Unilateral, DE work, infinite intensity, complex training, endurance,heavy lifting...

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Urban, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    So I've been working on a comprehensive routine. Taking things that work and scrapping what does not, and here's some thoughts on what is working for me

    - Unilateral lower body work is more important than unilateral upper body work and easier to incorporate. However, this does NOT apply to total body movements like DB/BB/KB snatches with one hand, DB shotputs, or conditioning work.

    - Complex training (supersetting a heavy movement with a plyometric movement) works, and may be better than an ME/DE day for fighters, HOWEVER it IS very taxing on the central nervous system. I do think you could get by with 4 complex training sessions over three weeks for a very long time with no ill effects, and as a fighter, that's probably perfect since you're probably only lifting 2x a week anyhow

    - Westside for skinny bastards 1 constitutes an EASY and EFFECTIVE cookie cutter routine to adapt as an athlete. Changes I made:
    • replace the ME movement with a complex training style superset, shoot for a 5 rep max on both the plyometric and ME movement on three sets. If you hit 5 reps on the first set, up the weight/intensity/resistance for the next set and repeat. For example, if you pair plyometric pushups with bench and hit 5 reps on your bench, increase it 10-20lbs for the next set, if you hit 5 reps on your plyo-pushups, elevate your feet or switch to a more difficult variation (double claps, power overs, drop pushups, or one handed plyos)
    • Add a 4th workout: RE leg day. Since you're probably only working out twice a week, and one of those is always going to be a complex training day a higher rep leg day may give your CNS a chance to recover. Instead of an ME exercise, do 3x10-20 back squats. If you hit 20 reps, raise the weight.
    • Begin every lower body with 3 sets of overhead squats, using the first two to warm up for a new 15 rep max on the third
    • In the interest of temporal economics I superset opposing muscles. Tate press + chinups, Pistols + good mornings, etc. on my assistance work. It works fine.
    • Follow every lifting day with a conditioning day (or two, but make one of them lighter than the other) and follow that with a rest day.

    So the routine I'm using looks something like this:
    Lifting session 1
     
  2. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    Each session (lifting, conditioning, or rest) gets its own day. If you HAVE to combine days, conditioning comes after lifting, prefferably with a rest in between, if you can't do both lifting and conditioning, most athletes would benefit the most from focusing on cardio and conditioning.

    As far as what to do after a lifting or conditioning session, this routine is meant to be used in tandem with a sport specific training schedule. I use it in addition to 2 hours of daily firefighter training, which varies in intensity like any other training (MMA, full contact cullinary arts, boxing, whatever). I would space the sessions outlined in this routine as far opposite from other training as possible (12 hours in between if possible).

    Equipment I've been using:
    2 Plate loaded barbells
    Thick bar
    Power Rack
    Adjustable Bench
    Pull up station and belt
    Dip station
    Dumbells
    Sandbag
    Thick handled kettlebell
    Medicine ball (I'll be switching to a second, smaller sandbag for adjustability)
    Bumper plates
    Loading pin to stabilize plates for elevated plyo pushups
    Oly lifting platform
    3' length of 2" rope for pullups
    600+ lb Tire
    Sled
    Sledgehammer
    Adjustable Clubbell

    Equipment you NEED to use these protocols:
    Plate loaded barbell
    Power rack
    pull up station and belt
    Dumbells

    It's engineered for interval training, though I've been thinking that a 12+ hour separation between an aerobic running session (LSD) and any of the workouts allows for you to put running anywhere you want. interval training (especially the types of sessions ross outlines) are definitely a possibility for the conditioning days, but i find I don't miss running much with the conditioning drills listed. Keep in mind, this routine is far from complete, for every variation and possibility listed there are a dozen that are not. "crossfit" session alone leaves over a hundred of possibilities, "warrior challenge" over a dozen, strongman medleys, kettlebell sessions, and 50/20 drills leave thousands of possible combinations and permutations, not including calisthenic circuits, minute drills, litvinov workouts, etc. for conditioning days.

    or the hundreds of possible horizontal row exercises besides Bent Over Barbell Row, Dumbbell Row, and Seated Cable Row, not including the possible variations loading parameters and weekly goals (more weight, more reps, more power, more density on one or all of the sets), changing the force curve (via different bands or differing chain weights), or different exercise mediums (thickbar, KB, thick dumbells, different pulley handles, etc.)

