Today Is A New Beginning

September 14, 2021

Ok, it isn't that grandiose. I'm starting the X3 bar 12 week program today.

A little background

I've been exercising regularly for a solid 5 years now.

Last summer, I decided to start "lifting" using my bodyweight. I wanted to see if I could improve my pushups and pullups. I followed Chris Heria's progression and I made very good progress in 12 or 14 months.

I went from being able to do about 10 strict pushups without stopping up to 10 pseudo planche pushups in one set. My pullups were a bit more dramatic. At the beginning, I could barely do 5 Australian pullups. Now I can do 8 or 9 L-sit pullups.

Why the change?

I've moved to a full body workout 3 times a week. My goal is to build muscle and strength, for many reasons.

However, doing so using my successful formula takes too much time.

I was turned onto the X3 bar by listening to Dr. Jaquish talk about the research and background on a podcast. It made sense to me, so I planned on trying it once my current program concluded.

The reason it spoke to me so well was how he described the downsides of my current program. It took about 18 sets per week to make the progress I had so far, which is just too many. If I could somehow compress my exercise time to half of what I'm currently doing, then I'm sold.

Plus, I could always go back to my old ways (and probably will periodically no matter what) if I don't get the results I want.

I'll quickly explain those 18 sets. My previous full body workout has 3 variations.

Sunday: 9 sets of the muscle group I'm focusing on (most recently legs), 3 sets of each of the remaining 3 muscle groups (shoulders, back, chest). This takes 45-50 minutes.

Tuesday: I play with time - either shorter rests or isometric and eccentric time to create more difficulty. This usually means fewer, longer or closer together sets. Maybe 6. This takes 30-40 minutes.

Thursday: Regress through each level (or progression) for each muscle group. For back this means L-sit pullups → strict pullups → jumping pullups → Australian pullups (two difficulties usually). I do as many as possible of each exercise before moving down to the next one. It usually translates to 3 full sets, but is much more demanding. This takes 30-40 minutes.

What do I expect to get out of it?

Quicker workouts with similar results.

According to the research, the X3 bar enables a more consistent, higher impact stimulus. In theory, that means shorter workouts. It could even mean better results.

We'll see how it goes. If nothing else, I'll (re-)learn some exercises and have another tool in my health toolbox.

(I'll update after the first 12 week program)