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Honest Effort

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
Isaiah_Crockett_004.jpg

Isometric North Coast Miller
 

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
General impressions update:
- still have not gotten used to the near complete lack of a "pump"
- waking up exuding heat the day after a session and sleeping very deeply, like some adaptive remodeling is happening
- mini HIIT intervals are becoming easy, might increase the work to rest ratio a little, 12:36 to 15:30.
- won't be testing vs last known sandbag lifts for another three weeks or so, but am noticing an increase in strength generally during the initial 'amortization' phase of day to day moving stuff around and in general better bracing. Left shoulder pain is diminishing, I believe it just hasn't been loaded with so much tension in years and is slowly acclimating. Also my form is self-tweaking to avoid undue stress.

Physique overall hasn't really changed aside (curiously) from my biceps developing a sharper peak then the norm. Bodyweight might be up a lb or two.
Thats's some cool stuff happening! It's interesting that you sleep better. Whean Ive been doing isometric exercises years ago, albeit different format with shorter and all out effort holds, Ive had troubles sleeping, full of energy all the time etc. Like on meth.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Thats's some cool stuff happening! It's interesting that you sleep better. Whean Ive been doing isometric exercises years ago, albeit different format with shorter and all out effort holds, Ive had troubles sleeping, full of energy all the time etc. Like on meth.
Yeah, I'm having a tough time just not doing anything stupid outside the plan, like grabbing my 100lb sandbag and maxing out OHP. Plenty of time for that in another month. Pretty sure I'm too late starting this to be Doc Savage for Halloween, but '22 looks promising!
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Does not sound that stupid if you ask me. Am really looking forward to how the isos will transfer into "real" lifts for you.
Me too. I get a teaser when I pick up my sandbag to use for a bench, but that's it. I have suspicion that right now most of my adaptive response is tendon remodeling and firing rate, which might improve bracing but maybe not leak over to dynamic movement as much yet...IDK! All will be revealed in 4-6 weeks time.

My clothes don't fit any different but I look like I've lost mass (to me) although scale says + 1 or 2 lbs. Am also increasing definition in areas I don't normally see much, like across my delts and my quads. Hmmm
 

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
My clothes don't fit any different but I look like I've lost mass (to me) although scale says + 1 or 2 lbs. Am also increasing definition in areas I don't normally see much, like across my delts and my quads. Hmmm
Increased muscle fibre density? Or even bone density?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Increased muscle fibre density? Or even bone density?
The research would suggest tendon density (some) and increased stiffness, all through the muscle. The research which verified that ran a 12 week protocol, and I'm on week 4...maybe just "new program" enthusiasm.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- OHP
- Hamstring extension
- Row
- Dragon Flag/leg raise
- Triceps extension
All holds done 12 seconds on, 36 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT also 12 on 36 off

Note:
Next time use low hold behind back crossing press in place of overhead.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Chopped 2 seconds off the hold time and 6 seconds off the rest, added a few seconds to the HIIT interval and likewise chopped the rest period. Greater metabolic challenge and made the Iso holds line up almost perfectly with 4 hard exhales.

Subjective observations - my lower pecs are shrinking (good), triceps are getting huge (?!), quads are getting bigger, am losing bodyfat. Mentally am dialing in the effort etc, this no longer feels alien. Nerve pain in left delt is highly subject to positional strain and disappears within 15 minutes - is still troubling as it means I am compressing a nerve somewhere between my cervical disks and my shoulder capsule.

3 minutes jumprope
- DL
- Crossover High Pull
- Quad Lunge
- "Incline" Bench
- Hammer curl
- Crunch

All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 15 on 30 off.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- thumbs up lateral
- Hamstring extension
- Row
- leg raise
- Triceps extension
All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 15 on 30 off

Still feeling out a good anterior shoulder lift that doesn't trigger any nerve issues - next session will try crossed cable Gironda variant "high pull"
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Did a quick test to see where I'm at with isotonic crossover. Realistically I'm only about 5 weeks in. Did some loaded pushups, haven't done straight sets in a long time, but back when I weighed 205 I was hitting them for about 9 with a 95lb bag. With a 105 lb bag I just hammered out 12, this being approx 255lbs resistance on my hands at current bodyweight 195lbs, and haven't done a single loaded PU since August.

Very weird, the first couple reps felt like it was going to be unpleasant confirmation that isometrics can't stand in for isotonics, but the reps just kept coming. Was using this weight for Clusters at 5 reps, which was pretty reliably about 1/2 my rep max. Bare minimum I'm still hitting the results from my Clusters and maybe even improved, def stronger than I was in '19 and at 10-12 lbs less bodyweight.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Chopped 3 seconds off my HIIT, back to 12 seconds from 15, was just a bit too much for this plan...

