Press Bro Diaries

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
10.3.19
inclined push ups 28, 24, 18
leg raises 20, 18

Push ups ok, but I feel all the reps slowly creeping on me.
Might really try day on/day off instead of 2 days on/day off training.

Not sure what to do after I hit 2x20 at leg raises. Trying hard
to find some place to hang from.

Some other stuff:

I bought Kettlebell Strong from Ebay for 60 buck only and it's both
book plus dvd. Good deal.

And as a mental sweat note: @masa I really enjoy reading Kostova's book!
 
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Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
After doing my time for 6 weeks, it's time for some reflection, I think.

1) First and foremost, 6 weeks is just not enough time to reflect, hahaha, but let's try anyway

2) I like the double progression approach it uses, which in a way is not any different from i.e.
5x5 barbell program; you hit your given reps and add weight/do harder movement.

3) Onto the individual movements:

push ups - I like to think about ten steps in push ups as an analogy to pressing KB,
1st step (wall push ups) as 12kg, 2nd step (inclined push ups) as 16 kg,..., all the way
up to 10 step (one arm push up) as 48 kg press. It's just quantitative "guide for eyes".
And I know I've spent a lot of time of pressing 24, 32, and 40 kg before being able to press 48.

So from my perspective, I do not expect myself to reach that straight-body,
"prison style" push up earlier than after two years of dedicated training (if ever).

squats - After not doing squats of any kind for long time I am reaping benefits.
My legs feel very springy and I am basically striding instead of walking. This alone is satisfying but
strenght is the main goal, of course. The unilateral step in this progression seem to be a bit strange,
but let's see once I get there.

leg raises - I think direct core work is not in fashion nowadays but I really like those.
I am close to start hanging leg (knee) raises but havent found appropriate place so far.
Progress comes with surprising consistency.

pull ups - I am quite bad in those, so nothing much to say except that I need to work them
hard and a lot and then some more.

4) It's been said in the book that once you start to train calisthenics you'll somehow automatically,
subconciously start to eat less and loose weight over the time. I thought it's one of its many BS but
it seems to be true, at least to some degree. I lost two kilo over last month and half. So again,
let's see further down the road.

5) Shoulder, triceps, biceps, thighs, traps are more defined, perhaps slightly larger.

6) I think it's shame that bigger guys either fear or overlook calisthenics because their own
overgrown bodies are perfect resistance tool for a sizeable strength gains.
 
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Antti

More than 2500 posts
Nice to see your write-up as I was about to ask you about your experience.

Interesting thought about six weeks being a short time. I instinctively thought six weeks is plenty, since I have often done eight week programs. But of course it's different when you change the tool or way of training, and the long term adaptations are also a whole another case.

Squats really help one move and feel better. It's a special exercise.

I too doubt the automatic weight loss with calisthenics. Can't see how it would work. But improvement is always welcome. Though I have to wonder what you mean by overgrown?

I think bodyweight exercises can take one very far when it comes to strength, more than one could expect to need in everyday life. But to me it's a question of how the exercise feels and how I enjoy it. And there's the sport angle as well, both for lifting sports and other sports as well.
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Interesting thought about six weeks being a short time. I instinctively thought six weeks is plenty, since I have often done eight week programs. But of course it's different when you change the tool or way of training, and the long term adaptations are also a whole another case.
As you said, it's so different from anything I had experienced before I started with CC. On the top of that, adding 2.5 kg to barbell within e.g. Stronglifts with 5x5 reps/sets will most likely takes much less time than to work up to 2x50 for half squats, for example. Therefore I thought that six weeks is not not much in the big picture. Nevertheless, one can certainly say something, which I tried to do.

Squats really help one move and feel better. It's a special exercise.
I concur.

I too doubt the automatic weight loss with calisthenics. Can't see how it would work. But improvement is always welcome. Though I have to wonder what you mean by overgrown?
Yeah, it's not clear at all so I am not going to speculate. By "overgrown" I simply meant any means that take one from normal weight
to overweight: muscles or fat, or both.

I think bodyweight exercises can take one very far when it comes to strength, more than one could expect to need in everyday life. But to me it's a question of how the exercise feels and how I enjoy it. And there's the sport angle as well, both for lifting sports and other sports as well.
Yes, it must be enjoyable otherwise I am not doing it. Funny thing is, I can't make any clear comparison so far as I enjoyed any form of
physical exertion I tried so far: kettlebells, sandbag, calisthenics. Then there is of course barbell which I did not devote any real time to
so I can't say anything.
 
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damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
After doing my time for 6 weeks, it's time for some reflection, I think.

