Gaining Strength X3 Bar Training Vlogs

Wondering what Gaining Strength training looks like, using an X3 Bar and resistance bands integrated with bodyweight training?  On this page I will post vlogs of my training sessions, in most of which I use the bar and bands for at least 1 basic exercise, in combination with bodyweight and gymnastics strength training.

X3 Bar Training Vlog Chronology

This log starts on May 21, 2020 when I started a new training cycle with a push-pull routine at the age of 58 years and 10 months.  Each new entry will be added at the top of the page.  

Band Notes

I use bands from X3, WODfitters and Serious Steel.  In my notes on the vlogs below, I use short hand reference to these.  Here are the codes and the resistance ratings of the bands, in pounds, according to the manufacturers:

X3 bands

  • X1 10-50 (20-100 doubled)
  • X2 25-80 (50-160)
  • X3 50-120 (100-240)
  • X4 60-150 (120-300)

WODfitters bands

  • R(red) 5-35 (10-70 doubled)
  • Ba(black) 10-60 (20-120)
  • P(purple) 25-80 (50-160)
  • G(green) 50-125 (100-250)
  • Bu(blue) 65-175 (130-350)

Serious Steel

  • O(orange #0) 2-12 (4-24 doubled)
  • P1(purple #1) 5-35 (10-70)

For example, I will record using Bu+X2.  That means I used the WODfitters blue band plus the X3 light gray band.

READ MY X3 BAR REVIEW HERE

Foot plate

When doing front squats or deadlifts, I usually add a 1" thick piece of horse stall mat on top of the standard X3 foot plate, to increase the thickness of the foot plate and therefore increase the resistance of the bands in the bottom position.  This is useful for shorter people.  Assume I have done this unless otherwise noted.

When doing X3 deadlifts I put a yoga block between my feet to prevent the bar from slamming into my bare feet in case I should ever lose hold of the bar due to grip fatigue. 

November 9, 2020

Full body session:

  1. X3 bar press, X2+R x 9 (increased by 1 repetition)
  2. Fulcrum 90 degree pull up on CAP rack with rings x 6 
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+O x 9 (increased by 1 repetition)
  4. Hollow layback chin up on CAP rack x 5+
  5. Alternating pistol squat ladder set: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1, 1 eccentric only (increased 1 repetition)
  6. X3 bar deadlift, Bu+R+O x 10 (increased band resistance from what I used last time I did this exercise order)
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba x 13 (increased band resistance from what I used last time I did this exercise order)

November 7, 2020

  1. 30 s wall handstand x 5 alternated with
  2. Prone circumductions 5 x 5
  3. Reclining hero 20 s x 2
  4. Hanging cobra 20 s x 2
  5. Bridge 10 s x 3
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Handstand and bridge training today.

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November 6, 2020

November 5, 2020

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#x3bar #fitafter50 #homegym

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November 3, 2020

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#x3bar #fitafter50 #homegym

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November 2, 2020

October 28, 2020

October 23, 2020

October 20, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+R+O x 19 (increased 1 repetition from previous session)
  2. Suspension leg curl x 12
  3. Front lever on CAP rack pulls x almost 4 > hold to failure
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba+O x 18 (no change)
  5. Mixed grip super slow chin up (~10 s concentric, ~40+ s eccentric) on CAP rack x 1 each side > chin up to failure
  6. Hurdler's stretches
  7. Front split

October 19, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstand 1 set one-arm biased loading 5s x 6
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. X3 bar front squat, B+X2+R x 15 (increased 1 repetition)
  4. Pseudo-planche push ups x 4+ > regular push ups to failure > strong range partials to failure > pseudo-planche lean to failure
  5. Horse stance squat with 5s bottom pause x 10
  6. X3 bar overhead press X2+O x 8 (regained 1 repetition)
  7. Floor straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 9
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#x3bar #highintensitystrengthtraining #homegym

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October 16, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+R+O x 18 (increased 1 repetition from previous session)
  2. Standing pike
  3. 1-arm assisted scapula pull up on CAP rack  x 5 pulls each side > 2 arm scapula pull up to failure
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba+O x 18 (no change)
  5. Hollow layback pull up on CAP rack x 4 > chin up to failure
  6. Hurdler's stretches
  7. Front split

