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Showing posts from March, 2012

Listening to my body today

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Finally had the opportunity to meet up with my team members and train over at the Boyle's garage gym.  Mark and Trish are preparing for the CPU Nationals (Classic division) in a couple weeks and new member Tannis is preparing for the London Open in May.

I was scheduled for Front Squats and Bench Presses but was still feeling Thursday's deadlift/overhead press workout in my back and shoulders.  As always, I would play it by feel and adjust accordingly.

Front squats warmed up fine but my first work set with 275 ended up being a double instead of a triple.  My upper back was still shot from Thursday so I killed plans on going heavier.  Instead, I used the extra 'feedback' I was getting from my upper back to really concentrate on it and to try to rep with perfect form.  I ended up doing three doubles with 275 and then two triples at 245.  The weight was still heavy enough to make me work but not too heavy that my form broke down and encouraged an injury.

Front Squats:  135…

Rookie mistake, don't deadlift on a full stomach

I've been at this lifting thing over a 30 year span, 10+ of those years spent actively training for powerlifting competition and I'm still making rookie mistakes.  Today, I made the rookie mistake of trying to train heavy deadlifts on a full stomach.

I was scheduled to work up to 515 for sets of 3 in the 2" deficit deadlift but based on how good I've been feeling, I decided to push the top weight as far as I could.  My first work set at 495 (instead of 515 since I was planning on going higher) was an easy triple.  I loaded 545 and planned to do either a single or a double depending on speed.  I had designs on going up to 565 if 545 moved well.

Turns out, that plan would have to wait.  My first rep with 545 moved fine but halfway up I could feel my full stomach trying to push its contents upwards away from my intra-abdominal pressure.  I ended up just doing one rep.  I tried two more times to do another single with 545 but each time, just as I started to bear down and …

It's the Alfalfa Sprouts?

This is way outta left field but on the recommendation of a fellow lifter that is a Dr. of Oriental Medicine (not entirely sure what that is) I started eating alfalfa sprouts 9 days ago.  He recommended I eat one carton a day.  Since I like the taste and could always use more greens, I decided to give it shot, especially since 9 days ago, I was still getting over a cold and felt like even if it was "woo" therapy, it was worth a shot.

For the first few days, I noticed nothing unusual.  After six days in which I ate sprouts on five of them, I started to feel like I had more energy.  On Saturday, I had a particularly productive front squat and bench press workout.  This was a bit unusual since I hadn't front squatted or bench pressed in 15 days but I figured maybe the rest helped.  For some reason, I was looking forward to tonight's workout because I wanted to see if the I could continue the streak of excellent workouts.

Last Wednesday in my first squat/overhead press/p…

Front squats and bench presses

Hard to believe it's been 15 days since the last time I front squatted or bench pressed.  While not completely planned, the time off has had one benefit, my left shoulder has felt pretty good in everyday activities.  That is to say, it hasn't woken me up in the middle of the night or ached while driving to work every morning.  Hopefully, resumption of my bench pressing activities, even at once a week, won't cause those aches and pains to re-occur.

After feeling strong, if lacking endurance, during Wednesday's workout, I didn't expect I'd feel like I'd need to take it easy today so I went with my normal plan of working up to a heavy front squat single and then following up with 2-3 back-off work sets.   The plan went well as I was able to increase my repetition volume and also work up to my previous 1 rep max in the front squat of 305x1.  I actually felt like I had 315 in my but 305 was my planned top single (10 lbs more than my last top single 15 days ago) …

