Still novice, trying the 40 day workout Still novice, trying the 40 day workout

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Thread: Still novice, trying the 40 day workout

  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Still novice, trying the 40 day workout

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    I'll just start this log today, maybe update next week, not daily. I did SS for several months, but I sucked at it, got pneumonia, divorced, several temporary moves, etc. - life was rough last year, and it impacted my recovery. Also I'm 40, desk jockey, very unathletic, with long gangly limbs. Also, I was unwilling to eat 5k calories per day knowing how long it took me to lose my fat ass in the first place.

    So, I'm finally in a good spot - stable place to live, less job stress, healthy (if weak), and I joined a flash new gym. But I'm trying something different for these few months instead of the SS program - the Dan John 40 day "GTG type" program that gets mentioned, plus trying to finish linear progression in deads and cleans.
    I was losing confidence on my lifts at the end of my SS time -too many failures, too much damn milk, etc. My hammies are way flexible and I'm still not feeling any "bounce" and can get very very low on squats. The extent this has impacted my program is hard to determine.
    So if this new program gets me to an easy 2 plate squat for sets, without getting any fatter, I'll be happy even if it takes me a couple of months.

    My program: daily (4-5 x week) easy squats 2x5, chins 2x5, press 2x5, going heavier (but not near failure) once a week or so and increasing weight as the mood strikes me but never approaching grinder reps.
    Adding in (I am a newbie after all) on linear progression:
    Monday Cleans 5x3 plus some push presses
    Tuesday dumbell bench presses 3xamrap (without failing)
    Wed conditioning: Short metcon stuff like box jumps + goblet squats for time. Under 10 min.
    Thursday deads: 2x3 linear progression

    Food: Still basically paleo, but adding in white rice and potatoes as needed. Trying to reduce the booze and sleep a lot better.

    Do me a favor and don't criticize the nonSS approach I'm taking - this is my workout log and I'm not asking for advice, just logging my workouts. Worst thing that can happen is I'll spin my wheels but get a lot of form practice in for a couple of months. I have a hunch this will work (defined as increase my squat and press) for me without exhausting or injuring me.
    Last edited by tfarny; 08-11-2011 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2010
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    Forgot to add - I'll do a couple sets of "heavy" curls after DLing as well. Why no benching - well, I hate it, want to focus on the press for now, and this is already plenty of volume I think (too much? We'll see). Maybe next time I'll do a round of this with bench.

    So far I have done 6 workouts on this plan. No PRs yet, but that's not the system. Work sets are 165 for squat - I'm going to monitor bar speed to judge when to move this up. Basically I'm going to stay away from "grinder" reps and failing for these 40 workouts.

    Height: 6'1"
    Weight: 200 lb
    PRs (from around April, when I stopped SS and did a bunch of conditioning stuff instead): Squat 205 Press 110 Bench 175 DL 265 Cleans 135 Chins 7 or so strict BW, 3 @ +15. YES: I'M STILL WEAK.

    Today:
    squat 2x5 165 fine, easy
    chins 2x5 bw fine
    OHP 2x5 90 harder today than yesterday, still went up just fine
    dumbell bench 55s 7,6,5 - same as last week. Annoying bodybuilder w/ 15 lb work set was crowding me the whole time.
    Last edited by tfarny; 08-11-2011 at 03:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    Nope, I'm kinda interested and have read at least one other guy's log while trying the 40 days workout. He seemed to like it.

  4. #4
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    Workout #8 - went in fatigued from Racquetball the previous day and kinda poor sleep, but wanted to try the "weekly heavy singles" part of the workout - and I hit 2 1rm kinda-PRs! Kinda because they were above my best 5rm previous but I mighta been able to hit them at that time. Worked up to 110 x1press (no cheat), 210 x1 squat. The best part was although they were heavy I felt my form was just fine and honestly I might have had another 5-10 lb to go on the squats. Liking this program. Even if these aren't really evidence of PRs, at least I've worked back up around my best lifts at the end of SS four months ago, and in only a couple weeks.
    Also, down 2 lb on the scale but i don't put too much stock in minor weight fluctuations. Not getting fatter though.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
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    Workout # 11 - can't frickin believe it but my knee came up gimpy AGAIN in racquetball the other day. So I'm doing no lower body and not even that much walking (I walk a lot, I live in NY) till it feels proper again. So the last few workouts my "prescribed" workout has been chins 2x5, ohp 2x5 - hardly enough to bother with, so of course I did a bunch of assistance (our little code for "bodybuilder-like") stuff too. Some highlights (for me): dumbell bench 55s 8,8,8 - chins (+10) 5,3, (bw) 5 (all strict and complete) - and push press 125x2, 135x1 (missed #2). I did feel a bit like I was "just fuckin around in the gym" but whatever. Let the knee heal, build up teh gunzs. It was fun too.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2010
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    If you're interested in more information on the 40-day program, check out Dan John's posts in this thread on irongarmx.net: http://irongarmx.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=216257

    Here's the really interesting stuff:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan John on IGX
    I could write a 600 page rant on that question. Here is the thing: percents don't work, excel spreadsheets don't work, planned lifting doesn't work. I know, I know, someone is going to post how they followed x or y for six months. I have tried them all. So, with the 40 day, you toss out load. I usually suggest you start out with like your third to last warm up on the Bench Press for 2 x 5. So, that might be 205 or 225 for a 405 bencher. And, that is easy!

