Kleen Routine Q&A
- 05-25-2011, 01:10 PM
Kleen Routine Q&A
I have some humble questions for ya Kleen. I'm basing my questions on this quote from your log
1) Do you do cardio? If so, on what days, for how long, and at what intensity?
2) Give me a general idea what your ab philosophy is
3) With the 2-1-2 pace, is the 1 a pause where you squeeze the muscle?
- 05-25-2011, 03:48 PM
2) My ab philosophy is train them with heavy resistance or body weight exercises that add a lot of resistance. I typically do 2 sometimes 3 sets of straight leg drawbridges on an incline pulling everything but my upper back off of the bench then lowering my body slowly. I hit about 10-15 on first set and then how ever many I can do on the subsequent sets. Then I will finish them with 2 sets of crunches to failure. If not drawbridges then I work with weighted resistance like cable crunches or machine crunches with heavy weight. However I feel that most of the ab development comes from stabilizing and supporting the body in other heavier lifts like squatting and dead lifting. I do something for my core 2-3 times a week after cardio. If not a direct ab day then I do dumbbell side bends with like 50 lbs weight on once side only and slide my arm down to touch my knee. I do 2 sets of 20 of these and my whole core is worked. I will do them leaning back a little to hit the abs, then leaning forward a little to get the erectors and rear side of the obliques.
3)In general the 2-1-2 is the pause during the resting portion. On say bench and pressing movements this would be *******. With a pulling movement it would be at the point extension though and not at the bottom where a sqeeze of the contraction can take place. The real idea behind the 1 is to point out I am coming to a complete stop. Not always for a full second but enough to take the rubberband snapping back effect out of the lift. It is also there for me to take longer than 1 second on occasion when I need to take another breathe or to before trying to get the next rep in good form. So say on a squat I may stand with the weight for 3-5 seconds catching my breathe before descending into the next rep.
I think the squeezing of the contraction is great for trying to pull out separation. However as far as it having any true muscle building effect there is not one that I know of unless it would be increasing the pump. However the focus of this is a continuous weight progression to cause growth. That being the focus there is not a lot of wasted energy on intricacies. I make an effort to keep the stress on the muscle during my pauses unless using to breathe in order to try to get an extra rep.
I am basing my training off of the book Beyond Brawn 2. I have read a lot of books but this one was the most no hype all common sense approach to training. He is very big on injury prevention and continuing to make progress well into the latter years or most lifters. I definitely recommend people have a look at this book. Everything I know to be true from my years of experience and self education has been addressed in the book. Definitely not gimmicky just get in and work hard, make sure you are progressing and take a short break when progress stops.Live Hard, Laugh Hard, Love Hard and Heal Fast! - KLEEN
- 05-25-2011, 08:56 PM
05-26-2011, 12:59 AM
I'm not as experianced nor have I reach the shape Kleen has but wanted to chime in.
1 I think cardio can be very beneficial if going for a recomp. If just trying to keep gains Lean than that's more of a diet problem Aka over shooting your calories. Cardio can help make the transition from hulking to cutting faster and more efficient. Lyle McDonald wrote an article on the physiological reasons.
2. I think abs are of course 90% body fat percentage and partially genetics. IMO the best builders are deadlifts, rack pulls and even heavy chins with 80+lb DBs between your legs (I know weird but I Goa killer sore). Also there's those bent over upside down sit up things with the cable machine.
3. I think having a clean controlled negitive is one of the most important parts of a lift. I also feel the benefits of having a 1 second hold at peak contraction can have draw backs like making it more difficult to keep rhythm which can effect how far your able to push yourself. Only certain excercises such as some calf raises require pauses on peak eccentric and concentric yo take out spring from the aisles tendon.
