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Old 01-29-2007, 02:40 PM   #1
Stonebreaker

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Efforts of an Aging Ectomorph (lifting)

ec•to•morph (ěk'tə-mrf')
n. An individual having a lean, slightly muscular body build in which tissues derived from the embryonic ectoderm predominate.

The purpose of this log:
1. To serve as a handy backup to my spiral-bound, paper log, in a format which is both legible and not subject to sweat dripping on it.

2. A place to solicit advice and feedback in the warm and supportive environment that is Sherdog.net. If you bother reading this and see me doing something that you know from personal experience just isn't going to work, by all means, let me know. Constructive criticism is welcome. Open mockery will be returned in kind. Unconstructive criticism will earn you a quick entry on my ignore list, and I'll soon forget you ever existed.

3. A guide or a warning to the next scrawny, weak, total non-athlete on the wrong side of 30 to come wandering in here. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of guys in my overall size/age/strength bracket that keep logs here, but for the most part, the Training Log subforum is dominated by monstrous SOB's who routinely put up numbers which bear no more relation to my own than, say, the national debt does to the balance on my Visa card. I intend to keep posting this thing for a long time, and with any luck, someone else will come stumbling across the S&P, see this, and think "Hey, I'm not too far from where this guy was when he started, and he's been nice enough to post exactly what he's done to get where he is now." Depending on my results, of course, the hypothetical reader would then be able to either try what I've tried if it has worked for me, or avoid it like the plague if it hasn't.

The goals:
Me, only stronger.

Immediate goals:

1. Full Squat > Bench Press, just like a normally proportioned human being. [Hit on 2/3/2008, lost on 07/18/2008, reachieved 10/10/2008.]
2. Bench Press 1RM of 225. [Hit on 10/05/2007]
3. Deadlift 405. [Hit on 05/25/2008]
4. Bench Press 1RM of 250 [added 10/31/2007, race vs. Old Man, Bubble Boy and Flak, hit on 07/19/2008]
5. Overhead press 1RM of 170. [Added 3/26/2009]
6. Squat 1RM of 315. [Added 3/26/2009, hit on 12/17/2011]
7. BF% of 13 or less. [Added 3/26/2009]
8. 1.5/1/2xBW Squat/Bench/DL [Added 12/19/2011]
9. 1000lb total [Added 12/19/2011]

Longer Term Goals:

1. I will remove "scrawny" from my signature line when my bodyweight breaks 200lbs and stays there for two weeks. [Removed 02/17/2007, replaced 05/18/2007, removed again 09/05/2007]
2. I will remove "weak" from my signature line when my Wilks total hits 240. [Removed 06/02/2008]
3. I will remove "inflexible" when I can throw a head-level roundhouse kick without jumping, pulling something, or falling over.
4. I'm still working on a criterion "uncoordinated." Suggestions are appreciated.
5. "Short-winded" is going when I can do a six-minute mile again. Or when I break eight minutes on the 100-burpee challange. Or when I can do both. We'll see.

I tried to make these all reasonable and achievable: 200 lbs isn't particularly large, but even at my height, it can be definitively said that it isn't scrawny. A Wilks total of 240 isn't very strong at all, but I think that it's past the point of being actually weak. I'm looking forward to coming up with new benchmarks and goals after achieving these.

The Methods:
The transition from mindless laps through the weight machine circuit to ill-informed, semi-successful body-building style work to better informed, strength-oriented training is common enough around here that I won’t bother detailing my own variation on that theme.

This log starts with my second trip through ExRx.net’s Sample Power Lifting Programs "Basic Power Cycle," with most of the machine-based, isolation exercises for assistance work tossed out in favor of compound lifts. My first two-month cycle on it resulted in a modest 10% average increase for my squat, bench and deadlift. My log here starts with me continuing on that pattern, from roughly September 2006 through June 2007. There were some disruptions here and there for injuries, vacations, etc, but it was all pretty much a three day squat/bench/DL split, with assorted assistance lifts rounding out the day after the main lift was done.

