Summary of Week 03 – Sore Hands!

Good week where I had to tweak around a bit. I am getting pretty sore in my hands from all the pulling, especially after the Monday session I felt like crap. Got some balm from my wife to smoothen things up. Using gloves is NOT an option!

Did 4 days in a row, but skipped the squat on Tuesday as I wanted to focus on the arms. The Wednesday session was really great as it was short and the SLD really hit my back well. I will jump back and forth from SLDL and RDL.

Thursday was OK, squat went well and due to some elbow issues I decided to go for a heavy topset in the bench as well.

Monday:
Deadlift: 7S-3R @ 195kg
Power Shrugs: 5R @ 160 – 200 – 210 – 210 – 210 – 210 – 210kg
NG Pulldown: 3S-8R @ 75 – 85%
Calf Raise: 4S-10R @ 140 – 150 – 160 – 160kg

Tuesday:
Bench Press: 5S-5R127,5kg
Flyes: 8R @ 10 – 12,5 – 15 – 17,5kg
Hammer Curl: 8R @ 8 – 10 – 12,5 – 15kg
Barbell Curl: 10R @ 20 – 30 – 40
Triceps Pushown + Triceps OH Press: 3S-12R @ 75% intensity (supersets)

Wednesday:
SLDL: 5S-8R @ 100kg
OH Press: 5S-5R @ 87,5kg

Thursday:
Squat: 5x175kg | 3x185kg | 1x205kg
Bench Press: 127,5kg x 5 | 137,5kg x 3 | 145kg x 1
Seated Rows: 12R @ 55 – 70 – 80 – 80 – 80kg

 

Breaking Up With “Weekly” Schedule

The “normal” way of setting up a workout program is to split the sessions into weeks, where an adjustment of either weights or sets/reps will be made from one week to another. Why everything has to be based on a weekly schedules have always puzzled me, but I assume it is just an easy way to make sure you make progress over a period of time.

Most programs you will find on the internet is lasting all from 5 weeks up to 18 weeks, or in some cases until you starting stalling, like the Wendler’s 5/3/1 regiment. The previous programs I’ve made myself also last for give period of time until you need to reset and start over. As I finished the Coan & Phillipi deadlift routine I was more or less in a limbo; what shall I do now? It was then I started to go away from the traditionally weekly setups and decided to look more on a long term where weights, sets and reps should be the guiding factor of how the progress should be made. It should be noted that if you are an competitive powerlifter this will not apply since you will make a plan based on your meets and then plan your workout in according to that date. Normally on the on-season will last all from 8 to 12 weeks before the meet. The off-season will be right after your meet and up to your prep weeks start for the next meet.

I am not competing, so I don’t have to backtrack from a meet day in order to set up my regiment. Based on the programs I had done, I was still not happy with the progress over the last 2 years. I set up some key points that lead me going away from weekly schedules:

  1. In order to improve The Big 3s, I need to do them more often. Meaning, if you squat 1 time per week, that means 52 (at the most) squat sessions in year. If you squat 2 times, it is 104 sessions and if 3 times, it equals 156. Pretty obvious that doing The Big 3s only 1 time is kind of lame if you want progress.
  2. I need to have progress over time until I start stalling. If you increase the frequency of the lifts you can’t allow you the same type of progress with respect to weights as you would do in a normal 1 time per week regiment. Then you need to play around with volume and stressing your CNS by a heavy topset
  3. My focus for squat and bench press will be the same and they will be done on the same day. When I do a high volume for squats with sets of 5s, I will do a “CNS” day for my bench press where I will apply 5/3/1 with a heavy topset followed by a 3-5 dropsets of 5s. The same applies for squat.
  4. I will not have a strict setup for my deadlift and I will only deadlift every other back session. I will start off with sets of 5s until I reach a given weight. Then I will swap over to one session where I will do multiple sets of 3s. I will start with 6 sets and over 3 workouts I will increase the amount of sets with 1. When I reach 8 sets, I increase the weights with 5kg and start over. The other deadlift session will be a “CNS” session where 5/3/1 is utilized and several singles are performed across. The other back session will consist of rows and rack pulls. Sets of 5s and a small increase in sets and weights over a period of time.
  5. Military Press to be introduced and performed on the alternative back day. One session will be sets of 5 and the other a CNS just like the deadlift with multiple singles.
  1. Deload weeks will be introduced on a regular basis and rest between sessions may vary depending on how I feel.

 

Especially the rest will be a key indicator and one of the main reasons why I break up with a typical week to week pattern. Sometimes I may workout 3-4 times in a row and sometimes every other day. By keeping a good journal I can easily read through the previous sessions and make progress by tweaking around with the weights and sets. If one day is particular heavy on a certain weight, I will reduce the weights and increase the amount of sets in order to maintain the volume.

