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Taking the SSTF - MSTF challenge; a Video Response
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Taking the SSTF - MSTF challenge; a Video Response

BIOFORCE posed a SSTF - MSTF challenge to a chemical athlete on another thread recently; the argument used the squat as an example and were based largely around this quote:

"ONE SET gives your targeted muscles OPTIMUM stimulation."

I think that in many cases, at least for an advanced athlete, that it can; think moreover that an athlete with gear (the athlete queried) is not a good test case for this since the gear enables the athlete to benefit from a dozen sets (of different exercises) for the target musculature; and this to me doesn't seem any different than a dozen sets of the same exercise.

BTW, I eschew all types of other gear as well; belts, suits, wraps, et al.

In the squatting video I am using a belt, but I normally squat without one and never use one for 455 lbs or below. Think they hinder development and make lifts misleading; not to the extent of painting "600 lbs" on the side of dip machine that is clearly offering less than 150 lbs of resistance, but that is the general direction.

If I'm tired and under the weather for some reason, as in the case with these videos, that to me is a valid reason for wearing a belt as a prophylactic, but that's it; to that effect I'll share the following about the filming of these training videos. Life always gets in the way of training for me and hence my philosophy on catchup (for missed meals, sleep, etc).

To illustrate, I planned to make these videos before lunch when the Y was less crowded and didn't get there until 3, just missing the bulk of the afternoon crowd. I had missed lunch and didn't drink enough water and had cortisol stress related issues because I had dropped one of my ex-wives off at the airport for a 9:30 flight which took an extra 5 hours and an extra several hundred dollars to do - superfluous errands had to be run, various stops made, and finally the flight missed and considerable discord before she could get on a plane - add to this the fun airport security had hassling me throughout this ordeal and you get the idea.

So I'm hungry [skipped lunch!] and a little dehydrated when I finally made it to the gym which was a fairly big training issue; I ran out of sugar after the squats and the rest of my lifts suffered a bit - still good enough to share for commentary and discussion though.

My routine (once every 7-10 days) is as illustrated and I have made very few changes/alterations over the years:

1. Split Planche Transition to 16 Handstand Pushups; no warmup for this pre-exhaust, just a single set - my form was off a bit but perf was just good enough that I felt a 2nd set wasn't warrented (otherwise I'll a 2nd set of these; see Ellingtons quotes).

2. Squats SSNTF - Squats are a well of potential; no way am I going to failure ever. 475x30; I did do 3 warmups to prepare but these are just warmups and I have to do them if I want an optimal working set (or any kind of working set above 405); also, I often do these only every other workout.

3. 300 lb pulldowns (1 warmup set) - Did I do 5 or 6? In all the confusion I kind of forgot myself :) This particular machine offers no leveraged advantage from the pulley; 300 lbs really is 300 lbs.

4. 150 lb skull crushers (two warmup sets) - lots of fun (word on lack of overlap; for me, presses don't engage the long head of the tricep; the other two heads pump up but nothing for the LH).

5. 95 lb Bionic Incline breathing Flys (no warmup) - Slower than superslow, something for everyone here. Read my disclaimer on superslow in general (don't recommend it at this level).

6. Full Hanging Leg Lifts (no warmup) - awfull perf, really out of energy/sugar, barely did 3 reps should have gotten 5 or 6.

7. Sat in the sauna and drank 36 oz of RonnieBrook farms chocolate milk; if anyone is interested I'll post my catchup meals that followed this workout later.

Summary on my SSTF consolidation routine:

That's 6 working sets as illustrated, not everything is TF and sometimes warmups are indicated.

"ONE SET gives your targeted muscles OPTIMUM stimulation." Interested in discussing any genuine overlap for the target musculature (no reaching please and the LB is off limits because the LB can handle the overlap, is recruited fairly heavily for all non-machine lifts).

Regarding avoiding overlap, one major change I made to my routine months ago was to drop curling completely now that I am more properly targeting my back and pulling heavier weights; fine to curl when I wasn't properly working my back, but having recieved help from Drew and BIOFORCE on correcting the biomechanics and subsequently being encouraged by the form and poundages BIO illustrated in his videos, I feel the overlap is significant; indeed, why do curls after heavy pulldowns (BIOFORCE I appreciate any feedback you have in general, but particularly on further improving my form with the pulldowns, movement feels great but I don't think I have it down right yet).