1) First and foremost, 6 weeks is just not enough time to reflect, hahaha, but let's try anyway
Nice conclusions so far @Mirek! I am in the same camp as @Antti and thinking that 6 weeks are quite plenty to be able to rate the program, at least to some extent. Its nice to see a big guy like you doing calisthenics, a topic I am exploring recently.
3) Onto the individual movement:

push ups - I like to think about ten steps in push ups as an analogy to pressing KB,
1st step (wall push ups) as 12kg, 2nd step (inclined push ups) as 16 kg,..., all the way
up to 10 step (one arm push up) as 48 kg press. It's just quantitative "guide for eyes".
And I know I've spent a lot of time of pressing 24, 32, and 40 kg before being able to press 48.

So from my perspective, I do not expect myself to reach that straight-body,
"prison style" push up earlier than after two years of dedicated training (if ever).
You are really strong presser @Mirek, I think that you will be doing OAPUs much, much sooner. The game changer for me was the total body tension, abs, glutes, legs, all very strongly braced. After practicing tension I was able to quickly start doing one arm push ups for reps, maybe not with the perfect form, but there were definitely push ups, and definitely on one arm :) The strength is definitely there, your core just need to catch up.
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Nice conclusions so far @Mirek! I am in the same camp as @Antti and thinking that 6 weeks are quite plenty to be able to rate the program, at least to some extent. Its nice to see a big guy like you doing calisthenics, a topic I am exploring recently.

You are really strong presser @Mirek, I think that you will be doing OAPUs much, much sooner. The game changer for me was the total body tension, abs, glutes, legs, all very strongly braced. After practicing tension I was able to quickly start doing one arm push ups for reps, maybe not with the perfect form, but there were definitely push ups, and definitely on one arm :) The strength is definitely there, your core just need to catch up.
I am affraid strength is not there yet, mostly because of my weight. When I put my both hands on a scale in push up position
it shows about 85 kg. And pushing that weight with one hand is still well outside of my abilities.

I agree that the proper, full-body tension will play the crucial role in my future one arm push up success.
 

damogari

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I was curious and did the same weighting for me, I got 71kg, which goes along 140kg bench press I did recently.

But at least your bodyweight and strength are going in the right direction! :)
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I was curious and did the same weighting for me, I got 71kg, which goes along 140kg bench press I did recently.

But at least your bodyweight and strength are going in the right direction! :)
Cool! It's seems to be rather good estimate. For me it would be close to four plates bench press!
 

WhatWouldHulkDo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Some random places to hang from that I've found
  • Bleachers at a school.
  • A good tree branch. Have to find a pretty thick one, of course, which means you probably can't wrap your hands around it. Tough on the forearms.
  • Balcony. We stayed at a BRBO a couple years ago that had a 2nd-floor balcony, and I was able to do pullups off it using a ladder I found in the garage to get up to it. Not the safest way to work out, but it was fun.
  • I've heard some people say they can do pull ups hanging off the top of an open door. But with a guy your/my size, I'd be worried about tearing the door off the frame.

I don't know that there's any magical connection between calisthenics and weight loss. I think when you start training something that you've neglected before (i.e. squats) you've got potential for some quick gains/adaptations. I think, more importantly, some basic calisthenics teach a measure of body control & awareness that just make you better at anything.
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Some random places to hang from that I've found
  • Bleachers at a school.
  • A good tree branch. Have to find a pretty thick one, of course, which means you probably can't wrap your hands around it. Tough on the forearms.
  • Balcony. We stayed at a BRBO a couple years ago that had a 2nd-floor balcony, and I was able to do pullups off it using a ladder I found in the garage to get up to it. Not the safest way to work out, but it was fun.
  • I've heard some people say they can do pull ups hanging off the top of an open door. But with a guy your/my size, I'd be worried about tearing the door off the frame.

I don't know that there's any magical connection between calisthenics and weight loss. I think when you start training something that you've neglected before (i.e. squats) you've got potential for some quick gains/adaptations. I think, more importantly, some basic calisthenics teach a measure of body control & awareness that just make you better at anything.
Thanks for tips!
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
13.3.19
inclined push ups 27, kneeling push ups 2x10
leg raises 20, 19

Triceps and elbows quite tired, so I included other push ups as a bit of spice.
Leg raises ok, strong.
 
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Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
For whatever reason I could not have resisted to put something over my head today.
So I tried 32+40 double KB's clean and press - and it was awesome, never ever has been
the clean portion of the lift as easy as today; press about the same as I remember it two months ago,
i.e. 4 reps without much grinding. I think direct training of core, legs and upper body pulls is the reason.
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
21.3.19
inclined push up 33
leg raises 20

Falling apart. Sore all over, tired muscles. After the first sets in both exercises,
I was not able to move any more. Going for the rep maxes four times per week
seems to be a bit too much.
 
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