October 14, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets with alternating pull of feet from wall: 49 sec, 17 sec (rested only 45s between sets and during first set had some moments in a free handstand)
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. Pistol squat, 5 s bottom pause x 4 > 4 partials > 3 eccentric only (no change).  
  4. Archer push ups with feet elevated 3.5"  x 6 > regular push ups to failure (increased feet elevation)
  5. Natural leg extension x 3 > Reclining Hero ( quadriceps deeply fatigued from adding eccentrics to pistol squats)
  6. X3 bar overhead press X2+O x 7
  7. Standing straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 10

October 12, 2020

Pull day

  1. Suspension leg curl x 12
  2. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack x 3 plus hold to failure
  3. Standing pike
  4. Mixed grip chin ups with ~10s concentric and maximum time eccentric  on CAP rack x 1 (45s total) each side + > chin ups 
  5. X3 bar rise on toes Ba+R x 28
  6. Hurdler's stretches
  7. Front split

October 9, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets one-arm biased loading 5s x 4+
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. X3 bar front squat, B+X2+R x 14 (increased 1 repetition)
  4. Pseudo-planche push ups x 4 > regular push ups to failure
  5. Horse stance squat with 5s bottom pause x 8
  6. Deficit pike pushup with feet elevated 2.6" x 4 > partials to failure
  7. Floor straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 8

October 7, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+R+O x 17 (increased 1 repetition from 2 sessions previous)
  2. Standing pike
  3. 1-arm assisted scapula pull up on CAP rack  x 5 pulls each side > 2 arm scapula pull up to failure
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba+O x 18 (increased one repetition)
  5. Alternating mixed grip chin ups on CAP rack  x 6+ 2 hollow body layback chin ups 
  6. Hurdler's stretches
  7. Front split

October 5, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets with alternating pull of feet from wall: 51 sec, 39 sec
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. Pistol squat, 5 s bottom pause x 4 > partials  (no change).  
  4. Archer push ups with feet elevated 3"  x 6 > regular push ups to failure (increased feet elevation)
  5. Natural leg extension x 4 > Reclining Hero
  6. X3 bar overhead press X2+O x 8
  7. Standing straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 10
  8. Side arch up, 11 each   

October 3, 2020

Pull day

  1. Suspension leg curl x 12
  2. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack x 3 plus hold to failure
  3. Standing pike
  4. Hollow body layback pull ups on CAP rack x 4+ > chin ups 
  5. X3 bar rise on toes Ba+R x 25
  6. Hurdler's stretches
  7. Front split

October 1, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets one-arm biased loading 5s x 4
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. X3 bar front squat, B+X2+R x 13 (increased 1 repetition)
  4. Pseudo-planche push ups x 4 > regular push ups to failure
  5. Horse stance squat x 9
  6. X3 bar press X2+O x 7 
  7. Floor straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 8

September 29, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+R+O x 15 (lost a rep; fatigue)
  2. Suspension leg curl with rings x 12 (increased 1 repetition)
  3. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack  x 3 pulls + max hold (~60 seconds)
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba+O x 17 (increased one repetition)
  5. Layback hollow chin ups on CAP rack  x 4+ 
  6. Standing pike

September 26, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets with alternating pull of feet from wall: 51 sec, 39 sec
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. Pistol squat, 5 s bottom pause x 4 > partials  (no change).  To work on straddle split strength, I've been doing Cossack squats with holds before regular training.
  4. Archer push ups with feet elevated 2.6"  x 6 > regular push ups to failure (increased feet elevation)
  5. Natural leg extension x 4 > Reclining Hero
  6. Deficit pike press with feet elevated 4"  x 4 (increased difficulty by elevating feet)
  7. Standing straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 10
  8. Side arch up, 11 each side

September 24, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+R+O x 16 (increased resistance)
  2. Suspension leg curl with rings x 10 (increased 1 repetition)
  3. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack  x 3 pulls + max hold (~60 seconds)
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba+O x 16 (increased one repetition)
  5. Layback hollow pull ups on CAP rack  x 4 > chin up (almost 1) > ground inverted rows to failure
  6. V-up x 10
  7. Hurdler's stretches
  8. Front splits