Your question will probably be: When and how do you reset?
My sets of 3s will be the given factor for when to reset. When I can’t perform 5 sets of 3 reps, I will not go down to doubles or singles (I already do that on the CNS day). Then I will cut back to sets of 5 and reduce weights. What weights to use will vary, but I will ramp up faster in order to get back to sets of 3 again. The CNS day will always be experimental, but normally the starting weight will be the same as I do on the sets of 5s day.

I have left out more or less all assistant work. I do some JL-Press and biceps curls for arms. For my shoulders I do some high reps flyes movements just to get some blood in there.

In the below image you can see a fresh image of my workout log so far.

Workout Log

Workout Log

Summary of Week 02 – Making Progress

Another great week in “paradise”!
I am quite satisfied that I can ramp up the weights from week to week and still being able to maintain the amount of sets and reps. The bench press should be a limited factor and my elbows do sometime start shouting on the dropsets. I can easily do the sets of 5 with no issues, but when I do my 5/3/1 day, they start complaining on the dropset.

I’m also suffering a bit from callus in my hand and due to this I am only deadlifting every other back day. Hopefully that will help with the situation as using straps on deadlift is not an option. It’s not because I need to improve my grip or anything, it’s just that it feels awkward when pulling with straps.

The upright rows is an exercise I am going to take out. I’ve tried it for several weeks, it gives me basically nothing compared to heavy power shrugs. Not sure what to replace it with, but I think some kind of “wings” movement. Close-grip lat pulldown is always an option…..

Monday:
Deadlift: 195kg x 5 | 210kg x 3 | 4S-1R @ 225kg
Power Shrugs: 5R @ 155 – 195 – 205 – 205 – 205 – 205 – 205kg

Wednesday:
Squat: 170kg x5 | 182,5kg x 3 | 200kg x 1
Bench Press: 5S-5R125kg
Calf Raise: 5S-10R @ 160 – 180 – 200 – 200 – 200kg
Flyes: 5S-8R @ 10 – 15 – 17,5 – 20 – 20

Friday:
OH Press: 80kg x 5 | 87,5kg x 3 | 3S-1R @ 95kg
Seated OH Press: 8R @ 60 – 70 – 80 – 85 – 95kg
Barbell Rows: 8R @ 55 – 75 – 95 – 95 – 95 – 95kg
Upright Rows: 5S-5R @ 57,5kg

Sunday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 175kg
Bench Press: 127,5kg x 5 | 135kg x 3 | 142,5kg x 1 | 3S-5R @ 110kg (dropset)

 

When and How to Use a Lifting Belt

Anders Bore:

I was planning to do a post on equipment, mainly the use of belt, but since James at Venture Elite Performance has already made a really good post, I will just “steal” this one. The only thing is that I actually prefer the olympic belt even though I have a powerlifting belt as well, but that is just a personal preference. The key thing is to know when to NOT use the belt and in most cases I’ve seen regular people wear belt way too often. You don’t grow a big squat (or deadlift) by using a belt. Sure, it will help you on the doubles and singles, but then again, doubles and singles shouldn’t be your “bread and butter” for the squat session

Originally posted on Venture Elite Performance:

A lifting belt is as much a part of your gym wear as trainers and a t-shirt. Most people who have been in a gym will have seen wide variety of lifting belts being used across multiple different exercises. Big guys, small guys, big girls and small girls all wear belts but how do you know when to use one and are you doing any damage to your body by wearing one to soon?

Types of belts 

There are generally two types of lifting belt used, you get the 4 inch powerlifting belt and the 2 inch olympic lifting belt. Now which one you purchase is going to depend on your sport. If you do a lot of squatting and deadlifting you will want to buy a 4 inch powerlifting belt on the contrary if you are planning on cleaning and snatching a fair bit you will want to go with…

View original 1,217 more words

WOD: Summary of Week 01 – A New Year

Happy New Year!

Somewhat amputated week, but I managed to get in some training. Nutrition and sleep has been good and I am not stalling in any of the lifts, which is nice. I really like the 5/3/1 squat session as it gives me a feel for the new weights on the sets of 5s (or more) on the other day. Kinda gives me a heads up. Truth be told, I think I soon have to drop down in the weights in order to maintain the progress and thus being able to push for several sets in a session, avoiding the volume to drop too much. I probably have to start using knee wraps too in order to avoid injuries in the long run.

OH-press is really going well and I am on the right track to where I was some years ago. I don’t have any goals yet, but as long as I grind out as many sets of 5s, the goal doesn’t really matter.

I am not supposed to do rack pulls on the deadlift day, but ignored it this time as the week was so short. Rather do the rack pulls if I only have one session and I am not doing OH Press….

