Interesting gains during the quarantine

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
So considering I live in a rather small apartment in the city in Southern CA, I don’t have any heavy duty workout equipment at my place. I didn’t even own a KB since I would do all my training at a gym. This left me grossly unprepared for the quarantine in my training and forced me to go back to bodyweight basics to keep fit.

So what did I focus on?

Handstand Push-up variations.
Sprinting either on the sand or hills.

To my surprise, both of these exercises vastly favor a lean physique hence I ended up shedding some fat and feeling much healthier and younger if that’s the appropriate word.

For someone who is not interested in breaking world records in the deadlift anytime soon or trying to be the next Mr. Olympia, this simple combo has provided me an athletic and aesthetic return.

Just thought I’d post as a reminder that it’s hard to beat the good old basics and nothing is more basic than using your own bodyweight to train.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
Assuming your avatar (do not know who it is (you ?)) I guess you play grappling.

Your routine reminds me a Zac Even-Esh statement: As far as bodyweight goes, one can not go wrong with sprints and push ups.

When he was young, he trained very heavy (DL, OVH press, etc...) but after a while, he was completely "broken". Then he switched to bodyweight only for a while to make his training easier on the joints.

He noticed he was way stronger, as far as daily life goes due to less recovery requirement, and he also was a better wrestler.

Later on, he introduced bells and bags in the training. Even if they can be heavy, they are still lighter than barbells.

Dan John, back in his youth, he used to sprint 2 to 3 times a week, in addition to OVH press. From his statement, he got his best body composition from this.

Overall, all the folks I know who train mostly with bodyweight (plus some sprint or LSD) are strong, have endurance, never tired and are always "at the top of their game".

Basically, what is your routine ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
So considering I live in a rather small apartment in the city in Southern CA, I don’t have any heavy duty workout equipment at my place. I didn’t even own a KB since I would do all my training at a gym. This left me grossly unprepared for the quarantine in my training and forced me to go back to bodyweight basics to keep fit.

So what did I focus on?

Handstand Push-up variations.
Sprinting either on the sand or hills.

To my surprise, both of these exercises vastly favor a lean physique hence I ended up shedding some fat and feeling much healthier and younger if that’s the appropriate word.

For someone who is not interested in breaking world records in the deadlift anytime soon or trying to be the next Mr. Olympia, this simple combo has provided me an athletic and aesthetic return.

Just thought I’d post as a reminder that it’s hard to beat the good old basics and nothing is more basic than using your own bodyweight to train.
Great minimalist combo.
Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are. ---- T. Roosevelt.
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
Assuming your avatar (do not know who it is (you ?)) I guess you play grappling.

Your routine reminds me a Zac Even-Esh statement: As far as bodyweight goes, one can not go wrong with sprints and push ups.

When he was young, he trained very heavy (DL, OVH press, etc...) but after a while, he was completely "broken". Then he switched to bodyweight only for a while to make his training easier on the joints.

He noticed he was way stronger, as far as daily life goes due to less recovery requirement, and he also was a better wrestler.

Later on, he introduced bells and bags in the training. Even if they can be heavy, they are still lighter than barbells.

Dan John, back in his youth, he used to sprint 2 to 3 times a week, in addition to OVH press. From his statement, he got his best body composition from this.

Overall, all the folks I know who train mostly with bodyweight (plus some sprint or LSD) are strong, have endurance, never tired and are always "at the top of their game".

Basically, what is your routine ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
I love Zach Even Esh’s work and followed him for a long time. The tried and true basics are king.

What I’ve been doing is very simply greasing the groove on two main HSPU variations. One is freestanding full ROM between two chairs (looking to increase reps) and the other is a chest roll from a cobra stretch position into a handstand (looking to slow the momentum).

