S&S attempt #4

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by seward, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Intro:

    In my early 40s. 6', 175#.

    I didn't get into strength training until my mid 30s, when I got Enter the Kettlebell and a 16kg bell. Have gradually been getting stronger and working through accumulated injuries and issues since then.

    For the last few months, I've been doing PTTP. Worked up to a 5RM of 285# on the deadlift and 145# on the floor press.

    I've liked the strength increases and short time requirements of PTTP. Adding some lean mass is a goal, so I'm planning on switching over to the Russian Bear for about 6 weeks.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  2. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Russian Bear day 1, deadlifts

    I've done some reading to get ideas about how people actually implement the RB, as PTTP is a little skinny on some of the how-to details.. I'm planning to lift twice a week, with deadlifts on the first day and floor press on the second day.

    This first session took about 25 minutes.

    Warmup: 205 for 3 reps
    255 x 5
    230 x 5
    205 x 5 x 7

    Probably could have gutted out a few more sets, but my legs were getting a little wobbly on the 7th back-off set, and I'd rather ease into this than overdo it from the start.

    Surprised by how high my heart rate got during the back off sets. I started at around 60 sec of rest between sets, but will try closer to 90 next time around to see if that helps.

    Will also try different pre-workout strategies. I'm used to training fasted in the morning, which is what I did this time. Guessing some fuel beforehand would let me get more work done.
     
  3. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    S&S
    Trying out doing a session of S&S between Bear sessions, schedule permitting. Haven't done S&S in a while, so this wasn't a full session, just the warmups, 20kg 1h swings x 60, and 20kg TGUs x 3.

    Bear #2: Floor press
    50 minutes.
    warmed up with some TGUs.
    125 x 5
    115 x 5
    100 x 5 x 14

    Some soreness in R shoulder between sets. Could have ground out more sets, but didn't want to cause an injury on my first press workout. Fortunately the shoulder was back to normal the next morning.

    Bear #3: DL
    35 minutes.
    warmed up with TGUs, 205 x 3, 235 x 2.
    260 x 5
    235 x 5
    210 x 5 x 9

    Quit at 9 back-off sets out of caution for some soreness in R knee. Strength-wise, could have kept going. Did some minimal pre-workout fueling this time, and I think it helped as my poundage ended up 24% higher than the last deadlift session. Checked my HR towards the end and it was 160, and that was with all rest periods around 90 seconds.

    Body weight is flat one week in. Expect I need to be eating a bit more.
     
  4. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #4: floor press
    45 minutes, including warmups.

    This session, tried a few rounds of prying goblet squats and halos first. The same shoulder felt a bit tight after the halos but good enough for training.

    warm up 95 x 3, 115 x 2
    130 x 5
    115 x 5
    105 x 5 x 15

    9,615# total

    Shoulder felt pretty good for most of the sets, was starting to get a bit sore at the very end. I was also running up against the 45 minute mark, so called it good enough. Up 17% in tonnage from last floor press session. And actually came in a few pounds over the total from my first deadlift session.
     
  5. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    (yesterday)
    squats / swings / getups
    Not getting in the full S&S rep count, but that's the inspiration for these sessions. 10 20kg 1h swing x 6, 1 20kg TGU per side x3.

    (today)
    Bear #5: deadlift
    40 minutes including warmups.

    a few goblet squats and hip bridges to warm up.

    deadlifts:
    205 x 3
    235 x 2
    265 x 5
    240 x 5
    210 x 5 x 8

    Knee felt fine this time.
    That's an 8% drop in total poundage from last week's deadlifts. I spent the last half of last week on vacation, which meant compromised training, eating, and sleeping. Some more travel time this week, will try to improve on those variables and get some momentum going.
     
    ShawnM likes this.
  6. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #6: floor press
    45 minutes

    goblet squats & halos worked pretty well last time, so did that again for a warmup.

    floor press
    95 x 3
    115 x 2
    135 x 5
    120 x 5
    110 x 5 x 17

    11,140# total, a 16% increase. Amazing what a few good nights of sleep and days of adequate nutrition will do. Joints a bit less creaky as well. Tempting to bump my top set by 10# instead of #5 for next week, but I've got at least 3 more sessions of pressing ahead, so I will be patient.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  7. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    Good to see someone else doing The Bear! I'm thinking about doing that one as well in the future and am currently on another Pavel program. Look forward to hearing about your progress! Also, the program is pretty flexible as far as auto-regulation goes. The frequency is up to you but suggested at 2-4 days I believe with the B.O. sets also being left ambiguous to the user. Also, is there a reason you only do the floor press once a week? I train at home and also use the Floor press and DL combination a bit.
     