I shifted over to Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength program in August 2007, and kept pounding away at slow, steady gains until January 2008, at which point it seemed like daily gains just weren’t coming any more, and I shifted to Rippetoe’s Texas Method of weekly cycling. A long, painful stall in the Texas Method eventually gave way to Wendler’s 5/3/1 in September 2009. The 5/3/1 is the current program.

If anyone is really curious as to how well the various methods worked, you can try matching the rough dates above with the recorded maxes shown below.

The short version is that I strongly recommend Starting Strength to anyone beginning on a course of strength training, whether you’re coming from some other program or just stepping into a gym for the first time. If you don’t have the cash to throw down for the book, then find one of the many places the routine has been posted online and go with that. I strongly recommend the book as a resource on form and technique, though: if I’d had it earlier and paid more attention, I could have saved myself a lot of time that I had to spend tearing down my squat and rebuilding it in better form.

History and Personal Bests:
If I had to do this section over again, I would have posted current 1RMs instead of all-time personal bests. Needless to say, there were plenty of times within the span shown below where I couldn’t come close to duplicating these numbers.

(Please hold all laughter until the end)

Personal Bests as of:
09/21/2006: Age 31, weight 193 (11.4%BF), Squat: 175, Bench: 195, Deadlift: 295
01/14/2007: Age 31, weight 192 (13.4%BF), Squat: 195, Bench: 205, Deadlift: 335
04/06/2007: Age 31, weight 197 (c.12.1% BF), Squat 205, Bench 205, Deadlift: 355
07/08/2007: Age 32, weight 198 (12.9% BF), Squat 215, Bench 215, Deadlift 365
02/23/2008: Age 32, weight 210 (16.4% BF), Squat 240, Bench 235, Deadlift 375
06/04/2008: Age 33, weight 208 (16.7% BF), Squat 245, Bench 240, Deadlift 405
07/19/2008: Age 33, weight 208 (c.16.5% BF), Squat 245, Bench 250, Deadlift 405
09/21/2008: Age 33, weight 210 (17.6%BF), Squat: 250, Bench: 250, Deadlift: 405
06/26/2009: Age 34, weight 205 (? BF), Squat: 260, Bench: 250, Deadlift: 405
09/22/2009: Age 34, weight 206 (16.5% BF), Squat: 260, Bench: 250, Deadlift: 405
03/20/1011: Age 35, weight 219 (17.5% BF), Squat: 275, Bench: 250, Deadlift: 405

Tested 1RMs:
03/25/2010: Age 34, weight 207 (16.5% BF), Squat: 240, Bench: 230, Deadlift: 345
03/20/2011: Age 35, weight 219 (17.5% BF), Squat: 275, Bench: 235, Deadlift: 365, OHP: 145
09/25/2011: Age 36, weight 234 (24.7% BF), Squat: 295, Bench: 250, Deadlift: 385, OHP: 155
12/22/2011: Age 36, weight 242 (27.1% BF), Squat: 315, Bench: 265, Deadlift: 415, OHP: 165
*at some point, I will backtrack through the log and replace the personal bests above with the more useful actual 1RMs from that time*

MMA Discussion:
I like MMA. I like discussing MMA. I don't like the main Sherdog MMA discussion forums because they are constantly filled with rumor, wild speculation, and strident proclamations with no foundation in fact or past performance.

If you want to talk MMA: men's, women's, UFC, Strikeforce, EliteXC, Pride, WEC, lightweight, heavyweight, bantamweight, whatever, I'll probably be glad to ramble endlessly about the subject. My log has some fight card write ups here and there (usually in red), and random thoughts get tossed into my workout logs or just as stand alone posts all the time. If I post something, feel free to respond. The only rule I have for talking MMA is one listed in the Heavyweight forums but is never enforced enough: if you're going to talk, talk intelligently and back up what you're saying. Anyone chiming in with "Hughes by (T)KO R1!!!!!" alone or any other such non-discussion posts will be treated as #2 in the "Purpose" above.