As far as sprinting goes, I learned this from Mindful Mover who I used to train with in the past where you basically do sprint drop sets. You start off by sprinting as fast as you can until eventually your sprint begins to slow into a run, then a jog and once you start walking, you stop. I take a generous amount of rest until I feel as recovered as possible and repeat for two more times for a total of 3 drop sets.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
What I’ve been doing is very simply greasing the groove on two main HSPU variations. One is freestanding full ROM between two chairs (looking to increase reps) and the other is a chest roll from a cobra stretch position into a handstand (looking to slow the momentum).
You already have a great base to build upon then !

Usually, how do you train ? Do you plan to keep this kind of training for a while ? (now that you know it seems to work well, plus it is sustainable and easy to schedule ?)

As far as sprinting goes, I learned this from Mindful Mover
They have a great instagram profile, with plenty of tips yes ! I like the way he trains with very few moves, but carefully selected ones, to get a lot of carryover from them. Plus, he rarely go very heavy, even when he perform "weighted calisthenics".

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos

You already have a great base to build upon then !

Usually, how do you train ? Do you plan to keep this kind of training for a while ? (now that you know it seems to work well, plus it is sustainable and easy to schedule ?)


They have a great instagram profile, with plenty of tips yes ! I like the way he trains with very few moves, but carefully selected ones, to get a lot of carryover from them. Plus, he rarely go very heavy, even when he perform "weighted calisthenics".

Kind regards,

Pet'
In the past I had a much more balanced approach to training training all major movement patterns. I would have some sort of squat, hinge, push and pull every workout.

This was fine and I felt good however my current ultra-minimalistic routine doesn’t seem to fatigue me near as much while still providing great aesthetic and athletic gains. I’m probably going to ride this out for awhile just to see where it goes. There’s something to be said about these type of routines such as Pavel’s swing and dip combo. Extremely accessible and very effective.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
I am very interested in the results of your experiment actually, as I am also looking for something minimalist and bodyweight based.

Do you have a training log on SF ?

Yes working on all the movement patterns can be taxing if intensity is too high. EMOM works well because it paces everything:
Minute 1: push (HSPU)
Minute 2: pull (pull up)
Minute 3: squat (pistol)
Minute 4: Hinge (SLDL, possibly with a resistance band or "pull though")

Nonetheles, the difficulty here is to find the right exercise:
- hard enough to gain strength
- easy enough to keep going aerobically and get some conditioning from the training.

Then, we can repeat this sequence X times.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
I am very interested in the results of your experiment actually, as I am also looking for something minimalist and bodyweight based.

Do you have a training log on SF ?

Yes working on all the movement patterns can be taxing if intensity is too high. EMOM works well because it paces everything:
Minute 1: push (HSPU)
Minute 2: pull (pull up)
Minute 3: squat (pistol)
Minute 4: Hinge (SLDL, possibly with a resistance band or "pull though")

Nonetheles, the difficulty here is to find the right exercise:
- hard enough to gain strength
- easy enough to keep going aerobically and get some conditioning from the training.

Then, we can repeat this sequence X times.

Kind regards,

Pet'
I will post my results time to time.

One thing I kept in mind when deciding what to pair is the kind of body I am going after.

I want healthy shoulders and upper body strength with minimal impact on my body hence why I chose the HSPU as the exercise of choice. I also think overhead pressing probably has the highest carryover to all upper body exercises than any other exercise. Many have made gains in bench press and pull-ups after improving overhead strength.

For my lower body, I wanted fast, explosive legs that also have endurance hence the sprints were the optimal choice. If my goal was to have strong legs, this would not be the appropriate choice but I am not convinced tree trunks are as useful as many people are lead to believe unless you’re in a sport that requires it.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I will post my results time to time
:)

I want healthy shoulders and upper body strength with minimal impact on my body hence why I chose the HSPU as the exercise of choice. I also think overhead pressing probably has the highest carryover to all upper body exercises than any other exercise. Many have made gains in bench press and pull-ups after improving overhead strength.
Yes, I have noticed the same. I have trained my OVH press with the kettlebell. It transfers very well to the OAOL push up and OA PU maintenance. However, the reverse is not that true.

