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Old 04-24-2016, 11:38 AM   #26
Renton555
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Week 2 Diet:

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In the future im also gonna try to do around 1800 calories on lifting days and 1400 on off days.


This week went very well. I ate some pretty delicious food on training days, some pretty bland food on off-days, and this felt like a very sustainable lifestyle. I took kidcolin's advice about focusing on fat loss into consideration, and I've decided that I'm going to continue with this course of action. Between 1550-1600 average calories per day, low carb on rest days, and monitor how my lifts and weight respond. I'm still bouncing around between 72kg and 73kg, but my GF tells me she thinks I look thinner so it is possible I'm recomping. A conservative estimate of my TDEE is 1950 calories, so this should still be a 2500 calorie weekly deficit.

I'll re-evaluate this if my lifts begin to stall or I have no change in scale weight between now and June 10. I'm going to the U.S. from May 10 to June 10, so I really want to just make sure I stick to a game plan throughout that time.

Last edited by Renton555; 04-24-2016 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:42 PM   #27
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Good luck with what you're doing here.

Agree with Poonz comment. Everything is relative.

If you haven't done so already, you should considering posting your squat vids in form check.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:44 PM   #28
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

I kind of agree w/ Poonz comment as well. But different things work for different people. Self-loathing can be a powerful motivator.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:45 PM   #29
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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I kind of agree w/ Poonz comment as well. But different things work for different people. Self-loathing can be a powerful motivator.
#jewishthoughts
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:54 PM   #30
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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If you haven't done so already, you should considering posting your squat vids in form check.
I posted the last heavy sets a few days ago, got one reply saying he thought they were good. IMO they're still a tad high, but otherwise I don't see an issue with them.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:56 PM   #31
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

lol ...good points...anytime I start to fear out of a lift, the other side of me comes down on me like Sgt. Hartman.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:55 AM   #32
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Training:


Squat 132#* (7, 8, 6) <video triple feature!>

*I was wondering why these were so hard, turns out its a +11 increase instead of the planned +5.5. Oops lol.

Form breaks down in these, but I think a lot of the reps have improved depth from my previous worksets so given the weight increase flub, I'm pretty pleased with them.


Bench Press 88# (8, 8, 6) 76# (5)

First bench videos I've posted in a while. I haven't had time to view them myself, but obviously I'm open to feedback. Really not sure why I ran out of gas so abruptly in the third sets, as I gave generous (4 minutes) rest intervals between sets. The backoff set is pretty pathetic lol but usually only give that one 2 minutes just to get a little extra volume in a state of fatigue. Maybe going so HAM on squats is the culprit here.

Light RDL 77# (8) 88# (8) SS with Face Pulls 25# (15, 15, 15)

Deadlift 132# (5)

As before, I did the first two reps rippetoe-style and the last three rdl-style. I think my back angle is way too horizontal in the last three reps. The only active cue during these was to emphasize hamstring involvement in the break off the floor, and I did that much. Definitely I can self-report that during the set I noticed the bar wasn't close enough to my body. Probably I need to engage the lats harder to prevent this in the future.

Supine-grip Pulldowns 115# (9, 8, 7)

These are heavy enough now that I'm lifting my body off the seat, so I had to use the leg-stirrup things to make sure that didn't happen. I think that made the reps a bit harder, but still I'm reporting increased performance from last time so it's all good.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:28 PM   #33
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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Deadlift 143# (5)
FMP.

After having had a chance to look at the bench vids, I'm a little concerned that I'm tracking the bar too far forward. I feel like my elbows are tucked pretty well. I also feel like I'm getting decent leg drive, at least as much as is possible with weight this low. I feel like if I drive too hard I'll slide back on the bench.

One issue that probably isn't apparent in the vid: I sometimes lose my back a little on lockout. I feel like I need to actively cut off the ROM, because naturally I incline toward shrugging at lockout. It's probably just something I need to pay more attention to in the future.

Thoughts on grip width?
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:36 PM   #34
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

You need to get your elbows in line with the bar vertically.

Also looks like you could be tighter/more leg drive but the elbows thing is priority #1
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:49 PM   #35
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

The amount of weight your lifting does not dictate the amount of leg drive, its relative "heaviness" that does.

Also echo Abraham. If you have any "play" with your feet, you aren't firmly planted which means the lower body is not as tight as it should be and it will be an energy leak. And any leg drive you get will not be as solid as it should be.

