Pursuit of My Abilities

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Bro Mo, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    It's been over six months since I've kept a training log (Pursuit of my Happiness). I've seen my performance come and go over the last few years as I've been training for training sake which I've considered GPP to my own detriment. A new endeavor in my life has created a need for fitness again and I want to share this new journey of pursuing my abilities.

    Previously, in the military, I would have been considered a tactical athlete in todays lingo. At that time, passing fitness requirements was simply a byproduct of training for personal pursuits of triathlons, mountaineering, cycling, etc. Fast forward, marriage and four kids later, those personal pursuits are not as common and training has been simply a hobby. This new journey is intended to be exactly opposite and down the tactical athlete road with the byproduct being recreational pursuits.

    I've spent the last decade doing program after program because there was not a reason not to do them. I had the time and I had the motivation. Unfortunately, many programs are stand alone and not built with the idea of connecting one to another in a unified way. Some I like(d) more than others. Some helped achieve one goal while departing from another. Some were park bench programs, others were bus bench programs. Some had positive adaptations and others had negative performance adaptations.

    The overall benefit to the entire journey thus far is that I know what I like, what I don't, what I need, what I don't, what works for me, what doesn't, what I'll comply with, what I won't, what injures me, what doesn't, and the list goes on and on.

    Enjoy following along as I log my training and experiences of this new phase of my life.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  2. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Sounds intriguing.... I look forward to your log
     
  3. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Over the past few months I've done a lot of FPP and GTG. The FPP has been very transferable to many movements and worked well for improving my strength endurance. GTG however negatively impacted my strength endurance which isn't that surprising to me as the intent is different. I was able to do 30-60% really well but that 30-60% eventually became 50-80% as my endurance dropped. I've gotten back to the barbell a little and tried some different protocols to see what I like that fits any constraints I have.

    I've done a lot of A+A hill sprints over the last few months which was great for reducing body fat and improving maximum power output for short bursts. However, middle distance running endurance declined. After rehabing a few hamstring tears, I ran a lot of LSD, tempo and long intervals instead along with assisting coaching my daughters track team and learned some great concepts from some really great track coaches.

    Some principals my training is following:
    1. Segregated strength, strength endurance, endurance, and power endurance blocks as well as individual training sessions.
    2. Spin one plate at a time, spin it hard and long enough to improve it, but not too long that a different plate stops spinning.
    3. My ideal park bench contains a few repeatable and interlocked bus benches with an express bus every so often.
     
  4. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Previous Month
    Monday
    :
    Bench Press 3x 2-3-5 ladders (+10# each ladder) + 5x Hamstring Curl each rung
    Zercher Squat 3x 1-2-3 ladders (+20# each ladder) + 5x Cable Row each rung​
    Tuesday: 40min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Wednesday: 40min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Thursday:
    Military Press 3x 3-5-7 ladders (+10# each ladder) + 5x Leg Raises each rung
    Deadlift 3x 1-2-3 ladders (+30-40# each ladder) + 5x Dips each rung​
    Friday: 40min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Saturday: 4-5x 5min @ zone 4 tempo run + 3min @ zone 2 recovery run
    Sunday: Yoga or Off

    Loved the last month! Dropped 5# of body fat, added ~10% to all my lifts. I've done zerchers before but never really dedicated a day per week for them and they've become a favorite.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  5. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Previous Month
    Monday:

    Swings, 20x5 [30"]
    TGU, 10x1 [1']
    Rep Ladder Circuit 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5 [2'-3'-4']
    Sit-Up x5
    Squat x10
    Push-Up x5
    Pull-Up x1​
    Tuesday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Wednesday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Thursday:
    Swings, 20x5 [30"]
    TGU, 10x1 [1']
    Rep Ladder Circuit 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-5 [2'-3'-4']
    Sit-Up x5
    Squat x10
    Push-Up x5
    Pull-Up x1​
    Friday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Saturday: 2x 10min @ zone 4 tempo run + 5min @ zone 2 recovery run
    Sunday: Off

    The last month didn't feel quite as good as the one before it. I added weight to the rep ladder circuits with a weight vest. My ability to recover from higher volume improved through the month.