For my lower body, I wanted fast, explosive legs that also have endurance hence the sprints were the optimal choice. If my goal was to have strong legs, this would not be the appropriate choice but I am not convinced tree trunks are as useful as many people are lead to believe unless you’re in a sport that requires it.
I practice French boxing, which involves kicks. I noticed that since I work on both pistols and swings, I have a better game.

For your grappling, considering your current training, how do you work on your core ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,


:)


Yes, I have noticed the same. I have trained my OVH press with the kettlebell. It transfers very well to the OAOL push up and OA PU maintenance. However, the reverse is not that true.


I practice French boxing, which involves kicks. I noticed that since I work on both pistols and swings, I have a better game.

For your grappling, considering your current training, how do you work on your core ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
You know to be quite frank I’ve never felt core strength to be a weak link as a grappler or in general. It usually has to do more with core control but not so much as a weakness.

A steady dose of heavy lifting, gymnastic exercises or sprinting seem to be enough for the core at least from what I have experienced. Even now my abs and obliques feel it from hard sprinting.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
When it comes to core training, as far as bodyweight training goes, I am very minimalist: some use the ab wheel almost daily. My vote goes to Dragon Flags. I just do one set (which is only a few repetitions).

There were great grapplers who trained bodyweight only, such as The Great Gama or Shamrock. However, they dedicated a lot of time to their training (basically, plenty of repetitions). Even guys like H. Walker trained that way. To a certain extent, I think they reach a diminishing returns.

Based on what you say and on what I noticed, gymnastics seems to be one the best "bang for one's buck" because it gives plenty of tension, strength and this transfer very well to fighting endurance.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

@xagunos
When it comes to core training, as far as bodyweight training goes, I am very minimalist: some use the ab wheel almost daily. My vote goes to Dragon Flags. I just do one set (which is only a few repetitions).

There were great grapplers who trained bodyweight only, such as The Great Gama or Shamrock. However, they dedicated a lot of time to their training (basically, plenty of repetitions). Even guys like H. Walker trained that way. To a certain extent, I think they reach a diminishing returns.

Based on what you say and on what I noticed, gymnastics seems to be one the best "bang for one's buck" because it gives plenty of tension, strength and this transfer very well to fighting endurance.

Kind regards,

Pet'
Higher intensity exercises seem to have more carryover to volume then the other way around. If you can perform one-arm chins on each arm, you’ll have no problem replying two-arm chins but the guys who can rep two-arm chins won’t necessarily have the strength to do one-arm reps.

Dragon flags are a good core exercise but to me training exercises like front lever pulls provide more bang for buck because of the core benefits in addition to the upper body strength. Whether you do a full dragon flag, front lever or Victorian cross on the rings, the core strength is all the same. What separates them is the degree of upper body strength.

Even when lifting or performing a squat, I find you are more likely to fail due to weak legs than a weak core. Obviously it depends on the form but this is just a general observation.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Yes you are right !

For instance, below is a routine from A. Kavadlo. This is very minimalist but cover all the basics, using 5 x 5:
- Muscle ups
- Pistols
- Hanging leg raises
- HSPU

It would only lack a "hinge" but if it works for him... This is perfectly in line with what you say about gymnastic training. The guy is extra strong !

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

Yes you are right !

For instance, below is a routine from A. Kavadlo. This is very minimalist but cover all the basics, using 5 x 5:
- Muscle ups
- Pistols
- Hanging leg raises
- HSPU

It would only lack a "hinge" but if it works for him... This is perfectly in line with what you say about gymnastic training. The guy is extra strong !

Kind regards,

Pet'
If you had to keep it bodyweight to qualify, sprinting wouldn’t be a bad substitute for a hinge since it’s a very explosive hip extension. Ultra minimal bodyweight training.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Handstand Push-up variations.
Sprinting either on the sand or hills.

To my surprise, both of these exercises vastly favor a lean physique hence I ended up shedding some fat and feeling much healthier and younger if that’s the appropriate word.
'
Hand Stand Push Ups

This is not a exercise that produces a lean physique.

