Competition Bench (wide grip) 100kg x10x8x8 (90s rest)
Close Grip Bench 107.5kg x5x4x5 (90s)
Pause Bench (1″ off chest) 92.5kg x8x8x6 (2 mins)
Pulldowns (9) x15x15x12, (8) x11 (superset with lat raise)
DB Lat Raise 10kg x10x10x10 (superset with pulldowns)
Chin-ups x10x8x7 (60s)
Started a new wave of training to lead me up to the meet in September as advised by my coach – World Champion Paul Murphy – He has also advised I enter at 82.5kg instead of 90kg so going to have to drop a bit of weight! The program has hints of Westside training about it, with max, speed and reps days. It starts with Deadlift:
Deadlift 160kg x2x2x2x2x5 (approx 2 mins rest)
Rack Pull (from knee) 187.5kg x3x3 (2 mins)
2″ Defecit Deadlift 127.5kg x6x6 (2 mins)
Lat Pulldown (10) x15, (9) x13, (8) x14x11 (60s rest)
BB Shrug 140kg x9, 130kg x10x10 (60s)
Chin-ups x10x9x8 (60s)
Bit of a change to what I’m used to! A lot more volume so found the assistance harder than usual but overall felt good! Bench next session 🙂
Week 1 – Current weight 90.4kg
Deadlift Practice – Had a technique session with Paul today – Then did some bottom half deadlifts with a 3 second hold at knees – 100kg x5x5, 120kg x5x5, 140kg x5x5 followed by chin-ups and ab-sling knee raises for 4 sets
Bench 127.5kg x4x3x5 (2mins rest), followed by a dropset of 100kg x8 (60s)
DB Bench Press 30kg x10x10x10x10 (superset with Lever Row)
Lever Row 70kg x12x12x12x12 (superset with DB Bench)
Tricep Pushdowns (5) x100 (50+20+20+10)
Face Pulls (5) x100 (50+20+15+15)
DB Pullover 40kg x12x12 (2 mins rest)
Weighted Chins 28kg x7 (2 mins), 24kg x7 (60s), Bodyweight x11 followed by Reverse Grip Pulldown (8) x14x12 (60s)
T Bar Row 62.5kg x8x8x8, 40kg x10x9 (30s)
Deadlift & Sumo Deadlift up to 140kg – technique practice
Rack Pull 220kg x5
DB Pullover 50kg x10x9 (2 minutes rest)
Weighted Chins 28kg x5, 2 mins rest, then 24kg x6, 60s then Bodyweight x11
Cable Row 70kg x12x12x11x9 (60s)
Deadlift 140kg x10 – Have dropped weight (again) on the deadlift to focus on technique – was getting sloppy again 😉
Didn’t do G Row today, a bit short on time, will be getting in a few extra sessions next few days so can make up for gaps this week!
Bench 122.5kg x4x3x4, then 100kg x8 (60 secs rest)
Chins x17x13x10 (after bench sets), then Machine Preacher Curl 20kg x8+2+1 RP (60s after last chin set)
T Row 60kg x10x10x8x7 (30s)
Squat 145kg x5
Tough slog today, a bit under the weather but determined to get strength levels back so did as much as possible. Will repeat weights next session and push for more reps (hopefully ;-))
Bench 120kg x5x5x6, then 100kg x5 (60s rest)
Chins x16x12x8 (after each bench set)
Machine Preacher Curls 20kg x7+3+1 RP (30s after last chin set)
Bent Over Row 80kg x12x11x9x7 (60s rest)
Squat 140kg x9
Close-Grip Bench 105kg x5x5x11, then 80kg x11
Chins x15x12x10 (superset with bench)
DB Bench 27.5kg x10x10x10x10x10 superset with Machine Lever Row (chest supported) 65kg x12x12x12x12x12
Pushdowns (4) x100 (50+25+25)
Face Pulls (5) x100 (35+16+14+12+11+12)
Close-Grip Bench 100kg x5x5x14, then 80kg x8 (60s rest) – Superset with Neutral Grip Chins x15x11x7
DB Bench (Hammer Grip) 25kg x10x10x10x10x10, superset with
Machine Lever Row 60kg x12x12x12x12x11 – minimal rest between sets
Tricep Pushdown (5) x100 (few sets/rest as possible)
Facepulls (4) x100
Tried out close-grip to see how shoulder was and felt ok so I’m going to stick with it for now – Just happy to be benching again!
