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Old 05-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #51
HalfSlant
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

def true, but you shouldn't have problems driving "enough" with lighter weight either.
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Old 05-06-2016, 08:01 AM   #52
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Friday, May 6, 2016 Training


Squat 140# (6), 135# (6, 7), 115# (10)

Clear reduction in performance on these. As punishment and to get some volume in, I repped out a backoff set.

Bench Press 95# (2 [lol]), 80# (9, 7, 7)

Total dumpster fire. I thought I knew how to fix my bench press form but it's clear that there's a difference between knowing and doing. I think for one thing I need to tighten up the bar path a lot. I'm just so weak at the bottom if I move the bar that far forward. The 80# sets I focused on a less-forward bar path and more elbow flare.

RDL 135# (8, 8)

Fine, though my grip is terribly weak. It's definitely becoming the limiting factor. As much as I'd hate to be seen strapping weights this low, I probably will once I get to the U.S., just so I can focus more on the RDL and less on my hands.

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

Fine I guess. Certainly stagnant performance but it's possible that the different machine isn't directly comparable to the one I was using in Cambodia.


So, I don't know if this is my vacation diet, or just not being comfortable in a new gym, but my performance was decreased all around. I've been sticking reasonably close to the calories I've been eating for the last two months, but I haven't been able to get nearly as much protein, averaging probably 70g a day for the last 3 days. That will get a lot better once I'm in the U.S. next week. That said, I might also need to start upping the calories in general.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:38 AM   #53
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Do not increase cals, be more strict on pro intake.

1 bad workout is no problem, don't sweat it. If anything it points to subpar programming. You'd almost certainly be better off switching to a standard ss, 5x5, or gslp than whatever this self designed program is.

Also what is your bw at compared to the start?
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:09 PM   #54
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Quote:
Originally Posted by abrahamovic View Post
Do not increase cals, be more strict on pro intake.

1 bad workout is no problem, don't sweat it. If anything it points to subpar programming. You'd almost certainly be better off switching to a standard ss, 5x5, or gslp than whatever this self designed program is.

Also what is your bw at compared to the start?
Bodyweight is still 72kg as of a few days ago. It's been either 72kg or 73kg for the last six weeks.

Re: the programming it's just a novice progression except I'm doing sets of 8 instead of 5 and substituting DB overhead press for BB. I chose to work in a higher rep range because I wanted more practice with the lifts, and also because I have very poor GPP so I thought it would help with that.

The plan is to switch to SS or GSLP once I'm comfortable with form on all the lifts.
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:54 PM   #55
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Squats ranged from a bit to more than a bit high, but you knew that. Can you get down to depth in that rack without hitting the safety bars? Seems like it'd be close to me.

The later bench sets seemed decent-ish, with the exception that you didn't look like you were getting a ton of leg drive. The 95 set kind of illustrates this, because after you unracked the bar, you moved your feet around a lot, which you shouldn't be able to do if you are pushing hard through whatever your point of contact is like you should be. You should be pushing through your legs for every rep, but when you really need to dig in for your last few challenging reps, that's when you really want to drive with your lower body.

Back looks a little soft on the RDLs, and the weight may be a little heavy compared to what you're deadlifting. Personally, I'd drop down a bit and work on technique a bit more, but I'm an aspy that took forever to get DL/RDL form to be semi-passable, so maybe that's just me speaking too much from my own experience.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:32 AM   #56
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Sunday, May 8, 2016 Training


Squat 135# (10, 8, 8)

Lost count of reps during the first set, lol. Reps in the first two sets appear to not be nearly deep enough, but I think some of that is in the camera angle. I got a side-on angle for the third set and most of those reps have fine depth. I'm really happy to be doing so much better than two days ago.

DB Overhead Press 25# (6, 7, 7), 20# (8)

These dumbbells felt significantly heavier than the ones at the previous gym. First set was just a bad set, lost balance on the first few reps and wasted a lot of gas. The other sets were better.


