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Display Name Post: A new post on ES        (Topic#36989)
Dan John
*
Total Posts: 11322
11-22-19 02:58 PM - Post#890637    



Easy Strength is absolutely simple in my head: “Simple, but not EASY.” We are trying to get stronger and the hardest part is dedicating 40 days to a singular focus of “get stronger.”

Most people understand the basics well. Application seems to be an issue. Let’s look at one issue, exercise selection, and then I will give you some simple templates to attempt this method.
Basically, four lifts “work perfect:”

Overhead (Vertical) Press

Vertical Pull

Deadlift

Ab Wheel

Note that these four movements have a bit of bodybuilding super setting to them: Push/Pull and Posterior Chain/Anterior Chain. Maybe that is why these four movements work the best.

Horizontal pressing (bench press) seems to be an issue due to spotting and doing horizontal pulls (barbell rows) always seems to lead to a lower back issue…mild or wild. Squats have never worked for me or anyone I have trained, but I do know that some have made it work with very light squatting daily. YMMV.

The “best” fifth exercise seems to be one of two things: swings or loaded carries. With swings, I (we) used to think that one could manage 250 a day on ES. That was wrong. The number dropped to 125 and THAT was too high. Finally, we settled on 75 reps of REAL swings. The swings can be done as a warm-up in the beginning of the program or just before the ab wheel:

Swing

Press

Pull Up

Deadlift

Ab Wheel

Or

Press

Pull Up

Deadlift

Swings

Ab Wheel

There seems (and I know the fact that I don’t use stronger “do this!” language might be frustrating but there are a lot of variations in body type and experience) to be two good ways to do swings with ES:

5 sets of 15 reps

Or

“Up to 75 reps”

This second variation is simple: do some swings aggressively with a strong plank. When the technique gets ugly or the grip goes, set the bell down. Keep a running tally of reps and just keep doing them until you get to rep 75 and stop. Occasionally, you may find 25 good reps on a set and sometimes maybe four or five; it doesn’t matter. Focus on a quality round of 75 appropriate reps.

Any way you get there is fine!

Feel free to play with load (up and down and no change) with the 40 days of 75 swings. I improved my swing by using the 48kilo bell for 75 reps in one little training experiment: basically, I could do ten reps…but the improvement in technique was stunning.

Loaded carries are the other excellent option. This is difficult to explain, but this point is true of all loaded carries training:

Strive to NEVER repeat a session.

Change load. Change distance. Add a sled. Add a backpack. Do suitcase carries one workout, rack carries the next, farmer walks the next day and waiter walks to round out a nice four-day cycle. On day five, do all four!

You want variety in LCs because they are meant to be something a little different, something unique. You want the finish of a LC challenge to be eye opening; if you repeat an LC workout over and over, you lose the insights of “wow, that was tougher than it looked on paper!”
Let me make it as simple as possible:

Swings: 5 sets of 15

Military Press: 2 sets of 5

Pull Up: 2 sets of 5

Deadlift: 2 sets of 5

Ab Wheel: 2 sets of 5

…for the next forty workouts.

Add load when the movement feels heavy, go lighter if you feel like it, too. Don’t miss. Make every lift. The volume creeps up on you (you do 375 swings a week and ten sets of big lifts).

If the weight feels too light, go reasonably heavier next time. If you simply feel like taking a lighter load, do it. When the weights feel way too light, finish that first set of five and jump up to a set of three with a heavier load. If that feels nice and easy, jump up and do a heavier double.

That simple test allowed me to destroy my personal records on an array of lifts over and over again doing ES. True, there is no rhyme or reason, but it seems to be the way of nature.
Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
vegpedlr
*
Total Posts: 864
11-22-19 04:32 PM - Post#890645    



That was fantastic. After the last podcast, I was just about to ask for a discussion on exercise selection, specifically why vertical push and pull. If spotting wasn’t an issue, would a BP variation still work? I get it with rows, that combined with DL might be too much. I know for myself, other than light goblets to warm up, squats don’t work because of my endurance volume.

Why not both swings and carries? Swings to warm up and a carry to finish?
 
Dan John
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Total Posts: 11322
11-22-19 05:03 PM - Post#890649    



Thank you.

You can do anything, of course. Part of ES is the daily dose and the small amount of time. If the workouts stretch past15-20 minutes, I worry if you are missing some of the gold of this program.
Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
Diablo
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Total Posts: 5984
11-22-19 06:08 PM - Post#890653    



Awesome, thank you, Sir
Diablo

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth- MT


 
vegpedlr
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Total Posts: 864
11-22-19 06:09 PM - Post#890654    



True. If you keep adding “this and that” next you end up doing a BB six day double split. That would be difficult strength, I think.
 
