View Full Version : Training without a patner.

05-13-2001, 03:13 AM
Here's the deal, this summer i wanna beef up (BEEFCAKE!!!!) well... not really i wanna start lifting weights without gaining a lot of weight :) But here's my problem: I work in shifts, so sometimes the working hour is 9-5 and somtimes 13-21. So having a training partner at either 6PM or 11AM is a little difficult (so i wont have one).

Ok i raed through Destrous9 post and i LOVED it (iloved it really!) But a lot of the exercises will involve having a partner. F.x. benchpress until failure would not be very cool if no partner is spotting me, however i could do that with dumbels only (kinda easy to get out of that once i cant do no more ;) ) But then there is stuff like squating, besides the fact i've never done it before so i'd propably need to have someone there to help me, i will have noone to spot me. And all the websites i've seen recommend having either a spotting partner or personal trainer with you when doing the squats. And this seems to be the way with Deadlifts and other excersizes too.

Ok i'm not very good with weightlifting (never done it seriously before) So i'm not sure what excersizes i could do, although keep in mind i'm not going for a lot of extra weight, i'd love to get some routines for me.

I'd propably stick with Destrous9 routine, that is:

Monday= chest/shoulders/triceps
Wednesday= Back/Biceps/Calves
friday= legs

So ! :) Any advice is greatly appreciated. And btw there is NO way for me to get a partner so please dont say "just go out and get one!!" noone i know has that flexible a work schedual that he can change it with a 2 day notice just to work out.

Free thinkers are dangerous.

Martial Joe
05-13-2001, 03:31 AM
If I lived around you Id train with you...

05-13-2001, 03:35 AM
heh thx wanna move here? :P

Free thinkers are dangerous.

Martial Joe
05-13-2001, 05:46 AM
How come you quite wing chun and turned to tkd?

05-13-2001, 06:26 AM
well kinda long story, but since i'm studying now and i'll do anything to get away from it :P I'll try to give a watered down version.

I quit for numerous reasons. The past months i had been slacking of a bit, missing practices and such. Partly becaues my shifu started his own school (i wont call it Kwoon because he taught 3-6 different arts there so ..) that was far away, it used to take me a fairly short time to go to practice, now it took me 4 hours to go to practice being there and coming back. And being in College and doing a lot of other things it was a big chunk. Also at the time i was dating a girl which was taking a lot of my free time. And on top of that there was a teacher strike around desember which made me go into my part time job full time, i often worked late (until 9PM) and practice is at 8PM so i missed out a lot and in the end i just stopped going.

The strike lasted for 2 months, and then there was another month where i did not train anything (mostly because the teachers were pushing us really hard to make up for the 2 months we had to catch up on). However this is what i told myself at the time being, i now see if i had been 100% satisfied with his training i would have found a way to stay there.

Before i start telling you what i disliked about his class, i want to say he's a great guy (one of the best personalities i've met) and the propably the best fighter in iceland (he's gotten many challanges here and i've seen video of him in NHB fights before the whole NHB craze, he's a REAL good fighter).

That being said, he hadnt trained Kung Fu for a long time, he had been teaching Kickboxing for 5 years at a local gym but that gym closed down so he started his own. I used to be in his Kickboxing class and when he staretd the kung fu i joined in (always been interested in kung fu). So here's basicly what made me not being totally crazy about his training. He showed us Siu lim tao (first form of Wing Chun) and he seemed to change it every month without even knowing it. We'd been doing it like he showed us for a month, then suddenly he stopped me and said "no that's not right do it like this" and all the classmates were just as surprised as me. This happned a lot and with all the forms we did. He didnt really seem to be teaching any one specific style, we did maybe siu lim tao a lot one month, then suddenly next week he decided to show us the monkey form (which was shaolin he said) and we'd work on that for 2 months and then *boom* go back to Wing Chun. He didnt have a lot of sparring, and he always stressed that he wanted us to have a strong foundation in what we did before we moved on to sparring and more advanced techniques. He showed me and a few other studennts that had been with him from the start a few moves from more advanced forms and how to work the wooden dummy. THen one day a guy from my Shifus Muay Thai class started coming to practice. My shifu made him do Siu Lim Tao for 2 weeks (that's when he knew the moves) and then he let him join us in the advanced techniques and made him skip all that stuff we had to do in getting a solid foundation. I got realy disheartened by it and i guess it's one of the reasons i never went back. Oh jesus this has become a long rant you gotta apologize i write 80 words a minute so this just flows out when i get started ;)

