I hope all had a great Thanksgiving.  I apologize for the long absence (long enough to accumulate 472 posts) but things have been very busy lately.  My most recent WOW was my “back” portion of my 5-way split routine (chest and neck flexion, back and neck extension, shoulders/upper traps, arms, legs and abs).  I did the following at UE on Black Friday after all the client workouts had been done.

Chin Ups

Nautilus Pullover with SS retrofits

MedX Row with SS retrofit

Lumbar Extension on SS Systems Pulldown

Neck Extension on SS Systems Neck

I have been allowing 5 days between sessions.  My other two workouts were done at Fike and were as follows:

Legs/Abs:  Calf Exercise, Leg Extension, Leg Curl, Leg Press, Hammer Clam-shell Abdominal- All sets done to simple failure.  All movements felt good except for leg curl which had  a very poor strength curve (lost range of motion with each rep).

Chest/Neck Flexion:  Hammer Chest Press, Cable Chest Fly, Hammer Incline Press, Manual Neck Flexion- Each weighted movement was done with a heavy weight and then a drop-set with about 40% less weight.  The neck flexion was a manual done with 10 second cadence for 4 reps.

Due to extreme business in the medical side of life, I have not had time to include a topic with this posting.  Please post your WOW’s and continue any discussions in a professional and courteous manner.  Once things settle down, I will be able to generate more substantive posts.

Post your WOWs and your thoughts.

340 thoughts on “W.O.W. 11/29/13-Black Friday”

  1. WOW(smack dab in the middle of a day of heavy NEAT):

    -rest 2 min while adding 20 lbs-
    Nautilus neck and shoulder

  2. JT,

    I most often fall between 1:20 and 2:00. On leg press it may creep up to 2:30-3:00. I may vary the load to go shorter or longer. Over the years I know what weight range represents a given signature TUL for me.

    When I do really perfect form on the equipment with really good strength curves, the aggressive inroad seems to put an end to things on rep 4….hence the 1:20.

    In those videos I deliberately used weights in the somewhat “light” range so that I could demonstrate really good form and have things last long enough so the set would provide enough time for the viewer to soak things in.

    Hope that helps.

  3. WO

    Nautilus Pec Dec + SH ss/w
    Nautilus Incline press R/P
    Nautilus Super Pullover ss/w
    Nautilus XPLoad PD w Close Grip (short bar) + SH
    Barbel Deadlift

    Great WO and Im having fun doing HD2 routine.


  4. In regards to NEAT. I currently consume about 3200kcals per day to maintain my body weight. When I was training high volume 5 +years ago, 2-3 hours a day, I was consuming upwads of 4,000 kcals on some days, and my waist was 3 inches smaller than it is now. I am also no stronger now whilst doing HIT, 5 years of it, than I was when performing higher volume.
    I don’t know what I’m missing here , but the reduction in volume for me made zero difference in my muscle or strength gains,and actually got me injured when trying other rediculous protocols such as overload training with very little warm up to reseerve as much energy as possible for breaking my PB! what a load of cobblers!

    Other than short term glycogen loading I experienced from prolonged rest, that made my muscles fuller and SLIGHTLY stronger, which I never really permitted whilst training higher volume, there didnt seem to be any other benefits.
    Perhaps this has something to do with NEAT… or perhaps Ive lost all enthusiasm for training…ether way, I train a lot more intensly now than I did those 5 years ago, and all Ive had in return is post exercise delerium, dizzines and nausea from val salva.
    I know renex have a differnet approach to this which is a lot safer, but ITS VERY DIFFICULT TO TEACH YOURSELF…
    maybe high volume for me is the way.

  5. “I train a lot more intensely now than I did those 5 years ago, and all I’ve had in return is post exercise delerium, dizzines and nausea from val salva.”

    Please Note this Folks and what elicits this outside of “exercise?” Answer: Nothing Really Good. Another Point: Folks, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re “stronger” after 5 Years of aging – one might perform exercises better or score well on machines, but age Kicks Your A**

  6. @Bradley Warlow,

    Training 2-3 hours/day will likely allow you to eat more without gaining fat inches, depending. This is not NEAT, however.

    But, maybe a higher volume approach is for you, if that’s how you want to spend your time (2-3 hours?). Don’t be a total slave to philosophy; find what works for you, both in what gets results and what you’re willing to invest in time and effort. There’s a sweet spot in there somewhere.

  7. Bradley,

    Don’t swing from one extreme to another. It is not just RenEx or high volume.

