Monday, January 31, 2011

full of stars, eh?

Methinks after yesterday that an integral component of a refeed is sleep. Sleep i did not get last night, which sucks. Here's hoping that pattern doesn't repeat itself. And now the numbers:

  • Front Squat: 3x8 165
  • Military Press: 3x8 105
  • Seated Row: 3x8 150
  • Face Pull: 2x10 130
  • Overhead Extension: 2x10 120
  • EZ Bar Curl: 3x10 75
  • A1 Band Iso Flye/A2 Band Curl: 3x10
  • DB Snatch: 5x5 60

Blarg...brain no make words...hands not type for now.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

need a rest, just for a minute

Mmm...lookin forward to some serious sleeping tonight. Here's today's second training session:

  • EZ Bar Curl: 3x8 85
  • Perfect Cable Curl: 4x8 100
  • Rope Extension: 3x10 160
  • Overhead Extension: 3x10 120
  • Bent Hammer: 3x10 35
  • Strict DB Curl: 3x10 22.5
  • Strict EZ Reverse Curl: 3x10 25

Yeah, i got no bicep strength, but again, doing the strict DB curls for form felt really good. It feels nice to really get that full extension at the bottom of the curl. Same with the easy reverse curls, i've never really been able to feel my triceps as much as the kids say i should, but going light for strict form really helped. Go mobility! Me thinks when i start doing targeted mass gains i should re-evaluate tricep workouts. Definitely been feeling triceps on things i wouldn't have expected. My body is my laboratory. Anyway...

...can't talk, eating.

At least when the dog squats, he gets results...

Doo doo. That's what my squats were like today, but I think I made up for it with the rest of the training session. Trying not to let it get me down- I feel bad making a training log post without any appreciable gains being made in the big lifts.

A1. Squat

Hip Mobility
2 x 8 x 45#
2 x 5 x 135#
2 x 3 x 225#
1 x 2 x 275#
1 x 305#
1 x 325# was way forward, and this was harder than it should have been.
0 x 345#

Well, that sucked. I hadn't missed a squat yet in this cycle. Missing one so low compared to my 1RM from a year ago just sucks. So I decided to punish myself with...

B1. SSB Good Mornings

I was planning on GMs, but not with the SSB. After that last squat, I decided to use it.

4 x 3 x 225#

Holy crap those were hard. Having the bar higher on my back, combined with the yoke pushing the weight even more forward... wow. But I did them all, just barely.

C1. Pull Ups

5 x 5 x bw + medium band

C2. Strict OH Press

3 x 8 x 135#

Pull ups are progressing, which is good. OH Press felt great.

D1. Farmer Holds

3 x 30s x 180# per hand

Grip felt great today. Seriously, if not for that last rep on the squats, this would be a great overall workout. I just hate missing/wasting an ME Squat day with only 4 weeks of training left for the meet. Next session I'm going to play with my warmup and see if that's the culprit.

most exercises work for someone...

...just usually not for the person you see doing them. Partial rep probably do have their place for some folks, just not for the skinny college kids trying to impress...i dunno, someone. Not to slag, but it always strikes me as bizarre seeing someone do curls especially, i think in my old age i'm starting to...ehh, not forgive, partial rep squats, but...i dunno, something. But seriously, the seated dumbbell curler with 8 inch biceps using a range of motion of about...10 degrees? C'mon man, drop the weight and do a full extension. You'll find that it not only feels better but is going to give you much better gains. No sense in starting with big weights and bad form, start with little weights with good form and work your way up. Anyway, the numbers for training session 1:

  • Snatch Grip High Pull: 5x3 115
  • Barbell Bent Row: 4x10 175
  • Lat Pulldown: 4x10 150
  • Neutral Grip Pulldown: 4x10 120
  • Kneeling Neutral Grip w/Static: 4x10 200
  • A1 Lateral Raise/A2 Front Raise: 4x10 20 -> 25
  • Band Overhead Press: 3x10
  • Band External Rotation: 3x10

Took a bit of my own advice and dropped my weight on the High Pulls, i really like the feel of the snatch grip variant especially when you hit the top. The pulldown cycle was fun too, i kinda feel like this one will stay in. Seems like I'll be able to add reps and/or longer holds for quite a while, so that's fun.

