T Knuckles' Training Journals

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Post  T Knuckles on Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:47 am

Ok, the following are my recent training journals.

I judge my progress by weight and rep increases as opposed to time under load that I notice a lot of people seem to do.

For me it's the most accurate judge of my progress.

I've mentioned before that I've been training just on 4 months now. This was after 14 months off where training was just not possible. In my training before the lay off I was training in strict High Intensity fashion. 4 seconds up and 4 seconds down. Whilst this obviously felt very demanding I noticed that it basically put the breaks on any progression of weight and rep on every exercise except for legs where it seemed to work very well.

I took heed of this before resuming my training this year and decided to train exactly the same only to make my positive portion of the movement quicker, but still making the negative portion slow and deliberate. That being said I would say that my negative portions still would not be as slow as a lot of other HIT folks. My reason for this is that after completing the positive portion of my set I always put the weight up by roughly 10 to 20 kg and hold the weight for as long as possible in a static contraction, when failure is reached I put the weight up again by another 10 to 20kg and lower the weight as slowly and as forcefully as I can, so I feel the negative portion of a set is well and truly emphasised and the need to make every single movement super slow redundant. Some folks respond differently however and for me, based on probably 4 years experience with HIT training I've found that to progress my positive portion of a movement needs to be quicker but still very controlled.
I would say my rep cadence would be 1 and a half up and 3 to 3 and a half down. The pure negatives employed with heavier weight would be 4 to 4 and a half seconds probably. Keep in mind these are only guesses.

I really gauge how well a set went by how pumped and how sore I get in the target muscle after a set is completed.

Next point I want to make is a couple of exercises in my workouts have varied due to switching gyms and not having the same equipment available.

Lastly there are a couple of workouts that I don't really count as legit workouts because they weren't done in my usual HIT fashion. They were workouts where I focused just on squats or deadlifts, or both.
Reason for this is I hadn't squated in 3 years and knew I wanted to start again. And I ceased Deadlifting for about 2 years because my form was entirely incorrect unbeknownst to me and this was causing injury and preventing me from being able to keep progressing, so these couple of indiscreet workouts shall we say, were done so I could become familiar with these lifts again. And in the case of the deadlift actually see if it was possible for me to learn how to do it correctly. I'm pleased to say that the deadlift is going great now, I'm performing it with no pain and the weight has continued to go up and should continue to do so hopefully.

I train once a week, but a few of the early workouts I trained twice a week. The second workout being a squat or deadlift workout as mentioned above to familiarise myself with the lifts again and work on my form.

My bodyweight is listed at the end of each workout to keep tabs on that.

My measurements were taken around 2 weeks after I started and were taken again 3 months later and I will continue to measure every 3 months.

Measurements at 19th of June 2011 were:

Arm 14"

Forearm 12"

Shoulder 19"

Chest 40"

Quad 21"

Calf 13"

Measurements at 2nd of September were:

Arm 14.5"

Forearm 13.2"

Shoulder 20"

Chest 40" ( this was surprising because the chest looks and feels fuller and deeper, they have clearly grown more to the centre of my chest though, so perhaps they will continue to grow till the centre is filled in more and then they will take on more depth. Will have to see.)

Quad 22"

Calf 13" ( not surprised by this, awful genetics for calves. My ankle is only 7". Hopefully I can get something on them though.)

I have no idea what my bodyfat is but I'd put it between 15 and 18 percent at the moment probably.

All weighted chins and dips are done with a dumbell and dipping belt as opposed to a weighted dipping/chinning machine.

The workouts:

Chest and Back 3.6.2011

Dumbell Fly 20kg x 6 - straight to incline press no rest

Incline press 56.2kg x 5 - static hold 65.2kg - Negatives 78.8kg x4

Chest dip 25kg x 3.5

Nautilus pullover machine 50kg x 5

Chins 10kg x 4 - Negatives 20kg x2

Deadlift 80kg x9

My bodyweight was 65.5kg

T Knuckles

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 39
Location : Tasmania/ Australia

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Post  T Knuckles on Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:22 am

Sorry for the extra posts here but I've been having difficulty in my posts being sent, here are some more workouts with the rest to follow when I get time to type them out.

