CSD StrongDad Program: 85% Effort Day: Training for Those CSD’s Over 40 Is All About the Pace


“Consider the following. What are the two most popular topics for articles in the muscle magazines? The first is how to gain massive amounts of muscular bodyweight as quickly as possible. The second is the even more popular article about building big arms in record time. Those are fine for the younger guys-the scrawny toothpicks who are desperate to pack on some serious muscle mass – but the don’t speak to those of us who have labored long years in the Iron Mines and who are plenty big already. Nor does it speak to those of us who work long hours at our job – support our families and who struggle with struggles with issues like how to pay the bills or how to put the kids through college-who have limited time and energy for training-and who are more interested in how to train for lifelong strength and health than in how to gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks.”

Except from Gray Hair and Black Iron by Brooks Kubik

I tried a new exercise today. Instead of full squats that I can do at home when the weather’s warm, I’ve decided to try to squat from the bottom position or “pins” (in my rack, it’s the rails). Definitely a change of pace, but felt much safer and overall but it’s going to take some adjustment as time goes on and the weight increases. We’ll see if it’s a keep or if I switch to front squats (I have poor wrist flexibility so that may be the last resort), the zercher squat or full-back squats.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013   0:40 (8:44 AM – 9:24 AM)
Exercise Weight
Reps Rest %
Ttl Weight
1 Squat – Barbell Bottoms Up

1RM: 331.9

Ttl Weight: 7,375

Ttl Reps: 35

Avg Weight: 210.7

1 85 × 5 120 26% 5.8%
2 135 × 5 120 41% 9.2%
3 185 × 5 120 56% 12.5%
4 225 × 5 120 68% 15.3%
5 275 × 5 120 83% 18.6%
6 275 × 5 120 83% 18.6%
7 295 × 5 120 89% 20.0%

2 Chest Dips (Parallel Bars)

Body Weight ⊕

1RM: 222.5+129.1

12/7/13: 222.5+132.5

Ttl Weight: 6,512.5

Ttl Reps: 23

Avg Weight: 283.2

1 × 5 60 63% 17.1%
2 +45 × 5 60 75% 20.5%
3 +90 × 3 60 88% 14.4%
4 +90 × 5 60 88% 24.0%
5 +90 × 5 60 88% 24.0%

3 Reverse Arm Curls (Barbell)

Barely made 5 on the last set!

1RM: 95.6

9/19/13: 110.3

Ttl Weight: 2,040

Ttl Reps: 32

Avg Weight: 63.8

1 45 × 12 60 41% 26.5%
2 65 × 10 60 59% 31.9%
3 85 × 5 60 77% 20.8%
4 85 × 5 60 77% 20.8%

12/12/13 – All exercises (lb)

Total weight 15928 lb
Front Thighs 7375 lb
Glutes 7375 lb
Pecs 6512 lb
Forearms 2040 lb

Other exercised muscles: Hamstrings (Rear Thighs), Triceps, Anterior Deltoids (Front Delts), Biceps, Rectus abdominis (Abs), Trapezius (Traps)

1) 1RM is not calculated for over 6 reps.

2) ‘% 1RM’ = Weight / 1RM. GymGoal uses ‘Actual 1RM’ if you record it, otherwise it uses the best calculated 1RM for the last 90 days.

3) ‘Raw Volume Index’ = ‘Total Weight Lifted’ divided by bodyweight. ‘Scaled Volume Index’ = ‘Total Weight Lifted’ / (Bodyweight ^ 0.67)

4) ‘Intensity Index’ = ‘Scaled Volume Index’ divided by total reps.

Are You Strong Enough To Handle The Dude That’s Trying To Date Your Daughter? Do You Have That “Ole Dude Strength”?

When I was a young man growing up, I got into a few fights. I can say that I only lost one, and that was to Charlie Brown when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It’s hard to imagine my 8-year old Big Homie getting into a fight, but I guess we had to really grow up fast in my ‘hood.

But what’s really funny, is that over the years, my dad probably got into just as many fights with the neighborhood kids as I did. He didn’t allow foolishness, swearing or bullying around his house or his children. After a while, cats in the neighborhood appreciated the fact that my Ole Dude didn’t play. He once even chased the thug that stole the bike he “made” (I wish I had pics, that bad-boy had a steering wheel!) for blocks, hurdling fences like an Olympic hurdler, before the dude just gave up and dropped the bike to flee for his life.

Smart decision.

That’s Ole Dude strength and determination right there.

But what about today? First, IF dad even has a presence in the home, would he even be able to physically protect his children or wife? Could you be like James Evans in your house? For my fellow Good Time aficionados  you know nobody was coming into that house and whipping James. Where are the men like that on TV? Now-a-days, it is the woman of the home doing the protecting and dad is sitting there looking like Homer Simpson.

Good example

Bad Example

So, that’s why I thought the goals below by strength coach Dan John were a great idea for CSDs to set for themselves. To give us “Ole Dudes” a good bar to shoot towards in the gym. Most of us aren’t doing manual labor jobs like our parents, but we sit on our tails all day and the research is mounting that office jobs are taking years off of our lives. Plus, when we were younger, we might have exercised to look a certain way, impress a young lady or something, but now that we are older, it’s also about being healthy and having so-called “functional strength”.

…and yes, you still need to look good for your wife as well. If you want her looking as good as she did when you got married, how close are you to that wedding picture?

But I digress…here’s what Dan John recommends:

Expected: Body weight bench press
Game Changer: Body weight bench press for 15 reps

Expected: 8-10 pull-ups
Game Changer: 15 pull-ups

Expected: Body weight squat
Game Changer: Body weight squat for 15 reps

Expected: Body weight to 150% bodyweight deadlift
Game Changer: Double body weight deadlift

Loaded Carry (Farmer Walk)
Expected: Farmer Walk with total body weight (half per hand)
Game Changer: Body weight per hand

Personally, I think these are great CSD goals to set.  Perhaps you can get an early start on your ’13 New Year’s resolution?

In a few years, some young man is going to likely try to ask to date my daughter (may I recommend Voddie Baucham’s book, What He Must Be: If He Wants To Marry My Daughter http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/store/product/what-he-must-be-book/to hear how we’ll likely deal with this in my house) and I want him to understand that not only do I have a mental and spiritual presence in my house, but a physical one as well.

Now some of you reading this may think I’m being shallow and that’s fine. But I remember meeting fathers when I was a young man who were scared of their daughter’s date and their little-girl knew it. She knew dad would not come looking for her if she was in trouble and that he could not protect her from that abusive boyfriend or predator.

However, my dad proved to many fools that “Old Man Strength”, was not a myth.

Now it’s my turn.

So, how close are you to the goals above? Let me know!

Thankfully, I think today (at the seasoned age of 42, 5’11 and 210 lbs.), I can go in the gym and hit the Game Changer on the Pull-Up, Squat and Deadlift. But getting the Bench Press and Farmers Walk are going to take some work for me as I’m only at the Expected level.

If we get a good response, perhaps we can turn this into a CSD-team goal for 2013! We could post workout recommendations, monitor progress, etc. What do you think? I’d love to hear your story!

Just because we’re getting older and we can’t do all of the things we did at 22, we have more motivation to push now than we ever did back then, those precious God-given gifts that He has made us protectors over.

My Rack Pull weight, but getting this off the floor as a true Deadlift may be a bit more difficult!