Where Strength and Size are the only goals

Archive for August, 2012

Will ‘Hench’ be finished? and another article

Well maybe not quite at the end of the month! (today), I have finished all alterations to my ebook now and taken a few photo’s – I am determined to get these done so will take some more tomorrow whilst training and get the rest done within a few days. Then get the publishing part done and it’s out there!

Interestingly after my posts this week on strengthening my abs, JP has posted an article on his site not too long ago with a few his favourite ab strengthening exercises, you can read it here. May well re-visit one or two tomorrow ..

Another shot of the gym

Another shot of the gym!

Thursday 30th August 2012

Busy day today so got down the gym later than I usually train, however still had a good session. Warmed up again with GHR, decline crunches & chins – I don’t usually advocate crunches, but working on shortening my abs in line with strengthening hamstrings and stretching hip flexors/lower back as per previous posts about APT/Lordosis.

Press 72.5kg x5x5x7 – finally started filming  my lifts to check form so had to create a YouTube account to load them up to, you can see this here – definitely some leaning back going on as the set progresses, better tighten that up!

Weighted chins 25kg x6x6

Weighted dips 10kg x12x10x8x6 – nice to do some parallel bar dips over ring dips, felt much stronger so will jump the weight 5kg for next session

Romanian deadlift 100kg x5x5x5 – still felt like I had more in the tank, but didn’t want to overdo it as focusing more on technique. Rather than perform these as a substitute I’m going to use as heavy warm-ups for my deadlift set instead of powercleans and really focus on form.

Deadlift 157.5kg x4 – stopped after 4 as I don’t feel I could have kept tight form.

Roman chair leg raise x10x10x10 – keeping the rest down to 60s, going to increase to 12 next session before adding weight

Wednesday 29th August 2012

Feeling a little sore in the glutes/hams today so obviously needed the extra work as I only did a few sets of unweighted GHR’s yesterday. Going to keep up with these as part of my warm-up every session from now and I’ve also decided to perform Romanian deadlifts in place of standard deadlifts for the next 8-12 weeks to further strengthen my posterior chain.

Again working on loosening lower back and hip flexors on my non-workout days and as my elbow/shoulder pain has virtually gone now, I’ll be bringing my frequency sets back after tomorrows session and see if it flares up again.



Tuesday 28th August 2012

Again no micro plates at this gym so had to take Bench up by 2.5kg and lower reps to 3 (on first two sets, still a max effort on last set) – I actually prefer this to the 1kg increments as the rep changes are a nice way to keep the boredom away, and I feel more confident with the weight knowing it’s only 3 reps.

Warmed up with 3 rounds of 10 GHR (glute-ham raises) and 10 decline sit-ups, and a few sets of chins

Bench 120kg x3x3x7 – surprised myself with the last set, didn’t expect to even get up to 5 as the second set felt quite tough, but then smashed out 7!

Seated Alt. Db curls 17.5kg x13x11

Machine row 80kg x15x11x8x8 (keeping rest to 60-90s)

Squat 147.5kg x5x5x5 – felt strong on these, but when I went for rep 6 on last set, I couldn’t get back up!

Roman chair leg raise (straight legged) x10x10x10

Ramblings and an article or two ..

So a nice few days off have done me good, been doing a bit of stretching and some foam rolling and got a fair bit of reading done. More importantly, I’ve bought myself a tripod so I can take the pictures necessary to illustrate ‘Hench’ and get it out there! Going to start these this week, so hopefully will meet my own deadline of the end of the month. (hopefully!)

Most of the reading I’ve done has been into Lordosis/Anterior Pelvic Tilt as although I know I don’t have a bad case of it, I definitely lock out my deadlifts with my lower back NOT my hamstrings/glutes and my posture could do with a little work! (as could just about anyones nowadays!) – A great article with regard to this (and Posterior Tilt) is on T-Nation  Force Couples I would suggest giving it a read even if you don’t suffer from either!

The great Louie Simmons swears by posterior chain strengthening and with so many records/lifters associated with his name, you’d be stupid not to pay at least a little heed! From now on I will be doing this and some abdominal strengthening every training day. I should hope that within a few weeks I should notice some improvements (especially with my deadlift form).

Going to do some more reading into APT and try and get hold of the Westside Methods again, it’s been a long time since I read it! Also keep up with the stretching and mobility on my rest days – DeFranco’s Agile 8 and Simple 6 are great for me, click on the links to find out more.

