My log of ninja awesomeness!

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Coges, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Ok so I’m not a ninja and not really awesome, yet.

    I’ve been meaning to start a log for a while and figured a change of program is probably the perfect time to do so. I have been doing stronglifts 5x5 for the last 3 months or so. It was ok to begin with but became quite boring after a while. As much as I love squatting 3 times a week I’m finding I’m not motivated to train and am becoming stagnant. I have now switched to 5/3/1 and will be doing the two day a week template.

    My goals? Good question thanks for asking. To become awesome in a ninja like manner that would make Michael Dudikoff explode the back of his pants. Actually I have goal ADD if that makes any sense. I want to get bigger and leaner and faster and more explosive and stronger and be able to do the splits and 1-arm push-ups and muscle ups and the human flag. Realistically though my goals are to do the splits (front and box), squat 150kg and put more size on the upper body. There are plenty of others but these three I will commit to for now. I’m 6’4 and around 92kg at the moment. I’d love to add some muscle and lose some fat but I’ll just put in during the training sessions and see how I go. I will be taking before, progress and after pics. I don’t have the gumption to post them though.

    The two day a week template is as follows:

    Week 1
    Day 1:
    Squats 5/3/1, more squats 5x10, SLDL 5x10 and abs (hanging leg raises and ab wheel)
    Day 2:
    Bench 5/3/1, Incline BB press 5x10, DB Rows, Bicep Curls, push-ups

    Week 2
    Day 1:
    Deadlift 5/3/1, Squats 5x10, good mornings 5x10, abs (same as above)
    Day 2:
    OHP 5/3/1, Chins 5x10, Dips 5x10, Bicep curls, push-ups

    Starting maxes for the lifts are (as per the 5/3/1 protocol I will take 90% of these maxes as my working max):
    Squat – 125kg
    Deadlift – 130kg
    Bench – 90kg
    OHP – 50kg

    Each week will have two hill sprint sessions as well and I train Hapkido once a week at the moment. I will be doing Van Zandt’s split progression as well. Once after each weights session and a separate session too.

    Super pumped to get this program going and have the first day tomorrow. I think that by putting it down in writing here it will force me to be more consistent than in the past. If anyone has any feedback, suggestions or questions please feel free to post.

  2. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    So being super excited to start tomorrow (21st Jan) actually happened on the 22nd. Wake up Saturday feeling like someone had taken to my neck with a sledgehammer. After some nurofen and a tiger balm massage my next was almost back to normal. Lunch at the pub fixed that.

    The morning started with 2 hours of Hapkido training. Sunday is a more informal day of training and usually when we get our spar on. Given a few people were missing we decided it was a good time to review the 1st Dan syllabus. After the warm up, including push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, squats and burpees we got into training. Got through most of the 1st Dan syllabus in an hour which, given the 30 plus degree heat, was a good effort.

    Got into day 1 of the 531 program Sunday night. It went as follows:

    75kg x 5
    85kg x 5
    95kg x 5

    More Squats:
    60kg x 5 sets x 10 reps
    Was interesting that on the last set of squats I started to be able to really sit back when squatting. Felt it so much more in the hams and glutes instead of quads. I’ve never really been able to sit back properly when squatting so not sure if it’s meant to feel that way though.

    60kg x 5 sets x 10 reps

    I was completely spent after the SLDLs and much to my dismay and shame I ditched the ab training rationalising to myself that I had done some ab training that morning. I’m so easily led. Especially by myself. I did do level 1 of Van Zandt’s split progression though.
  3. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Today, 24th Jan, is sprints day. Was meant to bring stuff to work and sprint at lunch time. It's 34 degrees here in Melbourne today so won't be doing any sprinting at lunch time. Will make it up tonight. Am thinking of a warm-up (Defranco's agile-8 normally) followed by skipping. 10 rounds of 1 minute on 30 seconds rest. We'll see how that works out.

    Will follow it up with level 2 of VZ's splits progression. I am just focusing on the box splits at the moment. Will incorporate open splits soon when my legs don't hate me so much.
  4. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    So my first week of awesomeness wasn’t so awesome. Work, family and general laziness had an impact on that. Zero cardio done and I had to delay the 2nd weights session for the week. Got it all back on track Sunday and have been making up for it ever since though. Here’s the latest:
  5. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    AM: 2 hour Hapkido class. We did another good warm up. Some basic exercises and then got down to work. Worked on throws and entries to throws. Then we kitted up a bit and worked on punching and kicking with the gear on. We’re all relatively new to the gear and it was good to get a gauge of how hard to go and just how hard you can go with the protective gear on.

    PM: 5/3/1 – Chest Day
    1) Bench Press:
    5 x 50kgs
    5x 60kgs
    4 x 70kgs - I forgot just how long it has been since I’ve benched. Around 3-4 weeks. I would like to put down 4.5 but don’t think I should be counting half reps.

