Tactical Barbell: "Operator" template, "SWAT" cluster

freeflowme

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Find current training program beginning Post #62

[Background]
32, M, 6'0, 190lbs (200lbs as of July '19). Married (10 yrs), 2 kids (6 and 1). Was a true gym bro in high school and did bodybuilding splits but always prioritized chest and arms days, and usually skipped legs days . Inactive with any strength and conditioning training for the past 10 years. I have what a neurosurgeon described as a multiply herniated L4/L5 (herniated and partially healed multiple times over the years) and history of right shoulder problems.

[Goals] I'd love to be in the 1/2/3/4 plate club someday (press, bench, squat, deadlift). I'd also like to be able to do 10+ strict pull-ups again [EDIT1]. And being able to complete the Rite of Passage with a 32kg kb would be a neat accomplishment, as well (although even completing it with the 24kb would take a lot of training from where I'm at currently). My primary focus at present, though, is barbell movements. Oh, and I'd like to not have a "dad bod" ROFL

[EDIT1]: I hadn't checked back on this original post in a few months, and it struck me as I re-read it today that I've quite possibly unintentionally met this goal without training specifically for it. I just did 5x5 pullups today, and my first 3-4 sets were really explosive to the bar. I think if I was fresh and went all out on a single set, I could get 10. Kind of a cool realization. - 9/13/19

[Plans] I've been PTTP-ing conventional deadlifts and overhead presses since the beginning of February. I'm constantly learning better technique in those lifts and more about what type of cycling is most effective for me (size of jumps, linear vs. step vs. wave cycles, length of cycles, etc.). I plan to do kettlebell training during the weeks that I'm traveling this summer with a 24kg kb. I started at a 115x5 deadlift and a 65x5lb press. My current best deadlift is 265x5 and press of 120x5. Hoping to hit 285x5 in June and 300x5 in July. [EDIT2]

[EDIT 2]: I hit 275x5 DL in June and 295x5 and 300x3 in July. Those were all at the tail end of training cycles without any rest before them. The 300x3 was actually on a 6th day in a row of training that was supposed to be a rest day but I really wanted to go for the PR. If rested, it's quite possible I could've gotten a full 300x5. I also hit a 125x5 press in June and a 130x5 and 135x4 in July, again at the end of training cycles with a lot of accumulated fatigue.
 
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freeflowme

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Today was the 6th training session of my current PTTP cycle. I started this cycle on Monday, June 3, 2019 and have done the following:

6/3/19: DL 185/170, OHP 95/85
6/4/19: DL 200/180, OHP 100/90
6/5/19: DL 215/195, OHP 105/95
6/6/19: DL 230/210, OHP 110/100
6/7/19: DL 245/220, OHP 115/105
6/8/19: rest
6/9/19: rest
6/10/19: DL 205/185, OHP 105/95

Basically, I decided to go with 15lb jumps day-to-day on deadlift (a first, and I'm loving it) and a 20lb increase week-to-week. So, it's pretty close to 5 steps forward 4 steps back. Presses are 5lb increases a day and a 10lb increase every week (5 steps forward 3 steps back). We leave town for two weeks on Friday, June 21, so these increments are designed to have me hit my goals of 275+DL and 135OHP before we leave.

15lb jumps have felt great. My fatigue feels much better managed. And the weights feel like they're just flying off the floor. One big technique goal for me has been to keep my hips higher in my DL set up, thus keeping my shins more vertical and not forcing the bar to travel around my knees. So far, this has felt like an awesome change.

I also happened to take video of my OHP from the back today, and noticed that I think my press grip might be way too narrow. Or maybe I just need to stop flaring my elbows as I press.

DL 205x5

DL 185x5

OHP 105x5

OHP 95x5
 
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Dekapon

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What's your diet like? Physique changes comes from your diet, exercise routine and sleep habits. Some say they're equally important...
 

freeflowme

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What's your diet like? Physique changes comes from your diet, exercise routine and sleep habits. Some say they're equally important...
I've been following The Whole 30 for quite some time (no grains, no dairy, no added sugars of any kind). I'd been gluten and dairy-free for 2 years prior to that, so it wasn't that big of an adjustment. I seem to just stay "skinny fat," though, with no real fluctuation in weight or body composition despite not eating any sweets or junk food.
 

