Power to the Pickle!!! (and Vodka)

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 4

Upper

Push Press
95 x 5, 115 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 5, 175 x 5 (P.R.)

Spoto Press ( 1 inch above chest)
135 x 10 x 5 sets (varying grips)

TRX Rows-62 total reps

Dimel Deadlifts
95 x 15 x 3 sets

Y's, rear delt flies, cable pressdowns x 50, curls and stretching.

Good push press day but didn't feel like going super heavy on these. Did so bench work, working on slowing my descent and having proper position and tension, namely at the elbows and upper back. My descent can become sloppy at time in the bench, a I rush it. So the slow negative should give me a better ability to control the weight and build some mass. Upper back work as usual, a daily thing pretty much. Did the Dimel deads for more backside reinforcement and hammie strength. Gets a good pump after the heavier hamstring day and keeps them working well.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Sounds like you don't have a flexibility issue there either. You're likely well covered all over in that area.

The stiff leg is a bit different from the RDL and the GM. All worthwhile exercises, though I suspect the GM has become my favorite of late.
I like the GM too, but I feel I don't do it correctly, like it's more hip dominant in my style. My hips push far back and moy torso remains arched, so the bar stays over midfoot. However, I've seen a lot of GM's where the torso is way far forward, and the bar in front of the feet, putting you at a leverage disadvantage and making the back the main mover over the hips. I've also seen many Westsiders doing M.E. on G.M. with a very round back!!! On purpose! Same with the stiff leg: having a round back under load is risky. I tend to avoid heavy "bent over, rounded back" movements, but that's just me. they seem to work for some of these folks though....but I know every back issue I've encountered from lifting has come from rounded back under heavy load. Maybe doing these reps is "chaos" training, but it just looks like a herniated disc to me.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
I'm not sure I understand you. If we consider the GM to be an exercise where we keep a stiff back and close the hip joint, aren't the hip extensors the muscles that do the exercise? The back muscles only act as stabilizers? So I wouldn't worry about hip dominance.

Rounding the back with the good morning would work the back muscles and it is a whole another case. It likely deserves it place for some but I too find it precarious and haven't done it, and would be very careful with the load and the moment arm. The same goes for the stiff legs with a rounded back.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
The first style I described is more a bend over with a straight back with not quite locked but very little, if any knee flexion where the bar actually goes way forward of midfoot. The second, my style, is still arched back, but the bar stays over midfoot and there is much more knee flexion. I'd think the back does more work in the first style and the hips do more in the second. The third is round back style, which I don't ever do.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
The first style I described is more a bend over with a straight back with not quite locked but very little, if any knee flexion where the bar actually goes way forward of midfoot. The second, my style, is still arched back, but the bar stays over midfoot and there is much more knee flexion. I'd think the back does more work in the first style and the hips do more in the second. The third is round back style, which I don't ever do.
Yes, I would agree that back does more work in your first example than the second if the load is equal because the moment arm is longer. But the work the back does is to stabilize. The actual work to open the hip angle is done by the hip extensors in both cases. I've always understood the hip extensor muscles are mostly the glutes and the hamstrings and that there aren't any in the back. Now, all this of course doesn't mean that the back muscles couldn't or wouldn't be the first ones to give in and therefore be the limiting factor and the exercise a good one to train for the back. I would imagine pushing the hips behind instead of trying to keep the lower body vertical would also shift the load differently between the hip extensors, not just alter the center of gravity. But maybe this is just nitpicking. I could also well be wrong and would love to be corrected.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Yes, I would agree that back does more work in your first example than the second if the load is equal because the moment arm is longer. But the work the back does is to stabilize. The actual work to open the hip angle is done by the hip extensors in both cases. I've always understood the hip extensor muscles are mostly the glutes and the hamstrings and that there aren't any in the back. Now, all this of course doesn't mean that the back muscles couldn't or wouldn't be the first ones to give in and therefore be the limiting factor and the exercise a good one to train for the back. I would imagine pushing the hips behind instead of trying to keep the lower body vertical would also shift the load differently between the hip extensors, not just alter the center of gravity. But maybe this is just nitpicking. I could also well be wrong and would love to be corrected.
You are correct in stating the hip extensors would still be prime movers. The erectors role is to arch the spine, in which case if it remains arched, they actually are static in contraction, thus stabilizers. It would seem the best way to work them as "prime movers" would be to go in and out of flexion at the lumbar spine, as in a round back good morning or back extensions. But their stability demand is higher in the first version of the good morning because of that moment arm being higher.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 5
M.E. Lower

