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  • #16
    7-Week GPP/Hypertrophy - Week 7:

    Monday, 12/10:
    Bodyweight = 210

    Squat:
    345x1 @ 8
    295x6x3 @ 8

    While I wasn't able to add any weight to the bar, this was a very encouraging session. Hell, worrying about adding weight to the bar when I probably shouldn't have been was probably part of what got me into this situation in the first place. I was able to get through warmups and the working sets with barely any back pain. I focused very hard on cutting depth just below parallel and keeping my entire back very tight. My descent was a little slower on account of trying to not go too deep, and I lost some bounce out of the hole as a result, so maybe I need to widen my stance a hair to get a better stretch reflex. The most important thing is that I was able to squat heavy pain free, which I was very worried about after last week. I'll continue to focus on keeping tightness/not going into lumbar flexion at the bottom of the squat, as well as being more intelligent and humble about load selection.

    Seated OHP:
    115x6 @ 6
    125x6 @ 7
    135x6x4 @ 8, 8, 8, 9

    Added some weight to the bar yet again this week. I like the extra set of 4 rather than the single @ 8 for these. Not sure what happened on the fourth set, the third felt like a genuine 8, not an 8.5. Maybe a slight misgroove?

    T-Bar Rows Myo-reps:
    +110x13 @ 8
    +110x12 @ 4, 4, 4, 4, 3

    DB Curls:
    35s x 13x2 @ 8
    35s x 12x3 @ 8

    Cable V-Bar Triceps Extensions:
    120x14x2 @ 8
    120x13x3 @ 8
    Last edited by Nate B; 12-11-2018, 05:37 PM.

    Comment


    • #17
      7-Week GPP/Hypertrophy - Week 7:

      Wednesday, 12/12:
      Bodyweight = 209.2

      Bench
      240x1 @ 8
      205x6x2 @ 8.5, 9
      200x6 @ 8.5

      No idea what happened with the sets of 6 @ what was supposed to be 8. It made me doubt whether 240x1 was a true @ 8 or more like an @ 8.5. Felt like @ 8 and the bar speed looked solid on video, so I rated it as such. I got into the gym late and was only resting about 3 minutes between sets vs. my usual 4 minutes, but I didn't expect it to make that big of a difference. Treat it as a learning experience and hope my recovery isn't too compromised. With next week being the pivot week 1 of 12-Week Strength, I'm not too concerned.

      SLDL:
      235x8 @ 6
      245x8 @ 7
      255x8x4 @ 8, 8, 8, 8.5

      Back felt a little funny, so I stuck with 255. SLDLs and I have never really got along. I'm happy to be done with them for a while.

      TnG CGBP Myo-reps:
      135 x 13 @ 8
      135 x 4, 4, 4, 3

      DB Curls:
      35s x 13x3 @ 8
      35s x 12x2 @ 8

      Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
      100x13x4 @ 8
      100x12 @ 8

      Triceps were definitely feeling it already from CGBP and a little too much comp. bench intensity.

      Comment


      • #18
        7-Week GPP/Hypertrophy - Week 7:

        Thursday, 12/13:
        Bodyweight = 211.4

        Chins:
        56 reps in 10 mins

        Ab Rollouts:
        90 reps in 10 mins

        Face Pulls w/ Cables:
        80x12x5 @ 8

        LISS Cardio:
        35 mins treadmill - 3.5mph, 10% incline

        Friday, 12/14:
        Bodyweight = 210.4

        Deadlift:
        385x1 @ 8
        325x6x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

        Did a better job of picking a load for the single @ 8 than last week. Rounded down to 325 for the sets of 6, which was probably the right choice as well.

        Incline Bench, TnG:
        140x8 @ 6
        150x8 @ 7
        160x8x4 @ 8, 8, 8, 8.5

        SSB Squat Myo-reps:
        235 x 12 @ 8
        235 x 5, 5, 5, 5, 4

        Tweaked this a little bit, and it went much better than the previous two weeks. I picked a heavier load for the activation set, and took 10 deep breaths to rest, and committed to 5 reps for the subsequent sets. These changes gave me more of a chance to catch my breath and ensured that I was wearing out my muscles rather than my lungs. I think I have pretty decent work capacity (maybe I'm wrong) but true myo-reps for a full compound movement like a squat variation feels like a lot to ask.

