A Revolutionary Ranger's Training Log in the Age of Zombie Capitalism

Al Raven

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Hi all, it's actually nice to start afresh with a new check-in thread, so I tried picking a better name and we'll see how it goes. Here are some notes I wrote within the previous version of this thread, it's the only stuff that is necessary for my current journey (the rest will come up (again) progressively)
(First outline/"on paper") Wkt Planning for the end of the year (autumn semester)
MonWkt A
TueWkt B + cardio/hiit (no run)
WedOff/Rest (at uni all day)
ThurWkt A
FriKitten wkt + 30(+)min run
SatWkt B + cardio/hiit
SunRest or cardio/hiit
  • Wkt A: full body/compound
    1. Pushups
    2. Squats
    3. Turkish get-ups (with kettlebells) (or power cleans?)
    4. Deadlifts
    5. Heavy carries/farmer's walks
  • Wkt B: upper body
    1. Inverted bodyweight rows or pullups
    2. (Shoulder/overhead) press
    3. Bent over rows (and/)or bicep curls @ high volume/low intensity
    4. Bench press
  • Cardio/hiit: variable/multiple options, but here's a list of either standalone wkts or elements to be combined (in cardio/circuit/hiit wkts)
    • treadmill or outdoors running - i think a 'long run' (30min or more) per week is what works for me, but apart from that I can do shorter, faster runs/treadmill wkts
    • rowing
    • jump rope
    • skierg
    • kettebell, sandbag, medball cardio/etc stuff
    • darebee (hiit/high burn - and/or maybe combat) wkts
I have a few more notes but that'd be the basic structure/idea...
 

Al Raven

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Here's a copy/summary of this week's workout log:
Mon 12/09
  1. 2min rowing (warm up, but it's surprisingly tough lol)
  2. 10min run @ 10kph
  3. bench press*: 3x5 @ 42.5kg
  4. (shoulder) press*: 3x5 @ 32.5kg
Tue13/09
  1. 50 pushups wkt
    • I struggled/broke at the fifth set, I shortened it slightly and did knee pushups when I couldn't do full ones (= after the first four of this set)
  2. Squats* 3x5 @ 95kg
  3. Bent over rows* 1x5 @ 75kg
  4. Deadlifts* 1x5 @ 105kg
  5. Farmer's walks @ 32.5kg (=each dumbbell/hand)
Wed 14/09
  1. 3x8 inverted bodyweight rows (overhand grip) alternating with 3x5 bicep curls with 15kg dumbbells (very hard)
  2. 3x5* press @ 35kg
  3. 3x5* bench press @ 45kg
  4. wanted to do 30min, but didn't feel good enough so did 20min running, first 1/2 at 8kph then 9kph for second 1/2 (i.e. 10min each, initial plan was 10min @ 8kph, then 20min @ 9kph, or 15-15 instead)
  5. full body stretch
Thur 15/09
  • I've done some GtG pushups and chin ups, but it's one of those days I don't feel like working out to be honest... We'll see if I do it later (planned to do Cardio Bell wkt) - seems unlikely - but in any case I'll probably do some more chinups/pushups, and some stretching...
Fri 16/09
  1. 5x5 pushups (1' rest)
  2. 3x [1. Turkish Get up on the right; 2. 20 two-handed swings; 3. TGU on the left; 4. 20 2h-swings] - with 12kg kettlebell
  3. 3x5 squats* @ 97.5 kg
  4. 1x5 deadlifts* @ 107.5 kg
  5. 2x12-15m farmer's walks @ 35 kg (each dumbbell/hand)
Sat 17/09
  • 7sets of Maximum Hiit wkt
Sun 18/09 (planned)
  • Absolute Madness wkt, amap sets
(*obviously whenever writing down heavy barbell lifts I'm only including the 'work sets', without the 'warm up' sets building up to them - those actually provide some volume since it's a couple more sets in the bag..)
 

