Aesthetics

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
I just started doing HIIT a few months ago, using jump rope. 20 seconds on, 40 seconds off, 12 minutes. I definitely feel like I have more wind and am able to maintain better breathing while doing all out effort.
Do you plan to reduce the rest in the future ? For instance, until reaching 1:1 work to rest ratio, or even 1:0,5 ?

I think that you may know this kind of routine, but from J. Little, here is an example of B. Lee's isometrics routine:
Bruce Lee Isometrics Training Workout
I guess that if one pairs this routine with some circuit training or LSD or HIIT, it can give plenty of strength, endurance and old-school physique.

If I hit my mass target this year I'll likely drop back to more of an SF/A&A methodology to maintain long term
Are you looking for weight loss or gain ? Do not you think that your routine is sustainable on the long term ?

+1 for @Kozushi
In my boxing class, there are some folks who are incredibly strong but not "fit and hero / SF-like" at all. To a certain extent, some of them even have some kind of "fat belly". This does not mean they would not be even better if they'd lose a little bit of fat.

I think our daily activity - meaning our job or lifestyle - can also play a role. My former boxing teacher was a brick layer. He was ripped like hell, despite fast food eating as an habit. On the other hand, we can consider other folks such as Jack Dempsey (old time boxer) who was a miner. If you look at pictures of him, he had broad shoulders, arms, strong torso, but far from being ripped. He had strong legs as well. On a more humble side, my grand-father was able to lift from the ground 120kg bag, put them on his back, and then to climb a ladder, at 16 year old. He was strong, endurant (1,75m, 70kg max), but never had a ripped torso. He was just lean.

To a certain extent, beyond the physical activity, I think diet comes to play a role. A moderate diet (eating a little bit of everything without excess), for example stopping to eat when we are 80% full, may be enough to get a pleasing old-school physique, without

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller

Do you plan to reduce the rest in the future ? For instance, until reaching 1:1 work to rest ratio, or even 1:0,5 ?
I hope to chop the rest periods a bit more - currently if I shortened them I'd have to reduce number of repeats. That would push it to more of a Tabata protocol, which IMHO is the most effective dose per training time, but maybe that level of intensity is not quite needed if a little more volume is used (and plenty of research indicate this to be true). A 1:1 or 1:1.5 with the same number of repeats would be my current end goal.

I think that you may know this kind of routine, but from J. Little, here is an example of B. Lee's isometrics routine:
Bruce Lee Isometrics Training Workout
I guess that if one pairs this routine with some circuit training or LSD or HIIT, it can give plenty of strength, endurance and old-school physique.
I would not have really believed it prior to doing my own experimentation, but I believe it now. Very little external load accessory work would be needed on top of this. One of my goals for 2019 is to really understand the relationship between Iso and HIIT and whether it extends to other modalities - as your example using LSD or circuit HIT (next on the agenda).


Are you looking for weight loss or gain ? Do not you think that your routine is sustainable on the long term ?
I'm looking to get another 10lbs or so. I've gotten to a lean 195lbs before but never kept it on long enough to make it the new normal. That would take owning it for at least 6-8 months, a year would be better.Putting this weight on lean is not the easiest without barbell I'm finding, my body doesn't want to go much above 185lbs without a lot of effort and food.

Sustainability is always just a matter of intensity vs recovery/volume, so I actually believe I could maintain this indefinitely within the range I operate. I'd like to see if I am able to more easily maintain more lean mass using A&A compared to HIT. Whether (at least in my case/age) the added intensity is needed to hold onto gains. I did find it worked very well for making gains over the last year or two where I was stalling in some respects.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
Below is the S. Low's article about isometrics. There is the adaptation of the Prilepin's charts.
Prilepin tables for bodyweight strength isometric and eccentric exercises

Due to this aesthetics and strength of the gymnasts, I think this makes sense.

Kind regards,

Pet'
Yes, I've seen that table before, it makes a lot of sense. One of the things about Iso I am still trying to understand through experience is the difference between CNS and physical fatigue. It is tough to gauge what's happening in terms of actual metabolic cost.