    Try this. From your HIT baseline, increase your volume modestly and decrease the intensity slightly to compensate. The amount of volume that can be tolerated by stopping at failure as opposed to deep inroad is a fairly considerable increase. You are probably a person who flames out at peak intensity. A slight ratchet back will allow an almost doubling of volume and frequency (which is still low volume compared to conventional training). If this reduction in intensity isn’t enough, stop at “peri-failure”, or when you reach the rep where you really start to bog down.

    Also, quit obsessing. You traveled all the way to Ohio in hopes of becoming something you are not. Embrace your genetics and make tweaks that fit YOU.

  8. Bradley,

    You are unhappy because you reduced your training volume significantly and didn’t see any improvement in strength. But isn’t there a value in getting the same results for a lot less time invested?

    Craig in OH

  9. Best Case Scenario for this Individual is to go back to what HE knows is Best for his Individual Situation. Suppostion from the Peanut Gallery is all this is – RX on line anyone?

  10. Had a good session yesterday. First ‘pushing’ workout in a month. Found the chest press disappointing: I had felt an imbalance in resistance on my left arm, and figured it was due to my nagging shoulder injury. But when I re-evaluated the machine, I noticed that it is actually rather distorted/bent. The movement path is not parallel with your body’s orientation. My theory is solidifying that a lousy machine is much worse than free-weights. It may be worth my time to head back over to the gym with Strive equipment for this workout also.

    Shoulder press (facing towards the back pad) – ~0:55.
    Lateral raise: 0:45, 0:25.
    Chest press: 0:45, 0:30
    Machine Flye: 1:00, 0:20.

    Still experimenting with heavier weights/shorter TUL’s, although I can’t really call it an ‘experiment.’ I’ve been to busy to focus on tracking numbers, etc. A recent significant decrease in life stress should allow me to be a little more thoughtful about my training, hopefully without adding too much time.

  11. David


    “Another Point: Folks, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re “stronger” after 5 Years of aging – one might perform exercises better or score well on machines, but age Kicks Your A**”

    Not sure I agree. I firmly believe that I’m as close to defying the aging process as could happen. Between 61 and 63 my measurable strength levels went up about 60-70% (despite “working out” with weights for 20 years prior…I had a good start). Going on 69 and they have not dropped one bit. So that said, in the last 5 years I’ve seen no decline in what I accomplished the first 2 years. Which says to me, I’m just as strong now as I was 5 years ago (not to mention I feel fantastic!). So the dreaded aging process of sarcopenia whereupon I’m supposed to lose maybe 1/2 pound of muscle a year is I’m thinkin’ on hold…yes, no?
    So, David, I for one at 68+ have not seen age kicking my a– yet…or am I missing something?
    Oh…and that said…I have seen many, many of my friends getting their a– kicked…and they pump sunshine at me about my overall appearance…and I tell them the secret…and they nod, grin…and walk on, slowly.
    And if I sound vain and egotistical about this…you’re right.

  12. Ed: I see that you are scoring on your Machines. (Test Yourself on a Fre-Weight Bench Press) The “Best” concur with me on this and yes, Vanity Kills – it’s been Killing me all of my Life.

  13. Ed, in addition to what Dave asks, how do your compare your reported strenght increase. Were those 2 years of gaining, on SS protocol, – I.E you got better at SS, perfected the technique, got efficent at SS. Did SS load increase correlate to other protocols, like what you did prior to SS.
    Was you simply overtrained prior to SS and simply 1 x every 7 gave your body the rest it needed ?
    Sorry for all the questions, which believe me are well intended, but unless you were not trained , or your prior SS training was extremely poor, i cannot see how anyone, let alone someone sixty plus got stronger, and for 2 years.

  14. Chris,

    I have a Parabody machine that I worked out religiously on in my home. I had it for 15 years. It is a straight pulley machine, nothing camed. I had reached a point where I knew what my one-rep max’s were on that machine(or what I thought it was anyway). I started at UE in Sept of ’06. After a few workouts I basically baselined with Doug on Medex CP, Row, LP. I say after a few workouts cause I throw out the first couple because of brain freeze.
    At the end of approx 2 years of working out at UE my strength had increased at least 60-70% from that baseline. At that point I began to plateau (and I was ok with that at 63). I am now 68+ and there has been no decline whatsoever in my strength levels over 5 years (in fact for whatever reason they went up a bit in the last year). BTW…I laid off the Parabody for that 2 years. Before I left it my one -rep max on CP was about 160-170. I can go down there today and easily put the full 200 up 3-4 times.
    I realize by some folk’s standards this may not be the most precise measurement.
    But to grow stronger than I ever have been in my life at 63, to sustain that strength for the past 5 years, and next to maybe Norm Jones I’m the oldest person out here, I’m quite comfortable saying I’m beating the crap out of the aging process.
    Chris…not sure I answered all your questions but that’s about the best info I can offer.
    Oh…PS…I did have a trainer for about a year when I first got my Parabody.

