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Kwesadilo changes up his routine


kwesadilo

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Recently, I've been trying to build habits of things I want to do, and I've gotten pretty good at getting to bed at time, programming multiple times a week, and doing yoga multiple times a week. I've been getting to the gym when I mean to lately, but I've been kind of stagnating. I still feel stiff sometimes, but I don't seem to be getting much better at the yoga positions I've been trying. Getting to bed on time and working on programming multiple times a week seem to be good ideas, and I'd like to keep doing those, but I think my lifting and mobility programs could use some work.

 

Goals

  • Lifting: I have stopped making regular progress in all of my lifts at this point. I still make progress intermittently, but it doesn't feel like programming, in that my progress is basically independent of my plans. If I'm being honest, I have not made much progress overall since I finished my linear progression, like 2 years ago, at which point I started a heavy-light-medium split. During that time, none of my lifts have increased more than 55 lbs., and I know I should be able to grow faster than that at this point. I don't think heavy-light-medium is working well for me, and I want to figure out what will work better. My goal for this challenge is to select/design a new program and start trying it. That seems kind of underwhelming, but I don't think that 4 weeks are a long enough time to evaluate whether a program is working well. That's probably what has dissuaded me from experimenting up until now. I'm good at following routines, but committing to a programming change for months when I don't know what the results will be feels very risky.
  • Flexibility: I've been doing the Nerd Fitness Yoga videos for awhile, and for most of that time, I've been able to do the hard ones. I also stretch briefly after lifting on Mondays. Admittedly, I don't always do either of those things exactly the way I intend, but it's been awhile since my flexibility seemed to improve. I still can't sit comfortably on the ground for extended periods of time, and I occasionally feel too tight to get into position properly for squats and deadlifts. My goal for this challenge is to figure out whether I need to change up my flexibility routine. I will still keep doing the routines twice a week, but I want to do some research and figure out whether I could be making more efficient use of my time. A significant part of the routines is warmup or strength work, which I arguably don't need. If I could just stretch quickly after lifting and get the same benefits, that would be preferable to me.
  • Sleep: Same goal as before. Get in bed by 11:30 pm on five nights each week.
  • SICP: Work on SICP for at least 30 minutes at a time, at least twice a week. Not having specific days seemed to work as well as having specific days, so I'll give myself the flexibility to use different days.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

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5 hours ago, Laghail said:

Was that the texas method you were running @kwesadilo?

I was doing a heavy-medium-light program (as described in Practical Programming). Texas Method is one of the alternatives I'm considering. Although there might be some poundage changes in the beginning, the long-run effect would be to replace medium day with Texas Method's intensity day. This would obviously be a significant increase in intensity, and the effect on volume would probably vary by exercise.

 

As I attempted to answer your question, I was looking in Practical Programming and realized that the examples of the HLM program contain a gradual taper in volume on heavy day, which is one of the features of Texas Method that I was interested in. I wasn't sure how to apply it to HLM. I may just attempt to do that without radically changing my programming. Rippetoe's writing is very clear and accessible, but I nevertheless end up learning something new every time I go back to look at his books.

 

I'm not sure yet what I intend to do on Friday or Monday. Tapering would be a reasonable choice for squat and bench, and it could help for overhead press, too. I'm not sure what the plan should be for deadlift. I have set PRs in the recent past, but it seems like on a lot of heavy days, I just can't break my work weight off the ground. I tried switching deadlift to Wednesdays, in case heavy squats were messing it up. That helped briefly, but then I got stuck again. I tried adding a couple back-off sets of RDLs on heavy days, but that didn't have a huge effect. I suspect I'm  overtrained at this point and need to deload, but once I get back from that, there's not much room to taper 1 set of 5 on heavy day.

 

5 hours ago, Grumble said:

In my bouts of experimentation, I've found that 12 weeks is about what I need to find out if something is providing value. It's still months, but not MONTHS.

This isn't what I especially wanted to hear, but it is consistent with my own previous observations. At least I'm not crazy.