Box Squats
135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, 275 x 5, 300 x 5, 315 x 5

Double K.B. F.S.
2 x 53 lbs. x 15 x 2 sets

Back Extensions w 45 lbs. 15 x 3 sets, Incline Shrugs, Cable Rows, Hollow holds

Box squats feeling strong. Left plenty in the tank for a next cycle improvement. Some other easy work for the squat and pump for back. No belt today and the weight felt very sturdy and no back issues as of late. I'm thinking next Friday's M.E. will be a Safety Bar Squat, and I'll have to check my log for what my old P.R. in this lift is. Good way to end the week!
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 1
M.E. Upper

Floor Press
Bar x 10, 95 x 8, 135 x 5, 165 x 5, 185 x 5, 205 x 3, 225 x 2, 235 x 1, 240 x 1
185 x 5 x 2

Incline D-Bell Press
30 x 10, 40 x 10, 50 x 10 x 3 sets

K-Bell Rows
25 lbs. x 20 x 5 sets

K.B. Cuban Press
10 lbs. x 12 x 3 sets

J.M. Press
85 x 8 x 3 sets

Barbell Curls
85 lbs. x 5 x 3 sets

Good day. Floor Press went well, heaviest I've gone as I've never pushed for a max single. Set the rack too low though, and it made unracking odd. Was pleased with the M.E. and some assistance work after.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 2

Pull

Power cleans
135 x 3, 165 x 3, 185 x 3, 205 x 2, 225 x (miss), 225 x 1

Snatch Grip DL's
225 x 5, 275 x 10 (P.R.)

3 Grip Chin set
5,5,5 x 2

D-Bell Seal Row
20 x 25 x 2 sets

Back Extensions
Bw x 20 x 2 sets

Good Pull Day. Power Cleans feeling great. Missed my first 225 attempt, as I was distracted with people talking to me. But re-focused for the second lift and hit it very cleanly. I find missed heavy lifts are not often from weakness, but distraction or technical error. I knew I could get 225 after the 205 set, so I opted for a second attempt. Plus, there's a great feeling of success after completing a lift with a weight you'd previously just missed. Another high rep DL variation, which I'm liking a lot. Grip is limiting factor, again, especially with the snatch grip. That's okay, as it keeps me from going to gung ho with the reps. Felt happy with the top set results, and opted for just the first one this time around.

Chins are done like so. Wide OH, 0 second break, medium underhand, 10 second break then parallel grip. Some rows with more of an upper back than lats focus (elbows out a bit more). Some back extensions to give the whole backside a nice light pump, then hit the showers.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 3

Upper
One arm Push Press
35 x 5, 40 x 5, 45 x5, 50 x 5, 55 x 5, 60 x 5

Bench
190 x 3 x 8 sets (varied grips)

Swings
53 lbs. x 25 x 4 sets

Hangs, Stretches, Bike

Quick session, had affairs to attend. Left arm far weaker than right in overhead presses while right arm weaker than left in supine presses.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 4

Lower

Safety Bar Squat
Bar x 5, 140 x 5, 190 x 5, 230 x 3, 260 x 1
230 x 12 (P.r. Set)

Trx Rows 30, 45 (75)
Pushups (feet elevated) - 40, 30
B.S.S. 20 lbs. (per hand) - 25, 25

Didn't feel like doing a heavy set, so went for a rep P.r. Calculated my last set with the 5/3/1 max calc formula and wanted to beat it with a 225 rep set. 12 became the goal. It was a killer set! At 6, I was unsure if I'd make it. The last few reps I was thinking I may collapse. But I gripped the bar hard, squeezed with everything I got and hit my goal. I really dug the high rep set. I think for now, I'm going to alternate the partial R.O.M DL's and Snatch Grips each week and keep the weight static, trying to push each up a bit each week. For the squats, I think one week of heavy box squats followed by a high rep week of Safety squats would be a good balance.

