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Critique/fix my lift heavy things please.

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  • Critique/fix my lift heavy things please.

    The search function takes me all over the place, so I'm sorry if this is somewhat redundant. I truly appreciate any help.

    I've been doing some random push-ups, squats, curls, dips, pull-ups, etc. for a few months (I didn't really take it seriously when I started PBP in September.) I'm down 50 lbs and 15% body fat (226-176 and 40-25 respectively,) but I want to be true to the program and lift heavy things, and I have gotten into outdoors stuff lately (backpacking, camping, kayaking, hiking, etc.) and want to build some functional strength for those activities. Also, I'm late twenties and recently single, so I need to look better than 25% body fat for any possible lady friends!

    What I've managed to piece together from all the posts, blogs, magazines, etc. is what I've been doing for like a month. I want to know if I'm on the right track or I am wasting time and energy.

    Three days (M, W, F usually)

    5 sets to failure push-ups EDIT: On these, my 5 sets started getting into the mid 30's, so I began making them harder my doing clap push-ups and really slow push-ups. That got the number to failure down to about 15 on claps and like 11 or 12 on the slow ones. I was thinking about doing this with pull-ups and squats when the reps got high. Good idea?
    5 sets to failure pull-ups
    5 sets to failure squats
    3 sets planks, 2 sets side planks, 3 sets of superman

    I don't use any weights, and I can't join a gym (I could but I live out in the country and the closest gym is a 30 minute drive; gas is expensive.) I do have some bow-flex select-tech dumbells that go from 5-50 pounds, but usually only get used to do some curls and stuff when I was just being random. I have a set of bands but never use them.

    After reading another set of blogs, I'm thinking I should scale back to 3 sets to failure and only 2 times a week, but I'm confused and came here for advice.

    Any necessary exercises missing? Is my volume good for my goals? Change all together?

    I'd really appreciate any help and guidance; thank you very much.
    Last edited by BamaAla; 04-28-2012, 12:06 PM.

  • #2
    I'm in the same boat as you for working out. I just moved to a new home in the country and the nearest gym is about 30 minutes away.

    Several people have recommended Convict Conditioning. I read the book (Kindle version) in an afternoon. There's loads of useful information about proper progression with bodyweight exercises. Tomorrow is my first day on the new system, so I don't have the experience to definitely recommend it. However, based on my time training and powerlifting, I believe it to be a solid template to work from.

    Based on what experience I do have, I consider pushups the king of bodyweight exercises, followed by a close second of pullups.

    I'm also about to start some sandbag work too. This will be entirely new territory for me and I'm still putting together a plan for it. But, you should definitely read up on it (it's pretty cheap too).

    By the way, are you from Alabama? Looks like you are based on your username. I live near Greenville (45 mins south of Montgomery).
    Last edited by greenshady; 04-29-2012, 11:20 AM.


    • #3
      Instead of the clapping pushups, try
      1. Going slower.
      2. Moving your hands closer together.
      3. Using an unstable surface.
      4. Putting your hands on different levels.

      I feel like the clapping pushups are hard on my elbows and shoulders.

      Other tips:
      Log your workouts. You can't know if you are improving without some kind of data.
      Check out PBF or Convict Conditioning progressions to move you from regular pushups to one-arm pushups. Same thing with Squats and pullups. Adding reps only helps to a certain point, after that you need to do more difficult exercises.