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6 Months of OMOB: Results, Lessons Learned, and Future Programming


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#1 Ryan Whipple

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 03:45 PM

Hello all,

 

I introduced myself and gave a little bit of background in http://www.eo3rallyp...o-from-mesa-az/

 

How 6 months of OMOB has gone, and what I've learned:

 

I'm wrapping up my 6th go-round of OMOB this week, and my experience has been much more successful than I had hoped.  As someone who would peak and then fall off, the constant progress has been refreshing

  • Bench: All-time PR of ~265, started OMOB at 195, 6 months later I hit 255 and I'm still advancing
  • Deadlift: All-time PR of ~320, started OMOB at 245, 6 months later I hit 310 and I'm still advancing
  • Press: Unknown all-time PR, started OMOB at 120, 6 months later I hit 160 and I'm still advancing
  • Squat: All-time PR of ~245, started OMOB at 120, 6 months later I hit 235 and I'm still advancing

I've also learned a lot about effective programing along the way.  I goofed up and combined the rep scheme from OMOB v1 with the weight %'s from OMOB v2.  When you place these programs side-by-side, it's pretty easy to guess how this has gone.  Bottom line is:

  • Each month I set my goal, then I worked very near my maximum capability on each workout
  • At the end of the month I exceeded my goal by 10% (because v1 reps are meant to be done at 90% of the weight as v2's % scheme)
  • I set a new goal for 10 lbs higher the next month
  • Once again I'd work really hard
  • Once again I'd actually hit a 20+ lb PR
  • etc, etc, etc

Eventually, I noticed that I was working harder than this program is supposed to be, and began thinking it was "just me."  So I began scaling the %'s down by about 10%, and then last week I finally re-looked at the program and realized I was 10% high to begin with.  Amazing how it all balanced out.

 

The only exception to this was the squat, which I am terrible at.  For a given 1RM, I have to scale sets of 4 and sets of 3 down about 10% in order to have a reasonable workout.  This is either a cool thing (I don't have to lift as heavy as other people to hit a given 1RM), or a bad thing (for a given 1RM, I can't rep out as heavy as others), but ultimately it is what it is and I'll adjust my training accordingly.  

 

Questions going forward:

 

I've been doing 4 lifts per week pretty comfortably.  I start with 3 rounds of 3 exercises to warm up...big moves like pull-ups, KB swings, etc.  On Press and Bench days I always include pull-ups.  On Squat and Deadlift days I warm up with light front squats, stiff-leg deadlifts, 1 leg dumbbell deadlifts...all things to get warm up the hips and make me think about and feel my core.

 

I project I'll hit my goals of 1xbodyweight Press, 1.5 BW Bench and Squat, and 2x BW Deadlift within the next 3 months or so.  I'm thinking ahead to what I should adjust in my programming when I do.

 

First, I'd like to add more work on rear and medial delts.  The toward the end of the Press EMOMs I can feel them give out and I feel myself leaning backwards more to leverage the anterior delts.  I'd like to do this with the same OMOB approach; minimal equipment in a garage gym with simple programming.  I have a pull-up bar, squat rack, KBs, DBs and bands at my disposal.  What do you recommend?

 

Second, I'd like to incorporate more pull-ups and general back work without over-doing it in my programming.  4 days a week is my limit in terms of time, energy, and recovery ability.  How might I pare back or rearrange some of the OMOB work to fit in some work targeting the back?  My current thoughts are to stop aggressively chasing deadlift and squat gains once I hit my goals and keep them constant, then redirect some of that energy.  Again, what are everyone's thoughts?  Found anything that works?


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#2 danduerksen

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:53 PM

First, I'd like to add more work on rear and medial delts.  The toward the end of the Press EMOMs I can feel them give out and I feel myself leaning backwards more to leverage the anterior delts.  I'd like to do this with the same OMOB approach; minimal equipment in a garage gym with simple programming.  I have a pull-up bar, squat rack, KBs, DBs and bands at my disposal.  What do you recommend?

