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  1. #1
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    SuffolkPunch's Calgary Barbell log

    I've been doing BB style training for a long while now - 8-15 reps, no conventional deadlifting, bench press modified to mainly target pecs etc

    Time for a change of pace. I want to get my lifts up using Free Calgary Barbell 8 Week Program

    This week I'll be practicing deadlifts and competition bench. On Friday and Saturday I'll try to establish some calculated 1RMs using ~ 5 rep maxes.

    Previous bests: BW approx 86kg, age 48
    - Squat (high bar, belted): 1 x 152.5kg
    - Bench press: 1 x 115kg
    - Deadlift (conventional, belted): 4 x 190kg

    I'll start the program proper towards the end of next week... stay tuned.

    Today:
    - Competition bench practice with proper pause up to 3x90, 2x92.5, 1x92.5 - aiming to rep out on Saturday with 95kg
    - Deadlift practice up to 3x140, 3x145, 3x150 - aiming to rep out on Saturday with 165.
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 07-28-2020 at 10:15 AM.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Competition bench press estimated 1RM test:

    7 x 95kg = 114kg

    Setting training max to 112.5kg
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    Well now..

    In.

    Interestingly enough I'm 87kg, best Squat is 152.5 as well, TnG bench 112.

    Current comp bench TM is 107-110

    Other than deads very similar stats at the moment
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  4. #4
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Yes I'm watching too for sure, started 3rd cycle on Monday. 180/130/200 at 85kg, 171 cm, 43 years.
    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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  5. #5
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Well now..

    In.

    Interestingly enough I'm 87kg, best Squat is 152.5 as well, TnG bench 112.

    Current comp bench TM is 107-110

    Other than deads very similar stats at the moment
    Yeah, spookily similar. If you outpace me though, I shall just complain about the age gap

    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Yes I'm watching too for sure, started 3rd cycle on Monday. 180/130/200 at 85kg, 171 cm, 43 years.
    Good numbers. I can tell you must have great squat technique because squat is nearly as high as deadlift.

    It's too hot today. I might attempt a squat max test tomorrow morning...
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Good numbers. I can tell you must have great squat technique because squat is nearly as high as deadlift.
    Squat became and remains my favorite after I learned how to push it.

    Forgot to mention this when you asked about it in my review thread a couple days ago, but maybe front squats wouldn't be the best choice for the second block squat variation, because FS requires very good technique which, if it isn't very good, can hold you back from pushing serious weight in the FS. That's from Mike T. himself in the vid below. Thinking back now, that's actually one reason why I didn't choose FS in my previous cycles.

    Probably no harm in just continuing with HB on Day 2, just like the first block. Maybe do tempo, beltless, change stance, or something else to vary the movement a bit. Definitely keep a squat movement in that slot.

    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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  7. #7
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    High bar squat max effort test:

    8 x 130kg

    ~161kg 1RM

    A bit higher than I expected (probably because I am using a belt now) but I will have a skew towards higher reps at the moment because of previous training. But having looked at the loads used in the first 4 weeks, I think a Training max of 155 would be manageable.

    BTW - there are no load formulae on the spreadsheet in weeks 5-8 - is that for a reason?

    * edit - just watched the video. I am convinced to leave FS out of this training cycle - perhaps beltless is a good way of developing core control without leaning on the belt too much. I still have time to decide...
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 08-01-2020 at 01:09 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    BTW - there are no load formulae on the spreadsheet in weeks 5-8 - is that for a reason?
    They're there in my copy. Maybe some problem with your Excel program? I get that sometimes where I can't see data in the cell even if I've typed it in myself.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    They're there in my copy. Maybe some problem with your Excel program? I get that sometimes where I can't see data in the cell even if I've typed it in myself.
    DuH! My eyes skipped over where you typed "weeks 5-8." There are no formulae there because those weeks are purely RPE. Where you see a percentage, it should be a percentage of your E1RM for *that day.* Bryce explains it in the video. For example, week 5 day 1, you squat 145 x 3 @ 8. Look at Mike T.'s RPE/percentage chart and see what's your E1RM that day: 168. Then, take 65% of that for the backoff sets and do 6x5 of 110kg.

    Does that make sense?