September 22, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets one-arm biased loading 5s x 4, 4
  2. Tailor pose ~ 1 minute
  3. X3 bar front squat, B+X2+R x 12 (no change)
  4. Pseudo-planche push ups x 3 > regular push ups to failure
  5. Horse stance squat x 9
  6. X3 bar press X2+O x 7 (increased resistance)
  7. Floor straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 9
  8. Side arch up, 11 each side

September 19, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+R x 20 (increased resistance and still hit 20!)
  2. Suspension leg curl with rings x 9 (increased resistance)
  3. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack  x 3 pulls + max hold (~60 seconds)
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba+O x 15 (increased one repetition)
  5. Layback chin ups on CAP rack  x 4 > ground inverted rows to failure
  6. V-up x 8
  7. Hurdler's stretches
  8. Front splits

September 17, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstand for time x 1, then for time with leg flutters 
  2. Pistol squat drop set:  5 s bottom pause x 4 (failure) > 3 top range partials (failure) > assisted alternating 1.5 each side (failure) > eccentric only 1 each side
  3. Archer push up x 6 > regular push up x 3 > top range partial push up to failure
  4. Natural leg extension x 4 > reclining hero 
  5. Deficit pike pushup x 3 plus a few top range partials
  6. Floor straddle forward bend prisoner style x 8 plus stretch on last repetition
  7. Side arch up 2 x 10 r, 5 r
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#homegym #highintensitystrengthtraining #fitafter50

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September 15, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+O x 20 (time to add resistance)
  2. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba x 20 (increased 3 repetitions)
  3. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack  x 3 pulls + max hold (~60 seconds)
  4. Hurdler's stretch
  5. Layback pull ups drop set on CAP rack  pull ups x 4 > chin up ~1 > rowing x ~3
  6. Front split
  7. V-ups x 8

September 12, 2020

Push day

  1. Pike handstands 2 sets one-arm biased loading 10s x 4
  2. X3 bar front squat, B+X2+R x 12 (increased resistance bands)
  3. Pseudo-planche push ups x 3 > regular push ups to failure
  4. Reclining hero/natural leg extension x ~60" (increased times)
  5. X3 bar press X2 x 10 (increased 2 repetitions)
  6. Standing straddle forward bend, contract/relax x 8

September 10, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu+O x 17 (time to add resistance)
  2. Suspension leg curl with rings x 8.
  3. Front lever pulls/hold on CAP rack  x 3 pulls + max hold (~60 seconds)
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+Ba x 17 (increased band resistance)
  5. Layback pull ups on CAP rack  x 4 > chin up ~1

September 8, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets (49", 43") (increased times)
  2. X3 bar straddle split squat, R x 10 both sides (increased repetitions)
  3. Archer push ups, feet elevated 2", 6 each side > regular push ups x 3
  4. Reclining hero/natural leg extension x ~60" (increased times)
  5. Pike push up x 4 (1.2'), slower movement and narrower grip than last session
  6. Floor straddle forward bend, contract/relax x ~60"

September 4, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, Bu x 20 (time to add resistance)
  2. Suspension leg curl with rings x 8.
  3. Front lever hold/row on CAP rack  x ~60 seconds
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R+O x 19 (up 1 rep)
  5. Layback chin ups on CAP rack  x 4  

September 3, 2020

Push day

  1. Pike 1-arm handstand shoulder taps 2 x 12, 8
  2. Pistol squats with 5 second bottom pause x 4 (increased 1 rep from last session I did these) plus partials
  3. Pseudo-planche push up with head to wall x 3
  4. Reclining hero/natural leg extension x 3 plus stretch (53 seconds)
  5. X3 bar overhead press, X2 x 8 (changed exercise order)
  6. Straddle split pancake

September 1, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, G+Ba+O x 20 (time to move to add resistance)
  2. Standing leg curl with Bodylastics band, G x 8.
  3. Front lever hold on CAP rack  x ~60 seconds
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R+O x 18 (up 1 rep)
  5. Layback pull ups on CAP rack  x 4  

August 27, 2020

Push day

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets (43", 37") alternated with bar circumductions
  2. X3 bar straddle split squat, R x 9(l), 7 (r)
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+O x  8 (1.3')
  4. Reclining hero/natural leg extension x 45"
  5. Pike push up x 6 (1.4')

August 25, 2020

Pull day:

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, G+Ba+O x 17+ (almost finished the 18th)
  2. Standing leg curl with Bodylastics band, G x 8.
  3. Front lever hold/row on CAP rack with rings x 60 seconds
  4. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R+O x 17 (no change)
  5. Layback chin ups on CAP rack with rings x 5 (increased 1).  

