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Jake's Road to Bodybuilding
 

jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

1. Can't decide between running smolov base cycle or smolov intense cycle. If I understood the reasoning behind running the base first I could make an easier decision, but otherwise I will probably opt for intense just because I've felt an overall better balance of training with 3x a week compared to 4x. Opinions? I can fit either in easily before my holiday in around 7 weeks time.. but not both.

2. Anyone got any strong opinions against 5/3/1 for upping ones bench? (I'm 5/3/1ing military press too). If I carry on focusing on form and shoulder health, I should see consistent progression but I'm always for faster progression when possible, hence the use of smolov again.

I will be "speed pulling" once a week, focusing on explosive singles/doubles/triples in the low 400lb range to keep my form in check without effecting recovery. Another reason 3x a week squat may be better, though.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Going to run Smolov Intense again because my overall performance on it was much better then base cycle, as well as a better strength gain and better overall training structure. If I get through without missing reps I'm aiming for minimum of 180kg single, preferably 185kg / 408 or so.. that would be sweet. Think I'm sticking to 5/3/1 for bench for now until I find something I really like the look of.

Back Day

Pull-ups
Medium grip - BW x 8 - +15/33 x 6 < not to failure but moved on, didn't feel good today on this station..

Lat Pulldown
Wide-grip - 80/176 x 10 - 90/198 x 10 WG Rep PR - 100/220/stack x 6 WG PR <cool

One-arm Barbell Row (1p = 10kg plate)
4p x 8 - 5p x 8 - 5p x 6

Meadows Rows (1p = 10kg plate)
2.5p x 10 - 3p x 10 - 3.5p x 9 (+2 left side) PR

Seated Cable Row (allowing full stretching out of lats)
40/88 x 10 - 55/110 x 5 Sequencing Technique PR

Stretchers
50/110 x 12 - 60/132 x 11 PR

DB Pullovers (to forehead)
42/88 x 9 Sequencing PR - drop - 24/53 x 9~ - drop - 8/18 x 8~

DB Shrugs w/3 sec. hold
34/75s x 8 - 38/84s x 6 - no hold - 42/93s x 9~

Another amazing back session. Only thing that always feels sucky is shrugging after back session, just doesn't feel right/can't move much weight.

My front lat spread is going to be my stand-out shot in the future I feel, my lat attachments are good enough and I feel I can build the relevant shoulder width and chest size.. it's also perfect for those who's obliques try and ruin the X-look in certain shots.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Awesome arm session, all kindsa pumps n gains. Took a picture of my weaker left, u mad?

Arms

Cross-body Hammers (strict/tri flex at bottom)
18/40s x 10 - 20/44s x 10 - 22/49s x 8 PR

EZ-Bar Spider Curls
Bar + 20/44 x 8 - +22.5/50 x 8 PR - +25/55 x 4 PR

Oly Bar Curls w/3 sec. ecc.
40/88 x 8 - 42.5/94 x 8 PR - 45/99 x 5 PR < these feel great with concentric cheated up after the first few reps.. all the advantages of barbell cheat curls but better sequencing + eccentrics means they hit bi's way more effectively. Also less stress on wrists/joints.

Fixed-bar Reverse Curl
30/66 x 17 PR - drop to drag curl - 30/66 x 7

Rope Pushdowns (rope pulled apart/tris flexed)
25/55 x 12 - 25/55 x 12 - 30/66 x 9 (+3 hands together) - 30/55 x 5 (+3 hands together)

Bench Dips
+40/88 x 8 - +50/132 x 8 - +65/143 x 7 PR

Incline EZ-Bar Extensions (15 deg. incline)
Bar +20/44 x 15 - +25/55 x 15 PR - +30/66 x 7 PR < felt so sessi today

Meadows Kickback
8/18s x 13 PR - 10/22s x 9 PR - drop to rev.grip - +3 reps. < Sort of starting to get these.. still not sure.. but no harm in doing them for a nice burnout.


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Jab1
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Join date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1585

Holy fuck about a million PRs. Awesome.