    Rpe chart here: https://articles.reactivetrainingsys...beginning-rts/
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  10. #10
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    ^ OK, I'm with you now. I'll probably re-watch that video before week 5.

    Deadlift conventional belted 1RM test:

    4 x 170kg ~ 185kg 1RM

    I think it will improve fast because I've hardly done any recently so I shall stick to 185 as the Tmax.

    I'm on vacation for a week now... and then down to business
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Yeah, spookily similar. If you outpace me though, I shall just complain about the age gap
    Heh well I'm currently badly losing a Bench race to 140kg with someone older than you so not letting you use age as an excuse

    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    ^ OK, I'm with you now. I'll probably re-watch that video before week 5.

    Deadlift conventional belted 1RM test:

    4 x 170kg ~ 185kg 1RM

    I think it will improve fast because I've hardly done any recently so I shall stick to 185 as the Tmax.

    I'm on vacation for a week now... and then down to business
    Finally a test that wasn't a set of 8 xD
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  12. #12
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    OK, here we go, day 1:

    Code:
    Exercise	Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    Competition Squat	3	3	80%	125
    Competition Squat	2	5	68%	105
    Competition Pause Bench	4	3	80%	90
    Competition Pause Bench	2	5	68%	78
    SLDL			4	9	8RPE	120:8,7 115:7 110:7
    Side Planks 		3	x	30s	3 sets
    Squats didn't feel fatiguing at all so it was odd stopping after the final set of 5 actually had the best form.

    Bench was suprisingly tough, I think it's because I'm not used to the competition pause at the chest - although I did do this during my test. Hopefully I adapt to this before I get left behind!

    I have NEVER done SLDL before but I watched an Alan Thrall video and it makes a lot of sense - exhausting though - and I picked too much weight. Tried to use the RPE chart but obviously didn't really know my 1RM.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    OK, here we go, day 1:

    Code:
    Exercise	Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    Competition Squat	3	3	80%	125
    Competition Squat	2	5	68%	105
    Competition Pause Bench	4	3	80%	90
    Competition Pause Bench	2	5	68%	78
    SLDL			4	9	8RPE	120:8,7 115:7 110:7
    Side Planks 		3	x	30s	3 sets
    Squats didn't feel fatiguing at all so it was odd stopping after the final set of 5 actually had the best form.

    Bench was suprisingly tough, I think it's because I'm not used to the competition pause at the chest - although I did do this during my test. Hopefully I adapt to this before I get left behind!

    I have NEVER done SLDL before but I watched an Alan Thrall video and it makes a lot of sense - exhausting though - and I picked too much weight. Tried to use the RPE chart but obviously didn't really know my 1RM.
    I prefer SLDL to RDL, but yeah they're tough. I'd say go light on SLDL on day 1 and save your power for comp. DL on day 2. This program has you deadlifting 4 days a week so keep the big picture in mind. I dropped SLDL from my second cycle and my DL increased to a PR anyway. Feel free to adjust your training maxes if the weights feel too light/too heavy. Weeks 1-4 are the development block, no need to be grinding and getting overly fatigued. Save that for weeks 5-8.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    OK, here we go, day 1:

    Code:
    Exercise	Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    Competition Squat	3	3	80%	125
    Competition Squat	2	5	68%	105
    Competition Pause Bench	4	3	80%	90
    Competition Pause Bench	2	5	68%	78
    SLDL			4	9	8RPE	120:8,7 115:7 110:7
    Side Planks 		3	x	30s	3 sets
    Squats didn't feel fatiguing at all so it was odd stopping after the final set of 5 actually had the best form.

    Bench was suprisingly tough, I think it's because I'm not used to the competition pause at the chest - although I did do this during my test. Hopefully I adapt to this before I get left behind!

    I have NEVER done SLDL before but I watched an Alan Thrall video and it makes a lot of sense - exhausting though - and I picked too much weight. Tried to use the RPE chart but obviously didn't really know my 1RM.
    I'd say the squat weight is the correct one out of that,
    development strength work should be on the lower rpe side
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  15. #15
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    Thanks guys,
    I think I'll try the bench a couple more times before reducing the 1RM - I'm hoping I adapt to the pause, it may be a technique rather than fatigue issue.

