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Honest Effort

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- Crossed cable anterior raise
- Straight leg Good Mornings
- 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

Am looking to change up the hamstring accessory hold, currently doing them prone, but need to get more hip hinge to increase muscle length without trashing my knees. Good Mornings stretch the hamstring more but almost all the effort comes from the glutes.

Am increasing calories yet again, by about 300, so a total of about 5-600 per day compared to where I was when finishing my Cluster training block. Ice cream in my AM protein shake and a few other small tweaks. We'll see if this doesn't spur some (lean) mass gain.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Really felt it at insertion point of pec muscles on the bench press today, also stretching am feeling less discomfort at stopping point. Increase in food is good! Legs are larger and more defined than they have been in decades.

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.

Am going to add a couple of simple oblique holds to my "off" days to keep up on anti-rotation and overall stability.
 
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Eyetic

Level 5 Valued Member
Really felt it at insertion point of pec muscles on the bench press today, also stretching am feeling less discomfort at stopping point. Increase in food is good! Legs are larger and more defined than they have been in decades.

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.
how long does it take overall? around 30 mins without warmups? are you doing any warmups btw?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
how long does it take overall? around 30 mins without warmups? are you doing any warmups btw?
My timer says 35 minutes, plus a few minutes to set up for the first hold and some of the change-overs require me to pause the timer for a few extra seconds. About 40 minutes start to finish. Timer gives 20 seconds between holds and after the second jump rope interval I get 90 seconds to change over. That's enough for most of em.

The only warmup is 3 minutes of jumprope and some arm waving. Am firm in not adding any more low intensity jump rope as I don't need to piss off my heel-spur, and once the session starts I'm getting plenty of "cardio".
 

Eyetic

Level 5 Valued Member
My timer says 35 minutes, plus a few minutes to set up for the first hold and some of the change-overs require me to pause the timer for a few extra seconds. About 40 minutes start to finish. Timer gives 20 seconds between holds and after the second jump rope interval I get 90 seconds to change over. That's enough for most of em.
Good to know as it enters in the "quick for busy people routines" as well..
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Good to know as it enters in the "quick for busy people routines" as well..
I'd like to make it shorter, but recognize in myself I do better with days off, rather than shorter sessions with more frequency.

The cool thing is the mini HIIT is improving (subjectively) my wind and burning off some bodyfat, still only training 3x per week.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Did a few exercises this afternoon, experimenting with a "pulse" strategy between exertions. Basically a rapid series of about 10% exertion/relaxation in the same position as the hold. For squat and DL I could only do 10 seconds and then had to straighten up for 10, use the last 10 to get back into position. Bench and abs (these were all I tested) I was able to do all 3 - the last interval I have to hop up and grab my jumprope.

This triggered quite a pump, even on my abs.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- Crossed cable anterior raise
- hamstring curl
- Row
- Oblique suitcase pull
- Triceps extension
All holds done 10 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off. Included 10 seconds of rapid "pulse" relax/contract 20% immediately following the first three of four exertions. This increased accumulated fatigue, really had to gut out the last two jumprope intervals.
 

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 full on, 10 seconds rapid relax/ 30% on, 20 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
- Crossed cable anterior raise
- hamstring curl
- Row
- Oblique suitcase pull
- Triceps extension
All holds done 10 seconds full on, 10 seconds rapid relax/ 30% on, 20 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" jumprope HIIT 12 on 30 off.

Starting to accumulate some increased muscle, a lot of it in my legs.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Ran another test, Skater squats with 105lb bag. I don't have a clean previous number for these - changed from crate squats which were about 25% easier to skaters with more weight. Was hitting 8-10 with 120lbs (cluster reps = 4). With 105lbs was using 6 reps for Cluster so about 12, maybe 15.

Nailed 20 reps from a cold start, so at least 25% increase, maybe more but for sure 25% minimum.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
The pulse factor turned my crunches from one of the least challenging to one of the toughest, and sprint in place def uses more upper body movement than jumping rope. Am hitting those pulse efforts with a little more zip.

