W.O.W. 01/17/12- The Big Five-0

Ed had an opening in the schedule at 10:00am, so I was invited down to UE for a 50th birthday beat-down.  We repeated my last WOW as Ed had everything tuned from the prior workout such that he could really deliver a whopper.  Without any awareness of my prior performance, I added a rep on everything.  Despite the intense urge for carpet time, I remained standing.  This was truly a fantastic workout for my 50th birthday, and I felt a much better tribute to the day (and to the spirit of BBS that John and I try to represent) than some psycho “milestone” workout.

Lumbar Extension on SS Pulldown- as pre-exhaust for….

Med X Leg Press- set up for end-stop technique

Med X Chest Press

Nautilus Pullover with SS Retrofits

Med X Compound Row with SS Retrofits

There is some fun stuff going on in the training world.  Chuck Spencer (Chasberi of the Darden forum) has moved his thinking and insights to his own blog.  If you are ready to “take the red pill” and “see how deep the rabbit hole goes” then hop over to www.go2strength.wordpress.com. Get a big cup of coffee and put on your thinking cap before you do, though….Chuck delves into some really deep material.  For every time you’ve done some HIT protocol and felt that something just wasn’t quite right, only to bury that feeling; Chuck will resurrect that feeling and offer some shocking insights into the origins of that feeling.  There are incredible similarities between his internalized approach to exercise and that of the RenEx guys, even though he has gravitated toward infimetrics instead of an “external load-based protocol”. What is coming out of this guy’s mind could change everything, or at the very least stimulate some fascinating discussions.

Chris Highcock over at www.conditioningresearch.com has a new book out called Hillfit. It is basically a high intensity training program directed toward hikers and climbers.  Even though it is directed at this particular sport, it is pertinent to any sport as it effectively shows how to combine (and separate) physical conditioning and skill conditioning in the most user-friendly fashion I have seen to date.

Speaking of Chris Highcock, hat tip to him for uncovering this gem that goes into the Body by Science “told you so” file.

The role of skeletal muscle glycogen breakdown for regulation of insulin sensitivity by exercise.


Department of Physical Performance, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences Oslo, Norway.


Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in mammals. In humans the majority of glycogen is stored in skeletal muscles (∼500 g) and the liver (∼100 g). Food is supplied in larger meals, but the blood glucose concentration has to be kept within narrow limits to survive and stay healthy. Therefore, the body has to cope with periods of excess carbohydrates and periods without supplementation. Healthy persons remove blood glucose rapidly when glucose is in excess, but insulin-stimulated glucose disposal is reduced in insulin resistant and type 2 diabetic subjects. During a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp, 70-90% of glucose disposal will be stored as muscle glycogen in healthy subjects. The glycogen stores in skeletal muscles are limited because an efficient feedback-mediated inhibition of glycogen synthase prevents accumulation. De novo lipid synthesis can contribute to glucose disposal when glycogen stores are filled. Exercise physiologists normally consider glycogen’s main function as energy substrate. Glycogen is the main energy substrate during exercise intensity above 70% of maximal oxygen uptake ([Formula: see text]) and fatigue develops when the glycogen stores are depleted in the active muscles. After exercise, the rate of glycogen synthesis is increased to replete glycogen stores, and blood glucose is the substrate. Indeed insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis is elevated after exercise, which, from an evolutional point of view, will favor glycogen repletion and preparation for new “fight or flight” events. In the modern society, the reduced glycogen stores in skeletal muscles after exercise allows carbohydrates to be stored as muscle glycogen and prevents that glucose is channeled to de novo lipid synthesis, which over time will causes ectopic fat accumulation and insulin resistance. The reduction of skeletal muscle glycogen after exercise allows a healthy storage of carbohydrates after meals and prevents development of type 2 diabetes.

Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.

61 thoughts on “W.O.W. 01/17/12- The Big Five-0”

  1. Leo,

    Weight increase problem:

    At one point a year or two ago I was totally stuck on the overhead press. My goal to failure before I increase is about 1:40 and I was jammed at a weight and TUL. So I asked the good Doctor how to get around it and he simply said “Add more weight”…and I did…and I pushed the additional weight for the same TUL. I’m not suggesting that works for everyone, but it’s worked for me many times going forward.
    I honestly think that sometimes there’s this subconscious internal clock that says…”this is the time we failed in the past so let’s fail again at this time…regardless of weight”
    So you add more weight and fool the clock, not by time, but by weight.
    I did the same at my workout last week since I have been plateauing a bit. I jacked the weight by a couple pounds and hit the same TUL that I had the past two previous weeks…go figure.
    The mind is a wonderful friend, or a formidable enemy…whatever you want it to be.
    And remember…I grew up in the 60’s with wacky weed and I can still make it work for me.
    Give it a try and let me know what happens.