Sprinting

Sprinting increases EPOC, Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. This amounts to over charging your "Metabolic Credit Card".

That means you metabolic rate is increased hours after you training, burning body fat.

While EPOC help in decreasing body fat, as you know diet is the key.

As the saying goes, "You can't out train a bad diet."

You start off by sprinting as fast as you can until eventually your sprint begins to slow into a run, then a jog and once you start walking, you stop. I take a generous amount of rest until I feel as recovered as possible and repeat for two more times for a total of 3 drop sets.
Supra Maximal Intensity Training, SMIT

Taking long rest period between Sprint, is Supra Maximal Intensity Training. The longer rest period allow for greater force production; Power and Speed. This method allow greater development of the Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber; since they require more recovery.

I am proponent of SMIT over...

High Intensity Interval Training

Sprint Intervals with short rest period between increase a greater EPOC effect. Your metabolism remains elevated longer than it does With SMIT..

However, shorter rest period do not allow for complete restoration of the Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber. That means less force is produced and developed.

I felt good however my current ultra-minimalistic routine doesn’t seem to fatigue me near as much while still providing great
Training Recovery

One of the issues with most individual is being overly ambitions when it comes training volume and intensity.

Individuals who tend to push it like this will get a bump in their training when they back off, Supercompensation occurs.

As you noted, doing less often give you more.

Higher intensity exercises seem to have more carryover to volume then the other way around. If you can perform one-arm chins on each arm, you’ll have no problem replying two-arm chins but the guys who can rep two-arm chins won’t necessarily have the strength to do one-arm reps.
Greater Strength

Someone who can preform a one arm body weight chins is stronger; that because you are performing the chin with twice the load.

Let's say you weight 150 lbs. That means in a two arm chin you are pulling 75 lbs up with each arm instead of 150 lb up with one.

If you attached a dip belt loaded with 150 lbs, and preform a chin. that essentially means you are pulling 150 lb up with each arm.

Even when lifting or performing a squat, I find you are more likely to fail due to weak legs than a weak core.
The Core In Squats

The Core is usually the limiting factor in a Squat. The Core fatigues long before the Legs. That means the Legs are never completely overload, completely trained in the Squat.

For maximum Leg development, the core needs to be taken out of the equation.

Exercises that are most effective for the Legs are: Leg Press, Belt Squats, Step Ups, Lunges, etc.

Hollie Evette, Strength Coach/National Powerlifter

Evette was one of the best Squatters and still one of the best Strength Coaches in the game.

Years ago, Evette wrote a great article on how to increase Leg Strength by minimizing the Core with some exercises.

The title of the article was, "When The Back Says NO and the Leg Say Go".
 
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xagunos

Level 6 Valued Member
'
Hand Stand Push Ups

This is not a exercise that produces a lean physique.

Sprinting

Sprinting increases EPOC, Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. This amounts to over charging your "Metabolic Credit Card".

That means you metabolic rate is increased hours after you training, burning body fat.

While EPOC help in decreasing body fat, as you know diet is the key.

As the saying goes, "You can't out train a bad diet."



Supra Maximal Intensity Training, SMIT

Taking long rest period between Sprint, is Supra Maximal Intensity Training. The longer rest period allow for greater force production; Power and Speed. This method allow greater development of the Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber; since they require more recovery.

I am proponent of SMIT over...

High Intensity Interval Training

Sprint Intervals with short rest period between increase a greater EPOC effect. Your metabolism remains elevated longer than it does With SMIT..

However, shorter rest period do not allow for complete restoration of the Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber. That means less force is produced and developed.



Training Recovery

One of the issues with most individual is being overly ambitions when it comes training volume and intensity.

Individuals who tend to push it like this will get a bump in their training when they back off, Supercompensation occurs.

As you noted, doing less often give you more.



Greater Strength

Someone who can preform a one arm body weight chins is stronger; that because you are performing the chin with twice the load.