More folks need to do "heavy" band work. Man, the shoulders feel nice and loose after that shtuffs...

Man, it's cold again. Need tea. Must stay warm for tonight's lift. 2.5 hrs and counting...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

i come bearing gifts

Cold...sooo...cold...oh right, clothes are soaked through with sweat and...are those tears? There's no crying in weight training!! But first, the numbers:

  • Barbell Bent Row: 3x8 165 -> 175
  • High Pull: 3x8 95
  • Bent Lateral: 3x8 45
  • Floor Press: 2x10 60 -> 70
  • Neutral Grip DB Press: 2x10 50 -> 60
  • Incline Press: BAM!!
  • SGB: 5x5 30

Yeah i had this nice press progression all worked out, then the wall hit me like a C-5 loaded with Mac Trucks. Probably the whole jumping straight to incline presses with no break and no warmup was the kicker. Gotta admit the core and lower back are still a little cooked out from Thursday's funfest, but that's cool.

Sunday is a refeed and boy am i looking forward to some increased calories. Of course, i have to get through to incredibly brutal workouts tomorrow first, including a revised version of the Get Wide split in the AM, err, early PM i guess. WARNING: I am combining programs!! zOMG END OF TEH WURLD!! No it's not that bad, i'm just thinking of tacking a Neural Charge style warmup on to the front of it and some eccentricless work and a small (i.e. one exercise) power set onto the back of it. Really not a massive change, just a different, hopefully better warmup and a better setup for recovery.

And then food...massive amounts of food. Except i hate food. Fuck.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Bench was on FYAH!

Fyah, Fire, whatever. Tonight was ME Bench night with some DE sprinkled in. Working 11 hour days has been rough on the training schedule but I am determined to get the work in. The meet is only 4.5 weeks away.

A1. Bench Press

1 x 8 x 45#
2 x 5 x 95#
2 x 3 x 135#
2 x 2 x 185#
1 x 225#
1 x 245#
1 x 265#

Man, it felt good tonight. I had probably 270# or 275# in me. Yeah, not a lot by a 198# PL-er's standards, but for me, it's a step in the right direction. My lovely wife spotted me between checking on the tasty smelling dinner upstairs.

B1. Board Bench Press

12 x 290# (2,3,3,2,2,)

Felt good. And here is where the session ended abruptly.

At one point during these sets, the dog started crying at the door. We figured he heard me grunting. We let him downstairs, he was good and stayed while I lifted. We, realized shortly after that he was crying for another reason- to save our (and his) lives. Jessica was literally down there to spot me for 10 minutes, but something caught in the kitchen and smoked out the kitchen in that time. No flames, thank God. Jess got the smoking pan out, I got Jess and Vino into the garage, opened the windows, got some fans out to clear the house. Smoke is all gone, the house smells OK though we set out baking soda to absorb the residual odor.

We ordered Chinese. The dog still wants to play. We are having some wine. All is well in the world.

and if any two come near me...

Yeah i agree...Mushroomhead Slipknot tour would be fucken epic. But first, the numbers:

  • Squat: 3x8 225
  • Deadlift: 3x8 225
  • DB Row: 3x8 90
  • Uni Shoulder Press: 2x10 50
  • Kneeling Neutral Grip Pulldown: 3x15 200
  • Band Iso Flye: 3x10 w/2sec hold
  • A1 Band Curl: 3x10
  • A2 Band Reverse Curl: 3x10

Legs gave out sometime during the last set of dumbbell rows, so yeah, the kneeling pulldowns were totally just an ego trip cuz i was feelin weak. The net effect later as i was stumbling back to my car in a delirium was pretty cool though. Recipe for freaking out UW kids:

It wasn't on purpose, i swear, for some reason that's just the song that pops into my head whenever a tough workout make me check out from the world. I think it's the sorta mad scientist/evil doctor feel of the video. I'm doing a sorta Nick Nilsson thing here and experimenting with myself, gotta say it's been really fun. Really done alot of sacred cow killing, at least for myself, over the last few months. Honestly, i may never eat 8 meals every 2-3 hours again. The idea of the Lean Gains style fast coupled with the super low calorie carb cycling (i think i mentioned this protocol in a previous post) i feel like is working. Honestly, i want to take the easy route and say, "Oh it's because i was sick for a week and ate like...3 times", but i kinda think it's the culmination of alot of things.