These sessions are extremely intense, tons of sweat and the sensation in the respiratory system similar to doing heavy barbell work. But the pump is relatively modest and within an hour or so it feels like complete recovery...almost. And then there is the after effect when paired with HIIT. This is definitely more than connective tissue/CNS work but not as taxing as external load rep work.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
Sounds almost like the "2 minutes 1 repetition" described by S. Maxwell (1 minute for eccentric and 1 minute for concentric). This is quasi-isometrics training. Like you, he states that it challenges a lot the cardio-respiratory but does not advise doing it more than once a week
The Official Steve Maxwell Website

All other things being equal, based on your experience, what "method" works better for both performance and body composition (some kind of compromise then) between isometrics and light weight stuff or high rep ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
Sounds almost like the "2 minutes 1 repetition" described by S. Maxwell (1 minute for eccentric and 1 minute for concentric). This is quasi-isometrics training. Like you, he states that it challenges a lot the cardio-respiratory but does not advise doing it more than once a week
The Official Steve Maxwell Website

All other things being equal, based on your experience, what "method" works better for both performance and body composition (some kind of compromise then) between isometrics and light weight stuff or high rep ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
I honestly haven't done enough Iso yet to comment much. In the past I used it almost exclusively for speed, so if it does pan out for body comp when integrated with other stuff I'm hopeful but still in the process of learning. It sure isn't known for that, but then I literally stumbled across the combined effect with HIIT by chance. I have not come across any references to a synergistic effect between the two.

The Super Slow stuff has worked well for some folks but it doesn't seem to have a very reliable track record for strength or body comp even if it is very challenging to perform. Maybe it too works best integrated with other metabolic work. I find it incredibly tedious (even compared to Iso!) and admit to never using it more than for tinkering around. I figure if I were only doing Iso and no other resistance work, I could go 2x week, wouldn't even try a 3rd.

I am and always have been a fan of working a broad rep and load range, from 15 to 3 or so, for every attribute. But...for body comp specifically I am a big believer in TUT between 45 and 60 seconds, and with a lot of effort devoted to the final set. This is where so-called set extenders come in, eg allowing one to work with a 3-5 RM load and then using RestPause or Dropsets extend the "working" time to that 45-60 second mark. This is not technically going to failure as all reps are completed, but there is no way you're going to get the TUT using only straight sets at that high a % of your 1RM.

And then just emphasize good control on the eccentric for at least a 1:1 but better 1:2 ratio concentric to eccentric.

I've tried the strict "one set and done" HIT and it didn't work well for me. I need 2-3 sets per, but only using max effort on the last one.

For higher rep BW exercises or if the load is heavy and not easily changed, RestPause or Cluster sets are a great tool. If the load is easily/rapidly swappable then Dropsets are a better choice. And this type of strategy done even 1x a week/lift will produce a detectable result over time without effecting strength gains. In fact this is a good way to keep up on limit strength while still getting a bit of metabolic kick - any work at your 3-5 RM will provide some good connective tissue adaptation, it doesn't matter if you occasionally pile on some volume after at lower RM.

But...(bring on the disclaimer - what I am discussing is absolutely NOT SF approved methodology of volume accumulation) this is high metabolic stuff and more recovery is mandatory. I have used the exact same session makeup with and without the set extenders and recovery is night and day. In fact those few extra reps on just 2 lifts can add 10 minutes of recovery during the session - it can increase rest periods even for unrelated lifts if you're training with an eye toward not creaming yourself. So being mindful of the volume/intensity relationship one should keep this kind of work short in duration and be careful with the weekly volume.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
This is very interesting. If we consider the compromise of both aesthetics and performance as our goal, I always have got better results using a completely randomized training frame. Some days were cardio oriented, some others were strength oriented. The training was not done in a cycle or whatever and completely done by feeling.

Nonetheless, the more I learn from the forum and from other sources, the more I realize that either doing cycles (or weekly frame) or doing the very same daily routine tend to deliver the best results, despite the fact the body gets used quite fast.