Dekapon

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I'd never heard about the "the whole 30" before, I read about it before posting...it seems... very modern...
I don't want to point any fingers, and I'm really fat and out of shape, so if you're happy with it and the results, good for you...

How many calories and how much protein do you eat a day? Eating at least 2g protein per kg bodyweight has been scientifically proven to build more muscles and burn more fat compared to a lower intake of protein on the same exercise regim.
In your case that would be 174g of protein a day, or 0,38 pounds of protein a day.

As for your program, haven't read Power to the People, but do you only do warm-up and 5 reps of deadlifts and 5 reps of overhead press a day? Have you tried "classic" barbell programs like "Starting Strength" or "5x5"?
 

freeflowme

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So, for the foreseeable future, the majority of my workouts are going to be early morning. Today’s, for example, got started around 7:15am. I have to say, I don’t feel as good first thing in the morning as I do just a few hours later - it’s like my mind and muscles just aren’t connected. My dynamic warm ups don’t feel as effective, my working sets feel heavier, and my post-workout static stretches don’t feel like I can “get into” the muscles as much. But it is what it is.

So, 220x5 felt heavier than I would’ve liked today - and it’s the first day of this cycle that I can say the weights didn’t feel lighter than expected in my hands. I felt absolutely no fatigue in my legs, back, grip or anywhere else in my body headed into working out, so I’m just going to chalk it up as a one off and assume that tomorrow will feel better. A big part of it is mental - it’s hard to really focus with the family eating breakfast and cracking jokes during my sets. Ah well. 200x5 felt light in my hands, but like I was just gassed - I get way too winded doing these sets of deadlifts. I don’t know whether that’s due to my breathing / bracing being poor or just to my overall conditioning being poor. Or both.

And, I inadvertently pressed 115x5 and 105x5 today when I was supposed to do 110x5 and 100x5. Again, I just wasn’t “dialed in” today with my family holding conversation with me from the breakfast table between sets. But, on the plus side, I pressed 115x5 without hurting my shoudler / back. I do feel a little twinge in my upper back muscles here post-workout, but nothing nearly as bad as usual, which is the kind of spasm that keeps you from being able to turn your head one direction at all.

So, I put in the work today. I’ll hope for better focus tomorrow.

DL 220x5

DL 200x5

OHP 115x5

OHP 105x5
 

freeflowme

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I'd never heard about the "the whole 30" before, I read about it before posting...it seems... very modern...
I don't want to point any fingers, and I'm really fat and out of shape, so if you're happy with it and the results, good for you...

How many calories and how much protein do you eat a day? Eating at least 2g protein per kg bodyweight has been scientifically proven to build more muscles and burn more fat compared to a lower intake of protein on the same exercise regim.
In your case that would be 174g of protein a day, or 0,38 pounds of protein a day.

As for your program, haven't read Power to the People, but do you only do warm-up and 5 reps of deadlifts and 5 reps of overhead press a day? Have you tried "classic" barbell programs like "Starting Strength" or "5x5"?
The Whole 30, at least as I've been practicing it, ends up being really similar to The Warrior Diet in terms of what foods you actually consume. The main difference is you're still eating 3 meals a day + a pre-workout and post-workout snack if you're doing any type of athletic training. My diet pretty much ends up consisting of eggs, chicken, beef, the occasional ground pork or turkey, a lot of leafy greens and peppers, with sweet potatoes as pretty much my only straight carb. I eat nuts and raisins between meals if hungry. Cutting out all processed foods and anything with any type of added sugar (even honey or maple syrup) has really cleaned up my diet. I don't currently measure calories or grams of protein, though. Maybe I could.
 