Al Raven

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Al Raven

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Wkt log 20/09/22
  1. 3x amrap splu (aka chin-ups), first two sets full/standard (tho the bar at the gym is higher so I used a box in order not to have to jump, but apart from this I did full-range reps in the classic position with legs crossed etc) and the third one I did in an assisted pullup machine
  2. 3x5 (bbell) (shoulder/overhead) press @ 37.5kg
  3. 3x5 bench press @ 47.5kg
Both press and bench press are becoming really hard now, especially the press for which the third set was completed but with a big struggle to get the last few reps. I will need to look carefully into how to make sure I do evrth properly and how to train/plan well in order to keep progressing, but if anyone has advice I'd welcome it of course....
 

Al Raven

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So much love and solidarity for Iranians - and especially Iranian (and Kurdish!) women - rising up against "their"(*) brutal reactionary regime (*it's not what defines them so "their" is an awful way to put it, it's a regime that's *against* them and doesn't represent them - like everyone else what Iranians strive for is freedom and happiness)

Goodnight, I'm really tired. That was my first day of new semester!

Power to the people
 

Al Raven

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I like the fact that I'm getting so strong in terms of grip strength, but now for the deadlift it's starting to become really tough. I've already used chalk sometimes - not today, which might be why the grip (the rest of the move was fine^^) was difficult - so that's probably something I'll keep doing for the deadlifts, and ofc I can use the switch grip but I want to try first using the overhand grip for as long as possible - to maximize grip strength!
In any case, squats and deadlifts are of course now getting really heavy (for me), but I'm still feeling very confident when doing them - unlike what I described for the bench press and especially for the (shoulder) press.
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 24/09/22
  1. Press: goal was 3x5 @ 40kg. Here's what I managed: 5/3/3.
  2. Bench press 3x5 @ 50kg. I've the point where now it's getting really hard - which means that now all my (main) barbell lifts are at the top of my (5-rep, I don't plan to do 1RM and such) ability....
  3. 3x amrap bent over rows @ 60kg
  4. 3x amrap chin ups. First set without support, two others with a band. I did three reps each time
  5. Cardio/high burn finisher workout: I did roughly 4 sets of 100m skierg and battleropes (30" or so), with less than 1min rest in between
 

Al Raven

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So here's an update on my weightlifting strategy, especially concerning the difficulty of (overhead/shoulder) press and bench press:
  • I'm not in a hurry, so patience is the first thing. Just keep getting back at it and trying again when failing. There is a brutal realism about weightlifting: if you're not ready - i.e. strong enough - to do a lift, it's not gonna happen by chance/miracle. Just keep training! It's a long term/lifelong project (of being strong and healthy) anyway...
  • I do the lifts 2x/week, which I think is good - not too much, but training each lift enough on a weekly basis - but eventually I can try increasing weight not twice a week (i.e. each workout) but once, i.e. just week by week.
  • This remark from a "Starting Strength" forum is relevant, and applies to/work for any lift (note: it's for ppl like me who do sets of 5's, and the initial context is for someone who fails/struggles to increase the press but it does apply to all exercises): "Get 6,5,5; then 6,6,5; then 6,6,6; go like this, say, to 7,7,7 or 8,8,8 with given load, then raise the load and try regular 5,5,5. I bet you will manage at least 3,3,3. Work from what you got up to 5,5,5, and then further. Repeat."
    • note: to be exact it applies to all lifts where I do 3 sets, so that's excluding the deadlift in theory. But I believe the point about keeping the # of deadlift sets low is especially about begginers, and that indeed once you reach a more intermediate/higher level, you have to train the deadlift more... But I'm not at the stage I need to wonder about this yet...
  • Last but perhaps most importantly, it's all about ensuring and improving lifting technique/proper form. I'm confident here because the "Starting Strength" and "Stronglifts 5x5" resources are exhaustive in explaining the important cues/keys of lifting technique/form -> but the point is that there has to be a conscious, focused effortto master/ensure/improve the form.
    • and also/as part of that focusing as much as possible (i.e. avoiding distractions/pausing music etc...) and being smart about programming (rest/frequency/etc)
These are pretty basic and common sense principles, but I'm pretty confident that's the right way to go about it, going forward.
 