For a while, I did an experiment though : twice a week, 5 sets of bodyweight regular push ups, very close to failure (failure-1), same for pull ups, dragon flags, pistol squats. I rested only 20s between sets. Twice a week, I did a Tabata with compound (burpees, deck squat...). I was in the best shape of my life ever...

However, recovery was tough and required proper nutrition and sleep...

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
This is very interesting. If we consider the compromise of both aesthetics and performance as our goal, I always have got better results using a completely randomized training frame. Some days were cardio oriented, some others were strength oriented. The training was not done in a cycle or whatever and completely done by feeling.

Nonetheless, the more I learn from the forum and from other sources, the more I realize that either doing cycles (or weekly frame) or doing the very same daily routine tend to deliver the best results, despite the fact the body gets used quite fast.

For a while, I did an experiment though : twice a week, 5 sets of bodyweight regular push ups, very close to failure (failure-1), same for pull ups, dragon flags, pistol squats. I rested only 20s between sets. Twice a week, I did a Tabata with compound (burpees, deck squat...). I was in the best shape of my life ever...

However, recovery was tough and required proper nutrition and sleep...

Kind regards,

Pet'
There are so many variables including what type of adaptive response is one looking for, what aspect.

I do well with variety but not in a random manner. Rather a larger number of lifts/movements rotated through, with enough time spent on each that I can really generate max effort, max form etc. So I normally do this by changing modalities, and regulate my training variable in terms of % time spent at what % effort. I don't really care about what weight I'm moving while training except to keep tabs on progress - I want it to increase reps or load or become easier.

I've learned that the higher intensity work definitely has a pricetag in terms of recovery. I've gone through bulking/strength phases where the day after a higher intensity session I could literally see and feel myself getting bigger as the day wore on just by eating/drinking - the effort was nuts and so was the recovery. This sort of effort is not sustainable!

But it is possible to manipulate load and volume a lot of ways to avoid torching out as long as one isn't in a big hurry.
 

Harald Motz

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
There is an easy workaround for kefir that I use: Buy organic whole milk (for example from aldi, netto or whatever) + one pack of a well tasting industrial kefir (probably Kalinka Kefir from Mueller).
thank you very much for this, the easiest way to be back into to kefir business, without any mess. Works and tastes great. I most probably will never run out of it anymore.
 

Harald Motz

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Do you eat kefir especially due to the taste, or due to the nutrition specifics ?
It tastes really good. It is interesting what "life" does in just two days to give you kind of totally different outcome. It is the same, but different but more different than it is the same. There are reported health benefits especially to digestion. The bacteria feast on the lactose of the milk. when you let it work for three or four days depending also on the temperature you have two phases: the above is casein, underneath there is the whey a almost clear liquid.I imagine when they get into the stomach they keep on working.
 

Bret S.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Big time. This is becoming a huge problem in my opinion.
I first tried Winstrol in 1981, then Dianabol, then I messed with low doses of different drugs for a few years.
I was always very leery of taking alot of the stuff, what I took made me able to lift more weight and recover faster. There were guys around taking 10 times as much and who never got off of them, I was off as much time as on. Many BBs from the era are no longer with us.
I discovered that I could maintain a good size and strength level without the steroids, but then again I weighed 220 at 10% BF before I even thought about trying the stuff.
At SF training is more a lifetime endeavor focused on the real things that make us stronger, bigger, faster... whatever we want.. without drugs, (most of us I hope)
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

I think there are different strategies which lead to aesthetics. Then, it strongly depends on how our body reacts.

Some folks will do better with a combination of LSD or A+A and strength (low reps), some others will do better with HIIT and massive reps. As long as we are able to follow the routine long enough to get results, if diet is on the point I guess this is possible to get pretty good aesthetics.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
@Brett S
When I was training in the BB scene a lot of the guys were juicing (and some of the girls), along with one of my buds. It never seemed to effect everyone the same, some people just blew up and covered with pimples, some of em would get larger/more ripped overall, some would just turn hyper aggressive (tip, avoid informal sparring with folks who are on the juice!).