Dekapon

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I don't currently measure calories or grams of protein, though. Maybe I could.
You don't have to weigh every single leaf and raisin you eat, but getting a ball park idea on how much protein you eat a day might be good. Like, do you eat 2 eggs a day or 5? 1 chicken breast or 3? 200g of sweet potatoes or 900g?
An "exclusion" diet might exclude so much you don't eat enough, or don't get enough of either protein, fat, carbs, vitamins or minerals. When I began eating vegan food a few times a week I weighed it and used a calorie counter I was surprised how much food I had to eat. A 900kcal meal of lentils, carrots and potatoes is a mountain of food...
Or a 6 large egg omelet in a non stick pan is only 600kcal (plus the kcal in the oil if used) and has 50g of protein.
Write down what you eat for 2-3 days and make an estimation, or use an app, but apps take up a lot more time then just pen and paper. Good luck! (y)

By the way, do you do any cardio?
 

freeflowme

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You don't have to weigh every single leaf and raisin you eat, but getting a ball park idea on how much protein you eat a day might be good. Like, do you eat 2 eggs a day or 5? 1 chicken breast or 3? 200g of sweet potatoes or 900g?
An "exclusion" diet might exclude so much you don't eat enough, or don't get enough of either protein, fat, carbs, vitamins or minerals. When I began eating vegan food a few times a week I weighed it and used a calorie counter I was surprised how much food I had to eat. A 900kcal meal of lentils, carrots and potatoes is a mountain of food...
Or a 6 large egg omelet in a non stick pan is only 600kcal (plus the kcal in the oil if used) and has 50g of protein.
Write down what you eat for 2-3 days and make an estimation, or use an app, but apps take up a lot more time then just pen and paper. Good luck! (y)

By the way, do you do any cardio?
I don't currently do any cardio, although I'm starting to contemplate what type of kettlebell conditioning I could do along with PTTP without taking away from my recovery for deadlifts. And that's the real thing - deadlifting 5 days a week has seemed to push my recovery about to the max as it is, and I'm a bit skittish of adding anything else to my training at present.
 

freeflowme

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I tried to get back in the habit of telling myself that the weight should feel light and “fly off the floor” today, and it felt more like it did. That said, watching the video of my first set in particular, I don’t think I was getting my hips in a good place and, possibly as a result, my back wasn’t as tight and flat as I’d like it to be. I think a lot of this has to do with my hamstrings being so tight - I have a hard time dropping my hips back far enough while still keeping my back flat. Maybe I should do a little more flexibility work on my hamstrings in the evenings.

Presses felt pretty good. I really focused on keeping my upper back as tight as possible and my chest up. I still have a hard time with balance in the overhead position, though. I don’t know if that means my legs or core (or both) are weak or what, but it often feels like stability is a bigger issue than actual pressing strength. That said, I think I’m close to my 5RM here. I’m supposed to press 120 tomorrow and 125 on Friday. We’ll see how that goes. I’m going to up my rest between sets to 7-8 minutes and see if I can get it.

Now I need to eat big and rest as much as I can for the rest of today, although I teach until 9:15pm...

DL 235x5 (I left in all the stuff leading up to the actual set, because... well, that's my life right now ROFL)

DL 220x5 (Should've been 210, I cussed after the 2nd rep when I looked down and realized I'd misloaded the bar)

OHP 115x5

OHP 105x5
 

freeflowme

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Today was a pretty big day for me - I’d never pulled 250x5 dead reset reps before, and I’d never pressed 120x5 before either. I took the car in for an oil change and then walked home with Adelaide, trying to get myself in the mindset that these weights were going to be light and easy.

I don’t know whether the videos of my sets reflect them being easy, moderate, or downright hard. I’d say that while I was doing them, they felt like an RPE 9. However, my body feels surprisingly fresh now a few hours after training. I’m scheduled to pull 265x5 tomorrow and press 125x5, and then the ultimate goal is to pull 275-285 at the end of this cycle one week from tomorrow, and press 135. Those goals are both feeling lofty, and the press almost unattainable. We’ll see.

One other thing to note is that watching the video of my 250 set of deadlifts, I don’t love a few aspects of my technique - namely that my hips rise a few inches before the bar really moves off the floor. Also, I’m still not getting my hips to a good, consistent position each rep. Sometimes I think I don’t sink my hips quite far enough down / back and then end up losing the tightness in my back as a result.

DL 250x5

DL 225x5

OHP 120x5

OHP 110x5
 

freeflowme

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Today was kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand, I pulled 265 for 5 dead reset reps - a PR for me. On the other hand I broke one of Pavel’s rules in PTTP - the weights should be such that you don’t have to get yourself psyched up to lift them. I definitely had to get myself psyched to the best of my current ability to get those 5 reps.