 

Second, I'd like to incorporate more pull-ups and general back work without over-doing it in my programming.  4 days a week is my limit in terms of time, energy, and recovery ability.  How might I pare back or rearrange some of the OMOB work to fit in some work targeting the back?  My current thoughts are to stop aggressively chasing deadlift and squat gains once I hit my goals and keep them constant, then redirect some of that energy.  Again, what are everyone's thoughts?  Found anything that works?

Fucking nice write up! Fills me with positive and warm feelings knowing the omob system works. I haven't had the same gains you have but hope to once I transition over to v2. From what I can tell you have it well figured out. Awesome work.

 

First: thinking of how to work more on some of the supporting muscles for pressing. Can try the 30:30 method outlined in the methodology booklet (chapter 9). Then could add a few sets of accessory work after the main lift. Things like kb press (lighter, but still challenging because you need more stabilization), band reverse flies, lateral lifts, etc. Bottoms up kb press holds would be good too. Something I have been doing is 5:00 emom for accessories. Really works to minimize rest. Play around with weight and rep numbers. This can work with pretty much anything. 

 

Second: pull-ups are easy to incorporate more of. Pump out a few reps during your warm up. Super set them in your emom. You don't have to max out every set. I added 15 pull-ups to my workout today just by super setting them with my emom work. And pull-ups/chin-ups are the best way to work the back. There's a couple pull-up specific programs out there (fighter pull-ups, Armstrong pull-ups, misc pull-up apps to follow on the phone). Bent over rows are supposed to be great for the upper back too. Deadlifts and squats hit the lower back quite a bit but you could add some stiff-leg  deadlifts or good-mornings (don't do them like Bruce Lee) if you're concerned. Anything you decide to do to work your rear and medial deltoids will also hit the upper back.

 

Keep up the good work. Good luck.


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#3 Poppy G

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:29 PM

Yep absolutly a great write up.

Band face pulls and band lateral raises will sort out the shoulders matey.

As Dan states try some of the other versions of OMOB.

Lactic

expo emoms

money maker

 

There is enough to keep a dedicated man like yourself happy for years..

Unbelievable dedication....


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#4 Hauntedyards

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 02:07 AM

These numbers make me excited to get started!


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#5 Ryan Whipple

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:58 AM

Goals: 

 

My goals remain 1x bodyweight Press, 1.5xBW Bench and Squat, 2xBW Deadlift.  That used to be 190/285/380 as of my last post, but is now 182/273/364.

 

Update - the last 7 months, Part 1:

 

I last posted in early May.  I had done OMOB for 6 cycles and had built up to just below all my PRs in Bench, Deadlift, Press, and Squat.  As someone with a history of hitting peaks and then falling off rather hard, I enjoyed 6 constant months of progress and hoped I would continue onward and upward.

 

  • Bench: All time PR of ~265, Hit 255 in May, 265 in June, 215 x 3 in July
  • Deadlift: All-time PR of ~320, Hit 310 in May, 320 in June, 325 in July (PR!)
  • Press: Unknown all-time PR, Hit 160 in May, missed 155 on the way to 165 in June, got back to 155 in July
  • Squat: All-time PR of ~245, Hit 235 in May, hit 225 on the way to a missed 245 in June, barely got 205 on the way to 235 (which I didn't attempt) in July

So in June I tied 1 old PR and set 1 new PR, but went backwards on 2 lifts.  In July I set 1 new PR but went backwards on 3 lifts.  In addition, I was tired, sore, scaling back the EMOMs, and still not completing them.  I wasn't adding anything beyond warmups and some minor accessory work (mostly pullups and some dumbbell upper-body stuff).  Most discouraging of all was the nosedive in the squat as I neared a new PR, which has happened to me in every. single. program. over the past several years.  

 

So in mid-July I found myself burnt out physically and feeling a desire for variety after 8 OMOB cycles.  I decided to sign up for Elevate.

 

Update - the last 7 months, Part 2:

 

I made it in 2 weeks but missed several workouts and fell behind.  I restarted and made it through the first 3 weeks again before deciding it was not for me, for a couple of reasons.