        DB Curls:
        35s x 13x3 @ 8
        35s x 12x2 @ 8

        Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
        100x15x2 @ 8
        100x14x3 @ 8

        Saturday, 12/15:
        Bodyweight = 210

        Chins:
        55 reps in 10 mins

        Ab Rollouts:
        88 reps in 10 mins

        Rear Delt Flys Machine:
        50x15x4 @ 8

        HIIT Cardio:
        24 mins C2 rower - :20/1:40 intervals

        Comment


        • #19
          7-Week GPP/Hypertrophy - Results & Thoughts:

          These are changes from the end of the Bridge 1.0/beginning of GPP/Hypertrophy.

          Bodyweight:
          207.2 --> 210 (+2.8)

          Squat:
          370 --> 373 (+3)

          Bench:

          250 --> 259 (+9)

          Deadlift:

          429 --> 416 (-13)

          Estimated Total:
          1,049 --> 1,048 (-1)

          I have mixed feelings about this program. The positives:

          1. I am pleased with my progress with the bench press. This lift progresses very slowly for me, so I was happy to see that the increase in volume resulted in some pretty good gainz. To be honest, I had kind of hoped for even more progress, but +9 lbs in 7 weeks isn't too shabby, considering how much I tend to struggle with my bench. Also, while the program is set up to minimize strength loss, the primary focus is to increase muscle hypertrophy, not necessarily drive up 1RMs. I anticipate my bench numbers continuing to climb on 12-Week Strength.

          2. I wish I had taken more body measurements than just my weight, but I do think the program succeeded in adding some size. My wife has even commented that my arms and chest look noticeably bigger (I'm at least pretty sure that she's not just trying to flatter me). Of the roughly 3 lbs of bodyweight I put on, I'd guess at least a pound was muscle. I do wish that there was a little more focus on lower body hypertrophy, but I'm certainly not complaining about the upper body gainz. I was also pleased with myself for not going crazy with my bulk and sticking to my ~ 0.5lb/week weight gain goal.

          3. I had never heard of myo-reps before and I love them - especially with non-compound/non-barbell movements like leg press and DB press. They get a nice pump and minimize my time in the gym. I felt like they were able to accomplish what I could do with like 3x10-12 in less than half of the time.

          Negatives:

          1. As I mentioned above, I don't think this program did much for my lower body. I would've hoped that my squat basically stalling and my deadlift regressing would've at least had the trade-off of some better hypertrophy gains, but that wasn't the case.

          2. I didn't love some of the exercise selection. I try to follow templates as written, but I made some tweaks to this one and wish I had made some other tweaks. For example, SLDLs and I have never really gotten along. I wish I would've stuck with RDLs or switched to some other variation that I could do for high reps. I realize that's a very individual critique and not an inherent fault of the program, but that was my experience.

          3. Another fault of my own and not of the program itself, but I struggled with sticking to the prescribed RPE on this program. I think it was more of an ego problem than anything - wanting to keep driving up my numbers. I think this load management contributed to me dinging my back up a little bit.

          I will take what I've learned and run something similar to this program again, or more likely the 4-day version, as a volume/recovery block in the future (probably after my meet in March). Overall, I think the positives outweighed the negatives, and most of my negative feelings weren't inherent problems with the program itself, but rather my approach to it. Now its on to 12-Week Strength to get ready for my meet in March.


          Comment


          • #20
            12-Week Strength - Week 1:

            Monday, 12/17:
            Bodyweight = 210.8

            Squat:
            295x5 @ 7
            305x5 @ 8
            315x5 @ 9

            My lower back issue is feeling better and better, but it's still in my head a little bit. I'm a little gun shy about loading my posterior chain, and I'm staying a little too upright/allowing my knees to travel a little too far forward as a result. I've always had to be a little more upright and have my knees a little further in front of my toes to keep the bar over midfoot than a lot of low bar squatters I've seen (I'm not 100% sure what in my anthropometry causes that) but today was definitely a bit too much. I'll try to clean that up as I start to trust my back again.