SPIN – rotator cuff work & frequency chins
DB Pullovers 38kg x12x11 superset with chins x9x6 (30 secs between each exercise)
V Grip Pulldowns 80kg x8, 70kg x9, 60kg x9 (60s rest)
DB Row To Hip 30kg x12x11 (60s)
Cable Rows 50kg x20x15 (90s)
Smith Rack Pull 170kg x5, 130kg x10
A few new ideas to spice up your back development.
Incline Bench 90kg x5x5x9+2+1 RP
Machine Preacher Curl 21.25kg x13x8+2+2 RP (superset with bench)
Machine Incline Lever Bench 50kg x12 (following last set of bench), then Incline DB Flyes 10kg x20
Squat 120kg x5, 130kg x5, 140kg x10
SPIN followed by seated Leg Curl 55kg x14x12x11 (90s rest)
Frequency chins x7 throughout day
Chins/Dips – 10 sets of each, broke them up throughout the day frequency style. 8 chins each set and 10 dips.
Been a crazy few days & weekend, super busy – Not much training going on! At least I’ll be nice and fresh to hit the bar again this week!
Back Session last thursday, was still struggling from being ill earlier in the week 😦
DB Pullover 38kg x12x12 (90s rest)
Hammer Grip Chins x12x7x6 (90s)
DB Row To Hip 30kg x12x12 (90s)
Wide Grip Pulldowns 70kg x10x8, 60kg x8x6 (60s)
Straight Arm Pulldown 25kg x10x9x8 (60s)
Been sticking to the frequency method for last few weeks. This week now up to 9 chins and 19 press-ups for 6 sets throughout the day. Now I’m back full time in a gym I have access to the bar so don’t need to use the ladder method.
Also decided to bring some conditioning work back as I’m not teaching spin or anything else at present. I’m keeping it short and sharp and literally when I’ve got free time as opposed to a strict regime. I’m toying with the idea of hitting the Villain Challenge #1 (100 burpees within 5 mins) a few mornings a week as well, I was making good progress on it last year and felt good for it, but the overall volume alongside the classes etc was too much and had to stop in the end.
Today’s lunch break session – 100 kettlebell swings @ 24kg – time 5:30, followed by 50 ab sling knees-to-elbows (not for time) .. Not great, I was hoping to get under 5 minutes but it was good for a quick blast and now have a time to beat!
Seated Press 47.5kg x3, 53.5kg x3, 61kg x9+2+2RP
Sumo Deadlift 90kg x3, 100kg x3, 113.5kg x13 then 90kg x10 – Still working on the technique for these, definitely easier on the lower back, but still not feeling right – I’m adjusting feet position each session till I can work out the best for me and practicing as part of my warm-ups every session.
Bicep Curls 22.5kg x5, 31kg x10+4+3RP
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 105kg x9+2+1RP – Lower back was killing me so I know the form is definitely an issue on these, especially after doing the Sumo-Deadlifts – I’m thinking about swapping them out for Good Mornings or Pull-Throughs ..
Well after sleeping on it, and the fact I still have DOM’s from Sunday’s Hack Squat’s! I decided to go ahead with DC Training again. I’m going to give it a good 3 months this time to see how much difference it makes to my current stats/strength. I’ll take my measurements later today and add to this post and then again after the three month trial period. Lowered the weight slightly as DC training requires a more controlled eccentric (lowering) phase and explosive concentric (lifting) than traditional strength training.
Decline Bench 100kg x11+3+2 RP – Shouldn’t have gone for a third on the last set! I had to set it on the pins and squeeze out from under the bar! (removed that from the video!) – I only managed about 15 secs of the static hold afterwards, forgot about how hard it is!
Seated DB Press 27.5kg x8+2+2 RP – Again only 15 sec hold, will keep it at that for now untill I get accustomed to it and increase when possible.
Close Grip Bench 90kg x8+2+2 RP – Arms are toast after the last two sets! could barely push the 90kg!
Chins x9+4+3 RP
Machine Lever Row 80kg x 11 – No rest pause on back thickness exercises, just one straight set for safety – I’m not sure this is always the case especially where chest is supported as this one is. I’ll read up more on this I think.