Related observations: These 6 working sets take near an hour to complete since they are anaerobic (no running from exercise to exercise) and the planche is similar to the reverse hyper extension.

I hope you all enjoy and that this prompts engaging and thought provoking feedback. SSTF vs MSTF is an interesting subject both within and outside of the HIT paradigm.

http://www.youtube.com/...feature=channel


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Paul Marsland

Tom I think you need to rename that video top or strongest range partials, as to call them squats is a misleading...


Paul.
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Paul Marsland

Tom I've had a look at the pulldown video as 300lbs is a respectable weight, but you need to drop the weight significantly, you are using lots of body sway and even with this you are not even pulling the bar all the way down...

I'm don't mean to be disrespectful and these are just my observations from what I've watched..

The camera never lies so they say...

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Supersteve

Tomislav wrote:
Taking the SSTF - MSTF challenge; a Video Response



http://www.youtube.com/...feature=channel




I am lost for words.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Paul Marsland wrote:
Tom I've had a look at the pulldown video as 300lbs is a respectable weight, but you need to drop the weight significantly, you are using lots of body sway and even with this you are not even pulling the bar all the way down...

I'm don't mean to be disrespectful and these are just my observations from what I've watched..

The camera never lies so they say...


Paul,

I didn't get the camera angle right on that one or you could see the pulldowns are nearly full ROM. BTW I would like to use more English, not less :)

On the squats, please read the sidebar:

"note that none of these are much more than 1/2 way to parallel and I don't lock out (well, just once); ..."

I think not locking out makes the ROM seem more shallow than it is but I have no intention of going to parallel outside of a contest. I would also point out that locking out squats is a form of rest-pause that makes the lift easier because you recover a bit between reps when you do that.

I would imagine you are surprised I have not vanished into thin air with all the CT :)

Interested to hear your impressions on the rest of my lifts...
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Landau

Florida, USA

I NOW UNDERSTAND
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southbeach

ask yourself "why am i pulling this down"

for what purpose?

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southbeach

ask the same question for each exercise.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Landau wrote:
I NOW UNDERSTAND


David,

Shouting that you understand seems to imply you don't approve of my training style, but is a bit enigmatic at best.

Why not share your thoughts? I would be interested to hear your opinion and your viewpoint, particularly if you feel my training is not HIT.

I'm guessing you would at least be a big fan of the bionic flys and super slow FHLL's...


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Landau

Florida, USA

FHLL for what reason? Sorry, your delivery leaves much to be desired.
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Landau

Florida, USA

Bionic Flys - Interesting, but I would think the rest of your training would be comparable.
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SanDiego

Hey Tom-

What's with the quarter squats? How long have you been doing them this way and what kind of results have you attained?
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Gazz

1. Impressed by the fact that you've videod and posted your workout.

2. Impressed with your flexibility

BUT

and please take this constructively as it is meant that way:

The ROM on EVERY exercise demonstrated is woeful. I see this time and again with people in the gym kidding themselves that they can use x number of pounds in a given exercise, when in fact they could half the weight, increase the ROM and get equal or greater results. Less stress on the joints, more stress on the muscle more longevity in the gym.

I would honestly suggest that you cut the weights in half and re video the workout. I know that you mention that the squats were not intended to be full squats, but a 200lb squat arse to the ground for 30 reps would, in my book, have been FAR more impressive than basically walking out of the racks with 400lbs and "bobbing" the weight up and down a few inches.

You probably don't want to hear the above: please take it with no malice as I do not mean to be condescending in any way, just telling it as I see it.

Gazz
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Paul Marsland

Tomislav wrote:
Paul Marsland wrote:
Tom I've had a look at the pulldown video as 300lbs is a respectable weight, but you need to drop the weight significantly, you are using lots of body sway and even with this you are not even pulling the bar all the way down...

I'm don't mean to be disrespectful and these are just my observations from what I've watched..

The camera never lies so they say...


Paul,

I didn't get the camera angle right on that one or you could see the pulldowns are nearly full ROM. BTW I would like to use more English, not less :)

On the squats, please read the sidebar:

"note that none of these are much more than 1/2 way to parallel and I don't lock out (well, just once); ..."