    I rotated through different swing versions; I really prefer the 2H swing. It really makes a difference in power output. My acceleration is able to be way more explosive when using the grip strength of both hands. I'm more concerned with training the hip and hinge explosiveness of the swing than training the grip. There are other movements I can use to train anti-rotation and grip strength but the swing is really unique in training explosiveness and I want to maximize that effect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  6. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Previous month and the upcoming month I will be/have been rotating to my strength and aerobic focused block. I've modified the accessories a little to increase the volume and target some additional weaknesses.

    Monday
    :
    Bench Press 3x 2-3-5 ladders (+10# each ladder) +
    5x Hamstring Curl +
    2-5x Ab Roll each rung​
    Zercher Squat 3x 1-2-3 ladders (+20# each ladder) +
    8x V-Pull Down +
    8x lat pull-through each rung​
    Tuesday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Wednesday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Thursday:
    Military Press 3x 3-5-7 ladders (+10# each ladder) +
    5/5x Halo +
    5x Romanian DL each rung​
    Deadlift 3x 1-2-3 ladders (+30-40# each ladder) +
    4x Pull-ups +
    8x Dips each rung​
    Friday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Saturday: 4-6x 5min @ zone 4 tempo run (~169bpm) + 3min @ zone 2 recovery run
    Sunday: Yoga or Off

    I still really like this template. I have been missing almost entire weeks sporadically the last 6 weeks or so due to vacation, holiday, illness, tattoo recovery, etc. In some cases I pick up on the last session and others I start the week over depending on the logistics. I like that this template can be done either way. Strength was a little lower starting out but came back faster and exceeded where I left off the last time I did this block.
     
  7. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I noticed today during my tempo intervals (5min @ zone 4 with 3min recover pace) that it felt very different while in ketosis. My average pace was 10-15% slower than when eating carbohydrates but my endurance was noticeably higher. Below are two plots: one from a period of eating carbohydrates within 60min before and after intense training days through the week, the other from a period of being in ketosis. With carbohydrates, my average pace was higher but dropped off shortly into the intervals. The ketosis pace was slower on average but more stable. Additionally, the ketosis intervals felt extremely easy which could have been due to a slower average pace for the same heart rate or due to being more fat adapted. Also, it was much more difficult to slow my heart rate between intervals while in ketosis.

    July: fairly low carbohydrates, all consumed only within 60min of intense training sessions through the week, never attempting or reaching ketosis.
    Polar_20180714.JPG

    September: moderate to high ketosis for a few weeks leading up to.
    Polar_20180915.JPG
     
  8. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I've felt kind of weak the last couple weeks. I've even started to question the program I'm on after it was going very well for sometime. However, I've continued to tell myself to keep doing the work and it will accumulate. Yesterday it did; it was a great training session. Every lift went up almost easily. I wasn't expecting a good day but once again, my mind and body lied to me. The perseverance paid off. You have to do the work, it's the only part you can control.
     
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  9. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    The previous few months have went well. I really like the program I've been doing and really see it as my foundational park bench program. Starting a new month of training to peak some bodyweight endurance. This is intended to be my express bus program.

    Monday/Friday
    AM:
    Push-Up, 10-1(-1) [15"]
    Sit-Up: 5x 30% max reps [40"]​
    Midday:
    Bench Press 20x1 [10"] (rest in up position)
    Weighted Sit-Up, 20x1 [10"] (rest in up position)​
    PM:
    Push-Up, 6x 30% max reps [75"]
    Sit-Up, 6x 30% max reps [75"]​
    Tuesday/Thursday: 10x 35m Hill Sprint [3']
    Wednesday/Saturday: 4-6x 3min @ zone 5 (~6:30min/mi pace) + 3min walk