05-26-2011, 09:45 AM
05-26-2011, 01:43 PM
We have about the same philosophy on the *******s with the squeeze. I don't use them much at all. My 1 there is a short pause not even a full 1-1000 count. Just enough to remove momentum, or if an exercise I think I can successfully rest enough at ******* to squeeze out one extra rep. For me that is basically any type of row, and a squat, leg press or a pause in the down position of the dead lift. Pausing at ******* on bench or overhead pressing is pretty much counter productive for me. I have attempted to use them to extend a set but once I get to where I have to hold it I can not get another rep in good form anyway so I don't use them there.
As far as the chins, I totally agree, I didn't think about them but for sure the abs get worked out almost the same as they would in a drawbridge in that situation. You hold the weight so static and the hips are almost always out in front of the trunk so that really locks the abs into place. Add 80 lbs to that and you have some serious resistance. I also get good ab work from straight arm pull downs due to the same stabilizing effort.
Live Hard, Laugh Hard, Love Hard and Heal Fast! - KLEEN
05-26-2011, 05:53 PM
Awesome responses Kleen. I've leafed through Beyond Brawn but never read it closely. The overall progressive load philosophy is so intelligent and similar to HST. Even if you aren't looking for a new routine, I still recommend reading through that massive HST ebook that floats around the net for a lot of referenced information.
On to a few Upper Body questions:
1) Why did you make your particular exercise choices? For example, BB Flat vs. DB Incline bench presses. Chin grip pulldowns vs. traditional pullups. Dips and not DB overhead press or close grip benches, etc etc. Just personal feel?
2) I understand your logic with putting the incline shrug in leg day. But I still have a hard time having a whole routine with no traditional BB, cable, or DB rows. Your thoughts?
05-27-2011, 12:42 PM
1) My choices are transient. I had a few different reasons why I chose the ones I did to work together with each other better. Was based more off of intelligent program design than specific exercise preference. I will go through why I chose the exercises.
Flat bench allows me a good bit of stability right now being a barbell it allows for me to push a little more without having to worry too much about balancing the DB. It also forces my shoulder into a ROM that needs to be worked to aid recovery and strength in my shoulder. With DB I would inevitably allow myself to go into a more natural or comfortable range of motion bringing my elbow closer to my torso, that would allow for more scar tissue build up during the recovery so I opted for the flat barbell bench. I found this to be true when I needed to break up scar tissue after my last surgery. The DB allowed me to cater TOO MUCH to the injury and I developed more scar tissue. Using the barbell bench really aided me a lot in breaking up the extra scar tissue due to the forced range of motion. However I do have to keep my form on point with the barbell or risk injury but with good for it aids my shoulder so until I am about 8-9 months out when the scar tissue growth slows I will use bb bench to limit scar tissue adhesions.
Also, I knew I was going to use an overhead press in this cycle so incline press would have been redundant or at the minimum limiting to the shoulder pressing and I needed to be able to know when I would fail in overhead pressing and Incline benching in the same workout makes the predictability of that failure almost impossible for me.
Chin Grip Lat Pull Downs - Honestly I tend to rotate the grips out in various different exercise cycles. I want to work up to chins again but am being very careful with it and these are the closest thing to a chin up. Also my shoulder is at less of a disadvantage with a closer and supinated grip. It was a rowing / pulling movement that tore the labrum in the first place so this is where I watch the shoulder the most. Starting with this grip and gradually increasing strength of not only the muscle and connective tissue. Also allowing some hardening / toughening of the cartilage where it was repaired and resurfaced before tossing the other movements in. I am not a fan of the really wide pronated grip though. The grip has to feel natural to me not like it is making me work against my body to do the exercise. The supinated grip also works my biceps more and since I am not doing much direct arm work this is a two birds one stone exercise. I also chose a pull down over a row because of my current focus on Dead Lifting.
Military Press - I think the military press is one of the most beneficial exercises for shoulders and the overall musculature and coordination of the body. We all know if you want to build big delts overhead pressing of some sort is the main way to get there. So it wasn't really a question for me if I was going to do them while trying to build the mass in my shoulders back up. As far as choosing military press as I said it uses the entire body, has a higher energy expenditure and makes the lift more functional as well as true to life. I have never had to lift something heavy overhead from a seated position other than in the gym. I am always standing when I need to lift a heavy object over my head.