    One of the reasons I used WSFSB as a template is its infinite flexibility. With this in mind you could potentially use a simple progressive overload paradigm for the rest of your lifting career and continue to make gains without mucking around with super advanced periodization systems.

    No rest between any two exercises in a superset (complex training included). Then 2-5 minutes rest in between sets. So Bench, Plyo pushups, 3-5minutes rest, bench, plyo pushups, 3-5 minutes rest.

    I keep it simple: surpass my previous performance on every exercise. If I fail to do this, the exercise is subject to immediate replacement (sometimes that same workout, sometimes the next week).

    The constant change paradigm you describe for assistance work isn't altogether bad, but it will take 4-8 weeks (depending on how many variations you go through) to determine whether or not you gain proficiency at a movement when it gets rotated through a second time. If you keep at it on pullups until they stall, you effectively guage progress on that movement for the weeks you keep it in the routine. whereas pullups to chinups, to rope pullups, to comando pullups to double row pullups to ring pullups, gives you 6 weeks before you get back to traditional pullups, on which you may not have made as much progress as if you just hit pullups hard until you stalled.

    If you're ok with that, great. Myself, I like to see progress on a regular basis, and am too impatient to wait 6 weeks to determine how well I'm doing (this is the same point of contention I have with linear periodization BTW).

    It's not a bad suggestion at all. all that is needed is a plyometric lower body movement, and box jumps or jump squats or something similar might be warranted, especially when pairing with a movement like front squats.

    I believe siff initially did his research on isometrics paired with plyometrics. However, I haven't worked that into my program just yet. The reason being, the way the program is set up now, I get to work the full ROM on a lift, isometrics tend to only have carryover
     
  3. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    People incorporate his conditioning work more than his strength training because of the availability of implements he doesn't incorporate into his programs. basically a rosstastic gym can be assembled for under 100 bucks, but if you have access to a barbell, plates, squat rack, bench, stones, tire, etc. why not use them? Hence the incorporation of his conditioning methods into a routine using strength protocols that he doesn't use himself.

    Beyond that, his conditioning sessions are widely used because they are very effective, however (and he'll readily admit this) they are not all there is out there. hence the variety in THIS routine and capability to incorporate other programs on conditioning days.

    Ultimately no good coach will claim their program is complete, they have to be flexible and admit that innovation and alternative protocols can be used effectively.

    Ha! I guess I kind of skirted around your question on his strength programs. The no bullshit answer is I think Ross has gained a lot of strength through his persuit of more challenging condtioning work and exercise variants. What drove this need home for me was infinite intensity, and now I live by the first part of my sig in the gym. You can go really far in strength development through through conditioning programs that regularly increase in load and intensity, it's the same way in which crossfitters can achieve respectable numbers (of course Ross's programs are generally better IMO and more specific for most people's goals). His strength programs are what I mentioned earlier: greatest effect with littlest financial investment, and in that regard, they're excellent, however I prefer the incorporation of more heavy lifting, and it works for me. Ross leaves it out due the the strain it puts on his fighters and it may be a very valid point.

    A fighter less than 6-8 weeks from a fight probably shouldn't be focusing on heavy lifting and peak strength... that ship has sailed. and if you're putting out a book for fighters, you want the most relevant sample routine you can create, which would be one focusing on those last 50 days.

    50/20 session - do 50 reps of a given exercise/complex/circuit in 20 minutes. If you can achieve 50 reps in under 20 minutes, increase the weight next time. Things I like for this drill: sandbag shouldering (25 times to each shoulder alternating each rep), sandbag getups (shoulder sandbag, get down, get up, drop sandbag and repeat on opposite side, 25 times each side), Barbell clean + front squat + pushpress complex, tire flips. Some Ideas i've been toying with but haven't tried yet: DB snatch + turkish getup complex, Barbell rollout + clean complex.

