Strength training

Bridges and sumo squats (with a kettlebell / dumbbell) are a great combo too!


WTF, guy next to me today, reasonably muscled, but not ripped, early 30’s at a guess, doing full dips in sets of 5, with 50kg weights chained to his belt. Is that normal, 'cos I’ve never seen it before?

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Strong but doesn’t sound completely unreasonable.
At 20 I was doing sets of 5 with ~25-30kg (I think, memory is hazy), and there were far stronger people in the group than me. So I suspect if their interest had been gym rather than swimming, and extra years of maturity they’d be in same region.

Tried the press-ups/ plank thing today.

Started at 1 press up + 15 seconds plank, then 2… made it as far as 6 press ups but not the 6th plank.

Like it though.

I almost wonder if psychologically it might be easier to start at a big number, say 8 for me, and work down to 1 because of the knowledge that the end is in sight & it’s getting less painful or at least the pain is sustained for less reps.

@Mungo2 you are a monster going 10 to 1 and back up again :astonished:


Well done !
I think there’s some confusion as to what we are doing with this one ?!
I thought it was one press up one second plank?
2 reps 2 secs plank up and up and up?

I’ll try the 15 sec effort after each one over the next few days, 1-10 and back like that is over 5- 6 mins I 100% couldn’t do that.

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Seem to have hit a plateau again the last few weeks/months, strengthwise.
Been on 4x100kg for bench, 6x140kg for Deadlift & 6x120kg for Squats for ages and just don’t seem able to squeeze anything extra out.
I think a change is in order and thought about dropping to a real strength based program, bro split with low reps (3-5) to see if that would kickstart things. In the end I’m going the other way (sort of) and dropping to 3 full body workouts per week with 3 gym cardio/core sessions too. (Currently do 5 weights & 1 cardio but I’m just not managing to fit the cardio in at home around it)
Need to get some weight off & can’t do both at the same time so think I’ll focus on that for a few months then reassess at the end of the summer.


Just done 1-10
1 sec 1 press 2 sec 2 press etc in my dressing gown with the cat staring at me like I’m a nutter !

That was tough pre coffee and cereal


15s (low) plank every time was the one I’d attempted

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Just done 1-10 ( then 15 sec plank in between ) after boxing
There was no back down again today!
But I’ll work on it


point of order… for the plank, is it ok to keep arms extended or are we dropping to the elbows?

I tried arms extended this morning and managed 7, but sense this might be a slight cheat.

Also some part of my chest at both sides, possibly serratus anterior, feels like it did a few rounds with Mike Tyson yesterday :smiley:

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Likelihood of me you and dr Chris actually flying thousands of miles to meet for an event that would be over in 5-7 mins is small I’m guessing ?
The plank is normally done on your elbows,(but a class I do once a week has a plank off with straight arms ?!) if you get further with straight arms go for that one, maybe alternate it ?
Personally straight arms sounds harder but I do lots of plank on the elbows.

Yes upper body is aching a touch this morning too.
It’s tough !

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Changed my routine to 3 Full Body workouts each week and thought about trying the 5x5 routine that seems very popular, and I think some of you have mentioned doing it in the past.
I haven’t bought the app or anything but did some googling and found this. Is this the full program or are there ancillary exercises after these?

And if anyone has followed it, what did you make of it?
I find the main sets a bit weird, if you can do the same weight for all of them then surely the first ones aren’t hard enough?

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Yes, good, it’s not the same weight all round.

Or a book

If you’ve never lifted you start with just the bar (20kg or if it’s a bastard bar like mine 15kg)

With dead lifts the bar needs to be raised, so you can warm up with the bar if you want but 2x5kg plates should raise it to the correct position for lifting.

By happenstance this puts your deadlift at +10kg to you squat, which is about right.

Every session you increase the weight by +2.5kg. This means squats goes up quicker than everything else, except dead which you raise by 5kg to keep it at +10 to your squat.

The first couple of months is all about learning the correct movements and prepping your body so that you don’t injure yourself as the weight gets heavy. The first time I did it I was amazed how strong I was after three/four months of patience.