And why i started TKD? I basicly looked myself in the mirror one day and saw i had a belly, got ****ed off at myself because i've had a sixpack ever since i started MA, so i said "ok so my school is too far away so i'll find the closest MA school and train there". I found a place that taught Ju Jitsu (not jiu jitsu)/judo/TKD (all differnet teachers and different organizations, just the same training room). I was going to do Ju Jitsu, but the teacher didnt know jack**** and bul****ted me, he told me that Jeet Kune Do was basicly just Ju Jitsu and then he showed me some trapping that was basicly just wing chun trapping (i didnt say anything), then he told me that Iron Palm had nothing to do with conditioning and that it was basicly just palm striking techniques. So i tried out the TKD class, and well i love kicking :) Sticked with it and the competetive atmosphere has kept me there, went to the Icelandic championship and came in second, now my teacher has offered me to go to the US Open in connecticut this october, so i'll propably stick with TKD :)

Ok so it's not so watered down :) , now i'll have to get back to my studying (only 120 pages left *yay*)

Free thinkers are dangerous.

Martial Joe
05-13-2001, 06:55 AM
Well I see it wasnt realy Wing Chun you left.I understand why you left and I havent heard of a fraud that bad in a wile(the ju jitsu guy).Well atleast your haveing a good time in TKD?

05-13-2001, 07:13 AM
Yup very good time. Great bunch of people there. Really bonded with a lot of people there plus one instructor. Once after class we were talking about NHB fights a lot and the importance of ground fighting (he actually knows a bit of Jiu Jitsu). Then we started talking about weapons and he took out a throwing knife and i took out a throwing star and we just talked and talked like a pair of old ladies :p But i've always loved kicking and seeing how they generate power for a simple kick with no space and time at all blows me away, i really wanna be able to do that :)

Free thinkers are dangerous.

05-13-2001, 08:45 AM
I train alone most of the time. You just have to be smart about it. And when you cant do any more just sit up and roll it across your belly and stand up (for benching) voalla!. Squats r really fricken hard to do by yourself, I have to lift the weights over my head to actually get in position. And when you trying to do about half of your bodywieght (I do more) its really hard. Just remember start low and build up.

Ford Prefect
05-13-2001, 04:18 PM
That's easy. If you don't have a partner, then don't train to failure. If you are honest about not wanting to gain weight, then rack the barbell with about 2 reps left in the chamber. You will be able to train more frequently, and you'll get stronger while staying the same size. When I weight train, I lift 5 days per week, and I practice the same lifts every single day. I'm never sore, I make constant gains in all my lifts, and I've yet to plateau. The down side is that you don't gain much weight (if any), so if you want look buff, then this approach isn't for you. A sample program would look like:

Monday - Friday
Deadlift 2 sets of 5 reps
Overhead Press 2x5
Weighted Pull-ups 2x5
Bench (optional superficial lift) 2x5

I also like to add the follwing lifts for a nice well-rounded routine:

Spider Squat (wide stance squat with barbell resting in crooks of elbows) 1x5
Power Snatch 1x5

There is also a possibility of gaining weight with this approach, but you'd have to up the training volume significantly to at least 5 sets of 5. 10 sets of 5 would be great, but obviously you couldn't train as frequently. When I've wanted to gain weight and explosiveness this is the routine I'd do:

Mesocycle 1 (2 weeks)
Monday, Thursday-
Bench Press 5x5
Squat 5x5
Heavy Ab work 5x5

Tuesday, Friday-
Deadlift 5x5
Pulls 5x5
Overhead Press 5x5

Mesocycle 2 (2 weeks)
Monday, Thursday-
Power Snatch 5-4-3-2-1 pyramid
Push Press 5x5
Clean Pull 5x5

Tuesday, Friday-
Power Clean 54321
Split Jerk 54321
Snatch Pull 3x5

These programs target your existing contractile proteins and strengthen them. The key is lifting as heavy as possible. However, it is extremely important to rack the weight prior to the onset of failure. If you train to failure or "on the nerve", then you will have bad results.

Ford Prefect
05-13-2001, 04:29 PM
Oh yeah, periodization is also a big factor in not plateau'ing. I work in two week cycles or 10 workouts. What you can do is start with a weight that you can lift easily for 5 reps, and add weight every day until you reach your new max. When you hit your new max, drop the weight again to a little more than what you had started with previously, and work your way back up to a new max again. ;)

05-13-2001, 05:02 PM
Ford are you a fan of Pavel T. as well? Great workout you have there. I do his Russian bear for two weeks then two weeks of Scrappers workout then two weeks of the wiry strength routine.I just started switching Scrappers Sprint workout for his standard workout and the sprints are killing me as i live on the side of a mountain.

[This message was edited by UberShaman on 05-14-01 at 08:22 AM.]

Ford Prefect
05-13-2001, 06:14 PM
Definately. What he's saying is nothing new, but he's good at cutting through the BS and making it as simple as possible. He was a huge influence on my periodization schemes. Since I started using the wave-step method, I've yet to hit a plateau.

BTW, I cycle scrapper and Pavel's routines as well. Great stuff!

05-13-2001, 06:49 PM
I've been looking a bit more into the thing and doing a search on the boards for older post on the topic and what i seem to need is Pavel Tsatsouline's stuff :) I guess that's what you meant with the Pavel.T. I really liked some of the stuff i read about him. Plus he has videos which would be great for me since a lot of these terms are new to me (i dont know 20% of all the english bodylifting vocabulary so i'd propably need something that shows very graphicly what to do). Someone in an older thread recommended his book "power to the people" and i saw from http://www.dragondoor.com/ that it's now on a video.

Pavels stuff sounds like what i need, especially since you never train to failure i should never need a training partner which is ideal for me. Plus no weight gaining. Sounds like a sweet deal for me ;) Thanks for all the advice and i got some email too, i always love all point of views even though (obviously) i cant use them all i love reading all i can about a subject before i make a decision of what would propably work best for me. So thanks all.

Free thinkers are dangerous.

Mr. Nemo
05-13-2001, 07:00 PM
I don't know if this is totally on topic, but I just started working with sandbags. I don't have easy access to weights (a 20-minute drive, I know it's not that bad, but I don't want the trouble).

Sandbags are cheaper, they're harder to lift because the weight inside them shifts around as they move, so they work stabilizing muscles even more than freeweights, and they'll help your grip strength. Also, because sand in a bag is softer and can move around more than metal, you can do pretty much any exercise and not have to worry about someone spotting you.

I think this link is right:


if that doesn't work, just try http:\home.rmi.net/~ian21

It's a good page, I'm using sandbags right now and plan to make a softball gripper. I think the sandbags are great.

An exercise not listed on the page: if you do get a bag with straps, put it on your back (a little tricky: you have to put the bag down on the ground, sit in front of it, wrap the straps around your shoulders and then roll over, depending on how heavy the bag is) and do pushups. Depending on where the bag rests on your back, this will actually work your stomach muscles as much as anything else.