EZ Bar Curl - I chose this because out of the curls this one works the most musculature at one time. The grip being between supinated and neutral brings the brachialis into the lift a little more aiding the forearms. Since I had full supination on the Pull Downs the biceps have already had some nice peak contractions before hand so this grip adds to the totality of the area being worked. I will end up swapping this out for either a pinwheel curl or hammer curl in another cycle. I tend to vary grips for curling movements depending on what grips I am using for my compound pulling movements. If I were doing neutral grip rows or pull downs I would use and O bar with a supinated grip here since the brachialis would not need extra attention.
Dips - For one they are one of my favorite exercises! Other than that, I was already doing a flat pressing movement so CG Bench was out due to redundancy. ( I do CG Bench when doing Incline Bench for chest.) I still wanted to hit lower chest a bit more since it needs a little more development. It not being on the same plane of motion as any of the other pressing movements was a big factor as well. Oh yeah and did I mention it was one of my favorite exercises? I do love overhead extensions and feel that you can not truly develop your triceps completely without an over head triceps movement. However the Military Press is doing that job right now. However occasionally I will add in OH Triceps Extension or lying triceps extension with my elbows going back at a 45 degree angle instead of pointing up to really get that 3rd head of the triceps. Typically that would be when doing Incline Bench, and rowing or raises for shoulder work.
2) I do miss the rowing but when I went to following the abbreviated training even more I had to choose what I was going to do. Really I have been into abbreviated training for a very long time but truly abbreviating it while trying to retain efficiency of the CNS for each move is the goal here. It will allow for more progress in each lift due to CNS efficiency. Also I like to focus on one part of the muscle at a time. Both rowing and pull downs hit the lats well. However for thickness I feel that rowing does this better. Yet I am also working towards a pretty lofty goal over the next year or so of gradually getting my Trap Bar Deads up to 405x20 in a rest pause type set. I am at 325x20 right now. However this also means that my upper back and my entire lats will be getting hammered during this time just by holding that much weight in place for that many reps. So while focusing more on the Deads I chose to focus on pull downs getting that top to bottom angle worked then the Deads work the lats / and upper back from the bottom up. So even though I feel like I should be doing rows they would effect my recovery ability for the deads and would end up impeding my progress there. With the goal for the deads I can tell you I will see an overall increase in back thickness.
Finishing of the retracting muscles of the shoulder girdle as well as the entire trap from top to bottom with the incline shrugs is more an effort of balancing out developement of some of the smaller muscles of the back and shoulder girdles. When I do the incline shrug I more retract the entire shoulder instead of pinching my shoulder blades in and holding them. I let them get a tight controlled hang then shrug / retract the entire shoulder girdle using all of the muscles of my upper back not just the traps.
Now if I stagnate in the chins / chin grip pull downs I may add in a supported row in it's place. That is basically when you will see me change exercises is when I begin to stagnate or plateau in that area.
Live Hard, Laugh Hard, Love Hard and Heal Fast! - KLEEN
05-28-2011, 11:36 AM
I RARELY ask people about their workout philosophies. However, the second I saw your routine in the WYKED log, I immediately envisioned the intelligent responses that you are rattling off. Hats off Kleen, you know your shiit
I simply love this quote:
"The grip has to feel natural to me not like it is making me work against my body"
This makes me smack my forehead and "doh" like Homer Simpson Even if science and logic says a particular movement is "the best variation ever," don't do it if it doesn't feel right for your body. That hits home for me with wide grip pullups, upright rows, and pullovers. I fight the exercises through every single rep. I gotta just scrap them.
The HST ebook was never officially completed. I believe this is a compilation that an HST forum vet put together. I could be wrong, but I'm not thinking the official one was ever completed.
05-29-2011, 11:21 AM
I put a lot of consideration into my exercise selection, with abbreviated training and / or full body workouts your really have to look at how each exercise interacts and interconnects with the next one so you don't ruin the performance on the following exercises. Also just to make sure I am using the right combination of exercises to get balance throughout the body if not focusing on one area more.