August 21, 2020

Push day:

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets alternated with bar circumductions, first set side-to-side loading, second set neck flexion-extension during set
  2. X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 15 (no change, although perceived exertion was less than last session)
  3. X3 bar overhead press, X2+R x 7 (increased band resistance)
  4. Reclining hero
  5. Archer push-up, 6 each side (no change)

August 20, 2020

Pull day:

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, G+Ba+O x 17 (no change)
  2. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R+O x 17 (increased 2 repetitions)
  3. Front lever pulls on CAP rack with rings x 9 (increased by 1)
  4. Eccentric emphasized chin ups on CAP rack with rings x 4.  
  5. Hurdler's stretches
  6. Front split

August 17, 2020

Push day:

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets alternated with bar circumductions, first set side-to-side loading, second set neck flexion-extension during set
  2. 4-zone pistol squat, increased repetitions to 5 in bottom 2 zones, was able to do 5 all 4 zones
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+O x ~9 (almost 1 rep increase)
  4. Standing straddle forward bend with contract-relax cycles
  5. Reclining hero

Skipped hanging cobra due to shoulder discomfort during last session.

August 13, 2020

Pull day:

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, G+Ba+O x 17 (increased 2 repetitions)
  2. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R+O x 15 (increased resistance)
  3. Front lever half lay eccentric on CAP rack with rings x 4
  4. Slow layback hollow body chin ups on CAP rack with rings x almost 4.  For me a rep doesn't count unless my chest is no more than 1" from the bar.
  5. Hudler's stretches
  6. Front split

August 11, 2020

Push day:

  • Wall handstand 2 x 38s alternated with bar circumductions
  • X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 15 (added 1 repetition, PR)
  • X3 bar overhead press, X2+O x 10 (recovered 1 repetition).
  • Floor straddle forward bend (aka pancake), 5 second hold in stretch, R x 6
  • Archer push up with feet elevated 2" x 6 each side (progress considering improvement in press)
  • Reclining hero
  • Hanging cobra

July 27, 2020

Took a 10 day break from training because I was feeling fatigued and not eager to train.  

Today I repeated what I did on July 14, 2020, with significant improvements in performance of the first 4 exercises as a result of the additional rest days.

  1. Wall handstands, 2 x ~38 s alternated with bar circumductions.
  2. Front lever V-pulls on CAP rack with rings x 9 (increased by 2).
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+O x 8 (increased resistance).
  4. Hollow body chin ups x 5 (increased repetitions).
  5. 4-zone pistol squat: I wanted to do 5 repetitions in each of the bottom 2 zones then 4 in each of the top 2 zones, but wasn't able.  On the left I did 5 in each of the bottom 2 zones but then I was gassed and barely squeezed out a few more in the top zones.  Although I then rested a couple of minutes, I couldn't even replicate the left side performance on the right, where I did 5 in the bottom zone then only 4 in the next and only a few in the very top zone after that.  
  6. X3 bar deadlift, G+Ba x 14, same as 13 days ago.  I was toast at the end of this set.
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R x 15+ (almost 16). 

I didn't do any mobility training after this; had no desire to do anything else. 

Notice that I improved performance of the first 4 exercises in this session, and more or less maintained performance of the last 3.  The contrast between the first 4 and last 3 exercises was so profound in this session that it taught me a lesson. 

 In the video I explain what I re-learned from this training session regarding my intrasession exercise tolerance and my intrasession recovery requirements. 

July 17, 2020

Full body session.