Legs 10.6.2011

Squats 83kg x 15

Leg Extensions 64kg x 6 straight to leg press no rest

Leg Press 113kg x 11 - static hold 122.5 - Negatives 131.8kg x 5

Stiff leg Deadlift 50kg x 7

Standing smith machine Calf raises 45kg x 9 (these are done very slowly, I'm considering changing my rep speed to see if they respond differently.)

My bodyweight was 66.8kg, so a gain of a kilo in a week

Shoulders and Arms 17.6.2011

Nautilus Side Lateral shoulder machine 38.3kg x 5.5 straight to military barbell press no rest

Military barbell press 42.5 kg x 2.5, rested probably 40 seconds and did another set and got 4

Barbell Curl 42.5kg x 6 - Static hold 56.2kg - Negatives 56.2kg x 4

Close grip bench for triceps 56.2kg x6 - static hold 65.2kg - Negatives 74.2kg x 3

Nautilus pullover machine 50kg x 7

Barbell shrug 80kg x 6

My bodyweight was 67.2kg, so half a kilo gain in a week.

Squats 24.6.2011

3 work sets after 3 warm up sets

80kg x 10

90kg x 10

100kg x19

My bodyweight was 67.5kg, so it remained the same basically

Dumbell Deadlifts 27.6.011

3 work sets after 3 warm up sets

35kg x 10

42.5kg x 6

42.5kg x 6 ( I haven't done dumbell deadlifts again but I noticed something very cool and that was this lift totally smashed the lateral head of my delts worse than anything ever has and I put that down to the fact you are trying to push them away from your thighs as you descend in the negative portion so they don't push your knees together. So take note, dumbell deadlifts are kick arse for the side head of the delt.)

My bodyweight was 67.5 kg

T Knuckles

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 39
Location : Tasmania/ Australia

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Post  T Knuckles on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:32 am

Squats 4.7.2011

3 work sets after 3 warm up sets

85kg x 10
95kg x 10
105kg x10

My bodyweight was 68 kg so up half a kg

Chest and Back 8.7.2011

Dumbell Flys 22.5kg x 10 straight to flat bench press no rest
Flat Bench Press 60kg x 5 - static hold - 80kg - Negatives 90kg x 5

(I replaced the incline bench press from the first workout to the flat bench because I injured my rotator cuff at that first workout and I figured out it was the Nautilus pullover machine that did it which is while you'll notice that I replaced the Nautilus Pullover with the Dumbell pullover. The Flat bench seemed not to aggravate it as bad and the same applies to the dumbell pullover. It was the worst rotator cuff injury I'd sustained and it took about a month and a half to disappear. I noticed after this workout it seemed to be basically gone completely. I put that down to the 90kg Negatives. I heard Bill Sahli talk to someone on a radio programme and he mentioned having a real bad rotator cuff injury back in the day and he rehab'd it with Negatives.)

Chest Dip 25kg x 6

Dumbell Pullover 30kg x 10

Chins 10kg x 4 + 3 negatives at the same weight

Close Grip underhand Lat Pulldown 72.5kg x 6 ( this particular lat pulldown station is obviously robbing a portion of that weight through a poorly designed pulley system. I say this because I've switched gyms since then and had to start on 55kg. The tension on the muscle through the range of motion is much better.)

Deadlift 90kg x 4

My bodyweight was 69kg, so gain of a kilo in a week

Legs 15.7.2011

I put the Calf raises and stiff leg deadlifts at the beginning of the work out instead of after the quad work because i found that I needed the quad strength for stability and to be able to tax the posterior muscles fully.

Standing smith machine Calf raises 54.5kg x 7.5

Dumbell stiff leg deadlift 25kg x 8, rest for about 40 seconds then another 7 reps

Leg extensions 66.3kg x 10 straight to leg press without rest

Leg Press 154 kg x 12 - static hold 168 kg - Negatives 186 kg x 6

My bodyweight was 69.5 kg, gain of half kg in a week

Deadlifts and squats 22.7.2011

working on doing sets of 5 reps here and doing this workout basically to keep honing my form after such a long absence from these exercises.