After seeing the nuggets that were growing out my buddy's back you couldn't have paid me to take any of em.

A good bit of aesthetics is gained or lost in the kitchen. After that you have to tailor your routine/strategy to your goals. There is or should be a lot of overlap with regular strength work.

Watched an interview with one of the trainers who coached Chris Helmsworth and Scarlett Johanssen for one of the Avenger's movies. Was pretty interesting how he structured the training cycle. Paraphrase "the methods the old time bodybuilders like Arnold used are still very effective".

The routine a different trainer had Josh Brolin using for the second Deadpool movie was also pretty standard stuff. The one thing that both trainers used a lot of was bodyweight mobility work to supplement the resistance training - agility ladders, skipping, backpedaling, Johanssen did a ton of air squats. They didn't come away with nothing but show.

Yet another interview with the guy who coached Bradley Cooper for Sniper and number of other A list actors/actresses, he used a lot of sled work. The biggest difference between shredding folks and just bulking them up came down to diet. He had them all moving pretty serious weight by the time they were done - his preferred cycle was 12 weeks.

@pet' is correct too, not everyone responds the same way to different strategies. I maintain that a fairly wide range of rep and loading work is ideal for everything, and then just spend the bulk of your time at whatever %RM and whatever exercise selection gives you the best results for your goals. A lot of folks appear to maybe overlook this especially when it comes to compound movements - use the movement pattern that loads most where you want the most adaptive response.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

Below is B. Cooper's training for American Sniper:
American Sniper Workout | T Nation
Bradley Cooper Workout: American Sniper | Pop Workouts

As already stated above, it seems diet and supplement played a significant role in the final result. Plus, I guess he also dedicated some time each day. To a certain extent, his body is his working tool. Do a "normal guy" would have as much time as he did to dedicate to training ? Is such a routine sustainable ?

When we see "actual" SEAL PT, it seems shorter, more intense, but enough to make them in pretty "acceptable" shape. Some routines are available on sealgrinderpt for instance.

+1 for the mobility work. If you look at the training philosophy of Ido Portal for example, this is a perfect mixture of mobility and strength. Everyday seems to be different. He also has an impressive physique IMO.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
Hello,

Below is B. Cooper's training for American Sniper:
American Sniper Workout | T Nation
Bradley Cooper Workout: American Sniper | Pop Workouts

As already stated above, it seems diet and supplement played a significant role in the final result. Plus, I guess he also dedicated some time each day. To a certain extent, his body is his working tool. Do a "normal guy" would have as much time as he did to dedicate to training ? Is such a routine sustainable ?

When we see "actual" SEAL PT, it seems shorter, more intense, but enough to make them in pretty "acceptable" shape. Some routines are available on sealgrinderpt for instance.

+1 for the mobility work. If you look at the training philosophy of Ido Portal for example, this is a perfect mixture of mobility and strength. Everyday seems to be different. He also has an impressive physique IMO.

Kind regards,

Pet'
Most of these actors cycles are 2x/day and no way they could be sustainable in most cases. But then once the lean mass is on, the hardest part is done.

If you just had to get someone into shape at the same approx body weight is a whole different ballgame. Tweaks of + or - 10lbs not a big deal. 20lbs +, or take someone from couch potato to shredded is a much tougher task.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
I think you underline something interesting: it also depends on your starting point.

Here is an impressive "transformation" and training, from Charlie Hunnam (King Arthur movie). Do not know if this is possible or not though...
Here, the approach is supposed to be different: massive number of repetition, and I guess a lot of food !

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Most of these actors cycles are 2x/day and no way they could be sustainable in most cases.
Agreed. Mark Twight has been training a lot of "hero" actors for a while. I think his programs for them are usually a few months long and periodized for hypertrophy followed by fat loss. I suppose one could keep alternating those two types of programs with good success but I wouldn't want to rotate back and forth on those two alone for years on end. Real life heros have a long career of aesthetic performance compared to a few months for ones that only play a hero on TV.
 
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