Tag Archives: workout

DIY: How to Make a Poverty Post Landmine

landmine-article

If you want to make your own landmine attachment for your home gym (or even to take to the gym with you, if they don’t have a landmine attachment), you’ve come to the right place.

It’s easy to just shove a barbell into a corner, but sometimes this will damage the wall. Depending on where you train, you might not want this to happen. There are two solutions to your problem!

 

Solution 1: Buy A Landmine Attachment

There are a few types you can buy. One (like the one pictured below) attaches to a power rack or bolts to the ground. Click the picture to go buy it on Amazon for $27.95 + shipping.

power-rack-landmine

 

This isn’t a bad option at all. Unfortunately, I live in Germany and the attachment costs me over double that. I also didn’t really want to bolt the attachment to the ground or attach it to my power rack in my garage gym.

 

Another one is called a post landmine, which you can insert into some stacked weight plates. Rogue sells the one below for $65 + shipping here.

rogue-post-landmine

 

This one is pretty badass and looks nice for sure. Rogue products are usually excellent quality, but again getting it shipped to Germany would’ve bumped the price up a good bit and I probably wouldn’t even drop $65 on a post landmine to be honest.

So the next solution was what I went with instead.

 

Solution 2: Make Your Own Post Landmine

Now we’ve arrived at the topic of this article. First, I’ll show you some pictures of the finished poverty post landmine. This way you get a rough idea of what you’ll be putting together.

landmine1

landmine2

A list of materials you’ll need:

One 2″ x 6″ (15cm long for the non-‘Mericans) pipe nipple – This will be the part that holds the barbell.

One 1 1/2″ x 4″ (4″ = approx. 10cm for anyone living outside of the US) pipe nipple – This will be the post that sticks into the weight plates to hold your landmine attachment in place. If you want to stack more than two plates for whatever reason, you might want to go a little longer than 4″.

A threaded rod. Mine was 10mm x 16.5cm long, which is roughly 1/2″ x 6.5″ long. If it’s a little longer, it’s no big deal really. Just don’t get it shorter than that. – This is what will attach the two pipe nipples together.

Three regular nuts that fit your threaded rod (so 10mm or 1/2″) and two lock nuts that fit it as well.

4-5 washers that fit your threaded rod. I used 5, but you can get by with 4 I guess.

Some duct tape. This isn’t needed, but wrapping the 1 1/2″ pipe nipple in duct tape made it fit a little tighter in the holes of the weight plates.

You should be able to get all of these items at a home improvement store. I couldn’t get pipe nipples that wide, so I ordered them online. Everything together was still under 20€ (approximately $28 at the time I’m writing this) and I have a few threaded rods, nuts and washers left over for future projects. Depending on where you live, it’ll be even cheaper I’m sure.

 

Tools You Will Need:

A power drill with a metal drill bit to make a hole large enough for the threaded rod you picked up.

Optional (but very helpful): A drill press. This helped me drill straight holes through the pipe nipples. If you don’t own one (I don’t), see if you know someone that does (I do).

Wrenches to tighten the nuts you bought.

 

How to Assemble Your Poverty Post Landmine:

Drill holes through the pipe nipples as seen in the pictures. The holes should obviously be big enough to fit your threaded rod as mentioned. Use a drill press for accuracy and wear safety goggles would be my recommendations. Stay safe!

Put it together as shown in the pictures above. The lock nuts go on the outside, the rest should be self explanatory.

Optional: Wrap the small pipe nipple in duct tape until it fits tightly into the holes of your weight plates. It will work without this step too though.

 

And that’s it. That is how you make your own post landmine. Enjoy! Below are some exercises you can use it for!

 

Meadows Row (One Arm Barbell Row)

 

Landmine Press

 

One Arm Landmine Press

Obviously you can do these standing as well.

 

Landmine Twist

 

There are many more exercises that can be done with your poverty (or non-poverty) landmine. Just look up something like “landmine exercises” on YouTube and you’ll find a ton of tutorial videos.

Tips for Increasing Lift Frequency

frequency

Let’s say you want to make your squat in particular stronger, because it’s lagging compared to the rest of your lifts. Increasing how often you squat can be a great way to get better at squatting. I assume this makes sense to most of you, but it might not be that easy. Below are a few things I think you should consider.