    Ketosis sucks for doing zone 5 intervals so far. I've never done zone 5 intensity while in ketosis so I want to experiment and see how it feels for a couple more weeks before I add carbs back in though. In a few weeks, when I introduce carbs back, I will modify Wed/Sat for shorter down ladders of sprints (i.e., 400-300-200-100).
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  10. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Previous weeks have gone well. Even the zone 5 training is going better without carbs. The giant set of bench and squat are quite mentally demanding. The last 4 reps require some personal negotiating. The total daily volume on Monday and Friday is decent yet easy to recover from. I'm not sure I would want those days more than twice per week but I think would be easily doable. I've increased the density of the hill sprints by reducing the start time to every 2::30 instead of 3::00. The zone 5 intervals were tough the first few sessions but this last Saturday they were almost easy and it took a little restraint to not do another.
     
  11. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I've dropped the hill sprints and instead do 1 additional interval day on Tuesday and Thursday is recovery on the elliptical. Intervals are getting faster and much easier to do more of them. Recovery between each is getting better also; 3min gets me from near max HR back to zone 1 or below.

    The super squat routine giant sets are improving strength endurance. The AM interval push-ups are the most difficult but the volume is increasing slowly and is not very wavy - which is fine because some days feel easy while others feel more difficult. I'm treating the push-ups like the FFP in that each time a rep is added to the previous set. I'm adding 1 rep per set on the PM push-ups.

    The AM sit-ups have migrated to 20sec on, 20sec off and trying to get 1 additional rep in the 20sec by one set each session or week. I add one rep to every set for the PM sit-ups each week.

    Still in ketosis and feeling more and more adapted. I was originally planning to reintroduce carbohydrates in order to peak performance in a few weeks but I'm considering just staying in ketosis to not risk having any negative performance effects since things seem pretty stable as they are...jury is still out though since I have never experimented in this way before and it is very uncertain to me without more anecdotal evidence.
     
  12. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Finished a full cycle of the program I've been working on. Assuming I have access to a gym with barbell, I really like this template. I'm sure I'll tweak some things over time but for the most part it's pretty good. I would like to experiment with different nutrition profiles during the different micro/meso/macro cycles though.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Below are samples of my HR tracking during the Strength Phase.

    Strength Day

    Strength-Strength_20180621.JPG
    I stopped wearing a HR monitor for the strength day of this phase and only had this one session.

    Aerobic Day
    Strength-Aerobic_20180619.JPG
    These days stayed pretty similar. Pace didn't increase much over the course of a month. The stability of the HR did and the time to get up to HR and the time to come back down did though.

    Anaerobic Tempo Day
    Strength_Anaerobic_20180714.JPG
    The pace of these tempo runs didn't change too much. They got slower when I went into ketosis but I could do more of them without feeling fatigued.
     
  14. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Below are samples from the strength endurance phase.

    Strength Day
    StrengthEndurance-Strength_20180813.JPG
    Swings and TGUs for the first 20min and then the ratchet ladder circuits after. I think I ended up with 15# in my vest for these.

    Aerobic Day
    StrengthEndurance-Aerobic_20180814.JPG
    During this phase, I wasn't able to use as high of a level on the elliptical to maintain my zone 2 as I was during the strength phase. The HR was a little more erratic also.

    Anaerobic Day
    StrengthEndurance_Anaerobic_20180727.JPG
    These days were easier once in ketosis. The longer duration tempo was easier to maintain.
     
  15. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Below are examples of the Power Phase

    Strength Day
    Power_Strength_20181129.JPG
    These 5 min on-the-minute sets really impart a good technique because of the high rate of quality heavy reps - very dense.

    Aerobic Day
    PowerEndurance-Aerobic_20181106.JPG
    The HR monitor lost connectivity for a little while when I started. This phase came after a second strength block and the stability of the HR was much smoother.

    Anaerobic Day
    Power-Anaerobic_20181120.JPG
    My focus during this phase was to keep adding more intervals over time. The 3min time frame works out to 700-750 meters. My average pace of each session was better than the one before it and I had to focus on throttling back the pace to complete more intervals. Over time, it was more and more difficult for me to get my HR up into zone 5 at the same pace.
     
  16. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Here are a few tempo days I've tried during this current Power Endurance phase.

