W.O.W. 10/14/12-RenEx, plumbing pipe, and yoga blocks

I am reluctant to post this week’s WOW because I don’t want to stop the incredible thread generated by the RenEx conference.  Please feel free to continue your discussions and debates on this week’s WOW.

MedX Overhead Press

Ghetto infimetric lateral raise

TSC simple row (using yoga blocks laying on floor)

Nautilus Plateload bicep

Nautilus Plateload tricep

Formulator flex/ext

Calf Exercise

I made a “ghetto” infimetric device out of a 30 inch threaded plumbing pipe with 2 90-degree connectors on either end and 8 inch handles attached to the connectors.  With this you can do lateral raise, rear delts, biceps and triceps (over the head), chest fly and wrist flex/extension.  I also figured out that I can use yoga blocks against the lower portion of the MedX leg press’s 4-bar linkage to perform TSC leg extension.  Unfortunately, you cannot do leg curl because the seat carriage will pull forward.  It is amazing how being on the RenEX iMachines opens your eyes to creative possibilities.  I am also amazed at how TSC with feedback has improved my ability to feel my way through infimetric sets.  Use of TSC and infimetrics have proved very useful as a stand-alone as well as a pre-exhaust for dynamic work.  The pre-exhaust allows me to use a lighter weight on some of the MedX equipment and get around the sticking point issues that are problematic at heavier weights.  Also, for reasons that I cannot quite articulate, infimetrics seems to highlight the potential of TSC and vice-versa.

It is truly impressive how playing around on very expensive and sophisticated RenEx equipment has taught me how to get so much out of 25 bucks worth of yoga blocks and plumbing pipe.

Post your WOW’s and your thoughts.

229 thoughts on “W.O.W. 10/14/12-RenEx, plumbing pipe, and yoga blocks”

  1. “2000 calories of a 60/20/20 (cho, pro, fat) has different affects on the body than a 2000 calorie diet of (5/25/70) diet”

    Absolutely. All calories are not equal.

  2. Chris,

    I just took some fish oil. Fresh meat provides everything you need. Read “Fat of the land” by V. Steffanson or google him.


  3. @Glynn

    5/25/70 has a different affect on the body than 5/25/70, depending on the source of ‘food’.

    None of this matters much; focusing on the wrong things…

  4. @Greg re Steffanson’s ‘meat-only’ diet. My understanding is that beyond the meat, Steffanson also consumed the entrails, both when he was in the Arctic, and for purposes of the later controlled observations of this diet. That is, it wasn’t purely meat alone, but a bit else (how much, I don’t know) as well.

  5. @Joshua

    Intent directs action; anything outside of that has no place in an exercise paradigm that touts ‘safe, effective and efficient’ as its underlying principles…

    Machines aren’t (solely) the issue at hand; just a perpetuation of a deeper problem…misunderstandings need to be resolved, regardless of which manufacturer a person chooses to load themselves with…

  6. “2000 calories of a 60/20/20 (cho, pro, fat) has different affects on the body than a 2000 calorie diet of (5/25/70) diet”

    You think you ate the same amount of calories, but you probably eat less. I think in a controlled setting the results would be pretty similar.

    I believe all these supposed additional effects of ketosis/IF/Paleo..the info that sells books…have really minor effect on fat loss in real world other than that you simply restrict calories one way or the other. I’ve seen the most consistent and visible results in body composition in people who count calories, regardless of what they ate. Boring, well known…

  7. WOW 10/20/12

    ARX pulldown – 5 hyper/2 rest pause negatives
    ARX Press – 5 hyper/1 rest pause neg
    ARX TSC Tricep pressdown
    ARX TSC Bicep curl
    ARX TSC side raises
    DeSimone low-back-ball
    ARX shrugs


    At only 6 days of rest, I found myself way under-recovered on the pulldown and press, from the previous weeks negative only work to the extreme.

    This was unexpected, to the point that it was amusing that I thought I could have recovered quick enough from that, to perform a to-failure workout so soon.

    Lesson learned.

    While I didn’t do any this workout, I’ve begun performing neck extension/flexion, as well as lateral work on the Omni.

    My experience with neck machines is limited to some old plate loaded pile o junk in the football-stadium basement of my high school, and the MedX neck machine I used with Drew Baye about a year and a half ago.

    Neck work on the Omni is a dramatic improvement over both of the previous machines I have tried.

    And in my estimate, it’s far safer than using equipment that depends on gravity, with a poor resistance curve, and zero adaptation to the users fatigue throughout a given set.

  8. At the end of the day, one has to do what one thinks is best for them. I’ve done all sorts and can say from experience that using HIT + IF + high fat/low carb has got me in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’ve never looked nor felt better and my indoor rowing is coming on leaps and bounds.

    Each to their own, horses for courses and all that. Do the reading, gain knowledge, experiment, try different things and do what you think is best to achieve your goals be that eating grains and cereals or not.

    As I said before, a calorie is not just a calorie. They are not all equal.

    BTW, low carb eating is not a faddy diet thing. It’s been documented as far back as the 1860’s. William Banting was the man back then.