Similarly, I had a success of sorts in pressing 125 for the first time ever. On the other hand, however, I failed after 3 reps and in so doing broke another of Pavel’s rules in PTTP - never miss a rep / don’t attempt a rep unless you’re 100% sure you can get it. I think I could’ve gotten 5 reps with 125 if I hadn’t just absolutely flat out on deadlifts. I think I still could’ve gotten it if I kept the weight in closer to myself. The groove was as much if not more of a problem than the weight itself.

In any case, I need to celebrate the positives today - on May 17 I pulled 265x5 for the first time ever in my life. I had gotten into the habit of doing touch-and-go reps at the very beginning of that cycle, though, so they weren’t dead reset reps - they were very stretch-reflex loaded on every rep after the first one, making the set overall much easier. So, cycling back up to 265 as dead resets represents about a month’s work and progress.

Similarly, I’m pressing heavier than I’ve ever pressed before without pain in my right shoulder and upper back. I need to celebrate that small victory. Hopefully next time I work up to 125, I’ll hit it for 5.

So, now it’s on to the weekend and 2 days of resting and eating everything nutritious I can find. The goal of this cycle was to pull 275+ x 5 before hitting the road for a two week trip starting on June 21. I think I’ve got it in me if I rest well, eat well, and train smart. My press goal was 135x5. I think I’ll have to save that one for next month, unfortunately..

DL 265x5

DL 240x5

OHP 125x3 (failed rep 4)

OHP 115x5
 
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freeflowme

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My body felt like crap today when I woke up, felt a little better but still not great after I warmed up to work out, and feels pretty crappy now as I write this post-workout.

I think there’s two factors in this: (1) since finishing a month of The Whole 30 at the end of May, I’ve increasingly added a lot of caffeine and a lot of sugar into my diet (both refined sugar and probably high fructose corn syrup in premade drinks); and (2) the intensity that I’ve worked up to in this cycle of PTTP just isn’t sustainable in a 5 day/week “easy strength” program. I’m still not recovered from pulling 265x5 last Friday - my hamstrings feel pretty torn up, my hips feel worn out, my lower back feels taxed, etc. I’m still going to go for my goal of 275x5 on this cycle, because I hate to give up on a goal, but I’m going to try to plan better in the future.

My goal for deadlifts today was to do a set of PTTP-approved deadlifts without excessive rest between each rep - basically tense, descend, pull, stand up and repeat. 225x5 was the beginning of a new “wave” today designed to lead me up to 275x5, so it’s a relatively light weight that I should be able to improve my technique with. Looking back at the video, some reps were better than others in terms of placing my hips and keeping my back flat. Even with light weights, I can’t seem to keep my hips from driving up a few inches before the bar actually breaks the floor. I don’t know if that means I should just set my hips up higher or what. When I do set my hips up higher, my back doesn’t stay as flat. Maybe that’s a flexibility problem.

Presses felt pretty good. Watching the video back, I really need to keep my legs, glutes, and core tighter, as a couple of my reps were wobbly in my lower half.

DL 225x5

DL 200x5

OHP 115x5

OHP 105x5
 

Dekapon

Triple-Digit Post Count
My advice, if you'd ask for it is to find a long term diet you can keep without doing "cycles" of extreme diets. But you didn't ask... so I'll keep my mouth shut. :D

Pavel's programs seems to be a bit of "do it every day, you sissy! Keep it together and be a man! Enjoy the PAIN" :confused: while I personally have found the "training one day/resting one day"-approach gives me time to recover and lets me go harder the following session.
If I'm "good" I'll train one day, rest and have a long walk the next day, train, rest/walk, train etc...

We won't shame you for taking a rest day if you need it.
Shame! Shame! Shame! *rings bell*
 

freeflowme

Triple-Digit Post Count
My advice, if you'd ask for it is to find a long term diet you can keep without doing "cycles" of extreme diets. But you didn't ask... so I'll keep my mouth shut. :D

Pavel's programs seems to be a bit of "do it every day, you sissy! Keep it together and be a man! Enjoy the PAIN" :confused: while I personally have found the "training one day/resting one day"-approach gives me time to recover and lets me go harder the following session.
If I'm "good" I'll train one day, rest and have a long walk the next day, train, rest/walk, train etc...

