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  1. #1
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Challenge Me! What workout should I do feeling strong coming off of a deload?

    Had felt a little burnt out recently, then last week had a few lighter sessions, then a few days completely off and eating plenty. Now I'm feeling strong, eager and fresh.

    Not sure what exactly I want to do to break the lifting fast but I'd like to try something unique and different. Overall, this year I'd say my training has been pretty balanced: compound barbell lifts, dips, pullups, running, a few isolations here and there, and while some things are still lagging a little relative to others, I've shored up most of my weaknesses to a decent level. Trying something random sounds fun.

    Suggestions?
    Bench: 320
    Squat: 375
    Deadlift: 495

    "... But always, there remained, the discipline of steel!"
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  2. #2
    Registered User safcpaul's Avatar
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    I'm not sure mate. What particular goals have you got? Whatever you pick though. Don't be going over 8 rpe though or you will shrivel and die
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Bear hug a 50lb sandbag and walk a couple of hundred meters with it.
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16
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  4. #4
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    I'm not sure mate. What particular goals have you got? Whatever you pick though. Don't be going over 8 rpe though or you will shrivel and die
    I know it's my weakest major lift and likely not impressive to a lot of people on this board, but squatting 295 for 10, followed by back-offs with one minute rest were extremely brutal. That was a test of fortitude... Each one of the back off triples was easily @9. Maybe squats aren't it today.

    I'm unsure whether upper or lower. If lower, maybe trap bar deadlift since I don't like it and often compare it negatively against the bar, or hack squats since I've never seriously done them. If upper, maybe see what I can do maxing the cable rows and pulldown and something with machines. I know I can work with the full 250 stack pretty easily on pulls but some kind of a push variation with those would be new territory.

    In the past, a fun one is see how few sets I can reach 100 reps with something is. Done it with the flat bench at 225 in 13-14 sets I believe?

    Of course, there is something appealing about just doing everything in balance in a high intensity session...
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  5. #5
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Bear hug a 50lb sandbag and walk a couple of hundred meters with it.
    Sounds fun. Can't today but I'll buy a twine sack of rice at the Asian market and try this soon. Serious.
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  6. #6
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    I've found that coming off a deload I don't need much volume or intensity.

    I get an amazing pump from only about half the volume and about 4 reps in reserve, compared to my peak week before deloading.

    I *could* do more, but I feel like I would be shooting myself in the foot by doing more, like I would be using up my runway early, if that analogy makes sense?
    Yeah, good point... wasn't really thinking of it being counterintuitive, but then one workout shouldn't be too taxing over the span of days and weeks, and once in a blue moon abnormal challenges and variations of volume and intensity are probably profitable, but you know more about programming factors than I do.

    Well, today this is what I decided on. I just threw this together randomly aiming for a comprehensive upper body workout at high volume and medium intensity. This was surprisingly easy, actually. I've done similar volume challenges before and found them notably harder, so I don't know if it is the deload, or I've actually gotten stronger overall, but I felt like I could have upped the weight on a lot of these sets. I was expecting the heavy fives at the beginning to take a lot of gas out of the later work, but that fortunately didn't seem to happen and some of this felt like junk volume or fluff work, so I don't know if this is very good relative to my training level or not. Still, I like the idea of changing it up every now and then and making sure to keep a foot in the door of other training methods.

    Upper: High Volume, Medium Intensity - 45 Sets

    A.S.
    Standing OHP:
    5 x 5 at 135
    Weighted Pull-Up:
    5 x 5 w/ 20 added (~260 total)

    A.S.
    D.B. Incline Press:
    4 x 8 w/ 75s
    Pendlay Row:
    4 x 8 at 225

    A.S.
    Flat Bench:
    3 x 12 at 185
    T-Bar Row (Standing Pivot):
    3 x 12 w/ 90 added

    A.S.
    Barbell Curl:
    4 x 8 at 95
    Tricep Pulldown (Rope):
    4 x 8 at 100

    A.S.
    Hammer Curl:
    3 x 12 w/ 30s
    Lateral Raise:
    3 x 12 w/ 25s

    Barbell Shrug:
    4 x 8 at 225

    Dips:
    3 x failure/1RIR at bodyweight: 12, 10, 9

    Time Goal: 2:30
    **Time Achieved: 2:25**
    Bench: 320
    Squat: 375
    Deadlift: 495

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  7. #7
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Programs
    Super Squats: 20 rep squats 3x a week
    Smolov Jr squats

    Lifts
    Constant tension squats or 5.3.0 tempo squat
    Long pause bench or Tempo bench
    Nightmare deadlifts

    ^^ Should fix ya up good
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

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  8. #8
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Programs
    Super Squats: 20 rep squats 3x a week
    Smolov Jr squats

    Lifts
    Constant tension squats or 5.3.0 tempo squat
    Long pause bench or Tempo bench
    Nightmare deadlifts

    ^^ Should fix ya up good
    Is the 20 rep squats program an actual program, or just a basic volume framework? Just an individual 20 rep set three times per week? I might try this...

