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I read and watch a lot of videos on this subject, particularly focusing on weight training.  In this thread I'll share content that I find interesting/educational.  I'll also probably share periodic updates on my own training.  This is not meant to be a personal blog, so please feel free to comment on anything posted, and share your own progress and learnings.

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Here's a decent overview on programming periodization I came across today:



"This is a long one guys! Jump to 7:54 to skip the 'Periodization definitions' recap and jump right into the progression examples.

I'll continue to mention (and re-mention) the conceptual ideas surrounding linear periodization for strength training because it needs to be at the front of your mind whenever you plan your program. The progression examples I give later in the video are taken from some of the highest performing lifters and coaches on the planet. They drive home the point that, no matter how different certain programs may seem, they all share common principles that make them effective."


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After not doing any weight training at all for several months, I'm easing my way back into it by doing a really simple linear progression right now, while also keeping the workouts short.  I'm doing 6x6 for each exercise, and either increasing the weight each week, or changing the exercise.


The template I'm using right now looks basically like this (examples of each are given in parenthesis):

Day 1:

  • Squat (Back Squat, Box Squat, or Belt Squat)
  • Hamstring Exercise (Romanian Dealift, Glute Ham Raise, Hip Thruster)
  • Lower Back Exercise (Good Morning, Back Extension, Reverse Hyper)
  • Abs (Crunch, Decline Crunch, Plank)

Day 2:

  • Vertical Pull (Pullup, Lat Pulldown, Chinup)
  • Vertical Press (Overhead Press, Push Press, Military Press)
  • Horizontal Pull (Pendlay Row, Kroc Row, Seal Row)
  • Biceps (Barbell Curl, Hammer Curl, Incline Curl)

Day 3:

  • Deadlift (Traditional/Sumo, Trap Bar, Deficit)
  • Quadriceps (Front Squat, Hack Squat, Leg Extension)
  • Single Leg (Lunge, Split Squat, Bulgarian Split Squat)
  • Abs (Situp, Side Plank, Suitcase Carry)

Day 4:

  • Bench Press (Standard, Close Grip, Incline)
  • Horizontal Pull (Face Pull, Bent Barbell Row, Cable Row)
  • Triceps (Rope Pushdown, Overhead Extension, Dumbbell Kickback)
  • Chest/Triceps (Dip, Bench Dip, JM Press) 


This is by no means a perfectly balanced program.  It's just a simple and straightforward way to ease myself back into regular lifting. 


I did the Day 2 workout today, doing Band Assisted Pullups



Seated Military Press



Underhanded Barbell Row



and Plate Curls



 I'll be continuing this program until I get my rack (another 1-2 weeks), at which point I'll transition to something much more complex and intense.  I'll probably share more about it at some point in the future.

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Matt Wenning is one of my favorite sources of information.  He's a retired world record power lifter that also has a really good grasp of General Physical Preparedness (GPP).


Here are some good tips to keep you working out for years to come:


And some tips on what to do on off days:


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Day 3 from the template I listed above.

I'm still working my way back into things.  I've been experiencing a fair amount of lower back tightness/soreness.  It's definitely just muscle related, so not anything I'm particularly worries about, but I've skipped the lower back work on Day 1 for the last 2 cycles.  It was feeling pretty good yesterday until I had to return a bunch of porcelain tile - load it into the vehicle, and then onto the cart once I got it to the store.  I woke up today with noticable lower back tightness once again.  I expected it would loosen up once I started today, but it never really did.  I had to go lighter than I probably would typically, and it was a struggle.


Deficit Deadlift (3 inches):

185 - 6x6

The middle sets felt okay. The early and late sets were rough.



Zercher Squat:

95 - 6x6

First time doing these.  They suck, and I suck at them, lol. Definitely need to do these more frequently.



Bulgarian Split Squat:

35 - 6x1 / 25 - 6x5

6 sets with 35 pounds wasn't happening today. Legs were jello after the first set. I'll try again next time.



Decline Crunch:

Bodyweight - 15x6

Usually have been doing these weighted, but needed to give the lower back a break.


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Day 4

Very stiff and sore today, but it's mostly in my lower body, which I'm really not touching in today's workout.


Bench Press:

95 - 6x6

Still don't have my rack, so I'm having to clean the weight to my chest, sit on the bench, and lay down with it.  It's obviously limiting how much weight I can do.  I'm gripping the bar quite a bit narrower than I typically would to add some more difficulty.



Incline Plate Row:

45 - 6x6

This is really light, so my focus was on keeping my core really stable and squeezing tight at the top.  I was pulling until the plate was tight against the underside of the bench, and then continuing to pull and pinch my shoulder blades together.