De-load to Re-load

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...or something like that.  That's my positive spin on it anyways.  While I planned on taking some time off due to a business trip to a conference in Las Vegas, I didn't plan on getting sick and spending an extra 3 days in bed fighting off the flu.  In hindsight, Vivian had been sick for almost a month prior to my trip and I had been fighting off something.  I guess the flight, smoky hotel and casino and the general non-sleep, bad eating of the Vegas business-style conspired to overcome my immune system.  Since I got sick while on the trip, I ended up not enjoying my yearly pilgrimmage to In N Out Burger nearly as much as I should've.  I did get to eat some excellent food prior to the flu.
Today was the first day I felt good enough to hit the gym and I was glad.  I've been pretty restless the past couple of days, even waking up early Tuesday morning to take a brisk walk before work.  Normally the only thing that will wake me up before O'Dark Thirty is a tee time.  …

Front Squats and Bench Presses

My lower and upper back was pretty wrecked from Monday's squatting and pressing and Wednesday's deadlifting, shrugging and pressing but knowing that next week will be a travel induced de-load, I looked forward to pushing things today and then taking advantage of the rest later.

Prior to hitting the gym, I read a great blog article by an Olympic Weightlifting coach and competitor named Matt Foreman.  I follow a lot of strength and fitness blogs but until today wasn't aware of the Catalyst Athletics site.  I guess it's because I don't do Cross-fit or Olympic weightlifting.  Anyways, it's a great site with tons of great articles and videos and it's part of my google reader subscription list from now on.

The article I liked a lot was one Matt Foreman wrote about Ibuprofen.  He's about 5 years younger than I but with a lot more iron mileage on his body.  It was very re-assuring to read about his and other athletes' most excellent experiences with the won…

Deficit Deadlifts feeling strong tonight

I usually don't deadlift heavy two weeks in a row but with my business trip taking me away from any real gym time next week, I decided I'd go heavy again and recover over the next week.  Going into the workout, my back felt a little tired but that's never a good predictor for me.

Sure enough, my warm up sets felt just fine.  I'm still deadlifting off a slight deficit (2") to build speed through the floor and I'll keep the deficit for another 5-6 weeks.  Since I did three doubles at 515 last week, I decided to up the intensity a little bit to keep things pushing along.  First double with 495 was very smooth.  I'm really starting to find a good starting position that allows for a relaxed upper back and strong leg drive off the floor.  Set 2 was a double with 520 lbs and it was smooth and fast.  My last set was a double with 545 lbs.  I knew I could get this but because I had only worked with deficit singles with this weight during my last training cycle, I …

Squatting away a cold, I think

My better half, Vivian has been battling the mother of all colds the past two weeks and since I rarely get sick, I've been irritating her with my apparent good health.  Actually, a large part of that is because I gloat and preen in front of her while she plows through boxes of kleenex like an adolescent boy.  Needless to say, when I started feeling just a bit of a tinge of achiness and noticed just a bit of a nasal drip starting, I began to look up recipes on how to best prepare crow.

For some reason I had the feeling that I just needed to workout and that by revving up my body to recover from the workout, it would also successfully battle whatever cold bug was trying to establish a stronghold.  Since I didn't feel 'run-down' I decided I'd go with this 'new-age' thought and blow my cold away with a heavy dose of Squats, Overhead Presses and Push Presses.

Squats went very well and I was able to match last week's volume with the exception of my back off…

Front squats and bench presses

Wednesday's deadlift, shrug and overhead press workout wrecked me in a good way.  I was comfortably sore just about everywhere I expected to be.  On Thursday I realized I had a couple big onions that needed to be cooked since they were on the verge of going bad.  I decided I'd caramelize them and them mix them with some chopped chicken breasts, rice and a bag of chopped kale/spinach/collard greens  (Cookin Greens brand frozen veggies, if you can get them, they're awesome).   What I forgot to do was take some shortcuts to make the caramelization process go faster.

So, as I stood there, stirring my onions waiting for them to start caramelizing, my right trapezius started getting tight.  By the time I had finally finished caramelizing my onions 45 minutes later, I had a full blown muscle spasm in my right trap.  Despite high dosing ibuprofen on Friday, it was very difficult to turn my head and driving was definitely a challenge.  I guess cooking the day after deadlifts, shrug…