  15. If we are to score our strength increases by testing on a free weight exercise (such as the bench press) then that exercise has to be at least practiced occasionally in order to keep the skill level up (not a bad idea). Otherwise, a false sense of weakness will likely be the result.

    Skill is such a large part of a compound free weight exercise, it can’t be overlooked. I’ve heard of people going up a full 100 lbs in the squat and deadlift with only a few coaching sessions-that’s skill.

  16. David,

    “: I see that you are scoring on your Machines. (Test Yourself on a Fre-Weight Bench Press) The “Best” concur with me on this and yes,”

    I stopped free weights years ago due to injury. So I have no “before” factor using them. I measure against what I worked out on for 20 years and then what I did for 7 years after that. It may not be perfect but it’s close enuf for me!

    Not sure if you’ve read the article on this site…Fountain of Youth. Very interesting study paraphrased by Doug that was done by Plos group out of Canada a couple years ago. Talks about genetic reversal in aging seniors through heavy weight training. Quite dramatic reading for anyone my age, or younger folks that have loved ones that are aging.

  17. I would say that most serious trainees do not have the discipline to progress a compound free weight exercise safely (those who really want to get strong). Eventually, if they keep it up, most will injure themselves due to form breakdowns with a weight that is too heavy.

  18. Bradley,dont throw the baby out with the bath water.

    For now maybe you could try fullbody to failure,and the next workout not to failure.Maybe in the same week.

    Let the split routines go for now. Its possible you are doing to much. It is possible you may being doing to much(even over training) for those body parts. Your doing 4 hard sets. I would forget about the flys and lateral raise.

    Or you could try 2 sets of each exercise ( pick four or five exercises,fullbody))without worrying about rep speed,with about four minuets rest in between sets.

  19. My goal is to live a healthy and functional life as a senior citizen.

    To achieve that, I need to slow, halt and even regress sarcopenia, and I think intense muscle contractions a la HIT is one of the best ways to do it. With plenty of rest and food of course.

    I don’t want strength per se; I want functional lean body mass.

  20. Garymar,

    Yep….and genetics also play a key role. But in my book one you can control and one you can’t…and I’d be a control freak if I were you.

  21. I googled Marvin Eder, ’cause I didn’t know who he was. Interesting interview with him at 75.

    www [dot] bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson304.htm

    Q: “Are you still in good shape at 75?”

    A: “I’m still very muscular. At this point I just want to maintain my muscularity and my primary reason for training is to stay well and prevent myself from getting fat and developing any diabetes or anything like that.”

    I’m with Marvin on that!

    However, he recently tore his rotator cuff, and he suffers some nerve impingement in his elbows, which his doctor thinks comes from all that heavy lifting previously.

  22. Bradley Warlow

    Just a thought, Rugby, sleep patterns, women, beer, wine, spirits, stress, British weather, work schedule, nutrient starvation, general familial history, lifestyle, general perception of your physique.

    What are your thoughts on the impact these may have on your perception of your actual compared to desired results?


  23. Pete- you are very clever, almost all of them are true in my case! And I think probably all of them have prevented my results over the years. these are the things I need to focus on I believe. you know me too well!

    Thanks for the feedback everyone..you are all right in what you say and I will take this on board .

    Doug I really must stop obsessing. There seems to be a negative correlation between my obsession and my lack of results. That amount of mental taxation and the energy that has been sucked from.my mind body and soul in the quest for muscle gain is certainly not.worth the.bang for the buck and is what, ironically, has stopped any results from.occuring in.the first place. Go.figure

  24. Thomas I may well have a percieved perception of strength loss where as I have actually gotten stronger slightly. Either way its very disconcerting to actually go down in weight on my max lifts after five years or so and all I have to show for it is two damaged rotator cuffs and a slight pot belly lmao!

  25. David,

    “Marvin Eder would beg to Differ.”

    I’m sure there’s a bunch of folks that would like to differ with almost anything out there. God Bless America…can’t do that in a lot of countries out there. That’s why it’s all IMOpinion as I always state. And opinions are neither right nor wrong…they just exist in the individual…kinda like feelings.
    And as always…thanks for your thoughts and opinions!


  26. Garymar

    “However, he recently tore his rotator cuff, and he suffers some nerve impingement in his elbows, which his doctor thinks comes from all that heavy lifting previously.”

    Marvin’s 75 and lifted heavy weight. My son tore his at 35 lifting heavy weight. I wouldn’t necessarily assume an age issue if that’s what you’re inferring.
    Maybe I’m a wee bit sensitive! Just joshing.