Cearball
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Total Posts: 103
11-22-19 07:03 PM - Post#890655    



I like it.

"Add load when the movement feels heavy, go lighter if you feel like it, too. Don’t miss. Make every lift. The volume creeps up on you (you do 375 swings a week and ten sets of big lifts).
"

Should heavy read light on the first line?
 
Dan John
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Total Posts: 11322
11-22-19 11:45 PM - Post#890660    



Yep.
Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
Old Miler
*
Total Posts: 1141
11-23-19 09:37 AM - Post#890670    



This arrived at just the right time, as I'm on week 7 of the 18-week program: just did six weeks of squats (DKB/FS), now starting to deadlift again. I had already noted that..
1. Squats improve a bit, but not like the deadlifts do (although my knees feel great)
2. Do pull-ups for 2 weeks then stop for 4, and you're back where you started.

So, I was just going to run my "old favourite" DL / Press / Pull-ups for the next 6 anyway. There is no downside at all that I can see to cycling through pull-ups and presses, it 'feels natural'.

One question: can you see any downside to maybe doing one session with a few front-squats or DKBFS, once a week, just to maintain what I built before?
 
Dan John
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Total Posts: 11322
11-23-19 10:19 AM - Post#890675    



Certainly. Remember, I would go out and pull sleds, throw, whatever for hours after these sessions.
Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
vegpedlr
*
Total Posts: 864
11-23-19 11:38 AM - Post#890681    



Maybe you could take that post and turn it into some kind of book?

Expand the post with variations folks around here have tried. Give some examples of application like:

If you’re an endurance athlete, do THIS
If you’re a combat athlete do THIS
If you’re a LEO do THIS
If you’re under 18,
If you’re over 50,
If you have X issue,
If you have Y issue,

You could title it Easy Strength. Oh wait . . .
 
Old Miler
*
Total Posts: 1141
11-23-19 12:26 PM - Post#890686    



  • Dan John Said:
Certainly. Remember, I would go out and pull sleds, throw, whatever for hours after these sessions.



Yup. I'm trying pretty hard to run a lot alongside this...
 
iPood
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Total Posts: 1780
A new post on ES
11-23-19 01:04 PM - Post#890691    



  • vegpedlr Said:
specifically why vertical push and pull.



Using the "90° antagonist rule" always worked for me quite well (and fixed any nagging issues with my shoulders):

- Overhead press and Pendlay row.

- Pull ups and bench press.

- Incline bench and Yates rows.

- Bench press and shrugs.

- Dips and pull ups.

- Bench press and curls.
"I think we often spend too much time focusing on max fitness
and not nearly enough on maintaining our minimums.
It seems we need to think sustainable rather than obtainable.
Meaning whatever we do today, we can do it again tomorrow.
Never taking so much from ourselves that we can't."

Dan Martin




Edited by iPood on 11-23-19 01:05 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Boogieman
*
Total Posts: 49
11-23-19 04:11 PM - Post#890700    



I’ve found the same as Pood when it comes to pairing upper body exercises. Particularly, vertical pushing and pulling have seemed to have an impact on each other when I’ve tried super-setting or pairing them in the past.

I may give the thoughts here and the 40 day workout a try when I finish MMS.

For now though, I need to focus on conquering the beast in front of me.
 
Justin Jordan
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Total Posts: 562
11-23-19 04:20 PM - Post#890702    



I really like supersetting (kinda) antagonistic or at least non competing exercises.

So

Bench

rest

Row

rest

Bench

or

Deadlift

rest

Pushup

rest

Deadlift

(I've never done ES, but this is how I structure all my workouts, for time efficiency)
 
Kyle Aaron
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Total Posts: 1674
11-23-19 08:45 PM - Post#890719    



  • vegpedlr Said:
Maybe you could take that post and turn it into some kind of book?

Expand the post with variations folks around here have tried. Give some examples of application like:


As it was written, that book needed strong editing for clarity.

A clearer version is being written, ALPS, clinical practice guidelines for trainers and trainees, not merely ES though. For example:

For strength for a novice, if you're under 50yo,
BMI 35+ see a doc
BMI 30-35 you do the Able version - back squats, presses, rack pulls
BMI 18.5-30 you do the Aesthetic version - front squats, presses, snatch grip deadlifts
BMI under 18.5 also does the Able version

Clarity is badly-needed in the fitness industry.
Athletic Club East
Strength in numbers


 
Kiwi5
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Total Posts: 194
11-23-19 10:10 PM - Post#890721    



BMI?? I am surprised to see this 'measurement' being used. What am I missing here?
 