We won't shame you for taking a rest day if you need it.
Shame! Shame! Shame! *rings bell*
I think the key to Pavel's programs - and it's the aspect that I'm really bad at - is that you purposely keep yourself below failure on all your working sets. He talks about using a 6RM weight for 5 reps, or a 5RM for sets of 3x3. It's so counter-intuitive to me. Just the other day I was watching a video of some bodybuilding (can't remember who) training, and his workout partner taking a break to puke from exertion and then returning to the workout. The idea that extreme exertion and strength / physique results are correlated is impeded deep in my psyche, but I am learning by experiencing the results of PTTP and purposefully sub-maximal loads that Pavel's philosophy really works. I just keep making mistakes in my plans for my cycles. I find it really easy to cycle right through what is probably the "sweet spot" of intensity into weights that take too much intensity to lift and take too long to recover from.

A couple quotes come to mind from PTTP:

"Forget the myth that ‘it takes a muscle forty eight to ninety six hours to recover and get stronger’! It does only if your training is not well thought through. "The general idea in planning strength training sessions is to have the athlete do as much work as possible while being as fresh as possible", revealed former consultant to Soviet Olympic teams Prof. Vladimir Zatsiorsky after he jump shipped to the US." (PTTP, 20)

"Heavy training, if not overdone, even energizes you! Low rep heavy work, for example three sets of three reps at ninety percent of the athlete’s maximum (3x3@90%1RM), is often employed by Russian coaches to produce a tonic effect on their athletes’ nervous systems. You can see why the old time strongman said that after a good workout he felt ‘ready to battle for a kingdom’! (PTTP, 23)
 

freeflowme

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Today was the best day of PTTP I can remember. We're going to be leaving on a long road trip on Friday, so I decided to accelerate my cycle and take 25lb jumps to pull my heaviest weight on Wednesday, and then train a little bit lighter on Thursday and Friday. Sitting in the car for long periods of time has often been followed by me hurting my lower back, so I'm trying to go into it as safely as possible.

Anyways, today the line going through my mind was that I was going to “take 250 for a ride” (I’ve heard that terminology used re: deadlifting before), and approached the bar with a calm focus and belief that it wasn’t going to be too heavy. And it wasn’t. I was able to do the set it a relatively compact time frame with what I think is the best PTTP-style deadlift form I’ve used. This is definitely reflective of progress and strength development for me.

120/110 OHP felt heavy in my hands, but I was able to get a really right upper back and a pretty good groove keeping the weight about as centered over my body as I’ve ever been able. I had kind of a “tweak” in the right side of my neck / upper back before starting today, and pressing definitely didn’t make it better, but it didn’t result in a big spasm or anything, either, so I’m glad for that.

In any case, my legs and lower back feel pretty fresh. I think I'm pretty well set up to go for my 275x5 dead reset PR tomorrow.

DL 250x5

DL 225x5

OHP 120x5

OHP 110x5
 

freeflowme

Triple-Digit Post Count
Well, today I met my deadlift goal for the month of June (PR of 275x5). The road to hitting this PR wasn’t as smooth as I thought it would be or might’ve liked it to be - I got overconfident during the first week (the beginning) of the cycle, which led me to take more aggressive jumps than I had initially planned during the second week (the middle) of the cycle. As a result, at the beginning of this week (the third week) of the cycle, I thought I had accumulated too much fatigue, wasn’t able to recover enough, and might miss my PR attempt. However, I ended up feeling really good this week pulling 225/200 on Monday, 250/225 yesterday, and 275/250 today. I think my set of 275x5 today was much better than my set of 265x5 last Friday - I didn’t “amp myself up” at all, and I was able to stay tighter and more calmly focused for all 5 reps.

Now, unfortunately I’ve been taking videos of all my sets for a couple months without emptying my phone, and it turns out that I ran out of space during my set of 275x5 today. I managed to just barely capture all 5 reps of that set, but I wasn't able to get my back off set of 250x5 or my 2 sets of OHPs at 125x4 and 115x5. At least I can analyze my form with what is my current heaviest set of deadlifts ever. Oh, and today was my highest workload PTTP workout ever, so there's that.