Smolov intense seemed to work amazingly for you, so could be a very wise decision giving it another go. And likewise for 5/3/1 for bench if it's been working for you.

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phlegms
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Join date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1708

Looking forward to some more smolov love/hatred! Solid looking arm sesh brah.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

@Jab1: Yeah, when I focus on lifting intelligently, ie. not forcing PRs on exercises when they aren't clicking and ALWAYS forcing PRs on exercises when they are.. I'm finding I can maximise the potential of any given session.

I'm hoping it's a wise decision, if I hit 180kg or above then I'll consider it time well spent (after all, part of me does miss focusing on hypertrophy for legs for so long). 5/3/1 bench feels like it SHOULD work for me now.. because of my more intelligent assistance/bodybuilding work and improved technique. HOWEVER, I'm open for suggestions via bench programmes as I go forward, I'll try pretty much anything.. part of me is even considering smolov jr. again..

@phlegms: Thanks man, hoping for big things from smolov again. The arm session was great, I would struggle to be persuaded to not have a dedicated arm day these days, as much as there may be better methodologies to increase my bench press.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Smolov Intense: Week 1, Day 1: Hell Part #3

Squat
110/243 x 3 - 127.5/281 x 4 - add belt - 145/320 x 4 - 145/320 x 4 - 145/320 x 4 - 145/320 x 5

^ OUCH. Very similar poundages to the very last day of smolov intense, this stuff really doesn't let up. Hardest squat session and overall session of my life. Despite this, via the magic of smolov and the genius of the squat I expect to somehow, against all logic, adapt and conquer.

Even I had to draw the line at not deadlifting today though.

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Jab1
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Join date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1585

Shit man that really does look killer. I can believe it was tough considering how hard my session was today and it wasn't nearly as brutal as yours...

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Jab1 wrote:
Shit man that really does look killer. I can believe it was tough considering how hard my session was today and it wasn't nearly as brutal as yours...


I don't know where I'd stand beltless though! Especially on days where I'm close to death, it allows me to push that little bit harder beyond sanity. 145kg should be real easy mode now. Regardless of how this smolov turns out my next goal after max'ing is probably a 3 plate widowmaker.. haha.

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Bambi
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Join date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1427

You're my idol <3

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spar4tee
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Join date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10538

Bambi wrote:
You're my idol <3


Holy similar avis Batman!

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Bambi
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Join date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1427

spar4tee wrote:
Bambi wrote:
You're my idol <3


Holy similar avis Batman!


Oh you!

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Given me luls. I have awhile to go till idol status, will keep working on it. I'd love to be next nattyjesus

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329




5/3/1 Bench / Chest

Bench Press
72.5/160 x 5 - 82.5/182 x 3 - wraps - 92.5/204 x 6 PR + 2 reps light spot +2 more reps "spotter deadlifts"

DB Twist Press (wrapped)
30/66 x 10 - 32/71s x 10 PR - 34/75s x 5 PR

Barbell Incline (1-2 inches from chest/constant tension)
65/143 x 8 - wraps - 80/176 x 1 (misload, damn 10kg plates trolling me) - 70/154 x 8 - 75/165 x 4

HS Incline One-arm (low seat, pressing "up")
1p x 15 - 15 - 1p +5/11 x 15 - 1p +10/22 x 12 PR + 4 extra on left side (left, right, left)
Drop for left side - 1p x 6 - 1/2p x 10

Cable MM
LR - 10/22 x 16 Sequence PR <felt so sex

DB Fly Stretch
24/53s x 30+ bent-arm
6/13s x 30+ straight as possible arm/maximum stretch < feels so much better then going heavy

After this session, damn it felt good to be gangster. Side chest wuz lookin' unreal on both sides. JM/MD inspired sessions are 100% working their magic.

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samoth2
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Join date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1111

Hell part looks like an appropriate name for yesterdays session.

Strong benching today.