I am gong to have to do my pull overs with an ez bar with my arms a little wider instead of a db from not on when I want to do them. However I am definitely going to stick with grips that feel right too me. When I do "wide" grip pulls for me wide is only where the lat bar starts to bend, that is where I hold it. Normally if there is a soft grubber grip it doesn't even go up to where my hands are. LOL However I have no issues at all with lat width.
05-29-2011, 11:24 AM
05-29-2011, 12:09 PM
A lot of good info in here. Kleen knows his shiiit in a lot of ways. Definetely who I would go to first when needing advice on something training or diet related
Recoverbro Elite"This is what we've been working on"
06-02-2011, 11:24 AM
what encouraged your roman chair hangs? I've been doing a similar protective movement for years on an adjustable roman chair.
06-02-2011, 12:55 PM
06-02-2011, 01:10 PM
06-02-2011, 01:29 PM
I used to follow a "rule of 3's" on an adjustable roman chair.
I'd do 3 bodyweight back extensions followed by 3 long slow deep breathes in during a hang followed by 3 final back extensions. I do that for 3 sets all in different positions on the chair to be sure most vertebral levels are warmed up properly on deadlift and squat days. I think we're on the same page here
What made you choose leg press as the secondary movement? I'm just not enamored with that movement personally. Ur thoughts?
06-02-2011, 06:25 PM
However on leg press i can go deep and push through the heel and still get quad activation so for me to grow quads that is just the movement I use. Nothing else really gets my quads sore. Paul Dillett built his ridiculous legs on leg press for the exact same reason. Squats just made his butt bigger. I think it is the hip or pelvic tilt that really decides what is going to work for your legs more. For me everything on my back side is stronger and works harder in squats and dead lifts. My dead lift is much better than my squatting even when squatting regularly. It is just how I am built really.
07-05-2011, 03:47 PM
I forgot to ask, what are your rep ranges? You mentioned your DL routine/goals and roman chair... but I don't think we discussed the other main movements.
Also, how's the shoulder holding up?
07-08-2011, 03:57 PM
I tend to alter my reps. I am currently doing 12 reps per set. I can get pretty heavy on a lot of moves at 12 reps so I am staying here for another month which will be 8 months post surgery. Then I will probably going down to 10 or maybe even 8 reps, but more than likely will keep my legs at 12 reps because they seem to respond well to a higher rep scheme. I love the weight I can lift once I am hitting 8 reps for me it is the perfect balance between power and growth and my muscle responds happily.
I also like to use a tapering down of the reps as I am now like a few months at 15 reps then 12, 10, and 8 so that I can trick my body with the progressive overload of weight even if overall strength is truly not better the maximum weight lifted can continue to go up. That give me a chance to kind of max out each rep range and once I can't go any heavier at that rep range for a few workouts I can lower the reps and increase the weight to keep things progressing.
That being said I think one also has to have an idea of their muscle fiber make up, and how to apply that to their current goals. I am predominantly fast twitch muscle fibers. I am extremely explosive and can exhaust my muscle quickly in one really hard set. Doing multiple sets over and over at that intensity wont work for me but a few sets and maximum effort give me great dividends. My wife on the other hand is pretty strong but her ability to recover between a set or just simply not exhaust all of her muscle in a set is uncanny. She can do reps to failure with a weight then pick it back up 60-90 seconds later and hit the same amount of reps. I can easily lose 2-4 reps in the same scenario. Seeing the intensity she pushes with and then be able to muster the same or better contraction strength on following sets is impressive. Her having more of a mix of fiber types, she actually flourishes with somewhat higher volume as it plays to her strengths.
Obviously every once in a while you want to go completely against what you are naturally suited for to increase strength in your areas of weakness and to have a true overall fitness and not just appear to be fit.
