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About DonkeyKong

  • Rank
    Heavy Lifter

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  • Body Weight
  • Squat PR
    185kgs (back), 122.5kgs (front), 400kgs Yoke
  • Press PR
    250lbs (bench) 90kgs (OHP) 95kgs (Jerk), 85kg log
  • Deadlift PR
    225kgs, 2x140kgs Farmers Walk
  1. What Is "optimal" Training

    I think it's natural to over-analyse for some people, especially when they just start out with lifting (or dieting or whatever). The longer it goes on, the more they know about what works for their own body and the less interest they pay in the latest T Nation article about blasting bi's (or whatver shit they're shilling these days). Rep ranges and all that noise make no difference whatsoever in my mind - 99% of "optimal" happens between your ears, silencing the inner voice that tells you to quit, to back off, or to otherwise not put in the required effort. Most people looking for "optimal" programs strike me as guys who are looking for an easy way. They probably won't make it there, because it's not supposed to be easy.
  2. Not Becoming A Supple Leopard

    Personally I dislike Kelly Starret's style and I can't stand the wording and nomenclature of his work. However, his methods have helped me to remove tendinitis in my elbows, fix faulty mechanics in my lifts, and understand that pain in a joint can teach me something: namely whether my form is breaking down/bad, or whether I have a restriction in my tissue/joints capsule somewhere (and some guidance on where to start looking). The mobility drills and methods are the best part of the book. I would pay the author again for his work, just for the relief I've finally started to get in my shoulder for pain I've had for decades. I paid a physical therapist at one stage to fix it, and he failed. I asked a Dr last year about it, who said there was nothing that could be done. But by fixing the mobility and position of my shoulder, the pain is diminishing. This is all n=1 stuff, and I have no idea about the science behind the book (I get the impression that trigger point/manual therapy may be one of those areas that's not well understood in any case). All I can say is that if you use this book as a tool to diagnose form and mobility issues, then work the drills to increase ROM, you will notice an improvement in your performance.
  3. What others have said, plus - go and try to see what your body can handle. The only real answer is the one that works for you, and you'll only know how much is too much by finding out for yourself. Personally I have a very high capacity to recover, but prefer to use it up going harder on the main lifts rather than accessories myself.
  4. Scratch List Training

    I do this in an ad-hoc way at the moment. Depending on how I feel on any given day I'll change exercise selection, and then just try and get a certain number of reps in a variety of percentage ranges. e.g. if I plan on squatting and I feel pretty good one day I will run up to a max, do a bunch of singles and doubles until I've done 10-20 total reps, then back off until ~65-70% of my 1RM and knock out some volume. It's working pretty well for me at the moment, and means I'm not a slave to my workout schedule - if I feel good I hammer the crap out of it, if I'm feeling bad I do the bare minimum and hit the showers.
  5. Nice one. Did you keep any track of body fat % whilst doing this? It would be interesting to know the ratio of muscle to fat loss you experienced.
  6. Visual Cues

    I find the opposite. When I have a mirror it distracts me, and I cannot focus on the important cues that I would normally use.
  7. At What Point To Purchase A Belt.

    No worries. If the money isn't an issue then you may as well get one.
  8. At What Point To Purchase A Belt.

    I bought my belt with similar numbers to you - used it to get my squat to 150kgs and my deadlift to 220 (BW 90kgs). I had a hernia about a year ago, and stopped using the belt afterwards. Since then I've taken my squat PR to 185kgs and matched the deadlift (as well as hit PR's in bench and OHP - which others will also use a belt for). I find I don't like lifting with the belt any more. As such my advice would be to get one now (ideally borrow one), and try it out. If you like using it and it helps then keep doing it. Almost all world records are set whilst wearing one. That said, plenty of people are lifting much more than you without a belt at similar bodyweight numbers, so it isn't essential. Personally I would choose to use my money on a pair of decent powerlifting shoes and on knee/elbow sleeves instead. There is no one right answer though.
  9. Top Three Ab Exercises

    Load up a barbell, put it on your back (or front) and take it for a walk. Be prepared to be hated by everyone in your gym.
  10. Top Three Ab Exercises

    Yoke Walk Farmers Walk Front Squat lockout and holds for time
  11. Lifting Shoes

    Much better - I've ditched my belt entirely, I just don't need it. However I never travel anywhere without my Oly shoes (well, maybe some places, but certainly never to a gym).
  12. Lifting Shoes

    I've got some Addidas Ironwork III shoes, and they're the best bit of lifting equipment I've invested in. I use them for squats, pressing (bench and overhead), and static strongman work too. Deadlifts I prefer barefeet. They massively increase the stability on a squat, and if you have crappy ankle flexibility like me, they improve posture too. Overhead pressing will be much easier wearing them, and as you say, the heel helps get leg drive and makes it easier to plant your feet on a bench press.
  13. Elbow Pain When Squatting.

    Try a few things - it seems some tips work for some of us, and different tips for others. My own cure: ultra narrow grip, bent wrists, elbows right under the bar. You also need to keep a really tight upper back. I know other people who have such a wide grip they nearly touch the plates, and people with every conceivable iteration in between. Find the one that works for you.
  14. Low Calorie Diet

    At least where I am in the world, you can get the nutrition data on the shit they sell in fast food restaurants from either their own website or from the store itself. If you're going to "go nuts" on a cheat day I'd highly recommend going for high carb OR high fat (high carb better if your normal cutting diet is low in carbs). If your blow out has both at once then you'll be a.) eating more calories and b.) re-filling the fat cells you'd worked so hard to empty during the week. When having a cheat meal, work out whether you really need to eat 4,000 calories of food to be satisfied that you've cheated, or whether you just need a small burger to psychologically improve the boredom of dieting. The fact that you need to ask where and how to work out what the nutrition content of junk food is should highlight that it's not the best choice if you're cutting.
  15. Low Calorie Diet

    You don't have to be, and it's psychologically easier for some people to have 'cheat meals' or 're-feeds'. Just be sure to create enough of a deficit on the strict days to ensure the cheat meal doesn't end up with a calorie surplus over the course of a week.