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Al Raven

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I like the simplicity of these principles, it's about being consistent and persisting, and being smart about it. We'll see how it goes, I also must say I've wondered if there's or which would be the limit/chosen end goal for these lifts, i.e. reaching a certain weight per lift, after which I don't necessarily intend to keep doing it as the main part of my workout program. I wouldn't mind doing the current program until I reach these benchmarks/end goals (for example, say, a 120 or 130kg squat, a 150 deadlift, a 50 or 60 press, etc), and then switching things up while keeping a weightlifting workout once a week, which would still be beneficial... (I'd do a wkt like: press -> bench press -> squat -> deadlift)
 

Al Raven

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Current weights:
  • squats 1x5 @ 102.5kg
  • deadlifts 3x5 @ 112.5kg
  • bench press 3x5 @ 50kg
  • bent over rows (e.g. 3x5-10) @ 60kg. I stopped a week or so ago at 3x5 @ 75kg, because I know there's an upper ceiling of how far one can go up in weight with this exercise (as a non-competitive lifter/non-athlete etc) So I'd probably able to do 70 or 75 for 3-5 reps, but I don't mind not aiming for more than 60kg which is arguably (in sets of amrap, or 5-to-10+ reps) a better workout/exercise for my own needs/wants
  • press succeed 3x5 @ 37.5kg, managed 5/3/3 @ 40kg.
I can do approx. 3-5 pullups either grip, and more or less 12 pushups (for both only considering full/perfect form)
30min run distance is about 4k-4.2k
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 25/09/22
  • 3x dead hang to failure
  • 30min run:
    • 4.15km
    • Average speed: 8.2 kph
    • I did first 10' at 8kph, 10'-15' at 9kph, 15'-20' at 8kph, 20'-25' at 9kph, 25'-28' at 8kph, and 28'-30' at 9kph
    • Convenient to run on treadmill as it was raining outside, ngl I really like the treadmill!
  • 3x ~5 (=to failure) barbell bicep curls @ 30kg
  • Stretching (full body, but especially legs/lower obviously)
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 27/09/22
  1. press: (here's what I did, plan was to try again 3x5 @ 40 but I failed) 1x3 @ 40, 1x3 @ 37.5, 1x5 @ 37.5
  2. bench press: 3x5 @ 52.5kg. This is probably the last time I can just keep increasing (by 2.5kg) each wkt. For both press and bench press I'll need to strategize for next time (saturday) but also how to program the wkts/reps/weights going forward (cf. some of the remarks I wrote a couple of days ago)
  3. 10min run @ 9kph with bouts/some parts of it @ 10kph
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 29/09/22
  1. 3x amrap s-pullups (aka "chin ups"): 5, 3, 3. (~1-2min rest in btw)
  2. 3x amrap pushups (full range/perfect form only): 13, 8, 6. (~1-2min rest in btw)
  3. 3x20 alternating bicep curls @ 10kg dmb (per hand). (1-2min rest in btw)
  4. 3x20 tricep dips (not on dip bars, I'm at home and these would be much harder obviously (especially for my bdw))
  5. stretching: focusing on arms/shoulders + a few others.
 

Al Raven

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I'm considering whether I'm really gonna continue with the barbell press and bench press. These are very hard exercises which can easily lead to getting injured while struggling like hell to progress even at the beginning (unlike squats and deadlifts). I feel like maybe bdw and dumbbells and other things are better for me when it comes to upper body strength and so on. Developing healthy shoulders clearly isn't about being able to lift heavy weights (it's about a mix of mobility, stretching, muscle building and strength, ...), and shoulders are the most easily injured in both press and bpress.
Even for squats and deadlifts, which are a lot of fun, I'm almost certainly not gonna aim to keep increasing "forever", so to speak. I do think I'd like keeping them as part of my weekly training/routine (just like a 30+min run once at least, is a long term goal to create long term resiliency/consistency), but say I reach 150 on deadlifts and 110 or 120 on squats even just doing 3 or 5x5 once a week would be fine for me. That would free time and energy for other forms/types of training and workout^^
 

Al Raven

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I'm playing the long game, you know. Also bdw-centered and more "functional"/dynamic" training - i.e. most of darebee wkts/programs, kettlebell training, sandbag, hiit, rowing/sprinting/skipping/"plyometrics"/med ball/sleds/box jumps/etc, + martial arts and boxer/mma-type training, yoga, plus movnat-type of stuff, which I'd love to explore as well... - are a lot of fun, bring a lot of benefits including training brain and body to learn complex movements and adaptability/resiliency/competency/mobility/agility/coordination/athleticism.
 