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"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 1 update

  • Lifting: I decided that I'm going to try to augment the HLM program I had been doing with a gradual taper from 5-rep work sets to 1-rep work sets. However, I've also started deloading my squat and deadlift, because I'm pretty clearly overtrained at this point, and I've had a few failed 5x5 attempts on bench recently as well. Hopefully, I won't have to take a reset on that. So the next 3 weeks are pretty much guaranteed not to prove anything.
  • Flexibility: I made a list of the different yoga poses in the two videos that I usually do and noted whether they were mostly for warmup, stretching, or strength. After lifting yesterday, I tried to do each of the stretching ones for 30 seconds. It took much less time than a yoga session usually does, but I more than made up for that while making the list. I don't know how long I should hold each pose or how many reps I should do on each side. On Saturday, I did the yoga session I normally do, because I forgot about this. I also did foam rolling on Sunday.

    I enrolled in some kind of mobility class at my gym that I think is this week or next week. I don't know if it will actually be useful, but it's only an hour long, and it's a one-off, so I can't waste too much time on it.
  • Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Tuesday and Wednesday, I could have gotten to bed on time but decided to do just one more thing on the Internet before retiring.
  • SICP: Worked for about an hour on Saturday. I would have worked on this on Thursday, but my power was out for about 2 hours, so I couldn't use my computer.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 2 update

  • Lifting: My workouts in the last week have been lighter than usual in intensity, volume, or both. Nothing to report.
  • Flexibility: A bit of an anti-climax. I missed the notification for the class I had scheduled and forgot to go. I have planned to go to another session tomorrow, and I have set several reminders for myself to do so. On Saturday and Sunday, I did a full-length yoga routine that is just stretching. I want to analyze the positions in that video and see if they hit all the same things that my usual videos do in terms of stretching.
  • Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
  • SICP: Worked for about an hour on each of Monday and Sunday.
  • Like 1

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 3 update

  • Lifting: Similar to last week. In addition do using lighter weights, I've been doing 3 sets of 5 instead of 5 sets for squat and bench on heavy days. Today, I tried to jump from 195 lbs to 200 lbs on bench, and I didn't make it. That was kind of disappointing, because I've done 200x5x5 before. I'm not sure what I should do for bench next week. Options include 195x5x3, 197.5x5x3, or 200x3x3.
  • Flexibility: I went to the class. It seems like it could be useful, but this was just the theory component, and I don't know when the regular practical classes will be offered. I didn't get around to analyzing the yoga videos.
  • Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
  • SICP: Worked for about an hour on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday.
  • Like 1

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 4 update and summary

  • Lifting: Last week was pretty light, overall. I decreased weight even more on a few assistance exercises, and I decreased volume significantly on squats. I've had a sore spot in my lower back for a few weeks when I squat heavy. I was hoping it would go away without me doing anything differently, but it seemed worse on Friday, so I cut things short, and I only did 1 work set of 3 today. Today, I benched 200x3x3, which was pretty easy. I had been thinking that I would deload a bit and work my way back up to what had been my 5x5 weights before tapering reps, but I may just start doing that and have this be a weird, unplanned cycle.
    • This goal was kind of nebulous, but I'll call it complete, in that I have selected a program (a slight modification to my previous program) and started to try it (like, today). Since I am currently involved in a significant deload to deal with detraining, it will be quite some time before I can confirm or deny that the change I've made is working.
  • Flexibility: I didn't get around to analyzing the videos. I did sign up for the next episode of the class, but it's not until tomorrow.
    • I'll call this half done. I'm pretty sure that I could benefit from changing my mobility work, but I haven't gotten much closer to having a new plan.
  • Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
    • 19/20 days isn't bad. Some of the days that I missed my bedtime, I missed it by quite a bit. That could be improved upon.
  • SICP: Worked for 30 minutes on Wednesday and an hour on Sunday.
    • 7/8 days. I've done a pretty good job here the past few months, but it's clear at this point that this effort would benefit from more time spent. Probably longer sessions would be more beneficial than more sessions. It takes a little while to ramp up mentally when I start programming.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

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