12bernd
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Total Posts: 155
A new post on ES
11-24-19 03:45 AM - Post#890727    



I like this version. After going through the 40 day program and giving Pttp a go I much prefer the more minimalist approaches. The fatigue during the sessions is low but given that recovery is somewhat short between sessions it needs to stay that way for me to actually make good progress over the whole cycle.


And in my experience one of the problems with pairing chins and overhead presses is that some of the supporting muscles like the rotator cuff can get beaten up too much. So make sure you are warmed up and allow your muscles to recover between sets. On a program like ES you don't perform many sets anyways.

Edited by 12bernd on 11-24-19 03:46 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
RileyNadoroznick
*
Total Posts: 30
11-24-19 10:53 AM - Post#890732    



This is fantastic, Dan. Thanks so much for posting it here. I loved the discussion on Pat's podcast, but having it here in words is greatly appreciated!
#TrainWithConviction


 
DaveWillis1978
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Total Posts: 9
11-27-19 07:14 AM - Post#890805    



Excellent stuff,

Everytime I look at the EES/40 day workout I realise that its pretty much all I need for the majority of the year.

Although last time I ran through it I added in pistol squats which just seemed to work for me.

I also ran the Russian Fighter Pullup program with it which also increased my pullups nicely (i just did the pullups in between each of the main exercises)
 
Kyle Aaron
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Total Posts: 1674
11-27-19 09:36 PM - Post#890818    



  • Kiwi5 Said:
BMI?? I am surprised to see this 'measurement' being used. What am I missing here?


I generally find that those arguing against the utility of BMI are heavy by this or any other measure.

When dealing with an individual, you would not look at BMI by itself, but consider it with many other numbers, like waist measurement, blood pressure, training and injury history, and so on, so that you could do a thorough assessment of the person's capabilities and goals.

But if I'm writing a fitness book or article I don't have all that information about the individual reading it. So I need some sort of tool for the reader to use, something simple for them to judge what's appropriate for them.

BMI is certainly not a perfect tool, but when dealing with large populations about whom you have little other information - such as when writing a fitness book or article with a large audience - you do need some sort of tool, otherwise you find some poor 350lb guy trying to go for a run and falling over and being unable to get up, or some 100lb guy wondering why when he squats 200lb his knees hurt.

I do not advise a BMI 33 person to start running, whether their weight comes from obesity or massively-enhanced muscle mass, or whether they were once a big strong 20yo and now imagine that at 50yo their bigness has to do with their strength, too. Whether muscle, fat, or some extra weight plates in the rucksack, that's a lot of load going through knee, hip and lower back with each step. Typically when actually scanned, the older male former athlete does not have as much muscle mass and has much more fat mass than he liked to imagine. But even if he were as jacked as he thought he was, that's still a lot of load pounding the pavement. That person should not be running. Sorry.

And past BMI 35 health problems are indeed ubiquitous or at least imminent. I wish it were not so, but it is.
Athletic Club East
Strength in numbers


 
Old Miler
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Total Posts: 1141
11-28-19 02:40 PM - Post#890826    



Kyle, I take your point and agree in general that people with a higher BMI 'due to muscle not fat' are very rare. (I only know one that I can think of)

But I thought people were trying to move to the much simpler height-to-waistline ratio (> 2.0 is good), which doesn't penalize people with good amounts of muscle. If you're going to tell people what to measure, is this not even simpler, and more rewarding of good behaviour?

On your earlier post: not sure I understood it - are you actually writing a book on ES? Not sure what 'ALPS' is...
 
Kyle Aaron
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Total Posts: 1674
A new post on ES
11-28-19 05:15 PM - Post#890829    



For health, the waist to height ratio is important. But I am not assessing their health, I'm a doctor. I am assessing whether they are ready to run safely.

When talking about the risk:reward ratio of running, sheer weight is going to be more important. If you have 225lb pounding through your joints when you run, it's not a huge difference to hip, knee and lower back whether it's a jacked 225 or a sloppy 225. There's a reason distance runners of any level of accomplishment are not 225. But in terms of risk, there's a difference between 225 at 6ft and 225 at 5ft. The taller one will (assuming same previous level of training, ie none) carry more lean mass to drive them along each step and protect their joints. Thus: BMI.

I am writing a book for the beginner trainer or trainee. Let's say a guy comes to my gym who has squatted 500lbs, and wants to squat 600lbs, what do I do with him? I don't know, I haven't trained someone like that. But if a 60yo with osteoarthritis in her knees comes along, I know what to do with her. It's simply that I have not had any 500lb squatters wander in, but I have had a lot of older folk with arthritis wander in.

The 500lb squatter I will send down the road to the powerlifting gym where they've got dozens of them; I won't hurt the guy, but I probably won't help him much. And the arthritic older person they should send up the road to me; they would probably hurt the guy.