I think not locking out makes the ROM seem more shallow than it is but I have no intention of going to parallel outside of a contest. I would also point out that locking out squats is a form of rest-pause that makes the lift easier because you recover a bit between reps when you do that.

I would imagine you are surprised I have not vanished into thin air with all the CT :)

Interested to hear your impressions on the rest of my lifts...


Tom, if you have no intention of going to paralell, then I don't see why you would want to perform squats in such a way as to place undue stress on your joints??? Yes rest pause makes the lift easier, but you are performing the exercise in the range which has the most leverage and were the muscles are effectively beginning to unload, there reducing the overall effect..ie making them easier.

Also why would you wish to use more body english on the pulldowns I really don't see your logic here?? To the laymen watching it would appear that you are not in control of the weight..if one were to show that the a complete novice I dare say they would make the same observation...

The partial flys are not superslow if anything they are a 4/4 cadence this can be checked against the time of the video,...also the skull crushers are not skull crushers as they don't go anywhere near your head, they are more a top range extension...

Like other posters I mean no malice in my comments,

but I would sincerely wonder why you would want to train in this manner exclusively??? (I'm not against partial lifts per se see here http://www.youtube.com/...B7i9aLivg...but only from time to time...
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Landau wrote:
Bionic Flys - Interesting, but I would think the rest of your training would be comparable.


David,

Please elucidate; why do you think the rest of my training should be comparable? Ironically I do these slowly because of lingering RC damage from super slow experiments with full ROM presses many years ago (think super slow cancels out the prophylactic effect of the natural strength curve).

The FHLL's are a great core exercise but I lost it on the 3rd rep and had to stop (was too exhausted); this is what you are referring to by bad delivery or you don't like the exercise?
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Landau

Florida, USA

I just wouldn't bother with that exercise. Core Notions are JUST BUNKO.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

SanDiego wrote:
Hey Tom-

What's with the quarter squats? How long have you been doing them this way and what kind of results have you attained?


I've been doing them this way for 20 years; results are as follows:
When I was able to use 365x20 in this fashion I easily took 500 lbs to parallel in contest; shortly after this, I had worked up to 405x20 and found I had the strength to speed skate (took a lot of time to learn technique even though I had been skating since childhood) and engage in fun dinasour training - running with a friend over either shoulder, worked up to 200 lb friends.

This past december a friend goaded me into taking 6 plates to parallel (knees and shoulder girdle hurt for weeks though) by incessantly insisting as Gazz did that my ROM was woefull and I would be better off squatting with just 35 lb plates on the bar; he was a powerlifter who could squat 405x2 and bench more than that so had some clout; he never made that comment again.

Gazz,

You see people in the gym kidding themselves with too much weight; I see people mind melding at the squat rack (when not curling on it) who will never take 4 plates to parallel let alone 6 - It's a matter of perspective.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Paul Marsland wrote:

Tom, if you have no intention of going to paralell, then I don't see why you would want to perform squats in such a way as to place undue stress on your joints??? Yes rest pause makes the lift easier, but you are performing the exercise in the range which has the most leverage and were the muscles are effectively beginning to unload, there reducing the overall effect..ie making them easier.

--
Paul,
There is no unloading when you don't lock out - rather there is continuous tension. Watch again, I lock out at rep 25 and you can see the true depth I'm using at this point.
I think you are mistaken about stress on the joints; a heavy single to parallel, maximum or not, places far greater stress on the knees (see my post to Gazz).

Also why would you wish to use more body english on the pulldowns I really don't see your logic here??

--
I'm sure the pulldown king will be along presently to explain.

To the laymen watching it would appear that you are not in control of the weight..if one were to show that the a complete novice I dare say they would make the same observation...

I agree a novice would make that observation.

The partial flys are not superslow if anything they are a 4/4 cadence this can be checked against the time of the video,...also the skull crushers are not skull crushers as they don't go anywhere near your head, they are more a top range extension...

--
Check again; they are slower than that but perhaps not as slow as I generally do them (blood sugar was low, not a good way to train).

I've done skull crushers like you described with 160 but then you would I think be posting why I was using English I think. These were stricter; hard not to recruit your back when extending the ROM on the french press (pullover).