    2.a) Incline Bench:
    4x10 @ 40kgs
    2.b) DB Rows
    4x10 @ 25kgs
    Probably was a bit conservative on the above two as I completed all reps relatively easily. Will up them for next time.

    3) BB Curls
    3x10 @ 22.5kgs

    4) Van Zandt – Box Split progression
    2 sets of 30 seconds. It was a warm night in Melbourne (still over 30 degrees when training) so I know that helps but I was down to around 1ft on the second set of 30 seconds. Quite impressed but will see how we go next time.

    *I have to admit I had a wicked pump after this training session. It's not generally the reason I train but can certainly understand why people train for it*
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  6. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    PM: 5/3/1 – Deadlift Day
    1) Deadlifts
    5 x 75
    5 x 90
    5 x 100

    2) Squats
    5x10 @60kgs – This is getting easier but want to focus on form for the rest of this cycle and increase weight next cycle.

    3) Good Mornings (I HATE THESE!!!)
    3x5 @ 60kgs – Started to feel these in the lower back. Stopped when that was happening.
  7. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Hill Sprints:
    I have a love / hate relationship with these as I’m sure everyone does. Did them about an hour ago on my lunch break.

    10 sprints @ 60m

    This was my first time running in about 8 months. Didn’t do too badly although I probably looked more like a mongoloid elephant than a gazelle. Had to laugh when some emo punk kid yelled out “run Forest run” on my third sprint. I suppose that’s the price you pay for doing these things in a public park.

    Haven’t taken and pics or measurements yet. Will have to get to those this weekend as I’m really keen to be able to measure progress.
  8. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    PM: 01/02/2012

    Had a run last night filling in for a mates basketball team. Played about 25 mins game time. Was stuffed at the end and a little sore today. Also, noticed I had heavy/stiff legs from the sprints the day before. Was good to get a run in though.
  9. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    PM: 04/02/12

    5/3/1 - OHP Day

    Was a weird training session tonight. Shoulder is hampering pushing movements and just wasn't feeling the love.

    5x40 - This was almost too easy. Will see out this cycle of 5/3/1 and reassess.

    Chins - which I suck at
    5 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps
    2x10 bodyweight inverted rows

    I am meant to do dips here but the straps I have used for doing ring dips on are tearing and don't want to end up face first on the concrete. Will substitute Close grip decline bench.

    Decline Close Grip Bench -
    1x10 @50kg. - Got 1 set out of these but my right shoulder was killing me on this movement. Just readjusted to do incline bench which doesn't seem to hurt at all.

    Incline Bench - 50kg
    6,5,5,6 reps

    BB Curls - 25kg

    Really weird training session. Right shoulder felt horrible. Will have to try and manage that a bit better going forward.
  10. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    No Hap this week :(

    Am working out a plan to manage shoulder better. Will be including more upper back work and SMR for traps and pecs. Will see how it goes.
  11. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    What's wrong with your shoulder?
  12. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Hi Frodocious. I'm getting pain at the front of the shoulder right on the pointy bit of the joint (I think that's the technical term anyway). Mainly during horizontal pressing movements like bench and push ups. I just tried looking up some anatomy and from what I can tell it's where the humerus meets the bursa. I think.

    I find that if I do push ups with normal hand placement it hurts (about a 5 on a 1-10 scale) but if I rotate my hands out about 15 degrees the pain stops.

    I feel it's connected with tight pecs and a tight upper back. It all came about over Christmas when I stopped training during a bad viral infection and my lower neck/upper back and pecs all got very tight.

    Do you have any advice in this area?
  13. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    My first bit of advice would be to stop upper body work completely and go and see a physio/sports doctor about it. Shoulders are complicated joints and problems need to be attended to sooner rather than later.

    I can only speak from my experience of having a shoulder impingement, which also could be your problem. It can be an inflammation of the bursa or the tendons. I would advise stopping all upper body movements and icing the shoulder regularly for at least a week and then gradually adding back in some stretching followed by some easy pulling exercises and see how things are. If it is the start of an impingement you need to deal with it immediately and not ignore it and train through it the way I did. I ended up missing over year of training because of my shoulder. Overhead work and pushing are my real problems at the moment, but I find that if I do presses (and pulls) with a neutral grip my shoulders complain less.

    So although I can suggest things to you, I would strongly advise you to see a professional about it before taking my advice.
  14. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Thanks Frodocious. What you say is such common sense that I probably should have done it earlier. I'll get in to see my osteo about it and take it from there. Will stop all pressing movements and maybe do some light pulls like band pull aparts or something of the like. It doesn't feel so bad with light, or even heavy pulling movements but will take it easy. Strangely enough OH pressing and incline pressing doesn't affect it. Bench pressing, push ups and front raises certainly do.

    Yeah I would hate to miss that much time. I missed 3 months a few years ago with torn muscle in the left shoulder from Hap and hated the time off then.

