Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Tag: deadlift

Back to Basics: Strength Day 2

Warm-up

The warm-up shouldn't take you more than about 5-10 minutes to complete, especially once you become familiar with the exercises and sequencing. Watch the video to get an idea of how each exercise is done.

Quadruped Shoulder Series x 240 reps
Open/Close x 15 reps
Scarecrow x 15 reps
Scapular Retraction x 10 reps
Quadruped Torso Twists x 10 reps/side
Face Pulls with Scapular Retraction x 15 reps
External Rotations x 10 reps
Overhead Squats x 10 reps
Leg Swings x 48 reps
Scorpions x 8 reps
Fire Hydrants x 20 reps

Strength

Back (or Front*) Squat - all sets are 5 repetitions
40% of "working weight"
50% of "working weight"
60% of "working weight"
Working Set 1
Working Set 2
Working Set 3
Working Set 4
Working Set 5

Overhead Press - all sets are 5 repetitions
40% of "working weight"
50% of "working weight"
60% of "working weight"
Working Set 1
Working Set 2
Working Set 3
Working Set 4
Working Set 5

Snatch Deadlift** - all sets are 5 repetitions
40% of deadlift "working weight"
50% of deadlift "working weight"
60% of deadlift "working weight"

Deadlift - 5 repetitions
Working Set 1

*Front Squats - When starting this program, it is great to back squat 3x/week to build up your strength. However, I really like the front squat for a number of reasons, including preparing your body for Olympic Lifts down the road, improving posture, and most importantly, making your back squat that much better. Once you are able to back squat your own body weight 5x5, I recommend you start front squatting 50% of your 5x5 back squat on Strength Days 2 & 4, in place of back squats. So, if you are 180lbs and can squat 180lbs 5x5, start front squatting 90lbs on Strength Days 2&4, increasing in weight the same way you would with the other lifts by adding 5 pounds to the next workout, every time you successfully lift 5x5.

**Snatch Deadlift - Just read at how great this variation to a classic is. What's nice about this setup is that you probably won't be deadlifting as much with a snatch grip versus a clean grip, so as your traditional deadlift increases (clean grip), your snatch deadlift can increase accordingly based on the percentages. For example, if you are deadlifting 200lbs, your snatch grip sets will be 80, 100, and 120lbs. As your deadlift climbs to, say, 260lbs, you will then be lifting 105, 130, and 155lbs with the snatch grip. The snatch grip deadlift forces you to squat a bit deeper since your hands are further apart so you will get a bit more activation and stretch in the posterior chain and legs preparing you for the heavy set of clean grip deadlifts.

Each exercise has anywhere from 1-3 warm-up sets with 40, 50, and/or 60% of your "working sets" weight. All "working sets" weight stays the same for all working sets. I usually round to the nearest 5-pound increment for my warm-up sets. This is where 2.5lb. weight plates come in handy so that you can micro-load your barbell with 5 total pounds.

A set of squats (180lb. "working weight") would therefore look like this:

40% - 70lbs. x 5 reps
No rest
50% - 90lbs. x 5 reps
No rest
60% - 110lbs. x 5 reps
90 second rest

180lbs x 5 reps
*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps
*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps
*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps
*90 second rest
180lbs x 5 reps

*There is no set rest time between warm-up sets (besides the time it takes you to load your barbell), however, the following guidelines should be followed for the working sets:

  1. If you complete all 5 repetitions with ease and no break in form, take a 90 second break before the next working set.
  2. If you struggle with one or more repetitions to reach 5, take a 90-180 second (1.5-3 minute) break prior to starting your next working set. Do not be in a rush to start the next set, as your body requires time to recover from the previous set's effort. Your central nervous system also needs time to recover.
  3. If you miss one or more repetitions, which means you either fail to lift the weight at all, or substantially break form to complete (not recommended), then rest for 5 minutes before attempting the same weight again.

If you complete all 5 working sets with the same weight then you increase your weight by 5 pounds for the next workout you complete this exercise.

Accessory

Romanian Deadlift (RDL) - 3 sets of 5 repetitions completed the same as the strength lifts. Use the same weight for all 3 sets. If you get 5 reps easily, rest 90 seconds between sets. If you struggle to get 5 reps with the given weight, rest 3 minutes between sets. If you miss a rep or break form to complete a rep, rest 5 minutes before the next set.

Sumo Squat/Walking Lunges - 3 sets of 6-12 repetitions. Every set is 6-12 squat reps immediately followed by 6-12 lunging reps.

