My right knee is shot, I’ve diagnosed myself with tendinosis, which is a chronic condition that takes a looong time to heal. I’ve had this confirmed by two professionals so I’m pretty certain that’s the problem. This means zero weightlifting for me since the explosive movements are painful and prevent healing. I am thus undergoing a self-administered rehabilitation program for the knees and have turned my focus towards more general strength. I’m currently doing a Sheiko-inspired protocol for press and bench press and the Coan-Phillipi deadlift cycle for, well, deads. I think the latter is a really nice program since it doesn’t only constitute a deadlift part but really a full posterior chain program.
You can see my specific program here. I’ve changed it up a tiny wee bit and basing the weights on my current max in stead of the projected. The latter is supposedly how the program is designed, but I don’t think it makes sense to hit my new PR in the last session and then wait a week and set another PR, I find that unrealistic. Also, I’m doing the program two times a week in stead of one. That might seem a bit much but since I don’t do any squatting or other lower body work I think it’s ok and I’ve managed to survive as far as week 8 in the program. I really like how things are going so far and I’m pretty confident I’ll set a new all-time PR in about two weeks.
3x5x70kg, 3x120kg, 3x160kg, 2x190kg, 1x220kg, 2x240kg (new 2RM)
3x3x175kg with 120 seconds between sets
Power shrugs (I do a deadlift and finish off with a shrug)
Arch back goodmornings (OMG I hate these)
Hanging leg raise
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted in here and during that time I’ve instead been writing on HTFU.dk, which is my weightlifting biased website. However, since a blog allows less formal and more personal content than a niche website, I’ve decided to return here to have an outlet for thoughts, ideas, rants etc. I’ll still be writing on HTFU.dk, it’ll just be in two different styles.
I’ve recently launched a new website dedicated to objective assessments of training supplements based 100% on scientific research. The site’s still new so you’ll be seeing new supplements added continuously. I’ve started out with some of the more popular supplements such as creatine, beta-alanine, BCAA’s and also the hyped D-aspartic acid and the very tenacious ZMA and Tribulus terrestris; both alleged testosterone boosters (that science says don’t work). Everything is backed up with references to scientific studies but I’ve also included a really short summary for those of you that aren’t interested in reading pages of scientific jibberish. 🙂
I hope you’ll stay tuned and share it with your friends or anyone else that might find the info useful.
PS: I don’t sell supplements so I have no inclination what so ever to promote something that doesn’t work or otherwise give out false information.
This article can also be found on my website HTFU.dk
This is based on a protocol I picked up from an article by John Meadows aka. “Mountain Dog” on T-Nation.com. I instantly loved it, primarily because it actually works but also because it’s a nice change of pace compared to the other kind of lifting I do. Furthermore, it’s short and sweet (read: terrible) so it fits nicely on to a plate that’s already pretty full in the lifting department.
A lot of people will tell you that you’ll get big arms from doing heavy compound movement and while that might work for some, it just isn’t the case for most. Sorry, you’re not gonna get Schwarzeneggeresque guns from doing pullups. My experience tells me that to convince your arms to grow, especially the biceps, they need direct work. Before you go to the gym and bang out 5×5’s or similar on barbell curls, I’m gonna go ahead and claim that it ain’t gonna work. While that protocol is excellent for muscles predominantly consisting of fast twitch muscle fibers, it isn’t very well suited for training the biceps as these are of a slower nature.
For a quick and dirty characterization of which is which, I’ll quote Dan John freely: If you were chased by a tiger up a tree, the muscles you use to hang on to the branch for a long time are slow twitch muscles. If you decided to chase a deer and throw rocks, you would use your fast twitch muscles. Fast twitch muscles seem to respond well to high intensity and volume, whereas slow twitch muscles appear to prefer fatigue to encourage stimulus, and this is where strength protocols fall short when applied to slow twitch dominant muscles/movements. This is why you don’t get arms like a gymnast from doing 5 sets of ring pullups 2 times a week; they do it for endless hours each and every day, thus creating the demand for stimulus by inducing fatigue.