    PowerEndurance_Anaerobic_20181201.JPG
    This one was a 5min warm-up jog, then stretches and dynamic warm-up drills, followed by a few sprints intervals from 300m down to 100m in 50m increments with 60sec rest between. This was quite tough with the short rest intervals.

    PowerEndurance_Anaerobic_20181205.JPG
    This one was on a treadmill. It was intervals of 5min, 4min, 3min, 2min, and 1min with 3min walk between. Each interval was done at 1mph faster than the one before it. I really like this workout. I've done it in the past a few times per week for peeking prior to PT tests when I was in the military. The body kind of naturally wants to keep the faster pace it's used to. The first 2-3 intervals require some discipline to go slow.

    PowerEndurance_Anaerobic_20181212.JPG
    This was kind of similar to the previous one except dropping the 5 and 4 minute intervals and replacing with 3, 2, and 1 min intervals. The 2 minute interval is usually the hardest for me in both this workout and the one above.
     
  17. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Rotating back to the strength phase. The red text are a changes from the last time I visited this phase a couple months ago.

    Monday:
    Bench Press 3x 2-3-5 ladders (+5% each ladder) +
    5x Hamstring Curl +
    2-5x Ab Roll each rung​
    Zercher Squat 3x 1-2-3 ladders (+10% each ladder) +
    8x V-Pull Down +
    8x lat pull-through each rung​
    Tuesday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Wednesday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Thursday:
    Military Press 3x 3-5-7 ladders (+5% each ladder) +
    5/5x Russian Twist +
    5x Romanian DL each rung​
    Deadlift 3x 1-2-3 ladders (+10% each ladder) +
    4x Pull-ups +
    8x Incline Press each rung​
    Friday: 40-60min elliptical @ zone 2 (~138bpm)
    Saturday: 4-6x 5min @ zone 4 tempo run (~169bpm) + 3min @ zone 2 recovery run
    Sunday: Yoga or Off

    Weights aren't starting off as high as I left the last cycle but are higher than the starting weights the last cycle...2 steps forward, half step back. The zone 2 elliptical requires a higher resistance from the jump though to maintain the same HR. My running is significantly improving without running much. 1-2 times per week of faster pace intervals is patterning my run performance very well for the short distances I'm training for. A long distance run (>10k) tomorrow would probably hurt my joints for a few days after I suspect though.
     
  18. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Rather than doing 4x ladders when I feel good, I've taken a nugget from 5/3/1 and started making the 3rd rung of the 3rd ladder (9th set) a set of as many high quality reps I can get instead. This is really psychologically beneficial for me; getting 11 reps on a weight only programmed for 5 reps is motivating to up the weight with extreme confidence.
     
  19. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I've been playing with some alternatives to regular old LED. Two alternarives that are showing promise for me are:
    1. Zone 2 Swings
      • 2H Swings @ 32kg x4 [30"] x80
    2. Swing Fartlek
      1. 2H Swing @32kg x5 [30"]
      2. 3-5-7min @ Zone 2 Elliptical (jog/row/swim/etc)
      3. repeat (ends up being 6 rounds total ~45min)
    The zone 2 swings I only do on the first LED day and not the day before or after a deadlift day.
     
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  20. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Here is the Polar readout from some Zone 2 swings. This was 3-5x every 30seconds for 60 sets.
    Swing_Aerobic.PNG


    Here is the readout from a swing fartlek. This was the day after donating blood so it was a little harder on my body than usual. It's tough to hit the power band when running a quart low on oil.
    Swing_Fartlek.PNG

    Training is going well on the schedule posted 12/20/18. This last Thursday I used as a variety day to try something new. I tried bench press and front squat 1x every 30sec for 10 sets + 5min rest + 10 more sets for a total of 20 sets of 1x @ 85% for each. Very confidence inspiring to just stay under that weight for 20 reps. I could really focus on each rep. Like @Steve Freides frequently quotes Bruce Lee, "...fear the man who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times." I may put this in for an entire month strength endurance cycle to see how it goes.
     
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