 

Adjust Volume and/or Intensity

When you increase training frequency of a particular lift, you are adding more stress to your routine and also increasing the demand for recovery as a result. This isn’t a bad thing, because you’re trying to force your body to adapt and grow stronger with your training, but it can be detrimental if you don’t adjust your training volume or intensity (percentage of one repetition maximum) to compensate for the increased frequency.

Adjusting Volume

In my opinion, there are two simple ways to manipulate training volume in your routine for a particular lift.

The easiest way would be to keep overall volume for the lift constant, but split it up. So if you’ve been squatting once per week and doing 20 sets, split that up into two workouts (10 sets per workout) and go from there. I’m not saying you should never increase overall volume again, but I would try to keep it constant for a bit as you get used to the increased frequency.

The second way of adjusting training volume would be to reduce assistance work, particularly direct assistance work. I.e. if you’ve been doing 10 sets of squats and 10 sets of leg press, drop the leg press for a while and add 10 sets of squats on another day instead. Squats will be more taxing than leg press, but overall your volume hasn’t changed so you should be able to adapt without going into complete zombie mode.

Adjusting Intensity

Intensity is the percentage of your one reptition maximum (1RM) you’re using. An easy way to manipulate this, when you’re increasing frequency on a lift, is to have light days and heavy days (and possibly medium days).

It’s not rocket science, but for a very simple working example, we’ll take percentages from Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 training program. I also recommend you read his new book Beyond 5/3/1, if you’re going to run 5/3/1 yourself. For this, I’m just using his percentages because I use the program myself and it goes well with the message I’m trying to get across.

Let’s say you’re on the 3 sets of 3 repetitions week of 5/3/1 (a little more goes into this, but I’m just giving you a simple example and don’t want to turn it into a clusterfuck), which puts your working sets at 3×80%, 3×85% and 3×90%. This would be your heavy day. If you increase the frequency of that lift and add another day, it would be a light day with deload percentages (i.e. work sets of 5×50%, 5×60% and 5×70%).

A light or medium day might also feature dynamic effort work. This is usually something like 5-8 sets of 1-3 repetitions done with 50-60% of your 1RM. Mainly for speed and explosiveness. (That’s very basic information. A lot more goes into dynamic effort work. You can read more about it here.)

Another way to have a day with lower intensity to get used to more frequency is to use a variation of the lift you’re increasing frequency for that doesn’t allow you to use as much weight. I.e. if you’re trying to increase frequency for the squat, you might use a front squat (or possibly an overhead squat depending on your specific goals) because it doesn’t allow you to use as much weight. I actually do exactly this myself for squat. I have a squat day and then I also do front squat as kind of a warmup lift on deadlift day. I like that setup a lot.

 

Take Preventative Measures to Avoid Excessive Soreness

I already wrote an article on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and an article on active recovery, so I’m not going to go into any details on those here. With that being said, you should do what it takes to minimize how sore you are. Increasing training frequency, either for one lift or across the board, will inevitably lead to some added fatigue. This is normal and okay, just don’t let it get out of hand. If you find yourself feeling like a zombie for several weeks, it might be time to take a step back and re-evaluate what you’re doing. This is especially true if you notice a decline in strength.

Training stress by itself is usually something that can be managed with a lot of active recovery work and rest, but most people also have lives outside the gym and might not even have the time to commit to all the things needed to make high frequency training work. While I wouldn’t classify doing a lift twice a week as high frequency by any means, it can still have a negative effect on individual lifters. If we’re moving beyond twice per week and talking about doing a lift 3+ times per week with relatively heavy loads on the barbell, managing soreness can quickly turn into a job itself. At this point, you need to judge for yourself if the increased frequency benefits or hurts your overall progress.

 

Prioritize Your Training

Depending on what you’re currently doing and how much of a frequency increase you’re looking to achieve, there is a good chance you will need to alter your priorities a little bit within the context of your training program. This could mean dropping some assistance work that might not be extremely important in favor of having increased frequency on a more important movement.

It could also mean that you utilize less taxing movements for your assistance work than you were using before. I.e. if your main assistance movement on squat day is the barbell good morning, you might opt to switch that to a less taxing lower back and posterior chain exercise like a band good morning or a back extension. This will get the barbell off your back for your assistance work, while you increase the amount of time you’re spending with the barbell on your back to squat. A working example would be what Jim Wendler did with his 5/3/1 Frequency Project (described in detail in Beyond 5/3/1). As frequency is increased dramatically, specifically for the squat but also the deadlift, the demand placed on the lower back is higher and that’s why he basically forbids the use of barbell bent over rows while doing the Frequency Project. This way the lower back isn’t additionally stressed under a relatively heavy load with assistance work on top of the work done with the main lifts. He also limits the amount of reps performed with the barbell deadlift.