    And is Smolov Jr different from regular Smolov? Not sure where to get this program but I've heard it's tortuous.
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  9. #9
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Is the 20 rep squats program an actual program, or just a basic volume framework? Just an individual 20 rep set three times per week? I might try this...

    And is Smolov Jr different from regular Smolov? Not sure where to get this program but I've heard it's tortuous.
    20 re squats is a real program from the book Super Squats. There's Smolov Jr or full Smolov: https://www.smolovjr.com/smolov-squat-program/. People get injured on it.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    20 re squats is a real program from the book Super Squats. There's Smolov Jr or full Smolov: https://www.smolovjr.com/smolov-squat-program/. People get injured on it.
    Cool, thanks.

    I'd like your opinion - for a guy who's still south of the 405 club on the squat, is Smolov a good idea? I'm not afraid of working hard, but I'm not advanced overall, and with the squat, probably not even intermediate yet.

    I think of programs like that for guys with big numbers who are chasing a handful of pounds over a year.
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  11. #11
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    Second the high rep squatting routine. Especially if you want to build your squatting up big time while also gaining a lot of weight. It will be terrible, but worth it.
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  12. #12
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GrouchyUSMC View Post
    Second the high rep squatting routine. Especially if you want to build your squatting up big time while also gaining a lot of weight. It will be terrible, but worth it.
    I'm already 235-240 so it'd be best I don't gain any more weight lol

    Squatting is still a weak point, though.
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  13. #13
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Cool, thanks.

    I'd like your opinion - for a guy who's still south of the 405 club on the squat, is Smolov a good idea? I'm not afraid of working hard, but I'm not advanced overall, and with the squat, probably not even intermediate yet.

    I think of programs like that for guys with big numbers who are chasing a handful of pounds over a year.
    It kinda is for that demographic, and it isn't sustainable year-round. Better go with something more plain vanilla. Hard variations accomplish the same goal.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

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  14. #14
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    If you want to do something different but fun then consider more power-oriented exercises such as jump squats, high pulls, ballistic pull-ups and push-ups, dumbbell power snatches, push presses, etc.
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  15. #15
    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Cool, thanks.

    I'd like your opinion - for a guy who's still south of the 405 club on the squat, is Smolov a good idea? I'm not afraid of working hard, but I'm not advanced overall, and with the squat, probably not even intermediate yet.

    I think of programs like that for guys with big numbers who are chasing a handful of pounds over a year.
    Smolov is ****e..
    Its not a good idea for basically anyone.

    Its barely passable for people with picture perfect squat tech, terrible for anyone strong as the fatigue is insane. Never seen anything Injure more people. Period.

    Very few people actually do ok/well on it. And it's people built to squat, with excellent, clean tech even on a grind and super tollerent connective tissue who have the bulk and recovery 100%..

    Even then, something else will still be better

    Jr for bench is less bad. But still would avoid.
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  16. #16
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    @Heisman, thanks for the suggestion. In fact I am fairly terrible and uncoordinated with those, so that's something I wasn't thinking of but would be a good thing to improve. Stereotypical white man who can't jump lol.

    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Smolov is ****e..
    Its not a good idea for basically anyone.

    Its barely passable for people with picture perfect squat tech, terrible for anyone strong as the fatigue is insane. Never seen anything Injure more people. Period.

    Very few people actually do ok/well on it. And it's people built to squat, with excellent, clean tech even on a grind and super tollerent connective tissue who have the bulk and recovery 100%..

    Even then, something else will still be better

    Jr for bench is less bad. But still would avoid.
    So what do you recommend? You aren't a fan of Candito either IIRC, but there aren't that many free programs out there to the best of my knowledge. You also said your best gains came from intuitive training

    I mean, I'm not "strong" by the standards of powerlifting, so maybe my injury risk would be less? I'm happy going in and juggling a routine in my head, but I'm not going to be content until I'm much stronger than I am now, and so don't want to waste time. I probably have the most strength potential to utilize right now for the next five or so years than I will ever have again for the rest of my life, and want to be serious about it.
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    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I probably have the most strength potential to utilize right now for the next five or so years than I will ever have again for the rest of my life, and want to be serious about it.
    That's a good point, although you'll continue gaining strength for at least the next 20+ years. SBS just did part of their podcast on strength and aging, and the main drop off at 30 is explosiveness. Strength can grow into the 50s, and endurance into the 60s.

    Longevity and sustainability would be important factors. What about RTS emerging strategies? Wolf is coached by RTS, could guide you there.