Monday:
Squat: 165kg x 5 | 177,5kg x 3 | 195kg x 1
Bench Press: 5S-5R @ 122,5kg

Tuesday:
Deadlift: 6S-3R @ 195kg
Rack Pulls: 5R @ 180 – 215 – 215 – 215kg

Friday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 170kg
Bench Press: 125kg x 5 | 132,5kg x 3 | 140kg x 1 | 3S-5R @ 117,5kg

Sunday:
OH Press: 5S-5R @ 80kg | 3S-3R @ 65kg (slow desent on dropset)
Side Laterals: 6S-8R @ 65 – 85%
Rear Delt Flyes: 4S-8R @ 60%
JL-Press: 5S-8R @ 55kg
Barbell Curl: 8R @ 20 – 30 – 40 – 50kg | 5S-5R @ 50kg

WOD: Summary of Week 52

Last week of the year and somewhat amputated due to Christmas. Nevertheless, it is good to get in to the gym and throw some weights around. As for the summary for the year I will conclude that in a different post

Monday:
Rowing (Smith): 8R @ 50 – 70 – 90 – 90 – 90 – 90kg
Rack Pulls: 5R @ 150 – 180 – 210 – 210 – 210 – 210 – 210kg
OH Press: 5S-5R @ 77,5kg
Upright Row: 4S-5R @ 55kg

Friday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 165 | 3S-3R @ 130kg
Bench Press: 5R @ 122,5 | 3R @ 130 | 1R @ 137,5 | 3S-5R @ 115kg
Flyes: 8R @ 10 – 15 – 15 – 17,5kg

WOD: Summary of Week 51

Finally week before Christmas! It was a good week, but as I managed to step over with my left foot I had to to some slight modification. Made a final decision to start with sets of 5 on the deadlift. Felt terrible and realized it is a looooong time since I’ve done 5 reps! JL press is amazing and is probably the best triceps movement ever! I’ve had some slight issues with the elbows doing heavy triceps work, but with the JL press, this is not an issue at all. It also works great as assistant to the bench press.

The bench press was a little suprice on the Sunday as I had no problem at all doing 120 over 5 sets of 5. I remeber a few weeks ago where I had to struggle somewhat to execute 117,5kg. OH press is on track as well.

Monday:
Bench Press: 5R @ 120kg | 3R @ 127,5 | 1R @ 135kg
Flyes: 2S-10R @ 12,5 | 2S-10R @ 15kg
Barbell Curl: 8R @ 30 – 40 – 50kg | 2S-5R @ 60kg
Hammer Curl: 8R @ 15 – 17,5 – 22,5kg (performed crossed)
JL Press: 3S-8R @ 50kg

Tuesday:
OH Press: 5S-5R @ 70 | 3S-5R @ 80kg
Incline Bench Press: 2S-8R @ 50 – 60kg | 3S-5R @80kg
Lat Raise: 9R @ 8kg | 12R @10kg | 3S-10R @ 15kg

Thursday:
Deadlift: 5S-5R @ 190kg
Lat Pulldown: 3S-8R @ 52 – 61 – 70kg
Power Shrugs: 5S-5R @ 150 – 190 – 200 – 200 – 200kg

Sunday:
Squat: 5R @ 160 | 3R @ 172,5kg | 2R @ 180kg | 1R @ 190kg
Bench Press: 5S-5R @ 120
JL Press: 3S-8R @ 52,5kg
Hammer Curl: 8R @ 15 – 17,5 – 20 – 22,5kg (performed crossed) | 3S-8R @ 15kg (regular)

WOD: Summary of Week 49 and 50

Way too long since I’ve posted last time! I will combine week 49 and week 50 as I’ve had 2 short weeks. The good news is that I’ve been to the doctor again to check my blood pressure and I am the right track to bring it down. The main key is cardio and reduce salt (is not really the latter for me as I don’t use a lot of salt/spices)

Managed to fit in a session with cardio, but reduced the time due to deadlifting the other day. I am not sure what to do with deadlift now, but I think I will alternate between rack pulls and deadlifting for sets of 3-5. Will see how that goes. As for bench I will continue with triples and doubles.