So yeah...Isopure is still sickly sweet but effective and my numbers are in the toilet, but i dare you to suck down 600 calories, then go squat and deadlift in the same workout. Truth be told, you'd be surprised, and could probably do it. Just a thought...juuuust a thought.

"...they'd have a heart attack."

Hard conditioning work at Charles' house.

Circuit stations:

Small 6-8" tall box.
Larger 6-8" tall box.
Large 6-8" tall box.
6 short cones
Long agility ladder
Half city block

All exercises for speed.

Circuit 1 (2:00 rounds, 0:30 rests) +25lb weighted vest:

1. Alternate front foot onto box with weight shifted forward and arms moving
2. Straddle box (between legs) get both feet on, both feet off.
3. Get into squat with 1 leg on box and 1 off, shift feet touching opposite hand.
4. Run cone to cone touching each cone with hand staying low.
5. High knees direction 1, 2 in-2 out direction 2.
6. Sprint to corner, skip back with exaggerated jump/arm motion.

1:00 rest.

Circuit 2 (3:00 rounds, 0:30 rests) +25lb weighted vest:

Same as circuit 1.

1:00 rest

Circuit 3 (3:00 rounds, 0:30 rests) no vest:

Speed increases because now it, "...should be easy because you're warmed up and you don't have the weight on."

1-3. Same
4. Jump with left foot hitting left cones and right foot hitting right cones.
5. Hop on 1 leg (alternate) jumping jacks back.
6. Same

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Safety Squat Bar- Activate!

This training log is from yesterday, as the internet at our house is out and I couldn't post this till today.

Yesterday was a pretty long day- I worked 11 hours the day before, and was dealing with negotiating the sale of our house in IL (which may be dead at this point...). I was overly stressed all day, but I had training to look forward to, especially after hearing that the SSB was finally delivered, and that my wife pulled 325. I can't have her inching so close to my strength, dammit! :)

So I done went and did some work:

A1. Deadlift
2 x 5 x 135#
2 x 3 x 225#
2 x 2 x 275#
1 x 315#
1 x 365#
1 x 395#

395# is the highest I've pulled since last spring. My deadlift is a mysterious beast- I won't be able to pull over 400# while training for a meet and then I'll go pull 450#-plus at the meet. It makes planning my attempts quite difficult, so I am trying to fix that on this cycle. The 395 didn't go up pretty, and it's debatable if I locked it out, but I don't care- I'm calling it good for ego's sake.

B1. Safety Squat Bar Box Squats

Say that 3 times fast...

12 x 260 (3,3,3,2,1)

B2. Barbell Rows

6 x 4 x 185#

The SSB absolutely tore up my back. I now understand why it's supposed to be great for posture, and for both the deadlift and back squat. That beast isn't coming out every training session, but I'm glad to have it in the arsenal. Pic below:

C1. Hip Prehab/Mobility

C2. Unloading everything from B1 and B2

I didn't last any longer than this- I was planning on some grip work and some plate holds, but I was done. I'll work that in on DE Upper tonight or tomorrow.

Overall, I think my training is going well. I'm nervous about the meet in March, but hey, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tonight we bombard the earth

Finally taking some time to do some stuff with the new machine past the initial turning it on to make sure it works. And of course, what's the first thing i do? Well i mean, after starting the Rift patcher of course? Make a training blog post, hell yeah. But it is with heavy-ish heart that i type today's post. Develifters, join me in a moment of silence for Jack Lalanne...
Alright then, let's take that torch and sprint with the damn thing. Here come the numbers:

  • RDL 3x8 225 -> 245
  • Military 3x8 115
  • Seated Row 3x8 150
  • Face Pull 2x10 120
  • OHX 2x10 120
  • EZ Curl 2x10 85 -> 90
Didn't feel like a forced day at all, which could be good or bad. Sorta wondering if i'm on that cusp where my body is flooded with all sorts of positive chemicals intended to help me recover and here i've gone and blown them on a workout. Nahhhh, no such luck. Besides, i've been out of the gym for a whole week, seriously, i don't need more than a week off at this point. What i DO need is to find another band that won't fall apart on me. Seriously, i've spent 50 bucks on that shit so far and they keep dying. Quality american craftsmanship, i tell you. I guess i shouldn't be using products for what i perceive them to be used for, hehe. But man, i do love me some band work.

