly murdered me to death today.  Did my first set - currently at 165 and 3 x 6-8 reps - and I wanted to pass out a few seconds later.  Had to take a lot longer break in between to get my shit together into my shit backpack and take it to shit school or the shit museum, but I got it together.  Skipped my accessory ab work completely, as I'm feeling a little twingy in my left oblique anyway, and besides, the squats and deads should be sufficient to see some strength gains there. 

I don't know why I needed to watch a video to remind me of it, but I started drop-setting my pull-ups today, and that was a lot more intense engagement higher in my back - really felt everything connecting up to my shoulders doing their fair share of the pulling.  I've been assisted with about 60-66 lbs, did whatever I could - like 10/6/5 across 3 sets, bumped the assist to 84, then right back at it for a few more reps, basically until I felt my chest caving instead of staying broad.  Also narrowed my grip just slightly and they felt better with respect to getting my elbows behind my body. 

The reverse lunges were really just the thing to super-set in with my squats, too, as I can just do them in the effective range of motion to keep a fuckload of tension on my glutes and my quads, until both are screaming at me to stop. 

My real problem is that my joints are not in love with me right now.  My hips are just going to have to get stronger, or I'm going to have to find a good way to stretch them more, but I think they will come around.  My elbows, on the other hand, feel sometimes like they're going to pull a Scanners Head and burst all over everyone nearby.  It's likely due to going as heavy as I am with the DB Inclines; I'm just not used to yanking 50 lbs. per hand that way.  Maybe I should cut it back to 35 and just go way higher on volume.

Also, if you're looking for even more participation, we should get the title changed to The Really Swole News Thread, just to trick a few people.

Edited by Contentious C
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Down six pounds on the week despite pigging out on the Burger King on Tuesday (another famous moment of weakness), but I'm back on the diet today after i cook me some chicken here in a sec - one of my cats is loving my dietary choices.

Exercising roughly an hour a day, wiggling my legs really slowly on my stationary bike, basically just wiggling my legs at 50 rpm or so when I should be going 85. You figure I'd be taking biking more seriously because I'm getting better in shape to actually go biking, but alas, I can't seem to get any quickness going at all. I do seem to be getting a little faster each time, so maybe it's just slow progress.

I would really like to go to a gym and use an elliptical, but I think my car is about to freaking break and I'd have no way of getting over there. Such is life.

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I actually used the Really Swole News joke about this thread, when I reported my first vaccination on the other thread. It didn't lead to a rush of new posters, but hey, this level of activity is already a big improvement!

Also, I've had two more workouts since Tuesday and today's bench went suprisingly well, against all expectations. I got 4, 3 and with 275, 4 with 264, 7 with 242 and an ugly 10 with 220.

I'm unsure if I'll do Trapbar tomorrow, but even if I won't, this week was a pretty good return to the grind.

Edited by Shartnado
Swole update
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My new great challenge is going to be eating to gain; I realized after about a week of steamed chicken that I basically wanted to die, so I had to change it up if I was going to keep eating 1 lb.+ every day.  But I found a really good spice mix off Washington Post and then inhaled 3 street tacos' worth of chicken. I don't think I'll be upset eating that every day for months. My fat content might creep up, but I can quit eating garbage like the protein bars that are really fat bars to balance back to 45/35/20.

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Holy crap! I did indeed do the trapbar today and it too went better than expected. I did 7x220, 8x352 without straps, then 5x430 and 6, 5, 5 and 5x451. A bunch of shrugs afterwards, but next to nothing done between the sets, so yeah my cardio isn't quite where it was a month ago! Nonetheless, compared to last year, when I first started updating my workouts here I was happy with lifting about half of those reps. So that is progress.

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Man.  I basically executed my shoulders today.  It's feeling pretty great.

I have always left OHPs for last with my current set-up, and I don't see any reason to change that after today; it'll stay there for the upper day and the push day.  But I did a bit of a tangent off of one of Ryan Humiston's giant sets and came up with the following:

  1. DB OHP, 30 lb, 7-12 reps (usually 1-2 RIR at most)
  2. Partial lateral raises, same weight, failure
  3. Fuller ROM lateral raises, 12 lb, failure (pretty much until they're terrible partials themselves)
  4. Front plate raise, 25 lb, failure

4 sets of that total, no stopping within the set except to change weight.  This meant my traps jumped in a lot more, but it was so difficult even my traps got fatigued and thus so did my shoulders.  I can't recall the last time they felt this stiff due to getting more blood into them; other muscles get a pump pretty easy, but not my shoulders, so this is definitely a step in the right direction.   It's possible I'll see how Bus Drivers feel rather than the plate raise, but it's not broke right now, so I'm going to stick to this.  Gotta go eat all the things...