If you see guys benching and they're bouncing their feet around they might be strong, but they would be stronger if they didn't do that.
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:57 AM   #36
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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The amount of weight your lifting does not dictate the amount of leg drive, its relative "heaviness" that does.
I thought that to some degree the absolute weight # on the bar would determine how hard you are pushed into the bench, resulting in a higher amount of friction to overcome with leg drive to avoid sliding up the bench. I don't think I have issues with actual sliding, I just feel like I'm "about to" start sliding. Could just be my imagination.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:17 PM   #37
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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I thought that to some degree the absolute weight # on the bar would determine how hard you are pushed into the bench, resulting in a higher amount of friction to overcome with leg drive to avoid sliding up the bench.
This doesn't make any sense. If anything leg drive would result in you sliding up the bench due to the fact you are overcoming the friction created by the weight.

Quote:
I don't think I have issues with actual sliding, I just feel like I'm "about to" start sliding. Could just be my imagination.
The shirt you wear and the bench itself could simply also be "slippery". At my gym I have two bench benches (flat, without angle adjustment and tapered seat) and I highly prefer one over the other for that very reason.


Someone more experienced will disagree with me probably, but at this stage I don't think its necessary to think about leg drive.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:32 PM   #38
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

I chalk the bench so my shoulders don't slide
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:39 PM   #39
Renton555
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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This doesn't make any sense. If anything leg drive would result in you sliding up the bench due to the fact you are overcoming the friction created by the weight.
Maybe there was something wrong with my wording, but this is exactly what I meant.

It takes a much higher magnitude of leg drive force to resist the resting friction force of a 200 pound barbell + 200 pound lifter system than it does to resist the resting friction force of an 88 + 150 system.

Kind of analogous to the fact that a 1/2x bodyweight squat shouldn't have a vertical bar path because the center of gravity isn't as close to the bar itself as a 2x bodyweight squat would be.


As for the benches, my gym has two to choose from and they're both made out of the same slippery vinyl material.

Probably I agree about leg drive not being that important, but right now it's not a particular technique sticking point for me. The elbows issue was completely foreign to me so I have that to fix, not to mention that I am likely using a far too acute elbow angle that is resulting in an unnecessarily-forward bar path.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:31 PM   #40
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

LOL I feel like i still haven't adequately explained myself about the leg drive pushing me back.

*deep breath*

The weight I'm lifting is possibly so light that the barbell + my body doesn't have enough resting friction force on the bench for me to be able to leg drive as hard as I can without sliding back.

whew
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:03 PM   #41
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

sounds more like you are just leg driving wrong. you want be driving your traps down into the bench. maybe its a thoracic mobility problem...

I can leg drive with an empty bar or 95 lbs, during my warm ups.

in the grand scheme of things this is a pretty minor thing to worry about though.

ETA: see my comment about chalking the bench. u can also just chalk your traps if that is easier/less mess
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Old 04-28-2016, 06:12 AM   #42
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Thursday, April 28, 2016 Training


Heavy RDL 121# (8, 8)

I dropped one of the work sets here in light of the fact that I'm deadlifting two other days of the week along with all the other work my lower back is getting from squat and rows. I'm sure I could handle the extra set but I'd rather do more with less until it's necessary to add volume.

Paused Squat 110# (5, 5) SS with Face Pulls 35# (15, 15, 15)

Changed up the programming a little with the light-day squats. I tried paused squats to see if I still would have bar path issues and chest cave at the bottom. They were surprisingly difficult but I think the form is pretty good.

Dumbbell OHP 22#
(10, 10, 12), 17# (8)

First time videoing these. There really isn't much on the internet to consult for form on this lift so I've mostly been doing what felt good and took some technique cues from the BB Press. Performance was much improved from last time, not only with number of reps but with the last reps in each set having much better form. Moving up to 25# dumbbells next time for sure.

BB Rows 83# (8, 8, 11)

Tried a more seated-back "linebacker" stance for these. They're still pretty easy so I'll continue with 5# increases.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:25 AM   #43
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Saturday, April 30, 2016 Training

Wanted to throw up the entire time today, so performance suffered a little.


Squat 132# (8, 8, 8)

Depth is improving, bar path isn't. I do not lose balance during these reps so it's really hard to correct. I'm hoping adding weight will give me better feedback during the sets, but I really need to concentrate harder on keeping my chest up.


Bench Press 91# (8, 7, 6)

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out my elbow problem today and I'm genuinely stumped. It really feels natural the way I do it, so I don't know if it's a wrist/elbow mobility issue or weak forearms or what. I recorded some of the warmups as well (1, 2, 3, 4).

Also, I'm losing tightness during the sets and that's costing me a lot. The wiggling looks completely retarded and I'm officially banning that behavior from here on.