  1. Eccentric half-lay front lever on  CAP rack with rings x ~4, improved from last session.
  2. X3 bar press, X2+R x 9 (increased 1 repetition).
  3. Pull ups x 4+ (increased but not quite a full repetition).
  4. Archer push up x 6 each side (increased 1 repetition).
  5. X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 13 (increased 1 repetition)
  6. Suspension leg curls x 4 (just maintaining is progress because hamstrings are pre-fatigued by front squat which is progressing).
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R x 15.  Increased 2 repetitions since last session which was 1 week ago.  Skipped this last session, it is possible that a lesser frequency (i.e. once vs. twice weekly) is better for this since calves are also stimulated by squats, deadlifts and leg curls in every session.  Will re-evaluate after maintaining twice weekly next week.

Mobility:

  1. German hang x 4+ (grip failure on 5th)
  2. Straddle forward bend, R x 7 (5 s pause)(increased 1 repetition)
  3. Reclining hero
  4. Front splits.  Front split flexibility significantly improved, confirming my choice to reduce frequency of training. 
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Our mobility trading today. #fitafter50

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July 14, 2020

Full body session:

  1. Wall handstand, 2 x 30s, alternated with bar circumductions
  2. Front lever pulls on CAP rack with rings  x 7 (increased by 1) followed by tuck front lever hold as long as possible.
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+Bodylastics Green x 9 (increased resistance).  Bodylastics light resistance bands work very well for micro loading this exercise.
  4. Hollow body chin ups x 4+ (increased in repetitions/TUL)
  5. 4-zone pistol squats x 4 repetitions each zone (increased from 3 zones to 4).  After training each leg, the just trained leg gave way a bit under me when I started walking toward the camera to shut it off (watch video of me training the right leg to the end to witness).
  6. X3 bar deadlift, G+Ba x 14 (increased 1 repetition).

I chose to skip Rise on Toes and all 4 mobility exercises scheduled for this session because I had an appointment and didn't have time to do them.  

July 10, 2020

Full body session.

  1. Front lever 1/2 lay eccentric emphasis x ~4 (increased repetitions)
  2. X3 bar overhead press, X2+R x 8 (increased band resistance)
  3. Chin up with mixed grip x 4>pull up x 1>chin up x ~1/2
  4. Archer push up x 5
  5. X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 12 (increased 1 repetition)
  6. Suspension leg curl x 4 (no change)
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R x 13 (no change)

Mobility:

  1. German hang/skin the cat x 4
  2. Straddle forward bend with resistance band, 5 second stretch on each repetition, R x 6
  3. Reclining hero x 34 seconds
  4. Front split, limited ROM (see NOTE below)

July 8, 2020

Full body routine. 

  1. Wall handstands, 2 x ~30s, alternated with bar circumductions
  2. Front lever pulls x 6
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+Y x 10.  Increased resistance by adding yellow Bodylastics band (~3 pounds of resistance), still added 1 repetition.
  4. Hollow body chin ups x 4
  5. Pistol squats, 3 zones x 4 each zone
  6. X3 bar deadlift, G+Ba x 13 (increased band resistance)
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R x 13 (increased band resistance)

July 6, 2020

Full body session again.  

  1. Front lever eccentric work on CAP rack, half lay x 2, tuck x 2
  2. X3 bar press, X2+O x 10, increased 1 repetition instead of increasing band resistance
  3. Pull ups x 4, range of motion isn't full due to fatigue from front lever work.
  4. Archer push ups with feet elevated about 2" x 5 each side.
  5. X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 11, increased 1 repetition.  As you can see from video, at this point in session I was sucking air from oxygen debt.
  6. Suspension leg curl on rings with 5 second pause in contraction, x 4.
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+O x 18 (big increase).
  8. German hang with tuck front lever x 4.
  9. Floor straddle forward bend, R x 7
  10. Reclining hero x 42 seconds.

I attempted my usual front splits but I had some discomfort in my right groin/psoas that warned me to stop.  Always pay attention to warnings from your body to avoid injuries.

July 3, 2020

Full body session.  

Strength portion:

  1. Wall handstand x 2 (40 s and 27 s), alternated with bar circumductions.  
  2. Front lever open tuck holds on rings and CAP rack with pull to inverted layout x 4.
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R x 9 (1.3' TUL).
  4. Hollow body chin up on CAP rack  x 3+.
  5. Tuck split squat on X3 bar foot plate, LW x 6 (~1' TUL).
  6. 2-zone pistol squat to failure.
  7. X3 bar deadlift, G+R+O x 13.
  8. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+O x 14.

