Saturday, March 19, 2011

Training Diary-Phase 2- Wk1.

Hey guys, so here we are on the next phase of my 12 week, by 3 phase program. I started out bad this week, I missed training on Monday due to a total lack of organization on my part, so I'm training 4 days in a row this week.  I just got home from dinner with my girl, I had a non-vegetarian thali (obsessed much?). I also had chicken on Monday night, and Friday night but that's it in the meat department. The slight addition of meat into the diet has made me feel waaaay more even, more whole, so I think I'm going to keep it up for a while.And if you think about it, at 5 meals a day 7 days a week (35 meals p/week), 3 meat meals is only a failure of just under 10% (how's my math??), considering my meat intake was closer to 40% a couple of weeks ago, I'm not too upset about a slight inclusion of some meat.

So I did a very basic and quick warm up on Tuesday and Wednesday, foam rolling for the body parts used in that workout, followed by some basic stretches, no mobility (except for my thoracic spine) or activation work though. If you check out my blog on both foam rolling and stretching, you'll see what I did (essentially).The thoracic mobility work is not included in those blogs and could make a good blog post on it's own.

Rob Superset

Phase 2

Day 1

Upper BodySRWk1
BB Inc Press/ DB BO Row310 60kg/32.5kg, 70kg/35kg, 70kg/37.5kg.
DB Bench/ Core Row310 32.5kg/10kg, 32.5kg/15kg Skipped last set.
DB Std Prss/ CG Pullup310 22.5kg/BWx9, 27.5kg/BWx9, 30kg/BWx8.
Dip/ Preacher Crl310 BWx10/37.5kg, BWx 10/37.5kg, BWx10/37.5kg.
CG Pushup/ DB Hammer Crl310 Yes I continue to be weak.

Day 2

Lower Body/AbsSRWk1
Front Squat310 60kg, 70kg, 80kg.
DB Rvrs Lng/ PullThrough310 17.5kg/140kg, 20kg/150kg, 22.5kg/150kg.
Hack Squat/BB  Hip Ext310 60kg/60kg, 60kg/60kg, 60kg/60kg.
Pallof Press (each side)310 70kg, 80kg, 80kg.

Day 3

Upper BodySRWk1
DB Inc Bench/ BB BO Row310 30kg/60kg, 35kg/80kg, 35kg/80kg.
Wghtd Pushup/ Invrtd Pullup *310 22.5kg/Weighted Vest (10kg), 45kg/WV, 45kg/WV.
DB Std Arnold/ Mx Grip Pullup310 25kg/BWx9, 25kg/BWx10, 25kg/BWx9.
CG Bench/ DB Alt Curl310 60kg/15kg, 60kg/17.5kg. Skipped due to time (and weakness)
DB O/H Ext/ BB Curl310 Ditto.

Day 4
Lower Body S R Wk1
BB Sumo Deadlift 3 10  60kg, 80kg, 100kg
RFESS/ Kttlbll Swg 3 10  20kg/28kg, 20kg/28kg, 20kg/28kg
Leg Press/ Sngl Leg Curl 3 10  Skipped
Valslide Rllt/ Plank 10  1/1, 1/1, 1/1
* Pushup and Inverted pullups are weighted

If anyone is having any problems understanding my training program writing style, allow me to elaborate.  I've used abbreviations for all the exercises as I have them in an excel spreadsheet, and have simply copied them over and I don't have much room. Usually I take out the vowels, for example: DB= Dumbbell, Mx Grip Pullup: Mixed Grip Pullup, RFESS: Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat, DB BO Row: Dumbbell Bent Over Row, S= Set, R= Reps etc. Does this help?