It was basically this, except with a plate:



Close Grip Bench Press:

75 - 6x6

Hands placement ranging from one finger in the smooth to one finger out.  I can tell my triceps are pretty weak right now because I was fighting a tendency to use my shoulders more.  Definitely need to continue a focus on triceps for quite a while.



Seated Overhead Tricep Extension (plate):

25 - 6x6

Like this, except seated (because the ceiling in my basement is too low to do anything overhead while standing):

Overhead Plate Triceps Extension - Exercise How-to - Workout ...

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Today is a day of rest/recovery for me.  I still like to stay relatively active.  I plan to do some bike riding and skateboarding, probably some walking as well.  One of the other things I like to do on 'rest days' is bodyweight exercise.  I do hourly rounds of pushups, situps and bodyweight squats. These can help a little bit with building muscle, though that's definitely not my goal.  They primarily assist me with GPP (General Physical Preparedness).  I do them quickly to build up muscle stamina and get the heart rate up.


Having said that, it's absolutely possible to get really strong, fast, and quick from bodyweight exercise, and even from just really basic movements.  Probably the most recognizable example would be Herschel Walker, who attributes virtually all of his physical attributes to this type of exercise.  He focused largely on different types of pushups, situps, pullups, and sprints, but also worked in a variety of other exercises.  He often did over a thousand of each every day. 


It's difficult to recap his routine, because it was constantly changing/evolving, but here's a really good article about his philosophy and approach: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/the-herschel-walker-workout/




Here's a small section of the article that talks about his routine:


As a chubby adolescent, at first Walker couldn’t do any push-ups at all. He slowly worked his way up to 25 by doing as many as he could in a stretch, taking a 10-15 second break, and then doing some more until he hit that number. Using the same approach, he worked up to doing 50 push-ups a night, then 100. Slowly he increased his reps until he was doing 2,000 a day as a young man. In college he usually did 300 but that was on top of his track and football workouts. Today he claims to do 3,500 push-ups every day (though he keeps them to “just” 1,500 when he’s doing MMA training).



Like push-ups, Walker initially had a hard time cranking out sit-ups and could barely do 10. Once he could do that many consistently, he would do sets of ten, with short rests between them, until he reached 50 total reps. Then, did sets of 10-20 to reach 100 reps. After that he did 50 at a time, for 6 sets, and 300 total reps. Eventually he was doing 3,000, which is about as many as he still does today.

As with push-ups, in addition to the standard sit-up, he did tons of variations: straight-legged, bent-legged, side crunches, leg raises, legs on chair, twists, etc.



As a young man, Walker did 1,500 pull-ups a day, alternating between palms facing away, palms facing towards, and pulling up until the bar touched behind his head. When those became too easy, he’d tie a weight plate around his waist, and also do one-armed pull-ups, where one hand holds the bar, and the other grasps the wrist of the hand doing the holding.



Walker believes that “running or sprinting is the most important skill most athletes can have.” His own running most often took the form of sprints — speedy sprints. Truly, at 6’1” and 225 pounds, it’s amazing how fast Walker did and can move his muscular physique; he claims to still be able to run a 4.35 40-yard dash.

Growing up, Walker liked to do hills — sprinting up and trotting down — for the resistance and challenge the incline presented. He added resistance to his sprints in other ways as well — wearing a weight vest, running while holding small dumbbells in each hand, or pulling a tire filled with 25-50lb weights (dumbbells or shots); the tire was tethered behind him with a 15-foot cord secured to a leather weightlifting belt.


This is definitely something to look into if you don't have access to resistance training equipment, or if you simply enjoy bodyweight exercise.

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  • 5 months later...

Once I got all of the essential equipment I needed to lift seriously at home, I changed over to a Conjugate style of training, and have been killing it ever since.

In the last 4 months I've added the following amounts to my 1 rep max:

Squat: +50 pounds

Deadlift: +35 pounds

Bench Press: +15 pounds


And that was despite the fact that I threw my back out lifting right at the end of August, and had to ease back into Squats and Deads very slowly over the following months.  I think I should be able to keep making good progress for a while too, because I'm really just starting to figure out which exercises work well for me.


Today I did:

Trap Bar Deadlift: worked up to a single rep at 335 pounds.

Wide Stance Snatch Grip Deadlift: 225 pounds - 5 sets x 5 reps

Banded Leg Curls: Mini Band - 2 sets x 12 reps

Step Ups: 45 pounds - 1 set x 12 reps

Meadows Row: 45 pounds - 3 sets x 12 reps

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