  • 5 days a week is too much training for me, physically.  5:2 is not enough rest for me to recover and get more fit, and it ground me down
  • 5 days a week is too much training for me, mentally and time-wise.  At 4 days/week, I can move training around a bit to fit into my schedule without falling behind.  I also look forward to training.  At 5 days a week, I fall behind the program and I also begin to dread training (probably because I'm not recovering: see #1)
  • I thought I would like the variety, but I didn't.  Mentally, I need repeating weekly cycles for at least a month, with progress visible in the month (part of why I loved OMOB).  Elevate felt too random to me.

Update - the last 7 months, Part 3:

 

So I found myself in late August needing to do something new.  I wanted to go back to OMOB, but I knew I also needed to mix it up.  What I settled on began as my own modification on OMOB, but is truthfully more simply described as a variation on Jim Wendler's 5/3/1: I now do Ryan's 7/5/3, which I did through September and October.  I warm up with pull-ups, pushups, and squats, then:

  • Deadlift 3x7 (increasing), 1x5, 1x3 || Pullups + Barbell Ab Rollouts, 3x10 each
  • Press 3x7 (increasing), 1x5, 1x3 || DB Press 3x12 || BB Curl + Lat Raise, 3x10 each || 20:00 run
  • Squat 3x7 (increasing), 1x5, 1x3 ||  BB Front Rack Reverse Lunge 3x10 each
  • Bench 3x7 (increasing), 1x5, 1x3 ||  DB Bench, DB Flye, Pushups 3x10 each || 20:00 run

Instead of OMOB and 5/3/1 where Week 3 is a peak and Week 4 is recovery, I work Weeks 1-3 and peak in Week 4 by only doing doubles then singles on the main lifts.  Results: 

  • Bench: All time PR of ~265, Hit 255 in May, 265 in June, 215 x 3 in July, 270 in October (PR!)
  • Deadlift: All-time PR of ~320, Hit 310 in May, 320 in June, 325 in July (PR!), 330 in October (PR!)
  • Press: Unknown all-time PR, Hit 160 in May, missed 155 on the way to 165 in June, got back to 155 in July, 135 in October (missed 145)
  • Squat: All-time PR of ~245, Hit 235 in May, hit 225 on the way to a missed 245 in June, barely got 205 on the way to 235 (which I didn't attempt) in July, 235 in September, 240 in October (+5 from May)
  • Also worth mentioning: I went from a just-slightly-overweight 190 lbs to a more athletic looking 182 lbs.  This was more from changing my diet than my training.  I stopped eating too-large dinners out of boredom / habit and began eating simpler meals for dinner more suited to my level of hunger than whatever constituted a convenient serving size.

I've noticed a few things from this approach in these past two months

  • OMOB and 7/5/3 have a different feel to them.
    • OMOB quickly builds to a 4RM / 3RM / 1RM four times a week, then follows those maxes with volume in the form of EMOM.  These maxes were fine early on, but by month 6 they were taking a toll on my joints and my nerves.
    • 7/5/3 moves volume from EMOM up front and uses it in the build to a set of 3, which is challenging due to fatigue, but is not a 3RM.  I am not lifting as heavy which I thought might stop my progress in my once-per-month 1RM attempts, but this doesn't appear to be the case
  • 7/5/3 leaves more time and energy for accessories.  I began to feel very unbalanced by my 6th OMOB cycle, almost like a machine that benched, pressed, squatted and deadlifted rather than a person who moved organically.  Doing more variety has helped me feel better.  I also strongly believe that my squatting has benefitted a lot from the effort I've put into lunges.
  • For whatever reason, I don't think 3 intense weeks and 1 deload week is good for me.  3 moderate weeks and a 1RM week (with less volume, constituting "deloading" for me) seem to suit me better.
  • I'm a garage-gymmer, and as the weather in Arizona has cooled off, I can't help but think that perhaps part of my performance dip is attributable to the heat really picking up in June thru August.