    The Calgary programs are free and excellent, and I've seen a few pdfs of the RTS templates on the website scribd.
    2020 maxes
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    @Heisman, thanks for the suggestion. In fact I am fairly terrible and uncoordinated with those, so that's something I wasn't thinking of but would be a good thing to improve. Stereotypical white man who can't jump lol.



    So what do you recommend? You aren't a fan of Candito either IIRC, but there aren't that many free programs out there to the best of my knowledge. You also said your best gains came from intuitive training

    I mean, I'm not "strong" by the standards of powerlifting, so maybe my injury risk would be less? I'm happy going in and juggling a routine in my head, but I'm not going to be content until I'm much stronger than I am now, and so don't want to waste time. I probably have the most strength potential to utilize right now for the next five or so years than I will ever have again for the rest of my life, and want to be serious about it.
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    @EC

    Yeah, the dynamic nature of strength belies summarily pigeonholing it, true. Similarly, I've always disliked casual social labeling of people as "smart" or "dumb" since many are often both simultaneously but in different ways, or at least at many various points along several gradients. Seems I've committed the same error here in being too generic.

    "Man strength" does seem to appreciate through middle age and hold its own for a long time. There's a guy at my gym in his mid 60s who put up 3 plates on the bench in one year after open heart surgery. Not sure about RTS though. Don't know anything about them.

    **miscellaneous tangent**

    Maybe I'm rationalizing no longer being a "kid", but it's interesting to me how glorified the late teens and early twenties are in Western culture. Maybe this is the case the world around (and you could give a Thai perspective), but for all the novelty and excitement, those years tend to be angsty, confused, unfounded, in many cases disillusioning, stressful in trying to establish yourself - but they nevertheless seem to be ubiquitously regarded as the penultimate time of life, after which you've "missed it," with the rest of adulthood serving as some kind of increasingly distant allusion to these ostensible glory days.

    Whereas, established adulthood has a lot of advantages and desirable features that these days don't.
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    Continued from Access Denied glitch...

    I for one did not like the significant ignorance and lack of experience that necessarily come with being a youth. It irritated me that there was so much I didn't know and hadn't accomplished. As an adult (in the emancipated modern world, at least) you not only have an incredible amount of personal freedom and more resources with which to experience it, but you get to be a participant in the world and influence it as you choose to, perhaps in a professional capacity. Odd that that's not generally perceived as more valuable.

    And if you take care of yourself, it doesn't seem that health and vitality even necessarily take much of a dip until true old age sets in. Genetic potential with hypertrophy is mostly what I had in mind with the 25-30 remark.

    @MEP, thanks, will do
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    @Eli

    Maybe the problem is trying to leapfrog out of a phase in life: youth want to be adults, adults want to be young again, neither one is satisfied with where they are in the moment. That probably is a cultural thing. Where I live, I don't see or hear a lot of people complaining about their life. They have normal problems just like everyone else but they don't seem to let these problems weigh down their whole outlook or attitude on life.

    Two things I tell myself a lot are: 1: time goes one direction, it goes forward, and the time to decide and act is now; 2: I'm lucky to be who I am, healthy, sane, positive, honest, whatever, because some people have much worse lives than I have. Whatever problem I'm dealing with at a given moment, it could be a lot worse, and right now is not all that bad.

    Whatever age or whatever situation, you never lose the ability to dream and craft your dreams into reality. Getting older narrows some options in life, but there are still options to make something good or good enough to satisfy the whole life, not just one aspect of that life.

    Culturally, one big difference I see here is in personal responsibility. In the west, it seems people feel a personal responsibility to themselves to first. In this country, people feel a personal responsibility to others first. The notion of "taking care" is very strong in every aspect of their lives. If they neglect themselves, they'll gain good karma, or someone else will take care of them. But they genuinely feel a concern for making other people more comfortable or satisfying their needs. For life stages, the people seem "underdeveloped" in some ways. 15 year old kids act 11 or 12. 18 year old kids act 16. Could be a result of not having to take care of themselves first during life, and having everything done for them by others. I don't mean that as criticism, just a clear difference in what I've seen, and in many ways it's a very nice thing to have that deep level of social interdependence. I remember in the USA, 16 years old was the legal age to work, so a kid should go out and get a job. Not doing so was either very lucky or very lazy. 25 years old living at home and the person was a loser, whereas here it's unusual *not* to live at home unless their job takes them to another city.

    Something else here is that showing emotion is not really ok compared to the west. People hold their feelings in and control them rather than show them and complain about everything. Whether that makes the culture look smooth or whether people actually feel better is open to question.

    One more thing: opportunities for a person's future are more limited here than in the west, so the perspective is very local and familial rather than global. That perspective is changing in the most recent generation, but the new-gen are trying to look outwards more than the older gens.
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