Took a few days off to alleviate some aches and pains around the shoulders (usual story!), I’ve also been doing 100 reps of 24kg KB Deadlifts whenever possible, in easy sets of 10 with plenty of rest, to focus on form (frequency method-ish).
Bench 82.5kg x5, 95kg x5, 110kg x12+3+2 RP, followed up with 12.5kg DB Flyes x16
Face pulls (9) x20x20 (superset with first two sets of Bench)
Machine Preacher Curls 17.5kg x12x10+4+3 RP
Weighted Dips 33kg x13x7+2+negative RP
Squat 115kg x5, 130kg x5, 150kg x12
Felt good to get back in the gym after a week off, still did my core & stretch class on tuesday and double Spin thursday so not completely lazy! All lifts felt good today, no niggly shoulder pains when benching etc ..
Bench 83.5kg x3, 95kgx3, 107.5kg x9+2+1/2RP
Lever Row 60kg x5, 71kg x18+6+4RP
Close Grip Bench 61kg x5, 85kg x15+4+3RP
Reverse Grip Curls 21kg x5, 30kg x10+4+3RP
Squat kg 110kg x3, 126kg x3, 141kg x11
Struggled to get going today, taught 3 SPIN classes in last two days so a bit stiff!
Seated Press 50kg x5, 57.5kg x3, 63.5kg x7 then 50kg x10+4+3RP
Weighted Chins (palms facing) 10kg x9+4+3RP
Bicep Curls 30kg x5, 36kg x7+3+3RP
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 97.5kg x5, 120kg x5 – Going to lower weight on these, started too heavy and not feeling it much in the hamstrings, it’s more of a Romanian Deadlift
Sumo Deadlift 95kg x5, 107.5kg x3, 120kg x8 then 95kg x10
Lying Hamstring Curls (5) x14+5+4RP
Threw in some ‘V’ grip pulldowns (11) x11+5+4RP
Well after two full cycles, my shoulders have taken a battering already and rotator cuff is sore as hell (probably from the chest/shoulder/tricep combo every other session). It is also moving away from my goal, which is strength based. Although I’m a stickler for not changing your program unnecessarily, if it hurts, stop doing it!
Is it worth continuing through the pain (and probably making it worse!) when I’m not feeling fully comitted? Nope! As I’ve stressed before, a program is as effective as your commitment to it. If you are not motivated by it, you won’t put in the effort, nor reap the benefits. I have enjoyed the rest-pause training and the variation of lifts, but there are definite things that aren’t for me! I think this program is better suited for ‘enhanced lifters’ if you know what I mean!
I have decided to change to Wendlers 5/3/1 with the rest-pause training as detailed in his second edition of 5/3/1. This way I can still progress with my strength training on my main lifts and continue with the rest-pause training.
Wendler looking ‘Hench’
I will be doing the following:
Press 5 – RP last set
Deadlift 5s, then 65% max reps
Pull-ups warm-up set, RP set
Straight curls 50% x5, 60% RP
SLDL 50% x5, 60% RP
Bench 5 – RP last set
Squat 5, then 65% max reps
CG Bench 50%x5, 60% RP
‘T’ Rows 6-9, 9-12
RG bar curls 50%x5, 60% RP
Press 3 – RP last set
Deadlift 3s, then 70% max
Straight curls 50%x5, 70% RP
SLDL 50%x5, 70% max
Bench 3 – RP
Squat 3, then 70% max
CG Bench 50% x5, 70% max
Lever Row 50%, 70% RP
RG Bar Curls 50×5, 70 max
Press 5/3/1 as normal, then 75% RP
Deadlift 5/3/1, then 75% max
Chins (palms facing)
Straight curls 65%x5, 80% max
SLDL 65%x5, 80% max
Bench 5/3/1 as normal, then 75% RP
Squat 5/3/1, then 75% max
CG Bench 65%x5, 80% max
Cable Row 6-9, 9-12
RG Bar Curls 65%x5, 80% max
I’ll also be doing pass-throughs every day to help shoulder mobility and still working on loosening up my hip flexors!
The DC workout split is as follows:
Day 1 – Chect, Shoulders, Triceps, Back Width, Back thickness
Day 2 – Biceps, Forearms, Calves, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
I will be doing this split in a A/B fashion, training 3 times a week so every 2 weeks, I’ll do 3 of each session.
The idea is to pick your top 3 (or most effective) exercise for each bodypart and rotate through them over the sessions, thus giving 6 different workouts, but still adhering to the split above. Once you can no longer increase the weight/reps on a given exercise – change it out for a new one, then return to it again at the next plateau.
Rep numbers vary by exercise and their speed is generally a controlled eccentric or negative (lowering) followed by an explosive concentric (or 2-0-0). Most exercises are rest-paused with the exception of back thickness and quads (Calves are done as a 10 second negative, 20 second hold at full stretch and then explosive concentric or 10-20-0). After 3 rest pause sets, the exercise is followed up with a static hold of up to a minute, then extreme stretching of the worked muscle.
I took my intial measurements at the start which are:
Chest – 43″, Bicep (flexed) – 15″, Quad – 23.5″, Calf – 15″, Abdomen – 35″, and Hips 41″
After the 3 month period I’ll measure again to see what difference, if any, DC training has made.
So far after a week, I’m enjoying the change of workout and different exercises this type of split has bought. The rest-pause sets are harder than traditional strength training, but I like the change in intensity. I’m struggling with the static holds at the moment – after a rest pause set, I’m only managing to hold for maybe 20 seconds or more – The same goes for the extreme stretching! I’m hoping I’ll be able to improve on this as the sessions go on.
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!
Not for the faint hearted, rest-pause training can help you through sticking points or simply offer something to break through boredom!