Face Pulls 33# (15, 15, 15)


Deadlift 135# (3, 2) 165# (5)

These are still very much a work in progress. It just seems like I'm built to have a very horizontal back angle for conventional deadlift. My back seems to be in extension and bar path vertical, so unless anyone has something terrible to say about these, I'm gonna continue adding weight.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:35 AM   #57
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montecore View Post
Back looks a little soft on the RDLs, and the weight may be a little heavy compared to what you're deadlifting. Personally, I'd drop down a bit and work on technique a bit more, but I'm an aspy that took forever to get DL/RDL form to be semi-passable, so maybe that's just me speaking too much from my own experience.
My only complaint with that set is that the range of motion is tiny. I could have gotten deeper but I was too timid. I feel like RDL form is kind of idiot proof as long as you know what it feels like to lose your back.
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:11 PM   #58
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Week 4 Diet:




Pretty decent calories, only 800 or so over target. Protein is dismal, but I knew that'd be the case. Gonna be in a much more stable place to diet once this Thailand vacation is over in two more days.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:07 AM   #59
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Training


Bench Press 85# (7, 8, 5)


Squat 140# (8, 8, 8)


Lots to say. Gotta catch a plane, will comment later.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:04 PM   #60
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Bench press:

I tried a wider grip and really focused on flaring elbows as much as possible. I think this time the bar isn't going to far forward like previously. Judging from the front-on shot, the grip should probably be even wider. It's also evident that there are imbalances in my left/right shoulders. I already knew this because when i stretch its obvious that one shoulder has a better ROM than the other. I think all in all the sets aren't that bad.

I've decided to bench press every workout for a week or two, just to try to get a decent groove. With benching every other workout, it seems like I'm starting over every time.


Squats:

The first and second sets were too shallow. I found the third set to feel a lot easier and I think its because I took a wider stance. I'm still finding my groove for squats. Depth wasn't perfect in the third set though so it looks like for the foreseeable future I'll need to consciously focus on going deep enough.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:35 PM   #61
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Thursday, May 12, 2016 Training


Squat 145# (8, 8, 8)

Slightly high as ever . I know I'm flexible enough to hit depth, cause I do in the warmups every time. Just need to pay more attention. Overall I'm super happy with the squat though compared to....

Bench Press 85# (8, 7, 6), 75# (8)

Chose a wider grip this time. Forearms are vertical at the bottom with this grip so I think it's good. I really have to focus on flaring the elbows or my elbows will go in front of the bar. I think my groove is a good bit better on these, but I just feel absurdly weak. I don't feel like my pecs are being recruited at all. They never feel sore or fatigued, while my front delts are always sore as hell.

Deadlift 170# (5)

Hmph. Back is flat, weight is moving. It'd be nice if I could have a steeper back angle, but I don't see a huge problem with these.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:15 PM   #62
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

You're having to pull the bar really far after unracking on your bench.

While I'm no expert or really strong and this vid is a little old (and the front of the bench is sitting on a plate to create a tiny decline), take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N69j0go_Is and notice how much more straight up my unrack is compared to yours.

RE flaring - keep in mind the flare should not be occurring during the eccentric but on the concentric.

Also for some people the bench just does not hit the chest as hard, additionally you might just be that much stronger in your delts/tris and therefore your body is 'naturally' not engaging /avoiding your chest. I would lower the weight to practice the concentric flaring so you don't risk a midset fail.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:20 PM   #63
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclear500 View Post
You're having to pull the bar really far after unracking on your bench.

While I'm no expert or really strong and this vid is a little old (and the front of the bench is sitting on a plate to create a tiny decline), take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N69j0go_Is and notice how much more straight up my unrack is compared to yours.

RE flaring - keep in mind the flare should not be occurring during the eccentric but on the concentric.

Also for some people the bench just does not hit the chest as hard, additionally you might just be that much stronger in your delts/tris and therefore your body is 'naturally' not engaging /avoiding your chest. I would lower the weight to practice the concentric flaring so you don't risk a midset fail.

It looks like you're sitting farther back on the bench than I do. I follow the SS setup of eyes just in front of bar. I'll try going back an inch or so next time and see if that helps.

Re: the chest, is there any value in adding some assistance work like dumbbell flys or something? I hesitate to even suggest it since it seems like I'm such a rank novice at benching, but if my pecs aren't getting any work at all, aren't I furthering an imbalance every time I bench?
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:06 PM   #64
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Bench hits everyone's chest hard. Pecs are prime mover. For everyone.