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Today I did speed work on bench using a pussy pad as a pseudo-bench block, probably around 1.5 inches, and then some hypertrophy work. The speed work was at a conservative 65kg because I wanted to make sure I did have speed - but it might have been a bit too light. It's okay, first part of the wave and we'll see what 70kg feels like next time. A set of 12 at 75kg wasn't super easy though, and I realised my anterior deltoid was having to do a lot of work. I did further sets of 12 at 77.5kg and 80kg and managed 11 at 82.5kg (probably could have made the rep but it would have been grindy) - but I was forced to get supertight in order to get a good arch to decline the bench away from my shoulders and back towards the pecs. And I of course realise that's how I should be benching. You'd think using a (pseudo) bench block would reduce ROM and thus allow more weight but it isn't as simple as that as you don't get that push out of the bottom from the pecs - obviously the floor press has a similar effect.

I have actually been using the lat pulldown recently on upper day - this is because I'm pendlay rowing on lower days now after speed pulls so a vertical pull that is reasonably focused on lats makes sense in that context. I supersetted that with some seated cable flies (we have a machine that is ostensibly a chest press but with no guidance on motion) because the bench block did take some focus away from the chest. After that 2 sets of incline db curls and laterals for sets of 16 (10kg, I'm cheating a bit on the laterals tbh), along with some tricep pushdowns and then 2 sets of some actually quite heavy facepulls because I had done a lot of front delt.

Basically that's how I murder my delts - it's a somewhat different approach. It's important to balance out the front delt work with rear delt work for sure - I disagree with Cavaliere on much but he's right about that. I'm not sure I'll ever do front raises, but I was not aware of bus drivers, & I might consider them actually.

Tomorrow will be 3 of 3 on the 12 inch box for SSB speed squats, semi sumo speed pulls, pendlay rows and if I can face it some RDLs. I will probably try a max on a wide/normal grip Incline Bench later on in the week.

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A couple of workouts in so far this week. Monday was fine, as I did the usual pull-up (chin-up)-dip-reverse shrug combo with 66 lb extra weight. Ok, so for the pull-ups that is too much, as only the first set goes ok, and the other two are shit. But for dips and reverse shrugs it is fine. Dropped the weight to 44lbs , 22lbs and then just bodyweight and did one round of sets with each. Resistance band work for chest and lats as well as lateral raises and push downs for the finish.

Tuesday was a slightly heavier (but still reasonably light) leg day on the squat/ calf machine with more delt work, shrugs and curls in between the leg sets to get a more comprehensive workout in, since today I don't have the time to go.

I hope I'll get the bench and trapbar in later in the week. If that happens, I'll edit the updates in, as usual.

OK, so I at least got the bench in today. Pyramiding quickly upwards with 5x154, 5x231, 3x253, 1x270, then 3x281, 4,3 and 3x264, 5x253, 5x242, 6x231, 7,6 and 5x220 and finally 23x132. Only very light side delt stuff and light curls and warm-up with a light resistance band (which ended up snapping in half) between sets this time.

Edited by Shartnado
bench in
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Today's Foolish Lifting is brought to you by the ego-lifting dipshit doing the Gym Bro Macarena just so he can tell his insecure self that he EZ Curls 100+ pounds.  Do high-rep partials with lighter weight and feel an actual burn in your biceps, choad!

Up till this morning, I've been doing 5 of Arnold's Golden 6 as my workout, skipping only the Barbell Rows.  Guess what I added today?

Now I feel like someone caved in my short ribs with a baseball bat.  It's a good feeling; it tells me that I'm weak as shit in my mid-back and lower lats, and adding the rows was a really good idea.  My grip pretty much gave up the ghost, though (especially since I followed deads with the rows), so I'm going to have to invest in some Versi-Grips.