As for OHPs, I managed to get 125x4 today, whereas I only managed 125x3 last Friday. I’m at a point now where I think Pavel mentioned in Beyond Bodybuilding that if you fail to improve your 5RM for 2 cycles in a row on a given exercise, you can switch to doing ladders. An approach from a 2002 article by Pavel describes using ladders as such:

HOW TO ADD POUNDS TO YOUR MAX BENCH PRESS FAST!
by Pavel Tsatsouline (2002)


“Try the following program by Jason Brice of Johnson City, Tenn. Jason combined one of the powerlifting cycles from my book Power to the People! with ladders, a technique popular in the Russian military for improving pull-ups.

On June 30, 2001, Brice started out with one set of five reps with 225 lbs, or 67% of his 335-lb max bench (naturally you will have to plug in your own numbers). Jason did only one set of five reps per workout adding 5 lbs each time. What will surprise you is that he benched five days per week, Monday through Friday. The reasoning behind such an unorthodox schedule is outside the scope of this short article, but trust me, it works!

You cannot keep adding 5 lbs per workout forever, even if you started the cycle with a light weight - eventually you will reach your five-rep max. When Jason reached his, he switched from powerlifting style cycling to ladders. A ladder means doing one rep, resting briefly, doing two reps, etc., then starting all over when you cannot top the reps of the previous set. Brice did sets of 1-2-3-1-2 . . . with his five-rep max until his form started to get sloppy. He did this every other day for two weeks.

Then Jason backed off 10 lbs from his five-rep max established two weeks earlier and resumed a linear cycle: one set of five Monday through Friday, adding 5 lbs a day. When he had a tough time completing his five, Jason took two days off and tested his one-rep max, something he did every two months. Here is what he accomplished:

Bench Press, 1 rep max -
June 30th: 335
August 30th: 385
October 31: 420

Bench Press, 5 rep max -
June 30th: 285
August 30th: 325
October 31: 360

After benching he did one-arm snatch pulls with dumbbells and heavy ab work.”​

So, that could be my next approach for improving my OHP, which has been stuck in this general range for a while.

Overall, though, I think I can say that after 4.5 months, PTTP is still working for me. I’d never pulled 265x5 dead reset reps in my life before last Wednesday, and today I pulled 275x5 dead reset reps at a faster clip and with greater mind-muscle connection than even that most recent PR. I’m going to be away for 2 weeks starting Friday, during which time I plan to train with kettlebells, and then I think I should be in good shape to come back and do more PTTP in July, shooting for a 300x5 deadlift, which given how things have been going I think is reasonable.

As a final note, my body is responding well to PTTP, aesthetically speaking. My legs, back, shoulders, and arms are all noticeably thicker and fuller, and more dense to the touch. I’m actually surprised at the amount of hypertrophy that I’m getting out of a program that I’m not doing for hypertrophy at all. But I guess an untrained person is going to experience some hypertrophy just by doing any type of strength training.

DL 275x5
 
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freeflowme

Triple-Digit Post Count
Cliff Notes:
- dynamic warm up (10 reps of: wrist circles, elbow circles, seal swings, over & backs, freestyle bounce, arm circles, trunk rotations, hip circles, bow & bends, knee circles, leg swings)
- 24kg C&P ladders + pullups: 3(1,2,3) = 18 reps r/l
- 24kg 2-H swings: 5x10

- static stretches (30 seconds of: wall calf stretch, scissor hamstring stretch, lunge hip flexor stretch, butterfly groin stretch, pretzel glute stretch, standing toe touch, wall t-spine/lat stretch, doorway chest stretch, over-under shoulder stretch)

The past few days have been hard for me, mentally. I hit my June goal of a 275x5 deadlift last Wednesday, and made progress towards my goal of a 135x5 overhead press by hitting 125x4 (an improvement over the previous week’s 125x3). However, Thursday was a total wash both because I was absolutely toast from that pretty near maximal effort on that 275x5 DL and because every waking hour of the day that wasn’t work was spent getting ready for our two weeks on the road. Friday, on ~4 hrs sleep, we packed up and made a 13 hour drive. The day was full of way too much junk food and sugary lattes. Saturday morning, I woke up at about 4am in the hotel sick.