Chin-ups - Here you can essentially aim for max repetitions (3 sets). If your goal is to train for hypertrophy/strength gains, I recommend adding weight via a weight belt to keep your repetitions lower (6-12 range). This is the dip belt that I have. These should be done strict, no kipping. Trust me when I tell you that there is nothing like having a weight belt hanging in front of your genitals to prevent you from kipping to get more reps!

You will notice that I do not have single-muscle and/or single-joint accessory exercises (bicep curls, tricep extensions, etc.). The main strength lifts across all 4 strength days cover essentially every muscle in your body. Coupling that with some of the accessory work to aid in strength and growth, muscles like your biceps and triceps get plenty of work. For example, during a bench press or overhead press, although your are primarily pressing with your pectoral muscles of your chest or deltoid muscles of your shoulder, your triceps are heavily involved in the movement. By doing these exercises, your triceps will get stronger and grow.

Remember that these exercises/lifts are here to aid your main lifts. All of your focus and energy should be focused on your strength work. If, however, you wish to complete the accessory exercises, do not be as attached to previous workouts' numbers and wish to increase numbers. For example, you may have pressed 40lb. dumbbells for 8 reps on the incline press, but as you get stronger and push your bench press numbers higher, you may be more fatigued by the time you reach the accessory work, forcing you to either get fewer reps or drop the weight of the dumbbells a bit.

I use 90 second breaks between each set. I complete all sets of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise. I do not super-set. For example:

Sumo Squat/Walking Lunges x 6-12 reps
90 second rest
Sumo Squat/Walking Lunges x 6-12 reps
90 second rest
Sumo Squat/Walking Lunges x 6-12 reps

Questions/Comments/Concerns? Make sure to comment below!





My next 3 weeks of training

A real quick post detailing what I plan on doing for my final 3 weeks prior to starting P90X3. I am continuing with my mass/strength gaining theme. Lots of recovery time, but a lot of heavy lifting on working days. This may seem very different than what many of you are used to, so ask any questions if you find anything concerning.

My off/recovery days will be used to either completely rest, or do some light yoga/stretching if I am feeling stiff.

Sunday December 1st - Saturday December 21st

Sunday - Hockey
Monday - Workout 1
Tuesday - Off/Recovery
Wednesday - Workout 2
Thursday - Off/Recovery
Friday - Workout 3
Saturday - Off/Recovery

Workout 1

5x5 Back Squat
5x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift
Body Beast Bulk: Chest

Workout 2

5x5 Front Squat
5x5 Barbell Row
3x8 Good Mornings
Body Beast Bulk: Back (no deadlifts)
3x5 Turkish Get Up

Workout 3

5x5 Back Squat
5x5 Overhead Press
Diamond Delts

One glaring omission to many of you is the fact that I do not have a single, dedicated leg day. Well, that's because I am squatting 3x/week. I will be using the back squat on Mondays and Fridays and the front squat on Wednesdays. This will vary where the load is placed on my body so that I will activate muscles slightly different each time.

You may also notice a lack of "core" work. Again, with squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses, my core will be gaining PLENTY of strength. Just for good measure, however, I will be adding some Turkish Get Ups on Wednesdays.

No "isolation" work here (biceps, triceps, etc.) as my triceps will get worked on chest day, biceps will get worked on back day. I will be moving plenty of weight to work both of those muscle groups.

Heavy squatting, as well as deadlifting works wonders to increase production of testosterone and growth hormone to grow my muscles. That is one advantage to having squats 3x/week. I also need more recovery time between workouts to allow for proper recovery/tissue re-building.

This then gives me a week of recovery/light workouts prior to starting P90X3 on Sunday December 29th.





"But what do you do for cardio?"

I highly recommend you head over and check out Tony's post because it is a great, quick read! It also summarizes what I have been thinking about over the past year - year and a half, but have finally gotten my thoughts together to articulate what I wanted to say.

I get questions from people ALL the time, especially when it comes to doing a program like P90X  - what about the cardio? Don't even get me started on the people who are coming off of doing a program like Insanity...I think these folks think that their hearts are going to shrivel up and die because they don't have their beloved jumping up and down at a million miles an hour.

Let me state this one thing loud and clear. If you are looking for a challenge, a way to improve your cardio conditioning, a way to lose weight, etc. Insanity is pretty hard to beat. It is a great (albeit, HARD) home workout program. It really does test you physically. However, don't for a second think that it is the only way to get "fit," nor is it right for everyone.