    You do that this week twice and next week you toss on some more weight the first time you do 2 x 5. It goes up just as light, just as easy. By definition, you are stronger. You do that with all the variations and movements, here is the note I sent one of my athletes:

    Farmer Walk or Suitcase Walk (FW: Bell in each had; SW: Bell in one hand, then switch) Vary the distance EVERY time, and probably the load…if you can.

    Two sets of Five: it should be easy and be like your second or third warm up lift in a typical workout. The idea, the “secret,” is to get THIS workout to feel easier and easier!

    Five-Three-Two: Five reps with your 2 x 5 weight, add weight for three, then a solid double. Make the Double!!!

    Six Singles: I don’t care how you do this, but add weight each set. No misses!

    One set of ten: the day after six singles, very light load for ten easy “tonic” reps.

    60 percent of the workouts are 2 sets of 5, one in ten is Six Singles (followed by 1 x 10) and 20 percent (2 of 10) are 5-3-2.

    I made it that simple, because people just can't get their damn heads around the idea that you can get really strong by doing the movements. Here is the thing: if you train the 40 day workout, five days a week, that is eight weeks. Now, MOST people have NEVER done a program for 8 weeks, so the success might simply be...

    you do what you say you need to do.

    I have had dozens of emails where the person starts easy strength and a week later gets hurt doing some BS thing they read in a blog or decides to Olympic lift, Highland Game, Crossfit, and Zumba...

    The reason it is so easy to win, in my opinion, in sports is simply focusing on the task and lifting to support it. I can't believe when I hear football teams are doing aerobic dance, long distance runs, swimming...you name it...

    Have the courage to do something for eight weeks. If it is bullshit...and it might be!...then move on. Most trainees have never done the same thing for two workouts. It is something I learned from Dick Notmeyer: we snatched and clean and jerked three days a week and Jerked off the rack and front squatted two days a week for TWO straight YEARS. Then, he let me bench and squat and my numbers were off the charts. This is when I did my very first deadlift and I pulled 555 because the gym record was 550. I don't recommend this, but damn it, it works...

  7. #7
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    Nov 2010
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    Thanks, yeah - I think I've read all the stuff that's google-able on the program. I like it so far, though I wish my goddamn knee would cooperate with me. I'll keep posting once or twice a week on here. I didn't see any 40 day program logs on here, if anyone has logged their progress on it that would be great.

  8. #8
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    The knee seems to have recovered quickly. Squats felt heavier than they should have today as well as press. Today was workout #15. Hit a Deadlift PR 275 2x3. Made some manly noises by accident on the way up. Also, got "corrected" on my low bar position by a trainer who had not heard of low bar squats and thought I was just doing high bar squats wrong. I edumacated him.

    BTW, I don't want to start another thread, but if anyone else is reading this - what the fuck are those black tube things people are waving around as a "workout"? Not the basic black bar that looks like an iron pipe wrapped in foam - i'm talking about a big hollow pipe with handles built into it that you wave around in the air like an idiot.

    Back to checking out the possibility of hurricane evacuation....

  9. #9
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    Did a slightly-heavy day today and ended with some PRs, nothing fancy. 215x1 squat (good because it means my knee is fine and a PR is a PR) and 130 3X2 clean and split jerk. Also, bw chins 7,6 - not a PR but I'm just flying up there now, they feel easy. Chins have responded the best of the three GTG style lifts I'm doing, will have to try a max reps bw chins soon. Press - the worst. Squats - well, my squat is so weak it can't help but improve no matter the method.

    The fucking tubes are called Viper something. Unique to my yuppie gym chain apparently. Approximately as revolutionary a fitness tool as a pipe.

    <iframe width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Qovs9T80hh4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  10. #10
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    Nov 2010
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    starting strength coach development program
    Logging a typical "quick" day on this plan (my version of it anyhow):
    warmup: 500k sprint row on C2, stretches, air squats etc.
    2x5 175 lb squats - easy but should have been easier than they were
    2x5 chins - very easy. I've started touching my chest to bar to increase ROM and get closer to a muscle-up
    2x5 95lb press - press is never "easy" is it. Great bar speed on these today.
    Accessory: 4,3 push press 125 lb
    ran out of time and had to get out of there - 30 minutes total. Somebody in there was lifting heavier than I - I think he did 335 x5 DL or something. It's so rare to see someone lifting heavy.

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