But which of the two is more common, which is the reader more likely to be, and which is the personal trainer more likely to work with? Most people are previously untrained beginners with 1-2 minor health problems, and some time in their 50s these become 1-2 major health problems, with 3-4 minor health problems to keep them company.

What do we do with them? The experienced trainer will know, and the experienced trainee will have figured some things out. But the new trainer, or the person going in the gym the first day, won't.

What is needed in fitness are clinical practice guidelines. "If this, do that." DJ has done well with his ideas of "patterning" movements and so on, of doing one movement well being the prerequisite to learning the next movement. But we can and should do more. There are things which every experienced trainer knows, but which are rarely written down. "I can't get deep." "Well, widen your stance." "Hey that worked!" And it goes beyond that.
Athletic Club East
Strength in numbers




Edited by Kyle Aaron on 11-28-19 06:08 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Justin Jordan
*
Total Posts: 562
11-28-19 06:12 PM - Post#890830    



Well, it depends on where we're talking about.

I'm six foot tall. If I weight 185, I'm overweight. At 184 'normal' so the absolute cutoffs are pretty variable.

So the closer you are to that, the more 'eh' it becomes.

On the other hand once you get over, oh, 200 pounds at six feet tall, you're either a pretty good athlete or lifter, or you're getting too heavy.

But the closer to get to 'normal' the more it depends on the person. My one uncle, for instance, is just slightly shorter than me and he is, in fact, heavier than he should be at a 'normal' 180.

He's actually someone who is thin built enough that he should weigh around 150.
 
Old Miler
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Total Posts: 1141
Re: A new post on ES
11-29-19 04:43 PM - Post#890850    



  • Kyle Aaron Said:
I am assessing whether they are ready to run safely....Thus: BMI.




Compelling argument. But again, isn't "weight" even simpler than BMI?

Up to 70kg: run as much as you like
70-80kg: build up carefully, but shed a little if you have fat to lose
90-100kg: soft surfaces, low mileage, mix in low-impact cardio, buy Hokas for Christmas

Good luck with the book! I agree something like this is needed, although I suspect it will be a real battle to get PTs to form consensus. If you can get the medical establishment behind it, that's a real win...





Edited by Old Miler on 11-29-19 04:44 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Neander
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Total Posts: 7314
A new post on ES
11-29-19 07:14 PM - Post#890863    



This whole thing of simply being alive gets so complicated when we have a lot of free time, doesn't it.

What are ya . . . all from California?

BMI? I don't even know or care. If someone says they feel like crap, it's easy to see why most of the time, and I've known some "overweight" people who were doing great in a big way and not just physically. All this measuring and data-driven "intelligence" McScience is way outside my chosen world. If you feel half-baked all the time, move more, work out, eat like it goes beyond your taste buds and take back your life. Do the "antique" run-a-bit, walk-a-bit progression for a couple three-four months and see how it goes. How quaint! Don't think. Do. All these prince charmings and their delicate ankle structure and knee B.S. It grows old.

Cripes, I haven't had a scale in the house for ages and really, I don't think I'm missing anything. Look in the mirror. Look at your training log. Go out and run a few miles. Lift some weights with the big movements. How's that feel? There's your data.
Ain't it amazing, the way we've allowed ourselves to become such a lot of anal nitpicking blind men along the way, and come to depend on others to know how healthy we really are and how we feel. Good Lord, what a lot of felines.
Just my opinion and I'm making out damn fine with it.

Carry on to the finish line, by all means . . .
do not stop!

To quote a famous fella . . .
It Don't Matter.
The man you are going to be is a Man standing on top of a mountain
made of the dead versions of yourself.






Edited by Neander on 11-29-19 07:28 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Andy Mitchell
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Total Posts: 5085
11-29-19 08:30 PM - Post#890870    



Jeepus
if you're going to run and you enjoy it, do it, if you're going exercise, make sure the choices you make enhance the activity, the weight you are is not the main factor ffs.

the reality is (more often than not) that the sport or activity you're attracted to is dictated by your genetics.

time an time again we love to bamboozle ourselves...
You can never be too thin, too tan or too rich..
D-mart


 
Neander
*
Total Posts: 7314
11-29-19 09:09 PM - Post#890871    



YES!
The man you are going to be is a Man standing on top of a mountain
made of the dead versions of yourself.




 
BrianBinVA
*
Total Posts: 3733
12-02-19 03:03 PM - Post#890946    



Thanks Dan, I liked that.

Kyle, is there a publish date for your book?
"You are not good enough to be disappointed."

-- Dan John

"I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising."

-- Kenny Powers


 
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