Saturday 25th August 2012

Feeling a little tendonitis coming on around my right elbow and shoulder (from old injuries!), so laying off the frequency stuff for a few days and doing some mobility work throughout the day instead. Despite this, had a good session today:

Press 72.5kg x3x3x5

Weighted chins 24kg x7x6

Ring dips x12x10x8x6

Powerclean & jerk up to 105kg x1, failed 107.5kg twice so will repeat next time. Feel like it was just down to technique, couldn’t quite get under the bar quick enough.

Deadlift 155kg x6 – form felt much better today, probably due to several people standing around watching so was really focused on it 🙂


Friday 24th August 2012

Nothing much to report! got my frequency sets done, managed to get 2 chin-up ladders so 40 in total today – Still feels a bit weird walking over to the park to do a ladder on the kiddies monkey bars! Wonder what the locals think? Forcing myself to do it anyway as I really want to keep it up to increase my chins. The overall volume is also good for mass, think of a mechanics forearms or a postman’s calves..

Thursday 23rd August 2012

I finally found a decent gym! Good old word of mouth, one of the guys at CF Dynamic gave me the number of his mate who referred me to the butcher who owns a gym! – £20 a month and you get a key so you can train whenever you want!

Does it get better? It’s a proper spit and sawdust place with absolutely everything you can think of jammed in!

Had a great session down there:

Bench 117.5kg x5x5x5

Seated Alt. Db Curl 15kg x13x13

Seated machine row 80kg x13x11x8x8

Squat 145kg x5x5x6 – followed up with a speed 20 rep finisher on 45 degree leg press at 120kg (just because I could!)

Oh yeah, and just to top it off, here’s the ‘cardio’ area!

It’s nice to see their priorities are right! ha ha!

Also got my frequency sets in to include 3 chin-up ladders so 60 reps total. A darn good days training 🙂

Wednesday 22nd August 2012

Got my frequency sets done as planned, managed to squeeze in 2 chin-up ladders up to 4 (instead of forcing out 5 on the first one!), so that’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1 twice for a total of 40 chins – going to aim to increase this to 4 sets if I can so I’m doing 80 a day. My wife thinks I’m a little strange disappearing off to the park a couple of times a day to do my chin-ups, but I’m really trying to stick to it!

Tuesday 21st August 2012

Good session down the box today, my backs going to pay the price tomorrow I think!

4 rounds for time of:

30 touch the ground, then jump and touch 1 foot above reach (alternate L & R), 20 deadlifts at 80kg, 10 HSPU’s (handstand press-ups)

finished in 15:35, but need to work on deadlift technique, lower back was killing after round 3! Also got my frequency press-ups in (7 sets of 23).



She does it again! 4 egg omelette, ham, meatballs, another 4 egg omelette on top with grated cheese and ketchup. Served with a couple of slices of pate on toast, yummy!




Monday 20th August 2012

After a nice rest day yesterday, I brought my frequency sets up to 7 today, so now doing 7 sets of 23 press-ups through the day. Didn’t get any chin-ups done as we were out for the day and there was nowhere to do them.

Also been doing a lot of reading lately as got some spare time – and quite a few thing have inspired me.. It’s great when you are just reading  and suddenly something just clicks and your busting to get back under the bar with a fresh mindset, roll on Saturday’s session!

A couple of articles ..

A great article from Johnny Pain – Always straight talking!


9 mistakes you probably see everyday.


Saturday 18th August 2012

No frequency sets today as two back to back strength sessions are quite enough!

Thought I’d share my bench press set-up with you, basically the bench is too high for me (or I’m too short for it!), so I have to put 2 steps either side to put my feet on!

As the smallest plate is 1.25kg, I can only increase by 2.5kg minimum so I’m going for sets of 3 today and will repeat weight next time for 5 (hopefully!)

Bench 117.5kg x3x3x4 – struggled a bit with this, probably due to doing press yesterday!

Bent over row 80kg x8x8x8x8

Squat 142.5kg x5x5x5

Not too bad considering I was hungover and only got about 4 hours sleep total (darn thunderstorm at 2am, thought the roof was gonna cave in!)

Friday 17th August 2012

Had a good session today, felt great and acheived all the lifts I’d planned – probably down to a decent nights sleep for once! Got in my frequency sets during the day – Then hit up the gym for my strength session:


Press 70kg x5x5x7

Weighted chins 22.5kg x8x7

Power cleans up to 105kg x1x1

Deadlift 152.5kg x5

Followed up by 2 bacon triple cheeseburgers as a post workout feast! that’s a pound and a half of meat when they’re homemade rather than crappy bought ones! Thanks again love – for someone who’s not into training she sure can make a good PWO meal 🙂

Thursday 16th August 2012

Sat in traffic for over half an hour without moving due to the County Show, so missed the normal met-con class – Grr! Gave up and turned around once I knew I’d missed the start of it. I suppose on the plus side it means I can now go to the open gym tomorrow and Saturday so can get in two strength sessions this week 🙂

Got my frequency press-ups done and managed to get down the park in-between rain showers and do a couple of chin-up ladders:  1/2/3/4/5,  1/2/3,  1/2,  1 – then did the same again after a couple of hours to total 50 chins – I know it’s not strictly ladders as failed to get round 4 (will probably just go to 4 next time as forced rep 5 out which kind of defeats the point of the frequency method). But I’m happy to get them done at all, and as it worked out was the only thing I ended up doing today anyway!