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phlegms
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Join date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1708

Really solid benching, big gains up in hurr mayne.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

@Samoth: It was horrible, I have literally no idea how I'm going to squat again tomorrow, such is smolov. Thanks.

@phlegms: Thanks. As I predicted, protecting my shoulders is allowing my poundages to edge up.. the MD inspired sessions are working very well. I'll test where I'm at bench wise pre-holiday (late May) then after my holiday (early June) I will probably be running a coan bench cycle with the intention to hit 275+ by the end of it.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

Smolov Intense: Week 1, Day 2: Defeated, Crushed & Buried // 5/3/1 Military / Shoulders

Squat
102.5/226 x 3 - 120/265 x literally call it here.

^ Last session I was very close to a calf pull as well as getting severe doms and strains from the amount of grinders.. this session I felt wrecked before I even started lifting, despite foam rolling and dynamic stretching to warm up. On my first set I slightly pulled my hamstring, not a proper injury but enough that even 120kg would have been a grind. Needless to say, I have learned my lesson and smolov is most likely being called off until after my holiday, I will be quite possibly taking a lower body de-load and then running 5/3/1 up to my holiday to really get my body used to the newly increase poundages and give me proper and full recovery. 400lb squat will still be mine soon enough.

Military Press
40/88 x 5 - 50/110 x 3 (should have done 5, oops) - belt - 55/121 x 9

DB Partial Laterals (standing, JM style)
16/35s x 35 - 16/35s x 22 - 16/35s x 18 - 16/35s x 17

R. Delt Destroyer set (db inc. swings, drop, more swings, drop to perfect form/squeeze)
14/31s x 30 - 6/13s x 10 - 2/4s x 5

DB Front Raise (DBs together)
14/31s x 6 - drop - 6/13s x 9

Smolov wrecked me good. I'll be back for bigger and better things soon enough, training upper body hard until then all the same.

I need to study hard as well- 2 weeks 3 days till majority of my deadlines, 3 weeks 3 days until my dissertation deadline and 4 weeks and 3 days till my final exam of my University life.

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samoth2
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Join date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1111

Sucks about the squatting but doing some lighter lower body for a while is probably a good idea.

What are you studying? Will you be getting a BSc or MSc?

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

samoth2 wrote:
Sucks about the squatting but doing some lighter lower body for a while is probably a good idea.

What are you studying? Will you be getting a BSc or MSc?


Yeah I took my lower body to the limit there for sure.

My degree is: BA (Bachelor of Arts) Hons Cinema & Photography

I'm not really planning to "directly" use my degree for anything much, but I'm pushing for a 2/1 in case an employer ever cares about such things and it will be nice to be technically "qualified" to carry on doing part time photography work. Plan is to get personal training qualification once graduated though.

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samoth2
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Join date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1111

When you're a personal trainer you'll have to emulate Leroy Davis for maximum costumer satisfaction.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

^ Yep, I'm pretty sure first-time lifters and 40+ women will warm to such an approach. Legend.

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Jab1
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Join date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1585

Sounds like you made a very wise decision calling the squats my man, you'll thank yourself for that down the line. And great work on the bench press gaynez!

GET NASTY!!

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3329

@Jab1: I'm pretty sure I will.. the human body can take more then most people think, but every now and again it's wise to think with the long-term in mind !

On that note: What does everyone do warm up their shoulders before pressing? (bench or military or whatever) I am a fan of broomstick stretches / dislocates but unless I want the challenge of a 20kg barbell there isn't any way for me to do them at my current gym. Suffered minor shoulder impingement today as I result of going straight from squats to one set of military with the bar, then straight to 40kg for few jerks before my work sets at the same weight.. pretty dumb, I know.

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Jab1
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Join date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1585

I am doing a LOT of dislocates right now. I used a snooker cue for a while and then found some light piping that I can use. But before that I just used one of those bands that you secure suitcases with - it's not as good as a stick but does the job in a pinch.

I've also found that if I do them diligently at home (before bed, etc.) then they aren't essential before pressing work, just preferred, but a general warmup will do.

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