In this protocol you will be doing both bis, tris and delts. I’ve modified the original a bit and incorporated lateral raises which are done for a fairly high amount of reps (10-15) to reduce stress and maximize blood flow which is nice from a re-/prehab perspective, since they usually take quite a beating doing presses, jerks, cleans, snatches etc. You’ll notice that the triceps are worked in a slightly lower rep range than the biceps, which is in relation to the aforementioned difference in fast- and slow twitch domination.
The single workout consists of 3 rounds of 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps of 3 movements; extensions, curls and lateral raises. The movements are performed as alternating super sets which means that you do a set of extensions followed by a set of curls followed by a set of laterals followed by a set of extensions and so forth. You finish off all the sets of a given round before advancing to the next. Due to the continuous nature (continue reading) of the protocol it can be done in about 15 minutes, not bad for a total of +27 sets.
Cable push downs* + Pinwheel curls** + DB rear laterals
*) Can be with any kind of handle or grip that you prefer. **) Feel free to do hammer curls instead.
Dips* + Preacher curls** + DB side laterals
*) Regular or bench dips, I like to stick with bodyweight and go for high reps on this one. **) Barbell, EZ-bar, machine or cable apparatus.
French press* + BB curls** + DB front laterals
*) Any overhead extension movement. **) Or EZ-bar curl.
- Minimize rest in between sets, this is the key to the protocol. If you’re going through this alone this means that you only rest during the time it takes to put down the weights after finishing one set and proceeding to the next. If you’re doing it with someone, I suggest a tight “you go, I go” format where the person resting is ready to get started on the next set as soon as the other person finishes his (or hers). If you need to spend time on the setup of either movement, do so before you get started. No rest for the wicked.
- Be “strict” on all movements. A little body english is ok but you should let the targeted muscles do the work. Be prepared to drop the weight to get the reps in, the pump WILL catch up with you. Focus on quality rather than quantity.
- If you do this alone I suggest doing 3-4 sets of each movement of each round and 4-5 sets if you’re doing it with a buddy. If you’re +3 work it out such that you’re not resting for longer than it takes to perform one set.
- 6-10 reps on triceps movements, 8-12 reps on biceps movements and 10-15 reps on laterals. Don’t get too hung up on this.
Today I want to share a few favorites of mine from the realm of olympic weightlifting. These aren’t the heaviest or most technically perfect lifts you’ll ever see, but as a whole they’re nothing less than awesome and all four are a display of 100% effort. I have watched them over and over again, each and every time I find them immensely inspiring.
First up is Taner Sagir‘s 172.5kg snatch in the -77kg category from the 2004 Olympics. This was a new olympic record and at the time Sagir was only 19 years old. However, as a Turk with Bulgarian heritage what else would you expect? What I love about this lift is the speed and aggression with which he pulls himself under the bar and how there is absolutely no room to spare as he receives it in a rock bottom position. This is a tight as a lift gets and he probably would have failed 173kg’s.
In the clean and jerk category, I never get tired of watching Szymon Kolecki‘s 232.5kg world record from the 2000 European Championships, which he won of course. At that time he was only 18 years old and although it must have been disappointing that he never got any better, it’s must be of some consolation that the record managed to remain unbroken for 12 years and that it took weightlifting phenomenon Ilya Ilin to beat it. This lift impresses by sheer effort as it is obviously extremely heavy for him in both the clean as well as the jerk. Note the double bounce as he struggles out of the hole, amazing.
The third favorite is sadly a failed attempt by Bulgaria’s Zlatan Vanev from the 2007 European Championships. It wouldn’t have won him anything but it was a comeback from a dislocated elbow and I love how he just gives it everything he’s got.
Last but definetly not least is Pyrros Dimas‘ third clean and jerk from the 2004 olympics. Dimas had won gold three times in a row and goes for gold in an attempt to win what would have been his fourth consecutive olympic medal. Although he misses the lift and ends up with “only” a bronze medal, what follows it is legendary and gives me goose bumps as well as a lump in the throat and literally brings a tear to my eye, as it marks the end of his lifting career and thus life as he knows it.
I’ve created a YouTube channel for sWolegren today and already uploaded a few vids showing my amazing lifting prowess. This is also where I’ll be sharing vids in the future so stay tuned for more incredible feats of strength as well as instructional vids etc.
The lift that gives me the most pride is probably this 80kg Sotts press: