2011 in the books, 2012 first workout

2011 was a tough year from a weight management standpoint.  Started the year at 250 lbs, managed to lose 20  lbs by June, gained 10 lbs back by September and finished the year at 230 lbs.  This recent article in the New York Times does an excellent job describing the challenges in keeping weight off if you've been obese.  I dislike having to be obsessive about caloric intake and exercise but it appears to be the only way to ensure long-term success.  For 2012, I want there to be less yo-yo'ing and a steady drop in bodyweight to 205 lbs.

2011 was a good year for workouts.  I got into the gym 138 times, a high of 20 workouts in April and a low of 8 in February (came down with shingles--not fun).  I experimented with significantly higher workout frequencies during a 6 week period bracketing the month of April and experienced excellent results.  While I preferred that training schedule, the realities of work/life/gym balance did not allow for that schedule to be held for the duration of the year.  I finished the year on a more traditional 3x/week schedule.

2011 was a transition year competitively.  I lifted and prepared the entire year as a 'raw' competitor using only a belt and wrist wraps as supportive equipment.  I competed three times, none at a National level (not a true national level anyways) in three different weight classes.  I transitioned to using the hook grip in the deadlift mid-way through the year and also had to contend with an achy shoulder.  I still hold hope that I can continue to get stronger but 2011 taught me that I need to be patient and sometimes it takes a step or two back to move a step or three forward.

I started off 2012 yesterday with my squat assitance/bench press workout.  Vivian and I expected the gym to be crowded due to the influx of Resolutionists but it was only slightly busier.  Front squats went fairly well with the no-hands carry although I did need to use the California carry for the final set.  It'll take a few more weeks for my upper back to adapt.  Right now I struggle with keeping my arms up.  With the no-hands carry, if you drop your arms even a tiny bit, it's much easier to lose the weight.  One set was finished with me catching and re-racking the bar in a modified zercher carry because I got sloppy and let my arms drop a bit.  I have to admit, rolling a 225 bar down my deltoids and brachialis actually felt kinda good after the initial pain subsided but I also don't want to do it again.

Front Squats:  135x5x3 sets, 185x5x2 sets, 225x3x5 sets

I pushed the bench presses just a little bit more and all went well.  With my next competition coming up in 6 weeks, I need to peak my bench press soon if I'm going to have any chance of at least matching last competition's results.  So far, progress at regaining my bench press strength is giving me hope.  I also think I'm getting some carryover from my overhead pressing which is nice since it doesn't irritate my shoulders.

Bench Press:  45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 255x3, 275x1x3 sets, 245x2x3 sets

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