    Warrior challenge - in Ross's books there are several very difficult conditioning sessions,work capacity 101 is one of 8-12 I would keep in rotation. I won't list them, because frankly I think everyone should own ross's books, and I don't want to put his material on the internet for free.

    Strongman medley - Get 3-5 strongman exercises (tire flips, farmer's walks, stone/sandbag lifts loading, sled dragging, log press, etc.) and make a circuit out of them. Shoot for as many circuits as you can in 20-30 minutes.

    Crossfit session - I have about 20 different crossfit sessions on my list, not all of which I've tried. As much as I don't think crossfit comprises a complete system, I think they do a damn fine job developing conditioning sessions from time to time. These include some bodyweight circuits, some weight work, etc. The posted WOD is the resource from which I pool these workouts, however, on the occasion that I throw one into the rotation I don't just go online that day and grab whatever they have posted. I selected what I thought would be pretty difficult conditioning sessions, not 5x5 on squats and call it a day.

    Kettlebell work + sled pushing - here I spoke before I put this into practice. My kettlebell work consists of density training on the following complex: snatch + swing toss to opposite hand, repeat without break. My current goal is 40 repetitions bilaterally (80 reps total) with a 56lb lead loaded Kettlebell. Having just met a 20 rep goal (40 reps total) I was finding I recovered from these workouts quickly and had quite a bit of energy to burn afterwards. I figure sled pushing (5-10 100' pushes with 2 minute sets (work time + rest time = 2 minutes) would pretty much finish the job. however, my sled is at a separate location from my KB, so I used the 100 burpee challenge instead.

    Even still, with the hundred or so possibilities I just listed, the potential for these days isn't fully covered.

    Yeah, stick with a particular conditioning session once a week until it stalls. of course, if you do it once every two weeks you can keep 6 different sessions in your routine... but I like more frequent (weekly) repetition.

    getting a pullup bar. Honestly, your placement of DB snatches in the rear delt slot isn't a bad idea at all (something I hadn't considered for that spot in the routine actually), but I think if you do any kind of vertical pressing, you're going to want a vertical pulling movement. Short of that, you COULD do another row variant if it really came down to it, but I find most people have a place to do pullups if they look hard enough: tree branch, door jam, sprinkler pipe, etc. if your pullup "bar" is too thick, you could always throw a towel or rope or two around it and do pullups that way.

     
  4. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    At Ratman201's suggestion, I have consolidated the thread and will continue to do so as more questions come up
     
  5. WildCard

    WildCard Blue Belt

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    A positive I like is one the options and two I have been doing the 2-days a week full body and 5 nights of MMA training and squatting on tuesday ME and deadlifting on sat. ME just got to be to much my legs never recovered. I haven't tried this yet but I am about to do a workout and in theory tonight when I spar my legs will be fresh and upper body will be tired which is FINE!! So I think for someone like myself knocking out the upper body through the week letting legs get work from MMA than lifting/squatting hard on the weekend my legs get sunday before the coming week.

    I feel it is something I can implement and I am excited to give this a shot!!!
     
  6. WCLegend90

    WCLegend90 Orange Belt

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    This is pretty cool. Next week I'm staring WSFSB with some added conditioning/core work days.

    Should produce some very good results.
     
  7. Chaseg1520

    Chaseg1520 Green Belt

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    Meh... probably dumb questions but when you say "3 sets of max reps with 60s rest" how many reps are considered "max reps?" Also... I just wanted to make sure that I read this right, but doing martial arts ON TOP of the condition that this routine entails would not be overdoing it?
     
  8. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    If I hit 20 reps on any of the sets, I up the weight. So if one week I hit 20 @ 140 on log press on my second workset, I up the weight to 160 on my third workset, and so long as I don't hit 20 on that, 160 will be the weight I use on the first workset in two weeks when I do the workout again.
     