Like other posters I mean no malice in my comments,

but I would sincerely wonder why you would want to train in this manner exclusively??? (I'm not against partial lifts per se see here http://www.youtube.com/...B7i9aLivg...but only from time to time...

--
I'd like to see your video Paul but the link is malformed; please repost.

And also without any malice and considering that you are also an advanced athlete (impressed with both your posts and the pics I've seen), try the following results oriented example:

My Avatar illustrates a classic shot of arm and shoulder; post the same or just compare it to mine and then consider that I use no creatine, steroids or exogenous aides of that nature. As you say, pictures don't lie and I don't go "flat" training consolidation every 7-10 days (don't say genetics).
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Paul Marsland

Tomislav wrote:
Paul Marsland wrote:

Tom, if you have no intention of going to paralell, then I don't see why you would want to perform squats in such a way as to place undue stress on your joints??? Yes rest pause makes the lift easier, but you are performing the exercise in the range which has the most leverage and were the muscles are effectively beginning to unload, there reducing the overall effect..ie making them easier.

--
Paul,
There is no unloading when you don't lock out - rather there is continuous tension. Watch again, I lock out at rep 25 and you can see the true depth I'm using at this point.
I think you are mistaken about stress on the joints; a heavy single to parallel, maximum or not, places far greater stress on the knees (see my post to Gazz).



Tom, in that range the legs are effectively locking out and 475 in that range of motion is not that great, 600lbs plus for the same reps would place a hell of a lot more stress on the joints and lower back..I agree a maximum attempt would place a lot of stress on the joints, hence they are reserved for those who wish to demonstrate their strength in competition or in the gym..to give a fair comparison of your strength then why not video a parallel squat with 500 or more lbs?

Also why would you wish to use more body english on the pulldowns I really don't see your logic here??

--
I'm sure the pulldown king will be along presently to explain.

Well I hope he's got a good explanation...

To the laymen watching it would appear that you are not in control of the weight..if one were to show that the a complete novice I dare say they would make the same observation...

I agree a novice would make that observation.

The partial flys are not superslow if anything they are a 4/4 cadence this can be checked against the time of the video,...also the skull crushers are not skull crushers as they don't go anywhere near your head, they are more a top range extension...

--
Check again; they are slower than that but perhaps not as slow as I generally do them (blood sugar was low, not a good way to train).


I did check and it was approx 4/4, which is not slower than superslow as you state in the text....

I've done skull crushers like you described with 160 but then you would I think be posting why I was using English I think. These were stricter; hard not to recruit your back when extending the ROM on the french press (pullover).

Then why not post a video of you doing a full range skull crusher with 160? Personally i think they are a terrible exercise for the triceps which place undue stress on the elbow once weights get meaningful..


Like other posters I mean no malice in my comments,

but I would sincerely wonder why you would want to train in this manner exclusively??? (I'm not against partial lifts per se see here http://www.youtube.com/...B7i9aLivg...but only from time to time...

--
I'd like to see your video Paul but the link is malformed; please repost.


This should work Tom: http://www.youtube.com/marso70

The videos are from my strongman training days about a year ago..I.had to stop due to too many injuries.. :(

And also without any malice and considering that you are also an advanced athlete (impressed with both your posts and the pics I've seen), try the following results oriented example:

My Avatar illustrates a classic shot of arm and shoulder; post the same or just compare it to mine and then consider that I use no creatine, steroids or exogenous aides of that nature. As you say, pictures don't lie and I don't go "flat" training consolidation every 7-10 days (don't say genetics).


For sure Tom the avatar pic is impressive but there is no point in comparing me to you with a photo for obvious reasons...so its a moot point.

The bottom line is this Tom, you've asked for opinions and observations based on your video footage, which I've respectfully done, but I will say is this, if your happy with YOUR training Tom, then go for it...as at the end of the day your only training for yourself and no one else. Put it this way I've see a hell of a lot worse in the gym...lol...

Best wishes

Paul.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Paul Marsland wrote:
Tom I think you need to rename that video top or strongest range partials, as to call them squats is a misleading...

Paul


All those videos should be renamed the same way.

You know T, I used to be envious of some of the poundages you spouted-off about in your posts.