The extra chocolate ice cream in my AM smoothie has me on the right track for some lean mass gain - amazing how that works! Most of the "bulk and cut" folks can't quite wrap their heads around it...

3 minutes jumprope
- DL
- Crossover High Pull
- Quad Extension
- Bench
- Crunch
- Hammer curl
All holds done 10 seconds full on, 10 seconds rapid relax/ 30 - 50% on, 20 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" sprint-in-place HIIT 12 on 30 off.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Testing OHP it seems whatever was going on with my left shoulder is resolved. Also swapped high pull for a bar version. Only triceps and biceps are "cable" equivalent. Leg extension and curl are machine equivalent. Squat, DL, benchpress OHP, upright row, and row are barbell equivalent.

Real happy about this, will make ultimately testing vs isotonics that much more straightforeward.

Scale reads 196lbs.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Further side by side subjective testing revealed that some of the bar analogs aren't quite as effective as the "cable" versions - which are able to work the muscle at longer lengths. I guess I have to consider it as much a test of carryover as anything else.

3minutes jumprope warmup
- Squat
- OHP press
- hamstring curl
- Crossover row
- Oblique suitcase pull
- Triceps extension
All holds done 10 seconds full on, 10 seconds rapid relax/ 30 - 50% on, 20 seconds off, 4 intervals followed by two "max effort" sprint-in-place HIIT 12 on 30 off.
 

masa

Level 9 Valued Member
The extra chocolate ice cream in my AM smoothie has me on the right track for some lean mass gain - amazing how that works! Most of the "bulk and cut" folks can't quite wrap their heads around it...
Interesting! What else is in your AM smoothie, if I may ask?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
@masa

I was challenged re my mass building strategy not too long ago and had never really thought of it in a way that could be written down and shared - very instinctive from my POV, but not really after thinking about it for a few. Sorry for the wall of text - I want to put this on paper somewhere.

I start with a base 3 meals/day diet including beers etc plus one optional protein shake between lunch and dinner - that maintains pretty much at a level bodyweight. It is fairly high in protein, about 1.2 g to kg bodyweight and fairly low in fat, 25% fat absolute max and closer to 20%. If I stop training and stay on this diet I will slowly get fat, if I increase my training load, volume, etc I will slowly burn off bodyfat, energy levels will drop and eventually I'll become angry and tired much of the time and need to increase calories or reduce training burden. This is the essence of my dietary strategy and what makes my approach to muscle building possible as opposed to the "bulk and cut" crowd.

If I really want to increase muscle I start by jacking protein to about 2g per kilo and increasing carbs and protein about equally to approx 300 calorie surplus - this is pretty easy since I don't change my basic 3 meals, I just add some snacks. This increase is accompanied by an increase in training effort or density - there has to be a credible demand for more muscle. Normally the extra calories will mostly be consumed as fuel - I won't gain any weight but will get a boost in strength and endurance, recovery will be easier. This is energy balance at a higher energy state.

I could stay on this mode and very slowly gain pretty much 100% lean muscle but it is a real high-octane approach that is tough to maintain and manage. The line between getting bigger and just getting angry is too fine and since stress levels are high it is easy to either stall on weight/strength gain or go the other way and start to just get fat and burn out.

What I do instead is keep training effort high and increase calories a second time, by another 300-400 calories or so (remember, this is all "snack" items I am deliberately adding, I'm not trying to figure any of this out by tinkering with my base 3 meals) - I like to start with fats since they are very easy to add to a diet (cue the chocolate ice cream!). This puts me into a positive balance where most of the fats and virtually all the carbs are being consumed but less and less of the protein is being scavenged for energy anymore - which is what must be happening if I'm not gaining muscle with a lot of protein in the diet. Now I start to measurably gain muscle.