  9. Chaseg1520

    Chaseg1520 Green Belt

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    understood...
     
  10. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    Sorry, I didn't answer this part before -
    I have found this to be just fine in combination with my firefighting drills and such but really it comes down to listening to your body. the original wsfsb template was meant to be used in tandem with SPP, and I don't think every rep of these should be like 20 rep squats, the first 2/3=3/4 of the reps oughta be pretty quick. If you find what you're doing to be too strenuous consider alternating the exercise or shooting for higher reps (hence using a lighter load). Repetitious effort training is supposed to be less strenuous both physically and in terms of CNS fatigue than ME or DE training, so I don't really forsee a problem, but that's not to say one couldn't arise.
     
  11. Todd Gack

    Todd Gack Dutch

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    If i maxed out at 20 reps on set 1 I would probably only manage 8 reps on the second set after 60 seconds rest.
     
  12. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    Yeah, the average second set is 4-8 reps, so that's about right.
     
  13. Todd Gack

    Todd Gack Dutch

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    ah ok, it's not just me. I've seen guys who for some reason can almost equal the number of reps on their second set that they did on the first set despite going to failure on the first set. Boggles my mind dude.
     
  14. Chaseg1520

    Chaseg1520 Green Belt

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    Thanks again Urban :D
     
  15. Joe Funaro

    Joe Funaro Amateur Fighter

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    Question about supper setting. I never do it but it sounds like a good idea because of "temporal economy" as you said. Does this effect the other lift though?

    Lets say I'm lifting heavy on squats and I take long breaks in between, 3-5 minutes. It takes a long time to complete a squat workout.
    The rack I use has pull-up hands (neutral grip, best everrrrr). From your experience, could I work a set of squats rest 30 seconds do my pull-ups, then finish the rest period (2 minute) and be fine for the next squat set? The same goes for my bench. It would be a good time to add in a set of curls or ab work. So what, if any effect does the super-set have on the other lift.
     
  16. Miiiiiiighty

    Miiiiiiighty Silver Belt

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    Interesting thread
     
  17. jstall

    jstall Blue Belt

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    I try not to post until I see something that deserves a response...this post deserves a stone carving of the crazy bastard doing this routine.
    You sir can raise my children into wild destructive animals. I love 3 days that focus on compound movements and the rosstraining conditioning methods as supplements on "off days". Someimes I do Muay Thai round work instead of ross's conditioning but to each his own.
     
  18. FirstNobleTruth

    FirstNobleTruth Blue Belt

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    I'm interested to hear opinions about this. I would think it would affect the other lift, but not so much as to outweigh the benefits of increased work rate/temporal economy.
     
  19. Merrill

    Merrill Purple Belt

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    I use the alternating sets method with antogonist lifts. Looks like this:

    Set1: Bench Press
    Rest for predetermined rest period usually 2-3 minutes. Depends on your intensity though.
    Set2: BOR
    rest
    Set3: Bench Press
    rest
    continue until all sets are finished.

    I have not noticed that training this way affects either of the 2 lifts. If anything, it extends the rest time for each exercise and makes it easier to lift more weight. It also saves time. Sometimes I superset them performing one after another. This does affect anaerobic function. I am usually fatigued from the first set and cannot perform as well on the second exercise. I have not tried supersetting or doing alternating sets with non related exercises like squats and pull-ups but I assume the effects would be the same.
     
  20. Joe Funaro

    Joe Funaro Amateur Fighter

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    Well I superseted some lifts today to see what would happen. Im glad to say I saved time, got more work in and was all around happy with the results.

    I deadlifted, rested 30 seconds, did a set of pull-ups and finished resting, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, then repeat until I hit all the sets. I did the same with bench, I threw in curls (OHH NOEZZZ!) and found it had really no effect on the other lift.

    The only problem I can think of is with the deadlift/pull-up superset. Grip strength may become a factor as I get into heavy double and singles.
     

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