  9. Chris

    I have rigged a pretty good set up for TSC with a pull up bar and appropriately adjusted “Max Straps” for the pull over, gymnasts rings for pull down, rows , etc. Also strap myself to a standard bench. The TSC belt squat platform is described on Drew Baye’s site.

  10. Joe,

    calories do count. However, a calorie is not a calories. A diet predominatly high fat over time will produce less oxidative stress, more ketones, more glucagon, noreinephrine, epinephrine, which produces less hunger, greater fat loss and a prime hormal event to build muscle. You like details, look it up.


  11. @ Joe,

    I see what you are saying and belive youre right (I guess you are hinting at my previuos post).

    I was probably doing something wrong but when the weight goes up 40% within a second it isent easy always to controll it when you are tired in my experience. But I belive you are mainly right.


  12. @Greg

    I don’t know what you read in my last post that prompted your comment? At any rate, we’ve likely read all the same resources…I studied all the bio chem in college…I have experimented likewise, and observed a plethora of clients using various nutrition strategies. I have zero interest in this discussion…it’s like debating rep progressions versus TUL- honing in on the ancillary details while missing the fucking point…no thanks.

  13. @Josh

    I hurted myself twice. First in the knee, if I remember correctly it was during the use of the legpress. Second time was in back of the leg using the leg curl.

    I basicly followed the 3-1-5 protocol recommended and rather soon I was using max/almost max weights in most machines. The last month the training sessions become monsterous and I was totaly wiped out afterwards, even had problems driving home with a profound headache.

    I look great after every training session, but already the day after I looked flat. I was dieting down at the same time and can only explain it with that I was overtraining in some sense, even though I contained to get stronger on almost every machine (eg lifted more weight).

    When I finished the experiment I was disapointed how I looked. Flat and surpricingly unmuscular. But “strong”….

    Im no stranger to work HARD and belive I worked to hard. Your expression “wrestling with the weights” is a great discription what probably happened when 40% more was added on the neg part of it, even if I tried to be “strict”. Outroading big time if Im guessing a bit.

    Obviously I dident to get near the results Dr Darden did with his group. I lift my hat for what he did/accomplished.

    Training RenEx inspired gave me my best look so far why Im back to that again. Having the X-Force machines quite close to me was an opprtunity I dident wanna miss and Im still happy I tried it.

    Probably this whole story just highlight the importance of having a skilled instructor at your side when you train…?


  14. Joe A,.,

    you said in a post to Glynn, “none of this matters, focusing on the wrong things.” So what is the point?

    Also you remind me of the old Master SuperSlow instuctors. Someone disagrees with you, you resort to profanity and anger.

    Read the latest research form Phinney and Volek, its pretty new.


  15. @Greg

    Does my profanity bother you? I’m sorry, but I use it often and rarely reserve it for ‘anger’ (which I’m not, but nice attempt to distract).

    That quote (which was to Glynn, BTW) was missing the context…here’s what I said:

    “5/25/70 has a different affect on the body than 5/25/70, depending on the source of ‘food’.

    None of this matters much; focusing on the wrong things…”

    My point was simply that the distribution of cho/pro/fat can be exactly the same and yet very different in terms of nutritional value…as the sources of the calories matter, the availability of nutrients matter.

    I do my best to keep current on these topics, like I said, we’ve likely read the same resources. Sorry that we disagree, but I have no interest here and will not be commenting further.

  16. “I was probably doing something wrong but when the weight goes up 40% within a second it isent easy always to controll it when you are tired in my experience.”

    I cringe just reading about X-force machines … yikes.

    I heard recently that x-force machines are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Little doubt here …

  17. Anthony,

    Interesting that you would “cringe”….the on going debate between us RenEx-ers is which machines are going to cause more problems…the motors or the hyper-loaders.

    I’m sure cases can be made for each being worse off in some regard.

    I just don’t get the point because anything outside of neuromuscular capacity just won’t do much in the way of muscular stimulation.

    I had to learn this the hard way…


  18. Rah lol. A lot of arguing over pointless sh#t regarding diet.

    The way i see it would be the following:

    1. Learn what foods are bad for you (usaully quite obvious even without study) then learn what foods are best for you (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, nut butters, all vegetables, and complex carbs such wild rice, quinoa, sweet potatoe) then what foods are best when times around intense activty (fruit, rice, pototo, even simple sugars such as dextrose, etc).

    2. Eat a balanced diet of the good foods, regardless of the macro percentages, and you simply can’t go wrong.

    3. Tweak and individualise the above in order to ‘optimise’ your diet to make it even better.

    4. stop arguing over low carb/high fat diets.

  19. @ Josh

    Can it be said that the hyperloaders place a stress on the body that is too intense, sort of like the old analogy of the stress imposed by the sun’s UV rays, i.e., sitting in Death Valley in the summer for an hour, naked and covered in Crisco?

    If the intensity is “off the charts”, would the days off have to be increased out to several weeks to get somewhere above baseline?

    Also, I was wondering your opinion on EMS used in conjuncton with normal training? Would that go along the same lines as the hyperloaders, i.e., too much stimulation?