            Seated OHP:
            135x5 @ 7
            137x5 @ 8
            142x5 @ 9

            I started doing seated press during the GPP/Hypertrophy program and I like it a lot more than standing. Standing press was always that lift that I just hated. I have no aspirations to compete in strongman, oly lifting, strengthlifting, etc. that would emphasize overhead pressing strength, so I figured I might as well do a press variation that I like. I think I'll stick with seated for the time being.

            Pendlay Rows:
            145x10 @ 7
            150x10 @ 8
            155x10 @ 8.5

            Back to barbell Pendlay rows after a stint with chest supported rows during the GPP/Hypertrophy program. 155 was a borderline 9, probably more like an 8.5, but I didn't want to chase after another set on a pivot week. I'll have plenty of opportunities to increase the weight down the road.

            Comment


            • #21
              12-Week Strength - Week 1:

              Tuesday, 12/18:
              Bodyweight = 211.2

              Deadlift:
              325x5 @ 7
              335x5 @ 8
              350x5 @ 9

              Went about as expected. Some mild discomfort in lower back during the sets. Soreness the next day, but not painful.

              Bench:
              205x5 @ 7
              210x5 @ 8
              215x5 @ 8.5

              Happy with how 215 moved. I also had someone give me a liftoff and spot me because it was a set above @ 8, which sometimes helps me psychologically with the lift

              303 Squat:
              195x10 @ 7
              205x10 @ 8
              215x10 @ 9

              Ah, tempo squats. I certainly did not miss these during the hypertrophy program. 10 reps was pretty brutal. I looked ahead to week 5 and the 530 squats for 10 look equally, if not more, tortuous. My shoulders and arms started to go numb toward the end of each set (around rep 7 or 8) like the bar was pressing into a nerve. My bar placement felt right, but maybe I wasn't getting sufficiently tight once I started to get fatigued and the bar moved around on me. Hopefully I can clean that up, because these are tough enough already!

              Comment


              • #22
                12-Week Strength - Week 1:

                Thursday, 12/20:
                Bodyweight = N/A

                Beltless Squat:
                255x4 @ 7
                265x4 @ 8
                275x4 @ 9

                275 might've been an @ 8.5. I sped through warmups without much rest at all between sets, so maybe calling 255 @ 7 was premature.

                Slingshot Bench:
                225x4 @ 7
                235x4 @ 8.5
                240x4 @ 9

                I got the blue slingshot instead of the red - Mark Bell's site recommends the blue one for sub 315 benchers - and this was literally my first time ever using it. It was a little awkward, but that was to be expected. I'm sure I'll get used to it relatively quickly. It was pretty fun to rep out what I was using for a single @ 8 last week.

                Incline CGBP:
                125x10 @ 7
                130x10 @ 8
                135x10 @ 8.5

                I think breezing through the warmups got me again. I was moving through them like I'm warming up for a working set progression of @ 6, 7, 8 (which I did for the last 7 weeks), so I'm essentially moving from an RPE 6 to a 7 in the 30 seconds or so that it takes to get up and put some more plates on the bar. I'll have to monitor this better, be conscious of when I hit RPE 6, and take a minute or two longer before going for the set @ 7.

                Chins:
                43 reps in 7 minutes

                Ab Rollouts:
                69 reps in 7 minutes
                Last edited by Nate B; 12-31-2018, 02:10 PM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  12-Week Strength - Week 1:

                  Friday, 12/21:
                  Bodyweight = 211.4

                  Rack Pull, mid shin:
                  335x4 @ 7
                  345x4 @ 8
                  355x4 @ 9

                  Threw on a belt for these because I'm still a bit wary of my back.

                  CGBP:
                  195x4 @ 7
                  200x4 @ 8
                  205x4 @ 9

                  Leg Press:
                  450x10 @ 7
                  470x10 @ 8
                  500x10 @ 8.5

                  Load selection was tricky here. I based my starting point off of what I did for myo-reps during 7-Week Hypertrophy. I think I'll try to go a little heavier next time.