3 minutes jumprope
- DL
- Crossover High Pull
- Quad Lunge
- Bench
- Hammer curl
- Crunch

All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- Gironda high pull
- Hamstring extension
- Row
- leg raise
- Triceps extension
All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off

Breakdown of pre-loading method:

Deadlift - LB (lean back)
Crossover High Pull - LF (lean forward)
Leg Extension - NA
Bench - NA
Crunch - NA
Curl - LB

Squat - LF
Gironda pull - LB
Hamstring curl - NA
Row - LB
Leg raise - NA
Tricep extension - LF
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3 minutes jumprope
- DL
- Crossover High Pull
- Quad Extension
- Bench
- Crunch
- Crossover Hammer curl


All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off.
 
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Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
Did a quick test to see where I'm at with isotonic crossover. Realistically I'm only about 5 weeks in. Did some loaded pushups, haven't done straight sets in a long time, but back when I weighed 205 I was hitting them for about 9 with a 95lb bag. With a 105 lb bag I just hammered out 12, this being approx 255lbs resistance on my hands at current bodyweight 195lbs, and haven't done a single loaded PU since August.

Very weird, the first couple reps felt like it was going to be unpleasant confirmation that isometrics can't stand in for isotonics, but the reps just kept coming. Was using this weight for Clusters at 5 reps, which was pretty reliably about 1/2 my rep max. Bare minimum I'm still hitting the results from my Clusters and maybe even improved, def stronger than I was in '19 and at 10-12 lbs less bodyweight.
If i put it in numbers, and considering 70% of BW is the push up load, then it is 9 reps at 238 vs 12 reps at 241, i.e. 30% increase in reps which is pretty significant.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
If i put it in numbers, and considering 70% of BW is the push up load, then it is 9 reps at 238 vs 12 reps at 241, i.e. 30% increase in reps which is pretty significant.


Yes it is. The confounding factor here is that I wasn't using straight sets when Cluster Set training, so I have to guestimate what it would have been. With a longer look-back, yeah - I've pushing more weight for more reps than I was doing back when I was a lot heavier and still pretty lean.

For loading I put a board on a scale and take that number - for me it winds up about 78% of bodyweight since I get out so far over the board. At the top of the ROM the board reads about 12 lbs less.

Am pretty stoked. The first three reps were very rusty and none of them had that smooth feeling you get when training a lift you've been doing regularly. Top it off I was using a pushup board I hadn't trained with in a long time, the spacing felt very off. But the reps just kept coming, might have even gotten a 13th if I had been warmed up or more confident...
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Mid day cold-start test of One Arm Rows using 105lb bag, no warmup, no shakeout, grab the bag and go.

Wasn't going to test this for another week or so but honestly I continue to feel some doubt no matter how confidently I'm approaching this - If its not carrying over to isotonics at the start of my 5th full week I need to know. Hit 11 reps with full scapular ROM, the 12th didn't quite chamber all the way (I would have counted it as a "rep" in my log though!).

Prior training reps with Clusters was 3, so a theoretical max of about 6, 8 tops.

Prior known training max for straight sets was 10 reps with a 90lb bag at 10lbs heavier bodyweight back in 2019.

You can see where this is going...
I have not trained full ROM on these since mid August followed by a month of detraining and tinkering, dialing in the holds and gear for the Iso block. Since then nothing but Iso. Since I train with the scap forward, basically the bottom of the ROM, any strength gains should have only translated to the first few inches - with about 18" of travel at the elbow, 20° of strength improvement would have only helped for about 3-4 inches of load elevation and not at all at the top 3-4 inches of the lift where the moment arm is at its longest/resistance is at its highest.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- Gironda high pull
- Hamstring curl
- Row
- leg raise
- Triceps extension
All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3 minutes jumprope
- DL
- Crossover High Pull
- Quad Extension
- Bench
- Crunch
- Crossover Hammer curl
All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Quick test sandbag OHP neutral grip off the knuckles with 105lb bag. This movement is the furthest posturally from the Isometric holds I've been using. I only did a mechanical equivalent a couple times before nerve pain in my Left shoulder convinced me to swap it out.

Previous Cluster working rep count was 5, so at absolute best 12, maybe 14 reps screaming. Cold start, knocked off 20 and probably could have gotten one more.

You see where this is going...

On the negative side I am barely gaining any weight, which is maybe good since I'm not gaining fat and only gaining a little muscle, which means I need to tuck in another 2-300 cals/day.

Other thing I'm noticing is a rust colored blush across the inside of my fingers, first joint, mostly index and pinkie. Very small blood blister/broken vessels where the straps cross my fingers - I'm pulling with considerably more force than my bags weigh. Also a slight bit across the bridge of my hand, which can only be from benching.
 
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