 

And that about wraps up my general recommendations for increasing training frequency for a particular lift. Remember that I’m not a doctor, so just take this as an opinion from a guy who lifts weights.

Essentials for Lifting

When you decide you want to start lifting weights, there are a few essential items you should have. I will cover the physical preparedness you should bring to the table in another article, but this is a list of actual things you should own or have access to.

 

Proper Gym Attire

This will differ from person to person, but generally speaking you should have:

1. Some sweatpants or gym shorts. I prefer basketball shorts with pockets for convenience. As long as you don’t show up in dress pants or jeans, you’ll be fine.

2. A t-shirt of some sort. I like Under Armour t-shirts, because they absorb sweat a little better than regular cotton t-shirts. Most t-shirts will work, but some gyms may not allow muscle t-shirts. Try not to be the weird person working out in a polo shirt, if you can avoid it.

3. Proper underwear is a big one. I’ve ripped a few pairs of regular boxers trying to squat in them. For men, I can recommend Under Armour boxer briefs.

4. High socks for deadlifts. These will prevent you from brutalizing your shins. Alternatively you can wear pants to deadlift. Personally, I sweat way too much to wear pants at the gym.

 

Shoes

Proper lifting shoes are nice to have, but you can also go barefoot. You’ll want to avoid cushioned sneakers. You don’t want a lot of padding. A basic option is a pair of Converse All Stars (Chucks). For squatting with a more narrow stance (usually high bar Olympic style back squats or front squats) and Olympic lifts, it might be worth considering getting a pair of Oly shoes with raised heels.

 

Notebook and Pen

This is going to allow you to keep track of your workouts and also commit you to actually doing them. If your workout is handwritten out by you (not on a computer or phone) before you even step in the gym, you are more likely to complete it. Write out your workouts ahead of time, keep track of goals and personal records. It won’t take a lot of extra time, but it will be very good for keeping yourself accountable. This is the pen I use. I couldn’t find the notebook I use, but it’s similar to this one.

 

Towel

Most gyms will require that you bring a towel with you to put on equipment, so you don’t soak it in sweat.

 

Water Bottle

So you don’t pass out and die from dehydration. An aluminum water bottle is awesome. It keeps your water cool for a long time.

 

Optional: Jump Stretch Band

These are awesome for stretching and also to add resistance/assistance to certain movements.

 

Optional: Self Myofascial Release Tools

I’ll cover Self Myofascial Release (SMR) in another article, but basically it’s giving yourself a massage to relieve muscle tension, manage soreness and improve range of motion with certain movements. Useful tools: Foam roller (the Rumble Roller is awesome), PVC pipe (cheaper than a foam roller, but more painful for beginners), tennis ball (beginners), and a lacrosse ball or field hockey ball (after a few weeks of using a tennis ball). Get 3 balls minimum. Taping two together will turn them into a great tool to loosen up your upper back.

 

Optional: Powerlifting Belt

A belt can be nice, but it’s not required. If you do decide to belt up, make sure you buy a good one. You’ll be using it for a while (read: a LONG time) and it’s going to take some time to break in. You’ll want to get a good leather belt.

 

Optional: Chalk and Straps

Using chalk when weights get heavy will improve your grip on the bar and reduce callus formation. There are liquid chalks and also chalk alternatives like an eco ball (I personally use this), if you can’t use chalk because it leaves a mess.

Straps are the next step after chalk. They should not be used on everything (because you do want to strengthen your grip over time), but they can be great if you’re doing a lot of heavy pulling or high repetition sets where your grip would give out before your posterior chain. If straps are utilized a lot, it is wise to train grip strength separately (i.e. with Farmer’s Walk, Static Holds with heavy dumbbells or a heavy barbell, or Kroc Rows).

I won’t go into details here, because this is more of a summary article, but a good rule of thumb is to use the following grips until they give out and then move to the next: Overhand (possibly underhand), overhand with chalk, hook grip (for heavy singles mostly), mixed grip (be aware of this), and finally overhand with straps. If you can’t hold it with straps, it’s way too heavy for you.

 

As always, this is just my take on things.