    For SLDL, I did do (hopefully) genuine RPE 8 each set so hopefully didn't overcook it - but will start with 110kg next time. Not 120...

    For accessories where there is no RPE specified (e.g. incline bench) do you guys just stick with the same weight and aim to choose one that gives about an RPE 8-9 in the last set?

    Is that really 6 sets of DB rows (6 with left hand and 6 with right)??
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Thanks guys,
    I think I'll try the bench a couple more times before reducing the 1RM - I'm hoping I adapt to the pause, it may be a technique rather than fatigue issue.

    For SLDL, I did do (hopefully) genuine RPE 8 each set so hopefully didn't overcook it - but will start with 110kg next time. Not 120...

    For accessories where there is no RPE specified (e.g. incline bench) do you guys just stick with the same weight and aim to choose one that gives about an RPE 8-9 in the last set?

    Is that really 6 sets of DB rows (6 with left hand and 6 with right)??
    yeah I'd either 8-9 repeat accessories, or Myo iso's.
    Yup 6 each hand, have fun
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    For accessories where there is no RPE specified (e.g. incline bench) do you guys just stick with the same weight and aim to choose one that gives about an RPE 8-9 in the last set?

    Is that really 6 sets of DB rows (6 with left hand and 6 with right)??
    Yes, RPE 8-9. That's assistance work so it's not extremely important, as long as you do something that's a little bit tough for each set. You're already getting lots of tonnage on bench for each week, so don't murder the assistance lifts.

    6 each hand. It's meant to help balance all the pushing with pulling. Barbell row would be fine to save time.
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  18. #18
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    OP killing it as always. Keep it up.
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  19. #19
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    Day 2 hot, sticky, achey from last time. Enough bellyaching though...

    Code:
    Exercise		Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    Competition Deadlift	3	3	80%	148
    Competition Deadlift	2	5	68%	125
    2ct Pause Bench	3	4	8RPE	80:4,4 77.5:4
    Competition Squat	2	5	65%	100
    Wide Seated Band Row	4	10	Blue	3x4
    Deadlift weight pitched about right

    Bench felt good - slight weight adjustment to hit true RPE 8 - this will def. help me learn the pause at the chest

    Squat felt easy. I just made the concentric fast as possible
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  20. #20
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    Day 3. Holy volume day!

    Code:
    Exercise	Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    2ct Pause Squat		4	4	8RPE	115:4,112:4,4 110:4
    Competition Pause Bench	6	5	70%	80
    Feet Up Bench		4	5	8RPE	72:5,5 70:5,5
    Competition Deadlift	2	5	65%	120
    Wide grip pullup	4	10		BW:10,9,6,5
    I didn't think I'd get through 10 sets of bench - but the initial 6x5 is very well pitched - only the very last rep was a little slowed

    lol, got tired towards the end of all the back work...
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Day 3. Holy volume day!

    Code:
    Exercise	Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    2ct Pause Squat		4	4	8RPE	115:4,112:4,4 110:4
    Competition Pause Bench	6	5	70%	80
    Feet Up Bench		4	5	8RPE	72:5,5 70:5,5
    Competition Deadlift	2	5	65%	120
    Wide grip pullup	4	10		BW:10,9,6,5
    I didn't think I'd get through 10 sets of bench - but the initial 6x5 is very well pitched - only the very last rep was a little slowed

    lol, got tired towards the end of all the back work...
    yeah the comp is just nice speedy tech work, could go for days.
    Then some actual work feet up.

    always liked Bryce's formatting of it
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    Code:
    Exercise			Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    2ct Pause Deadlifts 		4	4	8RPE	130
    Touch and Go Bench		3	6	9RPE	85
    Close Grip Incline Press	4	8		60:8, 57:7, 52:8, 50:6
    Landmine one hand row		6	10		30
    Just when you get used to pausing the bench... now T&G feels unnatural. I was a bit plagued by a stiff shoulder too

    Forgot that I was supposed be using a close grip in the first set of inclines. It feels weird and I couldn't seem to find a good path...

