Saturday, 9 August 2014

Drulk & Tharnold's Training Log Part 4



Current training split (August 2014):

MONDAY:

Incline Bench/D/B Press: 3 x 8-12
Flat Bench/D/B Press: 3 x 8-12
Military Press: 2 x 8-12
Upright Row: 2 x 8-12
A1) Skull Crusher 2 x 6-8
A2) Close Grip Bench 2 x 6-8
Triceps: Freestyle

TUESDAY:

Squats: 4 x 6-10
Leg Blaster: 3 x 8-12
Leg Extension: 3 x 8-12
Calves: 5 x 8-12


WEDNESDAY:

Bent Over Row/Row Machine: 2 x 8-12
Chin Ups: 2 x AMRAP
Cable Row: 2 x 8-12
Lat Pull Down: 2 x 8-12
Pullovers: 3 x 8-12
Rear Deltoid Fly: 3 x 8-12

EZ Bar/Barbell Biceps: 3-6 sets



THURSDAY:

Flat Bench/D/B Press: 3 x 8-12
Incline Bench/D/B Press: 3 x 8-12
D/B Shoulder Press: 3 x 8-12
Power Cleans: 3 x 6-8
Dips: 2 x AMRAP
Triceps: Freestyle


FRIDAY:

Dead Lifts: 3 x 6-8
Squats: 2 x 6-10
Calves: 3 x 8-12
Lat Pulldown: 2 x 8-12
Cable Row: 2 x 8-12
Rear Deltoid Flys: 2 x 8-12


D/B Biceps: 3-6 sets



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Drulk & Tharnold's Training Log Part 3

Week 8:

We picked up some more weight plates (2.5 and 5 lbs) in order to make smaller progressions with arm training. Those lagging arms are catching up with chest and back now.





Legs are starting to be prioritised more. We're using a combination of regular squats with leg blaster squats at this stage.



Here are the modifications to the program:


MONDAY

Dead Lift: w/u 10, 8 plus 10, 8, 6, 4 (optional 1 rep max)
Leg Blaster Squat: 3 x 10-20
Calf Raise: 3 x 15-20
Biceps


TUESDAY:

Incline Dumbbell Press: w/u 20, 15, plus 5 x 10-20
Dips: 3 x AMRAP
Flyes: 3 x 10-15
Triceps


WEDNESDAY:

Cable Row: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Lat Pull Down: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Pullover: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Rear Deltoid: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Biceps


THURSDAY:

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 12-15
Upright Row: w/u 20 plus 3 x 10-15
Lat Raise: 3 x 10-20
Front Raise: 3 x 10-20


FRIDAY:

Leg Blaster Squat: w/u 20 (20lbs)
Squat: w/u 10 (bar), 10 (50lbs), plus 4 x 8-12
Leg Blaster Squat: 3 x 50lbs x 15-25
Calf Raise: 3 x 15-20

Biceps and Triceps

Friday, 27 June 2014

Drulk & Tharnold's Training Log Part 2

Six weeks in to the training and starting to show results. There have been some tweaks to the program, and a Frank Zane Leg Blaster has been added to the gym. Here's what we're currently doing:


MONDAY

Dead Lift: w/u 10, 8, 6 plus 10 x 10 (1 minute rest)
Leg Blaster Squat: 3 x 10-20
Calf Raise: 3 x 15-20


TUESDAY:

Incline Dumbbell Press: w/u 20, 15 plus 10 x 10 (1 minute rest)
Dips: 2 x AMRAP
Triceps


WEDNESDAY:

Cable Row: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Lat Pull Down: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Pullover: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Rear Deltoid: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8
Biceps


THURSDAY:

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 12-15
Upright Row: w/u 20 plus 3 x 10-15
Lat Raise: 3 x 10-20
Front Raise: 3 x 10-20


FRIDAY:

Leg Blaster Squat: 20, 16, 12, 10, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20
Leg Extension: 2 x 10-20
Calf Raise: 5 x 10-20


PM: Biceps and Triceps



Monday, 16 June 2014

Drulk & Tharnold's Training Log Part 1

Today marks the start of our fifth week of serious training -- probably the most serious I've trained for 7 years. Tharnold and I are using the home gym Monday-Friday. We've been mostly using old school volume training, with the exception of dead lifts, which we begin with a lot of warm up sets and end on 1-3 rep maximums.



Two weeks ago we massively improved nutrition and supplementation, and gains are coming quickly. I've reclaimed old muscle and some more, especially on my back and arms. Tharnold is new to this game and is already showing significant body composition improvements.

The split we're using is:

Monday: Back and biceps (dead lifts, cable row, lat pull down, rear deltoids, preacher curls)

Tuesday: Chest and triceps (incline dumbbell press, bench press, dips, flyes, rope pressdown)

Wednesday: Biceps specialization

Thursday: Legs (squats, leg extensions, calf raises)

Friday: Shoulders and triceps (dumbbell press, lat raise, front raise, rear deltoid, upright row, dumbbell overhead extension, rope pressdown)

We train abs 2-3 times a week as well.

Thursday's workout is set to increase in volume when the Frank Zane Leg Blaster arrives.