The basic principle is to extend the number of reps you perform with a given weight by taking very small breaks between sets.
There are a few different ways to use this technique, Mike Mahler for example talks of using singles with close to your one rep max and taking around 10-15 secs between reps. This way you can do 6 or more reps with what is normally your 1 rep max. Dante Trudel AKA Doggcrapp or DC, advocates higher reps for a single set (although different rep ranges for each bodypart) and then two rest-pause sets afterwards (approx 30s rest between sets).
However they’re done, they are brutal and only to be attempted if your headstrong about your training. Don’t bother with any isometric training for them, you can’t really increase the weight on a lat raise in the same way you can a military press for example, so won’t get anywhere near the benfit of this type of training.
I personally tried DC training some time ago, but at the time I didn’t feel I was giving it enough effort, so changed to something else. However I do prefer his take on RP (rest-pause) training. For example, on an incline bench press you would be aiming for 11-15RP – Which would look something like a set of 8, 10-15 breaths (approx 30 secs), another 3 reps, 10-15 breaths and finally, another 2 reps – Totalling 13 reps RP. In DC training this is then followed up by a static hold in a mid-point of the given lift to further stress the muscle, then extreme stretching (another long discussion on this one, so not going into it!). If you have the willpower, this is a great way to train to increase both strength and mass, you are aiming to add weight to the bar every workout. If you fall in the lower end of the reps (in this case 11), you would just try to increase reps, if you get higher into the range go for the weight increase.
Upped frequency press-ups to 18 yesterday (chins still at 7). Despite a late finish at work last night, had a good session today. Keeping the rest-pause for now – I’m enjoying the change. I started a little lighter today on the incline bench, think I’ll do the same on the decline bench and overhead press over the next few sessions. I wasn’t entirely happy with the amount of reps (or technique) on the press last workout as I started too high on the weight. Ah well, you live and learn eh?
Incline Bench 90kg x8+3+2, then 62.5kg x12
Face Pulls (10) x17x17 – (Did these either side of Bench Press)
Kroc Rows 45kg x18
DB Flyes 15kg x15x9 (60s rest) – Right shoulder started feeling a little sore so stopped at two sets.
‘V’ Grip pulldown to chest (11) x10+4+3
Hack Squat 102.5kg x20 – These are starting to become a real test of willpower! I’m wondering how long I’ll be able to keep adding weight? I guess I’ll find out!
Finally back online after the move! Busy old week, been increasing my training volume again as I’ve been keeping it simple lately. Did my core & stretch stretch on Tuesday night, I’m doing frequency chins & push-ups on my non-training days (currently sitting at 6 sets of 18 press-ups & 7 chins), previously I’d been forcing the reps out on these so I’m really trying hard to only do reps that feel easy. Once they start to feel like they’re slowing down or requiring more strength I stop the set. Double Spin last night so feeling it in the legs today as usual!
Press 73.5kg x6+1+1 – Decided to start doing some rest-pause training lately as feeling bored of the 3 sets with long rest that strength training usually calls for, and I’ve always enjoyed doing it in the past. I think I’ll take a re-set however, next press session – the two rest pause lifts were killers!
Had 1 minute rest then did 16 reps with 20kg DB’s
Weighted chins 23.75kg x5+2+2, then ‘V’ grip pulldown to chest 17 reps at level 10
Weighted dips 25kg x12+6+4, then unweighted x16
Romanian deadlifts as warm-up, up to 140kg x4
Lever deadlift (plate loaded) 160kg x10 – still feeling easy (compared to 160kg bar!) – going to go for 180kg next session
Well at least that’s his internet nickname! It is also known as DC Training to most – Dante Trudel has trained many bodybuilders and has a distinct knack for getting people into the 300lb category. His methods are extreme and sometimes controversial, but they work! Now I’m not saying I want to be 300lb, or a bodybuilder, but his basic principles can be applied to anyone – genetic potential and steroids aside, if you want to be the biggest you can naturally be, his methodology still stands. Here are just two of his excerpts:
“Training is all about adaptation. In simple terms you lift a weight and your muscle has one of 2 choices, either tear completely under the load (which is incredibly rare and what we don’t want) or the muscle lifts the weight and protects itself by remodeling and getting bigger to protect itself against the load (next time). If the weight gets heavier, the muscle has to again remodel and get bigger again to handle it. You can superset, superslow, giant set, pre exhaust all day long but the infinite adaption is load—meaning heavier and heavier weights is the only infinite thing you can do in your training. Intensity is finite. Volume is finite (or infinite if you want to do 9000 sets per bodypart)…everything else is finite. The Load is infinite and heavier and heavier weights used (I DON’T GIVE A CRAP WHAT SOME BUCK 58 POUND WRITER FROM FLEX MAGAZINE SAYS) will make the biggest bodybuilder (add high protein, glutamine and drugs to the mix and you have one large person).”
“No matter what the method someone uses to gain super strength gains-it’s imperative they do so. Again if you put someone out on a deserted island with 135LBS of weights he can superset, giant set, high rep, superslow etc etc squats, deadlifts and benches to his hearts delight…the sad story is his gains will quickly come to a halt because his limiting factor is the amount of strength he will gain. He has 135LBS to work with. You take that same guy on a deserted island and give him squats deadlifts, and benches and an unlimited weight supply that he constantly pushes, in 5 years I’ll show you a big Gilligan” – Dante Trudel
Notice I haven’t mentioned his actual programming, (I’ve tried it myself and it’s savage) I just wanted to illustrate the idea that it doesn’t matter what the programming is, it’s the progression that counts. If you want to be stronger, you need to need to add weight/reps every workout and give your body a reason to be! Whether you want to be a powerlifter, a bodybuilder or just a beast, the general principle remains. Get stronger to get bigger!