  2. By the way…Doug mentioned that we had a booth at the “Resolution Convention”…lot’s of good traffic…couple of intro’s planned. But as we’ve discussed on this blog in the past you had to know when to hold’em and when to fold’em.
    When you know that they’ve been watching the infomercials for the silver bullet or they think a gym is a great social hour.. as we used to say when I was in sales…FAP or Find Another Prospect. You can talk till the cows come home and it’s like pushing a rope up a hill.
    So the thought here is I know we all want people to understand the tremendous value of HIT, but it’s real clear you gotta pick your battles.

  3. Chris Higcock, –
    thanks for insight.Think ill bite the bullet and buy the book sometime next month.
    Like you blog too, especially the cholesterol myths, – better move to Switzerland, France or Spain and avoid Communism, – hilarious


    First time poster. Workout was the following.

    Pendulum squat pro
    max contraction chin
    nautilus power plus press
    hammer row
    rest and then
    farmers walk holds for time.

  5. to do a nautilus pullover and a row in the same workout is too much for the lats, the same for curls and pulling movements in the same workout is too much for the biceps. Go back 14 years and study the teachings of Mike Mentzer in 1998. Be humble, and “the meek shall inherit the Earth”.

  6. @jay rhine

    I disagree and, honestly, without any prior knowledge of the trainee, such a blanket statement is nonsense.

    Let’s not be fooled into thinking the human body is feeble; that you’ll destroy it somehow with one or two extra sets for a particular muscle group. You gotta step back and take a macro look…the amount of work performed and corresponding results/adaptations over the course of a larger period of time. Trying to draw conclusions about an exercise program based on the data of a singular workout is a waste of time…it means nothing without context.

    Further, before you can determine if something is “too much”, you first need to understand what was trying to be accomplished from the workout. For example, I use a pullover followed by row, in order to limit the amount of resistance needed on the row I use. I do this for two reasons: 1) I’m stronger than the row machine available and 2) the machine doesn’t perform that well when maxed out anyway (at moderate loads, it ‘feels’ much better). Depending on what I’m trying to accomplish in a particular workout, I might even follow that with a biceps exercise.

    I adjust the rest of my program to allow for the equipment limitations I’m working around…or my own limitations. BTW, ‘progress’ is just fine…

  7. “Let’s not be fooled into thinking the human body is feeble; that you’ll destroy it somehow with one or two extra sets for a particular muscle group.”

    I definitely agree with this, although for some I’m sure it’s possible that better gains can be had splitting those exercises into two workouts (I didn’t do very well at one point combining heavy, high rep, rest pause deadlifts with chins). But to make blanket statements such as you WILL over-train if you perform two back exercises (or any other combo that results in more than 1 set done in a workout) in the same workout without any knowledge about the trainee and their history and abilities enters the realm of HIT/Mentzer dogma.

  8. Also, I often like to do my squats after doing a very hard set of leg presses and separated by 2-3 upper body exercises. This helps limit the long warm-up that I always had to do when doing squats first (sometimes I could spend 15+ minutes working into the heavier weights) and also helps reduce the amount of weight I use for squats, which makes it a bit safer in my opinion.

  9. @ Chris, I agree with the other Chris (Highcock) that the RenEx book is very much worth your while. It is more costly than many books and yet it is still great value, what I have learned from it and applied so far has already made it worth the investment. The other great thing for a home trainee like yourself is that the main routines come with freeweight alternatives listed, and there is the option to include simple to set up (in many cases) timed static contraction exercises too (explained in the book). Bill Desimone’s Congruent Exercise would also help adapt the routines to equipment you have available (if you don’t have it already).

    @ Chris Highcock, my pleasure Hillfit is an excellent read full of practically useful information for any trainee.

    Toe Press (Calf Exercise)
    Trunk Extension
    Leg Press
    Chest Press
    TSC Posterior Neck

    Simon Shawcross

  10. WOW
    TSC flye then max pyramid pushups
    TSC pullover then towel row / body row
    max pyramid wall sit
    hip extension

    @Simon & @Chris – TSCs are a nice technique that are adding a lot to my WOWs

  11. Simon, – thanks as Chris H for giving the Ren X book the thumbs up, will definitely purchase it in Feb. Currently on the waiting list as its sold out.
    Got Bill Desimone’s new book a few weeks back, already been swiped by my former training partner, but i should get it back soon, – lol

    Chris H, – practice strong range and max pyramid statics on near all exercises performed, and have done so for at least 5 years now. Just started TSCs for neck work, following advice from Doug H

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