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Yes its my go to routine. The app is good as it works out warm ups and if you miss a couple of sessions it will calc a deload, but its not essential.

It looks odd at first with all weights the same but it quickly diverges. You squat every workout and add 2.5kg so that goes up fast. The upper body exercises and DL alternate so some weeks you’ll bench and pull twice and others you DL and overhead twice.

There is a website which has a downloadable spreadsheet rather than the app.

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Sorry to jump into a thread I’ve not participated in. But with some various ongoing niggles, and having some space in my garden office/training room, I’m in the market for some kit to make some body maintenence more easy to do.

Some of my rehab exercises at the moment need a bench, and getting to gym with the little one is a lot more challenging than if I could sneak in some sets between calls during working hours.

I think for now, all I really want is what I’d term a dumbell bench and then probably, given space efficiency, a pair of adjustable weight dumbells (rather than buying a full set of individual weights). Any recommendations? Benches seems to vary in price from basically nothing via an Argos type version, through to quite a bit. For home use, is there any need to get anything elaborate? Given I’m only used to gym grade kit, I don’t want something mega flimsy. But equally don’t need something as sturdy as the beatings gym kit gets. I’m only 75kg and not going to be lifting super heavy weights.

I definitely don’t think I need one of the self contained benches with weights stacked underneath that I’ve seen doing some Google searching. The technogym one for example seems like a fashion statement rather than actually offering anything useful!

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Where abouts are you again? In lockdown I bought a bunch of gym kit, but so did everyone else, and at the time I couldnt get an adjustable bench so I bought a flat bench. Its a pretty solid thing, from Mirafit who make some good stuff.

Anyway couple of months passed and I was able to get an adjustable one, Im pretty sure the flat one is still in the garage somewhere. Dont think I got rid of it. You can have it. If its too far I can post it or something.

Thanks, that’s kind! I’m south London though and so collection is probably out of the picture. I’d imagine postage would end up being quite cost prohibitive?

Mira was a brand that had popped up on Google, so good to hear they’re what you have and reputable. Something like this seems about as much as I’d need, and whilst the seat section is static, which isn’t as good for partial incline stuff, it’s not like I’m planning to do 2x30kg incline dumbell bench press, where a more stable seat position would be a lot more important.

Do you think that sort of thing is going to be reasonable?

As for dumbells, any thoughts? Something like this is what I’m thinking but I have no idea on brands, quality, or whether these adjustable ones are actually just a waste of space?!

Space is the concern though. This is the area I think I could realistically use without making what feels like a spacious office/training den suddenly become overly cramped. I don’t really have anywhere to put a big rack of separate dumbells. Although in reality, the ones listed above are unnecessarily heavy. I was probably only getting up to benching 30+ kg dumbells over a decade ago when I was lifting heavy weights 4x a week. So I could probably top out at 18-20kg and that would give me more than enough for some rehab work plus general s&c. It’s having 2kg increments that I think would be most important.

This maybe seems more appropriate. Smaller increments at the low end with less overall weight.

My 2 pence.
We got a fairly healthy set of kit including an adjustable bench. I hate it. It’s a right faff to change the angle - so it stays flat 99% of the time. It’s also cumbersome (esp with the stupid leg thing on the end of it) so you can’t just shove it out the way. I wish we just had a small flat bench that would be more appropriate for almost everything I want it for.

I also looked into those adjustable dumbells - but the more I looked the more I was put off. If you are doing light weight stuff, you have what is still quite a large item that seems a bit unwieldy.

We already had a small dumbell tree, so I just got a couple of heavier ones to go alongside. Again not perfect and some compromise when lifting - but for the majority of what I did; I didnt need much more variance (just tweak the number of reps a bit). Obviously not good for a proper weights routine - but mine was more ad-hoc/supplementary training so far more flexible with what I was doing.


This was probably my concern. But the space for a dumbell tree is quite significant, and the total weight of them ratchets up quite quickly. Probably overly cautious, but I’d be slightly worried about concentrating significant amount of weight on one spot of the floor.

In terms of space, I probably could find a better location for one of the double wheel bags (not even sure what wheelset is in there!) and the rollers (I should really use them!). That probably would allow for a little dumbell tree

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