                  DB Curls:
                  35s x 12x3 @ 8

                  Cable V-Bar Triceps Extensions:
                  120x12x3 @ 8

                  Rear Delt Fly Machine:
                  50x15x3 @ 8
                  Last edited by Nate B; 12-26-2018, 04:28 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    12-Week Strength - Week 2:

                    Monday, 12/24:
                    Bodyweight = 211.4

                    Squat:
                    350x1 @ 8
                    280x5x5

                    Single moved a little slow, but otherwise felt good. I didn't really think about how big of a drop off 20% is from a single @ 8 (around 72% e1RM) so the 5x5 squats sucked a lot less than I expected them to!

                    Seated OHP:
                    157x1 @ 8
                    125x5x5

                    Good bar speed, breezed through the 5x5. I was dreading being in the gym for over 2 hours when I saw the 5x5 work in this program, but I don't need that much rest time with it being in the 70-75% range, so I was able to get in and out in a little under 2 hours.

                    Pendlay Rows:
                    145x10 @ 7
                    155x10 @ 8
                    165x10 @ 9
                    155x10 @ 8
                    Last edited by Nate B; 12-26-2018, 05:02 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Wednesday, 12/26:
                      Bodyweight = 212.2

                      Deadlift:
                      385x1 @ 8 <-- moved like an 8, but painful
                      305x5x5

                      During my last warmup and my heavy single, my lower back felt pretty uncomfortable. The pain was like a sharp, almost stretching sensation, around the L4 - L5 area of my spine. I think I'm going to have to stop trying to just "suck it up" and dial my deadlift training back a little bit. I've been fighting it because I don't want to sacrifice progress leading up to my meet in March, but I've finally accepted that I'll be better off in the long run if I try to take care of it now. It's not like a big deadlift is separating me from a WR total or anything, I'm honestly just trying to establish some meet PRs. I'm trying to stay positive and, to be fair, I'm happy that I'm at least able to go through the full ROM without pain if I use light enough weight. For example, the backoff sets of 305x5 didn't really bother it that much and I didn't feel pain until my last warmup of 345, so I think I'm going to put aside my ego for the next 2-4 weeks and drop the load down to something I can manage without pain. I've never had a back injury before, but I have healed from previous injuries relatively fast, so I'm hopeful that a few weeks of active rest will allow my back to recover while also preventing excessive detraining.

                      Bench:
                      242x1 @ 8
                      190x5x5

                      The upper body/pressing volume from the hypertrophy program seems to be paying off. Really liking how my bench is moving recently.

                      303 Squat:
                      195x10 @ 7
                      205x10 @ 8
                      215x10 @ 9
                      205x10 @ 8

                      Still got that numbness/tingling sensation my my hands and arms. I'm pretty certain that it's because the bar is shifting slightly on my back during the set as the reps stack up. I'm considering using a SSB going forward to help with this.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        12-Week Strength - Week 2:

                        Thursday, 12/27:
                        Bodyweight = 212.6

                        Beltless Squat:
                        255x4 @ 7
                        265x4 @ 8
                        280x4 @ 9
                        265x4x2 @ 8.5, 9

                        Made the move up to 280 and it was the right call. Only got 2 sets on the fatigue % drop sets (or whatever they're called) so I'll look to increase that number when I'm not squatting two days in a row next week.

                        Slingshot Bench:
                        225x4 @ 7
                        235x4 @ 8
                        245x4 @ 9
                        235x4x2 @ 8.5, 9

                        Being a little more accustomed to the slingshot, I added another 5 lbs to my top set.

                        Incline CGBP:
                        125x10 @ 7
                        130x10 @ 8
                        135x10 @ 9
                        130x10 @ 8.5

                        DB Curls:
                        40s x 12x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                        Rear Delt Fly Machine:
                        50x15x3 @ 8



                        Friday, 12/28:
                        Bodyweight = 214.4

                        Rack Pull, mid shin:
                        135x4

                        I have decided to be very cautious with my back and only do movements that don't cause any pain. I guess I was just ignoring my pain before when I thought I could pull up to around 300 off the floor pain free, because it hurt to rack pull 135. I in the process of scheduling a consult with Dr. Miles & Dr. Ray to try to get a better grasp on what's going on and what I should be doing. I want to give myself the chance to get healed up while the pain is still relatively mild to moderate and still compete in March, rather than keep pushing it and really fuck myself up.