MMA Fight Predictions:
Overall: 170 out of 266 (63.9%)
By method of victory: 102 out of 266 (38.3%)
(long since discontinued and eventually resumed in the S&P/S&C Fight Prediction Leagues)

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Last edited by Stonebreaker; 12-27-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:51 PM   #2
Stonebreaker

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01/20/2007:
Warmup: 10 minutes @ resistance 20 @ c. 130 strides/minute on the arc trainer

Full Squat: 80x14; 120x12 (a couple of pauses between reps, sloppy form on last rep); 120x12 (lots of pause between reps, form on the last couple of reps looked more like goodmornings than anything else).

OH Squat: 85x7 (a couple of false starts, starting to feel rather tired), 85x3 (lost balance, decided to quit while I was ahead)

DB Lunges: 30'sx6 (just plain tired now), 30'sx4 (lost balance on return, actually managed to fall on my ass on the last rep)

Seated Calf Raise: Skipped

Leg Extensions: 90x6, 90x5

Hanging Leg-Hip Raise: Skipped

Total lift time: 50 minutes
Skipped cardio cool-down.
Bodyweight: 192

Notes:
This workout just flat sucked. I don't know what the hell was wrong with me today, but I was wiped out and weak throughout. This is a bad, bad way to start off the cycle. The word for the day is "yuck."

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I am inflexible, uncoordinated and short-winded.

"Anybody can lose one fight."

Last edited by Stonebreaker; 01-29-2007 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 01-29-2007, 02:51 PM   #3
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Good luck, man. It helps putting your numbers and methods out there for everyone to see and make fun of.

-Sin

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Old 01-29-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
Stonebreaker

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01/23/2007:
Warmup: 10 minutes @ resistance 20 @ c. 130 strides/minute on the arc trainer

Bench Press: 85x14, 125x13, 125x12

Standing Overhead Press: 80x7, 80x6

Incline Bench Press: 135x5, 125x6

Dips: 6, 5

DB Lateral Raise: 15'sx8

Wrist Roller (Extension): 10x1 (slow going)

Wrist Roller (Flexion): 12.5x1

DB Lateral Raise: 15'sx7

Wrist Roller (Extension): 10x1 (poor descent, just let it unwind through my hands towards the end)

Wrist Roller (Flexion): 12.5x1 (another poor descent)

Total Lift time: 52 minutes
Skipped cardio cool-down. Bad me.
Bodyweight: 199 (I don't think I actually managed to gain 7 pounds in three days, but that's what the scale said).

Notes:Not a good workout today, either. I've moved back to the standing OHP from the push press, and it seems I guessed a bit high on what weight to use. I'm hoping that the low reps on the incline bench were due to having them third in the lineup today instead of their usual #2 spot. Still went better than Saturday's Squats. Why the hell was 12 reps at 60% 1RM damn near impossible for my squats, but very nearly too easy on the bench? Sigh.

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Old 01-29-2007, 03:16 PM   #5
Stonebreaker

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01/25/2007:
Warmup: 10 minutes @ ramp 20 @ resistance 8 @ c. 120 strides/minute on the elliptical machine

Deadlift: 135x14, 205x12, 205x9 (just got winded?)

Stiff Leg Deadlift: 175x6, 155x8

Pullups: 5, 1 (yes, just one. WTF?)

BB Bent-over row: 80x9, 90x7

High Pull: 90x6 (very tired now, debating on whether or not to vomit, and calling it quits)

Incline Twist Situps: Skipped

Total Lift time: 49 minutes
20-minute trudge around the track for cool-down.
Bodyweight: 200 (It's the same damned scale. Maybe the 01/20 weight was the fluke).