Monday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 150 | 3S-4R @ 125
Standing Leg Raise15R @ 100%
Side Bends: 3S-10R @ 22,5 – 30 – 35
Situps: got cramp……

Tuesday:
Bench Press: 5R @ 117,5kg | 3R @ 125 | 1R @ 132,5kg
Chest Press: 3S-10R @ 70 – 80 – 90kg

Wednesday:
Cardio: 30min, 10% incline, 5km/h

Thursday:
Deadlift: 1R @ 200kg – 230 – 220 | 3R @ 200 (rest-pause)
Seated Rows: 3S-8R @ 60 – 75 – 80kg
Power Shrugs: 3S-5R @ 160 – 200 – 220kg
Back Raise: 3S-15R
Lat Pulldown: 4S-8R @ 70 – 89 – 89kg

Sunday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 150 | 3S-5R @ 130
Bench Press: 5R @ 100 – 112,5 | 3S-5R 117,5kg | 3S-5R @ 105 (w/stop)


Monday:
Front Squat: 2S-5R @ 20kg | 5R @ 40kg – 60kg | 3S-5R @ 80kg
RDL: 5R @ 60 – 100 – 120kg | 3S-5R @ 140kg
OH Press: 2S-5R @ 20 | 5R @ 50 – 60kg | 3S-5R @ 70kg

Tuesday
Squat:
5S-5R @ 160 | 3S-3R @ 120
Seated Leg Raise12R @ 30 – 50 – 70 | 2S-8R @ 90kg
Bench Press
: 5S-5R @ 115kg
Flyes: superstrech
JL Press: 2S-8R @ 45kg

Friday:
Rowing (smith): 2S-8R @ 40 – 70kg | 3S-8R @ 90kg
Rack Pull: 5R @ 170kg | 5S-5R @ 200kg
Seated OH Press: 8R @ 40 – 50 – 60 – 70 – 80kg
Upright Row: 3S-5R @ 50kg

WOD: Summary of Week 48

Back on track again and had a really good week. There is only 2 weeks left of the 5R world, but I think I will have to continue down that road with the squat as the weights are still light. That could change though. Bench press is OK and mostly due to 5/3/1 and I am not quite sure what to do when I’m done. I might try to hit multiple doubles and singles and use dropsets, but we’ll see. Deadlift was good and I start doing heavy doubles and singles for multiple sets with a couple of dropsets. I might add deadlift from box in order to strengthen the start of the pull.

Other than that I have started to use Trainingblog to track progress as it is designed for strength athletes.

Monday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 150kg | 3S-8R @ 120g (dropset)
Side Bends: 3S-15R @ 22,5 – 27,5 – 35kg

Tuesday
Bench Press
: 5R @ 115kg | 3R @ 122,5kg | 1R @ 130kg
Chest Press3S-8R @ 70 – 85 – 95kg (machine)
Lying Barbel Triceps Extension: 3S-8R @ 30 – 40 – 40kg
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension: 4S-8R @ 10 – 12,5 – 15 – 17,5
Dumbbell Flyes: 3S-10R @ 10 – 12,5 – 15

Thursday
Deadlift: 2R @ 230kg | 3S-3R @ 172,5kg (dropset)
RDL: 3S-5R @ 120 – 130 – 150kg
Power Shrugs: 3S-5R @ 150 – 160 – 170kg
Shrugs: 4S-10R @ 22,5 – 27,5 – 35 – 35kg

Friday:
Bench Press: 3S-5R @ 120kg
Squat: 5R @ 150 | 3R @ 162,5kg | 1R @ 175kg

WOD: Summary of Week 47

It was my last week in South Korea and I it was good to get home in order to continue my normal routine. For some reason my left shoulder was giving me some troubles so I decided only to do cardio. The cardio was great and I am getting used to the 1 hour inclination walk on the treadmill. Definently something I will keep up at home.

Since I haven’t been squatting for 2 weeks I decided to go in on Saturday just to see how my legs were. Since the shoulder was feeling fine and added some bench press. The setup was like this:

Squat: 5R @ 60kg | 5R @ 90kg | 3R @ 120kg | 2R @ 140kg | 2R @ 160kg | 1R @ 170kg | 1R @ 180kg
Bench: 5R @ 20kg | 5R @ 50kg | 2S-3R @ 80kg | 3R @ 110kg

As you can see I was focusing on singles towards the end. All the sets were done without belt and I was happy that my knees felt fine. The same with bench. Didn’t do anything crazy and the shoulder was feeling fine. Actually, I didn’t feel anything at all during the benching so that was good news.

Bc

WOD: Summary of Week 46

Short week where I focused more on cardio. I had some issues with the front delts and decided to take it a bit easy and the recovery session on Monday was indeed needed. Will probably do some more recovery work in week 47 before I start up for real in the gym back home

Monday:
Recovery work for the back and shoulders
30 minutes cardio

Tuesday
Bench press:
3S-3R @ ~125kg (topset)
NG Bench Press:
5S-5R @ ~100kg
Flyes:
4S-8R @ 60%
Hammer Curls:
4S-AMAP @ 80%
Barbbell Curl:
5S-5R @ 55 – 85%
Triceps Pushdown: 
3S-AMAP @ 80% | Triceps OH Cable Pull: 3S-AMAP @ 80% (superset)

Wednesday:
Cardio: 1 hour incline walk (10%, 5km/h | 13% 2x5min, 5km/h)

Thursday:
Cardio: 40 minutes incline walk (10%, 5km/h)

WOD: Summary of Week 45

Started the 5×5 regiment for squat and the 5/3/1 for bench press. This was a half-assed week as I was flying down to South Korea. I only got 2 workout according to plan and then I had to tweak around as the gym facility is totally different from home. For instance, it does not have a squat rack and the bench press really sucks! Monday and Tuesday was great and the remaining of the week was just recover work. I will most likely focus on the cardio side when I’m in Korea together with mobility and stretching.