Al Raven

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Alternatively/moreover, maybe just like for bent over rows the true utility of barbell upper body exercises FOR ME would potentially be more in relatively lower/moderate weights but more volume - because don't get me wrong, these exercises are powerful!
 

Al Raven

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It's nice to be experimenting and working things out ("while working out"), but please share your thoughts/comments/input with me if you have some! Come on I'll keep using this as a log/wkt notebook whether or not ppl care about or read it, but I definitely welcome advice, chat/discussing/sharing, or even talking about other stuff in your/our lives!
 

Al Raven

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Wkt Log 01/10/22
  1. 3x5 squat @ 107.5kg
  2. 1x5 deadlift @ 117.5kg
  3. 5min rowing
  4. full body stretching
  • I will probably repeat these weights for squat and deadlift next time, because I want to achieve perfect form/satisfaction on all reps - even though I did complete the above today... There were just a couple of the last reps for each that could be better, and I want to make sure I get low ("below parallel", to be accurate - i.e. stop just below the point where thighs are parallel to the floor) during squats.
  • Rowing is tough as fuck!
  • nothing feels as good as doing deep, full body stretching after a tough workout... Pigeon stretches and half-kneeling quad stretches (against wall - enter the pain nation) are incredible. Pigeon stretches is like wizardry, it's so fucking good honestly
  • Oh, and today at the gym at some point there was the iconic Darude - Sandstorm soundtrack lol
 

TopNotch

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"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
What is it you actually are trying to achieve? Do you have any goals for any reason other than "I just want to be able to do that"? I mean, that's cool, but it's not a very good reason to keep going.
Pigeon is totally good - SO agree there! One of my favs. At training, we often then pancake - fold totally forward flat over that bent leg and I find that quite relaxing. :)
 

TopNotch

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"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
Having fun is an absolute imperative! If something isn't enjoyable and you don't have to do it, then you're simply not going to do it. How do you propose to measure your "better shape, stronger, fitter"? And what timeframe do you have?
Sorry to hear about the cold. Look after yourself.
 

Al Raven

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The cold is a light one, I should be able to train if I want to...
Here's the workout plan for next week:
  1. Mon)
    • pushups, s-pullups, dead hangs
    • 30min run: goal 4.25km or more, aiming for 8.5-9kph as much as possible (but we'll see how it goes...)
    • full body stretch
  2. Tue)
    • 3x5 squats @ 107.5kg; 1x5 deadlifts @ 117.5kg
    • (possibly something else - mainly depends on energy or if I have work etc)
  3. Wed)
    • off
  4. Thur)
    • upper body workout: pushups, pullups, bent over rows (60kg), and some dumbbell exercises (incl. shoulder exercises)
  5. Fri)
    • hiit or "functional" training (e.g. Power house wkt w/ sandbag)
  6. Sat)
    • 3x5 squats @ 110kg; 1x5 deadlifts @ 120kg
    • practice Turkish get ups (kettlebell)
    • + some cardio: rowing or bike or whatever...
  7. Sun)
    • upper body workout: pushups, pullups, bent over rows (60kg), and some dumbbell exercises (incl. shoulder exercises)
    • 30min run: goal/trying to run 20min at 9kph, or at least 15min...
We'll see if I manage to do every day of this, lately I've often managed 5 out 6 wkts/days, I don't really care honestly... Training 4 days a week is good enough for me, in terms of what I aim for...
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 03/10/22
  1. 3xAMRAP s-pullups (so-called "chin-ups"): 5, 3, 2.
  2. 3xAMRAP pushups but with 30"-40" rest only: 10, 5, 4.
  3. 15min @ 8.2kph, to be more precise it's really 14' @ 8.5kph, with the first 40''-60'' spent increasing the treadmill's speed...I did about 2km, as expected. But didn't feel like going for 20' or 30'. Still a great effort and workout
  4. full body stretching, with those SWEET pigeon stretches/folds that I love
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 04/10/22
  1. Squats
    1. Warm up:
      1. 1x5 @ empty bar (20kg)
      2. 1x3 @ 70kg
      3. 1x1 @ 90kg
    2. 3x5 squats @ 107.5kg
  2. Deadlifts
    1. Warm up: 1x3 @ 107.5kg (usually I'd do one more warm up set before that, e.g. 1x5 @ 70 or 80kg, but I had to take the metro by 8am so couldn't spend more time... - and anyways I was already warmed up because of the squats!)
    2. 1x5 @ 117.5kg
Usually I don't write down the 'warm up sets' - just the 'work sets' - but this is what I did before going to my 8.30am uni course.
This time again it was really tough - which is normal! it's heavy lifting (at my level, that is)! - but I did my best to maintain as-perfect-as-possible technique/form. We'll see if I manage to increase to 110kg (squats) and 120kg (deadlift) by the end of this week...
Cheers everyone! Have a nice week!
 
