R12 – Finally The Start

waving bearPRIDE


It has been a very rough week or so, I have been very busy at work with many days being long enough to negate any workouts, we have had gymnastics competitions to deal with and the long days that come with driving to and from the venues. Add to that 5 days of being very sick with what I assume was food poisoning and it’s no wonder I haven’t posted here in a while.

So today I am taking back my control. I am thinking I will start with deadlifts and running or deadlifts and KB swings, something to get the heart racing and the blood pumping. I keep tellin gmy kids at gym to have pride in their performance and to live up to their own standards. I think it’s about time I did that myself, excuses apart and I know it’s been tough but enough is enough, I am craving some activity. Plus it’s pretty hot out this week, and I have a feeling that summer may not be too long this year so I want to get out there and get moving. I will update tomorrow since there is a small chance that I will cave in and do something else if we get home late again.

It’s almost June, a 90 day program will take me to almost Labour Day meaning this is officially my summer workout start! Wish me luck.

R12 – Summer 2014 Outline

summer-bodies-500x315So I wanted to see if I could make something based around what I already do, working in all the equipment I have, being able to make it as short or long as I want. Also, letting me involve Crossfit either at the gym or use the WOD for the day. The other thing is I wanted to be able to do a bootcamp any day, that would mean not doing anything so heavy or specific that it would preclude me from doing a whole body workout the next day or two. I wanted to add in a little cardio where possible, and to that end I am going to mix my deadlifting days with either 600m runs (that’s round the block) or shorter sprint / hill work. It’s a big departure for me but here is what I have so far. I have included any Yoga days and off day, I will take those when I have to and when I need to. I have designated the Heavy and Light days and the HIIT specific day although most of what I am doing this summer will qualify as HIIT rather than heavier muscle building workouts. Here is what I have come up with for the time being and I am sure it will change once I have run through it a couple of times. There are additional rules to adhere to:

1. No more than one day off in a row
2. No less than 80% work ratio (days on vs days off)
3. Improve my sleep pattern to assist in my recovery to at least 7.5 hours a  night.

Here is the plan as I see it.

Bench and ring dips (HEAVY)
Deadlifts and sprints / laps (LIGHT)
Cleans and Squats (HEAVY)
Press and KB swings (LIGHT)
Pullups and 95lb Deadlifts / cleans / clean and press
Cardio / Yoga / MMA workout

R11D80-86 – Squats Tried To Kill Me Plus The June Goals

im not big at allI got called 2 weird things lately.

A cross between Chef Ramsey and Simon Cowell and from another person a mix of Shrek and The Hulk. Really? Really?? I’m not that big. Seriously.

So I haven’t posted in a few days because I have been in so much pain I can’t even explain myself. I did Body Beast Bulk Legs the other day and added some deep squats to the routine, something that I would have done in the garage last summer every week. For some reason, doing deadlifts and cleans does not extend the squat as fully as I had thought and after doing the full squats I developed massive knots in the top of my quads on both legs. I am mystified as to why this would happen I mean it’s not like I don’t do legs, but the reaction my body had was like “what the hell are you doing?”.

My past few workouts have looked like this:

79 Tuesday, 03/25/2014 63  Body Beast Bulk Arms 80%
80 Wednesday, 03/26/2014  off 0%
81 Thursday, 03/27/2014 64  Body Beast Bulk Shoulders 79%
82 Friday, 03/28/2014 65  Body Beast Bulk Legs – Squats killed leg 79%
83 Saturday, 03/29/2014  Off very sore leg 0%
84 Sunday, 03/30/2014 66  Body Beast Bulk chest 135-235 79%
85 Monday, 03/31/2014 67  Body Beast Bulk Back – Pullups and Deadlifts 50 per 79%
86 Tuesday, 04/01/2014 68  Body Beast Bulk Shoulders with press 79%

and I am happy to note that I am still almost at 80% even after 86 days. I will be officially finishing the R11 this week then but I will continue the Body Beast for probably another 30 days or so to get a good idea of what a full 90 would be like. Also you may notice that on back day I did pullups that means it was warm enough on Monday to get outside. It was in fact 14 degrees and doing pullups outside again was both exhilirating and worrisome since I became aware very quickly that my ability to knock out 20 pullups in a row was very far in the past. As soon as the weather is better I will have to modify y goals to add 20 in a row. In fact, now that the weather is improving a little I think I need to put down what I expect from myself by June 1.

Deadlift – 200lbs
Shoulder Press – Standing 185lbs
Clean – 185lbs
Clean and Press – 185lbs
Pullups – 20 unbroken with kip 10 without kip
Squat – 185lbs since I don’t have a squat rack and have to C&P the weight first
Ring Dips – 20 unbroken or 10 strict
I would also like to have my bar muscle up by the summer, I don’t think that’s too crazy. Or maybe ring MU.

R11D66-70 Body Beast Bulk

Shrek hulkI have made it through half of my 10 day bulk phase, and I think that I may extend it a little further. The workouts are further divided so as to give special attention to the major body parts but here is what I have interpreted for myself.