One of my most popular blogs of all time is: "Should I do Insanity if I'm a skinny guy and can't keep my weight up?

 Dec 20 2012 - 170lbs.

Keep in mind that cardiovascular exercise is determined to be doing something that elevates your heart rate to a level above resting for a certain period of time. You do NOT need to get your heart rate to pound through the roof in order to lose weight. In fact, unless you are specifically training for a specific cardiovascular-specific event (5k, marathon, hockey, soccer, etc.) then lifting some heavy things, and getting your heart rate up a bit will work just fine to keep you healthy and at a reasonable weight. 

Want more proof? Over the past year and a half, I feel as though I have drastically cut back on how much "cardio" I do. I have grown up playing soccer and hockey, and have enjoyed training for Tough Mudders and the World's Toughest Mudder, and I was definitely in great shape, but it didn't really change the way I look all that much, nor did it need to be done to make me "healthier." 

So, since I have cut out a lot of my "traditional cardio," I have substituted in more heavy lifting, compound lifting, all in attempt to work towards new goals - gaining weight and muscle. I think I have changed a lot during this time and still feel great! 

Another misconception that I come across all the time is; I need "cardio" to lose weight. Not true at all. Remember that exercise is great for your body, and it can help  you lose weight, but weight is largely controlled by what you consume. If you want to gain weight - eat a lot. If you want to lose weight - eat less....

Oct 25 2013 - 188lbs

At the end of the day, what I'm saying is, don't be so attached to the idea of "traditional cardiovascular exercise." As Tony Gentilcore mentions in his post, just try and do 20 heavy squats without getting your heart rate up. 





Beachbody's Body Beast Bulk Back Modifications

Body Beast's "Build Phase" routines are quite well-rounded routines in my opinion, that is why I did not make too many changes to them. The "Bulk Phase" routines, on the other hand need a few more modifications to them. After each blog, I will explain why I made the changes that I did.

Bulk: Back

Single Set
Deadlift (Bar
)

Super Set
Dumbbell Pull-Over
Pull-Up

Progressive Set
Reverse Grip Row (Bar)

Force Set
One-Arm Row

Single Set
Back Rows


Super Set
Reverse Fly
Plank Rotation

I am not a fan of having the Deadlift towards the end of this workout. The deadlift is a full-body, compound movement that requires a great deal of strength, especially when done with a barbell. I am also a firm believer that all strength or heavy resistance-based workouts should start with one of your primary lifts - bench press, squat, deadlift, shoulder press.

Pull-ups in Beast are always done with some sort of weighted vest or weight in a backpack to increase intensity and keep volume down (# of reps).

Since I have moved deadlifts to the start of the workout, I then replaced them with back rows during the routine. These will be done, laying face-down on an inclined bench.

Any questions? Let me know!





Beachbody's Body Beast Build: Back/Bis Modifications

body_beast_logo.jpg

In case you missed it, I have started another round of Body Beast. This time around, I am utilizing my brand-new squat rack, Olympic bar, and weight plates. The extra fitness toys will allow me to alter some of the workouts a bit to not only take advantage of different exercises, but it will also allow me to up the ante, so to speak, with various exercises.

Build: Back/Bis

Single Set
Deadlift *bar

Super Set
Dumbbell Pull-Over
Pull-Up *weight vest

Giant Set
Underhand Row *dumbbells
One-Arm Row
Reverse Fly

Single Set
Close-Grip Chin-Up *weighted vest

Single Set
Seated Bicep Curl

Single Set
1,1,2 Hammer Curl

Single Set
Bar Curl *bar

Single Set
Airplane Cobra

I personally really like the idea of starting this workout with deadlifts. Deadlifts are one of the best all-around strength workouts you can do, and although this isn't entirely a strength-based workout, it is great to start a routine with such a great exercise. I will eventually transition to reps of 15-12-6 rather than 15-12-8 as I aim to lift more and more weight on the deadlifts.

Pullu-Ups and Chin-Ups will be kept at a 10-12 rep range. If I can reach 10-12 reps in a set, then the following workout I will add a bit of weight to a weighted vest or backpack to increase the intensity. I also aim for absolutely perfect form with no kipping here, as I really want to isolate the muscles being worked. The goal of this routine is to increase muscle size, not train for a pull-up competition remember.

I use dumbbells instead of an E-Z bar on the underhand rows.

I also use my Olympic bar for the final set of curls. Sure, it isn't an E-Z bar, but it still helps to maintain strict form and work the forearms a bit more.