Monday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 145kg | 3S-8R @ 115g (dropset)
Leg Curl: 3S-15R @ to failure
Standing Calf Raise: 4S-15R @ 40 – 80 – 110 – 110kg
Side Bends: 3S-10R @ 22,5 – 27,5 – 35kg

Tuesday
Bench Press
: 5R @ 112,5kg | 3R @ 120kg | 1R @ 127,5kg
Dumbbell Flyes: 3S-10R @ 90%
Triceps Extension: 3S-10R @ 90% + Triceps OH Extension 3S-10R @ 90% (supersets)

Friday
Recovery work for legs:
Leg Press, Leg Extension, Leg Curl and Seated Cal Raise
30 minutes cardio

Saturday:
Recovery work for chest and arms:
Benchpress, Flyes, Biceps Curl, Tricep Extention
30 minutes cardio

Small Trip to Geoje in South Korea

I finally got a chance to go to South Korea again. It has been almost a year since I’ve been there last time and it was about time to haul my ass over there. I will probably go more frequent as I am covering for a person that is on rotation there. That means I will stay a couple of weeks every 2 or 3 months. My wife and I would like to do another term abroad, but as long as the ministry of foreign affairs in Norway is being an ass, we have to wait. Nevertheless, I don’t want to do anything crazy right now as the Norwegian oil and gas industry is being hammered in the market with an oil price dropping like a rock. People are being let off work and the optimism that once was has turned into a little “depression”, especially in my reign. There is enough work though, but the market is really stirring hard in the soup right now…..

Even though I am only staying for 2 weeks, I made the necessary arrangements with respect to training; I brought along my training clothes, shoes, weightlifting belt, whey protein, kre-alkalyn and a shaker. I am staying at the Samsung Hotel in Geoje and the training facilities are “OK” if you look on Korean standard. I will probably do a little change from my normal routine, which is fine. There is a pool there I definitely will use and I guess it is time to focus more on cardio. Truth be told, the cardio has not been prioritized at all and that is easily noticed…..

This week was also the first week of doing a standard 5×5 regiment and it felt great. The weights will ramp up fast now (when I get home, to be precise). I think I will do the same with the deadlift as this week was supposed to be the last one before hitting the peak. I will drop down and do sets of 5 with some heavy rack pulls for triples or doubles.

Time to hit the sack now and wait for the jet-lag….

WOD: Summary of Week 44

Great week and the last with supersets. The deadlift was great, mostly due to the fact I’ve stopped doing squats. Rack pulls increased as I pulled more with heavier weights. My lats go trashed for some reason so no need to do more work on them for the week. Took a few days rest before going in on Sunday to do some “motivational stuff” for my shoulders and arms…. Progress is good and diet is almost there…..

Monday:
Squat: 5S-5R @ 150kg | 3S-6R @ 130kg (superset)
Leg Curl: 3S-15R @ to failure
Standing Calf Raise: 4S-15R @ 40 – 80 – 110 – 110kg
Side Bends: 3S-10R @ 22,5 – 27,5 – 35kg

Tuesday
Bench Press
: 5S-5R @ 117,5kg
Dumbbell Flyes: 3S-10R @ 90%
Triceps Extension: 3S-10R @ 90% + Triceps OH Extension 3S-10R @ 90% (supersets)

Thursday
Deadlift: 1S-2R @ 220kg | 3S-3R @ 185kg
Rack Pull: 5R @ 205 | 5R @ 215 | 5R @ 225kg
Good Mornings 3S-10R @ 20 – 30 – 40kg

Sunday:
Randow stuff focusing on shoulders and arms……

WOD: Summary of Week 43

Short week with only 3 sessions, but it was enough as I was struggling with a cold. Tuesday didn’t feel too great even though I made it through all of the sets and reps. Decided to increase only with 2,5kg for the next session. Deadlift is getting better, but squatting on the same day was not a good idea after all so that’s a big lesson learned! Only got one week left before changing from supersets to regular 5×5 in the squat and 5/3/1 in the bench press. Deadlift stays with is own routine and I will introduce military press on the fourth day.