Let's say you weight 150 lbs. That means in a two arm chin you are pulling 75 lbs up with each arm instead of 150 lb up with one.

If you attached a dip belt loaded with 150 lbs, and preform a chin. that essentially means you are pulling 150 lb up with each arm.



The Core In Squats

The Core is usually the limiting factor in a Squat. The Core fatigues long before the Legs. That means the Legs are never completely overload, completely trained in the Squat.

For maximum Leg development, the core needs to be taken out of the equation.

Exercises that are most effective for the Legs are: Leg Press, Belt Squats, Step Ups, Lunges, etc.

Hollie Evette, Strength Coach/National Powerlifter

Evette was one of the best Squatters and still one of the best Strength Coaches in the game.

Years ago, Evette wrote a great article on how to increase Leg Strength by minimizing the Core with some exercises.

The title of the article was, "When The Back Says NO and the Leg Say Go".
A few things to clarify.

HSPUs and sprints "favor" a lean physique however unless you take in the calorie equation, it does not mean those exercise will produce a lean physique.

SMIT is how I prefer to do my sprint training as well.

On the topic of greater strength, higher intensity will have a higher carryover to strength endurance than the other way around.

On core strength in regards to the squat, lifting form has a lot to do with the varying degree of recruitment of muscles. Most people who learn Olympic lifting squats suffer number one from lack of ankle, thoracic and sometimes hip mobility. In addition to mobility issues, the quads tend to be a big weakness and people have trouble tracking their knees over toes as well as possibly having a weak upper back. Can the lower spinal erectors be a weakness? For sure but they are more likely to show up as a weakness in a Powerlifting style squat.
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
I also think overhead pressing probably has the highest carryover to all upper body exercises than any other exercise. Many have made gains in bench press and pull-ups after improving overhead strength.
Tonnage-wise, the vast majority of my strength training is overhead:

KB C&P, overhead carries, TGU, BB OHP, BB push press, BB jerk, snatch, Sots press in snatch.

I round this off with bodyweight accessory work: push ups, ring push ups.

I never practice bench; I don't even own a bench in my garage gym.

My chest is 48 inches.

Pre-quarantine, at a buddy's BBQ, he asked "how much do you bench" and I told him I didn't. Then he wanted to do the NFL combine test. I did 10 x 225.

So my personal experience is that, yes, there is carry-over between overhead pressing and chest.
 
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Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Tonnage-wise, the vast majority of my strength training is overhead:

KB C&P, overhead carries, TGU, BB OHP, BB push press, BB jerk, snatch, Sots press in snatch.

I found this off with bodyweight accessory work: push ups, ring push ups.

I never practice bench; I don't even own a bench in my garage gym.

My chest is 48 inches.

Pre-quarantine, at a buddy's BBQ, he asked "how much do you bench" and I told him I didn't. Then he wanted to do the NFL combine test. I did 10 x 225.

So my personal experience is that, yes, there is carry-over between overhead pressing and chest.
I've been to the combine. Surprised they are still using that test.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Tonnage-wise, the vast majority of my strength training is overhead:

KB C&P, overhead carries, TGU, BB OHP, BB push press, BB jerk, snatch, Sots press in snatch.

I found this off with bodyweight accessory work: push ups, ring push ups.

I never practice bench; I don't even own a bench in my garage gym.

My chest is 48 inches.

Pre-quarantine, at a buddy's BBQ, he asked "how much do you bench" and I told him I didn't. Then he wanted to do the NFL combine test. I did 10 x 225.

So my personal experience is that, yes, there is carry-over between overhead pressing and chest.
Had a good conversation several years ago with an orthopedic surgeon. Said he loved bench pressing and incline pressing. Said these lifts were excellent for helping him pay his bills.

For the record: Bench pressing ( barbell,db's, flat,incline ) was a productive and enjoyable part of my training for three decades or so. I paid attention to shoulder mobilty and avoided over training and never had any issues. I also plan on attending a SFL cert. which I'm guessing will take me to school, like I was with the SFG certs. and this will be excellent.
 
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