Deadlift 132# (2), 154# (5)

Continuing my deadlift adventures, today I focused on allowing more knee bend during setup, generally ignoring conventional setup advice and doing what felt right at the time. I think they look actually okay, but I need to focus more on safely lowering the reps. Also, more lat involvement to keep the bar close to the body on the ascent next time.


Supine-grip Pulldowns 115# (10, 8, 8)

Tiny performance gain in these, probably I was just too tired and nauseated to make a formidable effort at this point.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:49 AM   #44
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

I think I know how to fix my elbow issue:

http://strengtheory.com/why-you-shou...bows-benching/



Quote:
The cue I like to use is “flare and push.” When you flare your elbows, you don’t have to touch the bar to your upper chest the way a bodybuilder would. You should try to touch the bar in the same position you generally would when tucking your elbows, but do it with your elbows flared as much as possible; that will keep your elbows right under the bar, rather than allowing them to wind up in front of the bar. If you focus on this cue, your elbows will generally wind up tucked to the appropriate position, not over-tucked as is common when people concentrate specifically on tucking their elbows.

MOST (80%+) people who have been over-tucking and give this a shot hit small PRs right away.
I'm excited to try this next time.
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:49 PM   #45
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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Originally Posted by Renton555 View Post
Kind of analogous to the fact that a 1/2x bodyweight squat shouldn't have a vertical bar path because the center of gravity isn't as close to the bar itself as a 2x bodyweight squat would be.
Anyone not OP want to comment on this? This seems ~incorrect to me, but I'm not an expert. I feel that bar path and initial positioning should be largely independent of weight on the bar, on all of squat, bench, dl. And, at least for squat and dl, that a large part of "proper" set up is to attempt to align yourself initially so that the bar can be moved in a straight line throughout your motion.

Edit to add something more helpful:

I also have problems with "falling forward" at the bottom of squats, particularly with things on the heavier end of my pathetic squat range. Things that have helped (aside from getting stronger with the postural muscles) include thinking very hard about: 1. "keep your shoulders tight" 2. "keep your chest up". As you improve your posture, flexibility, and strength of your back muscles, these things will improve.

Last edited by citanul; 04-30-2016 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:58 PM   #46
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

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Originally Posted by citanul View Post
Anyone not OP want to comment on this? This seems ~incorrect to me, but I'm not an expert. I feel that bar path and initial positioning should be largely independent of weight on the bar, on all of squat, bench, dl. And, at least for squat and dl, that a large part of "proper" set up is to attempt to align yourself initially so that the bar can be moved in a straight line throughout your motion.

Edit to add something more helpful:

I also have problems with "falling forward" at the bottom of squats, particularly with things on the heavier end of my pathetic squat range. Things that have helped (aside from getting stronger with the postural muscles) include thinking very hard about: 1. "keep your shoulders tight" 2. "keep your chest up". As you improve your posture, flexibility, and strength of your back muscles, these things will improve.
I know you said not OP, but just wanted to point you to the place where I learned this. It's time-stamped, just listen to what Greg Nuckols (the dude on the right) has to say about this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5fkhcYDBWE#t=8m25s
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:08 PM   #47
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Week 3 Diet:





Spot on for calories, in spite of an extremely stressful week. Still no appreciable change in weight.

Gonna be spending the next week in thailand eating great food every day, so here's hoping that I can keep some semblance of this diet going.

Last edited by Renton555; 05-01-2016 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:05 PM   #48
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Regarding set up, bar path

Yes, you should, using correct from, definitely strive to set up and execute every lift the same. But, yeah, if the bar is light it's going to move around a bit. Not a major issue.

If you're sliding on the bench, try increasing your arch to change the fulcrum.

If you're falling forward on squat, that's a position and form issues. Your stance might be too narrow, might not be sitting back enough etc.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:49 PM   #49
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Thursday, May 5, 2016 Training


Squat 129# (8, 8, 8)

Dumbbell OHP 25# (8, 8, 9), 20# (6)

Deadlift 156# (5)

BB Rows 79# (8, 8, 11)


New crappy gym in thailand. I thought the barbells here felt light, later discovered that they were 35# instead of 44#. Pretty huge bummer but what can you do? Squats are disappointing given the lowered weight. The weight fell on my toes on some of the tougher reps. Really happy with the OHP. I'm getting better at breathing at the top and that's allowing me to get an extra rep or so per set.

Planning to go to a much better gym for the next two workouts that I have scheduled in this town.
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:02 PM   #50
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

I think his leg drive comment makes perfect sense. You can drive harder with 225 than with an empty bar. Much like you can contract your abs harder with a belt than without.
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