  8. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Philippe, I saw from your log that you were doing the BB DeLorme routine. I gave that a try last year and got decent results. Almost did it again this year, but realized I'd never tried the Bear, and wanted to see how that worked for me.

    I'm giving 2 bear sessions a week a try since I'm pretty short on training time, and I heard or read Pavel say that 2x a week could be enough to see progress. It does seem like a second floor press session would be helpful. Depending on how this 6 week block goes, I may do another 6 weeks later in the fall, and that seems like that'd be a good change to try.

    I see that I'm halfway through these 6 weeks. Weight has been a little up and down thanks to travel last week, but I seem to be settling at a couple pounds up from where I started. Shorts are feeling tighter in the legs, which is where I usually notice changes first on a hypertrophy block.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  9. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    Yes I'm sure it is pretty difficult to be consistent with a busy work travel/family schedule. I'm sure that it not only affects training but also diet/sleep/ rest and stress. However, I'm glad to hear you're seeing results. Also, if you very much plan to continue training for long term and have space/finances, purchasing just a barbell can be a very worthy investment, as the Bear, PTTP and DeLorme can all be performed at home with just a barbell (utilizing the floor press). Keep us posted on progress!
     
  10. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #7: deadlift
    60 minutes including warmups.

    a few goblet squats and hip bridges to warm up.

    deadlifts:
    205 x 3
    245 x 2
    270 x 5
    245 x 5
    215 x 5 x 10

    total poundage up 14,400# -- 11% better than my previous best, up 20% from last week. Pleasantly surprised to get that many back-off sets after another long weekend away. Weighed myself this morning and came in exactly where I started, 175. Not surprising as food was a little scarce this last week, and my belt has been getting tighter, so I'll take that as progress.

    Three travel-free weeks ahead, so expecting to put on some mass.
     
  11. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #8: floor press
    45 minutes

    goblet squats & halos for warmup

    floor press:
    95 x 3
    115 x 2
    140 x 5
    125 x 5
    120 x 5 (plate math failure, meant for this to be the first back off set)
    110 x 5 x 15

    10,690# total, down 4% from last session. Didn't manage to eat or have a coffee before training today, that probably didn't help. Up a couple pounds on the scale.
     
  12. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #9: floor press
    Philippe, you got me thinking about twice weekly pressing sessions, and I decided to go for it for the last 3 weeks of this Bear block. This was my second floor press session of the week, and my best yet.

    Training time: one hour

    goblets & halos warmup

    floor press:
    95 x 3
    125 x 2
    145 x 4
    130 x 5
    115 x 5 x 18

    12,115 total, up 9% from previous best.

    Now that I've passed my current 5RM, and have 4 more press sessions scheduled, I'm thinking I'll wave back to 135, which would then put the top set of my remaining sessions at 140, 145 again, and 150.

    Bodyweight is right where I started at 175#, but my belt is looser, so I'm seeing a little recomposition. Will cram some more food in these last couple weeks to see if I can put on a bit more lean mass.

    I'm guessing one takeaway from this training block will be that I need to get better at pressing before investing the energy in more hypertrophy training.
     
    ShawnM and Philippe Geoffrion like this.
  13. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    Good stuff @seward! Glad to see you're seeing improvements. And yes, I've found the reason high volume programs elicit hypertrophy so well is that they definitely increase your appetite! Be sure to eat if you're looking for hypertrophy!
     
  14. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #10: deadlift
    45 minutes including warmups.

    a few goblet squats and hip bridges to warm up.

    deadlifts:
    205 x 3
    245 x 2
    275 x 5
    250 x 5
    220 x 5 x 9

    total poundage 13,630#, down 5% from last time (one set less). This was a tough session. One more deadlift session to go next week, and I'm not sure if I'd get more benefit from bumping the top set up another 5#, or cycling back a few steps to see if I pick up more total volume.

    All the joints are feeling good and I'm up a couple pounds on the scale, so overall I'm content.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion and ShawnM like this.
  15. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #11: floor press
    55 minutes

    goblet squats & halos

    floor press
    95 x 3
    115 x 2
    135 x 5
    120 x 5
    110 x 5 x 18

    11,690# total. Since this session was based off a 10# drop from the previous top set, I think I underestimated it. Still plenty of work.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion and ShawnM like this.
  16. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #12: floor press
    50 minutes

    goblet squats & halos for warmup

    floor press:
    95 x 3
    125 x 2
    140 x 5
    125 x 5
    110 x 5 x 20

    12,860# total, up 6% from previous best. Apparently I'm not eating / resting enough to put on much mass, but I sure am getting better at doing lots of light sets of 5. This was the first time I made it to 20 back-off sets, and I probably could have squeezed out a few more if I hadn't been out of time. Also, the top set at 140# felt stronger than last time around.

