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The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:11 am

Here's what chest (or bench press) day looks like:

Bench Press

1 set of 10 reps at 50% of 1RM
1 set of 6 reps at 60% of 1RM
1 set of 5 reps at 70% of 1 RM*
3 sets of 5 reps at 80% of 1 RM**
1 set to failure at 80% of 1RM**

Incline Dumbbell Press***

2 sets of 8 reps
1 set to failure

Barbell Shoulder Press***

2 sets of 8 reps
1 set to failure

Close-Grip Bench Press***

2 sets of 8 reps
1 set to failure

Weighted Crunch***

4 sets of 20

* By Week 3, he prescribes 75% of 1 RM.
** In Weeks 3-4, he prescribes 90% of 1 RM; in Weeks 5-6, he prescribes 95% of 1 RM!
*** Use same weight for all sets.

----------

I had the same problem with selecting weight when I started the four-minute workout, only I selected too much weight for nearly all exercises. I'm finishing up Week 5 this weekend and will be doing Week 6 next week. Then I will switch it up.

I really enjoyed the workout, but I think I enjoyed it more in the first few weeks. It's amazing how quickly a workout can get stale. I think I prefer sticking to four-week segments. I was also hoping for a few more results. My weight has barely budged, and I'm not sure I look any leaner, bulkier or anything really, except for post workout when I have the benefit of the pump. But we're all our own worse critic. I always think I look like crap.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:23 pm

Well, you are a helluva lot less fat and a helluva lot more muscular than me, so get over it!

I agree about the switchup. Four weeks seems about optimal for me, though if there is some alternation like on the six week plan that I just finished it works fine. But even then, I would rarely go over the six. Keep in mind, though, that one of the big benefits with a program like the four minute sets is how your body responds once you switch back to conventional lifting; in theory at least, you should be able to push more.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:11 am

I'm not so sure about that. I've seen photographs and you hardly look fat. Yes, I might weigh less, but I'm also quite a bit shorter.

I might default to a simple workout for the next week or two and then try Stoppani's 3X2 workout (another six-week commitment). I also found in my April 2009 Muscle and Fitness yet another Stoppani workout: Tabatas! I would like to cycle around to that in eight weeks or so, but need to figure out what to do in-between. My concern with the 3x2 is that is seems very power-lifter based. While I like building strength, I'm not looking for that kind of build.

RE: Tabatas - I even followed your lead and ordered a Gym Boss so that I could do them more effectively. I was garish and ordered the orange one.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:06 am

It works like a charm. The best way to program the intervals is to set the 10 second rest interval FIRST, followed by the 20 second work interval. The reason is that obviously you do not need the 10 second rest alarm after your last working set, and by putting it first it gives you 10 seconds after pressing the button to get in place for starting the exercises. I have just been using the beep alarm at home, but if your gym is loud (like the Snap down here has been) you may want to use the vibrating alarm.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:25 am

I didn't even look at the features. I'd be happy with vibration if it's similar to the vibration alert on a cellular and can be set without a beep. That's less invasive for others around me. Otherwise, I will just use the beep. Can you adjust the volume?

I elected for economy shipping. Because it's international, it might be weeks before I see the device. But it will be about eight weeks before I start the Tabatas, so I think it will work out. At $20, it was a no brainer compared with trying to work a stopwatch, which doesn't work for 20 seconds on, 10 second off (although I have heard that some people use altered music files with the beeps overlaying the audio track). I did consider searching for a phone app, but I thought it best to have a device in the gym that can be dropped or stepped on and probably won't break. The price was just right to stop me from looking for an alternative.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:56 pm

I have used some apps like a metronome app to do one-and-done sets, but I agree that the gym floor is no place for a phone. The Gymboss is cheap and appears durable. You can set two different beep levels, or vibrate, or a combination.

You may be surprised at their shipping. I just took the basic economy shipping as well, and they sent me an email a couple of hours after I placed my order that they had shipped it. And I got it three days later.


I weaseled out of the workout this morning after the Valley of Fire hike yesterday . . .
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri May 03, 2013 2:10 pm

I have only my leg workout today and then I'm done the four-minute workout.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do next week. I continue to toy with the 3x2 workout. What do you think of what I posted, keeping in mind that that is bench day only? I'm concerned I might look overly smooth and bloated after something like that.

