Friday, November 29, 2013

New 5 weeks cycle: Squats & upperbody ladders

Here’s exactly how it’s going to be for the next 5 weeks :
-5 days/week
-1st  lift: Squat / 1 workset / 5 reps
-2nd lift: Floor press / Bent over rows / Overhead press / weigthed chin-ups / dips (ladders)
-3rd lift: Dumbell snatch with Fatzgrip / 1 workset / 5 reps / side
-4th lift: some abswork like abwheel, leg raise, etc. / 1-3  worksets / 5 reps

First impressions

All my wall squats, goblet squats and front squats seem to pay off. I haven’t been so at ease doing ‘’back’’ squat (or just squat) even if I can’t remember last time I did those a couple months back. I started a bit too heavy for me with a 225lbs x 5 and I had to drop my weights to 205lbs for 2 days instead of the other way around despite my experience with weightlifting. The soreness from the muscles I don’t use often this way should disappear eventually. I never realized how much leg action there is in the squat, but what I do realize is why so many people can’t do it properly and get injured squatting.

If you count 2, 3, 5 reps times 5 ladders equals 50 reps total. That’s a lot of volume compared to what I’ve been doing in the last year and a half or so. I’m sore, but nothing that would keep me from dancing. I can’t wait to see it that will have an positive impact on my presses! The intensity is a tiny bit lower than what I would use for 1 set of 5 despite the volume I use. It seems my upper body can handle volume way better than intensity. We will see how much of an impact this will have. If that doesn’t work with 3 different presses, I might have to choose 1 press, but I don’t think my body would appreciate the bench press for 150 reps/week. That will probably put some meat on me as well!

I’ll see if such a regimen is sustainable in the long run. So far it feels like a lot of energy  and takes me about 1h/day lifting weight which is too much.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5x5x5 first cycle results and observations

After my last summer 40 days challenge, I was looking for something similar considering the awesome results I got. I came across this other instant classic Pavel’s program 5x5x5 from Beyong Bodybuilding which would solve most fatigue/injuries  issues I experienced with the 40 days challenge. The outlines are similar : 5 exercises (at least 3 compoud lifts), 5 days/week / 5 reps (workset) / 5 weeks. The reduced volume and the taper week (4th) got my attention and would keep me fresh for dancing.

My 5 exercises / starting weight 5 reps /  max out 5th week / previous best:

Bench press

155lbs x 5
195lbs x 1 (easy no spotter)
195lbs x 1 (hard with spotter)
Sumo deadlift

305lbs x 5
425lbs x 1
405lbs (conventional)
Weighted pull ups

15lbs x 5 (187lbs BW)
45 x 1 (192lbs BW)
25lbs x 1
Clean & push press

95lbs x 5
175lbs x 1
Suitcase deadlift

135lbs x 5
185lbs x 5

  • That’s a lot of pulling!!! Even with such a low volume, my performances dropped drastically after my deadlifts. Plus, the deadlift, the clean and the suitcase have a similar pattern. Considering all the above, I was still way less tired than during my 40 days challenge.
  • As expected, my deadlift loves an everyday approach and my bench not that much even I put it as my 1st exercise.
  • Cleaning everyday really improved my shoulders mobility.
  • I put on 5lbs in 5 weeks. Fivers makes a good difference compared to sets of 1-2-3 reps.

  • I’ll keep the same basic 5 weeks structure 5x5x5 for my posterior chain move (probably back squat next). My body seems to respond really well to this everyday approach.
  • I’ll try ladders for all upper body movements (5 days press/pull/press/pull/press) starting with a weight I can handle for 3x(1,2,3 reps).
  • I still hesitate between variety of movements (like 3 presses/2 pulls) or 2 movements (1 press/1 pull). From my understanding, variety would help with shoulders health and fewer movements for maximum strength.


Floor press should help to keep those forearms in line.

It wasn't even that hard, but I prefer to stop when I feel that my technique is going south.

I guess I didn't make it entirely to the top...

I really enjoy doing those! 1.5x my BW is my goal.

I trained those with lighter weights and Fatzgrip for 3 weeks.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Human is a creature of habits

Practice when you feel like it and you will never get any better. Practice daily at 7pm 9or any other time) and you will be a champ 1 year from now. Change 1 habit at the time, control the data and enjoy the improvement.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rest, rest, rest.....

Whenever You are obsessed as I am about training and dancing, off days need to be part of a bigger plan. Today I'm fasting, doing some laundry and watching Doctor Who!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Resistance almost beat me today!

I felt like shit and had the hardest time to move my ass out of bed. At 8:30pm, I finally headed toward the gym and decided to take it easy. In the end, I lifted my usual weights.

Warm up set. #pullups x 3.

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