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Al Raven

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For a bunch of days - since 27/09, when I last did bench press (and shoulder/overhead presses, not sure which one is the source...) - I've had a light ache/issue somewhere in my right shoulder or thereby. Hasn't been an obstacle for squats and deadlifts, and doing (supinated) pullups and pushups wasn't a problem as far as I can see/tell, but that's also why I don't want/plan to do heavy barbell pressing exercises at least not right now (and it does also reflect a comment I made at some point, about how easily one can get injured with those even when trying to be careful..).
When I get a moment (tomorrow) I'll try to use the foam roller, and in any case to be clear it's not very painful nor does it make most exercises/wkt (excluding those specific exercises, obviously) impossible as I said...
 

Al Raven

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Today I'm gonna try mixing the Chest & Back and Upperbody Forge (strength/dumbbell) workouts. I'm simply aiming to do both, but it looks hard so let's see how much I can do!
 
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GentleOx

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Hi. I'm late to the party but have read up on your lifting posts. You might've already addressed what I'm about to say, but anyway.

Regarding how much weight you use, and adding weight each week, you will hit a wall. It's impossible to consistently make gains every week, for example. I tried doing it and it worked... until it didn't. Programming is probably our best friend in this regard, in that it targets long-term gains rather than instant, short term ones.

I'm glad to see you incorporating the Squat and Deadlift. They are possibly the most important weight training exercises anyone can do.

That said, I've historically been strongest with pressing movements. And you're right. The potential for injury is there with the bench and the overhead press (I've injured myself with the bench several times). If it ends up being too costly, it's wise to not do it anymore; as you said, experimenting with something different would be better.

@TopNotch mentioned setting goals. For me, I'm working towards a 165 bench press for example, but this is made up of smaller goals (eg 145 x 5 or 147.5 x 4). It's up to you.

Ultimately, it's good to see you keeping a log, and for doing weights in the first place. Good on you; keep it up :move:
 

Al Raven

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Managed to complete both, starting with Chest & Back wkt, but had to do less reps for pushups and shoulder presses (esp. because of the fact it's only 30" or 20" between sets):

4x amap pushups with dumbbells: 12, 6, 4, 2(3).
shoulder presses: 10, 10, 5, 3.
 

Al Raven

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Hi. I'm late to the party but have read up on your lifting posts. You might've already addressed what I'm about to say, but anyway.

Regarding how much weight you use, and adding weight each week, you will hit a wall. It's impossible to consistently make gains every week, for example. I tried doing it and it worked... until it didn't. Programming is probably our best friend in this regard, in that it targets long-term gains rather than instant, short term ones.

I'm glad to see you incorporating the Squat and Deadlift. They are possibly the most important weight training exercises anyone can do.