Mobility portion:

  1. Hanging cobra x 30 seconds.
  2. Feet elevated bridge (no video) x 30 seconds.
  3. Hurdler's stretches (no video).
  4. Pancake forward and side bends.

July 1, 2020

Full body session.  

  1. Front lever, half lay eccentrics x 4 plus 1 open tuck eccentric.  Haven't done these in a while and it looks like I may have lost some strength.  I wanted to do them on the CAP rack bar because I can hang fully without an L sit but indoors I can't go to a full lay at the top.  I think I might switch to rings so I can get the full lay.
  2. X3 bar press, X2+O x 9 (1.4' TUL).   Time to increase band resistance.
  3. Hollow body pull ups x 4+ (53 s TUL).  
  4. Ring dips x 3 with rings turned out support and a slow eccentric (55 s TUL).
  5. X3 bar front squat Bu+X2+O x 10 
  6. Suspension leg curls with 5 s pause in contraction x 4
  7. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu x 17 (up 2)

For mobility goals:

  1. Front lever > German hang combination
  2. Straddle forward bend with R resistance band
  3. Reclining hero x 43 seconds
  4. Front splits x ~30 s each side

June 29, 2020

Full body routine.  Ten days since last session. 

  1. Wall handstand 3 x 30 seconds alternated with bar circumductions.
  2. Front lever pulls (on CAP rack with rings) x 7, then tuck front lever row x 2 partials (60 s TUL)
  3. Archer push up x 7 each arm (increased 1 rep each side)
  4. Pull up behind neck (on CAP rack) x 4 (33 s TUL).  Haven't done these for about a year.
  5. Ring dips (on CAP rack ) x 3 (~27 s TUL)
  6. Hollow body chin ups (on CAP rack ) x 3+ (almost 4, 50 seconds TUL)
  7. Pause pistol squats x 3 each side (L 46.7 s TUL, R 47.7 s TUL)
  8. X3 Bar front squats Bu+G1 x 5 (41 s TUL).  Not used to the full body routine, was gassed after 5 repetitions.  Still close to my goal of 60 seconds time under load
  9. Suspension leg curl on rings x 5
  10. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and Bu band x 15 full+5 partials

Had planned to do mobility at end of this session but I was out of condition due to having done shorter sessions for nearly a year, and I didn't have time as I had another appointment.  These longer full body sessions definitely impose a greater cardio-respiratory demand than the very short half body sessions I was doing. 

June 18, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlift, G+R+O x 18 (increased 2 reps)
  2. Standing resistance band leg curls, Bodylastics green band and band protector x 8 each side.
  3. Rings front lever hold (on CAP rack), advanced tuck > full tuck x 48 seconds
  4. Brute belt & band (used Cartman strap to attach band to belt) rise on toes on homemade block, Bu x 19 (1.6 minute TUL).  These provide much more stretch than rise on toes with X3 bar.  
  5. Hollow body chin ups x 3+ (almost 4 plus partial attempts) (~59 seconds TUL)
  6. Hurdler's stretches and front splits 

June 17, 2020

Push day.

First, wall handstand practice 3 x 30s alternated with wall extensions and bar circumductions.  Video at 8x actual speed.

  1. Single leg pistol squat, 5 second bottom pause, x 3 to failure each side, then alternated 1 each side, then 2 each side, to failure, then bilateral squat eccentric, thighs were exhausted and could not perform even one strict concentric.
  2. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R x 9, held ninth at arms length as long as possible with very slow eccentric; then immediately pause push up to failure (2 reps).  Although one less repetition than last time, I was moving more slowly and time under load was 1.3 minutes, about 0.1 minute longer than last session. 
  3. Floor straddle forward bend, R x 8 
  4. Pike+pseudo-planche (aka 90 degree) push ups x 3 > pause push up to failure (2 reps)

June 14, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 deadlift, G+R+O x 16, added the orange band
  2. Natural glute-ham raise x 5, this was more difficult because my lumbar erectors and hamstrings were spent doing the increased resistance in the deadlift
  3. Front lever pulls x 5 > tuck front lever hold
  4. Hollow body chin up x 5
  5. X3 bar rise on toes, Ba+R x 30 (increased resistance)

JUNE 12, 2020

Push day.  Delayed this session by a day because I was not feeling fresh on the 11th.

