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.
I use bands from X3, WODfitters, Serious Steel and Bodylastics. 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:
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.
September 13, 2021
August 23, 2021
August 19, 2021
I had to modify my upper body training again due to elbow tendonitis. The upper body exercises I used in this session didn't cause my elbow pain to flare up at all during the training session. Video includes the details.
1. Tibialis trainer 32.25 pounds 1 x 25. That's more than 20% of my bodyweight so I have met the Athletic Truth Group standard. I did it doing using the trainer for 1 set of 25-30 repetitions twice weekly.
2. Knees-Over-Toes (KOT) rise on toes, G band, 1 x 20-5-5
3. Slant board step down-up off 4.5" elevation, 1 x 30 each side. Will advance to a 6" elevation next week.
4. Assisted eccentric Nordic curl, 1 x 10 with eccentrics as slow as possible.
5. Natural leg extension, 1 x 10 with reclining stretch at end. Having some trouble with this due to a mild strain of left quadriceps a few weeks ago.
2. Rise on toes B+R bands, 1 x 15-5-5-5 (explained in video)
3. Suspension leg curl 1 x 17 (up 2 repetitions)
4. Standing hip flexion with Bodylastics band resistance 1 x 25 each side
5. ATG split squat 1 x 15 on each side with front food elevated 3" on DIY band platform. Still doing these without added resistance but eventually will be using X3 bar.
6. Slant board (VMO) squat on DIY slant board, 1 x 30 (3:30 TUL). I'm finding the high repetition/long TUL approach helpful for correcting my knee issues. Eventually I will use the X3 bar to add resistance.
7. Seated Good Morning 35.5 pounds x 20
August 11, 2021
A high intensity upper body training routine I'm using for a few sessions to stimulate some upper back and bicep strength and size gains. I'm using 30 second eccentrics, as suggested by Ellington Darden. I planned to do it 3 times in 10 days (but a flare of my elbow tendonitis prevented that frequency). Day after this I had upper back DOMS like I haven't experienced in a long time.
1. 90º fulcrum pulls: 8-10 repetitions, 30 s eccentric on last repetition.
2. 30 second eccentric-only parallel-grip pull ups x 2
3. 10 second eccentric-only chin ups AMRAP
4. Decline push ups, 30-10-30 method
5. Zone training lateral raise 5 repetitions each of 3-4 zones
Hollow body push ups (feet resting on insteps) with light green Bodylastics band doubled over x 12 . Lost 1 repetition probably due to combination of a) added fatigue from increased load used in overhead press and b) increased load in push ups due to body weight increase.
Pistol squat, 9 full range plus 3 partials on each side.
X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+O x 8 (increased resistance).
Hollow body chin ups x 5 (increased repetitions).
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.
X3 bar deadlift, G+Ba x 14, same as 13 days ago. I was toast at the end of this set.
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.
Eccentric half-lay front lever on CAP rack with rings x ~4, improved from last session.
Pull ups x 4+ (increased but not quite a full repetition).
Archer push up x 6 each side (increased 1 repetition).
X3 bar front squat, Bu+X2+O x 13 (increased 1 repetition)
Suspension leg curls x 4 (just maintaining is progress because hamstrings are pre-fatigued by front squat which is progressing).
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.
Wall handstand, 2 x 30s, alternated with bar circumductions
Front lever pulls on CAP rack with rings x 7 (increased by 1) followed by tuck front lever hold as long as possible.
X3 bar chest press, Bu+R+Bodylastics Green x 9 (increased resistance). Bodylastics light resistance bands work very well for micro loading this exercise.
Hollow body chin ups x 4+ (increased in repetitions/TUL)
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).
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.
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.
X3 bar press, X2+O x 9 (1.4' TUL). Time to increase band resistance.
Hollow body pull ups x 4+ (53 s TUL).
Ring dips x 3 with rings turned out support and a slow eccentric (55 s TUL).
Hollow body chin ups (on CAP rack ) x 3+ (almost 4, 50 seconds TUL)
Pause pistol squats x 3 each side (L 46.7 s TUL, R 47.7 s TUL)
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
Suspension leg curl on rings x 5
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.
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.
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.
Floor straddle forward bend, R x 8
Pike+pseudo-planche (aka 90 degree) push ups x 3 > pause push up to failure (2 reps)
Push day. Delayed this session by a day because I was not feeling fresh on the 11th.
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
Shoulder mobility drills
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.
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.
Handstand training, 3 sets not to failure, working on alignment to overcome my banana tendency.
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.
Pike 90 degree pseudo-planche push ups x 5
5 second pause single-leg pistol squats x 2 full and 1 eccentric each leg
X3 bar chest press with Bu+R x 6. Too much resistance.
Straddle forward bend (aka pancake) with O x 10 (increased 4 repetitions).
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