    I might have invented a new exercise - one handed landmine rows - but bent forward facing the pivot - with the plates just missing my butt behind me. Seemed to work well.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Code:
    Exercise			Sets	Reps	Intensity	Load
    2ct Pause Deadlifts 		4	4	8RPE	130
    Touch and Go Bench		3	6	9RPE	85
    Close Grip Incline Press	4	8		60:8, 57:7, 52:8, 50:6
    Landmine one hand row		6	10		30
    Just when you get used to pausing the bench... now T&G feels unnatural. I was a bit plagued by a stiff shoulder too

    Forgot that I was supposed be using a close grip in the first set of inclines. It feels weird and I couldn't seem to find a good path...

    I might have invented a new exercise - one handed landmine rows - but bent forward facing the pivot - with the plates just missing my butt behind me. Seemed to work well.
    Shoulder dislocations are magic for my shoulders. Though I'll admit I had shoulder stiffness and aches for about the first 2 weeks of both cycles I ran before, then it went away. So far no problems this cycle.

    Close grip probably just feels weird because it's new.
    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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  24. #24
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    Yeah I read that your shoulder bothered you initially - and it got better which is something you might not expect during a full on powerlifting program... I hope the same thing happens to me. I think I did something to it during pullups so it's more related to pulling and hopefully the large volume of benching won't make it worse.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Yeah I read that your shoulder bothered you initially - and it got better which is something you might not expect during a full on powerlifting program... I hope the same thing happens to me. I think I did something to it during pullups so it's more related to pulling and hopefully the large volume of benching won't make it worse.
    First cycle I made it a point to match all the bench reps with pull reps, adding facepulls to 2 days I think. Second cycle I alternated between chins (supinated grip, palms to face) and Pendlays (if I had the energy). Left shoulder often felt gristly and crackly during that cycle but it went away after a few sets. This cycle I'm doing chins once or maybe twice a week. Shoulders feel perfectly fine so far even though push/pull ratio is about 4/1. I'm not suggesting anyone do the same, just adding this observation.
    Currently running Calgary programming again: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1618375061&viewfull=1#post1618375061
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    First cycle I made it a point to match all the bench reps with pull reps, adding facepulls to 2 days I think. Second cycle I alternated between chins (supinated grip, palms to face) and Pendlays (if I had the energy). Left shoulder often felt gristly and crackly during that cycle but it went away after a few sets. This cycle I'm doing chins once or maybe twice a week. Shoulders feel perfectly fine so far even though push/pull ratio is about 4/1. I'm not suggesting anyone do the same, just adding this observation.
    I'd also not suggest trying to match push pull, it's extremely unfounded and leads to far too much fatigue imo.
    Back work 3x and bench 4x has always been good to me
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    Code:
    Competition Squat	4	3	0.82	127.5
    Competition Squat	2	5	0.7	107.5
    Competition Pause Bench	5	3	0.82	92.5
    Competition Pause Bench	3	5	0.7	80
    Stiff Leg Deadlift (no belt)	4	8	8RPE	115:8,8 110:8,8
    Side Planks (s per side)	4	x	30s	3s
    First back-to-back days. It was tough but I got through without any grinders or fails.

    Shoulder is getting in the way but it does seem like it's not actually a muscle in the bench press movers so it affected form a little but not power output.
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    Competition deadlift:
    - 4 x 3 x 152 -- this is getting to be a reasonable challenge without form slipping at any point. I'm sure that going too heavy caused back problems in the past.
    - 2 x 5 x 130

    2 count paused bench: 4 x 3 @8: All 4 sets at 82.5kg - maybe a little lighter than an 8 but I'm OK with that which my shoulder is still an issue (it is getting better though)

    Competition squat: 3 x 5 x 105kg

    4 x 10 wide grip seated band row - green band
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I'm OK with that which my shoulder is still an issue (it is getting better though)
    What kind of rehab and such things are you doing for it?
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    What kind of rehab and such things are you doing for it?
    I don't think I need to do anything that's not already in the program. I might throw in some arm circles, shoulder dislocations, informal stretching etc. but I don't think the issue was caused by the program - I think it happened from being over zealous with weighted pullups before. Benching a lot is probably slowing recovery down but not stopping it from happening. Getting DOMS in the area makes it seem worse than it actually is.

    * touch wood
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