Notes:
I think there's a word for what's been going wrong with this week: gassing. The previous month was all low rep-stuff, and I think the transition back to high reps is just kicking my ass. Looks like I'll be finding a way to spend more time on the arc trainers, ellipticals, or whatever else is available. Cardio: it's not just for warming up anymore.

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Old 01-29-2007, 03:23 PM   #6
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01/28/2007:
Warmup: 10 minutes @ resistance 20 @ c. 120 strides/minute on the arc trainer

Full Squat: 80x14; 130x10, 130x10 (some of pause between reps and a real struggle at the end)

OH Squat: 85x8, 85x8 (didn't go as deep as I'd like on the second set, need to put pins in power rack in lower next week)

DB Lunges: 30'sx8 , 30'sx8 (starting to get tired now)

Seated Calf Raise: 150x8, 150x7

Leg Extensions: 90x9

Hanging Leg-Hip Raise: 6

Leg Extensions: 90x8

Hanging Leg-Hip Raise: 6

Total lift time: 67 minutes
Cool-down: 20 minutes @ resistance 20 @ c. 120 strides/minute on the arc trainer
Bodyweight: 197

Notes:
MUCH better this week. Don't know why. Can't imagine that it was the tiny reduction in reps from last week to this that accounts for how much better this squat day went, but I don't know what else it might have been. Don't much care. Still need to get more cardio into my average week, and still very, very glad that today wasn't as crappy as last week.

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Old 01-31-2007, 08:20 AM   #7
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01/30/2007:
Warmup: 10 minutes @ resistance 20 @ c. 130 strides/minute on the arc trainer

Bench Press: 85x14, 135x12, 135x11

Standing Overhead Press: 70x8, 70x7

Incline Bench Press: 125x7, 125x5

Dips: 7, 5

DB Lateral Raise: 15'sx8, 15's 8

Wrist Roller (Extension): 10x1

Wrist Roller (Flexion): 12.5x1

Wrist Roller (Extension): 10x1 (agonizingly slow ascent, sloppy descent)

Wrist Roller (Flexion): 12.5x1 (not good, but okay)

Total Lift time: 54 minutes
Cool down: Arc trainer for 20 minutes at 25 resistance at c. 120 strides/minute
Bodyweight: 200

Notes:
The projected weight/reps on the bench press itself seem a bit light; The Plan called for two sets of ten, and it didn't really feel like much work to get there. The 2x10x65% was a challenge for my squats, and it will probably be one for my deadlifts as well, leaving me to conclude that I was having an off day when I last maxed out my bench, and that all the numbers I got from that are a bit low. Will try to estimate what my max bench might have been, recalculate the percentages from that, and see if that feels like I'm working a bit more next week.

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Old 02-01-2007, 09:48 AM   #8
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1/31/2007
Cardio on an antiquated recumbent bike. Did an approximation of interval training (four minutes fast, 1 minute slow) for half an hour, then a ten minute slow & easy cool down.

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Old 02-01-2007, 10:22 AM   #9
SmashiusClay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonebreaker
4. I'm still working on a criterion "uncoordinated." Suggestions are appreciated.
Learn to juggle, perhaps.

How are you working on your flexibility? If you need some pointers, I've been training for flexibility for quite a long time now.

Good luck with the log.

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Old 02-01-2007, 10:33 AM   #10
Stonebreaker

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It's not the log I need good luck with, it's the lifting.

"Uncoordinated" might go away at the same time "inflexible" does... a good high kick certainly has an element of coordination in it as well as simple flexibility.

As for improving said flexibility, I don't have a link or a list that I can easily point towards: I usually just follow up my cool-down with ten minutes worth of the basic stretches we all learned in high-school gym class, coupled with a couple of things my wife has picked up in her years of dance and yoga and has tried to teach me. If you have something that works well for splits/high kick flexibility that wouldn't already be in a newbie's arsenal of stretches, by all means, point the way.

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