When I notice I'm accumulating a bit of fat around the middle I know exactly what to cut - that last bit of added fats. Many people don't quite grasp this or don't want to, but the relationship between excess ingested fat and accumulated body fat is one to one. There is some leeway with excess carbs since the body stores it as glycogen and then increases resting energy output - the last thing it wants to do or will do in an exercising person is convert it to fats (excess protein is converted to carbs). And if you are exercising with intensity the body is constantly recycling lactate and replenishing muscle glucose - it will continue to burn a lot of fat even when eating a lot of carbs.

The only two variables then become training burden and that last bit of tasty fats that I can go up or down on and get changes in body fat balance visible to me on a weekly basis. There's no diet stress of "cutting", all I'm doing is reducing that part of the diet that freed up the protein to be used for added muscle instead of burning for energy. It doesn't effect maintenance enough to talk about, the fat I've stored is equivalent to a small surplus and it gets burned up almost no different than if I were at a lower % bodyfat and were eating a little more dietary fat.

This is the second thing a lot of people don't quite grasp but what makes it possible to gain muscle "at maintenance" or as is often talked about "gain muscle while losing fat" that is supposedly only possible for beginners. Granted, everyone is different, and the body will start to steal increasing amounts of protein for energy as your bodyfat % drops or if you try to supplement too much maintenance energy from stored fat. But...if muscle mass starts to decline along with bodyfat you can either increase protein (no point in doing this if its already really high), or increase carbs, which will have the same effect by sparing protein for muscle maintenance. We're now coming back around full circle to the initial diet strategy for maintenance.
 

masa

Level 9 Valued Member
@North Coast Miller, you wrote great explanation of your diet. Thanks! Especially that snacking part sounds interesting. I try to lose weight and eat only two meals a day. I've been trying to cut carbs and eat more healthier fats, but haven't monitored my protein intake that much. Maybe I should start to watch it too. I take protein pudding and whey powder occasionally, but not regularly. I have to think this through.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
@North Coast Miller, you wrote great explanation of your diet. Thanks! Especially that snacking part sounds interesting. I try to lose weight and eat only two meals a day. I've been trying to cut carbs and eat more healthier fats, but haven't monitored my protein intake that much. Maybe I should start to watch it too. I take protein pudding and whey powder occasionally, but not regularly. I have to think this through.
The toughest part of the whole thing (and I got this from Kenny Croaxdale) is to add up total foods for three days, one of them a day off and average it out. This means line by line estimates of total calories per item and what macro% it is. It took me about a week to figure it all out, but is a great education that will increase your nutrition lore tremendously.

I have had success just chopping out lunch, and that's absolutely the quick and dirty way to go, just make sure protein goes up on the remaining meals or you'll lose a % of ALL of you and not just the fat.

I found this calculator that while not scientifically accurate since it doesn't account for individual rate of fat mobilization due to fitness and metabolic conditions, demonstrates the principle that fat mobilization is based on a % of the total stored value. The lower it gets the less you mobilize - it isn't a fixed number. It also is extremely generous - in this example 1300 calories in a day mobilized from fat without scavenging carbs from muscle glucose and muscle itself seems really high.
Free Fat Mass (FFM) = total fat mass (TFM) - essential fat mass (EFM)
TFM = Body Weight * Fat%
EFM = (Lean Body Mass [LBM])*0.03 for men or (Lean Body Mass)*0.12 for women
LBM = Body Weight - TFM

Maximum Daily Fat Mobilization = 2.5grams*FFM
Maximum Daily Deficit (MDD) = 2.5grams*FFM*9calories/gram

This is the largest deficit that you can maintain per day and theoretically have all of the deficit be supplied by fat oxidation.

So, let's say you're a 30 year old woman, 5'5'' tall and 180 lbs with 40% body fat. Your total daily energy expenditure is about 2200 calories (lightly active).
BW = 180 lbs
LBM = 180 - 180*.4 = 108 lbs
TFM = 180*.4 = 72 lbs
EFM = 108*.12 = 13 lbs
FFM = 59 lbs
MDD = 59 lbs * 2.5g/lb * 9 cal/g = 1327 calories per day
 
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