    Two more sessions to go!
     
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  17. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    @seward

    Great to see you're progressing well! But it seems you're not getting the mas you're after! Rest and Nutrition are essential for mass and alas with the volume you are doing, I'm shocked your appetite isn't insatiable! What's your eating plan look like? Also, while doing the DeLorme, I realized for mass that the rep performance is a HUGE factor in how much mass you will gain. With your B.O. sets, it's easy to forget about tension and just "blast" the weights around, not pausing on the bottom of the lifts bouncing and/or exploding them up with little tension. Not saying you are dong this, but it can significantly decrease your size gains. I did this during my light days and didn't gain much in mass the first week because I ignored one of Pavel's rules. The lifts must be done at a medium to slow pace while maximizing tension! So squeezing the life out of the bar and using "all the muscles possible" really seems to activate growth, like flexing under the barbell. Squeeze your pecs, back, biceps hard lowering on floor press. Squeeze the weight up by tensing your pecs, grip and tris. Lock your lats hard in the deadlift and squeeze the weight up, tensing everything: stomach, glutes, hams, quads, grip, and lats. You must feel, in your entire body, that every muscle fiber available is contributing to your lfits. If you do that each and every rep, you will curse the volume... and your appetite and muscular gains will skyrocket. Glad to see you're improving your strength gains though, and hen all said and done, that's what's most important anyways! Keep it up!
     
  18. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    A big difference for me this time around vs. previous mass gain attempts is that I've been eating 95% keto for about 9 months. The success from folks over at ketogains.com is pretty convincing that at least some people can make good mass gains on their macro approach. Anyhow, that probably explains not having a huge appetite. I am averaging over 3000 calories & 160 grams of protein.

    One possibility is that I'm putting on some lean mass but not gaining fat, vs. a gain of both as I've experienced before.

    Good point about maintaining tension on the back-off sets. I think I've been doing ok on that front, though I'll pay more attention for my last few sessions.

    Speaking of:
    Bear #13: deadlift
    45 minutes including warmups.

    a few goblet squats and hip bridges to warm up.

    deadlifts:
    205 x 3
    235 x 2
    255 x 2
    280 x 5
    250 x 5
    225 x 5 x 10

    total poundage 15,495#, up 7% from previous best. Decided to go for one last 5# increase today instead of cycling back, and glad I did. Felt stronger on the top set than I have the last few sessions.

    It's nice to look back at my last higher volume deadlift program, the DeLorme, which I did close to two years ago. I see my best deadlifts on that were 105 / 165 /215 x 5 for a total of 12,125#. Not an apples to apples comparison but it seems like I'm making progress.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  19. seward

    seward Triple-Digit Post Count

    Bear #14: floor press
    55 minutes

    goblet squats & halos for warmup

    floor press:
    115 x 3
    130 x 2
    145 x 5
    130 x 5
    115 x 5 x 20

    13,480#, up 5% from last time. Got all 5 reps of the top set, vs. only 4 last time I tried 145#.
    And as for mass, I've been hanging out around 180# for a few days, which is +5 from where I started.

    Overall, I'm happy with how this training block has gone. Compared to other mass programs I've tried (DeLorme, Dan John's MMS), the Bear took less time and energy, which is good because I haven't had much of either recently.

    Changes I'd implement next time around:
    • spend the time beforehand to get stronger at the floor press. I'm guessing another 20# or more on my 5RM would help.
    • do floor presses 2x a week from the start
    • do snatch grip DLs instead of conventional
    Thanks for the feedback and encouragement, Philippe! I'm particularly glad you asked about pressing once a week vs. twice a week, I think that change in the final weeks of the program really helped.

    Next, I'm going to shift over to Simple & Sinister for at least a few months, with some prep mixed in for the October TSC, in particular The 5-Week TSC Deadlift Plan | StrongFirst

    Between PTTP and this Bear block, I've been doing far more deadlifting than ever before, so I am hopeful that'll get me past 2x bodyweight.
     
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  20. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    Excellent work @seward! Glad to see your block was successful! What's next for you in training?
     

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