Monday:
Squat: 4S-4R @ 145kg + 4S-6R @ 125kg (supersets)
Leg Curl: 3S-15R @ to failure
Standing Calf Raise: 4S-15R @ 40 – 80 – 110 – 110kg
Side Bends: 3S-10R @ 22,5 – 27,5 – 35kg

Tuesday
Bench Press
: 6S-5R @ 115kg
Dumbbell Flyes: 3S-10R @ 85%
Triceps Extension: 3S-10R @ 85% + Triceps OH Extension 3S-10R @ 85% (supersets)

Thursday
Deadlift: 1S-2R @ 207,5kg | 5S-3R @ 180kg
Rack Pull: 5R @ 200 | 4R @ 210 | 3R @ 220kg
RG Pulldown: 3S-8R @ 85-95%
Standing Lat Pulldown: 3S-12R @ 70-85%
Good Mornings 3S-10R @ 20 – 30 – 40kg

Time to Order EPA/DHA and BCAA!

I’ve cut back on the supplements, which is nice for the wallet and at the same time my food intake has improved. Nevertheless, there is always room for something and as I mentioned in a previous post I have focused more on the peri-workout nutrition. This means I need to re-stock the BCAA.

The trick with BCAA is to get the most out of the money spend. The thing you should look for is the 3 AA called L-leucin, L-isoleucin and L-Valin. Some companies add on other AA’s like glutamine to justify a stiff price. The only thing you need is the 3 AA I mentioned. Most of the shitty stuff on the market have a low BCAA percentage, usually around 20-50% of the total AA content where the good ones can have somewhere between 60-90%. I am buying the SmartSupp BCAA as the price is low and the BCAA percentage (per serving) is 84%. To compare the BCAA Xplode from Olimp only have 60% BCAA per serving and in addition they have added in L-Glutamin which is impossible to not get enough of through your diet.

So next time you are pruchasing the BCAA, check the content for the 3 AA in one serving. Don’t let the addition of other AA fool you!

SmartSupp BCAA

SmartSupp BCAA

The same can be said with oils. What you are looking for here is the DHA and EPA content. Don’t just look at the omega-3 content or even worse, the fishoil content. There are many other cheap sources for omega-3, but DHA and EPA are the limited ones. You want to figure out how much EPA/DHA you can get out of one serving. As a rule of thumb you should go for a big buy on those pills that have more than 1,5g of EPA/DHA per serving. Usually one serving is 3 pills. Regular “cheap” omega-3 pills have a serving content of 0,54g and 0,36g EPA and DHA respectively. The high-grade will have around 0,99g and 0,66g per serving. If you don’t intend to buy big bulk, the very cheapest low-grade omega 3 supplement will actually be cheaper than the high-grade. With this I mean the price increase per serving for the low-grade to meet the content of the high-grade. This is the case for Smart Supps Omega-3 pills. If you buy any other, the price serving will always favour the high-grade. The lessons learned here is to always buy big bulk of a high-grade omega-3 pill.

The one I will stock up is a cheap high-grade Star Nutrition Omega-3 pill. The 70% is how much omega-3 oil there is. The percentage of EPA/DHA is 78,6%, which is actually lower compared to the low-grade pills where the EPA/DHA is 85,7%, but the overall omega-3 content is only 30%.

Big Buy Star Nutrition Omega-3 70%

Big Buy Star Nutrition Omega-3 70%

WOD: Summary of Week 42

It was the startup after vacation and of course I had gotten a cold. The whole week was a little messy but managed to get through the Tuesday and Wednesday with no problems. The deadlift session on Friday was a nightmare. I basically bombed out as I tried to do a 220kg pull just to see where I was. To my surprise I didn’t manage to even lock it out. This si an easy weight, but I am starting to wonder that the squatting I do prior to deadlift might interfer more than I thought. From now on I will leave that out. I will probably just go down to squatting one time per week or add it on the last bench press day. I started the rack pulls this week and that worked well. The Sunday was a lazy day and I just experimented with the bench press to see if my right arm wrist and should was ready for next week session. Had no issues with the 135kg topset.

Tuesday:
Squat: 5S-4R @ 140kg + 5S-6R @ 120kg (supersets)
Leg Extension: 3S-15R @ minisets to failure
Standing Calf Raise: 4S-15R @ 50 – 80 – 100 – 100kg
Side Bends: 3S-10R @ 25 – 30 – 35kg

Wednesday
Bench Press
: 7S-5R @ 110kg
Dumbbell Flyes: 3S-10R @ 85%
Triceps Extension: 3S-10R @ 85% + Triceps OH Extension 3S-10R @ 85% (supersets)

Friday
Squat: 2S-5R @ 130kg
Deadlift: 1S-2R @ 210kg | 3S-3R @ 170kg (speed)
Rack Pull: 3S-3R @ 190 – 200 – 210

Sunday
Bench Press: 3R @ 110 | 3R @ 115 | 3R @ 120 | 1R @130 | 1R @ 135
Wide Grip Bench: 2S-5R @ 120kg
NG Bench Press: 2S-5R @ 100kg
Hammer Curl: 4S-10R @ 85%
Dumbbell Biceps Curl: 4S-8R @ 85%

WOD: Summary of Week 40

Forgot about this weekly session as it was posted in draft. Nevertheless it was the start of supersets in the squat. This is something I will do for this block before shifting over to a 5 rep regimen  and increase weights over time.