  1. Wall handstands 3 x 30 seconds; my shoulder mobility is improving such that my hands are directly below my shoulders for a shoulder width grip; alternated with
  2. Shoulder mobility drills
  3. X3 Bar front squats, Bu+R+O x 14.  I had planned to do Bu+X3+O, but I misread my notes.  When I was about repetition 6 or  8 I started wondering why it felt so easy, by the 12th repetition I realized I had chosen the wrong bands and decided to terminate the set and try the correct resistance in another set.  In hindsight I think I would have been better off just taking this first set to failure because I had already achieved significant inroad and cardio-respiratory fatigue.
  4. X3 Bar overhead press, X3+O x 10, increased resistance with Serious Steel orange #0 band, was surprised I achieved 10 repetitions, was expecting only about 8.
  5. X3 Bar front squats, second set, Bu+X3 x 12.   This spent my wad.
  6. Archer push ups x 6 each side, an increase from 5 each side, immediately followed by regular pause push ups x 2 to failure.
  7. Floor straddle forward bend (aka pancake), 5 second pause in stretch position each repetition, R x 6.  Using the band engages the gluteus to abduct the thighs while also loading the forward bend.  

June 9, 2020

Pull day.   I sped up most of the video 20X to condense it all down into less than a minute.  

  1. X3 bar deadlift, G+R x 20 (added 4 repetitions)
  2. Natural glute-ham raise x 6
  3. Front lever, kept shoes on (makes it more difficult by adding load to end of legs) open tuck > closed tuck hold x 37s, followed by tuck pulls
  4. Hollow body ring chin up x 5 > incline chin up to failure
  5. X3 bar rise on toes, Ba+O x 36 (added 4 repetitions)

Followed by front split training.

View this post on Instagram

Still working on that #frontsplits. #fitafter50

A post shared by Don Matesz (@donmatesz) on

June 8, 2020

Push day:

  1. Handstand practice: wall handstand 3 x 30 seconds alternated with wall slide for shoulder mobility.
  2. Pistol squats, 5 second pause in the hole x 3 each side then 4 alternating side to side one by one.
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R x 10 (increased 2 repetitions compared to last time I did this as third exercise)
  4. Floor straddle forward bend, R x 10
  5. Pike 90 degree + pseudo-planche push up x 4 > pseudo-planche push up x 2

June 5, 2020

Pull day.

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, G+R x 16 (increased band resistance)
  2. Natural glute-ham raise x 6
  3. Front lever holds and pulls, 1 pull > 23 second open tuck hold > 5 pulls > 5 second closed tuck hold > eccentric to pike hold (about 90 s total under load)
  4. Full lay chin ups x 5 > incline pull ups x 4 (mechanical drop set)
  5. X3 bar rise on toes, Ba+O x 32 (increased band resistance, about 120 seconds time under load)

June 4, 2020

Push day.

  1. Handstands facing wall, 3 x 30 seconds alternated with circumductions for shoulder mobility.
  2. X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2 x 15 (increased 2 repetitions)
  3. X3 bar overhead press, X2 x 12 (increased 1 repetitions)
  4. Floor straddle forward bend (aka pancake), increased to R band x 7
  5. Archer push ups, starting from bottom (makes it more difficult), 5 each side then regular push ups AMRAP (2)

June 2, 2020

Pull day:

  1. X3 bar deadlift, G+O x 20 (up 2 repetitions)
  2. Standing leg curl, Bodylastics green band x 10
  3. Front lever work: advanced tuck hold > pike pulls > tuck hold > eccentric L-sit.  
  4. Full lay chin ups, more difficult on rings than on a bar, x 5
  5. X3 bar rise on toes, Ba x 36 (up 8 repetitions)

June 1, 2020 

After 6 days off during which I spent a day working hard helping Tracy move her mother out of her condo in Chicago, then driving home.

  1. Handstand training, 3 sets not to failure, working on alignment to overcome my banana tendency.
  2. X3 bar front squats with Bu+X2 x 15.  I increased by 1 repetitions, but might only be due to lesser band resistance than last session, since I forgot to use the 1" thick layer of horse stall mat this morning.  
  3. Pike 90 degree pseudo-planche push ups x 5
  4. 5 second pause single-leg pistol squats x 2 full and 1 eccentric each leg
  5. X3 bar chest press with Bu+R x 6.  Too much resistance.
  6. Straddle forward bend (aka pancake) with O x 10 (increased 4 repetitions).