I'm going to try something new, at least for me. Liquid Carb Cycling! See, on training days I'm going to drink all the beer i want, and then...ok no i'm not going to do that, but i DO believe that the combination of Waxy Maize and Isopure will provide a safe, controlled way to do my first carb cycle for fat loss. Don't get me wrong, i've gotten a ton less carb/calorie-phobic when it comes to fat loss, but I do like to perform experiments in controlled (there's that word again) environments. On non-training days, i'll cut out the maize and go straight for the Isopure. Experimenting with chemical macro-nutrient replacement is FUN!! Also, buy Powerade stock, because at the rate i'm going through that shit, someone's makin out like a freakin bandit. As i remarked to a co-worker a few weeks ago, I am the most hydrated person you know, trust me on that.

Man Waxy Maize, talk about truth in advertising. Seriously, mix some of that shit up and let it sit for like...i dunno 5 hours, you get this thing that looks like a reject from Ghostbusters 2. It even tastes waxy, so awesome. I think i'm in some kind of love.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Joining back up

Alright so i'm writing all kinds of shit today, feeling like writing a training log too. Too bad i didn't train today, but I do have all sorts of thoughts on it, and i figure if i talk about it, maybe my brain will fixate on it and i'll be fully over my sickness come Monday. This is fully possible. I must say being sick was great for fat loss, but i really can't recommend it to anyone. I mean i suppose if you have a significant amount of muscle mass and you don't mind losing a little bit, the whole not sleeping and eating absolutely minimal amounts of food will definitely produce some results, but fuck man, you might as well go on the Twinkie diet afterwards. Altho who knows, i've been doing some crazy low eating plans the last couple months and have gotten some interesting results. Went through the whole metabolic adaptation thing (i'm guessing), became a fat loss cliche for a bit (huge plateau), then ate food and lost weight, then got sick and lost even more weight, so it's been a crazy sorta proving time for me. Things i've tried that i would recommend:

Martin Berkhan's Lean Gains
Lyle McDonalds Rapid Fat Loss
Shelby Starne's VLCD Guide

I think what's working for me tho is somewhere in between. I really like the idea of the 16/8 feeding cycle, it's kinda nice to not eat breakfast anymore, go ahead, say it zOMG U R SO CATABOLIC NAO!! yeah yeah, whatev. Even ingesting a scant 225 grams of protein's worth of calories (it's around 900) didn't absolutely kill me. I think going forward i'm going to try some sort of lean gains meats Rapid Fat Loss meats carb cycling based on liquids. Thankfully i don't have problems with food choices anyway, so i feel like i can probably do that and not worry about ballooning up afterwards because i start gorging on shit. Truth is i hate food. Really. I know, i sound like an anorexic little girl. Maybe in a past life...

Anyway, actual numbers coming monday, warning you it won't be impressive AT ALL. Like...AT ALL. So feel free to point and laugh, but hey, i'm getting leaner and the numbers aren't going down, which is good.

And stuff.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Bench Sucks

ME Bench day. The title says it all.

A1. Bench Press

8 x 45#
2 x 5 x 95#
2 x 3 x 135#
2 x 3 x 185#
1 x 215#
1 x 235#
1 x 255#

The 255# was a garage gym PR, but it's far from my actual 1 Rep PR. I know I am not concentrating as much on it for the next meet, but man, I want to at least bring something respectable. I'm hoping I can bring at least 275# as an opener.

B1. 1-Armed Rows

4 x 6 x 90#

C1. OH Push Press

1 x 8 x 45#
2 x 5 x 95#
1 x 3 x 135#
12 x 175# (3,3,3,3)

175# for push presses is better than I've been doing. I'm definitely starting to feel the few months off from serious training this week.