Ford Prefect
05-13-2001, 07:44 PM

I forgot to ask, but what's Scrapper's sprint routine? Thanks. :)


I work with sand bags too. I attempt to do this workout 2x/per week when I'm lifting and 3x/week when I'm doing bodyweight stuff. Check it out:


05-13-2001, 08:53 PM
Here it is Ford I emailed him for it,
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
This is one of the latest routines I've devised to beat my class into the ground. A few things you will need before you start: 7 cones (or something to put on the ground at certain spots), pullup bars, open field, water bottle.

This routine involves TWO overlapping pyramid routines, so pay attention. I'll break it down into 4 quarters to make it a bit easier to understand what is going on. Before you start, grab your cones and put one cone about 10 feet in front of the pullup bars (this is your "starting cone"). Now, take about 25 paces away from the pullup bars and put down another cone. This is actually cone #1. Keep taking 25 paces and placing cones down until you have all 7 cones down on the field.

First Quarter: This will involve pushups and squats (or any other leg exercise you want to do) and it should be done fairly quickly. Each exercise is done in a 4 count fashion, if you have any questions as to what other exercises you can do or how to count in a 4 count fashion, check out my bodyweight routines for an explanation. Let's start the workout:

5 pushups (in 4 count fashion, this is really 10 pushups)
10 squats (again, 4 count = 20 squats)

As soon as you get done with your 10 squats, you drop back down and do 6 pushups followed by 10 squats. The leg exercises stay at 10 but the pushups go from 5-10. When you get to 10 pushups/10 squats, head over to the pullup bar. You should have done 45 (4 count) pushups and 50 (4 count) squats at this point.

Second Quarter:

Stand at the Starting Cone and sprint to cone #1 and immediately back to the pullup bars. Knock out 5 pullups (or chinups) and as soon as you are done with the pullups, head back to the Start Cone. When you get to the Start Cone, you have 15 seconds and then you sprint to the #2 cone and back to the pullup bars to knock out another set of 5 pullups or chinups. You repeat this until you sprint to the ****hest cone and do your pullups or chinups. You should have done 6 sprints and 30 pullups at this point. Now it's time to finish the last half of the workout:

Third Quarter:

For this, you will start at 10 pushups/10 squats and work your way back down to 5 pushups/10 squats. When you finish your 5 pushups/10 squats, head back over to the Starting Cone to finish up the workout:

Fourth Quarter:

You will finish the workout by sprinting to the ****HEST cone first and working your way back in the same manner that you worked your way out in the beginning.

By the time you're done with this workout, you should have done 90 (4 count) pushups, which equals 180 regular pushups, 100 (4 count squats), 60 pullups and 12 sprints. It should take you anywhere from 20-35 minutes to complete.

This is a no-**** workout bro but I'd bet money that it WILL improve your muscular endurance. Let me know how your body handles this workout, there are some days when it just smokes me.
Simple but effective, people see me doing it and they say "your nuts" of course Id rather kick my own butt then have someone else kick it for me

Ford Prefect
05-13-2001, 09:10 PM
Nice! Scrapper always comes up with great workouts. Now, all I need to do is find a field with make shift pull-up bars. That'd probably be easy if I didn't live in a big city. BTW, check out that link I posted for the sand bag workout. That's pretty brutal as well.

05-13-2001, 09:52 PM
Excellent! Im definetly going to rotate that one in. I bet you get some funny looks doing these kinds of workouts in a city too. Great link from you too Mr.Nemo. This has got to be one of the best threads ive seen on this forum definetly enough to get anyone in fighting shape. Thanks guys

Ford Prefect
05-13-2001, 10:05 PM
No kiddin! This is a pretty good thread. I'm sure I'm known as the "wierd guy" in my appartment complex due to my early morning sand bag workouts in the court yard complete with bright-red face and grunting. ;)

05-14-2001, 12:02 AM
for the great sandbag website Mr. Nemo.


05-15-2001, 09:29 AM
Right on , Grappling Insanity.

"A wise man speaks because he has something to say; A fool speaks because he has to say something."

05-16-2001, 03:07 PM
Ford Perfect: Thank you for the previous post. That is an ass kicking, kick-ass workout. I appreciate it.