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Ironborn/ Strength training Questions

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    Ironborn/ Strength training Questions

    Happy New Year everyone!

    I am about to finish round 2 of Ironborn and I am in love with this program. This is something I have started to look forward every morning. Thanks to everyone who put together this program. I have some questions pertaining to Ironborn and strength training.

    1. I have begun to think that Ironborn is more shoulder heavy and chest light! Not sure whether that is accurate. What are some dumbbell exercises I can add to strengthen chest and eliminate chest fat (lower chest)?

    2. I am hitting a forearm wall as it pertains to weight, for example, when I do calf raises, more than the calf my forearms are paining more (the area between elbow and wrist), and I also start getting elbow pain(just above elbow). Should I keep the weights the same till my forearm catches up??

    3. As Ironborn is a program without a rest day, I sometimes wonder should I at least take one rest day per week, but sometimes listening to body is confusing, for example, I was having pain behind the shoulders and and rested for a day, the pain did not go away, I went ahead and did the training anyways the following day (a day with biceps and back) and the pain disappeared. So my question is the program specifically designed NOT to take a rest day?

    I am sure I will have more questions as I continue this program, appreciate all the insights and answers!

    I try to answer a bit as much as I can:

    1. Bench presses, obviously, in all different forms. Flys are another great exercise and one of my personal favourites. Without weights, the push-up progression is your friend. Re: eliminating chest fat: reduce calories, lose fat, weight until the one stubborn spot on your body you want to get rid of is last in the queue. You can try losing fat by reducing calories, but you can't influence where the fat goes first. Sad truth.

    2. Grip strength and those damn forearms usually are the weak links in the chain when you theoretically could lift heavier weights. If it's a matter of grip strength, you could try straps. Yours sound like an issue with the joints, so I would refrain from upping the weights for now. If you're a beginner, you often can add more weights pretty fast, but your joints and tendons might have trouble keeping up. Switch to a harder calf exercise (one legged, for example) without adding more weight and try getting more collagen, either by supplements, or by eating bone broth or things with gelatine.

    3. Ironborn is meant to be performed as is. Without rest days. That doesn't mean you can't do them regardless, the programs aren't written in stone. If you're already on the end of round 2, I'd rather suggest a deloading period. That means, set the weights aside for a week and do lighter exercise. Or, you could switch for a month to a bodyweight program. That would also give your joints and tendons some rest and time to catch up. If you enjoy weightlifting, consider switching to a split routine, like a classic bro-split or PPL. Stretching might be a good idea, too. I personally don't like it and have to be beaten with a stick to do it, but it has a lot of benefits.

    EDIT: Re: shoulder pain: Check your form and look up if you're doing the exercises correctly. This gets even more important the heavier the weights you use. If your form is bad, you can hurt yourself and up the chance of injuring yourself and/or pulling something. Study exercise, practise good form, check form in mirror, with spotter or with video, correct form as needed. Don't lift heavy if your form is bad.


      Very helpful, Thanks so much. I need to look up getting more collagen through supplements, I do not eat meat so need to find some eggetarian options.