I might consider a HIIT workout that I do. It takes 12 weeks total, but is actually two workouts split across the 12 weeks: the first six call for heavy weight, the last six higher reps. Both workouts have you constantly moving for the entire session, and I could easily turn it into an eight-week commitment (four weeks per each workout). Maybe I'll flip a coin this weekend.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Sun May 05, 2013 6:28 am

After coming off the 4 minute sets, it would be a good time to hit a heavy growth/gain routine like the 3x2s. It would be interesting to see how you do. I know, that makes you the guinea pig, but why not? On the other hand, I would probably not go to something like a HIIT routine now since essentially you just came off of one with the four-minute sets. I try to use the interval routines to break things up, but not back-to-back.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon May 06, 2013 12:21 pm

I'll be the guinea pig and I'll let you know how it goes. Day 1 starts today, with legs of all things . . . .

I need to figure out some cardio for in-between. I was thinking light cardio on an off day and then maybe a round of no longer than 20 minutes of HIIT on another off day (e.g., doing some sprints toward the end of the week, when my legs have gotten over the shock of today).

Incidentally, my Gym Boss arrived yesterday. It shipped from a Canadian address, so they must be set up to ship out of the US and Canada.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon May 06, 2013 1:20 pm

I would have been surprised if it took much longer. They seem on the ball. It may just be that it is a small company, but on the other hand we can both think of a few small companies who did not exactly excel at shipping . . .


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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue May 07, 2013 11:39 am

The leg workout (essentially seven sets of squats, followed by three sets of leg press, three sets of leg extensions, three sets of calf raises and three sets of wood choppers) went quite well.

I have to give some props to the four-minute workout. Even though I was using heavier weight, it didn't feel as heavy as I would have thought. I was also presently surprised by my recovery in-between sets. The idea in Week 1 of the squats, for example, is to use a weight that's 80% of your one-rep max for the last four sets. I've never actually figured out my one-rep max in squats, but I can squat 405 for about three to five reps, so I assumed my one-rep to be about 425. That put my 80% at 340 pounds. The workout has you do three sets of five reps at that weight, then one set to failure. Between sets, I was barely resting 20 to 30 seconds. Coming off of the four-minute workout, where I was basically Tabata-ing it in the last week (allowing myself only 10-second rest intervals), 20 seconds felt like forever. The result is that I was able to keep up the intensity, even moving heavy weight. And the low reps seemed easy after constantly pushing for high reps to get in a target of 60 reps in four minutes during the four-minute workout.

I worked through the leg workout in about 35 to 40 minutes, which isn't bad for 19 sets comprising mostly heavy weight and four of those sets to failure.

On the flip side, the 3x2 isn't much different from the Yates workout I've done in the past, as he also recommends working to failure. My legs hurt today, but not too bad. That said, I'm sure the lactic acid will build up as the day goes on.

I'll stick with the 3x2 for six weeks. I got a good a sweat going and I feel I only need to supplement the workout with a couple of days of cardio: one moderate and one HIIT -- the latter can be done in about 20 minutes, so not a huge time commitment. I also upped my protein intake about six weeks ago, and added branch-chain amino acids to the mix. I find that helps with post-workout fatigue and recovery.

If you're looking to build strength and a little size following your Tabatas, it might be worth giving this workout a go (I will know better as I progress through the weeks). Did you find it on the Muscle and Fitness site, or did you find something similar on Stoppani's site? Incidentally, the May 2013 issue of Muscle and Fitness includes the Rock Hard Challenge workout. It looks like a heavy time commitment, but that might be next after the 3x2. We'll see.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue May 07, 2013 2:45 pm

Incidentally, I'm tempted to check out Pain and Gain, just for the sheer motivation. Have you seen the movie yet?
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed May 08, 2013 7:15 am

That was one that I debated seeing in Vegas, but looking at the reviews I decided that it was going to be too violent for Eve. I do want to see it, though. I still despise Michael Bay on general principles, but he has gone outside the box before, to good effect: namely, The Island. That remains the only Michael Bay movie that I actually liked, and I actually like it quite a bit. So I have hopes for this one. The fact that the reviews and Cinemascore ratings are pretty week (in the latter case, it got a "C") only makes me want to see it even more; I seem to like his movies when no one else does. The trailers seemed pretty funny to me.


I am definitely going to focus on some kind of mass gain program after the tabatas, but I have yet to settle on something. I may give it two or three weeks more before I switch, so there is time to decide.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri May 17, 2013 3:08 pm

I still haven't seen Pain and Gain, but I'm two weeks into the 3x2 program. I move into the second phase next week. It's been pretty good and definitely worth a look, if you're still searching.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Sat May 18, 2013 5:39 pm

I will take a look at it in more detail. I was debating ending the tabatas early, but I decided to pull a full 6 weeks, even if they get to be a bit of a drag. They definitely burn fat!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue May 28, 2013 3:46 pm

I have true tabatas in the rotation, but I won't get to those for a while. I'm in Week 4 of the 3 x 2 workout and I would like to do something in-between before doing the tabatas. I'm still toying with doing the Rock Hard Challenge workout.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed May 29, 2013 3:33 am

I was mulling over a volume-based rather than set-based program from M&F that focuses on total reps, not sets. The idea is to aim for a final number of reps, regardless of the exact number of sets that it takes. It would be nice to stop worrying about the exact rep count on each set for awhile:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/routines/death-set

Their suggested program uses an 8-10rm for a starting point, so that would be in the mass-building range that I should probably hit now that I am off the tabatas -- time to try to put some on.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:03 pm

So long as your mixing it up and training smart, that is what matters most.

