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illusionz' ICF blog watch

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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
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    Lifts look alright, your hips are shooting up early though meaning your lower back doesn't look to maintain the curve you're meant to have.
    Personally my cue was "lead with the chest" when deadlifting.
    I would ignore my deadlift from last week.. I was not an example of good technique

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    I see. I guess I lead with my legs as they're strong and it feels more right. So I should lead with my upper body and legs afterwards?
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    Dude, it honestly looks like you could slap another 20kg on and still do 5 reps...

    160*5 looked EFFORTLESS.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Dude, it honestly looks like you could slap another 20kg on and still do 5 reps...

    160*5 looked EFFORTLESS.
    Oh yeah. Thats why I need to buy some chalk. I'm so ****ing lazy.
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    (Original post by illusionz)
    I see. I guess I lead with my legs as they're strong and it feels more right. So I should lead with my upper body and legs afterwards?
    Actually no, your hips shooting up early takes a lot of your legs out of it, specifically your glutes. You're kind of doing a SLDL but not quite.

    You kind of try and lock everything out at the same time, whilst atm you're going straight to almost leg lock out before then using your back to pull the weight up by itself.

    Do you pull the slack out of the bar before you pull? That might work as well.

    Agreed with IOE - looked wayyy too easy
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Do you pull the slack out of the bar before you pull? That might work as well.

    Agreed with IOE - looked wayyy too easy
    No I don't. I just go from relaxed. Will give that a go.

    I think that doing DLs as the first thing of the session made it a fair bit easier than after a taxing 5x5 squat, but I felt when doing it that I could add more on pretty easily.
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    Several supersets today as in a hurry

    Squat
    130 5, 4, 3.
    Back not recovered... again. Couldn't do more.

    Bench
    70 3x5

    24s 3x8
    supersetted with
    Row
    70 5x5

    skullcrushers EZ bar + 22.5 x 8, 7, 7
    supersetted with
    straight bar curls 35kg 8, 8, 7

    BW dips 7, 5, 5
    supersetted with
    incline curls 12s 7, 6, 6

    ab crunches

    Not sure what to do about my lower back. It's just not recovering between workouts (squats and deadlifts, rows are fine). Don't know whether I've been on ICF long enough to think about an upper/lower split instead. I'd have thought my lower body is strong enough to warrant the intermediate tag but my upper body most definetely is not.

    Perhaps alternate squats with leg press or something. I can max out the leg press machine for sets of 10 (it's only 160) but I guess I can do hypertrophy volume work without working my back.
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    (Original post by illusionz)
    Several supersets today as in a hurry

    Squat
    130 5, 4, 3.
    Back not recovered... again. Couldn't do more.

    Bench
    70 3x5

    24s 3x8
    supersetted with
    Row
    70 5x5

    skullcrushers EZ bar + 22.5 x 8, 7, 7
    supersetted with
    straight bar curls 35kg 8, 8, 7

    BW dips 7, 5, 5
    supersetted with
    incline curls 12s 7, 6, 6

    ab crunches

    Not sure what to do about my lower back. It's just not recovering between workouts (squats and deadlifts, rows are fine). Don't know whether I've been on ICF long enough to think about an upper/lower split instead. I'd have thought my lower body is strong enough to warrant the intermediate tag but my upper body most definetely is not.

    Perhaps alternate squats with leg press or something. I can max out the leg press machine for sets of 10 (it's only 160) but I guess I can do hypertrophy volume work without working my back.
    Do you squat lowbar PL style? This is crazy intense on the back and I found when I was doing that 3x per week when I started out +DLs every other session the constant lower back fatigue was miserable.

    If you're currently squatting that way you could try a narrower stance and high bar sit right down not back and down and have your torso as upright as you can- much more quad dominant and easier on the lower back.

    If you're squatting like that already probably best just to get rid of squats in 1 session, replace with leg press if you feel like it!
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    I imagine it's because you're forced to squat in a smith machine... as it's not a natural movement, it's pretty hard on the lower back.

    Try 3x5 maybe? Also foam roll your back after your workouts... hurts like hell but they're great

    Oh and yoga stretches for your back might be half decent as well. Hold sphinx for 2 mins with increasing burn and it'll loosen your back up a fair bit
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    (Original post by tehforum)
    Did I just see a 40kg deadlift in the background?

    pls

    u wot
    brilliant
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    (Original post by tehforum)
    Did I just see a 40kg deadlift in the background?

    pls

    u wot
    He's just toning his muscles br0.
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    Mate, at your age you should not be getting lower back issues. That's a simple point. There is an issue somewhere -- perhaps glutes not firing properly, glutes/hip flexors tight, not bracing properly, doing something silly on a lift (smith machine might be exacerbating it).