Plan for the Future:

 

I'm going to continue 7/5/3 for a few more cycles.  I think it is perfect for my lower body work, and decent for upper body.  I'm considering a few changes in future cycles:

  • Doing 2 complete upper body days instead of a Bench day and a Press day.  I think at the decreased volumes/intensities of 7/5/3 vs OMOB, I can handle Benching and Pressing twice a week, and I think the increased frequency will be beneficial
  • Using the 2 upper body days to get more variations of Benching and Pressing in.  In particular, I think a neutral grip BB bench (I have a Rogue bar for that) will do me a lot of good, since regular benching never quite engages my pecs right or feels right on my weird shoulders.
  • Doing sets across on upper body barbell lifts, or super setting them.  Again, I think there is potential here given the changes in intensity and volume that I've made recently

Questions going forward:

  • Has anyone else been through 8 or more OMOB cycles and found themselves needing a change for similar reasons?
  • Has anyone found differences in set/rep schemes that worked for lower body strength vs upper body strength?
  • What is everyone's favorite place to put pull-ups into their routines?  I have found during warmups for low-intensity sets and after deadlifts for higher intensity, closer-to-failure sets are both good for me.  However, I'd like to focus on building a stronger and larger back, and I'm thinking it might make sense to either do them more frequently or as part of some kind of back-focused training block once a week.  

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#6 Poppy G

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 04:09 PM

1, Have not run it for more than 4 cycles so can't really offer any thing up here.
2, I found lower reps on DL and Squats with higher of upper body works well.for me.
3, Put pull ups every where. Super set them. Do them as a warm up, do them.on their own, do them with burpees or just do them to failure at the end of your routine. I have even been known to do them on the racking at work

Excellent write up yet again mate.
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#7 Pops

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 05:29 PM

Great reports...

I'll scatter-shoot & speak to what I think I "know" rather than speculate on a guy's programming. Personal goals, age, chapter of life, nutrition, sleep patterns, lifestyle etc all factor in.

In no order:

1.Heat & humidity can drastically affect productivity.

 

2.Pull-ups and rows are awesome movement for the back/shoulders and also will pay dividends in other lifts.

BUT, since they are both "pulling" movements, I never put them with dead lifts. It seems to always work well to plug them into your upper body pressing days.

Not to poison your water, but I've coupled barbell rows with bench before and then coupled Pull-ups with the Overhead press.

 

3.One rule to always follow though: keep the main lifts the main lifts and the accessory movements just that: accessories.

 

Keep kicking ass, and listen to what your body says. When we're consistently fighting ourselves to train then it's always a good idea to revisit our nutrition, our sleep and our programming. This shit should be fun and last for a lifetime.


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#8 danduerksen

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 04:32 PM

Questions going forward:

  • Has anyone else been through 8 or more OMOB cycles and found themselves needing a change for similar reasons?
  • Has anyone found differences in set/rep schemes that worked for lower body strength vs upper body strength?
  • What is everyone's favorite place to put pull-ups into their routines?  I have found during warmups for low-intensity sets and after deadlifts for higher intensity, closer-to-failure sets are both good for me.  However, I'd like to focus on building a stronger and larger back, and I'm thinking it might make sense to either do them more frequently or as part of some kind of back-focused training block once a week.  

My thoughts...

  1. I worked through about 4 cycles of "strict" omob and found I needed to do some tweaking of my own. I still only concentrate on 4 main lifts with just a bit of accessory movements. Most of my accessories just being variations of the main lifts. I've never thought I needed to spend more time doing curls or anything. Just wanted to add more weekly volume with the program.
  2. Higher volume schemes should work better for upper body. Doesn't have to be high intensity, just more frequency. I think this is why guys have good progress with Starting Strength or Tactical where they're benching or pressing 2-3 times each week. Alan Thrall had a video a few weeks back about increasing volume for upper body and seeing more strength gains. The lower body is generally moving much higher weights and doesn't need the frequency. However, for me, adding some extra sets of squats really helped me move passed a sticking point and vastly improved the quality of my lift.
  3. Pull-ups fit in pretty much anytime you're close to your pull-up bar. Warmups, supersets, conditioning. Same idea if you want to incorporate push-ups, tricep press downs, dumbbell curls, burpees... pretty much anything. Adjust the weight so it's not taking away from the main lift if you're supersetting. Pull-ups respond to frequency. The more you do the more you can do. To get that big, barn door back you want to do some heavy-ass rows and carries to get your lats and traps popping.

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