That said, I've historically been strongest with pressing movements. And you're right. The potential for injury is there with the bench and the overhead press (I've injured myself with the bench several times). If it ends up being too costly, it's wise to not do it anymore; as you said, experimenting with something different would be better.

@TopNotch mentioned setting goals. For me, I'm working towards a 165 bench press for example, but this is made up of smaller goals (eg 145 x 5 or 147.5 x 4). It's up to you.

Ultimately, it's good to see you keeping a log, and for doing weights in the first place. Good on you; keep it up :move:
Thanks for sharing! Yeah I think for the time being pressing movements I'm gonna do with dumbbells only (or mostly), but good to see that it's worked better for you (though I'm sure it was through patience and persistence and commitment, I feel it's the kind of thing where you can get stuck early on and stop, or have to go through a period of hard struggle before some progress is possible...)
 

Al Raven

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I don't want to do the barbell/weightlifting workout today (planned to attempt squats at 110kg and deadlifts at 120kg), I'll probably do something else at home instead...
And next week I might do three workouts with twice 107.5 sq/117.5kg dd, and then try 110kg/120kg at the end of the week.
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 10/10/22
  • chest & back challenge, day 1: 3xMAX pushups (30"rest) -> 14, 6, 3.
  • (sup.) pullup chall. day 15: 4, 2, 2 (up to 2' rest).
  • "sup." means supinated, bcz as I'd explained in the previous version of this thread/log, I don't like calling supinated(or underhand)-grip pullups "chin-ups", I know it's pedantic/petty but that's just how my brain works. In my handwritten workout plans/notes/notebooks I write "splu" for supinated pullups aka "chin ups", and "pplu" for pronated pullups. Both grips are the same exercise - pulling your whole body with your arms and back (and core) strength - working the upper back muscles like few other exercises can (arguably none are as good as pullups...) and obviously depending on the grip there's an added emphasis on either biceps (splu) or lats (pplu).
  • As you can see I've decided - maybe, let's try it this week and see how it goes, I might switch it up if I don't like it but I'm pretty settled on the chest & back chall. at least because doing sets of pushups to failure with minimum (30") rest is good for me/my goals I think... - to take up two challenges, one of which I'm starting on day 15 because I can already do 5 s-pullups (max/to failure).
  • Tomorrow I will do squats 107.5kg and deadlifts at 117.5kg again, I don't mind not jumping in weight constantly - or rather, since I didn't feel like/want to train last weekend, I'm fine not testing the 110/120kg weights yet. The nice thing is that at this stage, the weights for both exercises are pretty big/heavy, so I also feel like I'm getting a great fullbody workout even if I'm not increasing weights all the time...^^ I LOVE HEAVY SQUATS AND DEADLIFTS!!!
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 13/10/22
  1. tried continuing pullups challenge but that's not gonna work for me
  2. Chest & Back chall. day 3: 3xMAX pushups (30" rest) - 12, 5, 4.
  3. Squats 3x5 @ 107.5kg (warm up: 1x5@bar, 1x5@60, 1x3@90)
  4. Deadlifts 1x5 @ 120kg (warm up: 1x3@100)
  5. Chest & Back chall. day 4: 3x22 renegade rows with 6kg dumbbells (30" rest)
 

Al Raven

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PS: yesterday I also played badminton for ~1h-1.5h. We were playing doubles so it was less intense than I'd have enjoyed (which is what happens in singles, but that was still nice. (also basically me and another girl out of the 4 were probably similarly eager to actually go all out and so on, the other two were clearly less so - and also less proficient in terms of skills)
 

Al Raven

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Wkt log 20/10/22
  1. Squats: 3x5 @ 110kg!!!
    • Warm up sets: 1x5 @bar/20kg, 1x5 @ 60kg, 1x3 @ 90kg, 1x1 @ 100kg.
  2. Deadlifts: 1x5 @ 120kg (mixed grip made it possible not to have to use chalk^^)
    • Warm up set: 1x3 (or 2) @ 110kg.
  3. 3x20 alternating bicep curls @ w/ 10kg dumbbells
Simple, straighforward workout, but damn it feels so good!
 
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