I think I'm going to do a three- to four-week reverse grip workout (focuses on using a reverse grip for most exercises to hit the muscles differently), intermixed with HIITs for cardio following the end of the 3x2. Then I will do the Tabatas and then find something else.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:18 pm

Reverse grip bench presses are awesome. I tried those for the first time a few months ago, and you definitely will feel the difference!

I decided to scratch the plan and went with drop sets instead: first set at 4-6 reps, then drop 5-20lbs (depending on the exercise) each set while increasing reps, with no rest except the time it takes to switch weights. So 4-6 on the first set, 6-8 on the second, 8-10 on the third, 10-12 on the fourth and 12-15 on the fifth and final. Isolation exercises like dumbbell curls work fine dropping 5lbs, with compund exercises taking more -- I dropped 20lbs a set on squats. For my leg day, I did just five exercises: squats, romanian deadlifts, leg extensions, leg curls and standing calf raises -- and despite the smaller grouping, my muscles are still smarting two days later.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:02 pm

I'm going to take a week vacation and will probably not work out during that time. I'm not sure what to do when I get back at it. Here's why:

I definitely gained weight doing the 3x2, although I have also spiked my protein intake. In the six weeks I did the workout (I have one more day to go), I've gained about six to seven pounds. Not sure if that is all good weight, but my waist size hasn't gone up, so that's something. But I definitely have a fuller look (think Hardy, just less so), so it is definitely not lean muscle. Maybe it wasn't the best workout to do going into summer, but what the hell.

So I might look at doing something to lean up a little. I probably also have to revisit my diet (which, to date, has pretty much comprised eating whatever I feel like).
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:29 am

Oh, I still struggle with the food.  I know that I could do so much more with myself if I just sucked it up and ate a really disciplined diet, but since I enjoy food so much it would really take away one of my favorite things in life.  I take some consolation from the fact that I have very good taste and like quality food, plus I cook extensively and avoid processed foods.  So there are good things about my diet; I just end up eating more than I should. 

The continuous drop sets are murder.  My arms are still shaking from the chest/triceps that I did this morning.  That is a good thing, though!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:47 pm

I enjoy eating and cooking as well. It's not so much that I'd change what I eat, but how I eat (e.g., paying a little more attention to protein-carb-fat splits and overall portion sizes at meals).

I will be taking some time off from working out and then I will have three weeks before I have to leave for a business trip, so I'm debating what to do over those three weeks. I'm contemplating a Tabatas blast or a more simple circuit routine. Both will keep the intensity up. The former has the benefit of a burn and after-workout pump; the latter is more conventional, but will allow weight and rep selection that I think will target better results for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the Tabatas, but I didn't really see visual results from the four-minute workout beyond the after-workout pump. However, I did experience a boost in muscle endurance, which is nothing to sneeze at. That said, I think a true Tabatas workout will be more intense, so I'm certainly willing to have another go, but I wonder if I'd be best to do that in about a month's time.

A few posts back you mentioned that the Tabatas really melt fat. Did you notice a big difference with your body following the Tabatas?
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:58 pm

Well, I am still too fat, but it definitely cut some down.  The full workout does not add real volume and mass, but it does add lean muscle, and that can be visible.  Plus, like I think that I said before it really helps build endurance for a switch to something that does add mass.  The drop sets that I am doing now are particularly nasty since they involve little rest between sets, plus have increased reps as the weights go down.  So the muscles are screaming when you get to the end.  The tabatas helped prepare me for that.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:44 pm

The muscle endurance boost from the four-minute was awesome, particularly when I moved on to the 3x2, but I think I reported that a few posts back.

I'm doing a HIIT circuit for the next three weeks. I feel like my body (read joints) need a break from the pounding they took during the 3x2. Heavy sets of squats and deadlifts over six weeks are trying on the knees! Although I'd like to work deadlifts into the circuits I'm doing. I miss them.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:02 pm

I went back to one of the basic four-week split mass gain routines from M&F.  One of my favorites:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/routines/workout-routines-gain-10-pounds-muscle-4-weeks


Stoppani also posted a pretty interesting article about gaining mass:

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/training/routines/workout-routines-gain-10-pounds-muscle-4-weeks
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