You'll also see some repetition in the exercises, there is quite a lot of volume in this routine, many exercises and little choice, as I generally don't like to use machines, though they do come in handy for variation. What I've done is try to take different grips, move the same exercises around in the workout to try an minimise the law of diminishing returns. I've also made a concerted effort, where possible, to increase the weight lifted, but first week and all, we'll see. Some interesting points were brought up to me by my buddy Matt, I thought I'd include his thoughts for you guys:
"I’ve been paying more attention to your articles lately.  And I actually send them on to a couple of people who are interested too.  I guess it’s confusing because sometimes an article will make a point that seemingly contradicts something from a routine you’ve designed.  I realise that like any science there’s different theories and methods but I suppose I find it odd if you’re the one promoting the articles but also designing the routines...
For example in the ‘lose fat, stay strong’ article the author suggests total reps for his strength circuit shouldn’t be more than 250 although in your current routine some days are as high as 360 reps total for the workout.  Likewise the, ‘28 things I’ve learned that bear repeating’ article states that rep ranges above 10 are largely a waste of time for ordinary people.  Are these claims to be isolated to the training context within which they are made?
The reason I ask is because lately I’ve been thinking I made need to try and be a little more forensic in my approach to training and diet.  In this regard. I am currently able to finish the routine you designed (except for the pull-ups and chin-ups) but I noticed that often you do not.  It is better for me to aim to complete the program or should I be pushing myself harder earlier even if it means not completing all exercises?" (Hollis 2011)
I appreciate everyone's comments, so thanks to Matt for his well thought out email. This goes out to anyone who might have been thinking the same as Matt. The program is intensive, exhaustive and as you see, I don't always finish it. There are reasons, ad hoc or not, but here they are: I want to work at a high intensity, to keep my bodyfat levels down, I like intensity for hypertrophy workouts, and they still only take about 45mins, so it's not like I'm spending hours in the gym. I have very little rest time, and due to the volume I do cut myself some slack, and as I said to Matt, because my arms grow so easily, if there's an area I'm gonna skimp on, it's my arms. Would my program work for others? Maybe not, remember, this program is tailored to me, my goals, what I know my body can handle and what I feel I need. It depends on your goals, training age, body type, injury history, things of this nature. My thought process by behind the rep ranges were: as I move to each phase of the program, the reps come down, the weight goes up, so as the reps come down, more weight is moved, hence as I get more accustomed to a program I'm constantly tweaking variables to shock my body. I like to think I have enough baseline strength to be able to lift reasonable weight for 10-12 reps, so I was willing to overlook the possible loss of maximal muscle gain to give myself a place to go, perhaps in the future I will tailor my program so that when I get to phase 3, I will be at 6 reps, as opposed to the 8 I will be by the end of this program. Either way, some things to think about.

My next program will be more body part intensive, with less volume, to shock my body up. Any strength coaches will invariably cringe when reading this, as bodypart training is out of popularity, but I will try to make the program as "functional" as possible. I am after all going for muscle, not function. Though having said that, I would still like to retain and maintain as much function as possible and not causing myself injury.

Diet has been pretty similar, keep in mind this is a general outline, I do vary from this, and I suggest you all vary your diets too. I've added a little more oats into my breakfast, thanks to Eloise's suggestions.

Breakfast: 1 cup of oats with 1 scoop protein powder, hi lo milk, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. 700mL of water.

Meal after morning shift:  Smoothy- 1/2 cup of berries, 1 cup of mixed veggies, 1 banana, 1 pear/apple, 1/2 cup of walnuts/cashews, a touch of cinnamon, 750mL of water, 1 cup of yogurt, 150g cottage cheese, 3 broccoli stems, handful of cherry tomatoes, lentils, chick peas (or various other types of beans/lentils). I also forgot to note, this makes 2 shakes that I have over the course of the day, or I have the leftover one the next day.

Meal before training and afternoon shift: 1 can of salt reduced baked beans, 1 glass of Hilo milk. 500mL water.

Post workout shake: x2  up n go "energize"'s, 30g of protein powder. 500-700mL of water during training.

Dinner: Various egg options, I cooked up my chicken and made a korma curry with it.But as you see above, have only had 2 meals from it, other meals included eggs on toast, egg white omelette's with toast etc.

Supplements. 3-4 fish oil tabs with my morning smoothy, and I've started taking a multivitamin supplement once-twice a day.


  1. So you gotta tell me how those smoothies taste... because everything always sounds great until I keep reading and get to the random savouries/vegetables/legumes that I don't normally associate with a delicious beverage ;)

  2. Haha, they're my favourite part of the day! They taste mostly like cinnamon and banana.. Did you get my email?

  3. I sure did! Thanks for putting me on your list!

    So the smoothies definitely don't just taste like pureed vegetables? I'm still apprehensive, but def looking for more foods/drinks I can have during my working day to keep me full so I don't just go to Subway for a 2nd/3rd lunch ;)

  4. Haha, they may taste.. interesting, is the word I'm gonna go with, at first, but play around with what works for you? Let me know what combinations you try and like. If you haven't checked out this blog, you should, it has some ideas for smoothies...