Thursday, June 28, 2007

Caveman Training Methods

"Caveman" is a popular poster on T-Nation's forum. He is called that because he is a Geologist. He is from Chile, played tennis, did gymnastics, and grapples. He takes off of training every few weeks to do Geological field studies. That means he carries a backpack full of samples ( up to 100 lbs. ) through the Andes Mountains for 10 to 15 days. For a full view of his commentary go to and search, "Caveman". Here are some short portions of his philosophy of training.

"When it's EDT style I do one day one off and every 3 weeks take a full weekend off (those workouts take me like 45 mins, HST I have managed to do under 40 mins.

OK, few numbers, bare in mind that I work mostly supersets with 2 compound movements, kinda EDT way but for 4-6 sets. So yesterday the first SS was squat and inclined bench, in both I go for 7-8 reps, using 330 for squat and 240 for the incline bench. With that I did 5 SS with 30 secs rests in between. Next was alternate lunges with 220 (7 reps each leg in an alternate way, thats 14 in a row) and BB row with that same weight, also for 7 reps. With that i did 4 SS, had my shake and got out of there in some 40 minutes all together. When I deadlift with this kind of workout, weight is around 370-400, mixed with standing shoulder press, using my legs too, with 210-200. That SS is a killer, almost to faint after the last reps.
OK, those are the movements I care about, all others I just go for it.
Hi, some days ago I was asked about getting really lean, lets say 6-5%. Well, my approaches usually have HIIT or some kind of cardio or whatever you want to call it, till Im around 10%. Starting then I do no more of that and just handle my diet and workouts, I use things like Fat to Fire , any of the Meltdowns or EDTs, and make small changes, like exercises, TUL and rep range. That is, I use mostly compound moves, as almost always, heavy weights, low reps (5-7) and very short rest intervals.

One thing that has worked is the 45 min barrier, whatever workout Im using I finish at most in 45 min, If Im not done yet, I still cut it and go home. That way Ive noticed I can keep the most lean tissue when going on low calorie diets. Food, I eat around 2.5 grams of protein per BW and the rest are almost 50/50 carbs and fats.How many calories? I change them every 2 weeks, like 300 less for 2 weeks, then back to mantainance and then 500 less and so on, till I get to the fat% I want. Carbs I only eat during and right after working out and fats are spread in the 2-3 last feedings of the day.

Besides Deadlift/Overhead Press, and Squat/ Row,
I also like doing deads or snatch / DB Overhead press, squat/chest press, chest press/rows, chins or pullups / overhead press, lunges / any upper body Im missing that workout. As you can see, its either a full(lower) body / upper body combo, used both in strength and fat loss stages or an agonist / antagonist combo (when going for some mass). Secondary stuff I train for about 3 supersets or 4 exercises circuits, same range of reps than the big ones. You can be creative here, just start trying combos, sets, rep ranges etc etc

Don't dare thinking that 5reps with a 10RM for 15 mins is not enough, cause I did, and at the end I wasn't able to stand straight to back my thoughts. I loaded the bar with more weight than advised and was only able to get about 7 sets.

Do your reps 1030 (TUL)and you will be really feeling the difference. Another thing thats worked for me is going for 8 instead of 5 reps but only for 12 mins. Try changing reps, time or weight but only slightly or it will crash you.

This training will boost your strength-resistance in ways you didnt thought possible. I like a lot CPT+EDT, using one olympic lifting like snatches, clean-jerk or may be a powerlifting move as a first exercise and go for 5x5 or 3x5sets (I like the latter) and then 2 PRs of EDT of compound movements and finally 1PR of auxiliary exercises for the Bcps, Trcps or Shoulders. "

1 comment:

Royce said...

EDT is one of the craziest workouts there is. The soreness you get from it is insane. Right now I'm doing some progressive circuits David Whitley came up with. When I've finished this cycle I'm going to start a Savik inspired conditioning workout at least once and maybe twice a week. Unilateral EDT using clean and jerks. i'll be using the Bulldog and have an ultimate goal of 70 reps per arm in 15 minutes. I could probably do 15 an arm in 15 minutes now :-)

I also tried front squats/2 hand swing and limped for days.

tire flip/stone pushpress and couldn't find a non-sore part of my body the next day.

Bench/pulldown oddly enough my shoulders were the most painfull.

all of these weight were WELL within my 10rm, and except for the flips and PP I didn't feel I was working that hard. can't go by feel I guess.