Switching from Barbell to High Rep Body Weight - Lose Strength?

pullupfighter

Double-Digit Post Count
So I made a post just a day or two and had some excellent responses. All of this was bad timing. So for 8 months, I trained hard raising my bench from 150 lbs to 300 lbs in just 8 months. Which was my whole goal, to bench (6) 45 lb plates on a 20 lb bar. Well the week I achieved my goal, I got shook with my first injury yesterday, after 8 months of injury free hard training.

Sadly, the injury was on a simple exercise, I was doing delt raises with resistance bands. My form broke down in the higher rep range, and I messed up my back pretty good. I was thinking I "pulled something in my back", but after some research it appears pretty common with delt raises and it appears that I've "strained the scapular" on my shoulder blade. I was in major discomfort and pain yesterday. I woke up thinking it would be worse and stiff. However, I'm still able to be mobile this morning, but still in a good amount of pain. Just not as bad as I thought it would be. I still can't turn my head 180 to the left or right without major pain though. But I have a good deal of pain right under my left shoulder blade / trapz area.

With that said, I got to exactly where I was aiming for on my strength goals. (300 lb bench) before the injury. I've also met my weight / mass gain goals, and feel I'm about ready to start cutting a bit. I feel like for my cut phase, and feel that it would also be great for me to build back up some mobility to switch over to (HIGH REP) body weight movements. Years ago, I used to be in the routine of doing 1,000+ push ups and 500+ dips every other day, and rotating with high rep pull ups and sit ups. However, at that time I didn't have access to weights to check what it did to my strength curve. But I do remember when doing high rep I was able to cut up very quickly and also I felt a lot more mobile and quicker, hence I'm sure the reason boxers always use high rep.

So my question is, can I switch over to high rep push ups and dips with resistance bands and expect to maintain my same bench numbers without losing any strength or even gain strength?

For example, say I was to do 1,000 push ups and 500 dips a day using drop sets with a 60, 50, 40, and 30 lb band, obviously I'd still gain size with the high reps. However, could I expect to maintain my strength gains without losing anything on the bench?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@pullfighter, no disrespect intended here, but I don't think you're asking the right questions.

The first order of business is to determine the nature of your injury - please see a doctor - and the second item on your list should be recovery.

Strength lost can be found again, and it will come back much more quickly the second time for most people. My advice to you is not to plan any alternative exercise routine until you've had a few days off, have seen a doctor, and have gently tested some alternative exercises to see what you can and cannot do without pain and without causing yourself further injury.

-S-
 

pullupfighter

Double-Digit Post Count
Steve, thanks for the response! Honestly, I'm one of them people that doesn't like to go to the doctor. (Hard Headed.) However, I will not be exercising again over the next few days until I know for sure the nature of the injury and if it will recover. I've always been this way, and I pray that it's not anything more serious than a strain. I will keep you updated over the next few days and pray about it!
 

Antti

More than 2500 posts
Maximum strength lingers around for about a month before it starts to deteriorate. You could do some lighter training sessions aimed at retaining your strength while you concentrate on something else. Like if the bench is your priority, do three sets of five at 75% 1RM once a week, and see how far this minimalism carries you. If you feel like it, you could add a tiny bit of weight each week.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@pullupfighter
First of all, congratulations for your numbers.

However, as you said, you trained extremely hard and unfortunately, ended up injured. Be careful of overtraining. If I were in your shoes, I'd go to see a doctor just to be sure there is nothing too serious. I'd also get some good rest and do rehab (with bands, etc...) and mobility.

Yes high rep calisthenics will help you for the cutting phase. Nonetheless, you will also lose a little bit of strength, which is perfectly normal. This is almost impossible to at "peak" all year long. As already and wisely mentioned above, strength lasts for a while before decreasing, and easily backs up again.

Be careful with high repetitions sit ups / crunches. A lot of folks do them with poor form (both for the movement pattern and the breathing pattern), which is why they end up injured.