Used to be.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Paul,

Liked your strong man videos; I've seen the tire flip before but not the others. Great stuff, in particular the 800 lb partial deadlift; it is more "breaking locks" than an actual partial but still, few could do that and I think that kind of stuff builds tremendous strength. Sorry to hear about the injuries. Hope you are able to train around them if they are not the kind that resolve; sometimes injuries to strength athletes never truly heal (at least without surgery) and training around them is the best that can be done.

Scott,

Are you trying to make me feel like I'm not as cool as I used to be? ;)
Seriously, did you like any of my videos?
And also, progress, like results, is an individual thing.

My videos are meant to encourage and also to illustrate genuine single set per muscle group training with very little overlap. I enjoy discussing the other aspects too, but other than branding me a type G responder there's been no debate so far regarding SSTF vs MSTF.
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sgb2112

Power Factor Training if anything.
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Benjamin Dover

An interesting ensemble of footage. The squats were a little deep for my liking. I find if I only "just" bend at the knee, I can really pile on the plates!!!

The pulldowns were a nice tribute to my good friend and mentor Mr John Casler. Again, I think you might find that he'll not like your extreme range of movement. It doesn't serve a "functional" purpose. He might enjoy seeing how you've lengthened the kinetic change using EXTREME body sway...impressive in it's own right.

The flyes - In England there is an old exercise called the "deep knee bend". Said exercise is a very distant relation to what you have labeled a squat. A prerequisite for the deep knee bend is...bending the knee (I note you avoid that minor issue). Back to the flyes - English gents do not believe such an exercise exists. They perform "lying lateral raises on bench". When performing this exercise they like to stretch the muscles of the chest quite deeply whist avoiding the top section of the movement where the resistance disappears. I see you prefer the opposite with your special derivative - the flye. Thanks for the introduction.

Skull crushers - now they didn't work did they...?! Pity...

...you need to aim 1-2 inches past the brow line...careful not to bounce!

T, you know I'm joking but seriously, a rethink must be in order? Paul's doing you a huge favour.
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Benjamin Dover

Paul Marsland wrote:
Tom, in that range the legs are effectively locking out and 475 in that range of motion is not that great, 600lbs plus for the same reps would place a hell of a lot more stress on the joints and lower back..I agree a maximum attempt would place a lot of stress on the joints, hence they are reserved for those who wish to demonstrate their strength in competition or in the gym..to give a fair comparison of your strength then why not video a parallel squat with 500 or more lbs?


Mr Marsland...(tut,tut)...jolly irresponsible of you...

...you want to see the poor man crippled on YouTube!?

...where do you get your kicks? Casualty?!
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Paul Marsland

JamesT wrote:
Paul Marsland wrote:
Tom, in that range the legs are effectively locking out and 475 in that range of motion is not that great, 600lbs plus for the same reps would place a hell of a lot more stress on the joints and lower back..I agree a maximum attempt would place a lot of stress on the joints, hence they are reserved for those who wish to demonstrate their strength in competition or in the gym..to give a fair comparison of your strength then why not video a parallel squat with 500 or more lbs?


Mr Marsland...(tut,tut)...jolly irresponsible of you...

...you want to see the poor man crippled on YouTube!?

...where do you get your kicks? Casualty?!


LMAO......

Tom, thanks for the comments, like you and a few others here I've been brave (or stupid enough) to post a few vids on you tube, with regards to the partial or lock out deadlift, I've had people comment on it saying it was bullshit as it wasn't below the knee (Derek Poundstone WSM competitor is on you tube doing the same lift, but strangely enough no one slags him off, go figure??)...so I'm well used to negative comments regarding vids. I also posted a Squat video (albeit a tad above parallel with 600lbs) and again the negative comments came in, so I deleted it.

So my point is be careful what you post on the net, as you then expose yourself to criticism and some of it will not be very nice..

Now onto the injuries gained through strongman:

Strained both bicep tendons doing that partial deadlift

Both rotator cuffs doing atlas stones

Lower back from over zealous tire flipping, pressing and deadlifting

Right elbow through cleaning and pressing the log, plus power cleans, it got so bad at one point I couldn't even pick up a cup without severe pain..


So I stopped all the super heavy stuff, went back to HIT slow rep whole body workouts and haven't an injury since...

I was left with a choice carry on and risk permanent injury or train in a safe and productive manner for many more years, the choice was simple...
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