Bulk Chest
Bulk Arms
Bulk Shoulders
Bulk Legs and Back – Squats and Deadlifts

Since I already have all the legs I require (with the exception of the mass that I lost after surgery) leg day for me is not a priority, add that to the fact that back day is also not an opportunity for all out aggression and I don’t have access to my outdoor chinup bar (why would I, it’s the middle of March in Canada) and you have a chance to do legs and back appropriately on the same day. FYI it looked a little like this:

3×5 deadlifts
2×10 deadlifts
5×10 squats
3×5 sumo deadlifts
3×5 sumo squats

I think I could do a few weeks of this kind of rotation, 5 days on one off and it would serve to increase my percentage also which currently is teetering around the 79-80% mark. Since I am around the 70 day mark that means I will be on Bulk phase until day 90 rolls in, which reminds me that I should be doing photos and weights this week some time. I think my re-composition is working, but I will need some proof of the fact.
For my cardio workout on Friday I did Insanity Plyometric Cardio and  as I recalled just moments before pushing play it’s been so long since I have done a real Insanity workout that I was worried I was not going to be able to get through the warmup. I wasn’t far wrong, so what I did was turn on the treadmill so that the times when I couldn’t keep up with Shaun T’s happy little bunch of miscreants I would be able to jog lightly and swear profusely. It wasn’t quite as bad as I had imagined however I was well and truly beaten by it in the end.

That’s what I get for trying to do Insanity while bulking.

R11D58-60 Rep Counts for P90X, P90X2, P90X3 and Body Beast (Proof you are being lazy)

make every rep countI have to say first off that I can already feel the difference between the 25-30 minute workouts of the first half of Round 11 and the 45 minute workouts of Body Beast. It’s a really small change but I sincerely believe that the extra 15 minutes makes a big difference in my results and how I feel. It’s not that the workouts feel that different it’s just that the rest of the day I feel like I have done more, I feel in better shape, I feel like I am on a program doing something worthwhile. I remember the P90X days at the very start, I was still pretty overweight but I felt like an athlete once I started to feel some results. In comparison, after 45 days of P90X3 and T25 I feel more like a cheat and a bum than an athlete. I know the idea of squeezing an hour long workout into 30 minutes sounds great but if we can all just be honest for a minute here, you are not working any harder in P90X3 than you did in P90X and you are missing half the workout. For me, if I wanted to shorten the P90X workouts then I would rest less and get it done in 40 minutes. That’s the equivalent amount of work in less time which is what they were going for in P90X3, I just think they have fallen short of the mark and if I could be bothered to count the number of reps per workout I bet I would be right.

Speaking of rep counts, last summer when I was doing my Oly lifts in the garage and making progress after surgery my rep count for that workout was between 65 and 100. I had also said I wanted to get up over 100 reps as a baseline for an Olympic lifting workout with at least 3 movements. The year before when I started out getting back into these lifts my workouts looked like this:

Friday: 135lb

Deadlift 5×5
Hang Clean 5×5
Clean and Press 5×5
Squat 5×5

So you can see, a 100 rep count was normal as a baseline. Yesterday I did deadlifts, hang cleans and cleans plus some shrugs for trap strength like this:

DL 10×5
Shrugs 20×5
HC 5×5
Clean 5×5

For a total of 200 reps. Now if I am honest I lost my grip on the bar during the cleans and was too chicken to do the last set meaning I was at 195 reps for the workout. Granted the shrugs aren’t exactly taxing but I was really happy with my output. Not only that, but it took 45 minutes to do keeping my workout length at an acceptable level. I figure that if I can keep my reps at between 25 and 50 for the major movements I will be happy and I am still looking to do 200lb deadlift and 185 clean by June 1st.

As an appendix to this, let’s assume you are able to do 10 reps per exercise for P90X and P90X2, here are some totals for you:

I know 10 reps is a bit of a random guess but even if you are doing 30 pushups you are probably not doing 30 pullups and probably not even 30 diamond pushups so lets leave it at the classic 10 reps.

P90X Chest and Back 240 reps
P90X Shoulders and Arms 240 reps (270 with bonus)
P90X Legs and Back 240 reps
P90X Back and Biceps 240 reps but with superman, corn cob and towel pullups it’s likely to be less.
P90X Chest Shoulders and Tris 240 reps
P90X Ab Ripper 275 reps

P90X2 Total Body 270 reps
P90X2 Balance and Power 240 reps
P90X2 Chest Back and balance 210 reps
P90X2 Shoulders and Arms 230 reps
P90X2 Base and back 230 reps
P90X2 Chest Shoulders and Tris 230 reps
P90X2 VSculpt 230 reps

P90X3 Eccentric Lower 130 reps
P90X3 Eccentric  Upper 190 reps
P90X3 Complex Upper 200 reps – Part of the Elite Pack
P90X3 Complex Lower 200 reps – Part of the Elite Pack
P90X3 Incinerator 180 reps
p90X3 Total Synergistics 160 reps
P90X3 The Challenge 160 reps