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2 hours ago, Contentious C said:

Today's Foolish Lifting is brought to you by the ego-lifting dipshit doing the Gym Bro Macarena just so he can tell his insecure self that he EZ Curls 100+ pounds.  Do high-rep partials with lighter weight and feel an actual burn in your biceps, choad!

I'm pretty sure the squat rack is where I see the most ego lifting in my gym.  There is a abnormal amount of people putting 350+ on bars and going about a quarter of the way to parallel at my gym.  

On the other side, I think the most incredible feat of strength I've seen at my gym is a guy doing a v-hold while doing single arm overhead presses with a 60lb. dumbell.  I don't know if you guys have ever done single arm overhead presses, but it is one of those movements you don't realize is much harder when isolated to one side.  Your delts can easily press the weight over your head, but your core has to stabilize much more to get one weight over your head as opposed to two.  This dude was lifting a pretty heavy weight with one arm, while already doing a pretty taxing core stabilization exercise.  Not to mention that this dude was massive, not body builder shredded, but like a defensive end.  So this dude who probably weighed about 250-265, and stabilizing his massive body in a v-hold, is casually pressing 60lbs. 5 times with one arm, switching arms, and pressing 5 times with the other and switching back in forth for at least 30 seconds to a minute while I was resting between sets of walking lunges.  I don't care how much you bench, squat, deadlift, or anything else...if you want to impress me with your strength replicate that.

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32 minutes ago, supremebve said:

I'm pretty sure the squat rack is where I see the most ego lifting in my gym.  There is a abnormal amount of people putting 350+ on bars and going about a quarter of the way to parallel at my gym.  

On the other side, I think the most incredible feat of strength I've seen at my gym is a guy doing a v-hold while doing single arm overhead presses with a 60lb. dumbell.  I don't know if you guys have ever done single arm overhead presses, but it is one of those movements you don't realize is much harder when isolated to one side.  Your delts can easily press the weight over your head, but your core has to stabilize much more to get one weight over your head as opposed to two.  This dude was lifting a pretty heavy weight with one arm, while already doing a pretty taxing core stabilization exercise.  Not to mention that this dude was massive, not body builder shredded, but like a defensive end.  So this dude who probably weighed about 250-265, and stabilizing his massive body in a v-hold, is casually pressing 60lbs. 5 times with one arm, switching arms, and pressing 5 times with the other and switching back in forth for at least 30 seconds to a minute while I was resting between sets of walking lunges.  I don't care how much you bench, squat, deadlift, or anything else...if you want to impress me with your strength replicate that.

Annnnnnnd I think I've found my new favorite way of torturing my abs.  Won't be doing 60 lbs, obviously, but I'll give 15 a try on Friday and see how it goes.

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11 hours ago, Contentious C said:

I'm tempted to get the pink ones.  Why?  Because fuck you if you can't take it, that's why.

Well, hell yeah! They are much easier to spot from your gym bag! You'll save time when putting them on!

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19 hours ago, supremebve said:

The picture on the right.  Now imagine that dude pressing a 60 lb. dumbbell over his head while doing it.

v-sit.jpg

Fuck NO! Let's see if I can GET to that position first. Then maybe, I can tell you if I can raise my arms while in that position. Pressing weights while in that position, you will probably have to wait for quite awhile for my reply on that one!

Yay! I was able to do something with 11 lbs and then 26 lbs, but I couldn't get my legs that high in the air though!

Edited by Shartnado
Tried it, could muster up something...
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7 minutes ago, Shartnado said:

Fuck NO! Let's see if I can GET to that position first. Then maybe, I can tell you if I can raise my arms while in that position. Pressing weights while in that position, you will probably have to wait for quite awhile for my reply on that one!

There is about a 20 yard run of astroturf in my gym where you can do walking lunges, tire flips, or push a sled, and he was just in the back corner working by himself casually being a man beast.  There are plenty of people at my gym who can throw around a lot of weight, but that is the most impressive thing I've seen.  There are a bunch of young dudes, who I assume are in high school, who can do some impressive things too.  I saw one kid benching 275 with his feet elevated, which is pretty incredible, especially at that age. 

The biggest issue I'm having at the gym is that there is never enough dumbbells in the 35-75lb. range.  I don't know if people are stealing them or what, but there always seem to be more missing than people lifting them.  I thought it was just me, but I was there on Saturday, and the gym was pretty empty and someone asked if I saw anyone using a missing set that he couldn't find.  I'm sure it's just assholes taking dumbbells and not putting them back when they're done, but it happens way too much.

