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  • July17th

    Boring But Strong – 13 Cycle Challenge

    Negative Birth

     [NOTE: This is from the Jim Wendler Forum.]

    How this all came about is a long, long story so I’ll edit it down to the bare minimum: I am currently at the tail end of this challenge and I love it.  This, like the majority of training ideas that are born, happened by chance and by necessity.  This training is meant to be done by intermediate and advanced lifters.  I don’t recommend it for beginners because of the fatigue it illicits and their inability to keep good form.

    • Sets – 10
    • Reps – 5
    • Weeks 1-3 – 70%
    • Weeks 4-6 – 75%
    • Weeks 7 – Deload (choose the deload you want to do, no BBS training)
    • Weeks 8-10 – 80%
    • Weeks 11-13 – 85%

    The training is not meant to be done for every lift but theoretically, it can be done.  I highly recommend you do it for one lift or at the most, one upper body movement and one lower body movement.  But judging by last 15 years of answering questions and writing programs, no one will listen to that. So here is the entire program and the EXACT assistance to do on each day.  I only recommend what is written and will not sign off on any change.  This is because this is what I believe in.Your training max will change as normal – after each 3 week phase.  The % of the volume work will change AS YOUR TM CHANGES.  For example, let’s say you have a TM of 400 on the squat. The first 3 weeks the % will be based on 400.  After 3 weeks, your TM will go up to 410.  The % work is now based on 410.

    NOTE: The goal of this training is to finish the 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85% of your TM for each lift.

    Weeks 1-3

     Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

     Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Abs

     Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     

    Weeks 4-6 (remember to adjust TM)

     Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

    Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Abs

     Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     Week 7 – Deload – no volume work

    Weeks 8-10 (again adjust your TM)

     

    Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

     Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Abs

     Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 80%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     

    Weeks 11-13 (adjust TM)

     

    Monday

    •  Squat – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Squat – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Ab work

     Tuesday

    •  Bench Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Bench Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Face Pulls – 100 reps

     Thursday

    •  Deadlift– 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Deadlift – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Abs

    Friday

    •  Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps
    • Press – 10 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
    • Rear Laterals – 100 reps

     

    Notes:

    • In general, I recommend 1:00-1:30 rest between each set.  The goal is to get the volume work must be done in 15-20 minutes.  Don’t rush the first 5 sets as it will catch up to you.  You may feel like it is too light/easy but it creeps up on you!
    • Conditioning: the only conditioning I recommend is using the AirDyne for 30 minutes, 4 days/week.  This is not performance based conditioning but it is consistency based conditioning.
    • Flexibility/Mobility: I recommend the Defranco Agile 8 each morning, before each training session and before bed.
    • Jumps/Throws – 20 jumps or throws (or a combination of each) before each training session.
    • I recommend using the 5’s Progression on the 5/3/1 sets/reps – the goal of this training block is not to set PR’s.  So I only recommend 5’s Progression. No jokers.
    • Obviously this is not to be done with FSL or BBB.
    • Recovery: Since this is very intensive training, be sure you are getting the adequate sleep.  In general, at least 8 hours/day.
    • Diet: same recommendation as any heavy training – be sure you are eating enough protein, carbs and fat that you have found to improve performance. Reference the article I wrote on diet and how to simplify your eating.  Don’t follow those with eating disorders!
    • Supplements: I recommend the following: Mag-10 after training (I use 5 scoops), ZMA, Vitamin C – 2-3g a day, Multi-vitamin of your choosing every day, Fish oil (I love Krill oil by Mercola – 9 caps/day)
    • I personally don’t time my rest between my sets. What I do is set a running timer and just use it as a guideline for the rest between my sets. I try to get the first five sets done in 8 minutes or less. Then I space out the time for the remaining sets based on how I feel.
    • Do you feel like doing more assistance work? Don’t do it.
  • February24th

    Cattlepress – Hordes to Abolish the Divine

    With one of the greatest album titles in history, Cattlepress delivered an unsung slab of riff-heavy metal/hardcore/sludge.  I bought this CD at a show in Tucson – Isis, Candiria and Dillinger Escape Plan were playing a small show (this was before Isis and DEP got “big” so it was a pretty intimate setting.)  Cattlepress’ masterpiece was released on the now defunct HydraHead records – thus the reason why I got it at the Isis show.

    Anyway, I got to shoot the shit with Jeff Wood (Get it?  Shoot the SHIT with Jeff Wood – pre accident) who was the touring bassists for DEP at the time.  But the real treat for me was hearing Isis on their Celestial tour. Wow.  This was when they were at the peak of their heaviness and they destroyed the venue. Unfortunately, the venue was filled with Jason Vorhees dressed fools that did their best Bruce Lee impression and didn’t receive the Wall of Sound in a favorable light. Isis actually got booed for a bit.  DEP got on stage, went ape shit for a couple songs and Dmitri went out in the audience, microphone wrapped in his hand and beat the crap out of some guy that was taunting him. Show stopped, lights went on and it was over.  Damn fine show.

    Anyway, that’s when I picked up Hordes and it remains one of the heaviest, out-of-center releases I’ve heard.  The guitar tone IS Cattlepress – it is unique and singular to them.  And they don’t follow any path or style – they are fast, slow and often times discordant. An uneasy mix of hardcore rage and bludgeoning sludge.

    As far as I know, this was their only proper LP, the rest of their stuff is on compilations and 7”.  This remains one of the many unheard of gems in the metal world and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a shame.  These guys deserve to be held in high regard.