    Haha. I will follow your advisement and seek some advice.

  15. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    I'M BACK BABY!!!

    Well kind of. Have been training on and off since I stopped posting in this thread. Still training Hap and have played basketball regularly too. Before last night my last time in the gym was just before Easter. :cry: Oh well.

    I know what is causing my shoulder problem and it's just a case of managing it at the moment and gradually building on it. It is to do with the top of my bicep tendon and also some very tight muscles across the collarbone area. It's been feeling quite good provided I'm doing my re-hab/pre-hab work.

    Finally got back into it last night. Just wanted to take it slow and ease my way back into it. The goal is to just have fun with training at the moment, lose some BF and go from there.


    Warm up:
    Joint rotations, foam rolling, skipping, band pull aparts

    8xbar, 8x40kg, 8x60kg, 8x70kg
    Felt really good and probably got deeper than ever before without the buttwink.

    8xbar, 8x30, 8x40, 3x45
    Caught myself on the last set with wrong technique and some decent pain in the shoulder. Note to self, maybe DB bench for now.

    Complex - 3 sets of 8 with just bar
    Bent Row, Hang Clean, Front Squat, OHP, Back Squat, Good Morning
    That left me gasping a bit. It's very sad how out of shape I am.

    Light stretching followed by a protein shake.

    On a side note, I'm also experimenting with intermittent fasting at the moment. Doing the 16/8 approach. I'm just getting the hang of it with the fasting aspect and will try in incorporate carb cycling and trying to back load my cals and carbs to the post workout window. It's all very complex but not so at the same time.

    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  16. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Just out of curiosity what are you hoping to gain by the intermittent fasting (IF) regime? Most of the people I've ever seen who experimented with IF were chronic over-trainers (many were of the Crossfit crowd) to begin with and by adding IF to their regime... it just wasn't ever going to give them any benefit.

    Just curious what is the rationale behind your IF protocols?
  17. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Good question. My eating and lifestyle habits tend towards not eating in the morning hours. I'm usually up at 6ish, get ready and hop on a train for an hour to work. I find that I can quite easily abstain from eating till 12-1pm and then get my caloric needs in that 8 hour window. I often have client meetings in the morning so it fits in quite well.

    Will it work for me? I don't know. I'm only on day 2 now and am still finding my feet. My main issue is going to be not eating too late the night before which would push my daytime feedings out to 3pm or so. That just wouldn't do.

    I can assure you though that I'm not an over-trainer. I am (when healthy) in the gym 3 times a week with a couple of days of MA or sport added in. For me it's an experiment. I will stick with it for at least 4-6 weeks to give it a decent run. I know a few people that have had some success with the IF protocols. The only difference being that they started from a larger base (more muscle and fat) than I am so not sure how I will fare in this respect.

    All in all I'm willing to give it a go and see how it pans out. If it's successful for me I will definitely give all the gory details here on MAP.

    Have you tried it yourself Slip?
  18. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Interesting. No I've not gone through it myself. I come from a long background of heavy training and constantly underfeeding or having to cut weight for fights. In retrospect I think I'd do things differently if I could do them over. These days that I don't fight under a Muay Thai ruleset I've stopped having to cut at all.... recently when competing in BJJ I've decided that I will fight where I'm (85kg) and if any changes take place I will move up instead of down. An experiment of sorts... having medaled (gold and bronze) in the under 89kg category in two international comps... it seems to be working out so far.

    The reason I asked was that the topic also gets covered a lot on the Robb Wolf podcast... you might find it very interesting. Always funny and very well informed about all things Paleo, Primal and Crossfit. Check it here:

    After going back and reading your response... I'm still not sure what you hope to achieve by going IF. Weight loss? It sounds as if you are not eating regular enough as it is... if I calculate your numbers based on sleeping for a solid eight hours.... then rising at 6 and then not eating until 12-1 you are on the go and don't eat for a solid 15-16 hours or so. I can't see that being of benefit to you - adding IF to that... how do you propose to get enough nutrients to help the body restore and repair?
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  19. Coges

    Coges Valued Member

    Sounds like your approach to making weight and winning is working so far. I've never had to make weight in anything so can't imagine how hard it could be.

    I'll have to check out that podcast. Thanks for the link.

    From my understanding, and going off the leangains approach here, you fast for 16 hours and then have an 8 hour feeding window. That's regardless of waking or sleeping hours. Then you have two to three meals (how many you want really) to get your cals in.

    Today I had around 3000 calories. Tomorrow will be higher as I'll train tomorrow night.

    You might be thinking more of the approach where you fast for 24-36 hours. There's no way I could do that. I love my food way too much. Also, dinner time with the family woundn't be much fun that way.

    The overall goal at the moment is to drop some fat and pending how the experiment goes I'll go forward from there.
  20. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Ok interesting. Keep us updated. I'd be curious to see how it goes. I'll give the link a read. :)

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