May 26, 2020

Pull day, my last session in Chicago.  

  1. X3 bar deadlifts with G+O bands x 18 (up from 15 previous session)
  2. Natural glute ham raises x 6
  3. Thick bar front lever hold x 26 seconds plus 1 front lever pull
  4. Thick bar full lay hollow body chin ups x 6
  5. X3 bar rise on toes with Ba x 28 (up 8 repetitions)
View this post on Instagram

Pull day. #x3bar deadlift, added the @serioussteelfitness orange band to the @wodfitters green band and did 3 more repetitions than last session with only the green band. Natural glute-ham with more control than last session. Tuck front lever mechanical drop set (tightened up tuck as I fatigued), then a pull and a slow eccentric into L-sit and finishing with as many scapular pulls as possible. Next, one continuous set working on 6 hollow body chin ups, not all of which were fully hollow body, after which I did 10 more hollow body chin ups in rest pause fashion. Finished with X3 bar rise on toes, didn't film that but increased 8 repetitions with same band I used last session. #fitafter50 #gainingstrength #highintensitytraining #resistancebands #resistancebandsworkout #homegym

A post shared by Don Matesz (@donmatesz) on

May 25, 2020

Push day, at Tracy's mother's condo in Chicago.  After working on handstands, I did:

  1. X3 bar front squats  Bu+X2 x 13
  2. X3 bar overhead press with X2 x 11
  3. Floor straddle forward bend (aka pancake) with O x 6 
  4. Archer push ups x 5 each side, followed by 1 regular pause push up to failure

May 22, 2020

Pull day.    

  1. X3 bar deadlift  G x 15.  
  2. Natural glute ham raise x 7
  3. Front lever hold x 15 seconds plus 3 pulls
  4. Full lay chin ups x 6
  5. X3 bar rise on toes with Ba x 20

May 21, 2020

Push day.

  1. Handstand shoulder taps x 20
  2. X3 front squat Bu+X2 x 13
  3. X3 chest press, Bu+R x 8
  4. Floor straddle forward bend x 8
  5. Pike 90 degree pseudo-planche push up x 4

August 8, 2020

Pull day:

  1. X3 bar deadlifts, G+Ba+O x 15 (increased band resistance)
  2. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R x 19 (time to increase resistance)
  3. Front lever V-pulls on CAP rack with rings x 8
  4. Eccentric-emphasized chin ups on CAP rack with rings x 4
  5. Hudler's stretches
  6. Front split

August 6, 2020

Push day:

  1. Wall handstands 2 sets alternated with bar circumductions
  2. 4-zone pistol squat, increased repetitions to 5 in bottom 2 zones, was able to do some in top 2 zones
  3. X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+O x 8 (no change)
  4. Standing straddle forward bend
  5. Reclining hero
  6. Hanging cobra

AUGUST 4, 2020

Pull day:

  1. X3 bar deadlift, G+Ba x 18 (PR, 2:00 TUL, time to increase resistance)
  2. Hurdler's stretches
  3. 90º pull up (aka sternum pull up) with supinated grip on CAP rack, working zones from top (weak range) to bottom, performing short range repetitions in each zone to limit/failure, x ~55 seconds
  4. Front splits
  5. Slow pull ups (pronated grip) on CAP rack, holding ~5 seconds in the top, most difficult position on each repetition, x ~3 (~50 seconds)
  6. Rise on toes on block with Brute belt and bands, Bu+R x 15 (2:00 TUL, time to increase resistance)

August 2, 2020

Push day:

  • Wall handstand 2 x 38s alternated with bar circumductions
  • X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 14 (added 1 repetition, PR)
  • X3 bar overhead press, X2+O x 9 (shoulders fatigued from added time spent in handstands).  Press will almost certainly progress more easily if not preceded by handstands.
  • Floor straddle forward bend (aka pancake), 5 second hold in stretch, R x 6
  • Archer push up with feet elevated 2" x 6 each side (progress)

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