07-12-2011, 01:52 PM
We are on the same page, I've been shooting for 12 reps on my first set. Then to failure on the following sets. Which is a perfect transition into what you mentioned about your wife. My wife also recovers quickly, so I catch hell if I move too slow... or get made fun of for not getting enough reps when we move quickly like you said with 1-1.5 min rest.
When I workout solo, I'd say I rest about 2 min between sets typically. Just enough time for a few stretches and enough to catch my breathe.
My next question is in regards to subsequent sets:
I got 13 reps with 70's on my first set of DB bench. Then the next sets were like 10 reps, then 8, then 5. Should I have dropped the weight for the 2nd through fourth sets? Should I have rested longer? Any thoughts in general?
The next upper body session I got 8,7,6,6 with 75's. Was it productive to move up in weight? Or am I on track with your philosophy? I sort of envisioned sticking with 75's until I got 12 reps with my first set again. Your thoughts?
07-12-2011, 04:42 PM
For me I like to use the same weight for all my working sets unless the first weight is unexptectedly light and know I should have started higher. I use both a linear progression and a double progression method. The way you explained it you are using a double progression method, which is ideal if you do not have any micro weights. Say you have a rep range of 8-12 , when you start you pick a weight that you can only get about 8 good reps at, gradually work your way up to 12 then add 5 lbs and start over it should drop the reps by a few then you work back up to 12.
If doing it linearly then adding weight with micro weights is probably going to be needed to have continued progression. Also when I am working linearly I will do my first and second set with the same new weight then drop it a bit for the subsequent sets. Kind of a reverse pyramid.
The real key is to give the muscle a new stress to adapt to, the subsequent sets in both scenarios can be a little lighter as you are just adding some volume at that point. However when doing a double progression method increasing both weight and reps I like to keep the weight consistent through the sets and keep track of the total reps in those sets to see if and when I am increasing on that level.
07-14-2011, 02:47 PM
Great explanation on linear vs. double linear. I've followed both methods but never thought it out as specifically as you described.
I like that you mentioned total reps. That's how I've been keeping track up my pullups, rather than adding more weight.
Btw, I unsubbed and then re-subscribed to this thread so it's showing up on my control panel again
07-14-2011, 08:55 PM
Thanks, I was trying hard to get it to read correctly, it came out in a jumble at first. My subscription is working now too.
07-27-2011, 01:47 PM
I ran the original upper/lower split at 12 reps for about 4 weeks.
I plan to swap out only the movements that I've reached a plateau with. I also plan to work in the 10 rep range with all movements for the next 3-4 weeks.
When you make changes like this, do you change from the upper lower split? Or do you just make subtle changes the way I listed and still follow the same basic upper/lower philosophy?
07-27-2011, 02:13 PM
If only replacing a few exercises and changing rep scheme slightly I stick with the same split. Some times I do push / pull for whole body including legs, AKA Squats push day, Romanians Pull day. Sometimes I like to do a Chest/Back, Lower Body, & Arms/Shoulders. When recovery is high I love to do 3 full body workouts per week. I find that in all honestly 3 full body workouts a week has the most effect on my body composition. I gain muscle well due to the intensity and the natural testosterone increase you get from full body workouts especially considering squatting, leg pressing and dead lifting do this on their own but add in the overall stress from a full body and you are going to produce some extra test for sure. However the joints and what not can only handle that for a while before I need to back off the frequency. When i do full body workouts I only do 2 work sets per exercise and the second work set has 2 drop sets for each exercise as well. It is an extremely demanding and rewarding workout. I can send you that lay out if you want to see it. It has been called the Warrior Workout for some time now but someone else wrote a book with that name however if you see people on AM saying they are doing the Warrior Workout there is a decent chance it is my version.
07-28-2011, 10:17 AM
Ok, I'd like to do both then. I want to stick with my slightly altered upper/lower for now and make the next transition into Kleen's Warrior workout. If you can't post it on here, my email is my username at yahoo.
07-28-2011, 03:27 PM
Sounds good I will email it to you, I may even put it up in here, I have it saved on my home computer so will send it out tonight or post it up in here one of the two.
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