These training vlogs show what my personal strength and mobility training looks like. I focus on bodyweight calisthenics and gymnastics strength training, although I sometimes use Bodylastics bands or the 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 pistol squats or split squats, I often use the DIY platform I constructed as shown in this video.
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 28, 2022
Over the past year at least, my training has been limited by several injuries, including:
-left elbow tendonitis that has prevented me from doing chin ups and overhead presses with a bar
-bilateral shoulder issues, especially left shoulder impingement
-bilateral knee issues, especially left knee
-bilateral hip issues including a left adductor strain issue, which resulted in loss of hip mobility for straddle forward bend etc.
Between these and dealing with the health issues produced by eating a meat-based diet, I've been unable to engage in progressive training, and have suffered loss of strength and muscle mass.
I'm currently doing strength training only once weekly, as shown in the video above, using only calisthenics movements that don't aggravate any of the issues above. I am devoting more training time to yoga-asana practice, usually performing 4-6 sessions weekly of 30-60 minutes each.
Before each strength training session I practice handstands, interspersed with deep knee bends, split squats, cossack squats, and shoulder flexions and extensions for warm up and mobility.
The strength portion of my current routine consists of one set each of the following:
Front lever row to concentric failure then 90º fulcrum row to concentric failure
Pike press on parallettes, eccentric only, 5-10 second eccentric
Single-leg squat with 5 s eccentric to concentric failure, then tuck split squats to concentric failure
Pull up with 5 second hold at top and 5+ second eccentric, followed by chin up with 5 second hold at top and 5+ second eccentric, followed by incline pull up on rings to concentric failure.
Pseudo-planche push ups to failure then regular push up to failure
Suspension leg curl
Sometimes I do these in the order listed, sometimes I do all upper body first then do single-leg squats and leg curls at the end.
This is immediately followed by the mobility portion of the routine which includes one set each of the following:
I'm experimenting with training with a full body routine just once weekly, using minimal equipment. The strength portion of the routine consists of one set each of the following:
Front lever row to concentric failure then 90º fulcrum row to concentric failure
Pike press on parallettes, eccentric only, 10 second eccentric
Single-leg squat with 5 s bottom pause to concentric failure then eccentrics
Chin up, regular concentric with L-sit eccentric
Pseudo-planche push ups on blocks to failure then regular push up on blocks to failure
Nordic curl, maximum difficulty eccentrics with assisted concentrics
This is immediately followed by the mobility portion of the routine consisting of one set each of the following:
Assisted German hang or maltese row on rings
Weighted split squats, either a 60 second hold in the deep position or a set of 6-9 reps with a 5 second bottom pause
Straight leg deadlifts on block
Cossack squats on block, either a 60 second hold in the deep position or a set of 6-9 reps with a 5 second bottom pause
January 22, 2022
Clips from one of my precision full body strength and mobility sessions using #highintensitytraining methods and #kneesovertoesguy ATG knee ability exercises. This is one of two core full body training templates I currently use myself and with clients:
Unilateral plantar flexion (rise on toes)
Hanging tuck v-ups
X3 bar overhead press
Multi-zone chin ups
Banded push ups using DIY band platform
3-zone ATG split squats
Unilateral pike forward bend repetitions (not in video)
Horse stance hold
Side plank (not in video)
Everything can be adjusted to your available tools and level of ability. I set you up for pain-free training and guide your exercise performance and progress. Most people need a coach monitoring to ensure proper exercise performance and safe systematic progression, plus studies show that people make more progress when being monitored and held accountable by a coach compared to training without a coach. If you want to maximize your results with optimum time investment, I can help you achieve your goals.
January 20, 2022
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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