I had some time afterwards to take some more pictures for my book and noticed someone had left 200kg on the Lever Deadlift Machine so I went and gave it a go – smashed 10 reps so decided to increase to 240kg and it still felt OK for an easy 5, so then finished the set with 260kg x2 reps! As I said before a definite ego machine! I love it!
Got another session in, despite only having trained yesterday had a good few lifts again today. Kept the chins throughout, but no back off sets as a little sore from last session already!
Press 71kg x5x5x7
Weighted chins 25kg x6, 20kg x7
Weighted dips 22.5kg x12x9x8x5
Had plenty of time so focused on a few low weight deadlifts for a while to improve technique – in between sets ‘V’ grip pulldown to chest (level 8)
Deadlift 60kg x10, pulldown x15, deadlift 80kg x10, pulldown x15, 90kg x5, pulldown x15, deadlift 100kg x5
Deadlift 120kg x10 – form again an issue towards end of set. Getting frustrated with these! I think I’m going to really focus on my tight hip flexors/lower back and get my posture improved. I feel lately its starting to hold me back a bit. Any tips welcomed!
I guess yesterdays feast paid off! Felt full of energy and ready to train today, all my lifts felt right, even squats after double spin last night – A rarity nowadays! Again tried to slot in a set of chins in between most lifts, so racked up around 50 by the end of the session. I’m going to start aiming to do exactly that each time, get at least 50 chins every session (I’m pretty sure that was one of Arnie’s things, but he did pull-ups instead).
Bench 115kg x5x5x6, back off set 70kg x17
Machine preacher curls 20kg x10, 15kg x8 – I guess the pull-ups took their toll!
Yates row 80kg x15x15x15 – definitely felt these more in the back (and forearms!), so will creep weight up slowly and keep the reps in the 12-15 range
Squat 140kg x5x5x10 – A little good morning-esque on the last two reps, need to watch that, otherwise my lower back will suffer! Didn’t do a back off set on squats, I do enough leg work in Spin!
In a world gone mad for the latest greatest machine or new fangled exercise that every newly qualified Personal Trainer ‘thinks’ they’ve invented, we are sadly overlooking what has always worked. For great upper body strength and development look no further than the chin up and the dip and they’re weighted progressions. If you’re not sure look at a professional gymnast – I think you’ll agree that they’re pretty Hench! And do you think they do curls/pushdowns or use machines? Nope, the overwhelming majority of their training is dominated by chins and dips in some variation.
We all know by now that the squat is the king of the lower body exercises, and if you don’t you badly need to read up! I’m not going to rant about that right now, there is more than enough that’s been said on that front. Well, the chin-up and dip are most definitely in the running for the upper body crown. The most frustrating thing is that most commercial gyms don’t even have a chin-up bar and less still have a dipping station, preferring instead the grossly overpriced suspension bands or some variant, where all manner of interesting movements can be done and so make them more ‘functional’ … man, am I getting sick of hearing that word! Guess what? Gymnastic rings were first used in the mid 1800’s, and have been used in gymnastics since the early 1900’s. They are still used today in virtually the same form (rings at the end of a rope). So what exactly is so revolutionary about suspension bands? Oh wait, they have a different attachment point so they can be used at different angles and are unstable so require more ‘core’ stability when performing standard exercises like rows and bicep curls on them .. oh dear! Check out that person doing the exercises and tell me their core is stable – they’re usually not strong enough for it anyway and are wriggling around and swinging their hips with dreadful posture whilst doing the exercises, thus negating any ‘stability’ in the first place!
Anyway, back to chin ups and dips, how many have seen the guy doing gut wrenching, back swinging lat pulldowns with the whole stack? He probably can’t even do strict chins for the same amount of reps. The same goes for the guy who can smash out 10 reps at 100kg on the bench press, can he do 10 strict dips? Probably not. Not to mention the stability involved in the shoulder joint, and the subsequent strengthening of the rotator cuff.
Some of the best physiques in bodybuilding were built back in the day with a staple diet of chins and dips, I’ve already mentioned gymnasts but again, check out the upper body development of Kristian Thomas as an example.
Basically, the reason most avoid these is that they’re too damn hard! especially the weighted versions. But since when has the easiest version of something given the greatest gains? It’s about time you went back to basics put these two great exercises back into your routine. If you need further clarification see what Charles Poliquin has to say about them here: weighted chins, weighted dips. That’s it, rant over 😉