Bench Work 02/26/08

competition grip bench: 135×3, 225×1, 275x24x1, 275×3

reverse grip oly bar curl: 95×7,5 I had a wicked pump after this.

front squat: 225×1, 275×1, 275×5

strict log press: 160×6,6

pullup: bwx6,6

snatch grip deadlift: 275×15

10″ incline GHR: bwx7,7

We need to move a little faster during the main movement (I originally wrote maovement, which I guess is a communist workout regime) so we can get the hell out of here. This routine really isn’t that much volume, but it takes forever and it’s beating up my jizzy-joints.

On the plus side though, I feel strong as an ox. I think I’ll probably total one thousand million hundred pounds at the meet.

Bench Work 02/26/08

Archetypes and What to do About Them

I’m sure a lot of my readers are familiar with somatotypes. Occasionally you see them referenced in bodybuilding articles with reccomendations for the different types, or references to building a more mesomorphic physique. There are even types or ‘elements’ in traditional chinese medicine, which Charles Poliquin has written about regarding training prescriptions.

Regardless of how you feel about somatotypes or TCM, there are archetypes and they do make a difference in training prescriptions. Now, I’m not sure they’re an intrinsic untrainable quality, or that they fit into three molds or five. I just know we can use the archetype as a useful tool if we both take it with a grain of salt and use broad brushstrokes. Here are the two types I see the most and that seem to have the most importance in training:

The Couch Potato

This type is someone who doesn’t have any work capacity. Their body has simply not been trained to do anything strenuous. Grade school was not a lot of fun for this person, as they probably didn’t play a sport and sucked at PE. Without training, this person was probably fat, or skinny-fat ie small but soft, without any discernible muscle tone. I was one of these kids, so I feel like I can tell it like it is without hatin’.

There’s probably a confluence of genetic and environmental factors at play here, but the latter is the malleable and thus important one. I’m not saying genetics is equitable and that we’re all equally gifted because it’s not true. I am saying that we can make an immense change in our bodies by what we do with it.

Signs you may be this type:

  • You are fat or were fat before you started training. Your natural level of body condition is on par with this guy:
He didnt do well in kickball.
He didn't do well in kickball.
  • When you were school aged you didn’t play any sports on school or competitive teams.
  • When you had to do the President’s Physical Fitness test, you couldn’t run a mile without stopping
  • You’re male and can’t do a pullup
  • You’re male and can’t squat your bodyweight
  • You’re male and can’t do 20 good pushups

I’m light on indicators for the ladies, since I have a lot less experience with watching you train and the women I’ve trained have kind of been studs.

What you need to do:

You need to move, a lot. Since you’re either genetically predisposed or have been potentiated by your early life to be sedentary and soft, you need a ton of physical activity to get your metabolism humming and your work capacity up to par so you can do actual meaningful training.Remember, it’s not all bad, you’ve got some advantages. For one, gaining weight isn’t a big deal to you and since you’re probably not very neurologically efficient, you’ve got a great tolerance for volume.

  • Do whole body workouts, at least until you get your body up to some kind of fitness baseline. For males, I’d say a 315-225-405 total on the three powerlifts (squat – bench – deadlift, respectively) is a good start. Until then, you’re work capacity is to shitty to piddle around with bodypart splits.
  • Train 3-4 days per week.
  • Take rest periods no more than three minutes, because you are too out of shape to rest. Get a watch or look at the clock, don’t guess and don’t chitchat.
  • Do some kind of physical activity every day. On your off days do some gentle cardio, like a half hour on a stationery bike while you read a book. You don’t need to get all winded and out of breath, just do it. Going for a walk would be good to. Do it every off day.
  • On one of your training days, do some kind of conditioning work, preferably early in the morning, at least six hours before you train if you train at night. You could do some sprints on the stationery bike or rowing machine or do some bodyweight circuits. Try pushups, squats and 8-count bodybuilders.

Part II I’ll go over another archetype that I’m currently dealing with.

Archetypes and What to do About Them

Squats 02-24-09

close grip bench: 260×5, 10 These were pretty easy.

hammer curls: 65×5, 50×10

free squat: 225×1, 315×1, 385x25x1 These sucked. By set 20 my partner was done and I solo’d the last 5. I’m not sure what we can do to go any faster with these.

chins: bwx9 This was a big rep PR and at a bodyweight of 260 no less. Definitely a big day for Chins!

snatch grip dead: 320×10

GHR, back elevated 10 inches: bwx12

log press: 160×11

band abs: 6 reps against light bands

face pull: 7×12, 9×12

ez bar curls: 115×10

I really didn’t feel like doing the last bit of accessory work, but we had already been training for so long the thought was, Piss on it, we might as well.

Afterward we went to a local restaurant and buy one get one free chicken fried steak dinners. Then I had a peanut butter cup pie with hot maple syrup on it. I had a handful of supplements and a protein shake while I ate and I feel bloated and strong as balls!

Squats 02-24-09

Damn the Squat Gods

Up against the grade our Heros climb

To the top of Squat, victory to find

The going is tough, the way is long

Soft flesh tears and breath can’t be found

Healing elixirs are downed for life

Salves and linaments on torn skin applied

One hero falls bravely along the way

Victory stayed till another day

One man still climbing, scraping and fighting

Carried on by the lust for blood and Gods for smiting

To the peak of Squat, he goes to blows

High on the peak, with the Squat Gods he comes to a row

These beasts or Gods cannot be slain

Not of flesh or mortal coil; their fight remains

The wardrums subside and bitter smoke clears

The Hero finds succor finally amidst blood and his tears

It’s a lark, all a game, for the Gods will call again

For the Hero to climb to their peaks, an enemy and a friend

Damn the Squat Gods


I’ve been doing a little half-assed cardio just to stave off sloppyfatness and improve my recovery and conditioning.

Friday I did 25 minutes on the stationery bike and rolled the shit out of myself on the foam roller. It actually made me a little nauseous.

Yesterday I got a gratis massage (legitamate I assure you) and it made me feel pretty good. Apparently my right glute and left hip flexor are really tight.

Tonight I did 20 minutes on the bike and some token stretching and foam rolling. Also on the massage therapists advice, I did some butterfly stretch and worked the adductors.

Hottie Report: I talked to a very nice young lady on the exerbikes.



Part of the inspiration for this program was some of the Russian source training literature I’d found. I think the Russians are full of shit. I’m not sure how well some of their numbers mesh for people not on boatloads of delicious androgens.

deadlift: 435x25x1, 3ish minutes rest

skipped front squats

close grip bench: 225×10,15

chin up: bwx3x2

GHR: bwx3x4

skipped log press: I didn’t think it was even worth doing sets of two with a namby pamby weight on the log press. This was a case of skipping something easy, unlike the front squats, which was an issue of skipping something hard because I felt like shennanigans.

I’m hoping we can get our workouts done faster and include more accessory work once we get our conditioning built up.