    I remember Dr. McGuff and John Little making a point on the issue of going overboard on the intensity could be a step in the wrong direction.


  20. Brian,

    I think the “out-roading” is leading to a less intense experience at the intended musculature, I have done some surface EMG with hyperloading and it seems to support my theory….the body will absorb whatever you throw at it up to it’s breaking point, loads that are in excess of your positive capability or as I sometimes say, outside of your neuromuscular capacity, will only lead to a diffusion of neurological signal…Less intense stimulation at the intended musculature and more systemic stress….just bashing your physiology and nervous system with little focused stimulation. My own personal experience leads me to believe that there is no such thing as exercise that is TOO intense, but rather misdirected or sloppy application.

    In theory the EMS should be able to override neuromuscular efficiency issues, but in practice I’ve experimented with EMS (Russian Current) for years and never saw much gain beyond neuromuscular re-education after a surgery.There may be more to this, but from what I can see from my experiments the juice ain’t worth the squeeze…..I have seen some cool experiments where the EMS seemed to aide recovery with repeated sets to failure.


  21. I performed the following My W.O.W 21st October Midday:
    —-1 SET PULLDOWNS superslow protocol about 120lbs TUL 1min 43 secs

    —-1 SET CHEST PRESS (hammer strength immitation machine) 90lbs superslow protocol, 7 reps

    This was the first time in a while that I really got stuck into the superslow protocol. The gym was completely empty , and i had brought my girlfriend along for a session; who very kindly timed my pulldown set for me. so i could really zone out and focus on the objective! I am currently dieting on 2500 kcals; hence the ‘mere’ two sets, to prevent overtraining, whist reducing calories.I am steadily losing about 2lbs a week. I’ve noticed something peculiar also- that fat loss doesn’t seem to occur gradually but literally happens overnight! On the 16th october my waist measured 38 1/4 inches,(I measure properly around the fattest point BTW more like 37 conventionally) and on the 20th i checked again and no change, calories the same 2500 . I woke up this morning tired and measured my waist- 37 1/2 inches! Says it all. No dehydration, calories the same. Anyone else had this experience?

  22. WOW:

    Smith high incline press
    Hammer leg press
    TSC pullover
    Cable pulldown
    Weighted Soloflex seated press
    TSC squat
    Hammer leg press (light)
    Weighted Soloflex row
    Smith shrug
    Smith calf raise
    Oatmeal and muscle milk

    @Bradley Warlow,

    I don’t think that’s too unusual.

    Wow, 2500 cal is what I eat for slow weight gain (at least for now).

  23. Doug McGuff {but any any opinions welcome}

    My Wife. She’s 55 in good health generally but does not exercise.

    She says looking after my two grown up Sons and me,plus working at a local junior school is enough.

    Anyway about 2 years ago she hurt her left shoulder moving a heavy table at school.

    She’s half Irish, and whilst still quite pretty, is as as tough as nails, refusing my suggestions that she needs professional medical attention.

    Until now that is, as the condition is coming to a head, preventing her from functioning even remotely normally, and causing pain, and keeping her awake at night.

    Her symptoms and restrictions, is as follows, – pain emanating from the side deltoid {most of the time} radiating down her arm to the hand {sometimes}. Sudden loss of co-ordination with that arm, plus loss of strength.
    Restrictions in movement – She cannot perform a lateral raise in any direction, nor lift her arm overhead. Mobility in that arm seems isolated to the apparently not affected biceps.

    I know one cannot diagnose over the Internet, but what do you think would be an appropriate course of action.

    We sent to our GP earlier this week, who prescribed pain killers, and a referral for Physio.

    For me Physio is for strengthening the area, whereas at the moment, i feel she needs pain free range of motion ?

    Any ideas

  24. @ Chris
    As a start of help,maybe you can describe how she hurted her shoulder ,what did she feel,what was the movement done etc..
    Could be a damaged tendon a that time with calcifacation over time leading to mentioned problems/pain.But that is just a direction of thinking since it would require indeed a complete anamnese and physical exam.Be carefull with what the therapist does as therapy because very often it is a procedure based on a guess with at best no result or worse,is my experience.Very often a scan will show what is the problem in that area and that is what will be adviced to do after a long time of trying this or that.I’m thinking from the healthcare procedure here in the netherlands so it could be different in your country.

  25. Chris,

    Not enough info to say. Likely a rotator cuff impingment issue or perhaps cervical radiculopathy. A good physical exam and nerve conduction velocity may make the diagnosis. Diagnosis will dictate treatment.

  26. Doug,

    thanks. My ffellings are is rotatar cuff related from doing a little on-line reasearch.

    Wil swee what the Physios make of it.


    thanks for your input too.


  27. @ Thomas
    Yeah seeems impressive, problem is my lean body weight at (15%) bodyfat is about 165lbs. Currently I weigh 195lbs! Im sure 2500kcals is all ill need to gain weight when I’ve dropped to 165 as our metabloism goes down as we lose the pounds, so we dont need as much food . Im just assuming your relatively lean? lol

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