Two things that stick out to me in all of this are: (1) I feel like I have relatively severe body dysmorphia. It’s really hard for me to take rest days - scheduled ones are hard enough, extra ones due to life are plain miserable. I feel like I just see myself get less hard and flabbier as every hour goes by on these extra off days. The starting point on all of that might be that I hate my body, and would totally understand if everybody else hated it too. It’s hateable. And (2) I take it for granted how good I have it when I’m at home. It’s a relatively sure thing that I’m going to be able to train at about the same time of the day M-F, that I’m going to have slept about the same amount of time the night before, and that my diet is going to be pretty healthy. All that goes out the window on the road. It feels incredibly difficult to have any consistency in your life when you’re traveling, which makes me really anxious.

In any case, I decided to try to get a workout in this evening, so I lugged my 20 month old and my 24kg kettlebell down to a park close to where we’re staying and did something resembling a Rite of Passage workout. I did 3 ladders of 1, 2, 3 clean and presses supersetted with pullups. I took 1 minute rest between each rung, and 3 minutes rest between each ladder. A “what the hell?!” that I can be thankful for is that in January of this year I could barely do a pullup. Now, simply by doing PTTP deadlifts for a few months, I can crank out pullups relatively easily. After my C&Ps, I did two-handed swings for 5 sets of 10 reps, taking 1 minute rests between sets.

I have to say 24kg presses went better than I expected. My ability to generate tension and with it irradiation has improved greatly from practicing PTTP deadlifts and overhead presses. And as I mentioned pullups were gravy. I don’t love swings right now, though. Certainly not as much as deadlifts. I can’t generate as much tension, and I can’t seem to load my glutes and hamstrings as much as I want to. Plus, I don’t love getting winded. I’m really not in this for much conditioning. I’m much more aiming for the pure strength side of the spectrum. However, I still think kettlebells are a valuable tool in that endeavor.

More kettlebell work to come in the next two weeks as we travel. Then I’m looking forward to getting back to deadlifts and barbell presses, and shooting for a 300x5 deadlift in July.

IMG_8967.JPG IMG_8972.JPG IMG_8974.JPG
 
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freeflowme

Triple-Digit Post Count
Cliff Notes:
- long walk
- dynamic warm up (10 reps of: wrist circles, elbow circles, seal swings, over & backs, freestyle bounce, arm circles, trunk rotations, hip circles, bow & bends, knee circles, leg swings)
- 24kg TGUs: 3 r/l (6 total reps)
- 24kg goblet squats: 3x8

- long walk
- static stretches (30 seconds of: wall calf stretch, scissor hamstring stretch, lunge hip flexor stretch, butterfly groin stretch, pretzel glute stretch, standing toe touch, wall t-spine/lat stretch, doorway chest stretch, over-under shoulder stretch)

Given how easy my RoP-ish kettlebell workout felt yesterday, I was surprised how destroyed my shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings felt today. I think the fact that kettlebells are inherently off- balanced when it comes to pressing, and that the movement is so explosive when it comes to swings, leads to muscles being challenged in different ways even though I’m training the same movement patterns (press and hinge).

Anyways, I tried to keep today relatively easy, although there’s nothing easy about TGUs with a relatively heavy kettlebell. I thought I would go for 5 of them with each arm, but after seeing how difficult the first rep was, I decided to go for 3. Likewise, I thought I would go for sets of 10 on goblet squats, but ended up going for 8. Hopefully, I’ll feel rested enough to go for a strong 2nd RoP-ish workout of C&Ps + pullups and swings tomorrow.

All in all, I feel like I’m off to a good start with this kettlebell interlude to my barbell training. I miss my barbell and my deadlifts quite a lot, but the kettlebell is certainly a valuable strength tool, and I’m enjoying the unique challenges it brings.
 
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Joe Fraser

Triple-Digit Post Count
I feel like I have relatively severe body dysmorphia
If it helps to get another's perspective, you're not overweight. It's good to eat clean like you're doing but your focus (IMO) should be to put on some muscle which will take a focused approach to keep the calories coming in.

BMI is pretty useless for those that train. But on the low end it can be useful. You have a 25.8 BMI. Get it to 30 then start worrying about body fat if that is one of your goals. Focusing on it now would just lead to skinny fat as well as killing your gains.
 
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