    I don't actually deadlift (I do RDLs, squats, rows etc), but have never had lower back problems. But then again I foam roll and stretch for at least 50% of the time in the gym. It might sound excessive but literally 2-3 hours a week is normal.

    I might be wrong and you just might need to rest for a couple of weeks.

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    (Original post by silent ninja)
    Mate, at your age you should not be getting lower back issues. That's a simple point. There is an issue somewhere -- perhaps glutes not firing properly, glutes/hip flexors tight, not bracing properly, doing something silly on a lift (smith machine might be exacerbating it).

    I don't actually deadlift (I do RDLs, squats, rows etc), but have never had lower back problems. But then again I foam roll and stretch for at least 50% of the time in the gym. It might sound excessive but literally 2-3 hours a week is normal.

    I might be wrong and you just might need to rest for a couple of weeks.

    Sent from my HTC One
    I don't think he is saying he has lower back problems/pains- just that its not recovering between workouts, i.e. its still notably fatigued and reducing his performance.

    In my experience the lower back is the slowest area to recover its strength/sense of freshness.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
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    (Original post by silent ninja)
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    Yeah there's no lower back pain or anything, it's just that my lower back doesn't seem to recover from one workout to the next. When I'm squatting what is at my limits then I have to get the back/hips involved to get the last rep or two of each set up and at the moment my back isn't recovering betweens sessions. There's no pain or anything during my day to day life, it's just that my squats are suffering as a result. I'm thinking of doing leg press on deadlift days to try and give my back more time to recover as I'm forced to squat on the smith which seems unideal.

    I don't think it would be too incorrect to say my squats/deadlifts have progressed beyond the noob stage and as a result it's not unexpected that I'm taking a bit longer to recover. The difficulty is knowing what to do regarding my upper body which is most definetely still noobish.
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    Do not remember posting that. Surprised I was in such a coherent state after a day at the races and drinking from 1pm lol
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    (Original post by illusionz)
    Do not remember posting that. Surprised I was in such a coherent state after a day at the races and drinking from 1pm lol
    :lol: standard

    Carb loading like a boss, go to the gym and nail hungover PBs
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    :lol: standard

    Carb loading like a boss, go to the gym and nail hungover PBs
    Struggled to keep down a light lunch consisting of 1 slice of bread, ham and salad. Don't think I'm leaving the house for a while.
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    mixed session. Slight knee niggles since yesterday morning - not sure if saturdays squats or something I did on the night out. Either way given how my back has been I'd decided to do leg press today. So did deadlifts first. Everyone's comments from the video made me a bit cocky and went for 170x5. Got 2 reps then the bar slipped a bit tearing off a patch of skin on my right ring finger. Needless to say ability to grip bar was lost.

    Then went to leg press, did the equivalent of pin squats (ie stopping it at the bottom) 5x10 on 160kg (max weight). Don't think this will make me any stronger but I really felt it in my quads so maybe can get bigger.

    OHP
    50kg 3x5, 2x 4+f. Went got 50kg for the first time, think this was more than acceptable

    Rows did underhand grip due to finger. Was fine, felt it more in biceps than usual. Might do this sometimes to vary it up.
    70 5x5

    Dips +7 x7, +5 x 8, 7 BW x 8, 6

    Inc curls 14 3x8, 12 2x8
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    4 months into the routine it's nice to see the gains in the flesh. Actually filling out the arms of a t shirt for the first time in like.. ever.

    Will be aesthetic before I know it.
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    (Original post by illusionz)
    4 months into the routine it's nice to see the gains in the flesh. Actually filling out the arms of a t shirt for the first time in like.. ever.

    Will be aesthetic before I know it.
    lookin gud bro

    Thinking of hopping on ICF when I've finished cutting... would you recommend it? Was gonna do SS or maybe even SL but I'm feeling adventurous atm and the extra work could be fun. Seems like it's giving good results for a fair few people.

    Alternatively I'm thinking of risking with my gains and trying to create my own full body routine involving loads and loads of low-rep sets of heavy compounds and nought else. People seem to think high rep sets are important, particularly on the high rep front, but I'm convinced lots of sets with low reps will achieve a good result. Could be fun to test it!
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    (Original post by illusionz)
    4 months into the routine it's nice to see the gains in the flesh. Actually filling out the arms of a t shirt for the first time in like.. ever.

    Will be aesthetic before I know it.
    Looking good man

    You'll reach a stage when you are too small to be in your old size, but not big enough for the size above.. I'm in this area, finding t-shirts etc is a nightmare

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