Monday:
Squat: 5S-4R @ 135kg + 5S-6R @ 115kg (supersets)
Leg Extension: 3S-15R @ minisets to failure
Standing Calf Raise: 4S-15R @ 50 – 80 – 100 – 100kg
Side Bends: 3S-10R @ 25 – 30 – 35kg

Tuesday
Bench Press: 8S-5R @ 105kg
Dumbbell Flyes: 3S-10R @ 80%
Triceps Extension: 3S-10R @ 80% + Triceps OH Extension 3S-10R @ 80% (supersets)

Thursday
Squat: 2S-5R @ 125kg
Deadlift: 1S-3R @ 210kg | 5S-3R @ 170kg (speed)
Rows: 5S-8R @ 40 – 80 – 100 – 60kg (done in smith machine)
NG Reverse Grip Pulldown: 3S-8R @ 80%
Side Lat Pulldown: 4S-10R @ 85%

Friday
Bench Press: 8S-8R @ 105kg
Cable Cross: 3S-10R
Hammer Curl: 4S-10R @ 85%
Rope Biceps Curl: 4S-8R @ 85%

Saturday
Seated Lateral Raise: 4S-10R @ 9 – 9 – 12,5 – 12,5kg
Bent Over Lateral Raise: 3S-10R @ 12,5kg + 3S-8R @ 9kg (supersets)
Cable Front Lateral Raise: 3S-10R @ 90%
Front Lateral Raise: 3S-8R @ 15kg + 3S-8R @ 12,5kg + 3S-8R @ 9kg (supersets)
Seated High Bar Rows: 3S-10R @ 90%
Shrugs: 2S-12R @ 25kg

Back on Track After Vacation

I haven’t gone into hibernation even though winter is knocking pretty hard on the door. In fact, I just arrived from a week in Venice and Florence. Nice with some hot weather before things gets dull, dark and rather cold up in the north. Nice with some break from the gym even though sightseeing like this easily turns in to a long-lasting cardio session. The feet were pretty beaten up when I got home, but that’s the joy of a cultural expedition in foreign countries…..

I went in to the gym yesterday and took up where I left before going on vacation. Ideally, I should take it somewhat easy as I just had arrived and as the volume can be somewhat challenging when you are doing supersets, but I ignored that and went straight in to business. I’ve started to train on empty stomach and just drink my peri-workout drink which consists of hypotonic energy drink together with BCAA. I increased that BCAA to 20g just to see if I could tweak the soreness and recovery a bit and boy was that a game changer. Normally I would struggle a lot with soreness in my legs after such a workout. The weights were doable; only 140 and 120kg combined in superset with 4 and 6 reps respectively. After the session I still felt great (ignoring the fact I have caught a minor cold) and when I woke up today I felt really OK. You may say this is coincident, but I have tried every trick in the book in order to avoid crazy soreness after vacation. This is what I can call a game changer!

Reduced soreness equals shorter recovery time which leads to increased training frequency or the possibility to increase workload more rapidly. You want some inflammatory response, but if you are able to slot in one extra session per week, I believe that is a good thing. I believe it all depends what you fuel your muscles during the workout. In the past I’ve ignored that completely and focused more on pre- and post workout. Now I cut back on pre-workout nutrition and try to get in to the gym with an empty stomach. The reason being I want to use as little blood for digestive purposes during the session and this is where simple sugars, BCAA and loads of water comes in to play. It pass the system quite fast, and is rapidly absorbed. The benefit for simple sugars during workout is highly underrated and the same can be said about leucine to jump-start protein synthesis. When all these biochemical processes are set into action during your workout it has a great impact on both soreness and reduced recovery time.

The next good thing about this is that you don’t have to rush your post workout meal as you’ve already flushed a great deal of nutrition through your system. I normally wait 1 hour or so before having a meal, not a shake! Taking the BCAA like this more or less can remove the need for protein shake completely if your basic nutrition is good and provide enough protein.

Udinese-Calcio-Logo-3D

The “Strama Effect” on Udinese

Udinese got its third consecutive home victory by beating a struggling Parma side 4-2. This was the fifth match of the season and despite having faced tough opponents in the opening, Udinese is well placed on third with 12 points. It started well for Antonio Di Natale as he did 2 goals against his former team Empoli in the season premiere. Then 3 tough matches were coming up; First a 0-2 loss at Juventus Stadium, then we secured a 1-0 victory (Danilo) at Friuli against a struggling Napoli team before we headed to Rome and secured another 1-0 victory (Thereau) against Lazio.