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3 hours ago, Shartnado said:

Fuck NO! Let's see if I can GET to that position first. Then maybe, I can tell you if I can raise my arms while in that position. Pressing weights while in that position, you will probably have to wait for quite awhile for my reply on that one!

That's a pretty extreme example of a v-hold.  There are plenty of mid-range cheats you could do; just bend your knees, for example, and change the moment arm.  I'm certainly not strong enough to get into that position either, but itching to try something like it.  It's been too easy for me to slack off on ab stuff when I'm just exhausted (like I was yesterday), so anything that allows me to add some overload - and unilateral overload at that - to a muscle group that can take a serious beating is something that will motivate me to get it done.

EDIT: Totally forgot I had one 8-lb. weight at home.  Rolled out my yoga mat and gave it a try: it's definitely WORK but the good kind.  It'll probably take some practice to really hold the form well, but I think I can manage tomorrow with a 15-lb instead. 

Edited by Contentious C
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My training is going well I think, finally doing two Max Effort days back to back. The temperature has dropped here and this has helped *enormously*..

Yesterday I tried medium grip incline (pinkies still way inside the rings). I don't think I'd ever really gripped the incline that wide, and my wrists found it a bit awkward. 105kg is a lifetime PR on any kind of incline press, there was definitely a sticking point halfway but my triceps are pretty strong. Tbh I don't think I see much benefit from the wider grip and suspect I would have hit the same weight close grip. But I am happy with it - I have no rep work on this exercise since I returned to the gym except warm-ups for maxes (though I have done the seated angled overhead press for reps). I also did it without any significant caffeine (I had an energy drink to get through the last Zoom meeting like 2.5 hours before), and without big breaks between attempts - I suspect I could get 10-15kg on this pretty easy with a bit more specificity and a double espresso. 

My accessory work was tricep dips (just bodyweight, I'm pretty heavy) & wide grip lat pulldown superset 3 x 12, then seated chest crossover cable fly and standing cable facepull 3 x 16. The I tried doing a partial lateral raise exercise I took from John Meadows (RIP), which absolutely massacred my side delts, which I supersetted with reverse grip curls and the ol v-bar tricep pushdowns.

-----------------

Today was a 2 inch deficit semi-sumo. I have a love-hate relationship with deadlifting, but it's gotta be done sometimes. I picked a pull where I could use a relatively light weight to max on, but I used figure of 8 straps so that I didn't have to pull mixed grip (my gym also frowns on chalk). Nonetheless, I got that dizzy feeling on the penultimate and last singles - a measly 130kg and 140kg. My PR on any kind of straight-bar deadlift is 180kg, but bearing in mind the deficit, the relatively inefficiency of the semi-sumo, lack of practice and no belt...140kg is ok for a training max. It slowed down a bit at lockout, but I think that was probably a technique issue which again more specificity of training would fix . I still felt a lot of lower back which I have been neglecting if I am honest.

Therefore my accessory work was hyperextensions and plate-loaded hip thrust machine 3 x 16, followed by a giant set of seated leg curls, leg extensions (!), v.close grip straight bar curls (mimicking my sumo pull, index finger in the smooth) and abs 3 x 16-20. Leg extensions are something that need to be handled v. carefully, but I think they do have their place - here I'm using the to get quad activation on a somewhat posterior-chain focused day but I also think they are a good way of adding quad volume towards the end of a training cycle. Definitely something I cycle in and out though.

One week in the current cycle left, and then I will have a pivot/deload week - exact details TBD but I will probably do a lot of GPP to build up work capacity.

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Alright, I did go do the trapbar workout and just HAD to try that v-hold press with 35 lbs.

I was able to do some reps but kept falling backwards constantly. I was able to struggle back up and kept pressing while falling down and getting back up, but there was definitely nothing "casual" about the whole attempt and it probably looked pathetic, but I was alone, so it's fine. I'll keep at it.

Trapbar itself was fine, with 10x140, 8x220, 5x286 and 5x363 for warm-up and 6,6,4 and 5x451 for the actual work sets. Plenty of shrugs and some ab work and that's it for this week. No complaints so far, seems like I didn't lose all that much during my time off. That should bode well for the rest of the year . 

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