                        CGBP:
                        195x4 @ 7
                        200x4 @ 8
                        205x4 @ 9
                        195x4x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                        Felt strong here. 205 may not have been a true @ 9 effort.

                        Leg Press:
                        470x10 @ 7
                        500x10 @ 8
                        530x10 @ 9
                        500x10 @ 8

                        Still feel like I could go heavier. Might see how 12 plates feels for the set @ 9 next week.


                        Saturday, 12/29:
                        Bodyweight = 213.8

                        Chins:
                        43 reps in 7 mins

                        DB Curls:
                        40s x 12x2 @ 8, 8.5
                        35s x 13 @ 8

                        Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                        110 x 12x3 @ 8

                        Rear Delt Flys:
                        50x15x3 @ 8

                        LISS Cardio:
                        25 mins treadmill - 3.5mph, 10% incline

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          12-Week Strength - Week 3:

                          Monday, 12/31:
                          Bodyweight = 214.2

                          Squat:
                          350x1 @ 8
                          280x5x5

                          Very pleased with the bar speed for the single at 350 - noticeably smoother than last week. Depth was just below parallel, but I think it would've received whites in a meet. I'm still afraid to take my squats deeper because that's what was causing pain before I cut some depth. Backoff sets of 280 all went smoothly.

                          Seated OHP:
                          160x1 @ 8.5
                          125x5x5

                          160 was a bit ambitious, but thought it might've been possible based off of how my last warmup at 135 moved.

                          Pendlay Rows:
                          145x10 @ 7
                          155x10 @ 8
                          165x10 @ 9
                          155x10 @ 8

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I just realized that I've gained almost 5 lbs in about 2.5 weeks. I guess I have been letting my nutrition get a little bit sloppy recently (well, apparently more than just a little bit) with it being the holidays, but I didn't really realize how bad it was. With 2018 in the rear view, I should be able to dial it back in to around +0.25 to +0.5 lbs per week.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              12-Week Strength - Week 3:

                              Wednesday, 1/2/19:
                              Bodyweight = 215

                              Deadlift:
                              N/A

                              I'm foregoing pulling until after my pain & rehab consult this Saturday. I did 3 sets of 10-15 of very light (50 lbs added) reverse hyphers instead. As long as I didn't let my legs swing too far under the pad/throw my lower back into any flexion, they felt okay.

                              Bench:
                              245x1 @ 8
                              195x5x6

                              Another good week for bench. I'm really digging all the volume on this program with the drop sets in the 70-73% range.

                              303 SSB Squat:
                              185x10 @ 7
                              195x10 @ 8
                              205x10 @ 9
                              195x10 @ 8

                              Used the SSB for these instead of competition low bar and it felt MUCH better - no tingling or numbness in my arms and hands. I was able to use a load a lot closer to my LBBS than I expected...maybe the numbness was throwing me off enough that the sets felt more intense than they actually were. I'm sticking with the SSB going forward.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                12-Week Strength - Week 3:

                                Thursday, 1/3:
                                Bodyweight = 214.2

                                Beltless Squat:
                                255x4 @ 7
                                270x4 @ 8
                                280x4 @ 8.5
                                265x4x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                                My top set felt close enough to a 9 in the moment, but my bar speed looked great when I watched it later on video. Back off/fatigue sets went really well. Technique felt really dialed in. I might have to go heavier with these next time.

                                Slingshot Bench:
                                225x4 @ 7
                                235x4 @ 8
                                245x4 @ 9
                                235x4x2 @ 8.5, 9

                                Incline CGBP:
                                125x10 @ 7
                                130x10 @ 8
                                135x10 @ 9
                                130x10 @ 8

                                DB Curls:
                                40s x 12x3 @ 8, 8, 8.5

                                Cable Rope Triceps Extensions:
                                100x12x3 @ 8

                                Rear Delt Fly Machine:
                                50x15x3 @ 8
                                Last edited by Nate B; 01-04-2019, 06:51 PM.

                                Comment

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