The quality of the games was not the best, both sides struggling with poor passes and lack of creativity up front. The difference was that Udinese finally could secure a win on a relatively poor day at work, which was totally absent under Guidolin’s regime. Is this the so called “Strama effect” we are witness to?

Andrea Stramaccioni (Strama) was appointed to new Udinese coach as Guidolin retired into the dark corners at Friuli as a director to oversee the club portfolio to Udinese. His assistant team was allowed to stay until their contract expired and Strama was allowed to bring in his own team. One of the notable signings was former Inter player, Dejan Stankovic. My first impression was that this could be a very smart signing, mostly due to Strama’s experience with young players. Also, this is a coach for the future and he will be given time in Udinese to develop further and thus sticking around for a while. I am a firm believer in consistency and patient in a clubs coaching team, even in struggling times!

Nobody expects too much of Strama in the début season. The squad remains almost the same; the only difference is that Pereyra left to Juventus and Basta to Lazio. We signed some young prospects and got a few back from loan. The good thing is that the squad remained intact and you may argue that Udinese would have to make new signings in order to improve from last season’s poor performance. I don’t believe in that for two main reasons;

  1. There is still quality within the team in order to fight for a top 7 position.
  2. Udinese is in no financial position to purchase top rated established players in order to justify a previous poor season.

So why have Strama managed to guide Udinese to a third position after 5 matches? Of course there are some teams that have performed below expectation, but in the end of the day it doesn’t matter. You have to win your matches regardless others’ performance! Below I have listed some old tweets, mainly from pre-season that can explain some of the success so far.

The pre-season creates basis foundation with respect to strength and conditioning. Previous season it may seem that we have not been fit and we have been struggling with minor injuries. The things go hand in hand. If your fitness level is good, then you are less likely to contract minor injuries, muscle soreness, etc. It also allows you to start the season with oxygen capacity needed to last 90+ minutes. This has been the case so far. Udinese has been able to run for 90+ minutes and thus been able to maintain solid defensive work throughout the entire match. This is probably the most notable change from previous season.

The two posts here are related to the midfield. Previously the defensive contribution in the midfield came from Allan. In that respect he was more or less like a lonely rider in the midfield and it was easy to flank us on both sides. Strama has adopted a “flat 3” in the midfield where Allan is the anchor and Badu and Guilherme are helping him. Guilherme is a new signing and I was somewhat worried that he would turn out like Willians, but luckily he is more or less a copy of Inler. With a flat 3 doing all the grunt work in the midfield, we can allow ourselves to have 3 on top with either 2 strikers and a playmaker or with 2 offensive midfielders with a lone striker. So far both works!

It is a fact that it can be a challenge to have a co-striker with Di Natale. Muriel has so far not worked well with him as they are too similar. The new guy in town is Cyril Thereau. He is a typical target man that is able to maintain possession and either pass to a better placed player or to challenge and create opportunities on his own. Inside the box he is lethal mostly due to his technical skill with the ball. If you go on YouTube and search for his goal you can see that in most cases he is placing the ball in the far corner. The goal against Parma was a typical Thereau goal!

Another notable player that has made a huge impact on regaining possession and mess up the game plan to the opponent is Kone. He is more like Pinzi, but with better technique. He is the person who connects the midfield with the attack and has so far made a huge contribution in Udinese’s decent performance.

The tactical approach has changed a little and the formation varies from 3-5-2-1 to 4-3-1-2. The only thing that remains the same is the flat 3 structure on the midfield, which has proven crucial in order to balance the team in the defensive play. There is also more play through the middle in the latter formation as the former wing backs drop deep down in the pitch. To be it looks like Strama will use a 3 back line when Heurtaux, Danilo and Domizzi are fully fit. If one of them is out, he will drop to regular 4 back line, putting Piris in a left back position and Widmer as right back.

With all respect to what Guidolin achieved with Udinese it is clear that we can say that there is to some degree a “Strama effect” in Udinese. This is achieved both on the training ground and last not least but least through a more strict formation with the flat 3 in the middle. The squad seems fit and we don’t have to read in the official training reports that some players had to carry out alternative training. I am not saying that we won’t have injured players later on or form will drop, but I know that poor fitness level when you start the campaign will always follow you throughout the season. You will never be able to regain lost terrain and the unintended consequences could be that the coach start rotating players more often and swapping between different formation in order to make a quick fix to the table position.

The first goal will be to reach 40 points, as it always has been, and so far we are on the right track in order to achieve that well before the season ends next year. Being a little ambitious, I would say we should try to aim for a top 7 position.

Forza Udinese!