D1. Internal/External Rotations (prehab)

3 x 8 x small band

E1. Prowler Finishers

3 x 40yds, 50# loaded on, 1 minute rest

Overall, I got through the training session, and it felt fine, but it was kind of an ego hit with the benching. Taking so much time off was D-U-M.

Jessica hit her bench really well today, and got 155# with all 3 meet calls legally. Which means I better get my bench to 310# quick- my rule is to be twice as strong as her at all times, dammit.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kneees! Everywhere kneeeees! Save yourself!

After a planned and unplanned off day, I got back to it tonight with DE Lower. I underestimated the recovery I'd need this week, so I decided to cut my losses yesterday after working late and just pushed everything back a day.

I almost didn't train tonight either- my back has been bothering me (lower back is where the discs tend to get inflamed), but that doesn't usually deter me as lifting usually makes it feel better. What was more concerning was the back of my left knee giving way when I walked up stairs leaving work today. I changed my training plan (removed step-ups and OH lunges, added in cleans) and sucked it up.

A1. Squat w/20# chains

5 x 135#
5 x 185#
5 x 225# (w/ 2 chains)
1 x 315# (w/ 2 chains) - this was quite wobbly so I had to reset after 1
2 x 315# (w/ 2 chains) - at this point I realized that this was too much, so I dropped the weight for the remainder of the reps.
3 x 3 x 285# (w/ 2 chains)

B1. Snatch-grip cleans
4 x 6 x 135#

At this point I was getting some serious lower back pump, likely due to my lower back being inflamed before lifting. I think I need to start icing it a bit more often. For what it's worth, I've had this back pain since college, long before I started powerlifting, and I've learned how to manage the pain. I've never suspected that powerlifting caused it.

C1. External Shoulder Rotation (prehab)

3 x 8 x small band

C2. Internal Shoulder Rotation (prehab)

3 x 8 x 10#

D1. Ab Fallouts

4 x 6 x bw

D2. Fat Man Pullups

4 x 6 x bw

I iced my left knee and my back while drinking my post-workout shake, and both feel perfectly fine now.

Overall, a good session. I hope the knee thing clears up- it's deadlift day this weekend...

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm BaaaAAAAAaaaAAAAck

I decided to start up with the blog again...

I've been thinking that when I was doing this blog, I was lifting more regularly and making more progress with my training. I doubt much of anyone gets anything out of reading this other than me, but it gives me something to be accountable to. And, it's a redundant record of my training, so that's a plus.

For a little recent background, I started a training cycle last week for a USAPL powerlifting meet in Olympia, WA on March 4-6th. I'll be flying back from a business trip on the 5th but I don't compete till the 6th, so this will be new territory for me (stress of travel, conference speaking, lots of walking the week before the meet instead of taking it relatively easy).

Last week was mostly feeling out my 1RM, identifying what I need to work on over the next 5 weeks. Tonight was DE Upper:

A1. Bench w/ 20# chains

2 x 8 x 45#
2 x 5 x 95#
2 x 5 x 145#
2 x 3 x 185#
6 x 2 x 205# + 1 chain/side

This felt really good, once I remembered to keep my back and arch tight. I lost about 25% of my bench since we moved to Seattle, so I'm stressing form a lot now to get most of it back, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concentrating more on deadlift and squat during this cycle...

B1. 1-Armed OH Press

4 x 6 x 45#

B2. Wide-Grip Pullups

4 x 6 x BW + medium band

Trying to get more unilateral work in for my arms/shoulders, so I am working the 1-armed OH press and other stuff in to my cycle. Also, my fat ass can't do many body weight pullups any more, so the band is assisting for now. The goal is to be able to do this set with no bands by summer.

I'm also trying to get some back work in on every training session, since I supposedly have Degenerative Disc Disease and want to keep my back strong and my form tight.

C1. 1-Armed Hammer Curls (prehab)

3 x 8 x 40#

C2. Band Pressdowns (prehab)

3 x 8 x medium band

C3. Palloff Press Holds

3 x 20s x large band

I trained with my lovely wife, so it took longer than usual- 1 hour, 45 minutes. Overall it was a good session and was a good way to set the tone for the week.