  27. I spoke to Marvin in Person recently and he had an Interesting take on the Age Factor. Folks: You have to get out and engage men of the Iron Game in order to understand this “trade” if you might and that’s just part of it.

  28. @ Doug

    ” The amount of volume that can be tolerated by stopping at failure as opposed to deep inroad is a fairly considerable increase. ”

    In terms of physiology, what causes this? Is it just the depth of inroad, or is there some kind of neurological stress that develeps if you keep trying to contract a muscle beyond the point of movement failure?

    I have observed that if I stop just at the point of failure, but then use drop sets in rapid succession to inroad more deeply, it doesn’t seem to take as much out of me as trying to push hard beyond the point of failure, so I’ve assumed there was something with the CNS going on. I wonder what Science says on the matter.

    Craig in OH

  29. WOD:
    -Nitro Row
    -Med-X Dip
    -Nitro Leg Press
    -Power Plus Pullover
    -Med-X Chest Press
    -SSS Leg Curl

    Ed, I wrote a long form version of an answer to your question on how to keep score during aging. I think you’ll appreciate my take on things.


  30. Bradley,

    Click on Skyler’s name and read some of the great articles at his blog such as “the mirrorless experiment”, “six year itch” and others. His is the attitude you need to achieve results. Skyler was dealt a lousy hand WRT genetics, but with thoughtful application has built a great physique and lived life while doing it.


    I am not certain. I think it may be the periperal nervous system not the central. More specifically, it may be the exhaustion of acetylcholine at the motor end plate that occurs when you ramp up summation and rate coding of the motor units when you keep pushing beyond failure. You have recruited all your motor units and now you are just trying to fire them faster and with greater coordination until it finally results in tetany. This may also result in an overproduction of inflammatroy cytokines.


    Please stop being so “mysterious”. Why don’t you just tell us what Marvin Eder said. You have been dropping his name for weeks, but won’t cut to the chase. Tell us what we said then we can debate the validity of his opinions. One day we will all be old bodybuilders. Arnold is an old bodybuilder. Doesn’t necessarily make the opinion any more valid.

  31. Skyler, great article. Jury’s still out on the new layout :p.

    I liked this especially:
    “Strength is a directionally accurate indicator of lean tissue maintenance and/or gain during aging.”

    You or may not have added mass by gaining then maintaining strength, but it is at least unlikely that you’ve lost mass.

    I think this is very true with maximum effort strength training. It is conceivable that someone who tested and maintained a 20RM bench press over time could lose a little mass despite maintaining the same numbers. But as Skyler says, you can only get so efficient, and maintaining a given 20RM is guaranteed to maintain a certain level of muscle mass required for the work given optimal efficiency.

    But if you drive a 3RM up over the course of 2 years, and then maintain it, I think it’s more likely that you already are working at close to peak efficiency after 2 years of training and practice. Maintaining this newly established 3RM is going to require not only a maintenance of the high efficiency, but also of nearly all the mass required to lift it.

  32. Ed Garbe, – thanks for your detailed answer, which is more than good enough for me.

    You know yourself and the numbers don’t lie {to much}

    For the record i’m glad, as i follow the Bob Whelan mantra of “Youthing” not aging.

    Currently just turned 50, so a little behind you, but i am as strong, if not stronger in some movements at my current lean bw than at any time in my adult life.

    I feel if one can stay injury free, and exercise a little common sense with the iron, then its possible to maintain strenght and muscle well into old age.

    Stay strong Mr Garbe, and keep posting the motivation.

  33. Marvin: More or Less said: Don’t Kid yourself (interpreted: if “you” think “you” have the stranglehold on a safe/meaningful way and then father time will take care of the rest) Exercise goes in as a Negative Folks. Produce that force against the weight and let the chips fall where they might.

  34. Wow today, – legs, last part of 3 way split,

    before this split i was resting 14 days betwEen bps. Last week 15 days after my last leg wow, i noticed a lightness and ease of movement {increased capacity} when i ran a few hundred yards.

    Today 24 days after my last leg session [should have been 21 but was delayed by unforeseen circumstances] everything was stronger and i was more energised ? Maybe once every 28 days is around the corner.


    Barbell glute raise, 5 x 2, 1 x 5
    LE- MC X 1 X 15/20S
    LC- MC X 1 X 15/20S with added band resistance to create mc near contracted position
    Weighted Hyper- MC x 1 x 20s
    Bodyweight squats {dynamic/full range} 1 x 30.

    First ex for strenght, 1 min between sets, everything else back to back.

    Short rest, then 3 x 50 bodyweight calve raises, bottom half only.

    Again tip of the hat to Marc Pharmacist {where is he} in regards to the band assisted LC.

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