Normally a fan of nuclear's posts but he's fpsing here. I'd advise no fancy flaring. Read SS. Follow that. It's OK to not super tuck your elbows on the eccentric. You're just training strength, not looking for fancy techniques to add a few lbs to your total.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:33 AM   #65
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

I can't argue. My experience was similar that I just never really felt it in the chest until I purposefully modified it as I described. I had ingrained my brain to avoid any kind of flaring even though the 'bad' flaring is when your upper arms are parallel to the bar.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:21 PM   #66
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Sunday, May 15, 2016 Training


Squat 150# (8, 7, 6)

Depth was a real problem on these. I think it's about time for a de-load day for me to do some perfect form sets and re-establish the groove. Today even actively focusing on depth didn't seem to do the trick, my knee angle just bottoms out wherever it does and going "deeper" just entails leaning forward more.

Bench Press 85# (8, 8, 9), 75# (9)

Man am I happy with these. I'm sure form wasn't perfect, but gaining 4 reps from last time is about as good as I could have hoped for.

Super-set:
Back Extensions BW+25# (10, 10, 10)
Chest Fly Machine 70# (12, 12, 12)
BB Rows 85# (8, 8, 8)

Kind of going off script with the non-core-lifts part of my programming. It's been a while since I've had time in the gym to do rows, and I thought it might be a good idea to super-set them with some assistance work: the back extensions to help me with glute activation and to give my back a break from the daily deadlifting, and the chest fly to help me with pec activation. And let's face it, it felt kind of nice to bro out a bit for once.

Last edited by Renton555; 05-15-2016 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:06 AM   #67
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Week 5 Diet:



Obviously disappointing week but a few things:

1. First two days are vacation days, including some drinking.

2. Third day is a travel day, and is 36 hours long. This basically means I get allowed 7.5 days worth of calories.

3. The rest of the week has essentially been a full diet break while I've settled myself in the U.S., visiting my family. I made some very lean chicken salad today and I intend to buckle down the diet again starting with this week.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:37 AM   #68
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

I think you should adjust upper volume based on recovery. Would like to see some heavier DB rows, just a big fan of them. Total anecdotal broscience I know but stronger back does make for better benching/pressing.

I don't think you need to reset the squat. How about grinding it out and progressing instead? lol but really why not keep the work sets AND then drop down and improve form/depth as a way to add a little more volume if you feel like you're recovering properly?

I do think you fall in some category where you just have a hard time applying max force to lifts. Some sort of kinesthetic bull**** I'm spewing but just seems like you've lifted enough before to be much stronger yet you aren't. I feel the same way about my deadlift all the time. Just can't seem to get my body to move the weight I feel I should be able to do.

Glad to see you're back at it!
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:01 AM   #69
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenda View Post
I think you should adjust upper volume based on recovery.
Increase it, you mean? I'm already adding an extra amrap set of pressing per day and doing more rows than most novice programs recommend. And there's also a question of opportunity cost: what I currently do takes nearly two hours in the gym sometimes. It's going to be difficult to substantially add to what I'm doing without taking away from squatting/deadlifting.

Quote:
I don't think you need to reset the squat. How about grinding it out and progressing instead? lol but really why not keep the work sets AND then drop down and improve form/depth as a way to add a little more volume if you feel like you're recovering properly?
It wouldn't be a reset, just a day where I don't squat heavy and work on technique. Yeah I could just grind out 150 again and try to go deeper, but I'm a little concerned about ingraining a bad movement pattern. This is also a method that has worked for me in the past this time around. My squat form is better than it ever was in the last log.

Maybe there's a compromise? I could do paused reps at 75% or so of work set weight, which would still be quite a challenge while focusing the effort on where I'm weak: depth and strength out of the bottom without caving.