It’s right there is black and white, if you think you are doing an hour workout in 30 minutes, you must be having a laugh. I would suggest that a workout of under 200 reps is leaving you short and it would be preferable to aim for around 240-250 reps per workout. Body Beast which is my recent Golden Child has a far more impressive count:

Body Beast Total Body 240 reps
Build Back Bis 392 reps
Build Chest Tri 312 reps
Build legs 278 reps
Build Shoulders 351 reps
Bulk Arms 351 reps
Bulk Back 238 reps
Bulk Chest 253 reps
Bulk Legs 368 reps
Bulk Shoulders 303 reps
Lucky 7 Up to 1000 reps if you did a minimum of 10 per set (not likely)
Tempo workouts 225 reps each



R11D48 – Days Off Work

birthday workoutI usually take my birthday off work since there is nothing I want to do less than be at the office on my birthday. This year I took off Thursday and Friday and took the opportunity to do some hybrid cardio workouts involving the treadmill intervals. I did a 45 minute workout on Thursday with Oly lifts at 135lbs and jogging and according to my HRM it was about 500 calories burned. Friday I did another 45 minutes with bench and cardio mixed and again was around the 500 calorie mark. So for Saturday I thought it would be good to compare the burn from T25 so I opted to do Speed 3.0. That was a challenging workout! It was far more demanding than most of the others I have done so far but even so, after the 25 minutes I was only looking at about 350 calories. That said, I am wondering just how low my calorie burn was during some of the other workouts that were easier. I am going to try and keep some cardio going through this Body Beast phase so I don’t gain too much weight but it already appears that doing the heavy bench and lifts have added a pound or two. It will be interesting to see if I can really keep my weight in check as I try to increase my strength. I will probably be taking some creatine or something similar that tends to have a bloating effect on me so I expect a few pounds at the start but it should taper off as we go along. I have been keeping my stats private for now, but I will probably publish a weekly update.

I know it sounds counter intuitive to gain weight when I am already over my stable goal weight but in the end I think it is inevitable as I transition from what I consider to be inadequate volumes of work into the strength and size based workouts that Body Beast provide. The best I can hope is that I can keep it in check with insanity workouts, or maybe Speed 3.0 since it kicked my butt! As we get into the 3 or 4 week point I should start seeing my weight come back down but then again it’s all just hyperbole now, the results will speak for themselves. I just want to make sure I end up after the next 40 days or so closer to my ideal composition of 15% fat at around 230lbs.

R11D40-43: Another Weekend Away Plus Back Stretches

This travelling is getting tedious and honestly I am losing my enthusiasm for hotel beds and pools. This weekend we were out in Peterborough where the best hotel room in the whole town was only $129. On Friday I rested and coached 3 hours but on Saturday before we left I managed to squeeze in a bench workout with barbell and dumbbell because my back was a little sore. It was destined to get worse as the days passed too. I benched up to 235lbs around 10 sets total with chasers of dumbbell presses and flies. Sunday after we returned I was going to do some Olympic lifting but again my back was a little tender and after I had finished my 5 sets of 5 deadlifts I decided to hop on the treadmill and ran a mile pretty much without stopping (although my pace was rather pedestrian). My ITB was tight and sore, and I have a feeling that stretching it is what is causing my back pain. I have to say here that I am a little confused at why this happens, I remember following the Supple Leopard in stretching my ITB and hips before my recent surgery and I remember having nothing but acute hip pain for months after moving into hip stretches. I was better for it relating to my back but my hips were in agony. Not only that, but after being laid up for a few days after surgery when I started walking again it was my hips that gave me the most pain. I have also noted that I don’t have any stretching instructions in this blog, at least not any that are easy to locate so I am going to try and put together a few of my favourite stretches, or maybe find where I have done it before and re-brand the page. Then Monday which was Family Day I once again opted to stay off my back and it was even more sore than before up into the mid right side feeling like a muscle pull more than anything. I did manage to get about 30 minutes of heavy bag work done with some direction from P90X3 MMX.

I am often asked about back pain, having had 2 back surgeries I am what you would consider to be experienced with it. The first thing I do is recommend stretching the ITB and hamstrings and hips in order to try and release whatever compression surrounds the area. How to do that? Do this:
This is one of the best for my back and hips. It does make loud cracking noises in my spine however and you should do it every day… you should do all of them every day really.

Very simple stretch to help loosen up the back and abdominals

Very good for tight hamstrings that can cause all kinds of back problems

More advanced for hips, this is actually quite hard if you are male

Another very good stretch for hips and sciatic problems. You should feel the stretch in the buttock and hip of the leg that is crossed over, in this case the left leg.

Very basic, can be done in conjunction with an arching motion every time you stand up

A little more difficult for some, and also hard to control but once you can do it, it is very effective.


Be careful with this if you have pinched nerves, but the leg in front takes the load off the spine somewhat.

Cat stretch, also can be alternated with seal stretch where from the starting position you drop your hips to the floor and keep your arms straight.

Swiss army knife stretch, very good for hips and back

Basic and similar to the front bend, but this is a standing version of the cat stretch / seal stretch.