Open Thread

Open Thread 2018 (#4)

The Open Thread is a place for open discussion among my readers. Post anything you feel like sharing! From now on, the Open Thread will no longer be monthly. Instead, there will be a new Open Thread whenever it is adequate. The stage is yours. Go ahead! Note that there is also an Open Thread on Aaron S. Elias’s site.

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33 thoughts on “Open Thread 2018 (#4)

  1. What are you opinions or experiences with using social media as part of an overall game plan? I don’t mean as a way to do real life approaches but more as a useful marketing funnel.

  2. @Alek
    What is you minimalist, “ignoramus” (I like that word you used to describe yourself^^) approach to reps and sets at the gym?
    Like, what’s the 20/80 to go? (My guess is you do two, maximum three sets of like 3-5 reps but you load the machine up quite heavily).
    Also: heaviest weight first, or do you increase, or keep constant?

    1. I just do HST… but my simplified version of it…

      – I only do 1 set per exercise, just 5-6 machines… so 5-6 sets in the gym total.

      – Train 2-3 times a week

      – I add weight each session usually… about 1-2 kg per exercise each time I’m in the gym… that is… I am stronger by 2-5 kg on each thing every week, despite being so minimal… so it’s working.

      – So every set I do is a “PR set”… basically I’m trying to set a record (again, 1-2kg more than last time). So I only do that one PR set. No less, no more.

    2. To be fair, I don’t know how much of it is muscle memory though. It’s possible I can still add strength this quickly, despite being this extremely minimal with my training because I’m just regaining old muscle.

      I’m currently at upper-end of “intermediate*”, but at the pace I’m gaining (or is it regaining?) I would be “elite” in a couple of months, which probably won’t happen, since getting from intermediate to elite takes years. So my speed of gaining (regaining) is bound to slow down. I guess when I hit whatever point I was at in my peak (back years ago).

      I’m guessing it’s muscle memory. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense to be moving up levels this fast.

      *Reference points:

      You can check your strength levels here:

      It’s where the intermediate, advanced and elite come from…

    3. That calculator is a very crude instrument. For one, it is based on self-reported submission. Even if they are all accurate, people submitting are much more likely than not to work out, so the numbers are likely exaggerated. Also, you can’t just look at bodyweight and how much you lift. For instance, I am very tall and consequently have long arms. This means that my full range of motion for, for instance, bench press, is much longer than for a guy who is one foot shorter than me.

    4. I just do HST… but my simplified version of it…

      By this I mean that I don’t bother myself with the complexities of planning the exact progression and how many days you do which rep range bla bla… I just take the overall concept

      – do a couple of weeks of 15 reps
      – do a couple of weeks of 12 reps
      – do a couple of weeks of 10 reps

    5. So my speed of gaining (regaining) is bound to slow down. I guess when I hit whatever point I was at in my peak (back years ago).

      If I were to guess, when I was in my peak years ago… I was somewhere in mid or high advanced. Don’t have logs from back then so can’t know for sure. So I will probably keep gaining strength this fast until I get to mid or high-advanced (which is just muscle memory).

      Only after this point will I know how well my super minimal-training works for gaining. This is after I’ll reach the point when I’m finally making new gains (instead of just regaining old ones).

    6. Thanks Alek
      How did your last workout look like?
      (pls include number of reps)

    7. people submitting are much more likely than not to work out, so the numbers are likely exaggerated.

      That’s not an issue. Since it isn’t supposed to be in comparison to the population as a whole. Just this particular population.

      it is based on self-reported submission

      Yeah… fortunately it’s very much in line with other charts developed over the past decades that weren’t based on self-submission. In other words, it’s not giving numbers that are different than those produces by other methods.

      The reason I like it is because of the simplicity of checking your progress. I did in fact check to see if the numbers are similar to other charts… and they are. So it doesn’t actually fail there.

    8. That calculator is a very crude instrument.

      That brings up a good point. Charts about levels of strength are in fact based on height, despite the fact that you enter bodyweight.

      – Kinda ass backwards… But… the reason the charts show different expectations of weight for different guys (a 200 pounds guy vs 180 guy)… isn’t because bodyweight makes you stronger. It’s because taller people both weight more AND can lift more.

      So if you’re currently fat, to get realistic readings on your strength, enter in the bodyweight you would be at 15% bodyfat. Because if you’re 25% bodyfat, and you weigh 200 pounds… the numbers it will give you are primarily based on a guy who’s 15% bodyfat and he’s actually at 200 pounds because he’s taller than you.

      That calculator is a very crude instrument.

      Works really well for a minimalist 80-20 er who doesn’t want to minmax. It’s good for setting ballpark goals. Real good if you actually have other goals in life outside of microanalyzing your lifting goals.

    9. Yes, it works to give you a basic idea of where you should rank, relative to your age and weight. However, range of motion is a fact (can’t argue against physics), and so are genetics. Then, let’s not forget body composition. I can take one guy with a weight of 80 kilos and, say, 20 % of body fat, and another one who is 15 cm shorter but weighs 80 kilos as well, and their initial performance will be much different.

    10. That is not a good argument because the first source does not even specify where the numbers come from. They could be made up. I’ll write a little bit more in response to another comment of yours.

    11. That is not a good argument because the first source does not even specify where the numbers come from. They could be made up.

      Tables for the basic barbell exercises are based on nearly 70 years of accumulated performance data and are not predicted or regression derived. These performance standards should not to be confused with strength norms.

      Provided by Dr. Lon Kilgore, PhD

    1. For now, comments are approved automatically if the user has had an approved comment in the past. This may be too generous a rule, so at one point there will probably be a blacklist for those who misbehave.

    2. I just posted a comment, and it wasn’t auto-approved. I’m guessing because it had a couple of links. Which makes sense.

  3. Can you comment on your ideas about celebrity body transformations. Explaining your view on guys like Chris Pratt who were a slob before and later became hot. I personally think it is great. Shows that it is possible to improve even if you have been a slob before. I say this because it rings true to me. I too was fat before and now I am definitely not fat.

    1. I have heard of Russian female snipers in WW2. It is most likely propaganda to some degree. Think about it: how many female snipers are there, and how unlikely is it that there is one absolutely stellar female one? It’s comparable to suddenly having some woman run 100 meters in 8 seconds.

    1. shaking my head: I believe i’m officially one of the first millennials. I’m from feb-1982. Gen x ends 1981 i believe. But my parents were boomers. And i basically identify more with gen x. I’m a bit smacked in the middle. It’s just like the video said. I was in my late teens. And we slowly started to see that this system. And this cultural change our parents generation brought us wasn’t working. Growing up we didn’t had much guidance. Lots of freedom. The generation before us had just successfully removed most cultural norms. And we were left without a culture. There was this feeling that something big was going to happen. We just didn’t knew what. And we were told everything would be fine. And we should just have fun. And just when it was our turn to fill the cultural space. 911 happened. And our direction was decided for us before we could make our own cultural mark.

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