Ultra high repetitions on a daily basis may work to a certain extent for endurance and strength. I did it several times, but the body adapts very fast. Mixing things up (pace, number of repetition per set, variation (OA, OAOL, Hindu, archer, diamond, etc...)) is more profitable. At least this is my experience.

Indeed, we quickly get a point of if not diminishing return (ratio between time and results), at least not progression.

Weight gains and losses are also a matter of nutrition. So you can also try to reduce the calorie intake, to get a slight calorie deficit (about 300kcal deficit for instance). In the meanwhile, if you are not interested in building muscle endurance:
- easy LSD 2 or 3 times a week (about 45 minutes)
- some kind of daily dose training on your main lifts (those which you want to maintain): 3-5 reps a day at about 85% (or 3 times a week, something simple like 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps with 3-5 minutes rest between sets).

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Boosh32

Triple-Digit Post Count
There doesn't seem to be any aerobic training in your program. This would be a good time to use an exercise bicycle. Start with an easy 20 minutes a day. Your Maffetone max heart-rate is 151 so stay well under that at first, maybe 120 or lower.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

@pullupfighter
Nasal breathing, as taught in "Oxygen Advantage" drastically helps as far as maintaining a nice and gentle pace for any aerobic activity. That way, you are absolutely sure to recover extremely fast while smoothly progressing.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

pullupfighter

Double-Digit Post Count
I'm back to update as promised as I would. So here's the catch. I actually cycle quite a bit, although it's not listed on my training schedule. My work schedule fluctuates, so I usually jump on the cycle and do a few miles a few days a week, whenever I have enough time, however I do get in at least several days of cycling.

So as far as an update on the injury as promised, I still refuse to go to a doctor. After doing some research, it looks like I'd probably need to find a sports - medicine doctor and I'm not in the best situation with insurance right now being that I'm working for myself. I will be getting a new insurance plan within the next 6 months, so I'm toughing this one out. I know a little or (enough) about the body to get me by.

I've determined it almost seems like either a strain or a tear in my rhomboid area. I've decided one or two day off wasn't enough time for recovery. The day 1 and day 2 were INTENSE with pain, but now a lot of the pain has subsided and I only feel it when turning my neck to the left or right. When sitting up right or walking now I feel more pain free now, but defiantly not ready to train again and I'm not going to risk further injury.

I've pretty much attributed the injury to me changing gyms when we moved out of state. I do a ton of dips, and when I moved to the new gym, I was disappointed to find out the dip bars are not near the quality of my previous gym. They are more spread out for bigger people, and I think it's been doing a number on my shoulder. Then when I went to hit my shoulders from a different angle and my form broke down, the damage was done in a quick matter.

I'm re-programming right now, I was actually browsing the barbell forum here last night and ran across some old Russian Training Plans that use basic lifts, and minimum volume, so once I do recover I'm going to eliminate a lot of the volume for a while. I'm actually going to switch to the "Pavel Singles Program" for a while after I get back to a full recovery.

With that said, it looks like I'm on a 1-3 week deload or out until after the holidays as I'm not going to rush back into anything. I'm not feeling a whole lot of pain other than neck movements to the side right now, but I'm not going to push it or take any risk in hurting myself or setting myself back further.
 

pet'

More than 5000 posts
Hello,

If you do not want / can not see a doctor, then the best remaining option is to have a slightly longer break.

Otherwise, I'd say something like "Relax into stretch" or an OS Reset (but be sure not screwing up the technique because it could lead to a worse situation). FMS could also be an option.

Take care,

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Jak Nieuwenhuis

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I would just ante up and go see a doctor. I can guarantee out that you are not in a position to self diagnose, let alone treat on your own.

There are all sorts of clinics and programs for uninsured individuals to go see a doctor, any doctor would be better than no doctor. B
 

Karen Smith

More than 300 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
I would Love to set a time to chat about your injury, some options for moving forward and for planning Bodyweight that will help you maintain a majority of your strength. If you are interested in discussing. Please email me at karensmithmsfg@gmail.com and we can set a time to chat.
 
Top Bottom