Nutrition is:


Waking: 2 x aminos plus teaspoon of glutamine in juice


Breakfast: Protein shake with kale, any other fruit, teaspoon of flaxseed (or 2-3 eggs, 1 x toast, and light cream cheese)


Pre-Workout: Protein shake, 1 x banana, (1 x vitargo)


Post Workout: Protein shake, 1 x banana & berries, (2 x vitargo), 1x teaspoon of creatine


Pre-lunch: 2 x aminos


Lunch: Tuna/chicken/turkey/2-3 eggs/lean beef/1cup of cottage cheese plus 1 cup of rice/quinoa/chick peas or small baked potato/sweet potato; green leafy veg and any other veg.

Midafternoon: 2 x aminos


Snack: protein bar or shake (with or without fruit)


Dinner: Tuna/chicken/turkey/2-3 eggs/lean beef/1 cup of cottage cheese plus 1 cup of rice/quinoa/chick peas or small baked potato/sweet potato; green leafy veg and any other veg.


Evening: 2 x aminos


Pre-bed: 2 x aminos, 1 teaspoon of glutamine (Tharnold: protein shake made with milk -- no fruit)



Emergency snacks: handful of nuts or seeds/hardboiled egg/tuna/apple or orange/handful of raisins

Eating out: chicken breast, steak, turkey, omelette plus salad/vegetables. No dressings or cheese/butter.


Mondays and Thursdays (after dead lifts and squats): may increase carbs to include pasta or gnocchi (any kind with tomato sauce; cheese allowed these days), or thai noodles preferably within 4 hours of training. May include 1-2 glasses of red wine.


Photos and videos to follow -- once the internet connection is sorted!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Back to Basics

I've learnt from years of training myself and others that we need to keep appraising which exercises are working for us, keep monitoring our form (and improving it day in day out), keep evaluating our training and eating regimens, and keep listening to our bodies.

Every now and again we all run into problems -- ill health, injuries, time constraints. Rather than allowing these times to discourage you, however, you can take the opportunity to rest, recuperate, and re-evaluate where you are going with your training. For me, this is often a signal that I need to return to basics, weed out all the extraneous exercises, bring down the poundages, and focus on the my key, foundational exercises.

For me, these are multi-joint exercises that are both functional and provide the solid foundations for my physique. I have described my 6 choice exercises in great detail in Foundations for a Better Physique, and I still maintain these exercises (or variations of them) should underpin any serious weight training program, whether your goal is improved body composition, strength, power, or performance.





In recent years I was diagnosed with radiculopathy stemming from about the C6 vertebra. This progressively impeded my training of upper body, particularly anything involving the left shoulder. I developed pain in the biceps insertion, reduced range of motion in the deltoid, and later developed mild carpal tunnel syndrome. Over time the weakness extended to my left hip and knee, making it impossible to train heavy. It was a real challenge to train at all, psychologically as well as physically.

Finally, once I'd set up a new home gym, I decided to return to basics. I began by using very low poundages, high reps, and super strict form. I kept the number of exercises to a minimum, which is when I found myself returning to the exercise prescriptions in Foundations for a Better Physique. By focusing on correct positioning of shoulders, lower back etc, controlled movements and ever-improving form I was able to build up gradually over a period of about three months to the point that I am back to my original poundages, yet with far more control and a much better mind-muscle connection. 

All my deadlifting has been done without straps. This has placed a natural limit on my poundages, but I am now lifting the same weights with an overhand grip that I'd previously used hooks or straps for. 

I've recently started adding in extra exercises to prioritise weak points (I'm doing a lot of shoulder work right now to bring my delta up to proportion with my back and chest). I'm still just using the basics for chest, back, and legs: dead lifts, squats, bench press, close grip bench press, cable/dumbbell row, lat pull down. 

It's been an interesting experiment in listening to my body rather than being enslaved by ever-increasing poundages or prescriptive set/rep/time under tension routines. I control each movement, especially the negative portion, but I'm not fussing about how many seconds on the concentric and eccentric portions. I have a much broader rep range (rather than, say, 8-12 reps I might use something like 10-20). This is giving me a great feel for the exercise, pump, and (so far) good gains. I still mix things up (I throw in the odd superset, use pre and post exhaust), but in the main my workouts follow basic moves such as squats, dead lifts, overhead presses. I improve by increments each workout, and make sure I don't increase the weight too soon. A few years back I was obsessed with personal bests on dead lift and squat. Now I don't increase the weight until I can comfortably complete the requisite reps with full range of motion, and then I only increase the weight a little. For dead lifts, currently, I perform 6 reps per set, and for squats it's 10-20 reps.

Now there training is back under control and proving productive, it's back to nutritional discipline. In a few more months I aim to be in better shape than ever before.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

New gym: stage 1



Here's a glimpse of the new gym we're putting together. It's air-conditioned and in a quiet remote location, which means we get to turn the music up. Most of the equipment is in, but we'll be adding a mat for deadlifting and wall-mountng some mirrors in the next week or so.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Bodybuilding Diet

I was privileged to be asked to take a look at a new book on bodybuilding diet by Barry Richardson this week. Conveniently, it's out in Kindle format and has a fully navigable table of contents. There's no nonsense, no technical information to wade through, just easily accessible, simple to prepare recipes for those of you who like to build muscle without sacrificing taste.

Amazon link



Foundations for a Better Physique now on Kindle! Get your Kindle here.