Quote:
I do think you fall in some category where you just have a hard time applying max force to lifts. Some sort of kinesthetic bull**** I'm spewing but just seems like you've lifted enough before to be much stronger yet you aren't. I feel the same way about my deadlift all the time. Just can't seem to get my body to move the weight I feel I should be able to do.
No doubt, and I think this is just being an unathletic person for my entire life. And it's something that's going to hinder me for a while, probably. When I'm under the bar the **** feels hard, and when I watch the video after, that looks like a person who isn't making a formidable effort. Shrug.

That said, I should expect slow progress considering I'm eating a deficit. I also don't mind slow progress this time around, as long as it's reasonably linear. This time for me it's as much about doing something hard and sticking to it forever as it is about getting stronger and looking better.

Once I'm back from the U.S. (in 3 weeks), I'm going to re-evaluate my programming and diet in a more comprehensive way. Until then I'm going to eat around 1600 a day and try to get the form of my squat, bench, and deadlift under control, and hopefully make slow and steady progress on them in the meantime.

Quote:
Glad to see you're back at it!
Thanks, I'm glad to have more support.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:20 PM   #70
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Training


Paused Squat 125# (6, 5, 6)

No issue. The sixth rep of the last set was a bit of a grind so these were def challenging. I'm pretty happy with the bar path. Some reps are squat-morningish, but the weight always felt balanced.

Bench Press 90# (8, 8, 8)

Pretty happy about these. Gonna add the OHP back in now that I've found a reasonable bench press groove and am making progress again.

Super-set:
Facepulls 32.5# (15, 15, 15)
Deadlift 135# (3, 3), 175# (5)

Deadlifts are improving.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:56 PM   #71
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Thursday, May 19, 2016 Training


Squat 150# (8, 8, 6)

Only gained one rep from last time, but almost all reps are deeper so I call it a win. I'm pretty disappointed in the third set. Kind of lost my breath and psyched myself out. I had at least one more rep in me probably.

DB Overhead Press 25# (5), 20# (3, 10, 11, 10)

I guess I should have expected to lose some performance in these after going a few workouts without doing them. The first set felt way heavier than it should have, so I decided to get some more quality volume and practice at 20#.

Superset 1:
Face Pulls 32.5# (10, 10, 10)
Deadlift 135# (4, 3), 180# (5)

Not a big fan of my form in the deadlift. Stupid polygonal plates. I was using someone else's bar. Should have just taken the trouble to set up my own bar.


Superset 2:
Chest Fly Machine 85# (12, 12, 8)
Bent-over Rows 95# (8), 85# (8, 9)

The 95 reps were really cheaty, so I dropped the weight to get better ROM. During the last set I looked in the mirror and noticed my left shoulder was rising significantly higher than my right. I'm gonna have to make a video of this because it freaked me out. I knew one of my shoulders was more flexible than the other but this was just too weird.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:17 PM   #72
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Saturday May 21, 2016 Training


Squat 155# (8, 8, 6)

Same reps as two days ago with +5#. Great. Tough reps are shallow as usual. In the second set the bar started to creep a little so I reracked between reps 7 and 8. It seems like I have an issue with WIM on the third set. The 5th rep was a grind and the 6th had bad depth so I just racked it.

Bench Press 95# (8, 7, 7)

Fine. I doubt I could have gotten another rep on any set.

Superset:
Back Extensions BW+25# (11, 11, 11)
Chest Fly Machine 85# (9, 9, 8)
Supine-grip Lat Pulldowns 100# (8, 8, 8)

My chinning and rowing performance has fallen off. I guess it's to be expected considering I didn't have time to do either for about two weeks.

Last edited by Renton555; 05-21-2016 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:46 PM   #73
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Tell me please Renton what is Your goal
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:25 PM   #74
Renton555
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Strength first, aesthetics second.

edit: I'd like not to be weak. For me that currently means something like 265/135/315/95 for squat/bench/dead/ohp 3x5.

Last edited by Renton555; 05-21-2016 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:12 AM   #75
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Re: Renton's Rise from Weakness

Week 6 Diet:



About 1000 calories over for the week. Went to a party and drank alcohol on Wednesday. Gonna buy a scale to bring back to Asia with me, so I'll have my new weight in a few days. Judging from what the gym scale says when I'm wearing shoes and clothed, probably I've maintained weight or possibly even gained a little.
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