I want to gain weight, and high reps with heavy loads should help. I loved how tough the squats were and the last 3 reps were nearing max effort with a smaller load. I really felt a lot more was getting involved to aid in those final reps. The rest was just a bit of full body work, which I'm doing about 5 days each week. Bulgarian squats were as cruel as I remember them. Same with assistance as with squats, I will keep load constant and try to push total reps each session by just a bit.

 
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Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
That's a great set. Proper effort. Form stayed decent. Plenty of time under tension.
Thank you sir! I think 5/3/1 taught me the value of all out compound sets and as a guy trying to gain mass, heavy weights + high reps is a good way. Over the course of several months, I'd like to push this set up to 20 with this weight.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 5

"Arms"
Floor press w/ narrow grip- 135 x 5, 145 x 5, 155 x 5, 165 x 5, 175 x 5, 185 x 5
Curls with Barbell-75 x 8, 8

Day 6 Off

Day 7
Upper

Close Grip Bench
5's up to top set of 185 x 7 (P.R.)

Bench (Comp grip w/ pause)
185 x 5 x 5

Incline D-Bell
50 lbs x 15, 15, 12, 8

Incline Rows
25 lbs. x 20 x 5 sets

Facepulls, Pressdowns, Cable curls

Arm day was a training day at my friends, hence I didn't do a full workout because I am helping him and we shared a single barbell.

Day 7 was great. Decided for CGB to hit a rep P.R. using the 5/3/1 percentage to guage what would be a P.R. from my top single two weeks ago. Hit my goal. My close grip seems relatively weak compared to m comp bench, thus I feel bringing it up would help. Best P.R. set with comp grip a 185 was 13, quite a difference. I don't see it as a "triceps" move, but more a leverage disadvantage lift. There is a larger R.O.M and the elbows and shoulders both must do more work. It is also less on my shoulders. I felt my comp pause sets were breeze after the close grip sets. This pleased me.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 1
Pull

Snatch Grip High Pull-155 x 3 x 3 (top snatch weight)
Wagon Wheels- 315 x 16 (P.r)
Chins- 10, 8, 8, 6 (slow reps)
Dips-15 x 3 sets
Elbows out Seal Rows020 lbs x 20 x 2 sets

Got to talking with an older trainer today. Thick, stocky gentleman, looking younger than he is with a strong, Bronx accent. We chatted about the absurdity of modern gym buffoonery. I mostly listened. He stated that people pay no attention to tension or technique and jerk their repetitions up. He observed how injuries are so prevalent in sports because no one adheres to training slowly and tight. Sounded familiar... I didn't hit a high P.r. on my wagon wheel set, as we talked for quite a while before, but I think cycling the weights, instead of keeping them static would be beneficial. 295, 335, etc instead of just trying to rep P.R. the same weight every time, even though I did eke out an extra rep. Tried some slow performance reps, as per his suggestion, to really hit the muscles. The assistance work is for muscle building, not p.R. setting, so I will try to more accurately target my weak muscles, specifically those tht surround my scapula and shoulder joint.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 2
Bench Support Work

Incline Press 45%
Bar x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 3, 175 x 3,
185 x 3 x 2 sets

Double-K.B. Press
35 lbs. x 6 x 3 sets

K.B. High Pulls
53 lbs x 20 x 3 sets

Wide Grip Rows, Band work

Day 3
Squat

Safety Bar Box Squat
Bar x 5, 140 x 5, 190 x 5, 240 x 5, 280 x 3

300 x 3, 320 x 3, 340 x 1, (miss 2nd rep)

Front Squat
225 x 5 x 4 sets

RDL
155 x 10 x 3 sets

Pushups 40/40, TRX Rows 40, 40, Skidyne (?)

