Showing posts from September, 2012

Squat and deadlifts and some video review

Met at ArturJ's  house for a squat and deadlift session tonight.  Having a training partner meant extra motivation as well as a helping hand to get some video of my squats.  After spending the past two and a half months working on some squat form improvements, I was very curious to see how my squats looked.  We also tweaked Artur's squat form just a bit to make it easier for him to hit depth.  It seemed to make a nice difference as his depth increased and he had some nice speed out of the hole.

This was my second week of 5 sets of 3 reps in the squat and based on the previous session two weeks ago, I decided I would go up to 405x3 for my top set today.  I was able to get video of a set of 385x3 and the 405x3, both sets looked fast and I was happy with my hip action.  Depth looked to be more than sufficient for white lights as well so that's always a plus.  The technique work seems to be helping.  I've been hesitant to push the weight up because I'm really trying to…

Bench press, 8 weeks out

Still making progress every workout in the bench press.  This is a very nice change after spending so long training around gimpy shoulders.  It felt great to handle 295 for multiple reps--first time in a long time.  Also still making progress with the overload bench presses with the Titan Ram.

It's fun to look forward to my bench press training again.

Bench Press:  135x10, 185x10, 225x3, 250x3, 275x3, 295x3, 295x2, 290x2, 290x2, 290x2

add Titan Ram:  315x3, 315x3

Close Grip Bench Press:  225x4, 225x4, 225x4

This week is the first week of training sets of 3 as I start to ramp up the intensity towards the meet in two months.

Bench Press and deloading, 9 weeks out

After the last five weeks of training, I hadn't planned on this week being a deload week but I also knew I was due for one soon.  Turns out a combination of the gym being closed for flooring work and feeling like crap made the decision to deload this week pretty easy.  I skipped my usual bench press and squat/dealift workouts and instead waited until today to hit my bench press session.

I met up with Artur J from the community.  Artur lives about 9 minutes from me--even closer than my normal gym the Oakville Y.  It's always good to get in a session with a training partner so I was glad to find a fellow lifter so close by.   I was a little curious how my session would go since it had been 9 days since my last bench press workout.  Turns out the extra rest paid off and I was able to significantly increase my training volume with my work weight of 275 lbs.

Bench Press:  135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 250x5, 275x5, 275x5, 275x5, 275x4

Compared to my last bench press sessi…

Squat triples and speed deadlifts, 10 weeks out

My squat program changed to triples for "hard" squat day so I was very interested to see how my revamped squat technique would hold up with heavier weights.  Since my last competition in early June, I haven't squatted anything heavier than 350 lbs (two weeks ago).  In that time period I have put in a decent amount of volume in the 70-80% of 1 RM range and the form changes I've been working on have integrated pretty smoothly.

My scheduled workout was to include 5 sets of 3 so I decided I would start with 15 lbs more than my last "hard" squat workout (350x5x4 sets) and add 10 lbs each set until I felt like I had reached a RPE 9+ (meaning 1 or less reps in the tank at the end of the set). If I had any triples left over, I would drop the weight down for subsequent sets to the starting weight of 365 lbs and finish with AMRAP sets.

I was pretty happy to be able to ramp up to a top set of 395x3.  Changing one's squat form is a process that sometimes requires 2…

10 weeks out, Bench Press and Titan Ram work

Tonight was the fourth training session with my Titan Ram.  It was also the fourth session in a row where I was able to increase my total work volume in my raw bench press.  It's probably too early to draw too many conclusions but I'm not going to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Last week's bench press session had top work set volume of 3 sets of 3 with 275 lbs.  I followed that up with 3 sets with the Titan Ram using 295 lbs for each set.  I was able to do sets of 5, 4, and 4 reps (shi shi time!).  After that work, my chest, shoulders and triceps were pretty fatigued and my drop down sets with full ROM, un-equipped bench presses were difficult sets of 250x3 and 225x5.

This week's bench press session had top work set volume of 3 sets of 4 with 275 and a set of 3.  I followed that up with 3 sets with the Titan Ram using 295, 315, and 315 lbs.  The repetitions were 5, 2, and 2.  I finished up with nothing left drop down sets of 245x3 and 205x3.

A few things jumped out…

Accessory work and the benefit of keeping a training log

It's been 8 weeks since I started training on the schedule I last used in 1992.  Back in 1992 I used this schedule to set PR's in both the bench press and deadlift.  It was the result of distilling my previous 8 years of training and represented what I knew to work best for me at the time.  The years between 1992 and my 'comeback' to fitness in late 2007 had largely erased my memories of the protocol.  In addition, all of the new training information available nowadays, sheiko, smolov, GVT, Texas method, Starting strength, 5/3/1,  etc. etc, had displaced what memories I had left with many different time-tested programs.  The only thing was, they weren't time tested for me.  Not to say they didn't work, they all do to an extent.  What they didn't have, was years of tweaking and adjusting so that the programs worked best for me, not the average cross-section of avid strength trainers (or elite, hand-picked athletes, depending on which program one were to foll…

11 weeks out, squat and deadlift day

After the past weekend's cardio activities, I was curious to see how my legs would feel today.  On the schedule was speed squats (5 sets of 3 w/75% of my 1 RM) and an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) set with 505 lbs in the deadlift.

My melon isn't designed for helmets.  But at least I got to cross "riding a Segway" off the bucket list.  This actually took place last March but I didn't think the world was quite ready for the dorkiest Great Gazoo ever.

Anyways, back to tonight's session--I didn't train in the morning because the gym was supposed to be closed yesterday for the installation of some new floors and I didn't want to show up this morning and find the gym not ready.  Turns out they didn't change anything at all.  On a positive note, my session went so well tonight that it more than made up for not reinforcing my change in routine.

Speed squats were as easy and fast as they've ever been.  Whereas my previous speed squat session felt li…

A busy Labour Day weekend and Bench Press, 11 weeks out

Had a great Labour Day long weekend with Vivian.  On Saturday, we decided to do the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail, approx 32 kms there and back on our mountain bikes.  It was a good thing I had some padded bike shorts because my rear end still felt pummeled by the end of the ride. This was easily the longest stretch of steady state cardio I can remember doing in the past 25 years.  The only other time I can remember riding a bike that distance was when I used to ride my 12-speed road bike from my apartment in West L.A. to Venice and down the beach path to Manhattan Beach and back.  That was an easier ride, being paved the whole way and riding a road bike with toe clips.

Sunday, Vivian and I played 18 holes of golf at the Oaks of St. George, a slightly hilly, really nice little track just outside of Brantford.  We both walked while pushing our bags on trolleys.  Even without carrying a bag, just walking on the uneven terrain after the previous day's 5+ hr cycling trip proved to…