Deadlift 80kg x 5, 90kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 105kg x 5, 110 kg x 4

Squats 90kg x 5, 100kg x5, 105 kg x 5, 110 kg x 5, 115 kg x 4.5

My bodyweight was 70 kg( for the first time ever) a gain of half a kg in a week

Shoulders and arms 29.7.2011

Nautilus Side Lateral shoulder machine 38.3kg x 6.5 straight to military barbell press no rest

Military Barbell press 42.5 kg x 3 - static hold 51.5kg

Shoulder Dip 25kg x 5.5

Tricep press down performed on the lat pulldown station 36.6 kg straight to close grip bench press no rest (again this lat pulldown station robs a bit of the weight through it's pulley system as when I switched gyms I was still on the same weight and only got 2 reps more)

Close grip bench press 55kg x 5 - static hold 72.5kg - Negatives 81.5kg x 3
( this was the first time a structural imbalance in my back reared it's ugly head. This ended up meaning at future workouts my left side just refused to contract and work against the weight at all preventing me from finishing the positive portion of this exercise or doing the static hold or the negatives. I decided to drop this exercise from my tricep routine after it proved to be a big problem at the next shoulder and arm workout. It's a shame because it is a great one for the triceps if you perform them with the grip as close as possible and keeping the elbows all the way in. You lift, you learn.

Tricep dips 10kg x 5

Dumbell preacher curls 15kg x 8 - straight to Barbell curls no rest ( this exercise was performed curling both dumbells at once to fatigue the arms at the same time.)

Barbell curl 45kg x 4 - static hold 55kg

Wide grip chins Bodyweight x 3.5

Bent over dumbell laterals 5.5kg x 15

Shrugs 30kg x 9

My bodyweight was 70 kg

Chest and Back 8.8.2011

This was the first workout at the new gym

Dumbell flys 25kg x 10 straight to flat bench press no rest

Flat bench press 62.5kg x 5 - static hold - Negatives 95kg x 3

Chest dip 27.5 kg x 1.5

Dumbell pullover 35kg x 6.5

Chins 13kg x 5 + 3 negatives at the same weight

Lat pulldown 55kg x 7

Deadlift 110kg x 5

My bodyweight was 70kg

Squats 15.8.2011

90kg x 20

100kg x 15

110kg x 12

My bodyweight was 70kg

Chest and Back 22.8.2011

Dumbell flys 26kg x 5.5 straight to flat bench press no rest

Flat bench press 65kg x 6 - static hold 85kg - Negatives 95kg x 4

Chest Dip 27.5kg x 2.5

Dumbell pullover 37.5 kg x 6

Chins 13kg x 6 + 4 negatives

Lat pulldown 59kg x 7

Seated Lat Row 63.5kg x 8

Deadlift 115kg x 3, rest a minute or 2 then another 2 reps

My bodyweight was 70kg

Legs 29.8.2011

Standing smith machine calf raise 55kg x 11 straight to seated calf no rest

Seated calf raise 20kg x 8

Seated Ham curl 30kg x 11 straight to stiff leg deadlift no rest

Stiff leg deadlift 70kg x 16

Squat 100 kg x 20 straight to leg press no rest

Leg Press 170kg x 15 - Negatives 200kg x 6

My Bodyweight was 71kg, a gain of a kilo

Shoulders and arms 5.9.2011

Wide grip chins Bodyweight x 8

Bent over dumbell laterals 7kg x 15

Dumbell shrugs 32.5kg x 12

Dumbell side lateral raise 12kg x 6 straight to military barbell press no rest

Military barbell press 42.5kg x 6.5 - static hold 52.5kg

Shoulder Dip 27.5kg x 7

Tricep press down performed on lat pulldown station 36kg x 11 straight to close grip bench press no rest

Close grip bench press 55kg x 3, small rest, 3, small rest 3 ( this is where the aforementioned structural imbalance really made it hard for me. I couldn't complete the positive portion to failure and could not do the heavier static hold or negatives. I did the extra to sets to try and keep the intensity of work on the tricep. I am dropping this exercise from my tricep routine as of this workout because it's clear this imbalance in my back is preventing me from taking this exercise to complete failure. I will go straight to weighted tricep dips after the press down, and then a set of decline overhead extensions.)