A couple of nutritional articles worth a read..

This was the first article my friend posted onto his website. It’s a little outdated now, however the information is still sound so I thought it’s at least worth reading – Most crucially the last sentence!


Another more up to date article from Pete published on EliteFTS



Wednesday 15th August 2012

Gale force winds and heavy rain meant I didn’t get out there for some ladder chin-ups! got my planned frequency sets both yesterday and today. So now up to 6 sets of 23 press-ups, will keep these up for rest of week and shoot for 7 sets starting Monday.

Tuesday 14th August 2012

She does it again! She does it again! Another quality post workout meal – Chicken breast stuffed with Stilton wrapped in thick cut bacon with sautéed potatoes and onions and coleslaw – Hell yeah!!! What a wife!

Anyways, got down the box early tonight and managed to squeeze in 2 sets of 5 Bench at 115kg before the usual met-con. Bar went off track again on rep 4, and went back down to the bottom, but managed to get it off my chest from scratch and still squeeze out another rep. I’ve been struggling with the bench itself as it’s quite high so I have to put blocks either side to keep my feet planted. Better get used to it for now as it’s the only option!

Met-con today was perfect for me:

20 power cleans at 70kg, 30 press-ups, 15 hang power cleans, 30 pull-ups, 10 squat cleans – all finished in 6:57, first to finish so felt great for once!

Monday 13th August 2012

Been getting some great feedback regarding ‘Hench’ eBook, got a few pointers to address and still need to get those illustrations done! But hoping to have it out there by the end of the month. (Figure if I give myself a date I’m going to push harder to get it finished!)

I got my planned 8 sets of 20 frequency press-ups in today, going to shoot for 6 sets of 23 starting tomorrow. The whole point is to stay as fresh as possible so as not to effect strength training, so I’ll see how they feel. There’s a chapter in my book dedicated to this if your wondering what I’m on about!

There’s a local park just around the corner so I’m thinking about maybe throwing a few ‘ladder’ chin-up sets. Is it inappropriate for a big bald guy to be banging out chin-ups in a kiddies park? (If no-ones around of course!)

Sunday 12th August 2012

Taking a wander along the beach 🙂

Happy anniversary Em! – 6 years today 🙂

Got in 7 sets of frequency press-ups today (20 reps), going to up it to 8 tomorrow, then bring the reps up. Still not found anywhere to squeeze in chin-ups yet and after Fridays session (20kg weighted chins) definitely need to start somehow! I was up to 30kg just a few weeks ago (before the big move) so they’ve taken a big hit 😦


Post Workout Greatness!

This is what my wife prepped for me when I got back from the gym! What a ledge! 2 steaks, caramelised onion, stilton and mustard – Oh yes!!!

Friday 10th August 2012

Went in today for a strength session as tomorrow it’s CrossFit Dynamics burpee challenge and it would have been packed out!


Press 67.5kg x5x5x8

Weighted chins 20kg x8x6

Powercleans up to 100kg x2

Deadlift 150kg x5

Hench training ebook coming soon!

Finally finished writing my training book! It is a comprehensive guide to getting ‘Hench’ – In it I’ve detailed how I put the program together, why it works, nutritional guidelines, how to make it personalised to your own goals, exercise instruction and an FAQ section which should cover all bases. I’m just in the final stages of proof reading with several trainers/coaches I’ve known over the years – Then I just need to add photo’s of exercises (need to get these taken ASAP!) and then it’ll be out there. Watch this space!

Wednesday 8th August 2012

At last a decent squat rack! Would have taken more pics of the gym as it was a proper meathead heaven! From power cage to hammer strength to ridiculous dumbbells! Only thing is I don’t think the guys in there would have appreciated me taking pics whilst they were grunting and posing!! Shame I can’t join up as it was great for me, but it’s too far and over a toll bridge which would have doubled the membership over the course of a month 😦

Felt good today so upped weights and got:



Bench 115kg x5x5x4 (bar went off track so missed rep, will repeat weight next time)

Cable row (V-grip) 80kg x8x6, 70kg x8 (weight wasn’t marked so was guessing!)

Squat 140kg x5x5x7