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Trying something different

Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:38 am
by fxdemolisher
First a little introduction. I found simplefit early this summer and tried to keep up a regular schedule. The problem was that I could only do the exercises in the late evening, and was sometimes just too tired to start. I spent about 1 month at level 2, then a month off, then 2 months at level 1. Right now I can't seem to progress past level 1, so I am trying something different and wanted other people's opinion.

My biggest problem on L1D1 was endurance, I would run out of breath before my muscles started to feel tired. Pull-ups are still a no-go for me so I sub body rows, using a towel and the pullup bar I have. L1D2 seems a bit easy and I complete that with no problems. L1D3 is also easy but I can't seem to get it done in less then 7 minutes and still maintain form. Like i said, L2 is too much for me on D1.

Now I am not saying the exercises have not been a benefit. They were, and a great one. My energy level is up, I have started to build muscles where I haven't had any for at least 10 years. But it just seems that the schedule is not fitting. So here is what I am trying this week:

I do this daily, in the morning. It takes about 15 minutes:

10 body rows
10 push-ups
10 squats
10 body rows
10 push-ups
10 squats
3-5 minute break to get my breath back
repeat above

So far I am up to 2 reps and a 5 minute break, after 5 days of this straight. I have not felt the muscle fatigue I felt with the simplefit schedule and although on the second rep I am half dead I seem to recover within half an hour. My plan is to go up a rep every 1-2 weeks and to start doing normal pull-ups instead of body-rows.

What does everyone think of this schedule/exercise?

Small correction

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:15 am
by fxdemolisher
After doing the above for 6 days I decided to switch the pull-up/push-up/squat ratio to something a bit closer to day 1 of simple fit. Just did the following:

5 pull-ups (currently subbing 15 body rows)
10 push-ups
15 squats
repeat above
5 minute break
repeat above

All together the double set (10+20+30) takes about 5-7 minutes. With the 5 minute break the overall is 20 minutes for 60 body rows, 40 push-ups, 60 squats. Like i mentioned before I am planning to do this daily while breakfast is cooking.

I am interested in hearing anyone's take on the benefits of the above or disadvantages. After a few weeks i am planning to switch back to a more relaxed L2 on simplefit.

P.S. After 6 days I am able to do a complete pull-up from a standing position and one kipping pull-up. still not able to go from dead hang to a pull-up :(

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:49 pm
by splint
I'm having trouble figuring out the problem. It seems that at first you couldn't do a pull-up at all but now you can do one from a standing position and have can kip yourself over the bar. That's fine, some people count kipping pull-ups others only use strict form, I mix them up. I'll kip on day 1 but use strict only on D2 and try my best to do strict only on D3. Sometimes I even mix that up.

So like, how many rounds could you get on L1D1. You say your biggest problem was endurance, well yeah, that's what D1 is supposed to train. I'm not sure what that means does it mean you couldn't do it at all or that you only got 5 rounds in 20 minutes. If so the purpose is to try to get 6 rounds the next week, and 7 the week after. That's what I like about Simplefit, it gives you concrete numbers to gauge your progress.

I think your homemade plan is a great start, only I'd do simplefit first and use it as a tool to gauge my progress. Like on Monday try L1D1 and whatever the number, record how many rounds you got, whether all pull-ups, or kippping pull-ups, or body rows. then do your homegrown schedule to help work on your endurance more.

I think you have a good start here, but the main goal is to keep you motivated and active. It's important to put your own fingerprint on your workout. Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:32 pm
by fxdemolisher
I think my main problem was lack of progress. When I was on L2 i was doing 20 rounds on D1, flat, week after week. At L1 I was getting 25-27 rounds on D1 and the times for D2/D3 were pretty much static. Even when pushing myself the max i was able to get was 23-24 rounds on L2D1 and the next week i wouldn't even be able to do that.

I think the main difference is that I want to try to use the ratios of D1 from simplefit but get a daily 15-20 minute workout that I can do in the morning. I am afraid that I will lose the diversity of the workouts of D2 and D3 with what I am trying. That is why i am trying to incorporate a 5 minute break between the four reps. Also, I think that doing a daily workout as opposed to waiting 48 hours between sessions may be hurting my progress and wanted to get other's opinions on this.

btw, since I am only able to do 1-3 pull-ups per session i am sticking to body rows for now.

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:05 pm
by splint
OK I see, you're basically not progressing enough to get D3 under 5 minutes and both D2 and D3 don't seem like long enough workouts for the whole day yet you aren't progressing with D3 times so your hesitant to move up a level and get more challenging D2's and D3's. OK, I can relate to that.

What I do is use the simplefit program as my base fitness and neasuring gauge. I always do the simplefit workout Mon, Wed, Fri. Sometimes I just do the simplefit program, sometimes I add additional exercises when I'm done.

Like today, I did L5D1 for 29 rounds. Then I went and did tabata dips for 8 rounds, then I did tabata squats, then I did 50 medicine ball (12 pounder) throws with each arm at a wall from about 10 yards away. Then I finished the workout off with L-hangs for abs.

But I basically started out doing nothing but simplefit and then added exercises I liked as I made progress and felt like working out more.

Keep us posted on your progress and how your workout evolves. Whatever works for you, I don't think your doing anything poor here.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:02 am
by fxdemolisher
Thanks for the info. I think you nailed the problem on the head.

Ok here goes. My modified rouitine got modified once more. Sets of 15 body rows and squats was killing me. The workout would take over 20 minutes. So i modified it to the following:

10 body rows (subbing for 3 pull-ups)
7 push-ups
10 squats

Thats one set. I do three sets of these with 3 minute breaks in between. That totals to 60 body rows, 42 push-ups, and 60 squats done daily. I believe its my equivalent for L1D1 at ~20 rounds. But this is daily and takes about 16 minutes to complete. I am watching the time for each set to track improvement.

Been doing that for about 5 days. The total for the modified program is two weeks today. I've seen very major improvements in upper body strength and tone but my abdominal area is still not getting any exercise. I think its because i am using body-rows instead of pull-ups.

Can anyone suggest a good abdominal exercise? I am thinking 10 crunches right before the 10 squats in the above layout.

Also, do you think I should move this thread to another forum on this site?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:40 am
by ucffool
I think it's a fine category for this thread.

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:34 am
by fxdemolisher
Quick update for anyone who's interested.

I didn't make two weeks on my schedule. I am starting to realize why I loved simplefit so much in the first place. The daily routine that I was trying to follow led to a workout that became boring and more exhaustive with each day. Instead of progressing I found it more and more difficult to complete each daily session. Because of this I ended up skipping tuesday and thursday of this week.

As a result of all of that I am starting L2 of simplefit again next week. I did make some progress that makes me think that L2 may be more appropriate then L1 for me. I am able to do a pull-up now and see visible muscle being built on my legs and upper body.

As a path back to simplefit I did L2D3 today and it took 5 min 47 seconds. I was unable to sub the body-rows 1:3 today because I am trying a body-row at 90 degrees (body parallel to ground) and these are killing me. More like full pull-ups then body rows :)

As a supplement I am including the bicycle manoeuvre exercise into the simplefit schedule. The idea is for me to complete the same number of bicycle manoeuvres as there are squats before and after the set, not counting their time in the overall time. For D1 this will be 80 (40 before 40 after in two sets), for D2 it will be 65 (7 before, 6 after for each set), for D3 it will be 26 (13 before, 13 after).