Tricep dips 12kg x 6

Skull crushers performed on a flat bench 20kg x 11

Dumbell preacher curls 16.5kg x 11 straight to barbell curl no rest (performed curling both dumbells at the same time)

Barbell curl 45kg x 5 - static hold 55kg - Negatives 59kg x 7

My Bodyweight was 71kg

Chest and Back 19.9.2011

Dumbell flys 27.2kg x 7 straight to flat bench press no rest

Flat bench press 67.5 kg x 4 - static hold 87.5kg - Negatives 97.5kg x 1.5

Chest Dip 27.5kg x 3

Dumbell pullover 40kg x 4.5

Chins 15kg x 5 + 3 negatives at the same weight

Lat pulldown 64kg x 6

Seated Lat Row 72.5kg x 7

Deadlift 120kg x 4

My Bodyweight was 70.5kg, down half a kg

Legs 26.9.2011

Standing smith machine Calf raise 55kg x 15 straight to seated Calf no rest

Seated Calf raise 20kg x 9.5

Seated Ham curl 35kg x 13.5 straight to stiff leg dead no rest

Stiff leg deadlift 80kg x 10

Squat 115kg x 17.5 straight to leg press no rest

Leg press 200kg x 5 - Negatives 250kg x5

My Bodyweight was 71.5kg, a gain of a kg

This is all the workouts to this point

T Knuckles

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 39
Location : Tasmania/ Australia

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Post  HDHITman on Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:54 am

T Knuckles,

Looking good on the workouts and I will agree that the four second positive robs a person of alot of strength, I use what I call a controlled explosion so the positive is about 2 sec and the negative is usually 3-4 seconds. My program is abbreviated no more than 3 exercises per workout minus the ab, neck and grip-forearm work, I take all my principles and ideas from Brooks Kubik, Mike Mentzer, and Arthur Jones and their contemporaries that I trust their information. I consider myself now more of a powerbuilder but will do the occasional HIT style bodybuilding routine as a deload from my super heavy and intense powerbuilding routine.

Glad to see someone else other than me posting

The Heavy Duty HITman

Posts : 218
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 39
Location : Des Moines, Iowa

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Post  T Knuckles on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:22 pm

Thanks Daron,

I perform my reps the same as you it sounds.

You mentioned your mentors and trusting their words. This is an important point for me. I take my cues from MR Mentzer. I trusted everything I read in his book from workout 1, and guess what? he was right about all of it. The only point where I differ from him probably is the rep speed.

I've found it seems to depend on the exercise. Leg extensions and leg presses seem to work very well with doing slow positives and slow negatives. But if we take the hamstring curl for example, it seems to be you find it very very hard to ever advance in weight and reps if you keep the positive slow on this exercise. It feels like you want to crush the weight up with controlled force, squeeze at the contracted, then lower slowly under force.
Bench Press is the same, very hard to advance in weight and reps if you do the positive very slow, particularly if the set is chased after a set of dumbell flys and no rest was taken.

It's really about having the right mindset to train this way. You've got to want to go in and generate as much intensity as possible. A lot of people have a disinclination to do this for obvious reasons I guess( I personally get off on the torture of it because I associate it with progress).

Example, I have a friend I've just started training on my programme who's perfectly suited to this style of training and gaining really well. He is a natural mesomorph(lucky bastard), has good natural strength, but more importantly trusts exactly what I tell him in the gym and is thrilled to be getting these sorts of gains from only training one body group once a month. He never quits out of a set, and when I can see he's nearing a point of wanting to stop cause the set is catching up with him but know he can still do a few more cause his posture is still ok, he hasn't started shaking yet I tell him he's not done yet and he keeps going. This is why he will do very very well with this training.

On the contrary I used to train with another friend before my 14 month layoff. He was not a good training partner and not suited to HIT. He wasn't mentally strong enough to stay focused and generate full intensity despite having really good strength, and the potential to get good gains from this sort of training. He would always quit a set just short of failure, and would never do the heavier static holds or negatives despite having me there to make it possible to train that way. He would always be changing his workout structure making it very difficult to properly monitor progress, and he would train a few times a week. He's said to me many times "I just know if I didn't train something for 3 weeks I'll be weaker. Whenever I've had that long off I've always been weaker". I said to him " That's the difference between you and me, you expect to be weaker from this sort of training where I expect as a dead certainty that I will be clearly stronger") so the die is cast mentally in opposites for both of us.

It's a mindset for sure.

I like to think despite having poor physical genetics for this I have outstanding genetics for mindset and will, to be able to train this way, or even want to whole heartedly. It is this that helps me keep pushing my physicality as far as I'm able too.

I'm indebted to Mike Mentzer for ever.

Sorry to ramble but your comment about trusting your mentors struck a chord with me. A very important chord. Trusting their word is part of the mindset I just spoke of.

Train hard


T Knuckles

Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-09-15
Age : 39
Location : Tasmania/ Australia

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