Missed a squat with safety Bar and no spotters or racks. It made a thunderous boom that echoed through the gym, after it rolled over my neck. Quite a moment! I was lucky, no harm no foul. The "safety" bar (ROFLROFLROFL), it seems, does not lend itself to my type of grind. I failed because of a technical cue, not pushing my back into the bar. My hips rose, and said bar, being in a much higher position, had only my neck to grind the lift home, as opposed to the comfort of the low bar squat. Thus, I missed with grandeur. The whole gym looked over at peak hours, but I was okay so I didn't sweat it much.

Front squats to follow. They felt strong. And some other light work. Mostly went on the skiing cardio machine, or what have you, to watch the World Series, but it helped with pump and hopefully recovery. Wasn't feeling toooo motivated today, until after my miss. Had a better session on my previous upper work, with some nice incline work. Bar felt steady and strong, even though my best is 200 x 3, felt a good deal solid with the 185.

According to CT strength ratios, all my upper lifts are just about in good accordance with one another. Thus, I just need to get stronger overall.
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
You missed a safety bar squat and it rolled over your neck? Oh well. It can't have been pretty, or safe, like you say. Good that you didn't hurt yourself. Still, sounds like the exercise proved its need for you.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
You missed a safety bar squat and it rolled over your neck? Oh well. It can't have been pretty, or safe, like you say. Good that you didn't hurt yourself. Still, sounds like the exercise proved its need for you.
Yes it was a bit unnerving! I have never missed a squat with no spotter and if I do, they help you back up. Missed s front squat but that's a little less scary. Also, I was doing neck exercises on my upper day just before, namely extensions. Wonder if it's related? But I do think neck work of this sort could be valuable in the future.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 4
Upper Limbs

Close Grip Decline Press
205 x 5 x 3 sets

Chinups (Supinated)
25 lbs x 5 x 3 sets

Incline O.H. Ext
25 lbs x 10 x 3 sets

Incline Supine Grip Rows
25 lbs. x 15 x 3 sets

Rope Pressdowns 20 x 2 sets, Cable Curls 12 x 2 sets

Quick Session, "arm day", usually is an excuse to do more compound lifts that hit the arms a tad more. Chins and presses and rows with supine grips. Funny how a minor decline helps my pressing so much, helps me stay away from that bottom end flexion point. My close grip 1rm a few weeks ago was 215 and I did 3 sets of 5 with 205 with the same grip. Happy with that, though. I think my arms are coming up, both sides, including forearms, which have always been decent on me, which should definitely help with my pressing abilities.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

More than 500 posts
Day 5 Off

Day 6
M.E. Upper

Floor Press
Bar x 8, 95 x 8, 135 x 5, 165 x 5, 190 x 5, 210 x 5
225 x 3 x 2 sets
195 x 5 x 3 sets (paused)

Incline D-Bell
35 x 10, 45 x 10
55 x 10, 8, 6

V-Handle Rows
60 x 15, 75 x 15, 90 x 15, 105 x 15, 120 x 15

Prone Y's, Rear Delt Flies

Floor press felt strong today. Hit some good sets with 225 and felt I had at least an extra rep on each, so in a sense, two P.R. sets. 210 x 5 was also a P.R. set and it felt good enough to do 225 for a couple triples. Each have a better RM calc then 240, my 1rm from 2 weeks ago. My upper back felt a little stiff, probably in response to the hard floor I was pressing off of, and the safety bar accident a couple days ago. Didn't feel the need for too much accessory work following. Just some d-bell presses, rows and easy upper back work.
 
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